186 thoughts on “SHOWDOWN game thread: April 14, Marlins at Braves”

  1. From last thread-

    I certainly agree with the above comments on ESPN, but hey, since a greater percentage of baseball fans (and I have no numbers to back this up, just in my personal experience) identify themselves with the Red Sox, Yankees, or Mets than, lets say, the Marlins, Rays, Mariners, or Padres, ESPN is just catering to the fans’ taste.

    Also, when I (used to) watch baseball tonight, I did it for two reasons- 1. To watch Braves highlights, and 2. To listen to “insightful” commentary on the state of the teams. Number 1 is easily available on ESPN’s website, and actually provides decent coverage. As I grew up, I realized that number 2 is slowly becoming less and less insightful; and decent commentary (and in some cases, much more well-thought out and coherent) can be found on the web. So, no real need to watch Baseball Tonight anymore, or any of ESPN for that matter.

    And Gadfly- thanks for finding those numbers. I was always interested, and knew about the disparity, but its good to have some solid numbers to look at.

  2. Seeing as we’re playing the Marlins tonight, with the best record in Baseball on the line between the two best (currently) teams in Baseball, I expect ESPN to have their afternoon shows, “Around the Horn” and “PTI” to focus today, once again, on the Phillies and Mets and what they’ll do shortly to overtake the Braves and Marlins.

    In all seriousness, there’s a reason why our two teams are ahead: starting pitching.

    Maybe the geniuses at ESPN will wake up and realize that the offenses of Philly and NY can’t just beat everyone into submission for them to win the east.

  3. Dix,

    My mistake, and I wasn’t logged in. Just live with my incompetence, makes it a lot easier for my roommates…

    Anyway, anybody ever wonder what it would be like if the New York Mets and Yankees combined to make one team? Would they win the World Series, or would we just banish them all three days into Spring Training?

  4. ESPN’s coverage is not simply based upon who’s the most popular. A lot of it is based upon reinforcing its own programming. They cover soccer far more than it deserves, and covering that extreme sports crap at all is more than it deserves. (Let’s not get into the WNBA.) And even if the YanMetSox are the most popular teams, they surely aren’t the preferred teams of a majority of the public.

  5. I went to my first Springsteen show in November 2007 in Cleveland and was in the front row via the GA lottery system he uses. It was the best thing ever. EVER.

    Go Braves.

  6. cool.

    My first memory of actually eating a pear was in 1990 in the cafeteria at my elementary school. I thought it might taste like an apple and I tried it, but I hated it. Never had a pear since. EVER.

  7. ESPN is certainly the master of the sports universe, but they are opening themselves up to competition by their refusal to be more evenhanded in their coverage and programming.

    Same thing happened with the nightly news shows. Had any of the three major networks made even a half-hearted attempt at a more balanced newscast, FOX might never have sprung to life.

  8. One thing that scares me about ESPN is their ability to create news on their own, i.e. T.O. drama. If they wanted to, they could make important nearly any sport or athlete, whether or not it/they deserve it.

  9. Let me just say that we are not going to talk about politics/ideology and the news media, and any further comments on the subject will be deleted. I really, really don’t want to get into that.

  10. My first springsteen concert was on the Palladia channel the other day. Palladia is probably the best channel on television

  11. First Springsteen show: The Omni, Atlanta, January, 1981. “The River” tour. Amazing.

    I remember that he opened with “Prove It All Night” & it was probably the most exhilarating 3 hours I’d ever spent. (Yes, I was drinking Omni beer.)

    And “Atlantic City” is one of my faves. Thanks for that one, Mac.

    Edit: And I’ve chewed through my thumb & sweater collar.

  12. The original acoustic version is my favorite Springsteen song, but unfortunately there’s no embeddable video for it. But I like this version (with the Seeger Sessions band) a lot.

  13. Big fan of the Nebraska version myself—the original MTV-ready video is properly murky. But I gotta say that full-band version is pretty rollicking, too.

    BTW, Springsteen is playing Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday event at MSG next month. Lotsa big names on tap for that.

  14. First and only Springsteen show was 1984 Born in the USA tour at the Omni. I was given a ticket — the fellow in the next seat paid $70 for his (in 1984, mind you), and refused to speak to me when he learned I’d gotten mine for free.

    Anyway, I’d never been a Springsteen fan, and I’m still not really, but that doesn’t change the fact that he put on a helluva show.

  15. ESPN also rarely misses an opportunity for the risque double entendre. Take this headline online: “Rays rough up Wang, Yanks.”

  16. I’ve seen several Pete Yorn shows, and he covered “Atlantic City” in more than one of them. Never seen The Boss live, unfortunately.

