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what_does_the_season_is_over_mean | August | 2009 Articles

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What Does "The Season is Over" Mean?

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Before the Phillies series, many of us -- Tom and me included -- said that if the Braves didn't sweep, our playoff hopes were effectively history. Obviously, we haven't been mathematically eliminated yet, but the hill is getting ever steeper, and the odds are getting ever narrower. Notwithstanding our blowout win last night, I'm sticking by my assessment: the 2009 Braves are not a playoff team. It's time to start planning for next year.

What does that mean?

It means that, as of Tuesday, we'll have the option to bring up everybody on our 40-man roster, and we should do our best to get them into games. We have some clear dead weight right now -- Manny Acosta and Greg Norton (he's been a disaster despite the walks), at least -- and we should try to figure out who can be a productive member of the 2010 Braves. Brandon Jones? Luis Valdez? The properly medicated Buddy Carlyle?

Both Chipper Jones and Brian McCann have shown signs of being fatigued after having been ridden hard this summer, and they deserve a day or two off every week, at least. Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson should be limited in their innings. Tim Hudson needs to work his way back to being a starting pitcher, and the Braves need to figure out what to do with Kris Medlen, who obviously has too much talent to stay in long relief. Is he a future starter? Future closer?

Because the season's over, the Braves should treat the next month as a series of exhibitions. It's time to plan for 2010.

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