About Josh Brown

Josh is the co-host of Knockahoma Nation. He's written for the Rome News Tribune, as well as Fansided's Tomahawk Take, and he's been published on Fox Sports. He lives with his wife and dogs somewhere in the mountains near Boone, NC.

Posts by Josh Brown:

Baseball is a basic bitch

4 bases, 1 ball, 9 defenders, 1 batter. A pitcher throws the ball. A batter attempts to hit the ball and then attempts to circle the bases while the defense tries to stop him.

Baseball’s already not very complex. And to make it even less complex and basic, these days it primarily involves just two plays – the home run and the strikeout. Baseball has become a basic bitch.

I know. It’s sacrilegious to throw shade at our beloved game, but allow me to explain. Compared to football, there is little-to-no strategy involved in a baseball game. Yes, I know what a double shift is, and I understand pitching changes, and I get that managing a bullpen is a thing. But if your most complex strategic decision is a double switch, then I’m sorry, the play by play strategic planning is not very complex. And don’t get me started on lineups. Sure, setting a lineup is a task and we can debate what a “true lead-off hitter” is, but I just don’t think a lineup order has that much of an effect on a team’s season.

The complexity of baseball doesn’t come from the strategies of the individual play. If you put Nick Saban in a baseball dugout, he’d be bored. If you put Brian Snitker on the sidelines of an Alabama football game with the task of managing and calling plays, his brain would implode. The complexity of baseball comes from the players themselves.

To plan and execute a defensive formation in football is a science. Each player works together and relies on each other and if each working part executes the play the way that it was designed to work, it works. The football player does exactly what he’s told and then relies on his athletic ability. (Unless, of course you’re Brett Favre, then you do what you want, but that’s a totally different column. You get the point.) Football is moving, fluid, and very dynamic. While baseball is, well, basic. In baseball, there is no sign coming from the manager to run the old Spider 2 Y Banana.

The baseball player isn’t told anything. Sure, he watches some video and he might read a scouting report and sure he’s sometimes given orders from the dugout. But for the most part, the baseball player is all alone, in the batters box, or on the mound. The mental agony and pressures are all on him, and once he rises to the occasion, adjustments are then made to him by the defense at which point he must adjust to the adjustments made to him. The player is coach, player, and coordinator all at the same time in a matter of a single at bat.

This is why there’s five levels of minor league baseball and there’s no minor league football.

A ballplayer can get drafted from one of the power-house college programs (Vandy for example) and still be three years away from the big leagues. And even when said player makes “The Show” he’s often worked in very slowly. Perhaps he’s brought up in September and asked to pinch hit and/or fill in when the everyday player at his respective position needs a day off. A football player can get drafted and then start on opening day that same year. Baseball is hard. It’s not complex, but it’s hard. Where the game of football is more complex, but easier mentally and emotionally on the individual level, baseball is less complex but more difficult mentally and emotionally on the individual level.

Back to baseball being a basic bitch.

Baseball’s more about the guy on the field than the game. Yeah, I know, this makes me sound like an anti-analytics old geezer, but I’m not blown away by Statcast or wRC+. It’s neat, I’ll grant you, but all you’re doing is quantifying and recording what we’ve been watching since the 1870’s. A guy hits a bomb. Now you can tell me how hard he hit the bomb and the exact angle at which the ball is traveling through the air over the fence. Neat.

Think of it this way, if I told you a woman’s ass was 37 inches wide is that good or bad? Does it make you dream of that ass by simply knowing it’s 37 inches wide? I mean 37 inches could be a great ass, or it could be a not so great ass. (and yes I realize I’m an ass but bear with me). You need to know the entire picture. If you know she’s 34-26-37 you might now have a better picture, but even that isn’t really a picture, it is still just stats. I mean, I can sit here and tell you she’s 34-26-37 and you might think, wow she could be really hot based off those numbers. Or I could just say, “J-Lo.”

For years, the story of baseball has been the player. And because of that, superstars were born from it. Kids grew up idolizing Snider, Mantle, Aaron, Killebrew, Gibson, Koufax, Feller, The Big Red Machine, Stargell, Schmidt. These days J.D. Martinez wouldn’t be recognized by most kids in a mall. Why? Because Major League Baseball is marketing the metrics and not the guy. And to make it even worse, it’s marketing one thing – the home run.

Bryce Harper is hitting .214 and was virtually the face of the All-Star game. Why? Because our beloved game has been watered down to the home run. Am I saying home runs are the spawn of Satan? Of course not. Dingers are fun. But for a long time the home run was special and hitting in other ways, being a more well-rounded player, was something to take pride in. In 2018, if you ONLY hit home runs, you’ve got a guaranteed big pay day.

I’m not here to argue the merits of a player with a similar offensive profile as Bryce Harper’s 2018 campaign. I’m sure you could explain to me that, based on his wRC+, even though he does not hit for average, he is actually very valuable to his team. I don’t care. What I’m telling you is, watching an All-Star Game that involves nothing but home runs and strikeouts is boring.

