April 15, 2009

Off to Pittsburgh

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!



8 Responses to “Off to Pittsburgh”

  1. 1
    Steve Says:

    Boyer? What do you base your defense on? Last season, from July 1 to the end of the season, he gave up 29 runs in 27.1 innings (a 9.55 ERA). And this year, after tonight’s complete debacle, he’s given up 6 runs in 1.1 innings (an impossible 40.50 ERA). Do you still love his stuff? I really want to see his stuff in Gwinnett and take a look at Medlen in Atlanta.

  2. 2
    Curt Says:

    After tonight, Boyer and several other guys should be off of team. The bullpen needs an immediate overhaul and it starts with Boyer. He’s lost it and watching him walk off the field, he clearly lacks the mental faculties to get people out. So I hope you get to see him playing in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Toledo, Durham, wherever. As long he isn’t working for the Braves anymore.

  3. 3
    Matt Says:

    I still believe in Boyer’s stuff. He has been bad so far. Horrendous. That said, I believe that he can and will be effective this season. One thing baseball has taught me is patience. The season being the marathon it is lends itself to redemption. If you achieve a bad time running your first mile, you still have 25 more to right yourself and run a good complete race.

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. 4
    Danielle Says:

    Wow, Curt. Are you sure you’re not a Phillies fan?

    If all you wanna do is complain, why don’t you drive up the east coast some more and join the legions of Met and Phillies fans who go to games just to boo at their own players?

  5. 5
    Steve Says:

    Danielle – I’m not saying, in any way, that it’s out of bounds to accuse Curt of being negative. But we’re talking about Blaine Boyer here. He’s really, really bad. It was all well and good to chalk up his 9+ ERA the last THREE months of the season last year to overuse. But his arm should be in fine shape now, right? Except he can’t get anyone out. Almost literally. And, for the record, Curt hates because he loves.

  6. 6
    Curt Says:

    Danielle, I’ll offer you this, there is no one out there who loves the Braves more than me. I have been going to games since maybe 1975. I have witnessed enough lousy baseball over the years to turn many a person against a team. I have never wavered in my support. I have been lucky enough to also be part of the good times. I found myself at game six of the 1995 WS and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. With that, I don’t need to defend my support of this team to anyone.

    I was at the game Friday night when most of Turner Field booed Blaine Boyer when he was introduced. None of those boos came from me. But that doesn’t mean I will not criticize his play this season. He has a 40+ ERA. He has given up 6 runs in less than two innings, and that doesn’t even include the inherited runners he has let score. He walked 2 people with the bases loaded. He looks shell shocked. If he has no ability to perform his job, he needs to be replaced. This is a big boy operation here. His job is to get people out. He, currently, can not do that. That limits the options in using him. Perhaps he can be sent to the minors and rediscover his obvious talent. In the meantime, he has used up his time in Atlanta. It’s time for someone else to have an opportunity to prove if they can do the job.

  7. 7
    Matt Says:

    Steve, Curt, Danielle, etc…

    In no way am I disputing Boyer’s stats. If I were then I really shouldn’t be writing for a Braves website, but a website in a small padded room. I just belive that Boyer is better than his numbers show and that he will bounce back. Hopefully it is with the Braves in Atlanta. I am loyal (to a fault) and until he goes the way of Dan Kolb I will stand by my words…

    Thanks. -Matt

  8. 8
    bravespistonsfan Says:

    atlanta braves fans: join us! the piston nation rises….we are dynasties…all “brave piston fans” now! rise!

Leave a Reply