124: The players may change but the game remains the same.

by Gil Elliott 'Gil from Mechanicsville'

by Gil Elliott
‘Gil from Mechanicsville’

Dizzy Dean

Dizzy Dean

Hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball. Time honored axioms of the greatest game on earth. A game which is perfect for the haze of summer for when it is meant to be played. As followers of the game, we are all familiar with names like Cy Young, Dizzy Dean, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and hundreds more who have graced the green fields of places known as Wrigley. Turner and Ebbets Field. Stadiums as cavernous as the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland and as intimate as Fenway. Baseball fields which all have their individual quirks and idiosyncrasies but all have the same dimensions of 90 feet between each base and 60 feet 6 inches from the pitcher’s mound to home plate. But, even with these dimensions being the same, every field is unique in the way they play. Some teams let the grass grow long to slow the ball to allow for an infield comprised of slow-footed sluggers or lightning fast if the defense is stellar.

 Cy Young 1892

Cy Young 1892

Every season, one team remains as the winner of the ultimate prize in baseball, to be crowned world champions. Winners of a best of seven play-offs between the final teams left after a 162 game season to qualify for the play-offs and then to outlast the remaining qualifiers for the right to play for the championship. Not surprisingly, it is not always the best team, the highest paid team, the team with the best hitter, the best pitcher but most often, it is the team which is the most clutch, is best able to withstand the pressure of the moment who are victorious. Perhaps unfairly, it is the team which can get hot at the most opportune time who gain the glory.



David carpenter3


This past season, we watched as our beloved Braves surprised most everyone in baseball by winning the National League East. Winning 96 games and beating the much ballyhooed Washington Nationals by ten games. They did this despite having their two highest paid players hit well below the infamous Mendoza line. Despite having one of the youngest teams in major league baseball. The Braves defied expectations by having a bullpen without the services of such stalwarts as Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flarety and Christian Martinez.


Ramiro Pena

Amazingly the emergence of Luis Avilan and a converted catcher by the name of David Carpenter, who by the way was released by Boston Red Sox after being traded from Toronto.

The 2013 Braves won 96 games despite having 20 players spend time on the disabled list at some point during theΒ  season and others that missed significant time due to wear and tear. Amazingly, losing front line pitchers Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy and Paul Mulholm. Losing the services of gold glove outfielder Jason Heyward not once but twice for what amounted to 1/3 of the season. The untimely loss of super utility guy Ramiro Pena and just about every back up infielder on the 40 man roster. Jordan Schafer, who finally showed flashes of the potential the Braves saw in him when he was drafted by the them in the third round of the 2005 draft. The 2013 Braves won despite having to insert Kansas City Royal cast off Elliot Johnson at second base because Tyler Pastornicky could not make it past one week as the heir apparent at second base after a collision with Jason Heyward in short right field.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Andrelton Simmons

With Chipper Jones now a memory, Chris Johnson, who will likely never win a gold glove at third base, became a wonderful surprise with a clutch bat and strong arm and a more than adequate replacement for the foreseeable future at third base for the Bravos. All-World Andrelton Simmons who will improve the stats of every Braves pitcher who can induce a ground ball by opposing hitters and will continue to improve at the plate as he accrues acumen with the bat. A first baseman in Freddie Freeman who by all rights should be the starting first baseman for the National League All-star game for the next several years and should garner MVP consideration not only for his prowess with the bat but for the number of errant throws from the other infielders he snares as they pass within the vicinity of his position.

Evan Gattis

Evan Gattis

Everyone’s feel good story of the year, Evan Gattis has become an Atlanta legend in the course of a few short months. Exceeding everyone’s expectations by not only hitting in clutch situations but taking to a new position in left field and showing better than average ability while donning the tools of ignorance. No doubt Brian McCann will be missed when he leaves for a big payday soon but the catcher’s position is not one for which the Braves will have to seek a replacement. Christian Bethancourt, the here-to-fore heir to McCann will have to wait a while longer before he becomes the Braves number one signal caller.

So, who will be the next ex Braves besides McCann this season? Both the Braves and Tim Hudson have indicated they would like to continue their relationship. It may be the bean counters who decide if it continues. Reed Johnson’s Achilles heel may be his Achilles heel. Never counted on to be an everyday guy, he still has value both in the club house and as a right hand pinch hitter. Dan Uggla’s ability to see the light, or anything else for that matter, will be determine if he starts next season in a Braves uniform. I cannot see any other team having value for a guy who cannot make contact no matter what the price. It is not like Dan’s glove is going to keep him line up. No, Dan will either hit this spring or end up being a $13 million dollar albatross around Frank Wren’s neck.

Eric O’Flarerty or Jonny Venters, take your pick. One will stay, one will go. Let’s hope the Braves keep the right one. Personally, I think O’Flarerty would be the safer bet to keep but that does not mean he will. Comes down to where the Braves want to spend their money. BJ Upton will still be in town but methinks that if Frank’s crystal ball had given him any indication of the emergence of Evan Gattis as a right handed power bat this season, the off season signing of Upton would never have happened and 75 million dollars would have gone towards front line starter like Zack Grienke or even extending Brian McCann but that ship has sailed. Let’s all hope that BJ doesn’t become the highest paid pinch runner in the league.

~ Gil~

628 Responses to “124: The players may change but the game remains the same.”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady October 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Super, Gil! Thanks from all of us. It’ll sure be interesting to see what shapes up between now and Spring Training.


  2. 2 Carolina Lady October 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    (Um, Share and Like, guys) πŸ™‚


  3. 3 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Outstanding, Gil. That about sums it up, brother…


  4. 4 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I love this!!!


  5. 5 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I may have to order a cap from that team… πŸ˜†


  6. 6 Voice of Raisins October 23, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Aw man… their cap is awesome, but $34. As cool as that is, I just can’t do it.



  7. 9 JoAnn Brooks Elliott October 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Baseball is so much like everyday life, the old retire and the young take their place. It is just a shame that the old in baseball, are guys in their 30’s. I like Dan, Brian, Evan and Freddie, sadly I know that all of them will not be there next year. Someone new will fill the void and become my favorite players. Then a year from now, I will have to go through the same inner turmoil. Thus, the players come and go, but the game stays the same. πŸ™‚


  8. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Thanks guys and kudos again to my wonderful editor in chief, Carolina Lady. Stellar work from the graphics department too. And thanks to my singular inspiration, Miss Josie without whom I would simply not be able to exist.

    Now more baseball…

    It appears that La Stella has become David O’Brian’s favorite AFL story line. I must admit, such a departure to have a guy who does not strike out and drives in a lot of runs as an intriguing factor. Still, have a great glove man at second can be a huge relief for a pitching staff which relies upon pitching to contact.

    At twenty five, he is no phenom but hitting .429 is high school like numbers or as if he is using an aluminum bat. T’was Mark Lempke who put up those kinds of number during the ’91 World Series. Would likely have been the WS MVP had not the wind been blowing out in the dome for Kirby.

    I have to say, trading Uggs to the Reds for Phillips has picked up more than a little steam. Probably will not happen though as Cinny will get more elsewhere. The guy is no wuss, he can hang in there with the best of them while a runner barrels in from first. No Yunel Escobar he….


  9. 11 Carolina Lady October 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Very well said, Josie! Your comments here are always ‘right on’. πŸ™‚


  10. 12 Carolina Lady October 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Caps: do they have a lay-a-way plan, V? I have to rely on coupons, 2-fers, and going-out-of-business sales. πŸ˜€


  11. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    El Paso Chihuahuas AKA The ankle biters… Also have been know to wet the base paths down when suddenly frightened by any team bigger than them. πŸ™‚


  12. 14 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Another 5 star blog lead Gil! πŸ™‚
    When does spring training start???? πŸ˜†


  13. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Ber, I have become convinced there is no off season. I must continue to blog so my skills do not diminish during the winter months… πŸ™‚

    Still,, I want to know everything there is to know…. Te guys have had about two weeks off so they should be ready to go, right? If I lived in Arizona or Florida, I would be at a ballpark everyday, well, most days anyway…

    I guess I have finally become a baseball junkie…


  14. 16 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    and CL, I’d swear, I SWEAR I posted on the previous thread about controlled Adrenaline…anyways…good point!
    It’s funny,you all might have noticed my “bragging’ about my exploits playing songpop(Name that tune basically) at the end of the week, they show how you do against your opponents and then suggest posting it to facebook. I play roughly 20 people, play 150 to 200 matches. Usually I have a winning record against 14 to 17 of the players. In other words, I am the braves during the regular season.
    But…there are 2-3 folks that are very tough…the Dodgers, Red Sox, the Cards of Songpop . What happens when I play them? I often tense up. Once mistake, and no way will I beat them. So , I move the mouse too far, past the box to click in, or I screw up and click the wrong song, for apparently no reason at all!
    One girl, (from Chicago, so you know her politics, and her tactics πŸ˜‰ ) we were pretty evenly matched….but she said after beating me one time playing “90’s Alternative” said, “Don’t challenge me at 90’s Alt, you CAN’T win” I beat her the next time and said,” you were saying? ” Well, she then went on to beat me like a dozen times in a row! She got in my head. I would panic…she was very good in that category. And what was worse, she would rub it in all the time. So…I kept playing her, but in my strong areas…beat her so much that when I went back to 90s alt, I had some confidence. And now, I can proudly say, I broke her spirit! πŸ˜‰
    Now, how does this apply to baseball? Not exactly sure…the braves actually play better against the better teams during the year…but, they need to have people like Manny Ramirez , (I know, I can’t stand him either) talk about how they can stand so relaxed, yet rise to the occasion.
    And what do they do to make pitcher throw such hanging nothing pitches to them, while braves hitters get impossible to hit sliders, curves, splits…is it some mind trick? πŸ˜•


  15. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Belief in one’s self is a powerful weapon…. 90% of the power people have over others is pure bluff… The other 10% is actually having a weapon of some type, but I digress… The Wizard of OZ is such a great example of how people can be controlled, then there are the drug cartels but that is another story…

    Anyhoo… Been working on Christmas lights… blah… time to chuck them all and buy new stuff. Not worth the time it take to track down one bad bulb.

    Now baseball…. Wainwright did not exactly fool em last night did he?


  16. 18 Voice of Raisins October 25, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Now, how does this apply to baseball? Not exactly sure…

    It doesn’t have to. This is Braves and Stuff. πŸ˜€


  17. 19 berigan2electricboogaloo October 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Exactly V! πŸ˜‰
    Gil, It’s great that these days we can get UL appoved lights so very cheaply, instead on wasting hours trying to find what bulb(s) is causing the rest to not light…or is it the wire inside???


  18. 20 berigan2electricboogaloo October 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Well, lost my post…wordpress, for all the money we…umm don’t pay…anyway, there should be a way to save posts you are in the middle of…just went to gmail so I didn’t lose again…
    Glad the Cards won, and have made a series…of the series.
    Did Y’all see that Lincecum got a 2 year, 35 Mil contract to return to the Giants?
    Only thing I read about it that made sense was that he is very popular there, and pretty much the face of the franchise.
    But 17.5 Mil a year for a guy that had a 4.37 ERA in that park…yeesh…
    Did Tim Hudson’s price just go up, along with everyone else, or is he just a…..Freak.
    Don’t forget, every team gets 25 Mil in candy to spend(or not spend) as they please this winter….


  19. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Ber, I saw that and it just goes to show that the folks in San Fran are perfectly willing to over-pay for a guy who was over paid to begin with. Must be nice to spend money like you are Uncle Sam. Not enough revenue? No problem, just print more…

    Evidently the Giants are making lots of money to be able to throw away money like that. Of course, the Giants don’t have any young pitching in the pipeline right now, at least not at the Double A level.

    Another thing to consider is what is the net take home for these guys who pitch in California or New York? Lots of hidden taxes in those states. Cost of living pretty high,

    I guess $15 million dollars just doesn’t go a far as it use to.

    Glad to see the Cards come back last night. I must admit, that is a heck of a franchise and the Cardinals Stadium will be rocking….


  20. 22 Carolina Lady October 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Warning to everybody else: do NOT play Songpop against Ber. You WILL lose! Personal experience speaking. πŸ˜€ (I, however, use mainly ‘by guess and by golly’ so I’m an easy opponent. But it’s fun if you haven’t tried it yet. And do not attempt to play a young person. Unless you’re really good with Current Rap.) Hey, it fills in time until ST!) πŸ˜€


  21. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    The Braves are real high on Jose Peraza, the 19-year-old who played shortstop at Rome this season and hit .288 with a .341 OBP, eight triples and a whopping 64 steals in 79 attempts over 114 games. He also played some second base during the Braves’ instructional league that ended last week in Florida.
    “Jose is a very exciting player,” Manno said. “He’s a leadoff hitter who can steal a base, handle the bat. Really good instincts. I think he’s going to be a special player for us. He’s gotten stronger and he can fly. He’s a plus runner and has the ability to steal bases.”

    Be afraid Dan Uggla, be very afraid….


  22. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2013 at 3:18 am

    well…sure never saw a game end that way! Man, if the Sox lose the W.S., we will never hear the end of this….too bad that had to happen.

    Too bad more sports “fans” wanted to watch a lousy football game, than a World Series game. I guess Football is the American pastime now…sigh….


  23. 25 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

    CL, I forgot to say, the check is in the mail! πŸ˜‰
    One guy though…beats me like a rug. I like to think he is drinking red bull by the gallon when he plays me! πŸ˜•

    Some thoughts on the ratings thing….


  24. 26 Carolina Lady October 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Thanks, Ber! I’ll look for it! πŸ˜‰


  25. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Home again, home again… last vacation of the year… Sigh, at least until the next one…..

    Have to say, no one is running away with the world series this year. It hs come down to the best two out of three….


  26. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    And yet, no Cy Young…


  27. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Here is the deal, Liberty Media will spend whatever is necessary to keep the team competitive and hold their value. We do not know what that amount is at this point and Frank Wren and company work pretty hard at keeping the amount of their stakes pretty close to the vest.

    Major League baseball is still doing penitence for being guilty of collusion. At some point, the contract with the union will be renegotiated and we will see contracts much like football. I do not know if that will be good or bad. Just as long as everyone has to play be the same rules, I don’t care.

    Things look dim for the Cardinals. Going to be tough for them to take two from the Soxs in Boston…. Just saying….


  28. 32 Voice of Raisins October 29, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Bosox haz the mojo. Sometimes it’s more than just the talent on the roster… more than just the players in the lineup. Boston seems poised for the moment. That said, the beards bother me a little… 😯


  29. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    As a former proud beard wearer myself, I realize they can at some point get a bit over the top…. Funny, after wearing one for several years, I never could stand the itching with trying to grow one again after shaving it off. It’s all about personal style.. That said, when everyone has one, it becomes all about conformity, herd instinct…BAA!!!!! πŸ™‚


  30. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2013 at 8:35 am

    It was nice to read where Simba won a Rawlins’ Gold Glove. He sure earned it. Freddie Free should have received an honorable mention. He sure save a lot of infield throwing errors this season. His time will come me thinks….

    Having seen Parra of the D’backs, I can understand how he beat out Heyward. That’s okay, just give me a full season of J-Hey in the outfield and I will be pretty happy.


  31. 35 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

    There is some interesting debate going on in some other MLB sites as to what the Braves will do regarding catching for 2014. And I have to admit, it has changed my perspective just a bit…

    One thing about being a Braves fan and being around other Braves fans for 365 days a year, you tend to look at things from a little narrower point of view. For instance, we pretty much assume that Gattis will inherit the starting catching job (while getting the occasional start in LF), with Laird getting a few starts along the way, and Bethancourt sprinkled in here and there to get experience. At least that seems to be the popular point of view in most local discussion forums. We don’t really consider any other options other than in-house

    But let’s think about this a minute in a little more objective manner…

    Factor #1: Gattis excelled at the plate last year in spurts. Now, granted it was alot of spurts, and he carried the team at times. But he also went silent for days at a time. And while Mac trailed off mightily in Sept./Oct., he was pretty steady otherwise. And given that Gattis spent so much time in LF, and our OF situation really isn’t going to change much from 2013 to 2014, will he not be used in LF next season?

    Factor #2: Gerald Laird is a good backup… period. Good backups do their job when called upon. Laird did that with great consistency. Good backups get exposed when playing too often. Right, Elliot Johnson? But I digress…

    Factor #3: While it won’t hurt for Bethancourt to get an occasional start in Atlanta, his offensive development will be stunted if he isn’t getting regular AB’s. And while his defense is ready to make the jump from AA to the show, his bat is not. He needs a full season in AAA Gwinnett playing every day.

    Factor #4: Let’s not forget that we are sending a very young rotation to the bump in 2014. I wholeheartedly believe alot of their young success can be attributed to being handled by the Mac. A veteran catcher with a reputation for being a good defender and caller of games is a must.

    Conclusion: We can just go ahead and take re-signing Mac right off the board. He won’t spend another season on any NL roster. He’ll get max money in Texas or Boston or the Bronx for the next 6 seasons. But signing a solid veteran FA starter should considered. IMO, Gattis is going to give you his best game doing exactly what he did in 2013… starting in about half the games, DH’ing in the AL parks, and PH’ing in the rest. Salty is probably too expensive (and too young) to work into my scenario. No, I want a grizzled veteran who will give you solid starts while taking a couple of days off a week. The Rangers’ A.J. Pierzynski immediately comes to mind… and the Braves killer Carlos Ruiz of the Phils.

    With AJP, 37 at season’s start, you are probably looking at a 1-year deal in the $6M-$7M range. Very doable for Frank. With Ruiz, 35 at season’s start, you can probably just multiply AJP’s projection x2.

    Both veteran receivers fit my profile pretty well, but one really fits almost perfectly. For my money, I would sign Ruiz for 2 years, year 1 as my starter with Bethancourt getting a full season at AAA, and year 2 splitting time with Bethancourt and acting as veteran mentor to the youngster. (Remember, Laird is only signed through next season.) And did I fail to mention that both Ruiz and Bethancourt are from Panama? Uh, yeah. Seems like a really good fit to me. As for Gattis, I let him do exactly what he did in 2013. It seemed to suit him, and the Braves, pretty well.


  32. 36 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Hearing an interview with Brandon Beachy this afternoon. Good stuff -> info I have not heard nor read anywhere else. The scope he had done last month was a very positive thing. They found some bone fragments – “baby teeth” as Beach called them – that were the whole source of the irritation he was experiencing. Those were likely the result of him pushing a little too hard a little too early. Dr. Andrews performed the procedure and checked out the ligament in the process. Beach got a clean bill of structural health. He is supposed to be 100% by the beginning of spring training.

    Great news!


  33. 37 Carolina Lady October 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Good thoughts, V. I agree that Mac’s experience will be sorely missed. Hope Frank can find just the right person who will fit in and who will be willing (happy) to take on that role.


  34. 38 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    If Huddy does re-sign here, you could have Minor, Julio, Meds, Huddy, Beachy and Alex Wood all battling for rotation spots. Any 5 of those would be pretty dang good. That doesn’t even factor in Sean Gilmartin or J.R. Graham. Either of those 2 would probably be looking to vie for a #5 spot on alot of other teams.


  35. 39 Carolina Lady October 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Glad to see some GOOD news! Hopefully, everybody who needs elbows, shoulders, eyes, feet, toes or whatever else ails them, will have it done NOW, not after falling flat on their collective faces next season.


  36. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    With the emergence of Gattis last season, Bethencourt’s progression to the show got put bat a year for the reasons you mentioned. keep getting at bats kid and be ready because you just never know when an oblique is going to give out…

    I’m not sure the Braves are worried about acquiring a catcher at this point. The thing about ball players is too much time between at-bats does little for a guy’s timing. To many days behind the plate is not very beneficial for the knees… I see Gattis catching about 95 to 110 games next season. The rest will be in the outfield/DH and PH roles.

    A coach can always call a game from the bench….

    The Braves want at least one gray beard in their starting rotation. Huddy is as likely a candidate as anyone. Still say it will be an incentive laden contract as opposed to all the money up front.

    In a normal world, paying 7 million a year for a catcher is not bad but unless the Braves can ditch Dan’s contract, I see that money going towards an infielder. Can’t eat but so much money… The Braves still have to pay Kimbrel his arbitration money and it will be a lot. They will also need to back fill the bull pen.


  37. 41 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    When I heard some of the Gold gloves…at least one…never even heard of the guy. 3rd baseman for the rockies. Well, he must be good, since never heard of him, clearly he wasn’t hyped by ESPN.
    Good for Simba!
    FF is a gold glove 1st baseman, but there are 15 1st baseman, and many are very good….


  38. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    V, very interesting thoughts! Didn’t know A.J. Pierzynski (Someone I am not crazy about) only got 7.5 Mil last year. His offensive numbers are similar to McCann, it’s just will he still be able to hit 37, and a catcher, he is already defying the odds. I think Ruiz can still get a fulltime job, and might fit the AL better like McCann….
    I would still rather moola be used for pitching, but with 29 other teams wanting to improve their pitching…it sure is easier said than done!


  39. 43 Voice of Raisins October 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Ber, as much as I’d love to see the Braves acquire the proverbial “ace”, there aren’t any of those in the FA market, at least none substantially better than our young’uns, and the trade market will be too demanding. No, Huddy will probably come back on a contract like Gil described. There also aren’t many 2B’s on the FA market worth paying for. If the Braves pull off some miracle and find a taker for Dan, I believe they’ll give La Stella every opportunity to win a ML job. If he cannot seize the opportunity, they’ll likely platoon Pastor and Pena… which might not be such a bad arrangement.

    I just can’t see them going out and bringing in anyone noteworthy. Lotsa kids under control on this roster. Of course, lotsa raises in arb, too. That’s where our money will go this off-season.

    No, our biggest “acquisitions” will simply be players returning from injury: Pena, Pastor, Beachy, Venters. I look for nothing “splashy”…


  40. 44 Carolina Lady October 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Splashy doesn’t always = good/worth it. Sort of like my household budget. There’s only a certain amount of money to cover everything and it’s mandatory to stay within those limits, as well as being certain that I’m getting genuine value for what I spend. And if we don’t need it, we don’t buy it. It’s called survival. πŸ™‚


  41. 45 Carolina Lady October 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Boston. *sigh* Maybe next year??


  42. 46 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Congrats Bosox.

    OK, time to move on… πŸ˜€

    FA filing period is now open. Important days to note:

    The FA feeding frenzy starts on Tuesday at midnight EST. That’s Tuesday morning at midnight, to be more clear.

    FA’s may negotiate with their current (uh, I guess that’s former) teams now, though. Teams have until Monday at 11:59pm EST to assign a Qualifying Offer if they choose to do so. Teams also have until then to make decisions on team options. If I understand correctly, FA’s can talk to other teams now about non-specific things, but cannot negotiate terms.

    GM Meetings are Nov. 11-13.

    Winter Meetings are Dec. 9-12.


  43. 47 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Braves FA’s:

    Brian McCann – goner
    Tim Hudson – might be back
    Eric O’Flaherty – probably a goner
    Paul Maholm – goner
    Luis Ayala – goner
    Freddy Garcia – goner
    Scott Downs – goner
    Kameron Loe – goner


  44. 48 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Braves contract options:

    Reed Johnson, $1.6M team option w/ $150k buyout – probably a goner


  45. 49 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Braves arb eligibles:

    Kris Medlen
    Mike Minor
    Brandon Beachy
    Craig Kimbrel
    Jonny Venters – non-tender possible
    Cristhian Martinez – non-tender possible
    Jordan Walden
    Freddie Freeman
    Jason Heyward
    Chris Johnson
    Jordan Schafer
    Ramiro Pena
    Elliot Johnson – non-tender possible
    Paul Janish – non-tender possible


  46. 50 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Braves under guaranteed contract for 2014 (and beyond):

    B.J. Upton (through 2017)
    Justin Upton (through 2015)
    Dan Uggla (through 2015) – trade candidate
    Gerald Laird (through 2014)


  47. 51 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

    “This preceding Braves report was brought to you by The Society for Alzheimers & ADD. We’ve forgotten what it is we were totally distracted by!


  48. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Don’t know Raisins, I’m thinking the Braves would very much like to keep O’Flaherty over Venters but true, will not keep both, insurance covered both of their salaries last season. Both are on the same path to recovery. I would think no one will take a chance on either until they prove they can pitch again. No quick fix with Tommy John and you just never know if some other problem won’t pop up.

    In order for Venters to be effective, he has to have velocity for his breaking stuff to bite plus this is his second TJ. From what I have read, it is an iffier proposition to come back from.

    O’Flarerty has that nagging back problem too. I guess it will depend on who is willing to take a chance (gamble) on reconstructed arms. It is pretty easy to spend when it’s someone else’s money. Neither are closers but both are great set up men.

    I think the Braves know the value of Tim Hudson has gone up after the Giants were able to throw some serious money at the “Freak” … A fool and their money are soon parted. Maybe there was something wrong with him physically no one else knew about and now he is all better, yeah, that has to be it.

    I’m pretty sure the Braves will make a qualifying off to BMac, will say a lot of nice things about him and secretly hope he does not take it so they can take the money he would make and use it to pay Uggla to go elsewhere. Then again, maybe Dan comes back next season and becomes a different guy. No more excuses about being a slow starter and looking at the numbers on the back of his baseball card… Those numbers are pretty ugly now….

    Reed Johnson is a toss up. Depends on who else might be available.


  49. 53 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Big news!!!!!

    “Over the past week, it has become even more evident that [Roger] McDowell is high on Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro’s wish list.”



    Good folks of the ol’ B&S, this would be devastating to this team. The rumor is that Amaro is getting ready to back up the Brinks truck to Roger’s front door. I certainly hope that Terry McGuirk understands the need to keep Roger at the helm of a very young and still maturing pitching staff. Heck, we have alost no $$ invested in this staff. Give some to Roger to keep him here!


  50. 54 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    So it looks like Roger is desiring to explore his own version of Free Agency. And who can blame him? Coaches have as little security as anyone in the game. I just hope that the Braves collective front office truly understands how important Roger is to the Braves, and to that end that they will be just as competitive to bring him back as Philly is to lure him away.


  51. 55 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm


  52. 56 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    As expected, all 8 Braves prospective FA’s filed today…


  53. 57 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    And now that such things are permissible, the Nats have officially hired Matt Williams as their next skipper.


  54. 58 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Interesting factoid courtesy of MLBTR:

    “It’s also important to remember that players with options can be traded in the coming days. For example, with the signing of Alexander Guerrero, Mark Ellis appears to have been displaced in Los Angeles. However, other teams may find his $5.75MM club option appealing and be willing to work out a trade with the Dodgers to acquire him at that price rather than take their chances on the open market.”

