Oct 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A cart full of new batting practice balls wait for the Atlanta Braves before they take the field for warmups before game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Loa Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Afternoon Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 12/7

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Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News

 

Braving New Territory: What the FIP Is This?

Talking Chop

While understanding how pitcher W-L records aren’t helpful isn’t that difficult, ERA takes a bit more explaining. W-L records incorporate more than just the pitcher’s talent – defense, offense, bullpen, random variation, weather – and if it includes all of that, we can reasonably agree that other stats probably tell us more about a pitcher than that. That’s where ERA comes in.

ERA is pretty simple. You take the number of earned runs allowed, divide by the number of innings pitched, and mulitply by 9 (ER / IP * 9). Because the objective of the pitcher is to prevent runs, this formula makes a lot of sense. The “earned runs” part takes care of the defensive miscues that cause additional runs. The “innings pitched” covers the amount of time the pitcher spent on the mound. And the “9” helps change the number into the amount of runs that pitcher will give up every 9 innings on average. That’s the way it looks, anyway.

 

 

Inbox 12-4-2013

Love My Bravos

Every time I read the Braves Inbox (used to be the “Mailbag”), I always answer the questions in my head before reading Bowman’s replies. This has been a fun off-season project for a couple of years and I’ll do my best to keep up this year. Actual questions answered by Bowman are in bold, with my replies below. You can read Bowman’s replies in this week’s inbox on MLB.com.

Besides the obvious names (Kyle Lohse, Jeff Samardzija, Bartolo Colon), are there any other veteran pitchers we may see the Braves pursue?
– Clint M., Loganville, Ga.

I don’t want any of those guys to be Braves. Well, maybe Lohse, because this was funny. But Samardjalphabet, no. never. no.

Besides, we had an awesome veteran pitcher/presence and the front office let him go and now he’s going to be wearing orange & black. :/

 

 

The all-obscure Bravos

Rowland’s Office

Longtime Braves fans recall the ’82 team fondly, but do you remember Bob Porter, a utility OF who, in 41 games over two seasons, hit a punchless .171? How ’bout Tom Hausman, the journeyman right-hander acquired from the Mets to add depth to the bullpen? He was released the following January.

So that got me thinking about some of the home team’s more nameless charges over the years. I went back to 1977, when I first started following the Braves, to compile this list.

1970s

Pitchers: Duane Theiss, Steve Hargan, Don Collins, Bob Johnson, Mike Davey, Steve Kline, Mike Beard, Pablo Torrealba

Position players: Atlanta native Hank Small, Jerry MaddoxChico Ruiz (not the Chico Ruiz who starred for the Reds in the 1960s), Mike Macha, Jim Wessinger

 

 

McCann reflects fondly on his time with Braves

MLB.com

ATLANTA — When Howie McCann received two tickets for the first regular-season game played at Turner Field, he flipped a coin to determine which of his two teenage sons would accompany him.

Sixteen years later, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones are the only two men who have played more games at Turner Field than the kid whose first entry into the stadium came courtesy of winning that coin flip.

“That is just surreal,” Brian McCann said when informed of that fact. “I grew up a big Braves fan. To be able to say I played the first half of my career in Atlanta and to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys, I really don’t have the words for it. This is where I grew up and this is home for me.”

While Atlanta will continue to serve as his home and the place where he spent the first nine seasons of his Major League career, McCann now looks forward to beginning the newest chapter of his life — with the Yankees, who lured him to New York with a five-year, $85 million contract.

But as McCann prepares to become part of a history enriched by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle, he carries nothing but fond memories away from the opportunity he had to spend the early part of his career playing alongside some of the Braves legends he idolized while growing up 30 minutes north of downtown Atlanta.

I got to play for Bobby Cox.  I got to be teammates with Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. I don’t know if it gets much better than that, being from Atlanta.

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