Archive for July, 2008

53: Who ARE these guys??? ….part 2

Comments and articles herein are the intellectual property and opinions of the writers and may not be copied without permission of the writers.

by Carolina Lady

Continuing the thought – who are these guys we see on the field and in the dugout, anyway?

Who’s next?

Chino Cadahia

Chino Cadahia

Aurelio Cadahia.

Chino.

Born in Havana, Cuba on November 22, 1957 so he’s coming up on age 51. His playing info says “Hits right, Throws right, 6’0″ and 245 lbs” – that may have changed… 🙂 Attended and was signed out of Miami-Dade New World Center Community College. Lives in Peachtree City with wife Lynn and daughter Lauren.

Chino was drafted in the first round of the Jan 1977 amateur draft by the Phillies. Played seven years in the minors, started out mostly as a first baseman, but by his 2nd year was an All-Star catcher – despite a Appalachian League-leading 17 passed balls. He spent some time in the Twins chain and was the California League All-Star backup – even with 19 errors.

Cadahia came to the Braves in 1996 after serving in the Texas Rangers organization for 12 years as a pitching coach and manager in their minor league system. He began his coaching career as a pitching coach at Salem of the Carolina League from 1984 through 1985. The following year he managed Daytona Beach of the Florida State League, and in 1987 he managed at Gastonia of the South Atlantic League. From 1988 through 1995, Cadahia managed the Rangers Gulf Coast League rookie squad in Port Charlotte, Florida.

While in the Ranger’s system, Chino was the first manager of a 16-year-old kid named Ivan Rodriguez, is the one who nicknamed him “Pudge,” and is generally credited with Pudge’s development into a first-class catcher. From an MLB article:

He just called me that name,” Rodriguez said. “Now everybody knows me from that name because of him.”

Giving Rodriguez his famous nickname isn’t the only influence Cadahia had on the 13-time All Star’s career. When Rodriguez signed with Texas in the summer of 1988, he was sent to the Gulf Coast League, where Cadahia was managing a team in Port Charlotte, Fla. Cadahia showed Rodriguez the ropes, on and off the field.

“He always took me to work out and work on blocking and throwing and things like that to make me a better player,” Rodriguez said. “He helped me a lot to become a better catcher and a better player.”


Besides learning the game on a professional level, Rodriguez had to learn a new language after coming to the Rangers from Puerto Rico. Cadahia, who is Cuban, helped him with that. Cadahia also showed Rodriguez how to adapt to life on his own, giving tips on typical household chores.


“We had him at 16 years old and he was brand new to this game,” Cadahia said. “He didn’t know the ups and downs, the everyday grind and how to prepare. He didn’t know how to live on your own or how to do laundry or anything like that. He was just a baby, so he had to go through all those hassles.”

So what is a bench coach, anyway? I liked this description from an article I found:

The number of coaches used by big league teams has evolved over the years. Base coaches often double up as infield, outfield, and base-running instructors. There is also the pitching coach, hitting coach, and bullpen coach, who often oversees the catchers, too. And now you have the bench coach, which usually can be divided among those whose decades of experience – often as former managers – make them invaluable, and those who are managers-in-training.

Joe Torre believes the first bench coach was longtime manager Don Zimmer, who for a decade sat Yoda-like next to Torre on the Yankees bench.

“It started with me and Zim,” Torre said. “(Red) Schoendienst was the closest I had in St. Louis. He’d come up to me and remind me of something from time to time. When I sat with Zim, he sort of brought me along. I was a little bit more on the conservative side and he was more on the aggressive side. We met somewhere in the middle.

“You know what’s great about a bench coach? The fact you can bounce stuff off somebody instead of laying in bed at night, second-guessing what you did.”

“You know what’s great about a bench coach?” Zimmer once told Esquire Magazine? “Not much.”
😆

From a 2006 Baseball America interview with Dayton Moore:

BA: Whenever anyone mentions the Braves, the first thing they talk about is developing pitching. But, like we all started to notice with the emergence of Brian McCann and the development of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, you guys develop catchers too.


DM: We’ve got a great catching instructor here who’s also our field coordinator in Chino Cadahia. He does a tremendous job and has been working with catchers since he worked with Pudge Rodriguez when he was coming through the Texas organization.

