#131: And away we go…

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

Gil
Mechanicsville, VA

The proverbial second half of the the Major League baseball season has begun. I say  proverbial because the the real halfway point occurred several weeks ago. As I    hammer away at the keyboard, the Braves are in a virtual tie for first place in the NL  East with the Washington Nationals. Virtual because to date, the Braves are 10  games over .500 with a record of 54-44 while the Nats are also 10 games over .500 at  53-43 with two games in hand over the Braves.

 

Surprisingly, this has come when the Braves have been all over the map as far as their play this season, part great pitching, part timely hitting, they have also have suffered through some abysmal stretches when it comes to making contact with the ball and scoring runs coupled with some leaky defense and erratic relief pitching. For some reason, those last two seem to go hand-in-hand.

 

In the past week, the long awaited departure of Dan Uggla mercifully took place the first day back from the All-Star break. With the remaining balance of approximately $19 million still on the Braves books, Dan will likely now be offered a league minimum contract by a team looking to catch a little lightning in a bottle from the 3-time All-Star. My guess would be Dan’s best bet would be with an American League team looking for a guy who can serve as a DH and not expose him too often to the perils of using him in the field. I still think he could play first base on occasion but that is a thread to be discussed by Dan’s potential suitors.

 

Gattis

Gattis

The Braves look to regain the services of El Orso Blanco on Monday. What the Braves gain in offense, they will lose in the defense so ably displayed by young Christian Bethancourt. The 22-year-old back stop has quickly gained the confidence of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff and looks to be primed to play everyday for somebody in the majors. While Gattis is prized for his prowess with a bat, his glove work has appeared lacking this season. While defense wins championships, you need somebody to get you at least one run and Gattis has shown the ability to deliver when the chips are down.

 

Still, the Braves still are face with some needs, a reliable veteran situational lefty relief pitcher and a power bat for the left side bench. A good lead off man and center fielder would be very beneficial too but perhaps we can flog that dead horse another day.

BJ Upton

BJ Upton

Just as Dan Uggla’s $13m per year contract became Frank Wren’s albatross, I fear Melvin Jr.’s contract is bird of the same feather. Melvin’s defense is suspect at best and his bat hardly justifies his big payday but at least it did not also cost the Braves any of their prized prospects. That would only have made the deal worse. Well, no one forced the Braves into signing BJ, they did it knowing full well his pluses and minuses. I just don’t think they realized his minuses would be so large.

 

 

Phil Gosselin

Phil Gosselin

The Bravos brought up Tyler Pastornicky to fill Dan Uggla’s spot on the roster. Some have wondered why Philip Gosselin was not allowed to remain with Atlanta but because he had already been returned to Triple A, he could not return for 10 days. Time will tell if the Pastor sticks with the big club or swaps places with young Gosselin. One has to wonder why the Braves did not really see the impending release of Uggla sooner. I expect the shuttle will be rather active between Atlanta and the farm clubs until the Braves find the right mix.

 

So, looking forward, what can we expect of this very young squad who became even younger with the release of Uggs. August looks to be the make or break portion of this season’s schedule for Atlanta. Nothing but contenders lined up with the likes of Oakland, Seattle, the Dodgers and Pirates as well as the Braves’ nemesis the Mets. Time will tell if the Braves are still fighting to hold off the pre-season favorite Nats or trying to chase them down in September.

Gil2

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253 Responses to “#131: And away we go…”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady July 21, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks a lot, Gil! Well thought-out as usual! 🙂

    Like

  2. 2 Clarence Elliott July 22, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Gil, you were right on target as usual! Did your post perhaps nudge the GM to make the right decision?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Bro, you never know who might be watching, I’m sure the guys at the NSA still enjoy our little blog….

    Like

  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

    CL, kudos to the graphics department for making me look good… May have to update my comments on Uggla since he signed a deal with the Giants but let’s see if he gets a call up on August first.

    I thought the team looked a bit flat last night, hard to put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just me being tired…. Anyway, Saw it coming with Shea, especially since the home plate ump was all over the place with his strike zone. A lot of Braves’ strikes called balls and a lot of Marlin’s balls called strikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Raisins, 11 days should give Uggla about 30 at bats. They don’t all have to be hit, the real key is contact. I thought Dan was hitting the ball without any good results early in the season without anything to show for it. Too many negative vibes coming from the coaching staff about his inability to take it to the tee box for him not to notice. We’ll see.

    Of course, I still think it will take about a month just like I think it will take a couple of weeks for Gattis to get comfortable again…

    Like

  6. 6 vaquietlife July 22, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Watched the game with Mr. Gil last night, boring. I would rather play candy crush on computer. They have manage to get down to only a few players that I like, and they don’t always play them. I will miss Dan, and I hope he does great on the West coast. Gil owes me a autographed baseball, from Dan for my birthday, lets see if he can get it now. Since Dan is no longer on the team 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Danny fell into the same trap that sent Andruw Jones over the cliff… a sudden inability to go with the pitch. Both spent their last couple of seasons in “The A” trying to wrap every pitch thrown around the LF foul pole. it became a stubborn obsession with Andruw, much as it did with Dan. I don’t begrudge him his new opportunity. I like the guy personally. But I don’t see him turning around 2+ seasons of bad habits in 2, 3 or even 4 weeks.

    Here’s the harsh reality. The Giants took him on a AAA deal with an Aug. 1 opt out not for Dan’s best interests, but for theirs. In other words, if they can’t find a better option by the trade deadline, then they have a low cost option. By stashing him in AAA, they don’t have to add him to their 40 man roster. Make no mistake, they’ll still be active in the trade market for a Ben Zobrist or an Emilio Bonafacio or even a Chase Utley.

    Please don’t think I’m piling on Dan. I was as big a supporter of his as a Brave as anyone was. But I am a realist and a pragmatic person. The Marlins caught “lightning in a bottle” with Dan coming off his Rule 5 claim. And for a couple of years, no 2B did it better at the plate. But the bottle was already cracked when the Braves made the trade for him, and completely shattered shortly after he signed his extension. There is no lightning left. Maybe he can show SF a spark or 2… but I’m not holding my breath.

    Like

  8. 9 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    From the Bowman blog: “But if possible, the Braves have to find somebody who can prove to be more of a threat than Schafer (4-for-22 as a pinch hitter) and Ryan Doumit (9-for-42 as a pinch hitter) off the bench.

    In my opinion, Doumit has been awful as a reserve. Abysmal. I got to catch the AAA Gwinnett Braves last night, and made the comment to my family that I thought Joey Terdo was a better bench option than Doumit. Terdo proceeded to crush the next pitch over the RF wall. I agree with Bowman that at least Schafer has played his usual stellar defense, and is arguably the best baserunner on the roster. That offsets his batting woes to a certain degree. But Doumit hasn’t contributed much of anything that I can see. His bench spot is the one that the vaunted and elusive LH bench bopper needs to occupy. Now if Frank could only find one…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 10 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Likely LHRP trade targets:

    Andrew Miller, Red Sox
    Andrew Russell, Cubs
    Wesley Wright, Cubs
    Oliver Perez, D’backs

    By all accounts, the Bosox’ Miller is Frank’s favorite, but their recent winning streak has lit a glimmer of hope for the team, and Miller is no longer likely to be available. But the other 3 are certainly reasonable targets, I believe.

    Like

  10. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Yes VOX, methinks their are many who stop by the B&S to get the real insight on the team.

    As much as I like Evan Gattis, I would think him to be a very attractive trade piece for a swap with an American League team for some part the Braves need to sure up their line up.

    Domit has been exactly who he is… A cheap option who was available.

