May 26, 2009

Show #62: Curt Gets a Press Pass

The impressive sweep of the Blue Jays. Bobby’s tenure beyond ’09. Omar Infante’s broken hand.  Frenchy’s continued struggles.  And we interview Curt about his press pass at Turner Field.



26 Responses to “Show #62: Curt Gets a Press Pass”

  1. 1
    Will Says:

    Kawakami…this is straight off Wikipedia, sorry for the lack of originality. Looks to me like he has alot of big game experience in Japan, playoffs, etc. and they ultimately won in 2007. I think he is figuring out the strike zone…is settling down..looking good.

    “He originally pitched for the Chunichi Dragons of the Central League. Kawakami was the Rookie of the Year in 1998 as he went 14-6 with a 2.57 ERA. He helped the Dragons to the Central League Title in 1999, but would lose in the Japan Series in 5 games to the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. He has pitched a no-hitter in his professional career. In 2004, Kawakami went 17-7 and led Chunichi to the Central League Title, though they fell to the Seibu Lions in 7 games in the Japan Series. That year, Kawakami was named Central League MVP and received the Eiji Sawamura Award as Japan’s best pitcher. Kawakami again won 17 games in 2006 and led the Dragons to the Central League title again, winning Game 1 of the Japan Series against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

    Kawakami is known as a crafty veteran who is said to throw a 90 MPH fastball, a slow curveball, and a very good cutter.

    In 2007, Kawakami helped the Dragons end a streak of 53 years without a championship as they beat the Nippon Ham Fighters in 5 games.”

  2. 2
    Jeff's Mom Says:

    Sorry guys, but the numbers do not justify the degree of Frenchy pessimism. He has been streaky, to say the least, but his stats are not really that bad, especially relative to the team. .259 Avg? not great but not reeeeely all that bad. 21 RBI, #3 on team. 23 runs #2 on team. 23 runs in 170 AB, thats him crossing the plate every 8.09 at bats. 170 AB, so RBI every 8 AB. For Infante, only 11 RBI per 86 AB, or an RBI every 7.8 ab. About the same. Frenchy is #2 in triples, has 1 less HR than Chipper Jones? #5 on team in HR?
    OK, Frenchy has 24 strikeouts, #2 on team….but Shafer has 55! And Chipper has 17, in 54 fewer AB.

    Dunno guys, the numbers just dont paint a picture of abysmal horror. Certain areas of lameness, perhaps, but not horrible beyond repair. I admit LOB is a real problem, & I couldn’t find those stats. Anyway, I know this will get some comments, but I just want to point out the numbers might not justify counting Frenchy out completely.

  3. 3
    Curt Says:

    Thanks for the info on Dos K, Will-san. I think that they need to rename the Cy Young award the Eiji Sawamura Award. How sweet is that?

    And as far as Frenchy, his numbers at the top of the Braves’ offensive stats represent a bad team offense more than they represent him being real successful at the plate.

  4. 4
    Leah Says:

    Such a fun podcast! Curt, I’m green with envy. Does Megan get to watch the games? If so I want her job! I agree that Frenchy is still struggling but I’m NOT ready to see him in another uniform just yet. I think he’s working into that new stance and will improve as the season continues. Great job on the interviews and heres to many more behind the scenes moments for Atlanta Baseball Talk!

  5. 5
    Steve Says:

    Oh no. Medlen. Walking Lincecum with 2 outs. Giving up 4 runs. Oh no.

  6. 6
    Curt Says:

    yeah. a shame that it looks like that will be the difference. another really lousy NL West team that we can’t beat. these guys lost 9 of 11 coming into this series.

  7. 7
    Steve Says:

    Do you think Bobby gives Medlen one more start? Campillo just came off the DL, maybe it’s him that keeps the 5th spot warm for Glavine and Medlen goes back down?

  8. 8
    MikeH Says:

    It was funny to hear you mention wanting to avoid acting like Chris Farley. When I heard you got a press pass that was the first thing that went through my mind. Great job on the interviews and thanks for the behind the scene views which we all wish we could have.

  9. 9
    Leah Says:

    Did Medlin do so bad after the 2nd? I was a little surprised when Bobby took him out. But I don’t always understand how those decisions are made.

  10. 10
    Curt Says:

    Leah, to answer your question, Meagan can attend any game she wants, but she told me she normally leaves around 7:00. Once the game gets going her duties are completed. She comes in around 10 a.m. so i am jealous of that part in particular. She does not travel with the team. And she completely hooked me up with great seats to the game and 755 Club passes. It was a tremendous experience, and one that looks like ABT will be able to repeat as we are just setting up times to go back down there and interview more players. A huge step for our little podcast.

