Good show. Chipper should be PH. Conrad is WAY better fielding at Third and makes plays Chipper just cannot make anymore. He can earn his keep by being the face of the Braves and advisor of the youngsters. It’s like at the family reunion when great grandpa wakes up from his nap and reads, scratch that, tells the kids a story and then goes back to bed. That’s Chipper…he’s grandpa.
I’m excited to see if our bats show up tonight and if Lowedemort can impliment his brilliance into his pitching. GO BRAVES!
I hate that we get to the point with our icons where all we can do is hope they contribute some because moving them down in the order, benching them, or any other logical move is blocked by their 10-ton egos. I couldn’t believe it when it happened with Jamie Moyer last year. The gentlest gentleman of the game, at age 46 (then), stinking up the rotation for the defending world champs, and even he had to pitch a fit about feeling “betrayed” when he was asked to step aside. Honestly, that’s the most I’ve ever been shocked by a player ego.
I understand the temptation to feel you still have it in the face of all the evidence. But how can these guys watch it happen over and over again, and see how foolish it looks with other players, and not resolve themselves to avoid that kind of ending at all costs? They like fame, right? They like the roar of the crowd, don’t they? What about the fame that comes with being revered as classy by your fans? Can you imagine how loved Chipper Jones would be if he was saying, right now, “I’ll play any role that is helpful for the team. Bat me 8th, 9th, off the bench, wherever. The way Conrad is flashing the leather, the team needs him until his bat cools.” It would be off the charts. He’d be on the front of ESPN, S.I. for it. “A Different Kind of Player.” “The Toast of the Town.”
But instead, he’s got to join the uber-long rank and file of every other waning pro baseball player on the planet. Thinks he’s still got more in the tank than he does. Puts the fans and the manager in a tough spot. Just can’t stomach the obvious. A long and brilliant career just isn’t enough to satisfy.
Well, I hope he produces, because he’s obviously going to be in there.
I realize I did this a while back, but this time is for real …
ABT Get Together at the Ted is happening!, June 1st (3 weeks and 1 day). It’s a 7:10 start against the Phillies. I know that the Princess, Anne, Curt and I will be attending. Anyone else going to join us? Please send me a note at email@example.com so that we can finish up all the planning via email. Thanks.
I think Infante should play 2nd and Prado 3rd. Chipper is now the weak point in our lineup. Escobar should be allowed time to get it together. I think that management really does view Yunel as the starting SS for the next 5 or more years. That, to me, is the reason they dealt Renteria. Yunel is off to a bad start, and he is getting berated by fans because he does play with a lackadaisical approach 50% of the time. To me, he is the ultimate example of Braves coaches not being able to reach a player with a lot of talent. From the first time he started playing, I think it was 2007, I thought he had potential to be a super star. Something has gone wrong. I blame the coaches, not the guy who escaped Cuba on a raft. I don’t know how they expect to develop raw talent like that Salcedo kid they signed over the winter when they have obviously floundered in Escobar’s development. Escobar will be a great player, but it might have to be with another team. He was our best player last year, and now no one seems to want him on the team. Why is that? He is not the only guy making base running errors or other mental errors. Chipper and Infante have both been picked off second to kill innings this year. Melky forgot to throw to the plate. I’m sure we can come up with a laundry list of fundamental baseball mistakes the Braves have made in under 40 games. It just seems like when Yunel does it he gets more criticism. I don’t get it. I think if the Braves make the playoffs Yunel will be a key figure in them getting there. If you get rid of him and start Infante, then the whole team is weaker. Infante needs to be a fill-in guy. Eventually Chipper is going to get hurt, and Infante will be starting again. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a LF platoon of Hinske/Infante. Melky blows and deserves no more starts. Tim Hudson would be a better option to play OF than Melky. Hudson did play OF at Auburn. Did anyone notice how freely the D’Backs were running on BMac this weekend? They are one of the worst running teams in the league, but they didn’t hesitate to run on the Braves with McCann back there. Nobody got on yesterday, so we don’t know if the same would be true for Ross. When the Rays play the Braves in June, they might set a record for SBs in a game.
