Braves 10 Natspos 2

If the Natspos are the front runners to win the NL East, either the talking heads are dumb or the NL East is super weak.

I wanted to make my way down to the Ted to give Braves Journal readers the best possible recap of events. So here were my observations from my seats in left center field.

BJ Upton is an underrated defender. Early in the game a Nat smoked a ball that looked to be a sure double. BJ came flying over and made a difficult play look easy. Not Andruw Jones easy, but still very good. BJ also appears to be coming around some with the bat.

 Justin Upton is hotter than Atlanta asphalt in July. Why would you give this guy anything to hit ? I assume Matt Williams is just now thinking the same thing.

Freddie Freeman’s home run was very impressive. The sound of the ball coming off his bat sounded like thunder. It was hit so high, I thought it might rain.

– The Natspos are a very poor fundamental team. They run into outs. They throw the ball all over the place. Good teams, like the Braves, will take advantage.

Aaron Harang was in total control. So far he has been a great pick up.

– I thought the Braves “Home Town Hero” may have to come out and put a stop to this massacre.

Andrelton Simmons’s field goal in the eight was cool. He really got a lot of leg and split the uprights over Bryce Harper’s head.

-If you haven’t heard Timothy Miller sing “God Bless America” in person, you are missing out.

Great weekend for the Braves. While it is only April, anytime you can sweep these guys is good. The bats are starting to pick up and the starting pitching has been awesome. I think we would have all signed up for this start a few weeks ago.

By the way, my unborn child is undefeated!

71 thoughts on “Braves 10 Natspos 2”

  1. Keep in mind that the division consists of us, the Natspos, the LolMets, the old Phillies, and the Marlins Annuity That Plays Baseball On The Side. This isn’t a real strong division.

  2. Remember when the Marlins were 5-1 and some here were talking about how they might be dangerous this year?

    Seems they were dissuaded of that notion rather quickly.

  3. “They’ve come on the winning side of it more often than we like, but we feel confident against this team. We feel we’re better than this team. We respect them, we respect the organization, but we don’t fear them. We think we’re the better team, and we think at the end of the day we’re going to come out on top.”

    -Washington Nationals General Manager Rizzo.

    This was said exactly one year to the day of Espinosa’s “I don’t think they’re better than us” comment about the Braves. Guess April 13 is simply the day when Nationals’ personnel like to run their mouths.

  4. @2 Yeah, they just had a rough series in Philly that took a bit of the wind out of their sails.

    I’ll be at the games tomorrow and Thursday afternoon. After our lackluster efforts against the Mets last week, it’d be nice for the team to stay hot and really take control of the division early, like last year.

  5. Re: Booing Harper

    What’s that about, anyway? He’s just a good baseball player. Not a big bad baseball player. Not a red-handed steroid user. Not an asshole. We boo him cause he drives a big truck?

  6. We boo him because he is a metaphor for the Nats not giving the Braves their “propers”*. Not sure that I am onboard or not, but there you have it.

    //edit – proper respect, eg, “props”

  7. I’d sure love to keep building a case that may one day convince the Gnats that we are indeed better than them. Man, they fire me up too. This is a great rivalry!

    The Harper booing is a little odd. But after all, he was voted the most overrated player, he’s considered by some to be a douche, and he’s the most visible player on our rival team. That’d probably get a guy booed.

  8. I didn’t see the game. Can someone explain the “Andrelton Simmons’ field goal” blurb from the recap?

  9. I didn’t see the game either, but I assume “field goal” would mean three-run home run or triple.

  10. The Harper booing is obvious. He’s hyped up a lot by the Nats and the national media too. He’s young and brash and clearly thinks he’s hot shit. He looks like a douche.

    What’s the mystery?

  11. http://deadspin.com/jeff-francoeurs-teammates-pulled-a-hilarious-month-lon-1562734995

    Jeff Francoeur’s currently playing for the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, and he was recently the victim of a truly funny month-long prank at the hands of his teammates.

    The team convinced Francoeur that Chihuahuas pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf. This prank somehow lasted a month. Occasionally, Reyes would unintentionally tip off that he wasn’t deaf, like talking to teammates after a game, but Francoeur didn’t catch on.

    First baseman Cody Decker put together a short film on the whole joke. Many of Francoeur’s teammates call him an idiot.

    “How can somebody be this stupid?” Brooks Conrad asks in wonder.

  12. @8 He was a total psycho in the minors. There was a fantastic scout’s quote about not knowing anyone who didn’t genuinely dislike him.

