130 thoughts on “Andrelton Simmons Doing What Andrelton Simmons Does”

  1. I can see why Wren didn’t want to trade him. With that arm he could be the occasional closer. If he hits just a little he’s special.

  2. Well, the Braves were one of the only teams that saw him as a shortstop and not a reliever. Remember, he has huge shit out of the ‘pen.

  3. Seems to be hitting pretty well so far in this event. I think we have our SS for the next decade.

    Simmons, Freeman, Up Up & J-Hey form the core of a pretty good team going forward.

    That and our youngish pitching staff.

    TBD is catcher, 2B and 3B, but it’s a pretty good start.

    Managed well (FO and on-field), I think we can navigate the vicissitudes of our execrable tv deal for awhile.

  4. Congrats to Mark Fox and the Dawgs. I knew your run of bad luck would choose last night to end. (8 for 8 from the line from a 40-something percent shooter? Oy.)

    But we (UK) were completely out-played. Hope you guys make a tornado-like run in the SEC Tournament. (We’re going to the NIT anyway.)

  5. Well, Sammy Holbrook would have called infield fly, then ejected Simmons for slidding.

  6. It doesn’t look like Simmons gets him at first, but that was a really nice play! I’m glad we never traded Simmons. He’s the real deal.

  7. I think it’s pretty pathetic for a professional athlete to debate a sportscaster on who is “better at life”. Bayless is not a professional athlete and Sherman clearly can’t talk very well, so he’s not a very effective on-air personality.

    I think that’s an embarrassment to Stanford and the Seahawks. Just be the best and stop debating journalists over apples-to-oranges comparisons.

  8. Agree that I would be mortified by a former VU player saying the same things…but then, I’m mortified virtually every time VU-alum Bayless opens his mouth. It certainly could have been done more appropriately, but I’m glad someone fired back at him.

    Now, if someone could also fire back at his co-host…

    (Three cheers for the edit function!)

  9. They’re both blowhards, and I’m not particularly a big fan of either of them, but that’s just classless. Bayless is not going to argue with him over who is better “at life”, and Bayless would have sounded childish if he did. Instead, he intentionally says he’s not going to have that conversation and points it towards Revis (the original conversation). Sherman just keeps going on like a child while Bayless is trying to have a real conversation.

    If I was a Stanford grad, I’d be embarrassed. Since I’m not, I’ll have to wait a thousand years for a Clearwater Christian College Cougar to become a professional athlete.

    (Just used the edit button for the first time! It’s magnificent! Thanks Hap!)

  10. Sure, in that episode, that’s what happened. But Bayless isn’t exactly known for his steadfast refusal to lower the level of discourse or sound like a child. So, from the perspective of someone who wants Bayless to shut up and doesn’t care a thing about Richard Sherman, I’m glad Sherman fired some shots at Bayless.

  11. Having not watched the clip yet, if we can’t agree on hating Skip Bayless no matter the circumstance, what hope is there?

  12. His support of Tim Tebow and his character (and not necessarily his football) will get Bayless a little bit of a pass in my book. I admit I’m not being real objective on this one.

    Adam, I think if you watch the clip, you’d have to side with Bayless on that one. I’d like to know what Sherman’s DISC is: probably just D. The guy just sounds like a jerk.

  13. Speaking of Tebow, here’s a real question:

    With all the new emphasis on read-option quarterbacks (SF and Seattle, to say nothing of the Redskins), why is Tebow not at least a valuable backup for someone that runs that system?

    The others are better passers? Maybe stylistically, but Tebow’s college passing numbers were outstanding. And he did win that playoff game for the Broncos (something Peyton hasn’t done, btw – but will this year as Denver will be the AFC Super Bowl participant).

    What am I missing?

  14. @9- That was my favorite thing ever.

    I have no problem with Sherman claiming to be better at life than Bayless. As far as I can tell, Sherman’s devoted his life to being good at football, which is way more noble than devoting your life to being a dick on television. (I realize neither are particularly noble, but if you’re ranking them… common.)

    And while he may not be as polished a TV presenter as Bayless (who only does it professionally every day), it didn’t stop him from getting his point across loud and clear. He never seemed angry or out of control anything but calm and focused. I thought it was actually a pretty good performance.

    It’s also worth noting that Bayless dismissing Sherman’s talent is something that can effect Sherman’s ability to get contracts in some subtle way. So it’s not like he’s out of line to call out Bayless for his baseless comments.

  15. just checked out the complete hilites and box from the netherlands game. Wow, Simmons had himself a game. In addition to that double play, he started 3 more DP’s, was in the middle of another and went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored including scoring from first on a double down the line. nice.

