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25 Apr

Rick Camp, R.I.P. (by Sansho1)

Rick Camp was a north Georgia boy, through and through. He was born in Chattooga County, matriculated at West Georgia College in Carrollton, and never played for a franchise other than the Braves. He died today at age 60, less than an hour’s drive down GA Hwy 140 from his childhood home.

The Braves drafted him in the seventh round of the 1974 draft, and would end up having the best career of any Braves ’74 draftee, with the slight exception of first round pick Dale Murphy. He began his minor league career as a starter, but was already transitioning to the swingman role that would define much of his baseball life by the time he got to Richmond in 1976. Camp never had overpowering stuff – he had a mid-80s fastball, and his best pitch was a sinker. He and Murph both earned September call-ups at the end of that season, and then Rick broke camp with the big club as its closer in ’77.

After a fast start, he began to struggle in the role, and served as a setup man for most of the season, the same role in which he began the 1978 season. Camp was inserted into the rotation in late June when the team traded Dick Ruthven, and responded by allowing zero earned runs in three of his first four starts. I vaguely remember Skip, Ernie, and Pete being pleasantly surprised at this development, which coincided with Murph’s first extended hot streak as a Brave, as well as the arrival of collegiate slugging phenom Bob Horner. For a half a second, the future appeared very bright, and homeboy Rick Camp was being touted as one of the reasons why.

But the midseason transition wore on Camp, and he spent the next few weeks on the DL. He was ineffective upon his return, and ended up having surgery that cost him the entire 1979 season. He came back in 1980, and claimed the closer role when Gene Garber coughed it up, as Garber was wont to do. Hardly the prototypical fireballing closer, Camp posted 22 saves and a 1.91 ERA despite striking out only 33 batters in 108.1 innings. He followed up with 17 saves and a 1.78 ERA in the strike-shortened 1981 season.

Garber reclaimed the closer role when Camp endured an extended rough patch in 1982, but he made himself useful until a spot opened up in the rotation, and again he pitched well for much of the second half of the season, before wearing down and losing his last five starts in the middle of a pennant race, and seemingly solidifying his role as jack of all trades for the remainder of his career.

Of course, Rick Camp is best known for his role in the game that has come to bear his name. On July 4, 1985, an in-his-prime Rick Mahler faced off against Doc Gooden in what was seemed likely to be a two-hour pitcher’s duel. Then the rains came, and in between drops the runs rained down for the next 11 hours. Camp, by now at the end of the bench and near the end of his career, came in to relieve in the 17th inning with the score tied at 10. After a scoreless inning, he gave up a run in the 18th on a Lenny Dykstra sac fly. Gerald Perry and Terry Harper grounded out for the first two outs in the bottom of the inning, sending Camp (a notoriously bad hitting pitcher) to the plate and all but sealing a Mets victory.

And then this happened.

Unfortunately, Camp had nothing left in the 19th, giving up five runs. But the Braves came back again, scoring two and getting two more runners on base, and Camp again strode plateward with two outs. John Sterling had already deemed this the wackiest game in baseball history, and now those of us still in its thrall waited to see if it would become the wackiest event in HUMAN history. Alas, no, as Camp struck out and the city was treated to a 4:00 AM fireworks show that still ranks high on the list of Atlanta civic blunders.

That was essentially Camp’s swan song, as he played out the string on what had become a succession of disappointing Braves teams. He was cut loose at the end of 1986 spring training. The record does not show whether he attempted to catch on somewhere else, but I like to think he didn’t, that he just packed up and went back home. Much later in life he was convicted of attempting to defraud an Augusta mental health facility, and served three years in prison. There’s no way to dress that up – it reads as an irredeemable terrible thing to have done, and you wonder how he could have done it. Maybe Augusta felt like the other side of the world to him.

For us Braves fans, though, Rick Camp served honorably and mostly well. Despite his ever-changing role, Camp registered seven consecutive >100 ERA+ seasons, and he remains the franchise leader in games pitched in a Braves-only career. He was famously good-spirited – I remember sitting near the Braves bullpen during a game Camp was called in to pitch. He began his jog onto the field facing backwards, as he had been in the middle of telling a joke and wanted to make sure he finished it. Whereupon he turned and ran to the mound, laughing.

