Mets 6, Braves just sort of there

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets – Box Score – August 26, 2011 – ESPN.

What an embarrassment. The Braves were dominated — no, humiliated — by Chris Capuano, a rag-armed mopup man who is only starting because, hey, Mets.

Of course, he is a lefty.

Capuano was perfect through four, and because the first baserunner — Dan Uggla, who had a broken-bat single — was erased on a dispiriting double play, he faced the minimum through seven and two-thirds, when David Ross doubled. And that was it. On his way to a complete-game victory, Capuano struck out thirteen Braves, which is the equivalent of Randy Johnson striking out 37 men in a standard nine-inning game. Michael Bourn took the golden sombrero, but then he was the only one who had a chance to bat four times. Lord, was it awful.

It’s easy to say that Tim Hudson didn’t pitch so badly, since he gave up four runs, two of them inherited (more on that in a minute) but he really didn’t pitch well at all, it’s just, well, Mets. In six and a third, he gave up eleven hits and three walks, and that the Mets only got hits with runners in scoring position against him in the fifth, well, that’s not a repeatable skill and I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, in the seventh he gave up a couple of baserunners, and Fredi went with Sherrill, about which, okay, but after he got one out in comes… Scott Linebrink? Did I mention that we have the next three days off? Linebrink, typically, gave up a two-run double. Then in the eighth, in comes Venters, because Fredi is stupid. And Venters gave up his first two runs in about two months, because what the hell?

162 thoughts on “Mets 6, Braves just sort of there”

  1. Second place in the NL or not, the Braves should wear paper bags over their heads after getting dominated in two of their last three games by Randy “5.84 ERA” Wells and Chris Crapuano.

  2. Well, we had to use Venters down 4 because, after Linebrink came out, we didn’t have anyone left who sucks.

  3. Wow, glad I only saw the first few innings of tonight’s game. Utterly, utterly terrible. It an unholy combination of terrible hitting and a huge, unpredictable strike zone.

  4. Forget Wells, Capuano just pitched (arguably) the best game of the 2011 season. Contrats Braves! Enjoy your three days off!

  5. Hey, good thing I missed this one. BTW, Fredi just shoot Venters already. The guy is leading MLB in relief appearances, I didnt check just guessing, so might as well use him down 4 runs with apparently Rome as our offense. Moron…

  6. I would like to formally apologize to my fellow Braves fans for buying the package for the last month of the season. We will now lose all the rest of our games and lose the wild card to the St. Louis Cardinals.

  7. Im sure this was posted in the game thread, but no chance I go and read through those posts.

    Hanson has a small tear in his rotator cuff and yes, will meet with James Andrews in Bham on monday. Braves dont think it will require surgery, so they might as well go ahead and schedule it now. Hanson is probably done for the season. They wont say that, but he couldnt throw 10 pitches a couple of days ago. Shoulders suck.

  8. Freddi must have read the praise some posters were giving him about his bullpen usage the last several weeks and said “Heh, I’ll show them.”

  9. This is a special kind of Fredi bullpen tactic that he’s used in the past. There was a game earlier in the year in which Sherrill performing as Cheryl was left in with runners on when we were down a run in the 6th or 7th and I thought, well ok, cut bait on the game and save some wear on your good relievers because this offense isn’t coming back, and then he ran EO out the next inning after it was way out of reach anyway. Anyone remember the specific game? This is very vaguely like saving your last bullet in the zombie apocalypse to off yourself with if things look bad, killing all the zombies but one, and then getting eaten by it because you didn’t want to use your last bullet. Zombie submission technique.

  10. At least the Phillies lost too

    Yeah, but SF, Arizona and St. Louis won. Not a good day for Braves Baseball. Everybody just wanted to get out of NY asap, I guess.

  11. Well, we have two days of rest. I am surprised Fredi isn’t using Criag tonight. There must be something wrong with Craig…or Fredi has been very smart in protecting him, which I don’t think Fredi is that smart…

  12. Both Uggla and Hudson said we have to tip our hats to Capuano. Should we all do this as a group? Set up a time later today, maybe noon? Those of us in the NE might have a difficult time keeping our caps on while we tip them, what with the heavy winds and all.

