August 08, 2011

Back to Reality

Like the Braves, I am back in New York trying to get back to normal. I am trying to get back into everyday life after being on ‘vacation’ for a couple weeks and the Braves are trying to get back to their winning ways. Though the Braves took 2 of 3 from Florida and New York, they aren’t looking too good over the last couple weeks.

Their starting pitching has taken a step back (and another now with Jurrjens back on the DL) and are leaving tons of guys on base—case in point; Sunday’s loss to the Marlins where they had 13 hits and only managed 1 measly run. It was really terrible to watch.

The Braves did improve themselves recently, adding speedster Michael Bourn to the top of their lineup, but if they can’t get hits with guys on base, he is just going to add to the LOB issues. I have to say, the buzz around the Bourn deal came with mixed results from the crew at Turner Field. Most of the people who work at the TED were not high on the deal; I definitely don’t think it was a disaster. Bourn is a great leadoff hitter and as long as he keeps hitting .300 and stealing bases it will be a solid deal (easier said than done). Though, my first reaction when I heard about the deal was, “Please don’t turn into Nate McLouth.” As you may remember, Bourn is not the first former All-Star and Gold Glove winning center fielder the Braves has acquired to bat leadoff…

I was expecting the Braves to add a right-handed bat, to compliment Eric Hinske off the bench and I still do. It will have to be a waiver deal, but I am 98% certain they are going to go and get a RH hitter before the rosters expand on September 1st.

Now beggars can’t be choosers, so I am not expecting the world here. I’d be very happy with a guy like Oakland’s Josh Willingham or the Cub’s Russ Johnson; similar to the Giants acquisition of Cody Ross last season.

In terms of the right-handed reliever the Braves were expected to add, I am now fine with promoting from within.  I like the job Anthony Varvaro has done so far since being called up from AAA Gwinnett. It seems like every game we went to over the past week; Varvaro was on the mound—probably because he has been.

I also think there is a good chance the Braves may bring up Arodys Vizcaino to throw some heat from the ‘pen. He has been dominant for Gwinnett since being moved to the bullpen to cut down on his innings and I think he’s do the same in the majors—kind of like Neftali Feliz did in his first year with Texas. Then again, if Peter Moylan comes back like himself, we won’t have to worry.

*****

I have to take a moment to thank a few people that went above and beyond to make our time at Turner Field truly a memorable experience. First off, my good friend Roger and his wife Cathy were amazing to us the whole time. We had terrific seats down the first base line for the first three games and were able to get up to the Golden Moon Casino Level to avoid the blistering heat Sunday.

We were lucky enough to spend some time with Walter Banks down in section 105 and had a great time talking Braves, baseball and Atlanta history with him. He couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming to us. Walter truly deserves all the praise and attention he gets.

Lastly, I have to say the staff at Turner Field is the friendliest of any sporting event we have attended. Everyone is always quick to say ‘hello’ and ask how we are doing. It starts at the top and trickles down to every employee we met. This definitely is not the case anywhere else and it definitely is noticed and appreciated.

*****

Obscure Brave of the week: Greg Colbrunn.

Greg Colbrunn was drafted in the 6th round of the 1987 Draft by the Montreal Expos and played in the major leagues for a total of 13 seasons. He also had stops in Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, Seattle and of course, Atlanta.

Colbrunn was a member of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks World Series team. He is now the Manager of the Charleston River Dogs, a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

Battling for a playoff spot in 1997 and 1998, the Braves needed a right-handed bat to come off the bench (sound familiar?) and Colbrunn was the guy both years. He was a decent hitter, but I never thought he was anything special. I am hoping the Braves can get a guy of a higher caliber this year…

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One Response to “Back to Reality”

  1. 1
    Brave in new york Says:

    I have to apologize to REED Johnson for calling him Russ… He is not a light- hitting infielder.

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