117: Will The Next Left Fielder Come Out Of… Well, Left Field?


by Voice of Raisins

Northeast Georgia, God’s country

Will The Next Left Fielder Come Out Of… Well, Left Field?

20 years of Braves opening day LF:

2013: ????

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 2BcJones

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 thereRYAN KLESKO

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, and 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.BrianJordan

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”…



365 Responses to “117: Will The Next Left Fielder Come Out Of… Well, Left Field?”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady December 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Super, Raisins! Many thanks!!


  2. 2 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Thank you CL.. it was a heart felt rant. I am a little less angry today, but no more optimistic than yesterday. As they stand right now, the Braves are lagging behind the Nats by a bunch and behind the Phils by a little. We simply need one more proven offensive weapon. And waiting until after the season starts ain’t gonna cut it, because we will already be without Mac’s presence. Nope, adding a quality LF bat is crucial to 2013.


  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I would not say the Braves are lagging behind the Phils quite yet nor the Nats because one critical component, the bullpen. That said, it would be of great help to the Braves to at least get a lead for them to hold.

    I think when all is said and done, we will find both the Nats and the Phillies paid dearly for their center field acquisitions from the Twinks. Now. back to the Braves.

    Can someone tell us that there is not one player in the organization who cannot play a decent left field? Of course the Brave are going to be able to throw together one heck of a seven man rotation at clubs…


  4. 4 Voice of Raisins December 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

    And sometime yesterday when everyone was leaving Nashville, the Braves signed Blake Dewitt to a minor league deal. It is so minimally impactful that no one even reported it. For my money, I’d rather have signed Brooks Conrad to a minor league deal.


  5. 5 Carolina Lady December 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I have to admit I’m puzzled by the (apparent) lack of effort to cover the team’s needs. Wren said he had the money, but now he doesn’t – if I followed correctly.

    And signing Dewitt. Why? (I had to Google to find out who he is.) Experience at 2nd and 3rd, including postseason, but always replaced by new acquisitions. Always seemed to be a good “prospect” – but after all these many years, he still doesn’t cut it as a full-time player. How many backup men are required for 2nd/3rd?

    I too am past being fed up with teams that are cobbled together by a make-do conglomeration of odd parts.

    Gil, I hope your theory is correct – though I truly hope they don’t wait until they are so far behind that it takes heroic effort to just barely make it.
    And I agree with your statement above: not even one person in their entire system who can play LF?? I’d be embarrassed to admit it – which they seem to be doing.

    *sigh* I’m getting back to work.


  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Blake Dewitt??? I thought he was a country and western star… or maybe Joyce Dewitt’s of Three’s Company, husband….

    Okay, you guys have to remember, the Braves have to fill the rosters of Gwinnett and Pearl too, that and to have someone to play in all those split squad games in March.

    Okay, just finished getting all my Christmas shopping done.. Lord how I love the internet combined with free shipping… Hate to admit it but I was bad this year, I basically scratched off everyone not named Josie off my shopping list this year. So much to make up for for missing Christmas last year.


  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    By the way Rasins, great opine on your part. I feel your pain bro.


  8. 8 Carolina Lady December 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    😆 I know what you mean, Gil. My Christmas shopping took maybe :10 yesterday. And David will deliver it to my door in about a week. Doesn’t get much better, in my opinion!

    Bless, sweet Miss Josie! You have a jewel in her, my friend. Please give her a big hug from Kelly and me! 🙂


  9. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo December 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Well said V!
    BRAKING NEWS! as someone used to say….take your heart meds, get ready to get season tickets!!!!!

    Jerry Crasnick Jerry CrasnickVerified ‏@jcrasnick

    #Braves GM Frank Wren said the team has interest in some one-year outfield stopgaps. He calls them “Caliparis.”

    Stopgaps….sigh…perhaps playing to agents of the outfielders still out there??? Ryan Ludwick re-signed with the Reds for 2 years. Don’t see numbers yet….


  10. 10 bravesfan388 December 8, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I was really hoping the Braves would either sign Angel Pagan or trade for Ben Revere but that never happened. Ryan Ludwick resigned with the Reds and Boston overpaid for Victorino so the outfield market is wearing very thin. In addition, the supply of third basemen are also thin so it looks so it doesn’t look like we have the option of keeping Prado in left field and then signing someone to man the hot corner.The only possible scenarios I see playing out in the next couple of weeks are either to sign Cody Ross, probably my least favorite move as he is on the decline and will command a lot of money. Another option is to trade for Dexter Fowler. The Rockies need pitching as they had the worst staff in the NL last year and the Braves’ pitching heavy farm system could help us do business with them. However, Fowler is a great player and the Rockies will probably request someone like Delgado in exchange for him. The last option, and the one I like the most is to trade for the ChiSox’s Alejandro De Aza. The White Sox have said they are “shopping” him but that could just means they are listening to offers, just seeing what he could bring and not fully committed to moving him. If they are interested in dealing him, he could be a good match for the Braves. Good walk rate and OBP last year. Also, the White Sox farm system is depleted so we could easy send maybe one or two C level prospects in exchange for him. I really hope the Braves take one of these routes in lieu of going for an “in house” option. That really hasn’t worked out for us in the past, ex: Jordan Schaefer and Tyler Pastornicky. At one point during the winer meetings I ran across a small report about how the Braves were rumored to be in the Grienke sweepstakes for a while and that just confused and frustrated me. I think a lot of Braves country are scratching their heads over how Wren has been lackadaisical in his search for a LF/leadoff hitter.


  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    welcome BF388, your observations are on the money.

    As for the Grienke interest by the Braves, one would have to think that would be in conjunction with the idea the Braves could move a player like Hudson and perhaps another young arm for an impact player.

    The Braves however are very unlikely to pay as much money as Zack will command nor should they be. Not unless the owners of the franchise are serious about building up the team. The other possibility would be to try for a heavily back-loaded contract. Something I don’t see Boras allowing to happen.


  12. 12 Jackson December 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I don’t see that happening for the sole reason of us being on the tight budget with Liberty Media. B.J. Upton got 75 mil and that is the most lucrative contract we’ve given out to a free agent in franchise history, and some people have predicted Greinke to surpass C.C. Sabathia’s record payday with his deal.


  13. 13 berigan2electricboogaloo December 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Greetings BF388 and Jackson! 🙂 Sound thoughts….
    I keep waiting, wondering what might still be out there…Funny how it seems so much easier for the braves to develop SS’s than outfielders. IF Justin Upton had another year or two before becoming a FA (what is it 1 or 2 years til he can become a free agent?) I might, I said I might, consider trading Simmons for him. But not for 1-2 years.
    I heard Ned Yost say the Royals Minor league outfielder Wil Myers, who hit 37 homers at the age of 21, reminded him of Dale Murphy! So…they have tossed his name out there..what would you give up to get the next Murphy? Minor and????


  14. 14 Carolina Lady December 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Hey, Jackson! Glad to have you here. Great post!


  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Ber, usually a kid who plays shortstop is the best athlete on the team. A lot of kids grow out of the position as they add bulk and age. Normally you see a kid moved to center field if he still has speed but not quite the range you want for a major league short stop. Guys who really bulk up move to first, guys who have a power arm but no bat get to try their luck as a pitcher. The key is, if a kid is athletic enough to play short, he can usually play any position on the field.

    What I don’t get is how fast the Braves appear to have given up or Pastonicky. I realize he is not talented to play short in the majors but he still has a decent bat and good foot speed.

    Yes, I know everyone wants a slugger to play left field but if the team is converted into the type of team Wren envisions, I don’t see him going for another power bat because of the high number of strikeout associated with the all or nothing attitude it brings to the table.

    The next Dale Murphy??? It would take a couple of really good prospects plus a major league arm to land him one would think. Then again, you have to be careful of the hype a snake oil salesman will sometimes use to drum up business.


  16. 16 Jackson December 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hey guys thanks for the positive comments, they are appreciated! If you all don’t mind, check out my blog, Baseball in the Deep South. (http://deepsouthbaseball.wordpress.com) I just started it a fews and I would appreciate a few followers!


  17. 17 Carolina Lady December 9, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Nice blog you have there, Jackson! But nowhere could I find a “Follow” button. Give me a clue? 😀


  18. 18 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Ryan Ludwick signed a two-year contract worth $15MM….something the braves couldn’t dream of matching! :eyesroll:
    I notice Jackson and bravesfan388 have the same avatar, could they possibly be…the same person? 😉


  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Ber, you know how it is, sometimes when a boy is “out of town” they don’t always like to use their real name… 🙂 Anyway, he has a pretty nice little blog going on his own.


  20. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Yeah, $8 million a year for Ludwick, makes one feel like the Braves are getting a real bargain with BJ Upton.

    I keep waiting for the Braves to put up lights to make it a little less challenging for the outfielders running down fly-balls but they seem more interested in Coke bottles and cows. My opinion is they need to add about 25, 000 seats to Cool Ray and move to the burbs…


  21. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Looks like the Dodgers are about to ink Grienke to a 6 year deal at about $24.5 million a year. Honestly, I don’t see him being that good. No wonder California is bankrupted, they have no concept of what money is. Of course, this is the same organization that paid Andruw Jones $20 million a year to go away.

    A lot of very good pitchers have to feel like they are being snubbed in earning a paltry $10 million a year. Everyday, more and more, I feel like I am getting closer to qualifying for food stamps.


  22. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hail to the Redskins, hail victory… Oops, wrong blog…

    Oh well, Phillies trade for Michael Young to play third base in the City of Brotherly Love… HAHAHAHAHAHA.. I’ll never figure out how they got that monicker… anyway. Looks like the Phillies really did not give up a lot for him either. One has to wonder if the Rangers thought the Braves were afraid to answer the phone.


  23. 23 Carolina Lady December 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Is it MLB vs ATL? Feels like it sometimes.


  24. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Nice blog Jackson! 🙂
    Well, the Rays and the Royals made a big trade…No next coming of Dale Murphy for us! 😦 some “fans” think the Royals got hosed, but the Royals got 2 ML starters(it would have been very tough for the braves to top this deal) An ol’ Frenchy leads a charmed life, he may still yet be the Royals RF’er next year…


  25. 25 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Wow… big trade! On the surface, that looks like the proverbial “win / win” scenario. I applaud the Royals for getting Shields and Davis. The “fans” that think the Royals got hosed would not have wanted to trade Myers for Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander. We have Braves fans who feel the same about Teheran and Delgado. I like how Frank phrased things… no one is untouchable, but some are unreachable. In other words, Justin Upton for Andrelton Simmons is unrealistic. But Justin Upton and Jason Kubel is a nice starting point.

    Yes, KC gave up some other unrecognizable pieces, but one of the reasons for developing players is to use them to acquire other players. Many forget that part. Maybe if Frank had given up a prospect or 2 over the last couple of years we would have 3 OF’s right now.

    Oh, I forgot. We have “in-house options”.

    By the way, TB got a backup 3B in that deal, so their interest in Long Juan is now kaput. Just as well… looks like we need him as an “option” anyway.


  26. 26 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Speaking of Long Juan, he can no longer be called Fatcisco…


  27. 27 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

    He looks fit and strong. Gotta give him credit for his hard offseason work. And that slim fella on the other side? Christian Bethancourt. Doesn’t look like a catcher, does he?


  28. 28 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:29 am

    One last thing and I’ll shut up…

    Reportedly, JuanFran has been working with Scott Fletcher all offseason to correct a flaw in his swing that was detected in videos. Something to do with turning his knee and dipping his shoulder. Whatever… I don’t need to know exactly as long as Juan knows exactly. If he’s corrected that flaw, and is obviously in much better shape, maybe he is a realistic option.

    At least against LHP…


  29. 29 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:31 am

    OK… maybe I have one more thing to say. Juan is just 25. He does have a little time left to figure out a couple of things. Like, 2 months. 😀


  30. 30 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

    OK… maybe I have one more thing to say. Juan is just 25. He does have a little time left to figure out a couple of things. Like, 2 months. 😀


  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Bethancourt looks more like an athlete in the Buster Posey mold.

    If Juan isn’t wearing a spanex under his jersey then I would say he has really been strengthening his core. Forget the weight, after all, muscle is a lot more compact than fat, The guy looks ripped.

    Strong abs are a benefit, a broad chest is a deterrent and makes a hitter muscle bound.

    If Long Juan can hit 250/325 I’ll take those splits and pencil him in everyday.

    Want a dude who looks like a catcher? Look at Evan Gattis. Either way, Brian better really make a grand comeback next season because the Braves might just have someone to replace him.


  32. 32 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

    From the things I’ve been reading lately, I think Brian is a goner. Unless he has an all-star caliber year, and the Braves just think they must keep him, I believe it is a foregone conclusion.

    Think about Frank’s latest comments regarding his search for a LF. He says he may look at some “Calipari’s”. That refers to University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari who routinely recruits kids who play one year and move on to the NBA. So Frank is open to 1-year signings. Why? Simple… he’ll have another $12MM come off the books next year…


  33. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

    All that said, the kid does appear to have got the message. Some players, like BMac, are cursed to be slow afoot. No matter how much the work out, diet, etc, they will never have great foot speed. They must hone the tools they have. Improve their quickness, their accuracy by working on their technique. There is a reason why players like McCann draw a major league paycheck, he can play a position where being a speed demon is not required. Once his knees go completely, his best hope is to hit well enough to DH and play a serviceable first base for and American League team.

    Now, back to the Braves,

    I sure hope Frank Wren and company has not burned any bridges among his peers. Michael Young would have been a pretty good fit for the Braves at a club friendly price.

    The Phillies are rebuilding a team which may not need a bullpen.

    The Braves won 94 games last season, That was with a part time Chipper Jones and an Eric Hinske who was non existent as a pinch hitter last season. One would have to think the Braves will have a better pitching staff this season, maybe without the pedigree the Phillies have but projecting to bee strong even without Brandon Beachy who should be back just in time to spell the kids who have never had to hurl more than 150 innings in a season.


  34. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

    That was pretty much what the Phillies did with the trade for Michael Young. The have an up and coming kid in the minors who should be ready in another two years.

    Raisins, I look for the same with Tim Hudson. He has been a great asset for the Braves but he is starting to show the wear and tear. $9 million is not a great deal of money but when you have kids coming along who can give you the same production for a tenth of the money, well, you just make that move.


  35. 35 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I look for Venters to be gone by the end of spring training too. I still think he is damaged goods. Of course, if I can see it, I’m sure the major league scouts see it too. Maybe he can pitch just good enough to be attractive to the Marlins.


  36. 36 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I think we’ll lose Venters in the deal for Bonifacio. (I still see this as happening, even though the Jays aren’t looking to trade him “at this time” and Frank is looking at “in-house options”. That just means they are both positioning themselves in trade talks…)


  37. 37 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    We’ll end up sending Venters, a spare IF/OF not named Johnson and a young pitcher not named Teheran for Boni and some mid-level prospect we’ve never heard of. The quality of the spare IF/OF will be determined by the quality of the pitcher, who will be the centerpiece of the deal from their standpoint. It won’t come from our current rotation, either. Delgado, Gilmartin, Spruill… those are the names to look out for.

    Teheran will be our #5 starter in 2012. No question. Mark it. Have you seen his numbers from the Dominican League? He hasn’t given up a run in his last 3 starts. He tossed 5.2 innings of no-hit ball 2 starts ago. He’s ready.

