Entering the ROAD TRIP OF DEATH game thread: June 3, Braves at Dodgers

It begins, of course, with yesterday’s flight to LA, which is still going on. As you know if you’ve ever flown from Atlanta to California, the flight can take several years. The in-flight movie is Berlin Alexanderplatz. Pilots have been known to hijack their own planes and divert them to anywhere else just to get a chance to land. Roving gangs of coach passengers hunt flight attendants to ward off starvation. Homer’s Odyssey was originally based upon a single one-way trip from Atlanta to San Diego.

It’s a very long flight, is what I’m saying.

212 thoughts on “Entering the ROAD TRIP OF DEATH game thread: June 3, Braves at Dodgers”

  1. Good stuff there, Mac. The one about The Odyssey in particular made me smile.

  2. I once went to a screening of Berlin Alexanderplatz when I was in college. Fortunately, I came to my senses and left the room before the end credits, or I might still be there.

    My favorite line of the above is “Roving gangs of coach passengers hunt flight attendants to ward off starvation.”

  3. My problem has not been the length of flights to the West Coast, but in actually getting them. The last few times I’ve been there I’ve missed connecting flights and have had to stay overnight in Denver. Hopefully this won’t happen to the Braves.

  4. I think USC is going to get lit up. Don’t think it will be death penalty, but might be close. The fact that they lumped football and basketball together reeks of lack of institutional control.

    Prepare to be disappointed.

    The stuff going on with the basketball side of the house was real bad. The self-imposed penalty from last year (ban on post season play) was steep. It may be enough for the NCAA, it may not be. I don’t really care. Next season’s team will be terrible anyway, ban them from anything you like.

    The stuff on the football side happens at every big time program in the country. That doesn’t make it ok of course but it’s true. Bush and fam was clearly getting money from some wannabe agent. USC didn’t really know and had no interest in knowing.

    I suspect the high profile nature of this case will likely mean the NCAA will have to do something with some sting in it. If this happens at Texas Tech it’s a loss scholly or two but the NCAA needs to do something to save face here. They may have to give back some wins, that’s ok we’ve got plenty. The back-to-back AP championships will stay, that’s what matters anyway.

  5. Just wanna say, I’ve flown East-coast-to-West-coast at least once a year just about every year I’ve been alive, and it’s really not that bad. Though we usually try to avoid connections in Atlanta.

  6. @244 from previous thread, referencing the following:
    Once you do it (change a ump judgment call the following day), you’re in the business of doing it. And business will be a-boomin’. To think otherwise is a failure of imagination.

    Actually, I’ll dispute the fact and the implication.

    First, the comment contends that overturning one call will lead to an avalanche of post hoc overturned calls. Not true.

    I’ve already discussed why the final out of a game is the only one that can be justifiably protested in a post hoc review. aka Math.

    This severely restricts the number of potential protests. Restrict further for controversial endings–nearly all games end without controversy on the final out. Restrict further for availability of incontrovertible video evidence. And what are we left with? Answer: very, very, very few, but legitimate and justified changes to make. In other words, NOT an avalanche.

    The business be a-bustin’.

    Secondly, I believe it’s implied that overturning the calls is a bad thing. This is something myself and many (it appears to me today the overwhelming majority) would dispute.

    We value the truth over the error. I’ll stand by that. And I’ll continue to pan the no-nothing assertion that “umpires make mistakes/they’re only human/it’s part of the game/there’s nothing we can do/derrpy derr.”

  7. I know I’m an Alabama homer, but I think the NCAA is an equal opportunity destroyer and should be opposed by all. Remember that Alabama lost a load of scholarships(22) and had to vacate 9 wins from the 1993 season because a player (Antonio Langham) signed a $300 contract with an agent (on a napkin) after Alabama won the 1992 Nat’l Championship. They also were unable to go to a bowl game and were put on 3 years probation.

    Alabama appealed and won a few scholarships back because it was proven that the main guy the NCAA accused of lying didn’t lie. If the NCAA has any sense of fairness (they don’t) there is no way that USC has lesser penalties than Alabama.

