Fish: 4 Braves: Checking Their Fantasy Teams

ESPN BOX SCORE, BUT DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME

I don’t get this team. I don’t get the rumors about trading our best power hitter this winter. I also don’t get why the Buffalo Bills don’t give the ball to CJ Spiller more either.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the game today. My wife is 8.99942 months pregnant, so I got to go to the grocery store and to return a few items at Target.

Target made me print off the baby registry before returning the items. I am not sure why this is a requirement. If I was returning a non baby registry item; would they still take it? When I went to print off the registry, the machines were down.

The semi-rude lady behind the counter told me she could only give me a gift card. I told her that would be fine. I had to give her my driver’s license to be scanned. I assured her I wasn’t going to buy meth-making products. She didn’t laugh.

Once I got home, I began the process of installing the car seat. I now understand why people with children buy SUVs. Whoa! Car seat instillation is a bear (not the El Oso Blanco type.) After accomplishing this task, I enjoyed as well deserved beverage and took a nap.

Upon waking up, I went back and reviewed what happened in the game and decided my day of baby prep was more interesting to share.

The Braves start a three game set on Monday in Washington. Maybe the President will issue us a pardon.

141 thoughts on “Fish: 4 Braves: Checking Their Fantasy Teams”

  1. Minivans are better kid hauing machines.
    I’ve just had a bad sports weekend. Real Bad. I should just cut the cable and watch Netflix with my wife.

  2. Went to the Jeter Day in The Bronx this afternoon.

    Lotsa big names there & plenty of video dedications for #2, but my favorite moment came when Bryce Harper’s mug appeared on the screen & he got booed.

    Hmmm, not bad…

  3. Didn’t watch a single pitch (and hopefully neither did many of you) but from the commentary here and the boxscore it seemed like a very efficient loss. When we suck we really really suck, but at least we usually get it over with quickly.

    RE: car seats…you can go up to your local fire station and they’ll install them and save you from the rage and swearing.

    And I think the Falcons need to figure out how to get Antone Smith a ton more touches. All he does is score long TDs, but they hardly play him. SJax is the Falcons version of BJ Upton.

  4. There’s nothing wrong with spreading the ball around. Let Jackson beat them down early so Smith can gap defenses late.

  5. Honestly all four RB’s looked good in their own ways. Jackson did run hard today. He’s just so slow. Maybe that does set up the second-half rope-a-dope when we drop a screen pass to Smith or Freeman and the D is a step behind because they’ve been tackling Jackson all game.

    That extra effort by Freeman to convert the 3rd and long on what looked like a stalled drive, instead turned a FG into a TD and may have won the game. I guess it’s hard to point to one or two plays in a game like that. Every play was huge. Highly entertaining game.

  6. Smith, Rogers and Freeman are obviously the future. But there’s no harm in having Jackson pound defenders early either. Those hits add up.

  7. I refuse to let the Braves ruin my Falcons buzz this evening. There is little more joy in life than watching the Falcons come back from two touchdowns behind to beat the Saints. I was at the Falcons game and didn’t even check on the Braves score until I got home, but it seemed like a classic 2014 Braves loss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to re-watch the Falcons game on DVR so that I can see the look on Sean Payton’s face when that field goal went through.

  8. What? Fire station would install car seats for civilians? That definitely sounds like a more interesting discussion topic than the Braves’ game today.

  9. They did for my wife at least…your mileage may vary. I think it helps that we live in the sticks and those guys at the firehouse are usually pretty bored.

  10. The Braves look like last year’s Falcons, and this year Falcons look like a very different team…at least for the first game. Hopefully this will carry on. Matt Ryan showed us a lot in today’s game.

  11. I’m looking forward to reading the “where do we go from here?” posts. I just don’t see this team making the playoffs. Gondeee, a guy who shows up in Bleacher Report’s team feed, wrote that this team has scored the fewest runs per game of any Braves team since 1990. There’s bad, and there’s pre-14 straight division titles bad.

  12. For our more northerly positioned Braves sufferers, I will say the Panthers looked pretty good with Derek Anderson stepping in for Newton. Any time your back-up QB leads you to a divisional road win, you’ve got to be satisfied.

  13. @11, no doubt that helps. If I had gone in there asking for help the response probably would’ve been *crickets* …

    @16, nothing is worse than fantasy team chatter. Though I did leave Matt Ryan on the bench yesterday.

  14. true, true

    Edit: I want it to be clear that I’m way into the carseat discussion and not at all into the Falcons talk. Love the carseat talk. I’ve got three carseats. They’re all different. Firemen ain’t got nothin on me.

