ATL AM: Atlanta Sports News 6/30


Jun 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado (14) reacts against the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone. The Braves won again last night which is good of course. The team also looked fantastic offensively, which is something that we haven’t been able to say lately.

We have some really good (and sad) pieces here to read today so be sure to check them all out. Today’s poll is on two ex-Braves:

Saying Goodbye To Jeff Francoeur (Joe Blogs)–This is a fantastic story on Jeff Francoeur. I know Francoeur isn’t related to Atlanta sports currently but he did used to be, and he’s a great guy. That, plus Joe Posnanski writing something means I have to link it. Fantastic but sad read:

"Jeff Francoeur is one of the greatest guys in baseball. Everybody thinks so. He’s always smiling. He’s always friendly. On the field, he always tries. Lord, he tries. Runs out those grounders. Throws home with gusto. Off the field he’s always doing something cool like signing an autograph or chatting up a kid or appearing at a charity event or helping a teammate or talking to a young reporter who was nervously looking for someone to talk with. When you’re a kid, you might imagine how you would act as a big league ballplayer — and you would probably be imagining the life of Jeff Francoeur.Well, you probably would imagine yourself a better hitter — which is the real life part of the story. Jeff Francoeur is not a good enough hitter to be an every day player in the major leagues. This has been obvious for at least five years, maybe longer. He has too long a swing, and he cannot recognize pitches well enough, and pitchers have him figured out, and — though he’s 6-food-4 and more than 210 pounds — the ball does not jump off his bat. He has worked at it and worked at it — reshaping his swing, reshaping it again, studying film, getting into better shape, getting into better shape still — but as a friend of mine once said, a toaster is a toaster, no matter how many adjustments you make it can’t fix your car."

What does Jared Cunningham bring to the Atlanta Hawks? (Peach Tree Hoops)–If none of you remember, Jared Cunningham was a throw in with the trade that allowed the Hawks to draft Lucas Nogueira:

"Jared Cunningham was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on draft night in the deal that brought the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira and Mike Muscala to the Atlanta Hawks. Cunningham was a 2012 first round pick as a 6-4 shooting guard out of Oregon State. He played sparingly with the Mavericks last season and spent some time in the D-League before shutting it down in March because of tendonitis in his right knee."

Where Can The Atlanta Falcons Least Afford To Lose A Player? (The Falcoholic)–If you are looking for the answer to this question in the article don’t click the link. However, if you want to get involved in a conversation with readers on the issue feel free. Personally, I think linebacker is the position of least depth for the Falcons:

"Let me preface this by saying that quarterback does not count, because it’s way too obvious a choice.What position can the Falcons least afford to have a major injury? This can be because the starter is so damn good that losing him would be devastating, or because the depth is so terrible behind the starter that it causes you physical anguish."

Prado appreciates reception (AJC)–Another sad but well-written piece. If you guys didn’t know Martin Prado was my favorite Brave before he was traded. It was bitter-sweet for me because I knew it was a great trade but I hated to see Prado leave. I hope his struggles are coming to an end because I wish nothing less than the best for him:

"“They showed a lot of emotions and a lot of respect for me, which is … I don’t know how to explain it,” Prado said in the visiting clubhouse Saturday afternoon. “I was so emotional, so it was pretty good.”Prado, who signed with the Braves out of Maracay, Venezuela, at age 17, was a fan favorite over his seven major league seasons with the Braves, an All-Star, and known as one of the hardest workers on the team.“I’ve got a lot of memories here so it’s hard to forget,” said Prado, who tipped his helmet to a sold-out crowd of 48,282 and then laughed after he dropped it. “I learned a lot of things from a lot of people. When you’ve got people around you that make you better it makes those people better and it makes those people special for me, always. This organization and fans and everybody around made me better, which I’m always going to appreciate.”"