May 31, 2009

Show #63: The Offense Continues to Struggle Out West

Medlen’s 3rd start.  Glavine’s potential return.  Frenchy’s downward spiral.  And what to do about the woeful offense?

 

 

73 Responses to “Show #63: The Offense Continues to Struggle Out West”

  1. 1
    Will Says:

    Sometime do two most surprising things about the Braves: mine are: strength/promise of Yunel Escobar and the overall unsuckiness of the bullpen.

  2. 2
    Will Says:

    For Batboy! classic…

    Id rather not waste another moment on Frenchy, but for the sake of the argument I think I was right to bring the inconsistencies up…RBIs are frikkin RBIs and includes sacrificing, and getting out on groundouts, so to his defense a low OBP can be compensated for by being good in getting RBIs, even if it is pure luck not skill & agree it helps that men are on base ahead of him…Its a headscratcher and I don’t know how to let that stat rest..RBIs win games….But OK I’m not apologizing for him and recently .154 ewwww…who cut the cheez… as to who replaces him…. sad thing is that nobody really is that promising. Please explain Prado/Blanco?

    McCann/Andersen/Escobar/Jones/Kotchman/Prado or Blanco/Pitcher…still missing 2 batters. I see .500 baseball at best.

    Tonight Shafer just looked pathetic…

    Kawakami !!! he rules!!!

  3. 3
    Steve Says:

    Will – For the next 6 to 8 weeks, I think the bats are there to get us through to the trade deadline. There are 55 games left between today and the trade deadline. With our starting pitching, bullpen and the following line-up I think we could play .600 ball until the big bat comes:

    Blanco – CF
    Esco – SS
    Chipper 3B
    Heap – C
    GA – LF
    Kotchman – 1B
    KJ – CF
    Diaz – RF
    Pitcher

    Seriously, don’t you feel better about the team with that lineup?

  4. 4
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, did you mean 2b for Kelly? I like the line-up, yes.

  5. 5
    Will Says:

    Like…will Bobby do?

  6. 6
    Bubdylan Says:

    I wish we had a good manager. And Adam Dunn. And a good manager.

  7. 7
    Hamilton Says:

    I will keep dreaming the dream – Matt Holliday. Oakland has the second worst record in baseball.

  8. 8
    Leah Says:

    Ditto Hammy…I would love to see MH in a Braves uniform. . Plus it would just be nice for Tim Hudson to have a bald friend on the team.

  9. 9
    Curt Says:

    names of outfielders i have seen are not of Holliday’s ilk. guys like Nate McLouth and Corey Hart instead. and if those names don’t spell championship….

  10. 10
    Steve Says:

    Bub – welcome back. And yeah, I meant 2B for Kelly. Have you guys seen all the buzz around Derosa? He would certainly be a nice addition and give us some Infante-like flexibility around the infield, but I want a bigger bat, dammit! Could you imagine if the team had completely stepped outside themselves in the off-season and gave Manny a 2 yr, 50 million deal as so many fans had caled for and then the suspension happened. It would have been an uparalleled calamity.

  11. 11
    Steve Says:

    Will – Sadly, Bobby will not do. I think the best we’ll see is time to time, like he did this weekend, is putting Diaz in CF or RF. I don’t really believe that either
    Schafer or Frenchy will be sent down. But, the team does surprise us once in a while. Like a couple of weeks ago when Bobby called a couple of hit and runs. And sometimes he actually let’s one player on the team steal a base. Strangely, it’s usually our catcher.

  12. 12
    Curt Says:

    new name for the list – Brad Hawpke (sp?)

  13. 13
    Bubdylan Says:

    Schafer down, I like. Blanco will give (only) the same production, I fear, but even so, it gives Schafer a chance to figure things out without us losing (heh) a step in his absence. More importantly, perhaps, these little moves sometimes gives the team a mental spark. A small sign that things can’t keep going as they have been.

