Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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05 Oct

Cardinals 6, Braves 3, Season Over

And so it ends. It figures that the season would come down to (1) Bobby going a batter too long with Derek Lowe, and (2) Melky making the last out on a weak groundout to third with the tying and winning runs on base. — October 11, 2010

At a certain point, you just have to admit it wasn’t to be. Kyle Farnsworth, magnificent in the regular season, couldn’t hold a 6-1 lead, and the Braves couldn’t score for nine innings of tied baseball, losing in one of the strangest games ever played. — October 9, 2005

As you might have expected, the Braves’ season ended — not formally, but essentially — with Chris Reitma on the mound. — October 11, 2004

Ah, hell. — October 5, 2003

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. — Bart Giamatti, November 1977

Tonight, the Braves lost on the merits. They had 12 hits and three walks, and scored a grand total of three runs. They made three errors, and gave up four unearned runs. The Cardinals won this game because they failed to lose it: they got six hits and no walks, but cashed each and every one of those errors in. The Braves left men on first and third in the fourth, left men on second and third in the 7th, left the bases loaded in the 8th, and left men on second and third in the 9th. That’s why the Braves lost.

The worst error of all, arguably, was the first. It came in the fourth inning, with the Braves up 2-0 and Medlen pitching well. After Carlos Beltran singled, Matt Holliday hit a hotshot right to Chipper, who backhanded it and had plenty of time to start a double play. Instead, he threw it into right field, and instead of two outs, there were no outs with men on first and third. Both of them came around to score, and by the end of the inning it was 3-2. The Cardinals held onto the lead from then on, tacking on additional runs thanks to throwing errors by Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons.

Kris Medlen wasn’t his usual unhittable self, but he was fine, giving up just three hits and striking out four men without walking anybody in 6 1/3 innings. He did give up a solo shot to Matt Holliday, and nearly gave up a homer to Yadier Molina in the first inning, but Jason Heyward leaped over the fence and hauled in a snowcone.

David Ross gets the game ball, with Freddie Freeman a close second. They got half the Braves’ 12 hits, with three apiece. Ross got a two-run homer to put the Braves on the board in the second inning, and he was lucky to do so, with the umpire granting his time call as Lohse went into his windup to deliver a two-strike pitch that Ross swung and missed at. Ross hit his homer on the do-over, and later picked up a Crash Davis-like bunt single. Freeman had a double and two singles. And Jose Constanza got a pinch hit triple and came around to score the Braves’ third and final run. It really isn’t worth discussing the rest of the “offense.”

Fredi made some questionable bullpen decisions in the 7th inning, but the pitchers he brought in actually did their jobs. Fredi pulled Kris Medlen in the second inning after a two-base error by Dan Uggla and a sacrifice sent the runner to third. Fredi then drew in the infield and brought in Chad Durbin — which seemed disastrously stupid, but Durbin induced a ground ball straight to Andrelton Simmons, but Simmons bobbled the ball and then threw it away, allowing a run to score and allowing the batter to get to second. Then Fredi brought in Venters, who induced a swinging bunt down the first base line that was such a slow dribbler that while Venters tried to chase the ball and tag the batter out, the runner was able to score from second. That took it from a manageable 4-2 to a difficult 6-2.

This game would have been an uncontroversial, in fact even frustratingly recognizable, Braves loss, if not for the 8th inning. We’ve all known that our offense is awful with men on base. We all knew that if we were going to win this game we’d have to shut down their offense, which is one of the best in the league. And we all remembered Brooks Conrad and the way things ended in 2010. When the Braves lose, they do not lose with grace and dignity. They lose the game only after having forgotten all their coordination, pride, honor, control of the strike zone, reflex, sense memory, and the lyrics to “Hot Cross Buns.” They lose badly.

But tonight they did not merely lose badly. They lost, at least in part, thanks to an egregiously bad call by umpire Sam Holbrook, a 47-year old man who is a 15-year veteran of the majors and who is working his seventh year in the playoffs. Tonight, Holbrook was the “left field umpire,” because in the playoffs — and the Wild Card play-in counts as the playoffs — the umpiring staff expands from four to six, with two umpires in the outfield along with the four in the infield.

So the Braves had men on first and second with one out in the eighth inning, and Sam Holbrook was in left field, when Andrelton Simmons hit a pop-up into no-man’s land. Rookie shorstop Pete Kozma started backpedaling as left fielder Matt Holliday was coming on, and at a certain point Kozma realized that he had no idea where the ball was, freaked out, and the ball landed in between him and Holliday. From the replays, it became clear that at the same point that Kozma freaked out, Holbrook raised his hands to indicate that the pop fly was in fact an “infield fly,” since men were on first and second with one out.

Now, the notion of an infield fly that was hit to the outfield is bizarre. The notion of an infield fly that was called by an outfield umpire, not an infield umpire, is even more bizarre. The fact that none of the infield umpires were willing to overrule the outfield umpire’s call is infuriating. But then, this isn’t the worst sports call by a referee in recent memory. It isn’t even the worst blown call in the last two weeks. Fredi Gonzalez ineffectually declared that he was playing the game under protest, which is meaningless in a one-game playoff, and MLB predictably denied the protest immediately after the game.

The Braves were screwed over. But they screwed themselves far, far more than they were screwed. They sucked tonight. Their defense was awful, and their offense choked in nearly every inning. If the umpire never made the call, it would be easy to say that they deserved to lose. Chipper Jones made a killer error that led to two runs, and went 1-5 at the plate, stranding three men and getting his only hit on a lucky break, a bloop up the middle that the second baseman threw wildly; Chipper was jogging to first because he expected to be thrown out easily, and he barely recovered in time to start running hard by the time the first baseman caught the ball and started flopping his foot toward the bag.

Honestly — even if the umpire had never made the call, and allowed the play to stand as a fluke single, with bases loaded and just one out in the eighth, how many of us honestly believe that the Braves would have gone on to win the game?

170 Responses to “Cardinals 6, Braves 3, Season Over”

  1. 1
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    nice recap. that last sentence is just a little too true for comfort. thanks for the season guys, and for all of the efforts to keep mac’s place going. I look forward to checking in again next spring…..assuming the mayans were wrong.

  2. 2
    mravery Says:

    When I got on the airplane, I honestly thought the Braves were going to win it 2-1 (or something like that) or lose it 2-a billion. The offense has just been so inconsistent this past month, and Lohse actually looked pretty good. I was hoping Medlen could go 7 and the bullpen do its job. Never saw the three throwing errors coming. If Chipper flubbed something on defense, I figured it would be one of those hard-hit balls he’s occasionally missed this year.

    So, at this point, do you have to just think that there’s something about the organization that gets the players tight? I honestly can’t remember a season ending where the Braves had been in contention that hasn’t felt like a choke job, dating back to like 2005.

  3. 3
    fm Says:

    “Honestly — even if the umpire had never made the call, and allowed the play to stand as a fluke single, with bases loaded and just one out in the eighth, how many of us honestly believe that the Braves would have gone on to win the game?”

    Well…if everything else unfolded just as it did in actuality, McCann’s walk would’ve scored a run, instead of simply loading the bases. That would’ve made it 6-4. Uggla’s groundout would’ve scored Chipper and put Freeman at third, rather than ending the game, so the score would’ve been 6-5, with a runner a third and Ross at the plate. I could believe that the Braves could win it from there.

  4. 4
    Josh Says:

    Well, we had a better season than the Phils, Brewers, Marlins, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rays, White Sox, Tigers, even the Cards, but it’s time for McCann, Bourn, Hanson & Uggla to move on. Thanks for the memories Chipper and zombie Chipper.

