189 thoughts on “Not that July is likely to be any better game thread: July 1, Phillies at Braves”

  1. sansho1 Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 9:49 pm
    …I have a question for the “Cox is an idiot” crowd that shows up here every freaking day. Did he or did he not start Prado against a right-handed pitcher today, and did that or did that not turn out to be the right play?

    sansho1 Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 9:59 pm
    Critical is one thing. Calling a Hall of Fame manager and someone who’s been a stand-up guy for the Braves organization for most of the last 30 years an idiot is another. I’m guessing nobody who spews that garbage here has ever had to manage a staff of employees in any field — or if they have, they were piss-poor at it.

    Let’s break down this incisive argumentation.

    Did he or did he not start Prado against a right-handed pitcher today, and did that or did that not turn out to be the right play?

    That move is about as obvious as getting Chipper Jones as many at bats as possible. Mangagers cannot do a whole lot to help a team win but one of the very few things that does matter is discerning which players are good and which are not and playing the good ones the most frequently. Cox has shown a consistent inability to do this (Lockhart over Giles, Reitsma and Kolb ahead of Devine, Juan Cruz, et. al. ; Jeff Francoeur ahead of basically anyone(We can do as far down this route as you like)).

    Critical is one thing. Calling a Hall of Fame manager and someone who’s been a stand-up guy for the Braves organization for most of the last 30 years an idiot is another.

    I’m sure you’ll define the inexact term “stand-up guy” in whatever way serves to make your point but I’d hardly call a wife beater a stand up guy.

    I’m guessing nobody who spews that garbage here has ever had to manage a staff of employees in any field — or if they have, they were piss-poor at it.

    Nice appeal to authority. I’ve always felt that the best arguments tend to include one of the basic logical fallacies. I assume that you do “manage a staff of employees” and judge yourself to be the BEST MANAGER EVAR which qualifies you to be the decider on this issue.

  2. That looked better in the previous thread with the tags included but I’m not going to redo all that.

  3. How could I forget my favorite part of the whole little rant in which sansho1 insinuates that those that rightly perceive Cox’ deleterious effects on this team are not “hard core Braves fans” as he presumably is. So we have ad hominen and appeal to authority. Well done, sir. Well done.

  4. I can’t recall if it was ESPN or the MLB Network analysts who pointed out last night that if you’re counting on (or even talking about) lucky underwear to win, you’re probably not in a very good place.

  5. There was some conversation about this on the last thread, but I would absolutely trade Yunel Escobar if I could get a power-htting outfielder at this point. If we could replace Yunel Escobar with an average shortstop at this pont, I would be fine with that. It’s just not worth having to deal with his complete idiocy day-in and day-out. It has cost the team games, I assure you it is affecting the clubhouse in some way, and it is incredibly annoying. I’m not saying trade him for any old thing, but if you can make something work, pull the damn trigger and let’s be done with it. He’s good, but he’s nowhere near good enough to offset what he takes away from the team through his idiotic mistakes and pouting.

  6. The mean Braves fan in me wants to see another spectacular Mets failure today. Getting swept is bad enough, but they need to top the belly flop from yesterday. I’m voting for somebody missing a catch and somehow having it go down inside their uniform so they either have to drop trow or at least fish around for it.

  7. A friend of mine just found out he has MS. He told me he’s starting to appreciate things he’s taken for granted his whole life. That got me to thinking, in and of itself a rare phenomenon. I’m going to try to appreciate the good things in my life and acknowledge them.

    Thank you, Mac, for Braves Journal.

  8. #8
    Or a game-deciding bases-loaded walk. I like it when the Mets do that.

    Mr. Swings,
    I think you’re taking this a little far, esp. the bit about Cox’s (apparently former) personal issues.

    I don’t always agree with Cox’s moves, but I don’t think I’d ever call him an idiot and I cringe a little when folks do.

    You can mark me down as being very appreciative of the work he’s done with this franchise. Has the game passed him by? That’s a conversation, perhaps a heated one, but he’s done way too much for the Braves for me to forget that historically successful part.

