I think most everyone was fooled by the Cards this weekend. I didn’t have us sweeping them but I had us winning the series or at least thinking we could beat up on their bullpen. They are a hot team right now but you know what, it seems that the Braves are the remedy for any team that is struggling and it seems we’ve been running into a “hot” team every series this early season.
McDowell should be fired and the only thing that he and the Braves (I’m sorry to observe) is that they are sorry that this stuff got out and the PR mess they are in. Do the right thing and fire this jerk and “restore” the class this organ-eye-zation has built over the decades. Of course the Braves are still going to be regarded as a very class organization but from my perspective, they lost a few Jo-Bu points by not doing the right thing and firing him.
Yes, UBL is dead.
Being that the 2011 Braves appear to be a streaky team, I have no idea how to predict this week. I mean, just what kind of team are the Brew Crew this season? They’re kinda like the Braves themselves so I say we take two from them and only take 1 from the Phils.
#2: Yeah, I thought Barry-O was having an “AlGore” moment on TV with the whole Leon Panetta thing he spoke about when he took office — opportunisticas usual but at least he had the balls to give the order unlinke Clinton whom preferred stand-off action by lobbing tomahawk missles from 500 miles away.
Nice job guys. Don’t feel bad Curt, questions are hard to read. I agree with almost everything you said. While McDowell’s comments and actions are repulsive I find Chipper’s less politically incorrect improprieties from years ago even more so. Either way, Lowe’s an idiot and as much as I like to win I’d rather the Braves organization take a firm stand.
I hope we play .500 baseball this week…I doubt it though.
Interesting slide show in the AJC looking back on the run ins the Braves have had with the law, or with common decency, going back to Otis Nixon and his cocaine suspension. One I had totally forgotten about was Bobby Cox and his spousal abuse charges.
Two things I thought of as you discussed McDowell and Lowe.
1) Wasn’t McDowell “the spitter” in the Zapruder film Jerry Seinfeld episode. Clearly the guy had some issues with being inappropriately demonstrative way back then. haha
2) As you described Lowe racing down Peachtree/”why didn’t he take a cab” the connection to Margaret Mitchell formed in my head. She was struck down by a wayward cab on Peachtree Street back in the day.
Wow, I’m surprised y’all have taken the accuser’s word on everything McDowell did.
I’ll say I haven’t ever heard anything but good things about McDowell, and I think he only did 1 thing wrong, and that would be the “lewd act” with the baseball bat. The initial response to the hecklers can’t really be described as “homophobic”, and I don’t believe the threat of violence even happened.
I think McDowell did some stuff he shouldn’t have done, got busted, and also got falsely accused of a few things. My opinion only, based on what I have heard from the situation. And, I think the punishment backs up what I think. If McDowell really physically threatened a fan, of course he would have been fired.
DAP, the SF Chronicle interviewed some people who backed up the story of the accuser. Also, if he is innocent, why did he apologize? Why wouldn’t he have vigorously defended himself, as he has every right to do? If I were innocent, that’s what I would have done.
And “Are you a homo couple or a threesome?” doesn’t sound homophobic to you?
Uggla may be starting to snap out of it. He has raised his OPS by 56 points in the last 7 games, along with 4 runs, 4 walks, a HR, 2 doubles, and 7 hits. Its not dramatic, but he’s moving in the right direction!
Not to mention him pantomiming putting his bat in his butt and saying “isn’t that how y’all like it out here?” Strikes me as slightly homophobic.
Still, I agree with Curt. The more egregious stuff was the threatening of the dude in front of his kids. I can’t say I think he should have hired a lawyer (especially Allred), but he should know better and act better.
I’m also going 4-3 for the braves this week, including winning 2 from philly. Braves are taking Lowe, Jurrjens, and Hanson into CBP, against a team that has been struggling to score runs. Uggla puts on a show.
