Does the All-Star Break Get Longer Every Year?

Seriously, it feels like it’s been a week without baseball. And we have to wait ANOTHER DAY. I’m twitching. Which makes me think of this song.

I’m not sure how to avoid being despondent about Freddie. But how weird is it that Primus has sold millions of albums? Who are the weirdest bands to go platinum?

94 thoughts on “Does the All-Star Break Get Longer Every Year?”

  1. Longer and more boring, just like the game itself.
    It’s always been meaningless, but before inter-league play it was one of two chances to see AL vs NL and draw whatever conclusion seemed appropriate.
    Now its another marketing tool. (Staying up til midnight for the end of the game can’t win kudo’s from parents who want their kids going to bed at a reasonable hour; nor, attract kids from other activities which is a MLB objective).

  2. Did we give up anything for this guy? Seems like the Royals are clearing unnecessary pieces to free up just a little more salary room before a trade for a more expensive player, and it seems like the Braves are preparing for the Jim Johnson Dump.

    Edit: Apparently he was straight released by KC despite performing pretty well (results-wise) so far. So we didn’t give up anybody. I hold firm to my analysis of team motivations, though.

  3. Braves just replaced Grilli with another veteran that could be traded should he prove worthy of trade. A smart move.

  4. LOL. Hart on keeping Fredi for 2016: “…Fredi’s been really good. He’s been good to work with and he’s done a good job with his staff. And this club may fall apart but I know if it happens it’s not going to be because Fredi forgot how to manage.”

    No, no it’s not John. No it most definitely is not.

  5. @4 — I’m not sure teams will be beating down the door to bid on a guy who was freely available for only money, sadly.

    More interesting than vague gestures of managerial support, to me, is that Hart’s interview makes it abundantly clear the issue the Braves had with Bethancourt: Preparedness. Seems like they wanted him to be a team leader and a guide for the pitchers first, and a hitter second, and he wasn’t cooperating. That makes his treatment by the team a lot more understandable, IMO. I’m a lot more prepared to give the team the benefit of the doubt if he’s showing a lack of effort (and I don’t think fans are in a position to judge a lack of effort, so don’t give me that) than if they’re just “playing the hot hand.”

    On the other hand, this makes me worry that I will never see the back of A.J. Pierzynski, which is the one thing I desire most out of this team presently. I even heard a rumor that they plan to trade him at the deadline… then re-sign him in the offseason, which is just, you know, yuck.

  6. @9
    Teams were scared of Frasor’s peripherals. If McDowell can get him back into working order, Frasor for about 150K for the rest of the year would be enticing to many teams.

  7. @9, I’m curious about the sentiment that Bethancourt is getting mistreated. I see this on several Braves forums. Why should he be taking playing time away from AJP or anyone for that matter? He’s not good.

  8. @9

    I hated A.J. Pierzynski as much as the next guy coming into the year, but I have to admit that this has worked out pretty well. He’s kept it to a dull roar and has been instrumental in bringing our young pitchers along. I think it would’ve been tough to find a better solution at backup catcher than him, especially considering that he quickly became the starting catcher. I also think an argument can be made that whatever he brings back in a trade would not be as valuable as what he would provide to our pitching staff the remainder of the year.

  9. The thing with Bethancourt is that he can’t hit and he can’t catch. It’s not a mistreatment

  10. Like a lotta odd acts that got signed & broke out big in the post-Nirvana moonshot, Primus certainly benefited from good timing. People were ready for something they perceived as new.

    I mean, the Butthole Surfers were probably the weirdest act to ever have a bonafide radio/MTV hit – although the hit kinda sounded like Beck.

    The Meat Puppets certainly had some weird tunes in their day. (Go back & listen to their “version” of “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” — sounds like Captain Beefheart on the comedown after eating a wall of paintchips & downing it with Golden Grain.) But their hit was pretty palatable as well.

    I don’t think either act went platinum, though. Primus might just be the weirdest of that era’s platinum bunch.

  11. The thing with catchers is that the bat often comes around much more slowly than the glove. Guys like Brian McCann are really rare. I hope the team is able to be patient with Bethancourt, and I hope he’s able to get his head right.

  12. Meat Puppets–I was just playing some of their tunes a few months ago. Rare that I hear mention of them

  13. @9 Before the season, I used to compare Bethancourt to Paul Casanova, another rangy catcher with a great arm and couldn’t hit. But that wasn’t fair to Cassy, who at least was a professional.

  14. I don’t think it’s settled fact that Bethancourt can’t hit. He’s needed a lengthy adjustment period at every level, which is why he’s come on so slowly, and he certainly wouldn’t ever learn to hit riding the pine behind Pierzynski or whoever.

