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31 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: The Championship

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket Championship: The Jeter vs. You Shall Not Pass

The Jeter

Editor’s Pitch: With the Braves clinging to a 3-2 lead with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd in the bottom of the 8th, Jordan Walden got Travis d’Arnaud to hit a ground ball. Unfortunately for the Braves, it was headed toward the hole and looked destined to tie the game for the Mets. Fortunately for the Braves, they have Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop, and he ranged to his right, snagged the ball, leaped, and threw the runner out with nanoseconds to spare. ESPN will tell you this type of play was patented by Derek Jeter, but there are some notable differences between Jeter making the play and Simmons making the play. Jeter would leap because, unlike Simmons, he did not have a strong enough arm to take the time to plant himself and get the throw off in time. Simmons leaped because he had ranged so far to his right that he was able to get to a ball Jeter never would have even thought to try to get to, and, with as far as he had to run, had he tried to stop his momentum to plant himself and fire across the diamond, he probably would have fallen over. Although he made this look easy, it was anything but.

Previous Appearance: The Jeter edged out The Video Game in the second round of the consolation bracket.

You Shall Not Pass

Editor’s Pitch: I’m really not sure how Simmons got to this ball. He had to dive, obviously, but then he had to reach up to actually catch it. I wouldn’t have guessed his arms were long enough to make this play, but the one lesson I have learned from watching Andrelton for three years is to always expect the impossible. And this certainly looks impossible.

Previous appearance: You Shall Not Pass beat Superman in the second round of the consolation bracket.

29 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round Four

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: The Video Game vs. Glove: Optional
 
The Video Game

Editor’s pitch: The video is worth a thousand words of commentary, so just watch it again. Okay, now watch it one more time. Can a mere mortal even bend like that? He’s covering the bag, bends against his momentum to catch the ball, and then flips back to tag the base. The baserunner was already running and was nearly on top of him…and he got the out. This play defies the laws of physics and it made his pitcher laugh in disbelief. The cherry on top is he tried to turn the double play and was disgusted with himself that he couldn’t. Unbelievable.

Previous appearance: The Video Game beat Run At Your Own Risk in the third round of the consolation bracket.

Glove: Optional

Editor’s Pitch: In Minnesota this year, that will be a hit against Ervin Santana. Last year in Atlanta it was top of the 5th, one down. The catch itself is insane enough, with Simmons making the call to barehand it to give himself a chance to throw the runner out. Then, when the ball bounced slightly differently than he seemed to be anticipating, he stayed with it and nailed the runner with a perfect throw. Perfection on a diamond.

Previous Appearance: Glove: Optional beat Superman in the third round of the consolation bracket.

27 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round Three

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: Run At Your Own Risk vs. The Video Game

Run At Your Own Risk

Editor’s Pitch: When a ball splits the gap and bounces away from even the most accomplished of outfielders, you pretty much concede the runner on first will score and focus on keeping the hitter held to a double. Not Simmons. Michael Cuddyer was over halfway home, but Simmons, well onto the outfield grass, threw a perfect strike to the plate to nail him. The ball could not have landed in a better place for Brian McCann had Simmons walked it in and handed it to him. Just wow.

Previous Appearance: Run At Your Own Risk lost to You Shall Not Pass in the first round of the consolation bracket.

The Video Game

Editor’s pitch: The video is worth a thousand words of commentary, so just watch it again. Okay, now watch it one more time. Can a mere mortal even bend like that? He’s covering the bag, bends against his momentum to catch the ball, and then flips back to tag the base. The baserunner was already running and was nearly on top of him…and he got the out. This play defies the laws of physics and it made his pitcher laugh in disbelief. The cherry on top is he tried to turn the double play and was disgusted with himself that he couldn’t. Unbelievable.

Previous appearance: The Video Game just barely lost to The Jeter in the second round of the consolation bracket.

