100: Is It Spring Yet?

by Gil

Mechanicsville, VA – Now that the baseball gods have been sated for another year with a vast array of broken bats, juiced baseballs, torn laburnums and torqued obliques, we can lament yet another year that the Braves failed to win a World Series.  The fact this year’s team may have been the epitome of over achievement, not withstanding.

Of course congratulations are in order for this year’s winner of baseball’s fall classic, the San Francisco Giants.  Who would have thought that the toughest challenge they would face in the post season would have come from our very own Braves?  So the Giants go on to  become the champions of the baseball world and alas, by the grace of God and a defense leakier than a shanty town roof, there goes Atlanta.  Then again, a few timely hits would have helped too.

But that is the past.  Now it’s back to the future, that ever renewing event we call a new season, a fresh start, a new beginning.  No time to stop and let the Giants enjoy their first World Championship in over 50 years.  No, we press on, anxiously awaiting the start of what will surely be the Fredi Gonzales era.  No need to fret that Liberty Media will tightly control the purse strings.  Hasn’t Fredi done more with less?  Can he find success in his adopted home town or will the first five game losing streak be met with shouts from the blogisphere for his immediate dismissal and angst about how he is a Bobby Cox clone?

I say let’s get the old hot stove glowing!   Time for all the fantasy team owners, deep in the bowels of their moms’ basements, to spend countless hours trying to get the jump on their brethren by scouring reams of stats, pounding away at the importance of WHIP, run differential, RBI with two outs and runners in scoring position and of course LSMFT.

And we can all hope Santa will leave  a Big Bopper to play left field under Frank Wren’s Christmas tree while we are at it.


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420 Responses to “100: Is It Spring Yet?”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady November 4, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Excellent, Gil! Many thanks!!! 😀


  2. 2 chrisklob November 4, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Gil, excellent as always! The next few months of the year are always hard on me. Thankfully MLB network is there each night to offer a salve for my deep, off season depression.

    And we can all hope Santa will leave a Big Bopper to play left field under Frank Wren’s Christmas tree while we are at it.

    We can only wish. And as long as we’re wishing, let’s wish that Freddy is as good as hoped, and not just another Laroche.


  3. 3 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2010 at 8:27 am


    * Lower Stomach Muscles Failing Tragically?
    * Left-handed Swing Might Find Triple?
    * Large Shirt May Fit Tight?
    * Late Stinging Motivation Finds Teammates?
    * Likes Small Minuscule Factual Trivia?
    * Leprechauns Stole My Ford Truck?

    Hmmm… somehow I think I am straying from the intended point…

    * Let’s Sidestep My Far-out Thoughts


  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I was just showing my age Raisins… Lucky Strikes Means Fine Tobacco… 🙂

    Of course we could co-op it to mean the triples analogy… Who would know?


  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Man, I hate this getting old thingee… and I’m not even old yet… Josie joined a bowling league this fall to give us something to do until spring training starts. Now, those folks are OLD!!! Sadly, they are in better shape than I. 😦 Goes to show what happens when you try to live life too fast, burning the candle at both ends, going for months with 2 hours of sleep per day. Man, I feel like a used up sparkler…. I had my bowling ball re-drilled to accommodate my arthritis and the dufus could not seem to grasp the concept that I could no longer bowl like a normal person and would not drill the finger holes to suit me…. Exasperated, I brought it home and did it myself (like I should have to begin with). Now, if I could just somehow modify my golf clubs…. hummmm…..

    Anyhoo…. The Nationals spring training schedule is out and they have home games against the Braves scheduled for March 4th and 6th at Space Coast Stadium. I think it will dovetail perfectly with out plans to take a cruise this Feb.

    We are trying to make up for all those years of working 16 hour shifts and only seeing each other in passing, working odd schedules.


  6. 6 chrisklob November 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Man, I hate this getting old thingee…

    Gil, it’s better than the alternative!


  7. 7 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but it certainly was not on my radar:

    The reason we had numbers for Joe Mather from 2008 (pretty decent) and 2010 (not so decent), but nothing from 2009 is because he missed all of ’09 with wrist surgery/recovery. Obviously, based on last year’s numbers, the recovery was not complete last season.

    I think this bodes well for 2011 in that we now have a concrete reason for the dropoff that does not involve a chemistry degree. Did y’all know that there were trade discussions for him in ’08 that involved the name Rafael Soriano that were rebuffed by St. Louis?

    Seriously, this could easily fly like a lead zeppelin… but just as easily be a nice pickup on the cheap. It’s really no/low risk from the Braves’ standpoint.


  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Well, if anyone has experience with wrist injuries and outfielders it would be the Braves… Speaking of which, any word on is Schafer is expected to try out with the big club next spring?

    I still think the Braves should keep Matt Diaz around but what do I know, I’m just a blogger….


  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    And this sad news, Sparky Anderson dead at the young age of 76….



  10. 10 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Funny you mention Schafer, Gil. I was thinking about him earlier today with regard to the 4th OF spot. I mentioned earlier that I believe the Braves need a young, defensive oriented minimum salary guy to fill out that 4th OF spot. A guy who can come in late in the game as a defensive replacement. I think Schafer could be that guy. Plus, he might get in the back of Nate’s mind and push him a little…


  11. 11 flbravesgirl November 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Nice, Gil! Thank goodness there’s a new blog. I hadn’t been able to get the last one to work for ages now.

    VOR, how would the leprechauns reach the pedals?


  12. 12 eprisewildcat November 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Hey y’all! I think to make it through the winter the ol’stove will need more than Joe Mather. Interesting pick-up however. Don’t know how much wood the Braves can afford this winter. Not going to be a full cord, maybe just a half cord? Probably just a pick-up load full. Oh well, it should be fun!

    GO BRAVES!!!


  13. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

    A healthy Derrick Lee would be a nice pick up too but the Braves seem pretty determine to use Freddi Freeman next season. Freddi’s thumb injury while playing in the AFL should be a reminder of how quickly a player’s fortune can turn around.

    Sigh… The Braves outfield question should have been settled two years ago but still we continue to dwell in the land of “I hope this works” rather than hiring proven performers.


  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2010 at 7:34 am

    We sure did get spoiled by Andruw Jones didn’t we?


  15. 15 Voice of Raisins November 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

    We sure did get spoiled by Andruw Jones didn’t we?

    Yes… yes we did.

    VOR, how would the leprechauns reach the pedals?

    Lucky Charms boxes tied to their shoes.


  16. 16 Voice of Raisins November 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

    OK… time for the ever popular “Important Dates” feature:

    Nov. 7 -> Free agent filing period and exclusive negotiating window ends at 12:01 a.m. ET. Free agents can sign with any team.

    Nov. 16-17 -> General Managers Meetings, Orlando, Fla.

    Nov. 17-18 -> Owners Meetings, Orlando, Fla.

    Nov. 20 -> Last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to free agents in order to preserve their right to draft-pick compensation.

    Nov. 30 -> Last day for free agents to accept salary-arbitration offers.

    Dec. 2 -> Last day for teams to tender 2011 contracts to players under reserve.

    Dec. 6-9 -> Winter Meetings, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

    That is all of the real deadlines leading up to the Winter Meetings. We’ll worry about the arb dates later…


  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I am really looking forward to spring training this year. I think there will be a little more of an unknown quality to next year’s team. Not sure exactly why I might feel that way but with the old “addition by subtraction” mantra in play, I keep waiting for the Braves to turn into the Pirates. I know, that’s a very scary thought isn’t it?


  18. 18 Carolina Lady November 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    VOR, how would the leprechauns reach the pedals?

    Lucky Charms boxes tied to their shoes. 😆

    I was going to say, “Very close team work!”


  19. 19 berigan2electricboogaloo November 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Gil, excellent as always! 🙂 And Gil, are you eating your veggies? Fruit? I forget, can your knees take riding a stationary bike????


  20. 20 berigan2electricboogaloo November 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    V, I didn’t know Joe Mather had had wrist problems…Matt Diaz wasn’t all that and a bag of chips when we first got him either…

    Ok, some HSL stuff…the guy writing for mlbtrade rumors made this article sound like the Brewers were willing to trade Casey McGee, the Ken Rosenthal article sounds more like IF they were willing to trade him, the A’s might have the pitching, if they signed the hot Japanese import this offseason… http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Oakland-Athletics-Hisashi-Iwakuma-Texas-Rangers-Seattle-Mariners-110610
    Well, I am sure that I speak for all that if he was available, the Braves really should make a move for him..left field in 2011, 3rd in 2012.
    But, since it seems the Brewers are likely to trade Prince Fielder, how can they afford to trade Casey as well???


  21. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Amazing things you can do when you block out the pain Ber…

    Went to an auction today, lots of great stuff that I passed up because I just did not feel like carrying it. I did buy a very nice rifle however. Some things you just can’t pass up.

    Now baseball…. Duh….. I got nothing….


  22. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    And yes, eating right…. and left, might be my problem… 🙂


  23. 23 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    And the Free Agent signing period starts out with a…

    SHHH! You might wake it up!!! 😀


  24. 24 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm


    Over at MLBTR, they have ranked their Top 50 FA’s and listed where they believe they may land. I find it interesting that the Braves are listed as a destination once – Kevin Gregg at #48 – and only in the conversation one other time, regarding Brian Fuentes at #33.

    And even with those, I have to disagree. I don’t believe that Frank will spend any of his very limited funds on a closer when he has very good in-house candidates.

    The only other FA I see on the list that I realistically wouldn’t mind the Braves kicking the tires on would be Scott Podsednik (#44). He’d be a very good LF/leadoff guy if we were not saddled with Nate’s contract and so terribly needing to fill the only other OF spot with a RH bopper. We all need to hope and pray that a full season with the new contacts, some time away from the game, and a new voice at hitting coach can help Nate recapture a portion of his former self.


  25. 25 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Now, should the Braves trade a starting pitcher in order to fill that OF void, then it opens up some other possibilities on that list. In that case, we could easily shop for an inexpensive veteran arm for a 4th starter. There are a few of those on there.

    Should I mention names?

    Brandon Webb needs to rebuild market value. He’d probably come in on a 1 year deal. Same with Kevin Millwood. If Javy Vasquez would sign for 1 year, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I think he can get 2 elsewhere – Nats maybe?


  26. 27 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

    First Nancy Pelosi, then Miller and Morgan… the will of the people heeded twice in 2 weeks!

    Now, how about Berman? 😀


  27. 28 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Rosenthal via Twitter: FA LHP Mike Hampton wants to pitch again, drawing interest.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 😆


  28. 29 berigan2electricboogaloo November 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    V, did you see DOB’s latest column? He made a pretty good argument for Millwood, and not for Javy…All I know is Javy looked terrible(as the Numbers DOB showed) the last have of last year…I mean, first he lost his starting job, then they had to put him back in, then he lost it again…they didn’t even have him on the playoff rosters…something is wrong with his arm, IMO.

    Brandon Webb…an interesting name, but I think he thinks he’s going to see a really nice contract…and was throwing low 80’s in Sept. If he can crank it up, well, sure! He’s got a sinker that should still sink…

    Ok, what does anyone/everyone think of Fat Elvis(Lance Berkman)??? I’d rather he play 1st than left…and of course he seems to have forgotten how to hit right handed…but, with Chipper on the roster, he might be able to help…plus Lance still gets on base a ton, and looked pretty good in the playoffs…I know, Freddie is a better first baseman…but….we have to be “creative” if we had the money, you would sign Crawford or the Caveman and wouldn’t think of Freddie in left….what say use guys???


  29. 30 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I say if we have to have a defensive liability on the field, let’s just keep that liability in LF and go sign Pat Burrell. He’d slot nicely behind Mac at #5 in the lineup. I just hope that Nate is getting in alot of wind sprints over the off-season because he’ll be doing alot of running into the LF gap.

    If we aren’t going to part with a pitcher to get a real RH bopper for LF, I’d just as soon sign Burrell and spend the additional $$$ on the bullpen and bench…

    …and a time machine for Nate. 😆


  30. 32 berigan2electricboogaloo November 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Like the Uni’s V!
    Just one more thing about Berkman, we put up with Glaus for most of the season at 1st, could he be any worse than Berkman? Freeman should be able to play left, unless he has a girly man arm….

    Hey, check out this amazing sneak play in a football game!



  31. 33 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    But, B… Freeman will – immediately, as a rookie – be a Gold Glove candidate at 1B. In LF, he becomes a defensive liability. Why compromise an already questionable defense? Also, why take a kid who will need time to adjust to MLB pitchers, as they all do, and give him a whole new defensive position to muddle his already occupied mental approach?

    And no, Berkman would be no worse than Glaus. But he’d be no better, either.


  32. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I’m still waiting for the creativity to kick in….


  33. 35 flbravesgirl November 10, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I don’t mind Jon Miller quite so much but Joe Morgan is obnoxious and very biased.

    Now can we get rid of the worst of all?! Who does Tim McCarver have nasty pictures of that keeps getting him hired as the lead network broadcaster?


  34. 37 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2010 at 7:22 am

    A couple of thoughts about Torbert, well one anyway… The Washington Redskins used to be the masters of picking 4th and 5th round draft picks who ended up being great contributors to their team. Not so much since Gibbs left but anywhoo… Why not take a chance on a kid like that?

    Different kids develop at different rates, with the art of hitting being so much of a mental game, sometimes it takes a while for a player to get their “mind right”.

    Cool Hand Luke Had some great tags lines didn’t it?

    And speaking of getting their “mind right”… any word on Schafer this winter?


  35. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

    FBG… funny, but it was Miller who always was like fingernails across the chalkboard for me. You are right however on Joe Morgan being very opinionated.

    I enjoyed Kevin Millar and John Smolts who both made their debuts as color men this season. Millar is one of those guys who loves to talk and well, we now know that Smoltzie has never found a microphone he didn’t like either. Both have great insight to the game and I found them to be entertaining and informative.

    As for McCarver… Man up Dion, man up… 🙂


  36. 39 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I got nuthin’…


  37. 40 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Speaking of “nuthin’ “, the Phillies signed Pete Orr.

    In a related story, [yawn]


  38. 41 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    OK, since it is so flippin’ slow newswise, we might as well play the prediction game. I’ll start. Here is my prediction of destinations for some of the top FA’s or other FA’s of interest:

    1. Cliff Lee – Yanks, that one is a lock
    2. Carl Crawford – Angels, pretty dadgum close to a lock
    3. Jayson Werth – Red Sox, seems like a good fit there and you know the Bosox can’t let all of the top FA’s go somewhere else!
    4. Adam Dunn – Cubs, another perfect fit
    5. Adrian Beltre – Bosox, but wouldn’t bet the house on it (maybe Angels… they are ready to spread some $$$ around)
    6. Victor Martinez – Tigers, almost as much a lock as Lee
    7. Rafael Soriano – Angels, it’ll happen… I’ll bet it
    8. Mannywood – who cares?
    9. Derrek Lee – Brewers
    10. Adam LaRoche – Orioles


  39. 42 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    One possible monkey wrench in my above prediction… Should the Rangers shock the world and manage to hang onto Lee, it would throw off my whole list. So, to that end, let me make my amended monkey wrench list:

    1. Cliff Lee – Rangers shock the world
    2. Carl Crawford – Yankees, because they have to make a splash of some sort
    3. Jayson Werth – Angels, because they were stripped of their 1st choice and are determined to obtain a premier FA OF.
    4. Adam Dunn – Cubs, no change here
    5. Adrian Beltre – Bosox, and they are ticked they were shut out of the top 3
    6. Victor Martinez – Tigers, cinch
    7. Rafael Soriano – Angels, it’ll still happen… I’ll bet it
    8. Mannywood – still, who cares?
    9. Derrek Lee – Brewers
    10. Adam LaRoche – Orioles


  40. 43 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Bowman’s latest:


    Nothing new, really, except that he does toss out a relatively new name of Rajai Davis from the A’s. Given that the A”s just obtained David DeJesus from KC, that name could become more prominent. The problem? He’s not a bopper. He is more of a leadoff/steals kinda guy. He does not excite me in the least. I’d just as soon play Matt Young if I’m gonna forego power for speed.


  41. 44 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Now, if you can obtain Davis and a bopper, then I’m good. Don’t see the double dip, though.


  42. 45 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Jermaine Dye has publicly stated his intention to play again in 2011. If I am going to compromise my defense for power in LF with Pat Burrell, I’d rather do it with Dye. Dude is the definition of RH bopper.


  43. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Jermaine Dye… Hummmmmm, very interesting….


  44. 47 flbravesgirl November 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    3rd straight Silver Slugger for Mac!

    Already checking out Spring Training schedules here. Sadly the Braves are not visiting McKechnie Field ( or any other relatively close park)this spring.


  45. 48 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

    OK… pure speculation from the dream world here…

    Looking above, I see that I chose Milwaukee as a landing spot for Derrek Lee. I still believe it’d be a great spot for him because the Brew Crew will certainly try to parlay their most desirable part, and their most unaffordable part – Cecil Fielder – this off-season to somebody for pitching. Why do I say this? Well, let’s just ask the Brewers’ owner himself.

    From an August 29 report on MLBTR:

    “We know we’ve got a problem, which is starting pitching,” said [Mark] Attanasio. “We, as an organization, need to face that reality and address it, as opposed to shrink from it or excuse it.”

    Attanasio goes on to say the free agent market isn’t “the perfect answer,” and that the team may have to look into trading a position player for pitching. GM Doug Melvin has said in the past that he prefers to trade position players in the offseason, when there are more potential suitors.