  5. 5
    Troy Says:

    Great recap, bro. You were right, we lost the game on the three infield errors. As usual, the Braves did all the little things wrong in the postseason, and the other team merely capitalized. We got the added thing of the bad call, and it felt incredibly frustrating* at the time, but no one can argue it decided the game and that the Cards should be forced to come back and replay it. It just adds to the list of ways we can lose. It’s karmically tragicomic. Every year, a new crazy way. How could we top the eighteen-inning game, the Brooks Conrad thing, or losing the wild-card lead last year?

    I personally don’t believe in real gods, as some of you likely do. but I think we can all agree that there is no baseball god. How is it that we lost the huge lead in September last year to the Cards, finishing one game back of them on the final day of the season, th en they win the world series. So this year we finish six games ahead of them, but the rules have changed. If they had done that one year earlier, we would have gotten to play them for the right. This year, they gave us that right, but now we’re the team getting the raw deal. We’re closer to the Nats in the standings than the Cards, but they get home field in a series and we’re hanging our heads again.

    It’s tough. That Giamatti quote is perfect though. Who knows better how to handle these losses than Braves fans. Be well, my brothers and sisters. At least we had a good summer, as usual.

  6. 6
    krussell Says:

    Uggla’s ground ball probably would’ve been an inning ending double play, so that’s some small comfort. I thought for just a fraction of a second that someone was going to hit a 3-run homer in the 8th or 9th just to get my hopes up…but we know we would’ve then lost in extra innings anyway, probably on a blown save by Kimbrel. That’s how we roll.

    It’ll take a while to get over this one. Probably lost a lot of fans for good tonight. I know I’m wavering too. Hard to keep getting emotionally into it when there’s never a good payoff.

  7. 7
    Bethany Says:

    This call was worse than the Green Bay call, by a ton. In the that of the moment, you could argue that a ref might think the Seahawks receiver had simultaneous possession. There’s zero justification for the call tonight. It was an unfathomably stupid call even if it’s called early, and it wasn’t.

  8. 8
    Dan Says:

    Honestly — even if the umpire had never made the call, and allowed the play to stand as a fluke single, with bases loaded and just one out in the eighth, how many of us honestly believe that the Braves would have gone on to win the game?

    If it all worked out the same: McCann’s walk makes it 6-4, Bourn’s strikeout is only the second out, and it all comes down to Prado with two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the eighth and down two runs.

    Would have at least been exciting, even if Prado would have probably did nothing of note.

  9. 9
    Adam R Says:

    “I think [a longer series is] more fair from a standpoint that anything can happen in one game — a blown call by an umpire, a bad day at the office. At least in a two-of-three game series you have some sort of leeway.”

    -Chipper Jones, September 21, 2012

    I wish there were a way for me to profit personally in real life from people who’d sell low on McCann.

  10. 10
    Adam M Says:

    Very nice writeup, Alex. Well done. Thanks for a great season, everyone. We’ll get through the winter and enjoy the Beachy-Minor-Medlen staff or a long time.

  11. 11
    krussell Says:

    And the bottom line on one of the worst calls in baseball history is that the infield fly rule is in place to prevent an intentional-drop-double-play … someone from MLB (Joe Torre I’m talking to you) needs to explain how the Cards turn a double play from left field. You couldn’t do that even if Brian McCann was the runner at both 1st and 2nd.

    Bobby Cox would’ve gotten arrested.

  12. 12
    'Rissa Says:

    DOB just tweeted:

    #Braves Chipper on fan reaction to infield-fly call: “I know one thing is for sure, you won’t be able to say that Braves fans don’t care.”

    Of course, the very fans who are always accused of not caring also get in trouble for showing passion. We just can’t win…literally (too soon?)

  13. 13
    OneEye Says:

    Steve Berthiaume ‏@SBerthiaumeESPN
    RT/ @BJRains: Asked if still agreed with his call after seeing a replay, left field umpire Sam Holbrook said, “Absolutely.”

  14. 14
    'Rissa Says:

    Is he seriously, or is he just trying to save face? No one thinks that call was right. Non-Braves players are tweeting it, sportswriters are writing it…unbelievable. If that’s the case, he needs to quit his job.

    And, apparently the Cards started chanting “Infield Fly” during their post game celebration. Classless.

  15. 15
    Mark Graybill Says:

    Didn’t watch the game, but went to see The Master instead, thank Dodd (inside joke if anyone’s seen the film).

    It’s hard to see how the Braves are going to be a championship caliber team again in the near future, even with the good pitching. The Nats are here for awhile, and the Phillies will be back. I fear this was the last chance.

    Did anybody else get flashbacks of the 1997 NLCS when Chipper made the error? Reading about it, that’s what I thought of . . .

  16. 16
    kc Says:

    AAR, I disagree and I do not like to mix the two issues together. Yes, we played terrible, but we could’ve still win the game if not for the umpires balatenedly taking an important out away from us. We should not prejudge the outcome of the game as if that out does not matter. It’s one issue that we played terrible, but it is another issue that the ump took away our chance to come back despite playing terrible.

  17. 17
    Dan Says:

    The MLB Ministry of Information is in full spin mode. They’re putting it out there that Holbrook was right:

    http://tinyurl.com/9bxs849

  18. 18
    kc Says:

    @12. I don’t care what the others say but what chipper said is absolutely correct. The fans were awesome tonight. They were the best part of tonight’s game. We have all watch baseball long enough to realize what happened tonight was ridiculous.

  19. 19
    kc Says:

    @17. They have no choice but to protect the ump.

  20. 20
    csg Says:

    @14 – Key words – left field umpire.

    Screw the umps, but Im more depressed by the product we put on the field. Awful defense and terrible hitting with RISP. We deserved the final score. I still cant believe the Simmons bunt.

  21. 21
    csg Says:

    Joe Simpson should be ashamed of himself. He should be fired.

  22. 22
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree with Alex. The Braves lost the game on merit, bad call or not. This team year after year plays poorly in big games. I’m not big into amateur psychoanalysis, but it’s hard to believe that the Braves don’t start waiting for bad things to happen. The offense was good for a large part of the season but became atrocious over the last six weeks. 12 hits and 3 runs? 3 errors? They deserve to lose. But it’s infuriating that one team always benefits from the crazy playoff strucuture and then from other teams’ misplayes (see 2011 World Series).

    I sort of felt before the game that the teams had different attitudes about the game and that this might make a difference. The Braves were pissed about having to play the game and the Cardinals were happy to be there. It’s hard to believe the Braves weren’t a bit tight; the Cardinals were playing with house money.

    But there’s not much you can do when MLB mandates that championships can be decided on essentially a flip of the coin. It’s not like you can go get players who would not choke. All you can do is try to improve and come back again. But the inability to win an elimination game at home is utterly bizaare. As Alex says, they seem unable to lose with dignity. When they lost the World Series to the Twins, there was some honor is the way they lost in one of the best Series of all time. But now, they just piss games away.

    I’m going to root for the Nats, my second favorite team, but I have a bad feeling that the Cardinals are on a roll again. I can’t stand the idea of seeing the Cardinals in the World Series again. And it’s not that I hate the Cardinals per se but I get tired of seeing teams play like shit most of the year, get hot for a few weeks and then roll through the playoffs. Maybe that’s what the Braves should try. I would much rather have the Yankees win than the Cards because at least they didn’t sneak in.

  23. 23
    kc Says:

    No matter what, i love my braves and I am thankful I have you guys to go through this with me. Thanks all.

  24. 24
    Dan Says:

    Turner Field Braves fan > Simpson

  25. 25
    Adam M Says:

    Let’s not forget Joe Simpson threw us all under the bus next year, yes? Screw him abd his sanctimonious bullshit. What a clown.

