Open Thread: America Held Hostage, Day 1

Really, we need a three-day break?

UPDATE: Just saw this:

BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Braves, Indians Get Active In Pacific Rim

The Braves signed a 16-year-old Japanese catcher. Normally, you can’t sign Japanese high schoolers because the majors promised not to, but Ryohei Shimabukuro’s high school team was disbanded so it’s okay. I don’t get it either. He probably won’t turn out to be anything.

86 thoughts on “Open Thread: America Held Hostage, Day 1”

  1. (in response to a question from the previous thread)

    ububba – i never got the tickets because my wife is out of town that afternoon/evening, so i’m stuck with the baby. hope you have a good time at the show.

  2. I’m not even bothering with the Home Run Derby tonight. It doesn’t seem to hold an ounce of the allure it once did.

  3. I’m watching it to get my baseball fix for the day. I hate the All-Star break. So boring.

  4. Adam Bernero was just sent down by Philadelphia. After going:

    2IP 7H 8ER 3HR – he refused the minor league reassignment. Hope JS doesn’t want to reunite him w/ our bullpen.

  5. This is why I won’t really be watching much of the All-Star game..

    Kenny Rogers starting for the A.L…while Liriano isn’t even on the team

  6. Other reason not to watch the All-Star game: The last time that David Ortiz played in 1B was in the interleague games. And the winner will get homefield advantage.

  7. Kyle S,
    Alright, daddy-o.

    No real baseball until Friday means lots of fake baseball (computer APBA) for me.

  8. here is my suggestion for the homerun derby:
    Make it available to top 10 hr hitters in each league
    Each batter gets 10 swings
    Have Easton, DeMarini or Louisville Slugger sponsor it
    Use aluminum bats Oh-yeah aluminum bats
    Top 2 advance and gets 10 swings
    No chris berman
    Of course it will never happen, but it would be fun to watch

  9. Good news. Severe injustice righted. It’s just too bad that he was the last option when he should have been the first.

  10. Finally Liriano gets in.

    I haven’t followed the news really since last night. Have been busy at the church helping organize some fun activities for under priviliged children..so I’m pretty drained.

    Helping the boss here at work install his new server also, so have very little time for baseball and other stuff these days…

  11. Andy Griffith is pritty entertaining!

    Remember when TBS would show Andy Griffith durring rain delays? Those were the days!

  12. I remember when TBS showed Andy Griffith, Sanford & Son..Happy Days..
    Those were really the days Smitty..

    I even enjoyed the Brady Bunch..

  13. as a liriano fantasy owner, i was happy he didn’t make the team; he would get two starts next week (along with one this wednesday) as a consequence. oh well… at least i get to keep him two more times at salaries of $3 and $4 :)

  14. Oh man, rain delays were actually fun when Andy Griffith aired. I’d actually watch that instead of Dick Clark taunting me with his bloopers.

  15. 1914 Update:

    NY Giants 41-29
    Chicago Cubs 41-34
    St. Louis Cardinals 40-36
    Philadelphia Phillies 34-35
    Cincinnat Reds 36-38
    Brooklyn Robins 33-36
    Pittsburgh Pirates 32-38
    Boston Braves 30-41

    Braves lose today in Chicago, 11-6. After the game, they sell OF Jim Murray to St. Paul, ending his major league career. 232/ 277/ 304 (2006 Brian Jordan with half the power) won’t cut it for a starting OF, even in the Dead Ball Era.

  16. Fantasy Baseball advice, would you trade:

    David Wright, Coco Crisp, and Ichiro Suzuki

    for

    A-Rod, Miguel Cabrera, and Magglio Ordonez?

  17. I’m willing to give up SB’s for 2B’s and RBI’s, but my concern is if Magglio will finish the year w/ out getting hurt and whether or not A-Rod will perform. There is actually talk of him going to the Cubs, that would be demoralizing

  18. wow, very impressive. as i said, i expect to be embarrassed by true baseball historians :)

  19. re: Japanese catching prospect… Any catching prospect in the Braves organization won’t amount to much for the next 10+ years.

