Sunday, November 28, 2004

Saturday night out

I went to Chattanooga last night with my friends, Big Stupid Tommy and Evil Hippy. We decided to stop in Cleveland on they way, since we were hungry and such. After much debating, we decided Jenkin's Deli would be the place to get some vittles and appease our hungry bellies. (If you're ever in Cleveland, I highly recommend Jenkin's: they've got good food and it's not too 'spensive.)

Have you ever wanted to order something on a menu but were too embarrassed to, either because you weren't sure how to pronounce the item or it had a really stupid name? Even better- have you been with someone when they decided to order the item with the really stupid name? It happened to me last night. The Evil One had himself a Zippy Chippy Chicken Sandwich. (It made me think about tales of young men asking the pharmicist for condoms for the very first time.)

Just for the record: he said it was a good sammich, but he didn't find it all that "zippy".

Saturday, November 27, 2004

You call this a vacation?!

I'm going to have to rethink this whole "time off from work" bit.

My place of employment was kind enough to give me four days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. That's mighty kind of them, considering I've had approximately the same number of days off during the past two months. (I don't like working Saturdays and Sundays, dammit.)

The problem is no one told the doors and trim in my Still-Not-Finished-Brand-New-House that I'm not supposed to be working. They've demanded to be painted. I don't like painting trim (although the doors aren't so bad) and even after several hours of painting yesterday, I've still got a LONG way to go. Jeez...

It looks like them folks what play baseball and such for a living are taking the Thanksgiving holiday seriously. Nothing going on as far as signings and talks and other baseball business the past coupla days. Wouldn't it be cool if the GMs had after-Thanksgiving sales with player contracts? I can see it now: Jim Hendry offering Sammy Sosa for 60% off from six a.m. til noon, Friday only. Or, "Buy one middle infielder, get another one half-price" specials.

Why MLB isn't exploiting my Big Ideas is beyond me...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tales from the starting rotation

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that Jaret Wright declined the Braves' latest contract offer; his agent has all but said he'll not be back, as Atlanta doesn't have the resources to keep him there. In addition, the team hasn't expressed much interest in bringing Russ Ortiz back for the 2005 campaign.

Looks like ol' Smoltzie is heading out of the 'pen and back to the rotation, doesn't it?

Monday, November 22, 2004

NL East News

The New York Mets have signed Chris Benson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract. Several teams (the Braves included) had expressed interest in Benson, but he opted to stay in New York. I suppose he likes living under a microscope...

The Florida Marlins have re-signed Damion Easley to a one-year contract: the financial details were not disclosed. They've also offered a one-year contract to Al Leiter. The interesting point to this offer is that it includes an option for Leiter to move to the broadcaster's booth when he retires. I think it's a good move on the Marlins' part: Leiter did a great job in the Fox broadcast booth with Buck and McCarver stinking it up. Imagine what he could do without those two talking heads monopolizing every available moment?

40 Man Roster

The Braves have added seven players to their 40 man roster, bringing the total up to 37.

Kyle Davies
Anthony Lerew
Macay McBride

Pete Orr
Andy Marte
Luis Hernandez

Bill McCarthy

Saturday, November 20, 2004


As a general rule I don't watch (or even follow) the NBA. A one-time fan of the Los Angeles Lakers back in the 1980's glory days of NBA basketball, I looked forward to each new season because I knew I'd have fun arguing with my good friend, Jimmy (a hard-core Celtics fan). Actually, we could never figure out why they even bothered with the season: just let L.A. and Boston duke it out in a seven-game Finals series and be done with it.

Over the years, the game has devolved into a sport played by street thugs, drug dealers, and inexperienced 18-year-old children. It's all about the highlight-reel dunks, and "defense" has become a dirty word. Because of this, I'd rather watch fruit decompose rather than watch an NBA game.

I happened to be channel surfing last night before I went to work and came upon ESPN just as Ben Wallace shoved Ron Artest. I was shocked by what that seemingly insignificant skirmish escalated into.

