July 20, 2009

Show #70: Looking Back on the First Half of 2009

Was Maddux under-appreciated?  Will Yunel’s behavior force the Braves’ hand?  Retiring the Frenchy Redemption Tracker.  And our 1st half recap.

 

 

65 Responses to “Show #70: Looking Back on the First Half of 2009”

  1. 1
    Leah Says:

    Fair or foul? It’s poetic for Maddux to be hailed with the rest of the triad. I understand Curt’s point of view but at the same time don’t you think having fellow aces by his side helped each of the three to perform even better? This coming from someone who has never played an organized sport.

  2. 2
    Leah Says:

    Oh and how about that offense last night?

  3. 3
    Bubdylan Says:

    Okay, raise your hand if you’re about to get suckered into post season (wild card) hopes again.

    *hangs head, raises hand*

  4. 4
    Curt Says:

    Leah, I understand what you are saying, but I think it takes away from the greatness of Maddux to simply lump him in the triad. Honestly, the same goes for Glavine and Smoltz. These are three HOF individuals who happened to play together. If they had played apart, I think there would be a greater appreciation for their unique talents, instead of their collective accomplishments. Maddux’s understated personality, and the fact that he fled Atlanta every off season, makes him the easiest of the three to overlook from a fan perspective. It was good to hear that the fans at the game were really there in full support of his recognition. I’ll be curious to see what cap he wears in Cooperstown.

    With that, how the hell did we win one freaking world championship. I’m spitting.

  5. 5
    Steve Says:

    Bub – there’s no “about to” for me – it’s happened. I was “about to” on Sunday. After last night’s drubbing, I’m fully, ridiculously, in.

  6. 6
    Will Says:

    Somebody on the AJC blog wrote “This team is one bat away from the WS” and it got me believing. I’m with Steve on first place. The Phillies lose 2 in a row, we win 2 in a row…it could look completely different. And agree that it is great to be having this discussion…a few weeks ago we were whining that it is over. Pass the spaghetti.

  7. 7
    Leah Says:

    I’m drinking the kool-aid!

  8. 8
    Steve Says:

    Another GREAT win! The offense keeps rolling. The defense was stellar. Lowe was keeping the ball down, putting together his third straight quality start. I really am drunk on spaghetti and multi-hit games. Winning 5 of the last 6 has got me just giddy. I even feel good about tomorrow night against Lincecum. I know, I know – but won’t we all really feel some great optimism if we can beat him?

  9. 9
    Anne Says:

    I’m extremely happy but reticent, and that’s after sitting next to Ballpark Frank at trivia tonight. He tried.
    I saw Lincecum all smug in the dugout lookin’ at the game, all, “I wanna hold him down and Flo-bee his hair” smug. Mall Rat smug-lookin’. Physics be damned. We can take him. THAT will get me on board. Go Braves!

  10. 10
    Curt Says:

    I’m telling you, Lincecum is the kid from ‘Dazed and Confused.’ Go watch the movie and check it out when the main kid, Mitch, is playing baseball near the beginning. He’s even a pitcher.

  11. 11
    Bubdylan Says:

    Mets Series Redux? We lost to Santana in game 3 and beat everyone else. Lose to Lincecum in game 3 and beat the rest? I’m not conceding, we have a great pitcher ourselves facing him. But if you offered me a 6-2 Mets/Giants haul with losses to Johan and Tiny Tim, I’d take that all day long.

    Our boys are playing some fine baseball. Makes me proud.

  12. 12
    Leah Says:

    Me too Bub! This team looks awesome! I can’t wait to catch some clips on ESPN (if they actually show the Braves). “tiny tim”. Hilarious. Steve, your gonna have a hard time following Curt’s guidlines for tweeting if the Braves play as good tonight. And someone please promise me KJ won’t be replacing Prado this season?

