Mets 5, Braves 1

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 18, 2009 – ESPN

This one’s on Bobby. I wouldn’t say that the Braves would have won if he managed better, but he managed in a way that reduced the chances of winning. It wasn’t murder, but it was probably manslaughter. Manuel didn’t manage any better, but his dumb moves (mostly bunts) worked out is all.

In the seventh inning, after getting two-hit for the first six by Johan Santana, the Braves loaded the bases with one out. trailing 2-0, with singles by Diaz, Church, and (pinch-hitting) ACHE. And then Bobby lost it and had Conrad, his only remaining pinch-hitting threat, run for ACHE. It made no sense whatsoever. There was no stolen base threat. If Anderson is hurt, you could have used Hernandez, or even Jurrjens. Instead, he lost Conrad, who wound up getting stranded and no run scoring in the inning when McLouth struck out and Prado grounded out to first.

Chipper led off the eighth with a homer to cut it to 2-1, and McCann followed with a single. Okay, running for McCann there makes a certain about of sense, though of course Conrad is also your only reasonable stolen base threat off the bench and instead Diory comes in, and he is no good at anything. Then Bobby has Yunel try to bunt, and you know that bugs me, but the pitcher is super wild and goes 2-0. 2-0 is a reasonable hit-and-run count, I guess, but putting it on here, with a pitcher who can’t throw a strike when you’re trying to give him an out, is foolish in the extreme. Sure enough, the pitch was way inside — the only way Yunel could have hit it was with his shoulder — so he took the pitch, and Hernandez was thrown out. Sure enough, Yunel walks. With two out, Kotchman singled, and Church walked. However, Bobby uses Ross, his only remotely useful remaining bench player, who has to come into the game anyway, to pinch-run for Kotchman, who had hurt his knee on a foul ball, and sends up Greg Norton to hit. Norton, who has about as much reason to be in the big leagues as I would have editing the New Yorker, goes 3-1, then misses two meatballs over the middle to strike out. And then Acosta comes in and gives up three runs, the capper being a pathetic single up the middle by Jeffy. Perhaps the worst thing about all this will be that the Francoeuriots will go crazy about him going 2-5 when his hits were the aforementioned pathetic single and an even more pathetic chopper off the plate.

Simply put, a terrible job of managing. As I mentioned in the game thread, a relatively simple computer program could have done better.

Kenshin Kawakami was hung with the loss, though he actually pitched quite well; he did issue a bases-loaded walk in the Mets’ two-run sixth inning, but most of the rest of the inning was in no way his fault. Francoeur still sucks.

91 thoughts on “Mets 5, Braves 1”

  1. I’d love to hear all you “cox lovers” out there try to defend another poorly managed game by your beloved manager. Once again just more evidance that Cox needs to go

  2. That was a horrible time to hit and run. With no outs and a 2-0 count you have to let yunel hit straight up. Then Bobby had the nerve to get mad at yunel for not hitting that impossible inside pitch.

    2.Diory should have stolen the base with that horrible throw.

    3. Norton needs to be relesed. How can a major league hitter miss to average fastballs in the middle of the plate. Ridiculous.

    4. With all the hoopla with the first 2 games by the end of tomorrow this series will be nothing more but a split. Mediocre. Mediocre!!!!!!!

  3. The real reason the Braves lost is that they had the basesloaded one out and McClouth and Prado (two of the team’s best hitters) didn’t come through. Instead all the ink is spilled over a pinch running move which had no effect on anything.

    A Garret, Conrad, Ross, Diory, Norton bench isn’t going to help anyone win anything.

    I understand the temptation to always blame the manager but if the hitters don’t hit, there’s not much to be done.

  4. I’ve no problems with Garret as a bench player and Ross has been everything we could have wanted as a backup catcher and more.

    Diory and Norton need to go. Infante will take care of Diory and Barbaro should probably be in a straight platoon with Kotchman at first and would also seem to a decent option as a PH.

    Get it done Wren.

