103 thoughts on “Modulated game thread: June 12, Braves at Astros”

  1. I remembered the rest of local radio guys shpiel…

    2 leagues of 15 teams, no divisions. Top 5 teams in each league move to playoffs, with 4 and 5 playing their way in, to earn the right to face 1, while 2 plays 3… All of 1, 2, and 3 can have a bye, or just 1, depending on how you want to run it.

    Balance the regular season schedule, and play interleague against all teams.

    Also, phase out DH after 3 years, but phase in 2 extra roster spots per team; as a bone to throw the union in exchange for the DH, and because with greenies and steroids out, players are dragging to the finish line.

    He wanted to contract 2 teams, so you had 14 and 14, and you could completely balance the schedule, interleague included, and play each team 6 times (27 x 6 = 162) but admitted they’d never go for it.

  2. 1. Schafer cf, 2. Uggla 2b, 3. Brian McCann, best catcher in baseball c, 4. Freeman 1b, 5. Gonzalez ss, 6. Hinske lf, 7. Hicks 3b, 8. Young rf, 9. Hanson p

  3. My first chance to see the Braves in person last night and Dan Uggla actually performed like a guy who could hit. I hope Chipper’s right that this is the beginning of a massive Uggla turnaround.

  4. That’s a lot to change, for sure. I’m all about contraction, and would be at the top of my list of goals if I were commissioner. I’d like to see the DH go away too. Not sure how you phase it out unless you just say “No DH in 2015”.

    Interleague play has lost its appeal to me. I know it is popular amongst many fans, but I sorely miss having a match up in the World Series between two distinct leagues with teams that have not faced each other all season.

  5. Brandon Hicks instead of Chipper? Man, it reminds me of when you’re about to play some game as a kid and you know you’re part of the better team so you “spot” the weaker opposition a lead.

    The bottom of that order is ugly.

  6. That lineup looks like Freddi threw darts at names on a wall. Hope Hanson has his stuff working today…

  7. If you had a 15 team league then one team would have to be off every night or play a cross over series while all the others stay within the league. I don’t really like that scenario.

  8. I have lost interest in interleague play and it would enhance the world series to get rid of it – but MLB makes lots of $$$ there so it’s not going away. I’ve always hated the DH and that has to go away.

  9. I also heard they are talking about moving the Astros to the AL in this 15 Game scenario. Don’t like that whatsoever.

    It would be bad for the NL as well not to have a team in Texas. We have one of the fastest growing populations and job markets here in our state and tons of people moving here all the time, and it seems inherently unfair to have a state as large as Texas be taken up by 2 AL teams.

    A better idea is to allow the Marlins to leave Miami already and wherever they move a team that draws 500 fans a night, let that be the new AL team. And yes, it would mean no Florida presence for the NL but that’s a dying economy there and the state completely sucks on every level anyway. I feel dirty even having to see the Braves go there.

  10. To be honest, there’s probably a greater Braves’ following in Florida than the Marlins so you wouldn’t be losing to much in that scenario.

  11. the rays have contraction written all over them

    i dont see contraction happening, though. the legal stuff would be expensive as you know someone would sue.

    ‘bud selig best sports commissioner? yikes.

  12. How about just eliminating two teams from each league, thereby relieving MLB of 100 players that probably don’t deserve to be in the majors? Better competition across the board. Then the novelty of interleague games that generate so much money could be replaced with games that are just a compelling to watch.

  13. Johnny,

    Bud Selig is an atrociously bad commissioner. But his competition includes David Stern and Gary Bettman, two of the other worst commissioners in sports history.

    The one commissioner I sorta respect, Roger Goodell, is currently presiding over a 2+ month lockout.

    It’s safe to say we have 4 horrible commissioners of the 4 major team pro sports.

    Frankly, considering the atrocious fan bases and lack of new stadiums for both the Rays and Marlins, what I would do is get out of the state of Florida, period. (and as to the point that the Braves have a huge following there – true – plus a ton of Yankees and Mets fans who transplanted and Philly fans in the Tampa area I learned during the brief time I lived in Tampa).