  13. @8

    I’m with you. I think he is done for awhile.

    I predicted this the other day. It is coming together just as I thought it would. I bet he has surgery before September 20

  14. It may be a blessing that we are only playing one in NY this weekend after that atrocious performance last night. Rest up boys…

    Is now the time to tell Fredi that Constanza is 3 for his last 19 with no XBH 0RBI and only 1SB? Or we could go back further and say he’s 5 for his last 27 with no XBH.

  15. @17 – Satan has been too busy prepping hell for Irene to continue knocking Constanza’s dribblers out of infielders’ hands. I heard he invoked force majeure to get out of his contract.

  16. Why not send Heyward to AAA and call him back up when the rosters expand next week. He could gets some ABs and only miss like one game.

  17. A 3-day game break at Braves Journal? This joint’s gonna get restless.

    NYC is pretty weird right now. The MTA is shut down, so no elevated trains in Long Island City, where I live. Not one person standing on Queensboro Plaza (a major train hub serving thousands every day). The 59th Street Bridge has very little traffic. Strangely quiet, not exactly feeling groovy.

    Kinda feels like “28 Days Later.” Got my flashlights, batteries, candles, MREs, water & booze. Bring on the zombies.

  18. The Red Sox were masochists today. What were they thinking? They had a 1pm game scheduled as the first of a doubleheader. Rains came and delayed the game over 2 hours in the 7th inning. They went on with the second game delayed a couple hours after its initial start time, and now that’s delayed in the top of the 5th.

  19. Question: besides Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, and John Smoltz, who is your favorite Braves player from the 90s?

    It can be anyone who has played for the Braves, no matter how much and for how long. Just has to be in the nineties.

    Mine? The Big Cat.

  20. It’s Javy by a good bit for me. After that probably McGriff or Grissom. I really liked Walt Weiss a lot too, for some reason.

  21. McGriff for me by a landslide. I was a kid, but I idolized him even in little league. God did I slander his memory.

  22. I always preferred Gant to Justice, who rubbed me the wrong way. But gosh, do I wish they’d trade jobs now — Dave’s a pretty good commentator, and Ron is… not.

  23. Tornado watch—hey, why not? Guess the aliens are landing next.

    Fave apart from that bunch? Probably Steve Avery. Loved his gutty Game 4 of the ’95 WS.

  24. Loved Gant and Avery.

    Not surprised Bethany chose Javy.

    I once had tickets about 10 rows behind home plate.

    The three ladies in front of me had their binoculars out and were loudly admiring Javy’s, er, posterior musculature.

    I hear he’s an extraordinarily good guy.

  25. 1) Galarraga, 2) Gant, 3) Grissom, 4, Javy, 5, Avery, 6, Lonnie Smith, 7, Greg Olson, 8, Mark Wohlers 9, Justice, 10, Ryan Klesko.

    I just never cottoned much to Fred McGriff, he was a great player, but just didn’t personally care for him.

  26. Can’t believe I’m the only person saying this. I truly, seriously loved Andruw Jones. He was a transcendent defender. Watching Andruw play center field was like watching Maddux induce grounder after grounder: he made the game look preposterously easy.

  27. @47 I absolutely love Andruw. He wasn’t people’s favorite because he never became another Mays. I love TP for everything he did to turned the team around in early 90s. However, at the end of the day, gotta go with the guy who came through in Game 6: since Tommy boy is excluded from this conversation, my man is Dave Justice.

  28. I would probably say Avery or McGriff.

    The Braves have outperformed their Pythagorean record by 4 games. That’s a credit to the bullpen and — gasp — Fredi?!? Maybe he’s not so bad after all.

  29. I never had the same reverence for players who became stars elsewhere before coming to Atlanta as I did for homegrown players. I mean, I liked McGriff and Galarraga, but they were never going to occupy an exalted place in my memory. Even Maddux had a mercenary quality to me after ten years as a Brave.

