Conrad: the little engine that could. For a minute. Before the wheels jammed up and derailed the little engine who went careening down the mountain side where it smashed into a school and killed all the children and set the town on fire.
wow – there goes Mo. In a big way.
I don’t know what the solution to this is, but it has to be something that doesn’t include Conrad, right? He has done very little at the plate and a whole lot of pooping in the field. Must stop. I am sure he is likable, but so is Steve. And I do not want Steve playing second base. Although at this point, it might be a better option.
What makes it so awful is that Brooks is a marginal player already. This is almost definitely the end of his major league career. It’s not like when Uggla got the yips in the all star game. This will be his baseball story for his entire life: clutch heroics from a Hollywood script during the regular season, and then the Coen Brothers took over the writing for the playoffs.
Hell, I think I’m about to write him a fan letter of support or something. I honestly feel *almost* as bad for Conrad as I do about the game being lost.
Heading into the top of the ninth inning, the Braves held a one-run lead. Conrad had been charged with two errors already, plus another in Game 1. Leaving sentiment aside, was there a good reason to not replace Conrad with Hernandez? For just one inning? And if Hernandez isn’t markedly better with the glove than Conrad, then why don’t the Braves have someone who is? It’s not like the entire baseball world doesn’t know that Conrad’s all bat and no glove.
If the Giants had lost Game 3, the goats would have been Sergio Romo and Bruce Bochy (for using Romo). But the Braves lost, so instead Brooks Conrad gets to wear the goat horns.
I can’t help thinking, though, that we should save one of those horns for Bobby Cox. Because Brooks Conrad shouldn’t have been on the field when all the bad stuff happened.
As Scott has said several times, apparently there is a reason he only made the majors when he was 30. A brutal turn of events tonight. As raucous and loud as I have ever heard a Braves game, and after the Hinske homer the place was exploding. Just so disappointed right now I can’t stand it. And all these ‘experts’ keep saying that Conrad stays in there tomorrow. Not sure how that is possible, even with the limited options we have. There has to be another option. Diory at 3rd, Infante at 2nd? Anything. I’m really just stunned. The Braves found every way they could to quiet 55k people.
Conrad really better start. He has too.
What are your other options? Glaus? Hernandez? Hinske?
Why Glaus wont work:
Glaus has had two shoulder surgeries and suffered from foot issues in 2007 and knee fatigue only a month or two ago. His body is unfit for playing the field especially at such a reaction based and lateral position like the hot corner. Not to mention he has started 2 games since Aug 17 and has not started at third regularly since 2008. You all know better than anyone that each position change takes an adjustment.
One might argue that Glaus could bring something to the plate. Well, thats not likely imao. He batted .330 in May (.210 in every other month), has hit 2 HRs since June 20th and 16 RBI since June 20th as well. Sure his postseason numbers are staggering, but he hasnt been there since 2004. He’s a different player and he would be a downgrade from Conrad.
Why Hernandez wont work:
Hernandez from a defensive standpoint is very, very athletically capable. However, hes played a mere 11 games at 2nd base since 2008 (4 in the mlb only one of them was a start which was in 2009). He also hasnt regularly played since Aug 1st.
As for Hernandez with the bat, its abismal. He has had 10 PA in the mlb this year with 1 Hit (A HR granted) but his most recent being September 9th (A strikeout). Hernandez would be an automatic out, no way around it.
Why Hinske wont work:
His bat is great. Fantastic, clutch. (see last night).
The man has played 1 inning of third base this year. You cannot put a guy with all kinds of rust at a position he might as well have not played all year and not with regularity since 2004 (his rookie year).
As an overall summary, Conrad is our best option. He is dealing with a SEVERE mental block but he has a better chance of overcoming that than glaus does physically, hernandez does at the plate or the field, and hinske at third. Conrad is the last guy I want to do this job, but hes really the only option.
Braves have hit .165 with 37 strikeouts in three games.