    OK… so here’s what they have, as I see it. They will almost certainly trade Fielder, acquiring the impact arm they desire. But while it could possibly yield a 2nd pitcher, likely a 2nd one would wither be a) a back end of the rotation type, or b) a prospect. I think they will make one other trade besides Fielder in search of another starter. Why do I think that?

    OK, let me expound. Many national writers look at Milwaukee as a very viable landing spot for DLee. He’ll likely go on a 1-2 year incentive laden deal given his recent chronic back and hand problems. It only make sense, and it’s the kind of deal that illy can afford. DLee would be a great fit in their young clubhouse, too. But that could leave another guy still in the lurch. Remember Mat Gamel? The guy who was supposed to take over at 3B after a “get by” season of Casey McGehee? One problem, the “get by” season was McGehee’s breakout season. Now Milly has 2 guys that play virtually the same positions. Both play primarily 3B, but have dabbled at 1B and OF. The difference? Gamel bats LH and has one year less service time.

    I believe that Milly could look to trade one of these two in order to bring back a #2 or 3 starter. I believe that they may prefer to hang onto Gamel over McGehee given they will lose Fielder’s LH power, and given the additional year of contract control.

    I get it, though. On the surface, it simply looks like they could trade Fielder for a big return and have in house replacement options. True, yes. But if they want to get anywhere in a winnable division – who really stands out over there? – they need starting pitching.

    I think we might have one we could spare.

    Just sayin’…


  46. 49 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    So that said, would you trade one of our starters for McGehee?

    Let’s take a gander at Mr. McGehee.

    #1. He is still pre-arb. His service time after this season is only 2.028 years. His 1st arb year is 2012, and he doesn’t hit FA until 2015. He is controllable for a few years. POSITIVE.

    #2. HE is a righty masher. Last season, his slash line was .285/.337/.464 with 23HR and 104 RBI batting primarily 5th in the order. His is easily the bat we need. Easily. POSITIVE.

    #3. Yes, his main position is 3B. We have a 3B. He has played in the OF in the majors, albeit it very little. But if Chipper can make the transition to full time LF, is there any reason to believe that McGehee could not also make that transition? The league is full of 3B/LF moves. And he would be a pretty dang nice guy to place at 3B on those days when Chipper needs a rest or a rehab. Casey also plays 1B, which might allow him to be the guy to relieve FF against the tough lefties. My point is, his position on the field is fluid. He can only augment the positional flexibility that served us well last season. And do I even need to mention the inevitable need for a real replacement at 3B anyway? POSITIVE.

    If I were Frank, I would be certain to hang out with Mr. Melvin at Disney next week. I’d hang out with him alot. I might sit in his back pocket. The Bible says we are not to covet. So I do not. But I come pretty dadgum close to coveting Casey McGehee for our lineup.


  47. 50 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Buster Olney: Rival teams believe the Rays are willing to trade B.J. Upton. What’s more, Tampa Bay wouldn’t have to be overwhelmed to agree to a deal.

    Really? OK… how about Kenshin Kawakami, Nate McLouth and… oh, I dunno… Peter Moylan? Underwhelming enough?



  48. 51 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm


  49. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo November 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Ever feel like you have posted after reading many comments, only to find you haven’t??? Gettin’ old…or somethin’

    Mark Bowman’s column did not give me much confidence. Pat Burrell might be too expensive?? 😦

    Jermaine Dye?? really??? I mean, perhaps a year off would help him out, but he hit .179 for the second half of 2009. I’d rather put FF in left and fat Elvis at 1st thank you. Of Course, I seem to be the only one in the world that likes that idea! 😉

    V, you make a good case for McGehee! I would be all for it…I just wonder if the Brewers are willing to give up 2 of their 3 best hitters from last year…of course, if someone makes them an offer they can’t refuse….


  50. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

    It always will come down to pitching in the end. Of course you can’t win consistently with a bunch of singles hitters either. Nor can you get by with only one bopper. Too easy to pitch around.

    While Fielder will land a big contract, I still think of him being defensively challenged. Having a good glove man like DLee would make the Brew Crew’s pitching staff better too.

    I really liked Derrek Lee on the Braves team. It was a shame he was so dinged up when they got him, he could have been a force.


  51. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Oops, Fielder already has the big contract…. Will land somewhere with deep pockets controlling the levers.


  52. 55 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Kawakami clears waivers, dropped from Braves roster


    I’m gonna make a wild guess that KK is not in the Braves’ plans for next season…


  53. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    V, I think that’s a good guess! 😛


  54. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Just to put this out there… Recently I heard somewhere that it was the opinion of one world renown poker player that in order to be a successful gambler, one had to have a total disregard for money. The more I think about it, I am inclined to believe that the same may be true of successful sports franchises. That is to say, successful in championships won as opposed to turning a profit.

    Every now and then we hear of someone striking it rich on a long shot but isn’t it more often true that the vast majority of winners were well heeled to begin with. The old Rich get Richer mantra.


  55. 58 Carolina Lady November 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Just wanted to y’all know that Gil’s mom passed away this afternoon. Your prayers would sure be welcome to Miss Josie and him.


  56. 59 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Gil, my heartfelt prayers are with you and your family.


  57. 60 berigan2electricboogaloo November 15, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Gil, so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing! My thoughts and prayers for you and your family….


  58. 61 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

    According to MLBTR, there is now a 3rd Japanese team inquiring on KK. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have joined the Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters (how do you fight ham?) in kicking the tires on KK. The more teams the better. I am sure at this point they’re all gonna drag it out a bit to try to maximize the $$$ Frank will eat. But with each additional interested team, it gives Frank a bit more leverage.

    Nick Cafardo (sp?) of the Boston Globe still speculates that DLowe is on the block. I suppose it’s possible, but I don’t see Frank looking to move him anymore… not unless he gets a really good offer in return. I just don’t see it.

    Cafardo also still sees Juan Rivera as a good fit for the Braves. Maybe… Not the elite player we all seek, but likely the kind of player we’ll get.

    I suppose by now you have all seen that the Marlins and Dan Uggla are at an impasse in negotiations on an extension, and that they are now gauging the market on him. Don’t get your hopes up, though. As great as he’d be in our LF, there is almost no way they’ll trade him within the division unless they get a king’s ransom in return. That said, wherever he might land could free up another trade possibility, though. We might still benefit from the ripple effect. We’ll definitely benefit from him leaving the Marlins.


  59. 62 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Ken Rosenthal must read our little ol’ blog. His latest includes:

    The Brewers, though, are open to trading any of their other top offensive players as they try to upgrade their rotation — second baseman Rickie Weeks, third baseman Casey McGehee and especially first baseman Prince Fielder.

    The Brewers’ problem is they don’t want to trade for Nos. 4 and 5 starters, and teams are unwilling to trade their Nos. 1-2-3. The Braves, for example, won’t trade right-hander Tommy Hanson. They might be open on righty Jair Jurrjens, but only for the right deal.

    Could Casey effectively play LF? I don’t know. He wasn’t exactly Brooks Robinson at 3B. But the same could be said for Uggla, whom everyone assumes could just easily go out and play LF. I think I’d like to find out. I’d love his bat in our lineup.


  60. 63 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    OK… interesting conundrum (FOB?)…

    Apparently, I am dead wrong in my assessment of the Uggla thing. By all accounts, the Marlins are nor only willing to trade within the division, ATL is “in on talks” for him. This according to the beat writer across the street.

    Now, that all said, what would he be worth to you? He’s gonna cost a whole lot, no doubt. But, man… he would bring a whole lot to this team. The early “buzz” has him remaining at 2B, with Prado moving to LF, where he has played. In fact, he has played there a good bit in winter ball. The only way you would move an All-Star 2B to another position, is if you can replace him with another All-Star 2B. This is certainly the case with Uggla.

    Now, next case… you gotta be able to sign him long term. You cannot, I said cannot let him walk ala Teixeira. No way. It’d be a PR nightmare, so you know there will HAVE to be a real commitment from the Braves FOT’s.

    But the real question comes down to this: What do you have to give up? They are gonna want a bunch, no doubt. You can start with one of the big 3 pitching prospects – being Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino. As long as it isn’t Teheran, I think I can live with it. Next, you might include the name Kimbrel. I would NOT go there. Dunn? Yes. Marek? Yes. Kimbrel? No. Not if I’m giving up one of the big 3. You probably have to give up another guy as well. Maybe an everyday prospect. The names would probably start with somebdy like C prospect Christian Bethancourt. Maybe SS Matt Lipka, who is likely targeted for a move to CF.

    It’s a hefty sum, and I could be wayyyy off in my assessment of FLA’s asking price. After all, they are kind of being forced into a trade in some ways. But Uggla is almost the perfect acquisition. He hits RH. He has great power. He kills the Braves as a Marlin. He gives you positional versatility given the status of our “long in the tooth” 3B.

    I like him. I like him alot. I fear another Tex moment…


  61. 64 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Honestly, from all angles, I think I’d rather see the pursuit of McGehee come to fruition. He’s still pre-arb, younger, and wouldn’t cost quite as much – although he’ll still cost alot. Plus, the pieces sent wont come back to haunt you in your own division.

    If you could get him with JJ and Marek, wouldn’t you do it?


  62. 65 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Bad call on Posey for ROY. Without the World Series pub, he doesn’t win it. HeyMaker was robbed.


  63. 66 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Neftali Feliz wins it in the AL. Salt in the wound.


  64. 67 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    The GM meetings begin tomorrow in Orlando. Betcha there are some neckties already having dinner with one another. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall down there? Hey, just where is Mr. Fly after all? It has been a considerable amount of time since he buzzed around…


  65. 68 berigan2electricboogaloo November 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    V, I think the ROY votes are tallied at the end of the Regular season…I think…hang on…hmmm, wiki didn’t mention it, but still pretty sure.

    As much as it pains me to say it, Posey was the better player. Both had 18 HR’s , Posey had 67 RBI’s in 108 games, Heyward 72 RBI’s in 142 games.

    Plus, Posey plays the hardest position to play, and gets raves from his pitchers on pitch selection.

    From DOB, JHey started off with a 301 average, 10 homers, 38 RBIs and league-leading 1.017 OPS through his first 46 games. His thumb injury really hurt him.

    No shame in coming in 2nd this year.


  66. 70 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 12:07 am

    V, Mr. Fly…wow, hadn’t thought about him in a long time! Hopefully he and his alter ego are doing ok!


  67. 71 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Yes, B, I was made to understand that the votes are cast prior to the playoffs.

    Still, he had to catch Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Zito, & Bumgartner. (Sounds like a law firm…) Seriously, how hard can that be?

    Yes, this is sour grapes, but HeyMaker’s my player. Mine, you hear me? Mine!


  68. 72 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I can hear you Brother V, testify! 😉
    So V, what would you be willing to give up for Justin Upton????


  69. 73 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    B, I honestly do not know that much about JUpton. So it’s hard to say. I must do some reading…

    I’m actually kinda locked in on my Casey McGehee envy at the moment. I read this morning that the Crew’s GM said pretty emphatically that they are NOT shopping Prince Fielder. That tells me that they must be willing to trade McGehee, or Gamel, if they truly are desiring to make any strides in improving their pitching. I just believe they would do a deal for McGehee. And while he isn’t going to win any Gold Gloves, he isn’t as bad defensively as Uggla, he isn’t on a 2 year decline pattern like BJ Upton, he isn’t in full decine like Juan Rivera, he isn’t way past his prime like Pat Burrell. I like him, and believe he could transform our lineup.


  70. 74 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    OK.. did some reading. He may be the most costly in terms of trading pieces of all the names out there. Scary…

    I don’t have a feel whatsoever of what Frank might be willing to give up to get back an impact bat, but if he’s actually discussing Uggla, he must be willing to give up quality somewhere. Randall Delgado seems most likely given that he’s another righty pitcher, he isn’t coming off injury (like Vizcaino), and he isn’t named Julio Teheran. It’ll have to start there, and still include another real prospect – be it a reliever or even C prospect Christian Bethancourt. I’d hate to give up Bethancourt.


  71. 75 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    V, it of course clouds ones judgement, but I remember Justin just pounding the braves a season or two ago…Honestly, I don’t know why they would trade him unless they think they can get 2 pitchers, or a pitcher and a hitter…he’s still so young(23 I think)

    I worry if we what Burrell can get is too rich for the Braves ownership, then can we even go after Uggla, who will clearly get more than Burrell???

    I read this on Gammons’ latest blog…hmmm….

    The Braves have all kinds of pitching coming, but the current ownership has given indications that they’re watching costs for a future sale; the fact that they’re not interested in extending Frank Wren long-term after the job he did last season has been taken by many in the organization as a bad sign



  72. 76 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    V, I don’t know if you saw this on MLBTR or not, I missed it earlier….

    Trading Upton would be very difficult from a public relations standpoint unless the D’Backs receive a comparable young star in return. It’s difficult to picture Upton terrorizing the D’Backs over the next five years as a member of the Rockies, Dodgers, Padres, or Giants, but any club could afford Upton financially. In the opinion of Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi, the Braves would be at the front of the line for Upton and they have the young arms to pull off a deal (Twitter link).


  73. 77 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Yeah… I saw that.

    The wet blanket part of me just simply wants to say that any and all of this right now is just speculation anyway. IMO, they’d have to be blown away to trade JUpton. And, by the way… that’s Kevin Towers there now. He and Frank are not exactly BFF’s…

    (Think Jake Peavey.)


  74. 78 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Holy crap we got Uggla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  75. 79 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm


    For Omar and Mike Dunn. That’s it. No prospects. Omar and Mike Dunn. If I could personally take Frank out to dinner and shine his boots, I would.


  76. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm


    man, I really like Infante, but to get Uggla??? Wren is the man!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    one thing I just read when I saw your posts, just doesn’t sound right…
    Uggla is expected to play second base for Atlanta. His arrival frees up Martin Prado to share time at first base with rookie Freddie Freeman, provides insurance for Chipper Jones at third, and also log some at-bats in left field.

    Wouldn’t it make much more sense to put Uggla in left???

    Now, do we have to trade some salary away, or did Liberty say you can have the money for Uggla????


  77. 81 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    When you consider that Martin actually has logged some innings in LF (he has always played OF in Winter ball), and that Uggs -like that? – has not played OF since ’04 in the minors, it makes sense. Also, Martin is faster, allowing him to get to more balls out there. I’m gonna add one more take to this as well… I like the idea of moving Martin to LF because it will take him out of harm’s way at 2B. How many times have we seen some other team’s goon bearing down on him? I think moving him to LF will be good for his career.


  78. 82 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Prado (R)
    Hey (L)
    Chipper (S)
    Uggs (R)
    Mac (L)
    FF (L)
    Gonzo (R)
    Nate (L)

    I like it. It’s balanced, has good OBP guys at the top, good power in the middle, and is no longer lefty heavy.

    I’m going to go and fish my “A” cap outta my closet! 😀


  79. 83 Carolina Lady November 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    per Fox Sports:
    “Uggla, eligible for free agency at the end of next season, recently rejected a four-year, $48 million contract offer from the Marlins. He is seeking a fifth guaranteed year.” hmmmm.


  80. 84 Carolina Lady November 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    “Uggla could find himself positioned between the switch-hitting Jones and left-handed All-Star catcher Brian McCann, who won his fourth Silver Slugger Award last week and spent a portion of Tuesday celebrating his club’s latest key acquisition.

    “I think Brian McCann said it best: You can never have enough guys who play the game like Dan Uggla wants to play the game,” Wren said. “He wants to play every day. He plays hard. He plays with intensity and gives it everything he has. For all those reasons, we’re real excited about this trade.”

    Uggla is coming off a standout season, during which he produced career highs in batting average (.287), homers (33) and RBIs (105). Recently crowned with his first Silver Slugger Award, the 30-year-old second baseman has averaged 31 homers during his first five Major League seasons.

    According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only Major League second baseman to hit at least 20 homers in five consecutive seasons.”

    good article: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101116&content_id=16117314&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb


  81. 85 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Yes, it is certainly a possibility that we only have him around for 1 year. But you know what? Omar was only signed for 1 more year, too. It means we essentially gave up a young reliever for a minimum of one year of boppage. But, who knows? His terms may change in ATL. If you ask me, Uggla took the hard line stand against FLA because he didn’t want to play there long term. Could you blame him? Crazy owner, unstable management, heavily favoring the south FL Latin community, bad weather, bad stadium, etc.

    I think especially given the way he was suddenly rushed out of town, he must have made it clear he didn’t want to be there. The way I see it, he now has a full season to demonstrate that a) he wants to be in ATL long term, b) ATL wants him long term. This way, both sides get a year’s courtship period, and if it doesn’t work out, there isn’t a messy divorce. We just part amicably.


  82. 87 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Hey, CL… you time travelling? Look at our time stamps… 😀


  83. 88 flbravesgirl November 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I kind of have mixed feelings about this. Yes, Uggla can hit but he scares me at 2nd. And I really like Omar. Dan’s going to have to win me over.


  84. 89 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only Major League second baseman to hit at least 20 homers in five consecutive seasons.”

    CL, that’s amazing! And I think he was a rule 5 player too!

    V, very good point if he walks after the season. We didn’t have to give up the next Adam Wainwright for one year of him!

