70 thoughts on “Ten years of this?”

  1. I hope Mac’s not having a mid-blog crisis. Not at a time like this…we need Hampton humor, stat.

  2. wow, congrats on the 10 year streak. i am at the beach so i havent caught the last few games. what’s the word on kj?

  3. KJ’s pain is lingering according to the team site. Sounds worrisome that he may end up on the DL for a couple weeks. On the other hand it’s not like Prado has been sucking of late, if he can keep it up I guess it won’t hurt us too much if KJ takes a few extra days to heal.

  4. Don’t know if anybody noticed, but Sal Fasano is going to Richmond. I linked it last thread, but am too lazy to link it again.

  5. Well Rob,

    I think that Bobby needs another guy to help warm up all the pitchers he is using.

  6. Alright, Braves Journal, I need your expert advice and opinion. I am a high school senior who’s just been accepted at vanderbilt, emory, and BYU. Where should I go?

    I know the faithful readers of Braves Journal will be shocked to learn that I would suggest Vanderbilt.

    (1) It would take a lot more than a BMW for me to go to BYU if I weren’t an LDS or a QB.

    (2) As has been mentioned, if you enjoy collegiate athletics, Emory can’t help you there. (Seriously, that is the main reason I didn’t even apply to Emory. I wanted to go to a place where I could watch D-I athletic events. Please withhold all jokes about the VU football team.)

    (3) As has also been mentioned, Vanderbilt has the prettiest girls of those three. BYU might have more in terms of raw numbers, but percentage-wise, I’m sure Vanderbilt takes the cake, and again, if you aren’t LDS, you don’t stand a chance with the BYU girls, anyway. Emory isn’t even in the discussion.

    (4) If you’re interested in medical school, again, Vanderbilt’s is clearly the best of those three. As has been mentioned, however, undergrad doesn’t play that great a role in where you’ll end up at med school. You can go to Kennesaw State, and if you maintain a high GPA and score well on the MCAT, you’ve got a great shot at any top med school.

    (5) Seriously, it’s about where you feel comfortable. I picked Vanderbilt because it offered a significantly better financial package to me than did Harvard or Duke. I sure am glad it did, though, because I firmly believe I’d have enjoyed my college experience far less at those two places (especially Duke). It’s good that you’re taking the visits. All three campuses are very nice, although, in my completely objective opinion, Vanderbilt’s is the best. Hope it doesn’t rain on your visit.

  7. Oh, and BTW, Mac, thanks for your 10 years of service. I’ve only been appreciating it for about 3 or 4 of those years, but you’re great.

  8. Emory would give you more $$$ (Coca Cola will see to that)

    Vandy will give you alot of money, and is probably a better overall package, and Nashville is SOOOO much cooler than Atlanta.

    However, Emory would help you see some braves games…

    I would pick Vandy…

  9. Mac,
    You haven’t wasted the last 10 years. You’ve given many disenfrachised Braves fans great and funny stuff, a place to celebrate and a place to vent.

    Btw, I liked Cox’s move of putting Resop in left field and bringing him back in. If you have to bring in a one batter lefty, that’s not a bad way to do it.

  10. Mac–Congratuations on 10 years. Let me add that we who enjoy Braves Journal are grateful–especially those of us who live abroad and find this site a great way to follow the Braves.

    Congratulations again!

  11. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for keeping this place going for all us expat Braves fans. The games wouldn’t be nearly as fun without Braves Journal — and the offseason would be even worse.

  12. …I firmly believe I’d have enjoyed my college experience far less at those two places (especially Duke).

    i can see that. HOWEVER, you must have just hung around with a bunch of undergrads in the undergrad area. My grad school experience there was pretty ok.

    And i did my undergraduate studies at UNC…

    go figure.

  13. I think I’m glad now that TBS no longer does the Braves games. This is ridiculous; this so-called great offense is a fraud.

  14. #16

    Ha!

    We will be the 11th organization since June 2001 for ‘Stache Fasano, and I couldn’t be more proud.

    I’m guessing this means we’ll be playing Pena in the field a bit in order to shop him.

  15. HOWEVER, you must have just hung around with a bunch of undergrads in the undergrad area.

    Well, yeah, I was an incoming college freshman. I don’t know too many of those who hang out in the grad student circles.

    Also, I have friends who went to Duke for undergrad, and the environment they describe is not one I’d enjoy. I have a friend finishing up at Duke Law and a friend (his wife) who went through the physical therapy school, and both of them have enjoyed their time there, although they admit that they enjoy Vanderbilt and especially the city of Nashville more.

    The point about Braves games and Emory is a good one, though. Having grown up in Marietta (and living there during summers in college), I had access to the team all summer long, so that wasn’t as much of a concern. As a Braves fan, I can see how it would be, although Nashvill is certainly close enough for weekend series trips.

  16. Mac, I’d also like to thank you for all your service, so thank you very much! You make complaining about the Braves much more enjoyable.

