Pirates 3, Braves 1

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 11, 2009 – ESPN

I guess I have to recap this thing. I guess. Ugh. Well, I can talk about Javier Vazquez. He was great. Javier made one mistake, allowing a homer to Delwyn Young — yes, the Delwyn Young — in the fifth. It was a solo shot, but why should Vazquez expect more than one run, anyway? He allowed only two other baserunners, one on a single and one on an error that the first base umpire blew the call on. Meanwhile, he struck out twelve in eight innings. No decision.

Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth and got the loss. He very easily could have gotten out of it unscathed, but gave up a little dribbler up the middle to allow two runs, the second on the infamous intentional walk. He wasn’t giving up anything hit hard.

The only guy who did anything on offense was Jeffy, who was 2-3 with a walk and drove in the Braves’ only run in the fourth. Go figure, he still sucks. The Braves left eight men on base. Barbaro Canizares was called up, played first base and hit cleanup. He was 1-4 with a single and two strikeouts. The Braves are headed for Baltimore for interleague play; Canizares may DH there.

120 thoughts on “Pirates 3, Braves 1”

  1. Well that wasn’t a game we should’ve lost… though at least Maholm is a generally decent pitcher so it’s not as if we got shut down by some no-name rookie hack right?

  2. Getting shut down by the no-name rookie hack happened last night. We’ve proved that we can stink up the joint against anyone.

  3. I always thought that baseball umpires were probably the best officials in any major sport. Sure, they could be self-important jackasses who baited people into getting thrown out, but at least they got the call right the vast majority of the time (probably 95% at least), unlike their counterparts in football and basketball, who are pretty universally horrible, and in the case of football, frequently seem to not even know the rules. It used to be you could go a week or two without seeing a really bad call from an umpire.

    But it really seems as though the quality of umpiring has taken a serious dip this year, for whatever reason. There have been numerous obvious calls just blown.

    Both of those calls at first today were just inexcusable, frankly. They were awful. On the first one, if he was looking at the tag, he’d have seen that the tag came down before he got to first, and if he was looking at the feet, he would’ve seen that the feet didn’t even freaking touch the bag (I think the back one might have dragged after he was basically by). I mean, how in the hell can anyone call that safe?

    And then on the second one, the only thing he has to look at are the feet. At worst, it was a tie, which goes to the runner. How in the world can any competent umpire call that out? Again, horrible horrible call. Worse than the first one even because it was so easy to make.

    Couple these with that game we lost in New York because the umpire couldn’t see that Beltran slid directly into Chipper’s glove because he was horribly positioned for absolutely no reason and that triple the other day where the umpire was looking right at it and made the blatantly wrong call inexplicably, and it’s really starting to affect games.

    If the umpire has a really tough call and we see that he gets it wrong through the benefit of super slo mo, that’s one thing. I can live with that. And balls and strikes is pretty much something else entirely. But they have begun missing blatantly easy and obvious calls on the basepaths, and they really need to get their shit together.

  4. Is there ANY reason to think the Braves are better than the Pirates. The Pirates have won the season series the last two years and the records are about similar. The Braves are the Pirates.

  5. Feel better Mac.

    Chipper is awesome:

    “It’s been the story of our season, it’s nothing new,” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “We go two or three games and hit well, and go two or three games where we don’t.

    “If Mac [Brian McCann] is not playing and I go 0-for, we’re in trouble. If I’m not playing and Mac goes 0-for, we’re in trouble. Happened today.”

  6. well again we have on eof the worst hittin teams in Braves history … it definately hurts when Mccann has to rest .. but then again both CJ and Mac played last night .. Chipper is playin real slow right now .. he is hurtin and will never be healthy again .. its a shame cause we got great starting pitching .. just need some pop which we aint gettin from francour, anderson, johnson ..

  7. Blech, I can’t stomach talking about this team right now after the past couple days…just awful.

    How bout this new Dinosaur Jr. album? Some kick ass rawk music!

  8. Dinosaur, Jr., remains the loudest show I’ve ever seen in a club—Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ, around 1991.

    Every time Mascis hit that one foot pedal effect, it sounded like an airplane was taking off right next to me.

    I was getting pinned to the back wall of the tiny club, near the soundman, who had a DB meter. After awhile, he put up a handwritten sign: “115 DB, but who’s counting?”

