Archive for August, 2010

Braves trying to keep it going with team of moving parts

Eric Hinske started at first base for Troy Glaus. He would've preferred if that was ball, not part of his bat, flying.

Eric Hinske started at first base. He would've preferred if that was the ball, not his splintered bat, flying.

This is meant as no disrespect to Martin Prado, who is the team’s best player, or Omar Infante, who seems to have no problem filling in for the team’s best player, or Eric Hinske, or Brooks Conrad, or David Ross — none of whom seems to be particularly well-known outside of homes with mailboxes that carry the names Prado, Infante, Hinske, Conrad and Ross.

But does it seem as if the Braves have taken this whole interchangeable parts thing to a new level? Baseball was built on themes like the Mudville Nine, not the Left Field Five or the Center Field Four or the — wait, has anybody not batted third yet?

The Braves made another lineup change Tuesday night. Eric Hinske replaced the slumping Troy Glaus at first base. Presumably, Glaus will return to the lineup if he starts channeling his former May self again because his April-June-July-August self is …

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LIVE from Braves (Hinske in, Glaus out and Dunn available)

Eric Hinske has something to celebrate. He's in the starting lineup tonight at first base, replacing the slumping Troy Glaus.

Eric Hinske has something to celebrate. He's in the starting lineup tonight at first base, replacing the slumping Troy Glaus.

Let’s start with the news. Remember that Troy Glaus lifeline I wrote about Monday night? Well, it just got shorter.

Having hit .167 since June 28 and with six RBIs in his last 33 games for the Braves, Glaus is out of the lineup for tonight’s game against the New York Mets. No huge surprise, just a welcome relief.

Glaus has been replaced at first base by Eric Hinske. It’s only Hinske’s 12th start of the season at first base but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him become more of a fixture there. Fact is, with Rick Ankiel now in center field, the Braves can have Matt Diaz and Melky Cabrera as a regular platoon in left (assuming Ankiel’s health holds up). That frees up Hinske to play more at first.

Manager Bobby Cox said only that he was going to rest Glaus “for a day or two” and see how it goes. Either way, not a great birthday present for Glaus. He …

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Favre’s retirement (really? finally?) is opening for Falcons

Here's Brett Favre crying the first time he retired from Green Bay in 2008. Of course, truth was, he just wanted out.

Here's Brett Favre crying the first time he retired in 2008. Truth was, he just wanted out of Green Bay.

(Last update: 12:45 p.m.)

Brett Favre is retiring.

I know. You’re waiting for the punchline.

But Favre — who would have more universal support as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history if he wasn’t also the most selfish athlete in sports’ history — apparently is too banged up to continue his career. His surgically repaired left ankle has not healed as quickly as he had hoped and he began telling  Minnesota Vikings teammates Monday night that he won’t be back.

An official announcement is expected today.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said today he has not yet heard a final decision from Favre. He called the situation “fluid.” Sounds like the last three years.

Now, this is the mother of all “ifs.” But IF Favre doesn’t return, it’s a significant

Favre took a beating in the NFC title game against New Orleans and ultimately lost the game with an interception.

Favre took a beating in the NFC title game against New Orleans and ultimately lost the game with an …

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How long can Braves keep extending Troy Glaus’s lifeline?

Troy Glaus, seen here backing away from a pitch Monday night, has not been a picture of comfort at the plate since May.

Troy Glaus, here backing away from a pitch, hasn't been picture of comfort at plate since May ended.

There have been times in Troy Glaus’ career when he has dropped into a horrendous slump and, like any other athlete wallowing at the intersection of Desperate and Irrational, he sought answers in something more metaphysical than a flawed batting stance.

So he changed how he drove to the stadium.

“I’d drive a different way in the past,” Glaus said Monday. “But here in Atlanta, I still don’t know how to get around that well, so I’ve got to stick to the one route I know.”

Glaus is ahead of Nate McLouth. At least the Braves haven’t told him to Mapquest directions to their Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett like they did McLouth last week. But a change to Glaus’ status as the team’s starting first baseman can’t be that far away.

The Braves returned home Monday night and got well. They dumped the New York Mets 4-1. Glaus had little to do with it, …

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We’re LIVE from Braves (and will homestand stop the fade?)

Now that the Braves have left the "other countries," can they take off again?

Now that the Braves have returned to this "country," they'll try to remember what winning streak feels like.

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Matt Diaz and Alex Gonzalez scored on a single by newcomer Rick Ankiel to give the Braves a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

The last time the Braves played a home game was July 22. They defeated San Diego 8-0. They led the National League East by seven games.

The good news? There are no reports of any player’s dog dying during the road trip.

They Braves are still on top of the National League East Division — just not by much — and we’re about to find out to what degree they’re fading.

They open a seven-game home stand tonight against the New York Mets. Their division lead is down to 2 1/2 games over Philadelphia, which has won nine of the last 11. The Braves are coming off lost three straight road series losses to to Florida, Washington and Cincinnati. Road trip record: 3-6.

More to the point, they’re only 7-9 since the All-Star break. That doesn’t constitute a slide …

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Falcons’ early hits: Weatherspoon, BVG, Roddy White’s socks

That's Roddy White making the early fashion statement of training camp. (Ugh.)

That's Roddy White making the early fashion statement of training camp. (Ugh.)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Made my first trip to Falcons training camp Monday and I’m already inured. I feel like Jerious Norwood.

Actually, my ailment was just temporary blindness. I was caught looking at Roddy White’s socks.

With red and black stripes stretching from the tops of White’s shoes up to his knees, I thought maybe the Falcons had moved their training camp to “Whoville.”

“I call them my swagger socks,” White said after the morning practice. “I can’t get wear them in a game or I’d get fined. Actually, I think this might be my last day wearing them in practice because I did terrible today. Dropped a couple of passes. Coach [Terry] Robiskie was on me about my socks all morning.”

White said the socks came in the mail from a fan.

“I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to try to these out.’ But not any more. I’m retiring the socks.”

“He’s blaming the socks?” coach Mike Smith said later, smiling. “I’m …

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