Florida 6 Atlanta 2

ESPN.com – MLB – Box Score – Braves at Marlins

I’m still too angry to sleep. This game should not have been played. It was delayed by rain for more than two and a half hours, then started while it was still raining. The Marlins make this choice; I am guessing that they started it to avoid getting hit by a curfew.

By the end of the first inning, the Braves were down 3-0 and Johnny Estrada had been ejected by an umpire who was plainly baiting him. That won’t stop Johnny from getting a long suspension for bumping the SOB. Brian McCann did have two hits as his replacement; McCann’s single in the fifth was the Braves’s first hit, and his eighth-inning homer their first run. Julio had a pinch-hit run scoring double later in the inning. The only hit by a guy in the starting lineup was by Langerhans in front of Julio.

Roman Colon didn’t pitch that badly, really. He gave up the three runs in the first, two on a homer, and one in the second on a solo homer. I cut him a lot a slack; it was still raining, and the game did start late. He wound up pitching six and striking out five with no walks, which certainly should get him another start. Vasquez blew through the seventh, striking out two. Bobby then mysteriously brought in Bernero, who once again allowed two runs and killed any thought of a comeback. Please release him.

Assuming they can get a flight out, the Braves start three in Philadelphia tomorrow. Smoltz will face Vicente Padilla (I almost called him “Jose” again) in the opener on Turner South. The freaking Natspos won again.

37 thoughts on “Florida 6 Atlanta 2”

  1. In regards to the umpiring sitch in general throughout the majors: A former ump named Ken Kaiser wrote a book called _Planet of the Umps_, which was sort of his auto-biography (well, ghost-written) about some of the experiences an umpire goes through. Apparently he fell into the job almost by accident, and largely because he was big and loud, he succeeded at it. If you like old baseball stories, it’s a good book, and it’s in paperback, and it tells a lot about baseball from an angle that no one ever thinks about.

    One of the things he complains about in the book is the aftermath of the situation where the ump’s union all but fell apart in a rough showdown with Alderson several years ago; a lot of new umpires got called up from AAA level at once, and they weren’t so protected and educated by the senior umpires as they might have been otherwise. Kaiser thought one result of this was more fighting between umps and players, and of course, more ejections (because that’s the only real possible result of more fights)…

  2. Can’t believe they actually played the game…I gave up at around 9 o’clock. Isn’t it the umpire’s decision to play the game or not rather than the home team?! Of course, tonight’s ump is probably living in his own world (Marlins world maybe), and he is thinking all the possible ways to screw up the Braves. Anyway, I am too mad to write anymore, and there is no Braves to blame for tonight’s game. I just hope Bernero will be the first player to be cut when Hudson or Hampton comes back. It’s even better if we give Stanton a chance and cut Bernero right now.

  3. Johnny hardly contain his enthusiasm because of reversed the last night game.Of course everybody was put to inconvenience in connection with some reasons.

    Brian McCann did a good job coolly.I wonder if it is true, he is only 21.He’s a real something!!
    What a cute !!!

    Really, starting pitchers will stand by us in time of need.@-@. Well, taking good care of themselves or cheering their colleagues.-_-;;

    The pain has left us , finally the game will be ended in favor of our side.^^
    I believe in U guys!!!
    GO Braves

  4. I agree…I am angry also. Plus the GODDAMNED Nationals won’t freaking lose and take their rightful place in 4th in the division. Let’s hope the 2nd half is a different story.

    I have gone from wanting to “adopt” the Nats to now hating them. I may live in Northern Virginia but screw the Nats.

    It’s ironic…most people are “jump on the bandwagon” fans…I abhor that. I stay with my teams (Braves, Spurs, Georgia Bulldogs) through THICK & THIN. Yes, even the Jim Harrick and Jim Donnan eras for Georgia.

    That said as we lost FURTHER ground to the GODDAMNED NATIONALS, I agree..the one shiny thing from last night was BRIAN MCCANN. What a damned shame he only plays once every five days as a back-up. If they send him down when Eddie Perez is healthy, I am going to take hostages. Screw playing him full time down in Richmond. PLAY HIM FULL TIME IN ATLANTA. F* Johnny Estrada. Frankly, Johnny has “good back up” written all over him.