  5. Actually, we’re mostly talking about the stupid hit-and-run call, which very likely did cost the Braves at least one run, seeing how three of the next four batters reached.

  6. Jim Donnan reminds me of the guy who used to come and empty our septic tank.

    Great writeup…made me laugh several times. I have a feeling Norcoeur maybe teh next guy on the Frank Wren chopping block, with Acosta probably not far behind. I have a feeling KJ is going to get activated to give a littlle more punch off the bench and so Prado can play some more 1B against LHP.

  7. aggravating loss but a win tomorrow would make it 3 of 4 against the Mets with the only loss coming against Santana–just a bit of perspective

  8. Jon K –

    I agree with most everything said against Cox. Everything you guys say is true – he has poor in-game management skills and he doesn’t use his bullpen well. But you guys take it to the extreme. The only thing I tire of hearing, is that no matter what he does, it is a bad thing. I mean the other day he brought in Soriano with a 2 run lead, and people on here were complaining about it. Name 1 manager in baseball who will not bring his closer in with a 2 run lead in the 9th after 4 days of rest. And that’s just one example.

    Label me a Cox lover all you want, but the guy did a lot for this team. But I will tell you this, I do believe we would be a better team with another manager. I just get tired of people ripping him for no apparent reason.

    And by the way – I still say the hit and run was NOT a bad call and it just didn’t work out. His biggest mistake, and perhaps his only mistake, was pinch-running Conrad. We needed his bat later in the game and that cost us dearly.

  9. Actually, we’re mostly talking about the stupid hit-and-run call, which very likely did cost the Braves at least one run, seeing how three of the next four batters reached.

    And of course that falls on Bobby, not the players who failed to execute the play.

    It’s typical. Folks get bent when Bobby calls a bunt. Why? Because the player can never do it. So it’s Bobby’s fault for daring to ask a major league player to execute a bunt.

    I know that the more statminded guys would like a manager who never bunts or hit-and-runs. That’s certainly is how I would play it. But all managers do these things. The difference is that our players can’t seem to execute on anything near a regular basis.

  10. Isn’t the definition of insanity failing at the same thing over and over, but trying again, expecting a better result?

  11. Somebody also needs to explain something to me, please. Since when did a hit-and-run mean you were trying to give up and out? I have never in my life had it described that way. That is not what the play is designed for. It gets the runner moving, opens up a hole in the defense, and a double scores the runner without any problems – a single and the runner might get to 3rd. Yes, an out gets him to 2nd, but you don’t aim to get an out on a hit and run play – you try to get a base hit.

    I actually think Bobby doesn’t utilize them enough.

  12. I like hit-and-runs. They’re a big-inning sort of play, if used correctly. But trying to employ one against a pitcher who can’t throw strikes is stupid.

  13. But trying to employ one against a pitcher who can’t throw strikes is stupid.

    Love this. Most hit-and-runs are called on 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, y’know, when pitchers aren’t throwing strikes. Green just came in, you don’t know how wild he is yet. You have to believe he’s going to groove that next pitch. But of course it’s stupid because it didn’t work.

  14. I think you should wait until he’s thrown at least one strike. The Braves were, as I said in the recap, trying to give him an out, and he was all over the place. Green is a high-walk pitcher, over four per nine for his career.

  15. Guys, I was at the game. Escobar would have scored by 5 steps, but SNITKER held him up. that would have made it a 2-2 game and a huge turnaround! Snitker causes other teams to view us as conservative and non risk-taking. Other teams play looser against us. God our management stinks. My 8 year old daughter said “daddy why didnt he run?”

  16. I am definitely a fan of Bobby Cox, but I hope he retires soon. I think he ceased being an asset about two years ago. I have really noticed it in the last two seasons.

    He makes bone-headed moves that are sometimes just stubborn but sometimes appear senile. He used to get more out of his players than the average bloke, but now his teams consistently perform below their win expectancy (even third order W-L). Over the last couple of years, it has seemed that he has gotten less from his guys than we expected at the beginning of the season. His greatest asset appears to have vanished.

