169 thoughts on “Regretful game thread: July 17, Mets at Braves”

  1. I was just getting ready to comment in the other thread. Then I hit refresh. Whew! That was a close one. Now, I can’t remember what I was going to say.

  2. From the previous (duh)

    AAR, I don’t think I see the relevance of J-school here one way or another. Access is critical for reporting true, but when the price is journalistic integrity and an arm’s length relationship, it has little value. On that score, the profession is almost beyond rehabilitation. Cooper and Miller were the end, not the beginning. Between the Washington Post “Salons” and the coverage of the Iranian uprising being better on Fark than Fox or CNN, combined with Fourniers of the world, there is just no credibility left. I think the unspoken reason why media is suffering these days is that the have lost credibility with the marketplace.

  3. I don’t think you can really judge journalism as a whole by the actions of sportswriters, many of whom really aren’t journalists (although some have moved from sports to hard news and some have done both). It’s pretty clear that many sportswriters are people that just like sports and have some ability to write. The rewards for doing real sxpose journalism in sports isn’t that great. I doubt anyone would choose DOB as their first choice to cover Afghanistan. Let’s face it, many writers covering baseball don’t have the foggiest notion of statistical analysis; I can’t imagine a journalist covering serious news having such a limited understanding of a key part of his or her beat. At the same time, without bashing journalism, anyone that has seen a story written about something with which they are familiar realizes how often journalists get the story wrong.

  4. The Cubs and their fans are here in DC, and I wish it would rain consistently hard for the next 3 days. Nevermind, that means they will just be wandering around the city annoying the hell out of everyone.

    I think Bobby views relievers as failed starting pitchers and treats them as such.

  5. But on the other hand an appearance may consist of just one pitch. I dunno Mac, you want a starter to make 30 appearances and pitch somewhere near 200 innings. But over use of a reliever is 50 games even when the guy has thrown just 38 innings? Ok, I reckon. But shouldn’t it be more granular like the number of pitches thrown per appearance or something?

    #5 thats the old school thought process.

  6. I’m going to the Cubs-Nats game on Saturday with my daughter. We went to a Cubs game a couple of years ago and she still talks about how much beer the Cubs fan in front of us drank.

  7. Marc –

    None of the references in #3 were sportswriters.

    But I will extend the analogy a bit – both the sportswriters and the news heavyweights are getting flanked on the analysis side by the blogosphere. Guys like Nate Silver on the politics side are taking the information and doing just as good (better, imho) of translating it into meaning, and it’s even more of a thrashing on the sportswriting side. All the media companies have left to sell IS the stories they get from their privileged access, which is why they will write whatever they need to in order to keep it.

    edit – I can’t imagine a journalist covering serious news having such a limited understanding of a key part of his or her beat.

    I must have a much richer imagination than most, because I have met and read plenty of “serious” reporters that were pretty limited in their broader understanding of subject.

  8. There is probably a way to roughly calculate the impact of innings v. appearances. However, there are two reasons to think that appearances are probably more important than innings for a reliever. First, as noted, there are warmup pitches, which aren’t measured but certainly strain a pitcher’s arm. Second, if you pitch on back-to-back days, there’s no chance to recover from the first day. Runs like Moylan has had, pitching four days in a row — that can’t be good. In this case, you’re not talking long-term cumulative difficulties, but the possibility of hurting yourself throwing when your arm hasn’t had a chance to heal.

  9. Spike,

    You make good points and I can’t really argue (although I don’t agree that the media companies provide no value. But their resources have shrunk to the point where it is harder and harder for them to do a good job.) My point was that sportswriters, I think, are especially egregious and I don’t really consider their job to be journalism.

  10. and Mac @ 9,

    Also, “loss of effectiveness” plays in.

    Probablly the way to determine maximum bullpen useage before effectiveness loss or breakdown possibility would be to run an analysis of the Red Sox pen for the last 6 years. I bet Bill James and Theo and the gang have it figured pretty damn closely.