Just listened to this week’s podcast. I thought that you guys did a great job not only giving McDowell and Lowe their due, but also holding the Braves themselves accountable. It seems that they’re being a bit sheepish on both counts. I wouldn’t have been surprised if McDowell had been fired, and I hope that he’s at least on a very short leash from this point forward. Whichever one of you said that the Braves should’ve added on two weeks is right.
And D-Loaded. Ugh. I wish that, at the very least, the Braves had skipped his start and had said it’s so that he can reflect on his decisions or whatever. If they had won one of the first two games in the series, perhaps they would have. And y’all raise very interesting points about alcohol and sports, especially the lack of a precedent for DUI for MLB players.
Uggla’s already showing signs of breaking out of his slump, so I’ll go with yes — now that April’s over, he’ll hit closer to his normal self and finish May with a season totals of the average of somewhere around .260 and 9 homers.
Just read the latest from Talking Chop. The Braves have the lowest stolen base rate in 30 years. They’ve stolen 5 bases and been caught 10 times. No Brave has more than 1 stolen base. They’ve played 30 games.
There have been numerous times when McLouth has been on base and should have been put in motion but Fredi doesn’t do anything. We may not have blazers on our team but McLouth, Heyward, Uggla, Chipper, A gon, and Prado have average to above average speed. Putting runners in motion makes things happen.
I echo your comments o the Braves’ response to McDowell.
Derek Lowe has a drinking problem and has had one for years. This is why he wasn’t re-signed in Boston and why the Mets wouldn’t sign him. The drinking included nights before starts, so, you know, enjoy that. Wonder if you avoided that discussion on purpose or not?
#29, Walker, I have felt the same way about McLouth, Uggla, Heyward, Prado, and Gonzo. They all seem like guys who should be able to swipe 20/yr, and hopefully Heyward and McLouth can do a little better than 20/yr with their speed. I definitely thought we world see more hit and runs and SB attempts under Fredi. Our 33% success rate on SBs is sad. Are we just picking bad spots? Getting bad jumps? Idk….
#31, good points on D-Lowe. There was a game last year where one of his teammates from Boston was calling the game for FOX, and they were talking about how D-Lowe has been a mentor for the young Braves pitchers and the former teammate’s reaction was essentially uh-oh. I think the former teammate was Kevin Millar.
If Moylan is done for the year because of his back surgery…what do you think we do…do we try to rely on our younger pitchers in AAA…do we re-call Proctor and pray for help….Our do we part ways with some Veterans not getting it done and look for help elsewhere…? What’s your thoughts?
• Hudson started 26 of 29 Brewers hitters with a first-pitch strike, the highest percentage by a starter this season. Overall, Hudson threw strikes on 74 of 102 pitches, his highest percentage in the last three seasons.
• After starting hitters with strikes, Hudson did not allow them to battle back. Just eight of his 102 pitches came when he was behind in the count. Hudson’s previous low over the last three years was 13.
• Hudson forced the Brewers to hit the ball on the ground. The Brewers grounded out 15 times against Hudson and hit the ball in the air just seven times. The Brewers hit just five balls out of the infield and only one after the fifth inning
Ron, if you want to complain about free outs, Prado, Gonzalez, and Uggla should be your targets. Freddie Freeman has an on base percentage of .328, which is, respectively, 30, 40, and 55 points higher than those three guys.
Jason Heyward has an OPS of .828 – good for second best on the team behind only David Ross.
Hey guys, our bullpen is fine we have youth in our bullpen. With that will come rough outings at times. Just as long as we have more good ones than bad. It’s called experience and we have to have those. I like Guerrin I believe he can handle Moylan’s role just fine. We’ve just been having trouble trying to redefine our roles. With moylan they were set now they’re not. As far as the bench production is picking up nicely.
My concern and I don’t know if anyone else has picked up on this too. Is have yall noticed but the last couple of head first slides by heyward he’s been grimacing and showing discomfort in his hand again.
Back to the Heyward and Freeman bashing … Not to mention that the team is freaking hitting and scoring runs. And winning. Everyone’s not going to go 2 – 4 every game and have BA’s over .300 all year. The offense has made huge strides the last couple of weeks.
