Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How willing are the Braves to trade Andruw Jones?

Would you trade him or push to resign him? Andruw has been one of the most beloved Braves over the last ten years. He's the one guy on the team, that other teams would give up a wealthy bounty to acquire. Over the last couple of years his name has surfaced amongst various rumors having him being traded here or there; anyone remember the rumored Jones for Kevin Brown swap back in '04? Yes, that would have been bad, really bad.

Today, Andruw is a 10/5 player, meaning he must waive his no-trade clause if he is to be traded. If your John Schuerholz, what are you to do? Your payroll is slim, so do you sacrifice others in order to bring Andruw back? Or do you trade him before season's end? With the amount of teams that have shown or will be showing interest in Jones, JS has to listen to what these teams are willing to offer. If the right package of players comes along you have to decide if Jones is worth paying $20M+ for the next 5-7 years. Is a CF replaceable? Yes, most definitely. Is the fielding of Andruw Jones replaceable? Nope. We all know Andruw's fielding has been some of the best we have seen throughout baseball in recent years. His hitting is a different story. He's been streaky to say the least but that's Andruw. For the most part his stats have been consistent. He's a career .267/.345/.505 hitter, 92HR's over the last two seasons after accumulating a total of 100HR's in three seasons before that. There's one stat that Andruw has almost abandoned, stolen bases. In the late 90s he attempted 30-40 stolen bases a year, but I guess over time the lb's have added up slowing him down on the basepaths.

I would hope Andruw would want to stay in Atlanta but I really can't see that happening per monetary constraints. I would rather see a trade before the season rather than during the season. Before the season you put someone in place from the start, but during the middle of the season there's the adjustment period that sometimes will cause players to slack in their performance.

Back to the topic, how willing are the Braves in trading Jones? Other teams are willing to trade for him, but are the Braves willing to part ways? In a way they are, but they aren't. They want the talented prospects, premiere players, etc. but it's hard to give up your all-star in return. Sometimes it's just best to move on.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

LaRoche Deal Close..?

Is the Adam LaRoche talk almost coming to an end? Physicals, Players involved, and GM's are all that's holding this back. The Pirates/Yankees/Braves have something on the table. The Braves would receive Melky Cabrera and an unnamed Pirate. The Yankees would get Mike Gonzalez while the Pirates take Mr.LaRoche.

Here's a little history on the situation. LaRoche has been involved in rumors with the Orioles, Angels, Pirates, and Yankees for the past month. Nobody really knew he was available until the winter meetings. JS and company believe that Scott Thorman can duplicate LaRoche's results given the time. I hope this is true.

Here's a rundown of rumored proposals (atleast the ones I can remember):

LaRoche for Brian Roberts
LaRoche for Brian Roberts and Hayden Penn
LaRoche for Hayden Penn and Chris Ray

LaRoche for Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman
LaRoche for Scott Shields

LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez and Nate McLouth
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez and Chris Duffy
LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez, Chris Duffy, and Jose Castillo
LaRoche and Kyle Davies for Mike Gonzalez and Jose Castillo

LaRoche for Jose Castillo and Melky Cabrera

The only other Brave that has attracted all of these different scenarios in recent history is Andruw Jones. LaRoche looks like he will be dealt soon enough, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Either way it looks like it will have something to do with the Pirates and Yankees.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Film Fun: Rocky Balboa

I was able to watch the latest entry in the Rocky franchise, Rocky Balboa last night. This movie has been in pre-production for the longest time. Stallone wrote a script for another Rocky movie centuries ago, but couldn't get MGM to sign off on it. A year ago they finnally decided to take a chance on it and so Rocky Balboa was in production.

I'm not going to give out any spoilers so it's ok to read this. Coming into this movie my expectations were Med-High. I enjoyed the trailers and thought the movie would be fun to see. I read at a early premiere for R. Balboa, Stallone said he didn't like Rocky V and how it ended so he wanted to do something to add closure to the series. I don't consider this movie a sequel, it carries it's own pedestal. I don't want to give away anything so I'll leave it at this. A freind of mine went to see it with us. He bases everything based on the last of something, I don't know why. Rocky V wasn't good at all in my opinion, and he really didn't like it. So coming into Rocky Balboa his expectations were real low, he thought the movie was going to flop. Well when it was over, he was overly excited and amazed at how good the movie was. Now he wants to buy all the Rocky movies on dvd! So my final recommendation is to give this movie a look, you won't be dissapointed.

Signed: Chris Woodward

Well this one is a little puzzling. Chris Woodward signed with the Braves yesterday in an effort for cheap utility depth?? Add Woodward to the list of open tryouts for 2B this Spring. Speaking of the list, let's take a look at who we've got...

Martin Prado
Pete Orr
Wily Aybar
Kelly Johnson
Willie Harris
Chris Woodward

Six players after one position. Prado played backup to Giles whenever Betemit wasn't around or playing another spot. Pete Orr has been the Braves "utility" guy for the past two seasons. Aybar took over Betemit's rover role last year after being traded from L.A. Kelly Johnson has taken an interest in returning to the infield and has been working with Glenn Hubbard this offseason. Harris was given a ST invite and looks at making the team. Woodward comes in looking for a starting job, but is also versatile at other positions.

I have to say right now, Aybar or Prado are the top two candidates heading into Spring. I don't know how Kelly Johnson is doing in his offseason workouts so I can't put him in the top two just yet. Woodward could replace Pete Orr as the team utility guy while, Harris is more than likely to get a minor league deal with the team.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reitsma to Return...?

Was the farewell premature? Cruising the net this morning I came across a couple of snippets that mention Chris Reitsma is looking to resign with Atlanta. Hmmmmm. I keep trying to tell myself that Reitsma might perform better since he won't be the closer of the team. Keep in mind Bobby Cox loves Chris Reitsma. Anyone remember the Rolaids Relief Award he won back in '05? If they must bring him in, it shouldn't be more than an incentive deal possibly topping out at $1M. Give him the Mike Remlinger offer. If you can make the team during Spring Training, you've won the deal. If he fails during the season, place him on waivers.

More life to the party...

The latest rumor sends LaRoche to Baltimore for Hayden Penn and possibly Chris Ray. As I've said before, I like the idea of getting Ray. This would certainly boost our bullpen now and for the future. Pitching was the #1 objective this offseason and JS is striving towards that. I just hope Scott Thorman is ready to play.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Giles to be a Padre?

It sounds like the Giles brothers are going to have the opportunity to play together: San Diego and Marcus are reportedly closing in on a contract that would make him their regular second baseman.

I'm really hoping the deal goes through. It'll be much easier wishing Marcus luck in the future if he's not a Met.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

CBS Sportsline: LaRoche for Roberts?

CBS Sportsline wire reports is saying that the Braves are talking with Baltimore about a 1/1 swap. Adam LaRoche for Brian Roberts. Apparently Mark Loretta's agent is already talking with Baltimore. So, the O's have a potential backup plan if Roberts is traded.

Meanwhile, the Pirates and Yankees are talking about the deal that would send Melky Cabrera to Pittsburgh for Mike Gonzalez. It looks as if the three team trade could have been put on the back burner for now. Atleast for today, the Braves have set their sights on Roberts.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

3-Way Spin & Spring Training News

Now the question is will the Braves land Melky Cabrera? Just like Steven said, Cabrera could be sent to the Braves in a three team trade involving the Yankees, Pirates, and Braves. It seems that throughout the week a variation of the same trade has grown. It all goes back to the original Adam LaRoche/Mike Gonzalez offer. I think something will eventually happen. It all depends on what team is willing to give up whom.

The Braves announced their non roster invitees to ST this week, here's a look:

Willie Harris 2B/IF
Doug Clark OF
Corky Miller C
Iker Franco C
Buddy Carlyle P
Steve Coyler P

You may recall that Harris was once the starting 2B for the Chicago White Sox. This was back in 2004. The White Sox wanted a guy with more power so they signed Tadahito Iguchi and Harris was later released. Harris will be in competition for 2B, but is more likely to become the Braves utility IF if he makes the team.

Corky Miller was once the backup catcher for the Cinncinatti Reds. After a batting average of .026 in '04 the Reds let him go. Miller will be competition with Brayan Pena for the backup catcher role. Iker Franco is a former Brave minorleaguer who will also compete for the backup catching duties.

Buddy Carlyle has been a RP for the Padres and Dodgers. He started out as a 21 year old rookie in 2003 with San Diego. Doug Clark played in the A's system last year and has only 11 AB's for his career. Steve Coyler is another RP formerly of the Tigers, Rockies, and Dodgers organizations.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More on the Atlanta/Pittsburgh trade talks...

Just to add to Adam's post, I read that the Braves and Pirates are talking about a deal that would send 2B Jose Castillo and RP Mike Gonzalez to the Braves for Adam LaRoche and Kyle Davies. The Braves would then flip Gonzalez to the New York Yankees for RP Scott Proctor and OF Melky Cabrera.

Looks like they're really working on getting some type of deal done. The only question seems to be which players and how many teams are going to be involved.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 More Adam LaRoche Talk

I read this on's fantasy news section. It discusses trades and signings to keep you updated on player transactions. Here's what they said about LaRoche yesterday:

"In need of a left-handed hitter, Pittsburgh has shown significant interest in Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche, whom Atlanta would replace with 24-year-old Scott Thorman should a deal be struck. The Braves would then flip Gonzalez to the Yankees for reliever Scott Proctor and prospects, or to the Red Sox for center fielder Coco Crisp."

Scott Proctor and Coco Crisp are nothing new to Braves fans. Both have been brought up in past rumors. It's interesting that it states that the Braves "would" flip Gonzalez to the Yanks or BoSox, throwing a twist to the equation from what we've seen before.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Goodbye Giles & Reitsma

Today's the day teams allow players they don't want to give $$ to, free. The Braves have until this afternoon to sign Marcus Giles and Chris Reitsma to contracts or they will become non-tendered.

After the players have been released by the Braves, any team can offer them a contract. Marcus Giles is due $5-6M next season, but probably won't get it. Reitsma is due close to $4M. I guess that Giles will get a 1/$2-3M deal and Reets will probably get an incentive laden 1/$1-2M deal. Reitsma is coming off TJ surgery and some team will sign him low and then offer incentives based on innings pitched or whatever. Those are just my estimates. I just hope the Mets stay away from Giles. I can see that turning around to slap us in the face. Those two are the bigger names mentioned but their could be a few other Braves released today. I'll update the post if I read anything more.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What's going on?

