Looking back on an eventful balk off

Keeping the practice they now perform after walk-off victories, the Braves celebrated last night’s balk-off victory by dousing Diory Hernandez with cups of water as he crossed the plate.   Sorry, but I have to ask  how funny would it have been if they had surrounded Mets’ reliever  D.J. Carrasco and started dancing around him in celebratory fashion?

It might seem ridiculous, but it certainly would have been fitting on a night filled with oddities.

Carrasco’s game-ending 10th-inning  balk gave the Braves their first balk-off victory since they claimed a 10-inning win over the Rockies on  Sept. 9, 2008.  Kelly Johnson was awarded the plate that evening when Taylor Buchholz was charged with a balk.  Buchholz made 23 appearances with the Mets this year before being placed on the disabled list near the end of May.

Johnson began that 10th-inning rally three years ago with a two-out pinch-hit single.  Last night’s rally began courtesy of a two-out double from Diory Hernandez, who has batted .300 (6-for-2) after coming off the bench this year.  He entered last night’s game in the eighth as a pinch hitter and remained to play third base in place of Chipper Jones, who enjoyed a five-RBI night before straining his right adductor muscle (just consider it a groin strain).

We’ll get back to that link to Chipper.  But first let’s remember Hernandez was in position to score on the balk because Jordan Schafer capped his first career five-hit game with an infield single.

“Five-hit games are hard to come by,” Schafer said while guessing he hadn’t had one since high school.

This marked the 51st time an Atlanta Braves player has recorded five hits in a game.  Schafer stands as the 39th player in Atlanta history to record five hits in a game.

Schafer became the first Braves’ player to record five hits since Mark Kotsay did while hitting for the cycle on Aug. 14, 2008, which is also remembered as the last day Tom Glavine ever pitched in the Majors.

When Nate McLouth is activated from the disabled list this weekend, he’ll play left and Schafer will stay in center.

Trivia Time:  Name the nine players who have had multiple five-hit games as an Atlanta Brave?

Bonus:  There were six individuals either in uniform or handling broadcasting duties at Turner Field last night who had previously enjoyed five-hit games with Atlanta.  Can you name them?

Back to last night’s festivities which were initially highlighted by Chipper Jones’ five-RBI performance.  This marked the 17th time he has recorded a career-high  five RBIs in a game and fourth time against the Mets.

When I posted this on Twitter last night, a Mets fan replied to tell me that it was actually the 96th time Jones had done this against the Mets.   I can understand his frustration.

Jones also took time last night to hit his  47th career homer against the Mets.  The only players to ever hit more were Willie Stargell (60), Mike Schmidt (49) and Willie McCovey (48).

Jones’ exit last night simply gave Brooks Conrad another chance to prove why he truly is Mr. Clutch.   His game-tying, two-run homer off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning simply added to his impressive list of late-inning contributions.  Four of his 12 career homers have been hit in the ninth inning or later.

This was the fifth time in the past three seasons that Conrad has hit a pinch hit homer in the seventh inning or later to tie the game or give his team the lead.  According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other Major Leaguer has more than three such pinch-hit homers during this span.

Odds and ends:  With the Rangers in town this weekend, I talked to some of the Braves’ players about Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison, who will be playing the Braves for the first time since they were shipped to the Rangers in exchange for Mark Teixeira in 2007.

Schafer was bubbling with excitement yesterday afternoon while talking about the chance to spend this weekend with Andrus.  The Rangers’ All-Star shortstop is going to stay with him over the next couple nights.  They were best friends coming up through the Braves’ system and have continued to talk on a daily basis.

An early Happy Father’s Day to all of you who have had the pleasure of experiencing fatherhood.  My father just happens to be coming to town on business next week.  So it will be a pleasure to see him on Father’s Day for the first time since my college years.

Anyhow check out some of the great things Chipper Jones had to say about his father’s baseball expertise.  Chipper is not one to get too sentimental.  But there’s no doubt that he shares a special bond with his parents.

Trivia Answers

Name the nine players who have had multiple five-hit games as an Atlanta Brave? 

Felix Milan (4 times, including a franchise-high six-hit game)

Kenny Lofton (3)

Felipe Alou (2)

Barry Bonnell (2)

Andruw Jones (2)

Chipper Jones (2)

Fred McGriff (2)

Dale Murphy (2)

Gerald Perry (2)

Bonus: 

There were six individuals either in uniform or handling broadcasting duties at Turner Field last night who had previously enjoyed five-hit games with Atlanta.  Can you name them?

