101: Pitchers & Catchers Report

Mechanisville, VA – As winter continues to cast its pall upon our  very souls with abounding  dampness and a chill that permeates to our very cores, the words “pitchers and catchers report” seem blissfully near. Oh how we all are longing for that smell of freshly mowed grass as the scent of peppers, onions and Italian sausages frying on a grill waft by our nostrils – like Smoky the Bear, growling and a-prowling and sniffing the air – only we will be hoping to catch the sweet aroma of spring.

Ah springtime, when all is new again.

The hope that the promising rookie we have read so much about while huddled around the hot stove is finally ready to hoist the team upon his strong, young shoulders and carry them to that promise land of playoffs.

We’re hoping that the wily old veteran has one more good season left in  his bionic knees and can   regain the once-powerful stroke that brought glory to the home nine for so many years.

That moves to a new position will not affect an all-star and the new acquisition will live up to his promise.

That the rotator cuffs, ligament and tendons of pitchers young and old will hold up through the long grueling season from early spring past the hot dog days of summer.

Yes, soon baseball fans will be able to shed their bulky sweaters and down-lined parkas for the flowery shirts and Bermuda shorts that will revel the ravages of time and age as their pale skin is once again exposed to sunlight.

Spring.  That time of year when all hope is renewed, the ledgers are even, last season fades from memory and the names of players previously unknown grace the lineup cards of thirty teams, all striving to be the last one standing in far away October.

Yes, the doldrums of winter are still with us, flu season still abounds but friends, there is still hope as we await for “pitchers and catchers report”, those sweet words that are the time-honored harbinger of springtime. Just as the robins flying north and the swallows retuning to Capistrano let us know the warmth of spring is upon us, the smell of neatsfoot oil and BenGay will let us know that “pitchers and catchers report” is a reality and not just wistful thinking during a long cold winter’s night.


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317 Responses to “101: Pitchers & Catchers Report”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Excellent, Gil!! Well said! And MANY thanks!!


  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks CL, and here we sit and wait as snow and ice approaches… Hopefully the rest of the gang will find us soon to rescue us from our dilemma.


  3. 3 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Won’t be me or V Gil, his area is supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow, and down south where I live, 1-2 inches(GRRR!) but up to a half inch of ice, yea!!!! Wait, boo….haven’t read the new lead, have to run to get some stuff we don’t really need(well, perhaps 1-2 things we need) but I am sure it’s great! 😉


  4. 4 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks, Gil.

    I can almost smell the fresh cut grass and hear the pop of leather right now. I can’t wait…


  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Josie seems to think as long as we have all the essentials, you know, bread, milk and cat food, then we are set… I’m thinking yeah, plenty of cat food… They taste like chicken, right?

    Time to dust off the old moo goo gai pan recipe…. To tell the truth, it’s the skinning part I don’t really like….


  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks V… Stay safe down there. Snow is not so bad… ice on the other hand…. a real pain in the u-no-?


  7. 7 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Heh heh… after the snow we dealt with in Moldova, this really shouldn’t be so bad. The ice, though…

    The good part is that they have already called off school here tomorrow. So the family will all simply huddle up and bunker down. Of course, that is until 1:00p. School or no school, the boy still has wrestling practice. Yep, they take their wrestling very seriously down here…


  8. 8 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Just beautiful Gil, Go braves!!!!! 🙂


  9. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo January 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    V, is that wrestling practice still on??? I am hearing some areas are getting 3 inches of snow per hour….we had really heavy…..sleet….then a little snow…now nothing. 3/4 inch tops, but now they have it in the 30’s for days, we will be stuck home for days. Even though it doesn’t seem slick on our sidewalk, there is a car that has spun off the road right in front of our driveway, and somehow went up a neighbors lawn. can’t quite figure that out since you’d have to really be going fast to go backwards and up a hill to do that….


  10. 10 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say V Jr will not go wrestin’ practice today! 😛
    How much snow V??? How much snow CL, Gil, Wildcat(perhaps) Salty, Chris???

    I have a foot of sleet in front of our front door! Of course, that’s mainly from the sleet sliding off the roof. Really no snow at all, just sleet, very weird!


  11. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

    here are some photos about 2 hours ago, more sleet has of course since fallen.


  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Best advice I can give is to make sure you take your cars through a carwash after it is done with the snowing to make sure you get a fair amount of the chemicals from underneath your vehicle. There is a reason you don’t buy used cars from the rust belt.

    The snow/ice/freezing rain accumulation predictions are all over the place for us. It is the nature of the beast where I live, a half a mile or so either way can make a big difference. Nothing to do but wait it out.

    Ber, for some reason people go really crazy when there is ice on the roads. I’m thinking they believe they have some sort of superpower that protects them from stupidity. Actually, the opposite is true, that is why I stay off the roads in bad weather, just can’t take a chance some yokel will slide into me.

    I spent enough years having to be out in the muck to be able to just watch it fall now.

    V… wrestling coaches are a little wacked to begin with if you ask me.


  13. 13 berigan2electricboogaloo January 10, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Gil, good advice! We had many a nice car get terrible rust…
    Gil, so very true about drivers in snow/ice….so many left their cars on the freeways last night, it’s truly amazing!
    True about wrestling coaches too. Some stoner waiter at a local IHOP claimed to wrestle, and coach wrestlers, even though he looked about 18…talking about how he’d get guys to lose weight…good grief! Why not go up a weight class???? Everyone in the next class will be weakened by not eating/drinking fluids, meanwhile, you are eating like a horse!


  14. 14 Voice of Raisins January 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    In the end, wrestling turned into voluntary for those that could gain safe passage. That did not include my young’un. It’s not so much about maniacal coaches as it is maintaining conditioning and weight. Some of these boys are always right on the edge. And with the state duals championship tournament coming up in just 4 days, it is a crucial time. (Did I mention that Jefferson is the 9 time defending duals champion?)


  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Josie and I escaped for a while today and went by mom’s old house to look for picture albums. We will spend the next few days now scanning some of them into the computer. Gosh, my dad was a good looking guy… Mom was a pretty good looking gal too, I guess I was adopted… 🙂

    Best advice I can give for a kid trying to lose weight is Atkins Diet. First 3 days they will be weak as a kitten but after that they can maintain or lose weight but not starve themselves. Of course all that meat can make them someone oderific… Added advantage?


  16. 16 Carolina Lady January 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    We have a good 5″+ on the ground and the temp hasn’t been above 30 all day, going into the 20s tonight. Sleeting now. Oddly enough the southern tip beaches got almost NO snow or anything else. The northern end (where yours truly now resides) got it good – or bad. Cars in ditches, etc everywhere.

    Okay, I’m waiting for one of you to notice anything different. Again. *sigh*


  17. 17 Voice of Raisins January 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Fredi! 😀


  18. 19 Voice of Raisins January 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Oh, dear lady… you have truly outdone yourself with that one. Perfection.


  19. 20 Carolina Lady January 11, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Glad you like it, V!! I thought it was only fitting for him to be there. When I saw that pic, I knew it was the right one – and began working on it. Several hours later, there it was!


  20. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Good morning… up at 2AM again I see. I noticed the difference right away CL, of course I just clicked on but, well, you know….

    I am trying to stay away from the news media for a few days for anything but the weather. Looks like most of this storm is going to miss me. I shalt not taut, at least not yet. I know how things can turn around in a hurry.

    I want so much to be able to get outside and do some things but my bones done take kindly to damp and cold and my gimpy knees don’t allow me the balance to negotiate ice and snow.


  21. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Just want to thank CL and Raisins for taking all the force out of the storm before it got to us here in VA. Looks like a little sleet as it moves on to a more deserving bunch of folks like Lew.

    Still, a tad bit of cabin fever as there are a few nuts on the road who can’t even drive in the rain, much less a little patch of ice here and there.

    Thank goodness we stopped by the ABC store on the way home yesterday to lay in the essential supplies. 🙂

    Never seen a storm reach an intensity that a few fingers of Jameson couldn’t overcome…


  22. 23 berigan2electricboogaloo January 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

    CL, sorry I didn’t see it, it looks great! 🙂 I am guilty(especially when there are 500+ posts) of zooming down to the bottom of the page without looking at the header. You could put nekked ladies up there, and I would miss it for a few days! 😛 Why would you do that though? Just doesn’t make sense! 😕


  23. 24 Carolina Lady January 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’m really happy that y’all approve of the new banner. I liked that concept and wanted to acknowledge Bobby in it. Salute, Bobby!

    V and I are happy to help out, Gil! Anything to help a friend. It’s still overcast, dark and cold. The temp has finally crept up to 33 (wind chill 27) so it’s drippy outside even though it isn’t raining as the snow slowly begins to melt. Going back down into the 20s again tonight and the forecast calls for “possibility of sleet and/or freezing rain. Terrific.

    Amazingly our mail was delivered yesterday! I could hardly believe it! She must have chains on that truck to have made it through – especially way off the highway like I am. Congratulations, Miss Martha!!!

    According to local news, there were over 100 wrecks in the county yesterday.

    There’s a photo on the local newspaper website today of TWO hummingbirds in someone’s backyard. I don’t see how they have survived the extraordinary low temps we’ve had this winter – down in single digits a time or two, not much above that frequently. Yet, there they are with snow in the background. Amazing little creatures.

    And it’s just plain unnatural to have the beach covered with snow all the way to the water line. 😀

    Spring, wherefore art thou?????


  24. 25 flbravesgirl January 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Hey y’all! Beautiful lead, Gil. I’m ready for ST. Sadly the Braves are not coming here (or anywhere close) this spring. And I assure you that Dad doesn’t think the Pirates will be any good. He buys ST season tickets to assure himself nice seats & to see every team that comes in. Remember that he practically grew up at McKechnie Field.

    I hope everyone is snug & warm inside. The cold air is just getting here now. Last we knew Tiger had gotten 9+ inches & there’s been more since then. It’s driving Dad nuts that we missed the Christmas snow & this one but we’ll be there soon. At the rate this winter is going it’ll probably snow then too (hopefully not when we’re trying to drive to Greensboro though).


  25. 26 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    No mail here for 2 days. So much for the old rhyme, huh? 🙄

    But we did have wrestling practice, and I did get the boy there. Did I mention that I drive a Pontiac Vibe? And did I mention that there is a very long hill at my neighborhood entrance? 😐

    Going out was no problem. Coming back in… problem. It took me 3 tries and about 30 minutes, but I made it back to my driveway. Of course, then I couldn’t traverse it either. That said, it is now sufficiently cleared. Wish I had though of that BEFORE I went out. I also wish I had a snow shovel. You would be surprised how effective a good dustpan is! 😯

    And the boy caught a ride home with some friends in their Jeep. Thank God for friends. 😀


  26. 27 Carolina Lady January 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Hey, FBG!! Great to see you again!

    V – a dustpan??? with long handle, I hope! 😀


  27. 28 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Long handle? Uh, no. It was not easy work, but it was effective. Now I get to request a backrub from Mrs. Raisins and can use sympathy as a motivator. 😉

    I can always find a diamond in a coal mine! 😀


  28. 29 Hillbilly January 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Lord have mercy! Been trying to access this place for months now and it freezes up when I get to the comments section every time. I ain’t dead yet, you bushwackers!


  29. 30 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    That’s the spirit, HB. You shall overcome!


  30. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Yeehah.. so happy the white stuff mostly passed us by… Did not stop the schools from closing but as I have no children at home… NO PROBLEM. 🙂


  31. 32 Salty January 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    (Belated) Happy New Year, everyone! Oh, my…been so busy…and no end in sight. Sigh….

    I’ve lived in the South 95% of my life and yesterday was the first time I shoveled snow. Still had my shovel(s) from NJ (actually, one from Wisconsin…28 years back) and salt (it’s only been 16 years!). So, in good ol’ Woodstock, we have the cleanest driveway/sidewalk in the area. My sons appreciated the experience! 😆 … my lower back, not so much.

    Be well…be warm…be healthy…and prosperous! (welcome back from Moldova, Raisins!)

    CL…always the best!
    Ber, FBG…not forgotten, either!


  32. 33 Carolina Lady January 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Wow!! If I had known that simply changing the banner would bring FBG, the Hillbilly himself AND Salty, I would have done it long ago!!!

    WELCOME!!! I am so happy to see each of you!

    OK – what do I have to do to get the Wildcat back o n board???


  33. 34 Carolina Lady January 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Does anyone else have the mental image of a certain B&S resident cleaning tons of snow and ice off his driveway with a whisk broom and that little bitty dustpan???

    I hope it’s as funny as the one I have!!!

    Thanks, V! I REALLY needed a great laugh!!


  34. 35 Voice of Raisins January 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

    My dustpan shall be hung up in the garage as a memorial to the great Fridgamageddon 2011.