  16. @20- As a Gator fan, it’s with some sadness that I acknowledge that while Tebow’s passing numbers in college were indeed fantastic, relatively few of these were on down-field throws. The offense was designed for a lot of receiver screens, there were shovel passes, and he got to throw to Aaron Hernandez and Percy Harvin. So he had targets that tended to make him look good. Tebow was a great quarterback, and I think he fan find success in the NFL. But he’ll never be confused with a particularly accurate downfield passer.

  17. Not to take anything away from Simmons, who remains amazing. But that throw strikes me as ill-advised. The most likely outcome of a throw like that is that the ball ends up in the first-base dugout. His first baseman bailed him out by jumping for it.

  18. TV journalists certainly have influence, to whatever extent, on the public’s perception of a team or a player, but to say that Bayless’ critiques of Sherman will impact his contract is a bit of a stretch. At the end of the day, Sherman started his little “Twitter war” (we seem to be talking about that a lot lately) declaring himself the greatest, and when you do that, you’re going to open yourself up to criticism. That’s nothing new.

    Of all the athletes who have considered themselves the greatest in their field (even Randy Moss recently), I think Sherman went about it in the most offensive way. If anything, that’s going to do more damage to his public perception (and whatever impact that may have on his contract) than anything Bayless is going to say.

    Also, I don’t seem to hear quarterbacks or running backs or head coaches going on First Take and declaring themselves the greatest, and in the grand scheme, who cares about cornerbacks? It just shows what kind of leader of the defense he is not.

  19. Skip Bayless doesn’t care one bit about Tim Tebow. He’s just using Tebow as a prop so that he can seem subversive. As long as Tebow’s around, he can just pretend to back Tebow against all prevailing theory, frequently to a level that common sense would dictate as absurd, and he doesn’t have to come up with any other topics to have an against-the-grain opinion on. People like Skip Bayless are doing way more harm than good to Tebow right now. If I were a Tebow fan (I generally find him annoying when Tebow-mania is in full throat and sympathetic when eveybody’s crapping all over him, for the record), there would be nothing I would want more than for Skip Bayless to shut up about Tim Tebow.

  20. I really hope the 49ers upgrade at CB this year, one way or another. So I guess I care about corner backs? :-)

    Recall that the only 49er super bowl victory that happened after I was 9 was when we had Deon Sanders for a year. So I probably value them a bit too highly.

    Regardless, all I know of the whole Sanders/Bayless thing was what I saw on that video, and from what was there, Bayless did indeed seem like a cretin while all Sanders said about himself was that his numbers and tape spoke for him.

  21. @24 How do you figure a bad throw is the most likely outcome? Professional baseball players make that throw every day. If it gets by, that’s why you have someone backing it up. In this case it was a little bit high, but well within acceptable and easily fielded range.

    If a runner wanders off a bag – particular if that bag is first base and said runner is the only one on the bases – far enough to get doubled up, then a throw is pretty much always advised. To not do so is essentially to give them a free out.

  22. @29: I’m just looking at the throw he actually made, which nearly got over the first baseman’s head. And maybe professional outfielders make that throw every day, but that’s probably more distance than Simmons has to get on a throw than almost any play made on the infield, and I think it showed in the way it sailed on him.

    I’m not sure there was someone backing up the play at first; maybe that’s just automatic, but the way the play developed, it wasn’t clear that there would be any throw in that direction. And if there was no one backing up, the converse of giving them a free out is giving the runner a free base (or two, if it does go into the dugout).

  23. @31, Bingo.

    Plus, there is so much baggage that comes with signing Tebow(not necessarily his fault), which is simply not worth dealing with for a 2nd-string, mediocre QB.

  24. Looked at the box score so far today and see where we have Matt Pagnozzi catching and he’s two for two. Good news is that his lifetime MLB average over 3 years is .310 with a .744 OPS. Bad news is that this is the ultimate illustration of small sample size! This is in 71 at bats at the ML level. Over 1723 abs at the minor league level, he’s compiled a .214 average with a .576 OPS. He has a chance to put up hamster-like numbers!

  25. I don’t think Pagnozzi’s going to end up playing much in Atlanta this year. Only scenario would be if the Braves want to give Gattis consistent ABs and aren’t willing to go with him every day at C.

  26. 38—And McCann would have to stay injured for a lot longer than we expect him to. McCann and Laird are the 25-man catchers. Pagnozzi was just signed as McCann insurance.

  27. I get it on Pagnozzi – just wasn’t familiar with him. Even with only 71 ABs, it’s still amazing how he goes from .214/.576 in the minors to .310/.744 in the majors. Not many players outside of catchers would last anywhere for 9 years with those numbers.

