Mets 4, Braves 3

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 05, 2009 – ESPN

Hate growing.

The Braves were facing Livan Hernandez, a man they normally kill when Eric Gregg isn’t in the building. So, of course, they failed to score a run until he was out of the game — Slugging Pinch-Hitter Martin Prado with a two-out double to score Francoeur. Somehow, Jordan Schafer, who is supposed to be the fastest man on the team, couldn’t score from first on the play, which would have tied it.

It would have tied it because for five innings Kenshin Kawakami somehow managed to give up only two runs, despite allowing eight hits and walking three and throwing 113 pitches. It was like he was facing us or something. O’Flaherty threw two shutout innings and Soriano one to keep the Braves in it.

Chipper, I have to say, was the goat. He lined into a bases-loaded double play in the third. In the top of the ninth, after Reyes reached, the Mets for some reason bunted. You don’t bunt with Jose Reyes on the bases, it’s ridiculous. At any event, Chipper decided to get the lead runner and threw the ball into center field. As I’ve said many times, TAKE THE OUT, STUPID..

Leading by three in the ninth, the Mets brought in Rodriguez, because why not? He got the first two, but then KJ, pinch-hitting, singled, and Sammons, in for Ross because of an earlier inexplicable pinch-hitting decision by Bobby, walked. Infante popped up to end it, but Delgado dropped the ball, all hands safe, and a run in. Unfortunately, Infante couldn’t get to second on the play, which mattered because Escobar singled to make it 4-3. Chipper worked the count to 2-1… and flew out weakly, ending the game. Sheesh. Everyone’s going to have a bad night, but that was a doozy.

The Braves just suck right now. They’re terrible. They ground into double plays and pop up and Garret Anderson hit cleanup because Bobby thinks it’s 2001.

93 thoughts on “Mets 4, Braves 3”

  1. Actually, IMO Chipper had the right idea on the Murphy bunt, which was terrible.

    He had Reyes out at second by a decent margin. He just chucked it into CF.

  2. Mac – I don’t want to jump the gun here, but I think I might be starting to hate this team.

  3. Why hate this team? They scored two runs in the ninth just to make it another one run loss. Gotta love them.

  4. I usually don’t hate this team until mid-June.

    I’m confused on what to do right now.

  5. At least we have a Pulitzer-worthy piece to look forward to over at CnC tomorrow.

  6. I want to like this team so much…

    It’s not only that they lose, but it seems like in doing so, they have to destroy every positive feeling that we, as fans, may generate.

    sigh…

  7. The play at second is a tough play, even with a bad bunt, especially with Reyes running. Chipper can’t make the assumption that Escobar is ready to make the play, and there’s no backup because Infante is covering first. TAKE THE OUT.

  8. Well, last year, I wrote that “This team couldn’t medal at the Special Olympics,” on April 30, though they went on a hot streak after that.

  9. GA batting cleanup…after missing most of ST…and after refusing a rehab assigment.

    Shame first on Frank Wren on signing GA as an offensive savior for the OF…and shame second to Bobby for batting him cleanup…GA belongs in extended ST.

    Tough game for Chip. But you won’t see him as the goat for many games. The line out that double Infante off second wasn’t that bad…as he hit it square. The mishandled bunt was really the difference in the game (the Braves nonexistent offense, notwithstanding.)

    This team is not a good team. That’s the bottom line.

    Frank Wren, you suck…the make up of this team sucks.

    Kawakami…what a waste of money. For someone that made his mark with control in Japan…he has been anything but the model of control in the real Big Leagues. You watch, he’ll blame his shoulder and be on the DL within a week or two.

    Damn, I hate watching this team play. It’s a disgrace.

  10. We were completely shut down by Livan Hernandez. I heard that if you do that, there’s something really WRONG with your offense.

  11. if you said that about this year’s team it’d be unfair to special olympians

  12. you can blame Chipper, but in reality this team lost 4-1. Im putting this on TP. No one in the lineup is hitting and that falls on the hitting instructor. Why is no one showing any signs of improvement and when they do its because they met with some guy in Texas or BMAC’s dad or Chippers dad. This lack of offense is ridiculous. On a bright note, we get Hamels on friday. Someone needs to get Hamels back to being an ace. Start him if you can

    TP’s game plan for every game. “Lets get them early, swing early in the count, look for fastballs.” Every night it backfires and we make Livan and everyone else look like CY Young

  13. braves14 – You and I, of all people, should not be looking forward to SEC football.

