Pirates 5, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Box Score – September 07, 2010 – ESPN.

And the nightmare continues. As the Braves spiral out of first place (the Phillies, as I write, are on the verge of beating the Marlins to take over) it comes at the hands of the worst team in the league, who are throwing the worst pitchers they can find at the Braves, and seeing them turn into worldbeaters. This one wasn’t even a lefty.

To recap the offensive drought: Omar Infante singled to lead off the game, and was still at first three outs later. In the third, he walked, and then got thrown out trying to steal. In the fourth, Jason Heyward singled leading off, then was thrown out trying to make it to second on a Brian McCann flyout. In the fifth, Melky Cabrera had a one-out double, Rick Ankiel was walked intentionally with two out, and Tim Hudson popped up. In the sixth, Heyward singled with one out, Martin Prado doubled down the right field line but Heyward had no chance to score, McCann was walked, and Derrek Lee, who looked completely dead, grounded into a double play.

Hudson was outstanding for six innings, and didn’t allow a baserunner until the fifth, but you can’t pitch on a wire all night long and not fall off. When it did, the Pirates got five runs in the seventh inning — four charged to Hudson, and a homer off of Peter Moylan Eric O’Flaherty — and that was the ballgame. Actually, the one run was the ballgame. This offense is beyond pathetic. It’s microscopic.

184 thoughts on “Pirates 5, Braves 0”

  1. lead is now gone, maybe thatll wake this team up

    btw, HR was off of EOF not Moylan…0-2 pitch also and it was a perfect meatball

  2. Mac,

    I thought O’Flaherty gave up the homer?

    Doomed.

    Second place teams don’t rate the full bore doomed routine.

  3. Go get my buddies book, god and football: faith and fanaticism in the sec. It’s very enjoyable and something most of us can relate to. It’ll help with the pain.

  4. Time for the team to wake up and stop talking. I have heard enough from them. It’s time to play better.

    Enough is enough.

  5. As classless as the Marlins are for ignoring Bobby, the players on our team are about to do 10x worse if they don’t pull their heads out.

    The 2007 Mets are embarrassed for us. Either that, or when did we all start pulling for the Mets?

    That’s all I’ve got.

  6. 19- With two broken-backed first basemen, one useful outfielder, and a three-man rotation? I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

  7. For post-season, a 3-man rotation is fine, if it’s a good one. Our bullpen is still better than most.

    At the moment, it’s the scoring runs part…

  8. Time to put Martin back at leadoff to shake things up.
    Why not Freeman against righties? That baffled me last night.

  9. This is not like the collapse for the ages. The Braves were 18-11 in August; they have had a bad week in September (on the road as usual) and the Phillies have played well. Give the Phillies some credit. I think it’s the fans that need to pull our heads out. This is baseball. The despair here is ridiculous. I mean, I thought I was the pessimist on here, but I feel like Pollyanna.

    As for the 7 game lead, did anyone really think the Braves were going to run away from the Phillies? The Mets coughed up a 7 game lead with 17 games to play; the Braves lead was 7 in, what June or July? I don’t really see the comparison. The lead has been a game or two for most of the last two months.

    The Braves have problems and always have. They probably played over their heads for much of the season; most projections had then at 87 or 88 wins and they have been on a 94-95 win pace. But the sky isn’t falling (yet).

    And, on the previous thread, I saw someone whining about the lack of leadership. Please. No one talks about leadership when the team is winning; when they lose a few games, all of a sudden the players don’t care and they lack leaders. Leadership in this context is bullshit. You either hit or you don’t. If they lose, it won’t be because they lack leadership or whatever; it will be because they weren’t good enough. The Phillies had no leadership a few weeks ago; apparently they have miraculously discovered it recently.

  10. Nice job, Fregosi.

    If you look up “pig in a poke” do you see a picture of Derek Lee?

    Screw it. Play Freeman now. He can’t do any worse.

    I’d give my left ventricle for Jim Thome.