Yunel didn’t play for like 2 weeks, and I think he still got more hits than Chipper this weekend. Could be wrong on that, but I don’t remember Chipper getting a hit Saturday or Sunday. I don’t care if he hit the ball hard. I’m pretty sure an out is an out. Yunel can get walks too, so can a lot of Major Leaguers other than Chipper Jones. The walk has become the new double for the Braves. No wonder they suck at scoring runs when they don’t play the awful teams. All those walks and singles don’t really amount to much.
McOut, in no way am I singling Escobar out more than anyone else. In the past, I have defended him to great length. I think he is pivotal to this whole operation, in fact I think the first question that needs to be asked to anyone they consider hiring for this managerial job is ‘how do you handle Escobar?’ I was amazed that they were talking about trading him in the Peavy deal.
I just think that if he is not producing right now we need to see more of Infante. He should be sat the same as Chipper or any other guy out there not pulling his weight.
Let’s face it – BC is not a fundamentals type of coach. He doesn’t hammer it home and he doesn’t berate. He essentially expects you to show up and do your job, and if you are a major league player, you should know how to do that. That’s why we all found his public “coaching” of the Kid so unsettling a few weeks back. It is just not like him. But, McOut, like you say (and like Curt has been saying for some time), this team is lousy with evidence of the lack of fundamentals. And I don’t think there is anyone on the team that holds everyone to a higher standard. It will be very interesting to see how the regime changes things next year.
Curt, fair enough. I think I got defensive of Yunel in the same way Bub did for McCann last week. Agreed about the new coaching staff next year. I think the Braves should look into hiring a latino head coach, especially given the fact that most of their young prospects are from spanish-speaking countries. Maybe Ozzie Guillen gets fired? He might not be a great fit for a team in a largely-conservative community, but a guy like Ozzie won’t put up with Yunel’s crap. He would also be able to communicate that to Yunel first-hand. Has Omar Vizquel retired yet? I don’t think so, but he’s gotta be close. It doesn’t have to be Omar, but a guy like him would be best. Speaks spanish fluently if not as first language, relatively young, and a guy who is impeccable with fundamentals. IMO, the ability to speak spanish is a must for any major league manager these days. That’s also why I fear Eddie Perez might be the inevitable worst hire in Atlanta sports history, which says a lot.
Bobby obviously doesn’t read blogs if he asked why no one had suggested starting Hinske sooner…. How Bobby didn’t think of it sooner is still the better question, as you guys aptly pointed out in the show. I think it might have been Steve on that one. BTW, great show! I was too busy defending Yunel to say it sooner.
I wish we had like 6 Infantes. That way, when we they start like this, you can just sub 2/3 of the lineup out. It would be like what Calipari does in basketball games when his teams start out struggling. I used to live in Memphis, and that’s the thing I liked most about him. When a team was struggling he would take them all out.
Escobar looks awful. I feel like a fool for defending him earlier. He appears to have no idea of what he’s going to do when he gets up there. Just hacking. Looks like Melky right now. Escobar needs to turn it around quick!
here here Jess. Moylan makes me nervous these days. I used to love to see him come out of the pen but now…I don’t know. A little apprehensive these days about Pete. I would be a terrible manager. You don’t play perfectly you’re riding the pine.
If this stands we’re like 3-10 against the NL East. Yes I’d say we’ve earned last place in the division. Santana tomorrow. Not good. can’t play Brewers, Astros, and D’Backs every series. These guys have to start hitting good pitching. I don’t think this one is all on Escobar.
Pretty sad when you can’t expect to get anything from your 3 and 4 hitters. Bobby has to move some guys around again. McCann just looks lost. And Escobar is trying to pull everyting. That double play he hit into. He goes the other way and we are tied. Disappointing evening so far.
Curt, the sad thing is that, with Santana being a lefty, the only change we’ll probably see tomorrow is Hinske going to the bench. Maybe it means Infante plays LF, maybe it means Melky plays LF, who knows? The black hole positioned 3rd and 4th in our order is getting really annoying.