Giants SP ERA is 0.32
Wiley, I agree with the overall assessment, but Conrad is shot. He almost ran over Lee on a play that was certainly not his to make. He isn’t sure which base to throw it to. And if you don’t think he isn’t an automatic out at the plate, you didn’t watch him pop up a bunt last night. He’s a detriment to the team right now.
There are no great options out there, but one of them has to be better than leaving Conrad in.
Line up: 1. Infante 2B, 2. Diaz LF, 3. Lee 1B, 4. McCann C, 5. Gonzalez SS, 6. Heyward RF, 7. Glaus 3B, 8. Ankiel CF, 9. Lowe P
Well, I’m glad the Conrad question has been answered. Wiley, at the end of the day, there are no good options, but keeping Conrad out was a must. For the team, for him, for the fans, for his Mom – he just could not go out there again.
Interesting lineup from Bobby. Good to see him move Heyward down. And to keep Glaus low. Now, to start really worrying about Glaus at 3rd.
I put part of the responsibility for the loss in game 3 to McCann.
As a veteren catcher, he should have know better than to throw a breaking pitch to a batter than has shown he is late on the fastball (every fastball, that at bat). Throwing the breaking pitch doesn’t trick him, it just speeds up his bat.
You throw the fastball again, in a different place.
If Mac called for the breaking pitch, that was a mistake. If Kimbrel shook him off, that is the time to go to the mound and explain it to the rookie.
M in M – I totally agree. Sanchez looked lost and overmatched by the first 2 fastballs. Should have kept going with what was working.
Bub (#115) – My assumption was not based on a lot of logic or anything. I just thought that the stirring comeback Friday night would lead to an offensive breakout last night. Not one of my stronger feelings, clearly.
As I sit and think about Glaus at 3rd, with our ground ball pitcher on the mound tonight, we could be looking at more errors than Brooks had last night. I’m not second guessing Bobby on this, you couldn’t play Brooks and neither Glaus nor Diory are great options. I’m fine with going with the playoff experience. But, it could be exceptionally ugly.
I think Troy will be alright out there. You have to be mentally, not just physically, messed up to butcher the position as badly as Conrad. And don’t you get the feeling that the transparency, eagerness to please, and child-like passion that makes us love Conrad so much also makes him very vulnerable to mental befuddlement?
To go in there and play the infield for ATL now, with the spotlight on it so bright, you need a little icewater in your veins. That’s Glaus, at least more so than Brooks. Glaus probably also has at least a tiny chip on his shoulder, which helps.
I think Glaus will play one or zero error ball tonight. His body’s not as good, but his muscles know that position by heart and most importantly his emotions will be steadier.
Good year for a mostly young team. That said, I am even more pissed about the Escobar trade than I was when it went down. Our MVP from 2009 has a bad first half and gets traded? What a joke. The guy definitely had a better 2nd half than the Gonz. Maybe he would have gotten the necessary change he needed with a new coaching staff in ATL next year. I guess we’ll never know.
I’m more disappointed in how we lost than the fact that we lost. We were doomed with all the injuries, so it was only a matter of time, but the sloppy play really got to me. And yes, Gonzalez not running kind of sums it up. I know that a play like that is over so quick that you think the play is done before you can get going, but you never know what will happen.
And going forward, even with all your guys back – and Medlen is gone all next year – unless there is a real commitment to build a full team, you are simply going to end up in the same place you find yourself tonight. On the outside, looking in.
I am just sickened by this loss. Even though it feels like it was inevitable in hindsight, I just feel disgusted. I don’t want to poo-poo on a great season, but we shouldn’t have gone out like that. And as much as Bobby is to blame for some of this, I hate to see him go out like that. I can’t say anything nice right now, so I am going to bite my tongue.
Well said, Ham. I’ve never been a big Bobby fan, but the way our guys played in the postseason and down the stretch was mostly pathetic. we dropped like 13 games to the Phils after late July. The Phillies aren’t going to be much worse next year. The Braves have to add another bat to the outfield. It seems unlikely that Gonzo won’t be on the team next year, so the OF bat is a necessity, imo. I like our core of Prado, Infante, Mac, and Heyward. Hopefully Chipper returns to the form he was in when he went down. I haven’t seen enough of Freeman to know what he will do at the ML level. Please can we get an actual clean-up hitter, or at the very least another outfielder who can hit more than 20 homers. The scrap heap of guys who should be strictly off the bench players is just not going to get it done.
