Eddie Gaedel, pioneer game thread: Braves at Nats April 30

I think that the Braves should sign a little person. I mean, really little, tiny strike zone. Lead him off in every road game, and when he walks, run Kotsay for him. I think this could work. Lord knows we need baserunners. I know that some will say that this is a mockery of the game, but to these people I ask: have you seen Chris Resop pitch?

290 thoughts on “Eddie Gaedel, pioneer game thread: Braves at Nats April 30”

  1. (Hopeless) Hampton update:

    He struck out the side in the first and allowed a walk. Radar gun at 87-88.

    Yes, I’m streaming RBraves. Yes, I’m bored.

  2. What happened to Chuck James? I don’t mean physically but literally. I can’t find him listed on the DL or the 40 man on the official site. The official site lists the next for starts as JJ v. Nats, Hudson v. Cincy, JoJo v. Cincy, and Glavine v. Cincy. I realize he had a rough outing last time out and he’s probably going to miss a start or two I’m just wondering if he got sent back to Richmond.

    Oh and Mac, I love the Phil Collins videos. For just a unbelievable amount of bad videos I think he tops Journey/Steve Perry and Hall and Oates. If we still had Andruw you’d have to play “I Missed Again” where he air plays every instrument from trumpet to drums to microphone cord.

  3. I’m sure he’s on the 40-man. He was sent to Richmond after his recent disaster.

    Again, I like Hall & Oates, but they paired good songs with amazingly bad videos. The production values of the Collins videos are much higher, but the taste, and the music, are far worse.

  4. Hall and Oates are solid

    Why does Gotay always get the call in PH situations? Is he the best we have on the bench? Just wondering why Blanco didnt get the call before Gotay or Pena? I would like to see Pena get a couple of more opportunities, but I guess he’s odd man out when Infante returns. I dont understand why we would keep Miller around. He has no bat and his defense isnt very good either, I believe he had two passed balls in one game already this year.

  5. best of the bad 80’s pop has to go to:

    duran duran

    their music (most of it) was decent for the time (have you heard Bananaramma recently? christ) and some songs can hold up even now, and their videos were oppulent and fun and mysterious.

    shit, they’re named after a character in barbarella with fonda (nice braves connection there, don’t you think?).

    collins, however, always struck me as a tool. even in genesis, gabriel was the brains (but collins DEFINITELY has the shiny head…

    zing.)

  6. We are 4th in the league in OBP. I don’t think that is the problem.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/aggregate?sort=onBasePct&split=0&group=8&season=2008&seasonType=2&statType=batting&type=reg

    The problem with the offense is an overemphasis on trying to force a hit and not being willing to take the walk when somebody is giving it. Interestingly, the one player who best takes the walk when it is given, Chipper, hits the best. The second best at, KJ, is frequently roundly criticized.

    It is an organizational philosophy problem. Look at our minor league teams. Last night one team (Mississippi?) had 0 walks received in 9 innings. That is pitiful.

  7. 2nd inning — Hampton allowed a double and no other damage. RBraves announcer opines that JoJo was pulled yesterday to rest him for Smoltz’s spot.

  8. As we proved with Lillibridge, we like calling our minor leaguers up in the middle of their respective slumps.

  9. First Time Caller, Long Time Listener. Could you play “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins? It seems to be the theme for the Braves this season.

  10. Interesting trivia question during the RBraves game: Hampton is attempting to become the first ML starter in the expansion era (since 1961) to have started over 250 career games, then make even one start after missing two complete seasons. Who was the first?

  11. Walk and a bleeder single allowed in the third, but no runs and one K. Some deep counts — he’s probably around 60 pitches.

  12. Rijo, while not the answer given on the radio, appears to be correct as well. Whoever came up with that question will never make it to AFLAC at this rate….

    I’ll give it a little more time.

    Hampton at 58 pitches going into the 4th, aiming for 75. Chuckie J warming up in the pen.

  13. It’s JJ’s turn again already? I was hoping he might get an extra day or two after that high stress Mets outing.

    I know they can’t with all the injuries but I wish they could be a little more careful with his arm. It’s nice to have a talented young SP, it’s been a while.