  35. 36 berigan2electricboogaloo January 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    CL, it is a funny thought, sounds like something my Dad would do! 😉
    I had to use a dirt diggin’ shovel to lift the VERY heavy sleet away from our front door. If I was to buy a regular shovel, that would guarantee no snow for 5 years…sorry guys, I like snow too much to do that! 😛
    seems like most of the ice has melted, but theres still that part of the subdivision, going downhill that I slipped on last year, hopefully it won’t be too bad….


  36. 37 Voice of Raisins January 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Was there an earthquake that I missed?

    3 former Braves – DeWayne Wise, Clint Sammons and Joe Thurston – were signed today by Kansas City, er, I mean the Marlins and not Kansas City.

    Will miracles never cease?


  37. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Mon o man, someone in KC must have been asleep at the switch.


  38. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Mon??? Are there any Jamaican baseball players?


  39. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    An observation, funny how the mind wanders, is it only the Caribbean Islands on which Spanish is the primary language that baseball is played?


  40. 41 Carolina Lady January 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I make a motion that the Snow/Ice Removal Dustpan be adopted as our Official B&S Award. Assuming we ever award anything again.

    V, that’s the funniest thing I’ve visualized in a very long time! I grin and people ask what’s funny? I just say, “You had to be there!”


  41. 42 Voice of Raisins January 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I may just have to take a picture of it and send it to you…

    Check it out, though. It scooped more snow/ice per scoop than a shovel, and didn’t mark up the driveway like my shovel. My neighbors looked at me kind of funny, but I didn’t really care. I actually had 2 different guys come over and ask if I wanted to borrow a shovel. But the dustpan worked better! One guy was walking his dog and passed by my work when I was about halfway done. By the time he made it back around, I was done. He was amazed.

    The problem was, it required me to bend over alot to use it correctly. It also required a certain amount of dexterity, so I had to use my right hand to do it right. Today, my whole right side is so sore from my hand/arm/shoulder to my leg/knee/foot. My left side… not at all. It is soooo strange.


  42. 43 Carolina Lady January 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

    You’ve given me the only real laugh I’ve had in far too long. I can just see a video showing up on youtube of this guy cleaning his driveway with a dust pan! 😆

    Braves & Stuff: Home of the Golden Dustpan


  43. 44 Gil in Mechanicsville January 13, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Well, better than the Golden Bedpan… Now that would really be a … uh.. you know…

    Still, a great story Raisins.

    What gets me is whenever we have a snow here, there is always a run on snow shovels. What do people do with their old ones? I’m kind of like Salty, I have owned mine for years, not like you can really wear one out or anything, at least I don’t think so.

    Yes Ber, a regular shovel is much more work than a snow shovel.


  44. 45 Carolina Lady January 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

    That’s like people always running out to buy plywood to cover their windows when a hurricane comes. I wonder what they did with the plywood they bought from the last one?

    I have big sheets of 3/4″ marine plywood that is marked and predrilled for each window and the glass doors. Neatly stored waiting for the next storm.


  45. 46 berigan2electricboogaloo January 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Wow, Soriano signs with the Yankees for quite a bit!


  46. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Here is the latest… Francis Fox Pivin says the “Tea Parties” are all about sex… Man, I need to start going to those meetings…. I have been going to the wrong ones…

    Uh… Soriano… Just wait until he faces a little adversity in New York, won’t be enough money to make up for the abuse…


  47. 48 Carolina Lady January 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    You and me both, Gil. I’ve never been to a tea party that wasn’t about either TEA or POLITICS. And nobody ever told me about those other ones. Uh, how does Pavin know??


  48. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    So, the AJC does a piece titled “Pitchers and Catcher Report”.. I’m telling you, they are reading our blog….


  49. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Had a couple of the neighborhood boys come over for some firewood today. They use wood exclusively to heat their house an the Lord has provided quite a bit of hardwood on my property to be cut up and burned via snow and ice storms and various northeasters. Too bad they can’t use pine. I have a stack about 8 foot high and 20 feet long now.

    Hey, I was neighborly, I used the tractor to pull the logs close to where they could drive their truck and let them have at it. Glad to get it up. Only a fire hazard here as far as I am concerned.

    Of course they had to split it the old fashion way. Axe and maul.. Made me tired just watching.

    Getting closer to finalizing out spring vacation. Sure wish I could have taken these when I was young and strong and could have really enjoyed it. Bummer… but a life lesson to pass along.


  50. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville January 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Hummm, everyone must have lost their internet service at once….


  51. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo January 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Must be Gil! 😉


  52. 53 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Good morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

    When is the cut off date for accepting arbitration?


  54. 55 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Not sure, but today is the day for teams and players to exchange salary figures…


  55. 56 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Activity at Turner Field… note the ice in the pictures…


    (Courtesy of ajc)


  56. 58 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    This tidbit from Mr. O’B: Braves settled on one-year deals with Prado for $3.1 mill and Jurrjens for $3.25 million & $50,000 in performance incentives


  57. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I am mulling over idea of purchasing the MLB baseball package over the internet vs the DirecTV package which I believe is $199 for the season. I think the computer thingee is $40 for the season. At what point do I simply say the heck with it and just watch the Nationals and the Orioles…???

    So that leaves Moylan and O’Flarety to sign, right?


  58. 60 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Wow… Cody Ross got $6.3MM from the Giants. Not bad for a waiver pickup, huh?

    I think the Braves still have Peter Moylan and Eric O’Flaherty left. Betcha they get those deals done today as well.


  59. 61 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    And as we expected, Braves settle with Moylan for $2 mill and O’Flaherty for $895,000 – ajc.com


  60. 62 berigan2electricboogaloo January 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    V, when you said Big news on Braves broadcasts, I just assumed they were moving the Braves games from yet another FM station…which one’s haven’t had the games??? One of the Rap stations??? 🙄

    Moylan, for the billions of miles on his arm, seems a bit underpaid to me, especially when you see what some less than stellar guys get!


  61. 63 Voice of Raisins January 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Pete is good as long as he sticks to 1 inning or less, and only faces righties. Lefties kill him. Let’s see the numbers:

    IP: 50.0 vs. righties / 13.2 vs. lefties

    Hits: 37 vs. righties / 16 vs. lefties

    HR’s: 3 vs. righties / 2 vs. lefties

    BB’s: 15 vs. righties / 22 vs. lefties

    K’s: 49 vs. righties / 3 vs. lefties

    WHIP: 1.04 vs. righties / 2.78 vs. lefties

    BAA: .214 vs. righties / .308 vs. leftie

    Especially look at the walks… 15 in 50 innings vs. righties, but vs. lefties, 22 in only 13.2 innings. That is startling. He can’t get lefties out. I’m surprised they didn’t non-tender him, to be honest with you. I suppose they figured they have enough loogies to get away with it.


  62. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Actually, I think Peter has been playing with a bad arm/shoulder/elbow take your pick fro much of the past two seasons. Causes his slider to flatten out when he is overworked (something Bobby would never be guilty of, right?) I think he may have a better year if used a bit less.


  63. 65 Voice of Raisins January 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Pete’s true value to the team is his ability to get the ground ball. But his BB ratio against lefties is startling…


  64. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Sometimes a guy has “stuff” that is a bit too good and it fools even the umpires. Still, it has to look like a strike coming out of a pitcher’s hand. Last season it appeared Peter had lost a bit of his MOJO but at the end, the life returned to his breaking pitches. Watching from 1000 miles away via a center field camera, it appears he has the ability to make his pitches break both right and left, sometimes however, I think pitchers try to be a bit too fine and rather than saying, here it is, hit it if you can, they try to get cute or fearful and end up walking guys.

    That said, it’s okay to walk guys like Howard but you better be pretty sure you can get the guy behind him. We saw a lot of teams challenge the Braves the same way last year. Too many holes in the line up. How many times did we see the Braves leave the bases loaded last year? The Braves had a great on base percentage as a team but really had trouble making the other team pay.


  65. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    And speaking of paying…. Ber, I think you may have put the curse upon me, I am 75% certain my hot water heater is leaking but it may just be residual from a leaking pipe I finally got fixed yesterday.. (Note to self… stop trying to fix copper pipes and convert to PVC sooner) … Found a nifty product that is just as cheap and does not require me to remember how to properly solder joints…. (Which I suck at)….


  66. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    On the plus side. We must have 200 pounds of “stuff” to take to the Goodwill as a result of having to clean out the closet to the Master Bedroom. At what point do you decide that the cloths you wore 10-15 years ago will no longer fit you? Note, I have never owned a pair of “skinny” jeans in my life. Just saying…

    Still, some things I am not yet willing to part with, like the old joke goes, you just can’t eat a pig that good all at one time… Let me know if any of you really want to hear the entire joke (as in, you have not heard it before).

    Anyway, trip is set. will only catch two games this year but that is about all I can manage anyway. Will take lots of pictures and deliver my mostly unvarnished opinion.


  67. 69 Voice of Raisins January 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Dang it’s slow…


  68. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    That’s only because you are not cleaning carpets…


  69. 71 Carolina Lady January 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Ever notice that the Roman numerals for 40 are XL?


  70. 72 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

    No… no I haven’t. I need to study up on my Roman numerals. They always boggle me on crossword puzzles…



  71. 73 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Old Braves farmhand Blaine Boyer signed with the Mets yesterday.




  72. 74 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Now, for more “meaty” news from yesterday:

    –Johnny Damon signed with Tampa.

    –Manny Ramirez signed with Tampa.

    –Vlad Guerrero and the O’s are close to a contract.

    –And LAA and TOR completed a “blockbuster” (quoted because I don’t particularly see this as blockbuster even though the headlines are touting it as so) trade that sent Vernon Wells and his enormous and unreasonable contract from Toronto to Anaheim in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera? Blockbuster? A salary dump for a couple of pretty good but not exactly star players is blockbuster? Wow how we have devalued the term…


  73. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Yes Raisins, a lot like the word “hero”… Way over used to the point it means anyone over 60 who can still get out of bed in the morning… Uhhh, wait…

    Anyway, I was looking at the draft schedule, appears the Rays are very well positioned. Someone in their front office has made sure they will stay well stocked.

    Vlad to the O’s? Interesting.

    Predictions… The Nats will finish ahead of the Mets this season. Still think the Braves are early favorites for the wild card. Phillies are just too deep right now. Of course, there is Philly’s bullpen….


  74. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

    So, the Rays go from All-star in left field to all clown in left. Manny is just a nanny without the “kick-a-poo” joy juice.

    On that note, I think Chipper will have a stellar year. Reason? Guys work so hard in rehab trying to come back that they actually are in better shape than before they were injured.


  75. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Good interview on the Braves MLB site with Freddi G. I know it has been up a while but I don’t get around much these days…


  76. 78 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Braves MLB site? Oh, yeah… forgot about that.


  77. 79 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Well, now it appears that Vlad’s deal with the O’s is anything but imminent. Too, bad. Everyone else in the AL East seems to be working this week…


  78. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Good morning all, Well, it got really cold last night… Man o man how I wish I could afford to move to warmer environs during the winter months. Tis a good thing to be able to pay the electric bill I suppose.

    Now baseball…. ZZZZZZZZ Still waiting for KK to be traded. Other teams know the Braves have no plans for him and even though they could use him on their team, appear content to allow the Braves to continue to pay him $7 mil a season thus tying up the Braves capital. tThis makes it harder for the Braves to bolster their line-up because of a lack of money plus reduces the amount of cash available for signing draft picks. The flip side is if the other teams wait, chances are they could pick up a decent back end of the rotation guy for meal money…. Braves are hoping they can make life miserable for KK by sending him to Pearl so he would accept a trade back to Japan. Meanwhile Kershin is trying to save face and a $7 mil dollar payday by sticking it out. I wonder if he is afraid he will have to give up his car if he moves back to Japan? Life can be complicated sometimes can’t it?


  79. 81 Carolina Lady January 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Does he cut grass and rake? I’m looking for somebody for that.

    It’s colder than blue blazes here too, Gil. This is about the coldest winter I remember! We normallly have little dips into the 20s over the course of the season, but this year it has just stayed there. 😦


  80. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Yeah CL, good thing we’ve got that global warming thingee going for us, huh?…


  81. 83 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Free-agent slugger Jorge Cantú made it known Saturday while attending the Michael Gill Benefit Ragball Tournament in Channelview, Texas, that ongoing conversations with the Houston Astros regarding a potential contract have recently ceased, thus leaving the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres as the clear-cut favorites to obtain his services.


    OK… I truly hope this comes to fruition. You should all remember that espoused the signing of Cantu early in the offseason. In my opinion, he is the ideal signing. He bats rightie, thus he is the RH compliment to Freddie Freeman against tough lefties. He plays a good 3B, thus he is the guy to lean on when Chipper can’t go, leaving Martin to play LF full time and not flip flop.