  17. I was going to make a comment on ESPN but seeing Mac’s comment, I have deleted it.

    Anyway, I sure hope the Braves bullpen gets better.

  18. I’ll call this “fun with early season statistics”.

    Derek Lowe= 564
    Peter Moylan= 10

    Omar Infante= 247
    Garret Anderson= 4

  19. Part of it is an asymmetry in the commitment of the fan bases. There are fewer MetsYanksSox fans in number, but the amount of time a majority of them want to devote to analysis, talk, and speculation on their teams far out weighs what a majority of the other fan bases are willing to put in. Living here in NYC I’ve been frustrated and envious of this for years. Today sports talk has been endlessly pouring over whether Nick Swisher is too much of a goof-ball to be successful as a Yankee. As far as I can tell they’ve had hundreds of calls on the subject and it’s been going on since this morning. I just don’t think the same percentage of Braves fans could get as worked up on a similar subject.

    Just as an analogy not a statement, this works the same way in politics where a minority of the population feels so strongly about a single issue that it carries disproportionate weight in the national political debate.

    All of us are the outliers. We’re like radical Presbyterians.

  20. This just in from DOB: “The Francoeur in Francoeur a Francoeur-Francoeur Francoeur Francoeur Francoeur vs. Francoeur, a Francoeur, Francoeur, Francoeur-up. (OK I’ll stop). We’ve Francoeur Francoeur the Francoeur Francoeur. Francoeur Francoeur Francoeur in Francoeur. Francoeur be no Francoeur, to Francoeur the Francoeur Francoeur up. And it’ll Francoeur .300 Francoeur to the test.”

  21. Have to admit it. Kind of want to read “Are the Francoeur Francoeur Francoeur?” Just to make sure.

  22. Wow @24

    you managed to incorporate politics/ideology and the news media into one post less than 25 minutes after Mac banned all three.

    @26 I like at the bottom where it says Francoeuránico, and also the “I’d give my Francoeur to Francoeur Francoeur”

  23. you managed to incorporate politics/ideology and the news media into one post less than 25 minutes after Mac banned all three.

    And in about 3500 fewer words than it would have taken Gadfly to do the same. Or anything else.

  24. #21

    Oh, I dunno. Disappearing ballfields, stickball until dark on a numbered street — might be right up his alley. :)

    (Edit: Baseball is where I store most of my nativism. If not that, what??)

  25. @25


    Actually have had to do some real work today, but I’m on board with those rooting for Heath Bell now.

    Also, MLB tv has replaced Baseball Tonight for me, as well

  26. Ya. At the end I had already made a politics analogy and then ADDED a religious one. Kind of tempting the bear. Sorry Mac.

  27. Anyone out there subscribe to MLB.tv? I’m cancelling the cable this week and bought a Mac Mini to hook up to the TV. I want to subscribe to MLB.tv, but read some negative comments pertaining to reliability, usability the other day.

    Anyone have any comments?

  28. WFAN is offering high comedy today.

    Met fan after Met fan is calling into the show to explain their experience from last night’s opening of Citi Field, and many of them are offering similar conclusions:

    “I paid $100 for my ticket & part of my sightline was obscured. I couldn’t see the whole field!”

    “There’s not enough tribute to the Mets of the past—it’s all about the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

    Only the Mets could screw this up.

    I’m a fan of MLB.tv. I bought the premium package and, with the exception of the 2nd game where it got a little buggy, it’s been good. And compared to the Extra Innings package, it’s a much better price and you get every game that’s not local to your area. Extra Innings, IMO, is a little lacking, schedule-wise.

  29. So, Glavine has an “inflamed rotator cuff.” My question is what is causing the inflammation?

  30. @37 thanks for the input. I live in the Birmingham area and went to the MLB.tv zip code tester. My zip code said that I wasn’t in the home market for any MLB teams (score!), but when I put in the zip code for my work building downtown, it said I was in the Braves home market. Guess I’ll have to actually do work during the day!

  31. #38

    Yeah, really. Could be one of those “inflamed rotator cuff caused by a torn rotator cuff” type of injuries. The long goodbye continues apace….

  32. @36

    I have it as well. The new adobe is much better in quality than the MS silverlight of previous years. Just plug it into the TV and looks good.

    Just make sure you have a fast internet connection. My work connection isn’t as good as my home one and it gets choppy on occasion.

    There is supposed to be the upcoming feature that allows to you sync the radio broadcast with the game video…but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  33. @37 Ububba, Michael Kay on 1050 spent an hour making the same point about Mets history at Citi and making the argument that the Mets are ashamed of their history, which led to a hilarious back and forth between Yankee and Mets callers along the lines of “they should be ashamed/we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of”.

    I would like to feed Francoeur to these people. Any chance we could trade him up here? If the Yankees could start him everday for a month I’d never stop listening to Francesa.

