There’s certainly nothing wrong with the Braves Way, which (along with the services of three Hall of Fame pitchers) helped Atlanta to 14 division titles. But someone needs to tell Dayton Moore, Dean Taylor, J.J. Picollo, and all the other guys that came over from Atlanta: it’s not 1995 anymore, fellas.... while the rest of baseball is moving forward, the Braves Way seems bent on proving that you can still win with scouts alone. It’s not a coincidence that the Braves themselves have fallen on hard times the last few years, or that the purest distillation of the Braves Way in a single player, Jeff Francoeur, has turned into, well, Jeff Francoeur.
The weird thing is that my opinion about Mike Jacobs as a baseball player has not changed at all. As a baseball evaluator, I still see all his weaknesses outweighing his strengths. As a GM, I would not have traded for him. But as a baseball fan … I just enjoy the heck out of watching him step to the plate, kill or be killed. The other day, he faced Cleveland’s Jensen Lewis, and he took a high fastball for a ball, and then watched a 90-mph fastball go by that was right in his wheelhouse, I mean the perfect Mike Jacobs pitch — 90 mph, just above the knees, outside but caught too much of the plate. That’s the sort of pitch you only get once, and you could see Jacobs grimace for a second as if to say, "Man, that was it." ....Two pitches later, stunningly, Jensen Lewis threw that exact pitch again. This time it was 87 mph. And this time Jacobs did swing. He jumped out of his shoes to swing. And he hit it 700 miles to center field. It clanked off the railing out there, bounced behind a wall, an absolute mammoth shot. Will he do that enough to make himself a valuable player? Maybe not. But, yeah, it will be fun every time he does it.
Once again, the fans get to pick one last All-Star in the wildly overhyped "Final Vote" process. The AL ballot includes arguably the worst player to ever be part of this, Jose Guillen, a corner outfielder/DH with a .297 OBP. He’s not one of the 100 best players in the AL this year, and having him on the ballot rather than Markakis or 50 other guys is a joke.