I had hoped that Bobby Cox's "Al Capone in The Untouchables" style offing of Bob Wickman on Friday might light a fire under the Braves heading into a crucial weekend series with the Cardinals. Oh well.
They're now 4 back of the Wild Card (behind the Rockies...the Rockies!!!), and have done nothing but give up ground over the last month. This is not a team capable of fashioning anything longer than a 2 game winning streak - and that only happens when Smoltz and Hudson pitch back-to-back. The rest of the rotation is about as useful as Mike Hampton, circa today.
I'm ever the optimist, though. Hampton will be back in '08, Chuck James will be a year older, as will JoJo Reyes. I expect, though, that Schuerholz will go out and find a legit 3rd starter - maybe by dangling Edgar Renteria and either James or Reyes.
We also can't forget, of course, that a certain...ahem...dead weight will be removed from the Braves batting order, along with his audacious salary. The kind of money that could be used to get a decent starter or closer.
Even more optimistically, I know it's 3 days until college football season, and 10 days until the NFL starts...so, really, I was about to stop paying attention to baseball anyway.
Side Note: The picture above was the first one that popped up on a Google Image search of "Braves Lose". I couldn't tell you who those guys are, or what year that is from...but I'll be damned if it doesn't just sum up the second half of the season.