  13. 13
    Curt Says:

    Leah, hate to say this, but KJ is killing it at Gwinnett. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  14. 14
    Steve Says:

    I cannot believe that Kelly will replace Prado. Martin has been THE lightning rod for the offense and he doesn’t have any real deficiencies at the plate (he’s stonger against lefties, but no slouch against righties) where Bobby starts thinking platoon (perhaps I underestimate Bobby’s love of the platoon). I think KJ’s good showing in Gwinnett makes him great trade bait for the next 9 days, however.

  15. 15
    Leah Says:

    Here here Steve! Trade him and get a slugging left fielder. GA can pinch hit. McLouth made me nervous last night grimasing after swinging the bat. Happy he played through the pain and beat the ball to 1st but I feel the need for some extra outfielders.

  16. 16
    Leah Says:

    And again Curt…thanks for keeping it real buddy.

  17. 17
    Bubdylan Says:

    I hope it takes more than a one-week slump for Cox to replace Prado with KJ. And I’m a big time Kelly Johnson fan (one of the few I think).

    I hope they do something smart with that problem. But I’m not for trading Kelly just yet. Can Prado play third base when Chipper is injured, with KJ at 2B? Anyone?

  18. 18
    Bubdylan Says:

    p.s. in the above post, it sounds a little like I’m saying Prado is in a slump. I just mean that when the first (inevitable) slump does come…

  19. 19
    Bubdylan Says:

    Fair or foul: The Braves will use Tim Hudson to rest the weary bullpen.

    (I think this would be the most savvy move EVAH. So… I say foul, they won’t do it. :( )

  20. 20
    Chris in Boston Says:

    I wonder how much Hudson can really help the team. The rotation doesn’t need him. As he’s still in the recovery process, he’ll be somewhat unpredicatable in the pen.

  21. 21
    Leah Says:

    Allright JJ…it’s go time. I wouldn’t mind Hudson as a middle man or even closer this season so Gonzo and Soriano don’t get tired. Or (knock on wood) in case someone gets hurt. I have to ask. I feel like I’m missing something with all the talk about spaghetti…clarification please?

  22. 22
    Steve Says:

    Bub – do you like Hudson in the pen better than KK? Because if Hudson joins the starting rotation, don’t you think KK goes?

    Leah – toward the end of the last show, Frank said spaghetti instead of confetti and wacky good fun ensued.

  23. 23
    Leah Says:

    How did I miss that? So how bout Yuni Es taking down The Freak!

  24. 24
    Steve Says:

    Great (and informative) article about Kelly. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090722&content_id=6005140&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

  25. 25
    Steve Says:

    Leah, it is insane. The once moribund Braves offense made Lincecum look really ordinary tonight.

  26. 26
    Leah Says:

    Why does Gonzo rock sometimes but not always? Steve, is that “voice” in the pressbox saying anything about atleast two of those balls Gonzo threw being strikes?

  27. 27
    Anne Says:

    Steve: I think the press box smells like…spaghetti. Am I right?

    I said I’d be in if they could lick Lincecum (ew…) and they have, win or lose.

    Here in the bottom of the 8th, I’m on board.

    Oh, and I work DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET from CHOA on Clifton. Why did no one tell me I could have gotten some Braves out-of-uniform sightings in my life today?? Wait – that was for the sick kids, not for me. Riiiight.

  28. 28
    Steve Says:

    Gonzo only rocks when there’s no one on base. Or to put it another way, he doesn’t rock when pitching from the stretch. It would be a big ol’ balk everytime otherwise.

  29. 29
    Steve Says:

    How long have they been doing the big flame graphic for Soriano’s entrance at the stadium? I like it.

  30. 30
    Leah Says:

    I just screamed…out loud…loud enough for me and Steve. Thanks for the explanation of G’s rocking vs. no rocking. It makes sense although I must say I don’t really understand what qualifies as a balk. Still learning. Great win. Anne, glad you joined the Kool-Aid drinking party. What about it Eeyore? You in?

