Pirates 3, Braves 2 (10 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Box Score – May 23, 2010 – ESPN.

So, Bobby decided to give Chipper the day off. And Heyward the day off. And McCann the day off. Individually, that made a lot of sense. As a group, it served to cripple the offense. And, as is so often the case, it didn’t even work, as Heyward and Chipper wound up entering the game anyway, and they still lost.

The Braves got an “unearned” run in the second when Ross drove in Yunel, and told Kris Medlen to hold them from there. Medlen could for five innings, pitching around a few problems, but couldn’t get out of the sixth, allowing two runs. Chavez kept it at 2-1, then Venters got out of a Chavez jam in the seventh, and Moylan pitched the eighth. The Braves tied it up that inning on a pinch-hit homer by Hinske (also on the bench, against a lefty) but that was it. O’Flaherty got through the ninth. Heyward led off the tenth with a pinch walk, then Bobby, in his mystical way, sent up Conrad, the walkoff grand slam guy, to pinch-bunt, and Heyward went to second where he got stranded. Saito gave up a two-out homer in the bottom of the inning to lose it.

It should be pointed out that the Braves had just eight hits with two each from the bench guys Infante and Ross, so arguably the lineup didn’t hurt so much. But not having Heyward really put a crimp in it.

163 thoughts on “Pirates 3, Braves 2 (10 innings)”

  1. You forgot erstwshile starter Hinske. I really can’t fathom the logic. It angers me, actually.

    /yes, I see it now.

  2. Also Bobby left Medlen in to face Doumit a lefty after Kris was clearly out of gas and Doumit promptly drove in a run. I guess Bobby was satisfied with winning 2 out of 3 or something.

  3. It would have been nice to pick up a game on the Phillies, but at least we didn’t lose any ground. I prefer second place to last.

  4. “I guess Bobby was satisfied with winning 2 out of 3 or something.”

    That’s been his philosophy for years now.

  5. Who’s managing the St. Louis Cardinals? Oh, yeah, Tony LaRussa is managing the Cardinals. I almost forgot.

    When you have a guy thrown out stealing second while Albert Pujols is hitting, you really have to ask, and I suspect LaRussa knows that.

    Re: Bucco Bummer
    Hate to lose like we did today, but let’s not get carried away. Winning series is important, and we’re 14-7 this month with 7 games to go.

    Medlen has been terrific, really, in JJ’s absence. Some guys in the lineup are waking up—and who da thunk it?—but where would we be without Eric Hinske? I’ll maintain the spin that the rest of our regulars have to return to form (OK, maybe not Melky.) The abyss seems like a while ago & I’m starting to feel genuinely encouraged.

    Re: Bioverload
    Got some travel coming up, so I broke down at the book store & walked out with the new Henry Aaron & George Steinbrenner bios yesterday.

    It’s amazing how deeply you can be attracted to one subject, while being completely repulsed by the other. I think it’s only the right thing to do to read “The Last Hero” first. Of course, we’ll see if I can do the right thing.

    Heard an interview a few weeks ago with the Steinbrenner author Bill Madden and what compelled me to buy the book was the revelation that, while working as Yankee GM, Gabe Paul used to come home from work, have a coupla belts of Scotch & recite his crazy days with King George into a tape recorder. Paul’s family turned the tapes over to Madden.

    The NY Times called it “a devastating account” and “the literary equivalent of passing a traffic accident; it is all but impossible to turn away.”

    http://tinyurl.com/357z9vv

  6. Heterosexual just made the weakest effort ever on a ball to his left

    edit weirdest predictive text ever

  7. Gotta take two of three from the Fish in Miami (which never seems to happen lately) without having to face Josh Johnson.

  8. If we are going to lose one, may as well rest them all at the same time when we had won the series already. I don’t think playing couple innings will hurt the fact that they are getting most of the two days off. I don’t have much problem with what Bobby did today.

    Chipper and Mac obviously need days off and I like that fact that Bobby is resting Jason as well. I actually like the fact that Bobby is resting them in the same game.

  9. I dont like the fact that 4 regulars all sat today, it doesnt make sense and its like punting the final game before heading out of town. Dont get me wrong, Im pleased with winning any series, but a sweep of a horrible team before an off day shouldve been the mindset. You can justify giving these guys some time off, they need it, just not all during the same game.

  10. @19 I would rather do that then resting one of them for each of the next four games. That’s just me though.