  14. We can’t possibly go 0-11 again. We have 12 games now! Seriously, I think we’ll be okay this year.

  15. I know I was surprised when Anderson went 0-4 tonight, well, not really. I’ve never been big on the concept of protection, but those batting after Chipper lately have seemed to affirm it. Chipper’s simply being pitched around and it’s working.

  16. #15 Can’t say it much better than that! Pay some respect to the special olympians!!!

  17. Hanson line per XM Radio

    6IP 1ER (HR to Langerhans) 10K

    season

    1.69ERA 26.2IP 19H 9BB 38K

  18. This is still a better team than last year and we’re making progress, it’s just that we’re getting bad luck on top of maximum punishment for every single mistake we do make.

    McCann’s eye problem is just terrible luck; you can count on catchers missing time from collisions at the plate or soreness or whatever else, but without him holding down the cleanup spot it’s like the Braves are determined to rehabilitate the concept of “protection.”

    Garret Anderson everyone knew was a mistake and I can only hope that he stays this bad so we don’t have to suffer through a whole year of it. He should’ve been down in the minors rehabbing today but refused to go; if Brandon Jones had been in the lineup I have a hard time seeing us losing this particular game. (Maybe I’m imagining it, but I detect an undertone of incredulity from Don and the other media guys when they talk about how important Bobby thinks Garret will turn out to be this year.)

    This is probably an 85-win team in a tough division, _if_ the obvious bad decisions are tossed out and luck reverts to normal. But if things keep going this way I’d rather blow the team up as soon as arbitration isn’t an issue and let the kids take their lumps to get ready for a better run next year.

  19. I am not sure that this is even an 85 win team, but ever since 2008 it made sense to look forward to 2010 and 2011.

    I really hope we get to see more of Brandon Jones–if only to give him a chance to develop into a useful player….

  20. Fair enough…my main point is to look to 2010 and beyond….

    On a positive note, J.J. Hoover is really doing the business at Rome….

  21. Great write up, Mac. That perfectly sums up how I’m feeling about this team. By signing Lowe and Kawakami and trading for Vasquez, Wren made clear he was trying to win this year, but it isn’t going to happen with this line up. It’s time to blow it up. Keep Chipper, McCann, Escobar, and Schafer (but put him on the DL until his wrist is fully healthy). The rest need to go. Send Kawakami, Reyes, and Moylan to Gwinnett until they prove they can pitch and call up Hanson, Medlin, and whoever is the best reliever at Gwinnett.

  22. Thankfully, because I’m moving in a month, I can now largely ignore the Braves.

    This team is worse than last year because this year, we tried to actually have hope.

    Kawakami is a disaster. 1-4 with a 7+ ERA and he’s so terrible, he’d probably give up a walk to Joba Chamberlain’s mother, while she’s high on Meth.

    I was 1000% wrong on Garret Anderson. Claudell Washington, now, at about age 55, is better than this stiff.

    Seriously, back to Kawakami, he’s gotta go. I know we paid him a bunch of money, so make him an expensive mop up reliver.

    But seriously, if we call Hanson up now and put him in place of Kawakami (and leave Jo Jo where he is because Reyes has looked really good for the most part) we can at least be more competitive with McCann returning.

  23. Hanson’s 9BB in 26 innings is higher than it should be. It would probably be even higher in the bigs. Let him work on control a while longer.

  24. I know it’s frustrating to lose, but I enjoyed the bottom of the 9th last night quite a bit.

  25. @33

    9BB in 26 innings? You have a problem with that?

    That ratio would give Hanson a better BB/9IP number than everyone in our current rotation, with the exception of Javy Vasquez.

    KK needs to be sent somewhere and Tommy needs to be brought up. KK is gonna kill our pen…and that’s when he’s at his best.

    Great job evaluating that talent, Frank Wren!

  26. Is it just me…or is Chip Caray boyishly excited on any big play, regardless of team, and regardless of score?

    And his humor sucks.

  27. “Why is no one showing any signs of improvement and when they do its because they met with some guy in Texas or BMAC’s dad or Chippers dad.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Braves hitters should take the (slightly modified) George Costanza approach: whatever TP says, do the opposite.