  8. The other thing Alabama was cited for from that era was a player (Gene “Burn In Hell” Jelks) getting money from an agent/booster after his eligibility ran out.

  9. Here’s the affirmative argument: We can correct this error. We should correct errors that we can. No one involved opposes changing the error.

    But by your own admission we cannot correct every error. QED, corrections will be made, like this one, based on caprice rather than an evenhanded application. That part alone makes it a terrible thing to do.

    Due to the lack of an instant replay mechanism, no more can be done for other errors. We are limited in what can be done–in this case to the final out of a game. However, that doesn’t mean that we should let perfect justice be the enemy of good justice.

    Justice? I see no particular injustice here. The right team won. Leave it alone. You have not yet established a prima facia case for why an ex post facto rule ought be created for this event, other than “it bugs me that so and so didn’t get a perfect game”

    There is great value in changing the call. There is no value in allowing the error to stand.

    This is false. There is no “value” in changing the call, because it doesn’t change anything regarding the outcome of the contest. And, your mention of the HoF aside, games are played to create outcomes. That we find them intrinsically enjoyable is fine, but tangential to the stated purpose of the event.

    Stubbornness is not a value here.

    So stop. You want a one time exception made simply to satisfy your sense of fair play (My desired outcome was spoiled! Something must be done!). That in and of itself is capricious, willful, and poor decision making for a sport that and a country that holds real fair play (everyone abiding by the same set of rules) dear. Acceptance of an outcome dictated by the rules despite the fact it isn’t optimal is a sign of maturity and grace. Gaming the system to create the results that “should” happen in our own view is the moral equivalent of cheating at solitaire.

  10. Can’t change the call. It’s over. It’s baseball. It sucks, but it happens. There’s nothing in place to change it. We can’t invent something now.

    I feel as terrible about it as much as the next guy, but it’s tough titty, them’s the breaks.

    Robert,
    Catching any games in Chavez Ravine?

  11. Mac, Jelks was mentioned in the report, but not very much. Nothing could be proven that he received money to play, but there was a trail that suggested he received money to make the allegations against Alabama.

    It was clear that the major finding in the report was that Faculty Rep /Dean Tom Jones lied about what he knew of the Langham matter. When it was proven that he didn’t, the NCAA actually admitted it, but kept the majority of the sanctions in tact. Jones also got a 7 figure settlement from the NCAA in his lawsuit.

  12. @6

    I understand your argument, I just disagree. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed the debate.

  13. @9,

    But by your own admission we cannot correct every error. QED, corrections will be made, like this one, based on caprice rather than an evenhanded application. That part alone makes it a terrible thing to do.

    What! You’re saying that because every error in the history of time can not be corrected that you’ll have none of it.

    That’s just friggin’ idiocy. I’m sorry. On my planet, you correct errors when possible. Where’s your compelling argument against the correction?–one that none of the affected parties is making, I’ll add.

    Justice? I see no particular injustice here. The right team won.

    You see no particular injustice last night… oh, ooookay. (likely not with Enron or Tyco or Goldman Sachs either then, eh? alls fair?)

    You have not yet established a prima facia case for why an ex post facto rule ought be created for this event, other than “it bugs me that so and so didn’t get a perfect game”

    That you ignore that the history of the game was offended is your lack, not mine. The burden of a prima facie case is not high and has more than been met by several commenters on the last thread, including myself. The outcome of the game encompasses more than simply Win and Loss.

    This is false. There is no “value” in changing the call, because it doesn’t change anything regarding the outcome of the contest. And, your mention of the HoF aside, games are played to create outcomes. That we find them intrinsically enjoyable is fine, but tangential to the stated purpose of the event.

    Again, the outcome encompasses more than Win and Loss. You want more than the Hall of Fame, go to any baseball related website. I’m sure they are reporting more than simply who won and who lost. Go to any newspaper. Go to any historical record of the game itself or the game of baseball. It matters!

