Bucs 12, Braves Snitkered

Brian Snitker made his major league managerial debut this evening, and got a chance to see first hand just what a terrible AAA team the Braves major league team would make. He’s used to both his team and his team’s competition being superior to the bunch he’s stuck with now. No one deserves his fate.

A lot of offense means ballgames that never end, and this game felt like the longest regulation game in the history of forever (clearly, I would make a terrible Yankees or Red Sox fan). Chip ‘n Joe spent most of it mourning over the loss of Fredi and trying to verbally reconcile in their own minds how something like this could happen so suddenly to such a great guy (to be fair, it definitely sounds like Fredi is a great guy, well-liked by all who know him. To be equally fair, I never heard our esteemed broadcasters mention the words “late season collapses”.) John II* joined the broadcast in the 2nd inning to reassure Braves fans that we are, in fact, in a rebuild, and that rebuilds are hard and not fun, that today was especially not fun because Fredi is a great guy, but the organization needed to move in a different direction, and one day this wretchedness that is Braves “baseball”, too, shall pass, and the team shall be great again and all this pain and agony forgotten. (note: this is a liberal paraphrase of what he actually said. It is, however, what he meant.)

Somewhere in the endless narrative over the state of the union of the Atlanta Braves, the teams on the field ended up with 36 combined hits, 21 combined runs, and 329 combined pitches thrown.

Aaron Blair started the game and made it into the 2nd inning before he got yanked. That was quite the accomplishment considering he gave up 7 runs in the 1st. The Pirates did not slack off, and picked up two runs in the 2nd and 5th innings and tacked on another in the 7th.

In honor of their new skipper, the Braves offense did not roll over and play dead, and managed to sneak runs across the plate in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. They continued to rise to the occasion, though, to reassure us that these are the same ol’ bums they’ve always been this season— they were careful to ground into a double play whenever it started to appear as though they wanted to make this affair a real ballgame. Despite their best attempts to squash every rally, they made it to within 3 runs of the Pirates (thanks in part to Mallex Smith and his two not-up-for-review home runs on the evening) and made the line score look a little less lopsided.

The Braves are now 0-1 in the post-Gonzalez era. A 133-29 record for this year is still possible. Get ‘er done, Snitker!

(I know he only played the last few innings of this game and had no bearing on the final score, but this will never not be true:)
Aybar delenda est.

*The JohnsTM is a wonderful name for our joint front office executives, but when necessity demands they be referenced on their own, I nominate our trinity be broken down in this way:
John I: Schuerholz, since he was here first and, you have to believe, can override anything he pleases in this organization.
John II: Hart, since he rose to power next, and seems to still hold the second in command position.
John III: Coppolella, the lowest in the pecking order and seems to be allowed to do whatever Johns I and II permit him to do, and no more.

105 thoughts on “Bucs 12, Braves Snitkered”

  1. We still control our own destiny. As long as we take care of business and win out, we will be division champs.

  2. Aaron Blair has not impressed me, even before tonight. Not sure he’s the answer. I guess Gant would be the next in line if Blair needs to go back to AAA.

  3. Blair certainly hasn’t been impressive so far, but I don’t think there should be a lot of concern. He’s only 23, and he’s pitched well everywhere he’s gone. He’ll need the same treatment everyone else has gotten.

    Adonis is absolutely killing it and has almost a 1200 OPS in AAA. Inciarte needs to start hitting and fast. Man, I wish Adonis could fake 3B so we could stick Castro at SS and Beckham at 2B. Oh well.

  4. I used to feel that way about Coppy too, ‘Rissa, but I talked to an AJC sportswriter recently, and he believes that Coppolella is the clear dominant mover in the front office, and that all of the team’s recent moves have been his initiative.

  5. Baby face
    you’ve got the cutest ever change of pace
    but that shellacking was a sheer disgrace
    Baby face
    we thought you’d started something
    but then the bats were thumping.

    Baby face
    we’re up in heaven
    when we’re in the pennant race
    but we need a stud
    don’t you please be dud
    be our ballin’ baby face.

  6. I think we trade Markakis soon and bring up Adonis to play LF. We are too LH heavy in the lineup. AJP and Aybar need to go

  7. JWDB
    an appreciation @ 177 previous thread.

    Mallex Smith
    has just been announced as batting clean up, forthwith
    from his home in the Hollywood Hills
    he says this leaves me free to further my base running skills.

