March 20, 2011

Show #139: Interviews with Roger McDowell and Larry Parrish

We talk with the Braves’ pitching and hitting instructors as well as discuss the future of Brooks Conrad.



110 Responses to “Show #139: Interviews with Roger McDowell and Larry Parrish”

  1. 1
    Walker Says:

    1.Great interviews Steve. Great Insight. No Way Conrad gets a roster spot. He is almost guaranteed to make a couple of errors every time he gets a Sunday start.

    2.McDowell and Parrish seem very excited and have great personalities(sarcasm).

  2. 2
    Danny Says:

    Can’t wait to listen.

    With Utley lame, all the Baseball Tonight analysts now favor the Braves in the National League!

  3. 3
    Steve Says:

    Walker, for what it’s worth, while I agree that Roger was not completely energized (smile), Parrish was awesome in person. And gave me the impression that he would have sat and talked baseball for an hour. He’s just one of those deep voiced, calm guys that may have sounded disengaged on the audio but didn’t come across that way at all in person.

    You’re wrong on Conrad. I’m telling you, he’s in.

  4. 4
    Curt Says:

    Despite my objections, I think Steve is right. I would be shocked if Conrad doesn’t make the team.

  5. 5
    brandon Says:

    Hey guys loved the show. Loved the Parrish interview. Curt I totally agree with what you had to say about heyward, he reminds me of Griffey Jr. A little, if we get close to what Griffey did in Seattle that’s what I hope for. Both of their drive to go get the ball in the outfield and both violent swings are similar. Longevity is our biggest concern with heyward. He is a natural though with ability.
    With the Chipper question I say right before the all-star break. Say 65 games or so and may 115 total.

  6. 6
    Walker Says:

    You’re right Steve. I guess I should have just mentioned McDowell. But I hear McDowell was a great clubhouse guy back in his Mets days. Age will slow you down though.

  7. 7
    Curt Says:

    “Kenshin Kawakami, making his first start this spring, allowed only one earned run and three hits in three innings for Atlanta. He struck out three.”

    Come on Yankees. You know you want him.

    Walker, I like that number on Chipper. I was thinking something like 60 games.

  8. 8
    Leah Says:

    Note to self: look for new shows! Excited to listen tomorrow! Has anyone else noticed how the white piping on the spring training hats has been colored in with a sharpie? Just curious whose idea that was and Fredi’s hat needs a touchup.

  9. 9
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve & Co, congrats on the two interviews. I liked both of them. Larry sounds like he knows what he’s doing and communicates well. Like you, Steve, I found the player-by-player over team-hitting-strategy fairly convincing. Like a quiet little light bulb lit up there.

    I enjoyed Roger as well. Sounded a little wooden, but I’ll take that every day over the over-the-top types. But I needed to hear less from him to be convinced anyway. I’ve heard a handful of players give specifics about Roger’s help (contrasted with the deafening silence on TP’s helping hitters).

    Also worth noting: these coaches aren’t interviewed that often, are they?

  10. 10
    Bubdylan Says:

    Good grief: that last line up there belonged to a whole paragraph that I cut out. But accidentally left the opening sentence dangling. Disregard.

  11. 11
    Walker Says:

    Bubdylan. My how we forget. Terry Pendleton was a very good hitting coach. The braves had the best offense in the NL in 2003. We scored 800 runs in 2004. He had to deal with more rookies than usual in 2005 and did great with them. In 2006 we scored 849 runs and 810 runs in 2007. The last couple years we struggled at times but still ended up having a little above league average offense. The reason we missed the playoffs those few years were because of pitching. It was just time for a change. We needed a new voice after 9 years just like with Cox after 20 years. We wondered why Francoeur struggled with him and now we know he was just a horrible hitter. Lets give TP some credit.

  12. 12
    Danny Says:

    I think Chipper will have his first game-missing injury after about 25 games. I have this strange feeling that small injuries will keep sidelining Chipper this year, but that he will keep coming back. I think he’ll still play about 100 games.

    I’m with you guys on Nate McClouth. Hearing about his commitments to improvement this winter/spring, I’m starting to believe in Nate more than I ever have!

  13. 13
    Steve Says:

    Extremely important question of the day. If Bobby is throwing out the first pitch on opening day at Gwinnett on 4/7, does that mean he doesn’t do it at the home opener at Turner on 4/8? He seemed like the overwhelmingly obvious choice for Turner, but it cheapens it for me a bit if he’s working Gwinnett the night before. Thoughts?

  14. 14
    Steve Says:

    Bub – thanks. I really enjoyed doing the interviews as well. It was damn cool for me.

    I think Chipper misses a few games around mid-May, but it has nothing to do with the knee. And that his knee will hold up all season, but other stuff may not.

    Walker – the TP thing gets back to the age old question of how much do you credit the hitting coach with success or ding him for failures. That said, the Braves don’t make change for change’s sake. If they moved him out of that position, it was for a substantial reason.

