Whacks and Kudos: It's Opening Day!

Hearts are beating mightily. How much is anticipation and how much is fear? When we look around the field, how much is different? Well, Maddux is on the mound, not much change there. Blanco is behind the plate. Not the usual outcry from the fans who want Javy to start. But, that may not be a good thing, since it's not as much a testament to Blanco, but disillusionment with what seems to be the declining Javy and maybe, just maybe not many fans care anymore.

Eyes shift to second with less skepticism, knowing at least Keith Lockhart won't be standing there. The outfield will be intact, infield a little more sketchy, but okay, it's mostly Braves out there.

Wednesday will be a little weirder when Horacio Ramirez takes the mound for the second game of the season. Horacio who? Where's Glavine? Oh, yeah, he pitched the opener for the *gulp* Mutts and Millwood did the same for the Philthies.

A lot of the hope for their replacements, starting with Hampton's very, very good Spring Training finale against the Mutts went down the drain on a treadmill. He has since joined Byrd on the DL list, so we go to Ramirez.

If Ramirez pitches lights out, we'll all breathe a sigh of relief and wait for his next start. If not, well, I won't go there.

Let's stay on the brighter side. Horacio shines for the two weeks that the *new* Glavine and Millwood* must remain on the DL and then what happens. Well, depending on Marquis, Horacio may slip to #5 or slide into the pen. All eyes will watch Hampton and Byrd. The best scenario says they will have to replace the budding star that Ramirez could be.

The worst scenario. I WON'T GO THERE!!!! Of course, in the best scenario, Cox may very well keep the two newbies on the DL a little longer. Surely, there won't be a rush to replace the kid and endanger the *veterans* if Ramirez is piling up good innings.

Then, thoughts will wander. Hey, we could have used Horacio and not traded/signed one or both of the ailing pitchers and put that $ 58 million dollars towards bringing in a couple of hitters to strengthen up the offense.

After all, Byrd may be a one trick/season pony. Nobody liked that signing much and Hampton??? Well, it's not good to hear that calf is a RECURRING injury, having already happened in Colorado, where his numbers were just awful.

So, JS is looking mighty shaky in his winter of much discontent. Already whipped and hung for the travesty with Millwood. (Where is Estrada, that total package anyway? Certainly not in Atlanta)

This could be the best season, it certainly will be one of the most interesting seasons or it could be...... I WON'T GO THERE.

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