    Stars – 1) Gant, 2) Javy

    Non-stars – 1) Marvin Freeman, 2) Greg McMichael

    I went to a spring training game in Fort Lauderdale vs the Yankees in ’93 and watched the unknown McMichael make Boggs and Mattingly, two of the hardest guys of that era to strike out, look ridiculous in back-to-back ABs. I’m convinced he punched his ticket that day, so I feel like I discovered him.

  30. I always liked TP, Greg Olson (the catcher), Justice (when he wasn’t whining, the Lemmer, McMichael and Klesko.

  31. The answer is Frederick Stanley McGriff.

    1) Crime Dog. I generally despise Chris Berman and his ridiculous nicknames, but this is far and away the best Braves nickname.

    2) McGriff is by far the best trading deadline pickup the Braves ever made, and has forever ruined our expectations as to what we can accomplish with mid-season trades. His ’93 performance was stellar, and it turns out we needed every bit of it to edge the Giants.

    3) 1994. As good as McGriff was in 93 for us, he was better in 94. He was All-Star MVP of my favorite All-Star game. 1994 was so heartbreaking for me–3 of my 4 favorite players (Maddux, McGriff, Gwynn) had their best seasons prematurely ended.

    4) Postseason. He was great in both 95 and 96, including 2 homers in the 95 Series.

    5) And of course, the instructional video commercials, which provided me years of pleasure long after McGriff was gone. My love for McGriff is both sincere and ironic; it is all-encompassing.

  32. Reminiscing about favorite Braves from the ’90s, I went back and looked at David Nied. He really came in at the close of 1992 and pitched extremely well, with 2 solid starts and a handful of dominating relief appearances.

    What I didn’t realize until now was that he finished the season with 9 2/3 perfect innings, retiring 29 straight batters starting with the closing innings of his last start against Houston.

    I remember being furious we left him exposed in the expansion draft. Turned out okay, though.

  33. Hmmmm….

    First favorite Brave: Claudell Washington

    Of the ’90s (in chronological order of favoriting): Maddux, Klesko, Andruw, Chipper.

    Current favorite: Hands down, Chipper.

  34. Definitely Andruw for me. Absolutely loved watching him play defense. He was my all-time favorite player when I was a kid. Broke my heart to watch him decline so fast. Still hoping a decade of other-worldly CF is enough to overcome his offensive shortcomings in HOF voters’ minds. (Not trying to bring up that discussion again; I know that’s already been played out here.)

    He’s definitely on my “tell the grandkids” list.

  35. I think I was too young to appreciate McGriff, or else he’d have to be it. Justice never did it for me, but I did like Klesko a lot.

    Outside of Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz, who was your favorite pitcher from the 90s?

  36. Favorite pitcher? Starter- there really isn’t much to choose from outside of those guys. Avery was good way before my time. So Millwood maybe?

    For relievers, most of you here are probably not going to like this, but I loved John Rocker.

  37. One time my son’s coach brought him in to close out a game, and he told me afterwards that he was his “little John Rocker.”

    I said, “well, they both do have a 3rd grade education.”

  38. I really loved the year John Burkett went all mini-Greg Maddux on the league. I really loved the year Chris Hammond came out of retirement and slapped a sub-1.00 ERA down out of the pen.

  39. Definately Andruw for me. TP for the early 90’s- although I finish my swing with a one-handed helicopter twirl to this day thanks to McGriff. I also liked Blauser a lot.

  40. 52: McMichael was found money. What a tenure he posted in the early ’90s as one of our best relievers. He was unheralded upon his arrival, but his stuff was so freakishly good. Beachy reminds me of him a little with his movement and ability to make hitters look, as you said, ridiculous. I’d actually say McMichael made hitters look liked damned fools – and good hitters, too, like Tony Gwynn. That ’93 bullpen was really great, with solid numbers posted by McMichael, Mercker, Wohlers, Jay Powell and Bedrock.