    Oh, and I missed my copy of the Stated Purpose of The Event at my last Nats game. Do they only pass those out in Atlanta?

    You want a one time exception made simply to satisfy your sense of fair play

    No, I want more. But in the absence of forethought from those who run Major League Baseball, this is the best we can do. Going forward, I do want to see instant replay, but that’s not germane to my argument for the Galarraga Perfect Game.

    That in and of itself is capricious, willful, and poor decision making for a sport that and a country that holds real fair play (everyone abiding by the same set of rules) dear. Acceptance of an outcome dictated by the rules despite the fact it isn’t optimal is a sign of maturity and grace. Gaming the system to create the results that “should” happen in our own view is the moral equivalent of cheating at solitaire.

    You’re right. My bad. When something is wrong, it should be allowed to stand because we weren’t prepared to deal with it at the time.

    Gaming the system by enforcing, I don’t know, reality is freakin’ un-American. You got me.

    Although, I believe the rule is that if the defender touches the 1B bag while in possession of the ball before the batter reaches the 1B bad, then he is to be called OUT. Though, it has been a few years since I played.

    Hmmm.. (whispering)there may be a problem here. Don’t tell the Feds.

  14. 1. 2B Prado
    2. 3B Infante
    3. RF Heyward
    4. C McCann
    5. 1B Glaus
    6. LF Hinske
    7. SS Escobar
    8. CF McLouth
    9. SP Medlen

  15. @15, cool, we’re just barking here. It’s been fun to toss around the ideas anyway.

    Spike rules and I enjoy his posts, even todays. If an Alabama and an Auburn fan can’t argue, who can?

    I’ll definitely be back for the USC fallout tomorrow. Should be epic either way. The Braves Journal community, needless to say, kicks ass. Thanks, Mac.

  16. I think odds are pretty good he’ll finish fourth and get selected as a reserve. Which ain’t bad for a 20-year old rookie. Based on a really quick search, the only 20-year old All-Star position players that I can find are Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Ken Griffey, and Alex Rodriguez.

  17. @ 6 – What if the game would have ended on a 4-6-3 double play, but the umpire rules the SS missed second, even though he clearly touched the base? That would have only been the 26th out.

    Or how about if the winning run is scored by a runner who was obviously out? Or if a game tying runner is called out at home even though he was obviously safe?

    What logic distinguishes these plays from what you claim to be a limited application of a made up power heretofore never exercised?

    Everyone knows Galarraga threw a perfect game yesterday. I don’t need Bud Selig to be further empowered to tell me that, and neither does anybody else.

  18. Right right, sorry. Forgot I was in a game thread.

    Braves smash! Fire everybody!

  19. Robert,
    Catching any games in Chavez Ravine?

    I haven’t been able to work it out yet. Tonight’s my daughter’s ballet recital (miss Game 1 of the Finals and a Braves-Dodgers game? Great scheduling!), tomorrow I’ve got a business thing. Still efforting getting to one of the weekend games but honestly it doesn’t look good. The lesson here – as is the lesson of all my stories – never get married. Really, never. I don’t care how great she seems. I used to catch every game in town and some in San Diego, now I can’t even make one out of a four game set. Don’t do it!

    BTW, Robert is really going to love tomorrow’ game thread post.

    I’m not sure I know what that means, but ok. Can’t wait.

  20. As a kid I would spend countless hours playing GM with my baseball cards. Pinson’s rookie card, from 1958, made the cut on several occasions. If memory serves me right, he batted something like .365 with over twenty doubles, triples, and homers. It took me a few days to discern that these were minor league stats. Still, he was a pretty good player for a while there.

  21. Wish I wasn’t so busy today. That was a helluva thread.

    #30
    I hear you. It’s a mild bummer, especially when the team’s on a roll.

    In fact, I’ll probably miss a bunch of this LA series. I’m about to hop into the car for a business trip to Baltimore.

    Distant Consolation Prize: The Sawx Nation will be descending on Bal’mer. (No wonder it was so hard to get a last-minute hotel room.) Nonetheless, if things go right, I’ll catch tomorrow night’s O’s/Boston game. Guessing it’ll be like a Fenway visit.

