126 thoughts on “One of these days…”

  1. Is Vizcaino on the 25-man roster?

    Weak fly for Diaz for a base hit. D. Ross, the first Brave to take more than one pitch draws a walk, but Sutton leaves them on.

    Still 1-0.

  2. “It’s one of those things where as long a player is functional and not having any major difficulties, you don’t want to go in and do [surgery] until it gets to that point. And that’s where we are.”
    – Frank Wren

  3. If you haven’t seen it, Dave McKenna’s piece on Grantland about a DC charter high school that’s the biggest football powerhouse in the city is really good. This year, 19 players got football scholarships to college. This is like a mid-Atlantic version of The Blind Side.

    McKenna’s the guy who got sued by Dan Snyder for writing “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” which is absolutely brilliant. Fortunately, Snyder eventually dropped the suit, possibly because the article was true.

  4. I understand you don’t go for surgery because you might have to in the future. The “benefit” of hindsight makes this a frustrating situation.

    Jurrjens just gave up a 2-run jack on a fat pitch. 3-0, Detroit.

  5. The only rational explanation I can think of is this: even though the surgery is pretty safe and reliable these days, surgery is an undesirable thing. And if it can be avoided, then teams will try to avoid it.

    It’s risk-averse behavior, and may have been rational 20 years ago when the surgery wasn’t nearly as good as it is now. Maybe even 6-7 years ago, after Jesse Foppert’s Tommy John surgery robbed him of his effectiveness. It isn’t rational now.

  6. Pastornicky – single.
    Bourn – single. Pastornicky to 3rd.
    Prado – walks.
    Chipper – infield pop.
    Hinske – single, 2 rbi.
    Heyward – deep fly, Prado to 3rd.
    Diaz strikes out.

    3-2, Tigers.

  7. JJ with a WHIP over 3 this spring. Spring training stats might be useless, but holy cow!

  8. I cant, but based on your description I may not want to see it. Ill just take your word for it.

  9. BTW, I dont think Fredi got JJ out of there early enough. JJ fell down at least 3 times on the mound today. Seemed to be slipping off the rubber today which probably isnt the best thing for that knee.

  10. No matter how many times I remind myself that none of this means anything, I can’t shake the feeling that Jair Jurrjens is going to suck.

  11. I am looking forward to the first, “JJ’s knee is hurt, but he is tough” story, three starts before he is on the DL

  12. Sure wouldve been nice to have moved him when everyone was debating on if he was a top 3-5 MLB pitcher last season. I remember Kruk having to answer a question on who was better, Halladay or Jurrjens last season. How quickly things change.

    Its spring training, but no one couldve predicted him to be this bad.

    •Jurrjens has a 10.13 ERA in four starts, with 25 hits, 16 runs (15 earned) allowed in 13-1/3 innings, 10 walks and 8 Ks. 50 mins ago

  13. There was a reason the Braves put Jurrjens on the trade market this offseason. There was also a reason that no team wanted to give up anything good for him either.

  14. Verlander looks short in that video game commercial with the really lovely young lady. Apparently, he’s 6’4″.

    The guy they have playing the muscle must be huge. Wonder if he wants to play football at UK. Nah.

    That really was a comedy of errors with Jurrgens and Verlander fixing the mound to their respective situations.

  15. JJ was apparently around 89, 90 today. When I was watching, though, the main thing was just that he was missing his spots. He didn’t have much today, and he also didn’t appear to have a healthy knee — and obviously banging it on the ground didn’t help either. I sincerely hope they DL him at the start of the year. Lord knows we have enough starting pitchers to manage without him.

  16. #22 – Yeah velocity about the same as last year 89-90. Most of those pitches are flat though and seem to have less movement. Im concerned that he’s not using his legs properly and he’s trying to compensate it with using his upper body and arm more. It may be a bad stretch, but its not looking good for him right now.

  17. @5

    That’s all very well and good until somebody’s heart stops under anesthesia or something. It’s very rare, but it does happen, and teams don’t wanna be sued if something awful happens during unnecessary surgery. That would be my guess as to why they don’t operate until absolutely necessary, anyway.

  18. They’ve obviously put off surgically repairing his knee. (If it is in fact surgically repairable)

  19. #26 – Whats the difference? All the Braves did was delay his surgery. Everyone knew that surgery was going to be required sooner rather than later.