  11. I can rationalize McCann getting a day off. LH pitcher, day game after night game and he’s a catcher. I can also see giving Heyward the day off because he has a bum thumb, and again he’s left handed. I cannot see sitting Chipper at all given Heyward and McCann were both out, and i’d really rather seen Hinske in there was well. The offense was simply too punchless with so many boppers sitting, and it was almost as if Cox were conceding a game against the hideous Pirates. Look, we’re going to lose games against the Phillies, Giants, Dodgers…the better teams in the league. But when you are playing the Pirates, and every game is important, you gotta try and win those. Especially when 3 runs would have done the trick.

    A lineup of Prado, Melky, Chipper, Glaus, Hinske, Escobar, Ross and Infante would have given the Braves a little better chance. That lineup would include Hinske and Infante in RF and LF respectively, an upgrade for sure over the useless Clevlen and almost useless McLouth. It finally hit me today why McLouth is such a generally poor hitter. I’ve never seen anyone take so many fastballs down the plate as that guy. Tony Gwynn could take a strike and get away with it. Nate….ehhhh…not so much.

  12. I hate the Phillies and Red Sox, but I hate the Yankees and Mets more. I realize that it helps us if the AL East teams take care of our division rivals, but… I just can’t root for the Yankees or BoSox. I’m delicately rooting for the Mets to beat the Yanks and the Phils to beat the Sox, as though I’m rooting for my league or something.

    It feels weird to root for the Phillies and Mets, but there you go.

  13. @21 I don’t see how Chipper can bring more offense even if he is in the lineup honestly. It’s pretty sad actually.

  14. Until proven otherwise, the Mets are very irrelevent to me. I like the Mets beating the Yankees, as I am more worried of the Yankees challenging the Rays than the Mets challenging the Braves. Games in May really count. Someone should tell Bobby that.

  15. @23

    Went to the Royals game and they had a moment of silence for him today.

    Read JoePoz’s take. Lima was a different breed, but always seemed a good guy. The world is a little more drab without him.

  16. I love guys like Lima. By all accounts he was a fan-centric guy, and what the hell? Everybody can’t be Walter Johnson. I admired his willingness to stay in touch with the child-like side of athletic achievement.

  17. I still cannot believe Francouer turned down at least one long-term deal with the Braves in March 2007 (when McCann signed) and possibly a second one.

    What a bullet the Braves dodged.

  18. 28,

    I don’t love guys like Lima who put themselves in the spotlight in a team sport, especially not when they lack the talent to back it up.

    Furthermore, his untimely death brings up a few questions, especially since he had no prior health issues. Florence Griffith-Joyner and countless wrestlers come to mind.

    Nevertheless, r.i.p. Jose Lima.

  19. 29,

    apparently Frenchy is not very bright. Bullet dodged indeed. Planting him on the Mets was a f***ing masterpiece by Frank Wren.

  20. i was just looking at our minor league systems, and i knew we had a lot of pitching talent, but geez…randall delgado (20), mike minor (22), julio teheran (19), and arodys vizcaino (19)all having very good years. here is a glance at their stats:

    delgado at A+: 2.53 era 9.6k/9 2.1bb/9
    minor at AA: 3.44 era 13k/9 4.3bb/9
    teheran(promoted recently)at A&A+: 1.17 era 11.1k/9 2.3bb/9
    vizcaino at A: 3.16 era 8.6k/9 1.6bb/9

    minor will be ready next year and the other 3 could be ready in ’12 or ’13. if they keep progressing, man oh man, we could have a ridiculous pitching staff for many years to come.

  21. #29 Hubris, not one of Francouer’s best personality characteristics. From our perspective though its all good.

    #32 As excited as I am by the young pitching, tnstaapp. I am troubled by what appears to be the dearth of position talent in the system.

  22. #32 As excited as I am by the young pitching, tnstaapp. I am troubled by what appears to be the dearth of position talent in the system.

    Cyclical. For this past decade, despite the reputation of a team focussing on pitching, the Braves produced nada in terms of pitching prospects before Hanson ( all the way back to Millwood ). While in the same time frame, they churned out Furcal, Giles, McCann, KJ, Francoeur, Yunel, KJ, Heyward.

    I am not including the so-so hitting prospects we threw up, which would cancel the so-so pitching prospects we pushed up too.

  23. Heyward was initially listed as just getting the day off, though right before game Bowman and DOB tweeted it was because his thumb was hurting from a slide a week ago, and not just general “extra day off” stuff.

  24. 32,
    Don’t sleep on Robinson Lopez, either. He just got moved to the Rome rotation (is on an innings limit and was in the bullpen to enable the limit), but he’s struck out 35 and walked 13 in 31 and 2/3 innings.

