May 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Atlanta Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 9/29

Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves News

Braves coach Terry Pendleton grabs and shoves Chris Johnson after helmet tossing incident

[Editorial Note: There's a lot of conjecture about why Pendleton grabbed Johnson, and I've read headlines about why - everything from Chris sliding into first, to a lack of hustle, to throwing the helmet.  Those most in the know, such as Mark Bowman, David O'Brien, etc. say it was simply Chris throwing the helmet and hitting Pendleton, and while that may be true, certainly there must be more to this.  Perhaps it was just pure frustration.  I don't think it's a big deal though. ]

Big League Stew

The Atlanta Braves are a feisty bunch, aren’t they?

They won’t hesitate to confront an opponent when they feel they’ve been disrespected. We’ve witnessed several examples of that this season, most recently when Brian McCann took exception to Carlos Gomez‘s hot-dogging on Wednesday. And apparently they won’t hesitate to confront one of their own if they feel he needs to be put in his place.

Hey, at least they don’t play any favorites, right?

On Saturday, we saw the latter happen immediately following their 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. A quick postgame camera shot in the Braves dugout saw a calm scene quickly escalate into after a heated Terry Pendleton stood up and grabbed third baseman Chris Johnson forcefully by the jersey. The shot stayed on long enough to see Pendleton give Johnson an earful, and then the Braves first base coach capped the exchange by shoving Johnson and adding a few more words.



Without Home-Field Advantage, Atlanta Braves Have No Shot of Beating Los Angeles Dodgers in NLDS

Rant Sports

Like so many other teams, the Atlanta Braves have been much better at home than on the road. What is surprising, however, is the fact that as a playoff team, the Braves actually have a losing record when away from Turner Field. In fact, of the nine other playoff teams, only the Braves have a losing record on the road. And for this very reason, it is crucial that Atlanta secures home-field advantage.

The Braves have been completely dominant at home, winning 55 of 80 games played there. The Braves also have a much better slash line at home, batting .256/330/.415 as opposed to on the road where those numbers drop to .238/.309/.385. That is a significant drop-off for sure.

The one saving grace for Atlanta is the fact that of their NL-leading 179 home runs, 91 have come on the road, and only 88 at home. Of course, this is a result of the sheer dimensions of Turner Field, but what it also means is that Atlanta can and does hit home runs no matter where they play.

In the postseason, the Braves are going to need these home runs, especially since their offense leads all playoff teams in strikeouts and is woefully inconsistent.



Recap: Atlanta vs. Philadelphia


Cesar Hernandez tallied four hits and two runs scored in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves in the third test of a four-game set.

Trailing 5-1 after eight innings of play, the Braves got within one after Justin Upton smacked a three-run homer in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon. Freddie Freeman then singled and was put into scoring position when Evan Gattis walked, but Chris Johnson grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

With the loss, the Braves are one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in the National League. Atlanta holds the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the season series.



Like Fisk, McCann is enforcer of professionalism

Braves catcher confronts players who do not show respect to game

[Editorial Note:  Said I wouldn't say more about this, but I cannot resist.  McCann, right or wrong, was not trying to be the ambassador for professionalism!  That is ridiculous.  All he was doing was attempting to protect his pitcher, and express an opinion to another ball player.  To assume there were loftier notions on BMac's mind is ascribing actions that BMac never attributed to himself even in interviews. ]

We need more players like Braves catcher Brian McCann. Suddenly, during his ninth Major League season, he is evolving into the 21st-century version of Carlton Fisk, the Hall of Fame icon of the Red Sox and the White Sox who often terrorized opponents with his ability to field a little and to hit a lot, especially in the clutch.

Just like McCann.

Mostly, McCann resembles Fisk in his quest to have as many of his peers as possible (OK, all of them) respect a game that has been around professionally since the end of the Civil War. The key word here is “professionally.” Or, if you prefer, “professional” or “professionalism.”

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Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

  • fireboss

    If anyone believes that incident was about throwing a helmet I have some beachfront property just outside of Odessa they’ll be be interested in buying. I’ve watched TP for over 2 decades and never seen him that irate. Something else is going on and we won’t find out the truth for a long time but it is indicative that all is not well in the clubhouse.

    • Jeff Schafer

      I disagree…I think the Braves clubhouse is extremely tight like a brotherhood and they are quick to show their anger once something happens.

      • fireboss

        TP has been in this game over 40 years, a helmet bouncing off the floor does not induce that kind of response unless you’re name in Milton Bradley, Carlos Gomez of Carlos Zambrano. A brotherhood does not get that upset when something miniscule like a helmet toss happens. The Braves way would have been to put your arm around CJ and say look dude it’s over you’ll need that helmet for the next month so lets shake it off and move on. Something else is going on perhaps just between a former gold glove 3B and his latest pupil but whatever it is or was, it was not a helmet bounce.

        Even in the tightest groups there is always something going on. After 28 years in one of the tightest groups around -fire protection – I know that whatever the outside sees it is never enough to know what’s underneath. You can be family tight, play like kids, laugh like idiots and work like a well oiled machine but these are still people with their own issues that we’ll never know and are really none of our business.

    • Chris Headrick

      I’m torn between these two comments (above and below). On the one hand, I agree with Fred (and said as much myself), that something is not clear here. I’ve never seen TP act like that either, and I cannot imagine simply getting hit with a helmet would set him off quite like that. Looking at the video, it appears that CJ is a bit angry at being grabbed, but there is not specifically a look of shock or surprise on his face – almost as if he knew it was coming. Makes me wonder still if it was the sliding into 1st incident. Without any interviews, it’s still conjecture to me what really caused this. On the other hand, I’m also with Jeff in that going into the playoffs, it could be nothing but frustration. TP may have already apologized. Whatever happened, I personally believe that TP’s actions were inappropriate. You should never lay your hands on someone unless defending yourself, and I guarantee TP will get a stern talking to.

      • fireboss

        I agree it was totally unacceptable and completely out of character. Fredi certainly had to earn his managerial money after the doors closed yesterday. Pendleton and Johnson were both in need of words that I’m not sure Fredi has.