Tag Archive | "Atlanta Braves"

I Really Don’t Know What to Say….


I’m still in shock from Friday nights games. I think it’s going to take me a while to find the words to describe what happened.

All I can say for now is:

Bad call but that’s not what cost us.

and

Where did they disappear to?

I’m really lost for words. More later after I wake up from this “dream”.

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Postseason Baseball – There’s Nothing Better


The end of the 2011 MLB season was a painful one for me. For the past 25+ years I have rooted for a pair of teams. One I fell in love with because they had a great power hitting outfielder and they were on TV every night of the week.

Yes, the Atlanta Braves. I have been a die hard fan since the mid-80s and the collapse last year was difficult to swallow. Seeing that great bullpen collapse at the end of the season was tough to watch.

The other team is the Texas Rangers. I grew up in Texas and old Arlington Stadium is where I got to see the few live games during my childhood. I remember it fondly, and I got to see some of the all-time greats there like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, and so many more.

They were the other team I could watch on TV, and I rooted for them in the AL for as long as I can remember.

So being 1 strike away from a World Series victory was a hard pill to swallow. Game 6 in 2011 reminded me all too much of Game 6 in 1991. Both were hard to watch, and honestly I am not sure I am over either one. I mean really what was Lonnie Smith doing?

Anyway, the 2012 season I am hoping for redemption. Both teams are in the playoffs even though they both might wind up as wild card teams depending on what happens with Texas and Oakland later. I’m okay with that.

Atlanta is playing really good ball this year in September, and I like their chances. Friday they get their chance at redemption in the one game playoff against the team that edged them out of the playoffs last year the St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas on the other hand is really struggling and after leading the AL West for most of the season it all comes down to 1 game in Oakland for the division title.

No matter what happens this year, it can’t be as bad as it was last year. That really tore my heart out. I’m excited about both teams chances. And if they happen to meet in the World Series by chance, I hope Atlanta sweeps ’em.

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Who Would Have Thought…..


Who would have thought…..

There are several of these this season so far. I think the biggest one is who would have thought the Baltimore Orioles would be this good?

Heading into tonight’s play, the Orioles are atop the AL East with a 27-15 record which is the best in the American League. Not only are they in first but the whole division seems to be turned upside down with the Yankees and Red Sox in 4th and 5th place.

There seems to be a surprise in just about every division.

AL Central

Who would have thought the Detroit Tigers would be under .500 and trailing not only the Cleveland Indians but the Chicago White Sox?

AL West

I think everyone though the Rangers would be at the top of the division, but who would have though the Angels would be bringing up the rear? They are 8 games out of first and 6 games under .500 already this season. Albert Pujols just hasn’t hit yet but they could easily turn it around. Maybe.

NL East

I think we thought the Washington Nationals would be good, but this good? They are trailing the Braves by a half game and have played really well this season. Perhaps the bigger surprise is the fall of the Phillies. So far they are in last place 5 games out and a game under  .500 but they have had a lot of big injuries.

NL Central

Not any huge surprises here. Cincinnati and St. Louis are tied for first, but Pittsburgh and Houston are next in the standings which might be the biggest surprise.

NL West

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball. Not sure anyone saw that coming with all the off the field issues they have had. They are hot of late (8-2 in last 10) and are almost unbeatable at home going 19-4.

I think the Orioles are the biggest surprise so far. I hope they can keep it up. It’s nice to see teams that haven’t won in a few years return to the top of the league. It’s time for some new blood in the playoffs.

What do you think is the biggest surprise so far?

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The Good Side of Baseball Fans


I have seen baseball in a lot of places, and have seen good and bad fans. However, the bad ones seem to stand out more than the good. I can understand fans that don’t like another team and/or player for that matter. I have a lot of teams I can’t root for. But the one thing I can’t stand is an ignorant fan.

I’ve seen lots of them, and I don’t think I am the most knowledgeable fan out there. But I have seen a few things in the past few days that has reminded me there are good knowledgeable fans out there.

