Rob Neyer not only hasn’t written about the Braves all year, he apparently hasn’t even seen them play:
And he ain’t the only one. Across the diamond at first base, you’ve got either Julio Franco or Wes Helms. Franco’s got a powerful .382 slugging percentage, while Helms sports a sprightly .283 on-base percentage.
In case you came in late, like Rob, Matt Franco has been playing first base most of the time against righthanders most of this season, and the Braves are a lot better off at first base than the Giants, who are married to JT Snow, he of the .704 OPS — lower than either Franco’s, more than 200 points lower than Matt’s.
UPDATE: Rob, very promptly, responded to my email. He says (1) that he’s sure he’s written about the Braves this year (I can’t find a column, though, since January and the Sheffield trade) (2) that he simply forgot Matt Franco (“my bad”) and (3) that he still feels first base is a problem, even if the Giants and Cards have the same one. Well, maybe. I think the Braves’ first basemen are middle-of-the-pack. They aren’t really pushing the team forward, but they don’t pull it back either. Unlike Lockie and the Sucking Vinny of Doom.
UPDATE ON UPDATES: Rob has edited his column to include Matt Franco: “M. Franco’s been great this year, but before you get too excited, it’s worth remembering that he’s Matt Franco.” I can’t really disagree with that.