  11. 11
    Steve Says:

    C’mon KK! It would be absolutely stunning if he takes the mound tonight and puts up another transcendent performance like he did last Friday night. The team needs something feel good about after the past two games.

  12. 12
    Leah Says:

    Giants may be winning but I bet they don’t get 4 outs in one inning. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  13. 13
    Steve Says:

    That was crazy. Martin looked pretty rattled at 2nd last night. Swept by the woeful Giants. And Chipper with the first golden sombrero of his career! Not good times.

  14. 14
    Curt Says:

    It is really hard to believe that there are actually worse offenses that what the Braves are trotting out right now. This is crippling.

  15. 15
    Chris Says:

    The bottom of the lineup was absolutely comical last night. It’s like we have four pitchers hitting. It’s a sad day when one half of the lineup is a huge black hole.

    Not to pile on Frenchy, but the other two guys are in there as defensive/injury replacements. I don’t expect anything from Diory Hernandez or Jordan Schafer at the plate, as long as they don’t find any holes in their gloves. But Frenchy really doesn’t have any excuse.

  16. 16
    Anonymous Says:

    Agreed. It appears that you can’t win with only 5 guys in a line-up that will get a hit. And let’s pile on Frenchy. He’s now 1 for the ENTIRE road trip.

  17. 17
    Curt Says:

    and with Escobar out and Chipper hurt, you have 2 guys hitting like professional baseball players: Kotchman, who some of us were killing earlier this season (where would we be right now without Kotchman), and McCann. Seems like Kelly might be getting ready to go on a streak, but where is the pride? i have some staggering offensive numbers for sunday’s show. and help is not on the horizon. and the pitching isn’t helping too much right now either. come on JJ. anyone remember the jays series?

  18. 18
    Leah Says:

    You guys need to find some good jokes to pepper Sunday’s show with or it will be just too depressing to listen to. Again, a disturbingly accurate comment made by Hammy comes to mind. Something about this team hovering around .500, building our hopes with good weeks only to send us crashing down to reality with the bad ones. I wish Frenchy weren’t such a great guy. It would be more fun to wish for a trade. Losing faith in Frenchy…

  19. 19
    Anne Says:

    Agreed, Leah. Sunday show suggestions: (1) vignettes of the fellas doin’ a travelogue from Arizona, like, how would the Braves sightsee? (2) Thoughts about how Mrs. McCann is enjoying her road trip with the gang, or (3) haircare tips from Tim Hudson. …because that’s where the news is.

  20. 20
    michael Says:

    in response to “jeffs mom”

    u say chipper has 17K’s in 54fewer at bats but before that it’s jeff who has one fewer homerun then chipper..remember that chipper has 54FEWER At-bats!!

    also… your numbers don’t go back to last year nor do they go back to the 2nd half of 2007.

    nobody is being harsh on him, they are simply pointing out facts and what they see. the whole point in hitting in the 5-6spot is to drive in runs. he’s number 3 on the team in RBI’s??? go find out how many men he has left on base then tell me if being number “3 on the team in RBI’s” still deserves merit. and no i guess a .259 avg is not all that bad…but you left out his on base percentage, slugging percentage, base on balls/k ratio. just because you are capable of getting a hit in your last at bat with nobody on and 2out to give you a 1-4night (.250avg) and it obviously buys you another day in bobby coxs lineup does not mean you are a good hitter.

    a major league baseball player he is.. a good major league baseball player? no. not at all. not at all

  21. 21
    Jeff's Mom Says:

    Leave my baby alone!

    Theres lies, damn lies, and there’s statistics…(I am Will, by the way…not Jeff’s Mom) and anyway I was surprised at how just four or five weeks ago we were all saying…the new stance was working…he has really turned it around…and now we all think he is dog sheet. We are totally being harsh on him. Steve – “Do we agree that he is done?” Ham – “we have to factor out the good games that skew the numbers….He is worth pennies on the dollar”…Curt – “Hes a detriment”…We think he is done, lets face it, and yes he probably deserves most of it. But is it not fairly schitzophrenic to jump this far out into Frenchy sucks territory, this quickly, after we had been liking him just a few short weeks ago? Check the tape. There was some failry serious Frenchy love. Now we want to trade him/he wants to be traded? Pretty harsh… Thats all…That was my original thought/impression after hearing the podcast, so I had a quick cruise of the basic team stats on the page for the Braves…What I saw in certain major categories was not all that awful…it seemed to me. He wasn’t that stand-out abysmal/horrible in too many categories (although you are right in OBP and slugging he is pretty much last of the major players in the rotation), however in a few categories he was actually near the top…(like the 3rd most RBIs on the team…and that RBI/AB was not that bad). RBI is an RBI, how much more important a stat can there be? LOBs are certainly frustrating, but RBI means somebody crossed the plate. And hes the third most productive player on the team as far as getting runs across the plate…by that stat. LOB…anybody else know where the stats are?

