September 12, 2010

Show #125: No Longer Atop the NL East

The re-emergence of Nate McLouth.  The decline of the starting pitching.  And following the team day to day.



85 Responses to “Show #125: No Longer Atop the NL East”

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  1. 51
    Ham Says:

    Wow – you guys are so negative. Where are the true Braves’ fans?

  2. 52
    Anonymous Says:

    The Braves on field play has murdered all of them.

  3. 53
    Curt Says:

    So the Phils are going to pitch Oswalt on 4 days rest this weekend to set up Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt for both Braves series (if necessary). Bobby’s response? Nothing. Status quo. Minor will get the middle game in Philly.

  4. 54
    Steve Says:

    Yeah – and JJ gets the first start in Philly.

    I’m frustrated by it too. But it ain’t the Bobby way. It’s like his crazy Sunday lineups – these guys are all professionals and they should be able to win, regardless of who we throw out there.

    The post season opportunity is slipping away. These games should be managed differently, like it’s the post season. But, Bobby doesn’t manage post season games differently, hence no change in the rotation.

  5. 55
    Bub Says:

    If I was actually watching/listening to these games all the way through, I would need prescription medication by now.

    I want to say, “Well, this is what we get with Bobby Cox, and it’s fitting for it to end this way instead of solidifying what’s already a false legacy…”

    However, this is Wren/Liberty’s doing as much as Bobby’s. Though, I have to take note of this, because, Curt if I remember it right, this kind of proves you wrong on one sentiment: some of this is owed to the sorry Atlanta attendance. You said (IIRC) “if we build it, they will come.” But the Braves were in first place for 3 months, and the Ted was half empty.

    If not for the unusual luck of graduating Hanson, Venters, Medlen, and Heyward in back to back years, AND getting a month of MVP play from the scrap heap (Glaus), this team would be nowhere. As it is, it’s still not enough.

    We don’t show up to games.
    We don’t spend money on talent.
    We aren’t managed well.

    And only one of those is going to change next year.

  6. 56
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    I just listened to the podcast.
    Well, you guys better get working on what you are going to do for 20 minutes a podcast once you don’t have Bobby to bash next year…

    As for what Bobby thinks and how he manages, EVERYTHING is based on a rather “pessimistic slant”. Yeah, right, Bobby just get lucky sometimes on his decisions… That’s how the Braves won 14 straight…

    Reminds me of Christoph saying to Truman “I’ve watched you your whole life. I know you better than you know yourself”. To which Truman replies “You NEVER had a camera in my head!”

    Do I think he is always right? No. Might not be the way I would manage if I were there. However, I am honest and realistic enough to know that he has probably FORGOTTEN more than I will ever know about baseball. For Hamilton and Curt to say that you are smarter than Bobby when it comes to baseball?!?!?!

    Podcaster please! The only thing that is a shame about that, is that you weren’t kidding!

    Nate’s play should show you how fine a line it is between doing well and not doing well in MLB. A small suggestion or two from Chipper and he is smacking the ball again. (Yet, of course, as has been your MO since I have been listening, you are waiting for him to fail).

    Lowe was doing pretty well against everyone else, but he was 0-9 against the Nats. He goes and talks to Roger for a little while, makes a small change in his approach and he dominates them.

    My guess as to why Bobby tends to stick with veterans: They have proven they can play. They know what it is like to have success at the major league level. They know they can play here.

    Rookies can have all sorts of issues: thinking they have to play better than what got them there, worrying about being sent back if they don’t perform, if they get off to a slow start is there something they need to change, etc. With veterans, they have success in the past to look back to (i.e. video from when they did well).

    The Jason Heyward interview. The pessimistic slant again (wow, you were fast to put a “beat down” on him).

    I think you hit it on the head Steve when you said he was guarded with the media. You have to know, if he said “Yes, it is feeling better” some journalist would have written that the reason he was having trouble earlier was his thumb – even though that isn’t what he said.

    What was he supposed to say? Most anything could be interpreted as him saying something he didn’t: “I am not going to use it as an excuse” – it contributed to my troubles, “It is not an issue” – it is better now or it was an issue before, etc. “ Irrevelent” just stops the conversation without any implications. (That first question may have made it wary about the rest of them, also).

    I think he has seen “hyped” guys hit the major leagues before and get themselves in trouble with their mouth. He plays the game the right way. He has had a couple of things (flipping the bat in front of the umps on outs he didn’t agree with), but overall he has been fine. If you look at the interviews after Braves’ games with JJ, you hear the same type of stuff. The attitude of “it isn’t about me, it is about the team” and there seems to be where he tries to go all the time. (IMHO)

  7. 57
    Bub Says:

    “[Bobby Cox] has probably FORGOTTEN more than I will ever know about baseball.”

    I’m afraid that’s the trouble.

  8. 58
    Bub Says:

    It’s an illusion that managers know more about the game than hard core fans. Of course they know more about some aspects, but they are actually at a disadvantage in some ways. They’re too close. This has been seen time and again.

    It’s not (just) arrogance that makes arm-chair fans think they know a shot better than a manager. Time after time after time after time we Braves fans have watched Bobby abuse bullpen arms, and known exactly when it would blow up, and sat by helplessly while it did indeed blow up.

    Chavez in the pen out of Spring Training and McLouth hitting lead-off were two Bobby choices almost universally damned by the fan base, and guess what? The fans were right and Bobby was dead wrong.

