This will serve as the new bar where we will discuss all pieces that are not game threads or game recaps.
Pieces Discussed in this Bar
Augusta Greenjackets Week 2 Top Performers
AJ Smith-Shawver Catching Eyes in Rome
You don’t have to leave, but you cannot stay here. This bar is closed! Here’s the new Bar.
Aside from the pieces being discussed in the bar, I would like to hear your stories on this topic:
What is the greatest sports-related event you’ve ever seen live?
Mine was Jason Heyward’s 1st AB HR. The crowd was going absolutely nuts with a “Let’s go, Heyward!” chant. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something like that from a player’s 1st MLB AB.
#1UNC coming from 16 points down with less than 9 minutes left to beat Ralph Sampson and #2 UVA in 1983.
I was randomly at Tropicana Field for Matt Garza’s no-hitter.
My son’s one and only high school home run.
I saw Greg Maddux get his number retired.
The 44th game of Pete Rose’s hit streak. Bonus: The TBS live feed the next night. Rose didn’t know it was live, and while he was candid and colorful, he was also chickenshit. “Garber was pitching like it was Game 7 of the World Series.”
That’s awesome, Buz!
Greatest single play in a great event. NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament in Athens in 2007. Georgia up 3 to 2 with Isner on Court 1 and Luis Flores on Court 2. Next win, and Georgia advances. 2 losses, and it’s over (and the greatest men’s tennis team of ITA history doesn’t win the championship).
Isner serving at match point from north to south. I was with my son, a cousin of his, and the Dad of the cousin. I was in about row 7 of the grandstand essentially looking directly over the serve recipient at Isner. Isner may have hit his single best serve ever. The ball hit at least 15 feet inside of the service court line (from that line toward the net). As Isner came set after serving, he realized (even then) that it was over. The ball went over the serve recipient’s head about 15 feet off the ground. It was caught by a fan standing up and reaching up on about row 4 of the grandstand (which would be about 10 feet above court level and 20 feet behind the serve recipient). As the ball started to rise, Isner dropped his racket. At the same time, Flores was live on the south side of Court 2. Flores came to the line on the side of Court 1 to backhand a return. As he swung the backhand to send it back, he saw Isner drop his racket. So, Luis hit the backhand, dropped his racket, and ran toward Isner.
I wondered if I saw it right a little until I read the AJC reporter’s column the next morning. “Somewhere in the night, the ball that Isner hit to send Georgia to the semis is still floating as I type this.” Big moment and big performance in a clutch situation.
Jason Heyward carrying an elite Statcast page AND a .925 OPS after a .627 OPS in 2021 and a .556 OPS in 2022 sure is something. The Dodgers are using a strict platoon and it’s paying dividends. I hope Snit does the same with Hilliard & Pillar.
That’s nuts – Dodgers devil magic, man. Good for him. Always loved Jason, always will.
Many hitting gurus openly questioned Heyward’s hand placement and blamed that as the reason for being late and lacking thump in his swing, The Dodgers changed his hand placement in spring and it apparently made a huge difference.
New piece for the bar!
And…he’s been promoted to AA. Shawver might hit the ATL before he can drink alcohol legally.
Another piece for the bar: https://bravesjournal.com/2023/05/03/reliever-brief-a-j-minter/
I did some advanced math for this piece. Enjoy!
Thanks, Jeremy. Interesting piece. If his next couple starts go well, he should be the next man up. Really rooting for him.
Interesting to see what will happen to Kyle Wright. Such a pity after the season he’s had last year. Hope just extended rest will do the trick for him.
I’ve a feeling that with the preseason cortisone shot, that the Braves will be handling Wright with kid gloves.
Yeah that’s why I just acted like he isn’t in the mix right now. He could be back as soon as May 19, but I assume it will be longer than that.
Gotta love DeRo. Great piece on RAJ
We now have a game thread.