Continually having two of your worst hitters hit 3 and 4 is the driving force to this team not making the playoffs. Wouldn’t you of rather seen Hinske in those situations in the 8th than Chipper and Mac. At least Chipper walked a couple times and got to show-off his warning track power. Yeah, Chipper, that’s what a 3 hitter is supposed to do…
No hits when you needed them. It’s that simple. Your runs were a double and two sack flies and a solo homer. 3 HIDP. That awful 8th. Here you go against the 6th best pitching staff in the NL. And as McOut points out 0-4 against the Mets, 3-10 against the NL East, and we get Santana tomorrow.
Chipper has 0 power. That sac fly he hit, 3 years ago he buries that ball in the stands. It was a fat pitch. He just doesn’t have the power and Bobby really hurts us with Chipper and McCann crippling the middle of our lineup.
Curt, “No hits when you need them. It’s that simple.” Amen, brother. Escobar used to be the guy in those situations last year but not this year. If Hinske isn’t in the lineup tomorrow, then I’m not listening. I live in Tampa, so I can’t watch. It’s sad that it’s May and I’m already looking forward to the offseason when Cox is gone and we maybe sign Carl Crawford or Werth. If I were Frank Wren I would pay Carl Crawford whatever it takes. The guy is a baseball player, and the Braves don’t appear to have many of those.
My first loss at Turner Field this season. And this one hurt. Lots of opportunities in the 8th and 9th. Dammit. We really let that one get away. But, I’ll say, aside from the two run inning when Lowe was taking 5 minutes between pitches and looking really out of sorts, it was a solid start from him. 7 innings, 3 runs. I’ll take it. He and Hinske. Good Lord, the baseball must look like a beach ball to him right now.
First press pass of the season tomorrow. And I just got a note from the PR person saying that Heyward is booked all afternoon with scheduled interviews and will not be available. And, college girls love him.
In an effort to further push myself into the category of most hated ABT host, I’m afraid I am not going to make it to ABT day at the park. My family is going on summer vacation during the week of Memorial Day and we will be in SC on June 1. I’m really disappointed that I will not be there and I hope that if we can not reschedule, maybe we can reconvene at another game later in the summer. Hope you guys can mange to have fun at the game without me.
Chipper, I can’t say playing beyond tomorrow should happen.
Braves Best Lineup:
1. Infante 2B
2. Prado 3B
3. Hinske LF
4. Glaus 1B
5. Heyward RF
6. Escobar SS
7. McCan’t C
8. McOut CF
*Get Hinske more ABs! Get Infante in the lineup! Prado is the bomb! I still think Heyward is best suited for 5 right now. If Escobar continues to suck, then take him out and put Infante at SS, Prado at 2nd, and Conrad at 3rd batting 7 or 8 behind McCan’t. McCan’t cannot keep blowing it in clutch situations if this team is going to win. I would much rather see Hinske and Glaus hit 3 and 4 than Mac and Chipper- If you had told me in Spring Training that I would think that by May, then I would of told you we’re probably going to finish in last place. McCann and Chipper are offensive and defensive liabilities. It is mid-May, I think we have a pretty good sample size of what kind of year it’s going to be…..
Hanley’s effort makes Yunel look like Brooks Conrad. I watched parts of the Mets vs Marlins on Saturday and Sunday. Hanley hit a double in one of those games and pretty much walked to 2nd after he got half way around first. It ended up being a relatively close play at 2nd on what should have been a stand up double, which I guess it technically still was. That guy is a total ego-maniac, and my guess is that Yunel suffers from the same disease at times. It has always struck me as being odd when Yunel does this because he’s never hit over 20 HRs, 100 RBIs, or batted .342 in a season like Hanley. Hanley is a great player, but he is obviously a bad mix on that team. I really hope Yunel starts playing more like Prado and less like a poor man’s Hanley Ramirez.
Mara, I agree with you that Infante should start everyday. We need the dynamic Venezuelan duo at the top of the order. I watched a highlight of Prado’s game winner on Friday. His boy Infante hands him the ball in the dugout, but Infante looks so sad after scoring the winning run because I think he knew it would be his last start for a while with Escobar coming back the next day. After seeing his sadness, I am convinced he wants to play more than anyone except Prado, Hinske, and Heyward. That’s why all 4 should never leave the field unless they cannot physically play.
I need to hunt down a clip. I wanna see so I can rejooice in another team’s struggles. If BubDylan wasn’t too busy watching the DEVIL Rays (that’s right, I said it) I’d ask him to do it but…*sigh* such is life.
