Let the autopsies begin

Interesting take by Craig Calcaterra. Much as I’d like to, it’s hard to disagree with much of what he says about the Braves culture.


16 thoughts on “Let the autopsies begin

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  1. Interesting article, and much to think about for sure. Two nits to pick, since that’s what I do best:
    1. Larry Parrish was fired after the 2011 debacle.
    2. Was Mark Wohlers not brought in for a 6 out save in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series?

  2. Wohlers was pitching in the 8th. And this is the same guy who tweeted something along the lines of “why would you do something different now?” after Game 2. Maybe he was being facetious then, but it didn’t come across that way. It worked out badly so far, obviously, but I’d argue that for a team with the Braves’ finances, signing BJ was a pretty bold stroke. Starting Freddy Garcia last night was not all that conventional. The guy’s point is generally sound, but I think it oversimplifies things.

  3. From my armchair I was going to recommend using Kimbrel against Hanley/Gonzalez/Puig in the 8th and then use Carpenter or whoever in the 9th against the bottom of the lineup. That way you’re not using Kimbrel for more than an inning. But then Mark Ellis got on base and that situation never manifested itself. At the same time, it would take a certain amount of chutzpah to actually go through with that and Fredi never would.

  4. CK should have been in there to face Puig. Unfortunately, this guy is spot on with his take. We had the lead, with our season on the line without our best arm out there facing the meat of the order. Fuck that. Thats on Fredi, and its on our organization if they dont recognize that.

  5. From my armchair, I wouldn’t describe the Braves so much as a by-the-book organization as a complacent one. I don’t think Braves ownership (and perhaps to some degree Wren) judges a season as successful the same way you and I do. Home attendance up a few percentage points in 2013, putting Atlanta comfortably in the top half of MLB cities. Concession and parking revenue presumably following suit. Two more regular season wins, and one more home playoff game, than last year. No, I suspect Liberty Media is quite content with how things turned out, and the playoff flame-out doesn’t raise anyone’s blood pressure an iota. In fact, if Wren had to cover half of Uggla’s salary next year just to get him out of town, he’d probably get a pat on the back from corporate for smart fiscal maneuvering rather than called on the carpet.

  6. Valid at a level. I live in Minnesota and Gardenhire (and Tom Kelly before him) are so by-the-book with pitching that it’s almost like they have an organizational chart.

    I put more of this on Wren than anyone else. He has made some good trades and waiver-wire acquisitions, but Liberty should kidnap his kids during the free agent signing season and hold them until Wren doesn’t p*ss away countless millions on underperformers.

    As for Fredi, in-game stuff is in-game stuff and Fredi makes his share of blunders, but he’s not clueless. I worry more about managers who “manage” just to make it look like they are doing something.

    I think Joe Maddon is a very good manager, but his constant flipping of line-ups is kind of annoying. I just think he does it to do it. I don’t think there is any strategy at all involved. And he’s really inconsistent in his use of pitchers. I was listening to a game when the Rays were playing the Twins and Maddon was doing the platoon thing like it was the 7th game of the World Series (and the Rays were comfortably ahead in the game). He lets Price go forever in the playoffs and he really pitched a beauty in Game 163, but say Price runs out of gas in the 8th, loads the bases, and the Rangers rally off the relief corp. Reminds me of when Bochy tried to close out the Braves with Kevin Brown out of the bullpen (and the announcers are all “Oh! Gutsy!” and then Michael Tucker takes him deep and we’re on to the next game (where the Braves were eliminated thanks to Danny Bautista). I watched Gene Mauch manage for quite awhile here in Minnesota and Maddon kind of reminds me of him sans the ridiculous obsession with the sacrifice bunt and having your bullpen up in the 5th inning when you’re up a half dozen.

  7. I stopped paying attention to Craig a while ago. Between his constant advocacy of every PED miscreant under the sun, his Braves “fan” defeatism and his disdain for thinking that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, he’s someone I have very little interest in hearing from.

    He has a few points about the fact that aspects of the Braves culture have become hidebound and stale. As I’ve noted before, Fredi has all of Cox’s flaws and none of his virtues. Still, Cox did indeed put Wohlers in when the situation dictated (after not doing it in the NLCS and being rewarded by having Greg McMichael throw that BP pitch to Brian Jordan, who put it in the bullpen, where it landed next to the guy who should have been in the game instead of warming up for a save that never came.) It didn’t work but that’s because Mark threw his third best pitch to that cunt Leyritz. He also put Farnsworth in early in ’05. The fact that he made a hash of it is beside the point.

    People like him seem to think that the way to win is to become more like the Dodgers and get a lot of Look At ME! assholes. He’s welcome to that opinion but (like most everything else he writes) it’s wrong and stupid. We need a bigger budget, not a “culture change” that would encourage Bryce Harper or Carlos Gomez to take a shit on home plate after a homer while we looked on quietly.

  8. Sharon makes a good point, and something that I was thinking about earlier. The Braves are run like a business – as long as revenues are up nothing else really matters. Championships don’t mean anything to Liberty Media. Keeping operating costs down and churning out a profit mean more to them. I worry that the only way things will ever change around here is if we get new ownership AND new management. Doesn’t seem very likely any time soon…

  9. The Braves, or ANLB (Atlanta National League Baseball Club), as they are affectionately referred to by Liberty Media was a profitable part of their business in 2012. Per Liberty’s 2012 Annual Report, the Braves operating profit was $22 million on revenue of $225 million. In terms of revenue, we are about 22% of Liberty’s world. The 2013 quarterly reports for Liberty show higher year on year revenue from their beloved Atlanta baseball club. Below is part of the description of their ANLB operating segment. Can you catch the obvious error?

    ANLBC, Inc. ANLBC is focused on providing the best team, ballpark and entertainment
    experience to every member of its community (both locally and nationally). It owns and operates the
    Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball franchise as well as other minor league teams, which creates a
    player talent pipeline. The Atlanta Braves have earned 14 division championships, five National League
    pennants, and a World Series title

  10. And Adam Wainwright of Brunswick, Georgia and the Atlanta Braves farm system throws a complete game, LDS clinching win for the Cards. ***sigh***

  11. I like Gondee’s take much more that Calcaterra’s grandstanding bullshit.

    They’re not all that far apart but I know that Martin is a real Braves fan.

  12. Pepe, I realize I’m three days late in posting to your comment, but did you know that was Wohlers’ third-best pitch before Tim McCarver said it 4,682 times during the remainder of the game? I heard that “third-best pitch” is the only phrase Tim McCarver’s parrot can utter.

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