  15. 15
    Leah Says:

    I’m drinking the McLouth Kool-aid. Especially after his interview the other day. Seems very humble and relaxed and even able to joke a bit about last year. Great interviews! What an opportunity Steve. Your son must think you are super cool.

    I’ve been wondering about Matty D…anybody know how his spring is going?

  16. 16
    Leah Says:

    Call me a hater but the key word in #11 is “was”. And I’m not saying that just because I always agree with Bub.

  17. 17
    Nate Says:

    I just went on the ajc page and saw “Mets get Kawakami” and got really excited for a second, but then I saw that the heading actually read “Mets get Kawakami for three runs”. I should have known that would be too good to be true.

  18. 18
    Curt Says:

    They did just dump Oliver Perez and eat $12 mill in the process. They have a need for an overpriced, marginal pitcher now.

    Rumor is that the Yanks are already looking at Perez.

    And KK only gave up 1 earned. Not sure why I continue to fight for him. But more bad luck for him in that regard.

    Steve, it has to be Bobby. Maybe he’s just getting loose in Gwinnett.

  19. 19
    Nate Says:

    Great interviews, Steve.

    I am pretty optimistic about Chip. He’s going to be a bigger surprise than McLouth. It’s going to be interesting to see how Nate responds to his first slump of the year. The Parrish interview confirms how big the mental part of hitting is for him.

  20. 20
    Steve Says:

    Thanks, Nate.

    And yeah, I’m very optimistic about Chipper, too. We haven’t really talked about it on the show, but he’s hit better than anyone on the team this spring. And, he has a chip on his shoulder (no pun intended) after all the doubters this off-season.

  21. 21
    Steve Says:

    Interesting. And I don’t believe a word of it on March 23:

  22. 22
    Walker Says:

    Steve I thought Rudy Jaramillo was a genius. So why did the Cubs only score 685 runs last year.?

  23. 23
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, do you think the hype over Beachy is to tantalize a trade partner, or do you just think the CBS link is sketchy? I think he’s going to win the job straight up. And you all know how much I love Mike Minor. But I’ve finally been swayed that Beachy is for real.

  24. 24
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    CBS has the worst baseball coverage (in my opinion) out there.

    I hope someone will take Lopez and Kawakami, it will be like Christmas in March!

  25. 25
    Curt Says:

    How about Luis Salazar throwing out the first pitch to McCann. It just came to me. Screw Bobby

    Bub, wouldn’t you be worried about all righties in the rotation?

  26. 26
    Nate Says:

    What’s great about this situation is that we have depth to deal if we have injury issues this year. We have two pitchers that appear to be major league ready going for 1 spot, and then we have 2 really good arms in the minors that are pretty close (It sounds to me like Vizcaino might be more than a year away). Plus we have a chance to get Medlen back late August/ early September. This means the Braves have a lot of what everybody else needs, so if we need a bat, a defensive replacement, a base stealer, or a middle relief guy in July, then we’re going to get what we need. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

  27. 27
    Leah Says:

    Curt! #25 is a fantastic idea!

  28. 28
    Steve Says:

    Curt – agreed on #25. Genius on your part and it should happen.

  29. 29
    Steve Says:

    Walker, re #22, what’s your point? I don’t get it.

    Bub – re #23. I don’t think it’s about tantalizing a trade partner. I think someone at CBS heard something and reported it as news. It just makes no sense that the team would have made a definitive decision at this point.

  30. 30
    Lee Says:

    Great interview! Love this podcast, look forward to it every week now that it’s started back up as the season approaches.

  31. 31
    Curt Says:

    Sherrill. Again. Cut his ass.

  32. 32
    Kate Says:

    Curt, it’s only spring training. We have to wait until he blows regular season games before he gets cut.

  33. 33
    Leah Says:

    #31 sounds painful. A little harsh. Can’t we just send him to AAA?

  34. 34
    Walker Says:

    Lol I guess I don’t have a point. I agree with you. The difference a hitting coach makes on Major League hitters is marginal. Pitching coaches have way more impact.

  35. 35
    Walker Says:

    Off topic Question: Does being one the two best defensive center fielders in history combined with 400 HRs and 5 all star appearances make you a Hall of Famer?

    I think so. Even with Andruw’s recent years, he has a hall of fame resume. It shouldn’t be held against him that he dropped off quickly. He came in the league at 19 and may only be 33 but all those years playing 162 games and being banged up aged him combined with his weight. HE HAS MY VOTE!!

  36. 36
    Tim in Orlando Says:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, You’re 2011 Atlanta Braves!”

    Well, I believe that see saw our starting lineup for the first time today: Prado (LF), McLouth (CF), Chipper (3B), BMac (C), Uggla (2b), JHey (RF), Gonzalez (SS) and Freeman (1B). Add Huddy on the mound and you’ve got a team with whom I’d be happy to go to battle. Unfortunately, we didn’t generate the offense that I would have expected with this lineup. And only by the grace of a sub (Jason Hicks) did we salvage a tie.