Brandon, interesting you should mention that. He slid head first into home a couple of games back on a play where there was not even a throw, and all I could think about was that it’s probably best not to do that when you don’t even need to. I thought they were trying to get them to not slide head first at any time. Maybe that’s why they never steal any bases. Fear of the slide.
Why are their losers on this site showing no name like #50 or a made up name like#52. Folks that can’t deal with other opinions should shut up themselves. Looks like this site has 4 or 5 regulars and a couple of them only want to hear themselves talk. Pay to join a real site.
Eric and Nate, are you one in the same? Freeman belongs in 7 batting position. Too much pressure for a rookie. He seems to pad his stats when game is NOT on the line. Look what taking the pressure off has done for McClouth. Eric, is baseball a new sport for you?
I thought Freeman should be batting 8th, Ron? Move up McLouth, right?
Jason Heyward batted in the 2 and 6 spot last year as a rookie. Buster Posey hit clean-up as a rookie. Ike Davis hit 6 as a rookie. Kimbrel and Beachy are rookies. Venters was our set-up man as a rookie. Just because a guy is young doesn’t mean he can’t contribute – even in big spots.
If you think Freeman is padding his stats in low pressure situations, give me some numbers. I notice you conveniently ignored the numbers I provided. If you want to stick with cliche and one-liners that’s fine with me, but anyone reading can tell that critical thinking is a new for you.
Eric, Does someone really have Freeman mixed up with Posey? Do you want stats?
Eric, Prado, Gonzo, and Uggla have MLB experience and history: rookies only bat in the middle of the lineup if they are extraordinary. Rarely, when they bat .225. Someone can find stats to make anyone look good. By the way, Freeman is 6 for his last 40 at bats/.150 (last 10 games). Add in his walks and you have a .250 OBP. WOW!!! If you were managing the team, where would you have him batting? I seriously don’t think you know much about baseball.
I am not giving up on Freeman but he would bat near the bottom and I would have a contingency plan. You may not know it, but most rookies are not that successful. But if you keep reading your stats and following baseball, you will catch on some day.
Eric, do the stats; you seem to like them. How many rookies enter the MLB every year and how many compare to Posey? You may need to be reminded that Posey did not play the whole year.
I’m feeling good about our chances this year. So much so that I intend to start saving up for a trip to Atlanta later this year. The dream scenario is that I can run in the Atlanta Marathon on October 30 and watch a Braves World Series home game that weekend. Hopefully all the pieces will fall into place.
Is it too late to change my predictions for the week? Feeling pretty good about this team. I know we are still fighting for +500, but our youth is really looking strong, despite a few lapses into being human. I don’t know where all this negativity comes from! All good teams are good because they make a few adjustments through the regular season. I don’t think we are going to have to make the huge moves I was expecting during ST. In other words, I am optimistic.
I read and listen to hear the opinions of others, but its hard to take you seriously when you talk about this team like its 0-30!
Danny, they look good right now, no doubt. The starting pitching has just been unbelieveable. These last starts of the 2-5 starters were something to behold. The offense is still finding their way, but it’s hard not to be excited after a 4-game sweep of the Brewers, who are a pretty good team themselves. Let’s see if we can carry some momentum on to Philly. Love to take 2 of 3.
#64, Steve, you, Curt, and Ham run a great site. I enjoy listening to and reading all of your opinions. I think I speak for 99% of your audience when I say keep it up and GO BRAVES! We just won the season series against a playoff contender (per the media)s that we started out 1-3 against. Our team is good. we’re talking about improving the bench and getting another arm for the bullpen. most teams have much bigger holes to fill.
Ron, most people consider the middle of the line up the 3-5 spots. Freeman hits 6-7. I would have him hitting 6-7.
Alex Gonzalez has a career OBP of less than .300. Based on A-gon’s career MLB experience and history, I would have Freddie Freeman hitting in front of Gonzalez. Since McLouth has hit well from the 8 spot, I would continue to bat him in that spot.
