This is more of a blog post than it is a full, formal article. (BTW I provided the link so you could go take a look at Jon doing his best "Hey, this is what I would do if I were on a baseball card!" pose. Worth your four seconds, I promise. What a zilcheroo he is.) Makes me wonder how much worse it would be if Heyman had done more research for it and added a few more paragraphs. It's dumb on several levels, most notably the bumblefuckarific "I developed a premise before I wrote the article and the facts don't match that premise so fuck it I'll just contradict the hell out of the premise and then call it a day" one.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Everything that could go wrong for the Braves this spring has gone wrong
There's the premise. Aaaaaaaand...
...there's the spot where he begins undermining it.
In the competition for worst spring in Florida,
I'm several years and tens of thousands of dollars away from earning my online masters in journalismness from DeVry, but I'm pretty sure "If there were a competition for worst spring in Florida," would work better. And with that imaginary competition in mind, let us take a moment to laugh at/about A.J. Burnett. *doink* /ball embeds itself in eye socket
there is a runaway winner: the Braves.
"There are also two MYSTERY TEAMS in the running, but I can't tell you who they are lest I reveal that they don't exist!"
"Everything that could go wrong for them has gone gone wrong,'' remarked one competing executive.
CBS assistant junior editing intern in charge of coming up with titles: "Yup. That'll work."
Th Braves have followed their September collapse by beginning spring 2-10. But their troubles started even before the games began. Young starting pitcher Tommy Hanson suffered a concussion in a one-car accident on his way to spring.
The ol' Tony La Russa special. Nice. Anyways that's one player with a mild injury. What else has gone so depressingly wrong?
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is trying to look on the bright side. "I've seen a lot of good things,'' Gonzalez said.
A+ journalism right there. A++. Tell manager you've heard things are going down the shitter. Get boring, uninspired, mostly non-responsive response. Insert in article. Light cigar with $50 bill (bill and cigar both provided by Boras).
Gonzalez did concede that the record isn't what they'd want, especially coming off a September swoon.
Oh! The tension in that interview! It's like Frost/Nixon! Things are bad... but there are bright spots.... BUT THINGS ARE STILL SOMEWHAT BAD
"We want to win, believe me. Winning is contagious,'' Gonzalez said.
Losing: also contagious. Hepatitis: science doesn't know just yet.
"But in spring training, I think health takes priority.''
Perhaps an insightful and meaningful quote, except that Jon has presented it with no context or background so we have no idea what Fredi is talking about.
Still, others are wondering aloud whether the Braves will be themselves this year.
Fill in the blank if you know what that means. _____________. If you filled it in, you're lying, and you also have ink on your computer screen. Now email me what you wrote.
Only one team that's spent less on players over the last three years has won more games (the Rays). But their cost cutting may finally be catching up to them. They signed only one major league free agent this winter, and that was utilityman Jack Wilson for $1 million, and Wilson immediately blew out his Achilles.
So by usually not spending much, and continuing to not spend much this season, they are... still being themselves? Also, something about health, and a poor spring training record, and oh man Jon Heyman gets paid to write about baseball?
One N.L. scout said he believes the Marlins and Nationals have now surpassed the Braves
I was going to put another Mystery Team joke in here but I figured you were going to do it in your head anyways so why bother with the specifics.
and that they look like a fourth place team,
So far we have 1) pitcher got a concussion 2) all-glove utility guy out for season 3) they "look like a 4th place team." Conclusion: ALL THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG DID. BRIAN MCCANN IS ANGRY AT SOMETHING, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT, BUT HE HASN'T SHOWN UP TO SPRING TRAINING AND NO ONE HAS HIS PHONE NUMBER.
and a star player from the difficult division said the same thing.
In keeping with a theme I've been pushing these past few months, I certainly hope it was Ryan Howard, saying it as he cashed the first of many many paychecks to come at his $25MM/year salary.
Although, there have been two silver linings in the Braves' ultra-rough start to spring:
A start which, no matter what the headline of this piece may have led you to anticipate, you still know basically nothing about.
1) there have been no new season-affecting injuries, and
You mean after all one of them (to the guy who would have been 24th or 25th most important on the opening day roster) you've described so far?
2) young prospects like pitcher Sean Gilmartin, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and third baseman Joey Terdoslavich, have played well.
But NOT WELL ENOUGH! Oh, wait, probably well enough, considering those guys are 21, 22, and 23 respectively. Also: TERDoslavich heh heh heh
But it's more than the losses.
Wait, what were we just talking about?
The disappointments and concerns are adding up, such as ...
This is high school newspaper level writing. Premise: things are really bad for the Braves. Provide support: a little evidence, none of it convincing. Repeat premise. Contradict premise. Rerepeat premise.
-- Braves icon Chipper Jones suggested after starting 0-for-8 that he may be nearing the end. While he retracted his comment the very next day, Jones (now 1-for-11) hasn't looked like himself.
JUST LIKE HIS TEAM! Or so we've been told, with essentially no further explanation, except for the fact that as usual they didn't break the bank in free agency this year.
His demeanor also hasn't reflected his nickname.
Ho ho hoooo! Pulitzer committee, you're about to receive a link in your inbox.
Gonzalez said, "Chipper will be fine. He'll get it going. I'm not concerned about that.'';
Heyman's response: "That's gold! Straight into my 'the Braves are fucked' article!"
-- Hanson finally pitched Sunday, but he appeared in a washed-out monsoon, lasting just one-plus inning;
The weather was bad. Therefore: Hanson's return, somehow disappointing/concerning.
-- Young lefthander Mike Minor has pitched brilliantly, with nine scoreless innings,
Nine DISAPPOINTING scoreless innings?
but he needlessly dusturbed camp by suggesting he'd prefer to be traded if he isn't in the rotation. EARTH to Mike: You are in the rotation;
A young pitcher said something dumb to someone with a microphone. Spring training: ruined.
-- Kid shortstop Tyler Pastornicky was basically given the job to start spring, but he is threatening to make a race of it by starting 3-for-30. Simmons has outplayed him, and they are now saying the choice won't be made until the end of spring.
There's a competition for the SS spot. One talented guy has struggled in a tiny sample of PAs, and another talented guy is applying pressure. I know I'm beating this into the ground, but...
Simmons is the flashier defender, but one N.L. scout said, "I see them both as utlity players."
A MYSTERY scout with no known identity.
-- Former phenom Jason Heyward inspired worries with a slow start (he's at .194) but he's coming on now and had two extra-base hits vs. the Nats' pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday. Gonzalez said that while Heyward would have one good at-bat every "four or five'' at-bats early in spring, now he has four out of five productive at-bats;
Disappointment? Concern? SANITY?
-- Top young righthanded pitching prospects Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran are locked in a battle for the fifth rotation spot with ace Tim Hudson (back) out until May. But so far neither has dominated. Delgado has a 9 ERA, Teheran 11. Teheran had a game against the Tigers where he allowed six homers in two innings. That was one more home run than he allowed in 150 innings in Triple-A last year.
Yeah, that's pretty disappointing and concerning, although that outing against one of the league's three best offenses happened on like the second day of spring training games and (allegedly) with an insane wind blowing out to center. But anyways, now we're starting to get into the good stuff. Stuff that might lead you to believe that the Braves are about to cancel the season, sell off all their assets, and disband as a franchise. The truly "it could have gone wrong and it did" stuff. OK Jon, lay it on us.
Oh, you're done. That was the whole article. Well, back to holding your baseball bat and grinning like an idiot then. Seriously, go click on the link if you didn't before. Looking at that picture of Jon is much more fun than reading this blog.