    Or if you want proof from something simpler: Bobby doesn’t know reverse splits. He’ll put in a LHP to face a lefty that has a reverse split 10 times a year. There’s no getting around this. These are the facts:

    1. The RHP that was in was doing fine. Cruising.
    2. The LHP that went in only went in to face the one LH batter.
    3. The LH batter had a reverse split.

    You can’t get around that. The fans knew it. Bobby didn’t. They’re not perfect just because they’ve been doing it a long time.

    And PLEASE don’t give me that about 14 straight division runs. Maddux. Smoltz. Glavine. Do you understand just how incredible that is? Name 3 hall of fame pitchers from any era. Go ahead, do it. Now imagine they all played on one team.

  9. 59
    Ham Says:

    Just for the record, Mark – we said we felt smarter about Bobby “in that particular situation” (the playing of McLouth). I don’t think for a second that I am a smarter baseball person than Bobby. There are just times . . .

    Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

  10. 60
    Bub Says:

    Now, if you people are going to be all balanced and friendly, I’m going home.

  11. 61
    Curt Says:

    Have no fear Bub. I’m still doing it.

  12. 62
    Nate Says:

    Yeah, if you guys did a show where all of you were completely optimistic and agreed on everything, then, wow, that just sounds boring. What team have these ABT naysayers been watching?

  13. 63
    Anne Says:

    Hey, you know what was great? Montreal and Quebec City. What’d I miss? When I left town, we were in 1st place…surely it can’t be all THAT bad…

    Joking – I know what’s up. Steve & Curt will be saddest to hear: I did NOT buy post-season tickets. Even though I’d get my money back…fool me once…

  14. 64
    Curt Says:

    A wise choice Anne. Unless you also had Giants tickets.

  15. 65
    Steve Says:

    I’m glad we’re firing people up. It’s not some contrived, manipulated move on our parts, so I’m happy for the dialogue. And, bottom line, it comes down to difference of opinion and one’s particular brand of fanaticism. These last few weeks (the team is 6 – 9 in September) have been tortuous to the three of us. But that’s our relationship to the team and how we follow them. There are lots of others out there who look at the standings and satisfied with where the team is and are sure a big turn around will start with the next game.

    Regarding Bobby, he’s polarizing. Not much more to say on that. But I will step off the high road for a minute and mention that on our mid-season show, where we discussed team MVP, we all discussed Bobby as deserving of the award.

  16. 66
    Steve Says:

    This is funny:

  17. 67
    Curt Says:

    To your point Bub, I am surprised that attendance wasn’t better. Not only were you in first place, you had the best home record in baseball. I know attendance was up this year, and I’m hoping that our playoff crowds will be huge.

    So I have no idea. I just can’t go with the “Atlanta fans suck” meme. I don’t believe that. Never will.

  18. 68
    Steve Says:

    Alright, people. It’s do or die time, here. Got to get off to a good start, take advantage of the woeful Mets and get some road-swagger going. It is time.

  19. 69
    Steve Says:

    LINE UP: Infante – 4 Heyward – 9 Prado – 5 Lee – 3 McCann – 2 Diaz – 7 Gonzalez – 6 Cabrera – 8 Hanson – 1

    I know it’s a lefty, but I kinda hate not having McLouth in there. And two seconds after writing that previous sentence, I was struck by lightning.

  20. 70
    Bub Says:

    I don’t think “Atlanta fans suck” either. (I really don’t think Americans are that different from region to region, and I’ve lived in quite a few of them). I’m just pointing to the fact that whatever weird confluence of traffic/ghetto/football/school/fan displacement/etc all equals out to a half empty field for a ball team, it doesn’t change much in Atlanta according to team performance.

    In the long run, which do you think is more likely true:

    a. If we build it, they will come, or

    b. If they come, we will build it.

    I think we can rule out “a” pretty well now. We built it. They watched it on tv. And without “a,” we can’t find the answer to “b.”

    In short, it’s not going to happen, period. The Ted isn’t going to become a regular sell-out ever. For three months, during a HOF coach’s swan song season, the Braves were in first place and playing ridiculously great at home, and the attendance showed modest increases over last year’s crapfest. Move the thing out of the ghetto or make it smaller. Something.

  21. 71
    Ham Says:

    Is it too early or too ridiculous to ask if Torre is contention for replacing Bobby. News out of LA is that Mattingly with replace him there next year. I remember hearing that Joe would probably not come back unless it was with the Dodgers, but you never know.

    Would we want him?

  22. 72
    Bub Says:

    In the clubhouse,

    Chipper: Bobby’s out!

    Bullpen in unison: HURRAYYYYY!

    Chipper: Torre’s in!

    Bullpen in unison: AWWWWWWW NAWWW!!!!

  23. 73
    Steve Says:

    #72 – Very funny.

    Ham, I realize it’s probably crazy, but I’m solely focused on Fredi. I want him here. This team is only getting younger. There’s a bunch of guys from Latin America. I realize that Joe’s forgotten more baseball than Fredi’s ever known, but I think Fredi’s the best man for the job.

  24. 74
    Curt Says:

    Amazing how many people have forgotten more baseball than others will ever know.

    Bub, I think diminishing the size of the park is a good start. It’s a big place and it hurts the team that they can pull in 40k and it looks empty. I know this will signal some sort of defeatism, but I think it’s the most logical solution. I think if you move the team to the suburbs you lose the spirit of the team. Baseball belongs in the city.

  25. 75
    Steve Says:

    What a great, great win tonight. While, of course, I’d rather Tommy had gone out and thrown 7 shut out innings, maybe it’s better in the end that we had to come back on the road to start this trip. I like it from a mental/momentum stand point.

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