Mets outfielder Willie Harris (tied franchise-best record with 6 hits on July 21, 2007)

Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez (April 18, 1999 @ Rockies)

Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton (Sept. 14, 1996 @ Mets)

Braves broadcaster Mark Lemke (Aug. 18, 1990 @ Cubs)

Mets third base coach Ken Oberkfell (5/21/86 @ Cubs)

Chipper Jones (twice, most recent Aug. 11, 2002 @ Astros)

82 Comments

Great post, Mark! I posted this previously on the last thread. Looks like rumors are beginning to circulate. This from MLB Trade Rumors – “The Braves are “aggressively positioning themselves to deal for an outfield bat as soon as they can find a team ready to open its sell-off shop for business,” writes Stark, and they’ve already checked in on Josh Willingham and Hunter Pence. We outlined potentially available power bats earlier this month.”

I am not a fan of Hunter Pence. He’s shown no signs of improving really since he broke into the big leagues, and he only carries around a .330 OBP with him. He’s one of those guys that just seemed to have peaked early and got a big head and hasn’t really seemed to try to improve. He’ll be a .280/25/90/.330 guy for a couple of more years, and then I feel he’s going to tank. Now Micahel Borne on the other hand, I am a fan of… NC, make it happen.

Except Michael Borne is a natural center fielder. Can you imagine the ripple effect on the Braves to get him? Shafer and McClouth both become redundant. Either or both could be throw-ins in a trade but McClouth and Shafer for Borne? I don’t think so unless a good, really good pitcher or pitching prospect is included. But, you know what, despite all the banter and chest beating here, Braves pitching is less impressive between the lines than it is on paper. During losses the Braves still use 4 pitchers. During wins, they use 6. Good luck with this one.

Weinus, wait till we get Tommy, Beachy and Meds back. This rotation will be as strong as ever.

Jose Reyes should be another trade candidate for the Braves, I feel. As unlikely as it is, the Mets might have to answer the door if our farm system comes knocking. Trade Gonzo as a stop gap for them and pay the remainder of his salary, Pastronicky as their future SS, and Beachy as a middle of the rotation arm. Take Reyes, play out the year, offer arbitration, get the draft picks, use the money being freed up by KK and Gonzo and sign a second tier SS(Marco Scutaro or Rafael Furcal type). I’m not sure on our SS situation beside Pastornicky, but Reyes is a game changer. He could be a catalyst in this lineup. It’s a ballsy win now move, but it could work.

Not to contradict you at every turn but are the Mets going to trade Reyes to a division rival? Perhaps with a premium attached. But you know what, the division rival issue may be a moot point considering the talk of each league having 15 teams with the top 5 going to the playoffs with Florida or Houston going to the AL to balance things out.

“As unlikely as it is” Did you miss that part? I’m obviously taking into consideration the Mets attachment to Reyes, and the unlikeliness of trading within the division. But Dan Uggla as a prime example, it’s not impossible. But the Mets are in a huge amount of debt, and with Reyes looking for ” Carl Crawford money”, I doubt they can keep him. The Giants need him, but have just the amount of prospects to get him. Will they sell the farm in a win now move? The Brewers want him, but they already sold the farm for Marcum and Grenkie. If we can offer a future SS and #3 starter along with salary relief, it’s a pretty tempting offer.

Brandon – with the Rangers in town this week it should remind you what happens when you trade the farm for a rental in hopes of making a championship run. Imagine if we had made that deal with a division rival and witness Neftali and Andrus on a night in, night out basis. I don’t think Reyes would solve much. What good is a guy who gets on base all the time if nobody can drive him in? Our problem isn’t base runners. It’s run producers. Timely hitting. Patient AB’s. We will not win with the offense we have in place. Pitching will not be as dominant as it has been… especially with the amount of pitchers we use night in and night out. Pherris is actually right about that. This team needs to improve offensively from a run-producing stand point. I think Pence would be a real good fit.

Have you not been watching Reyes? The guy finds his own ways to score a run. If the guy had a hit in those last 2 series against us, he was on 3rd before there was one out.

And trading a SS prospect and one of our many arms isn’t exactly the farm. We still have Teheran, Delgado, Minor, Vizcaino, Salcedo, Lipka, etc.

Pence has 2 arbitration years left. Won’t go FA until 2014. He is gonna make good Arb money but nothing like he would on the FA market. Best target.