  13. Some may view booing Harper as mob mentality, but I prefer to think of it as the wisdom of crowds.

  14. @18 – The quote was actually by Kevin Goldstein, ABOUT the opinion of scouts, not by a scout about the opinion of the world-at-large.

    “It’s impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn’t blown away by Harper’s ability on the field, but it’s equally difficult to find one who doesn’t genuinely dislike the kid.”

    And it’s not about his minor league behavior, but about his amateur behavior. The article in which he wrote it was published while Harper was 17, so the evaluations were of a 16 and 17 year old kid.

    Not that I like the guy, or anything. I just honestly feel treating him like a super-villain is giving him too much credit. The Mets’ fans treated Chipper Jones like a super-villain, because at the time, he was the baddest man on the planet. Everything Bryce Harper has ever done is only impressive when you add the note “as a 19 (20, 21) year old.” If you aren’t grading him on a curve, he’s been David Justice so far. (Which is to say a left-handed right-fielder with a 124 OPS+ to Justice’s 129, though Justice put that up for 14 big league seasons.)

    That’s not to say that in the larger context, his “accomplishments,” such as they are SHOULDN’T be graded on a curve. Sure they should. It’s obviously different to do it as a 19 year old. I’m just saying that he has to matter to me before I can hate him.

    EDIT: (troll) Although, we are talking about Atlanta, so I guess the people booing him are probably college football fans. To a college football fan it makes sense to boo a 20 year old who’s playing for free and has played 11 games in his life and is going to be working as a physical therapist in a year. (/troll)

  15. @4 After watching that Chris Capuano shutout in person, I swore I’d never go to Citi field ever again.

  16. I love Bryce Harper and wish he played for the Braves. But you can reliably predict that I’ll try very hard to become a fan of anyone whom “everyone” hates.

  17. People harp on Bryce Harper because he’s an entitled douche nozzle. He’s a slightly more talented Jeff Francoeur. Why on Earth would opposing fans *not* hack at that guy’s shins? Only the Lannisters root for Joffrey.

  18. This is from an article about John Farrell getting tossed after losing a replay review and arguing about it. But it’s interesting to me, and I suspect to you lot, because of Farrell’s comment about how the managers were coached to understand “inconclusive” calls on plays at first base:

    “We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “The frustrating part is when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete. At the same time, any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli‘s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you.”

    By that reading of the rule, the decision to not overturn the play at first on McLouth’s bunt Saturday night was the correct decision.

    Link

  19. I won’t boo Harper, but I take pure joy in rooting against him. He is an utterly perfect heel. Extremely young and extremely talented, arrogant, prone to mouthing off, covers half his face in eye black, prone to wearing mohawks, jaws at his teammates but makes boneheaded mistakes himself. If he played for the Braves I’d love him — I managed to love Yunel Escobar, after all — but as an opponent, he is literally perfect.

  20. @24, I haven’t seen articles write this, but I’m guessing that the majority of aggravations are caused by calls where the incorrect call was made on the field, and the umpires felt that the replay neither overturned the call nor confirmed it, so they just let it stand. It will be interesting to see how many “stands” calls there are from replay. I’m betting they’ll be the ones that lead to the most grousing.

  21. @24, it strikes me as odd that the standard for a force out at first is the ball simply has to enter the glove, whereas for a fly out, it has to be a clean transfer to the non-gloved hand.

  22. Just want to point out that the Nats still haven’t lost a game that wasn’t against the Braves. If they keep that up all season they’ll win about 150 which is going to make them pretty tough to beat.

  23. Not quite that many — we play them 19 times this year and we’re 5-1 against them so far, so if we keep up our .833 winning percentage against them then we’ll win another 11 games and lose just 2.

    So they’ll only win 146 games out of a possible 162. If we win out against them, it’d be 144.

  24. Maybe the question is what we think a boo means. To me, a boo is a direct response to a specific offense. I’d boo Braun. I’d boo Erstad. I think about booing Roger McDowell for his antics in San Fran a couple years ago. But he’s our pitching coach so I just try to think of it as water off a duck’s back.

    If we just boo a guy because he’s a douchebag, I’d boo Nick Swisher or Jose Valverde or Nyjer Morgan. I think they’re not worth it, and I think Harper’s not worth it either. It’s enough to laugh at the guy when he erases his base hits with awful decisions between the bases.

    The rules of booing are too unwritten. I motion for a booing code.

