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RIP Braves

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by TheSportsPredictor, May 6, 2006.

  1. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I expect you to be wrong. Way wrong. They've been playing the Mets all the time. They'll easily get to .500 once they start beating up on the Marlins and Nationals.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    You are incredibly off on the victory total. They'll finish well above .500, if nothing else. And you are wrong to count them out. The history of the situation says that is folly. I dunno what VORP or ORK or FUBAR you're using to have the Braves that far down. But I guess if you do this every year, you will be right eventually.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    What HB said.

    Although, this Mets team looks a lot better than some which have fizzled in the past.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I was using the standings. The facts are that teams that find themselves in the Braves current situation end up with 66 wins since the divisions were divided three per league. I didn't count 1994 b/c they didn't finish the season, and I didn't count 1995 b/c they started the season late.

    Perhaps the Braves will fall into the 14-25% that finish over .500, or the 4% that wind up as division winners. But the more likely scenario is that the Braves are DOA and will win between 66 and 70 games.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    The most likely scenario is you'll be wrong.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Tell me TSP, do those percentages change if a team is 8 games out on May 7 instead of nine out on May 6?
    Sunday, after all, is Lima Time at Shea and that can not bode well for the Mets.
    In fact. with Zambrano going down, Lima Time could become an every fifth-day occurrence in NY.
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    But the Braves are definitely in the top quarter of the teams who have been in that situation; they are a defending division champion with pretty much the same roster (subtract Furcal, add experience to the rookies). They are an apple being compared to a bunch of rancid oranges.

    Another example where even simple numbers like those in the standings can be wildly misused.
  8. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    The Sports Predictor eats rancid oranges for breakfast.
  9. Turbo

    Turbo Guest

    How ironic would it be though if the Mets did end the Braves' division-title streak, only to watch the Braves finally get that second Series ring as a wild card?

    Too early to give the division to the Mets. They're still due for 4-5 more key injuries.
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    It would be ironic in an Alanis Morrisette kind of way -- that is to say, not ironic at all. But I bet the Braves would take it.
  11. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    The Mets apparently are down to 3 healthy starters plus Jose Lima.
    Bannister already is on the DL; Maine, who replaced him for one game, went on the DL today with a strained tendon in his hand and Zambrano possibly blew out his elbow in the second inning today.
  12. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Braves worried

    Saturday, May 6, 2006


    NEW YORK -- After 14 consecutive division titles, you'd think the Braves would've acquired a what-us-worry mentality about the Mets, even in the wake of a disastrous April. But veterans such as John Smoltz and Chipper Jones have felt the steady drizzle of sub-.500 baseball and worry about being soaked by Memorial Day.

    "There's no question the Mets could run away with this thing," Smoltz was saying before Friday night's marathon series opener at Shea. He was standing next to a card game in the visitors' clubhouse, where the Braves exhibited neither swagger nor panic, just a sober understanding of the calendar and the math.

    David Wright's run-scoring double in the 14th inning gave the Mets an 8-7 win and, more importantly, dropped the Braves eight games out. They inched closer to a doomsday scenario -- getting swept, falling 10 out -- at which point Atlanta's season would be unofficially over.

    Could it really happen to the Great Machine of the South? Jones was honest enough to admit, "It's in the back of everyone's mind."

    In any other year, the Braves would've never sweated a Mets' hot streak, especially one this early. There was always an Armando Benitez or John Franco around to deliver the fatal blow to the Mets' chances. But as Smoltz cryptically put it, "History doesn't always repeat itself."

    That was his way of saying these aren't Art Howe's Mets or even Bobby Valentine's creation. Benitez has morphed into Billy Wagner; Mike Piazza's aloofness has given way to Carlos Delgado's and David Wright's charisma. The clueless Howe has been replaced by the more interactive Willie Randolph.

    Little by little, one series at a time, the Mets are realizing they're one of the two best teams in the National League. And until now, that list doesn't include Atlanta.

    The Braves know it. None other than Smoltz admits, "Unless we all stay completely healthy, we don't have enough" firepower to win the East.

    Then he steered the conversation back to the Mets and how they've changed the playing field since 2005.

    "I said it in spring training they're a good, good team. And they've shown it," Smoltz said. "The Mets play close games and they win them all. They're built to score a lot of runs and then shut you down after the sixth inning."

    Across the room, Chipper said it was "shocking" to be part of any ordinary team in the East, forced to concede the talent gap to the Mets.

    "They're not just built to win the division, they're built to go all the way," Jones said. "But it's mind over matter in situations like these. Hopefully, we can get it together and let them know we're going to be in this thing until the end."

    The Braves' respect for the Mets is interwoven with their own frustration with Time Warner, the parent company that has refused to spend competitively in the free agent market.

    Case in point is Billy Wagner, a Virginia native who would've been a cultural and professional natural fit in the Braves' clubhouse. To say the Braves needed a closer this winter is like saying Nolan Ryan had a fastball; not only did the Braves need Wagner, he told friends he was waiting for their phone call.

    But when Jones says he was "surprised" the Braves never negotiated in earnest with the closer, he was speaking for the entire clubhouse. Jones ruefully said, "We haven't spent much money on our bullpen" -- and that was before the Braves blew a four-run lead in the seventh inning Friday night, paving the way for extra innings.

    Suddenly, the Braves become the Mets of old, blowing saves, uncharacteristically thin in the starting rotation. Smoltz believes the only chance the Braves have of catching the Mets is "some kind of injury or breakdown in their starting rotation."

    Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine are untouchable lately, but nothing is impossible. The Mets are still running Victor Zambrano out there every five days, and Steve Trachsel, who allowed four runs in six innings Friday, can be as mediocre as he is unhittable, depending on whether he's throwing his curveball for strikes.

    As for the No. 5 starter ... well, the Mets are either leaning on a rookie, Brian Bannister, another rookie in John Maine or Class AAA call-up Jose Lima, who's been in decline for years.

    So the Braves have some reason for hope; they're not seeing either Pedro or Glavine this weekend, even though Smoltz will miss the series, too. They could sure use him; the moment Wright connected off Jorge Sosa, Shea turned into an open-air asylum -- an early May night sounding a little like October.

    It's a dreary, new world for Braves manager Bobby Cox and the leftovers from the golden era in Atlanta. They're watching the Mets mount the most legitimate threat to their Eastern Division reign since 1995. For now, the Braves are helpless to do anything about it.

    "They've played great and we've played awful," is how Smoltz put it. "That pretty much sums it up."

    E-mail: klapisch@northjersey.com
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