The Phillies had a rough time with the Florida Marlins at home in Philly, now they start on a road trip that first takes them right into the heart of dixie, Atlanta. We got together with the Atlanta Braves blog called Tomahawk Talk.
The blog is run by Scott Humphries, and we thought it would be fun to each exchange questions from one another’s blogs to see what is happening with each blog’s team. Here is 5 questions FightinPhillies blog posed to Scott about the Braves.
1. What is the most significant move the Braves made this year and how do you think it will help the Braves this season?
I think the Braves have actually done two things that could pay off in a big way - acquiring Troy Glaus and giving Jason Heyward the starting job in right field. Those two things should make the Braves' offense a lot better. If he stays healthy, Glaus gives the Braves the right-handed power bat that they have lacked in recent years and I think Heyward will have an outstanding rookie season.
2. How many wins do you think the Braves will have this year and do they have the chance at making the playoffs?
Well, the Braves won 86 games in 2009 and I think they're going to be better this season than they were last year. I see them winning 88-92 games, and while beating your two-time defending NL champion Phillies is probably a long shot, I think the Braves have a good shot at winning the wild-card race this year.
3. Chipper Jones has said that this may be his last year, do you think it will be and what will his legacy to the Braves be best known for?
I think it all depends on what kind of year Chipper has. If he has another frustrating, injury-plagued season like he had last year, he may call it quits, but I can see him playing in 2011 and even 2012 if he has a nice bounce-back season this year. I think he'll ultimately be known and remembered for the high-quality of his play and his consistent excellence over the long-term. Chipper is a certain Hall of Famer and probably one of the top 3-4 switch-hitters in baseball history.
4. Attendance is down last year for the Braves, are the fans still interested in Braves baseball?
Oh, definitely - Atlanta fans are excited about the potential that this year's Braves team has. I think fan enthusiasm declined a bit from 2006-2009 (third-place finishes tend to have that effect) following the Braves' great run of 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, but Braves fans are back with a vengeance this year. They're excited!
5. What do you think the Braves need in order to start rebuilding to the point of contending in the NL East again?
Well, your Phillies are playing at a very high level these days and figure to be even better with the addition of Roy Halladay, so reclaiming the top spot in the NL East is definitely a tall order, but the arrival of Jason Heyward, the continued development of Tommy Hanson, the return of Tim Hudson, and the acquisitions of Troy Glaus and Billy Wagner give the Braves a shot at contending.
So there you have a good look at what is happening down in Atlanta. They have a young phenom that just won a game by getting the game winning hit for the Braves named Jason Heyward. The Phillies got off to a great start in the first 8 games of the season, but they have slipped in the first home stand in Philadelphia. Tonight they are in Atlanta to play the upstart Braves.
Thanks Scott for sharing your insight with the Atlanta Braves with the readers of FightinPhillies.com