115 thoughts on “Icky game thread: June 14, Braves at Orioles”

  1. Mac–I am really sorry that you are having a hard time…I hope that by the time you read this you will be feeling better and can get some rest.

    I did not get the chance to see the game, but as always appreciated your game post….

  2. Good luck and God bless with everything Mac, thanks for the enjoyable blog, and you are in my prayers.

  3. That sucks, Mac. Hope you start feeling better shortly.

    The only advice I can give is to smile when you’re taking the pill. It looks scary and it feels dumb, but smiling does wonders to relieve your gag reflex.

  4. “The inning was set up perfect for [Eric] O’Flaherty and Moylan, and it just didn’t work out. … We let a couple hitters escape with 0-2 counts to lead off,” Cox said. “We walked [Nick] Markakis and the next hitter hit a high hopper. If nobody’s on first, there’s two outs. We just let it slip.”

    This quote from Bobby pisses me off. No, Bobby, you’re the one who’s using O’Flaherty and Moylan every other night, what do you expect?

    Meanwhile, Medlen and Acosta sit on their hands except for blowouts and extra inning games. They’re on the team, use them.

  5. Mac, are you taking Phenegren or something else? I have some pretty good remedies, you can email me or I can give you my cell…my dad has had lots of chemo and we found things that will work for them, and I also worked at the M.D. Anderson cancer clinic in Orlando, picked up some neat tricks of the trade there…..

  6. dont know if it was brought up,but the Braves signed John Halama from an Independent league….he was tearing it up there, 8-1 record 2.05 era, walking 13 striking out 66

  7. Mac, hang in there, man. I hope you are up and at ’em real soon. “Ball Four or base hit, kid!” as Bobby would say.

    On a much lesser note…why in the world would you not use Kris Medlin, your designated “long guy” right now (who is well rested) when your starter only goes 5 and your pen is sucking wind? Dang, Bobby Cox…hindsight is certainly 20/20…but sheesh!

    Also, Braves sign lefty starter John Halama…could a trade be in the works?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/06/braves-acquire-john-halama.html

  8. Anyone else play Baseball Mogul 2010? Pretty neat game, if you are more into simulation/stats vs arcade gameplay.

  9. #10,
    That’s just a meaningless acquisition to fill one of Hanson/Medlen’s spots in the Gwinnett rotation. The club has no plans for him beyond that. Normally the organization would just promote from within or piggyback a bunch of relievers, but it’s Gwinnett’s inaugural year and they like for the team to do well in the inaugural year to boost ticket sales. Kind of why Francoeur, who sucks, and McCann stayed in Rome for Rome’s inaugural year.

  10. Mac, I hope you did not watch the 7th inning of last night. I watch that and I almost wanted to throw up.

  11. “I like him as a hitter,” Cox said of Canizares. “He attacks the ball pretty dang good and he’s always hit. … He looks good. In our lineup, he looks really good.”

    I laughed very hard when I read that last sentence.

  12. #12

    Interesting observation. Either way, I’m all for acquiring extra arms.

    Sure would like to win this series today. It’s never about single games in the regular season…until you haven’t won a series in a week or so and you are facing the rubber match on the road.

    Man…looking at how remarkably mediocre we have played…and we are only 5.5 games out. Just a couple more moves, Liberty Media! Just a couple more…come on now…we need the cavalry to show up.

  13. for todays game, heres your lineup

    1. McLouth CF
    2. Escobar SS
    3. C. Jones DH
    4. McCann C
    5. Anderson LF
    6. Canizares 1B
    7. Prado 3B
    8. Francoeur RF
    9. Johnson 2B

  14. This quote from Bobby pisses me off.

    Can this be far behind?

    Bobby Cox:

    “I personally believe that Atlanta bullpen are unable to pitch because, uh, some people out there don’t have baseballs and, uh, I believe that our, uh, bullpen like such as in, uh, New York and, uh, Philadelphia and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our bullpen over here in the Atlanta should not help the other teams and, uh, should help Atlanta and should help us beat Philadelphia and the NL East teams, so we will be able to build up our future for our team.”

  15. In regards to how often Bobby uses his relievers: He isn’t doing bad in comparison with other managers. Soriano currently sits 18th among relievers in IP. If you break that down into number of games, he drops all the way down to 34th. Jeff Bennet sits at 28th and 24th. Gonzo sits at 28th and 18th. Moylan sits at 59th and 3rd. O’Flaherty sits at 61st and 3rd. So he hasn’t necessarily overused any of them (at least not in comparison with others).

    BTW – those numbers are NL only. They’d probably be much further down in the lists with AL mixed in there. (Soriano drops to 31st and 43rd).

