Carry Us Bills: Hoe Cakes 7, Cheese Steaks 2

Bills, we love you so, we always will.
We see those junk balls and think we could do that, too.
But we’re tired of seeing balls slapped and that’s on you.

We tried to stay on your side Bills, when you were losing.
We like to win some games Bills. Losing that first pick is bruisin’.
But now we turn around and you can carry us Bills.

Hector Olivera and the Bills,
Were surely the stars of this bold visit to Phil.
Freddie Freeman homered to start us off with a thrill.

These are the fans who are trying, when the park’s lonely.
We haven’t lived one day not loving Braves only.
But this God above won’t carry Braves so please carry us Bills.

We hate the Phils and we always will.
Loser’s emotions don’t make us fail to bow.
We WILL be better and this is our firm vow.

Oh come on Braves. Won’t you come on Braves.
Please carry us Bills. We had the losing streak blues.
Please carry us Bills. Rid of those losing streak blues.
Leading us Bills, we’ll stay rid of those blues.

64 thoughts on “Carry Us Bills: Hoe Cakes 7, Cheese Steaks 2”

  1. Great old tune, Cliff! All you need is a horn set and some back-up singers.

    And have you just been sitting on that one waiting for a Williams Perez start?

  2. Actually, I really had not thought of it as a possible until last night, mid way of the game.
    I tried hard to get a “hector” or “olivera” something and could not make it work. Tried rhyming “protector” and “terror” and other stuff.

  3. Wait, what was that? A win? And Olive hit a HR? Does that make this the best Braves game in a month?

  4. Braves are apparently done w/ callups after promoting Ryan Weber to start tonight. This kinda chaps my hindquarters. Detweiler, EJax, and Marimon aren’t going to be with us next year. Continuing the carousel to see if there are useful pieces in the Minors would seem wise.

  5. The smallest crowd in the 12-year history of Citizens Bank Park – 15,125 – saw the Braves stop their worst skid since 1988.

    Wow, that many?

  6. ryan c.

    I think it is the 40 man roster problem. Not wanting to put anybody on unless you want to protect them from Rule 5 this year.

  7. @11
    40-man is already 2 under capacity and that’s without Ciriaco, Jackson, Detweiler, Marimon, Brigham, Mauricio Cabrera (surely will be removed after an awful year, and go unclaimed), Kohn, and Cunningham factored, who surely won’t be taking up a 40-man spot on a team built to actually be decent.

  8. True story; Olivera’s double was reasonably impressive (bounced off the wall at the 387 mark in deep center.) His HR was a Citizen’s Park special. If you barely clear the LF wall in Philly, that’s not a big shot at all.

  9. Still, other than Freddie’s, Hector’s routine fly ball was the only one to make it that far. I wonder what that says about the rest of our lineup.

  10. I cannot rag Markakis on hitting. He is getting hits and getting walks. And, I think next year you will see a little more HR power (10 ish) and some doubles (30 ish).

  11. Via Rosenthal:

    One theory on why the Braves extended manager Fredi Gonzalez through next season is that they wanted him to serve as a one-year bridge to the opening of their new ballpark in 2017. Once Gonzalez completed that task, the team could thank him for his services, then enter the new park with a more heralded manager.

    Such an idea makes sense, considering that ’16 probably is a lost cause for the Braves, anyway. But I’ve been hearing all season that players are frustrated with Gonzalez, that he essentially has lost the clubhouse. If that is the case, why should president of baseball operations John Hart wait to make a change? And why did he give Gonzalez an extension in the first place?

    It’s a shame Pravda hasn’t been reporting that.

  12. not quite 12,

    BUT, original song is “Wedding Bell Blues.” 5th Dimension did a cover (original was Laura Nyro who was not so big but had an artsy following. She wrote it and a lot of other songs).

    I hope anybody that wants to can open the great version below. Actually the lead singer, Marilyn McCoo, was and still is married to Billy Davis, Jr. They camp it up a little in this. Some kind of “Woody Allen” show. I never heard of that.

  13. @16, What is Pravda? I mean, I know it’s the Soviet propaganda rag, but I assume it’s a joke on AJC or Bowman around here?