    (Wearing my prophet hat today. I only break that out on special occasions, like when I’m particularly bored…)


  38. 38 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Oh, and their motivation to acquire pitching will increase as the Yanks and Bosox start flexing their off-season muscle. Had Baltimore gotten serious about some of their rumored targets, the Jays might already be more active. But they’ll be reactive to what goes on around them in the AL East. The Rays picking up Myers won’t hurt anything, either, except to shrink the already shrunk pool of available OF.


  39. 39 Carolina Lady December 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Y’all know your stuff, that’s for sure!

    Also, I’d like to say Howdy to zdurham14 who is now following us! Jump in, durham! the water is great here!


  40. 40 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    This should have been posted at 7:32 AM, but hung up for some reason. 😕
    There ya go V! 😉 Wish wordpress had those icons to click on for quoting/bolding/italicing(blog first?) but..they don’t..Christian Bethancourt…he looks like Benito Santiago… a pretty fair catcher…wonder if Christian Bethancourt throws runners out from his knees on a daily basis??


  41. 41 Carolina Lady December 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Interesting but sad story of an amazing young pitcher


  42. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for the story CL….last I heard about him, he was doing the bricklaying job with his Dad…too bad he couldn’t stick to that. Too bad Scott Borass was involved…too bad he didn’t punch right handed…just…too bad.


  43. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Sad CL, goes to show that a million dollar arm often is not controlled by a million dollar brain.

    Same could be said for the kid who was signed number one by Padres a few years ago.

    People who do not have to work hard for their success usually have little appreciation for those rewards and don’t appear to have a grasp on how fast it can all be over.

    Now, an IF/OF to trade to the Jays… think they might want Pastornicky back?


  44. 44 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

    So… while we were sleeping, the Dodgers signed Zack Grienke to a 6 year 147 million dollar deal. Meanwhile, the Braves are busy checking under the sofa cushions for loose change so they can sign a left fielder/third baseman.

    Anyone else remember when Atlanta was once a destination of choice for many ballplayers as Ted Turner was more than willing to shell out the big bucks?

    Oh well, when you are paid $6 billion for a TV contract (an amount which would enable on to buy the entire city of Atlanta) you can be very liberal with other peoples’ money.

    So, for that amount, is Vince Sculley going to learn Spanish?


  45. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Yes Raisins, how the mighty have fallen… goes to show how fleeting a major league career can be.


  46. 47 Carolina Lady December 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    ….and so many can’t fall with grace and dignity. Chipper did it right, IMO. Wonder if Andruw needs the money? Wonder if he’ll ever get enough to make him happy?


  47. 48 berigan2electricboogaloo December 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Wow indeed! Still only 35. I think one day, people will have to talk about if he was a hof’er. Offensively, you’d probably say close, but no, but, if people like Bobby Cox and others remind folks he was one of , if not the best CF’ers ever…that might change the equation.
    Of Course, ask Dale Murphy if putting up the best offensive numbers during the 80’s was enough to get you in the hall if your offense tanked when you were in your early 30’s….


  48. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Ok, you can take Shin Soo Choo off the board, going to the Reds for the year.


  49. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    One has to think, there is a big opportunity for somebody opening up this spring in Atlanta.


  50. 51 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Choo was never a good fit for us. He is one year away from FA with Scott Boras as is agent. Would have cost too much for a rental. But yesterday’s actions still further diminished the talent pool. Ichiro is back to the Yanks. JUpton is now off the board since ARI got their SS. The Rangers will almost certainly re-sign Hamilton now that JUpton is no longer available, which could force Bourn to the Mariners…

    Frank says he’s on the phone “staying engaged”.



  51. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Anyone else think Bourne/Boras may have overestimated his value? That is what happens when you tank the second half of a season. Better to come on strong the final two months of the season than shine the first half.


  52. 53 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Speed players look really good on the surface, bit more times than not, they fade at the finish. The typical end of season fades are a microcosm of his career. No one will want to go 5 years on him. 3 is more realistic.


  53. 54 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    “Staying engaged” means:


  54. 55 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm


  55. 56 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Shows you what I know… 😳


  56. 57 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Perhaps Frank is not as comfortable with his “in-house options” as he would have us believe…


  57. 58 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Sources: #Braves made “aggressive” offer for Choo.
    Wow…an aggressive offer for a so-so player, who according to what I was reading in the comments on the trade, is a sub par defender….how very exciting. Perhaps in house isn’t the worst thing…I don’t know…


  58. 59 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Ber, sub-par as a CF, but suitable for a LF. And his OBP is pretty good… .373 last season w/ 21 stolen bases. That’s pretty good. He would have been a pretty good fit to our lineup on a short term basis. That’s my gripe, is that I am tired of the turnstile. But Choo would have been OK as long as we didn’t have to give up Delgado for a 1 year rental.

    I’m still asking Santa for Bonifacio…


  59. 60 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm


  60. 61 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    What a lineup they’ll have with Trout, Pujols and Hamilton. And let’s not forget Trumbo, Kendrick and Morales. Wow!


  61. 62 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm


  62. 63 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    If I read correctly, they have been looking at this guy for a couple of years. He’s a better utility guy than either Janish or Pastor. This likely gives Pastor and Janish both a ticket back to AAA for depth. While Janish has a better glove, Pena has a very good one, and can hit above the Mendoza line. Pastor better learn to play LF.


  63. 64 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Notice he is a 3B also. Frank has acquired several bench players lately “for depth”, but one has to wonder just how much depth is needed. It makes me wonder if he is acquiring pieces necessary to complete a trade elsewhere. He now could include Pastor or Francisco in a deal for a LF. Francisco would seem to be the most interesting to other clubs, I would think.


  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Ramiro Pena huh, well, I am just uh.. what’s the word I’m looking for? Underwhelmed, yeah, that’s it, underwhelmed.. Yes, I know you have to stock up on certain types of players but to be truthful, when I first saw the headline, I thought the Braves had signed Tony Pena III,

    Yes, we see other teams make big signings to strengthening their club while Frank continues to comb the yard sales and flea markets in hopes of finding a hidden gem. Without the aid of steroids, I don’t see that happening very often anymore.

    Paul Janish might be thinking he made a mistake of signing with the Braves right about now.


  65. 66 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Ramiro Pena….never even heard of the guy. That’s hard for a yankee player, though granted he only had a few Ab’s last season. That they would get rid of him with their regular SS and 3rd baseman down(I know, they signed the Youker to play 3rd) oh well…I like Janish…seemed just fine, if not better than fine…

    as for the Angels deal, WOW! No one saw that coming! V, when you see those guys around him…man, what an offense they will have! Remember when we played them 2-3 years ago, and it seemed like their whole team was made up on Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar’s? No more…hey…just had a thought…they will have 2 spare outfielders again. One, we most likely wouldn’t want, no matter how much salary they swallowed, Vernon Wells (.230, 11 HR’s 29 RBI’s $24,642,857 contract) the other…a name that was tossed around awhile back…Peter Bourjos. Still 25, only got 191 AB’s last year…the fastest white guy Torii Hunter had ever seen(can you imagine if a white guy said that about a black player? oh well) till Mike Trout arrived…anyway, wonder what it would take to pry him loose, or are they going to keep him around in case someone gets injured?


  66. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Ever get the feeling that you just got a lump of coal in your stocking and your parents are trying to convince you it is really a diamond that is just not quite ripe yet?

    No matter how the Braves spin it, the feeling that we are being sold a bill of goods prevails.


  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I hate the thought of returning to the days when the Braves did not finalize their roster until the end of spring training each year so they could pick up guys that other teams had cut.

    If Pena can play defense as well as Janish, I will be amazed. I still think Paul’s hitting woes are/were related to the bad shoulder.

    Yes, there are some pretty impressive offensive line ups being put together. I have been thinking, There were two major pieces lost at the end of last season by the Braves, those being Borne and Chipper Jones. Upton replaces Borne and then some in the power department but I don’t see him as having as high an on base percentage as Michael. That leaves the need to replace Chipper’s bat. I just don’t see anyone in house replacing his numbers. Unless they do, sign a player who can put up consistent offense, the Braves will be grouped with Florida and the Mets as also rans next season.


  68. 69 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    As for Bourjos, I thought the same thing until I looked at his numbers. For one, he has never batted leadoff at the major league level. Might have something to do with a sub-.300 OBP last season. He might be fast, but his time from the batter’s box back to the dugout is pretty much the same as most guys.

    Gil, I truly believe that Frank is showing patience and waiting for the market to settle a bit more. I was pretty hacked when he came away from the Winter Meetings with no LF, but I forgot that he has made one of the more significant FA signings this winter. I have to trust him. I see no real reason for him to stockpile middle IF utility types unless he’s planning on using them for some other reason. And when I read that he was aggressively “in” on Choo, which was counter to his public statements, it clued me in that we really do NOT know what is going on behind that office door. It also clued me that he isn’t comfortable with his “in-house options” even though the public voice says he is. That’s just good posturing and positioning really.

    And for the record, I believe Ramiro Peña is a superior utility player to Janish. While Janish has an elite glove at SS, he’s pretty much a SS or 2B. And to be perfectly honest, he can’t hit a lick. Peña is a true utility guy that can play all IF spots effectively, and still get a hit now and then. In fact, he’s hitting .308 with 9 doubles, a triple and 5 HR’s, 15 RBI and a .430 OBP in 48 games in Mexican League thus far this winter. And he’ll catch the ball too, unlike the Pastor, who might have a better bat, but his glove leaves alot to be desired.

    One thing to consider here… Emilio Bonifacio is showing on the Jays depth chart as their 2B, even though they had previously signed Maicer Izturis to a FA deal to be their 2B. He now shows as their backup at all IF spots. So what would they need in return for Bonifacio besides pitching? Backup IF maybe? Hmmm…


  69. 70 Carolina Lady December 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I sorta have that old gut feeling that this is going to be yet another ho-hum year. Hard to get excited about it.


  70. 71 Carolina Lady December 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Hope you’re right, Raisins.


  71. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Sitting here, trying to type around the cat, who loves the warmth of the laptop, thinking about how the Braves need to remember that when folks shell out the big bucks to see stars play, triple A, not so much


  72. 73 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    V, while it’s true Bourjos didn’t have a very good year last year, he lost out on being a starter since Phat Albert took over 1st, Trumbo had to go to the outfield. As a starter in 2011, he lead the AL in triples with 11, hit 12 HR’s 22 SB’s hit .271, with a .327 OBP.
    Meanwhile, Jordan Schafer’s best batting average is .245. He stole 27 bases last year. 4 HR’s last year is a career high. And the worst team in baseball last year said, thanks bud, but we will try someone else in 2013…


  73. 74 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Schafer has to earn a major league job for sure. You know that you’re a bottom feeder when the GM says he’s “comfortable” with guys, and mentions the names Constanza, Gattis, Francisco and even Cunningham, but never says the name Schafer. Jordan has a mighty big hill to climb just to make the team.


  74. 75 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

    V, it’s true that he will have to earn his way on…didn’t he have a spectacular spring training a few years ago that won him the job? trying to look into that, but came across this, from last year…
    Perhaps the most exciting player in Houston’s camp this year was Jordan Schafer, who hit .379/.455/.483, and earned the starting gig in center field as
    a result.

    Then this, (think it’s earlier, can’t tell on the site, both stories just say 9 months ago.)
    Jordan Schafer Injury Update: Astros CF To See Hand Specialist

    Houston Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer injured his left hand while making a diving catch on March 18 in Spring Training. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain and Schafer was supposed to miss about a week of Spring Training time as a result. He has still not returned to the lineup.

    Guess it was way back in 2009 that he had such a great S.T.

    And heres an interesting story from 2010 from DOB…forgot how much he impressed everyone…lots of guys haven’t found that key to hitting at the ML level til they were in their late twenties, so 26 isn’t really that old…

    I bet he will have another great spring training, but no one will know if it’s the real deal til the season starts…


  75. 76 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    And its true…I start off a lot of posts the same way, eh? 🙄


  76. 77 Carolina Lady December 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Yep, it’s true, Ber. 😉


  77. 78 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Hey, good news! There is a another team with a worse tv contract than the braves…sigh…

    The Dodgers are the new Yankees, becoming the first National League club to surpass the $200 million mark in team payroll. Their willingness to spend big is tied in large part to negotiations for a new local television contract with Fox expected to surpass $6 billion.

    This is where the Brewers are separated from such teams. Their local TV contract paid them $12 million in 2012, believed to be the lowest figure among the 30 major-league clubs. Melvin recently said that figure would climb to $21 million next year but that is a far cry from big-market clubs such as the Yankees, who were emboldened by the massive revenues of their YES Network when they broke the bank for Alex Rodriguez (10-year extension for $275 million in ’08) and later Sabathia.


  78. 79 Voice of Raisins December 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Bowman: “The Braves have expressed interest in acquiring the speedy and versatile Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays. But through these attempts, they have gained the sense that Toronto is not very interested in moving Bonifacio.


  79. 80 Carolina Lady December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Sounds to me as if Toronto is raising the price.


  80. 81 Voice of Raisins December 15, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I also found this interesting (from the same Bowman piece):

    At the start of this week, Wren had his visions of acquiring a leadoff hitter by trading for Shin-Soo Choo. He remained optimistic about landing Choo up until he learned that the Indians were instead including Choo in the three-way deal that brought highly-regarded pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs and two relievers to Cleveland.


  81. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hi guys, hope all are well today, jus to let ya’ll know, there appears to be a scammer at work again using my e-mail address to send junk or worse to folks on my e-mail list. Those targeted seem to be associated with my Facebook friends list. Just a heads up, I do not normally send links via e-mail nor will I in the future.


  82. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Raisins, looks like Cleveland made a pretty good haul for a guy they would likely lose at the end of the year.


  83. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I don’t think the Braves would have been willing to match that offer, duh, nor did they. Yes, Bonifacio looks more and more like a perfect fit for the Braves but I would not put him in the same category as a top flight pick. I would just a soon have a player like Omar Infante’ who I think brings many of the same skills.

    It is still pretty early in the process.

    I agree CL, it appears that Toronto is just trying to wait out Wren. They know the Braves are interested but may be trying to gauge the interest other clubs may have. It is pretty nice to be in a position to have players you don’t need but other teams covet. Oh wait, we do have those, they are called pitchers….


  84. 85 berigan2electricboogaloo December 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Gil, I’d like to Omar back too, but I think the tigers finally caught fire when he and Annabel Sanchez came over in the early part of the Marlins fire sale. Just no reason for them to trade him.
    I’d still consider getting Ellsbury, but since everyone is getting a ton for outfielders this offseason, Delgado alone probably wouldn’t to it.
    Looks like the Mutts are going to get quite a haul for RA Dickey, from the Jays. Travis d’Arnaud sounds like the next Buster Posey, except it seems like he misses quite a few games…Mutts even if they don’t make this trade are still safe to not finish in last place…Marlins are going to lose 110 games this year…with or without Stanton.


  85. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I hate to be one to covet another team’s players but Stanton would be one who I might be willing to put together a nice package for. He will bring Loria a big haul when he decides to part with him.


  86. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Yes. Omar is a bit of a secret weapon. Ever notice the difference in a team’s splits with him in or out of the lineup? The only draw back is how much pitchers like to throw in on his hands.


  87. 88 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Rumblings are that the ‘Stros might consider trading Jed Lowrie for the right pitching return. He’s primarily been a SS in HOU, but did play a good bit of 3B with Boston. He’s not FA until 2015. He knocked 16 HR last season in only 90-something games. I wonder if that might be worth considering? Might not be too costly in trade pieces…


  88. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    R A Dickey to the Jays, waiting on Boifacio for a relief pitcher….


