Weekly Report Card

I know it's early, only one week in and our record is nothing to write home about at 2-4, but I thought it might be interesting to see how each player/manager/coach fares and hopefully see their grades climb as time goes by.

Shall we start with the good?

Horacio Ramirez: A-. I vascillated between an A and an A- because Horacio could easily have earned two wins in his two appearances with some offense in the first game, especially in light of expectations this winter. Who would have thought, even after one week, that he would be the *ace.* He was a littler weaker in Sunday's game (possibly the three days rest?) and I brought him in at an A-.

Something that would like mighty good on the *ugly*....

Greg Maddux. Can you give him higher than an F? I don't think even the most rabid Maddux fan can argue that grade. He took us out of both games in the first inning, scared the stuffings out of us and must take the *worst* grade. We are anticipating the most improvement from him as the weeks pass. (We'd better get it)

Ortiz: An ambiguous B. Good enough to win his game with some run support. Wasn't blown away early, so we were in the game, weakened some after 5 innings.

Marquis: B+ is fair, IMO. Pitched well, just below Horacio, maybe because it was only one game instead of two, he must get a slighter lower grade than Horacio. My leg can be pulled to lift him up to an A- However, I would be thrilled with a B+ for the entire year for him.

Hampton/Byrd: Inconclusive of course. Just look at the bench. They're still sitting. From what I understand Byrd is coming off the DL and *will* get a grade next week.

Smoltzie. I have to give an inconclusive here. He had no opportunities to save anything. His one short stint was fine and I'm sure we'll be able to bump him up to a very substantial grade shortly.

King: How about a C+? One awful performance, but he came back Sunday to pitch okay and he escaped an F.

Holmes OTOH earns a C- It could have been worse, but his performances disappeared among others who were just as bad or worse such as:

Gryboski who earns a D-. He escapes an F simply because Maddux, unfortunately, tied that mark up, by being our supposedly best starter and much more important to the team and failing us miserably.

Dawley B, He's been okay.

Hodges C- I have not been impressed with him or the rest of the pen, so anyone I've left out will share the C- with him.


Furcal a B is fair, IMO, because of his two very good games interspersed with a few invisible performances, some lack of patience at the plate for a lead off man, etc. The good news is, Sunday's game lifted his grade and hopefully, he's on an upward spiral. WE NEED HIM.

Fick: B-, again JMO, he came alive Sunday and became a Brave. Nuff said.

Gary B-, Hard to grade for me. My expectations are high and he hasn't met them. However, he hasn't stunk it up either, so let's middlegrade him and wait.

Chipper C+ Another in and outer, who has hit a bit, but disappointed at some crucial moments. I have no doubt his grade will rocket up to his talent.

Andruw B- I repeat much of the sentiment said about Chipper, although throughout Chipper's career, he has probably been better than Andruw. I still expect that both of them will lead this team with very high grades.

Giles B- Some decent hitting, a little bad luck (so what else is new?)

Vinny - A- Scary, huh? Even scarier is the fact that Vinny's first week would have earned a pure *A* except for some shaky defense. Huh? Yup, that's right.

Javy C+ In and out, Bat shows some signs of life. Hoping here for the old Javy to return.

Blanco, D, not much to say. No expectations, no hit and no saving of Maddux. Never thought he could, nor could any catcher save a pitcher. JMO.

Rest of bench: inconclusive, not too many opportunities, nothing to write home about.

Cox: inconclusive, fairly invisible for Cox. In his favor, he didn't shove Julio down our throats except against the lefty. (a reasonable move) Possibly one small whack. Horacio and Ortiz pitching on three days rest. Never liked that stuff. Didn't like it in the playoffs, don't like it now, even so early in the season. Horacio was okay, although not as good as his first game. Ortiz's performance on three days rest has yet to be determined.

Leo: inconclusive. Can't hang him for Maddux's performances. At this stage, Maddux must stand alone.

If I've forgotten anyone, it might be because they were forgettable or senility is setting in. Glad to address them with *your* help and I'll change grades if you give me a *good* reason. I promise.

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