    Huddy started a bit shaky with a leadoff double to Wise on the first pitch of the game. We hear more from Mr. Wise later, unfortunately. After a wild pitch to move him to 3rd, he scored on a ground ball to 3rd. After that Huddy settled down and pitches well allowing no further runs. His final line; 1 earned run, 4 hits (2 doubles), 4Ks, 1 BB on 86 pitches (55 strikes, 31 balls) in six innings. Huddy got out of a couple of jams with a few unusual plays. In the 5th inning, the first two runners got on via a single and a walk. The pitcher (Nolasco) attempted to sacrifice but bunted the ball right back to Huddy who easily threw out the runner at 3rd. Next Wise struck out on a wild pitch but could not take 1st because it was occupied and there were less than two outs. Lucky for us because the two runners did advance. But now with two outs Huddy got a ground ball to Chipper to end the inning. Whew! Next inning with 1 out and a runner on 1st, the Marlins attempted a hit & run. But the batter popped up to the pitcher’s mound which Freeman caught. The runner got trapped off 1st base primarily due to a beautiful deek at 2nd base by Alex Gonzalez who made the runner believe that a throw was coming to 2nd. After he realized it was a popup, it was a footrace by him and Uggla to get back to 1st. Freeman tossed a very tricky throw to Uggla who beat the runner to 1st by half a step. Beautiful! Don’t think I’ve ever seen a play like that.

    Then came the 7th inning and George Sherrill. Ugh! Nasty inning: 3 runs, 4 hits (2 doubles including one by that Wise guy again to drive in two runs), 1 BB, & 1 HP. And it would have been worse if not for a beautiful relay (Heyward to Conrad to Chipper) to get Wise at 3rd. This is the second time I’ve seen Sherrill blow up an inning to give up the lead. I just don’t know about him? The other pitchers (Venters, Kimbrel, Abreu & Ascencio) pitched well. Especially Venters & Kimbrel. Kimbrel had a couple of 97, 98 & 99 MPH fastballs.

    On the offense we really only had one really good inning – the 3rd. Freeman started the rally with a long HR to right-center. A no doubt about it shot. That was followed by a Hudson single (he had two today with a huge grin on his face after each), a McLouth single which scored Huddy who was running on the pitch and a double by Chipper to score Nate all the way from 1st. That was the only serious threat we had during the game until the 9th. Trailing by 4 to 3 with two outs, the Marlin fans were cheering “Let’s go Marlins! Let’s go Marlins!” Then Jason Hicks hit a fly ball to left that I thought was sure out – ballgame. But the ball just carried and carried and carried. It easily cleared the left field wall – tie game! Wooo Whoo! Now we got’em. Uhhhhh, no we didn’t. Nothing much happened after that. No further hitting from the Bravos, but no runs for the Marlins either. We did play 11 innings – unusual for a spring training game. I did think that Uggla had his first HR of the spring. He hit a long, long fly ball to deep center field that had the center fielder all turned around. But at the last second, the CF caught it at the wall. Shoot!

    Oh well, a tie is better than a loss. But I was expecting better. The next game is an evening affair (6:05 PM start) against the Tigers who are really playing well this spring. Let’s hope we can general a bit more O.

  37. 37
    Steve Says:

    Lee – thanks! Glad you enjoy the show.

    Kate, re #32 – very funny and nothing but true in this case, for sure.

    I’m feeling less good about that feel good article covering his mechanics adjustment and the two scoreless innings he had recently. It’s going to be a rough ride with Sherrill for a while.

    Tim – thanks for the write up. Love the stuff about the deke at 2nd base by Gonzo.

  38. 38
    Curt Says:

    If Andruw Jones makes the HOF and Dale Murphy does not, MLB should cease functioning.

  39. 39
    Steve Says:

    Walker – here’s my very scientific, analytical assessment of Andruw’s HOF credentials: he just doesn’t feel like a hall of famer to me. And it is totally about the duration of his greatness. He was amazing. Unbelievable. But he needed to do it to longer and not fall off so precipitously. That kind of crash really sticks with the voters minds.

  40. 40
    Walker Says:


    I get your points but Jim Thome doesn’t feel like a HOFer but he is. Blyleven didn’t feel like one either but he is. Koufax had a short 5 year run and is in the HOF. It was an injury but he still didn’t play. He only had 165 wins. Duke Snider fell off at age 32. Approximately 1% of players in history are Hall of Famers. He’s the best defensive center fielder in the last 40 years and has 400 HRs with a chance for 500.How much rare or 1% can you get with that? Just my opinion.


    Just like Snider, at age 32 Dale Murphy’s stats dropped off considerably which is why he is not in the HOF. He was a good fielder also but not even close to Andruw. Andruw has a higher career slugging and OPS. He also came in 2nd in the 2005 MVP voting but a guy named Pujols beat him.