    I wonder if the Braves might be interest in demoted left handed pitcher Malone in Oakland? Not a front of the rotation guy but a improvement over Minor who is having serious problems between his ears this season….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 12 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Tommy Milone would be a nice piece to add, and inexpensive… which is probably why Billy Beane will hang onto him.

    Gil, I love Even Gattis. He adds so much to this team, both on and off the field. But I have a feeling he’s destined to exactly what you said… AL DH.

    If he can finish the season strong, he’d be an awfully strong trade chip in the offseason. And there is no doubt that Bethancourt is ready for The Show. In fact, there’s no way he can go back for a 3rd season at AAA, so something will have to give between now and the start of next season. But that’s a long time away, and there is alot of baseball to be played between now and then. Anything can happen, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 13 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Bowman: “The Braves will spend the next week searching for ways to upgrade their bullpen and bench. But with essentially no financial flexibility and limited attractive options, there is a chance they will remain quiet through the July 31 Trade Deadline.

    I know Bowman is a “beat writer” of the team, but I’m not so sure I’m in complete agreement with his stance. For one, Frank has always held something back to have flexibility at the deadline. All one has to do is look back at his tenure. He’s very consistent. Second, the Braves have gained some wiggle room back with Gavin Floyd’s injury. Not only will he not meet the innings related incentives in his deal, which were substantial, his deal should also be insured. So there is enough relief right there to look at the bullpen and bench.

    Can they go after a Cliff Lee or David Price? Of course not. But who thought they would? Andrew Russell and Chris Coghlan are more likely.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 14 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Andrew Russell Should have said James Russell. Got him and Andrew Miller a little confuzzled.

    And speaking of James Russell, his numbers this year are kind of confuzzled too. As a LHRP, lefties are batting almost .300 against him, but righties are only at .100. Strange, and not what the Braves need.

    Similarly, his teammate LHRP Wesley Wright is also dishing it up more to lefties than righties (.268 vs. .183). Again, doesn’t help the Braves who need someone who can get those tough lefties in our division out.

    Oliver Perez? Try .254 against lefties vs. .176 against righties. What is going on with these guys?

    How about a new name? How about the Astros’ Tony Sipp? His LH vs. RH is more like it at .100 vs. .216. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

    Like

  14. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Agree. and a trade with the Astros makes more sense for the Braves and the Stros.

    I was thinking about Fredi Freeman’s really bad average against the Marlins, something like 3 for 43… WOW, maybe a good time to give Fab 5 a night off…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo July 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Excellent blog lead as usual Gil! 🙂
    V, remember that Santana cost a pretty penny….normally more money aside other years than this year.

    Like

  16. 18 Vox O'Raison July 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    2nite’s lineup:
    1- BJ, CF
    2- Rook, 2B
    3- Gumby, 1B
    4- JUp, LF
    5- JHey, RF
    6- Gatt, C
    7- CJ, 3B
    8- Simba, SS
    9- Mikey Minor, LHP

    Like

  17. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks Ber,

    I am thinking Mike Minor has a personality conflict with Evan Gattis… Watch the body language between the two tonight, just saying.

    Like

  18. 20 berigan2electricboogaloo July 23, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Well, they made a valiant comeback, Carpenter looked very good again…

    Like

  19. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Yes Ber, other than Mike Minor, who is looking less and less like a major league starter and more like another albatross around the team’s collective necks.

    I am thinking the Braves should have left Evan at triple A for another week.

    Moving out Uggla has upset Fredi Freeman karma and demoting Bethancourt has broken the team’s rhythm. Just saying…

    Not that Evan won’t start hitting again but his timing is off right now. It happens….

    Like

  20. 22 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Not a good outing at all last night. He has only had one really good start in recent memory… troubling indeed.

    Looking at many trade candidates yesterday and early today. Well, that’s not exactly correct. Looking at alot of players, but few are viable trade candidates. Not many LHRP’s available that are worth trading for. Same with bench players. The market is just not there. If Frank fails to make an impact trade, I don’t think $$ will be the reason. Just not any really good trade candidates out there.

    Then again, after last night, maybe he needs to look at some starting pitchers…

    Like

  21. 23 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Wouldn’t you know it? Just as Fresno was opening a series in El Paso. No Dan Uggla / Jeff Francoeur matchup… 🙄

    Like

  22. 24 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Braves flagship station talking heads say the Braves are looking for a RH bat off the bench. RH? Really? OK. They know better than I do. But who do we have as a LH? Schafer? Doumit? Pena? All putrid offensively so far this season. Now that I think about it, that named the whole bench except Pastornicky. (Can’t count Laird. He’s the primary C replacement.)

    Yeck. :-/ The whole bench is lacking. Maybe we should just take what we can find regardless of which side of the plate he stands on.

    And just for grins and giggles, how many times this season has Doumit come to bat with the tying or go ahead runner on base only to turn a 180 and walk back to the losing dugout? He’s been the worst of a bad bench. Abysmal.

    Like

  23. 25 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe: Also drawing interest is Houston lefthander Tony Sipp, whose career has been helter-skelter but his good times have been very good.

    That’s my guy. LH’s are hitting only .100 against him this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 26 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Wonder if recently DFA’d A.J. Pierzynski would consider a bench role? He might still have some life left in his bat even if he’s no longer an everyday catcher. And we could let 3rd C Doumit take a walk.

    Pierzynski still has one of the best baseball quotes ever. After a Bosox reliever walked a guy, Pierzynski requested a new ball from the umpire saying, “Give me a new ball. One you can see.”

    Of course he was immediately tossed, but what a great line. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 27 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Very nice… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville July 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, I miss quoted yesterday when I said Fredi was 3-44 vs the fish, he was actually 2-41, now he is 2-44… Talk about being in somebody’s kitchen…

    Could Francour be a right handed bat off the bench? Better fielder than all but Heyward.

    I don’t really have any idea of who the Braves might have stashed in the weeds but at this point, I might be inclined to start Hale in Minor’s spot. Mike definitely has issues.

    When you score 5 runs, you are supposed to be able to put up a W… PERIOD…

    Like

  27. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville July 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Nice game by Santana tonight. Good to see Fredi stroke on out too.

    Like

  28. 30 Vox O'Raison July 23, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    That’s more like it…

    Like

  29. 31 berigan2electricboogaloo July 24, 2014 at 12:36 am

    yep

    Like

  30. 32 Vox O'Raison July 24, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Observation…

    Ryan Zimmerman, 3B/LF for the Nationals, suffered what is being called a “pretty substantial” hamstring strain and is out for an indefinite period of time. (Remember when Chipper moved to the OF and suffered a pretty substantial hamstring injury?) Now, that is good for the Braves from the perspective that Zim, for all his defensive woes, is a premier offensive player. But it’s also not so good – the poop is that the Nats are looking at Martin Prado as a trade target with the idea that Zimmerman is out for a while.

    Man I’d hate for Prado to end up with the Nats. Can’t we figure out some place to put him? Can he pitch?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo July 24, 2014 at 10:52 am

    if he can throw the ball left handed at all, let’s get ’em! 😆

    Like

  32. 34 berigan2electricboogaloo July 24, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Frenchy alert, I said a Frenchy ALERT! First game, got a hit and a walk, I repeat, a hit and a WALK! 😆 Good for Frenchy! 🙂
    He really should get some playing time there with the Fathers…their 2nd best hitter(.247, yikes!) Cameron Maybin, was suspended 25 games for Amphetamines. I even saw that Brooks Conrad made a web gem the other night(Sadly, he’s hitting .103 in 29 Ab’s)
    Braves of the west coast!