    But…

    Frenchy still in the line-up. I swear I have begun to hate his very face. The only ever-so-slightly comforting thought is that they keep running him out there b/c he is working so hard. Do I think the hard work will pay off? No, I don’t. He’s just to dumb in baseball IQ, I swear. Too stubborn. Too finished. Whatever he learns doesn’t stick because in the end it’s just too tempting to return to the old muscle/mind movements that rattle with homerun glory in his puny brain. But paying hard work with playing time, while not the most savvy thing in the world, is, like I said, ever-so-slightly comforting.

    Until he’s gone. May that day hasten forth.

  14. 14
    Bubdylan Says:

    Oh, I’ve been meaning to mention, and I mean this in the most constructive way: one of you guys’s microphone is more trebley than my fifth grade Garfield transistor radio. I swear, every time I play the podcast, four dogs run away from my neighborhood yelping. If I turn the treble down low enough to help it, the other guys sound like Darth Vader. Can your faithful following pitch in and score a Sadio Shack gift card to remedy the ear bleeding?

    Faithfully yours… :)

  15. 15
    Bubdylan Says:

    Uh, Radio Shack, I meant. I guess Sadio Shack is where you bought the first one…

  16. 16
    Curt Says:

    bud – see if there is a way you can figure out who it is and we will try and rectify it. maybe that tandy computer needs updating though. count it

  17. 17
    Bubdylan Says:

    lol, could be my computer. It’s cheap.

  18. 18
    Anne Says:

    Bub – funny how if you mention it, others speak up: me speaking up. I notice it less on my laptop (new-ish) but moreso in my iPod earbuds (also new-ish). I chalked it up to my not figuring out the new-fangled Extras and where to find the treble/bass. Maybe I need to go to the Tinnitus Center, but I think it’s Curt. No offense, Curt. Technology’s a mother.

  19. 19
    Bubdylan Says:

    Great. Just great. Frenchy hits a damn clutchass homer in the most dramatic possible fashion. We’re stuck with him

    FOR.

    EV.

    ER.

  20. 20
    Bubdylan Says:

    Sorry for the language in the above. A little over the line there.

  21. 21
    Steve Says:

    What a game! Favorites moments:

    1. Bobby moving to the other side of the dugout in the 7th to end the no hit bid and Chipper gets a hit soon after.
    2. Frenchy’s homer (obviously) and the absolute beating/elation/relief that occurred in the dugout. I hear you Bub, it certainly doesn’t get Frenchy sent to Gwinnett any sooner, but a spectacularly joyous and unlikely moment.
    3. Chipper running away from his teammates after getting the game winner. Classic.

    What a game.

  22. 22
    Bubdylan Says:

    I have to say, I watched the highlight of the game winner from Chipper a few times, and that big doofus happiness face that Francoeur makes is so dang innocent and joyous and honest… it’s really not in me to hate him. I just have to throw my hands up in the air and let fate have its way with the boy. He makes me freaking nuts.

    Hard working. Innocent. Mule-headed. Arrogant. I can’t do anything with that.

    Go Braves?

  23. 23
    Bubdylan Says:

    Oh, and Steve, while Bobby was jinxing the no hitter in the dugout, Mark Lemke switched to play-by-play on the radio broadcast trying to break it up as well. I guess they both worked. Well, that, and Chipper Jones is a Hall of Fame manbeast.

    Agreed that Chipper trying sincerely to escape injury to his frail body during the celebration is absolutely classic. I’ll probably remember that (and this game) for as long as I live.

  24. 24
    Will Says:

    Frenchy hitting .333 in June!!!

  25. 25
    Steve Says:

    Great point, Will. I’m officially convinced. Redemption complete!

  26. 26
    Jeff's Agent Says:

    Hall of Fame numbers!!!

  27. 27
    Hamilton Says:

    TRADE HIM QUICK!!! BEFORE HE GETS ANOTHER AT BAT!

  28. 28
    Leah Says:

    I’m ashamed to say when Frenchy came up to bat in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs I almost turned off the computer. Great game. Fun win. Let’s win some more!

  29. 29
    Bubdylan Says:

    Print Says Leah.

    Heh. (you have to say it out loud…)

    ahem, Play Ball!!!

