Welcome to Arizona game thread: June 7, Braves at Diamondbacks

Arizona, or the Arid Zone, is thus known because it is so hot and dry that it was uninhabitable until the invention of modern hydraulic technology, air conditioning, deodorant, and refusing to go outside until two hours after sunset.

The state capital and largest city is Phoenix, named after the mythological bird noted for bursting into flames. This can still be seen in Arizona during the summer months (January-December). Arizona has a large retiree population of people who can at least say that they didn’t move to Florida. Popular hobbies in Arizona include sitting very still, dying, saying “At least it’s a dry heat,” losing landslide Presidential elections, and complaining about how the Phoenix Suns can never play defense. Arizona residents have still not come to accept that Holmes got both feet down.

The largest private employer in the state is Wal-Mart, just like everywhere else. The state’s signature industry is copper mining, as copper in its liquid form is extremely commonly found throughout the state. Arizona also has a thriving film industry, standing in for other hot, dry places like Saudi Arabia or the surface of Mercury.

The official state animal is nocturnal and has never been seen by human eyes.

171 thoughts on “Welcome to Arizona game thread: June 7, Braves at Diamondbacks”

  1. Jimmy Webb did write a helluva string of hits, didn’t he?

    Gotta say, I’ve never been a huge fan of Phoenix. It’s always struck me as a wannabe LA, Scottsdale being the wannabe Beverly Hills.

    But, then again, I’m not a golfer.

    Last time I was in Phoenix, Tim McCarver was on my flight & I last saw him waiting for his car service, golf clubs slung over his shoulder.

  2. I know that game yesterday kinda sucked, but I’m pleased having split with the Dodgers considering Chipper is out and Heyward struck out every time up.

  3. quick question: would you do a melky for andruw trade with us picking up melky’s full salary?

  4. FWIW: The internet buzz seems to be that the Braves are most interested in Tony Wolters, if he makes it to them. The Angels also really like him, apparently, and they pick twice (29th and 30th) before the Braves.

  5. well, as is see it, melky is as close to useless against rhp as you can get. if andruw was picked up as a strict platoon with mclouth/rh power bat off the bench, it could really work out nicely. plus, it’d probably put bobby cox in a pretty good mood for atleast a week.

  6. They’ve kept it under the radar, but the Braves are taking me with their first pick.

  7. Short of a good everyday CF, what this team needs is Matt Diaz to return and hit like Matt Diaz.

    All the OF’s we have are lefthanded batters, (Melky is a switch, but is more useless as a righty than a lefty). Melky is in there for Hinske against lefties, meaning McLouth has to hit against lefties. The only time you can rest McLouth is against RIGHTIES, because Hinske is in left, and you have Melky available to play center. But RIGHTIES are the guys we should be getting McLouth more chances against, to try to get something going. He’s attrocious against lefties. (.681 OPS versus .811 OPS against a RH.)

    Trading Melky for Andruw doesn’t solve that, because neither Andruw nor Diaz can play center to get McLouth off the field.

    When Matt comes back, you have Hinske/McLouth for righties, and Diaz/Cabrera against lefties. Not perfect. But you can’t trade Melky OR McLouth unless the return is a CF who can play everyday, or at least is an effective righthanded half of a platoon.

  8. @11
    you dont think a slimmer andruw can play a part time centerfield? i seriously dont know, but on the defensive side, i just assumed surely he can be better than melky.

  9. #12 – They need to move quickly. Get him signed and get him behind the plate to catch Strasburg tomorrow night. That would be exciting.

  10. @13, Well, looking at it, the Chi Sox have played him 16 in RF, 10 as DH, 7 in LF, and 5 in CF.

    I don’t know. With his recent trend downward, coupled with my doubts that he should be in CF, I probably don’t do that deal.

    But if it did happen, I wouldn’t be bitching and moaning. The fan in me would be too busy hoping Andruw can find it again.

  11. Anyone have any idea about this?

    My brother has Dish Network, who doesn’t not offer the MLB extra innings package. (We live in Florida.) But he found out he can buy, for $7 a month, an add-on subscription that gives him 27 Fox Sports regional networks.

    I’m skeptical that baseball would allow such a work around to allow you to watch baseball for a price less than one (1) soul, and one (1) left nut.

    Are the Braves games going to be blacked out on his package, and leave him with Fox Sports Midwest tractor pulls, New England lacrosse matches, and a bunch of college football?

  12. jj, they black out all of the baseball games except for the local one, then resume transmission. tried that route…didnt work.

  13. Thanks ryan, that’s about what I figured. He’s got only 2 months left on his contract, so he’s only out $14 bucks.

  14. Funny stuff Mac, I’m sorry there isn’t MLB ball in South Carolina, I’d love to see what you’d write about the home state. Plenty of material for hilarity.

  15. Entering the 7th, Cole Hamels working on a no-no vs San Diego.

    This being the Hitless Wonder Phils, it’s still 0-0.

