129 thoughts on “I feel fine game thread: Sept. 21, Braves at Marlins”

  1. @Dusty from last thread…
    That’s me! Our league has been really competitive. I never thought I’d make it this far.

  2. Wow. My alltime favourite band. This was actually the first REM song I ever got introduced to when I was visiting the US. HAd a girlfriend from Atlanta at the time…, she also introduced me to the Braves. Watched the Braves in the playoffs in 1991, that memorable season. The first time I heard about the Braves and REM. And now… Go Braves!!

  3. Re: Missouri and divisional shuffling:

    What about restructuring around North and South Divisions instead of East/West?

    North: Mizz, Tenn, Vandy, SC, UK, Arkansas, UGA
    South: UA, AU, A&M,LSU, UF, MS, Ole Miss

    Maybe switch UGA and Ole Miss, since I think the latter might be a mile or two further north. The only major divisional moves are Arkansas and Florida, which seems like a semi-fair trade off to me.

  4. Well I like the outside the box thinking downeaster, but that south division is Stacked and the north is kinda iffy.

  5. So, now we know that Missouri really wasn’t a border state, it was actually part of the Confederacy? :)

  6. Oh my God. I guess this was a long time coming. They’ve been together for… 30 years. But… I can’t help feeling a tremendous sense of momentous loss.

    What an amazing career they had.

    I guess I better go listen to New Adventures in Hi-Fi again.

  7. Uh Oh…

    Via Hardball Talk comes this SiriusXM radio transcript of Leo Mazzone calling out John Smoltz for putting pine tar on baseballs:

    Leo Mazzone: “Well, I don’t see anything wrong with it myself. I watch football a lot, too, and I know that’s been going on for a while to slow a team down, it stops their momentum. In baseball, as you well know, it’s been going on a long time. I know that in my little ball bag I had firm grip and all kinds of goodies to take care of a baseball to get a little more movement on it. (laughs)”

    Evan Cohen: “So that’s why the Braves kicked the Mets ass for all these years?”

    Steve Phillips: “Wait a minute! How come our pitchers were pitching with nice bright white shiny baseballs and your guys had pine tar and scuffs all over them?”

    Mazzone: “Well, you had pine tar, that’s for sure, because when you were in the postseason and it got called, one time Smoltzy had it on his shoes and I said, ‘John, you can’t keep bending over and touching your shoes all the time. Let’s put it someplace else!’ (laughs)”

    Geez, Leo. Are you really this stupid? This story is going to get a lot of bad press…

  8. It’s not like it matters. They aren’t going to strip the Braves of wins or anything, and Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton got into the Hall of Fame even though their plaques are dripping with vaseline.

  9. From the previous thread, justhank: “I think Sam’s absence and the Braves decline are not coincidental.”

    Me neither. It’s a shame, I thought he had more grit in him than that. Still, there are certain duties a Fredi apologist must perform, and being scarce when the season is in full collapse is one of them.

  10. @10
    I’m not sure how you can say that it doesn’t matter just because MLB can’t strip trophies and wins away from the Braves. If they were cheating, it matters just like steroids matters. We had the most dominant pitching staff in the decade and, from what Leo says, we had an edge that others did not.

  11. Does Chipper need two days off? Couldnt you have guessed that the two players with the most success off of Vasquez is Chipper and AAG. Go figure

  12. I seriously doubt that Sam’s absence is due to a lack of grit, or nerve, or whatever. After all, it’s by no means conclusive that the Braves have been falling apart because of Fredi Gonzalez. Even I haven’t had as big of an issue with Fredi lately, and I loathe him as a manager. Sometimes people just get busy, or at least sick of posting online.

  13. Chipper and Alex sit.

    Good to see them coming up big in a crucial game.

    There is an off-day tomorrow too.

  14. and, from what Leo says, we had an edge that others did not.

    The second part of that sentence was not in his quote.

  15. The only differences between North/South and the current East/West setup are Arkansas and Florida. Essentially the SEC East would become the SEC North, and the SEC west becomes the SEC South. I guess it hinges on how you view the disparity between UF and Arkansas, both now and going forward, and the expansion teams A&M and Mizzou.

    Although, another option would be to just rename the divisions. Add A&M to the West and rename it the Southwest Division. Add Mizzou to the East and rename it the Northeast Division. Doesn’t really make sense with Florida, but oh well.

    At least it’s not Leaders and Legends.

  16. Mets announce that they’ll be moving in and/or lowering the Citi Field fences next year. Dunno how they’re gonna do it, but I’m sure David Wright’s happy to hear that.

  17. Braves should move all fences in to only 100 feet, and then only pay for crappy pitchers/old sinkerballers while spending all their money on hitters and hoping everyday that they just hit more out than the other guys.

    I feel like I’m on a roll with great ideas today. I should start my statement of purpose for graduate school/job apps today.

  18. Sitting AAG during one of his few hot streaks is just unfathomable to me, and in my limited understanding of Fredi, probably to the manager too. He must have really tweaked something.

