116: OUT!!! Now What?

by Gil
Mechanicsville, VA

As we all watched the Braves fall to the Redbirds with a resounding thud in the first ever Wild Card playoff game, many of us were left with a very empty feeling of so much promise left unfulfilled. Everything appeared to be lined up in favor of the Braves. Outstanding pitching staff, rock solid bullpen and some timely hitting albeit somewhat sketchy when it came to getting guys home from scoring position. What we did not expect was a rock-slide defense would suddenly look like the Saturday Tee-ball league.

The net results is an end to a season long before we were really ready for it to stop. Oh well, it is done. Over. Kaput! Time for us to turn to the all important topic of what to do next? The obvious answer is what is needed to build a team who will be playing beyond the first round in 2013. All the while knowing the other teams in their own division will also be stronger next season. Having deep pockets does not always translates into success but it sure does make it easier to rebound from a mistake.

I look at the Braves as needing two major pieces and several minor ones to shore up their bench. First, someone to replace Chipper Jones. That is going to be a tough chore in itself. More likely, the Braves will to acquire several parts in order to make the whole. Hall of Fame type players do not grow on trees but when you look at the Cardinals, you can see how it’s done. Albert Pujols is perhaps one of the top five ball players in either league. St Louis managed very nicely by picking up Carlos Beltran. Beltran does not play the infield but he gives the Cardinals the same type of presence in the line up that Albert did. Far too often people become fixated by position when looking for players. What the Braves really need is a player who can provide a threat to produce RBIs in the middle of the line up and then find a position for him to play.

Martin Prado

So many folks have suggested Martin Prado be moved back into the infield to play third but forget that Freddie Freeman came up as a third baseman and was moved to first because the Braves felt this was an area of greatest need. I think what this gives the Braves is a bit more flexibility when looking for a power hitter in the middle of the batting order. My thoughts are more to whether or not Brian McCann is able to return to form. The absence of his bat was telling this season.


Centerfield/leadoff might be a bit more tricky. The Braves have been looking for someone to fill the lead off spot ever since Rafael Furcal left for Los Angeles. Pure speed is not the only criteria needed. Patience to see a lot of pitches and knowing how to get on base is critical. It is a role I see Andrelton Simmons growing into pretty easily. He certainly is wasted batting in the eight hole. Raisins suggestion of trading for Dexter Fowler is an excellent one and if the Braves front office is still taking the advice of the old B&S as we have seen in the past, one which we may see happen this fall.


Yes, it would be nice to see Michael Bourn continue to patrol the outfield for the Bravos but Frank Wren is more likely to follow the Florida Marlins model of baseball acquisitions than the one employed by the Yankees. The Braves will make a one year qualifying offer of $12 million necessary to get a compensation pick but Bourn is headed north to either Washington or Philadelphia or west to the Dodgers. It’s been nice having him around but alas, the Braves are just not prepared to overspend for a guy who has shown he can break down over the 162 game season. At least not one who has played in the organization for 19 years.

472 Responses to “116: OUT!!! Now What?”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady October 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Excellent, Gil! Very good points. It’ll really be interesting to see what Wren does with 3rd. If Freeman moves, who’s on 1st? πŸ˜€


  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks my lady, and kudos to the graphics dept for their excellent work. It was funny watching a dude on ESPN absolutely raking the Yankees for their failures to date against the Tigers. I guess the expectations are pretty great amongst Yankee fans, to bad they don’t hold our current president to the same high expectations…


  3. 3 Carolina Lady October 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    re ESPN – you’re so right! (and you’re welcome, kind sir!) πŸ™‚


  4. 4 Voice of Raisins October 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Nice ‘un Gil.

    The news on Mac… not all rosey:


  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Looks like David Ross’s bargaining position has improved dramatically. So, think Evan Gattis can make a go of it in spring training?

    Okay, don’t laugh… I think the Braves will look for a serviceable back stop who can hold down the fort, I wonder if the Reds have any more kids they want to get rid of?


  6. 6 Carolina Lady October 17, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I know that pitchers can very rarely return after having a torn labrum. How does affect a catcher? Can;t be a whole lot better.


  7. 7 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

    One thing we know conclusively is that we do not know anything conclusively. The Braves are very good about holding back on info, as we have seen here. I’m not going to pretend not to be concerned here. But I will say this much… the labrum tear itself didn’t affect his throwing; rather it affected his hitting. So, to that end, I believe that he will come through this better than he was in the 2012 campaign. But… we’ll almost certainly try to find a veteran “AAAA” type catcher – not named J.C. Boscan – to back up DRoss early on.

    Time to adjust the radar…


  8. 8 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    If I had to guess, I’d say that Frank will acquire another David Ross type guy via trade or FA, depending on who is available in each. Some guy like Brian Schneider or Ronny Paulino in FA or Jose Molina via trade from the Rays.

    I have read that the Braves are not going to want to depend on Rossy in an every day role if they think Mac’s return could linger into May or June. I disagree… with a caveat. It all depends on the doctors’ assessment. I believe that if we see Frank aggressively go after a bona fide starting catcher, it’s a signal that the Braves have grave concern over Mac physically.

    But if the Braves are satisfied that he’ll be back 100% in late April or May, they’ll ride a tandem of Ross and Ross-clone through the early months.

    One other scenario is also a possibility. Should the Braves want to employ a little gamesmanship, they could go ahead and commit to another starting catcher and re-sign Ross as backup. Second, allow Mac the luxury of time to fully recover and rehab so as to come back whole. Then, use the new guy as trade currency in June or July. Catchers are always more available in the offseason than at the deadline. Maybe it could be a good short term investment.

    Hmmm… wonder who the 3rd year arb BUCS are that are non-tender candidates?


  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2012 at 10:33 am

    We will have to wait and see on BMac as to the long term effect. Normally a torn labrum results in a reduction in velocity. I’m pretty sure that Tommy Hanson is suffering from some sort of labrum issue. No, I don’t have x-ray vision but I do see a dramatic difference in his velocity.

    But the question goes back to BMac. Today there are so many good people who specialize in rehab that often the person comes back stronger because of the targeted exercise. Maybe Mac can learn to bat right handed?

    A great hitting catcher is a real luxury. That said, a team has to have some big sticks in their line-up. Otherwise, you have so many holes that opposing teams simply pitch around hitters to get to the sure outs.

    Oh by the way, any further proof need that good pitching beats good hitting with the gem hurled by Verlander against the Yankees last night?


  10. 10 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Here’s the thing with BMac… his option for 2013 is for $12MM. That’s alot of hay. If the guy can’t play any other position than catcher, and his throwing becomes a question, and his knees are not reliable (remember, he spent the last part of the season with “tendonitis” in one knee), he becomes a liability even if he hits well. Can you find another catcher to hit like vintage BMac for $12MM? No, but you can find an OF that can.

    Here’s what I see… you have about $8MM-$10MM budgeted for LF. You have $12MM committed to C. If you opt to reassign those resources, you can find a $5MM catcher and a premium OF.

    The reality is that you only really need a place holder for a couple of years anyway until either Bethancourt or Gattis emerge.

    Am I advocating dumping BMac already? No. But I am saying that $12MM for a banged up catcher who could be declining rapidly behind the plate, and whose MLB future might be best served as DH, is a luxury for a team that can’t have it’s Mercedes sit in the garage.

    $12MM would lure Nick Swisher. Just sayin’…


  11. 11 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Gazing into my crystal ball… I foresee Frank picking up Mac’s option, I foresee DRoss getting another 2 year deal, I foresee Cristian Bethancourt opening the season on the big team backing up DRoss, and getting an occasional start. Then, I foresee CB going down to AAA Gwinnett when Mac is ready. That fits Frank’s mold; and I think I’m comfortable with it as well. Then you have the rest of the season to evaluate if you want to extend Mac past 2013.

    And it gets CB a little taste of The Show and a little motivation to get back.


  12. 12 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Last post on the subject: I still think the best option is to sign a guy like Schneider, Paulino or Torrealba as backup to DRoss, then trade when Mac is healthy. CB is only 21 with just 1/2 season above Single A. That’s very young and very inexperienced.

    DRoss should look for a nice offer from Frank, I would think.


  13. 13 Voice of Raisins October 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Bowman seems to agree with me, although he expressed it much better than I did.. Then again, it IS his job. I have to express my thoughts around my job. Anyway, good piece below:



  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for the link Raisins, the one thing that is always a given is that things will change. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad…

    Now, a none baseball opine. It appears that CNN news caster Candy Crowley appears to ascribe to the Sam Holbrook school of umpiring… That is, make sure you insert yourself when you should not and do it at a point it will hurt the guy you are rooting against the most, but at a point when you can say it was a judgement call.

    They should let me moderate one of these debates. I would simply turn off the person who is rude mike…. No interruptions allowed and if a person interrupted or spoke out of turn, I would call a technical foul and put them in the penalty box and let the other person have the stage to themselves.


  15. 15 berigan2electricboogaloo October 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Hey, slow down guys! πŸ˜‰ First, Gil, VERY Good lead! Best I’ve seen from you yet.(Not that the others weren’t good) Honestly, if someone stumbled across the blog, they would probably think you were or had been a professional writer.
    You know, if I knew FF was ever a 3rd baseman, I sure did forget it! They probably wouldn’t go for it, to “risky” but Chipper was the first to say 3rd was actually easier on you…oh well…
    As for Torn Labrums…I “think” I have heard it’s easier on position players, as it is for position players to come back from TJ surgery…a non pitcher just isn’t going to throw the ball 200 + times in a day(with warm ups, game pitching, and tossing 9 pitches before an inning) Plus, if I catcher or Outfielder loses 5-7 MPH, it’s not as big a deal…at least it seems that way.
    I’ll tell you what, they didn’t want to do the MRI during the season, sure hope McCann didn’t make it worse by continuing to play….


  16. 16 Carolina Lady October 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    If/when Mac comes back, I would venture that there will many attempted steals of 2nd. It rather took me back when I read somewhere recently that he is a 6-time All Star. (“What??” she asked. He can’t have been on the team that long!”) But, I guess he has. I totally lost track of time during those years 6 years of taking care of my mother. It became a blur of daily living, hospitals, nursing homes, rehab, etc etc etc. I seem to have assumed that time was going to stand still for me! πŸ˜€ But Mac isn’t even 30 yet. I’d sure hate for him to lose his ability at this young age. I probably have shirts older than that!

    Great posts above, guys!


  17. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo October 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    ” I probably have shirts older than that!” CL, πŸ˜‰
    I know too when my Mom was sick…time does get…fuzzy…
    Now, baseball…here is a semi crazy idea…
    Don’t shoot the messenger, ok??? How about trading for…A-Rod? I thought of this a few days ago, when I wasn’t near the computer…now it seems there is talk of the Yankees trading him in the offseason…Obviously, if there is a better option, go with it! But, teams like the Twins aren’t going to give up a cheap, productive outfielder for nothing. They may think that makes whatshisname(Willingham? and their CF they may trade too) valuable… the braves might, just might be more leery trading the 2 big prospects unless they get someone better than a 30 something outfielder…especially when Hanson looks like he’s toast, and Hudson, while still very good, is getting up there, and may miss starts…I don’t know…
    but, trade for A-Rod, pay 5 mil of his contract, trade a lesser prospect, and get a right handed hitting 3rd basemen, who is much younger , πŸ˜‰ and puts up numbers similar to Chippers. 18 HR’s 57 RBI’s .272, .353 OBP(also, only 122 games last year, misses a ton of game each year, but boy, if ever there was a team that is used to a 3rd baseman who misses 40 games a year)
    It might be wishful thinking at his age, but in as recently as 2010, 30 HR’s 125 RBI’s (in only 137 Games)
    He can still play in the field, but for how long? Still, part of me thinks like so very many players, NYC has gotten to him finally. There would be little stress or expectations here. Perhaps not the top move, but if some others don’t pan out????


  18. 18 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I would not take that self-centered, steroid-abusing, self-absorbed prima-donna on my team if the Yankees paid the entire contract. He is the epitome of a clubhouse killing cancer. Great talent; no character.

    No thanks.


  19. 19 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I left out “stat-collecting”…


  20. 20 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 7:20 am

    The Braves had their share of stars who wilted under the October lights, but I have never seen a “superstar” tank so badly when the cards were on the table. He took Seattle nowhere when they had a talented team headlined by Randy Johnson, he destroyed the Rangers’ ability to compete by taking up over 30% of their payroll by himself, then he had the audacity to opt out of that obscene contract and demand more from the Yankees who had invested too much in him already to just let him walk. Now, don’t get me wrong… I do not weep for the Yankees. They create their own headaches by their free spending ways, but A-Roid almost makes me feel sorry for them. Almost. That’s saying something.

    Thank God that John, Frank and the boys have a strict policy against “Me Monsters” in the Braves organization.


  21. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville October 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Morning all, Thanks Ber, lots of practice I guess…. My real problem with writing is being lazy… Much easier to read than coming up with interesting stuff that has not been said before. Then again, a lot of my original thoughts have somehow made their way into the everyday lexicon of a lot of folks. Someday I will tell the story of the guy who published a book that was taken verbatim from my lectures. I was too young and dumb to know about copyright laws…

    Okay, baseball… I too thought about A-Rod as a bridge to the next great Braves third baseman if the Yankees were willing to eat a lot of contract. I’ll leave it up to the experts in the front office to figure it all out. After all, how many folks really knew about David Freese of the Cardinals before he was promoted?

    Maybe Juan will show up in camp about 20 pounds lighter. Speaking from experience, for some of us, wanting to loose those pounds is a lot easier for some folks than others. My way of thinking is I will survive most any famine as long as I can get water…. I was very impressed by Francisco in his approach at the plate when he stopped trying to hit 500 foot home runs. I guess it is all about becoming a smart hitter. That is knowing when to swing for the fences verses moving over a runner or hitting to the off field.

    A great example would be Paul Janish. He is a guy with Rafeal Belliard warning track power. He is a guy who makes contact with great frequency. A good hitting coach would work diligently with him to level out his swing to hit a lot more ground balls and line drives. He is a guy who if he could hit .240 or if he could get on base with great frequency he would be a starting shortstop for 25 teams. For sure he is impressive in the field.


  22. 22 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    JuanFran will be playing winter ball in the ol’ Dominican Repub this offseason along with Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran, Cristhian Martinez and Christian Bethancourt.

    (Cristhian and Christian need to get together and decide how to spell their name…) πŸ˜‰


  23. 23 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I still think the odds are heavy toward Prado taking over at 3B. There are OF available both through trade and FA. I’d want Martin there anyway. He plays solid D, and is a great field leader. With Chipper absent, you need someone to be able to stroll to the mound occasionally and give the pitcher a word.


  24. 24 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    And I hate to say this, but to a certain degree, the 2013 Braves are going to turn on Mr. Uggla’s bat, especially with Mac missing some time. They must have a heavy power presence in the middle of the lineup to make the rest of it turn. 30+ HR Danny is that guy. 19 HR Danny is not. I am going to give Frank the benefit of the doubt that he’ll get an effective leadoff guy (he says himself that the needs are well defined, and that being more narrowly focused makes his job easier). I really like the top and middle being:

    1. unknown leadoff, CF
    2. Prado, 3B
    3. JHey, RF
    4. vintage Uggla, 2B
    5. Freddie, 1B
    6. ??, C/LF
    7. ??, LF/C
    8. Andrelton, SS
    9. P

    But if we see the 2012 version of Danny, it’s screwed, especially since there are questions as to who plays LF and to when Mac returns.

    Now… should Frank come up with a good power bat with nominal speed for LF, you might even see that guy bat 5th with Freddie sliding down. But that only makes it better, right?

    I’d still love to see us trade for Dexter Fowler for CF and sign Shane Vic for LF. That’d really make this lineup go! And yes, Vic has hit .333 at The Ted over his career.

    1. Fowler (S), CF
    2. Flyin’ Hawaiian (S), LF
    3. Prado (R), 3B
    4. JHey (L), RF
    5/6. Uggla (R), 2B
    5/6. Freddie (L), 1B
    7. ??, C
    8. Andrelton (R), SS
    9. P

    I’m tellin’ ya, this is obtainable within our current budget restraints, and this is a lineup that will win games.


  25. 25 Carolina Lady October 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Man, I like that line-up, Raisins!

    Chipper would have a quick word with anyone in the infield. Somebody respected (with experience and knowledge) who would speak up when necessary – and still be respected afterward. One more reason to love Chipper Jones.

    I wonder if Prado (whom I also love) can be that person ’13 and upward? Who else? BMac will have his hands full with the pitcher and quarterbacking the game. I can’t think of anyone of the team “senior” enough to do it.

    Maybe a picky point, but I’d LOVE to see tighter “grooming” standards returned to the Cox days. Some of these guys are being to look grungier that some of the old Phillie teams. (John Kruck and company.)


  26. 26 Voice of Raisins October 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    So funny you said that, CL. I was wondering just yesterday about Mountain Man Tommy Hanson and what he looked like when Bobby was still around.


  27. 27 Voice of Raisins October 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

    This is what he looked like: http://img.printstown.com/sportingnews/2010_MLB_TOMMY_HANSON_LARGE.JPG

    Funny… the caption says “Sophomore sensation Tommy Hanson’s fastball is no longer a secret.” Sadly, 3 years later, it’s no longer effective, either. 😐


  28. 28 Voice of Raisins October 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Maybe he’s the anti-Samson. Maybe if he’d cut his hair, he might get 5mph or so back on the ol’ heater.


  29. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Only thing that will add 5mph to Tommy’s fastball would be a re-calibrated radar gun.

    So, here is the question, can he learn how to pitch without a fastball? Sort of like a younger version of Jamie Moyer…

    Looks like the Tigers are hitting on all cylinders doesn’t it? The Cardinals are not exactly shabby either.

    Sigh, this was so supposed to be the Braves year….


  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2012 at 9:56 am

    More on Tommy Hanson. The fact that Hanson’s price tag will be cheap, as far as sports salaries go anyway, that the Braves can afford to take a chance they can fix him. That and they still have some pretty good depth at the starting pitcher position and Beachy should be back by the All-star break and should at least be able to pitch well enough to serve as a number five guy.

    Yes, so many bad things can happen along the way but it is not like the Braves should have to rush him back. The book is out on Hanson to the point that anyone he allows to get on base will be stealing him blind.

    Having a fastball that consistently clocks in around 95mph allows for a bit greater margin of error than one that peaks at 88. Now that 88 is okay if it is always moving but when that same 88 is laser straight and sits like it is on a tee, major league hitters get absolutely giddy at the thought of fixing whatever problems they are having at the plate and fattening up their stats at the expense of Hanson’s ERA.


  31. 31 Voice of Raisins October 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

    By the way… the official twitter feed of the Atlanta Braves specifies that Mac’s torn labrum was repaired arthroscopically. That is a big distinction. Wonder why that wasn’t mentioned in the other press outlets?


  32. 32 berigan2electricboogaloo October 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

    V, don’t get me wrong, I am not going to cry one bit if we don’t get A-Rod…it’s weird the anger he generates though…on that jazz forum I frequent(and you all may recall me mentioning it has a pretty active baseball thread) one yankee fan was just going off on A-Rod, how horrible he was during the playoffs, and how the Manager didn’t have the guts to bench him, (which he did do a few times) well, I pointed out how Swisher, Granderson, and Cano(who was the hottest hitter in baseball as the season ended) all had averages worse as bad as or worse than his. I asked was he angrier with him because his agent convinced the Yankees to sign him to that stupid deal? Well, even though the guy was a lib,(those libs NEVER admit I make a good point on the political forum, or that they are ever wrong) he admitted he should have spread the blame around.
    And Swisher has been so bad in the playoffs, for several years, it should make teams like the braves think twice. We have a bunch of guys that could hit .100 already….


  33. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo October 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Forgot to mention, we already have had a known steroid user(troy Glaus) play 3rd for us…
    Now, Hanson…He’d be perfect for a team like the Padres to take a chance on….that huge outfield has turned around quite a few pitchers.
    But, I don’t want to see the braves try to get him right, while he has a 5-6 ERA. for half the season.
    Wouldn’t it have been nice to have won 5 more games, and have a 5 game series instead of a 1 game “series” well, JJ’s 10 starts, 6.89 ERA.
    Hanson had a 6.21 ERA in July, 5.74 in August(A 4.00 ERA in Sept, kinda surprising, eh?)
    Minor had a 5.97 ERA before the all star break, 2.16 ERA after, which has to be some sort of record.
    But, going back to Bobby Cox, there seems to have been an attitude that you have to be patient beyond all reason with some guys. Almost like it doesn’t matter if you lose 10 game early on that you could have won with almost anyone else, just keep plugging away. Minor should have been sent down when he couldn’t buy an out. JJ should have kept starting games when clearly he had no hope of winning. And Tommy should have ridden the bench, or been sent down so Degado, or Teheran could make some progress at the big league level. Could they have been much worse?
    Anyway, my no weak fuzzy point is that Do we really need Hanson being the next Jo-Jo Reyes every 5th day?
    Who knows, perhaps there is a mechanical flaw, and he can straighten things out…or the Pads or Twins will take a chance on him.
    I just hope if he has a 5.69 era next year, like he had the 2nd half of the season, they don’t keep running him out there because of his track record, and hope he works things out.
    The Nats are only going to get better.


  34. 34 berigan2electricboogaloo October 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

    JJ shouldn’t have kept starting games when clearly he had no hope of winning


  35. 35 Voice of Raisins October 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Here’s what we tend to forget about Tommy… he DID win 13 games for us last year. Amazing, huh? Now… granted, most came before the ASB. Also… it was just a mere year ago that we all thought he got jobbed by LaRussa and should have been an All Star. The kid seems to have his best stuff early, and seems to go south quickly after July. I pray we get another strong 1st half next year so that we can sell high. Beachy will need a spot in August anyway…


  36. 36 Voice of Raisins October 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I had a Pulitzer worthy commentary composed and ready to post when my electricity flashed, losing it all. Alas, only I get to benefit from it. You’ll just have to trust me and use your imagination… 😦


  37. 37 berigan2electricboogaloo October 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    V, that sure is the opposite of fun, isn’t it? 😦 One of the best features of gmail is that autosave function. We should always start things we write in that…never think of it though….


  38. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Guys, some of my best prose is somewhere in cyber purgatory… I feel your pain…


  39. 39 Carolina Lady October 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks, Raisins! I really enjoyed imaginatively reading your post! Pulitzer-worthy for sure! I know everybody else will enjoy it as much as I. Imaginatively. πŸ˜€


  40. 40 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

    “Many teams now find themselves flush with cash thanks to lucrative national and local TV contracts, making this a promising offseason for free agents.” Buster Olney

    Every time I see something like that, it makes me want to punch somebody in the neck. Is there any doubt as to why the Braves will continue to struggle to get past the 1st round of the playoffs? Even if they could raise their self-imposed salary cap by just $10MM, that’s one additional big bat for a lineup desperately in need. But alas, we’ll probably sign a declining Juan Rivera or the like for $5-6MM.

    It IS frustrating to see the reality of being handcuffed for another 17 flippin’ years with the stupidest TV contract ever negotiated… 😑


  41. 41 berigan2electricboogaloo October 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

    V, I just read that too, and had the same reaction!
    Don’t forget the next line, if you want your blood pressure to rise…
    “There’s so much money out there, it’s scary,” said a highly ranked executive.
    I forget, but it was the previous ownership that made that deal, correct?
    Surprised Liberty signed on….Even if they only bought the team as a tax writeoff, semi-long term investment. The Team’s value will NOT rise once any owner sees the team is hamstrung as it is.
    I still say someone should look into that deal. No one makes a deal like that, unless someone is getting a side deal/bonus/something.


  42. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo October 22, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Wow, almost lost the message(hit refresh and see it is now posted) as our new “improved” att u-verse is not adverse to the signal dropping a time or three per hour…bet they don’t call it signal. I don’t call it anything that can be said in polite company. $99 to install, and downloads seem to be faster, yet youtube doesn’t seem to load videos any faster, and it didn’t disconnect 20+ times a day! Why not call them? Oh already had the fun talking to someone in a land far, far away last week, for another issue…sigh….


