267 thoughts on “Early Game Thread: Braves at Cubs, May 28”

  1. I heard something on “Rome Is Burning” the other day that really got me burning. Jim Rome was waxing poetic at how great David Wright is and said the following about him and the Mets: “I’m not saying that the Braves’ run in the east is over, but the Braves run in the east is over.” The Braves are 3.5 games out…how can he possibly say that?

  2. He can say whatever he wants. But I wouldn’t worry too much about what Jim Rome says. Here’s the thing: so-called experts or pundits typically get it wrong most of the time; their jobs depend on them making wild predictions – that’s what’s ‘interesting’ to the public. The story is not in what people expect to happen, but in what is unexpected. Neither Jim Riome nor any other sportswriter, journalist, etc., can find anything interesting about the Braves except to predict their eventual downfall. That’s what the writers do. It may be that folks want the Braves to lose, though I can’t imagine a guy in LA really cares that much. But it’s definitely in Rome’s interest as a sport’s journalist either to create or capitalize on the story that the Braves will finally drop the ball.

    So what actually happens, then, is of course independent of ‘the news’ a bunch of wannabe-writers create so as to sell themselves to a largely uninterested public. The Braves have a pretty good team with several flaws, much like the Mets and Phillies, and in the end they have a great shot to win the division. If they don’t, so be it, but if they do – it’ll be fun listening to all the ‘experts’ scramble.

  3. Orlando Hernandez has given up three runs through two innings against the Marlins so far. He’s thrown 52 pitches. Good work Omar Minaya! As always.

  4. My goodness. I am listening to WGN. Absolute tripe. They are debating whether or not Smoltz had Tommy John surgery …

  5. Yes, let’s not be afraid to pull Smoltz out early today…Also, yea to LaRoche and Francouer!!!!!

  6. You’ve gotta tune in to WGN radio to listen to this … brilliant. Delerium to depression in 10 minutes

  7. Langy! I finally saw a homer! lol.. I missed our first two because I flipped over to the Indy 500

  8. I wouldn’t bother with the Indy 500. I have watched the first half and same old story …. bunch of cars driving round in a circle with some dude building out a lead until it is reigned in by the safety car…. repeat until laps = 200

  9. …and I am telling everyone right now…enjoy your Indy/race car stuff, I don’t really care, but I hope Danica Patrick wins so all the neanderthals like Richard Petty will shut their yapper.

    Plus, she’s hot…I always root for hotties.

  10. But Mac, people care & know about the Braves so you can’t compare with the Hawks.

    Speaking of the Hawks, we were out to dinner last night with my Aunt and Uncle and cousin in Arlington, and my Uncle is a Big basketball fan so we were talking abnout the Western Conference Finals (still a depressing subject without my Spurs) and this pretty much sums it up for the Hawks: (from my uncle)–Hey, that Boris Diaw guy is really good! I had never even heard of him before Phoenix!

    That my friends, is life as an ATLANTA HAWK in a nutshell. :-)

  11. Explain something to me, why didn’t Baker just START GLENDON RUSCH??? He’s always been a solid, veteran lefthander…why even call up some deer-in-the-headlights-kid from Korea and not just go with a veteran in your pen who’s generally pretty solid?

    Hey, as a Braves fan, I am not complaining, but still…would have made more sense then spotting us 6 runs before going to the veteran?

    That, is the life of the Cubs and that is Dusty Baker.

  12. Bobby, thats another lacksadaisical LaRoche boner play…pull that a–hole out. Plus, Smoltz could have ended the inning and iced his freaking ankle. LaRoche hurt the team on that one too.

    Lets not hope for another Thomson style meltdown.

  13. It just makes me so angry and it should piss off every Braves fan…it’s just selfish for Bobby not to stand up to Adam and let him know how his lack of effort kills the team.

    And again, if LaRoche ends the inning, it may give Smoltz a shot to stay in this game and now that is going out the window, thanks to f–king LaRoche!

