The Greatest Game

Saturday, June 12, 2004

A post about a non-Yankee team? Yes! 

Can you believe it? When I first started this blog back in December, I wanted it to be primarily a blog about baseball, and secondarily a blog about the Yankees. Well, in the offseason, that worked out pretty well, but as the season started, I blogged mostly (if not exclusively) about the Yankees. Well, I'm breaking out of the rut!

In case all you millions of readers didn't know, I live in Atlanta, Georgia. Actually, I live in the city of Decatur literally right across the street from the city of Atlanta. I've lived here a pretty long time. How long you ask? Well, when I moved here (from Brooklyn via Long Island) the Braves were bad! Yes, you heard it right, the Braves sucked when I first moved here (in 1990). Jeff Blauser, Jim Presley, Lonnie Smith, Dale Murphy, Oddibe McDowell, Ernie Whitt, and a group of very young pitchers (23, 24 years old) names Smoltz, Avery & Glavine. They were 65-97 that year. Ouch. I remember walking up at game time and getting a seat 10 rows behind home plate for cheap. That was also the year that Bobby Cox became manager part of the way through the season. Since then, they've finished first place in their division in every year that wasn't the 1994 strike-shortened season.

I didn't really start writing this evening to talk about the old days. I started this entry to talk about the Braves of 2004. No one expected them to do well this season, and, well, they really aren't. But they aren't doing half bad, either. Right now they are at .500, which isn't too shabby considering they started the season with no pitching and no offense other than the Jones brothers. They lost a TON of offense this offseason, and they didn't do anything to enhance their anemic pitching. But something has happened with the pitching this year, as it does every year. Cast offs are getting a second life. Take a look at Jaret Wright - he's been a total scrubeenie every since his first season or two. What is he doing now? 3.54 ERA. Not shabby. And John Thomson? 3.86 ERA. Not shabby, either. Haracio Ramirez, who has missed 3 or so starts this year, has a 2.28 ERA (in 59 innings). Damn! Not a bad threesome, eh? Russ Ortiz is eating up innings and has a respectable 4.08 ERA. Of course, they are still stuck with Mike Hampton and his 5.32 ERA. He really needs to put out of our misery and moved out of the starting rotation. The Braves have a team ERA of 3.78, fourth in the NL behind the Mets, SD, and Montreal. The Mets and Montreal?!?!?! Yikes! That fact is a hard one to swallow. Of course the Braves are 10th in the NL in runs scored, since they did absolutely nothing this offseason to replace the lost offense. (BTW, Montreal is in dead last in runs scored, which explains their dismal season even with the 3rd best staff in the NL.)

Well, that brings to a close my post on the Braves. What they really need is to get Giles healthy again, and then acquire SOMEONE who can hit the ball. And they need JD Drew to stay healthy.

(P.S. Millwood for Estrada doesn't look like too horrible a deal right now, eh? Estrada is batting .346 with an OPS of .941 and is the Braves everyday catcher. And he makes $312,500 this year. Millwood? He has a 4.85 ERA and is making $11,000,000 this year. Not a bad trade at all.)
# posted by shawn : 6/12/2004 06:01:00 PM -
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