Continuing game thread: July 7, Braves at Cubs

EXTERMINATE!“Hi, I’m ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips, and I am not human. I am a poorly programmed robot sent from the future to destroy ESPN. Unfortunately, I was built by the lowest bidder. Damn, Murdoch is cheap.”

193 thoughts on “Continuing game thread: July 7, Braves at Cubs”

  1. That Joe Morgan chat was one of the most unintentionally funny things I have read in a while. Some of the things he says are just bizarre.

  2. could we trade Vasquez and Soriano for Ethier? IM thinking out-loud for next season and beyond

  3. Joe Morgan’s stupidity is amusing to me.

    On the other hand, Jon Miller, with his Chip-esque phony excitability and awkward excursions into foreign language pronunciation, fills me with murderous rage.

  4. Is there anyone at he “worldwide leader” who isn’t an idiot or who doesn’t suck?

    I think the whole outfit is run by a bunch of Francoeurs.

  5. About the only guy on ESPN I can tolerate is Orel Hershiser. I don’t see him much (I don’t even know if they still have him), but when I do he usually has some pretty good insights.

  6. But, instead of Murcoch, wouldn’t it have been Speilberg, Katzenberg, & Geffen?

  7. @4,

    Adam, I totally agree about Jon Miller. I can’t stand Miler’s so-called humor, which, to me, is just snottiness cum irony. And, Morgan and Miller make a horrible team, because Morgan has no sense of humor or irony and they have these incredibly awkward moments when Miller is trying to be funny and Joe doesn’t get it. Now, with Steve Phillips, it’s become virtually impossible to watch on Sunday night.

  8. And Mac,

    Why did Phillips work so hard to destroy the Mets FIRST and what is the connection to his other mission?

  9. Lineup per DOB

    McLouth cf
    Prado 3b
    Anderson lf
    McCann c
    Escobar ss
    Kotchman 1b
    Francoeur rf
    Conrad 2b
    Vazquez rhp

  10. Tre,

    I suppose if the Cubs get “Good Zambrano” that is bad. If the Cubs get “Crazy and Bad Zambrano” that may be good for us.

  11. Obviously, the “0 fer” of Diaz means he isn’t hot anymore so now he will sit.

    And certainly it isn’t any hint of “inappropriate old fashioned ness that keeps a manager from putting a 390 obp batter third” and rather puts a 330 obp batter there. Obviously, that and playing Frenchy over Diaz represent sound, understandable strategy.

  12. I think the Braves players and the front office are beginning to realize it ain’t gonna happen this year. The Braves aren’t going to take on any more payroll, which means no signficant moves. I have to believe the players realize that they don’t have enough to win. The question is, will they tank the second half of the season?

  13. It is clear to see that this is all Timothy Adam Hudson’s fault. Ever since ‘HE’ came over here from Oakland, we have only made the playoffs once. And if he was healthy, we wouldn’t have had to sign another starting pitcher, and we would have Adam Dunn. And then we would be the most talented team ever. Obviously, this guy does not care at all about this organization. What a not team player. Seriously, Tim? Is this how you treat the fans of this organization?

    (Sorry, but everybody else has been blamed for this already, so why not throw in Tim?)

  14. Speaking of blame, the Braves haven’t won since I stopped recapping the games. Just sayin’. :)

  15. Well then, clearly, Stu is missing his recapping job, and is therefore performing that brand of voodoo magic taught at Vanderbilt University to curse this team. Everybody, quick, use your brand of anti-voodoo to stop him!

  16. Adam Dunn’s salary can’t be that much more than Glavine + Anderson + Kawakami + Francoeur, and he’d have been far more valuable than all 4 combined.

    Man I hate us when we do stupid things.

  17. As much as I lack respect for Francoeur’s talent and production, there is no way we were going to DFA him before this season, so it is easy to say in retrospect, his salary was a waste of money, but we had him slated for 162 games at a key position, and he was filling a hole. Now if we are dumb enough to offer him anything next year, after 2 years of crap play, then shame on us. But we had to let him fail as a 25 year old, this year. Kawakami wasn’t a bad signing, either; it was worth a try. Glavine was a waste of a million, yes, and Anderson was for me as well. But we have made lots of moves much more stupid than Garret’s signing, in the short Wren era, so I don’t really cry about that one either (we needed an OF, and Brandon Jones didn’t look like the guy, so who did we have left).

