Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Thanks to Mac's family, bravesjournal.com is back.

15 Apr

Braves 7, Brewers 4

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 15, 2012 – ESPN.

Nothing comes easy. Fredi Gonzalez will make sure of that, even if he has to use the Worst Pitcher on Earth, Chad Durbin. More about him later.

After a shaky first start, Brandon Beachy sparkled. Seven innings, three hits, one “unearned” run, six strikeouts and two walks. The Braves took the lead in the first when Michael Bourn led off with a single, Martin Prado bunted him over (sigh) and after a Chipper Jones walk Brian McCann hit a sac fly. The Brewers tied it up in the next inning after a two-base error by Prado and an RBI single, but as indicated that was all they would get.

The big blow of the game — though it wouldn’t have been enought for Durbin insurance — came in the third when Chipper homered to score Bourn and Prado made it 4-1. Jason Heyward hit a solo homer in the fourth to make it 5-1.

It stayed that way for awhile. Beachy left after seven, giving way to Kris Medlen, who allowed a hit but erased it on a double play. In the bottom of the inning, a pinch-hit single by Eric Hinske scored two, and that was enough to bring the Worst Pitcher on Earth into play.

WPE led off the ninth with a double. He then got a foul popup, then another double to make it 7-2. The next batter just got under another gift; the one after didnt’t, hitting a two-run homer to make it 7-4. Durbin somehow finished the inning with a strikeout; I would guess that the batter was drunk, or high.

231 Responses to “Braves 7, Brewers 4”

  1. 1
    ububba Says:

    A sweep & a 5-4 record. Gotta like the homestand so far.

    Go Reds & go Astros, I suppose.

  2. 2
    Brian J. Says:

    Are we sure he’s the Worst Pitcher on Earth and not that other guy we signed? Or is that other guy in our bullpen merely the Most Loathsome Pitcher on Earth?

  3. 3
    gsa Says:

    If there is ever a time to use the worst pitcher on your staff to give the other guys a break, that’s the time. The problem was Wren signing him in the first place.

  4. 4
    PaulV Says:

    I would like to coin “Durbin Save”.
    Pitcher come in with 4+ run lead and give up enough runs to make in a save (for any other pitcher) and gets final out before blowing the “Durbin Save”

  5. 5
    csg Says:

    Good thing is he probably wont be around all that long. He’s completely useless.

  6. 6
    csg Says:

    Checking out Gwinnett’s bullpen, who is Adam Russell?

    4 games, 5IP 2H 1BB 9K

    Pretty good start to the season for him, Gearrin, and Redmond.

  7. 7
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Chad Durbin makes Tyler Yates look like Mo Rivera.

  8. 8
    jjschiller Says:

    I think Russell was the tall guy in spring training, who the beat writers kept writing tall-guy-notes noting how tall he was because he was so tall.

  9. 9
    AA Says:

    @7 I was thinking the same thing Alex only instead of Yates I was going to say Kolb.

  10. 10
    Adam R Says:

    @2, Livan gives up singles. Durbin gives up XBHs.

    Wren needs to admit he was wrong and cut Durbin’s useless ass.

  11. 11
    Rob Cope Says:

    Instead of “Reitsma Room”, it should be the “Durbin Deficit”. If you bring in Durbin, you’re gonna have a deficit in your score. I dunno, it’s a stretch.

    This guy sucks though. I have to trust Atlanta knows what it’s doing. I have to trust an organization that can develop pitching out the ears, but still insists of having a “veteran presence” that often times ends up being a bust. Boom Boom Bobby, Alfonseca, Remlinger Part 3 (or is it 2?), the Scotts, etc. The sabermetrists would say Redmond, Gearrin, etc. would be better options (and talent-wise, they’re probably right), and they’re cheaper, but there’s a reason the Braves will hand a rookie a closer job (Kimbrel), but Redmond can’t sniff the big leagues in several years. What do they not see in the Cole Rohrboughs and Zeke Spruills, the guys that they’ve never given opportunities to or have traded away, but do see in the Jonny Venters and Mark Wohlers in the organization? Why will they trust some youth and not others, and have such a maddening fascination with expensive, veteran relievers in low leverage spots? They’ll pay the league minimum for a rookie with lights-out stuff, but drop $2M a year in middle relief? It’s just weird.

    At the end of the day, it’s all a moot point, because they usually give the important innings to the performers, and the mop-up duty to the dregs, but they financially go about it backwards, and sometimes it means talented minor leaguers don’t get opportunities that, statistically, it appears they should.

    Weird.

  12. 12
    Rob Cope Says:

    And as for Durbin, I imagine he gets released very soon if he keeps turning in these outings. We’re patient, but not stupid. Of course, he is owed a cool million.

  13. 13
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, I just looked it up, and he’s making $900K. This makes me extremely angry.

  14. 14
    Adam M Says:

    I’m pretty sure the signing of Chad Durbin was profoundly stupid, thereby raising the possibility that, yes, Wren is too. This signing may actually somehow be more indefensible than Proctor. Somehow.

  15. 15
    spike Says:

    Compared to the major league minimum (480k), the opportunity cost for Diay (1.5m), Durbin (420k), and Hernandez (270k) is around 2m over Flande, Gearrin and Sutton. Ashtray money for some clubs, but not this one, at least to hear them tell it.

  16. 16
    Bethany Says:

    I expected Durbin to be released by now.

  17. 17
    Morrie Says:

    @ 14

    Fool me once (Proctor) shame on you, fool me twice (Durbin) shame on me (wren)

  18. 18
    sdp Says:

    I wish I could be incompetent at my job yet convince my employer to pay me $900k.

    #Durbin

  19. 19
    Adam R Says:

    @16, This club would never fess up to even an obvious mistake so soon. Is there a team that would?

    Durbin’s gonna get the rest of the month. Buckle up. At least Fredi is using him correctly.

    But hey, Brandon Beachy.

  20. 20
    sdp Says:

    Durbin must have been the Mike McQueary to the Jerry Sandusky in the Braves organization or something.

  21. 21
    sansho1 Says:

    Yeah, lots more going on than the last guy in the bullpen. Beachy was more economical than usual, and would have been even more so if not for Prado’s error. We also hit the ball hard on several occasions that didn’t result in hits. Besides the other obvious heroes, I was really impressed by Pastornicky’s defense today.

  22. 22
    CourtneyC Says:

    We’re never going to win a 14 inning game with Durbin on the roster. That’s the only drawback to having him on the roster.

    It’s not like our manager is stupid enough to use him in a 1-run game on the second game of the season before EOF even toes the rubber, only to use him 2 days later in a 3 run game.

    Oh, wait…

  23. 23
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Would you prefer that the big gun relievers get called on in a 7-1 game in the ninth? Oh. No. When that happens you whinge. When they bring in the garbage reliever for three outs with a six run cushion? You still whinge. Even in a win.