1. Rocco Baldelli

2. Mike Gonzalez

These two are getting alot of press in the world of Braves rumors. It's funny, the Braves could have had Gonzalez but pulled the plug on that trade. The Braves are still interested in Gonzalez and are looking to come up with something with the Pirates in a multi-player deal involving LaRoche and Gonzalez amongst other players.

Baldelli is someone that could takeover centerfield if Andruw Jones leaves. He's under contract through 2011 and is cheap in baseball terms. These are good things. The Braves are willing to offer Salty and Yunel Escobar as apart of a package for Baldelli. Tampa really wants to get their mitts on Chuck James. That's where things turn sour. Atlanta isn't so sure they want to parts ways with their lefty.

My percentages:

Baldelli- 50/50 whether we acquire Baldelli or not. Atlanta seems to like him alot and could be willing to sacrifice a good bunch of prospects to get him.

Gonzalez- 75/25 in favor of getting him. It will take LaRoche...again. A multi-player deal sounds alot better than a one-for-one swap. I take it as, if the Braves are still pursuing him after we had him the first time then we'll probably get him again.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still a lot of interest in LaRoche...

It seems as though the Braves and Pirates are still in talks about Adam LaRoche, and there are rumors of a possible multi-team deal that would send Adam to the Los Angeles Angels for Chone Figgins.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rumors Continue...

The winter meetings have ended, but rumors and trades will still happen. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Braves are interested in Rocco Baldelli and might send Chuck James to the Devil Rays. I read this one earlier in the week, and when the Braves asked about Baldelli, the D'Rays asked for James in return. Are the Braves actually considering this? Jarrod Saltalamacchia could also be in the mix. I agree with some other Braves fans on this one, instead of Baldelli go after Crawford if James has to be involved.

A) Here's my proposed deal for Baldelli:

Braves send Kyle Davies and Ryan Langerhans to Tampa for Baldelli.

B) Here's my proposed deal for Crawford:

Braves send Chuck James, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Ryan Langerhans to Tampa for Crawford and prospect.

I'm not for trading Chuckie J. but if it has to happen make it for Carl Crawford. BTW, I have nothing against Ryan Langerhans, just making him apart of the scenario. I added Salty to the Crawford trade because Tampa always wants more for their players.

Cubs and Ward reach agreement

Former Brave Daryle Ward and the Cubs have reached an agreement on a one-year contract. He should prove to be a useful left-handed bat amidst a roster filled with right-handed hitters.

From a column about the Winter Meetings by Jeff Passan, Yahoo!Sports writer:

Best Contract: Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers

Worst Contract #1: Gil Meche, Kansas City Royals

Worst Contract #2: Ted Lilly, Chicago Cubs

Worst Contract #3:
J.D. Drew, Boston Red Sox

Best One-Sided Trade: Atlanta receives Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. Soriano could eventually close for the Braves. Ramirez will never be anything more than a serviceable No. 4 starter for Seattle, and even that is a long shot.

Nice to see Atlanta management and Braves fans aren't the only ones thinking this was a great move for the club.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

LaRoche/Gonzalez Canceled

JS has taken back the LaRoche for Gonzalez trade. Atlanta was concerned over Mike's elbow trouble and have decided to void the deal. Now Atlanta will set their sites again towards the Angels and try to acquire Scott Shields in some sort of package. Look for the LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman/Sheilds? to be tried again.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almost a Deal: LaRoche to Pittsburgh

Well it seems that the Braves are close to acquiring another new member of the team, Mike Gonzalez. After days of chatter the Pirates are willing to part ways with Gonzalez for Adam LaRoche. One thing holds the Braves back from sealing the deal. Mike's elbow is somewhat of a concern for the Braves. They want to check on that before moving on. WOW!! In one day the Braves bullpen has gone from still questionable but with a closer to pretty dang good. Soriano and Gonzalez could really turn things around fast for a pen that's had trouble finding an indentity the past two years. Once again, John Schuerholz comes through. Now, what to do with Marcus Giles?

Ramirez to Mariners

Bill Shanks reports that Horacio Ramirez has been traded to the Seattle Mariners for Rafael Soriano. This is a great deal. Soriano is a young arm that has been real good coming out of the pen. He will likely setup for Wickman. IMO, Good move JS.

WM: Day Two

Since the meetings began we have discovered that the Braves have been in talks in atleast two possible deals. Both of these deals didn't take any action yesterday. One thing that we have discovered is that Adam LaRoche is being shopped around in every possible transaction. I've seen him linked to the Orioles, Angels, Pirates, and Mariners. The more I think about it, I believe unless a super deal comes along, LaRoche stays. I think JS is just using him to see what's out there. I'm not saying he won't be traded, but if someone was to offer a superior deal he could be gone. There was rumor going around yesterday out of Seattle. It's a 3-way trade involving Seattle/SF/Atlanta.

Seattle gets Tim Hudson, Adam LaRoche
San Francisco gets Richie Sexton
Atlanta gets Rafael Soriano and Armando Benetiz

NOooooooooooooooo!!! Although I don't have anything against acquiring Soriano, Benetiz is past his prime, too much $$, and too injury prone. This would be an awful deal for Atlanta.

Apparently the Braves are waiting for the Angels to add Scott Shields to the mix of LaRoche/Giles for Figgins/Kotchman/Sheilds. The Angels aren't going to do that. Peter Angelos intervened and took the LaRoche/Giles for Roberts/Penn off the table after the Braves were undecided on what to do. I guess the Braves stand where they did Monday. Two deals have been nixed and one is just a wild rumor that hopefully will remain that way. So its back to the drawing board with two days left.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Horacio, Texas Ranger...?

Gathering up all Braves related rumors/possibilities/opinion's I came across this trade idea. The Braves sending Horacio Ramirez to the Texas Rangers for Akinori Otsuka. Otsuka could be a great addition to the bullpen. He saved 32 games last year for the Rangers and would fit nicely setting up the Wick. After posting a 1.75 ERA in his rookie year with San Diego, he was future commodity for the Padres. Then in 2005, he suffered a meltdown that caused the Padres to send him packing with Adam Eaton to Texas. Otsuka for Ramirez is a deal I would vote for.

This is just another tidbit that I read amongst the many rumors/ideas surrounding the winter meetings. Take it for what it's worth.

Braves/Orioles Trade Proposal

The Baltimore Sun is reporting there is alot of talk between the Braves and Orioles about a trade that would send Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles to Baltimore for Hayden Penn and Brian Roberts. Also mentions that Tim Hudson could be thrown in the mix.

Roberts made a tad over $3M last year, and will probably get atleast $5M this year. I would expect the Braves to try to sign him to a multiyear contract if acquired. This counters to what Giles will rake in next year. Interesting to say the least. I'm wondering if the Braves are trying to get Loewen as apart of the equation by offering up Hudson.

Monday, December 04, 2006

WM Day One: Brave TidBits

As day one progresses, some rumors spinning around concerning our beloved team are that the Pirates have inquired about Adam LaRoche and the Braves replied with Mike Gonzalez. Ken Rosenthal says that if the Braves are to trade LaRoche then Scott Thorman will takeover 1B. Gonzalez would be a great addtion who would eventually inherit the closer's role when Wickman retires.

The Seattle Mariners are dangling Richie Sexson while displaying interest for Tim Hudson. No, thanks! Sexson is owed $28M for the next two years while LaRoche put up similar numbers at 1,000 times less Sexson's rate. However, RP Rafael Soriano could spark the Braves interest.

More Adam LaRoche rumors: Adam LaRoche to Anaheim for Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman? Kotchman hasn't performed well while in Anaheim and Figgins can play anywhere and would likely leadoff. I read this as a possibility between the two teams. I'm not sure about Kotchman and wouldn't mind having Figgins but not for LaRoche. It's hard to judge Adam LaRoche right now. Is he hitting his stride or was last year just an outlier in his stats? I've been rooting for this guy since his rookie season. Sometimes I've been upset over his play and sometimes I've been thrilled but hey that goes for everyone, right? We'll see how these "rumors" pan out.

Interest in LaRoche?

I just read on the officious MLB site that the Pirates have expressed interest in Adam LaRoche at the Winter Meetings. Not sure if the Braves are looking to move Adam, but it might be interesting to see if anything develops from this.

Tanyon Sturtze. Umm...Okay.

One would suppose John Scheurholz didn't want to overwhelm us with a huge splash into the Winter Meeting/Free Agent pool. Instead, he decided to start us off with a few baby steps into the shallow end, rather than one big ol' cannonball leap from the diving board. Well, I hope the signing of Sturtze is our baby step and JS is preparing to jump into the deep end.

I don't hate the move. Like Adam mentioned, it's a relatively low-risk deal, which is important because Sturtze is still recovering from shoulder surgery. And truth be told, after last year, I'd rather deal with an old (but experienced) retread in the bullpen, rather than the young (and horribly inexperienced) fiasco that was the 2006 bullpen. Still, this isn't exactly the type of deal that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about next year, especially when you see the moves other National League teams are making.

The Winter Meetings

One of the most exciting times in baseball comes after the season. The annual December "Winter" Meetings begins today. These meetings are where the general managers of each team get together and discuss business in baseball. More specifically it's where alot of trades are made. You have what I want, here's what I can offer, type of thing. I think it's more fun to actually read about the "what could have been" trades than the actual real ones. It's a crazy time, so expect some crazy rumors to be flying around all week.

From a Braves fan's perspective here's what I see coming into this week. The Braves key need is pitching, moreso relief pitching over starting pitching but if we can land another starter it wouldn't hurt.

Marcus Giles
Horacio Ramirez

Could be dealt:
Tim Hudson

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Andruw Jones

Here's my approach to this week's meetings. In the expendable category you have two players that will probably reach $8-9M combined next year. Dealing Giles and Ramirez will wipe that number off the books. It's never bad to have SP depth, but due to injuries and inconsistency I'm afraid that Ramirez may not be back as a Brave. Marcus Giles has been the bait that JS has been using since the season ended. I think he'll end up finding a suitor before the week is up.

