Braves 4, Marlins 3

Dansby Swanson hit a go-ahead solo home run in the 4th, and when that wasn’t enough, he striped a walk-off single in the 9th to give the Braves a 2 – 1 series victory. Swanson’s based loaded hit bailed out Arodys Vizcaino, who gave up a game tying solo home run in the 9th to Curtis Granderson.

Granderson’s pinch hit denied Sean Newcomb a win despite 7 innings of 2 run ball. Newcomb allowed 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2. Unfortunately, 3 of the hits and both walks were bunched in a 2 run 2nd inning. Sean finished strong, retiring the last 14 Marlins he faced.

Freddie Freeman opened the scoring with a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 1st, and scored the game winner in the 9th. Caleb Smith allowed 4 hits and struck out 7 in his 6 innings for the Marlins.

The Braves now stand at 5 – 4, and in 3rd place, 1.5 games back of the first place Phillies. Like Linus in the pumpkin patch, Braves fans await a Great Pumpkin who will never come. The guys we have are the guys we are going to have, Charlie Brown. Let’s see where it goes.

At Colorado Monday, 8:40 Eastern. Julio Teheran vs. Kyle Freeland scheduled.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

150 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 3”

  1. Boy, if we keep getting quality starts into the 7th inning by the rotation – – the bullpen sure looks a hell of a lot better.

    And if the Great Pumpkin could really come in the form of Kimbrel – – watch out.

    I believe.

    Signed
    Linus

  2. Are teams still shifting Chris Davis? If so, does that mean he’s refusing to hit the ball one darn time to the opposite field to get a hit? That’s ridiculous.

  3. Most bullpens — even the deepest ones — were not going to be able to handle a rotation that, on average, pitches about 5 innings per start. And that’s where we were in the first week or so of the season.

    Total starting pitcher innings pitched per series so far:
    Phillies – 3 games – 12.2 IP
    Cubs – 3 games – 15 IP
    Marlins – 3 games – 20 IP

    Taking 6 innings – 2 innings per game – of pressure off the bullpen. Extrapolated over a full season, that’s 324 additional innings, so 5 additional relievers pitching at least 60 IP. We only had 4 guys TOTAL pitch over 60 IP last year. Craig Kimbrel — yes, THE Craig Kimbrel — only pitched 62.2 IP last year. You’d have to sign 5 Craig Kimbrels to solve that problem.

  4. For the Braves, not signing Kimbrel is a simple gamble. Let’s just say the Braves indeed have $16M left to spend, that’s the exact number, and that’s the exact number Kimbrel can sign for. So they could sign Kimbrel or not.

    If they trade for someone with Kimbrel’s salary and skill at the deadline, they’d pay 3/8 of $16M. So they’re gambling that they’ll be in it at the deadline, and they could get 2+ Kimbrels at the deadline for the same price Kimbrel would have costed in March. And that also means that you won’t get any surplus value in that $16M (after all, the free agent market, in theory, is the most expensive route monetarily to acquiring players), and the Braves would probably rather trade some prospects at that point not only for the $16M in player salary, but also have that value be surplus value because you’re consolidating a prospect into that player taken back. And since we’re short on elite talent, that’s probably the best route to get it.

    Plus, consider the motivation issue. In order for Kimbrel to have been helpful on Opening Day, you would have have signed him in March. As a seller, he was pretty unmotivated in March. What market would you rather be buying: the market where the seller(s) is pretty unmotivated (Kimbrel), or the market where the seller(s) is probably a lot more motivated (the trading deadline/season)? AA is probably thinking that he will have a more cooperative seller in a team out of contention in June or July vs. Craig Kimbrel in March.

    So he’s gambling, and I can’t say I question the methodology.

  5. Really great job from the recappers so far. Each person puts in their own style, and I for one really appreciate it.

  6. We did win the game without Kimbrel, for what it’s worth…

    If you didn’t think he was a good target in the offseason, it’s not consistent to all of a sudden change your stance. Tons of money for 70 somewhat shaky innings doesn’t make any sense, ever.

  7. He really only became a good target when all of the other good targets signed. For a lot of teams, either he or Keuchel or both are great options that should be on teams. For Kimbrel, we are no different.

  8. @6 We luckily won the game, after Viz blew the save.

    I’ve always felt Kimbrel should have been priority 1B, behind a legit #4 hitter. There’s nowhere else in as bad a need of an upgrade as the closer role. I’d honestly rather have Kimbrel and Kakes at this point over a RF upgrade last offseason.

  9. I trust that we’ll add an elite reliever if needed at the deadline based on my previous logic. In the interim, we have arms we can continue to audition, and it won’t cost us too much in the standings. It’s a long season.

    Also really like Parsons. He’s now pitched in 6 of the team’s 9 games, and if he can handle it, I think he’ll become a key piece sooner or later.

  10. Ajax looked like a solid pitch framer in the game today, so he’s got an important aspect going well defensively.

  11. #9 If the Anthopolous is gambling the way you laid it out, it’s a huge mistake. This division is going to be tight. The wild card race is going to be tight. Blown saves in April and May turn into “games behind” in September some times.

  12. Lieutenant Dans
    too many times he was hailed as one of the mans
    surprise surprise
    the hero’s post game quip now brings him up to size.

  13. We need be very careful about the Miami Marlins, there’s not that much to feel superior about. Any further assumptions that the remaining 15 games will be a cakewalk with 12 wins in the bag need be set aside.They will have to be earned the hard way, like all the others.

