BTW, I noticed I was the first post…. is it just me or does it REALLY bother you that people seem like they sit around waiting for DOB to post so they can say “FIRST!” and like the first 5 post are “first.” Just thought I would put that out there.
In ’91 I was in High School and the extent of my interest in baseball was directly related to the level of interest held by my current boyfriend.
Great show. I think Uggla will continue. He was robbed yesterday of a single and hit a sacrifice fly. I loved the streak, the Rev and my boys were really into it, but I’m kinda glad it’s over. Takes some pressure off. Really wanna see Mac get a hit and Linebrink get an out. Nervous about this week.
Granted Born has a longer track record, and I’m happy to see him w/ the Braves…I don’t understand Steve’s greater adulation for him over Constanza when they both are bringing the same things to ATL so far…and one w/o spending any money.
not caught up in uggla’s hit streak? how is that possible? i was at the game friday and the biggest buzz in the air was about the streak. i think i was more upset about the streak being over than i was about losing the game. over all i was pretty sad yesterday.
the streak was huge for the city, and i wish it could have continued through the homestand.
this is a huge week for the braves, for sure. right now, it seems like a 3 team race for the wildcard, between the braves, the cardinals, and either the dbacks or giants. since we play both the giants and dbacks, this is probably the biggest week of games so far this season.
The 1991 season was special but I really did not get a chance to follow it like I wanted to. I had been a Braves fan my entire life growing up in Atlanta (East Point) and when the Braves entered the post season. I was on a ship on my second tour in the Persian Gulf. Luckily for us we had AFRTS (The troops called it A-FARTS) and the entire post-season was on the radio every MORNING at about 2 to 3 AM. Yep, I had to stay up all night to listen to the World Series and I remember it as sort of euphoric and could not believe the Braves were in it. I never got to SEE one pitch live…just highlights weeks later. There was no internet or satellite T.V. I had this little radio with an “ear bud” that you guys mentioned earlier. (Wow, are we really that old?)
So to listen to the games I had to wake up in the middle of the night. You would think that if you put an antenna to the side of a steel naval ship that you would hear radio stations all over the world, but no. I had to go outside the “skin of the ship” to pick up reception. On Naval vessels, you were not allowed to go “out” at night. This was known as “Darken ship.” (If a enemy saw the hatch open they would know your location) But in our case it was more of a safety risk. In the middle of the ocean at night it is PITCH BLACK outside. So, I would find a nice cozy place on the flight deck and listen to the World Series. One night, I was outside, (not sure which WS game) and I saw some movement on the flight deck. I removed my ear bud and heard someone say “who is that! Get him!” so I scurried inside and went back to my rack… The next day one of the Chief’s approached me and asked what I was doing outside. Of course I acted like I had no idea what he was talking about and he told me that he was in the “tower” and saw the Navy SEALS doing some secret training ops. He told me that if I had been caught I would have been in a ton of trouble. I love the Braves!
The 1992 season for me was better though. We had pulled into port in New Jersey for ammo onload and was not allowed to leave the ship. So here we were, in America and I could not watch or hear game 7 of the NLCS. Soooooo, being the nifty Sailor that I was, I took an old T.V. and took about 10 clothes hangars and tied them together. I opened the “overboard discharge” pipe on the side of the ship and fed the hangars out of the side of the ship. (I can only imagine how “red neck” it must have looked from outside), anyway, I got to watch the game and see “The slide” which to me is my most memorable Braves moment to this day…..
Doc, that’s great stuff. Thanks for sharing. My dad was in the navy during Vietnam and told me a pretty crazy story about being on watch one night. He was on a big transport ship and was in the middle of the Pacific. At some point, a big wave hit and he was thrown off the back of the ship. He ended up being caught in a cargo net, which prevented him from falling into the water and never being seen again.
I agree Steve with letting Heyward play against all the righties. I don’t know how he can get better if he doesn’t play.
These next 2 weeks are a chance for us to bury the Giants and Cardinals so we can organize and rest the last week in September. We need to be locked and loaded. No reason to lose in the NLDS this year.
If you are the senior leader of the team, you are going to be asked about the team, the players and injuries. Should Chipper say “no comment”or, should that be saved for our wonderful politicians. 99% of the time, Chipper is pretty careful with what he says. Braves are a better team when he is out there at 80% or better. Can’t say that about you know who.
Everyone is right on about this week. Everyone needs to show up and play like it’s the playoffs. Hope the fans act like it also. 5-2 for the week and Braves are in the driver’s seat. Play like Saturday and Sunday and we lose momentum. But we’ll still be ok as Lowe will surely save us in September and Heyward will have a break out month. I’m hoping we all but wrap it up THIS WEEK!!!!