  26. 26
    craig t Says:

    I really wish I could put in words how much I have hated the Cardinals these past 2 years (or ever for that matter).

  27. 27
    Trace Says:

    Yeah I’m sick of that asshat anyway. Go work for TBS, Joe.

  28. 28
    JC Says:

    What did Joe say? BTW, great write-up.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    Just kept repeating over and over how bad and embarassing this was for Atlanta fans. He’s a tool.

  30. 30
    fm Says:

    Here’s something noteworthy: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/1998/target61/timeline/

    “Aug. 29, 1998–After chatting with volatile Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight before a game against the Braves, McGwire is ejected by rookie umpire Sam Holbrook in the first inning for arguing a called third strike. Fans at Busch Stadium show their displeasure by showering the field with trash and assorted knickknacks.”

    The alleged “classiest fanbase in America,” everyone.

  31. 31
    krussell Says:

    I want to see the outfield fly rule called in all our games next year. Should be good for tv ratings.

  32. 32
    Parish Says:

    If pain must come, may it come quickly.

  33. 33
    csg Says:

    #31 – You will like this then. Everyone look at where this ball landed

    https://twitter.com/ZachKleinWSB/status/254417415679651840/photo/1/large

  34. 34
    Adam M Says:

    So sad such a good season ends this way. I just can’t believe it… As believable as it all is.

    I’d always take a 94-win season. It’s too bad the Nats were so good–and that the WC format changed this, and not next, year.

  35. 35
    fm Says:

    Burn-In-Hell tweeted that while growing up in Hawaii, he idolized Chipper.

    I don’t know how to feel about this.

  36. 36
    Nick Says:

    @30

    I remember that game. It was within half-an-inch of being forfeited. Way worse than the display tonight.

    I don’t understand how it’s even remotely acceptable for an outfield umpire to call an infield-fly rule. The outfield umpire is there for three reasons: traps, fair-or-foul in the outfield and home runs. If Holbrook had simply kept his thumb in his ass, where it had been the whole game, there wouldn’t have been a problem. Baseball’s hear-no-evil, see-no-evil act is patently absurd. At least acknowledge the call was abnormal. I don’t think anybody expected them to uphold the protest, but they can still not treat us as if we’re freaking idiots.

  37. 37
    Alex R. Says:

    As I said to Alex on Twitter, this is the quintessential Braves game for Mac that would have driven him crazy and led to quite a rant in the recap – nice work, Alex. A recap he would have enjoyed.

    However, I have to agree with KC. That call turned the entire game potentially for us. It was THE WORST CALL ever in Baseball game, period and of course it happens to us on a night when Chipper played terribly in his final game. We don’t know the Braves would have won…but the game’s momentum entirely changes and I have a sneaking suspicion the way things started to go that inning before the awful call, we likely would have come back to tie or take the lead right there…but we’ll never know.

    One last thing–why is everyone so angry with Joe Simpson–what did he say that caused this uproar?

  38. 38
    Tad Says:

    Only one thing to say ….. 21 runners left on base !!

  39. 39
    td Says:

    I heard Kozma interviewed after the game and he said he let it drop because he heard the umpire’s call. I think he was lying through his teeth because he was still unsure about the protest at the time. No way to prove it, but that’s my take.

  40. 40
    csg Says:

    No one lets a infield fly drop due to an umpires ruling. EVER

  41. 41
    fm Says:

    @37

    He said something like “This is embarrassing from the Atlanta fans” and basically threw everyone under the bus.

  42. 42
    JC Says:

    Kozma is a lying sack of shit.

  43. 43
    csg Says:

    He basically ripped the fans over and over. Called it an embarassment for the city and the fans should be ashamed.

  44. 44
    Todd Says:

    I only found this blog last season so I only knew of Mac for a short time – the pinch hitters on this blog are certainly no Greg Nortons….

    That having been said – took the family to the game, in spite of the feeling that I was indulging another Bud Selig-authored Greek Tragedy. C’Mon, Bud, this is exactly what you don’t want in a one game playoff (see post 9). I personally wonder how long it takes until we are cheering McCann as our starting DH in all games (I may tap out at that point).

    Anyhow….we did lose the games on the merits – bad throws by a Hall of Farmer, a Rookie, and a mediocre (being generous) 2B, combined with questionable offensive calls. That having been said, the most enraging group of humans on the planet are MLB umpires. Its OK to make mistakes. I don’t want replay and the protest should almost never be honored – the game, is played, and umpired by humans and humans make errors whether you are a HOF 3B or a LF Umpire.

    What really pisses me off is the way the umps (and in this case MLB) rally around the guy who craps the bed. C’mon… all umps felt this was the right call? Joyce in the Galaragga imperfect game gained a lot of respect from me for simply admitting he effed up. Go watch Joe Torre (screw you Joe) as he backs up his guy and says that he was not going to allow a protest, but that the Braves dropped the protest and tell me it didn’t sound Orwellian. No time for a trial, let’s just hang the guilty now !!!

    One final remark, enough slagging of Brave fans. I was there and didn’t chuck a half empty Bud Light, but name for me a MLB ballpark where that wouldn’t have happened ! Not in Yankee Stadium ? Philly ? San fran ? St Louis ? (OK maybe not in Colorado, Arizona, Tampa, or Miami but why should they have a damn team anyway.

    Can’t wait til February.

    PS (hurts that we are done and Nate McClouth moves on)

  45. 45
    Troy Says:

    I don’t have any problem with Joe Simpson. As an announcer, you can’t condone throwing shit onto the field. I like that some in the media have said that finally Braves fans showed some passion. I’ve been a passionate Braves fan for 25 years and that always hurt me a little. Not saying I would have thrown anything, but if there was any sort of karmic sports retribution, we would have won this game. I think Braves fans almost expected a win just based on what happened last year, and how good this team looked, with Medlen and the defense. It just all fell apart, and we don’t have games two and three to get back in it. Shouldn’t we be used to this by now?

  46. 46
    JC Says:

    There are a lot of reasons not to like Joe Simpson. I don’t think this is one of them, unless I hear a more of what he said
    I was there, it was embarrassing, and scary. Turner Field security and staff didn’t handle it well, like hiding the mustard in the 755 Club, and some idiot fans took advantage. If they had announced a forfeit, it would have been an all-out riot.

  47. 47
    Adam M Says:

    I seriously doubt anyone expected a win.

    Both road teams won tonight. I’d rather there be no WC than two–this whole system is a crapshoot, and exhausting. It just doesn’t make sense to pay close attention to 162 games and then have it all come down to a single game playoff.

  48. 48
    Rob Cope Says:

    I think Medlen deserved much better. Had he gotten good defense behind him, we might have been celebrating a Medlen 2 earned run, 8 inning performance. He had thrown 92 through 6 1/3. I know it’s a stretch, but he could have gotten through 8 with the same efficiency had they had gotten the outs he induced. Who knows, many Fredi throws him out there for the 9th.

    I also don’t really see how Fredi erred in bringing in Durbin. He needed a ground ball or a strike out. Kimbrel would have given them the best chance at a strikeout, but it was probably a little premature to bring him in. You could bring in EOF, but the hitter was a righty. Who else do you bring in? We don’t have a punch-out righty in our pen. The best bet was to have our best non-Kimbrel righty come in to induce a ground ball, and he did. Had Simmons made the play, we wouldn’t be questioning it.

    At the end of the day, almost everything and everyone worked together to lose this game for the Braves. The umpires, our defense, our anemic offense, and the Cardinals just gladly accepted the game that was handed to them. Lohse did his job, the offense took advantage of the extra outs, and there’s your season. This game will be a great object lesson for high school baseball coaches teaching the importance of fundamentals.