  41. 41
    Bubdylan Says:

    Curt, Steve, All, regarding Sherrill, you may know it already, but his L/R splits are ridiculous. I’ve never seen any as drastic as his. It’s concerning to me that the organization has mentioned him as a LOOGY. If they pitch him against RHB, they are insane.

    For his career, RHB’s OPS at .800 against him, LHB’s a measley .500, and the strike out to walk ratio is off the charts against lefties, bad against righties. I don’t the ERA difference cuz it’s not listed at Baseball Ref, but it must be just as big.

    Last year was the same. He stunk against righties and tore lefites up. But Torre amazingly pitched him to MORE RHB’s on the year than left.

    And in case you’re wondering, his ERA this spring versus lefties: 2.50, against RHB’s, over 8.00!

    If Fredi fails to see and react to this, I’m gonna lose it.

  42. 42
    Bubdylan Says:

    *concerning to me that the organization has NOT mentioned him as a LOOGY.

  43. 43
    Bubdylan Says:

    No Andruw in the HOF. He smirked when he struck out.

  44. 44
    Nate Says:

    “Just one of those spring-training outings,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Nothing to over-react over. He’s pitched pretty good until today.”(from DOB on Sherrill)

    Straight from the Bobby Cox guide to managing, but I agree it’s the Spring. Two words, Jesse Chavez.

  45. 45
    Anne Says:

    Apologies if this has already been discussed, but you guys talk about them all the time…April 10th post-game concert by the Avett Brothers.

    In other news…bobbleheads are back! June 15th – Jason Heyward, July 28th – Chipper Jones, August 18th – Dan Uggla

  46. 46
    Curt Says:


    Dale Murphy began his career as a catcher and went on to become one of the best players in the 80s. Not for a couple of years, but for the entire decade. If he had played in the time of watered down pitching and little league parks, or for a team that actually had some protection for him, he would already be in the HOF. Or if he had spent his career as a Yankee, he would be in.

    From Jayson Stark:
    “…in the ’80s, Murphy led all National Leaguers in runs and hits, tied Mike Schmidt for the most RBIs and finished second to Schmidt in homers. He was a back-to-back MVP. He won five straight Gold Gloves. He was a 30-homer, 30-steal man when that was still a rarity. He once got more All-Star votes than any other player in the whole darned sport. And he was one of baseball’s classiest citizens of all time.”

    He also argues for Fred McGriff. Should he be in the HOF over Murphy? I believe Murphy to be one of two back-to-back MVPs not in the HOF. I think the other is Roger Maris, unless he got in.

  47. 47
    brandon Says:

    Curt totally agree with Murphy in HOF over Andruw. McGriff too for that matter. They both dominated their era for more length of time. Andruw needs late surge to even be considered. In my opinion.
    Agreed get rid of Sherril and maybe Mather not sold on him either.

  48. 48
    Curt Says:

    The biggest things holding Murphy out are his career batting average, which is bad, and really was killed by his final 2 seasons, and the fact that the Braves were terrible when he played for them. Throw in the blatant anti-Atlanta bias held by most if not all of those in the sports media and you get a guy whose votes for the HOF have dropped dramatically, despite the fact that his numbers haven’t changed. If anything, he should get more recognition for doing it the right way, and for a lousy team.

    I am the biggest Dale Murphy homer of all time and will never shy away from that, but the disrespect thrown at his career is gauling. And toward Atlanta in a broader sense. If you played for the Falcons, Hawks or Atlanta Braves (pre-run), you aren’t likely to make the HOF. It took Dominique Wilkins TWO tries to get in the basketball HOF. He’s a top-10 scorer all time in the NBA. It’s a total joke.

    And rant for the day has completed. Until someone brings up how great fans are in Philly compared to Atlanta.

  49. 49
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Hey everyone, I created a friendly Fantasy Baseball League for everyone to take part in. No money will change hands, just bragging rights…
    The league is on yahoo. Here is the link to sign up:

    The League ID is 180643 and the Password is podcast.

    There is a 12 team max so sign up now.
    The live online draft is scheduled for Monday 3/28 at 8pm ET. You can always pre-rank if you can’t make it.


  50. 50
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    By the way… How about Beachy winning the 5th starter spot

  51. 51
    Kate Says:

    Minor still might be in the rotation to start the season. JJ left after one inning with an injury.

  52. 52
    brandon Says:

    Thanks Matt I’m in.

  53. 53
    brandon Says:

    Kate what happened to JJ. What kind of injury?

  54. 54
    Eric Says:

    I think Andruw will have a tough time making the HOF. If he does, it’ll be based on a decade of stellar play in center. His offensive numbers, placed in the context of the steroid era, leave much to be desired, as well as his complete lack of usefulness past 30.