    Why doesn’t ANYONE in Atlanta SEE THIS? The Braves seem to be missing this…It’s not a requirement to only have ONE GOOD hitting catcher on the roster, Bobby. Guess what, you can have an all star level starter (McCann) backed up by a solid veteran who can hit & play some defense (Estrada). Brian McCann has to be the opening day starter next April…along with Kelly Johnson, Wilson Betemit at SS, Andy Marte at 3rd…those rookies for sure should be in the starting lineup April 1st 2006.

  5. I agree that McCann looks good, and he may very well be the future, but I can’t help but think that he looks good in much the same way the backup quarterback always looks good to people like me (and Alex, I’d assume, given the UGA comment)who root for bigtime college football teams (I’m an Ohio State guy). The small sample size allows us to fill the empty vessel that is the second stringer with all kinds of hope and attribute to him all kinds of skill that he may or may not have.

  6. He got plunked by a Colon throw to second in the first inning. It was a pretty good shot to, I believe, the inside of his knee. He stuck around for a while though, so he’s probably not too bad off.

    I was really encouraged by Colon last night. I got worried when he appeared to get homer happy again, but I took it as a great sign that he really settled back down and absolutely blew a couple of guys away later in the game.

    I would like to read the Kaiser book, but I don’t know where he got the idea that there were more issues after the union was broken. There were more than enough before. They have a hard, thankless job, but nobody pays to see them work. And they have no business baiting players. I don’t know if that’s what happened this time, but you see it far too often.

  7. Alex, I have to ask, are you serious? Don’t you think it’s a credit to the organization that they’ve entrusted a 21-year-old catcher who began the year in AA with as much playing time as they have already? Heck, they’re already stowing Perez away on the DL to give the kid a shot. Right now he’s forcing them to keep him, and so far they’ve kept him, so it seems to me that credit should be given all around.

    Estrada has had a couple of rough days, but he is in fact the “all-star level” catcher that you claim we need. Further, your contention that it should be glaringly obvious that we should bench a veteran All-Star in favor of an unproven kid bespeaks a lack of experience in managing people.

  8. MAC you’re hilarious! Keep up the good work.
    By the way, does anyone else think we should use trade Estrada because clearly, McCann is ready and should be our starting catcher

  9. Isn’t it the umpire’s decision to play the game or not rather than the home team?!

    Until the first pitch is thrown, starting the game or postponing it is the decision of the home team. Once the game has started, it is up to the Umps to stop it.

    A former ump named Ken Kaiser wrote a book called _Planet of the Umps_, which was sort of his auto-biography (well, ghost-written) about some of the experiences an umpire goes through.

    If you liked this one, find an out-of-print copy of Ron Luciano’s first book, “The Umpire Strikes Back.” He wrote several more, but none were as funny.

    Anyway, the Umpire Union fell apart when there leader (Richie Phillips?), instead of calling a strike (it would have been illegal under FLRA precedent) had a bunch of people submit their resignations. The union was shocked when, instead of negotiating with them, MLB accepted the resignations.

    While I think last night’s ump *may* have goaded Estrada (I couldn’t tell what they were saying other than it was clear each were jawing at the other) it seems that such confrontations are fewer now – particularly after the union collapsed – than they were when I was a kid watching Earl Weaver, Billy Martin, Dick Williams, and the like have their almost daily brawls with the men in blue.

  10. It was utterly predictable that they would play the game short of a hurricane hitting South Florida. As a matter of fact, I predicted that the game would start at 10. This is SOP in MLB; the Marlins don’t want to lose the revenue from the game (however sparse)and play a doubleheader later in the year. They lose money that way. The players don’t like doubleheaders either. So, there was no way they were not going to play the game.

    As for the Nats, Alex, chill out. I also live in the Washington area–I think it would be great if both teams make the playoffs. I don’t know how long you have lived here, but I think the excitement about the Nats is good for the area and good for baseball. And if the Braves are the better team, they will win out in the end.

