If Losing Builds Character I Feel Like Mother Teresa Right Now

Check out The Launching Pad.

~JB, writing a Braves blog, throwing back No Doz, and wallowing in despair

Ok Ok. I admit. I’m not really thinking of myself as Mother Teresa because it’s not THAT bad…. is it?

I just hate losing to the Phillies. 

And no I’m not really wallowing in despair. I just can’t seem to
take a shower, go to work, or even get out of bed today. Good thing I
keep the Mac close by so I can still post. 

At any rate.

I think that sums up the last few weeks in addition to last night. 

If you’re feeling down, come commiserate with me. Misery loves company.

What Would You Do If I Sang Out Of Tune?

Be sure to check out The Launching Pad

~JB, Braves Blogger Extraordinaire and Coffee Addict.

Espresso. The fuel of blogs. At least it is for mine.

Hello, Braves fans and baseball fans otherwise. It’s been a long
season already for the Braves and somehow we’ve only managed to fall 4
games away from first place. How? I don’t know. We can’t seem to remain
above .500. We can’t seem to win series against struggling teams and we
can’t seem to stay healthy.

But here we are. About to welcome the Phils, who cling to the
aforementioned 4 game advantage, and a chance to improve our standings.
How can we do so without Chipper when his fill-in is not only not
hitting anywhere close to Chipper’s “BA” B.A. but he could make Mr.
Mendoza blush.

But even though this Braves blogger has seen better days… I’ve seen
worse too. And though our roster has more missing pieces than my
Pac-Man puzzle from 1982… well… I don’t know if there is an
upside here actually. It’s just baseball and it’ll break your heart as
quickly as it’ll make you leap for joy. Those of you not prepared for
this fickle love affair will have a hard time even mustering the desire
to read a Braves blog let alone watch an early July ball game.

So in case you haven’t heard yet, Chipper will make his perennial
appearance on the DL starting this week and it’ll come just in time for
him to miss the All Star game. Just when I was getting optimistic that
he’d make it through the whole season… Well, I still love Chipper and
there’s very little not to love. At least I can say that Mike Hampton
makes Chipper look like the 6 Million Dollar Man.

Now at this point the post takes a turn. Call this an opinion, observation, insight or whatever but here’s how I end.

When in Chicago visiting Wrigley Field this June,
I noticed something about the fans in the Friendly Confines. They
turned out in very strong numbers and gosh they love their team. I
happened to make it to one of those day game treats on a Thursday
afternoon but the attendance would’ve told you it was a Sunday. Now
true, Wrigley is smaller than Turner but I will say that the love the
“Friendlies” have for their team is… electric.

Here’s my point. The Cubbies haven’t snagged a title in close to 100
years. They’ve had nothing but bad luck in the postseason and are now
this century’s version of the Red Sox. You could use success as an
argument for why to give up on this loveable franchise on the Northside
but it would get you nowhere with a true Cubs fan.

They are to me, an example of what I believe a team and its fans
must sometimes go through to gather a TRUE following. I’m not talking
about the “fans” that show up in gale force when the team is winning
and then allow the Ted to become a Ghost Town when we’re down in the
standings. I’m not even talking about the tailgaters who get thoroughly
intoxicated before, during, and after the game only to make complete
fools out of themselves in the parking lot (I’ve hit one with my car
this season). I’m talking about FANS. And truth be told, sometimes Fans have to go through some “Character Building Years” to refine their Fanship.

Now we Braves supporters have had a good run. Yes we only managed
one Title in the 14 banners we collected during that time but I’ll
briefly state my argument once more, how many more WS’s Championships
would we have won playing 20 years ago without the dreadful playoff
system we now employ? Regardless, we’ve obviously had some success
since 1991 and now the years wane on. I’m not throwing in the towel on
this season or saying our play off hopes for 2008 are shot when I say
this. I’m just saying if the rough season we’ve had so far and the two
missed playoffs of ’06-’07 continue to be a trend, we will have to take
our devotion to a new level.

