447 thoughts on “I am sad that this road trip is almost over: July 19, Braves at Rangers”

  1. Seriously, the “road blues.” When was the last time we saw them? Was it really Chicago?

  2. Big game today, especially for this team’s mental state. Winning the last 2 series of the trip against decent to good competition may help put the road woes to bed, and provide a good springboard into a couple of winnable home series.

    It’s a lot to put on young Morton, but if the offense can help him out and score 5-6 runs I feel good about our chances. Hopefully I can get home to watch Morton pitch since I missed the game on Saturday.

  3. I was at the game last night (a belated Father’s day gift). Chipper’s first inning blast was absolutely fun to watch, especially as the chop broke out shortly afterward in the home run porch area of the Arlington stadium. The three run outburst was also satisfying, as so many Ranger fans got up and left. I always enjoy demoralizing the enemy.

    But to get back to the brief discussion about Jo-Jo. His outing, I think, was really promising. He clearly was struggling with his control (you only need look at 4 walks against 3 strikeouts and the number of balls to strikes). And yet, he managed the game effectively. And that’s a big key to being an effective major league pitcher–pitching through not having the best stuff. I’m encouraged about that, though I know it’s early in his career to know really where he’s heading. He might be a good #2 or he might be another HoRam. But for now, he looks promising.

  4. Let’s hope Teixeira lives up to his absurd Day Night Splits for 2008 this afternoon. In 2008 his Day game OPS is 1.122 compared to a night game OPS of .629.

  5. Re last thread chatter on Soriano–the mistake wasn’t the trade (getting a used jock for HoRam was doing well) but signing him to a 2 yr deal worth 10m or so was a roll of the dice.

  6. The question is whether it ever makes sense to give big money to a relief pitcher, given how inconsistent they frequently are and prone to injury.

  7. From Willie Randolph:

    “I thought he was talking about whacking a couple of my coaches…That’s why I was stunned. I didn’t think it was going to happen…At the time, I felt the way he was talking to me, that I was pretty secure for the time being.” Willie I mean everyone in NY had bets on what day you would be fired and you were stunned? Interesting.

    Huge game for the Braves today. Even bigger for Tex and Frenchy. This is beyond ridiculous now.

    Soriano is hurt, or at least he better be hurt.

  8. Jeff, I don’t think Jo-Jo’s another HoRam — he has more effective pitches right now, than Horacio ever had, is a better strikeout pitcher, and has a slightly stiffer fastball. I agree with you on his ceiling, that if he continues to develop his fastball and breaking stuff his ceiling is very high indeed, but I think he’s already left the HR comp in the dust, unless he unaccountably decides to start nibbling again.

  9. Here is a concern: given how badly Hudson has pitched against the AL, who starts teh first game of the World Series? :)

  10. Marc, I agree with you in principle, but if you’re wealthy, I don’t see why not. Mariano Rivera, obviously, has earned his money, as has Trevor Hoffman, as did Keith Foulke for quite a long time. I think teams need to do a lot better job of identifying which pitchers are much greater injury risks and then paying them accordingly. Soriano was a mishandled Seattle pitcher, which tells you about all you need to know about his arm.

    There are certainly relievers who are fully able to justify being paid outrageous sums of money — there just aren’t many of them. And, as usual, I think there’s almost never a good reason to give a pitcher a contract above 4 guaranteed years. Otherwise, the most important thing you can do is figure out how likely they are to break down.

  11. Marc,

    I was thinking that same thing, but the World Series is so far away, I decided to keep it to myself. The AL figured out Huddy before he left Oakland. I think the future ace of the staff is JJ.

    Good idea for Francouer?

    “Manuel spent his second afternoon as interim manager working David Wright to near-exhaustion. Roughly 4-1/2 hours before Wednesday night’s first pitch, Manuel rapidly fired balls to the plate during a session that lasted three times longer than a typical early workout by Wright’s estimate. The extra tutoring session’s theme: becoming more selective at the plate.

    After beginning the session by having Wright swing at every pitch regardless of location, Manuel had Wright identify the part of the plate where he preferred to hit a pitch. Manuel placed a ball on the plate at that location, then had Wright identify the height of the pitch he preferred. Manuel then returned to behind a protective pitcher’s screen and forced Wright to increase his selectivity by having him swing at pitches only in the zone he identified.

    The other early invitee was Brian Schneider, who repeated that process as hitting coach Howard Johnson pitched.

    As for the session, Wright concluded: “Jerry wants to be involved offensively, defensively, pitching-wise. So it’s good to hear input from a guy that’s obviously been around the game for awhile. Jerry tries to simplify everything. It’s obviously easier said than done, but his drills work on simplifying the game.”

  12. Well, the yanks would have felt foolish to not keep Rivera around, likewise the Mets with Wagner, or Padres with Hoffman… though it’s tough to know that going into things.

    Two years wasn’t too long, and while the price was a bit high it wasn’t TOO high if he doesn’t develop mysterious elbow pain. I sort of think we should give a similar contract to Gonzo (or depending on where he is in his career maybe a longer deal for less per year if we can lock him in).

    You have to figure you’re going to have 2-4 starters getting about $8-12+ per year, and if you’ve got three solid relievers getting $3-6 per year each that can make sure the starter’s efforts aren’t wasted (Soriano, Gonzo, Moylan for example) then it’s probably a wise investment for the number of wins it saves.

  13. What really gets me about the Bradley spouting is that this kid has gotten far too much praise and been given far too much rope by the team and the media and when a relative handful of fans point out that he isn’t actually a good player, it’s “poor widdle Jeff”.

