#118: Up Up And A Hey

by Gil Elliott'Gil from Mechanicsville'

by Gil Elliott

‘Gil from Mechanicsville’

Wow, in the course of a few short days, Frank Wren and company turned a negative into a plus with the addition of a former number one over-all draft pick and sometimes misunderstood All-star in Justin Upton. To be honest, I did not see it coming. Along with former number one pick, B J Upton and a young and quickly maturing number one pick Jason Heyward, the Braves have put together an outfield that may only be behind the L A Angels in overall talent and ability, even that may be argued.

UptonsHeyward

BJ Upton, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward

Certainly, it is an outfield that could well hit 100 home-runs and drive in 300 runs over the course of a season. That and steal 60 bases, not to mention the potential to save runs which could vastly improve the entire Atlanta’s collective ERA.

I have been trying to recollect when the Braves have fielded a trio of outfielders who have brought as much potential for excitement and honestly, I cannot think of another time in Braves history they have had this much talent in the outfield at one time. Most certainly, the starting outfield for the 2013 National League All-star game could have these three players in it. They are that good. To think, in the course of a few short years, the Braves have gone from having one of the weakest outfield to one of the best. Amazing.

Martin Prado

Martin Prado

Sadly, the acquisition of Justin Upton did not come without a high cost. In addition to three minor league prospects and a once untouchable young starter in Randal Delgado, the Braves had to part with one of the most liked players in the organization in the person of Martin Prado. Prado was respected by fans and team mates alike because of his attitude and work ethic. In addition to being able to play every infield position, he had a perchance for being clutch. Not a big home-run hitter, he utilized the tools he had to spray the ball to all fields. He would on occasion hit the dramatic big fly but seemed to be just as content to hit a single the other way to move a runner over.

For sure, if the Arizona manager, Kirk Gibson, wanted a gritty player, he got one in the 29 year old Prado.

Now the only questions remain as to how well the combination of Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson are able to man the third base position which seemingly was to be held down by Marteen in the wake of Chipper Jones’ retirement.

JohnsonFrancisco

Juan Francisco, Chris Johnson

The Braves may have given up some defense with the addition of Johnson but Francisco has shone flashes of excellence at the hot corner. The reports out of winter ball have been very positive as to Long Juan in his effort to get into better playing shape. With the tremendous power one would wish to have in a third baseman, he appeared to have a bit of a lazy streak which cause the Reds to give up on the young Dominican and trade him to the Braves during spring training prior to the 2012 season. This after being the Reds heir apparent to play third on a full time basis in 2012 but Dusty Baker grew weary of Juan’s apparent indifference to the Reds’ directive to show up in shape. For sure, Dusty will not abide a lollygagger.

Now, spring training will soon be upon us. A better idea of what we can expect will become evident. There are holes always to be filled and a 162 game season can be a long and arduous journey. Injuries and mishaps along the way can turn promise into disappointments but for now, the folks in Braves Country are ready to get started and yearn to hear those two words,

“PLAY BALL!”

ballthruwall

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371 Responses to “#118: Up Up And A Hey”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Excellent, Gil! Thank you!! 😀

    I hope our hopes aren’t shredded.

    (mutter: I still don’t like losing Prado……)

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you CL and kudos as always to the graphics department 🙂

    Like

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Great new banner too by the way, looks great.

    Like

  4. 4 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks, Gil. I’m not sure I’m pleased with it. Seems too “busy” – but they’re all there, by George! 😀 😀

    Like

  5. 5 Voice of Raisins January 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Excellent, Gil… and I like the new banner very much. Very nice indeed.

    Like

  6. 6 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks much, Raisins. I’m still looking at it like an old dog looking at a new food pan. 😀

    Like

  7. 7 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    “NEW YORK (AP) — One of the oldest trick plays in baseball is now a balk.

    Under a rule change imposed by Major League Baseball, pitchers will no longer be allowed to fake a pickoff to third base and throw to first as a way to dupe a runner on first base into breaking for second. Next season, that move would be a balk. Pitchers can still step off the rubber and fake to third.

    The change was approved at the owners’ meetings two weeks ago.

    The Associated Press first reported the pending rule change last May after the Playing Rules Committee approved the proposal with MLB executives and umpires in agreement. The players’ union, though, vetoed the plan.

    The collective bargaining agreement allowed MLB to implement the change after a one-year wait.”

    Like

  8. 8 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says it’s possible third baseman Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire season while recovering from hip surgery.

    Cashman says “there’s no guarantees in this stuff” that Rodriguez will be able to play this year.

    The 37-year-old Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip last week. The team said the rehabilitation time was expected to be six months, which would sideline the star slugger until the All-Star break.

    On Friday, Cashman said it was possible A-Rod could be out all year.

    “Yeah,” Cashman told WFAN radio. “I think because [of] the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”

    “I can’t say it’s not possible that he won’t be back,” he said.

    The Yankees signed free agent Kevin Youkilis during the offseason to play third base while Rodriguez is out.

    Cashman said Rodriguez is doing everything “in his power to put himself in the position to get back and be healthy and productive.”

    “Best case scenario, yeah he should be back,” Cashman said. “Worst case scenario, he won’t be back, or there might be something in between.”

    A 14-time All-Star, Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 122 games last year. The three-time AL MVP was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others, batting just .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs in the playoffs.

    Rodriguez had surgery on Jan. 16 to repair a torn labrum and reshape a bone to alleviate an impingement. He has 647 career homers and is due $114 million over the next five years as part of his record 10-year, $275 million contract.

    Notes: RHP David Robertson and the Yankees reached a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. The reliever had asked for $3.55 million and the team offered $2.85 million.

    Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Like

  9. 9 Carolina Lady January 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Ex-Astro Jeff Bagwell involved in scandalous Houston divorce

    07:33 AM ET 01.26 | Former Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell was passed over for the Hall of Fame along with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire this month, but he’s emerging as a player in a sleazy and bruising divorce battle between his reported girlfriend Rachel Brown and her estranged hubby, hand surgeon Michael Brown. The Browns’ strange and scandalous breakup has shocked Houston, where Bagwell played during his entire 15-year career, and brought to light Bagwell’s relationship with Rachel.

    New York Post

    Like

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Yes, ballplayers are human and do bad things, must be the steroids…

    Anyway, good morning all… I wonder how long it will take the “A-Rod with a walker” jokes to surface. I don’t think the insurance extends past three years so there is incentive for New York to get him going again but seriously, The guy is 37 and the Yankees are still committed to pay him $20 million a year for the next five years?

    Like

  11. 12 Mitch Patrikus January 28, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I think this Braves outfields has the potential to become one of the best ever. http://wantthatsummerback.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/braves-outfield-potential-to-be-best-ever/

    Like

  12. 13 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    MLBTR: Two NL East teams, the Nationals and Phillies, have projected payrolls surpassing $100MM for the 2013 season. Meanwhile, the Mets and Braves project to spend $80MM and $83MM on payroll, respectively. The Marlins will round out the division with a payroll in the $30-40MM range.

    To be specific, the Phillies’ projected payroll is somewhere around $156MM with the Nats weighing in around $108MM. I can see generalizing the Nats with “surpassing $100MM”, but the Phils? That’s like saying Congress spends “a little bit”…

    Like

  13. 14 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Howdy Mitch…

    Like

  14. 16 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm

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  15. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Yes Raisins, only in America where a “cut” means Not spending as much as we projected but not necessarily less than we spent in the past. I wonder if I could get away with claiming a “loos” by saying “well” I wanted $100. 000 but could only get $50,000 so I had a loss of $50,000… ? Nothing like using “newspeak” to fool the masses.

    So, back to the topic at hand, the Nationals have a very reasonable payroll. Same could be said for the Braves although I think both teams could elevate their payrolls without much sweat being raised. The Phillies can afford their salary but the fact they are getting older does not bode well for the ‘fightin Phils’ .

    Te Mets are trying to dig out from under the Bernie Madoff debacle. Goes to show you that if it is too good to be true, it probably is. They will be back to their spendthrift ways soon enough.

    Now, the Marlins, I sure am glad I am not a Marlins fan. Evem more a Marlins player unless I was serving out my time in MLB baseball purgatory where it makes no difference what I make the first six years because I am doom to play for them anyway. The only thing a Marlin’s player can hope for is to play to a high level and hope I am marketable enough to score a big deal somewhere else.

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  16. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I have to laugh at all the folks on the blogs who clamor for local ownership. I wonder what their reaction would be when the wake up and discover that the team has been sold to Jeffery Loria?

    Like

  17. 19 Voice of Raisins January 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, Gil… Liberty Media has not been that bad, really. They are pretty hands off, allowing for the local suits to act responsibly in their stead. I think for the most part that Mr. Schiller has done that fairly well. And he has said, on more than one occasion, the payroll will go up commensurate with the attendance. Exhibit A – the 2012 Chipper Farewell tour. Attendance increased, and so did the payroll limit, in a moderate amount… from $90MM-ish to about $98 MM-ish. If the Up-twins can add the expected excitement to this team, we may see the same thing again next year.

    Now… I have had my own little fit or two over the payroll limits. But really, those were out of frustration by seeing a rival team, like the Phils, just toss out a few million more to fill a hole. But Frank has fielded a darn talented team for their money. Proof that it can be done. And there is still a reported $8MM-$10MM left in the kitty. Good to have some flexibility between April and July, eh?

    Like

  18. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    One has to believe that Frank is waiting to see if he needs to fill a hole at third or behind the plate before making any more moves. A lot depends on if the platoon at third pans out and BMac is able to return to pre 2012 form at the plate before any of that cashed is spent. The pitching staff looks set on paper but one never knows what trouble lurks around the corner. On the positive side, most of the players are young, less prone to breaking down, methinks..

    Like

  19. 21 berigan2electricboogaloo January 31, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Very nice blog Gil! I was going to say that a few days ago, but was tired and wanted to add some quite insightful thoughts too…a few days later..umm, er…very nice blog Gil! 😕
    Oh, 164 game season? did they add two? a lot slips past me these days…

    Like

  20. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2013 at 10:03 am

    “Oh, 164 game season? did they add two? a lot slips past me these days…”

    You mean it’s not? It sure seems that long to me, must be all those late night extra inning games on the west coast.

    Not a lot of new stuff to write about at the moment, just the same old, same old. I think everyone is anxious for the Super Bowl to be over and spring training to get started.

    The most interesting things to watch this spring are: In no particular order

    Evan Gattis and whether or not he has a legitimate chance to make it on the roster,

    BMac and if he is willing to be patient and not undo all the surgery he had performed.

    Who will be the back up infielder

    Who the 5th outfielder will be.

    If Julio will be ready for prime time.

    You can read only so many human interest stories….

    Like

  21. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Reading what various folks have to say about the Braves vs Nationals as to how the teams stack up against each other, much has been opined that the Nationals have a superior pitching staff but I am not so sure. I watched quite a few Nationals’ games last season and it is my belief the talking heads and bloggers are going strictly by the stats and not what actually performances.

    I guess the Braves and the rest of the world will have to wait and see if Mike Minor continues his second half of the season performance as opposed to his first half debacles. I am suspicious that Hudson still possesses shut down quality stuff.

    I also think the baseball world forgets how good the Phillies’ starting staff still is. Of course they do not have the bullpen arms the Braves and for that matter the Nats can employ but they are still a very dangerous ball club and I don’t see them rolling over for anyone.

    Like

  22. 24 Voice of Raisins January 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Like

  23. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Good for Marteen, he’s earned it….

    Like

  24. 26 Carolina Lady January 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    $40 million in four years. I wonder how much that is in real money?

    Like

  25. 27 Carolina Lady January 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Today is Jackie Robinson’s 94th birthday. (Check out Thursday’s Google cover page.)

    Like

  26. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I think back at how much inflation we have experienced in our life time and I believe it to be around 1000% … Cost of a gallon of gas when I was a kid, 31.9 cents a gallon, cost today $3.199 dollars a gallon, A loaf of bread was .19 cents a loaf, Now $1.90 loaf. Newspapers were a nickle, today they are 50 cents…. It seems to me that is about right.

    There fore, Marteen will be making $10, 000 a year in 1957 money…

    Like

  27. 29 Voice of Raisins February 1, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Gil, I can remember as a kid watching “The Price Is Right” on TV. They had a game where the contestant had to guess each digit in the price of a car. Almost every contestant that played it started with “2” or “3” because most of the cars were in the $2000-$3999 range.

    1000% indeed.

    I can also remember when Mike Schmidt was the first $2MM player, and it was almost scandalous that a team crossed the $2MM barrier. Heck, they’ll sign someone for $2MM these days just to come to ST and try to win a roster spot.

    Like

  28. 30 Voice of Raisins February 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Like

  29. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Yeah… football is done, now we can all focus on what is really important… basketball… just kidding.

    Like

  30. 32 Voice of Raisins February 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Packing the truck…won’t be long til Braves are unpacking in Lake Buena Vista twitter.com/ajcbraves/stat…— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) February 4, 2013

    Like

  31. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Yee Haw…

    Like

  32. 34 Voice of Raisins February 5, 2013 at 7:24 am

    On this date in 1934, Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron was born in Mobile , AL.

    Happy Birthday Hammer!!! 😀

    Like

  33. 35 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Like

  34. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Congratulation Little Dude… Max Medlen? Sounds like a great baseball name….

    Like

  35. 37 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Sitting here trying to decide whether to opp for the MLB Premium Package or stay with the DirectV baseball package. The computer one is a lot cheaper, plus I could get the spring training although things are shaping up for Jo and I to make a dash to Florida this spring. Ahem… Still waiting for my bonafide, platinum press credentials… SIGH!!!!…

    Like

  36. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Hoping to great a real live look at JR Graham. May have to start calling him “White Bread” or simply “sliced”…

    Like

  37. 39 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

    He may not be “sliced”, but apparently the best thing since…

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  38. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

    A little “Rye” humor there.

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  39. 41 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Maybe a “Graham” cracker?

    Like

  40. 42 Carolina Lady February 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    They’re in the mail, Gil! In. The. Mail. (Dear lord, how many times do I have to say that?) They’re in the MAIL!

    …..chuckle, snort, grin…..
    😀 😀

    Like

  41. 43 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Seems some of our boys are a little anxious:

    Like

  42. 44 berigan2electricboogaloo February 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Warm enough for some baseball today!!!! Right around 70!

    Like

  43. 45 berigan2electricboogaloo February 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    70 in Jonesboro GA I mean…don’t know what it was in Florida, except warmer

    Like

  44. 46 Mitch Patrikus February 6, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Warm day up in Iowa too! Got to about 34!

    Like

  45. 47 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Howdy Mitch! Welcome back. Hey, Ber… didn’t overheat, did ya?