    Edit—Good News: Adrian Gonzalez broke it up with a HR, with one out in the 7th. 1-0 SD.

  16. I agree with Johnny, which is why it’s just as well that Louisiana doesn’t have major league baseball.

  17. FWIW, Harper is listed as an outfielder on the draft board… The Red Sox took “Kolbrin Vitek”, a second baseman from Ball State, with the pick they got from the Braves. Suffice it to say, he wouldn’t have gone in that slot if Saito wasn’t wearing a Braves uni this year.

  18. From BJOL:

    The hottest hitters in baseball at this moment are:
    Jeff Francoeur 99°
    Victor Martinez 98°
    Kevin Youkilis 98°
    Matt Treanor 97°
    Ichiro Suzuki 96°


  19. Anyone following the draft?

    Is there any reason Zach Cox is still on the board? He seems like the perfect draft for the Braves if I dare hope he falls 14 more slots.

    Of course, that’s why they’ll pick a lefty pitcher from Stockbridge.

  20. 30 Mac – That’s for Billy Wagner, I think.

    We could have used Vitek, I think.

  21. First names of first-round draftees include: “Deck”, “Yasmani”, “Kaleb”, “Kolbrin”, and “Karsten”. Last names include “Taillon”, “Grandal”, “Skole”, “Deglan”, and “Yelich”. Thank God for nice, normal names like “Delino DeShields Jr.”. Wait, what?

    See above about how horribly old I am.

  22. It’s nice to know if the game is close late, we have Chavez to nail it down.

  23. Having watched a little of Arkansas, I think that’s a nice grab by the Cards.

    There’s another 3rd baseman on the board I would like to see the Braves nab, based on what I have read about him, but I don’t think he makes it to them unless he’s just not going to sign.

  24. I have a friend that moved to Arizona this Spring, he gives that line, “Yeah, it really is dry heat, it’s not that bad, you’ll be sweltering in Nebraska with all that humidity.” I told him I don’t care, when it hits 116 everyday from Flag Day til Labor Day, you’ll miss the humidity.

  25. I’m from Alabama and I’ve been to Arizona in July and I have to say.. 110 in AZ is MUCH more bearable than 95 in AL.

    Something baseball related: Did I really dare to hope Cox would fall to 35? =(

  26. It seems pretty pointless to try to hope for a guy when you’re picking that far down. I kinda thought Cox would go top ten or so.

    It’s also pointless to predict where players go, outside the top 3 or 4. The mock drafts out there are a joke.

  27. Having lived most of my life in Charleston SC and spent the better part of 2 years in the Dallas area, 85 with 97 percent humidity is just a different kind of hell than 101 with an ozone alert. That being said it can be 75 in Charleston and you’ll still sweat your ass off before you can get from the mall entrance to your car.

  28. So McLousy has a sore toe–seems like the opportunity to stash him on the DL that we’ve been waiting for.

  29. So draftniks do we draft hitting, best athletes available, weakest organizational position, or most signable?

  30. Reynolds just cited McCann, Francoeur, Wainwright, and Heyward as examples of the quality of Georgia baseball.

    “One of these things is not like the others…”

  31. 48 – I was thinking Castellanos, but there must be signability concerns.

    I would defintely get a college infielder with one of our first three picks. I would probably split the other two with a high school bat and arm.

    Generally, I think the Braves should go heavy on the bats, but I bet they draft more pitchers than any of us think they should. They always do.

  32. You can never have too much pitching.

    And you can trade ‘excess’ pitching or position players.

  33. OK I benched Mark Renyolds on my Fanatsy team. This is because the Braves have 4 games against AZ for the week and Renyolds has a nagging injury and is slumping. I sure hope I’m a genius.

  34. 54 – But, you can certainly have “not enough” hitting and the Braves bats on the farm don’t even register as that good.

  35. The counterargument to that is that the Braves are apparently doing a terrible job (Heyward notwithstanding) of developing hitters, so they should concentrate on pitching and then deal for finished products.

  36. I wonder if the Braves recognize that they aren’t developing hitters well or if they consider it a natural cycle, bad luck, prefer to look at the successful ones, or what.

  37. Cyclical seems likely to me: the Braves developed Heyward, Prado, Escobar, and McCann over the last few years- not a bad haul by any standard.

  38. And the Braves have a brand new Matthew Lipka, a shortstop from McKinney, Texas.

  39. Scout.com: 2010 MLB Draft Q&A: Matt Lipka.

    Livingston, represent!