    Blind Hog,
    Well done. It never hurts to remind people that you appreciate them.

  9. This is probably beating a dead horse but when you’ve had to deal with the same simple minded crap for so many years what else is there to do? It is a rare case when a player should be shipped out because he pisses the manager off. Once again, there isn’t a great deal for the manager to do. Amongst that small group of management responsibilities is managing the players and getting them to give a good work rate (sorry for the soccer term, don’t know what else to call it). It’s up to the manager to decide to use the carrot or the stick to get that high level of effort. Every player is different and should be judged as such. I expect a young, hot-shot athelete to have some attitude problems. These are guys who have had the world bend over backwards for them their entire lives due to their abilities on a baseball field. I don’t expect a “HOF manager and 30 year stand-up guy” to let said young, hot-shot athelete run wild for a term followed by a few inneffectual disciplinary measures and then throw in the towel on the guy when he is one of the best players the Braves have. Good managers get head case players to perform. It’s much harder to replace a key player than it is to replace a manager who in some people’s estimation “doesn’t have much effect on the game anyway”. If a manager Cox cannot perform the very few tasks that he does have then I want to see someone else get a shot at trying.

  10. I’m not the one that said he was a stand up guy. For the most part off the field stuff doesn’t color my perception of a player or manager. I don’t particularly like people that pick on those weaker than them but if Cox didn’t suck so much at his job I’d probably be a hypocrytical sports fan and forget all about it. At any rate, I’ll grant you the part about me being an ass for brining up Cox’ off the field past. Let’s see some response to the between the lines stuff.

  11. @11 – Yes, just as Francona got Manny to perform last year. Do you realize what you are saying? I agree that the Braves should try to exhaust every possible measure before letting Esco go, but at some point (especially when he is pissing his teammates off) – you’ve got to say enough is enough and let him move on. And trust me, if Cox can’t get a player to change his attitude, I don’t think anyone can. Just look at how he handled the likes of Sheffield.

  12. Mac Said:

    Will everybody please stop with the personal attacks on each other, and get back to the personal attacks on Francoeur?


    FrDNP-CDcoeur sucks!

    FrDNP-CDcoeur’s turkey underwear sucks!

  13. Ububba, Mac or any of the other experts here (and I don’t mean that sarcastically)…what do you make of Escobar’s glove?

    If he were traded, we’d obviously miss his offense at SS…but would we miss his glove as well? Diory Hernandez doesn’t even do a good Raffy Belliard impression, it seems.

  14. personal attacks on Francoeur? You mean Turkey Panties?

    On a side note, the gunshot wound in my head has almost healed…maybe I can bring myself to photoshop this latest chapter in the Turkey Panties saga.

  15. Per Carrol Rodgers:

    1. Blanco CF
    2. Prado 2B
    3. Jones 3B
    4. McCann C
    5. Diaz LF
    6. Kotchman 1B
    7. Captain Underpants RF
    8. Hernandez SS
    9. Jurrjens P

  16. @12

    You didn’t dissapoint. I’m glad I didn’t build my expectations up for substantive discussion.

  17. Is McLouth’s leg broke or what?

    Rub some damn dirt on it and get back in the game.

  18. OK Mac.

    But no, I’m not going to engage in a point-by-point refutation with you, MrSwings, when the starting point is “Is Bobby Cox an idiot or not?”, because that’s not a substantive discussion. I said what I had to say about it, and if you don’t like it that’s just too bad.

  19. sansho-

    Let’s change the subject. What do you think of Escobar’s defense?

  20. Mac @27,

    Obviously it is NOT evidence of mismanagement because the Braves have the best manager of all time, even today.

    And if anybody disputes that, they are a “name caller.”


  21. @13,

    Mac, great line, you sound like Hawkeye Pierce doing Groucho Marx!

  22. @23

    LOL. You must be going for some kind of record. You created a strawman argument, beat it to a pulp, and seem proud about the fact that you won’t engage in any discussion with the people who your strawman argument was supposed to represent. That is tremendously bad logic but unfortunately very good PR which usually trumps logic. I’m left with no choice but to concede.