    God, I hate him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Thank God, Frenchy! He saves Smoltz further strain and saves LaRoche’s ass.

    And did you hear Simpson? Todd Pratt maybe hurt…

  15. Irrespective of what you think about Frenchy’s batting he is worth 10 runs just with his arm

  16. The entire Cubs coaching staff has to be as bad as their lineup. Why would you send a catcher knowing Francoeur’s arm?

  17. Y’know, if I’m CHI, I might run Womack here. It’s against the book, but…

    never mind, GIDP

  18. Newbie here. Just thought I’d say something. I love all the homeruns, but Chicago is creeping on us. I may cry if something really bad happens and the Braves lose this game.

  19. Micheal Barrett–another guy in a long line of players who’ve made millions by facing the braves.

  20. he’s given up 8 runs to an absolutely horrendous offense. i’m thinkin’ anyone would be better at this point.

  21. AHAHAHAHAHA, wow. Our entire team is juiced today. Some
    go give them all steroid tests!

  22. Hey – we have the record for homers against the cubs in a single game!

    No need to take Smoltz out – he hasn’t even chucked 100 pitches. We’d have to bring Cormier in and lose the game

  23. Smoltz isn’t 100%, it’s 500 degrees out there, and he’s already given up 10 hits and 8 runs. This is WHY we have a bullpen.

  24. That was awesome…we should get that Braves fan who caught Pena’s home run onto the Blog.

    (you know, since it appears with the change over we’ve lost half our bloggers…)

  25. Ok, that incident right there with Crawford yelling crazily into the Braves dugout, it would appear he and Joey Crawford are related.

  26. I’m back, Alex, just started a new job. Been crazy…
    Was pete orr talking trash just now?

  27. Even though we have a four run lead I still don’t feel 100% comfortable …..

    ….. does anyone know why Pendelton got tossed?

  28. I dont know if Orr was really saying anything, Brad…I just think Crawford is related to Joey Crawford who’s constantly getting into it with NBA guys.

  29. Pendelton didn’t get tossed, he was trying to take the heat for Orr= who was mouthing off to Crawford.

  30. Is it just me or does anyone else with instead of going back to Atlanta, we started a series in Coors with the Rockies tomorrow?

  31. What happened to Orr? Skip Caray made some comment about Terry Pendleton making a “good call” and saving someone some money? I stepped out for Orr’s at bat, and apperantly it had something to do with that.

  32. Truth be told…not sure what Orr did or didn’t say but it is 110 degrees and guys are just pissy.

    Thi is why I am enjoying my air conditioned townhouse, my laptop, and my big screen TV with TBS on. Ahh…a Sunday during a holiday weekend with no plans…just the best. And I dont want to forget my adorable wife downstairs who I can hang out with later!

  33. OK – I am listening to WGN audio and they reckoned he got tossed …. these guys are useless.

    They also claim that the MLB record for HRs in a game is 10 … 2 more to go (if you believe what you hear)

  34. Well, Chip and Joe said absolutely nothing about TP being tossed…you’d think they would say SOMETHING if this had happened.

  35. And it’s fair to say from ownership on down, everyone in the Cubs organization is clueless.

    Hey…a thought…you think the Cubs would consider giving us Maddux back for the stretch run? They are out of it and we could always use extra pitching!

  36. I’d take Maddux back, although starting pitching isn’t really our problem. Bullpen help…please.

  37. I wouldn’t believe the cubbie announces on WGN if i were you …. give me chip and joe anyday

  38. That’d be nice, but we’ll get Davies back too eventually and won’t need em all. I’d rather have 4 decent starters and a killer bullpen than 6 good starters and an awful bullpen.
    Hey Fat Chad Paronto–do not walk people

  39. I think if we could even just get McCann back and a legit closer, we maybe in good shape the rest of the year. Between Kenny Ray, Paronto, Cormier and Remlinger (and soon a healthy Chuckie James) we may have enough good relievers in front of a potentially new closer?

