Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Appreciating The Braves

Despite the fact that The Atlanta Braves only won One World Series Championship among their 14 Consecutive Division Titles through 2005, I have come to appreciate them for so much.

Their Willingness to Patiently Build a Farm System of Top Talent.

The Confidence to Call Up Young Talent and Give Them An Honest Chance to Compete.

While Teaching that Young Talent all the Tools Needed to be Successful at The Major League Level.

Never being afraid to Trade or Let A Player Walk as a Free Agent, One Year Too Soon.

Catcher Johnnie Estrada & Pitcher Greg Maddux come to mind as good examples.

While replacing those two fine players--Maddux a Sure Fire Hall of Famer--with Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia & Young Pitchers like Kyle Davies and Chuck James--both lefthanders any team in The Majors would love to have in their own houses.

Although, I would have kept Tommy Glavine--one of the most underated Lefthanders of ALL TIME. I have always enjoyed his work.

Braves VP & General Manager John Schuerholz's ability to make some shrewd trades--like stealing Pitcher Tim Hudson from The Oakland Athletics, while giving up nothing. Or, knowing they could not resign Pitcher Kevin Millwood a few years back, trading him to Philadelphia for Estrada. Every expert denounced that move. Estrada was terrific. A Top Catcher and Run Producer. Then, Schuerholz realized Catcher Brian McCann and Saltalamacchia were coming up fast, and dumped Johnnie off, at value, for Oscar Villarreal & Lance Cormier.

Rarely, Overpaying for Top Talent. Many times, keeping their own like Andruw & Chipper Jones or John Smoltz with a contract, JUST LONG ENOUGH, to utilize their BEST ABILITIES--without killing their franchise future with Huge Contracts for Players past their time. You watch, Andruw Jones will not be an Atlanta Brave next season.

The Ability to constantly overhaul their 25 man roster, not just yearly. And, pick up All Star Players after having those players have a bad season--making them whole again. Edgar Renteria a PRIME EXAMPLE. In Boston, he was terrible for The Red Sox, completely out of his league. Yet, in Atlanta--he returned and revitalized his career. The Braves have to get some credit for that.

All these facts are what make the current efforts set forth by Our Washington Nationals promising to me. Our Team has little, neither did the Braves in 1990. Yet, just a few years later, Atlanta became a Franchise to Fear. A Team Disliked by Fans from many other cities.

The Atlanta Braves are winners. Masters of This Game called Baseball. A proficiency that Our Washington Nationals are far from calling "Mission Accomplished". A fact proven once again tonight when The Braves flat out crushed Washington 13-0, completing a three game sweep in Atlanta.

One Day, Our Washington Nationals will be winners, although definitely not this day. Although, it pleases me that Our Team President Stan Kasten first helped put The Atlanta Braves efforts in motion, many years back. Are his ideas fool proof? No. But, I am confident that strides are being made so when everything does comes to fruition, we as Washington Nationals Fans can expect all of the following:

A Farm System of Top Talent.

Top Talent that will get an honest chance to play and compete on The Major League Level.

The Shrewdness to Let Players leave, or trade them, a year too soon--knowing you have better young talent coming on The Farm.

Only Overpaying for Free Agent Talent when it benefits The Team--The Most. Yet, being in prime position to trade for Top Talent being dumped by some other foolish Franchise.

And, constantly overahauling their lineup to remain competitive for years to come.

When Our Team can consistently perform all those expectations--Many More will Appreciate Our Washington Nationals. None more than I.

Because of this proven track record, I Appreciate The Atlanta Braves--knowing better times are ahead in Our Nation's Capital.

Game Notes & Highlights:

Not a Whole Lot to speak of in this game.

Ronnie Belliard had two hits and helped turnover three double plays in the field. Our Number 10 continues to be a good player. A very valuable player--in fact. I am sure he has been noticed by many contending teams.

My Main Man!! Ryan Church, at least over the past two games, seems to be waking from his slumber. Three hits, including two doubles during that time.

Tonight was the very first game started by Micah Bowie that Our Washington Nationals Lost. Hopefully, the drive off his shin by Yunel Escobar in the fourth inning will not set him back. His rough effort was bound to happen, he had done extremely well thus far, surprisingly. If he comes back strong next Monday against The Cubs at RFK, everyone will forget about this one.

Who would want to remember this game, anyway--unless you were an Atlanta Brave.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Gregory Smith


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice words about the braves, and best of luck to the Nats :). I was just gonna drop in and tell you, when you write new blog posts, go over to and post a link to your story, and hopefully get a few extra readers for your blog.

Anonymous said...

Tom Glavine is underrated? What??

Anonymous said...

We usually play the Braves tough, so this series was hard to take. However, someone was going to be playing those guys when they started their "regression to the mean" and came out of the slump they had been in. The Nats had the unfortunate luck to be that team. Oh well, hopefully we'll see better things in Pittsburgh this weekend.

JayB said...

Now would be a good time to sign the top draft picks.

Yes most teams take their time with this task. We are not most teams, they saved cash on the front end of this season, now it is needed to bring in some talent sooner than Aug 15 when it is to late so have any positive affect for 2007.

Jim H said...

I sense another period of extended futility. There is just too much impacting this team for them to continue performing in a manner that alleviated the earlier spirals.

These starters who were not supposed to be starters are just tapped out. Great work for the most part, but it's just too much to think it would continue.

Of course, nobody's gonna win with 0 runs. I'm split between the camp that says Zimmerman, Kearns and Lopez have no protection and those that insist that they should be the protection. I think nothing at the top of the lineup just doesn't start off the game with the proper amount of pressure on the opposition.

I hope the Nats find a future true leadoff hitter amongst the propects or trades they make. Chris over at Capitol Punishment reminds me it's not about this year. And he's right.

This team could still end up better than expected. But with the heat of July, the continued injuries, the flagging offense and the dog days of August - they could wilt as well. That doesn't mean I don't think they'll remain positive and play hard. It just may not be enough.

It'll be interesting to watch. Both on and off the field.

SenatorNat said...

Nats are now 134-188 since the 50-31 start in 2005, playing at a .415 clip, or so, probably equal to KC Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates in the respective leagues, I suspect. Probably will not win 71 games this year, either, as it appears that the team is tiring at the half-way mark, for good reason.

For the second half of 2007 to be an upbeat one going into next year, Z-Man (he needs a few days off) and Lopez have to raise their averages by 40 points each, and by some miracle, Alex Escobar has to have an angel or two on each shoulder permitting him to be healthy and play center. Then, throw in productive Nick Johnson, Shawn Hill, too.

Otherwise, this club just has NO PUNCH - consider this, too: Young and Belliard are due for slumps!!

2008: payroll no more than $68 million. Is is enough to get a good everyday centerfielder and a number 1 starter, plus a servicable 3-level starter, plus some bench help? Nats think so, but they have to lock-up Z-man and two-three others like Bergmann, in all probability, too, and the money goes fast...

Is Bow-Bow talking trade with ChiSox, involving one of the front-line starters and everyday player, dangling The Chief, The Church, and-or The Young? Or is that completely notional? {Any chance Snelling is going to wind-up being the player named later by Oakland in the latest minor league relief pitcher trade?}

Can a 68 wins season diminished 2008 season ticket sales by as many as 5,000 v. 72 or better?

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to read a good book about the Baves player development read a book called "Scouts Honor". It was written by a Braves' minor league announcer who used the Braves to counter the premisies of the book "Money Ball". You also see the roots of the Braves go though the Oriole system of the 60-70's.