August 07, 2011

Show #159: The Braves Continue to Play .500 Ball

The starting pitching, Chipper in 2012, a heated debate about Heyward and, of course, Antiques Roadshow.



176 Responses to “Show #159: The Braves Continue to Play .500 Ball”

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  1. 1
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Haven’t listened to the show yet, but I was wondering…

    Think we can get Venters to show Minor how to hold that slider? He pitched well today, but he could REALLY use some more movement on that off-speed pitch…

  2. 2
    Walker Says:

    Great show

    Bottom line is if Jason Heyward isn’t successful the Braves are not winning the World Series.

    If Heyward didn’t make the league minimum and made 12 million dollars like Uggla no way Constanza plays instead of him. Play Heyward or send him to AAA.

    Also what in the world happened to Charles Thomas?

  3. 3
    Curt Says:

    Walker, Charles Thomas was included in the trade for Tim Hudson with Oakland and was out of baseball within a couple of years. I don’t think he played more than a handful of games for the A’s.

    He was great for that little stretch.

    As far as Heyward, you’re totally right. I know we joke about hating on Heyward, but if he isn’t a star, the future for the Braves is completely altered.

  4. 4
    Jo-Bu Says:

    No doubt Heyward is the future star for the Braves but that’s tomorrow. Play the hot had, that hot had won’t last long at all so Heyward will be back. We have to make a choice: Do we want to win now or save that for later. I’m not on the train that says come hell or high water we have to play the “future” star. We live in the here and now and have to win games in the here and now.

  5. 5
    Leah Says:

    Totally agree with Jo-bu and totally disagree with Stevie. Play to win! If Heyward needs everyday atbats then send him to Gwinnett. Steve, how is this different than Frenchy? You were adamant about him being sat down or sent down.
    Speaking of…love him or hate him Frenchy made an unbelievable throw to 3rd yesterday.

    Great show!

  6. 6
    Jo-Bu Says:

    I hear a lot of folks offerng that Heyward might be better served with a trip to Gwinnett. I’m not so sure that would be good for him. You just can’t see Major League pitcing at the Triple-A. Perhaps this is part of Stevie’s point in that you just keep sending him in to play through it? If it were May, I’d say sure but days are falling off of the calendar, even for the wildcard lead.

    I’m like Curt and Hammy, I don’t look for the Phillies scores any more — haven’t since we fell 5 games back.

  7. 7
    Nate Says:

    Good show guys. I think you have to play “Georgie” until the league figures out how to get him out. Who knows, maybe this fires-up Jason. There is no doubt that he is our future, but right now he is pretty bad at the plate. (aside from yesterday’s blast) Also, the radio guys mentioned Fredi pulled Heyward so EOF could pitch 1 1/3 innings instead of 1/3 of an inning.

    The good sign for me was Bourn coming over and continuing what he has been doing all year. You don’t see that from a lot of guys we acquire.

    The bad sign for me is the starting pitching. We appear to be running out of gas. The effect of having both Hanson and Lowe in our rotation is really catching up with the bullpen, and Fredi continues to show no signs of knowing when to take a pitcher out.

    I’m with you guys and Jo-Bu, no reason to pay attention to the Phillies at this point.

    Leah, that throw by Frenchy was pretty spectacular. Thanks for posting the link.

  8. 8
    DAP Says:

    my view on the heyward situation is kind of complex.

    first, ill say there is alot that frustrates me about fredi, although i really want to like him….but, i like his “check your egos at the door” attitude so far with who he plays.

    i dont think heyward should sit longterm to let constanza in the lineup, but i think some folks are overreacting a bit about the whole thing so far.

    constanza is batting over .400 right now, and heyward has not started in just 2 games in favor on georgie. just 2. it might be a little too soon about constanza stealing ABs from heyward.

    by the way, prado should get some time to clear his head to. if heyward can sit a game here and there for a .400 hitter, so can prado, who isnt exactly killing the ball lately.

  9. 9
    DAP Says:

    it wasnt too long ago when the braves were doing the good week/bad week thing and y’all were begging for a good three weeks stretch to convince you this team was actually as good as its record.

    well, here we are, having had such a streak, and still with the 4th best record in all of baseball. I know y’all try to just focus on the week, but keep in mind that counter intuitive to a long baseball season. The braves can bust out another streak of good baseball any minute.

  10. 10
    Walker Says:

    @ 3 – Thanks for the info

    @ 5 – Heyward is a completely different player from Frenchy even when he’s struggling. At least Jason takes walks and doesn’t swing at every single pitch no matter where it is.

    @ 6 – Even though he won’t see Major League pitching at Triple-A, the point is for him to just get his confidence back.

    @ 8- You’re right Prado is having his own little slump which makes it weird that the 2 players that sparked our team to the playoffs last year are 2 of our worst right now.

  11. 11
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Did you see Constanza lick his bat?

    It was right after a foul ball. He looked like he was licking off the ball mark so he could see where he could see where he was hitting the ball on the bat.