  8. We are too LH heavy in the lineup

    …to do what? Make the playoffs?

    Adonis is absolutely killing it and has almost a 1200 OPS in AAA. Inciarte needs to start hitting and fast

    …or else what? They’ll bench him in favor of Adonis Garcia? Sell low on him?

  9. @4

    I agree. They trot out older established guys to try and calm the fears. Coppy is also not very media savvy.

    I though it was odd he was on the radio broadcast, while Hart was on TV.

    I imagine we will see Bobby and Chipper more over the next few weeks.

  10. ‘Rissa rocks,the Braves don’t; but have a game, Mallex. Do you think he awoke with the dope testers outside his door?

  11. Aybar is the whipping boy, deservedly so, but worse (at least to me) is tuning in and watching AJP constantly dropping throws from all directions on the field. The guy is the worst defensive catcher I can recall.

  12. @10 At least Mark Bradley gets it — it was Fredi’s performance when the team was competitive that cost him the job, but the axe was delayed once the decision to “rebuild” was made. He got fired at the end of ’14 and immediately rehired as interim manager.

  13. I would love to have Gattis back, but not for anything of value. I would trade markakis and AJP for right now.

  14. @13, You know…I balked and laughed when I read that. “Oh Stu, you joker!” etc.

    And I know it’s not real, but it really wouldn’t be the worst trade in the world.

  15. @19, it is a funny meme–whichever pitcher has a bad outing, suggest trading him for Gattis. I would trade one of the Williams for Gattis but not both.

  16. Adonis Garcia
    said i’d rather not have hit them heah
    i could have been clearing the Monongaheela
    after a substantial long long Tequiila.

  17. We had a pretty plain rotation before we started adding all these fancy Blairs and Wislers.

  18. @17, I am pretty sure I have a comment to that effect buried in the back pages of Braves Journal. Not to toot my own horn, but yeah, I guess I’m tooting my own horn. Although do I want to admit that something I said might be the inspiration for a Mark Bradley piece?

    That was a puzzle piece of my logic that the Braves organization has known for some time they want someone specific other than Fredi to lead the team, but while rebuilding it didn’t make sense to force the issue so quickly by firing Fredi and bringing this new guy in to clean up a Category 5 mess. Fredi’s a perfectly acceptable non-entity of a manager to take care of that chore. And Snitker is the best possible replacement in that scenario.

    And also note that Chipper sold his Texas estate and moved back to Atlanta just a few months ago. Yeah, yeah, he’s said many times before “I’m not interested.” But that’s the kind of thing you say when you’re interested, it’s a delicate situation, and appearances need to be upheld.

  19. I’ll give you guys one guess on who has the highest ISO on this team after last night (tied for most fWAR too)

  20. Mallex was #2 in rwar last I checked, so it’s gotta be him after 2 dingers. I guess Wisler is tied with him.

  21. Am I the only one who doesn’t think handing the keys over to Chipper next year is a particularly fantastic idea? I’d love him as hitting coach next year. As manager, though? Really?

  22. Chipper as manager would be entertaining, perhaps. But a club, unless its owned by George Steinbrenner, rarely wants to be put into a position to have to fire one of its legends. And surely that would happen at some point.

  23. Chipper is my favorite player of all time and the name-bearer of my pup, but I don’t want him as manager. I don’t think he’d be a good manager, he doesn’t want to be a manager, and there are better options for managerial duties already on the field. It just doesn’t make sense.

  24. @25

    He is the president of the Fredi Fan Club

    @28 and 35

    I think having Chipper as a manager is not the best idea in the world. He has never managed a baseball game in his life. Plus if you hire Chipper for that job, you also have to be able to fire Chipper from that job.

    I think having Chipper around the team and the organization is a fantastic idea. I think his best role would be as roving hitting instructor. It would be great if he was working with Swanson, Riley, Ruiz and especially Davidson.

    If it were me, I’d hire Bud Black and let him assemble his own staff. You try to find ways to keep TP and Eddie in the organization, if Black doesn’t want them on staff. However, no one currently on the coaching staff is indispensable.

  25. Chipper should not be the manager–it’s silliness. He would be a fantastic hitting coach, but what the Braves would offer to pay a hitting coach would probably be insulting to him.