    Maybe this is a minority opinion: It always really bugs me when pro-football talk dominates every channel of sports discussion. I think it’d be nice if bravesjournal were a refuge from that. Then again, I haven’t been here as long as most of you. Caveat being that it would probably help keep the football talk out if the Braves hit the baseball more than once every few games.

  15. Edward, but not worse than your fantasy performance last week, Griefus Ephus. The door was slammed shut by the Proven Closer.

  16. Here, NFL talk generally takes a backseat to SEC talk, as it should.

    That said, if the Falcons get back on the stick, I’ll be a helluva lot more interested. Playing a weekly betting pool (I don’t do fantasy) only does so much for your genuine interest.

  17. I understand that not everyone wants to talk football, or should they every warrant it, Hawks basketball, or in a few years Atlanta MLS soccer. And if we were not dealing with a completely horrific team that is “competing” for a “playoff spot” by being maybe the least worst of the truly terrible “contenders” in the NL we might have less football talk right now. But there’s only so many ways to skin a BJ-Upton-sucks thread or ask “man, do you think they should trade Evan Gattis for something really valuable this winter?” again.

    The Braves suck this year. I mean, they really, truly, fantastically suck. They suck so much that I’ve started thinking of them as gay porn. It’s not a matter of if someone is going to suck, but who is the guy sucking on that given day. And in the midst of that suckage, both UGA and the Falcons have opened the footie seasons strongly. (We will not speak of GT’s 2-0 start, because seriously, Tech…)

    And no, we probably don’t want to discuss Levenson’s email in order to avoid the politics rule.

    Carolina sucks. The fact that the Bucs got beat by Derek Anderson – DEREK ANDERSON – tells you how overrated the whole “Lovie Smith will bring that team around” talking point was. You don’t replace Glennon with Josh McGown and win.

  18. @19

    My pitchers pitched with more heart, though, six wins to three. They are the Jack Morris/Russ Ortiz sentimental champions.

    Don’t know how you managed to overcome Garret Richards and Daniel Murphy, though…

  19. @22

    I don’t think the Braves suck so much as they are completely, thoroughly, utterly, hopelessly, and terribly mediocre. In fact, I suspect the 2014 Braves are the platonic ideal of ‘mediocre.’

    And for the Panthers? They certainly have the capability of a Braves-like level of offensive performance. However, that defense…yeesh.

    They’re going to be involved in a LOT of 17-13 type games this year I expect.

  20. @20, the only reason we’re not talking SEC is that the whole conference hit the snooze button this past weekend. That was a brutal lineup of cupcakes.

    I’m still in the dreamy afterglow of the Falcons week 1 offense. I have low expectations for the season because the D is talent-challenged (that’s the pc term for sucky), but now at least there’s a glimmer of hope. 4 WRs and 4 RBs that are all legitimate threats, plus a QB that’s smart and generally on-target if given time…this is gonna be fun to watch if everyone can stay healthy.

  21. I’m not sure that the D is all *that* bad. I mean, Drew Brees is the spawn of satan and eats kittens, soaked in the blood of infants alive while laughing to Sean Peyton’s Nazi paraphenalia dungeon, but he’s also pretty damned good as a QB. I was actually impressed with the renovated D-line’s ability to stop the run in the second half. That was not something I’m used to seeing from the Falcons. And the corners actually made a couple of really fantastic cover plays deep, each. The linebackers are still weak in defending the middle zone, but that’s what happens when you start Paul Worrilow dammit.

    I’m actually mostly concerned about the O-line again. The right side was weak all day, until Mathews twisted his ankle, and then the right AND left side were weak. I don’t know that I want to go an entire season depending on Matt Ryan scrambling “smartly” because Lamar Holmes and Gabe Carini never met a pass rush they thought they should get in the way of.

  22. Holmes and Carini both played ok – which was somewhat shocking. Biggest upgrade of the offseason was bringing in Asamoah. Solidifying the guard position should help our tackles. Losing Matthews for an extended period is definitely going to be a problem though. Hopefully it’s just a mild sprain.

    I wonder if Ryan’s experience last season led to him working on his mobility a bit?

    The D graded out horrible across the board. It’s going to be a season of who-has-the-ball-last.

    Miss that 52 yard FG and we’re talking about firing Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter today. The margins between W’s and L’s is so thin in the NFL…

  23. Mathews clearly wanted to come back in during the second half. It didn’t look “serious.” But I approve of them taking it easy with the golden boy, given how bad they need him on that wall.

  24. Didn’t see the Falcons/Saints game, but it would appear that the New Orleans defense is made of confetti & Styrofoam, which is a good thing.

