The Monday Heat Check: Braves are warm, Hawks not so hot

Eric Hinske scores the Braves' lone run against San Diego on Sunday. (AP photo)

Eric Hinske scores the Braves' lone run against San Diego on Sunday. (AP photo)

What you see here is new weekly feature. We call it the Monday Morning Heat Check, and its intent is to measure the warmth, or the absence thereof, of Atlanta’s sports entries. And what qualifies me to determine such things? Well, I buy my eyeglasses at the same posh establishment frequented by Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel. Need I say more?

The Braves: Went 4-2 on the week, sweeping a pretty good opponent in Toronto before losing a series to the last-place Padres. On Saturday the Braves scored 10 runs and you thought, not for the first time, that maybe they’d gotten it going. On Sunday they managed two hits, and you thought, not for the first time, “Nah.” They’re still five games back of Philadelphia in the East, and Jonny Venters just proved he’s human after all.  Heat index: Warm, but not nearly sizzling.

The Hawks: For a couple of hours Thursday, the Hawks were the center of the NBA universe. SI.com reported they were about to be sold, and Yahoo! Sports reported they were trying to trade Josh Smith to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick in the draft. But Bruce Levenson, one of the many owners, claimed no sale was imminent, and the trade never happened. The Hawks were left with the 48th pick in the draft and took Keith Benson, a skinny center of some promise from Oakland. This prompted Chad Ford of ESPN Insiders to give their draft class of one a league-low C-minus. Heat index: Tepid.

Georgia Tech basketball: The good news was that Iman Shumpert was selected with the 17th pick of Round 1 — by the Knicks, whose fans booed the selection. This made four first-round draftees for Tech over the past five seasons. The bad news is that those gifted Jackets never did much while they were Jackets, which is why Tech has a new coach. Heat index: Hot  in terms of pro potential, chilly in terms of college production.

Georgia basketball: Had Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie returned for their senior seasons, Georgia would have been ranked in the preseason Top 25. But they left and didn’t even get taken in Round 1 for their trouble. Worse still, both were taken by the Clippers. Heat index: Cold, cold, cold.

The Falcons: They’re locked out. They’re practicing on their own. If they ever get unlocked-out, they’ll be one of the best teams in the NFL. Until then, they’re just a bunch of guys tossing around a football on a high school field. Heat index: In cold storage.

The Dream: Last season they played for the WNBA title. They’ve started this season 2-7. Yep, they’re an Atlanta team. Heat index: Not even room temperature.

The Thrashers: They’re officially gone, and they’re no longer the Thrashers and Craig Ramsay is no longer the coach and … well, it’s as if they never existed. Which prompts the question: Did they? Heat index: As cold as the grave.

I ask you: Were these guys ever really here? (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

I ask you: Were the guys in blue ever really here? (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

By Mark Bradley

145 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

June 27th, 2011
8:40 am

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
8:41 am

Rawdawg again. He’s a kudo’ed dynasty.

Dan

June 27th, 2011
8:41 am

Piss on the NHL!

The Real Brave

June 27th, 2011
8:43 am

Anyone who thinks the Braves are even warm has not seen their record against teams with losing records. See: Padres, Mets…etc.

Sam

June 27th, 2011
8:43 am

There is no cooling off the Falcon’s Offense right now.

dtanner

June 27th, 2011
8:44 am

braves are boring and completely uninspiring,get rid of schafer and mcclouth

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

June 27th, 2011
8:46 am

Too bad Fox cant nail down the top players in Georgia. They are going elsewhere. Just like Richt in football. UGA is cold, cold, cold too.

Bawbie

June 27th, 2011
8:47 am

Fire Dave Perno!

ken

June 27th, 2011
8:50 am

and we wonder why Atlanta fabs are made fun of…4th best record in baseball and our fans dont think we are at least warm…..those who dont think this team is solid in the new MLB then dont know baseball….mlb is not 11-10 finals anymore…it is a pitchers game and the braves have the best staff…just go with it and support them or go watch cars go in a circle!!!

Reid Adair

June 27th, 2011
8:51 am

“Tepid” might be too kind to the Hawks, Mark.

