An appeal. Also, game thread, Braves at Marlins, Aug. 8

I didn’t want to do this, but I’m under a bit of pressure right now and, well, it’s the best idea I have. I’ve only been able to work a few days in the last two months. I am hoping to get back to work later this month, but again that will be only for a few days. And I am hoping for some disability money, but judging from last time that probably won’t come for some weeks. I’ve cut a lot of expenses, but not to zero, and not to as low a level as what I have coming in.

And so, I am asking for money. Well, begging, I guess. If you can give me some money to tide me over, it would be greatly appreciated. I certainly won’t hold it against anyone if they won’t or can’t help; I won’t withdraw my services if I don’t get enough. And I don’t want anyone to feel bad about not contributing, certainly. I understand that things aren’t easy for most people right now.

[EDITED: Please use the Paypal link on the right toolbar. Thanks.]

185 thoughts on “An appeal. Also, game thread, Braves at Marlins, Aug. 8”

  1. Mac: Trying to give, but Paypal is “unable to decrypt certificate id.” Decrypt the thing… whatever that means.

  2. Bourn

    DOB…Lowe – He’s 3-7 with a 5.68 ERA in his past 16 starts, and lasted fewer than six innings in eight of his past 13 starts.

  3. Lowe has actually been really unlucky. Like Jurrjens regressed to the mean, we can expect Lowe to also regress to the mean the other way.

  4. Luck is the residue of design, I hear, but it also helps if you try real hard.

    I don’t get the feeling Lowe has been trying real hard lately. Oddly, that’s encouraging because, if true, he can fix it if he wants to.

    Hoping for a repeat of last year’s stretch run from DLowe.

  5. Fuck albeits. Someone needs to break a bat off inside of Fredi Gonzalez’s skull. And if that involves first opening up said skull with a bone saw and letting the empty dome air out a bit, no one can say it wasn’t justified.

  6. Mac,

    Donation went through OK. Wish I could have donated more as I have walked more than a mile in your moccasins. I may joke about “having to re-string my hammock with my cast-off ragged underwear” but one never knows what tomorrow brings. Here’s to your enjoying the blessing of many sunrises (and sunsets and beers.)
    And thanks for the job you and my fellow bloggers do with the high quality exchanges!

  7. This damnable paypal! Trying to donate some Braves Bucks to ya, but they want all kinds of verification and nothing I’m giving them is being accepted. I’ll try again when I have a little more time. Thanks for the great site and good luck with getting life back to normal!

  8. #8: Lowe’s great stretch started in September. I remember it being longer than it really was, I thought it started in August. But Lowe’s August was only mediocre to poor.

    But if he gives us in September and the playoffs this year what he gave us last year all will be forgiven. (Again.)

  9. Lowe is just making sure he’s a brave again next season.

    Check this out:
    Heyward 99OPS+
    Prado 100OPS+
    Bourn 100OPS+

  10. So, Heyward has a HR, walk and a HBP then gets pulled for a double switch yesterday and sits today. I sure hope there’s some inside information that we are not receiving because this is getting stupid.

  11. 17: The inside information is that Fredi Gonzalez has an organic brain injury which is causing him to perceive Jose Constanza as an everyday player.

  12. Amazon is also a decent way to donate money if that’s something you’re interested in, Mac. There are always a few hiccups with Paypal when I use it.

  13. There is so much awful news today that I can’t allow myself to be enraged about Heyward’s downgrade to a part-time role. Is he only going to play when Chipper or Prado get a day off? Is Constanza the full-time starter nows?

    I won’t let myself get enraged, but I will forever regard Fredi Gonzalez as an un-serious person.

  14. 20: God, I would just love to see the Cardinals GM (whoever the hell that is) and Frank Wren call a joint press conference with TLR and FG in order to fire them on live, national television. Just to show these utterly incompetent morons that no, they are not more important and do not contribute more value to the franchise than talented young players.

    The very idea that Fredi Gonzalez gets paid rich-person money to hinder the Braves’ playoff run makes me so angry. Much angrier than it should.

  15. Hot hand, guys, hot hand. Or whatever. The Heyward/Constanza thing makes me feel powerless and outraged in the sort of way typically reserved for speed traps. Why the heck can’t he just sit Prado if Constanza has to play?

    It’s sad that I’m hoping Heyward is hurt now, just so it would explain Fredi’s reasoning.

