Bowman's Blog

 

The Reds will honor Chipper Jones’ last scheduled trip to Cincinnati by utilizing bases adorned with a commemorative message on one side.  At some point during this week’s four-game series in the Queen City, Jones will be presented with one of these bases pictured above.

This is one of the classiest gestures a club has made to recognize Jones’ farewell tour.  The veteran third baseman, who will retire at the end of this year, has batted .259 with eight home runs and a .804 OPS in 55 career games in Cincinnati.  He has hit .333 with three homers and a .931 OPS in 20 games at Great American Ball Park.

The Braves are hoping Jones will return to the lineup during this week’s series.  He missed the final two games of this weekend’s series in Tampa with a bruised left calf that he suffered when he was hit with…

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Braves quotes after Tuesday’s win over Cincinnati

Braves quotes after Tuesday’s win over Cincinnati.

My MLB Roundup

I know I’m a few days behind, but really? Four home runs and a double for eight RBIs? Eighteen total bases. Seriously? Atta boy, Josh Hamilton.

In other news, the Braves are still tied for first – I’m going to ignore the win percentage. I knew that the Nationals were going to be a great team this year, but I honestly didn’t realize they were going to be leading the NL East. They seem to have it figured out, but how are they going to do without Jayson Werth for 10 weeks? I guess they do have Bryce Harper, who stole home on Sunday, after getting pegged in the back by Cole Hamels, who was suspended for it. Thoughts on his suspension?

Mendoza Line

Hitting under the “Mendoza Line” is no bueno, Albert.

Where were you when Albert “The Machine” Pujols finally hit his first home run as an Angel? I’m sure that is just the start of it, but it’s wild to think it took him over a month before going deep. It took the entire Angels Stadium booing him on Friday and sitting out the game on Saturday before realizing that the fans wanted to see someone getting a $250 million contract actually hit the ball well. It’s not just hitting bombs, it’s hitting in general. His average slumped to under the Mendoza Line before hitting that home run on Sunday. Congrats, Albert. You finally did it!

I got in a “debate” the other night. Obviously living in Atlanta, we’re in “Braves country,” but there are so many transplants here, so we have lots of fans from other cities. A Phillies fan tried to rub it in my face that they took two out of three from the Braves while in Atlanta. Yes, that hurts. However, the overall standings show the Phillies in last place in the NL East. Though I know this isn’t going to last, it’s still nice right now to see that. He told me that it doesn’t matter because the Phillies still took two games from the Braves. Correct me if I’m wrong – but there are 162 games in a season; do two games matter? Yeah, it sucks losing to the Phillies, but I much rather be tied for first right now than in last place. Especially after getting swept by the Mets.

Pastornicky impresses during memorable Opening Day debut

Trade Buzz

NEW YORK  —  Tyler Pastornicky struggled to deal with the pressure he felt during the early weeks of Spring Training.  But the night before making his Major League debut as the Braves’ starting shortstop in front of a raucous Opening Day crowd, Pastornicky soundly slept in his Manhattan hotel room.

“I was just overly tired,” Pastornicky said. “It’s been kind of a long couple of days.”

This has been quite a week for Pastornicky, who learned on Monday that he had won his battle against Andrelton Simmons to begin the year as Atlanta’s starting shortstop.  The 22-year-old infielder enjoyed seeing New York City for the first time on Wednesday.

But this week’s greatest thrill occurred at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon  as he experienced the thrill of playing in his first big league game.  The debut proved memorable even though his contributions did not prevent the Braves from suffering a…

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Draft Day

Well, I survived both of my fantasy drafts today…barely. “The 21 Greatest Days of My Life” was my first draft of the day. Twenty-three rounds and 14 teams…oof. We definitely had to go deep, and there were a lot of “stolen” players – not that it was done on purpose. I struggled toward the end, but I think I’ve got a decent team, and I’m glad to be a part of a league with people who are knowledgeable.

A few hours later, we had a draft for “Epic Collapse.” Fortunately, there are only eight teams in this league, so the draft went by rather quickly. I tried to change up my players from the first draft, but I obviously have some favorites.

If you’re curious as to who I drafted, you can view them below. Feel free to provide some advice!

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Two Burrells, One Cup

Spring training is wrapping up, which has given everyone a little taste of how some of the top prospects, as well as veteran players, are going to do this season. We’ve seen balls getting hit out of the park, we’ve seen strikeouts, we’ve seen various injuries and sadly, we’ve seen a few retirement announcements. It’s been a busy spring and the promise of a glorious baseball season is among us, and I am ready. But first – fantasy baseball.

I am part of two separate leagues this spring, and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to handle it. There’s a lot that goes into picking the right players during your draft – you can pick awesome baseball players, but does that mean you’re going to get the most amount of points? That’s something I’ve struggled with since I started playing fantasy baseball two years ago. Individually, my players are decent, if not great. However, some of my pitchers are more of groundout pitchers as opposed to strikeout pitchers, which doesn’t get me as many points. I have good fielders but not necessarily good hitters.

Needless to say, the research has started. Both of the drafts are on this Sunday – one at noon and one at 7 p.m. The same league at 7 p.m. is the one I came in second to last place in last year – not exactly my favorite place to be. I’m determined to have a decent team this year and hopefully, with thanks to the Android apps, I’ll be able to keep up with it and move players around as necessary.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of luck to those of you who are playing this year…unless you’re playing against me, then I wish you nothing. Just kidding…kind of.

Also, the title of this post is also the name of my fantasy team. I was going to opt for “The Good, the Bad, the Uggla,” but I liked this particular play on words a little more.

Put Me in, Coach; I’m Ready to Play

My long-term life goal is to get the chance to travel around the nation to different ballparks to write about the baseball experience. I sort of grew up in south Florida, so a lot of my childhood memories include going to Joe Robbie Stadium to watch Florida (eh, Miami?) Marlins games. As an adult living in Atlanta, some of the best times I’ve had have been going down to the Ted and attending Braves games. I would consider myself a huge Braves fan, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Marlins…unless they’re playing the Braves (or are beating the Braves in the standings), of course.

I love going down to Turner Field because I know I’ll get the opportunity to tailgate in the parking lot before games and meet other huge Braves fans and talk about the Braves, as well as baseball in general. I want to have the opportunity to travel to other ballparks to see what the tailgating scene is like. I want to try their hot dogs and talk to other baseball fans. I want to experience the big rivalry games, like Yankees/Red Sox. I want to take a tour of the ballparks and learn the history of the teams and their stadiums. Basically, I want to soak up as much baseball as I possibly can.

Right now, I have the Braves, MLB Network, MLB TV and various blogs to give me that insight. I also need to work and save up money before I can travel around and spend all of this money on games, hot dogs, gas, tours, etc.

For now, I have this blog. I definitely need a place to share my excitement about baseball, especially Braves baseball, but I’m sure I’ll also need a place to vent my frustrations that come during the 162 games. However, don’t be mistaken. Yes, I’ll get frustrated a few times during the season, but I will never back down from supporting my team. Hopefully I’ll be able to share pictures from Turner Field (and hopefully various other places, if I get the opportunity to visit) from this upcoming season.

We’re just a few days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training. We’re 48 days away from the start of MLB, and 49 days away from the Braves playing their first official game of 2012.

GO BRAVES!

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