Ron Artest is a crazy man. Something's not right in his head. I'm sure he'll take the brunt of the punishment doled out to the players involved because of his past, and I suppose he deserves it. As a professional athlete, you simply cannot allow yourself to go into the stands. All pro athletes are paid ridiculous sums of money to play children's games and with it comes the burden of taking abuse from the fans. But I'd like to know how much abuse should the players have to take? At what point have the fans crossed the line? Think about it: you're at your job, minding your own business. Someone comes in and starts screaming obscenities and epithets at you. You'd probably have security or the police escort that person out. What would you do if that same person came in and threw a bottle of beer or a chair at you? I realize this comparison is very exaggerated (Milton Bradley and I don't have the same job), but the point I'm trying to make is that although retaliation by the players isn't right- I can completely understand why they do it.

I'm not trying to excuse the actions of the Ron Artests and Milton Bradleys of the professional sports world- but fan behaviour has gotten out of control. Paying an admission fee to watch a ball game does not give you carte blanche to act like a moronic thug. Fans throwing objects at players is inexcusable. Fans running onto the field and attacking coaches is inexcusable. These idiots are getting more and more daring and something needs to be done to hold them accountable for their actions, just as the athletes are held responsible for theirs.

Washington Nationals

The Expos should officially become the Washington Nationals on Monday: a news conference is supposed to make the announcement and reveal the new cap and red, white, and blue color scheme. (As opposed to the old red, white, and blue color scheme?)

I do feel bad for those sixteen fans in Montreal who actually showed up for the games and supported their Expos, but I'm glad to see the players getting a permanent home (and hopefully a REAL fan base, with real fan support).

Perhaps in an effort to drum up support for the new team, Expos management has been busy signing free agents. Christian Guzman makes sense to me, but I'm not sure why they'd give Vinny Castilla 6.2 mil or even want the clubhouse pariah that is Jose Guillen?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

2004 Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team

Congratulations to Adam LaRoche for winning a roster spot on the 46th annual Topps All-Star Rookie Team. Here's a complete list of winners:

The 2004 Topps Rookie All-Star Team:

1B Adam LaRoche, Atlanta (110 games, 13 HRs, 45 RBIs, .278 BA)
2B Aaron Miles, Colorado (134, 6, 47, .293)
3B Chad Tracy, Arizona (143, 8, 53, .285)
SS Khalil Greene, San Diego (139, 15, 65, .273)
OF Jason Bay, Pittsburgh (120, 26, 82, .282)
OF Matt Holliday, Colorado (121, 14, 57, .290)
OF Terrmel Sledge, Montreal (133, 15, 62, .269)
C Joe Mauer, Minnesota (35, 6, 17, .308)
RHP Daniel Cabrera, Baltimore (147.2 IP, 12-8, 5.00, 76 K, 89 BB)
LHP Mike Gonzalez, Pittsburgh (43.1 IP, 3-1, 1.25, 55 K, 6 BB)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sutton will return to booth

I was almost certain Don Sutton's days with the Braves were numbered: his contract was the only one that hadn't been renewed and Chip Caray had recently been signed to join the broadcast team. A no brainer, right?

Wrong. Things have been squared away with Don's contract, so the Braves broadcast team will now consist of Chip and Skip Caray, Joe Simpson, Pete Van Wieren, and Sutton. Although the specifics haven't been worked out, a rotation will be developed for the radio broadcasts, as well as all TBS and Turner South televised games.

The Braves have also announced a new radio partner for the 2005 season. WGST 640 AM and 96 Rock will become part of the Braves Radio Network, as will all Clear Channels affiliates throughout the Southeast.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Free Agent signings

Former Braves third baseman Vinny Castilla has signed a two year, 6.2 million dollar contract with the Expos.

American League MVP

Congratulations to Vlad Guerrero for winning the 2004 AL MVP award. While the National League's contest really wasn't much of a contest (we all knew Barry would win), I didn't have any one player picked to win the AL: several guys were worthy, in my opinion. In the end, Vladdie came out on top, beating the likes of Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz. I suspect hitting .337, with 126 RBI and 39 home runs had something to do with it.