  20. 45 of 50 Count it!

    (I did a midterm paper on the early days of baseball, that’s how I kow most of those odd balls)

  21. The derby starts in an hour! Is everybody ready? Excited? We get to listen to Joe Morgan talk for 3.5 hours about how [name of player] is a power hitter!

  22. I’m more worried over the constant ESPN love-fest with the New York Mets and how David Wright is the greatest player of all time.

  23. Agreed, Ron. The Braves are so loaded at catcher that it’s unbelievable. Except for Myrtle Beach, we have a legitimate starting catcher prospect at every level.

    And I’ll go for the upset and pick Miguel Cabrera to win the Home Run Derby

  24. I got 11 of 14 on the Braves quiz. I feel so flithy. :P

    I think I’ll just watch the Derby on mute, for two reasons:

    1. I won’t have to listen to the insipid commentary
    2. I can work on that All-Time Braves Tournament that I’m going to do using Whatifsports.com ;)

  25. Just to let everyone know Steve Phillips mentioned a very interesting trade rumor this afternoon. He said that the Braves could trade John Smoltz for prospects and then if he doesn’t take his option after this year the Braves could re-sign him. Any thoughts?

  26. Why would Smoltz come back to the Braves probably for less money than he makes now when he could instead go to any of the usual unlimited payroll teams or his hometeam Tigers? That scenario doesn’t seem at all likely to me.

  27. Don’t think that’ll work, Jay. The option is a club option for $8 million. If we traded him somewhere, his new club would have the option to sign him well below market price, and they’d take it.

    I’m just waiting for a “You’re With Me, Leather” reference.

  28. I hate the homerun derby. It is stupid and contrived, but for that matter I no longer care for the All-star game either.

  29. Nice round by Dye. Good thing we traded him for Lockhart and Tucker. I think Tucker will probably be league MVP and it is nice to see Keith starting at second for the NL team… Oh wait, what’s that?

  30. I don’t care who wins as long as he is not David Wright.

    It’s also looking like Ryan Howard is a bust.

  31. I’m watching for the spottings of our guys! haha

    I love the shots of McCann filming!

  32. I ended up checking in on it for a while, it’s not as boring as I thought.

    And what the hell? Did the closer for the Red Sox just admit to betting on baseball live on the air? $100,000? Surely he’s joking. I don’t think baseball would make any concessions just because it’s the home run derby.

  33. I wondered the same thing Daniel..

    When Papelbon said that, I choked on my drink…but then I realized that he must be joking

  34. Something’s gotta occupy that empty space in his skull. And my prediction just bit the dust.

  35. Wow, my original pick of Ryan Howard still might win.

    I hope so. If Wright wins, it will mean more ESPN love-fest with him and the Mets.

  36. Is it my TV or is there a whole bunch of little muting spots in the Derby? It’s really annoying. I’m not paying to attention to the talking a whole lot but I really notice those.

  37. Joe Morgan actually did have brains once. From Ball Four, September 1, 1969:

    Norm Miller, Astro pretending to be a broadcaster: “We wanted to ask you about that pitch you missed. What was it?”

    Morgan: “Norm, that was a motherf***ing curve.”

    Miller: “Can you tell our listeners, Joe, the difference between a regular curve and a motherf***ing curve?”

    Morgan: “Well, Norm, your regular curve has a lot of spin on it and you can recognize it real early. It breaks a little down, and out. Now your motherf***er, that’s different. It come in harder, like a fastball. Then all of a sudden it rolls off the top of the table and before you know it, it’s motherf***ing strike three.”

    Miller: “Thank you very much, Joe Morgan.”

  38. Congratulations, Ryan Howard. And if your power completely disappears the way Bobby Abreu’s did after last year’s Home Run Derby, that’s fine with us.

  39. “Is it my TV or is there a whole bunch of little muting spots in the Derby? It’s really annoying. I’m not paying to attention to the talking a whole lot but I really notice those.” -Rob

    I’m pretty sure that they mute it when the players curse after missing a shot. It’s probably mild stuff like “damn” or whatever, but I’m sure that ESPN tries to put MLB in the best possible light. Which I don’t disagree with.

