Ramblings about the Braves by True Braves Fans
This started out as a quick share on Facebook (go join the page if you haven’t already, I do share stuff on there that never gets posted on here or twitter.) I was just going to make a silly comment about how Jeter looked so sad. Then I realized, Jeter deserves some respect.
Before 1996, Braves‘ fans didn’t care about the Yankees. Their loss in the 1995 LDS was the first time they even made it to the post-season since 1981. Having finally won the 1995 World Series, the Braves were well on their way to claiming their title as the “Team of the 90s.” I think John Smoltz sums up best what happened what happened his book, Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year:
On October 21, we appeared to be on a collision course with destiny in the form of repeat titles. Five days later, we had somehow lost the World Series and destiny belonged to the Yankees. Their incredible win was our incredible loss. Not only did we lose another championship, we lost the foundation of the team that had gotten us to the World Series four out of the last six years. If we had won, would our general manager have gone in another direction and been able to keep the likes of David Justice, Marquis Grissom, Terry Pendleton, Jermaine Dye, and Steve Avery? That’s the kind of thing we’ll never know. What we do know is what did happen. The Yankees went on to dominate, even today. Meanwhile, the Braves are still chasing their first World Series win since 1996.1
Whether you believe that a few minor differences in 1996 changed the path of those teams or not, a rivalry was born that year. 1996 was also the year a young short-stop named Derek Jeter won the Rookie of the Year award (and only a year after Chipper was robbed of the award.) Now, with over 5000 games played (including post season) between the two, the rivalry among the teams remains just as strong as when it started 16 years ago. In fact, Chipper and Jeter are the only two active players that have been part of the rivalry the entire time. See if you can name the other 4 guys that were with the Yankees or Braves in 1996 and with the team now (no prizes if you guess correctly, I don’t have anything good to give away.)
Despite all of this, whenever Jeter is asked about Chipper, how does he respond? He definitely doesn’t say “that’s a clown question, bro.” No, Jeter does the exact opposite. Whenever asked, Jeter gives an answer that shows nothing but respect and admiration for Chipper. He never just talks about what Chipper has meant to the game, but what he has meant to him, personally. In doing so, he shows that while the rivalries make the game fun, they aren’t what REALLY define the game. What defines the game are its players. Numbers and stats might define someone as a great athlete, but only those players that can show a respect and reverence for the game itself can be truly considered great baseball players. While I’ve never felt that Jeter didn’t respect the game, it has been refreshing to have it confirmed.
That being said, I still think he looks like “if the Rock and sex with a Muppet.”
1Yaeger, Don; Smoltz, John (2012-05-08). Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year (Kindle Locations 3463-3468). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
If you haven’t heard about the trade made today, I assume it’s because you have horrible internet service and can only access my page. If that’s the case, I apologize, because I’m not going to provide any deep analysis of what happened. There are tons of tweets and retweets about the trades in the twitter feed that pertain to the trade, many of which contain links to articles containing such analysis.
I will, however, give you a brief overview of what happened and a few of my thoughts.
|From Braves/To Royals||From Royals/To Braves|
Gregor Blanco: I’ve always liked Blanco, but he was never going to be a starter in Atlanta. He didn’t have much power, and that pretty much was going to never allow him to rise above the level of a 4th or 5th outfielder, mainly being used as a pinch runner or late inning defensive replacement.
Jesse Chavez: I’ve never been candid with my dislike of Chavez. I feel that the good outings he’s had this season were flukes. I’m was only partially joking earlier today when I asked whether we could have got more out of the deal if we hadn’t included Chavez.
Tim Collins: A drink made of 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. No, wait, that’s a Tom Collins. He’s one of the main characters in Rent, first played by Jesse L. Martin. No, wait, that’s also Tom Collins. Tim Collins is a left handed minor league pitcher that was aquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Yunel Escobar trade. Reports were that he was a pretty solid pithcer, but as always, the Braves have a bevy of pitching prospects and giving up one like Collins isn’t a big loss at all.
Kyle Farnsworth: A hard throwing right handed reliever that pitched in Atlanta back in 2005. Farnsworth is a solid reliever that will help avoid the need to overwork Moylan and Venters down the stretch. He’ll fit in nice as a 6th or 7th inning guy, and has the experience necessary that he could taken on 8th or 9th inning responsibilities if needed. His numbers this season are pretty good, and they were excellent during his last tour in Atlanta. I saw where one scout had that this year he was “throwing the crap out of the ball,” which is good, because if there is one thing I can’t stand, its balls with crap in them.
Rick Ankiel: A solid outfielder with some power, Ankiel had been on the DL for close ~2.5 months before being recently activated. Since then he has been playing well and will definitely not be a downgrade for the Braves in center field. The Braves also play into his career history, and I’ll be blogging about that later (I was actually including it in this post, but it was getting long enough to where it deserved it’s own post.)
Cash: bread, cabbage, currency, dead presidents, dough, funds, green stuff, money, etc.