    One begins to suspect you just like the melodious tenor of your whinging.

  24. 24
    Brian J. Says:

    Sam, the correct choice wasn’t “the big gun relievers” or Chad Durbin. It was Flande or Gearrin, but they’re still in Gwinnett because Wren doesn’t think they deserve a shot; instead, we now employ two guys with giant forks sticking from their backs.

  25. 25
    braves14 Says:

    Heyward is off to a great start. This is big.

  26. 26
    James Says:

    Sam nobody is arguing that the Braves should be using any of the big 3 in a 6 run game. They’re saying it’s stupid for an organization that claims payroll limitations all the time to spend 900,000 dollars on a washed up middle reliever when there’s 3-4 arms in Gwinnett that could fill the same function for 400,000 less.

  27. 27
    kc Says:

    I am thinking the same thing…is Durbin worse than all the relievers we have seen? Personally I think I have handle one of Livan and Durbin, but two is too many. When is Moylan coming back?

  28. 28
    Rob Cope Says:

    Sam, I definitely think the previously mentioned viewpoints is the issue. Durbin’s going to offer potentially the same (non)production that the AAA guys would, but for twice the cost. At the end of the day, not a huge deal, but as a fan, I don’t want to hear about payroll limitations when poor decisions like that are made.

    Anything else you want to start an argument about?

  29. 29
    sansho1 Says:

    Hard to see where Moylan fits in at this point. The only pitcher whose spot he might take is Martinez’s, and what has the Lisp done wrong?

  30. 30
    Smitty Says:

    I was at the game and I noticed a few things:

    1) Bringing your dog to the game is stupid.
    2) Chipper’s home run took like a tenth of a second to get out.
    3) Heyward’s home run sounded like someone slapping 2x4s together really hard.
    4) Braun is a terrible fielder.
    5) Beachy was dealing
    6) I don’t care what the numbers say, Freeman is a great with the glove.

  31. 31
    kc Says:

    @29 Just to get rid of one of Durbin/Livan, any usable pitcher will be fine. Moylan is just one that came to my mind. Anyone from AAA will be cool as well.

  32. 32
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Durbin and Leave On continues to struggle one of those career minor leaguers will come up and be the new slop guy. The difference between a fungible slop ML vet on the way out and a career organizational innings arm like Gearrin or Flande is negligible.

    If they pitch Durbin in close games I’ll join this chorus. If Chad Durbin is the last guy out of the pen mopping up late innings with big leagues? There isn’t anything to worry about there.

  33. 33
    braves14 Says:

    Livan’s spot is defensible because he can spot start and pitch long relief. Durbin brings nothing to the table.

  34. 34
    Smitty Says:

    Ladies and Gents, your Miami Marlins:

    http://www.sportspickle.com/embed/12245/marlins-stadium-outfield-contraption-goes-off-for-the-first-time

  35. 35
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If Durbin and Leave On continues to struggle one of those career minor leaguers will come up and be the new slop guy.

    Sam, I have never more fervently hoped you were right.

  36. 36
    DowneasterJC Says:

    You know what’s worse than Chad Durbin?

    People that spell whine with a “g.”

  37. 37
    Alex R. Says:

    @23 – Sam hits the nail on the head and Rop Cope brought the point home.

    I think there is universal agreement here in Bravesjournal that Durbin and Livan are absolutely horrible and we have 3-4 arms in Gwinnett that are half the cost and better.

    This is in no way a payroll issue. But Durbin and fatty Livan have got to be removed from the roster ASAP.

    (for me, even if Livan was good, I hate his guts with the fire of a 1,000 suns and it pisses me off daily that he’s a Brave. As a Spurs fan in hoops, that’s akin to signing Derek Fisher or my Dawgs hiring Steve Spurrier. Makes me sick seeing fatty Livan in a Braves uni).

  38. 38
    Rob Cope Says:

    Alex, why don’t you like Steve Spurrier? :)

  39. 39
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree that it doesn’t much matter who mops up in late innings with big leads-except that you want the guy actually able to mop up. If you have to get up one of the big guns because he isn’t competent enough to close the game without undue stress, he isn’t doing much good. And, of course, you may actually have to pitch the guy in a real situation if you have one of those marathon extra-inning games.

    By the way, when is Tad going to demand that Chipper retire immediately because he only hits one home run a game?

  40. 40
    RobBroad4th Says:

    The Durbin outing was perfect in every way; he didn’t put the game in serious jeopardy but still showed how incompetent he is. The last thing we want him to do is have two or three decent outings in a row and then come in when the game is closer. The guy gives out more meatballs than an Italian restaurant.

  41. 41
    Seat Painter Says:

    Welcome to Sunday’s edition of Small Sample Size Theater!

    Selected OPS of selected Braves:

    C. Jones 1.417
    J. Heyward 1.079
    E. Hinske .929
    B. Beachy .888

    Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Small Sample Size Theater!

  42. 42
    sansho1 Says:

    Chipper did something interesting in the seventh inning. He came up with one out, Bourn on second and Prado on first. The first pitch from Parra was a called strike, which Chipper bailed out on to allow the double steal attempt — which was successful, thus opening up first base (I didn’t like the play for that reason).

    Sure enough, the next two pitches were well off the plate. Then the 2-1 pitch started low and sunk — not a pitch you could do much with, but Chipper swung at it anyway, making it a 2-2 count instead of 3-1. It seemed to me that he wasn’t fooled, but that he wanted to nudge Parra away from the “unintentional intentional walk”, and towards throwing him a pitch he could hit.

    It didn’t work out, but it seemed to reveal a well-honed strategic thought process, sort of like Murph had talked about earlier in the game. And I wonder if Chipper wouldn’t rather Bourn and Prado just stayed where they were.

  43. 43
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    @42 if memory serves (and often it doesn’t) chipper was waaay out in front of the strike 2 pitch and looked like he might have tweaked his left knee a little. after the ab, i was just glad to see him walk back to the bench.

  44. 44
    Adam R Says:

    Interesting. If the Brewers were going to pitch Chipper carefully enough to just let him walk, I don’t see why Chipper wouldn’t just take it and let McCann hit with one out and the bases loaded.

  45. 45
    DG Says:

    @4: Of course, we already have the Atlanta Save, but I like the way you think :).

  46. 46
    sdp Says:

    Someone bring me a beer.

  47. 47
    Nasa from France Says:

    Meanwhile in Cleveland, the infamous Derek Lowe is 2-0 with a 1.98ERA and 1.24whip…

    (and 3 strikeouts and 16 hits allowed in 13.2 innings!)

  48. 48
    jjschiller Says:

    The Royals had their backup CF pitch an inning today. He didn’t give up any runs. It’s actually the second time he’s done it, both times scoreless.

    Why does Durbin have a job?

