Two things you’re going to get sick of hearing me say: the Bravos need Dontrelle Willis, and Ryan Langerhans is the next Paul O’Neill.
Two predictions: “Yosty” is baseball’s next great manager, and Dan Kolb (aka Principal McVicker) will re-emerge as a premier set-up reliever.
Call me (Fred) Edelstein.
I’m not sure what brought on the charity towards Kolb. Turns out we were never that cruel to him, since the Office didn’t open until August 2005. By then McVicker was buried deep in the ‘pen, behind the likes of Adam Bernero, John Foster and Jim Brower.
It was a misbegotten experiment that lasted nearly two months. Two long months. Even when he succeeded he made you sweat. Not as much as Kolb, mind you.
Two games stand out. On May 11, the Braves had come back from a 4-2 9th inning deficit at Coors Field to take a one-run lead against the 8-22 Rockies. Enter Kolb, who allowed a solo homer then loaded the bases. Chris Reitsma gave up a game-ending single two batters later.
Three weeks later the Braves, down 3-2 to the Nats, came back to score four runs in the 8th. Surely Kolb wouldn’t blow a 3-run lead.
And Ryan Langerhans was the next Paul O’Neill.
Kolb was pretty much banished after that loss, his fifth of the year, but the Braves ‘pen was such a mess he’d have two more opportunities to save games. He blew them both.
McVicker finished his Braves career 3-8 with a 5.93 ERA and 1.855 WHIP. He was shipped back to Milwaukee that offseason for Wes Obermueller.
Fortunately I never compared Obermueller to John Smoltz.