103: Observations from 2011 Spring Training

by Gil from Mechanicsville, VA –

Viera, Florida – Greetings all!  While I touched on a few highlights about the game between Atlanta’s split squad and the Nationals in the previous post, I thought I would elaborate on some of my other observations.

First would be the noticeable difference in Nate McLouth.  Honestly,  it is nearly impossible to accurately describe the difference in the player I witnessed last year in camp and the one I  saw Friday.  It is not just the fact that he is hitting the ball the other way.  Where he was not making contact at all last year, he is now striking the ball with authority and without that exaggerated uppercut he has employed in the past.  Being a bit smallish in statue, McLouth is not a prototypical home run hitter to begin with.  He is, however, exactly the kind of guy you would want at the top of your line-up if he can get on base because he has great speed in addition to good base-running smarts.

Having guys like Schafer and McLouth available as table-setters for boppers like Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann add so many possibilities to the Braves offense.  In addition, having a speed guy on base increases the likelihood of the latter seeing more fastballs and can be a huge distraction for opposing pitchers, increasing the probability of mistakes.  McLouth is also throwing the ball with greater ease.  Though I do not know the reason for the change and the big difference, I can only speculate that perhaps he was hampered by some type of injury last season.

Other players I observed who stood out were Brandon Beachy, Diory Hernandez, Freddi Freeman and Shawn Bowman.

Beachy was peachy.  He had the National hitters off balance during his entire 3 inning stint. He has a lively fastball which is complimented by a plus-change.  National hitters were doing the bunny hop trying to adjust for his change of pace pitches.  The only exception was Ed Merero who guessed right on a fastball and hit a ringing double down the left field line.

Diory Hernandez looked sharp both in the field at short and with the bat.  He is starting to reach the age where the term “prospect” no longer applies and will either make it or not at this juncture. With the trade of Infante’ to the Marlins, he has the perfect opportunity to move into a super-sub role. While he is mainly a shortstop/second base type of player, he has also taken a few turns at third and could play there if called upon.

Diory’s real shortcoming has always been trouble hitting major league pitching. He has shown the ability to hit at every other level he has played so perhaps it is now just his time.  I believe the biggest difference may be in his confidence level.  Spending some time with the big club last season may have allowed him to realize that he belongs at the major league level. While he has pop in his bat, he also has gap-to-gap hitting skills and very good speed.  He is going to stretch a lot of doubles into triples.

On Friday, he and Brooks Conrad turned two double plays against the Nationals.  While not called upon to make any spectacular plays, he made the plays he was supposed to make and that in itself could be a small victory. Kudos to Brooks Conrad, too, by the way.  He made a couple of very nice plays in the field and executed the pivot position at second with authority.

Freddie Freeman plays at a level that belies his young age.  He displays excellent glove work in the field and outstanding baseball sense when it comes to situational hitting.  It is so frustrating to watch many young – or old for that matter – players who possess power but who will always be swinging for the fences regardless of the circumstances of the at-bat.  How many times have we seen players go for the glory only to be struck out because the opposing pitcher knows that a power hitter’s weakness is change of speeds.

While we know that Freeman processes power, he can also hit to all fields and seems content to hit the ball the other way.  It is a lot harder to pitch to a guy who will hit the ball where it is pitched than to a player who is always trying to pull the ball.  One of the most difficult things for a first year player to do is to hit above .250.  It is just the nature of the game for a young guy to adjust to big league pitching because major league pitchers will get the book on you pretty quick if you have a weakness.  Remember Jeff Francoeur?  He would punish any pitcher who threw him a strike until pitchers quickly realized they did not have to throw a strike to get him out.  I’m not saying opposing pitchers won’t strike out Freeman but they are going to have to throw strikes to do it.

One last comment on Shawn Bowman – a young kid who plays third base – who will not likely be playing in Atlanta this season unless things do not go well health-wise for the club.  He is a good looking prospect with a decent glove and is a good hitter.  Again, not a guy who is trying to do too much but appears to know what he is doing in the batter’s box.  He has been a late-inning substitute this spring and I expect he will begin the season playing third-base in Gwinnett. Keep an eye on him though because he will definitely be playing in the big leagues somewhere one day.


A few photos from Gil:

Gil, Staff Reporter, Mayor of Stuffville

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

174 Responses to “103: Observations from 2011 Spring Training”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady March 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks so much, Gil! Excellent observations, as always!


  2. 2 berigan2electricboogaloo March 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    But, but…Hillbilly didn’t get a chance to drive the wheels off the other blog! 😛

    Kidding, I kid…I kid…Very nice you are there feel Gil! Making me want to wish the next few weeks away, and get the season rolling!
    I may have been the only one to see Diory’s homer last year, but he really put a good swing on it…then I think he was sent down the very next day….

    When I saw new blog was up, I thought I had screwed up and gone back to 101 again…


  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Yes, rapid fire we do…


  4. 4 Voice of Raisins March 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Fantastic, Mr. Mayor.

    It is a pleasant surprise to see Diory begin to finally develop into the kind of utility guy most thought he would be. The Braves really need him to be that guy this year.

    If Nate could have a rebound year, all of the ingredients might truly be in the bowl.

    One more thing… your report on Bowman is great. We won’t get that anywhere else, and it’s good to know that there is something to look at there.

    (By the way, my favorite picture from the Editor-in-Chief is definitely the last one. It’s awesome!)


  5. 5 Voice of Raisins March 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

    If you drop down about midway through the article here:


    there is a nice insert about AGonz, our intrepid SS. It’s pretty dang decent. I like this excerpt,

    Gonzalez isn’t conceding the division to the Phillies and their all-world pitching staff.

    “Our staff is also very good,” he said. “There aren’t too many teams who like to face us either.”

    Well said.


  6. 6 Voice of Raisins March 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Tweet from the Twins beat writer:

    Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond is a polished LHP. #Twins would like to keep him but might work trade with Atlanta to send him to AAA Roch.

    Interesting. Just as Frank reasoned, Diamond was not far enough along for any team to keep on their 25 man roster. This was a pretty sophisticated tactic by the Wren-egade. The Twins have 3 options:

    1) Keep him on the 25 all season, (which almost certainly will NOT happen),

    2) Return him to the Braves for half the claim fee, (the Braves get their man back, and a small cash profit to boot),

    3) or they work out a deal that is satisfactory to both teams.

    It’s an undeniable win for the Braves unless the Twins bite the bullet and waste a roster spot on a kid who is clearly not ready. I cannot see any way they do that, especially on a pitcher.

    For a team like the Braves who are so well stocked with quality arms in their minor league system, the trade is clearly the route all would prefer – Braves and Twins alike.

    And let’s not forget, the Braves are clearly in the driver seat. Because we can take him back with no sweat, the Twins are going to have to make it a little sweeter on our side. If they view Diamond as an above average prospect, as it appears they do, I would expect nothing less in return.


  7. 7 flbravesgirl March 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Hallelujah, I got the log-in to work! 😀

    Nice work, Gil! I too am cautiously optimistic about Nate. I don’t expect greatness but if he could manage to be decent I would consider it to be a good comeback.

    Sorry I missed BAS & Hillbilly on the last blog. I promise I’ll check in more often (as long as this password keeps working. I swear computers hate me).


  8. 8 Carolina Lady March 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Fellow facebook users, note that you now have the ability (through the “Share” link above) to help spread word of our little spot in Cyberspace. Just sayin’….



  9. 9 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Teheran was the last of the Braves’ elite pitching prospects to debut this spring, after Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino and rising left-hander Brett Oberholtzer.

    Delgado had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning Monday in his third appearance.

    “Both were composed and ahead of hitters, for the most part,” pitching coach Roger McDowell said of Delgado and Teheran. “Delgado was ahead, used his changeup and breaking ball. I thought both of them did well.

    “You never know how they’re going to react. You’re hoping that they have success when they go out there, that they’re able to throw and command the strike zone. And for the most part, they’ve all done it. Julio’s first time was today, and he was able to do it.

    “It’s nice to see our young kids are coming up and are not overwhelmed by pitching here in spring training against major league hitters or in this kind of atmosphere.”

    Teheran’s fastballs were clocked at 92-96 mph, and he made that velocity look easy.