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
8:56 am

“Tepid” is a word I once used regarding a Hawks matter with which Stan Kasten, then the general manager, disagreed. So I use it advisedly, Reid.

GT Dude

June 27th, 2011
8:57 am

Let’s take a page out of the NCAA handbook and just say that the Thrashers used ineligible player so that all references to both their wins and losses will be stricken from the record books so in essence they never existed

superiorblogman

June 27th, 2011
8:59 am

Seriously Rick Sund needs to go right now. The guy can find a way to trade Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Mike Bibby, and Mo Evans for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong but he can’t find a way to get a full time starting center. Rick Sund is worthless way more worthless than Mike Bibby ever could have been.

The new owners need to make a splash by firing this guy as soon as the deal becomes official.

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
8:59 am

“Vacated,” you mean, GT Dude?

Tron5000

June 27th, 2011
9:05 am

As long as ASG owns the Hawks, they are as cold to me as the dead body of the Thrashers franchise. Can’t bring myself to care about the NFL, what with the lockout and all. Women’s basketball? Please.

That leaves the Braves and GT football and basketball as the teams I actually give a crap about.

Man, I really hope the Braves do something this year. ‘Cause the chances of GT football or basketball giving me something to get excited about are slim and none.

Skeezix

June 27th, 2011
9:08 am

Mark: Going into this season I didn’t think offense would be a major problem. So I have a question. During the run of 14 straight division titles, was there a year where the Braves offense was as puny as this year?

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:11 am

again…this MLB is not the same as the 90’s….if we were the only team struggling at the plate then it would be an issue….we are 9 games over .500 without our best hitter…..sheesh…even the Phillies are looking for a bat!!!!

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:13 am

Actually, Skeezix, the Braves hit .250 as a team in 1995. That was the year they won the world championship.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:13 am

and as far as GT at least we are headed into the right direction with a coach who gets that at Tech we need 4 year solid players who can compete rather than one NBA first rounder who messes up chemistry

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:14 am

Mark…let these morons know that we are fine and will be in the playoffs and with our bullpen and starters have a serious shot at winning it all.

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:15 am

The Braves have a serious shot at winning it all, ken. But I do wish they wouldn’t make it so hard on themselves.

Ted M

June 27th, 2011
9:17 am

The Braves Pitching Staff will end the year with a great team ERA but it won’t be as good as it is now. So the hitters are gonna have to do better just to keep pace with that, then they are gonna have to do even better to catch the Phillies.

Uggla needs to get hot for 10 straight games and there should be no talk of him busting out until he does so.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:18 am

agree but I believe that when Prado comes back we will be fine…the question is how will the lineup look? My thought would be for the best lineup….

CF Shafer
LF Prado
3B Jones
C McCann
1B Freeman
2B Uggla
RF Heyward
SS Gonzalez

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:20 am

I think you’ve got it, ken.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:22 am

thanks Mark….now when it comes to GT…how long before coach gets it turned around in your eyes?

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:24 am

one more point on the Braves…they are 12-6 in the 18 games that their best hitter(Prado) has been out…not too shaby!!!

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:25 am

Might take Brian Gregory a little while, ken. The cupboard’s bare.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:26 am

yeah thats what I think too Mark..thinking NIT in 3 years and NCAA in 4?

oldmike

June 27th, 2011
9:33 am

I hope Lowe can go on a roll and run off 3 or more outstanding starts in July. Maybe then we can trade him for a power hitting outfielder. We also need to get Uggla out of the alternate universe he is in. His funk is killing the team.

J-Man

June 27th, 2011
9:35 am

Fire Larry Parrish and Trade for Kemp…….is that too much to ask for??????

BravesFaninVR

June 27th, 2011
9:41 am

I agree that Uggla is not really helping but to blame the woes on him is shortsighted. If only one person is struggling then a lineup is usually still potent. The real problem as I see it is the Braves inability to manufacture runs. The struggle with bunting, moving runners over, stringing hits together. All that with a lack of team speed spells a low scoring team.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:42 am

shoot why go for kemp since we are dreaming in the clouds lets go get josh hamilton…geez people are stupid!!!