    I would love to replace LaRoche, but hey, McCann back and a closer is not asking too much!!!!!

  40. ooooohhhh.

    Ok, Paronto is not looking great right now, but overall, he’s been a plesant surprise so far and the K:BB Ratio so far has been very strong.

  41. “Old School” 3 nights in a row on TBS? Fun.

    But I will stick with my “unrated” DVD version.

    I think Jon Miller should say ‘earmuffs’ to ESPN listners when Joe Morgan talks.

  42. May be when can get Farnesworth back from the Yanks. He got spanked by the Royals the other night

  43. More ESPN banter that would be fun:

    Jon: “Joe, can you believe that play in the field by the 2nd Baseman?”

    Joe: “Jon, I don’t know anything about Baseball, I am a giant windbag, and people wish I woud shut the hell up. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!”

  44. My goodness. The bufoons on WGN are discussing how to pronounce Rekjavik, the capital of Iceland. I mean, don’t they have more important things to worry about??

  45. Alex R

    I would love nothing more than to do so. But sadly my situation is diametrically opposite to yours. I have been sent to Johannsburg, South Africa to work, so no TBS. Broadband is too slow for MLB.TV. Therefore I have to make do with MLB.TV audio, and WGN happens to be better quality than WGST…..

    ….. oh and tomorrow is not a holiday here …. and my wife is back at home …. and I have to live like this for another 2 months.


  46. Johnb-

    sorry…but enjoy your trip!

    I actually have relatives from Port Elizabeth, interestingly, though I have never been to South Africa.

    Hey…at leats the Braves are winning!

  47. Brad – get on WGN audio and you’ll know why!

    At least the Braves are winning – I am still not as confident as I should be with a 4 game lead.

    South Africa is a cool place – (literally) it is winter here at the moment (but still about 70 degrees which isn’t bad)

  48. How can we give up 3 hits to Womack. The Cubs are digging their own graves with Womack. This three hit game will mean Womack will me a fixture in the line-up for the next two months – producing exactly nothing

  49. I hate it when Chip laughs at his own unfunny jokes. “…short relievehahahahahahaI’msofunny.”

    And would he shut up about mythical future Wrigley improvements? If we cared about that, we’d switch to the WGN broadcast.

  50. I’m willing to give Chip Caray the benefit of the doubt because he’s Skip’s son, and I think it’s kind of cute when he calls Skip “Dad.”

    But he’s getting perilously close to Joe Buck territory–irredeemable inanity.

  51. I know it is not a save situation but maybe the fact that we have Cormier in means we are closer by committee – which is a lot better than closer by Reitsma

  52. JohnB –

    Where are you? I worked in Jo’burg in most of 04/05. I really enjoyed it, esp. Melville in the evenings. Go to the bar on top of Teasers in Midrand for some excellent, uh, entertainment as well.

  53. Ray has gone two days in a row (that’s a save and a hold for all you fantasy fans. ;-), so I’m not suprised it’s Cormier rather than he out there.

  54. Hey Spike …

    Teasers eh? I have seen the adverts but haven’t been there yet … it looks, err, interesting, as you say!

    I am living in Sandton; in Morningside to be precise. But I have only just moved out of the hotel (at Melrose) so am scouting out the area

  55. Big shocker…LaRoche missed that line drive.

    Ububba…you still gonna defend his putrid defense here? C’mon…

    oh great, bad to worse…Reitsma.


  56. Sandton is great – I stayed there for a while in the Hotel Balalaika. Very upscale. There is a pretty good blues bar in the mall there, and the Butcher Shop restaurant in Mandela square is killer for steak. The News Cafe is really good for meeting up with locals, and there is a restaurant/disco down the street (name will come to me in a second).

  57. Yeah – been to the Butcher Restaurant – it is pretty awesome. Life here is good … except it is hard to watch baseball and the time difference is a killer. (I need to get to bed)

  58. Alex,

    Not a good example to chose, really. And I’ll just point to that 3-6-3 DP he made. Nobody else on the team makes that play.