    The assumption is that the Nats will fade in the second half because they have been outscored so far. But that doesn’t necessarily predict what will happen in the future if the team gets better. The Nats will get Jose Vidro back so they might actually be better. I suspect they will fade some but it wouldn’t bother me if the Braves were the wildcard, even though I can never root against the Braves. But if the bullpen doesn’t get better, especially on the road, the Braves are going to struggly. What the Nats show is what someone yesterday pointed out using the analogy of the kicking game in football. If you have a lousy kicking game, you are going to have problems no matter how good the rest of the team is and it’s the same way with the bullpen. By the same token, a superior bullpen can allow a team to win more games than their overall talent level would suggest.

  11. in my opinion, we should most definitely NOT trade estrada. mccann does look great, but estrada and mccann, most definitely, are better than mccann and perez. i wouldn’t mind mccann picking up another starter and estrada working 3 and mccann 2, but trading estrada would not be a good idea. i wouldn’t doubt it if bernero doesn’t make the trip to philly. it seemed to me his “make it or break it” night was last night, and he damned near broke the thing off.

  12. I’d like to see McCann get a little more playing time just to make sure he really is ready offensively. He certainly looks like he is, but he hasn’t had all that many ABs. I’m convinced that his catching ability is not only much better than expected given his rep, but probably better than average. I think he’s likely to be the starter next year because Estrada will be hard to keep since there’s not a lot of salary relief coming next year beyond Furcal leaving ( Estrada is ripe for a big arbitration payday). But there shouldn’t be any rush for three reasons:

    1 – It makes a lot of sense to work in a young catcher slowly. There’s a lot to learn about the pitching staff, opposing players, umpires, etc. I do think it’s an often overrated defensive position, but it’s still very complicated and not the place to intentionally force a young player.
    2 – Estrada’s is not a bad catcher at all. For the position, he hits pretty well. And he’s probably in the top 3 in the league overall. I expect and hope that McCann will be better, but Estrada is fine… much better than I thought he would be. We’re trying to win a pennant, and Estrada is likely to be the best catcher we have for the rest of the year.
    3 – We need to preserve Estrada’s trade value for the offseason. He is not a dump trade guy at all. He has a lot of value in trade, but not as much during the season. If the Braves were looking to restock the farm, I might think differently. But we need inexpensive major league pitchers, and possibly an outfielder (depending on how the organization feels about Langerhans long-term). This is what guys like Estrada and LaRoche can bring. But almost certainly not during the season.

  13. About Estrada and Bobby’s ejections, I enjoyed how riled up the whole Atlanta dugout was. It’s good to see players sticking up for one another, but particularly pitchers and catchers. I noticed Hudson talking to Estrada before he left for the clubhouse and I thought it was cool that Hampton got tossed. I thought I remembered from earlier this year that Hampton and Estrada didn’t get along, so it was good to see Hampton taking his side with enough gusto to get tossed as well.
    The umps clearly have no place goading players. Or even speaking to them outside of what is necessary to call the game. Next time we have that ump behind the plate (and a runner on first), I’d like to see Estrada step out for a pitch-out, but have the pitcher “get his signals crossed” and throw a fastball at the ump’s knee. But that’s just me and I’m a violent and somewhat disturbed individual given to crazy fantasies when I’m bored at work and I’d imagine that MLB would come down on such an action with great vengence and furious anger, so to speak (as well they should). Anyways, I’m just saying.

  14. And they will know his name is The Lord, when Smoltzie lays his vengeance upon them.

  15. Sorry, guys, the loss is my fault. When I was out of the country the Braves did great, but now I’m back and they’re losing. 2 weeks with no Braves and everything has changed. Andruw’s doubled his HR total, Marcus seems to be hitting for power again, and WHAT is going on with KJ? I’ve been trying to catch up by watching the highlights on the Braves website and he’s in practically every one of them! Also, a bunch of people, i.e. Kenny Rogers, Gary Sheffield, etc. seem to need a shrink. And, for the record, baseball fans are stupid. I have enormous respect for Albert Pujols and I think he’s one of the best players in the game, but I’m sorry. Derrek Lee needs to be the starting 1B.

