Freddi G – Pros & Cons

Here is my take on Freddi G’s first year as Braves manager, and some thoughts on what he’s done. Pros 1. Playing The Hot HandJose Constanza has 8 games with 2 or more hits and owns a robust .377 batting average since being inserted into the lineup; his speed adds another dimension that definitely benefits the offense. Major League teams have to adjust the way they play defense against the Bravos on a nightly basis and this new found run aggression has added an element that was non-existent with Bobby as manager. 2. Benching Jason HeywardJason Heyward has always been a bit over-rated since being called up and I still really like his game and his upside, but the Braves aren’t the Royals anymore… we aren’t playing for next year. This club has all the tools to make a run at the World Series NOW and Freddi knows this after managing his club for 100+ games. The organization can’t wait for Jason to figure his game out now, in this situation, and Freddi has done a fine job knowing when to play and when to sit J-Hey. #6 played ‘The Natural’ day in and day out without worrying about the box score, and these Braves need hits- not feel good lineups. 3. Posting The Best Line-UpFreddi has a lot of guts for making several moves that needed to be made, FINALLY moving McCann into the 3 spot; a spot that was pre-printed as C. Jones when Bobby wrote his lineup card. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chipper had to pay a property tax on the 3 hole because that baby has been mortgaged for the past decade; rightfully so- up until the past 2 years. Gonzalez also made a nice move by hitting Constanza 9th for a few games; it was a smart and gutsy moved that gave the Braves a spark of success for a while. I admire the way he moves the lineup around, constantly trying to fit the pieces together. When Uggla has played bad he’s hitting 7th; when he’s played good he’s hitting clean-up. 4. Making The MoveI like how Freddi doesn’t keep hesitate to move guys in and out; he doesn’t act like Cox in the fact that he’s not seeing Kawakami make 10 starts before he realizes he’s horrible. He has shown confidence in calling up some young rookies that have done well, not traded away the future for Pence (he does have some say in trades), and gotten rid of most of the Proctor-types that have plagued the team this year. Bobby always loved the vets, but I don’t see Freddi keeping Keith Lockhart clones around long. Cons 1. Post Game InterviewsOK, this one’s a little nit-picky, but please save us the Bobby Cox post games comments about how everyone is playing well, hitting the ball well (but not getting hits), grinding it out or working hard. It’s ok to criticize a player or just not love on everyone all the time. 2. Juliwho?Why is Julio Lugo in a Major League jersey? What does he bring to the table? I’m not sure, but I think we can find someone to play mediocre defense; I don’t think many teammates are feeding off his glowing veteran leadership. This dude should be selling insurance somewhere. *In conclusion, I think Freddi has done a fine job overall in his first year as Braves manager; looking forward to a few nice runs at another elusive ATL championship in the next 10 years.

Apple Addiction

The iPhone 5 is already releasing this year in September, can’t believe they have already had 5 iPhones… I’m sure I will try to pick one up when it releases. I have a the disease; these are the iPhones & iPods I have had in my lifetime: (#1) 1st Generation; 5 GB December 2001 (Mechanical Scroll Wheel) Got the first iPod ever for Xmas 2001; at the time it was only available for Mac users. At first most of my friends thought the idea of an iPod was dumb (who needs that many songs? I have a CD player that’s all anyone needs. Lol) 320 million have been sold worldwide since then, enough for EVERYONE in the US to each have one (everyone does right?). “Ah if they don’t have an iPod by now they really don’t want one” – Phyllis from The Office (#2) 3rd Generation (classic), 10 GB May 2003 (Ugly 4 Button Top) Upgraded to the ugliest iPod they ever made in my opinion; those 4 buttons at the top were horrible. This one just stopped working less than a year later and wasn’t covered in my warranty. (#3) 4th Generation (classic), 30 GB January 2004 (iPod Photo) Early birthday present that I got with a very nice plug-in for my car stereo. Went to a basketball game, locked doors but forgot to roll up passenger window.. stolen the first day I had it; one of the worst days ever. (#4) 1st Generation iPod Mini, 4 GB January 2005 Cool little iPod, this was the one I believe that sparked the mania; mine was stolen at a party my junior year. (#5) 1st Generation iPod Shuffle, 512 MB March 2005 I never liked this one, (or any shuffle models) got it mostly because I liked the commercial, lol. (#6) 5th Generation (classic), 30 GB November 2007 Got it just for my car plug in; traded a really old Mac computer for it to a guy on Craigslist. (#7) 1st Generation iPhone (Original), 4 GB January 2008 Waited a few months and finally got the first iPhone, really liked the fact that you set it up by yourself at home; I hated waited at AT&T to do anything because it takes sooo long. I sold it to a guy in Ireland a few months later for almost $700. (#8) 2nd Generation iPhone (3G), White 16 GB July 2008 Waited in line the night it launched, was 4th in line at 2:00am (corp. stores opened at 9). About a year later I was working at Park & Rec and stupidly left it on the scorer’s table; it got stolen while I was cleaning up. (#9) 3rd Generation iPhone (3GS), Black 8 GB November 2009 Got the black 3GS refurbished on the ATT website; white one looks cooler-black stayed MUCH cleaner. (#10) 6th Generation (classic), 120 GB June 2010 Again, just mainly for car plug-in and computer backup; sold only a few months later for iPhone 4. (#11) 4th Generation iPhone (iPhone 4), Black 16 GB August 2010 Said I wouldn’t get it, but did anyway… tried to get rid of it once but couldn’t imagine not having an iPhone now…  

