Craig Kimbrel

Well, that was some rookie year. Kimbrel faded down the stretch, blowing two of his last three save chances (and allowing two of the three homers he allowed all season in back-to-back September appearances), and his ERA in September rose from 1.64 to 2.10. But you know what? Rookies hit the wall, that’s something that happens. I don’t think he was overused, really, it’s just that the season is longer than they’re used to and they’re ready for the offseason to start just when the stretch run happens. But you can blame Fredi if you want, that’s what he’s here for.

Anyway, Kimbrel’s statistics are unreal, highlighted by 127 strikeouts in 77 innings pitched. Opposing batters hit .178 against him, and if anything he was hit-unlucky — my recollection is that a number of his blown saves were of the walk-and-two-weak-singles variety. That’s the only way you’re going to get him. As I mentioned, he allowed two homers late in the year, before which he was almost impossible to hit for power, and opposing batters still slugged just .233 against him. The only real chink in his armor was his control, and that wasn’t really that bad — 3.7 BB/9. If he makes similar strides in lowering his walk rate to what he did from 2010, he’d be inhuman. I’ve seen some people, outside Braves circles, speculate that after his late-season swoon Kimbrel might be in danger of losing his job, but that’s crazy talk. If he’s healthy and doesn’t come down with Steve Blass Disease, he’s going to be the man… His 47 saves last year were enough to put him in ninth place in the Braves’ all-time list. Career list. They just haven’t had a lot of luck with the closer role.

Craig Kimbrel Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

124 thoughts on “Craig Kimbrel”

  1. Shea is kind of a cool name. Doesn’t always work, though.

    Kinda glad Dominique didn’t name any of his kids Stegman.

  2. I made the comment early last year that Kimbrel’s stuff reminded me of Carlos Marmol, in that your best chance was just to stand there and hope you walked. Clearly Kimbrel has moved ahead of Marmol command-wise.

  3. The Scotts were directly responsible for 8 losses last year. There were also 7 more games that one of the 2 came in where the game was either tied or the Braves were winning and they coughed up the lead or left the game tied. I can’t see that happening to anyone in this bullpen. I wish Wren would read Braves Journal more often.

    Scotts Linebrink and Proctor

  4. His 47 saves last year were enough to put him in ninth place in the Braves’ all-time list. Career list. They just haven’t had a lot of luck with the closer role.

    A slight quibble; the current holder of ninth place in the list of all time saves for a franchise, by franchise:

    Florida Marlins: Joe Borowski (36)
    New York Mets: Skip Lockwood (65)
    Philadelphia Phillies: Jack Baldschun, Billy Wagner (tie) (59)
    Washington Nationals/Expos: Drew Storen (48)
    Chicago Cubs: Mitch Williams (52)
    Cincinnati Reds: Wayne Granger (73)
    Houston Astros: Frankie DiPino (43)
    Milwaukee Brewers: Doug Henry, Danny Kolb, Ken Sanders (tie) (61)

    And so on, and so forth.

    A quick glance at the leaderboard of the Braves for saves all-time doesn’t suggest a franchise that has a particularly hard time with closers, especially not of late. In fact, seven of their top 11 (tenth place is a tie between Kerry Ligtenberg and Greg McMichael) have all come from the post 1991 resurgence. If anything, that list indicates a team that knows better than to overvalue a “save artist” for the sake of having a famous name there, and is willing to cycle through many qualified and effective guys for short stints, until they burn out or get expensive.

  5. This has been a big week for ‘chink in the armor’ comments. I guess context is everything.

  6. @5-

    The counter to that is that the Braves have had WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more save opportunities than those other clubs, at least in recent history.

  7. I doubt the Braves have had notably more save opportunities than any other mildly successful club in the last few years.