    Like

  46. 48 Voice of Raisins February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hey Mitch, I figured I didn’t have to ask you about overheating. Defrosting maybe…

    Like

  47. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    “Graham” cracker… Oh SNAP!…

    Like

  48. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    In. The. Mail Yeah, and just when they are going to start curtailing the Saturday delivery of my junk mail too…. If they get delayed any longer I am going to have to pay storage…

    Sigh… guess I will be denied access to the club house yet again.. 😦

    Like

  49. 51 Carolina Lady February 7, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Just tell them WHO you are, Gil! They’ll let you and your assistant Miss Josie in. If they haven’t heard of Braves & Stuff, they’ll just be showing their ignorance. They’re supposed to KNOW where to get the good info! 😀

    Hey, Mitch! 34, huh? I think I’ll leave my part there for you to enjoy. Glad to see you back!

    Gil, Where is Clarence?? You told him we don’t bite, didn’t you?

    Like

  50. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo February 7, 2013 at 4:04 am

    V, I was down in Peachtree city and Newnan, were I saw on the news(weather report) it was 74, and no joke, I was sweating in my car sitting inside talking on the phone! Weird!
    Now baseball…boring…reading about what’s left out there just isn’t very interesting, is it?

    Like

  51. 53 Voice of Raisins February 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Slow for another couple of days… but staring Monday, the news items should start popping as many teams begin workouts. I absolutely LOVE that Fab 5 Freddie is already in Orlando and is already working out. Awesome!

    Like

  52. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

    So many golf courses, so few spring training days… The kid has to get a jump on it somehow.

    Wasn’t Freddie working out with Dan Ugla this winter? I can’t remember which Braves player it was. Once upon a time, Spring Training was all about getting into shape for baseball. Now it seems that nearly all of the players workout year round. Of course, getting paid, or wanting to get paid, millions of dollars may be somewhat of an incentive

    Like

  53. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

    CL, it is his silly season now that taxes are to be done. He is a “TAX Pro” among his many other talents. He was the “smart one” of the two of us.

    Like

  54. 56 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Ber, the classic cars have been rad dude…

    Like

  55. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo February 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Cool cars, aren’t they Gil? Somehow, I don’t think someone is going to wax nostalgic about a 1994 Camry…may say it was reliable, but feelings for it? Wanting another one to restore???
    Feel bad for Jair…I wonder if the Braves didn’t check him out closely enough, or if he acted like he was ok, when he wasn’t?

    from MLBTR
    The Orioles have yet to finalize their one-year, $1.5MM agreement with Jair Jurrjens, and there’s a chance the deal will fall through. The Orioles were still receiving medical evaluations on Jurrjens as of last night, Encina reports. It’s becoming unclear whether the deal will be completed and it doesn’t seem to be headed in a positive direction. Orioles executives have long-standing concerns about Jurrjens’ health.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#jw4pcB2CXxO1uhet.99

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  56. 58 Voice of Raisins February 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    It’s pretty evident that Jair had/has some physical problems. Pitchers just don’t forget how to pitch overnight and drop off that poorly for no reason. When a guy loses that much velocity and all movement at the same time, there is an issue. We all saw it; Frank knew it… everyone knew it. It’s why no one would trade for him. Heck, Frank would have taken a pair of tickets to Breaking Dawn in trade to move him along. (Did we ever find out what/who we got for Ryan Langerhans? It’s one of the great mysteries of the last decade…) When teams are willing to take a flyer on guys like Dontrelle Willis or Miguel Batista, but not on Jair Jurjjens, there is a reason.

    Like

  57. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    So, the ghost of Mark Wholers raises his ugly head yet again, the idea that something is wrong but everyone is in denial. I guess the question now would be who has liability if surgery is necessary.

    Like

  58. 61 Mitch Patrikus February 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Yes there has been a lot of defrosting this winter! Needs to get warm soon! I’d kill for a nice sunny 65 degree day right now!

    Like

  59. 62 Voice of Raisins February 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

    It’ll be 65 today here in Jefferson… but very rainy. That said, Saturday was a Chamber of Commerce day for sure. Mid-60’s during the day, low-40’s in the evening, and the stars in the sky were as clear and bright as the outlook for the 2013 Braves outfield. Not bad being a North Georgia boy…

    Like

  60. 63 Voice of Raisins February 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I love this. 😀

    Like

  61. 64 Voice of Raisins February 11, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Mitch, the forecast for Orlando today: 84 and sunny… as it should be as the Boys of Summer commence.

    Like

  62. 65 Carolina Lady February 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Heyward tents! Love it!!! 😀

    Like

  63. 66 Voice of Raisins February 12, 2013 at 7:40 am

    4 years @ $48MM seems reasonable for Michael Bourn. The $15MM annually that he reportedly was seeking was never realistic, IMO. Also, he didn’t get the 5+ years guaranteed he was seeking. Again, I never felt that was realistic, but 4 + an option seems good for all sides. The Indians OF certainly has received a boost with the additions of both Bourn and Nick Swisher. I’ll root for them this year, because I’ve always liked them, and they are sort of like our AL “tribesmen”.

    Great job Michael… you earned this deal.

    Like

  64. 67 Voice of Raisins February 12, 2013 at 8:35 am

    First day of workouts!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Like

  65. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I saw the news of Bourn’s signing last night. My thoughts were the same as yours Raisins as to the fairness of the deal. I think the Braves would have been happy to sign him to a similar deal but that ship had long sailed.

    At least the Indians are making an effort. Francona is a good guy to have as a manager and should fit well.

    Reading some comments elsewhere that Justin Upton would not be much of an upgrade over Marteen Prado in left for the Braves. While I loved Marteen, that is a real stretch. Offensively, they are two different types of hitters, defensively, Justin’s increased range should help compensate for the step lost in center to BJ over Michael.

    The real trick should be the Uptons getting accustom to the nuances of Turner Field and it’s lack of back lighting in the outfield. The lame excuse of not wanting to block the view of the Atlanta skyline went out the window with the additions of a super sized Coke bottle and a giant cow….

    Like

  66. 69 Mitch Patrikus February 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    The best day of the year is when pitchers and catchers report! It makes me feel like I can kind of escape this snow and 30 degree weather that we have up here.

    Like

  67. 71 Voice of Raisins February 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Does Heyward look like he is in amazing shape or what?!?

    Like

  68. 72 Carolina Lady February 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Hm. Maybe they’d better put up bigger tents??

    Like

  69. 73 Mitch Patrikus February 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I’m from up in Northeastern Iowa

    Like

  70. 74 Carolina Lady February 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    We’ll send you some of this warmer Carolina air, Mitch. ‘Course, no telling what condition it will be in by the time it reaches you! 😀

    from Thanks, Chipper on fb:
    “Jordan Schafer and Tyler Pastornicky are among the players that were not early arrivers to spring training. Fedi Gonzalez was not pleased either. Schafer is just 20 minutes from Braves camp in Haines City. Pastornicky is in Bradenton, Florida.”

    I think if my name was Schafer, I’d be sitting on the curb waiting for them when everybody arrived. Just sayin’ –

    Like

  71. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville February 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Actually, I think it is a little unfair for Fredi to have had feelings for the kids not to show up early. If the Braves want them in camp early, tell them to show up early, that way there is no miscommunication. I did lots of volunteer work, the expectations were a lot different from my paying job. Also different between salary and hourly

    Then again, you have a very valid point CL…. Just saying, communication is a two way street. Or at least should be..

    Like

  72. 76 Voice of Raisins February 13, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    For my money, both Schaf and the Rev face uphill battles this spring. And I don’t have a dog in that fight either way. I have no reason to defend either one. But I am pretty sure they have been working out together under a supervised and structured program. It could be that they are simply finishing it out leading to their official arrival to camp.

    But that said, don’t you want to make a good impression on your boss?

    Like

  73. 77 berigan2electricboogaloo February 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Sure glad Bourn signed with the Indians and not the Mutts…
    he would have been a thorn in our sides for sure…Weird that He’s “only” worth 2 mil more per season than Angel Pagan, who is also a year older.I think if he hadn’t tanked the last few months, he would have gotten more too

    Like

  74. 78 berigan2electricboogaloo February 14, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Heyward dwarfs the others in that photo…is it just me, or does that look like Andruw Jones behind him? (I Know it can’t be, but sure looks like him!)

    Like

  75. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Having seen Heyward in person, I can honestly say he has become even more impressive looking. The secret though is not to just become stronger but to also stay flexible. I think that is what happened to Dan Uggla. In his quest to become even stronger, he lost his flexibility.

    Raisins, true dat on Schafer and the Pastor. Going back and reading the comments, Fredi has a valid point but I don’t think he should have made them public. Stuff like that never goes away. It is a lot like showing up an umpire. You never know when you are going to need that 2 inches off the plate to go your way… You also don’t know when the ump is going to remember he doesn’t like you very much either.

    Save the digs for the Kangaroo Court Fredi… The message will get delivered. I look for Schafer to be cut and Pastornicky to be included in a trade package… That is, unless they both can suddenly hit .500 this spring.

    Like

  76. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

    After much consideration, I guess I won’t be making the trip to Florida this year. I really want to go but after thinking about how much walking is involved just to get from the parking lot to the stadium, I just don’t think I can do it yet. BUMMER!!!! I guess I will try to make up for it this summer by going to DC to see the Gnats play the Braves.

    The ironic thing is the tickets to see the Nationals play in “real” games are cheaper than watching Atlanta play at Disney. Who would have thunk it? Of course, the parking is free at “Dark Star” but little else.

    Only downside to going to Washington is having to actually drive in DC but if you sneak in the back way, it isn’t as bad.

    Like

  77. 81 Carolina Lady February 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Ber, I had that same thought about Andruw. Don’t know who it is but there is a great resemblance.

    Like

  78. 82 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    That is minor league hitting instructor Jamie Dismuke… and he is a dear ringer for Andruw.

    Speaking of Uggla bulking up and being too tight, word has it he has actually come in a tad smaller this spring… seemingly to reverse last season’s trend.

    And Heyward looks like a comic book hero… 😀

    Like

  79. 83 Voice of Raisins February 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    dear ringer dead ringer 😳

    Like

  80. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Nice little blurb on Venters being in better shape this spring. I still say he did not really recover fully from the flogging he received at the hands of Bobby Cox and Freddi the past two years. He will be lucky, as well as the rest of the Braves’ fans, if he suffered no real permanent damage.

    I said last year that Uggla needed to be careful in the way he went about his weight training. Baseball player have to be limber. Being strong is great but being quick is actually better.

    Heyward could put on a Batman suit and would not need the fake muscles. That said, see my previous comment….

    What is it with the Dominican Republic and Visa problems and ball players? Have the ball clubs not figured out they have to grease the palms of those slime balls in third world countries? It has been that way since the Spanish first showed up the 1500s’. Might even have been that way before that.

    Like

  81. 85 berigan2electricboogaloo February 15, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Gil, Sorry about you not being able to make the trip this year. I bet a lot of locals have power scooters in their daily vehicle….wonder if any place rents something like that down there? A package deal, special van and a power scooter???

    Like

  82. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Sounds like a good idea for some enterprising entrepreneur. I actually have a scooter I bought a couple of years ago but I have been in denial and refuse to use it. I am pretty determined to walk as long as I can. Doesn’t stop me from using the carts in Kroger and Wal-mart however.

    I am trying real hard to talk myself out of buying another gun. I have three right now that I am watching and to be honest, I don’t need any of the three. Especially since folks have gone bat s**t crazy about hording ammo. No need to put stronger background checks in place, any nut who wants a gun won’t be able to shoot the dang thing after they buy it…

    Still, everyone has to have a hobby and collecting firearms is mine. Personally, I feel the are much more practical than my wife’s doll collection but that is just me. I think she would argue the point.

    Like

  83. 87 Carolina Lady February 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    One of her dolls sits in a place of honor in our home. Your Josie is one special lady!

    I’m sorta interested in a .45. Got ideas/comments/recommendations?
    .45 vs .38?

    Gil, the US Gov’t is/has been buying up MILLIONS and MILLIONS of rounds of ammo – even in the name of the Nat’l Weather Service. Wonder why….

    Like

  84. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2013 at 12:03 am

    I’ll be honest with you, while a .45 is a much more impressive round, unless you are planning on spend time regularly at a shooting range, I would suggest to you the same firearm I purchased for Josie in a Lady Smith & Wesson or one of the Tarus clones which are about half the price. It is small and will fit in your hand nicely and you will not be bothered by having to remember how to release the safety, you simply point in the direction you want to shoot and pull the trigger. The barrel is only about 2 inches long so it is not real accurate beyond 15 feet but any further than that away from your attacker and they are not so much a threat. The noise alone will deafen everyone and the flash will blind them. While a 38 does not stop someone as well as a .45, it should slow them down enough for you to escape.

    Besides, a .45 has a nasty recoil and unless you are prepared for it, see comment about range time, you are never going to be able to fire a second round if needed. Simple is good and a nice 38 special is about as simple as you can get short of a butcher knife. Bottom line, you have to do with what you are comfortable with and what feels right in your hand. Safety is paramount but once you make the decision to buy a gun, you also have to face the reality you might someday have to use it. A good gun safety class in addition to range time is a lot more important to me than having someone fill out a bunch of lame paper work for the Feds. You would never think of letting someone drive a car without practice first. Owning a gun is no different in my eyes…

    Whew, didn’t mean to get so windy there.

    Now baseball…. Chipper didn’t show up on time, I wonder if Fredi is going to call him out to the papers?

    Like

  85. 89 Carolina Lady February 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Holy cow! It’s snowing! No way it can stick though. Ground temp is too high and it is sopping wet. But it’s pretty coming down. Doesn’t happen too often in these parts.

    Gil, thanks for the advice. I had a S&W special until the house burned and I just never got around to replacing it. Today is a different world than it was at that time and criminals are getting bolder. If anyone breaks into this house, I wouldn’t hesitate one second to take them down. If it comes to them vs my daughter or me, guess who loses? I have several rifles and a shotgun, but by the time I located them, buried as they are to prevent theft, I’d be better off with a baseball bat. For in the house, a handgun is all-around more practical. A single .38 round may not stop somebody, but I’ve done pretty well on grouping shots on the range.

    Chipper is coming to ST? – or did I miss the joke?

    Like

  86. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    The Chipper comment was a dig at Fredi for dissing the Pastor and Schafer for not coming into camp early. Chipper was suppose to show up Friday but didn’t come until Saturday.

    I will not go into all the back and forth about how the two rookies should have come into camp early. I just felt Fredi should have kept it in house and aired it to the press.

    Like

  87. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Yes. it snowed here today too but no accumulation. Just a reminder it is still winter…

    Like

  88. 92 berigan2electricboogaloo February 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Happy Presidents day! I’m sure you all are thinking about Millard Filmore, William Henry Harrison, Franklin Pierce, and the other greats….

    Like

  89. 94 Voice of Raisins February 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Taft…

    Like

  90. 95 Voice of Raisins February 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Like

  91. 97 Voice of Raisins February 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Like

  92. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville February 19, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Thanks CL, I think the real reason is still the “run” on ammo by those who thought it would be outlawed. A lot of hoarding has taken place. Perhaps the shortage is prolonged by manufacturers being tied up with filling order for the government. I can certainly see how that could be true with .223 and 9mm which is really scarce right now. I did manage to find some 22 mag and some 22 subsonic rounds today but at about a 30% premium.