Runs are once again hard to come by for the Braves. Hard to figure not hitting for Hudson with two on and one out. Also can’t figure Heyward even playing; he does so well against lefties with a big curve ball. Can’t figure Freeman and Heyward back to back in the line up. It is going to be a long week with Bourn (6 LOB and an error; a big game player?) not able to do anything. Maybe it is time for Constanza to lead off; play the hot hand. This is frustrating. Oh, nice bunt from Hudson. Back to the small ball thing. Fredi is a loser; guess he is counting on Prado hitting a homer.
Yeah I thought for sure Hudson would be hit for right there. Down 3-2. Runners on corners with less than 2 outs and you sacrifice? But John J cmon lay off Bourn. A hitter cannot decide where the ball goes after he hits it. Both those balls were hit very sharply. And suggesting batting Bourn 8th is not a good idea.
I know everyone is going to be talking about Freeman, but how about Constanza? How many other players in the MLB beat out that ground ball? And did you hear the crowd after he was called safe at first? Huge momentum builder right there. We don’t even get 1 run in the 9th without him leading off the inning.
@ Curt Wow! Your Dad is so lucky! If he was on a transport ship in Vietnam he was probably on a LST which are flat bottomed. Even if you overboard during the day you are probably lost at sea. At night?? Wow….. A few years ago a Sailor went to catch a football and went over during the daytime. We lost him. So sad…. These things happen often and the media never covers it.
Have you guys ever heard the story of Chipper and Thome in a brawl together in the minors? Thome had Chipper pinned against the net behind home plate, and through the net Chipper could see his parents sitting in the front row watching him as he got dominated by Thome. I forget where I saw/heard Chip tell that story. Probably a Spirts South Rain Delay or something.
“My first brawl in professional ball was against Charlotte,” Jones recalled. “He and Manny [Ramirez] and those guys were in Charlotte. And we cleared the benches, and he and I came across each other in the melee, and the next thing I know I was pinned up against the backstop, with my face up against the screen. And I looked over, and my mom and dad are like three rows away from me, and they had the look of horror. It was one of those moments when you just kind of cry for help, because once he got his big paws on me I was done. … He was like, ‘Don’t move, Chip. I will squash the life out of you.’”
Through the years, Jones and Thome have become friends from across the field, when they played against each other in the World Series in 1995, during spring training when Thome was with the Indians in Winter Haven, Fla., and during Thome’s years with the Phillies.
“For a while we were the only guys who wore our uniforms with the socks showing,” Jones said. “Not a better guy on the planet.”
#36 – If any slugger from the 90s was clean, I’d believe it was Thome. Big, strong dude. Maintained power throughout his career. No unusual spikes or dips. He’s like a really talented version of Adam Dunn.
@ Nate, Thank you…it was an honor to serve our great country… I would not change a thing. Being able to hear the Braves on the radio like (at sea) that just added to the moment. Kind of old school.
Curt’s story about his Dad STILL blows my mind…. At sea, at night…you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. That is why you can see every star in the sky. Being on a cruise ship does not count in compairison. I am just glad that cargo net was there to save his Dad AND ultimately Curt!
@ Eric: THanks for sharing the story about CHipper and Thome….can’t imagine Thome even coming at me…..that dude is a monster. I saw on ESPN last night his first home run as a rookie and he was smaller but still big. Chipper looked like a little kids then. I LOVE what he said to Chipper…classic.
I would guess Thome is clean, However if you don’t get caught why admit wrongdoing. If that steroid list was destroyed like it was supposed to in 2003 we would be saying A-rod was clean as well and he would continue to say he did it all natural. So we will never know. Unfortunately everyone who played in the 1990′s has a cloud of suspicion. I will never assume somebody was clean.
#24, sorry, never suggested Bourn should swap batting order with Constanza. Point was that maybe Constanza has earned a spot at the top while he is hot. Could Bourn bat second? Or, Bourn first, the “kid” second?
Anne, #26, Braves shirt in SF is OK but don’t do it at Dodger stadium if you travel down south. Think twice about Oakland also; I know from experience but that was a NFL game with this dummy wearing a Broncos shirt. I’m sure the baseball fans have twice the IQ of the Raiders fans so it may be safe.
Great article Steve. I kinda wish I hadn’t read it though. The writer scared the hell out of me when he was talking about Fredi Gonzalez.
“The playoffs scream out for creative managing, starting pitchers brought on in relief, ace pinch-hitters coming up early in a game when a high-leverage situation warrants it, closers used in nontraditional roles. Bruce Bochy’s outmanaging Ron Washington wasn’t the only reason the Giants beat the Rangers in the World Series last fall. But it did help. Braves fans better hope their team’s playoff life doesn’t come down to a managerial battle of wits.”
