Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Me and baby brother...

                                  For the next few years, 2/3rds of the Atlanta Braves  starting outfield will consist of brothers B.J., and Justin Upton.  They are the only brothers to ever go no. 1 and no. 2 in the baseball draft. B.J., the older of the two, has been somewhat of an underachiever (except for the 2008 ALCS, where he murdered Red Sox pitching ), while his baby brother has been more consistent.  Along with Justin Heyward, they make up one of the best outfields in baseball.  Brothers playing on the same team is not that unusual; a few years back, the Laroche brothers both played for the Pirates at the same time, while for a brief time during the late '80s and early '90s, Cal and Billy Ripken were a double play combination.

                   Now, as far as brothers playing in the outfield, the Alou brothers from the '60s take the cake...not just two, but THREE brothers started all three outfield positions in 1963. After briefly playing together for the San Fransisco Giants that year, they all went their seperate ways...The oldest, Felipe, was the power hitter of the bunch, hitting 206 in his career.  Matty, the middle child, won a batting title ( w/ Felipe finishing second ) with a more Rod Carew-like approach to hitting.  He died a little over a year ago.  The youngest, Jesus, was actually a bigger prospect than the other two, but never lived up to his potential.  I remember getting his baseball card in the '70s when he was on the kind of freaked me out, going to Catholic school and all...Spanish wasn't spoken much in Milton Ma. back then.

          As far as post careers go, Felipe by far had the most exposure.  He managed the Expos to a 70-40 record, before the strike ended the season in 1994. One of the members of that Montreal team was his son, Moises, who would have a better career than his dad and two uncles. In fact, you could say his numbers are borderline Hall of Fame-worthy, playing for a number of teams (btw, he was the one who tried to make that catch in the 2003 NLCS that was interfered with by Steve Bartman...sorry, Cubs fan ).  Later, Felipe would manage his old team, the San Fransisco Giants to some successful seasons.  So, as for the Braves this year, they should have a great outfield...if Justin continues to play like he has the past few seasons...and his brother pretends it's the 2008 ALCS...and if Justin Heyward hits like he did a few years ago...ah, the word "if"'s not just Bread's second biggest hit...oh, btw, I realize that I never once mentioned the band "War" in this piece, despite using one of their song titles as my main title...what can I say, it's my favorite song from them...      

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