Monday, October 02, 2006

Well it's know what that means......

The Hunt fo October is now over, as the MLB playoffs will start tomorrow. This will be the first time in 15 years that the NL East will not be represented by my Atlanta Braves. The Braves consecutive winning streak was snapped at 14. I could be bitter and just blame alot of people right now.......and I think I will.

1st-John Schuerholz

I think some of the blame has to be on the suspenders of John Schuerholz. I think JS is a great GM don't get me wrong. I mean the guy does deserve most of the credit to the 14 straight divison championships. But he is a bit of a gambler. By that I mean, he constantly pushes the limit on players. Instead of locking up good players long term, he goes out and gets "scrubs" from other teams and turns them into good 1 year(or so) rentals. Gary Sheffield, we get him in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, plays great for a couple years, then when it's time for a contract extension, he ends up going to the Yankees. To replace him we go out and get J.D. Drew. An injury plagued player that had great "potential", but like I said injuries put a serious damper on his career. He comes to Atlanta and has a career year, helps get us to the playoffs, but when the offseason comes, he is not re-signed and ends up going to the Dodgers. His replacement Raul Mondesi. Another player that was very good a long time ago, but JS signs him anyways and he turns out to be a complete bust. Replaced by a 21 year old rookie, you might have heard of him....Jeff Francoeur. Coming into this season there were alot of holes to fill. First of all, we didn't have a proven closer. JS late inning guy was set to be Chris Reitsma(or as referred to on the Braves Journal, Chris Reeksma). Ok, this guy was another player with "great stuff"and alot of "potential" but never turned out to suceed. First he was a starter, then he was put into the bullpen. Oh, I should probaly mention he played for the Cincinnati Reds, if he can't be productive in that pitching staff, then why the hell would he make a good closer for us. Apparently John, put all that aside and the job was awarded to Reitsma. And of course, he failded miserabley! That forced us to go with a closer by committee. That rarely ever works, and in this case, it didn't!!! Another player that was a scrub is Matt Diaz. Now he is great(on offense only!!!No defense for him, please)This is a guy who couldn't cut it as a Tampa Devil Ray or a Kansas City Royal.....enough said. But somehow he turned into a great bench player for us. There are countless others like these, hell just look at our roster, but what i'm basically trying to say, is JS's luck appeared to run out this season, all of his rentals didn't pull through, I can only hope that Lady Luck visits Mr.Schuerholz next season.


Injuries, every team goes through them, but it sure seamed like no team was hit harder than my Braves.(I am obviously saying this cause I am a fan of the Braves and it seems like that to me)Chipper Jones(my favorite player) had another season filled with injuries, but when he was playing he was nothing short of magnificent. He ended up playing in just 110 games which is up from last season.(109)No Mike Hampton this year due to Tommy John surgeryhe had at the end of last year. Brian McCann missed alot of time due to an ankle injury. Other players that served time on the DL;John Thomson, Kyle Davies, Brian Jordan, Phil Stockman, Horacio Ramirez, Chris Reitsma, Chuck James, Macay McBride, Lance Cormier, Kelly Johnson, Joey Devine and John Foster. Yeah, I know, alot of guys.

3rd-No Leo Mazzone

Well at the end of last season probaly the best pitching coach, "Rocking"Leo, decided to go and coach for the Baltimore Orioles, why?!? No earthly idea. But he left us and his replacement was a minor league coach, Roger McDowell. Bobby Cox has said many times that he is a great coach. That may be, but I didn't see it this year. Roger looked absolutely lost everytime he went out to "calm down" the pitchers. Most of the time pitching coaches know when to go out there and calm down their guys, but no, not Roger, he basically had to wait for Bobby to tell him when to go out there. Probaly not a good sign.

4th-Pitching Staff

Ok, like I said earlier, we had no closer for most of the year. But eventually we went out and picked up Wickamania aka Bob Wickman. But our bullpen was horrible the WHOLE YEAR!!! When this is your bullpen throughout the season; Chad Paronto, Lance Cormier, Tyler Yates, Ken Ray, Peter Moylan, Kevin Barry, Wayne Franklin, Joey Devine, Macay McBride, Chris Reitsma, Oscar Villerreal,'ll not win alot of games, trust me.

Ok, to wrap things up this season was a huge disappointment. Alot of things must happen this offseason to make this team a playoff contender next season. Thats all from me for now......

"Que the soft and sad music"

National League East(final standings)
New York... .97..65...599....0......50-31...47-34
Philadelphia.85..77...525....12 ...41-40...44-37

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