  14. Tex DH’ing today…I would have guessed McCann unless he is catching. Norton to play 1B (shiver!!!).

  15. The AL figured out Huddy before he left Oakland.

    Hudson’s last year in Oakland (129 ERA+; 4.91 K/9; 2.34 K/BB; 1.26 WHIP; 0.38 HR/9), even accounting for the low K-rate, was better than any season he’s had in the NL. I think we ned to find a different explanation.

  16. How dumb is Mark Bradley? We could actually see the Braves on TV in ’06 and know that Francouer probably had the worse year ever for a guy that hit 29 HR and had 103 RBIs. Give me a break.

  17. I just realized that we have a chance to pick up some major ground right before the All-Star break. We play Philly (obviously we can pick up games by winning that series), but then it goes downhill really quick – we play Houston, LA, then the Pads. I refuse to be too optimistic, but if there is any opportunity for us to get back into this, that is the time.

  18. What is more about Bradley, whom I have always despised… How exactly is what he did in high school relevant? I bet Andres Thomas was good in high school.

  19. Mark Bradley probably also thinks Omar Infante should play second everyday instead of Kelly Johnson.

    The Braves have the Mariners next. That “should” be an easy series-win for them…but then again so should have those Nationals’ series in April.

  20. Joshua,

    Unfortunately the Cards don’t have Pujols right now andthe Padres are actually better than the D-backs right now. Plus Peavy is back. LA…who knows. Although I do like the Astros match-up. But how it looks on paper means nothing if Tex and Frenchy are still sucking.


    Maybe I’m getting confused, but I just remember Huddy struggling in the 2nd half in Oakland…

  21. Not to continue to obsess about this, but seriously… if the fans won’t hold Francoeur accountable, who will? Bobby won’t bench him, Wren won’t call him out for not producing, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Bobby or TP even criticize his approach in the dugout. Nobody in the AJC will ever write anything other than he’s “slumping” when he’s hitting like he always does. Peanut, of course, is waiting for him to silence his critics. The only one of the announcers who ever says anything critical about a player (though you can tell Jon and Pete are thinking it) is Joe, and all he talks about now that Andruw’s gone is that KJ can’t bunt and shouldn’t hit high in the order.

  22. As for Hudson, if the AL had figured him out in 2004, I don’t really see how that’s relevant to the 2008 Rangers. Michael Young, I think, is the only player from last night who was around when Hudson was an Athletic. The Rangers are a fairly young team and an extremely inexperienced one.

  23. this is taken from espn

    • After the All-Star break from 2005-07, Teixeira has hit 60 home runs, fourth in baseball. Ryan Howard, David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez are the only players with more.
    • Same time frame, Teixeira has 196 RBIs, second only to Howard’s 199.
    • Again, same span, Teixeira is one of only six players to have at least a .300 batting average, 50 home runs and 150 RBIs; besides Howard, Ortiz and A-Rod, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday have done it. Pretty exclusive — and elite — company, don’t you think?

    maybe Tex will turn things around?

  24. I don’t want to jinx them, but when I read this, the first thing that went through my mind is that only the Braves can make the young Mr. Feldman look like the second coming of Cy Young:

    “(Texas) will be handing the ball to Scott Feldman (1-3, 4.84), who is trying for his first win since May 9 against Oakland. The 25-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs in five innings of Friday’s 7-1 road loss to the New York Mets, falling to 0-2 with a 5.35 ERA over his last six starts.”

    I hope they bomb this guy and give Morton a chance to gain some more confidence with a solid start.

  25. “As for Hudson, if the AL had figured him out in 2004, I don’t really see how that’s relevant to the 2008 Rangers. Michael Young, I think, is the only player from last night who was around when Hudson was an Athletic.”

    Easy. Pregame meeting. Talks with Michael Young on what Huddy tries to do. I really don’t know, but there has to be a reason why the AL consistently bash Huddy in interleague play.

    I believe Tex will hit in the 2nd half….unfortunately we need him to start hitting now.

    Once again, Francouer is interviewed after last night’s game. I wonder if Bobby’s hands are tied in the way he can deal with “the future of the franchise”?

  26. As per the Soriano thing from the previous thread, I’m wondering why they haven’t given him the super duper MRI they gave Gonzo last year when they found microtears in his elbow that the normal MRI didn’t pick up. Is it possible that Soriano has refused this? It is getting rather evident that the Braves are starting to get fed up with him. They cannot continue to allow him to keep them twisting in the wind like this. I agree that it was a good trade (there’s really no disagreeing with that, actually), but that doesn’t really help us right now, does it?

    Also, as far as Mark Bradley, I’ve lived in Atlanta nearly all my life and Bradley has been an AJC columnist ever since I can remember, and I can tell you that I would be shocked if there’s a bigger suck-up in any major city newspaper in the country than Mark Bradley. He is exhibit 1A of what’s wrong with the Atlanta sports media. I’m not sure I’ve ever read an article by Bradley calling out anybody for anything. Now seriously, what kind of self-respecting sports columnist can say that? In fact, I read the Knoxville sports page a fair bit, as a Tennessee fan, and I can tell you that Mark Bradley is a bigger suck-up than half the people who work at that horrible paper.

    In any other major city, Francoeur would be getting lit up in the local media, but not here. Here the media rushes to the defense of one of the worst everyday players in the league. And people have come to expect this. If an AJC columnist tries to act like, you know, an actual major city sports columnist (usually either Jeff Schultz or Terence Moore – although Moore is a terrible writer), they get completely trashed because they’re not being a sycophantic suck-up. People then claim that the AJC secretly hates the local teams, which always makes me laugh. People here have no idea what a local sports media (or a local media period, for that matter) should look like.

  27. Here is how every Frenchy after game interview should go:

    Reporter: Jeff, you looked a little lost at the plate tonight and failed to deliver in some key situations, leaving 13 men on base. What happened?

    Frenchy: Well, every time I went to plate I told myself to be patient and wait for my pitch, but once I got up there I just started hacking away like a monkey on crack.