  12. 12
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    This year’s team approach seems to be “Be Agressive”.

    I think this explains the lower walk total and being “aggressive” is not necessarily a bad thing… However, they don’t seem to modify their approach with men on base and THEY NEED TO…

    The approach ought to be, at least in their heads, the pitcher is in trouble. The pitcher has to change from wind-up to stretch, he has to split his attention between batter and runner, he has to have multiple defensive scenerios in his head as to which base he will throw to/where he goes to back up plays, etc. and he will have to be more carefull on the pitches he throws to prevent the men on the basepaths from moving up (i.e wild pitch, passed ball, balk, etc.).

    The batter is still doing what he was doing before… trying to get a hit or a productive out. And that usually takes some patience.

    How many times have we seen men on base and the batter go after the first ball he sees, no matter where it is? That is being aggressive, not adjusting to the situation. Until you get two strikes and need to protect the plate, look for a perfect pitch…don’t just go up there “aggressively hacking”.

  13. 13
    Mark in Memphis Says:


    I like the “check your egos at the door” reference.

    I liked that Fredi didn’t change the line-up for Chipper to bat in the third spot when Freddie and Uggla are SO HOT at 3 & 4.

    AND Chipper contributed to a win from the 5th spot.

    BTW – ESPN’s bottom line displayed stories from the day’s games. All references contained last or first and last names of players except for the Braves game and the reference just said “Chipper” – kind of like “Elvis”

  14. 14
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    FOF: Should Chipper retire?


    If he determines he should take a more limited role and restructures he contract toward such, the “Foul”. Otherwise, I am leaning toward “Fair”…

  15. 15
    Steve Says:

    #11 – Wow. I didn’t see that. I am now in favor of Jose taking at-bats from Heyward until I see it for myself.

  16. 16
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Wayward Heyward

    Uggla’s struggles came from an approach at the plate. Early season, he was trying to pull everything…he seemed to be trying to be the “pop in the middle of the line up the Braves have needed for years”..

    Once he went back to being the gap-to-gap hitter he was when he was successful in Florida, he has been the Uggla we thought we were getting.

    Jason’s issues, on the other hand, stem from problems with his mechanics stemming from playing through his shoulder problems. As a rule, you don’t work through mechanical problems at the major league level when you have a replacement (i.e. Constanza).

    You still need to win games at the major league level. Want to make the playoffs? Heyward needs to play at a higher level or put him at AAA where he can concentrate on getting his swing back against inferior pitching – you don’t need major league pitching to work on mechanics of a swing. That way we win games now AND maybe Heyward is ready to contribute before the league completely figures out Constanza.

    OBTW – Steve – we will have to agree to disagree – Constanza is a better defensive ourfielder than Heyward in the respect that Constanza’s speed can make up for the mistakes that both of them seem to have with balls hit over their heads. How many times have you seen Heyward lose one you think he should have caught? How many times have you seen Constanza make an adjustment and catch one hit past him that you thought he wouldn’t (given a small sample size…)

  17. 17
    DAP Says:

    mark in memphis AND Chipper contributed to a win from the 5th spot.

    well, chipper was batting 9th, after starting the game on the bench. point taken, though.

  18. 18
    DAP Says:

    steve, here is an article poking fun at constanza for it:

  19. 19
    Steve Says:

    #18 – Awesome.

    J-Hey riding the pine again tonight.

  20. 20
    john j Says:

    The truth is that Heyward was given star status before he earned it. Today he is an average hitter and outfielder at best. Words like “Top Prospect”, “special” or “potential” are used freely but you have to do it on the field. I am not saying he won’t be great once he heals up but then again, how many players make it to that level? .222 and 30 rbis is what it is. Lots of power when he hits it! MLB stats must have a typo but they are showing he has one assist this year; can’t be right. It also maybe that the Braves have had such bad luck at developing outfielders, he only looked like a superstar. I hope that is where it ends up………SUPERSTAR.

  21. 21
    Walker Says:

    @ 20

    You can’t go by the # of assist an outfielder has when measuring defense.

    And I agree words like “Top Prospect” or “special” are used freely but with Heyward they were actually true. This guy killed minor league pitching and shot up to the majors with 5 tool talent. I mean you can’t help but get excited. He just needs to stay healthy.

  22. 22
    Leah Says:

    #11.Mentally scarred for life.

  23. 23
    Mark in Memphis Says:


    Yeah, sorry, was mixing my games up…

    But Chipper did contribute ( 1 for 4, drove in a run with a ground out) when batting 5th the day before… not a lot, but something…

  24. 24
    Pure Says:

    Great piece on Chipper:

    And did you guys notice the reaction by the Mets fans in the background when Chipper batted in Alex for the winning run? Priceless.
    You can put a thought bubble right there: “Man oh man, Chipper again???”

  25. 25
    Eric Says:

    If Bobby was still managing, Hayward would be playing every day. We all would have killed Bobby for sticking with a slumping player for way too long.

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