    Good Lord…

  59. He was out by a mile at third!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  60. Man …. now I really wish I was NOT listening to WGN. I REALLY hope we win.

    Bobby. Get Reitsma out of there

  61. I never want to see Chris Reitsma pitching in an Atlanta uniform again. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. If Bobby Cox is so damned smart as a baseball man, why is he so clueless about Reitsma?

  62. I hate Chris Reitsma so goddamned much. Why, does he keep getting used in these situations.

    Oh my god….I cant believe this. I cant believe Reitsma could blow a 4 run 9th inning lead against a terrible last place team.

    If Chip doesn’t shut the hell up about our strikeouts…and instead aim the fans venom at Reitsma where it belongs.

    Oh my God…I want to kill LaRoche, Reitsma, Chip, Bobby…this is insane if we lose this fucking game.

  63. “Pena missed the tag”…..

    “Blown save #4 of the year for Chris Reitsma. That has happened way too often this year”

  64. Oh, now, to be fair two of those runners are Cormier’s fault. And Reitsma did get the ground ball for the DP, but we didn’t have a 3B in there who could make the play. So let’s just say that it’s mostly his fault.

  65. It’s like how I felt watching “24” this year…I wanted to see Christopher Henderson, President Logan, Miles…all get their comeuppance…theres so many people to hate and be angry at.

    But, if theres one person…it’s Reitsma.

    why wont he take this piece of shit out? why is no one warming up? Why will Cox not remove him?

  66. Well, at least Bobby cleared the bench so we have nothing going into extra innings, God willing the game gets that far

  67. I just love that bobby pinch hit Jordan for Chipper. LOVE that. Because it’s so awesome not having him in the lineup if the game goes extras.

    Nobody’s even throwing. I can’t believe this. After that short leash yesterday, Bobby’s giving plenty of rope … so Reitsma doesn’t just hang himself, but the whole team.

  68. And that’s why Reitsma should have gone to 1st for the sure out instead of whirling wildly and blindly throwing home.


  69. Womak …… my goodness.

    I want the Braves to lose this just so Cox looks like an idiot for putting Reitsma in

  70. This isn’t personal, Chris. You’re a nice guy, by all accounts. But we can’t stand your presence on this team for a second longer.

  71. Maybe Bobby is leaving him in so he takes the L and can have more fodder (like he needed it) to give him the boot from the closer role

  72. I will just never understand why you would ever pinch hit for a guy who’s a .300 hitter BOTH WAYS.

  73. I hate to say what I’m about to say, but I feel that inning would have gone much better with Reitsma from the beginning. He gets to rattled to easy and there is nothing worse for him than bringing him in with runners on.

  74. I think I almost gave myself a heartattack I was so pissed off. My blood pressure can’t take this shit anymore. I don’t know wtf is going on in bobby’s head.

  75. No Chip, you bleeping morong, that Braves fan was not saying “Can you believe this game?” He was saying, “you think I can sneak into the clubhouse and poison Reitsma’s water bottle?

  76. I just don’t understand why B. Cox does this. Mcbride was pitching fine in the 8th. There is no rule that says he can’t pitch more than one inning (with a 4 run lead to boot). Let the guy finish it up and we all go home.

  77. See, JS, this is what happens when you don’t get a closer. Not having a 1b won’t single-handedly kill your team, but as you witnessed for 5 months last year, a bad closer will.
    But you figure, hey, we’ll roll the dice and maybe get lucky.
    But we’re not, JS.
    You did this to us. This is your fault. And soon, your fans will stop coming to games and paying money to see us lose games in the 9th.

  78. Going committee isn’t useful if Reitsma is on the committee, and especially if he’s always coming in during the 9th at some point.

  79. I almost wish he’d have lost it so the chances of him being released would have been higher.

  80. Da,

    Correction, there is nothing worse then bringing Reitsma in at all.