With the lefty Santana going tonight, does Bobby sit Hinske in favor of Melky? I think it’s a real possiblity. A line up with no Hinske or Infante. I hope I’m wrong. And who’d of thought, by the way, that we’d be so vigorously clamoring for Hinske and Infante on a regular basis.
If you WERE watching, “Mara,” I will be wearing green. …but I’ll be in sunglasses incognito-like until the sun goes down. 1st base side, Plaza Level above the Braves logo “A” on top of the dugout. AND I’m bringing the boyfriend. (The REAL one, Steve & Ballpark Frank) This is the last thing he wants to do for our anniversary, but I’m bribing him with beer & bratwurst. Who wouldn’t love me?? Oh, and I don’t want to watch, either, but the tickets are paid for. So…GO BRAVES!!
Bub – seeing your name reminds me. Am a month behind in listening to Bob Edwards Weekend podcasts…just heard one with Jakob Dylan today. Your “son” is pretty great. Is it blasphemy to say I like him more than his dad? His real dad…not you.
Anne, Jakob’s got a better voice. And a more pleasing persona (sp?). Dylan’s the Master of the Songwriting Universe, but most ladies don’t care for him. Besides the voice, he’s a jerk. I wrote a paper calling “Like a Rolling Stone” the most hateful #1 song of all time. (I know it isn’t obvious at first glance, but take my word for it. I’m a genius.) But guys forgive Dylan’s arsehole side quicker than women, usually.
So, no, you’re not blaspheming to like him more. If you call him a better songwriter, I’ll be sending out some prayers of pity for the fellow beside the woman in green.
The linup is Prado, Heyward, Jones, Glaus, McCan’t, Hinske, Yusmell, McOut, Meds. DOB posted it a little while ago. There was a nightmare lineup post earlier on ajc. I like Medlen’s chances tonight against the Mets. The Braves somehow always manage to get Santana.
With New York (19-20) mired in a five-game losing streak, Wilpon met with manager Jerry Manuel, general manager Omar Minaya and assistant general manager John Ricco prior to the opener of this two-game set. Manuel said it was “a good baseball meeting” to discuss “our plan going forward.”
“I didn’t come here to fire anybody, guys. Sorry,” Wilpon said.
The Mets went on to win for the second time in nine games, beating the Braves 3-2 on Monday night. New York moved out of last place in the NL East, a half-game ahead of Atlanta (18-20).
I’m going against my original plan and listening. I still can’t believe Melky is paying in front of Infante and Hinske. For some reason the Braves manager thinks it’s a good idea to bench 2 of his 3 hitters who are hitting over .300. Maybe he’s on to something. I’m confused.
Sorry, princess. Don’t believe we’re going anywhere this year. Jurrjens, Lowe, KK, McCann, Chipper, Bobby Cox… that’s a ton to overcome. The Wild Card is a tough get, too, with the whole NL East playing around .500, they’ll slug each other the death. The Nats are for real, and about to get better.
Meanwhile the bottom of the central division is so, so awful. The Reds should take the WC, or somebody from the West.
But I do believe Meds is good. And the Braves should be right there next year. Man, I hope we hang on to Ross at all costs.
Future Rotation: Hanson, JJ, Medlen, Minor, Teheran. Pretty sick. Vizcaino and Delgado are pretty good, too. Plus, you got Marek and Dunn as relievers, and Chris Masters and Chris Resop are pitching well, too. The Braves have a lot of good, young pitching.
Bub, did you see (hear) us win? I know we’re not a great team but “IF” McCann and Escobar figure it out it’s possible. I know it’s slim, but it’s possible for us to put together enough wins to at least contend for the WC? You know…if Chipper gets hurt…a lot.
I like our chances tomorrow against Harang. The Reds are on fire. They had a walk-off win, too. Should be a couple of good games. Hinske should play in both because Harang and Leake are both righties. Absolutely absurd that he didn’t play today. You can play Melky, but you have to sit McOut when you do. That should be a law. Melky’s played a lot of center in his career, and having him and Nate in the lineup is brutal. He puts together these terrible 5-8′s in the order and then we struggle. Those two things are not coincidences. We got lucky. The Mets gave that one away. Can Infante really not play center? He’s pretty fast and generally a solid fielder.
