Extractions: By BILL MADDEN Tim Hudson will be doing the Tomahawk Chop on NL East opponents this season after joining the Braves. (Illustration by Ed Murawinski) It happens every spring at least for the last 13 of them. Atlanta Braves GM John Schuerholz listens to the reasons why his team won't finish first. After 13 straight first-place finishes, Schuerholz has come to relish this annual exercise, although this spring he's had to dig a little deeper in his explanations. Schuerholz is convinced that oft-injured Raul Mondesi and Brian Jordan will provide enough offense in the corner outfield spots to make up for the loss of free agent J.D. Drew's 31 homers and 93 RBI. But Jordan has been on the disabled list 13 times since 1993 and Mondesi missed most of last season with personal problems in Pittsburgh and a torn quadriceps with Anaheim. And then there is John Smoltz, whom the Braves are counting on to make a successful return to starting after nearly four years as their closer. Smoltz looked like his dominant self all spring, but as Bobby Cox's designated No. 1 starter ahead of prize winter acquisition Tim Hudson, it cannot be ignored that he hasn't pitched over 200 innings in a season since 1997.
FBC'S ONLINE FANTASY BASEBALL CHALLENGE FANTASY baseball CENTRAL S ONLINE CHALLENGE 2004 CLE 1.8 Groom,Buddy BAL 1.1Koch,billy CWS 1.7 Guardado,Eddie SEA 2.5 Lidge,Brad HOU 1.7 Harper,Travis http://www.statmanplus.com/fbc24.htm
ESPN.com Billy Koch Player Card billy koch has not been involved in any transactions this season. Pitcher billykoch, two years removed from a 44save season, was released by the http://espn.go.com/mlb/profiles/profile/6218.html