Friday, December 30, 2005

Yeesh... baseball news is sparse lately. Sparse, I tell ya.

I've been following the continuing saga that is the Florida Marlins fairly closely this winter. It absolutely amazes me that they got rid of the entire infield and two-thirds of the outfield this offseason. Seriously, who does that? Sure, teams are always dumping fat contracts and such- it's become a part of the game- but wiping out an entire team? But I digress.

I read where Florida has signed Joe Borowski and Pokey Reese to one-year deals. Joe Bo is the front-runner for the closer's gig and I would imagine that Pokey will be manning second base (this "cash" fella they keep trading all their good players for can't play all the positions, can he?). There are also reports they'll be signing catcher Miguel Olivo soon, as well.

Florida fans are engorged with excitement and anticipation for sure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here's an interesting look from Bill Shanks about why Turner South could (and should) be included in a sale of the Atlanta Braves.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Today begins Day Two of an eleven day vacation from the ol' work place. I awoke (at a normal hour), ate breakfast (at a normal hour), and will continue to entertain my daily activities (at normal hours). I've gots to get off third shift...

Went to Knoxville with the BSTommy last night. Met up with Joe (a buddy of ours) at Sitar, which happens to be my favorite restaurant. I love Indian food! As usual, I ate too much and was miserably full (but content, none the less) the rest of the night. We did our gift exchanging last night: I got a boss Frank Robinson card for my 1959 Topps set from Tommy! I'll easily be able to overlook his peculiar odor for the next couple of months now.

I'm pretty excited about today- I always enjoy Festivus. The airing of grievances has to be my favorite part of the holiday, as I'm not too fond of the Feats of Strength: Tommy cheats.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I almost drove off the road last night on my way to work; the "Brick" on Fox Sports Radio was pleased to be the first to announce Johnny Damon had agreed to a contract with the New York Yankees. I used to be a Johnny Damon fan. Used to.

What the hell is Red Sox management thinking?! That wasn't outrageous money- surely they could have matched the offer? But to let Damon stay in the division and play for your arch-rivals? Doesn't look like smart baseball to me.

I guess this means the beard and hair are gone?

I like Chicago's signing of Jacque Jones. It's not huge (like snagging a Johnny Damon, for instance), but Jones is a solid player and should help out the Cubs quite a bit.

Do you think Tony LaRussa will kill Sidney Ponson the first time he acts like Sidney Ponson?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I love those "self-serve" check-out lines at Wal-Mart. You know the ones I'm talking about? Of course you do.

I do all my Wal-Mart shopping at 7:22 in the a.m., right after work. Although I do have to deal with a goodly number of the morons I work with at this time of the morning, I don't have to deal with a goodly number of regular ol' Wal-Mart shoppers. I hate those; they make me angry. But I digress...

This morning, I went in to purchase a 3-way light bulb (30,70, and 100 watts, in case you're wondering), a gift bag for the Tommy's boss Christmas gift and six donuts. (Mmmm, donuts.) I took my purchases to the self-check lane and proceeded to self check. I happened to look down during my transaction to find ten bucks in the change dispenser. I assumed both God and Santa Claus wanted me to find it and enjoy it, so I put it in my pocket. I will use it to purchase breakfast at Cracker Barrel tomorrow morning. Thank you God; thank you Santa.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Dodgers seem to think they can win the NL West on name recognition next year (Bill Mueller and Raphael Furcal signed during the past few weeks). The big-name free agent parade continues: they just signed Nomar, and are supposed to be close to completing a deal with Kenny Lofton.

I've always been a Nomar fan and assumed he would find employment for the 2006 season- heck, I even figured he wouldn't be playing short. I was really surprised to hear he'll be manning first base, though. Is he going to have enough time to learn the position before the season starts?

A bad person I may be, but I'm glad the Colts got beat yesterday. Besides, it may have saved their lives: I've got a feeling those '72 Dolphins will not be too happy when someone does finally break the record.

The Titans gave Seattle all they could handle yesterday- I really thought they were going to hang on and beat 'em. Their record isn't much to look at this year, but all those young guys and rookies are gonna be pretty good a couple years down the road...

I finished my Christmas shopping Saturday night, and best of all- I didn't go to jail or anything! All those crazy people out doing their crazy driving seriously sent me near the brink of homicidal rage. But I'm feeling much better now.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Joke of the Day

What do tight pants and a cheap motel have in common?

No ball room.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Showtime has expressed interest in picking up Arrested Development, after those morons at Fox decided to cancel the show. What's the matter, all of you Fox executive brainiac-types? Is thirty minutes of smart comedy getting in the way of another one of your horseshit reality shows?

Of course, I'm faulting the execs when the blame probably falls upon the unwashed, inbred masses who eat this nonsense up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dammit, I want the baseball season to begin. Now.

Football just doesn't hold my attention like it once did. I'm tired of hearing about the undefeated Colts. I'm tired of hearing about who's gonna get Reggie Bush. I'll start to watch a game and then find myself flipping through the channels 15 minutes later. It doesn't help that my Titans are pretty crummy this year, but what do you expect when you've got the youngest team in the NFL?

Sigh. Maybe I'll go play some beisball on the PS2.

Monday, December 12, 2005

"I am so happy," he said. "All my career I want to play with the Atlanta Braves."

It sounds like Edgar is happy to be heading to Atlanta.

I've worn finger-shaped indentations in my debit card this evening, clutching it anxiously as I move through the shopping fields of the ol' interweb, guided by my trusty gift list. As painful as this is, it's not even in the same league as fighting the mad throngs of people out there...

Only trouble is, I'm gonna have to go out there to pick up a few things I couldn't get on the interweb.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shit. Richard's gone.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Edgar's coming to Atlanta.

I'm a little less nervous about the deal now that it's done. (I sound like an anti-Renterite in my last couple of posts, don't I?) Don't get me wrong- I like him. He was great in Florida and St. Looie. My concerns were his hefty contract and the thought of shipping off a couple of top prospects in order to nab him. When all's said and done, it only cost the Braves one top prospect and Boston is footing a substantial chunk of the bill. The deal is stupposedly going to cost less than the deal offered to Furcal.

I'm hoping Renteria's return to the Real League (that's the National League, for you barbarians who enjoy that designated hitter nonsense) will do him some good. I've also read that the cold weather in Boston- not to mention the abuse from some of its fans, contributed to his on-field woes.

Bill Shanks is reporting that the Braves have signed Todd Pratt to be the backup catcher. It's a good move; he's been around for a long time and Brian McCann should benefit greatly from his presence. With Julio Franco not returning next year, Pratt should also provide veteran leadership in a youth-filled clubhouse.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A couple of early A.M. thoughts:

Danny Kolb is heading back to Milwaukee.

And there was much rejoicing...

The Braves seem intent on the pursuit of Edgar Renteria- and I seriously hope this deal never happens. The main sticking point is how much of his salary the Red Sox are willing to eat, but I think the price will be far costlier for the Braves: Andy Marte and another top prospect for an expensive shortstop who's skills seem to be in decline. Not to mention he doesn't fill the hole in the lead-off spot. Please, JS- look elsewhere.