Rest in peace, Rick Camp.

134 Responses to “Rick Camp, R.I.P. (by Sansho1)”

  1. 1
    Adam M Says:

    Lovely writing. Great work.

  2. 2
    carl Says:

    Learned about this just now; RIP.

  3. 3
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    So, the average Upton brother is hitting .233/.315/.547, with 7 homers and 10.5 RBI. That’s not too bad, when you think about it.

  4. 4
    fm Says:

    how

    Jeff Francouer was intentionally walked.— YCPB (@cantpredictball) April 25, 2013

  5. 5
    spike Says:

    You can’t explain that.

    //oh, and a first rate summation. Kudos, my friend.

  6. 6
    kc Says:

    @3 Plus they both play above average defense.

  7. 7
    kc Says:

    For those of us who keep asking why we are locking up Heyward and Freeman, maybe we have an answer…

    “Bowman says the Braves were interested in locking up outfielder Jason Heyward and first baseman Freddie Freeman during the offseason. Despite the team’s efforts to initiate talks, however, they were rebuffed by the young stars.”

  8. 8
    Trace Says:

    @7 I don’t like the sound of that at all.

  9. 9
    Smitty Says:

    @7

    I vote we lock up JUp

  10. 10
    Seat Painter Says:

    Yep, it takes two to tango and it doesn’t sound like they want to dance at the moment.

  11. 11
    blazon Says:

    thank you Alex…

    lovely piece, integral part of Braves lore back when…

    special…

  12. 12
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    9-Ditto. Until Heyward can replicate his 2012 production, and preferably while showing continued growth as a hitter (he managed to regress in both K and BB%s last year), I would be reluctant to give him the massive payday that I suspect he’s after. And if he does show that growth and consistency, he will be too expensive for us to compete with in free agency. Freeman seems a much surer bet to me, but the latter point applies in his case as well, and as awesome as he is is, he plays the most fungible position on the field.

    We should probably start drafting some sluggers ASAP. And pray that at least one of Terdo, Bethancourt and Salcedo turns into a much better than average major league hitter.

  13. 13
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I believe Mike Minor is going to be a Super Two, no? If he is still healthy and pitching the way he has been, he might be the first guy I try to lock up long term in the fall. If last June someone had told me I would say that I would have laughed in disbelief.

  14. 14
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Another thing I thought I would never contemplate: it is entirely possible that we are able to make Maholm a qualifying offer, no? If so, we could be looking at 3 first round+supplementary round picks in the 2014 draft.

  15. 15
    Bethany Says:

    Don’t we have a lot of extra cash this year? I certainly hope they put it to good use by trying to lock up at least one guy.

  16. 16
    Smitty Says:

    @14

    I think if he keeps pitching the way he has, we would be foolish not to offer him.

  17. 17
    Johnny Says:

    Excellent memorial Sansho. Really well done.

    @7 – I applaud the team for trying and don’t blame Freeman and Heyward for deferring. From the Braves perspective, sometimes you get lucky and the guy doesn’t take the offer, see Francouer, Jeff.

  18. 18
    Rusty S. Says:

    That’s a nice piece Sansho1. Thanks for that. I remember Skip joking one time when Rick hit a foul ball, so I was stunned when I got to work and was told he had homered.

    I was working shifts at the time, and a co-worker had gone to bed at the first rain delay. He turned on the tv when he got up to get ready for work, and you can just imagine his surprise that the game was still on.

    RIP.

  19. 19
    Adam R Says:

    @12, Last year, Heyward was one of the very best players in the league. His walk and strikeout rates are already improving, but he doesn’t need to be better to be worth a big payday. If we had waited to try to lock him up until he improves upon 2012, he might be out of our price range to extend, let alone free agency.

    Now was the time to try. Because we can’t expect to replace all of these guys through the draft/farm.

  20. 20
    Jeff K Says:

    Sansho, nice piece and rest in peace, Rick.

  21. 21
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I say kidnap Mike Rizzo and force him to trade Bryce Harper for Jason Heyward.