    I bought another car tonight. As a result, I had to pass up a couple of really good deals on two firearms. I figure doubling my fuel economy would be more beneficial than trying to find any more space in an already over crowded gun cabinet. Of course I am going to bemoan my failure to “pull the trigger” on those deals for weeks. SIGH!

    Now baseball… Looks like there will be lots of opportunities to see the Braves rookies on TV this spring. I have the MLB channel as does Ber, I don’t know about Raisins but I suspect he will get to watch on the local Atlanta outlets. Only one who will be left out in the cold will be CL I’m afraid. 😦

    Like

  93. 99 Voice of Raisins February 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Yes, Gil, I will have access to all of the above mentioned games except those that are carried on CSS (Comcast). That said, access does not always equal opportunity. That is a different animal altogether…

    Like

  94. 100 Voice of Raisins February 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

    That said, the weekday afternoon games are already on my calendar. 😀

    Like

  95. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville February 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

    No recorder Raisins?

    Like

  96. 102 Voice of Raisins February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Nah… I’m too cheap…

    Plus, I’m not one to live in the past. 😉

    Like

  97. 104 Voice of Raisins February 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Fredi has announced his pitching rotation for the 1st 5 spring games: Huddy, Maholm, Teheran, Medlen and Minor. As long as they stay on that schedule throughout spring, Meds gets the nod on Opening Day, followed by Minor, then Huddy, Maholm and Teheran. That is pretty much what most have speculated. Then again, there are a few weeks of spring left to make final determinations.

    Like

  98. 105 Carolina Lady February 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Atlanta Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman proclaims himself healthy
    February 17, 2013
    By Eric Schmidt

    As the Atlanta Braves open their spring training for the 2013 season in Florida, the hopeful team is happy to finally have a fully healthy first baseman back this year. Freddie Freeman suffered a serious bruise to his left index finger in the middle of last season after being struck by a Jose Reyes throw while he was sliding. He battled with the injury for the remainder of the season and he had to adjust his swing. He told reporters that he is finally healthy and is looking forward to the 2013 season.

    Freeman said that shortly after the first of the year he could finally make a fist with his hand and began hitting last month. “I started hitting with Dan Uggla last month. It was a lot of fun knowing that I was fully healthy,” said Freeman.

    Freeman told reporters that he believes he has rectified a situation that bothered him for much of last season as well, his vision. The first baseman told reporters that he has finally found a pair of contact lenses that are comfortable and he has ordered a special pair of clear Oakley glasses to wear while playing this season.

    Freeman is hoping to improve on his .262 batting average last season and could be poised for a breakout season.

    Like

  99. 106 Carolina Lady February 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/14/assessing-jordan-waldens-role-with-the-atlanta-braves/

    The Atlanta Braves decided to strengthen their bullpen this offseason with the acquisition of Jordan Walden in exchange for starting pitcher Tommy Hanson. With Walden, the Braves added some right-handed firepower in an already powerful bullpen. This trade looks like another example of general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez hoping to keep Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty from being overworked. Can Walden show consistent command and stay healthy? If so, he will carve out a nice role on this 2013 team.

    2012 Recap: Walden endured the dreaded “sophomore slump” in 2012 after emerging onto the MLB scene in 2011. That year Walden saved 32 games, struck out 67 batters with a 2.98 ERA and made the American League All-Star team. Last season, Walden dealt with biceps and shoulder injuries, lost his closer role and was limited to 45 games in a middle-relief role. His ERA (3.46), WHIP (1.36) and walk-per-nine-inning ratio (4.2) were all up from the previous year. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim added Ryan Madson to their bullpen this offseason, making Walden expendable.

    2013 Outlook: Walden features a lot of upside and potential but also some well-known risks. The upside is that he lights up the radar gun, consistently hitting 98 and 99 and occasionally triple digits. What makes his fastball so potent is its sinking action which has led scouts to describe the pitch as a “bowling ball.” Walden mixes that in with a slider that has good bite, but he struggles with locating it on a consistent basis. The downside with Walden is his quirky motion that leads to injury concerns. Walden propels himself off the mound in a unique jumping motion but doesn’t fully complete his follow through, which puts a lot of pressure on his arm. The windup has many moving parts and is a major reason Walden has consistency issues.

    Walden clearly adds a power arm to the Braves’ bullpen and will give Gonzalez flexibility at the end of games. He now has various options in righty-righty or lefty-lefty situational matchups. I even expect Walden will pick up a few saves this season when Kimbrel needs a day off. But, the Braves don’t need Walden to save 32 games like he did as an Angel. They need him to get people out in front of Kimbrel and stay healthy in order to help keep that bullpen fresh leading up to the postseason. Braves’ fans saw what an overworked bullpen looked like in September 2011. A healthy Walden will go a long way in preventing that from happening in 2013. While his role is somewhat unidentified as of now, Walden has a simplified outlook on that right now. “I know my job is to set up Kimbrel, I don’t know where I fit in here yet, but my job is to just be part of this team for now. There’s no reason to worry about closing when we have Craig.”
    Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/14/assessing-jordan-waldens-role-with-the-atlanta-braves/?ztCUHCu3kHPadEIG.99

    Like

  100. 107 Carolina Lady February 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com.
    Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/02/14/jordan-schafer-is-ruining-his-chance-at-atlanta-braves-roster/?ATuCTJ8pvLqRjeq9.99

    You have probably seen lots of news by now about players reporting early to Spring Training. All around Major League Baseball, position players have been arriving along with or even before pitchers and catchers. It seems to be the thing to do if you are willing to make the trip a few days early. The Atlanta Braves have a possible outfielder that apparently doesn’t agree with the idea of showing up early.

    Jordan Schafer was placed on waivers by the Houston Astros and claimed by the Braves. Braves fans will remember Schafer from a short few years ago when he was supposed to be the next great outfielder to come through the farm system. That never really materialized as he got into some trouble for taking human growth hormones and eventually he wound up playing for the Astros. Drug problems found him there as well. This past off-season, after he was released by the Astros, Schafer was graciously asked back to Spring Training with the Braves.

    In response, Schafer just decided not to show up yet. Some might not think that’s a big deal since he wasn’t required to show up until Thursday, but manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t like it one bit. He sarcastically joked about Schafer apparently already having a guaranteed spot on the roster, saying that must be the reason he hadn’t bothered showing up. There is some good news for Schafer as he decided to show up early today. At least that’s something.

    For those who think it shouldn’t matter that he didn’t show up early, I have an analogy for you. Imagine you and another two people are up for a promotion at work. You show up a few minutes before time to start working but your competitors slept at their desk and had hours of work in when you got there. I’m not saying something is terribly wrong with showing up right on time but don’t expect a promotion or a job over the guy that was there way early and working.

    Oh, by the way. Evan Gattis and his family reportedly drove thirty hours to arrive days early for the Braves camp. Schafer lives thirty minutes from the field. Yeah, he is a talented fellow, problems or not. But this spring, Schafer better have a forty-four ounce bat and a rocket up his backside if he plans to win a spot.

    Like

  101. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2013 at 8:39 am

    See, that is exactly what happens when the manager of a club calls you out, I read yesterday that Schafer had already informed the club and had received approval of the club to show up at the required time because of some unspecified family related business/crisis that required his presence in Chicago the week prior to the opening of spring training. Now, I am not saying Schafer is right or wrong and I am not saying the club shouldn’t take into consideration desire to play and go the extra mile, I am just saying Gonzalas should have kept it in house and not snarked to the press. It shows to me a lack of leadership skills. For all his faults, Bobby Cox did not call out his players in the papers, he did it behind closed doors where that sort of thing belongs.

    Perhaps it is my life experiences on both sides of the fence which allows me to speak on the subject but in my eyes, it is Fredi who was in the wrong here.

    Like

  102. 110 Voice of Raisins February 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Re: Schafer. In my view, it won’t matter. I don’t believe he makes the team anyway. Reed Johnson plays all 3 spots, and Schafer offers little power from the left side. Plus he’s out of options, so he is likely a goner.

    Like

  103. 111 Carolina Lady February 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Wonder why the Braves invited him back to Spring Training? Strange situation, indeed. BTW, I agree, Gil, that Fredi should have kept his mouth shut. It certainly helps no one. So far, I am underwhelmed with the Braves manager. Maybe because I’ve seen little of the actual games, but that’s where I am with him. Not that it amounts to a hill of beans. 🙂

    Like

  104. 112 Voice of Raisins February 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Well, when the Braves picked Schafer up off the scrap heap, Bourn was no longer under contract, BJ had not yet been signed and Justin was not on the radar. In fact, I don’t even think Reed Johnson had been re-signed. The Braves OF consisted of Jason Heyward and Jose Constanza. Period. They were still talking of Martin as a LF because there were so few options. He was simply a cheap depth move.

    In my opinion, the Braves’ bench will have 2 spare OF… one of which will be the RH Reed Johnson. That leaves 1 other spot open for a OF, which will certainly be a LH. Now… Schafer is a LH, but not a bopper. The Braves would ideally like to have more pop off the bench, I would think, ala Eric Hinske (the 2011 version, not the 2012 version). They do not have that in house currently, so failing the acquisition of said LHPH, the spot will come down to Schafer vs. Constanza. Maybe a little competition and another year’s maturity will be enough to tap some of that raw potential that Schafer once flashed. Who knows? But if I was competing for the last spot on a Major League roster, I’d have been in camp before the pitchers and catchers. Constanza was hung up in the DR with visa issues. Schafer was a 30 minute drive away…

    Like

  105. 113 Voice of Raisins February 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    My money says the Braves pick up the above mentioned LH bench bopper late in the spring as other teams’ rosters begin to take shape and veteran hitters become expendable.

    Like

  106. 114 Carolina Lady February 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    from an article sent by Ber:
    The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that aims to name the new I-70 Mississippi River bridge for famed Cardinal Stan Musial.

    “Bridges, at the heart of it, they connect people, they bring them together, and I think that’s a fitting tribute for ‘Stan the Man’ Musial,” said Sen. Eric Schmitt, a Republican from Glendale who is sponsoring the legislation.

    Musial, 92, died Jan. 19 at his home in Ladue. Shortly thereafter, a movement grew to name the bridge after the seven-time National League batting champion. The bridge is expected to open next year.

    The naming effort needs approval from both the Missouri Legislature and Illinois Legislature.

    Like

  107. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Good morning folks, it is my opinion that the major league rosters should be expanded to 30 for the first month of the season, this would give clubs a little more time to look at prospects and take a bit of the pressure off of pitchers. Just my two cents worth.

    Yes, Schafer was a hedge. Look for him to start in Gwinnett.

    The real wild card is Gattis. Wow, does he ever look like a young Javy Lopez. Probably has the same skill set behind the plate, Javy wasn’t exactly a gold glover either.

    Of course Javy has a little chemical help… just saying…

    So, how many spots are really available this spring? One left handed bat off the bench, One utility infielder, one fifth outfielder, one relief pitcher?

    The starting rotation is certainly set unless Julio falls apart this spring, There are a couple of guys waiting in the wings in Gilmartin and Graham, other than that, little suspense…. Still think the Braves are going to miss Prado. I hope they appreciate him in Arizona.

    Like

  108. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I hope the talking heads will talk about baseball and not about their golf games when the rookies get to play in games this spring. I have found I often have to turn the sound completely off during ball games lately. This is especially true with ESPN.

    Like

  109. 117 Voice of Raisins February 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    So… back on the topic of Jordan Schafer…

    And the only reason to keep beating this horse is that I believe every other roster spot is pretty much sewn up except for the last spot on the bench. Barring a spring trade, which is certainly possible, that last spot will almost certainly come down to Schafer vs. Jose Constanza.

    Now, reportedly Schafer had already let the Braves know that he had a “family matter” to wrap up prior to reporting. Fine. Constanza still hasn’t reported due to visa problems. The upside here is that these guys are not battling for a key spot in the lineup. Imagine if this was the Astros!! (Wait! First, don’t imagine that… it’s detrimental to your health. Second, Schafer was released by the Astros. Ouch…)

    My point is simply that this debate on Schafer’s reporting time is really pretty insignificant. Why did Fredi give him a blast in the press? Well, IMO the kid needs something to motivate him. He doesn’t seem to have that internal fire to break through. Here’s a kid who has demonstrated immense talent and potential, but seems content to just coast on his reputation. Ironically, Constanza has to bust his butt just to get his pinky toe in the door. Who has greater upside? Probably Schafer, if he’ll ever turn the corner. But can he do that? Thus far, the answer appears to be “No”. Conversely, what we have seen from Constanza is pretty much what we will get.

    If you polled the Braves coaches and FOT’s today, I believe that almost universally they would agree that the team is 99% set… but that they would love to improve the LHPH bench spot if possible. I think Schafer is facing 2 opponents in his bid to make the team. (NOTE: I said the team… not just the roster. No options left on this kid. He makes it or goes bye-bye.) He is competing with Constanza as well as the yet unnamed veteran LHPH that will become available in 3 or 4 weeks.

    You know… now that I think about it, it’s a pretty good problem to have. If this is the only real roster battle this team has, we’re in mighty fine shape. Gonna be tough on us amateur reporters, though. What else are we gonna report on?

    😀

    Like

  110. 118 Carolina Lady February 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I hope that Schafer realizes that if he doesn’t put himself in gear, it’s good-bye baseball. Hope he’ll wake up and not waste that valuable talent.

    Do Dominicans ever plan for their Visas ahead of time?

    Like

  111. 119 Voice of Raisins February 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Maybe they should switch to American Express… 😆

    Like

  112. 120 Carolina Lady February 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    @VOR: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Like

  113. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I’m fairly certain the annual visa run around in the Domican is a shake down exercise designed to line the pockets of some small time bureaucrat. It’s the essence of the ultimate banana republic. Either that or a union…

    Like

  114. 122 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 7:17 am

    The ultimate banana republic?

    You have just hit upon Obama’s great vision for the United Socialist States of Amerika…

    Like

  115. 123 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 7:31 am

    The 2013 version of Los Barves hits the field today in their Grapefruit League opener. Of course, no TV yet, and no radio on their flagship station. But it is being broadcast on the flagship’s 2 sister stations.

    Naturally, both of those stations have a broadcast radius of about 3 1/3 car lengths, and both are located in the NW section of Metro Atlanta. Poop… 😐

    Like

  116. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

    No computer links to either station?

    Like

  117. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

    My biggest fear is a contrived rebellion so he can declare marshal law.

    His answer to the question about what folks should do in the face of raising gas prices, drive less… I wish he would keep his butt in DC along with that gorilla he is married to and save million of gallon of jet fuel.

    Like

  118. 126 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 10:55 am

    No computer links to either station?

    Unfortunately, there is a proviso in the MLB radio contract that prohibits the official game broadcast from being aired via internet. That’s why the radio stations – flagships and affiliates – continue their scheduled programming… it still airs on their respective online feeds. It has something to do with the advertising that is sold for the gamecasts, as the advertising for internet broadcasts is completely different. Plus… MLB has its own proprietary internet feeds for which they charge a fee to provide.