    I have put it on here before but Jim Leyland has, for many years, kept his relievers’ appearances at no more than the prorated portion of the season represented by 75 divided by 162. That is, they are never on pace for more than 75 appearances. He has been pretty damn successful at it, too.

  11. Nick

    If gonzo and O’flaherty were available last night, I’d hope cox would have had enough sense to use one of them in the 9th besides soriano. I was saying using Soriano was a mistake because I thought gonzo and o’flaherty were available. Clearly if both of them weren’t then soriano was the right play. But if you sit here and try to say using soriano in that situation (if gonzo and o’flaherty were available) was the right move then I’m sorry but your a fool

  12. I gotta recuse myself from the WaPo salon debate. And anyway, we’re getting close to politics. Obviously, what Nate Silver provides is tremendous value added to the public discourse. I think that investigative journalism is too.

    Too many sportswriters feel too comfortable with not asking tough questions, and instead resting on tired cliches like “he’s got a tired arm” or “he’s due.” I don’t think that means that the profession of journalism is pointless, I think it means that it needs to do better.

    That having been said, the majority of news stories that you read in the blogosphere or watch on TV are either broken or driven by print reporters, who are capable of providing value-added coverage not just day of, but also day after and many days after that. The broadsheet allows for a much longer attention span for dirt-diggers to talk to people who may not want to talk at first and find new information that isn’t readily available on the surface. Nate Silver crunches data that other people provide, and he crunches it in interesting ways. Journalism involves both finding information and contextualizing it.

    There’s a lot of crap, but there’s a lot of good stuff.

  13. @13,

    I may be a fool by your lights, but I don’t understand how you can say it was wrong to use the closer in a relatively close game after he had not pitched in four days simply because of the possibility that you might need him the next day.

    And is it beyond your ability to avoid calling people names?

  14. I don’t really consider their job to be journalism.

    To the extent that you seem to be defining “journalism” as “investigative journalism”, maybe not. But a good sportswriter does practically every other kind of writing that can be found in what we used to call the newspaper, just in a sporting context. Event coverage, courtroom reporting, business, opinion, historical pieces, obits, lifestyle, etc. They’re generalists by trade, and not uncommonly the best writers at any given outlet.

  15. Lineup per DOB:

    LINEUP TONIGHT:
    1. McLouth
    2. Prado
    3. Chipper
    4. McCann
    5. Anderson
    6. Escobar
    7. Church
    8. Kotchman
    9. Jurrjens

    For Mets, Francoeur hitting fifth, providing — ahem — protection for cleanup hitter Sheff.

  16. @12 After John wins his World Series with the Red Sox, I think he will retire. So his will probably be next summer.

  17. The Sox are offering Lugo along with paying all of his salary but the minimum (the logic being if they release him, they’d have to pay that anyway). He’s a pretty useless player, but he’d be free. I don’t want him now, but a week ago, I’d be hoping that the Braves would trade Francoeur for him.

    I still can’t believe Wren got a useful player for that guy.

  18. Anyone ever heard of a manager having a bullpen rotation to correspond with a starting rotation? For instance, every Kawakami start could also be a Medlen “finish” – count on 5-6 innings from KK and 3-4 from Medlen. Have corresponding bullpen “finishers” for every starter, and maybe use your stopper (Soriano) in the most crucial situation of the game, regardless of inning. This gives everyone scheduled rest and prevents the beating of dead horses.

  19. let me get this straight………….Bobby has his closer with four days rest in a save situation against a division rival and he shouldnt use him??…….i think he should have used him no matter who else was available…or maybe we should seal him in a glass box so he’ll be well rested in september when we’re 20 games behind…… the only thing to do is to try to win the game you’re playing(and leading) and its foolish to worry about what MIGHT happen in tomorrows game.

  20. Things we’ve learned this year, part 37:

    Frank Wren is actually a pretty good GM.