Re: Great Live Sports Events
For me, many of the “greatest” live games I’ve seen were losses: In ’82, UGA lost to Penn St. 27-23 in Sugar Bowl; In ’12 UGA lost to Bama 32-28 in the SEC title game; In ’81, Falcons lost to Drew Pearson/Cowboys in NFC playoffs; In ’94, Devils lost Game 6 of the Eastern Finals to Mark Messier & his “guarantee”; In ’96, the Braves lost to Jim Leyritz; & in ’10, there was the Brooks Conrad game (which should’ve been the Eric Hinske Game). See what I mean?
Anyway, these are the best ones from the 6 major US sports:
College Football: Georgia 65 TCU 7 (2023). National Championship game, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, Calif.
Personal fave. For all-round greatness, this one stands alone.
Best Game: Georgia 19 Auburn 14 (1982), Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Ala.
Larry Munson’s “look-at-the-sugar-falling-out-of-the-sky game.” UGA clinches SEC title with a memorable, last-minute defensive stand. I climbed a barbed-wire fence to get in & got chased to the top of the stadium… but somehow lost the War Eagle security team. Hey, I was 19.
NFL: I’ve only seen about a dozen NFL games in-person, including just 2 playoff games. Falcons gagged one up at home (30-27 to Dallas ’81) & got thumped on the road in the other one (24-2 to NYG ’12). The Cowboys game was great for about 57 minutes, then Drew Pearson happened.
College Basketball: Georgia 86, LSU 85 (1990), UGA Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
UGA essentially wins its only SEC regular-season hoops title by erasing a 19-point, 2nd-half deficit & beating Shaq & Chris Jackson on a free-throw by a rail-thin, back-up center from the Virgin Islands named Neville Austin. Fans storm the court.
NBA: Hawks 123, Bulls 95 (1986), The Omni, Atlanta
Dominique scores 57, Jordan scores 41 & gets half the content for his “Come Fly With Me” video. ’Nique was on fire with his usual astonishing repertoire, but Michael Jordan was a cartoon character that night, just unreal.
NHL: Devils 3 Ducks 0 (2003) Game 7 Stanley Cup Final, Meadowlands, E. Rutherford, N.J.
The Devils win & hoist their 3rd Cup with another Martin Brodeur shutout.
MLB (tie): Yankees 6 Red Sox 5, 11 innings (2003) ALCS Game 7, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
The Aaron Boone HR Game. Never been inside a ballpark that was so completely nerved out. What’s funny is that I’m sure I was the only fan in the stadium who didn’t really care who won – but everyone else was cleaning out their diapers the whole game. Went to World Series Game 1 vs. the Marlins two nights later & the place was dead, still completely exhausted.
Braves 10 Mets 9, 11 innings (1999) NLCS Game 6, Turner Field, Atlanta
The Andruw Jones Walk-Off Walk Game. Given the fact that a Game 7 loomed after the Braves took a 3-0 series lead, the back-and-forth of this game was positively excruciating – a big lead blown, followed by 2 late comebacks, then the weird walk-off. But so many big moments from both sides made this one so memorable. All’s well that ends well.
I was at Game 4 of the 2021 WS, seated between 3B and LF, right near where Soler’s HR landed. We took my dad who had been ill and is a lifelong Braves fan. Once in a lifetime experience.
Shewmake is an old Scottish word that roughly translates to “Keith Lockhart.”
Just posted the recap for Friday’s game: https://bravesjournal.com/2023/05/06/os-9-braves-4-but-what-does-it-really-mean/
Seriously…enough of Grissom at short. It is unbelievable that they somehow considered him to have that role full time.
Anybody want to speculate wildly as to what’s going on with Fried?
I’m gonna guess that it’s blisters.
It turned out to be very much not a blister.
I’ve got a new off-day piece posted for discussion. And the answer to your question, Ryan, is 715.
I was there for Heyward’s Opening Day Home Run. That was the loudest I ever heard the Ted. And because its the only playoff win I’ve ever seen live, the Braves game 2 win in the 2013 NLDS against the Dodgers I have fond memories of.