  31. 31
    BluesMan Says:

    I’ve said it before (maybe not here but definitely elsewhere), & I’ll say it again. The smartest thing to do w/ Huddy is send him to the bullpen. As it’s already been pointed out, we don’t need him in the rotation. Everyone wants him healthy & at 100%, but the way we’re playing…we just don’t need him in the rotation right now. I love the fact that we bested ‘The Freak’ tonight. I can’t say enough about how happy I am w/ how they’re playing ball. I’ve been mixing the Kool-Aid amongst my friends & family, I hope the offense keeps doing what they’re doing. ‘Cause the Chop Shop is finally rolling on ALL CYLINDERS. Look out Philly…your time is coming. GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. 32
    BluesMan Says:

    I’m going to see the Mississippi Braves play against the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday. I’m gonna try and make small talk w/ Heyward about the game and stuff, & I’m going to take lots of pictures. Most of the Tennessee Smokies games I’ve been to there’s been an ejection or something fun. Ryne Sandberg is pretty mellow though compared to Bobby. I’ll be rooting for the Mississippi Braves. Sadly it’s probably the closest I’ll get to the Ted this year.

  33. 33
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, I like Huddy in the pen better than KK, yeah. But, either way, whatever gives Gonzo and Soriano some nights off, is very valuable.

    What a great bunch of games from this team. I haven’t enjoyed the Braves this much in a while. It’s very rewarding to see it coming as a result of some ballsy moves, too. Frenchy was an albatross, I don’t see how anyone could doubt that now.

    Beating Lincecum, that’s just very, very satisfying. I love this team. Where’d they come from??

  34. 34
    Curt Says:

    Someone asked me about the Braves and how well they were playing last night and I mentioned something about a cloud being lifted from the team.

    I’m excited, but I’m not buying my post-season tickets just yet. The freaking Phillies won’t lose (aside from last night, finally). The good news is that they will get to face virtually every team in the wild card hunt here in the next few weeks. Seize the opportunity and I might commit. hope it doesn’t come down to those 2 games we blew in CO.

    But they sure are fun to watch right now. Go Braves.

  35. 35
    Bubdylan Says:

    KK’s first inning today a little shakey. Isn’t it usually? I honestly can’t remember. But if that’s typical, a good argument against sending him to the pen.

  36. 36
    Curt Says:

    The hp ump helped a lot in the early going. not getting the third strike that led to that 1st Giant run. and then the strike out/throw out DP that wasn’t, that instead would have put 1st and 2nd with 1 out. and then there was the 8th. just sloppy. moylan gives me less and less confidence every time.

  37. 37
    Bubdylan Says:

    Not a terrible loss. Let’s get the Brew Crew!

    Tommy Hanson’s Revenge! Do it!

  38. 38
    Steve Says:

    Today’s loss completely invalidates everything we’ve seen on this homestand. The improved offense was merely luck and the amazing starting pitching was only smoke and mirrors. Just kidding!
    Today was a shame and sweeping the Giants would have felt amazingly good. But we went 6 – 2 on this homestand (!) and looked like one of the best teams in baseball doing it. Do you want to face the Braves in the first round of the playoffs? I don’t think there’s any team in the NL that would feel very comfortable going up against us in the post season right now. And can you believe we’re even talking post season all the sudden? That’s how good this homestand was. All of that said, we better freaking take 2 of 3 from the Brewers.

  39. 39
    BluesMan Says:

    Just got back from watching the Mississippi Braves play the Tennessee Smokies. Jeff Lyman who was the Starter for Mississippi, threw 7 shutout innings, he’s walks too many guys, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in Gwinnett by the end of the year. Brett Butts was decent in relief, he allowed a run (I left in the top of the 8th…I got that from the website).

    Jason Heyward reminds me a lot of Deon Sanders; ’cause he’s wiry, fast, & strong. He seems to be showing more growth at the AA level than Freddie Freeman. But that’s just my impression from tonight’s game. Freeman was fine defensively speaking for a AA First Baseman. I guess he’s working through making adjustments to his swing or whatever, it wasn’t his night offensively.