  14. When your talking about Hampton, be careful in using the term “bleeder”.

    When Infante returns, I would expect Gotay to get DFA’d. I mean, we didn’t trade anyone to get him and he seems to be living up to his price at this point. After seeing Lillibridge play, I understand why we decided we needed someone else.

  15. You’re not going to believe this. At 72 pitches (3 from his limit), Hampton throws a pitch to Reed Brignac and walks off the mound. Trainer comes out, and Hampton gets pulled in the middle of the count.

    Actually, you probably do believe it.

  16. He must have figured he couldn’t pull that one again (I know, careful when you say “pull” around Hampton), so his only choice was to do it now.

    Sadly, I think I’m only half-kidding. I think he’s mental.

  17. Little people and 80’s videos make me think of the Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.

    Mac, I enjoyed the paper. Have you already submitted it?

  18. It’s only April, but Mike Hampton is already a lock for the 2008 Carl Pavano Award. I’m already starting to be scared the Braves will offer him a low dollar contract for next year after the season.

  19. So I’m sitting here contemplting what could be wrong with Mikey Hampton now and the following thoughts came to mind:

    1) He’s not hurt again, just needed to go to the potty.

    2) Carl Pavano was in the stands yelling “Mike, you don’t have to pitch to get the money”

    3) One of his balls slipped through the vent holes in his protective cup and got pinched. Oh wait, he has no balls.

  20. He’s trying to rehab an injury so he can help the Braves this season, and b/c it’s taken longer than you’d like he ‘has no balls’? Please.

  21. I agree with MGL. Suck it up Mike. What a wuss. By the way Brad he has not pitched since 2005 in case you forgot.

  22. what’s up with the early start times today–the Rome Braves started at 10:30–is it early bird Wednesday or are the Braves trying to do primetime broadcasts to eastern Europe?

  23. There are plenty of baseball players who you could say ‘have no balls’, like those who beat their wives or take steroids. Hampton didn’t ask for any of this and he’s rehabbed and worked a lot harder to come back the last few years than a lot of current guys on our team. Say he’s injury-prone, say it’s bad luck or fate or that he’s cursed, fine. But saying he has no balls just doesn’t fly with me. He’s repeatedly said he’s doing everything he can to come back and try and help the team–his body hasn’t allowed it so far. But he’s at the park a lot more than most guys on the team and no one probably knows what all he’s gone through to try and get back.

  24. #33 – sounds good.

    By the time Smoltz is ready to come off the DL, Blaine Boyer should be ready to go on it. I thought I could smell a burning smell coming from Blaine’s shoulder when he left the mound last night – and I was only watching the game on TV.

  25. I turned in the paper last night — I was still writing it yesterday afternoon. If I had the scope, I would at least have included something about his clashes with the Elias Bureau, and I originally intended to offer more about the publishing ventures of STATS/BIS, but didn’t have the time to properly research it all.

  26. I just read the DOB blog, and Smoltz may want to return to the bullpen because he may not be able to pitch 6-7 innings a night as a starter when he returns. That is a better argument than moving Smoltz to the bullpen just because it is struggling.

  27. Re: the Richmond game

    After Hampton left, James pitched the last 4.2 innings. He allowed just one run, but walked 3 and struck out only 2. I’m concerned about his peripherals, after once being outstanding, lately they’ve been very mediocre.

  28. For the remainder of the season, we might once again have 2 holes in the back of the rotation if James, Bennett, or Reyes can’t stabilize them.

  29. I don’t see the point of moving Smoltz to the bullpen unless he just can’t give the innings anymore. I assume they would use him as the closer–but that hasn’t really been the problem. If anything, they need him as a set up guy but he isn’t going to do that. If he moves to the bullpen, where do they replace his innings. If his shoulder is so bad that he doesn’t think he can start anymore, the Braves are screwed any way you cut it.