    I will second that “Monday morning managing” is usually an unfair way to assess a manager. The assumption is that if he had made move X instead of move Y the game would have turned out better for the Braves. You never know that; however, there are a lot of groans on here at the time Bobby makes one of these bad moves and before the end result is known. The moves almost never seem to work out. Hence, we see far more “I told you so’s” than we see credit for Bobby’s “instinct.”

    He’s earned the reputation of being a bad in-game tactician. The other benefits of having Bobby at the helm no longer seem to outweigh this.

  17. Robert,

    but that is a manager’s job. To push the right buttons, to use the cliche. Put into gambling terms, choosing the play that has the highest possible expectation. You can argue whether that play is right or wrong regardless of results. By your reasoning, it’s always the player’s fault.

    In that inning, the sequence was: homer, single, 2-0 count. In that spot, a hit-and-run is simply not the right play. It’s a play you make when you need to make something happen. It was already happening for the Braves! No reason at all to run risky plays with some pretty good hitters due up and a struggling pitcher. It was Yunel’s mistake for not executing, but Bobby didn’t put his team in a good position to succeed (opinion, but one apparently shared by quite a few people). That decision can clearly be judged in a non-results-oriented manner. (Besides, by now Bobby should know that Escobar is prone to f***ing up. It sucks to have that type of player out there, but we just need to accept that and not run plays like that in crucial spots with him at the dish).

    That play was suboptimal, but not horrendous, even though it turned out in the worst possible way. But the play after that was simply indefensible. Pinch-hitting with “.446 OPS” Norton while sending Dave Ross (who had to come in anyway and has a .908 OPS, and 1.050 against righties) out to pinch-run is just pure, mind-numbing idiocy, and that has nothing to do with Norton not coming through. Bobby set his team up to fail in that situation.

  18. 1. running out of position players in the 8th inning in a 2-1 ballgame when you’ve only pinch hit twice is all kinds of stupid.

    2.calling a hit and run, down 1 in the 8th, 0 out, with a guy that isnt throwing strikes is all kinds of stupid.

    3.pinch running THREE TIMES in one ballgame is idiotic (especially when you pinch run for a slow guy with an even slower guy). while i understand ross is going in to the game anyway, burning jurrjens or medlen would have been much smarter, but bobby is just not smart.

    4. using conrad as a pinch runner for garrett anderson was absurd (making the only option in the 8th inning with the bases loaded,the .100 hitting greg norton).

    there is no justification for any of these decisions. if we would have won the game, they would have still been stupid. we must face the facts, our beloved manager, although a well-liked individual, doesnt know shit from shinola.

  19. There is a great article on Earl Weaver in this week’s SI. He specificaly says something about running yourselves out of innings with hit and runs, etc.

    The problem with the braves is that they do not have ANY power. This is not a good team. Cox has made some poor decisions, but he forces the issue because this lineup is so bad. He only has 3-4 legitimate arms in the pen and he is playing alot of close games, and has burned them up.

    Wren is an idiot, the team was not put together well.He should have spent more on the pen knowing he was going to be in a ton of close games, or gotten another bat. Because this team cannot wait around on the 3 run homer, Cox’s in game defiences are magnified because he does not have the team to play the style he wants. (Just like a passing coach taking over a team that ran the wishbone for years before.)

    Bad team, sell and get prospects and build for the future.

  20. Bobby has an agenda against Yunel. If it weren’t for rational heads in the FO, Frosted Tips would be gone.

  21. I still say that this is nothing new with Bobby. I truly believe that the bench coaches the Braves have had in the past kept him from making such bone-headed moves. He has never been a smart game manager, now it’s showing — and showing badly. The game was winnable and Bobby managed us out of it.

  22. @32 Mac, really. Bobby’s trying to cover up for making a really bad call and he knows it. Yunel could possibly have fouled it off, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a terrible call in that situation.

