Thursday, September 23, 2004

J.D. Drew - The Five Tool Outfielder

The Atlanta Braves lost a tremendous part of their team last year. The saw Greg Maddux sign with the Cubs, Gary Sheffield sign the stinkin' Yankees, Javy Lopez sign the Baltimore Orioles, and Robert Fick be discarded to the Devil Rays. Everyone, with few exceptions, had them slated to be a non-contender this year, well they were all wrong. Part of the Atlanta Braves' success this year is due in large part to J.D. Drew. He has made a remarkable turn around from the past years. As of today, he has played in 138 of 152 games this season.

J.D. Drew is everything Gary Sheffield was to the 2003 Atlanta Braves and more. He has two of the "tools" Gary Sheffield lacks these days, an Arm and Speed. J.D. Drew has played Gold Glove Caliber defense in right field. His arm, a resurgence of Andruw Jones' defense and arm, and the rookie Charles Thomas have put a halt to runners rounding third. I have seen the Atlanta Braves outfield throw out more runners this year than any other number of years that I can remember. In terms of offense, let’s look at his statistics and compare them with Gary Sheffield's statistics for 2004 as well.

J.D. Drew (2004):
138 G, 496 AB, 114 R, 155 H, 28 2B, 6 3B, 31 HR, 90 RBI, 112 BB, 108 SO, 12 SB, 2 CS, .313 BA, .441 OBP, .581 SLG, 1.021 OPS

Gary Sheffield (2004):
146 G, 551 AB, 114 R, 162 H, 30 2B, 1 3B, 36 HR, 118 RBI, 87 BB, 79 SO, 5 SB, 6 CS, .294 BA, .396 OBP, .548 SLG, .944 OPS

Sheffield is a true power hitter, and JD Drew is an exceptional hitter that hits for power. Sheffield is leading Drew in HR and RBI, but is behind in everything else except SO and 2B. Drew's OPS is 87 points higher than Sheffield's and he has been "pitched" to less. Sheffield is surrounded by great players all year. Drew has been surrounded by many slumping and hurt players who have finally just begun to swing the bat effectively. Unfortunately, because of Bonds, Beltre, Rolen and Edmonds, Drew is not getting too much attention in the NL MVP race. He has been the most essential part to the Braves organization this year. He is not the best MVP candidate out there but I plan to personally kill John Shuerholz if he does not sign J.D. Drew to a long term contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Mr. Consistent - 15th Win

His ERA has been up dramatically the past three years, yes. He has been losing his touch the last few years, yes. But he has won 15 games for the last 17 years running, quite remarkable. Greg Maddux has been the most consistent pitcher of the modern era for the last 17 years. He switched from the power-hitting Atlanta Braves last year to a less powerful Cubs line-up, and he has made up the difference. Remember when he was going for his 3ooth win? He had a string of very well pitched games lasting 8 or 9 innings? Remember the string of complete games he put together? He didn't do that last year. He was able to pitch 6-8 innings and get away with a win due to the success of Marcus Giles, Chipper Jones, and Gary Sheffield. This year he still pitches for a good-hitting team but he has been a much better pitcher.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Rocket Roger - Continues to Dazzle

Roger Clemens won his 6th straight game against the Brewers Wednesday night. He pitched 8 innings allowing two hits, walking two and striking out 10. Rocket Roger moves into 10th all-time on the career wins chart (listed below). By winning this game he also is now tied for the lead in the NL for wins (18) with teammate Roy Oswalt. Clemens even had the only RBI of the game when he grounded into a double play, he also hit a long double.

1. Cy Young 511
2. Walter Johnson 417
3. Grover C. Alexander 373
3. Christy Mathewson 373
5. Warren Spahn 363
6. Pud Galvin 361
7. Kid Nichols 360
8. Tim Keefe 341
9. Steve Carlton 329
10. Roger Clemens 328

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Texas Incident

MLB issued this press release:

Four members of the Texas Rangers have each been disciplined for their actions during the ninth inning of the Rangers-Oakland Athletics game in Oakland, California on Monday, September 13, 2004. Bob Watson, Vice President of On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement. Pitcher Frank Francisco has been suspended for the remainder of the 2004 championship season, but no less than 16 regular season games in the event of an appeal, and fined an undisclosed amount for his highly inappropriate actions and reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of the fans. Unless appealed, Francisco's suspension is scheduled to begin tonight. Doug Brocail has been suspended for seven games and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate actions and inciting a bench-clearing incident, while pitcher Carlos Almanzar has been suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate actions during the incident. Unless appealed, Brocail's suspension is scheduled to begin tonight and Almanzar's is scheduled to begin on Saturday, September 25. Additionally, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo has been suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate actions during the incident. Jaramillo's suspension will begin tonight. If appealed, the players' suspensions will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.