Atlanta Braves catchers coach Chino Cadahia (52) goes over basic positioning at the team's spring training baseball camp in Lake Buena Vista Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

Atlanta Braves catchers coach Chino Cadahia (52) goes over basic positioning at the team's spring training baseball camp in Lake Buena Vista Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

Somehow I’ve lost the link to the next quote so I apologize to the original source while I continue looking for it.

Q: When the Braves win, do you experience a particular kind of satisfaction as a bench coach who prepares these guys every day?

CHINO: Having had a lot of these kids in the minor leagues, and to see where they are and to see them play in this environment in front of 30-, 40-, 50,000 people and get it done, you know, it’s a big satisfaction. You feel like you had a little bit to do with that, you know, and not just me personally, but – what’s the word I’m looking for – the whole program in the minor leagues, you know, all the steps that they took, and the instructional leagues, the spring trainings, you know, all the things we’ve done with them.

We’ve got them not only physically but mentally ready to be able to do this, so you feel like a part of it. In general we’ve (Atlanta’s organization) been very successful doing that with young kids. We take a lot of pride in doing it. A lot of organizations try to do it the way we do it, or, you know, try and copy our system or whatever and, you know, pretty much its black-and-white, but it’s the people that make it happen: the scouts, the coaches, the managers, the instructors, the front-office people, that’s what makes it happen.

And then the end result, you know, you see Brian McCann and Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur and Chucky James and Yunel Escobar and all the young guys that have played here, you know, get it done on this level, it gives you an awful lot of satisfaction to see them, you know, perform at this level.

Every once in a while they’ll talk about stuff they did in Rome, Ga. (where the minor-league Rome Braves play), or in an instructional league, because it takes a lot for them to be able to perform at this level, even as talented as they are. It’s a lot of sacrifice.


Q: And to get where you are today, you had to go through a lot of the same kinds of things.

CHINO: Yeah, coaches are the same way. Brian [Snitker] was a coach up here in the ’80s; it took him 20-some years to get back up to the big leagues, you know, every coach. When I started coaching, this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a Major League coach. If I would have known it was going to take 24 years, I might have gone to another profession, but not really.

Q: Is the feeling you have now just utter contentment?

CHINO: No, I think, believe it or not, it’s just the satisfaction. Once I got into it, and you put both feet into it, you know, you feel like a part of something special. I never looked at it like, jeez, I’m on my 20th year now, or I’m on my 21st year or my 19th year, you know, I just did whatever my job was as good as I could do it, hoping that one day the opportunity will come up.

For some guys, it’ll take 24 years (to make it to the Majors), for most of the guys it never happens. So you know, you got to weigh both of them. There are five or six coaches for each team, you know, that’s 180 jobs. You’re looking to be one of 180, so, you know, percentages are not with you a lot of the time. You just hope that you make a difference in the minor leagues and you help a lot of young players and you do your work, your job, and you do it real good and somebody notices.

A lot of this is timing also. It’s just like anything else, you know, you gotta pay your dues, you gotta be a good guy, you gotta be able to do your work and your job and people have to respect you for that, and I’ve always taken a lot of pride, personally doing my job. And I’m surrounded by people that are, you know – I’ve had real good role models to follow. It’s a good combination, as far as that’s concerned.

Look closely at the cart!

Look closely at the cart!

Chino. We poke fun at him (probably too often) but he obviously has experience though somehow I just don’t see him being a ML manager. What do you think?

~CL~

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52: Who ARE these guys?? …..part 1

Comments and articles herein are the intellectual property and opinions of the writers and may not be copied without permission of the writers.

by Carolina Lady

We see them on the field, we know their names, we talk about what they do or don’t do, but what do we really know about them? The coaches?

This guy for instance. Back in 2005, he ran in Miller Park’s sausage race as the bratwurst (didn’t win.) I never knew! 😆

In a ten-year career, he was a .253 hitter with 40 home runs and 172 RBI in 564 games. His post-season credits include: 1996 NLCS, 1996 World Series, 1996 NL Div Series, 1997 NLCS, 1997 NL Div Series, 1998 NL Div Series, 1998 NLCS, 1999 NL Div Series, 1999 NLCS, 1999 World Series, 2004 NL Div Series , and was the 1999 NL NLCS MVP.