  20. Has anyone considered that a finesse pitcher might take a little while to get his feel and location back? It has been a while since he has pitched, right?

  21. In case any of you are particularly into minor league baseball, I worked with a writer out of Cleveland on this project:


    He’s visiting 119 minor league stadiums and doing interviews, taking videos, photos, etc. Cool stuff. The developer is still working out a few wonky things on the site.

  22. Hard to be real optimistic about this team despite what I believe about ST records having no meaning. This year may be another of John Scheurholz’s “bumps in the road.”

  23. And here I thought Andrelton was something special. In Kentucky, we call that third place.

  24. Nice line, justhank. I’m a Braves & UK fan living in OKC. If Kentucky gets out of Atlanta, will you go to New Orleans?

  25. @32,

    Any chance you’ll be at Ultra, ububba? I’ll be bartending if you wanna stop by and have a drink.

  26. Josh – wish I could. I’m in Two Kids Old Enough to Drive but Not Old Enough to Pay Rent mode right now.

    Lower level tickets for the UK / IU game are going for $300 a piece.

  27. Didn’t Smoltz put off surgery one year until right before the season – thus missing it all?

  28. I always thought Tebow’s Biblical parallel would be David (declining the traditional armor of battle in favor of finding his own way to win), but it looks like it is to be Joseph.

    Just a fascinating story to watch – at least for me.

  29. Buster Olney:

    – My strong sense is that there is split between ATL on-field staff and front office over SS situation:Uniforms want Simmons, FO Pastornicky

    – To be clear: Differences of opinion between on-field staff and front office are not unusual, and part of the evaluation process.

    This makes some sense, given that Pastornicky represents the plan and Simmons is the usurper. Of the two camps, it should be noted, the FO is more likely to engage in posturing to protect the appearance of an orderly line of succession….

    This makes some sense, given that Pastornicky represents the plan and Simmons the usurper. Of the two camps, though, it’s the FO that is more likely to be posturing.

  30. It’s easy to make it sound like the FO is the villain re Pastornacky/Simmons, but the uniforms aren’t necessarily right and they are often looking only at the short-run. Not saying that’s the case here, but there is a reason why you separate the on-field and off-field decisions. And, given Fredi’s on-field decision-making, I wouldn’t necessarily assume that is opinion on players is the definitive.

  31. It doesnt sound like Fredi and Wren have been on the same page all that often. I really cant comment on the SS position, Ive only seen Simmons play once and I have seen Pastornicky yet. You would think that Pastornicky should be able to hit for a decent average in the majors, he did quite well at Gwinnett last year. However, Simmons glove may be more important to the Braves this season. Braves have rushed some players before.

  32. Would be awesome if Fredi got fired for refusing to play one crappy shortstop over another.

  33. I saw Simmons make an awesome turn the other day. I thoguht Pastornicky was in at the time and thought, “Wow, if Pastornicky can make plays like that, no way we’ll need to rush Simmons!”

    Still, Pastornicky’s been making better plays and hitting a little lately. I think he’ll start out the season with the job, Simmons in AA, and they’ll go from there.

  34. @47. That seems like the reasonable thing to do. Simmons will get his chance. But let’s see if he can hit at AA first before giving him the job.

    Incidentally, I also wouldn’t be opposed to Drew Sutton getting some run out there either.

  35. I wonder what would have happened if Josh Wilson was healthy. Would they have given him the starting job noting the offensive struggles with both Simmons/Pastornicky? Wilson starting with Sutton being the backup would have probably been their choice.

  36. @37, The company staffing Ultra is strict about no cell phones but I’ll try to let you know where they put me. I may be slammed but it would be good to catch up for a second. What kind of booth are you setting up?

  37. Interesting thing to follow –

    Nate Mclouth ST line, .368/.455/.468/.928

    Either people forget how to hit when they come to Atl, or Spring training fastballs are easier to square up for some more than others. That and small samples mean nothing.

  38. Nate McLouth’s line along with Melky Cabrera’s are proof positive that ST stats are utterly worthless. Cabrera’s line, 410 /.425 /.769 /1.194 – and he’s cooled off recently.

  39. @51
    Aside from Freeman, our whole lineup underachieved last year (including bench/part-time players). I don’t know what it is, but there’s most definitely something going on.