  9. ububba,

    I’ve always wondered how someone can do what you do and not go deaf. I don’t go to a ton of shows, but some of the good ones will take me a day or so to get the hearing back to 100%.

    Ever had issues?

  10. :lol: awesome.

    Saw em a couple years ago on the Beyond tour with The Black Keys. Epic show. Thought my ears were gonna bleed after Dino, who, as much as I love the Black Keys, stole the show.

    On their two recent studio efforts: Rarely have I heard a “reunion” project put out two albums like they’ve done now. “Beyond” smokes, plain and simple. And after only a couple listens, I’m inclined to put this new one, “Farm” in the same class. I just love what Mascis does. The pop hooks, the laconic lyrics and delivery, and of course, the balls out, anthemic rock soloing. What a couple enjoyable discs. Love this band.

  11. @19

    I’ve just been to your site that you link and heard some of your comments and it seems like you travel around and see a lot of music shows.

    Referencing the Dinosaur Jr. decibel comment, I’ve always wondered if doing that regularly took a toll on the ears

  12. What?

    Yes, I’ve had short bouts with tinnitus, but it always goes away. Presently, there’s no ringing.

    Rock shows can be rough, but a bad discotheque or mobile-DJ sound system is the worst.

  13. This is a mediocre team, brought down mainly by the horrible offense, but also a lack of attention to detail, sloppy play and general lethargy. Toss in losing your first basemen, playing a backup catcher and Kelly Johnson in one of his all too frequent slumps, and the team will struggle to win a series against just about anyone, despite excellent starting pitching. I’d seriously think about blowing out Cox and his staff, trading Lowe, Vasquez, Soriano, Gonzalez, Johnson, and releasing Francoeur and Anderson. Irrational, maybe, but I’ve had a couple of drinks and I’m just sick of watching this crap.

  14. ububba,

    were you there at the creation of REM, etc.?

    I worked with an art director once who firmly believed that if he had been at the right party, he’d have been in the band.

    Athens must have been a large time when you were there.

  15. The thing is, we all knew that the fulcrum that this season’s success was based upon was Frenchy/ACHE being average.

    Thats it. .280/.330/.420 would have been acceptable. Instead, they’ve been abysmal, as most here predicted.

    Our record really shouldn’t be a surprise and Chipper points it out pretty well at @12

  16. I’m trying to remember better, but it seems to me that the loudest band I’ve heard live was Jackyl. ha! And it was outside even. My friends didn’t even want to stick around to see if they’d break out the chainsaw. I was disappointed…

    I think SCOTS was at that show, too. Maybe a country singer or two as well. The lineup was all over the place. (Bobby might have booked it.)

  17. Loudest band – Stevie Ray Vaughn, Old Town Music Hall, B’ham, 1983

  18. What if the Nationals just quit signing picks altogether, rolling over to the next year? By my calculations (which involved making up a year), they could own the rights to every eligible player by 2109.

  19. I’ll join in on the loudest show ever discussion. Mogwai, twice at the 40 watt. The second one was brutal. They played “My Father My King” for the encore and by the end everything was cranked to the max. It hurt.

  20. JC,
    Nope, even if it may border on self-parody, it’s a true story.

    Spike,
    We had SRV play on campus at UGA’s Tate Center around that time, too. Pretty blazing.

    Ethan,
    It’s a weird job, but it sure beats covering high-school football & city council meetings. Believe me, I know.

    hankonly,
    That band started in the spring of 1980. I was a freshman in the fall of ’81, so yeah, I saw them a lot.

    My standard line: We had Herschel Walker playing football, Dominique Wilkins playing basketball & bands like REM & Pylon playing clubs that sold 16-oz cans of malt liquor for $1. Wasn’t bad.

    I’m watching Brad Penny mow down the Yankees, which I find mildly depressing.

  21. Agree with Nick @ 6, I ‘ve seen a lot of terrible calls in recent years that any competent ump should have gotten right. The quality is not high.

    At least the Braves, even Cox, aren’t in denial, saying, oh give the guy credit, we hit balls hard, blah, blah. Maybe they are starting to realize this team is not that good. IMO, the Braves continue to have an attitude that they are an elite team and organization when their performance over the last four years says they are not. The FO consistently overrates the team, primarily because they keep expecting the likes of Jeffy and mediocre pickups like Kotchman and Anderson to do the job. Same with the players coming up from the minors; McCann is very good but KJ is not nearly as good was the Braves thought, Francouer obviously is a disaster, and there was Jo Jo and Davies, etc.