    As others have mentioned, cutting bait with Glavine, demoting Schafer, and trading Frenchy were the sort of proactive roster moves that have to take place, and it’s very gratifying to see him doing them.

    The Vazquez and McLouth trades have been great so far; the Kawakami and Lowe signings are a bit harder to project, but I’m still optimistic about both. The handling of Tommy Hanson’s promotion was exactly as I had hoped.

    This isn’t a great team. But Wren hasn’t sat on his ass. He’s making us incrementally better. I didn’t like the Minor draft pick, but I liked last year’s draft a lot, and I generally feel pretty good about the farm system and have hopes for the 2010 major league roster.

    Just look at it this way: Dayton Moore traded for Betancourt. Wren traded away Francoeur. Clearly, we got the better Schuerholz disciple.

  21. #22 Good stuff Alex. I agree. Wren is turning out to be pretty good. Hell the Church trade alone should make 2009 an A.

    This team is flawed for sure but with just a little luck I think we can get into the playoffs. The best part of it is that the core is solid and something to build around.

  22. I’m pretty bullish on our chances now, too. This is, for the National League anyway, a playoff-caliber roster. If we can avoid serious injury, and if KJ can either come back and make a contribution, or net us some fresh ‘pen meat, we’ve got a real shot.

  23. Rosenthal is calling us a dark horse contender in his latest column….but then again, he picked us to win the WS last year

  24. As others have mentioned, cutting bait with Glavine, demoting Schafer, and trading Frenchy were the sort of proactive roster moves that have to take place, and it’s very gratifying to see him doing them.

    Trading Frenchy was proactive? In what sense? We were the longest running joke in the game for running him out there every day. Wren threw away 324 PAs and half the season proving what everyone already knew – Frenchy sucks.

    I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that demoting the rookie with a broken wrist who was on a pace to break the single season K mark by August is a move most GMs would probably make.

    Some of the trades have worked out though. So there’s that.

  25. Robert, you talk about them like they’re no-brainers, but honestly, the fact is that it’s easy to imagine those things not happening.

    I’m not trying to give him a medal. But a significant part of a GM’s job is getting the no-brainers right.

    In the last few days, Omar Minaya and Dayton Moore both took steps backward with their team. We took a step forward. That’s a distinction and a difference.

  26. Trading Frenchy was not a no-brainer — in fact, is was a massive brainer. One of the biggest brainers I’ve ever seen. Because he found a taker.

  27. Robert, honestly, you talk about them like they’re no-brainers, but the fact is that it’s easy to imagine those things not happening.

    Really? Schafer was hitting .204/.313/.287 and striking out in a third of his PAs. Are there similar guys around the league that are keeping their jobs because their GMs aren’t as proactive? I don’t think so. And of course I refuse to give anyone involved in any way with the Frenchy fiasco any genius points.

    In the last few days, Omar Minaya and Dayton Moore both took steps backward with their team. We took a step forward. That’s a distinction and a difference.

    Ok, I’ll grant that Wren hasn’t recently traded for any out-tastic sinkholes. Fair enough.

  28. Acquiring a warm body, much less a competent major league player, is a pretty big feather in Wren’s cap.

    I think overall he’s done a pretty good job given there were so many holes on this team this past offseason, and no one can fill all of them at one time without a lot of money, sacrificing prospects or both. There just aren’t good players out there growing on trees for him to pluck off. Besides, he tried to sign several players last offseason that simply took other deals. It’s a balancing act, and the idea is to be competitive for a long time. I think Wren is certainly keeping that in mind and addressing the weaknesses as best he can.

  29. Another issue is that we have no idea how long we have been trying to trade away Jeffy.
    It could have been months of trying to dump him and as long as he was on the roster, Bobby was going to play him. Same as Schafer, he was here, Bobby was going to play him.

    I think Wren has done a great job overall of making us a better team now and in the future and not stepping all over his manager in the process.

  30. @29

    Schafer’s a rookie. I didn’t think it was unreasonable to give him an adjustment period and honestly, the only reason he was up as long as he was was that the only replacement, Blanco, was doing just as poorly at the AAA level.