    I’m sticking with the Braves until that last game, but this offense is a challenge to keep up with, very easy to tune out. If we somehow end up playing a WC game in San Fran–or even a play-in game in Pittsburgh,say–I’ll be relatively thrilled.

  25. Holmes and Carini were covered by the formations. They lined up 5-wide a lot to make sure Ryan had 3 second reads available to him if the pocket was collapsing, and he went to those check downs often. The big plays were bubbles and short passes that the runners broke open afterwards, and little slants to Hester across the middle. It wasn’t until the last drive, where NO drop to rushing three and playing prevent deep that you saw a big pass deep (to White) that required a 5-7 second pocket.

  26. Sorry, Eddie. Football has always been a valid secondary conversational topic around here. You can skip those posts if you like.

  27. Last Falcons post until next week…apologies to all that would rather talk about tweaking the batting order to get better clustering for our 4 hits…

    ?w=694

  28. It was a tough couple of days for Murmur, the Athens-based ultimate frisbee team (mixed division), at sectionals this past weekend. The drive up to Greenville early Saturday morning was peaceful and quick, and we arrived with plenty of time to throw and warm up our legs.

    It wasn’t much use, though. We were well-outfitted with healthy men, but our women had been hit with some sort of plague in the days leading up to the tournament. Of our 4 best women players, 3 pulled out 24 hours before the tournament started, and a third played Saturday through a back injury, but she was unable to continue on Sunday. We were left with 4 women to play through the weekend (3 on the field at a time), only one of whom is an experienced player. It was something like hell for the rest of them.

    While that put us at a disadvantage, it was our play on the field more than anything that did us in. Every time we found a hole on offense it seemed like our hands would turn to iron–catches should not be a rare accomplishment in ultimate–and our defense couldn’t find its feet quick enough to stop scores following mid-field turnovers. Who knows whether our strategy was solid? Throws and catches, throws and catches: without a solid foundation, strategy doesn’t matter a lick.

    One win and five losses later, I’m not sure that if we’d played better we would have done more than tighten some of the scores, though. We’re a new club with only one tournament (as a group; individually we’ve played plenty) under our belts. Meanwhile, the teams we played (PLUFF out of Nashville, Swamp Rabbits out of Greenville, and especially Atlanta’s powerhouse, Bucket) are stocked with elite players and/or have been stable units for years now. We crushed the team we beat, the Swamp Rabbits b-squad, something like 15-4, but they were truly overmatched at the tournament, even playing their best. Good luck at Regionals to the better teams. It was a fun season.

    For my own part, I played a solid, though by no means dominant tournament. I wasn’t prone to the same offensive lapses of many of my teammates–but I was looking for the big throws all weekend (I’m almost exclusively a handler) and couldn’t seem to find them. Running a zone d around the field in a wild goose chase is fun and useful, but its value is negated when the team doesn’t complete its continuation passes. I wanted to edit out some of those unnecessary short throws with some quick scoring, and I just couldn’t do it.

    There’s always next year.

  29. @42

    Heh heh…well played.

    Take heart, Tuesday-Friday will be pretty much back to normal around here (unless the Falcons or one of the local college teams plays on Monday or Thursday). I have every confidence that you can handle it.

  30. I look forward to the “where do we go from here?” posts. This team is finished. I just saw a post on the B/R feed that indicated that this team has scored the fewest runs per game for any Braves team since 1990. That’s pre-14 straight division titles bad.

  31. Sam,

    How is your pitcher who was hit by a line drive in the spring? I’ve been wondering, hoping he’s recovered from his injury. Are the fielding masks working out? How’s your current season going?

  32. @46

    Can’t tell if you’re kidding, but this was a “serious” tournament, so the answer can safely be assumed to be “no” for all players involved.

    We played a party tournament a couple weeks ago where you were as likely to find a stoned player as a sober one, though.

  33. The 2015 MLB schedules are out today. Next season, all the Braves’ IL games come vs. the AL East. They basically have home & away series with every AL East club, except the Yankees. (They don’t come to The Bronx, but host them in late August.)

    End of the season could be interesting. The last 6 games are at Turner Field vs. Washington, then St. Louis.

  34. My player hasn’t gotten back on a field yet. He could, but he hasn’t. His face shows the damage. I have gotten used to pitching with the mask now and wear it every time I’m in the middle of the diamond. I don’t use it to play 3B or 2B, though it might not be a bad idea considering how hard some of those guys hit the ball at 3B (and how less than professionally groomed our infield usually is.)