  16. Ahhh, speed traps. I just paid my $226 for going 31 in a 20 mph zone and wasted four hours of my life learning about stop signs and why I shouldn’t drive my car into a train thanks to online “comedy” driving school. I felt drained and defeated at the end of that day.

  17. Heyward shouldn’t worry too much longer, I have it on good authority that Constanza is contemplating a very lucrative hand modeling job, and may officially retire by Wednesday. Stay tuned for more updates.

  18. There is so much awful news today that I can’t allow myself to be enraged about Heyward’s downgrade to a part-time role.

    Think I see what you did there.

  19. Not sure if it qualifies as a speed trap, but I got a ticket coming back from DC in Virginia doing 72 in a 65 on the interstate. From what I hear this is common practice in VA, but my experience in TN and GA is as long as you keep it within 15 they won’t pull you over. Was just amazed to be pulled over for 7 over.

  20. @ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Constanza 5-for-9 vs. LHPs; Heyward 6-for-50 vs. LHPs since DL. RT @TCarterNeal: @ajcbraves any reason @JasonHeyward isn’t starting tonight?

    Apparently the very definition of arbitrary endpoints is the justification for this lunacy. I guess it all makes sense now. Constanza is literally the greatest hitter of lefties in baseball history at the moment.

  21. Although, i suppose that anytime a player gets a hit against a lefty, he’s sporting a 1.000 AVG for his last 1 plate appearance. 1.000 is clearly better than .555, so I’m sure Fredi will bench Constanza for Hinske the next time he gets a hit off of a LHP.

  22. I sometimes wonder if having a really sharp beat reporter who wouldn’t fall for bullshit like that would make a small difference at the margins in the Braves’ baseball decisions. However, in a one-paper town like Atlanta it’s quite possible that access, not favorable coverage, is the valuable commodity, and that DOB has to justify Fredi’s brain-dead decisions if he wants to keep his job long term. (Which does not mean that DOB is just cynically putting one over on the rubes; he probably does believe this stuff.)

  23. A beat reporter who doesn’t “fall for shit like that” would be an ex beat reporter very quickly in this town.

  24. 29 — 7 over on the interstate and you got pulled over? Never heard of such a thing. 7 over is (was?) my standard cruising speed to still consider myself “safe” from a ticket.

  25. Worst speeding ticket I ever got was going through Comer, GA at about 1AM doing about 35 in a 25. I was a full time intern at this point, living on my own – it wiped out two days worth of pay, AND I got to enjoy the indignity of blowing into a breathalyzer. Comer, GA will not be a place that exists at the end of my final term as GA Governor in 2036.

  26. 39 – I was just about to post “Sam in 1, 2, 3…” Good timing!

    I do think Constanza has earned some at bats, but the Heyward thing is also curious. Heyward has, admittedly, been terrible against lefties this season. But Prado has been slightly below average against righties. Does Constanza get Prado’s at bats against righties–by Fredi’s logic he should (Georgia has a 172 wRC+ against righties this season!). Certainly, Heyward has hit righties much better than has Prado, so if the next time the Braves face a right-handed starter Heyward sits in favor of Prado, then Fredi’s argument breaks down.

  27. @40 – Either Fredi has abandoned the rules of logic while making decisions, he fails to understand basic facts about who hits whom better, or this is all intended to be punitive towards Heyward. Those seem like the only explanations for benching Heyward but not Prado for Constanza. The last one could potentially be justifiable if Heyward has privately had a bad attitude about things, and I guess we can’t know that, though there’s been zero evidence for it, but it had better be a really, really bad attitude for Fredi to deem it worthy of making the team worse in the short term.

  28. Prado is a 717 OPS vs RHP this year, and Heyward is a 573 OPS vs LHP. Looking at this in a vacuum might lead you to believe that Fredi considers replacement level (which Contanza embodies) to be somewhere in between. Further, if you weren’t already convinced that Fredi is an idiot, you would have to say that he is exactly correct in this matter.

    Also, who is to say that Prado wouldn’t have sat a game already, had Chipper been ready to play?

  29. Well yeah, I guess if, beyond all reason, you’re convinced that Constanza has suddenly gone from putrid against lefties in AAA to just absolutely amazing against them in the majors (seems likely!), then against LH starters you should play Constanza in RF and Prado in LF. Against RH starters though, it should be Heyward in RF and Constanza in LF. This is all dependent on the initial ridiculous idea that Constanza is better than either Prado or Heyward at anything, of course.

