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The Braves are batting .500 with the Uptons
Justin Upton rounds third his three-run homer Tuesday night. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Updated: 10:53 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

For those keeping score at home, the Braves are batting .500 on Uptons. No, that’s not 1.000, which is what they hoped when they added B.J. Upton and brother Justin in the same offseason, but it’s not .000, either. And Justin Upton, whose massive April pointed the way toward a ...

Sam Baker’s loss doesn’t mean the Falcons are doomed
Introducing Jake Matthews, the Falcons’ left tackle for the next decade. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Updated: 5:06 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

The Falcons have lost their left tackle, and we stipulate that left tackle is among the five most important positions on a football team. But the left tackle in question wasn’t Art Shell or Anthony Munoz — it was Sam Baker, who’d long been considered (wrongly, in this view) the ...

Would the Braves profit from a ‘Moneyball’ approach?
Josh Reddick, the Oakland outfielder from Effingham County, meets his Georgia constituency. (Mark Bradley/AJC)

Updated: 3:28 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014

We’ve spent the summer discussing the Braves’ lineup and the flaws therein. The arrival of the A’s this weekend prompted a thought: What if the Braves, who stink in the awarding of big-ticket contracts, were to emulate Oakland and seek to do more while spending less?Granted, Braves general manager Frank ...

The baseball strike made runners-up of the ‘94 Braves
Marquis Grissom caught the fly ball that made this possible.

4:35 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

It was 20 years ago this week that a baseball season halted, never to resume. The players’ strike commenced Aug. 12, 1994. For the Braves, the walkout arrived at a peculiar moment: They’d won their division the previous three seasons and would finish first every year from 1995 through 2005, ...

Next on the Braves’ agenda: What to do with B.J. Upton
One Upton has been pretty darn good. The other, not so much. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Updated: 8:25 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

Now that Dan Uggla has been dispatched, the Braves’ attention can shift to their other salary drain. If the past five games were any indication, they haven’t yet figured out what to do with B.J. Upton. He didn’t play in Seattle last Tuesday. He started and batted eighth the next ...

Are the Braves chasing the Nats, or vice versa?
The beating goes on: Justin Upton after hoisting a homer off Stephen Strasburg. (David Tulis/AP)

Updated: 9:06 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014

Given a chance to put their nemesis to sleep, the Washington Nationals arrived at Turner Field on Friday and trailed by a touchdown at halftime. (Actually by seven runs in the bottom of the fifth.) The famous Stephen Strasburg, who’d never yielded more than two homers in a game, was ...

Falcons take baby step on the road to redemption
Matt Ryan threw no incompletions and took a seat. (David Goldman/AP)

Updated: 9:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

It was against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, or whatever that place happens to be called now, that the plunge of the 2013 Falcons commenced. They had opened with a narrow loss to New Orleans in the Superdome, but the history of this franchise is strewn with narrow losses ...

Football Outsiders: Falcons will be better but not good
The AJC's Mark Bradley.

Updated: 2:49 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

When Football Outsiders speaks, I listen. You should, too. A year ago, the data-based website predicted a Seahawks-Broncos Super Bowl and a playoff berth for Carolina (!) and, most notably for us locals, a plunge by the Falcons, who were coming off a 13-3 season. All of the above came ...

The Braves’ season could be done by Labor Day
Evan Gattis is thrown out at the plate after Andrelton Simmons’ wrong-headed bunt. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Updated: 3:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

No team looks good when losing six in a row, but the cold truth is that the Braves haven’t looked very good since April. It’s August. School — at least in Cobb County, their future home — is again in session. And Baseball Prospectus, which 13 days ago assessed the ...

Can the Braves improve enough to make the playoffs?
The AJC's Mark Bradley.

Updated: 6:14 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014

True confession: For a while now, I’ve operated on the assumption that the Washington Nationals are going to rouse themselves some week and build a working lead on the Braves. That’s not to say I don’t think the Braves are good – all things considered, they’ve done pretty well – ...

