McLouth has been named the Official Braves Journal Whipping Boy, the first permanent BJWB since the trade of Jeff Francoeur. Here to answer the questions you might have about this position is me. Take it away, me:
Q: Who else has been the BJWB?
A: Previous Whipping Boys, before Francoeur, have included secret Canadian Chris Reitsma, human implosion grenade “Kim Jong-il”, the oft-injured Mike Hampton, beer aficionado Dan Kolb, pointless shortstop acquisition Rey Sanchez, the strangely immortal Keith Lockhart, and future insane manager Ozzie Guillen.
Q: How does Whipping Boy status relate to the Lockhart Line?
A: While previous Lockhart Line violators have always been BJWBs, it is not a requirement for the position. Reitsma never crossed the Lockhart Line. Until the Line is crossed, all criticism of the BJWB will be fair. That is, we will point out that
McLouth sucks, and will make fun of his play, but will not attack him as a human being.
Q: Wait, Hampton never crossed the line either and you were super mean to him.
A: Yeah, sorry about that. I was a bit frustrated.
Q: What about the Doghouse?
A: The Doghouse is more of a revolving door sort of thing. Anybody who screws up a lot or goes into intractable slumps can go in the Doghouse, but will probably remove himself fairly quickly. Yunel Escobar, before he was traded, was in and out of the Doghouse a lot.
Q: How is BJWB status achieved?
A: While continued poor play is a must, it also requires that the player be given a key role on the team and continue to not thrive in it. This isn’t really the player’s call, of course, though they could always retire. Anyway, just being a terrible bench player, ala Greg Norton, does not qualify for BJWB status. Nor does someone who, like Kenshin Kawakami pitches so little that he may have been kidnapped by aliens.
Q: What about Jo-Jo?
A: Reyes’ appearances were too sporadic for full-time BJWB status.
Q: Is BJWB status permanent?
A: Not necessarily. Nobody has actually removed themselves from the BJWB post due to their play, but it’s always possible. All Whipping Boys have been players who had accomplished something prior to achieving the title — okay, maybe not Francoeur, but even Lockhart had — and returning to that level would, theoretically, remove BJWB status. But don’t count on it.
Q: Can only a player be the Whipping Boy?
A: Only a player can be the permanent Whipping Boy. However, interim BJWB status has been granted to non-players Chip Caray and Brian Snitker at times.
“[F]uture insane manager Ozzie Guillen”
Does this mean that Ozzie is not insane now? Or do you think that he will be the Braves’ manager in the future?
I’m not sure I would mind Ozzie being the Braves’ manager.
Shouldn’t we re name it “The Andruw Jones Dog House”?
He was in it quite a bit.
“The Andruw Jones Doughnut House”?
I like it billy-jay!
I think BJWB and Lockhart Line need to go in the Braves Journal glossary.
I wasn’t around Braves Journal when Ozzie Guillen was a Brave. What was the Official Braves Journal Opinion of Ozzie?
I’m glad you posted the FAQ to clarify stuff 🙂 Entertaining as always.
Hopefully they can hit Volstad hard and get back into that tired bullpen for a win.
Braves lineup: 1 Prado 2B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Hinske LF, 4. McCann C, 5. Glaus 1B, 6. Gonzalez SS, 7. Conrad 3B 8. Cabrera CF 9. Jurrjens P
Folk hero rewarded with a start. Hinske batting third presumably because nobody else remotely fits the profile, except the guy batting second.
Not that batting order matters too much, but I would just move McCann up to 3rd and everyone else up a spot.
By the way, Mac, you should repost the Whipping Boy FAQ as a special page like the Glossary, so we can revisit it and you can update it when McOut relinquishes the crown.
Very interesting line-up. I like it.
Bill James or Rob Neyer once said that optimizing the batting order doesn’t make much difference — maybe one or two games in the standings. That always struck me as an odd statement. If you were a manager, and you knew that this one thing could make a one- or two-game difference in the standings, wouldn’t you do everything you could to get it right?
I’m sure most managers set up the best batting order they can, some just have different opinions on what works best and some probably take other things into considerations than the game at hand.
At least Melky or Nate isn’t batting 3rd.