    Spring training starts next week, right??? 😛


  85. 90 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Interesting…saw Wren interviewed on the MLB channel, and it sounds like he is thinking Prado will be in left, unless Chipper isn’t ready for the start of the season.


  86. 91 Carolina Lady November 17, 2010 at 5:04 am

    I’ve had a lot of ground to cover, Raisins! The clock hasn’t caught up with me yet!

    Or, it could be that I just remembered to reset the blog back to standard time.

    Whichever fits the storyline better.



  87. 92 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 9:54 am

    One other thought on Uggla being a FA after the 2011 season. From a management standpoint, the Braves will have a ton of flexibility going into 2012. Not only will Uggla’s $7+MM come off the books, so will Nate’s $10+MM, and KK’s remaining balance. We don’t know about Chipper, but the possibility looms that he could retire, and his money will technically come off the payroll. (Although should Chipper decide to retire, he won’t completely walk away from his guaranteed cash. I am sure that he and the team will work out a “lifetime services” deal that will pay him the remaining balance over many years.) So, if DanU and the Braves want to work out a deal, the $$$ should be available. But it could be, too, that there are some better options on the horizon, and the the FOT’s don’t want to tie up the cash right away.

    Lots to think about there…


  88. 93 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

    So… can we play the “I’m the manager and am gonna make out the lineup card” game? I know some people (across the street) get very annoyed by that. I don’t get why, personally, but then again I don’t get alot of what is done and said over there.

    When I posted the one above, I was still stuck in the “set in stone” practice of placing Chipper in the 3 hole. But there’s a new sheriff in town, and I don’t think he is as married to that practice as his predecessor.

    So, here ya go. My lineup as of today, given what looks to be the 2011 starting lineup:

    1. Marteeen, LF (R)
    2. HeyHey, RF (L)
    3. Uggs, 2B (R)
    4. Mac, C (L)
    5. Chipper, 3B (S)
    6. Freddie, 1B (L)
    7. Gonzo, SS (R)
    8. Nate, CF (L)

    That’s a dang good lineup. I don’t want Chipper’s creaky knees in the top 3, and I want Mac hitting behind Uggs so that DannyBoy gets pitched to. Seriously, the more I look at that lineup… there is alot of scoring potential right there. Martin and Jason are both high OBP guys, Uggs and Mac are both high RBI guys, and then you follow with the venerable bat of Chipper (whom I am not quite as ready to put out to pasture as some), then up and comer Freddie, then Gonzo and a hopefully resurgent Nate.

    It’s a good ‘un, y’all.


  89. 94 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

    So, by my scorecard, the remaining items on the shopping list are bullpen, bench. That about right? I estimate that we should still have about $7.5MM or so left to spend. I think we can get it done…


  90. 95 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    CL, amongst her many talents, add time traveller! 😆

    V, that’s an interesting lineup! At first, I was thinking I wouldn’t chance a thing…but as I looked back up the lineup, I was thinking JHey and FF should switch places. We frankly don’t know what exactly we will get from FF…will he provide much power??? I know JHey has more speed(Well, I assume) but I think his bat would be more productive down the lineup…FF would see tons of fastballs in front of Uggla…of course, you could argue that having the patient Chipper in front of him would be a good influence.

    I feel less strongly, just a thought that McCann could bat 3rd since we know he’s are best overall hitter and teams useally put that hitter 3rd. But, he’s a slow catcher, who will need to miss 20-30 games a year. Uggla then would be the cleanup guy.

    Hey, didn’t Freddi G. say he wrote out 8-9 different lineups??? Fun to guess what might be next season! 🙂


  91. 96 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    OK… I am going through these exercises just to entertain myself, so I appreciate your patience. But here goes. An examination of last year’s opening day 25 man roster compared to where we stand at the moment. This year is in bold. I am assuming that Chipper will be there. If not, we cross that bridge at that time:

    Everyday lineup:
    1. C – Mac, Mac
    2. 1B – Glaus, Freddie
    3. 2B – Prado, Uggla
    4. 3B – Chipper, Chipper
    5. SS – Yunel, Gonzo
    6. LF – Diaz/Melky, Prado
    7. CF – Nate, Nate
    8. RF – JHey, JHey

    Starting pitching:
    9. Huddy, Huddy
    10. DLowe, DLowe
    11. JJ, JJ
    12. Hanson, Hanson
    13. KK, Minor/Beachy

    14. (Long) Chavez, ??? Prediction: Martinez
    15. (R) Medlen, ??? Prediction: Proctor/Courdier/Marek
    16. (L) Reyes, Venters
    17. (L) EOF, EOF
    18. (R) Moylan, Moylan
    19. (R) Saito, ??? NEED
    20. (CL)Wagner, Kimbrel

    21. (Backup MI, Utility) Omar, ??? NEED
    22. (4th OF) Melky/Diaz, ??? NEED
    23. (Backup C) DRoss, DRoss
    24. (Backup 1B/OF, LHPH) Hinske, Mather (RHPH)
    25. (Backup IF, LHPH) Conrad, Conrad

    That seem about right?


  92. 97 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    So, by my calculations, we need to pick up 3 more bodies to flesh out the roster and should have about $7.5MM or so to do it.


  93. 98 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Yes, Ber, Fredi is probably going through several reams of paper making out possible lineups. I read this morning where he was quoted as saying he’d like JHey dropped in the lineup to give him more RBI opportunities. Then again, he was also quoted as saying that he wanted Nate back to his old self and batting higher in the order. So there ya go.

    I could see this one, in a perfect world:

    1. Prado
    2. Nate
    3. Chipper
    4. Mac
    5. Uggla
    6. JHey
    7. Freddie
    8. Gonzo

    That, though, assumes alot…


  94. 99 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    FYI – I believe I counted 36 currently on the 40-man roster.


  95. 100 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Hmmm… I wonder…

    Edgar Renteria wants to come back for another year as a backup, and was interested in finishing his career in either St. Louis or FLA. Renteria said, “In any case, I spoke with important baseball people like Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, and Manny Mota, and they suggested that I continue, and I’m motivated.”

    So, I can assume that he mentioned St. Louis and FLA since he played there in the NL, and did not mention ATL because we had Omar. Well, now we don’t have Omar and FLA does. Wonder if he’d consider coming back for 1 more year as a backup MIF for us? Wonder how much he’d cost? I would put us about equal with St. Louis in the amount of $$$ we could offer…


  96. 101 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    V, I really like that perfect world lineup! Nate’s speed and power would really work there if he can find himself again…
    Team may need to hold onto some of that moola for any unforeseen issues during the season…


  97. 102 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Very good and interesting report from Mr. O’B:

    Just talked to Wren about CF Plan B. He said they feel good about McLouth after progress he made during minor-league stint last season and after he returned to majors.

    He said Jordan Schafer and Matt Young are both candidates for backup CF, or Braves could add a bench guy with CF ability. Young has a plus in his versatility, can play lot of positions. [including 2B and 3B]

    Schafer is set to begin hitting soon with new hitting coach Larry Parrish. Schafer’s finally not having the tingling-nerve problems in his wrist that had lingered for much of past year.

    That is very good news. If Schafer could give us any production whatsoever as the 4th OF, he could push Nate for playing time. That would be a great scenario from a couple of standpoints. 1) I’d just like to see Schafer make it back after all of the adversity, and 2) he’s already in house and cheap. That would leave the remaining $$$ for an experienced RHRP and backup SS.


  98. 103 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    One more thing…

    Given Matt Young’s defensive versatility (ala Omar), he could edge Conrad out and not Schafer. Young could be this year’s Super Utility guy, pushing out Conrad and giving us alot better chances of re-signing Hinske.

    It could happen.


  99. 104 Voice of Raisins November 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Projected 2011 Opening Day lineup (not necessarily in batting order):

    1. Prado, LF – All-Star 2010
    2. Nate, CF – All-Star 2008
    3. Chipper,3B – All-Star 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2008
    4. Mac, C – All-Star 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
    5. Uggla, 2B – All-Star 2006, 2008
    6. JHey, RF – All-Star 2010
    7. Freddie, 1B – Rookie, International League MVP 2010
    8. Gonzo, SS – All-Star 1999
    9. Huddy, P – All-Star 2000, 2004, 2010

    Pretty dadgum cool…


  100. 105 eprisewildcat November 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm


    I’m amazed that things have developed so quickly for the Braves. Dan Uggla? Root for Dan Uggla?? Doesn’t that seem a little strange to everyone??? Oh well… at least he won’t be beating the Braves brains in anymore and he does play hard. I think that Fredi really wanted him in the line-up. Can you blame him? The Braves really need his big right handed bat.

    Keep up the line-up speculation boys and girls. We really should put up some crooked numbers next year!

    GO BRAVES!!!


  101. 106 Carolina Lady November 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Superb thoughts, Raisins! It’s great fun coming up with potential line-ups.


  102. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Good morning, first let me thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and good wishes. They truly did mean a lot to JoAnn and I. Even thought you may think you are prepared for someone’s passing, when it occurs you can still be thrown for a loop. I thank God for Miss Josie for she has been my rock these past few days.

    Now baseball… Dan Uggla… Certainly no “Gold Glover” but a heck of an upgrade with the bat for sure. Well, not so much over Marteen but still you have to play people somewhere and Prado is the consummate team player. I think he would coach third base if he thought there is where the team needed him most. I hate for the Braves to lose a player like Omar Infante’ but still, Infante’ and Dunn are a pretty low price for a bopper like Uglla.

    I think finding a bench guy to fill in at short will be a lot easier than people might think. That is, as long as they don’t expect to get a player who will hit above .200…

    Schafer’s name being mentioned again eh? Does not bode well for Matty Diaz even though Matt has made it pretty plan he will not be over charging for his services. I still like Matt, I think he is a clutch kind of guy… It’s not like the Braves paid a lot to get him either, just saying….


  103. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2010 at 3:55 am

    By the way, this was a good trade for the Marlins too, they got an excellent glove man and a good relief pitcher, two areas they needed to improve upon. The Fish already have other boppers in their line up. They need guys who can get on base, Infante’s certainly fills that need.


  104. 109 Carolina Lady November 18, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Gil, you know that my heart has really gone out to you. It knocks everything in your world off-kilter, though you’d think that it wouldn’t. And it apparently takes a long time to finish making adjustments. 5 months have passed since my mother died and it is still very, very fresh. Please give Miss Josie a big hug from me and here’s one for you.

    On Uggla – I read a quote somewhere where it was said, “Uggla is a gold-glove 2nd baseman – when he’s at bat.” Hope that remains true for his entire tour of duty with the Braves, no matter how long that actually is.

    And can’t you just hear the witticisms that Skip would come up with playing with Uggla’s name? I’ll never forget him.

    It’s nearly 5:30 a.m. so I think I’ll quit work for today and go sleep for a while. 😀


  105. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Gil, again, so sorry for your loss…CL put things so well.

    When I was younger, I thought if a parent lived to X number of years, I would be “ok” with it. Wouldn’t want it to happen of course, but…well, it just doesn’t work that way.

    My Dad and his Mom really didn’t get along well at all(sadly, it was the way she was, my Mom and I suffered her wrath to a lesser extent as well) still, by Dad cried like I had never seen when she passed…my Mom as well..


  106. 111 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Gil, I fully expect Infante to get a game winning hit or two against the Braves, which of course will be painful to watch, but if Uggla hits 25-30 Homers, and drives in 100 + runs, I will be ok with it! 🙂


  107. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    So, who is on the market as a utility infielder who can play a decent shortstop?


  108. 113 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Adam Everett? He doesn’t hit much, but he can pick ’em. Uh, wait.. we have one of those in Diory.


  109. 114 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Craig Counsell? Edgar Renteria?


  110. 115 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Juan Castro?

    Ryan Theriot could be non-tendered…

    I’ll tell ya. For a backup middle infielder, I want defense. I also don’t want to take too much of my remaining budget. I think I could be happy with Diory, and look for offense elsewhere.


  111. 116 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Remember, Joe Mather can play some 3B and 2B, although he’ll likely log most of his innings with the occasional resting of Freddie at 1B. And Matt Young can’t be counted out in making the roster either. He’d make the rookie minimum, can play all 3 OF positions as well as 2B and 3B.

    Alot of moving parts to be considered in rounding out the bench. Gotta have a backup CF because there currently isn’t one on the roster. Same for SS.

    Still much work to be done.


  112. 117 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

    This is why Tim Hudson is an All-Star, and I ain’t talking about sliders and sinkers:



  113. 118 Carolina Lady November 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Just a terrific article, Raisins! Thanks for posting that!


  114. 119 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Here is a very reasonable and well thought out assessment mapping out a plan to address the Braves remaining needs:



  115. 120 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    So… anybody see the uni number that Danny-boy will be wearing this season?


    What’s the big deal about 26? It was worn by Conrad last season. Ouch!


  116. 121 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    According to DOB, the Braves have made a contract offer to Eric Hinske.

    Bad omen day for both Diaz and Conrad…


  117. 122 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Mr. O’B talked to Mr. Uggla about his interest in Atlanta long term:

    “Obviously very interested. It’s something we have to sit down and talk about and discuss. Whatever the years and amount of money, that’s up to us to come to an agreement on, given that opportunity.

    “With that said, I’m very interested in staying here for longer than just a year. Very interested to get to know everybody in the Braves organization a lot better, and I’m sure they’re interested to get to know me. I’m sure they don’t just do things on a whim. They want to know who they’re investing in. They want to know what kind of player they’re going to get, and probably on top of that, what kind of person.

    “And same goes for me. I want to be around people that I’m going to like. And from what I’ve met so far, everybody seems like they’re just an amazing organization. Frank’s been great, the few times I’ve talked to him so far. I’ve heard nothing but great things about everybody in this organization. So I’m sure that we’re both looking forward to getting something [done].”


  118. 123 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm



  119. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm


    Yes, mighty quiet isn’t it?

    Josie has me pretty busy dealing with her grief, translation… She gets sad if she is not busy, needless to say, she has me exhausted. We have been busy around the house trying to get all the Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving so she can have the house lighted when the kids all come for dinner. Now I don’t mind doing it but I don’t move all that well to begin with so it takes me longer to snap to it when she barks for me to come to attention… Sigh….

    Now baseball…. Best quote I have heard so far about Dan Uggla is “he is a gold glover at 2nd base when he is in the batter’s box”

    I’m pretty sure Diaz will be playing ball next spring for somebody, likely the Nats or the Diamond Backs.


  120. 125 Carolina Lady November 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Raisins, Dan wore #6 but obviously nobody else in the Braves organization will wear that number. I’d bet that at the first home game of 2011, #6 will be retired and hung on one of the walls.

    I’m really going to miss seeing Bobby but, at the same time, I’m excited to see what Fredi will do.

    And Uggla. He better not turn out to be an “uggla” player!



  121. 126 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Braves, good.

    Not Braves, bad.


  122. 127 Carolina Lady November 22, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Raisins, have you noticed how very similar the hot stoves are on your avatar and the pic in the lead?


  123. 128 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I did notice. Sadly, I do not have the Braves cap on mine. All I have is a couple of pots. I guess I can’t complain that I don’t have a pot to…

    … never mind… 😳


  124. 129 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    No drama surrounding the Braves as the deadline approaches to offer arb to impending FA’s. Derrek Lee is the only Brave in that category, and there ain’t no way in Helena that he gets offered.

    However, it may help loosen what has been thus far a very stagnant FA market.

    I do not see it having any affect on the Braves from a buying end either.

    No, I think the Braves will do very little between now and spring. They have an offer on the table to Hinske, they could be active in the Rule 5 draft, they’ll monitor names that are non-tendered…

    If I were a betting man, I’d bet that they look for cheap RHRP, but if one doesn’t fall into their laps, they’ll fill it from within. Same for a backup IF. They have Diory on the cheap, but if someone were to fall into their lap cheap, then maybe they take a look.

    I really don’t see them looking too hard for anyone else. They have a little money left over, but if Hinske accepts the Braves offer (maybe a little over the $1MM for 1 year he signed for last year) they should still have $5-6MM under their “cap”. They could well hang onto that for Frank to play with after the season starts. Wouldn’t surprise me. They can truly fill their remaining needs from within, although we’d all like to see more and better options. I suppose time will tell..


  125. 130 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    So, according to Mark Bowman, the Braves have offered Hinske a 1 year deal at $1.5MM. Hinske wants 2 years. If it’s me, I go the 2. I go 2yr/2.75MM.

    But that’s just me, and I don’t have a door with my name on it anywhere…


  126. 131 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    V, I guess they have to have some in reserve if for no other reason that Nate stinks of the place, or FF doesn’t hit the ground running…and it sure is possible…how many 21-22 y.o. 1st basemen do you see at the M.L. level???

    I’d definitely offer Hinske 2 years…Like with Brooks, without him, we likely don’t make the playoffs…you really don’t find guys who can hit double digits in homers playing part time, or coming off the bench…


  127. 133 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Ah… well then, if I update my avatar to the stove with the Braves cap, then there should be no objection. Sweet!


  128. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    So… Hinske is playing hardball with the Braves in asking for a two year deal worth 2.75 mil… If I were Frank, I’d do it if Ski would agree to go on Nuti-Systems for the winter.

    Still would like to see the Braves bring back Diaz but they don’t appear inclined to do so.


  129. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Looks more and more like Matt Young will be vying for the fourth outfielder spot.