  40. Our park is considered slightly pitcher friendly, but LH’d batters die when they get here it seems.

  41. Four Saints coaches, including Sean Payton, suspended for the year and the Saints have lost their next two second round picks. That is some serious punishment.

  42. Sorry, not all of them are suspended for the year. Just Sean Payton and Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely.

  43. Would it really make fans feel all that much better knowing it’s not the original, “real” ending?

  44. @64 It won’t make me feel better, especially since I can’t connect my xbox to the internet, but it makes me feel glad that they are having to address it. The ending is flat out insulting and they need to do something.

  45. @59. whoa. Payton dodged the pain killer scandal, this one, not so much.

  46. FO may expect Simmons to be long term solution and may not want to rush him and lose his controlled cost with unproductive rookie year. It is about Benjamins.

  47. Okay, it’s not really a run-off, but it’s been awhile since most of the votes were cast and when they were Simmons wasn’t widely considered an option.

  48. I didn’t mind the ME3 ending.

    But I hated Lost’s ending for many of the same reasons that people hate ME3’s ending, so maybe I’m too inconsistent.

  49. Clearly, every writer of narrative stories should be required to poll concerned consumers of their product regarding the ending of every story they write. That way, everything could be wrapped up in a neat little package every time and nobody would ever be upset, just like in real life.

  50. 41 — The FO undoubtedly uses Sabermetrics and the current on the field management probably has the “Earth is flat!” mentality about Sabermetrics.

  51. I wonder if spring training games really are irrelevant. Surely someone has run some analyses to see how well spring training stats (W-L, RS, RA, etc.) predict regular season results. Any ideas?

  52. @71 When you say you’re going to have 16 different endings and you effectively have one, then you might want to explain to consumers what the hell happened. Bioware doesn’t ow anyone anything, but the game’s rating has taken a huge tank on amazon and the bad word of mouth is going to do some damage. It’s in their best interest to address it in some way. I went in expecting to be accepting and understanding and was stunned by what a cluster it was.

    And I hate LOST’s ending too.

  53. Personally, I have a problem with giving the game a low rating just because the last 15 minutes were bad. The 40 hours I spent before that were the best in the series, imo, and I’ve been playing since before ME1 was officially released, because a couple stores in the area started selling it as soon as they got in their shipments.

    Baseball. How about it?

  54. @80 The trilogy as a whole is certainly one of the best gaming experiences i’ve ever had. What I find most remarkable is how the ending COMPLETELY goes against everything Bioware was saying up until launch. They said that this being the conclusion of the trilogy gave them the freedom to have wildly divergent endings and that it would be wrong to force gamers into one ending. What the heck happened?

  55. I can understand people hating the ending, but I think what you just said is why I find myself so un-disappointed. I didn’t really follow ME3 until 2-3 weeks before release, because I didn’t have a 360 until just a few months ago after my second one broke (and I got jobbed on a shady repair deal). I didn’t have any expectations, so there wasn’t anything to be let down about.

  56. I would think ST stats have almost zero predictive value for the regular season – due to small sample sizes and the fact that most regulars aren’t in the “It really counts now” Mode.

    But, what do I know? I’m just one of those old, hot, crowded flat-earthers who thinks RBIs are the stat for all the Cool Kids.

  57. @61, I’m at Bar 2 on Thursday and I assume I’ll be there all weekend. Come have a $10 Dixie cup with 3/4 oz of booze in it and I’ll try to sneak out of the tent.

  58. With regard to ME3, I think BioWare’s mistake may have just been overpromising in terms of ending diversity. They wrote a story, one in which the player had a fair amount of choice about some major events, but if they felt like only one type of ending would make sense for the story they were trying to tell, that’s legit.

    I think a lot of the backlash has been ostensibly about the lack of choice in endings but actually about people not liking the ending they got on the merits. That’s fine, but I really disagree–I think they got it perfectly right. It is a somewhat sad ending, but it also fits with the overall mythology of the series. Galactic “civilization” was a bunch of kids playing with the grown-ups’ stuff while they were away. No way do I think you can justify (in dramatic terms, not just plot terms) an ending in which the Reapers are destroyed and the organic civilizations get to keep all the awesome technology that they don’t really understand.