My understanding is that the difference between a good batting order, like the ones normally made by managers, and the optimal batting order is just a few runs a year, less than a game.
Best thing about the line-up is that Bobby seems to be not throwing in the towel on a Sunday game. I have a funny feeling The Kid is going deep today, as he looks to be locked in right now. Just seems time for him to elevate one of those wicked line drive singles a bit.
I think managers try to construct a “second best” betting order that may not be optimal but allows players to feel comfortable in particular roles and makes sure no one’s ego gets too bruised. As we saw with Escobar, unhappy players don’t tend to perform as well as they might. Keeping the clubhouse happy and everyone working hard probably gets back most (if not more) of the runs you lose by having a suboptimal lineup.
Here’s a piece about Joe Maddon’s constant lineup tweaks. Note that Ben Zobrist isn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect of batting in a different spot every day.
18 years ago today that Otis Nixon made the catch. Man I am getting old I was 17 back then.
I don’t like all them lefties back to back to back… but I guess the Fish only have the one loogy, and Diaz will pinch for Hinske then.
Maggs Ordonez’s injury might make Frenchy a Tiger.
As I watch pregame…I have to think Ron Gant could suit up today and outperform the OF on the Braves roster that is pretending to be Nate McClouth.
Did anyone see that story about Louth is the cleanest Brave and how McCann is so messy that it takes up Louth’s space. Even McCann thinks he is a waste of space.
Sosa seems like a reach. He went 13-3, 2.55 one season, crapped out the next (3-10, 5.46). He has since become a Braves double agent making horrific stops with our division mates (NYM, FLA, WSH). If he can somehow find is way on to the Phillies for a 15 G, 8.50 ERA stint, I vote to take him off the list.
Anyway, at the beginning of the season the odds had to be pretty long that there would be an official whipping boy not named Melky.
While Prado never achieved full BJWB status, he was deservedly derided. It’s been a big turnaround.
God, I f’in hate Brian McCann. Get your eyes checked or let David Ross play.
If anyone missed the Kyle Davies era in Atlanta, Volstad is doing a first rate impression right now.
Nice patience there new guy.
Arg. Well… that’s what AAG does. Swings at the first pitch and often doesn’t hit it well.
Damn! That was a BS strike 3 call, but we really should have done more that inning.
Not liking these calls.
Hate the call but let’s be honest, Conrad was going down. The Braves strand so many base-runners.
The real key at-bat was Alex Gonzalez. The guy couldn’t find the strike zone with a map, and he swung on the first pitch at a ball outside the zone, and couldn’t even push it to the outfield for a sac fly.
I love his defense, dislike his offense, but obviously he’s been exactly as advertised.
That pitch practically bounced on the plate. Awful.
That was a really, really nice turn on the DP. ¡Viva Venezuela!
You smoked that one Melk.
Oh Lord, enough with the MVP talk.
Heyward and his attitude problem strikes again.
I’ve been getting the old, pre-blogging software, work on Braves Journal together in order to eventually copy it over, and there’s no question that Ozzie Guillen was my first whipping boy. There’s a lot less volume but in most of my entries there’s something about how he couldn’t play, and a mini-celebration when he was cut.
It’s not wise to throw low fastballs to Eric Hinske.
Oh. My. God.
Get ye to the Doghouse
Nate woulda had it.
Come on, Melkman…
Wow – what a horrible play by Melky!
In case you forgot because of the awful stench from Louth, Melky also stinks.
Dammit, just when I think it’s safe!
The Marlins’ announcers, by the way, are beyond stupid. It’s almost shocking–and it would be if I didn’t have to endure Chip Carey.
can we please get a center fielder that can actually throw AND field the position?
Jair: not in the doghouse.
It goes without saying that I miss Blanco.
How can they call that a triple?? It hit Melky’s glove.
I am going to say something heretic.
The marlins announcers (both of them) are worst than Chip.
I did not think it was even possible.
Wow, Jair is hitting 95.
Let’s not forget that Bobby occasionally brings Melky Cabrera into the game late as a “defensive” sub.
#48 I agree. One of them said a bit earlier that the Braves really improved their defense with the addition of Gonzalez!