    I never really considered that. And complete coincidence that Mark Ellis – that’d be 2B Mark Ellis – was mentioned. He could become a FA, couldn’t he. Hmmm…


  55. 59 Voice of Raisins October 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Mark Ellis… 2B, above average glove, decent bat, great veteran clubhouse guy. He could be very valuable on a young team with a young SS.


  56. 60 Carolina Lady October 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Super observations, V!

    Your 11:48 – πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  57. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    While I think pitching coaches deserved a lot of credit for the hard work they put in and the success of many pitching staffs, after all, many small things can happen to screw up a pitcher’s delivery, I have yet to hear of a pitching coach making it into the Hall of Fame.

    If you want a great steak, you better start with a pretty good cut of meat….

    hey, I hear Leo is still looking for a new gig….

    Anyway. Lots of player say Roger has been a real asset I guess we will soon find out if the Braves feel the same.

    Do coaches and managers get the same type of guaranteed contracts that player get?.


  58. 62 Carolina Lady October 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I understand that the Braves only offer 1-year contracts to coaching staff. I hope the Braves subscribe to the belief that if it ain’t broke….


  59. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The Nats announced the signing of Matt Wiliams as their new skipper. Watch out folks, he has a bit of a no prisoners attitude…


  60. 64 berigan2electricboogaloo October 31, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    yeah….red sox…woo…Well, I try to put a decent spin on it…the town sure is baseball crazy, and it helped the whole town big time to have this happen. David Ross has to be tickled pink, to get to play, to start in several World Series games(Poor Salty, amazing one bad throw, and he might not be invited back next year) and to catch the last pitch in a World Series win! I’m sure he couldn’t have imagined that when he signed up…or while he missed so much of the season with a concussion.
    I also really like the fact that an old, broken down, over the hill, why did they sign him to a new contract…Big Popi was by far the Red Sox player,….they don’t win it without him. Sabermaticans must be crying some today….


  61. 65 berigan2electricboogaloo October 31, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Mazzoni, who seemed irreplaceable, was kicked to the side…but that was a different administration, wasn’t it? At least I think it was…hope someone has some brains will re-sign McDowell….
    Phils WILL spend to win…you have to hand it to them…plus, attendance was down…sign one or two of Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson…and that is a vastly different team…at least more competitive.
    Braves will spend 10 mil more. So….only pocketing 15 mil that Santa is giving them…well, mighty ….white of them. πŸ™„

    I”m with Gil, EOF, is not a run of the mill guy….he gets lefties or righties out. You could have argued he was better, more important than Kimbrel in 2012….and what if Kimbrel ever goes down? Walden is good, but no wheres near as good as Kimbrel.


  62. 66 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

    The problem with EOF is that he is a FA. He also has a history of back issues and is coming off TJ. The latter is a great concern to the Braves, and to alot of teams. But it only takes one team to look at his past effectiveness and decide to offer him a healthy contract. The Braves will in no way get into a bidding war over a reliever.

    For me, I wouldn’t do it. The history on most – yes, I know there are always exceptions – is that relievers have a short shelf life of dominance. If it were just a matter of him coming back from TJ, it might be different. But his back history concerns me in that his whole routine has been altered for an entire year. Now he gets to ramp it back up. It’s more the residual and collateral damage that concerns me moreso than the elbow.

    One more factor to toss into the ring is that you also have Jonny V. He is an arb guy who will get paid, but nowhere near the $$ that EOF will get. Coming off injury, his raise will not be substantial. It’s a crap shoot with either Jonny or EOF, but the gamble will be less expensive with Jonny.

    Also, there is no clear path to the rotation for Alex Wood. And to be honest, his funky delivery is better suited for the bullpen. He’s the lefty, along with Luis Avilan, that I want to hitch my wagons to.

    So if I am projecting my bullpen right now, I’m looking at this:

    Craig Kimbrel, Closer
    Luis Avilan, LH setup
    David Carpenter, RH setup
    Jordan Walden, RH middle
    Alex Wood, LH middle
    Jonny V, LH middle **
    unknown veteran, long **

    ** iffy. Must win the job in spring.

    Frank will bring in a handful of veterans to compete for bullpen jobs. He always does. Guys like Luis Ayala, who was pretty good at times. Middle relief can always be filled in with veteran talent; it’s the late guys who makes or breaks a bullpen. The Braves have that well settled with Kimbrel, Avilan and Carpenter. And whatever bad taste Carpenter may have left in anyone’s mouth from that last game vs. LA, he was a very good late inning shut down guy for us in 2013… and still maturing. Add Walden and Wood, and you really do have the meat of the ‘pen already in place. We just need a few side dishes to fill out the menu.

    Nothing against EOF personally, but he just simply won’t be worth what it will take to bring him back on a FA contract. Not to the Braves, anyway.


  63. 67 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2013 at 8:25 am

    and what if Kimbrel ever goes down? Walden is good, but no wheres near as good as Kimbrel

    You don’t replace Kimbrel. Period. He’s the best in the game. He goes down, you’re hurt. But you wouldn’t try with EOF anyway. He has never been a closer and won’t be post-TJ.

    No, if Kimbrel were to go down for any extended period of time, you have to go get another experienced closer. It’s that simple. If for a short time, you get by with Walden, Avilan and Carpenter until he returns.

    And there is a guy in the system – RH Shae Simmons – who had a 1.69 ERA and 24 saves in 50 total appearances last season in A Rome and AA Mississippi, allowing just 31 hits, 0 HR’s, and 82 K’s / 22 BB’s in 53 1/3 innings. He’s 23 and was drafted out of Southeast Missouri State in 2012. Oh, and he was named an AFL All-Star just this week. He features a mid-90’s fastball and according to MLB Prospect Watch, he “he could be a factor in the Braves big league bullpen by the end of the [2014] season.”

    The Braves philosophy of drafting heavily in pitching has really paid off over the years by keeping the pipeline rich with pitching potential. (Of course, the other side of the coin is the relative dearth of position players. But that’s a point for another rant.)

    My whole point is simply this: there are too many good in-house alternatives to overpay in FA for a middle reliever coming off reconstructive elbow surgery, even if he has had good success with your team in the past.


  64. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    One has to wonder how many votes Kimbrel will garner for this year’s Cy Young. He is better than Eric Gagne’ and without the steroids….


  65. 69 Voice of Raisins November 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Amen and amen…


  66. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    As I have not taken the time to look at who is available in this year’s free agent market. I am only going to say that no matter, any Braves acquisitions would be of the minor verity at best. On e has to wonder Frank Wren and company aren’t on the phone reminding Dan and BJ to work on their hitting skills between now an March…


  67. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Other than second base and center field, I like the Braves potential line up. What a power house they could be if those two positions can contribute…


  68. 72 Carolina Lady November 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I want a team that will kick butt and take no prisoners. Period.


  69. 73 Gil in Mechanicsville November 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    CL, you would love hockey…. You might have to move though


  70. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Looks more and more like McDowell is going to jump ship to the Phillies… Good luck dude, been nice knowing you. I suspect the Brave will survive. Not like the cupboard is bare of pitching talent. That and the dearth of pitching coaches in the Hall of Fame lends credence to the notion that while pitching coaches can be of value, they are not irreplaceable.


  71. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Want to know who has one of the best eyes for pitching in the Braves organization? Bobby Cox… Not that he would take the job but he is a resource.


  72. 76 Carolina Lady November 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Gil, I want a Braves hockey team that plays baseball. πŸ˜†

    You’re right about Bobby. I keep forgetting that he’s still in the background. Wouldn’t that be a trip?! Hmmmm.


  73. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Well, looks like McDowell thru a curve at the Braves and got a two year contract from them to prevent his jumping to the Phillies. Nothing like having someone else pursue your help to ease the purse strings… Pay attention guys….


  74. 78 berigan2electricboogaloo November 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    V, I guess we will need to agree to disagree on EOF. Or perhaps we , EOF, and the braves could all agree with an incentive laced contract perhaps?
    I would hate, HATE To see the Nats or the Phils (two teams that WILL be better next season) end up with him and rendering FF(A great hitter against lefties) Jhey, and Schafer moot…I also think his back will be better since he didn’t have the grind of a season…really seems to help players that “retire” for a year when they come back.
    Looks like the braintrust of the braves is paying attention to F.G. and others and will make sure McDowell comes back for the next 2 years! Yay!


  75. 79 Carolina Lady November 2, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Wow, good news on Roger McD! Without a doubt, Frank & Co read the expert thoughts voiced here at our tiny corner of the cyberspace world. πŸ™‚ Y’all are just GOOD, ya know that?? πŸ˜†


  76. 80 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Ber, you got it. I suppose we’ll watch it all play out anyway.

    Less than 16 hours until mayhem ensues. Should we start a pool on how long it take Mac to sign elsewhere? I’ll start the ball rolling by saying he’ll sign with the Rangers for say… 6 yrs / $90M. Maybe 5 yrs w/ 6th year option. I think several teams will offer 5 years, but his agent will hold out for 6 and someone will cave. Look for the signing to happen somewhere around the Winter Meetings.

    On a related FA note, I have read that Huddy wants to pitch for another 3 years. Now, does this mean he’ll want a 3 year deal now coming off injury, or will he take a shorter term? I don’t think anyone will give him 3, but maybe 2. Would the Braves sign him for 2 given their wealth of young starters? That’s a tough one to call. I do believe Frank wants him back for 2014, so maybe they figure something out. Huddy’s ties to this community coupled with his home in Peachtree City and his dream farm in Auburn, AL have to play into the mix also. He’s made enough over his career that money is less a concern and comfort/convenience takes a bigger role. I think he’ll listen to other teams, but re-sign here before it all gets too crazy, say within 7-10 days. CAVEAT: It does seem pretty simple, but so did Smoltz coming back at the end of his career. The Bosox threw a wrench into the works there, and it could happen again here with another team coming in like… the Nats? I don’t expect it, but I won’t be surprised. And I cannot fathom Tim leaving the Eastern time zone.

    So who’s the first FA to sign? Will there be a deal at 12:01am?

    Make your calls today; the frenzy starts soon…


  77. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    My money is McCann going to the Yankees. That short left field porch will be mighty inviting, not to mention the somewhat cooler weather.

    I know what the Braves will offer, not sure if Huddy would accept it, The Nats would not be high on my list of destinations for Hudson. I can’t see him going to a non contender either.

    Three years, he won’t get it from anyone. Two maybe but again would be loaded with incentives. The Braves would love to have him back but won’t want him that badly, too much good young talent in the wings. Their might be somebody with more money than brains like the Padres who could offer him more money up front but where ever it is, it will only be two years at the most.

    Still, Huddy is a six inning pitcher now…. He is a contact pitcher also. I don’t see him going to an American League team.

    I see that the Giants are going to buy out Barry Zito. Will pay more than Dan Uggla makes to do the deed. That is what a 6 year 126 million contract will do for you….

    I look for the Braves to try to buy out Freddie Freeman and Kimbrel and Heyward with the extra money from MLB…


  78. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

    It is always about two things now, the money (to make them feel respected) and a “ring” ….. Every player wants to be a World Series winner.


  79. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Look for the Nats to make a big push for O’Flarerty. One of their biggest weaknesses has been their pen. Same goes for the Phillies. Both have very deep pockets….


  80. 84 berigan2electricboogaloo November 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hmmm, interesting to guess where McCann might go. While we see his occasional defensive lapse, we (or is it just me?) forget he’s pretty darned good calling a game, and other teams will hope he improves their pitching staffs too…
    I can see the Rangers and the Yankees making a push. White Sox might too. One team that scares me… the Phils. He’d hit a few more homers there too.
    You just never know with Catchers. Ruiz is 35(what McCann would be in 5 years) and well…he isn’t exactly skinny…still can hit too. 6 would be pushing it, it would seem for an nl team…but Phils, more than any other team I can think of, don’t fear aging players.
    Teams we don’t want to sign McCann, as they would only have to give up a 2nd round pick(or less, forget how it works exactly, but if they sign a few guys, I think the 2nd, or 3rd free agent signee means no draft pick goes to the old team)
    From M L B T R.
    1. Astros
    2. Marlins
    3. White Sox
    4. Cubs
    5. Twins
    6. Mariners
    7. Phillies
    8. Rockies
    9. Blue Jays
    10. Mets
    11. Blue Jays (for failing to sign 2013 No. 10 pick Phil Bickford)

    Bonus….count how many times I type “too” in this post, and win what I am thinking of…


  81. 85 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Well.. duh!


  82. 86 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I really think the bidding for Mac will end up being between the Rangers, Yankers and Bosox. And that is my order of finish in the derby. Others may be involved early, but the real money will end up squeezing everyone else out.

    I see Salty going to the Chisox since he’ll cost less money (and no compensatory pick) and they just spent a bunch of coin on that Cuban dude.

    I will be very surprised if any of those teams with the 11 protected picks are in the mix for Mac. Philly could happen, I just think they need pitching more. (They also need a RF.) I would not be surprised at all if they just re-sign Ruiz and go after a couple of higher end pitchers like Garza and Jimenez. Maybe Nolasco.

    Speaking of Nolasco… would it be crazy for the Braves to do something like that? He may not be a #1 like Price, but he’s not far. I think the Braves really do need a veteran in that rotation, and Huddy may not be the answer. Gil made a great point that Huddy is a 6 inning guy. Not so of Nolasco, who goes to the bump and chews up innings. And Nolasco would not cost a pick. I will expound in another post…


  83. 87 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Indulge me on this, if you will…

    I like Kris Medlen, but what do we honestly think his ceiling is? In my mind, he is currently our #3 behind Minor and Teheran. He’s probably a #3 tops in most rotations. Nolasco would instantly be our #1, and a good veteran presence for our other youngsters. Medlen will probably double his $2.9M in his 2nd to last year of arb.

    So… he’s still controllable for 2 more seasons on a mid-level salary for a young pitcher, making him fairly desirable on the trade market.

    If your gonna pay Medlen $6M this year and $9M next year before having to make a decision on paying him into 8 figures, why not just go ahead and pay Nolasco $12M for the next 4 years? It gives you cost certainty, a solid #1, a veteran and someone who will help preserve the bullpen.

    Then you can include Medlen in a trade with Uggla to get him out of town and actually get something more than a used scorebook back in return. Unless you eat over $20M of his salary, you aren’t going to get rid of him easily. But if you included Kris Medlen…

    I can not in any way, shape or form see that scenario play out. But it’s not too far fetched, is it?


  84. 88 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    While I do not doubt that this is true, what else would you expect an agent to say? πŸ™„


  85. 89 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Not surprising at all. 1 year won’t get it done, IMO.


  86. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I can hear the phone conversation now…

    Frank Wren. Boy do we have a deal for you? We will send you Medlen and Uggla for player X and you pick up the salary for Uggs and we will pay part of Meds contract.

    Unknow GM. How about we do that deal but you have to keep Uggla and we will pick up half his tab but you have to play him whenever we play each other….

    Frank Wren… What? Are you crazy?

    Unknown GM. Well, you must think we are if you think you can unload that albatross on us?


  87. 91 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Could Huddy and Mac reunite in Arlington? I could sure see it.

    If the Braves let him go, and it sure looks like they could, you have to think that they have a plan in place to bring in a veteran, right?

    Right? 😯


  88. 92 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Hearing as many as 10 teams may be in on Huddy, including Braves, Bosox, Giants, A’s, Rangers, Indians and Royals.


  89. 93 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Well… not actually “hearing”… more like reading.

    Anyway, Bowman says:

    Indians manager Terry Francona had a lengthy telephone discussion with Hudson a few days ago. Royals manager Ned Yost is expected to meet with Hudson later this week.

    The Braves have already made a one-year offer to Hudson. But Hudson and his agent have not yet chosen to make a counter offer.


  90. 94 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    BTW- Josh Johnson did not receive a QO from the Jays. Just sayin’…


  91. 95 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Hmmm… lemme clarify that last statement. Josh Johnson is coming off injury, much like Huddy. If you are gonna offer Huddy a 1 year deal, why not Johnson, especially if Huddy looks like he could jump?


  92. 96 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Not unexpected…


  93. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville November 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Too many moving parts for me to keep up with right now, I think I shall wait until some pieces have actually been removed from the table,


  94. 98 Voice of Raisins November 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Much wailing and gnashing of teeth all over the place over letting Reed Johnson hit the open market. But declining RJ was really a no-brainer. When he was healthy in 2013, his bat was not anywhere near what it had been for most of his career. His best asset to the Braves in 2012 was his ability to play all 3 OF positions, but with both Uptons, Schafer and Heyward, you are already 2 deep in the corners and 3 deep in CF. In 2013, Joey T gave you just as good a bat with much more pop and a 3rd corner OF as well as corner IF. RJ will catch on somewhere without a doubt. He was just simply not needed here.


  95. 99 berigan2electricboogaloo November 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    V, interesting thought on Nolasco!
    He had a good year last year, but has a career era of 4.37. (Hudson hasn’t had an ERA above 4 since 2006) Not sure he is a number one.
    I’d rather have him and Medlen. Medlen has a career 2.95 ERA. 197 innings, 3.11 ERA 2012. Nolasco 199 Innings, 3.70 ERA in pitcher parks.
    Who should be go after? just don’t know…Josh Johnson is a thought..if he can return to form, a legit #1 .but, if he is injured again….


  96. 100 berigan2electricboogaloo November 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    But, if they don’t sign Hudson, or McCann…with 10 Mil added…so even with raises to the kids…should be some decent money out there, right????


  97. 101 Voice of Raisins November 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Well the door flung wide open at midnight, and no customers were in the place. I suppose everyone is taking their time. No reason not too. There is alot of money at stake here, and everyone wants to keep as much in their own pockets as possible.


  98. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    “everyone wants to keep as much in their own pockets as possible.”

    Just like Obamacare… but different….

    At least the GMs can still access their web sites…

    Big vote in Virginia, I fear all the fools may be on the same side today and Terry AKA The Carpetbagger McAluff may get elected.. SIGH… So many stupid and short sighted folks in this world….

    Now baseball, Tim Hudson must be feeling a lack of love coming from the Braves. To be honest, one has to wonder exactly how much he has left in the tank and at what value. No question he is/was under paid by current MLB standards but they are beginning to talk in numbers way over my pay grade.

    Look for the Dodgers to be the new destination team of choice for free agents. I never thought I would see the day that a team could out spend Stienbrenner. Do that many folks actually watch the Dodgers to justify the TV rights contract they received from Fox? If I were the Braves, I would double what I am currently spending on minor league player development and scouting because it will be the only way they will be able to stay competitive.


  99. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

    By the way, Josh Johnson would be a pretty good pick up for the Braves if they lose Huddy but I think Hudson is the Braves number one target. The Braves have about 13 million coming off the books with just McCann so it will be interesting to see how that is split up. Seems to me they could afford to throw a bit of that towards Hudson if they wanted.

    I would stay away from Nolasco, he is decent hurler but he is no number one…


  100. 104 Carolina Lady November 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Bobby Cox is on the HOF ballot. πŸ™‚ They’d sure better vote him in! Or I might have to round up the posse and go have a talk with ’em. πŸ˜€



  101. 105 Carolina Lady November 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Congratulations to Andrelton Simmons for his first Gold Glove award!


  102. 106 Carolina Lady November 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    And, congratulations to US for going over 90,000 visitors to our site!! πŸ˜†


  103. 107 Carolina Lady November 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    From MLB trivia: November 2, 2013
    Q: Who has won the most Gold Glove Awards in MLB history?
    A: Pitcher Greg Maddux (18)


  104. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Greg Maddux… I would have never guesses that one….


  105. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I’m just wondering when Greg is going to get his opportunity to manage at a major league level. The guy is smart enough….


  106. 110 Carolina Lady November 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I wish Maddux would manage or at least be a pitching coach (for us only!) but I have the impression that he’s perfectly content to stay at home. I don’t get the feeling that he’s partial to the Braves in any sense, that they were just the ones who signed his paycheck. I hope my thoughts about that can be changed. πŸ™‚


  107. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    No, you are right about Greg Maddux’s relationship with the Braves. Just business…


  108. 112 Carolina Lady November 6, 2013 at 1:26 am

    I think he marches to a different drummer than most of us.


  109. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo November 6, 2013 at 3:54 am

    It’s funny, Greg Maddux was never in great shape, yet rarely missed a start. no muscle tone, and yet was a great athlete.
    When I think of great fielding pitchers, I think of Jim Kaat(just saw him at the tail end of his career-should be in the HOF IMHO) and Rick Reuschel, one of the fatter pitchers to ever play the game. He also won 17 at the age of 40.
    So kids, if you are reading this, if you want to pitch, never work out anything but your arm(toss all the time) and your brain! πŸ˜‰


  110. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Ber, you first must be blessed by God to have tendons in their arms that are longer than a normal human being, That and fast twitch muscles. No matter how much I tried, I could never run and I had a very weak arm. Only reason I could play was because I could hit anything within the react of a bat.

    We only get one try at life, too bad we learn that too late in life, we would have fewer regrets but it is what it is, It is said that we learn from the mistakes we make, therefore, I am a virtual Einstein when it comes to life…


  111. 115 Voice of Raisins November 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Braves have outrighted Phil Gosselin to AAA Gwinnett, meaning they removed him from their 40 man roster.

    Wonder why they needed the roster spot? That leaves them at 37 on the 40, if my calculations are correct. I suppose they could be getting ready to add and protect a few youngsters in advance of Rule 5 and such…


  112. 116 Voice of Raisins November 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    … or maybe just removing a 2B to add a 2B in Tommy La Stella? There should be no hurry there, though.

    Slow day when you are worried about 40 man roster spots… πŸ™„


  113. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I suspect there will be quite a bit of suffling done before. The braves are done.


  114. 118 Carolina Lady November 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Maddux always was a mystery to me. As Ber mentioned, he didn’t even look like an athlete. Somebody once commented at an awards show that he looked like a accountant and wondered how on earth he did what he did. I think he mainly used his brain! It would be interesting to know what his IQ is. I’ll never forget the commercial that he and Glavine made. An all-time classic. I laugh no matter how many times I watch it. πŸ˜€


  115. 119 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Interesting that the Rangers re-signed Soto to a 1 year deal. They insist that he’s their “primary” C, yet he only signed a 1 year deal. And it’s a relatively cheap one at that.

    Does this mean they won’t still pursue McCann? I think they still will. I don’t even think it’s a posturing tactic. Heck, it isn’t gonna affect the Yankees’ offer or the Red Sox’s offer… and in the end, it will come down to $$. But here’s what it does do for them. It gives them a 2nd C to allow Mac to DH part of the time. Mac still wants to catch and that’s fine. But at some point, he’s going to have to face the reality that his new suitors care about his bat. The defense part is good, since his offense at the C position is elite. But they want that bat in the lineup for 162 games, and he’ll never again catch 140 games, much less 162.

    I wouldn’t take too much away from Daniels calling Soto their “primary” catcher. He is… right now. Maybe not in a few weeks though, eh?


  116. 120 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

    By the way, the Rangers signed Soto to a 1 year deal last off-season also. They followed that up by signing also A.J. Pierzynski, who was their “primary” C in 2013…


  117. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’m pretty sure Soto is happy to have a contract. Not an elite guy.

    He is a safety valve as far as the Rangers are concerned, much the same that Laird is/was/is, hey, the Braves did not know Gattis would bloom like he did. Nor did they realize he would be as good behind the plate as he was. Being able to plug him into the left field spot was a real bonus.

    It is great to have options. I’m sure Frank Wren would like to have the option of spending more but to be truthful, his high dollar acquisitions have not panned out nearly as well as his bargain basement pick-ups. I always heard it’s better to be lucky than good. My view is you make your own luck….


  118. 122 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

    2013 season:

    Player A: 21 HR, 65 RBI, 21 doubles, .243 avg, 382 plate appearances, threw out 33% of attempted base stealers

    Player B: 20 HR, 57 RBI, 13 doubles, .256 avg, 402 plate appearances, threw out 24% of attempted base stealers

    Which one is Mac, which one is El Oso Blanco?


  119. 123 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2013 at 11:43 am

    My view is you make your own luck…

    … and having Evan Gattis drop right into your lap during Mac’s walk year doesn’t hurt either.


  120. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Yes, a classic example of making you own luck with Gattis whom I think will actually get better at the plate this season. Scary thought that…

    I think Chris Johnson was robbed in not earning a Silver Slugger instead of going to Alveraz.


  121. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I believe the the most frustrating thing for everyone Atlanta is the massive fail of Dan Uggla and BJ Upton. Can you imagine what might have been if either or both had hit an even pedestrian .250 last season?


  122. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Sigh, so many thoughts going thru my head right, I think I shall make a trip to the dump to clear my mind…. DON’T ASK…. πŸ™‚


  123. 127 berigan2electricboogaloo November 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    V, I knew which was which/….you want to know? You don’t? Why not? 😦
    Anyway, I was looking at McCann’s stats a few days ago….don’t know if there is a real explanation, but his first 4 years in the league, he hit no less than 34 doubles, then the last 4 seasons, no more than 25, and the last 3 seasons, doubles were only in the teens. He was no speedburner ever, so don’t think thats the reason. And as much as he has been injured, he has still gotten 400 ABs each year he has played. He has hit at least 20 homers in 7 of the last 8 years. Weird.
    I hope he stays away from the redsox. They were going to re-sign salty, there was no doubt about it…then, he threw aggressively to 3rd on the play the 3rd baseman accidentally interfered with the Cards runner. You just can’t make errors and get forgiven there. And we know the secret that people that don’t watch McCann daily don’t know. He’s not very good at blocking pitches in the dirt, and he only throws out 1 in 4 runners.
    I honestly think the pressure would be less in NYC, than Boston. Some pitchers couldn’t handle the heat of NYC, but ever hear of a position player not loving Yankee stadium? Edgar Renteria was a W.S. hero, and couldn’t handle Boston.
    Would still rather he play for the Rangers. Or white sox. Sure hope he doesn’t sign with the Phils. Oh man…


  124. 128 berigan2electricboogaloo November 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Gil, you are right! If Uggla and BJ just hit like the back of their baseball cards, they probably win 100 games, home field throughout the playoffs….and perhaps advance from the first round in 6 tries.


  125. 129 Carolina Lady November 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    What is BJ’s problem? Anybody know?