  30. 30
    Steve Says:

    Bub – have you sworn off DOB’s blog? I don’t see your posts out there anymore. School getting in the way? Or did you change your name? Do tell.

  31. 31
    Bubdylan Says:

    Glavine released? Man, that seems a little shady, even though I think it’s great news thinking strictly of winning ballgames.

    Can’t feel too bad when I remember he left for the Mets.

    Steve, I feel goofy on the DOB blog after getting labeled the Town Clown, like I have to be hilarious with every word. I still read it, though.

  32. 32
    Chris Says:

    Braves got Nate Mclouth from Pittsburgh for Gorkys Hernandez, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Locke. Pretty nice swap, from our end I’d say!

  33. 33
    Bubdylan Says:

    Wren’s a beast. Love it.

  34. 34
    Leah Says:

    Glad to hear you guys think it’s a good trade. I feel a little bad about Glavine. I don’t know anything about the guys we traded but McLouth took us to town during the WOEful series against the Pirates. What’s Bobby going to call him?

  35. 35
    Bubdylan Says:

    “What’s Bobby going to call him?”

    Don’t know, but “Clouthy” seems like it would shoot out his false teeth.

  36. 36
    BluesMan Says:

    Given the events over the past couple of days and a lengthy post I typed on Mark Bowman’s blog. I’m going to re-post it here to get your reaction. Below is the post I left on Mark Bowman’s blog:

    As far as the issue concerning Glavine’s release. The front office shot themselves in the knee in how they handled John Smoltz…and they managed to blow the top part of their face (including the frontal lobe of their freakin’ brain) with how they handled Tom Glavine. The man KNOWS the game, he made every effort and compromise w/ the front office so he could play for them and retire a Brave. Mind you…thinking about the big picture and the long term for the Braves organization…it was the right thing to do. But it could’ve gone down a lot better than it did. Based on what I’ve read thus far, Atlanta’s front office has shown ZERO CLASS, & ZERO RESPECT for Tom Glavine. Shame on them for that…they owe Glavine a lot more than that.

    I will give the front office props for the trade for Nate McClouth though…we managed to get something we desperately needed while still managing to hang on to our golden prospects. Last note on the Glavine fiasco…it’s gonna take a long time for them to heal the black eye they’ve given this team for their lack of class w/ Tommy Glavine. The older fans like myself though, will likely never forget it.

    I was pretty ********** w/ Peachtree TV last night because I tuned in to the game to find a black screen. I was elated with how the game turned out. Maybe this miraculous win, is a result of Chipper’s post game interview (@ Citi Field), where he said: “I’d say the Baseball Gods owe us one, I’ve never had anyone slide into my glove and be safe…ever.” Or possibly this is a sign of things to come…maybe, just maybe, the offense is getting turned around. Or it’s a combination of both. I’d like to remain optimistic though and believe that this shows that they are getting better offensively, and McClouth is something we’ve sorely needed.

    SHAME ON THE FRONT OFFICE FOR GLAVINE…& GO BRAVES!!!!!

  37. 37
    BluesMan Says:

    Since I finally found an article that talked about what happened. I have to recant what I said about how the front office handled Glavine. It seems as though he was given every chance to prove he can pitch and they weren’t convinced; so he seems to have made the situation difficult for himself. My apologies to the front office. I was overreacting and ranting based on ignorance.

  38. 38
    Bubdylan Says:

    BluesMan, you’re a scholar and a gent.

  39. 39
    Bubdylan Says:

    Frenchy Flails Flounderingly Following Fair Fundamentals.

    Fooey.

  40. 40
    Anne Says:

    “What’s Bobby going to call him?” I don’t think his nicknames usually get too original…my money’s on Natey.

