Month: May 2009

Braves Notes: JJ is Damn Good. Duh.

Danny Knobler at has written an excellent little article on Jair Jurrjens where we have learned that Derek Lowe says that Jurrjens is the team’s best pitcher. That’s high praise indeed. It also seems that many scouts think he’s one of the best young pitchers in baseball who’s a true number two starter now, and could be an ace within five years.

None of this comes as any surprise to most Braves fans. Jurrjens showed us last year what he was capable of. If not for the Braves offense and the bullpen, the whole league would be paying attention to Jurrjens’ season so far. 

Can you imagine a rotation with Jurrjens, Medlen and Hanson? Especially if they all live up to their hype?

Braves Collection: Mark Texeira

2008 Upper Deck #48

I don’t like Mark Texeira. Does that make me a bad person? I’m not saying he’s a bad player. I’m not an idiot. His numbers speak for themselves. He was especially great for the Angels after we unloaded him last year. Hell, he was pretty damn good for us for the last two months of the 2007 season. In 2008, we saw just how bad he could be early in the season and frankly, I think he helped sink our chances. (That’s just sour grapes talking I’m sure. There were a lot of things that sunk the 2008 Atlanta Braves.) 

No way was he was worth the 364 day rental.

Braves Collection: Ron Reed

1969 Topps #177

Ron Reed was the strong number two pitcher on the Braves division winning team in 1969 when he won 18 games. Looking back at his career, and it would be difficult to say he was a great pitcher. He was just good … and he was good for a long, long time. He is one of only eight players to have won a hundred games and saved a hundred games. He won 13 games as a reliever for the 79 Phillies. In 1975, he pitched 250 innings and only allowed 5 home runs. Not bad, right?

Oh yeah, he also averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game with the Detroit Pistons before joining the Braves. Now that is damn cool.

Glavine Notes: On His Way Back?

Photo by Elb2000

Wednesday should give us a glimpse of Tom Glavine’s future as a major league pitcher. Prior to the Braves-Mets showdown at Citi Field, Glavine intends to simulate a rehab start in the bullpen. If all goes well, he’d like to make at least two minor league rehab starts. He could be ready to join the Braves in time for their next road trip.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about Tommy coming back. I cannot, obviously, hope that Glavine is injured. It’s just that the Braves have a glut of starting pitching and room will have to be made on the roster for Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen at some point soon. They are ready. Ironically, I think Glavine’s presence on the roster could could help Hanson and Medlen, but, barring injury, there’s no way all three could fit into the rotation.

If it weren’t for that little stint with the Mets, Tom Glavine would be my favorite player of all time. As it is, I only like Greg Maddux more. If he comes back, I will make a point of seeing him pitch in person one more time. I hope to one day make the trip to Cooperstown to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame (as I hope to for Maddux and that other guy). I just don’t see how he he fits in on this team … not when Hanson and Medlen look to be ready for the big time.

Glavine Collection: 1999 Pacific Aurora #15

When I left collecting behind in the early 90s, I had never heard of Pacific Trading Cards. Now that I’m back in the hobby, I don’t know how I feel about their products. They just seem sort of there to me. None of my Pacific cards stand out in my mind among my favorites. Does anyone out there miss Pacific?

Maddux Collection: 1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars #145

For a long, long time I hated the look of 90’s baseball cards … especially the inserts and subsets. When I cam back into collecting, they started to grow on me. Give me a good 80’s base set any day of the week. I’ll always prefer the new retro-themed sets. Still, these cards are cool and almost never boring to look at.

Maddux Collection: 2001 Fleer Platinum #103

I love 1981 Fleer so any retro set based on 81 Fleer is going to hook me. Actually, the front is what 1981 Fleer should have looked like. The back is standard late 80s Fleer, resembling the 87 in particular to me.

Glavine Collection: 1989 Fleer #591

Here’s another edition of how bad were the Braves in the mid to late 80s.

How bad were the Braves in 1988? Tom Glavine only won 17 games. This was the second most on the team. (It’s telling that his first few years in the big leagues didn’t damage his confidence.)

Glavine Collection: 1999 Bowman #270

There’s still no definitive word on Glavine’s future. He’s encouraged by several sessions of throwing in the bullpen, but whether he returns or not is still up in the air.