Julio Franco won't be back with the club next year; he wasn't offered arbitration. I suppose it makes good business sense, not to mention it's time to hand first base over to LaRoche full-time, but it won't be the same without the Julio. I hope he signs with someone else and reaches his goal of being 50 and in the Bigs.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wow. The Braves traded away Johnny Estrada today. Even though Atlanta has a surplus of catchers, I really didn't see this coming. Johnny was still on the cheap for '06 and would've allowed Brian McCann another season to ease into the position of Catcher Number One. The bullpen is a high priority this offseason, but I can't say this trade impresses me. Lance Cormier's numbers are shaky (86 walks in 124.6 innings, 6.63 ERA), and even though Oscar Villarreal put up some good numbers in 2003, injuries have limited him to only 31 innings during the past two seasons.

The word is veteran catcher Todd Pratt could be signed to back up McCann.

I've read reports that the Braves have expressed interest in Edgar Renteria. Why? He's expensive, his offensive numbers are declining, he'd cost a top prospect like Andy Marte, and he still doesn't fill the glaring hole in the lead-off spot. And the 30 errors he committed last year? I'll take Wilson Betemit at short and spend the money on a closer if those are my choices.

The Cubs were also busy today, trading for center fielder Juan Pierre. I really like this move; Pierre is a great fielder (even if he's got the arm of an 8-year-old girl) and is one of the game's best lead-off guys. This will also allow them to trade Corey Patterson, which is the best thing for both the organization and Corey. A change of scenery will do him good.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blogger just wasn't happening for me yesterday. I tried several times throughout the afternoon/evening to log on, but it wouldn't cooperate; problem seems to have been remedied today.

Anyone who plays guitar, bass, banjo, or mandolin: check out I happened upon the site while searching for flatwounds for my guitar: they sell the same strings being manufactured for all the "big name" companies for less than half the price. Shipping is free on orders over twelve bucks. I bought three sets of acoustic and two sets of electric strings and paid $14.25. You can't beat that with a hammer.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

"It's all about the money, boys!"

That's what Big Dan bellows during a scene in one of my favorite movies, O Brother, Where Art Thou? It makes me laugh. You know what doesn't make me laugh? Professional athletes who live by the same creed.

It seems as though Raphael Furcal will be wearing Dodger blue next season. Reports say he's agreed to a three-year, $39.5 million contract with Los Angeles. Chicago had reportedly offered five years at $50 million, and Atlanta something less than that.

The pros for playing in Atlanta? You've spent your entire career there- you've got friends on the team and ties to the community. You're playing for one of the best managers in the modern era. Your team has won the NL East the past 14 years. You've grown accustomed to winning.

The pros for playing in Chicago? Dude, you're playing at Wrigley Field. The fans love you, win or lose. The Red Sox have dumped the monkey from their backs- so have the White Sox. That Cub monkey better start holding on for dear life, because they're gonna dump it eventually, and who wouldn't want to be part of Chicago winning their first World Series in 356 years?

The pros for playing in Los Angeles?.....$39.5 million.

Enjoy your money and the L.A. night life, Raphael, because I don't think you're gonna find much enjoyment on the field.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Chipper Jones has never been one of my favorite players. I can't even put my finger on why I've never been a fan of his- chalk it up to my derision for grown men being named "Chipper".

Be that as it may, Mr. Jones has earned much respect from me in recent days. His contract restructuring has really impressed me for a couple of reasons.

Reason Number One: In today's world of over-inflated free agent contracts, Mr. Jone's desire to remain a Brave (and quite possibly end his career in Atlanta), rather than chasing the big bucks elsewhere is really admirable.

Reason Number Two: The fact that Chipper's desire to remain in Atlanta and continue to play for a top-notch team resulted in him actually losing money with his new contract. Who the hell does that?! A guy with team loyalty and the desire to win, that's who. His actions will possibly allow Atlanta to re-sign Furcal, and/or find a reliable closer.

I just may be a fan of Larry Wayne in '06, after all.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Who's the cleverest guy in all of baseball? That'd be one Tom "Flash" Gordon. He was somehow able to convince the Phillies to give him a three-year, $18 million contract to close for them! The guy is 38 years old and hasn't been a closer since '01. I've got no problems having him in my 'pen as a set-up man, but methinks I'd look elsewhere for someone to handle the closing duties.

Is anyone else curious who the Marlins will have on the field next season? The winter meetings haven't even begun and they've already traded their first, second, and third basemen, not to mention one of the aces of the pitching staff. Center fielder Juan Pierre and catcher Paul Lo Duca are certain to be the next contestants on the Salary Purge Jamboree.

I realize payroll is a huge factor in the daily business of baseball, but this is getting ridiculous...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Dear New York Yankees-

Thanks so much for proving yet again you've got more money than common sense. Who the hell actually pays seventeen million dollars for Kyle "Captain Tightpants" Farnsworth?!

I don't care if Farnsworth can throw 100 mph fastballs. I don't care that he's developed a fairly nasty slider (when he can actually get it over the plate, anyway). I've watched him pitch for many years now (I'm also a Cubs fan), and the simple fact of the matter is the guy's a Class-A moron and he wilts under any type of pressure. I was optimistic when he came to Atlanta that Leo could bore through that cinder-block atop Kyle's head and "fix" whatever's wrong up there. Didn't happen. Not gonna happen. Ever. If the Yanks have a three run lead, he'll be fine. Of course, almost any reliever can keep a three run lead warm for the closer. If the games close, though? Mariano's gonna lose out on a lot of save opportunities.

I wanted to mention to all three of my readers that there's a new Braves/baseball blog you should check out. Martin has just gotten started over at A Ballpark View, but I've enjoyed what I've read so far.

I'd really thought the Braves had a shot at re-signing Raphael Furcal, but it's really starting to look like he'll be in Cubbie blue next year. I don't think he's the answer to all Chicago's problems, but he's a great defensive shortstop, and more importantly, he'll fill the gigantic hole in the top of their lineup.

I've heard rumors that Atlanta may be interested in trading for Julio Lugo as a stop-gap measure until the minors can supply a new SS.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It seriously stinks getting up on the morning of Day Three of your four day weekend to read crummy news on the 'puter: Pat Morita and Link Wray have both passed away.

I've loved Wray's music ever since I was a wee lad- still do, in fact. And Pat Morita? I grew up with Pat Morita. I loved him as Arnold on Happy Days, but I'm from the Karate Kid generation, and Mr. Miyagi was always one of my favorite movie characters.

This sucks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sweet Jesus, but those fine folks at the First Choice Market in Niota are selling their fossil juice for $1.99 a gallon! I never thought I'd see it below two bucks again.

Tonight is my last night of work (until I have to go back to stupid work Sunday evening). This makes me very happy. It should make you happy too.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I thought this bit of news was interesting: Jeff Blauser is going to be the new manager for Atlanta's Double-A club. You can read all the particulars here if you wish. (You really should, since I took the time to provide a link for you).

I'll always remember Jeff as the guy who played pretty well in Atlanta, got traded to the Cubs, and then didn't play so well anymore. I always blamed Mickey Morandini for that, though.