Tim Hudson. There was a Buster Olney report that there was talks between the Orioles and Braves concerning Hudson for a package of prospects. This may be revisited.

Salty and Andruw Jones I have placed in the inquired category. Inquiring minds will ask what would it take to get player a or player b. McCann really proved last year that he will be the Braves catcher for many years to come. Salty could be dealt for a solid RP. The Tigers are looking for someone to succeed Pudge. Andruw Jones will be brought up again I'm sure.

One signing happened this weekend. The Braves signed relief pitcher Tanyon Sturtze. Sturtze is coming off rotator cuff surgery but hopefully willl enter Spring with a full bill of health. Sturtze signed a 1/$750K. If he makes the 25 man roster he will recieve a $350K bonus. I like this deal, its low risk. This kind of reminds me of when the Braves signed Gabe White. Although, White was cut in ST, it gives someone another opportuinity coming off an injury to find success.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

We'll be Bud Free in 2010!

The used car salesman says he's retiring in three years. I've dreamed of this day: the end of the Reign of Bud-ball is within sight.

Don't question it. Don't discuss it. Just enjoy it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

ESPN: Glavine inks deal with Mets

Their goes anyone's hopes of a notsalgic Tom Glavine return to Atlanta. ESPN is reporting that the Mets and Glavine reached a deal for 1/$10.5M-$11M, (specifics aren't noted). The article doesn't mention any word on whether the Braves actually made an offer. Well, I'm a little dissapointed. I really thought Glavine would return to the Braves. Like I said earlier, it's not 100% certain that the Braves even sent an offer his way. Realistically, I couldn't see the Braves offering anymore than 1/$7M. Change in ownership and a tight payroll could have broke this deal. We'll see what happened later when more detail is released.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bill Hall: If Atlanta traded for a 2B....

I would like to see Bill Hall be that guy. Hall has yet to find a full-time starting job with the Brewers who just seem to keep adding players 4 deep on the depth chart at every postion. With the recent acquistion of Craig Counsell the Brewers will now likely move Bill to a 3B platoon with Corey Koskie. Hall is not only an IF but can also play OF. He played some games in center last year for the Brew Crew.

Hall had a monster year at the plate last year taking 35 out of the park. Here's his stats.

2006: 148G 537AB 35HR 85RBI .270/.345/.553

His average and OBP are a little higher than Giles, but the slug % is over 200 points more! Hall is still in arbitration and is a few years away from free agency. Here's a good comparison to the type of player that Hall reminds me of. Here's this guy's 2006 stats.

2006: 159G 647AB 46HR 95RBI .277/.351/.560

The numbers above belong to Alfonso Soriano. Yes, that's right. Given Soriano's 11 more home runs and 10 more RBI's the numbers are extremely similar. Given the Brewers depth, it's not sure what will happen to Hall. He may be traded before next year, he may not. Either way, whoever is looking for an infielder should certainly take a flyer on him. Who would I trade for Hall? This is kinda tough since the Brewers have depth. I would probably try to send a couple of minor leaguers, OF Onil Joseph and SP Kevin Barry. There's no particular reason why I picked those two. I'm just picking names off the top of my head. Barry is MLB ready and spent some time in Atlanta last year. Joseph, well nothing really stands out for him. Anyway, as I've stated before this is just in good fun.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cliff Floyd: LF possibility??

Here's another name I'm throwing out for fun. Cliff Floyd comes from the old Montreal Expos teams of the mid-90's. He's even got this cool '92 Bowman RC of him dunking a baseball. Floyd wrapped up his contract with the Mets at the end of the season and is now looking for a team to sign with. His injuries are starting to add up and he might want to consider moving to the AL for the coveted DH role. Floyd was bothered by an Achilles tendon and ankle sprains last year. How much does this guy have left? Here's his stats from 2005 and 2006.

2005: 150G 550AB 34HR 98RBI .273/.358/.505
2006: 97G 332AB 11HR 34RBI .244/.324/.407

Obviously 2006 wasn't the year he expected, especially with that lineup the Mets had. The Braves would probably not give this guy a look, but should they? Floyd made a little over $6.5M ending his four year deal with the Mets. In today's market, teams might be willing to offer Cliff $7-10M for 1 year. I can't see paying him that much for half a season and it's certainly too high for a bench player. It all depends on if he can stay healthy and put up close to or better stats than '05's numbers show. Here's my Braves bargain offer to Floyd: 1/$3.5M with a $1.5M bonus incentive based on AB's. Now, look at these stats and tell me if this guy is good enough for LF?

2006: 124G 297AB 7HR 32RBI .327/.364/.475

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Manny the Brave

The Manny Ramirez rumors have returned. This time a "deal" could be in place by Saturday, according to ESPN. It seems that every 3-4 months Manny is rumored to be traded to some team. What about Manny Ramirez the Brave? Could it happen? Sure, why not. Will it happen? Highly unlikely. Manny Ramirez is one of the top hitters in major league baseball. His stats remain strong as his years progress. Manny doesn't come without extra baggage, but when Ramirez is dedicated, he shines. If their ever was to be a trade between the Braves and Red Sox involving this guy it would almost certainly center around our slugger Andruw Jones. Would you trade Andruw Jones for Manny Ramirez? Let's take a look. With each passing day and the unbelievable inflated market, players with one good year are getting $10M/year plus thrown at them. This will make it even harder to retain Andruw past 2007. Some people feel like the team should get something back in return before we lose him to free agency. This is something the Braves should and probably have been considering. Look at what happened to the Nationals and Soriano. The world was offered to them, but the Nats didn't cut a deal and in the end lost their player for a bag of peanuts. Like I've stated before, Andruw is a 10/5 player and has the right to veto any trade. So anything must be approved by him.
Manny Ramirez still has 2 more years left on his contract. He'll be making $18M and $20M over the next 2 seasons respectively. Andruw will rake in $13.5M in 2007. A $4.5M difference and then the $20M in '08 is what Manny would be owed. Is it worth giving up Andruw for 2 years of Manny? Well let's make these a bit interesting. I wouldn't do a 1 for 1 trade; it would have to involve other players. Say the Red Sox also send over Coco Crisp and Craig Hansen. Crisp would become your new CF and is under contract until 2010. Hansen is under contract until '08 at a little over $1M each year. Whom would the Braves ship off? Besides Andruw, would Boston consider taking Marcus Giles? Their undecided about resigning Loretta, so could Giles step in? Atlanta would then add either Kyle Davies or prospect Anthony Lerew to the deal. Let's see what we have...

Boston sends Manny, Coco Crisp, Craig Hansen to Atlanta
Atlanta send Andruw, Giles, either Davies or Lerew to Boston

The Braves acquire another All-Star slugger along with a CF and a bullpen arm.
The Red Sox acquire the Golden Child Andruw Jones, their 2B, and an up
& coming pitcher.

The Red Sox would have the money to negotiate a long term deal with Andruw, while Manny would spend the next two years as a Brave. Like I said, I'm just doing this for fun. Would anyone else like to share an idea?

This could finnally end ......

any talk of Marcus Giles and the San Diego Padres. In all honesty, this topic died out a little over a week after the Barfield trade but some added closure could be near. The Padres are looking at Craig Counsell and ex-Brave Tony Graffanino as their everyday 2B. Counsell seems to be the Pads #1 choice. Graffanino is stuck between two offers, one for a daily job in San Diego or a utility job in Milwaukee.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Baez to the Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are close to signing him to a 3 year deal. Baez was a hot commidity before last year began. Bullpen help was in high demand and his stock was hot coming off a 41 save season with the D'Rays. Teams thought that if he can save that many for the Devil Rays, he should be the next Lee Smith for us. Atlanta also shown interest at the time, but also at the time Tampa wanted to much in return. Anyway, he signed with the Dodgers and wasn't all that impressive so he was later traded to Atlanta in the Wilson Betemit deal. Baez only appeared in Atlanta for 10 innings before he burst his appendix and required surgery. After the season, there's wasn't much of a chance to resign because he demanded to be the "closer" for some team.
Baez gets his wish, and now this could make Chris Ray available. Ray could fit in as the setup man and eventually successor to Wickman. Chris is also affordable. Ray had 33 saves last year for the O's with an ERA of 2.73.

Surely the Braves will look into this, but there's no guarantees. I think it can be a good option. Remember the rumblings a couple of weeks ago about Huddy and the O's? Could this be revisited? Atlanta would certainly want more than just Ray, but would it be too far fetched to request Adam Loewen as well?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Dead Turkey Bird Day

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Go ahead- eat 'til you're sick, drink beer, and watch football. I know I'm gonna!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Glavine is Now Available

The Mets officially declined their option to pay Tom Glavine's 2007 $14M salary. Glavine has now become available, the only question is what will Atlanta offer? It's public knowledge that Glavine either wants to play with the Mets or Braves next season, so it's safe to assume the Braves will make an offer. You never know, J.S. might have already sent an email out this morning. Are offers sent through emails? Haha. Regardless the Mets bought out Tommy G. for $3.5M and that should allow the Braves to come in with a $6-8M offer. This would bump up Glavine's earnings to $9.5-11.5M in '07. Once again, I'm just giving my opinion, nothing has been official. All we can do is sit back and watch what happens.

In other Braves news, Adam LaRoche was offered by Schuerholz to the Pirates in hopes to return a Chris Duffy or Mike Gonzalez. All the Pirates could muster is John Grabow and Nate McLouth. No Deal. I'm thinking that was a shot in the dark by J.S.

The Angels have been rumored to be working something up for Andruw Jones. Remember any trade involving Jones will have to come through him because of his 10/5 status. Like I said before, I'm sure he'll allow it under the right circumstances. Can you imagine an OF of Andruw Jones and Vladimir Guerrero? All you need is Bobby Abreu to round out the top three outfielders from the 1995 Bowman's Best set.
It seems that Anaheim is always in the running for a top tier player and they have the money to spend. I'm sure if a trade goes down the Angels will be the ones that resign Andruw for the long run. Anaheim has young pitching that we need Santana/Adenhart, so it could work. I expect this rumor to heat up during next month's winter meetings.

