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.