  23. Rub some damn dirt on it and get back in the game.

    Disagree. McLouth has a tweaked hamstring. Tweaked hamstrings become pulled hamstrings if you rush back from them. Blanco has been having good at bats for a week and just posted his most complete game of the season. You’d rather have McLouth in there, obviously, but it’s far more important to have McLouth in the second half. Cox, as he normally does, is making the correct call.

    When did we start getting the AJC-blog cross posters?

  24. I have been really, really bored at work today and I just took like 45 minutes and made up my NL All Star Roster. I know, its ridiculous that I did this, but theres nothing going on and I don’t have class again until Monday. What do you guys think?

    Starting Lineup- Hanley Ramirez, Beltran, Ibanez, Pujols, Braun, Utley, Wright, Molina, Lincecum

    Bench- McCann, Bengie Molina, Adrian Gonzalez, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Theriot, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Orlando Hudson, Hunter Pence, Brad Hawpe, Justin Upton

    Pitchers- Matt Cain, Josh Johnson, Dan Haren, Yovani Gallardo, Rafael Soriano, Ryan Franklin, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Cordero, Jonathan Broxton, Heath Bell, K-Rod, Javier Vazquez.

    Final Vote- Dunn, Fielder, Carlos Lee, Matt Kemp, Pablo Sandoval.

  25. 2009 vs LHP:
    Kotchman 231/257/277
    Francoeur 316/337/430
    Prado 333/438/556
    Johnson 313/356/582

    Prado should be playing first tonight with KJ starting at 2B, yet the worst of the bunch Kotchman is starting at 1B and hitting 6th. Doesn’t make much sense.

  26. Well, at least here is some good news that might help lessen the internecine strife we seem to be experiencing here.

    Jim (CT)

    Pick one: Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, Dominic Brown, or Michael Taylor?

    Jim Callis (2:56 PM)


  27. @32

    You do realize that harping on (your poor understanding of) formal logic like a second year undergrad who just learned how to spell rhetoric does actually change the fact that you have failed to make any sort of cogent case for the removal of Bobby Cox as manager, right?

  28. @27

    It’s unfair from Diaz’ perspective but I didn’t have huge problem with giving Schafer a legit run out. Once the Braves committed to starting him they were obligated to let him take his lumps to see if his performance would return to expected levels. They may have let the experiment go too long before pulling the plug but, to me, your stat really speaks to the absurd lack of playing time that Diaz has gotten.

  29. #33

    Thanks Dr Hutchenson…and do we need to wait 7 days for a hangnail? or should we make it 14 just to keep it from getting infected?

    If he can’t go, he can’t go…no biggie.

  30. Boy, has it ever gotten testy around here. I need to start something with Robert—or, for really old times’ sake, Alex R.—again so as not to feel left out.

  31. Diaz is a fine RH platooner, but he really isn’t any kind of solution in the OF. His career numbers vs. RHP are Francoeurian and well below replacement level — and by playing him everyday you lose a lot of his value as a platoon guy/bat on the bench.

  32. @37

    I think you’re missing a word in there somewhere but that aside, I’d take your eminence in the field of logic much more seriously if you’d actually address what I said. I’m afraid that your unsubstantiated attack on my understanding of formal logic just hasn’t convinced me.

  33. And how did he figure out that we were 7-0 when he wears his Turkey panties anyway? He’s paying attention to those kinds of things?!?

    *kills self, again*

  34. @42

    Look, you haven’t made an argument to refute in this thread. I’m not digging into the last thread to see if you bothered to do so there. You’re ranting emotionally, committing the same fallacies your sophomorically accuse others of without the slightest sense of self-awareness. Step back, stop attacking people for failing to live up to your (less that perfect) conceptions of formal logic and engage and interlocuter. Right now your lecturing (poorly). For the most part, whe someone resorts to high-minded hectoring of the sort you’re playing it’s because they don’t have a foundational argument worth defending. If that is not the case with you, prove me wrong.

