Stark writes about how Fredi and Roger won’t use (or will try their best) any of O’Ventbrel unless they have a lead of 3 runs or fewer. What I’m also curious about is the number of times that those guys were used when they were pitching to protect a close *deficit* — those games when we were either tied or down 1-2 runs in the late innings, and they had to come in to keep the game close in order to give the offense a chance to come back. I’d have to look it up, but it seems like that happened pretty often — and would’ve equally contributed to the year-end fatigue.
And while I’m excited about the pitching potential this team has, this team HAS to produce offensively. I know that that’s obvious, but the number of close games the Braves played last year was a big contributor to their pitching wearing down.
Hey guys – as I type this, I am just a few miles from the ST complex here in Orlando. Going to do my damnedest to get over there on Thursday and see what is what. Apparently I will need to look out for redheads driving 55 on the way there. (as always, you can’t trust a gingy)
Not sure if they will let me just walk around, since there are no games or anything. Maybe I’ll see if I can hook up with DOB. Any tips?
Hey guys – listened to the show last week…just getting around to posting.
Nice show, hes always a good guest.
Expectations are pretty moderate for 2012. Wild card and lose in the first round again in the base case. Everybody who was weak last year turns it around in the best case.
Pretty good summation of where we are. With all the challenges Atlanta has as a sports town, a lack of passion from the owners seems to trickle down into the organization and even the fans. I know I have a hard time giving much of a crap, but I am so far out of the loop that I am not sure I count.
The only contribution I have at the moment is that Darvish is a huge deal for the Japanese. They are going nuts about it…in a good way. Hes the punk who smokes and plays pachinko and got his girlfriend preggo and had a shotgun wedding. Who now divorced her to go play for the Rangers. They say his second son looks just like their male nanny. Nice. His contract was bought out for 40 million and I think hes getting 10 a year for 5 years. Hes the same one who my friend who runs MLB Asia was in the locker room doing prep for the post game of the World Classic and watched put vaseline on his cap before the 9th inning. Japan beat Korea with 1,2,3 strikeouts in the 9th. I think in his first day with the Rangers he came in with a pot leaf on his shirt or something classy like that with one of the Rangers being in drug treatment recently. A sensitive, caring type. His arm is apparently the real deal, but the Japanese are probably watching this to see how it blows up Jerry Springer style. Hes half Iranian too. So there’s that.
Anybody know what the status is on the proposal for a two wildcard scenario this year. I haven’t heard much about it since Selig said he wanted it to happen this year. I am guessing that it’s going to have to wait til next year.
“No big moves. Hanson’s concussion. Chipper’s weight. And now Minor’s comments. What a dismal stretch this is. #Braves”
Guys – let’s cut with the melodrama here. Do y’all remember the offseason when, at some point or another, we were definitely going to acquire Jake Peavy, then A.J. Burnett, then Rafael Furcal, and then Ken Griffey Jr.? (There may have been another guy in there that I’m forgetting.) When every rumor the Braves were involved in was fodder for a full-blown DOB blog, and each one of those rumors fizzled out? THAT was a dismal stretch, especially because we were coming off a season when our rotation was horrible and we were desperate for new blood.
Let’s put things in perspective a little bit.
No big moves — yeah, and it’s a little disheartening. But, when you reassess this team and figure that what it needs is a chance for the same guys on the team to perform and stay healthy, then they still stand a good chance. You guys said so yourselves after the end of the season in one of your podcasts. What major holes do we have entering into this season? The lack of a proven SS is a weakness IMO, but we have experience in every other position to make up for it. Let’s wait to see how much of an impact their lack of big moves has on this club.
Hanson’s concussion — it’s a Grade 1 concussion. All indications are that he’ll be fine. And it’s barely made registered any type of buzz anywhere outside of Braves blogs. Let’s wait to see how much of an impact this concussion has on Hanson’s performance.
Chipper’s weight — DOB is reporting, and Chipper is stating, that he’s as fit as he was at the end of last season. Chipper says he’s lighter than he’s reporting to camp lighter than he has in any other spring. Let’s wait to see how he hits and performs this season.
Minor’s comments — this is where I stop defending the club. This is at least the second time that Minor has made a comment that makes the organization look bad. I remember towards the end of the 2010 season when he basically said that he was tired and that was why he wasn’t pitching well, and it infuriated Bobby and the rest of the club. One of those rare “you just don’t say that to the media” moments from a Braves player. This is another. Obviously Minor is the frontrunner for the 5th rotation spot, and Wren basically says as much in DOB’s article. I’m with you that Minor made some stupid comments and he’s not representing the team very well. Still, though — I don’t think Minor’s comments are that big of a deal to anybody not on a Braves blog.
This is a dismal stretch for the Braves? PUH-LEASE. I love listening to the podcasts, and I love coming on here and reading and contributing to the comments — but come on. There are some minor things that are cause for concern, but not one of these things comes close to the state of “dismal,” let alone the sum of all of them.
Want dismal? Put on a Mets hat. Become an Astros fan. Try embracing Lance Berkman as the new 1B in St. Louis after Pujols left while hoping the rest of the team can live up to last year’s magic. Root for the Orioles. Hope for a .500 season from the Pirates.
As for Atlanta – sorry for being optimistic, but things are bright, both for this season and following seasons.
I think we will know the answers to a lot of these questions very soon. I don’t get the sense that another great season with an epic collapse is coming. We are either going to be as good as we were last year, or the whole thing is going to implode. And implode right off the bat. If the team comes out and tanks the first month, I don’t get the sense they rebound. Right now they are saying all the right things, but let’s see all this applied to the field.
And why am I supposed to be so jacked up about guys showing up 4-5 days early to spring training? Would you guys mind showing up to Orlanda in February to play golf for a month, sprinkled around some baseball practice? I’d be there in January.
“David, the Peavy/Burnett/Furcal disaster was all external. Internal strife is worse”
I think that’s fair. Both are bad, but when there’s bad stuff going on within the club, that’s worse. I would agree with that.
However — I don’t think that there’s any “internal strife” going on, with the only exception being Minor’s comments. I think that there is strife being projected by fans onto the team, but not among the team itself. When most of the players are showing up early to camp (and two of the ones that aren’t reporting early, Pastornicky and Wilson, are working together elsewhere), that shows that they’re motivated to put last year behind them. When Prado comes in and shakes hands and high-fives EVERYBODY in camp, that shows a tight group.
And not to shrug off Minor’s comments, but I think that when there’s a tight group and a good number of veterans who know how to talk to the media (Chipper, Hudson, McCann, Uggla), the club will take care of it when a young kid mouths off and says something he shouldn’t, or in a way that comes off not as “clean” as he might have intended.
I, honestly, think he has a valid point. Stupid to raise it publicly, but a valid point. He is an older guy, given he went to college, and he wants his pro career to get going in its entirety. The fact that he couldn’t beat out Beachy last year, and if he can’t beat out Teheran and Delgado this year, is a different matter. He doesn’t want to go back to AAA for another season because he has nothing to gain from it. If the Braves can’t find a place for him in the rotation, he knows there are teams he could pitch for and could get his contract clock ticking. He hasn’t earned the right to pop off, but I don’t think his thought process is out of bounds.