April 25, 2009

Show #58: More Inconsistent Baseball

Revisiting the Javier Vazquez signing.  Crying over the injuries.  And playing GM to try and fix the team.

 

 

23 Responses to “Show #58: More Inconsistent Baseball”

  1. 1
    Bubdylan Says:

    Enjoyed the show.

    Pretty gloomy, though, for coming off our little win streak.

    The game we won where we were no-hit for a while; I wouldn’t call that flukey. The Braves took pitches and earned all those walks, which seemed to be the driving dynamic of that win. That’s better than flailing at pitches out of the zone.

    I understand the too-much-pressure argument for not leading off with Schafer, but not the strike-out argument. I mean, if he gets on more than KJ, that’s an improvement. If I thought Jordan could handle it mentally, I’d swap them in the line-up. Trade a miserable 1-hole and below-average 7-hole for a below-average 1-hole and more comfortable 7-hole. Tell the kid “we know you’re not gonna be Ricky Henderson, but we want to put you at the top and see if the rest of the line-up gets more comfortable. Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t work out.”

  2. 2
    Leah Says:

    First of all, you referred to my comment re: last week’s podcast and your slighting Frenchy. This week you were realistic but with a positive slat which was more than fair. You may not see the difference but I definitely did.

    Second, I fear the location of our beloved Atlanta Braves does us a great injustice. I was born and raised in the deep south but I want to see the entire organization throw southern gentility out the window and shake up this team. Hammy…Bobby Cox…totally with you on this one! Steve…if putting Kotchman in the lead off position and sending any and all down to AAA so be it. Put some unsuspecting kids with a huge desire to prove themselves in the line up and play some freaking ball! I’m ready for the GM to slice and dice coaches and players and for the fans to start booing anyone not performing to their potential.

    Bubdylan, I understand they seem a bit “gloomy” but I’m way too optimistic when it comes to my Braves so they help even me out. Especially when I’m cheering for a team who can trail one run, load the bases with no outs in the 9th inning and manage not to score.

    Thanks again for another great podcast. Wish you guys could do two a week…you know you don’t have anything else to do.

  3. 3
    Bubdylan Says:

    Ugh. Kawakami might want to hang onto his soul. Putting it those pitches is a good way to lose it. Ouchers.

    My July Lineup

    Lowe
    JJ
    Vazquez
    Reyes
    Hanson

    I think Reyes will end up better (barely) than KK. Not that the Braves would ditch their Japanese investment in order to, you know, win games.

  4. 4
    Bubdylan Says:

    Lineup? I meant rotation. I should stop writing things.

  5. 5
    Curt Says:

    Leah, not that I am trying to take credit, I just don’t want Ham being confused with me because he is much more positive than I am and when you start to hate someone, that should be me, not him. But thank you for agreeing with my glowing assessment of Bobby Cox.

    I know it is early, but Dos K is now 1-3 and it giving up lots of homers and has not looked good at all. Turns out our fears about him are proving to be prophetic. Steve, maybe it’s the ball size.

  6. 6
    Steve Says:

    Perhaps it is the ball size – and not the baseballs.

    Yeah – wow. Sunday’s game was the really, really ugly face of this team. The face that pairs ineffective starting pitching with anemic offense. Brutal.

    Bub – I’d rather see Morton in your rotation over Jo Jo. I just find it hard to believe in him anymore (or still, I should say). Let’s hope his Tuesday night start turns things around. All of that said, and to agree with you, things would have to get really, really bad for KK to be out of the rotation.

  7. 7
    Steve Says:

    For the record, the balls joke was just a cheap shot, not based on any real feeling I have about KK’s guts or desire to win. I just couldn’t pass it up.

  8. 8
    Curt Says:

    The Japanese term for a pitch like the one that Kenshin Kawakami threw to Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce in the fourth inning Sunday is “shittou,” meaning “bad pitch.”

  9. 9
    Curt Says:

    These are the types of stats I love –

    The Braves mustered one run in seven innings Sunday against Micah Owings (1-2), who was 0-9 with an 8.54 ERA since his last win 11 months ago, which also came against the Braves.

  10. 10
    Hamilton Says:

    Yeah – as the Nationals found out, the Braves can be the cure for what ails you. Unless, of course, you are one of the people posting on this site.

