I hate off days

It’s always surprising when Major League Baseball schedules an off day on a Friday night. But the Braves have been traveling, so I’m sure they could use the rest. Hopefully they’ll do well tonight, in their first game of the Padres series.

On a much sadder note, it appears that Pete van Wieren has died after a five-year battle with cancer. I grew up listening to Skip and Don, Pete and Joe: Skip was the irreverent one, Pete was the voice of reason, Joe was the voice of conventional wisdom, and Don was and is the folksy Southern one.

Mac always credited Pete as being one of his biggest savermetric influences: as a broadcaster, he had a genius for being able to explain and analyze the game. Honestly, I never paid enough attention to him when I was young; I just liked his voice. But he was one of the greats and had a tremendous influence in helping the Braves to grow their fanbase across the country back in the TBS days, and in helping new Braves fans to appreciate the unseen beauty within the game. I’m grateful I got to grow up with him.

268 thoughts on “I hate off days”

  1. As if it wasn’t already a hard morning to be a Braves fan, losing Pete makes it that much harder. It’s one day shy of the anniversary of Skip’s passing, too. RIP Professor. Thank you for all of the joy you brought us.

  2. Rest in peace, Pete Van Wieren. Yours and Skip’s memory will survive on the bill of my cap as long as the Sharpie stays true: I’ve just tipped it to you. Thank you, Professor.

  3. Ernie,Skip, and now Pete, good voices during some good and tough times for the Braves. RIP, Professor.

  4. Pete was easily overlooked, I think, because he wasn’t charismatic like Ernie or Skip. But that straight-ahead professionalism made him a good counterbalance, and his genuine analytical bent was (and still is) a rarity among baseball announcers.

  5. Pete and Ernie were the best team I ever heard. We were lucky to have them calling our games for so long. Thanks, Pete.

  6. The great thing about Pete is he didn’t have crazy catch phrases or yelled all the time. He was great

  7. I was just telling a friend the other night how wonderful it is to listen to a radio game called by Jim Powell and Don Sutton. I feel lucky to have that because the triumvirate of Skip, Pete and Ernie were just so damned good for so damned long that it definitely has spoiled me. Other announcers for other teams just don’t do it for me, and it’s not just because I’m cheering for the laundry.

    Those three guys touched a lot of bases: Ernie had the major leaguer bona fides and all the attendant stories, but he also had a golden voice and seemed to me a born broadcaster, unlike a lot of ex-players who should be nowhere near a microphone. Skip’s parentage was clear, and he knew what he was doing, but he also had a wit that bordered on the bizarre, which was damn near a prerequisite when calling those wretched Braves games of the 70s and 80s. And Pete balanced them all out with his straight-forward, no-nonsense appeal, his stat-headishness, and his professionalism.

    And now they’re all gone. What a crew they were.

  8. I loved listening to games with Pete. Never saying too much, always saying things that were worth saying. Most broadcasters could take a lesson.

  9. Well, that caps a pretty awful week.

    I, like a lot of people here, grew up on Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren. I loved Skip, but I thought Pete was the best of them. To this day, Pete remains my favorite announcer. He wasn’t flashy, he didn’t get caught up in Skip’s shenanigans most of the time (unless he started talking about the heat index), he just did his job, which was to describe the action and give you information as a viewer/listener. No shtick, no pizzazz. Just solid announcing. He’s the best example of this I can think of. None of the other broadcasters I’ve listened to on a regular basis have ever really come close, to be honest. I liked Boog Schiambi, but he wasn’t close. I like Jim Powell, but he’s not close, either. Frankly, I loved Skip, but even he wasn’t particularly close. None of the past or present radio or TV announcers for any of my other teams, and none of the national announcers I hear on a semi-regular basis.

    In a business where you’re required to talk all the time, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’re eventually gonna say something really dumb. The best ones minimize it. It might be just selective memory at this point, but I don’t ever recall Pete saying something that caused me to roll my eyes. As mavery mentioned, if Pete said something, he made sure it was either of use to the viewer/listener or germane to the conversation at hand. If the sports broadcasting industry as a whole made it a point to concentrate on saying things that were worth saying rather than blabbing endlessly, the industry would be a much better place. Pete Van Wieren would be an excellent person to emulate in this endeavor.