  43. 43 berigan2electricboogaloo October 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Now baseball…Juan Rivera? Sigh….
    Sounds like Johnny Gomes may be expendable, but he can’t hit lefties, so we would still need someone else to bat the majority of the time….too bad Reed isn’t left handed(for this situation) cuz I really like the way he plays, and he can flat out hit!


  44. 44 berigan2electricboogaloo October 22, 2012 at 9:22 am

    The Team’s value will NOT rise once any potential owner sees the team is as hamstrung as it is.


  45. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

    One has to wonder if there is such a thing as a contract buyout for TV coverage? I’m pretty sure someone thought they were making a good deal at the time. After all, it is the ad sales that really make it a profitable venture for the TV stations. To be honest, it is all really above my pay grade.

    Think about it, at the time the contract was made, Georgia was losing jobs at a an alarming rate. Foreclosures were among the highest in the nation. It all works out in the long run i think. It is just the Braves brain trust will have to work a lot harder to make the organization relevant.

    No question Braves fans were left with an empty feeling after losing to the Cardinals in their one game playoff but it’s baseball. The sudden ineptness of the Braves infield, matched only by Sam Holbrook, left all of us feeling low but not as low as last season as we watched a seeming safe 8 1/2 game lead dwindle in September.

    The Dodgers made a huge investment beginning in July, how did that work out for them? Money, the lack or availability of can make a difference in one’s options. Nothing to do but just accept it and get on with it. Think about this, how do you think the fine folks in Gwinnett County feel about the deal the Braves made with them for the use of Cool Ray Field and the dismal team fielded by the parent club? Maybe it was Karma? A little payback for slipping it to those tax payers.

    Anyway, maybe Evan Gattis will be the next Mike Trout? Okay, maybe not but I would like Evan’s chances a lot better if he had a big signing bonus in his back pocket. For sure, Americans sure do equate price with value…. Too bad, Some of the best things in life are free…..


  46. 46 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Understand, I don’t think it takes a Steinbrennerian payroll to win. But the Braves are already out of the Hamilton/Bourn/Greinke, etc. sweepstakes before it even begins. Now, to give full disclosure, I don’t want any of those 3 on my payroll at their projected contract figures, but that’s not the point. Atlanta will never be able to bring in the free agent prize of any year until the purse strings loosen even a little. Can anyone deny that landing the gem of 1992, Greg Maddux, was a key to dominating in the 90’s? Of course not. As with all acquisitions big and small, it has to be the right fit. But when the right fit does hit the market, the Braves will still be shopping at Big Lots. His post-season struggle aside, wouldn’t Nick Swisher’s presence make an impact on our lineup? Yes it would. But these days, Atlanta isn’t even mentioned in the same breath. Frustrating indeed.

    Now, GM’s know this, and know that Atlanta will be scouring the trade market for an “affordable” impact player. There are very few of those. The result is decidedly less leverage on the trade market. When your target demo becomes extremely focused, the asking price escalates in direct proportion. Economic reality. The real asking price for Dexter Fowler should be a top level prospect and a major league level player. Mark it. Colorado will ask for both Teheran and Delgado along with another player. Betcha…


  47. 47 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Tell ya what… if I had another $10MM or so in addition to what I’ll already have, here’s what I’d do:

    I’d immediately re-sign David Ross, then open serious talks with both Shane Victorino (for LF) and Angel Pagan (for CF). That’s 2 impact bats, and neither is a darling of the current FA class. Than I’d also sign Russell Martin to catch until Mac is back. That’ll be tough, though, because the Yankers want him back. That’d be a bidding war. It’ll never happen in ATL. Oh, I’d definitely pick up the option on Mac, as well as on Huddy and Maholm. I’d re-sign Reed Johnson, too. No question. I’d do it all with NO trades, and keep all my pitching prospects.

    Takes $$, though. Won’t happen here…


  48. 48 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

    BTW: Pagan, a switch hitter, got on base at a .338 clip for SF this year out of the leadoff spot. Not too shabby.


  49. 49 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Just looking at a report on some of our minor leaguers and see that Edward Salcedo is playing in the Arizona Fall League this year. I have always liked the potential of this kid. If his body ever catches up with his frame, he could be a big timer at 3B in a couple of years. I will be very interested to see how he does in the AFL.


  50. 50 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    How big a deal is the AFL? Well, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper both played in it last year. It is a good measuring stick of a top prospect’s progress. I’ll be keeping up…


  51. 51 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I would like Evan’s chances a lot better if he had a big signing bonus in his back pocket. – Gil

    Edward Salcedo signed for a $1.6MM signing bonus. And he’s only 21. Remember the name…


  52. 52 Voice of Raisins October 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Oh, and speaking of Gattis, he homered again last night in the Venezuela Winter League. Thus far, the C/LF is 11-for-33 w/ 5 doubles, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1.051 OPS in 9 games. Not too shabby.


  53. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I’m thinking Gattis might just impress some folks this spring. I really hope I’m able to go to Florida next March…


  54. 54 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

    What is for sure about Gattis is that he’s a big dude and he has a ton of raw power. What we don’t know is can he hit Major League pitching, and can he find a defensive position? He’s splitting time between C and LF in Venezuela, and if I understand correctly, that’s the plan for him at AAA Gwinnett in 2013. I’m not sure of his defensive proficiency at either position; all you hear about is his hitting. Not such a bad thing, I suppose. But he’ll have to catch a ball somewhere.

    As for Christian Bethancourt, all reports says his defense is Major League quality now. Some say he’d be the best defensive catcher in the bigs right now. That’s probably a stretch, though. He’s gotta get consistent with the bat.

    Could we figure out a way to combine these guys somehow? πŸ˜€


  55. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

    So, it appears the results of Evan Gattis’ quest was to find his stroke.. Perhaps the Braves should buy Bethancourt a Harley and tell him to hit the road for a couple of years?

    BMac is/was not exactly an All-star because of his work behind the dish with his glove. For sure, Javy Lopaz had more passed balls than I care to remember. I subscribe to the adage of driving in more than you let in. Otherwise, we would still have Tony Pena Jr playing shortstop….

    Paul Janish does not make $10 million a year only because he barely hits over .200 with no power. .

    And it is going to be a Tigers vs San Fran series… I really did not see the Giants rebounding like they did. Another reason I don’t bet on sports….


  56. 56 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Per Carroll Rogers, Braves’ FA’s are Michael Bourn, David Ross, Eric Hinske, Lyle Overbay, Chad Durbin, Peter Moylan, Jeff Baker, Matt Diaz, Reed Johnson, and Miguel Batista.

    For the love of all that is good and holy, please stay far away from Hinske and Batista. Please re-sign Ross… quickly. Please re-sign Johnson and Durbin. (Yes, that was ME saying Durbin. The dude really turned it around and was mega-important for the Braves in the 2nd half.) Pretty sure Petey will get another shot in “the A”. I hope so.


  57. 57 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    … and I’m sorry, Gil…

    Did you say there was still some kinda game going on somewhere?


  58. 58 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Back to Gattis…

    How big is this guy’s power potential? This from the aforementioned Carroll Rogers: “Before Gattis’ injury last year, he had hit .336 with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 140 at-bats between high A Lynchburg and Double-A Mississippi. He hit 22 home runs in 88 games a year ago in Class A Rome.”

    Oh, and he’s right handed. No wonder Fredi and Frank are salivating over this dude…


  59. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

    AND CHEAP TOO… Exactly what the Braves look for….

    That was bad wasn’t it? 😦 anyhoo, I think the Braves will re-sign Johnson and Baker, let Hinske, Diaz (wish they would bring him back personally), Batista and Overby hit the bricks. Not sure about Moylan and Durbin. I think it depends on how much cash they have left. I would say they will keep one but not likely both.

    I would bet the Braves will make at least a qualifying offer to Bourne. I don’t think the the Braves would really mind paying Bourne 12 to 13 million for a another year of his services but I don’t think they really want to be saddled with a long term contract for $15 to $16 million a year to a guy who makes a living with his legs and gets older and slower each year.

    Raisins, you are right when you say the Braves cannot compete in that market. More correctly, they choose not to.


  60. 60 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    But for $13.3MM (the official qualifying offer) for 1 year, yes I’d take him back also. They’ll definitely make that offer so that they get the supplemental draft pick. No brainer there.


  61. 61 berigan2electricboogaloo October 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Hello, did someone mention….cheap???? 😑
    from ESPN.com’s Buster Olney…

    Brian McCann’s $12MM option for 2013 no longer seems as appealing as it once did, Olney writes. The Braves are working to address many offseason needs with a modest payroll and McCann’s recent shoulder surgery was more extensive than expected. Olney points out that the Braves could attempt to negotiate a deal at a lower salary or exercise the option and trade McCann to a team such as the Rangers or Yankees. Of course the Braves could simply bring the catcher back for another season in the hopes that his shoulder recovers.

    Now, I bet everyone is saying, oh come on, Onley’s just blowing smoke…well, does he do that a lot?(It’s not like he’s that jerk from fox sports that thankfully I don’t see his columns anymore) I’ve got to believe if not from the braves, he’s hearing this from other organizations that could see this happen. Perhaps they have some Obama advisers that would float an idea see that 80% would go nuts if X was done, then back off…
    I mean, talk about bad PR! Yeah folks, we really have to watch our pennies after Chipper retired, DLowe’s contract came off the books, Bourn will be paid by some other team, JJ will be elsewhere(He’s not under contract, correct?)..what excuse could there be? Younger players will get more in arbitration?
    I hope this is a rare time that Olney was just trying to fill out a column…this just burns my britches! As much as McCann has pitched thru pain, was ridden like a dog by Cox(how long did Ross go between starts some years, 2 weeks? ) just to get dumped or forced to take a smaller contract…I mean, he’s not going to be out til the all star break, right???
    Gotta be a Tuesday fill in column..right???


  62. 62 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    OK Ber… I’ll bite…

    The reason we have to watch our pennies is simple: we have a TON of needs. Maybe it doesn’t appear that way on the surface, but we lost our HOF 3B, we will lose our CF/leadoff hitter, and we no longer have the presence in the middle of the lineup that Chipper represented. Oh, and there is that little issue of the best hitting catcher in baseball that we won’t have for sure at the outset, and might not have ever again. As Gil has said many times, a labrum tear is no small issue. Even when Mac does return, teams will want to run on him like there’s no tomorrow. And he wasn’t exactly Benito Santiago to begin with. I am afraid (not to be confused with “a frayed” as in labrum) that there is a great sense of uncertainty as to exactly when and what will return with regard to Mac. Can he return as a full time catcher? I don’t know that. I don’t think the Braves’ FOT’s know that. I don’t think Mac knows that. Mac could he return to play another 10 years, but in know way do I think he can catch for another 10 years. I just can’t see it happening. Not with his knees, and his shoulder, and the list goes on…

    I’m just afraid that Mac will have to finish his career as DH. And last I checked, NL teams don’t have that, except in Houston where they lost both 100 games and their membership in the Senior Circuit. Don’t you know that Texas and Oakland are just licking their chops? But I digress…

    Regardless of how beloved Mac is in this city, the Braves cannot afford to pour too many of their limited pennies into what is essentially a bet. Now, that said, alot of that will evolve as the winter goes on and as the doctors’ reports become more exact. But as of now, Mac is a big question mark. And they have until 5 days after the WS concludes to pick up his option. Those timetables don’t exactly jee-haw. So a bet it will be. Or not. Who knows? Probably not even the Braves neckties, I would guess, and surely not Buster Olney. But his posit is vaid, and I understand where he’s coming from.

    So, the Braves have to bring in 3 position players to fill their needs. Even being generous and saying they have $30MM to play with, you and I both know that you don’t get real star quality for $10MM anymore. Not from a FA. That’s a crazy statement, but it’s true. But you can get it for $12MM-$15MM, and if you take the $12+MM Mac is due on the option and re-assign it elsewhere, you can fill your needs.

    Understand, I am only playing “devil’s advocate” here, but from the GM’s standpoint, nothing can be ruled out. I have been open about my optimism toward Frank filling our OF needs. But the sudden question mark at catcher has me concerned.

    I have 2 words: Corky Miller. 😯

    ’nuff said.


  63. 63 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    vaid = valid πŸ™„


  64. 64 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    AJ Pierzynski hit 27 HR’s last year for the ChiSox. He’s a FA. He’s 35 and not in line for a long-term deal. 2 years @ $8MM per year? Sounds reasonable. Just sayin’…


  65. 65 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    How about a deal with the Jays? They have a good young catcher under contract, and a good prospect at AAA being blocked. Maybe strike a deal? As long as we don’t have to take Yunel back…


  66. 66 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I say all that to simply illustrate that there is catching available if we need it. We just have to identify the degree of need.

    That’s why Frank gets paid the big bucks…


  67. 67 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Good info via MLBTR:

    *Immediately after World Series – Eligible players hit free agency
    *Three days after World Series – Option decisions due
    *Five days after World Series – Qualifying offers due
    *Six days after World Series – Free agents can sign contracts with teams other than their former clubs
    *12 days after World Series – Players must accept or reject qualifying offers
    *November 7th – 9th – GM Meetings
    *November 20th – Deadline for setting 40-man roster in advance of Rule 5 Draft
    *November 30th – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players
    *December 3rd – 6th – Winter Meetings
    *December 6th – Rule 5 Draft takes place at Winter Meetings
    *January – Teams, players exchange arbitration figures
    *February – Arbitration hearings take place


  68. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

    *March – Gil tries to figure out how to get to Florida for Spring training

    Uh, CL any money available for corespondent travel??? πŸ™‚ And how are those press credentials coming?


  69. 69 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

    V, I know what you are saying…it’s just…I don’t know…I couldn’t be a fan of the A’s if I lived there. Why? Because the WHOLE team has to be blown up every few years…I like to form attachments with the players. If it gets to be too much of a “business” with the braves, I will lose interest in following them.
    When Whitey Herzog traded ALL of my Favorite Cardinals, I actively rooted against them…they weren’t MY Cards, they were a bunch of frauds wearing the same uniforms(Yeah, I was still a kid, still)
    I moved to Jacksonville in 1983, and followed the Cubs and Braves. My Heart was broken by the 1984 Cubs(they, not the Padres should have been in the W.S. against the Tigers), but I got over it..for a few years, then when the feel for the team changed, not just players, but the “success” in spite of being a mainly terrible team, I don’t know, just lost interest. But, I’ve been following the braves thru thick and thin for nearly 30 years…Since 1991, a team that is almost always competitive. So, I must be a bit spoiled. Still, if you can’t keep one guy, even for one more year as a face of the franchise… Twins didn’t let Mauer get away. Molina signed a big contract. Posey won’t leave SF.
    Sadly enough, as of 2012, those guys are better than McCann.
    Is it too early to talk about Heyward walking in 3 years, or being traded after 1- 2 more years? Sigh…
    I feel in a way, Mac is like Chipper, in that they have made sacrifices for the team that other players haven’t or won’t(Chipper in taking less money,
    deferring money, and he did play hurt) and Mac playing thru everything, running out there day after day…I bet some stoopid doctor said, oh heck, you can’t make it worse. Plus, remember how the team didn’t want to do the full dye injected test right away? Why??? Anyway, we are talking one year at 12 mil, not 5. If they refuse the 12 mil, he’d be a free agent, right? They’d better make sure he’s on board with a pay cut. He seems like the type that would be, but I’m sure he’s taken a hometown discount, at least at this point.
    I know, I sound whiny. This just isn’t the kind of talk one wants to hear after the season ended like it did. We should be arguing over what swell CF we will get, not how cheap can we go…Won’t be much fun if Bourn signs with the Phils or Nats(sure hope it’s an AL team, or at least outside of the NL East)
    We couldn’t make a deal with the Rockies last winter. They should be more motivated than last winter, but they clearly aren’t going to give anyone away. Things could get hairy in a hurry…
    As for
    A.J. Pierzynski….I’ve hated the guy for years. A dirty player. Just a A#1 jerk. Hopefully there are other options, ala the Jays…

    Don’t get how Ross isn’t thought of as an everyday catcher, even just for a few months. He’s a much better catcher than McCann, he can hit…heck, does he even have to hit if he calls a good game? He’ll pop a few too. Weird..

    Ok, enough griping…I’ve played bad cop, time for someone else to be the good cop! πŸ˜‰


  70. 70 Carolina Lady October 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Sure, Gil! Check’s in the mail – and you can pick up your credentials at the gate. πŸ˜€


  71. 71 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Rossy is 36 and hits lefties WAYYY much better than righties. He’s a great defensive catcher, and calls a great game. But if he were to be run out every day over a long enough period of time, his offensive weaknesses would become exposed.

    Your example of Mauer is an interesting one. He put up gaudy stats and earned a big time deal. It always irked me when I heard him touted ahead of Mac because in my view, the guy isn’t a true catcher. He DH’s at least once a week, and plays 1B occasionally as well. But even at that, the guy signed a huge deal, and then disappeared. Is it injuries? Well, yes to a large degree. But isn’t that what we are talking about? Mac already has had those physical set backs. And from an extremely physically demanding position, that must be a factor.

    With Mauer, at least Minnie can use him as DH if he can’t handle it behind the plate anymore. Mac has 1 position and 1 position only. Like it or not, it cheapens his overall value to a NL team.

    Look,,, I love the guy. I love what he has meant and means to the team. I love that he’s a local kid. But I love the team and it’s ability to compete more than I love any individuals. Maybe that’s where you and I will just disagree. And that’s cool. That makes neither of us right or wrong, just of differing points of view.

    As to AJ, I was really just tossing out names and available catchers. I have no love lost for him myself. But in fairness, he has matured since his early days in SF.

    In my perfect world, Mac will come back in May and be the ol’ BMac we have all come to love. But honestly that’s a tall order. I remember when the league discovered that Mike Piazza could no longer throw out anyone. Heck, I can remember laughing my butt off when the Braves stole on him at will. I don’t want that for Mac. And as good a hitter as Mac is, he’s no Piazza. If you really are a fan of Brian McCann, you will want what is the best for his career. That could very well be in the American League.


  72. 72 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Listening to a “Braves Clubhouse Report” on the radio… hearing some interesting tidbits:

    Regarding JuanFran, they have sent him to the Dominican Winter league with instructions to lose weight. Still, the prevailing opinion is that they view him only as a bench bat, as he struggles against righties. These guys guess, as do I, that Martin will take over at 3B and that Frank will find it easier to acquire a LF. To me, it’s a no-brainer unless some team dangles a top tier 3B in a trade.

    Angel Pagan’s name seems to be a popular one amongst these commentators as a possible FA target to replace Bourn.


  73. 73 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Bowman is a panelist. He’s a good insider to rely on…


  74. 74 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    He thinks it’s a good chance that one of Delgado or Teheran will be moved this offseason. Again, I am in agreement.


  75. 75 Voice of Raisins October 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    He included THanson on that group as well, but mentioned that Hanson would likely only be a throw in and not a center piece.


  76. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Great opine Ber… CL, I will be sure to watch my mail…

    Raisins, Hanson as a throw in still saves the Braves around 3 to 4 mil…

    I still think McCann could play left field at least as well as Manny or Old Fat Barry Bonds or Matt Holliday. Actually a better arm than any of the three but less range, would have to have a lot of help from the center fielder. Just saying it could be done… Depends on his bat.

    Like I have said previously, Franciso’s fate and future is really in his own hands. End of story…


  77. 77 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Franciso’s fate and future is really in his own hands.

    And in his fat cells…


  78. 78 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    One other opinion that Bowman shared that is noteworthy is that he feels Frank and the boys do NOT want to keep Teheran at AAA for another year. His general opinion is that the Braves still view Teheran as having the most upside, and that they’d like him to have the #5 spot in the rotation to start the season. Their strong preference is to move Hanson in the winter and clear that slot. He is, like most of us, very sure that the braves will pick up the options on both Hudson and Maholm, and that the top 4 in the rotation will be Medlen, Hudson, Minor, Maholm… in that order. The 5 slot is open to be taken by Teheran (if the can clear Hanson).

    What he did NOT mention is the logjam that will be present when Beachy returns around the ASB. Creates a very good problem for the Braves, actually. If Beachy is indeed ready to return to the rotation, the Braves may have a nice trade chip (Maholm maybe?) at the trade deadline. If not, they’re covered.

    I think I really like a rotation of Medlen, Beachy, Hudson, Minor, Teheran…


  79. 79 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Miguel Olivo’s option was not picked up by the Mariners. He could be a possibility as a fill in to share duties with Rossy while waiting for Mac to return. Not great offensive numbers, but good defensively.



  80. 80 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 8:18 am

    The Bosox are trying to re-sign Cody Ross, but I’d sure like to snag him for our LF. He bats rightie, knocked 22 HR’s last year, and plays like his hair’s on fire. Also, he can play all 3 OF spots, so he could occasionally spell or CF. He’ll probably go back to Boston, but for a 2 yr. +/-$16MM deal, I’d love to have him.

    Speaking of CF, there is alot of chatter that ATL will target Angel Pagan. The more I ponder it, the more I like it. That said, there will be a strong market for him. Frank will have to shell out some $$ to make that happen. Of the CF candidates on the FA market, he’s the one I’d take first.

    .284/.336/.430, 8 HR’s, 78 runs scored and 23 steals. Fangraph’s Joe Posnanski calls him the most underrated player in baseball saying, “He’s an above average hitter, an above average fielder, an excellent baserunner, a switch-hitter who can produce from both sides of the plate…”

    He’s not a youngster at 31, but he won’t command the 6 year commitment that Bourn will demand, either. What will complicate things with Pagan is that should the Giants win the WS, there will be an awful lot of warm fuzzy advantage to SF in negotiations. Probably even by just making it to the WS. And SF will try to bring him back, no doubt.

    As I have said many times, that’s why Frank gets paid the big bucks…


  81. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Good morning folks.

    Looks like Verlander had a little too much time to rest between series last night. Good think for the Tigers they have more than one game to decide the WS.

    A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to see Pegan when he was coming up with the Mets at spring training. The thing that struck me about him was his intensity. He had a no nonsense kind of intensity.

    As for Cody Ross, for some reason it seems he just does not want to play for Atlanta. I thought the Braves should have picked him up in 2010 when the Marlins released him and he signed with the Giants. It also appeared the Braves made a play for him before he signed with Boston after leaving San Fran.

    Their are players out there who could fill the bill for Braves, unfortunately, I am too lazy to pour over stats and reports to offer an informed opinion. I guess that is why major league teams hire people to do so, or not depending on their budget. Just ask the Nationals about that when they were run by MLB.


  82. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

    On Hanson, I am just tired of never knowing which pitcher will show up on a particular day. I doubt the Braves will get much for him but we know his agent will point to the double digit number of wins each year. He will get 3 to 4 million in arbitration but I agree that Teheran could be equally effective for a heck of a lot less money and much greater potential.

    I doubt the Braves will get a lot for Hanson, You are right on Raisins with the opine that he likely would be a throw in with someone else.

    On McCann, I just cannot understand the angst over ponying up the 13 mil for his option next season. The guy still knows how to hit, he just was not physically capable to hit pitches away and every pitcher in the NL had the book on him. I see no reason why BMac could not be just as feared a hitter as Howard or Fielder or Sandova. He is worth every penny the Braves will pay him and I doubt he will go that cheap in 2014. Just saying….


  83. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

    And the news folks are right, once I told a couple of pollsters I had already voted, the phone is quieter.


  84. 84 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Check this out… it’s a video of Evan Gattis’ latest prodigious blast, a tie breaking no doubt yicketty into the LF stands:


  85. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

    One last thought, as far as teams running on McCann, if Tommy Hanson is pitching, no one is going to keep base runners from stealing. The book is out on him too. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice.

    I’m thinking if you could put Ryan Kesko in left field, anyone could play the position. Centerfield is a bit more of a speed position. I am still of the mind that Simmons could be a lead off guy.