  130. 136 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm


    The Braves have signed four players, according to [Baseball America’s Matt] Eddy. Outfielder Jose Constanza, 27, batted .319/.373/.394 at Triple-A for the Indians; 28-year-old infielder Ed Lucas hit .307/.398/.480 at Triple-A for the Royals; utilityman Wilkin Castillo can catch and play in the infield and outfield, but hasn’t hit Triple-A pitching and Shawn Bowman, 25, hit 22 homers at Double-A.


  131. 137 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Gil, I have no problem at all with Matt Young being the 4th OF next season, as long as he simply wins the job in spring. Same goes for Jordan Schafer, or whomever. I like competition. It makes people better.


  132. 138 Carolina Lady November 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    😆 @ Raisins! You’re welcome! 😆


  133. 139 Carolina Lady November 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Brewers are making offers to Hinske. Said to be offering the 2-yr deal he wants – and he’s from WI – closer to home, etc.


  134. 141 berigan2electricboogaloo November 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    CL, I’d take a chance on him…though I don’t know that Prado can play center. Could JHey??? Not too likely though….

    Hey, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! 🙂


  135. 142 Voice of Raisins November 24, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    No thanks… Berkman can’t hit lefties anymore.


  136. 143 Voice of Raisins November 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  137. 144 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Some fan took the time – ALOT of time – to sift through every team’s minor league affiliates and compile a list of Rule 5 draft eligible players, and even bolded player names to keep an eye on.

    I took a couple of seconds and copied the link.


    In life, there are those who invent the wheel, and those who simply turn the key and drive on.

    Vroom, vroom. 😀


  138. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Good morning all, I hope everyone had a good and glorious Thanksgiving… All that food, all those people… One would have thought Josie had opened a soup kitchen. Of course it still was short of what mom use to fix for Thanksgiving, she is the only person I knew who would fix not only ham and turkey but would also fix a roast beef and fry chicken. Much like going to Golden Corral but tastier. I am purposely staying away from the scales this week.

    Now baseball…. Great link Raisins, anyone else remember that Uggla was a rule 5 draft guy? There are always some gems to be mined in that rock pile. One must wonder if players in the minors realize they are being watched and evaluated everyday by somebody? To see some of them go through the motions, I would think not.


  139. 147 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I truly believe that the Rule 5 draft is to be watched closely this year. In my gut I think that the Braves are done dealing. But I do believe that they may have eyes on this draft. Just a hunch… a gut feeling.

    No real OF power prospects in the system, gotta scour other systems. It just makes sense.

    Yeah, I think we’re done making real headlines. (Except Hinske… I think he’ll be back.) The rest of the roster will be fleshed out from within.

    That’s why I think Frank may be trying to add to our “within”…


  140. 148 Carolina Lady November 28, 2010 at 1:04 am

    “That’s why I think Frank may be trying to add to our “within”…”

    I love your way with words! 😀


  141. 150 berigan2electricboogaloo November 28, 2010 at 9:46 am

    CL, thanks for that link!!!


  142. 151 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I still got nuthin’…


  143. 152 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm


    Enough of the Lukewarm Stove League, the quiet November in which the biggest names were Victor Martinez and Dan Uggla, with a few John Bucks and Joaquin Benoits in between.

    Thanksgiving is over.

    The 35 free agents who were offered salary arbitration must accept or reject by midnight Tuesday.

    The Hot Stove League finally is ready to burn.

    Though the winter meetings in Orlando are still a week away, the bidding on free agents is about to intensify, with trade discussions gaining momentum on parallel tracks.

    Man I hope so. This stove is about as hot as Roseanne Barr.


  144. 153 berigan2electricboogaloo November 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    V, 😆


  145. 154 Salty November 29, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hot as Roseanne Barr? Brrrr…..

    Howdy, strangers! Everyone stuffed?


  146. 155 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Howdy, Salty. Saw your status on FB… sad for your loss. I am truly sorry.


  147. 156 Carolina Lady November 30, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Hey, Salty! Great to see you again!

    I’m sorry, I missed the fb post but I’m sorry you’ve suffered a loss.


  148. 157 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Very very interesting note from our old friend Mr. O’B across the street:

    Jose Constanza, one of the six-year minor league free agents the Braves signed and invited to spring training Monday, is hitting .413 (31-for-75) with thre triples and eight steals in 14 games in the Dominican Winter League.

    He’s a 27-year-old center fielder who hit .319 with a .373 OBP, eight triples and 34 steals last season for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate, and made the midseason and postseason IL All-Star teams in what was his first year in Triple-A.

    Constanza had a .378 OBP and 49 steals in 2009 in Double-A, with 46 RBIs and 98 runs scored.

    Could be an interesting signing for the Braves.

    Interesting indeed…


  149. 158 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I realize it is nothing more than pure speculation here in November, but…

    It ought to be a really interesting spring watching the shootout in CF between the hopefully resurgent Nate McLouth, the hanging on for dear life Jordan Schafer, the something to prove Matt Young, and the out of the blue Jose Constanza.

    Should Schafer prove fully recovered from his wrist injury and show that his start in ’09 was no fluke, or one of Matt Young or Constanza prove that he can produce above AAA, would Frank/Fredi park Nate’s $6.5MM butt on the pine?

    Stay tuned, Braves fans…


  150. 159 Carolina Lady November 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    It really will be interesting, V. The whole year should be interesting as we get used to Fredi et al – and I can’t wait to learn his managing style.


  151. 160 Carolina Lady December 1, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Remember when the Six Million Dollar Man used to be something??

    Inflation, I guess.


  152. 161 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Well, this year’s crop of non-tender candidates is not very inspiring. While it certainly appears as though the Braves want to fill their 4th OF spot from within – and have a few candidates to do so – the same cannot be said for the backup IF spot. I mean… Diory? Really?

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t look like there are any good candidates among non-tenders either. And with an already sad regular FA crop, well…

    It’s a bad time when 40-year-old Craig Counsell looks attractive. But he’ll likely stay in Milly. Same with Hairston, Jr. in San Diego.



  153. 162 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    V, that’s why I think the Braves would be downright STUPID to not give Hinske a 2 year, 3 Mil contract. That is truly chump change these days. He hit 11 homers, and drove in 51 in less than 300 AB’s last year. Who would/could replace him???
    I’d guess they’d then pony up to Diaz at a reduced salary, but he really didn’t have a good year last year… he was hurt for awhile. Just seems like losing your best 4th outfielder/power bat off the bench, and best super utility player, can’t be seen as a gain.
    I think every team in the east save the Nats(Not re-signing Dunn is a boon for us) is going to be better this year.


  154. 163 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    If only Diaz could play CF… but he can’t. His lack of defensive versatility will be his undoing here.

    As for going the 2 years for Hinske, well… it would appear that the only other interested team is Milly, and their contract offer is also for 1 year. So why up it?

    And, I have 2 words to sum it up: Greg Norton.


  155. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Wow,it’s already December 1st… Time sure is fun when you’re having flies..

    Happy Hanukkah Salty…. It’s tough when they keep moving a holiday around on you isn’t it? Sorry to hear of your loss too.


  156. 165 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Well, Ol’ Norton was a bit older, and he’s never driven in 51 in a season…You’d think some AL team would want him for a 4th outfielder/DH/Playoff lock! 😉


  157. 166 berigan2electricboogaloo December 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Him, being Hinske! Also, looked up Norton, he’s managing right now…
    Oh, forgot….saw on the MLB channel that Jamie Moyer is undergoing T.J. surgery today, and wants to come back in 2012, when he is 50! Good for him! I get so tired of guys in their early to mid 30’s that would rather retire than put forth any real effort to play a game so few get the chance at…


  158. 167 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Yea! Hinske’s back! Woo-hoo! 😀


  159. 168 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    And it is now official (according to the beat writer): Diaz will not been tendered a contract.


  160. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville December 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Diaz will be playing for the Phillies or Nats next year, bet on it….


  161. 170 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Diaz will not been tendered a contract.

    Good thing my wife is a language arts teacher, huh?



  162. 171 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    And Dunn is gonna wind up in Chicago, just like I predicted. Now, does it really matter that I thought he’d be wearing blue instead of black and white?


  163. 172 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    The Yankers signed Buddy Carlyle to a minor league deal. I always liked that guy… he’s a gamer.


  164. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2010 at 3:42 am

    I see a move afoot by a lot of clubs to stop offering arbitration to so many players. I guess the fact that many were gaming the system caught up with a bunch of guys.

    I hate to see Diaz go but it is what it is. Other guys with similar skill sets who are a lot cheaper were available. Could be worse for Matty, he could be toiling away in the minors for pocket change. Hard to feel sorry for a guy who will still be making a couple of million per year playing ball.


  165. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Yeah Raisins, Buddy wasn’t flashy but he was pretty solid. At least he wasn’t Kawakomi… I suspect it will be a while before the Braves delve into the Japanese market again. I think there are some great players in Japan but then the same could be said of any country. Just too risky to dive into that market when you have limited funds at your disposal.


  166. 175 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Well, that’s kinda interesting, anyway…


  167. 176 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    From Jon Paul Morosi’s twitter: Braves have traded minor league pitcher Kyle Cofield to the White Sox, sources tell FOXSports.com

    No word yet on what is being sent back our way, but certainly not much. It may be nothing more than a means to open up another spot on the 40-man roster. It turns out that Scott Diamond, whom it didn’t appear at first would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft, is actually eligible after all. It could be that the FOT’s needed to open up a spot for him.

    Or not… who knows?


  168. 177 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Wha? Scott Linebrink?

    Hmmm… I don’t get that one. He’s in the last year of a 4 year deal and is due $5.5MM for 2011.

    Maybe he is to be the veteran bullpen arm, but I am really surprised that we took on a $5.5MM dollar contract. Wonder if the ChiSox are sending any cash back?

    [scratching head]


  169. 178 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Well, Linebrink’s been around and is still not a bad reliever. And it certainly addresses need #2. Now, if we can address need #3 (backup SS), we’ll almost be done. I still believe need #4 (4th OF) will come from within.

    Frank doesn’t mess around, does he?

    I just hope there’s a few centavos left to get that IF…


  170. 179 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Mr. O’B is reporting that the Braves are indeed receiving cash in the deal, although the amount is not yet known.

    If we get some relief from the $5.5MM, I like it. He fits the bill of the veteran ‘pen arm nicely.


  171. 180 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Let’s check the scorecard:

    Everyday lineup:
    1. C – Mac
    2. 1B – Freddie
    3. 2B – Uggla
    4. 3B – Chipper
    5. SS – AGon
    6. LF – Prado
    7. CF – Nate
    8. RF – JHey

    Starting pitching:
    9. Huddy
    10. DLowe
    11. JJ
    12. Hanson
    13. Minor/Beachy

    14. (Long) CMartinez
    15. (R) Proctor/Courdier/Marek
    16. (L) EOF
    17. (R) Moylan
    18. (Setup) Linebrink
    19. (LHCL) Venters
    20. (RHCL)Kimbrel

    21. (Backup C) DRoss
    22. (Backup 1B/OF, RHPH) Mather
    23. (LHPH) Hinske
    24. (4th OF) ??? NEED [Prediction: JSchafer/MYoung/JConstanza]
    25. (Backup MI, Utility) ??? NEED


  172. 181 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    It is now being reported that the Braves are getting back $1.5MM in the deal… wish it were at least half of his salary. I still think it was a pretty decent fit.

    I, for one, appreciate Frank’s very proactive approach to filling out his roster. No “wait and see” for him, that’s for sure.

    If I had to guess, he’ll sign a low $$$ FA for utility IF before the Winter Meetings conclude, then sit back and exhale while waiting for Spring Training.


  173. 182 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Glad we have Hinske back! Amazing how a guy who hits 10-15 Homers and drives in 50 plus is only worth 1.5 Mil, but a guy who doubles that number is worth 10-15 mil. Or in the case of Werth(Who drove in 85 last year) is werth, err, worth(I know, I have pulled this “joke” before) even more than that!
    Or a 7th inning guy is getting 5 + mil a year!
    Interesting, Linebrink , from 2004 to 2007, pitched in 70 or more games a year, but in the 3 years with the Sox, never more than 57 games(or 57 innings) Is Ozzie Guillen that easy on bullpens, or has he been hurt each of the 3 seasons? I see he still strikes out a guy an inning which is good…just dug around a bit and see he was on the DL in 2008…amazing he wouldn’t see more work, especially since I know at one point last year the White Sox bullpen imploded….Well, I think they paid a bit too much for him, but I bet coming back to the Non DH league and not having Guillen as his manager, he will return to sub 4.00 ERAs again.


  174. 183 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    … and not pitching in that little league park…


  175. 184 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Read a quote that Wren said he is going to be as important mentoring the youngsters in the pen (ala Wagner last year) as he is pitching.

    The reality is that the real core of the pen is Venters and Kimbrel.


  176. 185 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Ah… now it is being reported that the Braves are getting more than $2.5MM back with Linebrink… likely about half his 2011 salary.

    That’s a little better.


  177. 186 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Yes, it is!


  178. 187 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Mark Bowman’s twitter: Multiple sources confirm #Braves received $3.5 million from the #White Sox. This makes the Linebrink deal look a lot better on ATL end.

    Another winner for Frank.


  179. 188 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Wow, thats amazing! The man indeed!


  180. 189 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    And now DOB says he has it from a reliable source that it is less than $3MM, probably closer to half this year’s $5.5MM salary.

    I liked it better when it was going the other direction. 😀


  181. 190 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    … who quickly retracts and reports that it is the previously stated $3.5MM.

    “Ask and ye shall receive”, right?

    If this keeps up, the ChiSox may be covering half our payroll by tomorrow!


  182. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Wow, think we could get someone to take Kershin for that?

    Good trade for the Braves methinks… Has all the inklings of a salary dump by the Soxs.

    So, Adam Dun to ChiSoxs… Lots of righty pitchers in the NL East breathing a sigh of relief.

    Nothing like having to look for change under the sofa cushions to make your payroll when other clubs seem to have a printing press in the basement.


  183. 192 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Tru dat, Gil… tru dat…


  184. 193 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2010 at 10:23 am

    HUGE trade between the Pads and the Sawx. Well, it’s agreed to anyway.



  185. 194 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

    V, you just beat me to the punch on the trade! Even the Red Sox fans on the jazz forum I post on hadn’t posted it yet….And Olney says they may still go after Werth or Crawford! Talk about having your own printing press!

    And Gil, I forgot, but the White Sox are also trying to re-sign Paul Konerko(39 homers last year) and Dunn, and A.J. whatshisname are deferring money to make it happen.
    Their offense was pretty weak last year, but with Dunn in the middle, in a fairly weak division (unless the Tigers get Werth or Crawford) they should have a real good chance of the playoffs…


  186. 195 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I am going to become a big Rays fan just because I hate the way the Yanks and Sawx go about their business. They wait like vultures for the rest of the league to get priced out of their best players, then they swoop down and scoop ’em up. Really ticks me off.

    I am the world’s biggest cheerleader for the free market economy, but in a league where the players bargain collectively, but negotiate individually, the market is already tainted. And it is no coincidence that “Big Market” teams are in areas that have big TV markets. It’s all about the TV money. And is it any coincidence that ESPN has separate individual web sites for New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles? Uh, no it isn’t…

    It’s no wonder that MLB continues to lose fans across the board. When the bottom line is the bottom line, the interests of the fan – the real lifeblood of the sport – is cast aside. Ask any Padres fan today how they feel about their team going into 2011.

    It makes me more and more respectful of teams such as the Braves and Rays who still manage to stay competitive even under self-imposed salary restrictions. It also brings to light a little better understanding why teams like the Rockies would give such a long contract extension to a player already under their control for a couple more years. By the time his old deal would have expired, his new deal will probably look like a bargain. And he’ll still be a Rockie.

    Might be time for Frank to ring up BMac’s agent and take him to lunch, eh?


  187. 196 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Sad news, longtime Cub player and broadcaster Ron Santo died at 70…rough time of year for a family…should be in the HOF, IMO


  188. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    While I am not a huge NFL fan (my team was hi-jacked by a fantasy league owner) I do like the way they developed revenue sharing so the Cleavlands and Baltimores could go toe to toe with the New Yorks and the Bostons. It is less about money than it is about acumen.

    Tough to compete with guys who can afford to make a mistake or two when you have to be letter perfect all the time.

    Maybe it’s time for baseball to lose its anti-trust protection.


  189. 198 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    There is a definite chill in the air here. Feels like snow but I think it is going to pass south of us tonight. CL might get a bit of bad weather down her way this weekend.

    After having that crazy mixed up weather pattern last year where we got snow and folks like Lew got sunshine, it appears that the earth has re-settled on its axis and things have returned to their norms.

    Still, its supposed to get down into the 20s every night next week. BRRRRRRR!!!!!


  190. 199 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Yes, Gil, the NFL has figured it out that the public wants the GAME, not the teams. It takes the league as a whole to be healthy to keep the product viable.

    MLB only cares that the Yankees and Red Sox have all of the TV stars so that they can continue to get the fat TV contracts and coverage from ESPN.

    The prime symptom is having all of the World Series and ALl-Star events in Prime Time TV time. Of course, who cares if the kids don’t get to see it? We are raising an entire generation of children who could care less about baseball, and my kid is one of them.

    Sad, really.


  191. 200 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Exhibit “A”: This year’s World Series contained none of the big market teams, and everyone yawned, the big sponsors decided not to spend their big bucks, and it received some of the worst TV ratings in World Series history.