  41. 41
    Steve Says:

    What a crazy, crazy day. I didn’t hear about the Glavine/McClouth/Hanson news until about 7:30 and I’ve been bouncing off the walls ever since. The Glavine thing is tough. It certainly seems like the right baseball move. But it also seems like a hell of a raw deal for him given Game 6, all the rehab, contract restructuring, etc. All the performance comments about Glav are kind of jarring. I took the pitching lines from his last two rehab starts at face value, looked pretty damn good, and assumed we’d see him this weekend or next week. Wow, wow,wow. But I’m absolutely invigorated by the McLouth move and heartened by the aggressive front office moves. I did not believe a bat was coming before mid-July, if at all.

    Love the question about what Bobby will call McLouth, by the way. I’ve been thinking about it and I think that Bobby’s going to throw us all a big curve ball and call him Mr. Slappy Von Stirrup Pants.

  42. 42
    BluesMan Says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Bubdylan. :)

  43. 43
    BluesMan Says:

    I enjoyed the show once again last week, thanks to the guys that run the podcast, & the website. After thinking more about Glavine being let go…(from a realistic standpoint) I think he would have to of been ‘lights out’ for Frank Wren to justify keeping Hanson in Gwinnett. I still think we can contend this year if we can get consistent offensively (McClouth should be exactly what we want to bolster the lineup), and if the front office is merciless in keeping the bullpen solid and filthy (by any means necessary). Although the bullpen that appeals to me is Gonzo, Soriano, Moylan, Campillo, Medlen, O’Flaherty, & Bennett (although he choked the game for us in the 11th). I’m confident w/ our rotation though. KK still isn’t quite adjusted, but he’s getting there, he’s at least keeping us in ballgames (which is what we need).

  44. 44
    Hamilton Says:

    What a monumental 24 hours. I feel bad for Glav, but in the end, I think that Wren did what was best for the club. I, too, am glad (and sort of amazed) that he did it so quickly though. Kudos to Frank.

    I am also still holding out hope that we can package Frenchy and another prospect or two for this . . .

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4229959

    It can happen. Yes, it can.

  45. 45
    Steve Says:

    Oh Hammy – you crazy dreamer. While this, of course, may mean nothing closer to the trade deadline, here’s a quote from Wren, ““We’ll continue to look, but we’re going to watch this team for a while. This was the big move we wanted to make.”

  46. 46
    Hamilton Says:

    Crocodile tears, Stevie. It is all a smoke screen.

  47. 47
    Leah Says:

    Bub, your comment about McLouth’s nickname made me laugh. I’m with Hammy…I want Holliday. I’m just glad to see the front office focusing on baseball and less on feelings. I have feelings and they get hurt everytime we lose. Glavine is awesome but he is now a gamble in his rehab twilight years. I’m ready to say goodbye to the “let’s wait and see” mentality of Braves baseball. I’m all of a sudden excited again. Quick Curt, say something to bring me back to reality.

  48. 48
    Bubdylan Says:

    “I have feelings and they get hurt everytime we lose.” -Leah

    lol, that’s what I’m talkin’ about…

  49. 49
    Curt Says:

    leah, did you see frenchy strike out with the bases loaded last night? i also heard on the radio from Pitt – reports that McClouth is totally overrated and that his gold glove was a travesty. there you go. i’m trying to find the article to link.

  50. 50
    Steve Says:

    I’ve seen that and heard that today – a bunch about his gold glove being a big mistake. The result of a few spectacular plays as opposed to a season full of really solid ones. I say, la dee da dee da. I am in full optimism mode. Cannot wait for the McLouth era to begin. I mean, we’re much better today. Another actual bat in the line up. And speed. Did I mention he’s not an automatic out and won’t potentially break the single season strike out record?

  51. 51
    Leah Says:

    Thanks Curt…I needed that. What were you referring to when you tweeted that Frenchy wasn’t entirely truthful with you? And, it does however feel good to have someone who can actually hit the ball…actually make contact or heck…walk!