    I had high expectations for the Braves at the beginning of the year, but they faded as the season went along. Except for some unsustainable, dominant pitching that masked their putrid offense, we could have easily had another September collapse. Between McCann, Uggla, Bourn, and Chipper, a good portion of our offense went cold at the end of the year, and it certainly didn’t correct itself tonight. What is it about this organization that we can’t seem to get over the hump? Last year, it was Fredi’s fault in some people’s eyes, and we kept Fredi, who ended up performing well this year. Instead, they held Parrish responsible, and hired two hitting coaches. Do we fire two now? What’s next, three?

    Thanks for the great recap, Alex, and to the many, many great recaps throughout the season. We owe it to Mac to have a great offseason of fun discussion and following college football. After all, the team he probably loved the most will win their title this year.

  49. 49
    Alex R. Says:

    Having met Joe Simpson a few times, I have found him to be a gentleman and though Skip will ALWAYS be my first in my heart as my favorite all time Braves announcer (and of course Ernie Sr.)- I have always enjoyed Joe on the broadcast (and in complete opposite fashion, utterly loathe the voice and sound of Chip) – so I cannot participate in bashing him for bashing some Braves fans. He has great respect for the game and I understand his position.

    However, though I wouldn’t have thrown anything on the field because it’s not how I role, I am sympathetic because in my head, I wanted to destroy the sports bar I was at in Austin when I saw that call – and so did the 3 guys I was with. So, I am somehow sympathetic to Joe and to the Braves fans who behaved in a way I wouldn’t have, but I understand.

    The only person I am livid with and sickened by right now is Umpire Sam Holbrooke who should be fired by Major League Baseball. The Braves may have lost the protest tonight, but they should refuse to play any game he umpires in the future.

    Finally, one comment on Fredi – I am also enraged at how passive he was in fighting the umps. Bobby was at the Ted tonight and he would have made sure he got kicked out – and that would have been inspiring to the team. Instead, meek Fredi slinked back to the dugout to call a protest that he knew wouldn’t pass muster.

    I also have venom towards the Cardinals for being so classless as chanting “infield fly” – I hated that organization going back to the mid 80s and these last two years have put my Cardinal hatred into overdrive.

  50. 50
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Atlanta embarrassed itself tonight and I’m not talking about the baseball team. I’m ashamed of the Atlanta fans.

    I still feel sick. Baseball is a cruel mistress.

  51. 51
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Chipper leaves on a low note and Mac is gone. It just doesn’t feel right.

  52. 52
    Rob Cope Says:

    I’m pretty sure all of Bobby’s ejections produced one World Series win in 14 chances. I don’t think Fredi was at fault because he didn’t have a meltdown while his team was still in the game. I don’t think Bobby ever got himself thrown out of a playoff game, either.

    As I think of Sam Holbrooke and Jim Joyce, I’m so glad my failures are not seen on national television by millions, ridiculed and dissected. Man, it’s a tough business.

  53. 53
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I agree, Rob. It’s hard to tell where the infield ends and the outfield begins….

    But seriously, it’s a tough racket. Back to drinking.

  54. 54
    Grst Says:

    MLB spits in the face of fans, predictably circles the wagons around the umpires…and the fans should be ashamed? Bullshit. They paid to see a baseball game, not the Sam Holbrooke show.

  55. 55
    Doctor Bob Says:

    I find that amaretto sours do not make me feel better. Onward with liquor!

  56. 56
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Bourbon, Bob. Bourbon!

    I understand the support of the fans who threw things on the field. I personally find it reprehensible, mainly because it supports the notion that Atlanta is full of rednecks. It was an ugly reaction to an ugly call.

  57. 57
    Dan Says:

    No one told me Joe Simpson posts here.

  58. 58
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Screw Joe Simpson too. I can’t believe I endured a season of Chip Carey and Joe Simpson only to lose like this.

  59. 59
    Trace Says:

    Is Philadelphia full of rednecks? New York? Cause you would have had the same thing there (except probably batteries or something harder than empty beer cans). Got nothing to do with rednecks. Has to do with being pissed and drunk. Pissed at a shitty call in a shitty game against a shitty team.

  60. 60
    Smitty Says:

    I just got back from the Ted. I tried to post on here durring the game, but I couldn’t get WiFi. It was almost a riot. In fact, if people had starting going to the field, no one would have stopped them.

    Holbrook may never be allowed back in Atlanta. That was the worst call in baseball history. The fact that he stands behind it is even worse.

    Who cares if people threw stuff? They are very lucky that is all that happened.

    I have never been to a sporting event that turned liek that. It was almost like a Euro Cup match. I am glad Atlanta fans showed some spirit.

  61. 61
    Smitty Says:

    IF Bobby were still here, he would have had a stroke and dies on the field.

  62. 62
    Adam R Says:

    Bobby was in one of the boxes. Bet you he threw his fair share of bottles too.

  63. 63
    Smitty Says:

    This is classic!

    http://deadspin.com/5949486/mlb-removed-the-phrase-we-dont-understand-the-infield-fly-rule-from-its-twitter-profile?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

  64. 64
    DG Says:

    Joe Simpson…still a douche.

  65. 65
    Smitty Says:

    Buster Posey was out.

  66. 66
    Smitty Says:

    And the Cardinals chanted “in field fly rule”

    I hate those guys on the same level as the Mets and Phillies.

  67. 67
    craig t Says:

    Braves last 3 playoff games: 8 total errors

  68. 68
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Of course Philadelphia and New York fans would have thrown things. That’s exactly why I’m embarrassed. It’s a white trash thing to do.

  69. 69
    Grst Says:

    It’s good for baseball to get this kind of feedback. If Braves fans show their disgust by not going to games, that only hurts the Braves and MLB doesn’t learn anything. Though it looks like they still won’t learn anything as they are busy circling the wagons.

    This whole episode reminds me how much I hate the umpires union and how much power they hold. The front office is completely cowed by them and will NEVER publicly rebuke an umpire for shitty performance. But enough is enough. They are ruining the game.

  70. 70
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Like I said, I get why people are impressed by the response. I wish I was too.

  71. 71
    DowneasterJC Says:

    If $elig and MLB don’t care about the games, why should anybody else? After tonight’s response, I can’t see the sport as anything other than a rich, good ol’ boys club circle jerk at our expense.

  72. 72
    Timo Says:

    I just feel empty right now.

  73. 73
    Grst Says:

    I’m not impressed by it, I just don’t find the basis for all this hand-wringing and condemnation. They are paying customers being shit on by an organization that clearly doesn’t value their dollars. Sure, they could always stop paying, but baseball is a good sport and one would like to hope it can be salvaged even if MLB must be dragged kicking and screaming into doing what’s right. Perhaps with more fan outbursts, for instance, MLB will finally stop circling the wagons around such incompetence. Maybe not, but so long as we bend over and take it I guarantee nothing changes. The alternative is the continued deterioration of a sport being held hostage by egomaniacal umpires.

    It’s not like Holbrook’s stupidity should come as a surprise given his history. If MLB had any competition at all, he and the other assclowns in blue making a mockery of the sport would have been fired long ago.

  74. 74
    mikemc Says:

    Why couldn’t Torre overrule the call? He was at the game and could see it was an obvious travesty. MLB is showing no respect for their game. It’s all about “logistics” and (television) schedules.

  75. 75
    Bethany Says:

    There’s no reason why they couldn’t overturn it logically, they just won’t, for all the reasons mentioned. The authority of the umpires is more important than being correct, same reason why they won’t institute replay.