    Conversely, it won’t matter one bit which teams reach the Super Bowl. It’ll own it’s TV time slot – which, by the way, starts at 6:00pm EST so that it ends before bed time – and will set new revenue records for advertisers. And it’ll set new ratings highs. And it’ll be talked about for days and weeks after.

    Yep, the NFL figured it out. Let’s hope MLB does before it’s too late… if it isn’t already.


  192. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2010 at 6:57 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAVES & STUFF…. 3 years old today. Thanks CL…

    Well, I have got to try to trust my senses more… We got a little snow last night, not much, only a dusting but enough to turn the ground white.


  193. 202 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    3 years?!? Wow… they grow up so fast…


  194. 203 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Congrats, CL and Gil! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


  195. 204 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    and in crazy baseball news, the Gonzalez deal looks to be off, and the Nationals have signed…………Jason Werth to a 7 year contract!!!!! 😯 😯 😯



  196. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    So… Is Mrs Utley included in the deal????

    Things look a lot brighter for Diaz to sign with the Phillies I would say.


  197. 206 Carolina Lady December 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our little enclave in cyberspace! I’m so happy to be here with y’all! A very, very special group, in my humble opinion. 😀


  198. 207 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Wow… the Nats. The good news is, it isn’t the Phils. But the Nats…

    This must have the bosses at ESPN completely ticked off. I’m sure they had Boston, NYY and the Angels divvying up Werth, Crawford and Lee.

    My money says that Boston quickly ponies up for Crawford, NYY overpays for Lee, and the Angels have to settle for Beltre.


  199. 208 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Winter Meetings begin today in FLA. Wonder if Frank has anything scheduled besides lunch?


  200. 209 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Mr. O’B has posted a really good article on Jordan Schafer and his fight to make it back. It’s definitely worth the read. Makes me optimistic that he may be able to come back all the way to meet his expectations.


  201. 211 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nah… no thanks.


  202. 212 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    The Braves are looking to part ways with starter Kenshin Kawakami and, according to one source, the Pirates have shown some interest in the right-hander this offseason. That certainly makes sense, given that the Pirates are searching anywhere and everywhere for starting pitching and that Kawakami is expendable to the Braves.

    Kawakami, 35, is set to make $6.667 million in 2011, the final year of a three-year deal he signed with Atlanta. The Braves know that they will have to pick up a significant amount of that salary in order to trade Kawakami, so the cost to acquire him would likely only be $1-2 million. Atlanta is not believed to be seeking any significant player return, either.

    After posting a 3.86 ERA in 32 games (25 starts) in 2009, Kawakami never really found his footing last year. He finished 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 18 games (16 starts), though he suffered from a lack of run support in a number of his outings. Kawakami was sent to the Minors at two different points during the year and was taken off the Braves’ 40-man roster last month.

    Japanese clubs have shown interest in purchasing Kawakami’s contract from Atlanta. But the right-hander has expressed an interest in staying in the U.S. for at least one more year.Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

    Hey, that $1.5-2MM might just pay for a backup SS…


  203. 213 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Name to watch for…

    Jeff Keppinger is being dangled by Houston, He playes 2B, SS and 3B, played his college ball at UGA, and is another Parkview High School product. As a 2nd year arb guy, his salary will probably end up being around $2MM or so (see KK comment above). He’s a RH hitter with a career .281 AVG and .339 OBP.

    Not sure what Houston might want, but I’d rather add him to our lineup than Lorenzo Cain.


  204. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Amen Raisins… Kawakami has become somewhat of an albatross around Wren’s neck. 1-2 million could go a long way towards allowing the Braves to get that final piece of the puzzle.

    I just don’t see the need for another centerfield prospect right now. Maybe things will appear differently towards the end of spring training but I think the utility infield/bench role is the one to be addressed.


  205. 215 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I also don’t see the Braves parting with pitching either. They can afford to wait on some of their young talent to hone the craft in the minors until JJ departs for more money than the Brave are willing to pay. Might even see him leave early if a team makes the right offer to the Braves of prospects in return.


  206. 216 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Everyone raved about Minor but I think that kid Beechy just might be what the doctor ordered. Besides, you just cannot have too much pitching, period…


  207. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    And Raisins, check your e-mail(s)…


  208. 218 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    SI’s Jon Heyman, via twitter: Uggla, braves have talked a bit about possible extension. looks like he made right call turning down $48 mil for 4 after all.


  209. 219 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Howdy, Gil. Nothing in the inbox. I’ll send you something to make sure you have the correct address.


  210. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Sigh… Looks as if I will soon be parting ways with an old friend 😦 … Recently, I had all four struts replaced on my Lexus at the tune of $1200. Okay, it was a big hit but after all, the car has 150,000 mile on it. However, the front end still did not feel right so I took it back to the shop. This was the second time as one of the rear struts leaked. No problem, was covered under warranty.. Anyhoo, I took it back today because it just did not feel right as I said. Well, this time a front shock was leaking, will again be replaced under warranty but in addition they said the front lower control arm bushings were worn out. Cost to repair will be $2400.

    It is still a nice car but I think I have reached the point of saying enough…. I would fix it myself but the parts alone are $1900. Too rich for my blood, and I thought Cadillacs were expensive to own….


  211. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Berkman to the Cards


  212. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Found the bushings I need on line, may have hope yet….


  213. 224 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2010 at 7:01 am

    There is always hope… 😀


  214. 225 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2010 at 9:41 am

    does everyones text now have a grayed out look before you hit post??? Weird, some sort of improvement, no doubt…
    V, you make very good points about the way things are in the game…It really irks me that the perception in baseball is no one wants the Giants and Rangers(and the rating proved that) yet The Bills and 49’ers(I know, not this year) wouldn’t be a problem…still don’t get that…
    I also don’t get how teams that draw reasonably well, like the Pads can’t afford Gonzalez, but don’t even sign guys at 10 mil. There is no doubt a real problem today…but some teams are way too cheap…how can Oakland throw some money around after cutting costs for a few years, but teams like the Pads, Pirates, Marlins can’t/won’t????


  215. 226 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    so…do you thank Stan Kasten left the Nats since they wouldn’t go 4 years on Dunn, only to see them pay more than twice as much as Dunn got from the White Sox to Werth, over 7 years??? A Phil phan on the jazz board I’m on was quick to point out Werth hit .186 with runners in scoring postion.
    Werth drives in 85,(in 554 Abs) gets a 126 mil.
    Hinske drive in 51(in 281 ab’s) Gets 1.45 Mil, perhaps a bit more IF the club wants him in 2012. Weird…

    And I see “utilityman” Wigginton signed a contract with the Rockies…how exactly is he a utilityman when you play every day? Can you call him a super sub when you have 600 + AB’s??? Neither term fits, IMO….


  216. 227 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Mr. O’B reports that alot of teams are asking about Braves young pitchers and are being told that Hanson (especially), JJ and Minor are off limits. Beachy is available for the right deal.


  217. 228 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    And apparently Frank and the O’s have had several conversations about KK. Me likey.


  218. 229 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    MLBTR says that the Royals are sniffing around Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur and Andruw Jones.

    That Dayton Moore… he cracks me up. 😀


  219. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2010 at 7:22 am

    The only reason anyone ever paid any attention to him was because he was rich. Other than that, not so much….

    Want to control population growth? Buy everyone a big HD flat screen TV….

    Personally, I think God has a way of controlling overpopulation. It’s called “normal life span” …

    Now baseball. DOB had a pretty good write up about Jordan Schafer’s progress this winter. Sounds as if he is poised to make a comeback. That could be a big boost to the Braves’ fortunes if it happened.


  220. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Actually, I think Jeff Francouer’s best days are ahead of him. He is approaching the pre-steroid era’s prime years. That being late seventies to early thirties…

    Andruw got fat and lazy, plain a simple. God given talent can be lost if taken for granted. Jones fell into the same trap many athletes before him have done in failing to realize that talent fades without being replenished with hard work.

    Diaz was not blessed with an abundance of talent but he does have a great work ethic. I still look for him to be in a Phillie uni this summer.


  221. 233 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 7:54 am

    If you could roll all 3 of those guys together into one OF, you’d have a pretty dadgum good’un!


  222. 234 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

    The Brewers are reportedly talking with Atlanta, with the talks at first surrounding one CF, then another. For my money, I wish Frank would approach them about Mat Gamel…


  223. 235 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

    So MattyD gets 2 years with the Pirates. Not sure if that is security or a sentence…


  224. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Well, I had him going to Pennsylvania, just was wrong on the city. My crystal ball has been a little hazy lately and that “P” I saw on his hat represented Pittsburgh rather than Philadelphia. Maybe I need new bi-focals…

    My money is for LaRoache to sign with the Nationals for at least two years. The bugs could sure use the defensive upgrade and the are pretty right handed heavy right now. A lefty with power would balance them out a bit.

    Why is this important? Well, you have to have balance in the division. You need the other teams to be able to play against the Phillies and not be an automatic W for the Phils.

    Still, it all still comes down to pitching does it not? I am not sure what it is going to take to get front line players to want to go to DC. I suppose that might be true of a lot of cities and franchises.


  225. 237 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Francoeur is going to KC. Dayton Moore is soooo predictable. 😀


  226. 238 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Amazing in a way that Diaz can get 4.5 mil over 2 years, and Hinske couldn’t get 2 years at about 3 mil. Good for Matty though…

    Sorry in a way to see Frenchy go to KC. Saw Charlie Manuel on MLB network, and he said he always liked Frenchy, and basically he would love to fix him…won’t get that chance now…


  227. 239 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    2 things:

    First, I love Matty. I really do. But this was a bad signing by Pittsburgh. Nobody else in the league was going to give Matty 2 years. Nobody. It is unheard of to give a non-tender 2 years. Matty, while a really swell guy, is so limited. Bobby put him in situations to succeed, and he did. But he can’t hit righties, and cannot play major league level defense. He is passable in LF as long as you have a CF to cover a little ground, and McCutcheon fits that bill.

    Second, if Manuel can “fix” Frenchy, then he deserves a medal or something. Frenchy gets by on mostly raw athleticism. His baseball instincts are really pretty bad. It got him to the show, and got him success in his rookie season. But there’s a reason he could never adjust, and I don’t think he’ll ever be more than what he is right now.


  228. 240 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Braves could be adding another veteran lefty for the ‘pen. George Sherrill is close to signing. I am sure he would be nothing more than a lefty specialist. Probably face 1 batter per appearance. What a way to make a few mill, huh?


  229. 241 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Jerry Crasnick’s twitter:

    George Sherrill has agreed to deal w/Braves, pending physical. He’ll get a $1.2 million, base. Bonuses could bring it to $1.4 mill.


  230. 242 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Interesting! Sherrill was unhittable a few years ago…don’t know what exactly happened to him, but I bet he can at least get lefties out…


  231. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    So, the question about Sherrill has to be why did a guy go from an ERA of around .085 to one north of 6.500 in just one season? Sure sounds like an injury to me…


  232. 244 Voice of Raisins December 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    The word seems to be that the Dodgers didn’t utilize him properly. He kills lefties, but gets shelled by righties. Apparently, Torre failed to pick up on that…


  233. 245 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    On a related note… Luke Scott is my new favorite ball player…


  234. 246 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

    The Royals picked up Frenchy… and Melky.

    (wait for it…….)

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 😆


  235. 247 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Gil, 😆

    Well, those plucky Red Sox will also have Carl Crawford to go along with Adrian Gonzalez next year. Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa, enjoy being spoilers in April…sigh…


  236. 248 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2010 at 8:32 am

    V, I get Frenchy over Melky! Zack Greinke is going to beg to stay with the team now! 🙄
    Whats funny is everything I hear is the Royals farm system is just bursting with talent, but it’s in A and AA. But they can’t even think they are going to complete anytime soon with a bunch of 4th outfielders…..then they will trade Greinke for more A or AA ball talent…Look out AL central circa 2014!!!!


  237. 249 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Yeah… if they’d just trade Greinke to us for KK, Nate and Scott Proctor…

    Hey, they’d all be ex-Braves too, right?

    We can even throw in Conrad!


  238. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Good one Rasins… 🙂


  239. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

    So, what do the Rays get in return for Crawford? Draft picks?

    Do the Red Sox play him in right field? Can’t see wasting him in left in Boston.

    Still all about the pitching…


  240. 252 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Rule V draft in 1.5 hours wraps up this year’s baseball circus a/k/a Winter Meetings. It has been a memorable one…


  241. 253 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Gil, it leads me to believe the Sawx will look to trade Ellsbury.


  242. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I couldn’t help myself, I had to drop in next door. Sigh, so many opinion, so little intelligence. Grousing because the Braves spent just over a mil on Sherrill. At least Medlen won’t be the only guy wearing that silly flat billed hat next year. I wonder if other players are having to pay royalties for that look?

    Still waiting for the Nationals to pull the trigger on LaRoache.

    I am really liking the depth of the Braves’ pitching staff.

    I look for the rookie first baseman to struggle a bit early in the season but that is why you have to have a strong bench.


  243. 255 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I think someone will take a chance on Kershin but not for too much money. KK is like the used car you want to trade, you know you are not going to get anything for him but still you don’t want to feel used. Best hope is someone will steal him so you can collect the insurance…


  244. 256 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Uh… since there has already been 15 players selected, including Scott Diamond from Los Bravos, I believe I had my schedule a bit off. 😐

    Maybe they’ll be wrapping up about 11:00am…. Yeah, that’s it. That’s what I meant! 😀


  245. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I’m thinking guys better come ready to play this spring, I don’t think Freddi will display the same patience we saw with Bobby the last 20 years.


  246. 258 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

    You know, if the natural healing process works for a couple of our guys – Jordan Schafer and Joe Mather are both a couple of years away from wrist injuries – we could be looking pretty dadgum good already with no further additions. Those 2 guys have the potential to be very, very good ball players. I hope their respective falloffs were truly injury related. What a boost their respective recoveries could be, huh?

    Jordan has already shown what he is capable of in Atlanta, and he could plug the current black hole in CF. Mather was a hot up and comer in St. Louie. If healthy, his versatility (including a RH bat to occasionally spell Freddie) could be a huge advantage.


  247. 259 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Gil, I hope not! Nothing like having a guys back, but if you just flat out stink, it doesn’t seem to do any good playing someone and messing with their head…

    MLBTR folks having fun at Frenchy’s expense. He too got a mil more than Hinske. Who would you rather see up with the game on the line???


  248. 260 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2010 at 10:19 am

    V, good point about Crawford playing in left in fenway…kind of pointless, isn’t it??


  249. 261 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Thanks, Ber! Especially since Gil said it! 😀

    But I agree whole-heartedly. Does that count?


  250. 262 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    KK could be on the move… Pirates are definitely interested. Probably a waiting game on each side to see who will give first on the money issue.


  251. 263 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Joel Sherman, NY Post:

    ORLANDO – The Yankees have offered Cliff Lee an assortment of contract choices ranging from five years to seven years, The Post has learned.

    The Yankee offers work on a scale in which the shorter the term offered the higher the annual average value. It is believed the bids work something like this: five years for $125 million [$25MM per], six years for $144 million [$24MM per] and seven years for $161 million [$23MM per].

    I wonder if it’s too late to start teaching my 15-year-old to throw left-handed?


  252. 264 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Courtesy of Mr. O’Brien:

    Wren on winter meetings: “I think overall it was a good meeting for us. We filtered some things out. In the next day or so we’ll have some things that hopefully get finalized, which makes our club a better club.

    “We’ve got a couple of things we’re talking about right now. They’re pieces, but they could be significant pieces if it all comes together.”

    Well, there’s an interesting cliffhanger!


  253. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    25 million per year, makes Derek Lowe’s contract seem like a real bargain doesn’t it?


  254. 266 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2010 at 4:42 am

    I say that since D Lowe rediscovered his slider, he has been one of the most effective pitchers in the major leagues. I know a lot of folks lament how much players are making but evidently clubs can afford them.

    Or at least think they can…

    I still think most clubs are keeping two sets of books…


  255. 267 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2010 at 4:47 am

    A lot like me and my Lexus… I keep deluding myself into believing I can still afford a car that has over 150,000 miles and is nearly 20 years old. Oh well, the personal property taxes on it are relatively low…. and Josie drives it most of the time now… me? I’m still looking for the perfect car….


  256. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Picked up the Lexus today… Wow, so that is what it is suppose to drive like? … and it only cost me $2400 to fix everything. Will have to drive carefully now as some illegal will likely run into it a total it now….

    And baseball… The Red Sox may have made the biggest splash but they still need to play every game. Pitching will still rule the day. Plus these guys can’t get hurt. I still think the Braves would have had something for the Giants if Chipper and Prado had not been hurt.


  257. 269 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Ah, yes… the return of an old friend. Fits like a glove, eh?

    As to the Sawx… yes, they made a splash, but I have to agree with you that Crawford’s ability to cover alot of turf will go wasted in Fenway. IMO, Werth would have fit the park, and the team, better. Can you imagine his RH power smashing balls over the Green Monster? Maybe they’ll become a speed and small ball team. That’ll fly in the AL East, won’t it?

    In reality, I would have made a push to sign Cliff Lee and retain Adrian Beltre. Then you get great pitching, great defense and great power. But what do I know?