  22. 22
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    19-I never said it wasn’t a good idea to try and extend him this past offseason. But that is based on the assumption that such an extension would not have paid him like a superstar, i.e. not more than something like 6/75. But if you are going to commit a 100+ million to a guy and only buy out three or four years of free agency, you better be damn sure he really is a superstar.

    And I don’t think his 70 plate appearances this year are a sufficient sample to argue that his K and BB percentages are improving. The former increased dramatically last year and the latter has decreased significantly in each of the past two seasons.

  23. 23
    Anon21 Says:

    Big series coming up. This is only the second good team the Braves will face. If they can take 2 of 3, I think the Nationals will be starting to sweat (though obviously the 4-game head-to-head will be the best chance to set the tone for the division race).

  24. 24
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I was trying to find that Bowman article and stumbled upon this from 2010. It just goes to show how quickly things can change in this game:

    http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/topic/3883166-mark-bowman-inbox-should-braves-lock-up-jurrjens/

  25. 25
    spike Says:

    He stopped loving her today.

    http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Country-music-singer-George-Jones-has-died-4466220.php

  26. 26
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    23- The Tigers will be the fifth or sixth good team we have faced. You do realize that the Rockies lead the NL West, the Royals lead the AL Central, the Pirates are only 1/2 game back in the NL Central, and the Nats are the second best team in our division. We also faced Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, and when those guys are on the mound, the Phillies are a good team.

  27. 27
    Michael Says:

    @25 – He’s on the grand tour. Great song.

    RIP Possum.

  28. 28
    Anon21 Says:

    @26: Yeah. I also realize that we’re 21 games into the season, and that by season’s end the Royals, Rockies, and Pirates will be out of the playoffs, the Rockies will be sub-.500, and the Pirates will be right around .500. A few hot starts don’t change the fact that those teams aren’t good.

    The Nats were the first good team they faced. The Phillies are not “a good team” when their aces are on the mound; they’re still lousy, they just have a better chance to win if one of the aces comes up big and basically wins the game all by himself. Generally, even aces can’t be expected to do that consistently, so I’m not gonna upgrade my assessment of overall team quality there.

  29. 29
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Cliff Lee’s really, really hard to beat, and the starting pitcher is by far the most important man on the field.

    The Pirates often start out hot, and they have been a good first half team in each of the past two seasons. Just because they sucked in September doesn’t mean they weren’t a good team from April to June. The Royals are probably a .500 team at least; doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to beat them, because we should be better than .500, but they’re not a bad baseball team.

  30. 30
    Anon21 Says:

    @29: The Royals are an okay baseball team. They’ll probably be in the mix for the second wild card, but they’re not “good.” As for the Pirates, the fact that they’ve started out hot in recent seasons isn’t predictive. They’re as good as they are at the end of the season, and while major injuries can change the calculus at an individual point in time, you should otherwise expect them to play like the team they are, which is to say mediocre.

    Cliff Lee is great! But the Phillies are scoring 3.47 runs per game. As Lee showed in the first half of last season, you can be absolutely brilliant and still lose a ton of games pitching with that kind of run “support.” The Phillies are a bad team, and they were a bad team when we played them, notwithstanding Hamels and Lee.

  31. 31
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    28- Right, so we shouldn’t go by these teams’ actual records, or even their pythagorean win-loss records (.585, .584 and .539 for the Royals, Rockies and Pirates), but rather what your gut tells you about whether or not they are “good”. By that logic we would no doubt have had a much tougher schedule if we had played the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Angels, all picked by most to compete for their division titles, but currently sporting pythagoreans of .407, .309 and .359.

    Your logic is simply awful. By all objective measures the Royals, Rockies and Pirates are playing good baseball and to this point are good teams. They may well turn into pumpkins later, but we didn’t play them later, did we?

  32. 32
    Anon21 Says:

    @31: We should go by preseason projections rather than a sample of ~22 games. (And no, the Pythag records aren’t helping your case; no surprise that a bunch of teams off to unsustainble hot starts are unsustainably scoring more runs or allowing fewer than they will the rest of the year.)