    /Dead horse kicking. I will try very hard to stop thinking about all matters Constanzan now.

  30. How likely is it that Heyward is a playing a little hurt? His throws from right field have not been up to his standards lately.

  31. “Also, who is to say that Prado wouldn’t have sat a game already, had Chipper been ready to play?”

    I’m not saying anything. I’m *wondering* who will sit against righties so long as Constanza stays hot (and presumably in the lineup). If it’s Heyward, that’s bogus: he has a .340 wOBA against righties this season while Prado has a .314 wOBA. My point is that for Fredi to follow through with his reasoning and “play the hot hand,” then Prado should sit against righties if Chipper plays. If Heyward sits, then, as I said above, the “logic” falls apart.

  32. Always nice to see your team’s top prospect and ‘future’ having his growth as a hitter stunted so that a career minor league journeyman can get starts.

  33. Clearly MLB GameDay can’t be trusted – the Sun Life Stadium background illustration shows multiple fans in the outfield seats.

  34. Clearly MLB GameDay can’t be trusted – the Sun Life Stadium background illustration shows multiple fans in the outfield seats.

    There are multiple fans in the outfield seats. “Multiple” can be defined as simply two or more.

  35. Guys, Heyward’s still hurt. Or at least he’s not healthy. As long as Constanza’s hitting okay, I have no problem with him spelling Heyward from time to time.

  36. There is not a single sportscaster in America who knows the true meaning of the word “ironic.”

  37. Good thing Ross can throw people out, Lowe still sucks. Move him to the long relief role. Maybe he should quit wearing long sleeves. Dri fit or not, change something up.

  38. What I love is when a sportscaster says something’s ironic and it’s not even coincidental.

    Incidentally, it would probably be good to at least take this series. Arizona is home to Houston midweek, and San Francisco is home to the listing Pirates.

  39. Derek Lowe is like Russian roulette. Inning 1: pulls the trigger, and……empty. Where is the bullet? Inning 2? 3? And just like Russian roulette, if you do somehow make it through 5 pulls (innings) unharmed, you know what’s coming with the 6th.

  40. John R, he said something about Freddie being left on deck at the end of yesterday’s game, not getting another chance to extend his streak. Then said it was ironic that his best chance to extend the streak came in his first at-bat.

    I’m certainly no English major, but I’m not sure where the irony is there. Whoever said it above was right, “ironic” and “literally” are 2 of the most abused/misused words in the English language.

  41. My goodness – I take a phone call, miss 10 minutes, and suddenly everything is awesome.

  42. Also, stupid Constanza for getting a hit on an 0-2 pitch and scoring a run that inning. Why the hell is he playing again!?!?

  43. Whenever I hear “literally,” I think of the David Cross standup bit about it:

    Also: here comes the bullet.

  44. This at bat has tie game written all over it

    Edit…didn’t see the K coming…still plenty of time for damage though

  45. @29 Be careful in Iowa then. I’ve been pulled over on I-80 for doing 5 over as have a few of my friends.

  46. With Lowe, every game is like a Coors Field special. No lead is safe.

  47. I’d love to see Heyward play everyday, but until Constanza turns into a pumpkin (bound to happen shortly) I’m fine with with Heyward sitting the bench. Maybe it will light a fire under him. I personally have a hard time arguing for more playing time for a guy hitting .220/.315/.403 .

  48. Lowe weaseled out of that…I hope Fredi doesn’t make the same mistake with Lowe that he did with Hanson and leave him on the hill with absolutely nothing in the tank

  49. 2-2 tonight. Riding an OPS of damned near 1100. Yeah. We’d hate for that guy to be in the lineup.

  50. #92: Yeah, me neither. He truly defines the term “hot hand” and I don’t see a reason why you’d want to sit him on the bench.

    And the comparison between Prado and Heyward as to who is more effective is interesting, but neither could be construed as having “hot hands” right now. They’re both pumping out inconsistent numbers. Maybe Fredi wants to start Prado because he knows he won’t have to pinch hit for him against a tough lefty in the late innings.

  51. Wow, did anyone else hear the Marlins announcer just say that the games in which Hand has limited hits and had few walks he has been successful in!?

  52. That is true, @95. Which is why you ignore stats and play the hottest hitter in the clubhouse. Every. Single. Time.

  53. Still wish we’d give Prado a try at short and go with the best offensive lineup we have (T-Bone in left, Heyward in right). He might be a disaster at short, but he might not be, either.