    That said, if he’s not taking his responsibilities as a defensive player seriously, the Braves are fully justified in not playing him. People have made that claim here before, but people make that claim all the time about all sorts of players for all sorts of spurious reasons, so I didn’t take the accusation seriously until it came from the horse’s mouth.

    I still want to see Pierzynski gone, though. He might be might least favorite guy on the team, and even at his best he’s nothing more than a stopgap. The Braves need a real solution going forward at that position, and if we get to Spring Training 2016 and the plan at catcher is A.J. Pierzynski, Part 2, I’ll be very disappointed.

  15. Bethancourt is going to be an average hitter for the catcher position. If he fails, it’s going to be for psych reasons, such as insufficient Adderall dosage.

    Mark it down. When I say “mark it down”, it’s serious–just like when I predicted a homer at Coors for Markakis. It would’ve happened, too, if you guys had marked it down.

  16. @14 Thanks ububba that was interesting or something?! The Meat Puppets doing “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” I mean!

  17. Trade some veterans for some outfield prospects, geld Chris Johnson and put him out to pasture and PLAY BALL.

  18. That’s not the first time Smoltz has said something stupid, but this time it was about baseball. And don’t forget, this is from the man who once tried to iron his shirt while wearing it. So his judgment, apparently, has its good days & its other days.

    Ironic end-quote: “We’ve anointed people a little too quickly in this game.”

    When those guys start racking up Cy Young trophies and post-season MVP awards, we can begin having that conversation. Gotta accomplish something first. They have a chance to do big things, but right now, they’re the early-’80s Oakland A’s (before Billy Martin over-worked them.)

    In my lifetime, the only staffs on par with those Braves were the late ’60s/early-70s Orioles or early-’70s A’s. Mid/late-’80s Mets were pretty good, too.

    (FWIW, can’t give the nod to those early/mid-’60s Dodgers with Koufax/Drysdale because they never had a 3rd guy as good as Smoltz, McNally or Holtzman.)

  19. Well, no surprise in the top ten on Fangraph’s trade value series. I really thought more people were buying Shelby as an ace based what he’s shown.

  20. ububba at 30,

    Another thing was the offensive environment. from 61 to 70 it was horrible.

    But, I think when Sutton came up at the end, the Dodgers had a pretty good third. Also, Tommy John may have come up before Koufax retired.

  21. @31

    I think last year’s funk still lingers with him–I know that before I watched him pitch this year I was extremely worried about how consistent he’d be. Same way with Julio. I think they’ve got to wash the bad taste out of folks’ mouths by doing it two years in a row.

  22. Sometimes a boring blog will make you smile. From the Sweetspot 2nd half preview entry for the Phillies:

    “They’re last in runs, last in runs allowed, last in walks drawn and next-to-last in walks issued. They’re last in Defensive Runs Saved at a stunning minus-76 runs worse than average already. They’re last in batting average allowed — worse even than the Rockies — and have given up the most home runs.”

    It’s been a good season, y’all.

  23. #32
    There was Johnny Podres as a #3, then they got Claude Osteen from the Senators. Tommy John was on the Indians & White Sox back then. Sutton was there only for Koufax’s last year.

    But there was never a consistent #3 guy & never anyone as good as McNally, etc., on their runs.

  24. coop at 37,

    “Spahn and Sain” was 1948. Don’t think Burdette was in the picture.

    But, that 48 team reminds me of another great set of pithcers not yet posted on. The 48 and 54 Cleveland Indians. I can’t remember them all, but it was a Hall worthy bunch and by 48 Feller was already off of his peak. Feller was never as good Post WW II as before. More of a “solid 2” than the “young un that may be the best ever” he was in late 30’s through 41. (Enlisted voluntarily on Monday December 8, 1941, as I remember).

  25. Manager Tip-Your-Cap got a one year extension with team option for 17. Ladies and gentlemen your 2015 winner of the C Montgomery Burns award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence.

  26. Saw Moylan and McKirahan in the Gwinnett box along with the Twin Bill last night. Bring ’em all up!

  27. Fredi & staff extended through 2016, per Big Mark.

  28. The Johns are out to show all the doubters they can win in spite of the team’s manager.

  29. Maybe it was a directive from the White House to bring the Cuban thaw to the bigs.

  30. The way to break a team is not
    to kick it in the stool
    but stick Gonzalez in his spot
    and call it beautifool.

  31. I don’t mind the deal. Much better than seeing a 4 year extension or something crazy like that. I’ll stand by my non-expert opinion that Freddy doesn’t bring much to the table from a managerial standpoint. In fact, the best thing about Freddy is his staff.