    Honestly, if Frank makes this signing, he will have far and away exceeded my expectations for this offseason.

    Man, I am starting to get really excited about this upcoming season.


  82. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    So, just how much is he asking and for how long? Jorge is a decent player and I was hoping the Braves were going to pick him up last season but the rumor mill was that he was headed to Baltimore. I think he was asking more than they wanted to pay.

    Thought it interesting how things worked out for Cody Ross, if I didn’t know better I would venture the timing of his release by the Marlins was to spite the Braves. I think he would have made a huge difference especially after Prado went down to injury.

    Timing is everything isn’t it?


  83. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    That $7 mil the Braves are paying Kershin appears more and more like an albatross everyday doesn’t it?


  84. 86 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    And just as quickly as the spark of excitement was born, it has been snuffed. The Cantu rumor has been officially debunked by the team’s beat writers sourcing team officials.



  85. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    See above reference to said albatross….


  86. 88 berigan2electricboogaloo January 25, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Right you are Gil! Hope the home boy upstairs isn’t meddling, saying the braves don’t eat salary, or won’t eat more than 2 mil…any money saved is money saved…


  87. 89 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 8:02 am

    And Cantu goes to San Diego.

    I get it. I understand that Mather gives the Braves what Cantu can offer, with even a little more versatility. I would just like to have a little more certainty.

    I suppose too that I would rather have a GM roll the dice on a player that could potentially be a great pickup than to just sign a guy you know will give you OK production, but that you also know won’t rise above that.

    So I’ll just accept what Frank is doing and hope that the dice roll favorably.

    One more thing… Frank is notorious for holding back in the early season so that he can adjust after the season begins. I am on board with that 100%. I would definitely NOT want him to hamper that ability now.


  88. 90 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 8:07 am

    My humble opinion on KK…

    Q: When are teams most desperate for starting pitching?

    A: Late in spring training after they know what they have (or don’t have) going into opening day, and at the July trade deadline.

    I think Frank is simply waiting for teams in need of starters to come to him. My money says he’s right. Betcha KK is dealt in late spring.

    Disclaimer: If KK comes into camp and sulks, and his pitching reflects that, it’ll blow the whole thing. If he comes to camp with the same pride that won’t allow him to return to Japan, then his pitching should reflect that as well. Pray for the latter.


  89. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I’d say it would be pretty hard to convince someone that a player to whom you are paying $7 mil per year is worth that after you have dropped said player to your AA team and not even invited him to spring training.


  90. 92 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Oh, yeah… I harbor no illusions that they will trade KK and all of his salary to boot. But they might get half. I do think Frank will get a better portion picked up the longer he waits into spring.

    And let’s face it, even a $2MM savings would be more than you have now for a pitcher who does not figure into your plans at all barring a spate of injuries.

    One more thing… what if – just a what if – he comes into spring training and looks like Cy Young? (By that I don’t mean dead and buried.) Then what? Could he make the Braves reconsider their 5th spot?

    Just a spoon to stir the puddin’…


  91. 93 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Oh, and one more thing.

    The Braves dropped KK to the AA roster as a procedural move that allowed them to remove him from their 40 man roster. That was at a time when they were making spots for new relievers and for kids they wanted to protect from the Rule 5 draft. And if any GM had been loony enough to actually claim him off waivers, Frank would have bought the guy a first class seat to come and get him.

    I suspect they will hope for a good spring in what will be nothing more than a showcase.


  92. 94 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    … it should be noted, too, that they thought they were going to be trading him to one of a number of Japanese teams that were showing definite interest. That was going to happen. It was not really a matter of when, but more a matter of to whom.

    KK, as we know, blocked that strategy.


  93. 95 berigan2electricboogaloo January 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    what if – just a what if – he comes into spring training and looks like Cy Young? (By that I don’t mean dead and buried.)

    😆 😆 😆


  94. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, we have seen KK when he actually pitched well, it makes you wonder if it is physical or mental that he just outright stunk up the place in his last appearance as a Brave. Either way, I wish him well somewhere in the American League.

    You are right however in Frank Wren waiting for someone else to blink first. And yes two million is too million, even when you are getting $5 a pop for a 25 cent hotdog….

    Anyway, look at the bright side, the Braves have some pretty good arms for a pretty cheap price relative to the market so you sometimes just have to look at the big picture.

    I mean, I think the Nats have a pretty nice assemblage of position players but I still don’t think they have the pitching staff to make them winners.

    On the face of it, the Braves have a very nice team if they can stay healthy but then, so does St. Louis and the Brewers and the Cubs look stronger and didn’t the Astros play a lot better once they shed some dead wood?

    Cantu is a good fit for the Padres, he will be an everyday player there but was really would have been insurance in case Freddi Freeman did not work out for the Braves.

    So, how many openings are available on this year’s line-up fr the Braves? One? Two?… A utility infielder and a long reliever maybe?

    Of course I would like a little better defense up the middle but if defense was all you needed, Tony Pena Jr. would be an everyday guy….


  95. 97 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t think KK ever adjusted to pitching every 5 days, and maybe even to the MLB baseball. (It is just slightly larger.) But, that’s water under the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge.

    Positions still up in the air? Backup SS and backup CF. Both could be filled from within. Count me as one who still believes Jordan Schafer will carve out a decent career. And I am looking forward to seeing this Ed Lucas fella. Supposedly an excellent fielder, with a AAAA bat. Sounds like a backup to me…

    (You know that Tony Pena is now a pitcher with the White Sox, right?)

    I like our team as it stands now, but as you say, alot rides on staying healthy.


  96. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    The way I see it based on who did what in the off season, I don’t see a big change in the final standings but I do think there is a bit more parity which I think is a good thing. The Braves have improved their line up a little bit. I think they will be more consistent on offense, I am hoping Freddi gets acclimated really quickly, it is going to be the key this year in my opinion.

    You are right about our centerfielders too.


  97. 99 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Carroll Rogers (ajc): Camp Roger, more officially known as the Braves voluntary two-week pre-spring training pitching camp, will begin on Monday at Turner Field. It will go for two weeks leading up to the time when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Monday, Feb. 14.

    As far as I am concerned, spring begins Monday. It’s about dang time!


  98. 100 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Yikes! I mishandled my italics! Mulligan!!!

    Lemme try that again–

    Carroll Rogers (ajc): Camp Roger, more officially known as the Braves voluntary two-week pre-spring training pitching camp, will begin on Monday at Turner Field. It will go for two weeks leading up to the time when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Monday, Feb. 14.

    As far as I am concerned, spring begins Monday. It’s about dang time!


  99. 101 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm




  100. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Camp Roger…. Funny, but it seems a lot of players train all year round now. Too much pain to go through trying to get back into shape rather than just staying in shape. Anyone remember way back in the day when only one or two guys in the whole league would actually lift weights?

    I think Babe Ruth trained on hot dogs, beer and hookers… I doubt he would hit .225 in today’s game. Just saying…

    I think we are on the path back to seeing a lot more speed in the game. A lot fewer guys hitting three run homers, pitchers are a lot more willing to walk guys to pitch around sluggers.

    People can say what they want about high scoring games but I like those well pitched 2 to 2 1/2 hrs games. 5 hour baseball games are brutal…


  101. 103 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

    No Gil, more 5 hour games, please! 😛


  102. 104 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Here is MLB’s top 50 prospects list, . Julio Teheran is #10
    Mike Trout is #1, not Bryce Harper, interesting.
    Is it terribly wrong of me to like that really fast white guy from the Angels??? 😕



  103. 105 Voice of Raisins January 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Julio at 10? Hmmm…

    That’s hard for me to swallow. There are 9 better prospect in the game than him? I, uh… I’ll play Missouri on that one. They’ll have to show me they’re better. I don’t buy it.


  104. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    The thing to remember about prospects is they are just that… They have the potential to be superstars if all the planets and the moons and the sun align perfectly. That they are in the right place and have the opportunity to excel with the right mix of tutelage, maturity, street smarts and , well, y’all get the idea. Anyone else think that maybe if Steven Stausburg had not been rushed along as quickly as everyone clamored for him, he likely would not have torn up his elbow?

    Te path to success in the majors is littered with guys who couldn’t miss only because the right time did not come along for them.

    or something freaky happened (Jordan Schafer) or didn’t (Brad Kominsk) …

    Don’t worry folks, how many people predicted the kind of success Kris Medlin would have? Why am I more impressed by Brandon Beachy (who is not on the list) than I am Mike Minor who is?

    Only takes one idiot owner (Dodgers) to screw up your system for a while or a bunch of idiot owners (Pittsburg) to keep them that way.

    I like way the Rays are doing with their team, not over paying, developing homegrown talent, making good trades.
    I always hated the jerks like Loria who does not care a whit about the team, just sees it as a cash cow.

    I like what Washington is doing, I laugh at the chaos that is called the Mets…

    The Braves are right on the cusp, only the Phillies stand in their way. Hey, money talks and a lot of money talks really loud. Still does not guarantee success but it makes it harder to fail. Not like always having to draw to an inside straight every hand when the other guy is holding queens….


  105. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    RATS….. It’s snowing… I hate snow


  106. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Still snowing 😦


  107. 109 Voice of Raisins January 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I laugh at the chaos that is called the Mets


    Me too!


  108. 110 Voice of Raisins January 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    The Braves are right on the cusp, only the Phillies stand in their way.

    The Phillies have outstanding starters, but their ‘pen is far from that. They’re gonna need alot of innings out of their hosses, and that could catch up to them in September. Ibanez is clearly on the decline, and neither Rollins nor Utley can stay healthy.

    Now that I have calle that kettle black, we have a few question marks of our own. Chipper… ’nuff said. JJ? I hope he is the JJ of ’09, not of ’10. Nate? Uh, Schafer? Freddie? Yeap, we have our own share of question marks. That’s why they actually play ballgames, right? I cannot WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  109. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I just hope the crazies across the street give the season a chance to play out before they start screaming for heads to roll. Likely that won’t happen however.


  110. 112 Voice of Raisins January 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Good luck with that…


  111. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Ah… Let the real games begin, Albert Pujols reportedly ask for 10 years at $30 million per year from the Cardinals…. Wow, he is a great player but I can’t see the Cardinals going for it. I wonder if he is going to like it in Boston?


  112. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Really folks, I am beginning to think these people are playing with monopoly money.


  113. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I’ll bet these guys think the US Treasury just prints money out of thin air… Oh, wait…

    No wonder they have to charge $7 for a cup of warm beer…


  114. 116 Voice of Raisins January 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I remember when Mike Schmidt got $2MM from the Phils. It was outrageous! Now it is an insult…


  115. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Kind of makes you wonder why you would put money in a savings account rather than buy the Jag, right?


  116. 118 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Questions for the Cardinals would be, how many empty seats without Pujols in the line up vs him playing every day, how many games would he win for us? Who would we have to trade to keep him? Which body part is going to fail first? Who’s money are we spending anyway?

    I look at the Rangers when they were saddled with A-Rod’s contract. They could not afford the extra parts needed to make the team competitive.

    Only two teams in baseball can afford to pay big contracts and they are the Yankees and the Red Sox.

    I don’t begrudge Albert for asking for it, I just think there has to be a bit more balance. There is no perfect solution, people go for the money all the time. Hey, I did the same thing when I was younger, just not for as much…. I still regret it sometimes…

    So teams have to ask themselves, at what point do we price ourselves out of the market? It is still all about the balance sheet. Some folks have a bigger balance than others.

    As an example, one of our local socialites (for lack of a better term) apparently could not make ends meet with an alimony of 1 1/2 million dollars per week… Is now in foreclosure and is filing for bankruptcy.


  117. 119 berigan2electricboogaloo January 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    10 years 300 Mil is crazy in the NL…I don’t get what is wrong with say 6 years at 30 mil, then 1 year mutual contracts afterwards…

    Why is it the one guy on the blog that truly loves snow, never sees any??? Just a ton of sleet, which looked like fake snow, and didn’t even cover the dead grass…sigh…


  118. 120 berigan2electricboogaloo January 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    and why is it Vladdy can’t find a half decent deal?? 2 Mil??? I know, a lot for you guys(and me) but still…what did he do last year??? 29 HR, 117 RBI’s .300 BA. Oh, his obp. was only .345…and he’s 35.And can’t play good defense after all those years on the rock hard astroturf in Montreal. Well, worthless, clearly, who would want him??? 🙄


  119. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Why is it the one guy on the blog that truly loves snow, never sees any???

