Theploww has been in Hometown since the beginning. He has seen the ups and downs. Speaking of ups and downs that pretty much sums up Atlanta's tenor in hometown. One division title and a great playoff run to the World Series that resulted in a loss is Atltanta's only postseason appearance in eight full seasons. Since that year Atltanta has not stayed aboive 500. With an improved Florida team in the division and a stronger NL, injuries and missed opportunities Atltanta has never been able to regain its World Series form. However that should all change this year. Atlanta was a major player in the offseason with the big addition of Wayne Malloy. Atlanta has gone through a bit of a change in team philosiphies. They were built on pitching and defense but that has shifted into a team of big hitters and above average or average pitching. Last year it looked as though they were going to blow it up due to the trade of franchise pitcher Wolf Koloff to Anaheim. But opposed to a full rebuild he decided to just retool and why not with talent like Rich Pittinger, Julian Johnson and Douglas Stafford. The retooling looks to be a success as they have jumped out to a quick 11-3 start to take a hold of the division in the NL South. Atlanta looks to do some damage in the NL if the team can stay healthy. With that being said please welcome theploww to the Sentinal Sitdown!
Q, Thanks for doing this let me start by congratulating you on your ninth year in Hometown, how does that feel to be here from the beginning?
. Its always nice to stick with something from the start. This world got off to a rocky beginning with a lot of controversy in the first couple of seasons. It was very tempting to jump ship after those first couple years, but once we got through all the drama it has become a very enjoyable world with a lot of great owners.
Q. Season 4, great year for your franchise a division title and a World Series appearance. How devastating was it to lose in the World Series?
A. It always hurts to make it that far and not be able to climb that final hill, but of all the problems a team could have that's definitely one of the better ones. My team has struggled since that point, and it sure would be nice to trade our recent problems for that one.
Q. After that year you must have been thinking the NL South will be my domain and since then your team has floundered. How frustrating has it been not competing for that division title, making the playoffs or finishing 500?
A. Its definitely been an uphill battle. At the beginning of each of those seasons I felt like my team was in a good position to contend and make the playoffs, but things just never really fell into place. Ultimately that is what caused me to reevaluate my strategy this past offseason, moving from a pitching dominated team to a heavier offensive base, especially in the power area.
Q. With the retooling off to a great start do you regret trading Wolf Koloff last year at the deadline?
A. Its always a big loss when you send away a guy like Wolf, especially since he has been with the team since the beginning. I didn't exactly get a pile of wet sand in return for him though. I got two guys in Clarence Thomas and Jose Rivera who will be an integral part of my offense for years to come. In fact, Rivera is already at the ML level and he is off to a scorching start slugging .979 and he already has 8 long balls in the first 14 games. I can just imagine the Neil Everett Sportscenter commentary of our games. "Bartender...JACK!!!"
Q. You add Lon Plant and Wayne Malloy this offseason, what are you expecting for those 2 this season and in the future?
A. I fully expect Lon Plant to be my catcher for the next 6+ seasons. He has great power and above average pitch calling. His defense is a bit suspect, but I think the other aspects of his game more than make up for it. I think Wayne Malloy can be very good for the 5 seasons I have him signed for. While he isn't exactly a spring chicken, he certainly isn't over the hill yet and he still has some great stuff.
Q. Not to jynx you but I think you have the best shot of winning the NL South this year, What do you have to do to make sure that happens? Can your current roster do that for you or will you have to make a move?
A. I believe the current roster can make that goal come true, but if we do falter in one area it will be in the pitching department. If the team is struggling in that area as we approach the trade deadline I certainly won't hesitate to make a move to give us a better shot. My basic plan from this point forward is to win every single game, go 159-3, and sweep my way through the playoffs. I think most would agree that is a realistic goal. :)
Q. World Series prediction this year?
A. Atlanta over Toronto in 6. I really think Toronto's stockpile of young talent is ready to bust out and make it to the next level.
The Regular 5 Questions
Real Name: Matt Plowden
Fav Player: Jair Jurrjens. I love watching young pitchers who really understand the game.
Fav Team: Atlanta Braves
Do you have a franchise model: It used to be pitching, pitching, pitching, but I'm trying a more offensive approach for now.Thanks again for doing this hope you enjoyed it