  59. #85
    Thursday? You mean, Friday?

    Either way, I’m in & out early Friday, but I’m there all day Saturday. By then, I’m sure I’ll need a drink. This town’s about to get messy.

  60. The FO undoubtedly uses Sabermetrics and the current on the field management probably has the “Earth is flat!” mentality about Sabermetrics.

    Yet somehow, in this case, it seems the “flat Earther” field staff is the one pulling for the better option, right? I mean, all winter long all of the brilliant saberists were telling us how Pastornicky wasn’t qualified, and even just recently Mac pointed out that if you’re going to go with a no-hit SS you should probably go with the defensive whiz, given the make up of the team otherwise.

    But now, given a chance to maintain that same ilne of thinking or bash on field management as unthinking “flat Earth” types, well, we all know what’s going to win out there, don’t we?

    Also, the analogy is completely flawed. The better analogy, if you must make one, would be a front office that dabbles with quantum mechanics, and an on field staff that doesn’t believe the state of quarks has too much impact-at-a-distance on discreet outcomes of baseball, and still prefers to function off of the standard Newtonian model. And in the background, you have the true believers who are telling everyone else how stupid they are for not admitting the *obvious* truths of the most edge-dwelling of string theories.

  61. How about creating a wormhole, going back in time, and bringing the 1995 Braves forward?

  62. @90

    It would be funny to see a Dave Justice who still thinks he’s married to Halle.

  63. The point is that it’s a work of art, and as such, you’re welcome to complain about the ending, but demanding a recall of the ending is absolutely ridiculous. The ending is the ending. Any additional stuff won’t be the real ending. It’ll be like DVD bonus feature alternate endings, at best.

    And the fact that BioWare is about to do it is even more ridiculous. How can you let crazy fanboy types dictate the ending to your work of art? What a horrible precedent that will set!

    Additionally, in a long-form story such as video games and TV shows, it is virtually impossible to create an ending that people will not be angry at. There was nothing wrong with the Lost ending whatsoever, and The Sopranos ending was a brilliant subversion. In both cases, people went nuts. It is not possible to create an ending for things like these that makes people happy, and any attempt to try results in an incoherent ending that truly sucks.

  64. @92,

    But it’s Wren’s responsibility to get players. Fire Wren unless he creates the wormhole. Figuring out time travel should be child’s play compared to getting rid of Derek Lowe.

    The only TV ending that I can remember people really liking–and most of you are too young to remember it–was “The Fugitive” (not the movie) in the late sixties when Richard Kimble found the one-armed man. There was lots of excitement about the ending. The MASH ending was pretty good but it had a natural ending–the end of the Korean War.

  65. And the fact that BioWare is about to do it is even more ridiculous. How can you let crazy fanboy types dictate the ending to your work of art? What a horrible precedent that will set!

    Assuming the crazy fanboy types will be paying some sort of coin for the new, alternate endings, the precedent that has been set is that BioWare can release an unsatisfactory “ending” to it’s premiere franchise, and then play the backlash into additional revenue from the same fan base who was appalled by the unsatisfactory ending to start with.

  66. Chipper announces he is retiring at the end of this season. I sure hope this helps to motivate the team to let him leave on top, and not because he is really done now.

  67. @97 – Wow, Chipper’s done, huh? I was thinking/hoping he would play 1-2 more seasons after this year, but I suppose Chipper wants to end on his own terms, while he’s still a good-to-excellent regular (albeit in limited playing time).

    I’m not super optimistic on the Braves’ chances this season, but I’ll probably go to a couple more games this year so I can watch Larry Wayne in person while I’ve still got the chance.

  68. @87, There’s some kind of VIP event today. We even had a solid rush of people yesterday. We’ll try to meet up Friday or Saturday.

  69. Keep in mind that Chipper has changed his mind once before. If he has a solid August/September, I’m sure there will be buzz about picking up his option. I HOPE that’s not the case because God knows we don’t need another Favre situation. It will be sad to see him go though. Like sdp, it’s hard to remember Braves baseball before Chipper.

  70. @94 I’m not demanding a change, but I am still glad to see it.

    Now I can feel extra nostalgic whenever Chipper does anything this season.