    You love it because you don’t ever see any, if you had to shovel enough of it you would change your mind…


  120. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    The outfield in Montreal was the villain that cut a lot of good players’ careers short


  121. 123 Voice of Raisins January 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Andre Dawson immediately comes to mind. What a talent…


  122. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Yep, Montreal was but one of the many examples of “Arena” baseball gone mad…

    I thought it was funny when the NFL players were whining about having to play Minnesota on a frozen field after the Metro-dome roof collapsed. (Another clear example of global warming I might add).. Anyway, I remember the classic “Ice Bowl” game between the Cowboys and the Packers played for an NFL Championship in similar conditions in Green Bay and the Packer players were running around in short sleeves while the Cowboys could hardly be pried away from the heaters….

    Having played a fair bit of HS football myself, I can attest that my favorite games were in the mud, and least favorite were in the snow. Never had to play on an artificial surface except for kick ball on the “black top” in elementary school. Of course I more than made up for it with a career path that led me to standing on concrete floors for 25 years….


  123. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

    And it is snowing yet again…. AAAUUUGGGHHHHHH!!!!!


  124. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Maybe Albert is fearful we will be switching over to Zimbabwe currency as the new standard…



  125. 127 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Ha! I have lost alot of respect for Phat Albert after that last salary demand. When too much is not enough, perspective is out the window. Yes, I know he is the best hitter in the game, but by making that demand, he just plainly put his own selfish desires above the good of the team. $30MM per year? Really? And what do the Cards fill out the rest of the lineup with? The Royals?

    Speaking of the Royals, kudos to Gil Meche for actually caring about the team that set his family up for life. Backing away from a guaranteed $12MM because you don’t think you are earning it is newsworthy indeed. SALUTE!



  126. 128 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    You are right of course about the relative value of a player.

    I know, why don’t the Yankees create an intramural league in which they could all be Yankees, sounds like a sure media bonanza for ESPN… All things Yankees and only Yankees all the time…. What’s not to love?


  127. 129 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I blame ESPN…


  128. 130 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    … and WalMart…


  129. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm


    Now, a bit of political advice for the President in respect to Egypt… Sit down and shut up…. No winners in this, only losers…


  130. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Must be because of Glenn Beck.. right?


  131. 133 Carolina Lady January 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all your comments while catching up. (Where does time GO???) I’ve been working on a lot of different things and days fly by much too quickly!

    “And if any GM had been loony enough to actually claim him off waivers, Frank would have bought the guy a first class seat to come and get him. LOL


  132. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Dang the War of Northern Aggression!!!!! So many dead ends due to burned out counties…. All about the same generation….


  133. 135 Carolina Lady January 29, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Ain’t it the truth, Gil! They destroyed our land in so many ways. If they really knew what their people did, maybe they wouldn’t be so smug and condesending.


  134. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville January 29, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Oh, they are smug and condescending because they are smug and condescending.

    Just another example of a bad idea gone amok.


  135. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Man, weird dreams the past couple of nights…

    It won’t be long before we will be pulling out the driveway and headed south for spring training. I get more anxious everyday.


  136. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Now, ask me what the two have to do with each other… Nothing that I’m aware of…


  137. 140 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2011 at 10:08 am



  138. 141 berigan2electricboogaloo January 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This is so wrong, and so funny! :mrgreen:


  139. 142 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Good one Bro…


  140. 143 Voice of Raisins January 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Oh that is too funny…

    … eerily accurate, but too funny.



  141. 144 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Camp Roger starts today!

    (I’ve got my Braves cap on today, too.) 😀


  142. 145 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Just in case some of you may not still use AOL, I thought this to be a great article. We all know them, have them, seen them among us, heck, some of us may even become one…


    Now I know why folks avoid my calls… 🙂


  143. 146 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson is a great American.


  144. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Sooo,, Explain to me again why my premium went up another 10% this year while my co-pay increased and my coverage was decreased…


  145. 149 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Courtesy of MLBTR:

    The Braves announced that they signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (Twitter link).

    The Braves’ rotation is already deep; Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens provide manager Fredi Gonzalez with four solid starters. Lopez will presumably battle with Mike Minor for a rotation spot and Kenshin Kawakami and Brandon Beachy provide Atlanta with even more options.

    Lopez logged 200 innings for the Diamondbacks last year, posting a 5.00 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. The 35-year-old induced more fly balls than ground balls last year, posting a 37.6% ground ball rate. Lopez underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and missed time with shoulder inflammation in 2009 before recovering to start 33 games last year, the second-highest total of his career.

    Gotta wonder if Frank is stockpiling arms for a reason. He’s got a bunch of ’em for sure…


  146. 150 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    This is a very curious signing to me. He wasn’t signed for the bullpen, he wasn’t signed out of need for a 5th guy, and he wasn’t signed out of need for depth. Given that there are other real depth needs on the current roster, Frank isn’t afforded a “luxury” signing.

    For years, the formula was simple: 3 bona fide top of the rotation veteran starters, 1 promising rookie/youngster, 1 veteran reclamation project. One has to wonder if one of the top starters is being very quietly dangled. You have to wonder, don’t you?


  147. 151 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    According to the beat writer, Lopez had 15 quality starts last season.

    Why would no team give this guy a major league deal? Not even Washington?

    I think it easily spells the end of KK wearing a tomahawk…


  148. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Raisins, The Nats already have 8 starters lined up for spring training this year.

    Minor League contract is no risk venture… You need pitchers for your AAA team too.

    Still, it always takes a guy a lot longer to come back from TJ surgery than they make out. Two years is about right.

    KK won’t be back in Atlanta except to pick up his car.


  149. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Fly ball pitcher… Just schedule him to miss starts in Phillie and any AL park. Could fare pretty well in Florida, Atlanta and New York in the spring. Not so much in New York in the summer and fall.

    I still contend that Washington will not finish last in the NL East this season.


  150. 154 berigan2electricboogaloo February 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Very weird signing indeed! Didn’t he make the braves look bad in one or two starts???
    I never heard about it til last year, but wherever the Diamondbacks park is, it’s at the 2nd highest elevation of any ML park. So that’s one reason balls fly out of there.
    But why didn’t some team, somewheres take a chance on a guy who threw 200 + innings??? All the AL teams buy into the hype that many pitchers can’t pitch in the AL…but yeah, unless V is right, and JJ or Tommy (I know, shudder the thought, unless they think that motion of his is a trainwreck waiting to happen)is trade bait…just really doesn’t make sense.


  151. 155 berigan2electricboogaloo February 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

    saw an interesting theory on the comments section on MLBTR, that taking him off the market creates more of a market for KK…..


  152. 156 Voice of Raisins February 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Think Chipper isn’t in shape and motivated coming into Spring? See what happened in the cages below the Ted this morning:



  153. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Way cool Ber… You know folks, Ya just never can tell when a innings eating guy might just be a handy thing to have in your tool bag.

    I’ll bet he gets showcased a lot this spring.

    Yeah, Tommy always seems to be just one pitch away from a torn rotator cuff… Or worse, a torn laburnum.

    I think the idea with Frank Wren is not to bring a kid up too soon so as not to start the arbitration clock until they have to.
    having an older guy to throw into a game or two while guys get over tired arm syndrome might be beneficial.


  154. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Somebody will make an offer for KK this spring, just not one for $7 million…. It’s not like the Braves have anything more to lose at this point. Kershin is already assigned to AA, the money owed is a given. Just waiting for some team who is really desperate to take a flier.


  155. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I still remember Loius Tiaent really stinking up the place in Atlanta and Richmond until he got his release and was able to sign with Boston… Some guys just sandbag…


  156. 160 Voice of Raisins February 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

    This is how we do it here in GA:


  157. 161 berigan2electricboogaloo February 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

    V, 😆


  158. 162 Voice of Raisins February 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I am posting this only because it is there:


    I disagree with this Steve Henson guy six ways to Sunday. (What exactly does that mean?) I don’t know, but I’ll simply list 6 ways I disagree:

    1. He talks of the bullpen in “iffy” terms, yet mentions Jonny Venters exactly 0 times. Credibility immediately takes a hit right there.

    2. Understates the addition of Dan Uggla’s bat to the lineup, instead choosing to focus on a perceived defensive liability at the end of his new contract. That has what to do with 2011?

    3. Overstates the loss of Omar Infante to the Marlins. While I appreciate the contributions that Omar made to the team, he was a backup player. No mention of the very valuable backup Eric Hinske.

    4. He believes that Chipper could “reach base at close to a .400 clip but probably without the power needed in the three-hole.” He based that on..? Wait, there was nothing else mentioned. No real basis for that statement. Just a statement. Thanks for he hunch, pal, but I’ve got plenty on my own without yours. Whatever…

    5. He categorically states, “Reality, thy name is Cliff Lee. The Philadelphia Phillies are again a better team than the Braves, and by a greater margin.” By a greater margin? Based on the acquisition of Cliff Lee alone? Because I don’t see any other significant acquisitions. I do see the loss of their #5 hitter and his 27 HR’s from the right handed side of the plate. (By the way- Danny-boy, whom the Braves have added, had better numbers in 2010…) I also see a 38 year old LF whose game is in sharp decline. Combine that with a middle IF that struggles to stay healthy, and I hardly see the Phillies widening any margin other than the payroll margin.

    6. This guy may need to have his lips surgically removed from Cliff Lee’s butt. He mentions Cliff Lee’s name in this article about the Braves 2 times, which is more often than he mentioned All-Star catcher Brian McCann (0 times) and all of the Braves’ projected starters combined – which again was exactly 0. Really? You’re gonna assess the Braves without even a whisper of the starting rotation, yet mention the opposition’s new starter twice. Real objective there…

    Mr. Henson, leave the heavy lifting to the big boys, OK?


  159. 163 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Well Raisins, who you gonna believe? Now you see why I like to evaluate players, teams, etc based on my own eyes on experience rather than rehash the vitriol we hear and see on various sites. Some of the very reasons you cited give credence to my point.

    I am by no means a high priced talent scout but my limited knowledge of the game plus my ability to judge people based on the conditions under which I see them allows me to boast a better track record than 99% of the pundits who occupy the blogosphere via their mom’s basements.

    I agree, the Phillies do have a better team on paper than the Braves this year because they have a better staff of starters but they won’t run away and hide if the rest of the teams in the league can at least not roll over for them every time they (the Phillies) show up.

    They have some holes in their relief corps and there are some questions about some of their everyday players.

    As for Uggla being the new face of the Braves, I hardly think so, there are at least 3 and maybe even 5 other guys I think you could easily put ahead of him.

    Yes, he can make a difference with his bat, there will certainly be plenty of RBI opportunities available for him whether he is hitting 4th or 5th. (I see Freddi flipping him back and forth with McCann).

    One thing for sure, we as Braves fans can attest that getting to the post season is one thing but winning it all is quite another. It takes combining talent with skill plus some luck. Having the wrong umpire for a particular game can destroy a team’s momentum. One bad call can change everything.

    Therefor, I put forth to you to just write off Henson as another moron with a keyboard and a web site. Methinks folks can get better and more accurate information right here on the good old B&S….


  160. 164 berigan2electricboogaloo February 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    What V and G said! :mrgreen:
    Well, I will comment on this part….

    yet by the end of the deal Uggla could be so defensively challenged at second he’d make Jeff Kent (the later years) look like Roberto Alomar.

    V already mentioned what does this have to do with 2011???
    And I know he’s a better 2nd baseman than Kelly Johnson, who forever looked like a left fielder playing 2nd for the first time. I have seen Uggla make many good plays, often against the braves. He doesn’t have the range of some guys, and he sure doesn’t have the typical body type, but he works his butt off, and is sound out there.


  161. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Gee Ber, you really need to get out more. Uncle Sam has been paying for the lawn care and household maintenance of the residences of foreign dictators for years, why would it upset you to learn of Mr Peanut’s perks.

    After all, it is a jobs program, right?


  162. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Yep, if Kelly Johnson could make the transition to the infield, I am pretty certain Uggla can learn how to shag flies in left if it comes to that. After all, Klesco managed to survive without looking like Conseco… Well, not too many times…


  163. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I will get a chance to Matt Young in ST but I think he is plan B for the Braves this year as the 5th outfielder/infielder. Depending on how he looks, possibly he could take Conrad’s spot although I am sure the Braves would like to get him as many at bats as possible. Probably more of a mid season call up.

    By all accounts, Brandon Hicks is a decent glove guy, he needs to get his bat going if he ever hopes to stay in the major leagues.

    I still envision seeing Uggla moved to left field during his tenure with the Braves.

    It is going to be tough for Freddy Freeman to get it going if he is stuck down in the 8 hole this season. He better learn to hit the one mistake pitch he will have thrown to him during an at bat.


  164. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2011 at 11:19 am

    The bad thing about seeing the Braves early in spring training is the Braves pitchers are always way ahead of the hitters. Towards April things have evened out a bit.

    I will not make it to opening day with the Braves in DC but I do plan to make it to at least one of the opening set.

    I see where the Nats made a trade with the Yankees for another arm. I would like to see Washington play the Phillies as tough as they do the Braves.


