Morning Chop: Tomahawk Take’s Summary of Braves’ News
Braves fan’s death at Turner Field ruled suicide
The death of a 30-year-old man from a fall at Turner Field in Atlanta last month during a Braves-Philadelphia Phillies games was ruled a suicide, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Ronald Lee Homer Jr. of Conyers, Gla., fell 85 feet over a fourth-level railing onto concrete in a players’ parking lot on Aug. 12 during a rain delay at the ballpark. He was unconscious at the scene and later died at a local hospital.
Atlanta Braves’ Offense Will be Primed and Ready for Jason Heyward
As they finally near the clinching point of their long and winding season the Atlanta Braves deserve a breather more than any team headed to the postseason. The latest of the devastating blows they took was the broken jaw to the man who was carrying the offense, Jason Heyward. It was a huge blow to chemistry on the field and especially offensively. The hole he left at the top of the order looks now more like a chasm. All of that is coming to an end however, as Heyward could be back in the batting order as early as next week. One of the big things that made his leading off a success was the placement of Justin Upton in the two-hole. Upton also came alive at that time and really made it difficult for pitchers to get through the first inning without an incident.
Andrelton and Andruw and Defense and Offense
Andrelton Simmons and Andruw Jones have a few things in common: they grew up in Curacao, they came up with the Atlanta Braves, they are superlative up-the-middle defenders with good power for their position but some other offensive flaws, and their names both start with “Andr.” I think that the final similarity between the two is this: they help demonstrate just how hard it is for many fans to intuit that one win on offense is equal to one win on defense.
For Simmons, this can be shown by his relative absence in conversations about the league MVP. This year, Simmons’s preternatural play at short has inspired any number of articles exploring whether he’s having the best defensive season ever. But even so, he hasn’t come in for much MVP consideration, which is a bit intuitively bizarre — if a player were having the best offensive season ever, there would be no question of MVP buzz.
(Simmons is only 14th in the league in WAR at 4.3, but that’s partly because UZR likes his defense less than DRS — he has 41 DRS and “only” 31.1 UZR. In any event, he leads the Braves in WAR, and the Braves lead the league in wins, so there’s no question that he has been “valuable.”)
Series preview: Braves at Cubs
Season series: Braves 3-0.
Friday: 1:20 p.m., CSN.
Saturday: 3:05 p.m., WGN-Ch. 9.
Sunday: 1:20 p.m., WGN-Ch. 9.
Will Braves Have Sense of Urgency in Playoffs?
The Atlanta Braves were known throughout their 14-year division championship run as going about their business on the field with a tight-lipped, button-down, corporate approach. Rarely did Braves players show emotion, particularly by leaders of the team.
John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff… those players went about their business like robots, efficient in their play, but lacking fire and enthusiasm. They may have been excited when their huge paychecks arrived, but rarely did they demonstrate emotion during games.
When the playoffs came around, rarely did Bobby Cox make bold moves, rarely did he show fire. My all-time most frustrating Braves game was when they were playing the Marlins in the playoffs and home plate umpire Eric Gregg was giving Marlins right-handed starter Livan Hernanzdez strikes that were a full foot outside. Yet Cox sat there the entire game and let it happen without going out and raising holy hell. Like he was in a catatonic state.