    The game last night? Should never have been played. You don’t end a rain delay when it’s still raining! Maybe the umpires were getting sick of Dick Clark. All I saw was 3 outs in the top half of the 1st, including Furcal’s face plant trying to steal second (lucky he wasn’t hurt!) and Juan Pierre steal 3rd in the bottom half after stealing second and then Colon’s stupid pickoff throw not only injuring his 2B but letting Pierre go to third anyway, then I turned it off right before the 2 HRs and the Ejectapalooza. But I did see the ejections on ESPN. My reaction? Eddings must have said something pretty offensive, because Johnny went berserk. I think Johnny should be punished, because he definitely went too far with the cursing and obscenities and bumping the ump, but Eddings needs to be disciplined. It reminded me a lot of the Alomar-Hirschbeck incident except nobody spit. Hirschbeck had a reputation (called Hideki Irabu a stupid Japanese SOB if I remember) and I bet Eddings said something along those lines. He now joins my list of horrible umps that includes Andy Fletcher, CB Bucknor, and Bob Davidson. The umpiring this year has been unusually bad. I wonder what’s going on.

    Word of advice for anyone travelling to China: be VERY careful when you eat meat!

  16. Try to look at the bright side, here. They’ll probably give Hampton a six game suspension, to be served when he comes off the DL. That’s not all bad, for two reasons.
    1) We’ve got both Sosa and Colon who have demonstrated that they should at least be considered for “back-of-the-rotation” starter status.
    2) Hampton can probably use an extra day or two of rest after his first start off the DL.

  17. Bobby shouldn’t have been the guy to bring in Bernero as he’d already been tossed. Unless he was managing from the clubhouse, which I suppose is possible. But, man, shouldn’t that guy (Bernero) be on everybody’s shitlist?

  18. Earlier someone said something about Hampton and Estrada not getting along at the beginning of the season: Just wanted to point out this is not true, just the myth of the personal catcher getting blown out of proportion AGAIN.

  19. On the typical catcher rotation (same guy except Sundays and some other day games), pitchers sorta randomly get a different catcher from time to time. Having a dedicated catcher for a pitcher makes an awful lot of sense. And Hampton and Maddux are just reasonable choices for your most defensive-minded catcher… and I do think that Maddux required “special skills” from his catcher, but I won’t go into that in order to avoid making unfounded accusations ;)

  20. I’ve read “Planet of the Umps” and I liked it a lot, but all of it is not the umpires. Bud Selig is the biggest idiot of them all. How come the NFL gets Paul Tagliabue and the NBA gets David Stern and we have this clown? Baseball is run very badly. The owners and players seem like North and South Korea, always ready to attack each other no matter what the cost and Selig likes it this way. The same teams seem to mostly win all the time (Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) because money is so uneven and most teams just don’t have many fans. As a consequence, these teams continue to suck and they get even less fans and less money. And Selig does nothing. He likes it when umpires screw up because it’s “part of the game.” This is why we have morons like Doug Eddings and CB Bucknor. When does his term run out? 2007? Get rid of him. I don’t know who’d be a good replacement, but the steroid scandal is just the beginning of a slew of problems sure to explode with this creepy-looking guy running baseball. I’m surprised we haven’t had a meltdown yet. He’s half the problem with our umpires because he’s the guy in charge.

    Added disturbing note: Selig is Giles spelled backwards. Significance?

  21. Johnny never reacts like that, Eddings must have crossed the line with something but Johnny will be the one punished. Mccann looked real good and I agree he should find more time, maybe two times every five days to see if he can handle it. He’ll be catching every game for awhile now pending Johnny’s suspension.Anybody have interest in Stanton or Quantrill. Signing one of the two and releasing Bernero seems like a good move.

    Jenny, did you do any scouting for the Braves over there? Is Baseball on Tv like it is here?and what do you mean about the food over there??