  76. 76
    John R. Says:

    I’m not the kind of person who would throw stuff on the field – it’s not in my makeup – but I endorse those who did. It was a pure, honest, and ultimately harmless expression of fan rage. As far as I know, nobody got hurt. It only lasted 20 minutes, but it was long enough to let the main offenders – the idiot who made the call and his buddies who didn’t come together to overrule him – marinate in that rage. Perhaps they’ll show less douchebaggery the next time they find themselves in a similar situation, although for Holbrooke to state that the correctness of his call was “absolute” shows he’s beyond hope and unqualified for his job.

  77. 77
    John R. Says:

    He could have said something like “I can see why fans would be upset, and I appreciate the anger of the Braves fans even though I wish they hadn’t thrown garbage on the field, but in the end I still feel like I made the right call.”

    But, no, he had to say “Absolutely”, which is a poke in the eye to not only Braves fans, but reality itself.

    Lastly, this poll from ESPN confirms how “absolutely” wrong Holbrooke is. Even Missouri doesn’t agree with the call:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=frontpage&pollId=3223647

  78. 78
    Bert Hammons Says:

    Moving on to 2013:

    1. Unload Uggla at virtually any cost
    2. Let Bourne walk
    3. Hope McCann starts strong, then trade early on
    4. Prado to third
    5. Move a couple of pitchers for bats in left and center (preferably RH)

  79. 79
    Bert Hammons Says:

    PS In the minor leagues and before, please teach hitters to run in the running lane to first. That is not that difficult to do and is often not done correctly.

  80. 80
    Dusty Says:

    Bit of insight – in 2004 during my midlife crisis I actually attended the Wendelstedt umpire school in Daytona Beach and Holbrook was one of the instructors. He is actually the one who taught us about balks and also the infield fly rule. Of course he taught us that it doesn’t matter if it’s on the infield or outfield only that he infielder is clearly going to make the easy play. However, we were taught that the call has to be immediate so the runners know what to do. We actually were dinged for calling it too late if the ball was on its way down. The proper procedure was to point up and say batter’s out if it’s fair. Holbrook was the same pompous ass back then too BTW.

  81. 81
    Jeremy Says:

    Olney tweeted this morning that an infield fly hasn’t been called that far from home plate in the last 3 years.

  82. 82
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Eventually Sam Holbrook will rotate back through for a series in Atlanta. It’s not hard to find the umpires’ hotel. Be a shame if something happened to him…

  83. 83
    justhank Says:

    Kozma is lying. Watch the replay and you see him caste a guilty, furtive glance at the left-fielder thinking he had it.

    Everyone is either lying or sanctimonious (which is a form of lying).

    Fire Joe Simpson now. I never want to hear his voice again.

  84. 84
    justhank Says:

    I love Prado, but can we possibly get a left fielder that isn’t slow?

  85. 85
    Ray Says:

    Yeah, let’s blame it all on the umpires and not Chipper’s nonchalant throw to second, his horrible weak grounder with two runners in scoring position, Fredi calling for the squeeze, terrible all-around play, wasted at-bats, ….

  86. 86
    Spiral Stairs Says:

    Several people have said the Cardinals were chanting “Infield fly.” Can someone explain? I was at the game and there were several chants of “infield fly” but they were derisive chants from Braves fans at the refs each time a fly ball in the outfield was hit.

  87. 87
    kc Says:

    We are talking about a group of baseball fans who has been criticized as “not care”. Why would a bunch of fans who don’t care suddenly started throwing things onto the field?

    I feel like Joe Simpson completely betrayed Atlanta baseball fans for simply saying “embarrassing” repeatedly without giving the proper context given how much he knows about the fans of Atlanta. When was the last time Atlanta fans threw things onto the field? It has never happened as long as I can remember. It’s more rare than the frequency of global financial crisis.

    It’s all because of the combination of:
    1. It’s potentially Chipper’s last game
    2. It’s the eighth inning of a do or die game
    3. When the Braves are trying to come back from a game which they played terribly but still have a chance, we were completely screwed over by one of the most ridiculous calls we have seen in our life

    Joe Simpson can’t possibly just sum them all up by saying “embarrassing”. It feels like I was betrayed by a friend who has known me for twenty years.

  88. 88
    kc Says:

    @85. Ray, those will not be forgotten, but as I said, it doesn’t mean the call was any less ridiculous.

  89. 89
    Smitty Says:

    @77

    All of MLB related people are standing by the call. It is the PR move they decided to take.

    The Cardinals were wise to go to the locker room after the game. Had they stayed on the feild, bad thing would have happened.

    @82

    There was lost of discussion of that last night.

    @85

    Sure, we gave them five runs. But that call was just as bad. What do you want us to do, say how much we hate Chipper Jones?

  90. 90
    JoeyT Says:

    Umps screw up. It happens. The problem is that there are no mechanisms for appropriately dealing with a mistake like this, and the single-game elimination makes mistakes extremely important.

    Until now, single game eliminations have never been used in a major league as more than a final tiebreaker for two teams equal in record. It’s a bit unexpected that the first ever non-tiebreaker single elimination game was finished under protest, but it highlights the problem with it.

  91. 91
    John R. Says:

    #85: Most every opinion I’ve read, whether here, or on my FB feed, or chatter elsewhere, realize that the Braves were their own worst enemy last night: Chipper, Andrelton and Uggla defensively, just about everyone except Freddie and Ross (and Pressure on the Defense, I might add) offensively. People get it, Ray.

    The infield fly rule in isolation is still an injustice, and people are right to be angry. Continuing our rally could have meant and ugly and embarrassing win – but a win nonetheless – and the rank humiliation to baseball that occurred last night. In a way, the fury over that play is as much about MLBs deficiencies rather than the Braves getting screwed.

    For us Braves fans, it’s both. But a lot of of non-Braves fans are upset, too.

  92. 92
    Parish Says:

    Ray – I don’t think anyone here is blaming this all on the ump. In fact, I believe the opposite has been stated numerous times.

    We may have come back had the umpire not made such a call; we don’t know. However, if we want to play the “what if” game, not giving four to five runs via shoddy defense seems much more predictive of a different result.

  93. 93
    Jarad Says:

    Yes, the Braves had three terrible errors. These would be considered ‘breaks’ for the Cardinals. Despite this, the Braves kept things within striking distance and when a ‘break’ is about to go their way, a terrible judgement is made. It was an embarrassing and ugly call and deserved an embarrassing and ugly response.

  94. 94
    Dusty Says:

    I’m sorry but give Simpson a break. I was thinking the same thing he was saying, there’s no place for throwing stuff on the field. I thought it was embarassing as well.

    That having been said, I don’t think there’s a stadium in baseball where the same thing doesn’t happen and I get the anger, I wanted to punch through a wall.

    #84 Didn’t Prado rate out as the best fielding LF this year, or am I remembering wrong?

  95. 95
    Stu Says:

    83—In his postgame locker-room interview with Verducci, Holliday said that Kozma told him he thought he heard Holliday call him off, which is why he bailed.

    So, yeah, Kozma is lying.

  96. 96
    Rusty S. Says:

    Nice, difficult, recap. Bottom line, if you don’t want to lose, don’t give up 6 runs.

    It’s important to remember, the wild card format is not *for* the wild card teams. It’s for the division winners.

    The call was wrong, but not the worst I’ve ever seen. There was a split second the SS was under the ball, and he was an infielder, although he was already peeling out when the arm went up. You don’t call it .6 seconds before the ball hits the ground though, and it was wildly misapplied as far as intent. A 3rd base ump never would have called it.

    I thought Fredi showed the appropriate amount of wildness, and probably would have been tossed if it hadn’t been a playoff game, or if he’d been wrong.

    I understand the initial regrettable reaction from the fans. But, 17 minutes was ridiculous and inexcusable from a fan standpoint, and most importantly, a security failure.