  8. Sam, I think Mac was talking about the Atlanta Braves.

    As I see it, the career saves list by Atlanta Braves (1966-2011) stands at:

    1. John Smoltz 154
    2. Gene Garber 141
    3. Mark Wohlers 112
    4. John Rocker 83
    5. Cecil Upshaw 78
    6. Rick Camp 57
    7. Mike Stanton 55
    8. Craig Kimbrel 47
    9. Kerry Ligtenberg 44
    10. Greg McMichael 44

  9. I meant the Braves franchise. Don McMahon is in eighth.

    1. John Smoltz 154
    2. Gene Garber 141
    3. Mark Wohlers 112
    4. John Rocker 83
    5. Cecil Upshaw 78
    6. Rick Camp 57
    7. Mike Stanton 55
    8. Don McMahon 50
    9. Craig Kimbrel 47
    10. Kerry Ligtenberg 44
    Greg McMichael 44

    If Kimbrel is healthy and effective, at the end of the year he’ll be at worst sixth and likely fourth. Since the save became an official statistic, hardly anybody has held the job for more than two full seasons.

  10. out of curiosity, how many of the braves wins last season went SP-O’Flar-Vent-Kimbrel? It seems like a lot. I know it’s wishful thinking, but it would be nice to release the rigid hold the organization has on having a 7-8-9 inning guy. Make the starters approach each game with the idea of shooting for 7 innings and save the pen just a touch.

  11. Mac,

    You are right about the Kindle version of Baseball Prospectus. When I opened it, it starts at the first page and I forgot to “go to” the Table of Contents.

    Blown saves happen when the team isn’t scoring many runs and you have lots of 1-run save opportunities. As Mac notes, Kimbrel was seldom hit hard. The best thing would be for the Braves to score more runs and win some games 5-2 instead of 3-2. Oh, I guess that’s a broken record.

  12. From Bowman’s Blog
    “Still thinking of the Porters: It was great to hear Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter returned to Turner Field this week to start preparing for the season. It was even more encouraging to hear that his 19-year-old son David returned to Auburn University this week, just a little more than two weeks after he and his father were involved in the fatal car accident that killed his mother, Kathy Porter.”
    LINK
    http://markbowman.mlblogs.com/

  13. Closers don’t seem to last long unless their name is Mariano Rivera. The big bucks were paid to Smoltz to close but I don’t recall the team over paying for the 9th inning for another guy.

    It’s probably a good thing that I had to explain to my teenage daughters that chink is a racial slur. I heard it all the time when I was a kid.

  14. They didn’t pay big bucks for Smoltz to close. They paid big bucks for Smoltz to start, then he got hurt and they moved him to the pen because they had to find something to do with his $12m (in mid-1990s dollars) contract, and they thought closing would be “easier on the arm.”

  15. after all of the great analysis that Mac has put up the last few months, it’s a little disheartening to come to the realization that the season really does boil down to the idea that without more ‘easy’ wins provided by the offense (and trying to figure out exactly where that will come from), we are just not deep enough to seriously contend. But I suppose you can say that of pretty much every team.

    I had to explain the slur to my kids too. It’s beyond me how that mistake can get made by the worldwide leader. or any adult for that matter.

  16. I had to explain the slur to my kids too. It’s beyond me how that mistake can get made by the worldwide leader. or any adult for that matter.

    It was a headline on the mobile site. Odds are it was written by an intern getting paid next to nothing, who very likely is still in college. That is to say, someone who has about as much understanding of “chink” as a racial slur as your kids do.

  17. compensation level is not a defense for not knowing better. If the author didn’t know the meaning of the slur, where did it come from? it’s only a play on words if the guy wears chainmail.

    Having said that, firing the intern while only suspending the radio host seems like an act of intolerance muted by cash that is just as indefensible by espn. Contrast that with the events surrounding Jeff Porter’s wife where a terrible event brings about stories about how decent people can be.

  18. If the author didn’t know the meaning of the slur, where did it come from? it’s only a play on words if the guy wears chainmail.

    People use the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe anything where an otherwise strong or powerful force or individual has one notable weakness. Jeremy Lin’s notable weakness, obvious to anyone paying attention well before the loss to the Bobcats, was that he turns the ball over a lot. Saying turnovers are the “chink in his armor” is a perfectly reasonable use of the phrase, without assuming racial animus. He drives the ball to the basket exceptionally well, gets to the foul line well, passes the ball well and seems to have developed a better than average outside game. Which means the only weakness in his game is the fact that he edges close to double digit turnovers every time out.