    What I don’t like about his bullpen management is who he decides to bring in different situations. Why is Medlin even in the bullpen? He could have worked 3 or 4 innings last night. Why not leave Bennett out there for another inning? Isn’t he a long reliever. Why the hell leave Moylan out there that long when you can see that he doesn’t have good stuff. This is the type of stuff that irks me about Bobby’s management of the bullpen.

  16. By the way, John Sickels has a poll about Tyler Matzek, asking his readers whether they think Matzek will eventually sign with the Rockies, or will wind up going to college at Oregon. Right now, it’s split exactly 50-50. I wanted Matzek too, but it’s very true that he would have been a risky pick.

    Minor, on the other hand, is a Southern boy who will do whatever it takes to play in a Braves uni, and will sign cheaply and fast, start playing short-season very soon, and be in the majors before too much more time has passed.

  17. So Frenchy says something to the effect: “after what happened to me last year, these trade rumors don’t faze me”…per AJC blog.

    As if he never should’ve been demoted. Frank Wren just messed up and brought him back way too early (injury or not). He should’ve been down there for a month or so, ate some humble pie…and swallowed his pride to learn a thing or two.

    Wow…what is bigger: Frenchy’s ego or the gaps in his swing?

  18. I actually like these Orioles announcers (MASN) but they are mispronouncing every Atlanta name. Don’t they have a sheet to explain the pronunciation to a layperson?

    Mar-Teen Prah-Doh not Mar-tin Pray-Doh
    Canizares not CaniVares

    and Diaz… well… Diaz is acceptable

  19. @29: Not only do they have a sheet, but they can easily ask someone from the Braves — PR person, radio broadcaster, etc. There’s no excuse to get the names wrong.

  20. down 4, we lose.

    The baltimore announcers are butchering the names, its pretty entertaining.

  21. I love how people say NL teams are ‘better managed.’ What I’m seeing is incompetence, plain and simple.

  22. Icky game is right: that Escobar play has to be one of the worst I have witnessed in awhile…..

  23. A few moments ago I was thinking, “Brian McCann has some of the best baseball instincts I’ve seen.” Maybe he sucked some of those instincts away from Escobar, who appears to have none.

  24. This is painful, but at least frenchy gets to hit this inning. jk.

    Maybe we get to see medlen today

  25. Odds of seeing Medlen today go up with every pitch and every boneheaded bit of defense. Sheesh.

    edit: @28–Unless it would have been permanent, the length of Francoeur’s demotion was irrelevant. He could have stayed down 1 month, 2 months, or more, but he’d still suck. The simple fact is that he’s never had the sort of plate discipline or talent to succeed at the level necessary to be a successful mlb OF.

  26. Sadly, yesterdays decent outing at bat for Frenchy will give him a few more weeks of awful-ness

  27. @41 I was gonna make the same complaint, but at this point I’m resigned to the fact that if he is hitting deep flies–even for outs–he isn’t going anywhere. I find Francoeur’s tenure at this point to be endemic to an organization disease. For awhile it was sickly amusing, then annoying, then horrifying; now Francoeur’s continuing plate appearance is among the greatest, most perverse mysteries I have ever witnessed.

    Escobar pulled.

  28. It’s possible Lowe, uh, doesn’t have it today.

    Why not get Medlen up? It can’t be any worse.

  29. The funny thing about him taking out Escobar is, its the right thing to do, but, why cant he do that to Frenchy when he is equally terrible at the plate?!

    Luckily for Kelly Johnson, Frenchy sucks, so people dont notice his suckage as much

  30. Lowe doesn’t, but neither does anyone in the field. This is becoming a good game to spend with a frosty adult beverage; I’m on my second already.

  31. I don’t know… I don’t think that Yunel would get yanked for stupidity; players are usually only pulled for poor effort, not poor thought. He’s probably sick or hurt.

  32. Does the DH just greaten the disparity in our offense and other teams’ offenses?

    I was thinking it might give our offense a little bit of a pick-me-up…but I think I was really wrong.

  33. Pickle between first and second. Yunel forgot about the runner at third who was practically sitting in the dugout by the time the throw made it home. Successful pickoff throw resulted in 1 run and 0 outs.

  34. @49–Adam, you have a gift for understatement–Lowe clearly has nothing today.

    The whole team is playing like it’s in a hurry to get to Cincy. Wonder if there are better strip joints there.

  35. Thanks, JC…geez, Lowe looks horrible.

    Braves are playin like they are allergic to crabs…and wanna get outta town quick.

  36. In honor of Skip — “the bases are loaded, and I wish I was.”

  37. Yunel clearly looks like a man who is wondering why he was benched when Francoeur commits far worse trangressions almost every day and retains his spot in the lineup.

  38. Only now does it dawn on Joe “the sharpest knife in Oklahoma” Simpson, that Yunel might have been yanked. What a maroon.

  39. Some MASN gaffes:

    David Wright is batting .566
    McCann’s most recent all-star appearance was two years ago
    Mispronunciations all over
    + many more I can’t remember

    Also… Yunel has an “arm”… doesn’t that preclude him from ever riding the pine?