  28. @37

    Why stop there? Let’s see if we can get the Braves some cotton uniforms!

  29. @32:

    Wow. That’s awful. I really don’t know what else to say to that.

    As for Kawakami, I haven’t seen much of him here in Japan after his debut. That’s probably a good thing. But that’s on the Braves, too. If they’re serious about being in the market for Japanese players, they should really work on the whole winning baseball games thing.

  30. Schafer desperately needs to be sent to Gwinnett to fix the gaping hole(s) in his swing. He’s missing balls by more than a foot.

    Bring up Blanco until Schafer is fixed. He’s a legit CF and leadoff man.

  31. Chip ain’t Skip, but he has to work in his shadow. (I can make excuses for him, but I can’t listen to him. I hit the radio when the game’s on Peachtree.)

    McCann will return. KJ will get hot. Chipper will hit like Chipper when he plays, and he’ll probably help Schafer. All this won’t be enough.

    The pitching’s mostly good. Make KK the mop-up guy if you want, and fill his spot with one of the kids. Our rotation is still better than most, and our pen doesn’t always suck.

    If we’re going to lose, do it under new management. I love Bobby Cox. Fire him. Fire Pendleton. Appoint an interim caretaker and get Ferdi at season’s end.

    And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  32. On the bright side, at least Furcal stiffed us. He’s hitting .248/.325/.314. Frank Wren is even horrible in the deals he tried but failed to make.

  33. @41

    I would do the tv video/radio audio thing…but I hate the delay that I get. It drives me crazy.

    Also, IMO, Frank Wren must go before Bobby Cox. It may very well be Bobby’s time…but Frank Wren is a “never has been”. It wouldn’t be justice in my mind.

  34. @37,

    If they did that, they would win the World Series but it would take six games! :)

    On MLB network, they show World Series films and 1999 seems like a REALLY long time ago now. Even though the Braves lost, they weren’t the embarrassment they are now.

    And, oh yeah, Adam Dunn would help even though the geniuses in the front office apparently thought Garrett Anderson was better. The Nats’ pitching sucks but they can rake and, as bad an outfielder as Dunn is (he looks a little like me trying to catch a fly ball), I would kill to have him and Elijah Dukes in the Braves outfield. If Dukes stays on the straight and narrow, he is going to be a monster of a player. God, he hits the ball hard. Of course, hopefully, Heyward will be as well. And I would also rather have Nick Johnson at 1b than Casey Kotchman.

  35. one of the problems of the braves franchise has been a quick trigger to send players back to the minors because of hiccups in the majors, but then not doing it to people who find quick success and then suck severely (francoeur).

    if schafer is the centerfielder of the future for the braves, the braves can’t toy with his emotions and send him back and forth from the minors, putting him in the leadoff role for one game, tell him they are going to try him at leadoff, then put him back in the 8 hole. young players play the game with more emotion than older players (not saying that’s a good thing), and screwing with their heads can’t be good. think back on all of the people that the braves have screwed over for a roster spot taken by “veteran presence”. they’re rookies for heaven’s sakes.

    it might not have been the best decision to let schafer be on the opening day roster, but it would be a mistake to send him down now.

  36. #40 – Id rather watch Schafer hit .240 here and strike out a lot than bring up Gregor and his .230/.310/.300 line from AAA. Gregor works the count and thats all he’s good for. He cant steal bases, he has a crap arm, and absolutely no power. He’s not an upgrade in any sense. Braves made their mistake by trading Josh Anderson and also signing Garret Anderson

  37. Schafer is 0 – 34 with men in scoring position. Delicate psyche or no, you just can’t have that – especially on this team.

    I think Schafer is going to be great, but compounding the felony by continuing to run him out there to be carved up is, in my opinion, far more psychologically damaging than sending him to Gwinnett for a short-term assignment to work on the one thing that is keeping him from being a productive major league ballplayer.

  38. 11-15 ain’t the end of the season, in itself. It’s just this offense looks so bad that it is hard to hope.

