Greg Norton and Kelly Johnson are the 2 most maligned Braves currently on the team. Every game the team loses ultimately gets blamed on one of them, for reasons that are unknown to me.
It made my jaw drop to see the loss on Thursday being blamed on Kelly Johnson...apparently he's supposed to catch every possible throw that comes his way. Like, the first bunt...in which Peter Moylan took his sweet old time getting to it, looked at third, winged a lazy throw to first right at the runner's back. Yeah, to hell with Kelly Johnson for not tackling the runner to get the ball. The Johnson hate is absolutely mystifying. Its like he tested positive for PEDs and cocaine at the same time, and then took a crap on the dugout floor and smeared Bobby Cox's face in it.
And then theres Greg Norton. Here are some quick facts about Norton: he's got the most pinch hit appearances in the NL, he's got more walks than strikeouts, and he has a higher OPS pinch hitting than Greg Dobbs, the Phillies pinch hitter extrordinare. Pinch hitting is a weird thing, as the numbers can greatly fluctuate year by year. There is no sort of statistical analysis that can quantify bringing up some kid who has no experience in the majors, and having him serve as a SUPER DELUXE PINCH HITTER and be successful to the nth degree. Last season, Norton has a .976 OPS as a pinch hitter, which was the top mark in the National League.
Baseball fans are a "what have you done for me lately" kind of people. If you're not producing at a top level, you should be traded, released, demoted, whatever. Its worth noting that everyone's favorite backup catcher, David Ross, is OPSing .473 in July, but people are STILL clamoring for him to get more playing time at first base over Casey Kotchman. Theres also Diory Hernandez wasting a roster spot with the exact same OPS as Francoeur had in July for the Braves, and people still think Kelly Johnson should be the one to be demoted instead. Seriously folks?
I really like to think that fans of my team are knowledgeable and passionate, when in reality, its slowly appearing that most of the masses are narrow minded and jump to conclusions too quickly.