Atlanta Falcons 2014: Urgency could spawn a turnaround
Coach Mike Smith and some of his Falcons in minicamp. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Updated: 1:09 p.m. Monday, July 21, 2014

When the 2012 Falcons went 13-3, more than a few folks wondered how they’d done it. They didn’t have a great defense. They didn’t blow anybody out. The best thing they did was win a lot of close games, which some savants attributed to the presence of a really good ...

Maddux and Glavine: Pitchers, artists, Hall of Famers
Pitchers Tom Glavine (left), and Greg Maddux reached career milestones with the Atlanta Braves.

12:52 p.m. Monday, July 21, 2014

In the famous “Chicks Dig The Long Ball” Nike commercial, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux played to what was widely seen as nerdy type. “We got Cy Young winners over here!” Maddux whined to the worshipers (Heather Locklear chief among them) swooning over the sight of Mark McGwire taking batting ...

Landing Uggla should have worked. It just didn’t
B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla: One of these men is still a Brave. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Updated: 6:35 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014

They tried just running him out there. They tried benching him. They tried a different hitting coach. They tried contact lenses. They tried Lasik surgery. They even tried — actually, this was an accident — bringing in B.J. Upton to join the misery-loves-company support group. Nothing worked. For Dan Uggla ...

The media disagrees, but Richt likes UGA in the East
A proud grandfather addresses the assembled media. (Butch Dill/AP photo)

Updated: 8:03 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014

Informed that the assembled masses at SEC Media Days had anointed South Carolina the choice to win the East, the famously genial Mark Richt could have shrugged and said, “Ah, well. Another day, another prediction.” Instead he made a pick of his own.“I’d have us first,” he said. “We’ve got ...

The confident LSU Tigers could grab the SEC title
LSU’s La’El Collins meets many members of the media. (Butch Dill/AP photo)

Updated: 5:33 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LSU fits no definition of a sleeper. From 2001 through 2011, it won two national titles, played for a third and took four SEC championships. This is — to invoke a word Les Miles deployed six times in his 1,398-word opening statement Wednesday — a “quality” program.The Tigers find themselves ...

At 69, Spurrier can see success without SEC titles
Steve Spurrier addresses the SEC Media Days gathering, at which he’s the all-time best. (Butch Dill/AP)

Updated: 1:22 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bear Bryant and Nick Saban won SEC championships at two different schools, which is something Steve Spurrier hasn’t done. But Spurrier is about to become the first coach to work 10 or more seasons at two SEC outposts, and what he has managed in nine seasons at South Carolina has ...

Auburn’s Malzahn will have a tough time topping 2013
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn speaks during SEC Media Days. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Updated: 6:25 p.m. Monday, July 14, 2014

The reigning SEC champ is moving into its second season under a coach whose offenses tend to get even better the second time around, and it’s the one team among legitimate conference contenders – let’s not count Florida among that number – that won’t be changing quarterbacks. But Auburn won’t ...

The Braves’ failed Uggla experiment has to end
Dan Uggla in a familiar pose. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

2:58 p.m. Sunday, July 13, 2014

It took the announcement of his one-game suspension to remind us that Dan Uggla is still an Atlanta Brave. He has had 16 at-bats since Memorial Day. (One hit, five strikeouts.) His most recent RBI came April 14. He’d become the 25th man on a 25-man roster, which meant the ...

LeBron back to Cleveland — one of the best stories ever
The once and future King of Cleveland. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Updated: 4:33 p.m. Friday, July 11, 2014

The worst part about “The Decision” wasn’t that LeBron James decided to take his talents to … well, you know. He was free to sign with any team in 2010, same as in 2014. Had he done it differently back then, had he told the citizenry of Cleveland in a ...

Is New York to blame for Brian McCann’s struggles?
Brian McCann tries his hand as a first baseman. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Updated: 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It’s with hesitation that I step into a dialogue, albeit one conducted via reporters, between Terry Pendleton and Brian McCann. If I had to pick my half-dozen favorite Braves, they would make the list. But step I will, if only because the issue demands pondering. On Monday, Pendleton — once ...

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