Discussion:
This one hurts
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Joe Schmoe
2011-09-29 12:43:40 UTC
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"Epic Collapse", "One for the Ages", "Historic Fade", those are the
terms I have heard so far. All true. This is one of the
franchise-altering fades that can fundamentally define a team.

Never mind that they maybe had no business being so far ahead of wild
card pack on Sept 1. Their starting rotation, although impressive, was
unproven over the course of a full season. Only Hudson had previously
proven he could be on his game for an entire season. Lowe has never
been consistent, and Jurrjens and Hanson had not demonstrated endurance.
Turns out they could not endure. In the end the rotation was Hudson,
the "bad" Lowe, and three rookies. Not exactly playoff-caliber.

But the real villains of this piece were the hitters. Where have you
gone, McCann and Prado? In September, the whole team seemed to forget
how to stay back on off-speed pitch and take it the other way. Yes,
they tried hard. But they looked bad doing it. That is not how
composed, experienced teams play the game.

This is not the same team as the 90s Braves, but this season makes them
look like liars and cheats. Fans may well be asking next season, why
would I watch you during the spring and summer? You're just going to
stab me in the back come September.

OK, maybe the Braves wiser for the experience this season. But next
year, fans are going to ask, what has changed? I am hoping I see a lot
of changes. Big, obvious changes.
Tarkus
2011-09-29 14:43:25 UTC
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Post by Joe Schmoe
OK, maybe the Braves wiser for the experience this season. But next
year, fans are going to ask, what has changed? I am hoping I see a lot
of changes. Big, obvious changes.
Such as?
Joe Schmoe
2011-09-29 19:44:38 UTC
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Post by Tarkus
OK, maybe the Braves wiser for the experience this season. But next
year, fans are going to ask, what has changed? I am hoping I see a lot
of changes. Big, obvious changes.
Such as?
There are plenty of targets.

On the executive side, Frank Wren spent about, what, 35-40% of this
season's payroll on Nate McLouth, Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe. What
is our ROI? Not much. We will be freed up from McLouth and KK this
off-season, and Lowe after next season, not to mention Chipper, also
after next season. Is Wren the guy who gets to decide how to spend that
money? His big budget items have not come through. Replacing Frank
Wren would be a big, obvious change.

On the coaching side, it is easy to look for a scapegoat and call for
Fredi's scalp. I don't know if that is necessary or not, but Larry
Parrish would be a candidate to get the ax, IMO. Almost the entire
roster underachieved offensively this season, especially down the
stretch. Parrish is also Wren's guy, not Fredi's, IIRC.

On the field, what are you going to do? Our payroll commitments prevent
us from being very active in free agency, and it would be short-sided to
trade some of these young pitchers for short-term bats, but if you could
get the right deal, a power-hitting OF under a long term contract for
one of the young stud pitchers would be valuable.

I have been thinking about starting pitching. Why not use a six-man
rotation? We have plenty of depth there, and it would reduce the wear
and tear on Hanson and Jurrjens. Why not go with
Hudson/Lowe/Jurrjens/Hanson/Medlen/Delgado, not necessarily in that
order? If Lowe stinks again, you could fill his slot with either Beachy
or Minor, or use one of those two guys instead of one of the six I
mentioned. Good young starting pitching is our biggest strength, let's
use it, or trade it wisely.
Joe Schmoe
2011-09-30 13:10:19 UTC
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Post by Tarkus
OK, maybe the Braves wiser for the experience this season. But next
year, fans are going to ask, what has changed? I am hoping I see a lot
of changes. Big, obvious changes.
Such as?
Larry Parrish would be a candidate to get the ax, IMO. Almost the entire
roster underachieved offensively this season, especially down the
stretch. Parrish is also Wren's guy, not Fredi's, IIRC.
Right on time, I read today that Fredi wants all the coaches to come
back. Here is the article from the AJC and some excerpts. But, in what
business do employees not have to look over their shoulders and be
concerned about loss of employment due to performance failure? Looking
over your shoulder is a perfectly reasonable motivator, IMO.


"...Some figured that first-year hitting coach Larry Parrish might be
fired in light of the Braves’ dismal hitting in September and lackluster
offensive performance throughout a season that ended badly. Often teams
in similar situations sometimes fire a coach to send a message.

“I don’t believe in that,” Gonzalez said. “I think if you hire people,
let them do their job. If they’re organized, detailed, and they work…
You’re right, it’s easy to fire somebody and throw somebody to the
wolves. That’s not the way I work.

“You want coaches to be able to come in here and work in a good
environment and not be looking over their shoulders worried about that
kind of stuff..."

...

Atlanta ranked 26th in the major leagues in batting average (.243) and
on-base percentage (.308), after finishing fourth in the majors in OBP
(.339) in 2010 under former hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who now
serves as first-base coach and infield instructor.

The Braves hit .205 with 31 runs while going 3-9 in their last 12 games,
and had a .195 average with runners in scoring position for the month of
September.

“I’m sure that L.P. [Parrish] will sit back and evaluate some things,
maybe do some things different, like we all will,” Gonzalez said...

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/09/29/gonzalez-braves-coaching-staff-will-return-intact/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_braves_blog
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