first half over

Though work and business has kept me from being a loyal blogger, it has not kept me from being a loyal Braves fan. My apologies to quite possibly my only blog reader, my Granddaddy Skip.

Early morning work kept me from staying up for the entire All-Star game last night, but I turned my radio station to the sports talk radio this morning to hear that the AL took the win. After the NL started off putting runs on the board I thought maybe the losing streak would end and the NL would gain world series home field avantage. but nope.

I don’t really know how I feel about the establishment of the instant replay in MLB that will probably be in effect by this postseason. My first thoughts are that MLB is unique in the way that the sport does not use the instant replay and we have to accept the decisions of the umpires. For close plays in the infield I think we should trust the umps, I mean they are right there and usually have a good position to see the play. But the instant replay device would greatly help the umpires decide calls that affect homeruns and plays in the outfield. It is obviously hard for the umpires to get a perfectly accurate call on plays like that. It is just hard to except the fact that the game is changing. Technology is taking over… there is a new, bigger, more profitable stadium for the Yankees and MLB is adopting the ability for instant replay.

Braves fans are all hoping for a better 2nd half of the season. We are going to really need to step it up if we are going to make it to October.

 

101 Reasons to Love the Braves

I purchased this great little book from Barnes and Noble the other day, “101 Reasons to Love the Braves.” The book presents the history of the Braves franchise from its start 1871 in Boston to now (or, rather, 2007 when the book was written.) I have loved reading every reason and learning more and more about my favorite sports team and I thought I’d share a few Braves facts I’ve learned from my book.

#40 The First Sports Illustrated- On August 16, 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was printed, and its cover featured a shot of Eddie Mathews taking a rip at the plate in Milwaukee County StadiumImage:Sportsillustrated firstissue.jpg.

#43 A Spot of Shoe Polish- in Game 4 of the 1957 World Series, The Braves were trailing by a run in the bottom of the 10th when seldom-used Nippy Jones was inserted as a pitch-hitter. a wild pitch by the Yankees’ Tommy Byrne bounced near Jones and was oringially called a ball. But the Braves protested, claiming the ball hit Jones, and basing their argument on a spot of black shoe polish on the ball. Umpire Augie Donatelli finally agreed and sent Jones to first, where he was replaced by pinch-runner Felix Mantilla. Mantilla eventually score the tying run on a double by Johnny Logan, before Eddie Mathews ended the game with a two-run homer.

There’s a lot of other really cool stuff in this book. I just wish the Braves were doing a little better right now… so maybe there’d be 101 reasons to love the Braves right now. But maybe we’ll do a little better against the Angels.

“He’s always the homerun king.” -Barry Bonds on Hank Aaron

   and nobody better forget it.

a few Braves wins, Francoeur breaks streak

After a series win against the A’s and Monday’s day of rest, the Braves came out to take two wins over the Mets in yesterday’s double header. Beating the Mets pushed them down a little in the NL East standings and now Florida still leads but the Braves and the Phillies are tied at 2nd (a game and a half behind). Some more wins on the next 2 games verses the Mets would create a good lead on them, and perhaps on the Phillies.

Before the 2nd game of the Braves/Mets double header yesterday Bobby Cox told Jeff Francoeur he wasn’t going to start the game. He had started every game since ’05 which was 370 straight games. Although he wasn’t hurt (even though he has been fighting a sore right foot all season) he said that Bobby wanted him to “sit back and chill.” It is clear that he loves nothing more than playing ball because he said he would never ask Cox to leave him off the lineup. He has been fortunate enough not to have been hurt like many of his teammates.   This time last season he had hit more homeruns and had a better average, but it is nothing that Francoeur, or anyone for that matter, should be worried about. Maybe this extra day off will help Francoeur start a good hitting streak.

Yunel Escobar collided with Ryan Church twice in game 2 yesterday but the collision during the last play of the game left Church on the way to the hospital and Escobar with a hurt knee. My hope is that Escobar isn’t seriously hurt because I am a big fan of his defensive skills at shortstop.  