  17. Oh, and Rob Neyer is still a jackass:

    I feel for Mike Hampton. He came oh, so close to starting against the Pirates last night, and instead has managed to land on the DL again. I know this is probably the time for a joke, but considering that Hampton hasn’t pitched since 2005, I’m having trouble finding something funny. It does strike me as borderline negligence for the Braves to have entered this season expecting to get anything, anything at all, from Hampton. So now they have to scramble to fill a hole that should never have been allowed to exist.

    Never mind that there will be no scrambling or that there have been several articles written about how deep our starting pitching reservoir is or that Wren and Cox spent all offseason talking about how they weren’t counting on Hampton for anything and that anything he provided would be a bonus.

    It does strike me as borderline negligence that a professional writer for the Worldwide Sports Leader who prides himself on scientific, fact-based analysis would make such pronouncements without having done even an ounce of research.

  18. I’ll add thanks and congratulations to Mac for this great site. It’s a beautiful thing when an American from the deep south and a Canadian from the bald prarie can come together to love the braves and hate the jays. Cheers Mac.

  19. The thing about Hampton that really gets to me is the unfair position he places on the rest of the team. And I’m not talking about wins and losses, but careers. You think Bennett was well served by being forced into action in the 11th hour? And he’s not the only one who has had to risk his livelyhood because of this multimillionaire china doll.
    I know that this could happen to anyone, but it happens to Hampton far far too often. I started the season with so much hope, and it is too early to give up, but geez, put this guy in a game till he actually has something fly off, then let’s never utter his name again. This teasing bs is killing me.

  20. #32

    Couldn’t agree more. Neyer’s anti Brave bias is seeping through again. And apparently he’s ignored the brilliant spring by Jeff Bennett, not to mention last year’s #3 starter available in Richmond.

    I am not saying that Bennett or Chuck James are the most ideal starters alive, but they are both certainly quality, capable, major league pitchers and the Braves also signed Glavine this offseason to account as well for the Hampton loss.

    Neyer’s an idiot.

    Mac, happy 10 years. To think this all came about from you and I hanging out freshman year of college, talking Braves, and then once I moved, gabbing on the phone incessantly about the Braves.

    I think Keith Lockhart should send you a gift basket.

  21. I actually like the idea of having a grizzled veteran catching the kids, so I’m going to imbue Fasano with leadership attributes which I have no idea if he actually possesses, and say I’m glad we got him.

  22. Has anyone contemplated the fact that not only have we lost each of our three games by one run, but we have lost each with two outs in our opponent’s last at bat?

    Two outs in the last at bat!

    This is not typical bad luck we are talking about.

  23. Crikey–only 4 games into the season and an 8(!) man pen is overused.

    Tell me about it. 20 2/3 innings in the last three games.

  24. But it’s only my last name, AAR. (BTW, I like you more because of the original Alex R.)

  25. This isn’t bad luck, it’s bad playing. If the offense had produced as it’s supposed, they would have won. These guys pad their numbers in blowouts and come up empty when they need something and then talk about what a potent offense they have. I’m really beginning to dislike the “makeup” of this team; there is something missing. Except for one game, the pitching has been fine. It’s beginning to look as if last year wasn’t 100% Andruw Jones’s fault after all.

    As for Hampton, it’s ridiculous to complain about the “unfair position” he puts the rest of the team in. He isn’t trying to get hurt. It just happens. Did Chipper place the team in an unfair position by daring to get injured? The fact that Hampton has a lot of money is irrelevant; he didn’t hold a gun to their heads to make them pay him. Plus, the Braves benefitted for several years from not having to pay his full salary–they really have nothing to complain about. Being frustrated is one thing, but blaming Hampton for his injuries is another.

  26. Congrats Mac!!! I only wish I had discovered your site sooner. I have enjoyed it though for the past 3 or 4 years. Thanks for a fun place to cheer and complain about our favorite team.

    Now back to the Hampton jokes…

  27. Nice work the last decade, Mac. I can’t recall when I first read or posted here, it seems like it was fairly early but I don’t remember.

    Though I must admit that when I first read the subject line for this post I assumed it was about how long Hampton has been on the DL.

  28. Now that I can’t actually watch my favorite team play (thanks TBS) I appreciate this blog all the more. Thanks Mac.

  29. About Cox’s pitcher-in-the-outfield move — on May 14, 1988, we played the Cardinals in a game that went 19 innings. The last pitcher available to the Cardinals (ex-crappy Brave Randy O’Neal), was injured in the 15th inning.

    So Whitey Herzog moved Jose Oquendo to pitcher and put pitcher Jose DeLeon (who went 8+ innings the previous day) in the outfield. DeLeon and Tom Brunansky then traded LF/RF for each hitter, with Brunansky covering the “pull” field.

    This being the 1988 Braves, it required four innings to score off Jose freaking Oquendo, with DeLeon and Brunansky eventually swapping places a dozen times. DeLeon did make one putout on a flyball from Andres Thomas, who evidently couldn’t even pull Oquendo.

    Retrosheet rules….

  30. I’m a bit confused about the roster. Reyes was recalled and they’re saying James is going to rejoin the rotation but Smoltz is also coming back Sunday. What gives? Is KJ going to go on the DL and/or Pena be traded? Jurrjens be sent down (I’d rather have him over James and Reyes)?