While this trade wont go down in history as a blockbuster, I think it was a solid move. We added depth to an already solid bullpen as well as power to out lineup. Ankiel might not be the bat some were hoping for, but he is an upgrade to to the mediocre performance we’ve been getting out of center field for most of the season. Personally I’d like to see Ankiel playing everyday in center field for the Braves while Diaz gets the majority of the playing time in left field. This allows us to give Hinske some starts at first so that Glaus can get badly needed rest. Such a scheme also allows for what I consider to be a very important key to winning the pennant: minimizing the amount of time Melky Cabrera is actually on the field.
Lots of news about Roy Oswalt getting traded to the Phillies. Check out the twitter feed for a good number of articles I’ve retweeted. Also check out the feed of @FriedBasballATL. He has some excellent analysis on Jurrjens’ vs. Oswalt, and how getting Jurrjens back mid season has the same affect as a mid season trade, and in this case we got the better pitcher.
At least one of us here at Rumor Central has been told by New York Mets officials that Angel Pagan is a player that will always win over a coach, manager, teammate, or even fans and media, both by the way he handles himself and his play on the field. Such has occurred with skipper Jerry Manuel, as the platoon in right field is considered history.
The numbers say it all in this case, however, as Pagan beats Jeff Francoeur in every statistical category that matters, including on-base percentage, defensive range and versatility. Despite playing his home games at Citi Field, Pagan’s performance is that of an everyday player.
Manuel hasn’t ruled out the idea of Francoeur earning more time, however, saying “Frenchy is like a relief pitcher right now trying to get back into the starting rotation.” But for now, he’s an expensive reserve, and we have to wonder if he might be a candidate to be non-tendered this winter.
@ajcbraves just tweeted the following:
A colleague asked me a question a few weeks ago, given some recent retirement talk, and I’m still pondering my response:
If you knew that Chipper Jones was playing in his last game in New York, would you give him a standing ovation?
I don’t have a good answer, not yet anyway (leaning yes, but reserving judgment). But I know a few rather intense Mets fans who do.
And just for fun, I expanded the question to include Yankees closer Mariano Rivera too. Here are their thoughts.
The rest of the article can be found here.
Thanks for pointing the article out to me Mark! I definitely think it will be of interest to my readers.
Now for my thoughts on the question: (more…)
The rosters for this years All Star game were announced earlier today. Jason Heyward was the only Brave voted in by the fans, but a few more were selected as reserves.
Brian McCann will be making his 5th appearance in his 5 seasons as the lone back-up catcher, and Tim Hudson will be making his 3rd trip as the only pitcher from the Braves. Martin Prado and Omar Infante were both selected for the first time in their careers, and it has been announced the Prado will start in place of the injured Chase Utley.
One player some thought had a shot but not selected was Troy Glaus. Albert Pujols will be starting at 1st base, while Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez were selected as his back-ups. Below is a comparison of the all stars and Troy Glaus:
I’ve re-tweeted the AJC article, so make sure you check that out. Per Dave O’Brien: “When Frank Wren called Omar Infante at 8:30 a.m. this morning to tell him he was an All-Star, Infante at first thought he’d been traded.”
Disappointing ending. Kawakami pitched a really good game, and the Braves finally scored a run, only to lose the lead (and the game) when McLouth and Heyward collided in the outfield allowing %Bn% to score on an inside the park home run. The home run also ended Moylan’s streak of consecutive appearances without giving up a home run at 123.
The good news is that McLouth appears to be okay. He was probably going to sit out today anyway since we’re facing a left hander. Maybe it will have knocked the slump out of him too?
Check out David O’Brien’s Clubhouse Comments for more insight on the above topics and more.
This one got a little interesting near the end, but the Braves held on for the win. Medlen pitched a great game but got into trouble in the 8th. Moylan came in with the bases loaded and gave up 3 runs before being replaced by O’Flaherty who struck out %Bn% to end the inning and stranding the tying and go-ahead runs.
Billy Wagner was given the night off and was called on to pitch the 9th. After getting the first two batters out and getting a quick 0-2 count on %Bn%, Saito was forced to leave the game with a hamstring injury. replaced him and struck our Martin with his first pitch, ending the game.
It was a potentially costly win for the Braves, who watched reliever Takashi Saito hobble off the field in the ninth inning with a left-hamstring injury. The 40-year-old setup man hopes to avoid the disabled list, but if he’s not doing better in a few days the Braves would probably DL him. [source]
On a better note, congratulations to Troy Glaus on being named the NL Player of the Month for May, and to Jason Heyward for winning NL Rookie of the Month for the second time (the first time since Ryan Braun in 2007 that the same player has won it in back to back months).
Lastly, one of the game’s greats, Ken Griffey Jr., announced his retirement on Wednesday. In his recent column, Griffey always played the right way, Mike Bauman sums up my thoughts better that I could do myself.
I probably wont be back until after today’s game is over, and I wanted to get the box score for last nights game up before that. You can follow the box score link for details on the same. The most important thing to know is that the Braves won and got his 1st win as a starter this season.