The Savannah Morning news ran a story this morning with the headline, “Opportunity knocks on Braves door for next ten days.” That’s because, beginning today, the Braves play ten games in a row against teams with losing records.
The Braves kick off their run against the Cubs. Actually, they’re playing right now. And it’s a real dog fight (sans Michael Vick).
The AJC ran a story suggesting that the Braves should be looking forward to the Cubs series, since the Cubs are going through some tough times now. But the truth is, the Cubs should be glad to be playing the Braves this weekend. John Smoltz is going to miss his next start with a finger injury and Chipper Jones just went on the DL with hurt hands. For those of you keeping score at home, that means the Bravos will be without their best starter, best hitter and best reliever, since Mike Gonzalez is out for the year following elbow surgery.
These are tough times, indeed, for Atlanta. And unfortunately, there is no help on the way. This morning, AJC columnist Mark Bradley reports that Braves president Terry McGuirk says the team’s new owners, Liberty Media, don’t plan to open their wallets to pay for any expensive players the team might acquire in a trade.
The best line from Bradley’s column was this:
Besides, [McGuirk] sees nothing unduly ominous about the doings of May:“If not for two injuries [Mike Hampton and Lance Cormier], we’d probably be in first place by a couple of games.”
Really, Terry? First of all, Lance Cormier is hardly the second coming of Greg Maddux. So if you’re telling me he’s the difference between winning and losing 7 games, then you’re on crack. And as for Hampton, did anybody really seriously expect that he was going to pitch? I mean, I know folks around Atlanta were hopeful, but I don’t think anybody was putting any money on it.
I’m sorry, but if the Braves fall out of contention and try to blame it on Hampton and Cormier, that’s sad. Blame it on Andruw! He’s been a complete turd.
The Phillies have lost the top two members of what was already a paper thin bullpen, plus Ryan Howard missed two weeks with what was vaguely called a quad injury. The Mets have been without El Duque and Moises Alou. These things happen. Cry me a river, McGuirk.