March 24, 2007

Read It In The Sunday Papers...And Gammons Calls Mets "Best Team in the NL"

The New York Times' columnist Murray Chass has one of his usually great articles tomorrow (Sunday), about what it's like to be the Atlanta Braves, one season after losing their 14-year grasp on the Division Championship.

Of particular note are the comments made by Mets-nemesis, Chipper Jones, regarding the Phils' Jimmy Rollins early-Spring boasting that the Phils are the team to beat in the NL East:

“That’s the difference in the mentality in Atlanta and the mentality in Philadelphia,” Chipper Jones, the Braves’ leader, said when asked about Rollins’s remark. “We would have never disrespected the rest of the division by proclaiming ourselves division champs before the beginning of the season. The fact that he did, that has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. As far as I can remember, I don’t think he has ever won a division. We’ll leave it at that.”

Jones added:

“We’ll stay quiet and do our own thing,” Jones said, “and we’ll see who’s standing at the top in September.”

Strong words, indeed. The Braves still have the Joneses, as well as some excellent young position players (McCann, Franceur), and certainly did a better job of addressing their bullpen needs this offseason with the acquisitions of Rafael Soriano (from the Mariners) and Mike Gonzalez (from the Bucs), but their rotation has holes bigger than they've ever had, and the loss of half of their infield won't be easily rectified with their in-house replacements. The Mets are STILL the team to beat!!

On a related note, Peter Gammons was on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" show this Friday morning, although neither Mike was there, and he said that he thought that the Mets were still the team to beat in the NL! Gammons hasn't written much about the Metsies this off-season, but recovering from last year's illness, he's not nearly as prolific yet as he used to be and we forget that most of the issues that other teams are facing are far greater than any our beloved team is facing! It's hard for most of us to get used to the fact that we are the best team in baseball on the field, have probably the best management team in the game (entire front office), and are loaded with top-end talent (if not quantity, certainly quality) at the top minor league levels! Therefore, there is lots more for Gammons and company to write about other than the Mets, who probably are far more boring to them at this point.

Lots to cheer about- now go read the Sunday papers (although it's still Saturday evening for a few more minutes.) Click on the title of this article to go to Chass's article.

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