Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jason Heyward and All Our Hopes

Jason Heyward had a big time hit for the Atlanta Braves today and turned a loss into a win. It is little things like this that add up over the course of 162 games. I hope Heyward can keep it up. Big things are certainly expected of him.

The Braves have a really good pitching rotation and decent team-wide hitting. Can
Billy Wagner be the closer he used to be? Can Chipper Jones stay healthy and play great hot corner? Can Yunel Escobar become a leading NL short stop? Can Martin Prado be a leader? Can Brian McCann remain consistent? Can Lowe and Hudson carry the load? Can Jurrjens and Hanson live up to their potential?

So many questions in April. Nothing's happened yet and yet it is all unfolding in front of our eyes. What will be the story of 2010? Will the Braves be part of it? Game by game. Take it game by game.

This is
Bobby Cox's last season. I like Bobby Cox. He's a fighter. And he's smart. I think he is one of baseball's great managers. But, others would disagree. Plenty of Braves fans don't care for Cox. Fourth winningest coach of all-time. Go figure. Bobby's got a good team this year. Without major injuries this team could compete. I wouldn't count the Braves as a play-off contender right now at the start of the season.

But, I wouldn't count them out either. They aren't the Washington Nationals, after all.

Because there are players like Heyward. Rookies. New to the Show. Feeling the rush for the first time. That can be contagious. So it makes me hopeful. Maybe Heyward is for real and, even better, he's contagious. I'm a baseball fan, after all. And it is April. Hope springs eternal.

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