  86. 86 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

    He is worth every penny the Braves will pay him and I doubt he will go that cheap in 2014.

    Agreed. I would definitely pick up the option for 2013, and am quite sure Frank will do it.

    Not so sure I’d want to go long term afterward, though. If Bethancourt has a big AAA year next season, that decision may not be as difficult.


  87. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    And take it from someone who has decades of experience, fat cells can be stubborn things. They are much more tenacious that brain cells.


  88. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Also agree on Bethancourt. Brian better learn to play left field…


  89. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, and thanks for the link Raisins, if only the guy can hit major league pitching. Maybe he can impress during spring training… While I love a good pitching duel, I equally love a 3 run homer by the good guys.


  90. 90 berigan2electricboogaloo October 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Lots of good hot stove talk!
    I still have to be a bit of a wet blanket…why exactly would the Giants let Pagan go, unless they have someone in AAA that he is blocking? Or sign Bourn. Yep, that would be a good landing place for Bourn! πŸ˜‰

    Weird in that the Braves while cheap, often want to take the “safe” rout. JFran won’t get a chance, but then again I understand not wanting to go into ST with a weaker lineup, which of course we will be without Chipper.
    Gattis sure looks good, doesn’t he? Is he the guy that has a story similar to Josh Hamilton, correct?
    Hey, this is kinda cool, we can track his stats while in the Mexican league or whatever it is…
    He’s killing the ball, especially against righties…


  91. 91 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    why exactly would the Giants let Pagan go

    Because he is a FA after Game 7.


  92. 92 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    … and the Braves have to take the “safe route”. To the Braves, if a $10MM gamble fails, they are hamstrung for the duration. For a team like the Yankees, they just ship him off and pay half the salary.

    Now, that said, the “safe route” and the “smart route” are often the same. Frank has a track record of making the most out of his middle-of-the-pack payroll. He does it by not over-spending (he had to for DLowe and Kawakami; Braves were rebuilding at that point and desperate for arms; those days are behind him) and by doing his homework.

    I’m excited to see his handiwork over this offseason.


  93. 93 berigan2electricboogaloo October 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    V, after game 7 you say? Since you already know it goes 7, is there any chance you could let me know the winning lottery numbers for say Mega Millions? πŸ™‚
    I just think the Giants will want to re-sign him since they are in the W.S. and I don’t think I know of any prospects in their Outfield (One of many reasons I’m not crazy about the Giants getting to the W.S. and perhaps winning it, do they even seem that good? Tell you what though, Hunter Pence, who comes across like Frenchy on crack, well, he’s a team player for sure, and seems to really motivate them) I think he’s a free agent, but strikes out a bit much….
    Ok, this is a name we may not have thought of before…a bit old in the tooth, but can still hit it and pick it…
    Angels Unlikely To Re-Sign Torii Hunter
    By Tim Dierkes [October 25 at 3:39pm CST]

    The Angels are highly unlikely to re-sign right fielder Torii Hunter, MLBTR has learned from a source close to the situation. The Angels are highly prioritizing pitching improvements, and Hunter will have a chance to explore the open market.

    Hunter, 37, signed a five-year, $90MM deal with the Angels after the ’07 season. He hit .313/.365/.451 with 16 home runs in 584 plate appearances this year, so he’s still an asset from the right side of the plate. His right field defense grades out as above-average….
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#JsqAP9CPoZMeAGHh.99

    he’s 37, but heck two years isn’t the biggest risk in the world, at least it wouldn’t be for most teams. I’d love to have someone like him up with the game on the line come playoff time…and his is a right handed bat…


  94. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I did a little research, yeah, I know, hard for me to believe it too… Anyway, it appears there are quite a few free agent outfielders available this year, not so many prospects however…

    Makes one wonder how it is the Braves have not really developed many outfielders. You would think there would be at least one decent home grown candidate among all those kids they have playing in the minors.

    I agree Ber, Tori Hunter would not be a bad choice, neither would B J Upton. We will just have to wait and see. The Braves really need to add an impact type player or two to make up for both Chipper and Bourne both leaving.

    Sigh, if only Dan Uggla could be the big presence in the middle of the line up for full season and not just for a month.


  95. 95 Carolina Lady October 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Think about it a bit, then let me have your suggestions for our new banner – whenever I get it made. πŸ™‚


  96. 96 Voice of Raisins October 26, 2012 at 7:27 am

    SF up 2-0. I might have guessed otherwise…


  97. 97 Voice of Raisins October 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Watching a few highlights this morning. A few observations.

    Why is it that guys play LF in Atlanta, suck here, and go elsewhere and play well? Gregor Blanco… really?

    Doug Fister has a hard head. And now a big bump on it.

    Prince Fielder can hit for sure, and that’s why he gets a pass for being so fat. But fat he is, and coming around 3B, he looked as though they had just opened the doors at Ryan’s. If he had stuck his left foot forward, he would have been safe. But fat guys don’t slide well. Actually, they bounce.


  98. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2012 at 11:58 am

    But fat guys don’t slide well. Actually, they bounce.

    Yeah, just ask Brian McCann about that.. πŸ™‚

    Gregor Blanco. Yep, I was one in his corner when he was in Atlanta, folks forget that experience is a great teacher. Not every player has the raw talent of a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper or even a Jason Heyward. The optimal age for an outfielder is normally 27 years old.

    Of course with all the attention given to body building and chemical enhancement, who knows what is optimal any longer. Some players seem to have a very short shelf life. Others like Ibanez and Suzuki seem t be able to go on forever.


  99. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I was speaking with my brother on the phone yesterday about Brian McCann and the realization struck me that we will be playing more interleague games next season. That would mean more opportunity for Brian to be the DH. I know it is not an optimal situation for him but could make a difference in about 10 game or so.


  100. 100 Voice of Raisins October 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    The Braves will play 20 interleague games in 2013 as opposed to 18 in 2012.

    For the record, I hate them. Why even have separate leagues anymore? Why not just divide the current 30 teams into 6 regional divisions? Oh wait… that’s essentially what they’ve done.

    We play the Royals and the Tigers before the Mets? How is this?

    There is no such thing as balanced strength of schedule. And the Braves catch a real break this year… they do not have to play either the Yankees or Bosox. In fact, of the 5 AL playoff teams (which is another rant for another day), the Braves will only face the Tigers. We play the Royals, Indians, Chisox, Twins, Tigers, and Blue Jays… twice. We play the Blue Jays home and away, but the others just once. What sense does that make? None.

    I’ll give credit where credit is due to Milwaukee Bud. The Wild Card – the initial Wild Card concept – is not bad. If not for the necessity of having 4 teams in each “bracket”, I’d still be against it. But it’s necessary to facilitate the playoffs given the growth of the league to 30 teams. But overall, he’s a boob. Making an exhibition game have a direct effect on the World Series is a joke. Adding a 1 game do or die playoff game is a joke. Interleague is an abomination, and cheapens the World Series.

    The World Series is supposed to be our best against their best. Now, it’s just the 2 best, or actually just 2 of the top 10 playing each other for possibly the 3rd time this season. That’s not a World Series Champion. That’s a tournament champion.

    I hate it.

    Your mileage may vary.


  101. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    And maybe one reason that outside of San Francisco and Detroit, a lot of folks really are not bothering to follow the World Series.


  102. 102 Carolina Lady October 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I whole-heartedly agree, Raisins. And especially about the “exhibition” games counting and that stupid 1-game playoff. The NL wildcard should play the AL wildcard. You said it very well. As usual. πŸ™‚


  103. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville October 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Okay CL, stay safe and let us know when the storm passes..


  104. 104 Carolina Lady October 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Got my seat belt fastened, Gil. (Thanks for thinking of us!) So far, it is a lot of rain and a bit blustery but that’s about all. Hope it stays that way. We sure need the rain! The east-facing beaches are being hammered by a terrible surf. Waves breaking onshore are already in the 10 -12 foot range but water conditions are so bad, even the surfers are (wisely) staying out of it. If people will just stay away from the water, everything should be well. You’ll probably get some rain out of it, don’t you think? (Would you believe that it is only 63 outside right now? Never remember a chilly tropical storm. Seems like a contradiction in terms!) πŸ˜€ ‘Night, y’all!


  105. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Yes, the rain is always needed but not the wind.


  106. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

    And speaking of being gone with the wind, things look very dim for the Tigers… Looks like the lay off hurt them like the one the Braves experienced two years ago because of the hurricane in New York. Baseball teams are very high maintenance, even the slightest bit of moister will lead to rust in a hurry.


  107. 107 berigan2electricboogaloo October 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Yep, disappointed in the WS, just don’t see the Giants being this good, but, I guess they are, eh? If it was the Yankees vs the Dodgers, the rating would be huge…sad but true. Tigers have the best pitcher and best hitter in the game, but baseball fans are fickle, perhaps some of them aren’t really any more than fair weather fans…football? If it was the 49’ers and the Lions, (somehow) in the Superbowl, people would still watch.
    I would hope for Tiger fans sake, Detroit could win one game…they could use a little good news…
    Oh, meant to mention the other day, another right handed bat out there..Delmon Young. A bit of a headache though…


  108. 108 berigan2electricboogaloo October 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    CL, hopefully you all will miss the brunt of the storm, at least it looks that way! We were very cool last night, cooler than I think they thought it would be…50s and windy, yuck!
    This storm just gets built up more an more each day, sure wish it would go out to sea, but doesn’t sound like it will….


  109. 109 Carolina Lady October 29, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Yeah, we’re good here, Ber. Some much-needed rain, a little wind. But the plants are happy and when everything dries out, we’ll have a head start on fall leaf clean up! Silver lining, you know… I hate hurricanes.

    SF won the WS??? wow. *yawn* (sorry)


  110. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2012 at 3:57 am

    CL, glad it doesn’t look too bad your way! Wind was VERY Strong for a few hours here, 30- to 40 MPH gusts, and fairly sustained.
    CL, yep…yawn. They just don’t seem that good, but, they must be, right? I wanted poor Detroit to have one lousy game to cheer about, but it seems any time a team is down 2-0 or 3-0 and it’s tied late in a game, that winless team stays winless…
    And now I find out Steve Berthiaume ‏is leaving ESPN and baseball tonight to be the play by play guy with the Diamondbacks. Well, good for him, but now I basically have no reason to watch ESPN ever again. I really dislike Karl Raveck, or whatever his name is…he used to be ok, but seems so bored, and clearly didn’t have the passion for the game that Steve has. He really got excited about the Pirates, The A’s, etc…Loved Mike Trout…and just a funny, quirky sense of humor..a great show(when they bother to run the show, espn has had the wrong time, or had boxing/drag racing/poker playing run late, during the playoffs so I missed half the shows-baseball is NOT a priority with ESPN) to ride a stationary bike to..Karl…meh. Well, I’ll never hear his Diamondback games…wish Tim K and Buster Olney would move to MLBTV…I’ll be watching it more now, but the pacing there is still off, too fast, too…something…oh well, not the end of the world…Zero winning again, that’s the end of the world! πŸ˜‰


  111. 111 Voice of Raisins October 29, 2012 at 7:21 am

    What? There was a WS champ crowned last night? Yawn…

    Maybe if it weren’t watered down, I’d care that I missed it. At least it was 2 division winners playing for it…


  112. 112 Voice of Raisins October 29, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I guess my biggest interest in it is that the clock has now started running on the silly season. We’ll know by Wednesday if the options are picked up on our 3 fellas.


  113. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Actually, most of the storm seems to be around us but other than a steady rain, not so bad. Looks like most of the damage will be far north of us.

    And this is the first time I can remember schools being called on account of rain. Yeah, I know, better safe than sorry but I think a lot of folks don’t realize most of the news is being hyped because the news (I use that term loosely) organizations have to fill 24 hours with something. I mean really, seeing a film clip of a cooler (Igloo type) floating down a street isn’t exactly my idea of earth shattering devastation.

    I think the aftermath of the major screw up following Katrina has everyone spooked to the point they are afraid to make a mistake. Hazel back in 1954 is still the worse storm in memory for me.

    Anyway, got a note that our place on the bay is still okay, if we can make it past high tide tonight at 9:30 PM then we will be okay. The lack of thunder storms associated with this hurricane makes a huge difference.

    So, baseball… Now the real news can begin. The clock is now ticking for picking up options….


  114. 115 Voice of Raisins October 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Hunker down, coastal friends…


  115. 116 Carolina Lady October 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Boy, do I EVER remember Hazel. It came ashore at Long Island in Brunswick co and it’s right quadrant barreled over New Hanover Co. Winds 140+ mph. Most beaches were simply wiped clean. A 17′ storm surge.

    Here’s some footage of Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches. What is now waterfront property was a block and a half from it. It has never come back. I was just a little kid, but I remember every minute of it.


  116. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Good morning everybody, all is well. Looks like Sandy just kept going. Too bad for New York. That said, It is something CL has to contend with on a regular bases. Me, not as much.

    Baseball’s hot stove is on pilot light…. People has their attention on too many other things.

    Record low number of folks watched this year’s World Series. Guilty….


  117. 118 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Hand is in the air… πŸ™„


  118. 119 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 7:45 am

    MLB.com’s Chris Haft: Angel Pagan: Here’s a subject for considerable debate. The center fielder had what could be considered his best all-around season in 2012. To what extent was this driven by his impending free agency? Or, as many observers agree, did Pagan capitalize on reaching full maturity as a ballplayer and being in an environment that encouraged him to succeed? Regardless, in a free-agent market that’s widely regarded as thin on talent, Pagan will be a highly sought commodity. He’s expected to command in excess of $10 million annually on a multiyear contract. The Giants must decide whether Pagan is truly worth that figure or if they can live with overpaying him.

    He is to the Braves. He’s a switch-hitter whose numbers do not have great disparity from one side of the plate to the other. He plays above average defense; he steals bases; his numbers do NOT fade in the late stretches of a 162 game season.

    Is he elite? Not really, but he is above average both offensively and defensively. He struck out only 97 times in 659 PA’s as opposed to our former CF who K’d 155 in 703.

    To be honest, Pagan’s overall offensive numbers were not as impressive as Bourn’s, but Michael started out on fire and faded badly at season’s end. As to which player contributed more to their team..? Hard to say. Bourn’s late season slump was glaring as the Braves fell out of the division race and lost Bud’s stupid playoff play-in game. By the same token, he played a great role in their early success. Pagan’s numbers were pretty consistent from April to October. The Giants just won the WS. Hard to argue success.

    Here’s the thing… (and Ber, I’m sorry to keep bringing up this painful topic) Frank has only about $25MM to net us 2 OF and rebuild our bench. If you commit $10MM to Pagan, you can still land a LF in the same range and have $5MM to flesh out the bench. If you commit $15MM or more to Bourn or Josh Hamilton (who does not help us balance our leftie heavy lineup), then how do you address the rest?

    Speaking of bench: Phillies declined their $4MM option on Ty Wigginton. Isn’t that a no-brainer for Frank? We need a right handed power bat that can play 3B off the bench. There he is. He’ll probably get somewhere in the range of $2.5-3MM annually for 2 years. He can play both IF corners and both OF corners. He’s a better Eric Hinske than Eric Hinske.


  119. 120 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Well, can’t honestly get excited over Pagan or Victorino. They seem to be close to the same player, don’t they? Just checked Victorino hit .282 with Runners on, but it dropped a bit when they were in scoring position. Pagan hit .292 with runners on , .298 with RISP. Thats actually pretty decent. What’s funny is folks are talking like he had a really good post season. Hit a homer in each of the rounds in the NL playoffs, but hit .150, 242, and .125 in the W.S. I guess he must have had some big hits, just don’t know. If I saw, I forgot.
    10 Mil eh??? Wow…
    Josh Hamilton had an up and down year, mainly down towards the end. But if you can hit 43 HR’s drive in 128, and hit .285…you are going to get more than 15 mil a year. Even with his history.


  120. 121 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    but hit .150, 242, and .125 in the W.S.

    See? He’d fit right in here… πŸ˜‰


  121. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    There were quite a few good hitters that did not exactly light up the score board during the series. It is the nature of the game.

    All things being equal, I think the Giants will re-sign Pegan. I don’t think they have anyone waiting in the wings to replace him with.

    It was a shame about Omar Infante’ having his hand broke (again) At least he knows the drill.. bad pun… I would not mind having him back by the way…

    So much of a hitter’s success is predicated on who he is surrounded by in the batting order. That is where the manager has to be creative and know where to place the hitters he has to work with.

    Also is about having pitchers and catchers smart enough to know how to pitch to outs.


  122. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Speaking of good pitchers… Jason Verlander did not exactly pitch a gem but I would still take him as a number one any day.


  123. 124 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I, too, believe that SF will want Pagan back unless his asking price gets unreasonably high. Should that be the case, Frank will no longer be interested either. But you never know…


  124. 125 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I have given this Tommy Hanson thing some real thought lately. I think now that he is a legitimate non-tender candidate. If the Braves could get anything for him in trade, then I am certain they would go that route. I just don’t see him having much trade value. Here’s the thing: Big Red is probably in line for upwards of $5MM in arb this year. If Frank and Fredi think they could get the same or similar production out of a much, much cheaper Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado as their #5 starter, why pay the $5MM? Especially when your needs are in the hitting dept., not the pitching dept.

    And let’s face it, Neither Julio nor Randall need another year at AAA. You either have to make room for them or use them as trade bait. No way Frank trades both. Maybe one on the right deal, but not both.

    I could realistically see this scenario:

    Frank will almost certainly pick up Huddy’s option. No brainer. He’ll likely also pick up Maholm. He’d be a #3-4 starter on a 1-year deal at $6.5MM. He’d be a #2-3 on some staffs. Follow me here…

    #’s 1-3 are simple:
    #4 will be Maholm
    Plug in Teheran at #5 and let him get his feet wet for 3 months.

    If Teheran passes muster, then when Beachy returns – somewhere around the ASB – then you have a couple of weeks to gauge trade interest in Maholm. He’s a lefty, he’s on an expiring deal with no long term commitment, and he’s just the kind of starter some contender might need at the deadline.

    If Teheran and/or Delgado struggles, then when Beachy returns, he takes care of that problem and you retain Maholm.

    In all those scenarios, Tommy Hanson is simply not necessary. I can’t see hanging onto $5MM worth of not necessary. Not when that $5MM can go toward CF or LF.


  125. 126 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Ken Rosenthal thinks the Braves will pick up all 3 of their team options. I think so too. What’s the difference? πŸ˜€


  126. 127 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    OK… I gotta admit, this bugs me a little.

    Not only does MLBTR have a heading which reads: “Braves Expected To Exercise Three Options”, it specifies by saying the Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves are “expected” to do so.

    Rosenthal tweeted the he expects the Braves to pick up the options. NO sources; no inside knowledge. He just expects them to. Much like we do.

    Now I hear on the radio, on the Braves flagship station yet, the “Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Braves are expected to pick up the options…” yadda yadda.

    Why is this news? Better yet, why is it making the sports update at the top/bottom of the hours? Does Rosenthal know anything? No. Was he told anything by a source? No. He simply expects it to happen.

    Don’t we?

    Did we need Rosenthal to tell us it’s OK for us to expect it also?

    Is the sports media so watered down that they feel the need to “scoop” everyone else in the room by reporting what they expect to happen?

    In a related story, I expect the Braves will make an announcement by tomorrow’s deadline. Maybe I should tweet it. Wait… I don’t tweet. Now I realize why.


  127. 128 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Oh good grief! Now they are discussing the “expectation” on the sports talk show.

    Really? Gimme a break…


  128. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    On the other hand, maybe Rosenthal read it here first and just did not want to attribute you as his source. Hey, have we not seen how clairvoyant we on the old B&S have been in the past? Just saying….


  129. 130 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I think since Buster Onley mentioned the possibility that McCann’s option might not be picked up, made it semi newsworthy. I feel a lot better all 3 had options picked up. I could see them trying to be cheap and not picking up Maholm, and keeping/trading Hanson. But, they have have found despite his not terrible ERA, teams know what we know…


  130. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    So now we wait to find out who accepts arbitration, right?


  131. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Or that Jason Heyward wins a gold glove.


  132. 133 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Wearing a bow-tie on national TV is one example of bad judgment. So is this: https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/263318500754477057


  133. 134 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Ross will sign here. Death, taxes, PresBO blaming Bush, Ross re-signing with Atlanta. Some things are for certain…


  134. 135 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2012 at 11:05 am

    What about Upton?

    B.J. or Justin? Yes!

    That’d be kind of interesting, huh? Both Upton brothers? Both are RH power bats. Neither, however, is a leadoff hitter…

    B.J. and Victorino?


  135. 136 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I… have… no… words…

    You Halloween costume is not nearly as scary as Kris Medlen’s. twitter.com/fauxfrankwren/…— Faux Frank Wren (@fauxfrankwren) October 31, 2012


  136. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Greetings guys, and gal… Funny how out of touch with reality some folks are. Ross seams perfectly content with playing once every five days. The one reason I can see for Rossy leaving Atlanta is not to get more playing time. A LOT mot money maybe but more playing time? not a chance.

    Either Upton would be okay with me. I still think Simmons could be a viable lead-off guy. All said and done, having a consistent RBI guy in the middle of the order would be a greater need. We can only hope we will see BMac return to form. A healthy BMac would take a lot of the sting out of loosing Chipper’s bat in the middle of the line-up.

    In my most humble opinion, finding two good outfielders might be the easiest task Frank Wren has before him in the off season. I liked the fact he had Evan Gattis in the conversation as a possible early season back up in BMac’s stead.

    When preparation meets opportunity, wonderful things can happen. I look to see the Braves sign Johnson and Janish as bench guys. Chad Durbin as the veteran in the pen is likely, not so sure about Peter Moylan. Not sure if O’Flarety but we will see, going to be hard to find someone with his ability on the cheap.

    Nope, scoring runs to support a potentially solid pitching staff is going to be the priority.


  137. 138 Carolina Lady November 1, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Raisins, what is that costume supposed to be??

    outside of baseball – More NC voting machines are changing
    Republican votes to Democrat votes. Never the other way around. To me, that says the machines have to be rigged. A family member voted today and when finished double-checked his ballot. Every freakin’ vote had been changed When he pointed it out to one of the Poll workers, she said half interestedly, “Yeah, we’ve been having some trouble with these machines. The vendor says he’s working on it.” Soooooo, just how many votes have been changed without being discovered?? Another stolen election? From what I’ve read, it is happening in other states, as well. You know, if it wasn’t for the cartoon characters, dead people,and illegals, do you think a democrat would ever win anything? Outside of California and the NE, that is.


  138. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I really like the voting machines we have here in Hanover. You use a paper ballot which you fill in the oval next to the candidate’s name with ink and then it is put thru a scanner. Of course you cannot see which candidate is registered but there is a paper trail. in case they have to be re-counted.

    That said, stealing votes is an art as old as elections and parliamentary procedures. Just ask Harry Reid.

    Now more baseball, one day closer to spring training….


  139. 140 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 7:45 am


    MLBTR has it’s annual Top 50 Free Agent Predictions out. They predict Michael Bourn to the Nats, B.J. Upton to the Phillies, Angel Pagan back to the Giants and Shane Victorino to Atlanta. I can see all of that.

    Apparently they feel Atlanta will only sign 1 OF through FA. They are probably correct…


  140. 141 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2012 at 11:06 am

    LOL McFann will have a cow….


  141. 142 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Just heard on the radio that former (and infamous) Atlanta Brave pitcher Pascual Perez was killed in a home invasion in his home in the DR. Sad to hear that.


  142. 144 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Wow… Jordan Schafer is back. Braves claimed him today off waivers from the Astros. Just… wow…

    And JC Boscan has finally had enough and declined a minor league assignment, electing FA instead. He’ll be back. πŸ˜‰


  143. 145 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Now watching the dumb masses go nuts over the Schafer claim. Crazy. Do they not pay any attention? It’s a flippin’ waiver claim. πŸ™„


  144. 146 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Well, isn’t that interesting? Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports is predicting that the Braves will land Josh Hamilton. Not certain I agree, but what a difference maker he’d be, huh?