    At some point today, I hope everyone will join me in raising a glass to perhaps the most underrated announcer in the business.

  10. He lived long enough to see Tom, Greg and Bobby enshrined. There’s that, at least.

  11. I’m a Braves fan because of Pete and Skip. Skip had the big personality that we remember the most, but if we were being honest, we would say that we got more out of a Braves baseball broadcast because of Pete Van Wieren.

  12. I’ve been MIA this season but I had to check out the Journal after hearing about Pete. Pete, Ernie, Skip, and Don Sutton were the voices of my childhood and made it exciting to be a Braves fan. RIP.

  13. The funniest thing that I remember about Pete is one time he had to promo a Four Tops concert. I don’t remember who he was working with, but Pete was starting to list all the great songs. He started with “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch,” then apparently had a block. Finally, one of them came up with – “Can’t Help Myself.”

    After a few seconds, Pete informs us, “The truck is telling us that those are the same song.”

  14. One of the joys of baseball is that the more you learn, the greater the appreciation. Pete added much to that joy. RIP Pete.

  15. Braves 2-6 hitters tonight: LaStella-Freeman-JUpton-Heyward-Gattis. Hell, it’d be better to have them 1-5, but the band is back together. Time to rip up some cassocks.

  16. Like Mac and Alex and i’m sure most of the rest of you, i too grew up on Ernie and Pete and Skip. Like Matt Diaz said, so many of the best moments of my life were narrated by Pete. God rest his soul.

  17. Mets/Giants game – both took no hitters into the 7th. Giants just got a hit but the other side is still a possibility.

    Apparently there was some kind of crazy umpiring episode in the Nats/Phillies game. Look for it on video tonight. Nats are destroying them already so we’re gonna have to break our losing streak tonight if we want to keep pace.

  18. And so did the Mets.

    Agree with the general sentiment; Pete did his best to improve thousands of hours of baseball, whether the play was great or awful.

    Our old friend Paul Maholm tore his ACL last night in LA, and his season’s over.

  19. So here’s a guy who clearly doesn’t have it, and the best we can do is see alot of pitches before we strike out.

  20. Nice little montage by the Padre’s announcers. There are clubs that would make no mention.

  21. The Padres put something on the scoreboard too. Classy.

    I assume the Braves will wear a patch starting sometime in the next few days.

  22. So now we’ve reached the time of night where we abandon “approach” and just expect things to go our way.

  23. The Padres just lost their longtime announcer Jerry Coleman, so they can certainly appreciate the loss Braves fans feel.

  24. Someone tell me what Heyward did? I thought tonight’s game was going to be a 10 o’clock start.

  25. Man on first, groundball single to right field that he had to charge a long way… Base runner took third easily, but he threw through anyway, airmailing the cut-off man, and allowing two men in to scoring position with only one out.

    Santana got Alonso to fly out shallow enough to prevent a sac-fly, walked the 8th hitter, and struck out the pitcher to escape.

  26. @35

    Don was even more choked up on the radio when he told that story a couple of hours earlier. Brought the same sadness I felt when listening to Pete eulogize Skip on the broadcast the day after his passing.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel older — much older — knowing that Skip, Pete and Ernie are no longer with us.

  27. @40

    No team has more unusual start times than San Diego. 5:40 local time on a Saturday. 3:40 local time on mid-week getaway days.

  28. That’s twice Santana’s gotten Yonder Alonso on the first pitch with two men on base. He must be their Andrelton Simmons.

    I would definitely hate Andrelton Simmons more if he played first base.

  29. Yeah but you know Yonder has such a versatile name that it’d be hard to really dislike him. Tip your cap to the parents.

  30. Best and saddest Braves telecast I’ve seen in almost forever. What great broadcasters we’ve had!

  31. Just intentionally walk Medica every time he comes to the plate from now on, guys.

  32. Our leadoff hitter drops a sac bunt to advance the pitcher. Why have we become inured to this ridiculous situation?

  33. You wouldn’t have gotten them.

    Those players cost major leaguers, Nick Franklin and Yoenis Cespedes. You’re going to fix the offense by trading Jason Heyward or Evan Gattis?