I looked at stats before the game to see Hinske’s splits against lefties vs. Cabrera’s. Because it is Bobby and his stupid ‘book.’ Hinske has 4 ABs against lefties and is 1-4 with 2 Ks. In 39 ABs, Cabrera has 5 hits. That’s .128. So beyond any other argument, and it has been stated over and over, how the hell is Hinske not in there every game? It’s mathematically brutal. Even against lefties he is so much more a viable option than Melky. Screw getting the guy some playing time.
I would just like to add, because I am watching SportsCenter right now, I hate Stewart Scott as much or more than any human being who has ever been on TV. He is cartoonishly awful. A hack of epic proportions. ESPN is apt to have some real tool bags on their network but he takes the cake. And the fact that I have been on the phone with him and he is a raging jerk in person. I just can hardly keep my TV on with him on there. He makes Chris Berman look like Walter Cronkite.
He was a spokesman for this eBay project I managed. It was some college sports memorabilia deal. So he had been hired by eBay to promote this promotion they were having and we were booking him interviews on radio stations across the country. He charged eBay like 100k to do this and then kept switching days he wanted to do it, which the radio stations loved because they were committed to a time and he kept moving it. On top of the fact that no one wanted to talk to him anyway. I mean, it’s Stewart Scott. Who cares? So he finally commits to a day and he is just a tool the whole morning. I’ve been on the phone with plenty of famous people, none as vain as him, except maybe the American Choppers guys. Over the couse of the morning I heard him suggest that when he was doing a piece where he was going through the Jets preseason camps, that he was such a good WR that they contemplated SIGNING HIM. And that he was a peer of Michael Jordan’s. It was truly hysterical. Such a clown.
Great quote from Medlen about Frenchy:
“I struggle with those kind of guys,” Medlen said of Francoeur, who snapped an 0-for-20 skid. “He doesn’t really have, like, an approach. He just goes up there hacking. Like Pablo Sandoval in San Francisco, he swings at everything.”
Steve – re: Tweet from last night about the organist…that guy goes way out on a limb with some of those tunes, and could go so much farther. “Proud Mary” for Ike Davis, for example…I was really hoping for “I[ke] Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)”
Diaz surgery…whew! “Everything went good,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox prior to Wednesday night’s series opener with the Cincinnati Reds at Turner
Field. “It’s gonna be a while [until he comes back], at least a month.”
Dumb Girl Question…and it’s a two-parter: (1) He was in uniform in the dugout on Tuesday but already on the DL. Why not start the DL time clock the following day? (2) …and if it’s going to be a month, why is he on the 15-day DL, not 30-day?
Didn’t get to watch (listen) to the game last night, but I just watched the highlights of Heyward’s double like 900 times. 20. UNBELIEVABLE. Hudson said they needed to take 3 of 4 from Cincy and Mets. Let’s see it.
Tommy Hanson is throwing awful today. Two not-so-good starts in a row for Big Red. His control is terrible. He is behind in every count to every hitter. Almost 50 pitches, and we’re not even through the 2nd. Offense is going to have to pick him up today.
8 runs… He is done. Here comes Chavez. Wow. Almost doubled his ERA in two starts. What’s the deal? Hamburglar gets better, but now Hanson catches the suck virus that constantly plagues this team. They really are just a .500 team. If you can only play .500 ball against the Reds and Mets, then next month’s schedule is going to eat the Braves alive.
How many times over the past few years would the Braves have quit after the 2nd inning, down 8 runs. What a game. What unbelievable momentum heading to Pittsburgh now. I’m really speechless. On a side note, there’s a strange thrill watching that kind of thing unfold on Gameday. Seeing the pitch “in play” but then having to wait to see what happened. What a game!
Mara, I looked at the wild card teams ahead of the Braves last night again and there are a lot of teams who have as many question marks (or more) as Atlanta. So, I don’t know if that constitutes a spark or not.