    Not only is Florida a disastrous economy with tons of people and jobs having left the state, but at least in the Midwest, people still go to the games. No one has EVER gone to the Marlins or Rays games, unless it’s the playoffs. You literally have full neighborhoods with empty houses just sitting there.

    And like Charles Barkley said, Miami is the worst sports fans in America and the only south Florida team with any kinda loyalty to their following are the Dolphins.

    But yes, if I were in Bud Selig’s shoes, I’d turn Florida back into a spring training (only) destination, move either the Rays or the Marlins to another city/state, contract the other team, and you have your even amount of teams in each league – end of story. Time to get out of Florida as a regular season destination for baseball.

  14. Next year, the Marlins will play in a new stadium located in the heart of downtown Miami, so attendance should improve noticeably. Right now, they play thirty minutes (allowing for traffic, of course) outside of Miami, so don’t let those shots of Biscayne Bay fool you.

    The new stadium features a retractable roof. No more rain delays!

  15. The Red Sox are the only AL team with a better record than the Braves. Tied for fourth-best record in the majors, and only half a game back of third. How in the…

  16. While there are some franchises in trouble, I think the depth of talent is sufficient to support at least as many major league teams as we now have, if not more. Expansion has historically resulted in a short-term increase in runs scored, as the influx of bad pitchers has a greater effect than the influx of bad hitters. Ergo, the best way to judge the current depth of talent is the trend in run scoring. A lower run-scoring environment indicates a deeper well of major league caliber talent.

  17. Honestly, I’d love to incorporate the DH in both leagues. Now, before you start chewing me out, hear me out.

    How do we feel about watching positional players pitch? It’s usually an exercise in futility, and even though we get the occasional laugh out of it, I don’t think that any of us actually enjoy it in a game of baseball. It takes the seriousness out of the game, and turns it into a spectacle. Now imagine a rule where position players had to pitch one inning of each game. It would be a completely asinine rule, don’t you think? Wouldn’t you agree that it had no place in baseball? Well, giving positional players 1/9 of the innings to pitch is akin to giving pitcher 1/9 of at-bats to hit (which, excluding pinch hitters, is pretty much what it is currently).

    I’d be fine if the game still had the strong two-way players that could both hit and pitch. But the problem is, kids aren’t trained to do both anymore in the minor leagues. They’re specialized to be pitchers or hitters, and I think that it’s dumb that we have to watch them perform a task on a daily basis that they don’t have the talent for nor do they prepare sufficiently enough for. We watch baseball because of the elite talent level of the players, who are the best. Inserting a player without any skill for that role into a role is not what baseball is about.

    They arguments against the universal DH usually consist of three main points. 1, the person doesn’t like the DH because they grew up watching pitchers hit, etc. Well, nothing can be done about that, but there’s no logic in that argument. 2, the person argues that lack of the DH inserts strategy into the game via pinch hitters, etc. Going back to my ‘position players have to pitch’ example, there would be much more strategy involved in having position players pitch, also. Who would you have pitch? Who would replace them? How would you rest your position players? But I think that the majority of you would agree that it would a bad, or unnecessary, insertion of strategy into the game. This is how I feel about hitting for pitchers. 3, the person argues that adding a DH would lead to a slippery slope, where eventually you’d have a designated set of fielders, another set of hitters, and a last set of pitchers. And that’s a horrible argument.


  18. You’ve constructed an argument for something that most NL fans think is a bad idea around something that ALL baseball fans would think is a bad idea. It’s almost like a bill going to congress that’s main provision is to make arson illegal, but thrown in is all kinds of pork barrel spending. So someone at fox news could say “Congressman so and so is pro-Arson”. The congressman isn’t pro arson, he’s just against the 100 million dollars of pork that they’re trying to slip into the bill.