    I do not think Bobby Cox should fired. He should not be pushed toward retirement. He is not a bad manager. There isn’t any manager in the game who I’d replace him with at this moment.

    His decisions, while not in perfect alignment with received SABRmetric wisdom have resulted in thousands of baseball games won. Arguing that his record of winning is irrelevant fails to convince until you (or someone else who holes the anti-Cox position) show that he is doing something notably different today than he did during the seasons where he compiled his winning record.

    Please explain to me, preferably without resorting to poor copies of lectures on logic and rhetoric that I sat through 20 years ago, where I am mistaken.

  35. Gee, I hope we win tonight.

    I’m certainly no expert, but I think Yunel is terrific defensively and overall very good, especially when he’s not hitting into DPs or inserting his head up his own ass.

    Pulling it out, ultimately, is going to be up to him.

    It’s just too bad that a guy that talented is also that blazingly immature & selfish. I don’t want to trade him either. But who knows? Maybe he can be included in a deal that’ll help us.

  36. By the way, here’s a fun stat for all my fellow Francophobes (misofrancists?): Jeff Francoeur has had a negative WPA in 40 out of the Braves’ 70 games. So Jeff Francoeur has increased our chances of losing in more than half of the games he’s played. (Hat tip: Brent.)

  37. Jeremy,

    While Diaz is on the bench, how many win shares does he add? Just curious?

    If Diaz is at “replacement level” against right handers and Francouer is below “replacement level” against right handers, doesn’t it help to play Diaz? If you “suck less” that is sort of like “being better”, isn’t it?

    I don’t believe anyone on this blog has advocated that Diaz is a great long term outfield solution. However, based on the current 25 man roster, he ought to be playing left against left handers every time (3 year moving average blows ACHE away offensively and Diaz is vastly superior on defense as well). On righthanded pitcher days, he should play right. If the Braves get a different outfielder to put in the mix, the “Diaz disciples” will potentially yield to the new outfielder, but not to Francouer or ACHE or Blanco.

  38. The best shortstop play I’ve ever seen on a daily basis was Furcal in his last season here. Escobar doesn’t have quite as much range — I think he gets to roughly the same number of balls as Furcal used to, but Furcal had the additional ability to run around a ball and get his momentum going towards first base for the throw. Esco might have to stick a few more in his pocket.

    But the arm is there, in terms of strength and accuracy. We’re spoiled by it, actually, after a decade of Furcal and Escobar.

  39. I don’t think Diaz, if run out there every single day, would be much of an upgrade on Francoeur. The Braves tried to play him everyday last year. Not only was his production dreadful, he was cooked by June.

  40. Yeesh, I’m away for a few days and I come back to this sniping bunch of nannies? You guys need to spend less time together – it appears that your cycles have started to coincide.

  41. I believe MrSwings would at least agree with me that neither of us requested the services of a clubhouse lawyer….

  42. I promise I will not say anything negative about the Braves ever again. Starting now.

    Jeff Francouer really works hard and it is a pleasure to watch him hit.

  43. Sam (and sansho1),

    O’Flaherty pitched 6 pitches last night. The next hitter up was Howard. Then followed by Right handed Werth and the predominatly righthanded back of the Phillies order (except Dobbs). It obviously was smarter for Cox to take O’Flaherty out and send out Gonzo for the eighth than to pitch O’Flaherty against Howard in the 8th and then bring in Soriano, wasn’t it? I don’t think so.

    What about tonight? Even assuming Gonzo had gotten the job done, we burned O’Flaherty, Gonzo, and Soriano. We have games Wednesday through Sunday on successive days. We know we have little offense and are unlikely to have a large lead late. We know most of our starters will keep us close until late. So, some day we have to do without some of these guys at the end of the pen (or we can just send them all to Dr. Andrews on the group plan. Maybe that is the strategy).