    A few numbers for comparison:

    Career BA: .256, .276, .297
    Career OBP: .338, .376, .381
    Career Slugging: .488, .527, .477

    That’s Andruw, Jim Edmonds, and Bernie Williams. Just a couple contemporaries off the top of my head – none of whom screams HOF.

    Defense: Edmonds has 8 Gold Gloves, and Williams has 4 to AJ’s 10. Jones was one the most exciting players I’ve ever seen roam an outfield – I’m young with a New Media memory, though. Edmonds was fantastic as well, and played the position admirably for much longer than Jones.

    Offense: Despite knocking a good number of dingers, Andruw’s slugging percentage for a middle of the order guy was average and with the exception of his one standout year, he didn’t really drive in runs at an exceptional clip. He never hit for average, didn’t take many walks, and struck out way too often. His career slugging percentage is barely better than Bernie’s, who was really a glorified 2-hitter. Both Edmonds and Williams have a significantly higher OPS, my favorite metric of a hitter’s overall ability along with Ks/BBs for a career. And it’s worth noting that because Williams and Edmonds both have more at bats after the prime of their careers than Jones, their averages are more diluted than Jones’s will be at the end of his career (assuming that his career isn’t already over from fatness).

    Durability: Edmonds lost an entire season of his prime to injury, but has been relatively healthy. Williams was a gamer, and while Andruw’s weight was under control, he showed up pretty much everyday. As noted ad nauseum in the thread and my post, AJ’s collapse as even a marginally useful player at age 30 is a major knock.

    Context: During the past few years HOF voters just started considering “Steroid Era” players. So far, the iconic players of the era, McGwire, Sosa, et. al., have not been favorably received despite outstanding statistics. I assume Bonds and Clemens will not be either. An argument can easily be made that these guys are being scapegoated, but whatever. I really have no idea how it will shake out for guys like Bagwell – who was never caught but many suspect – and Palmeiro – who was caught but claims he was innocent. But I suspect that the voters will be much less forgiving. It’ll take sustained success, and any major peaks or valleys not easily explained by injury or late career decline will be viewed with suspicion. Guys like Andruw, Javy Lopez, Adrian Beltre, Brady Anderson, Luis Gonzalez, who would be considered unlikely to marginal Hall of Famers anyway, will likely be passed on because of the taint of the era in which they played. In Andruw’s case, the best year of his career, could very well undermine any chance he has of making the Hall based on his defensive prowess and above average bat.

  55. 55
    Kate Says:

    From DOB: Jurrjens had “discomfort in his right side’ and was removed from game as a precaution. More to come.

  56. 56
    Steve Says:

    Here’s a tweet from DOB about Beachy: “We made the decision that Beachy was ahead of Mike at this time in the 5th starting pitcher competition. We will make final decision this weekend.” That’s hedging, and obviously because of the Jurrjens situation.

    He’s also saying the JJ thing is just a leg cramp. But I’m horrified right now.

  57. 57
    brandon Says:

    Thanks guys I’m horrified too.

  58. 58
    Kate Says:

    More from DOB: “Jurrjens said he came to dugout and told Fredi and Roger about the discomfort, and they told him he was coming out, that it wasn’t worth pushing it this close to the season. Jurrjens said he learned last year that it doesn’t help to not fully disclose such matters, to keep them secret until they worsen.”

    I feel better after reading that.

  59. 59
    Anonymous Says:

    I feel a little better. But it’s kind of immeasurably better. It’s amazing how the loss of JJ (or Lowe, Hanson, Hudson) would leave me feeling like the team is amazingly vulnerable all of the sudden. Foul mood.

  60. 60
    Steve Says:

    59 was me, btw.

  61. 61
    Curt Says:

    My Murphy crusade continues. IT IS A JOKE that he does not merit more consideration. Some of this is a repeat.

    Murphy finished his career with 398 home runs (19th in MLB history at the time of his retirement) and a .265 lifetime batting average. His MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 make him one of only four outfielders in major league history with consecutive MVP years; at the time, he was the youngest to have accomplished the feat. His many honors also include seven All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. Murphy led the National League in home runs and RBI twice; he also led the MAJOR LEAGUES (emphasis added) in home runs and runs batted in over the 10-year span from 1981 to 1990.

    One of the most productive and decorated players of the 1980s, Murphy led the National League in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, RBIs, runs created, total bases, and plate appearances during the decade. He also accomplished a 30-30 (30 home runs with 30 stolen bases) season in 1983. Murphy played in 740 consecutive games, at the time the 11th longest such streak in baseball history.

  62. 62
    Steve Says:

    Diory was optioned to AAA. Doesn’t that mean Ed Lucas gets a spot on the bench to fill the backup SS role? I think so.

  63. 63
    Leah Says:

    Matt, what a great idea! I better not though. First, I’m barely going to have time to keep up with baseball. Second, there are some sore losers on this board (not naming names) and I’m sure to kick serious butt.