    Go Braves.

  22. @32 It is admittedly visitor-heavy at Camden whenever the Yankees or Red Sox come to town, but the scene also inspires the other half of the stadium–the O’s side, I guess–to cheer like they never ordinarily would for such a crappy team.

  23. And I feel like I should clarify since I mentioned the Finals. I’m not a Laker fan. I don’t follow the NBA that closely a don’t have a favorite NBA team. I generally pull for whoever is playing the Lakers which, ultimately, leads to a lot of unsatisfying results. Hopefully Boston is up to the task.

  24. Did anyone already note that yesterday the whole NL East, besides the Braves, lost? Perfect day.

  25. At edisto beach since before the win streak began. If y’all want me stay, I will.

    Besides, the Pig has some great deals on baby back ribs.

  26. Where old Braves pitchers go to die: waiting for the Braves and turned on Orioles-Yankees (by mistake). Millwood looked completely miserable. 0-5, about to go 0-6. Will Ohman may soon relieve. (Just to be clear, I’d mistakenly turned on the rerun.)

  27. The latest I read was that he hasn’t passed away, but he is expected to sometime soon. He’s in the hospital and isn’t expected to leave.

  28. Would it be possible to somehow watch the game on Sportsouth but have Vin Scully’s voice coming out of the TV instead of Chip’s?

  29. 8 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 11 Ks. 106 pitches, 73 strikes. I’m guessing he’s done for the night.

    So, in 77 2/3 innings between Rome and Mississippi this year, Mikie has struck out 108 and walked 29.

    I think this is better than anyone expected. This is utter dominance.

  30. Wow. Seeing J-Hey fail to come through in the clutch is….weird.

    Or, what you said, Stu. =)

  31. Man, I love Troy! The great thing about him is he’ll cut down and go for the easy single when the situation needs it.

  32. Um, Chip (Caray)…the reason Manny never hit a homer in Coors Field is because he played in the AL East, you twit.

  33. Chip The Idiot won’t shut up about the Braves being in “Hollywood.” He’s such a child.

  34. Man, at the moment the entire starting lineup for the National League in the All-Star Game is made up of Cardinals and Phillies. It’ll massively suck if that doesn’t change. There’s no way Ruiz, Rollins, Polanco deserve to be All-Star starters.

  35. just saw another angle of the ‘imperfect’ game from last night. Has there been any discussion that gallaraga seemed to catch the ball near the end of the webbing and bobble it back into the glove after the runner was past the base?

  36. Kuroda looks hittable tonight. He isn’t getting any grounders. Doesn’t he count on his sinker usually?

  37. Oopsie from Yunel there. Though I’m not sure Chip was right about how much time he had. Carroll was busting it down the line.

    UPDATE: Um….so much for the runner. Medlen’s got a great move.

  38. I picked up Glaus on my fantasy team about 2 weeks ago and he is absolutely carrying my team right now.

  39. Really, Escobar never stopped jogging, which worked out well for him, since he didn’t have to put on the brakes before he changed direction and headed for second.

  40. If they come around the plate at all, Nate’s gotta put it in play. Pitcher’s behind him. He needs reminding sometimes

  41. @58 – I saw what you’re saying, but Joyce didn’t say anything about the bobble, so I don’t think that was what he saw anyway.

    I would say that’s the only angle on that play that’s worth looking at, the one where you can see the ball hit the glove. From that angle you can see it was a lot closer than what it looked like from the back. The angles from the back, they stop the frame when the glove obscures the ball, but from the front, (also Joyce’s angle) you can see the ball doesn’t HIT the glove until the runner is almost there. (Still, alas, almost…)

  42. @56 – Every year, there are some crazy results in the early All Star balloting. And every year, by the time it’s over, the results are more or less reasonable.

    Always debateable, but almost always, at least, defensible.