    In terms of our number 5 starter, I am hopefully optimistic about Jo-Jo, but I wonder how many more bad starts we can absorb before Hanson gets the call?

  11. 11
    Leah Says:

    Curt, a thousand apologies. Really hard to keep you guys straight. Steve’s the boss so he’s easy to identify. Now I know the Eeyore-esque outlook is Curt and the hopefully, pleadingly, please for the love of all that is good, optimistic outlook is Hamilton.

    Please bring on Hanson. I break out in hives when Jo-Jo takes the mound.

    OK, I’m just a simple housewife so don’t blast me if this is a stupid question. Last year there were rumblings about maybe putting McCann on first base. Am I remembering this incorrectly? Is it a terrible thought? I really like Ross and would like to see McCann have a forever long career (providing he can still see after this week). Don’t catchers wear out more quickly than other position players?

  12. 12
    Curt Says:

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed that the Gwinnett Braves are taking what the big club is doing and honing it even further. They are 6-12 with the 3rd best ERA in the International League. They just completed a 2-8 homestand. Thier first ever. It’s pervasive I guess. Hanson is 0-3 right now with a 2.18. They too have a pitiful offense with Gregor Blanco hitting .197. I’m not sure I like this organizational approach.

    As far as McCann going to 1st, if it happens, that is a long way off. It is pretty common for catchers to move from behind the plate later in their careers. Piazza played some first, Biggio became a HOFer after switching to 2nd, and even Johnny Bench played some 3rd. Poorly I might add. And catchers do wear down, especially in the summer heat of Atlanta. It’s bad on the knees and you take a lot of foul balls and tipped balls off various parts of your body numerous times over the course of a game, let alone a season. So it is not beyond the realm of possibility, but it is maybe 8 years from now before they start talking about that. The only reason they were looking to move Saltalamacchi was because McCann was blocking him.

  13. 13
    BluesMan6885 Says:

    Terry, & Bobby need to light a FIRE under the lineup’s arses. Their offense, especially clutch hitting…is horrible. I honestly think that the bullpen is working out their kinks fairly well…pending the return of Campillo, & the call-up of Kris Medlen. We do have offense, even w/o our big bats…but the problem is consistency.

    I feel that the whole Bobby Cox hating campaign is completely bogus…have any of you ever managed a ball club? Can you even begin to understand any of the pressures and situations that come w/ the job? NO. I agree that he’s not the manager he once was…but he’s not washed up. Outside of the 7, 8, 9 implementation of Moylan, Soriano, & Gonzalez…at times I question how Bobby uses the bullpen. But who are we to criticise? We’re not skippers for major league teams. Keep drinking your Weineken, & eating your french cries…and watch him prove you guys wrong.

    At what point will anyone on the show…or the bloggers admit that they were wrong about Frank Wren and how he’s done a fine job for repairing our pitchign woes from last year? Maybe it’s been mentioned…but certainly not to the magnitude of all the whining and moaning (which I joined in) during the offseason.

    There are 162…ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO games in the regular season…we are just over 1/10th of the way through…let’s give them a little more time to work out their bullpen and offensive issues before we start wheeling out a guillotine and calling for the heads of the coaching staff…particularly Bobby Cox.

    The discussion about Chipper moving out of the hot corner is pretty interesting…I whole heartedly agree with whomever it was on last week’s show that said that he couldn’t wait for Freddie Freeman to get here. You gotta give Kotchman credit for his defensive capabilities though…he is great for that…offensively he hasn’t been much of a run producer…I hope for our sake & his…that his bat conitnues to improve with maybe some long balls and RBI’s.

    I found this podcast about 3 months ago, & I’ve thuroughly enjoyed listening to it (especially the episode w/ Tom Glavine). What would make your show better is if you had someone that held more dissenting opinions about the coaching staff and would actually debate and play devil’s advocate to bring some more life to the show. Thanks for the shows and for your coverage of the Baseball team that is most dear to me.

  14. 14
    Leah Says:

    Please, please, please prove us wrong Bobby!

  15. 15
    Bubdylan Says:

    Go, Jo Jo, go!

