SportsNation Blog Archives Atlanta Braves
MLB's first one-game wild-card playoff was not staged without controversy. In the eighth inning, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a fly ball that dropped in beyond Cardinals shortshop Pete Kozma, which would have loaded the bases for Atlanta with one out. However, the left-field umpire invoked the infield fly rule, calling Simmons out. Braves fans immediately began throwing bottles and cans on the field, resulting in an 18-minute delay, and manager Fredi Gonzalez informed the umpires the Braves would be playing the rest of the game under protest. Reaction outside Atlanta was just as strong. What did you think of the call? Comment and vote below.
Chipper Jones has entered his last week of regular season baseball. In his honor, Jayson Stark took a look at Jones' career, causing a few readers to get teary-eyed. How will you remember Chipper Jones? Comment below!
Opening Day -- well, Opening Night, really, and we technically already had one of those in Japan, but who's counting? -- is finally here, as the Cardinals will take on the Marlins tonight in the first stateside regular-season MLB game. It's bound to be an exciting season with so many players having changed teams, but has the power structure been altered significantly?
World Series repeat?
The Cardinals prevailed over the Rangers in the 2011 World Series, but St. Louis lost its biggest gun this past offseason ...
... which is a pretty big loss, considering he might be one of the best players of all time.
Odd one out?
The Red Sox missed the playoffs last season after an epic September collapse. Will they be on the outside looking in once again?
Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols were probably the two biggest additions to teams in the American League, meaning the balance of power could shift.
Likewise, the addition of Jose Reyes to the Marlins could give the team a huge upgrade -- offensively with new third baseman Hanley Ramirez, and defensively at shortstop.
Fernando Valenzuela and Dave Stewart once pitched no-hitters on the same day. Cal Ripken Jr.'s lap around Camden Yards was special. But has any regular-season day in your lifetime topped the drama that unfolded last night in baseball? Evan Longoria channeled Bobby Thomson with a walk-off home run, Jonathan Papelbon wrote a fitting ending for a September collapse, the Braves and Phillies battled deep into extra innings and the Cardinals took care of business. Like Jose Reyes, hopefully you rested up in the afternoon.
Does it get better than Wednesday?
Well, sure, if you're a fan of the Red Sox or Braves, but from the perspective of the rest of us, have there been better days of baseball?
Which dropped your jaw most?
The Rays rallied from seven runs down, but we'd still be playing baseball today if Jonathan Papelbon hadn't recorded just his third blown save this season.
Should we have seen Mariano Rivera?
Rays manager Joe Maddon thanked the Orioles for playing hard to the finish against the Red Sox, but did Joe Girardi owe it to the sport to use Mariano Rivera?
Did Carl Crawford have a play?
It wasn't Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, but as you watch the replay above of Robert Andino's game-winning hit, did Crawford have a play?
What about the Cardinals?
We can't overlook Albert Pujols and the Cardinals, but with Chris Carpenter out of the mix until Game 3 and the Phillies waiting, was catching the Braves the easy part?
The last wild-card race of its kind?
If Bud Selig has his way and adds an additional wild-card spot in each league, a day like Wednesday would be decidedly less dramatic. But is that a fair trade?
What about Jose Reyes?
Jose Reyes had to love last night's drama, if only because it let him off the hook for taking himself out of a game earlier in the day to protect his batting title.