Juiced game thread: Aug 6, Braves at Dodgers

Let’s talk about the aging process in baseball, and how it relates to anabolic steroid use. Simply put (absurdly simply) there are two processes at work in a player’s career; for simplicity’s sake, let’s call them athleticism and skill. A player’s athleticism probably increases slightly early in a baseball career, but by the age of 25 or so it’s peaked. (There is some variation, of course.) A player’s skill, on the other hand, tends to increase throughout his career, with the exception of someone like Shawon Dunston, or (perhaps, we’ll see) Jeff Francoeur, whose skills flatline early on and never improve. Again, this is a simplification. For instance, strength tends to improve well into the thirties, barring injury, so it’s part of “skill” by this definition, but you wouldn’t normally think of it this way.

What steroids do — what they are prescribed to do, what their medical purpose is — is to aid in recovery. In an athletic context, what people mostly notice are the showy muscles and added bulk. It is unclear, still, how much this helps in baseball. Maybe the home runs go further, and a ball off the wall goes over the fence. Maybe. And see above about getting stronger as you age; players like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays got a lot bigger as they got older, too. But at the same time, what anabolic steroids are intended to do can easily help. The players who have seemingly enjoyed the biggest boost from steroid use haven’t been scrubs who suddenly got better; they have been either aging stars like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro, or talented players who hadn’t put it all together yet like Sammy Sosa.

One of the terms for the areas where these players have done the most damage — home runs and walks, for the most part — is “old player’s skills”. Players have always tended to hit for more power as they’ve gotten older, and always tended to draw more walks. There are a number of reasons for this, including increased strength, but also greater knowledge of what is and isn’t a strike, and of what pitches a player can hit with authority. At the same time, these have been offset by loss of speed and batting average — “young player’s skills”. At a certain level, the decay in young player’s skills is too much for the increased old player’s skills to overcome; usually, the player loses the ability to make contact often enough to hit for power. One of the discoveries since James invented these concepts has been that players with young player’s skills — Sosa would be a good example — tend to last longer than players with old player’s skills. They have both more room to rise and farther to fall.

So far, little enough has happened to keep these players running well. Bonds and Sosa were fast guys who eventually got really slow; McGwire and Palmeiro were slow guys who got slower. But what these steroid users have found is that they’ve arrested, or even reversed, the decline in their contact rates and batting averages. Bonds, for example, had in the first half of his career a fairly normal pattern in which he peaked around age 28, then started to lose a few points off his batting average, only to see it start to rise again when he started serious steroid use around age 35. McGwire added batting average as he got older; his three highest full-season averages were in his last three full seasons.

This is historically much more atypical than their home run surges. Willie Mays, for example; he hit his career high in homers at 34. Aaron hit his at 37. But Mays, who won a batting title at 23 and was a career .315 hitter at 32, hit .300 only once after that age and saw his career batting average fall by ten points before he retired. Aaron won two batting titles, at 22 and 25, and was a .320 hitter when he moved to Atlanta at age 32; he hit .300 three times after that age, and his career average fell by fifteen points. It is very unusual for a slugger to see his batting average rise late in his career, as happened with Bonds and McGwire.

As Bill James put it, anabolic steroids keep a player young, physically; what they basically do is put a player with old player’s skills in a young player’s body. How many of us have wished we knew then what we know now? Basically, steroids have allowed players to have that chance.

172 thoughts on “Juiced game thread: Aug 6, Braves at Dodgers”

  1. Good thread. Though I feel like the argument, “It’s not the use of steroids themselves, but the unsupervised and ill-advised use of them that is harmful” goes hand and hand with this.

    I voted for Ignacio Geronimo.

  2. 30 years from now we’re going to look back at the ban on steroids (and recreational drugs) and LAUGH like we do now with the ban on beer.

    So the Marlins imploded again and got swept by the Nationals. They blew a 3-run lead in Game 1, a 4-run lead in Game 2, and a 6-run lead in Game 3.

    So who are we rooting for in the PHI-FLA series?

  3. they probably wont laugh because most people dont care about steroids unless you are sports junkies like us.