But I couldn’t feel grumpy at the Braves today even if they were the worst team in the majors. That’s a game you keep with you forever. When we remember Conrad, it’ll be for this moment, like other non-greats that we’ll never forget: Willie Harris and his catch, Bream’s slide, Francisco Cabrera for the same play, Otis Nixon’s catch, etc. To be down exactly three in the bottom of the ninth and hit a grand slam: how often does it happen? And after already scoring the three you need to get in position that same inning? Brooks Conrad’s entire scrappy career glorified in one play today. Amazing.
And one of the great things about baseball: in the NBA if you’re down 20 with three minutes to play, it’s over. In football, down 21 with 2 minutes, it’s over. But if you’ve got one of the worst offenses in baseball and you’re down 6 with 3 outs left? Game not over. Good day to be a ballfan.
I love watching J-Hey bear hug Conrad at the end! All you see is his little white bald head. I love how Jason was as excited today with the win as he was yesterday. I freakin love that Chipper was pulled and that Conrad got a scouting report from him before he stepped up to the plate. My phone died when the count was 2-2 and I ran upstairs. By the time I got it plugged in the game had ended and I assumed a DP. Then I saw the score and went beserk. I’ve watched the replay over and over. I guess now I should start supper. Go Braves!!!!
Oh, Mara, Lord help you if you need that from the most neurotic sports fan in the world on a day like this one. But I wouldn’t deny you a warm fuzzy if I can help it: It’s a good day to be a Braves fan.
I love how our team is playing. I wish we hadn’t split the series w/ the Mets…but I hate Ohio teams w/ a passion (ALL of them, no exceptions). I LOVED that we walked off BOTH games to take the series! The only one I’m concerned about coming around is Escobar. I’m not so worried about the other guys. Lowe is showing signs of improvement as is KK. Medlen is very dependable. He’ll be in our rotation the next time a full-time spot opens up…he’s earned it. It’s also nice to see Chavez right the ship & stop the bleeding. We gotta remember how well our young pen did for us today too.
IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO BE A BRAVES FAN!!!!! GO BRAVES!!!
I finally will be going to my first Braves game since the TED opened in ’96. It will be Bobby Cox night when we face off against the Philthies (I think)…Peace everyone!!!
Wanna have some fun? Listen to the Reds broadcaster calling the game today. He thought Nix caught the ball and said “He caught the ball…oh I’m sorry. Grandslam home run by the pinch hitter Brooks Conrad.” I would hunt him down were I a Reds fan.
Still can’t believe it. OMG! Brooks Conrad! Three great wins in a row for the team. Keep it up guys. Steve, I agree. Former Braves teams would have called after the 2nd inning. These guys are different. What an exciting home stand, minus Monday and Saturday. I’m glad they were able to pick up Hanson. He deserved it. He’s been nothing short of stellar since he’s been in the big leagues. Today he probably has his worst outing, and the team still won.
“I’ve been to 2 rodeos and 3 goat roapins’, but I’ve never seen anything like that!” Braves Announcer Joe Simpson on Brooks Conrad’s walk-off grand slam.
Kind of makes you wonder what they did after they got the rope around the goat. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not from Oklahoma.
I’m thankful I have to listen to it on radio every time I hear they’re commentary on the highlights. The radio guys get pretty blah at times, but nothing can be as painful as Joe Simpson. That Summer of 2008 was brutal when the team absolutely sucked, and you had to endure Joe, too.
Some tool got hold of my bank card number and made three purchases… got caught on the third one. Now, get this: the first two were for 27.99 and 16.99. So I’ve at least temporarily lost 40 something dollars. What a world. At least they didn’t drain my account. What fool risks jail for that kind amount, though?
Be careful out there. I’m withdrawing my money and putting it in a damn jar under the bed. The world’s gone crazy. I am VERY careful with my card. I’m infuriated. I’m way to freaking poor to be robbed.
and if the purchases are for ABT shirt and a coffee mug…gotta be Curtis. Just sayin. He borrowed my Iron Maiden T-shirt in 1987 and I never got it back…my fave one that showed off my muscles and armpits…
I still have Will’s t-shirt and wear it proudly. Run to the Hills.
Hope they catch the culprit Bub. We had close to $2k stolen out of our account a few years ago, all on purchases like that. The person went to a grocery store and would buy something and get $50 cash back. They did it 20-30 times in a span of a few hours. I had to ask the back officials why no red flags were raised as this person was stealing all this money. Crazy. People suck.