    Finally, to the Ohio St guy, good point about backups being favored but at Ohio State don’t backups get paid more than starters?? Or at least drive newer cars??

  22. No baseball in China. Not at all. They don’t have any teams. Nobody likes it and it’s not on state TV (I found this out from a 19-year-old guy we were staying with, who, by the way, has never heard of Frisbees). They show basically soccer and basketball. Interestingly enough, they did show WWF last year, but it was cancelled for being too violent, haha. So the only Braves news I got was from my parents via phone and online (the 3 times I actually got Internet access: on a cruise ship and in the homes of 2 people who worked for the government). It was mostly good, thankfully!

    As for the food, I ate contaminated chicken and was sick for pretty much the whole 2 weeks. Lost 10 pounds. It’s dangerous eating meat in any place but upscale restaurants b/c you don’t know if it’s cooked or clean. And the water? Don’t ingest even a drop. The trip was fun, but I’m glad to be home. Spent 20 hours flying back from Shanghai yesterday and, for the first time in my life, was too tired to watch the Braves.

    Funny note: Chinese tourist attractions rate their toilets with stars.

  23. My buddy is studying in Shanghai right now – you didn’t run into a goofy American from Atlanta named Austin, did you Jenny?

    Good to know that while our economy will soon be surpassed by the Chinese, they’ve still got a ways to go to catch us in baseball.

  24. Shanghai has millions of people. Sorry, Kyle, didn’t run into him. There were a lot of goofy Americans thought, easily identifiable by their sneakers, bad shorts, fishing hats, fanny packs, and 10-pound Nikon digital cameras banging against their guts.

    It seems like half the Chinese economy consists of scary vendors attacking tourists and trying to sell them fake antique coins and Roluxes. It was really obvious how fast they were developing from what I saw, but the individual? Conditions seemed pretty squalorous in a lot of places to me. Just too many people. And I don’t think baseball will catch on in China any time soon. It takes space and grass, which China is well short of, and it’s bourgeois. No threat there.

  25. I agree with Ryan C, don’t trade Estrada just yet. Once Perez is back, McCann can be sent to Richond (he’s earned the level up) to rake with what he’s learned here and get a little more “seasoning”. Gotta keep his ABs down so he can fight for RoY next year with Marte.Let’s revive Stanton for a second lefty in the pen, heck even Quantrill. Leo, do your magic.

  26. Stanton looks to be nothing more than a true LOOGY these days. All we’d probably be doing by getting him is pushing Foster into a more general relief role. An improvement? I suppose, but I still have to think there is a better one out there. Personally, I don’t see much use for LOOGY’s, in general, but especially with a starting staff that’s probably always going to be somewhat questionable as far as durability goes.

    Quantrill may still be useful, but I doubt he’s better than anyone we already have except Bernero. And since we already have an extra pitcher there’s not a real need to be looking for a replacement for him… just hoping he gets dropped when we get back down the normal number. Quantrill is “average bullpen guy”, at best. And we’ll have a pen full of those when/if everybody gets back healthy.

  27. Jenny, Blaming Selig for teams spending money and winning is ridiculous. You say he does nothing, but what will the union allow him to do? They’ve strong armed us into this situation and refuse to let go. Any attempt at a cap or any other measure that could lower salaries and they’ll throw another hissy fit. Do you realize that before Selig the players union NEVER made a concession during so called “negotiations”. Sorry, Selig is not the evil most try and make him out to be. Just about every serious problem with baseball today can be traced back to the stubborn greed of the players union.

  28. Just about every serious problem with baseball today can be traced back to the stubborn greed of the players union.

    Yes, of course … just like we had wonderful competition in the 1950s before the Union existed. The Yankees didn’t have any advantage and the KC A’s were competitive every year, right? Oops. Maybe not.