First of all, Josh Hamilton had an amazing night in Baltimore. He did what only 15 other players before him had done which was hit 4 home runs in a single game. It’s an amazing feat. The thing that stood out the most, even more so than Hamilton’s historic night, was the fan’s reaction in Baltimore. Despite a player tearing up their team with long ball after long ball, the fans recognized the greatness in the feat and gave Hamilton a standing ovation. It was a thing of beauty.

Secondly, what happened next was a little more expected. Chipper Jones is making the rounds one last time having announced his retirement after the season. Each place he goes he is honored in one way or another. However, before the start of the first game Friday night another number 10 was honored as former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa’s number was retired.

Then as Chipper came to bat in the first inning, he received a standing ovation from the crowd. This isn’t a former Cardinals great making one last trip. It’s a player who has been a foe for many years, yet the fans in St. Louis still acknowledged the fact that this was his last trip through. This wouldn’t be the case for just any player, but they see the Hall of Fame worthiness of Chipper and what he has done for baseball in Atlanta. Some say that the Cardinals’ fans are the best in the game. To me this only reinforced that idea.

My hats off to the fans of Baltimore and St. Louis. It is nice to see there are some great fans out there when all too often all we hear about is the booing of fans.

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Why I Love MLB.tv


As you might expect, I love watching baseball. I grew up watching the Atlanta Braves on TBS most nights during the summer. When I got older I moved to the Dallas area and started watching the Texas Rangers about as often. However, when I moved to South Korea there wasn’t anyway to keep up with the nightly games on local TV.

I could watch the KBO (Korean professional baseball), but I work nights and miss most of the games except on weekends. Luckily for me there is MLB.tv.

I don’t know what I would do without it. My first 2 years here I tried to do without it which was just plain stupid looking back. I would catch the occasional game online. But I mostly watched highlights and just the postseason. Occasionally I would buy a month of MLB.tv and watch games. This year I decided to go with the whole year package.

And I couldn’t be happier. I work afternoons and nights here which makes it perfect for watching games back home. A 7pm game on the east coast comes on here at 8am. So my day consists of getting up in the morning, making breakfast, and turning on baseball. It’s great.

Right now it is 11am locally and I am watching the Rangers/Yankees game as Yu Darvish is pitching a shutout in the 7th inning. Here in a few minutes I’ll turn on the Braves game and watch it until I have to go to work at 1:30. It’s a great life.

Not only can I watch any game I want any day of the week, but I can choose the home or away broadcast. Normally I would watch the broadcast of my favorite team, the Braves or Rangers. But today I am watching the Braves and the Dodgers and its a cardinal sin of baseball not to listen to Vin Scully.

If you travel or live overseas, you have to make it a priority to check out MLB.tv. It is the greatest thing for me living in Korea since here there are no blackouts.

Now back to the games.

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I Plan to Watch 100+ Baseball Games this Year


One of my goals this year is to watch more baseball. I got away from watching last year and only saw a handful of games, and to tell you the truth I missed it.

I have it made here in Korea where I can watch games in the morning before going to work. A typical Braves game comes on at 8am here and a Rangers game usually 9am. This is perfect timing since I don’t go to work until 1:30. The problem for me has always been simply getting up in the morning since I used to stay up very late, think 3am or later.

I’ve changed this year though. I am up earlier to watch games and blog (you can read my Braves only blog at Braves Baseball World), and it has been a lot of fun.

My goal is to watch 100+ games this year. That includes all the game I hope to go to live as well as just a lot of games on TV. I’ll miss most of the games in August when we work in the mornings, but until then and after I plan on watching a lot of baseball.

Plus I have plans to hit up every ballpark again in Korea. This time I’ll be bringing my video camera. I hope to see some of the minor league games here too. They call it the Future League or Second Division. Not to mention some games my friends play in in an adult league, and hopefully some college and high school games.

I’ve watched every Braves game so far this year, as well as Yu Darvish’s first start. I plan to watch a lot of him as well. He’s the most exciting thing to come through Arlington in a long time. I’ll watch more Braves games than anything, but when the Rangers and Angels play, I’ll be watching. That match up is getting heated and I can’t wait for them to square off.

It’s just going to be a huge year for me and baseball. I plan to write a lot, film a lot, and take a ton of pictures. I fell happiest when I am working on anything baseball related. I’ve even tossed around the idea of writing a book, but I haven’t put my finger on the right topic just yet.