  28. Really? Michael Young can do this, but now National Leaguers like Randy Winn (2005 Mariners), Adam Kennedy (2005 Angels), and Alfonso Soriano (2005 Rangers) cannot? Not to mention the numerous former Athletics who have been dispersed throughout the majors by Billy Beane.

  29. Mac, easy guy I can almost see you frothing at your keyboard. LOL. Who cares if you are correct? I agree that the press is very kind to him. Its almost like HE has the pictures…….OF EVERYONE. But this isn’t the kid’s fault. Its Bobby’s. He decides who plays and who doesn’t. I simply don’t understand why he gets 700 PAs.
    And I don’t understand why KJ gets jerked around while Francouer gets to be a sink hole in the teams offense. But again its Bobby. Thats why I personally hold my venom back against the kid. He should be sitting but of course with Diaz and Kotsay on the DL we simply don’t have an alternative but to play him.

    On Soriano. It was Bobby’s quote in the AJC that led me to start all that. Very un Bobby like to leave it to the context police to parse his meaning.

  30. Or… Hudson is 9-5 with a 3.78 career ERA against the Mets, and has had some of his best games against a team that features former American Leaguers Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, and several others. Is it the uniforms?

  31. Tony, give it up. With the team scouting that goes on these days given your premise every game would be 12 to 10.

  32. “Really? Michael Young can do this, but now National Leaguers like Randy Winn (2005 Mariners), Adam Kennedy (2005 Angels), and Alfonso Soriano (2005 Rangers) cannot? Not to mention the numerous former Athletics who have been dispersed throughout the majors by Billy Beane.”

    Not to dismiss the other guys, but Michael Young is a career .300 hitter and has lifetime avg of .321 against Huddy. Wouldn’t be a bad guy to listen to. I’m not saying that is the sole reason for Huddy struggles against the AL, but I don’t believe we can completely dismiss it.

  33. You guys need to lay off Jeff. He’s a local guy who is going to get his 100 ribbies. I don’t see what is so bad about that. It’s not like he’s Andruw Jones.

  34. Bobby has no other optoins right now Johnny. He could bring someone up to replace him for a while, but at least Frenchy has some kind of track record (a little seasoned). If you want to blame someone, blame Wren for not getting some extra pop in that outfield when it has been apparent for 2 months now that it is a big sink hole.

  35. Not to pile on here, but it seems like the Braves are just being hoist on their own petard re: the Francoeur situation. I know the Braves organization isn’t a sabermetric darling, but I think it is unlikely that they don’t realize that Jeff is not a very good player- I just think that with him being the new face of the franchise, which they have encouraged, that their hands are tied. There are other options available, even within the organization, that could work for the short-term just to sit him down or give him some work in the minors, but I believe Wren and Cox probably feel like they cannot do that given his prominence in the Braves’ advertising, etc. Feels like the Astros with Biggio, once he really declined- it was hard to sit the guy since he was the face of the team. Although in his case, at least he earned that right, rather than just being granted it by fiat…

  36. @48 – he is exactly Andruw Jones, but without the power and defense (now that is really bad).

  37. Not to beat the point to death, but he is even more like Andruw in that fact that he is too d@mn stubborn to change. Andruw refused to change his approach, and he suffered greatly – as will Frenchy.

  38. I don’t blame Wren. Who do you trade for a viable outfielder? We have nothing. In Wren’s defense, EVERYONE projected Francouer to improve and NO ONE projected that Diaz and Kotsay would get hurt.

    You are all right there is no alternative but to wait and see if Francouer can start to hit.

  39. You know what would be funny? If the Braves non-tendered Francoeur this offseason after Francoeur twice turned down a long-term contract similiar to the one Brian McCann got.

  40. Sorry I forgot the [/sarcam] tag.

    Obviously he’s not Andruw Jones because until last year Andruw Jones looked like a lead pipe cinch for the Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t be surprised if he rebounds and still makes it but for some dumb reason we keep seeing comparisons of the two.

  41. I don’t understand what happen between last year and this year. Now to give Frenchy credit, last year he did change his approach by going to right and up the middle, but hit for no power. Over the winter he bulked up to hit more power..now he is not hitting period. Maybe he is just trying to hard.

    I still think he is too young to give up on…but the Braves needs to fix it in a hurry before he becomes an Austin Kearns, Cory Snyder, etc.

  42. I’m here to stick up for Mark Bradley on these points.

    First off, IMO, Mark Bradley is an outstanding sports columnist & always has been. And for basketball, I don’t think there’s a better columnist in all of the South. (Of course, I’m a writer/editor guy who once reported sports & wrote sports columns, so I’m looking at the craft of this as much as the content.)

    When you are a sports columnist, the idea is to make a point & substantiate it. It’s not supposed to make everyone happy. Quite the opposite, it’s supposed to make you think & discuss, kinda like what you’re doing right now. Some guys over-do it; I’ve never thought Bradley does.

    His take on Frenchy isn’t too terribly different from mine in the sense that he’s a flawed player, but at 24 he still has time to improve. He’s preaching some continued patience, which many of us are losing or have already lost. That’s not an earth-shattering plea, IMO.

    What he doesn’t investigate with depth is the legit fear that most of us share here: Frenchy will always be this way and, on a team like this, we just can’t have this kind of drag.

    But, if you notice the length of the column, this is probably one of those web-only-let’s-get-site-some-traffic columns—so I’ll not go crazy about that. For now.

    Also, if you don’t think that Bradley is paying attention to Frenchy’s level of play, I urge you to re-read his lede. He may be stating the obvious, but he’s hardly putting out a tomahawk-stamped press release.

