301 thoughts on “Hard to fit “Kotchman” into that game thread: April 10, Nats at Braves”

  1. Huge Game Tonight! Get off to a 3-1 Start! Lowe can have back to back great starts.

    Gotta beat the teams we should beat, and we should have the talent to compete with the teams that are in the upper echelon

  2. Oh boy. The Nationals! They only sweept us 2 or 3 times last year. Do they still have the slugging Langerhans?

  3. Stu,

    Saw an interview with Vandy’s baseball coach and was impressed with his Everyman (2nd-favorite Jackson Browne song) quality.

    What’s your take on him? Would you want your son playing for him (even if you weren’t black&gold)?

  4. I’m ok with giving up offense for defense in the middle infield, but 1st base?

    Are we the only team that doesn’t have SOME power there? With our power-challenged outfield (unless Schafer stays on track to hit 100 homers), it just won’t do to have a .220 singles hitter at 1st.

  5. Going to the game tonight, but they are calling for some big time storms. Hopefully they either play the game or call it before I get down there.

  6. How Bobby Cox Should Manage (overheated fanbase version):

    C – McCann (162 starts)
    1B – Somebody Else (162 starts)
    2B – KJ (162 starts)
    SS – Escobar (162 starts)
    3B – Chipper (every day he’s passably healthy, to be defined by me)
    LF – Somebody Else (as of May 1, and for every game thereafter)
    CF – Schafer (162 starts)
    RF – Somebody Else (162 starts)
    Bench – Pinch-hit for pitchers, defensive replacements
    SP – Lowe, Vazquez, Kawakami, JJ, Whomever Cox Doesn’t Pick
    Bullpen – It’s a secret. My plan will be rolled out as the season progresses. You will receive a clue (to be posted here) each time a reliever of Cox’s choice gives up a run.

  7. I think we’re looking good — the worst of the weather is missing us to the north. I hope Pete’s getting warmed up — takes longer as you get older!

  8. 6 — Sansho1, I think you’ve got it about right. Maybe add Hanson to the rotation and possibly Peavy. Possibly Peavy… sounds like a bad sitcom.

  9. Geez…Kyle Davies pitched 7 scoreless for the Royals earlier this week.

    Wasnt his last start for us the one where he couldn’t even get out of the first inning?

  10. Obviously, I’m overstating for effect, but there was a brief discussion at the end of the last thread that seemed to indicate that the predominant position of regular posters here is that Cox is poor at in-game decisions. So I’m piping up to say that some of us (or maybe just me) disagree with some of his decisions, but believe he has legitimate reasons for most of them — often based on evidence we either ignore as inconvenient, or aren’t privy to.

  11. I think Bobby has logical reasons for his decisions, but I still don’t always agree with them. Plus, my hindsight is way better than his foresight.

  12. Yeah, that Bobby Cox is a bum of a manager. Hasn’t EVER done ANYTHING good for the Braves.

  13. Strategist / tactician – different skill set.

    14 straight titles – great stategist.

    Liebrandt in to face Puckett – just the first of many inane tactical decisions.

    Defer to your pitching coach, dammit!

  14. “there was a brief discussion at the end of the last thread that seemed to indicate that the predominant position of regular posters here is that Cox is poor at in-game decisions.”

    I don’t want to speak for anybody else, but I think that a lot of people who post here do think that. I don’t think so, but a lot of people do. Now, some of it is just armchair managing, but some people have real gripes with his bullpen usage and other preferences.

  15. I clearly identified my gripes, and none of them were starting lineup or substitution related.

    It’s mostly sacrifice bunt and use of closer related.

    Game three had nothing to do with it. While others were griping about how Bobby cost us game 3, I used the opportunity to identify the things I think he does poorly, for the sake of generating discussion.

    I also didn’t single him out. My first comment on the matter was that Bobby, like every other manager in the MLB, seems beholden to the Save stat, and too rarely uses the best arm in the pen in important 7th and 8th inning situations.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions as to whether he sucks, is good, or it doesn’t matter.