    60: Right on, man.

    67: I hate that at the time Mercker was racking up those awesome 5th starter stats, Avery was beginning to show signs of decline.

    68: Burkett was indeed a joy to watch that year. Made the All-Star team!

    Okay, my favorite pitcher in the ’90s outside of the Big 3 was Rick Mahler. Is that allowed? I grew up on the ’80s Braves and he was always my favorite pitcher. Loved that he was a part of the ’91 team and that he won an important game at the back end of a doubleheader that summer when we were clawing our way back to even with the Dodgers. He had paid his dues and I only wish he’d kept his sloppy stuff together to pitch well enough to stick with the team through their World Series run.

  41. Andruw for me, too. @68, I loved John Burkett in his second season with the Braves. What an unlikely year for an otherwise pretty mediocre player.

  42. Horacio Ramirez is on the Angels roster!
    I thought he was done.

    14 baserunners in only 5 innings. Yikes! Hopefully Ho-Ram will get it together.

    Speaking of lefties, how about a Kawakami update? Is he still down in the Rookie leagues?

  43. @73
    Kawakami is not a lefty but he should probably try it: 2011 stats- 8.79 ERA 42IP 1.79WHIP

    He’s back in Mississippi where he gave up 4 runs in one inning Friday night.

  44. Ubbuba at 26, this is why I love this blog! Great description and loved the Paul Simon reference!

  45. @76

    Interesting. It’s really a shame how the card industry ate itself. There used to be one Mike Schmidt card per year — it was that rarity that generated the thrill of collecting.

  46. Burkett had bowled 5 300 games at some point, y’know.

    Trading acquisition? Sheffield. Team went to lead pipe cinch the minute that deal was made.

  47. I was wondering if the Brewers’ home/road record could be ascribed to cheating.

    P OPS .685 .718
    H OPS .806 .684

    There’s a huge ERA difference — 4.13 versus 3.26.

    They may be stealing signs.

  48. Call me optimistic but I say 11-5 or 12-4 and right there with the Saints for the division. I think Julio makes the team demonstratively better on offense and Ray Edwards was a good addition on defense.

    There’s still hope that Peria Jerry can be a solid starter and I expect Witherspoon to really improve this year. Also, although it was torn apart during the Packers game, the secondary is still really young and I expect them to be solid albeit not spectacular.

    I don’t think we’re quite as good as the Packers but we’re definitely on the upswing. Fun time to be a Braves and Falcons fan for sure.

  49. Evan Gattis went 4-5 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, and 5 rbis today in a doubleheader for Rome. He has 22 jacks and his OPS is now over 1.000. I think it’s officially time to get a bit excited about this kid.

    On the other hand, Carlos Perez had one of the most bizarre lines I’ve ever seen: 2.2 IP 9h 9r 2er. Salcedo made 3 errors behind him and is now up to 48 on the year. Yikes!

  50. There are very few units who can tear a secondary apart like Aaron Rodgers in the unconscious zone he was in during last year’s playoffs. And that will be the extent of my football chatter.

  51. @82,83 Don’t have much confidence in the secondary. That will be the unit which will prevent the Falcons to go deep into the playoff.

  52. 86 – Agreed. Also, there was a bit of noise in that 13-3 record. True, the Packers played out of their minds, and yes, that game was probably unrepresentative of the difference between the Packers and Falcons, but the Falcons were nevertheless not an elite team. I think a couple balls bounce the other way this year, the lack of depth on D gets exposed, and they finish 9-7.

  53. I thought the secondary was pretty good last year. To me, the bigger problems were Anderson/Biermann at RDE, Peterson at LLB, no breakaway threat on offense, and punter. Most of those problems have been addressed, although it remains to be seen how well.

  54. That’s a lot of errors at third for Salcedo but Chipper Jones had 56 errors in Macon at short his first full year out of the rookie leagues.

  55. @90 Thanks John R.
    Who was the coach at Macon that year?
    He must have had a great eye to watch a kid boot one every other game and still see the HOF player to come.