  89. 90 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Bonifacio for reliever should happen. Just saying. It would eliminate one of the negatives found here. Oh, yeah… I need to post the “here”. This is a nice little article here:



  90. 91 Voice of Raisins December 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Speaking of bullpen, ours is widely considered to be one of, if not “the”, deepest and best in the NL and maybe all of MLB. To that end, many of the talking heads are dead set against trading any of our relievers, especially EOF. But many also overlook one Luis Avilan, who was stellar down the stretch last season as a rookie, and who is dominating in the Venezuelan Winter League. He’s another lefty. His fastball sits in the low 90’s and he has a nasty curve. Sounds alot like another lefty, eh? EOF? The biggest difference? EOF is older and likely at the peak of his performance. Likewise, he’s at the peak of his trade value. Not to mention he’ll make $3-4MM in arb this year, his final year of arb before hitting FA next offseason. Avilan makes the league minimum and has barely started his ML clock.

    In the words of the great American philosopher Si Robertson, “Look here…”

    Pitchers are not like position players. As cold as it may sound, GM’s should use them up and move them on. They are so volatile, especially back end of the bullpen relievers. One need only look at Jonny Venters for a recent example. There’s no reason to expect EOF to tank like Venters did in 2012. But by the same token, there’s no reason to say he won’t either. We’ve seen it over and over in relievers.

    Trade him. Trade him now. The value of a top lefty reliever is off the charts right now. I say trade him, seek Bonifacio – or failing that, Dexter Fowler – and take the $3MM savings and apply it to locking up Martin to a multi-year deal. Do it now.

    The NL East is going to be an interesting division in 2013. Last year’s top MLB team, the Nats, is better in 2013. The Phillies, although still old, still have one of the best rotations in baseball and will have their #’s 3 & 4 hitters back for the entire season. Conversely, the Mets will suck, and the Marlins will suck worse. And while the Braves won’t suck, and I do think they are a better team than the Phillies, they are not even close to the Nats… yet. Add the one missing element – the elusive LF/leadoff hitter – and I do think we are right there.

    Why? Simple. We do have the best bully in the NL, even with Avilan in place of EOF. We have Craig Kimbrel. Period. We finally have the balance in our lineup that we have needed for years. We should have a healthy BMac back. We have both JHey and Freddie Freeman coming into their own as emerging stars. We have BJ Upton in the prime of his career. (I still smile when I think of JHey and BJ hitting back-to-back in this lineup.) 😀 Andrelton Simmons vs. Ian Desmond is like a Hoover vacuum vs. an old straw broom. Our defense overall is superior to the Nats, and I don’t even think it’s that close.

    BUT… we currently have a hole in the lineup that could make all the difference in the world.

    Frank… please plug the hole. Please. I beseech (FOB?) you…


  91. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Good points Raisins, while I think Frank would rather part with Venters than Easy O, sometimes we have to remember that other teams have scouts too. They see what we see but with the understanding their livelihood depends on it. That said, I would rather see O got to the American League than have to face him.

    I am waiting to see who blinks first, LaRoach or Learner. The Nats are sort of the mirror image of the Braves in that their line up is righty dominant where as the Braves have been heavy on the left side.

    I have to wonder if Michael Borne didn’t over play his hand. Chicks dig the long ball, so do owners… Most are perfectly willing to swap a few more stolen bases for someone who is in scoring position while standing at home plate. Prince Fielder is a perfect example of that. No gold glover is he but my oh my, can he ever strike fear into the hearts of a so so hurler.

    Ian Desmond is no slouch at short, no Simmons but not bad. Washington has drafted well, they have been smart with their money and the Learners have plenty of it. The Braves just cannot compete with them on that level. Even so, the Braves have developed an outstanding pitching staff. Top to bottom, relief or starter, they have a staff which can go against anyone in baseball.

    Third base: I would like to see Long Juan get an opportunity to show what he can do, just a feeling mind you. He only needs to shorten his swing a bit. He has to understand a 380 foot homerun counts the same as one hit 480 feet. That said, in order to hit a 380 fly, you first must make contact with the ball. A sac fly scores a run too…. Strike outs do not…


  92. 94 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I’ve come around to giving Juan a chance….but if he tanks, then we have problems…
    Oakland signed a Japanese player to play SS, seems like quite the character, I got a kick of him!


  93. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    The first couple of months of every season is always a feeling out period. I have yet to see a team stand pat for an entire season with a team they break camp with. That said, no team can afford to let themselves be buried in April and May. Yet, playing 500 ball usually allows for a team to make moves.

    The Braves will be without BMac’s bat for at least the fist month or so. Someone will have to fill that void. To be honest, I don’t know who is still available out there who can carry this team on their back for extended periods.

    The Braves have not had a problem with getting men on base the past couple of seasons but they have had big time problems driving in runs.

    Bonifacio is a table setter, not a run producer, same could be said of Prado. Juan is a prototypical bopper, I just don’t know if he has the ability to do it on a consistent bases. He may still have too many thoughts running through his head while standing at the plate. See the ball, hit the ball… So simple to say, so difficult to do. It is why guys who can hit 30 home-runs a year are so coveted. Guys who can steal 30 bases, not so much…


  94. 96 Voice of Raisins December 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    See the base, steal the base? 😀


  95. 97 Voice of Raisins December 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    So… ol’ Buster Olney is of the opinion “that the Braves would be fairly comfortable going into the season with Martin Prado playing both left field and third base. They’d use Reed Johnson in left field against left-handers and Juan Francisco at third base against right-handers in that scenario.”

    Good. If that opinion is now pervasive through the media, maybe it is also the opinion of the 29 other GM’s. Maybe the Braves no longer look as desperate as they did last month, and maybe other teams won’t be looking to rape the system in every deal for a middling player.


  96. 98 Voice of Raisins December 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I mean, Dexter Fowler for Delgado and another top 15 prospect? I wouldn’t trade Delgado straight up for the guy. His numbers outside of Denver are not all that impressive. 🙄


  97. 99 Voice of Raisins December 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm



  98. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

    It appears to me that both of the above cited scribes get their information on Atlanta by reading DOB’s blog. They are pretty much verbatim what O’Brien wrote in his latest piece in the AJC.

    Of course, I would be surprised if they didn’t read ours too.


  99. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I noticed the stats he (O’Brien) posted on the Braves vs left handed pitchers in 2012. LAST in MLB… Wow, no wonder everyone loads up with the lefties against us…

    I was thinking yesterday about how I felt when Bobby Cox employed his platoon against lefties. It was one night against Pittsburgh when I was listening to the Braves broadcast on the radio and the Bravos were crushing the Bucs with their alternate line-up. I knew the Braves were on their way after that.

    I am hoping Gattis impresses in spring training. He could become the next Mike Morse. I was surprised by the way when the Braves didn’t sign Morse a couple of years ago when he was released by the Cardinals. He sure has worked out well for the Nats.

    And a word about “tearing it up” in winter ball vs not. Much has been said about the caliber of the pitching in winter ball vs the major leagues. Does that mean the stellar stats being put up by Delgato don’t mean anything either?

    I think hitting is a lot about muscle memory. Good hitters make their living off hitting pitchers’ mistakes. Major league pitchers make fewer mistakes but they still make them. Good hitter don’t get themselves out by trying to hit pitchers’ pitches and getting themselves in 0-2 counts all the time. It is my only gripe against Freddie Freeman is he almost always swings at the first pitch.

    I think Paul Janish would be a much better hitter if he would swing down on the ball more. He lacks the power to get balls out of the park and while he makes contact a lot, he has warning track power. Much like Marcus Giles after he was off the juice.


  100. 102 Voice of Raisins December 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Speaking of the above mentioned blog by Mr. O’B, it may be the best thing I have read from him lately (up until the Top 50 albums. Got nothing against it, but not into the same stuff he is.) And I certainly do not read below the blog lead itself. Too much insanity follows.

    But his methodical and well supported description of the Braves “in-house options” really does give a better perspective on things. And I must admit, I am quite impressed by Long Juan’s progress over the winter. The kid, and he is still a kid, looks like he wants to earn a lineup spot. Good for him. I wish him the best. Competition and the work it takes to compete always breeds better results. It’s a concept widely lost in this current entitlement minded society.

    And retaining Reed Johnson was huge for this team, even if not a big splash. He reminds me alot of David Ross in that he is a really good player in his moments, but would likely be exposed if he played every day. It’s what made Ross so valuable, and will likewise make Johnson equally as valuable.

    A big key that is not talked about too much is the return of BMac. Can he come back and throw runners out? Who knows..? But he will be back healthy for the first time in a year, and his bat should not suffer at all. In fact, every time he has returned from injury, he has returned to form very quickly. I just wish he’d have a few weeks in Spring Training to get it all in shape. And I hope he is keeping his body in shape in the mean time. Not that he has ever been a specimen, but we need him ready to hit the ground running in May.

    And a hot start by the streaky Dan Uggla would not hurt anything either. If he could just have his hot streak early, and his cold streak closer to June and July. Timing is everything…


  101. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

    A good case for Dale Murphy to go into the Hall of Fame…


    Raisins, I agree on insanity espoused on the DOB blog, little has changed over there. Also agree on the music, everyone has their own taste in music, I did not recognize more than 5 names on his list. Of course, I am a blues fan in addition to country (older stuff) new stuff all sounds like the same melody with different lyrics, okay, sometimes different lyrics… Of course, the same could be said for the blues, but I digress…


  102. 104 Voice of Raisins December 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm


  103. 105 Voice of Raisins December 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm


  104. 106 Carolina Lady December 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    UPLAND, Calif. (AP) – Frank Pastore, the former major league baseball pitcher who became a popular Christian radio show host, has died. He was 55.

    Southern California radio station KKLA, which aired Pastore’s show, said on its website that he died Monday, nearly a month after he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident.

    Pastore had been in a coma since a car collided with his motorcycle Nov. 19. The accident came hours after he pondered the risk of motorcycle riding on his daily radio show, in which he discussed the possibility of life after death.

    Pastore pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 until 1985 and for the Minnesota Twins in 1986. After playing ball, he obtained a master’s degree in philosophy at Biola University and became a radio host.

    Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press.


  105. 108 Voice of Raisins December 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I don’t like it. Not even sure I buy that they have real interest. 20 homers, yes… but not great OBP and more K’s than is preferable, especially given the K #’s of BJ, JHey and Uggla. And he is not a leadoff guy. I would just as soon go with the RJohnson/Long Juan platoon and save the unreasonably high $$ amount.


  106. 109 Voice of Raisins December 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    He’s looking for 2 years at $5MM each. He did mash lefties pretty good, a weak spot for the Braves recently. I can see the interest, I suppose… would certainly relegate Johnson to a mostly bench role. Would cement a move to leadoff for Martin, I would assume.

    Best guess of lineup with Hairston present:

    Prado (R)
    JHey (L)
    BJ (R)
    Mac (L)
    Hairston (R)
    Freeman (L)
    Uggla (R)
    Simmons (R)


  107. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    The Hairston brothers are a lot lot the Alou boys but with a tad less talent. Like we have seen in the past, left field has been a hugh black hole for the Braves where players have done well on other teams but have put up abysmal numbers while employed by the Bravos.

    I guess the real answer is for the Braves to actually decide what it is they want in a left fielder and just go for that. Lead off hitter or bopper, speedster or run producer. Trying to get by on the cheap? I would just as soon give the guys already in the system a chance. If not, then do what they have to do an sign somebody to play the position.

    The Braves have pitching to trade, supposedly that is a position of strength. Why is it the Braves are being made to feel like they are needy? Just go to spring training and see what it is they need, I’m pretty sure there will be teams that need pitching worse than they need outfielders.


  108. 111 Voice of Raisins December 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Thought as much…


  109. 112 Voice of Raisins December 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm


  110. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo December 22, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Weird…perhaps his agent was trying to stir stuff…I’d take him…I don’t know…3 run homers, bludgeoning your opponent to death..that tends to get the Yankees into the playoffs, they usually get past the 1st round at least…No one seems to trade in ST, at least like they used to…Why trade a 30 HR 100 RBI guy, unless you have a can’t miss guy in the minors trapped by him?

    CL, thanks for the news, the sad news about Frank Pastore. I do recall him a bit as a pitcher(the name at least) his face looks so familiar, I wonder if he was on Fox once in awhile???


  111. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

    30 home runs, 100 RBI. Does not sound like anyone the Braves could afford. When is the last time the Braves even got that sort of production?

    Clubbing your opponent into submission? American League?


  112. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I wonder if any of the Braves youngsters will play for their native country in the WBC?

    I have not seen Ernesto play at any level to date. His minor league numbers look pretty impressive though. One has to wonder if he won’t be used as part of a trade package. He is getting past the point of being a prospect because of his age but I think he could help some teams. Heck, he could probably help the Braves. He is not going to bump Freddie off of first, no matter how good he is.


  113. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Another random thought, has there ever been a season the Braves were not looking for a piece to complete their team? They always seem to pick up some guy who is 100 years old in baseball years who has a great pedigree but is washed up, ie. slowed bat, weak glove, slower legs to fill out their roster.

    I think I would rather take a chance on a kid on the way up than an old guy who is on the way out.


  114. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Speaking of an old guy on the way out… When Chipper’s reflexs slowed down to the point he could not get a glove on the ball hit by BJ Upton at Tampa last season, it should have sent a message to all of us that he was a great candidate for whom to bring in a defensive replacement early. Just saying…


  115. 118 Voice of Raisins December 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

    One has to wonder if he won’t be used as part of a trade package. He is getting past the point of being a prospect because of his age but I think he could help some teams. Heck, he could probably help the Braves. He is not going to bump Freddie off of first, no matter how good he is.

    He pretty much must be a trade piece. By all accounts, he can mash, but is pretty stiff as a fielder. The Braves have not ever considered another position for him because he simply cannot play in the field. From what I understand, he isn’t exactly Keith Hernandez at 1B, either. But he has prodigious power. Some AL team should take a flyer on him. He reminds me a little of David Ortiz coming up with Minnesota. Not saying he is going to be another David Ortiz, but then again, nobody would have predicted David Ortiz to be David Ortiz, either. Uh, I mean… well, you get the idea.

    The point is, he would make a nice addition to a trade package to an AL team… say Toronto?


  116. 119 Voice of Raisins December 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Cody Ross to the D’backs? They already have a crowded OF. That ought to stoke a new round of trade rumors…


  117. 120 Carolina Lady December 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    And now he’s sporting around with a playboy “bunny”?? Say it ain’t so, Sam!
    Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad.



  118. 121 berigan2electricboogaloo December 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    V, I know, doesn’t make much sense…they had way too many before hand…Justin has to want to leave there, two off seasons in a row they have tried to trade him..but sounds like Kubel is the one they want to trade now?


  119. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Attitude… defined as having your butt on your shoulders for a very long time.. AKA Justin Upton…


  120. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    he can mash, but is pretty stiff as a fielder that pretty much describes the majority of the bench players in the major leagues. Could have been said of Hinske, Tony G, Lonnie Smith, Chipper last season….


  121. 124 Voice of Raisins December 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Who didn’t see that comin’? But Kubel? He’s a bopper, but a lefty bopper. I’d rather have Gerardo Parra, who is cheaper and has leadoff experience. But it sounds like they want to move Kubel, and with 30 HR’s in 2012, they will find suitors for him.


  122. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Three years, $26 million dollars for Ross to play in the desert. A lot more than the $5 million per year the fan in Atlanta thought he might be worth. Seems to me a lot of folks need to get past the sticker shock that is the salary of the typical major league free agent.