    In other words, no internet broadcast because the “powers that be” gots to make some coin from every word.

    Like

  119. 127 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Constanza…he often provides a spark when he plays…unfortunately, as a sparkplug , he often fouls out quickly, but for awhile, he can certainly help…I still recall his triple in the playoff game last year, about the only guy to.. do something that I can recall…honestly, it would be better for him to get released, then go to some team like the Giants, get a couple hundred AB’s, go to the W.S….

    Like

  120. 128 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    As to the rising gas prices… well, remember at the onset of O’s presidency, his Energy Secretary Steven Chu was quoted as saying, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe”, which at the time was somewhere around $9 a gallon. Americans were paying an average of $1.84. We’ll never see that side of $2.00 again and possibly not that side of $3.00 again.

    Chu is an egghead whose quote was not so much about gas prices themselves, but about forcing Americans to buy more energy efficient cars, focus more on renewable energy sources, etc. In other words, he hoped the circumstances would force Americans to change their behavior. His attitude is but an echo of the one who appointed him.

    Simba – he “just can’t wait to be king”, right? – has never been shy when it comes to trying to force his subjects to behave a certain way. Whether it’s through banking (the bailout of American banks left the government in control of that industry through massive new regulations), or about healthcare (need I even comment there?) or about redistribution of wealth (check your paystubs since January 1?)

    We don’t even need to bring up his current assault on the 2nd Amendment. (BTW, his stealthy assault on the 1st Amendment is much more covert, and many times more dangerous…)

    Don’t forget also that back in 2007 right after his first election, Valerie Jarrett, a co-chair of his Transition Team, appeared on TV and proclaimed, “given the daunting challenges that we face, it’s important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.” Rule? What what? Was that merely a slip of the tongue? A “Freudian” slip even? Or was it simply a foreshadow of things to come? The last 4 years would seem to indicate that it was more portent than accident.

    O’s answer to everything is always from a position of reaction, not action. Always. His latest State of the Union address was heavy on criticizing what has been, and extremely light on proposing what should be. He has no solutions… he just reads copy well and smiles pretty. Don’t get me wrong. I am not insinuating that he isn’t smart or anything. That’s the scary part… he’s brilliant. But his brilliance is in manipulation and salesmanship, not in leadership. Leaders unite and inspire. The former community organizer divides and plays groups against each other. That is not leadership, that is cancer. Leaders are humble and deflect attention to those around them. This man is arrogant. His idea of transparency is to attack those who question his policies and to discredit them. Leaders sweat and tremble every moment that their men and women are in harm’s way. This guy cracks jokes with late night TV talk show hosts and parties in Las Vegas.

    History will one day show what a destructive president O has been. My biggest fear is that the story will not be allowed to be told. We have already revised our schools’ history books under the guise of political correctness. How much longer before we just make it all up under the “general welfare clause”? This so called “general welfare” power has already been abused by this president on some lower profile issues. Those were merely test balloons. Wait until he uses it to seize your firearms and your IRA’s. Then to suppress the conservative media reaction.

    We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto…

    Like

  121. 129 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Then again, what do I know? I’m just a schmo trying stretch my checks and pay the bills…

    Like

  122. 130 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Now, baseball…. (homage to The Scribe)

    The games begin in less than an hour!! Woo hoo!!! 😀

    Like

  123. 131 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I tried every backdoor and side entrance to the limited radio broadcast that I knew. I struck out like Dan Uggla vs. Steven Strasburg… 😦

    Like

  124. 132 Voice of Raisins February 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Like

  125. 133 Carolina Lady February 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Brilliant opine, V. I’m sure you saw where he recently said, …”The problem is that I’m not Emperor.”

    Like

  126. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Lest we flog that horse a bit more, I will simply say, right on bro… I think you nailed it. Now baseball..

    Braves lost, Gattis did not play and still don’t know why. Pitcher are ahead of the hitters. I don’t think we missed a lot yesterday but baseball is baseball…

    Like

  127. 135 Voice of Raisins February 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    El Oso Blanco!!!

    Like

  128. 137 Voice of Raisins February 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    El Oso Blanco… “The White Bear”… it’s the nickname given to Gattis in Venezuela this season as he wowed his Latin brothers with great feats of power.

    Like

  129. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    So, what’s Spanish for Polar Bear? El Orso Brrrrr?

    Glad it’s spring training, Braves acted like it was a playoff game…

    Like

  130. 140 berigan2electricboogaloo February 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    V, very well said sir!
    Finally feels like a day that has you thinking baseball can’t be too far off…
    didn’t think I would be watching any baseball tonights after Steve Berthiaume left to do Diamondbacks games, but old tv bud Jon Sciambi is the “backup” guy, and actually did all the shows this past week…way too early to get a feeling for teams, but there sure are some teams, that if they stay healthy, are going to be real competition for the braves….thank goodness the Marlins are in our division! 😆

    Like

  131. 141 berigan2electricboogaloo February 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Here’s story that will have you rooting for a Yankee prospect…
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/clean_slade_QZVnSxWJqgBYOOV9vj34PP/0

    Like

  132. 142 Voice of Raisins February 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Awesome article, Ber. Thanks much for that one.

    Like

  133. 143 Carolina Lady February 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    from Bowman’s blog:
    “Constanza’s absence will provide more opportunities for Schafer to impress during the exhibition season. If Schafer continues to show the work ethic he has during the early portion of camp, I think he will give the Braves reason to keep him. But if they gain any hint of concern about his attitude or dedication over the course of the entire season, I don’t think they will be afraid of the possibility of losing him via the waiver wire.”

    Like

  134. 144 Carolina Lady February 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Great article, Ber! Thanks!

    Like

  135. 145 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Great article Ber, thanks for sharing….

    Like

  136. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    And now a word about NASCAR, my other favorite sport, sometimes… Today’s race was right up there on the most boring race ever meter. If it were not for the talking heads acting like the national media types at an Obama Press conference, they would not have had anything to talk about. Say what you will, a 200 mph single file freight train is not my idea of an exciting race…

    Braves lose another one, Looks like out scrub pitchers cannot help but give up runs by the buckets full but our kids still can’t seem to get any runs… Okay, it’s early and these games don’t mean anything but I shutter to think they might be harbingers of what to expect.

    Josie has been hinting about taking a road trip, I am not convinced it is worth the price of gas just yet.

    Like

  137. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I have a bad feeling that Bryce Harper is going to be real nemesis for the Braves for years to come.. I hope we can counter..

    Like

  138. 148 berigan2electricboogaloo February 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Gil, yup….
    get these, tried to post on someone’s blog…said I could sign in with wordpress…put in berigan2electricboogaloo….this pops up….

    WordPress.com

    You do not own that identity. I don’t? Can I at least…borrow it???

    Like

  139. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    It must be your evil Twin… or White Sox I forget…. 🙂

    Like

  140. 151 Voice of Raisins February 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I have a bad feeling that Bryce Harper is going to be real nemesis for the Braves

    It’s OK… he is on this week’s SI cover. He’s toast now… 😀

    Like

  141. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Yep. that will do it… Just ask Frenchy….

    Like

  142. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Then again, it didn’t exactly hurt the best one of the Uptons, Kate.. but I digress….

    Like

  143. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Long Juan hit a long one today against the Tigers. While Prince Fielder’s dinger may have had a tad more distance on it, Juan’s counted for more as it was of the three run verity as opposed to Prince’s two run shot. Just goes to show that no matter how far you hit it, distance does not give you any more points. Having guys on ahead of you really makes the most difference when it comes to RBIs. More impressive methinks is the double he hit the opposite way. Hopefully Brian McCann will recognize that being able to spray all fields with power will stop other teams from getting in his head by loading up on the right side of the field.

    Of course, if teams continue to over shift, home runs might well become the ultimate weapon against it. No wonder the number of strikeouts per nine innings has risen so dramatically. If you are going to take away the single, hitters have little choice but to go deep.

    Like

  144. 155 Voice of Raisins February 28, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Chicks dig the long ball…

    Like

  145. 156 Voice of Raisins February 28, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Like

  146. 157 Voice of Raisins February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Minor (the adjective, not the pitcher) changes to the Braves’ TV deal. Don’t get too excited, though…

    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/braves-tv-deal-changes-games-move-peachtree-tv/nWcNF/

    Like

  147. 158 Voice of Raisins February 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Braves are coming up on MLB Network in about 5 minutes. NOTE: It is the Phillies broadcast team…

    Like

  148. 159 Carolina Lady February 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    That the best commercial ever made. (IMHO) Love it!

    Like

  149. 160 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Today’s game is exactly why spring training games are a rip off if you are having to pay major league prices to see players play, It’s the old bait and switch.. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the prospect and the rookies play but not at $35 a pop.

    Like

  150. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hooters girl acting as the ball girl for the Phillies, I wonder if Chipper regrets retiring so soon? Okay, I know that was bad…..

    Like

  151. 162 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Braves pitchers practice throwing homer balls…. That’s right guys, those boys will be looking for those pitches come September…

    Like

  152. 163 Voice of Raisins March 1, 2013 at 7:47 am

    So now Buster Olney is reading our blog too?

    Like

  153. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Of course they do Raisins, where else can you get such insight to all things Braves?

    Evan Gattis is really making waves this spring, his value as a trade chip may never be higher,

    Speaking of left handed bench guys, our old friend Rick Ankiel signed with Houston, I hope he sticks…

    Like

  154. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I went back and watched the little tribute to Mad Dog put up by a fan and remembered why I loved watching Maddux so much, the guy was an artist with a baseball. While a power arm is impressive, it is a God given talent. You either can or you can’t depending on one’s anatomy. Maddux however had talent. He could make a baseball do things that defy the laws of physics. Lord how I am thankful to have been able to see him pitch, I am even more thankful to see him pitch for the Atlanta Braves….

    Like

  155. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2013 at 8:29 am

    And I went back and watched the commercial again… Just too funny….

    Like

  156. 167 Voice of Raisins March 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I agree on all fronts…

    Like

  157. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    A couple of thoughts about Craig Kimbrel, I think Craig is a little slow getting out of the box if you know what I mean. It seems that he needs a month or so into the season to hit his stride. I think if you look at his history, short that it may be, he has never been what one could consider “sharp” until late June. I hope the Braves can give him a bunch of three run leads to save early in the season but then, the Braves have tended to be slow starters themselves.

    I still say too many folks are selling the Phillies short. They have an excellent starting staff. If they can shore up their pen, they are going to be plenty dangerous. I am not saying that just because of the ten runs they put up yesterday against the Braves, That is just “baby fat” , no, it is how they came on at the end of last season after everyone got settled into their respective roles that showed me they can still play with the best of them.

    Like

  158. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Obummer is really a dork…. I can’t see what 51% of the country saw in him to re-elect him. SIGH!

    Like

  159. 171 Carolina Lady March 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Gil, there is a lot of doubt in many quarters about that 51%. He didn’t just SEE dead people, they voted for him. As did Mickey, Minnie et al.

    Thankfully, God is my source for everything; not the US Gov’t. And with Him, all things are possible. 🙂

    Like

  160. 172 Voice of Raisins March 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Amen!

    Like

  161. 173 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Amen indeed!
    lots of good stuff above fellas…and fellettes 😉
    Evan Gattis ….weird timing…might have wished we had traded for Justin Upton first, and saved the moola on his bro…time will tell, hopefully, he will tear the cover off the ball playing in front of, you know, fans…
    Gil, if nothing else, the Phils will play tough. Michael Young will have a bounceback year, and amazingly, Chase Utley seems to be healthy now…Ryan Howard has said when he came back last year, his leg was still pretty weak..100% now….a tough division, no doubt, with 4 true MLB teams, and that AA team in Florida, which will no doubt win 40+ games this year.

    Like

  162. 174 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Lyle Overbay may be a thought again….

    Like

  163. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2013 at 10:03 am

    It’s going to be an interesting year all right. I suspect the Phillies will keep Washington from running away with a title. Might say the same about the Phillies and the Braves too. I just think folks are forgetting the Phillies still have one of the best starting pitching staffs in the majors. They scare the poop out of me….

    Like

  164. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    “Braves second baseman Dan Uggla struck out four times in four at-bats against the Nationals, including consecutive three-pitch strikeouts. He has struck out 10 times in 16 spring at-bats with two hits and two walks. . . .”

    Anyone else beginning to wonder about Dan’s ability to be a big league hitter? Yes, I know it’s early but gee… This has been a real trend. I just don’t see how the Braves can afford to keep him on the roster.

    Like

  165. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Then again, someone has to bat in the eight hole…

    Like

  166. 178 Carolina Lady March 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Me, me, me!! I will, Gil!! Need to borrow somebody’s bat. Maybe one of Dan’s since he isn’t using them.

    😆

    Like

  167. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2013 at 9:14 am

    🙂

    Like

  168. 180 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Sorry, CL… he used it yesterday. 😉

    Like

  169. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Isn’t it funny how money is such a determining factor in how long a club is willing to go along with failure? No wonder players go with the high powered agents (Scott Boras) and the super contracts. It is like “playing insurance” ..

    Hey, I like Dan’s hustle and don’t begrudge him one bit, at least he is trying but I am beginning to think Miami may have got the best of Wren on that deal. Not so much for the reliever but Omar was such a spark plug and one has to wonder if maybe Marteen might not have snagged another All-star appearance.

    At least this year the Braves have a lot of power bats sprinkled thru out the line up. We have all seen how even just one player can carry a club for a month or so, Having a couple of guys who can carry a club along might be something to behold.

    The real test id hitting with runners in scoring position. Something the Braves have been deficient in of late. That and actually being able to field the ball cleanly and making accurate throws to first.

    Like

  170. 182 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

    CL, still a funny line though! :LOL:
    Is Jim Powell doing TV now as well???
    Just found BJ Upton’s homer…I assume yesterday???

    Like

  171. 183 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Who knows what the year will bring..?

    But I’m not going to throw in the towel based on Spring numbers. In fact, I hope he continues his “spring” trend. Last year he hit .313/.404/.750 w/ 6 HR’s in Spring, and then fell off the cliff in the regular season. Here’s hoping he continues to suck in Spring and has a great 2013 campaign!!! 😀

    Like

  172. 184 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Heads up!! Los Barves on MLB Network today at 1:10pm!!!

    Like

  173. 185 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Bethancourt is catching Huddy today. Wonder if that is how the season’s first couple of turns through the rotation will go?

    Like

  174. 187 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Jordan Schafer better enjoy his time wearing the Tomahawk over the next couple of weeks. That last at bat was sad, and sadly typical. So… where is Rick Ankiel trying out?

    Like

  175. 188 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    What? Ankiel is in Houston’s camp? 😆

    Well, that speaks volumes on Schafer, right?

