Marlins 8, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – September 03, 2009 – ESPN

Note to Bobby: Don’t use Medlen three games in a row. Especially not when he was bad the second game.

In a very similar situation to last night, the Braves led 3-1 after five, and trailed 7-3 after six. This time, the starter was pulled after five — Hanson allowed only two hits, but dealing with a postage-stamp strike zone he walked four and needed 104 pitches — and Medlen started the inning. It went pretty much the same way. Medlen — whom Joe Simpson almost immediately noted was struggling to get his normal velocity and throwing with great effort, and one wonders why the guys who wear uniforms for no readily apparent reason, and I don’t mean Norton, didn’t notice the same thing — walked a guy, allowed three hits, two of them doubles, and retired only one before getting pulled trailing 4-3.

O’Flaherty could have gotten out of it, but Chipper dropped his first batter’s foul popup, which was inevitably followed with another double. The next guy grounded out, which could have gotten the Braves out of the inning, but instead there were just two out, and O’Flaherty gave up three more hits and threw a wild pitch, and it was 7-3. Three runs — one on Medlen, two on O’Flaherty — were scored “unearned”, but they did combine to give up seven hits in one inning, and that’s never good. Tonight, there was no rally to tie it up, and Carlyle’s run in the seventh was just insult to injury.

The Braves very easily could have broken the game open in the fifth. They did get two runs, but both came on bases-loaded singles. Separate bases-loaded singles, as the Braves couldn’t score from second on hits. This is Church and Diaz, two of the fastest men on the team. I know that’s faint praise, but there’s no reason they couldn’t have gotten at least one more run there. McCann flew out to left, medium-deep, with one out, and Diaz didn’t try to score. On the left fielder, who is a converted second baseman. Seriously, that’s terrible… Their other run came on a homer by McCann in the second. He’s at 18, so there’s a good chance that the Brave will at least be spared the indignity of nobody hitting 20 homers.

83 thoughts on “Marlins 8, Braves 3”

  1. I disagree.

    You know what the problem was? It’s that damned radar gun. Bobby and McDowell will say that his velocity was fine. Of course, he was overthrowing everything to keep his velocity up and didn’t have any bite on his pitches or much control, and he was all over the place mechanically, but his velocity was fine.

  2. What about going to a 6 man rotation to keep every one fresh and going longer into the games? That way the bullpen could get more rest too if the starters were going deep in to the games because of the extra rest. What do you guys think?

  3. I used to like Bobby’s style of using one reliever for one inning strategy, but I think I am starting to buy Torre’s multiple inning usage style now. If we still have the big threes in their prime who can routinely throw seven or eight innings per start, then Bobby’s style makes sense…but when all starters can only go six or sometimes five innings per start, Bobby’s style requires a much deeper bullpen.

  4. Not over yet in my opinion, but we’re back on the same life support that we were after the San Diego series. If we end the weekend Reds series back by anymore than four games, it’s over. If we end the weekend series back by four (which we are now), we’re on serious life support. If we make up a game or two over the weekend, we’re fully alive for another week.

  5. “That’s our Achilles heel,” said Chipper Jones, whose sixth inning error on a pop-up in foul ground opened the door for three more runs. “If our starters go six or seven, we’re good. If they only go five, our record is not very good. It gets magnified this time of year because of what’s at stake.”

    or… or Chipper dropping the ball?

  6. It should also be noted that next week’s schedule isn’t exactly a peach. We go on a Central road trip to Houston and St. Louis. However, if we can just hang on until the end of next week (by which I mean stay three games back, or four at the absolute worst), we see an awful lot of the Mets and Nationals over the last three weeks.

  7. Baseball’s a funny sport. If we sweep the Reds (not guaranteed by any means, but plausible) and the Rox lose 2 out of 3, it gets interesting. Of course, if we get swept and they win 2 out of 3, it doesn’t look too good.

  8. 5, yes it is over. Done. finished.

    Bobby Cox is the most overrated manager in ML history.

    Watching the Braves in the top of the fifth inning was like seeing Deja Vu all over again. Their plodding ninety feet at a time offense was all to familiar. Load the bases, push one run in and repeat. All told, four hits, one walk and three outs resulted in a whopping two runs.