    I tend to think he’s bad at those two things, and that it mostly doesn’t matter.

    I also think it’s easier to identify a Cox decision that costs us a game than it is to identify one that wins us a game. It’s kind of unfair when the only way to judge is

    A) the decision obviously cost us the game, thus it was bad

    B) the decision didn’t cost us the game, thus it was irrelevant.

    I don’t know how to give Bobby credit for us winning games. How do you evaluate a babysitter’s performance? When I left, my child was alive and healthy, is that still the case? If not, that’s obviously bad, if yes, that’s basically the reason you hired him to begin with, no special praise for just doing your job.

    Bobby basically babysat JS’s kids for years, and was excellent at not letting them die. I say they were pretty exceptional kids who were probably safe to be left alone. Wren’s kids? Who knows?

  16. Geez…I want the Braves to win, but living here in DC I need something to keep me busy over the summer. So hopefully the Nats can win one or two games.

    This will hopefully be Bobby Cox and Manny Acta last year.

  17. hank,
    Real good dude. Good to his players, good with the media, active in the community, etc. He’s not quite on Bobby Johnson’s level of awesomeness, but I’d be excited if my son got a chance to play for him.

  18. Bobby is ok. I think his value is that he is a good motivator, he does get the most out of middle of the road guys. Look back to Willie Harris and guys like that. He believes in his guys, and the guys play hard for him. I think having harmony in the clubhouse goes a long way. As far as in game decisions go, lately it seems like he is a little out to lunch. But he has a World Series Ring and 14 straight championships, and im a freshman high school baseball coach!

  19. Also, Kotchman has to pick his game up, otherwise, we need to find some power there, or add it in the Left Field Spot. Jones and McCann are really our only pop

  20. Oh I love Bobby Cox, most of the time. Garrett Anderson is hurt already? There goes those 25 HRs he was going to hit this year. Man my sarcasm is awful.

  21. Ha, thus the need for the sarcasm meter!
    Garret Anderson reminds me too much of the Raul Mondesi experiment, its going to end badly

  22. 20

    I believe you have it pegged. Cox’ biggest attribute is in relationship management. He communicates well with the players, treats them like men, and they play hard for him and show him great respect. I also think he’s a pretty good baseball man and has spent over 40 years in professional baseball.

    Strategically, I think he’s pretty average. I’ve never felt the Braves had some kind of tactical advantage with him on the pine. He often makes moves that are highly questionable, and these have seemed to be more frequent as time has passed. With that said, the really great managers combine both good clubhouse management and good field management. Those managers are few and far between, but a guy like Tom Kelly is probably a pretty good example of that.

  23. 25

    You know, I can see it from his perspective as well. I am a varsity football coach, as well as a frosh baseball coach in high school. I am a TOTAL players coach, I give them ownership of the team, and my kids love me and play very hard for me. That being said, sometimes, I can see, when I take a step back, that I trust certain kids maybe more than I should, out of faith to them.

    Tactically, I can make it up, because I feel im good with my X’s and O’s. Cox, believes in his guys, loves his guys, and thinks they can get him through anything, and has no problem playing them every day, because thats his way. It works when you get a guy like Chipper in a slump. But a guy like Frenchy who was 0-the year last year, didnt need faith, he needed a seat

  24. Like Dix, my gripes usually reside in too many bunts or poor use of the bullpen (overuse or leverage issues). Maybe it would help if the guys he directs to bunt could get them down better. Even then, it’s a lot of outs to give up.

    I too think Bobby’s a great manager of baseball players. I still pledge allegiance to him… but I’m not whole hearted in my support like I used to be.

  25. Bobby is a great players coach and nearly everyone who’s every played for him loves him. His problem is “in-game” decision-making. He has never been great at this but it seems to me that he was better when we had Corrales, Yost, and Leo. I think he listened to them and made better decisions. Am I wrong?

  26. Our April schedule is as easy as it’s going to get, I don’t see a single series that we shouldn’t win, and there’s a couple, starting today with the Nats, you’d have to say we should sweep.