    Matt Lipka: I have family in Georgia, my sister was actually a kicker for West Alabama, she was the first girl to get a football scholarship, and my brother played at Georgia Southern as a linebacker. They still all live in Georgia and have families and stuff, so I don’t want to say it didn’t weigh into my decision because it definitely did, but the big thing was we went to the campus and we loved it. The coaches were so nice, and a big thing was that Mitch Gaspard was the recruiter at the time when Jim Wells retired, and now Gaspard got the head coach job, so I had done all my dealing and talking with Coach Gaspard and him getting the job was big for me. He’s just such a nice guy, such a good coach, and I think him, Dax, and Kyle Bunn as the new pitching coach from Clemson are a young, fiery staff that is going to put the program on a national championship run. I’m just excited for it and have nothing but good things to say.

    Lipka’s an Alabama commit.

  40. That is really, really annoying. How does Tech continue to choke year after year?

  41. Braves drafing a middle infielder in the top round? I want a power bat!!! Wait, at least it’s not another Cody Johnson…

  42. I can’t believe the Red Sox got two picks in the top 40 for Billy Wagner. He pitched 13 2/3 innings for them. What a freaking joke.

  43. From what I read, I don’t hate the pick.

    I wanted a college hitter though.

  44. @78 Blame Minaya. The guy is dumb, but we know that already.

    @80 The guy is hurt. Suck is probably not the right word.

  45. Hey Mac, your blog is formatted to work with the new reader in the just released Safari browser. It’s pretty sweet. Same look as the e-reader on the iPad.

    Note: no comments, only the write ups.

    Yes, this is pointless. Carry on.

  46. Lipka seems like an overdraft, based on rankings (#76 on BA). I would have gone Castellanos, or maybe Brentz.

  47. @70

    From the standpoint the ball was pretty easy to handle, not the “amount of advancement”. Kind of like dropping a 5 yard pass in the flat when it hits you right in the hands, missing a layup, yanking a 1 foot putt….

  48. Thank god Melky sucks and didn’t hit that ball hard or it would have been two.

  49. @88 thanks, and I’m off to bed, I can’t handle this. Not being able to pull out the win yesterday hurts even more now.

  50. well still in first place…wonder what Strasburg and Stanton will do for their teams. We need Jurrjens, chipper, diaz, and saito back and healthy

  51. Well, at least the SEC has 5 of 16 teams in the Super Regionals. They’ve got a good shot at the finals.

  52. I don’t know, and Cox seems determined never to let us find out. Looked fine tonight, for what it’s worth.

  53. Braves losing, Tech loses, Clemson makes a super regional. Not much else sports-wise can go wrong for me tonight.

  54. I really don’t understand why Chavez and the Lisp are on the roster. We need pitchers Bobby will trust. Pitchers that deserve his trust.

  55. I don’t understand why Escobar/Snitker didn’t take a chance. I mean Upton has a huge brace on his arm. Chip doesn’t have a clue. The ball was so far up the line I think Bobby Cox could have scored from 3rd on that one.

  56. I thought it was smart not to go there, why risk ending the inning by getting a meaningless run home? Escobar couldn’t have known it would be a bad throw.

  57. I’m not sure about the meaningless run part. Getting within two seems significantly better than being down three, especially with the number of baserunners we’ve had tonight.

  58. Maybe, but I would rather have Infante bat with the bases loaded then risk that play to make it a 2 run deficit instead of 3.

    Nice to see Wager out there down by 3 instead of in the game tied last night.

  59. You don’t risk any chance of getting thrown out there. It was the right call.

    So… what’s worse than sitting thru this game?

    Having a tire blow out on the Long Island Expressway, then watching the Lowe meltdown inning on the iPhone while waiting for AAA.

    Extra symbolism points: It happened just before the Citi Field exit (22A for those keeping score).

    Gotta say, however, that Flushing does have a few 24-hour tire centers. Of course, they probably double as chop shops…

  60. Joe Simpson arguing against the Hinske walk? What, the tying run on base is bad?

    Yunel “GIDP” Escobar worries me here.

  61. Someone deserves to be beaned for Qualls’ idiotic behavior–dude, you’re the luckiest man on earth tonight.

    F*ck that game.

  62. The way Chip was carrying on about Escobar not having any homeruns made it a cinch to be a double play. Maybe that’s just my hatred for Chip manifesting itself in an unfair way, but I’m going with it.

  63. Looks like the Braves will immediately move Lipka to CF. He’s an 80 runner with a 60 arm so he should work out there really well.

    Immediately becomes the most athletic position player in the system and the best runner. Pretty good for 35.

    Now let’s see if they can get him to hit.

  64. I never like us drafting speed guy….especially with such a high pick. I always prefer to draft for power.

  65. Chip sure does say “fisted” a lot …

    This game was one of the “60 you’re going to lose”. This is why I was so upset about yesterday’s avoidable loss.

  66. So much for MVP. Maybe it’s time to trade Heyward for Francouer. :) Definitely time to give Heyward a day off, but given Bobby’s penchant for running guys out there, he probably won’t. This team simply can’t survive with no production from Heyward (whether or not he is hurt) in combination with the lack of production from Chipper and others.

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