  43. Good explanation about Francoeur, Mac. Cheers. It was exactly what I want to say….
    I strongly think Francoeur is the product of wrong marketing by John Schuerholz. I think he is not in slump. He just has tools. No skills. I would never regret it if we trade him. I don’t hate him, just don’t wanna watch that killing the Braves. I believe The pen is stronger than the sword. Let them know.

    I believe Tex will hit in the 2nd half….unfortunately we need him to start hitting now.

    Yes exactly. Normally TRex was a slow starter and Just remember he was a 2nd half guy, though. :-(

  44. does bobby not understand how to use a dh. if mccann is resting, bobby, he can dh. what is the matter with this guy?

  45. well the 1/2 season McLaren, and his Ozzie guillen impression, project didnt last very long did it? I guess the new GM is really trying to change things out there. They should really rebuild that franchise. I think Ichiro would look great in an ATL uniform, and no I’m not suggesting it so lets dont get all crazy here. Just a pipe dream

  46. Francoeur is hitting seventh!

    But worthless Corky is in the lineup. So much for Campillo’s personal catcher (will Corky starter next time Campillo pitches too?)

  47. I think that Tex will end up with a productive year–but not what the Braves had the right to expect. He is 28 and ought to be at or near his peak.

    It probably does not mean anything, but the scary thing to me is that Tex seems to have gotten worse sense coming to Atlanta. Andruw declined dramatically and I can only wonder why this happens….

  48. His take on Frenchy isn’t too terribly different from mine in the sense that he’s a flawed player, but at 24 he still has time to improve.

    Maybe he does, but let him improve at Richmond. RF is the second best offensive position on the field behind first. We have flushed that position down the toilet three straight years. For a team allegedly trying to win now, that is crazy stupid. Like most I am puzzled by the absolutely loyalty and lack of accountability Jeff is extended by this organization.

  49. I guess Adam Dunn is not going to the Blue Jays.

    From Blue Jays GM Riccardi:

    “Let me ask you something. What do you know about Adam Dunn?…He’s a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a ton and hits homeruns. Do you know that the guy really doesn’t like baseball all that much?…Do you know that the guy doesn’t have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player? There is a reason why you’re attracted to some players and there’s a reason why you’re not attracted to some players. I don’t think you’d be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here.”

    I guess that settles that.

  50. From “Hey Bill”… Can’t wait for the article.

    Win Shares questions… In the original book, you had Wally Berger drop from 33 to 21 WS between 1934 and 1935 despite remarkably similar numbers (150 games each season, three points higher on-base and two points higher slugging in 1935). The obvious difference here is that the team was far worse in 1935, one of the worst teams of all-time. So, two questions. 1) Does Win Shares “punish” players on historically bad teams? Berger wasn’t doing anything differently in 1935 than he had before. 2) Will Berger’s Win Shares/Loss Shares under the new system still show the seeming plummet in value despite the steady numbers?
    Asked by: Mac Thomason
    Answered: June 19, 2008

    See article, “Wally Berger and Friends”. . .will be published today or tommorrow.

  51. Joe Simpson’s dream has come true…today’s lineup:

    G. Blanco cf
    Y. Escobar ss 0
    C. Jones 3b
    M. Teixeira dh 0
    K. Johnson 2b
    G. Norton 1b 0
    J. Francoeur rf
    B. Jones lf
    C. Miller c

    Francoeur in the seven-hole could be permanent against right handed pitchers if this Blanco leadoff thing is not a one-night stand.

  52. The bottom line on Frenchy is he is never going to amount to anything but a mistake hitter unless he gets a better command of the strike zone. If he’s not swinging wildly at junk off the plate and in his eyes, he sits and looks at pitches right down the middle.

    I think he can probably get by, hit around .260 and get a jack every now and then, but until he starts swinging at strikes and laying off balls more consistently, he will be what he is. I’m personally shocked he hasn’t really improved that much, considering he seems like a somewhat bright person. How can he sit there and watch KJ, Chipper and McCann have good AB’s time after time and not have it rub off a bit?

  53. ryan–I’m Glad Cox is not having McCann catch an afternoon game in Texas but I agree that the smart play would be having McC DH to keep his bat in the lineup.

  54. Riccardi is over qualified for a job in the Reds broadcast booth. Nobody hates their own players more than the Reds announcers.

  55. I would get a mad at the line-up, but it is a day game after a night game…so McCann has to sit. And no he can’t DH b/c if Miller gets hurt…McCann will have to catch and the Braves would lose the DH.

    Expect big things from KJ out of the 5 hole.

  56. I’m not too excited about Norton and Corky in the same lineup, but at least Bradley is not starting for the Rangers.

  57. I take it I am not alone in the sentiment that I would much rather have a baseball-indifferent Adam Dunn than a hyper-baseball-loving Jeff Francoeur.

  58. better to keep McCann’s bat in the lineup and bear the small risk of losing the DH–Cox could always ph for the pitcher

    plus a pitcher hitting would actually be an upgrade over Corky :-)

  59. And no he can’t DH b/c if Miller gets hurt…McCann will have to catch and the Braves would lose the DH.

    So losing the DH is worse than losing 4-5 McCann ABs? Given that our DH rotation consists of Norton, Infante, and Miller, I think you are mistaken.

  60. I dunno. WTH. Blanco’s strength is getting on base. Why not?

    Ububba, I dunno about that Bradley. Shouldn’t he be calling Bobby out for playing Frenchy instead of writing yet another ‘lets be patient, he is only 24 column?

  61. I like this lineup, except for the whole Corky part. I’m anxious to see how this works out.

  62. “Riccardi is over qualified for a job in the Reds broadcast booth. Nobody hates their own players more than the Reds announcers.”

    Agreed. Marty Brenneman can be brutal, but I like listening to him.

    I think it’s good to give McCann a complete day off.

  63. Chip Caray: ‘As soon as he gets to .400, he gets a hit!’

    Right after that, 2 outs.