    “They all have,” McDowell said. “Vizcaino, Teheran, Oberholtzer, Delgado… They’ve been having positive results. It’s nice to see.” — ajc.com

    Do we realize what we have coming up? It’s on the way, and not that far off. Not just 1 or 2. Not even 3. 4 elite pitching prospects. They are for real. Oh, man…

    [looking off into the distance and muttering to himself]

    … Hanson, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino and Oberhlotzer. Wow…


  10. 10 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Uh, Oberholtzer. 😳


  11. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo March 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Jeez V, how can you screw up such an easy name as Uberholtzer??? 😉
    I needs to see me some footage of them(or hear from Gil) before I completely jump on the bandwagon…I remember Jo-Jo being considered a top prospect…But if even 2 of them are as good as we hear, that will be great! 🙂


  12. 12 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    From what I have seen, Teheran could probably get Major League batters out now as a 4th or 5th starter, but a little more seasoning in AAA won’t hurt. Vizcaino would probably remind folks of Neftali Feliz in that he is a starter that should be a starter, but he could probably close ML games now. In the case of those 2, the jury is no longer out. They have returned a verdict of WOW.

    I have seen clips of Delgado less than those 2, but the kid has the stuff. He is probably only a year or so behind Teheran. Next spring we’ll be saying, “Delgado could probably get Major League batters out now as a 4th or 5th starter, but a little more seasoning in AAA won’t hurt.”

    Admittedly, I have not seen very much on Oberholtzer. So, I will agree with you on that point. But I will add this much…

    When Jo-Jo was coming up, there was not really any other bona-fide pitching prospects around him. The Braves did what they often do of building up perceived value on a player. In the case of Obie, he’s being mentioned eight along with the “Big 3”. That’s pretty high cotton.


  13. 13 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

    In the case of Obie, he’s being mentioned eight along with the “Big 3″. That’s pretty high cotton.

    Uh, that should read “In the case of Obie, he’s being mentioned right along with the “Big 3″. That’s pretty high cotton.”

    Dang fingers… 😡


  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I saw Obi-wan pitch last Saturday, he was not overly impressive but did not pitch badly either. I would not rate him as major league ready but then, I was not impressed with Venters when I saw him in Triple A either but that was as a starter. Sometimes you have to wait a little while to see where a guy fits.

    I do have some photos of him however and will post them next week. I thought Jason Marquis pitched well for the Nats last week too. However, he was sloooowwwww… Like watching grass grow…

    I guess the accurate term would be deliberate.

    Currently Josie and I are in San Juan. Nice weather here too but to be honest, I would just as soon be at home…

    My plan is to catch the Braves/Mets game in St Lucie saturday and the game at dark star on Sunday before returning north. Will report more then.


  15. 15 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Frank Wren on Nate McLouth via ajc: “He’s been tremendous. He looks like Pittsburgh Nate. We weren’t asking for anything more than that. We just wanted him to be Pittsburgh Nate, and he sure looks like that guy.”

    I sure hope Pittsburgh Nate has arrived…


  16. 16 Hillbilly March 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Stellar report, Gil. I’m trying with all my will power not to read the AJC today, because I want to watch the tape-delayed game tonight on the MLB Network without already knowing the outcome. It’s tough. I’m actually doing work to keep from taking a peek. What’s up with that?

    FBG, looks like I avoided you again. Thank goodness.

    (Kidding! We’ll catch up with each other eventually.)


  17. 18 Salty March 9, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Happy Birthday, Wildcat! Belated to you, Klobber!


  18. 19 Voice of Raisins March 9, 2011 at 8:01 am

    EPW… Happy Happy B’day!


  19. 20 Voice of Raisins March 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

    You know… I am really not a “I told you so” kind of guy, but I feel the need to share this regarding the knee of Phillies’ Chase Utley:


    Excerpt: An MRI was obtained that demonstrated his prior tendinitis, chondromalacia, and bone inflammation. His chondromalacia symptoms persisted in spite of focused non-operative care, including a cortisone injection. A subsequent cartilage-specific MRI was obtained confirming the initial diagnosis. Continued non-operative treatment is being carried out and additional opinions will be obtained.

    There are 2 people that I can immediately recall that have questioned the collective health of the “vaunted” Phillies lineup, and that is myself and old friend Lew. Yes, I just voluntarily put myself and Lew in the same scope. But the trends are there, folks, and I have posted them before. And it isn’t just Utley, y’all. It’s also Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez…

    I’m telling you, they are in for a scrappy season. All four of the above mentioned key players are going to miss significant time, and don’t think for a second that it won’t effect the pitches that Howard gets. No way he gets the fat pitches he has seen when he had Utley and Werth around him. And now that much counted on prospect Dominic Brown is out with hand surgery, their road is even bumpier. Oh, Howard will still get his share in that Little League field they call home, but he can’t do it all himself.

    By the way, Dominic Brown = Jordan Schafer. Injured potential.


  20. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Brown has the dreaded Hammock bone injury… Didn’t the Braves have someone with an identical injury? Infante’? So many players, so many injuries, hard to keep up.

    For sure, you cannot hit a lick with a sore wrist.

    Phillies better be able to win a lot of 1 -0 games because they are not going to be able to out slug other teams like they have in the past. They got old real quick didn’t they?


  21. 22 Hillbilly March 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Gil, I don’t think Infante’s was the hamate, but I remember Ken Griffey Jr. broke his many years ago.


  22. 23 Voice of Raisins March 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    The hamate was the injury that Bob Horner made famous…


  23. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo March 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I remember Jose Canseco having that bone removed I think…was so afraid it would ruin his career…it didn’t, something else did, forget what that was 🙄

    I don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk for the Phils, but remember how lousy the Giants offense was most of the year.
    If the Phillies lose any of the big 4 for any length of time, they would be in trouble…but….with 4 #1 starters, competing with each other all season long (No doubt a reason Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux were so very good for “us”) ….lets just put it this way…it would behoove the braves to get off to a fast start, feasting on the Mets, and hopefully Marlins (Haven’t seen the schedule, watch it be the Phils then Brewers or something like that) and we had better not have the trouble with the Nats that we have had in the past….


  24. 25 berigan2electricboogaloo March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    but remember how lousy the Giants offense was most of the last year.
    Not just you V! 😉 What’s funny is the way the brain processes what it reads, I didn’t notice either of your minor errors the other day, til you pointed them out.


  25. 26 Voice of Raisins March 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Yikes… Braves minor league coach Luis Salazar was hit in the face by a McCann line drive while standing in the dugout. Apparently it was pretty bad; they took him off in an ambulance.



  26. 27 Voice of Raisins March 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Back to the hamate bone discussion… (a phrase I never imagined seeing, much less typing…)

    The hamate IS the bone that Bob Horner broke – twice – and is also the bone that one Joe Mather broke 2 years ago. It is truly a 2 year injury. It takes a year to heal, and a year to build back the strength and dexterity lost during the healing period. Remember, the wrists are the mechanism that throws the bat head. Bad wrists, bad bat. You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe, can you?


  27. 28 Carolina Lady March 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Wildcat! (Where is he, anyway?? Gotta be here to blow out the candles!)

    “You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe, can you?” Maybe once. You’d for sure have a (temporary) jet-propelled canoe, though! LOL Where do you come up with these gems???


  28. 29 flbravesgirl March 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Rough day for our boys today. News on Salazar is hopeful at this point though the concern over his eye is a bit scary. I hope there’s no lasting damage to his vision. Mac must be devastated. He’s been at the hospital with Luis’ family all day according to the AJC.


  29. 30 Voice of Raisins March 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Braves are supposed to announce first round of cuts today.


  30. 31 Hillbilly March 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “Braves are supposed to announce first round of cuts today.” -VOR

    Erik Cordier, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado, Michael Broadway, Jay Sborz, Lee Hyde, Jose Ortegano, Brett Oberholtzer, Cristian Bethancourt, Braeden Schlehuber, Jesus Sucre, Tyler Pastornicky, OF Mycal Jones.


  31. 33 Carolina Lady March 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    If anyone cares, the eagle pair at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens is incubating their third straight set of 3 eggs. “Azalea”, the female eaglet from their 2009 brood, is still being tracked with the satellite transponder with which she was fitted. She flies an area from Norfolk down to about Roanoke Island in NC Outer Banks and has flown well over 6,000 km.

    Camellia, another female from the 2010 brood is being tracked, as well.

    Here is a link to the live EagleCam of the enormous nest where the eggs are being cared for by the parent birds:


  32. 34 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Happy Birthday, Scribe, wherever you are…


  33. 35 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Via DOB’s twitter:

    #Braves’ minor league manager [Luis] Salazar, struck in face by foul ball, will have second eye surgery this weekend. Status of eye still uncertain

    Pray, folks, pray…


  34. 36 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Chase Utley, 32, seems to have aged quickly. He suddenly seems older for an everyday middle infielder with significant injuries to his hand, thumb, hip and right knee over the past four seasons, older for a guy who late last season already looked less fluid trying to play second base. Now, after his knee did not respond to rest — ominous for an overuse injury to be this troublesome after a winter of rest — he may need surgery.