    Yes…McBride and Ray and Remlinger have all gotten saves,…so stick with that.

    He’s hittable all the time, Chip, you moron.

    If we lose this game, my relaxing sunday is going to turn into a laptop thrown through a wall and a boot in my TV screen.

    If I could see Bobby in person, I would spear him the way Adam Sandler speared people in “The Waterboy”.

  81. I’m surprised Bobby didn’t pinch hit Thomson for Anduw. See, when you leave your stars in the game, they get hits!

  82. I was upset for smoltz until I remembered he gave up like 8 runs. Didn’t really deserve the win.

  83. Does anyone remember the date last year when cox finally woke up and replaced Kolb? I remember it was one of the happiest days of my life, but I can’t recall the date.

  84. I seem to recall it was in May.

    Didn’t Reitsma have the one good closer month in his life last June? Or was it July?

  85. Brad, I can’t recall the date either.

    The problem is that kolbb was kind of a “distant” guy so Cox didn’t feel guilt replacing him…the biggest problem is that Reitsma is apparently this super nice guy who everyone likes. So Cox can’t seem to make the permanent switch.

    Fuck that. Get this guy out…and let him sell ice crea from a truck if he’s so damned nice. Because he’s not a Major League pitcher. Enough of this nice crap…get a guy who can get people out.

  86. I think that’s why everyone’s in love with laroche, too. Too many nice guys who should be selling insurance instead of costing us games and raising my blood pressure.

  87. ububba, it was July. And Bobby has been living of that shit since.

    We got Kyle Farnsworth because Reitsma couldn’t keep it up. and Cox seems to forget that.

  88. Ok, well that just proves that we’re past the point of any rational explanation for why reitsma is still the closer. Can’t say he’s ‘close’, can’t still be ‘early’, etc. The precedent was set last year. We’re 2 weeks past that point and I’d wager that reitsma’s blown at least as many as kolb had last year.

  89. It was July.

    Sorry Villarreal, you can’t give up your usual run and still get the win here.

  90. So, great…the guys with half a brain are on RADIO, and we all get stuck with Chip JACKASS Caray on TBS. I am done with Mrs. Eyebrows.

    he focuses on the Braves hitters’ strikeouts when the far bigger issue is Reitsma but Chip wont say a damned word about it.

    What a little pissant. Why doesn’t he go celebrate nepotism with john schuerholz jr. somewhere?

  91. I looked it up.

    Kolb’s last closer-role save was 5/23. Reitsma’s first save last year was 5/25. His second was 5/27.

  92. Kolb’s last save was on May 23rd against the Mets. But we’re in luck now; we’ve got the Vulture in there.

  93. BOBBY COX’S MANAGING LEAVES A SOUR TASTE IN MY MOUTH, EYEBROW BOY. So yeah…if Cox had just left McBride in or brought Kenny Ray out, this damned game would be over.

  94. Kolb was replaced about May 17; he had one save on May 23 against the Mets but that was one of those three-run lead saves. And Kolb had a better ERA.

  95. And by the way, I stand up and applaud the person who earlier who ripped John Schuerholz. It’s his fault to begin with.

    Please, for the Love of God, get this team a closer. At the very least, DFA Reitsma so he can’t bring 24 teammates and several million worldwide fans down anymore because this is so damned depressing.

  96. Yeah, it seems that Kolb & Reitsma are similar. Kolb walked people, gave up hits & blew saves; Reitsma just gives up hits & blows saves.

  97. I’ve been on JS since spring training. And I’m sick of rehashing it. He dropped the ball, and we’re seeing the effects now.

  98. Hey EYEBROWS, what pearls of wisdom will you have this inning, Caray JUNIOR?

    I almost would be willing to switch to Brenly on WGN then this prick.

  99. Even if we win this game, this was one of bobby’s worst. Smoltz should have been out of the game long before giving up 8 (?) runs, and reitsma should have never seen the light of day. It’s a testament to these guys that we can sometimes win in spite of cox.