    Like

  176. 189 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Last 5 Braves to bat:
    6’3″, 215 lb. Jordan Parraz
    6’4″, 230 lb. Evan Gattis
    6’0″, 200 lb. Joey Terdoslavic
    6’5″, 215 lb. Joe Leonard
    6’5″, 245 lb. Ernesto Mejia

    The Mets probably think they are playing the Giants… 😉

    Like

  177. 190 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Schafer AB #1: 2 outs, runner on 3B = K

    Schafer AB #2: 1 out, runner on 3B = GIDP

    Not good…

    Like

  178. 191 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    By the way… as badly as Schafer is hitting, he’s currently ahead of Constanza in the race for the last bench spot. Of course, no one has heard from Constanza, either…

    Like

  179. 192 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Schafer has performed better than Ryan Langerhans for Toronto…

    Like

  180. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    A couple of comments about the pitching today… Huddy went 4 long innings today. Was not sharp and thankfully, had a kid behind the plate who has the agility of Charles Johnson. Kind of like dodge ball in reverse.

    Avilian looks really good, really really good. Most impressive hurler in the fold right now, Easy O looked like, well, Easy O… The rest will be plying their wares in Atlanta Lite or Mississippi.

    Gattis looks a lot like McCann… Really, very remarkable resemblance. Lots of good prospects to trade for what ever they might need. A lot like the Dodgers use to be.

    Like

  181. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I didn’t realize Mijia was only 23.

    Like

  182. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    The Pastor would benefit greatly if he could play 2nd base somewhere. Even if it was in Atlanta, anyone need a slightly over paid very streaky second sacker?

    Like

  183. 196 Voice of Raisins March 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    And as if I had not spoken enough about Schafer today, here is a rosier view of the once and future Brave: http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/jeff-schultz/2013/mar/04/jordan-schafer-given-one-more-chance-get-it-right/

    Have I been too harsh?

    Like

  184. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I think Jordan suffered from many of the same things which Frency did. Perhaps a 22 year old athlete equates to 16 years old in normal terms. That age where you know everything and your parents are idiots.

    I have moved on from Schafer. If he comes back, great, if not, the Braves already have a pretty stacked outfield. I hope the kid makes it, I really do but the road to success is littered with kids just like him. Like the grate philosopher , Jimmy Dugan, once said, “Baseball is suppose to be hard, if it were easy, then anybody could do it.”

    Like

  185. 198 Voice of Raisins March 5, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I guess my thing with Schafer is simply that we know that he isn’t going to start… he has to perform as the LH coming off the bench. Twice yesterday he came up with a runner on 3B. Each time he ended the inning, once on a K, once on a DP. Utter failure. But… if we are judging the roster 4 weeks before the season starts based on early failure, we’re going to have to start Evan Gattis at 2B. 😉

    And that is exactly what Frank Wren said in an interview yesterday afternoon when asked about Dan Uggla. He said it is still very early in spring. (It is/b> true. I must keep reminding myself of that…) In any non-WBC year, we would only have played just 2 or 3 Spring games. He also said that if this is still happening 3 weeks from now, it is something he’ll have to look at. That’s an interesting statement to me…

    Anyway, according to Frank, this is nothing new, and Danny is working with “Walk and Fletch” daily in the cage working out the wrinkles. And he hasn’t struck out in the last 2 games. OK… so he didn’t play yesterday. Sue me. 😀

    Like

  186. 199 Voice of Raisins March 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Oops! 😳

    Formatting error!!!

    Oh, well. It’s early in Spring, right? :-/

    Like

  187. 200 Carolina Lady March 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    It was encouraging to read the article on Schafer. Seems there are a lot of people pulling for him. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if he could bust out and reach his potential?

    V, do you need more time in the formatting cage? 😆

    Like

  188. 201 Voice of Raisins March 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Yup… need more time with “Walk and Fletch”… 😛

    Like

  189. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    “Walk and Fletch”… title to a bad Chevy Chase movie… then again, they were all bad Chevy Chase movies…

    Like

  190. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I was able to watch parts of the Braves vs Yankees last night, at least during the times I was able to keep my eyes open. Whew, Paul Malholm really looks shaky. I think against a real major league team, he would have given up 10 runs… I guess that is just another example of how folks should not take any stock in spring training records. So many moving targets if you know what I mean.

    Uggla has to wonder if he suddenly has a bulls-eye painted on his helmet. Ouch!!!!! The Pastor continues to make it tough on the Braves in picking the final bench pieces.

    Like

  191. 204 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

    That is one tough son of a gun…

    Like

  192. 205 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Oh, and maybe I should talk harshly of Schafer more often. The kid suddenly looks like the prospect he once was.

    Like

  193. 206 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Bold assertion:

    Like

  194. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Remind me to buy a back up battery for my CPU… Right in the middle of a Pulitzer worthy post, POOF!!! Guess the limbs are getting closer to the power lines. Only takes one little blip to waste lots of good work.

    The weather folks here say the accumulation totals are very difficult to predict. Even the separation of a few miles can make a big difference. The cedar trees in the front yard are really sagging now. Cedar trees hate snow.

    Okay, watching Tommy Hanson looking like the Tommy Hanson of old.. Gopher ball given up in the 2nd inning against the Reds. Even trading for a guy with a sore back looks like a win for Frank Wren.

    Like

  195. 208 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Gil, in the back of my mind, I kinda always felt that Walden would be flipped in Spring Training to someone in need of back-of-the-pen help. Not gonna happen if the dude can’t throw a pitch…

    Like

  196. 209 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Too bad, too. Detroit is openly shopping for a closer.

    Speaking of flipping, I can’t help but think Schafer could be traded if he continues to perform. He is not exactly ideal as a bench guy, as his game is as much speed and defense as it is offense. And the Braves don’t have a real HR threat on the bench… yet. Just sayin’…

    Like

  197. 210 Voice of Raisins March 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    And almost on cue:

    Like

  198. 212 Carolina Lady March 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    What would they do without y’all to tell ’em what’s what??! Best minds in baseball right here! 🙂

    Like

  199. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Well, it is snowing to beat the band here. the weather folks say it is a real moving target as far as predicting the accumulation totals. Anywhere from 1 to 10 inches depending on where you live. A lot more north and west of Richmond. We will see…

    Looks like Josie and my annaversary dinner will get postphoned

    Like

  200. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Raisins, I am not concerned about a little soreness in Walden’s sore back, as long as it is only a muscular thing and not from a spinal impingement or the like. I’m sure the MRI they will run will reveal the cause of the problem. It is not as if he is necessary for the success of the bullpen this season.

    Better he fully recover from whatever ails him than think he has to be the savior of the team.

    Trade chips? I look for the Braves to trade Schafer for anything rather than let him go free to the Mets. Much like the Reds trading away Francisco, only the Braves might not mind having Schafer on the roster. As for the rest, the Braves will hang onto them because they can.

    I wonder if Constanza would have had so many problems securing a visa if he was playing on the DR WBC team? That said, I don’t know why he does’n’t just walk across the Rio Grand like everyone else? He might even get free stuff… not like ICE is going to worry about picking him up.

    Like

  201. 215 Carolina Lady March 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Good article, V. Thanks for posting it.

    Like

  202. 216 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Kind of tough for a 35 year old (cough, cough) to come back from Tommy John… Too bad for Fookie…

    http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/florida/cardinals-shortstop-furcal-to-have-elbow-surgery/nWj6D/

    Like

  203. 217 Voice of Raisins March 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    He’s had a hard time staying on the field since the crackdown on PED’s. Not accusin’; just observin’…

    Like

  204. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Yes Raisins, he is not the only one either..

    More on Walden today

    Said he had an epidural to ease his lower back pain. I had not know that anti-inflammatory were injected that way. Then again, I guess a steroid could be considered an anti-inflammatory.

    I think he is likely to need some type of surgery to correct the problem. Same could be said for O’Flarerty. I guess a back problem is not as bad as an arm problem for a pitcher.

    Another observation I have had is that it is a shoulder problem that is the real coup de grace for a pitcher’s career.

    Like

  205. 219 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    In retrospect, Fucal really did Frank Wren a favor not signing with the Braves didn’t he?

    Like

  206. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    And it is revealed that Walden has a bulging disc. Not good but can be fixed. I guess he needs to talk with Huddy…

    Like

  207. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Actually, I wish I had my back fixed many years ago but unfortunately, the doctor I saw said there was nothing wrong with it…. Another reason I have such a low opinion of doctors. Funny, I never met a doctor who didn’t want to be something else….

    Like

  208. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Simmons really looks great playing for the Dutch. He is going to be a real game changer for the Braves this season…

    Like

  209. 223 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    A headline over at MLBTR says Mariners To Receive Cash For Carp.

    I misread that at first and thought it was another government program…

    Like

  210. 224 Voice of Raisins March 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    😉

    Like

  211. 226 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Good morning folks, just my two cents worth but does it seam to everyone that many have written off Brian McCann? I love all the hype about Evan Gattis and even Bethancourt but are the Braves really ready to write off a six time All-Star and Silver Slugger winner just because he is going to be a bit more expensive?

    Brian was basically playing one handed the past couple of seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Gattis break out this season and even see Bethancourt develop into a star but when a player who is as clutch as any player ever to wear a Braves uniform is written off as being too expensive, well, it just speaks of corporate greed…

    Still, it is good to have options…. Some baseball players can be as temperamental as a Ferrari.

    Like

  212. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I watched team USA get it handed to them by Mexico last night and while I was at it, saw why Arizona is in danger of being overrun by invaders from south of the boarder….

    Like

  213. 228 Carolina Lady March 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Gil, I wonder if it is because the media in general is primarily interested in whatever is new and shiny with more info that the audience doesn’t know. Gives them something new to write about. However, I agree that Brian is being given the short end of the stick.

    Like

  214. 229 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Woo hoo… big bru ha ha between Mexico and Canada this afternoon. Not smart to throw at a bunch of hockey players…

    Like

  215. 230 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2013 at 6:51 am

    On another note, When ask by the media if any of his players were hurt in the melee between his Canada club and Team Mexico, Canadian manager, Ernie Whitt, replied, “Naw, you can’t hurt a Canadian”… It was pretty funny to hear him say it.

    On last night’s game between the USA and Italy, David Wright looked like the same David Wright who is going to be a real nemesis for the Braves this season, Ross Ditweller, the National’s lefty, looked really sharp. Going to be a tough year for hitters in the NL EAST.

    Like

  216. 231 berigan2electricboogaloo March 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    CL, exactly! Plus, no one knows what a new guy can do, could be the sky’s the limit…that said, I hope Gattis gets a ton of Ab’s early…

    Like

  217. 232 Voice of Raisins March 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Decided to sit down and watch a little WBC baseball. Meh. I don’t know half the players and can’t pronounce most of the names. The noisemakers in the stands really get on my nerves. I think I’ll go trim my toenails…

    Like

  218. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Must have watched the Cuba vs Japan.. Not know their names? Welcome to my world of minor league baseball… 🙂

    All that said, I don’t think I have ever seen such a bunch of hotdogs as the Dominican Republic team… Have to agree with the noise makers though. Baseball is a much more serene game….

    Like

  219. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Speaking of serene… Huddy best take things a bit more serious. I don’t mind working on stuff, just realize that giving up 6 runs in 3 innings is not instilling the confidence of the fans in his ability, especially since he has regressed to be a 5 inning pitcher.

    Like

  220. 235 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2013 at 6:18 am

    😆

    Like

  221. 236 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Good “fair and balanced” examination of the McCann situation, from both the Braves’ and Brian’s perspectives:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/brian-mccann-time-with-atlanta-braves-could-be-nearing-end-031013

    Like

  222. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Yes, it is a business. Sadly, when I am reminded as such, I feel like I may as well root for DuPont as opposed to Dow Chemical…. Or Boeing vs Air Bus.. It is sad that so many General Managers have forgotten the fine art of dealing with human beings and forget that often times it is how bad news is delivered and not the bad news in itself.

    My favorite tag line from a movie comes from “North Dallas Forty”. To wit:
    How come every time I call it a game, you call it a business and every time I call it a business, you call it a game?

    Like

  223. 238 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I have to take issue with Rosenthal on one point, though… I disagree that if Mac has a classic McCannian type season, that he would price himself out of the Braves’ plans. I get the sense that they are not completely ready to let him leave. Seriously… I know that they are talking about Bethancourt being the future, but that is a classic Braves FO move to partly make sure to maximize that player’s value, but also to make sure all the other GM’s know that the Braves are fine moving into the “Bethancourt era”. By mid-season, the Braves will know quite well how healthy Mac is. I for one will not be surprised to see something big happen at the deadline that could involve Bethancourt, with a subsequent announcement of an extension for Brian.

    Like

  224. 239 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Oh, and Maholm was stellar over 5 innings this afternoon (0 runs, 2 hits, 5 K’s), while the Braves jumped all over Strasburg for 6 runs in the 6th.

    Like

  225. 240 Carolina Lady March 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all you February babies!!

    epriseWildcat: Mar 9
    ssiscribe: Mar 11
    Raisins: Mar 13
    Berigan: Mar 15
    Hillbilly: Mar 16

    Like

  226. 241 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I wonder what it would take to price the Braves out of market. I still think it is how much the choose to pay. not how much the can pay.

    Nice showing by Maholm today. See, Strasberg is human..

    Like

  227. 242 Voice of Raisins March 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    On the subject of Braves pricing….

    A recent interview with Derek Schiller revealed some good news: the Braves revenue increased by $17MM last season. Plus, the recent sale of broadcast rights to 45 games from Turner owned Peachtree TV to FOX Sports also netted them an undisclosed amount of money. He said money would not prevent them from making necessary moves in season.

    Like

  228. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I also believe that MLB will step in and develop some type of revenue sharing between the haves and the have nots as far as the big revenue streams in places like New York and Los Angeles. I also think when they do so, they will have a floor as to how much can be spent to prevent the joker who owns the Marlins from just pocketing the cash. I don’t say the Marlins have to spend $100,000,000 a year of payroll but they are honestly an embarrassment to the league.

    I cannot see the league allowing the Marlins to move to greener pastures either. The Rays, however, are a different story.

    Like

  229. 244 Voice of Raisins March 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Yes and no, Gil. They already have a pseudo-revenue sharing program with the luxury tax. In fact, this year’s version of the Yankees will be a middling team because they are making a conscious effort to get below the tax threshold. That said, they are also a perfect example that you cannot spend yourself into prosperity. (Hello… White House? Are you listening?) While it may produce short term success, it will always produce long term hindrance. The highest spending teams? Yankees = old and bad. Red Sox = old and bad. Phillies = old and sliding rapidly. Dodgers/Angels = will be good, but tied to several onerous contracts that will lead them down the path of their old NE brothers. They all end up with a handful of highly paid fading stars, and nothing left to flesh out the lineup except rookies and retreads. Has Derrick Lee returned Brian Cashmans’ call yet? By the way, do you notice that the most egregious spenders are in the NE region of the country? Or in LaLa land? The places where they wholeheartedly support the President and his spend, spend, spend philosophy?

