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Was Bobby Cox messin' with Scott Olson's head?

May 7, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT

Scott Olsen.jpgScott Olsen had his no hitter broken up with one out in the top of the
eighth inning against the Braves.  If he had actually no-hit Atlanta, it would have been the second time on the young season that it happened (See, Jimenez, Ubaldo). That wouldn’t have been good. Indeed, after the game, Chipper Jones said “”I think if that would have happened you’d probably have to put us all
on suicide watch.”

Sounds to me like the Braves would have done anything to avoid that.  But would they have sunk to mind games, dirty tricks and general nefariousness?

That’s what the Nationals Enquirer blog thinks. After pointing out that Bobby Cox had the grounds crew come out to the mound to tamp it down and do a little maintenance a half-inning before the no-no was broken up, Nats’ Enquirer says:

Okay, so maybe in the grand scheme of things, this request by Bobby Cocks Cox and/or Tim
Hudson had nothing to do with David Ross breaking up the no-no an inning
later, but damn if that doesn’t appear to be a totally Bush League,
classless move.

Hurm. Though I’m sure mound
maintenance during a no-hitter is not printed somewhere in the unwritten rule book, I can’t say I know the politics of that sort of thing.  For what it’s worth, I scoured various Braves and Nats blogs this morning, as well as the game reports from the AJC, the Washington Post and MLB.com, and I couldn’t find a single mention of the mound tamping thing.

I’m not one of those guys who offers knee-jerk defenses of my team, but
in this case I’m not seeing it.  If any of you have any insight into this matter, by all means, I’d love to hear it.

  1. Chris Simonds - May 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Olsen went to said mound in the eighth and struck out the first batter he faced. If Cox was playing a head game, I don’t think it worked. Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing error is probably what messed up Olsen’s concentration. He gave up his second hit, to McClouth, following that.

  2. Matt d. - May 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    The Nats pitcher, Clippard, who relieved Olsen fell off that mound so I believe Mr. Cocks(Cox)had a hand in messing with BOTH our pitchers.
    Matt in DC

  3. Brian - May 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Absolute B.S. Ross broke up the no-no with a rather mundane single through the left side, and Olsen started to lose his location when he went to the stretch. Had nothing to do with the mound.
    I doubt the Nats blog mentions the HR Hudson gave up to Dunn in his first inning on the “re-tamped” mound. That put the Nats up 2-0 and without it Heyward’s PH single would’ve given the Braves a 2-1 lead rather than tie it at 2-2. Then who knows what happens if Wagner comes on for the 9th instead of Moylan.

  4. swanni - May 7, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Was at the game and mentioned the same possibility to my wife when it happened. Seemed odd because both pitchers had only given up one run combined on that mound; how bad could it have been.
    Problem is, the grounds crew wasn’t out there that long and it occured in between the seventh inning which traditionally has a longer break anyway due to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ sing-along and various pep rally stuff from Nats cheerleaders.

  5. jwb - May 7, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Definite unwritten rule violation here. Open season on Bobby Cox during infield practice whenever the Braves are in the 1B side dugout.

  6. Jonny5 - May 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Well Craig, I tried to warn you about those pesky Gnats didn’t I? They are no pushover this season, and I predict a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the NL east for the season. (how about that ex hockey player Nyger Morgan huh? Every on base he gets turns into an automatic double) Only if the Mets get Beltran back sooner than later and stay healthy will they be able to come out ahead of them imo. So are you ready for the two “old” junkball throwers to duel it out tonight? This is going to be a good matchup. The only problem is Lowe will may implode since it seems everyone on the Phills is hot right now. Moyer could blow up very easily as well but the lineup the Phills throw at Lowe may be too much. We will see. Anyway, i read this peice on Robin Roberts and his 17 inning game, maybe things like this are why guys like Dusty Baker tend to look like he’s blowing guys arms off, maybe it’s the old days and his memory that has him keep guys in too long by todays standards, who knows? But Robin tosses near 300 pitches in 17 innings on 3 days rest. We will never see that happen again I’m afraid. http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20100507_Bill_Conlin__Recalling_Roberts__17-inning_complete_game.html

  7. Skids - May 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Ridiculous. Totally. Who dreamed this up?

  8. Old Gator - May 7, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    One thing about Scott Olsen’s head: you don’t need to mess with it. Just leave it where it is, and it will find all sorts of ways to discombobulate itself. During his years with the Feesh, we were always wondering with whom he would have his next fistfight, in the style of which breed of dog he would snarl, and though we kept it to ourselves we were quietly relieved that he never took his car out to play chicken with the patrol cars covering the gates to the parking lot. He always had loads of talent but he was traded more to protect the sanity of his teammates than due to any specific issue of performance on the field.

  9. ecp - May 7, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Even more bush league was Tim Hudson’s comment after the game:
    “He’s got pretty good stuff but, let’s be honest here: I don’t think he’s got no-hit stuff.”
    Classless. But there’s more:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Braves-disrespect-Nats-Olsen-after-he-takes-no-?urn=mlb,239375

  10. Jonny5 - May 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    I think it’s fair to say at this point Bobby Cox wishes he was fishin’ on the dock of the Bay instead of being in the Braves dugout. Where’s fan boy at? Fan boy said neck to neck, not neck in a wringer. ;>p

  11. Doc - May 7, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    I just watched it again on TV, Braves telecast. Olson stood on the steps of the dugout and watched them dig and then fill a huge hole just in front of the rubber. He was OBVIOUSLY freaked out that it was happening and Pudge pulled him away and wouldn’t let him watch anymore. If guys don’t even talk about/acknowledge a no-hitter when it’s in progress, you probably don’t need to be messing with the mound. I’m a huge Braves fan, but felt pretty bad for Olson as I was watching. And if this would have happened to Lincecum, or any pitcher for the Sox or Yankees, it would have been a front-page story.

  12. jjschiller - May 7, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I watched that game. I think the Braves quotes after weren’t meant to disrespect Olsen, but had more to do with homeplate umpire Bill Miller doing is best Bill Hohn impression. (The strike zone was a mile wide, and got progressively and selectively wider against the batters who complained.)

  13. Paul - May 7, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Craig: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/05/scott_olsen_on_his_near_no-hit.html
    .
    Olsen didn’t care, and also thought the mound was crap.

  14. InnocentBystander - May 7, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    I can’t believe nobody sees what happened here. Yanks had an off day. Can anyone verify with certainty that the mound tamperer was not A-Rod. Crazy conspiracy theory? Maybe, but just maybe…

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