Well you’re assuming the Mets would trade him for an above average SS and a mid-level starting pitcher. I think they would ask for more. The guy’s making a run at MVP. Reyes would be a short term rental band aid on a larger overall problem. Pence would be a longer term answer in my opinion.

Lets not get pence. I wouldnt get anyone to be honest. I think this club is fine and would rather not blow the farm system again. Lets stay as we are or maybe trade JJ to get some prospects. Where would pence even play? We are going to stick with heyward, schafer and prado surely. And the infield seems set untill chipper retires. Then we all know prado will be back at 3b for the long term

Brandon we definatly shouldnt get reyes. He only has half a season left, and we would never resign him. Better to forgot those sort of deals

Another name to throw in the mix is Morse with Washington. Decent OF, but he can bludgeon the ball. Bryce Harper is going to be knocking on the door for the LF/RF spot in DC real soon, and they could use some organizational depth in return since they won’t be competing for a playoff spot yet.

He isnt an upgrade on prado or heyward.

Whats bourne’s contract like?

I posted this before, and am going to post it over and over until I see an article or a semi-coherent/intelligent conversation regarding the rapid decline of the offense. There has really been no insight provided by Mark or DOB (unless I missed something) concerning the troubling offensive trends, just simply accounts directed at individual players while the numbers for almost every player has gone south. Mark, is this team-wide trend even something that has been discussed by the front office?

“Mark, I haven’t read anything by you or DOB which addresses the fact that the walk rate of almost every single player on the team has gone down. This is either a bizarre team-wide funk or the coaches are still trying to tell the guys to be more aggressive. They are all swinging at everything. Look at the games where we manufacture runs. You will see WALKS in the box score along with hits. Uggla’s K rate is also down, which is the death knell of a power hitter, and is indicative of a lack of patience at the plate.”

I believe it is due to a wider array of pitches in general and the cutter specifically. I don’t know the pitches Jurrjens throws but without even knowing I would say it is more than Hanson. It is either that or Jurrjens is just smarter than Hanson. If Hanson and/or the Braves concerning Hanson do not wise up, it would not surprise me if Hanson has a short shelf life.

Also, Fredi even contemplating batting the pitcher 8th is evidence of his inability to comprehend the problems at hand.

Viva, they havent been patient enough. That is obvious. I dont know the reason for it, but when we were good last year it was due to patience. Alot of teams in the nl east has stellar rotations, and then dodgy bull pens, so it makes even more sense to be patient at the plate and try and get to the pen of these teams. BUT alot of the lack of walks is due to the umpires having bigger zones this year. I am sure that this year the umpires are giving the corners ALOT more than last year or the year before. I hope others have noticed this, but it is what I put the decline in offence across the majors down to.

Isn’t it a hoot? Reyes for Crawford money? Crawford isn’t even. worth Crawford money. So what is Reyes worth? I am glad the Phillies will not be in on this scrum.The Phillies over pay but it is at the lower end rather than the upper end. I believe the Mets would trade Reyes for nothing short of a boat load of prospects They already have a SS in waiting in Tejada I believe his name is.

Yeah, the Frillies just give unnecessary multi year contracts to aging veterans. No overpay there.

Go easy on him brandon. Its too easy to make him look silly!!!

I mean, Polanco(even though he’s doing well, never deserved 3 years), Ibanez, Baez, Contreras, Schneider, Blanton(not aging, but completely unnecessary). Look for Valdez to get a 2 year deal this offseason.

Excuse me, isn’t this what I just said. Is reading comprehension an issue with you or what? Frillies? Is it your innate southern coming out or have you been hanging around with BillyBobReefer too much? Do you and BillyBobReefer alternate between playing the banjo and rowing the canoe on your outings or what?

Viva, you mean his Uggla’s K Rate is up don’t you. (i.e more SO/AB)?

Viva – I tend to agree with you. In the last few seasons, Atlanta has been the place where offensive players go to die. It does seem like more of an organizational approach to hitting than a bunch of slumps. The #’s are pretty telling and concerning as well. This team looks a lot better on paper and should be putting up better numbers. Has been that way for a while. There have been HORRIBLE AB’s. For example – There was an AB by Freeman last night with one out and runners on first and third. The LAST thing he should have done in a situation like that in a tight ball game is strike out. He falls quickly into an 0-2 count and wiffs on a slider away for strike 3. If he would have just made contact we would have scored. It’s those kind of terrible AB’s and the approach hitters are taking that really have me concerned about the organization philosophy of hitting and pitch count/selection.

