March 12, 2012

Show #174: Braves Continue to Flounder

Too early to panic?  Is Bourn worth the money?  Is Hudson?  Is John Morosi right in his Fox Sports article?

 

 

69 Responses to “Show #174: Braves Continue to Flounder”

  1. 1
    carlos Says:

    Who ever says that these games don’t count should be kicked in the face. The Braves are a bad team right now and it feels like they didn’t learn anything from last year’s collapse. I went from being super excited to turn over a new leaf for the 2012 season to being totally devastated…I don’t know what else to say.

    At least this show was good, as always, the only good thing related to the damn braves.

  2. 2
    Walker Says:

    From a Sporting News article:

    The 39-year-old Jones is dealing with the effects of surgeries on both knees over the years (“I’ve got no meniscus in the right knee,” he said). He has already missed five exhibition games this spring with leg soreness.

    Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-03-12/braves-chipper-jones-says-end-of-career-is-near#ixzz1oylgLvci

    Sigh. How many games can we get from him this year?

  3. 3
    Walker Says:

    From Chipper:

    “If I play in a certain amount of games, I got an option for next year. I don’t know what next year entails,” Jones said. “I don’t know if I can make it through this year.”

    Really Chipper?

  4. 4
    Curt Says:

    Did he not see this coming? Honestly? I’m amazed that he came in and allowed the team to believe that he would be able to provide them something, and here we are in spring training and he might retire before the season starts. Given time, they could have at least made some plan to cover for it. And given Prado more work at third in the meantime. I’m shocked, and yet not surprised, by this news.

    And Carlos, bad would be 3 or 4 wins. They are awful.

  5. 5
    Nate Says:

    Great stuff from our leader. I stand by everything I said in the offseason about Chipper making way too much money. I also got criticized for saying we’d be lucky if he plays 100. At this point it looks like both of those comments were entirely accurate.

    Paying a 38-40 year old player 14 million a year, paying Lowe 15 million/year, giving Yunel to the Blue Jays for nothing, these are all moves that are still hurting the Braves. Maybe next year they finally stop hurting us. Maybe we can have some money to go out and pay players that will actually contribute in a positive way. Right now, the vibe around this team is terrible.

  6. 6
    Steve Says:

    Great show, guys. Sorry to miss it.

    For what it’s worth, from DOB last night about Chipper’s comments:

    it’s real, but probably not as dire as it sounds. I mean, I don’t see him retiring now or during season. I think he’ll get through it. But the knee is worse than it’s been, which is why he couldn’t play for five days after the opener. It looks like he’s past the worst of it, though, for now. He’s played a few days in a row, not doubled over in pain or limped off field, etc.

  7. 7
    Curt Says:

    Glad our metric is “doubled over in pain”

  8. 8
    Nate Says:

    I guess we’re going with a Hinske/Diaz platoon in LF when Prado is playing 3rd.

  9. 9
    fermie125 Says:

    Curt, I believe the phrase you were looking for is “world’s tallest midget”, as in, “Adding Michael Bourne’s base stealing to the Braves is like saying you are the world’s tallest midget.”

  10. 10
    Nate Says:

    What does it mean when a manager is on probation?

  11. 11
    Curt Says:

    Fermie125 – that might be correct. there is something with a three legged cat though. I swear.

  12. 12
    Curt Says:

    Apparently none that are printable.

  13. 13
    Curt Says:

    Good one Chipper. Because we want our leader joking about the fact that he is in so much pain he might have to retire. Backed up by scouts who say he looks awful…

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120313&content_id=27244272&vkey=news_atl&c_id=atl

  14. 14
    Steve Says:

    I think Chipper is a straight shooter and I take him at his word, BUT… This response feels like spin control on his part. When it gets tweeted by Rosenthal and Heyman, it was going to be a huge distraction.

  15. 15
    john j Says:

    If Presidential candidates say the wrong things, what makes anyone think that a baseball player is going to phrase things perfectly? Chipper is ONE player on a team that is about TEN players short of being a competitor. What Chipper says is about as important to the big picture as is what Newt says.

