If you know me, you know that two of my favorite things are baseball and politics. I can't really combine both for this post, but I do have a few opinions I want to put out there.
For the Braves, the aquisition of Tom Glavine will prove useful, but not in the same way they're hoping. Sure, he might be able to provide 200 innings in 2008, but that won't come with the wins they really want. Glavine himself says that what he can provide will be some stability. Out of a five man rotation, last year you had two rocks in Hudson and Smoltz and three slots that went to marginal pitchers. Now, I do think Chuck James and Buddy Carlyle are coming along, but with Glavine filling that third spot, you have a 60% of the rotation filled with solid veterans. I believe what Glavine really brings back to the Braves is a bit of wisdom and help that Smoltz and Hudson could not provide on their own. Instead of just trying to stay afloat, this pitching staff can now focus on training younger guys, including Jo-Jo Reyes. I believe James and Carlyle will benefit from this the most and hope that they are successful in becoming the 4th and 5th starters on the Braves rotation in 2008.
As per the outfield, Jeff Francouer (a fellow Parkview High School alum) is the only guaranteed starter out there, but I believe that Matt Diaz deserves his spot out in left field. The big question is who will fill Andruw Jones shoes in center field. I had some hope that Francouer might get moved over and one of our prospects could be in right field, but I suppose there's something they want in a center fielder that Jeff doesn't have.
By the way, another PHS fellow, this time someone I know pretty well, Clint Sammons is on the 40 man roster for the Braves for 2008, it seems. Would be exciting to see my old classmate and neighbor from my freshman year be Brian McCann's backup, eh?
I've made no bones about my support for John Edwards in the Presidential campaign. Agreed that he is more conservative in some ways compared to Clinton and Obama, but I believe this makes him a stronger candidate for 2008 than the other two. I believe that if Edwards finishes 2nd in either Iowa or New Hampshire, he'll pick up momentum when hitting the South and West for their primaries. I believe also that Obama will be out after the initial primaries. I think his youthfulness and inexperience (he's not even through his first term in the senate!) will prove to much for primary voters to deal with. Ultimately, I believe they'll go for a more experienced candidate and I think that the kind of experience Clinton has will turn off voters.
No one is a career politician here, but I think it's quite clear that both Obama and Clinton ran for their current jobs with the intention of running for President. Maybe Edwards is no better, but I would like to note that Edwards gave up his senate seat by running for President while neither Obama nor Clinton will have to take that chance. To me, what John Edwards has done in his time off is better than what he did while in office. I think taking time and traveling has really made him a stronger candidate.
My only worry is that he'll drop out too soon...