    Then Tommy Hanson eclipsed that F-N artificial 100 pitch count, Cox repeated the same mistake he has made a million times, and we all watched the bullpen melt down in the sixth inning exactly as it had done the night before.

    Greg Norton then justified Bobby’s faith in him by recording yet another useless pinch hit appearance in the bottom of the sixth.

    It’s cookie cutter management gone amok. Cox is his own worst enemy and it feels like Chinese water torture while being forced to endure this endless underachievement by our Braves.

  9. Bobby makes every player feel warm and fuzzy inside. Aside from that he sucks. I can fully sympathize with his reluctance to put Carlyle or Valdez in the game for a meaningful inning — they suck. But when the alternative is pitching Medlen who had already pitched 2 consecutive games and was horrible the last one, then one of them should have pitched anyway otherwise get them the hell off the roster and bring up somebody that can pitch. Oh and for the love of God walk Hanley Ramirez when he pinch hits with a runner on 2nd and first base open. The awful offense in April through June made it very hard for the Braves to make the playoffs, but with better managing they could have easily done it. I hope Wren is as cold blooded in deciding whether to bring Bobby back as he was with Smoltz, Glavine, Bennett, and Frenchy.

  10. @14: No updates. I met her at a meeting on Tuesday, had about a fifteen-minute conversation with her, and then asked her for coffee on Thursday via text about three hours after I met her. She said Thursdays were her busiest day (believable–I go nonstop without hardly a break on Mondays and Fridays) and so I told her to let me know when she had any free time. She said, “Alright, sure thing!” but, I haven’t heard anything. I think I may have moved a little too fast but I’ll be seeing her at this recurring weekly meeting so I’m just going to play it smooth and see if I can get to know her more there and try again.

    I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve lost a lot of weight and it has really upped my confidence in every facet of my life and so now my mission has been (for better or worse) dating a girl. I’m kinda having to wing it because I’m playing the game differently than my friends–they’re all with people they already knew or went to high school with while I’m having to get out and meet people so there isn’t much advice to be given directly to me. It’s fun though. Two prospects (one actual date) in the last month and a half after three and a half years of nothing.

  11. sdp
    I read over the posts here too quickly and got all mixed up. Somehow I got the notion you were hitting on Jason Shiell’s wife.

  12. I have been a relative defender of Booby but I can’t justify him keeping his job after a statement such as this:

    “Norton has only six pinch-hit RBIs this year and only 10 hits overall. When it was pointed out that Norton’s batting average wasn’t good, Cox said, “No, but he’s hit some balls good, but he’s still productive.”

    Stop the insanity!

  13. Ric Flair at 3,

    I tend to think the opposite. That is, that the 5 man rotation is a waste and should either be replaced by a 5 DAY rotation or even, heresy, a 4 man rotation. But actually better would be 12, 2 inning relievers going every 3rd day or so. (trade the pitchers that are too good for that system for elite hitting prospects and any mediocre NL team would jump).

    This team is worn down by APPEARANCES and GETTING UP TO WARM UP. When it comes to starters and their usage, Cox is extremely long term (even beyond the contract with the Braves). I agree on pulling Hanson. Age, pitch ocunt and the fact that his effectiveness was fading in the 5th. However, what happened next was madness.

    When it comes to relievers, Cox doesn’t seem to care if he finishes them off this week, physically or mentally.

    Right now, the extra starter should be used to piggyback. like osmeone on here the other day said. Kenshin for 5, Hudson for 4. Reverse the next time. Then, at least every 5th game the whole pen is shut down.

    Another “babying the starters” thing. When starters are “doing their regular work” between starts there is no reason not to schedule the warm ups in inning 2 and the throwing in inning 4 or so of the game. then, if somebody hits the wall, use that starter for a batter or two to get out of an inning.

  14. sdp,

    Good luck. I’m an old married guy now, but I remember how it was.

    The Braves just have to score more runs. And Chipper has to stop playing like he is 50 years old and criticizing the rest of the team.

    And this blaming the umpires–whether justified or not–is simply counterproductive. I guess Bobby thinks the umps will start giving them the calls, but I suspect just the opposite. The Braves are getting a bad reputation I think.