    I have thrown up dozens of specific points on the problems with Cox. As I have said, they are mostly a matter of degree. You may disagree with my assertions. You cannot say that no assertions have been made.

    You have just decided that the 14 year run means Cox is the best and until Cox decides to step down, it is not appropriate to look at it. You can choose to take that position. You cannot accurately contend that there is no evidence pointing to a significant problem with the Braves’ manager.

  44. ububba,
    I remember. Hence the term “cooked”.

    Don’t you think a 30 year who’s not accustomed to playing ever single day is more likely to break down and be injured? People are a little silly if they think his part time numbers will automatically translate if he plays full time. I just don’t think that’s at all likely.

  45. cliff, I’m happy to debate Cox’s moves on their merits, and unless I lost my mind sometime (possible), I don’t think I ever said otherwise.

    He replaced O’Flaherty with Gonzo in a double-switch to get Diaz in the game, which made sense to me. Yeah, I suppose he could have done it in the middle of the inning after O’Flaherty pitched to Howard, but maybe there’s some value in having a fresh guy start an inning (as well as some clubhouse value in not running Anderson out to LF for one play and then pulling him).

    I don’t think anyone is burned — like you said, O’Flaherty only threw six pitches.

  46. jeremy,
    To me, “cooked” would mean out of gas & ineffective, not necessarily injured & out for the rest of the year.

    But I agree that Diaz isn’t the answer or the solution, just an upgrade for the brutality we keep trotting out there.

  47. Why do you think sporadic playing time and unrewarded success will yield better numbers than getting put out there every day come hell or high water?

    Cliff is exactly, cogently, calmly right about Diaz in his post at #49. (It’s worth re-reading.)

  48. @45

    I agree with you that Cox’ methods have not changed. It’s the talent that he has to work with that has changed. While that convinces you that he was a good manager and still is it tells me that he was a bad manager and still is. Having a starting rotation that consists 3/5 of Hall of Famers will cover up a great deal of poor game and player management. Certainly the talent of the team is far more important to winning games than any move a manager could make but I don’t see that as a reason to not attempt to maximize managerial performance. Since my argument for Cox’ removal was apparently hard to discern in that block of text I will attempt to recap.
    The primary and most important function of the manager is to ensure that his best players play most frequently and his best relievers pitch in the highest leverage situations with an eye to not blowing out their arms. Bobby Cox has a track record of being unable to do this. With respect to position players I recall him choosing Lockhart over Giles, Corky Miller ahead of replacement level players, and Jeff Francoeur ahead of replacement level players as particularly egregious examples of this. He’s done equally poor with pitchers by failing to use Joey Devine after setting him up for failure and then watching him fail while Juan Cruz hardly faired better while being permanently relegated to back end of the bullpen status during his tenure here despite consistently excellent performances. He’s done no better at putting the good pitchers that he does see fit to use in high leverage situations consistently while often finding cause to trot them out in unimportant situations. Conversely, he falls in love with mediocre to poor relievers and puts them in high leverage situations unjustifiably (Reitsma, Gryboski, Carlyle) He’s a slave to the reliever-inning heirarchy concept (I think I just made that term up) which is mathematically provable to be a less than optimal usage pattern. He gets his relievers injured by overusing them with Blaine Boyer, Peter Moylan, and Mike Gonzalez as recent examples. On the surface Gonzalez was not overused, but when considering his long history of arm trouble Cox’ use of him was less than prudent.
    Cox loves “strategic” moves like bunting and intentional walks that are also demonstrably bad moves in almost all situations employing the IBB tactic more than any other manager of recent vintage. It’s funny that you call sabrmetric thinking received wisdom when it is the method of understanding baseball most readily supportable by facts. Cox’ ways are received wisdom. He makes decisions based on his “gut instinct” and the opinions of some guys that watch a limited number of games. If anyone makes decisions based on received wisdom it is Bobby Cox. I have heard him say on more than one occasion that the only times he looks at stats are at the end of spring training (when they amount to a hill of beans) and when he fills out his All Star ballot. What responsible manager in any field completely discounts performance data about the people he manages?