    I kinda feel sorry for Dan. He always seems to try his heart out, but continues to fail. Something’s not right, whether it is his eyes or what is anybody’s guess. He’s hurting the team and he knows it but can’t seem to do anything about it. Time to just retire?


  126. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I agree on Dan, he always gave 110% even if he failed… Just not able to adjust to the changes in vision at mid season.

    BJ? Well, just trying too hard trying to live up to the hype.

    Yeah, I’m still betting on the Yankees for McCann. Reason for McCann’s drop in double? Increased use of the shift allignment in the infield against him. Messes with his head….


  127. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    A player you will never see a shift put on for? Chris Johnson…


  128. 132 Voice of Raisins November 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Ber, the Red Sox are likely not a destination for Mac… they really need some RH pop to balance their lefty heavy lineup. That doesn’t mean they don’t want him, but probably not as bad as the Yankees or Rangers.


  129. 133 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

    OK… I am only running this up the flagpole to begin a discussion thread. I do not endorse nor decry it, only bringing up the existence of a rumor and some logical conclusions.

    The David Price / Atlanta Braves mutual interest rumor still lives, and the latest incarnation is not that much different than the first, only that certain teams are dropping off the board because they don’t hold the pieces it will take to pry Price away from the Rays. It is becoming widely reported that the Rays want at least the type of return they got for James Shields. Now, the Shields deal was more complex in that Wade Davis also went to KC, but it is essentially accepted that they got a top young starting controllable player (Wil Myers) and 2 top prospects. In Atlanta’s case, it would appear that the Rays will want one of our top young starters, plus 2 top prospects.

    That translates to this: Mike Minor or Julio Teheran, plus Christian Bethancourt and one more… Alex Wood maybe?

    So the discussion begins with this question? Would you start with Minor or Teheran, or are both completely off the board? Would you even counter or just hang up? If you counter, who would you offer?

    I’ll get the ball rolling with my own thoughts. First, there is no way in, uh, heck that I would even utter the name Lucas Sims. He’s our future “Adam Wainright”. I hang up on any team that even mentions his name. So that said…

    I give up neither Minor nor Teheran, especially Teheran. I might think about Minor if the other 2 pieces are not as valuable. I would give them Bethancourt to get it done. He’s essentially blocked by Evan Gattis now anyway. I would consider Wood, but not with Minor or Teheran. I would have to strongly consider a deal of Medlen, Bethancourt and Wood. I would definitely pull the trigger on Medlen, Bethancourt and David Hale. I would have to think that prospect #3 would come from a pool of Wood, Hale, Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham.

    For me, Medlen, Bethancourt and one of those 4 would get it done. Anything more and I wish them good luck and I move on.


  130. 134 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Oh… and I failed to mention that I would not do anything unless I got an extension worked out with Price. No price (pardon the pun) is worth just 2 years of service.


  131. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Agree on the two year point, did we not learn that with Texiera? I understand the desire to have at least one certified ACE on your staff but at what cost? At what point do you give up on your own pitchers?

    I agree that Bethencourt has become expendable but saying that, there is no need to give him away.

    Funny how much ink Stephen Strausburg received and yet, he is not the best pitcher on the National’s staff.

    To tell the truth, I am beginning to think that all pitchers are made of glass.

    The Braves do have some decent cards to play but they are limited by their stake. Look at the amount the Tigers have invested in Justin Verlander who has become human. Greg Maddux never had to worry about losing zip on his fast ball because his game was all about movement.

    Chicks and evidently baseball writers dig the long ball from hitters and the strike out artist in pitchers but the latter will never have a long career without the assistance of PEDs. It is great to have a guy who can zip them in at 97 mph but even they can be taken deep if they lose their movement.

    Gil Martin might eventually develop into a back of the rotation guy, never an ACE from what I have seen. Alex Woods is a nice player who is destine for rotator cuff or laburnum surgery in the future. he reminds me a lot of “The Cobra”, same across the body, sling the ball delivery.

    I have not seen enough of Bethancourt to make an informed decision. I don’t think he is the next Buster Posey or Yadea Molina though.

    I am unsure of Gattis’ game calling abilities but that is a simple fix. Let McDowell call the game from the bench, would not be the first time it has been done. Let his concentrate on blocking balls in the dirt and sharpening his throwing skills. That would allow him to work on his hitting too.


  132. 136 Carolina Lady November 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Do we really NEED Price or would it be something nice to have? The team won 90+ games this year in spite of lack of production from a couple of people. I’m just not in favor of emptying the cupboard in order to stock the refrigerator when the fridge is doing well.

    Does Huddy come back or will he be allowed to walk? I have to wonder if his ankle is up to the wear of a full season. I can’t remember if it is on the side that he lands on or not.

    Does Gattis remain a catcher or could he be converted to another position to keep his bat in the lineup? If Bethencourt is as good as touted, when will he be ready to come up? Who is our backup catcher? (I know y’all know these things, but I don’t. :-D)

    Whatever they do, they can’t let the best pitching prospects leave. There is no such thing as having too many pitchers. We’ve started off in Fat City before but have wound up getting out the flashlights to check the bottom of the barrel.

    Maybe I’m just too cautious (that’s my nature) but I’ve heard many times that a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. And I’m tired of having “hotshots” come in and fall flat on their expensive faces.

    Ok – I’m off to the printer to FINALLY have the research book I’ve worked on for the last 6/7 years actually printed!!!! There aren’t enough words to describe how great this feels!!!!!! Whatever will I do with myself now?? Free time? That still exists? How much are the taxes on it? πŸ˜†


  133. 137 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Let his concentrate on blocking balls in the dirt and sharpening his throwing skills.

    By all accounts, Bethancourt’s defense is of elite quality now, and he be amongst the best in the league already. It’s his bat that is still developing. But his bat will never be what Gattis’ bat is. Gattis is a very valuable guy who works very hard to be the best at his craft, and he has vastly improved his catching skills. No doubt he is a student of game calling also.


  134. 138 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Does Huddy come back or will he be allowed to walk?

    Given the early interest and the likelihood that he’ll get at least 2 years from someone, and possibly the 3 he’d really like to get, I foresee him going elsewhere. Frank really only wants a one year veteran, and I think he’ll go out and sign a guy like that. Maybe a guy coming back off an injury like Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson. (Hey, we need another Johnson, right? We just let one go…) Halladay would be a bigger gamble; JJohnson wants to reestablish his value. There are a handful out there.

    CL, I agree that we have the arms to win the division again. I’m just not sure we can match up with the Wainrights and the Kershaws and the Lesters in the playoffs. It will take a real breakout year from Julio, and he is certainly capable of breaking out. I predict he’ll be our opening day #1, barring some major acquisition. Minor is a solid 2 and Medlen and Beachy are not far behind. I just wish we had a real horse leading the way.

    I will look at the available arms and see who might fit the bill of the cagey one year vetaran…


  135. 139 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Wow, that’s alot of dough. I’m not sure the Braves would match that. Maybe I’m wrong… πŸ™„


  136. 140 Voice of Raisins November 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    And another report (Heyman, I think) says that David Ross, whose 2 best friends while a Brave were Tim Hudson and Brian McCann, is openly campaigning for both to join him in Boston.


  137. 141 berigan2electricboogaloo November 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Very interesting stuff guys!(and gal πŸ˜‰ )
    since i have to leave in a sec, I’ll be brief, this one time…
    the braves have been washed out, beaten, the last 6 times in the playoffs. First round and out, each and every time. That gets managers/coaches fired everywhere else after 1-2 times. If the guy for 4 times didn’t have Cox on the back of his uni, he would have been fired.
    You have to have a Price type. Look at the teams that have won, and you see at least one guy, likely 2 hitting 95 MPH on most pitches. Julio does that once in awhile. Sure heard he was 98 in the minors…
    Ok, gotta go, stay tuned for the super exciting pt2 post be yours truly! πŸ˜‰


  138. 142 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I’m pretty sure BMac will follow is agent’s advice and go with the biggest and longest offer. That plus will go to the AL East. Depends on his ego as to whether or not he opts for Boston or the Yankees. Both have rabid fan bases, both will pay big money. That said, Big Poppi’s contract might expire just about the time BMac is ready to stop stooping behind the dish.


  139. 143 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Congratulations to Simba for winning the Rawling’s “Platinum Glove” as the best defensive player in the National League this season.


  140. 144 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    According to DOB, the Braves have offered Huddy somewhere in the range of $9M for 1 year. Unless they’re willing to go 2 years, he’ll be gone. He’ll get 2 years somewhere. There is an exec that has said on record that Huddy could get as much as 2 yrs/ $24M. I can’t see that, unless it is on incentives met, but I can see somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 yrs/ $20M… which, by the way, is a nice neighborhood.


  141. 145 Voice of Raisins November 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

    So… if Huddy does walk, don’t you want a veteran on the staff? I know we’ve got 5 very good and currently healthy young starters, but 162 games is a long time. I know I want that elusive “ace”, but the reality of the market and Atlanta’s place in it says we won’t acquire one. So… veteran guy on a 1 or 2 year deal?

    Name to keep in mind: Scott Kazmir


  142. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville November 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    How long does a pitcher have to play before they are considered a veteran? This will be season three in the show for Medlin and Minor,
    2 & 1/2 for Beachy,


  143. 148 Carolina Lady November 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Good question, Gil! Guess it’s a matter of relativity, isn’t it? πŸ™‚


  144. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    While I believe veteran leadership can be a real plus for a team, I am inclined to think that talent is perhaps the real precursor for success. Look at all the veteran leadership the Phillies had last season. Did not do them a lick of good.

    I would love to have Huddy back next season but I am no going to gnash my teeth or cover myself in ashes and sack cloth if he moves on. Hudson ultimately has to do what is best for Hudson. His days of big paydays are coming to a screeching halt. Time for him to try for that elusive World Series ring.

    I would avoid Halladay like the Asian Flu. He basically had John Smoltz surgery. He might want to try to comeback but no matter, wishing don’t make it so.

    Much like Kimbrel taking to heart the lessons taught by his mentor Billy Wagner, it is time for Medlin and Minor to take the lead. That and listen to McDowell. After all, isn’t that what his job is?

    I also get the feeling the Braves (Liberty Media) are showing their true colors. That is, the bottom line is the ultimate consideration. not winning a championship.

    Private ownership, excluding Loria in Miami, is generally driven by people with big egos who are use to being leaders, not followers. They spend money like a 20 year old. That is, they will spend $2000 for a set of wheels to go on a $500 car.


  145. 150 berigan2electricboogaloo November 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Name to keep in mind: Scott Kazmir V, that’s an interesting thought!
    Perhaps sigh him, trade Minor and other “pieces” (not sure I like that word) for Price?
    Tell use guys what…I don’t think the Phils have what the Rays would want for Price…but, you know who might? The Nats. Bleh. That would be a big reason to trade for him.
    I think the braves got lucky last year, errr, earlier this year. Remember, we were basically a .500 team for a few months after that 12-1 start. And they came together for another run after Hudson got hurt. Nats played like folks expected the last month or so…
    Can’t expect another 12-1 start.
    Never say never(wait, I just did) but…if the Nats had Price added to Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, and Steven Strausburg….that is 4 potential #1’s and the braves would be highly unlikely to win the division against that monster rotation….and to just try to get one of the wild cards….does that sound…exciting? Lets either hope half the Nats rotation goes down, or lets grab that 1 game W.C. again, wasn’t that fun? πŸ™„


  146. 151 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    The Rangers also have the pieces to get it done and the resources to lock him down. I get the feeling more and more that they won’t go as hard after Mac as the Yanks and Sox. The Nats would have to give up one of their young starters, and that’ll never happen… nor should it. Honestly, the Braves are possibly in the best position to make that kind of deal, but I can’t see it as a real possibility. They value their young talent too much. The legacy of the Drew and Teixeira deals are having a lasting effect on how Frank conducts his business – and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.

    I don’t see much shaking and stirring for the Braves this week as the GM meetings start tomorrow. Frank will probably spend much of his time determining if there is any market at all for Uggla. Depending on that outcome, he then might put out feelers on any available 2B/leadoff types.

    You know, if the planets lined up just right and the Braves could plug a real leadoff hitter into 2b, it would completely transform the lineup. JHey isn’t a real #1, and JUp isn’t a real #2. In fact, it sees even silly to suggest such, yet that’s how the Braves rolled for much of the late season. JUp has to be cleanup, doesn’t he? JHey is a natural 3, isn’t he? What about Freddie? He is as clutch as they come. Simba seems a natural #2 to me.

    In my utopia, my order would be:

    leadoff, 2B
    Simba, SS
    JHey, RF
    JUp, LF
    Freddie, 1B
    Gattis, C
    CJohnson, 3B
    BJ, CF

    Of course, a return to earth for BJ would change everything…


  147. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    What you are saying Raisins is you really would like for Tyler Pastornicky or current DOB favorite to make the team this season….

    Yeah Ber, Washington is going to be tough this season, and every season going forward… They are deep and have deep pockets.

    That said, you still have to play the games on the field.


  148. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Man, that is cold, having FF5 in the five hole. and Chris Johnson all the way down to seventh.


  149. 154 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Man, that is cold, having FF5 in the five hole

    Somebody’s gotta drive JUp and JHey in after they clean off the basepaths! πŸ˜€


  150. 155 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm


  151. 156 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Baseball Prospect Nation: The surprise on the list may be Tommy La Stella, but the kid can flat out hit. He is a grinder with gap power, solid defensive abilities and the kid can just straight up play.


  152. 157 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Baseball America: Tommy La Stella may be the best β€œunder the radar” player among the current bevy of Arizona Fall League prospects.

    β€œHe’s not a utility guy for me,” [AFL Coach John] Moses said. β€œHe’s going to be a second basemanβ€”a starter,” he said. Moses went on to add that La Stella could slot into the number two spot in a batting order or, with his knack for getting on base, even bat in the leadoff position.

    It should also be noted that La Stella is a lefty, something that is suddenly lacking in the Braves lineup where only JHey and FF5 bat LH among projected starters.


  153. 158 Voice of Raisins November 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    So I think that if Frank could manage to jettison Danny Boy, there could be a great positional competition between Stella and Pastor, but you have to think that batting LH has to play in Stella’s favor.


  154. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Well, I guess the Braves will be facing a lot more rightys in the future after being besieged by lefties for the past 10 years.

    LaStella reminds me of Marcus Giles, absent the roids…. Absent the juice, he became a guy with warning track power without realizing he needed to or was unable to change his hitting approach. Mark Lempke was a kid who knew his limitations and was a gap hitter supreme.

    Of course Dan could be reading all this and reacquiring his hitting eye as we speak… well, one could hope….


  155. 160 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 9:42 am


    Huge news just breaking here in “the A”. The Braves are leaving downtown Atlanta when their lease at Turner Field is up at the end of 2016 and moving to the northern ‘burbs of Cobb County, just north of the city.

    I will have a tome of thoughts on that to publish later.


  156. 161 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

    OK.. I’ll try to share some initial thoughts without getting into Savannah Guy-ish length, mainly because I do have to work today. πŸ˜‰

    The downtown location has been awful for years. Many like to play the race card and call “racism” or “race-phobia” or whatever. The reality is that Turner Field is smack in the middle of the ‘hood and alot of people, myself included, are simply not comfortable taking their families there. Unless you have the benefit of premium parking, you cannot park close and have to walk some pretty sketchy streets. There are no other venues – restaurants, etc. – around the stadium, and I wouldn’t patronize any of them even if there were. And there is no other way, which brings me to my 2nd and more significant point.

    When Atlanta city and Braves officials struck their deal back in the early 90’s (or whenever) to build Turner Field out of the Olympic Track & Field stadium, the city really had the upper hand, but the Braves also came out like a champ. They essentially got a brand new ball park for nothing. But Atlanta city officials saw a great opportunity to hijack all the parking revenue, and to cut out MARTA (public transit) from linking to the park so as to secure their monopoly on said parking revenue. In the end, this is likely the real key factor to the Braves leaving as soon as the lease is expired. Parking is a nightmare and there are simply no other options.

    Now, you will probably hear more (especially from a slanted city official perspective) about “white flight” as a motivating factor. We all know the media is going to paint it that way anyway. But I am here to tell you that the parking and public transit issues are the real heart of the matter.

    One other factor probably plays mildly into the equation as well. This is a boon for Cobb County, and the have to be ecstatic that they successfully wooed the Braves. If you don’t know, East Cobb County is home to one of the best amateur youth baseball programs in the country, at least in the southeast. People drive their kids for hours to get them into the program. Our own Jason Heyward is a product of that program, and his father drove him an hour and a half one way to make it happen.

    In the end, it’s a great move for the Braves and for most of the fans. Sadly, there will be a segment of fans that feel alienated. No denying it. But I foresee this as a step into the future for the Braves.


  157. 162 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I think I just said this…


  158. 163 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    And this really summarizes it pretty well:


  159. 164 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Now that I think about it, I would bet that Braves FOT’s have been quietly planning this exodus for years, maybe even since they accepted the free venue and began playing there in 1997. I find the timing of the announcement quite interesting, too… less than a week after Atlanta’s mayor was re-elected. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe professional courtesy, or something like that. But it is a huge blow to the city. It could have become a factor in Mayor Reed’s re-election had it been announced earlier.


  160. 165 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

    This should answer any other questions regarding the move. I pretty much agree with every bullet point:


    But I’ll betcha you’ll still hear the race card tossed out loudly and irresponsibly.


  161. 166 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Another good point, and this is the bottom line:


  162. 167 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    And if they plan to move in 3 years, don’t they have to start to sign a marquee player or 2 to make the new product more attractive to new prospective season ticket holders?


  163. 168 berigan2electricboogaloo November 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    wow…just wow….just heard this on the radio…and Dad and I were both making funny faces….I was just thinking about how nice a stadium it is…not even 20 years old…really nice staff at the park….seems like a waste……
    That said, V, you make some excellent points! And then DOB saw what you said and shortened it to twitter lengths, πŸ˜‰


  164. 169 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    was just thinking about how nice a stadium it is…not even 20 years old…really nice staff at the park

    Gotta remember, though… it isn’t about the stadium itself. It’s all about the area and all of the surrounding venues, or lack thereof. There will now be hotels, restaurants, shopping, real parking… 60 acres of total amenities, park included. And it’s about new revenue streams for the team. They were not getting much from Turner Field, and were facing over $150M in necessary upgrades that would translate to $0 additional revenue for the team. It was a good deal for the 20 years they have/will occupy since the park was built mostly on Olympic development dollars. But don’t forget too that the Braves already invested $150+M into the place.

    Given that they are locked into the really bad TV deal, and that there is no remedy for that deal, they had to do something. I commend the team – and the ownership – for stepping up and doing what is necessary. Liberty could have looked at all of this, bad TV deal and bad stadium location, and simply looked to dump the team, pulling a Loria in the process. They chose a proactive approach. From a local fan standpoint, I like it. I will be more inclined to take my family to the new location. And I believe I am more representative of the fan base than most inner city occupants.


  165. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Looks like the mystery money is starting to come out. While I thought Turner Field was okay, it was not exactly the easiest place to get to and outside of the ballgame, nothing to do there. I know, I have made the trip to the Mecca of Braves fans several times. Not something I have really been willing to do again. So congratulations to all the Braves’ fans in the Atlanta area, Something new to look forward to.

    And what to do with the old stadium? Well, there has to be at least one local college who would love to use the facility. Americans are not much on second hand stuff, always have to have new…

    Still, no MARTA. That cannot really be cited as an issue.

    Now local news, Richmond’s current mayor announced plans for the city to build a new ball park in the Shochco Bottom area of the city. It is a plan which was proposed by the Braves before they moved to Gwinnett citing lack of seriousness by Richmond to build a new stadium. The Braves plan would have cost the city zero and guaranteed they continued operation for 25 years as the city’s triple A affiliate. The city will now build it on their (tax payers’ dime) and get the San Francisco Giants’ Double A team to remain.

    Best part for Atlanta fans (residents) is the new Braves stadium is not coming out of your pocket. Not unless you attend the games so good deal for you. I wonder how much of the old stadium the Braves will dig up and take with them?



  166. 171 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Still, no MARTA. That cannot really be cited as an issue.

    Not yet… Cobb County has their own independent transit system. I am positive that over the next 3 years, there will be a tie in somewhere. It won’t be the first independent suburban transit system to work out an overlap and tie in with MARTA (Gwinnett County does).

    Also, currently, there is NOTHING around Turner Field to draw anyone there besides the game. So every fan driving in comes at the same time, every fan leaving the game leaves at the same time. If there are dining and other entertainment venues close by, you will dilute the incoming and outgoing traffic by having some patrons doing something other than all driving at the same time…


  167. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I have been reading some of the comments made in the AJC peregrinate to the move by the Braves to Cobb. First off, baseball is a business. The tax breaks for building your own stadium is much greater than making up grades to leased property. You don’t get to deduct rent off your taxes.

    Revenue streams are important to every business, muck like gas stations use to sell just enough in gasoline to cover the overhead, the real profit came from selling tires, belts and tune-ups. Not to mention the numbers games run in the back…

    Atlanta is like every other big city, A lot less exciting than going to the local mall. Use to be there were big store downtown and everyone dressed up, even to just shop. Now all the shoplifters have run the big store out of town and the only one left have bars on their windows and off pay day loans and pawns….

    Moving away from downtown does not diminish a team’s identity with a city, as an example, do you know the Detroit Lions actually play in the Silver Dome witch is located in Pontiac Michigan, 60 miles north of Detroit.

    I have a tough time getting Josie to agree to go to a game at the Nats stadium at night because it is in DC. Can’t say that I blame her as I cannot legally carry my weapon there. That does not stop the hoods in the area by the way.

    The Braves have three more seasons in which to play at Turner Field. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I expect the mayor of Atlanta will be a big you know what pending the Braves departure. I doubt he was blind sided by this all, he may deny it but I am sure the Braves made some type of proposal to stay. Atlanta proper has bigger problems than just the Braves but their absence will be felt in the loss of parking revenues. Can’t say they will miss much in tourist dollars however as not much in downtown to spend it on.

    Now, have the Braves released a preliminary sketch of the stadium design?


  168. 173 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    And here ya go. THIS is Braves country. It ain’t downtown Atlanta.


  169. 174 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Each red dot on that map I just linked represents a ticket sold in 2013. The new location is right in the middle. Simple, really.


  170. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm


    uh. pertinent. You really have to watch spell check don’t you?


  171. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Then again peregrinate could work in an odd sort of way….


  172. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Okay Braves, want to make it really special? Put in nice comfortable wide padded seats and lots of leg room. Look at the physical attributes of your best and most loyal fan base. Cheaper beer helps too….

    Having several restaurants and sports bars within walking distance will help. Also some real family oriented eateries for those who want to take their kids and not have to make withdrawals from their kids’ college funds.

    Lots and lots of security and lighting and shuttle buses from the outer reaches of the parking nether world…


  173. 178 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Exactly, Gil. There is none of that now, and no hope for it. The city owns and controls everything outside the park. And for 17 years they have shown no desire for developing the area. As you can see in the picture on the story I am linking here, there is alot of acreage around the new site to be developed for “mixed use”, as JS calls it…



  174. 179 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Early numbers say Cobb County will pay $460M, the Braves will pay $200M. According to JS, the Braves were already on the hook for $150M in needed facility upgrades at The Ted. So let’s look at the facts… increased revenue base, more revenue streams, easier for your fan base to spend money, far FAR better location, no more need to be packin’, etc., etc. etc… and for just 25% more than you had to spend anyway. No brainer…


  175. 180 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Just heard a good interview with Braves Executive VP Derek Schiller. Learned a few of cool things…

    #1 – He talked again about the mixed use development around the ballpark. The cool thing here is that segment of the whole development will happen simultaneously with the building of the stadium. Schiller said that when the stadium opens, the surrounding development will be in place and functioning.

    #2 – There WILL be a naming rights sponsor.

    #3 – The new park will hold around 41,000, in keeping with the current trend of more intimate ballpark settings.

    #4 – When asked if they had any insight into what will happen to Turner Field, Schiller was quick to say that Turner Field is owned by the city of Atlanta. Period. They have no control over any aspect of it and never have. They were/are simply tenants for a 20 year lease.


  176. 181 berigan2electricboogaloo November 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Tell you what, they, whoever they are, better work on the massive traffic issues, some way, somehow…otherwise people won’t go to games…traffic will be less of an issue leaving games, but not going to them…


  177. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Bottom line, it’s a business… Even more of a business when it is part of a publicly traded corporation. Sweet deal for the Braves really.


  178. 183 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    And Ber, traffic cannot be worse that it is, but I digress, It could be if there is an accident or road construction. I guess it will be worse for a couple of years while they add turn lanes to the interstate.


  179. 184 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    CL… whatever happened with your local stadium.


  180. 185 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    better work on the massive traffic issues

    Massive traffic issues already exist. The problem with the current location is that you have 2 major interstates merged (for crying out loud), passing by Turner Field, and dumping traffic off onto horrific side streets that mostly go one way, and trying to wind you into a bunch of small spread out parking lots then walking you through the ‘hood to the park. And leaving is a complete nightmare.

    The city of Atlanta has had 16 years to improve it and have done nothing. No reason to believe that will change. Remember, they are the owners and deal holders of Turner Field. They control everything outside the walls of the park.

    Also, no matter which way you are coming in, you are in rush hour traffic because you are in downtown. Rush hour goes all directions from the hub.

    In Cobb, rush hour only goes north (outward). Not to mention that you have I-75, I-285, Hwy 141, S. Cobb Pkwy, etc. Many major roads to bring everyone into the area. Plus, you can arrive 3 hours early and actually DO something. You could even tailgate without worrying about having your tail hung on a gate. There will be dinner and entertainment options. Same afterward. You can leave the game and go somewhere besides the packed out roads. It will decentralize the traffic push, and be able to better move it out onto real roads and not the crumbling side streets in south Atlanta.

    Essentially, you could plan a whole day around activities and cap it off with the game. As it stands right now, the only thing you can do on Capital Avenue besides go into the stadium is buy a $7 bag of dry peanuts or score with the local crack dealer.


  181. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    the only thing you can do on Capital Avenue besides go into the stadium is buy a $7 bag of dry peanuts or score with the local crack dealer.

    Good one Raisins… It has been several years since I last visited fair Atlanta. True, nothing to do around the stadium… JoAnn was disappointed she could not find the south as described by Margret Mitchell. No mansions and Spanish moss… Not to worry, I showed he Wilmington NC… Actually, there are few plantations left in VA. Most were burned down… Life is tough when you are on the losing side and wars are being fought on the home field…

    Sigh.. How did I get side tracked so quickly?

