Everything In Its Place Much Like Things Being Put Into Perspective …………..
Well now that the Dan Uggla hitting streak is over perhaps the furor over the streak and what it represented can now be put to rest . The player and his teammates on the Atlanta Braves have pretty much spent the greater part of the season trying to play catchup to the Philadelphia Phillies within the NL East . And as much as I’ve admired the player’s 33 game hit streak the greater good for the team and organization is for them attain a postseason berth .
Slideshow for your perusal .
The Altanta Braves currently sit some 9 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies within the NL East but they do hold the wildcard berth lead amongst the NL contenders. That lead at present is four games over the rapidly descending San Francisco Giants whose own problems of late have come about from poor play with the pitching but also from the lack of productivity with the team’s offense . And this certainly has to be a real cause for concern for manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff . As defending champions and often seen as perhaps having the best chance of any team in recent years with the thought of successfully defending their World Series title . But it has been the team’s inconsistency to play at a high level over their last 12 games that has simply brought about this collapse .
For Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves’ coaching staff the intent is to ingrain it into the players that there’s still a great deal to play for over the remainder of this season . The falloff in the play of Jair Jurrjens was to be expected as I’ve always felt that as a pitcher he tends to succumb to fatigue in the latter part of the year . And from a team standpoint his travails of late have also mirrored the team’s own failings . Certainly the pitching has come into question from in terms of the increase in the overall ERA . And with regard to the team offense , well there too the problems have arisen .
Atlanta Braves’ Martin Prado reacts as he scores the winning run on a Freddie Freeman base hit in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 in Atlanta. Atlanta won 5-4. AP Photo/John Bazemore …….
Coming into this season I certainly didn’t know what to expect , as I sought a new team with which to cast my loyalties . I had completely abandoned the Florida Marlins as I no longer felt that team owner Jeffrey Loria and the entire front office could be trusted to be entirely truthful in any aspect whatsoever as it relates to the organization. And as to be expected the odious lame ass politicians within the greater Miami area like lap dogs , having completely bought into the rhetoric and bullshit that the owner was selling . So much so that the city of Miami already with a burgeoning deficit is been willing to pay in large part for a new facility for the team with an assist also coming from the state legislature in Florida. But somehow in the midst of this all Loria hasn’t had to make an outlay out of his own pocket in the building of this new stadium , which will be at the team’s disposal in 2012.
Much has been made about the travails within baseball and the mere fact that a number of teams around the league have their own financial worries. Perhaps none more so at present than the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets . But it would be remiss to think that these two teams that are the only ones actually on a precipice waiting to be pushed. Unfortunately , Bud Selig along with the MLB hierarchy and team owners would rather have the fans believe that all is well within the game. If anything , Selig would simply point to the divisional races that are heating up around the league rather than face the reality of what is actually happening within his midst . His handling of the Dodgers’ financial failures and the very fact that in some respects he suborned the actions of Frank McCourt and the front office executives only further enhances the sheer stupidity and lack of foresight coming from within the commissioner’s office.
The season itself for the Atlanta Braves in the advent of Bobby Cox’s retirement brought about not only the end of an era but in some respects the change needed if this organization was to take the necessary steps forward. GM Fran Wren along with the front office , the coaches and scouting directors led by Kurt Kemp and Tony De Macio have seen fit to replenish this Braves’ organization with the talent prerequisite to take this team forward for years to come . The draft choices made also by Wren and the staff have been fortuitous over the years but as with any organization you can sometimes let one or two gems simply slip from within one’s grasp. At the minor league level the organization is well represented Brandon Drury , Lucas La Point , Edward Salcedo , Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado will no doubt have something to offer the Atlanta Braves at some point in the future .
As the season approaches its final months the Braves face a number of series that they will no doubt inevitably have to be playing their very best baseball. They start a four game series against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia , before then taking on the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks in a three game set at home once again . These seven games are of the utmost importance to the Atlanta Braves as they seek to widen the margin between themselves and their nearest rivals for the wildcard and further erase the deficit they have against the Philadelphia Phillies.
It is at this time of the baseball calendar year where we tend to see the real separation that takes place between what we deem to be the contenders and pretenders in terms the precursor in the run-up to the postseason . And it could very well be that some divisions and the wildcard races might not reach a conclusion until the final day of the regular season. I am of the opinion that anything that the Atlanta Braves can do to make it a foregone conclusion that they will be the wildcard entrant before then would be to my complete and utter satisfaction ! This is where I would expect the veterans such as Chipper Jones , Uggla , Derek Lowe , Alex Gonzalez and Brooks Conrad to set the example for the younger players on this team . Players such as Jason Heyward , Craig Kimbrel and Tommy Hanson can profit greatly from the knowledge that will be proffered up by these seasoned veterans.
As an Atlanta Braves’ fan I would certainly like to see how far this team can go should they make the postseason ! The Philadelphia Phillies may well be deemed as the prohibitive favorites for the NLCS pennant . But I have always maintained that merely because you’re the presumed winner , the games themselves have to played before a victor can be decided upon . And that is what we will certainly be finding out once the postseason comes into being . It makes for an interesting scenario all round for those at the center of the events in question .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the ongoing divisional races now happening within baseball at present ? And which team if anything has been a complete surprise to you in terms of their play be it competitive or otherwise ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece .
Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com
Contact – tophatal …………….. via Facebook or Twitter
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) ATLANTA – AUGUST 15: Freddie Freeman (5) of the Atlanta Braves is interviewed after knocking in the game-winning run against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field on August 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves would go on to defeat the Giants 5-4 . Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……
(2) Brian Wilson (38) of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …..
(3) Freddie Freeman (5) of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated by Alex Gonzalez (2) after knocking in the game-winning run against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field on August 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …….
(4) Atlanta Braves’ Martin Prado reacts as he scores the winning run on a Freddie Freeman base hit in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 in Atlanta. Atlanta won 5-4. AP Photo/John Bazemore …….
(5) Dan Uggla (26) of the Atlanta Braves throws out a runner against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field on August 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ………..
(6) Aubrey Huff (17) of the San Francisco Giants scores on a sacrifice fly against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……..
Team DL as of 15th August 2011
Atlanta Braves team stats cumulative