    I was at the game last night and I don’t think I have ever seen so many poor at bats. They just seem to go up and flail. It’s not like Tim Redding is Bob Gibson but he controlled them (other than Chipper). Does Frenchy EVER take the first pitch? The top of the seventh was just ugly. It’s pretty obvious the team is frustrated and pressing; in close games on the road especially, they seem to expect things to go wrong and they usually do.

    It’s very depressing. I don’t think the cavalry is coming over the hill.

  30. Hampton update. He sucks. Oh I forgot we already know that. Why doesn’t the SOB retire so we can get another starting pitcher that will actually pitch?

  31. #12:

    If memory serves me correctly, it was Schoolboy Rowe. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard his name in conjunction with Hampton’s over the past few months, but I know it’s quite a few.

  32. Hampton’s trials and tribulations remind me of those of Nick Esasky’s in the early 1980s. I don’t know whose are more frustrating–or more comical.

    I’m still hoping Hampton can pull one out (no pun intended).

  33. He’s already on the DL. Unless insurance is somehow covering it, the Braves still have to pay his expensive salary, so he is in fact costing the Braves a lot.

  34. Definitive proof Cox is a fool:

    “We were counting heavily on him,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who had Hampton scheduled for a May 10 start at Pittsburgh …

  35. we’re almost at a time where we need to REALLY think about blowing this team up

    trade(s):

    tex (AA pitcher and HIGH ceiling MIF type (millwaukeee has ALOT of these…but arizona needs his bat more)
    smoltz (ugh) for AT LEAST 2 MLB ready arms (hughes and chamberlin would be awesome)
    hudson (ugh) (1 MLB ready arm and a AA arm…detroit anyone? porcello would be really nice and one of their AAA arms)

    move chipper to 1st.

    otherwise, we’re in for a LONG LONG year

  36. get real–no way the Yanks give Chamberlain and Hughes for Smoltz–they weren’t even willing to part with those two for Santana

  37. #47

    Rowe is the answer to a different question — maybe he was the only one to win in double figures after missing two years. Anyway, he was before expansion.

  38. Conner Jackson (Arizona 1B) has a1000+ OPS right now. he may or may not maintain it, but he has improved his OPS every year, and is just 26 this year. I think Arizona is plum out of prospects, any way. Could we now get equivalent value for what we gave upo to get Tex?

  39. chris, that’s insane.

    (1) Why do we need a middle infield prospect? Seems like a Teix replacement and pitching should be the goals of any trade.
    (2) Smoltz is damaged goods right now—no way you get two stud pitching prospects in return.
    (3) Nobody would give up anything like Rick Porcello+ for Hudson.
    (4) You don’t think it would be a LONG LONG year if we traded away all those guys for prospects???

  40. #58, What was the question? I’m stuck with MASN and Bob Carpenter who’s doing his best to convince me to shut down mlb.tv

  41. I can’t believe I missed VH1’s “Phil Collins Weekend.”

    That’s gold, Jerry. Gold.

  42. I’m going to Pittsburgh for two games on the 10th and 11th.

    If Mike Hampton pitches, I will streak across the field.

  43. Question…not to be sarcastic or anything, but if Mike Hampton is so worried about re-injuring himself, which is understandable, why doesn’t he just retire?

  44. Gotay; Jurrjens; Blanco…I cannot think of a less imposing group when looking to score runs. here’s for an 8 or 9 pitch inning.

  45. Gotay actually looks decent at the plate. Got a runner to 3rd with less than 2 outs, which is more than Kelly Johnson seems capable of doing lately.

  46. #71 – How dare you bring logic into this?

    Mike Hampton must continue to frustrate Atlanta Braves fans with his Total Body Failure.

  47. If anyone is out and about in the Atlanta area, I am also going to my first game at Turner Field on May 22 to see a Mets/Braves matchup, and for any Wisconsinites, I am going to see the Brewers/Braves in Milwaukee on the 27th of May.