  56. Today’s the day we find out more about Hanson. Is it me, or do people seem a little blase about a potentially catastrophic injury to his shoulder? It seems that way especially when compared to all the hand-wringing about Heyward. Is it the perception that we’re flush with pitching? Is it Tommy’s hair? What gives? This is not the sort of place that doesn’t worry about what it can’t control, and I feel a little out of step.

  57. This is not the sort of place that doesn’t worry about what it can’t control

    Hilarious. Reminds me of this quote from the great Mickey Rivers:

    “I don’t get upset over things I can control, because if I can control them there’s no sense in getting upset. And I don’t get upset over things I can’t control, because if I can’t control them there’s no sense in getting upset.”

    Hanson does get taken for granted a bit, I think. I’m not sure why that’s the case.

  58. Why?

    Speaking only for myself, it’s because there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t pretend to be a medical doctor.

    Overall, I’d guess that it might be due to increasing confidence in Beachy & Minor.

    Yes, it sucks. Not having Hanson in the post-season isn’t especially good. But you deal with it & do the best you can with what you have. If that means a start (or more) for Lowe, let’s just hope he pitches as well as he did last year (with different results, of course).

  59. My general impression has been that fans don’t especially like Hanson. I get that he doesn’t really do anything well other than actual pitching, but that’s by far the most important thing for a pitcher to do well. The surplus of young, good fill-ins definitely takes the sting off potentially losing him though, even for a big fan of his like me.

  60. Thinking about it, I bet part of it’s that Heyward’s struggles inform another deeper, long-standing debate that people on the internet just love to rehash. From CAC:

    The facts, in this case, are that Heyward is able to remain a valuable player despite a low batting average. Some seem to deem this impossible. Those people should read “Moneyball” before the movie comes out in the next few weeks. This is 2011, and people writing about baseball and following it regularly should understand that batting average is far from a tell all.

    OTOH, you look at Tommy’s post-ASG components and cringe. There’s no good fight to be fought.

    Still, it’s funny. Tommy doesn’t even get the decency of an online lecture about coming back too soon from the DL.

  61. As I’ve said before, I find it hard to believe the Braves can win a world series without Heyward playing well and Hanson playing at all. Then again, I suppose stranger things have happened. Like, ahem, the 2010 postseason.

    So who’s gonna be our Edgar Renteria and Cody Ross?

  62. I think the difference between Hanson and Heyward is that, rightly or wrongly, people think Heyward *should* be starting and *could* be starting, and that the problem is managerial incompetence. “Frediot” just refuses to play the correct guy (Heyward) and thus caterwauls ensue.

    There’s no adequate way to second guess “Tommy Hanson has a torn rotator cuff.” It’s not an issue of managerial decision making – it’s not using Scott Linebrink in a close game, or bringing Jonny Venters in with a 4 run lead, or not bringing Jonny Venters in with a 1 run lead in the 6th. It’s “well, this guy is broken.” There’s not much complaining about “this guy is broken” because, well, the guys is clearly broken.

  63. Any chance the Rays would trade David Price for Minor and Teheran?

    I think if the Braves are to advance in the postseason that it’ll come down to Chipper and McCann. Seems like wisdom from Captain Obvious, I know, but when they’re on they make this the best team in baseball.

    When they’re not, we scuffle.

  64. And now for something completely different:

    Ron Artest’s bid to change his name to Meta World Peace has been delayed as he needs to clean up numerous outstanding parking tickets.

    I just don’t know what to say here …

  65. I mean, pitchers get hurt. If Hanson is hurt, he’s hurt. I never freak out about pitchers going to see the doctor. I’ll grant that a lot of people around here do, however.

  66. @101 – Completely agree. There’s nothing anybody can really do about the Hanson thing. He’s either hurt or he’s not. The Heyward situation is way more complicated because there’s a conscious choice being made to sit him, which gives malcontents such as myself something to wail about. My old roommate’s bachelor party was Saturday and we started off at a sports bar in Buckhead – multiple fellow drinkers were compared Heyward to Francouer and advocated trading him away. It was painful to listen to. I think it was the first time that I really understood how few people understand anything beyond batting average. At least Wren isn’t one of them.