  31. As a Vandy grad, I would really recommend the school, as well as Nashville with its small town feel and big city options for entertainment and culture.

    As far as comparisons, I can try to be objective, but I figure that I will be biased towards my alma mater. Nevertheless, growing up in Atlanta with one of my best friends plus my high school girlfriend going to Emory, I have spent significant time at both schools. My impression is that Vanderbilt provides a better academic and social experience. I cannot speak at all for BYU.

  32. Ron, the way I understand it, Reyes is only coming up to provide long relief. James has to come up to take Hampton’s next start. Reyes will probably go back when Smoltz comes on board, and another roster move will be needed when James comes up to start.

  33. I would love to hear about the great athletics program at Vandy.

    That program, along with virtually every other program at Vanderbilt, is better than its counterpart at UT-Chattanooga. Wanna hear more?

  34. #39–Yes and I can remember thinking that the bullpen was going to be one of our strengths. Four games are not indicative of the season, but the Braves have looked a bit frozen….What up with Tex? It will be nice when he starts to hit….

  35. Marc S. I don’t see how it’s ridiculous to complain about Hampton. Apparantly he’s had this pain all week. As I stated, I know that this could happen to anybody and I don’t know his training (or rehab) regimine or how well he follows the advice given to him and so I won’t comment on that. I can however comment on the bitter dissappointment of being led down the garden path again and again…..

  36. Smitty, I think you went to Chattanooga, but you are a UT fan, no?

    I would think a UT fan would be quite familiar with the Vandy atheletics program, having recently lost to Vanderbilt in football (Was it ’05 or ’06), basketball (most notably this year when UT was the number one team in the nation…for a day), and baseball (with Vanderbilt as the #1 team in the nation).

  37. Well, Parish, as much as Vanderbilt’s teams have improved in recent years, there’s still no comparison to the success you’ll find at UT or any other massive state school.

    The point of the debate, though, was where desert was going to school, which is why I invoked UT-Chattanooga, Smitty’s actual (and completely undistinguished, athletically and academically) alma mater. You’re going to see better teams and better competition on Vanderbilt’s campus than you will on BYU’s or certainly on Emory’s.

    You could go to any of these three schools (or Harvard, desert’s apparent real desire) and still pull for a semi-professional football team like UT’s, if you wanted.

  38. # 58 – Stephen, I guess what I was saying is that our pen has given up the lead only slightly before getting our team off the field. That’s what I was terming bad luck.

    Incidentally, I mentioned luck because conventional wisdom states that a team’s record in one run games is largely decided by luck. I would think that games decided in the last at bat with two outs would prove to be even more random.

    As someone said, if our offense had been as advertised so far, we would not have been in the position to lose those close games. But, other than the home opener slug fest, our bullpen has given us no reason to be worried about them (luck thing, again). Well, other than Bobby’s immediate overuse of every pitcher in the pen.

  39. Stu – of course, I just wanted to make a little jab at UT. Chances are that this it the best Vandy athletics will look compared to UT for a while.

  40. I just wanted to make a little jab at UT.

    I am always in favor of such a stance. Really, I was “disagreeing” with you only to advance further little jabs at (1) UT, and (2) Smitty.

  41. Parish,

    Luck may be involved in winning or losing one run games but it’s not luck in whether the game becomes a one-run game. If the Braves could hit, they would have won those games.

    And while I agree that, generically, records in one-run games may be a matter of luck (the Braves records in close games during the good years was not that great), it’s not luck when a team loses games because the offense “hibernates” as Mac puts it or they make errors. The Braves really were lucky that the game on Monday was a one-run game; Pittsburgh gave them a bunch of runs.

    This is the problem I have with saying that deviations from the Pythagorean (especially down) are largely luck. That doesn’t reflect how the team played in those games. On Wednesday, the Braves scored a bunch of largely meaningless runs in the 8th inning, yet in the other games, they have struggled to score when they needed to. So, their Pythagorean is great but it’s obvious they haven’t played well.

  42. For me, the sign of a good team is how many come-from-behind victories it chalks up in a season. I’m no stat head, but I think the Braves recorded something like twenty-seven come-from-behind victories during the 1995 championship season. Could someone provide some statistical evidence for this, especially during the championship seasons?

  43. Come from behind victories is a misleading stat because that includes games where the team is down 1-0 in the first inning.

  44. I see your point, Marc, but how about setting a benchmark later in the game, say, the sixth or seventh inning? Would it be possible to obtain data using this criterion?

  45. Marc, I have to agree with you here. I think the reason the Pythagorean method is a good predictor is because over all the teams it it just averages out. In other words, for any given team there may be a good reason that it underforms or exceeds its projection, but the stats that validate Pythag lose this as they are based on 30 teams in numerous years.

    Remy, as I recall the only team that was better at coming from behind in 1995 was Cleveland.

  46. Fyi – I might be the only one that didn’t know it, but there’s another thread and it looks like it has been there awhile.

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