  40. “I’m pretty sure that they mute it when the players curse after missing a shot.”

    Yeah, that’s it. It’s always right in a spot where one would expect to hear profanity.

  41. One of the most annoying things to me about the HR derby is, aside from its contrived nature, there’s no way those baseballs aren’t juiced up like crazy…. the broadcast leads in with a note about how only one player in the history of PNC Park (Daryle Ward) has hit the Allegheny River on the fly, about 445 feet away from home plate – and sure enough, it happens almost immediately. Not only that, but many of the HRs were traveling 450+ feet, something that happens very, very rarely in actual MLB play (when pitchers are throwing much faster than batting-practice pace, which ought to lead to lengthier shots). The reason someone like Abreu in 2005 can surpass his season total in one round of the HR Derby: those aren’t baseballs, they’re glorified golf balls.

    Also, re: the Braves’ shot at the playoffs – there’s no way we can win the East. Not a chance. We could conceivable win the wild card, but it’s a looong shot. A combination of bad luck and a bad bullpen has us four wins below our expected mark of 44-45; if we were at 44 wins I’d give us a good shot of taking the wild card. As it is, we need to get out of the gate after the AS break quickly… a .660 record in our remaining 73 games would result in 88 wins and a fighting chance at the WC (one can hope). I actually see the Dodgers pulling out ahead of San Diego, leaving the Padres and the Astros as primary WC contenders. Of course, the Dodgers have a lot of value tied up in older/brittle players – Drew, Penny, Garciaparra, Kent, etc. – so they could easily fall apart with a little bad luck.

    Looking on the bright side, that terrible losing streak will perhaps allow the Braves to play with some more passion and fire, now that they’re not being weighed down with the relentless pressure of being chased by the rest of the division all season long. As a fan, it’s nice to have a bit of that underdog feeling again which started last season; for so many years I expected another WS championship and was bitterly disappointed. Perhaps the soft bigotry of lowered expectations isn’t so bad after all.

    Of course, it’s all pretty much a moot point – the AL is way, way better than the NL this year. You could plausibly argue that the Tigers, White Sox, Red Sox and Yankees are all superior to any NL contenders, including the Cardinals or Mets.

    While the Braves’ slow fall from grace can be blamed a lot on the payroll decreases (it’s been a long time since we could plausibly claim to have the best team in the majors, even on paper) I think a big finger can be pointed to our lack of developing true star-quality products from our own farm system to replace all the departed talent. I would argue that the only homegrown player on the Braves’ current roster from the last 4-5 years that is adding significant value to the team is McCann… LaRoche is a negative, Betemit is good but not great, while Francoeur is a great athlete with gaping holes in his approach to hitting (his stats bear a disturbing resemblance to Tony Bastista’s, which is not good at all). If any of our players could turn into a Nick Swisher, a Matt Holliday, a Huston Street, etc., we could get back to where we were. I have to add that I have high hopes for Chuckie James – the league will catch up to him to some degree, but when he’s on he should be able to tear through games quickly and efficiently like a low-rent Mark Buehrle.

  42. This Taco Bell softball game or whatever is hilarious.

    And I was actually rooting for Wright. *ducks*

  43. Well, so what if they’re juiced, big whoop. People aren’t paying to go to that to see warning-track shots. :P

  44. Don’t worry, Jeremy. So Marte’s ripping up AAA pitching (271/ 333/ 464 for the season). Things are alright in Richmond. We’ve still got Nepotism Boy.

    Fun fact: Jon Jr. has a .179 slugging percentage, 112 points below his nearest qualifying competitor.

  45. That really sucks. If there is a baseball game on TBS, it had better be showing the Braves.

  46. Actually, I hope Pete gets to call the weekly national games and the playoff games. If that happens, I won’t mind this at all. It’s not like they’re reducing the number of TBS games any further. Best case: More than just 70 games for Skip and Pete.

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