I appreciate the good dialogue. We started this podcast, because we love talking about the Braves (and we are closet attention hogs). We didn’t even have the comments board in mind way back then. It has been, for me, the best surprise of the whole endeavor – getting to participate in a great dialogue about the Braves with all y’all. We love the debate, we love the point/counter-point, we love it all. We don’t, however, like personal attacks, name-calling, or whatever. My hope is that as we continue to add more listeners and commenters, that we keep the conversation rich and mature.
As far as I’m concerned the only personal attacks I would like to see are mine and Steve’s on Curt during the show.
Alright, getting off my high horse. Need to go take a valium, because I am beginning to think that we can sweep the Phils this weekend.
Despite taking a lot of heat for questioning if Freeman is ready for prime time, I still think he will be an asset in the long run. Good to have Hinske as a backup. Could Prado handle some first? Oh, and sorry for getting PO’d at folks who don’t like a different opinion.
Anyone worried about Conrad? Can he overcome last year’s ending? Will he be getting some field time?
Ron, I don’t think questioning Freeman is off limits. I took heat for doing the same on the show a couple of weeks ago. I think responding to people who disagree with you by questioning their knowledge of baseball is probably where you lost some folks.
Trust me, I am often the voice of the contrarian. We all appreciate, as Ham noted, different views of opinion. That’s part of the beauty of it.
I’m probably not the one to answer the question about Conrad, because I would rather someone else be on the roster. I think his magic is gone. I understand he got a game winning hit the other day, good for him, but I think he has 2 hits this season? Maybe 3? You notice that even when some other guys are getting in the field, he is not. I hope at minimum it stays that way. he is a very popular guy amongst the team, but we don’t need a mascot. We need a guy who can contribute.
Sorry that some of us don’t measure up to the “critical thinking” that Eric has. Eric, the genius, who couldn’t see the humor in referring to Freeman as Freeout or Freeloader (sure you are all too young to remember Freddie the Freeloader on the Jackie Gleason show). No humor equals no fun. So, have fun in listening to Eric compare Freeman’s start to Posey’s start. That in itself, shows a real knowledge of baseball and demonstrates “critical thinking” that an old guy like me will never be able to match. Hope all 20 of your participants enjoy; this clearly is an exclusive group.
One last thought, Bobby was exremely good at getting his bench players into games and getting some at bats so they were ready when he needed them. Fredi appears to have no confidence in Conrad and it does Hicks no good to ride the bench day after day. Braves have a great streak going but when they hit the bumps that come along during every season, there is not much to fall back on after Hinske and Ross. Hope they can find a couple of more good players somewhere. Most teams need 30-35 players to contribute sometime during the season.
Lastly, my biggest wish is that the Braves find new ownership. Liberty Media has Braves management on the ropes; do whatever you want but return the profits that are demanded. Nearly all of the Liberty Media management in Douglas County Colorado are Rockies fans. Go Braves!
Good to see Freeman get a day off; Getting on base so much can be really tiring for someone his age.
Over and Out.
PS: try welcoming new names and maybe everyone can get off to a good start.
What do you all think about the D-Lowe trade talks? (tomahawktalk.com and jon jeyman/si.com). It feels odd to talk about this now given that he just pitched 6 innings of no-hit ball… but then again, it might be the best time to consider it because he’ll have a high trade value. But do we really want to shake things up when we’re on a hot streak?
I agree with Hammy and Curt. One of the reasons I started commenting here is due to the classy nature of the individuals who post. Unlike that uncivil free-for-all blog on the AJC.
As far as knowledge of baseball is concerened, no one on here owns ANY superiority in that department. If they did, they’d be in the game of [professional] baseball and be a helluva lot more humble about thier own opinions and not out here commenting about it. Anyone who’s watched this game (or played it as I and many others have) know that it will humble at exactly the moment you think you’ve got it figured out.