So I am about 5 games into my goal of 100. It’s gonna be a fun ride.

I wonder what the record for most games watched in a season is, at least as far as live games goes. I saw the other day where someone set a record by seeing all 30 MLB stadiums in something like 20 days. That’s impressive. I wonder just how many MLB and MiLB games one could take in in a season. That could be a fun challenge.

What do you think?

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This is a Great Time of Year – Baseball is Back


The baseball season is upon us, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was needing this distraction.

I’m really looking forward to the Braves and Rangers seasons. I’ll be blogging about the Braves, my all-time favorite team, at a new site, Braves Baseball World (I’m just getting it up and going – should be finished soon).

I’m looking forward to watching a lot of Rangers as well, but not because I think they will win the World Series. But mainly because of the intense rivalry with the hated Angels this year.  It hasn’t been this exciting since Vincente Padilla pitched for the Rangers and loved starting bench clearing brawls by throwing at hitters.

C.J. Wilson is now an Angel, and has already started heating things up by Tweeting Mike Napoli’s phone number. Sure he may have played it off as a joke or accident, but nobody really thinks so. He can be a douche that way. I look forward to the games when he pitches. Not that it will be easy. He is a solid pitcher.

Then add in that the Angels signed Albert Pujols, and you have the makings of a really good pennant race. And let’s be honest, there is nothing better in baseball than a good pennant race. This one could go down to the final day of the season. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go.

I’m am really anxious to see Yu Darvish pitch as well. I watched him a bit during the spring games, but nothing is like regular season competition. I’ll be tuned in with millions of others in Asia watching his first game against Ichiro and the Mariners on Monday night.

There are a lot of other interesting teams this year too. Washington could do some damage in the NL and Toronto could make it a four team race in the NL East.

I love this time of year.

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2012 MLB Predictions


The 2012 MLB season starts in less than 24 hours for most teams. With the rosters set, I’d thought I’d take a stab at who will win what this year. I probably won’t get close, but it’s always fun to predict and see how far off you came.

NL East – You can see a more detailed explanation here.
1.Philadelphia Phillies 96-66
2.Atlanta Braves 90-72
3. Washington Nationals 87-75
4. Miami Marlins 72-90
5. New York Mets 68-94

NL West
1. Arizona Diamondbacks 91-71
2. Los Angeles Dodgers 85-77
3. San Francisco Giants 80-82
4. Colorado Rockies 80-82
5. San Diego Padres 65-97

NL Central
1. Cincinnati Reds 90-72
2. St. Louis Cardinals 87-75
3. Milwaukee Brewers 84-78
4. Pittsburgh Pirates 76-86
5. Chicago Cubs 75-87
6. Houston Astros 61-101

AL East
1. New York Yankees 97-65
2. Tampa Bay Rays 91-71
3. Boston Red Sox 85-79
4. Toronto Blue Jays 82-82
5. Baltimore Orioles 70-92

AL West
1. Texas Rangers 95-67
2. Anaheim Angels 90-72
3. Seattle Mariners 84-78
4. Oakland A’s 70-92

AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers 98-64
2. Cleveland Indians 85-77
3. Kansas City Royals 84-78
4. Chicago WhiteSox 68-94
5. Minnesota Twins 65-97

Playoffs

NL WC Playoff Atlanta def St. Louis

NLDS Philadelphia def Atlanta 3-1

NLDS Arizona def Cincinnati 3-1

NLCS Arizona def Philadelphia 4-2

AL WC Tampa Bay def Anaheim

ALDS Tampa Bay def Detroit 3-2

ALDS Texas def New York 3-1

ALCS Texas def Tampa Bay 4-2

2012 World Series Texas Rangers def Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0

I just have the feeling the Rangers will be back with a vengeance this year and will accomplish what they have never done before. Who knows what will happen, but I know it will be fun watching it all unfold.

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Way Back Wednesday: What Is Your Best Sports Year?


Have you ever thought about what was the best year in sports for your favorite teams? This goes beyond baseball but of course the basis of the decision is due to baseball. Easily my best sports year was 1995.