  25. @30, Booing code? Boo who you wanna boo, for whatever reason you wanna boo. How’s that sound? :)

  26. @32, Thanks for the link. The illogic at the heart of the rule is further highlighted with runners tagging. What are they supposed to be looking for? A clean transfer? That’s ridiculous. They wait to see the ball come to rest within the fielder’s glove. Then they take off for the bag they want.

    Or I guess they wait to see the umpire’s signal of an out. But if the umpire has to wait for a clean transfer before signaling an out, then an outfielder could have a lot of fun with that by delaying the transfer.

    It’s a dumb rule. Umpires should be able to ascertain when a ball comes firmly to rest in the glove and signal an out. The Eliot Johnson incident shows how compromised by reality this rule is.

  27. @28–Given that the Nats’ seven wins have all come against the Mets and the Marlins it makes just as much sense to note that they will have a hard time taking the division with only 38 wins.

  28. Harper-as-villain comes right out of Central Casting, and when he does really stupid things on the field, like getting thrown out trying to take an extra base while down by 6 runs, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    BTW, not only have the Braves dealt the Nats their 5 losses, they’re the only club to have beaten the 10-2 Brewers.

  29. I had the same reaction as Smitty to BJ’s catch in the first inning. Just astonished. Andruw-like. It got me wondering whether we might see BJ’s defense improve together with his offense. Once Chipper has fixed the hitches in his swing he can stop thinking and just rely on his instincts.

  30. @20 Two separate thoughts. The scout quotes was about his amateur behavior.

    The “being a psycho in the minors bit” was about him losing it on umpires and taunting opponents. He also went ballistic on a fan or two.

    It’s whatever. Cobb and Rose, the second of which he admires, were both legendary players who were quite bristly in their own right. He may mellow, but he has a fair body of work

  31. Like Harper if you want, but I can’t imagine it’s a mystery why people boo him. And the “booing as respect” thing seems kind of silly, as it’s inherently an act of disrespect.

  32. Yeah, it’s not respect — the cockiness is an indication there might be a way to get into his head. Some phenoms don’t get ritually booed, because they give no outward indication that they’re paying attention to anything but the game itself. Vlad Guerrero, Albert Pujols, and David Wright spring to mind. But if fans think you’re hearing them (and if you’re good enough), you’ll get booed. Because if you then fail — well, that’s a party.

  33. btw, what ever happened to the audio overlay feature on mlb.tv. You know, the one where you could overlay the radio broadcast over the tv feed? I haven’t been able to turn that on this year and it is not good.

  34. Bryce Harper became persona non grata with Braves fans after he reacted demonstratively to Teheran nailing him intentionally for being a good hitter. Let’s not pretend Braves fans are booing him because he was a meany in the minor leagues. Delmon Young nailed an umpire with a thrown bat in the minor leagues, and got in to a drunken altercation in which he spewed racial slurs in the major leagues. Nobody in Atlanta booed him when he was with the Phillies.

  35. @34 Obviously, you have to tag up before advancing if the ball is caught. But whether or not the ball is a clean catch or not is not up to the runner to decide. Runners can take off as soon as the fielder touches the ball. So if a guy drops it on a transfer, juggles the ball several times before controlling it, or even just lets it plop into his glove it doesn’t matter. As soon as the defender touches it take off.

  36. @48

    That’s because no one in Atlanta knows who Delmon Young is. The hardcore baseball fans are somewhat less likely to boo and more casual fans wouldn’t know Delmon Young if he punched them in the face.

    By the way, I do not feel the least bit bad for hoping nothing good happens on the baseball field for Bryce Harper ever. As I said above, I really don’t know why it’s a mystery why people hate him. If you’re not one to be vindictive as a fan, that’s spiffy, but don’t look around at the rest of us like there’s no reason whatsoever why we would dislike him.

    And by the way, part of the Booing Code suggested above would almost certainly be to lustily boo anyone who suggests coming up with a booing code. So Edward, this is for you: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  37. Delmon Young didn’t rate being booed because he was as terrible a baseball player as he was a person. It would have been like booing Ryan Langerhans — he was just a crappy backup whom someone thought deserved a starting job.

  38. I remember watching Ricky Henderson get jeered when he was with the Mets toward the end of his career. He ate it up! Didn’t bother him at all.

  39. 43: Because it’s not available on the Apple TV version of the app anyway, I’ve just been “manually” overlaying with an iPhone feed that generally ends up between 5 and 15 seconds ahead of the video feed. Annoying, but not as annoying as listening to Chip and Joe spray their stupidity around for three hours.

