7/8/2001: The Braves won two of three from the Red Sox, but they may have lost Rafael Furcal. Furcal’s left shoulder, which has been a problem for a couple of years, apparently totally separated on a slide Friday night. He will have an MRI tomorrow but the belief is he will probably need to have immediate surgery, in which case his season is over. Mark Derosa is the shortstop for now, but it remains to be seen if the Braves will stay with him if Furcal stays out. Personally, I think Derosa is far better than the sort of players the Braves could get in trade, though a veteran backup isn’t that bad of an idea. Right now, Jesse Garcia is up from Richmond to be the reserve shortstop. He’s not very good, a Belliard/Ordonez type player. He runs well.

Rico Brogna has reached depths even I could not anticipate. He’s posting a nifty .295 on-base percentage, slugging .333, and shows an uncanny knack for knowing how to do the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. In June he managed the uncommon feat of having a lower OBP than batting average, which is what happens if you never walk — not once — in 62 at-bats, but can manage a sacrifice. He also hit into four double plays. His percentages for last month were .242/.238/.355. Even his defense has been disappointing.

The Braves head into the All-Star break a game behind the Phillies. They are, however, in the wild card lead. When real games resume the Braves get the dregs of the AL East, Baltimore and Tampa, both series in Atlanta. The Phillies get the Blue Jays and Yankees.