  97. 97
    kc Says:

    @93 It’s two separate issues. Throwing things onto the field is not right, but there are many ways joe Simpson could have present the situation. HE KNOWS THE ATLANTA FANS. It’s one thing for national media for not understanding the Braves fans, but joe should understand the fans better. If he wants to detach himself from his Atlanta background in front of national audience, then I don’t want to hear his voice ever again during a local Braves game coverage.

  98. 98
    kc Says:

    @95. Kudos to the cleaning crew though. They were very efficient.

  99. 99
    Mike N. Says:

    There was only one poor bastard cleaning up the left field corner all by himself while the other areas had 2 or 3 people helping out.

  100. 100
    kc Says:

    One person cleaning up th whole leftfielder corner? Man, that sucks.

  101. 101
    One Eye Says:

    The infield fly rule is to protect the offense, not to give a free out to the defense.

  102. 102
    Mark M. Says:

    @82 Sam.

    Your comment is extreme and not needed. While it was an emotional game, it is still a game. Joking about Eishing “something” happening to someone over a blown call is in poor taste. This is too good of a website for that.

    MM

  103. 103
    Remy Says:

    #87

    The only time I recall things being thrown onto the field occurred in the late ’70s, when some Frisbees ended up in the outfield–or were they gathered in a pile at the pitcher’s mound? Ububba, can you help me out? I want to say it was one of those promotions that got out of hand.

  104. 104
    Bethany Says:

    Please, please, let Gene Chizik get fired.

  105. 105
    DJ Says:

    99- We said the same thing. The grounds crew comes out of RF, but should have gone over to assist. That poor guy was getting overwhelmed.

  106. 106
    Ray Says:

    Rob Neyer, who I believe is some sort of demi-god amongst SABR-slanted people (of which, there seem to be a lot of here) has a somewhat different take:
    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/10/6/3463338/infield-fly-rule-controversy-braves-cardinals-wild-card

    I for one think, given everything, it was a bad call, but nowhere near one of the worst I’ve ever seen. My point is, that it would never have mattered, had the Braves played just decent baseball.
    As for the throwing stuff: no it’s not embarrassing, it shows that Braves fans aren’t as apathetic as believed. I would have thrown everything, including my Braves cap and Chipper shirt. This was nothing, really nothing, compared to football (soccer for you) games all over the world and even basketball or handball games in some places. Maybe, you know, replay would be a good idea…

  107. 107
    Dan Says:

    I’m sorry but give Simpson a break.

    The thing is Simpson just kept going. Over and over and over and over again talking about how “embarrassing” this was for Atlanta and baseball. Not the call mind you, but the trash thrown on the field.

  108. 108
    spike Says:

    ,i>Rob Neyer, who I believe is some sort of demi-god amongst SABR-slanted people

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  109. 109
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Neyer’s best years were at ESPN, when he did original research, before he was a blogger. He’s a smart guy, but he’s just a blogger, these days.

  110. 110
    spike Says:

    ugh, and reading that column was a sad reminder of “look on my works ye mighty, and despair”. He really comes off as a total ass in the comments section.

  111. 111
    Stu Says:

    Because that’s what he is.

  112. 112
    Adam M Says:

    Neyer is a joke. He simply likes to argue with what he believes is conventional wisdom. That can lead him down some interesting roads, but it also can lead him to defend Bill James after James defended Joe Paterno. In his mind, this is what real thought looks like. Problem is, Neyer isn’t all that creative. He’s just another blogger who confuses snark for intelligence and iconoclasm for originality.

  113. 113
    CoronitaKing Says:

    For what it’s worth…

    A national radio station in the UK relayed the Braves broadcast last night / this morning. Simpson cannot be seen or heard to condone the fans’ behaviour, despite the obviously flawed umpiring call for three reasons

    1) It won’t make a difference after the event – for reference from an alternate sport, let’s use Lampard “goal” against Germany in 2010 World Cup

    2) There is a genuine concern for the safety of the officials and the opposing team – mob rule is never a good thing, otherwise we end up with incidents like the pitched battle at Luton Town in the mid 80’s, which is worth Googling for what can happen

    3) Simpson quoted the example of (I believe) Reds v Dodgers in 1974, where a similar instance led to the forfeiture of the whole game. He was effectively pleading with fans to stop so that the game could be settled by the players and not taken out of their hands

    The whole experience leaves what can only be described as the most bitter aftertaste – the best fielding team in the league commit three errors, the key one by the retiring face of the franchise, the the adventures in officiating and worst of all, no appraisal from Mac to restore order to the collective fellowship

    I really do miss him today

  114. 114
    Adam M Says:

    I’ve officially reached the point where he defenders of the umpire are pissing me off more than the call itself. Some people have to take the other side, because… well, just because, I guess. This, to me, was one of the most absurd calls I have ever seen. After the game, friends of mine who are fans of the Phillies, Reds, Astros, Mariners, and Yankees called to say how outraged they were by the bad call. It was THAT OBVIOUS. And yet here is Rob Neyer, and a small band of mindless followers, arguing that the call is defensible.

  115. 115
    Bethany Says:

    Neyer is just being contrary to be contrary. Anytime someone makes a point against him he’s just redirecting.

    If the IFR isn’t called there, no one would have said “Gee, they could have called the Infield Fly Rule there”

  116. 116
    krussell Says:

    It’s the wrong call for so many reasons, but the main one being that there’s absolutely no way that the Cards could’ve turned a double play there even if the SS had intended to. Zero percent chance. They didn’t even get the out at 3rd as it was. Maybe, just maybe, they get an out at 3rd under perfect circumstances, but there’s just no way they would’ve been able to get the guy going to second, who would’ve already been a third of the way there when the ball fell.

    The rule is there to protect the offense from cheap double and triple plays. We didn’t need protection in that situation. From now on I want whoever our next manager is to argue for the outfield-fly-rule on every fly ball where the OF has to take a few steps in. Since everyone associated with MLB believes this was the right call, then let’s call it that way in all games all the time.

  117. 117
    Dan Says:

    Surprised Holbrook didn’t rule Freeman’s ninth inning double an infield fly. But then I remembered there were two outs at the time.

  118. 118
    Mark Grogan Says:

    AAR, Great recap. All of the of the guys who filled in did a great job. Mac would be proud. The daily grind of a blog can only be described as a labor of love.

    I am one of those odd ducks who enjoys the Hot Stove almost as much as the season itself. If this season has done nothing else, it has restored my faith in Wren and Fredi. I predicted 78 wins during the darkness of Spring Training, shows what I know.

    My bold prediction? This becomes Heyward’s team, and the McCann era never materializes. The young talent on this team could turn into something really special.

  119. 119
    Stu Says:

    There are worse roster situations than having Medlen, Beachy, Minor, Kimbrel, Heyward, Freeman, Prado, and Simmons on the relative cheap and under team control for the foreseeable future.

  120. 120
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    on reflection, the outcome was really exactly what baseball wanted.
    1. The expanded wildcard allowed probably 1/2 dozen more teams play meaningful games in september, meaning more butts in seats.
    2. The wildcard game required both teams to use up their best pitcher in order to advance
    3. there was the opportunity for the inferior team to win, allowing their opponent in the next round an easier team to play.

    now, i’m not calling any of what happened a conspiracy, but on reflection, this is exactly what baseball wanted out of the new format. and for that, I’m sick.

  121. 121
    justhank Says:

    Not ready for optimism just yet.

    Besides, Fredi will decide to bunt in wildly inappropriate situations to kill rallies, anyway.

    Unfreakingbelievable. How is it possible to choke so thoroughly in every aspect of the game?

