Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brave Hawks

SPORTS BITS: Interesting times with the Hawks. Perhaps Levenson thought it was a good time to get out. Not looking too good for Ferry right now. Thing is, you’d think the nature of the business would be to examine factors like race, when it comes to fan experience and player selection. When an audit examines 24000 documents, you’d think race would come up once or twice. Schultz and Hummer might have a point about how winning increases attendance, but if packing an arena to watch a winning team were so easy… Even if the Hawks reached the NBA Finals and lost, Schultz would still be on their case.
Levenson’s email reflected my personal experiences going to Hawks games, particularly the past ten years. Schultz and Hummer agreed that for guys in our middle-class shoes, we’re paying bills instead of forking out big bucks for Hawks tickets. When I was reading the stories early Sunday evening there weren’t any comments yet. The one comment on Facebook was from a guy what thought the email was accurate as well. Could be a win win for the Hawks – they could wind up with a great owner.   

If Gattis went to Florida to learn the outfield it seems like he’s be able to play LF for both teams. They let players bat every inning, don’t they? The only way Wren trades Gattis is if they get the right deal.

Saw where a ticket from Monday’s game sold on eBay for over $28.00. I had two “real” tickets from the game, so I posted them for sale (both sold for a total of $37.00). Should’ve looked for more tickets as I exited the ballpark.

Twitter - funny how people try to converse with experts in a field, only to have erroneous statements thrown back in their faces, like the cool Holy Innocents teacher who didn’t think Doumit had caught this year. I learned to check my facts a long time ago after Lang gently corrected me on inaccuracies in my emails to him. And yet I still post sometimes without fact-checking. I gave up waiting for the artist to say something I could mess with him about, and unfollowed him. Not sure “Braves Paul” has stood out to me.

It has been interesting to be part of the FB bobblehead group. Lots of members from Southern California. I’d like to get a Zimmer or Torre or Cubs Maddux. Trying to be picky, but it looks like I just made a trade for a Sandy Koufax.

ROB (on Sept 4): For all the people jumping off of the bandwagon, there is this. Atlanta is 1/2 a game out of a wildcard spot - chasing a slumping Milwaukee.  Obviously it is not farfetched to think they could get the second playoff spot.  Right now that would mean a wild card game in SF against the Giants.  I think you could say there is a 50% chance of grabbing a wildcard spot. If the Giants had time to lineup their rotation, that would mean facing Bumgarner.  However in a 1 game playoff, as we know from 2012, anything can happen.  I will give us a 40% probability of winning that game.

Winning the WC game right now would put you in a 5 game series against the Nats - a team the Braves have played well against.  What are the odds the Braves could beat the Nats in a 5 game series.  I will say 50%. So, 50% * 40% * 50% = 10%. So, there is a 10% probability of us playing in a NLCS against the Dodgers/Cardinals.

If we win the WS, there are fans who will want Wren and Fredi fired.  If we do not make the playoffs, I think McQuirk will get rid of someone (probably Wren). The funny thing about Wren's moves are remember back in '09 and '10 when people were complaining about the Braves never making moves in free agency?  Now the same people complain about the Uggla trade/signing and BJ signing.  Free agency is an inefficient way to acquire players - probably much more so in the post-steroid era.  All the people who complained about Schafer not getting more AB's would have complained as loud if the Braves had not of signed BJ and went to spring training last year with Jordan penciled in as the starting CF.

I question Fredi's moves/logic sometimes (BJ getting so many AB's at the top of the order), but I think any replacement would make similar moves.  Critical thinkers like LaRussa and Joe Maddon are rare for major league managers.  The norm is Fredi who learned from Bobby who learned from Ralph Houk who learned from Casey Stengal.  I don't think it makes any sense to pull for the Braves to lose so Fredi can get fired and have him replaced by someone like Jim Riggleman (just drawing on a generic managers name).

I think you are right about Gattis - I think he could get plenty of innings playing in the fall instructional league.  I  believe his struggles in the OF last year were due to being hesitant and uncomfortable out there, not that he was not athletic enough.  If I were the Braves, I would hold on to him and work with him on playing LF.  Have him spend all fall in Orlando shagging flies and then all spring training, playing strictly in LF.  He has 43 HR's in 773 career plate appearances (and also 43 BB's).  There are not a lot of 30 HR per 600 PA players left in the majors.

I don't know where to start with the Hawks story.  I agree with you - that many documents, you would think, would have yielded something more inflammatory.  I follow a group on Twitter that is pushing for a new team in Seattle.  Seattle almost got the Kings last year.  Many think the NBA would not want Atlanta without a franchise.  I think they could leverage Atlanta similar to how the NFL is using Los Angeles i.e. if the team's current city will not build a new facility, threaten to move to LA (I just found out that I don't know how to spell Los Angeles).

ME: I’ll take those odds. I’m sure you can expect my response: Yet if we get to the NLCS and lose, the same fans will still want the manager and GM fired. And you are also right  – at the time many fans were ready to riot had Wren not moved to secure a high dollar FA outfielder to replace Bourn.

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