Here's a list of new rules my sister in Virginia e-mailed me:

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order,
the bigger the a-hole. If you walk into a Starbucks
and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat,
iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino,
extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one
NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge a-hole.

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for ! There's a reason you don't talk to
people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly
like them! Besides, I already know what the captain
of the football team is doing these days: mowing my

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you
out a window unless you're a seagull. People are
acting all shocked that a human finger was found in
a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a
dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Sirloin?
Luckily, it was only a finger!

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's
how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have
two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water.
There's a whole aisle of this crap at the
supermarket, water, but without that watery taste.
Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink.
You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice
and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule: Stop f***ing with old people. Target is
introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square,
with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom.
And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it ,
his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations,
Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up
from sliding my card, entering my PIN number,
pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding,
no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter"
again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up
is standing there eating my Almond Joy. Paper,
plastic?! I don't have time for that. Next you'll ask
me to do a cleanup on Aisle Nine!

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese
characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's
right above the crack of your ass. And it translates
to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did
anything spiritual, you were praying to God you
weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one
of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised
the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching
those athletes at the poker table was just too
damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting?
Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's
called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm
extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies
based on crappy, old television shows, then you have
to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can
see what's playing on the other screens. Let's
remember the reason something was a television show
in the first place is the idea wasn't good enough to
be a movie.

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex
with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently
damaged. I have a better description for these kids:
lucky bastards.

New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used
to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new
homes and graduations from rehab. Picking up the
stuff you want and having other people buy it for
you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version
of looting.

New Rule: and this one is long overdue: No more
bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is
offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex
with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's
supposed to be there, or just some freak with a
fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, dude. I
just want to wash my hands.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why do they call it the "Most Valuable Player" Award when it apparently isn't?

I think Albert Pujols is one helluva good ball player. He's probably another season or two away from being the best player in either league. But he was not the most valuable player in the National League this year. The Cards would have won the NL Central this year with or without him.

My pick for NL MVP? Accuse me of team bias if you will, but I'd go with Andruw Jones. Look at his numbers for the '05 season- a career year. But look a little deeper: the injuries in the starting rotation and to Chipper Jones, the pig-shit bullpen, the rookies that made up a goodly bit of their line-up every night. Do you honestly think the Braves could have won the East if Andruw hadn't carried the team this season? I think not.

I could even make the case for Chicago's Derek Lee. True, the Cubs were cellar dwellers again, but how many more games would they've lost if not for Lee's glove, digging potential errors out of the dirt at first base, not to mention his offensive contributions?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I've got a wicked case of the "lazy ass" and haven't posted in a few days. Haven't done much of anything lately, which I blame working six and seven days a week for. Of course, I really haven't had much to post, so who's to say which is the real reason for me not posting. I haven't, and you've missed me terribly. Haven't you?

I did get my most recent ebay purchase in the mail Friday: a sealed factory set of 1989 Topps baseball picture cards. All 792 of them. I had thought about leaving it sealed, as any good collector would do. That lasted for about 20 minutes; I opened the box and spent the next two hours putting the set into numerical order. I figure it's better to enjoy the contents of the box rather than the box, so to hell with collectibility. My favorite card in the set? Probably the Mark Grace card: he's my favorite player. There were several other cards I did enjoy, though. A skinny Barry Bonds who only weighed 185 pounds (pre-steroids?); a "skinny" David Wells who only weighed 225 pounds (pre-Big Mac and beer). The best picture had to be Kent Hrbek's card- he's got a wad of chew in his left cheek that's so large his face is swollen and distorted looking. Great stuff. To my delighted surprise, I also found two pieces of gum safely tucked into a wax paper envelope. I will chew one of the pieces and share the other with my friend Tommy upon a special occasion, yet to be named.

It's about time for some MVP's to be named, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Congratulations to The Bobby for winning his second Manager of the Year Award in a row (a record, I believe).

In my humble opinion, he's been one of the best managers during the past twenty-five years or so, but he really proved himself this year. Common sense would tell you that the Braves were going to tank it after inserting all those rookies into the lineup- not to mention the injuries to the rotation and that sack of monkey shit they trotted out as a bullpen. He got 'em to the division series though, and I'm glad to see his work recognized.

As much as he annoys me, I simply cannot stay away from the continuing saga of Terrell. I can't decide who offends me more: the mouthy, arrogant Terrell Owens who says whatever pops into his stupid, arrogant mind, or the newly contrite, apologetic Terrell who's ass is trying to cash the checks his big mouth has written. Dude, here's a little tip: if your gonna try and sound like you really are sorry, memorize the apology your agent has written for you. Don't read it from an index card.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'd just like to congratulate Andy Reid and the Eagles organization for shutting Terrell Owens (and hopefully his mouth) down for the rest of the season.

You know, I can't think of anybody involved in professional sports during the past five or six years who's angered and annoyed me the way Owens has. He's acted like a spoiled little kid, one who doesn't have to play by the rules of good sportsmanship or social graces, simply because he's "T.O.". I don't care how talented a player is: his talent cannot outweigh the turmoil and havoc he creates in the locker room.

Personally, I'd love to see the owners get together and come to an unwritten agreement that no one will deal with this immature moron anymore, effectively removing him from the game. Go sit in your million dollar home and tell YOURSELF how great you are Terrell, because I'm tired of listening to your shit.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

What I brought back from my trip to New York:

Two Syracuse University t-shirts
Two Cooperstown t-shirts
Two twelve-packs of liquid nourishment (aka beer)
Two loaves Italian bread (you can't get good bread in the South)
One digital camera loaded with pics
One hellacious cold

The cold has been my top priority since returning home. I don't get sick all that often; I chalk it up to being a vegetarian and just so darn good-looking. This cold has effectively kicked my ass for the past couple of days though. The good news is that methinks it's finally going away. I can only pray that I've passed it along to a few of the morons I work with.

Supposed to go to a Gruesome Twosome sponsored Halloween activity this evening. I think it involves horror movies, pizza, and beer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Made it in from New York last night around midnight; I swear, the trip back seemed to have taken about 14 hours more than the trip up did. Maybe the snow and rain we had to drive back in is to blame for this? Hmm...could be.

Had an excellent time while we were in NY and I've got lots of pics on the camera to download. Updates to follow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I won't be around for a few days: the Tommy and I are heading up to Cooperstown in the morning to see some old shoes and jock straps at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The trip is extra special to me because Cooperstown isn't too far away from where I'm originally from (and where most of my family still lives). Haven't been up in six years, so I'm really excited about getting to see the family and such.

I'll be taking the camera with me, so I should have some pictures to share when I get back.

In an effort to help others learn about nature, I've added a weekly "Snapshot From the Wilderness" section to the ol' blog. This week's entry:

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Leo Mazzone is leaving the Braves to become the new pitching coach in Baltimore?! WTF?!

I gotta be honest with you: I'm shocked as hell. I know he's entertained offers the past few years, but I never really expected him to leave Atlanta. Some things are a given; death, taxes, and Leo Mazzone rocking away in the Atlanta dugout. Or so I thought.

It would seem as though his departure is money-driven, as Baltimore offered significantly more money than the Atlanta front office was willing to spend. However, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this has anything to do with Bobby Cox leaving the Braves soon (willing or otherwise)?

