Why I Can’t Wait for the New Season

As Spring Training games continue, I can’t help but wonder what this
season will bring. So many surprises, so many new players, so much fun
awaiting. The Braves are opening the season again this year, meaning I
don’t have to wait as long as the majority of you do for your team to
play. I really can’t wait. There are so many reasons why.

  • The Braves Restructured Their Pitching Staff

After SO MANY
bad injuries last year, we decided to find guys who can stay healthy
and really help out our team. We lost out on AJ Burnett, Mike Hampton,
Junichi Tazawa, and John Smoltz. Smoltz really hurt since he was an
icon for the Braves and was much loved here in Atlanta.  AJ Burnett and
Mike Hampton didn’t really matter much since they spend more time on
the DL than they do on the field. Tazawa wasn’t too important since he
was probably one from actually playing. We did happen to land Dodger’s
star pitcher Derek Lowe, workhorse Javier Vazquez, highly rated
Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, and some bullpen help in Boone Logan
and Eric O’Flaherty. We also got to retain Tom Glavine. It is a totally
different pitching staff.

  https://i2.wp.com/superbaseballfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dereklowe.jpg

  • There is More Experience in the Players

We
had many players like Jurrjens, Morton, Campillo, Blanco, Jones, and
Sammons who had little to no Major League experience. Because of all
the injuries, some of them got rushed into the spotlight. Jurrjens and
Campillo seem to be the most likely out of that list that will start on
the opening day roster, and they also have a chance to be much better
than they were last year. They were both great until they got tired of
all the starts. They will know more of what to expect in the Majors
than they did last year as rookies. There will be many rookies this
year that are looking to get some playing time sometime during the
season like Tommy Hanson, Jordan Schafer, and Jeff Locke. It should be
fun watching them play for the Braves and learning from some of the
best players and one of the best managers in the game.
 https://i1.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/2697078733_226c9ce2ca.jpg

  • I Get to Watch a Healthier Team

The
injuries were SO bad last year that it wasn’t funny. We are lucky to
have finished with the record we did considering we had 1 of our
opening day pitchers stay healthy and had many injuries with our
bullpen and field players. Chipper spent some time on the DL, same with
Kotsay, McCann, Escobar, and Diaz. Our 3 possible closers were all the
DL (Soriano, Gonzalez, and Moylan). We had no depth. We gave up after
we dealt Teixeira and Kotsay to contenders. It was hard to watch.
We Have a Very Good Chance at Going to the Playoffs For the First Time Since ’05
After
your an October regular, it is hard to miss 3 consecutive playoff
appearances. It has definitely been to deal with, but I really think
this is the year. It will definitely be a tough challenge as the
Phillies and Mets have gotten better as well. We also can’t overlook
the Nationals and the Marlins. If we can keep cool and get the maximum
ability out of all of our players, especially Jeff Francoeur. I can’t
tell you how important he is to our success next year. If he plays bad,
we lose. If he turns back into his Gold Glove, 100 RBI, 20 Home Run self, we will win. If he does another 08 season, he won’t be in Atlanta in 2010. It is very hard for me to say that, but it is true.

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  • We Have a Lot More Depth

Last
year we had little depth, and that killed us badly. Our Bullpen was a
wreck, our pitching staff was a complete shame, there was always an
injury in our starting lineup, and our backups didn’t do too well last
year. Our backup catchers were an absolute shame and should be put on
the list for “poorest attempt to play a game.” I actually take back the
“our backups didn’t do too well last year” comment since now that I
think about it, the other backups weren’t too bad (the catchers were
still horrible). Infante, Norton, Prado, Gotay, and Lillibridge all got
decent playing time last year and they were our utility men. We do have
much better depth this year because of our great farm system. We also
signed David Ross who should help with our backup catcher situation. We
lost Gotay and Lillibridge, but we still have Prado, Infante, and
Norton along with a couple of prospects who are more than capable of
filling in. Our pitching is the best part. We have plenty of bullpen
arms and can improvise if a player in our rotation gets injured or is
not doing too well. We have it all covered.
http://thesportsidiot.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/tommy-hanson-mississippi-braves.jpg
 

  • The Teams Are Not The Same They Were Last Year

Same
players, new uniforms. We have seen players like Hoffman and Smoltz
sign for teams that we never expected them to sign for. It will
definitely be weird watching them play in different uniforms next year,
but that is the way baseball goes. I can wait to see how the Braves’
new additions do during the season. There were so many free agents and
so many new signatures that it is hard to know who will be good and who
won’t. You will never know.
  https://i0.wp.com/cdn.necn.com/files/2008/12/18/vlcsnap-1348369.jpg

  • There Are So Many Unexpected Things That Could Happen

This is the best thing about baseball. Anything can happen. The
Volquez-Hamilton was an unexpected thing. Tim Linececum, Ryan Ludwick,
Cliff Lee, Nate McLouth were all some of the big surprise players this
year. The Rays were the biggest surprise as they went from last in the
AL to Best in the AL in 1 year! That is amazing! I can’t wait to find
out who are this year’s breakout players. I am hoping players like
Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, and Barry Zito bounce back. It would be a
feel-good story. I really just can’t wait for next year and will
happen.   

https://i0.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0gYVgK6gX5b8p/610x.jpg

Hopefully we will see soon what this season brings.

Darion

2 comments

  1. girlybaseballchick

    First of all I’m not much a Braves fan, but I think they will be pretty good this year. Everyone is all up on the Phillies winning it again, I just don’t see that happening. I think there has been some big changes for a lot of clubs though so I think it’s really hard to say what is going to happen. Baseball is a great game, you truly never know. One team might be awesome on paper but injuries and other issues could come into play. Baseball is such a mental game. So many teams have suffered a lot of injuries recently but nothing like the A’s over the last couple years. So at this point other than good pitching I’m praying for a healthy team. Now the one thing that we were never sure of is one thing I am confident about and that is our hitting. I think we will definitely improve in the category of scoring runs.
    http://girlybaseballchick.mlblogs.com/

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