To be honest, I've always liked Guerrero. He's got a cannon for an arm, runs the bases like a flailing madman, and will swing at anything within the confines of the Western Hemisphere- and make contact. But the thing that I like best about him is the fact that he always seems to be enjoying the game of baseball. That's not so common in today's game and it puts a smile on my face, dammit.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Sundry items

There isn't much news coming from the Braves camp. The Andruw trade rumours are swirling about. Drew will probably look for greener, center field pastures, thanks to Scott Boras (see: The Devil). There's been talk of Kevin Brown coming to Atlanta. I hope this never happens. If the Braves are looking for an aging, moronic starting pitcher, I can be had for one tenth of the price...

The answer to yesterday's trivia question is Gary Gaetti. Thanks for playing the Feud.

The Sloth is going into hibernation: I hope it's a short one. I really enjoy his take on all things Cubs. He's a master of The Rant and he works in obscenities the way a master artist works in oils and pastels.

National League MVP

Barry Bonds won his seventh MVP award. And I don't really care.

Don't get me wrong: the guy deserved to win. The numbers he put up during the 2004 season were nothing short of incredible. He does this season after season, at an age when most MLB players are former MLB players working on their golf swing. My problem is with Barry Bonds, the person- NOT Barry Bonds, the player.

Difficulties with the media aside- you don't put yourself above your teammates. Barry seems to feel as though he's better than the gents he takes the field with and that's something I do take offense with. Teamwork wins championships (see the 2004 Boston Red Sox).

The steroids situation doesn't help either. C'mon Barry...give us a little credit. Forty-year-old men don't bulk up like Ahnold unless they've got a chemical crutch. Even though steroid-derived muscles won't help you hit a pitch, it does help you drive it a mile and a half out of the park. It sullies the home run record and it makes me cringe every time I think about how close he is to Hank's record. Maris's numbers were legit. So are Henry's.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Baseball quote trivia

Because this is the second day in a row where I couldn't scrounge up anything newsworthy (or even moderately interesting) to post about, I decided to bring out the ol' trivia bit. Feel free to answer in the comments section and I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Speaking of his dislike for hitting in Comiskey Park, this player said, "At Wrigley Field, I feel like King Kong. Here, I feel like Donkey Kong."

Which former MLB player (and current coach) said it?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Top five favorite baseball names

Since there isn't much in the way of newsworthy news in either the Braves or MLB camps, I thought I'd fill in the dead space share with you five of my favorite names in baseball. Although there are lots of cool baseball names throughout the game's history, these are the special few I hold near and dear to my heart (right next to my Tim McCarver Game-Worn-Jersey Holo-foil chocolate-chip Franklin-Mint medallion jumbo refractor card).

5. Coco Crisp -I like any baseball player's name when it sounds like a box of breakfast cereal. Why does he go by the name "Coco"? Because his given name is Covelli Loyce Crisp.

4. Bucky Dent -A good name, although I prefer the widescreen version: Bucky F*cking Dent. Even though the guy was a Yankee, I like his name and don't hold his team affiliation against him.

3. Satchel Paige -This is just a cool name; it sounds so larger than life, which is fitting because Satchel WAS larger than life. I wish my momma had named me Satchel...

2. Cool Pappa Bell -No comments needed. A guy named "Cool Pappa" is going to be a great ballplayer, musican, barber, or anything else his heart desires. Man, I wish my momma had named me Cool Pappa...

1. Stubby Clapp -This is the greatest name in the history of names. For those of you familiar with the PCL league and/or the St. Louis minor league system- you know Stubby. My good friend Tommy and I saw him several times when the Redbirds came to Nashville to play. Anytime he'd bat or make a play in the field we'd yell, "Stub-bee!". Sometimes we'd yell it for no apparent reason. We're funny that way.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Theater Thursday

This'll be my first time playing the ' I mean, Theater Tursday.

1) Which war movie is your favorite? (Nothing about war could be considered a 'favorite', but ya get my meaning.)

My favorite war movie would probably be Flying Leathernecks: ya can't go wrong with John Wayne and WWII fighter planes. For some reason, I get sucked into Kelly's Heroes every time it's on the tube . I loves me some Donald Sutherland.

