Found September 05, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
ATLANTA -- There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought Brian McCann would be the next face of the Braves.
In my mind, he was the only candidate to replace Chipper Jones as the heart and soul of the franchise. He would be the guy in the commercials and doing the video announcements at Turner Field and spending his entire career in the familiar uniform.
Who would be a better choice? It seemed a perfect and logical succession from Jones to McCann.
Hes a native Atlantan who was drafted and reared by his hometown team. He is laid back and a hard worker and is respected by his teammates, especially the pitchers, for his ability to call a game.
McCann has provided plenty of pop and circumstance in his seven-plus years with a tomahawk on his chest, going to six All-Star games and winning five Silver Slugger awards while becoming one of the best hitting catchers of his generation.
No one else had those credentials.
No one else fit the part.
Even Jones seemed ready to anoint McCann in spring training, after announcing that his career was done at the end of 2012.
Hes going to solely be the face of this franchise, starting next year, Jones told the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph before the season. Hes a great kid. Hes a great ballplayer. Hes the kind of guy youd want to build a ballclub around.
Now, Im not so sure.
In fact, Im not even 100 percent positive that McCann will be a Brave next season, although the percentage still remains high that hell return in 2013.
We need to face the facts: McCann isnt the hitter that he once was, and might never be again. Hell be 29 in February, but hes having his second straight subpar year, with career worst marks in average (.228), home runs (18) and RBIs (58).
Hes battling a bum right shoulder and intimated he might need offseason surgery. Its required a cortisone shot and some time on the bench in the past couple of weeks, but McCann is scheduled to return to the lineup on Wednesday after sitting out the past two games.
Offensively, hes done little to prove he belongs.
McCann is hitting .208 with five home runs since the All-Star break. Power?
He hit half of his home runs in July and hasnt hit a ball over an outfield wall since the final day of that month. McCann hit .181 with two RBIs in August and went hitless in his only game this month.
He hasnt even sniffed a double (or a triple, for that matter) in 35 days.
I once thought the Braves would face the dilemma of having to resign McCann for mega bucks after St. Louis gave catcher Yadier Molina his huge deal, a five-year, 75 million extension earlier this season.
McCann is making 11.5 million this year, a total that will rise to 12 million in 2013 if the club picks up its option.
Instead of resigning him, the Braves might now need to shop McCann around the majors this winter, but what could they get for what appears to be a catcher on the decline with a hefty salary?
An AL team or three say the Yankees or Rangers or Angels with a stack of cash stashed under the mattress and a need for a left-handed hitting catcherDH could have interest.
The Braves most likely will try to fix his shoulder or oblique or his eyes or whatever else is bothering McCann and bring him back next year.
He continues to be a strong clubhouse presence. Hes jovial with his teammates, keeping them loose with his jokes and presence in the lineup.
McCann also seems perplexed by his poor numbers this season and was hesitant to say too much when he talked about it last week.
His future with the Braves once seemed a lock.
Now its an open door of possibilities. Hes gone from the next face of this franchise to the potential of wearing the uniform of another one as early as next year.
We must face the reality.
McCanns time in Atlanta might soon be done.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Braves are in a tight wild card race with less than 30 games left in the regular season, so at this point it’s safe to say every inning counts. Despite the fact that Atlanta has been in the hunt all season and almost always seems to be in the hunt, they rank in the middle of the pack in average attendance for home games.
Turner Field isn’t exactly Yankee Stadium when it...
Atlanta, GA. Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones should be the NL MVP for 2012. Chipper isn’t in the top five in any statistical category but is hitting .302 so far this year. He is a career .304 hitter with 1619 career RBI and 2711 hits. I am of the opinion that the MVP of the league should be the player that affects his team the most regardless of statistics. Chipper this year...
ATLANTA If you dont recognize all the new faces in the Braves dugout, dont worry. You have company.
The Braves, like all the clubs in the majors, have been adding players to their rosters since Sept. 1, when they expanded from 25 to 40 players.Lets take a look at the recent additions, some of who are familiar faces, and some arent:
Complete game. NL Player of the Month. No biggie.
It really hurts my heart that I can't cheer for Meds anymore. He was one of my favorites, on my list of "I'm going to get his shirsey" players. But if you were in my shoes, how would you feel, not knowing why? I'm not a stalker, I never asked him for a mention or a RT, and I've always been supportive....
Atlanta Braves All-Star second baseman, Dan Uggla was diminished to bench duty prior to Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez delivered the bad news to Uggla and reportedly told him that his playing time will be limited all September long.
Uggla is having a poor season at the plate batting, .208/.340/.373 with 17 homers and 64 RBI. He...
ATLANTA Mike Minor had a simple explanation why the Colorado Rockies couldnt touch his pitches.
I threw a lot of crap in there early, he said. I dont think they knew what was coming.
If confusion was his best ally, he should employ it more often. Minor struggled with his control, as has often been the case this year, but he didnt allow a hit until the seventh inning on Wednesday...
Very recently, Dan Uggla was one of the better players in baseball. Two years ago, his 135 wRC+ put him in the same company as Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, and Joe Mauer. He hit for average, he hit for power, he drew walks, and he faked it at second base well enough to provide a lot of value, averaging +4 WAR per season during his first five years in the big leagues....
Anyone who’s made his way to these electronic pages is like well-aware that Kris Medlen has been excellent of late — is, in fact, the majors’ best pitcher over the last month by most relevant measures. Nor, really, has Medlen been more excellent of late than he was on Monday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies (box), during which game he recorded 12 strikeouts and zero walks...
Greg Maddux comparisons are stupid and lazy, but that was the only thing I could think of as I watched Kris Medlen‘s highlight video from yesterday
Jim Tracy wasn't sure what happened. All of a sudden, the ball was rolling behind the pitcher's mound, and Juan Francisco was racing home with a run for the Atlanta Braves.
As it turned out, with the only run of the game.
An inexplicable error on a routine toss from the catcher to pitcher wound up costing the Colorado Rockies a second straight 1-0 loss to the Braves on...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Tim Hudson pitched seven scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves posted their second straight 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, winning both times with an unearned run.
This was an especially galling loss for the Rockies. Juan Francisco raced home with the lone run when Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin (2-5) dropped a routine throw back to the mound...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Mike Minor held Colorado hitless for six innings, Craig Kimbrel earned a four-out save and the Atlanta Braves beat the Rockies 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Minor (8-10) lost a no-hit bid in the seventh when Jordan Pacheco led off with a single. Pacheco stole second, but was stranded when Minor struck out Ramon Hernandez swinging, Chris Nelson on a foul tip and Andrew...
Chipper Jones is 40 years old and still tearing the cover off the ball for the Atlanta Braves. The man says he'll retire at the end of the season, but will he keep his word or pull a Brett Favre on us? One fan hopes he doesn't.The post Chipper Jones, Brett Favre And Being A Man At 40 appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.