  48. McCann is a worse defensive catcher than Javy when it comes to catch basestealers. His throws are ridiculous.

  49. Personally, I’m amazed at how well Hampton has taken his years worth of injuries. Most other players wouldn’t even think of trying to make a come back and yet this man still does. He still tries to make a come back even though he’s failing at it. That’s the worst possible situation but it’s life. Hampton not having balls or being wax on the floor is completely ridiculous. Think about how it would be to be him and the anguish he probably goes through every time he takes me mound. I firmly believe he wants to return and pitch at the mlb level. Hampton is no wuss – many other players would have given up and resorted to alcohol or drugs but this man keeps fighting. Even if he doesn’t pitch in the mlb again, what he’s trying to do is still remarkable.

  50. Mike, thanks for the link. Peanut quotes Smoltz as saying “we’re not going to win with me as a 5 inning pitcher either.” Count me as rather having him for 5 innings and pairing him with Campillo or somebody of the like to get to whoever the setup men are these days. I would rather have that than no Smoltz in the rotation at all.

  51. I would rather have that than no Smoltz in the rotation at all.

    Yeah, but I doubt even the 5-inning version of Smoltz would last very long. I trust Bobby’s and his judgment on this one. Could make for a fierce bullpen.

    Now might be the time to try Matt Morris, eh?

  52. 80–good point–I think it’s fair game to joke/grip about Hampton being injury prone (see 53), but I assume he wants to pitch and is making a genuine attempt to do so. He may be a bum, but I don’t think it’s fair to jump to that conclusion just b/c he’s been repeately injured.

  53. Our pitching situation is scary. Who becomes trade bait just to get a quality starter who won’t fall apart on us? Frenchy?

  54. That would be one hell of a bullpen when/if Soriano and Gonzalez come back. We would just need 6 innings from the starter then the game would be just about over if we had the lead.

  55. Meanwhile, I’m beginning to think Escobar is one of the best defensive SS’s in the league.

  56. “Look at our minor league teams. Last night one team (Mississippi?) had 0 walks received in 9 innings. That is pitiful.”

    Can a minor league city sue the parent club for non-support? Have you all looked at that team or their record? 6-20, or 37-125 for a 162 game schedule. jeez, atlanta, bring hanson up there or something; that is stunningly embarrassing, after they built a new stadium and all.

  57. I hope not, I like Frenchy, but our rotation is falling apart.

    And another question, if Smoltz goes back to being a closer for this year and next, is he still due the full amount on his contract? $14 million is a deal for a starter of Smoltz’s caliber, but its a big chunk of change for a reliever…

  58. #90

    I hate to sound like a pessimist, but I don’t think there will be a “next year” for Smoltz. And I think he knows it, too.

  59. braves14, that, in theory would be a heck of a bullpen, I will grant you thank. Those three guys include one coming back from TJ, and two others that the name Dr Andrews have mentioned around. Jurrjens in the only pitcher that the Braves have right now that can pitch very often into the sixth. I shutter to think how bad off this rotation would be without him.

  60. Even if there were, his $12 million option vests at 200 IP, which he ain’t reaching.

    (That money sure would help with a Teix signing, wouldn’t it? I’d rather have Smoltz healthy and pitching, but that could be one positive to come out of this.)

  61. Jurrjens reminds me of how sound an approach it is to stock up on a bunch of young strong arms, so you have enough when 50% wash out with injury or because they just cannot take the next step to MLB. here is hoping Jo-Jo can take that next step; he has done great in AAA.

  62. Jurrjens in the only pitcher that the Braves have right now that can pitch very often into the sixth.

    Glavine, too, although he could lose it at any moment.

  63. I don’t mind giving Jurrjens the rest of the night off. No need to risk ruining our only healthy, good, young pitcher.

  64. Glavine might be able, but so far I’ve only seen it twice.

    Yeah, in 4 starts, one of which he was yanked out of in the first inning because of an injury. If you think he’s going to be injured and not pitching, that’s one thing, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that the guy who’s looked pretty good so far and who was 3rd in the league in QS last year can be counted on to get into the 6th inning with some regularity, when healthy.

  65. Seriously, Bobby is ruining Blaine’s career. Smoltz will come off the DL just in time to take Boyer’s spot on the 25-man.