    My traditional Thursday night team is having our best season to date, starting out 2-1 (we’ve had FOUR rainouts so far this year already; Thursday nights are rain nights in Atlanta apparently.) I agreed to run a team for a friend in a Tuesday night league to keep the league going, and that one is not quite gelled as unit yet.

    I do prefer 3B to P these days.

  35. @51 – We’ll just hope that new manager Doug Dascenzo has new GM Tony DeMacio’s team in a position that those games will matter.

  36. @42- Great recap, but even greater team name!

    I had a really good time playing in on the fields in Greenville, NC on the fields of ECU. I played at least two tournaments there, including the lone open regionals I made it to. (Cannibal Marshmallow, 2008.) Man, those were the days. Back when I could run, and cut…. I can still kinda throw. Especially the high release forehand. You’re not a handler in my book until you’ve got a forehand high release. :-)

  37. Gattis out with strep, wonder why Laird gets the start over Bethancourt.

    Edit: Apparently he’s out the whole series.

  38. I’m looking forward to the “where do we go from here?” posts. This team is finished. That I have read rumors of trading Gattis makes me ill. I also saw on the team’s B/R feed that this team has scored the fewest runs per game of any Braves team since 1990. That’s pre-14 straight division titles kind of bad.

  39. We’re the MLB.TV “Free and Worth It!” game tonight.

    Heyward rf, Bonifacio cf, Freeman 1b, JUpton lf, Johnson 3b, La Stella 2b, Simmons ss, Laird c, Minor “p.” It’s a do or die game, and I hope we can at least claim death for tax reasons.

  40. Anybody who is not following the ongoing discussion about experts and expertise in the “Hey Bill” section of Bill James’ website is basically throwing his/her life away.

  41. Offseason trade:
    Rays get Tommy La Stella, Evan Gattis, and David Hale
    Braves get Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist, and Jeremy Hellickson.
    Who hangs up?

  42. My primary goal for the rest of the season is to see Heyward get his SLG up to a number beginning with a 4.

  43. A Chip Caray classic: “Towards third…Desmond’s got it. The peg to second in plenty of time and Rendon makes the throw to end the inning.”

  44. @73 Yeah puts some of that shiny WAR number into perspective.

    edit – Why so the Braves bother carrying bats up there.

  45. Edward has a point…

    Jason Heyward’s marvelous defense merely contrasts how pathetic his hitting has become…he is, presumably, frightened of the baseball…reminiscent of the Charles Atlas ads of 50 years ago…

  46. @88, Got it. Not that the insurance run will matter…

    So Heyward saved two runs, and the Nats have two runs – so the game is tied, right?

  47. @91

    I know you’re tongue-in-cheek there, but what it means is that we have the tying run on first instead of in the on-deck circle right now.

  48. Edward…

    i don’t even know what an ellipse is…

    educate me, please…cheers

    p.s. if it’s these dots i use instead of regular punctuation there is no significance, nothing at all…just a further celebration of the escape from the formal…

    the tying runs are aboard!!

  49. @92, but I’ve been told over and over again that a run saved is exactly equivalent to a run produced. Have I been lied to? ;-)

    First big bat off the bench has gotta be Ramiro Pena. Because. Fredi.

  50. 93, 95: There is no reason… whatsoever… to fear the dots!

    There is, however, reason to despair at this lineup.

  51. Wished they’d have left Clippard in to take his full requisite whoopin’ .

    @98, yeah I jumped the gun there…the insurance run definitely matters.

  52. I know it’s a tired subject, but I really gotta question the strategy of putting guys with OPS+ of 60 in the second spot in the order. For the love of all that’s holy can we please bat Heyward, JUpton, Freeman consecutively? Please? At least try it for one game.

  53. I hope Walker and Fletcher are polishing up their resumes, because even if the Braves miraculously win the World Series this year, there’s no way they don’t lose their jobs.

  54. Awful.

    Is there any other team that starts 3 guys with sub .300 OBPs?

    I’m with Ububba, I’ve seen some horrible Braves teams, so I’m in until they are out but good shit its hard to watch.

  55. @96…yes, none…

    @95…i thank you…

    @105…i’m overwhelmed…

    to all…what are we going to do with this team?

  56. @109, there’s no place to hide him. But tonight we had Bonifacio up there, who is also a total scrub at the plate. It’s not usually the same guy in the 2 hole each night, but it’s always a guy that can’t hit or get on base. If you have to lift your 2 hole hitter late for a pinch hitter (and that PH is Ramiro F. Pena), then you’re just doing it wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. All I ask is for our three or four decent hitters to bat at the top and consecutively. Maybe we’ll score that way. Maybe.

  57. 112- Keep watching and complaining for the next 20 days. Then wait for spring to do it again.