There are a lot of reasons why this was my best sports year, but the number 1 reason is the Fall Classic. I can still see Carlos Baerga’s fly ball landing in Marquis Grissom’s glove in center field to give Atlanta its first and only title.

MLB Baseball

In 1994 the world of baseball was rocked by the strike and the loss of the World Series. The Braves came back strong in 1995 winning the pennant. It was the first year of the Wild Card in baseball, and the Braves sent the young Colorado Rockies home early before sweeping Cincinnati in the NLCS.

The greatest game of the season and one of the best pitched World Series games of all-time came in Game 6. Tom Glavine pitched 8 innings of 1 hit ball, and David Justice hit a solo home run in the 6th inning off of Jim Poole for the lone run of the game. The Indians had a vaunted offense led by Albert Belle, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramirez but the Braves rotation of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery was too much for the Tribe.

Another big thing to happen in 1995 was Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. I can remember watching that game on ESPN, and I still can recall the “victory lap” he took after breaking the record.

NCAA Baseball

The College World Series was a lot of fun to watch with the Cal State Fullerton Titans slugged its way to the championship behind their MVP Mark Kotsay. Some notable names that we got to see in the series were J.D. Drew (Florida St.), Billy Koch (Clemson), Todd Helton (Tennessee), Alex Cora (Miami), and Geoff Jenkins (USC).

NFL

Even though they wouldn’t win the Super Bowl until 1996, the Dallas Cowboys were the best team in the NFL in 1995. They won the NFC East and went 12-4 on the year while they were on their way to winning their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years. It was a great year for Troy Aikman and the gang.

Tennis

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominated the year in Tennis. They had a great rivalry and they were always fun to watch. Agassi won the Australian Open and Sampras won the US Open and Wimbledon.

NBA

With Michael Jordan playing baseball for most of the regular season, the Houston Rockets won their 2nd straight title defeating Shaquille O’Neil and the Orlando Magic 4 games to 0.

So overall it wasn’t a complete sweep in every sport for my favorite teams, but in the 2 biggest that I follow it was. My favorite MLB team the Atlanta Braves won their 1st title, and my favorite NFL team the Dallas Cowboys were the best all year long and would eventually win the Super Bowl. Other sports could have been better like college football. I hate Nebraska and they would win another title. However, overall this was a great year for sports in my life.

So what was your best sports year?

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And Then There Was One…..Game Left That Is


And we were down to one.  After 161 games, the Atlanta Braves and the hated (at least by this blogger) St. Louis Cardinals are tied with a single game to go.

So what will happen over the next 24-48 hours? Whatever it is, it will be fun to watch.

What looks good for Atlanta:

1. Tim Hudson is starting in game 162. Hudson has been the best pitcher for the Braves all year, and if the Braves could have 1 pitcher to throw in an important game it would be him.

2. Joe Blanton is starting for Philly. Not that Blanton is a pushover, but he isn’t exactly Cole Hamels (who was slated to start). Blanton is coming out of the bullpen to replace Hamels as the Phillies start to get their rotation in order.

3. Some Philly starters might get a rest. They may not get the entire game off, but there is a possibility that they are pulled early and/or some bullpen pitchers will not be used in order to give them a rest. This is all up in the air and may be game situation type moves, but they could go in the favor of the Braves.

What looks good for St. Louis:

1. First and maybe foremost, they are playing the Astros. Despite the fact the Astros could play spoilers to a division rival, they have still lost 100+ games.

2. The Cardinals have Chris Carpenter starting in a huge game. The numbers might not tell it, but Carpenter is a big game pitcher. His ERA and WHIP are a bit higher than normal maybe, but if I am a Cards fan I want him pitching in a big game.

Whatever happens tomorrow, the one thing I don’t want is a game 163. The Braves just don’t have the starting pitching, outside of Hudson, to really compete in a do-or-die situation. But in a game like that you never know what might happen.

I know I’ll be up early tomorrow to watch the games. The Braves start just after 8am local time for me. You can catch me on Twitter at @BaseballJourney talking baseball and either getting really excited or angry in the process. Say hey if you are on during the game.

 

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New Era (eFashion Solutions)

Quote of the Month

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

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