    Oh yeah, I did get to go to underground Atlanta, is that still there?


  182. 187 Voice of Raisins November 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    The city of Atlanta is in no way representative of “the South”. If you want to see the south in its great glory, travel out to God’s country up here in NE Ga. I grew up around Atlanta, and can remember going to visit my aunt in her home in midtown when I was a kid. It was still a pretty neat place to visit. I’ve gone to the stadium countless times since 1970. I can remember when you could park and leisurely walk. I remember when you could shuttle over from MARTA. I remember when it was fun. There is no fun there anymore. I used to go to at least 10 games a year. I was at every home opener for countless years in a row. I went once this year, and only then because someone gave me tickets and a parking pass. The vaunted traffic caused us to miss the first inning and a half. I won’t miss the downtown location. I promise.


  183. 188 berigan2electricboogaloo November 12, 2013 at 4:49 am

    It’s interesting to see everyone’s views on this! Talked to some die hard Braves fans at a bar after trivia(Same place-I can’t drink cuz of liver issues, just stand there talking to others that can drink, weird) and naturally, south side fans feel left out. Some said there is no way they could go to weeknight games anymore(they go a dozen or so times a year-don’t know if they show up as a red dot or not, they could buy as they get to the stadium) just too long a drive coming back from a game on a work-night.
    Now in theory, more people should go to the games because it’s closer to where the majority of fans live…but those are already folks that go to games, right? When Chipper all but begged fans to come out that last week or so of 2012, don’t recall them doing that. Yet, come playoff time, the seats are filled…so, how many people didn’t go for fear of neighborhood, and how many didn’t go because…..yawn…they only show up to playoff games?
    Time will tell….


  184. 189 berigan2electricboogaloo November 12, 2013 at 4:51 am

    and CL, congrats on the research book being finished finally! Kinda got lost with all the hotstove talk and and now Cobb co talk…


  185. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Ditto that CL. rude of me not to say so earlier. It is a huge accomplishment. Question. is it a how to do the research or the research on a particular family?


  186. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Ber. It is only 17 miles or 15 minutes on the interstate. Of course that is an extra 2 gallons of gas. You have folks from all over the southeast who make the trek to Atlanta to see the Braves. I drove 900 miles or so, each way to see them play in person.

    Tell your friends that they don’t have a clue as to how it really feels to lose a team. Think of all the emotions I went through when they moved their triple A franchise to Gwinnett? Of course that franchise still loses a lot but still… I guess I could drive to Norfolk to see them play the Tides but it would entail an overnight stay at a minimum.


  187. 192 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Exactly, Gil. 17 miles, 15 minutes. Sour grapes abound. Currently, it takes 30 minutes just to get out of a parking lot, not even counting the wretched streets. That gripe doesn’t fly with me.


  188. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2013 at 10:34 am

    It is sad when folks move, I am certain some segments of Braves fans will not be able to attend the games any longer but others will. It’s a wash… If folks want to know why attendance is down, blame it on high def TV. No, watching on TV is not the same as being there but then in many ways it is a lot better. No parking problems for me, other than a few stray tree limbs falling on my cars but that is another story…

    Three years is a huge amount of lead time. Lots of time to work out all the bugs, at least that is what Obama told me when Obamacare was passed… but again, I digress. Sometime even the best marriages can run out of steam after twenty years. The thrill is gone…. :-)…

    Winter is sneaking into town today, Well, not really sneaking, there is a 20 mph wind behind it blowing out of the north. I am hoping the rest of the leaves from my oak trees will let go so I can finish vacuuming them up. We are putting up a nativity this year for Christmas so the yard cannot look ratty….


  189. 194 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I must admit, it’s only 24 hours removed from the huge surprising news of the move, and I am fatigued already. It’s been talked about in all sectors here, and to a great degree from people who have know idea what all is involved. I am so sick of the “white flight” and “greedy cash grab” gripes. I would venture to say that 90% of the people complaining that the Braves are giving the city of Atlanta the middle finger haven’t bought a ticket themselves in years. Those old arguments are low hanging fruit and just simply easy complaints for the mentally lazy.

    I am done… moving on (much like the Braves)…


  190. 195 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

    It is pretty cool to see the interest being generated by Tim Hudson’s FA. He’s a good guy and deserves one more good shot at a ring. And after watching his market develop, and after seeing the other comparable veteran pitchers who might could come here and make a difference, I am moving into the “bring Huddy back” camp. I believe he means more to this team than just taking the bump every 5th day.

    The interest in Roger McDowell this season gives me a little indication that someone might actually consider Roger for a managerial opening one of these days. Heck, maybe even the Braves if Fredi continues to baffle with some of his in-game decisions. Tim would make a heckuva pitching coach, wouldn’t he?

    Just a thought…


  191. 196 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Nice pickup for the Philthies…


  192. 197 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Do y’all realize that there is a very real possibility that Boston could sign a Braves trifecta of Mac, Huddy and Reed Johnson?


  193. 198 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

    General opinions on Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza?


  194. 199 berigan2electricboogaloo November 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Moving on…not, me, neva! πŸ˜‰
    anyway, before moving on…again, people see this so differently….I am more in the middle….can’t afford to see but 1-2 games a year…. with me driving a gas guzzler, 30 more miles round trip would add another $10 on top regular gas bill, plus buying tickets and parking and food/drinks…so 1-2 less games a year from me doesn’t mean anything. but saw a lot of people griping yesterday on facebook, and in person…people that go to a fair number of games, and are pretty attached to the Turner…really like it there..at least not whining about white flight….
    But, to us hearty southside of the ATL stock, we have all felt pretty safe at the ol’ ball park…
    and Whilst still far away from Cobb, I’m not as far you guys! πŸ˜‰
    traffic is a….bear up that ways…as it is most everywhere in and around the ATL as v rightly mentioned….but it would be a huge mistake if they don’t find a way to make it easier to get off the highway for games at rush hour.
    It would be like Obamacare, but without the popularity of that program. πŸ™„


  195. 200 berigan2electricboogaloo November 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

    and I do absolutely understand why the Braves are doing it…ok…moving on (in theory)
    Marlon Byrd…interesting… see he rakes against lefties….thought Nelson Cruz would make more sense, but I know he has a qualifying offer out there, so that saves the Phils draft pick. Or are they a team with a safe #1 pick? Baseball can be so confusing….


  196. 201 Voice of Raisins November 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Phils kinda made it known they are not going after the top $$ FA’s this year, instead trying to sign multiple mid-level guys. Byrd was a good start to that. Doesn’t get them any younger, though.

    There is some speculation that the Reds could be gearing up for a big trade involving their young catcher Devon Mesoraco. The Phils are a team in need of a RH bat in the middle of their lineup and a catcher. Mesoraco is both of those, and a young guy to boot. Could the Phils give up Domonic Brown after 1 breakout season to make it happen?

    It would be the type trade where both give up quality but receive quality, and address specific needs. Perhaps signing Byrd is a precursor to something along those lines since the Phils have John Mayberry, Ben Revere and Brown projecting as starters. And OF’s are alot easier to round up than C’s.


  197. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Byrd is a good addition for any team and pretty reasonably priced. For sure a good stop gap. Phils are getting old(er) but Howard should be back next season. The Phillies real problem last season was the inability of the bullpen to hold a lead. Remember when the Braves were like that?


  198. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Oh, had some snow flurries today…. The run on the bread aisle was short lived however….


  199. 205 Carolina Lady November 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    What happened to the big Braves stadium in New Hanover Co? Tax-payers voted it down and the Braves and their partners didn’t want to pay for it all themselves. The BIG hangup was where the city wanted to put the stadium and where everybody else wanted it. City: beside the river/rivermarsh and on the wrong side of town. As in – nightly gunfire gang warfare wrong side of town. The alternative was a terrific location for every and SAFE. Well, as safe as any of us are these days. I think it has finally just faded away. Ah, well.

    And thank you on the book! Nearly 7 years of research in its 880 pages. And that’s just my client’s father’s side of the family. I’ve done 90% of the research for his mother’s side of the family and will do it next after a nice long break for nothing but goof-off time and catch on up some things that have languished for lack of time and energy.

    Gil, it is a complete study of this man’s family with full and complete documentation and source citations, photos, maps, etc. One item I was especially happy to locate was a marriage bond dated Feb 1, 1787. Photocopied. Over these years, I have learned so much more European history than I ever did in school those many years ago. The Bibliography listed 468 books from which I found information used. It did not include the many other books I read that did not yield any useful information. Good times! πŸ˜†


  200. 206 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2013 at 8:06 am

    That sounds completely fascinating, CL. Too cool! Congratulations and take that well earned break!!


  201. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2013 at 9:52 am

    CL, to say 880 pages is a book does not do it justice, 880 pages is a TOME…. Wow, now all you need is be recognized for your PhD. After all, it is what is required. Now you know why PhDs are so valued. I commend you for your achievement.


  202. 208 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Folks on radio feel that Mac to Yankers is just a matter of formality. Apparently those snooping around the GM meetings say that NYY is making noise that they want/need him badly and will simply outbid all other contenders.


  203. 209 Carolina Lady November 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Many thanks for those kind and precious words, my friends!

    Gil, I have a doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks. πŸ˜†


  204. 210 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    880 pages???? That makes me tired to thinking about it! πŸ˜†


  205. 211 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    V, it would sure make sense from the Yankees perspective…but, they really are tired of funding the teams that don’t make money, or just like pocket the Steinbrenners money…trying hard to stay under 189 Mil. They’d have a ton of moola if the A-Rod contract is voided, or at least they didn’t have to pay him in 2014.
    Seems with Mariano and Curtis Granderson off the books, they would have money. Then there is Robinson Cano….Not really wanting to give them any (good) advice, but I’d drop him, and use all that moola to get McCann, Nelson Cruz and Beltran…man, when the purse-strings are opened there, anyone can be a good GM! πŸ˜‰


  206. 212 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm


  207. 214 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Doggone V, quit Bogarting the knowledge on how to post a tweet to wordpress! 😦


  208. 215 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve been saying BMac to the Yankees since last season. That short porch to left has to be very enticing for Mac. Plus, he is great friends with Tex and Jeter. Just saying…. Plus, I am sure his wife can use the money to spoil the kids…


  209. 216 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Braves re-sign Jonny V for the same deal he had last year, avoiding arb. According to DOB, they hope to re-sign EOF as well.


  210. 217 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    OK, Ber… here’s your tutorial…

    Step 1: Click “expand” at the bottom of the tweet, opening up the whole conversation and a few more commands.

    Step 2: Click “details”, which opens up the tweet in its own window.

    Step 3: Copy the link.

    Step 4: Paste it into this box like ->


  211. 218 Voice of Raisins November 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    And for the record, I do not tweet. I am not a twitterer. But I do have a few twitter accounts bookmarked because they are a great source of information. Maybe one day I’ll join the twitter nation, but not today…


  212. 219 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    V, thanks! I see a slightly different setup, I use Mozilla, do you use I.E.?

    Read the full story on the Mauer's permanent move to first base: http://t.co/B1fSkYomo2 pic.twitter.com/BKa2TlR8Fl— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) November 11, 2013


  213. 220 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I am a Chrome user. IE is of the devil. πŸ˜€

    And no surprise about Mauer. We all called that a couple of years ago. It’s just the natural life cycle of an elite hitting catcher… 1B or DH. Or the rare 2B, right Mr. Biggio? (Even the extremely rare 3B, right Mr. Zeile?)

    Catching robs the legs. Gotta have legs to hit, else it’s like shooting a cannon from a canoe.


  214. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville November 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Morning folks, I am feeling very befuddled this morning… Dealing with taxes and insurance… aaaauuuggghhhhhh! Why does it have to be confusing? Whatever happened to speaking to real people who could speak English with a dialect which a redneck like me can understand????

    Good to see Venter re-sign. still, it will be July before he will be able to return to the line-up one would think.


  215. 222 Voice of Raisins November 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Gil, Braves say April/May return. He must be on track and getting good reports from the docs and training staff or they wouldn’t have re-signed him. I see that as all positive. The proverbial win/win.


  216. 223 Carolina Lady November 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    If you have time to waste, here’s a gallery of Randy Johnson’s new profession: photography. http://wapc.mlb.com/cutfour/2013/11/13/63895456/randy-johnson-tweeting-awesome-animal-photos


  217. 224 Carolina Lady November 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Forgot to mention that the link to his gallery is at the bottom “Twitter Account.”


  218. 225 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    With Venters signing, one has to wonder if the Braves will let Easy O walk?

    I look for all the talking heads to fawn over the Nationals again this spring but the Braves won 96 games last season despite Uggla and BJ both in epic fail years. Honestly, they were the reasons the Braves had so many so so stretches as opposed to more winning streaks. In my opinion….


  219. 226 Voice of Raisins November 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm


  220. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

    It appears all is quiet on the Atlanta Braves front…


  221. 228 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Likely to stay that way until the Winter Meetings start on Dec. 9.


  222. 229 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Wow. You gotta be kidding. Nice to see Amaro going all in with the youth movement in Philly.


  223. 230 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    It’s being reported that Huddy is going to SF for 2 yrs./ $23M. Wow that’s alot of jack for a 38 year old coming off ankle surgery. DOB says Braves upped their offer to 2 years, but nowhere near that amount. Don’t blame them or Tim. Giants are nuts.


  224. 231 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    CL, those are nice pics by Randy Johnson…never would have guessed it…
    Well, Ruiz can hit, and has handled the staff for years. Where were they going to get someone better/and or cheaper? 8.67 mil per year doesn’t seem that bad…McCann will likely get double that…and double the years.
    Latino catchers seem to hold up, he said trying not to sound too much like Jimmy the Greek! πŸ˜‰
    Heck, a lot of catchers manage to be productive in their mid to late 30s, weird…
    as for Hudson, just looked him up. Did ya know he made 15.5 million a season for 2 years, then was getting “only” 9 Mil per season last few years? A bit underpaid, at least compared to other starters. So…the braves upped their offer to 2 years, I assume for the same 9 mil per, so 18 Mil? 2.5 Mil more per season isn’t really all that much more when you get down to it. Especially to sign a pitcher that won’t cost you a draft pick or that you have to trade for…now, they have to pick up a guy that costs a draft pick, or prospects….
    By the by, Tim Lincecum got a 2 year 35 contract. era last two seasons, 5.14, 4.38. Hudson hasn’t had an ERA above 4.00 since 2006…


  225. 232 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Lincecum deal = insane. Hudson deal = too much. I like Huddy, but that’s too much for the Braves to invest in a pitcher who will be their #4 at best. Now the Giants, well… they just got off the hook for the Zito debacle, so overpaying for Huddy seems reasonable for them.

    And make no mistake… 2 yrs/$23M for a 38 year old pitcher who just got a screw taken out of his ankle and hasn’t even been cleared to run yet is an overpay. Good luck with that. I am glad Frank didn’t go there.

    Like I said, he isn’t a serious upgrade to any of our current options, and hasn’t been more of a 6 inning guy for years. Who thinks he will now?

    I wish him the best of luck and hope he has a spectacular 2 seasons, except when he toes the rubber against the Braves. Then I hope we knock him out earlier than his customary 6th inning.


  226. 233 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Just so I am clear, I wasn’t trying to just be an antagonist in my post. The Braves are in a position where they do not have to spend ANY money on starting pitching. Now, chances are that Frank will bring in some cagey vet to compete for a spot because that’s just his MO. But the Braves are set at spots 1-3 with Minor, Teheran and Medlen, in no particular order. Beachy’s elbow is sound, and both Alex Wood and David Hale showed they are more than capable of making quality major league starts. Don’t forget that you have Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham both ready to compete in the spring. It is almost an embarrassment of riches. Now, it’s true that you can never have too much pitching, and it’s true that our staff is very young. But the point here is that we have become accustomed to paying “not all that much more” for guys like Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. But overpaying is still overpaying, and the Braves thankfully no longer have to do it.

    And remember, too, that even Fredi has gone on record saying he thinks we don’t have a guy to match up with the Kershaws and the Wainrights. If Frank is going to extend the payroll on a pitcher, it’ll be a clear #1 guy to lead our staff, not a guy who will be a #4 giving us just 6 innings. And if he does sign a veteran guy to compete for the #4 or #5 spot, it’ll be on a 1 year deal at < $9M.


  227. 234 Voice of Raisins November 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    β€œThe Braves made a really good push (with the increased offer),” [Tim] Hudson said. β€œThey did the best they could. Frank (Wren, general manager) was great.” — ajc


  228. 235 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

    No, they did the best at what they were willing to spend but that’s okay. It is their business and while I would have liked to keep Huddy around, I do not fault him for thinking about his future. After all, the Giants just have more cash available with which to gamble. That and they do not really have any young studs in their current stable in the minors on whom they can place their trust at a major league level.

    By the way, I hear Zito can be had cheap… :).. Okay, it was a joke… No way I would want him but someone will take a chance for a couple of million, you can bet on that…

    I think the Braves might add someone who is looking to serve as a 4 or 5 who can lend a little guidance in the pen but it will be a home grown staring staff for the Braves for the most part the next couple of seasons.

    Best we can hope for is for Brandon Beachy to return to his front of the rotation dominance in 2014. Teheran will be another year older and a little wiser next season.

    I don’t think Woods’ arm will hold up as a starter for a complete season but he should be an asset as a spot starter/long relief guy. I guess the next shoe to drop will be to see if anyone is willing to gamble on Eric O’s return. That an finding out if BMac will be donning Yankee pin stripes.


  229. 236 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Gil, I think we agree on most points with the pitching. I believe the Braves are willing to go with 5 homegrown starters, but will be open to 1 of 2 options: they would like a bona fide ace if the price is not prohibitive, which it likely is, or they would like a veteran #4 or #5, but not for over a 1 year commitment (maybe a 2nd year option), and not for the $$ that Huddy ultimately commanded. More likely at the sub-$9M they initially offered.

    Alex Wood is an interesting guy. He is absolutely a talented starter. He is absolutely a talented reliever. I’m not fully convinced that his funky delivery will cause injury, but I would tend to err on the side of caution and pitch him out of the pen, given his success there.

    I think the Braves will try to re-sign EOF, but it could simply be a Huddy all over again. The Braves probably have a number in mind that they are comfortable with given the injury history, both elbow and back. There could be another team like the Giants – maybe even the Giants – who are willing to take a chance and extend more $$ to snatch EOF up before any “bidding” begins. My attitude will be the same as with Huddy. If someone is willing to overpay to take a chance on him, then so be it and good luck to all involved. I don’t want my team overpaying for anyone, familiar or not, especially with health questions.

    Barring injury (God forbid), or a blockbuster trade, our rotation 1-4 almost certainly will be, in no particular order, Beachy, Medlen, Minor and Teheran. I love that there will be a handful of rooks and maybe a vet or 2 battling it out for the #5 slot. Competition breeds excellence.


  230. 238 berigan2electricboogaloo November 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Thing is, why make a 2 year offer to Tim, if you didn’t think you needed him? Not saying he was a savior , but he was still pitching 6.5 innings per start. A lot will depend if Beachy can regain what he had….
    Call me a gloomy Gus, but I see a bunch of #3 starters..just good enough to wash out of the 1st round of the playoffs….again.
    Perhaps Tehren will find that supposed 98 MPH heater again and he can become a #2 or #1.
    “or they would like a veteran #4 or #5, but not for over a 1 year commitment (maybe a 2nd year option), and not for the $$ that Huddy ultimately commanded. More likely at the sub-$9M they initially offered.”

    Gee, I know who would fit that to a tee…. Paul Maholm πŸ™„


  231. 239 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thing is, why make a 2 year offer to Tim, if you didn’t think you needed him?

    Professional courtesy… period. So that Tim could walk out the door saying exactly what he said: β€œThey did the best they could. Frank was great.”

    I see a bunch of #3 starters

    Maybe. A bunch of 2’s and 3’s for sure. You get no argument from me on a desire for a real #1. But Huddy is not that. Huddy is no better than a #3 himself, and no better than the homegrown young’uns we have still here.

    I’ll tell ya, I still keep hearing some chatter that both Fredi and Frank want that bona fide #1 ace. Would they actually go get Price or Scherzer?

    Remember this historical tidbit…

    In 1991 and 1992, the Braves took the league by storm with a stable of young pitchers that included Glavine, Smoltz, Avery, Pete Smith and crafty veteran Charlie Leibrandt, who won 15 games for the Braves in both ’91 & ’92. In 1993, the Braves elected to let Leibrandt walk and to put their money instead in… Greg Maddux, a bona fide ace to go along with an already talented group of youngsters.

    That worked out pretty good.

    Learn from history, Frank. Learn from history…


  232. 240 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Agree on that guys…. Pretty talented group of young starters as far as the Braves are concerned plus a very solid pen, the Achilles heel of most major league ball clubs. The Braves found you cannot really slug your way that problem in a very painful trade with Texas which ultimatly cost JS his GM job


  233. 241 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm


  234. 242 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Cool article, CL. It spells it out pretty well…


  235. 243 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    When the Rays traded James Shields, they got back a Top 5 prospect and ROY candidate Wil Myers, Top 100 prospect and major league ready starter Jake Odorizzi, a former Top 50 prospect in SP Mike Montgomery, and a mid-level prospect.

    If I am Frank, I know I have to give up the top prospect and that TB needs a catcher. Bethancourt is obvious. I know they’ll want one of my young controllable pitchers. Teheran is off limits, and Meds is probably too close to FA for their liking. They’ll want Minor. I’ll go there. The other Top 50 guy? First, let me say that the first time Lucas Sims’ name comes up, I say “See ya”. He’s off limits. But maybe prized SS prospect Jose Peraza would get it done. He’s a legit leadoff, speedster, + glove guy. We have Simba and can afford to trade Peraza. Then I toss in perpetual prospect Edward Salcedo to round out the deal.

    So I give Minor, Bethancourt, Peraza, Salcedo…

    And here’s the shocker for all of you who know me. I do it even if I can’t get the extension done now. I want him for his 2 full years, and I’ll give up the above quartet to get him. I think the Braves are that close, and that he is that talented. And then if I can get the extension and keep him longer… great. That’s gravy. If not, at least I took my best shot.


  236. 244 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I just don’t see the Braves, under their current management/ownership, ever going after a legitimate number one pitcher on the free agent market. Remember, back in the good old days, the Braves had an owner who understood that if you were going to run with the big dogs, you had to be willing to shell out the big bucks.

    The Braves only hope for a bonafide number one is to grow one on the vine. Of course, by then, someone else will pluck him off the vine but that is what mid market teams have to do. Even with a 2 million dollar TV package, the Braves’ owners, Liberty Media, would pocket most of it and say what a good boy am I….

    I know you are not the biggest fan of Mike Minor but he is just beginning to reach his potential. Of course the rest ore prospects and we all know about prospects, there greatest value is their potential.


  237. 245 Gil in Mechanicsville November 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    should read 2 billion dollar TV contract


  238. 246 Voice of Raisins November 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Oh I do like Minor. I think he is arguably our current #1. But David Price is elite. You have to give quality to get quality. I want the upgrade.


  239. 247 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Checking out the big 3’s ERA earlier today, I was a bit harsh, perhaps they are 2’s 2-‘s, at worst…it’s just…yeah we all know, including F.G. we could sure use a #1. So do a lot of other teams.
    V, I’d be fine with that trade too, even if David Price didn’t go for an extension. what we are seeing know…is crazy. Did ya know Roy Halliday got 20 Mil last year?(Saves them 20 mil that he didn’t pitch 225 innings last year) Cliff Lee, at 35, will get 25 Mil in 2014!!!! What would David Price be worth in 2 years when he is 30??? 30 Mil, easily…perhaps…gulp. more
    No way is he going to sign an extension, nor will the braves pay that(as Gil said about Free agents)
    but, 2 good chances to win the W.S.? I’m for taking the chance….


  240. 248 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2013 at 8:10 am

    One more thing to remember…

    The Braves are moving into a brand new park in 3 years… selling PSL’s (Personal Seat Licenses) as part of the new revenue stream. They need marquis names to sell the team and to sell the brand to their potential PSL buyers. Marquis names help sell more PSL’s, more PSL’s bring more $$ into the flow, more $$ help pay for the marquis names. It’s a cycle, but you have to prime the pump to get it started. Plus, there will definitely be a naming sponsor… sounds like an ideal primer.

    They’ll be able to pay. The only question is will they be willing to pay. Right now, Schiller says the upcoming move does not affect their current business model. But they’ve played coy since Liberty became owners. They take “covert” to another level. Anyone with one eye and half sense knows the Braves project rosters and payroll years in advance. Frank & Co. have to take anticipated future revenue into account. That’s just basic Business 101. They need big names moving into the new house. It bodes well for Jason, Freddie, Julio… and other potential stars looking for that first big contract.


  241. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Tell you what, a smart agent would tie his client to some type of cost of living clause. Won’t be long before the poop hit the Westinghouse and 100 million will be chump change…. Scrares the bejeesus out of me knowing I am on a fixed income.

    So, baseball…. Josh Johnson signs with the Padres for around $8 million with a couple of incentives built into the contract. Take that one off the board guys.

    Just thinking, the Braves have evolved to a business model that more closely resembles the Oakland A’s than the SF Giants….


  242. 250 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    The Giants are benefiting from the same thing that is propelling the Yankers, Bosox, Dodgers, etc. They have a nice fat TV deal that is pouring $$ into the coffers. Their deal with Comcast gives them 30-33% of total TV revenues… in the #5 TV market in the country. Not a bad deal. Not Dodgerian ($4 Billion… yes Billion), but not bad nonetheless. And think about it… their take is predicated on revenue generated. They are highly motivated to create a desirable product to draw more eyeballs to the TV.

    It’s why I applaud the Braves upcoming move 17 miles up I-75 north. Gotta find as many new revenue streams as possible.


  243. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, makes you realize the gold mine Ted Turner discovered by televising Atlanta Braves games all over the country via TBS and why the MLB Union always tried to access Ted’s books and why he and MLB worked so hard to keep them from becoming public. Of course, the rest of the league figured out they too could reap a cornucopia of riches if they each worked out their own deals and cut TBS out of the loop for the most part.

    Tough going when you are the only have a knife in a gun fight….


  244. 252 Voice of Raisins November 20, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Wow!! Prince Fielder traded to the Rangers?!? Who saw that coming? 😯


  245. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Man, I hope he can take the heat of a Texas summer…

    One of the things Huddy mentioned about going to San Fran was the cooler weather in the Bay Area. He has had some problems with cramping up while pitching in Atlanta.