Newsday says that the Braves could be suitors for a Lastings Miledge trade. Could is the keyword. I personally do not think the Mets would trade their top prospect to their hated division rival. C'mon people.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Film Fun: Casino Royale

I'm going to go non-Braves for a moment. I was able to go and see the new 007 thriller Casino Royale this weekend and let me just say, Bond has been reborn. I've always enjoyed watching the Bond movies, but this one I was a little skeptical of since their was a "New" 007 in the house. Daniel Craig took over the role after Pierce Brosnan's below par outing in the last film Die Another Day. Craig is an unknown to most, usually appearing in supporting roles and British films.
Casino Royale shows us the beginning of the 007 character in a story that shows how James Bond became, James Bond. I don't want to give out any spoilers, so I'm not going to get into detail about the movie. I've you've seen the Timothy Dalton movies, The Living Daylights or License to Kill, those kind of remind me of how Craig plays the character. It's less of the suave Connery/Moore/Brosnan and more of the hitman, violent Bond. Craig really suprised me and thus far the movie has been a success. I've read where there already planning for another Bond movie in 2008. Go see it, today!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So that makes a lot of sense

The Mets are working out the details for a one year, $8 million deal with Moises Alou. He would replace Cliff Floyd in left field.

So, the Mets are willing to replace an aging, high priced, oft-injured outfielder with an even older, high priced, oft-injured outfielder?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Olney: Tim Hudson to Baltimore

Buster Olney writes is his Insider blog that there's quite a bit of chatter between the Braves and Orioles in a trade that would send Tim Hudson to the Orioles for possibly a couple of young pitchers. He assumes that either Adam Loewen or Hayden Penn would be involved in the discussions.

Olney later states that a Hudson trade would free up money for Mr. Tom Glavine. Yes it would, hmmmmmmmm. I'm 50/50 for trading Huddy. I know he's getting $6M in '07, but $13M in '08 is alot to justify if he can't become the pitcher we have wanted him to be in Atlanta. I would like to see another year of him with the Braves and then come July determine his status, but if he's doing crappy at that time his trade value will be worth a bag of popcorn. Anyway, we'll see what happens.

A quick note from his AWOLness

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I've not gone missing. Not permanently, anyway. These six and seven day work weeks have really cramped my lifestyle, as I've not had much time for family, friends, the internet, sleeping...

I digress. Thankfully, Adam's kept things moving right along and the site hasn't skipped a beat.

I did manage to get a new poll up and running this morning; it'd be great if you could take a second and vote.

Friday, November 17, 2006

NewsBits involving Atlanta

I have what I like to call a circle of site I visit during the day to check out the latest Braves related news. Here's whats being shopped around today.

Tom Glavine is 50/50 on whether he will resign with the Mets or make a return to the Atlanta Braves.

The Texas Rangers are checking into the availability of Horacio Ramirez, Tim Hudson, and Kyle Davies. Meanwhile, Atlanta is looking at relief pitchers the Rangers have to offer.

The Year of the Ex-Brave

A few former members of the world's best MLB team have been getting paid, and paid well. Here's a quick rundown of the following players.

Mark DeRosa-Chicago Cubs I really thought that back in Spring 2003, Mark DeRosa would beat out Marcus Giles for the 2B position but Giles won and produced his best year of his career. DeRosa fell apart in 2004 in what would become his final season with Atlanta. DeRosa came in to fill the 3B void left by Vinny Castilla the previous season. DeRosa was downright pitt-e-full. DeRo produced 10 errors in 72 games at third. This would lead to DeRosa becoming a bench player and the return of Chipper Jones to 3B. In 2005, DeRosa signed with Texas just had a career year. I think the Cubs signed him for 3/$13M which comes to $4.3M per season. It's easy to say the Cubs overpaid, and they did. DeRosa will be expected to keep those 2006 stats coming and hopefully he will, but I guess only time will tell.

Wes Helms-Philadelphia Phillies While in Atlanta, Helms hadn't accessed his power just yet. The most he played in Atlanta was 100 games in the 2001 season where Wes batted at measley .222/.293/.435 For some reason I always hoped Helms would break through with the Braves but his time ran short and he was sent to the Brewers for Ray King. Helms went to have a pretty good '03 for Milwaukee hitting 23 HR's, driving in 67, and batting .261/.330/.460. After a couple of injury plagued seasons, Helms was released by the Brewers and the Marlins picked him up to split time between 1B/3B. Wes went to hit .329/.390/.575 in 2006. The Phillies need a 3B and have taken a chance on Helms who was signed at 2/$5.5M. Helms is certainly an upgrade over Abraham Nunez and should add some pop to an already offensive heavy lineup.

Jaret Wright-Baltimore Orioles Wright at one was Cleveland pitcher of the future after his impressive performance in the '97 playoffs against those Yankees. After 1999, injuries began to rack up on Wright where eventually he left the Indians and traveled to San Diego before making it to Atlanta. The Braves gave him a chance and Wright certainly performed resurrecting his career. Jaret was then signed and overpaid by the Yankees where he struggled before last year where at times he pitched well. The Yankees have given up on Wright and sent him packing to the O's where he is reunited with Leo Mazzone. Can lightning strike twice?

J.D. Drew-?? J.D. Drew was similar to Jaret Wright as he came to Atlanta as a player that really needed a boost and just like Wright he had the best year of his career. Drew was traded by St. Louis along with Eli Marrero for Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. J.D. hit .305/.436/.569 with 31HR's and 93 RBI's for the Braves. After trying to resign him, J.D. shunned the Braves and took the bigger money that was coming from L.A. After two lackluster years with the Dodgers, J.D. is back on the market after opting out of his 5/$55M contract. Now that I look back, I'm glad he didn't reup with the Braves because #1, he would have gotten injured, and #2, he would have done the same thing in Atlanta. The Red Sox have sent an offer to him, hoping he will sign and replace Trot Nixon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Jake Peavy Fiasco

I changed this post since it's been noted that the Jake Peavy trade to the Braves is false. Right now, Jake Peavy is still a San Diego Padre and probably will be for the next few years. Initially there was a report stating that Jerry Crasnick of ESPN radio said the Padres and Braves were working a deal that would send Peavy to the Braves for Marcus Giles, Horacio Ramirez, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Anyway that's not to be today. Some say Crasnick was never on the radio today, and mlbtraderumors which is a pretty good site before deals happen has now claimed this deal as false and so will I. So after two hours of excitement we suffer the letdown thanks to internet and the hot stove season.

AJC: Braves showed interest in Dave Roberts

Seeking to get that leadoff/LF the Atlanta Braves went pursuing after free agent Dave Roberts. Roberts wants a 3/$15M deal. $5M a year for an aging 34 year old is too pricey and the Braves agreed.

Don't get me wrong I think Roberts is a good leadoff hitter. I think his asking price is hopeful but not realistic for a payroll as tight as Atlanta's. The AJC states that Roberts could play CF next year if Andruw Jones enters free agency. Not a bad idea, but once again the money is a little too much to shell out. Their are other teams after Roberts so we'll see if he gets what he wants.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Giles/Linebrink: No Deal?

The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that the Padres are now unlikely to trade Scott Linebrink due to the high cost for relievers. Here's a piece taken from the text:

And don't expect Scott Linebrink to go to Atlanta for second baseman Marcus Giles.

“With the way the relief pitching is shaking out, it would be difficult for us to trade Linebrink,” said Towers. “Someone would really have to overpay. If we keep Linebrink, Giles won't happen.”

To get this done the Braves will have to up the ante or look elsewhere. There still seems to be a little chance of this still happening, but I wouldn't bet on it.

**Update** I'm not sure if this means anything at all, but it does relate to what Towers had mentioned earlier. The Padres and Mets just made a deal that sent OF Ben Johnson and RP Jon Adkins to the Mets for relief pitchers Royce Ring and Heath Bell. Now, the Padres are bulking up in the reliever dept. for what reason? A Linebrink trade may still have some spark? Geeezz, will I be glad when all this talk is officially over.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ESPN Insider: Marcus Giles

From ESPN Insider, the Cinncinatti Reds and the San Diego Padres are interested in Giles. I wasn't going to post about this, but decided to since things have been a little slow.

The Reds have a couple of decent pen hands that could help out our bullpen. The Padres have been mentioned before and I can't see getting anything less than Scott Linebrink.

One ex-Red that I think could help out the pen would be David Weathers. Weathers has been a jorneyman throughout his career but has always been consistently good in relief. Weathers became closer after Guardado was injured. I think the Reds are trying to resign him but could be an affordable option if available.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Waiting for Something to Happen...

Not really alot of news from the Braves stands going on right now. Rumors and propsed deals are being thrown around for a number of other teams but for Atlanta not a whole lot is happening. I really thought after Barfield was traded Giles would be shipped off to S.D the very next day, but it didn't happen. Granted, a deal can still occur, but at this time of year I like to see things start moving and my impatience gets the better of me. Who knows, San Diego could be making a run for Alfonso Soriano for 2B.

A few former Braves will be moving cities. After comminsioner's approval Jaret Wright will be traded to Baltimore for a minor leaguer. Leo and Jaret will once again try to bring back that 2004 magic. Since he's tenure in Baltimore, Mazzone has brought over ex-Braves Russ Ortiz, Jim Brower, and now Jaret Wright. Bruce Chen was already an Oriole when Mazzone came to Baltimore. Who's next? After we release Reitsma I can picture him signing with the O's.

What the hell is the matter with J.D. Drew? Drew opted out of his remaining 3/$33M a year deal with the Dodgers to "test" the market. Did Mr. Borass get into his mind? Drew has always been arrogant and cocky, plus he's injured 70% of the time. One good year granted him a 5/$55M deal from L.A., and I can't see anyone not even the Yankees giving him $11M or more a season. I have no idea who he will end up with. Jeers to you Mr. Drew.

And as Steven pointed out Tommy G. declined his option. Glavine back in Atlanta would be awesome. What would Atlanta be willing to offer for his return?