  39. per DOB

    McCann NOT playing tomorrow at Gwinnett. Glasses arrived day early, but NO CORRECTIVE LENS in right side. So he’s going to take BP up there tomorrow, but won’t play until Thursday when lens arrives. Assuming it does. That’s the plan.

    and I hope this isnt true

    Holy crap, AM 790 says the Braves and Bobby Cox are “closing in” on a one-year extension!

    thats from another poster there. I wouldnt be surprised

  40. It’s a little early to write off Kawakami. He’s new to the majors and will need time to adjust. Heck, pitchers have trouble switching from the AL to the NL (or vice versa), why wouldn’t a guy from another league completely have some initial struggles? Tim Hudson had a terrible year when he first got here. Hopefully Kenshi will figure it out before the season is over.

  41. Bobby could stay and be okay if we got Manny and Pujols to stiffen the lineup.

  42. I agree, Rob. I’m pretty surprised seemingly everyone around here has given up on Kawakami so quickly. I, like pretty much everyone, would rather have Dunn than Kawakami and Anderson, but that doesn’t mean Kawakami can’t be valuable if he performs. Like I’ve said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his stuff, which looks strong to me. I really think he’ll have an above-average year for a 4th starter, assuming he stays reasonably healthy.

  43. As long as the current ownership is there, Bobby has a sinecure. He will stay as long as he wants. I suspect he thinks the team is going to be better with guys like Heyward and Hanson and wants to stay around for them. And, John Scheuerholz certainly isn’t going to push him out. These aren’t the Yankees that pushed Casey Stengel out.

    I think it’s an exaggeration to say he has to go for the team to get better. I do think it’s time for him to go and bring in a different voice but, as much as Bobby is driving me crazy, the problem is the players. They just don’t have the quality they had in the 90s (or, for that matter, that Bobby had at Toronto). If they had better players, they would win more games. You have almost no power and no speed in the lineup, an inconsistent defense and bullpen–who the hell would win with that? Some of Bobby’s lineups probably don’t make sense but that’s overrated anyway–whether Casey Kotchman is batting cleanup or second or seventh, he still sucks. But it’s not like his choice is Casey Kotchman or Mickey Mantle; it’s Jeff Francouer or someone like that. Get better players and the Braves will win more games. Look at the Phillies; no one is suggesting that Charlie Manual is some tactical genius, but you don’t need to be if you have Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, etc.

  44. Don Sutton, who I like but Im sure some here hate him, was talking yesterday about how much different the MLB baseballs feel compared to what they use in Japan. He says it could take KK a couple of months to get used to how these balls move and how to get used to the different breaks and everything.

    Can we replace Joe with Don

  45. @53

    Tim Hudson had a “terrible year” in his first year with the Braves?

    He was 14-9, with a 3.52 ERA.

    I’d be willing to wager that KK doesn’t even approach those numbers.

  46. @32

    That’s horrible. All the credit in the world to Greg for how he conducts himself

  47. #60 – we dont have the bats, but when you dont have them you cant give away outs late in the game. It never fails that Bobby will give them an out or two

    I just hope KK doesnt get on the Kei Igawa career track

  48. Bobby has long since ceased being a good in game manager if he ever was one, but he’s still valuable in attracting new players to come to Atlanta. How many times have we seen somebody sign with the Braves because he “always wanted to play for Bobby Cox”? Without Bobby, this is just another crappy rebuilding team with dwindling attendance that no elite free agent in his right mind would want to come to. Anyway it’s not Bobby’s fault that Frank Wren thought an outfield of Garret Anderson, a rookie, and Jeff Francoeur would be a good offense.

  49. @60 Smitty, obviously, the Braves are a terrible team, no manager could make this team a championship team — but — very often one-run games *are* determined by in-game decisions by the manager. I know I’ve said it over and over, but allow it one more time, Bobby has NEVER been a good “in-game” manager and now, he is absolutely terrible. Really. I mean, he is truly Dusty Baker bad. His lineup decisions, bullpen management, in-game substitutions, “strategic” moves, and his unwillingness to ditch inept coaches, really have cost the Braves a lot of games. I still don’t know about Frank Wren. Maybe he should go too. But I think it’s clear that change is needed in the coaching staff of this team.

  50. Yeah – wanting to play for Cox is the reason Griffey and Furcal signed – wait a minute, maybe not. The wanting to play for Bobby Cox thing ended with our run of division titles. Cox is simply not getting the most out of his players and hasn’t for quite a while. It’s not all his fault, but a change is needed.