  23. Normally, though, for any other player, Bobby would take the blame, even if it was the player’s own fault. I’ve seen him defend terrible players; I’ve seen him go out of his way to praise players like Lockhart and Kolb who not only were terrible but actually attacked him in the newspaper. I think SDP is right, Bobby has an agenda regarding Yunel and is tearing him down.

    Watch it, tomorrow Diory will be in the lineup, and the only question is if he goes 0-3 or 0-4.

  24. from the ajc article:

    “Escobar, who won’t do interviews in English, was asked through relief pitcher Mike Gonzalez to clarify whether he saw the sign or didn’t think there was anything he could do with the inside pitch.

    Gonzalez said that Escobar replied, “Talk to me when I get three hits.”

    my response:
    what does that even mean? is he implying that he knows he’s the scapegoat and the media only talks to him when he screws up? that sucks.

  25. I’m not sure. Maybe he claims that they only talk to him when he screws up. Or he only wants to talk when he’s going well. I’m not saying he isn’t a jerk. But that jerk is one of the team’s best players, literally the only player on the team who is a plus on both offense and defense. Bobby handled Gary Sheffield and JD Drew, he can’t handle Yunel?

  26. yep, Bobby’s probably pretty frustrated with Yunel (and probably for good reason) but this does not bode well. Yunel is not stable and Bobby’s not helping with this response.

  27. Angry Bobby makes even worse decisions than usual and it’s pretty clear that Esco makes him angry.

  28. 34 – Ok, Mac.

    Here’s a related question for everyone. And I am not trying to make a point; I am genuinely curious.

    When was the last time Bobby made us all eat our words for calling one of his moves bone-headed in the game thread?

  29. I think Bobby’s being out to get Yunel is fairly obvious–I just don’t understand why. If the Braves were down one run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Francoeur failed an attempt to steal home, Bobby would have defended him until kingdom come.

  30. per Joshua in the last thread…

    @149 – you can’t be serious, right?

    After all the complaining you guys do about him using our top 3 relievers, you are going to complain that he didn’t bring one in? Seriously???

    hell yeah Im serious. There is no lead to big or small to justify using Acosta in a game. Dude cant throw strikes and when he does he gets shelled. There’s no justification using him before anyone else in the pen

  31. Yunel is different. Arrogant, emotional, not always focused. Not Bobby’s kind of guy. But I’m not sure that was true of Sheffield or a number of other players we’ve had in the past either. I think it’s a combo of a number of factors — Bobby knows baseball and knows when he pulls a brain fart. And, worse, he knows that others know too. He knows this one got away. So, Yunel is an easy target (he’s the dog that gets kicked), but this is out of character and a very bad sign.

  32. Predictably, we’ll split the series with this awful Mets team. Because, the Braves are just an awful of a bunch.

    McLouth better start hitting. I expected a lot more from him to this point.

    KK. Getting behind on hitters. What the hell dude. He pitched a decent game; but its the same thing that is killing him.

  33. I’d love to hear all you “cox lovers” out there try to defend another poorly managed game by your beloved manager. Once again just more evidance that Cox needs to go

    Some talk from someone who pulled a quick exit after the O’Flaherty explanation the other day.

    I didn’t understand the Conrad move, at all. Completely disagreed with it, because the marginal increase in speed (especially at first base with bases loaded) didn’t merit the loss of a potential pinch-hitter later on.

    The hit-and-run made sense to me. Yunel is a good contact, ground ball hitter. You stay out of the DP and enhance the chance of an extra base taken on any hit. That one run being of paramount importance at that point in the game. Of course, he has to swing. We can go back and forth on it all day long — I defy anyone to assert anything more than a miniscule difference in run probability either way. It’s a philosophical matter.

    Pinch-running Diory was an easy call. Dave Ross can man the catcher position quite well, thank you.