    Throws just as hard as Teheran.

  25. Masters looks to be having a good year also. I guess if you build enough pitching depth you can always go find position players.

  26. My favorite tweet of the day:
    @abigvictory: I never watched Lost. If I wanted to watch something that left me bewildered, pissed off and feeling cheated, I’d become a Mets fan.

  27. I was at the gym yesterday, watching the game on my iphone (gotta love the MLB app even if they can’t figure out a way yet for me to mute Chip Caray’s voice) and the entire flipping time, I was wondering why 4 of our best hitters were not playing through the first 7 innings.

    My gut reaction is that Bobby Cox is like the lead fraternity guy who’s really into hazing pledges. No matter what tasks the pledges complete, Bobby will come up with additional stupid stuff to torture his crew.

    This team has been on a mini roll of late. Five in a row. The last thing you should be doing as a manager is scoffing at that, considering this team lost 9 in a row in April. Bobby’s managaing yesterday was the worst I’ve seen form him this year.

    If Jason Heyward, is nursing a bad thumb, fine, take him out – I get that. But leave Chipper, Hinske, and McCann in to start the game. At least Chipper and Hinske. He completely handicapped the team. Melki Cabrera even still wearing a Braves uni is handocapping the team.

    But Bobby Cox alone is the reason our winning streak ended. If we even have 2 of our extra good hitters at the start of the game, we probably win, get our streak at 6, and really take momentum to Miami. Now we’re a team that managed 2 runs against Zack Duke. Like the Braves of April.

    The part that makes this the most galling is we have a DAY OFF TODAY. For the love of G-D, Bobby. They’re not pregnant women or senior citizens. These are 20 and 30-something athletes in prime physical condition. (Ok, everyone but Melki). They’re not going to break. Yes, that’s not an opening for you to abuse the bullpen, but with a day off Monday, how do you not at least get Chipper and Hinske in there?

    Had we come back after the Hinkse homer and pulled it out, I would have said we won despite Cox. Instead, Bobby handcuffed this team.

    If one wants to look ahead to the 2011 season when Freddi Gonzalez is finally managing, you have to look at the insanity of Bobby yesterday and say, “Would Freddi have done that?” NO, because he’s a competent manager. The good stuff Freddi takes away from Bobby is how Freddi dealt with Hanley Ramirez. Thankfully, he stays away from the stupid stuff.

    Mac – can you start a countdown meter on Melki’s time left with the Braves?

  28. 34 – Don’t forget to give the Braves at least partial credit for Wainwright and Neftali Feliz. Part of developing minor leaguers is at least developing them enough where you can trade them if you need to.
    Those two in particular the case can argued forever and forever if the Braves needed to trade them, but they were good enough to trade at the time, and Wainwright was almost a finished product by the time Dave Duncan got ahold of him.

  29. Has everybody forgotten that Hinske can’t hit lefties? To the tune of a career line of .220/.296/.368? That Ross hits lefties better than McCann does?

  30. I was at the sunday game in Pitt and while no day at the ballprk is ever a bad one, I was saddened a bit when they announced the starting rosters. I thought I was watching a spring training split squad game with all the star hitters not in the line-up. One of Bobby’s white flag sundays.

    Oh well, at least got to see Heyward and Chipper enter the game. Probably would have won if they had played all day.

    From what I witnessed, it was very obvious that medlen did not have it from the first batter in the 6th inning. Bobby clearly stayed with him three batters too long in my opinion. Waited too long to get anyone up in the pen. Don’t know what it looked like on TV, but it also seemed that Medlen was nibbling way too much once ahead in the count. Lot’s of 0-2’s turned into 2-2 and 3-2. I guess that’s a young pitcher learning though.

  31. But Hinske is hot of late and I’d rather have Hinkse’s history vs. Melki’s anything.

  32. MikeM-

    Perfect description – “waive the white flag” day by Bobby Cox. So great for a team that had won 5 in a row.

    I wish Bobby wouldn’t wait until October for his retirement. But I know that’s taboo to say.

  33. Francouer is a complete blockhead. The other day he was talking about the success he was having with the Mets. Uh, Jeff . . .

  34. @44, totally agree. I bet we wish we’d won this game come September.

  35. I’ve been happier than usual with Cox this year, but I can’t defend the lineup he put on the field Saturday. I don’t have a problem with playing Ross or even sitting Chipper, but starting Clevlan with Heyward out was ridiculous. An outfield of Hinske in left, McLouth in center and Melky (if you have to play him) in right would have made much more sense. Give Clevlan a chance when Hinske isn’t hitting, but don’t team him with Melky and McLouth in the OF.