    And I guess if one of them was pitching tonight we’d be winning 1 to -1 ?

  34. Maybe not. I would’ve tried at least. I also would bench BJ and fired Fredi and Wren last year, so maybe I’m not the most level headed front office guy.

  35. Braves baseball is like something is gruesome all you want to do is look away but that is the one thing you can’t make yourself do because it is so horribly fascinating.

    Santana deserved better tonight. Our offense is so putrid.

  36. Unfortunately, if Medica continues treating us as his own personal hand puppet, Ervin’s ERA will take a hit it doesn’t deserve. This has “Triple Grybo” written all over it.

  37. I do not trust Walden not to walk Medica.

    Edit: Didn’t have the wild pitch in mind, though!

  38. This team is laughable. I still can’t get over the fact that the idiot manager continues to hit the worst hitter in baseball lead off. For that they should continue to lose.

    At least we have the 0-for gang due up this inning

  39. If you can’t count on your catcher to block a ball in the dirt, that he himself put down the fingers and called for, then you simply can’t pitch with a man on third. You can’t give up your slider because there’s a man on third. Evan screwed the pooch the same way in LA.

  40. It’s not a Van Wierenism, but …

    “Like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves take the field.”

  41. 2 runs or fewer in 40 games, but let’s not look at the hitting coach or his approach. Let’s just keep the status quo becsuse it is working so well

  42. They’re going to fire the hitting coaches after the season. I think about that every single game. I KNOW they’re going to fire these guys, but they won’t do it mid-season because they don’t want to be “that kind” of organization.

    The same thing with Parrish a few years back.

  43. They’re going to challenge that. It looked like they got him.

    EDIT: Wow, didn’t even come out and kick grass around.

  44. That didn’t follow the script we’ve become accustomed to, although we did recently manage to lose a game we came back to tie so I guess there is precedence for this.

  45. And then you’ve got Andrelton Simmons, who can do only one thing. Can’t even bunt properly.

  46. I really wish Andrelton’s instincts on offense were half as good as his instincts on defense.

  47. Did he do that on his own? Nevermind, I don’t even care whose idea it was. The fact that either Simmons or Fredi thought that was a good plan is enough to make you crazy.

  48. 1.) Jason Heyward is a top-5 position player in the National League this year. He’s wonderful. And he’s still just above league average as a hitter.

    2.) Andrelton Simmons just made me very angry.

    3.) We just saw the dark side of instant replay. The old “well, why not?” challenge. That makes me angrier than the Simmons bunt. No one should be allowed to waste time because “why not?”

  49. Man that’s such a bummer because, now that that’s all settled down, I can’t get my warm fuzzies back for Jason Heyward. I hate Andrelton even more.

  50. But how about Jason, huh? Jason was Rickey Henderson that inning.

    Worked a 2-0 count, and knew enough that down 1 in the 8th, they weren’t going to come in to him, so he looked away and drove away.. Then he got a great jump on that ball in the dirt, had no business getting to second on a ball that never even got away…. And then the jump off second, the way he cuts the bases, beating that throw when anyone else on our team, except maybe BJ, woulda locked em up and scrambled back to third.

    He had a perfect offensive inning. He did everything right.

  51. INTERIOR MONOLOGUE

    “Okay, Andrelton, stay cool. Stay cool. You don’t want to make two outs here with one swing of the bat. The messageboards don’t like stuff. Let’s get amazing. Yeah. What if you bunt it–but like, a HARD bunt to show everyone what a man you are? Gattis is a smart dude. He’ll read your mind and start running with this asshole reliever’s delivery. Medica. Who does this guy think he is. I’m gonna bunt it right at him, hard, and I bet he won’t be able to handle it.”

  52. To be fair…Simmons only causing one out there is probably the ceiling on possible outcomes. Still, can’t wait to hear our beat writers ask Fredi about that one.

    High leverage Varvaro is becoming the new normal.

  53. R.B.I. Baseball 14 for the iPad was just okay. A good way to kill a few minutes at work, nothing more. Then I downloaded a Legends Pack — which included 1982-83 peak Dale Murphy. All of a sudden, the game became awesome because every time, I remove B.J. Upton in his first at-bat — always in the first inning; he’s locked in the 2-hole and lineups are automatically set — for Murph. I can feel the endorphins as I take him out every time.

