So, I am sitting here in the lobby of the Comfort Inn at Turner Field for their ‘free’ breakfast, which consists of cereal, a tub of hard boiled eggs, some type of pastry (which look as old as I am) and a waffle maker with no batter. The good news is they have coffee, though it tastes like motor oil, it does the trick.
The hotel has been sold out since April and I got one of the last two rooms. As my luck would have it, it turns out they were both handicapped rooms. My shower is about 3 feet off the ground—it literally hits me in the knee when it’s turned on. But I’m in Atlanta, I can see the TED from my window and the Braves are playing again today!
I have been able to do some really cool things here so far, thanks to a really good friend that works for the Braves. I have been documenting everything on a Flip Cam (shameless plug) and will be making a video of the entire trip.
My first game here (against the Pirates) was tough. A lack of offense was the cause of the Braves demise once again, something I am hoping changes very soon with a deadline deal. It definitely won’t be Hunter Pence, as he was dealt to the Phillies last night. I hope it won’t be Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp and definitely NOT Ryan Ludwick.
I think Carlos Quentin is the best fit for the Braves right now. He provides right-handed power and is very affordable for the next hear and a half—I actually thought he was the guy, even before Pence was dealt. I especially thankful the Braves didn’t give up two of their top four pitching prospects as reported!!!
I would also be OK with BJ Upton under two circumstances: The Braves don’t give up too much and he turns his attitude around. Of course , the latter is much for of an unknown and a gamble. He is the most talented guy out there on the market, but can he and will he harness that into his play on the field? That’s the million dollar question. I think he can; especially with the Braves.
Then there is Michael Bourn. It would be ideal for the Braves to add a proven leadoff hitter at last. I saw a tweet last night with a projected lineup including Bourne, and I have to say, it was scary. I never thought I would say this, but all the Braves would need is for Heyward to pick it up—he has truly been awful lately and I have heard grumblings about sending him down to AAA. Now, that may be extreme, but if you look at the way he’s been playing…I get it. It may be the best option for a month or so if the Braves acquire an outfielder.
We now have less than 24 hours until all these questions (and more) are answered. No more rumors and no more what ifs. The Braves are going to get a hitter and possibly a relief pitcher at the deadline. I truly believe it will be a quality player and (for the love of God) not Ryan Ludwick! The Phillies, Giants and Braves will continue to be the class of the league and the only real race this year will be in the NL Central. Who knows, something could be done by the time this blog is posted. We can only sit back and watch…
Obscure Braves of the week: Jose Hernandez.
Jose Hernandez played in the majors for 15 seasons, including the Braves, for their stretch run in winning the 1999 National League Championship—he was acquired at the trade deadline, along with pitcher Terry Mulholland.
Hernandez played for a total of 10 different teams; I could write another blog to list them all, but I will just say he was known primarily as a Cub. In 2002 he was sitting at 187 strike outs for the season (one shy of the ML record at the time), but his manager kept him out of the lineup 4 of the last 5 games of the year, as to avoid being the “Strikeout King.”
My most vivid memories of Hernandez involve me screaming at the heavens, “WHY?” when the Braves traded for him and again when he was put in a game… The good news is that it was only for a few months.
I am tweeting constantly during the games down here, so if you feel so inclined…
Follow me on Twitter @BRAVEinNY.
Until Next Time…Go Braves!