    I’ve heard that somewhere before…


  35. 37 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Well, today is the day for KK’s first spring pitching appearance. We all have wanted him to have a stellar spring to push his trade value a little higher, but missing 2 weeks with visa issues was not exactly what we had in mind. Now he gets to make his 1st appearance on the day that his homeland was devastated by the worst earthquake there in 300 years.

    I, for one, might cut the guy a little slack today…


  36. 38 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Following the written accounts, Schafer appears to be having quite a day already…


  37. 39 Carolina Lady March 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Happy Birthday, Scribe!!!

    Great info, Raisins! Thanks!!


  38. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Greetings everyone, I was prepared to give everyone an exclusive eyewitness account of today’s game and report on the rookies. We got off of the boat in Ft. Lauderdale with great efficiency, zip through customs, picked up the Expedition and headed to the ballpark. We were making great time with the assistance of our trusty GPS, arrived at the ballpark around 11:30 Am and we were amazed at the lack of cars in the parking lot. DUH!!!! The Mets were playing the Braves in Lake Buena Vista and not Port St. Lucie… SIGH… I really need to play closer attention to the schedule.

    Anyway, we are in Kissimmee and hopefully make it to the game on time tomorrow. Good thing I found out the time changes tonight huh?

    Happy belated birthdays all, at $.70 cents a minute, my internet time has been curtailed a bit the past week.

    By the way, I really do hate the way most of the news is presented, they are all a bunch of drama queens if you ask me. The earthquake in Japan makes Katrina look like a blip on the disaster charts, that said, I have every confidence that there were not folks looting the local Wan-mart after it hit. I have great respect for the Japanese people and feel confident they will rebuild even stronger.


  39. 41 Carolina Lady March 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    😆 Welcome back, Gil! Thanks for the almost-report! 😆

    I don’t even watch the “news” anymore. Drama queens is so right! They aren’t interested in telling the news. They want to make a “name” for themselves, not realizing that they are making complete fools of themselves. Bah humbug on all of them!


  40. 42 flbravesgirl March 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Happy Birthday, VOR! I wish I could make you a cake. Someday, once I live closer, I’ll do so. Have a fantastic day!


  41. 43 Carolina Lady March 13, 2011 at 12:32 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAISINS!! Hoping there are a whole lot yet to come! You’re a blessing to us, my friend!


  42. 44 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2011 at 4:25 am

    My Raisins, you look as wrinkle free as ever… Happy Birthday. 🙂


  43. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Good morning folks from downtown Kissimmee… A beautiful day for a ball game. Ran into a couple of Braves fans this morning at breakfast and they were saying Chipper looks really good this spring, they also concur that McLough is a totally changed guy.

    Still, the key to the puzzle will be finding a guy who can fill the super-sub role that Infante’ played so well last year.

    I am hoping to see some of the players (Lucas) who did not make the trip to Viera last week.

    More tomorrow as this is going to be a long day, driving part of the way home tonight after the game. Vacations are fun but there is no place like the green green grass of home…


  44. 46 Voice of Raisins March 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. Y’all are some awesome folks! I’m proud to know you! 😀


  45. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home…. Or as my mom used to refer to it, “A shack in the woods”… Well, at least it is my shack…

    And so, A report on yesterday’s game between the Braves and Astros. I will give you the short version first… I saw one of the longest home runs I have ever personally witnessed. A kid from the Astros (with a number 97 on his back) hit it over the center field scorebord which is 65 ft high and cleared it by at least 15 feet. It had to have been a 500 footer.. no kidding. Of course it was off of Chritian Martinaz who was whizzing along with two outs, an 0-2 count and a 7-0 lead. Still, it sounded like a rifle shot. A no doubter… awesome…

    Now the rest of the story, Jair pitched a decent game. No runs allowed, lots of ground balls and was able to get himself out of a jam in the fifth inning after walking two. I don’t think he has his full velocity back yet but not a bad day at the office.

    Three round trippers for the good guys, Chipper hit a shot while batting left handed that was a no doubter. McCann also had a nice homer that I don’t think ever got more than 15 feet off the ground. The umps were a little unsure if it had cleared the centerfield wall but everyone else besides BMac knew it was gone. Brian did not show up the boys in blue and waiting until they made the call to circle the bases.

    Wilkin Ramariz also hit a liner off the centerfield scoreboard for a two run homer. It does not appear the guys are going for homers, lots of level swings that just happen to get a lot of the ball.

    A word about Prado, the kid looks like he has been playing the outfield all his life. Some very nice plays made on balls going away from him.

    Chipper made a couple of nice plays too. Nothing spectacular but easy on some short hops and strong throws to first.

    Josie took a bunch of photos and I will put some together for another lead.

    All that said, I think the Braves have put together a pretty nice ball club this spring. Only a couple of spots really left to fill and honestly, I think Freddie will have a tough choice. It does not appear that anyone has taken themselves out of the running.

    I think Minor will get the 5th starter’s nod because the Braves have the most invested in him. Signing bonus money plus he is a lefty. Beachy however, I like that kid very much. he would be a number three or four guy on a lot of major league clubs right now. Only thing is he still is pretty young so it would be unwise to stress his arm too much.

    More later.


  46. 48 berigan2electricboogaloo March 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Hey everyone! Where have I been??? glad you asked….nowheresville man, nowheresville. Our sterling AT&T DSL has not worked since Weds….every day we called about it, the automated message said, they were aware of the problem, and it would be fixed…the next day. Next day would come…no connection. Went thru many layers to actually speak to a nice guy that said no date was known for the fix, but they were working round the clock…riiiight….just knew it wouldn’t be fixed over the weekend. Was right, finally got it today…just getting on, cuz I was one of MANY extras on a New Dolly Parton/Queen Latifah film called Joyful Noise. Had to be there(there being where the buses were to take us to the Peachtree City Amphitheater-which has really tiny seats, makes coach seating on a plane seem big!) at 5 am…fun!
    A friend who knows Dolly and has been an extra for weeks on the film, was told to get a bunch of folks…I was part of that bunch…about 1800 other extras as well..man, the music was amazing! Well, the one song. Written and performed by Kurt Franklin, it really should be a hit, but the way pop music is today, that might not happen… Since I have been up since 2 am, I am not really making sense…just wanted everyone to know I was alive, if not well…


  47. 49 berigan2electricboogaloo March 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    and happy belated birthdays to Wildcat, Scribe, and The V man!!!! And many more!!!! 🙂


  48. 50 flbravesgirl March 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    And Happy Birthday to you now, Ber! I hope you’re snoozing after that adventuresome day.


  49. 51 flbravesgirl March 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Uh-oh! Are we having a time change issue? 12:23 is showing up as 11:23


  50. 52 Voice of Raisins March 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Happy Birthday, Ber!

    Yes… Kirk Franklin is the bomb. Great stuff from a man of God.


  51. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Beware the Ides of Berigan… Or something like that. Happy birthday bro, so many birthdays, so little time….

    I was getting a bit worried however, you never know when one of our denizens vanishes if they will find their way back.

    Being a movie extra is awesome, and actually work considering the hours and the conditions.

    Tiny seats? Now you know why most celebrities are only 5 foot nothing a lot of times. Would actually have to look up to see down.


  52. 54 Carolina Lady March 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Well, I reset every clock and watch in the house, even remembered the one in the car, and yet again forgot to reset the blog. *sigh* Why can’t they have it automatic like most other places??? I know what happened. “Let’s leave it in manual setting only. That’ll cause CL unending nightmares! hahahahahaha”

    At least I’ve managed to get all the mid-March birthday’s in either here or fb.

    Welcome home, Gil! Glad y’all made it safely back!


  53. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    CL, will try to upload some photos tonight. Josie took a bunch, I hope I can get the names right… 🙂


  54. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo March 16, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Thanks for all the kind B-Day wishes! 🙂
    Beware the Ides of Berigan, Gil, 😛
    I am still playing catch up with all the emails/sales while my DSL was down…even got my first negative on ebay because of this….really can’t wait to get rid of ATT DSL… :X


  55. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Good morning folks, any birthdays today??? Yep, our venerable Hillbilly is another year older. Happy Birthday Bubba…. 🙂

    Okay, I know that was bad but hey, if you are going to use “Hillbilly” as your moniker, you have to expect a rib or two…

    Now baseball, still waiting for the boss to unpack her camera so I can access all the pictures of spring training. Hopefully I can get them before the season starts.