    If he were a black guy from Murray State and you said that was the “chink in his armor” no one would have an issue. Similarly, if someone said turnovers were Lin’s “Achilles heel” that would be a non-issue. In either case, the use of either phrase is perfectly reasonable as it stands. No one thinks “chink in the armor” has to be related to plate mail any more than anyone thinks “Achilles heel” is an actual comparison of the player to a Achaean demigod.

    If the headline writer knew the context of “chink” as a slur and went ahead with it anyway, he rightly was terminated. If he didn’t – and given age and likely demographic for that position, it’s not unreasonable to think he didn’t – the termination is a face saving move by ESPN.

  19. @20 and 21,

    Well, in fairness, while it was probably a lapse in judgement, someone should have caught it before hand.

    Dismissing the employee may have been harsh, I don’t know.

  20. 21—Wow, you think they were easy on the on-air guy?

    Have you watched the clip? It could not be more obvious that this wasn’t an act of “intolerance.” He was simply careless and thoughtless, the sort of thing that ought to be discouraged — and ESPN is certainly discouraging it — but not some Great Evil perpetuated by this guy.

    And “chink in the armor” has been a commonly-used expression for a very long time, almost all of it during eras when nobody was wearing knight-suits.

  21. Sometimes it comes down to the talk you have with the employee. I’ve been in situations where I knew I might have to fire someone, and the decision only crystallized once we spoke.

  22. And “chink in the armor” has been a commonly-used expression for a very long time, almost all of it during eras when nobody was wearing knight-suits.

    The phrase quite obviously predates the slur.

  23. @22

    All that may be true, but ESPN just can’t have racial slurs appearing in headlines, intentional or not. And I have a tough time just jumping to the conclusion that this was all a big misunderstanding, that the headline writer didn’t mean anything by it and, most importantly, there was no way they should’ve been expected to know. Besides the fact that you’re assuming the best of this person without any particular knowledge of the situation, they absolutely should’ve been expected to know, and while it’s perhaps not 100 percent necessary that the person was fired, it’s certainly not over-the-top to fire a person who is a big enough idiot to write a headline containing a racial slur and have it up on the front page of the ESPN mobile site for half an hour. That is not acceptable, and at best the person probably doesn’t have enough social/cultural sense to have the responsibility of writing headlines for ESPN.com. I feel like being able to write inoffensive headlines is a mandatory aspect of that particular job.

  24. @17 – yeah forgot about him.

    I’ve been called every Asian slur in the book so I am desensitized to them so I am wondering what the big deal was.
    @22 I get what you are saying but I am going with poor attempt at humor rather than pure ignorance.

  25. Puns and word-play are absolutely the norm in sports headlines. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume the writer meant it to be a pun.

    For what it’s worth the editor denies it, says it was an honest mistake. Also, he’d been at ESPN since 2006, which means he’s likely older than, say, 25.

    I absolutely think he should have been fired.

  26. Lin was subject to many racist slurs while playing before the best and brightest in Ivy League. The only time I hear the “N” word is in rap music. The young might not know how vile some words are (were?).

  27. The last paragraph of my post @22 reads:

    If the headline writer knew the context of “chink” as a slur and went ahead with it anyway, he rightly was terminated. If he didn’t – and given age and likely demographic for that position, it’s not unreasonable to think he didn’t – the termination is a face saving move by ESPN.

    I am suggesting neither that the guy knew, nor that he didn’t. The process at ESPN, as always, is far too opaque to make any sort of informed judgement. So I’m comfortable with the above as my position. If the guy knew the slur, then he was rightly terminated. If he didn’t, he could still be terminated for not being well-schooled enough in the history of language to hold that position. Or he could have been fired because ESPN was more interested in saving face with the NBA and its contract than anything else. It’s not like ESPN is a force for good in the world or anything.

    The other points I make @22 are simply countering the argument made @21 that “chink in the armor” is only a play on words if the guy wears chainmail. That statement is simply wrong.

  28. Pure speculation here, but I think a lot of white people don’t see what the big deal is, using racial slurs, innuendo, etc at the expense of Asians. From my experience, a lot of people have a half-formed concept of what is “racist.”