  258. 270 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Oh, and Frank might not have made the biggest splash, but he did operate with surgeon like precision. As good a job as he did last offseason, I think he has topped it already this season. And I’m not talking about Uggla or Linebrink. Those were the easy calls. There will be alot of people wondering how in the world Joe Mather got his game back, and wondering where in the world Ed Lucas came from.


  259. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Any doubts that you can’t just out slug teams and still win should remember what happened with the Braves when they traded for Texeria. Sure, the Braves averaged over two more runs a game increase but they still could not hold a 6 run lead.

    Braves won most of their games last year purely with stellar pitching. I look for the Braves to actually be better in 2011 if for no other reason KK won’t be in the line up.


  260. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    That and D Lowe looks like he has found his slider. Still , so many variables…


  261. 273 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Well, hot water heater is leaking…don’t even know from where…found out as water was leaking down kitchen walls!
    😥 I was hoping to get a brake booster repaired in my Lincoln next week, but that won’t be happening. 2 out of 3 cars down right now.
    Gil, couldn’t even shut off water valve to hot water heater,(blue faucet just turned and turned) so it kept draining and draining via garden hose outsite…. so we have the water barely on…and the prices I see for installing a new one(they would have to solder the pipes, instead of normal pipe elbows and joints) are crazy!
    Gil, you are smart, any ideas on how to replace that water valve??? I can add a pic in a minute….it will not budge(at the base of the pipe, if that makes sense) got a 15/16th wrench on it, but no matter how much we tapped after using wd-40, its not moving….


  262. 274 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Since I have been up since 2:30 AM, I am probably not making sense(haven’t even had dinner) but here is a photo of the valve…brass nut cracked as Dad was tightening it back after we had taken it off…I never know Dad to break things like this…made in Taiwan of course….



  263. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Ber, tightening the brass nut will only make it harder to turn the handle. Likely the valve it seized open, (righty tightu, leftey loosy is how to remember how to turn it to shut it off. Sometimes you can get it to move by using a small pipe wrench on the stem.

    Back up plan is to shut the water off at the street where your water main is. You will have to do that anyway for when you sweat the old valve off. It is not really all that hard to sweat copper joints but you do have to be careful not to set your house on fire when working in tight spaces.

    All water heaters will go at some point, it is the glass lining that fails form the hard water. For some reason they always seem to fail during the holidays,

    Hot water heaters , while they can seem pricey, are not really the most expensive thing to go. Just a big inconvenience. A lot of times the big box stores will have someone who installs water heaters on call.

    On a related note, while your water heater is not covered, any damage done from the leaking water to your house is covered by your home owners insurance.


  264. 276 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Hey, thanks for the info Gil! Never even occurred to me water leak damage would be covered! We’ve never made a claim in 18 years here…Don’t even know if my parents ever made a claim on our houses…all the things we did, we didn’t try a vice grip on the stem. Of course it’s up 5 + feet high .
    Sweat copper joints??? Blowtorch it you mean??? As a wise man once said, that’s beyond my pay grade! 😛 Hmmm, can you rent one at a parts rental store???
    Wouldn’t you know the one friend who could help us was off the past 3 days, and is now back at work for 4, then flying to see his Pa Tuesday night unless there is a blizzard? Hoping for a Blizzard!!!
    Not to be a winer(too late!) just rotten timing. This is my main time of year to make moola on Amazon and ebay, and big lots has had tons of TV series for $6(sadly some are now $10 which is a lot harder to resell and make money off of) and I just bought a lot of stuff yesterday, plus a few Christmas gifts…my Dad is on a fixed income(Though who isn’t, when you get right down to it?) and doesn’t have the money. I could probably swing the heater when I get more moola next week, but not now. Though I forgot, a friend of my Pa out of state did offer to pay for the Heater…so we just need to find a way to get that old valve to budge, so we can at least run water…can’t do laundry, shower, or flush…this after having roots in the pipes that caused plumbing issues for a month plus(a combo of Copper Sulfate and perhaps most importantly rock salt finally cleared things that the hyper expensive plumber couldn’t with a snake)I thought we would have a fairly smooth uneventful Holiday season…


  265. 277 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Well, stem just keeps turning with a vice grip on it, not much resistance at all, guess the valve busted internally, eh????


  266. 278 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I’m proud of my boy… he has come such a long way in wrestling. He won 3 of his 5 matches today, and looked very good, even in the 2 losses. He’s a keeper. 😀


  267. 279 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Yay V Jr! 🙂


  268. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Tis an old trick learned the hard way to always turn any valve back 1/4 turn after fully opening it to flow. That way you can always work it loose after it has set for years.

    Ber, the valve is not a hard fix if you know how to do it. It is going to require that you shut the water off from the street however.

    The hard water that affected your hot water heater likely did the number on the valve. I have a bad valve to one of my facets in the master bath that requires someone go under the house to turn of the supply line. While the repair is simple, I can’t get to the valve and Josie refuses to crawl under the house… hurumph… silly wife, afraid of whatever might be lurking… Will have to wait until a son-in-law is available.

    Raisins, congratulations to your young rasinette, I have a grandson who is wrestling this year but his coach can’t seem to make up his mind as to which weight class he wants him to compete in. All it is doing is leaving him too weak to actually compete from trying to lose a couple of pounds just prior to a meet. The are headed to New Jersey for a match next weekend I think. Anyway, it is always good for young folk to be involved in team sports, it helps them prepare for the real world.


  269. 281 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Got some very sad news today…you may remember me mentioning my Friend Dale….He died. Only 43.Few have ever had as bad luck with health as he did, ALS, diabetes , a stroke, lost a leg from being diabetic, vision problems, on dialysis ….and a Mother that wore him down…yet he was somehow able to keep a smile on his face, and was able to drive up to very recently. He had an infection from the port that they did the dialysis in…haven’t heard all the facts, but it led to his death.
    I sure hope he has found peace at last….
    here is a great photo of Dale with our old cat Cali…Love it.


  270. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Ber, I am really sad to hear of your friend’s passing. It is always tough to lose someone you care about. I pray that he will find peace in Heaven.


  271. 283 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Ber, I am so very sorry to hear about your friend. My prayers are with his family and with you too.


  272. 284 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Gil, V, Cl, thanks…as we all know, when folks we care about die , most of the time we never get that last chance to talk to them…you just never know when the book is going to be closed on someone’s life, especially in what feels like the middle of the book.


  273. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Yes Ber, It is the grim reminder of why we should never go to bed angry or put off things we think important. One never knows when they will be called Home. While my mom’s passing was sad to me, it was helpful in knowing that she led a long and full life and that she knew she was loved, my dad on the other hand died way too young and somehow everyone around him felt cheated somehow. Much I am sure in the way you felt about the passing of your mom.

    I am sure Dale treasured the time he spent with you as it let him have some normalcy in his short life. Being someone’s friend is sometimes our most important mission in life even if we don’t always realize it at the time. Ber, I feel you fulfilled that mission with your friend Dale, for that you will be blessed.


  274. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Now baseball… Kansas City loves ex Braves who are just getting into their baseball prime. Jason Worth wasn’t all that while with Baltimore but broke out after reaching 27 and being signed by Philly at the ripe old age old 27. It used to be that a player learned his craft by plying his trade in the minors. Missing the cut off man was a lesson learned without devastating consequences. Learning how to channel one’s emotions so that little bit extra was there in the eight inning of an important game in September and not wasted in April after a bad call goes against them in a close play at second and resulting in a 3 day funk.

    No, maturity is a learned trait that only comes at the cost of time. Some recognize it sooner than other but all must pay a price for it.

    Michael Vick might be a poster child for realizing the true cost of obtaining maturity at a high cost. Raw talent will often carry a person far but so will hard work. When you combine raw talent with hard work, one can truly obtain super star status.

    I look for that from Jordan Schafer next year. I believe he has great talent, the adversity he has suffered has made him hungry. From all accounts he has worked tirelessly to get back to where he was. Look for great things out of him next season.


  275. 287 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Yep, Gil, tru dat.

    And another similarity with Werth would be a wrist injury that robbed both of their swing. Werth recovered pretty well, I’d say. But it took some time. Jordan appears ready to make a comeback, if you can call it that. Mather is also in that category. It’s why I said earlier that we could already have a couple of gems in the dugout without another move.


  276. 288 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Gonna be a busy morning tomorrow… I may not get to check back in. I’ll be leaving Jefferson at noon for the airport and on to Moldova via Germany. If I don’t get back on in the morning, I’ll talk to you all a week from Wednesday. Maybe Tuesday if I’m not asleep! 😀

    Thanks for all your support and prayers! Keep praying…


  277. 289 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2010 at 6:28 am

    V, you CANNOT LEAVE!!!! Cliff Lee was just signed to….the PHILLIES!!!!!! 😯 😯 😯
    Only 5 years, go figure that one!!!!

    Well, unless they have 3 elbows blow out…we will need to focus on the W.C.


  278. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Cliff Lee was just signed to….the PHILLIES!!!!!!

    Oh crap…..


  279. 291 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2010 at 6:57 am

    crap indeed Gil!!!!

    Just checking out a few comments on the MLBTR site(not going to read 900+)

    interesting thought by one guy, but do you risk making the Yankees better????
    Braves would be a logical target for the Yankees. Lowe would definitely be avaliable, Jurrjens would probably be avaliable. Price would be Gardner.


  280. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Roy Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels… Petty darn impressive starting four. Phillies now have about $170 million dollars in payroll tied up in 16 players. Like I said, it’s tough when you are competing with guys who have deep pockets while you are searching under the sofa cushions for enough change to make cab fare.


  281. 293 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Actually, it reminds me of when JS signed Greg Maddux away from the Cubbies way back in the day.


  282. 294 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Gil, your 9:57 AM post yesterday was wonderful, thanks.

    V, I am sure you will be careful, but please don’t take any unnecessary chances, and have a great time! 🙂


  283. 295 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Gil, is this officially a boys only site??? 😛


  284. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Wow, would seem that way wouldn’t it? I guess the ladies are busy with Christmas stuff and such.

    Now baseball… Philles really put a lid on things as far as the NL East is concerned by signing Cliff Lee. Truthfully, I never saw that one coming. Not saying another team (the Braves) could not win if all the stars lined up perfectly but wow, I just don’t see the Mets, Marlins or Nationals doing much.


  285. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hello? Hello? Did someone let the fire go out on the stove???


  286. 298 Carolina Lady December 17, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Oh, hi, Gil! I was just out back cutting more wood for the stove. Seems that somebody used it all up and didn’t cut any more. Can’t imagine who would do such a thing! That axe is heavy, too!


  287. 299 berigan2electricboogaloo December 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    a woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  288. 300 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Right, Ber! Let’s take a quick roll call of the female members of this here outfit: uh, there’s me. Nope, wasn’t me. There’s Miss Josie. Nope, wasn’t her. And then there’s FBG. Nope, wasn’t her, either. Oh, my. All the females are eliminated as suspects.

    Gee, can’t imagine who would leave an empty wood box for one of the accused females (that would be me) to have to go out into artic conditions to chop up more wood. With a heavy axe.




  289. 301 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Make that “arctic” conditions. See? My fingers are still so cold that it is hard to type!


  290. 302 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Where is the Wildcat?? MIA? Hibernated for the winter? Still trying to figure out what makes a helicopter almost fly?


  291. 303 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    CL, 😆 it’s funny, I was meaning that line in a different way than you saw it…more, like the old Cartoon when a homely gal sees a guy and goes, a MAN, A MAYAAN!
    Just being a smart…smarty pants that a real live woman showed up here….hence all the laughter….

    And where is the Salt man??? baseball ceases to exist come fall????


  292. 304 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    lol I read that a completely different way, Ber!

    Salty is traveling the length and breadth of the US of A. I truly don’t envy him all he has to go through with “security”.

    I hope all is going well for our resident Raisin!

    Y’all might remember Seth McClung (p). Saw this blip:
    “The Rangers on Saturday announced that a trio of recent signees has received invitations to Major League camp in Spring Training: right-hander Seth McClung, outfielder Endy Chavez and infielder Brian Barden.” Glad to see him hanging in there!


  293. 305 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “The Arizona Diamondbacks may have found their everyday left fielder. They picked up a backup catcher, too.

    Arizona agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Xavier Nady and catcher Henry Blanco on Friday, the two biggest spots new general manager Kevin Towers needed to fill in a busy offseason.

    Nady gets $1.75 million and has the chance to earn $1 million in bonuses based on roster time. Blanco is guaranteed $1.25 million in his deal, which includes a mutual option for 2012.

    Nady should be the front-runner to start in left field, an inconsistent spot for Arizona last season.


  294. 306 Carolina Lady December 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    “And while those three, the biggest free agents entering the Hot Stove season, are off the market, there is still plenty of intrigue left, especially at the top. Once again, very little is known about which teams are chasing fine all-around third baseman Adrian Beltre and almost nothing has been heard about the market for Rafael Soriano, a dominating closer in 2010.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/12/17/remaining.free.agents/index.html#ixzz18W3a3IdG

    “Rafael Soriano. His market is the biggest mystery of all. The Angels have already signed two strong middle relievers but still don’t have a great closer (Fernando Rodney is the guy for now) and could fortify their bullpen by adding Soriano. The Yankees have the money but don’t seem the least bit inclined to spend what would be an insane amount of money on someone who would only be a set-up man for them. And the Rangers, who already have a cheaper but even more talented closer in Neftali Feliz, don’t seem of a mind to spend like crazy on a closer. The Angels could ultimately be the ones who get Soriano. Or a surprise smaller-market club could come out of the woodwork, as was the case with Francisco Cordero and the Reds a few years back.”

    Not a whole heck of a lot going on. Anywhere!


  295. 307 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    And I doubt anything will until after the holidays… Just a slow time for everyone, except maybe the US Congress as they try to squeeze in 12 months worth of work into 2 weeks… I think they should cut their salary in half and close down after three months each year. It would do everyone a big favor…

    I read a bit of the head line over on Bowman’s blog about the current Phillies’ rotation vs the Braves of the ’90s.. Really? Do we really care? It’s like saying, how do the current (pick a team) line up compare to the ’27 Yankees… It just does not matter an iota.

    And Bob Feller passed…. Finally, a roommate for Ty Cobb…. Great ballplayers, not so nice people… But I digress…


  296. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Funny thing about Soriano CL, I don’t think he will have the success anywhere else like he had in Tampa. If I were him, I’d give the Rays a discount a stay put.


  297. 309 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

    thanks for the info CL!!!! Seth McClung has a good live arm, weird how some guys slip through cracks…then some team that was thought to possibly compete won’t bother picking anyone up thats decent(Sort of like the braves 3, 4, 5 years ago) then will scratch their heads as to why their bullpen isn’t any good.
    Soriano is an interesting case. He was great in the AL East, which is saying something. If I were the yankees, I’d sign him as a back up to Mariano….the guy is the best closer ever, but at 41….well, any day could be his last…of course it could be with any pitcher, but man, there are a lot of high stress pitches on that arm.
    And with Mariano and Soriano, games would be over by the 7th. It’s not like they don’t have the money….man, talkin’ about the Yankees…it is a slow time of year! 😛
    I could talk about the Rays…do you want that? 😉


  298. 310 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Well, they are not the Orioles… Actually, it looks like the Rays might be leaning towards rebuilding/reloading… Barnett to the Padres for four prospects… Folks down there jumping ship.


  299. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    And how about them Eagles…. Down 31-10 with 6 minutes to go and come back to win… Meanwhile, the deadskins blow another one…


  300. 312 berigan2electricboogaloo December 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Amazing Gil, missed it, buy amazing!!!


  301. 313 berigan2electricboogaloo December 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    buy Amazing??? Man, one line and I messed it up! 😕


  302. 314 Carolina Lady December 21, 2010 at 4:52 am

    With all the snow in Europe, I wonder if Raisins will get back for Christmas??


  303. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Tough on a Georgia boy to endure all that cold weather. He will think it is spring when he gets home.

    Josie says she wants to skip Christmas next year but I know it is all bluster, I have learned to just let her vent. That and act like I am actually paying attention…. 🙂

    We took out oldest daughter out to lunch yesterday for her birthday. You know you are getting older when your children hit the big 40 milestone. Sigh….

    I took a peek at the lunar eclipse early this morning… Big whoop… Not a Werewolf to be found…


  304. 316 Carolina Lady December 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    This Christmas is as quiet as I can make it. The only person I’ve gotten gifts for is Kelly. Told everybody else that we are NOT exchanging gifts anymore. We all have too much “stuff” as it is – and money is just too tight to be spending it on obligatory Christmas presents. I haven’t even gotten any Christmas cards out yet.


  305. 317 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I have taken a different approach to it all. I give things to people all year long. Sometimes it just happens to be Christmas when they get them. The only person I spoil now is Josie but maybe that is because I know how she grew up dirt poor. (As in a little coal in one’s stocking would be a good thing because it would mean you could be warm for at least a few minutes) I, on the other hand, got spoiled way too much growing up…. Perhaps it is payback for me. Anyway…

    I do pray everyone has a happy and glorious Christmas. We will again be besieged by rug rats of all stripes on Christmas Eve but who knows what memories shall occur for us to cherish in our old age because of it.

    Oh the memories of putting together doll houses and bicycles and Big Wheels when my little ones were waiting for Santa… 🙂 For that I say Thank You Jesus for turning water into wine. He surly knew we would need the reinforcements to get through the task.


  306. 318 Voice of Raisins December 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Howdy everyone! We have made it safely back home. I could compose a tome and still not be able to adequately describe our trip.