    And no, they’re not good teams now, they’re lucky teams now. The Braves are one of the factors that are supposed to overcome that luck (and/or benefit from it running out) and push them back towards the teams they actually are. Mission accomplished as to the Rockies, but unfortunately mission far from accomplished against the Pirates.

    Re: Dodgers, Jays, Angels: all teams with major injuries, where preseason projections may not accurately reflect where they are right now. They’re still better than the Rockies, even though the Rockies have lucked into a hot start.

  33. 33
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    If you can show that the Rockies, Royals and Pirates have been unusually lucky, then make your case. Right now, your argument is that your gut tells you they are not good, therefore the fact that they have been scoring more runs than they have allowed must be due to luck. That is crap logic.

  34. 34
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The old saying in baseball is it’s not who you play but when you play them. If you play a good team at a time when they are playing poorly, you aren’t necessarily playing a good team, and the converse holds as well. Anyway, in baseball, you don’t simply discount wins just because the teams you beat aren’t good. Bad teams often beat better teams. I say enjoy the wins and don’t worry about who they beat.

  35. 35
    Anon21 Says:

    @33: I don’t know why you keep confusing “gut” with “preseason projections.” The former is nothing, but the latter is based on the consensus of some fairly good projection models aggregating player performance. Sometimes they will miss big on a team’s actual quality, but you need more than 22 games to know if they did. At this point, our opinions about the quality of the various teams shouldn’t have changed much.

    The Pirates have had a hefty dollop of sequencing luck. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-importance-of-sequencing/

  36. 36
    blazon Says:

    if Rick has landed in the slammer…
    might it be for his poor grammar?..
    a country boy at heart…
    he deigned to play that part…
    absent from the ball park’s clamor.

  37. 37
    zig Says:

    That was a really, really great write-up on Rick Camp, especially the last paragraph.

    1982 was THE season of my youth. I know for many of you that’s what 1991 is. In ’82 it seemed like Rick Camp was in the middle of everything, all of it wryly described by Skip…the good and the bad.

    In my mind I see the young Rick Camp jogging backwards across outfield grass, away from the bullpen laughing and saying something to his teammates. Then he turns around and the music swells (It’s George & Tammy singing “You Gotta Hold On”) The movie screen fades to white.

    I love this site.

  38. 38
    sansho1 Says:

    This is a nice remembrance:

    http://tinyurl.com/bl7hl4u

  39. 39
    Rusty S. Says:

    It seems to me that preseason projections are a sample size of 0 games.

  40. 40
    Anon21 Says:

    Preseason projections are based on a sample of thousands of games played by the players who will make up the teams.

    I mean, are we actually going to pretend that you can’t know anything about a team preseason, and that the first X games played are the only information worth having? Are we all pretty confident the Nationals will finish with a .500 record, then? Or is it more likely that they’re a very good team that has run into some poor luck so far? And if that is more likely, is it not also reasonable to say that Colorado, for example, is a mediocre-to-bad team that has run into some pretty good luck so far?

  41. 41
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    PECOTA and other projections are of rapidly diminishing value once the season begins. That is easily demonstrated statistically based on past projections. It frequently fails to identify good teams, while making strong projections for what turn out to be bad teams. Injuries are only one of the relevant variables. The Rockies were projected to be a bad team based only on being projected to have historically awful pitching. But every guy on their staff had a reasonable chance to outperform the projections. Chacin and De La Rosa will certainly regress, but they are both certain to outperform their projections and that will not actually surprise anyone. If Francis can get it turned around and they find a league average fifth starter to replace Garland the Rockies will continue to be a good team.

    So too the Royals. The projections reflected uncertainty as to how Guthrie and Davis would fare. After 22 games both look like well above average starters, and that is not all that surprising. Davis’ stats suggested as much and plenty of scouts have noted that Guthrie has become a different pitcher since being traded to the Royals. If the Royals can trade for a decent starting right fielder to replace Francouer, they can win the AL Central. Even if they don’t they are a good team.

    Am I convinced the Pirates won’t collapse down the stretch? No. But right now they are a good team and I’m glad we don’t play them again anytime soon.

