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?;)