    Prohibition effected millions of people in many ways.

  4. @1 I also voted for Geronimo.

    The Nationals ability to score frightens me. Morgan leading off, with Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham hitting homers is no joke.

  5. Ignacio Geronimo isn’t that cool of a name, but I almost voted for it because I would throw my TV out the window if Chip ever called a game in which he hit a homer. “Heronimo (assuming that’s how it’s pronounced) gets a hold of one…GERNONIMOOOOOOO”

  6. @5 “Ignacio Geronimo isn’t that cool of a name”. In your opinion is not a cool name, but according to the poll quite a few disagree with you.

  7. Speaking of cool names, where has that friend of the wildebeasts – Stu – gone to.

  8. Wow, quite the interesting conversation concerning steroids and PED’s.

    All I know about the performance enhancing property’s of the stuff is this:

    Jose Canseco has readily admitted that he would have never set foot on a major league diamond without steroids. Better yet, here is something to chew on. Jose hit 462 HR’s while his identical twin brother Ozzie never hit one single bomb in the big leagues.

    Mark McGwire used Andro during his record breaking 1998 season and stopped using after the Andro story broke. Three years later, McGwire retired because his body could not compete without PED’S.

  9. It’s not that unusual for identical twins to have different talent levels. Horace and Harvey Grant were identical twins, but Horace was several times the player Harvey was. Same deal, at a lower level, with Brook and Robin Lopez, and Jason and Jarron Collins. (It’s not surprising these are all big men.) Ronde Barber is a defensive back; Tiki Barber was a running back. The only really similar set of identical twin athletes I can find is the Van Arsdale brothers.

  10. We’ve come along way. We’ve gotten past the ‘you can’t be sure these guys are on anything’ argument and the ‘you can’t be sure steroids really help’ argument. Now we are openly discussing the users and the help they received like grownups.

    Still feel like steroids are getting an undersell though. Bret Boone went from .233/.275/.354 and .223/.298/.332 in his supposed Age 27-28 peak years to putting up lines that wouldn’t look out of place in Hank Aaron’s career in his early 30s. Then, of course, his body fell apart and – poof – he was gone.

  11. Mcguire used to leave his andro bottle (that he got at GNC) on the top shelf of his locker for all the world to see. We are quite revisionist in our outrage.

  12. And, I suspect that hitters, pitchers and the ball were all juiced for awhile.

    Chicks did indeed dig the longball.

  13. The only really similar set of identical twin athletes I can find is the Van Arsdale brothers.

    One of Henry Bibby tricks when he was basketball coach at USC (aside from openly feuding with his best players for no reason) was to score a prized recruit by also offering his less talented twin brother. When you’ve got UCLA down the road you have to get creative. For a while they were carrying three sets of twins Eric and Derrick Craven, Roderick and Loderick Stewart, forget the other set.

    Like most of the Henry Bibby era, it wasn’t really a winning strategy.

  14. @14

    Mac – my point exactly. The professionally outraged are really tiresome, in my opinion.

  15. Bibby missed out on Majestic and Scientific Mapp.

    Does this mean we can talk about college basketball?

  16. Not that this thread needs a new topic, but I found this amusing (from BJOL, “Hey Bill Section”):

    Bill, Ichiro is on pace to be a “Type B’ free agent. Not a knock on Aubrey Huff or Xavier Nady but how can they be “A” while Ichiro would be a “B”?
    Asked by: Anonymous
    Answered: August 5, 2009

    As if we needed further evidence that that system doesn’t work. . ..

  17. You might have seen on Deadspin, Florida has an incoming freshman named “Nimrod”.

    In the Bible, Nimrod is portrayed as a very powerful, accomplished individual. Anyone know the story on how the name came to mean whatever it means now? Did his association with the Tower of Babel really sully the name that much?

    And why am I so desperately trying to push the thread of topic after Mac put together such a thoughtful post? I’ve got nothing but questions.

  18. Before I talk about Gilgamesh, can we have a Standing O for Mac and this blog in general and this thread in particular.

    Some theologians think Nimrod (great grandson of Noah) was also Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of if not the earliest known human writing.

