94 thoughts on “Game Thread: August 26, Braves at Brewers”

  1. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I took to the Brewers in the NL quickly. It feels right, but I’m not sure why.

  2. I really like Ned Yost and want him to do well. I would guess he considers Bobby a mentor. Besides Pendleson, what other Braves players, coaches, want to manage or are capable of managing?

  3. Pretty weak lineup against Sheets:

    K. Johnson
    M. Giles
    C. Jones
    A. Jones
    A. LaRoche
    J. Francoeur
    J. Estrada
    W. Betemit
    H. Ramirez

  4. Well, give us a chance to see 1) KJ batting leadoff and 2) Betemit playing shortstop. It’s always a weak lineup whenever they have an ice cold LaRoche batting fifth…

  5. I think Furcal hurt his knees a little bit when they were at Chicago…correct me if I am wrong…

  6. KJ can thank the Brewers’ positioning for the leadoff hit. And Sheets is only throwing 88 — could it be his voluminous blouse?

  7. The Brewers in the NL is not the stupidest thing about Selig’s realignment. The stupidest thing is that there are 6 teams in the NL Central.

  8. lol I thought the same thing somewhat Mac… Since when have the brewers ever been the braves… never have. Some of those players that played for Mil Braves are in the Atlanta Braves hall of fame..

  9. Alright, these Milwaukee Bravers unis are intolerable. Forget, for a moment, the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Braves are two completely different franchises and those Wisconsinite bastards (please forgive my language) have no right to the accomplishments or history of the Milwaukee Braves, but isn’t this the worst night ever to do this little promotion? Against the Braves?!! I keep wondering who we have playing short (and pretty much every position) and why the Braves were batting in both halves of the first inning. Crap, I actually wish we were wearing our Red Sunday uniforms instead of gray. Oh well. Better make ’em pay for it with a win.

  10. Sounds like Yost is pissed about it, and I don’t blame him. The Brewers’ marketing department is obviously tone deaf (imagine that) to the inherent implication that the Brewers are the bastard stepchildren to the more storied Braves franchise. Good for him for expressing his displeasure.

  11. Apparently, the uniform thing is a Bud-era decision that the new management might not be wild about. Wow, the Seligs doing something dumb, what are the odds?

  12. Why does he DO that, he shouldn’t be that far out! At least he called for it but he was in middle right-center. Jeez, Marcus!

  13. Yeah, one team should be moved to the AL West, since it only has 4 teams. I vote Houston.

    If you did that, you’d have to have an interleague game every day of the season. That, or teams taking three and four days off at a time.

  14. Anyone have a preference for the expansion teams…Las Vegas? Portland? Does New Mexico have a big enough population?

  15. I’m with Mac on expansion. Baseball because of the length of the season has a great impact on community spirit and we should be spreading the game like demented missionaries to pagan tribes…

  16. Adam looked completely hopeless, he is zero for his last 19 at-bats. Sheets is very smart in not throwing fastballs to Andruw, and his curveball must be very hard to gauge. He is making Chipper looking like Jordan facing average pitchers…the swing looked so long and slow…

  17. No preference but I can tell you where we shouldn’t put a team: the Dakotas, Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Florida, and anywhere north of NY. I think everywhere else except maybe Nebraska/Oklahoma is fair game.

  18. I’m in favor of expansion, too. Four 4-team divisions in each league, and goodbye wild card. Everyone has to win something in order to advance, even if (horrors!) a sub-.500 team occasionally gets in. The next perfect system will be the first one….

  19. I am suitably chastened thanks to Kelly. Looks like opposing teams will have to think twice before running on any Braves outfielder.

  20. And Pete was like “He showed no fear.” I think he did. I also think Betemit doesn’t look very good at SS.

  21. Mac, I would be interested in hearing why you are favoring further expansion. The talent is been spreading too thin as of now already in my opinion…

  22. I found it hard to believe we beat Zambrano, Wood, and Prior but lost to Jerome Williams. HoRo will need to pitch very well tonight to have any chance to win. Hope the offense will do better by seeing Sheets for the third and fourth time up.

  23. Jenny, I think you are ruling out some GREAT choices…a Disney owned team in Orlando, the Anchorage Polar Bears?? I actual fell for all the talk of a Mexico City team not long ago.

  24. I’m not opposed to Florida personally, Jason, but the Marlins and the Devil Rays have pretty lousy attendance. Why would adding another team do any good?