2) What movie about war do you consider to be 'unwatchable', poorly done, or of poor taste?

Although I don't think it's such a horrible film, I was really disappointed with Gods and Generals. I had such high hopes when I first saw the previews; not so happy after I actually saw the picture.

3) Which actor/actress gave the best performance as a soldier? What movie?

I really like John Wayne in just about any war picture.

BONUS) If there was a movie to be made about the current war in Iraq, who would you most like to see as the leading man/woman?

Ben the Fleck. And I'd like the movie to be about horrible things happening to his character. I'm not a big fan of the Ben. The leading lady should be Salma Hayek, 'cause she's pretty hot.

Happy Veterans day to all the Veterans out there.

American League Cy Young Award

2.61 ERA
265 K
0.92 WHIP
Damn near unhittable...

If Johan Santana doesn't get the nod for the Cy- I'm going to go Zambrano on somebody! I don't care what Curt Shilling did in the post-season: the Cy goes to the best pitcher during the SEASON. Period. And I'll treat anyone who disagrees with me to a poke in the eye with a sharpened carp!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Managers of the Year

National League: I gots two words for ya: Bobby Cox. The man lead a team riddled with inexperienced starters and bench players to their 13th straight divisional title. Most pre-season experts didn't expect the Braves to finish higher than third in the NL East.

American League: My prediction is Terry Francona. Any man who leads the Red Sox to their first World Series win in 86 years is automatically named manager of the year. (Nominations for sainthood will be heard in the spring.)

Francona isn't my personal pick, however. If'n I was important enough that someone cared about my opinion, I'd have to go with Buck Showalter. He did a great job with the Rangers. Many baseball folks (including myself) expected Texas to finish last. Again. Good job, Bucky!

NL Cy Young revisited...

In true form- as I'm never wrong (a bad habit I've learned from my wife), Roger Clemens supported my prediction by rather handily winning the Cy Young. Just for the record, I do not begrudge him the honor. He had a helluva year and almost took the Astros to the Series. I suppose in my less than lucid moments, I regress back to my days as a skinny, little kid in elementary school and root for the underdog. Or, it could by my need to rail against the great injustices of the world and I simply feel bad for a guy (Randy Johnson) who has an awesome year on a pigshit team that gives him no run support. Oh well, he has his millions of dollars and cool nickname to console him through the winter months...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

National League Cy Young Award

Because there hasn't been much on the ol' Braves news wire to talk about lately- and since it's my blog (and I'm probably the only one reading it), I thought I'd post my two cents about the pending NL Cy Young Award.

Although there are several quality pitchers on the short list, it's really come down to two names: Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. Clemens put up some tremendous numbers this season (18-4, 2.98 ERA, 218 K). Johnson's are equally impressive: 16-14, 2.60 ERA, 290 K. Clemens led the National League in winning percentage and was in the Top 10 in wins, ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, and opponent batting average. Johnson pitched a perfect game, led the league in strikeouts, was near the top in ERA, and opponents only hit .194 against him.

If I were a betting man, my money would be on Clemens. His numbers are impressive and he led his team to the NLCS (as important as Beltran was, Houston wasn't going anywhere without Rog). With that being said, I'd like to make a case for Randy Johnson. With the exception of the win-loss column, his numbers are even better than Clemens', and he played in front of a horrible team (even a little bit of run support would have helped him win more games). The Astros were a much better team than the Diamondbacks, and the run support in Houston with THAT line-up was almost unfair. But ultimately, the voters look at wins and losses, and that will probably be the end of Johnson's chances for winning.

So, does the voting come down to the best pitcher in the league- or to the one who's most valuable to their team?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Ernie, Skip, and Pete need your vote!

The nominations ballot for the 2005 Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually to sports broadcasters, is currently available online (click here). Voting runs from November 1st thru December 1st and the top three vote-getters will be placed on the final ballot for consideration of the award.

Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray, and Pete Van Wieren are on the nomination list- and all three deserve to be in the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. That means you should get off yer duff and vote!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

NL East news

The Washington Times is reporting that the Expos could be renamed the Nationals some time during the next few weeks. Other names being considered are the Senators and the Grays.