    Wren is counting on EVERYTHING falling into place this year; what are the odds of that happening? EVERYONE recovers from injuries. EVERYONE plays up to their potential. PROSPECTS evolve into MLB players. COMEBACKS by disappointing players. Players that had great years, REPEAT or IMPROVE.

    We all got to dream of success in the off-season, we get to see things develop in March, and we will get a dose of reality in April. Right now, just don’t bet the deed to the ranch on EVERYTHING falling into place. Enjoy the game of baseball and watch the young stars while they are still in Atlanta. Braves have a good product and miracles do happen.

  16. 16
    Curt Says:

    Listening to these spring training games is like losing a race to a 3 legged cat.

    Lineup in right now is pretty similar to our projected starting one.

    Bourn – 0-3, .240
    Prado – 1-4, .407 (just hit into inning ending DP with tying run on 3rd in the 8th)
    McCann – 1-3, .200
    Uggla – 1-3, .286
    Freeman – 0-3, .143
    Diaz – 0-3, .174
    Heyward – 0-3, 2Ks, .148
    Pastornicky – 0-3, .103

    Beyond pathetic

  17. 17
    Curt Says:

    4 hits, 1 run

  18. 18
    Kate Says:

    At least we didn’t lose.

  19. 19
    Steve Says:

    It just seems impossible that we’re dealing with stories about how bad the Braves are in Spring Training?!?!? There aren’t stories like this about teams in March. How have the Bravos gone so far off the rails, so quickly, that THIS is the local AND national conversation about the team? 28 other teams are enjoying the optimism of March and we’re getting stories about our manager being on the hot seat on March 13?!?! Unbelievable.

  20. 20
    Bubdylan Says:

    The good news: I get to keep internet after all.

    The bad news: I get to keep internet after all.

    Hey, at least my paranoid dream of the team turning into a soap opera before May was clearly an overreaction.

  21. 21
    Curt Says:

    Reality bites

  22. 22
    Bubdylan Says:

    Choosing who to scoff at between Chipper and DOB is like choosing between Godfather I and Godfather II. I can’t do it.

  23. 23
    Steve Says:

    #20 – Fair point.
    #22 – True. It’s like shades of the Hudson thing a few ST’s back. There were some tweets from Chris Dimino yesterday (local radio guy who’s buddies with Chipper) about how DOB wasn’t there when the comments were said. I know that’s not the biggest deal, I mean it was said to two national guys, but it casts a pall over it in some way. All of that said, go back and read Chipper’s exact quotes. None of it sounds tongue and cheek. Pretty straight forward in my opinion.

  24. 24
    Will Says:

    FYI, I listened to the show last night from Changsha, Hunan province, where Mao Tse Tung went to high school. I have to say that only the air pollution in China is more depressing that the Braves right now.

    Later I responded to Curt’s spam email to get people to join his ponzi NCAA brackets. He then explained that I needed to send him money because Davidson, my alma mater, is in the dance. Steve Curry had some game, and put Davidson on the map, so Im now thinking this could be fun. Maybe its the year of obscure college teams. I have watched that Jeremy Lin vs. the Lakers hilight clip about 10 times.

    For me, Davidson was losing at basketball and football. Basically ignoring basketball and football, really. Chasing after girls who wore Birkenstocks. Still managing to drink too much, but studying all day and all night. This is the hilight reel of me at Davidson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9qYF9DZPdw

  25. 25
    Curt Says:

    That’s Steph Curry, not Steve.

    Send my $$$$$$$$$

  26. 26
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, I’m with you. The words on the page, read in any tone you choose, are alarming. But I never for an instant believed anything would come of it. In fact I made rather an ass of myself on the motherblog telling everyone to mark my words, that he’d recant the whole thing within 48 hours.

  27. 27
    Bubdylan Says:

    ^ and yet when I was 100% right, nobody was all that impressed. Such a let down. Being right on the internet: it’s just not that big a deal.

