Friday, June 26, 2009

BurritoBlogging with Radioactive Lint

I went to my first Braves game of the year last night and it was a blur of Jeter dunking singles to rightfield, followed by the swarthy masses applauding wildly. It was nice to have a dog at a ballgame like a real American, but it hurt to watch the staff ace get beaten around by the Yanks. And the weather just seemed to get hotter, even after the sun went down. The only good thing was that I was with a client who is a Yankees fan and I got to pretend that our firm got him 11 runs.

OK, so second and first with no one out in the fourth. The game is 0-0. We're facing a pitcher who shut us out six days ago. Friend of the blog Jeff Francoeur is up. Shockingly, he strikes out on four pitches, with the final strike coming from a wave at a pitch in the dirt. Why the f*** is he not bunting? He is one of the worst hitters in the league and we're in a pitching duel. If you're going to hit like a pitcher, then f***ing bunt like one.

And now Big Papi goes deep. If any baseball fan wants to make fun of me for loving soccer, justify a sport where a player like David Ortiz can barely chug his way around the bases. You have to be very charitable with the definition of "athlete" to include him.

I have a Steele-inspired post in my head and it is very simple: pick against teams whose coaches won the conference coach of the year in the preceding season. Proceed at your peril, Joe Paterno and Houston Nutt.

Jair Jurrjens is having a better at-bat in terms of working the count than Francoeur has had in weeks.

The nice thing about baseball in the South is that is is an hors d'oeurve. If this whole Braves thing doesn't work, we have the main course in September. Nice, low risk fun.

For the record, I want Barca to sell Eto'o to Man City and then buy Villa. Eto'o is a little too old and wacky to commit to in a long-term deal. Villa is a natural replacement and he wants to play with Xavi and Iniesta.

The lady next to me just ordered fish tacos. Control yourself, Beavis.

I want to like Yunel, but the goofs in the field are getting very frequent. He's Spanish for Josh Smith.

It's too bad that Big Papi has saved himself, because he is the only guy stopping New England from having the all-white Red Sox lineup that the fans of the last franchise to integrate prefer.

I'm bitter if you can't tell.

I'm wondering right now if the Nats are a good style match for La Furia Roja, but a bad match for La Selecao. And I'm worried that I screwed up the articles in that last sentence.

I am feeling better about the leftfield situation.

OK, Francoeur up with a runner on in a 2-0 game. And before I can even describe the at-bat, he grounds into a double play. Sox fans were considering benching Ortiz and he was never as bad as Francoeur. Christ, make him an icon at Gwinnett. He can be their Gattuso.


hoodawg said...

I've always been resistant to the "Bobby Cox sux" meme, but watching this team since the acquisition of McLouth has led me to consider it a viable argument. This is not to say that he was bad before, or that his method didn't succeed for 14 seasons. But Bobby seems incapable of handling a team where starters can't be trusted to hit or pitch their way out of slumps, and he has yet to grasp that his team isn't hitting home runs.

Bobby has always had a penchant of running his guys out there time after time despite abject failure. The reasoning behind this has always been to buoy the kid's confidence and to allow him to get the necessary reps to pull out of it. But when faced with an Andruw Jones, who never showed an interest in working on anything, or a Jeff Francoeur, whose childhood talent kept him from developing the techniques that would allow him to manage protracted failure, he could not modulate his managerial technique to accommodate. See also Jo-Jo Reyes; long stretches of Adam LaRoche; the entire careers of Blaine Boyer and Jeff Bennett. In short, Bobby is good when he has disciplined and talented players. He is less good when undisciplined players take advantage of his long leash.

Similarly, Bobby should have realized weeks ago that the Braves, as presently constituted, will not hit home runs. That's OK - teams can win with a minimal amount of power - but they have to play ball a certain way. That involves judicious use of the bunt, the steal, the hit-and-run, and a policy of discipline at the plate. None of these have been in evidence. All of them can be dictated by a good manager. I thought the McLouth deal evidenced a commitment to this philosophy, as he is nearly the perfect player to execute small ball without sacrificing Bobby's love for the homer. Alas, I was wrong.

Michael, can the Braves win divisions in the post-Turner era (e.g., limited salary for big bats) so long as Cox is king?

Caelus said...

Because Big Papi can hit home runs and doesn't have to run hard on the bases. And Jeff Francoeur has been a big favorite of mine and many others but agree that his time has come to move on. are spot on about Bobby. Time for him AND Pendleton to move on.

Kevin said...

Um Selecao