  49. 33 — I agree. A few games of Blanco is not likely to make much of a difference in the standings. Even more justifiable is that he’s been hitting well lately. Let’s get McLouth healthy and not let him pull a Jose Reyes.

    Re: Escobar

    I think it would be retarded to trade him unless we get a really good package in return, including a decent SS to replace him. We cannot use Subzero to plug that hole until Infante gets back in a few weeks.

  50. Cox has probably overused some relievers, but there’s a zero-sum aspect to that — he’s embraced the concept that you don’t want to overuse your starting pitchers, because they’re a lot harder to replace if they get hurt. And pitchers get hurt — that happens to every team. Yet the Braves record in terms of keeping a rotation healthy has been pretty damned good.

    So he’s dialed back on complete games and pitch counts as the years have passed — I think that’s undeniable. The loss due to injury of a seventh-inning guy here and there might be part and parcel of that approach, unless you want to see those other crap pitchers get even MORE high-leverage opportunities, or carry a 13-man staff like LaRussa.

  51. @50

    We agree on this if nothing else. I had a half season ticket that year and I feel privileged to have seen Furcal play so often. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anyone play the position better.
    I’m not sure what the clubhouse lawyer thing means???

  52. @67

    I disagree with you that there is such thing as the 7th inning reliever. It’s possible for a game to be decided in the 7th inning. It’s best to decide which relievers to use based on the score and the opponents run expectancy in a given situation with some weight to batter and pitcher matchups (ex. good slider pitcher against player that can’t hit the slider). I don’t think our only choices are to blow an arm out from overuse or to carry thirteen pitchers. If Cox spread the workload a little more intelligently rather than assigning particular relievers to particular innings I doubt we would have to do either.

  53. Players like to play for Bobby. They respect him/respond to him. They play hard for him. This, IMO, is the most important job of a manager. You can make every correct “numbers” decision that there is, but if the players don’t respond to you, it won’t matter.

    Living in KC the past 7 years, I have seen this first hand numerous times with the Royals.

    While I’ll still get pissed by his frequent bunting and bullpen handling, there’s not another manager I would rather have.

  54. Jeff Francoeur is the Braves’ most reliable player, no matter what underwear he’s wearing. Unfortunately.

  55. It’s obvious that all our pitchers have to do to win is throw no hitters and get rallies started..

    is that asking to much?

  56. Now if only our *lineup* had an ignore feature for the other Mr. Swings @ Everything…

  57. Now we just need the Hamels coach from the stands to come down & tell him to pound the corners & the night is complete


    These new guys can stay.

  59. hey smitty:
    i talked to your barber and he told me about this trade:

    braves get:

    rockies get:
    minor leaguer

  60. JJ’s at 71 pitches through 5. Of course, if he can get through the next inning unscathed, things’ll get pretty interesting.

    Edit: Damn, everybody hits tonight!

  61. Man, Give me a bat! When Kotchman goes warning track, and Diory dials 8, you know the pitcher has nothing!

  62. This inning is like something out of the latter half of Major League.

    And about as likely.

  63. Also worth noting: in the middle of that wretched relief performance by Walker, Francoeur somehow struck out swinging.

    and of course someone notes it right before me. still, probably worth noting twice.

  64. This potential REDACTED would be extremely impressive against this Phillies lineup.

  65. Jurrjens at 89 pitches. One more inning possibly and then I hope we see some Acosta/Medlen/Logan.

  66. So, according to the MLB TV crew, the reason JJ’s record is 5-6 is his lack of command.

  67. When was our last no-hitter, the combined one?

    oh wait, Mercker had another in there didn’t he.

  68. Cant see the game tonite, has the phillies pitching sucked or have we been monsters tonite?

  69. @141 Hamels wasn’t at all impressive and Tyler Walker wasn’t much better in relief, but (most of) the Braves had good swings too.

  70. I love me some Jair Jurrgjens, love beating the Phillies and love the fact that we have 4 winnable games coming up to maybe keep this streak going.