  165. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    That said of course, it’s worse to not be able to see them at all. Looks like I will see two ST games this year. I doubt I will see Chipper at either one as one will be away at Space Coast Stadium and one will be at Disney on a Sunday.


  166. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I wonder why people don’t listen to good advice? Didn’t I say on this very blog to stay out of that mess in Egypt because it was a family fight? Now, see what happens when someone has nothing to lose gets backed into a corner?

    Open season on free range journalist over there now….


  167. 173 Carolina Lady February 4, 2011 at 3:15 am

    V, loved the video! LOL

    Valid points all, Gil. Especially about Egypt. *shakes head* Why can’t the United States Government once, just once, do something right???

    Hearty birthday greetings to our stalwart but oft-missing, sometime-saloon keeper, the one and only KLOBBER!


  168. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Hey Chris, Happy Birthday Bro….


  169. 175 Voice of Raisins February 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

    This according to Rosey:

    Braves right-hander Kenshin Kawakami figures to be among the myriad options the Yankees consider when looking for rotation help.
    The Braves, though, might get a better deal from Japan.
    Two Japanese clubs are willing to acquire Kawakami and cover more than half of his remaining $6.67 million salary, according to a major-league source.

    Pearl Braves or Nippon Ham Fighters (one of the best baseball names anywhere)? Maybe Kenshin will reconsider. You ever drive the roads in Mississippi? They’ll tear that Maserati up…


  170. 176 Voice of Raisins February 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Oh!!! 😯

    Happy Birthday, Klobber!!!


  171. 177 berigan2electricboogaloo February 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Chris!


  172. 178 berigan2electricboogaloo February 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Uh-oh…Mutts ownership in trouble it appears…

    And Jim Edmonds had signed with the Cards again. Glad to see someone 40 still playing, amazed his body can still handle it, but I guess that year off helped…


  173. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Bergen, He will be the only type of player the Cards will be able to afford if they give up $300 mil to Fat Albert..

    Let’s all hope the Kershin has an outstanding spring, value might go even higher….


  174. 180 Carolina Lady February 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    KK would spend more than he makes just trying to keep the Maserati in alignment.

    Pearl Braves or the Ham Fighters. I might have to think about that one. HAM fighters???


  175. 181 Carolina Lady February 5, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Yesterday I solved a computer problem I have fought with for many months. I finally tracked it to and deleted Windows Defender – and now everything works just fine! I had been about ready to throw this tower in the trash because of all the trouble I had.


  176. 182 Voice of Raisins February 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Yes, CL… Windows Defender successfully drove the final nail in my last laptop.


  177. 183 Carolina Lady February 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Gil, I spent I don’t know how much time trying to trace down the source of the problem – this program, that program, etc. Finally got to Defender, disabled it – and the computer behaved just as it was supposed to. Since Defender was redundant anyway, I just removed it completely. *happy girl here*


  178. 184 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I have Windows Defender also but only as a back up. It does not run all the time. Every so often I will run it as an addition to Norton’s (I like their new version). I used AVG for a very long time but found that on occasion it would slow down my CPU and often missed viruses. I guess I should not complain as it was free.

    I do know that certain anti virus programs are incompatible. McAfree is like that with just about everything.

    You can also have problems if you anti virus programs is set to scan all you incoming e-mails. I just delete all the e-mails from people I don’t know. I will often scan attachments however before I will open/download them.

    I have a neighbor who is new to computers (duh..) and he now thinks I am his personal guru every time he has a problem. I have taken to answering his calls with (“This is Peggy”)… Anyway, my most frustrating thing is having to go over to my step daughters house to constantly “fix” her desk top. People who have something to hide (my son in law) should not be allowed to use a family computer because in their attempts to conceal their shenanigans, they screw up the computer for everyone else.

    Funny, young folks don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept that everything you see, do, write, read or otherwise post or do with a computer is never lost and will someday, somehow come back to bite you in the butt…..

    Now baseball… Games started yet????


  179. 185 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    By the way CL, still working on my family tree, so many hours, so little headway but the reading of histories is really fascinating. I started writing my father’s bio last week. I fear if I don’t, it will be lost forever. So much I don’t know about him really. Does anyone really know everything? Josie says I need to write my own story, maybe she is right. After all, who would have guessed I was once an alter boy???


  180. 186 berigan2electricboogaloo February 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

    KK would spend more than he makes just trying to keep the Maserati in alignment.
    CL, 😆 and he would really chew up his tires finding a shop that could even do it!


  181. 187 Carolina Lady February 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Gil, I completely gave up on McAfee – just useless and caused more problems than it solved. And Norton. I had things totally shred Norton with the ease of a hot knife cutting butter.

    I now use Avira and love it. Works quietly and VERY efficiently in the background, scans everything – even email – before it is downloaded. Haven’t had one second’s trouble with it. If it detects anything while surfing pages that appear innocent, it will stop it instantly and warn you of what it has spotted. You then have the option to accept its “Get me outta here!” or to continue.

    Kelly had had some problems with the av she was using but since I put Avira on hers and got rid of the one she previously used, her computer runs faster and smoother, with no problems.

    I had the RAM increased in my computer several months back and was convinced that they had royally screwed it up – backtracked on everything possible, checked even the most hidden settings and finally found that Defender was the cause. Don’t know what the shop did to cause it to behave like that but it is gone forever now. Machine just flies and any browser works great – well, IE as well as it sluggishly can…. 😆

    I had even resorted to using the laptop I was given for most online activities because the pc was so all-fired aggravating.

    Baseball. As V says, “I got nothing.” Except that Andy Pettit retired. (I don’t think I’ll ever remember how to spell his surname.)

    LOVED the “Chipper tore the cover off the ball” story!


  182. 188 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    CL. I have been using Mozilla for quite a while now, really much faster than IE and love the built in spell check. hey, some of us are not blessed with excellent spelling skills. Anywho, watching the Superbowl because.. well, why not?

    I think I shall root for the Packers just because I don’t really have a dog in this fight…


  183. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    No other reason really


  184. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Wow, I can hardly believe that a team I was rooting for actually won a game…. Something strange this way comes…

    Speaking of which, boooo on Agualia actually forgetting the words to the national anthem. Shades of Rosann Barr, almost… And the Black Eyes Peas saved by Usher… Perhaps he should have been the Star…

    Best commercials were both Volks Wagon… Darth Vader and the “Beetle” both great. One Pepsi Max commercial was kind of funny too in a slapstick sort of way.

    And the game was actually pretty entertaining too. Forced people to at least stick around for the second half.


  185. 191 Carolina Lady February 7, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Gil, I used Mozilla 99.9% of the time – and I agree, it is greased lightning when compared to IE. Sorta like cable vs dial up.

    Ball game? Baseball hasn’t started yet!

    😆 yes, even I know there was a football game on today. Whatever. 😆

    Yeah, I heard that girl really messed it up! I still maintain that Sandi Patti has the best. She sings it as it should be done. The purity of the quality of her voice is simply matchless. And her voice control is just unsurpassed. I’ve listened to one of her albums most of the day.

    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiLRHkkrp48
    I don’t think the video really does her justice but maybe you can enjoy it.

    You should hear the studio version of this. Just matchless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmeYlHfT0nQ&feature=related


  186. 192 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Wow CL, that would have been a Superbowl opening that would have whipped 100,000 or so folks into a frenzy… Of course that would have made the Blackeyed Peas’ performance look even more lame.


  187. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Truth is, very few folks can pull off a live performance live in a large venue.

    I think Beverly Sills did it once at a Dodger WS opener.

    A lot of today’s performers are exposed when they don’t have all the goodies found in the modern studio.

    Sadly, singing is not one of my fortes’. Too high pitched and whiny… I am a good clapper however, as in applause for a well done performance.

    And gripe, I can gripe with the best of them… See, my union background was good for something. I learned to complain about the most meaningless things, just think, I could have been a star on MSNBC…. Or any other cable outlet run out of someone’s garage.


  188. 194 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

    WARNING. Rant ahead. Proceed at your own risk:

    Super Bowl hype… bleh. Aguilera? Typical glam and style over substance. Black Eyed Peas? Typical trash over substance.

    I miss when the Super Bowl was about the football game.

    As for the commercials? Didn’t watch if I could help it. Most of it is pure trash. It’d be nice to watch the really fun and creative ones, but I would wear my thumb out trying to flip back and forth trying to avoid the commercials that would have garnered a XXX rating not so long ago. And it’s only partially to do with the kids, since the NFL in their infinite wisdom ends the football game (remember the game?) after what should be the kids’ bedtime on a school night. I don’t care to put that garbage in my own mind.

    Do I sound preachy? Well so be it. I’m proud of it. I am so very tired of a world that has its priorities and values so terribly upside down. I literally dove for the remote for that Sketchers commercial, a commercial that FOX had no problem airing, yet they refused to allow Lookup316 to purchase airtime.

    Lookup316? Don’t know what I’m talking about? That’s because it has gotten almost no attention. The organization was refused airtime on FOX because it contained “religious overtones.” But it never even said the name Jesus or even God. It never mentioned church or religion at all. All it did in 30 seconds was to basically say, “Look it up.” Actually, it didn’t even tell you to look it up. It simply gave their website, lookup316.com.

    Story here: http://www.examiner.com/spirituality-in-charleston/lookup-316-at-this-year-s-superbowl

    What’s wrong with that? If people didn’t want to look it up, they didn’t have to. They could even tune the commercial out like I did with the Sketchers one.

    Yet FOX decided that it was too controversial. They had no problem airing the trash that was the Sketchers commercial.

    It makes me want to puke.

    By the way, Lookup316 was able to buy airtime on some local market TV channels. I understand the ad was effective enough that the website got shut down from so many hits. I guess a few people actually wanted to see something positive.

    Wow… how dangerous. Heaven forbid that people might actually get a word of hope.

    God help us.


  189. 195 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Rant over now.


  190. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    That’s okay Raisins, you are among friends and some of us are even of a like mind. I did my soul searching about religion(s) starting when I was about 12 and ended around 30. Why so late you might ask? Well, once you have been slain in the Spirit, you pretty much lose all doubts about who your Lord and Savior is.

    Of course along the way, you do have an opportunity to learn of other cultures and get a good understanding of why other people might think, act or believe as they do.

    Personally, I would rather have a man express his doubts to me than lie and say he believes something he really does not just to appease me. Not like I’m handing out tracts or anything….

    I accept the fact that other folks have different beliefs and value systems than myself, does not make any of us better or worse than the other, God will ultimately determine short comings. I am at least thankful I will have the opportunity to meet him. I suspect my place in Heaven won’t be very large, perhaps a cardboard hut but I do plan to make it, even if I am homeless.. 🙂

    Yes, the majority of what is on TV is trash but as with anything else, we have the power of the ON/OFF button.

    Funny how they always like to show celebrities in the crowd. The people I admire are seldom seen on TV and often never mentioned. Again, a different set of values.


  191. 197 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

    The people I admire are seldom seen on TV and often never mentioned. Again, a different set of values.

    Matthew 5:5

    Amen and amen.


  192. 198 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Now, baseball. (Homage to The Scribe.)

    Week 2 of Camp McRoger. Inside 7 days to P&CR.


  193. 199 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Ooh! Spaminated!


  194. 200 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I’ll try it this way, then.

    Tick tock, mang.


  195. 201 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Ha! I beat the Spaminator!


  196. 202 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Odds that Phat Albert walks?

    I say it’s pretty even at the moment. Actually, I’ll take a more firm stand on that. I’ll go 60/40 that he walks. St. Louis understands that even with the unique talent that Albert is, they still have to act responsibly. He wants the moon and the sky, and St. Louis will only offer the moon and a handful of stars. I’ll bet that Mozeliak parlays Phat Albert into a bounty at the deadline instead. That’s what I’d do. Heck… all you gotta do is go to LAA and pick up Kendry Morales, Mike Trout and a handful of other prospects. Problem solved. 😀


  197. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I’d say that Albert Pujols is a major talent, is he worth 30 mil a year, maybe. Is he worth $30 mil a year for 10 years, likely not… But someone will pay him . He might even win a WS with another team but not knowing how much ST Louis actually has available, I’d say trade high. He will bring a ton of prospects from somebody. After all, it is not like St Lo had a lot invested to begin with, that and his tight hamstrings make him a pretty risky investment.

    That said, Albert should have at least two more MVP awards. Unfortunately, Barry Baroid was allow to steal them from him.

    Raisins, can’t say meek, just do not have great publicist… 🙂


  198. 204 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I doubt most people remember that one of the great catalyst for the Braves becoming a winner was when they traded Dale Murphy. No, did not happen over night but it allowed the Braves to invest. Actually would have happened sooner if Ted Turner had stayed out of the baseball operations.

