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Friday, September 28, 2007

RIP 2007 Atlanta Braves

It was a good run, but the series this weekend against the 'Stros is for pride only. I'm actually kind of impressed that they stayed in the race as long as they did considering they only have 2 1/2 starting pitchers. If Schuerholz can manage to find a decent arm in the offseason (with every other team desperately trying to do the same thing) things look good for the home team. There are good young players all over the lineup and if Mark Teixeira can hit over a full season like he did in just a couple months since the trade, Hack Wilson will have to watch his back. On the flip side, Smoltz and Chipper are another year older. Lord knows what happens with Andruw and it's entirely possible that a long term deal to keep him - something I desperately wished and prayed for at the beginning of this season - could end up being the worst case scenario. It also remains to be seen whether the new owners loosen the purse strings and allow JS to get an impact player. If not it might be another offseason scrounging for more washed up castoffs like Craig Wilson and Tanyon Sturtze while trying to fleece the Bavasis and Littlefields of the world. I don't know if it will be a fun offseason, but it sure will be an interesting one.

In the meantime I have these things to watch intently over the next few days:

1) Chipper's race for the batting title.

I'm rooting like crazy for this to happen. It would be one more accomplishment that Hall of Fame voters couldn't ignore, and Chipper needs as much of them as possible. I'm not sure if he's got enough left in the tank to reach 500 homers, and that milestone isn't quite what it used to be anyway. I'm sure someone reading this is thinking "What are you talking about? Chipper's a lock!" Well, yeah, just like Dale Murphy was a lock and Andre Dawson was a lock and Jim Rice was a lock and a couple dozen other players sitting on the outside looking in were locks for Cooperstown. I will never underestimate the ignorance of the BBWA and frankly with the steroid hysteria I only see things getting worse for Hall of Fame voting. Not that it's good now... Sutter's in but not Goose? Effa Manley's in but not Buck and Minnie?? Santo's still not in??? Every person who cast a vote for the Hall of Fame over the past twenty years needs to be loaded on Golgafrincham Ark B and shot into the sun.

Now that I have my monthly "Hall of Fame voters are morons" rant out of the way, I'm also interested to see how serious this Chipper Jones Gold Glove talk is this year. Chipper is a better fielder than people give him credit for, but I'm not sure how much love he'll get from the voters. Then again, leading the league in OPS somehow has the added effect of making a player look like a much better fielder than he really is, so who knows.

2) Watching a beautiful trainwreck unfold before my eyes.

Who would have ever thought the Phillies would be on the right side of an epic collapse? I'm loving the hell out of this, seven games down the drain. Pedro pitches a gem and they get shut out, how wonderful! It's just a shame the schedulers couldn't have had them going head to head the last series of the season instead of having the Marlins and Nationals deciding things. Those fools in New York are calling for Willie Randolph's head as well. That's fine with me, I've always liked Willie and I hate seeing him in that terrible uniform. Trade Wright and Reyes while you're at it, ok?

3) The National League playoff insanity.

The AL has been locked up for a while now, meanwhile the National League could be staring down a FIVE way tie. Almost every NL game this weekend is desperately important for someone's playoff hopes which is exactly the way it should be. A five way tie will never happen, we couldn't possibly be so lucky. Still, who doesn't want an extra week of playoffs?

Speaking of playoffs, I need to decide who to root for. I really like the Brewers, but it's probably too late for them. The Rockies are a nice story, but I don't care for expansion teams that are younger than I am. Right now I'm probably leaning towards the Indians and the Phillies, which means I have effectively doomed any chance they may have had. Sorry about that! At any rate, the playoffs will be fun this year, plus since the Braves are out of it I don't have to listen to our shitty sports talk stations whine and kvetch about the Braves' playoff failures. A few years ago one station actually mocked the Braves for clinching the division while on a plane to the next city on their road trip. Good thing we don't have to deal with that disgrace this year huh? Oh well, good job Braves. You didn't quite make it, but ya still did good. In the immortal words of Linus Van Pelt:

Just wait till next year!

1 comment:

FoulBall said...

I'm also a Braves fan and would absolutely love the Mets to miss the playoffs. Go Phillies!!!