That’s probably the best moments I saw live, Braves related. Now Ryan if you want to start a list of worst sporting moment, I have a few (Braves and non-Braves related). There’s quite a list.
In answer to Ryan’s question, it was game 4 of the 2021 World Series, when Soler and Dansby went back to back in the seventh to give the Braves the lead.
But how about a couple of losses as memorable–and even positive–memories. I was there for Bobby’s last two games, games 3 and 4 of the 2010 Division Series against the Giants. That was a special team, with many thrilling comeback wins over the course of the season, and the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Cox had announced his retirement, so everyone knew what was at stake. Anyway, game 3 was as loud as I ever hear the fans at Turner Field when Hinske hit the pinch hit go ahead home run in the 8th. Of course they blew the game in the 9th. Game 4 was especially poignant. Another 3-2 loss, but the ovation for Bobby after the game was very moving (it included the Giants players who came back out on the field).
If you want to discuss low points, I was there for the Infield Fly Wild Card game. Worst thing I’ve ever seen in person.
The best college football game I ever saw in person was the 2018 Rose Bowl, UGA overtime win over Oklahoma to advance to the national championship.
Fine. Anyone who wants to discuss the 1975 Yale-Dartmouth game should message me privately.
Those two playoff losses in 2010 I remember vividly. The Game 3 loss was probably the worst Braves experience I’ve ever had in person. I just felt dead walking out of the stadium. I just knew they’d lose game 4 after that, even though they held a 2-1 lead reasonably late in that game. It’s a toss-up for me whether the Ted was louder after the Hinske or Heyward homer, but those were good memories.
The infield fly rule game (2012) was another brutal loss. Plus the sheer ineptness of the game 1 loss to the Dodgers in 2013 I can never forgive. It’s like we never turned up that game.
My most crushing bad loss was in AFL, watching my team Carlton lose their last round game to their arch-rivals Collingwood by one point at the MCG last year. Collingwood kicked the last 4 goals of the game to win. That loss meant Carlton missed out on the playoffs, after being in the top 8 all season. I felt in a daze walking out of the stadium, it certainly took a while to get over it.
Before my “Braves-time”, my best memory was my Dad telling me on a Saturday morning in 1982 that I didn’t have to go to school that day as we were driving to see HSV (German football team from Hamburg – I was a die hard fan). The first time I would ever watch a game. I was ten and we were living on an island, so it was quite a travel to get to Hamburg. My team won 5-0 and it also is the best memory I have as a kid. My best Braves moment, besides the 3-0 Folty’s NLDS win over the Cards, was last season’s final weekend series sweeping the Mets. Truist was rocking and all the games were absolutely amazing.
JonathanF, question about the probability model you developed – is it independent of the playoff odds for the other teams in the division? In other words, does each team’s percentage to finish first collectively add to 100%?
In other words, if we’re 87% likely to finish first, does that mean the Phillies and Mets are each only about 5-8% likely? Or would that require a different model?
That requires a completely different model. Indeed, this “model” is about as much model as I am in my spare time. All it does it take Atlanta Braves history and fit a curve for the record after 35 games versus finishing first. It doesn’t adjust for the quality of competition, the number of teams in the division, or the presence or absence of Scott Thorman. It doesn’t even predict the number of games the Braves will win, much less how many wins would be required to finish first.
The model of the sort you’re suggesting (Fangraphs does it at https://www.fangraphs.com/standings/playoff-odds) predicts a probability distribution of wins at the end of the season and then convolves those distributions (I love that verb… nobody but mathematicians ever use it, though the adjectival form “convoluted” is used all the time) to get the probability of winning the division. Even so, the Fangraphs current number (92.7 percent to win the division) is certainly in the ballpark of my stupid little estimate.
Fried to the IL with a strained forearm. Bowman says no TJ (yet), but it’s not going to be a short trip, as he’ll have to wait for it to heal and then basically do a second ST building back up.