Joe Girardi will be the new skipper in Florida. I've always liked Joe- even as a Yankee. He's a classy guy and a good baseball man. I wish him luck, but no more luck than a second-place finish in the NL East.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Terry Pendleton's got an interview tomorrow for the open manager gig in Los Angeles. Part of me is rooting for Terry, part of me hopes he's back in Atlanta next year. Besides, Bobby Cox has got to retire at some point- and wouldn't that be a much more enjoyable job to have?

The Cardinals haven't quite rolled over and died. Yet...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Red Sox won the World Series last year after a seven hundred year drought; it seems like the White Sox are destined to end their long time absence as champs this year. Unless they pull another stumbling act (like the one during the final couple of weeks during the regular season), I don't see anyone being able to beat 'em.

I enjoy the style of baseball Ozzie's got Chicago playing: I just can't stand the guys who're playing it. And if I see one more pigshit episode from A.J. Peirzynjeskienooski, I'm gonna track him down and break his tibias, scapulas, and areolas. Damn, I hate that guy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I didn't get online yesterday, and I realize the White Sox/Angels debacle is old news now- but let me state for the record that I firmly believe Doug Eddings should be banned from ever officiating another MLB game. Personally, I'd like to see him removed from the game entirely. Forever. If that can't be done, how's about sending him down to work the Rookie leagues?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Well, I survived the great earthquake of Aught Five (I've always wanted to live during the "Aught" years: things sound much more important when they've happened during an aught year).

I hear it measured 3.6 on the scale. It was strong enough to create a loud, explosion-like sound and shake things up for a few seconds. Best of all, the center was only three miles from my house, AND my wife's uncle got to speak of his experiences with the quake on Channel 3 news. A surreal kind of experience, to say the least.

Going to be making a few changes/updates to the site, so don't mind the mess or be suprised if things change on a daily basis.

The White Sox got beat last night. Poor, sad White Sox. Ha.

Ha ha...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dear Atlanta Braves bullpen-

What, pray tell, is so difficult about holding a five run lead?

Simply curious-
Steven West

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July!

Today marks the end of my long vacation; I've got to go back to stupid work tonight. I use the term "long vacation" in the sense that I actually got both of the weekend days off. The extra night (last night) was just gravy on the taters. (I live in the South, so's I can say "taters".) I'll pay for this long weekend by working Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend. And there wasn't much rejoicing...

This also marks the day where we, as Americans, cook out (I'll be eating veggie burgers with Gruesome-Twosome member Number Two), drink heavily, and then blow our little piddies off with small-grade explosives. There aren't any explosives here yet, but the day's still young and there are lots of road-side firework "dealers" nearby. Me? I like fireworks but am very careful with them, as I don't like the idea of blowing my piddies off. I am not above a little deafness/ear ringing, however. As a wise man once said, "you ain't had no fun if your ears ain't ringing". Truer words have never been spoken.

I watched the All-Star selection show last night. I'm a bit upset with many of the National League selections, I must say. I'd like to think that NL fans have a bit more sense and reasoning capabilities than those Neanderthal which claim the American League as their own, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. I'll go into more detail at a later time. (I'm sure you can't wait.)

The good news for the week? I'm finally going to make it to my first Braves game of the season. Myself, the wife, and The Tommy will make the short trek south to meet some friends of ours who live in the Atlanta area. We've got field level seats for the Wednesday night game and it looks to be a good one: Mark Prior vs. John Smoltz. I'm interested to see how the group dynamics break down: Tommy is a staunch (and long suffering) Cubs fan. I had suffered along with Thomas for years but the joys of not working second shift and having satellite television (damn, you can watch the Braves every freaking night!) have swung my loyalties to the Atlanta Club. Tony is an Atlanta boy, so he pulls for the local club as well. Sybil has lived in Atlanta for years, by way of Chicago, so her loyalties will be pulled in both directions. As for my wife, well, Janet is opportunistic and says she'll cheer for whichever team is winning. Dammit, I've married a band-wagon jumper...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Note to self: do not walk outside barefoot anymore. I stepped on either a bumble bee or the plain ol' honey-type bee yesterday afternoon when I decided to run outside (barefoot, of course) and water my wee-tiny Japanese maple trees. ("Japanese maple shrubbery" would be a more apt name at this point: they might be two feet tall.) I couldn't tell which one got me, as there were a couple of bumbles and a honey bee in the general vicinity of where I first felt the sharp jab of pain in my big toe, but I don't suppose it really matters. It hurt like hell, but I'm feeling much better now.


Andruw Jones is on an absolute tear right now. He hit another home run this afternoon, bringing his season total up to 24 (this makes him the current Major League leader). More importantly, he provided two runs in an 8-1 Atlanta win, allowing the Braves to sweep Baltimore. Smoltz pitched his second complete game in a row, striking out seven and walking zero batters.

It's ironic that all the concern for the rotation earlier this year was about Smoltz and his glass arm; he's become the true ace of the staff and is one of the two starters not on the DL right now.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I should be just about ready to get on the road for an early afternoon of baseball in Atlanta. Instead, I'm deciding how to spend the next twelve hours before I have to go to stupid work. The powers-that-be decided everyone in my department needed to work this Sunday, even though we'll probably stand around with our thumbs up our respective asses all night (I refuse to stick my thumb in anyone else's ass). At the very least, we'll run ourselves out of parts during the weekend and then stand around for three shifts on Monday. Makes a lot of sense, right? Oh well, I guess I'll watch the game on the Fox channel; the beer is cheaper at my house anyway.


I see that Blogger has their own picture uploading thingamabob. I've decided to give it a test run and share with you fine folks the beast that stalks about my house (when it isn't sleeping 23 hours of the day). This 23 pound, hairball hoarking monstrosity is Buffy (short for Buffy The Bug Slayer):

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I told myself I'd become a much more reliable contributor to the wisdom of the internet once the new computer was here, and I was, up until a point. The job seems to be interfering with my routine, though: going in early and staying late to practice a presentation a co-worker and I are giving tomorrow morning. I'm not sure exactly why we're spending so much time practicing though, as we present at ten o'clock in the A.M. "What's the big deal about ten in the morning?", you ask? Well, my happy ass is usually in bed and sound asleep by 8:00, so this ten o'clock nonsense is waaay past me bedtime. It's difficult to sound coherent and half-way intelligent when you're a brain-dead zombie.

Speaking of the job- I got myself a new one. A promotion, even. Whenever my current department decides they've adequately replaced me, I'll be heading up to the QA Lab to begin life as the newest Quality Tech on the hoot owl shift. I'm pretty excited (at least as excited as a person can be about their job, anyway).


The Braves begin a pretty important series against the Marlins tonight. I hope Bobby Cox made sure all those twelve-year-olds in the Braves starting line-up got to bed early last night and didn't fill up on pizza and ice cream for lunch today. Eh, I shouldn't complain: how many other teams could replace half their starters with AA call-ups and still be above .500 and in the thick of the division race?