  15. Bobby’s comments are ridiculous and apparently rubbing off on Chipper. Dude’s done nothing the last month and a half and he’s blaming the starters for not going deep enough. Both are apparently losing it.

  16. That Chipper extension is looking worse and worse. I wonder if he’d approve a trade to an AL contender in the offseason where at least he could DH a lot of the time.

  17. sdp,

    Do work, son. I wonder if I should show up at this meeting and talk you up big to the lady. “Have you seen sdp’s ride? It’s sweet! Oh, who’s sdp? …. I don’t know. I gotta go.”

  18. I love how everyone gets on BC for being too soft on players and all that stuff.

    If you want to get on him about strategy, fine, I have issues with him there, but he handles the clubhouse as good as any manager ever.

    These guys are not 17 year old H.S. football players or college kids who can have the schollys ripped or the NFL. The players make millions of GUARANTEED Dollars. You are not going to light a fire under them by calling them out in the press or by tounge lashing them. They make their money even if you bench them.

    Now, if you want to argue that Bobby handles the bullpen like an old guy handles a strangers screaming kid in Wal-Mart, then that is a critique I believe is justified.

    This team is just in that weird spot where the young guys are not quite ready and the vets are just over the hill and thus mediocrity ensues.

    Again as I have stated on here ad nauseum, 29 mil on the books next year for 38yr old Chipper and 38yr old D. Lowe = no flexability and more of the same mediocrity next year. Why does Wren get off so lightly?????

  19. I’m sure this was discussed somewhere… but I love this quote:

    “I think Pap feels like he was misunderstood. He’s not a Rhodes scholar to begin with, obviously. When I talked to him directly about it, he couldn’t have been more excited about getting Billy Wagner.”
    —Sox GM Theo Epstein on RHP Jonathan Papelbon’s reaction to an story that painted the Sox closer as nonplussed about acquiring LHP Billy Wagner.

    “Our closer is dumb as a box of rocks, but I dangled something shiny in front of him to distract him and now he’s happy again. Throw the ball boy, throw it! Good boy.”

  20. Then Tommy Hanson eclipsed that F-N artificial 100 pitch count, Cox repeated the same mistake he has made a million times, and we all watched the bullpen melt down in the sixth inning exactly as it had done the night before.

    It called protecting your top asset. It’s a good idea.

    “Norton has only six pinch-hit RBIs this year and only 10 hits overall. When it was pointed out that Norton’s batting average wasn’t good, Cox said, “No, but he’s hit some balls good, but he’s still productive.”

    Stop the insanity!

    We’ve had this discussion a million times. What did you expect him to say? “You’re right, he’s really sucked this year.” Trashing players in the press is Chipper’s MO not Bobby’s.

    Why does Wren get off so lightly?????

    No idea.

    I’m still not sure what the right answer was for the last four innings. Running up Hanson’s pitch count was the absolute wrong answer, glad we didn’t try that. Medlen was wrong, O’Flaherty was wrong, Carylye was wrong. Bringing in the sixth starter for the last four innings might have worked, but that’s pretty far out of the box…

    At least Bobby had a better night than Chip Kelly.

  21. Norton as the last guy off the bench isn’t so bad. It’s when he’s the primary option with the game on the line that is the problem. That isn’t Wren’s fault.

  22. Robert and All

    The reason I point at Wren more than Cox is that there is no real idea as to what direction this team is going.

    I have no idea what Wren was doing in the off season, he threw money in so many different directions, none of it stuck until he threw the boatload at Lowe.

    The Lowe signing made no sense. Honestly if the braves were going to rebuild why throw huge coin at Lowe killing flexibility for the future.

    If the braves were going to try and contend, why did they go into the season with such a bad lineup, thus ensuring the braves play in a TON of close games, then not sign an extra reliever or two knowing the pen would be used a ton.

    The root of all this goes back to the LaRoche for Gonzo deal which was a similar overreaction to this offseason. If the braves did not trade LaRoche, then we would not have had to endure the Scott Thorman error, oops I mean era. Then we would not have had to trade the farm system for Tex. Then we would not have traded Tex for Kotchman and then Kotchman for LaRoche. So basically for Matt Harrison, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Perez, Salty, and Max Rameriez you got Gonzo and Steve Merek, who is HORRIBLE, and Gonzo is a free agent this year.

