"Family Research Council angry at Hollywood"
"New David Lynch project described as 'bizarre'"
"Dan Kolb demoted from closer role"
Does this sound like someone who is taking responsibility for an ERA north of six and a WHIP north of two:
"You've just got to respect what he says," Kolb said, looking away as he answered a reporter's questions. "He's trying to do what's best for the team."
Dan, take a lesson from Bill Clinton's biggest political mistake. A simple "I sucked and I'm sorry and I'll try to get better" goes a long, long way. Being defensive about your atrocious pitching doesn't help anyone. Gosh, and Atlanta is supposed to be a low-stress environment in which to pitch. What would this guy have done if he would have been acquired by the Cubs or Mets, both of whom were looking for closers in the off-season?
Right now, the Braves simply need to find effective relievers who can retire opposing batters. They're 3-6 on this road trip instead of 6-3 because of the pen's failures in the 8th and 9th and the final three games are in Boston against a potent lineup. This weekend isn't shaping up well, given John Thomson's injury, which sounds pretty serious, and Mike Hampton's short-term unavailability. The Kyle Davies vs. Tim Wakefield match-up on Saturday is an almost certain loss, given that Davies has been slumping in Triple-A and the Braves never hit Wakefield for shit. (Then again, I also thought that Smoltz vs. Byung Hyun-Kim or Darrell May were sure wins. Thanks, Dan Doodie and mediocre offense!) Friday night could also be tricky because Tim Hudson has a 6.67 ERA against the Red Sox over the past three seasons. I'm trying to come to grips with the possibility of Smoltz trying to halt a five-game losing streak on Sunday.
The parenthetical above highlights the fact that Kolb has been made the scapegoat for the Braves' struggles on this road trip, but that obscures some underwhelming offensive performances against mediocre pitchers. Two runs against Kim? One run against May? The Braves are getting very little offensive production from three spots - the corner outfield and shortstop - and with Chipper banged up, the offense is very weak. I'd much rather Schuerholtz acquire a solid bat for the outfield than a closer, especially since the closer market is going to be a seller's market and we really need reliable relievers regardless of whether they have a lot of saves.