  36. #52
    I also wish we’d win the games that we lose 10-2.

    Re: Their Jeffy
    Francoeur is now the pitchman for a NYC-based radio ad, where he’s extolling the virtues of a particular cell-network company.

    “And you don’t have to commit to a 2-year contract!” he exclaims.

    Just like the Mets with you, Jeffy.

  37. If I were to compare Francouer to Liz Lemon’s boyfriends on “30 Rock”, Jeff is Dennis (Dean Winters), the really, rude, super dumb boyfriend, who’s still trying to sell pagers when the rest of America uses cell phones.

  38. Stu–I remain fully aware of Hinkse’s lefty issues. But again, when you look down your roster, would you rather have Hinske back out there or Melki?

  39. Francoeur homered against us, and there is a reason that most scoreboards display homers against recent former employers. The dude is is producing when it matters most.

  40. So if/when Beltran comes back, do they DFA Frenchy, or just bench him and dismiss Li’l Sarge?

  41. Ok, since it’s an off day, I was wondering if any of your guys could lend me a hand, if Mac doesn’t mind.

    I’m working on a graphic design project for my last semester about baseball and numbers. Baseball has a unique relationship with numbers in my eyes, from the statistics to the fact that positions are designated by numbers.

    I’m working on gathering baseball numerical trivia, and i’d like to have at least one bit of information for each team. For instance, this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lukas/081217 estimates how many pinstripes the largest Yankees have had on their unis.

    So, I could use help in two ways:

    1. What are some of the more outlandish statistics measurements that you all would consider useful? (anything more complicated that OPS is lost on me)

    2. Are there any interesting statistical bits about the Braves in particular? I was thinking about Bobby’s heavy usage of certain bullpen arms, and noting where the top relievers on the team rank in appearances compared to the rest of the league.

    I’m also considering making a chart for the Mets ranking statistics that Frenchy deems worthwhile. It is based entirely on how large they appear on the scoreboard.

    If you find anything else intriguing about any of the other teams, I’d really appreciate it if you could pass it along. Anything from retired numbers, ballpark dimensions, homers hit… anything is useful.

  42. I’m also considering making a chart for the Mets ranking statistics that Frenchy deems worthwhile. It is based entirely on how large they appear on the scoreboard.

    Ha!

  43. Melky’s career v LHP .248/.319/.345 and 2010 v LHP .143/.234/.214

    While Hinske may not be the answer, citing handedness as why you’d start Melky is certainly problematic.

  44. The bottom line on Melky/Melki’s offense:

    Starting Tim Hudson in left field for 4 at bats, would have been more effective, offensively, vs. using Melky/Melki/sh-tbreak.

  45. There were several non-Melky options, such as Conrad at third and Infante in the outfield, or McLouth (who has been playing better and does most things better than Melky).

  46. Yes, I’ve been meaning to criticize Eric for his lack of opportunities against LHP this season. An obvious goldbricker.

  47. @ 61

    Number of games played for the KC Royals by former ATL Braves since Dayton Moore became Royals General Manager.

    You guys are rediculous.

    Scrub replacements Infante, Melky, Ross, Clevlen went: 5/13 with 1 BB

    Regulars McLouth, Prado, Glaus, Escobar went: 1/18 with 0 BB

  48. Hinske’s career wOBA is .340. I have his regressed splits at .309 vs LHP and .348 vs RHP.

  49. @61 Bethany
    Hope this helps, Mac’s comment about the Pirate’s futility made me wonder:

    Since 1960, if you add the number of MVP’s, Cy Youngs, and ROY’s the Pirates have produced, then threw in the number of player jerseys they’ve retired, it still doesn’t equal their total of consecutive losing seasons. (Last 17)

  50. Mark Teixeira is leading All-Star 1B voting–what a joke. I hope Heyward is the starter in RF. That’s the only way I’ll be able to stomach the ASG.

  51. Bethany, I can’t prove it, but as the oldest professional baseball team, the Braves have probably played more games than any other organized sports entity in the world. (NL records will show the Cubs as playing slightly more games, but the Braves started in the National Association two years before Chicago.)

  52. In slight defense of Bobby, today is the Braves last off-day for exactly 3 weeks, so maybe a bit of rest was in order. I’m sure we all could’ve come up with better solutions than the eventual lineup, but two of the replacements had good days. It’s Glaus, Prado, McLouth and Escobar who stunk up the joint.

  53. Dusty,

    You don’t make a bad point, but I would argue in turn that Glaus and Prado, who’ve been red hot, felt double the pressure to perform yesterday, with 4 of the key hitters missing.