  26. I think someone will give Eddie a shot. He seems to be well respected in his work in the winter league.

  27. @20… fixed it for you, Smitty:

    I think AJ and Aybar are the two most unmovable Players.

    @27 HA!!

  28. Chipper is going to be in the front office one day, evaluating and helping pick talent. The manager thing wouldn’t work for lots of reasons, but I think it would be entertaining.

    Dave Martinez or the Red Sox bench coach…I’ll take either.

  29. @41 Perhaps the Braves could offer to sell Chipper a small share of the franchise at a good price – that way, whatever they end up paying him in salary would be basically immaterial.

    In other news, I was reminiscing with a friend about how much the MLB playoff system has changed from the days when the best record in the AL met the best record in the NL for the World Series, and that was it… the dynastic Braves teams of the 90’s to early 00’s would definitely have benefited from that setup – Braves had the best record in the NL 9 (!!!!) times between 1992 – 2003:

    1992 (98 W), 1993 (104), 1995 (90), 1996 (96), 1997 (101), 1998 (106), 1999 (103), 2002 (101), 2003 (101).

    Having to go through the NLCS (and later the NLDS) definitely hurt the Braves; they made the WS once without the best NL record (the magical 1991 season – Pirates had a better record), and only reached the WS in 3 out of the 9 seasons listed above (1992, 1995, 1999).

  30. I wonder a few things about Fredi. If he’s as great as DOB and the ATL media thinks, then where will he be managing in the future?

    Will DOB become the beat writer that covers that team?

  31. Fredi could probably buy a nice villa in Cuba and get a job with the Braves as a scout-player development guy; but you tell me he really wanted Hector, and he really didn’t develop any of our prodigies into realities.

  32. 40—Mainly just because I like him. Big fan of his personality.

    Also, the whole former-MLB-catcher-who-speaks-Spanish thing seems like it should be a good combination, on paper.

  33. Fredi will catch on as a bench coach somewhere. He’s a respected baseball guy. Wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Ned Yost take him on.

  34. Whereas Shea Simmons has 2IP and gotten 6 Ks… with 2 H and 3 BB. Little rust there to shake off, though…

  35. @56 As a groundball-heavy pitcher, Blair doesn’t need to strike out as many batters as a Folty (flyball) type would in order to be successful; that said, as far as pitchers are concerned, flyballs < groundballs <<< strikeouts.

    Blair had a 3+ K/BB ratio in the low minors, which dropped to the 2.8 K/BB range in AA/AAA before collapsing (small sample size warning) against MLB competition this year. I think he's got a good chance to be succeed as an innings-eater type; picture the singular Williams Perez, but better.

    For reference, Jair Jurrjens was quite successful 2008 – 11 (excepting 2010) with a roughly 2.0 K/BB ratio. JJ's pitching method wasn't the recipe for long-term greatness, but it got the job done for a bit.

    EDIT: Upon review it doesn’t appear Blair is coaxing all that many grounders so far this year. I was under the impression that was a part of his profile; if not, I retract my comments aimed at contextualizing his lack of Ks.

  36. I don’t think Blair’s dad did him any favors by criticizing AJP on TC threads. Dunno how much visibility stuff like that gets or if it matters, but can’t see how it could possibly help.

  37. Maybe it’ll force them to release AJP. A Recker/Flowers platoon would be a heck of a lot better.

  38. Anybody know anything about 23 year old reliever Brad Roney at Mississippi? 12 games, 16.1 IP, 27 K’s, 11 BB, and 1.65 ERA.

  39. Chipper would be a terrible manager. Of the three names bouncing around, Pendleton is your odds on favorite, Perez your dark horse candidate, and Mark DeRosa the guy they hire to bring Chipper in as hitting coach.

  40. Lineup: Inciarte CF, Markakis RF, Freeman 1B, Francoeur LF, Flowers C, Aybar 2B, d’Arnaud 3B, Castro SS, Teheran P

    Since I always like to be the first to do something…. FIRE SNITKER!

    Seriously, why is Mallex not in the lineup? Are we trying to discourage our players from hitting home runs?

  41. I’m not a fan of the Mallex platoon. I also don’t like the other side of the platoon to HIT CLEAN UP!

    Has Aybar played any at second?