  25. My feeling is that all the talk about talent spread thin is untrue. Maybe pitching is spread thin, but this is more perception than reality; there is always a perceived shortage of pitching. Every study I’ve seen shows a short-term decline in play when there’s an expansion, but it washes out in less than five years.

    Remember, there are more teams, but there are also many more people to choose from. There are about as many American citizens per Major League team as there were on the eve of expansion; more, now, I think. Plus there’s Latin America and Asia, now.

    I’d put a team in Jersey.

  26. Here’s my take on expansion:

    Worries about the diluted talent pool usually mean one thing — too many bad pitchers. After all, there are lots of guys who can hit a fastball in the minors, but it’s the lack of quality pitching depth that is the main concern.

    And sure enough, every time there’s expansion, pitching suffers in the short term. But, eventually, the first law of economics takes hold — lack of good pitching leads organizations to work harder to find and develop pitching, and sooner or later it catches up again (taking rule changes and ballpark effects into account).

    ML ERA (estimated):

    2000 — 4.78
    2001 — 4.41
    2002 — 4.28
    2003 — 4.40
    2004 — 4.47
    2005 — +- 4.30

    Since 2000 there have been significantly fewer runs scored, and although it’s been fairly flat in the last few years, I attribute that in part to the advent of the hitters parks. Remember all the stories in 1997-2000 about too many runs being scored? Those stories aren’t being seen anymore, which tells me that a balance has once again been acheived.

    Expansion would likely have the same short term effect as it has in the past, leading to the same “sky is falling” attitudes that prevailed in the past. But the pitching will once again catch up, and we’ll have us a fine game. Better in fact, because pennant races will come back to the fore, and more teams will stay in contention longer.

  27. No doubt the NY metro area could support another team, but where does the second new team go?

  28. Shame on you Mac!! First, they should bring a team back to Brooklyn.

    Jenny, I’m a Florida native so I’m biased. Though, they never responded to my letters as a kid trying to get a team in Pensacola. I think attendence would be better in Miami and Tampa if they built better parks. The ones they have to play in are TERRIBLE! And just think the Alaskan team would get all of those Siberian fans commuting across the Bering Straits.

  29. I think Mac had a point that the game is experiencing significant growth in internationally—Latin America, Asia, and even Australia. As baseball becomes increasinly international I think there will be a larger talent pool to justify expanding the league. I wish it was having the same kind of success that basketball is in Asia and Eastern Europe, but it’s doing pretty well. There is even a greater number of Canadian players in the league, no doubt as they have slowly came to realize what a stupid sport hockey is…

  30. Deleted because I am sick of this cretin. Apologies to Fjensen; it’s another AOL user, probably from nearby. — MT

  31. Getting your first two guys on base and then having the 3,4, and 5 guys fail to bring them in doesn’t bode well. At least the Braves aren’t on pace to strike out 18 times.

  32. Critics of Joe Morgan should read his ESPN.com column on the Bradley-Kent flap. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that all columnists should emulate Bayless and jump to conclusions based on heresay regarding events they weren’t privy to….

  33. Don’t think we can score four runs against Sheets. Waiting for that to happen. How many times have we heard that…a cutter that doesn’t cut…

  34. Those stories aren’t being seen anymore, which tells me that a balance has once again been acheived.

    No not really. The way to see the effect of expansion is in “extreme” seasons. Guys hitting 50 bombs, pitchers having silly dominant seasons. Those are way up since the last expansions. The great players are just as great, but the average players they oppose are worse, resulting in Arena Baseball numbers like we have seen with Bonds, A-Rod, Pedro, Maddux, etc. The unfortunate result of the last expansions was the elimination of nearly every meaningful record in the recordbook. Another two teams so soon and… well I’d prefer not to think about it.

    Game over. Bizarro Braves win, Bizarro Braves win.

  35. Nice outing for Horacio tonight. We were never going to win, but at least he saved the bullpen.

  36. No not really. The way to see the effect of expansion is in “extreme” seasons.

    So the “extreme” seasons don’t impact leaguewide results, thus rendering them meaningless in the discussion? Don’t be ridiculous.

    The unfortunate result of the last expansions was the elimination of nearly every meaningful record in the recordbook.

    No meaninful pitching records have been “eliminated”, nor many offensive stats that don’t directly result from home runs (with the exception of the walks record to Bonds, which was broken due to opposition strategy, and not pitching talent — and Ichiro’s hit record, which I defy you to attribute to expansion).