  145. 147 Carolina Lady November 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’ll always remember Perez getting lost trying to find the stadium in Atlanta. He drove around the loop for hours. Don’t remember how he finally got there.

    Raisins, “dumb masses” – may I borrow that for appropriate moments?

    VOTED today. on PAPER yet. Apparently some of the “suspect” machines have been shut down. Hmmm.


  146. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Dumb Masses Obama supporters, right???


  147. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Actually, not a bad pick up in claiming Shaffer, no real money involved and he is still young enough to actually grow into a decent center fielder. People get all spastic when some 20 year old isn’t a Bryce Harper. Jason Werth did not become a good hitter until he was 27 years old either.

    I think a lot of the DMs believe that if a player (usually AA level) doesn’t become an instant All-star, then they are dubbed a failure unless they are traded away and then the GM and the organization is throwing away the teams chance at future greatness.

    Absent PEDs players do not really come into their prime until they are about 26 years old. Then good for about 5 years until they decline rapidly.

    Now, having said that, Latin players seem to defy that school of thought.


  148. 150 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    The way I see it, Schafer has above average speed, and is a very good defender. He’ll be a good bench guy for late inning defense and base running.


  149. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Rumor has it, Rick Ankiel may try to come back as a pitcher. The guy does have a heck of an arm, just a matter of keeping it between the lines.


  150. 152 Voice of Raisins November 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Ankiel should try to come back as a late inning guy. Maybe he just needs glasses…


  151. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    What I don’t understand is why some body has not adopted “Wild Thing” as their anthem? What a great song. Now on a more serious note, I place “Major Leagues” as number two, only behind “Bull Durham” as my all time favorite baseball movie.

    Anyone seen “Behind the Curve” yet?


  152. 154 Voice of Raisins November 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I haven’t… and I probably have Major League and Bull Durham tied at No. 1. Hard to argue against either one of those. Classics!


  153. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I would say Major League is more of a parody while Bull Durham is bit more of a comedy. For sure, one need to be a real baseball fan to fully appreciate the subtle humor and spoofs of both. For sure, either is a good one to watch on a wintery Saturday afternoon when stuck at home in a snow storm.

    Big day today for a lot of guys on the free agent list…


  154. 156 Voice of Raisins November 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I cannot understand the uproar over Frank picking up Jordan Schafer off the waiver wire.

    Glove: Schafer > Constanza
    Arm: Schafer > Constanza
    Power: Schafer > Constanza
    Speed: Schafer = Constanza

    Neither is going to win a batting title, but Schafer has shown flashes and is only 26 years old. Constanza is 29, and has maxed out his potential.

    Seriously, does anyone really want to go into 2013 with Constanza as one of your bench guys? Not this raisin. Not me. I appreciate his hustle and speed, but he in no way approaches Schafer in terms of baseball skills.

    Let me lay it out this way… Schafer can play all 3 OF positions and play them well. He is an exceptional defensive CF. Prior to this pickup, the Braves CF backup was Jason Heyward. Think about that…


  155. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Raisins, those folks are the same ones who wailed when Schafer was sent packing.

    I agree on Constanza, great feel good story but I think he became exposed after about a month in the majors. It became fairly evident that “George” was a one trick pony. After all, there is a reason a guy spends all that time in the minors.

    Schafer has shown flashes of talent with the bat but injuries have a much greater impact than most will let on. Most baseball people will tell you a hitter’s wrist are the most critical part of a batter’s swing as far as being to generate power. Golfers learn very early about wrist cock, and how it translated to power. Yes, the legs,are important too but a guy who is of fairly small statue has to have strong and powerful wrist to have pop in his bat.

    All that said, things will work out or not and at this point the Braves have a pretty small investment in a guy who is a heck of a lot better than what they had.


  156. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    So, pretty nice piece on Gattis by O’Brian across the street.


  157. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville November 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Sigh… Watching the news about to folks in New York and New Jersey who have been hit hard by the storm. Yes, it’s sad but I guess they never thought about being prepared for such events. Unless you have had the experience, you never think it will happen to you.

    After Isabel, I set up the homestead so Josie and I would be able to hold out for a couple of weeks without power. Also why we keep the cars full of gas and spare fuel on hand.

    Not saying some other calamity could not hit but one needs to think ahead a bit and not rely on the government to save us, All that said, I will make a contribution to the Salvation Army. They don’t pay big salaries to siphon off donations. Anyway, let’s all hope that people will take notice that you have to help yourself and your neighbors first and understand you cannot depend on folks who are in Washington.

    Now baseball…. Lots of players will have a new home address next season. This will take a little time to sort itself out.


  158. 160 Carolina Lady November 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    NY – some people are so accustomed to “being taken care of” by government, they can’t even think of doing anything themselves. And that is truly sad!

    NY2 – it is infuriating that after so many people have gone to the trouble to ship their people and equipment there to help any way they can, that the UNIONS won’t let outsiders work. That just plain stinks. I have posted pictures of giant C-5s (on fb) in California loading entire fleets of CA power trucks that are flown to NY to help. Now they have to be flown back to CA simply because of crippling unions.

    Gil, we stay ready, too. Don’t have a generator but we have about everything else we would need. A big “hurricane chest” stays stocked and updated. Plenty of food, lamp oil and wicks, batteries, etc. Kelly & I survived 10 days or so w/o power. Not having internet was probably the worse part. And the suffocating HEAT.

    I appreciate the info you guys post so much! I’d never know what was going on without it.

    Gil, did Clarence get lost again? Sure wish he’d jump in with us!


  159. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville November 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    NY2 – it is infuriating that after so many people have gone to the trouble to ship their people and equipment there to help any way they can, that the UNIONS won’t let outsiders work. That just plain stinks. I have posted pictures of giant C-5s (on fb) in California loading entire fleets of CA power trucks that are flown to NY to help. Now they have to be flown back to CA simply because of crippling unions..

    That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Almost as bad as the story of the folks pelting the lineman crews with eggs because they did not feel the crews reacted fast enough to restore power to their town.

    Hey, I’ve had to drive up their, I can understand how that happened…

    As for Clarence, I don’t know. Lots of folks get lost I think. I will drop him some bread crumbs.


  160. 162 berigan2electricboogaloo November 6, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I wonder if we will ever know how truly bad things are in New York and New Jersey? I mean, bodies were still being found, and the Media was no longer interested, they had polls to show that Romney was behind, and not just by a percentage point.
    The MSM has never been more of a joke than it is today. They will do ANYTHING to get their dear leader elected. I just hope for the sake of our nation, they have egg on their face for everyone to see today.
    Have to hope and pray people, enough people have finally awakened to what is going on with this country.


  161. 163 Voice of Raisins November 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

    OK… so I suppose I must comment on the big topic of today.

    The annual MLB GM meetings begin tomorrow somewhere in Cali. Now, granted this is not like the Winter Meetings where alot of trades and signings happen. But it is the place where GM’s can begin conversations that often lead to much of the offseason business. So in my mind, the Hot Stove is officially stoked.

    The Braves don’t need quantity, but they need quality. And this year, it appears as though they have the resources to get it done. I find it humorous reading other blogs and such that people throw names out and speculate as to whom might be acquired. Then, they get angry at Frank (when he has not yet done anything) for not spending money on elite players. It amazes me how much vitriol is being slung around about Frank operating on the cheap when not one FA has changed teams. People are stupid.

    But I do not expect him to drop the kind of cash on Josh Hamilton that is being talked about, and I do not expect him to drop the kind of cash on Michael Bourn that is being talked about. Both for different reasons, though. As for Hamilton, no way Frank shoots all his bullets on one guy. And that’s what it would take. But there will be a segment of “fans” who will be furious that Frank won’t “spend money on the best players”. Those are the same “fans” that live from April to October playing cyber-GM in their multiple fantasy leagues. They live in a fantasy world. As for Bourn, it’s silly to give a guy 7 years and $80MM whose game is built around his speed, when that speed will be diminishing across most of the 7 years. Silly.

    Yet brace for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    No, Frank can obtain the pieces he needs for the reported $25MM-$30MM he has to spend this season. He just has to do it wisely and deliberately.

    My bet still says he signs one piece and trades for the other. And my gut tells me that the trade could be someone none of has even discussed.

    Enjoy Cali this week, Frank. It’s gonna be nasty and cold in some places, but nice and warm there. Stoke the fire anyway…


  162. 164 Voice of Raisins November 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Reports say that Cody Ross is seeking a 3 year / $25MM deal. Hmmm… not sure how that strikes me. Actually, it’s probably a decent market value for Ross. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in our LF, but only if Frank could get BJ Upton’s power for CF. Gotta get a legit 30+ HR guy to fill one of those spots for sure.


  163. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Morning y’all.. voting day for all those folks who were not lucky enough to get it out of the way early. I can’t handle the long lines anymore so Josie and I voted a couple of weeks ago.

    She is working the polls today and will come home dog tire tonight. Man, the things some people will do for money….

    Best thing.. NO MORE ADS!!!!!! I’m sure the TV stations wish there was an election every month.

    Now baseball, great opine Raisins. I am hoping Frank Wren and company get things taken care of early. Anyone the Marlins want to get rid of cheap? I have been thinking of who Evan Gattis reminds me of, answer, Ryan Klesko but from the right side. Same body type, same kind of power, same kind of free spirit. (whack job) Ryan came up as a first baseman, Braves moved him to left before shipping him off to San Diego. He was never a gold glove candidate but boy, could he ever put the bat on the ball…


  164. 166 Voice of Raisins November 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I am convinced that if we sacrifice a “true leadoff” hitter for more power in the middle – something I am not averse to – that Simmons can handle leadoff.


  165. 167 Carolina Lady November 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Excellent thoughts, Raisins. Hope Frank doesn’t miss it! πŸ˜€ Wonder if Bobby is accompanying him as Special Assistant. (Love that term. It can mean anything you want it to.

    Sorta like Obama’s “Czars”. All 65 of them. Which begs the question: what are they czars OF exactly? Hm.

    CHEERS FOR MISS JOSIE!!! You go, girl!! I’m proud of you!

    Gil, here you don’t even have to get out of your car. A Poll Judge will bring everything out to you. I can’t manage the lines either. Hope you’re getting better daily! Not long til ST! πŸ™‚


  166. 168 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    that Simmons can handle leadoff. We agree on that point Raisins.

    We have curbside voting too but if you go during the rush, it really slows down the process.

    Josie just called and said out of 1700 registered voters in her precinct, 1200 have already voted. I would venture to say it will be nearly 95% voter participation by the time the polls close tonight at 7P.

    There is an old adage that people will not go out of their way to vote for someone but will go thru hill and high water to vote against someone.


  167. 170 berigan2electricboogaloo November 7, 2012 at 6:02 am

    hard to think or care about baseball today…when our country seems doomed…


  168. 171 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Gotta talk baseball… it’s the only thing to be hopeful for today this side of eternity.


  169. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I feel ill this morning, I refuse to watch the news so will become an ostrich like the rest of the country….


  170. 174 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    #Braves official said, as did Wilmington N.C., mayor, that deal to bring #Braves Class-A team from Lynchburg to Wilmington most likely dead.— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) November 7, 2012


  171. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    There was a news release a couple of days ago here in Richmond that the area localities had worked out a deal with the Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants double A farm club) to upgrade the lighting system at the Diamond to the tune of $900,000 dollars so the Squirrels would extend their lease agreement with the RMA for another two years. Only problem is not all of the localities were ready to sign on to the deal. OOPs!!!

    Funny thing about all this was the Braves were ready to sign a 25 year extension in exchange for tax relief on the stadium. The Braves were going to build the stadium too…. Hizzoner the Mayor, Doug Wilder, said he wasn’t willing to give up the tax money. Results, the Braves moved to Atlanta, folks are still trying to come up with the money to build a new stadium and 6 years later, still the empty warehouses in place with no money coming into the city.

    Squirrels are not moving as they have the best home attendance of any AA franchise and are actually making money. I see all this and wonder if Fenway Park would meet the standards for a minor league team now?


  172. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    One more thing, I have decided that I am now going to make it my life’s work to try and run up the bill as high as I can for my grandchildren so they will rue the day they were so ignorant as to support the Kenyan and the gorilla he is married to put them back in the White House so he could finish his job of running our country into the ground…. Me bitter? Naw…. Just amazed at how many stupid people there are in this country…


  173. 177 Carolina Lady November 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Raisin’s term applies beautifully: dumb masses.

    America is reaping the seed that it sowed. There is nothing but government now. I especially love that all these new IRS agents that are being hired to oversee the Medical system have the right to go into all of my bank accounts and pretty much do what they want with them. They don’t even have to notify me. Also, another great feature of the new America is that any American can be held without charges for an indefinite period of time. That one is really handy, I’m sure. And I’m so thrilled that our entire medical system is being rapidly dismantled. I’m gonna miss my guns, too. Well, I can keep them but the government is buying up all the ammunition. Ah, Hope and Change in the (somewhat) United Socialist States of Amerika.

    For some reason, the story of Moses comes to mind. He left to go up the mountain to get the 10 Commandments. While he was gone, all hades broke loose among the people, making gold idols to worship, complete absence of morals and character. That sorta sums up this nation now. God has been banned – and look what happens.

    Now baseball………… Spring Training is only a few months away….


  174. 178 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Pleasant surprise:

    Jair Jurrjens is drawing some trade interest. He finished the season healthy but is not guaranteed spot in deep #Braves rotation.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 8, 2012


  175. 179 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

    On a side note, if JJ is drawing any trade interest at all, that only bodes well for Tommy Hanson. That would be the Hanson who is slated to account for around $5MM of the Braves payroll in 2013. Ship him, Frank…


  176. 180 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I love Mark Bowman:

    According to @jonmorosi Jair Jurrjens is drawing trade interest. This further proves that John Lennon was not the only dreamer.#Braves— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 8, 2012



  177. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2012 at 9:35 am

    The only question I would have is why would a team actually trade for Jair? If they wait a week or so, they could pick him up at the cost of a minor league contract because the Braves are certainly not going to tender him an offer. Of course, I cannot imagine JJ being able to justify much in an arbitration hearing but who knows these days.

    Yes, Hanson is another one hit wonder for the Braves. I’m thinking Jonny Venters may be done as well. He is clearly not the pitcher he was before Freddie ruined his arm in 2010. Sad but true… I would bet that is a contrast MRI was done on Venters and Hanson, it would reveal much the same type of damage seen with McCay McBride and Chuck James.


  178. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I find it amusing that so many folks on “Facebook” are surprised to learn they cannot be “friends” whit those they disagree with politically. I was always taught, there are two things people should not discuss in a social setting. Those things being politics and religion. Both tend to bring out the best and worse in us all because of the passion associated with both topics.

    I think both define us as who we are. Perhaps I have become too immune to losing, after all, I am not a Yankees fan and I guess that means I do not consider it to be a birthright to be on the winning side all the time. So it is with politics. Well, what is done is done and there is little I can do about it right now.

    My question is which is the viable option, selling California to Mexico or China or selling Alaska back to the Russians? The US is going to have to pay off it’s debts somehow, we cannot expect any other nation to be as magnanimous as we are and simply write our debts off the books.


  179. 183 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’m all for selling California, but can we keep Alaska?


  180. 184 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Tell you what…

    Let’s just let China foreclose on California, and we’ll even let ’em have Oregon and Washington state as well. That ought to settle the debt. Those left coasters all want to have a socialist society anyway, so let’s let ’em have it. Maybe we can keep the San Diego area. I hear it’s nice there…


  181. 185 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hmmm… on second thought, we probably need a port on the Pacific somewhere. How about we give them California, keep Oregon and Washington state, and we’ll toss in Ohio and Michigan. PresBo has already exported GM auto manufacturing to China, anyway. We might as well let ’em have the unions too. Plus, they’ll have a baseball team in Cincinnati called the “Reds”. What could be more appropriate?


  182. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Good point, the US Government could lease San Diego like the do Guantanamo from Cuba.. Well, not exactly but you get the idea. If they would take California, I would be willing to throw in New Mexico.

    Another possibility is selling Michigan to the Canadians, heck, I would give them Vermont as a state to be names later too…


  183. 187 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    … and Maine, too. We don’t use it for anything anyway.


  184. 188 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I’m wondering how much we could get for Miami? Too bad Cuba doesn’t have any money…


  185. 189 Carolina Lady November 9, 2012 at 2:41 am

    China is in fact either buying or leasing a large chunk of land somewhere there in the midwest. Bringing Chinese over to work in the big factories they’re gonna build. Will have housing, schools, etc built for the kids. An entire Chinese town here in the US. Maybe some Americans can get work there cleaning their houses for them. Doing laundry, etc.


  186. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Yes, it is much easier to subvert this country from within, just ask the Muslims.


  187. 191 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Frank Wren via DOB: β€œThis year we were around $94 million or $95 million,” he said. β€œWe’re going to probably increase a little bit this coming year. We’ve been creeping [up] with our revenue. As our revenue goes up, they’ve given us the ability to ride that revenue up a little bit, as well.”


  188. 192 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Dan Hayes of Comcast SportsNet:

    Asked where he’d ideally like to land, [A.J.] Pierzynski acknowledge he loves the White Sox. The Florida-native also mentioned the Tampa Bay Rays. But his dream would be to play for the Atlanta Braves, though Pierzynski acknowledged it’s not a realistic option because the team recently picked up veteran Brian McCann’s 2013 option.

    β€œIn a perfect situation, if there were no other deciding factors (money, another catcher), my ideal situation would be to play for the Braves,” Pierzynski said. β€œI grew up a Braves fan. That would be ideal, but with Brian McCann I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

    He just won his 4th Silver Slugger award last night coming off a 27 HR, 77 RBI, .278 AVG season. Wonder if he could play LF? πŸ™‚


  189. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Look, I contend is Ryan Klesko could play left field, anyone can. It’s like it use to be in little league, put the fat kid in right field… Of course, eventually the ball will find you.

    Like finding a lace for Matt Holliday to play, but different.

    When you are on a budget, it is pretty tough to have an appetite for high dollar sports cars when what you need is a pick up truck.

    My only hope is when the Braves unload Hanson as a trade in, the other folks don;t look under the hood too closely. Do they still pack the third member with sawdust?


  190. 194 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    How about this:

    Pagan (S)
    Prado (R)
    JHey (L)
    Swisher (S)
    Free (L)
    Mac (L) / Danny (R)
    Danny (R) / Ross (R)
    Simmons (R)

    This is my power lineup. And I think you’ll see Danny-boy return to his career numbers this season. He hasn’t forgotten how to hit, and he wouldn’t be the first batter to have a bad season and return to form. As long as he’s healthy, I think he’ll be back to his 30 HR self. If that happens, you gotta move him up in the order.

    Span (L)
    Victorino (S)
    JHey (L)
    Prado (R)
    Free (L)
    Mac (L) / Danny (R)
    Danny (R) / Ross (R)
    Simmons (R)

    This is my speed lineup. I like it. Less HR’s, but they’ll drive some pitchers nuts. And there’s still some power in there, too. I think I may like this one better. It seems more balanced. Lotsa speed at the top, and run producers in the middle. Can you imagine the number of fastballs JHey would see with Span and Victorino on the basepaths?

    Late Friday afternoon dreaming, but it’s fun… πŸ˜€


  191. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Can you imagine the number of fastballs JHey would see with Span and Victorino on the base paths?

    Yes, and I realize Freeman will still only see one, given his propensity (blog first) to swing at the first pitch he sees (or not)…

    Funny, but Prado has never been solid on the base paths, that is likely the only weakness in his game. I don’t know that he is all that slow, at least not BMac slow but he does not appear to get good reads off of pitchers.

    Simmons would add a lot more speed at the top but he still has to prove he can hit major league pitching. He looked promising but his injury set him back and a lot of rookies get to see a lot of fastballs until they prove they can hit them.


  192. 196 berigan2electricboogaloo November 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    now baseball…meh…I’m trying to care about the trivial again..
    Ok, if we sign Swisher we have to give up a pick to the Yanks. Is he worth that?
    Span worries me. I know from watching baseball tonight for years that he’s a human highlight reel in the outfield. but, did “you” know that he has played 128 or less games in 3 of the last 5 seasons? Less than 100 games in 2 of the last 5 seasons. Stole 6 bases in 2011, 17 bases last year. So…is he really a base stealing threat? (By the way, Prado stole…17 bases last year!)He’s 29 next Feb. We would have him for 2 whole seasons. Is he worth Delgado or Tehran? Flyin’ Hawaiian, makes more sense to me…



  193. 197 berigan2electricboogaloo November 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Well, I see bourn turned down the Braves qualifying offer, so the braves will get a pick for him, forgot about that…so less of a deal losing a pick for Swisher…


  194. 198 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    A surprise to see that David Ross signed a 2 year deal to play in Boston next season… I did not see that one coming…


  195. 199 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    All kinds of twist a turns happening. Goes to show what can happen when you take your eyes off the ball, even for a split second.


  196. 200 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I can’t blame Ross for going to greener pastures. $6.5 mil for 2 years, double what he made in four years as a Brave. I can also see how the Braves would not be willing to spend that much on a back up guy.

    Evan Gattis has to see a huge door of opportunity opening before him. The spot is there for the taking if you ask me.


  197. 201 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    That’s like finding a turd in your Frosted Flakes. Braves were counting on Ross big time with Mac on the shelf for at least the first month. That throws a big ol’ monkey wrench in the works. It also distracts Frank from the main task of fleshing out 2.3 of the outfield. 😐


  198. 202 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    2.3 2/3 😳


  199. 203 berigan2electricboogaloo November 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I would call David Ross the most important backup though…you can get by at other positions…face it, he is a better all around catcher than McCann, even at his age…but if the braves can’t come up with 3.25 million when we don’t even know if/when McCann will catch…they will have to pay someone else that amount…that likely isn’t as good.
    Francona called Ross the best back up catcher in the game…
    Gil, hopefully, Gattis is ready. And they will give him a shot. Still going to need a backup..


  200. 204 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Yep, a back-up for the back-up. Just goes to show what can happen when you take things for granted.

    The Red Sox are nobody’s fool. They know they have to rebuild and Bobby Valentine was not going to be a guy who could get the most out of a shuffled deck. I wonder how Salty figures into their future plans?

    There are some journeyman catchers out there, I look for the position to be filled in the spring rather than early in the process.


  201. 205 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Knowing Ross could get a lucrative 2-yr. deal elsewhere, Braves have spent past couple weeks talking to other backup catchers on the FA mkt— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 10, 2012


  202. 206 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I wonder how Salty figures into their future plans?

    The way I read it, Ross is going to be the right handed part of what will essentially be a catching platoon with Salty. Salty’s splits against LHP was ghastly. It really is a good situation for Ross – he gets a nice 2 year deal to set his family up, and he gets more playing time. It’s a great deal for Boston because they get a guy who will probably terrorize the Green Monster, and at the same time be an extremely valuable mentor to their young catchers.

    Win/win. What can you say?

    Well, there are a handful of veteran BUC;s out there, so it’s just a matter of sifting through the pile now. Personally, I like Ronny Paulino.


  203. 207 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    All that said, Ken Rosenthal believes that the Bosox might have signed Ross to enable them to include Salty in a potential trade for a much needed 1B. Interesting…


  204. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    The thing about Boston is they think they are the Yankees, or should be. I think they developed a little bit of Orioles syndrome with too many prima donnas in the locker room. Their biggest mistake was firing Terry Francona, especially replacing him with Bobby Valentine.


  205. 209 Carolina Lady November 11, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Gil, in some places a high-dollar sports car IS a pickup truck. πŸ˜€

    How many millions does it take to take care of one family? I’ve always wondered that. I know how to take care of one family with a minute fraction of that amount! πŸ™‚


  206. 210 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

    It’s all about life styles and how that person perceives they should be able to live. I was always told “a person will aspire to the level to which they are comfortable”. The sad thing is how some folks can squander money away and never know how it happened.

    Oh well, life is what it is.

    Now, more baseball…. sigh, more thumb twiddling going on here…..