He made his MLB debut in Sep 1995, the same year as Ray Durham, Johnny Damon, Edgardo Alfonzo, Derik Jeter, Jason Giambi, Billy Wagner and Mariano Rivera.

Eddie Perez

Eddie Perez

Eduardo Rafael Pérez was born May 4, 1968 in Venezuela.

Here are some excerpts from a great article about Eddie, written by Jill Lieber of USAToday in 1999:

Braves backup catcher Eddie Perez has been reduced to a plodding, slump-shouldered, knock-kneed M*A*S*H* unit.

Name a body part, and the battered and bruised Perez has injured it in some way, shape or form. His shoulders, biceps, thighs and ribs have been tattooed with large, round, black and purple hematomas, the result of being the human backstop for hundreds of foul tips.

His jaw, now chronically arthritic, snaps, crackles and pops every time he speaks or chews, thanks to all those 90-mph fastballs that have ricocheted into his catcher’s mask.

His left index finger constantly swells and throbs, a 24-hour reminder of pitch after pitch having slammed into his mitt.

And a broken blood vessel in the middle finger on his left hand kept him out of Sunday’s World Series Game 2.

His knees are riddled with painful tendinitis, and let’s not forget those spike wounds, or that stunning concussion.

“Eddie’s like a magnet,” says Braves coach Pat Corrales, who

Making the tag

caught for four major league teams from 1967-75, including a stint as the backup to Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Famer Johnny Bench. “I’ve never seen anybody take as many blows.”

……..

Mental and physical toughness, the patience of a saint and the dutiful prayers of his beloved family have carried Perez to the top of the baseball world this season.

It was only two weeks ago that the 31-year-old from Cuidad Ojeda, Venezuela, vaulted himself into America’s consciousness in the National League Championship Series. He hit .500 against the Mets and was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.

…….

The second youngest of Salvador and Lila Perez’s six sons, Eddie grew up in the oil-rich region of eastern Venezuela. His father, recently retired, worked for 50 years in one of the local oil refineries.

When he was 7 years old, Eddie learned to play baseball from Salvador, a longtime catcher for several of the great local amateur club teams. The following year, inspired by his father’s passion for the position, Eddie, now 8, moved to catcher.

In September 1986, right before Perez was to graduate from high school, Pedro Gonzalez, a Braves scout and longtime coach in the Dominican Republic, plucked him out of a crowd of 62 players at a local tryout. Perez signed a $15,000 free-agent contract with the Braves and a $5,000 pact with the Venezuelan Winter League’s Aragua Tigres, which were managed by countryman Davey Concepcion.

I was rich,” Perez says.

…..

For the next nine years, Perez languished in the minors, playing winter ball in Venezuela to make up for all the time he spent on the bench, right up through this past offseason.

Tragedy struck in 1993. While sliding into home plate against Class AA Huntsville (Ala.) on May 23, Perez dislocated his tailbone. He flew home to Venezuela to recuperate and did not return to the team until Aug. 27. “The first day I got back, one of the coaches told me to get dressed, that I was taking batting practice,” Perez says. “It was raining, and he thought it would be a good chance to practice sliding. I was panicked.

“He said, ‘Run and slide in front of me.’ I was so afraid to try that I kept running and running, but I couldn’t ever find the courage to slide. Finally, he ordered me to do it. When I did, and I had no pain, it was the best moment of my career.”

Well, until he fought back from the emotional devastation of having been dissuaded by coaches from going to Venezuela for the birth of daughter Maried .

Until he was named the MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League in ’94.

Until he was called up to the Braves on Aug. 30, 1995.

And until he was named NLCS MVP last week.

“That’s the biggest thing to ever happen to me,” Perez says.

The new two-story Duluth, Ga., home he and wife Marisol, his childhood sweetheart, share with their two children, Maried, now 5 1/2, and Andres Eduardo, 17 months, is filled with bouquets of flowers from friends and Braves fans.

Salavador and Lila, who have been visiting Atlanta since late September, are caught up in the whirlwind of the postseason. Marcos and Jolanda Nava, Marisol’s parents, came along, too.