  54. He’s got to swing his way into an 0-2 hole first, don’t forget

    Edit: Look at that! Ball in play! Way to go Bossman!

  55. Not you, Tommy, with this first-pitch crap. We need at least one guy who can grind out a long AB.

  56. We may dust the cobwebs off of Kimbrel. Scoring this runner from stranded position needs to happen first.

  57. Carpenter? Here? Must be some good bars in the Gaslamp that Fredi wants to hit posthaste.

    EDIT: Well, when you’re facing someone who aspires to the Mendoza Line …

  58. He brings in a lefty, against whom lefties are hitting .295, and he faces only lefties. When a righty comes up, who are hitting .105 against him, he goes out and gets a righty, who righties are hitting .348 against.

  59. I feel like we should be able to score 3 runs every 10 to 15 innings. Liking our odds here.

  60. Does Fredi not realize that we all have access to players’ splits and know when he is doing something completely stupid?

  61. Russell’s career splits are more what you would expect from a LHP. His recent splits are just freaky in comparison.

    Attaboy, Jason…

  62. His 2014 splits make me think some pitch isn’t doing something for him. He’s either having trouble getting the ball to the inner half to lefties, or his fastball isn’t doing something that it’s supposed to.

  63. I’d walk Chris and hope I got two out of Andrelton. I’d definitely not be scared Andrelton would hit a sac fly.

  64. Swing, swing, swing, and out. My expectations for Simmons at the plate are pretty reasonable.

  65. Even though Johnson struck out there, it was a good at bat. Yes, the slider was ball 4, but as the announcers said, it was to close to take. Also, Johnson was our only hope there because as just seen, Simmons wasn’t going to get it done.

  66. Let’s keep BJ at lead off because Fredi thinks he has been hitting better there, but drop Simmons who actually hit better in the 2 hole than the 8 hole

  67. That was a terrible at bat, because all he had to do was hit a fly ball, and he didn’t. He had strikes, but he tried to pull them. He got greedy and he failed to do his job.

  68. Wow! Where has that Carpenter been? It would be very helpful if we could throw him back in the “pressure situations” pile.

  69. Wow, a player ran hard on a play and something positive happened. He has definitely not been an Atlanta Brave all season. I hope the other guys were watching that.

  70. So stupid, now there’s two strikes. Fredi throws bunts around like it’s automatic.

  71. Why did Tommy throw away a strike to protect the runner, when the pitch was in the dirt anyway?

  72. I didn’t see hit and run… he waved at it, he didn’t try to hit it.

    Either way, it was peculiar and dumb.

  73. @161

    Doesn’t really work that way. You’re supposed to protect the hitter, so that’s what he did.

    EDIT: It was obviously a hit-and-run based on the fact that he swung and on the fact that Boni looked over his shoulder on the way to second.

  74. This team is such a freaking electrical fire right now that I don’t think even I can begin to fathom it…and I’ve been watching the vast majority of the week.

  75. Okay, Fredi is not the sharpest pencil in the pack, but a lot of the players he is working with are not exactly scholars themselves. I understand aggressiveness but not when you are in scoring position with the number 3 hitter coming up to bat. Way to go Bonifacio.

    Basically, dumb moves by a manager added with dumb moves by players is not a winning formula.

  76. Nicely done, Andrelton, but he still is culpable for there being an 11th inning in the first place.

  77. How about that tag by Andrelton? Wow! He may be part of the reason there was an 11th, but he is the reason there’s a 12th.

  78. Next person to be surprised when Evan Gattis throws out a base stealer earns the Mantle of Silly Thinking. It’s the one thing on defense he’s actually good at, and he’s been good at it the whole time.

  79. Ever notice that announcers love to praise small ball tactics but go silent when it often fails…

    Can someone please leave the yard now so we can win this thing.

  80. I’m tracking our 3rd run due by inning 15 or 16. Need just a little more patience.

  81. I hereby assume the Mantle of Silly Thinking. Caps-lock has no place in a discussion about this Braves team.

  82. Seriously, you need a fly ball and it’s 1-0. The pitcher throws a curve ball at the knees. What in the hell reason would you possibly have for swinging at that?