    Olivera, Hector
    Cuban defector
    Now worth millions of bucks
    Often leaves the pond full of ducks

    Hector Olivera
    Acquired to usher in a new era
    But far too many have been ushered out
    Those still watching are only the most devout

  14. @10: I’m not sure why the AP keeps referencing 1988. Some writers have even started printing, “Last team to lose 12 games in a row was 1988.” While that team did lose 10 in a row (not 12), this team had already surpassed that and was headed toward the 1977 team’s skid of 15.

  15. @19, the author lost me with “stadium in the middle of nowhere”. The Cobb cloverleaf isn’t Times Square, but c’mon. The current stadium site isn’t exactly bustling with activities. Butt-hurt ITP’ers will get over it. Eventually. Just like our rebuild will work. Eventually.

  16. @16

    If players are talking to the media about Fredi losing the team, that is a bad sign for him.

    I also wonder if they don’t hand over the keys to Coppolella soon.

    This is a team that sat at .500 six weeks ago. I know they blew up the club for the seventh time, but when you are one of the three worst teams in baseball, someone has to go.

    They also should never have sold this to the fans the way the did. It is hard to sit here and say this club will contend in 2017. These young pitchers look terrible in the majors and have just gotten worse. They have not really shown much to suggest they are going to do much of anything.

  17. I don’t know how good Rosenthal’s sources are, but there are definitely reasons to keep him even if you’ve lost faith. If he gets canned and the next guy does poorly, you can’t fire him without bringing instability and the perception that the position isn’t safe.

    The idea that they want to make some sort of managerial splash for the new stadium makes less sense to me, but I suppose that would explain it as well.

  18. I think Hart is the bad-cop and the fall-guy. Assuming Coppolella doesn’t run for the hills, he’ll be taking over by 2017. The transition is easier if he gets to point to other people when asked about the self-destruction of the team in 2015.

  19. Chipper Jones
    we say he has Shea in his bones
    they say La-rry, La-rry!
    so who’s the next one you’re going to ma-rry?

  20. @25

    I only heard Coppolella talk for the first time the other day and was disconcerted by his voice – it seemed to me to be pitched a tad high…

    Was this his normal affect or is he already cracking under the strain?

    Hardly the background you need to be hurling empty vases around at the Winter Meetings.

  21. @21, the guy saying “middle of nowhere” isn’t local, that blog is New York-based and covers stadium funding ripoffs generally, so I’ll forgive him that.

    The real news here, I think, is that this franchise sucks on ice (on the field and off) so bad that Sam can’t even bring himself to his happy place of contrarianism. Daaaaaymn, Braves. Low point.

  22. @15 I hope you’re right that Markakis’ over-the-wall power returns… Cakes’ utter inability to hit HRs (combined with lack of defensive range) is a substantial drag on his value. While you might look at 33 2B against only 2 HRs this year and think “surely that means *some* of those doubles will become homers next year!”, Cakes isn’t going to hit many more dingers unless he improves his batted ball profile (in other words, he needs to hit longer fly balls, with more loft). Markakis’ average flyball distance in feet by season, beginning in 2012: 284, 271, 268, 258. For reference, big power hitters will average 300+ feet, and a 258 foot average registers in the bottom 10% of all qualifying batters. Markakis, much like Freddie Freeman, specializes in avoiding weak contact and hitting line drives. Unfortunately, Cakes doesn’t hit the ball nearly as hard as Freddie, leaving him a far smaller margin for error.

  23. I think the hope is that he will be stronger than this year. His training program was altered by the back surgery.

  24. @29, he was sent on a PR campaign by the politburo once the losing streak reached ridiculous proportions. Our broadcasters read a script, and he answered via script, and he sounded pretty terrible doing so – I’ll give you that.

    Hell how could they not be nervous? They are the ones that foolishly said we’d be contending in a year or two. If Wisler and Folty can’t pitch then their plan is crap.

  25. If the plan is to contend in 2017, and it seems like it is, then we’ll probably be hoping to find 2 pitchers out of Wisler, Folty, Jenkins, Banuelos, Fried, Sims, Gant, Bills, Whalen.