    Pinch-running Ross instead of pinch-hitting him? I didn’t like it, but didn’t completely hate it, either. It elevated his position in the lineup by two spots in the event of extra innings, and Norton is there to pinch-hit after all. Complaints about Norton’s presence on the roster are fully understood.

    I will say that Cox made the right pitching moves at the right time throughout the game. And we did lose by four runs after all. Let’s get ’em tomorrow.

  34. One more thing, which is not Bobby’s fault — if Kotchman doesn’t hurt himself and can stay in the game, he probably makes the play on Pagan’s triple in the ninth, and Acosta probably gets out of the inning unscathed.

  35. 44 — I didn’t care for Bobby’s other moves in the game and his evident bizarre disdain for Yunel, but who did you want to pitch in that situation? Soriano, again? Valdez? Before today, Acosta hadn’t been terrible lately other than the Colorado game when he was pitching on a 3rd consecutive day.

  36. Also, I think Bobby has become the new Bete Noire despite his absence from the poll.

  37. You know, I completely forgot about Norton when putting the poll together. I almost always forget he’s there, probably because he never plays in the field and never makes it on base. At any event, hopefully he won’t be around for long.

  38. DOB indicates in a blog comment that Yunel is generally angry at the media — and that he is hiding behind “not understanding English” — and in another comment that the point of “three hits” was, indeed, that he thinks they only talk to him when he makes a mistake. Yeah, he’s being a jerk.

  39. Although I agree with everyone here’s thoughts about the Conrad pinch-running appearance, I still think that a semi-defensible reason can be offered.

    You are playing against Johan Santana, probably the best pitcher in the National League. The closer is K-Rod, probably the best closer in the league. You have the bases loaded with one out in the seventh- this is probably the best chance that your team has to score in the game, as you probably will not score in the ninth inning. You have a chance of scoring in the eight vs. that Bullpen, but will not need a pinch hitter because the lineup has just turned. McLouth lead the league in doubles last year; Prado has twenty-one of them this year. Anderson will most probably not score from first with on a double, whereas with Conrad, you can probably get that go-ahead run on that double. Even on a single, if the runner at second attempts to beat the throw to home, you have a better chance of Conrad advancing to third on the throw than Anderson. If either Martin or McLouth hits that double and Conrad scores, Bobby looks like a genius at the time.

    The rest of Bobby’s moves just don’t make sense to me, however.

    What do you think, Mac?

  40. @9 The call probably wasn’t right, but Bobby was right to be mad at Yunel. When you’re told to hit and run, you swing. Period.

  41. I understand where Yunel is coming from, the only time the media does talk to him or about him is when they “think” he’s the one that screwed up. I think it’s pretty clear that Bobby hates Yunel’s guts and is the only reason his name keeps getting floated out in trades. But the Cox butt kissing media takes their cues and comes down on Yunel unfairly and doesn’t give him any praise. Look no further than Joe Simpson. He’s always ripping Yunel for every little thing he does wrong, yet let Chipper commit one of his more frequent errors and Joe remains mum.

    Then let Chipper drive in a run and he raves about him for 5 minutes, then let Yunel go 4-4 and he never has anything positive to say, just ignores it.

    Yes Yunel is cocky, but that’s who he is. The guy practically gave Castro the middle finger, and people expect him to suddenly change? It’s the managers job to work with guys like that, and Cox is not doing his job. I fear this is going to come down to a Cox or Yunel deal and the FO will choose Cox, who is about finished, rather than a player who has his best years in front of him and will be a multiple time all star.

  42. My barber isn’t as reputable as Smitty’s, but if the Yunel thing really comes to a head then he mentioned this as a possibility:

    Boston: Yunel Escobar

    Milwaukee: Clay Buchholz

    Atlanta: Alcides Escobar and Daniel Bard

  43. Geez…look what I missed. My favorite player being used a scapegoat.

    Bobby is so lucky he is in Atlanta. I just hope he leaves with some dignity left. That’s why I admire Tom Kelly so much, very good manager and knew when to quit.