If you ever check out the Braves mailbag Q& A, I thought it was interesting to read that Schuerholz isn't ruling out a trade of Tim Hudson or Andruw Jones. Obviously you like to listen to other teams offer to see what's available. Jones is now a 10/5 player and can veto a deal, but there are ways around that. Huddy's contract is backloaded and if the Braves come across something very beneficial I wouldn't be suprised to see Hudson pack his bags. I would be dissapointed that he couldn't get another chance in Atlanta, but if it's worth it, go for it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A few Braves notes

Congratulations to Brian McCann, who won his first Silver Slugger award. I expect it won't be his last. The guy is already a great player, and he's only 22. There's no ceiling on his potential, and he could easily become one of the great catchers of our time.

Here's something interesting out of the Mets camp: Tom Glavine has turned down his 2007 option and the Mets are expected to turn down their option as well. Maybe Mr. Glavine will pick up Number 300 in Atlanta?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trade Brewing: Giles to Padres

I read this rumor a little less than a week ago, and didn't think much of it because we all know that Marcus wants to play with big brother Brian. Today, the Padres made a move trading 2B Josh Barfield to the Cleveland Indians for 3B prospect Kevin Kouzmanoff and Triple A pitcher Andrew Brown. A very interesting and very unsuspecting trade.

The rumor from earlier was Giles possibly to San Deigo but Scott Linebrink would almost have to be involved. Giles would then have to make a move to 3B. Now that Barfield has been traded, 2B is available. Obviously this makes a Giles deal an even more reality.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Peoria Javelinas

If you thought that after the World Series baseball is over, it's not. We move to the Arizona Fall League a.k.a "Winter Ball" where some members of the Atlanta Braves organization have been playing. Anthony Lerew, Joey Devine, Will Startup, J.C. Holt, Josh Burrus, and Yunel Escobar have been playing for the Peoria Javelinas.

Over the past week Escobar has made headlines. Escobar is really hitting his stride batting .424/.457/.545 in 66 AB's. Some look at Escobar as being Atlanta's next shortstop.

Anthony Lerew who has seen his share of ups/downs during his minor league career is currently 0-2 5.40 ERA in 8 games of relief. Joey Devine has a 7.20 ERA in 5 IP while Will Startup has struggled with control giving up 10ER's in 6.1 innings of work.

J.C. Holt has done fairly well in 36 AB's hitting .417/.475/.583 while Burrus has 3HR's in 56AB's. Besides Escobar and possibly Holt the stats aren't very good. I'm not sure how to approach the Fall Leagues. Are you placed there to work out the kinks and try new things? Is it a reverse ST where instead of working on stuff before the season your doing it after the season? I've anyone has an explanation please feel free to let me know.

The Golden Child

Andruw Jones won his 9th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove. There's no doubt about it, Andruw ranks in the top elite of defensive OF's that I have ever seen my lifetime. There's know telling how many runs he has saved the Braves during this span. When you look up center fielder just add his picture to the defintion and you'll know how the position is supposed to be played. Kudos to Mr. Jones and the hope of more gold shining in Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another player gets caught with his pants down

New York Mets reliever Guillermo Mota will have an "extended" Spring Training next year: he's the latest major leaguer to get caught cheating.

Under MLB's current drug policy, Mota will begin his 50 game suspension at the beginning of the 2007 season. I wonder if the Mets have any intention of trying to resign Mota now?

The steroids talk in baseball always seems to revolve around Barry Bonds and home runs, but doesn't it seem like the only guys getting busted are the ones who throw the balls? Kinda makes you wonder.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And the Offseason begins...

Now that the World Series is over the free agent market begins its open season. Thus far, four Braves have filed for free agency and Brian Jordan is split between retirement or another year. You may file up to November 11th. Danys Baez, John Thomson, Todd Pratt, and Daryle Ward have already filed. I would like to see Ward return because of his bat off the bench. The others can be sent away.

The winter meetings are still a good month away. This time of year it's hard being a fan anticipating and waiting for any news that your team maybe involved in.

Points/Questions for this Fall/Winter:

-It's about 97.9% certain that Marcus Giles will be traded, but for whom?

-The Braves need some experienced pen hands and not the last leg of your career Mike Remlinger type.

-The Braves need a leadoff hitter.

-Do you begin Andruw Jones contract negotiations this winter?

**Update** Brian Jordan filed later on 10/31. Please Brian, hang it up.

No baseball = more movies

I just increased my Netflix subscription to three movies at a time; I've had the one at a time deal since the baseball season began. Now that it's over, it's time for more movies, what with most television shows sucking and all. (I swear, if it weren't for baseball on the tele, I'd cancel my dish service in a heartbeat.)

I wonder if Netflix sees any substantial increases in memberships and/or package deals after the baseball season ends? C'mon, I can't be the only person that does this, can I?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Busy weekend for baseball

So, this has been a pretty busy weekend in the world of Major League Baseball, hasn't it?

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. And I don't care. I really thought the Tigers were going to win this thing; heck, I still feel Detroit is the better team. But maturity, confidence, and experience are all huge factors in the postseason- and the World Series in particular- and the Cards had all three in abundance. The same cannot be said for those young Tigers. Too many mental lapses, too many errors, and not enough hitting ultimately opened the door for the Cards to win this thing in five.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Joe Niekro passed away Friday. Even though he will always be overshadowed by his Hall of Fame brother, he was a pretty good pitcher in his own right.

Players were eligible to begin filing for free agency yesterday, and they wasted no time in doing so. Some 59 players have already filed, and several "big" names are on the list: Nomar, Thomas, Zito, Soriano, and the Big Steroid Cheater.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Leading off for your Atlanta Braves...

In the midst of World Series action I want to post or basically repost what I had over at the bravesdugout blog. I even updated it a little. I wanted to add it here to see what readers thought about the situation.

I've been reading alot from Braves fans over the situation on LF and leadoff as we begin to rebuild for next season. Mostly there's a concern over who will be playing LF next year. Here's a shortlist of names that some fans have mentioned for possible replacements:
Carl Crawford, Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews, Jr., Coco Crisp, Gary Sheffield

Carl Crawford:
Positive:I would love to see Crawford in Atlanta. Carl would provide a solid bat & glove plus the speed we've been missing at the top.

Negative:The Devil Rays have been tossing his name around and are expecting a huge return. You might recall that the D'Rays were stubborn when the Braves were working a Marte/Lugo swap last year, I think they were also requesting Brian McCann to be apart of the deal? They requested McCann for some deal, it may have been another one. Regardless, the D'Rays are stubborn when it comes to dealing. I mean really, it took like two years to finnally deal Aubrey Huff after everyone wanted him. Huff didn't really sparkle in Houston. Crawford will probably be dealt to whoever wants to ante up the most chips.

Juan Pierre:
Positive: Juan Pierre is fast.

Negative: Pierre is a slap hitter with an avg. mitt and a weak arm. He's good for the smallball game, but having him in LF isn't a good idea. His time at Wrigley wasn't as pleasent as Cubs fans hoped for. Some Braves fans will sacrifice the lack of defense for OBP while others just don't want the headache. Juan will probably get around $8M-$10M next year and I'm not sure the Braves will want to walk that line.

Gary Matthews, Jr:
Positive: Lil Sarge made a name for himself last year in Texas.

Negative: It only took about 7 years for Matthews finnally to break out. He's been a Braves for a little while. In 2004, the Braves cut him during Spring Training. Everyone knows that 2006 was a career year for Gary, and I'm not sure if he could kepp up the track record. Matthews could be worth a look, but I'm not sure if the Braves would be willing to sacrifice it.

Coco Crisp:
Positive: Crisp has shown he can put up some good numbers in the past. Atlanta wanted him before. Coco is still young.

Negative: Coco's numbers dropped considerably this past season. Maybe it's the drama playing for the Boston Red Sox that causes this. The Braves already brought back to life Edgar Renteria after his stint in Beantown. Could Crisp be next?

2005: 594AB 16HR 69RBI .300/.345/.465
2006: 413AB 8HR 36RBI .264/.317/.385
2007: 525AB 19HR 80RBI .302/.370/.450

If the Braves work something I think Crisp would be the one Atlanta goes after. I don't think it would take much for Boston to satisfy a deal. Possibly, Horacio Ramirez and Langerhans??

Gary Sheffield
Positive: G. Sheff rebounded his career during his breif time in Atlanta. Sheffield provided another dangerous bat to an already offensive heavy lineup.

Negative: First and foremost, Sheffield's attitude stinks. I simply do not care for it. He bitch and moans about everything from playing time to the wrinkles in his pinstripes. To go along with his attitude is his age. Gary's not getting any younger and now is becoming a little more prone to time on the DL. I think Sheffield can still put up the numbers when healthy, but there's just too much drama that surrounds him to give him another opportuinity.

**From recent newspaper reports the Yankees may be picking up his option and then possibly trading him. The Phillies have shown interest, would a Gary Sheffield for Pat Burrell & Eude Brito trade work?**

The Cards may actually....

win it all tonight. St. Louis came back and won last night to give them the definite edge now up 3-1. Can Detroit beat the odds and take it back home or will there season end tonight? Not many people gave the Redbirds a chance in this series or much less the NLCS. They took down the so called "Mighty" Mets and have declawed the Tigers thus far. Not a bad resume considering how they made it into the playoffs and personally I've thought the Cards have been declining since being swept by the BoSox in '04. Anyway the ball will be in the hands of Jeff Weaver who once again many had given up on after his miserable record in Anaheim earlier in the year. He started out a little shaky when he was first came to St. Louis but really turned it around the last couple of months. Instead of going with the Gambler, Detroit will hand the ball to Justin Verlander. I totally agree with Jim Leyland's decision. The Tigers have to win three more games so it really doesn't matter who's out there, you just have to win right now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Need a Carpenter?

More than likely Chris Carpenter will win the NL Cy Young for the second straight season. Carpenter continued to be lights out in the postseason as he pitched 8 innings leading the Cards to a shutout victory while taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Whatever day Carpenter pitches is a day the Cards usually win, in my book. This was the case last night, the Redbirds were able to score with ducks on the pond and that's all they needed to do behind their ace. Now the series is starting to teeter in the Cards favor a little with Game 4 tonight. Jeff Suppan is coming off an amazing Game 7 performance while Jeremy Bonderman takes the hill for the Tigers. I look for a tight close game tonight, maybe a 3-2 score. I'm waiting for the Tigers offense to breakout like they did against the A's and Yanks. Will tonight be the night? It should be fun.