    Ya know, the use of cosmic steroids (intermingling of humans and angelic beings) played a large role in getting everybody’s butt drowned once.

  19. You don’t get this stuff on DOB’s blog. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen steroids and angel humping linked anywhere before.

  20. Rick Hall had so many hits in that little corner of NW Alabama he must have been on steroids.

  21. Per DOB:
    1. McLouth – CF
    2. Prado – 2B
    3. Jones – 3B
    4. McCann – C
    5. Escobar – SS
    6. ACHE – LF
    7. Diaz – RF
    8. LaRoche – 1B (your guess is as good as mine)
    9. Lowe – P

  22. It is hard to watch Smoltzie like this. Just left after giving up 5ER in 3IP and is responsible for the bases loaded jam that he left.

  23. hottest hitter in the 8 hole, so pretty much going lefty righty through the lineup

    as much as I hate to say it, Wren looks brilliant for not throwing that much money at Smoltz. We got really lucky on the players we didnt get (Furcal, Peavy, Burnett, Griffey, Smoltz)

  24. I’m watching the Yankee’s / Red Sox game right now.

    John Smoltz is finished, he just got lit up by the BoSox in the fourth inning. The dude is sitting in the dugout with a look of shell shock on his face. 9-3 Yankees lead.

  25. I moved there from Tuscaloosa after the 6th grade and I still remember driving in on some forsaken country “highway” and seeing that sign at the city limits. It was like, there is no freakin’ way this is the hit recording capital of the world.

    But it was.

  26. Burnett’s been fine, but I think the bigger point is that none of those players were particularly good bets to begin with. And Smoltz would’ve been fine at the price we were offering.

  27. The reason we wanted Smoltzie back is because we don’t want him to put on another uniform, but from a pure baseball decision point of view, we have always known Wren had made the right call.

    I believe someone has mentioned this before, but I wish Glavine and Smoltz are as smart as Maddux in knowing when to quit.

  28. Why is McCann still batting clean-up against a lefty? Is Ross really that bad that McCann couldn’t get a day off? I don’t understand.

  29. Mark Bradley compared Heyward to Darryl Strawberry. The guy sure knows how to “please” his readers.

  30. @40 It’s wasn’t Mark Bradley, it was Manager Phillip Wellman who compared him to Strawberry.

  31. I think it’s fine to compare Heyward to Strawberry in terms of talent. I sure hope Heyward’s career will not be the same as Darryl.

  32. I hate to belabor the point but….. while McGwire did not break the law the did break baseball’s rule against steroids.

    Steroids were banned in 1991 by Fay Vincent and I quote the memo word for word:

    “This memorandum sets forth Baseball’s drug policy.” The memo goes on to say, “The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players or personnel is strictly prohibited…. This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs … including steroids or prescription drugs for which the individual in possession of the drug does not have a prescription.”

    Andro is a steroid and no, McGwire didn’t know nor did he intentionally break the rules because the players, coaches, trainers and even owners were ignorant of the steroid rule due to the fact that almost no one had actually read it.

  33. @45 If everybody is actually ignoring the rules and not being punished, I think it is the commissioner office’s fault for not enforcing the rule.

  34. Look at Smoltz getting rocked. Can you imagine how bad Glavine would have been destroyed?

    Edit: I fucking love the Francoeur jab at the beginning of your thread, Mac. lol

  35. KC, right you are my friend. Everybody was and is to blame to some degree. The Commissioner, players union, owners, coaches, trainers and athletes.

    It’s not fair to just blame McGwire, Sosa, Bonds etc, etc. Baseball turned a blind eye to the problem and did nothing until Balco blew up in their faces.

  36. Mac,

    How does Chipper fit into the last few paragraphs of the game thread?

    The latter part of his career doesn’t seem to fall into either group.

  37. Chipper is a great pure hitter. His BA rose because the game got cleaned up. I believe he could have put up a high average year after year had he not been facing the likes of alleged steroid users. His power numbers are down, but he still has a sweet swing.

    I look forward to him becoming the Braves batting coach in the near future.