The MLB vs. The NBA

Noticed this the other day and thought it was pretty interesting; in the past 10 years only 1 MLB team has one the World Series more than once. The Boston Red Sox in 2004/2007. I love this trend because it gives almost every team “hope” that they can win it all. The List:2010    San Francisco Giants2009    New York Yankees2008    Philadelphia Phillies2007    Boston Red Sox2006    St. Louis Cardinals2005    Chicago White Sox2004    Boston Red Sox2003    Florida Marlins2002    Anaheim Angels2001    Arizona Diamondbacks The NBA is the total opposite. For example; the Western Conference champion has been one of 3 teams, the Mavericks, Spurs or Lakers since 1999, 13 YEARS! 1999     San Antonio Spurs2000     Los Angeles Lakers2001     Los Angeles Lakers2002     Los Angeles Lakers2003     San Antonio Spurs2004     Los Angeles Lakers2005     San Antonio Spurs2006     Dallas Mavericks2007     San Antonio Spurs2008     Los Angeles Lakers2009     Los Angeles Lakers2010     Los Angeles Lakers2011     Dallas Mavericks In the past 28 years (since 1984) only 8 teams have won an NBA Championship; half of those coming from 2 teams: Los Angeles Lakers (8)Chicago Bulls (6)San Antonio Spurs (4)Boston Celtics (3)Detroit Pistons (3)Houston Rockets (2)Miami Heat (1)Dallas Mavericks (1) The Atlanta Hawks have a pretty good team, but it would be a complete shocker if they were to get past the Celtics or Heat. I know that, they know that and that’s just the way it is.

Braves Ratings

My random Braves video game and likability ratings, put down the number that first popped in my head without going back and looking at how I rated others. I wanted to go back and change a few but left it anyway. The photo on the right in the Braves projected 2014 lineup according to Baseball America (FYI-they published this towards the beginning of the season), my first thought was hmmm… we will be in great shape if JJ is the FIFTH starter! Finally, a quick note on a sad Milwaukee fan (my father lol), OWNED in a quick email debate.

Michael Bourn Acquisition

As you know, The Atlanta Braves made a solid trade right before the trade deadline, absolutely fleecing the Astros by acquiring one of the premier defensive center fielders in the game. Michael Bourn is having a career year and is one of the top speed threats in the MLB. The Braves sent over a few players that would be blocked anyway; and an average player in Jordan Schafer. ESPN and other media sources are calling this a steal for the Braves; and the Phils fans are going nuts. Phillies fans are the most defensive, insecure fans in baseball hands down. They are so worried about everything the Braves do and if any writer happens to say something good about them they fuss and pout and say… We are better, we are in first, we have double the payroll they do…boo hoo :/ I’m a die hard Braves fan, but hands down the Phillies are the best team in baseball… if Philly fans didn’t have such a massive seniority complex- they might not feel so bad about saying the Braves are right there behind them. There fans all want to turn on espn and hear “Phillies are the best, everyone else sucks and no one else has a chance” Their parents obviously didn’t love them enough. Seriously though, you can spin the Schafer thing however you want to Astros fans… I wanted Schafer to do well in Atlanta as much as anyone; but you could tell he wasn’t going to be anything major. So many Braves players have came through the system just like him and you can spot them from a mile away; Blanco, B. Jones, Langerhans, Diaz, Kotsay, Cabrera, Ankiel, Francoeur, Anderson, Church… you could go forever. Just average at best outfielders who aren’t coveted by any team. Atlanta had a solid outfield since C. Jones, A. Jones & Sheffield. I know a very good source with the Braves and he told me that the front office didn’t consider Schafer to be an everyday player anymore and didn’t see them making any long term commitment to him in CF; he has been a total bust since the HGH suspension. JS was once projected to hit 20HR/.300 AVG; hit .201 and was caught stealing 8 out of 17 tries in AAA, so he got sent to AA where he hit .175. Lineup CF Bourn 1B Freeman C McCann 3B Jones 2B Uggla RF Heyward 2B Prado SS Gonzalez The gives the Braves a few things, finally some consistency in CF, the chance to sit McClouth and finally maybe a little rest/support for our already solid bullpen. Things are looking good for Wren & the Braves.