    OH by the way, I will give Fox props for one thing last night, the citing of the Declaration of Independence by various folks. It was really awesome… made me want to go overthrow a government somewhere… Oh wait…


  199. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Now Braves baseball… The headline (well sorta) on the AJC ask about the starting rotation for the Braves this season.

    I’m pretty sure the 5th spot in the rotation is going to be Mike Minor’s to lose if for no other reason (and I can think of a couple) is he is a lefty. At some point, you have to face facts that having a southpaw in your rotation allows for a bit of a different look for opposing batters.

    The Braves also will want to prove they are brilliant in their draft selection prowess. Hey, can’t have some no name walk on like Brando Beachy making you look like a bunch of chumps now can you? I think Lopaz is insurance. Kershin is invited just so I will have to watch him pitch in the two spring training games I will get to see. Actually, it would be tough to convince other teams to take a chance on him if you did not have enough confidence to let him be in camp… Just saying…

    Still, I think the Braves have to be careful in determining the right number of innings for JJ and Hanson and Minor vs burning out you bullpen way to soon. Facts are, young pitchers just do not have the physical makeup to pitch 200 innings early in their careers without tearing up something… yes, they can look really good for a while but they won’t look very good for 200 innings.

    The history of the major leagues is littered with great young arms who were one hit wonders. At some point, someone has to be smart enough not to treat them like so much cannon fodder.


  200. 206 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    And just in case y’all missed this by Peter Gammons, here is a link.

    I still think these guys are bugging my phone.



  201. 207 berigan2electricboogaloo February 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, lotsa posts the last day or so! I might have to get back in the habit of checking things out more than once every day or two! 😉
    Is it just me, or is it depressing that the World Series was the lowest rated one…ever?? (at least in many a year) but the Superbowl has the highest ratings ever???
    The complaint we hear about baseball is that if it isn’t Boston or NY, no one cares. Well, the Steelers and Packers certainly have a rich history, but are from non media powerhouses…But, if the W.S. was say the Pirates vs. Brewers(well, back when they were in the A.L) no one would care, even though the Pirates sure have had their moments in the past….Don’t get it…I know superbowls are just one game, easier to turn into a big deal for one day, W.S. could be 4 games or 7….but why does the Superbowl get bigger and bigger, and the W.S. is almost an afterthought these days????


  202. 208 Carolina Lady February 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Hype, Ber. Pure media-driven hype.

    And, look who does most of the baseball televised promotions: ESPN et al. If it isn’t in the NE markets, they couldn’t care less. Attitude of some sports media.

    It’s always media. Look what Turner did with the Braves through TBS. He made sure the word was spread and, for that time, the Braves WERE America’s team. The Braves, in effect, built TBS.

    I well remember not being concerned if an obligation caused me to miss a televised game because it would be rebroadcast later that evening. 😆 Turner was smart. He knew the Braves were the key and he kept them in the forefront of everyone’s eyes.

    Now that the team is not THE featured team they were, they have settled back down into the generic barrel with everyone else as far as many armchair, TV-watching fans are concerned. (That is – all those who are not devoted as WE are!) 🙂


  203. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Well Ber, no violence… Easier to show. Lots of reasons, besides, what else you going to do in the winter? Not like there is an other compelling TV. That and it’s almost impossible to figure out how to bet on baseball…

    Nice piece on Brooks Conrad by Carroll Rogers. How can you not pull for this guy?



  204. 210 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

    but why does the Superbowl get bigger and bigger, and the W.S. is almost an afterthought these days?

    Uh, 9:00pm starting times on the east coast? It’s hard enough for me to stay up until after midnight when I have to work the next day, but no way the kids can even get a sniff. And so the erosion will continue because the kids don’t grow up with it.


  205. 211 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Great, great story on Conrad. It’s hard not to root for a guy like that, ya know? It’s hard not to identify with a guy like that.

    And a nice piece of writing by Carroll Rogers. I think she, too, is a but underrated.


  206. 212 berigan2electricboogaloo February 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Great story Gil! I have always liked the guy, and sure hope he makes the club this spring.
    Liked the Gammons story a lot too, getting me amped up for the season, we are getting there!


  207. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I think the point Gammons was trying to make was although the Phillies starting pitching staff is stacked, it is wrong to count discount either the Braves or the Marlins and that the Nationals are coming. Kind of dissed the Mets though. Must say I agree.

    Like I said, 162 games for a long season makes…

    Now footall, I know, I can see I have your rapt attention. Owners are showing their avariciousness. (Been wanting to use that word since I found it in a history book). 18 game season will certainly dilute the product even more and I don’t think the human body is built to withstand that sort of punishment. Football is a base sport, more akin to gradiators and pro wrestling… I think many folks are so bored with their own lives, they dream of being the bad a** but know they never can be. Oh well, I watched the game Sunday night but I doubt I watched 5 other games this season. The thing I saw that I liked the most? The red 2011 Camaro the MVP won…. Woowee… that was a nice car…


  208. 214 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

    18 game season? Well, I have on opinion on that… (big surprise, right?)

    Most players think that a 4 game pre-season is too much. Most season ticket holders – who are compelled to buy tickets to those 4 games as a part of their package – think that 4 pre-season games are too muck. The owners agree, as long as they can still sell tickets to those 2 games, so they want to simply make them regular season games.

    I say bah. 16 games is too much. It already makes a mockery of the great accomplishments of NFL’ers past in their former 14 game schedules. What could Jim Brown have done over a 16 game schedule? I can remember when a 1000 yard rushing season was a feat. Now, it is just a pretty good season.

    Now… back to the 18 game thingie. In my humble opinion, it has become a lightning rod for the owners by specific purpose. They will keep pushing it because they know the average fan doesn’t give a rip about the extra toll it takes on the players. They just want 2 more weeks of their favorite team. I don’t blame most of them. This lull between the Super Bowl and the beginning of baseball is the black-hole of sports. Both create an extreme vacuum. But in the end, it’s simply a red herring. The owners and players association will negotiate over several million dollars – something the fans DO NOT want to hear about – and the owners will eventually make a “major concession” and give in on the 18 game demand.

    Posturing… all posturing. The NFL owners just do it better than most. Baseball owners whine about their lack of income… bad tactic.

    I’ll bet that no lockout happens. I’ll bet that they extend a deadline here and there and shoehorn an agreement in without too much off-season disruption. The NFL has very successfully managed to make their sport pretty much a 12 month sport. The Super Bowl is followed by the free agent period, then amateur combines, workouts and assessments. Then the college draft approaches with more anticipation of a national election. Then they have the non-drafted free agent signings and final team assessments. Then they have mini-camps and workouts. Then next thing you know, it’s training camp time. At no time does the sport ever leave the immediate consciousness of the sports fan. What a great business model, huh?

    The fact of the matter is, everybody currently wins in the NFL. There is a very big pie and everybody gets a pretty dang healthy cut. They all know that if they squabble too much over who gets what share, and protract it so that it overshadows everything else in the minds of fans, the whole pie will contract. They are all smarter than that.

    At least they have been thus far…


  209. 215 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Then the college draft approaches with more anticipation of a national election.

    Dang… 😡

    That should read:

    “Then the college draft approaches with more anticipation than a national election.”

    Pretty much negates the impact of a decent post when you flub the execution… 😐


  210. 216 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    It’s kinda like sticking the green on a par 4 and then missing a 5 foot putt…


  211. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Like we noticed…. Speed reading for fun and profit allows one to grasp the meaning of the sentence without being held hostage by the grammar police.

    However, if it will make you feel better, I can go back and edit it for you.

    It’s kinda like sticking the green on a par 4 and then missing a 5 foot putt… What? You mean that isn’t an automatic gimee?


  212. 218 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks, Gil, but I can live with my many warts. Plus, I have already called myself out on the carpet. It’s a good lesson learned.


  213. 219 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Kinda like “measure twice, cut once”, ‘cept different.


  214. 220 Carolina Lady February 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Love the Brooks article – love the writing of Carroll Rogers.


  215. 221 Voice of Raisins February 9, 2011 at 8:28 am


    The Blue Jays already have traded catcher Mike Napoli, one of two players they acquired for Vernon Wells. They also would like to trade the other half of their return, outfielder Juan Rivera, major-league sources say.
    Rivera’s middle name ought to be “available.” The Angels finally dumped him by including him in the Wells trade. The Blue Jays took on Rivera’s $5.25 million salary as part of the price for moving Wells. But Rivera, a potential free agent [after this season], is not in the team’s long-range plans.

    Hmmm… how about a contract swap? I wonder if the Jays cold use a Japanese pitcher with one year left on his contract?


  216. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville February 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Through it all, Kershin has continued to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room hasn’t he?

    I hope he spent the off season getting his mind right over all of this so he understands it is completely up to himself as to his future.

    Isn’t how one handles adversity the true measure of one’s character?

    As I have said before, going in I think it is Mike Minor’s job to lose this spring. Personally however, it was Brandon Beachy who showed the most promise.

    So many unknowns however, when it comes to baseball. Always only one injury away from changing history….


  217. 223 Carolina Lady February 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Football players, or about any other athletic group, could not make it through a baseball player’s 162 game season. Plus post-season, if they’re lucky.


  218. 224 Carolina Lady February 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    (The more I look at our banner, the better I like it!)


  219. 225 Voice of Raisins February 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    It is awesome !


  220. 226 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Aha… That was about as subtle as a sledge hammer CL… 🙂

    Still, pretty cool change.


  221. 228 berigan2electricboogaloo February 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

    CL, it’s wonderful! 🙂
    V, fortunately, someone in the comments section had a link to info on him…
    02/10/2011 9:30 AM
    LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs announced on Thursday that the contract of All Star outfielder Gavin Dickey has been purchased by the Atlanta Braves organization. This marks the 27th time in team history that a Saltdogs player has been acquired by a major league organization.

    Dickey, who was selected as the 2010 Saltdogs Player of the Year posted a career season. Dickey hit .300 with career highs in home runs (17) and RBI (55), hitting mostly in the leadoff spot for Lincoln. Gavin also led the Saltdogs with 20 stolen bases. In addition, he took over the center field position and provided outstanding defense all season long. Dickey hit four leadoff home runs during the season, and was the North Division’s starting center fielder in the 2010 American Association All-Star Game.

    Dickey played one and a half seasons with the Saltdogs. He leaves Lincoln having hit a combined .308 with 18 homers, 72 RBI, and 23 stolen bases. The Braves will be his second organization; Dickey began his pro career with the Seattle Mariners organization in 2006 and reached as high as AA in 2009.
    Pretty slick site for an independent team! 😯


  222. 229 berigan2electricboogaloo February 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

    This is the kind of stoopid stuff that really makes me feel old, and wish some of the young whipper snappers out there could open their eyes and watch the game, and not just read stats(and this coming from someone as a kid, spent hours a day reading that 4 inch thick baseball encyclopedia !)

    Was checking about MLBTR, and saw this about Jason Kubel

    On the other hand, a net price of $4.9MM for Kubel is fairly steep if he ends up spending most of his time as a platoon DH. Hideki Matsui and Jack Cust are coming off better offensive seasons and signed for less.

    You could make an argument about Matsui, but Jack Cust???

    Kubel’s numbers…
    143 games(think he was on the DL) 582 Ab’s 21 Hr’s 92 RBI’s .249 BA .323 OBP(clearly his beef)

    Jack Cust
    112 Games(I think he mainly platoons) 425 AB’S
    13 HR’S a whopping 52 RBI’s a .272 BA, and here’s what makes little Timmy’s heart beat faster, a .395 OBP

    So, if you had a team with a DH role(Be quiet about that V! 😉 ) who would you rather have, the guy with a 21 92 line, or the guy with 13 and 52???

    I know, I know, RBI’s are merely the byproduct of runners on base in front of you, blah, blah, blah…


  223. 230 Voice of Raisins February 11, 2011 at 11:37 am

    DH is a commie plot!!!


  224. 231 Voice of Raisins February 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    OK… I have admittedly been asleep with regard to Mark Bowman, the fine writer for Los Bravos at MLB.com.

    Some quick hits from his last blog dated Jan. 28:

    –> Before I [being Mr. Bowman himself] get married this weekend… Congrats!!! 😀

    –> “I don’t have any pain in [my thumb], but I still don’t have the full range of motion in it,” [Jason] Heyward said.

    –> …there are some members of the Braves organization who believe [Julio] Teheran will make it difficult for them to determine when or maybe even if they should send him to back to Minor League camp.

    –> Pete Van Wieren’s doctors are optimistic as he nears what is scheduled to be his final round of chemotherapy treatment. His final treatment is scheduled for Feb. 7. Van Wieren has been undergoing these treatments once every three weeks since learning in October that he would have to once again battle against cutaneous B-Cell lymphoma. He battled this same condition around this time last year.


    Good stuff, Mr. Bowman. An again, congratulations.

