August 07, 2010

Odds and Ends

As of Saturday, the Braves lead in the NL East is down to 1 game over the surging Philadelphia Phillies, who haven’t lost in what seems like a month. Actually, even when they do lose—they still end up winning the game. Case in point, Thursday night in Florida when umpire Bob Davidson (AKA Balk-A-Day Bob) called a ball foul (that was clearly fair) and would have resulted in a Marlins walk off win.

We all remember when Jim Joyce botched the perfect game call earlier this season, and after the game he admitted his mistake. Davidson, on the other hand, still won’t admit he was wrong. Are you kidding me? Have you seen the replay? Davidson wasn’t even looking at the ball. He had already made up his mind it was foul. The game would have resulted in an extra game in the standings for the Braves; so if at the end of the season the Braves miss the playoffs by one game, we are all going to Bob Davidson’s house! Actually, the most surprising thing about the play was the fact he didn’t call a balk on that line drive…

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So, it looks like the Braves are going to be without Kris Medlen for quite awhile. Medlen left his starts against the Mets Wednesday with what he described as a burning pain in his right elbow; not good! The MRI shows that he has a tear in his UCL and will rest a few weeks before a decision is made. While we don’t know what this will result in, we know that news like this leads to Tommy John surgery more times than not. It’s definitely a blow to the Braves losing their most versatile pitcher for (if he needs TJ) this season, and most of next season; meaning he won’t really be back to full strength until 2012…if we are all still here then…

Braves 2009 1st round pick Mike Minor will make his MLB debut Monday against the (actually red-hot) Houston Astros. He has been tearing it up since being promoted to AAA Gwinnett going 4-1 1.89ERA 37K 0.93WHIP. Ridiculous numbers really, for a guy who just over a year ago was pitching in college. It will be fun to see how he can do in the midst of a pennant race, but it’s not going to be the same with out Medlen. Big, big loss.

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Again I have to bring up the New York broadcast I was forced to watch this week on SNY and more specifically their play-by-play guy Gary Cohen. You would think I’d be used to this by now, but time after time they continue to show just how Bush-League they really are.

First off, they just hate Melky Cabrera. I’m assuming because he was a Yankee, but nonetheless, whenever he comes up in conversation (which they like to do a lot) they do nothing but rip on him for being a terrible fielder, taking bad routes to balls, not having a good arm, not hustling, etc. I’m not sure if they have ever watched Melky play, but as a fielder he’s pretty damn good! They probably don’t remember this (because of their anti-Yankee bias) but as a Yankee Melky led the AL in OF assists. He has been really good in the field this year and his bat has been good since May. I don’t know where they get their facts, but obviously they need to get a grip on reality.

Next, Cohen acknowledged the fact that the Braves have their former cities Boston and Milwaukee represented in the Hall of Fame and retired numbers, but for some reason don’t have the 1914 and 1957 World Series banners up in their OF with the rest of their playoff banners. I guess I shouldn’t have used the word “acknowledged,” because Cohen wouldn’t drop the subject for 3 innings.

What does this have to do with the game? I guess when you make 12 errors in an inning you need to try and change the subject, but it gets out of hand. Maybe it’s just do to the fact the Mets put a banner up for anything they can. They have their 1999 Wild Card banner on proud display in their new stadium, along with the 2006 NL East tile (which was so important they had to smoke cigars on the field), their 2007 NL East 2nd Place banner and I’m certain they just put up a new banner for the Jeff Francoeur home run off Billy Wagner on Tuesday.

Lastly, Gary Cohen seems to know a whole lot more about the Braves then anyone. He has already given the closer job to Jonny Venters in 2011 and apparently Eric O’Flaherty is done for the 2010 season. Well, actually Venters has NOT been named the closer (he’ll have to battle Craig Kimbrel and others for that) and O’Flaherty just threw a 40 pitch bullpen session and is almost back to full strength.

OK so maybe I am taking this a little overboard. I guess that just happens when the lead in the NL East goes down to a single game and Keith Hernandez’ voice rings in my head.

Until next time… Go Braves!

 

 

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