    The only real issue that I have with Wren was signing ACHE when he could have had Juan Rivera or Bobby Abreu for a comparable price.

    Sansho @24,

    I kind of agree. There’re still a lot of if’s, but I beginning to think that they might be in it till the end

  31. I’m with Robert on the Francoeur and Schafer moves: nobody deserves credit for doing their jobs, not even in MLB. That said, I loved both the Vazquez and McLouth deals, and the simple fact that Wren has resisted trading blue chippers while adding affordable talent under contract makes me like him a lot more. I don’t feel that dread I did before the year started–when Francoeur was penciled in as an important piece of the roster and Anderson signed as the starting LF.

  32. “Let’s beat the Mets tonight like the old time!”

    Gotta love Maddux. I love the fact that we are doing this to the Mets. I know Mets fans hate Maddux like nuts.

    AAR, without a doubt. Greg is by far the best.

  33. Maddux at his ceremony: “Let’s go beat the Mets tonight like old times. Hoo Rah”

    Lets get a win tonight.

    EDIT: kc and AAR, count me as on board with that.

  34. Yes, it’s the home park that’s the problem, that’s why Wright has hit more homers there than on the road. I think that the crew may hate Chip as much as we do.

  35. Getting a useful player for Frenchy was a coup. If you want to argue that Frenchy had no business being even a part-time player (which I would), you should be extremely impressed that Wren was able to get a useful platoon player for him.

    You can also argue that Frenchy shouldn’t have been given as much leash as he was (which I would also do), but that goes on Cox as much as anything.

  36. mraver,

    I agree, but I think at least part of the issue with Frenchy was that there were a lot more issues at play than just his (abysmal) on field performance

  37. Geez guys. The guy is a Met now (thank God) and we’re still ripping him. Lets face it he could be playing for the Bad News Bears and he would still be the official Bete Noir of Braves Journal.

  38. you think JJ is soooo happy to get this shot at Jeffy?

    “Heres for all those wins i could have had without your dumbass!!!”

  39. Honestly, I think the problem is that everyone who has ever met Frenchy says he’s a great guy. Gregarious, funny… just a great guy to be around. And all of the broadcasters/writers have personal relationships with him. So they try to be nice despite his suckiness. When Chip and Joe say things like they said, I don’t think it’s ’cause they honestly believe he’s just getting bad breaks or anything. I mean, it’s not like they can just go on TV and say, “And there’s another first-pitch pop-up by Francouer. What an awful player he is.” It’s just mean.

    Not that I don’t think he’s an awful player. I just wouldn’t say it in a public forum if I knew him personally and thought he was a nice guy.

  40. @61 The ripples from Jeffy’s pebble falling into our pond will be around for quite a while.

  41. @61–I’m not ripping him. Now that he’s a Met I’m pure praise for his incredible out making proficiency.

  42. @9 Starting pitchers aren’t just sitting on their thumbs between starts. They toss every day. I think it’s definitely possible to wear a relief pitcher down with over use, but throwing multiple days in a row is not the big deal so many seem to be making it.

    Bad outings may be caused by fatigue, but too many people are merely assuming so where, I think, it’s hardly clear that’s the case. For some reason, people don’t seem to accept that pitchers can go through slumps the same way hitters can. But pitching is a complicated mechanical process and its easy to lose your timing just as it is with hitting. It’s not always because somebody is overusing their precious arm.

  43. Francoeur BB + H so far: goose egg

    I set the over/under at 3 for the entire series in my make-believe casino yesterday

    edit: I meant to say BB + H for the entire series

  44. Starting pitchers don’t throw every day. They throw twice between starts. And there’s a huge difference between throwing on the side and throwing in a game.

  45. Marvelous Martin Prado!

    Kelly who?

    edit–I also like how Prado’s hitting but he seems much better defensively at teh corners than up the middle.