    I can’t believe I was asleep at the switch for his usually informative blog. Missed it by 2 weeks even…


  225. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Been busy looking for and updating long lost relatives. Josie and I spent the day yesterday walking through cemeteries. Just a tad cool for it still.

    Only about 3 more weeks for spring training… YeeHaw…. Hope it’s warmer than last year. We like to froze during the Mets game.

    Gavin Dickey Sounds like the Braves are signing some insurance. Likely will start along side of Matt Young in Gwinnett.

    Braves never seem to be overly deep with position players. Anyone have an idea of how many guys actually make it to the major leagues if the start out in rookie ball? I know there has to be a stat head out their somewhere who has done the research.

    Got to be a pretty small number. Seems like most hit the wall about AA…


  226. 233 Carolina Lady February 12, 2011 at 1:43 am

    *smacks Gil on the back of the head* I was simply making a statement, Mr Mayor! *stomps off* hmph!

    But this IS the best time of year to do the cemetery trips – no bugs, fewer weeds and vines, and NO snakes – which luv cemeteries! One afternoon in late fall, I thought it was a nice day to go visit a cemetery. And it was – until I looked down and saw a semi-sleepy copperhead about 4″ from my foot. Until that moment, I did not know that I could levitate! 😆


  227. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Likely, neither did the copperhead…. However, your point is well taken. On both points 🙂 (rubbing head…)

    Anyway, just got off the phone with the tractor repair guy. Looks like an expensive trip for my little Daedong… My fault really, picking on trees too big to handle. Looks like the ring and pinion broke in the front transaxle.

    I have been looking at/for another tractor for some time but really did not see the necessity. Too late now, will have to continue to get my money’s worth out of the one I own. Maybe living in a condo would be cheaper…. Not as much fun though.


  228. 235 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

    What a glorious day!!!!!



  229. 236 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Forecast today for Orlando:

    70° and sunny.



  230. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Yes Raisins, springlike is much better…. It felt balmy here last night as well.

    So.. what surprises do we have in store this year?


  231. 238 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Not sure if this is a surprise, but I look for a very spirited competition in CF. I think young Mr. Schafer is going to turn some heads again, and I think Mr. McLouth is going to respond to the threat.

    I also think we’ll see Marteeen take to LF like a duck to water…


  232. 239 berigan2electricboogaloo February 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    the 14th is a less glorious day when single. 😕


  233. 240 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Pitchers and catchers, Ber, pitchers and catchers.


  234. 241 berigan2electricboogaloo February 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Ah, but there is good news! Boudoir Photo Shoot + Images deal for only $150 via living social email…they really know me! double 😕


  235. 242 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I think I might be able to get folks to pay me $150 each for my promise to never be photographed naked… Wife might pay double….


  236. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Now baseball….. YIPEEEEEE!!!!! Finally,


  237. 244 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Among the handful of early arriving position players down at Disney:

    Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer.

    Tell me this isn’t going to be an inspired battle between 2 competitors. I think Schafer smells blood in the water, and I think Nate feels serious nipping at his (Achilles) heels.


  238. 245 Carolina Lady February 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Ber, Valentine’s Day is one of the rottenest days of the year.

    Thank goodness, there was something to redeem the day! P&C Report!


  239. 246 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Good morning all, I hope all the good little boys and girls got something good under their rose bushes from Santa Valentines this year… Uh, wrong holiday? Oh well, not the holiday it once was for me, just better…:-)

    Well, the tractor guy picked up my baby this morning. 😦 I sure am glad I have already paid for 90% of my vacation… It’s going to be painful I’m afraid.

    And baseball, must say Marteen Prado has to be the uber team player… No whining, no sulking, just let me be a part of a winning team. I thought he was a pretty good first basemen too. Maybe not Albert Pruhols or Mark Texieria but surely better than many. I suspect he will be a stellar left fielder too.

    One good thing about a guy who is athletic, he can play just about any position, sure, he would have a preference but who doesn’t? Personally, I always felt the outfield to be a boring to play.


  240. 247 Voice of Raisins February 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Things are looking up in Bravesland.

    Not so much in Cardsville:


    Can you see Phat Albert mashing in Boston or Anaheim? You might oughtta get those images ready…

    (And no, I don’t think there is any coincidence that the Sawx and AGon have yet to work out a contract extension.)


  241. 248 berigan2electricboogaloo February 15, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Gil, not only is playing the outfield boring(till that one ball hit to you whizzes past you by 2 feet) but so would be condo life! 😉 But I suspect that you already know that, and would be in one if you wanted to be..in one. Man, I sure know how to write a sentence, don’t I? 😕

    Something else Gil and hopefully others will like to read, the story of the scout that found Mr. Beachy. Don’t know if he was beached or not though…


  242. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Great story Ber, funny how you can just tell with some guys. They just seem to have the “IT” factor. For some reason, I liked this kid the first time I saw him pitch for Atlanta too. Kind of like see Jonny Venters for the first time, but different. I think the kid has a pretty high ceiling.

    It’s funny how some pitchers appear to throw so free and easy and still the ball jumps at you and other appear to hurl it with all their might and even if the radar gun clocks the speed exactly the same, you know a guy is going to get hit.

    I always thought Manny Acosta had a good chance to make it but his pea sized brain kept getting in his way… He never seemed to understand that being cute with the ball got a lot of them called for balls and the next thing you know, the batter is sitting on a fastball. (Bad Manny)

    I’m still a little peeved at myself for not giving you guys a heads up last year about the Mets’ Angel Pagan. I thought he looked really good in spring training and should have said so. I’ll try to do better this year.


  243. 250 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I bet there are more than a few folks in the Cards organization that didn’t sleep last night.


    Tick tock.


  244. 251 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Braves sent KK to Pearl to make a point. I think KK is making a point of his own, regardless of the trite old excuses:



  245. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Life in the fast lane for KK has not worked out so well. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you….


  246. 253 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Oh, this is a nice vision:



  247. 254 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

    According to the beat writer’s twitter (which is alot easier to decipher than going across the street), “2 days before full-squad reporting date, almost every #Braves player is in camp.”.

    Very cool.


  248. 255 berigan2electricboogaloo February 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    thought these two comments were very interesting on the MLBTR blog…if true, I still don’t see how a baseball union can put a ton of pressure on the best player in baseball. What are they going to do, break his arms??? Drum him out of the game????
    # La Russa’s comments were misguided, according to MLBPA director Michael Weiner, who told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that “we have had no conversations with Albert or [agent] Dan Lozano.” (all Twitter links). “No pressure,” Weiner said. “Not even any conversations. Our concern is that players make an informed decision. Knowing Albert [and] knowing Danny, a very sophisticated player and representative, they’re going to make well-considered decisions.”
    # Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says Pujols is feeling pressure from the Players Association to sign a massive deal, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (on Twitter). La Russa says it’s more than arm-twisting. He argues that the union is “dropping an anvil on [Pujols’] back through [the] roof of his house.”


  249. 256 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Typical LaRussa… you remember he used to be a lawyer, right?

    This is simply a tactic to try and protect both his player and his team. Fence sitting.

    Problem is, it’s really all in Albert’s lap. It’s all on him. In the end, he’ll likely do like A-Roid and follow the money. In my opinion, he always intended to do just that. He won’t back off his demand for 10 years/$30MM and he’ll hit the open market and some foolish owner will give it to him. Remember when Tom Hicks gave A-Roid $25MM a season for 10 years and we all thought the sky was falling? Yet the bar has inched up even more, and Albert is ready to give it a good nudge himself.

    I am very close to getting tired with it all and sticking to college sports. At least they try to hide their excess…


  250. 257 Voice of Raisins February 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Oh… and how about this little gem:

    The Cards can’t even entertain trading Albert to try to salvage something from the whole mess. Albert is on record as saying he’d veto any deal with his 10-5 rights. What a guy…


  251. 259 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I am very close to getting tired with it all and sticking to college sports. At least they try to hide their excess…

    Only difference is the players get nothing. Well, at least nothing visible.

    Can’t really blame Pujols, if I had a chance to make $300 million over the next 10 years, I’d likely do it too.

    It’s a business, I get a bit peeved when some owners whine that the fans don’t come out to support the team. People will not go to see a bad movie just to keep a theater open or risk getting food poisoning at the local greasy spoon just so they can stay open.

    Hate on the Yankees all you want, they do put their money where there mouth is. Until there is a salary cap on profits, a cannot blame players for wanting all they can get. I’m not saying I like it but that is our present system.

    Maybe it is why I enjoy watching Josie’s Senior Bowling League. Sure, everyone would like to win but winning isn’t as important as just getting together and having a good time. I have yet to witness anyone throwing a temper tantrum or trash talking or being any sort of poor sport.


  252. 260 Carolina Lady February 17, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Albert, sit his ample be-hind on the bench and leave it there until the cows come home. It’s just money, right? KK-revisted.


  253. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Here is a good article to help folks understand why looking at a kid’s numbers in college can be mis-leading. Personally, I a glad I grew up in the wooden bat era, all my home-runs were legit… (Hey, I had to hit for power, I couldn’t run a lick…)



  254. 262 Voice of Raisins February 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Man what I would give to wake up to a glorious central Florida morning, head out to the ballpark to field some ground balls on a beautiful infield for a few hours, and get paid for it…



  255. 264 Voice of Raisins February 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Now, back to pre-season optimism…

    Reportedly, every player on the Braves projected 25 player opening day roster except one is already in camp… and not just hanging out, but working out. Only Alex Gonzalez is not yet there. (No slight to him; just props to everyone else.)

    How special is this team chemistry-wise? I think these guys are chomping at the bit to play this season. It’s gonna be fun…


  256. 266 Voice of Raisins February 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

    In fact, all 16 of the pics in the gallery I linked above are really cool. My faves are the pic of Phil Niekro in uniform, and the pic of Teheran, Martinez and Delgado in a row. How is that for greatness past and greatness future?


  257. 267 Voice of Raisins February 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    2 tweets from the Braves beat writer:

    Wow, Heyward just blistering line drives and long balls now, third round of swings. Hammering pitches, Braves officials smiling.

    Me too.

    Heyward hit homer to opening in right-center fence, nearly hit Bobby Cox sitting in golf cart at that spot.



  258. 268 Voice of Raisins February 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Heyward hit homer to opening in right-center fence, nearly hit Bobby Cox sitting in golf cart at that spot.

    That should have been italicized and credited to the aforementioned beat writer…

    And still 😆


  259. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Okay, I finally discovered the drawback of owning a Korean made tractor, replacement parts are shipped by boat… 2 to 6 weeks estimated on delivery. I guess it is dependent upon which “slow boat from China” they are shipped on. I am too cheap to pay an extra $200 to have them air freighted.

    It was a beautiful day here today, can hardly wait for our trip south as the low humidity and warm temps are just grand. We have cool weather in the forecast for next week. Ah, just a taste of global warming is wonderful…

    Yes, nothing like the sound of baseballs hitting the top of your golf cart to make you smile… 🙂


  260. 270 Salty February 17, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I hear there’s baseball in the air…some diamond chatter…and what-not. So, catch me up cause let’s be clear, I have no idea who is what or where…has nothing to do with bases.

    How is everyone…enjoyed the snow and the cold temps? To be honest, I’ve always liked winter…can’t say that anymore. Or won’t.

    So, what are key Braves’ plot-lines…bullet points. Throw me a bone, please!


  261. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Salty, good to see you, baseball news? Braves?

    Firstbase, Freddi Freeman’s spot to lose, I don’t even think the Braves have a backup plan for that one.

    Second base, Dan Uggla unless he does an impersonation of Brooks Conrade and then will be asked to shag fly balls in left field. Funny how much effort the Braves put into teaching Kelly Johnson how to play second base only to now move an all-stat to the outfield. Prado taking one for the team but I suspect he will play a lot of infield before all is said and done.

    Gonzalas is back at shortstop. I don’t think the Braves expect him to have the range of Jimmy Rollins but I think they feel his attitude is much less of a distraction and are will to let a few get through the hole rather than have folks in the club house rearranging water coolers and such with baseball bats when they defer their anger.

    Chipper will answer the bell, Perhaps the one run a week his limited range gives up will be made up by the two game winning RBIs his bat should produce.

    Heyward will be a monster this year if the Braves can break him for those head first slides.

    Catching corps looks good with Ross and McCann. Maybe the best pair of catchers on one team in the NL.

    Centerfield is going to be the most closely watched position this spring. Looking for a big comeback by either McLough or Schafer. Either will do, not sure what plan C is on that one.