  11. In the cold light of a hot September morning (almost sounds like it should be a country tune, doesn’t it?), I’m a bit more calm about the Braves than I was last night. We do need a spark somehow, and if we get it – Lowe pitching a gem perhaps? – the team is just as likely to run off a 5 or 6 game win streak as they have shown they can do all year.

    But times have become desperate. Tonight is almost a must win, just to stop the bleeding, and we need at least 3 of 4 from the Cards. It would help if the Padres keep playing badly, but we still control our playoff destiny. The players just need to as that noted baseball philosopher Crash Davis said, relax and concentrate.

  12. This whole thing may be my fault. If the Braves win tomorrow, I will take that as conclusive evidence tat it was. If so, I apologize.

  13. I don’t think Bobby really believes that, he’s just being Bobby and covering for his player’s suckitude. While that’s what endears him to the players, sometimes a manager has to come right out and rip his team a new one for atrocious play, and I feel this would have been a great time to call out everyone whose last name doesn’t start with ‘Heywa-‘ and challenge them to play like big leaguers.

  14. @30,

    I think that’s ridiculous. I don’t see the point in ripping them a new one. First, that isn’t Bobby’s style, at least not in public. I don’t see that the Lou Pinella style has been noticeably more successful. Second, this team has been undermanned, yet playing it’s heart out all year, and they need to be yelled at in September? Frankly, I think it’s more that fans want the manager to express our own frustration. Third, I bet you weren’t saying that at this time last week. Apparently, in the last five days, they have stopped playing like big leaguers and become just a bunch of losers who now suck. The front-running I see here is pretty appalling. The Braves may end up not making the playoffs, but to act as if they have stopped trying is utterly ridiculous and offensive.

    Calm down people. Whatever you want to say about Bobby’s in-game tactices, I guarantee he knows a hell of a lot more than any of us about how to handle a team.

  15. I’m a little concerned now, because the team is in the range where a few fluky things could send the Giants to the playoffs instead of the Braves. I would like it a lot if the Braves won and the Giants lost tonight.

  16. Streaks:

    Padres – won 2
    Giants – won 4
    Phillies – won 2
    Braves – lost 3

    How often are you going to have a two game stretch where you lose ground to every other team in the race?

  17. The Braves are 1-4 in their last five. The Yankees have lost 3 in a row, two to the O’s. Baseball is a game of streaks.

  18. The Phillies have an easier schedule from here on out.

    The Marlins and us are the only above .500 teams they have left.

    We have the Cards, Marlins and Phillies.

    Of course, the Pirates have Zack “John Wayne” Duck on the mound tonight.

    We win out next two and this thing is at least tied up.

    It is all going to come down to thost six game, unless, we falter to our arch rival Natspos and Marlins.

  19. Marc,

    I agree that Bobby knows a heck of a lot more than I do about managing a team. And I agree that a Pinella-esque rant isn’t his style. But I disagree that there is never a time to call a team to account for its play. And I feel that this is a time where Bobby needs to call out the team. He doesn’t have to throw particular individuals under the bus (I’m looking at you D. Lee), but stating that this level of play is not acceptable, and things will change one way or another should not be out of line.

  20. The guys on the team are professionals; every one of them knows this is Bobby’s last run, and you know that they will be playing their butts off for the rest of the season. Big thing, obviously, is if that translates into wins (ie. enough wins to pull it out, either through the division championship or the WC). The head-to-head games against Philly have potential to be BIG, obviously, but they have to put themselves into a position ahead of time by winning games and not losing additional ground.
    I don’t often read Jeff Schultz’s columns on AJC, but thought this one was good in identifying 3 guys who are keys to the remainder of the season:
    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/09/08/braves-keys-for-home-stretch-start-with-derrek-lee/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

  21. As long as we’re still a playoff team, I’m not going to panic. If, before the season, you’d told me we’d be in this very position, I’d have signed for it.