  14. @9 Be careful, Parsons may be this year’s Carle, a rookie who looks good for half a season then fades and can’t get it back again. I’d love for him to succeed but it’s too early to tell. Right now, we’re in the “let’s get what we can out of him” stage.

    It’s too early to give up on Viz and Minter. Both will be fine as the season goes along. Seems to me a lot of elite closers often tend to have a bad game or two early in the season. In 2016, Zach Britton gave up 4 ER all season and 3 of them came in April. Getting longer outings out of the SP and more reliable outings out of middle relief may be more important. The value of Kimbrel is pushing everyone back one inning.

    If Folty and Soroka keep up their outstanding performance then the best thing might be to go to a 6-7 man rotation and let the 5, 6, 7 guys throw middle relief on their bullpen days. Or better, an offset rotation, where some guys pitch on 4-5 days rest and others pitch on 6-8 days rest and middle relief in between.

    A pitching staff of Folty, Gaus, Newk, Teheran, Soroka, Fried, Wright, Parsons, Biddle, Sobotka, Venters, Minter, Viz would not be too bad. And ultimately swapping out Venters or Sobotka for Winkler might help too.

    Personally, I’m starting to worry about Acuna and Donaldson. When are they going to start to hit? Do we need to move Acuna up to leadoff? Maybe Donaldson will get going batting 4th instead of 2nd. I realize lineup construction is not that big a deal but you’re supposed to have your best hitter at #2 not your worst. I saw Acuna getting plenty of pitches to hit and just either not getting around on them or just missing them altogether. He does not look good at the plate.

  15. Darling Florentino
    we must make a point to keep him off the vino
    sixteen won’t hack it
    for Roman cops in the ‘lock ’em all up’ bracket.

  16. Keith Law on the Acuna extension..

    ‘this will be a huge windfall for Liberty Media.’

  17. Baseball Savant
    you can no longer go there even if you want
    as wise as the proprietors surely were
    ‘what is a savant’ said the many not there?

  18. No one is surprised that KLaw took the lazy hot-take route a week after it was hot.

  19. @14 Acuna has looked really good until the past couple of games. I noticed a few strikes snuck across the plate vs the Marlins and was surprised he didn’t smack the daylights out of the ball. I think it’s been so long since he saw a good pitch to hit that it’s shocking when one is actually over the plate.

    I’ll say it again: move this kid ahead of the big bats and let him feast. Donaldson is, so far, showing that he’s not ready to get around on pitches over the heart of the plate. He’d be better off taking the junk they’re willing to throw ahead of Markakis.

  20. Keith Law and Craig Calcaterra can go flying f*ck themselves. I’m so sick of these “baseball analysts” weighing on on the economics of baseball like their politics don’t influence 99.9999999999999% of how they think about this. I’m glad Law blocked me and I’m glad I unfollowed Calcaterra. Like, shut up and just talk about baseball. I guess the new market inefficiency for starving baseball writers is to go on liberal economic crusades.

  21. A nice stat I saw posted somewhere else:

    Since signing his new contract, Acuna has a BABIP of .000 but a hard hit ball percentage of 61.5%. He’s second only to Josh Donaldson.

    The hits will come. I’ve also wondered if Acuna is just a bit tall in his batting stance. I’ve noticed him grounding the ball a bit more.

  22. @19

    Sam…

    A while back when this year’s recappers were being organized you said you might enjoy filling in temporarily for someone who was away. I will be in Europe all May – could you do my Saturday recaps?

    Rob…

    politics indeed, so this isn’t about baseball? Manners please.

  23. @21 – As a long-ish-time lurker, I truly appreciate everything you’ve done in keeping the site running. But to use your perch as editor to complain out of the blue about “liberal” baseball writers — while the blog itself is still a no-politics zone — feels itself like a political instigation that me, as someone who wholeheartedly disagrees with you on this point, would not be allowed to reply to, per the blog rules. If you hate Calcaterra, fine, but maybe this isn’t the place to talk about that, if you don’t want the replies to that comment to also get political?

  24. @20. Agreed. I didn’t see any of the Marlins series but it seemed his at bats weren’t as strong from following gamecast. I watched the Cubs series and he had very good at bats. He usually put good wood on the ball but just wasn’t getting any Wee Willie Keeler results. He may be getting a little frustrated but I think he’ll be fine.
    Or what DS said at 22.
    @ 21 Agreed

  25. @24

    You’ll have to point me to baseball writers who talk about the economics of baseball strictly based on a conservative viewpoint constantly. Complaining that politics infiltrate the discourse of a select couple baseball writers constantly, in my opinion, ought not inherently open the door to an openly political discussion.

    Remember, my issue is not on some sort of conservative vs. liberal viewpoint, it’s that Craig Calcaterra and Keith Law shove it down your throat. Please correct me if I’m wrong — genuinely, please — but I just don’t see anyone else doing that.

    They’re just nauseating. It’s overwhelming. No one does it — regardless of their viewpoint — the way those two do.

  26. Didn’t Mac make a separate politics thread that people could just keep bookmarked and fight it out for eternity in the comments?

  27. One can have baseball, or one can have no politics. One cannot have baseball and no politics, though…

  28. I tend to be more on the players’ side of things, and even I don’t think this deal exploits Acuna.

    Would people be interested in playing Braves madlibs? I was thinking of making a HOPE and a DOOM version for April. I’d tell you the sequence, e.g. adjective/noun/adjective/verb, you’d submit your suggestions, then I post the script for you to fill it in.

  29. I don’t think these writers are necessarily upset for the players’ sake as much as they don’t like seeing big business rake in a lot of profit off of a sport/game.

    I’m also politically inclined to have a problem with it. I was less bothered when independent baseball owners made some money off of their teams, but now that we’ve gone full corporate MLB on the thing I think we’ve handed our baby over to a being who can only legally choose to do what makes the most money.

    I think what those guys, KLaw, etc., are doing is good for us. They need to publicly shame the owners and the league. Maybe it will help drive corporations back out of baseball.

  30. In really short sample usage, Thomas Burrows, Corbin Clouse, and Jacob Webb seem to be the arms that they’ll try to pluck from AAA. They’re pitching multi-inning, and in 4 games, they’re the only ones used twice. So obviously it’s early, but the two lefties (Burrows and Clouse) might be pretty helpful sooner rather than later. Clouse had a good spring too, so he may be next in line.

    Dan Winkler has only been used once in the four games, and I’m not sure why. Carle got in yesterday’s game his first day back in AAA, so I’d think they’ll continue to see if he can get back in a groove.

    Good weather in Colorado today and tomorrow, but the third game apparently will be really cold and rainy. Shades of the Cubs game last April fill my brain.

  31. blazon: remind me closer to the dates that you need me to cover. Probably via the email thread, just so I don’t miss it in passing comments here.

    Rob: the default position “just stick to sports” is itself a loaded political assumption. Namely, in demanding that bloggers with whom you disagree politically keep THEIR politics out of your games, you refuse to admit that YOUR politics infuse the same games. Or did you not notice those military fly-overs and endless renditions of “God Bless America” that’s been on repeat nonstop since 2001?

  32. @34, just as hypocrisy is the tribute that vice renders to virtue, as a community we all agree that while the “no-politics” line is blurry and difficult to demarcate without some amount of self-contradiction, it is nonetheless something we all want.

    It’s literally the only rule we have, and it’s the rule we’ve literally always had.

  33. There’s a lot of people out there to whom politics are more of a sport than actual sports. Those types would ruin this place. I don’t think the occasional drift into something baseball-related but politically-tinged is a great crime (especially when the comments are often hilarious), but I do see the slippery slope argument.

    While we’re getting all meta here, I have to say that I’ve always found the “economics of baseball” stuff to be the platform where educated writers can try to sound even more educated than other educated writers. The whole topic is absurd to me, given that there’s no “market” like baseball anywhere else on earth.

  34. As someone who agrees with the sentiment expressed in @21, it makes me all the more in agreement with @24, the continued pondering of which has resolved itself quite eloquently with the comments of @35.

    @37, Comment, thy name is disingenuous. lol

  35. For me, this is not a political discussion because the point/counter-point being discussed is not a political debate over whether Law or Calcaterra are correct or incorrect. The consternation, on my part at least, is over whether it’s appropriate for Law and Calcaterra to go this far.

    If Jeff Passan did the same but in the opposite direction, then I wouldn’t like Jeff Passan. This is why Sam’s comment Namely, in demanding that bloggers with whom you disagree politically keep THEIR politics out of your games, you refuse to admit that YOUR politics infuse the same games. is not true. I would say, “Hey Jeff, I like you for breaking baseball news, not for your conservative viewpoints, especially when you weave them in and out of tweets about baseball breaking news.” And if Jeff responded to that the way Keith Law responds by saying, “Well, don’t follow me,” then that would be even more frustrating since he’s acknowledging that it is indeed part-and-parcel with his brand. And this is even more apolitical, but it’s even more annoying that if you continue to press him on it, guess what, you get blocked! That’s not political; he’s just a tool bag. Please tell me who else in the baseball writing world is behaving like that?

    That’s my defense for why I responded to blazon’s comment. But since I agree with Alex that it’s a blurry line that ought best to simply be avoided, I’m going to start a separate blog for this, as Mac did.

  36. This is why Sam’s comment Namely, in demanding that bloggers with whom you disagree politically keep THEIR politics out of your games, you refuse to admit that YOUR politics infuse the same games. is not true. I would say, “Hey Jeff, I like you for breaking baseball news, not for your conservative viewpoints, especially when you weave them in and out of tweets about baseball breaking news.”

    Then you fail to understand the point I was making. The fact that you feel entitled to hold court from on high as to what is, or is not, appropriate commentary; the fact that you believe you are entitled to define what is or is not “just sticking to sports;” is itself a political position. You don’t think of it as such, because you’re so deep in the assumption that the form of your politics is blind to you.

    Again, I will trust people who say they want to “keep politics out of sports” when they start applying the same filter to the militaristic pomp and circumstance that literally infuses the games themselves.

    You don’t want sports to be a no-politics zone. You want sports to be a no-politics I believe to be politically incorrect zone.

  37. AAR, there’s also another rule besides the No Politics rule…

    Francoeur delenda est.

  38. @14 I’m not worried about Acuna or Donaldson yet, but I’ve always felt it was best to leave Acuna in the lead off spot. He was lukewarm last season before the shift there, and that’s when he really caught fire. Why mess with that?

    I don’t know that the best order right now wouldn’t be…

    1) Acuna
    2) Markakis
    3) Freeman
    4) Donaldson
    5) Albies
    6) Swanson
    7) Catcher’s Spot
    8) Pitcher’s Spot
    9) Inciarte

    I know that’s not really the prototypical L/R/L thing, but it might score the most runs? I also agree it might be beneficial to at least try and move Donaldson down, not so much due to his slow start though. This team, as constructed, just has two guys aside from Josh (Nick and Dansby) really suited for the #2 slot. It has no one suited for the 4 hole, if Acuna moves up.

    Also, Dansby has been really solid this year. I’m stunned, because I thought the wrist might linger.

  39. @42,

    Rockies 9, Braves 2
    August 3 2007 – MLB

    Yuck. A dispiriting loss. John Smoltz didn’t have it, and he didn’t get any help. He had a shot to get out of a jam in the first, but Teixeira committed a two-out error allowing two runs to score. In the second, Smoltz gave up a two-run double.

    The Braves had first-and-third, none out, in the fourth, but Andruw hit into a double play, scoring a run but killing the rally. In the sixth, Escobar and KJ led off with singles, but Chipper and Teixeira struck out and Andruw grounded out. That was essentially the game. Smoltz’s three-run homer allowed in the next inning was just icing.

    Renteria was put on the DL before the game, and Devine was called up and actually pitched, putting a scoreless eighth but needing 28 pitches to do it. Cormier, who pitched the ninth, continued to suck, giving up two runs. Teixeira hit a meaningless homer in the ninth, giving him three games in a row with one.

    PS: Oh, it was going to be “Woodward Delenda Est” but then I decided that he is, as they say, Mostly Harmless. Cormier is much more dangerous.

  40. Then you fail to understand the point I was making. The fact that you feel entitled to hold court from on high as to what is, or is not, appropriate commentary; the fact that you believe you are entitled to define what is or is not “just sticking to sports;” is itself a political position. You don’t think of it as such, because you’re so deep in the assumption that the form of your politics is blind to you.

    It seems we are struggling to parse when and how it is appropriate to incorporate the behaviors of the owners into the discussion.

    Regardless, I don’t like Keith Law. That’s my position. I think he’s a jerk, regardless of his politics, but it’s also how he wields his politics that makes him even more of a jerk. He’s just a jerk. Just a garden variety jerk. I can think of no one else that does what he does, regardless of what he believes, except for Calcaterra. You continue to not allow me to confront my own potential hypocrisy by showing someone on the opposing side that does the same thing that I have given a pass. To prove your argument, you have to tell me I’m doing that. I’m not; Law and Calcaterra are jerks. That’s my only point, and I’ve been crystal clear on it. This is the only time I butt up to the blurred line of no politics, when I take the opportunity to say that I hate how Law and Calcaterra do their little “you should make me your favorite baseball writer because I do a really good job of jamming my politics into my writing”.

    Prove. Me. Wrong.

  41. Discuss Acuna’s “snuff contract”:

    “Great young players are getting what I call ‘snuff contracts,’” Scott Boras told McCullough. “And a snuff contract is that they’re trying to snuff out the market. They know the player is a great player, and he’s exhibited very little performance. So they’re coming to him at 20 and 21, and I’m going to snuff out your ability to move, to go anywhere, to do anything, and your value. And I’m going to pay you maybe 40 cents on the dollar to do it. What’s my risk?” In Boras’ estimation, the eight-year, $100MM guarantee Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr., 21, signed this week is “the king of the snuff contracts,” as it hampers the outfielder’s career earning power while giving Atlanta what looks like a sweetheart deal for a franchise player in the making.

  42. It’s hard to justify hitting Acuna behind Donaldson if Donaldson is not hitting. It defeats the entire purpose for why you hit Acuna behind Donaldson. But you’re not going to abandon the order you decided on at the beginning of the season because of 9 games. Acuna/Markakis/Freeman would mean you’d have to pitch Donaldson more carefully than they have to now, too.

  43. @46, “what’s my risk?”

    The risk is obviously that Acuna’s production falls off due to injury or any other myriad of reasons. That’s the whole point of the deal.

  44. Chris Davis has more 50 home run seasons than Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron combined. I mean, what’s the risk?

  45. Upton’s 28. Players typically don’t decline precipitously until their early-30’s, if not later. I’m sure they’ll get a couple good years out of the deal. What’s the risk?

  46. Jon Singleton is can’t miss. How could there be any risk in a $10M deal?

  47. It seems we are struggling to parse when and how it is appropriate to incorporate the behaviors of the owners into the discussion.

    I have not made any comment about the behaviors of the owners. What comment I have made about extension contracts buying out young player risks at the expense of their total career earning potential has been to the effect that people complaining about players being bought are behaving stupidly.

    Regardless, I don’t like Keith Law. That’s my position. I think he’s a jerk, regardless of his politics, but it’s also how he wields his politics that makes him even more of a jerk.

    Keith is, in fact, a bit of a jerk. He was as much in the 1990’s, and his modicum of fame has not tamed his more arrogant impulses. This has nothing to do with his politics, though. You just focus on that because you’re a partisan of the other persuasion.

    I can think of no one else that does what he does, regardless of what he believes, except for Calcaterra.

    Craig is nothing like Keith, either personally nor politically. Craig is, in fact, a rather superb human being and a great guy to grab a drink with. You just don’t like that he refuses to bury his politics for the sake of your comfort.

    You continue to not allow me to confront my own potential hypocrisy by showing someone on the opposing side that does the same thing that I have given a pass.

    Again, you fail to understand the criticism leveled against you. You fail to understand that your ASSUMPTION that there is a status quo ante of “just sports” to which people should stick, and that YOU get to decide what that is, is entitlement and….wait for it bruh….privilege.

    To prove your argument, you have to tell me I’m doing that.

    No, but to advance, you are going to have to understand my argument first. Can’t have a useful conversation if you keep thinking and saying I’m arguing something I’m not.

  48. To see the way they have been pitching Acuna, I’m rather surprised he hasn’t had some 3 and 4 walk games. Jon Lester probably didn’t even throw him a legit strike the other night, but, thanks to the umpires, pitchers are able to get to some full counts without ever going over the plate.

    This is partly why I think a veteran hitter like Donaldson would fare better without protection. Acuna isn’t going to get as much respect at the plate from umps as Donaldson will.

  49. I’m not aware of a baseball writer being as much of a jerk about the assumptive entitlement viewpoint as Law and Calcaterra are about theirs.

  50. Of course you don’t. You see that which makes you feel like the victim. It’s part of basic human failing, 101. Erh’body does it.

  51. If you hadn’t said “liberal economics” then there’d be no pavlovian response. But you did…so Sam’s right. Time to live to fight another day.

  52. Jerk. Prove me wrong you said.

    Rob…10 days or so ago I posted here that AA was going to be interviewed by Russo, live.
    You said you couldn’t get away to watch it, keep me posted etc.

    10 minutes later I did telling everyone of the minutia that they’d talked about at first and ending that their last topic was Kimbrel but with the limitations of my old man’s memory I couldn’t remember exactly what was said.

    You snapped back – ‘Stop playing Games and tell us what was said’. JERK

    I responded repeating what i had said describing
    my awful memory and not wishing to guess.
    This gave you a second chance to say sorry. Nada. Never heard back.JERK

    I was upset, thought of asking for an apology but didn’t, wish I had now, might have avoided today somewhat.

    Rob, I am on record here, more than most, to go out of my way to congratulate and thank you for the sterling work you are doing here and particularly the sheer amount of writing you put up.

    But your post @21 has no place here. It sounds just like …..AJ (I copped out writing his name, no politics, eh ) I wish you would remove it. Please.

  53. blazon, I think Rob’s comment to you was more about your obfuscated style of writing where we have to spend not insignificant effort to parse what the heck you are trying to say. On that day, as Rob said, he was going to miss the interview because of work so he probably only had time to check for a succinct and to the point update instead of your usual labyrinthine writing. I didn’t think it was particularly jerk-ish and was happy to see someone asking for less opaque posting from you. Of course I’m not saying Rob is or is not a jerk, just that I think you might have misunderstood his intent in his post to you.

  54. It was definitely the jerkier way of saying it, and I’m sorry blazon, but I assure you I also meant it in an entirely joking way. I also don’t think I said it exactly like that. I meant it more of like “don’t leave us hanging on the meaning!” because I think you were kind of teasing the content also in a joking way, I thought. I genuinely wasn’t trying to be a jerk. That persona is reserved for Sam and Chief only. And that Tad fella. And one time to Grst. And that Keith Law. But to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never knowingly been a jerk to you, even though I do agree with most that sometimes I literally have no idea what you’re saying. But that’s you, and I love it… when I really don’t want to know what you’re saying (hence our current predicament).

  55. @57 One usually says “I’m not aware of…” in a passive hope that someone will illuminate them.

    Illuminate me. Who’s doing it?

  56. Time for some baseball, I say.
    Game one on Colorado. Will be interesting to see if JT continues his good work. And as someone wrote before, Josh, start hitting any time you like now.
    Go Braves!

  57. Sam keeps getting asked to substantiate his point with a simple example and refuses to do so. Ergo, he is wrong.

    This game can’t start soon enough.

  58. “Shut up and talk about baseball” is the jerk-y, hostile version of the assumptive entitlement stance. So the answer to the question, Rob, is you.

  59. I don’t t like anybody very much, but Rob is less jerkier than any other blog boss I know. He’s damn fine for a gator.

  60. We all have our bad moments. It doesn’t make us bad people. But this is pretty bad and not because of the underlying political viewpoint:

    Keith Law and Craig Calcaterra can go flying f*ck themselves. I’m so sick of these “baseball analysts” weighing on on the economics of baseball like their politics don’t influence 99.9999999999999% of how they think about this. I’m glad Law blocked me and I’m glad I unfollowed Calcaterra. Like, shut up and just talk about baseball. I guess the new market inefficiency for starving baseball writers is to go on liberal economic crusades.

  61. @21 violates both letter and spirit of Mac’s cardinal rule. And it sounds like it’s written by a dingbat. The subsequent special pleading points pretty clearly in the same direction. Probably time to start lurking somewhere else.

  62. In a sea of great posts and days, alas this was not a One Shining Moment for Braves Journal.

  63. Part of Sam’s point is that the people who support the status quo don’t usually feel the need to display hostility…because their preference is already the status quo, so naturally, why get worked up?

    If you’re clever, you even get to defuse criticism of the status quo by nitpicking about the level of civility with which that criticism of the status quo is leveled…like, where are your manners, Keith Law?

    Only when the status quo seems like it’s really under threat is when the hostility comes out. Which it did @21.

    K, I’m done.

  64. @46, The great moral arbiter of baseball, Scott Boras, pulls out a truly disgusting term to describe a contract signed not under duress between two parties. I wonder if the family of Jose Fernandez had wished he’d signed a “snuff contract”, seeing as how he only earned less than $5m in his young and tragically shortened life. Boras is despicable.

  65. Rob

    thank you, i am bemused though to hear that the statement ‘ I am an old man with a bad memory’ has a meaning that’s hard to interpret!!

    Now, would you please remove @21 – it has cut a wide swath.

    @68

    I hope your last sentence didn’t mean you might be inclined to go elsewhere. In fact I might argue that Mac himself though he would have been disappointed with some of the content he would not have found fault with the overall tenor of what was being said. Plus he would be quite unaware of the ridiculously polarized world we live in which contributes to all this sooner or later.

  66. Rob, my friendly advice would be that the guy in charge – and that would be you (and doing a fine job, I say) – can’t indulge in commentary like @21. Modulate it down as best you can to make your point without tapping into the political zone. It’s a burden, sure, but it goes with the territory of running a place like this, where we talk Braves and baseball and try to keep our friendly relationships intact. (Which is why there’s a “no politics” rule to begin with.)

  67. @ 74

    John R

    My, we are flyng around a bit today, aren’t we?! Please explain ‘signed not under duress’, rather than something like ‘signed between two not equally informed parties’. Excuse the lack of legal lingo. Cheers.

    And. The myth of Jose Fernandez’s death should not be perpetuated. He was a selfish and irresponsible young man who killed two of his friends while driving at speed at night under the influence of coke and alcohol. Had he lived it would have been something like ‘vehicular homicide/manslaughter’, and his career would have been over that way, right?

  68. @60

    Hap
    dear chap
    obfuscate, me?
    as inordinately fond of your IT skills as I may be.

  69. @77,

    “My, we are flyng around a bit today, aren’t we?!”

    Can you please explain that?

    “Please explain ‘signed not under duress’”

    That needs explanation?

    As for Jose Fernandez, I’ll let that pass without comment except to say your insights do nothing to address the point I made.

  70. How does anyone possibly know how ‘informed’ all the parties were? You can’t just assume inequality and state it as fact.

    And how is it possible that we’re still arguing about this (and will be, forever and ever it seems)? Is Acuna going to have to go through life always answering questions about how dumb he must be to be sitting on $124M guaranteed?

  71. @72, Gonna listen to some Superchunk tonight to celebrate this bromance.

    Again, generally, I tend to side with the players, but I don’t fault the Braves for whatever may be morally wrong with the Acuna extension. I don’t expect the franchise to put itself at a competitive disadvantage just to make a statement by paying Acuna what he’d earn on the free market when no other team is doing the same. I also get that there is real downside risk to these deals for the teams. I don’t know what Keith Law or Calcaterra are saying or whether I’d agree with them, but I’m pretty sure I agree with Rob.

  72. And how is it possible that we’re still arguing about this (and will be, forever and ever it seems)?

    LOL, just wait until the pendulum swings back to good ol’ Jason Heyward. Or everyone’s favorite, Whether or Not the Braves Should Have Rebuilt.

  73. @71

    Adam R
    in a Brian daPalma movie he might star
    the one where the shrink did it
    dressed to kill, AR would have put a lid on it.

    Adam, let me have my fun please, it’s been a long day. Ta.

  74. I can’t believe there are people still squabbling over his contract. He has the best spanish-speaking representation in the game, an agent who is highly esteemed for his work in that area, and it’s the biggest contract handed out to someone with as little experience as Acuna currently has.

    Those guys generating clicks with their remarks about the contract are just fishing for attention. And Boras is just upset that the market has gotten more difficult for him. He can still bite me over the Alex Rodriguez fiasco.

  75. Sam…

    re recaps…

    I know the dates now, every Saturday in May Maybe you could work with Rob to fill the ones that clash with your schedule. There was also someone who had originally offered to do Saturdays – he was new I believe, can’t remember his name but Rob might because he would have had to email him.

  76. @86 That was Roger, who is doing Tuesdays now (thank you, Roger).

    As always, very happy and look forward to covering days where the recappers are unavailable.

  77. @43 Yes. I’m with you on that. I’m not as worried about Acuna because I see his bat speed is still there and he was hitting some scorching balls. The other day, he hit a liner at SS at 105mph that with a little more elevation would have easily left the park instead of being an infield out. But he did look really bad last night – he missed a completely center-cut FB at 95 (right in the middle of the middle box on gameday); just missed it. Those are the pitches you get at the beginning of games that he was launching last year.

    I don’t know what to think about Donaldson, but I am sure he’d be better at 4th right now. Maybe he can hit and reclaim 2nd later. But we only have one year to use him and Riley is already sitting at AAA launching HRs.

  78. I don’t know why Rob keeps giving away my Tuesdays. I’ve said yes twice. It’s cool though, I’ll just go fishing on those afternoons.

  79. But enough of the niceness. Is it bad editoring, maybe, but I ask that I be able to let my hair down every now and again. I will be working to articulate and refine the no politics rule to submit to the electorate. I’m sure there will not be consensus as to what is or is not a political statement, but we can at least have some agreed upon ground rules of when things go to far.

    I made *no* political statement in @21. I gave no political viewpoint on any particular subject. I did not endorse a political candidate. I didn’t seek to debate anyone on their viewpoint of a political subject. My issue is with Craig Calcaterra and Keith Law consistently weaving their politics through their analysis. Buster Olney doesn’t do that. Jeff Passan doesn’t do that. John Sickels doesn’t do that. I cannot think of a single reputable baseball analyst who conducts himself like Keith Law and Craig Calcaterra.

    The way Craig Calcaterra criticized the Tampa Bay Rays was completely pathetic. An ignorant, pathetic piece of drivel you would expect from a crappy blogger dude like me, not someone paid to do this for a living. Did Mr. Craigy bother to educate himself that the Rays have the WORST stadium in baseball, the lowest overall revenue in baseball but the HIGHEST percentage of revenue allocated to player payroll? Did he bother to educate himself that the Tampa Bay Rays have the LOWEST percentage of qualified customers within 30 minutes of the stadium. Has he ever seen a MAP of Pinellas County (we’re a peninsula, so there’s, like, water and stuff instead of customers that can pay for the product)? Has he seen the demographic zip code maps immediately surrounding the Trop? Did he bother to try to explain why the Rays’ TV viewership is one of the best in baseball yet have the worst attendance numbers in baseball? No, but it suited his politics, so he trashed the Rays. Easy target, red meat for people who like his schtick.

    https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2018/02/21/the-rays-are-a-disgrace/

    He has NO idea what he’s talking about. And then he did it again!

    https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/02/14/braves-think-their-fans-are-idiots/

    He CONTINUES to trash the Braves. Because that’s his politics, that’s his schtick, that’s his angle, that’s how he makes a buck. And when you constantly tweet your politics, guess what, people catch on. And when you’re one of the few people doing it, people catch on.

    Keith Law does the same exact thing. And in what blazon referenced, it’s yet another veiled political statement. And to the best of my knowledge, they’re the only ones doing it. And they’re hacks, and they’re jerks. I asked several times if there was someone with different political beliefs that beats their readers over the head with it, and I didn’t get a single answer. The best one I can think of Curt Schilling, and he can also go flying fornicate himself, and he’s an idiot. *But he’s not an analyst. He doesn’t want you to take him seriously. Law and Calcaterra want you to.* That’s the difference.

    The only person who violated the no politics rule today, at least how I’ve understood it, was Keith Law. In fact, I re-read what Sam said, and while I certainly don’t agree with the gentleman, I don’t think he did either. And Sam even agreed with me about Law, and even while defending Calcaterra, acknowledged that I’m accurate that politics is a part of his game.

    If anyone came on here and said that, say, Curt Schilling (because that’s so far the best example of a shock jock with an opposing viewpoint) is an idiot, I wouldn’t have considered that out of bounds. He’s an idiot. So is Keith Law.

    I won’t discuss this further until I come up with an articulation and clarity of the politics rule, especially since that will probably govern Sam a little better than what I’m current doing (sorry man, you’re way worse than I am about this stuff). But I’m at least trying to explain why I simultaneously am attempting to not violate the no politics rule while still being able to share my opinion about Keith Law.

  80. For clarity, while I won’t discuss it, I do welcome and courage additional viewpoints on this including criticism of me, and I’m certainly not closing the discussion, which I have been criticized for in the past. I just, personally, don’t have anything further to add.

  81. No politics is generally pretty well handled here. If a thread starts to go off the rails, no matter how inflammatory or how benign the original comment, the subject gets nipped.

    “If the thing happens that we don’t want to happen, then we shut it down” is good enough of a clarification for me.

  82. OK. It’s being suggested here that Calcaterra et al 1) doesn’t have his facts straight and 2) is arguing in bad faith, like, it’s a shtick, he doesn’t believe what he’s saying.

    I can’t speak to any of that, although I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I’m skeptical of #2 already. But I think people are inferring from your past comments as well as the tone of your writing, Rob — inferring correctly, IMO — that there’s more to it than what you’re alleging @92. You seem like you have a bit of an axe to grind.

    At the end of the day, though, I don’t care for the “no politics” rule, so today’s developments seem fine! We’d be WAY better off if we just embraced political discussion and learned to, you know, be a society and grapple with difficult subjects and agree to disagree sometimes, rather than, well, insulting people with whom you disagree politically for reasons that conveniently have nothing to do with their politics, like Rob is doing :P

  83. Your argument is invalid until you can tell me someone with whom I agree with your politics does it and I give them a pass.

    Plus, JC Bradbury has plenty of things I disagree with, but he’s not a jerkhole, so you don’t hear me railing against him. He would be a good example to support my argument. You act like there’s some shortage of people who share similar political views to Calcy.

  84. @95, File that under “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” The internet has been around long enough that there’s a trail of dead discussion communities that “embraced political discussion” thinking it was always going to be as simple as “agreeing to disagree” to get along. Human behavior on the ‘net just doesn’t work that way.

    Rather than encourage embracing something that can’t be squared with an ongoing, civil and friendly engagement, why not just acknowledge what we’re all here for? Braves baseball in particular? And just embrace that? There’s next to zero other places I can go on the internet to get what I get here. Meanwhile there’s a zillion other places I can go to have someone stomping on my face the better to describe their political preferences.

  85. Your argument is invalid until you can tell me someone with whom I agree with your politics does it and I give them a pass.

    That should have read, “Your argument is invalid until you can tell me someone with whom I agree with their politics and I give them a pass.”

    I was typing on my phone, and that first rendition was not English.

  86. Your argument is invalid until you can tell me someone with whom I agree with your politics does it and I give them a pass.

    I don’t understand this sentence.

  87. I couldn’t edit my comment @99 quickly enough to erase the misunderstanding.

    Your argument is invalid until you can tell me someone with whom I agree with their politics and I give them a pass.

    Are there any prominent people on your side of the argument who behave like you’re alleging Keith Law behaves? (I don’t follow these people, so I can’t say if what you’re saying is even true…)

    But like I said @71, I doubt that there would be any such person. It’d be a pure downside play, unnecessary (for the moment) to any rational person interested in maintaining the status quo. There’s no real threat, as of now. You know, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…”

    So let’s just be straight here: you’re attempting to cover your behind because as far as we know there is no real-life example out there, not because there is and with regards to this person you managed to act according to your principles.