    It’s different than other sports. Example #1: Atlanta Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan. He’s currently negotiating a new contract that will give him more up front money, but a lower annual cap figure. It’ll help the team with their cap numbers, and guaranty him more money. And that is the key. MLB is the only sport where every contract is guaranteed. If a veteran in football or baseball is no longer productive and their contract becomes a hindrance, they get cut and the team gets salary relief. In MLB, you only cut a player to free up a roster spot. He still gets paid. Just ask Kenshin Kawakami. Also, the MLBPA would never EVER allow a player to negotiate down for ANY reason. EVER. Bottom line – in the NFL and NBA, the leagues drive the bus. In MLB, the players’ union drives the bus. And thus, they will never have a salary cap.

    Anyway, as to the spending floor, the only path to a minimum payroll is a salary cap. And as we just said, that’ll never happen in MLB. Their union is just simply too strong.

    Though many may argue, especially with its current ownership, one of the best examples of how to run a MLB franchise is right here in The A. Their older veterans are always balanced by younger players that are developed the right way to be effective ML’ers when the bell rings. And they will never give an ARod or Ryan Howard type contract that has them paying $20MM to a player that can’t get out of the trainer’s room. (Mike Hampton was a product of injury, not age.) They’ll just simply let that player walk and plug in the next guy in line. Right Mac? And need we rehash the Michael Bourn argument? But it is a perfect example as to how they examine every angle of a pending contract, especially from a future impact perspective. Had we simply given Bourn the contract he wanted right out of the gate, as many wanted, he would have been that guy 7 years from now that prevented us from putting the best 25 guys in the dugout, and the best 9 on the field. Vernon Wells immediately comes to mind. That would be the same Vernon Wells who still has 2 seasons left on a 7 year, $126MM contract that will pay him $21MM this season to sit on the Angels’ bench. That means 3 other OF and a DH are better players. $21MM… that’s roughly 24% of the entire Braves payroll. I hope he takes it easy on the sunflower seeds. Those things can get pricey…

    OK… this is getting close in length to a classic Savannah Guy tome, so I’ll stop here…

    Like

  230. 245 Voice of Raisins March 12, 2013 at 7:03 am

    If a veteran in football or baseball is no longer productive and their contract becomes a hindrance, they get cut and the team gets salary relief.

    That ruins a perfectly good rant… it should read “If a veteran in football or basketball is no longer productive and their contract becomes a hindrance, they get cut and the team gets salary relief.”

    Good grief… 🙄

    Like

  231. 246 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2013 at 7:39 am

    That’s okay Raisins, I knew what you meant. Excellent point and well taken on this end.

    And yes, it would be pretty easy to give a guy a big contract if you could drop him after one season. I think there has to be a certain amount of trust between the owners and players for that to happen in baseball and I think we all know that ship sailed a long time ago.

    As long as there is a some guy who is willing to pay an A-Rod to sit on the bench, you will always have that situation. It is TV money that drives the payroll bus now, something other teams caught onto after watching the Atlanta Braves climb out of the cellar. Of course, it also took Bowie giving Ted Turner the boot to get him out of the day to day operations of the team to make it effective.

    Now baseball (on the field) Glad to have Teheran pitching well this spring, Bodes well I think.

    Like

  232. 247 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2013 at 7:41 am

    And I am pretty certain this will be Huddy’s last year in Atlanta too…. I hope he has invested wisely.

    Like

  233. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Then again, I am sure there is some GM out there who thinks he might be worth $15 million or so, after all, it would not be his money….

    Like

  234. 249 berigan2electricboogaloo March 14, 2013 at 3:53 am

    V, your rant wasn’t ruined, honest! was just thinking, too bad each tv contract wasn’t made null and void when teams were sold….cuz if every team was getting at least a few hundred Mil, no team could cry poor…

    Like

  235. 250 Voice of Raisins March 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

    So according to Fredi and Frank, and by all observations, neither JuanFran nor CJohnson has separated himself from the other in the 3B battle. That is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it.

    First, neither is going to turn any heads with their glove. That’s just a reality we’ll have to live with. And both have been pretty good with their bats… in fact, quite similar in numbers, both power and average. However, they are also similar in K’s.

    I guess what I’m saying is that neither is sucking over there this spring. But then again, neither is really standing out either. It’s just kind of, er, kind of just there. I can’t get excited by either. The way Pastor has been hitting this spring, I wish he could handle the duties over there, but that’s not really a consideration. He looks destined to a journeyman career as a utility man.

    And Terdo has raked also, but he still needs to prove he can actually catch a ball sometimes. The Braves moved him to LF last season because his 3B defense had gotten pretty bad. Hey, the guy has gotten alot bigger. I hardly see him going back to the IF.

    And wither Edward Salcedo? By all accounts, he’s a bust. Well, maybe that’s a little premature, but he didn’t even earn an invite to the big boys’ camp this spring, even after playing in the Arizona Fall League last fall. Of course, he hit a league low .141, too. But he’s just 21, so who knows?

    The Braves will kick it off in less than 3 weeks with arguably the most athletic OF in baseball, and one the best overall. We have a superstar in waiting at SS, and one of the best young 1B in the game. Our bullpen is second to none; our rotation is young and strong. Our 2B is a former All Star who still has plenty of tread on the tires, and is ripe for a return to form.

    But 3B…

    Well, you can’t expect anyone to really follow the act that just left town, but I can’t get very excited about what’s stepping in. Seriously, do you want your 3B batting 8th in the lineup?

    I guess someone has to…

    Like

  236. 251 Voice of Raisins March 14, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Speaking of Long Juan:

    Wow… 😯

    Like

  237. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Looks to be another lead worthy post Raisins…

    Yes, it is sad when two guys batting over .300 this spring with power are considered the weak sisters on the team… What a bummer… 🙂

    Just drive in more than you let in guys and don’t throw DP balls into right field…

    Anyone else remember with the eight spot in the order was usually reserved for the catcher?

    Combining offense with defense usually equals super stardom. Frankly, I will settle for a guy who hits .250 but is clutch with men on base. Oh how I hate failing to get guys home from third with less than 2 outs. Oh how I long for a player who does not try to hit a 5 run homer when a well placed single to the opposite field guarantees two runs. SIGH, not only do chicks dig the long ball but so does ESPN…. Why else does Dan Uggla keep his starting spot in the line up? Okay, big money too, but why else?

    How do you know when you have arrived? When the guys riding the bench are just as good as the other team’s starting nine. Reminds me of the Cardinals of the 60s, the Reds of the 70s and the Dodgers of the 80s… If nothing else, they give you great trade pieces.

    So, who do you think will make the most money in the course of their career, the guy who hits three singles every ten at bats or the guy who hits one homerun in every ten?

    Like

  238. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I rest my case Raisins… That would be a Roy Hobbian shot with “Savoy Special”… Better check to see if he has been buying Sammy Sosa’s old bats.

    I wonder if he will ever realize that if he cut down on his swing even just a little bit, he is still strong enough to put them over the wall and a line drive off his bat would rip the glove off the first baseman’s hand..

    Still, there is enough power in this year’s Braves line up for opposing teams to petition the commissioner to require screens to be put in place whenever the Braves are at-bat. 🙂

    Somehow, it reminds me of the joke about the gorilla and driving the ball 450 yards off the tee… same when putting…

    Like

  239. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I was just reading O’Brien’s post about Venter’s coming in relief of Medlen in yesterday’s game and how he walked 4 in a row, walking in a run. One of two things going on with him methinks… Either his shoulder never recovered from the 80 or so appearances he made in 2010 or hitters have learned to lay off that biting slider of his. In order to make that pitch work, you have to get ahead of a batter with a good fastball. It does not have to be a groove pitch, just one close enough to be called a strike or low enough to be hit on the ground, failure to be able to do that leads me back to my first conclusion that it is the shoulder.

    He would not be the first pitcher regulated to the trash heap by the Braves after a season of abuse. I guess we should count out blessings that Kimbrel was not available for a whole season that year.

    Hats off to the Nationals for taking the long view of things and not destroying Strasberg’s career and rushing him back and over using him last season.

    Pitching anatomy 101…
    loss of velocity = elbow,
    loss of control = labium
    loss of both = left fielder

    Like

  240. 255 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Braves on MLB today vs Cards.

    Like

  241. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Majic Mike Minor looks good, Schafer trying to make it hard for the Braves to leave him off the roster too…

    Like

  242. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    “j” left handed for “g”… 🙂

    Like

  243. 258 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Spoke too soon..

    Like

  244. 259 Voice of Raisins March 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Sux for him. Schafer has really taken hold of his opportunity.

    Like

  245. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Wow. if I had to watch baseball games with all the noisemakers clamoring in the background, I would give it up… Glad Kimbrel is coming home… Hurry up Simmons, come home soon.

    Like

  246. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    He should have just paid the bribe and been done with it Raisins…

    That, after all is the way it has been done in that part of the world every since the Spanish showed up….

    Like

  247. 262 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    So many auctions, so little time… can’t go to them all so I am just going to go to the one that is closest tomorrow…

    Like

  248. 263 Voice of Raisins March 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Like

  249. 264 Voice of Raisins March 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Maybe they were processing them in alphabetical order by the 8th letters of their surnames… 😀

    Like

  250. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Must be a lot of folks trying to get off the island at one time….

    Like

  251. 266 berigan2electricboogaloo March 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well Matt Diaz was released by the Yankees…that’s too bad….they probably aren’t used to seeing his terrible hacks when he misses a ball..bet he can still hit though…yankees picked up Ben Francsico and Brennan Boesch. Not going to know many of the Yankees early on, what with Tex, A-Roid, and Granderson injured, and Swisher on the Indians…,

    Like

  252. 267 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I think Matty will get a call somewhere, Houston may be hiring…

    Well, I guess it was inevitable, Evan Gattis coming back down to earth. Of course, he is still no worse than Uggla and for a heck of a lot less money.

    And I might mention that our new centerfielder is 2 for his last 21. Is the pitching that good or guys not trying hard enough. Oh well, it is baseball, win some, lose some and get rained out the rest…

    Like

  253. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Monday’s game will be televised on ESPN at 1:05 PM… Medlen is starting against the Phillies.

    Like

  254. 269 Voice of Raisins March 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Competition breeds excellence. Too bad 51% of our country doesn’t realize that (or want to believe it, as the case may be)…

    Like

  255. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Hate to say it, but, having a tandem that can hit 300 plus and jack about 35 home runs between then will sooth the pain of losing both Chipper and Marteen pretty quickly.

    And no, I will never be convinced that a strike-out is no less productive than any other out. Never heard of anyone scoring on a sacrifice strike-out . Also not included is the number of balls put into play that go for errors rather than outs, Just ask Chipper and Brooksie about that. I’m pretty sure those errors would not have happened if the batters had struck out.

    They are called un-earned runs for a reason.

    Like

  256. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    17 to 10… Well, if you like a lot of offense, it was the game to watch.

    Question, if everyone says it does not mean anything to hit off pitches in spring traing because they are “working on stuff” , what does it mean when you still can’t buy a hit? Could Dan Uggla be the next player with a big contract to play in Gwennett? I mean really, come on Dan, buck up dude!!!

    Like

  257. 272 Voice of Raisins March 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    17-10? Was that Braves over Phillies, or Falcons over Eagles?

    Like

  258. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Either way, it was Atlanta on top…

    Like

  259. 274 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    It was one of those games like when the 5 starters were pitching, only, it was Medlen on the mound for the Bravos… Kind of scary, but then again, he got two hits….

    Like

  260. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

    It appears that some folks who have not struggled at the plate had a field day against a couple of Triple A pitchers yesterday and poor Dan, does anyone have any delusions his hitting will improve against top quality talent? Sometimes a team has to bite the bullet and hope for the best and try to play a kid like Pastonicky at second who would be cheap while paying big bucks for Uggla to play elsewhere. It would not be the first time it has been done. The Braves now have others who can fill the role Uggla was acquired for. The Braves will likely carry Uggla because they do have a lot of money invested but I think they would be very happy to be able to trade him to anyone who would be willing to pay even a little bit of his salary.

    Like

  261. 276 Voice of Raisins March 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I have only seen something like the Uggla thing once before, Gil… and it was about 2 years ago with Uggla. But as cold as he was in 2011 for 3 months, he was that hot for the next 3 months. He epitomizes streaky. For me personally, I’d rather have The Rev out there also, and batting in the 8 hole. Heck, who are the pitchers gonna bunt over?

    Like

  262. 277 Voice of Raisins March 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    One other thing regarding Uggla, then I will step off. He has the potential to hit 30 HR’s, no doubt. But even if he starts crushing yicketties at that pace, he still won’t hit over .240. His career BA over 7 seasons is .253, and he isn’t exactly on the upswing. Now personally, I like the dude. He hustles all the time, and he doesn’t make excuses. He’s a fine role model. But he drives me crazy with is streakiness. And I’m sure it makes him crazy, too. How must he have felt yesterday seeing his teammates feast on the Phillie pitching (or lack thereof)? Yet he was 0-4 with 2 K’s. Ouch! Rev will never be a Gold Glove candidate at any position, but 2B may be the best fit for him. And he has proven he can hit ML pitchers, not just in spring.

    If I was making the call, I’d take the Rev and a .285 AVG, .325 OBP, and 10 HR’s. He’d score alot of runs out of the 8 hole. But ya gotta get on base first.

    Also, his versatility would make the team much stronger. He’s like Prado-lite. Ramiro Peña is making this team as the BUSS. He has no options left, is a superior fielder, and bats Switchie. He is the ideal backup to Simmons. But the Rev deserves to make the squad.

    Simple economics demand that Uggla play. Rev can’t play if Rev has no roster spot. $14MM Uggla is not playing at AAA Gwinnett. The only reason Kawakami got sentenced to swelter in Pearl, MS is because he had some other (attitude related) issues in addition to the fact that he just couldn’t cut it with the big boys. Uggs has to play. That’s just the way it is.

    Like

  263. 278 Carolina Lady March 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Guaranteed salaries stink. If you don’t produce, you don’t get paid.
    It’s an uggla situation.
    And I wanted his bat.

    Like

  264. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Had lunch today with my good friend Richbrave and we both agree, Pastornicky would be better at first but unless some team was willing to take Uggla off our (the Braves) hands for a semi reasonable price, He has one of the best insurance policies out there… BIG CONTRACT… Like the Cubs’ Soriono but different…

    Sometimes you just can’t hit a hard eight!

    We also opined on which way McCann would go after this season, after all, his next contract is his “retirement” contract.

    Conclusion, if the Braves treat McCann really nice and “woo” him, he will stay in Atlanta for less than market price. If he feels disrespected, he will sign for big money with a club like the Yankees and have monster years hitting home runs into the short porch in left.

    Like

  265. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Also agreed, Venters is done, he has not recovered from 2010… Sad but true.

    Like

  266. 282 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2013 at 4:20 am

    “It’s an uggla situation.”
    CL, 😆
    Video is funny too!

