Florida 3 Atlanta 0

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap

Unbelievable. You have this guy Valdez up there throwing total slop. His arm is shot, he can’t break 90 anymore, all he does is the Shane Reynolds-style “throw sinkers and hope for the best”. And the Braves go out there and get two hits off the guy in six innings. When the real pitchers, Mota and Benitez, came in, they must have looked like they were throwing 200 MPH. The Braves got one hit in two innings against Mota, and that’s it. Benitez needed only nine pitches in the ninth.

Russ Ortiz threw six innings himself, and until the sixth was matching Valdez. But then he allowed a two-run homer to Jeff Conine, and that was it. Conine also singled in a run off of Colon in the eighth. Alfonseca pitched a perfect seventh.

The Braves weren’t helped by Bobby’s bizarre decision to hit DeWayne Wise third. Wise replaced Drew in right field due to the latter’s “illness”. I really thought Bobby had been cured of his tendency to plug in replacements in the normal guy’s batting slot, but I guess not. Julio played for LaRoche, who has a tender hamstring, for the second game in a row. Furcal had two of the Braves’ hits, Andruw the only other.

The magic number remains six, headed back home, where Tuesday they’ll start a three-game series with the Reds. The Braves should have an opportunity to clinch against the Marlins, who come into Atlanta next.

11 thoughts on “Florida 3 Atlanta 0”

  1. Even a weird Bobby Sunday lineup (Betemit at shortstop, Green at third, and DeRosa in left!) should be able to put up some runs against Valdez, which really sounds like famous last words, doesn’t it?

    Um, yeah :-/ Nice call Mac…

  2. To go just a bit off topic, did yall see this?
    I know many of the people here read Rob Neyer (although probably less now that he’s on the ‘ESPN insider’ pay side – I know I haven’t read his columns since they stopped making it free), and it’s not what I thought it was at first. The headline said ‘Neyer apologizes for anonymous review’ – my first thought was that he got caught reviewing his own book. Sounds like that’s not what happened, though.

  3. Neyer gave a negative (in my reading, not scathing) review to the book “One Day at Fenway.” He did it under a pseudonym.

    It’s a bit bizarre, but I think the hoopla about it is even more bizarre.

  4. This story was of particular interest to me, as I used to edit customer reviews at Amazon.com. What Neyer did is the exact thing we used to look for — a competing author in a particular genre using an assumed name to trash a competitor’s book. His excuse is rather flimsy — customer reviews are a huge sales-driver on Amazon, especially for niche-market publications such as these, where a customer may be choosing between two or three books that basically define the topic.

    Niche-market authors would frequently contact me about negative reviews of their books, just to make sure the reviews were legit. Sometimes this would backfire, though — we could trace the identity of a negative reviewer, and match it up with a subsequent contact from them when someone else trashed their book. D’oh!

    At least he didn’t go as far as other authors I’ve seen, who would set up a half-dozen pseudonyms and post negative (and libelous) reviews using each of them. I enjoyed busting them, and I hope the fellow in Delhi who now has the job is enjoying himself….

  5. I bought Neyer’s explanation, myself. For one thing, his related book isn’t really competition because it’s not in print. But basically because his name is so familiar to the baseball/internet community that an anonymous review would be far less damaging than one with his name attached.

    No offense, but Amazon’s customer reviews are borderline useless to me, since the only places you’re likely to see negative reviews are on political books, and those are purely on right/left grounds and not the contents of the book.

  6. Of course it’s competition — if you’re going to take the time to read a book (or e-book or journal article, or whatever), and you see that there are multiple options available, aren’t those options in competition with each other, for your time and money?

    And on what basis will you make a purchase decision, if you are choosing only one of the available options? Many, many people use the customer reviews as a factor in their decision.

    No offense, but Amazon’s customer reviews are borderline useless to me, since the only places you’re likely to see negative reviews are on political books, and those are purely on right/left grounds and not the contents of the book.

    This reflects an incomplete knowledge of the website. There are many lively debates among knowledgeable people on the merits of books dealing with any number of topics. As for the political stuff, back when I was editing I allowed for some political digression as long as the essence of the review dealt with the contents of the particular book. Whether this standard is being upheld I can’t say, but I took it seriously in my time there.

  7. I agree with Mac, and Rob was screwed for another reason. The newspaper reporter who broke the story REFUSED to print Neyer’s side of the story. He thought Neyer’s explanation and susequent discovery of bogus false postive reviews was not newsworthy. Here he was trying to be nice by not using his considerable clout to trash a very bad book, and the next thing he knows he’s being singled out for not using his clout.

  8. Sansho, my point is that Neyer isn’t really in conflict with this book. He wrote a book that was in conflict, but it flopped and isn’t even on sale anymore as far as I know. His other books are only sort of competition. I mean, they’re about baseball, but really they’re absolutely on the other side of the game, stat/historical.

    If Bob Meyer, whom hardly anyone had heard of, writes a baseball book, then writes a negative, anonymous review of another author’s book that’s one thing. But Neyer’s a big name, in this little niche. A negative review from him could potentially kill a book that depends on Internet sales. He apparently really disliked the book and tried to find a way to vent without using his name to make his criticism a potential killer.

    Anyway, Neyer does have a point; why is it that positive anonymous reviews from people with clear conflicts of interest — relatives of the author — are allowed to stand?

  9. I should say at this point that I’ve only read the text of Neyer’s apology. Can you provide a link to an article that explains the full controversy? I’d love to read it.

    Amazon’s policy also forbids false positive reviews, and they are (or should be) removed once they are discovered. Although reviewers are allowed to post under pseudonyms, they aren’t really anonymous — Amazon knows the identity of the reviewer. But it’s not hard for an author to get his/her friends to post a bunch of glowing reviews, and the mechanisms for spotting it aren’t foolproof. If they all use the same computer, that’s pretty easy to spot, but otherwise it can be hard to tell.

    Usually it takes something like this Neyer thing to draw attention to positive campaigns, because when you’re editing the reviews as they come in (and they come in by the thousands), it’s too time-consuming to investigate the source of each review. So they assume legitimacy until alerted otherwise. It’s not perfect.

    Mac, I understand, and somewhat agree, with your point about Neyer not being in direct competition with the author of the other book, but as an expert in the field he might be in the future, and once these customer reviews are posted they are there for good (unless something like this happens). Sure, it’s unlikely that “Feeding the Green Monster II” (in which Neyer digresses pointlessly about finally talking to the pretty girl that scared him so badly in the first installment) is in the works, but you never know, and it’s the kind of thing Amazon should be on the lookout for.

    Posting positive reviews of your own book is bad, but I’m more sympathetic to an author trying to pump up his own sales than to one whose “anonymous” negative review might serve to take food off someone else’s table.

  10. Cool, thanks. I’m sorry I missed out on the Baseball Primer discussion, but it looks like it was active enough as is.

    It’s just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s an author’s place to use a customer review forum as a venue for a negative review of another author’s book (within genre), anonymous or not. Rob has multiple outlets if he wishes to make use of them for that purpose.

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