    First serious road trip begins on May 6, 2 with the Fish then three-game sets with the Phils and Mets. Really want to be heading into that one with some momentum.

    Elsewhere, Jason Marquis is shutting down the Phils in Coors today. A good solid win today for us would go a long way toward making Wed. look like an anomaly.

  27. so we arent even 4 games into the season yet and we are calling for Kotchman’s head. geez, relax folks

  28. Kotchman is a strange character, though. He sports some crazy facial expressions when he talks in the few interviews that I’ve seen.

  29. Is this game going to be played whilst Fulton county’s tornado warning is in effect?

    Oh man, they brought “Jay Jay” back.

  30. You know, Jeffy just had a nice at-bat. Spat on the first two pitches, which were pitcher’s pitches; took a few others for balls, fouled a few more tough ones off; just took another one, and got back from 0-2 to 3-2.

    Finally he lined out on the 8th pitch. But that’s okay. That’s an at-bat I like seeing from him.

    It does piss me off to see the Braves waste a leadoff double, though.

  31. Well, just got off the phone with Comcast. They indicated that they are having broadcasting issues with the Braves’ Extra Innings station and that the matter should be resolved within 24 hours.

    I think the game might be over by then.

  32. The good news is, maybe we get to look at a bullpen who needs to redeem themselves tonight

  33. I have Comcast as well. Is it a Comcast issue or an Extra Innings issue? Also, where can I go to physically assault whomever is responsible for this issue?

  34. Freaking previous game on same channel is in a rain delay, so they figure lets show that game until it is complete before showing the Braves game. Stupid Extra Innings!

  35. I know its early in the year. We shouldnt think people are bad yet, and on the flip side, we shouldnt cannonize anyone yet, but i LOVE Schaefer so far!

  36. Its an Extra Innings related issue, i have cablevision and it is out.
    MLB Tv has had a ton of highlights and live cuts of the game though.

  37. For a team that was supposed to have very little power, we’re doing a good job of hitting the ball over the fence.

  38. McCann with a 190 ft. double. That’s the kind of thing that happened to us last year.

  39. Puzzling at bat by Kotchman there. For a guy who seems to have been relatively selective in his career, he likes to spoil pitches that are clearly balls.

    Also, Chip must have been given a thesaurus in the offseason…he’s said “deluge” at least 4 times. Maybe he just likes Jackson Browne, I don’t know. As long as he doesn’t keep up his obsession with the word “fisted.”

  40. Ha! I think Kotchman may suck too. He has to be a gap hitter, singles and doubles, but he is doing neither, rather, making big outs at bad times.

    Please get this thing through 5 and a half

  41. I love the fact that TBS just held Bloopers for rain delays, it was always great. It was like a substitute teacher that always left a movie when s/he was out!

  42. I live about a mile east of the stadium, and it just started raining hard again. The radar looks like another 20 – 30 minutes worth.

  43. Skip was funny in those little check-ins during rain-delays, running down the quality of the interim entertainment with just his voice. Nobody ever did snide better.

  44. uh – oh. Just had a power outage that came back on.

    edit – It’s now raining so hard , and hailing, that my satellite box cant get a signal

  45. ha, true with skip. Im praying for a rain out for my game tommorow. Ihave NO Pitching, we will get killed! I used 5 guys last game, they cant be used tommorow!

  46. The game finally came on Extra Innings. The Cleveland game that is..

    It sure is nice to have a cable bill that’s $45 more expensive every month for this shit.

  47. Skip was like a subversive Mr. Rogers for kids of my generation. He taught you how to commit to something that was likely to disappoint you and weather it with gallows humor. The mid to late 80s Braves were the perfect life training exercise.

    I really miss the bastard.

  48. Hey Skip gotta trivia question for ya…

    Great – you ask the question and I say “I don’t know”. Go ahead, caller.