    MLB.tv has been really pretty terrible with bluriness and pausing in the early going. If this keeps up, I’m going to seriously consider just buying the Extra Innings tv package for next year and not bothering with a system that seems to be hypersensitive to number of viewers at any given moment.

  40. “Teheran nailing him intentionally for being a good hitter”… Was Teheran nailing him for being a good hitter or for being an ass about being a good hitter? I don’t think pitchers generally intentionally hit every batter that hits good against them but some pitchers have been known to hit batters who throw their own “greatness” in the face of the opposing pitcher. I seem to recall a few instances of folks thinking he was being perhaps a bit to proud and observant of his own good work while taking his time around the base paths. So maybe it’s a case of him first being a jerk after being a good hitter and then being an even bigger jerk after one of our pitchers hits him for the first bad behavior. Maybe it’s all of this that finally results in fans booing him.

  41. #51
    I’ll tell you one place where Delmon Young gets booed: Yankee Stadium.

    While I don’t know how many Yankee fans are familiar with his drunken Midtown altercation a couple years ago, they very much remember that Young is one of the great modern Yankee killers, especially in the post-season. So, they boo, which is fine.

    Saw him play for Baltimore in The Bronx last week and, like he always seems to do, he hit a HR & racked up 3 RBI. And he got booed.

    #53
    Went to a Braves/Mets game at Shea in ’99, Rickey’s year there. We were sitting down the LF line & these guys (Mets fans) were all over Rickey the whole game.

    During a pitching change, Rickey’d had enough, so he came over to the stands & cussed them out something terrible. They tried to argue with Rickey, but he wouldn’t let them get a word in & left them just scorched with a flurry of MF-bombs. It was more than amusing.

  42. Alright, I’ll take my boo. All villainous codifiers deserve one or two.

    But Harper’s not a good enough player against the Braves and not a proven enough player yet in general. Booing him shows a lack of imagination, a tenuous grasp on reality–or at least, the reality of a baseball game, and, less emphatically, I just think it’s tacky.

    Heckling’s a much better use of our breath.

  43. 59: It is truly extraordinary how little effort MLB appears to put into making MLB.tv a decent product. NexDef was broken on all versions of Mac OS X after Lion for at least a year (and probably still is). The video feed is often stally, low quality, and interrupted, regardless of the individual user’s connection speed. They don’t bother to keep the product updated for new versions of related applications and platforms. Honestly, they just need to hire enough good people to keep the product at an acceptable level of performance, because what they’re delivering right now is frequently terrible.

  44. Heckling can work, but it can backfire quickly. Friday night a young heckler and a middle-aged dad started throwing punches in the front row just behind the visitor’s dugout. The dad’s daughter was terrified, and it sucked for everybody.

    As it happens, I got off my best heckle last year by invoking Harper at a Nats game. Scott Hairston was starting in left field instead of Harper, and he couldn’t quite get to a foul pop down the third base line. I was about ten rows back and yelled “Harper woulda had it!” People seemed amused.

  45. BJ still in the 2-hole but JUpton is batting cleanup and Gattis is moved ahead of Uggla, so it’s not bad as far as Fredi’s lineups go.

  46. @67. That’s odd. He had a couple ohfers last week, but Regression was still hitting reasonably well (I believe he had three hits on Friday). Is this a R/L platoon now? I kind of like it better when Pena came in as a defensive replacement. Is this disciplinary? This is the kind of stuff that beat writers should be able to quickly ascertain.

  47. We can boo if we want to.
    We can leave your friends behind.
    Cause’ your friends don’t boo,
    and if they don’t boo,
    well they’re no friends of mine.

  48. People heckle Harper because he’s hecklable. Young, talented, arrogant. I’ve been to some Nats event here in the Disco of Columbia and he strikes me as a good teammate and is probably the guy you love if he plays for you and hate if he doesn’t. But the Braves fans boo him because we dusted him off last year a couple of times in a couple of bad blood games and it’s now hardwired that he must be booed — nobody really remembers why.

    I was at the “lodged ball” game here and saw the same thing in reverse. After the play, Justin Upton was booed vociferously every plate appearance. If he caught a routine flyball, he was booed by the entire stadium. All because he put his hands up to signal dead ball and was upheld by the umps. A decade from now, he’ll be playing for another team and he will be booed by the entire Nats stadium. And almost nobody will remember why. Just baseball…..

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