Morning Chop: Tomahawk Take’s Summary of Braves’ News
Fredi: I’d make the same dumb mistake again
Fredi is not one for introspection.
He would have done “nothing different, really. Other than I wish that ball had gone foul, or that he would have swung and missed,” Gonzalez said. “Nothing different at all. You feel good about the decision.”
He must be a Dodgers fan.
Asked why Kimbrel couldn’t get six outs when Mariano Rivera did it 14 times in the postseason over his career, Fredi offered the lamest of rationales.
“That’s a different animal there,” Gonzalez said of Rivera. “That’s a guy who has done it from — I think he came up as a starter, and then I think he pitched multiple innings in the middle of the game for a lot of years. He’s done it for, however many saves does he have, 600 and something? (652) – I think he’s only done multiple innings 40 times.”
Atlanta Braves Will Continue Succeeding Without Brian McCann in 2014
Brian McCann has been rumored to be leaving the Atlanta Braves for quite some time. Even before the beginning of the 2013 MLB season, there was talk of who the Braves everyday catcher would be in 2014 and it wasn’t going to be McCann. That could have been surprising for some but with the all-star catcher going into free agency; there is little chance that the Braves will give him the large contract that he deserves. More than that, they really do not need to give him such a contract.
McCann has meant a great deal to the Atlanta area and the Braves teams while he has been with them but the simple fact is that they do not need him anymore. They certainly do not need him enough to warrant giving him the contract he has coming his way. For sure McCann is going to get a lot of money from someone and for sure he deserves it but it will come from someone else.
Atlanta Braves’ Unfulfilled World Series Hopes Most Damaged by Loss of Eric O’Flaherty
ven with 72 holds to his credit over the last three seasons, only a few at the time of the injury surmised that the loss of setup man Eric O’Flaherty might be the very thing that would cost the Atlanta Braves an opportunity at a pennant or even a World Series title. After Monday night, however, evidence suggests that is exactly what put an end to hopes of a championship around Atlanta.
Back on May 18, O’Flaherty was placed on the disabled list after suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. Coming off of back-to-back outstanding years that placed him among the very best late-inning hurlers in the game, the lefty had appeared in just 19 games in the 2013 season to that point but was well on the way to another solid campaign. Before the injury, he was sporting a 2.50 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .188 batting average against.
Nightengale: Managers ‘take more chances’ in the playoffs
If a manager sticks to his regular-season doctrine, declining to change with the circumstances, he can also find himself ridiculed by the masses.
Say hello to Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who decided against summoning All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel in the eighth inning of Game 4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kimbrel was still standing in the bullpen when third baseman Juan Uribe hit the game-winning, two-run homer, the Braves still six outs shy of their goal.
The best closer in the National League never threw a single pitch in the Braves’ elimination game.
“We had it set up to bring him in for four outs,” Gonzalez said afterwards. “I think six outs was something that we weren’t even talking about in the dugout.”
OK, maybe it didn’t come up in the dugout, but it sure dominated the airwaves, newspapers and water-cooler talk the next day.
Ex-Cubs, Dodgers and Braves outfielder Andy Pafko died
NBC Hardball Talk
You may not know who Andy Pafko was, but you’ve seen him. He shows up ever so briefly here, at the left field wall, at the 27-second mark:
That quick shot of Andy Pafko watching Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run go over the wall is part of one of baseball’s greatest moments (or worst, depending on your point of view). It also inspired the prologue to Don DeLillo’s epic novel Underworld, entitled “Pafko at the Wall.”
Andy Pafko died yesterday at the age of 92.