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What's left for the Braves? posted on 01/15/2009

What are some of the Braves other needs before the season opener against the Phillies on April 5? Adding an outfield bat seems to be Wren's top priority, but who could it be?

Hopefully not Andruw Jones, who just hit the free agent market yesterday. I just don't think he's worth taking a shot on. After all, the Dodgers did agree to pay him the rest of his contract as long as he stopped hurting their team by taking up a roster spot.

On top of that, the roster seems to be shaping up pretty well. McCann is the best catcher in baseball, while the first-to-third infield of Casey Kotchman, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar and a hopefully-healthy Chipper Jones should prove to be one of the better foursomes in baseball. A solid outfield bat in either center or left — or both, but that's not happening — would obviously help, as a Brandon Jones/Matt Diaz, Gregor Blanco/Josh Anderson and Jeff Francoeur outfield isn't exactly going to scare anyone. 

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Dolphins 2009-10 needs — what do you think? posted on 01/15/2009

Obviously, going from an abysmal 1-15 to 11-6 and AFC East Champions was quite the storybook turnaround. But, it wasn't enough, and the team still has a long way to go before it can compete with the AFC powerhouses like the Steelers and the Ravens. 

So, here's what I'm proposing the Dolphins need for next year:


Wide receiver: This team needs a big, strong athletic type receiver to draw a double team once in awhile and give opposing defenses someone to worry about.  Yes, Tedd Ginn is promising while Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo have show they can be reliable, but the team is desperate for more of a play maker.  

Offensive Line:  Jake Long and Justin Smiley are both good starters on the left side. The center, Samson Satele, is decent, and the team could use somebody a little stronger to shore up that inside running game.  Miami didn't run the ball well from the base formations this year, as the Wildcat was largely responsible for the success of the running game, and even that formation seemed to be losing a bit of its luster at the end of the year.

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Braves overbid for Lowe - but they had no choice posted on 01/13/2009

Yes, it's great for the Atlanta Braves that Derek Lowe is their rotation's new ace. He's better than what they have now — with the exception possibly being Jair Jurrjens, who might be really, really good one day but is still just 22 years old — and there aren't too many other options out there. Randy Wolf isn't that great, neither is Oliver Perez, and Ben Sheets is exactly what the Braves don't need, another starter who will spend more time on the DL then he will off of it.

With all that being said, the Braves paid too much for Derek Lowe. Four years and $60 million for a 35-year old? Sure, Lowe's past is pretty much injury-free, but, he's 35.  Simple math tells me in four years he'll be 39, and that's old by baseball standards. But, this was still an excellent move for the Braves. Frank Wren didn't want to give up the entire farm system for Jake Peavy — though at times I still wish he would have — and he couldn't quite reel A.J. Burnett in.  But, that's OK, considering the fact that Burnett is one of those guys, like Sheets, who spends more time out of baseball than he does on the mound.

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Props for Pennington posted on 12/25/2008

I'm not here to rant and rave about Pennington being snubbed from the AFC Pro Bowl team.  Do I think the man deserved a spot on the squad? Absolutely. But, do I understand why he was left off the roster? Of course.  Pennington's numbers — 3,453 yards to go with 17 TDs and 7 picks — aren't quite as flashy as the stats Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Jay Cutler have put up through the air this season, but they are certainly solid.  For the record, Manning has thrown for 3907 yards, 26 TDs and 12 picks, Favre has 3239/21/19 and Cutler has 4210/24/16 through 15 games this year. Sure, CP has more yards and 12 fewer completions to the other team than Favre, but remember, it's Brett Favre.  As long as Favre is healthy and somewhat productive, the man will be in the Pro Bowl.

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