  67. Read that 3b article a bit earlier – I think you have to squint really hard to get Chipper past Matthews.

  68. FWIW: Book recommendation

    Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball’s Longest Game By Dan Barry.

    The book is set around the Pawtucket-Rochester game that went 33 innings in 1981. The cast of characters includes guys like Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs, but is far more about the city of Pawtucket and the players that didn’t make the majors or had brief cups of coffee. Very moving book when you see how many guys are desperate to make the majors but don’t. It sort of gives you a new perspective on guys like Constanza regardless of what you think of his particular skills. It turns out that they played the first 32 innings on one night because the rule book for the International League that year had inadvertently left out the section on not starting innings after a certain time and the umpire didn’t have enough common sense to go ahead and stop the game anyway. It didn’t stop until someone finally got ahold of the president of the International League and he finally said stop it. Very nice book.

  69. I loved David Justice. I adopted his number for my little league jersey one year.

    I can remember very well one night when I was 11 years watching a Braves game with my dad. In the middle of the game the hour of my bedtime arrived and to bed I went despite my objections (the game’s not over!). Before I coasted off to sleep my door opens and my father, in a very somber tone, informs me that Justice had just injured his shoulder and it looked bad. Heartbroken when I learned he was out for the year. Watching the painful end to the ’96 series, I couldn’t keep from wondering what if…

    The next spring we were in West Palm Beach for some spring training ball. Wondering if David Justice was again healthy was at the top of my mind. Sure enough, he hit a bomb that day and proved to me that the shoulder was healed. My hope was restored…

    Only to be dashed a few days after we returned from sunny Florida when, as I hopped down the stairs on my way to breakfast, my father again broke bad news to me, this time in the form of a newspaper article outlining the trade that sent Justice and another one of my favorites (I played center field in little league) Marquis Grissom away for some gold chain-wearing outfielder from Cleveland.

    Time has passed and I have seen other favorite players move on (hated when Klesko left too) and I have enjoyed watching a lot of Braves (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Chipper are all givens) but nobody ever really replaces your first childhood favorite ball players.

  70. @110- Very similar to my story. I was too young (and out of range of local news coverage) to know the “malcontent” issues with Justice. He was my guy. I’ve got about 250 Justice baseball cards, packed away somewhere. The trade broke my heart.

  71. I was surprised Chipper’s slugging % is higher than Schmidt’s. We’ll see if that is still the case at the end of 2012, but that seems pretty awesome to me.

  72. Man Eddie Mathews was some kind of player! Of course I knew he was great but to see the numbers puts it into perspective.

    I agree that to put Chipper ahead of Eddie involves some bias but still, third best 3b all time? Not too shabby. Still productive too.

  73. The first Braves trade that broke my heart was Brett Butler. I was 10. That was the one that taught me not to get too attached to any one player, and I can’t remember any other trades that hurt like that first one.

  74. Think about the fact that Matthews was quite durable and loses 80 games (8 per season for 10 years) for counting stats as well during his absolute peak as a result of the 154 game schedule.

  75. This game was not the best outing of the season for the Braves. It dose not take a rocket scientist to figure that out but you have to look at the work they have been doing before this series started they were 8-2 in there last ten games. Those wins coming against the two teams battling it out for the NL west Division but more importantly for us in Braves country the NL wild card. Last week we made a statement to the rest of the league that we are going to be a force to be reckoned with come October. This dose not excuse the lack luster performance turned in by the Braves but it is not a cause for concern. We now have received three much needed days off to rest our entire team. Most importantly Kimbrel and Venters need all the time off they can get so we have them when it truly counts. I believe that the Braves will come out after the rest days and play like the team we have enjoyed watching all season! Go BRAVES!!