I'm hoping to be among those fans so excited by a Braves/Orioles match-up Saturday. I use the word "hope" because there's a chance I'll have to work this weekend. It would be my first game of the season, I'm ashamed to say. Be sure to watch the game if it's on the tele: I'll wave to you.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sweet Jesus, can the Braves catch a damn break? Tim Hudson has now toddled off to join JT and Hampton on the Disabled List. This is getting ridiculous!

Do you think Mississippi and Richmond are still able to field teams, or are they forfeiting games due to not enough players available on the rosters?

Monday, June 13, 2005

I've not got much in the way of baseball today; been out of town all weekend and didn't have the chance to keep up with the Braves (what can I say, they aren't real popular in the hills of North Carolina).

Speaking of which, I was in Asheville with my wife. She had a dog show and so we decided to make it a bit of a working vacation. (She was robbed by the judge at the show, by the way). Anywho, we had a good time in Asheville and I highly recommend the downtown area: great shops, great food, and great pubs. I bought a couple of CD's at Karmasonics (Junior Wells and The Freight Hoppers) and had a really great dinner, complete with a couple pints of excellent IPA at Jack of the Wood. Unfortunately, I'm getting old and wasn't able to stay awake or at JotW long enough to see the rockabilly band playing Saturday night.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I suppose I should find solace in the fact that the Braves are still above .500, although just barely. They're just not getting it done, but that's what happens when your starting nine has been decimated with injuries and you've got a patchwork line-up of minor league call-ups and rookies. The good news is this is similar to what happened at the beginning of the 2004 season, where everyone finally got healthy and had a great second half of the season. Plus, it's nice to see there are some really top notch players down on the farm. Yep, the future don't look too shabby.

Still, you'd like to think the Braves would be able to beat a crummy team like the A's.


Just curious- is anyone making it out to support their local minor league clubs? I must admit, I've only made it to one game so far. I had wanted to catch a Lookouts game with the Tommy this week, but the Forces of Nature and a steroid-enhanced yard that seems to grow six inches daily prevented me from doing so. I shall remedy that soonly.

Friday, June 10, 2005

And in one of the most exciting points in the 2005 schedule *insert derisive snort here*, the Braves begin a three game series with- drum roll, please- the A's. Oh, joy! And then we'll be treated to another three game series with the Rangers. Oh, rapture! C'mon, really-- who decided we needed (or wanted) these games? Cubs/White Sox? Sign me up. Mets/Yankees? Sure, I'd watch it on the tele. Angels/Dodgers? Why the hell not. Oakland and Texas vs. Atlanta? Give me a freakin' break. How's about a week of regional interleague play and then we join our regular season already in progress?

Is it just me or is Kyle Davies making the injury bug in the rotation just a wee bit easier to stomach?


Just thought I'd share this little nugget of info with you: I used the good ol' spellchecker Blogger was kind enough to provide me with on today's post. If it finds a word it doesn't recognize, it'll offer replacement words. Well, it doesn't recognize "freakin'" as a real word and graciously offered to replace it with "foreskin". I almost allowed it to do so, but had second thoughts about supplying the Free World with the sentence, "Give me a foreskin break."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm still sticking with my opinion on the happenings of the Braves/Angels game a few nights back.

I'd like to see some point of separation between an acceptable point of contact at home plate and an unacceptable one, much like the difference between a good, hard slide at second base and interference being called against the runner. It's perfectly within the rules (both written and unwritten) to slide in hard at second base in order to break up a double-play, providing the baserunner slides within reach of the bag. If he slides outside his reach, then interference is called and the baserunner is out. I'd like something similar at home plate. I have absolutely no problem with a guy going in hard at home, as long as he's going for the plate. Darin Erstad peeked at the second baseman as he rounded third and knew his only option was to knock the ball loose; he KNEW he'd be thrown out otherwise. He went in like a full-back, head down and leading with his shoulder, went THROUGH Estrada (never for the plate), and then crawled over his prone body to tag the plate.

I agree that we've girlied up the game, what with taking the inside of the plate away from pitchers and so on, but a run is never going to be worth permanent injury or ending a player's career in my book.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The purpose of a runner coming hard into home plate is to separate the ball from the catcher's glove, NOT separating the catcher's head from the rest of his body. A baserunner can slide under, through, or around the catcher; he can even go hard and low, in an effort to jar the ball loose. Darin Erstad, you can call it what you want-- coming in that hard, that high smacks of dirty baseball and you're lucky Ramirez pitched behind you tonight, rather than sticking it in your earflap. It's horseshit plays like last night's that end careers and cause permanent injury.

Monday, June 06, 2005

It's not an illusion... it's a mur-a-gee

Okay, so it's not a mirage. It's really me. No, really. It is. For all three of you who might have missed the words of wit and wisdom dispersed from my erm... mouth, I am back online. Yep, the new Dell arrived bright and early this morning. Got it hooked up and online with only the slightest bits of effort and swearing. And away we go...

The big Braves news today? Chippa goes on the DL and hot prospect Andy Marte gets called up. Sounds like a plan to me: gives Marte a taste of what the Bigs has to offer and allows management and Bobby Cox an opportunity to see him compete at the ultimate level of competition. Personally, I hope this is a preview of what's to come next season: I'm not particularly fond of Chippa and would like to see him play elsewhere.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

You should read this book

I just finished reading Yankees Suck!: The Unofficial Guide for Those Who Hate, Despise, Loathe, and Detest Those Bums from the Bronx, by Jim Gerard. I saw it hidden amongst the baseball books at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, liked the title, saw that it was only ten bucks, and decided to get it. Only ten bucks AND it's about hating the Yankees?! That's a great deal at twice the price.

Anyway, it's a quick and enjoyable read, as well as being jam-packed with lots of useful information to throw back at the next spoiled, moronic Yankee fan you encounter.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Thoughts from a baseball game

Finally able to get the first baseball game under my belt last night. Big Tom and I ventured to Chattanooga to catch the second game of the Lookouts' home opener. Pretty good game, although the Lookouts were beaten by West Tennessee, 7-3. (Okay, so Tommy was happy about the outcome, anyway.)

If the game wasn't sold out, it was pretty damn close, and I think a few of those folks in attendance actually came to watch the game. People- baseball games are for watching baseball and drinking beer- NOT for wandering about the ballpark in a pathetic attempt to see and be seen. And here's a fashion tip for all the fellers out there-- you may only wear your cap backwards for one of two reasons: a.) You are under the age of eleven years old, and b.) You are currently squatting in the dirt with a batter's ass in your face and an umpire hunkered down in said dirt behind you.

And while I'm sharing fashion and etiquette secrets, here's one more: guys looked stupid wearing pink back in the 80's; they still do today.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Things that suck

Here is a list of things that suck:


*The New York Yankees

*Girls from Englewood

*Pitching seven innings of two run, 15 strike-out baseball and still being saddled with a loss.

It really is a shame that John Smoltz pitched so brilliantly yesterday afternoon, yet was unable to pick up a win. I suspect the Pedro/Ron Jeremy mutation read my previous post and used the inflammatory material as motivation, thus allowing himself to toss a one-run complete game. In the future, I will encode any derogatory comments about 'Pedromy' deep within my postings and only my faithful reader(s) will be able to decipher them, via stylish decoder rings of my own design.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Early AM (but late night for me) thoughts

Atlanta is now firmly entrenched in first place in the NL East after another win last night. (Okay, so it's a bit early in the season; I takes my pleasures wheres I can.) The win against New York also dropped the Mets to 0-4. I take a bit of wicked delight in this after constantly hearing about how great they'd be this season. I don't care if you do have Pedro in the rotation and Beltran's bat in the lineup- crummy defense will always manage to steal a loss from the jaws of victory.