I know that this was sooooo 10th inning, but did y’all hear Chip or Joe say, when Alex Gonzalez was up, that he’s a hard man to double up? I guess that the other 14 times he’s grounded into a DP this year was sheer defensive luck.
#61, doesn’t DRS require a lot of subjective analysis by some 2000 “scouts” that assess the defensive plays often off of video? Not sure it is scientific or fine tuned yet. Don’t they assess the range, speed of ball, etc. subjectively? Objectivity includes your actual BA, how many times you hit into DPs, etc. We may not have anyone better than Gonzo yet but he would make a great #8 batter.
Was at the Ted tonight. Smallish crowd. Don’t know what was announced, but it was probably 20k or thereabouts. It was a weird game because it was flying by. We moved twice and somehow found ourselves sitting in front of the most obnoxious SF fans twice. Which clearly these people had never stepped in foot in SF. Which really made them such twice as bad. Fair weather losers. So when Prado won the game I did a rather subdued Hulk Hogan neck crane hand over ear maneuver at them to mock their sudden silence. It was quite satisfying.
Vinnie said it was foul on the replay, but I swear that Bourn hit landed right in front of us and you could see the grass torn up where it had landed and it looked like it hit the line.
Great win, either way. And go to see Brooksy score the winning run against the Giants. He got a big cheer when he came up and even more so when he hit his double.
I don’t know if everyone has seen this. It’s the eulogy from Ernie Johnson’s funeral that was given by Ernie Johnson Jr. It’s really great. Funny and touching. I think I can speak for all the hosts that no guest has been nicer than Ernie Johnson Jr. He really was beyond reproach.
89 – yeah, me too. I think we’re going to win the series, and not just split it. That said, we’ve got to do better than 2 runs against a team consisting of two or three regulars in there, especially when we’ve got a completely healthy lineup going for us.
Was still winnable if not for Linebrink (our new Proctor?) and 2 for 12 RISP (which is pretty common this year). JJ will be better next game. Need a win today. Had SF on the ropes for the series after two games is like scoring most of our runs against Cubs on Friday and not winning the series. Heyward and McCann are going to have a good games today.
Assuming that everyone comes back “healthy”, we have five starting spots next season with more than five pitchers:
Terehan (sorry about the misspelling in 149)
Nine pitchers for five spots. I think we can assume trading Lowe gets us nothing and I think we can assume that no one wants him to start for ATL next season. SO, with that in mind, make it eight pitchers for five spots.
If you can obtain a piece that the Braves need (i.e. shortstop with offense AND defense, corner outfielder (IF you Chipper retires AND IF you want to move Prado to 3B), a third baseman (Chip retires, keep Prado in LF), etc.)…
Hanson – iffy-ness physically reduces trades value (have to include too much w/ him to get something)
JJ – (first half record gives him HIGH value, possibly the highest he may ever have, plus, being a Boras client, we have NO chance to re-sign him w/o him testing free agency in two years)
Minor – getting better with every start, has proven “he can pitch up here”, HIGH trade value (can step into most any ML team rotation, is “cheap” for the next three years (I think) and still under team control for the three years after that – makes him very attractive to other teams, but also makes him VERY attractive to ATL with their current budget style)
Beachy – shown “he can pitch up here” for the entire season. Con: flyball pitcher, not the best thing in ATL home park…
Medlen – won’t know what he is till he pitches again – minimal trade value
Delgado – HIGH trade value following his last start, still don’t know what you have since he was pulled at the beginning of his “third time” through the line-up – first batter he faced for the third time hit the homer (which I agree with pulling him, don’t want him to have a chance to lose the game after pitching a no-hitter for six innings in his SECOND start – so much better than his first), trade value may NEVER be higher…
Terehan – High trade value based on reputation/potential, looked pretty good for a rookie in his ML starts, 2011 ML stats not the best (5.19 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, .288 BAA), might need another year in AAA
I left Vizcaino out of the list because they moved him to the bullpen to limit his innings. Not sure he will be “ready” to contend for a spot next year.
Personally, I could consider trading JJ before the “Boras effect” sets in.
I would consider trading Beachy before Minor (hate to trade a lefty), just because of the flyballs; however, John Smoltz was the same kind of pitcher…
Too early to trade Terehan, too “dangerous” to trade Delgado (after six no hit innings – granted it was against the Giants (lack of) offense)
I would say that the Braves definitely need to find some way to get rid of Lowe next year even if it means paying 13 million of the 15 mil he’s owed. I also wouldn’t be surprised if JJ was traded if Chipper retires for a big time left fielder.
So your objective is to get a left fielder? No thought of a third baseman there? Just wondering what influenced you in that direction?
Understand, I am in no way making a value judgement on your choice, I just wonder what went into it (i.e. in your opinion: Prado has shown to be better defensively at third than in the outfield, you think it will be easier to find a “slugging” left fielder than a third baseman, etc.)