This is the first time Salvador and Lila have been able to attend Eddie’s games together since their son signed with the Braves back in ’87.

“This is too much, too exciting,” says Salvador, with Eddie translating.

Says Lila, who also does not speak English: “It’s an incredible dream. I’m crying all the time.”

Adds Salvador, “I cry, too.”

And so does their son. His tears come from a much deeper place than the delight of having won the MVP trophy and playing for the Braves in the World Series. The tears mean Perez finally has made it in America.

“My family never let me quit,” Perez says. “That they’re here to share in one of the most important moments in my life means so much to me.”

from The Sporting News, 1999:

“I’m a nobody,” Eddie Perez says. “Just one of the guys on the roster, doing his job. Javy (Lopez) will be back next season, and I’ll be on the bench again.”


Yes, Lopez will return as the Braves’ No. 1 catcher in 2000, healed from the knee injury that sidelined him in July for the balance of the 1999 season. But no, Perez does not qualify as a nobody.


Perez, best known as Greg Maddux’s catcher and an able fill-in for Lopez since becoming a full-time member of the Braves in
1996, has added to his resume the past 2 1/2 weeks. Against the Mets in the NLCS, Perez went 10-for-20 and hit two home runs, the second a game-winning shot in Game 2. Perez, a native of Venezuela, hit .500 in the thrill-a-minute series, with the rest of the Atlanta offense batting a composite .194.

…………..

“I’m not a good hitter,” Perez was insisting as he rocked the Mets time and again. “I’m just hot, I guess.”


True, Perez hasn’t exactly been a hitting machine in his four full seasons in the majors–as his career average of .259 attests–but he has made significant contributions. In 1998, he batted .336 in 61 games, and his grand slam in the division series assured Atlanta a place in the NLCS. This season, he hit .266 after the All-Star break.


Manager Bobby Cox, understandably, is high on Perez.

“He’s not an out guy by any means,” Cox says. “He’s a great defensive catcher, a skilled catcher who can catch and throw and work the pitchers.”

Perez, 31, was thrilled to be named MVP–the vote was unanimous–in this year’s NLCS. “I think this is the biggest thing that has happened to me,” he says. “Winning the World Series in ’95 was nice, but I didn’t have a chance to play.”

Perez, a late-season call-up four years ago after spending nine seasons in the minor leagues, was in the lineup for Game 1 of the 1999 World Series but didn’t start Game 2.


“I’m a backup,” maintains Perez, whose humility and disarming smile make him a favorite with Braves fans. “But I have to be ready because we don’t have Javy (a close friend). My main thing is catching. I try to take at-bats as they come.


“… (Pitchers) don’t want to pitch to Chipper (Jones). They don’t want to pitch to Brian (Jordan). They want to pitch to Eddie.”


Not anymore.

Doug Glanville wrote a really funny article for the NY Times called Lovers, Not Fighters in which he wrote:

The major leagues also had its share of comedy. Take the fight I was in with the Atlanta Braves, when I was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the course of a week, my teammate Paul Byrd, a pitcher, had unintentionally hit Braves catcher Eddie Perez not once but twice in the back.

Perez and Byrd had once been teammates (and Bible study partners), but Perez had apparently left forgiveness at the door. When Byrd stepped up to the plate for his next at-bat, Perez hit him and then jumped him. Since I was on-deck and the closest player to the fray, I ran over to pry them apart.

The next thing I knew, I was at the bottom of a pile of players, my legs trapped, spikes barely missing my various body parts. The Braves’ Ozzie Guillen evidently decided that the best way to get out of the pile was to pull me out by the head. I had a stiff neck for three days.

What I found interesting was that instead of Perez and Byrd ripping each other’s hair out, they were locked together in a protective embrace, apologizing and praying to get out of this mass of humanity. Everyone within earshot was wondering why we all risked physical harm for a séance.

To add injury to absurdity, when our bullpen coach came running in from left field to join the fight, he pulled a hamstring halfway to the pile.

Then there is the video where Tim Hudson scares the daylights out of Eddie at the team hotel:

Just my opinion, but I think he’s a pretty neat person and I’m glad I know a little more about who is really is. Hope you enjoy it, too!

