Posts Tagged ‘Alex Gonzalez’

“I don’t know which is more discouraging, [the Braves’ defense] or Chickens.” –EB White

from the NY Post

Okay.

Maybe I took some creative liberties with that EB White quote (he was really talking about literature).

And maybe that wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be when I googled “discouraging quotes.”

And maybe I am just too lazy to get rid of what is becoming an introduction full of incessant rambling.

But one thing that is definitely not a “maybe” is that the Braves’ defense has entrenched itself in a deeper rut than their sometimes anemic offense has ever found itself in 2010.

With the boot-fest that was the opening game of a three-game set against the Astros, I decided to take the initiative to check out the box scores of the Braves’ month of August (nine games). What I found wasn’t pretty.

In those games the Braves have committed no errors only twice and have seen the following totals from the other games: one, two, one, two, two, two, and three errors.

Add that up, and it’s 13 errors in nine August contests.

Overall, the boys from Hotlanta are–in newspaper-box-score-style–(5-4) for the month.

In games with no errors, they are (2-0)–I’m continuing this theme throughout for the sake of “prettiness.”

With one error, they are (0-2).

And with two or more, miraculously, the Braves are (3-2).

Now, that might indicate that the Braves are alright with this shotty, at best, defense.

But, eventually, as with what happened in a 10-to-4 route at the hands of the Astros, the E’s are going to start catching up with the playoff-hopeful Braves.

Those one-run decisions are going to start swaying in favor of opponents more and more (for the record, the Braves are (16-17) in those types of games).

And these now-familiar comeback-kids will have fewer and fewer opportunities to work their magic.

There’s no one individual to point at, either. Troy Glaus has made his share of blunders.

Alex Gonzalez, despite quite a few spectacular efforts, has booted a grounder here and there.

Brian McCann has thrown a ball or two away.

And Chipper has mishandled a few hops at the hot corner.

And the other four regulars on the field haven’t exactly been flawless, themselves.

Now, that’s not to say it’s time to leap off the Braves’ bandwagon just yet (even with the surging Phils lurking).

After all, they have found a way to win a majority of these games–no matter how tiny that majority may be.

But some work has to be done with the leather if the Braves hope to win the “close ones” and surge at least somewhat comfortably into the postseason.

 

THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY: Karen Custom Cleaner (contact Cameron Britt for more information)

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from Zimbio.com

I’ve been on record as saying that I’m a Yunel sympathizer.

I’ve lauded his talent and said that his occasional lapses are just part of an incredible, high-upside, (overall) well-rounded Major League shortstop.

But you know what?

When I got this text from my friend: “Did you see that trade?”, and shimmied my way over to MLB Trade Rumors to be greeted by “Blue Jays Acquire Yunel Escobar…” I wasn’t nearly as torn up and angry as I would I have anticipated myself being when I started bracing for this news about a month ago.

And I think that’s because I’m as fed up with the Cuban import as some of his teammates are.
By selling low on the 27-year-old ball of talent, Frank Wren and the Braves got a guy in Alex Gonzalez that has an OBP of .296 in a career year (I’m being pessimistic with the stats for dramatic effect; his 17 homers and 25 doubles are pretty legit), a 5’7″, 20-year-old left-hander that’s striking out dudes at an incredible rate (15.3 K/9), and a burner from the middle of the infield that has a last name that’s almost impossible to spell (P-A-S-T-O-R-N-I-C-K-Y).

Oh, and in addition by subtraction, the Blue Jays (begrudgingly, I’d imagine) took on the dude that Jonny Venters ran out of town (Jo-Jo Reyes).

Honestly, considering the attitude and attempt to rip Troy Glaus’ hand off, that’s a pretty good haul for a guy that Bobby Cox hates (especially the whole Reyes part…that makes me giggle like a school girl).

Sure, Yunel has been unsustainably cold this year (posting a BABIP 46 points below his career mark of .316) and has shown that he is, when he’s clicking on all cylinders, one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball.

But, even though other Braves need some “adjustments” at times (see Brian McCann’s audible F-bombs after each strikeout), his place in an organization that prides itself on class both on and off the diamond seemed to be nonexistent.

Given time to reflect on his antics (now that he’s an “enemy”), it seems that it was less of Yunel “hating to lose ” (it’s one of two from July 10) and more of him being “hardheaded.”

The time came where his .812 OPS from 2009 (when he was the Braves’ MVP) simply couldn’t outweigh his protruding bottom lip when something didn’t exactly fall his way.

So long Yunel…I still love ya (in a man-crush manner) and wish you the best of luck with Cito Gaston’s Jays.

I’m just sort of glad now that your antics (which were once enjoyable) have moved on to another franchise.
Your a helluva talent…let’s just hope this wake-up call gets your career back to the All-Star status it once promised.

 

THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY: Karen Custom Cleaner (contact Cameron Britt for more information)