  49. Joel, I just turned on the mlb audio and they said they will play, but it won’t be the starters.

  50. In my experience the crap that’s going on with the Extra Innings package is purely 100% Comcast. I called them on Sunday and asked them how many of the games this year were going to be in HD if I bought the Extra Innings package, and they told me zero, that was my breaking point.

    Called DirecTV, they came and installed on Monday, and now tonight I have the MASN HD feed and the Peachtree (not HD) feed. There is no question having had both that DirecTV’s Extra Innings package is 1000 times better overall.

  51. I think my mlb.tv just glitched. Did I actually see Kotchman get a base hit with two outs?

  52. Bennett should, theoretically, be the Gryboski/Paronto DP guy out there, but since he can pitch long relief…

    And Chip blurts out his first “fisted” of the year. I’m sure there will be many more.

  53. Wow. As bad as our bullpen was on Wed, I still prefer everyone we have to Ledezma and Tavarez. Of course we only score one run and get struck out 4 times against those jokers. By the way, CBS Sportsline has the game and I think it’s much better than the SI link.

  54. Didn’t Ridgway get DFAd? The CBS Sportsline link has him listed as part of our bullpen – I might prefer Ledezma!

  55. Maybe it’s just because of my fondness for former Albuquerque Isotopes, but I wouldn’t mind trading for Willingham and platooning him with Ganderson in left and platooning Diaz with Kotchman at first.

  56. 128—That would not be a great idea, defensively. You’d be making the defense worse half the time at both positions.

  57. Stu, I don’t have any statistical data to back this up, but I’d say left and first are the positions you can get by with ‘less’ defense than the other 6 and would say that those are usually the two positions where you can’t get by with far below average offensive production.

    My point being that in those positions you can afford to substitute offense for defense and get by.

  58. 131…agreed, isnt that what extended spring training is for? this is painful, he’s right around a year removed from tommy john for pete’s sake

  59. jj, the thing is, in that scenario, you’re gaining the difference between Kotchman and Willingham against lefties. That’s not worth the downgrade from Diaz to Willingham in left and Kotchman to Diaz at first, or at least I’d be surprised if it were, even at those positions.

    Sigh at our bullpen and Bobby’s management thereof.

  60. please…call me Dork…nah, but yeah, you’re right, bout a year since he hit the DL, i forgot that they took the “let’s see if the bone spur heals with rest” approach…

  61. I guess it’s up to the starters to go at least 7 innings before we bring in gonzo and soriano.

  62. Where did Sportsline get their roster? They have Jason Perry listed as a bench player. What happened to that guy?

  63. 151 — I’m hoping tomorrow. Moylan’s one of my favorites… let the man get right.

  64. If you’re going to play for Bobby Cox and bat 2nd or 8th, your #1 priority is to learn how to bunt – got that Schafer?

  65. They will be faced with having to bring up Hansen to come out of the bullpen if these clods don’t get there shit together. Their going to have to convert Reyes, Morton or Hansen at some point. Or make a trade. You simply can’t win with Bennett, Moylan, and Caryle

  66. That notebook that McDowell is going through, is really the MLB classified ads for relievers who can throw strikes.

    That or he’s going to star in one of those
    “Want to get away” commercials.

  67. That was Bennett’s plan all along – load the bases and then get a DP. Come on Braves, don’t let the Nationals do what they did last year to you.

  68. McCann is a beast. Kotchman, c’mon. Show something

    EDIT: Critic Silencing time Jeffy

    EDIT: Done and done!

  69. 183 — you are correct.

    All in good fun. I’m glad Frenchy came through and hope he continues to do so.

  70. Anyone else in South Carolina having problems with Peachtree? I get it on Time Warner’s digital tier (or whatever) and it just went out about an hour ago. Oh well, looks like I didn’t miss much.

    @159 – Your short, declarative sentences have me convinced. To hell with sample size, the sky is clearly falling!

  71. Unreal… kelly johnson is the slowest leadoff man in MLB hands down. He looked like a Trisomy 21 running out there

  72. braves14 – Ah well, I’m stuck in this apartment building for the next few months, so no satellite for me. By the way, we beat Ole Miss today, snapped something like a 7 game streak for them.