  64. Put me down in the ‘I like this lineup’ campaign. Hope Bobby uses this lineup when BMac is back in there (Of course moving him to the 5 spot and dropping KJ to the 6 spot).

  65. This is proof that Bradley doesn’t even use his press privileges to go to Braves games. No player gets more cheers than Francoeur. It’s not even close.

  66. A) sound the alarm. Chipper is under .400
    B) The two games I’ve been to this season the cheering was ALL about Chipper and not so much for anybody else (including Frenchy).

  67. ububba,

    The issue about the Bradley column isn’t so much that he is defending Francoeur as a player as that he seemingly wants Frenchy to be immune from any criticism. In most places, as others have pointed out, Frenchy would be booed off the field; in Atlanta, he is more popular than a .400 hitter and, as Mac points out, everyone seemingly treats
    his struggles as just a slump when it’s actually reflective of the kind of hitter he is.

    I don’t think the “he’s only 24 so give him time” defense works. In fact, he is finishing his third full season in the majors. Regardless of age, most hitters have figured it out by their third year. And most good hitters have figured it out by 24. Of course, the question is what are the expectations for Frenchy; if being a league average RF with some power is enough, then he might be that. But it seems unlikely at this point that he is going to be an outstanding player.

    As for why the Braves stick with him, one thing is that organizations hate to admit they made a mistake with their number one draft pick. Frenchy got so much publicity and hype even before he got to Atlanta that it would be rather embarrassing to admit he was a bust, especially given his popularity.

  68. Especially, Joshua, when you consider the fact that the catcher, who doesn’t even play every day, has nearly that many doubles alone.

  69. There is honestly no doubt in my mind, JC, that the locals would be more upset if we were to trade or otherwise get rid of Francoeur than they would be if we were to decide that we were selling this year and traded Chipper. Absolutely no doubt in my mind.

  70. Don’t worry…Chipper will get hot again.

    25 xbh is sad for the clean-up hitter. Wow. I didn’t realize it was that bad.

  71. Marc,
    Disagree about the number one draft pick thing. In baseball screwing up your #1 draft pick isn’t nearly as embarrasing as it is in football or basketball. Bobby sticks with him this season for one reason. He doesn’t have anyone else to play right field AND they are still waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for him to break out of his season long funk. The Braves aren’t a stats oriented team if they even pay attention to stat analysis at all. They are a scouting oriented organization where athleticism and how you look playing the game is more highly regarded. Lets face it this methodology has served them well. I am sure that because Francouer is so athletic….great arm, terrific bat speed, fast runner and all that he is getting a way longer leash than KJ, a better baseball player in my estimation has ever had.

    Again I’m not a Marc Bradley hater but if he were really a columnist he would be askng the 64 million dollar question. Why is Jeff Francouer the face of the franchise and why does he play 160 games a year?

  72. So I understand that the trend in Tex’s career is that he starts slow and heats up in the 2nd half. Seems like there are a number of players that do particularly well in one half and not the other.

    Performing well in the first half and then tailing off seems easy to explain as you get worn down by the season.

    But how does one account for heating up months after the season has started? It’s not cold anymore after the first few weeks in April. Is it psychological?

  73. I see Corky up, I say to myself “just don’t hit into a double play”, he hits into a double play… but at least a run scores I guess… sheesh.

  74. I’m just glad we got a run. Also, nice AB by Blanco, let’s see if Yunel can get another hit.

  75. Does anyone like research? Can someone find a worse semi-regular on any team than Corky Miller?

  76. Watching Salty is making me feel a bit better about the trade for Tex. Now, if Tex would start hitting….

  77. Yea that was dumb Chipper…please don’t stress that .400 and start getting Francouer on us.

    C. Shorter…the reason for slow start is a mystery. Is it psychological? Are they not in baseball shape? Don’t they see live pitching in spring training? I don’t think there is an excuse…

  78. I’m so dissolutioned when Chipper goes 0’fer and hits into double plays. When I spend the morning doing the math to see how long I I’d think he’d need to play to hit 500 home runs and 3000 hits I just don’t see him as mortal anymore.

  79. Let’s not forget that Chipper was hitting well over .400 with a lot of first pitch swings. If I recall he was seeing some of the fewest pitches of anybody in the NL for a while this season simple because he was following the old Pete Rose adage: “See the ball, hit the ball” and he’s been seeing it quite well so he hasn’t been arbitrarily holding off on swinging when they give him a pitch he thinks he can hit well. Now he may still be a bit fuzzy in the eyes because of the ball to the face still, but the guy hitting near .400 gets some leeway for knowing which pitches he should be swinging at… not so much the kid hitting .250.

  80. Nice job getting out of that inning by Charlie.

    Chipper won’t get 500 HRs and 3000 hits. But he won’t need them to get into the Hall. People are already talking about him this year as being close to inevitable, and a couple more years should cement it.

    Also, apparently everyone hates Tony Bernazard. That your perception too, Ububba?

  81. Isn’t the current GM in Seattle the interim GM until they find someone permanent? Does that mean he won’t make any moves? Wouldn’t the organization want the permanent GM to be leading the sale?

  82. Marte is below Corky on that list. No wonder the Indians recently signed Morgan Ensberg.

  83. Am I wrong, or have the Braves actually stolen multiple bases in this game? I didn’t know they were allowed to steal ANY bases, let alone more than one.

  84. Good to see Kelly be productive. I too am shocked by all this base stealing. Don’t the Braves know you’re only allowed to advance bases on hits?!

  85. and Norton even moved the runner over, setting the stage for ….

    a pop up from Frenchy.

  86. Andy Marte is on that worse hitters list also. Talking about a bust….

    KJ will have a huge day…as I stated earlier.