    It’s sad to see Smoltz’s career end this way. We’ll welcome him back with open arms to the Braves family as part of the broadcast team next year.

  38. McCann is clueless against lefthanders, but yet he is still batting clean-up. Please move Esco to clean-up.

    @51 I’m not going to be naive enough to assume Chipper was clean.

  39. @52

    I’m not assuming it either, but per the game thread, regardless of if he was using, his average shouldn’t be going up while his power goes down.

  40. Interesting observation Ethan,

    Chipper has lost his power, but not his ability to make contact.

  41. Muscle Shoals — Only know of it because it was the hometown of Jason Allen, who played safety at UT. Everyone thought he was going to commit to UGA, but he decided to don the creamsicle look instead. Good player. Wish we’d gotten him.

  42. This is ridiculous. How many runners will it take for McCann to leave out there against lefthanders before dumb Cox slides him in the 5 hole against lefties. He’s hitting under .200 and is just killing rallies.

  43. Lowe’s mostly keeping the ball down, but he’s not hitting his spots too well. Not sure how this bodes going forward. Some Ks would be nice.

  44. I didn’t pour through all of the replies, but…

    Size and power are important factors in sports. But, the issue with steroids in baseball isn’t as much about improving size and power as much as it is about the ability to recuperate at a greater rate than others. Maintaining consistent performance over a 162 game season is an incredible advantage for players who may be slightly less skilled. And for those who are very skilled, well…

  45. Anyone else think we should have McCann sac bunt him over here?

    edit: same effect, I guess.

  46. @37

    “The reason we wanted Smoltzie back is because we don’t want him to put on another uniform, but from a pure baseball decision point of view, we have always known Wren had made the right call. ”

    KC – really? We have always known Wren made the right call? For what Smoltz would’ve cost, and for the icon that Smoltz is as a Brave…are you saying you never doubted the decision?

    As it appears, the decision might have been smart. But I won’t be the first Braves fan to say that I’d love to have kept Smoltz. And just like Renteria wasn’t a fit in Boston, I think Smoltz, given his familiar environment, would’ve been more effective and useful for the Braves than for the Red Sox; albeit Smoltz would have had to be more flexible and possibly pitched out of the pen.

    Glavine is a whole different story.

  47. I always look forward to the Dodger series at L.A. because I get to listen to Scully call the game. You’ll learn more about the Braves the first time through the lineup than you’ve learned all year listening to Sciambi and Simpson.

  48. There is something reed-like in Vin Scully’s voice that is pure ear candy. It just sings.

    Let’s close this mutha out!!

  49. 72 and 73 couldn’t agree more! His voice takes me back to my childhood. What is he 80 years old or something?

  50. Here is where I’d love to see Soriano come in, finish the inning, and, effectiveness-permitting, pitch the 8th as well. You get through the heart of the lineup (and the most important spot of the game) with your best reliever.

  51. there havent been many moylan naysayers around lately…and i dont blame them. he’s been a stud! great pitching peter!

  52. Scully is the best but his age is definitely showing. I’ve noticed the last few years that he mixes names up rather often. For example, he just called Matt Diaz Martin Diaz.

  53. just a reminder: if you take moylan’s first 2 appearances of the year away, he has a 2.58 era in 48.2 innings pitched. he deserves much more credit than he gets on this blog.

    btw, with a runner in scoring position, this is a ridiculously dumb decision. what can the braves gain by batting moylan? not a single bench player has been used to this point and we leave our reliever, with a runner on, to bat. bobby has hash browns for brains.

  54. Moylan hitting? Sure would love to try and get that run in. Apparently Bobby thinks 2 runs is enough

  55. “Scully is the best but his age is definitely showing. I’ve noticed the last few years that he mixes names up rather often. For example, he just called Matt Diaz Martin Diaz.”

    Precious, precious FOX dauphin Thom Brennaman referred to Georgia as “the Gators” in the ’08 Sugar Bowl. And we get that f****r for the next forty dang years.

  56. #82 – true enough, its almost the same thing that happened with Oflaherty. He’s been brilliant, but took everyone a long time to trust the guy

    Wow, Moylan struck out swinging…shocker!