    Like

  33. 35 berigan2electricboogaloo July 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Funny, I thought it was last year Minor had that terrible first half, with an ERA around 5.00(kept wondering why they kept running him out there, then all of the sudden, turned it around) but that was 2012. last year, 13-9, 3.21 ERA. Very good. But look how inconsistent he was within the season.
    March-April. 3.13 ERA. May 1.98. June 4.20. July 2.18. August, 4.71. Sept/Oct .3.94.
    2014. May, 3.41. June(5 starts) 5.90. July (4 starts) 7.97!
    Hard for Minor to have back to back good months(back to back bad months he has down though 😦 )
    Minor better have Glavine on speed dial….

    Like

  34. 36 Vox O'Raison July 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Yesterday’s radio pre-game analysis described Minor’s Tuesday start as “uncomfortable”. They said he looked uncomfortable warming up, uncomfortable on the mound, “uncomfortable in his uniform”. They emphasized that he had a hard time repeating his mechanics. That’s a head thing, folks. And it’s not good, either. Fixing a bad habit is workable. Fixing the mental part is like bathing a cat. Doesn’t bode well for the immediate future.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. 37 Vox O'Raison July 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Speaking of Francoeur…

    Francoeur was pranked … again

    Like

  36. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I thought the Mike Minor thing was just with Gattis but I guess it is worse that that, he has a personality conflict with himself…. head case plus….

    Like

  37. 39 Carolina Lady July 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    From Sports On Earth’s Matthew Kory rating the division races. This is his NL East comment:
    “5. NL East

    Where It Stands Now:

    One team is within two games of first place.
    Three teams are eight games out of first place or worse.
    Notes:

    The Braves and Nationals are both good baseball teams, but constant thrill rides they are not. Atlanta’s only superstar candidate is Jason Heyward and he’s been mediocre offensively this season (though excellent defensively). The Nats’ big star is Bryce Harper who has been not that great and hurt most of the year. Stephen Strasburg has been great, though a bit unlucky, and thus the excitement levels have been dialed down during his starts. In the end, this division will be won by one of two relatively unexciting teams, and that just isn’t that exciting.

    Grade: As exciting as getting a new coaster at a restaurant. Sure, the old one was a bit beat up, and this one is nice and clean, but it’s a drink coaster — and who cares?”

    Like

  38. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Phillies and Cole Hammels beat the Giants and Huddy 2-1 today. I wonder how much treasure it would cost the Braves for Cole? I know he would not be cheap…

    The gNats have lost the services of Ryan Zimmerman for an extended time due to a leg injury. Hate it for Zim but not going to cry for the gNats. Not as if the Braves haven’t lost a player or two along the way.

    Like

  39. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Well CL, who cares what Matthew Kory thinks, is his opine any more relative than mine or yours or Conrad’s or Kenny’s? Nope… Do I get frustrated when the Braves play lousy but to be honest, the only team that is blowing out everyone else id the A’s … Appears to me every team has some holes. Even the over paid and under performing Dodgers.

    To be sure, I would not bet a single dime on any team to win right now because even the Astros can be pretty exiting. I love the midget they have leading off and playing second base. He is listed at 5-5 but I would bet he is closer to 5-2…

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 42 Carolina Lady July 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    🙂 Yeah, my thought was “Who is Matthew Kory? Never heard of him. (not surprising).”

    The opinions of you, Vox and Ber mean a whole lot more to me than anybody else anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 43 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I’ll give Kory this much… there really isn’t a “scare factor” with the Braves as currently assembled. Think about it…

    With the Marlins in town, you always fear Stanton coming to the plate, especially if there is anyone on the bases. With the Nats, there are a couple: Harper & Werth. Heck, you could even include a healthy Zimmerman in there.

    The Braves have…

    Admit it. You had to think about it, right?

    I count 1, maybe. Justin Upton, sort of. He’s so streaky. When he’s on, he’s definitely to be feared. But when he’s not…

    What about Freddie Freeman? Well, he could be, but he’s not yet.

    JHey? Nope. He’s batting .258 and slugging only .359. What’s to be feared?

    We do not have that 1 guy like we had with Chipper or Galarraga or Crime Dog or Justice, etc. We just don’t have him. And we need at least one. We need JHey to be that guy. We need JUp to be more consistent.

    Until that happens, I don’t think we can really be a threat to to deep into the post-season. Fredi keeps saying that there’s always that one team that gets hot at the end of the season, and he thinks the Braves can be that team. Well, what else is he gonna say?

    I’m not so optimistic.And I’m supposed to be the positive guy around here.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 45 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Much HOF chatter today. I appreciate that, but i would like to also see some chatter about how this 2014 team intends to improve itself before the trade deadline, which is only 6 days away.

    Needs: LHRP in a bad way, potent bench addition, a veteran starter wouldn’t hurt…

    And no one seems to think they “starting 8” need anything. I guess when you look at it, you can say, “Hey, we’re pretty good at [fill in the position.]” Problem is, pretty good might get you the Wild Card and a one game exit in October.

    Shall we go through the exercise? Sure, why not…

    LF – JUp. Probably the closest thing we have to a real offensive threat, if he could just do it more consistently.

    CF – BJ. Well, his situation has been discussed ad nauseum. But at least he has been hitting the ball and getting on base at a much more respectable clip in the last few weeks. Regardless, it’s a moot point. His contract ties him to the lineup.

    RF – JHey. Wish he was an All Star, but he isn’t. Best RF glove in the game, but still hasn’t reached lofty heights offensively, and he’s had enough MLB years to get it going. Not sure he ever will. There are some that think he could be traded and bring back a really nice return. You know… trade him while his reputation exceeds his real value..? I could be in that camp if the return were for a real impact player as part of the package.

    1B – Gumby. Solid in the field and at the plate. I think he will have a breakout MVP season very soon. This season isn’t it, but one’s coming.

    2B – La Stella. Nice player. Love his approach to the game. Love that he knows how to get the bat on the ball. And he’s cheap. He could be a real valuable trade chip if there were a veteran 2B coming back. (Remember, Jose Perazza will be knocking on the 2B door in a couple more seasons.)

    SS – Simba. No discussion needed. Best SS in the game.

    3B – Chris Johnson. Here’s an interesting one. He epitomizes what I said earlier. He’s a pretty good guy at 3B. Decent glove, decent average. He isn’t going to elevate any team in October. I really don’t get why the Braves extended him at the beginning of the season. They are stuck with him now. I’d prefer to see someone like Aramis Ramirez, or another veteran guy who can change the game with one swing of the bat. But we tied our wagon to Chris Johnson. Not a game changer.

    C – Gattis. El Oso Blanco. And right behind him, Bethancourt. If you could combine the 2, you’d have the next Johnny Bench. We are in great standing at that position, even if some hard choices will have to be made this winter.

    So the way I see it, real offensive improvement could be made in a couple of spots, RF and 2B. Neither will happen, though. I just hope we can find a LHRP that can get LH batters out. Apparently they are more rare than truthful politician…

    Liked by 1 person

  43. 46 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Here’s a question…

    Would a solid top-of-the-rotation starter make a difference in 2014? With our offence as currently constituted, would a David Price, Jon Lester or James Shields make a measurable difference in Wins/Losses in 2014? Because the division race could easily come down to 1 or 2 games. (You can forget Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee. There will not be an inter-division deal between the Braves and Phils…)

    So maybe I should ask 2 questions: Would a solid top-of-the-rotation starter make a difference in 2014? Do we seriously want the braves to go all in for 2014?

    If the answer to both of those questions is “Yes!”, then are we willing to give something up to make it happen?