Couldnt agree more. Uggla, frenchy, johnson, McClutch, Heyward all seem to have been ruined by our system.

Well the phillies got completed ripped off on the cliff lee deal. No way that guy deserved what you gave him. I bet his agent was laughing all the way to the bank. We have made some mistakes (Lowe, KK) but generally we dont splash out big on free agents, which is a wise move. Look at the nationals giving such a huge contract to werth who is a .270 hitter without great power or OBP. That was an example of how the free agent market is a joke.

Zidane, now that you have been beat down completely on your ERA gig, you are going to go after individual Phillie pitchers? Last night Cliff Lee complete game 117 pitch shutout. Last night Braves – 6 pitchers and 176 pitches and lucky enough to win on a balk-off. You are as twisted as your baseball daddy, BillyBobReefer. Keep paddling, I hear banjos.

ZIDANE – you suggesting this team is fine the way it is is pretty silly. This team the way it is will win no more than 85-90 games AT BEST and will be lucky to make a wild card and one and done in the playoffs. If that’s your idea of a good season then I guess you’re right. The way I see it – it’s a complete waste of one of the best pitching staffs ever assembled.

Why would we trade for an OF though. We already have prado and heyward as locks. And schafer is looking ok as a lead off hitter/cf. Then we have hinske and nate as back ups. The place we should trade for is either 1b or 3b. If we trade for OF we would have to bench chipper because prado isnt getting benched. And I doubt they want to give up on uggla yet.

Rother – I picked up Morse in my fantasy team a few weeks ago and he’s been an absolute monster. He would be a good fit too.

The last thing we need is another .270/20 hr guy. If we trade it needs to be for a superstar bat by giving up an arm such as jurrjens.

Hunter Pence Career .291 .339 .484 .823 2 Years Arb elg. 101 HRs(4.4 seasons)
Michael Bourn Career .265 .334 .353 .687 1 year arb elig 12 HRs( 5.4 seasons)
Josh Willingham Career .262 .362 .468 .830 FA 2012 113 Hrs(7.4 seasons)

Hunter sits at the top of the class in virtually every category. Better contract wise. He is a step down from slick fielding CF Bourn but has a plus arm and fields the corner OF’s fine. With the emergence of Schafer, the China Doll in RF and Martin having to spell the old cripple at 3rd, we are really looking for a corner OF anyway. Pence is also having a career(breakout”?) year, while the other 2, meh.

The only caveat I would have to say is that the problems all lie in the parent club. Our lower level organization seems to produce an MVP hitter every year, we bring em up and then ruin em. I don’t think Parrish was a good fit with all of our young player , he had never been a batting coach before. These guys are still working on fundamentals and need someone who actually know swing fundamentals and can adapt that to the different player styles. Dave Wallace would have been a great fit, TP and LP have been a disaster.

How many SB has Pence got? I guess it wouldnt be a bad signing. Because we know someone is going to get injured. And we would have him for 2.5 yrs (is that right?). I guess pence would be ok then. The problem is the astros would want at least 1 top notch prospect (maybe minor/tehran) and 2 decent prospects. i cant see them taking any major league ready guys cos they are building for the future. I really dont want to sell our farm system to get another .270 hitter with 20 hr a year. Sorry but I think others will pay more for pence than we should

Bill, Uggla’s K rate is down. At this pace he will have struck out about 10 times less than last year, though about 20+ less than the years prior. Striking out less is not good for a power hitter, and shows that he isn’t picking his pitches and is swinging and popping up or grounding out on a lot of balls outside the zone.

Zidane.. how was Heyward “ruined” by the Braves system? He has been playing hurt all season. Frenchy wasn’t ruined either. He’s just not very good. KJ had a down year, is incredibly streaky, and should have been retained to play LF the year after he was non-tendered. I can’t really speak for McLouth’s legendary collapse, but Uggla’s dramatic regression parallels that of the rest of the team–though to a greater extent–and the only reason I can guess is the advice of the coaches. But if you even consider blaming the umpires’ strike zones on the decline of the offense, you really need to do a little more research.

Heyward just gets pounded in and up Viva, and he cant deal with it. Thats the reason for his decline. Its worrying the coaches havent helped him to adapt vs this pitching yet.

I prefer the washboard, but thanks for the concern Pherris. Seems a bit hypocritical that you blab about reading comprehension just having commited the same thing you’re insulting me for just a few posts earlier. Is that the brilliance that the Philly schools are teaching you? I assume by your bewildering ignorance and laughable forced choice of vocabulary you picked right out of a thesaurus you’re still in high school.