  42. 42
    Anon21 Says:

    @41: I don’t know how you can say Chacin and de la Rosa are “certain to outperform their projections.” Chacin’s been good so far, but in 24 innings. I just don’t see a lot of basis to be optimistic about the Rockies’ rotation or their chances of contention this season.

    And you want to be careful when talking about starting pitchers “after 22 games,” when what you’re actually talking about is 4 games for each. (4 games in which Guthrie has looked like a sub-replacement-level horror show who’s getting lucky with both sequencing and BABIP.) The Royals might end up being a good team, by which I mean postseason contender, depending on whether they can get rid of some of the dead wood (which would include Guthrie). I’m not clear that they have the budget to do that. I think they have very little chance of challenging the Tigers in the Central, though. In any event, generously that’s a second good team the Braves have played in a short series, which they split. The next two series remain an important test.

  43. 43
    Rusty S. Says:

    I would say there is still a fairly good chance the Nationals finish ahead of the Braves. And I would say that chance is not insignificantly lower than it was opening day.

    Here’s a list of a few hundred of the things that have happened since April 1st.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/?tcid=mm_mlb_players#month=4&year=2013

  44. 44
    fm Says:

    I laughed.

    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/933982_445953082159207_1103981141_n.jpg

  45. 45
    Anon21 Says:

    @43: Yeah, but that’s not the question. With a 4.5-game lead, the Braves are in the catbird seat in the East (for now), because the Nationals now have to be 5 games better over the course of the rest of the season. That’s straining the limits of many preseason projections. But the question I actually asked is: does anyone really believe that the Nationals will finish the season as a .500 (or worse) team? I think the answer is probably no, despite the fact that that’s the record they’ve played to to this point. And if the answer is no, no one should have a problem recognizing that the Pirates and Rockies will also not finish the season with winning records, despite the fact that they have winning records now.

  46. 46
    Grst Says:

    @45 And everyone else’s point is that what record a team finishes with at the end of the season tells us absolutely nothing about how well they were playing when the Braves played them. The same team can be both good and bad at different points in the season. The Pirates and Rockies are right now playing good baseball. What they do in the future cannot change what they have already done. That’s just how the universe works.

  47. 47
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    De La Rosa’s PECOTA projection is conservative, reflecting the uncertainty around a guy coming back from Tommy John who missed a lot of starts in 2010 and 2011. His projected 2013 WARP of 2.1 is a full win lower than his last healthy season, 2009, despite the fact that when is healthy he has continued to improve: he had an ERA+ of 108 in 2009, 110 in 2010, and 130 in 2011. If he remains healthy (you’re right, this is not a certainty, but increasingly probable as the season progresses) he easily outperforms his projection. Who knows, Chacin could already be finished for the year, in which case the Rockies become a much worse team, but when he is healthy he is far more valuable than the projections give him credit for, as evidence by his first four starts this year.

    Guthrie had an ERA of more than 6+ last year when the Royals traded for him. They traded for him because their pitching coach thought he could turn him into a valuable fifth starter. After the trade he had 10 quality starts and an ERA+ of 131. In none of his four starts this year has he been anything close to a horror show. He has an ERA+ of 106. If he has been slightly BABIP lucky he has also had an improved K/9 ratio and there is good reason to think that the mechanical adjustments he made last year have made him a much better pitcher than PECOTA and other projections gave him credit for.

  48. 48
    Anon21 Says:

    @46: But you have to separate good performance from good luck. If the Pirates are getting by with unsustainably timely base hits, there is literally no reason to expect that to carry over into any given series, game, inning, or at-bat. We should be constantly expecting them to go back to having normal luck. Which means that we should expect the Braves to beat them. If they don’t, that’s a missed opportunity that hurts them at the end of the season.

  49. 49
    Marc Schneider Says:

    It’s irrelevant anyway who they have played. This isn’t the BCS where strength of schedule helps determine who gets in the championship game. If you win enough games, you get in the playoffs regardless of who those games come against. It doesn’t really matter, ultimately, who the “best” team is at a given point in time because that changes and, in any event, as we have seen, has little to do with the playoffs anyway. If they win, they win; it doesn’t matter who the wins come against. And these are major league teams, perhaps ultimately, not good major league teams, but it’s not as if they are beating Division 3 teams or something.