  207. 211 Carolina Lady November 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    The only thing baseball related I have found is the Annual Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Tournament here. Jerry Royce is one of the attendees with Joe Morgan, Vida Blue, etc. The article says there are about 30 of them, but only names these three. (Must be top level guests, huh?) πŸ™‚


  208. 212 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    It is so early in the Hot Stove season… so much yet to happen. Yet, when one of the first salvos fired takes away one of your key pieces, it makes it hard to be patient.

    Gotta take deep breaths.

    Gotta find more coffee… 😯


  209. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Yes wrinkled one, leading from behind again… Baseball players are like wives, you just cannot allow them to feel like they are not appreciated. I’m pretty sure David Ross took a look at the disparity between his and BMac’s contract and realized he was always going to be the ugly older sister in this scenario.

    So… The Braves have to depend on their pitching corps to get them through the first couple of months so they do not get too far behind the Phillies and the Nationals.

    By the way, I do not expect the Phillies to fall off the cliff like they did last year. I expect them to be much more like the club we saw the last couple of months when the scared the heck out of a lot of clubs.


  210. 214 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 8:40 am

    According to DOB yesterday afternoon:

    While #Braves have interest in T.Hunter, he’s spent career in AL and seems likely to stay there unless ATL outbids likes of BOS, DET, TEX— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) November 12, 2012

    But according to MLBTR last night, Hunter himself says:

    “I’m open,” Hunter said. “If the National League has a team that’s going to win, I’m all for it.”

    Hunter has already spoken with his close friend Jason Heyward about the Braves, who are a clear fit for the former Gold Glover. As Miller notes, Hunter grew up in Arkansas watching the Braves on a regular basis.

    OK…he’s 37, and obviously not a long term answer in LF, likely getting a 2 year deal. But if Gattis is coming along the way that is reported, do we want long term commitment in LF? Hunter might not be such a bad guy to have out there, as well as to have in the locker room. I’m keeping my eye on that one…


  211. 215 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Scott Miller, CBSSports.com:

    As the free-agent outfielder [Torii Hunter] prepares for life after the Angels, he has 13 or 14 teams checking in with him.

    Of those, the Tigers, Rangers and Braves are among the most aggressive, according to CBSSports.com sources.


  212. 216 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Mr. O’B regarding Michael Bourn’s potential replacement:

    An ideal replacement, both in terms of player type and cost, might be Minnesota’s Denard Span, who is good with the glove, if not the Gold Glove-caliber defender that Bourn is. He’s also a leadoff hitter, not the base-stealer or dynamic presence Bourn often is, but maybe a steadier hitter in terms of average and OBP (.284 and .357 in parts of five seasons).

    He’s twice had 10 triples in a season, and Spann, 28, is under contract at an affordable $4.75 million in 2013 and $6.5 million in 2014, with a $9 million team option for 2015.

    Plus – and this is a big one – the Twins need in trade what the Braves have a surplus of: young starting pitching. And last week, Wren said the Braves might use pitching in a trade to fill at least one of their lineup needs. He and Twins GM Terry Ryan met during the meetings last week.

    OK… I’m sold. Get ‘er done.


  213. 217 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

    So we see what the salary cost for Span is, without speculation. Hunter will probably get the 2-year/$20MM that is projected, and likely a little more. And while Hunter has primarily been a CF throughout his career, and RF more recently, he could easily slide over to LF and give the Braves another formidable defensive OF once again.

    Here’s my concern… while Hunter does make sense for the Braves on several levels, his power numbers for 2012 were 16 HR / 92 RBI / .817 OPS.

    Do we need more pop out of LF? Who really has 30 HR power anymore? Nick Swisher only had 24 HR, and only 4 more RBI than Hunter. What does that say for his HR’s?

    So do you really have to have 30 HR’s out there? Maybe Hunter keeps you balanced. And if you get a bounce back 20+ HR from Uggla (c’mon, folks… he isn’t THAT bad), wouldn’t you still have enough power?

    I love the idea of Span in CF… LOVE IT. He makes sense on several levels. But LF still baffles me. I like Hunter. I like Swisher. I even like Victorino.

    But I love Span in CF. The more I read and study that move, the more I like it.


  214. 218 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:23 am


    Free agent outfielder Torii Hunter told MLB Network on Monday morning that he’s going to wrap up a decision about where to sign quickly, and a source indicated that the timeframe is about two weeks.

    Hunter, 37, is a nine-time Gold Glove winner coming off one of his finest seasons. He batted .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBIs for the Los Angeles Angels, who did not extend a qualifying offer to him. Because of that, any team that signs Hunter would not have to surrender a draft pick.

    I am warming to the idea…


  215. 219 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

    The thing about having a bopper in left field, one must remember this is the post steroid era. There are just not as many boppers as there once was and guys like swisher have been aided in their homerun totals by the shortened dimensions of their home fields.

    Now, that is not to say you don’t want a punch a judy hitter out there when those positions are normally filled by guys who play short and center. Atlanta is more of a gap hitter type of park. Hunter can still fill that role.

    As for base stealers, I think I would just as soon have smart base runners on my roster. Sometimes stolen bases take the bat out of the hands of the bopper coming up behind them.

    The Braves already have a couple of Marquee guys on their roster, I don’t think Tori Hunter is a Marquee guy any longer but he is solid and adds over all speed to your line up. To be honest, I think I would settle for a couple of guys who can drive in runs with a well placed single as opposed to someone always trying to hit a 5 run homer everytime they come up to bat.

    It has almost become the fastest way to end a Braves rally is by loading the bases.


  216. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    NL Cy Young finalist do not include Kimbrel. I hope he makes them pay next year…


  217. 221 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm


  218. 222 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    80 days and counting…


  219. 223 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Morosi: Braves interested in free agent Cody Ross

    Big surprise, huh? JPM isn’t exactly shocking the world with this one… πŸ™„



  220. 224 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    For me, I prefer Torii Hunter and all he brings to the table. But he is in Detroit today, and apparently there is alot of mutual interest there.

    As for anyone else on the FA market, Ross is a better option to me than Shane Victorino. While Ross’ numbers were a bit inflated last year playing in Fenway (much like Ludwick in the Great American Smallpark), he is still in his prime years. We’d definitely be catching Victorino on the downhill side.

    Honestly, there isn’t a “perfect” fit for us, but Hunter looks good by the eye test. I think Ross would give you some good games, but he hides for stretches sometimes as well. One thing about him, though… good clubhouse guy. He always leaves it all on the field. We could certainly do worse.


  221. 225 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    well, good ol’ att uverse has been down for (or was down rather) for about 36 hours, so really playing catch up…


  222. 226 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    still haven’t read all the good stuff above…who hits with RISP and who can actually hit a fly back with runners on???


  223. 227 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Wow… just wow. Talk about a blockbuster deal! 😯


  224. 228 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I am trying to sort out all of the players being swapped between Miami and Toronto…


  225. 229 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Per JPM: “As it stands now, the Marlins will send right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, and catcher John Buck for shortstop Yunel Escobar, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Justin Nicolino, outfielder Jake Marisnick, catcher Jeff Mathis, and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.”

    Holy crap!


  226. 230 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm


  227. 231 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Ya think? How about the Miami taxpayers who are gonna be paying for that circus of a ballpark down there? How about the season ticket holders? Once again, their joke ownership sticks it to South Florida.

    Seriously, I am not in love with Liberty Media, but they haven’t been awful. They sure haven’t pulled any crap like this. Can’t blame Stanton one iota for feeling the way he is expressing above.


  228. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Okay, who can the Braves trade to Florida for Stanton?


  229. 233 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    ESPN headline: Fish Gutted

    Gotta admit, that’s a good ‘un… πŸ˜†


  230. 234 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Speaking of Stanton, the dude smacked 37 dingers last season, but had only 87 RBI. How did he do that?


  231. 235 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Holy Toledo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 80 that is some trade! In case you didn’t no that! πŸ™„
    I’m sure Bud Selig will do the right thing and void that trade. I kill myself. πŸ˜‰
    But, like you said V, if Liberty did something like this, every one of us would root for another team til a sane owner took the braves over again.

    I hope Stanton demands a trade. I would. I’d rather not play for a season, than play for a team that will lose 110+ games. (If I was him, me, to play in the bigs, I’d suffer thru that)
    37HR, 87RBIs, those are Adam Dunn like numbers. Well, Stanton was hurt a lot last year, played on only 123 games. And being injured so much, naturally, he could barely develop any power. πŸ˜‰


  232. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Tough hitting three run homers when there is no one on base ahead of you.

    So, the Marlins, the guy is all about the deal. He is not in it for the sport but in it to make money, which incredibly, he is doing by pocketing the revenue sharing paid into by clubs like the Yankees.

    I’m thinking Escobar will fit right in with that head case of an owner.

    Congrats to Davey Johnson, he earned every accolade for being able to put up with the Learners in D.C.


  233. 237 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 7:03 am


  234. 238 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Delta is waiting when he is…


  235. 239 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amusing that if the Braves were to sign Cody Ross, they’d look more like the Marlins than do the Marlins? πŸ˜€


  236. 240 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Torii Hunter is off the board…



  237. 241 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    2 years, $26MM. The market is now set for for Ross, Pagan, etc…


  238. 242 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Honestly, that’s a little higher that I expected. I expected closer to $10MM per year. Might mean that the $6-8MM most expect Ross to get could creep higher as well. Frank needs to get a deal done for Span and reassess his resources.


  239. 243 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm



  240. 244 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Man, that is as nasty looking as John Smotz’s shoulder the night he pitched his last playoff game against the Astros.

    To be honest, I think a centerfielder has to be Wren’s priority. There are a couple of kids in the pipeline but still a few years off.

    Patornicky is a long term candidate but I think the Braves would really like to have a couple of bona fide big leagues because the loss of Chipper Jones in the middle of the line up is huge.


  241. 245 Carolina Lady November 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Dear lord, that is a horrible bruise! Wow.

    I know the Hot Stove has barely begun to warm up, but I sure wish the Braves’ issues were done before all the “good ones” are taken. *sigh* Money, money, money. Anybody got a printing press?? πŸ˜€


  242. 246 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    CL, Chipper should have put that photo out when he was injured, as there were a lot of know it alls that thought he was a big baby for not playing with it….


  243. 247 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Torii is in a perfect place. If he hits 2nd, again he will see a ton of fastballs in front of Price and Cabrerra…and can DH once twice a week…
    Oh well, hopefully someone good is soon to arrive…we do still need 2 outfielders, correct?


  244. 248 Carolina Lady November 15, 2012 at 1:09 am

    It makes me a little nervous to think about trading our starting pitching. Last year, at the beginning we were feeling fat in that department. A few weeks later (it seemed) we were looking for anybody who could get the ball to the plate in less than 1 bounce.


  245. 249 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 8:20 am


  246. 250 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 8:21 am

    That would have been a nice tandem… 😦


  247. 251 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 10:38 am


  248. 252 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Good news. That’s a solid if not flashy signing. Laird will make a fine BUC, and has starting experience. Job #1 is now done, and Frank can now concentrate on BJ Upton full bore.


  249. 253 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

    His slash line for last season was .282/.337/.374 over 191 PA’s. And he bats righty to Mac’s lefty. Good compliment.


  250. 254 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Ha ha ha…

    I saw this on a message board regarding this report: “Viva Los Barves”


    Los Barves. You can bet I’ll roll that one out alot. πŸ˜€


  251. 255 berigan2electricboogaloo November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Like the Gerald Laird signing(If/when it happens)
    BJ Upton…not so sure…has hit .246 or lower the last 4 seasons. (yet he somehow hit .300 in 2007!) struck out 169 times last year.
    Where exactly does he hit? Leadoff? OBP under .300. His 28 Homers would have lead the braves last year.
    I worry a bit about his character too…hopefully those issues are behind him. How many years are they going to have to go out for him? 4-5? 6? 😯


  252. 256 berigan2electricboogaloo November 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    CL, I know what you mean. “we” seem to be doing a better job than before in developing starters, but the two Latin boys, they are/were supposed to be the best of the best. The kind of guys you really want on the hill when the playoffs start. hard throwers>soft tossers come playoff time, 9 times out of 10. So, you’d better get a teams best hitting prospect, not just a “controllable” average CF for 2 years.


  253. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Afternoon folks, who was the Tiger hitter who was injured in spring training last year that forced Cabrera to be moved to third base. It was not Brandon Inge but a guy who was supposed to be a big bat. I keep wondering what happened to him.

    Also who is Tori Hunter going to replace on the Tiger’s roster?

    Laird has a pretty good resume’. I think he will be a good fit for the Braves. I hope he likes hot weather. I think the heat and humidity in Georgia has an impact on where a player is willing to sign. It also has an impact on their ability to go deep in games. Just ask Hudson about that one.

    The Upton brothers are from the same neighborhood as Michael Vick. That should give you a clue as to their personality. Just saying.


  254. 258 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Miggy moved across the diamond because the Tigers unloaded the Brinks truck into Prince’s bank vault.


  255. 259 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Okay, forgive me for being confused, I was thinking the Tigers made the big signing because one of their boppers was hurt and out for the season. My memory is not what it should be today. Feeling the onset of early oldtimers disease.

    Maybe I should just lie down and take a nap….


  256. 260 berigan2electricboogaloo November 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Gil, you are not as confused as you thought you were! (I was thinking you were suffering a bit of confuzzlement…at first then the fuzzy gray cells started to fire when I read your last post) Victor Martinez , catcher/1st baseman/DH , who hit .330 and drove in 103 RBI’s in 2011, blew out his ACL in spring training. Prince became their “backup” plan. Must be nice to have an owner who really wants to win!
    Man, forgot all about him…what a difference a year makes. Austin Jackson leading off(Only real outfielder they had it appears)Torii will likely bat 2nd as he did with the Angels, and will see nothin’ but fastballs with 2 great hitters behind him as was the case with the CALIFORNIA Angels. Then the best hitter in the game, Miggy C(don’t know if they call him that, they should if they don’t) Then Prince, Victor…then, drops off a bit, Infante, Jhonny Peralta…ok, that’s enough on the Tigers! πŸ˜‰


  257. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thank Ber, I could not find the answer in my quick search for an answer. I guess my question was, who did he make unnecessary on the Tigers’ roster an I guess the answer is Laird.


  258. 263 Carolina Lady November 16, 2012 at 12:45 am

    So many names floating around, I’m not sure of my own now! πŸ˜€


  259. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Yes CL, It is a bit of the silly season when you are looking for the right combination of players to make up your team. The deal is this, everyone is even right now, or maybe not. After all, some are a lot more equal than others. It only takes one torn ACL or torn laburnum to completely ruin a team’s season.

    Interesting article on Nick Ahmed, a young shortstop who played in the fall league this season. At 6-3 and 200 pounds, one would think he may well grow into a third baseman.

    Braves also stated the possibility of moving him to second, think Ugla would take one for the team and move to left field?


  260. 265 Voice of Raisins November 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I think by the time Ahmed is ready, Danny boy may be at the end of his contract… or at least close enough to move to an AL team…


  261. 266 Carolina Lady November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Remember back when you could recite the names on the rosters of almost every team? Without the benefit of TV games, I have trouble keeping up with that of the Braves. πŸ˜€


  262. 267 Gil in Mechanicsville November 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I sometimes forget, players are all moving targets…. Trying to keep up with who you can keep and who you will have to unload. Maybe Loria has the right idea, just unload anyone who makes over a million per year. Perhaps they can start a AAAA league for such teams as the Astros, the Pirates, the Marlins, the Athletics and anyone else who would need to keep their payroll under $40 million per year. Just saying, it is tough for the have nots to keep up with the haves. Fans get pretty irate when owners are not willing to be held hostage by agents and even when they are but it’s not their team…

    Oh well, keep up with the names of players on team rosters. ? Heck, I cannot even keep up with the names of all my grand kids….


  263. 268 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    CL, I do! I think when there were fewer teams(Colorado, Tampa) that helped me for some reason too. I used to know all the back up catchers on all teams, even though I rarely saw the AL teams on TV. Read the paper and looked at scores every day, HAD to have the afternoon paper to get them all, including west coast games.
    Today, I will hear about some reliever from the AL, hear he’s supposed to be really good, say to myself, how good can he be if I’ve never heard of him? Then I see he has a 1.95 ERA and then say, how come I’ve never heard his name when I watch baseball tonight almost every night?
    Like most problems in sports, it’s ESPN’s fault! πŸ˜‰


  264. 269 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Hey, I saw I still had the last regular season game in Pittsburgh still on the ol’ DVR, anyone want a copy?


  265. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Thanks for thinking of us Ber but I have a hard time watching games a second time, that and reading a book a second time. One of my quirks I guess.


  266. 271 Carolina Lady November 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Well, ever how many millions he had were apparently not enough. wow…

    Prosecutors want 2 1/2-year prison term for Dykstra
    The Associated Press
    Published: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 12:30 a.m.

    “LOS ANGELES – Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are asking that former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra serve a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.

    Prosecutors said in court documents filed Thursday that a 30-month sentence is appropriate for Dykstra because he has acted as if he was above the law for years.

    Dykstra could face 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in July to charges that he hid and sold sports memorabilia and other items which were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing.

    Dykstra is currently serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

    He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3.”


  267. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    My, how the mighty have fallen…


  268. 273 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    “Mighty” is a relative term. πŸ˜‰


  269. 274 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

    True that…


  270. 275 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    It would appear that we have hit “the dead zone” in the early Hot Stove season. Most likely, there will not be alot of news made between now and the Winter Meetings in 2 weeks. Folks are just taking their time, gauging interest, and waiting for the big gathering in Nashville in hopes of starting some bidding wars.

    Nothing Frank can do here but wait on his quarry to be on the move. It still appears as though BJ Upton is tops on Frank’s Christmas list. That’s fine with me, but you better find a leadoff candidate somewhere else. BJ ain’t it.

    On the flip side, he would give you a 2nd legitimate 30/30 guy in your OF. You gotta like that.

    I think that Frank is pushing hard for Upton… just a gut feeling from the things I have read. There has to be Plans B, C, etc., but by all accounts, BJ is Plan A and by a long shot.

    As for BJ’s brother, ARI now says there is a “very high likelihood” that they will not trade Justin. I call BS on that one. That is a posturing ploy only. They have dangled him too hot and heavy already this offseason to pull him back now. They want young pitching, but they also want a SS. They won’t get both, and I believe they now realize it. But we have the pitching, so I would not shelf that idea just yet.

    As for other trade possibilities, Dexter Fowler’s home/away splits are pretty discouraging, seemingly aided by the altitude in Denver. I say move on. As for Denard Span, well… he is the “prototypical leadoff hitter”, but not really eye popping. I suppose I could live with it if you make a bigger splash along with it, but it better be alot bigger. If Span is the highlight of the offseason shopping, we have issues.

    And for some reason, every “expert” still has Los Barves ( πŸ˜† ) in the mix for Josh Hamilton. I can’t see it, but I suppose stranger things have happened. I like the guy, and he is a huge talent, but his annual check would clog up the Braves’ payroll for too many years. I’ll pass. I’ll bet Frank does too. You just cannot have 1 dude taking up 25% of your budget. It doesn’t make any sense at all. Maybe they could just print up some more $$ to spend. It works for the White House…

    Anyway, many balls in the air now for sure. Several will land in a couple of weeks. I hope the ones that land on Capital Avenue are good’uns.


  271. 276 Carolina Lady November 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    “I hope the ones that land on Capital Avenue are good’uns.” I think all of us would agree, V! I’d love to see a real TEAM on the field, a legitimate contender, for a change. As high as hopes are at the beginning of the season, most of the time, I don’t see that “look” in the eyes of the players. It is as if they look around and realize that they aren’t quite good enough to make it. During the few games I could see last year, I always liked the camera shots in the dugout. The expressions on their faces say so much, regardless of what the score may be. Just my thoughts. Goooo Barves!! πŸ˜€


  272. 277 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Let it be noted that even though my post is shown at 3:50pm, it actually posted at 2:50pm. Like this one, which will show at 5:07pm when it is actually 4:07pm EST. Why is this important?

    Because Mr. O’B posted this at 3:21pm. It parallels my earlier post. I just wanted it noted that I was here first. πŸ˜€



  273. 278 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    So I was a minute off. Sue me… πŸ˜‰


  274. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    And it Carroll Rogers… Still, all good points Raisins. I thought Frank played it well however, just keep all your options open until they disappear. I’m pretty sure the Braves will not be willing to outspend other teams but they can out class them.


  275. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Morning all, I was sitting here at the old CPU and thinking about the Braves and their current plight in signing a new centerfielder, anyone else remember when multi-million, multi-year contracts were reserved for guys who would hit 30 homeruns and drive in 100 runs a year? Man. how times have changed. I guess a million bucks just does not go as far as it once did.

    Think about it, how long has it been since the Braves has had a guy who drove in 100 runs in a season? I’m thinking it has not been for lack of opportunity of having guys on base. The Braves seem to always have guys on base. Problem has been getting them home.

    The lost art of situational hitting one would think. Same could be said for situational base running. One has to wonder if guys are being rushed to the big leagues so quickly they do not have time to make those mistakes in the minors and to learn those lessons.

    I wonder how much better a player Francoure could have been if he had played another season and a half in the minors? Just throwing it out there…

    Another opine is if a player toils in the minors an extra year if he might not take playing in the majors a little less for granted. You know, like having your kids appreciate money by more by having to actually earning it? Just saying…


  276. 281 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

    OK… gonna pose a question here, because I really would like to know y’all’s opinion on this. As you know, I do not advocate pursuing Josh Hamilton simply because even as talented as he is, the salary he will command would be a huge drag on the payroll.


    Would he draw fans to The Ted? He is a perennial All-Star. He’s an exciting player for sure. Would he bring some star quality back to Atlanta? As crazy as it sounds, Chipper was our star, but folks just got “used” to having him around. He didn’t draw fans to the park until he announced that he was leaving, for cryin’ out loud. But the attendance did increase last season slightly, and that increase is actually the direct reason for the slight bump in payroll this year. That came from the source himself, Terry McGuirk.

    So my question is: would a guy like Hamilton essentially pay for himself by increasing attendance to Braves home games? If Frank has around $15MM earmarked annually for BJ Upton, the difference is only $10MM per season for Hamilton. It would appear that last season’s attendance bump gave us about a $5MM salary bump, so one could therefor assume…

    I know… assuming is dangerous business. But why else would Frank continue to keep Hamilton’s name in the mix? In past off-season’s he would have already given an emphatic “No way.”

    It does make a raisin wonder…


  277. 282 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    All that said, I still believe the top of the order is the most important thing we can improve this off-season. When Bourn was getting on base at a torrid pace, the Braves were scoring runs at a torrid pace. But when he went cold… well, it’s well documented. That’s why I am ready to just let him go on to another team. He was great at times, but inconsistent. Denard Span is NOT a star, but he gets on base and can steal a base when necessary. If you have your leadoff guy and Prado getting on base, you’ll have JHey seeing alot more fastballs. That is a formula for success. Then imagine having BJ Upton hitting behind JHey…

    Span is under contract for $4.75MM in 2013, $6.5MM in 2014, and has a $9MM team option for 2015. He would let you sign BJ Upton without hampering the budget, and would leave some $$ leftover to improve the bench and add another veteran to the bullpen.


  278. 283 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I keep trying to get excited about BJ Upton. someone made a point in the comments on that thread linked above(no really, must have been a new feller) when he said, folks are just going to love watching high Batting average folks like Uggla and Upton strike out with the bases loaded over and over.
    One plus I see with Upton is out of the AL East and that stadium with no fans, and a team like the Rays that if you don’t look at their pitching staff, had the offense of a last place team last year…that would have to help him…
    but, like Frenchy, he was rushed to the bigs and like Frenchy(just without as much of a dropoff) isn’t the hitter he was 5-6 years ago.