  73. He was plenty fast enough. That was a one hopper to Dukes and a throw anywhere close to the plate had him easy. Bad decision by the 3b coach.

  74. Is gonzalez really a closer? I mean seriously you can’t give up at least 2 hits everytime you go out in the 9th

  75. That’s the most brutal “double” I’ve seen since one of those Furcal bunt doubles.

  76. Ok I just got home and now I get to listen to Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble. Is Dibble drunk??

    By the way, who is the normal defensive replacement for Diaz?

  77. sheesh–next time Diaz can just wave a red cape at the ball as it passes by

    so far this year–only 4 games obviously–the Nats have better LF defense than the Braves

  78. Yeah, I wonder if Mike Gonzalez is qualified to be a closer. I don’t think he’s ever had a streak of 20+ straight saves or anything.

  79. Is it just me or does Gonzalez have no faith in his fastball? I seem to remember him throwing a lot more good ones when he was on the Pirates and mowing down Braves.

  80. Dibble is absolutely horrible. I’m wondering if he is sober? Or will he even last through the season. Poor Bob Carpenter.

  81. I wish Gonzo would figure out how to get one over the plate once he’s got two strikes on a guy….

    Let’s see how this Milledge thing goes.

  82. Mraver…

    I guess you are right. I just thought people like Rocker threw harder…nevermind he was roided up. Didn’t Gonzo throw harder before the injury?

    Well damn. Bullpen strikes again.

    Is Dibble serious? Is anyone else listening to this guy??

  83. Gonzo shouldn’t be the closer… Soriano needs to take over that roll. This shit is embarassing. It’s like a flip of the coin if Gonzo can even throw a strike

  84. It’s really weird too, because when I hit live it sometimes goes forwards a few pitches and other times it goes back a batter. They really need to fix the bugs in the service.

  85. Ehh. Gonzo got what should’ve been 5 outs that inning, but Diaz booted the first one and then Gonzo deflected the would-be 4th one. Let’s see if Chipper and Mac can win it for us in the bottom of the inning….

  86. At first look, I thought he f’ed up going for it, but, yeah, like Dix said: Gonzalez saved the game by touching that.

  87. Rob Dibble is a complete clown. Also, the Nats post-game show looks like a local newcast circa 1986.

  88. Man, sure is a good thing we sent KJ instead of giving Chipper a shot last inning…..

    Hah! Nice baserunning, Chipper!

  89. It’s scary to think about how good Chipper would have been if he wouldn’t have torn his ACL in ’94.

    Not to say he isn’t a HOF now, but adding the speed element, it’s scary to think about when combined with his already good instincts.

  90. I wonder when teams will starting pitching around McCann? Well at least Krotchman got on base, now let’s see who is batting next…..

  91. This bullpen sucks. Soriano is the only one I’ve see so far that inspires any confidence at all.

    I was resistant initially, but I’m starting to agree with AAR. I’d be down for throwing Moylan on the 15 day DL, DFA’ing Irish and bringing up Medlin and JoJo.

    Every other part of the team is looking fairly solid. Though the defense is shittier than I’ve expected so far.

    This bullpen is a joke though.

  92. I have to work tomorrow, so this is the last inning for me, whatever happens. Since Boyer will probably pitch, I’m guessing that it won’t be anything good.

  93. As much as they’re asked to do it, you’d think everyone on the roster could bunt anything between the batters’ boxes.

  94. YES!!

    Also, suck it, platoon splits! It’s the two lefties that get the hits off of LOOGY Beimel while the RHB grounds out weakly to 3rd. :-D

    Great win.

  95. An eventful 3-1, but 3-1 nonetheless. With Schafer in the lineup and the Escobar back healthy, this lineup actually makes me feel a bit more secure. That we have no bullpen is nothing new.

  96. I’m just glad it took us an extra inning so Gonzalez didn’t get rewarded for his blown save with a win.

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