I cannot put it into words. I am so sad Bobby is gone. I cannot blame Bobby for this, but can only point it towards Conrad. Almost every single run this series has been scored on an error. It is a horrible way for a legend to leave the game. I really hope we can build on this season after such a heartbreaker.
Trying to be optomistic at a time like this is difficult. No doubt about it. The Umps gave two runs to the giants (game winners at that) and secondly We gave that series away with several mental and physical errors. And worst of all, Bobby is gone.
But, hey, Curt, Steve, and Hammy didn’t you all agree in the preview show that you felt like the ownership was mailing this season in? I mean if a mailed in season means a wild card birth then I cant wait until we really go for it next year. We have such a young and good looking club that I cant wait for March 31st in DC. Only 170 days!
I’ve enjoyed following the Braves this year on ABT. The podcast has become the center of my fandom really. The motherblog is too crowded and mlb.com is vile. My parents are both Braves fans, but it’s not an everyday thing. This has been just the right size and mix. I wish I’d been less socially retarded, but I’ve always known you guys would weave and bob around my weirdness, which is comforting. I’ll resist the urge to link up the Cheers theme song. Happy offseason and Go Braves!
Hey everybody. I gotta tell you, I have a totally opinion about all this (not that I’m contradicting anything your saying re Gonzo, Conrad, etc.), but the bottom of the 9th inning, at the ballpark. was really cathartic for me. The moment it began the energy in the crowd went crazy. Then Brooks came up and the place went bonkers. Which I was really glad about. It felt like a heartfelt apology. And the crowd didn’t let up the whole rest of the way. And, most importantly, it wasn’t like the end of the losing playoff series for the past 10 years. In other words, the final at-bats were not emotionless give-aways. They were great at-bats. The guys were clawing and scratching. And even when it was all over, Bobby took a curtain call, the place went crazy again, they were showing a Bobby video on the screen. All in all, if they were going to lose, it was not a bad way to go out.
Nice to have a report from the park, Steve. It would have been a much more miserable night for the boys if they’d lost it in SF. Bobby’s last game ought to have been in Atlanta and… let’s face it… there’s something old shoe about it being a playoff loss. Contrasting that to the crappy team trip back to Atlanta. Yuck. Definitely better this way, if they were going to lose.
Yeah, ABT is awesome. You guys really do a great job. I have really enjoyed listening to the podcasts and reading the comments every week. I’m with Bub, this site is so much better than the mother blog. I look forward to following in the future…
Yeah, Curt, I hear ya. Let the disappointment wash off, maybe get a little perspective…heck, maybe they’ll already have announced that Fredi’s going to be the guy by the weekend. Probably not, but they could.
You guys are great — love listening to your show, even when it’s been a bad week. Even given our performance in the playoffs, we’ve got a lot to look forward to next year.
I’ll also say that I think Chipper’s got an excellent point that, if full strength, the Braves could’ve taken the Giants. The Braves team that was in the playoffs wasn’t the same as the one that played 162 regular season games that got them to the playoffs. That’s no excuse, because such are the ways of baseball, but looking forward to next year, it gives me a little hope.
Or that Bub guy. Juuuuuuust kiddiiiiiing. You all know Bub’s my fave and ABT has taught me more about baseball than I ever thought I could hold in my tiny brain. Did anyone see the press conference after the game? I haven’t had the chance but plan too. It’s hard to think about what could have been without so many injuries but isn’t that part of the organizations job? Maybe if both our first basemen, two of our outfielders and, yes even our awesome closer weren’t on their last leg we wouldn’t have broken down so badly. Martin wouldn’t have had to play every daggum day. Our rookie could have taken a mental break or two. I don’t really know what I’m talking about but I love this team and this podcast. Go braves! Let the count down begin!