    If you give up runs everytime you pitch, it is never the proper time to use you. If I’m down 10 in the third, I don’t want to be down 11 in the 4th.

  49. 49
    Dan Says:

    Would really like to know what Wren’s thought process was when he decided to offer Durbin a major league contract. Why did he think that was a good idea?

    Meanwhile, Flande has pitched nine scoreless innings for Gwinnett. He’s not on the team probably simply because he’s not a veteran.

  50. 50
    Adam Burton Says:

    @Sam

    We’re labeling guys “career organizational arms,” in other words replacement players, at age 26? I doubt the difference between a Durbin, only semi-reliable in blowouts, and a Gearrin, potentially useful in blowouts OR in other leverage situations, is negligible. It adds flexibility to a pen that desperately needs flexibility, considering the limitations of the rotation.

  51. 51
    Adam R Says:

    Bobby V told the media that Youkilis isn’t as physically or emotionally into playing baseball as he’s been in the past. I sure am glad I’m not a Red Sox fan.

  52. 52
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @1 ububba
    Celebrating a sweep!
    If you can spare a minute please tell us if you know why Tebow was booed in the Bronx.
    And do you think anybody missed Axl last weekend?

  53. 53
    ryan c Says:

    How early will we see Evan Gattis giving LF a shot in the minors? This guy’s bat is for real but I don’t think he’ll ever stick at catcher. He’s got video game numbers thus far this year.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=gattis001eva

  54. 54
    Bethany Says:

    @49 It’s pandemonium here. Valentine is just stoking an already volatile fire ad it’s quite entertaining.

  55. 55
    sansho1 Says:

    @44

    The chances of a run scoring actually go down w/ bases loaded, one out versus 2nd&3rd, one out. Plus, we already had a good lead, so maybe Chipper just wanted to see if he could coax a hittable pitch out of Parra, just as a personal challenge. Obviously I’m guessing, but that’s how it struck me at the moment.

  56. 56
    csg Says:

    Valentine shouldnt have ever been hired for that job.

  57. 57
    td Says:

    I think we can come to a consensus (90% agreement)on a few things about Durbin:

    1) Chad Durbin is a horrible, horrible pitcher
    2) It is never a good time to use him, but if you do, being 6 or more runs up or down in the 9th is probably the best time.
    3) It’s a matter of time before Durbin is released, sent to the minors, or DL’d for inability to pitch.
    4) We can all hope #3 comes sooner rather than later.

    I’m not a big fan of Fredi, but if he’s forced to keep him on the roster and play him, winning 7-1 in the 9th was a good time to do it (not good, but you know what I mean). Anyone want to predict when #3 will happen? My guess is #3 will happen on Thursday, April 26, but I’m hoping for today!

  58. 58
    Bethany Says:

    @54 I’ve got no idea why they hired him. He’s a clown. They were making a big deal on the radio yesterday about how he’s taking a lot of time to keep up his NYC media connections. I don’t think he’ll last long.

  59. 59
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Sometimes we get tired of the pabulum that, first Bobby Cox and now Fredi feed the media, but seeing something this absurd makes me appreciate the professionalism of the organization. I can’t imagine any line of work where it would be a good idea to criticize an employee in public like this.

  60. 60
    csg Says:

    Im not sure why Durbin is on the roster and Im not sure why anyone was complaining about how he was used yesterday. He sucks, we all know that and Im sure Fredi does by now also. But even he can get 3 outs before giving up 6 runs.

    Did Medlen’s spot in the order come up in the 8th? If not, Id like to see Fredi let him finish off some games like yesterday. Bring him in during the 8th and just let him knock out the last two innings. Fredi has actually done a good job managing these past few games and Im sure our offense scoring runs helps make his job easier.

  61. 61
    Smitty Says:

    @58

    It did, Hinske hit for him. I would have liked to see Medlin or the Lisp go the last two, but Drumin, I mean Durbin was signed for this situation. To cover the sperad.

  62. 62
    csg Says:

    “It was only a matter of time before John Smoltz took his rightful place in the Braves Hall of Fame, and his No. 29 on the left field façade at Turner Field, alongside those of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. That time will be June 8.

    The club announced Monday that Smoltz’s would become only the ninth Braves jersey number retired, and it will go up in a ceremony before the Braves play the Toronto Blue Jays in a series opener on Friday, June 8. Smoltz will also be honored at a Hall of Fame luncheon that afternoon.” – AJC

  63. 63
    mravery Says:

    Shoudl that be his nickname? “The Spread”?

  64. 64
    jjschiller Says:

    @58, 59 – It bears noting that when Hinske stepped in for Medlen, the score was 5-1 and the bases were loaded with 1 out.

    Hinske’s single drove in two, making it 7-1, and creating Durbin-Room.

    I have no idea if anyone else was warming besides Durbin, and if Hinske hadn’t come through, if maybe Martinez would have come in.

  65. 65
    ububba Says:

    Youkilis is starting to break down & his contract is up after this season. Guess Valentine’s trying to “motivate” him somehow.

    #50
    Wasn’t watching the Yanks/Angels game when the booing occurred. Seems like some folks might’ve been booing the Heat’s Dwayne Wade (who had just defeated the Knicks) as well.

    But just guessing: 1) There are a lot of people, not just in NYC, who don’t like Tebow or are just tired of hearing about him; 2) They’re Giants fans booing a Jet; 3) They’re Jets fans booing their GM.

    Axl? He probably did everyone (except the media) a favor by not showing up.

  66. 66
    csg Says:

    Two things – it was smart to let Hinske hit there with the bases loaded, no doubt. However I think Medlen could hold a 3 run lead if he had too also.

  67. 67
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    apologies if this has already been posted, but this just gave me enough laugh out loud moments to get me through a monday. http://i.imgur.com/eQN3m.jpg

  68. 68
    Remy Says:

    John Jeremiah Sullivan’s 2006 profile of Axl Rose is a must-read.

    http://tinyurl.com/3qcregc

  69. 69
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Durbin is on the roster for the same two reasons Livian is on the roster.

    1) MLB organizations are risk averse and always prefer known quantities (veterans) to unknown quantities (Yohand Flande.)

    2) Last year Fredi and his team was (rightly) excoriated for riding his young relievers too hard. This year he prObably asked for and got a couple of rubber armed guys on the downside who can take a lot of abuse if needed without anyone worrying about how it might limit there long term prospects.

  70. 70
    Adam R Says:

    @66, Seconded.

  71. 71
    sdp Says:

    Drama in Boston?

    Hang on, let me grab some popcorn.

  72. 72
    Morrie Says:

    Mac,

    I would like point out that if you include Durbin’s First name at the top of the page, you would have a nice acronym; ABCD, Anyone But Chad Durbin. This also works with Fredi’s tendency to play “ABC” baseball.