    Again, this is just speculation based on my own experiences, but I think a lot of people tie “Don’t be racist” in with “be good to those worse off than you.” I’ve known a lot of people who think that way. “You have to be nice to people who are different from you, because you don’t know what they’ve gone through. They’re life is probably harder than yours.” I think a lot of people never got the full lesson “You can’t sum a person’s entire being in to one word or one stereotype, because it’s wrong. All people are complex, and all people deserve compassion and respect.”

    I think a lot of people in America see Asians as white-but-different, simply because they aren’t impoverished in the way that other minority groups are.

    In my opinion, that’s a big part of why a professional sportswriter like Jason Whitlock made the comments he made.

  29. The ESPN editor (who was very clearly apologetic and sad at his mistake, admitted that he didn’t know he was making an error, and still wanted to apologize to the Asian community and Jeremy Lin) gets fired.

    Jason Whitlock issues a half-ass apology.

    There’s something wrong with this, and it sure isn’t because Whitlock is some sort of great sportswriter (which he is not).

  30. NBC Sports picks us to finish 4th in the East.

    Other teams worked to get better this offseason, the Braves didn’t.

  31. @41
    The other teams spent to get better this offseason. From the sound of it early in camp, the Braves’ players have worked to get better this offseason.

  32. The price wasn’t high in money, but at the time that the Braves traded Jose Capellan for Dan Kolb, Capellan was viewed as a top prospect after a terrific performance in the Futures Game (and, if I recall correctly, the AFL). So it was a fairly high price to pay in prospects.
    Of course, Capellan didn’t do much of anything in the majors. So it’s more of a wash in retrospect. At the time, it was a bigger deal.

    When we traded Max Ramirez for Bob Wickman, Ramirez was further down our prospect list and further away. And it looks like he won’t ever do much of anything, either.

  33. There is something I’ve been wondering in regards to the Manny Ramirez situation that maybe somebody can shed some light on. He already served a 50-game suspension for a PED-related offense. This was his second offense, and as such, was supposed to come with a 100-game suspension, was it not? Why is his suspension only 50 games?

  34. it was inane for Manny not to serve the 100 days last year unless he kept doing PEDs. No reason to.

  35. @47 I’ll be damned Wickman wasn’t even a good bulemic.
    But for 15 grand I guess i’d be pooping and puking too.

  36. I have no problem simultaneously believing that the editor/on air person didn’t realize the implications, and the organization that lets content going live without it being reviewed by competent authorities rightly being held responsible for offending a ton of folks. It’s 2012. You can’t put a picture of an Asian American up with a headline using the word “chink” and not have to bear responsibility for the reaction.

  37. @45,

    I blew out a front tire on a ’68 Dodge truck a few years back and I must be one lucky bastard to have made it out unscathed. Scary stuff. Glad he’s relatively OK.

  38. @52

    Basically. If you write headlines and pen a racial slur, you’re either racist, and thus a liability, or incompetent and/or ignorant, and thus a liability.

  39. @55, Not really. If you want to operate in the public market, you are subject to the market expecting you to provide a certain level of product. The idea that it wasn’t intended still doesn’t make the consumer happy about the episode.

  40. At what point can I expect to stop seeing “someone should sign Barry Bonds” comments twice a year? I mean, steroids or no, he is the greatest hitter of this generation, but the man hasn’t played in five years, and is between 45-50 years old. No, he would not do better than a contemporary player. He would be a geriatric has-been who would barely be able to move.

  41. @57 that kind of goes along with what @55 is saying. The writer was presumably unaware that public sentiment has progressed since the 1940’s and is therefore unsuited to the role in which they were employed. At least that is what ESPN is arguing by their actions.

  42. Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that anyone sign Barry Bonds. It’s more a statement of what I think of anyone signing Manny Ramirez.

  43. @59, again, not really. If you are offering a product that does not undergo sufficient quality control to prevent something like this, the market is going to react to that. How ESPN chooses to handle it internally is really beside the point. It’s hard to claim you are the worldwide leader of anything if your standards of control are such that this could occur.

  44. @58

    The year baseball admits they blackballed the best player of all time out of game because the sportswriters didn’t like his attitude. A first ballot induction to the HOF would be a start.