    We all agree there is a LOT to the mental aspect of Baseball, but I do feel it affects good hitters, like Glaus and Prado, when 4 guys that have been producing alongside are all taken out of the lineup on the same day.

  54. FWIW, Clevlen & Melky made good defensive plays yesterday.

    Clevlen made a helluva catch in the corner & Melky saved a run with a one-hop bullet to Ross, nipping the runner at the plate.

  55. Bethany

    From 1954-1996 the Dodgers only had two managers (Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda)

    That is something not a lot of people talk about

  56. #81 – I agree with several points that you made also. In defense of Glaus, he did hit two balls about 400 feet but they were caught

    Also, these guys do need some rest. However, spread it out. Give Chipper a night here or there, same with the rest of the bunch. I just dont like the fact that our 2-3-4-6 hitters were all on the bench with an off day following. You can get them rest in different ways and most of them will still need time off over this next stretch too

  57. Saying you would be playing Hinske over Melky is completely false. Cox wouldn’t even think of playing Hinske in right field, which is where Melky played yesterday (and threw someone out at the plate, might I add). If you are going to compare his stats to someone, it would have to be the one whose position he would have taken (Clevlen). I don’t think Clevlen has enough at-bats in the majors to say whether he’d be better or not, but knowing Hinske’s track record against lefties, I’d venture to say that Clevlen could be just as good – so why not give him a shot. I guess the biggest problem is that we only have 2 guys that can play right field right now, and one of them is Melky.

    Also, the bench players are not why we lost yesterday – it was our regulars that couldn’t hit a lick. The bench played fine.

  58. @85 – I would agree with your defense of Glaus, but it is hard to keep finding excuses for these guys not getting runners in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. It’s like a disease or something with these guys – complete futility in that situation. When you’ve hit 2 long fly balls in at-bats that don’t really call for it and can’t even put wood on the ball in the one that does – it really hurts the team. If he puts the ball in play at all, we probably win that game last night. Wags in the 9th with a 1 run lead.

  59. It’s just an off day after a kind of galling loss so everyone’s a bit grumpy. This too shall pass.

  60. #87 – true…and Ive been harping on our lack of ability to score those runners from 3rd for quite some time now. As a team, they’re awful at it

  61. If you want to give any of these guys two days rest, why not have 2 rest on Sun/Mon and 2 rest on Mon/Tues? My vote would be for McCann and Heyward (maybe this wasn’t an option and he needed to sit out with his thumb injury) on Sunday and Chipper and Hinske on Tuesday. I understand the lefty/righty thing and why Hinske sat, but if at least Chipper plays, you can bat Prado, Infante and Chipper. A total departure from the lineup order we were having success with was crazy.

  62. Defense matters, too. Melky and Clevlen are both better than Hinske out there, so if they all suck with the bat…

  63. If you’re basically going to concede a game, sit everyone against Halladay or Santana, not against the woeful Pirates. That game could have been won with 3 runs yesterday, but Cox rested 4 starters with a day off the next day. As I said earlier, McCann and Heyward I can see, but Hinske and Chipper should have been in there, and Infante could have been used in LF.

  64. All the radio talk today is, “Which players should the Mets deal for Roy Oswalt?”

    Y’see, they just took 2/3 from the Yankees and their fans are all high on that artificial sweetener.

  65. @61 Bethany

    I don’t know if these will be useful to you or not, but a while ago I held a little trivia contest on a French baseball website, and I kept a text file with the questions, here are some with odd numbers… I’m sorry I don’t have much stuff about the Braves.
    I should also say that I collected these bits a couple years ago, so some might not be true anymore, although I think most are.

    – Pete Rose has the only season with 40+ doubles and 1- triple/1- home runs, with 42 doubles/1 triple/1 home run in 1980.

    – On the day Mike Schmidt (April 17 1976) tied the record with 4 homers in a game, the Phillies also tied the NL record for the biggest comeback ever, winning 18-16 after being led 13-2.

    – The jerseys # that have been retired by the most different teams are #4 and #5, by 8 teams.

    – The Yankees have retired the most numbers, 16 of them.

    – The Reds retired number 5 two times, one for Willard Hershberger (who also is the only player to commit suicide during a season) and a second time for Johnny Bench.

    – Number of no hitters thrown at Forbes Field: 0.

    – Jackie Robinson played against 288 different pitchers in his career (read that one in a retrosheet newsletter).

    – The Giants hit for a record 6 double plays on 5/4/69 against the Stros.