  73. 73
    spike Says:

    @67, that’s a bit of odd logic – O’Ventbrel got overused because a, we didn’t score many runs or b, the other relief options failed. Hiring two veteran crappy relievers addresses neither of those. I get the idea about risk aversion and prospect overuse, but again, Sherril at 4.5M was a veteran reliever who was actually not terrible. Durbin has a track record of being excruciating, and Livan’s is almost as bad over the last 5 seasons or so. Hiring bad baseball players is something beyond risk aversion, and in this case, doesn’t address the problem in any event.

  74. 74
    Seat Painter Says:

    In the same vein as the How to use bullpen good:

    http://i.imgur.com/RV9Am.jpg

    So, which one of you guys is rsponsible for these gems? (I got a sawbuck on AAR at -900.)

  75. 75
    Dan Says:

    Last year Fredi and his team was (rightly) excoriated for riding his young relievers too hard.

    Right, and nothing will get those “young relievers” used less than a pair of unreliable retreads who can’t be trusted in even semi-close games.

  76. 76
    spike Says:

    @72, oooh I am loving that, in a groupthink kind of way, of course.

  77. 77
    PeteOrr Says:

    @61 – Only if we call Livan “The Full Spread.”

  78. 78
    Johnny Says:

    I get it. Statistically and recent history indicate that it is just as probable that Livan/Durbin are no better than say Flande/Redmond. But neither has the track record at MLB that Livan/Durbin do. Both have a record of success. Yes Durbin has sucked more than he has been good and Livan hasn’t been very good lately but they do have some success in their history. This is risk aversion. And, once again, the Braves tend to believe scouting over stats. There must be something in the scouting reports that says Livan/Durbin have something left.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am still confused by this fetish with worn our veterans but I can see a small reason for the Braves to make this move.

  79. 79
    c. shorter Says:

    I had assumed that @Frediot (twitter) was someone on here…

  80. 80
    Smitty Says:

    @61 and 75

    I second the motion.

  81. 81
    PeteOrr Says:

    Frediot posts as “Frediot” at CAC, which makes me think he’d do so here as well. I’m not sure we’ve been honored with his presence yet. The prospect of Sam’s wrath might keep him away as well.

  82. 82
    spike Says:

    @76, I’d even go along with that to some extent, but at what point do you admit failure of plan A? Fredi has shown a willingness to put up with mediocrity and worse for a long time – Proctor had THIRTY ONE appearances last year. He’ll use both of those stiffs as long as they are on the team.

  83. 83
    hpotter Says:

    ajcbraves: Chad Durbin allowed a home run in seven consecutive appearances w/ #Indians and #Braves going back to Sept. 14, 2011

  84. 84
    c. shorter Says:

    79 — Thanks for the heads up. I haven’t been over to CAC in a while.

  85. 85
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I love “The Barves.” Got a chuckle out of me.

  86. 86
    drewdat Says:

    @81

    Record? Record for relief appearances?

    Overall record is 9, for relievers it’s 5? BR.com has Durbin at 4 currently. Hmm.

    Never mind, that’s for exactly 1 HR allowed. Durbin gave up 3 and “broke” the streak last year.

    7 is the record for relievers! 2012 Atlanta Braves, where history is made!

  87. 87
    sdp Says:

    Fredi Gonzalez was out with this pair at an Atlanta bar last night.

  88. 88
    sansho1 Says:

    @84

    Yes! The old record was 6, held by old friend Pete Smith and original Met Jay Hook. The three most recent to give up HRs in 5 straight appearances were Chad Paronto, Roman Colon, and Ron Mahay. Weirdly, along with the Pete Smith streak, none of these involved the Braves. Until now!

  89. 89
    drewdat Says:

    Roman Colon and Ron Mahay both had 5 straight, too (neither while with the Braves).

    Blyleven with 20 straight for SPs.

    Guess I was a little late. Our FO sure knows how to pick ‘em, though.

  90. 90
    Parish Says:

    So, apparently Wren picked up Durbin to make sure the Braves get credit for the homerun streaks we’ve been missing.

    I wonder if he will let Durbin go after the first outing he does not allow a homer.

  91. 91
    csg Says:

    This should be fun to watch and see how it plays out.

    “I’m more confused than anything, because I think everyone knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can,” Youkilis said via WEEI. “That’s just my style of play. I never was blessed with the raw tools … so I’ve always had to use playing the game as hard and with full effort my whole life. I don’t know any better, so that’s just the way I play.” – Youk

    “I know that Youk plays as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen in my life,”Pedroia said (also via WEEI). “I have his back, and his teammates have his back. We know how hard he plays. I don’t really understand what Bobby’s trying to do. But that’s really not the way we go about our stuff here. I’m sure he’ll figure that out soon.” – Pedroia

    Took Bobby V all of about 8-10 games to lose two of his best guys. Smart move.

  92. 92
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Durbin doesn’t right the ship and turn in some quality innings soon, he’ll be released before May 01.

  93. 93
    spike Says:

    You left out the best part of Pedroia’s bon mot – “Maybe that stuff works in Japan.” Zinggggg!

  94. 94
    spike Says:

    If Durbin is cut, it will cost the team 900k plus 500k at the minimum for his replacement, plus his shitty performances in games. Thanks a lot, Frank.

  95. 95
    csg Says:

    #91 – I guess I did, thanks. However, Bobby V didnt start Youk today either and they just lost 1-0 to TB. That should fire up a few folks.

  96. 96
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Could you direct me to the details of Durbin’s contract, Spike?

  97. 97
    csg Says:

    ■1 year/$0.9M (2012)
    ■signed by Washington as a free agent 2/1/12 (minor-league contract)
    ■released by Washington 4/2/12
    ■signed by Atlanta as a free agent 4/3/12

  98. 98
    Parish Says:

    $2M for Diaz and roughly $2M for Livan Durbin might equal an actual ball player. Especially for a half season.

  99. 99
    ryan c Says:

    @96
    I know it’s a bit early, but thus far, Diaz is doing exactly what he’s paid to do:

    vs. LHP 2/10 2bb 1 double 1HR
    .200/.333/.600/.933

  100. 100
    td Says:

    @97 – Diaz has looked pretty decent at the plate so far. I’m not convinced that he’s the Matty D from 2008, but bouncing back and having an above average year would not be unheard of.

    If he can get his batting average up to the .300 range and hit for a little power (like he was doing pre-2010), he will be a valuable bench player. I don’t see any reason why he can’t put up Hinske-like numbers with less power and a higher BA from the right side. At least that’s my hope.

  101. 101
    csg Says:

    Diaz understands his role and thats the most important thing. As long as Fredi doesnt allow him to hit RH’rs then we are in good shape.

  102. 102
    csg Says:

    Hope the rain in Bham right now can avoid Atl tonight. Its absolutely pouring here.