  57. Yeah, Brennaman is awful.

    The quality of announcers in general is pretty awful. We should be thankful we have Boog. . . for part of the time, anyway.

  58. Glad we left Moylan in to face Blake. It was certainly worth giving up the potential insurance run.

  59. I also hate it when they say that run doesn’t mean anything.

    It does because this is not the 9th inning.

  60. Letting Moylan bat, leaving him in … we are just begging to lose this game.

  61. moylan seems like the kind of pitcher that would lose effectiveness in a multiple inning stint. am i the only one who feels this way?

  62. I’ve been critical of his defense, but that was a nice play by Prado.

    Can we escape another jam…

  63. I’ve always wondered why McCann doesn’t put his arm behind his back when he catches.

  64. Moylan came through big time!

    He certainly made it interesting, though.

    Also, I am glad the run that didn’t matter didn’t score.

  65. You don’t want your hand behind your back when catching, but you do want it behind your glove or behind your right leg.

  66. it would be nice, btw, Kotchman probably doesnt make that same throw Laroche did to get the lead runner last inning

  67. 106 – If you ask me, posters are welcome to refer to Brian McCann as “Parish.”

    That would be cool.

  68. Should I feel bad for being happy Smoltz looked like garbage tonight?

    I will answer that question.


  69. I’m not worried about Smoltz, I’m worried about this game, which we just might be in the processing of blowing.

  70. Don’t even start blaming Bobby. Soriano was given a two run lead and couldn’t hold it. Do you think people make excuses for any top tier closer if he has to pitch back to back nights? That’s what a real closer has to do.

    Damn it.

  71. @117–don’t see where this one is on Cox–if he brings a loogy to face Ethier then he has to deal with RH hitters following Ethier

  72. Man, that’s some weak shit. Two perfectly placed grounders, and a HR.

    ETA: Cox had nothing to do with this loss. Nothing whatsoever. I’d have brought in Sori instead of Moylan, but that probably just means it gets blown an inning or two earlier. Soriano’s velo was off, his location was off, and when those two things are true, blown saves happen.

  73. We will be fortunate to be .500 coming out of L.A. I don’t blame Bobby. Don’t blame anyone. Just worried that something is seriously wrong physically with Soriano.

  74. Soriano was punching his right thigh before his last pitch. Might have been cramping. Something ain’t right, that’s for sure.

  75. I don’t blame Bobby.

    Your closer needs to nail that one down.

    This feels like the loss we won’t be able to overcome.

  76. give me a break with this bobby shit

    that 3-run home run is bobbys fault? theres no way to justify that without sounding asinine.

  77. All those appearances by Soriano, Gonzo and Moylan are starting to add up. The trio is wearing down and Cox has nobody to blame except himself.

  78. hahaha guys when will u all just give up? I’ve been telling you this for a week now. This team just can not put together enough quality 9 innings to put themselves in position for a postseason appearance. They are like the buffalo bills… they dont find ways to win games, they find ways to lose games. AND I’M A BILLS FAN!!!

  79. Just got in from the Smoltz debacle in The Bronx to see this.

    FWIW, how this is Cox’s fault escapes me. At some point, you’re allowed to blame the players who actually play.

  80. Just think the garbage I’ve had to put up with the last 15 years. haha surprising I haven’t jumped ship or shot myself yet

  81. As has been the case the past few years, the Braves are unable to put all facets of the game together to win consistently. Just a wretched loss that keeps us mired in a mediocre stench.

    They’ll lose 3 out of 4 (at best) this weekend.

  82. Soriano CLEARLY wasn’t right tonight. Gonzalez was apparently unavailable b/c he’s been pitching in 9-2 games. The manager should have picked up on SOME of this.

  83. Well, it’s shoot for 2 of 3 now. We obviously need to score more when we have the chance.

  84. @141: In the last 15 years, this team won 11 division titles, three pennants and a World Series while only having two losing seasons. Maybe it’s not what we thought or hoped the team could have, but if you think that’s garbage, then you wouldn’t handle being a Pirates or Bengals fan too well.