    I have never once understood how otherwise intelligent people can buy the arguments from MLB and somehow point the blame at the players for taking the money that the owners are offering. It takes economic ignorance to think that prices are affected by the contracts rather than the contracts being driven by the revenue streams — what, do you think the owners would turn down revenue if they didn’t have to pay players. Look at it this way: I go to college football games every year. Year after year, ticket prices are going up and up and up. Hmmm, must be because Brodie Croyle got another huge raise, right?

  29. And what about the draft? You think that the vast majority of union members give a rip about the few multi-million dollar babies that it creates every year? Maybe, but I doubt it very seriously. Yet as signing bonuses go through the roof and top amateur talent is now unaffordable to smaller market teams, MLB does nothing about it… not one thing. That would be a good place to start if you want to foster some competetive balance. Is the draft even part of the CBA? Even if it is, I think that’s probably a good place to at least try to get some concessions that, as Skip would say, the billionaires want from the millionaires.

    There are things short of breaking the union and colluding that Selig and company could at least try to do. They’ve just only shown interest in those two so far.

  30. Lots of things could be fixed if the owners just faced up to the fact that the union isn’t going anywhere. Every time the CBA comes up they try to break it and every time they lose.

    The draft is part of the CBA because of free agent compensation. I’m certain that the players would be happy to allow some changes if left to their own devices, but the agents are a big force, of course.

  31. For what its worth, minor leaguers not on the 40 man roster are not members of the union nor are amatuer players being drafted. MLB could, if they wanted, unilaterally impose a cap on amatuer contracts and essentially do away with bonus babies. The legal problem is that if they did that, there is a good argument that would invalidate the draft itself and all amatuers would be free agents — which would come full circle back to the bonus baby days pre-Rick Monday years.

  32. Oooft, that is an ugly paragraph — by caping the draft pick bonuses, it would, in the short run, reduce the amount paid to the Mark Priors, Jared Weavers, and Brien Taylors. But in the long run, it could bring back the bonus baby competition from the 30s to the 1960s.

  33. I like the idea of bringing back the old bonus baby rule, at least in a reduced form. If you’re going to pay a player an out-of-line bonus, you have to carry him on the 25-man, or at least the 40-man.

  34. An easy thing for baseball to do with regards to the draft would be to allow draft picks to be traded. The current rules are archaic and have no reasonable justification any longer. They would also allow teams who are fearful of high signing bonuses to extract more value out of their draft slot – for example, the Padres could have sold the 2004 #1 overall pick to whoever wanted Jered Weaver the most, instead of taking a kid who sucked (as it turns out, at least) but would sign for slot money.

    I believe that the NBA draft slot bonuses are collectively bargained, but every NBA draftee immediately becomes a union member which probably explains this difference. Signing bonus caps does seem more “fair” but the economic half of my brain tells me that the money saved by doing so goes straight into owners pockets. In addition, the current system makes second round talent available in much later rounds as teams can gamble on kids committed to college by paying them enough. So I think the easy and best bang-for-buck remedy is to allow draft picks to be traded.

  35. I don’t like the general ideas of caps or “slots” myself. Allowing picks to be traded is at least something. There’s an argument against it that says it would actually somehow hurt poorer teams, but I can’t remember what it is… even though I’ve heard it many times. So I’m guessing that it hasn’t done much to convince me ;)

    Expanding the draft to include international players is messy, and it would probably hurt the Braves, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  36. The players union is a huge problem, Grst. Don Fehr & Co. are out of control. But they have nothing to do with the umpires and Selig (correct me if I’m wrong) does not even make any real attempts to reign in the MLBPA. He can’t under the current CBA, but he could at least complain and let it be known that he thinks there are problems. And he CAN work around the union in some ways, as others have mentioned. And your response could have been more courteous. People don’t like being called ridiculous. It’s demeaning. Okay? :-)

    Stanton? Quantrill? No. I think the Yankees were inspired to cut Stanton after he threw 1 pitch in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s game, a beautiful 88 mph fastball with no movement, and promptly lost the game for them when Brian Roberts crushed it into the left field seats, but he has stunk for awhile now, since we hit the current century, actually. Quantrill has never been very good. Somebody on the Braves site suggested Felix Rodriguez for Bernero.

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