    Anyway, im really posing a question, as to whether or not we can take these somewhat decent/not full on horrible full-year stats and say yes, hes been in a bad streak as of late, but he had a good streak to begin the season…which puts him in at average/crappy overall. Is this a reason to hold out for hope…if he was hot earlier this year, maybe hell get hot again? Now I will agree that his being a horrible player last year will make us worry that he is reverting to being a bad player, and that the streak of good playing early this year was likely to be a fluke.

    I still think it is too early to call..

  22. 22
    Jeff's Agent Says:

    Will, give me a call – I may have a job for you…

  23. 23
    Leah Says:

    Will…I mean Jeff’s mom, if Frenchy wasn’t schitzophrenic in the batter’s box I would be his biggest supporter. But I’m tired of the Braves being mediocre. I’m tired of the “wait and see” mentality. I want to WIN…ALOT! I appreciate his gun in right field and get excited when he throws someone out at home (even if they are slow as molasses) but I want to see some seriously consistant offense from somebody.
    Oh…and I miss Omar.

  24. 24
    michael Says:

    Jeffs mom,

    How long are you willing to wait? to watch the same song and dance at-bat over and over and over? it would be totally different if the braves had “Nationals” as in Washington Nationals on their chest just trying to rebuild but the braves are built to contend.

    furthermore i was never ever one to say “i’m impressed” with his new stance because you know? he could come to the plate on his head or with a tennis racket but if you still swing at balls in the dirt time after time then your stance means squat.

    he hits behind chipper jones and brian mccann for the most part and (for the most part) those guys are always on base so of course the law of averages is going to deem him some RBI’s.

    he is this baseball camp robot kid that has been instructed his entire life and can’t adjust. any pitcher with any smarts will never throw him a strike. i guess its great he worked hard in the offseason and i dont doubt that hes a hard worker but you can suck just as bad working hard as you can by doing nothing at all.

    he doesnt get a chance to get strike three called on him because he’s to busy swinging at the first pitch and grounding out.

    his .250avg doesnt mean he has 47hits in 187 at-bats…it means hes gotten out 140times in 187 at bats

  25. 25
    Will Says:

    He hit better in the early part of the year. That is what was was said to be impressive/noteworthy. It was attributed to his new stance, no? Maybe the weather? HGH?

    Now, he’s around .200 for the past three weeks..he is sucking..he frequently sucks! YES! Big SUCKING SOUND…so that means he is DONE? I respect anybody’s right to change their mind but this was a pretty sudden wind-change…no? I refer to the opinions on the show, and the Frenchy Redemption Tracker at the time, not what you might have been thinking, Michael. Good for you for not buying into it.

    And the Frenchy Redemption tracker now looks like my 401k last December…The question then as now is whether I sell all the stocks now at the bottom and buy gold? If he is damaged beyond repair then yes, I take what I can get and move on. But somebody will take the other side of the trade because there are good defensive stats and certain offensive stats look good – thats probably how he got money in arb – the Braves are not total idiots (? more debate).

    I will say, Frenchy is bound to be tired of the hometown hate, and would like to move on and make a fresh start.

    As far as if he stays for a while, I dunno, how long do we wait on other slumps? Is this a slump, or does he truly suck? In light of 2008, and other talent waiting in the wings, my head says yes get rid of him because early 2009 looks like a fluke and he wont ever do anything/rebound. The Braves, on the other hand, might think they have too much invested and are willing to wait a bit longer. That is dangerous, typical of bad investment management. You should always ignore your sunk costs, and decide if this guy is worth it going forward. On the other hand, sometimes stocks with very high volatility are really good buys at the bottom. That is the best time to buy them, when everyone hates them and only remembers the sucky near term. Buy them or hold them if you already own them.

    I don’t know what will happen any more than you do…but I bet that if he does turn it back around, he wont get traded. And I don’t give a turnaround zero probability. Maybe lower than if it was Chipper or McCann in a slump… but not zero…

  26. 26
    Leah Says:

    “Oh my goodness…what happened there?” Comment made on FOX after one of Frenchy’s swings.

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