    But to answer your question Raisins… No I didn’t.

    What did the Tigers get in return?


  246. 256 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Great info, CL. Reading the comments below it though has me shaking my head and wondering if anyone does any research to back their assertions these days. People just pull statements from their nether regions and toss them out as fact. I could refute almost every one of the negative statements, but I really don’t have the time nor the will.

    But for those who think the game attendance will suffer, all I can say is ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…


  247. 257 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Tim Dierkes over at MLBTR made a really good point in his analysis of the Fielder/Kinsler trade. He asserts that the acquisition of Fielder may quell the Rangers’ desire to sign Mac. Not because of the salaries (Detroit is basically paying the difference between Fielder’s and Kinsler’s contracts), but more because they are likely now to want to slide Fielder to DH in 3 or 4 years.

    I have to give Dierkes a nod on that one; it’s a very valid point.

    Just makes the road to NYY a little less bumpy, IMO.


  248. 258 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Yeah, a strange trade, if you ask me….Tigers have never worried about spending money in the past. Miggy may need to play 1st(though what little I saw of him at 3rd, he seemed fine, at least til he was beaten up at the end of the season) but they just lost his protection….Fielder, while sometimes a lesser threat, was not an easy out….Miggy will walk 150 times this year. At least. Unless they can get someone else to drive in runs cheap.
    Oh well..
    Yeah V, as much as we fans on the southside complain about the braves move, from a distance prospective…they will draw more fans in the new locale.


  249. 259 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Good afternoon gang, I am still holding fast to my prediction of BMac to the Yankees. Just fits best for all concerned. Mac’s reputation as a hard worker will endear him to the Yankee skipper and his low key leadership skills in the club house are pretty well known by his peers. The Braves would keep him were it not for money.

    Given the economic situation in Detroit, one has to wonder who has the money to support the team’s high payroll. Just saying… A lot of blowing smoke if you ask me… The money must be out there when it is convenient.

    Reading about the Texas/Detroit trade, it made a lot of sense once you understand the parameters. I have to wonder though, if there were some other things going on with Fielder which gave the Tigers pause….


  250. 260 Carolina Lady November 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Residential areas within the new ballpark complex. How neat is that? Walk to the game – or likely, catch a shuttle to the game. Mega-bucks required, I’m sure.

    I understand all the reasons and don’t disagree, but I just hate to see Mac go elsewhere. Wonder who will be the next team “leader”? I’m beginning to think that I just don’t like change. Getting to be like my cat! πŸ˜†


  251. 261 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    On the Fielder/Kinsler deal, there are apparently more layers to the onion that are seen at first glance. It would appear that my earlier statement was not entirely true… the Tigers are covering the difference on contracts only for a set period, not the length of Prince’s deal. In essence, they gave $30M toward the deal. In other words, they gave Texas $30M to take Fielder, and to give them Kinsler and his deal, unjamming the Texas middle infield. And while Detroit won’t see much real payroll relief for a couple of years, they will see enough to now be able to lock down Scherzer if they want to. It has the potential to be a great deal for both if Fielder can return to form.

    Yes, that’s right… we aren’t as keyed in on what’s happening in the AL Central, but apparently Fielder was Detroit’s version of Dan Uggla, just not quite as bad. He has been on a steady decline and not coming close to living up to expectations.

    But he should feast in Arlington, a ballpark built for LH power. (Which could be a big draw for a guy like… Mac?)

    And isn’t it a joy to Braves fans to know that it is possible to take an underperforming player with an onerous contract and still find a taker for him? I know it gives me a little hope, anyway…


  252. 262 Voice of Raisins November 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Cue the music:

    Dun dun dun…


  253. 263 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Hmmm… Astros current owner suing the former owner over being strung with a bad TV deal. This is worth monitoring. Could have a direct effect on the Braves. http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/11/astros-owner-sues-drayton-mclane-comcast-and-nbc-claiming-fraud/


  254. 264 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    V, that is interesting! I never could understand why the braves haven’t found what clearly seems like a shady deal.
    I wonder if you are on to something with Fielder in Detroit…something we don’t know…amazingly, he played in a 162 games last year…


  255. 265 Voice of Raisins November 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Jason Stark: Teams dabbling in the David Price trade market report there’s an interesting wrinkle in the structure of Price’s contract that could make dealing for him even more expensive than previously thought.

    Price signed a one-year, $10.1125 million deal last January, but $4.1125 million of it was wrapped in a deferred signing bonus that isn’t payable until next year. At the time, we were told the contract was structured that way for tax reasons, and had no connection to the possibility of Price getting traded. But that hasn’t stopped some teams from wondering.

    While the rules say the Rays are responsible for paying Price that deferred money, there is nothing that precludes them from negotiating a trade that would require the team dealing for him to take on that debt. So the Rays could use that $5 million as just one more leverage point. (i.e., “We’ll take a slightly lesser prospect if you pay him that money we owe him.”) And it wouldn’t shock other teams one bit if that money becomes one more piece in the complicated puzzle of a Price deal, if one ever gets done this winter.

    Wonder if that wrinkle could play to the Braves favor? They might be willing to pony up the extra $$ to hang onto their top prospects. The prospects are their real hangup anyway…


  256. 266 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Good point Rasins, basically it would be about what a qualifying offer would total to. Pretty cheap for a number one if you ask me. I can;t see how it would benefit the Braves to trade Minor to get him though.

    Like it or not, ACE caliber pitchers command a pretty high salary

    Likely the Braves will go with someone like AJ Burnett. More their price range.. .


  257. 267 berigan2electricboogaloo November 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Well, that would be good for the braves, but I think that there will be enough competition for him, that they will get some pretty good ‘pieces” we shall see.


  258. 268 berigan2electricboogaloo November 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Well Gil, you were right, looks very likely that McCann is a Yankee. A bit less than I would thought he would get. Perhaps he didn’t want his contract to be so high fans would love to hate him. Guess he didn’t want the heat of Texas either….


  259. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    While I’ll be loathed to root for the Yankees, I’ll always be a Brian McCann fan. I wish him every success in the Big Apple. At least I won’t have to worry about him coming back to haunt the Braves. All that said, I expect he will hit about 30 HRs next season and be on the ALL Star team as a Yankee. Might even get the start…

    5 years 85 million and a 6th years if he vest brings the package to 100 mil about what we have all said would be his price.


  260. 270 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Good for Brian. He deserves it, and I agree with you Gil that he will tear it up in the Bronx. That short porch was tailor made for Mac.


  261. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    β€œThe crime and violence that has plagued the community since the 1970s – when the city wooed the Braves franchise from Milwaukee and built Atlanta Fulton County Stadium – wasn’t just going to pack up and leave simply because a baseball stadium popped up, and the good residents of metro Atlanta weren’t about to risk their lives by moving there, either.

    John Rocker, commenting on the Braves move to Cobb County in 2017…


  262. 272 Voice of Raisins November 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Rocker speaks truth…


  263. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville November 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    You guys realize that J-Hey will join BMac in New York when he hit the free agent market don’t ya’ll?

    Freedie Free to the Angels or will join Medlin with the Dodgers… Just saying.. Free agency will drive the prices beyond what the management is willing to pay.


  264. 274 Carolina Lady November 24, 2013 at 1:49 am

    I wonder what effect the tanking economy will have on contracts in a couple of years? I sure hate to see our home-grown stars being drawn away by big bucks and big city lights. I don’t blame them, I guess – I just hate to see it. Maybe Jason would stay? Maybe?? Huh??

    It always comes down to money. I’ve never had a lot of it, but I’ve always managed on what I had. Some of these guys get more in a month than I earned in a year. That amazes me! πŸ˜†


  265. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville November 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Money is the measure by which young (and many old) people judge themselves as being recognized as the best at what they do. Sadly, many find the money fleeting. Spending as fast as the make it. Ever notice how many houses formally owned by major league players go on the market soon after the retire?

    This is particularly true with basketball players. Oh well, part of the trickle down economy… A fool and his money is soon parted as the old adage goes, goes even faster if that fool is stupid to boot….

    On a lighter note… Someone hit the chill button here overnight. While only 30, it is a far cry from the mild 60 degree temperatures we have experienced this week. I can remember when I was too poor (broke) to afford anti-freeze for my car and had to drain the radiator every night to keep it from freezing the engine block.


  266. 279 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    From MLBTR:

    We just hit on some Red Sox notes, but also within the report of WEEI.com’s Alex Speier are some quotes from Sox backstop David Ross, who spoke with former teammate Brian McCann about coming to Boston. McCann expressed to Ross that years were the primary factor in his decision to join the Yankees. It didn’t hurt, Ross added, that McCann relishes the idea of swinging into Yankee Stadium’s welcoming right field fence.

    Well, duh…


  267. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Ant their you have it, the reason I was so sure that BMac would sign with the Yankees… Players know that home runs equal Hall of Fame votes…

    Now, here is a little tidbit that might explain why Dan Uggla did not have the immediate success he and the Braves had hoped for and why he may have been reluctant to have Lasik to begin with.



  268. 281 berigan2electricboogaloo November 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

    CL, Tim Hudson is a class act…


  269. 282 berigan2electricboogaloo November 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Gil, so often it’s sold as a win-win procedure, when it clearly isn’t, at least not all of the time. I have wondered if McCann might have been better off just wearing glasses or contacts…


  270. 283 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’m pulling for Dan. He’s a good guy who always left everything on the field. Sadly, there just wasn’t much to leave on the field last season. I still believe it was a mistake to leave him off the post-season roster. Even a diminished Dan Uggla > Elliot Johnson. EJ is nothing more than a 2013-2014 version of Keith Lockhart. Bleh. I would be happy to keep Dan if he shows some improvement in his vision and hitting. I just don’t think Dan would be happy here anymore. And who can blame him after Fredi turned his back on him?

    I would love to see him go to some AL team and knock 30+ HR’s again, then thank the Braves for paying 90% of his paycheck.

    And as much as I want to see him revive his career, I don’t believe it can happen here. Too much history now. For all the goodwill Fredi built with me during a truly adversity filled season, he enabled it to greatly unravel with his treatment of Uggla, and his boneheaded in-game decisions in the playoffs. There were several. It will take a long time to erase that picture of a visually frustrated Craig Kimbrell, with hands on hips, peering longingly through the bullpen fence like some school kid without a ticket to the game, just dying to get in.

    I was dying for him to get in too…


  271. 284 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    So now after signing BMac, the Yankers have stepped up their efforts to sign Carlos Beltran (and are considered the front-runners to do so), and are also on record as saying they intend to retain Robinson Cano and will attempt to do so, even with the efforts being made toward Beltran.

    Meanwhile, the Braves added a couple of minor league coaches and signed a couple of minor league free agents.

    Being a fan of a mid-market team can really suck during the Hot Stove season…


  272. 285 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    That said, what would I like to see Frank do?

    Well, trade for David Price, for one thing… But more realistically, I sure would like to see him acquire a leadoff hitting 2B. Any ideas we can pass along to the front office?


  273. 286 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    So while I’m speculating, here’s the 25 man roster if the season started today… (of course, it be kinda cold…)

    Current starting lineup:
    1- JHey, RF (L)
    2- JUp, LF (R)
    3- Freddie, 1B (L)
    4- Gattis, C (R)
    5- CJ, 3B (R)
    6- Simba, SS (R)
    7- BJ, CF (R)
    8- Danny, 2B (R)

    Good grief it’s RH heavy, and lacks a real leadoff hitter. One good LH or SH leadoff hitting 2B would completely transform the lineup.

    My “wish” lineup would be:
    1- Tommy La Stella, 2B (L)
    2- Simba, SS (R)
    3- JHey, RF (L)
    4- JUp, LF (R)
    5- Freddie, 1B (L)
    6- Gattis, C (R)
    7- CJ, 3B (R)
    8- BJ, CF (R)

    Current rotation:
    Minor, LH
    Julio, RH
    Meds, RH
    Beachy, RH
    Alex Wood, L

    My opinion on the rotation is well documented…

    My “wish” rotation
    David Price, LH
    Julio, RH
    Minor, LH
    Meds, RH
    Beachy, RH

    Current bullpen:
    Kimbrell, closer
    Avilan, LH setup
    Carpenter, RH setup
    Walden, RH
    Varvaro, RH
    Jonny Venters, LH (available in May; counting him now)
    Cristhian Martinez, RH long

    Really, not much tweaking needed here. Understanding that Jonny won’t be available on Opening Day, but I’d really only make one tweak here.

    Current bullpen:
    Kimbrell, closer
    Avilan, LH setup
    Carpenter, RH setup
    Walden, RH
    Varvaro, RH
    Jonny Venters, LH (available in May; counting him now)
    Freddy Garcia, RH long [would he be happy in the ‘pen?]

    Current bench:
    Laird, C (R)
    Schafer, OF (L)
    Ramiro Pena, utility (S)
    Joey T, 1B/OF (S)
    Elliott Johnson (S) / Janish (R) /Pastor (R), IF

    the light hitting Janish vs. the light fielding Pastor vs. the sucky Elliot Johnson. I’ve got fielders, I want offense off my bench.

    My “wish” bench:
    Laird, C (R)
    Schafer, OF (L)
    Ramiro Pena, utility (S)
    Joey T, 1B/OF (S)
    Pastor (R), IF/OF

    So really, I’m only asking Frank to do a couple of things: find Uggla a new home (out of professional courtesy) and swing the deal for Price. Granted, it’s 2 big orders, but only 2. Do ’em, Frank. Do ’em.


  274. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville November 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Lots of info there to process Raisins. I do not think the Braves will be doing any block buster trades this off season.

    Yes, very right handed heavy versus all those lefties in the past. The good thing I guess is Turner Field is pretty neutral as far as hitters go. Just need guys who can hit period.

    Every time I hear about someone having eye issues, I think about Chris Sabo and those goggles he use to wear. These guys need to forget about how they look and think about how they play. 100 RBIs looks good, no matter how it’s packaged.

    Mid market baseball team is like being a mid major basketball team. You can win it all but the odds are really against you. You are always playing against people whom are bigger, stronger, faster and smarter. Not to mention richer.

    The braves can pay any amount they want, after all, other than TBS and Ted Turner what is different for the Braves from when they were near the top of MLB in payroll and now where they are firmly in the realm of also rans?


  275. 288 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I really don’t expect the Braves to dig deep enough to pull off a deal for an “ace”, but I do expect them to bring in a veteran to add to the young’uns. Kyle Lohse wouldn’t surprise me.


  276. 289 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Don’t misunderstand me…

    It doesn’t have anything to do with the capabilities of our kids, who are a truly talented bunch. But did you know that Mike Minor was the only Braves starter to pitch more than 160 innings this year? That’ll kill a bullpen. Lohse pitched 198.2 innings in 2013. It sure would be nice to have a “horse” on the staff. I’d rather see more of our starters and less of Jordan Walden and Anthony Varvaro, no disrespect intended. And I would expect all our guys to be able to go a little deeper in 2014, but I’m also realistic.

    And as much respect as I have for Roger McDowell and the job he does with all our pitchers, getting starters to consistently get past the 6th inning is not a shining star on his lapel.


  277. 290 Voice of Raisins November 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Lohse would be OK. Someone like Phil Hughes is more likely… πŸ™„


  278. 291 Carolina Lady November 27, 2013 at 1:31 am

    I can’t wait for Christmas! My daughter has bought some baseball books for me!!! Don’t know which ones yet, but maybe I can get her to tell me. Never mind. She ain’t talkin’! πŸ˜†


  279. 292 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Fun!!! I asked for (and got) The Baseball Scrapbook a couple of Christmases ago and love it. Just fascinating. πŸ˜€


  280. 293 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Rockies are quite aggressive this offseason. They made a hard push for Mac, and are now in the mix for Justin Morneau. They also were in on Huddy. So far, big swings and big misses (ironic in Denver, eh?). But you gotta give ’em credit!


  281. 294 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

    As a pitcher, I would be loathed to sign with Denver. As a hitter, I would salivate…. Especially if I were a gap type hitter. Now, having said that, Denver has to have at least one bopper to replace Helton but I would rather have a lot of speed in the outfield.

    BMac went exactly where he needed to go, Huddy went where he felt comfortable. He does not have to be “the guy” on that team and he is familiar with the left coast. When you start looking at the cost of living out west, I would have to have an extra million or two just to even things out.

    Huddy will not buy a house in San Fran but I expect he will lease a place for the summer.

    I read where the Braves have cleared the first hurdle as far as government approval for their new home. I’m pretty sure Oakland is thinking about the lack of fairness of it all.


  282. 295 Voice of Raisins November 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I read where the Braves have cleared the first hurdle as far as government approval for their new home.

    Formalities… the Cobb County Commission had already handed out the exclusive celebration invitations a day prior to the “vote” anyway. This was a done deal when it was announced. It’s been a done deal, the plans have been drawn, the property has been bought… the only surprise is how in the heck they managed to keep it quiet while all the heavy lifting was being done.


  283. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville November 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Raisins, in my dealings with my local government, I receive quite the education on how things are really done. If you wait until the public hearing to make your deals, you are toast… So, I am not surprised to read your comments. Silly me to forget that caveat.


  284. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville November 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Good afternoon all, just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day to you fine folks of the B&S blog.

    I am very thankful to God for all he has bestowed upon me and my family and friends and for allowing me to be born in the greatest country in the world. I pray He will allow us to continue to be a great nation.

    We are nearing yet another milestone in the history of the Braves and Stuff. From what the Carolina Lady has brought forth, I hope we can continue to share our opinions and observations here at our little corner of the blogaosphere.


  285. 298 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! Nice quiet day here. Very pleasant. I’m very thankful to have known all of you here. You’re good people!


  286. 299 berigan2electricboogaloo November 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Sometimes, I need to be more grateful for what I have, instead of whining over what I don’t have…
    We worked on our broken washing machine most of yesterday, what fun! πŸ˜•
    Oh well, thank God for Youtube, and google, saw how to get to switch and where to order one… a decade ago, we’d have to call a repairman, or buy a new one…shoot, it’s 20 years old, first problem we’ve had with it!


  287. 300 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Q: Tim Hudson’s 113 wins are fifth in Atlanta Braves history. Which four pitchers have more?
    A: Phil Niekro (266), Tom Glavine (244), John Smoltz (210), Greg Maddux (194)


  288. 301 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Q: Who was MVP of the 2010 All-Star Game?
    A: Brian McCann, ATL


  289. 302 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Q: How many times did Greg Maddux win 20 games in a season?
    A: Twice (1992, 1993)


  290. 303 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Q: Who were the last pair of teammates to strike out at least 300 batters in the same season?
    A: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling (ARI, 2002)


  291. 304 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Q: Who surrendered Babe Ruth’s last career home run?
    A: Guy Bush (Pirates, 5/25/1935)


  292. 305 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Good questions, CL.

    I believe Medlen, Minor and Teheran could each win 15+ games this season. That would be pretty cool, huh? Of all the things we will miss from Mac this season, I hope that game calling isn’t one of them. I know that Gattis is a man of study and work. I have no doubts that he studied Mac last season and has worked hard to know this staff. It’s awful hard to replace an All-Star, but I think we are in as good a position to do so as any team.


  293. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Evening all, I was thinking that the Braves will need to win around 95 games next season to repeat as the NL East Champions. That is not going to be easy given the Nats will likely win games out of the box next season.

    So many variables are involved in ball clubs to accurately predict who will end up on tap but I feel pretty sure it will not include the Marlins and the Mets. The Phillies will be better but we only need to remember that each team meets its division foe 18 times each.

    The Braves will still have a pretty strong pitching staff and who knows how much impact a rejuvenated BJ Upton could have on the outcome of games. I guess the only real question which remains is who will play second base next season.


  294. 307 Gil in Mechanicsville November 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Raisins, I don’t think it would be a stretch for Beachy to win 15 either. That is 60 games between 4 starters. Another 10 from the fifth starter puts the Braves at 70 wins. 25 wins for the relievers should be doable. I doubt any team will rack up 115 wins in a season again.

    It would be nice to have a couple of guys drive in 100 RBIs in a season. Not a number which has been seen by Braves hitters often in the past 10 years.


  295. 308 Voice of Raisins November 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    You know, Gil… I like that you simply assert that BJ will return to more of a norm for BJ next season. I honestly believe that he will too. One needs only look to our division rivals in DC for a great example of what happens to a guy when he signs that first big deal. But Jayson Werth is a very good parallel, and has had a couple of very strong seasons lately. BJ will be fine. Now as for 2B…


  296. 309 Carolina Lady November 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Great minds and all that – I was thinking yesterday that now that BJ’s first year of the big contract is behind him, maybe he’ll relax, be more accustomed to the situation and will play better. Let us pray! πŸ˜€


  297. 310 Carolina Lady November 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Was just reading that David Price is being courted by, among others, the Nat’ls and the Dodgers. Sure would hate to see either land him. Yet, I wouldn’t like to lose the players it would take to land him. Hmmm. Oh, I know! We can raid the piggy bank! That will do it! Won’t it??? No? Hmmm.


  298. 311 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    That’s the Catch 22, ain’t it? I feel pretty confident that we could win the division again with what we have, but that doesn’t preclude the Nats or Dodgers from getting better… alot better. So what do you do? Sit still and let them improve, or be proactive and improve yourself? Glad I don’t have that job…


  299. 312 Carolina Lady November 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I think I’m too conservative to be a GM. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I’m leery about giving up too much for pitchers, in particular. It seems that their parts and pieces are subject to wear out/break at any given second. Give up too much, have the guy go down for surgery, then you’re really stuck. I’m trying to recall a really GOOD deal on a pitcher since Greg Maddux but am coming up blank.


  300. 313 Gil in Mechanicsville November 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    CL. I guess it’s because Maddux was a free agent, I think Javy Vasquez from the White Sox was a good deal. John Smoltz and Jair Jurrjens from the Tigers were good pick ups too. Not so many others.

    I would hate for the Nats to get Price. They hava a lot of prospects given their horrible finishes for so long. If it were just money then I would bet on the Dodgers but they just signed Dan Heran, late of the Nationals, to a one year deal.

    At some point you have to go all in but I am thinking it will be 2016/2017 when the Braves go for all the marbles with a free agent front of the rotation starter but who knows who will step up by them. Beachy/Minor/Hale/Graham might all be vying for number one… Heck, even Teheran could be the new numero uno by that time.

    I just don’t think we can bet the house on anyone these days. It seems most teams are just one torn ulnar collateral ligament away from disaster anyway.

    Just finished watching the Auburn vs Alabama game. That my friends was a finish for the ages…. I guess you just never know….


  301. 314 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    2016/2017… Lucas Sims is the clear #1.


  302. 315 Voice of Raisins November 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Lucas Sims: 6’2″, 200 lb., born 5/10/1994, 1st round pick in 2012

    RH, 95 mph fastball with late movement, best curveball (as voted) in the organization, decent changeup that has plus potential, athletic, pitches deep into games.

    2013 stats at A Rome: 12-4, 2.62 ERA, 116.2 IP, 134 K’s, .203 opp. avg.

    He is the next Adam Wainright in the organization, except he won’t be traded away. Likely arrives sometime in 2015 with much fanfare. By 2017 he is the ace of the staff.


  303. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville December 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

    If what you say is true about this kid’s upside, then he is likely everyone’s (Tampa) first choice as part of the deal the Rays are asking for David Price.

    Ah well, remember the dark ages when not finishing in the cellar was considered a great season for the Braves?


  304. 318 Carolina Lady December 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I don’t think it is worthwhile to give up everything for a shot at making it through to the WS if it is going to take years to recover from it. Just not smart. I fully agree that they’ll want to make ’17 a big, big year since it will be their first in the new stadium. Pitchers are like racehorses: big, strong, represent a major investment, but have very delicate parts that fail suddenly when running/pitching.


  305. 319 Carolina Lady December 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Gil, remember the year (that was shot anyway) when Ted let the players manage the remaining games of the season? Kinda fun. I remember Bruce Benedict getting lots (read: too much) help from his teammates. It was so funny. The camera stayed on the dugout more than it did on the field. They lost.


  306. 321 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Great story, CL. Thanks for the link!!!


  307. 322 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Baseball news via Mr. O’B:

    Monday is deadline for teams to offer contracts to arb-eligible players, or they become non-tendered free agents. Braves still have 13 arb-eligibles (Venters signed, avoiding arb). Cristhian Martinez perhaps their most likely non-tender candidate.


  308. 323 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Braves arb eligibles, with service time and projected salary courtesy of MLBTR:

    Paul Janish, IF (4.145 years): $725K projected salary
    Kris Medlen, SP (4.137): $5.9M
    Jason Heyward, OF (4.000): $4.5M
    Cristhian Martinez, RP (3.158): $800K
    Chris Johnson, 3B (3.144): $4.2M
    Jordan Schafer, OF (3.121): $1M
    Ramiro Pena, IF (3.089): $600K
    Craig Kimbrel, RP (3.066): $7.25M
    Jordan Walden, RP (3.043): $1.5M
    Freddie Freeman, 1B (3.033): $4.9M
    Elliot Johnson, IF/OF (3.028): $900K
    Brandon Beachy, SP (3.014): $900K
    Mike Minor, SP (2.138): $3.5M


  309. 324 Carolina Lady December 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Ramiro Pena, lowest paid, $600,000. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have that even one time?? πŸ˜† I sure would!


  310. 325 Voice of Raisins December 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    … for playing a game. I think I could be happy being paid the MLB minimum to play a game. Especially if I like the game.


  311. 326 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Key dates coming up:

    Dec. 2, 2013 — Deadline for teams to offer 2014 contracts to arb-eligibles

    Dec. 9-12 — Winter meetings

    Dec. 12, 2013 — Rule 5 draft

    Jan. 14, 2014 — Salary arbitration filing

    Jan. 17, 2014 — Salary arbitration figures exchanged

    Feb. 1-21, 2014 — Salary arbitration hearings

    Feb. 13, 2014 — Braves pitchers and catchers report (1st workout Feb. 14)

    Feb. 18, 2014 — Rest of Braves report (1st full squad workout Feb. 19)

    Feb. 26, 2014 — 1st Spring game vs. Tigers at Disney WWOS


  312. 327 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Braves non-tenders:

    Cristhian Martinez
    Paul Janish
    Elliot Johnson


  313. 328 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Also, Braves have announced that they have re-signed Ramiro Pena (avoiding arb). No terms were announced.