  40. And missed in all of this was that Frenchy came up short on a ball in right that he probably should have caught.

  41. #21+23–If we had the #8 pick next year, it might actually be more valuable than the #7 pick this year–because this year’s class was relatively weak.

    In any event, we are now headed into one of the more interesting phases of the draft: namely, who gets signed….Since the Braves normally do well in later rounds, this is actually when a number of key decisions will be made.

    Shanks reported that the Braves have signed 7 players that they drafted. Does anybody out there know if they have signed other players that they drafted?

  42. Everything about MASN is wrong. Right down to the fact that they, the O’s and Nats insist on calling Charlotte a “home market,” thus meaning I can’t even watch their games on-line. Not that I’d want to on a regular basis, but it’d be nice to monitor their opponents every now and again. A pox on all their houses.

  43. Clearly Bobby doesn’t bench people for performance reasons. Hence, why Frenchy is still in there. But I think Bobby is getting a little irked by the never ending story that is Yunel’s stupidity.

  44. @66: Of course, Frenchy won’t be benched for his defensive gaffe. Because God forbid that the delicate genius be taken out during the game and have his fragile emotions ruffled even in the slightest.

  45. Wonder if Glavine is sitting at home in Alpharetta with beer and popcorn, enjoying every minute of this.

  46. Glavine ought to be relieved that he doesn’t have to be a part of this sad excuse for a major league ball club.

  47. Medlen has looked great for two weeks… too bad he pitches in relief only once a week.

  48. I agree that Frenchy should have caught the ball, but the Yunel play was especially brainless….

  49. if it’s any consolation, the yanks have put up 8 run in 3 innings on the muts with santana pitching.

  50. why do our clod hitters swing at pitches in the dirt?? It’s time the braves replace TP as hitting coach. He’s killing this team

  51. Just got home and was reading the posts. Mac, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! Dan that post was hilarious!! I wish I was a rich man, I’d buy the Braves and….. mmmm…….. this is fun!

  52. Didn’t Anderson hit the ball off the wall and shouldn’t he have glided into second on his hit? If so, the force wouldn’t have been in order, the Braves would have a run, and the inning would probably continue.

  53. It’s about time the coaches and manager is held responsible for this team sucking the last 3 years

  54. nice play KJ… your worthless. Judging by the look on Johnson’s face everytime he makes an out or an error on defense I think he’s slowly realizing that he’s not a very good player

  55. KJ strikes me as a guy with All-Star potential … if he’s traded to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

  56. @79 – Or you could just blame the idiotic players. I’m sure TP isn’t telling them to go up there and swing at the first pitch every time up to the plate. Why don’t we just try to hold the inept players accountable?

  57. Joe is raging against Luke Scott’s shades right now.

    I think he just insulted his manhood.

  58. Man, there are some real idiots that post over on the AJC. Over half of them claim that the play Yunel made was not his fault because there was nobody covering first.

  59. @89 good hitting coaches can shape a players approach at the plate. Our hitters have never changed their approach and it’s either because TP supports it or doesn’t really over any intelligent suggestions for improving their performance at the plate. Take a guy like Donny baseball… he’s improved the dodgers approach to the plate and look at the results?

  60. Fire KJ, Francoeur, TP, Bobby, Moylan

    Realistically… we must wait til 2011 for any semblance of an offense

    1. Schafer (CF)
    2. Heyward (RF)
    3. McClouth (LF)
    4. McCann (C)
    5. Freeman (1B)
    6. Jones (3B)
    7. (SS)
    8. (2B)

  61. Wren’s phone is surely heating up by now – probably receiving incoming calls about Soriano, Gonzo and Vasquez.

  62. Here’s a question…ever play with a sound baseball mind? You know, the guy that you played baseball or softball with…that didn’t have the best physical attributes…but he played smart and it made up for a lot of it.

    How many smart baseball minds do we have on this team? What do you think? I’d probably consider Chipper one…who else?

    Yunel, KJ, and Francouer…no way.

  63. McLouth and the starting staff, Soriano

    This umpire evidently likes standing in the heat during a blowout since he won’t call strikes.

    Baltimore has scored in every inning.

  64. Ty Wiggonton homers twice…lol.

    What’s next? Brady Anderson trots out and hits a triple?

    Maybe Ben McDonald pitches a few innings.

    Possibly Billy Ripkin and his “****face” bat lays down a sac bunt.

  65. Maybe everyone else has already seen it, but I just read that Brian Bruney was calling out K-rod and said the blown save on Castillo’s dropped pop up couldn’t have happened to a better guy on the mound. Ha ha ha.