    Boman had an article on Wilkin Rameriz today over on the MLB site. After seeing him play in two games and hit the cover off the ball, I can see where he could be considered a good prospect. The guy has the tools and looks like he has attended the Julio Franco school of body building. He says he is 230lbs and I would have to say none of it is fat. The guy can fly too. Must say he caught my eye during the games I attended out of a plethora of players.

    He is coming of age in this era of non steroids and HGH… If he can maintain his discipline at the plate, I think the Braves may have mined a gem at the Tigers’ expense.

    I know DOB has been raving about Ed Lucas but I did not see enough of him to render a useful opinion. To be honest, if you were to put him with Brando Hicks and switched jerseys, I don’t know if I could tell them apart.

    Prado looks slick in the field but his hitting has not followed suit. Not that he is striking out a lot mind you, just the balls he is hitting seem to be finding gloves. Early still…

    And lastly Nate McLough… Sigh… That danged upper cut swing came back last Sunday… AAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! Quick, somebody get me the shock collar….


  56. 58 Voice of Raisins March 16, 2011 at 9:43 am


    Docs weren’t able to save Luis Salazar’s left eye. That really sucks…


  57. 59 Voice of Raisins March 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Really bad news. Really.

    But reality checks in to say that this could have been so much worse. The impact he absorbed from such a short distance, and the subsequent fall he took could have easily left much more residual damage. Heck, it coulda taken his life, not just an eye.

    So while this is not the news we all hoped to get, count me as one that is thankful that he can come back to his team in a few weeks and resume his life in a meaningful manner.

    God is good, all the time…


  58. 60 Hillbilly March 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Gil, I use the terms “Bubba” and “Bud” alot in the places where most folks use “Dude” or “Man.” That’s not a rib at all to me.

    as in:

    What’s happening, bud? > What’s happening, dude?


  59. 61 Carolina Lady March 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Happy Birthday, Bubba – uh, Bud – uh, Hillbilly!!! 😆

    I am so sorry Salazar is losing that eye! Having had one of my eyes “out of commission” recently, I have experienced the loss of balance, depth perception, etc that it causes. Thankfully, mine was of short duration. I hope he’ll be able to adapt quickly and resume his life.

    Wasn’t it McCann’s ball that hit him? You know that is going to haunt him in every at-bat now. God bless both of them!


  60. 62 Voice of Raisins March 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm


    Happy Birthday HillBubba!


  61. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Dang, missed the game today because of a prior commitment… Hope everyone else got to see it.

    So, Heyward out for 5 straight days with a sore back… Sounds like a pretty serious tweak to me.

    Might be a good idea to keep sharp items out of the hands of the DOB blog denizens because well, it’s spring training and these games count almost as much as the regular season… Don’t they? Maybe? Well, you would think so to hear them squeal.


  62. 64 Salty March 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Belated birthday greetings to sscribe, the shriveled grape, and Ber! Enjoy!


  63. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Good morning all, My internal clock is so messed up that I am no longer sure if my body and my mind are even in the same time zone….

    Anyway, a few observations from spring training.

    Jair did not strike me as the same pitcher I saw a couple of years ago. Not sure what it is, something my eye sees but my brain has yet to process.

    Spring training is such an awkward time anyway. Guys who say it isn’t important vs guys who say it is. The don’t worry, “I’ll flip the switch” guys vs “I need to get it going” types. All I know is that a loss counts the same in the regular season whether it is in April or September and some guys like Nate McLough could not even find the wall, much less the switch to flip on last year.

    The other thing about spring is who are you getting “hits” against. Are you hitting the ball hard but at people? Prado is crushing the ball but it is being caught a lot. Still, it is a good sign. Not like some who keep hitting weak ground balls.

    I was looking over my notes from the games I watched and one thing I had written down was how good O’Flaherty hides the ball when he pitches. I think it adds a couple of MPH to his fast ball because you don’t really see the ball until it is in front of his body. Do I need to explain that better? I know, it sounds a bit confusing to me and I wrote it…

    Next year, I’m going to spend more time at spring training and less time traversing around the universe. Just too many people to evaluate and so little time to do it. Now, if I can just get CL to process those “press credentials” for me, I could really spill some trash… 🙂


  64. 66 Voice of Raisins March 17, 2011 at 6:17 am

    So, when your are red/green color blind, does St. Patty’s Day really matter?


  65. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2011 at 7:15 am



  66. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I’m not sure it counts as being Irish but I do prefer Jameson… 🙂


  67. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, everyone thought this was a real holiday, did everyone go to a parade or something?


  68. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Alrighty then, guess spring has finally caught up with everyone. Berigan still fighting with ATT…. Good game last night until Scott Proctor made an appearance. At what point do the Braves pull the plug on the guy?

    Schafer has not exactly played his way onto the team either. I think he saw a total of 3 pitches last night which is difficult to do in four at bats. Also a couple of mis-plays in the outfield did not improve his stock value.

    Best bets for bench spots so far. Joe Mather, Wilkin Rameriz, it’s a push between Brooks Conrad and Diory Hernadez for the final utility spot. Brooks has the better bat, Diory the better glove.

    Still two weeks to go before making those final decisions. Right now, it may still be all about options.


  69. 71 Voice of Raisins March 18, 2011 at 8:01 am

    OK… 2 weeks to go, like you said.

    So, here’s my very early guess at the Opening Day 25 man roster:

    DLowe – RHSP1
    TommyH – RHSP2
    Huddy – RHSP3
    JJJ – RHSS4
    Minor – LHSP5 **
    Kimbrel – RHCl/SU
    JohnnyV – LHCl/SU
    EOF – LHRP
    Petey – RHRP
    Sherrill – LHRP
    Linebrink – RHRP
    Martinez – long relief

    **(I think there is a good possibility that Minor will not be on the initial opening day roster since he’ll be skipped at least through the first time through the rotation.)

    Starting 8:
    Mac – C
    FredFree – 1B
    Uggla – 2B
    AGonz – SS
    Chipper – 3B
    Prado – LF
    Nate – CF
    Heyward – RF

    DRoss – BUC
    Hinske – LHPH, BU1B
    Mather – RHPH, BULF/RF/3B
    Ed Lucas – BUMI
    Wilkin Ramirez – BUCF (Schafer needs to play every day at AAA.)

    CAVEAT: We could open with an extra bench guy if they choose to let Minor work in AAA over his first skipped start. Or, they could keep an extra reliever, especially if someone is trade bait.

    Trade candidates (IMO): Conrad. His lack of versatility on the field will be his undoing here. Diory will go to AAA as 2B and emergency MI callup. Maybe Proctor, but he will likely not draw much interest, and should be released. But this is a pitching starved league, so somebody may offer something, even if it is the uncomfortable PTBNL. (I still to this day have no idea what or who we received for Ryan Langerhans.)

    Anyway, I probably fouled up the roster numbers somehow, but that is my guess today, anyway.


  70. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

    To be honest, I have not seen enough of Lucas to form an opinion.

    Minor over Breachy for reasons stated earlier but I do not expect Brandon to remain at Gwinnett for more than a month. Will be traded or brought up… Not sure why I think that way but will ponder about it today.

    Kershin actually looked pretty good last night. Certainly better than Proctor. Somebody will need/want him. I think the Braves are just haggling over price right now. They may leave him in Florida for (extended spring training) to make up for the time lost.


  71. 73 berigan2electricboogaloo March 18, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I think he saw a total of 3 pitches last night which is difficult to do in four at bats. 😆

    I’m around, but still playing catch up with all the down time from the web….and today I have to get my plate renewed which will cost more than if I had done it before my Birthday! 😡 Makes me mad cuz all I had was time to do it with the internet down….

    Heard the Mutts, even with so few options, were perfectly clear to David Eckstien that they had no interest in him…of course they don’t…he’s a very tough out, hit .267 last year, plays good defence (Don’t care what UTZ, or whatever that stoopid made up rating says) and most importantly, he’s a winner….


  72. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 8:48 am

    By the way, both Wilkin Ramariz and Joe Mather have spent some time in center field this spring. Both have looked better than Schafer.

    Freedie Freeman has looked really good this spring both at bat and in the field….


  73. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Ber, the Braves will be on MLB today at 1 PM… Playing the Mutts.


  74. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

    So, what is his price tag Ber?


  75. 77 berigan2electricboogaloo March 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Oh, and hey salt man! 🙂


  76. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Going to be in the 80s today, time to enjoys the outdoors prior to the game, later ya’ll…


  77. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    What a beautiful day God gave us today. Allow me to get a few chores done outside plus still got to watch the Braves “traveling” team go down to the Mets.

