Monday, June 03, 2002

The Powerful Lens

By June 1st there are four guarantees:

(1) My front lawn is scorched, the victim of my annual gamble that surely this summer it will rain;
(2) I’ve declared my undying love for a bronze twenty year-old wearing low-rider jeans and a belly chain;
(3) I’ve broken my vow minutes later for her even hotter friend; and
(4) I’m itchin’ to trade with Will

Regretably, Will’s no more interested in dealing with me than the twenty year-olds.

But enough about me. Tonight’s column is dedicated to one my favorite pursuits: Ignoring the faults in my life. This evening I turn the “powerful lens” on Tony’s team and explain why, unless he changes his ways, his name will not reside next to yours and mine on the Sausage League thropy.

“Tony’s got one of the ten best teams of all time” -- a/k/a he’s the Braves all over again

Remember that giddy feeling we’d get watching Bobby Cox saunter to the mound in mid-October and turn the ninth inning over to the likes Bedrosian, Pena, Clontz, McMichael, Stanton, Wohlers, and Rocker? It was like watching Charlie Brown try to kick the ball from Lucy. Tony’s failed to learn from his mistakes in 1995 or Chuan’s indecision last year. Hitting stats are like bad guests – they never leave. Take that HR and RBI lead and trade someone. He’s one great starter away from watching the rest of us play for second place. Instead, he spends half his free agent money on Mark Prior and gives away his best holdover for Josh Fogg. Any chance you’ll let me talk to him about some Arizona beachfront property I just inherited?

Desert Delight’s pitching is a mirage.

The ace of his staff is Odalis Perez. Odalis Perez?? This is the same guy who had a 4.91 ERA for the Braves last year. Name me the last good home-grown pitcher the Braves let slip through their organization? Kent Mercker, Jason Schmidt, Bruce Chen? Here’s Tony’s starting five: Perez, Prior, Fogg, Adams, Armas. And he’s in second in ERA and third in WHIP?? I haven’t seen something this dire since Ricky Martin’s career three months after “LaVida Loca”.

My Prediction

Without trading either Helton, Guerrero or Sosa for one of the top 10 pitchers in the NL, he’ll lose 3-5 points in each category by year end and finish second.