Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Braves are in 1st!

After a difficult first half, the Atlanta Braves have finally made it into first place in the National League East. I, for one, could not be happier. I’ve been a fan of the Atlanta Braves since 1990 when I saw them at the stadium in West Palm Beach, since taken over by religious nuts. I consider myself a fan of the Marlins as well. I rooted for the Marlins early on, but I was not fond of their championship team in 1997. I like the Marlins being the underdog like they were last year. I like this year’s Atlanta team precisely because they are the underdog again. Of course, the Braves still have a lofty almost $90 million, which is still in the Top 10. Still, this team overcame a lot of adversity. They lost Javier Lopez, Gary Sheffield, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Maddux in the off-season. Everyone counted out the team at the beginning of this year.
I believe this division will remain very close. Philadelphia is probably the most talented team. They’ve got two stars in Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome. Billy Wagner is one of the best closers in the National League. Philadelphia will be haunted by their inability to beat the Florida Marlins. They have 13 games left against Florida. This year, Philly is 0-6 versus the Marlins. Philadelphia self-destructed last September, going 2-4 against Florida. I like the Marlins to get back on track. Tonight, they came back to win 6-5 against the New York Mets. This leaves them 3 games back of Atlanta. They need to acquire one extra bat to add into the lineup. Much of their hopes depends on getting Beckett completely healthy. A rotation of Beckett, Carl Pavano, and Brad Penny will be very tough to beat in November. Dontrelle Willis can be counted on sometimes, but is not always reliable. I’m still not sold on the Mets. I predict that they finish 4th.


Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

Should be an interesting playoff battle in that NL East Division. I'd like to see both the Braves and the Marlins go to the playoffs but that probably won't happen. The wildcard is going to come from another division but it's still early.

The entire NL East race has been great to watch. Everyone is having their shot at the division title and it's probably going to stay relatively close for a while. Montrel, as usual, is ruining the excitement by being pathetic.

Hopefully, the Marlins can at least finish in 2nd place and with at least a .500 winning percentage. Then I would be satisfied. Pudge is playing great for the Tigers. I can't help but feel as though if the Marlins had kept him, they'd be in first right now instead of the Braves.

Sorry--I just couldn't resist throwing that in there.

July 22, 2004 at 5:37 PM  

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