  103. 103
    csg Says:

    Bourn
    Prado
    Jones
    Bmac
    Uggla
    Heyward
    Hinske
    Wilson
    Hanson

  104. 104
    spike Says:

    Rain is moving rapidly E-NE and breaking up a bit as it nears ATL. I would guess they will get the game in, as the map looks now anyway.

  105. 105
    ububba Says:

    Gee vs. Hanson… tonight’s pitching matchup looks to be pretty favorable for us.

    BTW, I know his name is Dillon Gee, but this song always comes to mind whenever I hear his name:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLmbR-QMdCY

  106. 106
    JoeyT Says:

    @103, me, too. Every single time.

  107. 107
    ralphdibny Says:

    Re: the Durbin.

    In the grand scheme of things, Chad Durbin is no big deal. Yet his presence on this team gets under my skin, because he is the 527th washed up ballplayer the Braves have picked up off the scrap heap, and it never works. Am I forgetting someone? Is there an example of this strategy ever working? (John Burkett, maybe?) Because it is hard to root for a team that continues to make the same mistakes over and over again.

  108. 108
    sdp Says:

    Livan, Durbin, and Francisco for Youkilis and Pedroia. Get it done, Frank.

  109. 109
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Burkett. Chris Hammond. Mike Remlinger.

  110. 110
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’d be interested to see any performance clauses in Durbin’s contract.

  111. 111
    ububba Says:

    Jaret Wright (in the regular season, anyway).

  112. 112
    NickH Says:

    @108 – I can’t imagine Durbin’s work is going to qualify him for any bonuses, unless he gets paid extra for each HR he gives up.

  113. 113
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Seat Painter at @72, you give me too much credit. Wish I had, but it ain’t me.

  114. 114
    sansho1 Says:

    Julio Franco.

  115. 115
    MikeM Says:

    There’s a good podcast at Grantland with steve berthume discussing many baseballing topics. He hits on the Braves for a bit, with these highlights:

    - Wanted to pick Braves to win the division, but just couldn’t due to young and injury-risky pitching staff.

    - Pointed out that Braves have a really serious problem with the long (looooong) terms of the TV deal they are locked to. Said this has to be addressed (didn’t say how).

    - Painted a sad portrait of Liberty Media. Said they are not a baseball-focused owner and basically write the Braves an operating budget (he said $88 million, don’t know where payroll really is) and say “here you go, this is all you get.”

    Not exactly assuaging my worries about the long-term prospects for my favorite club.

  116. 116
    spike Says:

    @107, 109, the Braves have had notable success with castoffs – Jaret wright in addition to Sams list. That success seems to directly correlate to Leo Mazzone’s presence in the bullpen as there are no real notable examples since.

  117. 117
    ryan c Says:

    @116
    Jorge Campillo, Buddy Carlyle, Eric O’Flaherty, Venters. These guys performed better under Roger than they ever had prior to donning the Braves uni (or, in Venters’ case, the Braves’ major league uni). Hell, we got 163 innings of sub 4 ERA ball from Campillo, O’Flaherty had serious control issues before ’09, Venters had a minor league career ERA over 4, and Buddy’s ERA with the Braves is 2 runs less per 9 than his stints with other clubs.

    Roger isnt too shabby.

  118. 118
    spike Says:

    Those are hardly veteran castoffs like Burkett et al. Venters and O’F are 27, ffs. And Carlyle and Campillo had ERA+ of 93 and 108 – hardly successes on the level of the aforementioned Mazzone group.

  119. 119
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Mike Remlinger; 2006.
    Chad Paranto, Ron Mahay; 2007.
    Buddy Carlyle, Julian Tavarez, Jorge Julio, Jeff Ridgeway; 2008.
    Jorge Campillo, Jeff Bennet; 2009.
    Billy Wagner*; 2010.

    You’re just looking past the successes and focusing on the failures (notably the still fresh wounds inflicted by “The Scotts” last year.) It’s also the case that of late, the Braves have developed a lot of young pitching talent, so they haven’t been looking for spare parts in the bullpen as often.

    *I’m sure some will argue that Wagner wasn’t picked up “off the scrap heap,” but prior to his signing with Atlanta there was a *lot* of question as to whether or not the 38 year old Wagner still had something left in his tank, after an injury in PHL/BOS the previous year.

  120. 120
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    And Eric O’Flaherty counts for the Braves, here. He was a Rule V washout before the Braves picked him up.

  121. 121
    spike Says:

    Look you can parse it however you like. There are certainly plenty of cromulent relievers that change hands for next to nothing annually. Wagner, granted there were concerns, was coming off a fine season with Boston and cost ~7M plus a #1 draft pick – I don’t think that’s quite an apples-to apples comparison, but whatever. The point is that signing retreads is fine – as long as you don’t pay them much and are willing to jettison them pretty much immediately if they go south. Yes, the team has found good values post Mazzone, but none of the home-run types like Hammond. That certainly no reason to stop trying, but – and here’s the but – none of this can possibly be construed into thinking signing Chad Durbin is remotely near this category of player. Livan is slightly more defensible, because of starting depth concerns in the early going as either a spot starter or second long man. But both of those guys cost real money that the braves could have used in other places, or simply socked away for a midseason deal. The risk-reward benefit just wasn’t there.

  122. 122
    mravery Says:

    Aww. I miss Campillo, what with his crazy curve ball and everything. It was really funny when he started a few games and was posting crazy strikeout rates. :-)

  123. 123
    spike Says:

    It wouldn’t let me edit my post, but yes Venters and O’F are home runs by any measure, but that doesn’t really change what i was trying to convey here. Minor league deal for Durbin and I’m a lot more ok with whatever reason they thought was good enough to try him out. 900k guaranteed just was way over market.

  124. 124
    Trace Says:

    Javier Vazquez worked out, as well. Many people thought he was done.

  125. 125
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m not sure Durbin’s a full guaranteed 900K. I know he was picked up immediately after the Nats dropped him, but I’m not sure there’s not some pay for play incentives in his deal either. Either way, I don’t think “socking it away” for a midseason deal is going to make much difference. You aren’t going to pick up an impact player in June for the 1-2 mil difference between Livian/Durbin and Flande/Redmond. With that money, you might get, oh, maybe Rick Ankiel or something.

    So I guess my final point here – and yeah, this will be the final one here – is that I think you’re drastically overestimating the value of the sunk cost differential between Durbin and Flande. One costs $450K. The other costs $900K. You’re not going to upgrade LF to something better than Prado for the $550K difference.

  126. 126
    spike Says:

    Vazquez made 11.5M – again, really not the same thing.

  127. 127
    spike Says:

    @125, but none of that makes the affirmative case for pissing it away on a guy like Durbin. It’s just not a defensible use of resources.

  128. 128
    mravery Says:

    So are they in a rain delay or what?

  129. 129
    spike Says:

    Some light rain now, but it looks good for getting the game in.