  44. I just don’t understand. We all must have watch the game live. How can anyone blame Yunel for this? THAT PITCH WAS SO INSIDE THAT NO ONE CAN POSSIBLY PUT A PIECE OF BAT ONTO IT!

    Why so little of us are blaming Nate for failing to drive in at least one run?

    Why so little of us write about Norton missing TWO FLAT PITCHES RIGHT AT THE HEART OF THE PLATE?

    Bobby is Bobby and Yunel is Yunel. Bobby’s weakness has always been strategy in late and close ball game. This has been so damn obvious since 1991. Nothing will change the old man.

    Yunel has been like that since the first day he started playing in the US. Quite frankly, that’s how he is driven to be a good player he is now. Nothing will change the kid either. Honestly, I don’t think Yunel has been treated fairly by Bobby or the media (specifically DOB and Bowman). They are all pushing Yunel into the corner and forcing Yunel to act like a jerk to protect himself.

    Yunel is hardly the top three reasons why we lost the ballgame today but everybody is talking/writing about him on a play that is hardly his fault. Is that fair?

  45. This is very funny:

    “The Braves issued intentional walks to David Wright(notes) in the first, sixth and ninth innings, each time putting runners on first and second for former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur(notes).

    “That was interesting,” Manuel said. “We don’t know Jeff as well as Bobby does. We still have to try to figure him out.””

    Jerry, this means we think Frenchy sucks very bad, ha!

  46. Freeman hit his first AA homer tonight and Heyward continued to be killing the ball. Things are looking good on that front!

  47. #60 +1.

    I also don’t think the media has ever treated Yunel fairly. I think they all picked up on the fact that Bobby didn’t like him and he hasn’t has a shot since. What really bugs me is this: Yunel Escobar is the best player on this team (or at least tied with McCann) yet I think we are determined to get rid of him. We tried in the Peavy deal, then we tried to sign Furcal which I think would have resulted in flipping Yunel, and now his name is always in trade rumors. You simply cannot trade your best player and hope to compete.

    I mean it’s not like Yunel is a criminal, he’s not out shooting up clubs or anything. Furcal received 2 DUI’s in Atlanta, which probably means he actually drove drunk hundreds of times. He was a threat to people’s lives yet we just tried to bring the guy back. All Yunel is is something of a hotshot, something I enjoy to watch. It’s much better then watching all the other dull players we have. I think that’s what Bobby wants, players that are dull, play golf, and never show any passion. God Forbid Yunel shows some fire out there.

  48. I never said there was anything wrong with playing golf but I admit it was kind of a dumb example. What I really mean is that Yunel doesn’t seem to fit in well with the other players and I wonder if that contributes to Bobby not caring for him.

  49. Yunel is a showboat, but he’s also a bonehead who makes poor decisions on the field on a fairly regular basis. Someone like that is going to be a lightning rod for negative attention, and is not going to get the benefit of the doubt. If you want people to look at you, you need to have a thick enough skin to deal with the consequences.

    Seems to me that a parting of ways is almost inevitable, but I would be very surprised if something happens during the season.

  50. I know, i was just busting ya.
    It is weird, this team does not seem to handle emotional players well.
    When you are winning Yunel is great, when your not, he becomes a target, Nick Swisher has the same reputation. When its good they love, when its bad, he is annoying.

    They better win today, a split with a AAAA team would justify send Cox and a handful of players out of town to me.

    I dont admire Frank Wrens job at this moment, how do you tell an icon like Cox to hit the road?
    He should call Jerry Jones I guess.

  51. What makes you think that Wren is even considering telling Cox to hit the road?

    I think there is no chance of that.

  52. According to Rosenthal, Cox has regular meetings with Yunel. If you want to believe he does that because he hates him and relishes the chance to tear him a new one on a daily basis, okay. But that flies in the face of everything everyone has ever said about Bobby’s approach to his players. If he hated him, he wouldn’t bother. I think he’s trying to coax a better approach out of him — because, despite his obvious talents, he pulls stupid crap all the time. That’s different from making an error.