After the series with the Cards I really thought the Braves were going to get stomped this week — I had them winning 1 or 2 from the Brew Crew and only 1 from the Phillies. As it is turning out, we 4-game-swept the Brewers and out-pitched Lee (despite his 16K effort) in the first game of this three-game stand with the Phillies. What a difference a walk-off win can make (last game vs the Cards). Once Danny-boy gets going and Freddie Freeman makes an adjustment or two, it’s going to be nice to see the full potential of this offense.
Man, that was impressive stuff by O-Flare last night. Talk about clutch!
I’m stoked about tonight’s game, too! I’m trying to keep it in perspective but I say: Advantage Bravos with the Phillies not having seen JT first-hand. Gotta kick those Phillies while they are down a bit.
I might be in the minority here but I don’t think Jason Heyward is a very smart player with all of this head-first sliding. The guy hurt his thumb last season and hurt the team a bit and still, he’s not learned his lesson. The guy slides head first on everything — not very bright.
I just think head first slides are the more popular way to slide now. Prado slides head first and he is a very smart player. Players think it is faster than sliding feet first and that they can control their slide more. Not sure it is an indictment of heyward’s smarts.
Jo-Bu: thanks for the appraisal of the comments board. A great tone has been set from the original crew of commenters (you know who you are!) and has continued, for the most part, with all the new folks. If everyone keeps up the civility, it will be no fun for the bullies.
I think the head first slide thing are instincts and muscle memory taking over. They’ve been doing it that way, in those particular situations, since they were kids.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO effing excited about tonight’s game and the Teheran start.
I’ve not seen the Lowe trade stuff. Interesting. There’s certainly a wealth of pitching and the FO must be really pissed about the DUI if they are considering it. I’m not advocating it, but it’s interesting. We’d probably get some really great guys for him.
The part about the smarts and sliding head first is that Jason has already had an injury from it. I understand the instinct argument but you have to be “smarter” than that and realize that it’s not required in all situations just close situations — risk/reward factor is too great for such a valuable offensive player as Jason.
I would not have a problem if Jason dove for a ball. Remember, the point is, if the play requires a Pete Rose dive, then you gotta do it. Same for a play in the outfield.
There’s playing the game the right way, which Jason does, but he needs to remember that the team needs his bat in the line up. More to my point, Jason Heyward is not a model of health. I’m one who believe that his value could be cut short due to being injury prone. I sure hope I’m wrong but rumor has it that he’s been playing through occasional back pain since he was around sixteen.
A lot of people complain about the Braves lack of aggressiveness on bases. Stealing bases takes a significant toll on the body. Our more athletic players – Heyward, McLouth, Prado – have injury histories. I wonder if that makes Fredi more apprehensive to send them sometimes?
#117, Kate I agree with Steve. I don’t know if we will see a more anticipated prospect than Jason. The stories last Spring were mythical. I think Julio and Tommy are pretty even. When Tommy came up we needed him in a bad way. Teheran did arrive younger, but the need isn’t as great as it was for Tommy. That said, I was impressed with Julio last night. Yes, he looked like he could use some more seasoning, but it is the Phillies. That lineup is pretty, pretty good.
“I really think he’s going to be a better pitcher for it,” Gonzalez said. “And we better learn how to pronounce his name because we’ll see him soon. And when he does come, he’ll stay up here a long time.” (Carroll Rogers)
“If he needed to come up right now, he’d be successful,” catcher Brian McCann said.
Awesome. Big time trade coming at the deadline. Medlen/Beachy/Minor/Teheran, How do you make them all fit with Lowe/Hudson/Hanson/JJ? Plus you have Vizcaino and Delgado…
Gave up Stevie…no @atlbaseballtalk tweets from me. Too much rejection from times past. However, BRAVES WIN! Take that philthies! So glad they didn’t take the lead in the 8th or I was going to have to confess that I texted smack talk to our associate pastor. He’s a huge Phillies fan and I couldn’t wait to rub it in. Was afraid I’d jinxed us.