• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

Edgar Renteria hit two homers on Monday, putting him on pace for 344The Braves beat the Phillies on Monday in 10 innings, 5-3. You’d think it was game seven of the World Series.

Journalists from both towns are jumping to insane conclusions, based on that one game.

Let’s start in Atlanta, where AJC columnist Terrence Moore says the Braves have shown they are the team to beat this season:

Simply put, the Braves are back as the bogeymen of the division. They haven’t a glaring weakness, and they have more than a few strong points. They also have a chance to go 162-0 after resembling some of their forefathers by finding ways on Monday at Citizens Bank Park for a 5-3, 10th-inning victory over the supposedly improved Philadelphia Phillies.

Not to be outdone, Stephen A. Smith, who is usually so understated, wants GM Pat Gillick and team president Dave Montgomery to take responsibility for the Phillies 0-1 record:

How difficult can it be to make sure Ryan Howard gets his at-bats? For Jimmy Rollins to be patient at the plate and run the bases? For Chase Utley to remember he was signed for $85 million to produce? These aren’t hard tasks for Manuel.

It also should not be hard for Gillick to know he should get Howard some help in the lineup, especially if it’s at Burrell’s expense, and give Manuel something to work with in the bullpen.

Anything, actually.

“We love Charlie,” Howard said. “I think we all know he does a great job.”

What about those above Manuel? What kind of job are they doing?

Let’s try asking that for a change.

No, Stephen, how about instead we try taking a deep breath and waiting a month to see how things shake out?

The amazing thing about people who second guess the Phillies’ front office is that these were the same people who jumped up and down and clapped their hands when the Phils traded Johnny Estrada for Kevin Millwood. These folks were totally stoked when Philly signed Jim Thome, David Bell and Billy Wagner.

The fact is, the Phillies have barely missed the playoffs the last few years. We’re talking a handful  of games. That isn’t front office ineptitude, it’s a couple of ground balls that find their way through the infield. It’s couple of iffy strike calls from the umps.

The fact that people are jumping to conclusions one game into the season is insane. Isn’t that right, Terrence?

Suddenly, Philadelphia was blue. As in the Braves’ dominant colors. As in those lovely boo birds watching the Phillies already losing to the team to beat in the NL East this season.

Oh shut up, Terrence.

4 Responses to “We’ve played one game, now it’s time to overreact”

  1. It may be true that the Braves have no glaring weakness (despite the fact that I had no idea Kelly Johnson could play second base, let alone bat leadoff – and by the way, can we put an end to parents naming their sons Kelly?). But they also don’t have a laudable strength aside from their set-up men.

    On paper, the Braves have the 3rd best lineup in the NL East (and no, I do not rank the Nationals ahead of them). On paper, they have the third best starting rotation (behind the Phillies and Marlins). Their bullpen, although improved, has the fourth best closer in the division (hats off to the Marlins for forgetting to get one). I am a big fan of the Rafael Soriano acquisition, however, and think that he and Jon Rauch are the best set-up men. With Soriano and Mike Gonzalez, that’s a very strong 7th-8th inning bridge. But I don’t think that’s enough.

    Long story short, they still look like a third place team to me. But as they say, that’s why we play the games. But I think the NL East is a two-team race in 2007.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Paul, I believe Kelly was a boys’ name before it was a girls’ name. We ladies have a long history of stealing names from you men. This is a favorite topic of conversation between Nick and I at cocktail parties and such. Among these:

    Alexis, Allison, Ashley, Audrey, Beverly, Brook, Carol, Courtney, Dana, Ethel, Evelyn, Gail, Glenn, Haley, Hillary, Jocelyn, Kelly, Lauren, Leslie, Lindsey, Lynn, Marion, Meredith, Paige, Robin, Shannon, Shelley, Shirley, Stacy, Tracy, Vivian, and Whitney.

    No wonder so many boys are named Mike these days.

  3. Ethel? There was a man named Ethel?

    There has never been a good baseball player who had Kelly as a first name.

    Among those I can remember:

    Kelly Stinnett

    Kelly Schoppach

    Kelly Wunsch

    And the ironically named Kelly Mann.

    The closest we can come to a good baseball player here is Kelly Gruber.

    Am I missing anyone? Suggestions?

  4. Nick Kapur says:

    Extremely little known fact: Bobby Abreu’s middle name is Kelly!

    Possibly even less known fact than that: “Ethel” literally means “prince” in Old English, which is why it makes no sense for a woman to ever be named that.

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