And yes, I saw the precious Twitter video of Pedro talking about how great the game is and where the game is heading and I saw Brandon McCarthy‘s quote of said Twitter video. That’s precious. Why are ticket sales down? Because baseball is marketing the metrics, not the guy.

Am I saying that we should interfere and fix this? Hell no. That’s the weird thing. Baseball fixes itself and should never be interfered with by mere mortals under any circumstances. If I read another damn “How can we fix baseball” article I’ll break my laptop. This is a phase and guys like me will bitch about baseball being a basic bitch and that’s a beautiful thing.

We must change ourselves, not the game. Let us teach our children how to hit like Tony Gwynn and block the plate like Johnny Bench. Let’s start there.

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 67

This week we’re rejoined by Michael Kelly, and Jonathan Howard joins us for the first time. This could be the best episode yet.

You may know Michael from his role as Doug Stamper on the Netflix show House of Cards. Michael’s a buddy of ours, a woke Knockahoma Nation listener, and a very knowledgeable Braves fan. You’d think a guy as busy as him might not keep up with the details of his favorite sports team, but Michael can wax philosophic about Joey Wentz and Touki Toussaint with the best of them.

If you listen to Knockahoma Nation, you may have heard us talk about Jonathan Howard. Jonathan’s our friend who works for Chick-Fil-A, whom we’ve been trying to hook up with Savannah Dent on Twitter. We had Jonathan on to talk Braves baseball, but also to have Michael give Jonathan some relationship advice.

We also bring back our PATENTED “Make It Matter” segment. On this Make It Matter segment we talk about the most political issue of our time – launch angle.

Enjoy.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher.

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 66

This week on Knockahoma Nation Ken explains what a baseball manager does and Josh recaps his interesting trip to ElizaBETHton, Tennessee to see the Danville Braves. Did you know that they don’t serve beer at ElizaBETHton Twins games? It’s true.

Ken also gets philosophical, and talks forever, about his favorite past time, the grandest game of all, baseball.

We hope you enjoy. And don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher.

 

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Why the Atlanta Braves lost two games to the Reds

In the game of base ball, there are two teams playing. Unlike individual sports like golf or Olympic diving, athletes in the game of base ball belong to a team and their team is always competing against another team. At any given point in the base ball game, one team is on offense while one team is on defense, and it is the only team sport in which the defense has the ball. Each team is trying to win.

In golf, a player steps up to the tee box alone. Aside from their own thoughts and personal limitations, no one is attempting to get in the golfer’s way of hitting the ball of the tee. The same thing goes for diving. In diving, a diver climbs to the top of the platform alone. The only competition the diver faces is the diver himself.

In base ball, and other team competitive sports, while the player is certainly at the mercy of his own thoughts and limitations, he’s also at the mercy of the players on the other team who are trying to win. As mentioned previously, each team is trying to win, and each player is trying to impede the opposing players from performing their tasks.

For example, when shortstop Dansby Swanson steps into the batters box, he faces an opposing pitcher. Webster defines “opposing” as being in conflict or competition with a specified or implied subject. While Dansby’s job is to get a base hit, or at the very least get on base, the pitcher’s job is to get Dansby out. Thus creates an atmosphere for what is known as competition.

Furthermore, in sports an athlete is often judged and valued on their ability to perform in clutch situations. Websters defines “clutch” (in sport) as denoting or occurring in a critical situation in which the outcome of a game or competition is at stake. Great examples of this in other sports might be former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and current NFL quarterback Tom Brady (former draftee of the Montreal Expos). Manning seemed to perform excellent at his everyday job, but struggled in clutch situations. Brady seemed to perform well in both.

On Monday, the Braves faced Reds pitcher Matt Harvey who was trying to prevent the Braves from getting on base and scoring. For the most part, Harvey succeeded, just giving up one run in 6 2/3 innings. The Braves could only score 3 runs that game, while the Reds scored 5.

On Tuesday, while the Braves scored 4 runs in the fourth inning, and while the Reds trailed 5-3, the Reds did not give up and ended up scoring 3 more runs, making the score 6-5. Had the Braves scored more than 6 runs, they would have won the base ball contest.

The Atlanta Braves remain in first place in a division where there are other base ball teams also trying to win games. Tomorrow they’ll face the St. Louis Cardinals, another base ball team, who are in the central division of the National League. The Cardinals will try their very best to win and prevent the Braves from winning, while the Braves will do their best to remain in first place.

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 64

The Braves just lost two games to a terrible Orioles team, but they’re still in first place. While many of our fellow Braves fans and bloggers are wallowing in despair, we’re still smiling. Why? Well, because baseball’s fun and the sun is scheduled to rise again.