  130. 130
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    No delay. Radio is running down the starting lineups now.

    On that note, I gave up cable this winter, so I’m doing a lot of radio this year. Bobby Cox is the most marketable Braves personality on local radio, for the record.

    I do not believe he’s really “friends” with the founder of Superior Plumbing. I believe he’s having me on.

  131. 131
    spike Says:

    Yeah, but he does ask the guy some pretty hard hitting questions.

  132. 132
    Bethany Says:

    Not a soul at the park.

  133. 133
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I grow tired of Tommy Hanson being pedestrian.

  134. 134
    spike Says:

    Dillon has quite the Nebuchadnezzar beard in his gamecast photo.

  135. 135
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    He does. It’s like a dead ferret on his face. Someone should weed whack him.

  136. 136
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Don Sutton believes people text from their computers.

  137. 137
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Two fly balls to CF that Bourn had to run hard for?

  138. 138
    Bethany Says:

    Great catch by Bourne. Tommy looks great.

  139. 139
    Bethany Says:

    BMac hit that ball so hard that even the shift couldn’t help the Mets.

  140. 140
    ububba Says:

    Heyward, still smokin’…

  141. 141
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Over/under for the squeeze?

  142. 142
    ububba Says:

    Given the situation… that’s a productive out.

  143. 143
    Morrie Says:

    So, I’ve noticed that Chip and Joe have increased their usage of percentages in the broadcast. Is this there attempt at embracing “advanced” statistics?

  144. 144
    sdp Says:

    You can text from a computer. Check out Google Voice.

  145. 145
    mravery Says:

    Wow, what a stupid run to give up.

  146. 146
    Bethany Says:

    Joe is talking about how he hates walks. So much for the advanced statistics theory.

  147. 147
    mravery Says:

    The top of the lineup has just looked bad tongiht. :-( Hopefully the guys further down keep up their good work! :-D

  148. 148
    Bethany Says:

    Man, Uggla looks like garbage. Par for the course, I guess.

  149. 149
    Morrie Says:

    @ 146

    But Chip referred to the “swing to damage ratio” earlier. Thats real right?

  150. 150
    spike Says:

    @146, taking them or giving them up?

    //not that I need to ask really – Joe took on the role of anti-0stat curmudgeon long ago.

  151. 151
    Bethany Says:

    @150 Something along the lines of “no one comes to the park to see a bunch of walks.”

  152. 152
    spike Says:

    Lord knows anyone that went to a ballpark to see Joe Simpson walk a bunch would have been disappointed.

  153. 153
    Bethany Says:

    You guys are right about this social media stuff, oof.

  154. 154
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Joe used to play the antistat role when Sciambi was his partner, and it worked, because Boog was more than enough tonic to cut Simpson’s “I used to hit behind the runner and make outs, so that’s what’s good” schtick.

    Obviously Chip doesn’t have the chops to balance Joe out.

  155. 155
    Trace Says:

    “Beth what are you doing after the game? #FSBraves”

  156. 156
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    No one ever went to the park to see Joe Simpson. I mean, seriously. There was never a “Joe Simpson fan.” Even his parents and kids rooted for his teammates, at best.

  157. 157
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You can’t rob Jack Wilson.

  158. 158
    Morrie Says:

    @154 I’ve concluded that Chip is there is laugh at Joe’s jokes.

  159. 159
    Bethany Says:

    Ugh, I can’t believe that.

  160. 160
    Scump Says:

    It is funny, on ESPN’s Gamecast it usually shows the results of an at-bat- i.e., “M Bourn grounded out to second.” But for Hanson, it just says “Dillon Gee pitching to Tommy Hanson.” I guess the app is smart enough to know that any time someone is pitching to Hanson an out is the foregone conclusion.

  161. 161
    jjschiller Says:

    Just a note, going back to the Durbin vs. Misc Minor Leaguer debate.

    The major factor in favor of the minor leaguers, is that they are paid a pro-rated portion of the minimum, while Durbin, aside from making double that, is guaranteed his money, as his is a major league deal.

    So if you start with Flande, and he stinks, you go to Gearrin, to Someone else, until someone produces. With enough spins, you’ll land on red eventually.

    So Flande represents a 480k gamble on every arm you’ve got. Durbin represents a 900k bet on just Durbin.

  162. 162
    ububba Says:

    Well, that sucked…

  163. 163
    Bethany Says:

    There’s your ballgame.

  164. 164
    csg Says:

    Still does..

  165. 165
    MikeM Says:

    OK I don’t understand that strategy at all. Why so many 75 mph breaking balls? That was bound to happen.

    I am really now concerned about Hanson’s velocity. He’s sitting 90 tonight again. This on the heels of shoulder problems does not look promising.

  166. 166
    Stu Says:

    Does Fredi think Tommy Hanson is left-handed?

    Why is our manager so freaking stupid? Seriously. Anyone could do the job at least as well as he does it.

  167. 167
    jjschiller Says:

    Hey guys, don’t worry so much. We’re capable of scoring 3 more runs before this series is over…

  168. 168
    ububba Says:

    Coming into the game, career vs Hanson:

    Wright, 3 for 20, 8 Ks, no HRs
    Davis, 2 for 12, 6 Ks, no HRs

    Of course, this year Wright is hitting about .560, while Davis is around .140.

  169. 169
    Bethany Says:

    Pitching to gee was the correct choice, but I’m less sure about the pitch selection, which is on McCann too.

  170. 170
    urlhix Says:

    We were due to lose one, I guess. Tip yer cap and let’s get ‘em tomorrow, right?

  171. 171
    jjschiller Says:

    Tommy Hanson has no clutchitude. He is devoid of clutchiness.

  172. 172
    spike Says:

    Someone explain the interference.

  173. 173
    spike Says:

    Dammit.

  174. 174
    jjschiller Says:

    I’m not watching, I just assumes he hit his glove w the bat. He’s done that a few times.

  175. 175
    spike Says:

    how do you not PH for Wilson here?

  176. 176
    Stu Says:

    You are Fredi.

  177. 177
    Tadvol Says:

    Amen # 175 .. Gonzalez is clueless … what a MGR !!!

  178. 178
    braves14 Says:

    Why would you not pinch hit for Wilson, Frediot? Unless Pastornicky is hurt, that’s inexplicable.

  179. 179
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Francisco instead of Freeman is pretty indefensible, too.

  180. 180
    Stu Says:

    Saving Freeman for the bigger PA later in the game.

  181. 181
    Putter Says:

    Francisco can go back to wherever he, Durbin and Livan came from. This seems to be more wasted roster spots that normal seasons

  182. 182
    Putter Says:

    @180 Yeah, like when it is 8-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th and he gets called on to lead off the inning

  183. 183
    braves14 Says:

    Jo Ann Santana? What an embarrassing broadcast. You get what you pay for, I guess.