    It’s a very serious poser. If we don’t want to seriously content this season, then this discussion is over. There’s nothing left to do but watch the rest of the season unfold and hope, like Fredi stated, that the Braves can be the team to “get hot” at the right time.

    But if we want another WS win, and we want it now, we have to do be proactive. It’s exactly like the lesson I’ve been trying to teach my recent HS grad son. If he’s serious about “school A’ or “school B”, he has to make it happen. They aren’t coming to him begging him to go to their school.

    Likewise, if the Braves want to bring home a title in 2014, they must be proactive. They must pursue it with great intention. They must make a bold move.

    What would you give up for a Price or a Shields? Julio is off the table, obviously. Minor has shot his own trade value in the foot. Alex Wood is gonna be demanded. Is it worth it? The asking price would start with Wood, and certainly include more names. What about Gattis? Would you give him up in a package to KC for Shields or to Tampa for Price? Is he your long term catcher? (Frank has a tough job.)

    John Schuerholz was a bold man. It paid off big once, and blew up in his face once. He wasn’t content with a pretty good team back in 1993. He wanted a great team and traded away 3 pretty high prospects to get it done. That deal paid off big. And as fate would have it, none of the 3 prospects amounted out to much. Then there is the infamous Mark Teixeira trade. But while most will pan JS for that one, I don’t . He saw that he had a decent team, and wanted a great team. So he made it happen. Turns out that the Braves did not get to the WS, and Teixeira was all about the $$. And those prospects did amount to much. But in the end, JS gambled on what he felt was a window of opportunity. I applaud him for not sitting on his wallet and letting every other team get better around him.

    I fear that is exactly what is going to transpire in the next 6 days. The Braves, a decent team, are going to watch the Nats and Cards and Pirates and Giants all get better. And they’re gonna end up with some guy like James Russell from CHI that can’t get LH’s out even though that’s what they need him to do.

    Would I be upset if I turned on the computer one morning next week and saw that Frank gave up Alex Wood, Evan Gattis and Aaron Northcraft for a David Price, a Jon Lester or a James Shields? Honestly… no, I wouldn’t. I’d rather go down swinging than just fade into another off-season.

    But that’s just me (envisioning David Price, Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana in a 7 game series…)

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 47 Carolina Lady July 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Good thought, Vox, but is the defence good enough to back up good pitching? I’m so disappointed in the pre-season vaunted “best outfield” I just don’t know what to do. A hole at second. We really, really need a good 2B to pair with Simmons, a la Trammel-Whitaker maybe.

    And I’m tired of seeing aging used-to-be people brought in who are paid for what they used to be, not what they are now.

    Just my opinion, but the Braves seem to be destined to be a always-the-bridesmaid type team: good but not good enough. Boy, do I know what that’s like!

    They simply aren’t contenders. I recall when the road to the WS always went through Atlanta. Did we get spoiled or what??

    Or is it this hot, humid, gray day here in SE NC?? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 48 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    As they stand right now, the Braves are not true contenders. Good, but not great. They need something. Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker would be nice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 49 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Well, in their prime of course. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 50 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    By the way, my earlier thoughts on trading for a starter, or impact player, were mainly born with little concern for the salary ramifications. Not sure how the Braves would or could fit Price or Lester into their salary structure. Mostly just discussion…

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville July 25, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Trading for pitchers is a real crap shoot. Trading Gattis would be okay if we got back quality. One of the things to consider is if you (the team) are/is willing to foot the bill long term.

    Ted Turner had deep pockets, the one thing a lot of folks forget is Ted spent money to get veterans who could help the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville July 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    When you are watching every penny, you might want steak but you have to settle for hamburger.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 53 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    V, you are right, no truly feared guys in the lineup. I’d argue a bit for for FF, especially since he can hit lefties, and is a better overall hitter than JHey but whatever.
    It would be fine if the braves had Medlen healthy and pitching like the Medlen of old…but we don’t.
    (Wrote this much, then got a phone call, and had to do other stuff…
    then V posted the post about getting a true #1)
    It’s an interesting thought V, cuz other than Julio Teheran(and we don’t know how he would act under playoff pressure-wait, truly forgot about last year, 2.2 innings, 6 runs) can you imagine Harang and Minor vs the A’s in the WS??? Or even the Cards in a 7 game series? I know, Santana would go in game 2, but Harang or Minor would likely get slaughtered(though I would trust Harang more than Minor, at least at this point)
    thing is, giving up Gattis would make a weak offense…weaker. Of course, you have to give up quality to get quality. Might have to give up Bethencourt if they think he is worth it.
    Look at what the Cubs got for Jeff Samardzija , a SS considered the next Barry Larkin.(and another hot hitting prospect) and Jeff Samardzija is a year older than Price , and Price has a much better track record. Oh, forgot the Cubs gave up Jason Hammels as well. Oh well…
    still, the Rays seem to want to hold on to Price (and could have gotten 2 hitters from the A’s when they always need hitters) Since the AL East is a mediocre division and seem to be making an improbable run…

    Like

  51. 54 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    If I were trying to obtain an impact veteran starter, I’d look more at Jon Lester. Proven big game experience.

    But alas, it truly is a moot point. The Braves don’t shop at Saks, they shop at Sears.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 55 Carolina Lady July 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Sometimes I think they shop at a local consignment store.

    Like

  53. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Gee, so we can at least shop at Sears, not the dollar tree? Yay! 😉

    Like

  54. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Well, just as I suspected…or not
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11265529/dan-uggla-starting-lineup-being-called-san-francisco-giants

    guess 2 infielders going down at once is one reason…

    Like

  55. 58 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Giants manager Bruce Bochy had hoped Uggla could play more in Fresno before calling him up.

    Translation: San Francisco really didn’t want to add him to their 40 man roster before July 31 if they didn’t have to.

    Like

  56. 59 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Alex Wood, if he could. But he could not tonight.

    Like

  57. 60 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Well… waddaya know?

    Like

  58. 61 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    So the Pads’ Benoit walks 3 to load the bases in the 8th, letting the Braves crawl within 3 runs and Chris Johnson coming to the plate. He walked 3 in a row, right? So Johnson swings at the first pitch and pops it up. The first pitch!!! 😡

    I just can’t imagine that happening on a Bobby Cox team.

    Like

  59. 62 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    And Doumit chases a horrible pitch for another strikeout in his only AB tonight. He may be my new whipping boy.

    Like

  60. 63 Vox O'Raison July 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Not a good game for the Braves. It pretty much symbolizes their plight this season. Inconsistent pitching, yet plenty of chances by the offense, but couldn’t cash in. A game rife with mistakes both defensively and offensively.

    Braves are now 2 games back of the Nats and not exactly inspiring much hope for a run.

    Like

  61. 64 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    well…the highlights of this game? Seeing Frenchy, Brooks Conrad, and Blaine Boyer play 😕
    Nice that the worst hitting team(almost in the history of baseball) got 9 hits in an inning Thursday, and come to town and continue hot hitting.
    My kinda/sorta defense of Doumit. Doumit was always a regular…he is supposed to be the backup 1st baseman, but…no matter the slump FF has been in(til tonight, 2 hits) .240 Ba for July. Plays EVERY DAY. Even when he was hurt enough to come out of a night game, he was back the next day, for a DAY game. Don’t get it. No one is going to break Ripken’s record so take a day off, give a day off.
    Any, where was I? oh yeah…Doumit. He’s not very good anymore. 2 games as a catcher, that’s it. Some outfield, but for a guy who had 485 AB’s last year…some guys just can’t be a bench player…too bad.
    I blame FG though, my forever whipping boy! 😉

    Like

  62. 65 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Not a big fan of Karl Ravach(SP) of espn’s baseball tonight(in fact, really don’t like him) but he mentioned a few years ago to pay attention to the games in the loss column. Braves are 4 back there….