    – The Cubs value reached and surpassed the 1 million dollar mark in 1916.

    – Mickey Tettleton had exactly 211 at bats in 3 consecutive seasons (85-87)

    – Only two players hit home runs in NY’s 4 different stadiums (before Citi and YSII): Frank Robinson et Wes Covington.

    – Number of AL teams who scored a run in each inning of a game: 0. NL teams: 7.

    – Herb Washington has a remarkable career: 33 runs scored, 31 stolen bases in 105 games, 0 plate appearances, 0 at bats and 0 fielding appearances.

    – Only two pitchers allowed home runs (maybe just 1) to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds: Rick Reuschel and Frank Tanana.

    – Bill Virdon is the only Yankees manager who never won a game at Yankee Stadium I during the stadium’s life (23-08). He managed the team in 74-75 when they played at Shea.

    – Number of pitchers who struck Ted Williams out three times in a game: 1, Jim Bunning.

    – Nick Altrock and Minnie Minoso are the only two players who played in 5 different decades.

    -The Braves completed the first NL season sweep of the 20st century, when they went 13-0 against the Rockies in 1993(!).

    That’s it, sorry for the terribly long post :/

  66. The pinch hitter asked to bunt is always funny to me. Why not use a pitcher? Esp in a game when you have aready used most of your bench and it might go long.

  67. 106—Now, let’s play Guess Which Three!

    I’ll guess: the one about Rose, the one about Washington, and the one about Altrock and Minoso.

    B-Ref lists Washington’s position as “Pinch Runner”. (And he wasn’t even that good! 31/48 for his career.)

  68. Some dumb stats, but I don’t know how they would work for Bethany’s project.

    The top 4 Home Run Hitting Switch Hitters, have all been plunked fewer than 20 times in their careers.

    Mickey Mantle (536/13), Eddie Murray (504/18), Chipper Jones (428/17),
    Chili Davis (350/15).

    Berkman comes in 5th, with 318 homeruns, but he’s been plunked 61 times.

    The only NON-Switch hitter to hit 400 homeruns and be plunked fewer than 20 times is Jimmie Foxx. Righthanded, hit 534 homeruns, and was plunked only 13 times.

    Also A-Rod has been plunked 150 times.

  69. Rose was correct! I like to stare in awe at his late-career ability to insert himself in the lineup in the face of overwhelming evidence against it being a good idea.

    My 1975 Herb Washington Topps #407 tells me all I need to know about him. Altrock and Minoso I knew about already.

    Tettleton and Covington are the other two. Tettleton seems forgotten by history already, but he was a unique player and I always liked him. Covington just because.

    Stu, are you still in state (and by that I mean in Georgia, not “lying in state”)? Do you know any Georgia real estate attorneys?

  70. Prior to Bonds in 1990, there was one major league player at each position (including pitcher) with back to back MVP awards

    Ernie Banks SS
    Mike Schmidt 3B
    Jimmy Foxx 1B
    Mickey Mantle OF
    Roger Maris OF
    Dale Murphy OF
    Joe Morgan 2B
    Yogi Berra C
    Hal Newhouser P

  71. A couple trivia bits off the top of my head. (Answers below.)

    A. Number of no-hitters in NY Mets history?

    B. This one I heard today. What’s the only spot in the Yankee batting order (1 thru 9) that Derek Jeter has never hit?

    C. Only catcher to catch 2 perfect games?

    D. Which player won 3 World Series rings with 3 different teams in the space of 6 years?

    E. Which player won consecutive World Series rings playing for the Orioles & the Cardinals?

    F. The 3 LA pitchers who gave up Reggie Jackson’s consecutive HRs in Game 6 of the 1977 WS?

    G. The player the Mets got from the Angels for Nolan Ryan?

    H. How did ex-Braves/ex-Mets reliever Danny Frisella die?

    I. The 4 Atlanta Braves batting titlists?

    J. What was Chief Noc-A-Homa’s real name?

    K. Out of the $8.8 M paid to CBS for the Yankees in 1973, the amount George Steinbrenner personally paid?

    L. The player did the Braves got back from Texas in the Rico Carty deal?

    Answers

    A. Zero
    B. The 5 spot.
    C. Ron Hassey (1981 for Len Barker,
    1991 for Dennis Martinez)
    D. Lonnie Smith (’80 Pha, ’82 Stl, ’85 KC). Shoulda had another one, but that was his own fault. ;)
    E. Tito Landrum
    F. Burt Hooten, Elias Sosa & Charlie Hough
    G. Jim Fregosi, now a Braves scout.
    H. Dunebuggy accident
    I. Rico Carty (.366 in 1970), Ralph Garr (.353. in 1974), Terry Pendleton (.319 in 1991) & Chipper Jones (.364 in 2008)
    J. Levi Walker
    K. $186,000, according to Bill Madden’s recent bio. They’re now worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.
    L. Jim Panther

  72. sansho,
    I’m not. I’m in Nashville.