  18. It could be argued that giving Derek Lowe 4 years and 60 million was stupid. The Garret Anderson signing, the Mark Kotsay trade. There haven’t been any HUGE blunders so far, though. And hit gold a few times.

  19. Wrens moves have been good overall, we just have a too many weak spots to overcome in one offseason, it is going to be another mediocre year next year too unless he can get creative and fill, 2B, RF, LF and maybe 1B in one offseason.
    Oh yeah, and find a 3B for the future too.

    Piece of cake.

  20. He had to give Lowe the fourth year to get the first three. That may turn out poorly but it’s a calculated risk on a durable, above average pitcher.

    There is nothing at all wrong with the Kotsay trade. Going into 2008 the Braves had a reasonable shell of a starting rotation (that imploded due to injury, but that was after the Kotsay trade) reasonable stop-gaps on the corners (including pre-DFA level Francoeur) and a black hole in CF. The Kotsay deal made a lot of sense at the time and all they gave up was a fungible relief arm.

    Anderson has been debated to death already. Suffice it to say I don’t a lot of specious moves and no truly bad ones in Wren’s tenure.

  21. I’m not saying they ARE bad, just saying that could be debated. As far as the Kotsay trade goes, we should’ve just signed Mike Cameron.

  22. when Burnett gets $17-18, I still am happy that we got Lowe at $15. Lowe at least gives you 200IP and most likely 15 wins at a sub 4 ERA. Im hoping that his recent stretch wont continue, I doubt it will

  23. As much as I lack respect for Francoeur’s talent and production, there is no way we were going to DFA him before this season, so it is easy to say in retrospect, his salary was a waste of money, but we had him slated for 162 games at a key position, and he was filling a hole.

    No, he was the hole. He is the hole. Bringing the hole back for another year does not fill the hole.

    Suffice it to say I don’t a lot of specious moves and no truly bad ones in Wren’s tenure.

    The off-season was filled with reasonably priced outfielders and we had zero useful outfielders. On opening day, we still had zero useful outfielders.

  24. @41: we probably couldnt afford it, but 2 years/$20M for adam dunn is reasonable.

  25. a fungible relief arm.

    That’s a bit of an understatement there, really. And it presumes that Kotsay was the only option, which without going back and researching a bit, I find doubtful. But I agree, in and of itself it was not a crippling, though hardly inspired, move.

  26. Anyone else think Blanco should start over ACHE? I think it would be a plus defensively and get McClouth (the man with the most HRs on the team) out of the leadoff spot. Does ACHE add anything to the team other than a single every 3-4 PAs?

  27. 40,
    Who?

    Bobby Abreu and his .302/.405/.440 line are doing the Angels just fine for 1 year, $5 million. The outfielder market collapsed and we still ended up with nothing.

  28. Hate to say it, but every move should now be made with 2010 in mind.

    Which begs the question, can we trade D. Lowe?

  29. Has Minor signed? I though the whole freakin point of drafting him was “signability”

  30. The Braves didn’t want to sign Cameron to a long term deal because they didn’t want to block Schafer. That looked like a good decision for all of spring and the first month of the season. As for this off-season and outfielders, I understand the frustration but the Braves made a reasonable decision to rebuild the rotation this off-season and address the OF/1B next winter.

  31. Bobby’s going with the whole, “I will not give this team an opportunity to ground into a double play tonight” strategy. We’ll probably mess up a bunt and ground into one anyway.

  32. Very surprised the Cubs are throwing Zambrano tonight on short rest, even with the Dempster injury. A lot of speculation that he hasn’t been healthy lately, even with the moderate success he’s enjoyed:

    Fangraphs:

    “Speaking of recent trends in velocity, this one isn’t going to make Cubs fans happy. Zambrano’s average fastball in his last start was just 88.6 MPH, the first time all year it’s been under 90. He topped out at 92.1. Considering his career workload and some DL stints with shoulder inflammation last year, this bears watching closely.”

    And for reference, he just hrew 8 fastballs in that inning, again averaging under 90 mph (89.33)

    Gotta wonder what’s up with this…I’d be pissed if I were a Cubs fan.

  33. Oh well. If we’re gonna make our hottest hitter bunt & play for the one run, at least we got it this time.

  34. I hadn’t realized Yunel was leading the team in RBI, but he sure is. Three more than Chipper, nine more than McCann, ten more than Jeffy, who sucks.

  35. Man, I’ve played with some guys who pack a pretty fat dip, but Conrad has to be right up there with any of them.

    EDIT: Hey triple!….hey wasted!