  43. What the hell was McLouth bunting for? What was that even supposed to be?

  44. Chip: “Garret’s always been able to hit. But not now.” And not last year, of course.

    Nothing makes me happier than to see him hitting for the Dodgers. Good freakin’ riddance.

  45. Medlen has thrown 77 pitches in 6 innings. Something like 56 strikes and 21 balls. I’ll take it! Excellent game so far.

  46. Any questions that Kris should stay in the rotation once JJ is back? They’ve got to move Kawakami to the ‘pen, don’t they? Medlen’s pitching like a front-line starter at this point.

  47. Gameday is showing Jeff Weaver coming in and pitching to no one and then being replaced by Justin Miller. Is this just a Gameday mistake or did something weird happen?

  48. Troy’s running with a limp. Looks like he might be playing with a gimpy knee or hammy.

  49. 95- At least he’s not Larry Yount, who got hurt and taken out before facing a batter… in his first and last major league game.

  50. 98- Or Adam Greenberg, the kid who came up with the Cubs five years ago and was beaned in his one and only at bat.

  51. when jj comes back, bobby’s going to have a hard time putting medlen back in the pen. i think kawakami needs to go hang with saito for a while.

  52. Man, Kris’ changeup is just stellar. He just made Martin look bad on two consecutive pitches.

  53. it must really suck to be a pitcher in our minor league organization…mike minor’s line tonight: 8IP 3h 0ER 11k

  54. OK, so Infante is directly responsible for both baserunners this inning. C’mon, Omar.

  55. i live in Prague, but I’m originally from North Carolina. I fly the Prague to Atlanta Delta flight (don’t know if they’re still running that). Now THAT’S a long-ass flight. 11.5 hours.

    also, I went to Singapore once and flew direct to New York City. That’s 16.5 hours. That was just, well, hell. But the Singaporean flight attendants surely look nice.

  56. Minor’s stats do look good – why is his ERA so high? Does he give up a lot of doubles or something?

  57. @111 – Singapore Air = nicest looking staff in the world. My flights to South africa are 16 hours. It’s a long poke.

  58. @111: For fun, fly the Atlanta-Mumbai flight on Delta. You get the homely Delta flight attendants coupled with a 19-hour flight. Plus the smell of Indian food.

  59. Son of a gun. Bobby’s horrible bullpen management continues. Moylan’s fighting a rough period right now.

  60. Fucking Moylan. You’re a LOGGY and can’t even retire Ronnie freaking Belliard. That’s just pathetic.

  61. Really not wanting to see Ethier come to the plate with the tying run on third and go-ahead on first.

  62. I’ve never been a huge Moylan fan and I don’t understand WHY Bobby had to use him in this situation. We’re about to waste a truly great start by Medlen. This sucks.

  63. If Bobby were more creative, you might get Wagner here to pitch to Ethier. But I’m assuming it’ll be O’Flaherty.

  64. My one issue with Moylan there is that he gives up a lot of contact and occasionally doesn’t have control. These are not good things when the bases are loaded. I guess Saito wasn’t available?

  65. Plus, Moylan is starting to resemble Terry Forster now. It must be hard to throw with all that gut.

  66. I agree. I would have brought Wagner or Saito, probably the former, instead of Moylan. Why not bring in your best reliever when the situation is most dire?

  67. Is it just me or has Moylan gained a bunch of weight since the beginning of the season?

    Edit: I see Alex R. noticed too.

  68. Losing this game would be semi disastrous. The Dodgers have matched us record for record of late and they’ve been winning lots of late comebacks. Blow this and they get all the momentum through the weekend.

  69. I think Moylan is starting to show the wear from last year. Hopefully it’s just a phase, though.

  70. Moylan wasn’t great, but he wasn’t terrible. That base hit by Belliard was kind of a seeing-eye single– it wasn’t like he roped it. And he got the groundout by Furcal. The walk kinda sucked, though. I would have preferred to see Saito, I think.

  71. Chip, Moylan couldn’t throw a strike. What the heck game were you watching?? He was terrible.

  72. And Peter Moylan has pulled off the rare triple-Grybo and stuck the landing: came in with bases loaded and allowed all of Medlan’s runs to score but none of Moylan’s came across.