    Like

  63. 66 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Since the game(save for one inning) wasn’t all that interesting to me…I was looking elsewheres. Have you all heard Ryan Howard has been benched? Well, just like Uggla was never called benched, they don’t call it a benching either…but…he has sat for 3 straight games, including one with Tim Hudson, who he has a lifetime .328 BA against…
    Just how bad has he been this year? 15 HR’s and 60 RBI’s.(on pace for 24 HR’s and 95 RBI’s) Terrible ain’t it? 😕
    Ok, he has been terrible in July, .156 BA, 1 HR, 9 RBI’s. So, a 10 for 64 streak, and they bench him, try to trade him, and even…talk about releasing him?(Which they now deny)
    a story on him, if you care…
    http://calltothepen.com/2014/07/25/ryan-howards-days-philly-numbered/
    What I don’t get is they want to play a 27 YO “kid” that they played some last year…not like they have the next Ryan Howard at AAA waiting to get his chance…

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 67 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Correct, Ber… the loss column is the one to watch. It’s possible to gain wins, but you cannot shed losses.

    As for the Phils, they might as well play the youngsters. They are going nowhere this season and need to see what they have going forward.

    Now Braves. (Homage to the Scribe.) Something’s up. Pastornicky was sent down (0-5 as a PH) immediately following last night’s game. No corresponding move has been announced. Certainly out of the ordinary. Could simply be that the 10 day waiting period for Gosselin has passed. (I haven’t counted.) But one would think those moves would be announced simultaneously.

    I suppose we’ll know later, eh?

    Like

  65. 68 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Interesting stats of the day…

    Batting leadoff in 2014:
    JHey – 68 games, .254 AVG, .334 OBP, 55 K’s, 34 runs scored
    BJ – 26 games, .243 AVG, .302 OBP, 33 K’s, 19 runs scored

    Here’s something I find really intriguing…

    Leading off, 1st inning:
    JHey – 68 games, .279 AVG, .353 OBP, 7 K’s
    BJ – 26 games, .320 AVG, .346 OBP, 8 K’s

    Like

  66. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Good morning guys… and gals too…. Do you ever get the feeling that we are witnessing the season spiraling downwards? Just too many young guys on this team to make the leap.The Braves have a lot off good young players but the emphasis is on young. It is experience which reminds a player like Chris Johnson to remember who is in trouble in the eight inning.

    Is it really the players’ fault in this day and age of homer happy highlights?

    No, this game was lost early by Woods being just who he is, a good young pitcher who will have bad games as well as good. At least he has some good games, unlike Mike Minor currently who is only experiencing the bad and the ugly.

    I fear we are going to have to suffer a bit with this Braves team.

    Like

  67. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I still say the Braves should have waited one more week before returning Gattis to the bigs. He is slowly reeling it back in but meanwhile, it is his defense that hurts the team.

    Like

  68. 71 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Jake Peavy is going to the Giants. Movement is beginning. I still wonder why the Braves demoted Pastor with no corresponding move. Is something afoot?

    Like

  69. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    VOX, likely to get him on the early flight to where ever the G Braves are playing on maybe even a trade. Who knows at this point. I get the feeling Frank Wren is feeling very hamstrung at this point due to finances. Best the Braves can hope for a this point is for the kids to begin to grow up. Tough learning curve…

    Like

  70. 73 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Too many at this points in prior post…. Need to proof read before hitting enter…. Rookie mistake…

    Like

  71. 74 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Like

  72. 75 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Like

  73. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    This game can still go either way

    Like

  74. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville July 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    gNats lose 1-zip to the Reds, a chance to gain back a game

    Like

  75. 78 Vox O'Raison July 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Game gained…

    Liked by 2 people

  76. 79 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I don’t usually go in for all the “pomp and circumstance” , all the hoopla, etc. I’m just a meat and potatoes kinda guy. But I admit, I have the HOP induction on today. It feels like a big part of my young adult years are being represented there. Very cool…

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 80 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    HOP? Good grief… 😳

    Of course, HOF. Hall Of Fame.

    Like

  78. 81 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The Bosox have made Andrew Miller (the best LHRP in this years known market) available and the Braves are hot and heavy on him. Also read that reserve 1B/OF Mike Carp has asked the Sox to trade him. Hmmm…

    Like

  79. 82 berigan2electricboogaloo July 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Hall of Players! 😉
    I’d hate to carp on Carp though! 😉
    What can it hurt? go gettem’ Wren!

    Like

  80. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I became a Braves fan in 1967 after the Braves Triple A farm club was moved to Richmond. There were a few good years but mostly teams who had the outfield line up made up of players who were cut by other clubs the final day of spring training.

    Some really good kids came through our fair city. Most were traded away for has beens, wases, and washed up pitchers who played out their string in Atlanta.

    Tis sad to see a player like Murphy on the outside looking in. He would have made it in if he had even a slightly good team around him. It was Ted Turner, when he listened to real baseball men who realized he would have many more viewers with a winning team verses a bunch of sad sacks.

    Still have to say the ’91 club was my favorite…

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    So, who is going to be the bait for the Braves to trade away for a starting pitcher?

    Like

  82. 89 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    So, who is going to be the bait for the Braves to trade away for a starting pitcher?

    I don’t know, but I do believe they need another good one if they’re gonna be serious contenders in 2014.

    Like

  83. 90 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    BJ 2-4 today with 2 runs scored. Can’t complain.

    Like

  84. 91 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    … and a SB.

    Like

  85. 92 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Braves scored 8 without the benefit of a HR.They were 6-9 with RISP. That’s the key.

    Like

  86. 93 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    BJ is much better when he is not in an RBI situation, LaStella is better with guys on base ahead of him.

    BJ getting the day off tomorrow.

    Noon game on MLB Ber…..

    Minor pitched totally different once he had a big lead. I get the feeling he is playing not to lose rather than pitching to win… It’s all mental with him.

    Like

  87. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    John Smoltz needs to sit down with Mike and have a long talk about how he overcame the mental part of the game. I see a lot of similarities except Minor does not throw as hard or as well…

    Like

  88. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Frank Wren and the Braves are between a rock and a hard spot. Everyone knows the Braves are not really good enough to go deep but they don’t have a lot of wiggle room to go big at this point. I guess a lot of other teams are in the same hole.

    Like

  89. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    The Braves need to approach the rest of the season with a focus. Don’t worry about the gNats, beat the Pads Monday and we can go from there.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville July 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    The Braves don’t need to be ahead of the gNats at this point, just stay close…

    Like

  91. 98 Vox O'Raison July 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Under Bobby, the focus never really went beyond the series. Just win the series. That was Bobby’s mantra. Win each series and the rest will take care of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 99 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Wow…

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 100 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I suspect the promotion of Phil Gosselin and demotion of Tyler Pastornicky is a sign that Pastor might want to pray for a trade to another organization…

    Like

  94. 101 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

    And gazing into my crystal ball…

    JHey and Gatt got the day off in yesterday’s day game. I suspect a couple others will get the day off today. Maybe one or both of the Upton brothers? Wonder if Gosselin (Goose?) will get a start at 3B..?

    Like

  95. 103 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 9:40 am

    A couple of names of note on that list…

    Obviously #1 Jose Peraz -> He’s the prototypical leadoff hitter, major base stealing threat, and above average defender at 2B. What does that mean for La Stella in 2016? Uh, maybe 2015?

    #10 Cody Martin -> I saw him pitch in person and the kid looks to have ML stuff. I only have that single game’s experience, so I don’t know a thing about his consistency, but for that game he looked mighty good to me. I suspect he’ll be a RHRP for the ATL club.