  66. Jeff: it’s ok to take a pitch. Seriously. Some major league players make the opposing pitcher work, on occasion. Might want to check into how that works.

  67. Seriously, we can only get 3 runs in 18 innings off of Nats pitching?!? If the Nats win this one, half of their wins will be against us.

  68. In all fairness, guys, you can’t expect to score a ton of runs against Tim Redding and Shawn Hill.

  69. What’s sad is that you could make up an opposing pitcher that we’re facing, just throw any 2 names out there, and my gut reaction is ‘uh oh…he’s going to shut us down’.

  70. Well, I can’t expect to score many runs against Redding and Hill. Of course, that’s why I’m not a major league hitter.

  71. I’m not saying that Glavine or Hudson aren’t capable of being six inning guys, a month in, I just haven’t had my socks knocked off from either guy, whether it’s been because of injury or “fatigue,” or whatever. I’m certainly willing to give Tommy the benefit of the doubt, but Hudson does not look right in my opinion.

  72. (In real life, he’s on pace to make, like, 2 more appearances and pitch 3.3 more innings for the rest of his career.)

  73. Nice, Royce. Reliever roulette continues, which will be great if this game goes 17 innings.

  74. sansho1,
    In theory, that’s a good rule of thumb, and it’s Bobby’s M.O. with relievers. In this case, though, he’s just adding a ton of innings to the arm of a guy who already has a re-built shoulder.

  75. Uhm.. what the crap? Jeff Bennett’s nose just starts bleeding on the mound..

  76. Anyone watching this? How bad is it? Next thing you know we’re going to catch the plague.

  77. I mean it’s not that bad, but it was steady blood, like a trickle of water, to his mouth.

    He’ll stay in/

  78. #138 — I don’t think it is even fun to listen to any more. The sad thing is, if they lose this, it will likely be by 1 run.

  79. The Braves are really bad right now.

    I think what is frustrating is that I feel they should not be.

  80. Gotay was at 2nd for some reason when the ball was caught, and didn’t make it back to first in time. Dumb play.

  81. Gotay runs to second on fly caught by Harris; Harris hits relay man who hits Johnson before Gotay retreats to first.

  82. This makes me want to cancel MLB.TV, Extra Innings and any other ways in which I pay to watch these exhibitions. I might as well take a piece of paper and make paper cuts between all of my fingers. That would be less painful than watching this slop.

  83. No way man. Leo is so bad for the clubhouse chemistry! We could never win anything with him in the dugout.

  84. At least this is providing constant action (note I didn’t say entertainment) until Hawks/Celtics at the top of the hour..

  85. The Hawks are more interesting and inspiring than the Braves, FCB? The apocalypse is truly upon us. And I’m not saying you’re wrong.

  86. “I hear people say that we can’t win without me as a starter. But we’re not going to win with me as a five-inning starter either.”
    — John Smoltz

    well put, Smoltzie

  87. Maybe if we term him a 5 inning closer it will make him feel better. Just come in in relief in the 4th inning every 5 days. Last time I checked 1 inning < 5 innings.

  88. If you get some poor sod to give a decent 3 inning start and then have Smoltz follow it up it could be a cheap way to game some wins out of the system. Anything that could further point out the farcical nature of the “win” stat is a good thing in my book.

  89. re: post 186. Could he get a win and a save if he comes in with the lead in the 4th and finishes the game?

  90. Frenchy is at bat after Mac grounded to get the pinch runner, Prado to third with one out.

  91. Teixeira doubled to lead off the 12th, and McCann grounded out to first to advance pinch-runner Prado to third.

  92. All you have to do is get a runner homw from third with less than two out.

    BTW, is Prado that much faster than Tex or did I miss something?

  93. I got it running again. Good work with the pinch-running, Bobby. Not only are we going to lose, but now we’re probably going to lose when Prado drops an inning-ending out at first base.

  94. Yeah, not sure Prado is the “speed” guy we were going for there. Maybe Bobby was getting bored watching all the popups and groundouts and needed to do something.