  28. 28
    DAP Says:

    hm…at the risk of getting kicked in the face by carlos, its just spring training! These are not anything like real regular season baseball games, evidenced by the fact that Minor pitched 4 innings of 1 hit shutout ball, and gut pulled, and varvaro was pitching in the 7th protecting a 1 run lead. how many times will that happen in regular season play? most likely zero.

    I contend that if you thought this team was going to be decent before spring training games started, you should still think that. nothing has really changed.

  29. 29
    Walker Says:

    BOLD PREDICTION

    Andrelton Simmons will be our starting SS.

  30. 30
    Jo-Bu Says:

    It’s a shame: Chipper still seemed a bit bitter during the in-game interview he did in tonight’s game (for two half-innings). Joe Simpson asked if he’d like to clear anything up and Chipper basically said that “we have an overzealous reporter in Atlanta”… “Dave wasn’t even there”… “to print something I said in gest..” “He [David] has my cell phone number and he knows he can call me”… “taken out of context.”

    Yeah, Chipper??? So you are not going to take responsibility for what two national writers heard with their own ears and reported? Did you really think this wouldn’t go national given your emmence status in the game not to mention this team? Of course not, so let’s beat up on DOB because he’s the only target you can vent your mistake on because he relies on club/team access to do his job. Nope, let’s put the blame on some small technicality that Dave was not there, and therefore he took it all out of “context.”

    I mean, did you NOT know who you were talking to at the time you were being interviewed? they do wear press creds — maybe you should glance at those once in a while? This story would have gone national whether Dave was there or not, you fool.

    This is the weakest excuse/rebuttle I’ve ever heard come out of a professional sports athlete’s mouth after they’ve said something they wish they had not said.

    Chipper: I love ya, babe! You are the greatest switch-hitting thrid-baseman in MLB history but in order for that great honor to be worn properly, you gotta own up and man-up on this one, partner.

  31. 31
    Bubdylan Says:

    Throwing DOB under the bus was stupid as h*ll. Lame move. I don’t even like David that much, but Chipper absolutely put himself in that spot. And now the insulated big shot surrounded by yes men takes full advantage of his position and DOB gets the heat for it. Screw that.

    Three things I knew already

    1. Chipper’s last season would be a nightmare of low production and bullcrap in the press.

    2. Fans would still blindly rush to his defense instead of admitting he’s just a jerk.

    3. Whatever thread I had left of holding onto my Chipper Jones fandom would likely be snapped.

    I just didn’t know I’d get to check off all three in Spring Training.

    “if you thought this team was going to be decent before spring training games started, you should still think that.” – DAP

    Well, I’m covered.

  32. 32
    Bubdylan Says:

    And whoever made these quotes on the DOB blog the night of the big disaster deserves a lot of credit. A LOT of credit. He should probably be made King of the Blogosphere.

    “He ain’t going anywhere. He’ll “explain”/ recant/ talk out both sides of his mouth within 48 hours from now. He’s a Brave, for better or for gimp, all year.”

    “LOL, listen to me you freaks. Nothing is about to happen. The guy is just saying stuff. Just saying.Not doing.It’s Chipper. Am I taking crazy pills??”

    ” he. is. not. go. ing. any. where. He just let some words fall out of his mouth that he will be grumpily clarifying over the next few days.”

  33. 33
    Curt Says:

    Overlook the fact that the bulk of the players expected to make up your offense are hitting below .240. Your projected starting SS is 3 for 30. Heyward has 10 Ks. 3 starting pitchers have ERAs over 9…….

  34. 34
    Adam Says:

    Well I think we’re going to win the east. Since when has Spring training represented how well a team plays in the regular season?

  35. 35
    Bubdylan Says:

    Adam, if it were wins and losses, I’d agree. But the bad record is just one more thing thrown on the pile. And it’s a big pile.