“Is that the brilliance that the Philly schools are teaching you?” When I last attended school the best part of your father was probably still rolling down his fathers leg. My vocabulary is my vocabulary, no need for a thesaurus here. Besides a thesaurus is just something carpetbaggers took south to make you southern folk think you is smart. Didn’t do much good from what I can tell. Tell us, Brandon, from where did you garner your deep well of worldly knowledge? Took a trip to Macon once? Oops! Garner? That ought to throw you for a loop.

I love the Braves, but trying to rag on the Phillies and their MLB best record is pretty retarded.

Honestly Viva, if you have watched their games they have been very lucky so far this year. They wont keep it up. Old man Oswalt is going to fall apart, and hamels is just on a hot streak. Lee is overrated and living off his reputation at the moment.

Zindane, as a great Phillies fan once said, “Luck is the residue of design”.

Dude, I’m not trying to cause some sort of stir, but you sound pretty stupid when you talk about the Phillies. ERA-wise, our top 5 might be better than their top 5. But their pitchers go deeper, that isn’t even questionable, and that is HUGE over the course of a season. Also, our pitchers are dropping off like flies because they probably don’t condition as well as they should in the offeason. There is no excuse for so many pitchers to have to miss starts, and we aren’t even halfway into the season yet. I wish even one of our pitchers had the work ethic of Halladay. The guy is a machine out there. I mean, come on man, the Phillies are by far the best team in the NL. We are close, but we haven’t been able to prove anything. We have 100 excuses, that’s all we have. Instead of looking like an idiot trying to knock a great team, why not just support ours???

Actually, it insults retarded people.

Lets hope the rangers dont pull the ball from the right side, because we have brooks and hinske on the left side of our defense. Not good. O dear. I hope we get it done tonight but it doesnt look likely with this line up

Well, that gives me hope. Anytime you predict something the opposite always happens. Cool.

You dont think Brooks will make an error today then Bilbo? How about if he doesnt I will take a week off from this blog, and if he does you take a week off?

Make that a week off for you and the weekend off for me. Because nobody commits an error a game. Deal Bilbo?

Game started so no deal bilbo. Go braves

Throw Michael Cuddyers name into the trade hat as well.

Thanks Brandon but if it was up to me I would package both mclouth and schafer and add Edward Salcedo and Stephen marek for Both of them then trade uggla to the yankees for some cash. they can use him as a DH.

There is Brooks error. As predictable as night and day. He booted one he was lucky to get away with in the first inning. Then a homer. Brooks strikes again. Get him down to AAA NOW

shocking. An error by Conrad and a home run. Conrad has bobbled 2 balls tonight. He’s lucky he got the first out. I motion to change his nickname from “Brooksy” to “Bricksie”. Anyone second that motion?

I second it. And funny how me brandon and koovoon are all proven right about conrad yet again. He is fine to have as a pinch hitter but you cant carry him when you have Mr. Injury Chipper Jones as your starting 3b. It makes no sense to have conrad start EVER. Conrad’s place is as a pinch hitter, which he is good at. With chipper we dont have the luxary of carrying two pinch hitters, conrad and hinske. Hinske can at least play ok D so he shud stay up and conrad go down

Then it’s settled. He shall be referred to as Bricksie from now on.

I have no problem with it. Wheres Bill guys?

He will do a disapearing act like he did the day nate went 8 for 8

His D is SO bad though. He almost dropped the first force play on the first failed bunt too. So he has had 4 attempts. Almost dropped one. Caught a regulation one, and dropped 2. Awesome.

4 runs is insurmountable for this offense.

We need to bench Freddie too. He looks like an automatic strike out at the moment. I dont understand why hinske isnt at first, and get mather a start in the OF. We have no hope getting back in this game with this line up. You are right bravo.

Its back to the old days of frenchy and kelly, aka the out machines, in the middle of our line up. Now it is Uggla and other people take it in turns to fill the other roll. At the moment it is uggla and freddie who are carrying on frenchy and kelly’s great tradition.

Being shut down once again by a pitcher with an ERA over 5 and a losing record. Frank better do something or this can get out of hand very easily. (see Marlins).
This team has had incredible adversity this season. Starting LF’er and best hitter on DL. Starting RF’er and phenom out for a month. Starting CF’er DL’d. Second baseman brought in to drive in runs in historical slump. Most consistent RH set up man out for half of season. 3 starting pitchers DL’d. (if you include Medlen)
The fact that we are even in wild card is a miracle… especially with anemic offense. This won’t last for long. This team needs improvement offensively or this will be a sinking ship very soon.