I think this level of devotion has benefited teams like the Cubs.
Disappointment is sometimes very good for a team and its fans to go
through. Remember the magic of 1991? It wouldn’t have been there in
quite the same way if it wasn’t for 1990 and all the other last place
years before it.

Just a thought but getting through these hard times (and if it turns
out… a hard season) and emerging as Braves Fans who know how to truly
love our team is my silver lining.

Enjoy the day off of baseball. We got a brand new month and chance to gain some ground.

Whatever you do… Keep Choppin’

Dome, Dome on the Range…

Check out The Launching Pad

~JB

Yesterday, strong through five and then the hits just kept on comin’. The sixth inning was Huddy’s undoing and the 8th inning comeback wasn’t substantial after Acosta got done with the bottom half.

As if the 6 runs Hudson allowed weren’t bothersome enough…

Acosta and Big Boy. Both like to serve ’em up.

Good news is, Teixeira’s newly enlivened bat makes Joe-Boo very happy.

Francoeur needs to eat his Wheaties or something.

Here, Jeff. Download this, insert your image, put it in your locker and play like a Champion!

Today,

We just couldn’t get the bats to do anything. Real bummer to lose a game 1-0 after Jo Jo pitched as well as he did. 

The only thing that cab make this Braves blogger not jump off a cliff is a series win against the Phils back at home. 

Keep Choppin’

Cash in the Chips? Never!

Please visit The Launching Pad for my most current blog updates

The stock market’s down.

Gas prices are up.

The Braves are down. Even though we won yesterday… and there was much rejoicing….

yay

Seems like a good time to throw in the towel huh? I’ve read a lot of
posts lately about the Braves becoming sellers. Bloggers are out there
saying we should start trading away, start from scratch and basically
rebuild.

Well excuse me for sounding like Mr. Rosy Goggles but I just don’t
see it that way yet. Not that we haven’t taken our share of lumps this
year and this team has been a bit of an underachiever. I just think we
still have a decent shot at pulling it together.

The biggest thing it comes down to is performance. I know our
starting rotation looks 3/5 different than it should but look at what
our “fill-in’s” have done.

Jorge Campillo- 3-2, 2.54 ERA, 53 K’s/12 BB’s, in 8 GS, allowing 16 ER’s in 49 innings.

Charlie Morton’s first 3 big league starts- 1-1 (with one game he
should’ve had the “W” and another that easily could have made him 3-0)
is 4.24 ERA, 11K/6 BB’s.

Jo Jo Reyes- Not really a star 5th starter but he’s had 4 starts
where he went +5 IP and gave up 2 ER’s or less and hasn’t allowed more
than 4 ER since May 23rd.

Gonzo is back.

Glavine will be back.

Diaz is slotted to return and if Kotsay gets healthy and Chipper
stays that way, we can give those bench guys their bench jobs back.

And really it’s Frenchy and Tex who have been the large holes in the
lineup. The latter is starting to catch fire a little bit hitting .330
with 4 HR’s 7 RBI’s since Seattle came to town. And Frenchy…. he’s
disappointing us all right now but I just have this feeling that he
will snap out of it at some point.

I know it’s been easy to hate this Braves team lately but when you
have to resort to filling your entire lineup with the bench on a daily
basis, you have to expect them to perform like bench players. After all
that’s why they’re riding the pine to begin with.

All this Braves blogger is saying is we’ve still got talent and
we’re only 4.5 games out. And although the trade deadlines and free
agency are causing the winds to blow and the hot stoves to heat up… I
don’t think it’s time to count this team out just yet.

You never know. Stranger things have happened. What are the odds
that the lowest seeded, unranked team, with 31 regular season losses
would go on to win a National Championship?

By the way Fresno State, thank you for beating UGA.

This is probably the only time I’ll ever say this but….

“Go Bulldogs!”

Next up: Braves vs Blue Jays- Jurrjens vs. McGowan Friday, 7:00pm EDT

Time for some retribuition for 1992.