    I am not sure if Jair is using ” rope-a-dope” on the Mets to allow them to get a false read on his stuff or he has lost his stuff…. Yes, I know what the box score said but a lot of balls hit early off JJ were at people. Later innings those same balls began to drop. (No pun intended for Brooks Conrad, bless his heart…

    So, with the “Latin mafia” no longer in charge, how long before other under achieving latin players follow Luis Castillio out of New York. Mets eat a $6 million dollar contract because the guy refuse to take ground balls the day he is DHing. My respect for Terry Collins has moved up a notch.


  78. 80 Carolina Lady March 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Gil’s new ST photos are up! They are in SLIDESHOW format in the menu on the banner.

    Many, many thanks, Mr Mayor!!!


  79. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks Madam Chairman… 🙂

    The slide show format is neat…


  80. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    See, I told you something just did not look right to me…. My brain does not always make the connection with what my eyes are seeing :as in “I don’t believe what I am seeing”… 🙂

    Anyway, I think this may explain it…



  81. 83 Carolina Lady March 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Glad ya like it, Gil! I thought it made a much nicer presentation! A million thanks for taking the photos! I’ve enjoyed looking at them!


  82. 84 Carolina Lady March 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Yep! You pegged that one! If anybody in MLB knew that accumen that you have, they would snatch you up in a heartbeat! But you’d still have to be Mayor here and report on stuff.

    BTW, I AM working on your press credentials – but that gold casing is really expensive!!


  83. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Silver will do. 🙂


  84. 86 berigan2electricboogaloo March 19, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Gil, great photos! 🙂 Is everyone on the team left handed??? 😛
    missed the game, as I was having lunch with a friend. oops phone call…


  85. 87 Carolina Lady March 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Ok. One sterling silver casing coming up! 😆


  86. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2011 at 5:13 am


    Why do we let ourselves get caught up in other people’s messes? The Unites States seemingly stands idly by while pirates from lawless nations like Somalia terrorize shipping in the Indian Ocean yet feel the need to get into a tussle with the long time dictator of Libya. Now I think the wacko is a scum bag but it is not like he is a real threat to us.

    If you are going to use the “he is attacking his own people” excuse, then are we going to take on China? Cuba? Venezuela? What do all these countries have in common? Gun control for one…

    Now baseball… Even Chipper Jones echoed my sentiments about Beachy but agreed the Braves front office prefers Mike Minor for all the reasons I stated before…. 1st round pick, bonus money, leaf handed…

    That said, it would not surprize (yes spell check, I still spell it with a “Z”) me to see the Braves trade Jair next season and employ Beachy and Medlin in their line-up.


  87. 89 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Gil, I have real mixed feelings about what’s going on in Libya. I do think it’s high time other nations pick up their end of the bargain. But, no one saved the lives of the people of Rwanda, and 800,000 people died, because of butchers with machetes….just wonder what
    “we” have gotten ourselves into right now….


  88. 90 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Ok, to much more fun talk…baseball (Bet you didn’t see me talking about baseball, on a baseball blog, did ya? 😛 )
    Gil, tides may be turning on the Beachy subject….today from Carroll


  89. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Whew, so much basketball, so little times. I am afraid I got caught up in the VCU fever the past couple of days.

    Baseball…. Phillis pick up Mets castoff Luis Castillo, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Anyone else have doubts the Phillies have got real old real quick without the benefit of PEDs? I think we will see a return to an era where players give about 5 years of good performance before the drop off.

    Baseball can be a grind over a 162 game season in addition to spring training. No, baseball may not be on the surface as violent as football but it can be pretty demanding.

    I had no visual for the game yesterday so I can render no opinion on the performances of the game other than Chipper went 3-3 and Lowe evidently threw 95 pitches in 5 1/3 innings.

    Kershin will get a start today in Viera against the Nationals. Let’s all hope he pitches 5 innings of no hit ball. Somebody will need him. Somebody always needs pitching…. Even for 6.7 million. Who has an extra right handed bench type to trade for pitching, that is the question?


  90. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 8:15 am

    On second thought, I don’t know what is funnier, the Mets eating $6 million of Castillio’s salary or the Phillies needing to sign him?

    I have a feeling that Luis will not like Charlie Manuals’ coaching anymore than Terry Collins. Charlie will not put up with prima donnas for long.


  91. 93 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I suspect Howard is going to see a lot fewer fastballs this season.


  92. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Ah ha….. Looks like the Phillies may have found an answer for their fifth starter… 🙂



  93. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I expect Perez to be offered employment with the A. Rangers B. Pirates C. Cleveland… D. Anyone else who has $414,000 to throw away….


  94. 96 Voice of Raisins March 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Cards could use a warm body…


  95. 97 Voice of Raisins March 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Howdy everyone. Been away a bit. Maw-in-law is very ill, so my time is at a premium at the moment. Have lost touch completely with the Braves over the last 4 days or so.

    Back when I can touch base… no pun intended…

    (OK, it was completely intentional…)


  96. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Raisins, she will be in our thoughts and prayers…


  97. 99 berigan2electricboogaloo March 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

    V, sorry your Mother in Law isn’t feeling well, will say a prayer for her…


  98. 100 berigan2electricboogaloo March 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I do believe we are stuck with KK, unless and until teams have starters go down.

    Just listen to the 5th starter breakdown for the Diamondbacks…
    Barry Enright made the Diamondbacks’ rotation, reports MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Assuming Joe Saunders makes the cut, that leaves Armando Galarraga and Aaron Heilman duking it out for the right to fill in for Zach Duke.
    Armando Galarraga is the guy who threw a perfect game, that wasn’t… 4.49 ERA in the DH league…might not make it as a 5th starter, for that team???
    Cleveland dumped a right handed reliever who had a 2.97 ERA last year (Supposedly his velocity was way down this spring)
    No one would agree with me, but there really is enough talent out there for another team or two. Population is always increasing of course….more players show up from Asian countries each year…more scouting of Latin players…even a guy or two from down under….but all I have heard is silly talk of contraction or whatever they call deleting teams…
    But anyway, no one is going to pay us for KK…shoot, even the Yankees have 4 decent(at least in the spring) guys for the last 2 positions…


  99. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Berigan, The Braves are going to pay for Kershin to pitch whether it’s in AA, AAA or the Majors, only question is how much are they willing to eat of his salary? KK was signed when the Brave had a dearth of pitching and it just did not work out. That said, who is to say it still might. Or not…

    I am more worried about what I have seen out of Jair this spring. I will not be at all surprised to see him traded next winter given the talent the Braves have accumulated.

    When you have two guys like Beachy and Minor duking it out for the fifth spot only because Medlin is on the DL, well, that is a pretty deep staff.

    I expect Kershin will be traded with the Braves picking up about $3 million of his pay check. While KK will not make it into the Hall Of Fame, I would not be surprised if he doesn’t prove to be a very serviceable bottom of the rotation guy once he is under the tutor-ledge of the right pitching coach.


  100. 102 Voice of Raisins March 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

    From DOB: We just got news this morning: Luis Salazar will be in camp today, the first time the Braves minor league manager been back to Champion Stadium since suffering a catrastrophic eye injury after being hit by a foul ball in a March 9 game.


  101. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Good morning Raisins, hope your wife’s mum is better.

    Salazar should become the poster child for all those fans who sit close to the field behind the duggout. Stay alert and in the game all the time because a baseball can do some really serious damage.

    Frankly, from all accounts Luis is lucky to even be alive.

    Now more baseball…. Only 8 more days until opening day…. Yipee, I think…. Life is whizzing by at a dizzying pace. Much faster than I would like.


  102. 104 Carolina Lady March 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Pollen. Everywhere. 😦


  103. 105 berigan2electricboogaloo March 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    CL, it sure is! 😯
    V, hope your Mother in law is doing better!
    Gil, I won’t sit low on the field because of this….I wonder how many folks break fingers/ and or noses at each park every day???

    Gee, kind hate to root for a Mutt player, but I guess since they will be in last place, I can root for him when they aren’t playing us!


  104. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I’m not sure where yo sit in the park is as important as just paying attention whenever someone is throwing/hitting a ball. I’ve had some come at me that looked like the ball was oblong. Translation, no body is going to catch that thing… Only hope is to hold your hands up to shield your face. (An whatever other vital body part you are trying to protect.

    I am forever getting on the vendors for blocking my view and thus screening me from a potentially lethal object.

    I don’t carry a glove to the park with me, my reflexes are not what they once were but I can still instinctively “duck and cover”. See, all those drills from the 50’s did have some useful purpose after all.


  105. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    So… it’s 6:30 ish… looks like a good time for a nap…

    PS, never underestimate the value of a good nap, come to think of it, there is no such thing as a bad nap… Just sometime a bad time to take a nap but all naps are good… like good toe health, but different….


