Sep 25, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) is restrained by team mates while confronting Atlanta Braves players after hitting a home run during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 9/26

Morning Chop – Tomahawk Take’s Summary of Atlanta Braves News

Atlanta-Milwaukee Brawl Was Brewing For Three Months


An awful lot to unpack from last night’s Brewers-Braves bench-clearing scrum/fracas/donnybrook/other term that only gets used for baseball near-brawls. It started after Carlos Gomez took his time rounding the bases after homering off Paul Maholm, jawing at three different Braves along the way. But if you ask Gomez, it really started when Maholm hit him with a pitch back in June.

Gomez was hit by Maholm on June 23, his second HBP at the hands of Maholm, and he believes it was intentional and has been biding his time. “I’ve been in the league seven years,” he said, “and I know when I get hit on purpose and when not.”

Gomez stood at the plate for a second, admiring his blast. He claims he “didn’t disrespect anybody”—he merely told Maholm, “You hit me, I hit you. Now we’re even.”

At first base, Freddie Freeman says he told Gomez “to act like he’d done it before on the bases and start running.”

Stop being slaves to baseball’s stupid macho orthodoxy

NBC Hardball Talk

Just to review, my take on the Braves-Brewers thing last night is that while Carlos Gomez was certainly out of line, Brian McCann and the Braves were too and that they are the ones responsible for what should have been a minor thing turning into a fight that caused punches to be thrown and a player (Aramis Ramirez) to be hurt. McCann’s walking up the baseline to confront Gomez was pretty damn provocative and immature, frankly, and the playoff-bound Braves should be both smarter and better than that.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, Gomez made a full public apology for his behavior after the game. I’ve yet to hear McCann or his teammates do the same.

[Editorial Note: This is one of the few (so far), that I've seen that I agree with!  I am a die-hard Braves' fan, but what some of the Braves players did last night, in my opinion, was worse than what Gomez did, particularly because of what is at stake for the Braves]



Carlos Gomez apologizes for Braves fracas, Brett Anderson sums it up

CBS Sports

ou’ll recall that on Wednesday night, Carlos Gomez of the Brewers seemed to take rather intense delight in his home run off Braves lefty Paul Maholm, which led to Brian McCann’s blocking Gomez’s path to the plate in order to deliver a lecture, which led to a near-brawl.

Now, Gomez has, via Twitter, offered a pretty solid apology for his role in all of it:





Free Agent Profile: Brian McCann

MLB Trade Rumors

If you’re looking for a power-hitting catcher, there’s no better choice than Brian McCann.  McCann has played eight full seasons in the Majors, ranking worse than third in home runs at the position only one time.  He’s averaged 21 bombs per year, and he has 20 this year even though his season didn’t begin until May.


McCann is a bona fide middle of the order bat, at a position for which a .246/.311/.390 line qualifies as average.  His career batting line is .277/.350/.474, which is not far from what he’s accomplished in 2013.  Along with the big-time power, McCann can also draw a walk, with a career rate of 9.5%.

How many free agents will hit the market coming off a 20 home run campaign?  Assuming club options are picked up on Coco Crisp and Adam Lind, just 11 players including McCann will manage the feat.  Of those 11, only McCann and Robinson Cano play an up-the-middle position, if we don’t consider Shin-Soo Choo a center fielder.  Like Cano, McCann provides offense at a position not known for it.

McCann won’t turn 30 until February, so he’s the youngest prominent free agent bat.



Phillies-Braves Pitching Matchups

At Turner Field, Atlanta

Thursday at 7:10 p.m.

RHP Tyler Cloyd (2-6, 5.40 ERA) vs. Atlanta RHP David Hale (0-0, 0.00) 


Friday at 7:30 p.m.

LHP Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.93) vs. Atlanta RHP Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.24)


Saturday at 7:10 p.m.

TBA vs. Atlanta LHP Mike Minor (13-8, 3.22)


Sunday at 1:35 p.m.

RHP Zach Miner (0-1, 3.08) vs. Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (13-8, 3.09)


Next Braves Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 3030 Aug7:10Miami MarlinsBuy Tickets

Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

  • Josh Barnhill

    McCann should not have stood in the base path, but his confrontation was definitely justifiable. Just hitting the home run should have settled the score but he went a step further and admired it – that warranted getting hit in the back his next time up. But he took it a step further and was yelling at Maholm the entire way around the bases. His 3rd base coach didn’t even offer him any congratulations because he was so ashamed. McCann had to stand up for his pitcher right then to put an end to it and brawl. His mistakes were not waiting until he crossed home plate and not punching him in the face. Although considering the playoffs are next week it’s a good thing he didn’t.

    • Chris Headrick

      I hear you, but cooler heads always prevail.

      • Josh Barnhill

        Yes, in business and general life circumstances, but this is entertainment. People want to see a fight. Baseball is losing fans left and right because it is boring – this is front page news because it is interesting. I fall asleep watching the Braves most nights but this had me fired up.

        That said, while I like the fire the Braves have under Fredi, Bobby would never let this type of stuff fly and so part of me doesn’t like it. But – that may be just what we need in the postseason.

