It’s about time for my first road trip of the ’09 season- so this weekend I will be driving across I-80, through the land of the Amish to see the Braves take on the Pirates at the reasonably-priced PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA.
But before I gas up the Jetta let me talk about a few things…
First-off—why do the Braves have an off-day every other day? It’s killing me to look at the schedule and find out that I’m going to have to watch Miami Vice reruns with Don Johnson instead of Braves baseball with Kelly Johnson (I can’t stop laughing as I think about KJ wearing a pink shirt and white blazer). Something needs to be done about this scheduling. In comparison to April, where the Braves have 5 off days (in 26 days) they have ONE off day in May (31 days for those of you who haven’t memorized the rhyme).
When Tom Glavine left his start for the AA Mississippi Braves due to shoulder discomfort, I though “here we go again.” But then I started thinking…I’m going to be in Pittsburgh this weekend…Tom Glavine won’t be…a little Tommy Hanson please???
Reality set-in seconds later when it was announced that Jo Jo Reyes would get the nod for Saturday’s game (AND It’s Ryan Doumit Bobblehead Day—woo hoo!) and it makes total sense. Reyes had a great spring and seemed like a different pitcher from 2008. Not that ’08 was a terrible year for Jo Jo—I was in attendance for two games (Milwaukee and Toronto) where Reyes looked phenomenal, but ended up losing each game 1-0. So, do I disagree with the decision to promote Jo Jo from AAA Gwinnett? NO. Do I selfishly wish it were Hanson…Of Course!
I have been listening to the Atlanta Baseball Talk Podcasts for some time and although I typically agree with most things said, I must take umbrage with comments made this week.
Steve, Curt and Hammy (much like the rest of baseball) slammed Blaine Boyer for his performance in the infamous Game 3 vs. the Phillies last week—jabbing ‘Should he even be in the major leagues?’ I will continue to back Boyer in arguments such as these. He has the stuff to not only pitch in the major leagues, but do it with success. I’ve followed him since being drafted in the 3rd round in 2000 and climbed up the Minor League ladder passing through, the GCL, Danville, Macon/Rome, Myrtle Beach and Mississippi with a mid 90’s fast ball and an ‘Uncle Charlie’ that makes hitters look like THEY don’t belong.
Both John Smoltz and Bobby Cox (whose opinions should be valued highly) believe Boyer has “Closer Stuff,” and should be in that role in the future. He had an abysmal outing last Wednesday, but I can’t see why he won’t rebound back into the horse Bobby Cox had last year. When he gets that tag again this season, and he will, remember you heard it here first.
Though the Phillies are one of the Braves toughest rivals, and I always chuckle a little when they lose, it was sad to hear of the loss of their great broadcaster, Harry Kalas. I will always attach his legendary voice when I think of a Mike Schmidt or Pat Burrell hit a home run, or whenever I watch a game on “The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.” While flipping through the channels, I would regularly stop at a Phillies game (when the Braves weren’t on of course) for an inning or two just to hear Kalas call the game. There are a few announcers that no matter who is playing or what the score is, can hold your attention—Harry Caray, Jack Buck, Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully, Skip Caray (of course) and Kalas. He will be missed by the baseball world; even Braves fans.
Lastly, I must say that I have gotten somewhat addicted to Twitter, especially during Braves games. I’ve gained a good amount of followers whom I share banter while the Braves are on and it’s a petty good time. You can join the crew and follow me @ BRAVEinNY.
Well, I’m off to the Keystone State…
Until Next time…Go Braves!