Monday, October 23, 2006

2007 Schedules Released

MLB couldn't hold back until after the postseason to release tentative 2007 schedules. Next year the Braves will be starting the season in Philly before coming home against the Mets. In Interleague play Atlanta will face the AL Central minus the Royals and White Sox. Atlanta plays three at Minnesota followed by three at Cleveland and later three at home against Detroit. That series should sell out pretty fast. To top it all off, the Braves will play the Boston Red Sox in a six game home/away series. Blah! I still can't get over the number of Red Sox fans/chants from last year's series. Unless it's a mistake we play ten games against the Cubs? That could be a typo and the White Sox might be an opponet for a series instead. Anyway these are tentative and subject to change.

So much for punctuality

Last night's game was supposed to start at 7:30 EST. That would have allowed me to watch an inning or two before I had to leave for stupid work. But no, I have to listen to NFL scores and highlights until 8:00, and then I gotta wait for John the Cougar to come outta the toilet and sing his car commercial. I didn't get to see nary a pitch last night!

Someone should be held accountable for this pathetic bit of time management, and that person's name rhymes with "Bud Selig".

The Gambler lays down a Royal Flush

WOW! Kenny Rogers is a pitcher that does better with age. Rogers continued his streak of 23 scoreless innings last night as Detroit tied the series up. Rogers only allowed two hits in 8 innings of work. The shenanigans came in the 9th where Todd Jones almost blew the game for Detroit Rock City. I have to wonder why Leyland didn't use Rogers in the 9th? Now the series shifts to St. Louis where games three to five will be held. This series has been exciting thus far, but I still think the Tigers have the upper hand.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

...but the sacrificial lamb had long, pointy teeth.

Thanks to last week's seven game NLCS, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes was only supposed to be a rotation spot fill-in, someone to eat up five or so innings and keep the damage to a minimum during last night's Game 1. (That's the polite way of saying he was cannon fodder.) But someone forgot to tell him that.

Game 1 of the World Series: eight innings, four hits, two runs, four K's, and a walk. That's a line I'd expect from a Smoltz, a Clemens, a Johnson, or a Schilling. It's not what I expect to see from a 25-year-old rookie with six career wins; not against a line-up as potent as Detroit's.

Of course, Reyes did have some help. Scott Rolen's shoulder didn't look too balky after all, as he pulled a fastball into the left field seats. The Albert kindly thanked Verlander for that meatball he served up in the third inning. And then there was the sloppy, error-filled baseball the Tigers treated us to.

I still think Detroit will win the Series. Heck, they could still do it in five, although it's gonna take a much better effort from the Tigers. And a lot more walks to Pujols.

Game 2 begins at 7:30 EST tonight with Jeff Weaver and Kenny Rogers on the mound (although not at the same time).

Saturday, October 21, 2006

World Series/Game 1 thoughts

It's been quite a while since I've been this excited about a World Series that didn't involve the Braves, but I have to admit that I'm rather looking forward to things getting underway tonight. Looks like a great Midwest match-up, and best of all, it's a series that doesn't involve the Yankees (or that other New York club that won the NL East, dammit).

Unfortunately for St. Louis, I don't believe it's going to be a very long Series: I'm predicting the Tigers win it in five. They've got the pitching, the offense, and perhaps just as important, they've had a week to get rested and healthy. The Cardinals have been through the ringer, both physically and emotionally. Their starting rotation doesn't match up to Detroit's. Scott Rolen's balky left shoulder doesn't provide much protection for The Albert (which may explain why Pujols has only one RBI in the past nine postseason games). And Jim Leyland has pushed all the right buttons and made all the right decisions throughout the season/playoffs, as if they were destined to win it from the very beginning. Simply put, I think Detroit is too strong for any team the National League trots out.

Tonight's game starts at 8:03 EST and features Justin Verlander and Anthony Reyes, which happens to be the first all-rookie Game 1 match-up in World Series history. It should be a good one.

Friday, October 20, 2006

World Series: Detroit & St. Louis: Did you guess that one?

Boy, was I way off on my postseason picks. For anyone that hasn't seen my previous blog I posted predictions for the postseason. In the end, I had the A's and Dodgers in the series with the A's winning it in 6. I thought the A's had of more a legit shot to make it than L.A. but, heck the Dodgers were a hot team before the playoffs.

On the flipside, both the Tigers and Redbirds backended their way into playoffs. The Tigers were penned against the Yankees and about a handful of people gave them a chance to win that series. The Cards lucked up and played the overachieving Padres and won. Later, they beat the heavily favorited Mets. Yippee! Both of these teams eliminated the NY teams and for that I give them a standing ovation.

Obviously Detroit has had plenty of rest before tommorrow's Game 1. St. Louis has played pretty much non stop thanks to rain outs. People generally get concerned over which is better: resting an extended amount of time before play, or keep continuing playing with no rest. Obviously everyone feels better rested, but c'mon it's not like the Tigers are sitting around playing Playstation and eating Cheetos before the series. They practice during the week. Anyway I think it's all a bunch of nonsense. You play baseball to reach this pinnacle and you give 110%. On to the pitching matchups...

Game 1: Verlander vs. Reyes
Game 2: Rogers vs. Weaver
Game 3: Robertson vs. Carpenter
Game 4: Bonderman vs. Suppan
Game 5: Verlander vs. Reyes
Game 6: Rogers vs. Weaver?
Game 7: ?? vs. ??

I'm pretty sure that the first four games are correct and not sure about 5-7. I can only guess that Carpenter/Suppan will pitch 7 if neccessary. LaRussa is going with rookie pitcher Anthony Reyes who has had a up/down season and didn't look to good against the Mets in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Cards do not have SP depth. Mark Mulder was plagued with injury while Jason Marquis was left off the playoff roster. Weaver has slowly turned things around while Carpenter and Suppan have been the leaders of this staff.
The Tigers come enter with a young(minus the gambler) extremely talented pitching staff. Having a stong pitching staff is what helped the White Sox win the series last year and I expect the same to come from the Tigers. I'm going to guess the Tigers in 6. Some people are calling this a swiffer sweep in 4, but I'll give the Cards a couple of games.

Steven's big announcement

Just want to let everyone know that Adam (formerly of the Braves Dugout blog), and I are joining forces here at the Home of the Braves. Adam's done some pretty good work over at his blog and I'm happy to have him here. Not only will he add greatly to the content, he'll also help keep things moving along when my life gets in the way (which is me politely saying I work too damn much).

Anyway, I'm pretty excited about things and hope everyone enjoys the new, the improved, Home of the Braves.

The Home is back in business!

After a bit of a hiatus, I've decided to take The Home out of mothballs and begin posting again. At the moment, it's still a work in progress (lots of links to add, and so on), but I'd really like to jump in while there's still some baseball going on. (Speaking of, if anyone had told me at the beginning of the season that the Tigers would be playing in the World Series, I'd have asked for some of what they'd been smoking.) So the updates will come as time and my limited HTML abilities allow.

Speaking of changes, there'll be one big change that I'll be announcing shortly- something that should make The Home a much better, much more active blog than in days past. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hadn't realized it until just now, but the ol' posting routine at The Home has gotten a bit sporadic as of late. I can blame part of it on the recent bout of Creeping Crud I've battled for the better part of a week now. Some of it can be blamed on Internet Burnout: I just haven't had much of an attention span for trawling the Interweb for news, baseball, and amputee midget bondage porn. (How many site hits do you think those four words are worth?)

Mostly, I've been busy. Busy doing what, you ask? Well, busy getting things ready for the newest addition at The Home. Yep, the wife and I are expecting our first child next month. I'm pretty excited. And scared to death.

So I hope my threes of readers will bear with me for a while. I'm sure there'll be more lapses in the flow of wisdom(?) I share with you. There may be days I prefer to discuss the viscosity of what the baby left in his diaper, rather than Marcus Giles' on-base percentage. And according to my friends and family who've already been through this- I may prefer to grab a twenty minute nap (whenever I can) over everything else. But I'm sticking around, and I hope you do too.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I didn't make it into work last night. Spent a few hours singing arias into the toilet. The degree of difficulty was rather higher than normal, as I was wicked dizzy to boot. (I thought I was going to pass out on my first trip to the microphone.)

I very rarely get sick. I chalk it up to being a good looking, left-handed vegetarian, but my wife says that's a bunch of crap. I digress. As someone who doesn't get sickly very often, I don't handle it well when I am. I've been told I'm whiny, which I don't believe. I've been told I'm very mean, which I DO believe. Anyway, my wife braved my whiny nastiness and fed me tea and bagels, and I'm here to live another day. And there was much rejoicing.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Holy Jeebus- tearing down two 20-gallon tanks, moving them to the other end of the house, and then setting them back up is a lot more work than it sounds.

Watched a bit of the Braves and Dodgers while doing my fish business. I don't put much stock in Spring Training wins and losses, but it was nice to see the Braves come back from such a large deficit to win the game. The young guys looked pretty good with the bats. Matt Diaz looked pretty bad in left. John Thompson looked really bad on the mound. But that's what Spring Training is for and I'm sure all the kinks will be worked out by the time Opening Day rolls around.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"They didn't think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. That's the way they thought about it and that's the way it is, so we're going to live with that," he said. "Now, if I'm a Hall of Famer for you, that's all right with me. Just keep loving old Buck."

Well, Mr. O'Neil- there are plenty who do feel you're a Hall of Famer. Count me as one of them.

It really makes you wonder about the persons on the voting committees for the Hall of Fame. How the hell could you not vote for Buck O'Neil?! What about his days in the Negro Leagues? What about his .288 lifetime batting average? What about the fact he was the first black manager in the big leagues? What about the work he's done to keep the history of the Negro Leagues alive, as well as continuing to be an ambassador for the game of baseball?

Members of the voting committees: it's time to take your heads and your calculators outta your asses and look at the big picture. Yes, numbers are a big part of baseball, obviously making them an important element in determining who gets in and who doesn't. It's not all about the numbers, though. At least it shouldn't be...