    Trust me. I tried to get away once but couldn’t do it.

  58. Olbermann today…first appearance in the new 5pm timeslot, surrounded by PTI and similar rubbish…now reduced to 30 minutes…are they stifling him or have his numbers won them over towards prime time? some are fearful…

    needn’t have worried today…fierce untrammeled attack on all involved in the Ray Rice affair, re-energized by the release of the full TMZ video…magnificent demolition of Goodell, the Baltimore DA, and assorted hangers on…this is the only voice on television who dares speak this way…so sorry if you’re a right winger, you’ll just have to suck it up…anyway, it has precisely nothing to do with anything political, can’t you accept that?

    Goodell at 44 Million…please, you expect me to take anything to do with the NFL seriously..as for the NCAA, SEC included, Penn State anyone? What would Mac have said?

    our dear Braves, so sad…on every other subject i am obviously the Oracle…on this i am bereft.

  59. “fierce untrammeled attack on all involved in the Ray Rice affair, re-energized by the release of the full TMZ video…magnificent demolition of Goodell, the Baltimore DA, and assorted hangers on…this is the only voice on television who dares speak this way…”

    He was hardly the only person in the national media today that “magnificently demolished” the commissioner, prosecutors, or the Ravens’ front office.

  60. I mean, if they somehow squeak into the playoffs, they’re going nowhere. There’s no reason to get wound up in these last three weeks. And the wild-card playoff doesn’t count. That’s just a glorified tie breaker.

  61. My fear is that the last part of the season will be a slow agonizing death. We’ll win a game here and there and our opposition who isn’t good but just sucks less than we do will lose a few here and there just to make us suffer.

  62. But I thought the playoffs were a crapshoot, and all you have to do is get in and then miracles can happen, that one time with the Cardinals, and that other time with the Giants, etc, etc.

    At least that was what I was told on here last offseason. It’s almost as though constructing your team to be just good enough to make it in could come back to bite you in the ass or something.

  63. Speaking of Bill James Online, something screwy is going on over there:

    “The hottest teams in baseball at this moment are:
    Los Angeles Angels 111°
    Baltimore Orioles 103°
    San Francisco Giants 101°
    Cleveland Indians 100°
    Atlanta Braves 86°”

  64. Well that temp is less than normal body temperature.

    @124 – Welcome to the mid market. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don’t.

  65. I think in environments where a 90-95 win team has to settle for a Wild Card slot, then yes, the “crapshoot” can yield a World Series winner from a Wild Card slot. This team is not nearly as good as the Cards and Giants teams that won it all. I think the idea is still valid, just not with this particular team.

  66. We may very well make the playoffs. There’s 18 games left and we’re capable of winning 12 of them. My problem with this team is that they just aren’t fun.

  67. If Gattis is out indefinitely with strep throat then it’s even more of an uphill battle. He’s not the savior for the offense, he’s mostly sucked along with the rest of them for the past few weeks, but when he does have a good game we seem to win. We’re going to be sporting a lineup with possibly 4 guys with sub-300 OBPs. Whee.

  68. The obvious takeaway from a league in which the Nationals can win the division and be one of the top two teams in the NL is that the league sucks.

  69. “The hottest teams in baseball at this moment are:
    Los Angeles Angels 111°
    Baltimore Orioles 103°
    San Francisco Giants 101°
    Cleveland Indians 100°
    Atlanta Braves 86°”

    I hear you run a fever before Ebola kills you.

  70. WARNING: Response to blazon’s question about Olbermann follows. For those who are massively uninterested, please feel free to scroll down.

    @116

    I’m pretty sure it’s the latter, with regard to Olbermann. Even though it’s down to a half-hour, he’ll be on at 5 p.m. every night rather than being pushed to ESPNews or having his show delayed ’til 11:23 or God knows when because of live events. The fact is that a half-hour sports talk show at 5 p.m. is more desirable than an hour-long one at 11 p.m. that’s subject to time or network changes based on what’s going on. People aren’t really looking for sports talk at 11 p.m., especially when it’s difficult to know when and where you can find the show. Besides, he only ever had a half-hour of worthwhile programming, anyway. They were always struggling to fill the rest with 20 minutes of highlights or silly YouTube videos or whatever else. This should tighten up the show and actually make it better. They also said he’s now gonna be on SportsCenter occasionally, which I don’t think they’d do if they were about to can him.

  71. We need to make a rule that games don’t have to be recapped for the rest of the season when the Braves lose and score less than 2 runs. Unfortunately, with the way we’ve been hitting, this could mean that more than 50% of our remaining games aren’t recapped.

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