    Oh and since Harrison and Perez are not longer in the system you had to over pay for Lowe, KK, and Vasquez. You do not have pieces for a deal for a bat (Adrian Gonzalez or Matt Holliday) or payroll flexiblity to get younger. You also have to put up with Yunel and Chipper because you have NO ONE in your system to take their spots.

    Tell me how has the front office gotten off so lightly??????? They better hope Heyward and Freeman are the second coming of Ruth and Gerig.

  23. Bobby has always been bad with the bullpen. He seems to insist on having a seven-man bullpen and then proceeds to not use two of the guys (maybe they are there to help the bullpen coach with the equipment).

    But it goes deeper than that (and it doesn’t matter if it were Leo or Roger). Cox just always seems to not establish a sense of rotation or roles in the pen. Of course, it helped for all those years to have starters that routinely went seven strong innings.

    I invite everyone to think back over the past regular seasons and post-seasons (especially post-seasons) where Cox has just jumbled things up in the bullpen to a negative effect.

    Other than that, I think that outside of his mindless love for guys like Norton or Jordan 2.0, he’s a decent manager. I think managing in general is overrated and like a defenseman in hockey: if you notice them, something’s wrong.

  24. @29, No, but the point is, the quote reflects the fact that Bobby thinks it makes sense to keep sending Norton up there in key situations. It would be one thing if he was protecting him in the media but recognizing the problems and not using him. But, the fact that he still apparently thinks sending Norton up there makes sense doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in Bobby’s decision-making.
    Moreover, who says he has to ignore reality just to keep from hurting the player’s feelings? He doesn’t have to say “he sucks” but he doesn’t have to pretend everything is ok either.


    The assumption seems to be that Chipper will play out the entire contract regardless no matter what. I wouldn’t assume that; if he is really struggling, I could see him walking away.

  25. JC,

    Yes, it is Wren’s fault because who else are you going to put in the game?

    Infante, or Conrad, that is the only two I would maybe put in, the others

    KJ 0 for his last 20?

    Ross, your backup catcher????

    Not to defend Norton but he did lead the bigs in pinch hit HRs and RBIs last year. He has been HORRID this year, but who else do you have?

    Wren has all the money wrapped up in a small group of guys, Therefore you have to live with the Greg Nortons and Kelly Johnsons of MLB.

  26. @31,

    Wren is operating under some constraints. First, he doesn’t, I think, have the luxury of simply rebuilding. Attendence is bad as it is and would get much worse and he is stuck with a manager in his late sixties. I think he had to try to put together a team with some chance at competing and he has. You can argue about his mistakes and what he didn’t do, but the team is better than it was last year and, if it wasn’t for a few games pissed away by the bullpen and/or Cox, they might actually be leading the WC.

    Second, as people have pointed out, the GM can’t go down and manage the team. If you are going to tell the manager who to play, then fire the manager. But Wren won’t and probably can’t do that.

    I agree about the lack of direction to some extent in the sense that they passed up opportunities for players that could have helped them more, such as Dunn. On the other hand, look at how they have handled Escobar, Hanson, and Heyward. Wren recognizes that this is the future of the team and he has refused to sell it off or rush them to the majors, unlike John Schuerholz. He deserves some credit for that. Everyone knew Lowe was an overpay but (1)they had to make a splash to maintain any credibility with the fan base, and (2) it was reasonable to expect that Lowe would pitch better than he has. Even at that, it’s not like he has been Mike Hampton in Colorado.

    I mean, it’s not as if the Braves are the Nationals. They aren’t a great team, but they are certainly better than average and the future looks pretty good.

  27. The reason I say maybe for the Infante and Conrad

    Conrad – 15 games of MLB experience

    Infante – They needed him for situational substituting I assume, and he has been in a bit of a skid.

  28. Chipper leaving $$$ on the table and walking away is hard to envision. Chipper sure sounds like he’s now all about Chipper, the Braves be hanged. I didn’t like whiny Jeffie, but I dislike whiny Chipper more.