  28. @43
    One of the announcers mumbles something in that clip that sounds…well…interesting. Anyone else pick that up?

  29. @45 Seemed to me like he was like “Sh….” and then said “excuse me.”

    I cursed when I saw (and heard) it too.

  30. @46, I really am not at all optimistic about 3B, and dubious about C. With any luck he can get 70 starts, assuming Heyward and the Uptons are good for about 152 or so games each and Laird/McCann at 120. Throw in first off the bench PH, DH in interleague, maybe 350 PA’s? Perhaps the best thing would be for him to produce well enough that we can trade for an optimal long term 3B solution, and he can get a starting LF /DH gig in the AL. Much as I love him, if his bat pans out I don’t see his future here in the long run, barring his ability to really become a starting catcher.

  31. He may never become a fulltime starting catcher, but do you think he could become David Ross?

    I also think I’d get him some reps at 1B. (Who is our backup 1B anyway?)

  32. 54, Chris Johnson backs up first.

    Am I really, really the only one who hopes to see Gattis spend some time working on catching at AAA, at least until McCann’s long term future is a little more clear? I’d love to see him in Atlanta, too, but if he keeps improving like Eddie Perez says he is, he may be an answer.

  33. I’m very leery of the Braves resigning McCann to a long-term contract that will pay him what he’s due. Unless he has a miserable fallout season this year (which nobody wants to see), he’ll be commanding big dollars as a free agent. I would want the Braves to pass on that and spend their meager resources elsewhere.

    Therefore, I want to keep all our future catching options open.

  34. Most often quote Heard during Braves spring-training broadcast: “Ball gets passed a diving Pastornicky”.

  35. What a horrible end of the game from Florida. UF’s last ~10 possessions were just a trainwreck. A pathetic combination of missed layups and turnovers. From being up 7 with like 8 minutes left, Florida managed to simultaneously 1) play really good defense nearly the entire rest of the way and 2) play some of the worst offense I’ve seen them play this season. Now, that second statement isn’t entirely accurate, because they got a TON of looks right under the basket. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone miss this many layups consecutively since the last time I tried warming up for my IM team. (I’m really bad at basketball. Particularly the bit where you get the ball in the hoop.) At one point, Florida had turned it over on 4 of 5 possessions. Then they stopped turning it over and instead tried missing easy hoops. Wilbeken missed layups. Murphy missed open 10ft jumpers. Young missed layups. And all the while, KY crawled back slowly making a jumper here and 1-2 free throws there.

    This team hasn’t won a close game this season unless you count Vandy last week, which wasn’t really close in the last 4 minutes or even last 6 minutes. They DEFINITELY haven’t won a close road game. In fact, they haven’t won a road game that was even REMOTELY close. Like, if Florida wasn’t up by at least 15 or 20 with 10 minutes to go, they lost.

    I don’t know how to have confidence in these guys going forward. I love watching them when they’re on. The constant movement and off-ball action on offense, generating open 3s, easy layups, and good post position for Young. On defense, they play so, so hard. You can’t fault their effort late today on defense. They were playing incredibly hard, contesting everything. But it wasn’t enough because on offense, they just turned it over and when they didn’t, they missed good looks.

    I’ll be surprised if this team makes it to the Final 4. There just aren’t that many blowouts in the NCAA tournament.

  36. So what’s the most ‘clutch’ situation in baseball for a closer? A 1-run lead in the bottom of the ninth innings in game seven of the World Series, right?

    What was the greatest postseason collapse in MLB history? 2004 ALCS, right?

    Mariano Rivera blows both of those (including two leads in two different games during the 2004 ALCS), and is still the most “clutch” reliever ever? Who comes up with this stuff?

  37. David Wright hits a grand slam for Team USA to give them the lead tonight. Great work even if he is only a Met.

  38. I think it’s Mariano’s overall body of work that brings him to that distinction. He has probably the greatest postseason numbers for a pitcher in history, and while he had many opportunities to be great, there were opportunities for him to blow a lead. If the 2001 World Series was his only World Series, people would probably remember him the same way people remember Mitch Williams. But since he appeared in several ALCS and WS, then he had opportunities to redeem himself and be dominant. It’s a double-edge sword: people will remember the shut-down moments, but they’ll also remember the bloop singles that win a World Series. At the end of the day, few closers would have been nearly as dominant as he was in the regular season, let alone pressure-packed, New York-fueled high leverage moments in the playoffs.

    I think he’s the best reliever of all-time, which is pretty impressive considering he was a failed starter.