    I can’t see much changing and I think the Red Sox/Yankees will pretty much put an end to any pretense that this is a playoff team, although they will probably hang in mathematically because the Phillies and Mets aren’t all that good either–where would the Phillies be without the Nationals? It’s a shame to waste such good pitching.

  22. I mean, of course they’re the loudest band eveh…look at Mascis’ stack:

    link

    ?v=0″ rel=”nofollow”>Pic

    :shock:

  23. I must briefly de-lurk to echo the Dino. Jr. comments. I saw them in Atlanta (the Roxy?) in 94, and my hearing was permanently affected.

    Most surprising loud band–Matthew Sweet.

  24. Hope you get to feeling better soon, Mac.

    I’ll add to those claiming Dino Jr. was the loudest show they ever saw — Uptown Lounge, Athens, 1988. Narrowly edging out the Meat Puppets, same venue, same year. It was actually a bit much. I spent most of the show in the back room.

    Barbaro Canizares is free! (Of course, if you ask him he already was….)

  25. Mets lose again. Haha. Love it. Too bad they’re losing at the hands of the Philthies. Muck the Fets!

  26. Well, Baltimore has lost seven of its last eight. Maybe Tommy will have his way with Adam Jones, Markakis and co.

  27. Baltimore cannot pitch, but they have some young guys who can rake.

    The braves can pitch, but they can’t hit.

    Neither can catch the ball.

    What happens when the stoppable force meets a movable object? Do we all get sucked into a vortex of suckdom?

    As I have said before ,the braves are legitimately 2-4 bats short in the lineup even with McLouth. The only guy who SAVES any runs out of the the Square of Suckdom is Kotchman because he can catch the ball. Frenchy is at best average in RF, KJ is poor at 2B and there is not a Left Fielder on the team who I feel completely confident is going to catch the ball when it is hit to them. RF, LF, and 2B do not save runs or base runners. (I don’t need some stupid zone rating or VORP thing to tell me that, I can see it when I watch them.)

    Ryan Klesko called: he says Ache is the worst OF the braves ever had.

    I bet if you picked any of the two positions above and fill them with anyone hitting for any average or power and the other two spots would produce at least a little better (maybe not good, but better).

    This team is the worst offense I have ever seen, and management gave a 37 year old 3B with bad feet 13 million a year to play 120 games or so, gee whiz, we are done for.

  28. Love, love, love Dino Jr. Seen’em well over a dozen times. At the recent Athens show my wife bought one of the T’s with the Green Mind cover on the front.

    I’m so lucky.

    @16 I always called that pedal the launching pad. What a sound.

  29. We’ve mutated into the Dino blog. Anything to rinse out the taste of today’s game, right?

    More Met Pain: They place starter John Maine on the 15-day DL with “weakness & shoulder fatigue.” Will announce a roster move tomorrow.

    No, I don’t feel sorry for them.

  30. Oh yeah, it’s totally a distraction to ease the pain of the last two losses.

    FWIW, I’m pretty worried about the next 5 series after the O’s. And, honestly, I don’t feel good about that series.

    We need to get our periphery players healthy, and quick.

  31. Someone give Raul Ibanez a drug test. I don’t care if he bitches and moans about the speculation regarding PEDs, it’s well deserved and here’s why: Ibanez, 37, has hit more than 23 homers exactly once and that was in 2006 when he hit 33, a career high. Through 58 games in 2009, Ibanez has 21 homers, putting him on pace to hit 50-55 homers this year which would eclipse his career high by a ridiculous margin.

    It may not be ideal to look upon a person with doubt and skepticism, but that is the way things are in baseball these days.

  32. If we stay at .500 and get a bat in July, we may become something good…but what’s the chance of that?!

  33. To be fair, the next 6 at Baltimore and Cincinnati should be winnable.

    However, the following 13 with NYY, Bos, CHC, and Phi are terrifying.

  34. @33

    In fact, I was thinking about it and I’m pretty sure that the play at the end of the 15-inning game where the umpire correctly saw that the catcher’s foot had been pulled off the plate has been the only play all year where I said to myself, “You know, that’s a really good call.” And it’s not like that umpire is great, because he had a horrible game up until that point and he was the same guy who blew those two gimmes at first today.