    Like

  267. 283 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I’m stealing that video fo my facebook page… Thanks CL…:-)

    Like

  268. 284 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2013 at 8:20 am

    “We just talked to him a lot about, you’ve got to be a line-drive hitter,” Walker said. “You’ve got to hit line drives in this league. You’re not going to hit enough home runs to be a home-run hitter, and in the big leagues you can’t out-run ground balls – they’ve got people who can catch and throw it over, you’re just going to be out by a step closer than other guys. So we’ve got him convinced that he’s got to be a machine and turn into a guy that’s very accurate and use the whole field. Does he have to be able to pull the ball? Yeah, sure, he has to pull the ball in this league. They can attack you in(side). But mechanically, right now he’s got a pretty good feel.

    Great piece in the AJC this morning on Jordan Schafer. The above is a quote from hitting coach Greg Walker. I had not heard it quite that way before but explains a lot about how a guy like “George” Constanza can hit 320 in Triple A and only scratch 220 in the bigs.

    Here is the link

    http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-braves/2013/mar/19/heres-why-braves-might-keep-schafer/

    Like

  269. 285 Voice of Raisins March 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Yes it does, Gil. I really appreciate how Schafer has embraced his second chance, and his gift from the DR. If he makes it, it’ll be because he has earned it 100%.

    Like

  270. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2013 at 9:08 am

    When it comes to choosing whom to keep on the 25 man roster versus who is going to be sent down, always bet on the team keeping the guy with no options left, at least until they prove they are no help to the team. It’s not all that far to call a guy up from Gwennette after all. That said, I look for Constanza to start in Triple A.

    Like

  271. 287 Voice of Raisins March 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I see Constanza in AAA to start, and I see Schafer traded at some point if he can continue to rebuild his value. His game is much more suited in a regular role than to the bench, IMO.

    Like

  272. 288 Voice of Raisins March 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    And the Braves are bludgeoning another team again today. 8 runs through 4. Heck, even Uggla has a couple of hits. OK, to be fair, he has 1 hit, and the ball has hit him once. But hey… you take what you can get, right?

    And Gattis looks great behind the plate. I mean it… not just passable. He has made 2 terrific throws to thwart would be stealers, and made a really nice catch and tag at home on a throw from BJ in CF.

    Like

  273. 289 Voice of Raisins March 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Uh.. the WBC has done nothing to hurt Andrelton. In his first game back, he has a double and 2 HR’s, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. And it’s only the 5th inning. Braves now have 11 runs. This season is gonna be a fun one. 😀

    Like

  274. 290 Carolina Lady March 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    DoB’s article was excellent. Thanks, Gil. (Glad y’all liked the video – it just cracked me up!)

    Can Schafer play 2nd?

    Like

  275. 291 Voice of Raisins March 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    18-9. Another whompin’. Good times… good times… 😎

    Like

  276. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Yep, that was the same Simmons I was watching in the WBC games. He was pretty impressive in those games too.

    I was able to see the game on delay via MLB last night, did not know it was on until the 4h inning and fell asleep right after Walden pitched (actually during his inning but still) I have to agree about Gattis. As for Schafer, maybe a trade but 162 games is a long season and guys get worn down, it’s good to have a fast catch and throw guy in the outfield you can go to when one of the main horses tire. After all, the Pony Express riders didn’t ride the same horse the whole way….

    I am really impressed Freedie Freeman this spring. As lost as Uggla is, Freddie is locked in.

    Like

  277. 293 Voice of Raisins March 21, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Uggs was on base 3 times yesterday: 1 single, 1 HBP, 1 E. Take ’em any way you can get ’em, Danny Boy.

    Like

  278. 294 Voice of Raisins March 21, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Schafer might could get 1 or 2 starts a week spelling an Upton or Heyward here and there, but those guys are the horses of this team. I don’t see them wanting out of the lineup very often.

    Plus, the way Gattis has been playing, you just about have to find a place for him on the bench. That’s no problem for the first couple of weeks as he’ll probably be the BUC. But when Mac returns, then what? DOB speculates that they could easily keep him as 5th OF and 3rd C, since Reed Johnson plays all 3 OF spots. Me too.

    Like

  279. 295 Voice of Raisins March 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Do y’all truly realize the bludgeoning potential of this lineup?

    1- Simmons
    2- JHey
    3- BJ
    4- Fredo
    5- JUp
    6- Mac
    7- Ugh
    8- Long Juan/CJohnson

    Body shot after body shot… then the crushing knockout blow.

    Like

  280. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I would venture to say they have a line up similar to some other notables like the Tigers and the Angles, only hope is to get to the pitcher’s spot but I think they may enjoy having so many DH opportunities this season.

    Like

  281. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    The Braves announce today that Tim Hudson would be the opening day pitcher this year over Kris Medlen. To be honest, I don;t think the Braves are doing Huddy any real favors in pitting him against Cole Hmmels in the opener. Hammels has pretty much had Atlanta’s (and everyone else’s number for that matter) the past couple of seasons. Then again, it’s a pretty potent line up the Braves will post up to the Phillies. Should be fun.

    Like

  282. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

    The latest from the AJC is Cristhian Martinez is in danger of losing his role as the long reliever in the Braves pen. To be honest, I don’t know who else they would have in mind to fill that role at this juncture. Allegedly, his last outing in the minor league camp was less than stellar but if one were to use that gauge, would not Medlen and Minor be on the slippery slope too?

    No, it has to be something else we have not seen nor are we privy to. That said, the Braves brain trust continue to deny there is anything wrong with Venters despite the fact he has not appeared in a game for over a week. Either the Braves are in denial, Venters is on the move in a spring trade deal or he is indeed hurt. Take your pick….

    All I have to say is spring training is all about potential. Showing the brass you have the potential to help the club. Or not… Are you listening Dan? Pastornicky continues to make sending him down to Gwennett very difficult. He has shone a perchance for being “clutch” and that is a rare trait these days.

    While spring training is just that, you cannot turn hitting on like a light switch. The Pastor has been locked in since day one…

    And my goodness, have the Braves ever struck pay dirt with Simmons.? The kid can play some “D”…

    Like

  283. 299 berigan2electricboogaloo March 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Very good looking lineup! But, being a bit of a wet blanket…don’t think we have guys like Phat Albert, J Hamilton, Cabrera, or Prince…120 RBI guys, at least until they prove they are….but healthy, someone may be that guy. JHey would be the most likely breakout guy. TBC!
    Don’t forget, we are playing more AL teams this year, heck, I know I saw we are playing the Mariners in April(Of course, was it here, or there Berigan?) anyway, Gattis would come in handy those days..perhaps he will get sent down to get ab’s then come up each AL roadtrip?

    Like

  284. 300 berigan2electricboogaloo March 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Like

  285. 301 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for that link Ber, I doubt many folks over at CBS realize that there are some of us who still care about the flag and the symbolism of what it stands for.

    Like

  286. 302 Carolina Lady March 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Love that video! It’s great to see it again. Thanks, Ber!

    Like

  287. 303 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    SNOW AGAIN! Bah, humbug….. I’m really getting tired of winter folks… This global warming crap just isn’t doing it for me. Need to heat things up a bit… burn more gas folks… The trees need the CO2.

    Like

  288. 304 Voice of Raisins March 25, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Why are busy hectic weekends always followed by Monday? :-/

    Like

  289. 305 berigan2electricboogaloo March 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Glad y’all liked the video! Sent by a non baseball liking friend..
    Gil, saw about 10 flakes all winter. Sucks in GA, at least south of the ATL. We get cold, but rarely snows…mid 40s and very windy…imagine its windy everywheres….

    Like

  290. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Wow, can you believe it, it’s almost Easter already? So many things on my to do list now. My back is still only about 50% but my legs are finally responding to exercise I think. So many things have been left undone this past year. I think I know how JJ Jurjjens feels a little bit. Only mine are things that involve keeping the place up.

    I hardly know where to begin but for sure, it begins when the weather warms up. some. That said, like the proverbial elephant, one bite at a time… the real question is, which bite first?

    Like

  291. 307 Voice of Raisins March 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Much to do today, so I’ll keep it brief…

    * I am NOT concerned about our starting pitching.
    * I AM concerned about our 3B defense.
    * We’re gonna strike out alot, and walk little. But the ride is gonna be fun.
    * I read this somewhere, but agree: we have to the potential to go back to back to back to back in HR’s. This lineup is flat out scary.
    * Evan Gattis is a hitter for sure. He is a work in progress in the field.
    * Joey Terdo… see above.
    * Jonny V… get it fixed. Admit it to someone and get it fixed.
    * Andrelton, I look forward to seeing you blossom into a perennial All Star.
    * Frank has constructed a magnificent AL lineup. Of course, we are a NL team, but we are playing in several AL parks this year…
    * Not sure we have the horses to stay with the Nats, but we are dang close. It is going to be a really fun year.
    * Yes, that means I dismiss the Phillies. Too old + no depth = difficult season.
    * The Mets might lose 100 games. They have NO pitching.
    * The Marlins are quite thankful that the Mets are in their division.
    * The elephant in the room is Dan Uggla. Don’t know what to say. He is a complete mystery. He’s always been streaky, but pitchers still feared to make a mistake to him. Do they still this year? This is a crossroads season for him.

    Like

  292. 308 Voice of Raisins March 26, 2013 at 11:27 am

    The Braves optioned outfielder Jose Constanza and infielder Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday, making official what had been apparent for weeks: Jordan Schafer and Ramiro Pena will be on the opening day roster.

    They also optioned reliever David Carpenter to Gwinnett, leaving 31 on the spring-training roster. The only remaining decisions for the Braves are backup catcher – Evan Gattis seems likely over Matt Pagnozzi – and the last spot in the bullpen, with candidates Cristhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro both out of minor-league options. — Mr. O’B

    Like

  293. 309 Voice of Raisins March 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Gonzalez added that having Pastornicky on the bench getting a few pinch-hit at-bats per week at the big-league level wouldn’t be helpful at this point. He’ll go to Gwinnett and play second base and some shortstop, possibly some outfield, then play mostly second base after [Paul] Janish is ready. — more from Mr. O’B

    Rev is getting alot of reps at 2B. He got alot of play at 2B in Orlando after SImmons and Pena returned. I think it is a clear message to Uggla. He is becoming our Alfonso Soriano, but not quite as bad and not quite as onerous a contract. Soriano-lite.

    Like

  294. 310 Voice of Raisins March 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

    The Braves believe Pastornicky’s athleticism will aid him in his attempt to establish himself as a versatile utility player. But if Dan Uggla struggles through the first two months of this season, the Braves would at least have to think about benching him and giving the starting second base job to either Ramiro Pena or Pastornicky. — Bowman

    Like

  295. 311 Voice of Raisins March 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Uh… duh!

    Like

  296. 312 Carolina Lady March 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Love reading the comments here! 😀

    Like

  297. 313 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    What we may lack in quantity of numbers. we certainly make up for in quality of opines…. Now, if I would just have a little more faith in my stock market predictions, I could retire… Oh, wait….

    That said, for the past couple of weeks, I have had a ominous feeling about Denny Hamlin… SIGH! I hate being right sometimes, scares the heck out of me….

    Like

  298. 314 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    At some point, you have to wonder if the brass for the Braves are in denial or just plain stupid when it comes to Jonny Veneters. I suspect by this time next week, we will learn that Jonny has an appointment with Dr. Andrews and will subsequently learn he will undergo TJ. They will discover that yet again, an MRI does not always reveal the extent of the damage when it comes to tendons.

    Therefore, GET WELL SOON JV…. We will look for you to be back next fall, just in time to redeem yourself for 2011….

    Like

  299. 315 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Shoot V, everyone and their brother bashes Alfonso Soriano(a true hotdog as we know,but we wouldn’t know it if he didn’t hit the braves a bit) but last year, he hit 32 HRs , drove in 108(more than Uggla ever has driven in), and hit .262 (42 points higher than Mr U) I’d take that kind of production from Uggla in a heartbeat!

    Like

  300. 316 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Gil, glad you are slowly but surely getting back up to speed! 🙂 Spring training 2014, mark it on the ol’ calender!

    Like

  301. 317 Voice of Raisins March 27, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Yes, Ber, Soriano did do that last season. Last season. But the contract he signed was a complete drag on the entire Cubs organization, and prevented them from signing anyone else to play around him. And when he dipped to 20 HR and 55 RBI in 2009, it sealed his legacy. With him, it was really more about the contract than the production. Not that Danny isn’t well compensated, but there is a big difference between 8 yrs/ $136MM and 5 yrs/ $62MM.

    Heck, just 2 years ago, even though Danny had his struggles, he still hit 32 HR’s with 82 RBI. And he drove in 78 last season even though the HR’s dropped to 19, the first time since 2006 that he hit less than 30 HR’s (he hit 27 that season, his rookie campaign). In fact, he was 29th in RBI in the NL last season, a season that most would agree was a disaster. Those 78 RBI were more than those driven in by All Star 2B Brandon Phillips (77), by Martin Prado (70), than Justin Upton (67), even Bryce Harper (59).

    Here’s an interesting factoid…

    Danny is slotted in the 7 hole in Fredi’s projected batting order (when Mac returns). Just looking at the NL East, here are the projected 7 hole hitters:

    Nats- Danny Espinosa, 2012: 17 HR, .247 BA, 56 RBI
    Phils- Ben Revere, 2012: 0 HR, .294 BA, 32 RBI
    Mets- John Buck, 2012: 12 HR, .192 BA, 41 RBI
    Fish- Casey Kotchman, 2012: 12 HR, .229 BA, 55 RBI
    Bravos- Dan Uggla, 2012: 19 HR, .220 BA, 78 RBI

    As for me, I’ll take Danny’s run production over those other guys.

    Now… that said, he cannot disappear this season. In fact, hitting in the 7 hole should take a little pressure off. I would like to see some improvement over last year. I would love to see some consistency. But we all know that Danny is as streaky as they come. Let’s just hope the hot streaks outnumber the cold streaks.

    Like

  302. 318 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Thanks Ber, funny thing but I can measure progress by the ability to get up from various chairs in my household.

    Thing about being the 7th hitter in the Braves line-up, you will be protected by a guy who can also hit 30 homers collectively (Johnson/Francisco) and preceded by a lot of guys who can get on base.

    My hope is the offense takes the pressure off the pitching staff. Hey. it has worked for the Yankees for years.

    The real key to the Braves’ success in my opinion will be if they play as a team, not a bunch of selfish long ball hitters. Use the whole field rather than try to pull the ball down the line.

    No doubt, the strike outs are going to happen but let them be because of an outstanding pitcher, not because they missed a mistake pitch.

    Like

  303. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Who will be the number eight hitter in the Braves line-up this season? Whoever is the 4th or fifth outfielder subbing that game or infielder spelling Uggla or Simmons.

    The good thing is guys should get lots of rest this season. Share the wealth Fredi G. Just not all at one time and never during a hitting streak.

    AND NO LONG LOSING STREAKS THIS YEAR!!!!

    Like

  304. 320 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    It has been a really quite spring for BMac. I’m hoping he has the type of season that will earn him a $20 million per year payday with the Yankees. He is a good guy and has always been a team player. Besides, I want him to go somewhere the Braves won’t have to face him too often.

