For the past two weeks I have been in my car driving around the country to visit different baseball stadiums. It’s nice to be somewhat of a drifter, forgetting about responsibility and the hassles of real life for awhile with nothing else to do but eat and watch baseball. Armed with a grill, cooler and a tent (I don’t have much of a budget, so a nice place to sleep is rare) I set about the Midwest. I spent most nights in a camp site or a cheap trucker hotel. Needless to say, there is no internet access in the woods, and when you pay $30 for a motel room, Wi-Fi (which is not code for trucker speed) is not an option; thus, the reason for my absence from the Atlanta Baseball Talk blog.
I did see some cool things over the past two weeks- Paul Konerko hitting 3 homers against the Indians, a ridiculous 4th of July fireworks show in Cleveland, a sea of red in Cincinnati, The Brew-Crew make a late-inning comeback against the Cards, a Civil Rights game in Detroit, and of course…the Braves play in Wrigley. Naturally, I was at the ONE game the Braves lost against the Cubs. Not to mention the endless traffic, sitting amongst people who would be jealous of how many teeth a jack-o-lantern has—people who would need a minute to think before being able to spell their own first name. It literally took me 3 hours to go 10 miles. That’s even slower than Casey Kotchman. I arrived home just in time, running on 30 minutes of sleep from Detroit, to see the Braves bullpen blow a 7-3 lead in Colorado.
I have finally caught up on some sleep and I’m ready to get the season going again on Thursday when the Braves host the New York Mets. Hmmm…it seems like something happened in regards to the Mets recently…I can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh well, I guess I’m not back to 100%, but I will remember…eventually.
So now that we are at the half-way point in the 2009 season, I figured I would give away some mid season awards (that mean absolutely nothing) to some VERY deserving players:
AL MVP- Joe Mauer (Twins)
AL Cy Young- Zack Greinke (Royals)
AL- Rookie of the Year- Ricky Romero (Blue Jays)
AL Manager of the Year- Jim Leyland (Tigers)
AL Comeback Player- Scott Rolen (Blue Jays)
NL MVP- Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
NL Cy Young- Tim Lincecum (Giants)
NL- Rookie of the Year- Colby Rasmus (Cardinals)
NL Manager of the Year- Joe Torre (Dodgers)
NL Comeback Player- Chris Carpenter (Cardinals)
Now remember, these are only up to the All-Star break. Things can and will change during the second half of the season— including where certain players call home. Dang! I swear there was something about the Mets I wanted to bring up. Shoot…
I am almost certain if you were to go to dictionary.com and search “inconsistent” it will send you straight to the Atlanta Braves homepage. If you look at the past few series it will explain the first half of this season for the Braves…sweeping the Phillies 3-straight…losing 2 of 3 to the NATIONALS…taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs…and finally splitting a 4-game series against the Rockies, when really the Braves should have swept all 4 games (since the two they lost, were via blown leads by Peter Moylan, Manny Acosta & Co).
On Friday July10th, in Kalamazoo, MI, I splurged $40 on a Red Roof Inn for the night. I was hoping to get a good night sleep for once but I kept having this re-occurring dream. I was standing in my living room telling my mother and grandmother that the Braves had made some kind of trade with Mets— it was odd. I woke up and was close to becoming physically ill. It was probably the bucket of pop corn chicken I had that night from Sonic, but also that dream made me feel weird. I woke up the next morning and… wait…wait…it’s all coming back to me now… THE BRAVES TRADED JEFF FRANCOEUR TO THE NEW YORK METS! It was real!
This time the sickness had nothing to do with Sonic; although the Lime-Aid repeated on me several times. I can’t write exactly what I had been thinking at the time, mainly because it would mean typing several obscene words, describing incurable things I had wished on certain people (Frank Wren) and would ultimately lead to the guys at Atlanta Baseball Talk asking me to never write again.
It wasn’t that they traded Francoeur. I knew it was coming and it was the best thing for the Braves as a team. It was the fact it was to the METS. If I lived in any other part of the country, it wouldn’t be an issue. But—as you may, or may not know, Mets fans aren’t exactly the most well-mannered fans in the game. In fact, if I told you what I really thought, it would end in a similar way to the description of the Francoeur trade.
I’m not concerned about who we received back in the trade. I expected to lose Jeff at the end of the year for nothing, and was 100% OK with that. So, Ryan Church is a blessing (of sorts) to receive in this deal. The Braves got a major-league-caliber player. I know he is probably going to end up with a concussion from a mosquito bite, but for the time being he is (somewhat) serviceable. I just can’t get over seeing Frenchy in a Mets uniform. It’s just not right. I pray he goes somewhere else in the off season and I can forget that this ever happened.
So there we have it! The first half of the ’09 campaign is over. Let’s hope (If you’re a Braves fan) the Bravos can turn this thing around and make some noise in the NL East. They have the pitching (save some bullpen help) to do it. If they can just get the bats going, they may just have a shot, a small shot, but still… a shot. And you never know…maybe one of these days Garret Anderson will actually try in a game—but probably not.
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