  50. 50
    Anon21 Says:

    @47: Guthrie’s given up 11 home runs in 25 innings pitched. It’s lovely that he’s struggling towards a slightly-below-average strikeout rate, but the dude does not look rosterable on a real contender.

  51. 51
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Guthrie has not given up 11 home runs. He’s given up 11 earned runs. He’s not a stud, or a guy you start in the playoffs, but if he continues to pitch the way he has he absolutely has value as a fifth starter, on a contender or not. I suspect, for example, that the Tigers would happily trade Rick Porcello for him. But more to the point, he will continue to be worth wins that the preseason projections did not give the Royals credit for.

  52. 52
    JonathanF Says:

    Great work Sansho. There are very few Braves fans old enough who don’t remember exactly where they were the night of that game. RIP Rick.

  53. 53
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Per DOB, tonight’s lineup (one of the more interesting in recent memory):

    Simmons ss, Uggla 2b, JUpton lf, Freeman 1b, CJohnson 3b, Gattis c, BUpton cf, Francisco dh, RJohnson rf.

  54. 54
    DJ Says:

    @53….hmmm.

  55. 55
    PaulV Says:

    @ 53 No Success!?

  56. 56
    Boomer Says:

    If all Uggla tries to do is work some walks, I will be ok with it.

  57. 57
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    How about Uggla, CJ, JUpton, Freeman, Gattis, Francisco, BUpton, Success, Simmons.

  58. 58
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Fun Fact #1: Justin Upton’s 2013 salary is $9.75M
    Fun Fact #2: JUp has accumulated 2.0 WAR so far (per Fangraphs).

    Conclusion: Given that each WAR in the current free agent market costs $5.5M+ (or if you believe Mark Shapiro, $9M), then Justin has already earned his entire 2013 salary, and the remaining 141 games of the year are puuuuuure profit, boys and girls.

    PS – Fun Fact #3: With 2.0 WAR, JUp has now equaled his entire 2012 WAR output (again, per Fangraphs).

  59. 59
    PaulV Says:

    Uggla will get better pitches to swing out in front of Jupton. He could hit some.

  60. 60
    ububba Says:

    Nice work, Sam.

    Hard not to go down the George Jones rabbit hole today. Damn, he was great.

  61. 61
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @57 – how about Success, Uggla, JUpton, Freeman, Gattis, Francisco, BJ, CJ, Simmons?

  62. 62
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    So Keith Law just had his weekly chat, and no doubt in response to receiving hundreds of questions about Evan Gattis, he basically admitted he is full of it:

    Jason (Nashville, TN): Playing off your comment that Catcher is the hardest to scout, have you noticed any discernible difference in the defensive play of Evan Gattis since last year?

    Klaw (2:31 PM): I’d really have to see him live – and I didn’t see him at all last year, so this would be a fresh eval.

  63. 63
    Bethany Says:

    Every time Uggla hits a single I cheer. He’s making a little better contact as of late.

  64. 64
    spike Says:

    Justin has to be loving the “table setters” for tonight’s game….

    /eyeroll.

    //and they both have better OBPs than BJ and Jason

    ///cries.

  65. 65
    Brian J. Says:

    62- And today is the one year anniversary of Law’s chat where he dismissed Gattis:

    Cody (Atlanta, GA)

    KLaw, what do you think about Evan Gattis? Playing for Lynchburg and is absolutely raking. I know he is a little old for that league, but he was out of baseball for four years. Great story.

    Klaw (1:08 PM)

    A little old? I hear teammates call him “Methuselah.” He’s not a prospect. He’s beating up on much younger, less physically developed competition, and offers no defensive value at a corner position.

  66. 66
    Anon21 Says:

    Geez, Andrelton’s infield fly ball percentage up over 30. Real ugly; he’s got to fix whatever that is if he wants to post a league-average OBP.

  67. 67
    spike Says:

    Handy, that.

  68. 68
    Tomas Says:

    Nicely done, Simmons.

  69. 69
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Only have to walk that knife edge three or four more times tonight.

  70. 70
    RJ in KS Says:

    If Prince Fielder ate a few more salads, he could have scored on that double.

