The best gifts are the ones we can share with others. Monday was my birthday and I woke up with the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. Not a bad start to the day, I would’ve been happy with a win against the Brewers.
Anyone that lived through September 11th will never forget. Americans united and Patriotism was at an unprecedented level. The image in my mind that still invokes immense pride for my country is when President Bush walked onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to deliver the first pitch at the World Series and delivered a perfect strike. I still get chills when I think about it.
Often sports have a way of separating us from reality. No matter what life hands us, watching our favorite teams and players can take us away, if only for a few hours. If I could be commissioner for a day I would schedule double headers on 9/11. Why not? It would provide another avenue to remember that day in American history and also make for an exciting day of baseball late in the season.
The Braves caught a real break last week in the PR department. The initial reports, apology, and punishment for Roger McDowell seemed to slip under the radar of the national media. People definitely took notice and made an opinion on the situation. I think most of Braves Country not only thought McDowell would be fired, but expected it.
Seasons are often defined by a few moments that, either good or bad, alter the direction of a team. Replacing Roger McDowell as pitching coach could have been one of those moments. With a young staff that continues to show enormous upside, this was a potentially disastrous situation.
1. Alex Gonzalez - Gonzo has been great in the field all year and anything with the stick is a bonus. He hit .321 last week with 6 Runs and 8 RBI. Now let’s talk about an extension.
2. David Ross- Tough to crack the “3 UP” lineup on only 8 AB’s but Ross’ 3 HR last week was a pleasant surprise.
3. Starting Pitching- From 4/25 to 5/2, Braves pitchers failed to go 6 innings only once(Derek Lowe) and they only gave up more than 2 ER once.(Derek Lowe)
1A. Roger McDowell- The front office must not have felt this situation threatened the bottom line, otherwise McDowell would have been sent packing.
1B. Derek Lowe- I’m sure if I had tons of money and a 2011 Porsche I would redline it from time to time, but not down a busy downtown street and particularly not after a night of drinking.
3. Craig Kimbrel- Two straight blown saves against the Cardinals cost us the series and took the momentum away from the west coast trip. But great save tonight to complete the sweep against the Brewers.
Follow me on Twitter @ABT_Paul