Hanson + Lowe = “Howe” – I like it!
Fredi – I’d be surprised if he gets ejected once a month. Whenever we get a bum call from the umpire he barely budges from his seat.
Minor – I agree that Minor will probably be traded. We should start putting together a wish list.
An update on the run differential stat — we are now number one in the league with a +41. Who’s the worst? the team we’re playing next: Houston, with a -44. The Braves really have to go into that series with a “no mercy” attitude. Blow them away, and carry a winning streak when we head out west.
Curt, I don’t know. I find it more disappointing than I can even say.
My only hope is that my observations were still valid. I saw lots of signs of energetic movement and facial expressions. However they are up against what Chipper and you guys saw as lethargy.
I’m not sure McCann, Ross, Uggla, Freeman, Hinske, and Prado would like for Chipper to include them in the sleepwalking, and maybe that wasn’t his intention. In fact, on the off chance that Chipper is talking out his ass – as he is wont to do – I’ll remind us that Chipper is the only Brave I’ve ever heard talking in the first person about taking at bats off, and he’s said those words a bunch.
Then again, maybe he’s the only one being candid. If so, it’s pretty disgusting.
There is one other piece of unfortunate evidence that Chipper and you are correct: they have won an inordinate amount of first games of the series. This matches the picture of getting a little breathing room and then resting on their laurels.
Maybe they’ll dazzle us with energy against the Astros. Yeesh.
Oh, and as to the Braves being a team that doesn’t blow people out, I have to disagree. I think with the power numbers they have (2nd in the league in homers to the Reds, who play in a happy meal carton) to go along with the starting pitching and talented back end, they will blow teams out about as much as anyone once they get going.
Scoring is down across baseball. The fact that the Braves have the best run differential in the game while having nowhere near the best record tells you already that their winning and losing have been by wider margins than anyone else. At least I THINK that’s what it tells you; can’t think of another scnenario that works there.
Great show as usual! I just wanted to chime in on the Atlanta Crackers/Black Cracker nomenclature issue that was discussed at the end of the show. Admittedly, at first glance the term “Black Crackers” does seem very much like an oxymoron.
However, in my research on the Atlanta Crackers’ team origins (from whom the Black Crackers took their name) the name was not necessarily chosen to as a variation on the pejorative term but more likely has it’s roots in the Atlanta Firecrackers minor league team that played in 1892 for the Southern Association. This seems more reasonable to me than to think that the team was named after poorer class white southerners but “Crackers” may have been not only a shorter version of “Firecrackers” but also a way to include the baseball reference by indicating “crack” of the bat by Atlanta players.
Fellas…on your Civil Rights game talk and the lack of black players. Why is this a big deal? We don’t worry about the lack of Asian players in the NHL? Or lack of really short people in the NBA, fat white track stars or disabled athletes playing professional tennis. MLB as a whole is the MOST diverse arena sports has to offer. Latin, Asian, white, black, etc. They’re able to have a “World Baseball Classic” because they’re so much diversity. So while the number of American black players may be smaller than in the past, baseball should actually be held up as the melting pot of sports. So I think we worry way too much about who’s playing what sports.
Foul – Agree, can’t move him down while Chipper is out. Won’t go toward helping him. Play on Sunday may have “broken him out”. (On a personal note, I wish he would move closer to the plate – I don’t think they can “get one by him” inside and maybe he could foul off that outside pitch they are killing him with when he gets two strikes). I agree with Hammy (just threw up in my mouth a bit ) I think that pushing Uggla down would tend to make him press…
Fair – I’m ok with giving McDowell a chance to redeem.
Foul – Not sure there is much new. Or much that can be done w/o a cultural change.
Basketball is taking the greatest chunk of Afro-American players. It is just easy to play basketball almost anywhere. You can play by yourself, two-on-two, three-on-three, half court, no court… It takes one ball and something to use as a hoop to shoot through… Also, not a lot of risk of accidently breaking someone’s window with a basketball…
Baseball, however is “equipment heavy” (ball, bat, several gloves) and requires a minimum of five to six players for each side to make a decent game. It is tough to have a “pick-up” baseball game. You can play variations with tennis balls and broomsticks, but it really doesn’t translate a great deal to baseball skill.
Like the fact that all little babies are able to speak all languages, they only retain what they hear. For the most part, what children learn they retain and concentrate on. It is a great deal easier to identify with one of five basketball players when they are on the court for most of the game than it is for one of 25 baseball players when you probably see their face three to four times in a game when they are at bat.
You can take your basketball, go out and pretend to be taking that last shot to win the game, visualize your success and actually shoot the ball through the hoop; and in doing so, practice something you can take to the court.
It is rather easy to practice basketball by yourself – just dribbling a basketball with each hand for 15 to 20 minutes a day can translate to bettering on court play, something you can do indoors, at your house (if you don’t drive your mom nuts…).
It is much, much tougher to do something to practice baseball by yourself that will actually translate to the field.
If we must talk about it, then here’s my take. I think the lack of black players and black spectators at baseball games has more to do with a cultural shift than anything else. Over the past several decades the focus in the black community has been on basketball and football. I’m not sure why this is, but these sports resonate with the black population more than baseball does, generally speaking.
But I think its silly how MLB seeks out racism as a scape goat for its “diversity” issues where there isn’t any racism at all. A cultural shift has occured, and I’m affraid there’s not much MLB or anybody else can do about it. Ludacris performing after a game isn’t going to get more black folks interested in baseball.
But anyhow, I wish MLB would stop looking at this as their own fault. This isn’t something of their own doing. It is what it is. I don’t like it either, but perhaps instead of focusing on black/white attendance, maybe MLB should make the game of baseball a more exciting experience for everyone. One problem I see is that the seasons are considered by many would-be fans as too long. If you shortened the season by 60 games (the season going from beginning of May to end of August) people would put more value on each game played. Then take the post season and add more teams so each team has a better chance of entering. Of course this would never happen, but I think adding more weight to each game would make the game of baseball better. Just my opinion.