  83. Scroll at the bottom of the screen: “Zombie Night is Aug. 15th vs the A’s.” Actually, it’s every night.

  84. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you think it is for our announcers not to just completely lose their heads and start tearing into our team for all it is worth? You can hear it in the tone of their voice that they want to do it at times.

  85. This isn’t going to end well. Kimbrel can’t throw 30-some-odd pitches and remain effective.

  86. Backhanding a breaking ball in the dirt with a man on base. Evan Gattis, everybody.

  87. It doesn’t matter, guys. Craig walked him anyway. Pity these poor Braves, they just want to get back to the hotel.

  88. If we lose this, I cannot wait to hear Gonzalez’s interview after the game. I think he is starting to really run out of excuses which I find a little entertaining.

  89. I really think Fredi’s use of B.J. as the leadoff man is his unspoken protest, his best way of saying, “This is the team you assembled for me, Frank.”

  90. Which of these two guys that seem very likely to walk in the winning run (Bad Craig and Juan Jaime) do you think is the least likely?

  91. Of course, we won’t be lucky enough to induce a 5-2-3 double play.

  92. I’m sure he told Fredi to use him up. He knows everyone took it last night, and Hale took it hard. You can’t blame him for what’s going on here. He’s going to lose this game on his 40th pitch.

  93. @218

    I almost want to agree with you there. At least that way, it would mean he doesn’t actually think it is the best thing to do. It would just mean that he thinks this team is crap and is really rubbing it in Wren’s face which is funny. Sadly, who knows if it is true or not?

  94. He’s been one of our worst relievers lately. Oh well. Let’s get that third run tomorrow.

  95. They’re gonna be about 9 games out of first by the end of the next home stand. Wish Wren had been bold enough to move Justin or Heyward.

  96. I think I’ll be too sleepy to ride the Handsome Transom tomorrow afternoon. What a shame of a game this was.

  97. It’s not often that the team owes a debt to the losing pitcher, but they do tonight. Craig took it in the teeth because they’ve been struggling.

    If Minor didn’t eat it yesterday, Craig never gets in this game, Fredi saves him for the save that never comes.

    If the team wasn’t on a losing streak, Fredi would have given it over to Juan Jaime. Fredi let it ride with Kimbrel because this team needed a win.

  98. We’re paying that guy a lot of money…if he can’t throw 40 pitches then maybe that money is better off somewhere else.

  99. @228

    Well, for what? For prospects? Depending on how strong you take your WAR, Heyward is either a top-10 or a top-3 position player in the National League. You don’t trade your best player when you’re sitting on a playoff spot.

    As for Justin? Hell, I don’t know. He would’ve nabbed us a Lester and a Carp perhaps. Then you run a Carp/Bonerface platoon in left. That actually doesn’t look too bad.

  100. @227

    What the heck are you even talking about? He is in no way been our worst reliever lately. In the previous 10 outings before tonight he had 10.1 innings pitched with 19 Ks 2 Hits 2 BBs and 1 run allowed. What do you consider to be good if that is bad?

  101. krussell – Go to bed. You’re out of your mind. Everybody on that team knows what Craig just did. You just complain about everything.

  102. 235: Yes, for prospects. Heyward is great, but the team around him isn’t good enough to make the playoffs, and I have a hard time seeing how that will change next year. (Can’t add substantial salary; don’t have the prospects to add a significant piece by trade.)

  103. I GUARANTEE you Fredi is going to say “He was it, it was his game. I asked him if I could ride him, and he said ‘use me up.'”

  104. If Varvaro or Carpenter had given up a run you guys would’ve lost your collective minds. When Kimbrel shits all over the bed it’s totally fine.

  105. @236

    Well played @ChopChop

    @234

    The guy is a specialist, so I do not fault the guy for burning out after 25 pitches when he is paid to go out there and give full effort into every pitch he throws. I do not deny that I think closers are overpaid, but I, also, do not fault the guy for not being able to handle 40 pitches. He is a product of the role he plays for this team. I will not fault a player who does his job well on a consistent basis.

    Yes, Kimbrel gets the loss for this game, but every pitcher tonight did a heck of a job. This loss like so many others this season goes to an inept offense.