  29. But, the fact that he still apparently thinks sending Norton up there makes sense doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in Bobby’s decision-making.

    I’ll agree with this. With McClouth hurt the bench is horrible but it still makes no sense to keep using Norton. It’s pretty clear that he’s not going to come around this season.

    If Kelly Johnson were still alive we probably wouldn’t have this problem.

  30. stupup,

    Ross ought to be able to bat now. We brought up Sammons to have an extra back up catcher. And the only way Sammons would have come into that game was: further blowout, extra innings, or injury to McCann. So commenting to Sammons not being very good is irrelevant to using Ross.

    KJ won’t hit again unless Bobby gives hima start or two. The team may not be able to afford it on the win sheet to get in postseason.

    As long as KJ, and one of the two Conrad and Infante are still available, using Conrad or Infante makes a lot more sense than Norton.

    And no matter what happened last year, Norton has fallen off the table since then. It is OBVIOUS that he can not hit a quality major league fastball (or adjust by cutting down his swing). He will usually take a walk when the pitcher doesn’t throw strikes. He might hit a bad breaking ball. That is IT.

  31. Hey 29, how the hell does limiting your best pitching asset to 100 pitches help to win baseball games?

    The answer is:

    IT DOESN’T. Which is why we lost.

    p.s. pitch counts don’t prevent pitchers from getting hurt.

  32. 35, the tex deal blows any point of Wren valuing the future out of the water. This team has erroneously thought they were one piece away for years now.

    Constraints or not, Wren and JS burnt through more minor league prospects for one year rentals than should be allowed by law.

    Wainright and Marquis for Drew was one of the big ones. (Wren gets some blame cause he was the hand picked successor and was in the room).

    The Tex deal, the Wickman deal. Stop gap measures for years when the team needed a reboot. They also hung on too long to the hope some guys like Frenchy and KJ were stars.

    The braves are not the Nationals, but being the smart kid in the dumb class means nothing.

  33. At least Bobby took him out of the game. Of late he has left starters out there until they give up 8 runs in the 6th.

  34. And, unless the “pro-Cox crowd” wants to take back its “and if Wren tried to interfere in telling Bobby who to bat, that is wrong” then no part of which relievers are run in the ground and which pinch hitters are sent up has anything to do with Wren.

    The criticism is not that the roster shouldn’t have Norton as much as it is that the role of Norton as “game on the line pinch hitter” that Cox has granted to Norton is not only not justified, it is ludicrous.

    Now, I think that Wren made a mistake when he didn’t take the Norton question out of Bobby’s hands around mid July when it was obvious where the “Norton Experience” was heading. At that point, Wren could have brought up Barbaro and platooned him with Kotchman and let Barbaro be the Norton replacement. If that didn’t work, we could have kept Conrad up.

    With the budget Wren had, knowing what the team needed, and knowing that a Marlins style “tear down” was not possible (it would KILL the revenue stream, force the payroll down, and continue a spiral of intensifying defeat) he has done a good job of getting the team competitive WITHOUT TEARING AWAY THE FUTURE.

  35. I’ve never understood the sacredness of the backup catcher. Compared with the likelihood of Medlen sucking on his third straight day, or of Norton striking out with the bases loaded, or of Ryan Howard hitting a ball 500 ft if pitched to, the chances of your starting catcher getting hurt after the backup pinch hits are pretty small, and the result of any of those scenarios is a vastly decreased probability of winning. I guess it’s one of those “by the book” things, but that doesn’t make it remotely less inane.

    How long will it take for baseball managers to shed their 1920’s-vintage methods and realize that the game has changed since then? Every other sport is full of coaches who have adapted and even progressed (Mike D’antoni and Belichick come to mind). Is there a current baseball manager who isn’t a slave to 100 years of tradition that I’m just not thinking of?

  36. p.s. pitch counts don’t prevent pitchers from getting hurt.

    With 100% accuracy, no they do not. They do help though. If you want to make the argument that Bobby should be running Hanson and Jurrjens out there for 120 pitches a night chasing this small chance at a wild card, go for it. Dusty Baker would agree with you.