    Oh, and Mac texted me that his email/net are down so he may not be able to do a post game thread soon.

  71. if the offense continues to click, we have a rotation (and bullpen now that bennett is gone) that will give us a nightly chance to win. it’s finally looking up.

  72. We’ve weathered the storm nicely, amazingly. Shoot, the rest of the month looks downright winnable. Let’s keep it going.

  73. It would be just marvellous if some could inject Acosta with a dose of mental strength, he really has good stuff.

  74. We shall remember this day as the day that we turned our season around and won the world series, or we shall remember this day as the one that convinced us to trade two future MVPs (or HOFs, Cy Youngs, take your pick) for a great rental player. Either way, I think that this day will we memorable.

    Or we shall go on a tweleve game losing streak.

    But definitely one of the three.

  75. Is this possibly the day that Jurrjens got enough attention to get selected to the All-star game?

    Somebody in the other dugout may have noticed him.

  76. I love that Danville team. Should Paul Runge be the next Braves manager?

    Seriously, the South African is Riann Spanjer-Furstenberg. Let’s call him RSF.

    Further, RSF could be Right Said Fred.

    Or Rancho Santa Fe.

  77. Right Said Fred. I interviewed them many years ago. Funny guys, actually.

    A real feel-good win tonight. A sweep would be sweeter. Then bring on the Nats.

  78. I remember Paul Runge from AA Greenville back in the late 90s, after Randy Ingle and before Brian Snitker.

    Runge loved the F-word.

  79. Beating the the Phillies is always fun, beating up Cole Hamels is even better. Let’s get Javy a win tomorrow!

  80. Both Vasquez and Jurrjens should be on the team. However, we’ll probably get Jason Marquis and Randy Johnson.

  81. if we sweep and mets & fish lose we are 1.5 out of first ocming up on the break…nobody saw that one coming

  82. Ethan, with Cain and Lincecum, I doubt Randy will make the team. I think one of JJ and Javy will make the All-star team, with Javy being the more likely choice.

  83. “Hi, I’m Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur, and I put my lucky underwear on one leg at a time like everyone else.”

    This is just wrong Mac, but I absolutely love it!

  84. Is there no one out there who sits down and pulls their underwear on all at once? I’m just saying…

  85. Yeah, it was a little tongue and cheek, but wouldn’t surprise me if neither make it.

  86. After last year’s annual debacle of an All-Star game, Selig has decided to expand the rosters AGAIN, so now there will be a 33-man roster that will include 13 pitchers.

    One thing our pitchers might have going for them — Charlie Manuel doesn’t have a pitcher on his own team that he can justify taking (he’ll have five pitching slots to fill at his discretion after the eight (5 SP, 3 RP) selected by players, managers et al), and he seems the type to not want to give a division rival any bulletin board material.

    So who will the managers and players select? Here’s my guess, assuming this group will value reputation as well as 2009 performance, along with some division bias:

    Haren (mortal lock)
    Lincecum (ditto)
    Cain (very probable)
    Santana (NL East pick)
    Gallardo (NL Central pick)
    Broxton (NL West closer)
    FRod (NL East closer)
    Hoffman (NL Central closer)

    So who does that leave for Manuel? Bell, Cueto, and maybe Billingsley seem like good bets. Two remaining.

    Here’s the weird thing, though — every one of those guys is right-handed, and if Manuel is trying to win the game, he’ll have to get some lefties in there. Is it possible he’d fill out the remainder of the staff with Zack Duke…and Mike Gonzalez????

  87. how about this as a possibility

    Blanco CF
    McLouth RF
    Diaz 1B

  88. @166 I like it but that chance of Diaz playing first base is zero. I would hope to see something like this…


  89. When Infante comes back, Prado at third and Chipper at first sure would make a lot of sense. (Yes, I realize it’s not happening.)

  90. Stu, I would prefer to move Mac to first base, but that’s not going to happen either.

  91. I haven’t been reading this site long enough to know, so could someone please explain the significance of Smitty’s Barber to me?

