Don't Forget About the Braves

Phillies: We're the team to beat.

Mets: No, we're the team to beat.

john smoltz

Braves: Uh, guys? Hello? Remember us?

The Atlanta Braves won 14-straight division titles before the Mets took the NL East in 2006 and the Phillies took the NL East in 2007, and suddenly everybody treats them like they're the Marlins or Nationals. They're an afterthought as Carlos Beltran samples Jimmy Rollins' words and predicts a Mets pennant in 2008.

The Phillies were in Lake Buena Vista yesterday to play the Braves, and Jim Salisbury took a walk to the other side to see what the Braves think about the Philllies and their own chances.

"Same old," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Mets and Phillies, and the Braves under the radar right now. It's fine with me. I don't care if they talk about each other. We're going to be real competitive. We should be good. We'll be in the hunt."

"We're content laying in the weeds," Tom Glavine said. "We're not talked about quite as much as the other two teams, but that's understandable. The Phillies are the defending champions. They deserve the attention that goes with it. The Mets are always going to get attention. And when you add the No. 1 pitcher in baseball, it creates an extra buzz. For now, we're further down the ladder as far as attractiveness to outsiders. But if we stay healthy and do what we're capable of, we can absolutely make noise."


Kyle Kendrick got rocked in 2 2/3 innings. Phil Sheridan writes why plenty is riding on Kendrick this season.


Cole Hamels is ticked the Phillies renewed his contract for $500,000. John Smoltz has been there, and has some words of advice for Hamels.


Take it easy on me today. Brett Favre, who helped get me through many Wisconsin winters, has retired.