  39. Clutch is just a word, nothing more. Some players are just able stay at the same level in all situations.

  40. I have no interest whatsoever in engaging in a semantic discussion of what constitutes “clutch”, but here is Rivera’s postseason record:

    141 IP, 8-1, 42 saves, 0.70 ERA

    He’s given up fewer runs (13) than seasons in which he’s pitched in the playoffs (16).

  41. You’re kidding, right?

    Nope. Not everyone swallows the ESPN/YES/media narrative so easily.

  42. Not arguing that Rivera isn’t great, or even the single greatest closer ever, but the idea that the Yankees wouldn’t have been great in the late 1990s without him, and that he’s just some sort of god of postseason ‘clutch’ is what I’m trying to say.

    Who here really thinks if the Yankees didn’t have Rivera, but instead had some other elite closer, that they would not have won at least four World Series between 1996 and 2001?

  43. I can think of a team whose post-season record between 1996 and 2001 would have been better–possibly a lot better–if they and not the Yankees had been able to close out games with Rivera.

  44. zig: Charlie Leibrandt closed out a pretty big game… I mean it was over after his last pitch, although the series struggled on for another game. Now THAT’S clutch! (Get the feeling I don’t care much for the word?)

  45. JonathanF

    Thank you for saying you don’t like the word “clutch”. I suspect you have a lot of company.

    It’s bullsh*t and we know it. But it’s fun!

    My best bud in the 70’s was a Yankeee fan that swore he could call one of Reggie’s home runs. Regggie hit a lot of them in those days, so Wayne had lots of chances to show off.

    Baseball is so hard and so full of failure that even the illusion that someone has an inate ability to rise above it gives us comfort. You can even feel the crowd’s disappointment in “Casey at the Bat”. How else could baseball’s most famous story end?

    When someone does his job as long and as well as Mo Rivera, it’s easy to hang the clutch tag on him. Still, my favorite highlight for him is Game 7 against the Diamondbacks. He hit Craig Counsell to load the bases. Then Gonzales got just enough of one of Mo’s best ptches to pooch it over a drawn-in infield. Ballgame.

    Because he’s so good, it sticks in my mind when he tried and failed. Somewhere about ten years ago, I substituted Mo for Bruce Sutter as my all-time first choice for Closer ™.

    That’s a fan for you. Think he’s the greatest at what he does, but love his most bitter failure best!

    Go Braves!

  46. 1. You want Summons to make that throw every time he thinks he has a shot. It’s the first basemans job to come off the bag to gather it in if its offline.

    2. El Oso Blanco.

    3. Mo Riveria transcends “clutch” and is a pivotal reason the Yankees of the 90s were a dynasty.

  47. Whether or not you believe in clutch performance, the postseason record of Mariano Rivera might be the worst possible evidence to enter in denying its existence.

  48. If discussions of the Cardinals are still on the table, they just signed Allen Craig.

    Any thoughts on the deal, especially if it would effect the Braves talks with Heywood?

  49. I’ve been feeling like Heyward won’t truly come to the table until he’s had the MVP-caliber season he knows he’s capable of. Unfortunate for us, but good for him.

  50. How can you not like David Wright?

    Take that Mets jersey off of him and put him in a USA shirt and he becomes one of my favorite players.

    It was a nice gesture for the Mets to sign him long-term, but like with Stanton and the Marlins – really, what’s the point.

    I bet the Mets would like a young, power-hitting 3B the could become their Kung Fu Panda in a trade for Wright, don’t you?

  51. Hudson with 4 strikeouts in 14 innings this spring. This might be a rough year for huddy. I sure hope not.

  52. Call me a bloodthirsty barbarian, but the baseball fan in me loved seeing Canada thrown down with Mexico. Puts an edge into what I had previously estimated as a meaningless round of exhibition games.

    So now I’m watching Venezuela play Spain. (Spain?!?!) Just saw our pal Prado ground out weakly to short. A couple minutes later, a camera catches him angrily slamming a batting helmet in the dugout. Guy’s hard on himself…

  53. @61

    More people have walked on the moon than have scored off Rivera in the post season.

  54. Somebody may have already mentioned this, but it’s new to me (and quite good). http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/sloan-analytics-farhan-zaidi-on-as-analytics/
    Money quote for Braves fans missing David Ross already: “A back-up catcher that plays once a week isn’t a guy you’d necessarily see as a focal point of your team, but over the course of a season, or even a half season, having an average player there as opposed to a replacement-level player there can make a difference.”

  55. One amazing stat about Votto is that he has never pulled a ball foul into the 1b stands in his MLB career.

  56. #71
    Yeah, I suppose that if the Yankees had another guy who, in their 5 most-recent championship seasons, went 22 for 22 in save opportunities with a 0.64 ERA, they probably would’ve won those titles anyway.