Ump is screwing us here. Volstad will get through 4, Jurrjens won’t.
“If the Braves have to hit in the rain then isn’t it only fair that the Marlins do too?”
Chip, isn’t it harder to pitch in the rain, because of gripping the ball? I guess it would be “fair” that way too, but still…
OK, still playing. Fair play.
@58 I was thinking the same thing. In my experience, pitching and fielding is likely harder in the rain than hitting.
This ump blows.
I really hate the Marlins. Really.
We should trade for Ross and Helms, just so they can’t beat us anymore
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Are you serious? Two seeing eye singles and a walk, aided by some awful home plate umpiring, and then a bases-clearing triple? Awful.
Can we protest this game because the ump let the playing conditions get so bad?
Baseball in Miami is a joke.
What’s worse is that the ump has given Volstad calls that weren’t even close.
jj’s been hosed this inning.
And a stoppage of play to fix the mound after all the rain. Seriously, what a joke of an organization. I don’t even feel like we’re playing baseball when we play down there. It just sucks. I really, really dislike the Marlins.
The ghost of Eric Gregg is in the building
God, I hope the new stadium if it ever gets built has a roof.
And Volstad couldn’t find the plate at all. He did nothing to deserve any of his calls.
Hanley should have been out, no questions asked, based on the ump consistently calling that pitch (including to Brooks with the bases loaded).
I think Bobby needs to get tossed
That was a strike earlier.
What a fucking joke of an organization. A fucking joke.
This is a joke. Watch them call this thing after next inning.
If the ump was calling it both ways, Jurrjens would have like 8 balls and 50 strikes.
Maybe just 30 strikes, since the inning would have been over 15 minutes ago.
Did the home plate umpire change? I stepped out after Conrad was called out on 2 marginal pitches. When I came back Jurrjens is getting squeezed.
Also, is there a more unlikable team than the Marlins? Cody Ross, Wes Smelms, Dan Uggla, Chris Coglan….yuck!
Every time the ball is hit to Melky I get nervous.
Will we roll over or do we get pumped and pound these guys?
Nah. Screwing the Braves in the 1st, screwing the Braves in the 4th… seems like the same guy to me.
@83, The Mets. No comparison.
Everything about Sun Life Stadium and the Marlins is detestable. But if you want a margarita with flies and mosquitoes mixed in with tequila, there’s no better place.
It all goes back to that awful at bat by Gonzalez. And the ump. And the grounds-crew.
Oh my god.
Ump, please retire.
Reason 4565098 I hate Chip: when he thinks some inane thing is funny, but tries to keep it together, he gets this stupid warble in his voice that makes me wish his vocal cords would spontaneously combust.
Stupid crap teal baseball in a football stadium
Wow. I’m shocked nobody has been ejected yet.
Bobby needs to tell Jurrjens when he’s lifting him, likely after this inning. Then, after JJ gets the third out, he needs to bust out the wrestling taunts. The more disrespectful, the better.
Yes, provocation! OK, let’s go after Uggla, Coghlan, Sanchez, Helms, and for the grand finale, fastball down the middle while McCann dives out of the way. Surprise!
Can we pinch hit for Melky?
Come on, Blue, time to call the game so the Marlins get the win.
“Can we pinch hit for Melky?”
That catch really spoiled this inning.
I bet the ump delays it now. Probably a Phillies fan.
I pinch hit here
Why is Jair batting?
I’m surprised he’s hitting here too.
How do you guys feel about this decision?
Mistake not to pinch-hit, unless Bobby knows it’s going to stop raining. If Jurrjens hits, the game gets delayed, and he can’t go back out…
What a waste of an opportunity
Why let Jurrens hit?
Bobby thinks he’s saving the ‘pen by leaving him in, and thinks we can score later off of the relievers.
Also, if he doesn’t want to use Chipper he only has righthanded batters on the bench. (Louth doesn’t count.)
If you could have Jonny Venters throw at one Marlin, who would you choose? (No, not the umpire.)
McCann just needs to duck and let Venters nail the ump.
Uggla. Right in the jaw.
Even their clownshoes grounds crew pisses me off.