  45. What did Whitlock say?

    It seems to me that anyone working at ESPN who intentionally used a racial slur would have to be a complete idiot. Anyone with an ounce of sense would know consequences of it. I go with the kid probably didn’t realize what he was saying. It is, after all, a fairly obscure reference, especially if you have not grown up with racial slurs being commonly used. When I was in college, I was sitting in the TV room with a couple of African-American guys; one of them was asleep and I made a reference to him being lazy. In the context of the time, this could be considered a racial slur; the other guy was good natured about it but made a joke about Jews having big noses. We passed it over; I honestly did not mean it at all like that (although, having grown up in the South, I almost immediately realized how it sounded). Unless you are constantly thinking about it, it’s easy to make a comment that offends someone because so many racial slurs are plays off common words or expressions. In this case, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone at ESPN would be so blindly insensitive to the consequences (to themselves if nothing else) as to make a slur intentionally. It’s a common term; the guy apologized, there was no need to fire him. I understand how words can wound but let’s be reasonable.

  46. As far as I can tell, all Whitlock did was make a crack basaed off the stereotype that Asian have small penises. Which while surely in bad taste is not obviously racist to me. (Don’t they collect data on these things somewhere? Can something that’s empirically verifiable be racist?) Either way, I can certainly see why he had to apologize, and it was certainly unclever and not very nice, but I’m not sure I see the race angle.

  47. the other guy was good natured about it but made a joke about Jews having big noses. We passed it over

    And now you’re making fun of Passover without realizing it. When will the bigotry end?? :)

  48. Did anyone see the SI article about Scott Linebrink discussing the Braves’ collapse last year? He still had his Braves bag when he arrived at the St. Louis spring training facility.

    By the second day of workouts for pitchers and catchers, the Braves bag was gone.

    “They probably threw it away,” Linebrink said. “Good riddance.”

  49. @70

    That’s funny, because the Braves showed up at spring training this year wondering where Scott Linebrink was. After a couple of days, someone was heard to say, “Oh well, they probably threw him away. Good riddance.”

  50. Tweets from DOB:

    Meanwhile, #Braves 2B Dan Uggla, who already had Popeye arms, has even larger guns now after adding about 20 lbs through heavier lifting.

    Arms are massive. RT @dekalbgibson: @ajcbraves That doesn’t even seem physically possible. Is he just one big muscle now?

  51. @68

    If you believe “encouragement to ridicule” is analogous to “discrimination”, you’d have to believe that parroting a negative racial stereotype to the masses is a racist act. If not, then you might not. Either way, it was reprehensible. Whitlock is a d-bag has-been who hasn’t brought credit to any of his employers for a while now, and seems destined for irrelevance sooner than later.

  52. Whitlock is the absolute worst of what America has to offer. Whitlock, or maybe Scott Linebrink.

    72—That cannot possibly be a good thing, can it?

  53. @72, hopefully we don’t have to worry about losing time to suspensions. 20 lbs in 4 months seems like an awful lot, especially starting from a base like his.

  54. Context is all. Larry Wilmore on “Thj Daily Show” had a hilarious bit complaining about Asians taking over basketball from African-Americans and noting that Jeremy Lin had a 3.1 GPA at Harvard said, “that’s an Asian F.” You could consider that stereotyping or you could just consider it satirizing stereotypes.

    @69,

    Yes, Rob, I will have to watch that from now on. :)

  55. Marc, the critical difference in those two examples isn’t context, but the nature of the stereotypes. One is positive, the other negative.

  56. 20lbs of muscle in 4 months is one very very good workout/diet plan or we better start hoping that the Braves arent getting tested anytime soon.

    All joking aside, he probably loses 10-15 lbs during the season. He’s probably not but 5-10 lbs heavier than he was at this time last year.

  57. @78,

    I understand your point, sansho, but I don’t necessarily agree. Positive stereotypes are still stereotypes and they paint with a broad brush. If you say, for example, that Asians are smart or are overachievers (whichever you prefer), it denigrates to some extent the accomplishment of the individual. It sort of implicitly lumps all into a single group rather than recognizing people as individuals. Not all Asians make straight A’s and the underlying negative is that it’s no big deal if you are Asian and make good grades because that’s what you are supposed to do. I think the point with Wilmore is that he was making fun of the stereotype and, therefore, defusing it.