    We can call Rivera’s overall post-season performance “clutch” or we can call it “mind-bogglingly impressive considering the stakes,” but the crucial point to remember is that, with the exception of K-per-9-IP, Rivera’s post-season numbers are actually better than his record-setting regular-season numbers.

    Regular-season ERA: 2.21; post-season ERA: 0.70
    Regular-season WHIP: 0.998; post-season WHIP: 0.759
    Regular-season HR/9: 0.5; post-season HR/9: 0.1
    Regular-season BB/9: 2.0; post-season BB/9: 1.3
    Regular-season K/BB: 4.04; post-season K/BB: 5.24
    Regular-season Save % (608/681): 89.3%; post-season Save % (42/46): 91.3%
    *Regular-season K/9: 8.3; post-season K/9: 7.0

    (He’s pitched in 96 post-season games & thrown 141 innings.)

    He literally raised his game in October and, IMO, more than any other Yankee, he’s the main reason why they won those 5 titles & 7 pennants. He’s been the difference in the post-season. I’m not really sure that’s arguable.

  57. That is, if a suspenseful nation watching a broken-down unit hurtle, against seemingly insurmountable odds, safely to its destination is in any way comparable to a spaceship.

  58. The incessant horn-blowing at the DR / PR game is maddening. What do they call those things?

  59. Not sure which is better – Marc’s insightful analogy or Rusty’s response @96.

    I love this bar.

  60. #97

    I’ve seen a lot of air horns with pump handles in the crowd. You’re thinking of the South African vuvuzela, which was popular at the 2010 South African soccer World Cup.

  61. I stop short of calling any reliever the (let alone a) main reason anyone every won anything. But in the class of “relief pitchers”, Rivera’s postseason career is unrivaled because of both its length and its content. I don’t see how any of that is debatable.

  62. @102,

    Andrellton is continuing to have a big “coming out party.” (And, not, apparently, in “that” way.)

  63. Jim Lovell saw the moon for the second time (Apollo 8)but did not get to walk on it. The Braves got to the World Series for the second time but lost.

  64. I’m very optimistic about this season. I believe, if healthy, the pitching staff has a chance to be one of the best we’ve had in 4 or 5 years and the lineup looks solid. Losing Chipper as the leader will hurt, but I think it will have an overall positive affect (eventually) in forcing some of the young guys to take on stronger leadership roles. I also think Fredi had a decent year as manager last year and he will be a net positive for the team.

    Of course, if Hudson has a poor year my optimism will fade, but at this point a few bumps in spring training don’t necessarily foreshadow problems ahead for him. My prediction (admittedly with a lot of bias) is 94 to 98 wins and winning the division. I know I’m a homer, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had this kind of optimism – wonder how long it will take for my hopes to be crushed?

  65. Heh. If he unretired to play anywhere, it would be in Atlanta. It’s not like the Braves couldn’t make room for him at third, in the lineup, and in the budget.

  66. So he’s still going out with that Playboy girl, huh? I figured that was gonna be like a one week fling.

  67. Don’t the Atlanta Braves already have the rights to Chipper Jones for this season? I know you can retire, but if he wants to play ball, then we’ve got dibs. And 100 games of Chipper at third for 7M would suit me just fine.

    2013 Atlanta Braves *$7,000,000 $7M Vesting Option Option Guaranteed at $9mil with 123 games in 2012 or average of 127 games in 2011-2012. Option increases $1mil each for 128, 133, 138, 140 games in 2012 or averages of 132, 137, 138, 140 gms in2011-12
    Earliest Free Agent: 2013

  68. @119: That’s assuming Hooters girls to Playboy models is an upward trajectory. I dunno…I think he’s flatlined.

  69. If you consider the universe of Hooters girls and compare the universe of Playboy models, it is surely a step up.

  70. Cashman should tell Chipper he could have the locker right beside Teixeira. I’m sure that would get the deal done in no time.

  71. The 2013 option would’ve vested meaning he still would be under contract minus his retirement.

  72. The Chipper talk is pretty amusing. One quote from a Yankee fan: “When he was jumping out of that airplane, Cashman must’ve bumped his head, too.”

    I haven’t seen the Yankees appear this desperate since the Stump Merrill Era—a time when Tim Leary was their best starter, Kevin Maas their best regular & Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens their most-hyped prospect.

    No doubt.

  73. Ah man, that call is from the Hell in a Cell with Undertaker and Mankind. That match was so ridiculous. And awesome. The full match is on YouTube I think, I suggest everyone watch it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *