Frosted Lucky Charms, they’re magically delicious. Braves 11, Ol’ No Shoulders 4

Yes it is I. I am the lucky charm sent to rescue this crowd of tired noble native warriors from their potential demise. Very unusual, because it seems as more likley I would be the jinx, but not this time.

Huascar Ynoa wasn’t wretched, but he wasn’t quite the “Wow Breakout!” star either. The “death pitch” was acing more like the “self inflicted death pitch.” The whole principle of the pitch is nobody can hit it. Didn’t quite get the principal part down. 5 hits and 2 BBs in 4 innings for a WHIP close to 2. That really isn’t a good number.

But for this night, “Hibernation Mode” was not the modus of the offense. When Ynoa left it was 3 to 2. Ozzie and Freddie got on and Austin Riley brought them in, so despite the high WHIP, there was no evidence of being tied to the whipping post. Jacob Webb got 3 outs and 2 by strikeout to get assigned Chip Caray’s most favorite statistic, a “win>’ Such “win’ was precipitated by a 7 run explosion in the 5th. Double, double, soil and trouble, single, double and homer by Duvall which took orbit over the desert and was tracked by several high desert telescopes. And, they kicked some sand in the snakes faces with a 2 spot in top of 9. Meanwhile, the snakey crowd only got 1 more. So, a convincing win.

Meanwhile, our second most popular avocation is scoreboard watching. A defeat for the Phaillies was already in the books by the time the desert showcase ended. 3 games up and 14 to play.

Tonight we apparently will see a bullpen game with Jesse Chavez starting. Maybe Snit tries to get Touki or Smyly though the bottom of the order twice. “Danger, Will Smith. Danger.” Yep, Will Smith is always a danger.

I will leave you with the parable of the bird: Lo, a bird was joyfully experiencing a brisk day near Lake Michigan and paid no attention as his fellow birds seemed to be leaving. The next day, the cold was difficult and our bird realized he needed to travel south, and do so quickly. As he proceeded, snow began to freeze to his wings and body. Flying became labored. Our bird fell to the ground, nearly lifeless. The snow continued to fall upon him. But lo, our bird had fallen into a pasture. An unwitting cow came by and dropped a large dump upon our bird. The warmth began to bring our bird out of his cold state. He began to preen his feathers and let out a great whistle of joy. But the joyful whistle was heard by a nearby cat. The cat pounced, grabbed the bird from the clump and chomped him down with one gulp.

The morals of our story are many. Among those are 1. Everybody who shits on you is not your enemy. 2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not your friend. 3. If you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut..

40 thoughts on “Frosted Lucky Charms, they’re magically delicious. Braves 11, Ol’ No Shoulders 4”

  1. This parable was once told to me in a thick Georgia drawl by my best friend’s father. There’s a lesson in it for all of us.

  2. We don’t get any off days this week plus we finish the suspended game on Friday against the Padres. I think I would prefer giving Muller a shot to a bullpen game. I don’t understand burning our bullpen when we have 6.5 games in the next 6 days.

  3. I’ll bet this is going to be less of a bullpen game and more of an “opener” game. Chavez will get 1-2 innings and then Smyly and Touki will follow with 2-3 innings each. Setting both up to be middle inning relievers in the playoffs. After having the bullpen go five last night, there is no way Snit can burn the whole bullpen tonight. If the Braves score sufficient runs then we may not even see more than those three.

  4. There’s someone else who is haggard tired – Harper. At least our guys have each other for company. JTR is groomed, immaculate and hitting beneath his merits.

  5. @7 Excellent description of really who JT Realmuto is. I can’t say I respect the man, even if he plays most of his games taking a beating behind the plate.

  6. So Duvall has 2.5 fWAR this year, his best year since we traded for him the first time. He’s 33 years old, and likely not getting any better than this. What the heck do teams do with this guy? For his career, he’s been fairly inconsistent, but he’s absolutely crushing it right now. His option is $7M, right? I’d probably pick that up as more Pache insurance.

  7. @11 – Yeah, Chip was talking about Tomlin pitching in games like last night and that he was close to being ready. I don’t think Tomlin has been ready all year.

  8. @14 All that would have done would be create a need to use Hancock when the game got close, and there should never be a reason to use him.

  9. @14

    Honestly, I watch less games due to Chip. I get tired of the same tired garbage he brings every night. I find my self cutting away and following on my phone. If something big is about to happen, I flip back.

  10. Alright, everybody hates Chip. I think I’m genuinely the only one who doesn’t.

    Do you guys like Ben Ingram? I can’t imagine you don’t; he’s probably the best broadcaster of anyone Braves TV/radio. And as a follow up, what makes Ben Ingram better than Chip? I know I have my answers, but I wanted to see how you guys evaluate.