    BTW, does Hanson’s story about blowing a tire sound a little fishy? When is the last time you heard of a tire just blowing? Or am I being overly suspicious?

  58. @81

    I does sound strange. I am sure Tommmy Hanson isn’t driving an 89 Honda Accord with bad tires.

  59. Whitlock isn’t in trouble (if indeed he is in trouble) because of the context in which he invoked a stereotype. He’s in trouble because of the particular stereotype he invoked, a negative one. If he had instead tweeted “Lin aces another test…but of course he did”, we would never have heard about it.

  60. Hanson hasn’t really made a whole lot of money in his career. $456,500 last year, $435,000 in 2010, and a $325,000 signing bonus in 2005. All in all, about $1.2 million. (We all know that guys make relative peanuts in the minors.) That’s not bad, obviously, and lots of guys go out and buy a car with their bonus money, but a new car would still be a significant expenditure for him at this point in his career.

  61. Fredisms…
    “Stop looking in the rear view mirror and start looking in the front mirror to see what’s ahead of us.”

    “In the major leagues today they’re breaking camp today, or broke camp yesterday, I think Seattle broke camp a week ago…”

    What’s a front mirror?
    So, all Major League teams have already completed ST and Seattle was done a week ago. The Braves are WAY behind!

  62. Wow, Tim’s back was in worse shape than I thought.

    “Hudson says he thought the surgery would have likely forced his retirement after his contract expired.

    ‘But after getting it fixed, feeling the relief that I have just from 2-1/2 months [since surgery], it feels a thousand times better. If I want to play two, three or four more years, I feel comfortable that I can do it.'”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2012/02/19/jurrjens-hudson-worried-to-upbeat-in-2-12-months/

  63. @84,

    True.

    Re Hanson-I’m no car expert for sure but my impression is that tire technology has improved to the point where you don’t see many blowouts even if the tire is punctured. Am I wrong about that?

    I don’t really think a new car would be that much of a major expenditure for Hanson unless he bought a Maserati or something. I’m sure he could afford $30,000. And they are offering very low financing–I know because we are looking for a new car. I think he could probably get financing. :)

    @89,

    Ryan,

    When I first read that, I thought it said “Freudisms.” Maybe it’s the same thing.

  64. Hold up there, Ryan. You’re saying a non-native English speaker sometimes screws up idioms?! FIRE FREDI!

  65. Is this the point in the season where people start bashing the manager because he fumbles the wording on standard issue cliche-speak? Because, Christ-on-a-pogo-stick, that’s always awesome. I mean, the guy mumbled a ‘looking forward, not backward’ cliche in March. Burn him!

  66. Although I’d prefer to see Fredi fired, I think his way with words goes firmly in the “Let’s keep him around” column. If he’s going to be an idiot, and if his replacement would also likely do idiotic things that hurt the team on the margins, then Fredi might as well be an entertaining idiot.

  67. mravery,
    Fredi grew up in Miami. He’s been in the country 40 years.

    Sam,
    It’s funny how you bash people’s sensitivity then have comments like 95.

    Also, I only provided the dumb quotes. I did not say Fredi was a dumb human being.

  68. Yeah, the Fredi quotes were presented without editorial. Fredi speaks for himself. His bumbled cliches are certainly no proof that he’s an idiot, just like Melky’s on-field hijinks (like his throw in from center to right field and his dining on morsels picked off of his bat) weren’t proof that he was a bad baseball player. They just contribute to an entertaining image that has otherwise legitimate basis in reality.

  69. We could talk about how Fredi tried a squeeze play with Hinske at third and Hanson at the plate last season.

  70. @86 I have a friend who lost her rear tire (205x50x17) twice in last year backing out of her drive way. High performance tires can blow.

  71. Let the Fredi Wars begin!

    I’m of the opinion that the Braves have made a rather significant mistake with his hiring.

    Sam (and many others) seem very supportive.

    Maybe it’s an unfair comparison, but compare the September performances of the respective managers of the Cardinals and Braves.

    Oh well, if McCann hadn’t gone 0-September and Chipper hadn’t lost a GROUNDER in the lights, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    I’ll say this: if our manager overuses O’Ventbrel and McCann like he did last year, no amount of reasoning will convince me he’s not a damn, stupefied fool.