  73. @148: Yeah, I think I was getting there as I was writing that comment. I like Moylan– I’m trying to defend him. But he did make it really hard that inning. =P

  74. wagner not warming up? why?

    He can’t, Cox needed him in those “close” games like two days ago on June 1.

  75. Omar couldn’t swing away because bobby gave him the bunt sign, even with 2 strikes.

  76. Gryboski is the PERFECT comparison to Moylan. Overrated groundball pitcher who always had a decent ERA but always let runners on base come in to score.

    Why is Saito pitching instead of Wagner???????????????????

  77. Alex- presumably Wagner needs a night off. I sure would feel better if he were in the game, though.

  78. Moylan has been awesome for most of his time with Atlanta. I don’t see anything overrated about him. I guess Wagner couldn’t go 3 days in a row.

  79. I am fine then with Wagner taking a night off based on his use. I am still not fine with Moylan’s use. We have better relievers.

  80. here’s how well right handed batters hit peter moylan
    .627 ops

    moylan is a great sidearmer that right handers cant touch.

  81. Boy, Bobby really doesn’t want to use Wagner tonight, does he? He could come in, throw one pitch, and finish this thing off.

  82. Question: when Jurrgjens comes back, will it be cut & dry that Medlen loses his spot? It seems that the guy who should be most nervous is Kawakami, but to be fair to Kawakami, he’s actually been very solid his last few starts, just not getting the W’s.

  83. Jonny’s pitch line tonight: 0-1-0-0. You don’t see that every night, especially from the guy who gets the save. =)

  84. in my opinion, KK should be trade bait to boost the rh bullpen. with medlen, lowe, hudson, hanson, jurrjens, and mixing minor in there next year, the only way to get rid of kawakami would be through a midseason trade.

    but, while we’re winning…dont do a damn thing.

    GO BRAVES!

  85. Any update on Saito before I retire?

    As the late, great Skip Caray would say:

    “Win, win, win.”

  86. When was the last time a team had a 9 game losing streak and a 9 game winning streak in the same season? (I’m really asking, don’t know the answer.)

  87. @198 I don’t know but I think the Rockies team that went to the World Series lost 10 in a row that year so they may have done it.

    Going back to the Moylan discussion I don’t think he’s overrated, I just think that Bobby’s continual abuse of his arm is catching up. I believe he led the league in appearances last year and that was coming off TJ surgery. Those things might not have immediate ramifications but they will catch up with you eventually. If he continues to be ineffective I think we need to start looking for relief help in the trade market.

  88. @193 Alex R, if we are deeper into the season, the Braves would put Kawakami in the bullpen to control his workload, but since it’s only June, they will move Medlen because they know Medlen can also play a key role as a reliever.

  89. I just looked at the Rockies schedule from ’07 and they lost 8 in a row and then later won 11 in a row. We may be the first to go 9 down and then later 9 up.

  90. Anyone know why the bottom line on espn keeps saying that our 9-game winning streak is a franchise record?

    I do think we set a record for longest winning streak while allowing 3 runs or fewer in each game.

  91. That’s weird — I seem to recall a rather notable 13-game win streak. And ESPN existed then, which in their world means it actually did happen.

  92. Also, let me get this straight — Cox is an idiot for using Moylan in a double play situation? The best groundball-inducing pitcher in the league (sorry, the second-best, among the 236 pitchers who’ve pitched at least four innings)? I learn a lot here.

  93. Not looking up the stats right now, but Moylan has been pretty bad with inherited runners.

  94. See, see, I TOLD you all that Venters could close! And you thought I was mad, MAD! Muwhahahah!

    EDIT: On the other hand, Bobby used the bullpen just like I had predicted. Ugh…that’s not necessarily a good thing is it?

  95. so from this thread – we hate Moylan, KK is now useless, Wagner should pitch in every game, and Bobby is an idiot all why we’ve 9 straight. I can handle that I guess

    Good win, great game from Medlen

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