    And yes, there was quite a bit of snow…


  307. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Welcome home Raisins, the submission of a travelogue is expected… 🙂


  308. 320 Voice of Raisins December 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Good morning, everyone. Still suffering the effects of jetlag. I have been awake since 3:00am-ish and doing alot of reading. As part of that, I visited across the street and found a nice shout out to all of us from Bay Area Steve. If you’re interested, it was posted about 1:40am.

    He also made some references to Bob, jjs and SJA. He noted that their place is mostly silent these days, and that apparently Bob’s beloved Miss Carol has gone on to be with the Lord. Apparently her long battle with cancer took a bad turn about this time last year.

    I thought everyone might like to know these things…


  309. 321 Carolina Lady December 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Hey, Raisins! Welcome back!! Please!!! A full report!! All of us would love to know what all happened.

    Glad to know that BA Steve is still around. I’ve missed him!

    Today is Kelly’s birthday so she’s all excited about that.

    Hope each one of you have a blessed and happy Christmas. Our Lord has come!


  310. 322 berigan2electricboogaloo December 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Hey V! Man, that was a quite trip, all things considered! No wonder you have jet lag! If you have written a long email already to friends, just copy and paste, I’ve done that once or twice in my life! 😉

    Sorry to hear about Bob’s wife, she was clearly a wonderful woman….


  311. 323 berigan2electricboogaloo December 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    And Happy Birthday Kelly!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  312. 324 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm



  313. 325 Voice of Raisins December 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Happy Christmas eve, everybody!!! 😀


  314. 326 eprisewildcat December 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Hey y’all… Merry Christmas!!! Sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long! Think about you all often and I pray that the B&S faithful are well and have a truly blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year!

    GO BRAVES!!!


  315. 327 berigan2electricboogaloo December 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Hey a Wildcat sighting! 🙂
    Merry Christmas Wildcat! And Gil, CL, Salty, V, and FBG, if she is ever around the old B&S! 😉


  316. 328 Carolina Lady December 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Warm Christmas wishes to each of you, friends. I do pray that the coming year will be better for all of us.

    I’ll pass your wonderful birthday greetings on to Kelly. She’ll be thrilled!! (Thank you for thinking of her!!)

    Wildcat, we’ve missed you!

    Raisins, cc me in on that letter, please!! 🙂


  317. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Christmas greetings all, I got a wonderful gift last night from my oldest step-daughter. She brought me a baseball autographed by Johnny Grubb. He is a local boy who made good in the majors and a great human being. He has been helping out with one of my grand-daughter’s fast pitch softball team and coaching them on the fine art of hitting. Really made my night.

    Often the best gifts are not the most expensive but the most thoughtful. It will go in my trophy case for sure.

    Wildcat, we have missed you around these parts, Great win for Troy by the way… Go Hokies….


  318. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2010 at 5:46 am

    By the way, she said he was tickled to death someone (me) actually remembered him. Here is a link for all you young folk who may not know who he is… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Grubb


  319. 331 Voice of Raisins December 25, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Merry Christmas to all of my B&S family!

    CL, I will sit down and write a post capsulizing our Moldova trip soon. It is still so fresh, that I can’t yet boil it down into simple terms. Suffice to say that God is good here, there, and all around the world. I have been very touched by my new Moldovan friends and reminded just how very blessed I am. A part of all of them, the children and the orphans came home with me. I will never be the same.


  320. 332 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Hey Gil, I remember the name! Can’t place a face to his name right now, but I bet I would know the swing if I saw it….man, hit .333 with a .412 OBP, then released?? Oh yeah, he was 37…baseball, what a weird game….

    Merry Christmas again to everyone!!!!


  321. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Bah… Humbug… Snow… EECH!!!!

    I remember reading once upon a time (Mad Magazine) That the only people who liked snow were kids, poets and nuts…

    Although it may be pretty to look at while it is falling, at some point it is going to become a sloppy mess. That and it makes the going even more challenging for and old guy like me who is none too steady on shaky pins. That and worrying about the damage it will do to the trees. I did however promise Josie I would get out my old sled so she could slide down the hill behind our house. Yes, it’s great fun sledding down the slope but not so much fun climbing back up. YEE-HA!!!


  322. 334 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Slow day, but I did run across an entertaining piece by Jayson Stark:



  323. 335 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Good one Raisins, should be required reading for every player showing up for spring training this year.

    By the way, didn’t uh, Chipper strain his back taking off a jersey last year?


  324. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Nice update by Carrol Rogers over at the ajc on Kris Medlin. Here is a link…



  325. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Well, the snow has moved on to bless those north of us with some frozen grits. I went outside briefly to shovel off the ramp and brush the snow off the cars. It will be sixty degrees by Saturday, thank goodness. All this snow makes me want to pump out some more CO2… Idiots….

    Anyway, looks like we will hang close to home for a few days to give the Lord a chance to melt the snow via sunshine.

    My, how I do look forward to spring training. I fully understand the idea of being a “snowbird” and moving to Florida for the winter. Actually, I think I could get by just January and February… Maybe even just February, my, how I hate February…

    Anyway, I noticed that the President sent his warmest regards for those who celebrate Kawansa.. You know, the holiday where Homie Clause breaks into rich kids houses to steal the toys Santa left so he can redistribute them to the poor kids….


  326. 338 Voice of Raisins December 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Yeah, Gil…

    How did you like King Obama’s “surprise” visit “to our troops”? Well, that’s what the headline said. In actuality, he visited a Marine base in Hawaii near where he is vacationing. (Yep, Hawaii vacation. This following a stay in Martha’s Vineyard after toodling around Europe.) Anyway, this is the third time he has made this “surprise” visit since being crowned, er, inaugurated. Seems as though the royal family vacations in Hawaii every Christmas, er, “holiday season” and Barry just happens to drop in to the same Marine base every year. I’m sure they were surprised. Again. 🙄


  327. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Maybe he should surprise the Navy with a visit or would that be insulting to the Japanese? After all, we started it by sinking one of their midget subs trying to sneak into Pearl Harbor didn’t we. Hey, that was the implication I got from the History Channel…



  328. 340 Voice of Raisins December 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I got nuthin’… 😐


  329. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Yep, so many things happening, we hardly know where to start… 🙂

    The new skipper for the Mets says they will be better in 2011… DUH… Have you ever heard anyone say.. “Well, we are really going to suck this season, don’t bother to even come out to the park because we are really going to stink up the place”.. Well, aside for the Nationals, and maybe Kansas City…


  330. 342 flbravesgirl December 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    …emerging from a cloud of flour, confectioner’s sugar and sprinkles…

    Hi, kids! How is everyone? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I had a very busy one, as you probably guessed by my absence. The most-wanted cookie was my frosted cut-out sugar cookies. I made 17 dozen of those in the week & 1/2 leading up to Christmas. Just now returning to what passes for normal around here.

    One of my presents is tickets to Opening Day. 😀 Dad’s been a few times but this’ll be my first.


  331. 343 Carolina Lady December 29, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Hey, FGB!! Great to have you back again! Hope all of you had a really great Christmas!

    Tickets to Opening Day. Can’t top that!! Fantastic!!! We will, of course, want a FULL report on everything. ( lol )

    I’m calling it a night. Long but very productive day here today.

    “Night everybody!


  332. 344 Carolina Lady December 29, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I didn’t mean to scare everyone away!!


  333. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm



  334. 346 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Been kind of busy trying to get everything straight with Mom’s estate. There always seems to be something unforeseen to come up. It sure is a good lesson for me as far as making sure all my stuff is order. Even when you think you did everything right, there is always some arrogant bureaucrat who loves to watch people jump through their hoops. Well, the one thing that my advanced age has allow for me to learn is to never argue with a person who wears a badge and a gun and for sure, never get on the wrong side of a judge, no matter how stupid and inane their pronouncements to be. It’s a lot like arguing with someone who buys ink by the barrel, same but different.

    Anyway, it will soon be dark in these parts once the Christmas lights are shut down after New Years. Reminds me of why so many people fall into depression after Christmas.

    So, Saito signed with the Brewers. good for him. Brewers are going to be much better this year. Hey Ber, keeping up with the Hot Stove on the MLB network? Always good intel.


  335. 347 Hillbilly December 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    A man with nuthin’ ain’t got nuthin’ to lose, VOR.

    Hello, knuckleheads.


  336. 348 Voice of Raisins December 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I still got nuthin… :/


  337. 349 Voice of Raisins December 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Oh! Howdy, HB! I posted my new “nuthin'” without the benefit of your input. And you are correct… nuthin’ to lose! 😀


  338. 350 Voice of Raisins December 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Oh, and HB…

    I saw your Little HB/Santa story across the way. Great story. You should share here.


  339. 351 Voice of Raisins December 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Obama hits the town in Hawaii, extends vacation


    How nice for him. I didn’t take a vacation in 2010. I tried to stay employed. I was pretty dang happy to stay in business another year. I’ll know tomorrow if we finish in the black for the first time in 3 years or in the red again.

    I’d love to take my family to Hawaii for vacation. Heck, Florida would be awesome. But given the total failure of King O’s fiscal policies, I have a better chance of seeing the unemployment line than the coastline.

    I hope he enjoys his vacation since it’s my dime he’s on. At least somebody’ll get something from my labor…


  340. 352 Hillbilly December 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Yeah, little Hillbilly didn’t want to share his milk or his cookies with Santa Claus so he told me we were going to leave him some bacon and a Coke.

    Then the dern dog came through and put the big hiest on the bacon before Santa got a chance to get there.


  341. 353 berigan2electricboogaloo December 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    HB, that’s funny! 🙂

    V, to be fair, this is 0’s first vacation in over a month! 🙄
    Everyone remembers Billy Carter, right??? I can name Jeb Bush, Neil Bush… Bill Clinton has a brother or two from his travelling salesman father that he knows about, and I do too…Even heard of Hillary’s bro (forget what criminal activity brought him into the news years ago)

    From the AJC… The president’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her husband joined the Obamas at dinner…

    Has anyone ever heard mention of her??? I mean, I have heard of the Aunt that came here illegally, the half brother living in a hut…but not her…weird.

    And check out that photo of our dear leader…does he look the least bit in shape??? Looks like a typical guy pushing 50 that smokes…well, to be fair, probably a bit thinner than the typical 50 year old today.

    Man, the way people were going on about him when he was first in office….and no one gave a rats….behind, that President Bush was a true fitness fanatic


  342. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hillbilly, that was classic… Josie got a big laugh out of it too. Good to see you around by the way…


  343. 355 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Ber, the term is “hypocrite”…

    Well, got my exercise today.. jumping through hoops…


  344. 356 Carolina Lady December 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hey, Hillbilly! Love the story! And really happy to see your name here!! 🙂


  345. 357 Voice of Raisins December 31, 2010 at 9:22 am

    ‎”But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

    See ya 2010; bring on 2011! 😀


  346. 358 Voice of Raisins December 31, 2010 at 11:48 am

    The Royals have signed pitcher Zach Miner to a minor league contract, according to a team press release. – MLBTR

    And yet another former Braves farmhand lands with the Royals. Can we officially call them our AAAA affiliate yet?


  347. 359 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Sitting here contemplating a new blog lead… May as well start the new year out fresh…

    On KC… They are just treading water until all their prospects hit the Bigs in a couple of years. Much the same as Washington has done.


  348. 360 berigan2electricboogaloo December 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Gil, we solve the depression issue by leaving the tree up til mid January! 😛

    Royals supposedly have the best farm system right now….fans won’t care til they are a .500 + team


  349. 361 Carolina Lady December 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Happy New Year, friends! I sincerely pray that we’ll ALL have a better one than ’10.

    Much love to each of you and your families.


  350. 362 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Happy New Years to you as well CL! And of course, everyone on this here board! 🙂
    CL, my year has been better of late, hopefully that will continue for me, and everyone else will have a great 2011 and beyond!


  351. 363 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Pretty sure this is the latest I have stayed up in quite a while. Happy New Year folks…

    Conclusion… long lost relatives tend to stay that way…

    Poor Pooh, our oldest dog is having a panic attack because of the fireworks being set off. Even Xanax didn’t do the trick tonight. He is getting to be an old dog but I just don’t know what else to do for him. He is petrified of gun fire and loud noises. His little buddy (I use the term buddy loosely as they seem to detest one another) Cotton thinks he is crazy. Cotton by the way is my mom’s Bishon that Josie and I somehow inherited when mom went into the nursing home. (Funny, mom could not always remember my name or who I was but she always asked about her dog)


  352. 364 Voice of Raisins January 1, 2011 at 10:39 am

    We have a Bichon, Gil. His name is Brutus. He is a great family dog, but not so much to strangers. He looks all cuddly and sweet, but would gnaw your fingers off if he doesn’t know you. He likes to climb and sit on the back of the sofa behind your head. I think he’s part goat.


  353. 365 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Yep, they are barkers all right… Cotton is an “old person’s” dog. Always been owned by an elderly person… Myself included…


  354. 366 Voice of Raisins January 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Back to the ol’ routine today…



  355. 367 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Meh indeed! 😉

    Not much going on in the baseball world….last big signing will be the sucker team that signs Adrian Beltre to a ridiculous contract with Satan…I mean Boras. Same difference.
    Oh sure, someone might be interested in Adam LaRoche, he did drive in 100 RBI’s…remember when that used to be a big deal??? Thank goodness the “experts” of today have shown us that’s just a product of people being on base in front of hitters…anyone can drive in 100, as Andruw and Frenchy showed us their last years here….


  356. 368 berigan2electricboogaloo January 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Well, what are we, 5-6 weeks from pitchers and catchers??? Man this offseason has taken forever!

    I clearly haven’t been checking in much across the street….Carol posted a likely lineup…on the 28th….

    What do you all think of this????
    1. Martin Prado LF

    2. Nate McLouth CF

    3. Chipper Jones 3B

    4. Brian McCann C

    5. Dan Uggla 2B

    6. Jason Heyward RF

    7. Alex Gonzalez SS

    8. Freddie Freeman 1B

    Nate and Freddie could swap positions, but IF Chipper started hot, Nate would see good pitches…but, if he starts cold…well, still better to have Chipper behind you than some guy hitting .112. I know I am in the minority here, but I would not cry if the DH showed up in the NL(That ought to wake up V! 😛 ) whomever bats 8th, has a tough job, unless there are runners on ahead of him…but if Freddie or Nate comes up leading off an inning or with one out, no one on, just can’t see them getting much to hit….well, here’s to Jason and Alex pounding the ball! That should be a lot of power from the bottom of the order.


  357. 369 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Rumor has it that the Naztionals want Adam LaRoche. Derrek Lee rumored to be headed to Baltimore.

    So, 100 RBI not a big deal? How many Braves players did it last year? Last 2 years? They had a ton of guys on base too.


  358. 370 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    For some reason, I just don’t get a thrill down my leg when I look at that lineup.


  359. 371 Voice of Raisins January 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Lee is a done deal in O’land.

    I have to admit I don’t quite understand why Rochey hasn’t already been signed by someone. Like you said, B, he’s a 100 RBI guy. Strange indeed…

    Now, as to the DH in the NL thing, I am going to pretend I didn’t read that, lest I lose sleep tonight. 😉


  360. 372 Voice of Raisins January 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I posted this across the way:

    1. Nate/Schafer (I believe each has an equal chance of reverting back to past productive form; not equally good nor equally bad… just equal.)
    2. Prado
    3. JHey (I wonder what pitches he’d see with Danny-boy behind him?)
    4. Uggla
    5. Mac
    6. Chipper (I know most would poo-poo dropping him to 6th, but I like it. Maybe one less time on the basepath per game means one less chance to pull something.)
    7. FreFre
    8. AGon


  361. 373 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I am as tickled as anyone to know we have a GM who doesn’t mess around while others decide who they want to target. He identifies a need and he goes out and acquires the right component. He doesn’t mull over it; he doesn’t wait to react to others. He simply takes care of business.

    But man, it makes for a long off-season… 😀


  362. 374 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Just 40 days until pitchers and catchers report (Feb. 14), and only 45 until the full squad reports (Feb. 19)!

    (Sadly, no word on the exact Camp Roger dates. My best guess is Feb. 7-11.)


  363. 375 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Good morning all, this sleeping at night is something I think I could get use to. It is really hard to turn around a life time of sleep deprivation…

    Well, VaTech got it handed to them last night. Went about as I expected though…

    Yes, perhaps Freddi will move Chipper down in the order, it is the nature of things.

    Started taking down the Christmas decoration yesterday, hard to eat a pig that good all at once… I expect a couple of more days should do it.

    By the way, the powers that be did not like the way I jumped through hoops last week so said I had to do it over… bummer…

    Yes V, I am hoping for a resurgence of Schafer to his pre wrist injury form. Could be a real difference maker on this team.


  364. 376 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Looks like LaRoche and the Nats are very close… and they should be. It’s a good match.


  365. 377 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Yep, As long as he doesn’t stray too far from the park. Pretty easy to get lost in D.C.


  366. 378 berigan2electricboogaloo January 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    V, I thought the lineup Carrol posted was pretty good, but I have to say I like yours better…and Chipper might have less pressure on him there, and you just know the #6 guy will always have tons of runners on in front of him…did anyone comment over there????


  367. 379 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Nope, B… not a one. I figured I get skewered for dropping Chipper to #6… mainly because so many of them pull out their boutique stats to back up why Chipper should bat 2nd or even leadoff.