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:43 am

I don’t know, ken. One recruit can change everything.

Sonny Clusters

June 27th, 2011
9:44 am

We used to get two hits by the third inning. Maybe what the Braves need is some group therapy. They could all go out to the Double Dime and kill something over the All Star break. Then, when they get back maybe they’ll be hitting. We’re not sure what it’s going to take but getting Uggla started has to be part of the answer. You wasn’t kidding when you said he was a slow starter.

skip

June 27th, 2011
9:45 am

So the Braves heat index is warm? Maybe, but their offense is…..hell, I don’t know, what’s the next adjective after pathetic.

Joey

June 27th, 2011
9:49 am

Mark, has a MLB team 9 games over .500 EVER been held under 5 hits in a game this many times, before the All Star break?

The question is rhetorical, but it is kinda unbelievable how many times it has happened so far.

Mark Bradley

June 27th, 2011
9:50 am

I believe “pitiful” follows “pathetic,” skip.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:50 am

in top 15 in hitting in baseball
Chicago Cubs (4th) 31-46
KC Royals (6th) 33-45
Baltimore (8th) 35-40
Houston(9th) 28-51
NY Mets (11th) 39-39
LA Dodgers (13th) 35-44
Oakland (15th) 31-46

question would of any of you idiots change places with these teams fans just so you can more hitting….crazy people!!!

BravesFaninVR

June 27th, 2011
9:50 am

Maybe the Braves put too much emphasis on Pitching and not enough on offense. I agree that pitching is important. However, it can be wasted with no run support. In the last two decades the Braves have only developed two elite hitters (Jones, McCann) as opposed to countless pitchers. I’m begging to think its an overall organizational problem. They need to develop hitting in the minors the same way they develop pitching.

Sonny Clusters

June 27th, 2011
9:52 am

Is it just us or does somebody else think Jason Heyward might not have spent enough time in the minors learning how to hit and field his position? Learning up here is going to be hard to do.

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:56 am

now in top 15 pitching:
Philladelphia(1st) 49-30
Atlanta (2nd) 45-34
SF Giants (4th) 44-34
Seattle (5th) 39-39
Washington (7th) 40-38
Pittsburgh (9th) 40-38
NY Yankees (10th) 45-38
Tampa Bay (11th) 44-34
Milwaukee (12th) 44-35
Cleveland (13th) 40-35

Do you see a patten here people….the BRAVES are FINE!!!

ken

June 27th, 2011
9:58 am

Freedie Freeman and Jason Heyward will be really good hitters and were developed in the minors!!
I believe also that Schaffer will be a really good lead off hitter when he masters it!!

Barry

June 27th, 2011
9:58 am

What is the braves team batting avg today?

headley lamar

June 27th, 2011
9:59 am

The Braves will be fine. Is this gonna be a great Braves offensive team.

No.

But the Braves bats always warm up in the second half. Or so it seems.

ken

June 27th, 2011
10:00 am

wait a minute….wasnt Prado developed in our system…oh yes he was….gime me a break people!!!

ken

June 27th, 2011
10:01 am

.237 but remember that we have played many games without our best hitter in Prado…and by the way the Phillies are hitting only .246

headley lamar

June 27th, 2011
10:01 am

Still have yet to see Sonny Clusters and Mark Bradley at the same place at the same time.

Je

June 27th, 2011
10:03 am

Imagine ken if we had batted around the middle instead of at the bottom? I think that’s what most people expect with the payroll. The offense is anemic and has been like this for years.

ken

June 27th, 2011
10:03 am

the facts are if Uggla wasnt in his worse slump of his career then we wouldnt be saying anything, but the facts are he is and our team is suffering a little, but when he gets going and Prado comes back the Braves will be one of the best lineups in the game. also remember that we are not trying to catch the phillies but we are wanting the playoffs and that is where we are!!!

ken

June 27th, 2011
10:04 am

payroll is 17th out of 30 teams…we dont spend money like we use to…other than chipper and uggla nobody in the lineup makes huge money