  37. Cliff,

    Again, not defending Norton, but……

    Ross last 10 games 3 for 17

    The point is not that Norton doesn’t reek. He does. The point is that Bobby is not batting him over some second coming of Hank Aaron. This bench is thin, especially with McClouth out and Church’s back hurting.

  38. @41,

    A lot of your complaints seem directed at JS rather than Wren. It’s pretty unfair to blame Wren for trading Wainwright just because he was “in the room.” For all we know, he may have opposed it and JS overruled him. Apparently, Wren gets the blame for all bad deals but none of the credit for good deals.

    It’s easy to say “reboot” but that’s sort of a meaningless statement. You mean forget about winning and just become the Marlins and hope that you get good in 3 or 4 years. Cleveland has tried that and, other than the one appearance in the ALCS, is still waiting.

    And the comment about being the smart kid in a dumb class is sort of silly. The Braves have the sixth best record in the NL. If Soriano and Gonzo don’t give up several walk-off home runs, they are probably in the lead for the WC. For the last 60 games, they have played at a 97 win pace. They are probably not that good but still . . . I would contend that they are rebooting–but they are doing it without losing 100 games.

  39. 46, wrong again. Nolan Ryan is in total agreement with me.

    100 is a nice round number. nothing more.

    Every person is different as is an athlete. One pitcher might tire at 95, another at 110, while some guys can go 120-125 with no problem.

    My point is simple as is that of Nolan Ryan. You want your best pitcher on the mound, preferably through six or seven innings. If that means 110 pitches or 125 in order to win, so be it. That’s what the Texas Rangers are doing right now as we speak.

    100 is just a number. The proper way to lessen arm injuries is good mechanics, common sense and proper physical conditioning. Not a cookie cutter number.

    Since the inception of the pitch count, arms injuries have increased. That said, pitchers will always get hurt. It’s just that the pitch count has had no impact at all other than to lower the quality of the game.

  40. Coach at 40,

    Just a preposterous and proven false position.

    For pitchers under 25 and / or in their first 3 years of ML action, pitch counts and innings limits are significantly proven measures to reduce the likelihood of pitcher injury. Not a certainty that injuries won’t happen, but a significant and proveable reduction.

  41. And, 100 pitches was not the only issue with Hanson last night. He had a bad inning in inning 5 and looked on the brink of caving in. It is possible he could have righted himself and gotten one more inning without a problem, but clearly that would have been it.

    So, you had to make a move.

  42. Isn’t the point of the pitch count that most injuries occur when pitching with fatigued muscles, especially for younger players who are still growing to some extent? Granted 100 is an arbitrary number, but it’s not like Hanson was blowing anybody away last night, and his performance noticeably declined as he labored through the 5th – a pretty clear indication of mounting fatigue. 100 might be arbitrary, but in this case it was pretty strongly correlated to fatigue.

  43. this is when our relief pitchers appearances are starting to show the wear and tear and getting up and throwing every single night

  44. 51, anybody who would defend Bobby Cox at this juncture needs his head examined. No offense, but you’re an idiot :)

  45. Coach,

    No offense but Nolan Ryan is not a scientist and has no idea what he is talking about. His opinion on human anatomy is about as valid as my opinion on fusion technology.

    I doubt pitcher injuries have increased; it’s just that they are detected more often and because teams have a greater investment, they take more steps to treat them. Years ago, a guy (Jim Bouton is a good example) would hurt his arm, lose his effectiveness and be out the door.

    I could just as easily say that smoking doesn’t cause cancer, people always died of cancer, some people smoke and don’t get cancer.

  46. 53, exactly. Cox protects his starters and burns his bullpen. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Just get pen and paper out and count the number of blown performances from our bullpen in the remaining 28 games.

  47. Starters are far, far more valuable than relievers. My guess is that for every functional starter there are five or six pitchers who can be good relievers. It’s much better to burn out relievers than starters.

  48. Coach, if you’re going to call people idiots, you need to pick posts other than Cliff’s at 51. That was pretty sensible. I’m not going to call you an idiot, so, um… I’ll just stop now.

  49. 48

    My complaints are organization wide, scouts to ownership. Maybe I should insert Organizaton when I say Wren.

    Maybe they are rebooting, but it seems funny Wren has committed 29 mil for Chipper and Lowe per year for the next 3 years. If you are going to rebuild, rebuild. Don’t throw money at old guys. Pick a direction and go with it.