  22. Seat Painter,

    But you don’t know what Bobby has or has not done. Just because he hasn’t thrown guys under the bus in public doesn’t mean he is not talking to them in the clubhouse. Your issue (and it’s often one I have problems with too) is that Bobby’s public comments are so often absurdly optimistic and seemingly pollyannish that it drives one up the wall. But his job isn’t to placate the fan base, it’s to manage the team. Obviously, being a baseball player is a public occupation in a way that being a lawyer or accountant or whatever is not, but, still, I can’t imagine that it would make me work better to have my boss call me out in public after I have been busting my ass for 5 months.

    And what does it mean to say “this level of play is not acceptable?” You think the players don’t know that they are supposed to get hits rather than make outs? Saying things will change is sort of ridiculous at this point–what’s he going to do, go get new players?

    I would bet Bobby has said something to them in the clubhouse but more likely it’s in the mode of “we just need to relax and get back to how we have played all season.”

  23. Well, I thought I had the gloom market cornered in damp, cold Amsterdam. Fortunately, there are remedies here for a case of the blues.

  24. Maybe I could listen to reason, except we’re doing this against the Pirates. I think the only teams to have ever been swept by the Pirates were tanking to get better draft position.

    So I guess we’ll know more after tonight. We could probably still get an arbitration-protected pick if we play our cards right.

  25. As long as we’re still a playoff team, I’m not going to panic. If, before the season, you’d told me we’d be in this very position, I’d have signed for it.
    I have to agree with this. Going into the season, I felt like the Braves were about a .500 team. Too many holes, too many question marks. The holes are still there, but most of the question marks turned out OK.

    Of course, I was a fan through the 1980s. I know that contending in September certainly beats being 20 games out in June…

  26. I don’t know. If Bobby’s willing to drop “That’s the worst I’ve ever seen him pitch” on Kawakami, then I’d at least think he could drop a “That’s the worst I’ve ever seen him play outfield” on Melky or “That’s the worst I’ve ever seen him look at two strikes right down the middle” on, um, someone else or “Sweet Jesus, I can’t believe he gets paid to swing a bat” on a couple of people.

    Just saying.

    I’m still waiting to see if my theory (which is consistent with baseball lore) plays out next game.

  27. @26, Ugh, so depressing, man. A scene written by a guy who tried to kill himself featuring his real-life brother pretending to kill himself underscored by a guy who actually killed himself.

    Go Braves?

  28. Just because the Braves played great before the ASB doesn’t mean they’re playing great now. They’re playing awful baseball. “Streaks” have nothing to do with it when you can’t score than more 2 runs against AA September callup experiments with career ERAs over 4. It’s one thing to go streaky in June or July, it’s another to go streaky in September when the postseason is on the line.

    The team, playing like it is now, might go to the playoffs, but if they keep playing like this then the only thing that would stop them from being blown out in the first round is luck.

    It’s one thing to lose 2/3 to the Cards or the Phillies, because those are legitimately good teams. You can blame tough pitching or a better offense for losing to those teams. But, when you lose 2/3 to the Marlins and the Pirates, there’s no one to blame but yourself. We should consider ourselves lucky to have Kawakami as our #5 guy as opposed to the guys the Pirates are throwing out, and yet we’re still making those guys look like Greg Maddux.

    Optimism is one thing, ignoring the obvious is another. I’m not saying the ship can’t be righted and we go on and win the World Series without a single playoff loss, but looking at how the team is playing today (which is a different team both personnel and strategy wise than the May-July team) a little concern is reasonable, imo.

  29. As long as we’re still a playoff team, I’m not going to panic.

    It’s down to one game and we are getting our asses handed to us by the worst team in baseball. This is really the perfect time to panic.

    After this weekend series with the Padres, the Giants spend a week playing the Dodgers, Brewers and Cubs. Quit, quit and quit. It’s going to be pretty tough to stay in front of them unless we get this turned around.

  30. Going into the September 8 game, Atlanta is 1/2 game behind Philadelphia in the division but even with the Phils in the loss column.

