Friday, January 16, 2009

My 2 Blogs: 2009 MLB Preview Edition - The Atlanta Braves

Not content with barraging their own respective audiences with dick jokery, the authors of Why's My Head Growing? and 3:10 To Joba are working together. The goal? To provide 30 team previews slathered in truth sauce and degrading humor. Yes, that is the world trembling. Previews will be posted on both sites. Wear a cup.

Today your author is AK-47, read him during the week here.




2008 Record: 72-90, 4th in the N.L. East
Last (17) Season(s) as an Allegory: You're an unstoppable athlete that was dominant at a very young age. The short-stop/best pitcher on your little league team, per se. This athletic ability carried over to high school. You played three sports and excelled in each of them. You even played a little college baseball and got drafted. Success was all you knew. But that's when things went wrong. You quickly found out that everyone around you is a step faster, and inch taller and a lot stronger. But you ignored such shortcomings and kept pressing, instead of learning another trade. Typing, accounting, whatever, it doesn't matter - just something to fall back on. But no, you kept trying until one spring training, the phone didn't ring. Then, you wake up twenty years later, and all you ever hear is the phone ringing...and that's because you're a pizza delivery boy at 43...Where was I going with this again? I blacked out.
Offseason Moves: Lost Hampton to the 'Stros, Glavine and Chuck James are free agents, and Smoltz signed with Red Sox (along with every other white, Christian FA). Sounds like they need some starters, right? Wrong. They signed Derek Lowe and Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami, and traded for Javier Vazquez (you remember him, the guy who LOVES pressure).


State of the Union:

Things are not good in Atlanta these days, and I'm loving every inning of it. My #1 arch enemy from childhood (aside from the Bulls and Pacers) has FINALLY "officially" fallen on hard times. They've finished below .500 in two of the past three seasons, and there's no Maddux/Smoltz/Glavine/Avery prospect bonanza waiting on the doorstep, arriving just in the nick of time to bail them out. A lot went wrong for them last year, including (but not limited to) getting virtually zero production from their entire outfield and having an astounding eleven pitchers carousel through their starting rotation. Most of this was due to injuries, but poor planning played a part. Jeff Francoeur's collapse didn't help matters, mostly because it was something not many people thought was possible. He played so poorly that team officials sent him down to the minors for three games, in the middle of the season, to help him get his swing right. Well that, and to get him out of the clubhouse. He was sitting around all day on the couches, eating fried chicken, spitting sunflowerseed shells on the carpet, and crying.

To boot, after they saw the handwriting on the wall and dealt Teixeira (who only hit .283 with 20 homers in his first 103 games for the Tribe - watch out for that slow start Yankee fans!) for Casey Kotchman, the latter shit the bed and gave them nothing to be excited about down the stretch. Starting to get the picture?


Outlook:

Their pitching is spotty, but could work out. We all know what kind of players Lowe and Vazquez are, Jurrjens was one of the lone bright spots on the team last year, new Asians are always fun, and they do have uber-prospect Tommy Hanson on the way. The careers of the two lone offensive bright spots on this team, Brian McCann and Chipper Jones, are moving in opposite directions. The former has recently established himself as one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, and the latter, while still formidable with a bat in his hand, has seen his defense decline dramatically, and is destined to hang up his cleats sooner rather than later. The rest of their offensive is a big fat question mark. Can Kotchman bounce back? Will the middle infielders Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson continue to progress, or have they already peaked? Just who exactly, is going to man the outfield?

We'll answer these questions and more next time on, "Who the F really cares about the Braves anyway?"


Projection:

Well, there's good news and there's bad news, and they're both the same thing: They're probably going to suck again next year. ZING!

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