  106. Carpenter and Varvaro aren’t the team’s closer. They aren’t the anchor of the bullpen. You don’t work the game backwards from Carpenter and Varvaro. Carpenter and Varvaro are SUPPOSED to be the guys who get slotted in and matched up, who get stretched as necessary, and they didn’t. Craig Kimbrel is the guy you take care of, he’s the guy you watch his workload, he’s the guy you sign to a multi-year deal. The team is on a losing streak and their boat is taking on water, and his manager gave him the ball and told him it was his game, and he pitched his guts out.

  107. If Teheran had come out and ramped it up in the 12th, and took the loss, would you be complaining about him? Because that’s the only thing that would have been more out of the ordinary than what Craig just did.

  108. @238

    Cool. I mean, I think you’re out of your mind about this one, but for the sake of argument–what’s your trade? Who out there in the minors is worth a player who averages ~5-wins above replacement on a team that averages ~90 wins?

  109. I wanted him traded before this season started. He’s undeniably great but I see it as a luxury on a midmarket team. If he can’t pitch a second inning without walking the ballpark then he isn’t as valuable as I want him to be.

    I guarantee you that he’d want the ball again in the same situation, and won’t make pitch count excuses. In the end he just has to execute.

  110. @238 – I don’t disagree out of hand, I think the team has kind of played out it’s hand here. The pipeline is dried up, a number of guys traded out for periodic incremental improvements, other guys just never blossoming. Couple that with two starting pitcher’s going down in Spring, having their depth tested that early… To have two veterans just fall apart, to have a number of young guys stall in their development.. All after they limited their flexibility by signing guys to long term contracts….. Just a perfect storm of rotten luck for a team that had spread itself thin on it’s tight budget.

    I can agree that I don’t think it’s likely they straighten it out and win anything this year. And it probably will take a bold move, like trading a young star, to acquire talent at the right point in their control years.

    But where I disagree is that the marginal difference in value between moving them at the deadline, versus moving them in the offseason, is worth not giving them a chance to win this year. They aren’t that far out of it that the difference in return was worth selling a chance to win.

  111. You wanted to trade Kimbrel for a different closer with a different skill set, and you wanted to pick up Price or Lester at the deadline. Does it occur to you that you might be asking for video-game players and video-game outcomes?

  112. It occurs to me that to get value you have to give value. I think it’s insane to not at least consider moving Kimbrel or Heyward or JUpton or Gattis.

    I’m not sure it’s at all possible to work around the fact that BJ can’t play like we thought he could, but not even trying to work around it is really hurting the fan base.

  113. You’re just zooming out until you get a picture big enough that your complaints start to make sense.

    Yes, it’s worth considering trading Craig Kimbrel. Yes I’d move him in a deal that landed an ace, at least one with some years of control.

    That isn’t what we’re arguing about.

    Let’s get back to he put forth an extraordinary effort for a team under duress and your response being “He’s been one of our worst relievers lately.” “If he can’t throw 40 pitches,” and “He isn’t as valuable as I want him to be.”

  114. @249

    Getting prospects for the players you named does nothing for a team that is only a few games out of 1st place. You want a real quick way to lose a fan base. Trade players like that when you are in a playoff race.

    Even if you are not talking about getting prospects and are actually talking about getting players of value that can play now, who would they have picked up before the trade deadline that would have really changed our team? Do not name a pitcher because putting a pitcher up there that gives up 2 – 3 runs per 9 innings would do nothing for a team that has trouble scoring runs in the first place.

    You make trades like that after the season. You do not do it in the season when you are still playing for a spot in the postseason.

  115. How a person can watch as many Braves games as I know you do, and have your favorite whipping boys be Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel… I can’t understand.

  116. That’s fair enough. Except that Andrelton really is terrible. :)

    I’m really not trying to pick a fight with you. Mostly just wanting to change gears from thinking about the specifics of that terrible loss.

  117. @251, think Lester would’ve been more than a small upgrade in Minor’s spot? JUpton would’ve been more than enough. Good idea? I think so if we could sign him for a couple more years after. Realistic? I couldn’t possibly know that. I would say that it’s unrealistic to expect Wren to break up his creation in any way shape or form. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong thing to do.