I don't have any problems with the Nationals, but I'd much prefer seeing the Senators back in baseball. Of course, the Grays (in tribute to the Negro League team) would be pretty cool as well.

Random thoughts

When I began writing this blog- six whole days ago- I promised myself that I'd try to post something every day, if humanly possible. Well, I missed a day. But it wasn't my fault... I swear it wasn't. I haven't decided whether to blame my rickety dial-up connection or Blogger's site, but the stupid 'puter ate my posts each time I attempted to publish them. After a few tries, I calmly turned said 'puter off and walked away, so's not to put my foot in its ass. Yes, computers do have asses...

You know what they sell on the Internet these days? Tiny little Atlanta Braves baseball caps for tiny little heads. (My big ol' punkin head requires a 7 3/4, by the way). I ordered one of those tiny little caps for my two-year-old niece. It's high time she learned about baseball and such. I wonder if I'll have to use a ping-pong ball to break the bill in?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

2005 Home game schedule

Here's a link to the tentative 2005 Atlanta Braves home game schedule.

A couple of points of interest to the schedule:

  • First home visits by the A's and the Angels
  • Four game series with Cubs begins on July 4th
  • Home opener begins April 8th against the Mets (same as the 2004 season)

Methinks I'll be making vacation plans for the Fourth of July weekend to watch the Braves and the Cubbies duke it out.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Andruw wins another Gold Glove

In other award-related news, Andruw Jones wins his seventh consecutive Gold Glove. No real suprise: the only thing smoother than Andruw's glove is BigStupidTommy's skin.

I love to watch the guy play in the outfield, even if he usually makes me cringe when he's at the plate. The guy has absolutely no patience, nor does he seem to understand the theory of going the other way.

New commenting system

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

If anyone has actually seen this site (besides me), please post a quick comment so's I know I'm not talking to myself here. Other than the voices in my head, I mean.

Estrada wins award

Johnny Estrada was awarded the Silver Slugger award yesterday (this is the award given to the top offensive player at each position in each league). Why'd he win it? The guy only batted .314 for the season, driving in 76 RBI and knocking out 9 home runs. That .314 was the highest batting average by ANY Braves player, by the way. Pretty impressive numbers from almost any catcher, much less a rookie...

I'll admit it: I was one of those people asking why Atlanta traded Kevin Millwood for what little they seemingly got in return. I know, I know.... salary dump and all that jazz. But Estrada strolled into Atlanta and impressed the hell out of me. He calls a pretty good game and he's solid defensively. He's great with the bat, which is something you don't usually get from a catcher who's "solid defensively". (See Paul Bako if you need an example.) I think the greatest asset Johnny brings to the team is his ability (and willingness) to choke up with two outs and runners on and actually put the ball in play to drive those runners home. I'm sick to death of stupid baseball and players insisting it's a home run or NO runs. Estrada is a team-first guy, like a lot of the other young players who carried the Braves for most of the season. That's the type of baseball I like watching and am missing already. Dammit- when does April get here?!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Smoltz back in the rotation?

It seems as though John Smoltz, GM John Schuerholz, and manager Bobby Cox have been discussing the possibility of Smoltzie returning to the starting rotation. His desire to do so hasn't been secret during the past few seasons and three of the five current starters are free agents (it's unlikely the Braves can- or will- bring all three back). Hence, the discussions...

My feelings are split on this: on the one hand, a rotation with Smoltz is a better rotation. He's money during the playoffs, and that's something that's been missing during the past couple of post-seasons. But a bullpen without him is a liability, especially when the idea of Antonio Alfonsucka moving to the closer's spot is being mentioned. If the Braves need a large, yellow-haired, six fingered man to blow games for them I can be had for one tenth of the price.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jail Break '04

Rafael Furcal, master of leather larceny and shotgunning beer cans, has been released from the Cobb County jail. He'd been serving a 21 day sentence for a second offense drunken-driving arrest. Rafie will now go through a 28 day in-house treatment program and perform 240 hours of community service.

An FYI for Mr. Furcal: Drink your High Life AFTER you get home. Jeez...