  100. Kolb’s ERA after May 23 last year was 6.27 according to Retrosheet. Reitsma’s was 5.91 coming into today; it’s now 6.55.

    Neifi Perez takes one off the head. Weird things happen when Villareal’s in position to get a win…

  101. Best. Play. Ever…

    That may have just replaced the Canseco-granted home run so many years ago as my favorite header ever on a baseball diamond…

  102. Brad,

    Of course, if Cox had gotten Smoltz out after the 5th and it was just 5 runs, and we still had 12 this late (12-5?) then we could have used Reitsma to start the 9th and he would have pitched fine with no pressure at all. 7 runs Reitsma even could handle.

    so, YES..Cox is a terrible manager but I have been saying it since 1993…I am tired of standing by myself on this soap box already.

  103. If Eyebrows junior talks about our team strikeouts one more time today (on his soap box), I am going to spear HIM like the way Adam Sandler speared people in “The Waterboy”.

    That one hurt, Wilson.

  104. He did fine when we had a $100 million-plus payroll and could afford a good bullpen, 1b, and closer. Now, when it comes down to actually managing, all his hunches and shit are exposed.
    Thanks, betemit.

  105. ububba…dont get me started on all the mistakes over the years, countless game after game we’ve watched Cox cost us. Today is another example.

    He is even keeled and thats good, but it hasn’t worked (except 95) in the post season.

  106. Those hunches worked fine the last two days. But I didn’t hear anyone bitching when those hunches worked.

    Way to go, Marcus…

  107. Anyone see that Arkansas player pretending to get hit by the pitch? I was hoping for something like that from Hairston.

  108. and therein lies the problem, ubbuba…hunches…it works part of the time, and doesn’t work the rest.

    what hunch gives anyone the idea that Reitsma was a good idea today with runners on in a close (enough) ballgame?

    And LaRoche is a great defender. pst.

  109. A few examples…thinking laroche is a #5 hitter…forgetting about betemit all season…thinking giles is a leadoff hitter…thinking reitsma is a closer…taking chipper out of this game…all the lefty/righty matchups that confound even the wisest among us…the game when he took thomson out after 6 innings/70-something pitches…the game he didn’t pinch hit mccann for pratt late in a close game when mccann was batting .350 and pratt was batting .120

    any more?

  110. Is it really two innings late? He closes in the 9th or he closes in the 11th. Whichever.

  111. I’m sick of people assuming cox is a great manager b/c he’s been a part of 14 division titles. I attribute them mostly to good scouting, good pitching, leo mazzone, and a weak division. He’s been adequate, but certainly not the reason for them all.

  112. drewdat…if Cox had just left in Mcbride after his 11 pitch 8th inning, we wouldn’t have even needed ray today.

    And Brad, I am completely with you…people where blinders with Cox and the countless mistakes he makes.

  113. I think bringing Lance Cormier in the 9th is indicative of why Bobby is a good regular season manager. Cormier needs work; Bobby gets him work. He’s great at getting pitchers the work they need and players the ABs they need.

    Unfortunately, game tactics aren’t his strong suit, and that bites hard in the playoffs, where tactics play a huge role.

  114. Because Cox makes a move that doesn’t work out certainly doesn’t mean that if he’d made the opposite move it would’ve worked out. That’s why I mention the moves that did result in a win.

    But then again, I keep forgetting: Without Cox, we’d be undefeated.

    C’mon, two more…

  115. I didn’t mind cormier in the 9th. But when he got in trouble, instead of bringing a guy you had to REMOVE from the GAME 2 days ago, why not bring in ken ray? or villareal? or my 8-year old niece–anyone but reitsma

  116. ububba, I like you, you are one of the great Braves posters (and are even stuck in Mets territory in NY), but I could build a third world country on the amount of mistakes I have seen from Cox in my years as a fan of this team.