    I am sure Dix could put you in touch with someone. Lemme give him a shout.

  73. Thanks Stu. Just so you know, I’m not in need of legal advice — I’m actually looking for business. I just started a title abstracting company, and I’m looking to run titles in the Atlanta and Athens areas. It’s a scramble for work in the current climate, so clearly I’m not above soliciting any community I happen to be a part of!

    Jim, if your deep Athens roots happen to include any closing attorneys, I’d be grateful for any contact info. My work email is sam at paragontitleservices dot net. Same goes for anyone else within earshot. Please help keep me from selling Amway! :)

  74. Didn’t Mickey Tettleton have a particular batting stance? iirc, he had lazy wrists while waiting on the pitch. I must have done that one in wiffle ball at some point.

  75. 115 — Incredible. His Tettleton is awesome. Loved his Polanco too (he even got the mouth right).

    I’ve seen him many times before, but never this one. Good times.

  76. I worked (sorta) for Paul Lancaster –really, for his partner– in Athens, but I’m not sure he’d even remember my name…

  77. ububba,

    @111

    “A” is my favorite baseball trivia question. It is also fun to remind them of Nolan Ryans’ 7.

  78. @119,

    Here is my favorite part

    “…he’s not just a great rightfielder, but he is a presence and a force out there”

  79. @125: Yeah, give me a break. How many times does the right fielder have a play-at-the-plate in a game? It doesn’t really happen much. Nobody is legitimately concerned with Francoeur’s arm when planning and strategizing.

  80. When he was with us, he started throwing the ball in the stands, so teams would run on him on purpose.

  81. The Panamaniac has gotten the call in San Diego, and he’s taking his 18 SB / 10 CS in 2010 with him.

    ARE YOU READY TO REVOLUTIONIZE BASEBALL?!?!?!?

  82. Pfft. If Chone Figgins and Sonic the Hedgehog had a baby together, it would be only half as fast as the Panamaniac.

  83. But Francoure has a “likeable personaltiy and boundless enthusiasm.” With intangibles like that, who needs to hit?

  84. @61 Bethany
    I know we got enough problems tryin’to keep up with the Braves, but for your project I wondered why the Dodgers hadn’t been back to the WS since 1988, despite having Lasorda, Torre, Little, and Davey Johnson as manger during that 22 year run. Jim Tracy’s no slouch, either.

    I guess it ain’t the manager!

  85. Intangibles are overrated in baseball where everything is measured by a tangible stat. Just because Francoeur brought 16 year old girls to the ballpark due to his “likable personality and boundless enthusiasm,” doesn’t detract from the fact that he still sucks.

  86. It happens. From 1931 to 1942, the Braves were managed by Hall of Famers (Bill McKechnie, then Casey Stengel) and never finished higher than fourth.

  87. The Batting Stance Guy is pretty amazing.

    Sam,
    Will keep my ears open. But I haven’t lived in Athens for a looong time—in fact, it’ll be 20 years this weekend.

    And while I agree with many that having the Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in New Jersey in February is kind of insane, I do like the idea that all the corporate non-fans who generally populate the game will be forced to prove their love a little bit. The real fans can’t get (and can’t afford) Super Bowl tickets.

    February in NYC is vacation time. It can get miserable.

    Thanks for the link, Stu. As Hinske mentions in the story, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Alex Cora. There’s a lot of talk that he’ll eventually be a manager.

  88. Evan Longoria on Hinske: “”He was the perfect guy for me to model myself after. The thing I do use every day, which I got from him, is my routine in the cage. We went over it day in and day out. And it’s never changed.”

    !!!!!!!!!!

  89. @135, The thing is, I don’t know whether intangibles are over or underrated by definition. That’s what kills me when the subject comes up. People ascribe a value to Player X because of his “intangibles”, but fail to describe how that value compares to another player. How do we know that Player Y doesn’t have more? How do we know what it’s worth to the bottom line, if it’s unknowable on it’s face?

  90. Wright has a .368 OBP and a .490 SLG and is sixth in the league in RBI. That piece is just a Mets fan being a Mets fan — that is, blaming the team’s best player for their woes while defending the guy who’s hitting a sub-Francoeurian .222/.266/.284.