My early thoughts on the '05 club? The defense has been pretty darn good, the hitting has been a little spotty. (I expected both.) What's really surprised me so far is how well the bullpen has performed: Dan Kolb's got three saves notched already.

Speaking of Pedro, is it just me or is he starting to look a lot like Ron Jeremy?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hello boys and girls

I'd like to begin today's post by airing a few grievances with The Home's management. (For those of you still playing along at home, that'd be me.) It's a bit difficult to update a blog (and keep track of Sloth's young hottie of the day) with a perished computer. Okay, I exaggerate: it hasn't quite perished. Yet. All I can say is the about:blank virus is a very nasty little virus and has made the 'net a constant source of frustration for those fine folks that keep this blog updated. Management needs to get off their lazy ass and order a new 'puter from those fine folks at Dell so's things can get back to normal.

Okay, on to the baseball. I got up early to watch the Brave's season opener Tuesday. I shoulda stayed in bed. Smoltz got drubbed and injuries to Giles and Estrada caused my blood pressure to creep up two spots on the Billboard charts. The team played well against a pretty darn good Florida club to take the series, Marcus and Johnny should be back for tonight's home opener, and I'm sure Smoltz will be ready to go next time around. And there was great rejoicing throughout the land...

Went and saw Sin City last night. I rather liked it. It was like watching an old Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe noir picture with nudity and LOTS of violence. I haven't read all of Frank Miller's SC graphic novels so some of it was new to me, but the stuff I had read seemed to follow the original source material fairly closely, at least as far as I could remember.

Monday, March 21, 2005

New direction

I'd left my blog for dead.

I suppose the weeks since my last post would've given it away though; I didn't really need to tell you that, now did I?

It all boils down to frustration. I realized that what I wanted to do with my blog is something I simply cannot do. I'm no writer by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not a huge numbers guy (with the exception of those numbers found on bubblegum cards and fantasy league games). I don't follow the minors very closely, although I do enjoy the Lookouts (my "local" team). Although I want to post everyday- sometimes I just don't have the time or ideas to do so. So I just stopped altogether.

A good friend- and a pretty smart feller- emailed me last week and gave me some advice. He said the beauty of blogging is that you don't have to do anything- that there is no right or wrong involved with it. Ya know what? He's right.

I'm gonna start posting again. I'll post as often as possible, but probably not everyday. I'll pass on info, news, and my own opinions about the Braves (and baseball in general). It won't be the right way. It'll be my way: just like Sinatra, although I'm not Italian. Or dead.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Braves win; Ramirez pitches pain-free

The Braves beat the Astros 4-3 in ten innings yesterday. Andy Marte scored the winning run on a Bill McCarthy single. The box score is here.

Of much more interest is the fact that Horacio Ramirez threw a 13-pitch inning without any signs of discomfort in his left shoulder. Continued pain-fee pitching should allow him to return to the five spot in the rotation, where he posted a 2.28 ERA in nine starts during the 2004 season.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Starters look good (so far)...

Mike Hampton and John Thomson have both looked sharp in their Grapefruit League starts; Hampton threw two perfect innings yesterday and Thomson threw a couple of scoreless ones in a 3-2 Atlanta win over the Dodgers this afternoon.

Spring play continues tomorrow as the Braves play Houston at one o'clock.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Braves combine for no-hitter

Okay, so the no-hitter came from five minor leaguers in a Spring Training game against Georgia Tech's baseball team. It's still a no-hitter, dammit- and more importantly, it's baseball.

The 12-0 win over the Yellow Jackets this afternoon makes the Braves 19-0 in the exhibition openers played annually against either Georgia or Georgia Tech. To see today's box score, click here.

Atlanta will begin its Grapefruit League season against the Dodgers tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Hudson signs extension

I woke this afternoon to find that the Braves and Tim Hudson have agreed on a four-year, $47 million contract extension that'll keep the two parties together at least through 2009- and possibly beyond.

Here's how the deal breaks down:

- $10 million bonus after the deal is approved by "The Bud"
- $4 million salary in 2006
- $6 million salary in 2007
- $13 million salary in 2008 and '09
- $12 million mutual option for the 2010 season

I'm pleased with the way things turned out. It's a great deal for Hudson: he's "home", he's pitching for the best pitching coach and manager in the Bigs (in my humble opinion), and he's making good money doing it. The Braves are getting a great lefty, long term- without having to offer one of those "crazy money" contracts.

Can somebody please hurry this Spring Training thing along and make the season start? Now!

Monday, February 28, 2005

What's with this "clearing the air" nonsense?

I read it. I just don't believe it.

Milton Bradley and former Brave (and current scurvy dog) J.D. Drew have apparently decided to "clear the air" regarding their impending battle for the center field position in Los Angeles. Both have said they want to do "what's best for the team" and allow everyone to "fulfill his potential". Blah, blah, blah...

Drew wants to play center. He'd been blocked in St. Louis by Jim "I like pain" Edmonds and in Atlanta by Andruw "Plate discipline is for girls" Jones. I'm under the impression that he fully expected to take the CF position when he signed with the Dodgers.

Milton Bradley played center for much of last season, until he had to shift to right for Steve Finley. I don't believe he wants to shift again to accommodate yet another guy.

The bad thing is- both guys are more than capable of manning the position. So, how does one go about determining who gets the nod? Manager Jim Tracy can talk, plan, placate, and coddle all he wants- at the end of the day, one of the two is not going to be happy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the solution is simple, Jim: feel free to use it.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Fantasy baseball

Just a quick check to see if any of youse guys would be interested in playing fantasy baseball? We could have our own league and everything! Huh? Anyone?

If interested, please leave something in the comments section below this post.

Smoltz should start Opening Day

It probably doesn't come as a surprise to even the most casual of Braves fans, but John Smoltz has all but been penciled in as Opening Day starter.

Manager Bobby Cox hasn't revealed his thoughts on the matter yet but he's set up his Spring Training schedule in a way that'd allow Smoltz to be ready for the April 5th opener with the Marlins.

At present, the Atlanta rotation looks like this: Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton, John Thomson, and Horacio Ramirez.

Hampton starts the first Grapefruit League game this Thursday.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Braves ink last of unsigned players

The Braves have finalized deals with their eight unsigned players; the signings are mere formalities as none of the players involved are arbitration eligible.

Signing one-year deals were Johnny Estrada, Adam LaRoche, Horacio Ramirez, Nick Green, Ryan Langerhans, Wilson Betemit, Roman Colon, and Jorge Vasquez.

No terms were released but the deals are believed to be in the $316K - $400K area.

Hudson contract nearly done

Good news, good news: the Braves and Tim Hudson are supposedly near the completion of a contract extension that'll keep the lefty in Atlanta at least through 2008. He'll likely get a three-year deal worth $11 million annually, plus at least two vesting option years tied to innings pitched. The contract is expected to be finished by the self-imposed Tuesday deadline Hudson set.

