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FOUNDED BY TWO LIFELONG BRAVES FANS, THE OFFICE SERVES AS A SANCTUARY FOR THOSE WHO LOATHE STAT WORSHIP AND MINDLESS BRAVO BASHING.
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As inconsistent this season as late-career Woody Allen, the Braves recently have been utterly predictable in one sense – when a critical pitch or set of pitches is at hand, the home team is going to fail and the other team is going to come through like the ’27 Yankees crossed with the early ’70s A’s.
Where have we seen this hackneyed storyline? Team gets solid starting pitching, scratches out a run here and there to stay close entering the spooky late innings. Mediocre reliever X comes in, quickly populates the bases. Mediocre reliever Y jogs in, surrenders extra base hit and close game becomes much less close.
I'm already a big fan of the Bravos' first round draft pick:
There was no question about which major league team Cody Johnson wanted to be drafted by Tuesday.
"I grew up watching the Braves on TV," the left-handed hitting outfielder from Mosley High School in Panama City, Fla., said. "It's the only team I've ever really rooted for and it's the one place I've always wanted to play."
At just 17, the 6-foot-4 Johnson is a long way from being ready for the majors. But the Braves like his chances of eventually getting there.
"In our opinion, Cody was the premier power bat in the draft," Clark said.
Very encouraging win tonight. First, Ken Ray showed that he might just be able to handle the closer's role. Even more impressively, Horacio posted his third consecutive quality start, battling through eight innings in a MUST-win game. Frankly, I had pretty much counted Ramirez out, but Smoltzie told me in an interview this offseason to expect "Ho" to make a big comeback this season.
In no way do I intend to belittle the passing of former umpire Eric Gregg, but it's hard to ignore the coincidence that, on the night of his death, Livan Hernandez is pitching against the Braves. Gregg, you'll remember, framed a strike zone almost as large as his belly while working behind the plate during Livan's 15 K performance against the home team in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS.
With Atlanta's pitching scuffling mightily, expect to see some new imports boarding the Richmond shuffle in the weeks ahead. Two possible candidates:
Not really, but this as close as he gets --
"That's probably the worst series we've ever had here," the Atlanta manager said after the Arizona Diamondbacks completed their domination of the Braves with a 9-3 rout Sunday at Turner Field.
I'm still not sold on the Diamondbacks, despite their dominance over the Bravos the past few weeks. However, I am bully on the boys in blue, so much so that I rate the Dodgers as the team to beat in the Senior Circuit.
Since last we met, the Braves have lost thrice, not won, made Damion Easley and Tony Clark, a pair of utility players, look like Ruth and Gehrig and further solidified themselves as a boom-and-bust team.
Wednesday night the crowd did the wave in the third inning. No half inning passes in silence: Cartoon tools and water heaters hop around bases or pitch and hit on the vast center field screen. Hot chicks in Braves shirts and little shorts exhort fans while a fat blond guy with a butt cut asks people from Florida or North Carolina or Stockbridge trivia questions. There’s an endless assault of corporate sponsored promotions, even one by a gambling casino. PA announcer Bill Bower screams at us about “our second baseman!!!!!”
It’s right there in this blog’s tagline – we are no fans of blind devotion to statistics, especially obscure creations like PECOTA. Why trust something with the same name as a mediocre utility man?
Babe Ruth and Al Jolson grew up in the same Baltimore orphanage? Overheard that last night on the "Charlie Rose" show -- guest hosted by columnist and author Frank Deford, who had former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent on as a guest. Vincent went on to relay a story I had never heard before about legendary owner (and promoter) Bill Veeck, who in 1943 had acquired the backing to purchase the Philadelphia Phillies. If the sale had gone through, Veeck planned to stock the roster with African-American players.
I'd rather see Pete Orr come in to face a lefty than Mike Remlinger. We try not to question Bobby around here, but the evidence is in: Remlinger is virtually useless against lefthanded batters.
Who knew the notorious "fat tub of goo" -- getting his second Office mention in as many nights -- had so much in common with Babe Ruth?
I gave up my usual perch in Section 407 for Wednesday night’s game for a chance to sit amongst the fortunate sons and other recipients of corporate graft in Section 102. Here’s a rundown of the evening’s sights and sounds:
Looks like Dayton Moore has his work cut out for him. I wonder if this came with a ringing endorsement from Fred McGriff?
Yeah, it could be a bad sign that Dayton Moore’s bolting. But it will be grim news indeed if ownership does not jump on Smoltzie’s 2007 option. At $8 million, that’s a bargain for an elite starter who’s also the most popular player on the team and its undisputed leader. Oh yeah, and he wants to come back, he told the local organ.