  37. Mac, I don’t agree with one assumption which you are making, the spreading of talent effects both the offense and the pitching. A quantitative fact is everytime there are two new expansion teams, baseball is pushing 50 players who were playing at AAA to major league (that will be 100 if you count D-backs, Rays, Marlins and the Rockies). Whether the improvement of talant pool can make up the difference of that 100 players, we don’t know because it is a qualitative argument which no numbers can measure. Another side of the argument can be that it is easier for international talents to reach major league because of the 100 additional oppurtunities.

    However, Pujols is Pujols, Clemens is Clemens, the extreme talents will take advantage of the less talanted players and put up unbelievable numbers, which is what we are seeing in the recent years. That’s what I think based on my limited knowledge in baseball.

    However, I agree baseball needs to put one more team around the NYC area. I don’t think Jersey will be a good choice because I understand more people in Jersay are Yankees fan. I think baseball need to put a team to an area where there is rich tradition of baseball, which make Brooklyn a better choice, but I am not sure if the area has a rich enough fan base to support a MLB team now.

  38. It makes no sense to me to oppose expansion on the grounds of “talent dilution”. It defies logic to believe that 50 more players of approximately equal ability to the average major leaguer could not be found from the pool of all available players, particularly with an ever-expanding population to draw from. The real issues are economic in nature.

  39. My argument is that the belief in talent being spread thin is only a perception caused by all the lousy pitchers, but that lousy pitchers are a constant.

    I just don’t think that it matters in the long run. My belief is that the number of “real” major league players is determined more by the number of players in the development systems. And that expands when the majors expand, so in five years or so (when the minor league systems mature) the level of play is pretty much the same as it was.

  40. This is EXACTLY the reason Julio should start more games. Game in the balance, LaRoche up, the Brewers bring out a Lefty reliever, and the inning’s over before he even sees a pitch.

    There is no way I don’t pinch hit Julio for LaRoche here.

  41. So the “extreme” seasons don’t impact leaguewide results, thus rendering them meaningless in the discussion? Don’t be ridiculous.

    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Feel free to try again.

    No meaninful pitching records have been “eliminated”, nor many offensive stats that don’t directly result from home runs (with the exception of the walks record to Bonds, which was broken due to opposition strategy, and not pitching talent — and Ichiro’s hit record, which I defy you to attribute to expansion).

    So the triples record is safe. That’s a relief. The point is extreme seasons result from expansion, balance does not. That’s what I’m getting at. If you like cartoonish numbers, expand away.

  42. There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Julio actually wore one of Milwaukee’s throwback jerseys earlier in his career.

  43. The only major individual offensive records to fall in living memory are for homers, walks, on-base percentage (all to one man, though of course the old homer record had already fallen) and hits. The record for doubles hasn’t been seriously threatened, nor for runs, nor for RBI. Nobody’s made a serious run at .400 even though leaguewide batting averages are way up. So what we have here is a big jump in homers, and the individual achievements of one man.

  44. Sounds like the first point is lost on you, so I won’t pursue it. As to the second, here’s a partial list of offensive records other than triples which have not been broken, or even threatened, since the most recent expansion:

    Runs
    Doubles
    RBI
    Stolen Bases
    Batting Average

    As to the HR records, how much is attributable to expansion, and how much to bandboxes and steroids? And where have these extreme records been in the last three seasons? Using your own definition, I say again a balance has been acheived.

  45. Only because the pitching records are of a different era. We’ve had a huge spike in sickly dominent pitching seasons since the last expansion.

  46. Actually, the performance spread (looking at standard deviation) for pretty much every offensive stat except triples and stolen bases has been going down over time, with peaks that don’t matchup with expansion. If anything, triples and stolen bases have had more “extreme” distributions recently, but power and average numbers have been more clustered.

  47. It’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just that the numbers show an big jump in extreme seasons since the last expansions and a similar jump directly after previous expansions. That’s just the way it works. You’re fine with it, I’m not. That’s the disagreement. There is no disputing the actual numbers since you can look them up just as easily as I can.

  48. Clemens has been sick, absolutely. But honestly, I just don’t think that’s been the case. Some of the best relative-to-league stats have been reached, but hey, shouldn’t each era have it’s share of records?

  49. nyb, I was just looking at Schell’s recent book. He has performance spread v. time plots for a variety of offensive stats. His work is sound enough that I trust it.

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