  87. Heh. So far, we’ve gotten two out of three runners in scoring position with fewer than two outs in today. So I’m feeling pretty good about that.

  88. Ahhhh that’s the team I remember. Thought it was bizarro day there for a second.

  89. BJ don’t be influenced by Frenchy. Watch Escobar or KJ at-bats. Patience, Patience, Patience.

  90. We should note that the Braves have been getting these stolen bases off of Saltalamacchia, and there’s a good chance they know things about him that he doesn’t know himself.

  91. When Francoeur gets a hit, it’s a nice job by him. When he fails, it’s the team doing the failing. I get it.

    Lando is definitely in the target audience for the Braves’ recent advertising campaigns.

  92. Glad Morton kept Hamilton in the park.

    I fear we will regret that Frenchy popup later. At least, he walked and scored the first run on the strength of the Corky GIDP.

  93. Boy, Morton’s fastball velocity sure does oscillate quite a bit. Or is he throwing a 4-seamer and a 2-seamer?

  94. Stu, Morton has a four seamer and two seamer. I think you could say he has five pitches.

  95. off topic: Bill James just posted a new article on BJOL that has a big quote from Mac as the lead in.

  96. I know BMAC is out of shape…but he is not sloppy fat like this Corky guy. He must be on the Bartolo Colon diet…This guy is becoming an embarassment.

    Charlie O’Brien, Eddie Perez, hell even Bruce Benedict can contribute more than this guy.

  97. I like Gregor. He’s seeing 4.06 pitches per plate appearance, you know, which would put him 29th in MLB (18th in the NL) in that category.

  98. Charlie is pounding the hell out of the strike zone. 70 pitches, 44 of them strikes. I guess he’s figured out how to fix those control problems he used to suffer from.

  99. 70 pitches, 44 of them strikes.

    Ignoring for the moment that you jinxed him…that’s not really all that great a ratio, is it? I mean, it’s obviously not terrible (and, as you note, an improvement over his historical minor league struggles), but I thought one had to get into the 2:1 strikes:balls territory before it became noteworthy.

  100. Yeah, Blanco is quickly shooting up the list of my favorite Braves players.

  101. Reading the posts of the Frenchy apologists in the comments of that AJC article is nothing short of hilarious.

  102. One of those tools actually blamed the “lack of love shown him by the fans” for his lack of production.

    My head exploded.

  103. What was that, AAR? LOL, j/k – he was pounding that strike zone before you said anything.

  104. Well, when I started writing it, it was 68:44, and 66:44 is obviously the exact 3:2 ratio.

    But that, as they say, has been overtaken by the facts, and now we all know that I’m an idiot.

  105. I would pull Morton, the walks may be a sign of tiring, and why not get him out with a chance to win (at worst a ND), let him end on a high note and build his confidence? That’s my thought.

  106. Morton looks like the real deal–not every rookie pitcher would have been able to limit the damage so well….

  107. And then Chipper grounds out again… as he IS super human I can only assume he’s trying to not dominate the team’s offense so they don’t use him as a crutch.

  108. Mort’s done a good job on the bottom half of the Texas order so far — no hits from the 5-9 hitters. So I’d send him out, but if he starts walking more people, yank him sooner rather than later.

  109. I know it’s because they’re doing well now and Davies/HoRam/James suck, but I feel that the trio of Jurrjens, Morton, Reyes has a much better long term prognosis than I felt about the previous three.

    How does anyone else feel long term?

  110. I would let Mort go one more inning, but I don’t want him facing the top of the order again.

  111. I’d have somebody ready to go, but let him come back out for the next inning if he wants to.

    and to Ethan’s question I do feel a bit better about them, though I still have hope that James will re-become a workable #5 member of the rotation

  112. I am agree with an early poster who said tha the Braves will regret not getting the run in from third when they had the chance a few innings ago.

    I hope Morton gets to pitch another inning. He should be able…

  113. I promised a big day for KJ…wish others would join.

    Wait this guy has a 4.91 ERA and has held the Braves to 2 runs through 6 innings? In Arlington?

    Does anyone know the timetable for Prado?

    This is becoming serious with Corky Miller. Especially since a lot of key guys aren’t hitting.

  114. I love the make-up of Jurrens. He has future ACE, stud written all over him.

  115. I promised a big day for KJ…

    I wish your powers were more reliable, Tony. I recall you promising a slump-busting performance from Francoeur yesterday, too.

  116. Meh. Decent outing, but he really seemed to lose it in the 5th/6th with all of the walks.

  117. A) yank Morton, get him out before he hurts his own psyche
    B) @211… forgot about him… hopefully we can hold onto them all for the time being to see who pans out and then maybe trade somebody for a bat or something.

  118. @215, it’s not so much that the powers aren’t reliable, they’re just not strong enough to overcome certain things.

  119. WOW. Prince Fielder hit an inside the park homerun an inning ago. It stuck under the padding in RF and Alex Rios acted like time should be called instead of getting the ball.

    Prince hit one last year off of a speaker in minnesota.

    That’s just crazy. Who had Prince Fielder in the hit an inside-the-park homerun in consecutive seasons sweepstakes?

  120. I do not understand how Ridgway so quickly earned Bobby’s trust, while Phil Stockman, the obviously better pitcher, cannot get a decent shot.

  121. “I wish your powers were more reliable, Tony. I recall you promising a slump-busting performance from Francoeur yesterday, too.”

    Well he got on base yesterday. We are talking about Francouer. Can’t expect the impossible.

    “Ridgway, huh?”

    Damn Bobby Cox…now Morton stands to lose it.

  122. My dodgers fan roommate were talking and we both think we’re fleecing the other. Granted Hudson is proven, but still…

    Hudson and Teixeira for Kemp Kershaw and Loney?