    When the manager calls a hit-and-run, you swing. That’s how it works. If the pitch is off the plate and you foul it off, fine. Even if you swing and miss on an inside pitch, you provide some protection to the baserunner by impeding the catcher. That play was close enough where Diory would have been safe had the catcher had to alter his motion even a little bit.

    There was evidence that Yunel didn’t necessarily ignore the hit-and-run sign — he appeared confused by the sign he was given. That’s not supposed to infuriate a manager, a guy who’s been in the lineup for three years not knowing the signs?

  53. I’m with Sansho1 on this. Even in High School, this is a rule you learn pretty fast- when a hit and run gets called, you always have to try to hit that ball. You swing when that pitch seems to be inside, you swing when you know that it is a pitch out.

    I know that the Major Leagues are not like Nevada High School Ball. Still, providing to your Manager/Coach the confidence that no matter what the apparent situation, you as a player will go out and execute his play is important on all levels of competitive sports.

    In my opinion, when I personally saw a teammate go out and not swing during a hit and run even on pitches outside the zone, my first thoughts where that he was more concerned about setting up his at-bat for a positive result than allowing a teammate to drive in a run from a runner at second. It’s one of the few ways that you can make yourself look like a selfish player in a one-on-one sport like baseball, and again, in my opinion, it says a lot about the type of teammate you are.

  54. Because when you are a GM and your team is underperforming you make changes, if you dont, you will get fired.

    This team is underperforming.

  55. sansho, I think the biggest problem everyone has/had with Bobby was his quick knee jerk reactions with Yunel when he had bigger problems like Frenchy that he chose to ignore. Yeah, we dont have many good OF’rs in our system, but Bobby ignored the fact that Frenchy was one of the worst and he got special treatment

  56. I’m not really sure this team is performing below Wren’s expectations. He appears to be viewing the rebuilding process, as he should, as a two year process.

    He knows he did not go out and fix the outfield. The only way we become a playoff team under the circumstances was by realizing a long awaited breakout from a player too young to give up on (at the beginning of the season). One of those players is now in AAA; the other is a Met.

    If this team goes from a 90-loss team to one at .500, it has taken an important step forward. And that does not justify firing the iconic skipper.

  57. Frenchy was a bad ballplayer who was always trying to get better, but might not be capable of it. There’s no use getting angry at someone like that. Yunel is a supremely talented ballplayer who acts out of petulance, shows up the opponent, and either ignores or doesn’t know the signs. And that’s a pisser.

  58. Jon K,

    The Braves didn’t use Soriano on Friday or Saturday; he should be well-rested for today. Satisfied?

  59. I think Frank would be very happy if Bobby retired after this season.

    And winning is more important than anything else.
    Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry and people went nuts, the Cowboys then had a rebirth under Jimmy Johnson and everyone forgot what had happened.

  60. yunel blew the hit&run pure and simple……….it doesnt matter where the pitch is if you dont get the sign. thats what bobby was pissed about and i dont blame him…………you’ve gotta swing no matter where the pitch is. its called protecting the runner although that is probably a novel concept to some who are only familiar with stats………..swing the bat like a woodchopper, fall down in front of the catcher, do some damn thing instead of standing there with that smug, clueless look.

  61. barrycuda, Bobby shouldn’t have called for hit and run in the first place. Anyway. this little incident is getting too much attention in my opinion.

  62. aside from kotchman sitting, we will probably have a lineup consisting of 6 lefties. the pitcher we are facing tonight is a 2005 carbon copy of jorge sosa. he’s given up a lot of hits and a lot of walks, but manages to stay in games. right handers are hitting him much better this year, but i dont expect cox to go that route.

  63. you’re right KC………Bobby should have known that Yunel is too stupid to get the sign.

  64. Quoting my 81-year-old grandfather from earlier this morning:

    “They finally got rid of ole’ Francoeur. Now they’ve only got one more to get rid of: Bobby Cox….”