  42. The bottom 6 of our lineup makes me cringe. Other than that, we have a competitive team.

  43. Was it Bill James that said there is no such thing as a pitching prospect, only pitching suspects?

  44. Stop playing Frenchy/AJP/Aybar/etc and we might accidentally win games…that’s a dilemma.

  45. Did any of us ever imagine that Gordon Beckham would be on our team, and we’d be complaining about his lack of playing time?

  46. I have to admit that I wouldn’t have ever predicted Aybar would be this bad. I didn’t expect him to be “good”, but “worst player ever” wasn’t in the picture.

  47. I have no problem with him sitting once a week against a tough lefty, but that’s about it.

    EDIT: Worth noting that Aybar has the third highest salary on the team.

  48. Craig Robinson compiled over 150 plate appearances just once, in 1974. He had 504 plate appearances and was worth -1.5 WAR. Aybar is currently at -1.5 WAR and projects to -6 WAR or so over that many PA

    Pat Rockett, though…hoo boy. He had -3 war in just 157 PA one season while OPSing .366

  49. #78
    There’s a reason Robinson had so few MLB PAs.

    This season’s 38-games old. Historically, Aybar’s a much better player than those 2 guys.

  50. Clearly Aybar has been a pretty good player historically. But his single season pace is what it is, whether or not it’s likely to continue.

    I’m continuing to marvel at the career of Pat Rockett. Had to be one of the worst top-10 draft picks ever. Astonishingly after his -3 war season and logging -5.5 war in parts of 3 seasons, he was traded in a package for Chris Chambless. He was 23 at the time, so I guess there was still “upside”.

  51. What was the most important part of that double switch? Vizcaino retiring McCutcheon, Beckham’s RBI, or getting Aybar out of the game?

  52. @4, I was thinking less of Coppy being told what to do in terms of front office moves (although it’s good to know this is truly his baby now), and more along the lines that the first two Johns are the ones who gave him his job, and they’d be the ones who can take it away should they decide he is outside of TheBravesWayTM. I’d be curious to know who made the final call on Fredi, though, especially since Hart flew up to help break the news.

  53. Peanut reports Teheran has a 0.42 ERA (1 ER in 21.2 IP) with Flowers as his catcher and a 4.19 ERA (16 ER in 34.1 IP) with Pyrzynski behind the plate.

  54. AJP can’t hit or catch but he knows how to handle young pitchers, see

    Tyler will be benched for 3 days after this 3 hit performance

    Brandon Barker pitched a nifty little 6 inning shutout with 8 k’s before Jason Hursh came in and crapped the bed.

  55. The MLBTR writer commenting most recently on our managerial search tool time to mock Peanut’s writing “style” subtly with a choice pull quote.

    For all the crap he got over “silencing his critics,” Peanut’s true stock phrase may be “provides an indication.” Without it, I’m not sure he could complete a story.

  56. Been away for a couple of days… Just catching up. I remember I was on the subway in Paris when I found out Eddie Mathews was fired as Braves manager…. probably for playing Craig Robinson too much. It’s always those negative WAR shortstops that get ya.

  57. Rockett compounded his awfulness by being an entitled jerk, according to Skip.

  58. Crazy the things you see when something like a firing occurs. I learned that Fredi was divorced from his longtime wife Pamela, moved out of his East Cobb home into a townhouse somewhere in ATL, is engaged to a woman in Pennsylvania, helped his future stepdaughter shop for prom dresses as his first business post-firing (gave an interview during this activity), and is going to live in PA with his future bride. He moves fast.

    Oh, and Bartolo Colon has a second family, so LOLMets.

  59. Apparently The Angels just lost their primary catcher Geovany Soto for (at least) four-to-six weeks with a torn meniscus. Maybe we can trade them AJP?

  60. @100 I was searching real estate records yesterday and noticed that Fredi & wife sold their house last year. They lived a couple houses down from Roger McDowell. Thought it was odd because I couldn’t find a new record for him anywhere in the surrounding counties. The article answered the question.

  61. 96—For fun (?), count how many times he uses some tense of the word “gain” in a given article.

    He is truly an awful writer. Baffling that he has kept this job for so long.

    …and I still strongly prefer him to the douche canoe at the AJC.

  62. @103, I think you’ve just found the best two-word epithet in Bravesjournal history. I won’t say which two words, but they rhyme with Swoosh Kazoo

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