    But I used to say “that’s a really good call” to myself all the time. Umpires would have to make legitimately tough decisions like that where they would have to remember three different things that were happening and the play would be bang-bang and they would almost always get it right. And now they seem to blow straightforward calls where only one thing is going on and they have a very clear view of it.

    @47

    In my experience, if a guy goes as overboard with his reaction as Ibanez did, there’s probably something there (think Rafael Palmeiro). Personally, I never really would’ve thought about it for two seconds, even with the article and blog and so forth, had he not called the guy a 40-year-old living in his parents’ basement and said that he would give back all the money he’s ever earned if he tested positive. Seems like somebody hit a nerve. If it’s just an irrelevant blog, why even comment on it?

    And the outrage by members of the mainstream media on this is hilarious to me. This guy did not say “Raul Ibanez is taking steroids.” In fact, the blog took more of the tone of “what a shame it is that these great accomplishments could be cast in suspicion.” And then they had Ken Rosenthal lighting into this poor guy on Outside the Lines the other day, driveling on about journalistic ethics and blah blah blah. First of all, the guy from the Philadelphia Inquirer was there and Rosenthal said nothing to him about how lazy it was for him to right an article about some random blog, thereby insinuating that Raul Ibanez is under suspicion of taking steroids while passing all blame to the blogger. Second of all, has Ken never stopped to think that maybe if someone had had some journalistic ethics back in the 90s instead of everyone helping to sweep it under the rug, it might have helped keep this situation from becoming so ridiculous?

  35. I got to watch tbe first 7 innings and, happily enough, went to bed figuring correctly that the Braves would find a way to lose. Great game by Vazquez….I figure we will hover aroung .500, trade some prospects for a bat or two and then remain around .500….

  36. Ububba,

    Not preaching, bro, but hearing damage is cumulative and permanent. The ringing may stop, but the damage is done. I wear earplugs to (almost) every show I go to, these days.

    Sadly, I had a chance to see Braves inspiration Cannibal Corpse on Monday, but I couldn’t make it.

  37. Regarding Bama’s NCAA sanctions:

    200+ athletes obtained free textbooks for other students? That’s a problem? It seems to me that’s a pretty concrete example of college athletics enhancing the university.

  38. You damn right it is CG Hudson!

    I’m actually not one of those that hates on the more recent Sonic Youth releases. Loved the O’Rourke era, and also loved Rather Ripped, quite a bit actually. But this new one….rawk.

    Can’t wait to check out this B’ham show this month!

    Check out this Dino Jr., though, when it comes out. Awesomeness.

  39. You are right that over 200 players got what the NCAA considered an illegal textbook supplement. The thing is that of those, they believe that only 22 knew they were doing something wrong – the others recieved a very, very small amount. Of those 22, 15 were on the track team and 7 were on the football team. After Alabama found out about it, every dime was paid back. This is still not a good thing, but I don’t see it as being egregious.

  40. Mac–I hope that you feel better. I also hope that the Braves beat the Orioles–and that is lifts your spirits as well….

  41. Illegitimus non carborundum, Mac.

    Re: the reporting of the Bama, etc. scandals. It seems that outrage is back in style. Regulating the amount of tweets? Please.

    Reform of the NCAA rulebook is long overdue. Streamline it and get more realistic rather than selectively enforce depending upon media pressure.

    As much as I’m enjoying the squirming UPRH (University of the Particularly Ridiculous Hue – aka, UT) is doing about Kiffin’s serial dumbassery, if all he’s done is what’s been reported it’s just an excuse for journalists to bloviate and NCAA nebishes to continue drawing a paycheck.

    When the University of Spoiled Children’s football program gets hammered, I might (might) start giving the NCAA some credence. But until then …

  42. I was going to write a response to Mark Bradley’s column this morning here (calling for the dumping of Francouer a year after lecturing fans for not standing behind him), but I got carried away and turned it into a blog post. I normally try not to link to myself here, but since I’m not regularly blogging anymore I thought a few of my Braves Journal buddies my enjoy it.