    It seems like a fair chance that we find 2 #3/4 pitchers out of that group, but it’s also a reasonable possibility that we don’t even find one.

  26. The Braves play 24 games next April. Seventeen are against the Nationals, Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers and Cubs.

    Fredi might survive this season, but I expect such a poor start next year (my guess is 7-17) that he will not be the manager by May 2016.

  27. I’m not extremely concerned about Wisler, Folty, and even Teheran. Glavine didn’t have consistency until he found it. Smoltz didn’t get consistent from year-to-year until he found it (and arguably not until his age-27 season). Same thing with several starting pitchers that developed within Atlanta’s system and then found consistency elsewhere. Then you have guys like Jair Jurrjens who showed lots of promise before age-25 and didn’t sustain it.

    Wisler’s 22, Folty’s 24, Teheran’s 24, and they really have no business being top-of-the-rotation starters right now. We bought Teheran’s arb years out simply on projection, not necessarily on expecting him to be as dominant as he was in 2013 at the age of 22 (I speculate).

    As bad as things are, none of it is particularly surprising if you take a step back and start evaluating where some of these prospects should be right now. Once you start reading through where each player is currently at, you’re almost forced to conclude, “Yeah, that’s about right.” After all, the average age for the 7 starting pitchers who have logged the most innings is 23.5. I mean, what do you expect? The only surprising thing is the fact that no one is out-performing their expectations except for, maybe, Maybin, and that falls on the manager’s shoulders I think.

  28. If either Wisler or Folty start 30 games next year and have an ERA below 5, I’ll consider that a positive.

  29. Folty might be the same age as Teheran, and he might have four or five more MPH on his fastball, but other than that they have nothing much in common. Right now Folty projects to be, at best, an above average relief pitcher. Wisler has a starter’s repetoire and sufficient control. Glavine might be a useful comparandum, but Wisler’s changeup is not as good, and even if it were, in the age of Pitchtrax he is going to have a much tougher row to hoe than Glavine did. To me his ceiling is a #4/#5 starter. Jenkins and Banuelos are not likely to stay healthy long enough to establish themselves as middle of the rotation guys.

    Call me crazy, but I think that despite having picked up a dozen pitching prospects via trade, Lucas Sims is still the most promising one we’ve got. Followed closely by Kolby Allard.

  30. I haven’t heard anything about Fried’s status. I’m under the impression that he was the big piece in the Padres deals. I know he’s recovering from TJ, does anybody know his status, or heard about his recovery program?

  31. @40, it was a snarky comment by an out of town blogger and not really the point. The larger point in the story is that the stadium build is an exercise in making it up as you go while acting like you’ve got a master plan, because you can still sort of plausibly claim to, although the evidence is mounting that you don’t.

    There are a lot of parallels there to the on-field rebuild.

  32. @35

    That’s pretty pessimistic if you think that there could be no starting pitchers out of those 9 prospects. If you’re that pessimistic, I’m not sure why you even turn on the TV to watch the sport…

  33. @41, as I understand, Fried was not expected to pitch at all this season, as he had his surgery at the end of August 2014. Probably a good bet to be in spring training if all goes well. I haven’t heard anything about how things are going, but I don’t think that’s unusual.

    @40, I’m covering the range of possibilities, Rob Cope. It’s krussell who thinks none of our pitchers will pan out, and I’m throwing him a bone. I’d put the over-under at 2 of those 9 being long-term rotation fixtures….but the 95% confidence interval includes 4/9 and 0/9

  34. It bears mentioning in all of this consternation that the Braves have a mere 74 mil in locked in dollars for 2016. 30m of that is to Michael Bourne and Nick Swisher, both of whom disappear in 2017. The Braves have 48m locked in for 2017, and 52m for 2018 (due to Freddie Freeman getting into his 20m/21m seasons.

    The Braves can pursue free agents next year, and in 2017. If we go back to John Hart’s “not more than 120 million” payroll number from last winter, the Braves have 50m to spend this winter alone.