  88. Ronald’s first AB in Colorado. Let’s see what happens.

    UPDATE: Swear to God I didn’t type that knowing what was gonna happen. My GameCast hadn’t loaded up fully.

    UPDATE 2: Should I go back to talking about talking about politics?

  89. I made *no* political statement in @21.

    Dude. If you sincerely believe this, and I suspect you probably do, I don’t even know where to start. Your understanding of what politics ARE, much less about how one does or does not make a political statement in the world, is so atrophied or underdeveloped I’m at a loss as to a proper beginning.

  90. And again, the repeated demands for a counterexample of a conservative sports personality Curt Schillinging up the place simple drives home the fact that you don’t quite grasp the actual critique. And again, I’m at a loss as to where to go, because I’m pretty sure I’ve made it as clear and obvious as possible, in plain English.

  91. So let’s just be straight here: you’re attempting to cover your behind because as far as we know there is no real-life example out there, not because there is and with regards to this person you managed to act according to your principles.

    Completely unfair and offbase. Just an attack on my character. I say that if someone from the other side did it, I wouldn’t like it either, and apparently your answer to that is, “You’re a liar.”

    I’m done. I’ve asked probably 12 times and the answers I get are silence or “it doesn’t matter”. Yeah, ok, done. This was fun. None of you can name one single person that dilutes, ruins, and nullifies their baseball analysis by weaving politics into it. Not one single person. You’ve been given countless opportunities. You just don’t like that I said it. Clearly.

  92. Acuna hits a two-run bomb to right. Teheran gets three outs in 11 pitches. I like that first inning.

    Sorry for intruding on the discussion, tho!

  93. Kyle Freeland has thrown 61 pitches in less than 3 innings. Don’t think this is his night.

  94. As an Aussie, who lurks here daily, when I saw the comment length, I figured we’d signed Kimbrel. Alas, no.

    Go Braves! Keep those runs coming. Four probably wont be enough.

  95. Nick’s on pace for 128 RBIs, and Donaldson and Acuna have underperformed offensively.

  96. I would like to spend the rest of this comment discussing our starting pitching problems:

  97. Just a little…

    And can we stop walking their pitcher. I swear that happens once every series. Other than that, good start so far by Julio.

  98. Chipper turned Dansby into a real hitter. Huge boost for our offense if he keeps this up.

  99. I had a feeling it was going to happen. Anyone remember that final home series against the Rockies last year? The Braves just cannot finish this team off.

  100. I’ve had a long day of hating baseball writers for irrational and disingenuous reasons, so I don’t think I’ll make it to the end of this game.

  101. Anyone tempted to let Sobotka finish with Minter warming up?
    Desmond always kills us.
    Acuna on the move, seemingly.
    JD was pissed with Dans! Dans had a great game.

    Great win all round.

  102. @135 That was one of the best things about tonight. Sobotka was outstanding and Minter had a good inning. Venters got his DP. Relievers starting to find their groove.

    Acuna looked better although a golf shot without a nine iron was pretty weird. But Dansby was team unto himself – both on offense and defense. Although, Donaldson was a little pissed off about being called off on the foul pop.

  103. Great to see Sobotka looking good. If they are pitching the way they’re capable of without injury, Parsons, Sobotka, Minter, and Vizcaino can be the start of a pretty good bullpen. I still think we need to trade for 1 or 2 more good relievers.

  104. Julio has looked the part of the veteran TOR ace this season with the exception of a couple of innings. I would have liked to have seen him back in the 6th, but after giving up the 6 spot it just wasn’t going to happen.

  105. @141 Just sign Kimbrel and problem solved. I think this will happen….just need to wait until mid to late May.

  106. The only person who violated the no politics rule today, at least how I’ve understood it, was Keith Law.

    Well, at least we’ve identified the real problem! I didn’t know it was possible to break the rules without even posting, but that is the depth of this man’s villainy, I suppose. The Emmanuel Goldstein of our time. Keith, if you’re out there, we’re going to have to ban you.

    So what should we talk about today, Braves Journal, maybe how the Dixie Chicks should just stick to music?

    Point me in the direction of a county act that’s as overtly PRO-war as the Dixie Chicks are anti-war, and I’ll denounce them too!

    How did Julio look when he was pitching a no-hitter through four? :)

    At times, lucky that defenders were standing where hard-hit balls were hit.

  107. I’m with JonathanF. This looks like a 158-win ballclub.

    I’m concerned about Ronald Acuna, though. If he can’t improve his first step and routes, he’ll never be able to push Christian Pache out of center field. He’ll just be another good-hitting corner outfielder, like Barry Bonds or Henry Aaron, and I can’t see him ever being the greatest player of all time if he does that.

    What a waste, if you ask me.

  108. Yes, quite a shame about Ronald. I was so hoping for Mays or Trout, and all we’ll apparently get is Aaron or Bonds.
    OTOH, if Dansby keeps this up he’s obviously in the argument for GOAT at shortstop.

  109. Speaking of GOAT, when will the Orioles mercifully release Chris Davis? It’s hard to imagine much worse than the worst full season ever and topping it off with 49 straight hitless at bats dating back to last season. Only one more at bat without a hit and he has at least 2 notorious all time records.

  110. @145: Pepperidge Farm remembers that Kobe Teeth wanted to put a “boot in your ass” because it’s the American Way. He did it in a purely apolitical way, however, irrespective of the size of said ass or boot.

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