  71. 71
    Brian J. Says:

    70- Maybe but, as the wise men say, you don’t win friends with salad.

  72. 72
    Anon21 Says:

    Fielder’s speed vs. Simmons’ arm was a fairly severe mismatch.

  73. 73
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    How many shortstops can make that throw?

  74. 74
    Brian J. Says:

    Well done, Paul! You too, Andrelton!

  75. 75
    spike Says:

    radio guys just said Beachy threw BP today, and McCann homered in his rehab game at AA.

  76. 76
    spike Says:

    Well thanks for that.

  77. 77
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    No excuses, Dan.

    75-AA or single A?

    Damn, I am starting to dislike Uggla.

  78. 78
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Hitting second is a privilege, Dan, not a right.

  79. 79
    spike Says:

    Single A – misheard I guess.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/26/brian-mccann-set-to-begin-minor-league-rehab-assignment/

  80. 80
    Tomas Says:

    Ye, McCann is with the Rome team, he had a walk in his second at-bat. There’s some hitting going on in that game, it’s 8-4 Rome after the top of the second.

  81. 81
    spike Says:

    and right back in the soup. Going to be a long night.

  82. 82
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Single A, double A, either way we could have used him this series. Big time.

  83. 83
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    CJ is better at first than at third. Which is not to say he’s any good at either.

  84. 84
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Which reminds me to ask why Francisco is DHing rather than CJ.

  85. 85
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Joe Simpson should be fired. What an asshole.

    Then again, maybe if I had been a middling player for the Mariners in the 20s I would be a smug jerk too.

  86. 86
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    @85, I dunno about that, but he surely is dense if he thinks the best argument against sabremetrics is that all the important numbers have already been created.

  87. 87
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    If I had posted a career OPS of .607 I would be against sabermetrics too.

  88. 88
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Really, B.J.?

  89. 89
    Tomas Says:

    This looks like a bad game.

    McCann homered again though, so there’s that.

  90. 90
    Putter Says:

    Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolly lolly pop. Paul Maholm has become Paul Naholm again

  91. 91
    spike Says:

    Johnson is just a machine.

  92. 92
    Nathan Says:

    Eh, this is a big-hitting, righty-heavy lineup. Getting hit around by them is no serious criticism.

  93. 93
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Maholm hasn’t really been hit around. That inning was all bad BABIP luck, and if CJ makes a routine play he gives up no runs.

  94. 94
    Nathan Says:

    Well, that’s nice to hear; I just have gameday here.

  95. 95
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Well, Uggla gave away yet another out, but this time around they have Maholm teed up. As well they should. They’ve seen him three times in four innings.

  96. 96
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Fuck you, Dan Uggla. Just go the hell away.

  97. 97
    Bethany Says:

    This team goes from looking like the best in the world to the worst.

  98. 98
    Nathan Says:

    That’s just baseball.

    EDIT: I admit I was kinda hoping it would stay close enough that, once we could get into that luscious bullpen, we might have a shot. But it’s looking rough now.

  99. 99
    Brian J. Says:

    Maholm, Stud Pitcher was nice while it lasted.

  100. 100
    Bethany Says:

    I miss the Lisp.

  101. 101
    beege Says:

    You mean you mith the Lisp.

  102. 102
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Whew, good thing the innings over. That almost got out of hand.

  103. 103
    spike Says:

    Just a flesh wound.

  104. 104
    spike Says:

    It just got worse – Lemke is reading the ads.

  105. 105
    Rusty S. Says:

    So that’s what happens when you try to hit a 10 run homer.

  106. 106
    spike Says:

    Lemke praising Anna-bell Sanchez and his mystery pitch is hilarious.

  107. 107
    Bethany Says:

    My swing is quicker than Andrelton’s right now.

  108. 108
    sdp Says:

    Season over.

  109. 109
    ryan c Says:

    Game 22, RIP.

  110. 110
    DowneasterJC Says:

    This may be the worst game I have ever seen.

  111. 111
    Nathan Says:

    Sanchez at 14 Ks so far.

  112. 112
    Adam R Says:

    Oh, this is nothing compared to the Capuano, Ubaldo, or Randy Johnson games, just to name a few that I sat through somewhat recently.