    The Braves lead the Giants by one game for the wild card. There are 23 games left in the regular season.

    Seems like a pretty enviable position to be in, all things considered.

    I’ll bet the Braves even score today.

  31. I suppose I need some more perspective. If you told me on April 1st that on Sept. 8 we’d be 1/2 game back of Philly for the division lead with a one game WC lead I would’ve been ecstatic.

    So, OK,..let’s get ecstatic! (Starting tonight – with a Lowe win.)

  32. Who have we faced in the last 2 weeks? Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Bob Feller, Tom Seaver, Pete Alexander? Move Prado back to leadoff. Hit Jason fifth. Omar cleanup. Go back to small ball bunts and sac flies.

  33. Even Chipper thinks the team maybe needs to freak out a little.

    “I asked him if he sensed players were tight.

    ‘No. I don’t,’ Jones said. ‘In fact, the opposite. We’re really loose.’

    Too loose?

    ‘You said it, I didn’t,’ Jones said.”

  34. Who said there is no reason for concern? Of course there is. But yelling at players isn’t going to help. And, the fact is, 10 days ago, the Phillies got swept in a four game series by the Astros. These things happen in baseball.

    Frankly, I never have really thought the Braves are good enough to win the World Series anyway. Playing at their best, they would have a chance to win the NL but would likely be huge underdogs in the WS, barring a major upset in the AL. And they haven’t been playing all that well in a while, even when winning. And the way they are playing hasn’t changed that much; the defense has been mediocre, at best, all year, they have no less speed and power than they had two weeks ago. The difference, right now, is that they aren’t hitting. But that’s just the way it goes in baseball. I don’t see how yelling or cussing out the players is going to help them hit. And I have seen lots of teams struggle in September and then get hot in the playoffs.

  35. At least switch Lee and Diaz, Bobby.

    What’s the definition of insanity? Repeating the same action and expecting a different result?

  36. He can no more play center field than he can the oboe.

    That was the hardest I’ve laughed today (admittedly somewhat depressed by the Braves the past few days). Good one, Mac.

  37. Melky is becoming the Melvin Turpin of MLB.

    Kentucky fans remember Turp the Burp, a high-scoring post-up threat center who ate his way out of the NBA.

  38. I think it’s a wonderful idea to put a contract on Melky… oh, wait, that wasn’t what you meant, was it?

    Seriously, Derrek needs to go home. If your back hurts so much that you can’t hit an average fastball, you’re useless to a major league team. And no amount of grit can make up for physical inability. Get the treatment you need, Derrek, so that you can play next year or play with your kids.

    I know it’s not Cox’ style to try to fire people up. (I know Diaz should never be asked to try again. “Swagger in the locker room?!?”) But forget about this being Cox’ last season; these guys are playing dead in a pennant race, and those don’t come around every year.

  39. Look, I can dish out my own fair share of gloom and despair, but let’s face it: The pennant and possibly the WC are going to come down to the last six games of the season head-to-head with the Phils. Let’s get some of the bad streaks out of the way now, so we can go make up a full game every time we win one.

    Go Braves.

  40. I suspect that we would non-tender Melky and tender Diaz. I do agree with the writer that Diaz will start faltering one day soon here, though.

  41. diaz’s overall numbers arent necessarily fair to what he’s done this year. matt’s a notoriously slow starter that was dealing with a thumb issue that he had surgery on. since coming back, matt has put up the numbers we have come to expect: .872 ops

  42. Who do we have to sacrifice to get a real centerfielder and a productive left fielder? I would hate to give up our stellar pitching prospects, but, damn, it sure is hard to win when you can’t score.

  43. I am sorry to learn abut Dinner Bel Mel….

    Yes–its too early to panic, but it is not inappropriate to be frustrated and wonder why this team, which has won many dramatic games, cannot win the easy ones. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Braves get some runs for Lowe….

  44. I’m not really in favor of panicking, but losing Hanson-Burres and Hudson-McDonald match-ups on consecutive nights certainly gives me pause.