25 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round Three

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: Glove: Optional vs. Superman

Glove: Optional

Editor’s Pitch: In Minnesota this year, that will be a hit against Ervin Santana. Last year in Atlanta it was top of the 5th, one down. The catch itself is insane enough, with Simmons making the call to barehand it to give himself a chance to throw the runner out. Then, when the ball bounced slightly differently than he seemed to be anticipating, he stayed with it and nailed the runner with a perfect throw. Perfection on a diamond.

Previous Appearance: Glove: Optional lost to The Jeter in the first round of the consolation bracket.

Superman

Editor’s Pitch: Take a screen shot at 0:28 of this clip, throw a cape on the man, and you’ll discover the true identity of Superman. Clark Kent has nothing on Andrelton.

Previous appearance: Superman lost to You Shall Not Pass in the second round of the consolation bracket.

24 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round Two

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: The Jeter vs. The Video Game

The Jeter

Editor’s Pitch: With the Braves clinging to a 3-2 lead with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd in the bottom of the 8th, Jordan Walden got Travis d’Arnaud to hit a ground ball. Unfortunately for the Braves, it was headed toward the hole and looked destined to tie the game for the Mets. Fortunately for the Braves, they have Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop, and he ranged to his right, snagged the ball, leaped, and threw the runner out with nanoseconds to spare. ESPN will tell you this type of play was patented by Derek Jeter, but there are some notable differences between Jeter making the play and Simmons making the play. Jeter would leap because, unlike Simmons, he did not have a strong enough arm to take the time to plant himself and get the throw off in time. Simmons leaped because he had ranged so far to his right that he was able to get to a ball Jeter never would have even thought to try to get to, and, with as far as he had to run, had he tried to stop his momentum to plant himself and fire across the diamond, he probably would have fallen over. Although he made this look easy, it was anything but.

Previous Appearance: The Jeter beat Glove: Optional 18-14 in the first round of the consolation bracket.

The Video Game

Editor’s pitch: The video is worth a thousand words of commentary, so just watch it again. Okay, now watch it one more time. Can a mere mortal even bend like that? He’s covering the bag, bends against his momentum to catch the ball, and then flips back to tag the base. The baserunner was already running and was nearly on top of him…and he got the out. This play defies the laws of physics and it made his pitcher laugh in disbelief. The cherry on top is he tried to turn the double play and was disgusted with himself that he couldn’t. Unbelievable.

Previous appearance: The Video Game lost to Shortstop…or Left Fielder? 30-20.

22 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round Two

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: You Shall Not Pass vs. Superman

You Shall Not Pass

Editor’s Pitch: I’m really not sure how Simmons got to this ball. He had to dive, obviously, but then he had to reach up to actually catch it. I wouldn’t have guessed his arms were long enough to make this play, but the one lesson I have learned from watching Andrelton for three years is to always expect the impossible. And this certainly looks impossible.

Previous appearance: You Shall Not Pass moved past Run At Your Own Risk in the first round of the consolation bracket.

Superman

Editor’s Pitch: Take a screen shot at 0:28 of this clip, throw a cape on the man, and you’ll discover the true identity of Superman. Clark Kent has nothing on Andrelton.

Previous appearance: Superman lost to Slip ‘N Slide, 22-19.

20 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round One

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: Glove: Optional vs. The Jeter

Glove: Optional
 

Editor’s Pitch: In Minnesota this year, that will be a hit against Ervin Santana. Last year in Atlanta it was top of the 5th, one down. The catch itself is insane enough, with Simmons making the call to barehand it to give himself a chance to throw the runner out. Then, when the ball bounced slightly differently than he seemed to be anticipating, he stayed with it and nailed the runner with a perfect throw. Perfection on a diamond.

Previous Appearance: Glove: Optional lost to Taggin’ Fool, 26-12.