    I saw Dale Murphy tonight too (was about 3 feet away from him), but I didn’t get to meet him or get anything signed because the Smokies never mentioned where he would be…& by the time I started rattling their cages, they “shut the line down.” (Expletive deleted). Apart from that it was fun to watch the M Braves play. Too bad the big guys couldn’t get the sweep today.

  40. 40
    Curt Says:

    Ham is going to have to direct his unrequited man-love in a different direction. Holliday got traded to St. Louis today.

  41. 41
    Anne Says:

    Let’s have a little chat about that run-down Diaz just had with the 1st & 2nd basemen. So, normally it’d be a double play, 2nd & 3rd outs, and Escobar would not have scored. Diaz’s little game delayed HIS being out, thereby Escobar could cross the plate…THEN Diaz got tagged…hence Escobar coming home and scoring? I think that’s what I’m understanding. That’s a wacky rule…but I like it!

  42. 42
    BluesMan Says:

    Wow…Vasquez has struck out Prince Fielder 4 times. If that ain’t proof enough that we should keep him in ATL, I dunno what is.

  43. 43
    Steve Says:

    17 hits! 3 homers. Moylan didn’t melt down. Javier staring down the fate of the game in the 7th and striking out Fielder for the 4th time to keep the lead (really the turning point of the game). What an amazing run this has been since the All Star break. And BluesMan, I agree. Trading him makes no sense. We become much less formidable without him. And who knows what Hudson will give us this year (or next year, for that matter).

  44. 44
    Will Says:

    Sorry Hammy…remind us who is still out there for the Braves to chase? As far as a big bat goes? Any thoughts?

    I really enjoyed this Milwaukee game after that crappy last SF game. I was a bit worried we had fallen off the wagon…no hitting, sloppy defense…This game was emphatic. We rule.

    Also, I think what BluesMan said about Vaszquez applies to Yunel…he has just been on fire. I know his hair actually looks like it is about to catch on fire…but is there any any doubt that the guy is a franchise player?

  45. 45
    Leah Says:

    It’s ok Hammy…there are other fish in the sea…right?

  46. 46
    Leah Says:

    Let’s stomp some hops!

  47. 47
    Wiley Ballard Says:

    What about a Heyward August/September call-up?
    Any Thoughts (Saw some analyst on ESPN, I think Kurkjian, mention it)?

    P.S. NICE Leah I am ALL for it!

  48. 48
    Leah Says:

    I have to say it since it’s the only night it could be said without shock and awe…Go Atl Black Crackers! Beat those Mil Bears!

  49. 49
    BluesMan Says:

    They way I saw Heyward playing the other night, I wouldn’t be surprised if they called him up. That begs the question concerning weather he’ll be Frenchy Pt. II with his offensive fall from grace…or not. As I said earlier, he reminds me of Deon Sanders.

  50. 50
    Bubdylan Says:

    must … have … power … bat … 2010.

  51. 51
    Bubdylan Says:

    “That begs the question concerning weather he’ll be Frenchy Pt. II with his offensive fall from grace…or not.”

    That depends. Does Heyward run like a newborn giraffe, have the baseball IQ of BamBam Pebbles, refuse instruction, and consider himself the Chosen One?

    Do his XBH #’s depend mostly on pitchers hitting way more of the plate way more often than is necessary to get him out?

    Frenchy’s early call up might have damaged his career somewhat, but with his mindset, I think something about like what happened was always going to happen.

  52. 52
    Steve Says:

    I think that the cautionary tales of Frenchy and, even more so, Schafer, make a September call-up of Heyward very unlikely. I think it’s unlikely he starts 2010 with the big club as well.