    I’m upset about this loss, too. There’s a few objects in my home office here that are now at the opposite end of the room. But let’s be realistic about things.

  85. Cox is an idiot. He should have gone out and pitched the 9th himself – at least that way people can have a valid reason for being pissed off at him. Maybe he could stop being blamed for his guys just not getting the job done – just do it yourself.

  86. @145 – Chipper didn’t miss a damn thing. He is the best in baseball at that play, and it would have been an AMAZING play if he was able to pull it off. You can’t EXPECT anyone to make that play.

  87. Granted I think Cox needs to move on after this year just because its time this franchise cuts those ties. However this loss is not an example of Cox’s mismanagement. It’s an example of the fact that this team just isn’t a “complete team” they have far too many holes which cause them to lose wayy too many “in the bag” games that playoff caliber teams find ways to win

  88. @147: i have to agree with you. bobby shouldve known that soriano (one of the best relievers in the league this year) would give up 3 runs. i mean, every time soriano pitches, he blows a game–right?

    maybe he shouldve gone with gonzo, who has been worse than soriano. if gonzo gave up 3 runs, it would also be bobbys fault because gonzo “hasnt pitched recently and is rusty”.

    since either a soriano blown save or a gonzo blown save could be attributed to cox, its only logical that he shouldve pitched. he would have just as good a chance to finish the game, and hes equally responsible either way.

  89. Our New Insect overlords…

    Guy you can talk about division titles all you want, but the fact is this team tanked more often in pressure situations than it did succeed. And if you actually “READ” my post you’d have noticed that I stated I was a bills fan. So in the last 20 years you can sugar coat it all you want but i’ve seen the following…. 14 straight division titles (WOW how amazin*cough cough*) yet we managed only 1 world series win with 5 appearances. Not exciting, DISAPPOINTING. And let’s not forget 4 straight super bowl losses. But taking your logic I suppose I should go around and brag about how great of a time it was.

  90. And yes let’s be realistic…. THIS TEAM IS NOT GOING TO THE POSTSEASON…. they have been blowing games, and playing like garabge all season. There isn’t going to be some magical turn around where they win 10-12 in a row. They just don’t have the players AND the manager seems incapable of smart decisions anymore.

  91. I don’t think you can really say that this game points to any serious flaws with this team.

    We lost to one of the best teams in the league on a swinging bunt, a seeing-eye single followed by a homer that eked over the wall by a great hitter.

    Granted, our closer didn’t have his best stuff, but it was one of those games that just wasn’t meant to be.

    Of course, we really needed that one.

  92. @151:

    Tonight tore me up. We had the best team in the NL on the ropes and let them off, because our closer has lost his stuff for reasons unknown, which makes it all the more worrisome. This year has been at times frustrating, although about what I expected; I figured let’s be around .500 at Aug. 1 and see what happened from there. Last year was depressing. But if you’re going to say that you’ve been putting up with garbage from the Braves for the last 15 years … well, I would hate to see the world as you do. Some people see the glass as half-full. Others, half-empty. Evidently, your glass is shattered into a million pieces on the floor.

    I grew up a Tampa Bay Bucs fan — when they sucked, going through 14 consecutive losing seasons. While your Bills were going to Super Bowls, I would have given my pinky finger for an 8-8 season. My father-in-law is an 81-year-old Cubs fan in poor health who’s never even seen his team win a pennant. So forgive me if I don’t act like like a spoiled hyena over the performance of the last 15 years. Overall, we’ve had it pretty damn good in that time, and if Freeman or Heyward are even half of what they are hyped to be, then more good days are coming.

    I’m more a pessimist than an optimist, but holy crap, you make me look like Will Freaking Rogers. I’m going to bed. Life’s too short to waste getting angry over someone like you.

  93. @154

    Well I’m glad my teams were always good and making it to the playoffs and at times to either the super bowl and world series. But, the sporting world outside us braves fans and bills fans don’t see it how you do. They see the braves and bills as choke artists plain and simple.