  76. 117: I have cried twice in baseball (but since I was 12 it’s excusable) and once was the Brett Butler trade. How excruciating! The whole trade was a debacle, from who we acquired (Len Barker? He of the 5.11 ERA? He was gonna put us over the top in the pennant race?), to the “player to be named later” drama, to the final execution of the trade.

    The fact that it was Brett Butler going was the worst kept secret in baseball. I don’t know how he managed to play down the stretch with that hanging over his head. Actually, he probably dealt with it better than the fans did, who were all enraged! I sure was. I thought there was no way the deal would go through. And remember how there was all this back and forth angst about Ted Turner trying to make it anyone but Brett Butler going in the deal?

    Then we not only sent Butler over but Brook Jacoby. Gee whiz what a horrible trade. I think that deal more, combined with Bob Horner’s skeletal structure made out of crystal, hobbled any chance the Braves would have of building on their early ’80s winning.

    Oh, and the other time I cried was the news that a bunch of Braves were implicated in that cocaine scandal – Claudell Washington and Steve Bedrosian. Broke my dainty little heart, it did.

  77. The description of Bob Horner in the 1984 Rotisserie League Handbook – “Million dollar swing, ten cent wrist.”

  78. I just won an autographed Dale Murphy jersey for answering one of his trivia questions on Twitter!

  79. @122: Oh god, the “player to be named” drama! I remember how terrible that was, losing to the hated Dodgers (who I still hate with the fire of a thousand suns) while knowing that we would be losing Butler too. That must have been why it hurt so bad–it was like pulling off a BandAid for two months.

    BTW, how was that possible that Barker came over to us, but we didn’t send the Indians anyone until after the season ended? I can’t remember any other time that has happened.

    Also BTW, the Barker/Butler trade is a good thing to keep in mind whenever you find yourself longing for the days when Ted Turner owned the team.

  80. Very cool, Smitty. I got Murphy’s autograph last year at a Nashville Sounds game. It was very random; I just went with my wife because some of her co-workers were going, and it wasn’t until after I got there that I found out he had a table and was signing. I’m not even sure why he was there.

  81. 130: We sent Rick Behenna over immediately. It was Butler and Jacoby that went over after the season wrapped up. Has there ever been such a protracted “Player to Be Named” that everyone knew was going from one team to another? How do you trade for a guy and then let him play for another team for two months? Crazy.

  82. My wife’s aunt and grandmother use to work for Murph. He and I just exchanged messages about it. One of the coolest things ever!

  83. #131
    Several years ago, I went to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to see the Braves. It was the year it opened, so 2004, I guess.

    Anyway, I got there super-early to walk around & check out the new digs, the bullpens, all that. Strolling around the outfield, I noticed a BBQ concession—Bull’s BBQ. Smelled good & I was hungry, so I got in line. Was in the queue for a few minutes, mindlessly shuffling along until I found myself standing in front of former Phils slugger Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, who was sitting at a table, pen in hand.

    I was a little confused & kinda speechless. He looked up and said, “So? Got anything to sign?”

    I didn’t have heart to say, “To be honest, I’m just here for the food & I got in the wrong line,” so I just handed him my scorebook & he signed it.

    Had to get back in the other line to score some brisket.

  84. All right Smitty! My guess was “doesn’t drink his milk”, just ’cause I thought I remembered a commercial spot about that.

    I was about 30 seconds too slow on the first question about McKeon managing Murph in Richmond….

    FYI, for those who didn’t see the contest, the jersey is a sweet powder blue with the lower-case “a”. I REALLY wanted it…but I’m glad it went to one of our own. :)

  85. Randy Wells threw a complete game shut-out against the Giants. Do the Braves look better now…or Giants?

  86. Bob Horner is the reason I root for the Yakult Swallows. Well, that and their cool name. My local team is the Seibu Lions. I haven’t been to a game in a while. I’ll have to check the schedule.

  87. “Also BTW, the Barker/Butler trade is a good thing to keep in mind whenever you find yourself longing for the days when Ted Turner owned the team.”