    It is a lot more than I think he is worth. No wonder teams seek to develop their own players. How much do ya’ll think Jason Heyward is going to ask for when he reaches free agency? Ye Braves better get everything they can out of him while they can.

    When you see guys like Pegan and Ross sign for close to Chipper Jones money, you have to wonder how places like Pittsburgh and Atlanta can compete. There is money out there evidently but I’m not sure folks are willing to part with it.

    Bourne remains the best available guy out there but I have not heard a word on anyone having an interest. That is , other than the Braves who say they cannot or don’t want to afford him.

    Parra? Why not?


  123. 126 berigan2electricboogaloo December 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Something I didn’t know til they mentioned it a few years back on baseball tonight, is that Phoenix is the 2nd highest city(you know what I mean! 😉 ) in the Majors, meaning the ball flies out of there…not sure why the Diamondbacks made the trade, since they seem to have too many outfielders..even if they trade one regular away.
    Cody gets 8 mil, Swisher gets 14 mil for 4 years. Both are “gamers” but Cody comes to life during the playoffs, (perhaps that is why?) Swisher plays like he’s an Atlanta Brave come playoff time…
    And 5 Mil is too much for Scott Hairston? well, it might be…it’s just weird. I swear the braves seem light a high school girl acting like she is just fine with her so-so date to the prom, all the while trying to find someone better, but knowing all along she can’t compete with the cheerleaders…I know that’s part of the game, but, take a chance one way or the other! Either say, hey, we honestly don’t think for the money, anyone left will make us that much better, or if that’s too harsh just say, hey we have some good options.
    I guess they have fallen towards the latter, but they don’t sound convinced, and of course it’s not exciting, in theory vs the known quantity.
    If Gattis or Francisco hit from the get go, like I said before, no problemo. But, there isn’t a plan B, you can’t really make those late in spring training trades(unless some team finds a 21 yo is ready right now, which makes another outfielder expendable, but when do you recall something like that happening in ST?)


  124. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    So, isn’t Kubel the big body type the Braves are looking for? I am thinking the Braves front office cannot make up their mind as to exactly what type of player they are looking for. A guy who is fast and can lead off or a bopper who can drive in runs.

    I don’t think a move will be made until the Braves look at the viability of their in house options in spring training. Once bitten, twice shy. I think the Braves are afraid of making a mistake payroll wise.


  125. 128 Voice of Raisins December 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    It’s actually pretty simple with Kubel. He’s a lefty. Lefty/righty doesn’t matter if he’s a leadoff guy, but they are already so lefty heavy in the middle of the order with JHey, Mac and Freeman. I actually have to agree there.

    If we could just count on Uggla to be what we thought we were getting, we could let some of the younguns play without being too concerned.

    As for Hairston, he is another strikeout guy. We have our share of those already. I’d just as soon let Francisco and Johnson get their cuts as to pay $5MM for Hairston.


  126. 129 Voice of Raisins December 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    The way I feel right now… if they can find a LF/leadoff without being heisted, then I’m OK. But if a leadoff guy is not to be had, I am OK going with a mix of Francisco, RJohnson & maybe even Evan Gaddis.


  127. 130 Voice of Raisins December 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Gaddis Uh, Gattis. 😳


  128. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Just finished watching “Trouble With The Curve” . Not a bad movie, not really a baseball movie but still a pretty good flick. No “Field Of Dreams” but still a decent hour and a half.


  129. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville December 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I saw that CL, sad really. Evidently this kid has had some long standing problems…


  130. 135 Voice of Raisins December 24, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Indeed he did. It pains me to see people looking all over creation for the one thing missing in their lives that will fill that hole in their heart… when He is so close at all times.


  131. 136 Carolina Lady December 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Amen, Raisins.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to each one of you!!


  132. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville December 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Merry Christmas all, It is the night of our dear savior’s birth.. Amen


  133. 138 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Merry Christmas Gil, V, and CL!
    He is Risen!!!


  134. 139 Voice of Raisins December 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    …but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” ~Philippians 2:7

    The perfect gift of salvation, given to us…


  135. 140 Voice of Raisins December 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm


    Former Braves player arrested on battery charge



  136. 141 Voice of Raisins December 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    frefall Um, freefall… 😳


  137. 142 Carolina Lady December 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    That is so sad about Andruw. You said it earlier, Raisins – they know that there is an emptiness inside but don’t know the only One who is the answer.

    Jack Klugman and Charles Durning – two of my favorite actors gone. 😦


  138. 143 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm


    What remaining free agent LF had a higher AVG w/RISP in 2012 than each of the following vaunted Yankee hitters: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson and Raul Ibanez?


  139. 144 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Give ya a hint…

    He bats RH. 😉


  140. 145 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Kinda makes me feel bad about some earlier disparaging remarks I said about him…


  141. 146 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Wow! 😯

    Only 2 Braves regulars – Martin Prado and Michael Bourn – hit for higher AVG w/ RISP then Scott Hairston last season.



  142. 147 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    then</strike uh, han… 😳


  143. 148 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Wow… messed up that whole correction. I’ll just slink away quietly now… 🙄


  144. 149 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    BTW: Does anyone else see a problem there? Our former leadoff hitter had the highest AVG w/RISP last season among regulars. And our apparent heir to the leadoff spot was #2 in that category. Mind blowing…


  145. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    It is really sad about Andruw Jones, maybe it will be good for him to get out of the country for a while. I’m surprised he is not playing for the Netherlands in the WBC.

    Yes, I think the last time the Braves had a 100 RBI guy was 2007.. It has to be an organizational thing for a streak to go on that long.

    I hope Gattis, Majorca and Francisco all realize the opportunity they have to make the roster. Well, maybe not Majorca but the other two for sure.

    What may the the saddest thing is for the Braves to give up on Bourne because they don’t think they can afford him. The answer to their problem is really right in front of them. I cannot blame Bourne for wanting to make the big pay day. After inflation sets in, the $15 million a year will be chump change.


  146. 151 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    It’s not the $15MM, Gil, it’s the length of contract. That’s what’s killing him. He wants 5 years guaranteed, and no one is willing to give that to him at age 29. Speed players historically suck at the end of long deals after age 30. We can go down a long list of examples, but why waste the time and space? If he’d go 3 years, he’d already be signed. If I were Frank, I’d approach him about another 1 year deal, and let him try again next year. But his problem still will be the same… long term deal past age 30.


  147. 152 Voice of Raisins December 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Matty Diaz going to the Yanks. Good landing place for him.


  148. 153 Voice of Raisins December 27, 2012 at 7:40 am

    … minor league deal for Matt, BTW…


  149. 154 Voice of Raisins December 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm


  150. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I’m glad to see Matt get an opportunity. Perhaps with the hand healed completely, he will return to being the “hittin’ fool”.

    I started a new John Grisham book last night, “Calico Joe” so far pretty good. My eyes don’t let me read for more than an hour at a time but it should not take long to complete.

    Yes, Bourne wants the job security, GMs want everyone to have a one year deal. I would even go four years. It all works out when you pay half your team the league minimum. That is the way it is shaping up for the Braves pitching staff.

    Still waiting to hear where JJ will sign a minor league contract. I hope he can come back. I still blame the all-star appearance. Just saying…


  151. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I notice Swisher signed with the Indians. Looks more and more like Bourne will be the last man standing. At least the last free agent outfielder of any repute.

    The Braves look more and more like they are ready to try the “internal option”…


  152. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2012 at 8:36 am

    So, Raisins, you are angry because.. A. you feel Liberty Media has cash availible it is not telling anyone about B. you think the Braves are just the Marlins with a slightly larger payroll C. You feel like the Braves are stuck in limbo because of the long term deals already struck?

    Bottom line, less cash in the cofiers mean less cash availible to hold on to their stars when they hit free agency. It’s going to be tough to win on a consitant basis without a little magic.

    Funny as to how valuble the Dodgers have become. Makes one wonder how an area which proportly is bankrupt has so much cash availible. After all, it is not like the are Notre Dame or something.

    I see all this cash being banied about and I feel a little poorer by comparisom every day.


  153. 159 Voice of Raisins December 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Just frustrated (still, again, etc.) over the Braves’ albatross of a TV deal. The writer clearly stated that the Indians’ ability to ink Swisher was the direct result of their new TV deal and the immediate revenue it provided.

    How in the name of all that’s good and holy did some Braves executive sign off on something so incredibly bad? And for such a long term? It just doesn’t make any sense at all… none… 🙄

    I know it’s old news. But the reminders such as the Swisher signing, everything the Dodgers or Yankees do, just twist the knife anew each time.


  154. 160 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Well Raisins, when the Braves signed their TV contract, it was a bit of a buyer’s market. Perhaps they were being coached by Liberty Media in what they thought the team was actually worth. After all, wasn’t the economy crashing at the time, folks were moving out of Atlanta faster than a bad burrito through one’s intestinal track.

    Now in other news…. What a great Cowboys vs Redskins game last night. R G III actually almost makes me forget how much I despise Dan Snyder, the owner of the team. I haven’t really watched a lot of pro football since the glory days past and Snyder started throwing money away on washed up hacks like Dion Sanders. I hardly gave the pro game more than a passing glance except to root on Michael Vick when he was in Atlanta. Hey, I didn’t know his roots were so deeply intrenched in the hood… Should have seen it with Marcus. Anyhoo…

    My kids, have remained true and loyal Redskins fans through all the lean years. I guess they deserve to have a winning team during their life time. My oldest daughter made the trek up I95 last night with a group of friends to see the game. She reminds me much of my Aunt Patrica, who was and is a true sports fan. Not just a casual observer mind you but a truly knowledgeable enthusiast. She can spot talent with the best of ’em.

    I think I shall get her to go with me to DC to see Atlanta play next summer.


  155. 161 Voice of Raisins December 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    OK… granted, we still have a big hole in LF. But at least we do have BJ and JHey. Things could be alot worse. The Royals have a LF in Alex Gordon… then Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francouer, Endy Chavez, Xavier Nady and Willy Taveras. Quantity? Yes. Quality? Well…


  156. 162 Voice of Raisins December 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    And for those keeping score, pitchers and catchers report to Mouse-town a mere 6 weeks from today…


  157. 163 Carolina Lady December 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    And here’s hoping for better year for the Braves while we’re at it.


  158. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I wish I was rich instead of so good looking, then I could go to spring training :(… The B&S travel budget has been so severely curtailed, you would think it was being controlled by the Grinch…


  159. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I’m pretty sure Frency would be available, he might actually be a good platoon option. Just saying…


  160. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I’m pretty sure no one would run on an outfield of Upton, Heyward and Francour.


  161. 167 Voice of Raisins December 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm



  162. 168 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Methinks the Raisin’s does not like the idea of Francouer’s return to Atlanta… 🙂

    So, some pretty exiting football games being played in the deep south. Congrats to Salty’s Tigers. That was one heck of a comeback. Now we will see if the Bulldogs can hold serve…

    It ’tis a rainy day in the Old Dominion. Looks like a day filled with eating black eyed peas and stewed tomatoes.. Ant the world did not end last night, I don’t feel like I fell off a cliff or anything. The devil is still in the details. Congress still wants to spend money like they own a printing press, oh, wait….


  163. 169 Voice of Raisins January 1, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Not all deals are good deals. We still lose.

    Wow… that could apply to baseball and Congress.


  164. 170 Voice of Raisins January 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Oh! And Happy New Year! 😀


  165. 171 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Happy New Year everyone! 🙂


  166. 172 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    from Forbes.com
    The Braves have set their player payroll in the mid-$90 million range for the 2012 season, which would be up slightly from the previous year but still below 2008’s payroll. Fans want the Braves, who missed the playoffs last year, to open up their wallet to compete with the big-spending Phillies and Marlins, who have a new stadium, in the NL East. But Terry McGuirk, the team’s CEO, has publicly hinted that one of the reasons the Braves are not spending more on players is that Liberty Media inherited an undervalued television deal from previous owner Time Warner that runs for 25 years, and there is no opportunity for the Braves to negotiate a better deal.

    trust me, someone, somewhere, got some under the table money for this deal…and just like voter fraud, no one will investigate…sigh….


  167. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Now that I think about it, the Time Warner deal of which you speak could very likely hold some type of nefarious element to it, after all, they got the cash and left Liberty Media holding the bag. Even if it were true, no one will ever see the inside of a jail cell. They would just pay a small fine and never look back but I doubt that would ever happen either. No, the Braves are just going to have to hope for some old fashion luck and a set of umpires who are not blind as bats.

    Anyone else remember John Smoltz saying the Braves (of that era) were not really serious about winning? They were rebuilding on the fly.

    As for the Marlins, I don’t think their payroll is still very high. They played that game for half a season. Loria is still laughing about that one I’ll bet, He reminds me so much of Al Davis but without the desire to really win.

    The “ins” never investigate voter fraud. Just ask Eric Holder. I am afraid our country becomes a little more like a “Banana Republic” everyday. The only thing missing is for the President to start wearing a military uniform.


  168. 174 Voice of Raisins January 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Just think… if Frank Wren acted like our Congress, we would have just signed Ken Griffey, Sr. to a 20 year guaranteed contract at $400MM for the first year, with exponential growth in yearly worth through the length of the contract, and with the payments deferred at 200% interest past the length of the deal.


  169. 175 Voice of Raisins January 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    .. and we would have signed him as a pitcher… 🙄


  170. 176 Carolina Lady January 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Raisins, funny but all too true. I’m presently looking up info on LED lights since the village idiots in Congress has outlawed regular lightbulbs. We tried the CFLs and they made both Kelly and me sick. Got rid of them, no more sick. Hurricane lamps are looking better and better. And I already have a stock of them, including extra oil and wicks.

    Wish I could move somewhere else. 😦


  171. 177 Carolina Lady January 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “pitcher” – now THAT’S funny!!!

    Change that “has” above to “have”. 🙄


  172. 178 Voice of Raisins January 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    From Mr. O’B today: “For those of you wondering about the Braves’ left-field situation, the word from GM Frank Wren this morning was that the Braves continue to look for a left fielder, but if they can’t find a deal they like they would be comfortable going to camp with what they have and then assessing the situation later.


  173. 179 Carolina Lady January 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    There’s that word again. “Comfortable.” :-/


  174. 180 Voice of Raisins January 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

    From my recent binge of reading from all over the place, I have learned a couple of things. One is really interesting: looking at their numbers, Dexter Fowler and Justin Upton are very similar players. You wouldn’t think that given the pub JUpton gets, though. Another is not so much interesting, or enlightening, either. Just a harsh reality: The Jays are highly unlikely to trade Emilio Bonifacio. He’s way too versatile and valuable to them.

    Here’s another: Frank has been mentioning Evan Gattis alot lately… alot. He’s mentioned him as a possible BUC while Brian is out; he’s mentioned him as possibly being in the mix for playing time in LF; he’s stressed that even though he hasn’t had much time in pro ball, he’s older and more mature; he’s mentioned his power potential alot. One has to wonder if this is a classic Braves maneuver to inflate a prospect’s perceived value. Sort of “striking while the iron is hot”, so to speak. Remember Charles Thomas? How about Melvin Nieves? Andy Marte? Tony Tarasco? Here’s a good one… Esteban Yan?

    Yes, the Braves have a history of hyping prospects and getting good return in trades.