Things were starting to pick up for the Braves for awhile as they swept the Reds and the Padres for a 6 game winning streak. Unfortunately that streak ended with a loss to the Pirates on Friday, as well as yesterday. Today’s game was postponed due to rain, so maybe the day off will allow the Braves to come out fresh for the double header tomorrow and get some wins. We need to tie up this series with the Pirates. Then if we can get some wins against the Phillies in our next series it would be crucial in gaining lead on the mets and phillies.

 

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3000 for Smoltzy, Chipper hurt

I’ve been a little slack on updating my Braves thoughts on this blog, but this is because school and exams have been keeping me from viewing many Braves games. I did make sure to stay out of the library long enough to watch John Smoltz get his 3000th strikeout on April 22nd. I almost had my roommates interested in the game after telling them the game was going to “make history” for the Braves and for Smoltz. They watched the first few innings and then when food was mentioned I was left to watch Smoltz strike out Felipe Lopez by myself.

Mets fans today don’t have a chance to express their hate for Chipper Jones as he is out of play today with back problems. After turning the game on in the 3rd inning and noticing Chipper was out I quickly got online to find out why… hoping that our strongest offensive player (and in fact the player with the best batting average in the majors before saturday) will not be off of our field for long. I also didn’t get to see last night’s game so I had to read about Yunel Escobar’s injury to his index finger that occurred in an at bat last night. To replace Escobar, the Braves brought up Brett Lillibridge from Richmond to play shortstop. After watching him play I had to go online to find out his info. He looks pretty young, but not the youngest the Braves have aquired, at 25. Good luck to him in his first major league debut.  

Living in Charleston during baseball season is always fun because it is popular to go out to “the Joe” and watch the Charleston RiverDogs. Unfortunately for Braves fans, attending these games puts money into the Yankee’s firm as they are a Single -A Yankees affiliate. That is why when the RiverDogs were playing the Rome Braves the other night I had to forfeit my hometown love and root for my ultimate love, the Braves. (Unfortunately for the Braves, the RiverDogs took the win.)

  

hard week for the bravos

It’s not a good week to be a Brave.

From an article on atlantabraves.com:

Since arriving in Denver to start this four-game series, the Braves have dropped three straight against the Rockies, seen their closer Rafael Soriano go on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow and dealt with the disgust of knowing their top prospect Jordan Schafer has been given a 50-game suspension for using human growth hormone.

Today in Charleston, SC I wore shorts and a t-shirt, walked to class in the high 60’s degree weather, and played an intramural softball game in the evening sun.
Today in Denver, Colorado the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies had to postpone their game due to a signifcant amount of snowfall on the field and tempatures in the low 30’s.

The game must be made up on June 16, orginally an off-day for both teams. Bobby Cox wishes otherwise.  “I’d rather play it, and so would the players. It’s going to be hectic on an off-day. You’d always rather play. But it’s impossible, you can’t.” 

Let’s hope the Braves can have a strong weekend against the Nationals in DC.  

 

 

conquer mets, fall to rox

I was glad to see the Braves take the Mets in both games (one rained out and postponed) this past week. Though I am happy when the Braves beat any team, I am particularly satisfied with a win over the Mets.

I was flipping back and forth between the end of last night’s game and last night’s episode of the Bachelor (because I am still a girl) and thought we were going to take it home with only one run over the Rockies. I didn’t see most of Glavine’s successful innings but right when I switched back to the game in the 8th I had to see Matt Holiday hit his 2 run homer to take the lead. It was a crapping ending at Coors Field for Braves fans but hopefully we can pull out a win tonight. Lets hope Jurrjens can bring what he brought the first time he started for us.

Enjoyed the online article about how Kotsay has proved himself to the Braves and Bobby Cox. I have been glad to see him take Andruw Jones’ place in center field. Though I wasn’t particulary fond of Jones’ offsensive playing last season, he has always been a strong defensive player and it was hard to see him go. Thankfully it looks as though Kotsay is holding strong to what Teixeira promised when he suggested that Kotsay take Andruw’s place.

Adding to my last entry, I read online that the Braves have created a website for spanish speaking Braves fans, Bravesbeisbol.com. Baseball is just as important to some hispanics as it is to Americans so it is cool to see that they will be able to keep up with news. Maybe I will check out bravesbeisbol.com and put my spanish202 class to practice. Or I’ll just stick to English and let Yunel enjoy the site.