The fourth place Marlins and third place Braves start a three game series tonight in Atlanta. Neither team is where they thought they would be at this point in the season, but they still have nearly 100 games left to get things corrected.
In preparation for this week's series, we sat down (again) with Chief Noc-a-homa. As a twist on our usual sit-down, this discussion was conducted semi-Jeopardy style.
: The answer is "happy."
: What am I feeling about being here today?
: Correct. Our category today is "Issues plaguing the Braves this season." The first answer is "this offseason acquisition should have raised more eyebrows. While he achieved success elsewhere, this reliever does not strike out enough batters to be effective in the long run."
: Who is Dan Kolb?
: Correct. The next answer is "this offseason acquisition has been highly effective - even dominant at times. However, he is now on the disabled list with an oblique injury."
: Who is Tim Hudson?
: Correct. Next - "Jorge Sosa, Kyle Davies, and Horacio Ramirez."
: What has the Braves rotation devolved into, behind John Smoltz, with the recent rash of injuries?
: Correct again. "This player had a great spring, but started out slowly during the regular season. Of late, he has heated up. He now has 19 home runs. In his last five games, he has nine hits and five walks - giving him a batting average of .450 and an onbase percentage of .560. His recent performance makes him a strong candidate for next month's all-start team."
: Who is Andruw Jones?
: Once again, you are correct. Last one - "2005 National League East Champions."
: Who are the Atlanta Braves?
: Apparently reality hasn't set in yet for those of you who have been used to winning since 1991. I hope you are wrong, but only time will tell.