  36. I’d love to see a regular of ours to try something like that, you know, play with heart, exert yourself, like Conrad just did. In case you’re wondering, he just hit a Wrigley Field triple. This is not a sun-thing either. He just busted it from the box to third base. None of our regulars ever do that.

  37. They’ve got the bottom of their weak lineup coming up. It’s likely he’ll get out of this.

  38. @67

    Was just thinking that. $18 mil for the next five years for Soriano may be the worst contract in the game.

  39. Did anyone watch the FSS pre-game interview show this evening? Peter Moylan is my new favorite Brave.

  40. Granted, Young Andruw probably spoiled us but assuming he comes back from the wrist injury and is ready to go in 2010, Schafer moves McLouth to one of the corners defensively.

  41. I wonder if the Braves will bring back Anderson again next year. They’re going to need 2 temporary placeholders until Schafer and Heyward are ready.

  42. Bob Brenly on Francoeur: “He is prone to swing at the thrown ball.”

  43. If I was conrad I’d be embarassed that cox bat me behind Francoeur. If cox was smart he’s bat vazquez 8th and francoeur 9th. Now that would send a message

  44. Francoeur…reminds me of Frank Howard. One day he’s going to swing at a good pickoff throw.

  45. Frank Howard hit home runs.

    Conrad is making a bid for more playing time. You could start him at 2nd and shift Prado to 1st against lefties.

  46. I’m officially moving my 3-year “overrated backup middle infielder” label from Prado to Conrad.

  47. Of course, Kotchman is hitting like a backup middle infielder, and his numbers are unprintable against lefties.

  48. The fact that we could replace our starting 1B with an overrated backup middle infielder and improve due to it doesn’t mean the replacement isn’t an overrated backup middle infielder. It means the starting 1B sucks.

  49. I never said Conrad was good. I said “he’s making a bid for more playing time and we could shift Prado to first against lefties.” And yes, Kotchman sucks.

  50. and it certainly doesn’t mean the manager makes questionable decisions.

  51. @97

    Right, because you can start Prado in place of the struggling 2B and the struggling 1B at the same time. He’s that dreamy.

  52. You’re a lot of fun, buddy! It would be imprudent to give Conrad playing time until he turns back into a pumpkin.

  53. 50—I suspect Minor hasn’t signed because the Braves don’t want him throwing any additional pitches this season, but I’m not sure. I can tell you that Minor is not holding out; if the Braves wanted him signed, he’d be signed.

  54. List of reasons Diory Hernandez is on the 25-man roster.
    1) He can play SS.
    That’s it. The only reason he is on this roster is he can “play” SS. Personally, I’d be just as comfortable with a Prado or Conrad at SS for emergency situations and having Diory a county away should a scenario arise. Though given the condition of Yunel’s hip, it probably is a good idea to have a SS on your roster. Not that Diory does that position a ton of justice.

  55. I suspect Hernandez is going to get sent down when Omar Infante returns. It would take a demotion of Francoeur to get Canizares on the roster.

  56. I’m glad we have Vazquez for next year. I’m also glad that we’re one of the three closest teams to Puerto Rico so we can grab his last good two or three years after this contract’s up. (That’s the reason for his West coast veto, right?)

  57. Could someone pull Brooks aside and pry that damned chaw out of his cheek. We do not need Lenny Dykstra on this team.

  58. The mouthbreathers on facebook have decided we need to trade a for a consistent bat. They might be on to something…

    …so far most of the deals inovlve some package involving KJ and Frenchy for someone like Justin Upton, Luke Scott, Matt Holliday, or Adam Dunn.

    ( :lol: )

  59. Or maybe Christopher Lambert. Someone should remind him that there can be only one.

  60. Chip’s inconsistent pronunciation of McLouth’s “th” is getting to me tonight.

  61. I don’t know how many of you listen to the radio broadcasts but the Braves radio team agrees that Snitker has done a great job this season.

  62. I would have been quicker with that but MLBaudio is on 30 second delay.

  63. Where is Chip calling the game tonight? I’m only asking so I don’t accidentally hear some of it.

  64. My bad. It was a mental slip that happened twice. My brain says one thing, and my fingers type “Chip”.

  65. Snitker was the manager of the AA Greenville Braves before they moved to Mississippi. I frequently went to their games. My dad noticed the opportunity in the spelling of his name and called him “Stinker.” Maybe it was appropriate.

