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.