  106. 108 Voice of Raisins March 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Am I to understand that naps are not to be trifled with? 😀


  107. 109 Voice of Raisins March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    6:48pm… just sayin’…


  108. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo March 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    clock off???
    Gil, Steven Wright once said, he woke up and his gal pal said, did you sleep good???? and he said no, he made a few mistakes….


  109. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I am proud to declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED…. Much to the chagrin of Miss Josie I might add, Sometimes your body just says COOL IT. Now, if I can now just get back to sleep. at least I feel rested enough to do so.


  110. 113 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

    And Beachy wins the 5th starter job. Congratulations to him! Minor has been optioned to AAA. (Stay sharp, young man!)



  111. 114 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

    So, let’s check the list of pre-season questions:

    Q1: Will we see the Pittsburgh Nate, or the heretofore Atlanta Nate?

    A: By all appearances, we will see the Pittsburgh Nate.

    Q2: Will Chipper be ready to play on March 30?

    A: Not only will he be ready, he is killing. The man seems motivated by the reports of an early demise.

    Q3: 5th starter?

    A: Answered today. Beachy wins it.

    Q4: Who will the backup SS be?

    A: While not officially answered, all indications say it’s Ed Lucas. I’ll be surprised if Diory wins the job.

    Q5: Backup CF?

    A: Again, not officially answered. But combine Nate’s good start with Schafer’s just so-so spring, and Schafer will undoubtedly open the season in AAA. He needs playing time period. So does this mean I think Wilkin Ramirez wins it? Uh, hold the bus. I think he wins it over Schafer, but I also think he has shown more promise than the neckties expected, and they’d also like to see him get regular playing time to continue his development. This begs another question…

    Q5 part 2: If not Schafer and not WRam, then who? Well, now both Frank and Fredi are on record saying that the Braves are seeking a RH bat for the bench. We also know that Rodrigo Lopez is being dangled. Might have to give up both Lopez and another mid-level prospect, but I think a trade will bring the final bench piece.


  112. 115 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

    And no sooner do the Braves announce that Beachy has won the #5 job, and that Minor will be sent down, JJ leaves today’s start after just 1 inning. Speculation is injury, but still no announcement so far.



  113. 116 Carolina Lady March 24, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Oh, the drama! And we hang on every word! 😆

    I do hope they get off to a really good start. I hate it when they have to dig themselves out of a hole to begin with.


  114. 117 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Looks like Proctor is doing everything he can to pitch himself OFF the team… 😡


  115. 118 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    JJ removed for experiencing “discomfort in his side”. I don’t like it. We need to get him healthy and trade him before he loses any more value.

    Crimeny… side discomfort. Evokes painful memories of Steve Avery.


  116. 119 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Raisins, Jair has not looked “right” to me all spring. Who knows what it is? Could be a twinge from lifting weights, could just be from taking a swing in batting practice, just glad the Braves have some depth at the pitching position.

    Uggla finally getting hot at the plate, Mather too for that matter. Still, it’s spring training, hard to read anything said or done.


  117. 120 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Okay, good win for the Braves over the Sky Chiefs Blue Jays today. They were able to overcome Scott Proctor and Jair’s boo boo… Can’t blame the kid by the way, after last season, no use pressing his luck.


  118. 121 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Proctor was ruined by Joe Torre. 83 games, 102 innings one year…83 games the next year….wonder if anyone tracks relievers like they do young pitchers who toss 50 more innings than the previous year, or starters who toss 230+ innings year after year….


  119. 122 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Juan Abreu, Jairo Asencio, Diory Hernandez, Mike Minor and Jordan Schafer all sent to AAA after the game.

    Called that one earlier…


  120. 123 Voice of Raisins March 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Now the only real questions are Brooks Conrad or Brandon Hicks, Matt Young or Wilken Ramirez, Scott Proctor or Cristhian Martinez.

    I believe they’ll go with the known quantity in Conrad. I think Proctor may have looked more like a proctologist than a pitcher today, which may have given the edge to Martinez. And I believe that the CF job is the only real battle left. I also think that I won’t count out an acquisition for that spot too early. Al things being equal, they may prefer Ramirez to play everyday in AAA, allowing Young to get his first taste of the bigs.

    That’d be OK with me as long as he doesn’t get extended playing time. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he has some IF experience either. Still, he’s a speedy kid and a good baserunner. Probably a solid bench guy, though no experience. That’s the real knock.

    If I had to make my pick today, I’d go with Young. I’d also say that Frank will be crawling all over the waiver wire waiting for the right guy to get released. Maybe… Aaron Rowand? Once Cody Ross returns from his calf injury, Rowand could be the odd out in SF. Just thinking out loud…


  121. 124 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    V, funny you should mention Matt Young, I simply haven’t heard his name this spring! He seems like such a good “kid” I’d love him to get at least a taste of the big show…


  122. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2011 at 8:21 am

    So, here is the skinny…. (Quite a statement coming from me by the way)… The best bench players a usually veterans like Hinski or Conrad who are not really affected or actually helped by not playing everyday. Young players need to learn the game and the only way to learn the game is by playing, being in different situations and getting exposed to a verity of pitchers and pitches. Talent will only carry you so far.

    While every player wants to make the big league team, sometimes they need to keep their skills sharp. The only way to do that is by playing. The only way to play is to have a place to do that. You simply are not going to get reps at third when you have Chipper Jones ahead of you for 3/4 of the innings and Prado is already slated to get the rest.

    So, it is not just picking the guy with the best skill set or even the best spring or best potential, it most often comes down to who can best help in a part time role and who has options.

    That said, I like Matt Young, I like his demeanor and I think he is going to be a heck of a player but I believe he still needs to play everyday. Wilkin Rameriz has some serious pop in his bat, will not hurt you defensively and may actually be a better player than Young but has yet to show consistency. I think it is a push because both still have options. They are also both left handed.

    Lucas vs Hicks for the infield spot. I think the Braves tipped their hand when they sent down Diory. Lucas has more power than Hicks but Hicks has made some pretty nice strides this spring. However, when the GM says they would like to have a right handed bat coming off the bench, it pretty much says, ‘we don’t have anyone in camp who we think can fill that role and are still looking’…

    Lucas has some impressive AAA numbers and is approaching the right age, I think the Braves were hoping he would fill that spot.

    Look for the Braves to (A) scan the wavier wire for an over priced vet (B) Make a trade with someone who has such a player but who needs pitching (C) bite the bullet and go with what they have hoping someone steps up in the first month.

    My money is on A then B….


  123. 127 Voice of Raisins March 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

    We are seeing eye to eye on that one, Gil…


  124. 129 berigan2electricboogaloo March 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Gil, I pretty much agree with everything you said, but one thing. Matt Young isn’t! Well, he is to us old timers, but he’s 28 now…is it likely he is going to get a chance to play everyday with any team??? Sadly, he won’t ever get a chance to prove one way or another that he could handle it…

    But, seems the organization really wants Joe Mather,(28, just like Young) cuz you know, he bats right handed. How weird is it, that of all things, right handed hitters are a rarity in the game today????

    I think DOB or Carroll alluded to this the other day, but Mather actually hits better against lefties, than righties! Between 2008-2010, in 96 AB’s against lefties, .219 BA, vs righties, .247 BA in 97 AB’s. Ok, I forgot, he didn’t play in 2009, and had some pop in 2008….Conrad had 8 Homers last year, and it seemed like most everyone wanted to see him hit the trail.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for M.Y.!!!


  125. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Ber, I did not realize that Young wasn’t anymore… Bad pun. right?

    To me Matt Young is the kind of guy who would be a good lead off or two hole hitter. He can handle a stick pretty well but unlike many other diminutive guys who seeming could hit for power, he is what he is, a table setter.

    I think a lot of owners/managers/fans got use to seeing guys like Marcus Giles hit homeruns and forget that the steroid era is over. They still believe that is normal when it is guys like Matt Young are the real “normal” in today’s game.

    That said, I hope Matt gets a chance to play in the bigs everyday. Unfortunately, it will likely mean someone else is hurt or injured.

    Schafer was a real disappointment this spring I think, for a lot of folks. To be honest, I did not think he took very good routes on balls hit to the outfield when I saw him. Prado actually looked a lot smoother. The longer he goes, the more one might believe that his early skills were “enhanced” by chemistry.

    Too bad the Braves are in a constant trim mode as far as payroll too, the best right handed bat off the bench they have ever had was already in Atlanta. His name was Matt Diaz. Even without Kershins’ $6.7 million contract, I think the Braves would have said Diaz was too expensive. Too bad, say what you want, actions always speak louder than words and the Braves are reducing coast and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

    Having more payroll at your disposal does not guarantee success but it sure does allow you to make more mistakes.