  51. #62 – Ron, Bobby is the voice that lobbied for Anderson. He was the most vocal about him coming and is the only reason why we went after him. Say what you will, but how many players have ever said anything bad about a manager, team, or town when they 1st sign? Bobby is a players manager and guys love playing for him, but he doesnt attract players anymore. Money does

  52. It’s not like Kawakami is totally stinking up the joint. He’s only had one truly terrible ballgame so far. In his five starts, he’s given up 3, 4, 2, 8, and 2 ER. Since his first win, the Braves are giving him an average of 2.5 runs/game. Nobody ever advertised him as a Daisuke Matsuzaka so he’s doing pretty much what I expected and he’s mostly kept us in the game so far. Winning is a two way street and Kawakami has to have an offense to back him.

  53. I’m trying to think of one player that is with the Braves because of the “wanting to play for Bobby Cox” syndrome. I think Chipper being with the Braves has more to do with the desire to stay with one organization. I guess you could argue that Derek Lowe is with Atl because of that, but as was pointed out earlier, it’s more about the money. Kawakami? – no one else wants him now. Glavine? – maybe, but again, not too many are knocking down his door. Garrett Anderson? – see explanations for Kawakami and Glavine. Everyone else is either a product of our farm system or attained via trade.

  54. Because Wren doesn’t know what he’s doing, IMO.

    I can deal with another losing season…as long as I know changes at the top are being made.

    Look at our OF. What type of GM would make 3 gambles in one season, at each of the 3 positions?

    Wren sucks.

  55. “Yeah – wanting to play for Cox is the reason Griffey and Furcal signed – wait a minute, maybe not. The wanting to play for Bobby Cox thing ended with our run of division titles.”

    Great line. Honestly, now that the Braves are no longer on TBS, what’s really the draw to play for Atlanta? The rabid fanbase? The weather? Coca-Cola?

  56. What goes around comes around. It’s a long road that doesn’t turn. What goes up must come down. Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

  57. @32 – Wow, that is awful. I never had any idea.

    Tiger224 – I think you have unfair expectations of Wren. He was given a team with multiple holes and he filled what he could. He didn’t make the Teixeira trade, he didn’t make the LaRoche trade, he didn’t make the Wainwright trade.

    He completely rebuilt the rotation, he re-signed Chipper and he brought in a left fielder who, over the past three years, has been worlds better than the crap we saw out there last year. And he refused to deal Hanson or Heyward when things looked pretty bleak last year. So I don’t know where you’re coming from with the Fire Wren nonsense, but he’s only had two years to totally re-stock the team and we’re probably only a bat away. If that’s a fire-able offense, I’d hate for you to be my boss.

  58. Apparently the big draw for playing in Atlanta is the burgeoning Asian population. Is Sadaharu Oh still available?

  59. Weldon, I outlined my disdain for Wren a few days ago. Without jumping back into all of that…let’s just look at this pathetic excuse for an offense.

    Only about 25 of us in the peanut gallery knew this team was gonna struggle scoring runs this year. What does Frank do? Bring in a washed up GA, who doesn’t even fit in the clubhouse. Look as his outright refusal to work some rehab…was there any surprise to his 0-for last night? Nope.

    Frank Wren ain’t got the cojones to run this team. This ain’t the Natties.

    And it isn’t very hard to sign pitching talent when you throw dollars around to Lowe and KK, like they are the last two pieces we need to making a dynasty run. Sure, we needed starting pitching…but he ignored our offense.

    Frank Wren sucks. And I don’t see this team reaching any serious accomplishments as long as he’s at the top.

  60. @71: Rabid fanbase? I hope that’s a joke.

    @70: The kind of GM that had to decide whether to take three gambles in the OF or try three gambles in the rotation again. Anyone who blames Frank Wren for this mess is being completely irrational. The Braves made multiple moves that basically mortgaged the future near and after the end of the 14 straight division titles. Wren stepped into a near impossible situation, and he’s set this team up to be a real World Series contender in the next year or two… and with a little luck we still have a longshot chance to compete for the playoffs this season, which is about all I had hopes for after the Tex trade and Hudson’s injury last season.

