Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Should Larry Retire?

You have to give Chipper all of the props in the world. He's been amazing for the Bravos and for baseball in general. One of the last players from the era of loyalty in baseball, he's a man who has publicly admitted he would retire before becoming an embarrassment to his team. Granted, he has been injury plagued over the last couple of seasons, but this guy goes out everyday, plays as hard as he can, demonstrates leadership in the clubhouse, demonstrates generosity in his community, and has been embraced as the face of the Braves for over a decade.

The former overall number 1 draft pick (as a shortstop believe it or not) has put together a 1st ballot Hall of Fame career. Personally, I feel he's too valuable in the clubhouse to retire, for nothing more than providing the veteran leadership that he's seemingly provided since his rookie season, he's vital to our team and our city, but at some point and some point soon the role that he will play has to be evaluated.


The Braves have an uber prospect in Freddie Freeman who was a consensus top 25 overall prospect in the minor leagues last year and who is on a tear in AAA right now, not to mention the kid is currently 20 years. Wren can also presumably resign the 4 time All Star and former World Series MVP 3rd baseman Troy Glaus for much cheaper than getting a "big name" (no offense Troy) free agent and actually have him play his natural position. Just an interesting fact, like Chipper, Troy was drafted as a SS, look it up, a 6'6 shortstop at UCLA.

As I've said before, I have to give Wren kudos right now, he's made some risky deals and has proven to be smarter than I am, but considering this is my post, it's my opinion. Personally, I think Chipper should stay on throughout his contract, if nothing more than to be a mentor to Heyward, Freeman, Prado, and some of the other younger Braves. He's more valuable here than in retirement. The guy still has baseball in him. When he's healthy, he's still a monster, and when he's not, his clubhouse presence is truly invaluable on a team that is already (supposedly) losing Bobby Cox and the newly acquired, but still amazing Billy Wagner to retirement. Let's face it, the Brave's need Chipper and Chipper loves the Braves. My prediction, Chipper stays, Freeman gets called up this year and Glaus starts playing some 3rd base as Chipper needs the rest. Freeman has less pressure to perform, Chipper plays when healthy, and Glaus is still the man for the Braves. I don't know about you guys, but I do live in a perfect world so this is going to happen! What are your thoughts?

USC DOESN'T WANT REGGIE BUSH'S HEISMAN TROPHY, SENDS IT BACK


From the USAToday comes the memo from USC president-elect Max Nikias to the "USC Trojan Family" in regards to Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy...

The Trojan family honors and respects the USC sporting careers of those persons whose actions did not compromise their athletic program or the opportunities of future USC student-athletes. Accordingly, I have instructed the senior vice president for administration to remove athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush by mid-August -- before the incoming class of students moves on campus -- from Heritage Hall, the Galen Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The university also will return Mr. Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trophy Trust in August.

Damn, even O.J. killed some people and yet he still got to hold onto his Heisman. The point is don't take money from agents while in school. Now after school you can go ahead and kill whomever you like. Even your ex-wife if you so choose. Just don't take money.

Lesson learned.

So I guess now Vince Young gets the Heisman? Someone contact Vince pronto. Just go to some night club and look for a sweaty tall black dude with no shirt on. Chances are good it's VY.

NBC ANNOUNCER PAT HADEN REPLACING MIKE GARRETT AS USC ATHLETIC DIRECTOR



No wonder USC has dominated Notre Dame for the past decade. The whole time they had a fucking Trojan lackey in the booth covering the Fighting Irish for NBC. Bill Dwyre of the LA Times is reporting that former NBC announcer and former USC quarterback Pat Haden will replace the controversial Mike Garrett as athletic director starting August 3rd. A formal announcement is expected later from new president Max Nikias.