  72. @102

    Is it just the way the wind is blowing the shirt or does Chipper have an offseason gut to work off?

    Oh, and the great Fredi quote, “In a perfect world, you want to do stuff perfect.”

  73. #102
    “I had the privilege of listening to the great Georgia football coach, Vince Dooley, at a fundraiser this winter,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “Later, he took me aside, and he said: ‘If you’re in this game long enough, or any sport long enough, stuff like this is going to happen. It’s how you guys come out on the other end that counts.'”

    Vince knows first-hand. In 1979, Dooley’s Dogs went 6-5; in 1980, they went 12-0.

    Of course, he did go out & get a big “free agent” for that squad.

  74. #106 – Man, Chipper definitely looks 39 or 40 in that photo doesnt he? Looks more like a softball player than a baseball player these days.

  75. Hey, here’s the daily fluff piece. This time its for Diaz. Per AJC

    “I did more power lifting and that stuff because in my mind, [Pittsburgh] is a big field and I wanted to add some more pop,” Diaz said of his strategy a year ago, when he said he followed recommendations by a since-fired Pirates strength coach.

    “But it just absolutely backfired. I wasn’t free and easy with my swing. I didn’t have hand speed, which leads to power. I was strong in the weight room, but had no bat speed. It disappeared. There’s a lot more than strength to hitting, and I know that.”

    He doesn’t know how much he weighs now because, he said, he stopped weighing a while back. But he does know this: “The clothes I wore in ’09 fit me.”

  76. It’s just a bad picture of Chipper.

    Diaz, on the other hand, I doubt his added power lifting had anything to do with his power drop off.

  77. Sam (and many others) seem very supportive.

    I really don’t want to rehash this for the umpteenth time, but can we all just take a minute to recognize that the fact that I don’t habitually bash the man for meaningless crap like turning a cliche upside down in spring training doesn’t mean I’m “very supportive” of him in all cases. I criticize Fredi Gonzalez for many things, when he does things I think are wrong. It’s just that that sort of middle-of-the-road “meh, he has some good qualities and some bad qualities” position seems like a “supportive” position when compared with the knee-jerk, irrational hatred of the man on this board.

  78. As an Asian man, I’m very interested to know why my comment was deleted. Especially since I mirrored an earlier comment which still remains posted. Someone mentioned small asian dick stereotype (and had the balls to claim it was factual!) and i replied with low IQ black stereotype (much more factual than the asian penis thing). Yet only one was comment removed. You hypocrite.

  79. @115, Context. There’s a difference between making an example when discussing the nature of stereotypes — which is how I read @68, if that’s what you’re referring to — and what you just wrote, which looks to me like something purposefully made to insult a whole set of people. There are better ways to handle being offended than by offending others.

  80. To be fair, @68 halfway dismissed the offensiveness of the stereotype, and speculated as to whether it might be true — thus ignoring the rather crucial fact that, as with virtually any stereotype, there is vastly more variation within groups than between them. Proving once again that, while it might be possible to have a constructive conversation about such things, it rarely happens on baseball message boards….

  81. @114 – ok, Sam – is Fredi a good manager, an average manager, or a poor manager?

    And does it matter?

  82. The chances of me allowing that sort of Bell Curve absurdity, Todd, are about the same as the chances of me turning this into a Justin Bieber fan site. I in fact didn’t delete your post; it was sent for approval for whatever reason and I refused. I would have deleted it had it posted. Anything similar will be deleted. If you can’t understand why, too bad. It was an obvious racial slur.

  83. I never saw Todd’s initial comment, so I can’t comment on that.

    But I cannot blame him for being offended by something as blatantly stupid as comment #68.

    What on earth do you mean, you can’t see the race angle? One man ridicules another man based on a shortcoming he assumes to be true because of a stereotype based on the second man’s race. How can you not understand that that’s a racist statement? What about that confuses you? I can’t fathom the confusion there.

    I understand that there’s a difference between saying “I don’t know why x is offensive,” and being the one to actually say “x.” But in this case, you said “why is x offensive? I mean, it’s true isn’t it?”

    And by the way, I’m pretty sure no one is keeping statistics on that. No one has ever slapped a measuring tape on me, anyway.

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