  11. I think Duvall’s sort of like Moustakas — from 2011 to 2019, Moose Tacos was on a series of one- and two-year contracts. When he finished his arb-eligibility, he hit free agency, and got slapped in the face by a series of unfriendly free agent markets that did not highly value a cromulent non-star 2-win hitter like him.

    He’s a low-AVG, low-OBP, right-handed slugger who just turned 33. The fact that he actually plays surprisingly good defense is, I think, an indication that he may age a bit better than you’d think for a typical slugger. He’s been a pretty wonderful player for us the last few years, but he’s an aging second-division starter with a career OBP under .300.

    Sadly, Adam’s poor month in 2018 may have permanently ended his hopes for even the kind of four-year deal that Moustakas eventually netted in December 2019. I hope I’m wrong and he lands something multiyear — I think something like Travis d’Arnaud’s 2-year, $16 million would be eminently defensible, even if I have spilled an indefensible number of words arguing that for why Braves should try to bring back Soler instead — but whatever happens, having a career year in a walk year rarely costs a guy money. Good for him.

  12. @17, I watch the games via MLB.tv with the radio audio overlay, so I pretty much never listen to Chip. I think Ben’s kind of boring but fine. My strong preference is for Jim Powell, who I think does a pretty good job of play by play, telling what happened without undue homerism; who has a good sense of humor without overdoing it on the Hee Haw stuff; and who is a really gracious broadcast partner who goes out of his way to put his boothmates over. He’s not a Hall of Famer, and he’s not Skip, but I’ve really come to appreciate him over the years.

    Jim did a fantastic job with Don Sutton, but I think he also does a good job with Ben, and with Joe when they’re paired. Sutton was an engaging talker who had real insights about a pitcher’s mindset, but was also a really weak PBP caller who struggled to detail what happened on the field. Jim helped to highlight his strengths and mask his weaknesses without outshining him.

    Ben also comes from a similar low-ego school of broadcasting, and he’s brought out the good side of Joe Simpson in a decided contrast with Chip Caray, who encouraged his crotchety worst. There’s nothing I really dislike about Ben, and there are plenty of broadcasters who I think are far worse. I just don’t find him as funny or engaging as Jim. (I think his voice is a bit more grating, too.)

  13. @19

    Would you mind ranking the TV/radio guys?

    I’ll go first:

    Jim
    Ben
    Frenchy
    Joe
    Chip
    Paul
    Glavine (it’s disappointing to write this, but he doesn’t bring much)
    Nick

    Did I forget anyone? When Don was still with us, I’d put Don above Frenchy and below Ben.

    It would be fun to do all the broadcasters over the last 30 years, but I ain’t got the time to think up everyone who’s been in the booth over that span.

  14. On Duvall and contracting.

    If Braves DON”T offer the 7 million option, it costs them 3 million. They knew that when they did the trade. So, they WiLL offer the option.

    However, if Braves offer the option, Duvall can object. He will be betting on getting more money if he does that.

    If Duvall rejects the option, Braves can still tender him an arb 4 contract. They would owe 1/6th immediately and 1/4th if not on big league roster at end of spring training. I have seen lots of things on valuing arb, but they all run together. Most take a percentage of what WOULD the guy get on a 1 year contract based on his production and then apply that percentage. Duvall is a player who in his best year, still is barely an overall above average player when batting against right handed pitchers.
    That is 3/4ths of the year. He is a somewhat above average player against left handed pitchers, but that is only a 1/4 role. So, it is hard to project him as a 2 WAR player. At age 34 I can’t see a single year offer over 12 million. so if 80% is the magic number, that puts arb at 9.6 million, (maybe some of you know the likely arb ranges better than me).

    I think Duvall can get something better than 1 year 7 million. So, I do not think that is a likely outcome. Either Braves pay 3 mill to him to go away or Braves pay an arb salary, or Braves let him walk if he wants more years or more than their projection on arb..

  15. I would generally separate PBP from color, even if the Braves tradition has been to let the color guys do PBP.

    In all, though, I can’t seriously disagree with your list. Agree that Glav doesn’t bring much. But neither do Moylan, or Jordan, or Green, or Byrd. (I’d put Glavine ahead of Byrd, honestly.) So I think I have to blame the team and network people who run the TV operations more than the individual bland retired players.

    If only they would hire DeRosa away from MLB Network! He seriously knows how to be engaging and deliver interesting information. I’d also be interested if they would hire people who never played for the Braves — like Sutton and Simpson — as long as they are capable of speaking eloquently. A guy like Dirk Hayhurst (the Garfoose guy), for example.