    V, interesting point! If we get Upton and he hits .233 and gets 15 mil a year, strikes out all the time…fans are going to get on him. He isn’t going to like that, and that will make for a LONG 5 year contract.
    IF we got Span(my main concern was he missed more games than Chipper the last few years) and “we” were going to pay roughly 30 mil a year for 2 guys(Say Torii Hunter and BJ Upton) why not 5 mil + 25+ for a true superstar, if admittedly a streaky one?
    And who knows, perhaps if you can go down to 20 Mil for an extra year, say 6, do you consider it??? Or paying more at the end of the contract? I don’t know, just spitballin’ but heck, isn’t it fun to at least feel like there is a chance to get the top hitter out there???? πŸ™‚


  279. 284 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Funny thing about Upton… his strikeout numbers have gone up, and his AVG has come down, but it’s mainly due to him becoming more and more a power hitter and less a true contact hitter. But “chicks dig the longball”, right? And his 169 K’s were only 14 more than Bourn’s 155. I’d rather have the K’s from my HR threat more so than from my table setter.


  280. 285 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Oh, and his 28 HR’s would have led the team, and his 78 RBI would be 3rd on last year’s Barves. So for clarification, he had 169 K’s, but 28 HR’s and 78 RBI. By comparison, JHey had 152 K’s to go with his 27 HR’s and 82 RBI. Pretty similar numbers as far as run production goes. And from the right side of the plate. That would make quite a 3-4 combination, in my view.

    I still like him…


  281. 286 Carolina Lady November 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    pssst, Raisins……I fixed the time setting. Y’all are going to have to remind me about it because I never remember it until I read about it. πŸ˜†


  282. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Howdy folks, good points all on the wisdom of how Frank Wren should spend Liberty Media’s money. That said, I believe that FW still throws out Josh Hamiton’s name is just to let everyone think he is open to any option. At least he would not have to give up five future major leaguers for a season and 1/2 rental.

    Sometimes you just have to back load a contract and hope that by the time the guy is no longer affordable, he still has some trade value.

    Just a side note, I noticed LaRoache still has not been signed by the Nationals. I’m thinking the Nats are waiting to see if they are going to be able to Michael Bourne to play center, It would allow them to move some other players around and not increase their payroll significantly.

    All said, the Braves, even with all their problems last year, still had a pretty nice won loss record. Come to think about it, had it not been for the choke job by the one person you would think would not have choked, the Braves well could have been playing the Tigers for the WS title.

    So, nothing will not be done until next week, too many people taking this week to spend on vacation to worry about actually doing their job.


  283. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2012 at 12:42 am

    One more thing, I always worry about player (hitters) when they change leagues. I know there are some players who appear unaffected by the switch but just look at how Pruhols, whom I consider a bonafide superstar, really struggled for 2/3 of the season. I know, it is only one case but it just seems to happen more often that not. If I were Wren, I would make every effort to sign someone with National League experience but then, what do I know, I am, after all, just a blogger….


  284. 289 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I love this from Ken Rosenthal:

    Which center fielder would you rather have?

    Our first entry batted .274 with a .739 OPS last season and ranked first among center fielders in the Fielding Bible plus-minus ratings, according to Bill James Online.

    Our second contestant batted .283 with a .738 OPS and ranked third in the plus-minus ratings, but was much less of a base-stealing threat.

    Pretty close, no?

    Well, center fielder No. 1 is free agent Michael Bourn, and center fielder No. 2 is the Twins’ Denard Span.

    Bourn, who turns 30 on Dec. 27, is a little more than a year older than Span. His career OPS-plus is lower (and in fact, below major league average). But the biggest difference between the two players is the acquisition cost.

    For Bourn, it will be a sizable contract and a high draft pick. For Span, it will be an accomplished starting pitcher, plus his club-friendly deal β€” two years, $11.25 million, plus a $9 million club option for 2015.

    The Twins might not get the package they want, considering that Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan are among the other center fielders available on the open market.

    But if you’re, say, the Braves β€” a team relatively deep in starting pitching β€” Span might represent a more logical play than one of the free agents.


  285. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    So, do you think the Twins would favor someone like Mike Minor or would they prefer one of the kids. Unfortunately, Tommy Hanson’s trade value is somewhere short of a couple of season passes in the bleachers of some team’s Triple A affiliate.

    One has to wonder if the Braves will be willing to pay upwards of $5 million for a guy who has some serious flaws. If ever a pitcher needed his fastball to stay around 92mph, Hanson is he.

    I would not be surprised to see Sean Gilmartin as part of a trade package. He is approaching the point where he only has one potential opening to play for on the Braves’ staff.

    So. two weeks to go until the rule 5 draft, that is MLB version of Black Friday.


  286. 291 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    And another thought on how much of a draw a player like Josh Hamilton could be verses someone like the Upton brothers. I am sure that is factored into the equation when trying to determine a player’s over all value. I’m sure agents use it all the time. Flip it around a bit and ask, how many people could the Braves expect to draw if they traded for a player like Mike Stanton? Which would you rather see. really?

    Hamilton’s value is in Texas more than any other venue. The problem is a player becomes passe’ far too soon for most occasional fans.

    Great hitters fail far more often that they succeed and the margin of success is really pretty miniscule between the good and the great. I think it is the physiological edge a team full of good hitters brings that makes them successful. The odds that a lineup full of good hitters will mean that at least one of those hitters will do some damage increases so that an opposing pitcher becomes fatigued a little more quickly.

    I think that is why fielding is so important. Say what they will, having a team full of shoddy fielders is very fatiguing for a pitcher because he feels he has to be perfect. Few pitchers are capable of putting up Maddux like numbers every game. Even then, they still only pitch in about one fifth of the games played in a season.

    Hummm, how did I end up talking about pitchers when this started out as an opine about hitters?


  287. 292 Carolina Lady November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Good thoughts, guys. I don’t know much about Upton, but something inside me says “No” about him on “our” team. I sure wouldn’t want him negatively influencing our young guys. The Braves have always been high on character – and I like that. Braves have always been associated with “class”. Or am I being too hard on him? πŸ™‚


  288. 293 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I don’t recall BJ Upton ever having his character questioned… same for his brother Justin. Maybe I missed it. Really the only perceived negative I can think of is that his AVG and K’s have suffered since his power increased, but that’s true of most (not all, but most) power hitters. At least in the post-steroid era.

    He is not a leadoff hitter anymore… not by a long shot. But he is a good middle of the order power hitter. His 2012 numbers are very similar to those of another good young player, being our own Jason Heyward. Maybe that’s why I like him. He bats righty and would balance our lineup nicely.

    It’s really a matter of relativity, though. He is not a good fit if we don’t pick up another leadoff guy to play LF. Then again, if we were to acquire leadoff specialist Denard Span, which would play CF?

    Now that’s the kind of problem I wish we were trying to solve…


  289. 294 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    V, it was in his past, but he has a bit of Hanley Ramirez in him…
    I owe him a bit of an apology, I thought they had totally whitewashed his throwing a bat at an umpire, but turns out…that was another Tampa player, Delmon Young!

    Gil, the Heat in Texas might play a roll in Josh Hamilton’s streakyness…But it is funny how players screw up switching leagues…heck, Uggla couldn’t hit just moving up from Florida…


  290. 295 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Ballparks have enough quirkiness to them all on their own as it is to really mess with the minds of an already superstitious bunch of ballplayers. Add in unfamiliarity and maybe a haunted hotel or two and you get a guy who can’t hit water falling out of a boat.


  291. 296 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Mr. O’B: “Wren has lot of oars in water.”


  292. 297 Carolina Lady November 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Raisins, I may have him confused with somebody else. I hope so. πŸ™‚

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!!


  293. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving from the staff… πŸ™‚


  294. 299 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
    Serve the Lord with gladness;
    come before Him with joyful songs.
    Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
    He made us, and we are His β€”
    His people, the sheep of His pasture.
    Enter His gates with thanksgiving
    and His courts with praise.
    Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
    For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
    His faithfulness endures through all generations.
    ~Psalm 100:1-5 (HCSB)


  295. 300 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Happy Thanksgiving all. God is good… all the time. πŸ˜€


  296. 301 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone is having a good one! πŸ™‚


  297. 302 Carolina Lady November 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Amen, Raisins! (I keep looking for the Like button…)

    I heard a wonderful sermon on that some time back. To enter into the presence of any royal person here on earth, there is a certain protocol that must be followed, so certainly there is one to enter the presence of the Most High – and Ps 100 tells us how:
    1. Enter His gates with thanksgiving
    2. Enter His courts with praise.
    3. Come before Him with joyful songs
    I’ll always remember that. (Pastor Tommy Tenney)

    Hope everyone enjoyed the day. I took the whole day off from working and it has been so restful and relaxing…..wish I could do it again tomorrow! πŸ˜†


  298. 303 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Thanks to all, especially to Ms Josie who plowed thru yesterday despite being exhausted. A true example of how to keep on moving even when we don’t feel like it.

    Okay, time for the Braves to get serious about signing someone, of course, I suppose Atlanta is just one of many teams waiting for the first player to make their move so the market price will be set and pieces start vanishing off the board.

    It would be curious to know where a player would prefer to play if money were not the deciding factor. Chipper Jones clearly was a guy who played in Atlanta because he wanted to, not because he had to, at least after he was drafted by the Braves and not the Dodgers. I would think, getting along with your boss would be a big factor.


  299. 304 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I do alot of reading on the web regarding our beloved Los Barves, as well as other teams. It appears that the consensus on our shopping list is as follows:

    BJ Upton
    Michael Bourn
    Angel Pagan
    Dexter Fowler
    Denard Span

    It appears that the Phillies’ shopping list is as follows:

    BJ Upton
    Michael Bourn
    Angel Pagan
    Dexter Fowler
    Denard Span

    Isn’t that interesting?

    I suppose the good news there is that regardless if they get Upton or whomever first, we still have choices.


  300. 305 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I would not be surprised to learn the Nationals don’t have the same list and same preferences as the Phillies and Braves. I think it will be up to who gets what first. The only trump card the Braves hold is pitching available for trade.


  301. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    And I will be stunned if Pegan ends up anywhere other than San Fran. A player hates to leave a place where he has success. The praying mantis is another story. He would be a suitable player for the Braves in left field. I doubt he would end up in Atlanta though.


  302. 307 berigan2electricboogaloo November 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Check this out, from MLBTR…
    The Royals have been shopping top prospect Wil Myers but only in exchange for starting pitching, reports Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. Earlier this week, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that Kansas City was known to be at least listening to offers for Myers and top position players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#E0luuglUxpzCrhqf.99

    Check out Wil Myers numbers in the minors, and yes, he did play some CF


  303. 308 Voice of Raisins November 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I predict that the Philthies will give Bourn the $80MM he wants, and that the Braves will give BJ the $75MM he wants. I predict that the Nats will sign Shane Victorino. I predict that the Twins and Rockies will wish they had not had such unreasonable demands for Span and Fowler respectively, especially in a market where there are several CF’s available through FA.


  304. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I would say Victorino is the lesser of the three. He might just be the most Alpha of the three though. It would be interesting to see him reunited with Jason Werth in the Washington outfield.


  305. 310 Voice of Raisins November 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    TBH, I would not mind him in Atlanta, but only as our 2nd pickup, not our big splash. Upton and Victorino would be OK by me.


  306. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville November 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    BBbbrrrrrr…. man, it got cold all of a sudden, someone turn up the heat on the stove!


  307. 312 Voice of Raisins November 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Braves-Phillies in fascinating bidding war for BJ Upton with mystery team…Braves considered in slight lead with final offers due this week— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 25, 2012


  308. 313 Voice of Raisins November 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm


  309. 314 Voice of Raisins November 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm


  310. 315 Voice of Raisins November 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Stay tuned, folks… this is the week for news.


  311. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I can see B J fitting in with the Philadelphia life style. After all, he and Michael Vick are homies. Just saying, that and playing in a venue that allows for him to pad his homerun stats. Then again, the Reds would be attractive for him too as far as home runs are concerned. I did not know the Reds were in the market for a center fielder.

    The next domino to fall would be Bourne…

    I would not be surprised to see Wren pull out the trade card if the Braves do not sign either of those two in a straight up deal.


  312. 317 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

    … or he’ll overpay for Pagan. SF wants Pagan back and Pagan wants to stay, but they are NOT in agreement on the length of contract. I believe he could be swayed to leave by contract numbers. By the way, don’t be surprised to see SF jump into the Bourn sweepstakes.


  313. 318 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Red Sox, Giants, Braves and others in robust Nick Swisher market – Jon Heyman, CBS Sports


    Hmmm… wouldn’t hurt my feelings, but would surprise me.


  314. 319 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Perhaps he is seen by the Braves as the bopper if Upton falls through. They would almost certainly then have to turn to Span or Fowler through trade.


  315. 320 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Braves signed Shane Victorino and Swisher, both being switch-hitters? They could be plugged into CF and LF respectively, as well as leadoff and clean-up. Not sure it would be my first choice, but it would not be a bad option…


  316. 321 berigan2electricboogaloo November 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    V, did you see the sorta vague tweet from DOB that said (it appears) that Upton wasn’t as good a fit as Bourn?


  317. 322 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I saw that, but thought perhaps he was stating it in the perspective of needing a leadoff guy. But maybe not. It seemed odd to me when I saw it. Bourn is better overall defensively, and is a bona fide leadoff guy. But as has been repeated many times, the guy’s game is built around his speed, which will diminish over the length of his contract. I still like him, and he may be a better “fit” for the Braves per se, but his contract demands are higher than the younger Upton’s. Also, Boras almost always holds his FA’s out later in the offseason to maximize their demand and their potential $$. Frank and the Braves FOT’s are on record as saying they want to get their shopping list satisfied by the time they leave the Winter Meetings.


  318. 323 berigan2electricboogaloo November 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I do, and I don’t get the leg thing with leadoff hitters…
    Lou Brock stole 118(His high, and the record til Ricky came around) at 35, stole 56 at the age of 37…
    Ol’ Ricky wasn’t as good at an older age than Lou was, but stole an amazing 66 bases at 39…
    but, they are 1-2 in the record books, right? Some guys can’t run after 33 for some reason…


  319. 324 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    As you intimated, Lou Brock and Ricky Henderson are HOF’ers and exceptions… not the rule.


  320. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Also played in an era of zero drug testing and liberal use of bennies to fight off fatigue associated with travel and day games after night games. Not saying either guy was a doper to the level of Barry Bonds and Roger Roid but still used “stuff” to prolong their self life. Only thing roids couldn’t do was prevent the wear and tear on their knees that came from with playing on surfaces that were essentially asphalt covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting…

    I will not be surprised if the Braves have to settle for plan C or D by the time the dust settles. Disappointed maybe but not surprised.


  321. 326 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Disappointment is being a Mets fan and learning that your team just signed… Brandon Hicks. Yowser…


  322. 327 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

    When the offseason began, [B.J.] Upton seemed to be most interested in landing with the Phillies. But his interest in the Braves seemed to soar after he met with Wren, manager Fredi Gonzalez, former skipper Bobby Cox and others at Turner Field two weeks ago.

    If the Braves sign Upton, they would seemingly still have the financial resources necessary to sign Shane Victorino, Angel Pagan or another free-agent outfielder who would be capable of hitting leadoff. With Pagan being a little more expensive and seemingly on track to return to the Giants, Victorino seems to be the more likely option. – Bowman


    I’m good with all that…


  323. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Money is a powerful draw, it is the compensation we often pick over happiness… The question one has to ask of themselves is, “After my family’s needs are taken care of. how much more do I really need?”

    In life, the one true constant is things will change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not but change they surly will.. I guess the thing that allows us to cope with that change is the ability to adapt.

    I see B J as that sort of person. When his endeavor began and he was flattered by all of the attention, his thoughts were obviously on how much money he would make, after all,, today’s player often measure their own self worth by the number of dollars they command. It is an arcane way of keeping score by it is a way.

    Perhaps Upton saw something else when he was courted by the Braves, a place where he and his family could be really happy. Perhaps an environment where his kids could grow up safe and a little less chance of being influenced by a negative force.

    We should find out this week I would think.


  324. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Did anyone else see the piece on Evan Longoria signing a long term deal with the Rays? Perhaps he saw the benefits of being a bit more like another third baseman by taking a little less money in order to be surrounded by better players. I had the opportunity to see Longoria play in Triple A before I knew who he was. I did however see what he was as a ballplayer and remarked to Ms Josie of how I thought he had the potential to be a star. Yep, he was that good.



  325. 330 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Yep. Gil… I did see that. I’ll tell ya, it makes me look at NY and see how difficult a time the Mets seem to be having extending David Wright. It seems to me that perhaps he is forcing his way out via trade. Now, there is no reason to believe they would trade him to another NL East team, so I don’t even entertain that notion, but facing the Mutts without Wright is a prospect I can get on board with. He is the only Braves killer they have left.


  326. 331 Carolina Lady November 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Gil, I hope your thoughts on Upton are correct.

    Raisins, I really hope Wright goes elsewhere. Our Mets killer has retired.



  327. 332 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    David Wright might be one of the few players who would command a large payday that the Braves could (not necessarily would ) justify. He could fill so many holes in the Braves line up. Actually, he would allow for the Braves to use someone like Schafer to play in center field. Sometimes you have to look at it as the big picture vs how much you are spending on a player. Of course this will all be rendered mute when David sings somewhere else.


  328. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Another thought… I do not see a large number of players following Longoria’s lead in signing a long term contract at a reduced rate. I believe his situation was unique to Tampa. His is a situation very similar to Chipper Jones in Atlanta. Those guys don’t come around very often.

    I would think Brian McCain would agree to a similar type of deal but unfortunately, Brian may not have the ability to play another ten years. Much will depend on if BMac can learn to play another position well enough to stay in the line-up when Bethancourt finally makes it to Atlanta.


  329. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I know we are talking long term but I see J Hey bolting to New York at his first opportunity and Freddie Freeman is a California kid, he will want to play for a west coast club. Just saying….

    Prado on the other hand will stay with the Braves as long as they will give him a pass to get in the players’ gate. Just appears to be in his DNA…


  330. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Josie told me you broke the story, great job chief


  331. 338 Voice of Raisins November 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Step 1… CHECK.


  332. 339 Carolina Lady November 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Anybody know if Upton can bunt? The last Brave to be good at it was Greg Maddus.


  333. 341 Carolina Lady November 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    …and REAL chicks dig the ball that moves a runner over! lol


  334. 342 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I gotta say… I am drooling over the prospect of watching JHey and BJ back-to-back in our lineup for the next few years. What a 1-2 punch. He is an ideal #4 guy for our lineup.

    But the job’s not over. If we cannot obtain a quality LF/leadoff, then we will still be flawed. But our lineup 2-8 will be stout and well balanced. That was the beauty of this signing. His RH bat finally brings balance to the middle of our lineup.

    Now… I am of the belief that if necessary, Andrelton could bat leadoff, but he is not the ideal candidate. Ideally he remains at #8 or #7.

    I am willing to bet that Frank really focuses on Denard Span. He does now fit the mold perfectly. Frank has said all along that he wanted to wrap up his big FA signing prior to the Winter Meetings so that he could focus on finalizing the roster while there. Thus far, he has stuck to the plan and done what has been necessary to accomplish his goals. I like that determination. I expect to see a similar determination in Nashville.


  335. 343 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 7:46 am


  336. 344 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 7:58 am

    That will change. Follow me here…

    The Braves’ signing of BJ is the first domino to fall. Now that he has set the market, and shrunk the market, Bourn’s options have been narrowed and better defined.

    Philly and Washington both want him, and both need CF, but word is that since Philly lost their #1 target (BJ), they will now make the “big splash” and go after Josh Hamilton. They may be the only team with the resources to pull it off anyway. That will leave Bourn to Washington or SF, who will in all likelihood simply resign Pagan.

    All that will leave Minnesota holding the bag, or the Span, as the CF buyer’s market begins to close. They need pitching, we have pitching. The 2 teams match up extremely well, but Minnie is holding out for the moon and the stars when in actuality, this transaction should only require the moon. That will become greatly evident as the above mentioned events begin to take shape.

    The only wrinkle is that Bourn’s agent, the infamous Scott Boras, likes to hold his guys out a long time in an effort to maximize their return. Unless Michael takes the lead and wants to pick his destination sooner than later, Minnie could still take their time.

    I believe, though, that with Atlanta, Philly and Washington all being in the same division, Ruben Amaro and Mike Rizzo are not gonna sit around long before making their return shots. Frank taking the lead was critical. I applaud him for being proactive and not reactive.


  337. 345 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I see Brayan Pena has been released. I wonder if he’ll end up in Miami with his buddy Yunel?


  338. 346 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I like BJ’s twitter page. Check out his new avatar…



  339. 347 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I should mention one more thing regarding Minnie and Denard Span. They want pitching for him, and there are only about 4 teams with a perceived surplus of pitching that they could deal. Those are Atlanta, Arizona, Tampa and Seattle. Last I checked, none of those were looking for a OF but Atlanta.


  340. 348 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I always liked Bryan Pena, too bad Bobby didn’t…. I would not be surprised to see him end up in the Miami organization. He is not a bopper but he is a hitter.

    Now BJ… He certainly does change the dynamics doesn’t he? I see Bourne signing for about the same amount. I don’t think Washington feels all that pressed to shell out big bucks for a center fielder. Bernidena has grown into that role quite nicely, I sure would not mind having him on my team.


  341. 349 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Didn’t Freddie Freeman come up as a third baseman in the minors and then moved to first base? I’m pretty sure that if Miggie Cabrara could play at the hot corner, F5 Fredi could too.

    I think the Braves have a lot of options right now. Patornicky could play left field if pressed and could bat in the lead-off spot. So could Schafer. Sometimes it takes a little time for a player to get his head on straight. Think about it, how many 19 yo phenoms play until they are 40 at the same level they did when they were 30? Ten years is about the max as far as I can tell and 5 years seems to be the norm.

    I think Michael Bourne fell in love with the long ball a little too much last season and forgot who and what he was and what got him to the majors to begin with.

    I don’t like it when you have guys with warning track power trying to hit 5 run homers and guys who have real power bunting. Players bunt because they don’t have the power to drive the ball. Egos have messed up more than one ball player.

    Power hitters have lower batting averages because it is the nature of the beast. What I really would like to see is for Braves hitters to be smarter. Take what the pitcher is giving you and go with it, The Braves won 94 games last season despite being awful in their approach in situational hitting.

    Now, in a perfect world, Evan Gattis will come out of the box hotter than a two dollar pistol in spring training and win the left field position by a landslide by hitting with both power and average. Also with the ability to hit the cut-off man but with a catcher’s arm, he should not be deficient in that area. Just saying… It could be the Braves’ own rags to riches story next season….

    After all, isn’t that what baseball is all about? Redemption and perseverance? Would make a great movie…


  342. 350 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I mean, they already did the first half with the old TV show Along Came Bronson… Did the second half with The Rookie .. Hey, it could happen… not likely, but it could.


  343. 351 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    MLBTR: “The center field market will be shaped in part by B.J. Upton’s deal with Atlanta, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wrote today.”

    But you have to be an “insider” to read it. I said the same thing earlier for free, just not with a professional flair. You get what you pay for. πŸ˜€


  344. 352 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Gil, the Braves reportedly still have about $10MM or so to spend on LF, and by all accounts, Frank is gonna use it. I think Terry McGuirk has realized that you have to have more than Juan Francisco and Jordan Schafer to sell tickets to the masses. The traveling Chipper’s Final Roundup show put more butts in the seats and more coin in the coffer than the Ted has seen in recent years. Sometimes it take a little kick in the pants for the FOT’s to understand the cause/effect relationship of the drawing card. BJ was a great step forward. And while Denard Span might make good baseball sense on some levels, Shane Victorino has more brand recognition. And a little trip through his 2012 splits shows that he had his best numbers against the familiar NL East. Now, that said, leadoff was not his most productive spot in the lineup, but he has done it and can do it… especially if it is his “defined role”. He bounced around the lineup card alot last year. That would not happen in ATL. Heck, even I could fill out that lineup card now.