    It seems like we get less out of the resources on the farm than the organization should. The one year rentals are coming home to roost.

    This is not about one year. This is about organization philosophy. This has gone on for years now. The braves have not been a serious contender since 2001-2002. There has been time to fix issues, but the organization keeps putting on band aids when stitches are needed.

  50. Good god, I’m out of it for a day for post surgery and the sky is falling. Its not over yet, the Muts of the past few years show us that. Some things have to happen, and we have to win, alot. But I wont give up until we are offically eleminated.

    P.S. if my post made no sense, I’m high as a kite rite now, so excuse me

    P.S.S. Im in the hospital, the Dr’s are giving me the drugs…dont want anyone to get the wrong Idea, I’m not Otis Nixon the II

  51. How long has it been that Chipper Jones(notes) hasn’t felt right?

    “About the last five years,” he said with a chuckle. “You want me to be honest, the last five years.

    “But it’s no excuse for not performing. I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve not had a good year.”

    “Yeah, it should work in our favor,” Jones said, “but we’ve tended to play up to the level of competition we’re playing, and down to the level of competition we’re playing. We’ve got to really not let teams get away with beating us that shouldn’t.” (Yahoo Sports)

  52. stupup,

    You don’t get the Lowe deal, really? The Braves had as returning starting pitchers under control: Jair Jurrjens. They had the possibility of signing Glavine and Smoltz, but strong possibilities that neither would be able to get it done and almost no chance Smoltz would be ready to go from day 1. Hanson was an impressive prospect that had never pitched a single Major League inning. Jorge Campillo (who might be o.k., but turned out to be hurt). Then ther were Charlie Morton and Jo Jo Reyes (each of whom had been good in AAA but in significant ML play had gotten rocked). The cupboard was bare.

    And, the next wave of Braves pitchers was still off a ways (Locke Rohrbough, Teheran, Delgado). Hanson, Medlen and Kimbrel looked like they might be guys that could contribute this year at ML level. Any other high ceiling pitchers were 2 or 3 years out.

    Who else was available? Sabathia? Would you rather have Burnette at 18 mill for 5 years? Oliver Perez at 12 mill for 3? Who?

    Wren got Lowe and gave him 1 year too many because we were “the ugly bride that needed a big dowry.” It was the price of doing business.

    He got Kenshin Kawakami who has proven to be worth the expenditure independent of any foray into Japan that he may give us (There is a good possibility that if he had been on Braves in 08 that we could have gotten Tazawa for 3 or 4 million and that would have been a good day’s work).

  53. stupup,

    On Chipper,

    More than any other player now in the organization, Chipper is the face of the franchise. Even as recently aslat year, he was amon the elite offensive performers in all of MLB. He was coming off probably no less than his 3rd best season qualitatively (maybe adjust down for playing time). Wren may have been a little aggressive, but neither of us know to what extent the team considered part of that contract PR / lifetime achievement (and therefore possibly not subject to restraining payroll).

    This team is set up to be a pretty good team in a 95 to 100 mill payroll range with some tradeable ML assets and some high level high minors assets. it didn’t happen by accident.

  54. 6th best record in the NL huh? If you had told me that at the beginning of the season I would have been pretty happy.

  55. Cliff, on Chipper… to further your point, as recent as the first half his numbers were

    .290 / .411 /.467 /.878

    Which, while it’s not as insanely good as he was in the last two years, is still a pretty good 3B stat-line.

  56. @58.

    Great response Coach. I apologize for not recognizing your and Nolan Ryan’s knowledge about all things relating to the human body.

  57. Cliff, etc.

    I hope your right. There is a great possilbility you are right and I am wrong. I hope you are right, but I just don’t see it.

    How much can you pay Chipper for being the face of the franchise?

    Chipper’s first half numbers were inflated by his good start. The last 3 months he has hit 68 for 263 (.259) That is not good enough, nor does it warrant 13 mil a year. If Wren goes into next year with this lineup the Braves are going to be mediocre again.

    There is no true cleanup bat. McCann is an elite hitter, but he is a catcher so he misses alot of games because of the position. There is no elite everyday postion hitter in this order.

