I've done a few of these in the past, and thought it would be a fun off-season project. Every time I read the Braves Mailbag on the official site, I always answer the questions in my head before reading Bowman's (real) replies. Woo! Let's go. Starting with this week's mailbag...
Oh yeah, don't take my responses too seriously... :)
Jose Constanza really contributed to the team this year. Why didn't he play much toward the end of the season?
-- Bren H., Jonesboro, Ark.
He cooled off; did you not see that? A good manager puts together his best lineup based on who's doing well - could be based on past performance against the opposing pitcher or batters, the guy who doesn't seem to miss a good pitch, or the guy whose glove is so amazing, he can't be benched against a hot team.
Was it a strategic plan for the Phillies to sweep the Braves to end the season? I think the smart thing would have been to lose a game or two to Atlanta and then face the D-backs in the National League Division Series.
-- Brent W., Kailua, Hawaii
Why would any team intentionally lose games? Even with a clinched playoff spot, you want to have momentum going into October. Look where the Cardinals are!
What do you think about moving Martin Prado to shortstop?
-- Jorge Martinez, Key West, Fla.
No. No no no. If you've paid any attention at all, you've heard over and over that SS is Marteeen's "worst" position. Plus, everyone on the team seems to want Alex there. If he'd been playing shortstop behind me when I pitched in softball, I would have been much more confident in our team's ability to win. ;)
Are the Braves planning to trade Derek Lowe?
-- Severin Shultis, Columbus, Ga.
Again, what rock are these people living under?! Yes, of course they are. Can they find someone to take his salary? That remains to be seen. (DLowe amuses me. If he's a Brave next year, we'll deal with it then.)
Hey, let's do 10/7's mailbag too. Why not.
What do you think happened to Jason Heyward this year, and do you think he will bounce back next year?
-- David P., Omaha, Neb.
I think it was just a sophomore slump. Pitchers adjusted to him. I have no reason to doubt his ability to "bounce back", but I prefer forward positive thinking, not dwelling on the past.
Do you see the Braves signing Mark DeRosa to be a super-utility type of guy?
-- Jeff M., Lakeland, Fla.
YES PLEASE. Oh, I just saw DeRo's name. Lemme re-read the question...
Oh yeah, I already talked about this. He'd fill a need on the team and WE ALL LOVE HIM. So why not?
Do you see the Braves signing Michael Bourn to a multiyear deal?
-- Sandra P., Jacksonville, Fla.
That would be nice. I like him.
What should we expect from Martin Prado next year?
-- Mike A., Clemson, S.C.
Tight pants, great shoes, great smile, funny interviews. ;)