I like the potential deal on a number of different levels. He's one jim dandy of a starting pitcher- and a lefty to boot- so I see him as a valuable, productive, non-distracting addition to both the rotation and clubhouse. We'd get him long-term at a fair price, very much unlike the albatross that is Mike Hampton and his bloated, immovable contract. (What is he signed for, like 14 more years or something?) And on a level that motivates my own personal sensibilities and beliefs, the guy wants to sign with Atlanta because he'd like to play with a winning organization in an area he calls home, knowing he could easily command the big Yankee bucks next season. In today's "money-first" sporting world, that type of behavior never ceases to amaze me.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Reading material

I finally managed to find a copy of Street & Smith's 2005 Yearbook this morning. I looked in three different stores last night and had no luck; I was beginning to think Tommy was having a bit of fun with me and lying about his own copy he stupposedly purchased. (He's familiar with my penchant for going into episodic rages if'n I don't get my way (or my magazines) and taunts me from time to time.)

Why did I look long and hard for a copy of this particular magazine, you ask? I could have bought one of the dozen other previews I rifled through at Books-a-Million during my quest, after all. The answer is simple: Those fine folks printing S & S seem to actually know a bit about baseball because they talk to baseball people- about baseball. I can't make the same claim for the others (one of them- who shall remain nameless- has Atlanta picked fourth in the NL East behind the Phillies, Marlins, and Mets). Puh-leeze!

Curious about S & S's prediction for the Braves?

The World Series.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Andruw in the four hole?

Bobby Cox hasn't made any decisions (nor will he make any announcements until late March), but there is a possibility that Andruw Jones will bat clean-up for the Braves this year.

Atlanta doesn't really have a prototypical clean-up guy. Chipper Jones had been forced into the role during the past three seasons, even though he prefers the three spot. J.D. Drew's departure (and pending death match with Milton Bradley) and a bit more plate discipline and productivity from Andruw towards the end of last season has given Cox the freedom to be a bit more "creative" with this year's line-up.

The Spring Training schedule begins next Wednesday with the Braves facing Georgia Tech; Andruw will be hitting fourth.

Sammy's a beech

Hey Sammy-

Those fine folks in Baltimore aren't falling for that "showing up for Spring Training early" nonsense. They all had memos in their mailboxes the day after you signed with the O's and shan't be fooled by your team-first display. We knows ya a beech, so carry on with your beech-like behaviour and save the song and dance for someone else...


Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?

Fo' drizzle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Center Field Death Match?

Milton Bradley expects to play center field for the Dodgers; newly signed, highly-expensive J.D. Drew does too. The easiest way to solve this problem? A Dodger Stadium No-Holds Barred Death Match. Two outfielders step onto the grass but only one walks off; the winner roams the vast expanse of CF and the loser is the new towel boy for the visitors' locker room.

I'll assume the unwanted mantle of Los Angeles Dodger right fielder for the 2005 season, until a big name free agent can be brought in for '06.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Langerhans ready for Majors

Not much going on in the world o' baseball today; Kenny Lofton's pissed at the Yankees; Rob Nen has decided to retire.

I found an article about Ryan Langerhans that was vaguely interesting and enjoyable. Obviously if he does make the Braves roster he should see a significant amount of playing time because no one (myself included) believes Brian Jordan's legs will stand up to the rigors of a full season in the outfield.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Wow- two days in a row!

In a startling turn of events I've managed to post two days in a row. And the crowd goes wild...

Don't have much baseball news to share, so I won't. I would like to wish my good friend Tommy a happy birfday though. He's either 28 or 46-- I can't rightly remember. If you see him today, be sure to give him a birfday whuppin'. He likes those even better than your run-of-the mill, garden variety.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I'm back: part two

I'm back again. This time it's for real. I promise.

Had a really difficult time getting my Holiday Barbie collection to the new house and then there was no end to the difficulties in deciding where they were going to be displayed. (You don't pack up a Holiday Barbie collection, dammit-- you show it off for the whole world to see).

Anyway, I talked the wife into getting rid of the bed, the washer, and the kitchen sink and I've now got things squared away. Finally.

I'm just kidding about the Barbie thing, by the way. You didn't really think I'd get rid of the washer, did you?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Back online

Well, I seem to have gotten my trusty 'puter moved to the new house with little difficulty. I wait nervously for the other shoe to drop; things don't normally go that easily for me.

Pitchers and catchers report in six days; I'm excited. Don't get me wrong-- I enjoy football quite a bit, but it's just a diversion for me until the baseball season begins. I'm ready.

Here's a story about John Smoltz's return to the starting rotation. You should read it, 'cause it's all I gots fer ya.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

But I'm not dead yet!

In an effort to not lose my ones of faithful readers: a quick update.

The move to the new house had to be postponed for a bit. Janet is dealing with pneumonia, and since she's the brains behind this here operation-- we've not been able to get much accomplished. On the positive side, she's beginning to feel better and we're hoping to get moved this weekend. (I hope Tommy is starting to stretch his back muscles, 'cause some of that furniture (and my Christmas Barbie collection) are heavy!

The plan is to pick things up here at The Home no later than Monday or Tuesday of next week. See you then!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Taking a break...

I've been trying to squeeze some 'net time in between the seven-days-a-week work schedule and getting things ready to move into the new house; it's not happening. I hope to have things finished and unpacked by the weekend-- including this 'puter I'm presently typing upon.

See you around the first of next week. Hopefully...

Friday, January 21, 2005

Giles signs one-year deal

The Atlanta Braves avoided the arbitration process with 2B Brian Giles by signing him to a one-year, $2.35 million contract. I would expect Brian is happy; that's a LOT more money than the $430,000 he earned last year.

I wonder if my work would allow me to file for arbitration?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Jordan returns to Atlanta

The good news: Atlanta fills the vacancies in left and right field by signing OFs Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi for a combined total of only $1.6 million.

The bad news: Atlanta fills the vacancies in left and right field by signing OFs Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi for a combined total of only $1.6 million.

Oh boy.

Atlanta fans will be voicing one of two opinions this season:

1. "That John Schuerholz sure is one clever feller."
2. "John-- what the &@$* were you thinking?!"

I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of guy. I expect the worst; that way I'm not surprised when I get it. To be completely honest, I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about two HUGE question marks manning the corners in the outfield. However, I'm simply a fan of baseball and the Atlanta Braves. I'm not John Schuerholz: my knowledge of the game, its players, and the wheeling and dealing necessary to field a club doesn't even begin to compare to his. He seems to think this is an affordable way to man the empty outfield positions for a season until those talented minor-leaguers are ready to play for the big club. It's possible one (or both) of these guys may even take it one step further and be productive members of the team- IF Jordan can stay healthy and IF Raul doesn't go all "24-karat Fruit Loop" again and have another contract voided. They are former All-Stars, after all. I was worried about Sheffield and Drew, and Schuerholz proved me wrong both times.

But those "ifs" sure are large. And plentiful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Braves sign three

Atlanta avoided arbitration with SS Rafael Furcal and RPs Dan Kolb and Chris Reitsma by signing all three players to one-year contracts.