  122. 122
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    and btw, whatever kozma says makes no difference. For him to come out and call out the umpire for making a wrong call would be tantamount to career suicide. I can’t expect that out of a rookie.

    full marks to matheny for his comments ” i understand why the braves would be frustrated” and ” we could have made things alot easier on ourselves”. both show a respect for the game and the opponent.

    Finally, the safe call on chipper in the 9th. I only saw it once or twice, but my buddies first thought was ‘make-up call’ which i immediatly shouted down, but you know, if it was infact a make-up call, I think that makes me more angry. get the calls right the first time. ahhhhhhh! clearly I’m still a little emotional to be clear, but I can’t watch any more baseball, at least right now.

  123. 123
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I hope no one is still trying to hang that stupid fucking bunt on Simmons. Frediot:

    “Yeah, that was a safety squeeze…Well, the safety squeeze, you’ve got the runner on third base and you’ve got to read. I think we were just a couple of feet from really executing that to textbook with the bunt. I think if Simmons gets a little more behind it, and gets past the pitcher a little bit, I think Freeman walks home.

    “Looking back into last month in September, we’ve had some tough times scoring runs, and I thought it was an opportunity there to tie the ballgame with Simmons and try to sneak a run in somehow.”

  124. 124
    craig t Says:

    Anybody else find themselves REALLY missing Mac today? I imagine him making a series of videos about poor defense or about runners LOB similar to the Mike Hampton videos.

    You guys who have been doing the recaps are doing a fantastic job! Thanks for keeping things going. Just curious if anybody else feels the same way I do about missing him today….perhaps I’m just not use to these October chokes without having the help of Mac’s sarcasm.

  125. 125
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    @124, in a word Yes.

  126. 126
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yes.

  127. 127
    kc Says:

    I love Mac and I miss him everyday.

  128. 128
    Rob Cope Says:

    In regards to Mac, absolutely.

  129. 129
    Johnny Says:

    124- Yes, very much.

  130. 130
    Brian J. Says:

    I miss Mac, too. I also miss the Bulldogs having an offense.

  131. 131
    Stu Says:

    Oh yeah. I miss Mac every day.

  132. 132
    Adam M Says:

    Of course Fredi called the squeeze. It didn’t make sense for a kid to bunt–kids want to swing away. And Fredi likes to bunt. I have no idea why anyone thought Fredi was covering for Simmons there.

  133. 133
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I thought Fredi might have been covering for Simmons because the squeeze made no sense, but Ross had just bunted successfully and maybe Simmons had that in his mind — and maybe Fredi wanted Simmons to feel less awful about himself.

    Of course, if Fredi ordered a squeeze with one out and the pitcher on deck, then he’s every bit as stupid as every one of us thought he was last year. He just hadn’t been nearly as bunt-happy this year as last year.

  134. 134
    spike Says:

    6/15/2012 – AJC quotes following Wednesday’s loss. Fredi Gonzalez on Andrelton Simmons bunting with the pitcher on deck: “It’s a learning thing. He probably hasn’t hit eighth before and he’s playing National League rules every day now. It’s an aggressive mistake really. We talked to him about it and I don’t think we’ll see him do it again.”

  135. 135
    Adam M Says:

    I don’t even hate the squeeze idea. It’s the fact that they tried the squeeze with Medlen on deck, and failed, and then didn’t pinch hit for Medlen that gets me. If the run was that important–to give away an out–then you should pinch hit for the pitcher. Plus I’d rather have had the elite pen face the Cards in situational matchups than let Medlen go through the order for the third time. Oh well. The errors are what ultimately mattered most… So it’s all academic at this point.

  136. 136
    csg Says:

    With it being a one game playoff, you have to pinch hit for Medlen at the first opportunity with RISP. We played piss poor defense, didnt hit, and over-managed.

    Simpson couldve expressed his thoughts once. We didnt need to hear it 10 times from bim. Oh well, Chipper – great career. Thanks!

  137. 137
    Dan Says:

    now, i’m not calling any of what happened a conspiracy, but on reflection, this is exactly what baseball wanted out of the new format. and for that, I’m sick.

    Yeah, they’re happy. They are going the route of the NBA, making the regular season completely meaningless. A full third of the teams now get into the postseason, and you know it’ll eventually expand some more.

    162 games, 94 wins…and the Braves get that: one extra game, an unworhty team going to the NLDS and Sam Holbrook’s idiocy on a national stage. Yeah, real worth six months worth of games.

  138. 138
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I totally agree with Dan’s point about the unfairness of the playoff structure.

    But I would be more upset about the call if the Braves hadn’t played so piss poorly. I know no one here has been excusing the Braves, but if the score had been 6-3 in favor of the Braves, the play would have made no differnce. And, let’s face it, it was a pop up that should have been caught anyway; it’s not like Simmons roped a ball into the gap. I think the most you can say is the play could have potentially changed the game, but generally when a team plays as poorly as the Braves did, they will end up losing anyway.

  139. 139
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    This nightmare is going to linger. Probably won’t go away entirely unless I wake up one morning and learn that we’ve traded for James Shields.

    Shields, Medlen, Minor, Hudson, Maholm/Beachy. We won’t be dicking around in a wildcard game with that rotation.

  140. 140
    Dan Says:

    Maybe Holbrook was right? Check out the new infield:

    https://twitter.com/mysqueezeplay/status/254687024693526528/photo/1/large

  141. 141
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I hadn’t realized Holbrook is the same idiot who gave Greinke that bizarre ejection when he threw the ball down in frustration.

  142. 142
    Dix Says:

    I wouldn’t have made the call, but I don’t think it was the wrong call.

  143. 143
    Jonathan Says:

    This is my first chance to comment on last night’s game. I was at the game, but did not see the call. At the time, I was taking my 4 year old to the bathroom – predictably, he decided that was the time he had to, well, you know…and proceeded to take his dear sweet time doing so. So I hear cheers, then boos, then kind of an odd ‘buzz’ (not really sure the best word for it, as I don’t recall people yelling, in the loud concentrated style of booing, for the whole time, anyway).
    So some guys come in there while I’m waiting & I ask what happened & they give me a quick rundown. So I was behind on the whole matter, for quite a while. By the time I got back to my seat (little D finally finished his business), and a few minutes later he asked me, while the crowd was shouting “bulls**t” if they were yelling “bossy”. So I said yeah, sure, maybe that was what they were yelling.
    My big problem w/ the crowd response was that it just kept going. People have said things along the lines of “well, this shows that Braves fans care”, and that’s true. But it reached a point where they just wouldn’t stop, and all they were doing was creating work for the poor grounds crew people, and showering crap on folks down in the lower deck (saw at least 1/2 dozen people in the lower stands hit by bottles & assorted detritus-turned-projectiles that did not make the field). And that was the bigger problem for me – was kind of like “ok, you’ve made your point, can we get on w/ the game (and definitely at least not have to forfeit)”, and it just seemed like things were, well, not quite out of control, but definitely not under control either.
    All in all, though, I don’t know that history will remember (or differentiate) that the delay lasted for 19 minutes, vs 10 or 12 or whatever other number of minutes it could have been.

    @30 – I thought it was weird/interesting/funny that when the Cardinals pelted the field w/ stuff, back in 1998, it was during a game against the Braves, and was about a call made by Holbrook (ejecting McGwire).

    Also, here is a link to a SBNation article (from Thursday – must have jinxed him) about Medlin.
    http://www.sbnation.com/2012/10/4/3454852/kris-medlen-atlanta-braves-wild-card-game
    Enjoyable read, and gives me a lot to look forward to from our pitching staff for next year. Just wish our offense could be more consistent (ok, wish our defense had been more consistent too).

    We have had some craptastic defense the last few times we have been in the playoffs. Last night brought to mind, several times, the Brooks Conrad game from 2010 (which was also quite a painful experience, that I attended in person).