    Bench is Henski, Mather and two more guys to be determined. Let’s see who plays into it. Smart money is on Brooksie and TBD…

    Pitching looks solid, Maybe not the pedigree that the Phillies have but they are younger. I think the Braves hold the edge with their pen. If Atlanta can figure a way not to lose half their games to the Marlins and the Nats this season, I think they have a real shot at beating the Phillies. Let’s face it, the Braves just got too beat up to close the deal at the end of the season. A healthy Prado and Chipper would have meant a totally different outcome. Maybe even a healthy Heyward and Derrick Lee would have done the trick. Not like the Braves were blown out by SF…


  262. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Fifth spot in the rotation will likely be someone who is not Japanese. I’m guessing Mike Minor over Brandon Beachy because he is a lefty. I don’t think that is etched in stone quite yet but the stonemasons are setting up shop.

    Keys are staying healthy and fresh. something the Braves have had a difficult time doing the past 6 years.


  263. 273 berigan2electricboogaloo February 18, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Ahh, spring really is in the air, isn’t it??? 🙂
    CL, I really don’t know what to think about Phat Albert…if you had heard the players rep on the cards(some pitcher I never heard of before) it really does seem to be all about the money, getting more each year…without, of course putting pressure on the players to demand more. 🙄
    Anyway….I like my offer(with someone else’s moola) give him a 6-7 year deal for 30 Mil a year, then go on mutual one year deals…seems fair to me…
    OH, baseball tonight is back on at 3:30 PM most days….


  264. 274 Voice of Raisins February 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Salt spotting!


  265. 276 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    That was a riot Raisins… Good find…


  266. 277 Carolina Lady February 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    TOO funny, Raisins! Loved it! Somebody searched through a LOT of photos for that piece. Kudos!

    SALTY!!! Great to see you again! (That WAS our Salty, wasn’t it??) 😆


  267. 278 berigan2electricboogaloo February 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    good one V!!! 🙂


  268. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Always good to know help is in the pipeline. Yes, I know prospects are just that but better to have lots of ammo than thinking you should save at least one bullet for yourself.



  269. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Only about two weeks before I can give my live report…. YEAH!!!!


  270. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    And the Daytona race today was one of the better ones I thought.


  271. 282 Voice of Raisins February 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Nice article, Gil. I cannot wait for the next big 3 pitchers.


  272. 284 berigan2electricboogaloo February 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

    V, Cool! 🙂 Clicked on the link, how would you like to have to tell folks how to spell or pronounce….the last name… Pryzbysz??? Man, and I have trouble all the time with my seemingly easy to pronounce and spell last name!

    Oh, having off and on problems with my internet connection, so if I just disappear for a few days…you know why.


  273. 285 Voice of Raisins February 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    From our friendly neighborhood beat writer: “Wren signed a two-year contract extension today, runs through 2013”

    Me likey…


  274. 286 Voice of Raisins February 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Ya know… think about it.

    It has been 20 years since one of the best seasons ever in Atlanta sports history began. 20 years…

    Can it really be that long ago? Man! It just doesn’t seen like it.


  275. 287 Carolina Lady February 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    and 10 years since Dale Ernhardt was killed.

    Time really IS flying!

    Ber, you wouldn’t believe how many ways people can mess up a simple 3-letter surname. 😆


  276. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Time is fun when you’re having flies Raisins…


  277. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    And speaking of which… I am really encouraged by the reports on Schafer’s comeback this spring. It would be huge for him to show what he did in the first week of the season two years ago. Not getting a tingle down my leg or anything… After all, us old folks knows that really means you have a pinched nerve, but anyhow, I am just anxious to see him in person this spring.

    The game I will see against Washington is a split squad affair so I have no clue as to who will be there for the Braves other than I doubt McCann or Chipper will show.

    The other game will be a Sunday game at Orlandonopilis so again I am doubtful to see Chipper but should get an opportunity to check out the rookies. I don’t mind seeing the minor leaguers play but I really object to paying $55 each for the privilege of doing so. I guess the know a sucker when the see one (me)…

    And yes, Joe Mather does look a lot like Jeff Francoure. I hope he has better plate discipline. Will have to wait to see what his defense is like.


  278. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Ber, can’t be any worse than my ignorant son-in-law who named his youngest daughter Macy and spelled it Masie… And those yankees call us dumb….


  279. 291 berigan2electricboogaloo February 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Gil, methinks you are not crazy about this son-in-law from this and previous comments? :mrgreen:
    CL, that’s funny! 😆 Of course, even a good friend the other day slightly mispronounced my name the other day!


  280. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Gil, methinks you are not crazy about this son-in-law from this and previous comments?

    Is it that obvious?

    I have three other son-in-laws whom I really like, all good kids. Maybe I am bias against someone who has a New York accent.. Just saying… After all.. Masie kind of sums it up don’t you think.

    And Raisins, kudos for your raisinetts..


  281. 293 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

    60 degrees yesterday and right now it is snowing…. I’ve seen this movie before. 😦


  282. 294 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

    No wonder so many folks get the flu.


  283. 295 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Snow? Freaky…


  284. 296 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Very nice indeed:



  285. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    And scary Raisins… I just can’t help but think “jinx” …

    Reading the bit on Prado on the Braves/MLB site. Reminds me of why I like this guy so much. Did he ever meet Julio Franko? Takes nothing for granted, looks to be in great shape. A guy who can be a real role model…

    If I were a kid, he is the guy who I would pattern myself after. What’s not to like? Makes me want to go work out on my exercise bike… LoL, if I could just walk to it….


  286. 298 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Fredi announced today that JJJ will get the nod in the Grapefruit League opener. Interesting. When asked if you could do the math forward to project the regular season opening day starter, Fredi flatly said no. Too many off days, and he likes to move things around.

    It interests me, though.

    In light of the “3 way competition” for the 5th spot between Minor, Beachey and Lopez, and given that Teheran could easily be called up later this year, I believe somebody could go. I still think it could be JJJ, regardless of what the FOT’s say. It all adds up…

    Lowe and his contract are untradeable, Huddy is a mainstay and Tommy may be the best of all of them. Add that to one Scott Boras, who is JJJ’s agent, and it isn’t too hard to draw some conclusions. Now, with him getting the first nod in spring, it gives him maximum exposure. His value will never be higher as long as he shows he is healthy. And Beachey is getting some big time rave reviews already. Is it too far fetched to think that both he and Minor could make the rotation? That is, of course, if someone were moved…

    Let’s just say I, for one, would not be surprised to see JJJ traded late in the spring when teams realize they need starting pitching. He could fetch a pretty decent return.


  287. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Yep, trade them for Bryce Harper… LOL

    Only one with the big contract is Lowe and this is his third season of the four year contract. Tommy Hanson is also a Borras client.

    I think Frank is keeping guys around for the 2013 season. That is when Atlanta fans will find out if they are being played by Liberty Media.


  288. 300 Salty February 22, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Nice recap, Gil! Thanks!

    Yes, the real ‘Salt’…beyond busy, too!

    It was so nice to open windows today…working with fresh air…real, honest to goodness air…and sun…and warmth! You know, the kinda weather those folks down south get. 😆


  289. 301 Carolina Lady February 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Gil is good, isn’t he, Salty!

    Great to see your name here!!


  290. 302 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Adam Wainwright blows out an elbow according to DOB… Anyone need a relatively cheap Japanese dude for a paltry $3 million? Yankees? Cards? Anyone????


  291. 303 Voice of Raisins February 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

    St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has flown back to St. Louis this morning to have his right elbow examined this afternoon after he experienced discomfort in the joint. General manager John Mozeliak said he believes it is a “significant injury” and the early word is “not encouraging.” Tommy John surgery is one alternative to repair the damage for which Wainwright is being checked.


    Wow… less than a week into full workouts, and St. Louis has taken some really tough shots already. Albert takes a big dump on the city and now Wainright goes down. Just wow…


  292. 304 Carolina Lady February 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Let’s hope and pray that the sparkle isn’t taken out of OUR eyes by injuries.

    Oh, I so hope the Braves have a really good season this year! No “MASH UNIT” line-ups.


  293. 305 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    What I want to know is why anyone would be throwing anything more than about 60% at this point. Spring Training is the time to get into shape for the coming season, not try to blow away guys in BP with your fastball.

    It is a shame really, anyone who is a fan wants to see each team field the best players in the game. Injuries take away from that.

    Looks like I will get to see the rookies pitch against the Nats next week, just how I think it will play out. That’s okay with me too. Allows me a chance to evaluate some guys I haven’t seen before.


  294. 306 Voice of Raisins February 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Fredi is now on the record as saying that the Braves will NOT be trading one of their starters.

    Ashamedly, I admit that my earlier assessment was completely money-minded, believing that the Braves will prefer not to pay JJ what Boras will surely demand in a couple of years.

    But, upon further review, I have actually formed a little different opinion – one that is a hybrid of what I earlier said and what Fredi just said on the record.

    I do believe the Braves will hang onto their starters… until such time as a major hole were to appear. Not saying that a certain 39-year-old warrior cannot battle back from a 2nd serious knee surgery, but it’s not exactly a certainty. And while Martin is the 1st option to move into the 3B spot, what then becomes of LF?

    We keep reading that there is no real fallback option if Chipper’s comeback bid fails because no one really wants to overtly acknowledge that possibility – mostly out of respect to the future HOF. But the reality is that it is anything but certain. Maybe you don’t want Buck Commander’s successor hanging around like a vulture, but having a few good trade chips is the next best thing. I don’t think I am too far off to assume that the Braves could parlay pitching depth into a decent position player if it became necessary, am I?


  295. 308 berigan2electricboogaloo February 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Well said Salty! 😉


  296. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    A couple of things to consider. If Chipper were to suffer a serious relapse, insurance will cover his salary so it is not really a money issue at this point anyway.

    If gasoline continues on its current trajectory, nobody will be showing up for the games anyway as we will all be going into the tank.

    It is my heartfelt belief that $4.00 a gallon gas triggered our last great recession and will finish off those few who hung on last time around.

    There is no reason for it except speculation by the hedge funds but nobody is whining yet.

    Back to baseball, Prado is Chipper’s plan B and Maher and Schafer are Prado’s plan B and C…. and D if you have to shuffle folks around some more.

    I mentioned this across the street and will repeat it here. Don’t take for granted that Liberty Media would automatically plow any money saved by trading Derek Lowe, or any other player for that matter, back into the Braves’ baseball budget. More likely it would be handed out n the form of bonuses to the board of directors of Liberty Media.

    A lot of folks across the street seem to have the misconception that Braves payroll is a given.


  297. 310 Voice of Raisins February 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

    True, but there is a balancing act they have to follow. Even though they state in public that they have enjoyed owning a MLB club, and that selling it is not a given, I don’t believe them. They are in the business to make $$$. Period.

    So, there are 2 big things to note:

    #1 – Of course they are gonna say that. Like any business transaction, you aren’t gonna tip your hand. If everyone knows you are a determined seller, your product value goes down. They will sell. Bet on it.

    #2 – They have to keep the team competitive. In the NL East, that isn’t easy. I don’t see how they’d strip too much payroll away and hurt the product on the field. Like #1, it would devalue the product, and that is counterproductive. Forbes cites team performance as a factor in their team valuation noting that the top team, the Yankees – shocker – valued at 1.6 Billion in 2010 after pulling in $441 Million in revenue in very successful 2009 campaign. While the Braves are not going to approach that value, they likewise aren’t near the Pirates or Royals on the other end either. Spending another $10-20 million on the team payroll now could easily come back exponentially in team value if the Braves remain a playoff team. And Liberty can afford it.

    How many times is Forbes magazine referenced here on the ol’ B&S? 😀


  298. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Answer…. More than I care to count…

    Thing is Raisins, I don’t think there would be a huge drop off in pitching minus Derek Lowe, A drop off, yes, but not a big one. I’m just of the opinion that Liberty Media is trying to reduce cost (payroll) without being overtly obvious about it.

    And wow, the wind is really kicking it again today….

    I’ll bet CL is catching it too. Only bright side to it is it is not cold.

    If I could still play golf, the 2 iron would be getting a workout today. Gotta keep’m low and out of the wind…


  299. 312 Carolina Lady February 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Gil, winds out of the SSW at 32, gusting near 50 – but we’re on the back side of the front now so it will probably begin to diminish soon. 62 beautiful degrees! 😆


  300. 313 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Well folks, this time next week I will be soaking up the sun at sunny Space Coast Stadium… Full report and photos to follow…

    Yes, CL, it is really blowing here. Funny that the dead pine trees hardly move but the live trees sway with the wind like crazy. Of course, I expect a few of the dead one will be on the ground tomorrow but hey…


  301. 314 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Rockies at D-backs in the historic opener at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona, the shared camp of both National League West clubs and the first MLB Spring Training game ever played on Native American Indian land. From the MLB

    Josie said all of North America is Native American land. It is just the desert in Arizona that did not have either gold or oil under it that the white man let them keep….


  302. 316 berigan2electricboogaloo February 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    ain’t there a game today???? 🙂 🙂 🙂


  303. 317 Carolina Lady February 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    The MAN His own self has done it again!



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