  123. That is some spectacular managing there. Bring in a scrub reliever that is holding down Stockman’s place in order to pitch to a guy who is ordered to bunt that can’t get it down who then hit’s a 3 run homer on the 0-2 count. MANAGEMENT!

  124. WOW, I think everyone saw that coming. You could have picked up anyone out of that bullpen (hell, maybe even the field) and it would have been a better choice than Ridgeway.

  125. More stellar bullpen management by Bobby Cox. My goodness–why does it take until mid-summer every year to get decent guys in supplementary roles? The Braves almost seem to enjoy the handicap of terrible middle relievers and horrible backup infielders. Sigh.

  126. If he has to bring in a left-hander and wants to save Ohman for later, why not use Ring? Duh. I hope Bobby realizes he made a dumbass decision by keeping Ridgway.

  127. Why the hell would you bring in Ridgway in that spot and not Ohman or Ring. Bobby’s incompetence costs us another game.

  128. I wonder what baseball would be like if the whole sport weren’t run primarily by morons.

  129. One run game, two men on base, switch hitter coming up. Great time to bring in the absolute worst pitcher on the staff. The fact that he is even on the roster is completely mind-boggling. He must give reacharounds.

  130. Ridgway truly sucks–and we traded not one, but two players to get him…Morton deserved a better fate, but then as a Braves starter this is part of his role…

    The way we are hitting we will be lucky to make this a one run game…

  131. Why would you want to save Ohman for later? It was the biggest spot of the game, in the 6TH INNING. Hmm, yeah, I’ll bring in my least reliable left hander.

    My god he is a moron.

  132. Oh, but everything is ok now guys – we have Frenchy and Miller coming to bat for us this inning!!! I feel bad for Jones having to hit b/w them (how is he supposed to learn anything).

  133. That was a dumb ass move by Cox…..maybe he is shock b/c Chipper is under .400.

  134. “…I feel bad for Jones having to hit b/w them (how is he supposed to learn anything).”


    I was just thinking the exact same thing. Just setting the man up for failure.

  135. With 2 outs Jeremy, I wouldn’t have PH for him. I’d do it in the 9th though – his spot will almost have to come up if we are to tie or win this game.

  136. has anyone every found out why Bryan Pena was not kept instead of Porky? my mother-in-law would as good and she’d play for less.

  137. I am hopeful that Corky will get two more at bats this game, and fail both times to drop below .100. If he can do it in the next two innings, that would be good.

  138. Were people aware that Chris Resop is pitching for Richmond? I assumed he was gone for good. I don’t know why I assumed anyone else wanted him.

    Hey, remember wun? LOL?

  139. It’s out of reach now braves14 – somehow this team seems to make every NOBODY look like the Cy Young winner. It’s rediculous how often we do this.

  140. Did anybody know that the RockinChrome theme for the Bravesjournal blog was designed by Cory Miller? Any relation?

  141. What other manager could use 5 pitchers through 7 innings of 4 run ball. That is crazy. It’s not like they’ve scored 9 or 10.

  142. 5th pitcher in less than two innings. What do you guys want to bet this game goes extras?

  143. If it goes extras, Bennett can pitch multiple innings. And do we still have Carlyle??? If we do, he can go a few as well.

  144. I kind of like Jeff Foxworthy and Jeff Bridges.

    Jeffrey Dahmer would be pretty low on the list.

  145. “Top of the order coming up. Need to get at least one this inning.”

    And then get the rest with the bottom of the order?…we better get three this inning.

    Pls walk Blanco…

  146. Francoer doesn’t see that many pitches in 2 games. Learn something you chump.

  147. Not wtching. What was the 15 pitch Blanco at bat like? ESPN’s GameCast showed all of those fouls (8?) in a row as in the strike zone and the called third strike.

  148. Hey ump, give the kid some credit – I think he knows the strike zone getting to 14 pitches.

  149. What’s with these called 3rd strikes? Wasn’t this guy squeezing the pitchers earlier?

  150. Dang that inning went downhill fast.

    No benefit for the 15-pitch at bat.

    Will we see Wilson in the 9th?

  151. If the ump is going to call that close garbage you’d better be swinging. At least Escobar hit the ball hard.

    Hamilton looks like a heckuva smooth ballplayer all the way around.

  152. Now that Chipper has hit a cool spot…look for him to go on the DL anytime now.

  153. What are the chances with Tex and Frenchy coming up that we can get 2 runs in the inning?

  154. AAR,
    Sorry, didn’t read the link, but Tony Bernazard is indeed the least favorite sports figure in NYC right now. He, apparently, would pass on “private & critical” Randolph evals on certain Met players to those very Met players. He’s getting killed in the press & he should be.

    Re: Frenchy
    I would like to hear alternatives to Frenchy. I haven’t heard anything yet. If we have someone in the system who’s better, he should be playing, but we don’t yet and so he’s not.

    And this “face of the franchise” stuff, I don’t get. There are plenty of mediocre-to-bad players on other clubs that enjoy fan support. Who cares which players are popular? I don’t.

    I remember when Wade Boggs went into a slump & a good chunk of Yankee fans thought that playing Charlie Hayes at 3B was the answer. I mean, what do you say to that? Me, I ignore it.

    There’s a fundamental disagreement about Frenchy among segments of its fanbase. For the moment, I’m not going to go crazy about it—not until they offer him another long-term contract.

    Until then, I’ll hope he bats no higher than 6th & wins a few games for us in the process. I know what he is, but I refuse to be consumed by it. I hope he improves & if he doesn’t, I hope the Braves have the good sense not to hitch their future on him. But that’s another conversation.

    I’m out, off to MSG to see REM tonight. Go Braves.

  155. I hope we score at least one here.

    I would hate to waste another road loss without upping our infamous streak.