    I love the power potential of Gattis… I just don’t think he’ll ever be a regular everyday player. He’s alot like his Venezuelan teammate and fellow Braves minor leaguer Ernesto Mejia -> likely a AAAA bench guy that shows flashes of great offensive potential.

    If I were Frank, I’d be letting it known loudly and widely that my minor league coaches think Gattis is quite serviceable behind the plate, and at least won’t kill you in LF. I’d make widely public his great offensive feats this winter in Venezuela. I’d bring him home now before the Venezuelan rosters improve for the playoffs (as they do every year). Then I’d sit back and wait for some catching starved team to come knocking.

    Oh wait… that’s what they’ve done… 😯


  175. 181 Voice of Raisins January 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Let me expound…

    Every great trade for a top position player usually involves 3 elements: a pitcher, a prospect, and a peer (I needed a good alliterative word for “replacement of the guy being traded”. Here’s a perfect example. When the Braves traded for Marquis Grissom, they gave up top relief prospect Esteban Yan, OF prospect Tony Tarasco, and replacement OF Roberto Kelly.

    Neither Yan nor Tarasco panned out for much, and Kelly was on the downside of a decent career. Grissom helped the Braves win a World Series. Clear win for Atlanta even though JS was widely panned at the time as giving up too much for a guy with only slightly above average career numbers. If you’ll recall, Yan was considered to be the next “great” closer and most folks thought Tarasco would be as good as Grissom. How’d that turn out?

    But Grissom filled a big need for us (ironically, a hole in the OF and in the leadoff spot), and the “boatload” of talent was not quite a dinghy full in reality. JS was a master of those types of deals. Those were the type of deals that kept the Braves on top for 14 years. (Well… that and 3 future HOF starting pitchers.)

    Remember… the farm system serves two purposes: to develop players for the major league roster and to provide trade pieces to fill current needs.

    So it’s time for Frank to trade from a position of strength, and from his farm system to fill a current need.

    EOF, Evan Gattis and Jordan Schafer might get him Dexter Fowler. (Can you imagine Gattis’ prodigious power in Coors Field?) Think we could live without those guys? I do…


  176. 182 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Now it appears that the D’Backs are back into wanting to trade JUpton… that can only help the Braves as both ARI and COL might be forced to be more realistic in their trade demands.

    As to my above proposal, COL needs a starting pitcher, not a reliever.


  177. 183 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’d say a starting pitcher available for trade would be one of three possibles, Sean Gilmartin, Julio Teheran or Randell Delgado. Yes, I know all three are rookies but all are you and cheap. The Rockies are another Liberty Media owned team so by extension, they are cheap. Just saying… for sure, a power pitcher has more success in the thin air of Mile High than guys who rely on the ability to get ball to bite.

    As for Gattis, I would still like to see how he does this spring. I’m thinking he would put up numbers at least as good as Josh Willingham. He is really the same type of player. Willingham was also a converted catcher. Of course we will never know until he gets a chance.

    The Braves, unfortunately, cannot solve their problems by simply throwing money at them. I think Justin Upton would be a decent player for Atlanta but I am not so sure he is worth the money he is getting. A lot of folks forget the altitude in Phoenix is not all that different from Denver.

    A guy who can slam em out of the park in places like New York and Washington impresses me more than guys who make a living in Arizona and Colorado. (Note) When I say New York, I am referring to Citi Field and not Yankee Stadium where even I could reach the short porch in left.


  178. 184 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    And I still think the Braves will at least try Simmons in the lead off spot.

    I still think Jason Bourne fell in love a little too much with the home run ball. Methinks he forgot his role in that respect. It showed in his over all numbers decline post All-star break last season.

    It is funny the Braves have not mentioned Brandon Beachy’s name much. Of course TJ surgery can be a crap shoot and it is unlikely the Braves would want to pin their hopes on his speedy return. I envision him returning in a manner similar to that of Kris Medlin. Out of the pen to build arm strength until September and really hope they can move him back full time in place of Tim Hudson in 2014.


  179. 185 Voice of Raisins January 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Well… WordPress hasn’t eaten one of my posts in a long time. It ate that one, though…


  180. 186 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Only 5 weeks until PACR, and the hot stove is down to embers. But… it isn’t out yet.

    Poke it, Frank… poke it…


  181. 187 berigan2electricboogaloo January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I wonder if part of the reason(if not the main reason) the braves don’t make a deal for Justin Upton, is that he’s a likely free agent after 2013? Could be wrong, but he’s played for 6 seasons, first two were not complete, but look like it would have to add up to 5 years of service time. Plus, our strength, pitching, is a strength of the Diamondbacks…think like us, they are looking for a 3rd basemen…


  182. 188 berigan2electricboogaloo January 7, 2013 at 11:43 am

    D’Oh, just saw this on mlbtr
    Upton, 25, will earn $38.5MM through 2015, including a $9.75MM salary in 2013.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#X1dZwoe5g1VTkwOo.99


  183. 189 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    They would probably trade for pitching still, as any team with pitching depth can flip pitching for position players. It’s not always possible to match with teams over hitters – needs of positions, sides of the plate, power vs. OBP, etc. – but 90% of MLB teams need pitching.

    I think the stall on any talks with ARI is simply that ARI must come off their demands. And by all accounts, they have not. It’s why every other team asks about Kubel. ARI must get more reasonable with JUpton or he’s going nowhere. They must remember that they really only “match” up with about 3 or 4 teams with JUpton.

    I still think Frank will go a lesser route with a FA like Hairston or a trade that we haven’t sniffed out yet.

    That said, you think JUpton would be a different player alongside his brother? I do. I think he would truly realize his unmet potential if he were united with BJ. It could well be worth a hefty price tag that does NOT include Andrelton Simmons.

    But when all is said and done, the Braves really match better with an American League team. They have both Gattis and Mejia, both of whom could make great DH’s somewhere. (BTW – Mejia went 4-5 last night. His stats have been off the charts this winter. And while Venezuelan League stats do not necessarily translate into major league success, it does showcase his tremendous power.) I’ll actually be a little surprised if Mejia is not traded before March. He’s a long time minor leaguer, and he really has nothing to gain by going back to AAA again. I think it’s now – while he’s red hot – or never for him.

    That said, I think of Gattis hitting in Boston, or Denver… his already huge power would explode in those parks. Maybe even in… Phoenix. Yep, Phoenix, the town with the second highest elevation in MLB… next to Denver.

    Something to think about.


  184. 190 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Just picturing Gattis smashing the Green Monster repeatedly… 😯


  185. 191 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    As to the “breaking news” over the weekend that Frank said “we’d be open to” bringing Bourn back, it’s really a non-story. The full quote was, “Nothing’s changed. If we got a call and there was a deal to be made, we’d be open to it.” In other words, if Boras were to call and offer to sign for less money and less years, they’d talk.

    Yeah… that’s gonna happen… 🙄


  186. 192 Voice of Raisins January 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm


  187. 193 berigan2electricboogaloo January 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Thats good to hear! Just, don’t rush back…if a week or two more rest keeps you healthy all season, do it…I’m sure Brian is reading this post for my advice! 😉


  188. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I don’t know if you guys kept up with what has been going on with R G III, the Redskins Mr Everything but his knee injury yesterday is the perfect example of what happens when a coach puts the present ahead of the future. Dr Andrews said he never cleared him to return so soon and now he is likely done for a year. Makes me want to kiss Frank Wren for not rushing Kris Medlin back too soon. Makes me want to be even more cautious with Brandon Beachy.

    Same to be said for Brian. You are right Ber, what’s another two weeks when you are talking about a kid’s entire career. The roadside of baseball is littered with players who have tried to come back too soon and ruined their careers.


  189. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Woo boy, Bama sure put an old fashion dog whopping on Notre Dame last night, that game was over in the first quarter. To be honest, it was not as good a game as the Bama / Georgia game….


  190. 196 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

    It was over after the first couple of plays. ND looked like Michael Spinks after he took that first left jab from Mike Tyson. If you’ll recall, Spinks was unconscious after about 30 more seconds and 10 more left jabs.


  191. 197 berigan2electricboogaloo January 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Gil, that is one of my biggest gripes about football…they really don’t seem to care about the future…or the player, it seems…


  192. 198 berigan2electricboogaloo January 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Have use guys noticed that no one(that I am aware of) who’s signing will give his old team a 1st round pick, has signed? It’s ridiculous that one reason Adam LaRoche hasn’t signed with the Red Sox is they don’t want to lose a 2nd round pick!


  193. 199 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    In the post-steroid era, draft picks are like gold. The youthful system-developed guy has become more valuable than the ‘roided-up older vet.


  194. 200 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    LaRoche blinks. He goes back to the Nats for 2 years. The Nats are stacked. We truly need to make a move if we want to keep stride. BTW – the Nats are now calling everyone about Michael Morse…everyone in the other 5 divisions, that is.


  195. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Well, there is always the old 3 team switch-er-roo… Oakland has been involved in a bunch of those…

    Of course, the Nats still need bull pen help. Heck, everyone still needs bullpen help, other than the Braves…


  196. 202 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Nobody gets in the Hall this year. Eh… whatever. I have never understood the reasoning behind the BBWA and their method of voting anyway. Some won’t vote for anyone on the first ballot, regardless of who it is. Seriously, there will be some jackwagon next year to leave Greg Maddux off his ballot because he just cannot vote anyone in on the first one. Idiot. That will be the perfect illustration of how archaic the HOF is becoming.

    That said, I don’t want cheaters in the Hall… period. How do you prove it? Well, I suppose you can’t with everyone. Right Lance Armstrong? And you certainly can’t go back and yank out earlier inductees for amphetamine use. There might not be anyone left in. 😯

    But I’ll contend forever that using greenies to boost energy levels is not even in the same conversation with steroids and HGH. Heck, players today’ll just suck down a Monster or 5-Hour Energy or Spark and get the same effect as greenies and no one looks twice.

    But here’s the great hypocrisy: if you’re gonna keep out the cheaters because integrity matters, then prove integrity matters and give Dale Murphy his due. And if you’re gonna give Barroid Bonds and Roidger Clemons your vote, you better be writing in Pete Rose’s name somewhere.

    Now… back to Murphy. Is his career worthy of HOF induction? Well, your opinion is as good as mine. But I’ll ask you this: You are starting a team tomorrow. Who do you want first, Dale Murphy or HOF’er Bill Mazeroski? Before you answer, let me remind you that Maz had career numbers of .260 AVG, 138 HR’s and 853 RBI. Seriously. He was inducted mainly on the fame of his dramatic walk-off home run in game seven of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees.

    IMO, Murph is being punished for spending his best years on a sorry Braves team. Just imagine the hype for him if he was remembered in a NY logo or had “Boston” across his chest. He’d have been in long ago.

    Probably right after Jim Rice. 😉


  197. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Ah Rasins, you use the words integrity and baseball writers in the same sentence…. do you really think they understand the meaning of the word? They only use it when it is convenient to make their point, not when it could be used to promote its ideals.

    I lover Murph but he may only reside in the Hall Of Fame of our hearts. He is not the only deserving player to be left out because he was surrounded by a bunch of guys who only made the team because they were cheap.

    I always said the that heroes were often the people who had the best publicists. But I digress. Ber will always contend that Ted Simmons belongs in the HOF too and looking at his career work, I would agree.

    Now, back to character… Wow, is that standard ever used lightly. Many of our heroes were/are real dirt bags when it come to character. After all, being a character does not constitute as having character.

    Just some examples off the top of my head are Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. One was a racist of the Nth degree and the other was a notorious womanizer. Of course, both played in an era when shenanigans were often unreported because of “THE CODE”

    While we will never know all the details, our own Bobby Cox was arrested for spousal abuse, Chipper Jones’ philandering is becoming more and more evident. Greg Maddux has one of the foulest mouth I have ever heard on a human being. Just saying, we all have our skeletons, it is just some have transparent doors on their closets.

    Still, none of these transgressions translate into cheating on the field of play. Certainly not to the level of Roger Roid or Baroid Bonds. Sadly, Bones likely would have made it into the hall without the use of steroids, not on the strength of hitting massive and numerous home runs but on his abilities as an athlete. Roger Clements, I’m not so sure. He was a good pitcher but I doubt he would have put up impressive numbers for such a long period of time.

    The really sad thing is how each major league club encourages the cheating to go on for so long. Maybe they knew the talent level was not deep enough to support 30 major league clubs year after year. Don’t we see many teams having enough trouble coming up with 25 guys to place on a major league roster now? Well, 25 actual major leaguers anyway…


  198. 204 Voice of Raisins January 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Something to keep an eye on… Seattle had a deal in place for JUpton, but JU rejected it (Seattle is 1 of 4 teams on his “no-trade” list. The D’backs then turned to the Rangers who say that have “moved on”. It would appear that ARI may have reached the point of no return now with JU, but his potential suitors have shrunk in number. Could a path to ATL have just opened up?

    Watch it… it sure looks like alot of planets are lining up…


  199. 205 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2013 at 7:33 am

    So… the trade that ARI agreed to with SEA would have netted them a top prospect A+ starting RHP, a AAA RHP, a young LHRP and a AA middle inffielder.

    From the Braves, that would probably equate to Delgado/Teheran, Venters, Gearrin/Varvaro, Nick Ahmed.

    Folks, I think I would do that deal. Seriously, I’d trade one of Delgado or Teheran (Delgado is my trade preference) now. Their value may never be higher, and neither needs to return to AAA. And there simpy isn’t room for them both on this year’s roster.

    When he is on Venters, has the nastiest stuff in the ‘pen. But is he back on track? ARI might prefer EOF. I think I’d be OK with that, too.

    Gearrin or Varvaro? Either is fine with me. Neither is a star, but both can get guys out.

    Nick Ahmed may be the best out of all 4. He’s a slick fielding SS that many think will be the successor to Uggla at 2B. He can field, can get on base and is a legit base stealing threat. Of any package, he’s the guy I’d be most hesitant about.

    But the Braves have proven they can develop middle infielders. They haven’t been able to develop a LF since Dusty Baker.

    Go get JUpton!


  200. 206 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I would prefer Michael Morse but Upton would be okay, he has a bit of an attitude problem but then, he is what he is. I think that is why I would prefer Morse. Still, the Braves have the goods to trade and those of whom you spoke would certainly be good additions to the D’Backs. I think I would trade Venters before Easy O but I am sure the Snakes can see what I see.

    Gearin is very good when not over used, three days in a row, look out…. I don’t know if he will outgrow that as he develops into a man but time will tell. Varvaro… still has a ton of potential.

    I think the bigger question is how much of Upton’s contract would Arizona be willing to take on. While I still contend the Braves limit their payroll because they want to and not because the have to, they just might not want to take on that much even though in baseball money, a million dollars is chump change.

    The Upton brothers might just make it up in ticket sales however. Folks like to see a team filled with All-stars when they shell out the big bucks. The Braves won 94 games last season, that is two more than I expected. 97 may be required to get into the playoffs this year and it is going to be harder because they play in a very tough division.

    While little is expected of Miami and the Mets, The Phillies will be much better this year and Washington may have their best season ever. I am a big Braves fan with a lt of bias but right now, I see them finishing third in the NL East even with their great staff. The only way that will change is for them to put runs up on the score board to bail out the pitching staff on occasion. That and be able to beat left handed pitching…

    Bottom line, the Braves need for Uggla to play like the guy they thought they were getting 3 years ago. That and get some production out of the left field spot. After all, if it was only defense they needed, they could have kept Ryan Langerhans….