  34. #25,

    Francoeur Francoeur on Francoeur

    What a day, what a Francoeur

    Now that is funny.

  35. So, Glavine has an “inflamed rotator cuff.” My question is what is causing the inflammation?

    My guess: pitching. It’s time to retire.

  36. Re MLB.tv, it’s been extremely slow and buggy this first couple of weeks. When it works it’s great but too often the “live” game action has been a couple minutes behind. Nothing is more annoying than seeing a box score spoil an at bat 2 batters in the future

    Hopefully they work out the bugs son.

  37. @47

    The delay was one thing that did annoy me as well. The worst part is the little pop up notices of MLB news. I remember watching one of the Philles games where KJ is at the plate, Yunel on deck and Chipper in the hole. Halfway through KJ’s at bat, the MLB TV gives me a pop-up saying that Chipper has just hit a home run.

    Had to fight the “break electronics” urge that I sometimes get from modern technology.

  38. Can I get advice from any well-read braves fans out there? I was at my local Borders and in the $2.99 bargain bin were multiple copies of “Game of Shadows” and “Built to Win” (along with “the Baseball Economist”, though we all know that book does not belong in the clearance rack).

    Are either of these books worth picking up? Is there anything interesting in them that I wouldn’t already know about from internet/this blog/the four-letter sports network?

  39. Absolutely buy “Built to Win” if your aim is to be as horrified as possible about the future of your favorite team.

  40. I liked “Game of Shadows” though I thought Pearlman’s book was better.

    I only made it about halfway through “Built to Win” Too much generic propaganda (though I can understand Stu’s take as well)

  41. Lineups:

    Squishy Fishies:
    Bonifacio 3b
    Baker c
    Ramirez ss
    Gload 1b
    Uggla 2b
    Hermida lf
    Maybin cf
    Amezaga rf
    Volstad p

    Johnson 2b
    Escobar ss
    Chipper 3b
    McCann c
    Anderson lf
    Frenchy rf
    Kotchman 1b
    Schafer cf
    Vazquez p

    Honestly, the only Marlin position players I’d want on my team are Ramirez and maybe Uggla. Perhaps Maybin down the road. The rest, uggh.

  42. Re: MLB.tv
    You can defeat the popups within the settings menu. You can in Premium, anyway…

    Generally, I’ve found that if you click that little “live” button every so often, you’re closer to real-time.

    And yes, make sure your computer is high-speed connected & multi-processor fast. Otherwise, you might as well just listen to the games.

  43. It takes an awful lot for Frenchy to be the preferred rightfielder in a game, but maybe former Angels futility infielder/designated Benjie Molina pinch runner Alfredo Amezaga is up to the task….

    Nope, Amezaga still had a higher OPS+ last season with his awe-inspiring .264/.312/.367 line. The search continues…

  44. This actually seems like a really good day to have Vazquez out there. Only a couple of tough outs, so he “should” go deep enough to not need the pen so much.

  45. Flat iron steaks and potatoes from the grill and Braves baseball. Does it get better?

  46. Not even a little bit, RJ.

    One-two-three from Vazquez with two K’s. He understands just how serious this is.

  47. Vasquez looks sharp tonight. He should’ve had the side struck out, no thanks to Eddings.

    Edit: You’re making me hungry, RJ.

  48. We should not be facing six pitches in an inning, especially one in which Francoeur isn’t batting.

  49. Fair point.


    Rany Jazayerli just got a radio show here in KC and spent a significant portion of it saying how happy he was that the Royals got rid of Gload. But that’s probably just another stat geek talking…

  50. I don’t like that Vazquez has 60 pitches and we’re not yet through the 3rd.

    Meanwhile, Volstad has thrown 16.

  51. What an ugly inning. Can’t even really blame Javy that much (outside the Gload BB). Three little BS singles

  52. The Braves have a dreadful cast of announcers all the way around. Sciambi is the only one worth a damn.

  53. MLB audio is a pretty good deal. I vastly prefer the WGST coverage to most of the MLB extra innings announcing clowns.

  54. From the very little of Powell that I’ve heard he seems pretty boring. I was only able to listen for an inning or two and he just seemed pretty dull. Just my two cents.

  55. I like Don as an analyst. He is not cut out to be a radio play by play guy.

    Too early to make a call on Powell. He’s got a nice voice. Seemed to be a little slow in naming the particulars during certain plays, which is a bit annoying.

  56. Ten strikeouts versus one walk is a good sign for Vazquez. If they hadn’t strung three dinky hits together…

  57. 96 pitches for Vazquez. I guess he is likely done. Now the fear begins.

    Not a bad day for Vazquez, 10K’s in 15 batters, pretty dominating. Just had some bad luck.