  184. 184
    Tadvol Says:

    #180 .. If Freeman aint hittin for Wilson .. you think he is gonna hit for Bourn, Prado, Jones, McCann, Uggla, or Heyward ?? No … wasted him .. Gonzalez is pitiful as a Mgr .. Wren better be looking for another guy !!

  185. 185
    Tadvol Says:

    Ned Yost .. Ned Yost .. Ned Yost !!!!!!!!!

  186. 186
    Tadvol Says:

    or ANYBODY BUT GONZALEZ … please BOBBY COME BACK !!!!!!

  187. 187
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    You don’t have to squint very hard to see 5-7 coming in the distance. Of course, I would have taken 0-10 after tonight if it had meant we were rid of Frediot.

  188. 188
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    @185

    My friends who are Brewers fans inform me that we want no part of Ned Yost as manager, not in this or any lifetime.

  189. 189
    Tadvol Says:

    @188 … Im just saying anybody … NED, BOBBY , OBAMA .. whoever !!

  190. 190
    MobileRealtor Says:

    You guys can complain about Durbin and Leevan all you want and I agree with you 105%. But can we get rid of Skip’s son when we get rid of Chad and Hernandez? Please!

  191. 191
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Eight runs in four games against the Mets, and five of them were scored with a 7-0 deficit.

  192. 192
    Tadvol Says:

    @180 .. who did Freeman hit for ??????????

  193. 193
    ryan c Says:

    This loss is on the Braves offense but Fredi has to account for 3 Frediotic moves:
    1). Not PH for Wilson
    2). Letting anyone but Freeman hit for Hanson.
    3). Walking Wright

    How is this lack of critical thinking accepted night after night? I seriously believe Fredi is worried about hurting his players’ feelings.
    @192 He was being sarcastic. He didn’t hit for anyone.

  194. 194
    Tadvol Says:

    @193 … Dont know if that was sarcasim or not …. possibly .. and yes I know freeman didnt hit for anybody !!

  195. 195
    csg Says:

    #192 – He was mocking the managers stupid decision to save him.

  196. 196
    Tadvol Says:

    @193 .. I was being sarcastic with the ” who did Freeman hit for” comment.

  197. 197
    krussell Says:

    Man that FSS broadcast is just awful.

  198. 198
    kc Says:

    Amazing, we can’t beat the Mets. It’s all Fredi’s fault.

  199. 199
    Adam R Says:

    Sweet merciful crap. I went out drinking, and what the hell happened? Is ryan c’s list @193 accurate?

  200. 200
    stupup74 Says:

    197 – I could not agree more. If you are going to have a twitter chick, which I wish they didn’t, but if you are, make sure she is at least hot.

    The random cut ins from the sideline guy rehashing everything we already heard from Braves Live was annoying as hell too.

    As for the game, until the braves get more than 3 hits every 10 games from the SS position they are going to have issues scoring runs. With Freeman having some tough luck, Uggla is doing his April swoon thing, and SS being a big doughnut offensively right now, this team is going to have a hard time beating anybody good.

  201. 201
    Adam R Says:

    CAC’s analysis of the decision to walk Wright is interesting. That seems like a good basis to analyze Fredi’s decisions when all is said and done.

  202. 202
    Bethany Says:

    I remember after Tommy’s last start he said he felt more comfortable with the curve as opposed to the fastball, and it seems that was the case again last night.

  203. 203
    Marc Schneider Says:

    What would Furman Bisher have said about Pedroia’s Japan comment if he was still alive?

    I don’t think Fredi is a good in-game manager but I still think the players are the thing. Lots of teams win with lousy managers; I once read where Bill Lee, talking about his manager on the ’75 Red Sox that went to the 7th game of the World Series, said, “he spent all year falling out of trees and landing on his feet.” I mean, how different is Fredi tactically from Bobby Cox?

  204. 204
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I didn’t see the game but, after reading the CAC analysis (thanks Adam R), I don’t see what the hysteria is about walking Wright with a 2-0 count with a clearly inferior (albeit left-handed) hitter on deck. It seems to me that most, if not all, managers would have walked Wright after he got to 2-0. People are just looking for reasons to blame every loss on Fredi Gonzalez. Blame the Braves management for not putting together a team that can hit or starters that don’t wilt after five innings. Or not having to rely on a 40 year old that can barely walk for offense.

  205. 205
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Fredi probably is a slightly worse in-game manager than Bobby Cox.

    The thing is, Bobby Cox is probably one of the five best managers of all time, and he succeeded despite sucking at in-game tactics, not because of it. So Fredi shares one of Bobby’s weaknesses. It’s hard to see that he shares Bobby’s strengths. Through approximately four and a half seasons over six years, he’s 276-279, and it’s hard to say exactly just what it does that he does well. Perhaps he will improve. But then, I have been hoping that about Chip Caray for years.

  206. 206
    sdp Says:

    My issue with the walk to Wright is it put on another baserunner in a critical inning (the sixth–past the half-way mark in the game) with a power hitter in Ike Davis coming up behind him. I think you have to take your chances with Wright, especially with two out. There was a runner on third, Fredi seemed to be concerned about Wright knocking him in–only to have Ike knock them all in.

  207. 207
    Ethan Says:

    I’ve no problem w/the Wright walk…the issue w/me is that Gearrin still hasn’t given up a run in AAA (11-2 K/BB rate in 10 inn) while WPE and Livan continue to crap the bed w/every appearance.

  208. 208
    spike Says:

    @205, Fredi doesn’t seem to land on his feet nearly as much?

  209. 209
    Marc Schneider Says:

    But in the seventh inning, especially the way the Brave hit, you have to cut off any runs. Obviously 4-1 is worse than 3-1 but there is no reason to think the Braves could have come back from 3-1. You have to cut off any runs at that point and it’s not irrational to think that you have a better chance to get Ike Davis than David Wright, especially with a 2-0 count.

    AAR,

    You say that Bobby was one of the five best managers of all time. Why is that (other than his record)? If you look at his teams in both Toronto and (his second stint) in Atlanta, they were all loaded with talent. Basically, what everyone says is that Bobby managed the clubhouse well and got guys to play for him. But no one really knows what that entails and we don’t know if Fredi is any worse. And, look, Ozzie Guillen–who no one would really say is a great manager of people-has the same number of WS wins as Bobby. Fredi Gonzalez has had nothing close to the talent Bobby had. I’m not knocking Bobby Cox, obviously, but the only real difference I see is that Bobby had better players. I think Fredi Gonzalez would look a lot better if he was running out Gred Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz instead of Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, and Brandon Beachy (who might be a very good pitcher at some point but is clearly not in that class now). And if he had a Chipper Jones in his prime instead of a 40 year old version.

  210. 210
    csg Says:

    4 straight off speed pitches to Ike Davis was the worst decision of the night. Eventually you are going to leave one up.