~CL~

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51: I Hate the All-Star Break!!!

Comments and articles herein are the intellectual property and opinions of the writers and may not be copied without permission of the writers.

by Salty

(The Most Boring Time of the Year)

Yeah, yeah, yeah…all voluntary, CL says! A real “slave driver”, she is! OK, I’m kidding, actually She’s a Beauty. Oh well…let me ramble aimlessly with music, humor…boring observations. ZZZZZZZ…fitting for the slowest time of the year…in my humble view. Summer’s ‘Dead Zone’.

Grinch…problem solved…Mrs. Grinch opportunity! SINGLE FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I’ll be waiting…. Let us know how the date goes!

Things to do when retired:

Working people frequently ask retired people how they keep their days interesting. For example, the other day Paladin went downtown to a shop. He was only in there for about 5minutes and when he came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. He went up to him and said, ‘Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break’? He was ignored, and the cop continued writing the ticket. Paladin called him a ‘Nazi.’ He glared at Paladin and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So Paladin called him a ‘doughnut eating Gestapo.’ The officer finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first, then started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more Paladin abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, Paladin didn’t care. He had come downtown on the bus with Nurse Cratchet, and the car that got the tickets had a bumper sticker that said ‘Obama in ’08.’

Paladin tried to have a little fun each day, now that he’s retired; it’s important to his health!

Hmmm:
The media says there’s an oil crisis. I can get all the gas or oil I want…it’s money I need!

We’re addicted to oil? Nah…we’re addicted to mobility.

Ethanol: higher-priced hush-puppies! Be careful what you wish for.

Watermelon juice biz. Any takers? You did hear about watermelon’s amazing benefits…no four-hour issues! SG, you can do the ad campaign, ok? Make it uplifting spirited, OK? Pfizer can fund the start-up…make up for the lost Viagra sales!

The cover of this past week’s Economist magazine: ‘What a Way to Run the World’ with a picture of the United Nations as the Tower of Babel. Funny…sad.

A spot o’ humor:
One morning a man comes into church on crutches. He stops in front of the holy water and splashes some of it on both of his legs, then throws away his crutches. An altar boy witnessed the episode and runs into the rectory to tell the priest what he’d just seen. Without batting an eye, the priest says, ‘Son, you’ve just witnessed a miracle. Tell me, where is this man? ‘Flat on his arse, Father, over by the holy water.’

Does it feel like the early ‘80’s to you? This song rather captured the angst of the day. Hey, if you’re gonna feel down in the dumps, let the music lift you up…just don’t listen to the lyrics! Synchonicity II

OK, baseball…anyone recall the NL’s MVP in 1971? How about the ROY? Hint: Braves connection. Wow, where have the years gone. Reelin’ in the Years

Bored yet?

Remember when you Stuff-villians were in school? I don’t know the origins…but they’re cute enough.

Teacher: Berigan, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
Berigan: You told me to do it without using tables.

Teacher: FBG, go to the map and find North America.
FBG: Here it is.
Teacher: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: FBG!

Teacher: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it.
Now, Lew, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
Lew: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

Teacher: Hillbilly, why do you always get so dirty?
Hillbilly: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.

Teacher: Now, Gil, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
Gil: No sir, I don’t have to; my Mom is a good cook.

Teacher: Grinch, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’
Grinch: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L’
Teacher: No, that’s wrong!
Grinch: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

Teacher: WW, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.
WW: Me!

Teacher: Raisins, your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
Raisins: No, sir. It’s the same dog.

Teacher: SG, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
SG: A teacher

Teacher: CL, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’
CL: I is….
Teacher: No, CL….. Always say, ‘I am.’
CL: All right.. ‘I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.’

Teacher: Sscribe, what is the chemical formula for water?
Sscribe: H I J K L M N O.
Teacher: What are you talking about?
Sscribe: Yesterday you said it’s H to O.

Oh, Grinch…her picture!

Daisy

Daisy

Courtesy of Atlanta SPCA

Enjoy the rest of the season, Stuff-villians! Try to remember, more often than not, we’re aren’t ‘and idiots’, We Just Disagree

Take me outta here, Gerry! Baker Street

~Salty~

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