Bub, I’ve been there, too, man. It says a lot about our society that like 4 of us on this blog have gone through similar situations. I feel your pain and am sorry man. “Some people just suck,” possibly the best advice my mom ever gave me.
Steve- love the picture of Kimbrel and his backpack. That is hilarious.
Wouldn’t normally do this, but here’s the INSIDER article on the Grand Slam. Feel free to delete if you think it should be on the site:
Brooks Conrad wanted a brief scouting report on Francisco Cordero as he prepared to pinch hit in the ninth inning Thursday. So as the switch-hitter went back to the dugout to get his left-handed equipment after the Reds changed from left-hander Arthur Rhodes to the right-handed Cordero for Conrad’s at-bat, he asked Chipper Jones what to expect.
Jones gave him a little rundown of Cordero’s stuff, and gave him a simple suggestion: Make him throw strikes, Chipper said. Conrad was absorbed by all this, in this moment. Bases loaded, the Braves down three runs, after being down by six to start the bottom of the ninth, and Conrad wanted to move the inning along.
He walked to the plate, and home plate umpire Lance Barksdale dusted off home and said something to Conrad that he didn’t immediately understand. Then Ramon Hernandez chimed in, as well: Conrad had forgotten to change his helmet, to bat left-handed.
“I tossed it over [toward the dugout], and I had to move past that embarrassment,” Conrad said Thursday evening, chuckling over the phone.
Did he ever; what followed was one of those moments that we’ll remember long after the season.
What led up to that has been years of work, years of perseverance. Brooks Conrad was an eighth-round pick of the Houston Astros in 2001, and he would have about 4,000 at-bats in the minors before seeing a pitch in the major leagues. He got to know Round Rock, Texas, very well, probably much more than he would’ve liked — he played Double-A there for the Express in 2004, and remained there after the franchise moved up to Triple-A, for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Conrad says he never thought about quitting, about finding a new profession. “I love to play the game,” he said. “I wasn’t about to go and do something else. … I never had that attitude.”
What he hoped for was a better opportunity in another organization, and he signed with the Oakland Athletics before the 2008 season — and for the fourth consecutive year, he hit 20-plus homers in the minors. At age 28, Conrad got his first shot in the big leagues, with the Athletics.
He signed a minor league contract with the Braves before the 2009 season. “We liked his versatility, and the fact that he was a switch-hitter with power,” recalled Braves GM Frank Wren, through e-mail. “He’s a gamer with a great attitude.”
As Conrad shifted into a support role for the Braves, he asked questions of others, like Greg Norton, about being a pinch hitter, about how to prepare for a moment that he found himself in on Thursday afternoon, in Turner Field.
Cordero threw a strike, and Conrad dropped the head of his bat, smashing the ball squarely, toward left field. Off the bat, he thought his long drive had a chance to clear the fence in left field … and then saw Reds left fielder Laynce Nix close on the ball, reach out for it.
“I thought he caught it,” Conrad said. “I kind of turned.”
He looked away, and what he did not see was that the ball had glanced off Nix’s glove and bounced over the wall, for a grand slam. Not knowing what had transpired behind him, Conrad lifted his hands over his head with some exasperation — and that was the moment when he saw the fans going crazy, and his teammates running out of the dugout.
And then Conrad went crazy, too. It was the No. 1 moment in Conrad’s career, for sure, he said. “It’s a really cool feeling to get up there in a pinch-hit situation,” he said, “and make the most of an opportunity like that.”
Careful Bub…he’s mine. Cracks me up when a pitcher is running the bases. Huddy totally ran out of the base line to avoid any sort of contact with 2nd baseman. Makes sense but looks comical like the tiny kid in little league who doesn’t want to get hurt.
lol, the Pirates post game show. They can NOT get over 1992. Every single time I listen to a Braves/Pirates game on Pirates radio, they talk about it for at least 10 minutes. Right now Van Slyke is giving a talk on it right now. Apparently we were the moment that destroyed their entire city.