    Not that I would want him to leave but it have become a pretty foregone conclusion the Braves won’t give him big money…. Too much hype around Bethancourt for that.

    Besides. the Braves will be shaking out the sofa cushions trying to find the money to pay Heyward not to leave.

    Like

  305. 321 Voice of Raisins March 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I’m not so sure Bethancourt will be ready in 2014, Gil. It may very well be that the Braves re-sign Mac, and pay JHey with Huddy’s money…

    Like

  306. 322 Voice of Raisins March 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    One of the many reasons why I love this sport…

    Like

  307. 324 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for the story V. Love this part, as I really didn’t think Freddi would even consider this, nevermind say it…
    “We know what he can do offensively,” Gonzalez said. ” I didn’t tell him he was going to be the backup guy. Hell, he could split time with Laird right down the middle. Maybe he could even get more time (than Laird). I wasn’t by any means saying he was going to be the backup catcher.”

    Like

  308. 325 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Last Grapefruit League game is today, season begins in just 4 days. Giddy? Who, me? 😀

    Like

  309. 326 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

    On the flip side, looks like JonnyV is visiting Dr. Andrews next week. Never a good sign…

    Like

  310. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

    ” I suspect by this time next week, we will learn that Jonny has an appointment with Dr. Andrews”

    Well, it looks like it did not take a week…..

    Like

  311. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    And yet another reason you don’t trade pitching if you can help it. Dumping Big Red off on the Angles for Walden is looking more brilliant all the time.

    So, things we have learned over the course of the last six weeks…

    Mike Minor cannot import a two seam fast ball into his repertoire, at least not yet.

    There is still a place for feel good, follow you dream kind of stories in baseball… See Evan Gattis

    Baseball is still a place where redemption and second chances can be earned if you work hard enough for it… Jordan Schafer

    If you snooze, you lose… Jose Constanza

    Having a big long term contract is still the best insurance policy to guarantee a place in the line up, no matter how bad you stink up the place… Dan Uggla

    Two heads are sometimes better than one… Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco

    You can sometimes price yourself right out of a job… Brian McCann…

    Like

  312. 329 Voice of Raisins March 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Speaking of Big Red, yowser…

    He has only logged 12.0 innings over 4 starts this spring, with an ERA of 8.25 that includes 4 homers. His once daunted fastball now sits consistently between 88-91 mph. He was pulled from just his 4th start yesterday while warming up for the 4th inning because of tightness in his right triceps. Looks like more of the same even in his “new environment”.

    Like

  313. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Of course, not all former Braves pitchers are dog meat, I have read and heard that JJ Jurjjens had a really good spring and is looking like the JJ of old. Appears his knee is no longer giving him pain. He will begin the season at Norfolk but I expect him to make his debut in Baltimore sooner than latter.

    Baltimore has long been my favorite AL team but not a lot to cheer about since Cal retired. That and an idiot owner, but I digress, a lot of megalomania prevails in the DC-Baltimore area.

    Like

  314. 331 Carolina Lady March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130331/ARTICLES/130339971/0/FRONTPAGE

    This guy could have had a great career in the majors. Makes me think of Wohlers.

    Like

  315. 332 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Thanks CL for the article. My sister -in-law suffers from the same condition and it is pretty frightening at time for her and my brother.

    Like

  316. 333 Voice of Raisins April 1, 2013 at 7:43 am

    OPENING DAY!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

    Like

  317. 334 Carolina Lady April 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I’m really sorry to hear that, Gil. It is a terrible thing to live with.

    V, get down off the ceiling! 😀

    When do the Braves play?

    Like

  318. 335 Voice of Raisins April 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Braves play at 7:00pm tonight. Wish it was a day game… seems appropriate for Opening Day, but hey… gotta grab those prime time $$ for the networks, right?

    Actually, I’m not complaining. My evening plans are to crank the grill up about 6pm, with the pregame coverage being played on my old radio. Yep, I have a radio. Seems unbelievably archaic, but I still roll that way. Cannot wait to smell the charcoal and hear Jim Powell.

    Like

  319. 336 Voice of Raisins April 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Quite a statement from Mr. O’B:

    It’ll take 100 games to win the division this year, 98 to win a wild card in a league with the Dodgers now spending like the Yankees (and them some) and the Giants being the Giants until someone proves otherwise.

    Wow… the bar has been raised, huh?

    Like

  320. 337 berigan2electricboogaloo April 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    On ESPN tonight, playing the Phils….of course I play trivia at….7 pm…do I cancel? Ends at 8:30 or so, and its not the sports south guys either…
    I recorded part of the mlbtv prediction show(ESPN’s show was a joke, with only 2 folks in studio for some reason)….everyone and their brother is predicting the Nats to not only win the east, but basically to be the best team in baseball…I’d like to argue, but kinda hard to. A very balanced team the nats…better rotation, more power arms. Think we have the edge offensively, perhaps still bullpenwise as well….

    Like

  321. 338 berigan2electricboogaloo April 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    had this post waiting…was going to add, then thought, just send it…now I see DOB post….I don’t know….I think it’s going to be the other way…mets are scrappy…marlins are punching bags…but braves nats and Phils, are going to beat up on each other….I think 88 to 92 will win it…mark my words…so you can mock me in Oct! 😉

    Like

  322. 339 Carolina Lady April 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Things are a little more interesting since (most of) the drugs have been removed.

    Don’t know why this popped into my mind 😛 – but what ever happened to Marcus Giles?

    Like

  323. 340 berigan2electricboogaloo April 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Guys, I told ya not to worry about Uggla! :p
    Great to see Freddy F(who hit a 2 run bomb in case you all didn’t know) really excited to see Uggla hit one…nice to see Freddi let Uggla hit 3-0 too…
    On sports south…forgot that espn would be blocked out

    Like

  324. 341 Voice of Raisins April 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Oh yeah… that’s what I am talkin’ about! Just what we should expect out of our boys…

    Like

  325. 342 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2013 at 7:11 am

    The fact the Braves hit three home runs did not surprise me. That they hit them off Cole Hammels did. The one Freddie hit was a thing of beauty. Uggla’s was just a relief. If the Braves become the “Bash Brothers” this summer, it is going to be a fun ride.

    Huddy looked great until the fifth inning, too bad he could not stay around long enough to get the win but Fredi G did the right think in giving him the quick hook. Avilan deserved a save for the spectacular work he did in the fifth. Impressive kid that one is…

    Like

  326. 343 Voice of Raisins April 2, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Avilan was impressive indeed. That pitch he got the K on was just nasty.

    Each of the 3 HR’s was impressive in their own way. Freddie’s was the stereotypical “towering” HR. Uggla’s was a monster blast halfway up the stands. And JUp’s was a low liner rocket off the bat. All 3 very majestic indeed.

    Of the 3, I gotta say that Uggla’s was my favorite. He absolutely crushed that ball.

    Like

  327. 344 Voice of Raisins April 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Good news about Venters… well, relatively good news. After a thorough examination by Dr, Andrews, there does not appear to be another tear in Jonny’s elbow. The story follows here:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/venters-gets-plasma-injection-in-elbow/nW9z7/

    Like

  328. 345 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Good news! I wonder if Avilan was giving some pitching tips by Venters?

    Like

  329. 346 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Oh, saw baseball tonight (at 1 am) they claimed the Justin Up homer was 460+ feet, which surprised me…showed Bobby Cox lipping WOW after the homer….he also has hit the most 450+ foot homers in the past…well, few years, don’t recall exact number…Stanton was second on the list

    Like

  330. 347 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Hi guys (and gal), looks like it’s time for an updated lead for the blog. Any ideas? Anything anyone wants to know that we don’t already know? Sigh… Writer’s block is a b—h….

    Game tonight but I am not so sure they will be able to play Thursday night. Even if they do, I would venture it will be miserable.

    Like

  331. 348 Gil in Mechanicsville April 4, 2013 at 5:57 am

    So… Have the folks from Hollywood started writing the “Evan Gattis Story” yet? All that is needed is for him to name his bat “Wonder Boy” and he’ll be set.

    Amazing isn’t it? Feel good story of the year. Great time to be a Braves fan I’m saying. Strikeouts? We don’t care about no stinking strikeouts! Not when you have Freddie Free crushing the ball and Justin Upton making like Carlos Beltron during his heyday. Now all the Braves need is for BJ to get his bat going a little bit…

    Everyone else sure has theirs reved up.

    Like

  332. 349 Carolina Lady April 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Gil, I got nothing. *sigh*

    Like

  333. 350 Voice of Raisins April 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Nasty, wet, cold and dreary in NEGA today… probably not too different in Atlanta. I am sure they’ll do what they can to get tonight’s game in, but I am not gonna hold my breath. And you know Meds has to be ticked that he gets rain and 39 degrees for his 1st start of 2013. Bleh. 😥

    Like

  334. 351 Voice of Raisins April 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Of course, rain and 39 degrees was the same in both dugouts. Cliff Lee was pretty good last night. I’ll take 2 out of 3, especially when we get so many against NYM and FLA.

    Like

  335. 352 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I look at it this way, the Nationals have t play the Phillies too. I suspect there will be quite a bit of bad blood between those two before the season ends too. Like the ad for NASCAR says “Everyone needs a rival, because you have to have someone to beat.”

    Like

  336. 353 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    The Direct TV installer failed to show yesterday, was supposed to be here between Noon and 4PM, Called at 8:49P and said I would have to schedule. Very upset that I will not see my games the next two nights. Guess who is going to get an F on their customer satisfaction report? .

    Like

  337. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    But despite the loss, giving up only two runs and still getting a loss is not like you were stinking up the place, just means the guys with the bats in their hands on your side were facing a pretty good guy on the other side throwing the ball

    Like

  338. 355 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Sorry Gil, don’t have anything either…and tax time is approaching, and I’ve done less than any other year at this point…sigh..And no DC only holiday to give me an extra day or two…Cliff Lee was the old Cliff Lee. Wind sure helped him though. FF hit a bomb that would have gone 20 rows back any other night, and it didn’t make the warning track.
    But, last night was much better. Minor got off to a good start, which has to help put the first half of 2012 further back in his mind.
    J UP is very hot…not Chris Davis hot(4 HR’s 16 RBIs!) but quite hot….

    Like

  339. 356 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Finally home so I will get to watch tonight’s contest. I had to rely upon GAMEDAY for the play by play last night and it loses quite a bit in the translation. Still, giving up only two hits in 7 & 1/3 is a pretty nice game.

    Funny how things can work out. If J Up were not on board and the club was relying upon BJ for the offense, folks would be ready to run Wren out of town on a perch… Of course once he hits his stride, going 0 for home stand will be long forgotten… If not, well, good thing Justin fell into the Braves’ lap…

    And the Nat’s pitching may not be all that after all… The Reds’ sure feasted last night. Big difference in facing the Reds instead of the Marlins… Let’s hope the Braves are able to sweep them next week too. But first, time to jump on the Cubbies. I am looking forward to seeing the rookie the Cubs have going for them Sunday.

    Looking forward to seeing Teheran tonight too.

    Like

  340. 357 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Well, a tad disappointed after all the hype but it is early days folks.

    Like

  341. 358 Voice of Raisins April 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    What a sweet win!!! Upton here, Upton there…

    Oh yeah!! 😀

    Like

  342. 359 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    WOW! Just WOW!

    Like

  343. 360 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Freddi may have to leave BJ in the lead off spot, it sure seems to agree with him.

    Like

  344. 361 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Glad you got to see it Gil, that was a GAME, was it not???? 🙂

    Like

  345. 362 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Yes indeed Ber, yes indeed…

    Like

  346. 363 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Freddy Freeman tweaked a right oblique last night that unbeknownst to most of us had been hurt for a week. He is upset at being put on the 15 day DL but sometimes you have to protect a player from themselves.

    Perhaps the Braves are learning from their experiences with McCann. I know other teams will exploit an injury when they are aware of it and I doubt anyone was aware Free was playing hurt before last night. Let it heal FF, no need to be a hero right now, you will have a lot of opportunities later this season if you are fully healed.

    Like

  347. 364 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Braves call up Blake DeWitt to fill in Freeman’s roster spot. Chris Johnson to play first and Francisco to play third until Free come back. Does anyone else feel like they need a program to keep up with all the changes? I sure am glad the Braves put the names on the back of their jersey’s Lets me put a name with the face a lot faster.

    Like

  348. 365 berigan2electricboogaloo April 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    well, I woke up after 3 hours with a bad headache(as opposed to those good ones) so when it finally subsided hours later, I knew I’d sleep through the game. Sounds like another good one…Gil, you are right…on all counts. Glad they put FF on the DL, sometimes even 2 weeks isn’t long enough..but sitting 3 games then swinging hard again, is likely to cause a ;month or two loss…and right you are about needing a scorecard. With Simmons jamming his thumb(How come Ricky Henderson and Pete Rose could slide headfirst without jamming their fingers?) we have basically “new” guys at 1st, ss, 3rd and Catcher…gives Chris Johnson and Francisco a real chance to get into a groove. Wish Freddy would give Gattis a chance to get into one…nice that Laird is hitting a bit, but he has no power,, we know what he can do, in other words…

    Like

  349. 366 Voice of Raisins April 7, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I have always, do now, and always will loathe headfirst slides. 😡

    Like

  350. 367 Carolina Lady April 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Gil, I don’t think we have an “IN” box. I spent more than an hour scouring the dashboard. Did you mean the Draft box? If you did, something is amiss because it isn’t there now. Otherwise, I need some clues! 😆

    Like

  351. 368 Voice of Raisins April 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Extreme pollen day here in NEGA. 2,093 particles per sq. inch. bleh! 😛 In Minnesota, they purchase snow shovels. In Georgia, we purchase pollen shovels. It’s one of those days. Los Barves hit the road at the right time…

    Like

  352. 369 Voice of Raisins April 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    OK… the little emoticon dude is all wrong. He’s got his tongue out, but he’s smiling. There is no smiling when there are 2,093 particles per sq. inch. You’d get yellow teeth. Actually, you wouldn’t want your tongue out either. Ew. 😐

    Like

  353. 370 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

    We are still about a week or two away from the high pollen count here in the Old Dominion. Nothing like waking up and discovering your car has turned yellow overnight… Tis why we are opening the pool later this year.

    Now baseball… Good game yesterday. Huddy appeared to find himself after the second inning. Goes to show you that being a veteran has its advantages. “Scrabble” seemed to let a “hit by pitch” completely let him become unhinged. It was straight out of the Carlos Zambrano school of pitching philosophy.

    Avilan really looks like the real deal. His only problem might be there is so much movement on his pitches, the umpire might not call a lot of strike if the batter is patient. Still, he has one wicked cutter…

    Like

  354. 371 Carolina Lady April 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I think the worst of our pine pollen season is about over. The cat didn’t even want to go out in it.

    Thanks to an excellent trail of breadcrumbs, I was finally able to locate The Staff’s new lead and the graphics department has just sent it back. So –
    NEW LEAD IS UP! (Thanks, Gil!)

    Like


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