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!