    True, but Ted at least eventually learned his lesson, unlike a lot of the clowns running teams. He may well be why the Braves are still in Atlanta.

    When the Braves moved to Atlanta, Eddie Mathews was my favorite player because I was playing third base at the time. I managed to get an Eddie Mathews bat at Bat Day (when they still handed out real bats) by trading a Mack Jones to my cousin. When he was traded, I was upset. In general, though, I rooted for the team more than specific players. I never felt I had much in common with the players as people so it was hard for me to develop an emotional attachment. I probably identified more with the announcers–I still remember some of Ernie Johnson’s calls and even Milo Hamilton. Ernie was really underrated as an announcer.

    I think Hanson is done for a long time. Even a “small tear” in your shoulder can’t be good.

  88. Some quick math that will change daily.

    Braves can go 20-10 and lock up the wild card. SF could go 27-0, St Louis 28-0 and still not tie.

  89. 136- That’s right. Can’t wait to start the, um, third half of the season. (The obvious comparison is the enforced hiatus after 9/11, but obviously we had other things on our minds then.)

    138- But what about the Nippon Ham Fighters?

    I know I’m late to the discussion about Brave non-stars of the ’90s, but my father was a fan of Greg Olson; he liked his defensive technique. My favorite might be Homestar Lemke for his glove and World Series hits, and maybe Galarraga’s bat (I was one of those who cringed when we signed him, until he actually brought more power than he’d had in Colorado).

  90. I believe Harry Chiti (as bad as his name sounds) was the player to be named later, in his own trade for a player to be named later. Chiti for Chiti, must have depressed two cities.

  91. @142: That’s a cool team name if you consider them the Ham Fighters, but alas, that’s wrong. Also, Shinjo played for them and I don’t like that dude.

  92. Hudson

    How many of those can you trade without sinking pitching depth below this year’s level, or how far below this year’s level of pitching depth are you comfortable sinking next year’s? This talk of KC trading for a top starter has me somewhat excited. Moustakas+, Will Myers+, or Alex Gordon++ for one or more of our guys would be alright with me.

    I think you can dump two of those guys and still be equivalent to this year. Losing Hanson for extended time next season would count as one of those though. Dumping three would put us a little below this year’s depth but still way above most teams.

  93. #147 – I think Vizcaino and possibly Medlen could end up in the pen next year. With or without Hanson, I dont see the Braves moving more than Lowe or JJ, but not both.

  94. Marc @ 146

    Also in that scenario the Giants would probably pass Arizona for first in the West (they’re 5 back and have 6 left against SF) so we’d actually be pretty good shape even if we play .500 ball and SF sets the world on fire. Can’t say the same of STL though. They could go 23-5 and tie us under that scenario, though I don’t think they have enough pitching to pull that off.

  95. Perhaps you all were just stifling guffaws, but no one answered my question:

    Do you think the Rays would consider trading Price for Minor and Teheran?

  96. Sounds relatively fair Hank. Braves get an ace albeit more expensive while Rays get a potential ace and mid-rotation starter at pre-arb cost. I’m not sure I would do it as the Braves though. Teheran could be Price’s equal as soon as next year and is much cheaper.

    Better than the proposed Prado + Hanson for Gardner + Yankee prospects that Ben Durino was floating on twitter today.

  97. Price for Minor and Teheran would be a solid win for Tampa I think, just because of remaining team control. That’s the kind of deal that they almost have to do to keep winning long term. No way the Braves agree.

    Prado + Jurrjens for Gardner + Betances would be awesome. Gardner/LF, Bourn/CF, Heyward/RF, Hinske/Constanza 4th OF, then in 2013 slide Gardner to CF, move Uggla to LF, slide Pastornicky to 2nd and play Andrelton Simmons at SS. Young, cheap, and good. Not sure who plays 3B in 2013.

  98. @158
    You’re right. The only bench upgrade would probably come from someone that can play SS. Theriot, being the only utility infielder that has passed through waivers, doesnt really represent an upgrade. Stand PAT Braves, unless you can get Matsui for nothing of real value.

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