2.82 Leverage index at Jair’s at bat. Second biggest at-bat at that point in the game, so far.
113 — LOL
did the Marlins announcer just call Wes Helms, “Welms”?
Can anyone tell me what happened to Kawakami? I think he’s only pitched once in the last month. Was he traded?
Louth is pinch running? Oh Lord
Chip’s fanboy rah-rah is more agonizing than his fly-ball calls.
KK was kidnapped by aliens.
Make up call
Yeah, that was definitely a strike. Finally.
I swear to god… I might hurt somebody if I have to keep watching this Dan Uggla commercial. It was kind of funny in a bad way at first, but now I can’t get him out of my head.
I blame Louth.
Must be a terrible feeling to be a manager w/an awful bullpen in a high leverage situation.
Glaus sucks right now.
Glaus has a double and a lineout to third. I think that would be a better argument most other days, but he’s been good today without necessarily getting the results.
And he might be slower than BMac.
Rockies up 3-2 and into the Phillies’ pen.
I like the way Jurrjens has battled in this game!
Although I do think we should try to give Glaus either a short DL stint or several days off. He can’t really move at this point.
I hate both of these teams.
And Shirtless Dreds Guy goes crazy!
That’s Florida for you.
This whole Gaby Sanchez thing is getting out of hand.
Moylan’s not looking sharp so far, location-wise.
Does Moylan have a Mohawk going?
Looked good to me.
What’s that, Nick?
Well, he solved the location problem pretty well. Now let’s win this thing!
Looked pretty sharp K-wise. I think Moylan looks better now than he did in June. Still a little concerned about last year’s workload rearing its head, though.
The fish need a LH bat.
Maybe we can can send BJWB over there for a bag of chips.
Peter, we know *someone* on the Marlins is just going to kill the Braves every series, it’s just a question of who.
Walk McLouth! Walk him!
Nope. McLouth will never let it happen. He’s the worst.
Sorry, Adam, but Nunez and Cederstrom combined couldn’t outweigh the sheer awfulness that is Louth.
Louth’s swing is so fucked up that I wonder how it ever worked. I mean, what a stupid, stupid way to try to hit a baseball.
Sanchez needs to be made less comfortable. Surprised Moylan didn’t show him something inside the way he was diving.
Oh good. McCann won’t be there for the inevitable extras. Have I seen this before?
Boy, sure is good we pinch-ran for McCann there.
Bobby Cox managed to waste the Braves best hitter and best right-handed bat in 20 awful seconds.
You know I had a dream last night that the Braves got Bautista and I felt so good.
Why not let someone faster or a pitcher run for McCann?
I don’t think bringing in Saito is a bad decision, but he seems to pick up his losses in situations like this.
So he is the Loss vulture
McLouth is forcing Wren’s hand here. Wouldn’t be surprised if something was percolating despite the lack of chatter from the writers. I wouldn’t be surprised if McLouth didn’t go back the other way with some money in hand in a “change of scenery/fresh start” move. The Royals are probably salivating for him and KK.
Right now Louth and Melky are both in the game, while Diaz and Hinke are both out. This is a worst-case scenario. It didn’t have to be this way.
If we can just get through this inning…
Hensley and Nunez are both done for the Marlins. Pretty much everyone else sucks in their bullpen.
This has been a horrific umpiring job today.
Hold onto your caps, Coldplay Fans and Gentlemen, it’s Kim Jong-Il time.
I feel like Gary Cedarstrom going to get a flaming bag of poop left on his doorstop signed jointly by the Braves and Marlins.
See that Lowe? There’s really no reason for anyone named Bryan Petersen to get hits.
Even the Marlins’ announcers, who seem to be only mildly interested in the game or any of the details that make baseball cool, think the ump is bad. That’s saying something.
Kim Jong-il pauses On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to come in and pick up the loss.
Hahaha, Sosa! Please Troy, redeem yourself.
I would love to challenge trade McLouth. I just don’t know who would be a realistic trading partner.
Cederstrom earning the callout from Joe. Nice.
Drewdat: The Yokohama Toyo Carp comes to mind.
Damn, Kim looks like he’s put on a pound or 40 since he was a Brave.
