Nov 1, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams talks to the media during the press conference at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 1/26

Organizational report: New manager brings hard-nosed style

[Editorial Note: Braves fans should always keep up with division rivals, and the Nats will probably be our toughest in the NL East]

USA Today

Two seasons ago, the Washington Nationals won 98 games with a young core, racing to the National League East title a year removed from finishing below .500.

Last season, despite a furious finish, Washington went 86-76, 10 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.

Washington had trouble scoring early last season, which contributed to a slow start, and its pitching was more pedestrian, especially relief-wise. The Nationals have improved both areas, but a key ingredient remains. Virtually the same core of players is in place, from veterans Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez to young superstars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.




Rowland’s Office

In trying to figure out the reasoning behind the local TV contract, I can’t help but wonder if the Braves were used as a bargaining chip between Fox and Time Warner, which have been involved in numerous carriage disputes over the years. “We’ll give you cheap programming if you lower the carriage fees.” Yes, the Braves will suffer but that will be some other corporation’s problem.

You got a better theory?

It didn’t have to be this way. Bud has the authority to block anyone from purchasing a team, but he’d rather use that veto power on someone like Mark Cuban. And so the Braves have become just another corporate holding, subject to all that entails.

We’ve yet to see the worst of it, but the handwriting is on the wall. In large, block letters. Let’s remind Bud of that when his farewell tour makes its way to Atlanta this season.



Freddy Garcia is a Solid Signing for Atlanta Braves

Rant Sports

No one would have imagined about half-way through the 2013 season that Freddy Garcia would produce one of the better stories of the entire 2013 MLB Postseason by dueling successfully with Clayton Kershaw but it happened. Likewise many might not suspect that the Atlanta Braves signing Garcia with a potential to earn a spot on the 25-man roster is a great move but it is. Garcia more than proved himself down the stretch with the Braves and to revisit that situation is a perfect idea for the Braves.

They need a veteran ace but they are not going to pay high enough in money or in prospects to get one. Outside of that possibility, Garcia might be their best fall-back option. He proved that is a very capable starter when given the chance and that, as manager Fredi Gonzalez said more than once, he knows how to work his way through a major league line-up. In addition to that good side is that Garcia has come out of the bullpen as well.



Atlanta Braves Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors

  • Freddy Garcia does not want to pitch in Triple-A for the Braves, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has an opt-out on March 25 that can be exercised if he has not been added to the MLB roster, but Garcia is confident that he won’t need to do so.


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