  61. The only people more irrational than the ones blaming Wren are the ones blaming Kawakami for last night. Here’s Daisuke’s 2nd-6th career starts (only 2 of these were on 4 days rest, as opposed to KK’s 3… Daisuke only threw three straight starts on 4 days rest once in his entire rookie season and that wasn’t until the end of July):

    31 IP, 22 ER, 29 H, 14 BB, 29 K, 4 HBP, 6.39 ERA

    KK’s: 26 2/3 IP, 19 ER, 32 H, 14 BB, 25 K, 2 HBP, 6.41 ERA

    And all this for $50+ million less!

    Let’s give the guy a chance here. Speaking of chances… you regretting the O’Flaherty jokes yet Mac? He sure looks like an ML pitcher to me.

  62. Tiger224, JS gambled on Jordan, gambled on Mondesi, gambled on/rushed Frenchy. Those three happened on the same season.

    And he gambled on Drew, Adam, and Estrada the season prior to that.

    td, I think Bobby will slot Oh straight to the cleanup spot!

  63. KC –

    In 2005, we still had AJ in CF. You realize that, right?

    Gadfly –

    Call me irrational or whatever you’d like. But I don’t think Frank Wren is a great GM. He’s not looking to go anywhere…but I don’t think the Braves will go anywhere with him at the helm.

  64. The best way to really judge his effectiveness is to look at the players added under his control

    Lowe
    Vazquez
    Kawakami
    O’flaherty
    Boone Logan or whatever his name is
    Ross
    Anderscum

    Who else am I missing from this past offseason?

  65. Tiger224, I just don’t understand your logic. Why are you just looking at the outfield instead of the entire lineup?

  66. @78: Sadaharu is a professional hitter ;-)

    @75: I know Garret has looked pretty awful this year, but I still don’t think he’s “washed up.” His numbers last year were better than anything any Braves outfielder put up, he’s pretty much been healthy his whole career, he’s batted .280 or better since before the strike, and has at least 15 homers in each of the last 4 seasons. Also, as I’ve pointed out before, check out Garret’s splits from last May, July, and Sept/Oct:

    28 G in May : .343/.374/.500
    23 G in July: .384/.426/.616
    22 G Sept-Oct: .356/.374/.448

    If he matches those three months at some point this year he’ll be well worth the $2.5 mil… even if we have to put up with crap like this slow start (though turning down the rehab assignment was inexcusable, and I wouldn’t have put up with that. He could’ve chosen to play in the minors, gone back to extended ST, or ride the bench with the team, but there’s no way I activate him after that refusal.)

    I’m not saying he was/is the “answer” but at $2.5 million I think its fair to say Wren didn’t have much in the way of flexibility. Frank just had too many holes to fill and not enough resources to spread around… unless he dealt away the farm, which would’ve really been idiotic.

  67. @82: Exactly! I don’t understand why people keep complaining that our outfield lacks in offensive production… it clearly does, but I see that as a huge plus in developing this team forward. We’ve got offensive pluses locked in at C, 3B, SS, and 2B (I’m assuming Esco and Kelly/Infante/Prado bounce back, Chipper stays healthy, and McCann starts seeing again.) That’s half of the lineup right there, if we can get average production from the OFers and 1B we’ve got a workable lineup, and with plenty of room for improvement if the opportunity arises. Before Wren made his offseason moves we were looking at a rotation of Jurrjens, Campillo and three question marks! I’d much rather take a chance with OFers than take one on starting pitching, AGAIN.

    @80: I’m not sure Frank’s been around long enough to consider him as a “great GM,” but I’ve been pretty impressed by his moves on balance, and even more impressed by his reluctance to make bad moves, like the Peavy proposal. Basically, he’s walked into a thankless situation, but I think he’s done an admirable job in setting us up for another run of greatness… As you guys have pointed out the biggest holes in this team are outfield production and bullpen consistency… the first is about the easiest to address, and we’ve got prospects on the way… the second is perhaps the hardest to actually attain, but I think we’re well setup on that front as well.

  68. A GM can make moves all he wants, but ultimately, he has to put a winning product on the field. Frank Wren has been with 2 organizations (Baltimore and Atlanta) that were not “revenue-impaired” and I think he has been 78-84 and 72-90 in those 2 years. If the Braves finish the year below .500, that is 3 for 3. I think, all in all, despite what his moves look like, he had better win, at some point, or all of the glibness or cleverness will just ring hollow. While we aren’t the Yankees or Red Sox in payroll, we aren’t these Royals or Marlins either.