    Stats are OK for certain purposes, but at some point people have to actually watch a game and see the player from time to time. Seriously, can you imagine a 39 year old dude coming off his 2nd major knee surgery clogging up the bases for the top of the lineup?

    The reality is, until they pull on the spikes, nobody has any idea what any of them are capable of. And unless a leadoff hitter emerges from the group of hopefuls, the rest is scrambled anyway.

    But it does make for interesting banter in the absence of anything else of substance.


  368. 380 chrisklob January 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Greetings all and Happy New Year to you all!

    Just found this tidbit on foxsports.com and thought I’d share it as it doesn’t look like it’s been posted here yet. Seems the Braves and Uggla have come to a long term agreement. The deal is for five years and $62 m which makes him the highest paid second baseman in history. I sure hope we aren’t dreading this deal in about three years!


  369. 381 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    ‘sup, Klobber.

    Considering the monstrous deals that Werth and Crawford just got, in 3 years we could very well be calling Uggla a bargain…


  370. 382 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Morning folks, well now, 62 million… How much is that in real money? Not bad for a guy who was a rule 5 draft pick a few years ago. Don’t be shocked if you see him in left field in a year or two.

    Everyone thought $15 million per year was too much for Derrek Lowe but in the broad scheme of things, it appears to be a pretty good deal for the Braves who wanted Barnett for the same money. The real good money after bad turned out to be Kawakami but that’s what you get when you feel desperate to try something. The Braves will just have to sell more hot dogs and beer to make up for it.

    I’m pretty sure the Bravos will shy away from Japanese imports for a while. At this point, I’m pretty sure they will take about any offer above a million just to get him off their books. Still, the Braves are not quite desperate yet. I guess the thought of having the highest price player in double A is intriguing to them. Anyone think KK’s star power will pack em in at Pearl? Yeah, I thought not too…


  371. 383 Voice of Raisins January 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I’ll tell ya, Gil… I think half the reason for stashing KK at Pearl is to let him know that baseball back in Japan might not be such a bad option after all. Plus, they want their pitchers with a realistic chance of jumping to the big club just a few miles away in Gwinnett. Nothing like a few hundred miles to send a message, eh?

    Personally, I have no concept of $62MM. It is way outta my zip code. But when compared to some of the other more ridiculous amounts tossed around this offseason, I think we did OK.

    And I will agree with you too that he will be a LF before too much longer.


  372. 384 Voice of Raisins January 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    So Beltre signs with the Rangers for 5 years/$80MM w/ a 6th year option for an additional $16MM. Makes Mr. Uggla already seem like a bargain…


  373. 385 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    The problem I see with Beltre is all the baggage he seems to carry around with him. He has a diva complex and if things don’t go exactly his way, he is prone to tantrums and slumps… Sorta like Manny being Manny but for less money.

    Do ya’ll think it might be a left coast phenomenon? Entitlement complex? Personally, I would have a guy like Zimmerman on my team.

    I miss seeing the youngsters come through town, as in AAA farm club… I feel a real disconnect with the team now, I don’t have a clue as to who is in the system. While reports in the papers are helpful, it just cannot replace eyes on evaluations. I am certainly no pro scout but at least I could be honest about what I saw. Far too many folks seem to have a vested interest in the outcome of a particular player. Sorta of like Al Gore and global warming global cooling climate change.


  374. 386 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I think the Rangers are really, really happy that A-Rod voided his contract with the Yankees a couple of years ago and left them with an extra $30 million or so to throw away as a result…


  375. 387 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Speaking of divas, who on the Braves roster could we hang that tag on? Andrew, Frenchy? Actually, I think Frenchy was diva lite… Should have taken his demotion and kept his mouth shut… Likely would still be a Brave today if he had done that.

    Andrew is still the best centerfielder to ever play for the Braves, Brett Butler could have been if he had not been traded. Grisson was pretty good too but was past his prime. Still, Otis Nixon did make “The Catch”… Has there ever a greater play made by a Brave? Questionable as to what play might have been bigger at the time…


  376. 388 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Raisins, I am wondering if KK will feel comfortable speeding in that Maserati in the great state of Mississippi?

    I wonder if his interpreter charges more since he has also been demoted?


  377. 389 berigan2electricboogaloo January 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Gil, I don’t think anyone was better than Otis, could Andruw have gotten that high on the wall??? perhaps when he was 19, but you have to be about 160 to have that kind of spring!!


  378. 390 Voice of Raisins January 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I am wondering if KK will feel comfortable speeding in that Maserati in the great state of Mississippi?

    Have you ever driven on the roads in Mississippi? I hope the Maserati doesn’t sit too low…


  379. 391 berigan2electricboogaloo January 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Wait, they have roads in Mississippi? Surely they aren’t paved! 😛
    You know, for what he’s paid, I’d pitch anywhere…in fact, I would take half as much to pitch in AA. I’m not greedy.


  380. 392 Voice of Raisins January 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Posted by Mr. O’B last night:

    Pretty cool that we’re going to get to see all of the top six prospects in the Braves organization in major league camp this spring, at least for a while. Can’t remember having that many of the top prospects in camp. BA’s top 5 — Teheran, Freeman, Delgado, Minor, Kimbrel and Lipka — all are either on the 40-man roster or expected to get non-roster invitations, unless any plans changed since Wren talked about it a few days after the season ended.

    That is very cool. Man I wish I could get down there for a few days…


  381. 393 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Well, I think it is a done deal that Freeman and Kimbrel make the team, Minor has already been up fr a look see, only Teheran, Delgado and Lipka are unfamiliar to the masses.

    I still think Beechy was the surprise of the season last year, he sure looked like a keeper to me. The only thing hurting his chances with the Braves is the fact the club has so little invested in him.

    Think about it, the only reason Kawakami is still around is not because he has a great arm, it is because the brass hates to admit they made such a huge error in judgment.


  382. 394 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Actually, I love Mississippi, except maybe when it’s hot, or humid, or when I’m actually there.


  383. 395 Voice of Raisins January 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Agreed on Freeman and Kimbrel. Kimbrel has no one left to impress, and will get the lion’s share of save chances. He’s really gonna be a good ‘un. 1B is FreFre’s job to lose. IMO, he won’t lose it. He may not be a ROY candidate, but he’ll be great with the glove and good enough at the plate… and only getting better.

    Minor will have to really suck in ST to not be our #5 starter, and Beachy is the insurance guy at Gwinnett. He will probably get a healthy handful of spot starts this season simply because no pitching staff stays completely healthy for a whole season.

    Teheran is gonna be a star, but not in 2011, and Delgado is only a step behind. It’ll be nice to get a good look at them this year so we can talk about them in anticipation.

    As to Lipka, he’s a baby. But boy does he have talent. He’s likely at least 2 years away if not 3. He’s also likely to convert from SS to CF before too much longer. He’ll be a solid leadoff OBP guy with basestealing ability. Works for me.


  384. 396 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Exactly why I miss Braves minor league players in Richmond… 😦 Oh well, we do plan to go to several spring training games in March. You folks in Gwenette (hint, hint) really should take advantage of the venue, up close and personal and relatively cheap. Sometimes you even get to see a good baseball game but to be honest, that is only a side product, no matter how much the shills try to make out like it’s not.

    A lot like pre-season football, but different. Actually, other than very few players, it is hard to tell anything by pre-season football.

    I do object to the really outrages prices the Braves charge at Disney for spring training games. $55 seems a bit much to watch mostly minor league guys try to make the team. Guys like Chipper have two at bats and then go hit the golf links.

    Of course I have the choice of not going… Bummer, I hate it when my obsessions get the better of me. Actually, the Astros have much lower ticket prices so that is a venue when the Braves travel to catch.


  385. 397 Voice of Raisins January 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Yessir, Gil, I will certainly take advantage of being only 30 minutes from Coolray Field. This year will be pretty special if they toss out a staff that includes Beachy, Teheran and Delgado. That plus the up and comers they signed this offseason should make for a pretty interesting AAA season.

    And I have to admit also that I believe it’ll be a better family atmosphere as well.


  386. 398 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Some of my best memories of time spent with my dad were those spent at Parker Field in his company. Today, whenever I sniff the scent of a cigar in an open venue, I am reminded of those times.

    Football, not so much, dad was never a big fan of football. Much like my disdain for basketball. Same but different.

    Anyway, minor league baseball is a great way to introduce youth to baseball without going broke. Major league baseball is for the “fat cats”. A place to take your clients to impress them on someone else’s dime.

    So simple really why the Marlins have a huge viewership but low attendance. Old folks do not spend their retirement foolishly. Yes, they will spring for cable but not for $8 beer and hot dogs.


  387. 399 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Josie is very suspicious of my plan to catch the Braves spring training games at Viero Beach (Space Coast Stadium) rather than Disney. Well, saving a $100 seems like a good reason to me.


  388. 400 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Well, saving a $100 seems like a good reason to me.

    Seems pretty clear to me also…


  389. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Well, Roachie signs a two year deal with the Nats, good fit for both I think. Hey, Nats have to be better unless everyone is willing to give it all to the Philles without playing a game.


  390. 403 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    CHICAGO — The Cubs are apparently close to acquiring Rays right-hander Matt Garza for five Minor League players, including Cubs 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer and ’10 Player of the Year Brandon Guyer, pending physicals. Cubs officials would not confirm the trade.

    Sources said on Friday that the framework is in place for the multiplayer swap, in which Chicago would get Garza in exchange for Archer, Guyer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Sam Fuld.


  391. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Seems to me the Rays are reloading. Its how its done.


  392. 405 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Yep… the Rays have depth in their starting pitching, and rookies close to ready. They parted with a quality starter to build quality depth on the farm.

    Hmmm… who else has depth in their starters with highly rated youngsters knocking on the door?


  393. 406 berigan2electricboogaloo January 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Hmmm, a team with a darn good chance of winning…..the wild card??? 😕

    Speaking of Hmmm,


  394. 407 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Yes Ber, looks to me like your assessment of “wild card” contender is correct. While the Braves appear to be be a very solid club, the Philleis have really shored up their one weakness. The only other possible chink might be their relief corp but that weakness is not all that glaring.

    Still, strange things have happened between March and October. A hammy here, a rotator cuff there and the landscape can change dramatically. Look at the Yankees and Red Sox, did anyone really give the Rays a chance?

    162 games is a long season, still, I think the Phillies are the team to beat in the National League, I am sure they will get the lion’s share of ink this spring as well as ESPN…


  395. 408 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I’m sorry, but I still won’t concede anything to the Phillies. Sure, they probably have the best 1-2 pitching punch in baseball, but Mr. Hamels has been anything but consistent, and Mr. Oswalt is not getting any younger.

    They lost their big RH bopper. Their SS hasn’t been able to stay healthy. And their 2B, widely thought to be the best in baseball, can’t stay on the field either. In fact, his health has been a problem both off and on the field. Our old buddy Lew provided some very telling numbers across the street (which I won’t bother to reproduce here) that showed a steady consistent decline in his production for the last 4 seasons. I said 4 seasons. That’s not an anomaly. That’s a clear trend.

    Nope, I won’t concede a thing. They have issues.


  396. 409 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Raisins, I am not saying the Philles are a lock, just that they will be the pre-season favorites and rightfully so. It is what makes the game so much fun, I still remember the Braves being picked to finish dead last in the NL West in 1991. It is what make the game so much fun to watch. Anything can and will happen, like I said, a hammy here, a oblique there and things can turn upside down in a hurry.

    It is just hard for me to think where the Braves can improve themselves instantly. A stellar shortstop maybe. They already have a great nucleus for a pitching staff.

    I think the Braves are going to be in the hunt the entire season as long as they can stay health. Isn’t that the real key? That great unknown of who will suffer the bite of the injury bug?

    As far as the NL East, the two best clubs are still the Phillies and the Braves if for no other reason their depth of pitching. Mets will be better but so will the Nats and Marlins. Well, maybe m=no the marlins but you never know. I don’t see anyone in the division losing 100 games this year.

    Just saying the Phillies made a really good move in picking up Lee, personally, I really wanted the Braves to get Oswalt three years ago rather than Texieria.


  397. 410 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Let’s be honest, other than FBG’s dad, does anyone really think the Pirate will contend? They will be better but it comes down to pitching in the end and they are not there yet. Astros? Ifg they can just play in the first half like they did in the second half, they would be favorites. I am not sure about the Cards, they are a real Jekel and Hyde club if you ask me. They have the horses but can they be made to drink? The Cubs lacked chemistry… They sure did not lack payroll… Proof that money isn’t everything. Brewers look a heck of a lot better with the pitching help they acquired.


  398. 411 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Arizona is still trying to figure out who and what they are. Rest of the NL West can be tough… Looks like everyone in the NL at least has a shot. Only makes it more interesting from my perspective.


  399. 412 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Hmmm… I really like the Brewers in the Central, and the Giants have to be the faves in the West.

    Where could the Braves improve instantly? Any production at all from CF will be instant improvement. Consistent production from LF – which should happen as long as Chipper can play – will be an improvement.

    Have you seen the article on Chipper’s batting session? It is a good ‘un: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/01/07/chipper-encouraged-by-first-round-in-the-batting-cage-since-knee-surgery/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_braves_blog


  400. 413 berigan2electricboogaloo January 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I see no mention of the Reds, the team that won the Central. Don’t see them taking a step back, but the Brewers really are better. Gil, like you said, just about any team, save the Pirates, have some chance…good for baseball, bad for the braves…

    And like you said, if the injury bug bit the Phils like the Red Sox last year, then yeah, we could win the East…but everyone and their brother was on the DL at some point last year(except the old left fielder that doesn’t get any respect at places like MLBTR, yet where would they have been without him last year?)
    Jason Werth hit .186 last year with RISP, and .139 with RISP and 2 out!!!!! 😯

    If Domonic Brown hits .226 with RISP, that means the Phils are better off in Right.
    V, Lew is smoking some wacky tobaccky if he thinks Utley (at 32) is on the downhill slide.
    2008, 33 HR,(career high) 103 RBI… 2009, 31 HR, 93 RBI(then hit 5 homers in the W.S. against the Yankees)
    numbers we’d love from out 2nd baseman this year…Last year was his first off year, and he missed 40+ games because of injuries.

    Trust me, I don’t want to say the philthies have the east in the bag, but even when the whole team(ok, I guess not their starting pitchers) had an off year, they still won the east.

    We have improved our offense (though we did lose a guy who hit .330) bullpen may be a tad weaker. But as everyone knows, we just don’t know what to expect in CF, third…we will need to catch some breaks if we are to have any chance against the Phils, IMO.


  401. 414 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Chase Utley stats:

    2007- .332
    2008- .292
    2009- .282
    2010- .275

    2007- 22
    2008- 33
    2009- 31
    2010- 16

    2007- 103
    2008- 104
    2009- 93
    2010- 65

    2007- 48
    2008- 41
    2009- 28
    2010- 20

    2007- .976
    2008- .915
    2009- .905
    2010- .832

    Not a guy who is hitting his stride. Injuries have hurt him more than just in playing time. The hip injury has affected the guy’s swing. Is he still elite? Well, I guess so. But for grins and giggles, let’s just post Uggla’s numbers over the same time period.

    2007- .245
    2008- .260
    2009- .243
    2010- .287

    2007- 31
    2008- 32
    2009- 31
    2010- 33

    2007- 88
    2008- 92
    2009- 90
    2010- 105

    2007- 49
    2008- 37
    2009- 27
    2010- 31

    2007- .805
    2008- .874
    2009- .813
    2010- .877

    Certainly Utley has been the dominant 2B for his career, but the numbers clearly reveal one guy trending downward, and one guy very consistent.

    Call me crazy if you want, but I’ll take our guy over their guy.


  402. 415 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Exactly Ber, Braves have smaller margin of error, having a roster full of boppers and a pitching staff stacked with aces makes a team less susceptible to the effects of one or two guys having slumps.

    Sometimes a team has one of those magical years where everything falls into place. More often a team is just so well stocked that they can just bludgeon you into submission.

    Like Napoleon said, “God is on the side with the big battalions”.. Same may be true of the baseball gods…


  403. 416 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Of course Utly was dealing with his wife’s infidelity too. Hard to stay focused with that sort of distraction.

    Hey, I’m still rooting the Braves, don’t get me wrong. Not saying the Phillies will win it all, just saying they have a very very good team.


  404. 417 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Baseball stats don’t always take into account things like who is batting behind you, the type of pitches you see, the park. Got to be a real baseball geek to mine all that information.

    I just have to go on what I can see on TV. If an opposing pitcher can blow you away with three straight fast balls, well, that is telling. Some guys are mistake hitters, some guys are suckers for sliders… well,everybody is a sucker for a GOOD slider but I digress.

    You can tell when guys are struggling, some guys are just good hitters, some are not… they are the guys who peter out in AA…


  405. 418 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    What is the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter? About 25 hits in a season. For some not even that many if you have a real homer for an official scorer…


  406. 419 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

    V, I’d probably take Uggla over Utley right now too…but Utley seems to be one of the hardest working guys in the game, and just turned 32 a few weeks ago, so I not counting him out by any stretch….
    gee, how many 2nd basemen have there been with last names starting with U???

    Gil, it’s amazing, ain’t it?? 25-30 hits, a hit more every 5th or 6th game.


  407. 420 Carolina Lady January 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Kudos and bouquets to Gil! He has just posted a new lead!!

    NEW BLOG UP!!!


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