  52. 52
    Curt Says:

    if you read mark bradley’s article on ajc.com, he talks about TP and his, shall we say, impatience with Francoeur, and more so his disappointment with his reaching out to the TX Ranger’s hitting coach in the off season. when i asked francoeur about this very issue he indicated to me that everyone was cool with it. doesn’t sound like it. And last thing. I am excited about the McLouth move. just to shift some ground. he is however hitting .256. francoeur is hitting .251 and we are killing him every day. let’s not put all our eggs in this basket just yet.

    go braves

  53. 53
    Bubdylan Says:

    Curt, all I can say is, if McLouth’s .256 played out at all like Frenchy’s .251, the Pirates fans wouldn’t be jumping up and down pissed that he got traded. Not one single thread on the Pirates MLB board was by a fan saying “glad to see him go.” Not one.

    Can you imagine how many hallelujah blog parties (hey, did I just make that up? blog parties?) we’d have if we traded Frenchy for three prospects. ANY three prospects?

    It’ll be different. McLouth’s .256 won’t be a where-rallies-go-to-die .256, I almost guarantee. Don’t hesitate to embrace this improvement. It’s all it’s cracked up to be.

  54. 54
    Curt Says:

    Bud, I know. I’m just playing my role. I’m secretly giddy. Don’t tell anyone.

  55. 55
    Leah Says:

    lalalalalala fingers in my ears totally ignoring last comment. Thanks for keeping it real Curt. Some of us feel over the moon excited when we win a couple in a row and think “it’s our year!” only to be reminded by Frenchy swinging at balls in the dirt that it’s not. I wish I could watch the game tonight but I have to throw a baby shower…it’s a chick thing. Lots of tweets please!

  56. 56
    Bubdylan Says:

    Keeping it real is for squares. :)

  57. 57
    Bubdylan Says:

    Two hits.

    Uh….

  58. 58
    Steve Says:

    Yeah – the McLouth era did not start with the offensive explosion I was looking for.

  59. 59
    Bubdylan Says:

    I’ve got the solution.

    1. Spike every cooler in every dug-out with a little steroid dust. Just enough to show up on tests.

    2. Our guys REALLY take the steroids.

    3. Everyone tests positive, but only our guys are stronger.

    World Champs. :)

  60. 60
    Bubdylan Says:

    Guys, I’m signing off of the Bravos for a month. (I’m weird, but you all knew that.) Today I spent THE ENTIRE DAY surfing the freaking net over this team. My eyes hurt. It’s no way to spend my summer vacation. Experience has taught me my only chance is to take a complete break for a bit and see if I can ease back in without being so… OCD, or whatever. Sorry to be personal, but it was either be personal or completely obtuse.

    Anyway, when I get back, I’ll just listen to all the podcasts to catch up, so make good ones (no way in Hell’s pumphouse I’m reading all the DOB blogs I miss.) As I check out, we are about to be 7 full games back of the Philthies, after the Oldest Man In the Universe has shut down the Dodgers for the evening. (two innings left, so I reckon there’s a chance it’ll only be 6.)

    I expect to see that trimmed to about a 3-game deficit by my return on July 5. (Day after Independence Day. Get it?)

    Go Bravos!

  61. 61
    Curt Says:

    sorry about the complete lack of tweets last night. i was at ‘screen on the green’ watching Madagascar 2. a weak sequel to say the least.

    anyway, we have a few things for the show. could be a long one. i’ll try and keep up with the game tonight but we are jumping in the wayback machine and going to see cowboy mouth play. it’s summerfest after all.

  62. 62
    Leah Says:

    I think Bub may have committment issues. We’ll miss you…see ya on the other side. Curt, don’t worry about the lack of tweets. Would you really have had anything “tweet worthy”?

  63. 63
    Anne Says:

    I will be at the game tonight (Saturday). Along with 30 other people. I know it’s not just Turner Field, but good lord where is everybody? I don’t tweet, but happy to re-cap late tonight/tomorrow glorious details of my fellow man involving Kiss Cam, Tool Race, sales at the Funnel of Love and drunk madcap fun on the staircase railings post-game.

  64. 64
    Hamilton Says:

    Anne- Don’t forget updates on the Nazi Cow. Heil-fil-a!

  65. 65
    Steve Says:

    Anne – I’ll be there tonight too! Go Javy!!!