Although financial specifics for two of the three deals weren't released, it's believed Furcal's salary increased from $3.7 million to around $5 million; Reitsma should see an increase in salary from $950,000 to $1.5 million. Dan Kolb will be making quite a bit more in Atlanta than he did last year with the Brewers: his 2005 salary is two million bucks more than the $1.5 mil he got in Milwaukee.

And silly me was excited about the fifty-five cents per hour raise I got at work this year...

Monday, January 17, 2005

NL East: Armas remains with Nationals

The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration with SP Tony Armas: he signed a one-year, $2.26 million dollar contract on Sunday. He was 2-4 with a 4.88 ERA in 16 starts in 2004 and is expected to be the No. 2 guy in the rotation this year.

He's "stupposedly" completely healthy for the first time in two years, after shoulder surgery cut short his 2003 campaign. Armas' Venezuelan Winter League numbers look good: 1-0 with a 1.44 ERA in seven starts.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Thoughts on the steroid policy

I thought I'd share a post regarding the new steroid policy I read over at David Pinto's Baseball Musings.

I'm really happy the owners and players have collectively realized AND agreed that something needs to be done about the steroid issue in baseball; the new drug policy is a huge first step. What hadn't occurred to me before reading David's post is: what kind of impact first-offense false-positive test results will have on the game, the season, and a player's public persona?

One filled-- one to go

As I mentioned this morning, the Braves and OF Raul Mondesi were near an agreement; he's now officially a Brave. Mondesi signed a one-year deal worth $1 million to play right field in Atlanta.

Which Raul is coming to Atlanta? The pre-2000 player many felt would be the next big star, or the Raul of recent years with declining stats and voided contracts from two different teams during the span of one season? This seems to be another one of those high-risk, low-cost deals JS is famous for and I hope the return is high for the club.

Do not adjust your set

I apologize for the Russian roulette color-wheel I've been spinning the past couple of weeks; I can't leave things alone, as I continuously feel the urge to "tweak" the color settings. As such, I've gone back to the Kermit the Baby-Poo color scheme until I can design something new for the site.

Mondesi to Atlanta?

Reports indicate the Atlanta Braves and Raul Mondesi are near agreement on a one-year deal.

Raul Mondesi? This is not a name I had envisioned (or hoped for) as I pondered the list of potential candidates to fill the voids in Atlanta's outfield. He put up some pretty good numbers during the 90's (not to mention winning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors in '94), but he's had injury,personal "issues", and an apparent lack of commitment plague him the past couple of years.

If the deal does go through and Raul gets his career back on track, it'd be a great signing for the Braves: an outfielder with a strong arm and some pop in his bat on the cheap. If the deal goes through and he's a bust-- well, I can only hope management has a "Plan B" to fall back on.

I'll put on my Mary Poppins hat and hope for the former.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oh, the horror!

I don't know about you guys but this Jennifer/Brad break-up has really got me upset. I can't sleep; I can't eat-- I spend my days either sobbing uncontrollably in the shower or watching E! and Entertainment Tonight, waiting for the word that they've worked through their differences and are getting back together.

I've planned a candlelight vigil for this evening; drop by if you get a chance.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Beltran looks to become a Met

I apologize for the sporadic/shortened entries as of late; my wife and I are trying to get into our new home. We've got most of the actual work done-- but Fate continues to vex us. (It seems as though you've got to specifically ask to have outlets for your washer drain and dryer vent to be built into your house?!) Oh well-- one more contractor to do a job I've already paid another contractor to do and it should be done.

It looks as though Carlos Beltran will be playing in New York this year. He and the Mets have agreed in principle on a seven-year, $119 million dollar contract. An announcement could be made as early as tomorrow.

The Mets are definitely rebuilding-- there's no doubt about that- but the jaded cynic in me keeps screaming that their management is really just trying to compete in the local media with the Yankees. "Crazy money" aside, the Beltran signing is good for their club. However, they paid way too much for Pedro (Big Name for the papers), and are apparently still interested in trading for Sammy Sosa (Even Bigger Name for the papers).

Attendance for the Mets has been down during the past couple of years. Big Names will find their way into the papers/TV outlets, causing butts to find their way into the seats at Shea, causing money to find its way to management.

And we all know that's how you build a contender, right?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Braves sign lefty reliever

Atlanta signed RP Gabe White to a one-year deal yesterday afternoon. The good news: he's a veteran lefty who once posted an ERA of 2.17 in 83 innings. The bad news: that was waaay back in 2000. He basically stunk it up last year for the Yankee$ and Reds with a 6.94 ERA.

I'm hoping a lot of his troubles during the 2004 season can be attributed to pitching under the pressure that comes with playing in New York; any other issues can (hopefully) be remedied by Rockin' Leo...

Millwood to sign with Indians

Cleveland Indians GM Mark Shapiro is expected to announce the signing of SP Kevin Millwood later this morning. The one-year deal is said to be worth $7 million: incentives could raise it to near $8 mil.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Where's my baseball news!?

All's depressingly quiet on the baseball front (if you exclude the Randy Johnson trade/Carlos Beltran love-fest stories littering the sporting news world), so I thought I'd share an entry from the Honest Wagner blog that I rather enjoyed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Puh-leeze let it be over!

Is it just me-- or are you really, really tired of hearing about Carlos Beltran, Scott Borass, and the as-yet-unidentified team that'll be "lucky" enough to sign him for two gazillion dollars? Just sign a #@&*ing contract with somebody and let us move on with the rest of our lives already! Sheesh...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

2005 Hall of Fame inductees

Congratulations to Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg , the only members of a 27-man candidate list to be elected into the Hall of Fame.

In his first year of eligibility, Boggs received 91.9% of the votes. Sandberg finished second on the list with 76.2% in his third year of being eligible.

In other HOF-related news, I was a little surprised that Dale Murphy only received 54 votes; the good news is that it's enough for him to remain on the ballot.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Austin Kearns available?

It seems as though the Reds are willing to look at possible trade options for OF Austin Kearns. The Braves are interested in trading for Kearns to fill one of those glaring holes in the outfield.

I wonder what it'd take to get the deal done?

Another "brilliant" idea

The Anaheim Angels will now be known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Boy howdy-- that just rolls of the tongue, doesn't it? I wonder who's going to take the blame...erm... credit for this brilliant idea?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

2005 Spring Training schedule

The Braves will begin Spring Training play against Georgia Tech on March 2nd; there are 30 Grapefruit League games scheduled from March 3rd through the 31st before they meet the Indians in Atlanta April 1-2.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The first post of 2005

I hope everyone had an enjoyable New Year's Eve; I spent mine dozing on the couch, catching bits and pieces of a 24-hour marathon of Law and Order: SVU. Rather boring, I know-- but at least I don't have a hangover to deal with this morning. Besides, I've got a lot more work to do on the new house today (which is what I've been doing all week. So much for having a relaxing week-and-a-half vacation from work...)

I felt froggy this morning and made some changes here at "The Home"; the green color scheme wasn't doing a whole lot for me. I found a HTML color chart and this is what I came up with. Feedback (good or bad) would be greatly appreciated.