These'll be the same morons who look at two cheaters like Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro and make them first-ballot inductees, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Anyway, I've gotten so worked up about this I failed to provide a link to the story about Buck O'Neil not being voted in that has me so up in arms. Here it is.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Braves will open their exhibition season tomorrow against the University of Georgia. (I checked, and yes, it's against their baseball club and not the entire university.) Horacio Ramirez will pitch the first two innings, followed by Oscar Villarreal, Sean White, Jose Ascanio, and Chris Reitsma.

Jorge Sosa opens the Grapefruit League Thursday against the Dodgers, followed by John Thomson on Friday (Dodgers), and Tim Hudson on Saturday (Astros).

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I just found out that Don Knotts has passed away. It's not too often a celebrity dies and I take it personally; Johnny Cash was one of those I did. Jerry Orbach too. And now I'll add Don Knotts to that list.

In my humble opinion, Knotts was the creator of the single greatest television character ever created: namely, one crime-fighting extraordinaire, Deputy Barney Fife.

You've got to nip it in the bud. Nip it, nip it, nip it...
A few Braves Notes to end your week (or start it, depending on how you view the Sunday).

*New Atlanta shortstop Edgar Renteria suffered a minor back strain during batting practice Thursday. Reports insisted the injury was minor and he was kept off the field Friday for precautionary purposes only. He did resume practice yesterday, but was held to fielding grounders.

*Blaine Boyer has begun to throw off the mound for the first time this year. He's expected to throw again later in the week and will begin pitching in Grapefruit League games around March 11th.

*Adam LaRoche wants to be the everyday first baseman this season and it seems as though he'll be given the opportunity. Only problem for Adam is he's got rightie James Jurries to contend with. Bobby Cox likes what he's seeing from Jurries' bat, and he's working every morning to improve his defensive skills. Might we have another platoon at first this season? Along with the left field situation, this'll be an interesting story to follow all Spring.

*The great(?!) MC Hammer was in camp last week to film a commercial for the Turner South network; he even took BP with the team. Here's an interesting sidenote about Mr. Hammer: he was a batboy for the Oakland A's and ex-owner Charles Finley gave him the nickname "Hammer" because he thought he looked like a young Henry Aaron.

And so musical history began...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just a little info about a certain Brave I'll be rooting for this season 'cause he's such a nice guy.
So who wants to play a little free fantasy baseball? I've set up a NL only league with a live draft on Yahoo. The league number is 154045 and the password is baseball.

The top manager of the season wins a free chicken liver dinner with Tommy. Of course, I'll have to clear this with him first. But I'm sure he'll go for it. If there's one thing I know about Tommy, it's that he loves to buy folks chicken liver dinners. Loves it, I tell ya!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Please don't tease me, Barry.

The Gracious One says this is quite possibly his final season playing baseball. Of course, he provided us with conflicting reports about this very subject just last week, so I hate to get my hopes up. But still...

I seriously doubt he can pass Henry's record in one season; he's only seven away from the Babe, though. Any way I can talk alla you pitchers into giving Cap'n Steroid nothing but bases on balls this season?

Here's another link for ya: Joe over at Talking Chop nabbed an interview with new Braves pitching coach, Roger McDowell. You should check it out.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I'm posting this tonight, as I'll probably not get up in time tomorrow to do it (stupid third shift...).

Just wanted to wish a happy birthday to the biggest, stupidest, Tommy I know. Like I told you today, dude- ya gots 366 more days until you're officially old (like me).

And please let me be there when you cash in that "Hello Kitty" gift card. Please?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Man, wouldn't it have been great to have been in Florida yesterday? Bright sunny skies, temperatures in the 80's, and the first workout for Atlanta's pitchers and catchers. Now that's the way to spend a Friday in February!

Here's some points of interest from the first workout:

With the exception of Mike Hampton, the starting rotation looks healthy.

Blaine Boyer still hasn't been cleared to throw from the mound; he spent his afternoon long-tossing with Roger McDowell.

Mike Remlinger says his gimpy shoulder feels strong and he'll be competing against Macay McBride and John Foster for a bullpen spot.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The beginning of the 2006 season is under way: pitchers and catchers reported to camp today.

And there was much rejoicing.

For those who enjoy fantasy baseball, here's a list of the Top Ten Braves fantasy players.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I know the recent tantrums of one Sammy Sosa have been discussed ad nauseam, but this latest chunk of insight from "Mr. Home Run" begs pointing out.

The Nationals have proposed a $500,000 non-guaranteed contract. Sammy wants at least a million bucks, because he's "done a lot for baseball and should be treated with respect". Hey Sammy- a half-mil non-guaranteed contract offered to a 37-year-old former steroid-junkie cheater who puts himself on the Disabled List by sneezing IS respect!

The fact of the matter is Sammy stunk last year. Blame it on age. Blame it on a new league. Blame it on a guy who has to come off the 'roids suddenly finding a giant void where what's left of his batting skills used to be. The fact of the matter is, a clubhouse cancer with diminishing skills who only manages 102 games, a .221 batting average, and 14 home runs during the course of a season isn't worth much more than the contract being offered.

Sammy says it's all about respect. How about showing a little respect to the fans, Sammy? How about showing a little respect to your fellow players, not to mention the game itself? You've got a lot to prove, and you're being given the opportunity to do it. I think you're a washed-up, steroid-dependent cheater with nothing left to offer the game; prove me wrong. Then you can come back for the 2007 season and demand that big fat contract you so richly "deserve".

One of my former Chattanooga Lookouts hit the jackpot last night: Adam Dunn signed a two-year, $18.5 million contract with the Reds. The club holds an $18 million option for the 2008 season.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I saw college baseball's shadow yesterday: that means only six more weeks 'til Opening Day. Made my way up to Knoxville yesterday afternoon with my buddy Tommy for a little University of Tennessee baseball.

I like the college game, but I'm not a huge fan of it. Never been able to put my finger on a real reason for that. Probably comes down to the aluminum bats. I hate 'em. Makes me think of Little League, high school, and the softball leagues I sometimes play in. It just doesn't feel "real" to me. Add to that the fact I absolutely hate the *DOINK* sound of a baseball making contact with one of those metal jobs and you may actually have a reason for it. (Ironically enough, I think the sound of a wood bat meeting a baseball is one of the best sounds in the world. Go figure.)

Anyhoo, we met up with the Joebo on campus,who met up with some of his friends at the game. The first game was pretty good; neither team was hitting particularly well and UT's pitcher had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. I mention this because Joebo- now known as Scurvy Joe, by the way- blew said no-hitter by mentioning it. Bad Scurvy Joe. Bad, BAD Scurvy Joe.

Eastern Michigan made it interesting in the ninth, but Tennessee managed to hold on for a 3-2 win. Not sure what happened in the second half of the double-header; we only made it through the first inning, due to some wicked cold weather and near-fatal hungriness on my part. Both of these problems were remedied at the Half Barrel Pub, where some good food and excellent beers kept the three of us (and Joe's friend, Sergei) entertained for hours.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

As promised, here's a few pictures from yesterday's Braves Caravan at Hamilton Place:

I was really surprised how few turned out for the event; couldn't have been more than 250 people. Seemed rather silly to have gotten there so early (hoping to beat the crowds), only to find I was one of the first ones there. Got the seventh spot in line, and had a nice conversation with a lady and her son sitting next to me (he was out of school to "visit his grandmother", naturally.)

Anyway, I got an official MLB baseball (the Bud "Used Car Salesman" Selig model) signed by Pat, John, Pete, and Horacio. And speaking of Horacio, let me just say that I'll be rooting for the guy this season. He really went out of his way yesterday morning to be friendly with all the fans. Classy guy.

Picked up the 2006 Street & Smith Baseball Yearbook on my way home. Seems like it's out early this year, but that's okay with me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm planning on heading down to Chattanooga this morning for the Braves Caravan. Hope to have some pictures to share either tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I finally found some information verifying a radio announcement I heard last weekend regarding the Braves Caravan being at Hamilton Place Mall. It's scheduled for this Tuesday (the 7th) at 11:30 in the Center Court (whatever the hell that is).

The list of guests include:

Horacio Ramirez
Pat Corrales
John Schuerholz
Pete Van Wieren
It would stand to reason that I'd need to get my Super Bowl pick aired before the game commences, so here it is: Pittsburgh beats Seattle, rather handily.

It's very likely the two week break has killed the momentum the Steelers had throughout the playoffs, but I still like their defense to shut down Alexander and Matt H. Unlike Washington and Chicago, the Steelers will be able to put a few points on the board. So, I goes with the Steel Curtain to win.

Not sure how much of the game I'll get to watch. I'm supposed to be at work by 7:30 tonight; if the game is good though, I may call in for an hour or two. Just have to wait and see, I suspect.

Yahoo has got their fantasy baseball leagues up and running; would anyone be interested in playing? I could create the official home version of Home of the Braves Fantasy Baseball 2006? It'd be free, of course- unless people wanted to play in a pay league with prizes.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Whew- I slept eleven hours last night and almost feel human again.

Not much to talk about in the world o' baseball. I spent an hour last night soft-sleeving and top-loading my fledgling collection of 1959 Topps baseball cards. Ordered the sleeves, top-loaders, and a super shoebox to store them in from BCW; the UPS man was kind enough to leave them on my back step Thursday.

I've currently got 95 cards, with one heading this way via the postal service. Got a loong way to go, as there are 572 in the set. It's something I enjoy doing and is fairly simple and inexpensive to do with the help of that beautiful lady known as Ebay.

Anybody else still collecting cards, or is this yet another example of my anal-retentive, fan boy geekiness?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ugh, what a week. I've had to stay at work until noon every day for a QC tools class; I'm normally home at 7:30 and sound asleep by 8:00. I've gotten very little sleep during the past four days and I'm very tired. And mean. But I still smell pretty, dammit. Anywho- we finished the class today and I can have my normal life back. There was much rejoicing...

I found this article about the Coen brothers working on a new picture. New Coen brothers pictures make me bery, bery happy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It'll be February in a couple of hours.

Why get excited about February, you ask? Well, not only does it mean it's almost Groundhog Day- and who doesn't enjoy a good Groundhog Day, what with the groundhogs, fireworks, rubber hoses, and such- but it's also the time when Spring Training begins. Oh joy!