    #18 Kyle Wren -> Interesting that he has passed

    #19 Todd Cunningham -> I liked him when he made his brief appearance in ATL last year, and I’ve seen him 3 times at Gwinnett. Just a solid all around ballplayer as far as I can tell. In my mind, he’s a younger switch-hitting Jordan Schafer with alot more upside. If I were Frank, I’d seek to move Schafer in my deal for a LHRP knowing I have Cunningham in AAA ready to step into the 4th OF slot if necessary.

    #20 Chasen Shreve -> I like what I’ve seen thus far. He’s young and inexperienced, so I’m not so sure you want to ride him into September and October as our primary LHRP. But he does throw strikes, which Avilan lost his ability to do, and that is a plus for me.

    Like

  96. 104 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 10:03 am

    One more observation…

    Interesting that the “revised prospect list” is published just 4 days before the trade deadline. Ha!

    Many of those, excluding Peraza and Lucas Sims, could find their way into a trade scenario.

    Like

  97. 105 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

    2day’s lineup: (12:10pm start)

    1- Schaf, CF
    2- Goose, 2B
    3- Gumby, 1B
    4- JUp, LF
    5- JHey, RF
    6- Gatt, C
    7- CJohn, 3B
    8- Simba, SS
    9- Magic, RHP

    Like

  98. 107 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 10:53 am

    These last few days before the trade deadline have always been one of my favorite times of the year. Yet for some strange reason, I just don’t have the same level of excitement this season. Can’t really explain why. I mean, last year brought us Scott Downs. Oh wait… maybe I do know why…

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 108 Carolina Lady July 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I’m finding it more and more difficult to be excited by the Braves. Hopeful, yes, but excited? Not so much.

    Like

  100. 109 berigan2electricboogaloo July 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Had a bit of trouble finding info on Jose Peraz…seems he’s a 43 year old player that never got past rookie ball…man, I was thinking…if he’s #1…we need some better drafts! 😉
    Jose Peraza on the other hand…seems like a very good prospect! Amazing how few names I know…and it’s not like he’s hitting .270 and we hear he’s #1, he’s been hitting above .340 all year. Of course he’s only 20, and perhaps the bat is ahead of the glove.
    Who knows if what we are seeing from La Stella is the real long term player? I’m not sure if even the rest of the year tells you…but…he has 24 RBi’s in 191 AB’s. Which doesn’t sound like much till you compare him to 2 guys that “think” they are power hitters. A Simmons in 373 AB’s 34 RBI’s Upton in 387 AB’s has….27 RBI’s
    La Stella is hitting .315 with runners on, .354 with runners in scoring position.
    I guess time will tell. Hmm, wonder if Peraza could play…say….CF?

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo July 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Scott Downs was NOT a sexy trade…but, he did help the team. David Price or John Lester would help the team, but would cost Peraza and others. Plus, no way in the wide wide world of Sports would the Braves pay what they will ask. But, you need guys like that to get past the first round. Or a one game playoff.
    Perhaps in 2017,,,,,

    Like

  102. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville July 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Fun game today, watching converted outfielder Lane go toe to toe with Santana. We;;, not quite toe to toe but he put up a lot of Zeros.

    Nice to see the White Bear get his timing back. Two big RBIs to give Santana the win.

    The bad news, J-Hey taken down in the fourth for a “sore” back… Uh oh! Sounds like a lat to me.

    It’s a real shame too, he was getting zeroed in on pitches away on late.

    Late games starting tomorrow night from the left coast. Let’s see how the Braves fare against a red hot Dodgers team.

    I am wondering if the Fish can continue their winning ways against the gNats. Washington has had their number this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 112 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Of course he’s only 20, and perhaps the bat is ahead of the glove.

    Peraza is a plus fielder that was a former SS. Seems we moved him to 2B because of some guy named Simmons or something. A move to CF is not likely, but I suppose you couldn’t rule it out.

    Scott Downs was NOT a sexy trade…but, he did help the team.

    I musta missed that. I remember him being awful In fact, he was left off the playoff roster. He pitched 14 innings for the Braves and gave up 19 hits and 8 walks. Bleh.

    Like

  104. 113 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Would certainly be a nice bench addition…

    Like

  105. 114 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Dan Uggla update…

    In 9 PA’s with the G-men, Danny has 0 hits, 1 BB and 4 K’s. That’s Uggly.

    Like

  106. 115 Vox O'Raison July 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    … and he’s made 3 E’s in 3 games. Ugglier.

    Liked by 1 person

  107. 116 berigan2electricboogaloo July 29, 2014 at 1:32 am

    V, clearly I watched Downs in August, and you did in September!
    I was truly scratching my head, totally forgot he wasn’t on the playoff roster.
    Downs pitched one game in July, the 29th, 1 1/3 innings, no runs. August, 14 games, 9 1/3 innings, 1 run…Sept….sigh…sept…
    10 Games, 3 innings, 5 runs.
    So…I should have said, Scott Downs helped the Braves…for a month and a day. 😕

    Like

  108. 117 Vox O'Raison July 29, 2014 at 7:26 am

    You bet, Ber. I gotta check myself, too. I stated that Denorfia would be a clear upgrade for our bench. Then I looked. Uh, he’s alot like… Jordan Schafer.

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 118 Vox O'Raison July 29, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Like

  110. 119 Gil in Mechanicsville July 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Dang… What are they putting in the water down there?

    Like

  111. 120 Gil in Mechanicsville July 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I saw one of those errors VOX, could have been called on Posey but was a heck

    Like

  112. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville July 29, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    of a catch and throw…

    Like

  113. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville July 29, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    And to be fair, not a lot of Giants had any luck against the Dodgers…

    Great comeback by the Fish last night against the gNats. The Marlins were down six runs and just nickled and dimed Washington to death. They are getting scary good right now. Shades of the Braves of ’91

    Like

  114. 123 Carolina Lady July 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    The Braves aren’t really going anywhere this year, so I hope all of them get it out of their systems. Seems as if every year is a rebuilding year with veterans too old and kids too young. *kicks rocks*

    Like

  115. 124 berigan2electricboogaloo July 30, 2014 at 2:05 am

    If Jose Fernandez hadn’t hurt his Elbow, I imagine they would be the team to beat in the NL east

    Like

  116. 125 Carolina Lady July 30, 2014 at 2:24 am

    How on earth do big, well-conditioned players keep getting hurt? Too much muscle? Inflexible? Not-so well-conditioned? The players of yore didn’t seem to have that much trouble. *shakes head*

    Like

  117. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville July 30, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Kick a poo joy juice CL, Kick a poo joy juice…..

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 127 Vox O'Raison July 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Just a little over 24 hours remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline (4pm EST). What will the Braves do? They’ve inquired on some starters, Lester being one, but I don’t see it as any more than kicking the tires. I still predict they’ll bring in some nondescript reliever and some mediocre bench bat.

    Nothing to see here, folks. Move it on along…

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 128 Carolina Lady July 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I think you’re right, V. Wish it wasn’t so, but we’ve got what we’ve got.

    Like

  120. 129 Vox O'Raison July 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Looks like Emilio Bonifacio is about to become the Giants new 2B. And who has been playing there for the last 4 games? Our old buddy Dan Uggla.