“hard to determine what a trade value would be from just a couple of starts”
Is that “determination” for the Braves or other teams?
As for the evaluation, prior to the trade deadline, Terehan and Delgado were both considered “un-touchable”… So someone is making value judgements and I see the good performance in their starts can only improve that “value”…
The ball was dropped when Braves didn’t agree to eat some of Lowe’s salary and let some team take him for free. There may be another chance if he would only pitch a couple of good games in a row. I would be happy if they only had to eat half of next year’s contract. Every dollar saved would be better spent on the new stars. The problem is if he does pitch a couple of good games, Braves and fans won’t want to give him away.
Boras can be had IF the player really want to stay where he is at and loves his teammates. Would this be the case for JJ?
CarGo signed with Rockies based on promise that he, TuLo and Ubaldo would be the core for years to come. Boras can now show his other clients that ownership lies so wait to be a free agent which is HIS basic strategy.
#160 – I disagree that it was an unmitigated mistake not to get rid of Lowe. It wasn’t that long ago that all the sudden JJ and Hanson went on the DL. And it was really only this week that Minor “turned the corner” and, of course, the Delgado performance was only a few days ago.
Regarding who to trade… I don’t know. I like them all. Probably Hanson if only because I trust his health less and less.
What are we going to do with our excess pitching and money when there will be no holes to fill on the roster? All our positions are set for 2012. Our pitching staff is set. No Kawakami or McLouth. Wren doesn’t have to do anything this winter. At least he can concentrate on giving Lowe away.
#165, maybe the excess money goes towards eating the Lowe salary?
Steve, I agree with Tommy being the most expendable. I had heard that his mechanics would lead to future shoulder problems- a la Jake Peavy- and that seems to be where we are with him. He doesn’t finish his delivery, and his delivery naturally puts more strain on the shoulder. Shoulder problems at under 25 years of age seems like a HUGE red flag for a pitcher. Beachy and Minor look really smooth, and Delgado looks like an absolute stud. Teheran is kind of the unknown at this point and he is our highest rated prospect. This is a very exciting time to be a Braves fan.
I would love to see Chipper come back in a different role than everyday player, and he needs to take a reduced salary. I’ve gotten torn apart for saying that in the past, but it’s true. None of these lifetime achievement-award over the top salaries. Those don’t win championships. His contract needs to be reworked if he wants to come back. It’s just my opinion, not trying to force it on anyone.
#164, I forgot what a major contribution Lowe has made when the Braves really needed him. Maybe you could remind us all of how great he has done when we are short handed. I have trouble remembering his good games. He looks to me as a number 4 or 5 starter that is grossly overpaid. Yes, once in a while, he has a good game. And, you are also right that Braves need to look at who else to trade as NOBODY will take Lose, I mean Lowe, at his salary and skill level. If some team IS ignorant enough to take his contract, give him away ASAP!
As to Chipper, I’ll take him at 80% health-wise in 80% of the games for $14 mil; Braves seem like a better team with him in there. I don’t begrudge a career hall of famer Brave the money. I do however dislike the idea of $15 million to a guy who plays in 20% of the games and pitches well in half of those (meaning 10% of the games). If there is outrage over a contract, it should be Lowe’s, not Chipper’s. As I recall, Lowe signed with the Braves primarily because no other team would give him more than 3 years at around $12 a year. It was a bad decision then and it looks worse now. Just an opinion!!
Last point, Can’t remember the year but Chipper reworked his contract in the past so the Braves could pay some other players and be competitive despite the lousy uncaring ownership.
What was Bourn’s time was from 1st to home on the Prado 2B? The man can fly. If he wasn’t a CF he could be an incredible slot receiver. Bourn rounding second going home looked as effortless as Harry Douglas outrunning the entire Jacksonville secondary.
#181 – And I was there today and it was rockin’ for the big at bats and the 2 strike counts. And the heat was pretty withering, but the fans still got up for it.
#184 – It’s funny you say that, because we are actually bringing back the Post Season Hope Meter tonight. But if we extend the WC lead much more, I’ve been thinking we WILL have to change it to the WS Hope Meter (I’m kidding, sort of, in a non-jinxing anything kind of way).
Ive told this story before, but since you went down memory lane, in early summer of 1991 I was at a Saturday afternoon game in the outfield and we sat about ten rows from a fraternity from Florida State. There were about 20-25 guys and their dates. They sat there and got hammered and you guessed it – did the Chop all afternoon. And that moan that goes with it. They began as the only people in the stadium doing it at the time. And you guessed it – it caught on like a virus. So me and my dad witnessed the birth of the Chop. Long live the Chop.
Curt living with Martin and Bill…are they making a movie about that?