  113. 113
    Seat Painter Says:

    Dammit, I’m in Greensboro! Is Mac gonna be with Rome tomorrow?

  114. 114
    Adam R Says:

    …But it is a really terrible game.

  115. 115
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Might as well make it a cool twenty. Not even trying anymore.

  116. 116
    'Rissa Says:

    With this team, we may help pitchers set franchise records for strikeouts a lot this year. As long as we also break the ML record for homers in a season, we may be okay.

  117. 117
    Brian J. Says:

    Look on the bright side. The bullpen did its job after the 4th inning. Other than that… I got nothin’.

  118. 118
    Adam R Says:

    It’s really an enormous credit to Mac that he recapped these kinds of games and found ways to make them entertaining.

  119. 119
    Rusty S. Says:

    @113 – I believe they said he would be with Rome for 5 games, then Gwinnett for 5 games.

  120. 120
    David Says:

    Funny enough… Put this lineup against that randy Johnson perfect game…. Does he strike out more or less? Gotta go with more IMO

  121. 121
    kc Says:

    Wren may have indeed found a full time third baseman in Chris Johnson. And we have him under control for four more years. Wonderful.

  122. 122
    sdp Says:

    Heard the phrase “strap it on” way too many times on the post-game show.

  123. 123
    Tiger224 Says:

    so what
    play ball

  124. 124
    Dan Says:

    What happened to that great Braves offense? Five NL teams have already scored over 100 runs, and the Braves ain’t one of them.

  125. 125
    PeteOrr Says:

    Worst game I’ve ever seen – thank god for dvr fast forwarding. Andrelton’s really good throw home was the only thing worth going to regular speed for other than the Rick Camp home run replay. Sadly I slowed down long enough to hear Joe Simpson make an ass of himself several times. Joe, Mark Lemke, Don Sutton’s play by play, and Jim Powell’s occasional pandering to Sutton’s old school sensibilities should all go take a long walk in the woods and get lost together.

  126. 126
    Coop Says:

    There were some godawful games in the ’70s and ’80s. This game would have fit nicely in that neighborhood; BUT …

    it’s just one game of 162, and Meds is throwing tomorrow, er, today.

  127. 127
    justhank Says:

    Didn’t see the game and with my aversion to strikeouts it’s probably a good thing.

    Question: is this Freeman’s version of a hunger strike ’cause this sure is no way to drive up his value with the club. Oy. Chris, get your 1B glove back out.
    ——————

    Saw a replay of the Camp homer. Soooo glad that Steinbrenner thought John Sterling should be the Voice of the Yankees.
    ——————

    I get this mental image of St. Peter frowning, looking at this watch and holding a scroll that says “No Show Jones” on it.

  128. 128
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Dan Uggla’s OPS+ over the last four seasons: 131, 107, 98, 81.

    If Uggla’s really become an 81 OPS+ player Wren will swallow that 30 million or however many dollars; and good riddance. As long as we keep winning games Wren will keep his fingers crossed and keep running him out there. But if we are trailing the Nats in the standings, I’d say Uggla has until the all-star break. I’d be less worried about that eventuality if I trusted Pastornicky could play defense. In the longer term, we need one of our fringe 2B prospects to break through in a big way. Is Tommy La Stella injured?

    Oh, and Fredi, playing Chris Johnson at 3B, while DHing an obviously superior fielder in Francisco is fucking stupid. Last night CJ had two Prados, the first led to six runs that probably all should have been ‘unearned’.

  129. 129
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m sorry to have been so absent the last couple days. Would someone who has a login be able to put up a game thread? Thank you!

  130. 130
    justhank Says:

    Can anyone recommend a good Hawks and Falcons blog?

    I really need to spend more time blogging.

  131. 131
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The AJC has decent coverage of the Falcons.

    The Hawks have no fans, so thus no blogs.

  132. 132
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    New game thread up.

  133. 133
    DJ Says:

    Falcoholic is pretty good.

  134. 134
    Mets Fan Says:

    Nice article…I still can’t believe Rick Camp hit that HR — it was an amazing moment. R.I.P., Rick Camp.

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