    Since he’ll likely be DFA’d to make room on the 40 man roster for Bonifacio, here are Dan’s 4 game totals:

    12 PA’s, 0 hits, 6 K’s, 1 BB, 3 E’s. Still Uggly.

    Like

  121. 130 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Alex Wood is dealing tonight! Might be his best start yet…

    Like

  122. 131 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Well, team played very well, J Up hit a homer off of the closer to tie it back up…but, you kinda had the feeling that the Dodgers would win, somehow.
    And….F.G. didn’t even know that Simmons had hurt himself after that nearly spectacular play(amazing dive, and then poor throw into the mound that skipped to home plate) not sure when he hurt his arm, but all the broadcasters, and the “sideline” reporter talked about Simmons grimacing with every throw across the diamond. He was constantly rotating his shoulder…Simmons should have been taken out at that point…rather than risking his arm. Perhaps he should have told FG that his shoulder was sore, but still….the manager seemed caught off-guard with the question.

    Like

  123. 132 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 8:10 am

    When you have a late chance to win against Greinke in LA, you have to win it. I fear this will be a game we’ll point to later in the season. But it perfectly exposes the flaw in this year’s team… the inability to put a team away, and the inability to finish.

    Like

  124. 133 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Just a tad over 6 hours until the deadline. Not much excitement this year… truly a “dead”line. Probably because of the addition of the extra Wild Card team. More teams feel like their still in the hunt, so there are fewer sellers and more buyers. The balance is off. I don’t like the extra Wild Card. I don’t much care for 1 Wild Card, but I suppose in the era of 3 divisions it’s pretty much necessary. But I truly do not like the 2nd Wild Card, and especially loathe the 1 game Wild Card playoff. Bud has done some good things, but that was not one of them. The 2nd Wild Card, and the joke of making the outcome of a fan driven exhibition game have a real bearing on the game’s championship. Horrible.

    Like

  125. 134 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 9:56 am

    OMG. As soon as I call it a “dead”line, a blockbuster deal happens. Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedis.

    Wow! 😯

    Like

  126. 135 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hmmm… perception of one of the ajc.com sports columnists: “… the Braves don’t seem to have great chemistry

    Agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  127. 136 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Courtesy of Mark Bowman… Fredi G: “We’re who we are and we’re [one game] behind the Nationals in our division,” Gonzalez said. “So, you feel like you have a pretty good club.

    Uh, no I don’t.

    The Nats have Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg. The Braves have inconsistent pitching up and down the rotation, with the possible exception of Aaron Harang. Let that sink in a minute.

    The Nats’ everyday lineup has been riddled with injuries all season, yet they still lead the division. They also have Bryce Harper, who has yet to get hot. The Braves have BJ Upton, who is about as hot as an ice cream sandwich. And we have Jason Heyward, who has a worse AVG vs. lefties than BJ. Our biggest glimmer of hope has been the emergence of Tommy La Stella. Let that sink in another minute.

    Since the Braves got off to that improbable 17-7 start, they’ve played under .500 (41-43) since. So, no Fredi… I don’t feel like we have a pretty good club. We have a .500 club. And if we do manage to hang onto one of the 2 charity Wild Card spots, we won’t go deep in the playoffs. We need a change.

    And here’s my opinion, for what it’s worth. We have several of our youngsters locked up long term. We’re setting a bad tone, one that I hope doesn’t leave scars on them. A change is needed, and I am not opposed to making a big change now that might hamper us in 2014, but propel us forward for the next several seasons. I’m speaking specifically of Jason Heyward. (Justin is pulling his weight, and is only under contract through next season; BJ is unmovable.) But I’d try to parlay on whatever positive perception still covers JHey and get what I can for him now. Heck, you might can get a short term impact guy for him. John Lackey? Heck, why not? That’s a year and a half of an effective veteran.

    Liked by 1 person

  128. 137 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Reinforces my earlier point…

    Liked by 1 person

  129. 138 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Honestly, a 3.78 ERA and .215 opponents’ average should be enough to be 12-9 or even 14-7 over those games, not 9-12. No killer instinct. No timely hitting. No chemistry.

    Liked by 1 person

  130. 139 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 11:58 am

    How about this..? A few teams are kicking the tires on Martin Prado. How about we deal a couple of cheap pieces (Phil Gosselin plus a mid-level pitching prospect) and Ryan Doumit to ARI for Prado and Oliver Perez (LHRP), then send Chris Johnson to San Diego (who just traded Chase Headley) for Chris Denorfia to help the putrid bench?

    I know… I’m playing arm-chair GM. But it’s more fun than watching what the real GM is doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  131. 140 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    One more thought before I shut up…

    Jose Peraza is a real 2015 possibility, certainly by 2016, but is “blocked” by Tommy La Stella. (Or La Stella is in the way, depending on how you prefer to look at it.) Christian Bethancourt is ready to contribute to a MLB team now, but is blocked by El Oso Blanco.

    You might can stash Peraza one more year at AAA Gwinnett, but a decision on Bethancourt must be made now. Do you use him at the deadline to improve the 2014 team? How about in the winter, to improve your 2015 team and forward? Or do you choose to move Gatt instead?

    GM questions…

    Like

  132. 141 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    OK, so I’m not shutting up. Like the POTUS said, “Sue me.”

    He rakes lefties. Platoon with BJ?

    Like

  133. 142 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Bad news for ATL, especially if we mostly stand pat. Standing pat while your competitors move forward is the same as moving backward.

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 143 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Like

  135. 144 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Ugh…

    Like

  136. 145 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Win / win.

    Like

  137. 146 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Boston has done very well today…

    Like

  138. 147 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    V, gee…I sure wish I had posted my thoughts earlier today(late last night) I was positive…there would be no big moves. Scary huh? Just call me Nostradamus I am…
    Gerardo Parra going to the Brewers….

    Like

  139. 148 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    The Brewers acquired 2-time Gold Glove winner Gerardo Parra from the Diamondbacks. Nice acquisition for them. Parra + Chris Gomez + Ryan Braun is a might nice OF.

    So the Brewers and Cards have gotten much tougher in their division; the Giants have gotten better, and the Dodgers are handing it to the Braves already from the NL West. The teams that the Braves have to climb over or around have improved, and the Braves have not. They’ll have a hard time claiming one of the Charity Card spots at this point. Can they win the NL East? Still a little over an hour and a half remaining to make a difference. I’m hearing James Russell, the LHRP that gets right handed hitters out better than lefties. What good will he do?

    I still think they’re a .500 team this season. At this point, be a seller and get better for 2015…

    Like

  140. 149 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Denorfia to Seattle it appears…good grief…

    Like

  141. 150 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Braves out again…

    Like

  142. 151 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    V and I appear to have the same sources! 😉
    I wonder what the high ups are thinking right now(of the braves)
    Honestly, looking from a half full aspect…losing Medlen and Beachy, (and no EOF, and Venters) who would have believed this team would be 1 game out rolling into August? So….if you were the GM, would you go all in this year? Give up Gattis,(or Bethancourt ) a top Pitching prospect and Jose Peraza? Of course not…but , that’s what it would take to get Price.
    But, on the other hand…Zimmerman has a bad tear in his Hammy…I honestly don’t see how he can be back, at least before the playoffs. There pitching is better than ours, but their offense never has taken off. Don’t you have to try to improve the team , at least some before the deadline?
    Of course..like a politician of 2014, let me then do a 180. Can you see this team beating Oakland? The Dodgers? Heck, the Cards or Brewers?
    sigh….

    Like

  143. 152 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    The Braves are also out on Miller, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).

    Like

  144. 153 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Out again.

    Like

  145. 154 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal · 1m

    A. Cabrera to #Nationals, per @mlbastian.

    Replied to 0 times

    Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal · 2m

    Miller to #Orioles, source confirms. First reported: @jcrasnick.