    To me, the DH rule changes late inning management and slows down the pace of the game, it enables LaRussan behavior by managers. The analogy I like to make is that the presence of the DH is akin to the NFL giving coaches unlimited timeouts in the 4th quarter.

  19. desert you’re completely backwards there. It’s nothing like having the position players required to pitch. You play in the field, you have to hit. You hit, you have to play in the field.

    Making the position players pitch is more like requiring position players to switch positions after every inning, so that they end up playing each position for 1 inning.

    The fact is, with the DH, you have added a hitter only. If we can forget the fact that people have gotten used to this, let us instead compare a ‘designated hitter’ rule to allowing each team to send an extra fielder out there, a Rover, and that guy isn’t required to hit.

    Or how about, allowing teams to stick a guy in the stands to try to catch home runs!

    That’s how ridiculous the DH rule is.

  20. We already have guys that only pitch and never hit (late-inning relievers). What’s wrong with the equivalent offensive-only specialization? I’ve got no issue either way with the DH. I get zero enjoyment out of watching our pitchers bat/bunt, but I do respect that NL-rules require a deeper bench and slightly more tactical thinking. I say slightly because it’s not like the double-switch is on par with graduate physics courses or something.

    I think it’s kinda neat that the league rules aren’t 100% the same across the board.

  21. As an anti-DH person, here are MY top three arguments against it.

    1.Pitching Changes. It reduces the repercussions of pitching changes, which does take away from the strategy of the game and slows down the pace of the game’s late innings drastically.

    2.If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The DH was added in the early 70s as an attempt to make the American League more exciting. The AL game wasn’t suffering because pitchers were hitting, it was suffering because the AL was behind the curve in terms of racial integration. The NL had more talent and was playing a faster more athletic and exciting brand of ball. There’s not a rule that makes pitchers hit, the pitcher is a baseball player and he is expected to partake in the game as the other eight men on the field do. This is how it was played in BOTH leagues for 8+ decades.

    3.Headhunting. Look at the Red Sox pitching staff, they throw at heads left and right. Why? Because they don’t have to stand in the batters box and face reciprocation.

  22. Remember last year when Atlanta was coming off a nine game losing streak and then got to face the Astros? They swept them and then got out of their slump and later went to the playoffs… Let’s do it again.

  23. DH is not needed. Just bat 8 if you do not want pitcher to hit. Bethany can change her scorebooks.

  24. 24 – That pretty much sums up my position too. I’m agnostic on the DH. If anything, I’m probably a bit in favor of it, but I understand the argument against it.

  25. 24 — We already have the late-inning reliever equivalent in pinch hitters though.

    I’m not dead set against the DH, but I’d prefer to not have it as I don’t really see what it adds to the game.

  26. @21, Reason 2 is a non-sequitur. Pitchers who hit poorly have nothing to do with position players pitching. I abhor the hyper specialization in other sports – it makes the NFL unwatchable for me. You are in the game or not, and the team has to suffer your flaws as well as enjoy your strengths.

    Your reasons #1 and #3 are also a non sequiturs. The fact that people opposed to the DH use a slippery slope argument or an appeal to tradition is NOT an affirmative reason to add the DH.

    In short, you haven’t given me any compelling reason in favor of the idea, and completely hand waved the strategy objection away.

  27. I’ve never been a big Schafer fan, but in all honesty, does anyone think McLouth would have gotten to that ball? Schafer made it look almost routine–gotta give him props for that.

  28. I think you pretty much have to take Schafer alone for the much better defense (he can still get better with more experience) and the ability to actually steal a base when he gets on.

    Part of that might be me not really believing in Nate…

  29. Well, Nate’ll probably be back before Prado, so we can start him in left when he gets back and see what he does.

  30. Astros announcer: “1 out and a man on second base is just not a bunt situation.”

    [Obligatory comment about how he has not watched enough Braves baseball this year]

  31. Haha, I’m watching the game on MLB.TV with a noticeable delay. I thought “GET OUT OF HERE!” was in reference to our favorite troll. Then Mac blasts one.

