Tagged: Braves

Braves Should’ve Thought This Through Better

This is a picture of the Atlanta Braves official 2013 calendar.  The current month’s picture has Martin Prado, Tim Hudson, and Brian McCann.  All of them no longer play for the Braves after Prado was traded before the 2013 season, Hudson signed with the Giants, and McCann signed with the Yankees (coincidentally the latter two IN November 2013).  Oops.

Image

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Advertisements

Rasmus vs. Rasmus

It was a great night for the Rasmus family as older son Colby’s Blue Jays took on younger son Cory’s Atlanta Braves.  Cory Rasmus had just been called up from AAA Gwinnett last week, when Eric O’ Flaherty went to the disabled list.  It just lucked out that the Braves were making a trip north of the border right after the call-up.  Which Rasmus won the battle?  Let’s take a look!

On top of the double, Colby’s team won 9-3. It was just the third time since 1974 that brothers squared off on the mound and in the batter’s box joining Ken and George Brett in the 1970’s and Ruddy and Julio Lugo in 2007.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Andrelton Simmons is Ridiculous

In a short time, Andrelton Simmons has become the best defensive shortstop in baseball and maybe even better than that, at least according to former teammate Chipper Jones.

 

That was after this incredible tag on a pick-off of Reds Shin-Soo Choo.

Seriously, he tagged him between the legs!

This caused me to realize we need a definitive blog with all of Simmons’ defensive exploits so far.

From Tuesday, May 7th’s game against the Reds, including a great barehand play that went off of Eric O’ Flaherty.

It can go off Paul Maholm’s glove, it’s alright, Simmons is there.

He has the best arm in the Majors, he can even show it off from the seat of his pants.

Here he shows off the range going deep into foul territory at PNC Park for an amazing grab.

This play is not as easy as he makes it look on Royals Lorenzo Cain.

No prejudice against great plays even in Spring Training.

My favorite play from the 2013 World Baseball Classic, honkbal!

That’s not the only time he’ll go into center field for a diving catch.

There were numerous plays of Simmons charging a slow roller and getting the out, but getting the speedy Juan Pierre is the most impressive.

And from the same game, the diving stop, up the middle.

Simmons makes this short hop look too easy.

Even when Simba makes a mistake and overruns a ball, he’s just doing it to make the play look that much more spectacular.

The play that really started it all against the Orioles all-star Adam Jones.

He can even turn an amazing double play with Dan Uggla.

It hasn’t even been a full season in the Majors and you can put Andrelton Simmons’ highlight reel against anyone in the league. What’s your favorite play? Let us know in the comments!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Jason Heyward has Emergency Appendectomy

Not a fun Monday for Braves fans.  First, their teams game gets snowed out in Denver.  Then early-Tuesday morning news that star outfielder Jason Heyward had an appendectomy tonight.

OF Jason Heyward underwent successful appendectomy surgery Monday night (April 22). Procedure performed at Rose Medical Center in Denver.

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 23, 2013

No word yet if the successful surgery will land Heyward on the disabled list, but Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday had the surgery in 2011 after his Opening Day game on April 1st and was back in the St. Louis lineup on April 10th.  Holliday spent no time on the DL.  The typical recovery time is in the 2-3 week range.  The Braves could save a roster move by giving Heyward a full 15 days off, with first baseman Freddie Freeman returning to the lineup for the doubleheader on Tuesday.  A DL stint would keep Heyward out past the Braves next series with division rivals the Nationals and Mets.  He would be likely to return for a 10-game road trip at Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Arizona.

UPDATE: Jason Heyward has been put on the 15-day DL and the Braves recalled Tyler Pastornicky.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

“Sweet Caroline” Around MLB in Honor of Boston

In the wake of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, MLB teams showed their support for the city of Boston by playing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.  The song is a staple at Fenway Park and is sung by Red Sox fans before the bottom of the 8th inning.  The song was played at home games by the Braves, Marlins, Reds, Cubs, Twins, Dodgers, Indians (who were playing the Red Sox), and even their biggest rival, the Yankees.  Here is the video of “Sweet Caroline” being played at the end of the 3rd inning at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s the Target Field version:

Down in Miami at Marlins Park:

All the way on the other coast at Dodger Stadium:

And at O.co Coliseum in Oakland:

Turner Field in Atlanta where the Braves went on to hit three homers in the bottom of the 8th:

The Brewers showed their support by playing another famous Boston song, the theme from “Cheers”. That can be heard at the 1:40 mark of this video.

You have to love the support that Boston is getting from across the country. It’s the little things like this that add up to big things.  It really is “so good, so good, so good.”

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Hank Aaron Appears on “Conan”

“Conan” is filming from Atlanta all week and they picked a good week to be there with Braves Opening Day and the Final Four all going on in Georgia’s capital.  Who better to make an appearance than Braves legend Hank Aaron on Thursday night’s show?  Here it is!

Have to love Braves fans turning the audience into a full-fledged “Tomahawk Chop” in “Hammerin'” Hank’s presence.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

The Amazing Story of Evan Gattis

It’s the best story of the young MLB season so far.  Braves backup catcher Evan Gattis was working as a janitor and a ski lift operator after being a star baseball player in Texas.  Instead of going to play for Texas A&M, Gattis ended up in drug rehab and a halfway house.  There he was diagnosed with depression.  He had turned into a “what could’ve been” story.  After years of bouncing around odd jobs and becoming sober, Gattis got the itch to play the game he loved as child again.

He enrolled at the University of Texas-Permian Basin.  I don’t know what that is either.  I only know  Permian as the town from “Friday Night Lights” not the place where Major League careers are made.  Gattis hit .403 in his only year with the school, but it was enough to catch the eye of the Braves who took a chance on him in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft.

He had his chance in the minors finally and crushed pitching hitting .308 with 44 home runs in 832 minor league at-bats.  A shoulder injury to Brian McCann gave Gattis an outside shot of making the Braves roster as a 26-year old rookie who had never played in AAA.  Gattis saw his opportunity and ran with it hitting a blistering .368 with six home runs (2nd best on the Braves) during Spring Training.  Gattis became a fan favorite with his power, bare-handed batting grip, funky batting stance, awesome nickname (El Oso Blanco), and his backstory.  After all he had been through, Gattis broke down in tears when manager Fredi Gonzalez told him he earned the last roster spot as Gerald Laird’s backup while McCann was out.

In the second game of the season, Gattis received his first start behind the plate.  He struck out in his first plate appearance, but his 2nd at-bat with his father being interviewed on the Braves broadcast, we were reminded why sports can be so great.

The MLB highlight can be found here.  Apologies that it won’t let me embed it into the blog.
You can follow Gattis on Twitter @BulldogBeing, where of course his Twitter avatar is his work card from being a janitor.  Gattis is a shining example of never giving up.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)