  43. I’m starting to feel the way I did about Braves teams in the 80’s. Anger, apathy, disgust, etc. Although this team is potentially way better because of their pitching I have become accustomed to a higher standard by the entire Braves organization and this current situation should be embarrassing!

    Loudest concert; I saw John Lee Hooker in a little bar in N. California called “The Rasberries”, it was so painfully loud I couldn’t hear right for 2 days!

  44. JC-That is brilliant; really. I honestly don’t expect that much of Mark Bradley; he is a college basketball guy who has to do something in the spring and summer months. The notion that Bradley would understand something beyong BA and RBI is optimistic, and thus his blind spot (along with his admitted admiration of Francoeur as a high school football player).

    That Braves management hasn’t had the guts to go try and fix this problem is very disappointing to me; they are the ones that are supposed to be the professionals in this situation, and the reversal of the minors demotion will stand as one of the dark points in the fall of this franchise. Other organizations have the courage to send their younger players down to fix flaws; friggin Roy Holliday went down to the minors after a bad spell (and that sort of worked out for the Blue Jays). We lacked the courage and the conviction in the face of a tantrum, and look what it has brought us; a still terribly flawed player one year later, no better and no nearer to a fix.

  45. JC – Good stuff, please post your blog post on Bradley’s blog. Then maybe he will read it.

    Question: Is the media finally getting it? or are they just a conduit for the fact that the Braves finally may be understanding that Frenchy ain’t any good. Or do they?

    This morning I read Peanut on mlb.com and he states ‘Thoughts of Matt Diaz playing right field every day are erased by the reality that Anderson isn’t capable of playing left field on an everyday basis. ‘

    Can someone please explain that ‘logic’ to me?

  46. The NCAA is a laughingstock. I was giving Mac and the other Row Tahd folks a hard time yesterday, but that this textbook thing gets punished and so many other situations go totally ignored is a joke.

    Re: Stenchy, I’m honestly a little surprised that he’s still on the team. When Peanut and DOB turned on him a month ago, I figured the end was nigh. Maybe Bradley’s piece signals that it’s coming soon? I can only hope…

  47. Can someone please explain that ‘logic’ to me?

    The talking points don’t include an explanation.

    Thanks for the feedback. I doubt Bradley will read it, or care if he does. I don’t mind him giving up on Frenchy this late—better now than never—but he needs to begin his article with an apology for calling out the side he’s joining, or at least acknowledge that he’s been wearing a mini-skirt with pleats for 3+ years.

  48. JC, it’s a good piece, and I’m glad to read it. However, as you know I tend to be a bit more skeptical of media determinism. (Not necessarily with any good reason — your media pedigree and bona fides are far longer than mine.)

    I’d say that it’s perfectly valid to hold Bradley accountable for his intellectual inconsistency and for shutting off the critical part of his brain for the first three years of Francoeur’s career.

    But it’s not fair to blame the Braves front office’s failure to demote Frenchy on Bradley. Yeah, I know, if a popular columnist advocates something that does give the team a bit more cover to do it. But I just don’t think Bradley’s powerful enough to have much of an effect on whether Frenchy plays in the bigs or the minors.

    I might be naive, but that’s my take.

  49. Entry in loud concert series. I am not a long term connoisseur, however.

    Mother’s Finest. Georgia Southwestern (then) College, Americus, field house. I was working student union as an usher in the far corner and I have never heard anything like that. They were lots of fun to watch.

  50. JC,
    Nice response, but I think you overvalue the power of the Atlanta press. I don’t think it matters a bit what those folks write about Francoeur. This is all on the Braves front office, not a columnist.

    billy-jay,
    You’re preaching to the choir, brother. I’ve had those conversations with the doctor. Fact is, my hearing hasn’t been the same since a 1978 Ted Nugent show in The Omni.

    Aphex Twin, yes. A great, creepy video from a fellow with a perverse sense of humor.

    Met him many years ago. He’s from Cornwall in the west of England where there are more sheep than people. My last name is Tremayne, which is a Cornish name.

    So I mentioned that to him and asked if he knew some Tremaynes back home. He looked at me like I was nuts & rattled off a litany, “My landlord’s name is Tremayne, my assistant’s name is Tremayne, my barman’s name’s Tremayne, so yeah.”

    Edit: Ha, AAR, You beat me to it.