  156. I wouldn’t, Mac. We might need those guys to pinch-hit. We do have Norton, Frenchy, and Miller coming up.

  157. I think Bobby keeps replaying the shot Norton hit in Great American over and over in his head.

  158. at least we get to keep frenchy in the doghouse. he has a chance to make the last out.

  159. Now that Chipper has cooled off a little…this offense is beyond shitty.

    We were laughing at the Mets and their problems…the Braves will soon be below the Mets.

  160. Crud. I thought Norton had homered.

    Francoeur, do something right for once this season.

  161. “I would like to hear alternatives to Frenchy.”

    Well, he came into this game with an OPS+ of 89. He can basically be replaced by almost any league-average outfielder, which means that they Braves don’t really need to look internal to replace him.

  162. letting Francoeur hit and having Infante on deck but not using McCann as a ph is insane

  163. Mac, you have got to keep up with the insults on Norton. They work every time – it’s crazy.

  164. WTF Infante on deck. Isn’t McCann like our 2nd best hitter? I will not miss you Bobby Cox.

  165. What luck.

    Come on, just one more. No double plays here, please.

    Oh, and if it gets to Corky and McCann doesn’t pinch hit I will join the “fire Bobby” bandwagon.

  166. Talk about your proverbial “moment of truth” for Francoeur — let just say that even though he delivered in this at bat (vindication, Mark Bradley!), I’m not going to hold my breath.

  167. That’s just it…absolutely no game awareness. First base open, Wilson was throwing junk up there and yet he couldn’t lay off after getting 2-0.

  168. Man, all we need is a fly ball and Bobby keeps Infante in there. Wouldn’t BMac be the obvious choice here?

  169. I almost choked on my popcorn….Norton doubled!!!

    Francouer finally….

    C’mon Omar….

  170. Watch McCann not get into this game. Bobby has a nasty habit of leaving his best available bat on the bench in close-and-late situations.

  171. It shows how far my confidence in this team has fallen that I see the DP as the expected outcome here.

  172. Did Infante just execute some fundamental, SITUATIONAL hitting? What’s wrong with these guys?…….and maybe Bobby still has a little left upstairs, since he sent McCann to the plate.

    You think Ron Washington is considering demoting C.J. Wilson from the closer role? Just a thought.

  173. Obviously Bobby didn’t learn anything from last Thursday. Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

  174. Agree. Mac needs a complete day off. Maybe Cox finally sees what a waste a guy hitting .100…and while I’m typing Boyer gives up a leadoff double.

  175. More pitching changes! Anyone wondering why there are eight relievers, it’s so that Bobby Cox can make three pitching changes an inning–and feel important, I guess.

  176. I just realize the Braves have the identical record as the Rangers…so I guess we are looking at two very average teams.

  177. Heh. Pete just pointed out that we could’ve walked Young and had Ohman in for two more lefties. Which would have been a Good Idea (IMO).

  178. He should have sent Ohman out to left field and then brought him back to face the next 2 lefties!

  179. I don’t like this. I feel like Bennett’s been on the mound for three or four Braves’ walkoff losses already this season.

  180. Did he just burn Gonzales?

    That’s what GameDay says, but I am sure it is not true. Right?

  181. Heh. Pete just pointed out that we could’ve walked Young and had Ohman in for two more lefties. Which would have been a Good Idea (IMO).

    Was just wondering why that didn’t happen…

  182. I definately would have left Ohman in there – somebody still has to pitch to Hamilton.

  183. #417 – Wow. Just wow. How can Cox miss these basics? I really think he is no longer sharp.

  184. at least frenchy makes up for his poor offensive performance with gold glove caliber fielding

    wait, wait…base hit to left, jeff charging – he’s got a chance! – oh.

    nevermind. forget everything i said.

  185. Anyone wondering about the 1-run losses, at some point you have the think ‘luck’ has less to do with it than ‘incompetence.’ I don’t even feel upset anymore.

  186. This one-road road thing stopped being “luck” somewhere around the 10th consecutive loss.

  187. Happy points:

    We saved Morton from the loss.

    We extended our streak of futility

    And Bobby Cox can’t live forever.

  188. I’d say it’s the wins in close games (I know there haven’t been many) which have been the lucky ones over the last few years.

  189. does bobby cox know how to coach for an extra inning game? even if ohman cant pitch to righties (which he’s proven he has), bobby would have burned every one of our relievers, except carlyle, in the 9th inning. that’s just stupid baseball. stockman>bennett. carlyle and bennett on the roster is overkill. ridgway, ohman, ring, and gonzalez on the roster together is overkill. bobby has never been “stupider”.

  190. yep, it’s not bad luck when you lose 22 one-run games in a row. bad teams find a way to lose the close ones.

  191. I apologize for #432. I should have said “manage” instead of “live.” I went too far.

  192. Beyond luck, losing one run games is mostly attributable to

    1. bad bullpen

    2. bad managing.

    It is evident that we are having lots of trouble with 2. That, in turn, is affecting 1.

    We need Tony Bernzaard (or whatever) to come fire our manager and hitting coach. If he really wants to fire a few more, then let them go.

    This is beyond absurd.

  193. A one run road loss….that never happens!

    What is Boyer’s record now…about 1-9?

    Oh yeh, Francoeur sucks. He should had got that runner in from 3rd early in the game too.

  194. Bobby’s ability to get players to like him = 8
    Bobby’s game management = -3
    (Dusty Baker level is -5)

  195. Actually, Stu “live” may be the operative word. That is, as long as Bobby has a pulse, Management will keep him.

    Maybe he will still have a contract when he is in the Ted Williams Freeze – O – Rama.

  196. Great and when the Braves get back to Atlanta…they to get to face a lefty. Erik Bedard.


    1) Bobby Cox

    2)Jeff Ridgeway

    3)Terry Pendleton.

    If only to have a different voice…Wren get rid of Pendleton.

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