Uggla obviously has till prado gets back, and then he will be benched and prado be 2b. Then we can put nate in left and maybe make a trade for a big time lf or cf

Fredi says “The line up picks itself after a month” at the start of the season. I would like to see the coaching manual where you put the guy hitting .170 (who never ever walks either) 2nd in the line up, so nobody is ever on base for the few guys who can actually hit in this line up. It makes no sense. Hit uggla 4th is better than hitting him 7th. I thought he was coming round and would of had him at 4th. But now he is back to being hopeless and I would put him 8th. As a team our OBP must be so low.

*better than hitting him 2nd

Heyward jogs to first. Would have been safe with McCann as tying run at the plate if he would have run it out. Turning this game off.

The China Doll got to believing all the hype I think.

Sea Bass- RISP w/ 2 outs. .087 BA. I call him los rally killer

Only 4 pitchers and 160 pitches. Atlanta – The Place Where Phenoms Go To Die. Freddie Gonzalez – Valedictorian of the Bobby Cox School of Pitcher Management.

Weinus, You guys are getting whomped by Seattle so you need to come trolling. How sad.

Ok, so here is what we need to do. Trade for a big OF bat using Jurrjens. Put Prado at 2b and bench uggla. When chipper gets injured push prado to 3b and uggla in at 2nd. All agreed? I think its pretty obvious that its time to worry about Uggla now. We are almost half way through the season and he is achieving the impossible by making his average go down from .180 to .170

Uggla is 18 for his last 138. Well done Frank Wren.

Wren took over the best farm system in baseball. FIrst thing he traded about 5 future stars to the rangers for a guy with 1.5 yrs left on his contract. Then he signs KK for big money, signs lowe for 15m a year (amazingly bad deal) when he knew we had pitchers coming through the ranks like hansen, and signed uggla onto a 5 year 60m contract. I am worried what wren is going to do if chipper retires. What is he gonna use the 20m from losing chipper and KK on? He will probably blow it on some clown and give up what remains of our now thin farm system to do it.

How is that ERA thingy going? By the way, in the last week or 7 games the Braves have thrown 185 pitches more than the Phillies. Imagine that? Mind boggling, isn’t it?

Pherris, its early yet. The way we have hit you should be 15 clear of us by now. If our bats figure it out you will be in trouble. Let me know when you have a bullpen which is basically invincible when you are up after 6

So now the the Phillies are good but not good enough as evidenced by the fact the Braves suck? Now I get it!!!

Zidane, Zidane… John Schuerholz made the deal for Tex, not Wren. It wasn’t really a bad deal since Yunel was blocking Andrus and the only player that we really missed out on was Feliz. Salty was blocked by McCann and Harrison hasn’t performed until this year. Lowe was signed to a higher contract because we missed out on Peavy and Burnett (thank god). KK should have only been signed for 2 years, but there were very few other options available after our rotation was decimated the year before, where JJ was the only starter remaining. I like how I have to post this at least twice a year. THIN farm system? We have the deepest quality starting pitching depth in baseball, though we are a little weak in the position player department since we called up 2 of the best prospects in baseball. I also don’t understand why Uggla is Wren’s fault. 5 years was a year too many, but there were few other options available, though I think the trigger was pulled a little too quickly with the extension. But how can you blame Uggla’s or McLouth’s production on Wren? Fat Fredi doesn’t seem to possess any urgency to alter the players’ approach at the plate and thinks that Dan batting second is a good idea. We were fifth in OBP last season and about 25th this season. The guys are the same but now have extremely flawed leadership in the coaches. You can’t preach aggressiveness and a swing-for-the-fences approach to a patient, get-on-base run producing team. Maybe wonder why most of our home runs this year are solo shots. When everyone is swinging at everything, you are basically trading 2 walks for 1 hit per game.

A trade is not what this team needs when we are already sabotaging what good players we already have. What needs to happen is to figure out the source of the disease and root it out before we go and trade away prospects for new players who will just succumb to the same sickness.

Ramirez is coming up. Can’t wait to see this kid in the majors. He was stunning in ST. Oh and McLeftfielder is activated too.

Wow, Ramirez get’s the start, guess Little Mac is the sub now.

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