Well it's about fucking time. Garrett has been running a loose ship and if anybody can bring some respectability back to USC then it's none other than Mr. Combover himself. Listen, I don't have a problem with Haden as a person. I've met him on the Notre Dame campus a few times. Nice guy and very personable and talkative. The guy is a Rhodes Scholar. He has brains. But I have no idea why he was ever hired to do commentary for Notre Dame football games. He has been on USC's board of trustees for years and he helped lead the Trojans to a come from behind 55-24 victory over Notre Dame in 1974 (despite ND having a 24-0 lead at one point).

Why Notre Dame and NBC ever let him do the commentary will always puzzle me. It would be like Steve Spurrier doing commentary for all the Georgia Bulldogs games. It would be fucking bizarre right?

Anyways good luck to Haden and dealing with the brat Lane Kiffin. I give Kiffin 3-4 years max in Los Angeles. The NCAA is coming down hard on renegade players and the programs who let them run wild. Now that Haden is gone maybe NBC can hire O.J. Simpson to do commentary. Oh wait. Never mind.

Actually they should go ahead and fire Tom Hammond while they are at it. Get somebody with some excitement in there. I'm thinking Gus Johnson would be perfect. Check it out...


Picture via LA Times

SKATEBOARD SAFETY VIDEO



Helmets and pads work great until you have a 250 pound bear of a reporter barreling down on you in the half pipe. I feel for the kid. It's not often you get Roethlisbergered while skate boarding. Years of therapy should help.

Video HT: Extra Mustard

My bad...


I owe a huge apology to anyone I have ever bragged about Yunel Escobar to and everyone I have tried to defend Escobar's skills as a player, adamantly saying that trading the young shortstop would be an awful idea. Admittedly, Yunel's last (half) year with the Bravos has been hard to swallow, but I strongly disagreed with getting rid of him, repeatedly saying his offense is just in a slump. All I can say now is thank you Frank Wren for yet another brilliant deal that no one expected and everyone is reaping the rewards.

Who would've thought that Escobar was really Hanley Ramirez's disciple? Considering Escy's one of the most talented young shortstops, scratch that, players in the game and has been steadily improving every year, who would've thought the Brave's would've pulled a Jeff Francouer and abandoned another one of our young "future face's of the Braves". Then again, who could've predicted just how selfish Escobar would play and how much of a cancer he could seemingly be inside an otherwise unbelievable club house. Bobby didn't deserve that sort of behavior during his (possible, yes, only possible) last year. Kudos to Frank Wren for doing what was necessary to not lose anything on a trade that sent someone who proved they weren't happy with being in the Brave's clubhouse away, and for once, GAINED talent in a trade.

Nothing against JoJo Reyes, the guy is uber talented and has several plus pitches, but his major league stats are almost as bad as Charlie Morton. There was no foreseeable place for Reyes within the pitching staff, especially with the likes of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Kris Medlen, and Derek Lowe. The future is looking bright with three very young pitchers who are dominating A and AA, not to mention the "controversial" draft pick in Mike Minor who in 3 games started at Gwinnett this year is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 20 ks in 18 innings. The kid who came over in the Escobar deal, Tim Collins, already has a save in 3 games and 5 ks with 1 BB and 0 hits.

Back to Escobar, the "slump" that I was so adamant about seems a bit self imposed. Way to hit two bombs, one of them a grand slam, and actually play baseball again. It's amazing how Escy came out to talk about how he's given his all for the Braves, including this year, and he's going to "continue" to be the player that he has been his entire career now that he's with the Blue Jays... yeah... I hope the door did hit him on his way out of the clubhouse. Maybe it hit him in the head and he remembered he's Yunel Escobar and not Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols. Way to give it your all buddy... I hope Heyward learns a lesson from the trades of Francouer and Escobar. Wren isn't putting up with half hearted play and childish temper tantrums any longer. It's about time the "baby Braves" grew up and played in their big boy pants and Frank Wren is becoming the daddy these children needed.

On a much better note, welcome to the Bravos Alex Gonzalez and kudos Frank Wren. Now it's time for another championship for Bobby! GO BRAVOS!!!