  66. 66
    Leah Says:

    Loving Nate tonight already! What’s that called when a guy runs to the next base during a pitch? Oh…stealing…that’s right…I almost forgot.

  67. 67
    Anne Says:

    Steve and I can tag-team while weeping. Me, first, looks like. I was sitting on the 1st base side, Section 215. In no particular order: (1) Leah, I hardly believed it myself: that WAS a steal! What was that, our 3rd of the year?? (2) Prince Fielder must function on pure fat because he not only hit those two homers but I believe was the “Fielder” in the Fielder’s Choice to get McCann out at home (I had a tall guy sitting in front of me so missed a few things). (3) Diaz was robbed on his run to 1st base…if he had not been called out, maybe we’d have eventually tied and gone on to extra innings. (4) What up with Ryan Braun looking like a total idiot out there missing the pop-fly by like a city block?? (5) Can someone tell me why Cameron was ejected, really? From our angle, it looked like he just argued the call but I heard someone behind me say he bumped the ump. (6) I ate a delicious hot dog. (7) Between Vasquez and Soriano, I’m shocked I made it home just after 11, because that game seemed like it was 7 hours long. G’night, everybody.

  68. 68
    BluesMan Says:

    Wow,
    I gotta say I’ve given the Braves ’til June before figuring out how I think they’ll do. I love our pitching…especially our rotation. Like I said before, there are but minor kinks w/ KK, and a couple of the bullpen guys…but Frank Wren has more than succeeded my expectations to anchor this team around starting pitching.
    I was really not convinced about Kelly Johnson and other defensive improvements that we were waiting on. Garrett Anderson is improving in Left. Not what he should be. Frenchy is from what I’ve seen in games this year…a very dependable right fielder…not a gold glove though (he could be though). Defensively speaking, I’m very happy to say I was wrong about Kelly Johnson…I think he has made strides of improvement. My biggest doubts w/ the Braves defense are Chipper, & GA. Why? They’re old. Time isn’t on their side, they’re not what they once were. Not that I don’t think they’re good ballplayers, but I think a lot of fans have unrealistic expectations of Chipper. He’s a great hitter, great swing, he can show shades of his youthful defense…but he’s really injury prone (Captain Obvious).
    Now to the part I dread discussing. I’m VERY disgusted w/ the offense of the Atlanta Braves. With the guys we have on this year’s roster…there’s NO REASON for us to be doing this bad. We have the tools to be a consistent, run-producing offense, I know we do! Do you know who’s ultimately responsible for the offense sucking. NO (for the love of all things sacred) it really isn’t Bobby Cox…it’s TERRY PENDLETON. If I were in the front office…I’d light a fire under him to get him to straighten everyone out. It’s not that I think he’s a horrible coach…but it’s his responsibility to make the offense as good as it can be. We have to have an offensive spark in every game, and we have to take advantage of the opportunities that we get from our starters. I have something really mean to say about the offense, there isn’t cussing in it or anything…but the context isn’t exactly ‘church lady’ talk either. I’ll refrain from it because I don’t know what the posting rules are and although it’s really funny…I don’t know who’s gonna read this.

  69. 69
    Leah Says:

    I think Glavine put a jinks on the Braves. Can we just score a run today? One run just to break the curse?

  70. 70
    Anne Says:

    I’m watching Major League on HBO (thank god for housesitting gigs where richer people than me pay for premium cable) and as silly as the thing is, it sure makes one believe. Disappointed lately, but: Go Braves.

  71. 71
    Steve Says:

    Last night was absolutely demoralizing. The Braves looked flat, flat, flat. Utterly disheartening. A Glavine jinx crossed my mind as well. Saw quite a few anti-Wren signs in the crowd. Chipper single handedly trying to win the game this afternoon. Thank goodness.

  72. 72
    Leah Says:

    Jinx still intact…hunt Glavine down and take away his voo-doo doll. Is Hanson throwing bad pitches or have they just figured him out?

  73. 73
    Steve Says:

    Leah – Hanson will be fine. He needs to figure out the Majors to some degree, but I think he looks very good.

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