    He gets a pass this year – – and that’s probably fair. A mediocre team deserves a mediocre manager, I reckon.

  32. I think Spike has it right, why bother to change the manager when you’re not trying to win on the field? Might as well let Fredi manage until the fans start calling for Hart’s head, and then you can throw him to the wolves.

  33. @50 – Has there ever been a better name for a rock band that “Cromulent Swingmen”?

  34. Alden Gonzalez, the Angels beat writer for, just tweeted that the Angels might be interested in Nick Markakis.

    No, really!

  35. I can’t stand Fredi, but if you were going to fire him, there were lots of times to do so that made more sense than this season. As much as I think he’s managed stupidly this year, he could’ve made all the right moves and we’d still be below .500–just maybe a couple games better. I don’t mind a 1 year deal because it basically says “why change captains when the ship is sinking?”.

    And yes, please, please, please trade Markakis to the Angels without taking back salary.

  36. The Fredi extension just proves that nobody in the front office expects us to do anything in 2016 either.

  37. The only thing I can come up with is that the Braves FO must hear good things from the players regarding Fredi and that they enjoy playing for him. Otherwise, I’m lost.

  38. @60, I wasn’t really thinking we’d get anything back for Markakis but salary relief. Wouldn’t mind having Kubitza back in our system though.

  39. It’s what spike said above…the plan has always been to punt 2015 and 2016, then bring in someone new for the opening of NCS@WFF.

  40. @63
    If that’s the case, then why bother? Markakis is a nice complimentary piece if the Braves can add power in LF and 3b.

  41. @63
    If that’s the case, then why bother? Markakis is a nice complimentary piece if the Braves can add power in LF and 3b.

  42. In that AJC interview from a few days ago Hart basically said that we aren’t going to trade veterans for junk just to be seen to be doing stuff. It wouldn’t be surprising to me if they don’t make any moves outside of dealing Jim Johnson.

  43. I don’t care for Fredi, but there is something to be said for a team that was supposed to be awful is merely below average.

  44. I don’t like Fredi, period; but I do not see him in his day-to-day functioning, so my dislike may be based on my misunderstanding of what I perceive.

  45. @65, because, even though Nick has been OK for us, I don’t think we’re going to like what we’re getting from him in 2017-18. I’d sacrifice his modest production for the next season and a half to make sure we aren’t sinking 10% of the payroll into a replacement level guy in 2017.

  46. Just in case anyone is listening to the announcers interview John Hart, I hope you aren’t taking a drink each time they say “play the game the right way” or you’d be hammered.

  47. Bringing Fredi back for one more year makes sense. If we weren’t gonna fire him after last year, I can’t see firing him this year if he agrees to the one-year contract, which he obviously did. We can re-evaluate whether or not he’s the guy we want long-term when we’re at the end of the rebuild. I suspect he’s not, but if he takes next year’s team and makes the playoffs or something, maybe you re-evaluate. The Braves obviously like him better than most of the fans.

  48. Paul Byrd is totally incredulous that the Royals released Frasor when he had a 1.54 ERA

  49. John also kept saying “putting points on the board” instead of “runs”. I thought that was kinda odd.

  50. Yeah, the “points” thing made me blink. I hate it when people do that, so to hear a GM (or whatever he technically is) say it caught my attention.

  51. Julio was not happy. But with a fresh ‘pen, and the meat of the order up with the game on the line, why not?

  52. Fredi tells Julio, “I’ve got hand and I’m gonna use it to snatch the ball from you.”

  53. Probably safe. Normally would’ve automatically been called safe since the 1B umpires are normally only half paying attention on those pickoffs. Not sure it was enough to overturn, though.

  54. Went to Mariners/Yanks in The Bronx tonight. Decent game, A-Rod hit a late-game HR to win it for Tanaka. The bullpen (Betances & Miller) wrapped it up. Last year, McCann seemed to hit a homer every game I attended, but this year it’s A-Rod.

    I keep waiting for the catastrophic injury to one of the Yanks’ main guys, but Teixeira remains ambulatory, A-Rod doesn’t wear a glove anymore, the rotation seems to be alright for the moment & their closer just returned from the DL. Lotta older guys, but for now, they’re hanging together.

    And unlike the Mets, they’ll probably try to improve the club at the trade deadline. The Steinbrenners may not be so sympathetic, but they never invested with Bernie Madoff either. It’s only recently that I began to believe they’ll be playing in October (like last week).

    It’s not a great team thru & thru, but that division shouldn’t frighten anyone — they all seem the same. Of course, in the post-season, the end of the Yanks’ bullpen could be a little scary.

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