I actually just bought this movie and watched it. This was the WORST movie I have ever seen. So, so bad. If you like that shaking-your-head-and-smiling sensation of a truly awful movie, this might be for you. Starring Debbie Gibson. Yup, THE Debbie Gibson.
Those are the movies that are so bad that you almost have to watch them. I have always loved bad movies. Like really bad. That one might have to be tracked down. The shark jumping out of the ocean biting the aircraft was probably the selling point for me. That movie looks like it makes Lake Placid look like Citizen Cane, if that makes any sense.
That’s also probably why Roadhouse is one of my favorite movies of all time, and why my dog is thus named Dalton. I tell friends I named him after my mom’s hometown, and they believe me. As if any self-respecting man would name his dog after something like that corny…No, he got his name from a fictional roundhouse-kicking bouncer aptly portrayed by one Patrick Swayze. God bless you Patrick Swayze, wherever you may be. I, for one, will miss you, and all the countless hours of entertainment you gave me. Red Dawn, Point Break, Black Dog, they’re all good. In Point Break you even have the almighty acting trilogy of Swayze, Keanu Reevees, and Gary Busey. Could there be anything in the universe more outstanding than that casting job? There is. Roadhouse. With a script and cast that trumps all B movies. Roadhouse 2 with Jake Busey was nowhere near as good. GO BRAVES!
Well, he’s not that great either. Zach Dukes I mean. Be nice to take care of business tonight, though. Normally don’t say we need a sweep, but a 9 game losing streak calls for some serious reversal. Need a sweep. Interleague coming.
Braves win!!!! Let’s sweep tomorrow! Gotta try to sleep so I’m not too crabby tomorrow morning. Plus right now I feel like I’ve been smoking my namesake. Who knows what craziness I might type. In case you didn’t know…this site has no delete button. Once you submit…too late.
If you had to guess, how many instances of three-days-in-a-row has Bobby used the bullpen? Would you believe that between Moylan, Meds, Wagner, Saito, EOF, and Messy Jesse, he’s only done it twice? Moylan once and Saito once. Saito got blistered in his third straight outing, so hopefully that doesn’t get repeated.
But over all I thought that was pretty good, considering the starters have been leaving the BP plenty of innings to pitch.
Wow, worst line up possible for Pittsburgh’s ace. Doesn’t make much sense. I know it’s Pittsburgh, but come on. I wonder if Medlen was as disappointed as I was when he saw the line up. I’ve said it before, the man knows how to put together a terrible looking 5-8 in the order. At least no Chipper and BMac, but Yunel and Melky 5 and 6 seems like automatic rally killers. Hinske should play everyday on the Braves but for some reason he doesn’t. Oh wait, there is a reason he doesn’t play everyday. It’s name is Bobby Cox. Go Braves!
Really funny stuff from DOB about the less than stellar lineup. This is my favorite: “This just in from Elias Sports Bureau: Board of directors has met and determined that Kris Medlen will be awarded either two wins or no loss today, depending upon outcome.”
I like that Clevlen kid. I was just checking out the Hinske amazing play Bub posted…he really did save yesterday’s game with that play. It seems like Lowedemort can’t right himself once he stumbles and Hinske kept him from falling off the cliff. Awesome play.
I hated losing today’s game & avoiding the sweep, I hope we can keep taking series’ on the road, we seem to be fine at home (except against division rivals). Hopefully now that the offense is clicking more, & apart from Escobar; all seems well. It looks like J-Hey’s got a thumb or finger problem…I’d like to see him light up the Fish’s pitching staff. I look forward to this week’s show…Peace all!
We didn’t lose ground on any team in front of us in either race. (Can’t believe I’m discussing this. We’re gonna get killed by Florida, but nevermind, I was saying…) Cincinatti, L.A., and Philly all lost. Kind of weird to think there are only three teams above us between both races.
Teams behind us, namely the Fish, did gain on us, but all in all, any time you lose a game and the sentiment is more “we could have gained” instead of “now the hole is deepening,” it takes a little sting out.
We gonna get destroyed during KK’s game in FLA. MUST win the other two. I’d give anything for the our first game pitcher not to be Ketchup Crap-a-Collie. Florida is feeling pretty great right now. Hard to slam the breaks on that momentum without dominant pitching.