  46. I give up. Seriously, nobody since Maddux in his prime has made me just throw up my hands and just accept that he’s terrific. I don’t know how long this will last, but what can you say?

  47. pitching multiple days in a row many times in a row is a big issue and Bobby is one of those managers that has always, and obviously will continue, to do so.

    2 more HR’s, very nice.

    Speaking of Journalism.
    Walter Kronkite, 92. R.I.P.

  48. just picture Mad dog pitching to McCann..i bet that would be a beautiful game….

    also where does McCann rate amongst the top Braves catchers of all times?

  49. It’s still probably Torre on peak or Javy on career length (and in Javy’s case, postseason performance), with a respectful nod to Del Crandall’s defense. But McCann is closing.

  50. Man, I must say, I didn’t think it was possible…

    …I thought I already enjoyed beating the Mets as much as any one human being could possibly enjoy any activity. But I have found that, now that The Trojan Horse formerly known as The Groundhog is a Met….errr, a Melt rather, that I am enjoying beating these orange and blue clad douche bags at a level of enjoyment I didn’t realize was possible. Any one with me on this one?

  51. The Ground Hog Virus?

    Bruce Benedict is a sentimental favorite of mine from the bad old days.

  52. @108 i,m very much with you on that…it bring back memories of when frenchy was coming up in the system & i knew two mets fans who owned a baseball card shop in Catersville & they said how lucky we were to have him…well..our gift to you sirs. no return policy in effect

  53. the melts really have given up..Plefrey is over a 100 pitches & is still in as far as i can tell…damn gamecast

  54. Chip just said Don Sutton has a hall of fame resume. He’s already in the hall Chip. Slow down and think before you speak…geez

  55. Anybody catch earlier that Maddux and Glavine were the number 31 and number 47 picks, respectively in the same draft?

    I am sure that their numbers are no coincidence as Joe and Chip were implying.

  56. Jeez – Pelfrey must have PO’ed Manuel at some point. They are really letting him take a kicking.

  57. McCann going for the cycle tonight?

    Is Pelfrey out throwing BP? Jeffy could probably get a hit off him tonight. Wait, let’s not get carried away.

  58. Guys like Sheff and Chipper are incredible.
    They both can still hit a ton but their bodies are just pushing back.
    Usually the bat speed and eyes go before hamstrings and crap like that do.

  59. Seven extra-base hits. Where has this offense been all season? They can’t be *that* glad to be rid of Frenchy, can they?

  60. Parish this is Greg Maddux day and its the dang Mets. I hope we score 2 more touchdowns and go for the two pointer.

  61. 140 – The question is: how long do you stick with Jurrjens?

    I suppose as long as possible, but a some point it is wise to give his young arm a rest.

  62. @144 I think it’s more urgent to get Chipper, McCann, and Yunel out of the game.

    Oh man, no triple for Mac…

  63. So would I. But why deny Boone the fun of facing Jeff?

    Edit: 0-7. Nothing hit outside the infield. Yep, Omar Minaya’s a genius.

  64. rest his arm, its a long second half, if our bullpen cant hold a 10 run lead, we really do suck

  65. I think I would have let Jair get the first out in the 7th so he could have finally received the standing ovation he deserves. What a year he’s having.

    A 2-hitter through 6 for the 23-year old. The kid just keeps doing his thing. With or without the run support.

  66. I believe it was Paul Bryant who counseled,

    “When ya got ’em down, kick ’em.”

  67. ok, bobby is taking out Chipper and McCann. I have nothing to complain about.

    Poor Medlen. Are we going to see him in the ninth?

  68. Conrad is really a poor second baseman. Real issues on DP turn.

    EDIT: Return of the ocelots, Mac?

  69. I’m a bit late with this, but here’s the Mets 2009 in a nutshell:

    Now pitching, Elmer Dessens.

  70. I was kinda hoping Reed would reach, so we could get Frenchy to end it.

    Ah well, there’s nothing to complain about today. Now, tomorrow let’s leave .500 behind.

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