  92. #171

    “Smitty’s barber” is a rhetorical device/ narrative persona that allows Smitty to propose hypothetical trades. For example, “I was just talking to my barber, and he says that Team X will trade Players A, B, and C to Team Z for Players D and E.”

    Smitty often uses this device to interject humor when the thread has stagnated or become too contentious.

  93. Excellent synopsis, Remy. I’d also add that it’s hoped Smitty’s barber is better at cutting hair than predicting trades — otherwise, it’s one bowl fits all….

  94. The notion of our lumbering catchers playing foreign positions—places they’ve never spent an inning in a real major-league game—gives me nightmare visions of Mike Piazza & Todd Hundley.

    Don’t we have enough defensive issues?

  95. I kind of agree with Ububba.

    Stu’s idea has merit, but as he also points out, won’t ever happen.

  96. ububba, I definitely understand. It’s just a reflection of how much I want to keep McCann’s bat in the lineup everyday. No way it’s going to happen.

    They tried Todd Hundley at first base?

  97. Smitty’s barber is from Tennessee. Therefore, he specializes in the mullet, not the bowl cut.

  98. Uh, don’t look now, but Blanco leading off looks like a good fit.

    Blanco – CF
    McLouth – RF
    Diaz – LF

    Speed. Plus defense. Good average and a little more power in the corners. I like it.

  99. @180 Why not? If my boss treats me like how Bobby is treating Frenchy, I am sure I would love working for my boss too!

  100. To be honest, while I’m sure there is some loyalty, I’m not sure how much latitude Bobby has with Frenchy. We all what happened with it last year when they “sent” him to the minors

  101. Right now the Mariners have Ryan Langerhans AND Chris Woodward in their starting lineup. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say that won’t work out for them.

    Meanwhile, Ichiro is on pace to get 250 hits…..and score 85 runs.

  102. KJ’s comments in today’s AJC article showed a lot more class than Frenchy ever has. I hope he can fix his bat.

  103. Kelly needs AB’s to break out of his slump. I think a stint in the minors would probably be the best thing for him. So long
    as the Braves don’t handle it in an incredibly stupid manner.

  104. if you could pick a braves player to go have a beer with, who would it be? i would have to pick mike gonzalez. he would probably be a lot of fun.

  105. Bob Costas interviewed Tony Larussa on MLB last night. I know everyone here hates him, but he came across as an interesting guy who is just obsessed with baseball and the idea of explaining it to fans. He also has a law degree. He isn’t a Brave, but I wouldn’t mind having a beer with him.

  106. @56 You have just decided that the 14 year run means Cox is the best and until Cox decides to step down, it is not appropriate to look at it. You can choose to take that position. You cannot accurately contend that there is no evidence pointing to a significant problem with the Braves’ manager.

    I have decided that amassing more wins than virtually every other manager to take the field gives him some leeway. Having had success actually carries weight for me, yes. I find the “evidence pointing to a significant problem” with Cox to be underwhelming at best. Having your late inning relievers pitch to defined roles, such as he did with EOF two nights ago, is a plus, not a minus. The alternative, treating those guys as if they were randomly interchangable cogs of a machine rather than human beings would be bad management. By defining roles you allow a player to understand his fundamental job description, how you expect him to perform and when, and what will be judged as failure. It’s classic optimum people management, and Cox does that better than virtually anyone in the game.

    @64 He’s a slave to the reliever-inning heirarchy concept (I think I just made that term up) which is mathematically provable to be a less than optimal usage pattern.

    I’ve cut this down to what I read as the most telling point. You seem to be upset that Cox doesn’t manage to mathamatical formula. I am not only fine with him not doing that, I am happy the Braves have a manager who understands and manages people instead. As to the argument that Cox has never been good, only lucky, I don’t have a response to that because I think that argument exits the realm of rational debate. Bobby Cox has won more games in MLB than only a handful of men. If success at his job – winning ballgames hand over fist – is not evidence of an aptitude for that job, I have no idea what is.

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