  211. 211
    Bethany Says:

    All of this is null and void because the offense only scored one run.

  212. 212
    PeteOrr Says:

    Oh dear god, Fredi on Durbin:

    “We need to get him in there a little more and get him that life on that fastball, that two-seamer.”

    So the solution is to pitch Durbin more…

  213. 213
    justhank Says:

    @203 – tactically? Well, probably not much, but that never was Bobby’s long suit. (Don’t let me get started on Leibrant to Puckett…)

    But, for better or worse, Cox filled the role of unquestioned boss in the clubhouse, holding the team to a standard of performance that was generally accepted and self-enforced by the players, themselves.

    Those that didn’t buy in didn’t last.

    Don’t see that from Fredi yet. Not sure we will. And when Chipper (and, probably, McCann) are gone and the Expo budget kicks in he’s going to look even worse.

  214. 214
    justhank Says:

    Ya know, watching Tommy Hanson and Josh Smith compete for the “Which Gifted Player Can Perform at a More Brain-Dead Level” simultaneously is not good for my soul.

    Is Horford NEVER coming back?

  215. 215
    Adam R Says:

    @209, Let’s not forget that Bobby was a big reason that some of our key players took hometown discounts, against all odds, which was critical to our sustained success. So we do actually know a little about what “got guys to play for him” entails.

    @212, I’m hoping this is just misdirection or, probably, a badly-needed bit of public encouragement for a player — and not a statement of tactical intent.

  216. 216
    justhank Says:

    Does anyone else think the NL will adopt the DH sooner rather than later?

  217. 217
    JoeyT Says:

    I think it will be decades before the NL adopts the DH. Hopefully it won’t happen in my lifetime.

  218. 218
    Dan Says:

    No.

  219. 219
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I don’t walk Wright in that situation.
    These men are paid to pitch. And they are paid well to pitch well.
    The manager is paid to make decisions. This one went bad.
    Maybe Tommy will remember not being allowed to do his job. Maybe he won’t care.
    I hope he does.

  220. 220
    Adam M Says:

    Well, it was also his job to get Davis out. I’m more hopeful that he doesn’t hang any more sliders.

  221. 221
    spike Says:

    @216, the 7th reliever costs significantly less than the starting DH, so really, I can’t see it either at the moment.

  222. 222
    Marc Schneider Says:

    “But, for better or worse, Cox filled the role of unquestioned boss in the clubhouse, holding the team to a standard of performance that was generally accepted and self-enforced by the players, themselves.

    Those that didn’t buy in didn’t last.

    Don’t see that from Fredi yet. Not sure we will. And when Chipper (and, probably, McCann) are gone and the Expo budget kicks in he’s going to look even worse.”

    That’s sort of a chicken-and-egg argument. Maybe there was a higher level of acceptable performance because the players were better. No doubt players loved playing for Bobby. But did that really affect their performance? The Red Sox and A’s hated Dick Williams but they won pennants for him. The reality is that we have no idea how Fredi does in the clubhouse. All we know is that the team doesn’t win as many games as they did with Bobby. But Bobby wasn’t winning any pennants either in the last years, without Maddux, et. al. And I believe that Bobby Cox did order intentional walks on some occasions.

    Obviously, Fredi will look worse when the lower budget kicks in. Who wouldn’t? Jim Leyland won the World Series in 1997 and then won 54 games when the Marlins sold off their players.

    And, really, whether Wright should have been walked would have been moot if Hanson had done his job. At some point, you can’t blame the manager for the players lack of performance.

  223. 223
    justhank Says:

    Not a fan of the DH, either, but the talent drain is hard to dismiss.

    And guys like McCann are clearly more valuable in the AL (especially long term) than the NL.

  224. 224
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Marc, what I wrote may have been hyperbole, but he’s almost certainly top 10. In this, as in everything I ever write about managers, I’m heavily influenced by Chris Jaffe’s book “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers.” As of 2006, Cox was eleventh-best of all time in managerial runs above average according to the list Jaffe compiles, behind:

    1. Joe McCarthy, +1451 runs
    2. Tony La Russa, +1012 runs
    3. Bill McKechnie, +998 runs
    4. Walter Alston, +904 runs
    5. John McGraw, +853 runs
    6. Al Lopez, +836 runs
    7. Earl Weaver, +744 runs
    8. Billy Martin, +715 runs
    9. Frank Chance, +686 runs
    10. Fred Clarke, +672 runs
    11. Bobby Cox, +655 runs

    Bobby Cox is in a virtual dead heat with #12 Billy Southworth, who was worth +653 runs.

  225. 225
    Marc Schneider Says:

    AAR,

    I’m not really arguing that Bobby wasn’t a great manager. But he did have better players than Fredi. And people complained about a lot of Bobby’s in-game and lineup decisions, especially during the playoffs.

    My point is people are blaming Fredi everytime someone hangs a curve or pops up with men on base. I certainly am not enamored with his in-game decision making but the bigger problem, IMO, is that the Braves players aren’t as good as they were under Bobby Cox (of course, he was at least partly responsible for that during his tenure as general manager).

  226. 226
    Dan Says:

    My point is people are blaming Fredi everytime someone hangs a curve or pops up with men on base.

    Time for an update to the old Andruw song:

    Who controls Frank Wren’s brain?
    Who makes BravesJournal go insane?
    Fredi! Fredi!
    Who makes Cristhian play like crap?
    Who gives him beer straight from the tap?
    Fredi! Fredi!
    Who makes Durbin give up long balls?
    Who makes umpires miss all these calls?
    Fredi! Fredi!
    Who makes Wren make bad deals?
    Who causes pain to Chipper’s wheels?
    Fredi! Fredi!

  227. 227
    krussell Says:

    At this point we look so bad against lefties that I wonder how long it’ll be before teams start to adjust their rotations just for a series with the Braves. Call up a young guy for a spot start, or start a middle reliever or two, stuff like that.

  228. 228
    csg Says:

    Arent we 3-0 against the last three lefties?

    Wandy 4IP 6H 4ER
    Wolf 4.1IP 9H 8ER
    Narveson 4IP 4H 5ER

  229. 229
    csg Says:

    And Fredi sometimes pulls our starters before the 6th innning.

    http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1355247

    “In three weeks – the last two weeks of April and the first week of May – I did 36 Tommy John procedures. Most of them were high school kids. That’s unbelievable. That’s a major operation.” – Dr. James Andrews

  230. 230
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Recapped. Sorry for the even-longer than delusional delay, but have decided that the best treatment for now is just to sleep as long as possible.

  231. 231
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    They walked Wright to get to Davis because:

    1) Wright has been killing the ball,

    2) Ike Davis has been struggling mightily, and

    3) Ike Davis struggles to hit curveballs.

    That’s also why they fed him curve after curve after curve.

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

GPS Reviews and news from GPS Gazettewordpress logo