        • fireboss

          There was nothing entertaining about the adolescent actions of Gomez who as has been pointed out didn’t even get a handshake from his coach who was ashamed of the way he acted. Similarly this is front page news like a train wreck is front page news, because it isn’t what’s supposed to happen and people first want to see the blood then want to know why it happened. The why this time is a player with obvious ego and anger management issues who
          failed to act like the 28 year old adult he is supposed to be. He’s hit Maholm like a batting practice pitcher his whole career. Maholm hit him with a low and inside pitch on the leg with McCann setup on the inside corner. It was never intentional and no one except Gomez thought it was. he carried his personal vitriol for this unintentional act forward for months. He swung and missed the first pitch – a pitch that was above his letters and unhittable and made him look as silly as the night before when he swung and came out of his helmet every time finally throwing the bat behind him to the screen. That made his humiliation more obvious as the crowd was snickering at him and that super ego was hurt. His eyes got as big as saucers staring out at Maholm and there was no doubt that he was ready to fight. Then he hit the home run and that should have been his vindication. A quick trot around the bases and he’s won. But no he had to call names and talk buffalo chips to Maholm and every Brave he passed going around the bases.

          Gomez will have to curb that temper or he’ll end up selling insurance along side Milton Bradley and Carlos Zambrano.
          Actually baseball attendance is up this year for the third year running. There was a drop when the economy collapsed but the recovery started in 2010 and has continued steadily since.
          Baseball is only boring to those who don’t understand the intricacies of the game. There are boring games of course and boring teams but every sport has those. If you’re going to sleep during every game this isn’t your sport.

          • Josh Barnhill

            Pardon me for working outside all day and being so tired I might doze off by 8 p.m. I understand the intricacies of the game, but that isn’t going to keep me on the edge of my seat. Baseball’s slow pace and 162 games are what makes for something nice to relax after a hard day of work, and if I want to fall asleep than I will. Playoff baseball is the only baseball that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I love baseball and played through high school, but no matter how much I love it that doesn’t change the fact that more people in this country would rather watch football. When some sitcom on NBC or ABC gets better ratings than the World Series, I think that’s a pretty strong incitement of what people like.

          • fireboss

            Going to sleep because you are tired is not the same as going to sleep because you’re bored. You implied that the only thing that brought excitement was the possibility of a fight and that’s not true. The pace can be slow particularly in the AL but that doesn’t make it boring. Every game can’t be a nail biter and while I am not a football fan I know many who complain that many games they watch are less than thrilling. I’ve also heard the super bowl called the super bore because it’s often a very one sided affair so every football game isn’t a thriller either.The position that a fight increases viewership is invalid. Those who read about a fight the previous night might talk about it but don’t watch the next night particularly if they live out of market and have to pay extra to do it.
            Baseball is a more regional sport than football and draws lower TV ratings because of that particularly when a big market team isn’t involved. A Minnesota Houston series would get beat by a lot of shows because the number of fans outside of the home areas is relatively small, Fans of the game as well as a team will watch but can’t make up for the people who tune is to see the Yankees because they heard about them once and watch so they’ll have water cooler talk the next day.
            That doesn’t change the fact that attendance is up for the third straight year and the sport as a whole is thriving in spite of the economy.

  • Chris Headrick

    You know, it’s entirely possible to be critical of the way McCann handled the situation (Freddie as well), and also be critical of Gomez at the same time – it’s not a he said/she said thing. One action doesn’t justify another. If BMac had been entirely in the right, he wouldn’t have been fined in my opinion. Twice BMac has confronted players at the plate this season – and I just disagree with him if he thinks (as he apparently does) that it’s his job to be the protector of his team. It’s one thing if someone takes a swing at your pitcher to protect him, but sticks and stones dude! I just don’t get this blind support of actions that led to an almost brawl, when cooler heads would have accomplished more, and kept everyone fine-free and in the game. Gomez acted like a child, no doubt, but it was BMac’s actions that led to the fines, led to suspensions, and the fallout that landed on the Braves. It was all completely un-necessary. Oh well, we’ve beat it to death – this is the last I will say on this subject.

    • Josh Barnhill

      Yes, it is obvious you do not agree with McCann, and are going against the Braves here. I can see that from your post this morning. So clearly you do not understand blindly defending something. I guarantee you the Braves players will pool their money to pay BMac’s fine, because he was defending his team and they will all back him up. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not, it only matters what the guys in the clubhouse think about it. If that is the standard they want to set as a team, then that is what this team is. That is who they are. And as division winners, that is good enough for me.