  71. Chipper’s holding his press conference while DOB is taking a few days off. Kinda funny timing.

  72. Today my youth has died. Chipper Jones is retiring.

    Went to the Houston series last year in Houston and bumped into Chipper’s dad. All I could tell him was thank you and tell Chipper thank you for 20 years and a whole lot of wins.

  73. Funny tweet:

    RT @TheFakeESPN: Chipper Jones announces he’ll retire at end of 2012. Not clear yet who will get his ownership of Mets.

  74. Awesome, Chipper and the team handled this well. Sad to see him go, but I’ll bet he’ll be the hitting coach within 1-2 years.

  75. From the press release:

    “Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones announced today that he has made the decision to retire at the end of the upcoming 2012 Major League Baseball season. The Braves and Jones have expressed interest in rejoining the organization in a yet-to-be-determined capacity after 2012.”

    So, the 2013 option is going to be turned into an office down the hall from Hank and a lifetime payout for good will tours and PR junkets. Not bad, Hoss. Not bad.

  76. Yup, 1995 was the year I became a fan of the Atlanta Braves. Last game might be kinda tough.

  77. @ 102 Without pressure on CJ would 130 games, 300+ BA and 800+ OPS change his mind? Unlikely, but not impossible.

  78. From the comment I read it sounds like he wants to be a roving hitting instructor for the minor league teams at least first.

    Probably that and a publicity gimmick whenever he arrives in one of the minor league parks. When he played in a rehab game in Pearl 5-6 years ago it set the attendance record. Can’t wait to be in a 5 hour line for a meet and greet autograph session.

  79. @114

    He can pretty much do anything he wants aside from manage or trade for players. His job title for the rest of his life is pretty much “be Chipper Jones and stuff.”

  80. @113

    Now that he’s on record, I doubt it. He’ll go out with a bang rather than walk back his official statement. He’s very image conscious, and he won’t pull the Favre routine. At least if he did, I’d be shocked.

  81. Maybe he is announcing now so that the team can start looking for his replacement. Obviously, he talked to the FO about this; maybe they even suggested that an announcement now would help them get started on finding a third baseman (or left fielder if you assume Prado would move to third) for 2013.

  82. Maybe the “Win One More for Chipper” campaign will actually see the Braves win the one more game they need this year.

    Hopefully, his last game will be in October.

  83. Chipper! Wow. I am sad. Here is hoping that he plays 135 games, puts up a .860 OPS and his last jersey smells like cheap champagne.

    Just reading about how forthright the guy is makes me think it is very very unlikely that he changes his mind. I am guessing his job title with the Braves will be ‘The Best ATLANTA Brave, Chipper Jones’.

  84. Obviously, he talked to the FO about this; maybe they even suggested that an announcement now would help them get started on finding a third baseman (or left fielder if you assume Prado would move to third) for 2013.

    I doubt it’s escaped the front office’s attention that “Chipper Jones’ last season” might be a decent ad blitz through the summer, either.

  85. Pastornicky’s 3 for 3 today. I’m expecting a “silencing his critics” article from Bowman.

    I think that the Braves and Chipper will both profit quite handily from the farewell tour, and that’s fine by me. Chipper’s earned it and the Braves have the right to take full advantage.

    I also think that Chipper would probably be a pretty good roving minor league hitting instructor. Especially compared to the guy we had a few years ago, lil’ Jonathan Schuerholz.

  86. Prado will only be under contract for one more year after this one, so it’d probably be best to start looking for both a LF and a 3B. Oh, and a CF.

    How long do folks think Matt Diaz’s leash will be this year? Or to put it another way, when will he finally be DFA’d? I give him until early June, though I think that’s way too long. The team would be better off with Jordan Parraz on the roster, as well as Drew Sutton.

  87. My point is, the Braves might have asked him what his plans are. It’s possible they told him they need to know something about next year. Maybe Chipper wasn’t planning to announce yet but the Braves may have sort of pushed him into it. Just speculating but I don’t see any reason to announce his retirement now unless Chipper is really hot to have a farewell tour.

  88. Re: #38

    justhank, I’m in the same boat with 3 kids. Luckily, last year I got tics to the final four in Houston for $50 by waiting until the last 5 minutes of the Butler/VCU game. If UK makes the final four, they’ll likely be the second game again. Those NFL football stadiums that they use for the final four don’t sell out. Once the fans of the first game leave, you can move down to better seats.

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