  35. If scouts and prospect hounds think a guy is a big leaguer, I think you gotta give him 30 starts to prove them wrong. Mike Minor was pretty lousy, 5.12 ERA in his first 8 starts, 4.74 ERA across his first 24. Teheran hung up a 5.19 in two cups of coffee, and a 5.08 in 26 AAA in between them.

    Wisler has made 14 starts, Folty 15, and Banuelos 6. Its obviously possible they become nothing. But its way too early to be making assumptions.

    There have been fits and starts. There has probably been some pouting, in the case of Banuelos, some playing through pain. But you’re aware that Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey coming up and dominating from Day 1 are the exception, that’s why such a big deal has been made out of them. Even Clayton Kershaw put up a 4.26 ERA in his 21 rookie season starts.

  36. I think Fried was just a throw-in so that the front office could send a clear anagramatic message to the manager.

    Max Fredi is what he wanted, but Fried Gonzalez is what he’s gonna be.

  37. Dunno if this definitely denotes douchebaggery, but how about Bryce Harper yesterday?

    In the biggest game of the year for the Nationals, he goes 0 for 4 with 3 Ks & 3 LOB. And the first thing out of his mouth when asked about it? He disses his team’s fans.

    Hard to win that battle, Bryce. It’s rarely been done.

  38. 42—There may be a lot of parallels there to the on-field rebuild, if we cast the on-field rebuild in as pessimistic a light as possible at this early-ish stage of said rebuild.


    The plan seems coherently aggressive to me.

  39. @42 – Where in the world do you get the idea that there isn’t a plan for the on-field rebuild? That’s ridiculous. They have the worst record in baseball in the first season after they traded their best players and that means there’s no plan? Seriously?

  40. Actually, the move to Cobb may not have been so aggressive. They either had to renew where they were or move outside Atlanta city limits. It was clear the City was not going to help there (neighbor votes) or help ENOUGH to justify a move inside the city to another location.

    They have probably leveraged themselves into a situation where the floor is fairly high compared to other alternatives and the ceiling could be very high if the “development” works.

    BUT, there is still a big risk if the traffic tie ups kill attendance (which could happen). Maybe have to switch to 3:00 and 8:30 game times. It is a lot like the Dodgers location on the curve inside where 2 large freeways intersect. And, the traffic tie up at Chavez is worse after the game inside the parking lot.

  41. @44 I don’t know about Spring Training. He’s a high-ceiling guy, but he hasn’t pitched much or recently. He’s about where Lucas Sims would have been for 2014’s Spring Training, except with a little less success and a longer lay-off.

    He could be very good, but he’s not close.

  42. With Ryan Weber starting tonight, he will become the 36th man to toe the rubber for Your Atlanta Braves this year. Well, the 35th pitcher + one Jonny Gomes.

  43. Thanks for that. I didn’t realize the Phillies turned back into a _____ (insert something worse than a pumpkin).

  44. Out of all the pitching prospects we’ve assembled via the firesale, you could argue that Fried has the most upside. He’s very young, and just had his elbow repaired. Earliest you’ll see him is late 2017.

    I’ve never said that none of the pitchers will pan out. I’ve said it’ll take longer than 2 years…

  45. I think they didn’t have much of a plan for 2015. That doesn’t invalidate the plan for 2017. It’s quite clear that their strategic moves this year have been centered on stockpiling young talent that would be unready to contribute in 2015; the 25-man roster was a much lower priority. That’s reasonable enough, but it accounts for the fact that they are utterly at a loss for words to explain what has happened over the past month. The major league team just wasn’t a high priority, and they have no idea how to get from catastrophe back to mediocrity.

  46. This was exactly the plan for 2015. Coming in last is crucial for the rebuild. They may have been surprised by the .500 record and decided they needed to throw gasoline on the smoldering embers that were left of the team, hence the trade deadline deals. My guess is they thought they’d be 20 games out by the break and wouldn’t need to send everyone packing.

  47. If you include arb raises and a possible contract for Mike Minor, the consensus is that we have around $80 million committed for 2016. How much we can spend on FA depends on what the budget is. I’d guess around $30 million?

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