  201. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

    It would also help not to have any more 7 and 8 game losing streaks…


  202. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Question… have the Braves ever made a trade with the Diamondbacks? Ever? Some teams just seem to never return any of Franks phone calls…


  203. 209 berigan2electricboogaloo January 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Gil, that’s a good question! Can’t think of one right now….
    It does make one wonder about Justin Upton, doesn’t it? after 6 seasons in the bigs(first season not a full one) he’s still only 25 years old. An off year last year, but still hit .280/.355.
    Don’t understand him refusing to play in Seattle either. He’d only be there for 2-3 years then he could be a free agent if he hated it there, at the ripe old age of 27-28
    V, I thought at first “you” weren’t offering enough for Upton, but checking out the players the Mariners offered…apparently they are really good prospects, but their numbers (outside the two very good MLB relievers) Meh.
    Nick Franklin, the infielder, is only 21, hit .278 with 11 HR’s and 55 RBI’s Not much speed. Meh.
    The guy that must be their Tehren, Taijuan Walker, is very young, 19 last season at AA 4.69 ERA. But to hear Ken Rosenthal tell it, the Mariners GM might have saved his job not making the deal. Just don’t get that.
    Justin was considered one of the top players in the game a few years ago, and he’s still very, very young. It doesn’t help to have the team president(or whoever it was last year) badmouth him…I’m sure a change of scenery would do him a world of good!


  204. 210 berigan2electricboogaloo January 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    interesting article asking why would the Diamondbacks trade J-Up


  205. 211 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Nice article, Ber. I think JUp gets a bit of a bad rap, personally. And I think it’s because of Towers’ constant attempts to “trade” him, or not, as the case may be.

    Honestly, I think Towers believes he might just get a Teixeirian type return if just keeps dangling JUp out there. Kind of like fishing in a stocked pond with your best bait, except that Towers wants to land a tuna in a trout pond. Problem is, he’s dangles JUp so much that other GM’s think there has to be a problem.

    The problem wears a tie, in my estimation.

    Here’s the deal, though. Towers overplayed his hand, and the potential suitors have now dwindled to the point that my proposed players might be too much now.

    But if you stop and think about it, an OF of Justin Upton, BJ Upton and Jason Heyward makes the mind spin. Man, would I love to see that. Y’all do realize that JUp was 4th in MVP voting just 2 years ago?

    Oh… and Gil… I must respectfully disagree with you regarding the Phils. They are old, and their “stars” are all old and on the downward side. They are distributing AARP pamphlets in the clubhouse, as I understand. I’ll take the Braves as #2 and Phils as #3 as it currently stands.


  206. 212 Voice of Raisins January 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    By the way, JUp is owed $9.75MM in 2013, $14.25MM in ’14 and $14.5MM in ’15. That is actually doable by the Braves when you consider that Maholm’s $6+MM comes off after 2013 (maybe in July) and Huddy’s $9+ will be reduced if not gone altogether as well. We won’t even talk about Mac’s $12+MM. In my opinion, if the Braves were to acquire JUp from ARI, it’d pretty much seal Mac’s fate with Los Barves.


  207. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Well Raisins, where do you think these guys do their research? 🙂

    The Phils still have their stellar pitching staff, that said, I’m hoping the Braves finish first but injuries have a way of distorting reality.


  208. 215 Voice of Raisins January 12, 2013 at 11:32 am


  209. 216 Carolina Lady January 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I can understand J Upton getting testy over the treatment he is receiving from their management. Certainly interesting to watch. Sounds to me as if the Braves might have someone close the the Uptons who has given Wren a bit of “inside” info on them – such as maybe not as bad as they may be made out to be? Just a thought. The comment in one of the links above about the “notoriously picky Braves” brought that to mind.


  210. 217 Voice of Raisins January 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Read this somewhere…

    If the Braves could acquire JUp, their OF would be “Up, Up and a Hey”.


  211. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville January 13, 2013 at 8:43 am



  212. 219 Carolina Lady January 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    LOL Skip would have a lot of fun with that, wouldn’t he?

    Thanks for the laugh, Raisins!


  213. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Congratulations to all you Falcon fans, that said, that Wilson kid was pretty good. Sure made a game out of it….


  214. 221 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Well, Kevin Towers is being an @#$%^ again… have y’all seen his latest comments regarding JUp? He says it will take at least the same type package agreed to by Seattle (globally regarded as a major overpay) or bigger to get JUp. This is the same Kevin Towers that took the private Braves-Padres Jake Peavy talks to the media before anything was finalized. He’s a jerk and a major bonehead and really needs to learn how to keep his pie-hole shut. It’s obvious he’s trying to gain some kind of advantage through the media, but I think he’s hurting himself. If I can see his game, you know those folks in suits who get paid to be smart can see it also. Frank has been burned by him once, and I can see why there is a good deal of hesitance on Frank’s part to engage in any conversation with the guy. As much as I would love to see the Upton brothers both in the Braves OF, I would run far away from dealing with the head Snake. (Pun fully intended.)

    And if we are completely honest, the Braves need a real leadoff hitter far more than they need another middle of the order table cleaner. Their middle for the order is pretty crowded now.

    With Darren Oliver trying to weasel more $$ out of Toronto to “come out of retirement”, a retirement that hasn’t even last an entire off-season, and with their GM taking a public stand that he isn’t renegotiating the existing contract, the Jays are in a bad hurt for a LHRP. They have none in their projected ML bullpen at the moment.

    We have 3 in ours.

    They have Emilio Bonafacio slated to start the season on their bench.

    Hello? Can we find a match here?


  215. 222 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Oh… and what prompted that rant was Towers going public in his sudden pursuit of Rick Porcello, another starter, from the O’s. Why is he pursuing another starter when the D’backs are considered to already have depth in starting pitchers? I can answer that question in 2 words:

    Kevin Towers


  216. 223 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Correction… Porcello is currently with the Tigers… 😳


  217. 225 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    And of course, the tweet to which my above post was referencing was take off because it contained errant information… 🙄


  218. 226 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Then we’ll just post this one:


  219. 227 berigan2electricboogaloo January 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    V, what was the errant info????
    Towers = dope. Obamma supporter perhaps? They had no use for Cody Ross, so naturally they signed him as a free agent. No one should even know Justin Upton was available, and this makes, what, 3 times in 2 off seasons we have heard he was available??


  220. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    One thing I have learned in life is you never want the guy you are dealing with what your bottom line is when you start a negotiation because no matter how reasonable you might be, the other guy will always want a better deal.


  221. 229 Carolina Lady January 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Towers seems to know that he is supposed to be doing something – but he just doesn’t know what it is.

    Likes to see his name in print – regardless of what it says?
    Thinks he is a slick operator?
    All of the above – or just stupid?
    Sounds as if an overblown ego may also be involved.


  222. 230 Voice of Raisins January 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Likes to see his name in print



  223. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Yep CL. he has an ego that exceeds his talent. Also a perfect example of the Peter Principle


  224. 232 Voice of Raisins January 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Ya know, I think he’d be an OK addition to the team. Ideal? No… we need a leadoff guy. But he does make contact, and he does drive in runs. He’s not gonna hurt you. He’s a classic example of a reliable, if not exceptional, known quantity. Could you get the same production from, say… Juan Francisco? Maybe… with a few more K’s. But you don’t know. Could you get it from Gattis? Maybe… but you don’t know.

    So which is better? Known average production, or unknown potentially above average production?

    Glad I don’t have to make that choice… 😐


  225. 233 Voice of Raisins January 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    It goes back to Mr. Uggla with me. If I knew I’d get a .250+ AVG w/ 25+ HR’s and 80+ RBI from Danny-boy, I could afford to have patience with a young’un. But Uggla has become our enigma….


  226. 234 berigan2electricboogaloo January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Wow, Soriano signs with with the Nats, Borass pulls another rabbit out of his hat…


  227. 235 Voice of Raisins January 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Dadgum Nats. It’s starting to really chap my #$$%^ that other owners are willing to spend to improve their teams… 😡


  228. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Guys, remember where the Nationals are located. The Nationals were only waiting for their farm system to produce before going on the free agent market big. Money never was/is a problem wit the Learners.

    The boost in attendance shows how starved the city is for a winner. Middle relief is still their weakness but yes, not having to look under the sofa cushions for loose change always makes a GM’s job a lot easier.

    Meanwhile, the Braves will expend a lot of good will capital if they go to arbitration with any of their current crop of players.


  229. 237 Voice of Raisins January 16, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Yep, Gil… JHey, Meds and JVent are first time filers. Prado, EOF, and Cristhian Martinez also filed. My crystal ball says that the Braves will NOT go to any arb hearings this year. (They haven’t since 2001.)

    It also says that they will come to agreement on 1-year deals with CMart, and Meds.

    It says that they will work out a multi-year deal with Prado.

    It says that they will attempt to work out a multi-year deal with JHey, buying out his remaining arb years in exchange for some cost certainty. What is not clear in my crystal ball is whether or not he and his agent will be open to it. He will make a nice chunk just in just his 1st year of arb.

    My crystal ball also says that one of EOF or JVent will be traded. The remaining LHRP will get a 1-year deal.


  230. 238 Voice of Raisins January 16, 2013 at 11:10 am


  231. 239 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    A change in scenery can do a lot of folks some good. I think after being dised by Kevin Towers, Jason Upton would play with a much different attitude if he was traded to Atlanta. It’s tough to put forth your best effort when you feel malice in your heart, just ask Jair Jerjjens about it.

    Speaking of JJ, I wonder if anyone has taken a flyer on him yet?


  232. 240 Voice of Raisins January 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I wish him well… except when they play the Braves. 😉


  233. 241 Voice of Raisins January 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Everything you ever wanted to know about the Braves’ horrendous TV deal and more: http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/braves-ceo-says-tv-deal-isnt-crippling/nTyd4/


  234. 242 Gil in Mechanicsville January 17, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Michael Morse traded to the M’s in a three way deal. Jason Upton refusal to play in Seattle may have been a blessing in disguise for them if you ask me. Mose has big time power and would have fit nicely in the Braves outfield. Anyhoo, Washington get’s their prize rookies right handed pitcher back and Oakland gets shafted… Just saying…

    Good read Raisins. Of course that sweetheart TV deal was skewed in favor of the TV folks for a reason by the once beloved Mr Turner. I think he still regrets being snookered by the folks who bought AOL. He got a lot of money up front but I think he would rather have continued in the spotlight.

    Good luck to Mr Moylan, I hope he makes the team. He’ll keep em rolling in the aisles in LA…


  235. 243 Voice of Raisins January 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I think we have our own Mike Morse already… his name is Evan Gattis. Check this out (courtesy of Mr. O’B): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECkF40yvzlM

    Is it just me, or does his swing look alot like that of former Astro and future HOF’er Jeff Bagwell?


  236. 244 Gil in Mechanicsville January 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    OOOOOOOuuuuu.. I feel a tingle running up my leg… Oh wait, that just my diaper leaking again…


  237. 246 berigan2electricboogaloo January 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Gil, LOL!!!! :mrgreen:
    Evan looks like a stronger, fitter, right handed McCann.(not the swing, just the look) a bit like bagwell, though bagwell crouched even more, somehow…looks good! And what with spring in the air, yesterday…spring training is coming up…


  238. 247 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I feel compelled to share some interesting numbers via Mr. O’B:

    Lance Armstrong, record 7 Tour De France titles
    Barry Bonds, record 7 NL MVP’s
    Roger Clemens, record 7 Cy Young Awards
    Sammy Sosa, 7 time all-star, and finished in top-10 in MVP votes 7 times


  239. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Wow, you think some bright journalist would dub them the 7-Ups…

    Poor athletes, they must make due with raw talent and hard work in the future.

    Now, I’ll be perfectly honest about the use of PEDs… If they were legal to use or if their use was allowed, I would have not objection to them being used. To me, it is not about the use of chemicals, it is all about cheating. A lot like Pete Rose and gambling… Gambling per se’ is not bad, it is a choice, The real issue is the loss of integrity.

    Character seems to be less of an issue with today’s generation. You can cheat all you want with impunity but you had better not own a gun or say bad things about alternate life styles.

    I’m pretty sure Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will never have to give back their trophies, fifty years from now, no one will care. Of course fifty years from now, I won’t care… but I digress… It is all about winning, except when it’s not… How is that for profound? .


  240. 249 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    41 minutes (1:00pm CST) until the deadline for players & teams to exchange numbers for contracts for arb. Doesn’t mean they can’t still negotiate deals before the hearings, but it does in some instances set up a pseudo-adversarial position between player/club. In my perfect world, we’d get deals done with players prior to to this deadline, but to my knowledge, only EOF has come to agreement thus far. It could be also that he’s the only one announced.


  241. 250 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm


  242. 251 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    And for what it’s worth, the Jays avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a 1-year, $2.6MM deal. Man I wish we could pick that guy up for LF…

    Co-incidence that we reached agreement with EOF and TOR reached agreement with Boni? Uh, yeah, probably… 😐


  243. 252 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm


  244. 253 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    2 down, 4 to go. I’ll bet more were agreed upon, just not yet announced. We’ll stay on top of it here…


  245. 255 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm


  246. 256 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm


  247. 257 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Yep, CL… when Schilling loses on a video game, he really loses… 😯


  248. 258 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm


  249. 259 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm


  250. 260 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    4 out of 6 so far. Martinez (first timer) and Prado (last timer) left. I will be very surprised if they have not already reached agreement with both… CMart because he has almost no leverage, and Prado because he is Prado.


  251. 261 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm


  252. 262 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Apparently they did reach agreement w/ CMart, just no details as of yet…


  253. 263 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm


  254. 264 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    So… now we know the status of everyone except Prado, and methinks that may be, in part, because they are working toward a multi-year contract rather than a 1-year deal.

    From an accounting standpoint, they now have the exact current salary cost figure (excepting Martin, of whom I am quite sure they have a close approximation of what it will be), and as such should know how much more they can absorb.

    Additionally, they and other teams also know how much salary impact potential outgoing trade pieces such as EOF and Venters will cost. The flip side is that the Braves now know how much salary would be absorbed by potential incoming trade pieces… i.e. Bonifacio.

    I expect the LF hunt to continue… possibly into Spring Training. But it can continue now with greater clarity.

    I wonder if the positional uncertainty for Martin plays into contract negotiations? Could be…


  255. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Funny you should mention that point Raisins. What is the difference in the projected salary of a left fielder vs a third baseman vs a “utility” player? Somehow I think the lines can get blurred on Prado with what he really brings to a team.

    I’m glad they have most of the guys in the fold. I think the Braves may wait and see what they can expect out of BMac next year. I know they would like to nail down J-Hey but may wait to see if they will be able to trade for J Upton.

    Sadly, the Braves might not be able to afford Heyward by the time he grows up. I cannot blame him either. After all, it still really is just a business.


  256. 266 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Not very far apart at all. Seriously, I think the numbers are only a formality while they continue to work on a multi-year deal. Does anyone honestly believe that the Braves wouldn’t pony up an additional $400K for Martin?


  257. 267 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    The Braves are oddly being characterized as a “file and trial” team. Why? They haven’t gone to an arb hearing with a player since John Flippin’ Rocker!


  258. 268 Voice of Raisins January 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Well, I am obviously very ill-informed. Moreover, I am sitting here shaking my head over $400,000.


    I don’t get it. If anyone on this club deserves the front office to have their back, it’s Prado.



  259. 269 Carolina Lady January 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    It still amazes me that people can take in those levels of compensation (they far outstrip the characterization of “salaries”) and higher for many years and still wind up bankrupt. What did they accomplish in the end? Nothing. That’s really sad.

