Braves Link Roundup: Looking for a Leader; Looking for Hitting; Missing Smoltz

First off for this mid-week link roundup, we take a swing at an old Braves player and an unfortunate (albeit funny) episode:

Kansas City Royals right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth had his left index finger bandaged Tuesday after being bitten by one of his two bulldogs.

Farnsworth received four stitches from the bite after breaking up a fight between the two bulldogs on Tuesday morning.

Ahh, the Farns. I liked him when he was here, but didn't respect him when he left to not be a closer. Of course, maybe he knew that he wasn't the bulldog everyone thought he was (ha!).

Leadership lacking in Braves' clubhouse
Writing for the Macon Telegraph, Bill Shanks actually pens an interesting and insightful article. He contends that the Braves lack of confidence on the field is reflected by their lack of leadership in the clubhouse:

For years, Julio Franco was that enforcer in the Braves’ clubhouse. If a young player, more than half his age usually, did something that was not liked by the veteran, Franco stepped in and fixed it. He would put his arm around the player, or maybe even just raise his head and glare. Franco was an enforcer.

That’s not Chipper Jones. That’s just not him. And that’s fine. But it does not change the fact this team needs that type of clubhouse presence. It needs someone who when Escobar got benched Sunday, he had a veteran player sitting right there next to him telling him what he did wrong. Instead, Escobar was sitting by himself.

Never underestimate the importance of veteran leaders in a clubhouse. That article is definitely worth a read.

Local baseball prospects show off for Braves
Former Braves player, and current Braves scout Kevin Barry, was in Danbury, Connecticut, to watch some 42 prospects try out for a chance at a minor league deal. It's an interesting article about guys that didn't get drafted, but still have a dream to play pro baseball.

Terry Pendleton and the Braves offense
Bigjoe continues his eager blogging at Braves Heart, and sets out to dispel the notion that Terry Pendleton is the cause of the Braves' offensive woes... and he uses Excel to do it.

Most of the numbers have been dropping off over the past 2 or 3 years, due to the sale of the Braves to Liberty Media and the refusal to add any significant payroll. Pendleton doesn’t have a lot to work with in Atlanta anymore. The days of him getting awesome career years out of players like JD Drew and Gary Sheffield are over, and instead of being able to augment great talent like that, Pendleton is instead forced to try to coax miracles out of players who are not very good.

Smoltz won't start against the Braves, and I am ... not sad
One of the last good sports journalists at the AJC, Mark Bradley, is happy that John Smoltz will not be facing the Braves next week.

I’d borne my burden in silence for a dozen years, but two weeks ago I was moved to confess: I don’t much like Smoltz, and he really doesn’t like me.

That's all for now.

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