Nate McLouth – 2010 Topps Opening Day

February 13, 2011

From Penthouse To Outside On A Winning Team

First off, I am done with buying packs, etc. of 2011 Topps Series 1. I’ll update my want list very soon and at some point sort out what goodies I have for you all for trading purposes. But I only need about 20 base cards to go!

(I almost typed in trading porpoises…)

(Beware! They will offer you a LOOGY, an injured prospect, and Frenchy Francouer for your 23-year old stud starter…)

Bobby Cox is going to the Hall of Fame as a manager, no doubt about it. But his 2010 performance is one of his best.

A. The Braves traded a head-case underachieving shortstop for a veteran underachieving shortstop with worse defense.

B. Their all-star HOF third baseman’s body basically unscrewed itself.

C. His left fielder had a SLG of .354.

D. His stud 24-year old starter was injured for over 2 months and then basically lost on the mound after that.

E. His #5 starter, a high-priced Japanese import, went 1-10 thanks to no run support, then lost his confidence and was basically exiled into Oliver Perez land the second half of the season.

F. The back end of the bullpen was a revolving door until some green kids took over.

G. Thanks to some handymen, they were able to fill holes due to injuries, but they had players moving all over the diamond all year.

H. And, their starting CF, a former All-Star (yes, for Pittsburgh but still…) and Gold Glover (not due to stats, though) started on a 2-18 slump and only had three days over the Mendoza line after April 9.

Thankfully, the Braves had great pitching from three starters, a good bullpen, and timely hitting from some of their roster.

McLouth is 28 years old. There was no reason for this decline, even though he declined last year as well. Baseball is a mental game, and figuring it out can make you mental. I’m sure Bobby Cox would have loved to bench Melky Cabrera, but McLouth made Melky seem like Tony Gwynn.

Will McLouth recover? Is he in the mix at all? Or will he go on ‘semi-permanent special assignment in NYC?’

Oh, wait, that last one is McCloud….

(Oooh, Barbi Benton!! I’m sold!!)

(Do a GIS for Barbi Benton without any blocks…and you’ll know why Hef drooled over her back in the day.)

Though personally, I prefer Dennis Weaver as the weird hotel caretaker in Touch Of Evil, not in McCloud.

(What a hell of a movie. One of the best ever – and the cast: Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa, and the guy that played Dennis The Menace’s dad on TV.)

(Who were we really talking about? Nate McLouth? Oh…)

Basically, it’s put up or shut up for Nate. The end.

Now, the best opening crane shot, ever.

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