    Chipper’s hurt. Heyward shows few signs of recovering his mental edge. Hanson and JJ, a serious percentage of our best asset, pitching, have to overcome injury, weird peripherals, and a new delivery. Hudson, another big chunk of said asset, is hurt. Last year’s first halves from Hudson and JJ will not be repeated.

    And way up on top of the big pile, jumping up and down on it, is Fredi Gonzalez, a clown silly enough to squander last year’s 99.4% chance to win the Wild Card. What’ll he do with even more adversity?

    I do expect some good things. Monster year from Uggla seems likely. Minor (the jerk) looks poised for more than we figured him for. I’m not worried about Beachy or the bullpen (except health). But it won’t be enough. Winning the East is a pipe dream. Forget it. The Wild Card would be a pipe dream, too if not for the sillyassed 2nd wild card spot.

  36. 36
    DAP Says:

    adam “Since when has Spring training represented how well a team plays in the regular season?”

    it has no correlation whatsoever. bubdylan didnt think we were any good before spring training, so its appropriate to still feel that way. nothing has changed.

  37. 37
    Adam Says:

    Well I’m stupidly optimistic about this season. The Phillies have a worse offense than us, the Marlins are flashy but only have 2-3 real starting pitchers, the Nationals aren’t ready yet, and the Mets are a joke. Then you’ve got us:

    We’re probably tied with the Phillies with starting pitching, have the best bullpen ever, and have a couple nasty power hitters in McCaan and Ugla. Not to mention Heyward and Prado are coming off career worst seasons. There’s no way they’ll be that bad again. Chipper is still a black hole in the 3 spot, but aside from that I don’t see too many weaknesses in our club.

    Also I’m excited to see what Medlen does this season. He was a super ace before he got hurt.

  38. 38
    Bubdylan Says:

    Forget all this negativity of mine. What the heck. This can’t be healthy.

    I just watched Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” about the most life-affirming film I’ve ever seen (but don’t try it if you object to verrrrrry slow art films that take themselves extremely seriously). Then I come here and read all this sulfuric acid I spout up and down the page.

    So, bub resolution #5,798 (likely to be broken by next Tuesday) = knock it off and find something to enjoy.

  39. 39
    Walker Says:

    Chipper shouldnt be hitting 3rd anyway. Depending on his performance he should hit either 2nd , 5th or 6th. Actually according to sabermetrics our lineup really should be.

    Bourn
    Heyward
    Uggla
    McCann
    Freeman
    Chipper
    Prado
    Pastornicky/Simmons

    I was reading that actually the two best hitters on the team should 2nd and 4th. The 3rd place hitter hits with 2 outs alot. So it’s better to have someone there who can hit HR’s.

  40. 40
    David Says:

    #29 — I really, really hope so…Although I’m kinda nervous that any day, Fredi is gonna say something completely idiotic like, “You know, Tyler’s really doing well here in Spring Training, and he’s our guy.”

  41. 41
    Curt Says:

    So if the two best hitters on the team are at 2 & 4, why is Heyward batting 2nd? Outside of the SS spot, he is running away with being the worst hitter on the team. Have to have Prado at 2.

  42. 42
    Leah Says:

    Cause Prado is awesome. I agree.

  43. 43
    Curt Says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/17818794/everything-that-could-go-wrong-for-the-braves-this-spring-has-gone-wrong

  44. 44
    Will Says:

    davidson done in one

    (as per my bracket pick)

  45. 45
    Nate Says:

    Bourn
    Prado
    Freeman
    Uggla
    Mac
    Chip
    Heyward
    Simmons
    P

    I’m really excited about Uggla’s hot start.

  46. 46
    DAP Says:

    Chipper is an offensive black hole? Where do you guys come up with this stuff?

    How in the world is .275/.344/.470 a black hole? Thats his slash line for last year. If you want to argue that he shouldnt be batting third, i probably agree with you, but a black hole? Thats just silly.

    I think the braves have a pitching staff as a whole that might be on the same par with the phillies, but only because of our superior bullpen. they have an unmatched rotation, in my opinion.