  126. 131 Voice of Raisins March 25, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I personally believe that Matt Young’s best role for a team is going to be as a defensive replacement/pinch runner kind of guy. Maybe as a “must get a bunt down” kind of PH. But those kind of guys help win ball games, and in the post-steroid “small ball” era, you need them. I think he could help the team in that way, and would probably have a spot nailed down in that role if he was RH. But alas, he is LH. That is a big obstacle in his path on this team.

    I think the 4th OF spot will come from outside the organization somehow…

    As to Schafer, really not too different from what was expected. The guy hasn’t played very much baseball over the last 2 seasons. He needs playing time. I think a little spirited competition between him and Wilkin Ramirez in AAA might be good for both of them. To be honest, I like what I have read about WRam. Schafer better take care of business, or he’ll be on the midnight train to Kansas City.


  127. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

    In reading my own post again, is that narcissistic? I realized the difference in Nate McLouth. He finally realized he is not a homerun hitter. That that it is not his role on this team. He is hitting the ball the other way, hitting “down” on the ball realizing it is his speed that carries him in today’s environment.

    I’m not saying he won’t take that big old ugly upper cut swing once in a while. Hard to break a bad habit completely but he sure has to like being viewed as an asset over being considered a liability any day.

    Besides, the meals in the clubhouse are way better in the majors than they are in the minors. Perhaps it was a good wake up call for him last year.


  128. 133 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Raisins, looks like Matt Young might just be playing himself onto the team. he is impressing Freddi which is a good place to be.


  129. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Okay, all you non basketball fans, it’s almost over. Stayed up last night to watch VCU beat Florida State. Whew…. Got to love it when a bunch of munchkins can take on the trees and win…


  130. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

    So, I suspect it will be a tad bit easier to recruit to VCU today than it was last month this time. That is, if a kid doesn’t mind attending an “inner city” school with a campus spread out over many blocks. Actually a pretty cool place as long as you own a gun and are unafraid to use it against the muggers.


  131. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 7:10 am

    One thing I wonder, is it still more likely that the Liberal Arts majors will be more radical and socialist than the Engineering students? Been a long time since I was on a campus.


  132. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Okay, baseball…. Chipper hit a mammoth homerun last night, gotta love the way the old man is swinging the bat this spring. My guess is he is going to be on base a lot ahead of Mac and Uggla. Pretty fearsome line-up shaping up for the Bravo’s this year.
    Now, if we can just get the pitchers to learn how to bunt properly…


  133. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 7:16 am

    And everybody to remember how to run the bases…. SIGH…..


  134. 139 berigan2electricboogaloo March 26, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Man, will the season get here already??? 😡
    A nice story on Mickey Mantle hitting perhaps the longest home run of his career, at USC as a 19 year old Yankee.


  135. 140 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Thanks Ber, I think one of my biggest disappointments in life was not ever seeing Mantle play in person. I still remember my dad getting my brother and myself out of school so he could take us to see the Yankees play the ’57 Richmond Vees in an exhibition game. Mantle of course was “excused” from the game and did not play, in fact, I don’t even think he was in town that day. Now that I think about it, that may have been when my dislike for all things Yankees began.


  136. 142 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Well, sold another car today. 😦 Sold the Lexus to my oldest step son and his wife (with the usual deep family discount of course)… I really had conflicting emotions about doing it too.

    Sigh, no use hanging on to stuff any longer, after all, it was just costing me money to own it and it is not like I am out trying to pick up chicks or anything.

    That said, we are still hanging on to the Trans AM.

    Now baseball, I will be conflicted today, Braves are on the MLB network today and the VCU Rams play at 2:20… Then the race this afternoon, although I find the Fontana race to be boring for some reason, often gets too spread out. A bit like watching the Indy 500. Long and dull….

    It was supposed to snow here overnight, I have not yet looked outside but after all the beautiful spring weather we had had, I guess I can tolerate one last kick from old man winter.

    I have it on my to do list to drive up to DC next week-end to see the Braves play the Nationals. I told Josie that my one caveat was cold weather would be a deal breaker. Yes, it is true, I am a “fair weather” fan…


  137. 143 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Gil, gotta keep the screaming Chicken!!! 🙂

    Well, this is interesting!!!! From MLBTR

    Braves Release Proctor, Place Mather On Waivers
    By Steve Adams [March 27 at 2:57pm CST]

    The Braves have released right-hander Scott Proctor and placed outfielder Joe Mather on waivers, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Proctor, 33, signed a one-year deal with the Braves back in November with a $750K base salary. O’Brien tweets that the Braves will owe him a little over 25% of that figure. The right-hander appeared in four games for Atlanta in 2010 and allowed four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. This Spring, the veteran allowed 14 runs (six earned) through 10 2/3 innings of work. He struck out 12 but also allowed 12 hits and walked nine batters.

    Mather, 27, was selected off waivers from the Cardinals earlier this offseason (the day after signing Proctor). He owns a .233/.287/.415 line through 211 Major League plate appearances, all coming with St. Louis. Mather has seen time at both infield corners and all three outfield positions with the Cardinals in parts of two seasons.


  138. 144 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    And can you tell I hadn’t checked out any baseball sites today??? You will when I post this….
    and Raw Dog, and Brandon Hicks!!! A good day for underdogs!!!

    Young, Hicks, Conrad make Braves’ 25-man roster

    12:55 pm March 27, 2011, by David O’Brien

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When Matt Young was told Sunday that he’d made the Braves’ opening-day roster, the undersized underdog was so surprised that he “kind of blacked out” and didn’t hear the rest of what manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

    When infielder Brandon Hicks was told he’d made the roster, he was equally surprised and overjoyed.
    When Gonzalez (left) told him he’d made the roster Sunday, Young (right) said he “kind of blacked out” from excitement and didn’t hear the rest of what the Braves manager said.

    When Gonzalez (left) told him he’d made the roster Sunday, Young (right) said he “kind of blacked out” from excitement and didn’t hear the rest of what the Braves manager said. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

    Young and Hicks, two long-time Braves minors leaguers that few expected to make the opening-day roster a few weeks ago, came on strong late in camp and were rewarded with spots on the 25-man roster that will be officially announced after Sunday’s game against the Phillies.


  139. 145 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Lots and lots of storms last night and into this morning…Hopefully that’s not why V hasn’t been here today….


  140. 146 Voice of Raisins March 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I am sooooo very proud of the “youngsters” Hicks and Young for their great accomplishment. I am equally proud of Frank and Fredi for making their choices based on merit and not on pride. It would be too easy to keep both Proctor and Mather rather than admit that neither signing worked out as planned.

    That is a winning attitude, and it WILL carry over to the team on the field. I love my Braves!!!


  141. 147 Voice of Raisins March 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Of course, with Mather out, the need for a RH off the bench just grew exponentially. Methinks a deal is in the offing…


  142. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Well, you never know, Mather might just clear waivers. I think the Braves should offer Kawakami to Pittsburgh for Diaz straight up. The Braves would be stuck paying 6.7 million for Diaz but at least he would offer something in return. Pittsburgh is not going to win anything anyway so why would they care…


  143. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I know, the sad thing is the Braves tried to get away with being cheap when Diaz would have signed with the Braves for about 1.5 mil. We’ll see how it works out but I hate it when someone tries to blow smoke up our —–.


  144. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Well, DOB is a bit morose this morning, I wonder if the beat down of Kansas by VCU yesterday had anything to do with it? 🙂

    Would like to say the sun is shining a little brighter and the birds are chirping here in the Old Dominion this morning… would like to say it but the truth is there is a possibility of more snow in the forecast. Must be getting close to opening day…

    At least the schedulers have slated the Braves first three games to begin at 1 PM. Washington can be a cold dark place and that is on their best days….

    Nyjer Morgan may be his own worst enemy. Nats trade him for a prospect to the Brewers. The kid can play but really has an attitude problem. Kind of what the Nats folks were saying when I visited Viera.

    Note to self: Report these things when you hear them so as to keep the B&S ahead of the curve….. I did share that info with Richbrave over lunch the other day. Trying to recruit a few more patrons…

    Raisins Good call on Hicks and Young. I guess I had become a little jaded to the ways of the Braves and expected them to go with the vets. Same might be true with the pick of Beachy over Minor when I thought they would go with the guy they had the most invested in.

    Shazam… A new era where hard work wins over loyalty.. WooHoo!!