  64. 64
    Eric Says:

    Curt, your man-crush is making me feel a little awkward.

  65. 65
    Curt Says:

    How dare you sir

  66. 66
    Curt Says:

    Bad news:

    on a side note – can Terry McGuirk fall into a wood chipper at some point?

  67. 67
    Walker Says:

    I really don’t see how Bernie Williams or Jim Edmonds gets mentioned in the same sentence as Andruw. Just me.

    In 2002 the first year UZR(Utltimate Zone rating) started. Edmond’s UZR from 2002 -2008 doesn’teven go above 10.0. Andruw is in double digits each year from 2002- 2007. In 2008 he had a .4 which is the bad year with the dodgers.

    Yes Andruw had offensive holes but in my book if you are a once in a generation defender and an above average offensive player. You are a Hall of Famer. Plain and simple. Defense puts him in. Too bad we don’t know Dale Murphy’s UZR.

  68. 68
    Jace Says:

    Just got my first listen to a podcast. Glad I found this site. Keep up the good work guys.

  69. 69
    Walker Says:

    Why is my comment in moderation?

  70. 70
    Bubdylan Says:

    You made a moderate comment? Where?


  71. 71
    Curt Says:

    Thanks Jace. Keep on listening. We appreciate it.

  72. 72
    Steve Says:

    Hi Jace – Thanks for listening and joining us on the board.

    Walker (and everybody) – if you put more than one URL in a comment it gets auto-moderated. And, to be honest, the moderated pile is not something we check very often. I did just approve yours and it’s #67 now.

  73. 73
    Steve Says:


    I’m reposting the Fantasy BB post from Brave in NY (Matt) from yesterday. Join us. We’re putting together an all ABT group. Me, Curt, Matt and Brandon are all in. Before I tweet about it and open it up to our Twitter followers, I want to make sure our folks here on the comments board get first dibs. Don’t delay!

    Hey everyone, I created a friendly Fantasy Baseball League for everyone to take part in. No money will change hands, just bragging rights…
    The league is on yahoo. Here is the link to sign up:

    The League ID is 180643 and the Password is podcast.

    There is a 12 team max so sign up now.
    The live online draft is scheduled for Monday 3/28 at 8pm ET. You can always pre-rank if you can’t make it.


  74. 74
    Leah Says:

    STEVE, stop with the temptation. How much time does such a thing take? Do you set it up and watch it go or is there maintenance?

  75. 75
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Leah, you can either sit there and draft players live… which will take about 1.5-2 hours, or pre-rank players and have the thing autodraft for you…

    You don’t need to check it daily as there are enough pitcher spots on the roster where you won’t have to worry about changing pitchers daily.


  76. 76
    Steve Says:

    Leah – I’m a long time fantasy football player but last year was the first time I did baseball for the fear that it would be a crazy time consuming monster. That was not what I found. At a minimum, you have to be sure to set your line-up and pitchers for the coming week. Now you can spend lots of other time looking at players to pick up off of waivers, etc – but really it can be a once a week committment. Anyone disagree with that description?

  77. 77
    Curt Says:

    I’ve played once and checked once a week. Obviously, you may need to spend a little more time on waivers, but it is not a huge time suck.

  78. 78
    brandon Says:

    Yea it’s not bad once a week maybe a little more.But it’s just fun between friends most of all.

  79. 79
    Eric Says:

    Andruw Jones was admittedly a better defender than Jim Edmonds, but comparing a guy from age 25-30 to a guy age 32-37 is doesn’t really help your cause that much.

    If you want argue that you need to admit once-in-a-generation defenders, then compare him to Ozzie Smith, a first ballot HOFer based on D. 13 GGs in a row to 10. Comparable BAs, Jones obviously hit for more power, but has fewer career hits. Another telling batting stat is that despite few pitchers fearing Smith’s bat, he walked nearly twice as often as he struck out, which the inverse of Andruw.

    Both guys were amazing all around defenders with offensive deficiencies. But, most importantly, you never dealt with the steroid stuff and Andruw’s rapid and inexplicable decline. Ozzie’s skills eroded with age, and his career barely overlapped with the steroid era. You can’t separate the player from the era in which he played. Jones’s stats are pedestrian in comparison to a number of his peers, and his sudden drop-off will be viewed by many voters as an indication that he was juiced.

  80. 80
    Curt Says:

    Jim Kaat won 16 gold gloves in a row. Tied for Brooks Robinson for most consecutive wins in the history of the award. He won close to 300 games, has a career ERA under 3.50, has nearly 2500 Ks, and had a season where he won 25 games. He isn’t in the HOF. Being a defensive whiz doesn’t get you in the HOF. Andruw does not have the career to be in the HOF. I bet he doesn’t get past 1 year on the ballot. I think his great promise and mediocre career will actually work against him in the long run.