  66. That was surprising to me, too, sdp.

    It’s his W-L record. He has a history of being a losing pitcher in terms of pitching wins and pitching losses. That means a lot to a lot of people, still.

  67. Speak earlier of the new Braves radio team…Jim Powell is absolutely horrible. He might be smarter than Chip Caray, but he never tells you the score/inning at the conclusion of a half-inning. Don Sutton makes up for it a bit…but Powell’s sense of excitement equates to a 60 year old getting a 50 cent discount on a box of Wheaties.

  68. I’m taking my kid to the Miss Braves at Bham tomorrow night–it was planned before the Heyward/Freeman promotions (I told the kid I’d try to get him to see all the teams between Rome and ATL) but seeing those guys is a plus

  69. Fun with closed captioning: “THATS AN INLAND SINGLE.”

    Ryan Howard, the overrated man, hit his 21st homer, the TV tells me. His teammate Jayson Werth hit his 18th. Werth’s OBP is almost forty points higher, and he plays a more difficult position, better. But Howard’s the all-star.

    I’m surprised they didn’t argue that Conrad was in the baseline.

  70. All that matters is that it’s a hit on the stat sheet, so his batting average looks a little less pathetic to potential trade partners.

  71. I rather like Jim Powell. I disagree with him about the Snitker thing but generally respect his opinions because it’s clear that he does his homework. Shortly after that Snitker discussion Powell and Sutton discussed baseball blogs, chatrooms, etc. Sutton does not like them. He thinks there should be “accountability” for internet commenters. I have seen the bottom of the barrell (Lemke) so I will no longer criticize Don because I know things could be much, much worse.

  72. Sources are reporting that Jordan Schafer has a broken wrist and has been playing with it since the first of the season. I’m trying to find a confirmation.

  73. i would like to know from all you bobby supporters (jj, barrycudy, sam) if you think bobby made the right call asking F’N MATT DIAZ TO PINCH BUNT?! he’s an idiot and needs to go. i can name at least 4 people on the bench that would have been a better choice. just stupid baseball.

  74. You know, I’m all for more people going to the games — I wish I could — but it’s a bit tacky for people who get paid to go to the games to keep pushing people to spend money on half-season tickets and talking about what a great deal it is.

    There’s broken, and then there’s broken.

  75. Yeah, I don’t know how that would even work. It’s funny to think about. I might be in favor of some limited accountability if the front office were held to the same standard. Example, I stand up in the plaza before a game and publicly apologize for questioning the Renteria trade (both of them actually) and then JS and Wren can stand up and apologize for subjecting me to 3 years of Jeff Francoeur.

  76. WGN is awesome — they keep cutting to a shot of David Crosby’s evil twin brother, and I just can’t take the Cubbies seriously. Boy, hope that Soriano finishes this off soon.

  77. After talking with my attorney, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that when I said Joe enjoyed jerkin it in the booth to Francoeur opposite field singles, Bobby Cox mandated “productive outs”, and old school stirrup socks…I was speaking figuratively and meant Mr. Simpson, his family, and legion of fans no harm.

    :oops:

  78. Soriano TOTALLY MEANT to do that.

    What? It’s a one touch pass. They do it all the time in hockey.

  79. Mac,

    It’s worth hearing the whole thing. If you don’t have an MLB audio account email me and I’ll let you borrow mine so you can check out the archive. I won’t be back at the computer until tomorrow afternoon, though.

  80. great job closing it out, kind of got lucky on the deflection there. Anyways terrible managing. WHY WHY WHY give away outs late in the game? If you are going to, dont send up one of our hottest hitters to bunt. Use Blanco and then put him in LF for Anderson. Even if you use Diaz over Blanco, send him to LF as a Replacement.

    Hey I like this Conrad kid. Good power kind of like McLouth (body size) and has some speed, he played good D also. Prado at 1st and Conrad at 2nd?

  81. No, you should not bunt with Matt Diaz. That is not a sufficient argument to replace your HOF manager.

  82. 190,
    Agreed. As long as he’s getting the most out of his players and maintaining clubhouse chemistry, you’ve just got to turn your head when he makes bad on-field decisions. Because if he is getting the most out of his players, he’s doing the most important part of his job.

  83. @189

    If you’re going with Prado and Conrad (at least until Brooks turns back into a pumpkin) your optimal defensive alignment is probably* Prado at 3B and Chipper at 1B.

    *depending on whether or not Chipper can make the switch in season.

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