Combined with the fact that you can’t count on anything from Wright this season, AA has got to start examining the starting pitching market, no? Even if Elder is for real and Soroka can come back with some degree of effectiveness, that’s still only four starters. Shuster and Dodd have both looked unplayable.
Might be time to look at MadBum.
This could put a huge damper on Fried’s FA market. Looks like our SP on the farm is going to have to be accelerated. No more can we say we have excess SP to trade. MLBTR talks about using Winans and Gordon – that’s reaching. I sure would hate to have to sign Charlie to another $20M deal.
Other current FA SP include Archer, Minor, Pineda, Keuchel. MadBum is the youngest but Minor might be the best of the bunch.
The Orioles are the proof that you don’t have to have great SP to win. Without SP, you have to hit a ton and have a great bullpen.
Bravesword, all that and…oh yeah, Charlie Morton is 39.
Fried goes to 15-day IL with left forearm strain.
Should the Braves consider trading for Willson Contreras, who seems to have fallen out of favor in St. Louis?
Can he pitch?
What would Lucas Giolito cost?
Probably more than Fried’s other high school teammate
Actually, they just extended him, but as long as we’re thinking about going after various members of the St. Louis Cardinals, why not try to trade for Mikolas?
As far Bumgarner…
Okay, here’s a comparison to another guy who’s very nearly the same age.
Player A, through age 26: 1397 2/3 IP, 2.99 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 25 WAR
Player B, through age 26: 821 1/3 IP, 3.39 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 10.4 WAR
Player A, ages 27-33: 700 2/3 IP, 4.47 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 5.8 WAR
Player B, ages 27-32: 386 2/3 IP, 4.35 ERA, 5.08 FIP, 1.5 WAR (he also spent 140 IP in the minors and foreign leagues)
Player A is Madison Bumgarner. Player B is Julio Teheran, who is a year and a half younger. I’m quite sure he’d be available, and I’m quite sure I don’t want him. When a guy’s arm falls off, there ain’t a lot more to be said.
Oh I certainly agree that neither is desirable but it seems like either (MadBum being available and Teheran already having signed a minor league deal with the Padres) could eat some innings so as not to rush a prospect too soon. At least MadBum or Minor (or Keuchel) would be lefties to replace our only formal lefty starter. And any of the above would be cheap.
don’t like it. ugh.
Giolito is a more realistic target than he might seem, as he’s a pure rental, and those don’t bring in the returns they used to.
The issue with going outside the organization is that the list of teams who are both clearly out of it and have a quality pitcher they’re looking to flip is pretty short… in the NL, you’ve got the Nationals, Rockies, and Cardinals (who I am not convinced will actually sell) as the only really bad teams currently.
As for Bumgarner, he’s toast. I have no confidence whatsoever in Shuster or Dodd, but I’d still rather run one of them out there and hope the light bulb flickers on than poke at Bumgarner’s stiffening corpse.
I’d like to think that the Braves could have Smith-Shawver as a SP by season’s end. Pitching development in 2023 is nothing like it was in 2017 and guys that have 2 plus-plus pitches can survive as an SP and A.S.S. has two right now.
On Fried, Alex and I have been debating pitchers with TJ. Alex’s thought process was that TJ has essentially been a rite of passage. And while I agree with Alex (who has a higher intellect than my 4 best friends IQ added together), I thought it was important to put an * by Max Fried, as his TJS occurred when he was only 20 y/o. That’ has always scared me, especially when the “extend Fried” chat starts up. I think Fried is a monster pitcher, but it could also be true that, in terms of baseball, he’s only a monster for a short period of time because a 2nd TJS is often death’s kiss for pitchers.
Spencer Strider also had TJS in college. I’m not sure what you can say about TJS survivors. Some are even better than before and some end up with multiple surgeries (Brandon Beachy anyone? And Walker Buehler’s on his second. Ventors had three. How’s Kirby Yates doing?).
There’s pretty good history with single TJS survivors but not so much with multiple TJS.
We have a game thread.