Archive for May, 2009

You Be The GM: Braves send Francoeur to Boston Red Sox for… who?

With a Gordon Edes report circulating online that the Boston Red Sox have been scouting Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur — and Atlanta GM Frank Wren having no comment on the matter — we turn to you, our AJC readers, for… comment on the matter of the Frenchy-to-BoSox rumors.

You Be The GM: For the pure sake of argument, let’s say you’re Braves GM and you’re shipping Francoeur to Boston. Who do you ask for in return? Another outfielder to plug the RF hole that’s created? A pitcher to shore up our rotation? Or the big bat needed to cure the offensive woes?

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Falcons’ tight end history vs. Tony Gonzalez

Falcons acquired tight end Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round pick in 2010. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons acquired tight end Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round pick in 2010. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

The addition of tight end Tony Gonzalez gives quarterback Matt Ryan another solid target to complement Michael Turner and Roddy White on the Falcons offense, which ranked sixth overall last season.

Gonzalez, who’s entering the third year of a five-year, $35 million contract extension that he signed with the Chiefs in 2007,  will cost the Falcons $6.5 million in 2009, $7 million in 2010 and $8.25 million in 2011 under the salary cap.

Gonzalez, 33, caught 96 passes for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for Kansas City. The future Hall of Famer owns NFL career records for tight ends with receptions (916),  yards receiving (10,940), receiving touchdowns (76) and  100-yard receiving games (26). 

When his time is over in Atlanta, how will his time in a Falcons jersey compare to others who’ve donned the Red and Black?

Jim  Mitchell

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Atlanta Braves: Recent road resurgence a great sign, but what’s up with homestand headaches?

The Braves hope for more celebrations like this -- at Turner Field. (AP)

The Braves hope for more celebrations like this — at Turner Field. (AP)

With a nailbiter of a 12-inning 8-7 win May 13 against the NL East-leading Mets, the Braves helped themselves immensely in the division standings. The victory moved Atlanta back to within 1.5 games of New York, evening the Braves’ record to 17-17.

But here’s what interests us, looking at the standings and stats: The Mets’ home record is 12-8 in Citi Field, their brand new ballpark; their away record, 6-7. Atlanta’s away record is 12-8; the team’s stats at The Ted currently clocking in at an unkind 5-9.

YOU TELL US: With a 10-game homestand up next for the Braves (vs. the NL West’s lackluster Arizona and Colorado with interleague play vs. AL East leader Toronto) and a 10-game road trip on tap for Mets (at NL West leaders San Francisco and L.A. Dodgers with interleague play vs. AL East contender Boston), is a major shakeup in the NL East standings in the offing? Or will the Braves’ lacking play at home …

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Atlanta Falcons: Who’s got to stay healthy for the Birds to be 2009 NFL playoff contenders?

Top draft pick Peria Jerry (94) suffered an injury during recent Falcons' mini-camp. (AJC)

Top draft pick Peria Jerry (94) suffered an injury during recent Falcons’ mini-camp. (AJC)

The rumblings about Falcons PRE-preseason injuries have already started — where else? — in the Falcons Vent.

“When the season starts Jerry, Baker, and Abraham will be ready so quit grumbling” and “I hope that Jerry isn’t going to be the next Sam Baker … a 1st rounder who spends more time on injured reserve than in the game” turned up in the Sports Vent Guy’s email this morning.

Defensive tackle Peria Jerry suffered a mild right knee sprain during Saturday’s mini-camp and did not practice on Sunday. The Falcons’ first-round draft pick had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee last August to repair a torn meniscus.

Defensive end John Abraham and kicker Jason Elam joined defensive back Von Hutchins (broken foot), offensive lineman Alex Stepanovich (back) and cornerback David Irons (knee) were on the list of players being held out of mini-camp workouts this past Friday. Abraham had nerve, …

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When will the Atlanta Braves post a series win again?

Now that the Braves have lost six of eight games and all three series on the homestand, we’re asking you, Atlanta, when will the Tomahawks actually post a series win again? The team last won a series in Cincinnati on April 24-26. They next face NL East rivals Florida, Philadelphia and New York on a week-long road swing.

You tell us: What will it take for the Braves to mount a turnaround?

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NBA Playoffs: How will Hawks match up against Cavaliers in conference semifinals?

After the Atlanta Hawks’ thrilling seven-game series win over the Miami Heat Sunday, fans are understandably excited about the upcoming Eastern Conference semifinals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting tomorrow.

But here are some things to consider as the high-flying Hawks soar into Cleveland for Game 1:

– The Cavs sport the NBA’s best regular-season record at 66-16
– Cleveland won its NBA Eastern Conference First Round playoff series, sweeping Detroit 4-0
– The Cavs as a team average 100.3 PPG
– In 2009, LeBron James averaged 28.4 PPG
– In the playoffs, James averaged 32 PPG

You tell us: What are the Hawks’ chances against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals? Can Atlanta take Cleveland to seven games or will the Cavs pull off the sweep again?

HAWKS-CAVALIERS EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 1 – Atlanta at Cleveland, Tuesday, 8 p.m., TNT
Game 2 - Atlanta at Cleveland, Thursday, 8 p.m., ESPN
Game 3 – Cleveland at Atlanta, …

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