This is a very special episode. This week we’ve got our buddy Michael Cooper on the podcast. Michael’s a die hard Braves fan, living in Texas, with his wife and kids Maddox, Glavine, and Avery. We had Michael on so that he could talk about his son, Maddox.

Maddox (named after some feller named Greg) has Koolen-de Vries Syndrome. Michael’s on the board of directors for the Koolen-de Vries Syndrome Foundation and educated us on what KDVS exactly is and how us Braves fans can help raise awareness.

If you’d like to learn more about KDVS check out their website here. If you’d like to donate, go here. The organization is run entirely by volunteers and all donations help them continue to support their mission: To educate, increase awareness and promote research for the support and enrichment of individuals living with Koolen-de Vries Syndrome and their families.

Oh, Josh and Kenny also talk about the Atlanta Braves. Especially Johan Camargo. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out their website and spread the love. https://kdvsfoundation.org/

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 62

WELCOME TO THE KNOZARKS.

What a time to be alive. The Atlanta Braves are in first place and Charlie Culberson keeps hitting walk-off dingers. Are you not entertained?

This week we have one of our favorite pals on Twitter and one of Josh’s favorite actors on the show.

Ryan Cothran writes for Walk Off Walk, a Braves blog that we love. Josh spends approximately 12 hours per week trolling Ryan for his questionable baseball takes. Ryan spent most of the off-season pontificating on Twitter how the Atlanta Braves were going to trade Nick Markakis. He never deleted these tweets, and now Josh reminds him of this.

We also have Atlanta-based actor Kevin Johnson on the show. Kevin plays Sam the real estate agent on the popular Netflix show Ozark. The show stars Jason Bateman, but we think it stars Kevin Johnson (or KJ as we like to call him) because Kevin is a huge Braves fan and Jason likes the Dodgers. Kevin gives us the inside scoop on how he landed the Ozark job, how his character Sam was created, and when Season 2 of Ozark is expected to hit Netflix.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher. Enjoy the show!

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 61

If you enjoy baseball and laughing, we encourage you to listen to this week’s replacement-level Knockahoma Nation baseball podcast. This week we’re joined by one of our favorites on Twitter, Natasha from Los Angeles Dodgers podcast The Real Housewives of Chavez Ravine.

As purveyors of humor, we think Natasha might be the funniest person in the state of California. We discuss very important things with Natasha like why Rich Hill is hot and how sexy Chase Utley is. Natasha also gives us a scouting report on the Dodgers for the upcoming Braves/Dodgers series.

Josh and Ken also take a quick look into Braves Country and probably talk about Jonathan Howard a little too much.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher. Enjoy the show!

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 59

The WISEst Podcast in America.

This week on the Knockahoma Nation podcast we have our buddy Andy Wise on the program. Andy’s a former consumer investigator and three-time Emmy Award nominee for investigative reporting. With his new operation, Wise Choices, Andy does the work for you: he conducts the research, he vets the businesses and he puts his seal of approval on the businesses you can trust to be YOUR Wise Choices.

Most importantly, Andy’s a huge Braves fan and we’ve become buddies with him on Twitter. He went to Dunwoody High School and grew up a Braves fan and tells us call kinds of cool stories from back in the day.

Josh and Ken talk “big picture” stuff. What are the Braves going to do with all these arms? How good is Ender? What happens if/when Christian Pache starts knocking on the door? Can “Flo-zuki” be replaced?

Also on the show this week – Josh tells the story of “Slaughter’s Mad Dash.” This is a famous play that happened in the 1946 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. It involved Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter and a few other cast members. The play ended up determining the winner of the series in the deciding Game 7.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher. Enjoy the show!

 

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Knockahoma Nation Episode 58

It’s early, it’s only mid-May, but the Atlanta Braves are in first place? Will it last? Is this offense sustainable? We talk about this on this week’s podcast. We also wax philosophic about Nick Markakis, out of Young Harris. What’s funny is the narrative being written about Nick’s insanely hot start to this season. Folks are painting the picture that he’s been terrible up until 2018. Well, we set the record straight on this with good ole fashioned facts.

Josh also tells the story of that time the Atlanta Braves drafted Tom Seaver in 1966. True story. By all accounts, Tom Seaver should have been a Brave and the course of history could have been much different for the Braves in the 70’s had that happened. But something weird happened. Listen to find out.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher. Enjoy the show!

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads

Episode 56 – Knockahoma Nation Podcast

The days of Ronald Acuña are upon us, Knockahoma Nation. Also, Ozzie Albies is really good, Johan Camargo needs to start, Austin Riley is tearing it up, and much more. This week the boys are joined by Ken’s father in law, Pastor and former College baseball coach Robbie Jones, and Josh and Ken remind folks what this podcast is all about.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Knockahoma Nation on iTunes, CastBox or Stitcher. Enjoy the show!

Share this junk with your friends, you knuckleheads