Atlanta's pitchers and catchers will report Feb. 16th, which is only a scant two weeks away. Everyone else will report by the 21st, with the first full-squad workout beginning the 22nd.

The official Braves site says the club will begin the exhibition season March 1st when they host the University of Georgia. I'm assuming it'll be UG's baseball team they're hosting, rather than the entire University of Georgia. That'd hardly be fair, now would it?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Former Atlanta 3B prospect Andy Marte is now a Cleveland Indian.

Marte was part of three team trade that sent Coco Crisp to the Red Sox. Although it appears as though he'll spend much of the 2006 season in the minors, the Indians are projecting him as a middle of the order right-handed hitter- which is exactly what the club is missing.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Denny Neagle decided to 'fess up and plead guilty on charges of patronizing a prostitute back in 2004. He received forty hours of community service. The funny thing is he offered the woman forty bucks for sex- which works out to one hour of community service per dollar of whore.

Irony, or does the judge have a devilish sense of humor?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I understand that reliever pickings be slim, but Mike Remlinger? Yeesh...

Still, it's only a minor-league contract. And he is one of those wily old veterans- a lefty, at that. Mayhaps this'll turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

Of course, it could also wind up as another big, ol' stinking bowl of raulmondesi.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Note to self: do not listen to gut after injesting copious amounts of pizza, barbecue chips and beer; it lies.

Because of my lying gut, I was only one-fer-two with this weekend's playoff games. And speaking of games- didn't anyone tell the Panthers they had one last night?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jorge Sosa and the Atlanta Braves came to terms with a one-year, $2.2 million contract Saturday. He was the final player in arbitration.

Sosa could earn an extra $50,000 if he pitches 205 innings; he went 134 last season.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

NFL Playoff picks

Wonder of wonders: This week I'm actually going to get my playoff picks in before the games start.

I'm gonna ride the Bus until the very end with the Steelers over Denver tomorrow afternoon. Pittsburgh has been playing unbelievable defense lately and they're managing to get some points on the board, so home field advantage or not- I'm betting against Denver.
Pittsburgh 17, Denver 14

The Seattle/Carolina game is a tough one, but my gut says the Panthers are gonna come away with a victory (or it's saying I shouldn't have had pizza, beer, and barbecue chips for dinner). Either way:
Carolina 28, Seattle 24
It's just occurred to me that you're probably wondering what my favorite John Candy picture is. (Shame on me for not sharing this sooner.)

Although I love Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, my absolute favorite Candy movie is Uncle Buck. Classic 1980's John Hughes story, impeccable John Candy performance. If you haven't seen it, you can pick up a copy at Best Buy for seven bucks.

Some of my favorite scenes? The question-and-answer bit between John Candy and a wee, tiny Macaulay Culkin; Candy attempting to take a leak in the wee, tiny urinals at the elementary school.

My two favorite lines in the picture?

"Holy smoke, he's cooking our garbage."

"Get in your mouse and get out of here."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Team USA officials added Jeff Francoeur to the roster for the World Baseball Classic. He, Chippa, and Tim Hudson are now on the 52-man squad that will eventually be whittled down to a 30-player roster.

Jeff is one of ten outfielders on the squad and faces some stiff competition: Lance Berkman, Barry "Steroid Junkie" Bonds, Carl Crawford, Johnny "I Sold My Soul To The Devil" Damon, Luis Gonzalez, Ken Griffey Jr., Matt Holliday, Vernon Wells, and Randy Winn.

Even if he doesn't make the roster, you gotta be impressed by a guy who's played only half a season in the Majors being part of something as big as this.

In related news, I was only narrowly squeezed out of consideration for Team USA catcher by one of the Molinas' twelve-year-old nephews. Okay, I'm lying.

It was their twelve-year-old niece. But she's got a wicked strong arm, dammit.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Atlanta was able to avoid arbitration with Marcus Giles after both sides agreed to a one-year, $3.85 million contract yesterday afternoon.

The Braves will be hosting Winter FanFest next month at the Ted. It'll be from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on February 4th.

I'm really thinking about trying to make it down. Anyone else going?
Damn, I wish I'd been able to get off my lazy ass and post this weekend- I was three for four with my playoff picks.

Seattle over Washington: An easy one. Redskins are all defense, no offense.

Patriots over Broncos: The Pats are like the Braves; don't bet against 'em until someone beats 'em. I just assumed they'd manage a win against the Broncos. I was wrong. Of course, the sloppy play and turnovers might have had something to do with it.

Carolina over Bears: See Seattle over Washington.

Steelers over Colts: I knew Pittsburgh was going to win this game. I knew it. Not because of the inspired football they played the week before against the Bengals. Not because of a gut feeling I had. I knew the Steelers would win because I knew Peyton Manning couldn't.

Peyton can't win The Big Game. He couldn't beat Florida. He didn't win a national championship (some third-rate QB by the name of Tee Martin took the Vols to the promised land- and I know this because the obnoxious UT fans I work with are STILL talking about it).

Manning has a lot of natural talent and ability, but it's like there's something in his head that short-circuits whenever the "big game" arrives. Granted, he didn't have a horrible game on Sunday, but when you're making all that money and are the "best QB in the NFL" you should be able to manage more than one touchdown pass.

So somebody get Payton a glass of water 'cause I think he's still choking...

Friday, January 13, 2006

I knew it was gonna suck. I was pretty certain that it might even piss me off a bit. But I had no idea how angry I would be after watching the celluloid turd that is the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

I'm 33; I grew up watching the Dukes on tele, back in the "three network" days. Hell, we even played the Dukes of Hazzard in school, although I don't remember exactly how we did this. (All I remember is that I was always Bo, because I had blonde hair.)

The show was goofy, but it was fun. Lots of car chases, some explosions, and Daisy in her short shorts- what more could an eight-year-old want? Classic, cheesy 70's/80's fluff television, and I look back on it fondly.

The first thing about the movie that really set me on edge was Junior Brown as narrator. Don't get me wrong, I love Junior's music, but he's not even the beginnings of a pimple on the late, great Waylon Jenning's ass when it comes to narrating the Dukes. Couldn't they have found someone that sounded a tiny bit like Waylon?

Then you've got the "new and improved" characterizations: Uncle Jesse telling dirty jokes and swearing, Roscoe turned into a generic, movie thug-cop, Cooter trying to get a BJ from Daisy, fer crissakes?!? And that's not even getting into the tired excuse of a plot, the horrible dialogue... I could go on and on but just thinking about it is turning the mad back on.

I've seen a lot of bad movies recently; hell it seems like that's about all Hollywood is able to crank out nowadays (where are you, Joel and Ethan Coen?), but if this is the best filmmakers- and I use that word hesitantly- can do, it's time to hang it up and call it a day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I'll not argue the reasons Bruce Sutter should or should not have been elected into the Hall today. (Personally, I think he was a good player- not a great one, and I'm under the impression that only the greats make it into the Hall, but I digress.) Fact of the matter is he's in, so congratulations are in order. Huzzah, Bruce.

But how in the hell the writers have ignored Andre Dawson yet again is beyond my abilities of comprehension.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Didn't do much posting this weekend (or anything else, for that matter). Trying to get back into the 3rd shift routine after 11 days away from it is rough, folks. Rough, I tell ya.

Sat around in my jammies and watched football for two days straight. Pretty cool, huh? I must say I rather enjoyed the games; I'm big on defense.

Just wanted to say thanks to Joe over at Talking Chop. He mentioned my blog in a recent post and it really surprised me. (I'm used to just family and friends looking at my blog, not real people.) Anywho, he's got a great Braves blog and manages to snag some great interviews, so you should really check his site out. I've got a link to the right for your convenience. That's what I'm here for. Your convenience. And comfort.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Atlanta and Chris Reitsma have avoided the Arbitration Dating Game; both sides agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract yesterday. The contract does include a couple of $25,000 incentives for Chris if he finishes 40 and 45 games.

So does this mean Reitsma will be the Braves' closer in '06? Erm... maybe. Does this mean he should be the closer? Well... I don't know. He's been a bit of an enigma up to this point in his career and it'll be interesting to see how he fares during Spring Training and where he ends up when the season starts. He did save 15 games last year (nine straight, at one point) and was named NL Rolaids Relief Man in July before suffering a hyperextended right leg in August. But he also blew five save chances, giving up three in a row before losing the closer's gig to Kyle "Meathead" Farnsworth.

Setting up or closing, it's a good deal for Atlanta. Chris has a respectable 3.64 career ERA. He doesn't give up a lot of earned runs or walks. His strike-out numbers aren't gaudy, but they are respectable. Plus, the guy will play ball hurt or not, and that's something I don't mind hanging three million bucks on.

Plus, it's not my three million bucks he's getting. Even better.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Made a trip to Chattanooga the other night with the wife; one of our stops was Barnes & Noble (a Christmas gift card was burning a hole in her pocket, apparently). I picked up a Far Side calendar and the 2005 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, both for half price. Can't beat that deal with a stick, now can ya?

Here's a PSA for all those folks what works at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks: some folks actually do want a regular cup of coffee. Yes, you do sell regular coffee. No, I don't want a half-mocha, half-soy, chocolate caramel latte espresso double-shot capuchino- I just want plain ol' coffee.

And don't look at me like that when I order it, dammit.

And whilst I'm in the mood to help other folks less fortunate than me- here's another PSA, for all those 19 year old kids who don't like the taste of coffee but do like to hang out and look cool at Starbucks, so they order the coffee-flavored drinks: If you don't have the four bucks cash for your toy coffee, you don't need the toy coffee. Leave the debit card at home and stop holding up the line because you can't remember your momma's PIN number.

Reno 911! will be hitting the big screen. And there was much rejoicing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Was anyone else aware that former Brave Kerry Ligtenberg is still knocking around baseball? The Marlins have signed him to a minor league contract; if he stays with the club, he'll earn six hundred grand.

Whew- the Marlins will be a formidable team this year...

Here's a link to a pretty good article about how Atlanta's starting rotation is shaping up for 2006.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I would just like to point out that my youngest sister, who's enjoyed pointing out how "old" I am for several years now is, as of today, an official member in the "Holy Shit, I'm Thirty!" club.

How's it feel to be "old", smartass?;)