  91. Forget any comparison to Francoeur, but it’s true that Wright has shriveled in lots of big, late-inning spots this year.

    I certainly don’t watch every Mets game, but I’m acutely aware of what happens and Wright has been really bad with the game on the line so far. People tend to notice that.

    Don’t have time to look it up now, but somebody around here (Met announcer? Writer?) dug up a stat that showed that, since his beaning last year, Wright’s K rate has risen to a disturbing level. Before the beaning it was 1 K per 5/6 PA; since then, it’s about 1 K per 3 PA.

  92. They don’t win the second Yankees game last week without him. But yeah, strikeouts are tough on most fans. They don’t bug me, but there is certainly a lack of aesthetics. And think about how many FEWER games the Mets would have won without him this season. They wouldn’t be Cleveland Spiders bad, but it would be serious.

    Put another way, if they are tired of him, we would be happy to take him off their hands.

  93. Ububba, you’re right, albeit in a very small sample size this year. In “late & close” situations, he’s 6-29 with a .570 OPS and 18 K. Last year, he had a .747 OPS in 78 “late & close” at-bats, which isn’t bad, though it isn’t particularly good, either.

    Fact remains, he’s not the reason they suck. He’s the reason they’re not worse. Still, I used to fear him as though he was a New York Utley. That ship has definitely sailed.

  94. Boy that 2001 draft was a piece of work. 3 picks in the first round, and we get Macay McBride, Josh Burrus and Richard Lewis

  95. per DOB,

    Clevlen on dl for injured toe. Gregor “Greg White” Blanco up to the big club (don’t know when he will arrive, but I am sure we all are in suspense).

  96. Anyone know where I can get a historical list of MLB team coaches? For example, “Who was the Third Base Coach for the Seattle Mariners in 1982?” I don’t care about that one, but I would like a list of coaches that specify the position, team, and year.

  97. Wow, that’s gotta’ be a bummer for Clevlen. He finally gets a call up and then after several games he finally gets a chance to start. After one start he’s on the DL – ouch!

  98. Eighteen Ks in 29 such ABs this year? That sounds about right. It seems like he strikes out every time, usually on a pitch up and over the plate.

  99. Mac,
    I agree, but Clevlen’s gotta’ know that his chances will continue to dwindle unless he impresses someone soon. Will he continue to get a pro-rated mlb salary while he’s on the DL?

  100. I would assume so. A player on the DL is a major league player, so I would think he gains both service time and major league salary. Injured players can not be optioned to the minors.

  101. Tonight’s lineup: Prado, 4; Heyward, 9; Chipper, 5; McCann, 2; Glaus, 3; Hinske, 7; Escobar, 6; McLouth, 8; Kawakami, 1.

  102. I think guys should hustle on the field and not try to make time with their teammates’ wives or girlfriends. Other than that, intangibles are non-sense. MLB players are all strong-willed or they wouldn’t have made it this far. The idea that a player can compensate for lack of ability by running hard all the time and showing a fierce competitive nature (apparently what Met fans like about Francouer) is ridiculous IMO. How many games would a team composed entirely of David Ecksteins and Jeff Francouers win?

  103. Their stats are identical this year, but Blanco has always been more of a pesky OBP type than Clevlen, and our bench needs one guy like that. Someone who can pinch hit to lead off an inning, or pinch run for one of our beer leaguers. He’s who I would have brought up in the first place.

    He’ll have to earn back the name “Gregor Blanco”. After 2009, he’s firmly in the “Greg White” camp.

  104. The lineup makes me feel like its time for another good bad and ugly.
    At what point do we start getting serious concern for Yunel and see him drop to 8th in the order or platooning with Omar?

    THE GOOD
    Eric Hinske 1.127 OPS (.421 OB, .706slg)
    Jason Heyward .989 OPS (.409 OB (6th in NL), .580 slg(5th in NL) 9th HRs)
    Brian McCann .813 OPS (.386 OB, .427 slg)
    Martin Prado .806 OPS (.363 OB, .408 slg (NL hit leader, 8th in 2Bs))
    Troy Glaus .760 OPS (.353 OB, .408 slg)
    Chipper Jones .756 OPS (.395 OB, .361 slg (2nd in NL in walks))
    Omar Infante .755 OPS (.344 OB, .411 slg)

    THE BAD
    Nate McLouth .644 OPS (.316 OB, .328 slg)

    THE UGLY
    Melky Cabrera .570 OPS (.299 OB, .270 slg)
    Yunel Escobar .497 OPS (.272 OB, .225 slg)

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