  51. I think the loudest I’ve seen was the Scorpions in Munich. My ears rang for seven days. They were louder than Slayer and Metallica. Of course, those guys couldn’t justify the rig that the Scorpions could at the time.

    Anyway, that’s why I try to wear ear plugs these days.

  52. Ububba, that’s cool. I had a similar conversation with a notorious band from Finland who noticed my last name and started talking to me in Finnish. I don’t know any Finnish, at all, which perplexed the poor guys. Fortunately, we all spoke beer, which the Japanese do well.

  53. Loudest concert? It’s a toss-up between The Kinks or Jeff Beck, who both played at the Fox in the early 1980s. If I was smart, I would have inserted cigarette butts in my ears, but I don’t smoke.

  54. No, something much more blasphemous.

    Hint: it starts with Impaled…

    edit: Note that I regretted missing Cannibal Corpse earlier.

  55. #85

    Got it. Thanks. If you like surf music, Laika and the Cosmonauts are hard to beat.

  56. Music & beer are universal languages, even in Scandanavia.

    So when it happens, do we throw a DFA party? A non-tender party? Do we celebrate? Or just wash our hands in disgust.

  57. Let me clarify. I’m not a media determinism guy. I’m also quite pro media, having published many pieces in the popular press (most in newspapers). I have worked in the sports department if a major metropolitan newspaper (The Charlotte Observer, recording HS sports scores) and both of my parents were journalists. I LOVE newspapers. I almost dropped out of grad school to pursue journalism.

    Bradley is not responsible for Frenchy any more than any other journalist in town. His sin was calling out others who were critical much earlier. That’s why I was so hard on him. And while I don’t think the media really holds too much sway, the Atlanta media did absolutely ZERO questioning of the Braves handling of Frenchy. They certainly weren’t greasing the skids for a demotion. I don’t mind columnists being opinionated. That’s there job. I’m really happy that the AJC allows DOB and CR to give their own opinions on their blog, and I think they do an excellent job.

    And even though the AJC pumped the pompons, that in no way absolves the front office for their handling of him. I agree with Alex R and ububba, that the Braves are to blame. The Atlanta media are to blame for not being critical enough in their reporting. Just as reporters apologized for not digging deeper into steroids in the 1990s, I think they ought to be saying, “Yeah, we should have taken a closer look Frenchy’s walk rate and stopped watching Parkview clips on YouTube.”

  58. Loud concert?

    The Meat Puppets at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill back in 84 or 85. And I don’t even particularly care for The Meat Puppets.

    I was such a musically ignorant yokel back then too. I passed on a chance to see The Talking Heads on their Stop Making Sense tour. Why? Because I hadn’t heard of The Talking Heads.
    God, I was SUCH a Southern Mill Town boy lost in the big city. What a rube.

    Oh Mac? Get better.

  59. Ububba, if you ever make it over here, drop me a line and we’ll catch a Lions game (or a Giants game, if you prefer).

    Well, really, that goes for any of you.

    Getting late, I need to go to bed soon.

  60. Went to a Ted Nugent concert a couple of summers ago. Wasn’t extremely loud, but it was awesome to see this 60 year old man still rocking out on stage.

  61. I’m proud to report that my daughter Brantley was born at 958am on Thursday, June 11th. She weighed in at 8 lbs and 1 oz…almost 21″ in length.

    And I unfortunately was able to watch the last 6 innings of the game yesterday…what a fantastic game by Vazquez goes absolutely wasted.

    Shame on the Braves for not winning on Brantley’s actual birthday…but otherwise, we are absolutely thrilled.

    It took a fantastic road trip to buoy this team a few week’s ago…it looks almost impossible, but it sure would be nice to see the same thing happen here.

    Worst case scenario…(and I hope we don’t hang around all summer, just to fail to make the playoffs; I either want to be “all in” or “all out”)…we’ve got some fantastic trade pieces to get some young talent. And if Frank Wren has done anything to this point, he SEEMS to have a decent eye for working trades and spotting talent in return.

    Now let’s go kick some underachieving Oriole butt.

  62. Tiger,
    Big time congrats.

    billy-jay,
    One of these days, thanks. Asia remains uncharted territory. I really wanna see Japan, China & Viet Nam.

    JC,
    Bravo.

  63. Congrats, Tiger. At least now you have something to take your mind off the Braves. :)

    June 11 is my birthday too and I was unhappy they didn’t win for me. Now, I have company.