  81. 81
    Leah Says:

    Sigh…sucked me in. The working mother of three with ZERO time will fill a spot. I can’t sign up til I get home. Were it football my boss would totally understand. Baseball, not so much.

  82. 82
    Steve Says:

    Good going Leah. Very happy that you’ll be a part of it. Now that Lost is off the air, you’ll need some new exclusionary topic to post about on the board. And here it is …

  83. 83
    Eric Says:

    In fairness, fielding your position as a pitcher isn’t the same as it is at short or center. Agree about Kaat, though – nice career but not elite, thus no HOF.

  84. 84
    ham on whole wheat Says:

    I have to disagree with the boys about the time commitment of Fantasy Baseball. If you want to do well, it is a once a day commitment. Just saying . . .

  85. 85
    Leah Says:

    …if you want to do well…there’s the rub. Cue Curt…

  86. 86
    QC Bravo Says:

    Long time listener, first time commenter — great podcast. Great to watch you guys grow over the years. Need to something to keep me sane since my 6 yr daughter decided to be a Phillies fan.

  87. 87
    Tim in Orlando Says:

    “The Tigers Come At Night”

    Our second night game of the year and it’s a beautiful evening at Champion Stadium. Short sleeve temps with a gentle breeze to left field. Nice crowd 9,000+ Lots of Tigers fans with little to cheer about. Split squad game, but we’ve got Chipper, Gonzalez, Hayward and Uggla. Also Mr. Beachy who, based on tonight performance, certainly deserves the 5th starter job.

    It’s the first time I’ve gotten to see Beachy all spring and it was worth the wait. Outstanding performance. No runs, two hits (1 double), one BB and six Ks on 76 pitches (49 strikes, 27 balls) in six innings. He was mowing through the Tiger lineup with ease and never got into serious trouble. We was helped out by the defense when they turned two DPs, one on a beautiful diving catch of the bunt attempt by Eric Henske who easily double up a runner braking from 1st. Linebrink and O’Flaherty both pitched well. O’Flaherty gave up one unearned run when Uggla threw a perfect DP ball into left field allowing the runner to get to 3rd instead of ending the inning. Still thought Scott would get out of it when he struck out the Tiger batter for the 2nd out of the inning with the runner still at 3rd. Unfortunately, he uncorked a wild pitch to the next batter which allowed the runner to score.

    Then there was George Sherrill. This is the third bad outing that I’ve seen him have this spring. Bottom line: two runs, two hits (a leadoff double – again!), one BB and two wild pitches (one letting the 3rd run score). It let the Tigers get back into the game. We’ve got to have a better option than this!?!

    And for the offense: Mr. Chipper Jones. What can I say? He was batting .407 at the start of the game and unloaded a huge HR to the left center field wall that the outfields watched sail over their heads. We’re ahead 3-zip before we got comfortable in our seats. I like it. Gonzo had a good night with two hits including a double and an RBI. JHey had a single, scored a run and walked. He also made a nice play on a sinking line drive in short right field. Still waiting for Joe Mather to get it going. Got on base when he got hit by a pitch and made it to 3rd on a single by Matt Young. He was thrown out at the plate on a bunt by Beachy that was well defended by the Tigers: pitcher flipped to the catcher who blocked the plate forcing Mather to slide around him – tag came before Mather could touch the plate. Mather when 0 for 3 the rest of the night. Not much on the offense from Hinske, Ross or Uggla this evening either. We scored our 5th run when the Tiger pitcher couldn’t find the plate and walked four batters in the 5th inning.

    It was a really quick game – 2 hours and 30 minutes. And I got home early. Now to watch the Phillies game on the DVR. Don’t tell me how it ended!!!

    The “Phlailing” Phils come to Disney for their only visit on Sunday. Big crowd expected. Go Bravos! Let’s show them that we ain’t conceding nothing to them!

  88. 88
    Leah Says:

    Ok…all signed up and I still have no idea what I’m doing. Am I at a disadvantage if I do that autodraft thingy? Like, will I end up without any pitchers or something? I’m going to be terrible. I can’t even change my avatar!

    Thanks for the recap Tim…Chipper’s on fire!

  89. 89
    Walker Says:

    Great debate on Andruw. Can he at least get consideration for Braves HOF?

  90. 90
    Curt Says:

    Eric, not suggesting it is, but if there is some argument that gold gloves mow make you HOF worthy, why not Kaat. Jeter got one recently when he wasn’t anywhere close to the best defensive SS in the AL. And Kaat was winning them when they only gave out one award per position in MLB.

  91. 91
    Curt Says:

    Walker, on that matter, I think he is very close if not in. I just think the reasons you gave for him making the HOF will make him worthy of the Braves’ HOF. Can’t argue his impact on the teams he played on and the help he provided to the pitching staff for so many years. It’s too bad that he just fell apart. Kind of like Steve Avery. We didn’t get all that we should have. It’s sad.

  92. 92
    Nate Says:

    Chipper hit a 450 foot bomb from the right side. exciting. very exciting.