  66. No one on this team or organization seems to give a damn. The “Baby Braves” of 2005 have established a legacy of losing but no one seems to care. It’s always, “it’s still early” or “all we have to do is start hitting a little.” There seems no sense of urgency; as long as they aren’t 10 game behind, who cares? But, they are likely to be several games below .500 by the time this month is over and there is no way this pack of losers makes it back to .500.

  67. This whole organization needs to be blown up and rebooted

    Bobby needs to retire. He got to 2000 wins, time to hang them up.

    TP needs to be gone, I don’t care where or how, but he needs to go.

    McDowell, I am undecided on him, so he should go, he doesn’t take anything off the table, but I don’t think he adds anything, so peace out.

    Wren, needs to go and just rot somewhere, he is terrible

    Ownership, please sell to someone, it doesn’t have to be Arthur Blank, but just someone please.

    Gonzo and Soriano, trade one, preferably Soriano, who is pitching for a contract, get rid of him while his value is high. Gonzo appears to be rounding into form, he may be worth keeping, but if you can get something good for him, then he needs to go.

    Chipper Jones, trade him for prospects. 13 mil a year for a guy who will hit and hit great for 110 games, but miss 50 is WAY to much. Unless he defers money until he is 90, he has to go.

    D. Lowe, trade him even if you have to eat salary, 16 mil until he is 39, too much, not an ace, gotta go.

    KJ, KK, Medlen, Blanco, Jo Jo, Acosta, Bennett, Frenchy, Ache, Diaz, Prado, Norton, all go away DFA or trade for 10 cent on the dollar. None of these guys will EVER be on a team that wins a World Series.

    Vasquez, trade him, he strikes out a ton of guys, but he is a flake and a whiner, get rid of him while his value is at a high. Ozzie Guilen and the Yankees all found out he is a flake the hard way.

    Start over with Jurgens, Hanson, Hudson as the top 3 in the rotation.

    The base of you lineup should consist of McLouth, Yunel (unfortuantely it isn’t Elvis Andrus), McCann, Infante, and Kotchman (only because he can catch the ball, kind of like Sid Bream)and maybe Brandon Jones because I am not sure what he is yet, maybe he needs to go too. Ross is solid as a part time catcher. If Chipper defers money until 90 then he is definately in the plans, but no if he doesn’t.

    Bottom line, this team is further from winning a title than the Nats are. The Nats are at least know they have to blow the whole thing up, the braves don’t seem to realize that.

    If you are not competing for the World Series, then why stick with the staus quo? I don’t care about loyalty or how long someone has been with the club. If you can’t play or stay healthy you need to go. You certainly do not get a new mega deal. This team should have been blown up after 2001, but they hung on for too long. It is time to bring a wrecking ball to it all.

  68. Bobby sent out McDowell to take out Medlen. Wrong place to aim the anger, methinks.

  69. Hey, look at the bright side: at least we didn’t blow eight figures on Furcal, who has a .637 OPS.

    It’s just a blowout. The bigger issue is that Francoeur has bought himself at least five more weeks of playing time, and that means the Braves will be playing with at least three black holes in the lineup as they head into the actually tough part of the schedule.

    June will not be kind to us again, folks.

  70. I figure Bobby has no interest in trudging out there, and I don’t blame him. If I were him, I’d try to get ejected, but I figure the umpire would say that if he has to watch this so does Bobby.

  71. And some people want us to acquire another bat. I don’t care if it’s only June and we’re hovering around .500–this team is so far away from contending. If you don’t believe that, wait til you see where we are once the Red Sox and Yankees get finished with us.

    That’s the problem with this organization right now–they’re always searching for a fix. In 2007, it was Teixeira. In 2008, they were trying to get Bay or Nady. It’s more of the same here in 2009.

    The offense is a problem, yes. But there is no consistency anywhere on this team. If you get a great pitching performance, you get no offense. If you get a bad pitching performance, you get plenty of offense. If you get bad pitching, you get no offense. If you get good starting pitching, the bullpen finds a way to blow things up. If you sweep the Blue Jays at home, you get swept on the road by the Giants.

    It’s time for the Braves to start looking at the coaching staff on this team instead of always trying to acquire a patch to fix things for one season. If the offense is so bad, why does Terry Pendleton still have a job? Why has this team sucked for going three seasons now and no pressure has been applied to Bobby Cox or ANY of his coaches? Why do we release Tom Glavine for “performance reasons” but have one of the biggest black holes in the history of the game in right field? Why is Peter Moylan used in high leverage situations when he’s clearly not 100% healthy from Tommy John? Why is Mike Gonzalez used with a 5-run lead? Why is Kris Medlen a starter for the past two season in the minors but gets sent to the bullpen?

    So annoying.

  72. mercifully this game is over

    edit–4 losses in last 5 games–the only win came in a game started by a guy in his second mlb start (not that it was a particularly impressive outing)–this is the sort of run that picking up veteran SP is supposed to avoid

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