    Raisins, I’m with you. When discussing figures like that, what is less than a half million? I’d rather pay it and have the player under contract, then move on to the next item on the agenda. But that’s me – and my name isn’t Wren.


  260. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Good morning folks, I hope everyone slept well… Looks like a lot of arbitration eligible folks signed deal yesterday. Makes for a light schedule for the arbitrators. File and trial? Huff and bluff is more like it. Who do you think is worth more, Prado for $7 million or Hunter Pence at $13.5 million? A player has to have some idea of their self worth.

    I don’t expect Liberty Media to throw money around like the Yankees or the Red Sox but sometimes a team has to accept the idea of what the “prevailing wage” is for an enterprise. Money paid this year would go a long way in making Marteen feel generous enough to allow for a hometown discount next year when he can move on to greener outfields.

    Kurt Schilling will always be an interesting story. Goes to show that owning a car dealership in the town you made your name might be a much better option for long term financial stability. Given that premise, one has to wonder if Chipper Jones might invest in a string of “Hooters” restaurant franchises?

    Okay, enough cheap shots….

    On the baseball front, I wonder if Mad Dog will show Kris Medlin how to throw that dipsy doodle cutter of his? When you think about it, it is pretty amazing that Maddux never had arm surgery. I feel pretty fortunate to have seen all three of the Braves “Big Three” pitch live in Atlanta, no mean feat for a guy who lives a thousand miles away from Turner Field.


  261. 271 Voice of Raisins January 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The beautiful thing about Mad Dog was that his arm motion never changed. Nothing about his delivery (from the wrist up) ever changed. The complete repetition of motion was the key to his control, his consistency, his continual health, and his unparalleled success. But the fingers and the grip… that was his great secret. Maddux could do more to change the appearance of his pitches by simply altering the finger pressure he applied to the ball. Pure genius, and a once in a lifetime gift. I’m sure Meds will pick up immeasurable wisdom during his short time under Maddux’s tutelage, but some things can never be taught.

    That said, Medlen does more with his compact and efficient delivery than any pitcher I have seen since… well, Maddux.


  262. 272 Voice of Raisins January 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

    CL… regarding Schilling…

    I’ll say this about him, he never shied away from going all out for something he believed in. Whether it was pitching in the biggest game of his career with a stitched together ankle and a leaky suture, or a business venture, he was all in.

    His business venture – a video game that was believed to be ground breaking – was not a sure thing, but he believed in it with the same passion with which he played baseball. Unfortunately, when his investors stopped believing, and stopped contributing, he felt it necessary to invest his personal wealth into it. From what I remember reading when the company went bankrupt, his prime motivation was to make sure that all of his staff and employees continued to get paid. There is honor in that.

    So while Schilling crapped out at the business table, he still has his integrity intact. Not to mention his name and reputation. He’ll bounce back.


  263. 273 berigan2electricboogaloo January 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    V, very well put about Schilling! I was thinking of writing something about him, but you did better than I would have! I was going to do a thumbs up smiley, but doesn’t look like wordpress has one yet…oh well.
    Plus, he’s one of us, a baseball fan who’s not a liberal.
    Don’t get the Prado thing…could have split the difference…now he will get badmouthed at a arb meeting. He’s a GREAT team player, but I have heard he is sensitive, for want of a much better word, and after all he has done for the team, if they really trash him for 400K, he might just see what other teams have to offer one day soon…he might sign for less, to play just one position.


  264. 274 Carolina Lady January 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Excellent summary of Shilling, V. You’re right – his integrity is intact. (And is conservative, to boot.) I’m glad you wrote that!

    Just read that Earl Weaver died.


  265. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    A true baseball icon died today, Stan Musial passed away today at the age of 92.



  266. 276 Voice of Raisins January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    22 DUP&CR


  267. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2013 at 9:27 am



  268. 278 Voice of Raisins January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Days Until Pitchers & Catchers Report!!!

    And it’s 21 now… 😀


  269. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

    If I had one baseball player in my life to whom I would wish to emulate, it would be Stan Musial. What a prince of a human being. I should wish to be so talented and humble at the same time.

    He is possibly one of the top ten Hall of Fame players in both on the field talent and off the field persona.

    Now the Braves… Yes Raisins, I am really torn between wanting to go to spring training this year and the realization that I just cannot really afford it nor would it be an enjoyable trip given my current limitations.


    Okay, enough whining…

    I just cannot get over the Braves cheap skating on Prado. To be honest, I cannot think of another single player on the Braves’ roster who is more of a team oriented guy. I can fully understand why the Marlins were willing to trade Omar Infante’ for Uggla almost straight up. While technically, Prado might be classified as a “utility player”, it is only because he can play so many positions well. He reminds me of people I knew who were passed over for promotions because they were deemed to valuable in their current jobs.

    Prado has carried the team the past couple of years and is really the only reason the Braves have come as close as they have in making the play-offs. He is always willing to give himself up to move the runner over which hurts his own stats. Come on Frank, get off it and pay the man his due…. Take it out of the advertizing budget if you have to. Show the guy some respect…


  270. 280 Voice of Raisins January 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Camp Roger!!!!! Light at the end of the tunnel!!


  271. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Nice piece by O’Brian in the AJC this morning on Kimbrel.


  272. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

    While making a swing around the baseball news, I am want to ponder on the relationship between Towers, the GM for the Diamondbacks, and our own Frank Wren. I am highly doubtful any type of deal will be forthcoming with Arizona for Upton because of what I perceive as bad blood between the two stemming from the talks the two had stretching back to the Jake Peavy fiasco.

    It is much more likely for the Braves to trade for someone like Bonafaccio from Toronto than trade away a boatload of prospects for a guy like Upton.

    Funny how the specter of losing a first round draft pick has really put a damper on teams signing Bourne. While I am not sure there really is a need or a place for Michael to play on the Braves team in 2013, I don’t think he would hurt the team and the Braves would sure have a bunch of guys who could track down just about any fly ball hit to the outfield. I know Boras has a way of inflating a player’s ego and sense of worth but at some point, reality must set in. Then again, with the Dodgers pulling in around $350 million a year just for TV rights, I can see how Scott B can feel any amount he assigns to a player is justified.

    Bourne will be playing somewhere in the majors on opening day, it is really up to him as to where that will be.


  273. 283 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Man… if the Braves could re-sign Bourn at a reasonable rate for 2-3 years? Can you imagine that OF? How about this lineup:

    1- Bourn (L) LF
    2- Prado (R) 3B
    3- JHey (L) RF
    4- BJUp (R) CF
    5- Mac (L) C
    6- FreFree (L) 1B
    7- Uggla (R) 2B
    8- Andrelton (R) SS

    That’s strong, y’all.

    But I don’t see it happening. Boras will work his voodoo and get Bourn’s deal somewhere. Probably in Texas.

    That said, regardless of the Braves public stance that they are “comfortable” with their “in-house options”, I still don’t buy it. In every interview you read with a player, such as the recent one with JHey, they all say something regarding “not being finished yet.” They know. I still think Frank will make a trade using Randall Delgado as the centerpiece, and I believe it will be for someone none of us have heard any rumblings about. Frank is alot better at keeping his yapper shut than, say… Kevin Towers.


  274. 284 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Nolan Reimold. Obscure name. Plays LF. Bats leadoff. Hits RH. Relatively young. Cheap. Might be competing for playing time in Baltimore if they pull off a deal w/ ARI for Kubel. Once considered a young up and comer. Had a few injuries. Braves could take a flyer on him if the price was right…


  275. 285 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Or, I could be completely wrong…


  276. 286 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm


  277. 287 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    And even more amazing is that Buster Olney has apparently figured out a way to travel forward in time to make his tweets. 😆


  278. 288 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm


  279. 289 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    They’d certainly be in the discussion, eh?

    And since I love proposing lineups, much to the chagrin of some, here’s my lineup that would include JUp:

    1- Prado (R) 3B
    2- JHey (L) RF
    3- BJUp (R) CF
    4- JUp (R) LF
    5- Mac (L) C
    6- FreFree (L) 1B
    7- Uggla (R) 2B
    8- Andrelton (R) SS

    And suddenly, we would be far from lefty heavy. 🙂 And a murderer’s row from 2-6. Whew! 😯 But even more so, look at the top 4 bats… dadgum that’s a strong lineup. If you’re the opposing pitcher, you have no place to breathe… except maybe Danny. But even he’s changed his entire offseason routine, I heard him say in an interview today. For the first time, he has worked with a nutritionist, and has implemented an agility workout into his regular schedule… along with lifting, of course. He sounds very optimistic and very excited to get going. I think they all are.


  280. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Must be on GMT…. Who says time travel isn’t possible, I go back years every-time I go to bed, only to find I have aged overnight when I see my reflection in the mirror over the bathroom sink… Then again, maybe better than not seeing my reflection…

    Now baseball, I really wonder what/who the Braves are willing to give up? No matter who, there will be some who say the Braves paid too much and others who say not enough.

    One thing for sure, it’s pretty nice to have Brandon Beachy in your back pocket. For sure, I don’t see the Braves trading away the same mother lode they gave away for Mark Texieria.


  281. 291 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Picking up steam…


  282. 292 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Who Gil? Sounds like Julio Teheran may be in, plus another top prospect not named Delgado or Graham. Don’t be surprised if Evan Gattis is in there, too. Would Teheran, Nick Ahmed and Gattis be an overpay? I personally don’t think so. But you’re right, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth regardless of how much or how little.


  283. 293 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm


  284. 294 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm


  285. 295 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm


  286. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Would Teheran, Nick Ahmed and Gattis be an overpay?

    Pretty sure I would have to say no. While Gattis has developed quite a cult following, I’m not sure he would ever rise to the level of Upton. There is a reason Seattle offered so much fir his services.

    I say Towers wimps out and trades Kubel to a team not named the Braves, I’ve had my hopes dashed more than once by deals not done.


  287. 297 Voice of Raisins January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm


  288. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I would have to say it would be a very good deal for the Braves to give up so little as the names being bandied about.


  289. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    The Braves would be one bench player away from being a real dynamo. Only weak link would be Uggla, Funny to be saying that…


  290. 300 berigan2electricboogaloo January 24, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Been busy helping a friend moving back home to California…she hasn’t had a car in months…a car is a very nice thing to have.
    Anyway, baseball…thanks for the uptons, I mean the updates…
    see elsewhere, Towers wants to make that deal by Friday..cuz…he’s going on vacation then…oh…true baseball guy…


  291. 301 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Mr. Towers is a strange case… definitely does NOT operate by “the book”. I think it may have come back to bite him this time. As Mr. Rosenthal said, he’s painted himself into a corner on JUp. Good for us…


  292. 302 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 7:17 am

    When the Upton news began to break yesterday, I opined Sounds like Julio Teheran may be in, plus another top prospect not named Delgado or Graham.

    Here’s the poop on Mr. Graham: http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-braves/2013/jan/24/do-you-know-braves-prospect-jr-graham/


  293. 303 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 7:28 am

    All indications are now that the Braves have made their offer. Period. I get the sense from the many articles I have read, that the offer is made and will not be tweaked. It’s entirely in the hands of ARI now, and they can either say “Yea” or “Nay”.

    I for one like that approach. You can’t let other teams, especially that fruitcake Kevin Towers, just lead you around on a leash. Find your point of comfort, make your offer, and let it live or die on its own merit. Then you have nothing to feel bad about either way.

    But I sure hope it happens. Just thinking about that OF and that lineup excites me. It’s impossible to replace what Chipper Jones gave this team, but a pair of Uptons would go a long way toward bridging that gap, eh?


  294. 304 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 8:11 am

    It is amazing to me how guys who are 6 footers are always referred to as small…

    Only in professional sports…

    I would not be surprised to learn that Towers has upped the ante on Justin Upton. It is the way he operates. Classic example of a guy who doesn’t quite know what he is doing. Always jumping around, trying to squeeze out a little more on a deal.

    Look for the Kubel to go to Baltimore. Braves go back to square one. I will be surprised if anything else happens. Just saying…


  295. 305 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 9:05 am

    By all accounts, Towers already did what you just said… came back and asked for more. Reading between the lines, it appears that the Braves made their offer and Towers came back and asked for Graham. Frank said, “No,” and essentially said, and I am paraphrasing, “We’ve made our offer. Take it or leave it.” All the media types agree that it is a very attractive offer. I agree with you that Towers is probably trying to get the O’s to pony up more for Kubel, trying to play the Braves offer for Upton against the middle. I think that approach will fail, because everyone knows Towers’ schoolyard games. Plus, it’s apples and oranges.

    I think the longer ARI ponders it, the better our chances get. Seriously, if they were going to reject the offer, I think they already would have. They’re just waiting and holding out hope that something better will come in before Towers goes on vacation. (Man that last statement sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?)


  296. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Looking at the picture of JR Graham, looks like Mad Dog… Except 10 mph faster on the radar gun… 6 foot, 185 lbs… with a 98mph fastball… Only God gives that type of ability.

    A pitcher can learn control, learn a verity of pitches, only nature allows for that type of speed. I look forward to seeing this kid in person.


  297. 307 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Yes Ber, not having a car leaves you at the mercy of others, that and surprisingly better off in the wallet. Just saying… If you figure it up, owning a car cost you about $2,000 a year plus the cost of the car… and gas… and repairs…


  298. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Rosenthal reporting on MLB Hotstove that Randal Delgado part of the package for Upton.


  299. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Deal done pending physicals… WOW, loaded outfield…


  300. 310 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Wow indeed. I am wearing my Braves cap today in anticipation. Looks like it was a good choice. 😀


  301. 311 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Prado was included!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😯


  302. 312 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:13 am


  303. 313 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Braves get a young 3B in Chris Johnson back as part of the deal. Man… did that take an unexpected turn or what?


  304. 314 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Johnson’s numbers from 2012 (split between HOU/ARI): .281 AVG, .326 OBP, .451 SLG, 15 HR, 76 RBI.


  305. 315 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    And once again, the Braves will not go to an arbitration hearing with a player. 😉


  306. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I hate losing Prado but gee, how do you feel disappointed with this trade. Chris Johnson is a really good ball player.

    I see a lot of fastballs in the Braves future. Other teams will no longer be able to load up with lefties against the Braves either.


  307. 317 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Mr. O’B speculates that Johnson (RH) will platoon with Francisco (LH) at 3B. Sounds quite reasonable. And in that context, I must say that I like it a little better.

    It’s a blow to lose Prado, but thinking about that OF…. oh man! We are no longer a notch below WAS in the division.

    And it clearly opens up the #5 rotation spot for Teheran.

    Opening say rotation:
    Medlen (R)
    Huddy (R)
    Minor (L)
    Maholm (L)
    Teheran (R)

    Opening day lineup:
    1- Andrelton (R) SS
    2- JHey (L) RF
    3- BJUp (R) CF
    4- JUp (R) LF
    5- FreFree (L) 1B
    6- Uggla (R) 2B
    7- Francisco/Johnson (P) 3B
    8- Laird (does it matter?) C

    Lineup upon Mac’s return:
    1- Andrelton (R) SS
    2- JHey (L) RF
    3- BJUp (R) CF
    4- JUp (R) LF
    5- Mac (L) C
    6- FreFree (L) 1B
    7- Uggla (R) 2B
    8- Francisco/Johnson (P) 3B


    Now… looking a little forward (even though we should be basking in today), at the deadline, if our 3B platoon isn’t getting it done, you have Maholm to trade since Beachy is slated to be back. But I wouldn’t discount the 3B platoon just yet. I think they have the potential to put up some decent numbers.