  94. By the way… ive seen both terrible seasons and disappointing play from both the braves and the bills. The last 5 years have been more than disappointing for both teams. And I can honestly say that it’s more frustrating and infuriating to see your team consistently go to the final game and fail to win it. Think about it… I’ve seen my teams play 9 times in the final game for the championship in their respected sports (9 times over the course of 9 years… and from 91-96 at least the bills or braves were in the sb or ws) with only 1 win to show for it. That many times is pretty much more kicks to the groin than one can take haha. So I don’t agree with your it being worst that 50 years of never making the playoffs or having a winning season. Because when you see your team… as close as it can get to a title only to see them come up short time and time again its pretty disheartening

  95. And if I’m not mistaken the bucs won their first and only sb they went to… so spare me your stupid sob story on how the bucs history was so devistating growing up. There isnt much to be disappointed at when you know your team sucks

  96. @158:

    Jon K., I don’t really know you, so don’t take this as a personal attack, but you are acting like a jackass. Lighten up.

  97. I got home from work last night in time just to see the 9th inning.
    I wish I had more customers and could have worked later.

  98. The division titles are far more impressive and a greater achievement than luckboxing the World Series.

  99. I guess Bobby figured Soriano was going free agent after this year anyway, so why not use him as much as he can while he’s here.
    But anyway, Soriano isn’t supposed to give up game winning home runs when there’s a save at stake. I thought he used to save his worst pitching for non-save situations.

  100. @billjay

    I just expect the most out of my teams billyjay, I’m not content with my teams not contending year in and year out for championships. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop being fan! haha but for a example if my team clearly doesn’t have enough talent to contend, like the braves team this year, I’m not going to sit and get angry over loses like last night; or be happy that the team finished .500 and out of the playoffs.
    That’s what separates the great teams from the rest of the pack its a mind set. What the braves did in the 90s was impressive to say the least, they had fantastic players HOF type players and pretty much owned the national league for over 9 years. HOWEVER… no matter how you slice it, 5 WS apperances with only 1 win is disappointing, along with 14 division titles with only 5 WS appearances. Thats a lot of playoff disappointment. Why sugar coat it??? It is what it is, its the reason why the braves and bills are held in that category of teams that just couldn’t win the big one and/or choke artists. As much as I hate teams like the yankees, st.louis cardinals, patriots and steelers etc… sadly to say those franchises are the benchmark to championships. Teams that more often than not can actually win championships, not brag about NL pennants and AFC championships. And that brings me to the final point I’ve been trying to get across… if your a fan of teams that are good enough to be WS champions or SB champions like the braves and bills, watching those teams fail 9 times in the big game is more agonizing and heart wrenching than being a fan of a team that isn’t even good enough to make it to the playoffs.

  101. That’s just because you allow yourself to get disappointed.

    A pirates fan can’t have his expectations disappointed because he sets them so low.

  102. You go to bed and your favorite team has a two run lead on the best team in the league.

    You wake up and its Friday. End of the work week. Good day. You go to braves.com and…

    On Yahoo Fantasy Baseball, Soriano’s WHIP and ERA are listed as “infinite” for yesterday.

  103. I blame Cox for leaving McCann in the cleanup spot against a lefty. Or playing him at all against a lefty. He is now batting .190 against lefthanders. He is tired and wearing down, just like the bullpen. Thanks to Bobby Cox.

  104. Yesterday was the perfect opportunity for a McCann “off day” as I pointed out on Wednesday.

    Can Cox not see that Ross’ CAREER and 3 YEAR AVERAGE and THIS YEAR statistics ALL say he is, by catcher standards, a “lefty killer”? So, if McCann is going to get an off day, shouldn’t it ocme against a lefty? Particularly when that opposing lefty is starting a game in the middle fo s sequence without off days?

    Major League teams salivate at having a left handed catcher because it is so easy to find right handed catchers which allows the off days to be platoon days. And this manager is having trouble incorporating that into his “plan”?

  105. Bad choice of words on my point… I was moreso referring to someone complaining of having a favorite team that hasnt made the playoffs or has had infinite losing seasons as being more disappointing than what I’ve been talking about.

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