  • BravesBeliever

    The ultimate objective in the game of baseball is to touch home base in order to score as many runs as your team can score. The ultimate philosophy upon which our game is based is to play the game right. It’s very simple. One does not hot dog or show boat or conduct themselves in a manner which brings dishonor on the game and undue attention to one’s self at the expense of either your own team mates or even the opposing team. Honor is a deeply important concept in this game. It is what separates the game, to a large extent, from all other sporting events. It is crucial…indispensable to the optimum philosophy of the game. And, sadly, it is a concept that is, more and more, being lost on a greater number of players than ever in our sport today. Some may say this is due to the fact that some players play for a dozen or more teams before their careers end and there is little team loyalty. Some may say that this, in turn, is because of the obscene salaries and matching levels of selfishness among the players. I cannot argue these well-conceived points. However, I would like to think that honor is still held in high admiration among the vast majorities of players of the game. The day that it is not is the day I will no longer watch baseball, a game which I love above all others and always have. Last night, Bryan McCann went a long way at potentially huge cost to himself when, before all the world, he laid himself out there, quite literally, stood up for honor, integrity and the way the game should be played. I, for one, do not believe his bold and beautiful act had to do so much with his loyalty to the Braves- though that point cannot be rationally questioned- as much as it had to do with his loyalty to the game itself. And for that he should receive high praise, though knowing him as I do, I think I can safely say that this would be praise which he would not accept because Bryan McCann would say, “what I did, I did for the game and it is nothing more than any other player who loves the game should and would do.” And he would be right! Last night, Bryan McCann not only did the right thing in this instance but, in keeping with the chief philosophy of baseball (honor), he literally and figuratively demonstrated for the opposing player that he cannot achieve the principle objective of the game (touching home plate) without respecting and honoring that philosophy. And, in doing so, Bryan McCann not only sent a message to his team, the offending player and the opposing team but he sent a simple yet deep, admirable and abiding message which should be celebrated by all who love this game of baseball: “PLAY RIGHT IN OUR PLACE OR YOU DON’T TOUCH HOME BASE!”·
    What also should be pointed out is what is NOT (or at least very infrequently) being reported about last night’s Gomez buffoonery: Those who have played the game of baseball and/or have been in the game in any professional capacity are virtually unanimous in their assessment of Gomez’ actions as knuckleheaded buffoonery, the likes of which, many players, former players, coaches, former coaches and professional analysts have said they have never witnessed by any other player in the game variously describing the actions of Gomez as nonsense, foolishness, silly immature embarrassing (especially given the Brewer’s record this year), dangerous to all involved and, in general, extremely bad for the game; But here are 5 important factors about the incident not so frequently reported:
    1. Gomez and his handful of apologists contended (before he apologized after
    realizing the massive error of his ways) contend that he had a right to show
    his posterior because he had been hit by pitches from Maholm. All well and good if he had’ve hit Gomez intentionally. In that case, punish the pitcher with the homer, admire it for a few moments, maybe even wink at him on the way to first-that’s fine. However, putting aside the well-known fact that this is not what
    Gomez did, choosing to perform a world class clown act, what is not being
    reported, hardly at all, is that the pitch that hit Gomez was an 88 mile an
    hour cutter at the knees, hardly the weapon of a seasoned pitcher utilized to
    punish someone for going long on him. And such is the deeper analysis of those few rationally thinking analysts of the game who chose to enter into a deeper examination of this aspect of the event. Thus, Gomez had no right to unduly celebrate even if he had responsibly done so in a proper manner;
    2. Gomez, while hitting the homer during the batting appearance in question,
    together with another in the opening game of the series, actually struck out
    multiple times and was an out every other at bat during the series. Moreover,
    in all of these strike outs during the series, some of his performances at the
    plate screwed him into the ground, while others resulted in him almost falling
    down more than once, throwing his bat into the stands, losing his bat all the
    way back to the backstop and, in general, making him look rather silly in
    virtually every plate appearance. My point? Gomez felt a great deal of
    frustration by the time he had reached the a.b. in question and chose to
    translate his anger by focusing on being hit by a pitch months ago and his
    actions were more a product of his negative, almost comical strike outs in his
    previous several at bats than it was anything to do with Maholm’s having hit
    him months ago. Maholm just happened to be a handy target for a ludicrous
    excuse, even if he had truly intended to hit him months ago;
    3. Gomez was viciously, physically attacking his own coaches and team mates
    elbowing, slashing, swinging (and a few times, connecting) at them with the
    furor of a mad man, eyes glaring, cursing and doing all that he could to, at a
    minimum, make it appear that he was itching for a fight, although it appeared
    he was again putting on a show in this regard, having strategically retreated
    to the back of the melee after Reid Johnson, shall we say, “connected with
    him” at the outset of the bench-clearing scrum;
    4. There is a reason or reasons why a talent of the nature of Gomez has been on so many teams…’nuff said;
    5. And this is more than odd that no one seemed to pick up on it: the last time
    Maholm hit him, he took his base and was seen on camera smiling and joking with the first baseman at the time. So why did he get over it almost immediately at the time and, months later, comes to the plate staring at Maholm at the outset of the bat with the countenance of a crazed serial killer?

    OH…..and, by the way, if McCann and the Braves were so wrong in this and the
    Marlins incidents, why were both players and their coaches so vehemently
    apologetic for the offending players’ actions AND, more importantly, why would
    anyone who loves our game take up for them when they themselves and their
    coaches recognized the error of their ways and deeply apologized for making a
    negative public spectacle of themselves? Finally, apologizing on Twitter when you made your macho non-apologetic statements the night before on live interview TV is kind of like acting like you want a fight while running to the back of the crowd in the melee.