  47. 47
    Walker Says:

    @ 41 I agree.

    I put Heyward there because I’m still convinced he will reach his high upside. He still has on base skills. However, Prado, Chipper or Freeman could bat second as well depending on their performance. But Chipper shouldn’t be hitting 3rd. He still has high on base and batting skills, but no power. The Braves might have won another game if Fredi didn’t chicken out and take Chipper out the 2nd spot.

  48. 48
    Walker Says:

    I also hope Fredi doesn’t use that amazing strategy of putting your worst reliever in extra inning road games this year. He can’t be that dumb again.

  49. 49
    Kate Says:

    Don’t get your hopes up, he is that dumb.

  50. 50
    Steve Says:

    I’m very heartened by the last couple of days. Hitting some home runs, scoring runs. Uggla and Prado continuing to hit, JJ improving yesterday, Chipper actually getting a hit. Just got to keep moving in this direction and all will be well. I really believe that. And a good start from Hanson tonight wouldn’t hurt, either.

  51. 51
    john j Says:

    I’m sure glad that I have enough of a life to not waste time interpreting what Chipper means in his conversations. He was pretty straight forward in the interview during the game.

  52. 52
    Nate Says:

    Lol, because reading an article and typing your opinion is so time consuming.

  53. 53
    David Says:

    A GRAND SLAM FROM HEYWARD?!?!! Very nice. Hope his play over the last several games is a sign of things to come and that he’s turning things around.

  54. 54
    Leah Says:

    Me too David! Is it just me or has Tommy Hanson gotten a little bit thick? Remember his first season when he was sick and looked like a string bean? What a contrast.

  55. 55
    will Says:

    First spring game i watched…

    Chipper doesnt look fat to me…Hanson sort of.

    Nice Heyward slam.

    I like Parraz…athletic, hungry attitude..but not a spaz at the plate. Is he any good at D? I didn’t watch all the game…saw him catch one fly in CF. Who is he competing with for CF?

  56. 56
    will Says:

    duh. Bourne

  57. 57
    will Says:

    duh. Bourn.

    Not the CIA guy.

  58. 58
    Walker Says:

    Bourn isn’t in competition.

  59. 59
    Leah Says:

    Did we win today???? Both games! Holla!

  60. 60
    Steve Says:

    Feels so good to take both games today. I continue to grow more and more calm about the absolute train wreck of the first couple of weeks.

    And Uggla is filling me with more confidence by the day. I’m almost positive he’s going to hit over .194 the first month of the season this time around (For the record, I had it in my head that he hit .167 the first month last year. The .194 doesn’t seem as bad in comparison.)

  61. 61
    Nate Says:

    I wonder if Medlen will earn the rotation spot left open by the Hudson injury.

  62. 62
    will Says:

    Heyward 2-4 and David Rossome as usual

    Im glad i missed all the other spring games…go braves

  63. 63
    Anne Says:

    Since spring doesn’t matter, nobody probably keeps stats, but since Uggla had such a crap 1st half last year (knock wood), did he also have a crap spring? Anyone know?

  64. 64
    Leah Says:

    Anne, I dont have proof but I seem to remember a pitiful Uggla Spring. Will, you are required to watch every game this season.

  65. 65
    Curt Says:

    Heyward had a huge spring last year. It clearly means nothing.

  66. 66
    Bubdylan Says:

    Got a spam email on my phone just now titled “Low Income Housing Available.”

    But because my phone cuts long titles short, it said “Low Income Ho”

    Excitedly I clicked it. Alas…

  67. 67
    DAP Says:

    curt “Heyward had a huge spring last year. It clearly means nothing”

    wait…weren’t you talking about how much the braves spring record discouraged you? you are chronically pessimistic, dude. cheer up!

  68. 68
    john j Says:

    #52, Yes, reading your opinion of my opinion of your opinion of a writer’s opinion of Chipper’s true meaning (while giving his opinion), is, indeed, time-consuming. LOL

  69. 69
    john j Says:

    Is Diaz in trouble?

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