  117. There will always be those who credit cox for our success–and i’m not saying he’s a terrible manager. I just hold people accountable for mistakes (reitsma, JS, etc), and he’s making more than usual this season.

  118. And Alex, I like you, too. You’re a Bulldog & you’re passionate. What’s not to like?

    And see…another confidence-building win. ;)

  119. agree again with Brad…I had no issue w/ Cormier in the 9th…none of us did and he needed the work. The fact that Lance didn’t work out was not Cox’s fault…much agreed.

    But bringing Reitsma to follow was 100% Cox’s fault and it’s simply unacceptable.

    Thank. Freaking. God.

  120. I’m sick of people assuming Alan Trammell was a terrible manager when his Tigers lost all those games.

    I think it by and large will always be up to the players. From all indications, Bobby is one of the best at putting players in positions to succeed. You can nitpick strategy, but there are at least as many times when a move pays off and no one notices or says anything. The years of consistent regular season success would seem to bear that out, and no one ever got to “good manager” status by not winning stuff.

    Looks like Ray is good for 3 innings in 3 days. Someone get that man a nameplate!

  121. Whew. It’s over.

    Villareal’s 7th win, Ray’s 2nd save, and let’s hope Chris Reitsma’s last major league game.

  122. I can’t wait to hear bobby’s rationale…”no, reitsma’s still the guy. We just looked down the batting order and saw some good lefty/righty matchups for ray if we could get to the 11th.”

  123. Actually, I’m not really sick of that, don’t care much at all. Just repeating the verbiage.

  124. Reitsma must go. Someone should compile a nation-wide pettition to get a closer now. After Wohlers, nothing has been settled. I don’t even think the Braves make the playoffs without Farnsworth. We all know the owners don’t care, but Cox can do something with the players he has (perhaps Ray).

    “How long will we sing this song?”

  125. The bad news: It’s obvious.

    The good news: That’s 15 out of 20 and we have a new closer (?)

  126. I dunno about Leo Mazzone being the dominant force in the run. I mean, have you seen BAL’s team ERA lately? Bleh. Does that mean Mazzone is an awful pitching coach? Certainly not.

    Another thing is that I don’t think enough people here realize that MLB is about winning over 162 games and not the particular one you’re playing. The thing is, Atlanta needs someone to be their closer. Reitsma has pitched very well for stretches in the past, and he’s probably the guy out there right now with the best “stuff”. In an ideal world, he would pitch as well as a closer as he has as a setup man and be more than adequate as closer. So Bobby wants him to win the role. He wants him to play as well as he can and give some consistancy. That’s why Reitsma is getting tons of opprotunities at the job. It’s not even two months into the season, and Cox is trying to sort out the bullpen and get us a closer. Ideally, that guy would be Reitsma, but Chris is proving too inept for the job. My guess is that this was one of his last shots, but the point is that we need to get a closer, and that guy was supposed to be Reitsma.

    I mean, are there really any better options? McBride has been okay but not nearly dominant since his recall, Villareal has nearly a 1:1 K:BB ratio, and Kenny Ray just doesn’t have closer “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been great thus far and in a pinch I don’t mind him closing if for no other reason than he throws strikes. But he’s not the guy I want in the pen coming out to close games in the playoffs. Reitsma has the “stuff” to be that dominant (we saw it last June), but it doesn’t look like he’s nearly consistant enough to handle the role. If Chris could have gotten it together, the Bullpen would have been stronger top to bottom, and that’s why Cox has gone out of his way to give him opprotunities, even if if costs us a game or two here and there (which, BTW, it didn’t today).

    Anyhow, I guess they’ll do CBC for a while now. My guess is that Remmy will close a few as well as Ray. In the long-term, I still think its Devine. Anyone got any news on his progress?

