Topic: Atlanta Braves
Clarksville, TN – Yeah it sucks.
No matter what happens in the future, this much is irrefutable: the Atlanta Braves traded the best defensive player—not shortstop, not infielder, player—since Ozzie Smith, as he was reaching his prime, for wishes. Maybe those wishes can be granted and maybe they can’t; that’s for the genie and the Braves minor-league instructors to sort out.
Two years ago, Braves fans could say unequivocally, regardless of how good or bad the team as a whole was playing, that they could watch Andrelton Simmons play shortstop like a god and Craig Kimbrel be the best closer in the world. And we got to do that all the time. Now we don’t, and it sucks.
Clarksville, TN – The 2015 regular season has whimpered to a close. Let’s hand out some fake awards for an Atlanta Braves season that was all too real.
The Jermaine Dye Award for best season by a former Brave: This seems like one of those insanely stacked categories like the 1994 Best Picture Oscar nominees. In fact, lets draw some half-cocked parallels between baseball players and 20-year old movies!
Forrest Gump: Gets all the headlines and maybe (maybe!) it’s not the best, only everyone gets irrationally mad at you for suggesting that? Oh, this is so Justin Upton.
Four Weddings and a Funeral: Everybody always seems to forget about this movie… kinda like everyone forgets that Mark Teixeira used to play for the Braves.
Clarksville, TN – The National League East has been a wonderful dumpster fire in 2015, which has been nice for a number of reasons. For one, that the Mets, Major League Baseball’s laughingstock for the past half-decade, not only won the division handily but were the only team that any casual observer would reasonably conclude was run with something approaching competency—a team that was forced to pay a 52-year old man whose last big-league at-bat happened less than a year into George W. Bush’s first term $1.2 million on July 1st—will never not be the best.
But my favorite part has been that the Braves incompetence, which happened by design, pales in comparison to the unintentional bungling by the Marlins and Nationals, with the latter’s season from hell coming to a head last weekend when sentient sack of Quikrete Jonathan Papelbon attempted to do bodily harm to Bryce Harper, who happens to be the best player in the National League.
Clarksville, TN – It’s easy to fly under the radar when you play on a team hell-bent on losing 100 games. The talented players tend to get the benefit of the doubt—Shelby Miller didn’t pitch perfectly in every one of those starts he was unable to win, just most of them, but you wouldn’t know that from listening to Chip and Joe—and the…less…talented guys bear the brunt of the blame (I can only imagine Fredi Gonzalez’s whole spiel to keep his job will be, “Whaddya want from me? I thought you were going to give me real ballplayers to coach.”)
Even so, I’m a little discouraged at Andrelton Simmons’ development.
(DEEEEEEP breaths, everybody. It’s not all bad, I promise. Andrelton Simmons is my favorite current Brave. Of course, he’s one of only like, three, that I recognize, but still, this is hard on me too.)
Instant Peay Play: APSU Governors baseball fans expectations should be high with Travis Janssen hire
Clarksville, TN – For the best part of the last 20 years Austin Peay State University’s baseball team has been at or near the top of the standings of the Ohio Valley Conference, so this past week’s announcement of the hiring of Travis Janssen as its new head coach should keep fans expectations high.
Since 1994 the baseball program has won 12 OVC titles, six regular-season championships (1994, 2003, 04, 07, 11, 12) and six OVC tournament titles (1996, 2005, 07, 11, 12, 13), which led to six NCAA tournament appearances and two regional final games.
Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Travis Janssen, who revived a Northeastern State (Oklahoma) program as head coach in between two stints as the top assistant at Jacksonville State, has been hired as Austin Peay State University’s new head baseball coach.
Janssen replaces Gary McClure, who resigned in August. The Manhattan, KS, native becomes APSU’s 11th head baseball coach but only second since 1988.
Clarksville, TN – We make a lot of fun of the New York Metropolitans in this space, but it’s time to acknowledge that the Mets are at least somewhat Amazin’ this season.
(That’s right, the Braves have been so terrible this year that I’ve resorted to the New York Mets to find some good in baseball. Also, scotch.)
With David Wright missing a large swath of the season, Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Uribe not showing up until midway through and a regular cast that includes people you’ve never heard of (Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares), thought to be retired (Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer) or terrible (Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda again), the Mets were supposed to be a year away.
Clarksville, TN – When Ken Rosenthal’s “scathing” report that Fredi Gonzalez has lost control of the Braves clubhouse broke on Tuesday, there were conflicting emotions.
On the one hand, Rosenthal swings a pretty large stick in the baseball story-breaking community; the phrase “@Ken_Rosenthal had it first” appears quite often during the trade deadline and around the Hot Stove. He’s become baseball’s answer to Adam Schefter—a guy with a mole in every front office or a willing voice in each clubhouse.
On the other hand, the seven-paragraph story did a lot of conclusion-drawing and not a lot of fact-revealing. Citing vaguely that he had “been hearing all season that players are frustrated with Gonzalez” is easy—I’ve literally no doubt whatsoever that there has been a lot of frustration with Fredi, especially in the second half and especially in the last month or so.
Clarksville, TN – As far back as I can remember, the Braves were fine. Nearly always good, occasionally great. Sure, there was that 2008 team that was underachieving and unfortunate and doesn’t bear any measure of discussion. But from the time I started paying attention to baseball, I could nearly always count on Atlanta being involved in meaningful games in August and September.
So 2015 will be slightly different.
Young 19-Year-Old Makes Impressive Debut For Nashville In Win
Tacoma, WA – Young Jesus Zambrano provided a welcomed spark during the second game of a doubleheader against Tacoma on Sunday night, making a strong debut and helping Nashville to an 8-4 win in the series finale.
It had been a tough series for the Nashville pitching staff going into Sunday’s series finale, but when the youthful Zambrano was called upon, he answered in a big way. Fresh off his 19th birthday just one week ago, the right-hander was promoted from the AZL A’s earlier in the day to make his first start above the Arizona League level in his brief three-year career. He did not disappoint.
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