  16. 16
    BluesMan6885 Says:

    I know Bubdylan…right? When did Jo-Jo decide to start pitching…he was solid!

  17. 17
    Will Says:

    Loved this win. Go Jo-Jo, go Gonzalez. Nice defense.

  18. 18
    Curt Says:

    This lack of offense is more than just McCann missing. This is up and down the lineup. How many chances has Kotchman had over this series? or David Ross? I am stunned that they are the exact same team they were last year, doing the exact same things, losing the exact same way. It’s so deflating to watch these games night in and night out and watch them play this way.

  19. 19
    Steve Says:

    BluesMan6885 – thanks for writing in. I’m glad that you found us and like the show. Now, about your post … Do you really believe that criticizing Bobby is completely bogus? Like, there’s no validity to it at all? I don’t know – I look at the teams we had in the 90′s and only one ring (should have been at least 2) and the lifeless, shameful team performances in the playoffs in the 00′s (followed by these last three years) and the biggest constant is Bobby. I know that Bobby is, perhaps, the most beloved manager in the Majors – but it’s not translating to better team performances in the post-season. And isn’t that what it is ultimately about? And there is no great flexibility and/or adjustments year to year or within the season from him. And, I’ve never directed a movie either, but I know mediocre fare when I see it.

    Regarding Wren, I agree wholeheartedly that he did a beautiful job revamping the starting rotation. But we were pretty woeful offensively last year and the bottom line is that all he did to shore up the offense was to bring in a guy who hit 15 homers last year with a SLG % of .433. This 2009 edition has some serious, serious offensive problems and doesn’t that fall on the head of FW?

  20. 20
    BluesMan6885 Says:

    Hey Steve,
    Thanks for responding to my post. I guess to clarify my position about Bobby…I believe that calling for his head (job) is bogus. Correct me if I’m wrong…but Bobby Cox’s responsibilities as the Braves skipper is to manage the lineup, rotation, and substitutions; as well as pushing the morale & inspiring his players. I do agree that Frank Wren is responsible for not giving us a big bopper, or another potent bat for our lineup this season. It’s obvious that he’s counting on a lot of ifs with the offense (KJ’s & Frenchy’s improvement, Chipper’s health, Mac’s improvement…etc.), those are ‘ifs’ that might decide our fate as contenders in the division. I believe that there’s still time however for things to fall into place offensively (all you guys on the show seem to share that sentiment). Like you guys…I’m really pleased with our rotation, apart from KK’s rough outings & the 5 hole.

    I agree in that we should’ve had more WS rings given our run w/ the consecutive division titles…I have no doubt that we would’ve had ’94…but sadly we’ll never know. John Schulerholtz has also been a constant in the organization w/ Bobby. I probably sound like the Anti-Christ for throwing our old GM’s name into the mix of responsible parties…he probably isn’t responsible…but he’s been w/ the organization one way or another all this time. Terry Pendleton has been our hitting coach for 7 years…because his job is to shape up our offense…I think it’s more logical (now) to put him under a microscope than Bobby.

    There’s been two or three games so far this year when I’ve really been gobsmacked with how he’s used the bullpen (our implosions); I’ve also questioned how he has the lineup established as well. Kotchman hitting cleanup?? WHY? Apart from the aforementioned things that I’ve noticed, I like how he’s doing…and I think he’s still got it.

    I certainly understand the points you’ve made…and I agree with most of what you’ve said…however to call for his head is a bit premature, when essentially it’s his job to make the most of the players that he has to work with. Thanks for talking with me and giving your insight. Again, I’m a really big fan of the show…and I look forward to following you guys more throughout the year.

  21. 21
    Bubdylan Says:

    HA HAAAHHHH! DIE, MIKE HAMPTON, YOU BLOOD-SUCKING…. uh… I mean, good game boys. *clap clap clap*

  22. 22
    Leah Says:

    Love how the fans boo-ed him. Also, anxious to see if a few days on the bench has managed to heat up Kelly’s bat.

  23. 23
    Steve Says:

    Did you hear how sanctimonious Chip and Joe got about the fans booing Hampton? I mean, I get it, the dude didn’t want to be injured, he did all he could to get back on the field … but you have to understand how the fans’ passions for situations like these will lead to his reception.

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