    Then he ranted about Moylan: “They outta charge that Moylan with impersonation. They call him a relief pitcher–he ain’t no pitcher!”

    He used to dog Reitsma back in the day. You guys would have loved it.

  65. But Mac, (@ 2),

    You routinely write up the managing as bizarre or stupid. Part of that is saber driven. You know that Cox does not consistently take the course that is most likely to result in fewer runs for the other guys and in more runs for us. Why do you not think Cox needs to go?

    I don’t mean, run him out of town on a rail, fire him, shoot him, or anything like that. Just go ahead and have a heart to heart, Wren (AND Schuerholz) and Cox and let him know he cannot continue to do this stuff.

    Mac, do you have some kind of dream that maybe out there somewhere is a better bench coach who can restrain Bobby’s bad side enough to get us by?

    To the others, the message from Bowman on about Thursday says his “front office tip off guy” is moving Cox out. No way Bowman writes up the “Cox mangles bullpen arms so bad nobody will trade for them” unless the movement has started.

    My feeling is that the anti Yunel by Cox is certainly partly to move attention off of Cox.

    And as to the “well Cox doesn’t play, the players are paid to execute.” If they can’t bunt, then he should teach them. If he can’t teach them, he should know that they can’t bunt. if they can’t bunt, he shouldn’t call bunts. He knows Acosta is not up to taking on 3 good lefthanded betters in a row in the 9th inning with a 1 run lead, doesn’t he? How many times has he done that? He should know his players and manage with their abilities in mind.

  66. okay, here it is to keep everyone happy. When Bobby calls for a hit and run the batter should swing, even if its a foot inside and may break his hand if he doesnt get out of the way. Also, Bobby should also start paying attention to the situation and when the reliever hasnt come close to throwing a strike, its an idiotic decision to call for the hit and run. Good, now everyone is happy

    Furthermore, quit making one bad decision after another. We lost to Santana, which isnt a bad thing, but we have to win today. 3 of 4 in any series is a good series. 2-2 against this Mets team shows that we cant compete to win this division

  67. You said it csg.
    Todays game is a test of sorts, do we have what it takes to force Wren to make another move or do we flop and just kind of ride out the season and look at next year.

  68. The X’s and O’s are not the most important part of a manager’s job. That would be maintaining clubhouse chemistry and getting the most out of your players on the field. Some managers excel at strategical decisions. Bobby Cox is not one of those managers. He never has been. I would argue that his on-field decisions aren’t enough reason to warrant a managerial change. Just as I would argue that a manager who excels at the X’s and O’s but doesn’t do the other things right needs to be removed from his position. Now, the question becomes, is Bobby doing a good job of maintaining clubhouse chemistry and is he getting the most out of his players? I don’t know the answer to that. There seems to be more and more evidence every week that the answer to both the questions is “no”. And if that’s the case, a change needs to be made. But I don’t pretend to know whether or not it is ultimately time for him to go. I will continue to scrutinize his on-field decisions, because he makes bad ones all the time. As we all should. That’s what fans do. But I don’t think on-field decisions are ever enough reason to fire a manager. Especially one that players seem to love playing for like Bobby Cox.

  69. I just wish everyone would stop trying to compare how Cox handles Yunel to other players on the team. Yunel is a bonehead and makes very poor decisions. If anything, last night’s play is the perfect example of why Bobby has a problem with him. Give anyone else on the team a hit-and-run sign, and they swing. That is what you do. If it is 3 feet outside, you throw the freakin’ bat at the ball. Things like this make it hard for a manager to trust a player in these situations. I was taught that in high school, so I know these players know it. It limits how a manager can manage a game. So what do you think the chances are the Cox feels he can call a hit-and-run in a very important game down the road with Yunel up to bat? Why can’t yall see where this is a problem?

    I like Yunel, and I’d much rather see Cox gone before him – but Cox had every reason to be upset about that play.

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