Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Stick A Fork in the Braves 'Cause They Are Done!
Go back and mark this date on your calendar: Friday, June 6, 2008. This is the day the Atlanta Braves began their fall out of contention in the National League East, not to return this year. There are several reasons I denote this particular date, the most significant of which is they lost a game they should have won to the division leading Philadelphia Phillies. But it wasn't that they lost it altogether, it was the way they managed to lose it. And I say that more from the mental aspect of the loss than the game in the 'loss column' itself. You're winning in the ninth and you get the first two men out. Then you walk two with no pitching change. The killer is you drop a pop-up third out to allow the tying run to score, and have to throw the go ahead run out at the plate for out number three. Just as you would expect from this ninth inning debacle, you eventually lose in extra innings. In order not to beat Kelly Johnson up for the crucial error, it must be remembered that the Braves made not one, but two base running blunders; one cost a run for sure, and the other to end an inning with a runner on third. And oh yea, Atlanta left a ton of guys on base, so that tells you there were not enough key hits. Now that's one heck of an understatement! And to make it even sweeter, you drop both the Saturday and Sunday games as well. After a Monday day off, the Cubs beat our eyes out Tuesday night. After four consecutive losses, the Bravos are 6 1/2 games out. Certainly not an insurmountable lead for the Phils, but you just don't get those positive vibes from Atlanta. Too many guys and too much time on the DL, very inconsistent play and a lack of overall clutch hitting. I'm not trying to kick the Braves because they're down. I want them to do well. I'm a Braves fan (even though they charged me $6.50 for a beer!). But I don't see this as being our year. I hate the fact that we're wasting great first halfs by Chipper, Escobar, and McCann. I hate that Kotsay has been out so much, that Francoeur has been disappointing, and we don't have the prototypical lead-off hitter we need. It's another platoon year in left field, and we're certainly not steady at 2nd base. I thought Teixeira was going to have a year like Andruw had in 2007 but he's just now trying to get it going. Remember, you are not going to resign him; he will demand too much and we won't be able to deal with his agent anyway. Make sure you get something for him as soon as contenders start looking for playoff help. Sit Frenchy down some more, because I know you don't have it in you to send him to Richmond(AAA) for a couple of weeks. We've had to deal with more injuries before the All Star break than you should have to deal with in an entire year, so if you believe in "jinxes", then maybe that's the answer. Nevertheless, this is just not our year. It is not going to happen for us. But then again, my predictions have been off lately. Hey, maybe I just removed that hex. Yea right, believe that and you would probably believe that Chief Nocahoma is going to return again!