  127. Oh, and the only thing that consistantly bugs me about Cox’s management is that he treats Remlinger like his splits aren’t opposite, which they are. The only silver lining is that sometimes opposing managers do the same thing and PH righties against him. :-p

  128. Just want to add my two cents in favor of Cox, and ever Schuerholz (a man with whom I suspect I have nothing in common outside of an interest in the Braves….) As mraver says, it is a 162 game season. Think how stressful this game is/was; and then another one; and another one; and another one after that; and having to fly together afterwards; change in the same club house; etc. Without a real leader–and I have no doubt that Cox is a leader in the best sense of the word–teams could quit on themselves, tear themselves apart, and so on. Bill James has written some great stuff on managing which Mac has used at times. Cox may or may not be a great in-game manager, but all the evidence is there that he is in the top handful of men who have ever managed in the game, in terms of the long haul. And that’s what baseball is: day by day, week by week–a long haul.

    Folks can sa all they like that “It’s just the Cubs,” “It’s just the Marlins,” “San Diego really isn’t that good,” and so on. But each game counts the same. We started this road trip off losing a game like this one to Arizona, then getting destroyed in the next game and losing our catcher in the process. The remaining seven games coming home? Six wins. Credit Cox for something….

  129. I wouldn’t say I was much of a fan or foe of Cix, but I don’t think there’s any way to defend using Reitsma in a close game situation at this point. One of the ways Boby has such strong support from his players is that he’s loyal; sometimes that loyalty stretches too far and, as we see here, wears out the fans’ patience. But come on! Seattle dumped Guardado while Texas dumped Francisco Cordero; I mean, Houstan has even given Brad Lidge a break recently. Brad Lidge! All of those guys are guys with histories as closers, with proven pedigrees – and even then they’ve gotten the hook long before anyone in the Braves clubhouse got the nerve up to hurt Reitsma’s feelings. I don’t know if closer ‘stuff’ really matters, at least in the short term, but whatever happens next please don’t let it involve Chris Reitsma.

  130. cox backs his guys, wrong or right, and that is the reason why guys perform the way they do for him. they are comfortable in playing the game and know that its ok to make a mistake once and again. he is a great manager and always will be, not for his in-game decisions but for that sole purpose. everyone thats a baseball fan will question a managerial decision and that is your god given right, but to say bobby cox is a poor manager is completely wrong. how about asking the players if he is a good manager? if the players back you, the gm backs you, and you are winning, i think that are all the qualifications you need to be a good manager. do i think cox might have cost the braves a world series or 2? maybe. but do i think his in-season managing has kept this 14 year streak going. absolutely.

  131. mraver……it doesn’t take 162 games to know someone isn’t cutting it. We all appreciate the Braves staying afloat and winning games. We all know that winning the division is important. But…it’s the playoffs and the championship that the Braves play for. And, the point of the SEASON is to get ready for the POSTSEASON (hopefully we have not reverted back to to mindset of the Braves before ’91). I know the owners might say differently, but I think the Braves are still competing for the ring.

    That being said, as mentioned earlier, a change at the closer position was made at about this time last year. We did the same song and dance with the “committee”, but at least that was earlier in the season. Cox is loyal to a fault, but the bottom-line is that he is too attached to his players. I’m not saying that he has to go, but where is the GM or some official that can make the tough decisions. It doesn’t help that Cox is an officer on the chairman’s board.

    Any fan watching the games know who is just stinking up the joint. Time to experiment is in the off-season or spring training, when guys can prove themselves. Wohlers, Kolb, and Reitsma are just a few of his experiments that failed. I applaud Cox for his efforts, but this year with the Mets, I don’t think they are going to just disappear while he figures things out.

    Any person with two eyes can see that a change needs to be made, but a committee will not work in the playoffs. How many pitchers are we going to carry to fill ONE closer role? Not to mention that the starting rotation is still a mess. The other years, the starters got quality starts and things weren’t as bad. But now, you want to go to a committee at closer. The Braves would need 15 pitchers to consistantly win that way.

    I’d rather lose with Ray, McBride or Devine in there and try ONE person at a time then go to a committee of losers. Also, the setup and 7th inning pitchers need to be figured out as well.

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