  95. Normally I would have to thrash Chip Caray’s commentary but compared to “the Lemmer” he sounds like Vinny the Skull.

  96. Alrighty, Chip has been talking the whole inning about how ABSOLUTELY AWESOME it was that McCann grounded out to first earlier. Are you kidding me? He’s almost acting like it’s the optimal outcome. I understand the notion of making a “productive out”, but for chrissake, it’s still an out!

    And now Acosta is going to go three innings…. Yeesh.

  97. 212 — seriously… this isn’t hte first time prado has run for teix in a close game. i’m pretty sure prado isn’t lightning fast (you know, like willie harris was last year for us) and teixiera’s not a catcher.

  98. 219, with Acosta going out for a third inning, a one-run loss is still within our grasp.

  99. So, Bobby, with 3 guys left in the ‘pen, decides to let Acosta, who has already pitched 2 innings, hit for himself with 2 on and 2 out.

  100. And this is why Bobby needs to retire. Martin Prado at first in a tight, 2-2, 12th inning tie.

    Head shaking.

  101. I’m not sure what’s worse — Cox’s decisions this inning or the Nationals color man who can pronounce neither “Prado” nor “Teixeira.”

  102. Yep, it’s official — Bobby Cox is senile. Is there really any other explanation?

  103. Oh my defense….

    And while I find Lemke mostly uninteresting, Chip’s blather makes me want to beat things.

  104. As Tex, our all-star and gold-glove 1B, watches from the bench. I feel bad for Bobby…it’s just time to move on.

  105. Wow. Good thing I don’t run the team, or I’d make the rash decision to fire Bobby immediately after this game. Between Prado and Acosta…I mean…I have no words.

  106. so if i understand correctly — the bases are loaded with no outs and the ball hasn’t even left the infield, right?

  107. The decisions this inning are indefensible; the result so far in the bottom of the 12th is a consequence as justified as it is predictable.

  108. In fairness to Cox, Teixeira is almost as slow as McCann, so you almost have to pinch run there. The real issue is how short the bench is.

  109. Short version, RehabReject- the Nats haven’t gotten the ball out of the infield, gave us an out, and have the bases loaded with no outs.

  110. At this point it is impossible that Acosta would not walk in a run if the Nats just kept the bats on their shoulders.

  111. This is going to be the worst loss of the season. Bobby: thanks for what you’ve done, now go play golf.

  112. And Belliard walks. Everybody headed home for the Cincy series take one step forward. Not so fast, Manny. Or Bobby.

  113. I usually don’t say this, but I feel this is a managing loss.

    The Tex pinch runner.

    Letting Acosta pitch forever after he has already walked every other batter he faced.

  114. We haven’t hit anybody this inning. I guess that would be an appropriate way to lose.

    What other ways? Passed ball? Grand slam? Sac fly? What’s your call?

  115. Acosta did fine in what should have been his TWO innings. Asking him to go three is suicide, as we’ve just found out. Of course, all of us here saw this happening 10 minutes ago…our manager just realized it.

  116. Please retire already, Bobby. You obviously have no clue what you are doing anymore. Good grief.

  117. This may be the most horribly mismanaged game I have ever seen by Bobby. And that’s really saying something.

  118. talk about getting hit in the crotch. We need to remember this one and learn from it.

  119. This is what I would like to call, “rock bottom”. We just got SWEPT by the frakking Nationals, Smoltz is on the DL, Hampton’s back on the DL, we can’t score runs, and Bobby’s making managing moves like he’s Hellen Keller.

  120. Stupid managing, stupid announcing, stupid scheduling. Does it get any worse than this?

  121. I’m not embarrassed to be a Braves fan by this … but I am going to the bathroom to puke now. That’s not making an extreme analogy … I literally feel sick in my stomach after watching that debacle.

  122. I’m just numb to this stuff by now.

    Braves waste a brilliant pitching performance and lose by one in extra innings to the Nationals, the team with the worst record in the NL (but watch out Nationals, we might storm your cellar); Mike Hampton trudges off the mound with an injury in a minor league game.

    Sounds like Wednesday.

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