  64. A) Congrats Tiger
    B) feel better Mac
    C) I simply can’t remember the loudest show I ever saw… I suspect it was the Pink Lincolns (I think that was at Somber Reptile, but it might have been a couple doors down at the place that I can’t remember the name of)… but there were a lot of loud punk (and “rock”, and ska, and metal, and “alternative”) shows standing far too close to speakers from 93-97… and it could have been DRI at the international ballroom (though I doubt it because I recall that space being very open and the sound not being as dense)… or Pantera and Biohazard at some place down in Daytona Beach area (bigger venue but packed and loud). The default during that era was that I wouldn’t be able to hear for crap for a couple days later and I don’t think I ever really judged how much louder one was than the next.

  65. Thank you all! Mother and daughter are doing well. We’re definitely counting our blessings.

    Marc Schneider, you have a fantastic birthday.

  66. From Rosenthal:

    The Braves obviously will need a right fielder if they move Jeff Francoeur, but Gregor Blanco would represent an internal possibility.

    Blanco has virtually no power, but one scout says he throws better and is more athletic than Francoeur. Besides, he couldn’t do much worse than Francoeur’s .621 OPS.

    This scout should be fired.

    PS: Congrats, Tiger!

  67. Tiger,

    My daughter’s birhtday is October 27, 1995, the day before the Braves won the World Series. As you might imagine, that was quite a couple of days for me.

    Daughters are great for fathers because their conflicts are usually with the mother.

  68. Marc- 1995 must’ve been a remarkable year for you. Wow.

    I’m just hoping to avoid going broke.

  69. in 1969, a couple months after i saw Hendrix perform with cotton stuffed in his ears, i allowed myself to get shuffled off to the side of the stage directly in front of the PA at a Jefferson Airplane show.it was painfully loud and almost made me flunk my draft physical a week later. maybe they should have turned it up one more notch.

  70. Congrats Tiger!
    I have two daughters and one granddaughter (so far!)
    Your perspective on this world is about to change in ways you’ve never imagined!

  71. Tiger don’t believe these hosers… daughters are not all sunshine and puppy dogs. I have two boys (12 & 5) and one daughter (3) and the daughter has been twice as much work as both of her brothers combined from DAY ONE! I love her dearly, she’s adorable as all get out, but SOOOOOO much trouble. Don’t be fooled by the cute.

    I worked from home yesterday while my wife was with a client and came to the conclusion that whoever came up with the term “Special Needs Kids” had likely never interacted with ANY kids before because the ARE ALL SPECIAL NEEDS!

    That said… Kids are great and fill up a life in a way that is purely experiential and can’t be explained, only lived. Enjoy!

  72. Stu @ 101,

    I think Rosenthal got it messed up. I really don’t think any scout offered an opinion that Blanco’s arm was better than Francoeur’s. MAYBE the scout said Schafer or Gorkys or Heyward, or somebody, but not Blanco.

  73. JC, amen to that.

    Stu, maybe the scout meant that Blanco has a more accurate arm? Because as much arm strength as Frenchy has, the ball doesn’t always exactly end up going where he thinks it will.

    Mostly, I’m trying to justify a scout who thinks Blanco deserves Frenchy’s job — which I most definitely agree with.

  74. Matt Joyce sent down by Tampa. I took a look at his numbers. Right off the page, a 770 ops (good fpr this sorry team) (188 / 277 / 390 or so).

    But then I did a quick BAPIP guesstimate. and that put him at 280 / 370 / 470 or ops 840.

    Maybe they might sell low?

  75. I will say one last thing on the Alabama textbook scandal that may clarify it for some. It is true that 22 athletes, including 7 football players, took advantage of the system and they should be punished – actually I know the football players were suspended for 4 games when it was found out and the team went 1-3 in those games including the infamous loss to La. Monroe.

    From my understanding, the other 180 or so got free optional books. The scholarship covers books but not optional reading materials.

    I’m in total agreement that the NCAA is out of control. When I was at UA a football player was killed over the summer. It was considered a minor violation with no penalty (but a violation nonetheless) when Alabama provided a bus for players to take to his funeral. It’s this kind of crap that shows what kind of a ridiculous organization the NCAA is. They are famous for turning their heads when schools get caught for academic issues, but their punishment is inconsistent to say the least.