  16. While I don’t like Chip, per se, I generally find him less insufferable than most other people seem to in an “it is what it is, easy to block out” sort of way. I will admit he’s grown pretty freaking insufferable down the stretch of this pennant race, excitedly proclaiming the same five or so pieces of pennant-race cliche claptrap every night repeatedly. I guess he’s super excited to be announcing a close race down the stretch, but it’s actively made him worse and is pretty annoying…even for him.

    Ben, Joe and Jim are all fine. I think Joe actually was helped in terms of quality of broadcast by moving away from Chip and over to radio.

    In terms of ranking, I think I’d put Frenchy at the top actually. That broadcast falls apart real quick without him, whereas the radio guys seem to do fine with whatever combination. Also, Glavine is pretty good in a three-man booth with Chip and Frenchy, but isn’t very good at all with just Chip. Frenchy’s kind of the linchpin of that whole thing.

  17. #16
    Perhaps because I don’t listen to him so often, Chip doesn’t really bug me — no TV broadcaster really does (outside of Dick Vitale, that is).

    When I’m home, I very often listen to Braves games the radio (MLB app, but not always the Braves broadcast) with the TV/laptop on mute. When I bother to sync them just right, it’s perfect.

  18. Duvall got off to an atrocious start this year and was close to 2018 numbers except for his break out games against Atlanta. As late as June 15 his line was .205 /.252/.414/.666. He went 3 for 4 against the Cubs on June 18 and has trended upwards (especially from a power standpoint) ever since. I’m not sure how patient everyone will be with him next year if he puts up similar numbers through mid June. I don’t think I would want to pay more than $7 million for a 33 year old who is known to go through long dry spells like this year.

  19. I agree with what Alex says about Jim; I’ve been a fan of his for years and I wish they had put him on TV. I’ve been a little disappointed that they have cut back on his radio time. Ben is pretty good, but I don’t find him as appealing as Jim.

    I agree with Nick about Frenchy. He is much better than I feared he would be. It’s not just his general good humor; he actually says some intelligent things. Joe Morgan was one of the smartest players ever and a dumb announcer. Frenchy was one of the dumbest players ever, but his commentary shows that he has learned some things–and he is much more self aware of his limitations as a player than I would have guessed he would be.

    I even like Brian Jordan’s good humor in small doses. One good moment from his time in the booth with Chip: Chip tried to get him to concede that Joe West is a good balls and strikes umpire, and BJ was having none of that.

    Still, we have no one who is nearly as knowledgeable or informative as Sciambi or DeRosa. I doubt we ever will.

  20. @18 The Moustakas comparison, especially as it relates to how they are perceived in the FA market, is pretty good.

  21. Didn’t see the game after the Braves took the lead, so I missed Duvall’s HR, but there were a couple of things I didn’t like. One was not resting one or two of the infielders in the late innings of a 9-3 and then 9-4 and eventually 11-4 game. I guess this is in part a roster construction issue, as if you put in Adrianza for Swanson/Albies and move Duvall to first for Freeman and someone then gets hurt, you have no backup IFs. Maybe they should’ve kept Arcia around instead of yet another reliever. With even the current slightly-expanded September rosters, the team really should have a slightly deeper bench of position players.

    The other was pinch-hitting Fried for Ynoa with a 7-3 lead and runners on 1st & 2nd with one out in the 5th. I get it that Fried’s the best-hitting pitcher, and when the bench was short and weak-hitting (now it’s just short) I liked the idea of using him as a PH early. Still, Ynoa is the second best-hitting pitcher, and to me the difference between just letting him hit and letting Fried hit, given the score and the game situation, wasn’t worth the risk of injuring one of only two consistent starters, who has already injured himself on the bases once this year. If Ynoa was already in the showers, let Heredia or Joc pinch-hit early and make d’Arnaud available to PH late if needed.

  22. Strange about Chadwick Tromp. I guess he is the 3rd catcher just in case of an injury. I believe there is a rule that he can be put on the 40 man in September if it’s a direct replacement for someone who has been injured.

  23. @30

    If it makes you feel any better, we’ll get like a week off between the end of the regular season and the start of our playoff series…unless we somehow find ourselves in the second wild card, which is not impossible but pretty outrageously unlikely as it would require us both dropping games to one team and picking them up on the other at the same time.

  24. @34 For us to lose the division but get the second Wild Card, the Phils would basically have to win out, St. Louis would have to tank, and San Diego would have to go .500. Not likely.

  25. “Chadwick Tromp” sounds like the name of someone played by Joe Lo Truglio in Anchorman 3.

  26. Ben’s my fave
    Joe’s been great w/o Chip
    Jim is good
    Frenchy, Paul, B.Jordan are fine.
    Chip is sooo bad, largely because he makes most around him worse.

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