  19. Postgame reports last night indicated that AAG would be out tonight with calf strain and hoped to return Friday.

    As per Bowman, Chipper returned to ATL to be with son for surgical procedure. There was hope he’d be back for gametime.

  20. @20
    You’re right. From the conversation, I guess I’m just assuming that other pitchers weren’t cheating. Maybe they all were. Likely they all were. But how many coaches come out and admit it especially after having a run like the Braves did?

  21. Don’t you guys see pitchers rubbing up the ball in plain sight on the mound all the time? The umpires never say a word.

  22. @27

    I’m with Stu. That is where he should be. AAG did get hurt last night. I wish McCann could have sat, but…

  23. “We had the most dominant pitching staff in the decade and, from what Leo says, we had an edge that others did not.”

    What it will do is stimulate bloggers to talk about how the only reason the Braves won was because they cheated. Just like last year when the story came out that the Phillies were supposedly stealing signs.

    I guarantee every single pitcher in the history of baseball has done something like this to get an edge just as every offensive lineman holds. If all you needed to do was put pine tar on the ball, you would expect all the Jo Jo Reyeses of the world to corner the market. Gee, maybe that’s Lowe’s problem, he isn’t using enough pine tar.

  24. Wow that South would be brutal compared to the North. Say all you want about just switching Florida for Arkansas but in reality its taking the traditionally 4th best program out of the West and replacing it with the traditionally strongest program with the largest talent base in the East when for the last ten plus years the West has been the much stronger division.

    Not like Ole Miss can do anything in the current make up but that would be virtually impossible.

  25. I guarantee every single pitcher in the history of baseball has done something like this to get an edge

    Depending on what you mean by “like this,” I’ll take that bet.

  26. Just to clear the air, our pitching was dominant, cheating or not. We had some ridiculous talent, there’s no denying. I’m really not that upset to find out that we altered balls, but it seems to me that it should be something that shouldn’t be discussed, especially by a coach.

  27. Sam has always come and gone.

    You guys are talking about me when I’m not even here to piss you off?! Wow. That’s awesome. And sort of sad, too. But mostly awesome.

    Anyway, if you really must know, in the last three weeks I’ve 1) flown to Chicago for a week of client meetings, 2) flown to New York for a project close/hand off meeting, 3) had to change my scheduled flight to Vegas (conference) for a family emergency, fly back to Atlanta, pack a backpack and ride the bike down to the Altamaha River basin, sit in a hospital room while my Dad slowly crawled back from the edge for a little while longer, then ride *back* to Atlanta Monday, where I’ve been busily catching up on work email and trying to plan a trip to London to visit EMEA clients the first two weeks of October.

    Other than that, I’ve had a lot of extra time. Mostly, when I have discussed the Braves I have done so on Facebook, with some old friends who I argue with less than the regulars here.

    Factor in my general apathy about the Wild Card chase and you get an idea of why I haven’t been around here lately.

    I will try to do better down the final stretch.

  28. Mets announce that they’ll be moving in and/or lowering the Citi Field fences next year.

    I’ve been wondering when they’d do that. It’s smart. I’ve been saying the Mariners and Padres ought to do it for over a year now.

    Also, I think we all realized what it was like to suffer a fate worse than Sam. Glad to see you, ya big lug.

  29. Alderson was on WFAN today & he kept coming back to the idea that his team needs to hit more HRs & when you outhomer the other club, you win about 3/4 of those games.

    Of course, that works both ways.

  30. You guys are talking about me when I’m not even here to piss you off?!

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but any time I’ve criticized Fredi or feared for the Braves viability down the stretch, you’ve been there to call me a moron. I found it comforting to think that the problems aren’t with the Braves, but with my mentally retarded brain.

    These last few weeks, I’ve needed you more than ever.

  31. I can’t speak for anyone else, but any time I’ve criticized Fredi or feared for the Braves viability down the stretch, you’ve been there to call me a moron. I found it comforting to think that the problems aren’t with the Braves, but with my mentally retarded brain.

    John, you’re a moron. I’m shocked you can tie your own shoes. You probably wear slippers for this very reason.


  32. I’m picturing Derek Lowe carrying the Braves now… they’re a load.

    Also, in case anyone hasn’t been paying attention, Vazquez has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball over the past couple months. Coming into tonight, he has given up 1 ER in his last four starts. He has a 2.35 ERA after the All Star Break, and in that time is averaging a strikeout per inning.

    So, yeah.

  33. Nothing says “we’re serious about making the postseason” quite like giving Lowe two more losses starts.

  34. Doesn’t Javy tend to have an inning where he completely unravels? Hopefully that will happen tonight.

  35. I am tired of this team not providing any run support to a guy who is one of our ten best starters.

    And I’m tired of that, too.

  36. Even though Lowe has been giving up a lot of fly balls, which implies he once again doesn’t have his stuff, our offense is laying a big turd on home plate every time they come to bat. Let’s pinch hit Chipper for Georgie and move Prado back to left.

  37. The probability that Lowe will give up a run in the 6th inning, based on the recent past, is approximately 98%.

  38. I know Lowe hasn’t been terrible or anything, but I think failing to pinch hit for him in that spot displays a real lack of urgency by Fredi. This game is effectively must-win, especially with the Cards opening a 2-0 lead in St. Louis. You don’t pass up any opportunity to put together a competent offensive inning right now.