  93. 93
    Nate Says:

    Frank Wren said “We have the currency it takes to get something big if we need it” referring to the many great, young arms in the Braves’ organization. He said this during today’s game in the broadcast booth. Watch out Philly. Frank wants it.

  94. 94
    Nate Says:

    He also sounded pumped about where Chipper is at right now.

  95. 95
    Leah Says:

    Can today’s game count as 1 of D Lowes bad 5 starts of the season…please?

  96. 96
    Walker Says:

    I didn’t rate Andruw on his gold gloves but by what I and many other baseball people saw. Which is probably the best defensive center fielder in some decades.

    JD Drew, Carlos Beltran also come to my mind as players that didn’t reach their full potential.Sad.

  97. 97
    Leah Says:

    Holliday vs. KK…that’ll be fun.

  98. 98
    Steve Says:

    QC Bravo – thanks for listening and for visiting the board. So, how does your 6 year old become a Phillies fan? Story please?

  99. 99
    Steve Says:

    Leah – I think you’re fine doing the autodraft. But drafting yourself gives you more control. If you do it yourself, you’ll see all of the available players and their rankings, so it certainly guides you in that respect.

  100. 100
    Leah Says:

    Ok, thanks. How do I do that again? I think I’m going to delete my team and start all over. I can’t seem to edit anything.

  101. 101
    QC Bravo Says:

    Steve, the story behind her Phillies love is extra depressing because her logic is completely unassailable, when viewed through the worldview of a 6 yr old girl. She often asks who is playing in whatever sporting event I’m watching, and she really loves animals. So one night, last summer, when I told her the Phillies, she said “That’s my favorite team. Because Girl Horses are my favorite.” No amount of pleading, cajoling, bribery, or slander toward the Phillies or their fans could convincer her otherwise. She likes “girl horses” and the Phillies are girl horses, and that’s that. So now we bet, more wins each month, Phillies vs Braves. I’m now trying to convince myself it is a victory that she even likes baseball, since she hates sports.

  102. 102
    Steve Says:

    QC – great story (and depressing, indeed). Perhaps you should take her to a production of Equus to get her over her love of horses.

    But I agree, at least she has some rooting interest in baseball and you guys get to share MLB together. Thanks for sharing.

  103. 103
    Steve Says:

    Leah. Go to Draft Central > Pre-Draft Rankings. Once there, select the Edit My Rankings button. This takes you to a screen where from the list of all ranked players in the middle, you move them into your My Players list on the right which is, in effect, your preferred order. You can also exclude players, to the left, that you want to ensure the computer does not draft for you. Like Chase Utley, for example, because there’s no telling how much he’ll actually play (and because he’s a despicable Phillie and QC Bravos’ daughter’s favorite player – just kidding QC). Hope that helps. If not, send me an email and I’ll be happy to walk you through it in more detail.

  104. 104
    Nate Says:

    32 errors in 31 games. Is that bad?

  105. 105
    Steve Says:

    I don’t think it was a goal Fredi set during that first team meeting in center field.

  106. 106
    Steve Says:

    From DOB this morning: GM Wren said Jurrjens would have to pitch in a game of some kind before they know if he’s ready, not just test his side in a bullpen session. The Braves aren’t saying, but I think that probably means he’ll be left off opening-day roster and have a DL stint that’s backdated. Teams can count nine days of DL stint during spring training, meaning he’d only have to spend first six days of season on DL.

    That would allow Braves to carry an extra arm or position player for nearly a week, then activate Jurrjens to start the sixth game of the season, when No. 5 starter Beachy had been scheduled to start. Beachy could simply move up to the No. 4 position and start the fourth game. And then, if Jurrjens has any problems when he pitches in a minor league or intrasquad game, the Braves could add Lopez or Minor to the roster as the fifth starter. Again, this is just speculation, educated guessing, if you will. But it seems to make the most sense to me.

    ⁠Long post from ⁠2011-03

  107. 107
    Walker Says:

    I honestly trust Kawakami more than Lopez if JJ goes down. Braves don’t want to start Minors clock yet.

  108. 108
    Leah Says:

    Ok…sorry to be such a pain but what do the numbers on the left mean? How do I know I won’t get 4 SS and no 3B? Trying to get my “strategery” figured out.

  109. 109
    Steve Says:

    Leah – for the numbers on the left, do you mean the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc? If so, that list you see when you log in to the Edit My Pre-Draft rankings are the overall rankings of all MLB players according to Yahoo Sports. Does that make sense?

    Regarding a balanced roster, if you are filling it out for autodraft, make sure you have a bunch of each type of player, but the program won’t give you 8 first basemen and no pitchers. Once the autodraft has filled the max number of that position type, based on your preferences, it will move on to fill other needs.

  110. 110
    Leah Says:

    Makes sense, thanks! Is Yahoo Sports smarter than I?

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