    Oh well, it was a wild season, and, in multiple ways, didn’t have the ending hoped for. I really miss Mac, and his take on games like this (he always had the right mix of sarcasm, realism & optimism – even as he warned against HOPE); I also appreciate everyone who has pitched in to keep things going (AAR, Stu, Smitty, ububba, among others).

    Any recommendations on who to cheer for now? My #1 concern at this point is to pull against the Yankees, but am pretty open otherwise…

  144. 144
    Jonathan Says:

    Sorry – just realized how long my ‘comment’ turned out. Also, should say (just so there is no question) “little D” in paragraph 2 refers to my son (by first initial)…

  145. 145
    Rusty S. Says:

    Holbrook is getting perilously close to MLB’s “3 riots and you’re out” rule. (MLB does have a “3 riots and you’re out rule,” right?)

  146. 146
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I’m pulling for the Reds. And for Bud Selig to get hit in the face by a screaming line drive.

  147. 147
    W.C.G. Says:

    Last night was essentially a clip show of all the miserable playoff losses of the past 16 years. You had the slap-terrible defense (2010 NLDS), horrifying umpiring (1997 NLCS), gut-punch home run (1996 WS, 2005 NLDS), and inferior opponent with nothing to lose playing much looser (2002 and 2003 NLDS). Am I leaving anyone out? For a one game “series”, it certainly managed to incorporate a lot of familiar elements.

    Anyone but the Cardinals. I’m seriously tired of how they win 87 games and then fart sunshine for three weeks. Say what you will about the Yankees, but at least they stand for something other than pulling rabbit’s feet out of your hindquarters.

  148. 148
    Dan Says:

    Anyone but the Cardinals. I’m seriously tired of how they win 87 games and then fart sunshine for three weeks. Say what you will about the Yankees, but at least they stand for something other than pulling rabbit’s feet out of your hindquarters.

    Amen. Not watching any more of the postseason, because I’m sick of MLB after yesterday, but will Google the scores each night with fingers crossed against the Cardinals. The only thing that can redeem this postseason, for me, is the Cardinals having gained nothing from yesterday’s “win” but a few extra games (losses) and are promptly bounced out.

    Go Nationals!

  149. 149
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Lots of great teams to root for. The Orioles and Athletics are pretty thrilling stories, and if you can forgive the Nats for taking the division from us, they’re a really awesome story too. But my top priority is making sure the Cardinals lose.

  150. 150
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @143, Great to hear some perspective from someone at the game. TBS tried to cut away from the action for most of the 20 minutes. At any rate, I think we’ve all made our points on the matter.

    I’d be ecstatic if the A’s won. I think it would be wonderful for baseball. I also wouldn’t mind an Orioles or Nationals victory. And I honestly don’t care one way or the other about the Yankees any more. I’d actually prefer they win over the Giants or Cardinals.

  151. 151
    Ray Says:

    @147 “I’m seriously tired of how they win 87 games and then fart sunshine for three weeks”

    But pythagorean record said all along that the Cards were a much better team than their actual record reflected, you know, run differential and such.

  152. 152
    Ray Says:

    Hm, post 151 didn’t accept my “sarcasm brackets”. Consider them edited

  153. 153
    justhank Says:

    Little D is your son. Right.
    —————-

    Uh, Georgia fans – is Aaron Murray really that bad? He was bad by Kentucky standards. What happened to Mason?
    —————-

    I had forgotten how much I dislike a smug Steve Spurrier.
    —————-

    Hey, if Danny Ferry can get someone to take Joe Johnson’s contract, surely Wren can find someone to take Uggla’s.

  154. 154
    justhank Says:

    Your 2013 Atlanta Expos:

    1B – Freeman
    2B – Pastornicky
    SS – Simmons
    3B – Prado
    C – McCann (until he dips below .150)
    RF – Heyward
    CF – Constanza
    LF – that guy we got from the Cubs who apparently is a werewolf.

  155. 155
    Bethany Says:

    I was counting on Georgia to shut up the Gamecock fans. Tomorrow is going to be a long day at the office.

  156. 156
    PeteOrr Says:

    @143 – I was sitting in the upper deck behind home plate and at the time I was totally opposed to the trash shower, but my girlfriend made a few convincing arguments for it during the long walk back to town afterward: 1.) The grounds crew appeared to be sorting the waste for recycling as they picked it up, so assuming that most of that stuff would’ve just ended up in the trashcan, it was possibly a net positive for the environment. 2.) For the most part, throwing trash on the field doesn’t really hurt anyone and 3.) it definitely makes more of a statement against a call than just booing.

    The inexcusable things were the refusal to stop throwing trash after the point was thoroughly made and people throwing their trash on the lower seats from the upper deck. They should’ve been arrested.

  157. 157
    sansho1 Says:

    I love this team, but it’s amazing how they manage to concoct newly excruciating ways of losing at the end of every season. I’m learning way too much about compartmentalizing pain….

  158. 158
    kc Says:

    @153. I hope the Dodgers would take Uggla.

    @156. You have an awesome girlfriend.

  159. 159
    Adam M Says:

    It’s too bad Uggla fell apart in the last game, as he had been showing marked signs of improvement over the past six weeks. Oh well. My guess is, with two big holes in the outfield and another one in the rotation, the Braves retain both Uggla and McCann. McCann just basically needs to get healthy, as he was very obviously playing through serious shoulder pain–and we’ve all seen with Heyward what a stronger shoulder can do for a hitter.

  160. 160
    kc Says:

    Rotation is pretty much set with Hudson, Medlen, Minor, and Maholm. The only rmaining question is whether we keep Hanson or give the fifth spot to Delgado/Teheran until Beachy returns.

    Bullpen is pretty much set too. We just need to find someone to replace Durbin’s inning. He actually did very well for us this season. The main focus will be leftfield, centerfield, and bench.

  161. 161
    MikeM Says:

    This team needs a serious dose of power. If they send Uggla packing, I hope he leaves his muscle milk in his locker.

  162. 162
    kc Says:

    You know, it will be very funny if the Braves sign Victorino.

  163. 163
    'Rissa Says:

    @147: you could add the fact that a Joe Torre decision made its way into the game. Too much like ’96 and ’99.

  164. 164
    Dan Says:

    By the time I got back to my seat (little D finally finished his business), and a few minutes later he asked me, while the crowd was shouting “bulls**t” if they were yelling “bossy”. So I said yeah, sure, maybe that was what they were yelling.

    Didn’t hear it on television, but all the videos confirm it. Start at 1:20:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwc5xMAwN_U

    Also, it seems the crowd only ceased when the PA announcer said that if they didn’t stop, the Braves would be forced to forfeit.

  165. 165
    RobBroad4th Says:

    If you give the Cardinals a back door, they’ll exploit it. Unfortunately it was our collective backdoor and they exploited it shamelessly.

  166. 166
    justhank Says:

    I know I certainly feel violated.
    ——————–

    Looks like Matty Brain Freeze has returned. Was hoping that was behind us. But every time he does his Billy Joe Overthrow impersonation, we struggle. Thank goodness for TG.

  167. 167
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    where are we going to get 2 of’s for next year? the prospect of Andruw and Diaz (or insert name of washed up ex brave here) patrolling the grass don’t exactly fill one with confidence.

  168. 168
    Johnny Says:

    @155-Gamecock fans should get to be a little smug these days. If you had suffered the decades of football mediocrity they have you would take all the chances you could get.

  169. 169
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Gio Gonzalez doesn’t have the control to succeed in the postseason. I’m counting on the Reds to beat the loathsome Cardinals. And if not the Reds, the Tigers.

  170. 170
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New, inspirational thread.

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