  314. 329 Voice of Raisins December 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    That leaves the Braves with 9 arb-eligibles:

    Kris Medlen
    Jason Heyward
    Chris Johnson
    Jordan Schafer
    Craig Kimbrel
    Jordan Walden
    Freddie Freeman
    Brandon Beachy
    Mike Minor


  315. 330 berigan2electricboogaloo December 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I am readin stuff, by the by…thought I had posted something…anything…anyways…proceed! πŸ˜‰


  316. 331 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2013 at 8:12 am

    So, the Nationals make a trade with Detroit for right hander Doug Fister. I don’t understand that from a Tigers’ point of view but the already deep Nats rotation just got better. Look for the Nats to be everyone’s pre season favorites to win the NL East in 2014.


  317. 332 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

    No question that all of the arb eligible players you mentioned will be re-signed. The only question is for how long and how much. I would not be surprised for the Braves to try and lock up Freeman and J-Hey for the remaining years plus a couple.


  318. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville December 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I can understand why it is so hard to fathom he huge amounts of money being paid to ball players but to be fair, most play for peanuts for many years prior to making it to the big leagues plus the huge amount of money made by the owners via TV contracts.

    You better doggone well put the best you can out there on the field if you are going to charge $300 for a ticket behind home plate…

    The NCAA is much more greedy if you ask me. They makes huge amounts while their “stars” cannot even sell an autograph… They may claim they are giving away “scholarships and free rides” but it cost the schools nothing really as far as an education. Just saying….


  319. 334 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I see the Brewers non-tendered Mat Gamel. He was a top 3B prospect for them for a while. Wonder if the Braves might take a flyer on him? He’s a 3B/1B/OF type who bats lefty and has power. If they could get him on a minor league deal, he might make a nice bench piece since they just let go their 2 backup 3B’s.


  320. 335 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Didn’t look like the Nats gave up a haul to get Fister, either. Kind of frustrating, in a way… but pitching isn’t a big area of need. We have pretty good starters. We just don’t have a “great” starter. Looking at Fister’s numbers, the only place I see him really standing out from our youngsters is his IP – he went 261.1 innings in 2011 and 208.2 innings last season. All out guys could step it up this year, with Medlen and Minor leading the way. I’d like to see both of those dudes go 200+ IP in 2014.

    Surprisingly, when taking a look at last season’s totals, Minor went 200+, and Meds was close. In fact, Teheran wasn’t too far away. All 3 could do it next season, IMO.

    Their totals from 2013 were:
    Minor – 204.2 IP
    Medlen – 197.0 IP
    Teheran – 185.2 IP

    The reality is we don’t know what we might expect out of Beachy nor Wood. And darkhorse #5 candidate David Hale went 114.2 IP last year in AAA Gwinnett. So even if we don’t pick up that mythical “ace” kinda guy, a workhorse starter to be #4 or #5 might help out the entire staff, rotation and bullpen. But having said all that, Beachy and Wood are both very talented starters, and a rotation of Minor, Medlen, Teheran, Beachy and Wood would be the envy of many teams in the NL, even if they are very young.


  321. 336 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 10:44 am


    I inadvertently typed that Fister pitched 261.1 IP in 2011. That, of course, was a typo. I transposed a couple of numbers. Fister pitched 216.1 innings in 2011. πŸ˜›


  322. 337 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

    And I see that our old friend Tommy Hanson was non-tendered by the Angels. Wonder where he might land? You know somebody will take a chance on him. Probably KC. Isn’t that where all former Braves pitching prospects land?


  323. 338 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 11:05 am


  324. 339 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Maybe 2 years and $24M for FA RH Bronson Arroyo? Too much? He pitched 202.0 innings in both 2012 and 2013, w/ 3.74 and 3.79 ERA’s respectively. I think I would rather have just re-signed Huddy…


  325. 340 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I guess the best thing about the Nats trading for Doug Fister is that they won’t be trading for David Price.


  326. 341 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    OK, enough blog domination for a while. I’ll cede the floor now…


  327. 342 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Just slipping in with a Mark Bowman quote:

    Attempting to add a veteran presence to its rotation… Wren and his staff will place their primary focus on landing a starting pitcher who can make a short-term impact without blocking the path of talented prospects like Lucas Sims, J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh and Mauricio Cabrera.

    … and now quietly slipping out again…


  328. 343 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Uh, slipping back in with one more Bowman quote…

    Accounting for all of the projected arbitration figures, Atlanta will likely have anywhere from $10 million to $15 million to spend this offseason. This figure could increase if a team is willing to trade for Uggla and assume a portion of the $26 million he is owed over the next two seasons. But early indications have simply given more reason to believe it will be hard to find a suitor for Uggla…

    … and gone.


  329. 344 Carolina Lady December 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Shane!! Come back, Shane!!



  330. 345 Voice of Raisins December 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    OK, but just for a minute. Man there was alot of activity today, especially given that we are still 6 days away from the Winter Meetings. And while I am jealous of teams getting better, I must remind myself that the Braves already have a pretty darn good team with few real holes. It’s not quite as easy for Frank to run out and acquire somebody when there is not a clear target. The Yankees needed a catcher. The Giants needed pitchers. These other teams are operating from clear and identified needs. And while we aren’t perfect – who is? – we are fairly well fleshed out and don’t have to overpay or overtrade for anyone. Frank will let the high $$ names fall away and let the dust settle, then he’ll go shopping.

    Quite often, Mrs Raisins and I will wait until after Christmas to go out and buy for each other the things we want. We get better deals that way. And we don’t get caught up in the mania of the buying season. πŸ˜‰


  331. 346 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2013 at 12:12 am

    What a day… Yankees officially sign Mac, then get Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson. The Phillies, Nats, Jays, Tigers, Reds, D’backs, Rays, Astros, Rockies, Padres, Rangers, A’s and O’s all make trades. Salty goes to Miami. Morneau goes to COL. Bosox get Pierzynski. Phils get Wil Nieves. Tigers sign Joe Nathan. Twins sign Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. The Dodgers reached agreement with Brain Wilson. And the Royals are on the verge of bringing Carlos Beltran back to the beginning.

    So much to keep up with all in just one day.

    Man, wait ’til the Winter Meetings start next week. Then again, there may not be anything left to do! 😯

    By the way, notice that each of the other teams in our division improved today except the Braves and the Mets… although the Mets are in serious discussions with Curtis Granderson. It’s just a matter of time now. The Nats got a front line starting pitcher. So did the Phils, along with a catcher. Speaking of catcher, the Marlins got a pretty good one. Meanwhile, the Braves… well, they probably rode up the highway and looked at their new property. πŸ™„


  332. 347 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2013 at 12:14 am

    “Brain” Wilson… πŸ˜†


    Make that Brian. It must be bed time…


  333. 348 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Word Press has kept me locked out yesterday… BAH….

    So anyway.Braves are still trying to peddle Dan Uggla. That has been the all consuming issue for Frank Wren methinks…

    I wonder if Dan has scratched Freddie G and Frank off his Christmas card list yet?


  334. 349 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Okay, this is the post I tried to make yesterday. I have learned to save these dang things for just such occasions.

    .“I guess the best thing about the Nats trading for Doug Fister is that they won’t be trading for David Price.”

    I don’t know Raisins, you just never know when someone will get flipped for another player/players…. Still, I think I would rather face Fister than Price, no matter.

    One thing you would think is that teams (hitters) would take a few pitches against some of the better talent in the league. Allowing an Ace type pitcher to have only thrown around 60 pitches by the 5th inning pretty much assures you are not going to get into another club’s pen early.

    The one real strong suit for the Braves is their pen is not a weak link. Still, one would like to think it would be better if you could get seven innings out of your starter on a regular bases rather than the 5 and 6 innings we saw so often in the past.


  335. 350 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2013 at 6:35 am

    I was speaking with my son in law yesterday, whom is all things Yankees, and he said the Yankees will make a run at Omar Infante and let Cano walk. Said the Yankees have no interest in signing another $300 million contract.


  336. 351 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Man, so much happened yesterday, and I didn’t even know til I read it here! Thanks V! πŸ™‚
    Yeah, someone dropped the ball(or the Tigers GM is dumb, which may be) but Fister was worth way more than what the Tigers got for him….the Braves could have easily gotten him it seems. Now the braves want to get another ok guy cuz you need a vet…for some unknown reason….Paul Malholm is available still….
    Gil, I hope the Yankees don’t sign Cano….just ridiculous demands….


  337. 352 berigan2electricboogaloo December 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    V, I was about to say someone had already snapped up Gamel(looked it up, it was the cubs) for some reason, they were the one to drop him. Could be a good pick up….wonder why they dropped him without him playing a game? Perhaps not up to playing winter ball????


  338. 353 Voice of Raisins December 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I hope the Yankees don’t sign Cano

    Hard to imagine that now that they have poured out so much $$ on Mac and Ellsbury. (Overpay for Ellsbury?) Anyway, it looks like they have moved on from Cano, leaving him to the Mariners or… the Nats? That’s the hot rumor I heard from Buster Olney on radio this afternoon. If the Nats sign Cano… well, let’s just say that the Braves have lost a great hitter and a good pitcher, while the Nats would have picked up a great hitter and a very good pitcher. Two teams going in opposite directions, it would seem. I don’t like it… :-/


  339. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville December 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Well, if the Nats sign Cano, it will just be another example of how the folks in DC have no concept of money. Cano is just another hot dog, he should mesh well with Harper.

    I think I would just as soon have Infante and the money left over to sign an Ace pitcher.


  340. 355 Carolina Lady December 5, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Can we get Martiiiiin back?


  341. 356 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Funny thing is, Marteen doesn’t fit anymore… nor does Omar. Could we use another 2B? Well, the short answer is YES. But even if we can reboot at 2B, we need a LH. Our lineup has become so RH heavy… only JHey and Freddie bat from the other side of the plate among the regulars. This is one of the reasons I will root for Tommy La Stella to win the 2B job. Not only does he bat LH, he’s a high OBP guy who uses all fields, and could be our leadoff guy.


  342. 357 Voice of Raisins December 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    As for Dan… well, the truth is that he may well be fine this season. (Did I read this argument here on the ol’ B&S already? The argument that he only got 41 AB’s post-LASIK, and by all accounts, it takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the eyes to settle back in after surgery?) I think Fredi gave up on him too quickly. Well, maybe that’s not quite fair, understanding that we needed to get some good AB’s from the 2B spot. But the way they handled it was dreadful. If he needed to work back, send him to Orlando to the rookie leagues like they always do players coming back from injury late in the season. Even if you just keep him disabled and taking live BP regularly, it’s better than just benching him and letting him take all the criticism. But the disrespect shown him… not deserved. Nobody on the team worked harder or wanted more for Dan to get his bat back than Dan himself. He never quit fighting, but the Braves quit on him. Sadly, in the process, they accomplished 3 things. #1, they burned the bridge with Danny; #2, they damaged his reputation; #3, they deflated what little trade value he might have had left. (None of this would have ever happened under Bobby’s watch, BTW.)

    Now Frank is painted into a corner. No way Dan Uggla can come back and play for Fredi without some negative effect in the clubhouse. There can be no harmony between Dan and Fredi, and that disharmony can be very contagious. Every other GM knows this. The league’s current lack of interest in Dan is not just because of his struggles (there are plenty of examples of teams taking on a struggling former All-Star in a low risk/high upside chance). It isn’t about money; it is well known that the Braves are willing to eat a huge portion of the remaining money on a relatively short 2 year commitment. No, it’s simply because there are 29 other teams that know that the relationship between Dan and the Braves has been torn, and they’re all just sitting back and waiting for Frank to wave the white flag.

    Mark this post… note these words. In 2013, the median of 30 starting 2B’s in all of MLB hit .244, had 11 HR, and knocked 52 RBI. Dan will surpass all these numbers in 2014. Those numbers will put him in the upper half of all 2B. Dan actually had 22 HR and 55 RBI in 2013, but no one seems to remember that. By contrast, the highly sought after Omar Infante hit only 10 HR and drove in only 51 RBI. You can rightfully ask the question of how many times Omar scored after getting on base at a .345 clip. Well, he scored 54 times. Dan crossed the plate 60 times. Was Omar’s attractive .318 AVG really that productive? Is AVG overrated?

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that a .179 AVG is acceptable for a MLB starting 2B. But don’t overlook all the other offensive numbers in the process. Dan drove in 55 runs, only 2 fewer than $85M man Brian McCann, and he scored 60 runs, 6 more than league batting title contender Chris Johnson, 16 more than the legend Evan Gattis, and 17 more than the aforementioned Brian McCann.

    Now, all that being said, he’s no longer a good fit for our lineup anyway, for all the reasons I outlined in my previous post. He’s a RH mid- to lower-half of the order hitter. We have plenty of those. What we really need is a LH top of the order guy. So when Frank works his butt off to get him traded, or eventually releases him, the baseball world will center on Dan’s struggles at the plate and his fall from grace. That’s only part of the story. You won’t find the whole story very easily… unless you’re here on the ol’ B&S.


  343. 358 Gil in Mechanicsville December 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Yep, my sentiments exactly Raisins… Perhaps it is not just how many but when that is important. So many times while in the spot light, Dan failed to drive in the big run. In a game where the difference between a .300 hitter and a .250 hitter is one hit per week. Failure to even move a runner over can be a big thing.

    Two things that do not go together unless you are taking about steroids is a power hitter and high averages.

    I believe it was the fact they were so clutch that endeared Marteen and Omar to Braves fans.

    At least 7 times out of 10 a pitcher will win the battle. It is when in those other 3 out of 10 times that will be the difference between winning and losing….


  344. 359 Carolina Lady December 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Wish we had a different Manager. I was willing to give Fredi a chance, but more and more I just don’t like him. Treating Dan in that manner was classless, a word that is rarely associated with the Braves. You just don’t treat someone shabbily who is doing all he can to perform up to expectations. Dan’s greatest revenge would be to come back next year and blow the doors off of Fredi’s very public criticism, keep an upbeat smile on his face and just grin at Fredi.


  345. 360 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    If you can see stand it, McCann news conference will be on mlbtv in just a minute…


  346. 361 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    V, excellent post on Dan! Didn’t realize he only had 41 Ab’s. after the surgery….weird…I don’t think that anyone here(could be wrong) is a big fan of FG. I do like certain out of the box moves he made last year(Putting Gattis anywhere to get his bat in there, something Bobby would never have done) One of the things that drove me nuts about Bobby towards the end of his career, was not playing Marteen or Omar when they were clearly hitting better than Kelly Johnson, or others…It was like he believed they were only utility players, no matter what they did on the field.
    But, man is FG a by the book guy in other ways, even worse than Bobby. It took some….guts for Medlen to say he was taken out too early in a game. But, FG manages like its the playoffs, with the bullpen, doesn’t even want to be questioned about leaving a starter out too long. If the bullpen guy blows it, well, it’s that guys job to get outs….not FG’s problem. I think far too many managers manage that way today. So great bullpen arms get worn down unnecessarily, while starters go 90 to 110 pitches every 5 days. and end up with 179 innings yet not missing any starts…
    But, yeah, the way he treated someone that he supposedly really liked…he could have just gone with the hot hand, which was V’s fav player πŸ˜† but kept Dan on the roster…we didn’t all those bullpen arms for a short series. Could had Dan start against a lefty…if he’s 0-2 then have whatshisname (I really have forgotten his name, and I love his speed) come in against a rightie since (I believe \) he hit better against them.Who could have complained about the way he handled him in that situation? Hey, gave him a shot to run into one, he didn’t ….players stink every playoffs and it doesn’t seem to hurt them at all come the off season. McCann sure didn’t light it up during the playoffs, nor Elsbury(Yep an overpay, to a degree, but he to will hit more homers in homer park-and it least its not a 10 year deal)
    But FG feels like a cold guy if you don’t produce for awhile…Bobby might have gone too long with a hitter(way too long sometimes) but you didn’t feel he was thinking, you are dead to me.Pitchers that walked guys, well…. ) but Bobby seemed a bit kinder…thing is, who would you replace him with? TP? Might be worth a shot, but the braves would have to tank this year (err, next year) before that is even a possibility CL.
    Savannah Guy post long almost, and of course I should be doing things that make me money…oh well…baseball, as a vice is not that bad a vice! πŸ˜‰


  347. 362 Carolina Lady December 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    An older article but good reading:

    Chris Johnson: The Best Player You’ve Never Heard Of
    By: Neil Shelat | Tue, Sep 03, 2013 09:00 AM
    Share this article:

    Johnson has been the star of the Upton trade.

    In late January the Atlanta Braves traded prized third baseman, Martin Prado and five prospects to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson.

    It was the blockbuster deal of the off season due to the fact that Braves GM Frank Wren united Justin with his older brother, B.J. in the Atlanta outfield. But to many baseball fan’s surprise, it has been Johnson that has become the real star of the trade. And he has made his case as one of the premier hitting third basemen in the National League and a potential batting title.

    Meant to be a platoon player with Juan Francisco at third baseman, Johnson took over as the everyday starter at the hot corner after the Braves designated Juan Francisco for assignment in late May. A four-year veteran, Johnson began his career with the Houston Astros and was traded midway through the 2012 season to Arizona.

    This season, the 28-year-old is hitting .334 with 144 hits, 10 home runs, and 58 runs batted in. Since becoming eligible to contend for the batting title in the National League, Johnson has either been ahead or neck and neck with Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina for highest batting average.

    If Johnson does indeed win the coveted batting title, it will be the first time a Braves player has won the coveted award since the man Johnson replaced, Chipper Jones, won it back in 2009.

    With this incredibly successful season for Johnson, the question that arises comes with great respect for Johnson’s great season. The question is: How is Chris Johnson having such a breakout season, and yet not be known to the everyday baseball fan?

    The answer, a simple one, can be broken down in two ways.

    In the high-profile nature of the trade, Johnson’s name was overshadowed by the superstar potential of Upton uniting with his brother in the outfield for the Braves. When news broke of the trade between the two clubs, I and many other Braves fans thought that because manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would have a platoon at third base, Chris Johnson would be nothing but an average and forgettable third baseman.

    When Francisco was sent for assignment, Johnson’s role grew into the everyday starter role and he thrived from the first at-bat. The other component of how Johnson has had such a successful season comes from his up bringing in the Major Leagues.

    Having been under the umbrella of such a small market franchise such as the Astros, Johnson’s season after season consistency was not shown off to major market teams. Having hit progressively better each and every season, Johnson moved from middle-level teams like the Diamondbacks and now to the Braves, still overshadowed by the stars on the team.

    As a Braves fan, I want Johnson to not only win the National League batting title but also do it as the unforgettable threat that the Atlanta Braves have standing at the hot corner.

    I also highly doubt that he will play up to his predecessor’s immortal initials of “C.J.” but Chris Johnson is shaping himself up to be a dynamic force in the newly rejuvenated lineup for the Atlanta Braves for many years to come.

    By: Neil Shelat
    Twitter: @NeilShelat6


  348. 363 berigan2electricboogaloo December 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    CL, thank goodness we got CJ in that deal! I see why the Diamondbacks were willing to trade Justin…he can rake for a few weeks, then disappears. I imagine he isn’t one to study film footage of pitchers for hours like Tony Gwynn did…I think is thought process is to swing hard in case he hits the ball….
    Well, here is a very long piece by DOB (I rarely go to the AJC after their changes-just can’t find stuff like I could before) that I saw linked on mlbtr. Not exactly cheery stuff. Bartolo Colon? Oh brother…Yeah, he had a great year…but he is so fat at his age…and clearly needs to skip a start or 3 to get back to par…braves would never do that…and then in the playoffs? He’s still going to be offered more than the braves will..so I guess I shouldn’t lose too much sleep over that possibility….
    I just hate the braves (and so many other teams) crying poor, when we clearly know this isn’t the truth…but, they see what the dear leader gets away with every day , why wouldn’t they lie to everyone?


  349. 364 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Furcal signs with the Marlins… Makes sense for them. Not like they don’t have the cash….

    Even Josie said it was bad Karma last season to leave Danny off the roster for the play-offs. Now there is no one to look to for leadership in the club house. Dano would have been the guy to assume that role. Now, I just don;t see anyone else to be that guy…

    Every job I ever had, there was somebody who would fit that bill, the guy, not your boss, who would keep everyone in line, quell the gripping, allow for the different personalities to mesh. Kick the right butts when necessary to get folks in line with the program.

    It can just be a bossy guy or an Alpha male. It is a special quality that allows some folks to call you an SOB and you say thank you…..

    It is said great leaders are made and not born but I say there are soe qualities you just cannot learn from a book…. You can only hone the gifts God bestows upon you.


  350. 365 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Yeah, Ber… whether we like it or not, the Braves are a business, and the operate within a budget. I respect that as a business person, but as a fan, it bothers me that the playing fields, if you will pardon the pun, are not even. Then again, the free spending Dodgers were bounced in the NLDS. At least they made it. The free spending Yankees were on the outside looking in. Need we even mention the mess that occurred out in Anaheim? How about the perpetually rebuilding White Sox? Teams like the Braves and Rays have proven that you can compete, and compete consistently, while also watching the bottom line. The key, of course, is making sure you draft and develop well. And another facet to that is to resist the temptation to trade those guys away. That can be a source of frustration during weeks like this one when there is such a flurry of activity with other teams “getting better” while we sit still. I suppose in an abstract sort of way, we are getting better too because we still have our young talent and it is continuing to develop and improve. We have a young reliever no one has ever heard of – RH Luis Vasquez – lighting up the Dominican Winter League, and Terdo is having a nice Winter League season at the plate himself. And all the while, Lucas Sims, JR Graham, Jason Hursh and Mauricio Cabrera are all still ours and still getting better. Those guys will be pushing Minor, Medlen, Teheran and Beachy very soon… not to mention Alex Wood and David Hale. At that point, we’ll emulate our AL brothers 8 hours south on I-75 and be entertaining trade offers that will keep our minor league system among the best in baseball. But it’s all in the timing.

    About 5 years ago, my brother-in-law bought a flashy expensive car because it caught his eye and he liked it. He could afford to do that. At the same time, I was in the midst of researching cars that fit my needs and my means. I literally spent months studying and waiting for the right deal to emerge. When it did, I jumped on it. It had some miles on it already, but I studied its history and maintenance closely before committing my limited resources to it. My car is still going strong and is now approaching 200,000 miles. His engine blew last month and he is sharing rides with his wife. Due diligence always pays off in the end…


  351. 366 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Gil, in 2 years we have lost Chipper Jones, David Ross, Brian McCann, Tim Hudson and now possibly Dan Uggla. And even if Uggla remains a Brave, his rift with Fredi will prevent him from being the guy in the clubhouse to show the youngsters that you can stand strong in a storm. We better hope that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Heyward can step up and be those guys. Maybe Kris Medlen? Strange questions for a team that has always had a strong presence in the clubhouse. And I think that is why they are looking a trading for a guy like Kyle Lohse or John Lackey, or maybe signing a guy like Bronson Arroyo. It’s much more than just what they bring to the field.


  352. 367 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Washington Post: Nationals still looking for a lefty, interested in Eric O’Flaherty


  353. 368 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 9:13 am


    The Mariners talks with Robinson Cano have broken down after Seattle made an offer of nine years and $225MM, two sources told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. The Mariners are no longer in the mix to sign Cano, reports Feinsand.

    According to Feinsand, Cano and his representatives from CAA and Roc Nation Sports arrived in Seattle with an eight-year, $200MM offer in hand from the Mariners and eventually received assurances that the Mariners would go to nine years and $225MM. However, a late change by agent Jay-Z in which he once again demanded $252MM over 10 years caused Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln to “explode,” prompting the meeting to end.

    Seattle’s offer of $225MM over nine years topped the Yankees’ best offer by two years and $50MM, Feinsand notes. However, the Yankees appear to be Cano’s lone serious suitor once again. The Yankees reportedly have never been willing to exceed the $200MM barrier for Cano.

    Flippin’ idiots… Jay-Z for trying to take his hip-hop clout to a real industry, and Cano for entrusting him. Hopefully Lincoln’s appropriate reaction is a cold slap of reality to Cano. Probably not, though. I truly hope that there are no other offers approaching Seattle’s original 8-year / $20MM offer and that Jay-Z’s amateurish money grab costs them all millions…


  354. 369 Gil in Mechanicsville December 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Alert.. political statement ahead….

    Jay-Z is a disciple of the Obama school of negotiations… Make a deal and then renege on it when they think they can get a little more… It is known as bargaining in bad faith….

    It pretty much means you can never reach an agreement. Most people will simply refuse to deal with you to begin with. Say what you will about Scott Boras. He starts pretty high with his demands but he won’t play that now you see it, now you don’t game while in negotiations.

    I tell my kids, you can always come down on the asking price but never have second thoughts when someone meets your price. People don’t like playing games….


  355. 370 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Good news, courtesy of Mark Bowman:

    This offseason has provided Beachy encouragement and further reason to believe he will be at full strength when the Braves begin Spring Training in February. He regained full range of motion with his elbow in late October and has continued to make progress. Last week, Beachy was cleared to begin performing exercises to re-strengthen his upper body and shoulder.

    Beachy expects to begin throwing in early January.

    “I’m going to use some guidelines at first to help ease into throwing, but otherwise it’s a normal offseason routine,” Beachy said.


  356. 371 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Gil, re: Jay-Z… spot on.


  357. 372 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    10 years, $240MM. It isn’t the money that is offensive, it’s the bootlicking by the Mariners. A stand could have been made, but in the end no one in Seattle was left standing… they were all bowing at the altar of CAno and his water-carrier Jay-Z. This will have a lasting effect on future negotiations around the league. As you put it, Gil, good faith negotiations are now archaic.


  358. 373 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    And hidden under the big headline of Cano getting his money is Granderson agreeing to terms with the Mets. The Mets just got better. The NL East just got better.


  359. 374 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Nice little factoid from Mark Bowman:

    [Dan] Uggla led the NL in walks in 2012, and [newly minted $240MM man] Robinson Cano is the only second baseman who has hit more home runs over the past two seasons.


  360. 375 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Another dadgum flurry of activity again today… and the GM’s haven’t even arrived at Disney yet. Maybe by the time the meetings officially crank up on Monday, so many paths will have been cleared that Frank can conduct business easily without alot of competition. πŸ˜›


  361. 376 Voice of Raisins December 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times tweets that he is “convinced” the Mariners’ next move will be to make a push for David Price. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Mariners believe they have the prospects to land him. So after spending the total GNP of several Western European countries on Robinson Cano, they want the top pitching dog in the hunt too. How can they do this? Easy… because of the $2B (that’s Billion) regional TV deal they signed with DirecTV Sports Networks back in April. Yep, that’ll do it.


  362. 377 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Not what it is about Jayzee I dislike so much. The complete lack of talent, the ugly mug(Has nothing to do with skin color, as a straight white dude, I can tell Denzel Washington is a lot better looking than Jayzee) the fact he likes to waste money drinking champagne that costs tens of thousands of dollars a bottle…I don’t know…something…Now he is likely a made man, and other players will flock to him over Borass…hmmm. Nope, still not a good thing. πŸ˜‰


  363. 378 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Gil, one thing Borass does though is always claim there is a “mystery” team in the running for a player…funny thing, after said player signs, no one seems to be able to figure out who the mystery team was!
    V, I know I sound whiny, I guess because…well, I sound whiny! πŸ˜‰ I do of course realize a team is supposed to make money, first and foremost.
    But, when it hurts the product(yuck, hate that word) on the field…it should also hurt their pocketbook too. Not saying the braves have a clear path to the W.S. and it’s now blocked…anything can happen….but, when you wipe out in the first round 6 straight times, doesn’t that tell you it has to be more than just bad luck? It hasn’t been all about the lack of a true #1…a near complete lack of timely hitting has been as big a problem as the starting pitching.
    Kind of getting off point here…at least my original point. (Just about my favorite book title of all time was by of all people, Ellen Degeneres… My Point…And I Do Have One)
    Teams like the Rays and the Braves can be “competitive” but that doesn’t mean they are a World Series worthy team. Sometimes, a gritty team , like the Red Sox(well gritty and with Big Papi having a playoff run Reggie would be envious of) win it all…sometimes a good pitching with so-so hitting team (the Giants) win it all…but by and large, you need good hitting, timely hitting, and 1 or 2 studs on a roll to go deep in the playoffs, year after year.
    Rays barely made the playoffs(and lost a very winnable division) chiefly because they have no attendance (and are cheap) so they kept Wil Myers down in the minors for 2 months for no good reason(seasoning, work on his defense, rigggghhhht) and they too were bopped out of the playoffs early as they often are.
    It’s a tough question, do you make a run for it all, knowing it’s not a lock you go to the W.S., and trade young arms for a David Price? Well, everyone can pat themselves on the back and say hey, we kept all those young controllable arms, while finishing a distant 2nd to the Nats and seeing another team with the W.C. …that can be quite fun…and I know to a certain extent, the team owners might be quite content to see the braves be someone competitive but not make the playoffs, then make a run at free agent X come 2016. Thing is, more and more teams lock up the really good arms and bats…there may not be an arm worth getting…oh well…
    still whiny, I know…we could be the Rockies…their payroll is 15+ mil less than ours….they made attempts (and failed on everyone til Morneau) to sign guys….but they still have no pitching, and for some reason, can’t lure pitchers to watch their ERA’s balloon 1,2 runs for a below market deal…go figure. They need to build a dome if they are to continue playing there….


  364. 379 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Heard some interesting things on the mlb tv channel yesterday…one thing I remember is that some reporter said that the Mariners are close to being irrelevant in their market(hard to believe with that tv deal, but they have stunk for quite some time) 3rd most popular team there. so they really need to make some big moves….they tried and failed in the past to sign Prince Fielder, and others…fans really don’t want to hear you tried to get someone….
    Whats so funny, is Robinson Cano is a likely HOF’er, yet….boring…why is a hot dog so boring? Not sure. A better pure hitter than say, Reggie Jackson, but man, even when Reggie was 40 , I watched every at bat with Rapt attention. I hear he doesn’t run hard to 1st…yet I have heard coaches say he works very hard…since 2007, every year he has played at least 159 games…but, at the end of that contract…uggh….


  365. 380 berigan2electricboogaloo December 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    oh yeah, the other thing I think I read…one reason the Yankees are (possibly) willing to risk the Luxury tax after swearing they wouldn’t go over it again….attendance and marketing losses from not making the playoffs last year cost them at least 50 million dollars!


  366. 381 Carolina Lady December 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    So many things have to happen to be a WS team, but one primary ingredient is having money to spend. Ask Ted. Our beloved Braves are now among the also-rans. We all have high hopes and solid loyalty to our team but, as so many of us felt at the end of the season, they were blown out of contention quickly. I simply don’t like the Braves being in that category!


  367. 382 Gil in Mechanicsville December 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Hi gang, well, I played the boy scout and got prepared for the coming ice storm… Lord how I hate ice, I will gladly take a foot of snow any day over ice… CL, at least no snakes abound here… πŸ™‚


  368. 383 Carolina Lady December 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I finally found and killed that sucker yesterday! Kelly and I have been spooked to go out that door since we first saw it a couple of days back. My thought was: now that snake didn’t just come down the road and decide that this looked like a pretty good place to pull into. He’s been living here – we just didn’t know it. *shivers*


  369. 384 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Nate McLough signs with the Nationals… Odd…


  370. 385 Gil in Mechanicsville December 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I guess he only sucked in Atlanta….


  371. 386 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Normally the first day of the MLB Winter Meetings is one of my favorite days of the year. (What does that say about me?) But today my back is completely out and absolutely killing me – with all due respect to someone who has had back surgery, Gil; I know there is no comparison – and I also have a root canal scheduled for later this morning. Maybe Frank will do something to improve the team and make me feel better…


  372. 387 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Actually Raisins, I have great empathy for you. I truly feel your pain Just ask the dentist for nitrious oxide. That, or the pain meds for the root canal will eliminate the back pain. At the least, you will have a great excuse to stay immobile for a couple of days….


  373. 388 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    CL, glad you got that sucker! 80
    Gil, did you guys get much ice?
    V, I too have had back surgery,(Not nearly as complicated as Gil’s!) and also blew out another disc…I too can empathize! Replaced the ol’ mattress lately?


  374. 389 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Never can remember that it’s 8 O not 8 0 to get 😯
    Yeah Gil, odd to sign Nate unless they trade Span,….of course, we all know that it’s hard to keep 3 outfielders healthy all year, but while it’s not a ton of money(baseball wise), he is paid a lot for a 4th outfielder…
    What’s really odd is that while the Nats are trying to get better and better (Man what a great move getting Doug Fister for next to nothing-and still hearing the Nats are trying to get EOF, man, I will hate that if they get him) the Orioles, (Who should be trying to keep more folks from that area becoming Nats fans) owned by a Billionaire Lawyer for many years, are shedding players, and have said they are not going to go for a Free agent starter….It almost seems as if teams are purposely getting worse in the AL East to allow the Yankees to get back to the top. . Rays likely to trade Price…would be worse without him. They also lost their shutdown closer, and while they think they can always find another project and make it work, it doesn’t always work that way.
    Red Sox didn’t even try to land Ellsbury(and he went to their arch rival Yanks) and seem to be bound and determined to trade their 2nd best starter last year (John Lackey) because…he will be super cheap for some team in 2015 because of a clause in his contract .
    And the Yankees, who looked like a team that would be an alsoran for several years, have signed 2 all star outfielders and an all star catcher with a perfect swing for that stadium. Cano isn’t that big a loss, IMO….If they sign Infante, they will get a guy that busts his butt going down to 1st, and is a clutch hitter….Blue Jays might be their main competition. Of course, the Red Sox, or Rays might make some g
    If you ask me(what do you mean you didn’t?) the NL East (with the NL Central a close 2nd) is the toughest division now….


  375. 390 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Astute observations as always Ber.

    I think the Orioles keep searching for the second coming of Cal Ripken and know little else. They tried the big money route once and had one of the most toxic locker rooms in baseball.Only the Yankees seem able to pull off that feat. Well, they could while George Stienbrenner was in charge. It takes a lion tamer with nerves of steel to get in the cage with multiple beast. His boys just don’t have the chops for it.

    The Lerners are real SOBs to work for from what I can gather. Sometimes that is what it takes to keep the eye on the prize. They resisted the clamor to spend big before DC was ready. Now they feel they are playing with “house money”. They will over pay for O’Flarerty because they can and it will also hurt Atlanta. That said, they have a pretty small market area compared to some teams. They will not get a 2 billion dollar TV deal but they are located in an area which has little regard for money because it is often other peoples’ money they are using.


  376. 391 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    According to the rumor mill, the Braves have continued to show interest in David Price and Jeff Samardzija 9nickname: Shark) along with a new name, Chris Sale. According to most sources, the price on Price is pretty much what we have discussed, and Sale is NOT on sale… with his pricetag through the roof. Samardzija may make the most sense if the cost isn’t Teixeirian.

    But the thing to take away from this is that Frank is actively trying to find that “ace” that he and Fredi have both publicly mentioned. And from all accounts, their definition of an “ace” is a guy they can count on to get them 2 wins in a playoff series… like the Dodgers and Cards have.

    If the Rays demand Andrelton Simmons, which is frequently mentioned, I don’t even dignify it with a response. But I don’t mind trading prospects in a reasonable deal to land either of the 3 above mentioned hurlers. To be honest, I’d love to see the Shark in a Braves uni…


  377. 392 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    They will over pay for O’Flaherty because they can and it will also hurt Atlanta.

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I like EOF, but I don’t love EOF, especially coming off TJ. And he won’t be ready until June anyway. The Nats are gonna spend on a LHRP even if it isn’t EOF, so I’d just as soon have them spend their $$ on a guy coming off surgery who won’t help them until June. The Braves have other options and don’t have to go that route.


  378. 393 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Well, Jeff Samar, Smardzi, the Shark is interesting..;..only 28(well, 29 next month)…wonder why the Cubs would be so quick to trade a 200 + inning guy at that age?
    ERA in the Windy confines… 4.76…3.91 on the road. 4.06 ERA first half(Which is really later than the first half) 4.72 2nd half.
    March/April 3.35 ERA
    May 2.31.
    June 4.20
    July 5.28
    Aug 5.54
    Sept 5.58
    Those numbers worry me….but….he strikes out a batter per inning.
    How much was he hurt playing for a 2nd division team in a small park? Was he hurt at all 2nd half?
    He’s also “cheap”, which is why a lot of teams are interested in him…


  379. 394 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    from an earlier post today by me…. Of course, the Red Sox, or Rays might make some g
    Umm, what? some hip hop slang by me? I have no idea…what I think I meant was they might make some trades or sign an arm or two….


  380. 395 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Rasins, it is hard to out bid a guy who has deeper pockets than you. About the only thing you can do is not let them have it too cheap. You do have to know your market though.

    Yeah, I like Samardzija too.

    Simmons is not going anywhere soon. He helps the staff ERA too much. To do otherwise is pretty foolish in my opinion. The Braves have other shortstops in the pipeline but none with Simba’s potential.

    Torre, La Russa and Cox have been elected to the HOF by the veterans’ committee. Congrats to them…


  381. 396 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I note on a different topic. I read today that Putin has abolished the state run “news” agency TASS and replaced it with one more pro Kremlin. I understand Obama is trying to figure how he can do the same with Fox News. He would not have to establish another network as he already has NBC….

    What is one of the first things on the to do list for the revolution? Take over the media…. Control the flow of information and you control the people. Just ask Jimmy Stewart… ala “Mr Smith Goes To Washington”


  382. 397 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    V, V, you have to agree to disagree with me too! πŸ˜‰
    Beatin’ a dead horse, ain’t gonna change your mind…but don’t forget….
    His ERA for the 5 years here. Why I would risk 5 mil on him (Vs a dime a dozen innings eater that will likely cost twice that, and could be filled from within) is IF he is what he was before (and he should be) what makes him so special in my book is he can get lefties and righties out. They took a chance on Venters, even after his 2nd TJ surgery, not sure why they wouldn’t for EOF, unless so many teams will be on him (and they really should) and they think he will get a 2 year 15 Mil contract…Not sure what the average length of recovery is closers vs starters, but in my mind, closers, (well relievers is what I should have typed) seem to get back sooner. Don’t think anyone topped Billy Wagner, but even at 37-38 he had surgery in Sept one year, and was back in the majors in Aug(remember this because he was traded to the Red Sox just in time to pitch in Sept)
    If he was a run of the mil guy, he whatever…but he was one of the top 3-4 bullpen arms for 3 years. and is still in his 20’s. Gerald Laird is just fine as a back up catcher, but after seeing David Ross do what he did with the Red Sox…I really don’t feel so great for whatever money the Braves saved not re-signing him…
    EOF , if back to what he was before, would pretty much negate JHey, and even FF to a degree. And everyone else that is left handed in our division.
    If the braves don’t sign him, and it looks like they aren’t…I really hope he signs outside of the division. AL would be great…..


  383. 398 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    My gut feeling: Frank leaves Orlando on Thursday with the same roster he showed up with… just a feeling…


  384. 399 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Gil, I heard that about the 3 managers too. interesting that Bobby was mentioned first on MLBTR first, then Tony La Russa and Joe Torre …interesting since the last two so often got the lion’s share of press…congrats to all 3!
    Also heard Roy Halliday is retiring at 36…too bad. 1,2 more good years would have helped his HOF chances….but, if the arm can’t go, what can you do?
    Well, just saw the Phils are actively shopping Dominic Brown. Guess they find a 26 YO outfielder too young. Seems like a lot of baseball people are crazy right now. They want a young arm in a trade…which they aren’t likely to get for him anyway…oh well…not my team.


  385. 400 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Gil, I am certain that the admin is forever looking for ways to get rid of Rush, Hannity and Beck. They (and others) were able to get Beck off TV. I hear he’s doing great on the web, making more money than ever…which is fine for him, but still…less people can flip by and hear him.


  386. 401 berigan2electricboogaloo December 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    V, you may be right…there just may be no one willing to take a chance on Uggla…or the braves aren’t willing to eat what other teams would want them to eat to make a deal….


  387. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Oh, and Ber, about a quarter inch of ice via freezing rain with some more expected tomorrow. Seems to me the oak and the cedars hate the ice the most, That and flowering pear trees. The pines just bend with it and assume a new shape.

    I have found that little bit of Glenn Beck goes a long way but he is pretty spot on most of the time. He will eventually get a TV contract with a cable station just to stay relevant. Most of his target audience still uses the TV and not the internet.


  388. 403 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Rumor of the Dodgers being interested in Price. Whew.. that would be nasty.


  389. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Just saying Rasins, that the only real hole in the Nationals roster is relief pitching. O’Flarerty would go a long way in fixing that. If I were the Braves, I would sign him, they can always flip him later if they want.


  390. 405 Gil in Mechanicsville December 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    But then, it’s not my money or job on the line…. Frank Wren is pretty safe however as long as Liberty Media owns the team, they are really only concerned with their bottom line. Just being “competitive” is just fine with the suits. Not like they live in Atlanta or have roots there.


  391. 406 Voice of Raisins December 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Me likey…


  392. 407 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2013 at 7:40 am

    A day late and a dollar short? A few million dollars short? Maybe one of the most stubborn professional athletes I have ever witnessed. If he had ever been willing to listen to coaches, he might be making alot of $$ as a starter somewhere… maybe even still in ATL where he was adored. Hopefully he has mellowed a little (maybe humbled a little too?) and can still carve out a career as a bench player.


  393. 408 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

    He will get an invite to a major league camp.


  394. 409 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Wow! 😯


  395. 410 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

    That could impact the David Price market. The Dodgers would probably rather spend $$ than top prospects.


  396. 411 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2013 at 10:30 am

    So that means 1 of 2 things is true. Either Frank is content getting bounced in the NLDS, or he is “insane”, right?

    Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. – ancient Chinese proverb


  397. 412 Voice of Raisins December 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

    … or he is posturing. That is more likely. Problem is, everybody knows what the Braves want to do. They want to shed Dan Uggla and they want a #1 or #2 pitcher. Those, of course, are completely independent wishes. And they are equally difficult to achieve.


  398. 413 Carolina Lady December 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Interesting article on Chris Sale here


  399. 415 Carolina Lady December 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Q: Who had the highest career winning percentage among Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre?

    A: Bobby Cox (.556), Joe Torre (.538), Tony La Russa (.536)


  400. 416 berigan2electricboogaloo December 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    CL, amazing that those 3 guys were able to stay with one team(they all were on several teams of course during their long careers) for so long…
    Shows how different baseball is from say College Football where Bobby Bowden had a .740 winning percentage….


  401. 417 Gil in Mechanicsville December 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Ber, It is the new (old) American Yuppie business model. Ride em like a rented mule and throw them to the curb. Then try to steal whomever is hot and repeat.

    Company loyalty is considered a weakness, not a virtue.

    Think about it, In Europe, so many houses/homes hundreds of years old. In America, housing is considered disposable. Don’t worry about maintenance, use it up and try to pawn it off on someone else.


  402. 419 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Ya think? πŸ™„


  403. 420 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Translation: “He’s under contract, and we have to pay him. I hope he doesn’t slug me.”


  404. 421 Carolina Lady December 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Q: Which player recorded the most hits in the 1990s?

    A: Mark Grace (1,754)


  405. 422 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Yawn πŸ™„


  406. 423 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    The Nats got their LHRP today, trading for Jerry Blevins from the A’s. All signs are pointing to EOF returning to the Braves. Hope we aren’t spending too much of our very limited remaining $$ on a guy who won’t be here all season…


  407. 424 Voice of Raisins December 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Frank’s new buzz phrase: “adding depth”

    I’m OK with “adding depth” as long as we’re adding from the top down, not the bottom down. Yunesky Maya does nothing for me.


  408. 425 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Hi folks, I will not be disappointed with Easy O being back in the fold. Not going to be concerned with payroll. That is an excuse and not a reason for not getting it done. True, the Braves do not have the big TV contracts but who’s fault is that?

    The Braves find themselves in a tough spot but Liberty can always rid themselves of the burden of owning a major league baseball franchise and turn a pretty tidy profit anytime they wish. They won’t even have to relocate the team to another city, they already have a huge fan base nation wide.

    So, maybe we need to start a letter writing campaign to Liberty Media asking them to “Free the Braves” … Let someone who really wants to win championships the chance to go for the gold.


  409. 426 Gil in Mechanicsville December 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Now, I know money does not solve all the problems facing a franchise but the lack thereof sure does increase the problem potential.

    Okay. stepping off my soapbox now….


  410. 427 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Yes, Gil… Frank says he is still suffering from “sticker shock”. Personally, I find that a bit disturbing since he is the one man in the organization that has his finger on the pulse of the player market. Actually, I find it a bit insulting. He knows/knew the market just fine. But he’s using it as an excuse, and I find that a bit offensive.

    The current club propaganda is that the Braves are returning a young team that won the division last season, and that they don’t need to add major pieces. What they are leaving out is that they lost major pieces. I am very thankful that we have the legend Evan Gattis to take over behind the plate, but we will miss Mac, both behind the plate and in the clubhouse. To minimize that is to be either ignorant or arrogant… or both. And Tim Hudson…

    What I really don’t get now is that they started the off-season saying they needed to add an “ace”, then changed the mantra to “depth”. The dialogue changed from David Price and Jeff Samardzija to Kyle Lohse and Bartolo Colon, and the need changed from “ace” to “depth and a veteran presence”. Uh, what was Huddy? Seems to me the very thing they claim to be trying now to do – sign a veteran pitcher to a moderate 1 or 2 year deal – is the very thing the Giants did with Huddy!?! Colon ended up signing with the Mets for more $$ than Huddy got in SF, for crying out loud. Maybe that is the definition of “sticker shock”. I don’t get it…

    Actually, I do get it. Frank and Fredi have identified the needs. They know what they want to get accomplished. But the purse strings have been clipped. You know it; I know it. They’ll never admit it. Their biggest mistake was opening their mouths and voicing what we all know.

    The ability to freely spend $$ on payroll doesn’t guarantee playoff success. (Right, Philly fans?) But the ability to develop a team, identify the remaining holes, and spend the additional $$ to fill needs with top players is the key.

    I can look into my crystal ball and see 2014 as it stands right now. The Braves will go into the season with a talented young team, and hang at or near the top for April and May. Then in June, our young rotation will hit a bump in the road we’ll hit a losing streak and not have a grizzled veteran to slow things down and get back on track. We’ll fall several games off the pace, and start playing catch up about midseason and the All-Star break. Everyone from B&S to Baby Seal will know what we need to add at the trade deadline, but we won’t be able to get it because the Nats and the Cards will get there first. Frank will talk about the 1 or 2 deals that they almost got done. We’ll pick up some guy that the Royals just released to create a roster spot for someone they added to help their club’s chances. We’ll begin looking at the Wild Card like that’s a good thing. Down the stretch, we’ll need to get big time starts from guys like David Hale and recent call-up JR Graham, but the rookies will have that deer-in-the-headlights look (like Julio had in this year’s playoff game) and falter where we really needed a veteran presence… except that we won’t have it. We’ll have Freddy Garcia on the DL with a groin pull.

    Meanwhile, over in the NL West, the Giants will be counting their magic number and Tim Hudson will pitch 7 2/3 strong innings in the division clincher.

    Frank will talk about how great the experience was for our young pitchers, and that they will be ready to come back and really compete in 2015.

    This is getting old. 😑


  411. 428 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

    As the 2013 Winter Meetings wind down today with the Rule 5 Draft (which the Braves will likely NOT be a factor in, neither losing a player nor gaining), here’s a brief recap of teams that affect our little world:

    The Nats identified their key needs/wants in adding a top starting pitcher and a LHRP. They leave with Doug Fister and Jerry Blevins.

    The Cards identified SS and went out and signed Jhonny Peralta, who should have learned how to correctly spell his name early in life.

    The Marlins… well, God only knows what they are doing down there.

    And the Braves…

    The Braves avoided arbitration and came to terms with 1 surgically repaired LHRP, are talking with another. They also avoided arb with another oft injured RP Jordan Walden. They signed a recently released Nats reject to a minor league deal. They talked to the agent for Roy Halladay. He retired. They looked at Jerry Hairston, Jr. He retired. (Are we starting to see a pattern here?) They have been linked to Jason Hammel.


    Exactly… πŸ™„


  412. 429 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Courtesy of Bowman: “I think we’re making progress with discussions on a lot of different fronts,” [Frank] Wren said. “‘Close’ is so hard to define. But I do think we’re making progress in filling some of those needs. You’d like to leave here with some of those things done… It’s just so unpredictable. The next phone call, I might get something done.”

    Is he auditioning for the position of White House spokesman?


  413. 430 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Ah… Baghdad Bob is alive and well….

    You know folks, there is a reason the City of Atlanta has only won a single “major league” championship in its storied history.

    Even Pittsburgh figured out you have to spend the bucks to get to the top. Sure, there are always going to be owners with more money, it is not the only answer but you do have to invest your cash and not always stash it in a tin can in the back yard. Unless those coins are solid gold, you lose just by the depreciation of the dollar alone.

    Of course, the Braves have become a real estate venture capitalist company so what else can we expect? Hey, I can’t fault the suits at Liberty Media, they are in the business of making money. Revisit my above commentary…


  414. 431 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Mr. O’B tweet that he really believes that a deal for Jeff Samardzija is still a “realistic possibility” and “doable”.

    Wonder if Frank’s “depth” comments are just a continuation of the vagueness and covert nature of the Braves front office lately? Maybe trying to throw the dogs off the scent?

    I suppose we won’t know until something, if anything, happens.

    But I will say this… Jeff Samardzija (and I have finally learned how to correctly spell his name) would be a terrific addition to our staff. He’s a tough, hard throwing competitor that would give us a good chance at a W every time he toes the rubber. That’s all I want. He won’t be phased by pressure (did you see him play football at Notre Dame?). I would be willing to trade a couple of young arms not named Lucas Sims for Shark. With the exception of the aforementioned Mr. Sims, you want your pitching prospects to grow up and develop into a guy like Shark. Why not go ahead and get the guy now? He’s already there!


  415. 432 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I shall wait and see before hitching my horse to that rumor.


  416. 433 berigan2electricboogaloo December 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Some good talkin’ here…well, good typin’ ! πŸ˜‰
    Playing a little Devil’s advocate…I recall being the head cheerleader of the braves stink group last winter…well, perhaps each one of us was leading that charge at some point. Remember when it looked like “terrible” Jordan Shafer looked to be the main move in the outfield? Who even thought he would make the club, let alone be a guy we would rather see in CF after BJ was signed?
    Ok….now the bashing….
    O’Brien also runs down the Braves needs on the heels of a quiet Winter Meetings, noting that they’re optimistic about re-signing Eric O’Flaherty. Atlanta is still pursuing a veteran bench bat — O’Brien mentions Eric Chavez — and are still interested in Jeff Samardzija. The Braves may be considered the favorites to land Samardzija at this point, says O’Brien, noting that payroll constraints will likely preclude them from pursuing David Price.
    ok…I can understand, to a point, not wanting to give up the farm for David Price(though won’t there be a ton of money to sign him to a long term contract come 2015/16 with the new park?)
    I think Gil and I could give up our bromance about EOF, IF we got David Price…but, to act like they can’t afford him, for 2 years of Arbitration (I honestly thought he had 2 years of a contract left, not just 2 years til free agency) that sucks…especially when McCann and Hudson off the books, plus a 25 mil gift to each team …well, it’s a bit hard to swallow….


  417. 434 Voice of Raisins December 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    My problem with Price is that it is evident by the Mariners’ talks with Price’s agents that he will NOT be talking extension, and that he WILL be hitting FA with a fervor in 2 years. And the Braves (and all who follow them) know that they will be far, far behind in any bidding war. It’s also been rumored that the Rays start their list by asking for Andrelton Simmons.

    At that point, I hang up the phone…


  418. 435 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Good morning fellow B-Sers… Yes, I hold fast to my contention it is more a matter of won’t over can’t when it comes to payroll. Now, that is not saying they could go out and sign Cano for $20 million per year like the Mariners but I think Cano will fall short long before the terms of that contract comes to a conclusion.

    Best the Ms can hope for will be for Cano to have an A-Roid moment somewhere in the third year or so of his deal. Thus a lifetime ban and releasing Seattle from their obligations.

    Meanwhile, back with the Braves. I still fear BJ Upton may turn out to be Atlanta’s version of the Mets’ Jason Bay. For whatever reason, the guy just did not click with the Braves. Who knows the real reason but I sure hope it is something fixable.

    I also wonder if Freddie G will take along Bobby Cox as a body guard when he sets out to visit Dan Uglla to try and mend that huge hole of a fence. The Braves have made it pretty clear they have been wanting to part company with Uggs but the lack of suitors has left Frank and Freddie with enough egg on their faces to feed all the homeless in Atlanta.

    That is some pretty bad Karma to get past. Something many of use felt was a very wrong move on the part of the organization. Hey, I guess it should have been expected when they left Chipper hanging out to dry for voicing his opinion prior to the start of the playoffs. Goes to show how flicked former teammates can be.

    I would not expect Chip to throw out any more first pitches and I wonder if he will bother to show up at Disney this spring either. Just saying…..


  419. 436 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

    So, which young catcher do you trade, Bethancourt or Gattis? You know one will be on the block in order to acquire a front line pitcher via trade. Which has the greater potential and the strongest upside?

    Bethancourt kind of reminds me of a Johny Estrada type hitter. Not a lot of power but better defensive skills.No problem having either Gattis or Bethancourt call games, that is easily down from the bench. Now Gattis…. well, we have a taste of what he can do. Strike out he may but man o man, when he connects, and he did not wear a collar during the playoffs either. To be honest, I have never seen a fan come to a game to watch a catch block balls in the dirt. He better bring some lumber with him to put some fannies in the seats. Otherwise, you may as well sign Bruce Miller….


  420. 437 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I just read a report that said the Cubs have asked the Blue Jays for their 2 top pitching prospects plus a 3rd prospect for Shark. That would be the equivalent of RHP Lucas Sims and RHP JR Graham, plus maybe SS Jose Peraza or 2B Tommy La Stella. Maybe even C Christian Bethancourt.

    First, Lucas Sims is not being traded. Period. Second, the same might be said for Peraza. I don’t think they would trade Graham, but they might in the right package for the right return.

    I believe there are 2 untouchables in the Braves system right now, maybe 4. Sims (Low A in 2013) and Peraza (Low A in 2013) are locks. RHP Jason Hursch and RHP Mauricio Cabrera (both at Low A in 2013) might be also.

    [Man, I wish I had taken the 2 hour ride north to see that Low A Rome team last season. What a rotation!]

    If the Cubs asked for 2 of Graham, Hursch or Cabrera, I don’t think they’d get them. If they asked for just 1 of them, plus 2 other prospects, they might get one. It’s hard to say, though. It seems that Frank is really sticking by his “guns” (see what I did there?) on this one.

    As for me, I would not trade Sims or Peraza in any deal. Any of the rest would have to be in a deal weighted in my favor.

    Just for the record, the Braves top 10 prospects are:

    1. Sims
    2. Bethancourt (AA in 2013)
    3. Graham (AA in 2013)
    4. Hursh
    5. Cabrera
    6. Peraza
    7. David Hale, RHP (AA and Atl in 2013)
    8. Victor Caratini, 3B/C (Rookie League in 2013)
    9. La Stella (AA in 2013)
    10. Sean Gilmartin, LHP (AAA in 2013)


  421. 438 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Gil, I heard a good radio interview with Chipper just a couple of days ago. All is well with Chipper and the organization. While Chipper did not apologize for his comments, which he shouldn’t, he did say that maybe the timing of all of it was not perfect. And he also said he may could have framed his reply a little better. Most importantly, he said that all is patched up and that it is in the past. Apparently Huddy was the ringmaster for the revolt, and the pair has talked and cleared the air.

    As for BJ, according to Fredi, the organization has already contacted BJ and that “Walk and Fletch” have begun a program to work on the mechanical flaws in BJ’s swing. (Chipper says he’s planting his foot too early, preventing him from being able to adjust on pitches…) The aforementioned coaching duo will be traveling to Tampa some, and BJ will be traveling to ATL some. But the main point is that BJ has already begun his pre-season hitting regimen, and the Braves are being pro-active in “fixing” his swing. All good news there. I hope that BJ turns out to be the Braves version of Jayson Werth, not Jason Bay.

    As for Dan, Fredi says the team is being pro-active with him as well. But since Fredi has yet to contact him, I don’t believe that process has begun. Also, the fact that Dan got married last week and is still on his honeymoon kinda reinforces that notion. (For what it’s worth, Chipper says Dan has contracted Andruw’s Disease, a condition in which a talented hitter tries to hook every pitch around the LF foul pole instead of using all fields.)


  422. 439 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Braves agree to sign infielder [Mat] Gamel


    Called it… 😎


  423. 440 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Good signing. Bats lefty; plays 3B & 1B. Plenty of pop in his bat, too. Perfect bench addition as long as his knee is OK. Good example of low cost / high upside signing. This guy approves.


  424. 441 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm


  425. 442 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm


  426. 444 Voice of Raisins December 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Not that it really matters to most folks who are not extremely OCD about things like this (like me), but the signing of Gamel should bring the number of players on the 40-man roster to 38, leaving a couple of slots still open. One will likely go to EOF when that signing happens. Maybe another veteran bench guy? Maybe another veteran reliever that isn’t recovering from surgery? I don’t see the Braves signing a FA starting pitcher, so any trade would likely negate that 40-man addition. Of course, they don’t have to fill it up, and the Braves are notorious for leaving themselves a little flexibility…


  427. 445 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Hopefully, the braves can turn around BJ so that he can return to that guy who hit in the 230’s and .240s the last 4 years in Tampa…. On turf that gets you a few more hits each season. You can see why they were so desperate to sign him for 15 mil a year for 5 years.


  428. 446 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I expect there will be a few more signings like Gamel before the hot stove season cools. To be honest, Frank Wren reminds me much of the way Joe Gibbs and the Redskins always seemed to find gold drafting in the 5th and 6th rounds.

    Gamel appears to be a Matty Diaz type of guy. Has pop in his bat but never really got to play all that much until landing in Atlanta. If he can stay healthy he has the tools…. I don’t think he will push the starters too hard though.


  429. 447 Carolina Lady December 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Nothing to do with baseball, but it’s still interesting.
    After watching the video, you might be wondering how Bliss and his friends pulled this off.

    Bliss said they outfitted an ordinary piano with technology that allowed it to be remotely controlled by β€œa really talented pianist,” Andrew Blendermann. In order for Blendermann to see and hear what was happening near the piano, Bliss said they had planted cameras and recorders that fed into a control room.


  430. 448 berigan2electricboogaloo December 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    CL, very good story on Tom Seaver, thanks for posting that! Funny, I just saw an interview of him by Bob Costas(I have always really liked Bob Costas, heard him as a kid back in St. Louis on KMOX-he was pretty young then too, hate that he now feels compelled to voice his stoopid political views into football games, because he is an excellent interviewer, and was a nice guy when we met him at some function back in the late 70’s/early 80s) saw that interview on MLBTV a week or so ago…very interesting. And it’s funny from reading this article, Seaver comes across much more like a working class guy, and my opinion of him as a kid seeing him pitch on tv was a Harvard/Yale kinda guy that happened to pitch.
    It was very interesting in that Costas interview how very hurt he was being traded by the Mets. How different it was then, such a tight nit group of players coming up together, succeeding together…sort of what the early 90’s braves felt like. Fortunately, the braves didn’t trade Glavine, Chipper or Smoltz, once they hit 31 thinking they were headed downhill….I’m sure the braves could have gotten some dandy prospects for them too πŸ™„

    Like this from the article….
    “There was no pitch count in those days,” Tom said to me. “I regularly threw 135 pitches or more. It’s what I was capable of. There should be different rules for different pitchers.” I mentioned Justin Verlander, “He’s a horse.” Tom said, “Then he should have different rules for him.” Tom believes young pitchers today hurt their arms because they throw not too many pitches in a game, but too few. Pitchers strengthen their arms by throwing. He mentioned Joba Chamberlain and Stephen Strasburg as examples of pitchers who were babied and still hurt their arms. Who’s to know why a pitcher hurts his arm? A mystery. But in today’s game, there’s no room for mystery, only numbers, statistics, so Scherzer comes out after 109 pitches, and the Tigers lose the game and the series.


  431. 449 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Funny stuff this morning CL….

    Ber, the point he makes about how many pitches it takes to throw out one’s elbow. I wasn’t even a pitcher but a catcher and hurt my elbow so much I could not even throw back to the mound, let alone make the peg to second. Thank God I could hit……

    Leo Mazonnie does not get enough credit I don’t think because he had arm strengthening exercises and conditioning drills which allowed Atlanta pitchers to stay in the game. Of course, you had guys with a warrior mentality pitching too. Like Tom Glavin pitching despite having cracked ribs…

    Baseball has evolved to a point where players pretty much have to train all year round. Spring training used to be about getting into baseball shape. Now you better come ready to play because there is always going to be some young phenom trying to take your job because they don’t like riding in buses either….


  432. 450 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I still think clubs like the Braves should invest more into their minor league development and scouting programs because they are not going to be able to compete otherwise. They just refuse to spend the money.

    The braves got a nice $20 million dollar windfall from the MLB TV deal but their payroll stays the same. I guess they are plowing that money into real estate development.

    Okay, here is a naming right opportunity for someone… Call the new stadium Chick-Fil-A Field, All sorts of nicknames could ensue… The Cow pen, the Cow pile when things don’t go so well… Maybe the Coop… anyway, you get the idea… Of course the could be really classy and call it Hank Aaron Field but that won’t happen.


  433. 451 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

    By the way, there was a link off the link you posted CL that spoke of the Walden signing, unfortunately, the player pictured captioned as Walden was actually Tommy Hansen… who is looking for a job by the way, along with Jair Jurjjens. Isn’t it a little sad how quickly a pitcher’s fortune can fall in the dumper? A cautionary tale if there ever was one. Just like Ubaldo Jimenez… but different.

    All said, one has to wonder where all the money in Southern California is coming from. High taxes, inflated housing. Does everyone have their own personal money tree in their back yard? Just wondering….


  434. 452 Carolina Lady December 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

    If there is a money tree out there, Gil, I need a branch or two! πŸ˜†

    I enjoyed reading the Seaver article. It was especially telling in the banter between the two. Seaver must have a brilliant mind. It’s good to see a “famous” person who doesn’t act like it!

    From excerpt from another MLB article:
    “KANSAS CITY — After doing nothing at the Winter Meetings in Florida, the Royals were closing in on a big something just over 24 hours later.

    Although nothing was official Friday night, the Royals were believed to be in agreement with free-agent second baseman Omar Infante on a four-year contract worth more than $30 million. That would be a big raise for Infante, who earned $4 million last season with Detroit.

    The Royals, through team spokesman Mike Swanson, would not confirm a deal.

    “We have nothing to report,” Swanson said.

    Infante’s agent, Gene Mato, indicated a deal was close.

    “Nothing is finalized yet, but we are in serious discussions and we should have news for you pretty quick. It’ll be north of $30 [million], but we’re working on it,” Mato said. “We’re still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. We’re just not there yet.”


  435. 453 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I had just finished reading the Infante story but looks like you “scooped” me CL. I will comment however and say it looks like the Royals have put together a pretty nice ball club for 2014. Now it will come down to what kind of pitching staff they can put together. At least their pitchers will have some really decent gloves behind them. This may well be the Royals’ year…. Many predicted it several years ago as their prospects matured.

    Anyone remember the Braves’ so called “Great Eight”? One of the best minor league lineups of all time, Melvin Nieves, Mike Kelly, Tony Tarasco, Ramon Caraballo , Jose Oliva, Ryan Klesko , Javy Lopez and Chipper Jones. There was never any question Chipper was the best of a special bunch but Klesko and Javy were pretty special too. I think they won over a hundred games the season they were together in Double A Greenville.

    Just a reminder of how a talented bunch in the minors can translate into a winning tradition in the majors.


  436. 454 Carolina Lady December 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Whoops! Sorry, Gil! πŸ™‚

    I do remember that group! Isn’t Bobby playing a featured role in the farm system (Player Development or whatever fancy name they hang on it)? I wish/hope that we had Chipper’s influence on the team. He was really highly respected in the clubhouse, I think. I have no idea who will try to fill that role now.


  437. 456 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Stop the presses…World Series bound… from mlbtr
    Braves Close To Deal With Gavin Floyd
    By Zach Links [December 14, 2013 at 4:33pm CST]

    The Braves are close to a deal with free agent Gavin Floyd, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). While the two sides are nearing agreement, nothing has been finalized yet.

    Yesterday, it was reported that Floyd was close to inking a deal with an unknown club. Floyd missed most of the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery in May. In 168 innings with the White Sox in 2012, he posted a 4.29 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.


  438. 457 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Okay. just roll out the Bionic Man and be done with it…. Although Lee Majors might be a bit long in the tooth, he was only a paltry $6 million dollars….He would be right in the Braves’ wheel house…

    Gavin Floyd… another attempt to catch lightning in a bottle. Did he by chance once work as a janitor and search for his inner Zen? Somewhere fictional manager Lou Brown, aka James Gammon, is smiling at this turn of events…. I can’t wait to see the new team bus….


  439. 458 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I wonder if the Braves will include a complete surgical suite including a dye contrast MRI and OR in the plans for their new ballpark. I’m pretty sure the Braves will be in the forefront in developing cyborgs to replace current players to stay under budget. While the inital cost might be high, I’m pretty sure they would work for WD-40…. Look at the money the team could save on food alone…

    Hey, putting a new ballpark where it should have been to begin with is not a bad move by the Braves but this whole Jeffrey Loria model of how to run a franchise is wearing a little thin. We spoiled fans might be willing to give up an appendage or two to have a free wheeling and drunken sailor AKA George Stinebrenner type owning the Braves for a few years. I know, maybe not quite that bat crap crazy but at least someone who doesn’t piss and moan everytime the team has to replace a light bulb in the office complex.


  440. 459 Voice of Raisins December 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm



  441. 460 Carolina Lady December 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Gil: “Somewhere fictional manager Lou Brown, aka James Gammon, is smiling at this turn of events…. I can’t wait to see the new team bus….”

    “I gotta guy on the other line who’s interested in a new set of white walls. I’ll call ya back later.”

    Love that movie!


  442. 461 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2013 at 7:10 am

    CL. “Major Leagues” has to be one of the all time baseball movies. So many tag lines still used today. While “Bull Durham” might just be the best, it is a close second and for what it is, may be closer to the truth than many think. I’m pretty sure Jeffery Loria has it on his DVR for instant reference.

    While I recognize baseball is a business, I don’t sit around blogging about ATT vs Verizon or DuPont vs Monsanto…. (Although DuPont here locally would hire minor league baseball players back in the 50s to play on their industrial league team.? It was all they did by the way…. no other work, just play ball.)

    My. how the corporate suits have grown up. Well, somewhat….


  443. 462 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I can remember watching “The Spirit of St Louis” the story of Dizzy Dean in his hey day and watching the “Game of the Week” hosted by Ol’ Diz and his pardner Pee Wee Reese. To be sure, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck don’t hold a candle to those two.

    Anyway, I hope the Braves can strike a little gold while mining the washed out river beds because maybe that is Frank’s stronger suit anyway. He sure had better results in signing O’Flarety off the scrap heap as well as David Carpenter than what he managed with BJ Upton and Dan Uggla. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dan’s hustle but like Chipper said, he suffers fron Andrew Jones itis trying to pull everything around the right field foul pole.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the only big name free agent signing that has really worked out for the Braves might have been Greg Maddux and that my friends is ancient history….


  444. 463 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

    but the only big name free agent signing that has really worked out for the Braves might have been Greg Maddux…

    Trying to think of FA’s that have made an impact wearing the Tomahawk since Mad Dog…

    Andres Galarraga comes to mind, as does Billy Wagner. Both of those worked out pretty well, but both were later in their careers and might not be considered “big name” at the time. They certainly weren’t in their prime and looking for top dollar. Lower profile guys like David Ross and Chris Hammond were pretty good, too. But since the Maddux signing there aren’t many more. (Of course, Terry Pendleton and Sid Bream helped right this ship, but those are pre-Maddux…)

    For me personally, I’m not ready to call BJ a total bust yet. Not after just 1 season. I keep going back to Jayson Werth, who also sucked profusely in his 1st season for the Nats after signing his big FA deal. He has since returned to the player that they thought they were signing when they backed up the Brinks truck. I’m willing to give BJ one more year to come around.

    Your mileage may vary.


  445. 464 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Now… as for a list of horrible Braves FA signings…

    Where to begin?

    Obviously this list can be very long, so I’ll keep it brief. And I’m sure fans of any team can generate their own long list. Ours just stands out more to us because their ours. OK, here goes:

    Albie Lopez – he was HORRIBLE; career ERA of 4.94; won 1 game in ATL
    Raul Mondesi – so bad the team released him before June
    John Thomson – 4.15 ERA, 4.15 buckets of sweat per start
    Bruce Sutter – only one of many over-the-hill Braves signings
    Al Hraboski – see above
    Kenshin Kawakami – never adjusted to baseball in the USA, but drove some really nice cars
    Corky Miller – was there ever a worse hitter in a Braves uniform? .138 AVG… even worse than BJ and Danny
    Chris Woodward – the memory makes me want to pull my own fingernails out

    Special mention goes to Nick Esasky. Who knew he’d contract vertigo after an ear infection and have to retire after just 9 games? It sounds almost to incredible to even type. I think that falls under “act of God”, kinda like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods… just different.

    Please feel free to add to this list as you feel led to…


  446. 465 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Wasn’t Walt Weiss a FA signing? That one was a pretty good one too…


  447. 466 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Here’s one so below the radar I didn’t even pick it up yet.


    More “mining the washed out river beds”, right Gil?


  448. 467 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

    It should be noted that the Mark Hamilton signing was reported here prior to being reported by ajc.com, DOB, Mark Bowman or MLBTR. Not sure if that means we are really on the ball here, or the signing is just that insignificant. πŸ™„


  449. 468 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Of course, seeing as how it still isn’t being reported anywhere, it must be a nothing signing.


  450. 469 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    For the record, the Floyd signing does nothing for me…


  451. 470 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I don’t mind having Alex Wood in my bullpen as long as my rotation of Medlen, Minor, Teheran and Beachy are being headlined by a real top starter. But for a reclamation project? I’d rather have Alex every 5 days…


  452. 471 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    … and Beachy avoids arb today and agrees on a 1 year deal. 7 more arb guys to go…


  453. 472 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I wonder if Mejia is wondering what he has to do to get a little love from the Braves? Firstbase is getting crowded at Triple A…

    And on the free agent thingee… Not saying Frank’s and his predecessor were a complete bust, just a lot more Ken Caminettis than Greg Madduxs. Most of the better signings have been role players and bench types.

    I had forgotten about The Big Cat and maybe Vinny Castia who played third and moved Chipper to left field but it just has not been Atlanta’s forte’ to go big on a free agent.

    I guess it is just frustrating to always being forced to be window shoppers with our noses pressed against the glass while others seem to be having a high time running up and down the aisles.


  454. 473 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Heh heh… πŸ˜† I thought the same about Mejia…

    It is frustrating, Gil. I understand to a point, but the honest truth (is there any other kind?) is that with all these talented youngsters going through arb and hitting FA at close to the same time, our window of opportunity is kinda short. No way we’ll be able to afford to keep this group together in another 3 or 4 years. That’s why I wanted to see a top starter added right now. I really believe this team is that close. But I guess at this point we need to hope and pray that our youngsters all have big seasons at the same time, and that they all stay healthy. That is really where the budget restraints show up -> in depth, or lack thereof as the case may be.


  455. 474 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm


  456. 475 Voice of Raisins December 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    #Braves interest in Samardzija died more than a week ago because of the asking price.

    We surmised as much, if you’ll recall, because of what the Cubs were asking from Toronto. No real surprise. Once an organization has been Teixeirrorized, they are never the same. It’ll be years before they pull the trigger on a deal like that again. And they are paying relatively little for Floyd. It’s extremes, it seems. I would have preferred they just retain Huddy.

    But honestly, can Gavin Floyd – assuming he fully recovers with no problems – give you anything more than Alex Wood? Woody got enough starts last season to get beyond being a rookie. Plus he’s not a young’un… he pitched alot of big college games. So I don’t really give Floyd a huge nod even with his experience.

    Here’s my question…

    If Woody is our 5th starter in April while Floyd is finalizing his rehab, and he has a ridiculous month like he had this past August where he had 4 starts and an ERA of 0.90, then what do you do?


  457. 476 Carolina Lady December 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    If I remember correctly, Walt Weiss was the one who named his glove “The Thing” ’cause he had had it so long. And Jeff Porter had to spend most of his time between innings working on it to keep it together.

    I hope Jeff is coping since his wife’s death. What a horrid wreck that was!

    Wish Huddy had resigned. He and his wife were so very active in the community. Good people.


  458. 477 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Good people indeed, CL. I would guess that upon the completion of Huddy’s career, he’ll return to his east Alabama home and once again be active in the ATL community and the Braves organization.


  459. 478 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hmmm… interesting…

    The Yankees have reached agreement with Brian Roberts to be their new 2B. Trouble is, he’s 36, injury plagued, and played in just 77 games last season, his highest total since 2009. Does that seem like an everyday player to you?

    Maybe they’ll have some interest in Mr. Uggla. We all know Danny will go to the post every day, whether he can see or not! πŸ˜†

    OK, that was a bit of a cheap shot… 😳


  460. 479 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2013 at 9:50 am

    So, based on the comments of Mr.’s O’B and Bowman, should we reasonably assume that Frank has made all the moves he’s gonna make? Sounds to me like he has. It’s gonna be a very boring next 7 weeks.


  461. 483 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles offered Gavin Floyd a 2 year deal worth up to $20MM after incentives, but Floyd turned them down, opting for the Braves instead.

    Do they see something in a lame-armed pitcher that I don’t? Then again, Huddy just got $23MM coming off major surgery to his push-off ankle. Makes the Braves measly $4MM investment in Floyd seem like a bargain, eh? I heard him in an interview yesterday say he wanted to some to Atlanta because of the success the team has had with pitchers coming off TJ surgery. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing to be known by… 😐


  462. 484 Voice of Raisins December 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    CL, former roving outfield and baserunning instructor Doug Dascenzo is the new 3B coach. Snitker is the new manager at AAA Gwinnett. Former Gwinnett manager Randy Ready was let go at season’s end due to “philosophical differences”. Snitker’s, uh, reassignment has been called a demotion by many. The official word is that the Braves needed a baserunning coach at the major league level (and based upon last year’s results, or lack thereof, I have to agree) and that Snitker’s experience was needed at Gwinnett. That may be so, but any move from a major league coaching position back to the minors is clearly not a promotion or lateral move. Sucks for Snit.


  463. 486 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    One reason a pitcher might have better success in Atlanta after TJ could be the weather…. Hot, humid, sauna like helps the muscles relax. Then again, I look for Huddy to really enjoy pitching in San Fran. He really could not take the heat.

    Raisins, you mentioned John Thompson in one of your earlier post. Yeah, the guy sweated buckets out there on the mound. Looked like me after a stint on the tread mill.

    Brian Roberts is not a risk for the Yankees, they could always move Alfonso Soriano back to second and I think Kelly Johnson can fill in. Roberts was once a stellar second basemen but it is my instantiated opinion he was on the juice for a while. That, methinks, led to his breaking down as well as his power supply.

    As for the Braves pitching rotation, we will have just have to see. So many moving parts, it’s easy to go from being fat to having guys like Buddy Carlyle and Jo Jo Reyes as part of your starting five.

    I think that kid David Hale did not exactly stink up the joint when he took his turns. The Braves have some talent but my be a tad shy on depth. Besides, we don’t even know what gem Frank will pluck off the waiver wire at the end of spring training who will be the next David Carpenter.

    The Braves might be a little short on pedigree right now but they appear to be long character…


  464. 487 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    You folks do realize it is Bobby Cox who is the real genius behind being able to help pitchers with sore arms (AKA) TJ surgery and locating a different arm slot for them to take the pressure off tender sinews… Leo was in reality a messenger… I still wonder what was said that burned that bridge?


  465. 488 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    “the honest truth” words you will never hear in the same sentence with Barry Obama…..

    “Teixeirrorized” Vee, you need to copyright that one….


  466. 489 Carolina Lady December 18, 2013 at 12:42 am

    “β€œTeixeirrorized” Vee, you need to copyright that one….”

    I second that!


  467. 490 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Man, sure thought I had posted…something…perhaps I post things in my head whilst I sleep…
    Teixeirrorized, yup..should be copyrighted. πŸ˜‰ It’s a known condition of many brave execs. Should have been avoided after Adam Wainwrightis but that was only one great player, not 3-4 great players…
    Gavin Floyd and I guess his agent have big….dreams.
    I guess their thought is come to the nice, “soft” NL , start in May/june, go 11-7 with a 3.75 ERA , showing decent health, and sign a 3 year 45 Mil Contract after the season…
    But, I have to agree with y’all that I would just assume run Alex Wood or Hale out there every 5th day. You can skip starts early in the year anyways…might as well save the moola if you aren’t really improving the team.
    What I described is a best case scenario …there may not be a DH to deal with, but the NL East is a lot stronger than the AL central. Even the Marlins, while not having a real M.L. offense, they have a great rotation, and if he gives up 3-4 runs against them, he is likely to lose.
    Getting a bit too far in the future, and who knows, perhaps he will gain 2-3 MPH on his pitches..Or gets taught the Venters Change…and is a lot better than the 4+ ERA guy he was in the A.L. not that likely, but one never knows, does one?


  468. 491 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Rangers sure were lucky in that trade…amazing Salty turned out to not be the centerpiece. Elvis Andrews is still only 24, not Simmons, defensively, but still quite good(imagine him at 2nd base, stole 42 bases last year)
    NeftalΓ­ Feliz 25…was a very good closer, then moved into the rotation…then , stop me if you have ever heard of a player having this problem, blew out his elbow and had TJ surgery…from Wiki…

    On May 21, 2012, Feliz was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to a sprained UCL. After several rehab appearances Feliz underwent Tommy John surgery on August 1, 2012.[14] In 8 games (7 starts), Feliz went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA during his injury-shortened 2012 year.

    Feliz began the 2013 season on the 60-day disabled list due to still recovering from the Tommy John surgery he previously had. On September 1 Feliz was activated from the disabled list with the intention to use him in low-leverage situations.[15] He pitched later that night in a long cause to the Minnesota Twins, pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief. Feliz finished the season with only six appearances in which he did not give up a run and struck-out four.[16]
    So…a young, healthy guy missed more than a 1 1/2 seasons , no lock that Gavin Floyd will be back, Nor Venters, or EOF.
    Matt Harrison, the old guy at 28… 18-11 in 2012…
    He had not one, but 2 back surgeries last year…..


  469. 492 Voice of Raisins December 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Good points, Ber. We often think the Rangers made out like bandits, but they didn’t get the long term impact they thought they would either, eh?

    To quote the great Joaquin Andujar: “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.'”