    1. Victorino, LF (S)
    2. Prado, 3B (R)
    3. JHey, RF (L)
    4. BJ, CF (R)
    5. Mac, C** (L) Freddie, 1B (L)
    6. Freddie, 1B (L) Uggie, 2B (R)
    7. Uggie, 2B (R) Laird, C** (R)
    8. Simmons, SS (R)


  345. 353 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Watching the Braves press conference has given me a revelation…

    Frank just said the team’s average age is now 26.8 years old. Wow! That really puts a whole new light on a guy like Victorino to me. Maybe it’s worth spending a Delgado or Teheran for Denard Span, a guy who is only 28 and under contract w/ a team option through 2015. What a stable core of dynamic young players that would make!


  346. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    One thing for sure. that would an outfield that could cover a lot of territory. I cannot remember the exact number but I remember Greg Maddux once saying that any ball hit to the outfield with a hang time greater than 2.3 seconds should be caught. I am not sure if the the time I cited is correct but it is in that neighborhood.


  347. 355 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I was just saying that the Braves are not restricted to looking for an outfielder. Any player with a good stick could be wedged somewhere onto the playing field. I still think moving Uggla into left field should be an option. Sometimes you have to take one for the team. I know Chipper did lots of times.

    I don’t think it would hurt McCann to play a few innings out there either. Just saying…


  348. 356 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Having just watched the press conference, I gotta tell you, I LOVE this guy. What a refreshing thing to see a guy not speak in cliches! He is refreshingly honest and very bright. He’s a smart dude. And I hesitate to use the phrase “well spoken” because I think it paints a stereotype, but he truly is a well spoken man. He exhibited confidence, but humility. That’s a rare combination. My first impression is a… well, a home run. I am excited about seeing #2 in our lineup!


  349. 357 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    After all, any player making $13 million a year can’t be a one trick pony unless it a heck of a trick. BMac should be at least as good as “old” Barry Bonds in the outfield, a better arm least wise…


  350. 358 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Speaking of McCann, I believe BJ’s contract is a clear sign that Mac will play somewhere else in 2014. They just committed major $$, and won’t necessarily have the wiggle room to do it again next off season.

    And the harsh truth is, Mac needs to go somewhere that he can DH some now, and alot later. I love the guy, but he’s breaking down quickly behind the plate.


  351. 359 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Well now… isn’t that an interesting tweet?


  352. 360 Carolina Lady November 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for all the insights, Raisins. I’m especially happy to see that Upton changed his avatar. That really is uplifting. Reading all of your comments, I’m actually looking forward to next year! πŸ˜€


  353. 361 Carolina Lady November 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Gil, great thoughts. Loved the movie reference! πŸ˜€


  354. 362 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    In other words, forget about Shane Victorino… πŸ˜€


  355. 363 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Dadgummit! The stinkin’ Nats just got Span for a minor league pitcher!! Wha?!?!? 😯


  356. 364 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yeah, I saw that, talk about getting a bargain. I wonder if Wren made the Twins mad or something? So, do you think Bourne’s value goes up or down now?


  357. 365 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Only folks still in the market would be the Phillies and maybe Texas but not at 18 mil a year.


  358. 366 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    So, the Twinkies trade Span to the Nats for a kid who had a 10-6 record in class A last year. I must really be missing something….


  359. 367 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I do not get it… at all…


  360. 368 berigan2electricboogaloo November 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I think BJ Upton, playing for Joe Maddon for so many years has to have had an effect on him…sure hope he will walk and hit a bit more here, surely playing in front of more than 3, 4 thousand fans will help get the adrenalin flowing more…
    As for Span being traded for…for, an A ball guy??? Amazing. I sure thought the affordable contract was going to make him worth more. Perhaps the number of games he has missed hurt his value a bit.
    Or, perhaps the braves are going to go for another bopper? Ludwick? Then Prado or Simmons has to bat leadoff…


  361. 369 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Apparently this Alex Meyer kid is a highly touted prospect. I think I read he’s 6’9″? He is supposed to be a big flame-throwing dominator.

    Most think the Twins were a little nuts taking an A ball kid with alot of question marks, but at least one guy I saw referenced on MLBTR thinks the Twins won that deal.

    Time will tell, eh?


  362. 370 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 4:30 am

    It certainly throws a wrinkle in several teams plans, including ours…


  363. 371 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:00 am

    MLBTR: “ESPN’s Keith Law likes the trade for the Twins. The club sorely needs young pitching and Meyer’s potential is worth ‘an average regular in center whose value will fluctuate with his BABIP,’ as Law describes Span.”


  364. 372 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Apparent leadoff options remaining:

    Michael Bourn yeah, right
    Angel Pagan currently too expensive even for SF
    Shane Victorino older, on the downside
    Dexter Fowler will cost more than gasoline

    Am I forgetting anyone?

    This is the point where Frank pulls one of his famous rabbits out of a hat.


  365. 373 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:06 am

    That said, it can be done. One only need look at Pagan. SF picked him up seemingly out of nowhere, and they did OK last year, last I checked.


  366. 374 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Just looked at Alex Meyer’s numbers; he’s not exactly a kid. He’s 22. Oh, and he is 6’9″… and 220 lbs.

    He was Washington’s 1st round pick in 2011 out of UK (University of Kentucky, not the United Kingdom). His junior season, he led the SEC in K’s with 110 before being drafted #23 overall by the Nats. Bleacher Report said of him, “He features a plus-fastball that sits at 93-96 mph and can go up to 99 mph, and a 83-86 mph slider that makes hitters regret ever coming to the plate. These two pitches make Meyer a potential ace…”

    And following the pattern of 1st rounders, Stephen Strasburg in ’09 & Bryce Harper in ’10, he has a certain pedigree.

    In his first season of pro ball at A and A+ levels, he made 25 starts and tossed 129 innings; struck out 9.7 per 9 innings. He had a 2.86 ERA.

    He should easily begin the year for them at AA, and at 22 be only a year or 2 away from helping the big team.


  367. 375 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:40 am

    And on another topic entirely, according to MLBTR:

    “WFAN’s Ed Coleman has learned exclusively that the Mets and Wright have agreed to a seven-year extension that will make the third baseman the highest-paid player in franchise history.

    The financial terms of the contract are as follows: Wright will receive $122 million over seven years, starting in 2014, WFAN’s Coleman reported. Wright will make $16 million in the final year of his existing contract next season. The $138 million total eclipses the $137.5 million Johan Santana signed for when he inked a six-year deal back on Feb. 1, 2008.”

    Wowser! I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that Wright wanted to be the top guy. He wanted more $$ than Santana. Glad he has his priorities in order. NYM should really be able to build around him now, huh? πŸ™„


  368. 376 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Well, while Miami and NYM implode, and while the Phils are aging, the Nats are getting stouter. But so are the Braves. If the Phils were to get Hamilton, and that is exactly the kind of thing they do, 2013 ought to be one heckuva horse race.


  369. 377 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I would not count out the Mets just yet. after the Wilpons settled out of court last year over the Bernie Maddoff mess, they once again will be big spenders. The fact is, money does not mean as much in New York as it does in Atlanta. Don’t worry, all that extra cash being thrown around will soon be sucked up by Uncle Sam…

    Don’t be surprised to see Bourne playing in the Big Apple next season for the Mets. It appears they are once again spenders.


  370. 378 berigan2electricboogaloo November 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Glad Wright will stay in the big Apple(if he wasn’t going to come here-and how would we afford him?) He is the kind of player who should stay with one team.
    What’s funny is Bourn’s Satan like agent may find they waited too long this year. I think the Mutts hands are still tied this year, so unless the Phils lose out on Hamilton(One Philly fan on a jazz forum I frequent was all upset about getting an old guy like him-doesn’t seem to realize his team is still a possible playoff team with their starters, but now, right NOW) then they may go after Bourn. And I guess overpay. Did use guys see the Phils offer for Upton was 20 Mil under the braves? Guessing the braves didn’t know that…
    Here the Nats may be in on Zack Greinke…if they get him, I guess I will have to offically dislike that team…


  371. 379 berigan2electricboogaloo November 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

    and CL, I forgot…
    …and REAL chicks dig the ball that moves a runner over!
    That was pretty funny! πŸ˜†


  372. 380 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    And Tommy Hanson is now an Angel… details to follow.


  373. 381 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm


  374. 382 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Braves get big, hard throwing right-handed reliever Jordan Wells, who collected 32 saves in 2011… more to follow.


  375. 383 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Walden is 25 and was LAA’s closer in 2011, but got off to a “rocky” start last season ans was replaced by Ernesto Frieri as closer, but still pitched late in games where he posted an ERA of 3.46 over 45 appearances. Over the last 3 seasons, he has a career ERA of 3.06 with 10.8 strikeouts and 4.0 walks per nine innings.

    In other words, he’s a big hard throwing reliever that sometimes can’t locate the plate. But his ERA suggests he still knows how to get folks out when necessary.

    Methinks this is a precursor to another deal. Walden likely won’t even make a stop here in ATL, and Tommy’s projected $4MM will be re-directed.


  376. 384 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Did I say Jordan Wells? I meant Jordan Walden. That’s what I get for being in a hurry. I just got caught by surprise…


  377. 385 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Well, this opens up the 5th starter’s spot, much as we have speculated many times. Plus, it gives Frank $4MM more in wiggle room to find his leadoff guy.

    One thing to ponder… Walden is an ideal setup guy, having closer experience and being a power/strikeout type pitcher. Both EOF and Venters are lefties. EOF is 3rd year arb eligible and projected to make close to $4MM himself. Frank may be positioning himself to trade a very valuable trade chip in EOF and another $4MM as a part of another package.

    Just thinking out loud… figuratively…


  378. 386 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    My initial impression is that Frank struck gold here on 3 levels. #1, he has shed Tommy’s $4MM salary for 2013 to go along with shedding Tommy’s declining performance and troubling delivery. #2, he has opened up the 5th starter spot for Delgado/Teheran. That was a must as neither needs to toil in AAA any longer. If anything, Teheran’s 2012 performance may give Frank the excuse to keep him down early in 2013. And #3, Walden looks like a heckuva pickup. The Braves have not had a big hulking flamethrower to come in late and get a big strikeout (not counting closing specialist Kimbrel.)


  379. 387 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Can you imagine Frank shedding $8MM in salary in Hanson and EOF to go along with the roughly $10MM he has left, not to mention non-tendering JJ and Moylan, then going after big-ticket leadoff man Josh Hamilton?

    Not expecting anything like that, but man what an OF that would make, huh?


  380. 388 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Plus, the Walden acquisition likely spells the end of negotiations to bring Chad Durbin back.


  381. 389 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm


  382. 390 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Busy day for Frank. He’s building depth for something…


  383. 391 berigan2electricboogaloo November 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I like this trade! Can’t hurt to have two power righties, especially since Kembriel can’t pitch every night….And like you said V, some money is being saved….


  384. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I’m just happy the Braves’ catching corps won’t have to suffer from the burden of having one of the poorest record of throwing out runners.

    I had grown really tired of Tommy Hanson. I wish him well in California, it is where he would rather be anyway I’m sure.
    It never hurt to have a big strike out artist in your rotation, especially when guys like Jonny Venters may have jumped the shark. I don’t know for sure but I am still of the belief that Jonny was playing hurt most of last season.

    Still, I can’t see Wren dumping a player like O’Flarerty. It can’t be just about the money. Eazy O is a premiere bullpen guy. I just can’t see Frank giving him up unless it is for a mother lode of talent.


  385. 393 Carolina Lady November 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Sure sounds as if something is afoot! Verrrrrry interesting! Thanks for all the updates, Raisins.

    Wonder what Wright is going to feel like when he realizes that having all that money doesn’t bring him happiness? When someone else tops his salary? That is just sad!


  386. 394 Carolina Lady November 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I’ll always remember Skip trying to pronounce O’Flarerty – without success. Joe had to say it for him. I sure miss listening to the two of them.


  387. 395 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    So, if the Braves can convert Walden from a thrower to a pitcher, they just might have something. Often times, young guys try to overcome a lack of pitching knowledge with the idea they can just blow guys away and in turn lose control. best advice I ever heard applies to all sports, “keep it at about 80% effort”.

    The book on Walden is a lack of consistency with his secondary pitches, no problem, learn how to throw one, it is all he will need with a good fastball. It will just be to keep the hitter honest. Just ask Kimbrel…


  388. 396 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

    CL, it’s funny you should mention that…I don’t remember that, but as soon as I read that, I could hear his Dad kinda sorta say it! The kind of name that would trip him up too! :Lol:


  389. 397 Carolina Lady December 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Ber, it was Skip I was talking about, not Chip the son. I miss him (Skip) more and more, I think. Of so many baseball moments, I can hear him now. What a treat!


  390. 398 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2012 at 2:53 am

    CL, I was thinking of Skip’s Pa, Harry! After his stroke, he could pretty much say any word, but it sounded like his tongue was “thick” when he said certain names, or that he had been drinking, when honestly his drinking days were long over…Oh to hear Harry say Andres Galerrrrraggghhha one more time! πŸ˜†
    couldn’t find that, but…found Harry badmouthing….Crackerjacks! I don’t think I ever got a prize, and never did like the stuff! πŸ˜•


  391. 399 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Here is a bit of a game from 1962 with Harry…just think, my Dad listened to him, secretly in class, in the 40’s


  392. 400 berigan2electricboogaloo December 3, 2012 at 3:15 am

    keep finding cool clips, if you have the time, check them out! Ernie Banks hitting homers 498, 499 and 500. Check out his fidgety fingers!


  393. 401 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

    This is an awful strange statement for Wren, given that the Braves seemingly have a full stable of starting pitching (we just traded some “surplus”, right?), and given that they need a LF, and given that they only have about $10MM left to spend (the latest estimate as given by Frank himself).


  394. 402 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

    What if… now this is really wild speculation…

    But what if he was to sign Greinke, then trade Mike Minor for Alex Gordon out of KC (their reported asking price), or for Justin Upton. Follow this logic… the best OF are either, A) gone, or B) too much $$ for what they bring to the table, i.e. Swisher, etc. The truly great young OF that are semi-available in trade will cost a top starter in return. So, do you sign a guy like Greinke so that you could flip a guy like Minor for one of those great young OF?

    It has to be at least in the back of somebody’s mind for Frank to make such a seemingly off the wall statement…


  395. 403 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Another big salary would have to be offloaded somewhere to make any acquisition of Greinke even in the realm of possibility. Mac (injured)? Uggla (undesirable contract)?


  396. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    On Greinke.. I think he is just a little bit too much of a head case to invest a lot of cash into, (think Mike Minor before he got himself turned around). I see Greinke more likely going to the Dodgers who have a history of over paying and like the Yankees, can afford to make a mistake.

    The Braves just are not in a position to take a lot of chances on players.

    I wonder how much the Tigers would want for Omar Infante’? The guy is a gamer and like Prado will play anywhere you want him to.

    And bring Matt Diaz back, given that his hand issues are cleared up now, he could go back to his lefty killer mode. Likely would work cheap too. I would not mind having him hold down one of the bench positions.


  397. 405 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Strange info swirling on the radio today from Nashville, with all surprised that Frank continues to say they are not completely out on Greinke. Strange indeed…

    Also, according to Heyman and others, the D’backs are the most aggressive thus far, and that Justin Upton is very much available. They continue to demand Andrelton from the Braves, which Frank has stated is not happening.

    According to Ben Ingram on 680theFan (the Braves flagship station), it appears that the Braves are showing a willingness to trade Delgado for the right return. My money says that will be the source of our next LF. Should be a good one for Delgado, I’d think.

    And I am still not convinced that EOF won’t be dangled for a high return as well.

    Delgado and EOF are big time trade chips…


  398. 406 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Yes, I would expect a good return on either of the two players you mentioned. I would not be surprised to see Frank flip Walden either.

    The only way I see the Braves bidding on Greinke is if they plan to non tender Hudson after this season. The difference would be about $5 million more or so next year. Not saying I would blame the Braves for making that move. Hudson has been a great player for Atlanta but the truth is, he is starting to show signs of wear and tear.

    After all, did we really see Greg Maddux signing with Atlanta back in the day? I seem to remember the Braves being in the market for a left fielder that year too.


  399. 407 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Talk about flying under the radar…


  400. 408 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Pegan has re-signed with San Fran, another chip off the board.

    On Janish, great signing, regardless of the timing or lack of fanfare. I think his hitting will actually improve this season. Tough enough to hit with two good shoulders, much less a wounded wing, just ask BMac…


  401. 409 Carolina Lady December 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Gil, I like the thought of having Omar and Matty back. Liked both of them.

    How bad is it when a team doesn’t even announce your signing?? Oh, mercy!

    Y’all who know how to pray – need some MAJOR!! prayers for my brother. 😦 Thanks more than I can ever tell you!!


  402. 410 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

    With all due respect to my co-bloggers, which is considerable, I think the world of Matt Diaz. But I do NOT want him back on my team. When he hits, which is very streaky, he only hits lefties. My memory is full of times he struck out with men in scoring position. And I think his time has come and gone. Reed Johnson brings so much more to the table, for about the same salary amount.


  403. 411 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I am not particularly thrilled with Frank’s statement yesterday that if they cannot find the right match they are “comfortable” with in-house solutions for LF (Constanza, Gattis) or 3B (Francisco). IMO, those are not full time players that will propel a team to the top of the uber-competitive NL East. Gattis has tremendous offensive upside, but has not even proven he can play LF in the minors, much less in The Ted. That said, if he could at least give a Kleskonian effort, it might not be too terrible.

    But I get it. Teams are trying to hold the Braves hostage knowing what we are seeking. Just look at the ridiculous demands of both FA’s and potential trade partners. ARI starts every conversation regarding JUpton with “Andrelton Simmons”. Talk about a reach. But he is, in Frank’s own words, unreachable. And the Rockies begin Fowler talks with “Mike Minor”. Talk about ridiculous! Minor is going nowhere. The word is that Cleveland, gauging the current trade climate, is asking the moon and stars for Shin-Soo Choo, a Boras client who becomes a FA after 2013. It’s nuts.

    So Frank has made his obligatory “I’ll take my players and my budget and and go home” statement, even though he still wants to finish his shopping list. It takes 2 to tango, and thus far, Frank has found no attractive dancing partners.

    The clamoring of the blogosphere is already hanging Frank for failing to come through, saying it’s typical for him to operate on the cheap. I think they may fail to remember that the Nashville sun isn’t even up on Tuesday, which is only the 2nd day of the GM Meetings.

    Fear not, fellow stuffers. I think Frank is posturing to simply redirect the trade market back to reality. And all signs overwhelmingly point to the trade market since the FA market has become typically overpriced. I mean, 4 years and $40MM for a 31-year-old Angel Pagan? Too much. Shane Vic is looking for the same numbers. Even more ridiculous for a guy already showing his age. Anyone who gives him 3 years is taking a big step-out, but 4? 2 is much more realistic. The one I am now finding intriguing is Kevin Youkilis. The Chisox turned down his $13MM option, hoping to bring him back at a lower amount. But it now appears that Youk might find a team willing to give him $13MM per for multiple years, given the dearth at 3B (read: the Yankees need a 3B). Here is how bad the 3B market is… Miami has several teams in the hunt for Yunel Escobar as a 3B for goodness sake. That says it all.

    Braves prediction of the day: who the heck knows? My hope that we find a LF/leadoff hitter has greatly shrunk. But I suppose that a lineup with Prado, JHey, BJ at 1-2-3 isn’t horrible. Especially if you can follow it with Mac or Freddie and maybe Josh Willingham? He did crack 30 HR’s last season, which would have led Los Barves. And his $7MM contract for each of 2013 & 2014 is certainly within our budget. Maybe that’s why Minnie took the Washington deal for Span, hoping that they could still get Delgado for Willingham. It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    My gut says Frank does get something done, but it might not light up anyone’s Christmas tree. But before we get too up in arms over a second-tier acquisition, remember 2 names: Constanza and Francisco. Suddenly some of those other names don’t sound quite so bad.


  404. 412 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Something to chew on: The Braves demanded that JuanFran lose weight over the offseason, and has reportedly taken that demand very seriously. Plus, he has hit .318 with a .523 SLG in 23 games in the Dominican Winter League. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, he still hits LHP far better than RHP.


  405. 413 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I jacked this quote from Bowman, but I like it:

    “The one thing about young players is sometimes they’re only lacking one thing — and that’s opportunity.” – Frank Wren


  406. 414 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 11:53 am

    And the Nats pick up another quality starter in Dan Haren. Granted he has experienced difficulty staying healthy at times, but he’s pretty good when he’s not hurting. I am not one to necessarily react to others’ actions, but this division is only getting tougher. Not sure Constanza or Francisco is going to help climb past a still improving division champ Washington. I know Frank is paying attention. I hope Terry McGuirk is paying attention. I hope Terry McGuirk cares…


  407. 415 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Did ya know Scott Hairston hit 20 HR’s and drove in 57, and batted .263 for the Mutts last year?
    Mets, Hairston Optimistic About Reunion
    By Steve Adams [December 4 at 6:16am CST]

    The Mets and Scott Hairston are both optimistic that they can work out a new contract, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports. Hairston told ESPN New York yesterday that he considered a return to the Mets “probable.”
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pagetwo.html#AFxcd8ya2DmvSzq0.99

    He’s a right handed hitter…just sayin’ if nothing else comes along..can’t imagine he is asking for the world…


  408. 416 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    What I don’t understand is why other teams aren’t the ones beating down the Braves doors with offers for young pitching? Did we somehow lose sight of the fact that it all begins and ends with pitching? Folks across the street somehow think the Braves are dealing from a position of weakness, I think it is the other way around.

    The real world tells me it is the Braves who are the ones being wooed, not necessarily the other way around.

    Left field is perhaps the easiest position to play, there is a reason guys like Matt Holliday play the position.

    Guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper don’t come around everyday. Sometimes you just have to give guys a chance to prove themselves.

    Escobar had long been project to play third base, it is where shortstops go when they slow down a step due to either age or bulk.

    I can deal with Johnson playing the platoon in left.

    There are very few true lead off guys in the majors.

    Why do guys like Victorino ask for 4 year contracts? Because they can…. Why do teams not sign them? Because they don’t have to.

    I would rather be in Frank Wren’s position with all the young pitching talent than where the Braves were when they signed Texiera because they did not have a strong enough bullpen to protect a six run lead.

    Anyone think the Phillies won’t rebound this year? Howard for a full season, their pitching staff is still one of the best in the majors.

    One last thing, someone will want pitching by the end of spring training, the Braves will have it. I am not worried…. It is a long season and we have not even had the first long toss for pitchers and catchers yet.


  409. 417 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Ber, I like both of the Hairston boys.

    Think the Giants would trade Gregor Blanco back to the Braves? See, sometimes a player just needs the opportunity to mature.


  410. 418 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Well, there are a few Braves “rumors” emerging today; however, they are all on the negative side. Stark reports that the Braves and D’backs cannot make a match for JUpton, and that boat has sailed. Crasnick reports that the talks with Victorino are “building momentum” and that he should have a deal before the meetings end, but the Braves are NOT engaged in discussions. And Passan reports that the Braves are “unlikely” to get in on the Greinke talks.

    I heard Fredi G on the radio today talking up BJ and his new bullpen. He isn’t worried about LF and says he’s ready to go to Spring Training with who he already has. He even knew how many days until Spring Training. (I gotta admit, I love that.)

    Now watch Frank blow our minds later this evening. πŸ˜€


  411. 419 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Interesting numbers on Scott Hairston…

    I heard another interview with Frank earlier today; he made it clear that his “ideal” LF acquisition will be a high OBP/low strikeout guy. Being quite, well… frank, he said that the lineup already has alot of strikeouts in it. Refreshingly honest, if you ask me.


  412. 420 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    So, what is the anatomy of a strike out hitter? Impatience, poor eyesight, hitch in their swing, lack of ability, not having a plan, slow bat speed, thinking too much, poor instruction, over thinking, not thinking enough, facing really good pitching, lack of experience? So many moving parts and you add chasing pitcher’s pitches and you have the reason the Braves failed to get runners home from second base when there were less than two outs so many times last season.