Going for 4 and 5

Visit my new site at BravesBlog.net

As I mentioned before, we have a chance of going 4-5 on the road if we can get a win tonight. Two series wins on the road? How the sweet the sound. Then we can forget all about Chicago and even that miserable series at home with the Philistines and move on to kicking the Mariners (25-47) while they’re down. 

What I Like About You

Gonzo the prize fighter rocking back and forth on the mound as he saves it with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. 

Reyes went 7 and gave up one earned run. Still didn’t get the win but another impressive start makes me say that if Hampton is ever healthy enough to pitch again, trade him to Japan, we’ve got a lefty, thanks. 

Chipper maintains .400 for another day but more importantly, he hits #402. I can’t wait to see the MVP come back to Atlanta after a nine year absence. 

And maybe we got the win after Frenchy reached on an error but we let the game get tied on an error and I’ll take a win any way I can. 

Why Oh Why?

Mark Teixeira 8 for his last 39 after another hitless night. Look, I don’t want to turn into a pessimistic hater or anything but come on. The “slow start” is getting a little old. 

Tonight

A win tonight=series win

Series win= 2 series wins on the road

2 series wins on the road= 4-5 record for the trip

Win tonight also =’s .500 record again and a trip back home for Mariners, Brewers and Phillies again. 

Time to gain some ground. 


Don’t Stop Believin’

See More at BravesBlog.net

Talk about a rough June. 

At least the Braves made their first visit to Angels Stadium a good one.

The Braves of Atlanta – 5 runs

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Southern California of the Greater Los Angeles Area Including But Not Limited To Orange County,  Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County of California, Northern Mexico, and Anyone Who Doesn’t Like The Dodgers…Angels-2 runs. 

Mighty Braves of Atlanta win the opener. 

Just before that though…

Glavine goes down. 

Jurrjens goes down. 

Kotsay…still down. I was afraid this liability would get us in the (ahem)… back. 

Chipper… I’m sure it’s not that serious but that little blast in the face is enough to make us all collectively roll our eyes, shrug our shoulders, throw up our hands and say “What’s next?”

Soriano is still not back. Diaz will be back someday. But even though Matt and Rafael weren’t the guys carrying the team right now, it just goes to show how battered we’ve been. 

Brandon Jones’ night was a good one that saw him go 2-3 with an RBI. He could be competing for an everyday spot if he can really give us a lift. I seem to recall another rookie call up filling in for an injured Renteria that got an everyday spot the next year. 

Jo-Jo. Don’t let the 3-4 record fool you. Granted he’s had some bad starts (Philadelphia, Arizona loom large). But His start last night and the start in Milwaukee (1 ER, 2 hitter which got wasted) stand out as not too bad for a fifth starter. He’s been giving us Quality Starts which is enough to keep our heads above water. I’m not a Reyes believer necessarily right now but he’s also not the kind of fifth starter we’ve had lately. And let’s face it, the options are thin right now and the starting five has been hit like Normandy.

So we get to see Charlie Morton make his debut. It may not be met with the same media frenzy as Joba Chamberlain taking a dump after the game but it’s a healthy pitcher and it’s a chance for us to turn this road trip around. 

Sweep, Sweep, Sweep, Sweep





That’s one “Sweep” for each game won this week.

I’m sorry if I sound a little bit like a gloater but I’m not gonna lie…. it feels so good.

A double header sweep is nice.

A three game sweep is really great.

A four game sweep… I think I’m gonna cry.

Apologies to Eddie because he’s my one and only Mets fan friend…

But I have to confess, tonight’s win makes me as a giddy as a younger version of myself sitting in front of a bowl of Lucky Charms on a Saturday morning.

But Braves fans, we have got to make Turner Field a much more hostile environment than it has been. This kind of series win gives us the right to swagger, trash talk, and make the Ted a place where you do not want to be a visiting fan sporting your “Wright” jersey. I’m not saying it needs to get ugly and be full of drunken fist fights but when we say stuff like “We must protect this house”…. we’d better mean it.
Well that’s good for now. I’m not one to make as many enemies as I can but we’re entitled to a little bragging and nose rubbing tonight.