Whacks and Kudos: Where have you gone, Milly?

The Braves sure are missing Kevin Millwood now. Joan ponders why he was traded in the first place.

Heartsick in the cold wasteland of Philadelphia, we ask ourselves that question. Oh, sickeningly, we know exactly where Kevin has gone and we're going to face him with more mixed emotions than I thought possible.

There is no doubt in my mind that once we see him on the mound in his Philthies' uniform, he *will* be the enemy. If we hit him, we'll go on with our baseball lives and head for Florida.

But, if he dominates us, the discontent of winter will rear its ugly head once again and turn to dart throwing at the many pictures of JS around not just the city of Atlanta, but across the United States. Remember this is America's team. And that's not just a frivolous statement. Take a look at the addresses of the fervored fans of any Brave's message board. They range from the home of the hated Yankees and Mutts and continue way west where the Dodgers and Giants once followed Horatio Alger's advice to *Go West Young Man."

This may be a more monumental meeting than facing Glavine, simply because Tommy chose the mutts while Kevin was tossed away for some unknown player who is still in the minors. Did anyone really buy the PR about *a total package.* I don't think so.

So, hearts will stand still Thursday night. Lips will curl as we watch *our* Millwood go into battle against us. Emotions will be running high and to add insult to *injury* we don't even know his opponent. It was supposed to be the not too welcome and much too expensive Paul Byrd, but the latest reports say no and who knows when.

That and his benchmate Hampton, the $48 million dollar man still sitting side by side on the bench will only serve to rouse the rabble more. And who can blame them? Certainly not this writer.

Cox better accept the consequences of what he and his partner in crime, JS, have done and get another man in that rotation before three days rest between starts sends more pitchers to the DL. If you have to sacrifice a few games in doing so, it's time to stop playing it *not to lose.* Heck, that never worked, anyway. Playing to win and looking at the big picture was always the better way. The four men left standing must be kept healthy if the Braves are to go anywhere.

Wednesday, Maddux *will* go on three day's rest, but considering that he only pitched two innings, (we won't go over those innings again, ugh) that's understandable. But, by Thursday, a fifth pitcher better be instatlled to face.....Millwood.

Back to the beginning. Kevin Millwood, born Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, 1974. That sounds about right. JS did everything but wrap him when he gave him away as a present to one of our competitors in our own division.

Kevin Millwood, 18-8 in 2002 for an unknown catcher who lies ensconced in AAA.

Kevin Millwood who was 18-7 in 1999, so we know that last year wasn't just a fluke. How many 2 time 18 game winners are tossed so cavalierly aside? Does JS have a tree where he just plucks them off? And don't forget 1998 when Kevin Millwood was 17 and 8.

This was all done for a Brave team that doesn't exactly rack up runs and give a pitcher cheap wins. Check the record books. You will not find a pitcher with three years like that and only 28 years old *traded* for absolutely nothing. This is not a low budget team. The fans do not buy the story that the budget did not allow a loss in arbitration that at worst would cost $ 10 million dollars.

All eyes turn to what $ 10 million dollars did buy. A Paul Byrd who has yet to throw a pitch. Cheap candy for dinner instead of steak at the same price? Decisions like that should cost more than a stomach ache. Then, why is it the fans that have the pain? Pain that may cut through the heart when *our* pitcher takes the mound Thursday night in the wrong uniform. YES, IT'S THE *WRONG* UNIFORM.

Where have you gone, Kevin Millwood? A Brave nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Whoa, whoa, whoa.

P.S. The baseball Gods were NOT cruel enough to let Millwood squash us only a day after the man who got *Millwood's* ten million dollars impending surgery was announced.

As you all know by now, Byrd is going for elbow surgery to be out 2-4 months and Phillie has decided to mercifully skip Millwood's turn because of the weather conditions and his slight groin pull from which he seems to have recovered.

Their caution is saving what little sanity we all have left.


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