  53. 53
    Bubdylan Says:

    Smoltz torched again. To think, we could have had him instead of…

    Some of Wren’s most controversial decisions:

    Smoltz: correct.
    Will Ohman: correct
    Glavine: correct
    Garret Anderson: correct
    Francoeur: not enough time yet, but… correct.
    Vazquez: correct

  54. 54
    Bubdylan Says:

    “controversial” might be too strong for what I meant. Maybe “less popular.”

  55. 55
    Steve Says:

    And Casey Kotchman: Correct. 3 run dinger, baby! The power bat is already here!

    And Bub – it really is amazing how “right” he’s been on the baseball side of things with the moves (aside from a 7MM bat we could have right now instead of KK). It’s just how badly he butchered the execution of the Smoltz and Glavine that I still can’t get over.

  56. 56
    Bubdylan Says:

    Steve, I just can’t get there from here. Smoltz and Glavine acted way more poorly than Wren. And I’m not sure a more coddling stance, while making the same moves, would have made a difference in their reactions.

    Consider Glavine’s reaction to the apology from J.S., for example. Nothing. Talk of filing a grievance. Smoltz starts crying again. Think how unfitting it would be for Wren to go to the press and say the kind of things about Smoltz’s attitude that he said about the Braves. Why is one side of the business partnership given free reign with the mouth, but the other side expected to bow down? Cuz he throws the ball instead of assembles the team?

    If Smoltz and Glavine are so unsure of their legacies that they have to have them spelled out in neon during a difficult decision time, then they missed picking up a piece of maturity that most 40 year olds have in place.

    Of course I agree that Wren’s weak spot is the personal side of things. I could see that just in the live chats he did. That’s a weakness I’ll put up with, sort of like accepting Adam Dunn’s strike out total. His baseball mind is sound.

    And even (or especially) baseball icons shouldn’t have to be placated by their GM’s. Honestly. It’s enough that the fans worship them and the GM’s sign their million dollar contracts.

    Sorry, I got carried away.

    Kelly goes deep. Too late for me to say it now (and get any credit), but I have thought all along Frenchy would never make it, but Kelly would. Not just for streaks, either. He’ll make it all the way.

    End of ramble. Sorry.

  57. 57
    Bubdylan Says:

    Remember when we scoffed at Chipper for saying that the NY and Boston series showed the team they could play with anyone?

    Well, we’ve lost one series (Nats) since then. Lost one, tied one, won five. Not just any five, either: Phils, Cubs, Mets, Giants, Brewers.

    Very good, Bravos.

  58. 58
    Curt Says:

    Kill me for saying this, but it is all right there in front of them: these series where they match up with the other WC teams, and having more games left in their division than any team in baseball. But it is amazing that all these teams are humming right now. The Phillies just will not lose – except to us. We have the pitching……

    Wow, almost bought it myself there for a second. It has passed.

  59. 59
    Bubdylan Says:

    *kills Curt*

  60. 60
    Bubdylan Says:

    NEW SHOW

    NEW SHOW

    NEW SHOW

    *banging table with mug*

  61. 61
    Curt Says:

    we just finished recording it. up in a little.

  62. 62
    Chris in Boston Says:

    Bub, I think you’re exactly right about Smoltz and Glavine. Go to the Boston Globe website. There’s a video of the Smoltzie post game press conference today. He does his typical “I’m being persecuted” routine, but he also admits that he could well be released and that he has to deal with it.

  63. 63
    Leah Says:

    I haven’t been a Braves fan nearly as long as most of you so it’s hard to completely understand how some feel betrayed. However, there’s no crying in baseball…just sayin. We’re winning. Largely in part to some of the hard ass decisions that have been made re: Smoltz and Glavine. I agree that it all could have been handled better but again…I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed watching Braves baseball so much.

  64. 64
    Bubdylan Says:

    There IS SO crying in baseball. *sniffle*

  65. 65
    Bubdylan Says:

    Chris in Boston, I just watched the press conference.

    “I’m a stand up guy.”

    Who says that?

    Okay, time for me to move on, I guess. Well, maybe I’ll relish one more bad start. :)

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