Hey folks, sorry for the long vacation. I was on the road longer than I had planned. I was in San Francisco for the Western Economic Association conference, and spent some time in Atlanta (where I had the chance to bond with my father while putting a tarp on my parents’ house during hurricane Dennis). In San Fran I got to go to a Giants/Reds game, which was fantastic despite the teams involved. SBC park is amazing. It’s impossible not to watch the game in that park. But, can you believe there were no home runs in the game I went to?
I also went to the Braves first-half finale against the Brewers on Sunday with my dad. It was wet, but a lot more fun for both of us than what we went through during what will be henceforth known as “the tarp experience.” Now, let’s never speak of it again.
A few things have happened with the Braves since I’ve blogged. I have some comments.
- Brian Jordan is out of the lineup — Thank goodness. It was about time. Jordan has been nothing short of terrible. The next Yankee fan to complain about Jason Giambi obligates the Yankees to trade him for Jordan. Only then will you truly understand the meaning of aging slugger. I hope we have seen the last of BJ in a Braves uniform on the field. I really don’t care for him in the clubhouse either. I’m afraid in his spare time he might be able to restart his campaign to get Esix Snead on the team.
- The bad news is that Jeff Francoeur was called up. Bad news? Hey, he might be the next Dale Murphy, but the magic isn’t going to happen for him this year. I think if this is anything short of temporary—which is possible— it’s a bad move. Yes, I know he’s hit two home runs already, but I’m going to weight his 13 plate appearances in MLB a lot less than his 350 in Pearl, where he put up .275/.322/.487. That’s AA pitching folks. If he hit for a higher average, or walked more, I’d be a little less concerned, but I think his call-up will be a brief stop before going down to Richmond. And I’d like to see him start next year in AAA if he doesn’t get his OBP up—via average or walks, I don’t care which. If Jordan is gone, I would rather see Marte or an acquired veteran in the outfield right now. With the starting pitchers getting healthy, it might be time to move HoRam while his stock is up.
- Speaking of Marte, finally they’ve recalled him. He’s got nothing more to prove in AAA, putting up .283/.379/.504 in Richmond. Poor guy. There is no justice in the world when the top prospect in baseball can’t get regular at-bats in the big leagues when he’s proved he’s ready. It looked like his day was made when Chipper went down, but little did we know Wilson Betemit would actually start playing like the player he was supposed to be. Kelly Johnson has a monster season in AAA, and the Braves let him wait through a 1-30 slump to start putting up solid numbers with the big club. With almost no regularity in his playing time, and the always present threat of a demotion, Marte has got to be miserable. He’s gotten none of the leash given to Johnson (see how that worked out), which he has earned. I’ll tolerate a platoon with Langerhans if that’s what’s necessary to get him at-bats. Let him know he’s not going down and tell him to stop pressing. I watched him go 0-5 on Sunday. He had a homer robbed, a double robbed (about 2-feet shy of clearing the wall), a deep warning-track fly ball (I thought all three of these balls were gone when hit), plus he had a “hit” taken away by the scorer. But whatever happens, this is a special request to the Braves brass: PLEASE DO NOT SEND DOWN MARTE. Hang in there Andy, the hits will start falling soon.