  58. schafer has looked terrible at the plate the last several at bats. That’s 2 strikeouts tonight, and 3 from sunday.

  59. Unfortunately, against a groundball pitcher who doesn’t strike out a ton of people, they should be taking, taking, taking.

  60. I recall some folks arguing that Anderson was passable in the field. Not so. I hated that signing then and only hope he doesn’t take wins away…

  61. Anderson was exactly what the Braves needed — a right handed power outfield bat. Wait a second…

  62. Twelve K’s. That’s two more than any Braves starter had in one game last year (Jurrjens and Hudson each did it once and Smoltz twice).

  63. 103 — Ethan, you didn’t watch much last year, huh? ha ha. Hopefully we’re done with that…

  64. When is the last time Chipper Jones came through when the braves were behind late in the game?????

    Nice move by BC benching Diaz against a Marlins LHP. He only hits .452 against the Marlins.

  65. Sorry. It was a poor joke quoting Joe. Again, the limits of sarcasm online.

    Geez, that was depressing. Chipper needs to be pulled if he can’t play with the hand. I’d say Prado is an okay sub

  66. The usual suspects of suck: Garrett Anderson and Casey Kotchman.

    Um… if Kelly bunted there we’d have scored a run.

    When? On Chipper’s weak groundout?

  67. Nice job by Jeffy making sure to slide straight in to the bag, and to the side the shortstop was not on. We wouldn’t anything crazy to happen out there.

  68. Ok Mac, I didn’t quite agree with you when you said at the time of the trade that G Anderson is done but I’m beginning to agree with you!

  69. Death, taxes, and bad pitching from the bullpen. Nice to know there are some things you can always count on.

  70. I would have left Moylan in, I hate using relief pitchers for one inning, they’re effective, throw only 9 pitches and leave. Only to be replaced by a pitcher who isn’t effective on this particular night…

  71. I’ll just throw this out there, doesn’t look like GA cares a ton. It’s one thing if he’s trying hard and putting up 40 year old Garret Anderson numbers…

  72. If I were running the team, Anderson would be released by midnight and Brandon Jones would be on the crosstown bus. But then again, if I were running the team I never would have signed him in the first place. This was so predictable.

  73. 141 — he’d make a great courtier.

    I’ll go back to grading essays for my French and Italian Renaissance lit class…

  74. 116. I heard the announcers on the radio wrong. My mistake.

    It doesn’t erase the point I made, The BA I quoted for Diaz is right, against the Marlins as a whole, not just Left Handers.

  75. c shorter, don’t remind me that I have papers to grade! I was using this game as excuse not too!

  76. Bennet was screwed, dropped fly, bad throw, catch at first, dropped SB, inning should have been over awhile go.

  77. That there was just stupid. Running on Francoeur? Up four runs, with nobody out?

    Does it matter? The Braves ain’t coming back down four in the eighth.

  78. 152 — I bought gameday audio because I figured I could at least pretend to work while I listened (but couldn’t really do that while watching games).

  79. O’FAIL (I typed this before he screwed up, in anticipation)

    Hm, nevermind. Spirit of Gryboski was with him, I guess he just earned another month.

  80. Just one Prado, let Pope Bonifacio score by waiting patiently for the ball to wrap around the walls so he wouldn’t have to run as far. The dropped foul ball was an official error.

  81. It’s karma from when whoever it was hit him in the face with a pitch. Ross looked weak there, though.

    It was Oscar Villareal.

  82. Even if we get baserunners on, we’ll need the baseball gods to smile on us… easy outs Anderson and Kotchman are looming.

  83. The offense was bound to have a bad night eventually.

    Nice to see the bullpen doing some good work.

    Maybe now Cox will realize that Diaz at least needs to play against every LHP the Braves face.

  84. Matt Diaz would play for me every day… He’s a gamer. He definitely doesn’t deserve to be on the bench so Anderson can get some at-bats.

  85. I know he stuck out 12, but Vasquez walked Gload in front of Uggla and then threw a wild pitch, he deserved better, but he Ks don’t tell the whole story. A game like tonight proves how average he is. He puts up pretty K numbers, but when it gets tight he nibbles and goes to pieces when the chips are down.

    Tonight really doesn’t mean anything, but the bravos got dominated.

  86. 181 – You’re right. The offense has been much better than I expected to start the season… and that’s without Chipper and McCann doing most of the damage. The Marlins have good pitching, but hopefully we can do a better job tomorrow.

    I sure do hate the teams in our division and can’t stand losing to any of them. It seems like the Marlins have owned us since they came into the league… Hopefully we’ll take the rest of the series.

    I’d very much like to see less of Anderson and I’d rather have Prado at first (errors and all) than Kotchman.

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