    Just as there is no defense for a walk, they is no offense in a strike-out.

    Frank Wren is right, there are already enough strike outs in the Braves line up.

    While chicks did the long ball, old baseball fans like me dig the well executed hit and run and the gappers to the wall. That and a short stop making the play deep in the hole or flawlessly having the infield turning an inning ending 6-4-3 double play

    Yes, old guys like me love having a bullpen that can shut down an offense in the 6th, 7th and 8th inning and having a closer who can strike out the side in the ninth to hold a one run lead.

    Yep, I love baseball and even I don’t mind having a slugger who is capable of being in scoring position while standing at home plate but Frank is right, there are strike-outs in our line up already.

    Like the old golf adage, driving is for show, putting is for dough. Last I checked, 500 foot home runs don’t count any more than a wall scraper and trying to hit ever pitch for a five run homer will leave you making a left turn back to the dugout far more often than circling the bases after going mammo…


  413. 421 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Unbelievable… Victorino gets 3 years / $39MM from the Bosox. That is insane money for a guy that is already showing signs of his age. Just nuts… πŸ™„


  414. 422 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm


  415. 423 Carolina Lady December 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I need a Who’s Who to figure out – um – who’s who. πŸ˜†


  416. 424 Carolina Lady December 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    “His uncle, Tom Pagnozzi, was a three-time Gold Glove winning catcher for the Cardinals from 1987 through 1998.” Wikipedia


  417. 425 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    V, I thought Victorino’s numbers were down too, yet, they don’t seem to be that different than past years. In fact, he stole more bases last year, than any year before(39) Only caught 6 times.played in 154 games. Bourn, 42 steals, caught 13 times.Bourn will be 30 in a few weeks. So, if your choice is Bourn for 5-6 years that Borass will demand, or 3 years for Victorino? I can see why they got him, plus that park, a lot of doubles…actually, don’t totally get it, unless they are going to trade their CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who has missed more than half of the Red Sox games in the past 3 years…hmmm, he’s 28…but often injured….hmmm….


  418. 426 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2012 at 3:55 am

    hmmm pt 2
    Emilio Bonifacio Could Be Available
    By Steve Adams [December 5 at 1:07am CST]

    The Braves had interest in Emilio Bonifacio prior to his inclusion in the Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster, and they’ve learned this week that he may still be available, according to Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

    The 27-year-old Bonifacio could see significant time at second base for the Blue Jays, but the presence of Maicer Izturis could also lead them to field offers on Bonifacio. Current Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez coached Bonifacio when he was still with the Marlins.

    Bonifacio hit .258/.330/.316 in 2012 and swiped 30 bases in 33 attempts despite appearing in only 64 games due to a combination of thumb and knee injuries. He’s logged at least 150 big league innings at all three outfield positions as well as third base, second base and shortstop.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#dBsBcIYcQ76azcGk.99


  419. 427 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 6:28 am

    With Frank, always expect the unexpected. Bonafacio would be a nice fit in LF…


  420. 428 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 8:12 am

    OK… so today is the last real day of trade business in Nashville since tomorrow they hold the Rule 5 draft and get out of town. Here’s hoping Frank finds a gift under the Orpy Hotel Christmas Tree before his head hits the pillow tonight. I like the Bonafacio idea. Not sure if it has any legs, or is just pure speculation, but who knows..? He’s penciled in as the Jays’ starting 2B. Maybe send them a reliever? Perhaps Jonny Venters? Jordan Walden? Boney is just 2nd year arb, and under team control until 2015. He makes sense on many levels here. Looking at the Jays’ depth chart, their rotation looks halfway decent, but their pen is relatively nondescript. Venters or the newly acquired Walden would probably get that deal done. Their current closer, Casey Janssen, did earn 22 saves last season, but appeared in over 60 games. That tells me that he was not their full time guy. Do they have a full time guy? Doesn’t matter. Either Venters or Walden would help strengthen an area of need for them.

    A quick glance at a resource or two shows that their primary LHRP is Darren Oliver, who is 42 and has not decided if he’s even going to pitch in 2013. Sounds like they might would jump on Venters to me.

    The question is… would you trade Venters for Boney straight up? Do you think that would get it done?


  421. 429 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Orpy Uh… make that Opry. 😳 πŸ™„


  422. 430 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

    A quick spin around the Jays’ roster leads me to believe that Boney doesn’t really have a landing spot. They just signed Melky Cabroidra for LF, have Colby Rasmus in CF, and Jose Bautista in RF. Emilio isn’t cracking that OF. They have Brett Lawrie at 3B and Maicer Izturis at 2B. Tough to crack those spots as well. And they have some guy named Jose Reyes at SS…

    If this rumor does NOT have legs, it should. This sounds like a match to me. But what do I know? I’m just a North Georgia Braves fan who spends more time than he should chasing Braves rabbits…


  423. 431 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Rosenthal: A variety of three-, four- and even five-team trades are in play at the winter meetings, mostly involving the same clubs and same principal players, according to major-league sources.

    Man… my head spins trying to find matches with just 1 team… 😯


  424. 432 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 9:31 am

    And this is what I have to read this morning: “RED SOX STILL HAVE ROOM TO SPEND BIG AFTER MIKE NAPOLI, SHANE VICTORINO… Given the current commitments, the team could pursue virtually any option in baseball without scraping the luxury tax threshold, including the likes of Cliff Lee (should he become available) or Josh Hamilton (should he not sign with the Rangers).”

    That chaps my butt. Frank has to scrape together whatever deals he can to remain under a handcuffing self-imposed budget that is admittedly higher than many, but not even close to some. They are worrying about “scraping the luxury tax threshold”, and we are talking about not-so-desirable in-house options for LF and leadoff.

    If Frank had just $10MM more in his budget…

    Can you imagine if he had a “mere” $10MM more? That’s not even allowing him to “pursue virtually any option in baseball”. But it could easily make the difference between fighting for the stupid Wild Card play-in game and playing a real playoff series.

    Aaarrrggghhh!!! 😑


  425. 433 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

    “A variety of three-, four- and even five-team trades are in play at the winter meetings…”

    Dang, sounds like a bunch of geeks in their mom’s basement getting ready for the upcoming fantasy leagues.

    So…, the Braves sign a back up for their back up at the catcher position, woo hoo…

    Bonafacio has developed into a pretty solid player in the mold of Omar Infante’ and Martin Prado but with speed. The dude definitely has some wheels. He has become fairly welled traveled as I believe he started out with the Nationals and was traded to the Marlins a couple of years ago.

    Money is only going to get crazier…. declining dollar values will make a lot of things change pretty soon. What is hard is for old people like me to realize the change in currency rates. When it is said a dollar isn’t what it use to be, they are not kidding.

    Why is this country becoming socialist? Because it is what kids today grow up with. They are use to someone else (their parents) providing everything they want without having to work for it. Working for a living makes everyone understand what it means to earn a dollar. Hey, I struggled like a son of a gun until I finally landed a solid job. I learned the hard way the golden rule, “He who has the gold, makes the rules”

    Okay, enough on the soapbox… To be honest, I like the idea of the Braves bring up someone from the minors to play. You have to see if a guy has anything to offer at some point. The first two months of the season are as good a time as any for a team to see what they need.

    Oh by the way, I hate it that Kimbrel is going to pitch in the WBC, I hate for our players to get hurt pitching in an exhibition game. Just a bad feeling…. let someone else lose their closer pitching is that made for TV crap…


  426. 434 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I wonder if Frank would consider an out-of-the-box option such as FA Jeff Keppinger for 3B? He is not a big power guy, but his .325 AVG and.367 OBP suggest he might be a fit. He bats RH and struck out only 31 times in 418 AB’s last season. Not sure if he could bat leadoff… even with the high OBP, he had exactly zero AB’s at leadoff last year. Then again, with Desmond Jennings entrenched there with Tampa, that’s a little more understandable. And for his career, he has spent the vast, vast majority of his time in the #2 slot with only a handful of AB’s at leadoff, where he has the worst overall numbers. Go figure…

    For the monetary record, he’d only cost about $4MM per year. The Bosox wouldn’t even notice that amount…


  427. 435 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

    And yes, I don’t really trust Venters to hold up any longer, I think Freddi ruined his arm a couple of years ago. Kind of like letting you engine go too long without changing the oil, no matter what you do, the damage is already done.


  428. 436 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

    It is pretty frustrating having to squeak by while others treat money like they hate to have it in their pocket. That said, it is all the more reason to develop your own players. I don’t know what is worse, being owned by a corporation that looks at you like you are just a number on the spreadsheet or someone like Dan Snyder (owner of the Redskins) who throws money away like he is the federal government.

    Oh well, it could be worse, the Braves could be run by a conglomerate of fools like the Pirates.


  429. 437 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Bowman on the radio:

    * Believes that Frank will acquire a LF before the season starts, but doesn’t see it happening before they all pack up and leave tomorrow. Says that the talk of “internal options” is just talk.

    * Doesn’t see either Teheran or Delgado back at AAA. Thinks that if both are still in the organization on opening day, Teheran will be #5 and Delgado will be long reliever.

    * Says that the leaders in the clubhouse must emerge. Mentions Huddy, Uggla… says that if it’s Mac, he must “become” a leader. (That follows Fredi’s comment yesterday that the new leader will be JHey or Freddie. Mac’s name was not even mentioned. Interesting…)


  430. 438 Carolina Lady December 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    V, you are a walking baseball encyclopedia! I can learn all I need to know just reading what y’all write on this one little blog. πŸ˜€


  431. 439 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm


  432. 440 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks, CL. Just doin’ my job, ma’am… just doin’ my job. πŸ˜€


  433. 441 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    To reiterate my own earlier opinion, I really like the idea of Bonifacio. Still don’t know if he’s even been considered or thought about, but he should be. He is pretty much what Frank envisions for LF. Not to mention, if you had a versatile guy like him to go along with Prado (whom I understand is also a backup groundskeeper and receptionist), well… you get the idea. So is he one of the guys Frank referred to when he spoke yesterday of, “getting here and finding out that some teams are willing to talk about players that we had no idea [were available] three or four days ago”? (Props to Mr. O’B for that quote…)


  434. 442 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Good stuff today! Just wish it included a great trade no one saw coming…
    Yeah,between the Red Sox trading away Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford(egad, looked up the salaries of the last two, each make more than….20 Mil a year! 😯 !!! And Beckett only scrapes by on 17 mil) and having sold out games every night, and no doubt a teevee deal 3, 4 , 5 times the Braves deal…yep, they can print money….
    I did hear some talk on mlbtv last night that the red sox would likely trade Ellsbury…so, who would you trade for the often injured, very fast CF????


  435. 443 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    “who would you trade for the often injured, very fast CF????”

    Who would be a very fast left fielder who we would hope is not often injured anymore..

    Yep, I say the Red Sox still need pitching and I don’t think it would take all that much to get him. Like you said, often injuried…

    Yes CL, Raisins knows his stuff….

    As for BMac and leadership… Sometimes a guy is just too nice to be the leader, unfortunately a leader also has to be a bit of a bad ass and willing to get in another player’s face to get their attention. ,


  436. 444 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I’m glad. I’ve warmed to him. There are things I disagree with, but then again, what manager does everything right? I like his passion for the game, and you don’t find that in all managers. Now, if we could just get him to dust up an umpire here and there…


  437. 445 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I could see it. All the offseason reports are glowing. Sell high before they see him swing wildly at right handed pitching again. πŸ˜‰


  438. 446 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    … and if we could bring in Bonifacio, who plays all the positions Martin does, JuanFran becomes very expendable. I’d rather see big Ernesto Mejia get his cuts late in a game, TBH.


  439. 447 Carolina Lady December 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Sounds as if this Bonifacio and Prado would do a LOT to bolster the club during the entire season. I love Prado to begin with. (Didn’t even know how to spell Bona – Bonifsi- the other guy’s name!)


  440. 448 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Well, it looks like Frank is gonna feed us a big bowl of nuthin’ after 3 days with his peers. He says everybody’s “asks” were just too high. Well, that’s showbiz. I hope the hunt is still on. I don’t want to start the season with either of Francisco, Constanza or Schafer in my starting lineup.

    If I sound disappointed, it’s because I am. I practically sat on this stinking computer for 3 days waiting to see who my new LF was going to be. I couldn’t wait to get excited and start counting the days until pitchers and catchers report. Well, right now I am about as excited as a chapped lip.

    I need a vacation. I need another sport to give me a diversion. Maybe I should take up duck hunting…


  441. 449 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

    2012 MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: Rule 5 Draft in the morning, clear out of town immediately after. Why even pay attention?

    Braves wrap-up: Nuthin’.

    What a waste of 96 hours, and alot of attention. 😐

    It’s like buying the big newspaper on Thanksgiving morning, spending hours pouring over the sales papers and mapping out a strategy for the stores with the best bargains on Black Friday, hitting the road right after the big meal so as to actually get a parking place in the vicinity of the stores you want, fighting the crowds of all the other crazies out looking to fill their own stockings, running in and out of said stores all flippin’ night long, and coming back home with absolutely nuthin’. You can gripe about the price of goods all you want, but the Christmas tree is still empty. And the Furbys are now out of every store, and you are left trying to explain to little Johnny why he should be happy with socks and underwear.

    Bah humbug.


  442. 450 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Duck hunting eh? Tried it, tooooo cold…. And wet! Did I mention wet? I gave it up when the feds started requiring steel shot, did not want to buy a new shotgun.

    Raisins, I would not worry too much, in fact, I would not be surprised if the Braves regular left fielder does not show up until May. Just saying. The first 60 days always seems to be about figuring out a team’s needs anyway, that and filling in for the “often injured”

    I think you got a little spoiled by last year’s quick acquisitions by Wren.

    The way I figure, somebody somewhere will covet the Braves bounty of arms and come calling with hat in hand before the start of next season.

    Heck, Long Juan might even show up chiseled and lean and ready to assume the third base position. If he can hit 30 homeruns and drive in one hundred RBI then I won’t care if he still has a long swing.

    The biggest help would be if Uggla realized he cannot wait until August to show up again. This season he needs to be ready to assume the role of a leader and prove to all of us that Frank Wren did not make a mistake in trading away Omar Infante’ for him.


  443. 451 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

    20 years of Braves opening day LF:

    2012: Matt Diaz, by default… Chipper on DL; Martin at 3B
    2011: Martin Prado, a converted IF
    2010: Melky Cabrera, having an atrocious season
    2009: Matt Diaz, but Frank’s darkest moment Garret Flippin’ Anderson was penciled in as the regular starter… he had a boo-boo on his wittle weg on Opening Day
    2008: Matt Diaz, who platooned with Gregor Blanco
    2007: Matt Diaz, whom we picked up off waivers after KC dumped him
    2006: Ryan Langerhans, whom we ended up trading for a PTBNL that never was
    2005: an old Brian Jordan redux, soon to be booted in favor of Kelly Johnson, a converted 2B
    2004: Chipper Jones, but Charles Thompson was called up from AAA and played the most games there that year
    2003: Chipper Jones
    2002: Chipper Jones, for cryin’ out loud
    2001: B.J. Surhoff, hanging on to collect one final paycheck
    2000: Reggie Sanders, having the absolute worst season of his career
    1999: Otis Nixon, on his way out… Gerald Williams played the most games there
    1998: Ryan Klesko
    1997: Ryan Klesko
    1996: Ryan Klesko
    1995: Ryan Klesko
    1994: Ryan Klesko, a converted 1B
    1993: Ron Gant, a converted 2B

    In 20 years, the most consistent play we have had from LF is from 1B Ryan Klesko.

    Let that one sink in a minute…

    Next in consistency of appearances in LF we have Matt Diaz, who had been let go by perennial doormat Kansas City. We made him a starter. Next? How about HOF 3B Chipper Jones?

    Do we not see a pattern here? Is LF cursed for the Braves? Can we not, for the love of all that’s good and holy, get a real LF to play LF for more than a year? And I’m OK with converted IF Prado as my consistent LF, if I have a real 3B. But the 3B market is maybe the thinnest in baseball right now.

    for 2013, I saw a small ray of hope – not even a ray, just a flicker – that we’d have a real LF for the first time since the atrocious days of baby blue uniforms. Frank said he was focused. Narrowly focused, he said, with resources.

    Now we are hearing words like “comfortable” and “in-house options”. That is a stark contradiction to “narrowly focused”. They are talking names such as Constanza, Schierholtz (lost him to the Cubs), Reed Johnson (not yet an “in-house option”)… bench players all.

    Who are our “in-house options”? Jose Constanza… the Braves “spark plug” and “high energy guy”. Those are terms used to describe players who don’t have the physical tools, but try really, really hard. Jordan Schafer, picked off the scrap heap from Houston, who had the worst record in baseball last season. He is currently listed only as the #3 CF on the Braves official depth chart behind BJ Upton – the high payed star who will play 155+ games – and Jose Constanza. Telling. And of course, currently the Braves official depth chart shows Martin as the #1 LF and Juan Francisco as #1 3B. Long Juan (great name, Gil) can hit ’em a mile when he connects. He subscribes to the theory that you swing hard in case you hit it. Can’t hit RHP’s for squat.

    I am not thrilled with our “in-house options”.

    Maybe we should try v.3 of Brian Jordan. Is Langerhans still trying to eke out a living? Can’t be much worse than our other “in-house options”… πŸ™„


  444. 452 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    And the Phillies swoop in and take the suddenly available Ben Revere from Minnesota, and the Braves fall to 3rd in the NL East pecking order, and out of the playoff hunt.

    Not pleased at this development. Not pleased at all…


  445. 453 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Revere is 24, and hit .294/.333/.342 in 553 PA’s for the Twinks this past year, stealing 40 bases in 49 attempts. He won’t be arb eligible until 2014 at the earliest if he makes the Super 2 cut, and is under team control through 2017.



  446. 454 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Frank picked up a catcher to back up his back up catcher. πŸ™„


  447. 455 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I’m excited about BJ, but he only marginally improves your CF spot over the departed Michael Bourn from 2012, while the gaping hole left by Chipper remains. BJ’s numbers are actually more closely compared to Chipper’s than Bourn’s, but that’s really just splitting hairs. Bottom line… BJ only replaces the productivity of one guy. Washington is a better team leaving Nashville, Philadelphia is a better team leaving Nashville, Atlanta is no better… maybe worse. The salary constraints once again hold us back from competing with our peers.


  448. 456 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    For those keeping score, the Braves still need: LF or 3B, depending on where Martin plays; RH bat off bench; LH bat off bench. Frank has a long winter in front of him, as the pool of talent is now severely limited. It was flush just 4 days ago.

    What I don’t get is this… if you make a splash and get your guys now, you energize your fanbase. They are paying attention now! They buy season tickets now, you have more revenue. If you leave Nashville talking about the “high price of available players”, you turn off the fans who have grown quite tired of watching the Bosox and Dodgers and Rangers and Angels and Phillies spend like drunken sailors on shore leave (notice I didn’t even mention the Yankees, who were conspicuously quiet at these meetings), while the Braves decide they are “comfortable” with “in-house options”.

    Meanwhile, the fan base says, “Same old, same old…” and goes about their business and decides to spend their season ticket money on things like bills and such.

    Prudent maybe. But at some point, you have to break the cycle of giving the fans exactly what they expect…. nothing. Which is what they will spend on tickets.


  449. 457 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Let me put it this way…

    As it currently stands, the Braves have an “in-house” lineup. And in that lineup, they have replaced HOF 3B Chipper Jones with Juan Francisco.

    Boy am I excited about 2013… 😐


  450. 458 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    But FrediG could go with a 7 man rotation if he wanted to!!! πŸ™„


  451. 459 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Francisco… Constanza… Schafer… 😑


  452. 460 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I know I’m ranting… and if I sound angry, it’s because I am. We were told we were “focused” and “had the resources” to get the job done. Words are just words until they are put into action. I am tired of empty words. I feel betrayed. The front office has lost credibility with me.

    The final straw was Revere going to Philly. That is insult added to injury.

    Same old, same old.

    If we open the season with Constanza or Francisco or Schafer in the starting lineup, I may just check out. I’m that mad. I really am.

    We’ll see… there are still many weeks until February. But the talent pool is much shallower now than it was 4 days ago. Much shallower.

    I regret wasting so much time on this since Monday…


  453. 461 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Oh my gosh….


  454. 462 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Frank Wren: “We don’t feel like it’s [requirement right now]. We feel like we have a pretty good ballclub.”

    “Pretty good” = 3rd place


  455. 463 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    And I officially dislike the Minnesota Twins for singlehandedly presenting our 2 rivals with their respective leadoff hitter/CF’s. We could have used one of those guys.

    I should have foreseen this whole week spinning out of control when the Nats traded for Span in exchange for a stinking single-A pitcher before anyone even offloaded their designer luggage into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel lobby.


  456. 464 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I have taken Frank off my Christmas card list…


  457. 465 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    V, I hear ya bro, I hear ya! I see what Gil is saying about May, but…I also seem to recall whenever we are missing a fill in the blank, starter, outfielder, etc, what do we hear? well, teams don’t want to trade players in April or May, cuz no one is out of the hunt…and that’s why its SO important to make deals now. Cuz…no one is out of the hunt til very late in the season now, if ever. Great for teams/fans, not so great for teams that need to get a player over the hump.
    Plus, teams do have that feeling (braves are most guilty of this) we can hover around .500 and with our pitching…well, you can lose enough early games to be behind the eight ball. and try to come from behind all year long….


  458. 466 Carolina Lady December 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Raisins, you sound like me last year. πŸ˜† I could see the end of the season exactly as it played out. (Not lol.)

    Get it out, brother. You’ll feel better! Just don’t throw your cap in the stove.


  459. 467 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Well, at least they did manage to get Reed Johnson re-signed. That’s a bench need, anyway… πŸ™„


  460. 468 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    And V, you are right, what in the wide, wide world of sports is up with the Twins? they traded 2 young, cheap, fast guys…just checked out what the Twins got…Vance Worley…a pretty decent(young) starter. Would the Braves give up Minor for Ben Revere? Likely not. Delgado? Probably. Perhaps the Twins liked that Worley already had a track record with the Phils.

    Here is my crazy as a you know what idea for the day. Braves trade Tim Hudson to the Angels. Save 9 mil(man,is that ever a team friendly deal!) Get something(what, I don’t know) pretty nice in return. Trade EOF(risky I know) save3-4 mil.and sign Hamilton.
    Now,if will excuse me, while dreaming, I shall see if Jennifer Love Hewitt is free tonight….


  461. 469 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Drat, lost my post…..

    Anyway, as I was saying… Jonhson was a first baseman in the minors, he did not become a second baseman until he was tutored by Glenn Hubard during the off season.

    Chipper played left field because Vinny Castilla was signed to play third. Chipper volunteered to move to the outfield although he hated it out there.

    Kesko was never a gold glove first baseman, he was marginally better in left but his bat was his selling point.

    Langerhans went 0-32 at the beginning of his initial season and the Braves had to fire someone and it was not going to be Bobby or Terry.

    Charles Thomas was called up early in that season and surprised everyone, especially Billy Bean who traded for him as part of the Hudson deal. It was a heck of a half season for him though.

    Ron Gant was moved to the outfield for his bat because he was getting killed at third. The broken leg he suffered during the off season in a motorcycle mishap following his 100 RBI season cut short his career with the Braves. Goes to show you that JS could be spiteful.

    True that left field has been a bit of a black hole for the Braves. No matter how good a player was somewhere else, they stumbled for Los Bravos.
    Matin Prado has been as consistent player for the Braves while playing in left as they have had but his best season was still at second base.

    Willy Harris was not bad out there but left has nearly always be a place for a bopper to play. The Braves may as well let Tyler Pastornicky play in left if all they want is a speedy guy who can lead off… Just saying…


  462. 470 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm



  463. 471 Carolina Lady December 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I still keep looking for the “Like” button. Good post, Gil.

    Raisins, update in progress. Probably tomorrow if I can’t finish tonight.


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