  45. I like Diaz, but he is basically a platoon outfielder, good against lefties and absymal against righties. The problem is, the Braves don’t have a good left-handed platoon partner although Hinske was doing well earlier in the year. I can live with Diaz coming back if they can find someone to fill the blank hole in CF; they cannot go through another year in CF as they did this year. At the very least, they need to have a CF that can actually play CF. I have a feeling they are going to count on McLouth coming back next year which doesn’t give me a good feeling. I bet Andruw Jones, even now, would be a better option in CF than what we have (don’t let Alex R hear this). He couldn’t be worse than Melky.

  46. i still say to send matt to winter ball to see how he responds to playing centerfield. at worst-case scenario, he fails and we non-tender him. at best, he forms the right side of a platoon with nate (or matt young). what’s the harm?

  47. Do we have any outfielders going to the Arizpna Fall League?

    Is there even one solid outfield prospect in our high minors?

  48. We haven’t had a typical slugging corner left fielder since 2003 and his name was Chipper Jones.

    Ignoring Nate’s brief flirtation with usefulness, we haven’t had production from center field since Andruw’s last good year in 2006.

    That is to say, the smart money is not on the Braves fixing their outfield holes during the off season. Finding quality outfielders does not seem to be an organizational strength.

  49. Braves 2011 team as currently constructed

    2b Prado
    Rf Heyward
    3b Chipper
    C McCann
    SS Gonzalez
    1b Freeman
    Lf Fail
    Cf Louth
    bench: UT Infante, C Ross, IF Conrad

    RHP Hudson
    RHP Jurrjens
    RHP Hanson
    RHP Lowe
    LHP Minor

    bullpen: LHP Venters, LHP O’Flaherty, LHP Dunn, RHP Kimbrel, RHP Kawakami

  50. #82

    Here’s the deal, AJ: We don’t pay you, the athlete, and you can’t sell your wares.

    But we, the school, can sell your wares, your name, the seats to watch you play in person, the TV rights to watch you play, etc. We can even sell jerseys with your name on the back in our bookstore. (Those #8’s just keep flying out the place!)

    Got it? Good. Now keep your mouth shut & get out to the practice field.

  51. @88 – I make $37,000/year and the only concussion risk I take is falling asleep and slamming my head into my desk. Football’s foundation is built upon the crumpled shells of injured former players, and the poor saps can’t even get guaranteed contracts in the majors. Even if you consider that 37,000 compensation for playing football (a tenuous stance, IMO), it isn’t sufficient compensation for what they’re doing, especially considering the income they generate. For a long snapper at UNC-Mars Hill, sure. I grow more disgusted with the sport yearly (still playing fantasy this year, but it took until 10 minutes pre-draft to get mildly enthused about the prospect).

  52. “Allowing him to go to school for free,” just like the HOPE scholarship kids?

    If you don’t smell hypocrisy in this particular case, I don’t know what to tell you.

  53. #89 – I disagree. He’s getting free tuition. He’s getting a free place to live, free meals, free books. Who knows what he’s getting on the side? Most importantly, UGA is allowing him to build his image (marketing wise) free of charge? Name one company that wouldnt love to have free marketing? Free marketing for 4 years to set up his financial future. If it doesnt work in football, he’ll have that education

  54. #90 – anyone who doesnt work for themselves faces the same issue. I brought in $4mil in mortgages to my company over the last two months. Im sure as hell not getting paid what I think I deserve.

  55. @91 I’m building my image/reputation by working in a job I also get paid for – every project goes in my portfolio and every day adds to my experience. Also, 37000 is the nominal cost of a high quality [sic] education – would anyone argue that the typical UGA wide receiver graduates with one of those? How much professional success is the average big-school football player set up for after graduation if they don’t play professionally? You might have a point about housing costs equating to legit payments, but I’d argue that meal plans are an integral cost incurred in creating healthy, viable, money-making football players (metaphor: the electricity needed to power my work computer isn’t deducted from my salary).