    This team is hanging around because of starting pitching. Upgrading our worst guy to one of the best guys in the other league might have been the highest impact move we could make for 2014.

    Wren and company are saying to you and me, the fanbase, that we’re good for 2014. The offense didn’t need help. The pitching didn’t need help. Just a few minor tweaks to the bench and we’re good.

    Either that, or they are saying that 2014 is a lost cause and it’s not worth going for it. To
    me that’s even worse, because it’s the same damn team for 2015 too.

  118. Anybody want to argue about the way Fredi handled the Andrelton-Squeeze questions? :)

  119. I thought that was bush league…he threw Andrelton under the bus while at the same time taking the “blame”. I hope our players hate him.

  120. I don’t think they’re “saying” anything by not picking up a position player. To cash out big-league-strength for big-league-weakness at the deadline is incredibly difficult.

    Jon Lester for Justin Upton would make this team worse. Marginally better every fifth day (Lester without Upton vs Minor with Upton, I’ll say is a marginal improvement. ) But DRASTICALLY worse in the other 80% of games played. We just saw the team lose a game where Santana pitched as well as Lester would have, and we lost it WITH our .850 OPS LF in the lineup.

    It’s CONCEIVABLE that you could trade Justin Upton for Jon Lester, or someone like him, and then trade Mike Minor for Marlon Byrd, or someone like him, to re-calibrate your strength/weakness spectrum. But that’s an awful lot of moving parts. That we saw big leaguers moved for big leaguers at ALL was rare. It’s almost always “we’ll give you our today for your future.”

    You can’t just say “he shoulda” and be done with it. That’s asking alot.

  121. The problem is that we don’t have any prospects that anyone wants. All our prospects are in the majors save a handful. This isn’t news to you or anyone here. So either we stand pat or we have to trade someone that’s a starting player, probably well-liked even, and deal with the risk/reward and the fact that you might look really dumb if it doesn’t work out.

    I just don’t think we’re good enough to stand pat.

  122. Fun fact after watching Gattis attempt to backhand to sliders tonight unsuccessfully.

    The Braves record this year overall: 58-53
    The Braves record this year with Gattis appearing in a game: 35-38
    The Braves record this year without Gattis appearing in a game: 23-15

    Gattis far outplays our other catchers offensively, but this does not result in wins. Granted, I will say that 8 of those wins without Gattis came when we had an 8 game winning streak, but that still puts us at .500 ball without Gattis.

    During the Gattis’ stint on the DL the Braves were one of the top scoring teams in baseball, too. Can anyone explain this phenomenon? Also, does anybody know our pitchers ERAs with Gattis behind the plate as apposed to another catcher behind the plate? That would be an interesting stat.

  123. @261

    That is a fun fact.

    I think a portion of that can be explained by Johnson and J. Upton having hot streaks while Gattis was hurt, but it does make you wonder if it would really hurt us all that much if we moved him to an American League team this off season for a decent return.

    I guess it is something we will have to wait on and see.

  124. @261, thanks for giving an opening for using my favorite 2014 stat – we’re 21-16 when Uggla starts at 2B…. ;-)

    Been a bad and sad day all around to be an old Braves fan. I will apologize for being a bit testy tonight, but this team is driving me crazy.

  125. Those two stats provided by @salty and @krussel are hilariously enlightening.

    Possible answer:

    The players actually elevate their play due to knowing the loss of Gattis meant they were needed to do so, or the fact that having Uggla in the lineup meant everyone knew they were playing with a man short in the lineup.

    The big question is:

    Why do the rest of the players not elevate their play knowing that B.J. is in the lineup which basically puts them a man down?

    The biggest question is:

    Why would the players need reasons like that to elevate their play?

  126. Maybe they have elevated their play. This is what we can get out of them. It’s just not a playoff calibur group. We are under .500 over the past 80 games or so.

    What is LaStella hitting in the top of the order? Seems like he sucks up there and was hitting like .350 in the 7-8 hole.

    Change it up

    Bonifacio
    J Upton
    Freeman
    Gattis
    Heyward
    Johnson
    LaStella
    Simmons
    P

    Sit BJ, release him…whatever it takes. Fredi may be doing it on purpose but Wren can solve it. Fredi can’t play someone that isn’t on his team.

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