Oct 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Gerald Laird (11) talks with relief pitcher David Carpenter (48) after giving up a home run to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning of game two of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 11/16

Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News


Carpenter reflects on whirlwind 2013 with Braves


ATLANTA — As this year’s summer months elapsed and autumn approached, David Carpenter found himself in the midst of a season that provided memories that seemed unimaginable when he exited Spring Training with the assignment to extend his development at the Minor League level.

It is not hard to understand just how far Carpenter progressed this year. The Braves sent him to Triple-A Gwinnett in early April with the thinking he might serve as an effective long-relief option at the big leagues. Six months later, they sent him to the mound to protect a one-run eighth-inning lead against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

When Yasiel Puig opened this fateful eighth by sneaking an opposite-field double down the unguarded first-base line, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez chose not to bring dominant closer Craig Kimbrel in for a six-out save. Instead, he opted to stick with Carpenter, who had earned this confidence somewhere in his accelerated transformation from Minor Leaguer to Major League setup man.

Carpenter welcomed the challenge and admirably dealt with the nightmarish result that ended his dream season. A little more than a month has passed since he hung the slider that Juan Uribe drilled over the left-field wall for a two-run home run that sent the Dodgers to the NL Championship Series and forced the Braves to deal with another quick exit from the postseason.

“It was painful for a lot of us,” Carpenter said. “The players, myself and the fans included, all of us kind of suffered on that one. I tried to learn from that, put things together and not let it eat at me too much. But it stung for awhile.”



The Simba Effect

Talking Chop

On June 2nd, 2012, Andrelton Simmons made his debut, a rookie attempting to patch the leakiest left-side infield defense in all of baseball.  What happened?  The Braves immediately became by far the best left side infield defense in all of baseball, allowing just a .220 GBBABIP on balls to the left-center of the infield for the rest of the season.

Let that sink in.  We all intuitively know the difference between a .220 hitter and a .297 hitter is the difference between “can’t make it in MLB” and “probable hall of famer.”  The previous players were turning average hitters into hall of fame caliber hitters, and Andrelton was taking average hitters and reducing them to “not good enough for MLB.”  But that’s not really even the astounding part, because those numbers also included some time when Andrelton was injured.

Andrelton would actually suffer an injury from July 9th until September 9th, at which point the Braves turned to defensive specialists Paul Janish and Jack Wilson; the left center infield’s GBBABIP during the time these two defensive specialists were replacing Andrelton? .256.

During the 54 games Andrelton Simmons was actually playing shortstop in 2012, the Braves allowed a left-center GBBABIP of .180, this sentence deserves its own bolded, italicized paragraph.



Braves Wanted $200 Million Through Development Around Turner Field to Stay in Atlanta

The Big Lead

More details are trickling in about the Braves sudden announcement they’re packing up the tent and moving from Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to a new $670 million facility in Cobb County. The move on Monday caught almost everybody in the sports world off guard, but it looks like the Braves had been engaged with the City of Atlanta for a long time about trying to squeeze more money out of the ancient Turner Field, which hosted its first baseball game in 1997.

Earlier in the week the Braves — on the website they set up to explain the move — claimed Turner Field needed in the neighborhood of $200 million in upgrades, which the team was unwilling to pay.

Late Thursday the Atlanta Journal Constitution obtained a document outlining how the Braves wanted to make $200 million through redeveloping the area around Turner Field. More than that, the team was very specific about how it wanted to go about doing so. The full story is behind a paywall on the AJC site but includes how the Braves didn’t want anything like liquor stores, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, etc. as part of the redevelopment under the premise it would be “vulgar” to fans.



MLB approves expanded replay for 2014

[Editorial Note: This was more or less a foregone conclusions.  It still has to pass the approval of the Players Association.  These rules, like them or not, would certainly have benefited the Braves over the years.  Anyway, in case you hadn't heard....]

USA Today

ORLANDO, Fla. – Major League Baseball took a big step toward full-scale instant replay reviews Thursday when the 30 club owners unanimously approved funding for an extensive video system that would allow managers to challenge almost every umpire’s call except balls and strikes.

“The clubs are very excited about it,” Commissioner Bud Selig said after the owners’ quarterly meetings at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes. “It’s a gigantic step for Major League Baseball. It’s very historic.”

SELIG ON BULLYING: ‘I’m proud of our players’

MLB hopes to institute the system in time for the start of the 2014 season.

However, the plan must also gain the approval of the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association. MLB officials will meet with both unions in January.


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