  308. 318 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:30 am


  309. 319 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Given this context, it makes even more sense:


  310. 320 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Yes, I guess that $400,000 difference in projected salary Prado did play into the broad scheme of things.

    One has to believe that Prado was part of the package all along. Really hate to lose a guy like Prado but baseball is a business and like any other deal, you have to give up something to get something.

    The Braves still have some payroll flexibility too. They may even be able to keep McCann if the want to in 2014. That may be a little too far off for me to project…

    This year, Upton’s salary and Prado’s is a wash. I think Marteen will really like Arizona. Great atmosphere to play ball.


  311. 321 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    This adds clarity:


  312. 322 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

    $11MM for Prado, or $13MM for JUp? Braves made the right choice. And it certainly does explain the Braves unwillingness to go the extra $400K. Once Frank saw the long term price tag, he obviously saw Martin as a short timer…


  313. 323 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    One more thing… this platoon at 3B gives both Francisco and Johnson the opportunity to win a full time job. We all know the old clichè about competition, right?


  314. 324 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    One more thought on the deal… the inclusion of Chris Johnson adds depth to the bench also. If Francisco can continue his great winter ball work into the season, he’ll win the 3B job outright. But CJohnson is also the new backup to Freddie at 1B, where there currently is NOBODY on the official depth chart.

    And I am revising my lineup slightly:
    1- Andrelton (R) SS
    2- JHey (L) RF
    3- BJUp (R) CF
    4- Mac (L) C
    5- JUp (R) LF
    6- FreFree (L) 1B
    7- Uggla (R) 2B
    8- Francisco/Johnson (P) 3B



  315. 325 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Is now official.


  316. 326 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Well, my lineup has already been blown up. Frank mentioned this afternoon that Justin is exactly the type of #3 hitter the Braves wanted. That tells me he’ll be batting #3. Not a lot of deduction being used there.

    New lineup, pre-Mac:
    1- Andrelton (R) SS
    2- JHey (L) RF
    3- JUp (R) LF
    4- FreFree (L) 1B
    5- BJ (R) CF
    6- Uggla (R) 2B
    7- Francisco/Johnson (P) 3B
    8- Laird (not sure; doesn’t matter) C


  317. 327 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    When Mac returns, insert him at #6, yes I said 6, and slide the others down.


  318. 328 Carolina Lady January 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t know the new guys but I’m sure gonna miss Prado. Thanks for all the info – Your excitement about the new lineup makes me feel a lot better. But I really liked Martin.


  319. 329 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    And Freddie could drive in 100 runs this year. Could


  320. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    That line up will change on a daily basis until BMac returns and depending on a righty or lefty starter for the opposing team. Makes all those lefty starters other teams have been throwing at the Braves the past 5 years a little less relevant though.

    A lot of teams will look at the Braves line up and wonder where they will go for outs now.

    It was mentioned that the Braves will have a line up much more prone to strike outs but that is nothing new. I think one has to consider the trade off of strike outs verses three run homers. Getting on base has not been the Braves’ problem the past few years. Getting them home has.

    I look for lots of opportunities for guys to get a day off. Reed Johnson will still get to play (I hope). You are right in Chris Johnson filling in for Salt. (Fab5Freddie). I think it will be interesting to see if Janish can beat out the old pro for the backup shortstop position.

    You really have to wonder if Gattis will get a shot while BMac is out? I think he will get the nod over Bethencourt.

    A thought… I think major league baseball should have expanded rosters for the first month of the season like they do in September. All that cold weather and it would allow teams to take a bit of a longer look at the rookies. It could be especially helpful in reducing stress on tender arms coming out of spring training.


  321. 331 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Martin was a very good player for the Braves… especially being able to play so many positions. Let’s not forget that JUp was close to being the league MVP just 2 years ago, and is just 25. The new info suggests that Martin was positioning himself for a major payday at season’s end, and the Braves were not prepared to give him the money he was seeking. So, instead of watching him walk at season’s end, they obtained a guy who is All-Star caliber, will give you a mega dynamic OF, and is under contract for 3 more years.


  322. 332 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Getting on base has not been the Braves’ problem the past few years. Getting them home has.

    Excellent point. People like to point to the strikeouts, but Michael Bourn was not exactly Tony Gwynn. Justin won’t add many more than you just subtracted losing Bourn.


  323. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Another item posed on MLB today was the Mets trying to get around losing a first round draft pick if they sign Michael Bourne. Currently the Mets have the number eleven pick but are whining that they really should have the number 10 pick which would exempt them because the Pirates were awarded the number 7 pick because the Buckos did not sign their first round pick last year.

    Sour grapes if you ask me, it is not like the Bravs haven’t been screwed over the past couple of years in losing draft picks. I say the Mets can sign Bourne if they want, they know the cost.

    I also have to think that Bourne must be wondering if he really should have listened to Scot Boras when Scot was filling his head with dollar signs. The Braves would be very happy to see Bourne sign with the Mets. Number 11 is a pretty nice first round pick…. Not cheap but new rules have a cap on draft compensation packages.

    Now, one last word and please don’t interpret this as racist or at least any more racist than Hank Aaron but he has to be pretty please with the new make up of the Atlanta outfield. He and Moore have been whining for years there have not been enough African Americans on the Atlanta roster. At least it gives J-Hey with a “brother” or two with whom to hang and it should add a few people of color to the fan base in Atlanta as well. Me? I could care less as long as they can play ball.


  324. 334 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Well, with the Braves filling their LF need, I can take down my “hot stove” avatar now.

    What shall the new one be?


  325. 335 Voice of Raisins January 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Yikes! Looks like some editing is now required for the banner… 😦


  326. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Calling Dr Bombay, Calling Dr Bombay… Help is needed, come right away…..

    Or, if you like, time for CL to crank up the reprographics department…


  327. 337 Carolina Lady January 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Yeah, I think the whole thing needs a redo. Any suggestions?


  328. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Hey CL, I’ve been thinking maybe adding Freeman and Heyward in place of Prado and Chipper, or Medlin or Kimbrel… The Uptons have to earn their way onto the banner… That is why I did not suggest Uggla… I hope he, Uggla, makes it though. Funny how he has become the forgotten man this year, it might be good to take the pressure off and just let him play.

    He made some great strides since he gave up being a dead pull hitter all the time.

    The Upton brothers are not going to find Turner Field as homer friendly as Tampa and Phoenix but both have enough juice to get it out of the park, best they concentrate on using their speed a hit the gaps. Lots of gaps in that big outfield.


  329. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Lots of reasons to follow Arizona this year, the best one is to root for Marteen Prado. It is going to be tough for them to catch LA and San Fran but you never know. Folks did not give the Braves much of a chance in ’91.

    It would be nice if the Braves has a team that will take some pressure off the pitching staff. They sure have a team that should match the output of the Nationals.

    Exciting times ahead for Atlanta Braves fans….


  330. 340 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 7:14 am



  331. 341 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

    As for the banner, CL…

    Perhaps with Skip, Pete and Hank on the right side, it is our own “Wall of Fame”. Fredi should swap places with Chipper. (The Skipper swapping with The Chipper, but I digress…) But maybe Chipper should stay down in the blue stripe, with the great Murph being added above him where Fredi vacates. Murphy should be in the “real” HOF.

    JHey would look really good in the space Martin currently occupies.


  332. 342 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

    JJ is going to the O’s. I hope he does well there…


  333. 343 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 7:42 am

    There are a couple of leftovers from yesterday I’d like to hit on…

    I read somewhere (gosh, I have no idea where; I read so much yesterday) that the Braves were prepared to make a multi-year offer to Michael Bourn if the Upton trade had fallen through. This was not a rumor… the guy had sources. (Might have been Mr. O’B or Mr. Bowman…) Anyway, that is such refreshing news to know that the ownership and front office are actually committed to putting a contending team on the field.

    Also, if I understand correctly, when you subtract Martin’s anticipated salary for 2013, the braves still have somewhere in the neighborhood of $8-$10MM to spend for 2013. Now… that means a couple of things. 1st, they will simply have money in the budget at the trade deadline to add solid pieces as necessary. That would be how I expect them to treat it. Or, they could still be in the market for a 3B, and we just don’t know it. Looking at Chris Johnson’s splits, even as a RH, he hits RHP’s better than LHP’s. Not exactly the ideal RH half of a platoon. Plus, over the winter, Francisco has been hitting RHP’s and LHP’s equally well. I think they talk “platoon” to keep Francisco from getting too comfortable, but the job is likely his to lose. But if he fails to impress in Spring, they could search for a full time 3B. I for one hope Francisco realizes that tremendous potential that he has. The knock on him his entire career has been that he isn’t willing to work at his craft. I think he turned that corner this offseason. All one has to do is look at him to see evidence of that. I’m pulling for the kid…


  334. 344 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The knock on him his entire career has been that he isn’t willing to work at his craft.

    I think he turned the corner last season when he had a come to Jesus meeting with Fredi G. I understand Fredi really laid into him. Like they say, talent is a terrible thing to waste.

    A lot of Long Juan’s problems stemmed form his trying to crush every ball 500 feet. The kid is strong enough to muscle out pitches with a short stroke if he simply makes contact. That over swing has a huge hole in it that major league pitching will exploit to the max.

    I’m really hoping Bourne signs with the Mets. Having a high first round pick would be icing on the cake.

    The Braves are assembling to pretty nice extra pieces. Chris Johnson is no slouch. Should be fun, All this and Evan Gattis too? Wheeee…..


  335. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

    So, it may be time for a new lead to go with that banner…. I think the left field question has been answered.


  336. 346 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I think the left field question has been answered.

    Boy has it… 😀


  337. 347 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I think it’s safe to say that the Braves actually have a LF for more than 1 year. This uber-dynamic OF is under contract together for at least 3 more years. Yoswer what a change, huh?

    How many storylines will the vaunted beat writer have under his belt when he drives south in a couple of weeks? Let’s see…

    • Life without Chipper.

    • Upton here, Upton there.

    • Best OF in baseball.

    • Mac is back and healthy.

    • Is it Mac’s final year in ATL?

    • The long awaited arrival of Julio Teheran.

    • Is Medlen really an “ace”?

    • How is Brandon Beachy’s rehab progress coming along?

    • JHey hits his stride and enters his prime.

    • Freddie Freeman hits his stride and enters his prime.

    And all that before Spring Training even starts. It’s an exciting time to be a Braves fan for sure…


  338. 348 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm



  339. 349 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    So many Big Johnson jokes, so little time… 🙂

    Actually, there will be a C Johnson and an R Johnson. While not a super star like the Uptons, Chris is a really solid ballplayer who will allow for Fredi to rest Fab5Freddie regularly.

    Listening to many of the talking heads on the MLB Network, I get the impression that Justin Upton is much the same type of athlete that Andrew Jones in that he makes it look easy and thus gives the impression of loafing on occasion. I think we all remember how Andrew could make plays others could only dream of. We will see how it all plays out but that was te reason so many loved Prado because he took the talent he had took it up a notch by hustling.


  340. 350 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Yea… It’s snowing…. I don’t mind snow so much since I don’t have to go out in it any longer… Makes it touch and go ,however, when trying to negotiate my handicap ramp.


  341. 351 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Yes… by all accounts, Justin has a “quiet intensity”. Kirk Gibson was a gritty ballplayer. He was a grinder, and that’s the kind of players he likes. Regardless of how talented JUp is, he made things look “too easy” for Gibby, so he wan’t one of Kirk’s guys. In fact, Martin Prado epitomizes the kind of player Gibson loves… a guy who just grinds and grinds. Well, and this is no knock on Prado, but there’s a reason some guys show so much effort in what they do. I love Martin Prado, and wish him nothing but the best, but JUp possesses much more talent than Martin, even if it’s confined to the OF. Martin will never earn a Gold Glove; he will never earn an MVP. JUp has come close to doing both, and still might. We have not begun to imagine exactly what we will get out of 3 young and immensely talented baseball studs in our new OF.


  342. 352 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    And y’all do realize that Justin is only 25, right? Alot of players his age are still trying to get their first crack at The Show.


  343. 353 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    At 25, Justin already has 2 All-Star appearances, was 4th in MVP voting in 2011, a season that saw him win the Silver Slugger award.


  344. 354 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    By the way, this is Justin’s new Twitter profile pic:



  345. 355 Voice of Raisins January 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Fredi Gonzalez: “I can’t wait for Spring Training. I wish it started tomorrow, but we’re going to have to wait.”

    I love that in my manager…


  346. 356 Carolina Lady January 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Gil, ramps are a ‘no go’ in ice/snow. Just rain here so far but the temp is sitting at 33.8f with a wind chill factor of 25. The weather people are calling for an overnight low of 36 – but it’s 33 now??? This lady will be right here in the house. Went out earlier before the rain started and bought a whole new batch of coffee. And Kelly made chocolate chip cookies. Add and computer and what more could a person ask for?? 😀

    Working on the new banner.


  347. 357 Carolina Lady January 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm



  348. 358 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Soltz, Glavin or Maddux…take your pick… 🙂

    Or Eddie Matthews


  349. 359 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Working on a new lead…


  350. 360 Voice of Raisins January 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    HOF Phil Niekro…


  351. 361 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Was going to suggest Niekro but could not spell his name.. 🙂


  352. 362 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    No, I’m not bitter, honest! 😉 After days of helping out my friend, then taking her to the Airport Thurs, since I was burning gas anyway, looked for inventory to sell online…didn’t find much, but had a nice lunch, so it wasn’t a total waste. What else that no one has interest in…saw another friend yesterday that was off and has been saying for months come to my house and see my vaste 80’s collection of stuff…I remember the 80’s..better time politically, , well, music wise as well, but some I’d just as well forget…anyway, turned into an all day thing…so those are the lame reasons I haven’t chatted with use guys on baseball…so there. put that in your pipe and smoke it! 😕


  353. 363 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Getting on base has not been the Braves’ problem the past few years. Getting them home has.
    Oh boy, is that true Gil! Goes back to Andruw and Frenchy…we all knew they were terrible hitters at the end of their stays, but their numbers didn’t reflect how very bad they were, because they still drove in around 90 rbi’s
    Some years they could have driven in 130, and still could have done better at the plate!
    As for the trade…I was shocked, needless to say, to see Prado traded…talk about out of left field…And one of my favorite players, perhaps my favorite after Chipper retired.
    Anyway, after a few days I feel better about things, I know this team is better offensively! And we have to try to compete know with the Nats, cuz they are only going to get better.
    I was hoping to see what Evan Gattis could do, and I guess there is a chance we will at C at the beginning of the season.
    Yep, seems like a platoon would be a bit weird…hopefully things will work out for the best… 15 HR’s 76 RBI”s and .281 in 136, sounds like a regular to me. If only we had the DH, right V? 😉


  354. 364 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I’ll tell you what though…we will likely be mighty in interleague games…9 actual hitters, not 8 and and someone hitting like your granny…
    as for Gibson….In 17 years in the bigs, and granted the first few were not full seasons, he only played in 149 games or more 3 times. (He may have been faster than Justin since he stole 34 bases in 1986, in an injury plagued year in which he only played 119 games) and that’s the thing, don’t you want your best players playing 145+ games every year?
    Upton played in 138 and 133 in in ’09 and 10, and then 159 and 150 the last two seasons. That’s what WE need, not a guy constantly running into walls to get one out, and missing 3-4 weeks. As long as Justin runs hard to 1st, I’ll be ok with him not killing himself in the outfield.


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