  145. 151 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Wonder if the Bravos would have any interest in the recently released Randy Winn? He’s a switch-hitter that plays all 3 OF spots, I believe…


  146. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

    VOR.. Does Winn have a contract or was he just in camp on an invite?


  147. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Randy Winn would certainly fill the bill as the type of veteran guy who could thrive in an environment where he could be a “part time” player.


  148. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Josie said I had to do at least one constructive thing today (I work for food) so I filed my taxes… I am fast approaching the point where I may have to become a Democrat to protect my meager filing status.

    Hey, I’ve bought a couple of F-15s in the past so I deserve it… 🙂

    Not getting food stamps yet but give me time. Inflation will catch up with me at some point.


  149. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Maybe bought is not the proper term since I don’t have one parked in the driveway. Paid for might just be more correct.


  150. 156 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Winn had signed a minor league deal, and didn’t make the cut. He asked for his release and they gave it to him. I can think of worse signings.

    ANFSCD: It appears that the Twins are sending us a minor league right-hander for Scott Diamond. He’s a big AA kid. When I say big, I mean big. He’s 6’6″, 225 lbs. at just 23, he has a little time to fill out some of that frame, although not much. He is a career reliever with many of those appearances as closer. He was a closer in college for the Gators.


  151. 157 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    According to Talking Chop, Bullock was rated the Twins 8th best prospect, registering 105 K’s in just 74 innings. A little quick research shows that he spent last season in AA, so conceivably could be in AAA for the Bravos.

    Nice acquisition orchestrated by Frank. And when I say orchestrated, I am referring back to the decision not to add him to the 40-man roster. He made some pretty savvy assumptions and he was correct.

    Nicely done, Frank.

    (One last thought: Perhaps he could also be flipped in another deal along with a spare starter for a RH bench bat. Just thinkin’ out loud…)


  152. 158 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Baseball America ranked Bullock Minnie’s #15 prospect.


  153. 159 Voice of Raisins March 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Just 2 days to go… and the Florida phase is once again in the rear view mirror. I have been able to once again shed the hideous spring training cap for the traditional red/blue game cap.

    Finally! 😀


  154. 160 Carolina Lady March 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Gil, I promise I’ll get to it sometime today/tonight! Promise.


  155. 161 Voice of Raisins March 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I have a gut feeling that the 25 man roster that we bring north from Florida is not the 25 man roster we’ll see in a week or so. Just a gut feeling. I still believe a deal is in the offing for a RHBUCF. Gut feelin’. I’m telling ya! My gut speaks, I listen.

    (Or, it could be gas…)


  156. 162 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Gil, you sir have been on a roll the last few days! 😆
    I like the Diaz for KK deal idea….Guys, you all were talking about Randy Winn, but didn’t mention which team released him! Some digging, ah the Orioles…ok….now, check out the Fantasy league blurb under his info…
    2011 Season Outlook
    It appears Winn’s usefulness, even as a reserve outfielder, has about expired. Now 36, Winn’s OPS has finished beneath .700 in back-to-back seasons, he has slowed on the base paths and really should give up switch-hitting, having batted .166 with only five extra-base hits in 169 at-bats from the right side the past two seasons combined. He could have a bit of matchups appeal in daily-transaction leagues, assuming he’s facing a right-hander with a poor pickoff move, but that’s being really specific. Don’t get your hopes up.

    Man, he was hitting fine just, what, 2 years ago???


  157. 163 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I am so… sooo… angry… My e-file taxes were reject because someone else used my or Josies’ SS#. My brother, the CPA, says likely it was just a misplaced number by someone else but… well, you know!!!!!

    I have been jumping through hoops all morning and folks, I’m too old to get much hang time…

    In retrospect, it has been a rough day for anyone I have come across, you know, the old deflected anger thingee…

    CL, I was in the middle of looking for the right pictures to send to you to accompany the new lead when I got sidetracked with the IRS…

    Nice piece in the AJC by O’Brien on Chipper Jones. A two part Q & A… Of course anyone of us could have done it but getting my press credentials has been a little bit of a hang up but life can have it’s little road blocks… 🙂 Must be the price of silver.

    Ber, those HGH and PEDs do have a short self life don’t they? Remember back to the days when we all thought it was only the “baseballs” that were juiced?


  158. 164 Carolina Lady March 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Man, that’s tough, Gil! How on earth do you get such a thing corrected??? Mine are sitting right over there staring at me but so far I have managed to ignore them! Taxes, that is.

    No worry about the pics. I was going to ask you for a 24-hour filing extension, anyway. I have been dealing with annual paperwork, bureaucrat-ese and -isms in connection with Kelly’s disabilities. Finally got the bank to print out one paper they (agency) vowed they had to have or they would terminate her benefits on Thursday. Without the bank printing out a special page for me, that would have been that because a paper or form with the dates the agency said they had to have simply didn’t exist. Talk about trying to force people to do the impossible! Makes me want to go sit on a sand dune and scream for a while! If anybody asks, I’ll just say I was yelling at the porpoises. Wanna join me?


  159. 165 Carolina Lady March 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Oh, almost forgot! I’m working on the silver for your credentials – but do you realize how many dimes that takes??? I’m working on it, I’m working on it!



  160. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Poor Josie feels violated by the events of the day. All that defer anger and no one to direct it at but me… I have enough sense however to not open my mouth. See, we men can be trained to do parlor tricks, or not…

    Anyway, it’s just a process now, the worst thing is having to actually deal with the IRS…. Now those are some folks who know all about violating someone.

    Anyway, mailed off my paper returns, now it’s wait from 3 to 9 months to get it all resolved. Would make it much easier to know which SS# was hijacked….

    Yes CL, always some form, document, affidavit that is required and these folks are experts at holding you hostage. My disability review comes up this year also. As far as I can tell, I am actually worse than when I started but who knows when the government actually runs out of money. I will survive however, much like the Braves when Godzillia or what ever that huge dude hit that 2 run homer off Chuck James tonight that allowed the Braves to win.

    While winning is nice, it is much more revealing to see Sherrill stink up the place and Linebrink not do much better. Maybe that is not fair but I was not impressed by either one. I thought the guys with the 90s on their backs who came it in the 9th and 10th inning actually looked better.

    Oh well, it’s still early.

    I would not put too much faith in the games playing Washington on Thursday. Not unless they want to make sure everyone comes down with the flu. Cold and nasty forecast.

    We’ll see, after all, the show must go on…


  161. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    CL… I will accept copper at this point… even plastic laminate will do. 🙂


  162. 168 Voice of Raisins March 30, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Mauro Gomez.

    That was his name. Never heard of him. He was a minor league FA signing from last year. He only went in the game as a pinch runner because Conrad got plunked square in the middle of the back with a Matt Capps heater, and Fredi wanted him out to start getting treatment right away. Gomez had exactly zero at bats with the big club before that monstrous homer. Fredi’s reaction in the dugout was precious. You could read his lips as he turned to whomever was next to him and simply said, “Wow.” And there was no doubt as it left the bat that the ball was going to travel a long way.

    Not a bad way to get everyone’s attention as you head to your minor league destination to resume your quest up the chain.


  163. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Mauro Gomez… That was one big dude… And yes, I’d say he broke Chuck James’ heart and became a bloggosphere legend with one swing of the bat.

    Talk about a guy who was not even on the radar. Funny game baseball…. I guess that is why I love it so.


  164. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Actually, I thought David Ross made the two best plays last night. Should remind most folks who the best defensive catcher on the team really is. May have been one of Frank Wren’s best signings.

    Joe Mather has to be wondering where his stroke was during spring training, he put a nice swing on the ball late. Nate McLough had some good swings too but as they say, they were at people.

    Most impressive thing seen in last night’s contest, every single player ran hard to first last night. I wonder if anyone other than Freddi and myself noticed?


  165. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2011 at 7:34 am

    One last comment, you have to really hit the ball hard to get it to go out of the park at Turner Field this time of year. I’d say Gomez got all of that pitch.


  166. 172 Voice of Raisins March 30, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Gomez got it all indeed…

    The hustle was definitely noticed by Brian Jordan, who deemed Hinske’s hustle to beat Morneau’s boot at 1B as the key to the game. Late in a meaning less game? Really? Most veterans on most teams would not have bothered. This team is different. It’s gonna be a fun year…


  167. 173 Voice of Raisins March 30, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I’ll even go one further.

    Think about the grizzled vets on this team. Chipper, DLowe, Huddy, Hinske… those are not the “entitled” vets that reside in many clubhouses. Those are grown men paying a kids’ game with youthful enthusiasm. And it energizes a fanbase, too – bet on it.


  168. 174 Carolina Lady March 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm


    Gil, I made it with :49 to spare! 🙂


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