  54. Number 29! Look at it this way, Dan, the hardest part of catching DiMaggio is now behind you.

  55. Hmm, I’m now on a two post streak of asking for Dan to extend the streak and him getting a hit…

  56. 2-2 from Constanza. 3-run jack from Agony. I expect heads are ‘splodin’ in some quarters.

  57. The blimp is literally louder than the stadium “crowd.” Basically, the stadium is so empty that the sound of the blimp motor is just reverberating off the empty seats.

  58. @98 I’m curious, but how do you determine who is “hot” without stats? No matter what, aren’t you measuring the same thing?

  59. Lowe is not done giving up runs, believe me. But our stupid manager is out of the game, and here’s hoping Tosca won’t allow Lowe to give up five or six more.

    Edit: 116, wow. Just wow.

  60. @117 – Obvious attempts to play gotcha with poor reasoning skills which ignore the entire point of my previous comments in other threads will be dealt with according to their worth. So if people don’t want ‘just wow’ then they shouldn’t ask intentionally obtuse questions.

  61. Will Simpson and Caray ever stop creaming their pants over players that run fast? Every other inning now…

  62. Re-reading @115, maybe I snapped a bit overmuch. If so, the non-snippy answer is still sort of the same, just with less snark. You don’t need to do statistical analysis (which is meaningless in small sample, in-season data sets) to know Jose Constanza has been hitting out of his mind. You also don’t need significant analytic tools to know that Heyward has struggle A LOT vs lefties this year.

    The “Free Jason Heyward” silliness is predicated on an absurdity – the notion that the manager doesn’t know his own players’ abilities and skills. It takes an internet meme – that Fredi Gonzalez is some sort of idiot; i.e. “Frediot” – and presumes the meme is itself factually accurate without any evidence (other than the same presumptions and biases that the meme lovers themselves make up as they go.)

    No one believes Jose Constanza will be the starting RF for the Braves in 2012. Everyone knows RF is Jason Heyward’s to own until he no longer wears a tomahawk on his chest. The only question is who plays in the immediate future.

    You can play Heyward, ignoring his atrocious performance since coming off the DL (and generally speaking, all year against LHP) in service to your blind faith in aggregate data mining from the minors. Or you can play Constanza, based on the fact that he’s hit like gangbusters since being called up. There is no correct “analytic” answer to the question. Analysis doesn’t apply here. It’s like asking a sturgeon his opinion on astrophysics. So the question is what decision do you make in *lieu* of any reasonably defensible analytic framework.

    Some folks here want to say “Heywards super special and should play regardless.” I think that’s wrong. I think you say “Georgie, you’ve come up and did *every damned thing we have asked you to do*, and you’ve done it all exceptionally well. Get back out there and keep up the good work.”

    That is to say, some folks want to manage human beings based on their preferred pseudo-actuarial tables (which themselves aren’t actually relevant to the question at hand.) I think you tell the players in question, and by default the rest of your organization in general, “we recognize results here; play hard, produce, do your job, and you will be rewarded.”

  63. @121 – I love me some David Ross, but seems like he’s a lot like Hinske in that he’s better suited to being a bench player. That isn’t mean to be an insult – most players don’t hit well coming off the bench – just an observation that Ross is perfectly suited to be McCann’s backup.

  64. David Ross hasn’t hit very much since becoming a regular.

    Ross going into day McCann got injured: .293/.361/.507

    Ross now: .246/.323/.421

  65. Catching ages a catcher. Ross is 34. He needs more rest than he has gotten lately. BMac will return soon. When will JH go in for CJ?

  66. I always thought the Lisp was a pretty decent reliever, he just had a tendency to get hit when he was in his third inning of relief in extra innings. He never really got a lot of work as a one inning guy.

    And I’m perfectly fine with him finishing the game here if possible.

  67. Cy Young’s 511 wins is more unbreakable a record than DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

  68. Brian, there is a distinction between “okay-to-good” and “better than Scott Proctor.”

    EDIT: Also, your deeply argued and rhetorically on-point response is duly noted.

  69. I know you think you’re hot shit, Sam, but you’ve contradicted yourself numerous times. I’m not at all surprised to see you lash out when called on it. Are you really going to sit here and argue that Costanza has been roping the ball, or something? Look, you can’t have it both ways. If a guy hit 8 homeruns over 10 games, is that a meaningless in-season stat, or indication that he’s a hot hand?

