#ThrowbackThursday: Braves answer tough questions - KMSP-TV

#ThrowbackThursday: Braves answer tough questions

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TAPE: SP-498  DATE: 10/27/1991 SLUG: COX ON LEIBRANDT TIMECODE: 26:10

Talk radio has blown up this week with criticism of Fredi Gonzalez for not bringing in Craig Kimbrel at the beginning of the eighth inning in game four against the Dodgers.  As our broken hearts remember, David Carpenter came in and gave up a double to Yasiel Puig and then a go-ahead homer to Juan Uribe.  Two days later as the Braves showed up clean out their lockers, Fredi was asked about whether he was second guessing his decision.  "Not at all," Gonzalez told reporters.

It isn't the first time a Braves manager has been raked over the coals following a relief pitcher call that resulted in a go-ahead homer and a playoff loss.  Back in 1991 in game six of the World Series, Bobby Cox opted to send Charlie Leibrandt to the mound with the game tied in the ninth inning.  Cox could have sent  Mark Wohlers, Kent Mercker or Jim Clancy.  Instead, Liebrandt hung a pitch and the late Kirby Puckett added to his Hall of Fame resume. (http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=4429223)  Unfortunately we don't have shots of Wohlers in the bullpen, so Deadspin could have a lip-reader to figure out how he felt. (http://deadspin.com/craig-kimbrel-said-he-could-go-two-innings-was-mad-he-1442541137)

This week's video picks up with video of Puckett celebrating and Leibrandt hanging his head on the way to the clubhouse.  Then we see Bobby Cox facing the media.  Jeff Hullinger cuts off another reporter to ask Cox why he brought in Leibrandt.  Cox shoots back with "Why not?"  Hullinger is prepared and recites that Leibrandt hadn't made a relief appearance in two years.  But Cox once again counters with the fact that Leibrandt had no trouble with Puckett in game one.

Gonzalez summed up his conversation about the Kimbrel controversy saying that he wants to put his players in positions where they can be successful.  I am sure Bobby had the same sentiment.  Arguments can be made for both moves, but neither worked and contributed to Braves fans loathing of October.

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