  32. Imagine how much Astros fans must hate Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball. Think of how they implore Brad Mills through the television just to walk Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball.

  33. Mac, it’s your blog and you are doing the best job in the world, but I dare to ask: if there isn’t a ban for insulting females, African Americans and calling other people “fucking stupid”, then what has one got to do to be banned from here?

  34. A 4 run lead feels a whole lot better than just 2 in that ballpark, courtesy of Brian McCann, the best catcher in baseball.

  35. So, wasn’t defense supposed to be Hicks’ strong point? Nearly overthrew Freeman on that one.

  36. I won’t ban yet, but Emma, please don’t insult other posters like that. I’ll repost my guidelines here.

    It’s pretty simple. Be nice to me, and be nice to your fellow posters. Don’t use extreme profanity. Don’t make comments slandering entire groups of people. Use common sense. Basically, treat this forum like a civilized conversation. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother to hear you say, or that would likely provoke a fight in person. Don’t discuss politics or religion, two things that get people riled up and which nobody’s going to come to an agreement on.

    There is one judge, me. Everyone gets one warning. On the second offense, you’re banned. You can appeal to me via email but insulting the judge is a very bad way to get him to agree with you.

  37. Hanson…holy crap. So glad we didn’t trade him for a low minors prospect back in may as some suggested. Love bringing him back for the 7th.

  38. 79 – To be fair, any suggestion that the Braves should trade their pre-arbitration ace–one of the top 20 starting pitchers in baseball–is absurd. Fans are fickle. Hanson is a special talent.

  39. I only saw one or two people on here who wanted to trade Hanson. I don’t think anyone reasonable wanted to.

  40. 82 – Hamels is 4th, right? Pretty good rotations right there.

    83 – That’s fair–it’s a strawman unless I can come up with names, and in truth I just can’t remember. But I’ll be sure to point it out next time it comes up, because it will.

  41. I specifically remember a suggestion of manny machado for hanson, but I couldn’t give you a name, and I’d hate to call someone out for such a laughable suggestion anyway.

  42. I wonder if Lee was upset because he got under that, or because he missed the Crawford boxes.

  43. Freeman’s home run the other night might have messed with his line drive type swing.

  44. How do we feel about watching positional players pitch?

    But why stop there? There are plenty of good hitters that can’t field and good fielders that can’t hit.

    So how about expanding baseball teams so that there are essentially two teams? Each team has their hitting lineup and their fielding lineup. An optional ‘DH’ for every position. This way everyone can put up their best team possible.

    Makes as much sense the current DH (for pitchers only) rule.

  45. Freeman has looked absolutely awful the last two games. Of the 11 pitches that at-bat, 2 were in the zone. He swung at 6 balls.

    Meanwhile, just to underline how wild the Astros pitcher is, A-Gon immediately followed him with a walk.

  46. My apologies, it was Jurrjens for Machado and Felix Pie by Ethan on May 3rd. Jurrjens has made that one look pretty bad too though.

  47. @83
    I recall writing that while a Jurrjens probably wouldn’t net us a Mike Trout, that a Hanson certainly would. I wasn’t really advocating the trade so much as discussing it.

  48. Wow. First Venters struck Michaels out and it was called Ball 3, then McCann gets him at 1st and he’s called safe.

  49. Interesting that Venters is getting the save opportunity here – Kimbrel hasn’t pitched a lot in recent days and should be good to go. I wonder if Fredi is finally making good on his threat to platoon Kimbrel and Venters based on circumstances.

    Also, terrible call at first by the umpire there, not that it’ll stop Venters.

  50. @99, Five if you count the strike 3 pitch that was called a ball.

    Great winning streak overall, especially considering our entire outfield is on the DL and Uggla has been a black hole until very recently.

  51. All done and ventilated, good win for the good guys. I think Venters getting the call today was mostly about Kimbrel throwing a lot of pitches yesterday and Jonny throwing a total of 6.

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