  69. Guys, I appreciate all of your views. I just dont see it like ya’ll do.

    I hope Frank Wren proves me wrong and we win the division. But I don’t see it happening. Just as I don’t see us on the verge of something big happening.

    But Go Braves!

  70. tiger – I don’t see us on the verge of something big happening either – not with Cox at the helm. With payroll limitations, I think Wren built us a good group of starting pitchers, but panicked and settled for Anderson as our OF solution. I blame him for this move, but considering the payroll that he had left, I’m not as upset with him as I could be – he also did well in others areas as many have alluded to.

    My point is that Cox is the one that should go. He did a great job of fitting together several superstar pitchers and a few other stars and winning games over a very long period (this is not an easy task) and is a HOF manager. When he has average, but workable talent (like this year) he doesn’t get the best of it. I know that often the W/L record for 1 run games is flukey, but there has to be a point where the manager who makes terrible in-game decisions takes some of the blame.

  71. i dont think anyone here is talking about winning a division, but we are saying we are better than last year and did not sell our souls to get better, our top prospects are still with us and he can deal them as necessary to get he right pieces later.

  72. If you are going to talk about overrated, maybe John Schuerholz qualifies. He came here in 1990, AFTER most of the young talent was acquired by BOBBY COX. His big moves were to get Bream and Pendleton–admittedly good moves but only because the other pieces, primarily the starting rotation, was in place. He also got Greg Maddux, pretty much a no-brainer, and apparently almost had Bonds. But the team was never all that great offensively (although they were typically pretty high up in runs scored) and generally had weak benches and shaky bullpens, which may have contributed to all the playoff losses.

    Essentially, the Braves won all those years largely because they had an incredible, once-in-a-century starting rotation and were able to fill in around that. The rest of the lineup was not untalented but was certainly not overwhelming, except perhaps for 2003.

    The point is Schuerholz really never had to address all the issues that Wren had to, largely because Bobby Cox was GM when the team was rebuilding and set the foundation in place. I would argue that Cox was a better GM than a manager. Wren’s moves obviously haven’t worked out in a lot of cases, but he is far more payroll-constrained than was Schuerholz, at least in the early years, and faces much higher expectations.

    How good would the Braves have been in the 90s if their rotation had been merely very good and not otherworldly? How many times did the Braves win games when the offense struggled to score or scored a few runs early and then froze? Look at Game 6 of the 1995 WS; it took a near no-hitter against one of the best hitting teams in recent years for the Braves to squeak out a win against a very mediocre pitching staff. And JS had nothing to do with acquiring Glavine or Justice.

    My point is these problems are nothing new and that the success they had overshadowed what I consider real failings by JS. This is a very bad offense and I certainly think Wren made a serious mistake by not going after Dunn or some others. But there were lots of holes on this team and a lot were bequeathed by Scheurholz.

  73. I think Wren is doing the best he can. It’s not like he isn’t receiving help from JS.

    As far as this year, I just hope the Braves are competive…so I can have a reason to go over Nationals Park when they come to town.

  74. Looking back over the last 20 years, Bobby aint in that exclusive of a club yet he gets a pass as being an ‘elite’ manager.

    > 1 World Series Title – The Elite Managers
    Terry Francona
    Tony Larussa – Larusa schools bobby
    Joe Torre – WS win over bobby
    Cito Gaston – Guy is a stud
    Tom Kelly – WS win over bobby

    1 World Series Title
    Charlie Manual
    Ozzie Guillen
    Jack McKeon
    Mike Sciossica – would rather have this guy
    Bob Brenley
    Jim Leyland
    Bobby Cox
    Lou Pinella

  75. “Looking back over the last 20 years, Bobby aint in that exclusive of a club yet he gets a pass as being an ‘elite’ manager.

    > 1 World Series Title – The Elite Managers
    Terry Francona
    Tony Larussa – Larusa schools bobby
    Joe Torre – WS win over bobby
    Cito Gaston – Guy is a stud
    Tom Kelly – WS win over bobby

    1 World Series Title
    Charlie Manual
    Ozzie Guillen
    Jack McKeon
    Mike Sciossica – would rather have this guy
    Bob Brenley
    Jim Leyland
    Bobby Cox
    Lou Pinella”

    I think those 14 division titles has something to do with it.

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