  56. Well HOPE kids have to maintain a 3.0 to keep it. I most certainly lost it after my freshman year and have been paying for tuition/receiving loans since. Granted, in state tuition isn’t nearly as bad as out of state, but it still ain’t cheap.

  57. The point I’m making has more to do with this particular case than the inherent corruption that defines big-money college athletics.

    Green sells his #8 jersey & gets popped for 4 games. A little extreme in my view, but them’s the breaks.

    The university does the exact same thing every day. Call me crazy, but that strikes me as ridiculous.

  58. No one is forcing this kid to play football, its his choice. He understood the process when he accepted his scholarship. I dont agree with the process, but I understand it.

    Football revenues help to upgrade facilities and pay employee salaries. It also goes to help fund other sports for other student athletes.

    I was lucky enough to get a 4 yr deal playing golf in college. I can say right now that Im pretty happy not to have $100,000 worth of student loan debt for my education.

  59. @96 I totally agree. It’s a racket that kids are basically forced to participate in by the lack of a professional development system like minor league baseball. The only redeeming aspect of the situation is that the NCAA isn’t able to fine players themselves. Penalizing them with suspensions at least hurts the school too, perhaps eventually giving the schools some incentive to change the system that they collectively prop up.

  60. @97 The NCAA works exceedingly well for basically everything other than football (basketball sucks in a lot of the same ways, but at least there’s way less injury potential and players can get the hell out after one year/avoid it entirely by going to Europe). In particular, the lower-revenue sports like golf, tennis, volleyball, etc. offer really good opportunities for true student/athletes to get educations they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. There’s just not enough money at stake in those cases to encourage the basic fraud that goes on in football, wherein kids who, academically speaking, often shouldn’t be in a liberal art college at all, are given non-guaranteed scholarships to burn up their bodies for spectacle. College sports are fantastic – professional sports disguised as college sports and fueled by near-slave labor are not so fantastic.

    Edit – I really don’t feel nearly as strongly about this issue as that just sounded. Go Jackets! Buzzzzz.

  61. And, at my school anyway, the revenue-sport athletes were so important that they got to register for classes with the honor students!

    I shit you not.

  62. The other crazy bit about football is that there’s no way to get into the pros without doing the college football thing. I thought of tennis when it was brought up before; some NCAA players turn pro eventually in tennis, but honestly the top guys turn pro before college, so the NCAA isn’t the clear advancement path to the pros that it is in football.

  63. Otis Sistrunk is the only one I can remember.

    You’d see the roster for those mid-’70s Oakland Raiders & next to his name it would read: Spencer High School/Marine Corps.

  64. Michael Lewis, who played for the Saints for six years, also never went to college. Famously, he got his tryout while working as a delivery man for Budweiser.

  65. Way to go, Alex!!!

    College football just sucks. It’s a gross institution and the games are played at a low skill level. Bigger schools pay bad schools to come in and get slaughtered and we drink it up like it’s gladiators in the coliseum.

  66. It would be so much more competitive if the bigger schools would play the smaller schools on the road.

  67. 107- Lowe certainly tried, but couldn’t quite manage it. The movable object succumbs to the resistable force.

  68. powell on melky: “melky has been running very poorly in the 2nd half”

    he isnt injured so i’m pretty sure that’s a shot at melky’s weight gain. i really love powell.

  69. Sad state of affairs when a man can’t sell his old work uniform for a few extra bucks.

    You go, Lowe!!!

  70. bases loaded no outs and just get 1…..and they walked a guy that cant hit a fastball. I wont complain

  71. I’m paying the University $30,000 to get my education. A. J. Green gets paid for his. He gets to graduate debt free. I get to look forward to paying off student loans for years after I graduate.

    Nobody is forcing Green to major in Underwater Cave Painting while he plays football. If he’s worried about his future without going pro, then he should choose to major in something useful.

    Yeah he has practice competing for his time that could be spent studying, but I spend that same time working (actually I don’t even get paid for that since I’ve decided to try and get into medical school and Im volunteering and doing community service) that could be used for studying.