  76. Congratulatios Tiger224! I have 3 daughters and a son, all teenagers. And yet I am still sane, I think. Thank God for their Mom. Enjoy every minute of the journey. I am near the end of child rearing and I know that I’m gonna miss it.

    Is it the general opinion here that a couple of more years in the minors would have improved Jeff Francouer? Might an extended stay have exposed his weaknesses too?

    But of course the above assumes that walk rates, OBP and bapip and such are important criteria to the Braves. So I guess the answer is no. He would have still looked athletic, made some eye popping throws, and crushed a few fastbaslls while putting up average numbers and been promoted anyway.

  77. Daughters are great for fathers because their conflicts are usually with the mother.

    Marc, thank you for that line, it made my day.

    Tiger, the best advice I can give to you is to try not to get caught up in between these conflicts. Life would be a lot easier if all women were as mute as a maggot.

  78. Johnny, I would generally say — and I’m by no means an expert — that at lower levels, players both have more time and less pressure to work on the holes in their game, and they’re also facing players who are working on things one at a time.

    So while it’s obvious that he can’t hit breaking balls and can’t keep from swinging outside the strike zone, he’d have a much better chance on working on these problems incrementally than all at once, facing baseball players who are lightyears ahead of him in their baseball development.

    No matter how slowly they handled him, he probably wouldn’t have been able to turn an absolute weakness into an absolute strength. But I think it’s very possible that more experience in the minors would have enabled him to learn more about his own deficiencies, while his hot start in 2005 seems to have allowed him to convince himself that he’s a good baseball player trapped in a bad, bad, bad slump.

    But as I look closer, you’re arguing that the Braves’ minor league hitting development operation is suspect — that they’re basically wowed by flash and not very good at helping a ridiculously toolsy guy learn to compensate for his deficient strike zone judgment. That seems very plausible to me.

  79. My daughter was born DURING the Farnsworth Playoff Meltdown. Thank God I had something to distract me.

  80. Tiger224- where in SC are you from? I’m from Charleston.

    AAR – IMHO the Braves are the antithesis of the A’s or the Red Sox. Deep statistical analysis isn’t part of their way of doing business. I’m sure that they look at stats but not in the same way as the Sox do.

    The much despised Shank’s book on the Braves way is telling. Athleticism, make up and how players look playing the game are valued highly in the Braves system. And shoot you can’t argue with the results. On the current team, McCann and Escobar had very short tenures in the minors. Neither showed statistically that they would be such good MLB players. Certainly not McCann who it could be argued is the best hitting catcher in the NL. So I am hypothesisising that had Jeff been demoted some time in 2006 (he hit 29 homers in MLB that year) he would have crushed some long balls against AAA pitching, flashed that speed, arm and fielding ability and been promoted right back up even if he didn’t draw a single walk or took a swing at every first pitch. In other words he wouldn’t have learned a thing becuase the Braves emphasize how you look playing the game more than they do what the numbers tell you.

  81. Thanks again for all of the well wishes, folks.

    Johnny – I’m originally from Aiken…have lived in Atlanta for 4 years or so now.

  82. Lest anybody misunderstand me (as I was a bit ranty earlier), being a parent is my favorite thing in the world… but kids are by no means EASY (Parenting, not the Peace Corps, is the “toughest job you’ll ever love”).

    My advice to Tiger is don’t fall for the belief that the first kid is so great because you’re such a good parent, it’s just the kid way of tricking you into having more.

    Our first kid was fantastic from 15 months (after the colic finally passed) through 11 years old… now at 12 he’s hitting pre-teen moodiness which isn’t so much fun (though he’s still generally a good kid). Because he was so great we thought we had this parenting trick figured out… then we had a 2nd kid. The middle kid is pretty good right now, but as an aspie he’s a bit more work than his big brother was at this age (from 1-4 we described him as “living life on 11”). The daughter is coming out of the terrible twos and threes slowly (VERY slowly) and she has always been more trouble than both of her brothers… she’s tiny and unbearably cute and what my deceased grandmother would’ve called “a pistol” (we’ve been told “you’re fired!” and “Laney’s mom is nicer tha you!” to go along with the “I hate you!” and “I’m stupid!” that I didn’t expect to hear until she was a sullen teenager).

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