Eric – I agree that chemistry in baseball is not a must. There’s plenty of examples of that. But, I think strong chemistry can make a good team very good to great. And that’s what we saw last year with the Braves.
I can tell you all about the Tampa/White Sox game……….
No Braves in Rosemary Beach, for some reason. Thank you Peachtree TV or Fox Sports South or whoever it is that has been carrying these games.
Eric, from our chats with DOB, it was way beyond “I like Escobar when he is playing well.” They hated that dude. They gave Gonzalez a standing ovation when he walked into the clubhouse. I hated the trade, and still do, but he clearly was more than a little nuisance they were dealing with.
1.Great game. I got goosebumbs when Chipper got his 2500th hit. If it weren’t for the injuries the last 6 years he would be right there with Jeter going for his 3,000th hit.
2.I seriously doubt Yunel was as bad as they made him out to be. Yunel had a different style of play from Cuba that nobody understood. It was weird how his errors weren’t seen as mistakes but seen as he somehow did them on purpose. It was also language barrier. If he spoke english he would still be here. Giving A – gon a standing ovation was a bit over dramatic from the braves. They make it seem he was some sort of mean bully or something. Not that serious. Braves will regret that trade.
Curt, I didn’t say “like” – I’m saying they tolerated him and that’s all it takes for baseball, especially when the guy you’re giving a standing O to a guy who has a ceiling of .250 at the plate. At some point this season they’re going to miss the production that Escobar provided.
And, for the record, I think it’s reductionist to say it “was just a language problem.” Kawakami was terrible, couldn’t speak English, and a lot of the guys really liked him. Escobar was aloof and gave the impression he only cared about his next paycheck. I think Bobby got tired of him and said, “I’m Bobby Cox. This is my last season and I’m tired of Yunel Escobar.” I probably would have hated him too.
2008 Rays and 2010 Giants. Those are two teams with great chemistry that made it much farther than they should have, so don’t be so quick to write off the effect of good team chemistry. I hated the Escobar trade as much as anyone. Many on this site can attest to my hatred of the trade, but he’s gone. He will never be a Brave again. Part of me wonders, since they met with Fredi Gonzalez in July, if Fredi Gonzalez didn’t have a role in that trade going down. As in Fredi telling Wren and Bobby that a Cubano couldn’t even turn Escobar around. Who knows? It’s all speculation.
There is nothing I love better in the world of sports than Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel pitch right now.
The rookies impacting the Braves club over the last four years is staggering:
I defy anyone (besides maybe the Rays, who soaked up all those first rounders, but I wonder if even they top us) to show a better crop of 8 rookies in 4 years! Averaging two impact rookies per year??!! Insane. And all but Jurrjens were farm raised. And most of them were stealthily acquired by our scouts – remember Heyward being scouted from the trees? Beachy was undrafted.
Add this to the resurrection project, O’Flaherty and the out-of-nowhere grab, Peter Moylan, and you gotta conclude that the heart and soul of Atlanta’s success is scouting and player development. I’ve heard that said a bunch, but I’ve never really gotten hold of it.
All this and Minor, Teheran, Delgado, and Vizcaino are all trying to get in, too. Will we get 10 impact rookies in 5 years??? If we end up with a dynasty on a 90 million dollar payroll while the $160 million(?) Phillies get old and crusty, how impressive would that be?
Um, Fredi Gonzalez is a moron, folks. Sherrill has a LIFETIME OPS-Against of .800 against RHB. He left the guy in there for two of them in a row.
Then pulled him when a LHB finally came up, when Sherrill actually has a LIFETIME .500 OPS-Against versus LHB. And puts in a RHP. Wow. In Bobby’s worst moments I never saw anything like what just happened. That was miraculously stupid.
I listened to the game via At-Bat, and I almost threw my iPhone to the ground when I heard the grand slam. This was after I was grinding my teeth when Sherrill walked the bases loaded. By the way, I’m from Manila, Philippines. Whenever the Braves have day games, I have to wake up at 1am.