Did Kim used to have an enormous gut?
I don’t know why we’re excited. He’s on the Marlins now. He’s gonna kill us.
The Marlins announcers are pretty awful.
Venters’ arm may fall off.
Typical Marlins late inning hit right there. Barely got it out of the infield.
Due to the upcoming suspension, they’ll have about a week to sew Venters’ arm back on.
The Braves have Wagner, Dunn, Chavez, and Kawakami left if it gets that far.
Nice job Chip…telling us how the Marlins have had no hits since the fourth inning just before they get a hit. Typical….
If we get anything going this inning…Louth is looming.
Well, he’s on the other side of Prado and Heyward. If they can’t get it done, we deserve a Louth at bat.
bases loaded…Louth at the plate.
BJWB duel. Something’s gotta give.
Hopefully Louth strikes out instead of hitting into a double play.
Chip Caray: “Three straight singles loads the bases for Nate McLouth.”
If there were a pitcher to succeed against…..
McLouth if you fuck this up I will personally kill the fuck out of you, douchwaller.
Ugh. Why is McCout hitting here?
There are scars on my knuckles from when I punched a cabinet after a Sosa meltdown in ’06. There will be more permanent scars if McLouth GIDPs here.
They’re not playing the infield in, this is normal depth for Louth.
Maybe he’ll draw a walk.
Get him off the team now!
seriously. W T F!
Urge to kill … rising.
I’ve been out all day following the game on my iPhone. Seriously, why was that piece of crap McCout hitting after Heyward?
God I fucking hate his guts.
Leave him in Miami!
Swinging away on a 2-0 pitch. That’s some world-class stupidity there, Nate.
Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Haaaatttttteeeee.
You’ve really got to get this motherfucker off the roster.
Fuck fucking fuck that motherfucker. Can you be worse than worthless?
Alex, Bobby ran Louth for Hinske several hours ago.
Worst stretch from a Brave ever? I mean a single A guy would do better than this.
Is Omar Infante unavailable today? How much better would that situation have JUST gone if Infante was hitting there?
The worst part was, McLouth hit that ball hard, it was just bad luck (as opposed to every other at-bat he’s had since returning from the DL).
This has seriously been one of the most frustrating games of the season. I blame it on the Marlins. And Cedarstrom.
Now it will be easier to blame the loss on McSuck.
That should do it for that piece of garbage McLousy….2-0, bases loaded, you are hitting less than your weight and you ground into a double play. Bobby should have taken away his bat before the 2-0 pitch.
ON A 2-0 PITCH!
This beats any of Francouer’s suckitude for that three week stretch he had. At least he was mainly making only one out at a time.
I hate Nate and so should you! Can’t he please just go away and never come back?
Mac, That appears to have worked out great for us. Good lord I want to bitch slap Cox in the face for that.
Well, it’s looking more and more like he will be the whipping boy for only 6 more days at most.
As Chip said “He scorched it”
Now the White Flag is out there.
Louth’s pitcher twin is in the game. We’ll be fine.
Promote Blanco, demote Louth. It’s not that hard, Frank.
And we wave the White Flag…
Seriously. I never want to see him on the field again for the Braves. That was the last straw.
Wow….they sent Blanco down for this piece of shyt??
Here comes the white flag…
Mc#$@ just cant be sent out on the field anymore.
He needs to be traded for a piece of meat or designated for assignment, sent to the minors and get 100 at bats down there and maybe get a september call up.
And now Chavez is in the game. I’m in shock.
Seriously, though: both McLouth and Chavez are in the game for high leverage situations. This is awful managing.
Bobby should have let Tim Hudson pinch hit
Seriously, could Bobby not have seen who was about to walk to the plate and had the freaking guts to have yanked that piece of crap out of the game & instead put the reliable bat of Infante in?
And nowof course the Marlins, who I hate hate hate with a fiery passion, hate every single speck of their franchise, city, people, lack of fans, stadium, announcers…are about to take 2 of 3 from us.
Great…now the human white flag enters the game. And now you put Omar in? Ridiculous
McL’out is out now, injury?
Oh yeh….braves blew yet another chance, and them WF comes in. Crank up the charter Delta.
Nate McLouth + Jesse Chavez = game over
Dear Jason Heyward,
McLouth needs another concussion.
It’s Heyward’s fault. Why must he hit such sharp singles? Send him back to AA.
McLouth and now Jesse Chavez. Boy, Bobby really wants to get on that plane already. We’re in first place DESPITE Bobby’s managing.
Is KK dead?
McLouth-Trade him for a full spittoon? A bag of used balls? A moldy glove? He must have pictures of Cox in a compromising position.
And Wes Helms is coming up to win it. Of course.
Wren, I love you and I think you’re a pretty good GM. There’s not many I would rather have up there than you.
But if you don’t fix this shit I will burn Turner Field to the ground and throw rocks at your dog.
Seriously, the Marlins offense saw Jesse Chavez come in and literally, got wood.
I think Bobby has done a good job this year, but there have been a couple of games of late he has blown it. Of course, this one is on the ump and Lousy
The last Braves with more PAs and a lower OPS than Louth this year appears to be Terry Blocker, 1988.
And I see Louth caused this team to give up hope.
With all the arms we have in Gwinnett, there is literally NO EXCUSE that Chavez wears an Atlanta uni.
And of course Smelms will be the hero
Chavez with three consecutive appearances. Bobby left his brain in Georgia.
I might rather be rid of Chavez than McLouth.
The worst series of baseball I have ever seen.
A frustrating series. Let’s hope we’ve just about seen the last of McOut/White Flag.
Could that loss have been any MORE predictable? Burn in hell, Cox, McOUT, Chavez and the Marlins franchise. I fucking hate you all. What a shit loss.
No, I’m sorry. For as bad as the ump was, and as frustrating the Marlins are to play, this one is on the Braves. McLouth should never have been in the game. Diaz should never have pinch run for McCann. Chavez should have been the last option.
This was a self-inflicted loss. The third since the AS Break.
Add Cederstrom and the groundskeepers, I think that covers it.
i don’t know why the Marlins waited until now to celebrate. We had already conceded the win when we threw Chavez out there.
Kimbrel and Blanco up; Chavez and McLouth out. Frank, Bobby — it’s not that hard.
Hell, they trotted Sosa out there.
Something has to be done about McLouth. I don’t think I hated Francoeur this much.
…well maybe Francoeur, but really, I fucking hate this tool. All those stupid grimaces and head shakes he does before, during, and after all of his epic fails….STOP MAKING THOSE STUPID FACES YOU LIMPWRISTED LOSER.
So much for Bobby preaching winning the series……unbelievable. Now get ready for Strasburg on Tues.
I’ve never been too much of a blame Bobby kind of guy, but today was just terrible managing. His loyalty reminds me of the last era of Bobby Bowden. Loyalty to the detriment of their teams.
McOut looks like Calvin, the whiny little $#@! who talks to stuffed animals
Nate looks like a guy with a bad anxiety disorder.
And Kawakami, meanwhile, is still on the roster. WTF? My little sister, who knows nothing about baseball, could have accidentally managed this game better than Bobby Cox.
Today was why many Bobby haters cannot wait until next year.
Hobbs was real!
In the two highest-leverage spots today, Bobby sent up a pitcher and a guy batting .169. I’ll forgive the Jurrjens decision, since he got through seven, but not the McLouth call.
Might have gotten lost in the Chavez whirlwind tour, but McLouth was removed for Infante after his GIDP, which would seem to be a weaker defensive setup.
Either he pulled something trying to beat the throw (at least he was hustling?), he punched a wall (heartfelt thanks from Braves Nation), or Bobby finally got sick of him (again, thanks).
Wait, I think it was a double switch. Yep, pitcher in the cleanup spot.
Surely Bobby is done with him.
2 stupid decisions and others .. all these pinch runner changes only accomplish one thing getting your best hitters out of lineup .. ex mccann .. the stupid decisions .1st you leave a 327 hitter an ALL StarInfante on bench when you got a 168 hitter who is struggling hit .. then that 168 struggling hitter swings at a 2-0 pitch with bases loaded .. STUPID STUPID
Thank goodness we brought in McClouth. It would suck to have to blame someone else for a loss.