The Jeter

Editor’s Pitch: With the Braves clinging to a 3-2 lead with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd in the bottom of the 8th, Jordan Walden got Travis d’Arnaud to hit a ground ball. Unfortunately for the Braves, it was headed toward the hole and looked destined to tie the game for the Mets. Fortunately for the Braves, they have Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop, and he ranged to his right, snagged the ball, leaped, and threw the runner out with nanoseconds to spare. ESPN will tell you this type of play was patented by Derek Jeter, but there are some notable differences between Jeter making the play and Simmons making the play. Jeter would leap because, unlike Simmons, he did not have a strong enough arm to take the time to plant himself and get the throw off in time. Simmons leaped because he had ranged so far to his right that he was able to get to a ball Jeter never would have even thought to try to get to, and, with as far as he had to run, had he tried to stop his momentum to plant himself and fire across the diamond, he probably would have fallen over. Although he made this look easy, it was anything but.

Previous Appearance: The Jeter just barely lost to Shortstop…Or Left Fielder? 26-25.

19 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round One

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: You Shall Not Pass vs. Run At Your Own Risk

You Shall Not Pass

Editor’s Pitch: I’m really not sure how Simmons got to this ball. He had to dive, obviously, but then he had to reach up to actually catch it. I wouldn’t have guessed his arms were long enough to make this play, but the one lesson I have learned from watching Andrelton for three years is to always expect the impossible. And this certainly looks impossible.

Previous appearance: You Shall Not Pass lost to A League of His Own, 29-15.

Run At Your Own Risk

Editor’s Pitch: When a ball splits the gap and bounces away from even the most accomplished of outfielders, you pretty much concede the runner on first will score and focus on keeping the hitter held to a double. Not Simmons. Michael Cuddyer was over halfway home, but Simmons, well onto the outfield grass, threw a perfect strike to the plate to nail him. The ball could not have landed in a better place for Brian McCann had Simmons walked it in and handed it to him. Just wow.

Previous Appearance: Run At Your Own Risk lost to Taggin’ Fool, 35-23

17 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel: The Consolation Round

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

The consolation round: The Slip ‘N Slide vs. Taggin’ Fool

The Slip ‘N Slide

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons not only kept up with the path of the ball when his feet slipped out from under him, he caught it and threw it from his knee without any hesitation, as if he had planned to do it that way all along. His arm is strong enough that he got the out. From his knees. On the outfield grass. With a throw that was chest high when Freddie Freeman reached out to catch it. Chip Caray’s “Are you kidding me?” was spot on.

Last Round: In the semifinals, The Slip ‘N Slide lost to Shortstop…or Left Fielder?

Taggin’ Fool

Editor’s Pitch: This astounding tag has gotten a lot of well-deserved publicity. Freeman’s throw was awful on what should have been an easy pick-off play, but through an instinct unique only to him, Simmons was able to apply the tag where he caught the ball–between his legs. I can’t find a clip of it, but I remember later on in that broadcast they showed an angle from centerfield that clearly showed Simmons got the tag down. How he was able to do that will remain one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.

Last Round: In the semifinals, Taggin’ Fool lost to A League of His Own.

13 Mar

The Jadeite Jewel: The Semifinals, Part 2

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

Semifinals: Taggin’ Fool vs. A League of His Own
 
Taggin’ Fool

Editor’s Pitch: This astounding tag has gotten a lot of well-deserved publicity. Freeman’s throw was awful on what should have been an easy pick-off play, but through an instinct unique only to him, Simmons was able to apply the tag where he caught the ball–between his legs. I can’t find a clip of it, but I remember later on in that broadcast they showed an angle from centerfield that clearly showed Simmons got the tag down. How he was able to do that will remain one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.

Last Round: Taggin’ Fool beat Glove: Optional 26-12.

A League of His Own

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons was moving toward third base with the pitch, so he had to reverse his direction to get to the ball. He somehow caught the ball anyway, managed to beat the runner to second, then threw to first while his entire body was still heading toward right field, and somehow got enough on the throw to turn a double play. In a tie game. In the bottom of the 14th inning. He’s not fair. He’s really just not fair.

Last Round: A League of His Own beat You Shall Not Pass 29-15.

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