  39. One game lead in loss column after tonight. The Braves’ offense is laying a gigantic egg.

    (So glad Lowe is still out there.)

  40. “Braves lead (led?) by two in the loss column.

    Lowe has two more starts this season.

    Ergo, the Braves and Cardinals are actually tied right now.”

  41. Fredi left Lowe in one inning too long. Stupid Fredi. All these games he has cost us, we could have won the division.

  42. In the game with a possible hopeful outcome, Furcal makes an error allowing two Mets to score. 3-2 Cards.

  43. See, I don’t even care how slow Mac is. You run all the way there. You get thrown out at the plate, fucking fine, at least you tried to get something out of that inning. Stopping at third with Jack Wilson coming up next is just fucked.

  44. I can’t understand how a runner, with two outs, can’t score on a long double off the wall. What, was McCann doing a home run trot and then realize it didn’t go out?

  45. That ball was in the air a long time. Someone with even average speed would have been rounding third by the time it hit the wall.

  46. Sam, nice try on telling me I can’t tie my shoes earlier. But that’s not what comforts me. It’s calling me a moron when I critique the Braves.


    You get a leadoff walk from the slumping Brian McCann in the top of the 7th, down 3-0. He’s already taken a wild pitch off the bottom of his knee in his last at bat, and now with no outs and a perfectly awesome backup catcher in David Ross on the bench, you don’t pinch run for him with, say, that Antoan Richardson guy that’s on your bench for just this very reason?

    And then after two ABs of futility, J-Hey actually comes through with a near-homerun that bounces off the top of the wall in deepest, darkest leftfield and… you can’t score from first?

    Are you kidding me???

    And that’s after you let Derek Lowe hit for himself leading off an inning where you’re down 2 runs just so he can face the Marlins heart of the order in the 6th, which is traditionally the inning where he’s most prone to episodes? And of course he gives up a run.

    Again, are you kidding me???

    We’re trying to win games so the stupid Mets don’t have to.

    Now, THIS is where I need you to call me a moron. Pretty please?

  47. I momentarily couldn’t believe that Linebrink was actually coming into the game. Now I believe, and I despair.

  48. I think he’s just really that slow. Catcher speed, as they say. I still think that in that spot, you’ve gotta keep running until they stop you. I don’t care if he’s out by 50 feet, at least you’ve got that small chance on a terrible throw or a dropped ball or whatever.

  49. Lowe actually pitched pretty well tonight. If we could’ve gotten anything, we’d be in OK position right now.

  50. Well how about that. The only guy who in the pen who isn’t an improvement on Derek Lowe improves upon Derek Lowe. Thanks Rusty. Nice inning.

  51. Poll: which would you honestly rather see in 2011, if you could somehow choose:

    1. Braves make the playoffs.
    2. Braves complete their collapse; Fredi subsequently fired.

  52. 108- 1), because 2) won’t happen if the Braves collapse. Gonzalez is more likely to get a long-term contract, and the September losses? They just happened because Fredlot didn’t have the players he wanted. (And I’m sure his taste in free agents will be hideous.)

  53. 108: Always 1. Thing is, 2 isn’t even possible. Frank Wren won’t fire Fredi after this season, no matter what.

  54. The Mets went down 1-2-3 on just 5 pitches in the top of the 5th. Other teams bat like fools, too. Still 4-3 Mets, middle of the 5th.

  55. I’d be nice if the foolish batters were with a team upon which I wish failure tonight.

  56. Ha, chip with the triple negative – Nunez is nothing if not not automatic, apparently. The crap icing on this turd cake of a game.

  57. C’mon guys, of course we want to make the playoffs. The MLB season is too long to not want to make the playoffs some year in some faustian deal for future chances of success. Anything can happen if we get in the playoffs. Maybe the ghost of Eric Gregg will screw the Phillies over or something…

  58. And yes, we are in the same position as the Red Sox are, losing whilst trying to hold on to a 2.5 game lead, but at least we didn’t spend a zillion dollars on carl crawford to get here. They are looking pathetic as well over there in the AL.

  59. 117: Thanks for the laugh! That sounds like the kind of thing I’d say when I’m feeling silly. No doubt Chip just fell into it naturally.

    Uggla just hit a pop foul into the stands but that’s the second time tonight I’ve seen him swing at stuff high and inside and way out of the strike zone. The first time he popped up in fair territory for an out.

  60. Wow, this team is giving Chip brain damage. It may be giving us some, too. That’s why I’ve been “watching” Mets-Cards for three innings now.

  61. 118: I would never wish a Gregg-like strike zone in the playoffs on any team except the Mets. And I wouldn’t want to win against the Mets thanks to a Gregg-like strike zone.

  62. That’s great. It starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane… and I definitely do NOT feel fine!

    At least the Mets are still winning, 4-3 after 6.

    Update: CoolStandings knocked the Braves’ chances down by 8.5%, to 72.5%.

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