    In short, NCAA athletes get no sympathy from me when it comes to getting paid. There’s no guarantee that anybody will come out of college with a job in their degree field, or even a job at all.

    If anybody should get paid to go to college it should be prospective secondary education teachers.

  72. does an undefeated Boise St team trump a one loss SEC team for a National title? Im an SEC guy and I really dont know how I should feel. Boise has said they’d go play anyone/anywhere, but I dont think they could go through an SEC schedule with just one loss

  73. #119 – You are not producing any revenue for the university. The football team is creating tens of millions of dollars for the university. They are selling jerseys with his name on it for $150 bucks a pop while he gets to walk around broke. It’s incredibly unfair and will at some point be stopped.

  74. Six runs in the third inning, and only one extra-base hit- and that by the pitcher. This is a strange game.

  75. Boise has said they’d go play anyone/anywhere, but I dont think they could go through an SEC schedule with just one loss

    Personally I think this year’s Boise team would do pretty well in this year’s SEC. QBs like Kellen Moore don’t come around that much. They have a deep, talented, experienced team. Any attempt to equate them to that Hawaii team the Georgia throttled a few years back is seriously misguided.

  76. #125 – I dont disagree. I think they are very good this year. Moore may be the best QB in college football. Id like to see them get a couple more good solid opponents on their schedule though.

  77. Is 8 enough for Lowe?

    #120
    I couldn’t really guess. We’re talking about human voters & computers. A playoff would probably take care of that just fine.

    That said, I’m sure a Boise vs Alabama/Ohio St/Texas-type BCS title game would offer some great David & Goliath intrigue.

  78. Id like to see them get a couple more good solid opponents on their schedule though.

    So would they. Their quest to find good teams that aren’t too chickenshit to play them is legendary. Credit to Va Tech and Oregon State for taking the challenge this year.

    That said, I’m sure a Boise vs Alabama/Ohio St/Texas-type BCS title game would have some a great David & Goliath intrigue.

    Sure, why not let them have a shot? We all enjoyed Butler in basketball right? Unless there are two other undefeated teams, go for it. It would be fun.

  79. Howard hits a 3-run HR to make it 7-0 Phillies. Looks like another night in second place even if we win.

  80. @122

    I’m producing tuition+ for the university every year and I’m walking around broke too. Probably even more broke than Greene because athletes get paid a stipend on top of their tuition, room and board, and books, while I don’t get paid a dime and have to pay all of that. Nobody’s crying for me to get paid.

    Do I generate direct revenue for the university by playing a nationally televised sport? No. But I do generate revenue by paying exorbitant tuition costs and the university using my grades and test scores to promote themselves and attract even more students that are going to pay that same exorbitant tuition.

    There’s nothing unfair about the current situation. Nobody should get paid tens of thousands of dollars or more to go to college beyond whatever scholarship they’ve earned.

  81. ok, more debating….

    should a guy that plays in coors field be acknowleged for winning the triple crown?

    Carlos Gonzalez overall line
    .340 avg – 1st
    32 HR’s – 3rd
    100 RBI – 1st

    home – .394/.480/.801/1.021 25HR
    away – .288/.310/.450/.760 7HR

    they were actually debating this on XM today.

  82. It’s a Christmas miracle!

    SEC East is down this year, Boise could handle that IMO. Maybe they would slip up, but I think they’re a better team than anyone in the SEC outside of Bama.

  83. I would love for Omar to steal the BA title (added hitless PA’s or no) and ruin the “Coors crown”.

  84. @133

    Um…yes. For God’s sake, this Coors Field doesn’t count thing is getting a little out of hand, even for my taste. If it truly is unfair, MLB should take the team out of Colorado. Otherwise, they’re still a Major League Baseball club. It should still be a topic of debate on voted awards, but if a Rocky does something entirely based on stats, I’m afraid we’re gonna have to live with it.