    Who hits when these two are out of the order?????

    The signing of Lowe was overkill. You had JJ, at the time, Vasquez was already fold, as was KK. You had Hanson on the way, and Hudson coming back at the end. You cannot tell me the Braves could not have found a stop gap other than Lowe not to blow the budget for the next 3 years.

    It is the MONEY, not the Player that is the issue.

  58. Lowe was not overkill. Going into the season with a rotation of:

    JJ: still young and developing
    JV: good, but coming off a couple of “down” years.
    KK: 0 ML IP.

    and a buch of Morton(sucks), Reyes (sucks), Hanson (0 IP above AA), Campillo (hurt), Medlin (unproven at the time) would have been a recipe for disaster.

    You think we have an overworked bullpen now? FW needed an innings eater and he got one. The nature of the FA market dictated that we overpaid. So be it.

    And Lowe has actually been pretty decent this year.

  59. “You had Hanson on the way, and Hudson coming back at the end.”

    Im going to disagree. With having three startetrs, one from Japan with an iffy shoulder, and Lowe is available you have to make the move. Maybe offer a little less and try and negotiate, but then we are probably stuck with Oliver Perez. I wouldve like to have gone after Randy Wolf for a 1-2 yr deal. There was no way of knowing that Hanson wouldve been this good this quick or if Huddy’s rehab wouldve gone so smoothly. If you can get a 15 game winner and someone who will also go 200IP, then the move was the right one. Esp with only having two starters and a guy from Japan that no one really knew how he’d be here.

  60. BTW- Nolan Ryan is/was a freak of nature. If he thinks everyone can pitch like him, I foresee a lot of injured arms in Texas.

  61. sdp,

    One of my regrets is that I didn’t live by the motto:

    “The worst that can happen is she will say no.”

    Be fearless, lad.

    (Actually, she could laugh in your face and say no. That’s worse, I guess. But you get my point …)

  62. This is both a disappointment and a pleasant surprise at the same time.

    Hanson has been very level and consistent. He has not really seemed to have a dazzling overpowering performance (throughout), but hasn’t had a terrible performance either. With a rookie, I would expect more up and down.

    Mostly, I think it is good, as long as he can gradually get a little better and a little better.

  63. I will just point out that there’s a big difference between letting Javy, Lowe, KK and maybe even Jurrjens at this point go 120-130 and letting Hanson do it. He has been in the majors for exactly three months. He almost has to have already passed his previous season high for innings pitched. You can’t just run him out there until he breaks until at least next year, and probably late next year at that.

  64. Also, I think it’s very easy to look at the way things are today and say, “Oh, we didn’t need Lowe.” However, at the time, we had Jurrjens and Vazquez, basically. That’s two pitchers where we had any sort of confidence in what they could do. Kawakami maybe gave you 2 1/2, but I don’t really think any of us knew what to expect from him. For the other two spots, we had the option of Smoltz and/or Glavine, neither of whom would’ve been able to play until June; Morton and Reyes, both of whom suck and I think we’d already gone down that road last year (and yes…Morton does suck); and Hanson, who we had no idea what to expect from, and who we really couldn’t count on at the time (hell, I’m still not sure we can count on him, exactly…at least not in the sense of running him out there and being confident everything will be alright). We needed to sign another free agent starter, preferably an upper-half of the rotation one. Lowe was the only one left worth half of a damn. Maybe we overpaid a little bit, but we really had to do it, and I think if you go back and look at the prevailing sentiment during that time, that’s pretty much how it went.

    There are things we can do now that we’re at this point. We can trade him, we can renegotiate with Hudson instead of just picking up his option (since no one is gonna give him that much money fresh off of Tommy John surgery…or at least no one should), we can choose to not bring Hudson back…but this is really a situation we had to kick down the road to this offseason. This is really the best-case scenario that we’re in right now if you had looked down the road from last winter. There are things we can do now to figure it out, but we just couldn’t have gone into another season with a slipshod pitching staff. Because first of all, Lowe was a life-saver the first half of the year, and second, if anything had gone wrong with Kawakami or Hanson, not having signed Lowe would’ve been a huge, huge problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *