Series Preview: Mets vs. Braves Interview with Braving BaseballApril 23, 2010
In preparation for the New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves three game series this weekend, I chatted with Jim Cheney of Braving Baseball. Read below as we discuss Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Bobby Cox and the Braves playoff chances in 2010.
Q. Tell us little bit about yourself and Braving Baseball
A. I have been a life long Braves’ fan, having been born in Atlanta. Despite not having lived in the city for the majority of my life, I was able to follow the Braves on TBS and was able to make it down to a lot of minor league games with the Braves’ AAA team was in Richmond. I currently teach English just south of Seoul, South Korea. Braving Baseball has been around since the end of the season and is part of the Fan Huddle network. While a lot of sites cover things like game recaps and such, we try to provide timely analysis on the team instead.
Q. The Braves are off to a decent start this season. Some have picked them to win the wild card. What are your expectations for the Braves in 2010?
A. While I certainly hope the team can pull out a win the NL East, my realistic prediction has them winning the Wild Card. With the veteran leadership that the team has, combined with the exciting young players like Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward, I think this is a strong team that will be tough to complete with in the playoffs.
Q. What’s the one area of the team you’d like to see the Braves improve in order to compete in 2010?
A. The Braves real weakness is the inconsistency of their offense. While they rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to run scoring, they seem to have their good and bad days, much more than other teams seem to have. If they can get more consistency, the great pitching staff would become even more powerful.
Q. Jason Heyward is off to a great start this season. Is there one part of his game that surprises you the most?
A. I think it’s his plate discipline. After all, a lot of young prospects come up and can’t take a walk (for example, Jeff Francoeur). Heyward is only 20, but has still been able to record 10 walks in his first 49 Major League at-bats. The power and fielding ability is a given, but the plate discipline at such a young age is the most surprising part to me.
Q. Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox have been together and in Atlanta for a long time. Give me your most memorable moment of each.
A. Chipper Jones has been my favorite player for a long time. As a kid, I remember watching him play for the Richmond Braves (the teams AAA affiliate until 2009) and have been following his career ever since. While it’s hard to point out out one specific moment, but I really respect and appreciate that he has always been willing to take less money to stay in Atlanta. As for Bobby Cox, as weird as it may sound, I loved when he broke the record for most career ejections. While some may think he is a hot head, I think that he is just passionate about the game and protecting his players. That’s what makes a great manager.