  85. Rollins left the Phils game with a hammy injury

    Well, I said Cargo should get considered for the NL MVP about a week ago and got hammered here. Something regarding his OBP away from Coors was the reasoning

  86. Incidentally, I would also argue that if he wins the Triple Crown, he should be the MVP, again regardless of the fact he plays at Coors.

  87. @139,

    I hope his leg is broken

    I though Votto might have a big home/road difference, but nope. He is a better hitter on the road, actually.

  88. If you can tolerate the defense, Melky in CF and a Diaz/Hinske platoon in left is our best option right now.

  89. There’s a difference between fairness in playing conditions for a game between two teams (both teams at Coors Field get to take advantage of it, etc. – little/no competitive advantage) and in statistical/awards races. I don’t think slighting statistics that are almost entirely derived from hitting at Coors (preposterously so – surely CarGo is a lot better than his road numbers? But his road numbers are Casey Blake, so how does that happen?) is really out of line.

    If his adjusted stats hold up to the others, then OK, but otherwise, it’s hard to shake visions of Vinny Castilla GIDP’ing repeatedly with the Braves.

  90. if Hinske was doing anything even pedestrian right now, Id agree with you. Diaz full time even against RH’rs is probably the best bet

    Hinske since the break – .202/.330/.382

  91. 148 — Well, Diaz is hitting .214/.267/345 against RHPs this year, so I think that’s out. I’d rather see if Hinske could get it going again against RHPs.

  92. can anyone find a stat of what Diaz is doing against RHP since he returned from his injury? just curious

  93. Lest we get too excited, Duke has the best ERA of everyone the Braves have faced tonight. Think about that for a moment.

    And as for Cargo on the road, he’s 10 for his last 18 away from Coors. You don’t slug nearly 800 (!!) since the AS break without doing anything on the road. He’s starting to destroy the league everywhere he goes.

  94. sdp,
    I’m not a prog-rock guy so much, but I worked a couple of industry events with DT keyb player Jordan Rudess.

    Super talented, of course, and the nicest guy in the world.

  95. @147

    So are you saying that if Gonzalez wins the Triple Crown, or the batting title or any other individual thing, that he should be stripped of it and everything should be awarded to the second-place guy? What is your endgame here?

  96. Now Chip pronounces everyone named Diaz as “Die-as.” Idiot.

    Doesn’t appear that Boscan will get to play even in a blowout. Ross in for McCann.

  97. Even though the game is pretty much done–or at least the managers seem to think so–I wonder: should the Braves be embarrassed about that nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning by a guy with an ERA over 10? I say yes.

  98. I guess Chip is somehow not aware that pretty much everyone with the last name Diaz other than Matt and his family pronounces it “Dee-az”?

  99. 158- According to BP’s park factors, Coors has a factor of 1078 (1000= neutral), which is MLB’s highest. Next highest are Arizona at 1059 and New Yankee Stadium at 1048. BTW, Atlanta is at 985, and San Diego’s 936 is the lowest.

  100. Is anyone else hoping that McLouth gets in the game? I mean, when else would we ever see a Melky-Ankiel-McLouth outfield? That would be so awful that it’d be awesome.

  101. @157

    No, if Gonzalez gets the numbers, then he gets the numbers. If he gets votes, he should keep them (not that he’s a bad/wrong choice, but the writers get things wrong a lot anyways, so nothing new there).

    I am somewhat skeptical of what he’s doing, and I think it makes sense to view a Triple Crown won almost entirely within Coors Field in something of the same vein as Maris’s 61 homers in a 162 game year, or the 2000 yard rushers besides OJ who had the 2 extra games. If Gonzalez picks up his numbers outside of Coors next year, then of course it’s different. But wouldn’t you have pause giving him a hypothetical $20MM+ deal right now, even with his great overall production?

  102. man, what a horrible throw from glaus. he’s lucky he wasnt over there to catch it or that would have been an error.

  103. Please tell me that Saito and Wagner just decided on their own that they’d like to play catch…

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