Everyone – thanks so much for the terrific sentiments toward the show. It is very much appreciated.
To confirm what Curt said, next show will be regular time, regular day – Sunday the 17th.
I’m pretty psyched about the Fredi hire. Regarding the coaching staff, lots of reports and tweets out there that Roger is a lock and that Hubbard and Snitker seem likely too. TP’s name has been noticeably absent. I wonder if there’s talk of no TP in ’11. DOB had an interesting comment this morning that he believes if it is Fredi’s choice, TP will be back. But if it’s not up to Fredi, maybe not.
I think people in the know know something and that TP will not be back.
I’m pumped about Fredi. It will be a nice, smooth transition for the players, and I personally have a high amount of respect for the guy after the way he dealt with the Hanley fiasco. I think he’ll do a fine job in Atlanta with our rotation and bullpen. The garbage pile of relievers he had in Florida this past season was an absolute joke.
Where do we think Omar plays next year? Does he move to the OF? Does Prado go to the OF and leave Omar at 2B? Should be interesting to see how it shakes out.
Do you think they really wouldn’t have clued TP in long before now? Like, back when they knew he wouldn’t replace Bobby himself. I mean, they’ve made some dumb parting-of-ways moves before, but – seriously – leaving just before the press conference seems like show.
I’m not what I would call fired up about Fredi. I don’t think he’ll be a big difference maker as a manager. I’ve seen him make some silly moves now and then.
But I also don’t think he’ll be a difference maker in the wrong direction, as I’m afraid another Atlanta manager (the name escapes me) had become. So I’m very satisfied with the move. I think the removal of TP from the hitting coach position is at least some evidence it won’t be “business as usual,” and that Fredi will have his own distinct approach and not be asked to be Bobby Junior.
In fact, I expect (without much evidence) there are things about Bobby that Wren explicitly hopes Fredi will not emulate.
I don’t know if the interview with FW is up in their archives yet, but 790 the Zone spoke with him this morning and he had some interesting things to say about possibly moving players to get a bat, and some expectations he has for where this team is headed, in regards to their strengths. He was talking about all the speed in their farm system and how they are going to need to start using that portion of the game. But he also we very honest in understanding that they need power, and right handed power, badly. The unfortunate part was that once again, the payroll isn’t moving, so forget Werth and Crawford playing here.
Even Ted Turner showed up for a game. It’s blatantly obvious that Liberty Media has no real interest in the club. Is there any hope of Ted taking over as owner again? Arthur Blank?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go with McOut and Omar in the outfield. Omar played so well this year and has since he’s been in Atlanta. Can the organization really put him in a bench role again? The guy finished 3rd in batting in the NL. He can play. Play him everyday.
Part of me wishes Chipper would hang it up so we could get a Crawford or a Werth, but that obviously won’t happen. I love Chipper, always have since he came up. I was 10 at the time, so he’s a big deal, imo. I have several jerseys and signed balls to boot. He does deserves to play as long as he wants, but there is that other half of me that would like to see us sign an OFer with that dough and go with the Venezuelan trio plus Freddie in the IF. That said, Chipper stuck with us, so we should stick with him as long as he wants.
Ramble, ramble, ramble. Go Braves. I lost a brother this week, so this has been a nice distraction. Love me some ABT. Thanks for all the kind words for my bro over the past week. Y’all are some good folks.
“His thumb injury was reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early September, but Lee did not want to acknowledge the injury or the extent of it.”
Sigh. Is there like some bruiser from the player’s union that will come bust your knuckles if you tell somebody you’re hurt? I know it hurts the team to play hurt, but also, how does it help the player to watch his #’s spiral? These denied injuries are KILLING the Braves, man! Schafer, McCann, Heyward, Glaus, now Lee. Subtract the “injured months” from these players and add in a league average hitter and I imagine we have both a better record during the downtime, AND a much better player returned healed. Just shaking my head. I’m not sure I’ll ever believe a player who says he’s not hurt when his numbers are falling for no apparent reason. I’m just going to assume they’re hiding an injury.