    I’m the last guy to argue that watching games doesn’t matter. It does. But it’s absurd to say that in-season stats are meaningless in the way that you are. They can be deceptive, certainly, but they can also show a guy is hot. Or not. It depends on the context, but that’s a far cry from your context-less blanket rule.

    And for the record, I have no problem with running Costanza out there until he stops getting results. But you’re not being logically consistent.

  70. Well, Lisp is actually fairly good and has looked so pretty much all year. The 19 inning game was his coming out party I guess.

    Heyward’s OPS in august is in the 900s right? Seems pretty hot to me.

  71. If a guy hit 8 homeruns over 10 games, is that a meaningless in-season stat, or indication that he’s a hot hand?

    The answer, despite your protestations, is “both.”

  72. Proper Proctor usage, but I wonder why. Not in a Fredi-bashing way, either- just curious. Not like Martinez could not have finished this off.

  73. Why ring out three innings from Martinez, who might be needed later, when you can at least try to run Proctor out there for three outs with a five run lead.

  74. @149- makes sense and it probably is that simple although I don’t really know, given Martinez’s role, if he’s unavailable any longer after 3IP than 2.

  75. No lead is safe with Proctor in the game. I think the only lead I’d be comfortable letting Proctor protect is 18-1.

  76. The upside of this is that if Craig Kimbrel has to come into this game, Proctor is DFA’d before the end of the week.

  77. For me, firstly because it feels almost certain that someone else will have to clean up Proctor’s mess, and secondly because I think Fredi has the Lisp noted as “long relief only ever* on his flowchart.

    Edit: Proctor has give ample reason to be DFA’ed and then some. Plenty of times. But regardless of why, management seem attached to him.

  78. I doubt that very much, Sam. How many times have we been sure that THIS disaster will be the one that puts Proctor out of our misery?

  79. Well the good news is that hopefully this will be the last straw and Proctor gets DFA’d.

  80. How does an injury to Linebrink alter this game Joe? Proctor was given a 5 run lead to work with. Vizcaino should replace him tomorrow.

  81. Scott “DFA” Proctor at it again.

    I thought we established that he is most effective in the 17th-18th-19th inning role?

  82. Brian, you may be right @ 157. But I’m going to put my future-reading glasses on and say that is the last time Scott Proctor pitches for the Atlanta Braves. Could be wrong, of course, but this is the sort of failure to execute that the Braves tend to frown upon.

  83. The good news is Proctor will be DFA’d after the game. Oh wait that’s only been repeated 10 of the last 12 outings.

  84. I’ll always remember where I was the last time I saw Scott Proctor pitch for the Braves. I was yelling at Scott Proctor.

  85. @165-I hope you’re right, but the Scott Proctor Experience has been a trip that defies belief.

    He must have the pictures from someone high up in Liberty

  86. For perspective: Proctor has now pitched in 12 games since July 1. He’s allowed 4 runs twice, 2 runs three times (counting tonight), and one run twice. That’s 16 runs in 14 2/3 innings, and remember, three of those innings were against a bone-tired Pirates team. None of his other atrocities punched his ticket out of town, and management no doubt overrates his “heroic” efforts against Pittsburgh two weeks ago. He won’t be DFA’d tonight or any night soon. Sadly.

  87. This was the first time he’d entered a game with the lead in a month. Failure in a mopup role just doesn’t carry much weight, but turning a rout into a contested game via walks and HRs is a different story.

  88. I agree with the premise: If you’ve got a guy in the pen, he’s struggled, but you want to bring him along and hope he turns it around because you think he can help you, then 9th inning, 5-run lead is a great time to use him. ACTUALLY low leverage, but, “its the 9th and we’re winning, so they believe in me!” Opportunity for a confidence booster.

    The problem is that Proctor isn’t ever going to help you. Chad Qualls or someone like that, sure. But The Ass Man’s had it.

  89. We can only hope. At least it didn’t get totally out of hand.

    In other news, Astros scored 5 in the first against Arizona. Clearly not enough to feel confident there either but it’s a start.

  90. @154

    “But lets just keep this asshole in the game and on the team.”

    Hope not and agree!

    However,is calling the Proctologist an asshole deemed irony? Or is he literally an asshole? Or, is that literary redundancy? :)

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