    Replied to 0 times

    Like

  146. 155 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    You will get NOTHING and like it 😕

    Like

  147. 156 Carolina Lady July 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    No cohesiveness, no chemistry, no fire = need new manager

    How I wish we could get Prado back again. I also think we’re seeing the results of not having a Chipper Jones, Brian McCann or Tim Hudson in the clubhouse. There is no leadership, anywhere.

    Like

  148. 157 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    And now the Nats improve…

    Like

  149. 159 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    CL, you make an excellent point! Who are the leaders? JHey? FF? J UP?
    Last night, watching the game. Is Zack Greinke a very good, sometimes great pitcher? Sure…but….I saw some of the worst AB’s I’ve seen all year last night. BJ Upton, 4 K’s . Simmons, 4 AB’s 9 pitches. C Johnson, 12 pitches(He swings at EVERYTHING, like Francoeur should be on the back of his jersey) and the worst AB I saw last night was from Gosselin. I know, just a kid. But dang…Greinke kept throwing offspeed pitches, WAY down in the zone, and 5 times he swung. Shouldn’t there be some gameplan with guys?
    Hey, he throws strikes, but…if you get to 2 strikes, make him throw a strike? Again, a kid you expect…but it was beyond terrible. Did FF, JHey, Gattis, take him aside and talk to him? Not likely. Did the Hitting coach(s) or FG? Sadly, I doubt they did either….

    Liked by 1 person

  150. 160 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    David Price goes to Detroit…

    Like

  151. 161 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Tigers To Acquire David Price…..no details yet….

    Like

  152. 162 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Drat, V beat me this time! 😉

    Like

  153. 163 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Hearing James Russell and Emiio Bonifacio from the Cubbies. I like Boney, as you all well know since I’ve spewed it many many times.

    Like

  154. 164 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Not confirmed. Just a whisper so far. 😉

    Like

  155. 165 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Time. But remember, some deals may get done but not announced for a short while as the paperwork is processed.

    Like

  156. 166 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hoping this comes to fruition.

    Like

  157. 167 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Tigers rotation: David Price, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello.

    Wow.

    Like

  158. 168 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Wow indeed. Anibal is the 4th starter, and was the ERA champ last year.
    Just when it seemed Oakland had printed their W.S. tickets….

    Like

  159. 169 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    A’s rotation: John Lester, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray.

    Not too shabby..

    Like

  160. 170 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Card’s rotation: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Justin Masterson, John Lackey, Shelby Miller.

    Pretty nice.

    Like

  161. 171 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Even THEY have improved. :-/

    Like

  162. 172 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Well… waddaya know…

    Like

  163. 173 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Prado to Yankees

    Like

  164. 174 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Like

  165. 176 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Alot of improvement to the contenders today. I hope the Braves don’t buck the trend.

    Like

  166. 177 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Cosart deal makes no sense (from the Astros standpoint) He’s only 24… great deal for Marlins.

    Like

  167. 178 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Like

  168. 179 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Geez, Rays did not get much for Price…braves(or other teams) really should have made a run
    Bonifacio…take a guess where he has played this year? 48 games?
    CF!

    Like

  169. 180 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Good prospect, but not a sure thing. And with both Gattis and Bethancourt in front of him, it doesn’t hurt us.

    Like

  170. 181 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Like

  171. 182 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    And now I must leave y’all for a while… 🙂

    Like

  172. 183 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Like

  173. 184 Vox O'Raison July 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    And now I must leave y’all for a while… 🙂

    Like

  174. 185 berigan2electricboogaloo July 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I’m pooped just following this stuff 😛

    Like

  175. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville July 31, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Hi gang, caught up on everything I needed to know in just 10 minutes….

    I recorded last night’s game… Grrrrr…… Should have won that one too… Look for Schafer to DFA but should have be Melvin.

    I hope Marteen gets a chance to play…

    I am thinking the Braves believe they are playing with house money right now. Think about it, young team, and still knocking on the door. The Dodgers have gone all in and will continue to do so.

    The Tigers are still missing their biggest piece, Leland….

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 187 Gil in Mechanicsville July 31, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Athletics are loaded but gave up a big piece in Cespidis… Looks like Billy Bean is thinking this is his year. Going to be a heck of a brawl between the As and the Tigers…

    Like

  177. 188 Gil in Mechanicsville August 1, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Oh well, it was not exactly a blow out but still a loss…

    Like

  178. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville August 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    “Look for Schafer to DFA but should have be Melvin.”

    Damn, sometimes I hate it when I am right….

    Schafer DFA today….

    Like

  179. 190 berigan2electricboogaloo August 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Gil, yep, you were right…
    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/schafer-dfad-by-braves-to-make-room-for-bonifacio/ngsXf/
    I understand the move, but…I think FG did a horrible job of using him. FG and Bobby(with pitchers at least) don’t seem to understand that even the 25 guy on the roster needs to play. Some guys just don’t seem to be pinch hitters. Dommit looked just fine against Kershaw last night(2 hits) but he won’t start again this year, unless an outfielder or FF(shudder) get hurt.
    and a 27 year old outfielder, who has started a fair bit in the past…never plays, just pinch hits, pinch runs, what do you expect?
    Stole 3 bases in a game…then…sat again.
    Gotta have BJ’s solid bat in there EVERY DAY! I mean, he’s hitting .180 against lefties, (A whopping .228 against righties) so you can’t expect a lefty like Schafer to take his AB’s
    Check this out, in June Schafer actually…had a decent month(I did not know this!) .250 B.A. 8 stolen bases. How was July? 15 AB’s 1 hit. 80 AB’s for the year. I bet you could not find another 4th outfielder with fewer A.B’s
    So, while that .163 looks terrible, (Cuz it is) that was a tiny sample. His OBP is .256. BJ’s is .287. But, BJ is a petulant child, with a huge contract, so he can’t miss a game a week, and JHey can’t miss a game every week to 10 days , cuz you can’t replace his .248 either. At least he’s a gold glove defender.
    All I know is we better see Bonifacio play more. He can play all infield positions but 1st(they say, I am sure he could) but Simmons with a sore arm was inexplicably in there last night…so he won’t fill in for him. I guess he will fill in for Chris Johnson some(By the way, really stupid not to have him in the game last night, Guess who has the best Batting average in baseball against lefties? CJ. Granted, it’s a relatively small sample size, but .433 is still impressive, and he should never sit against lefties.) and by all means, sit down the hottest hitter on the team, and play him at 2nd tonight(Actually, I assume he will play in RF today)
    Grrr…I said GRRR! 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 191 berigan2electricboogaloo August 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    You know, It didn’t even seem like Kershaw had his best stuff last night…and still nearly threw a shut out.
    That was like a 3 game playoff series. Well played, but one team really had no chance. Men playing with boys.
    Who said you can’t buy championships? At least if they go to the W.S., they will face a team like Oakland or The Tigers with as many #1 starters as they have.

    Like

  181. 192 Carolina Lady August 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Did I ever mention that I *DO NOT* like Gonzalez??

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 193 berigan2electricboogaloo August 2, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Glad Joe Simpson called out the offense a bit last night…He basically said, it’s one thing to have the offense shut down by Grienke, and Kershaw, But to have Stults, he of the 13 losses, and above 5 ERA(at least before giving up 2 hits, and 1 runs last night) well..that’s clearly not good.
    The Padres know what to do to guys with 5+ era’s(When Frenchy got a hit, I knew it was going to be a long night) , especially Tommy Medica. Holy cow what a bomb he hit off of Minor the 2nd time!
    Even after 20 hits against the braves last night, the Pads are still dead last in baseball in in runs, BA, Obp, and Slugging….

    Like

  183. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville August 2, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Two things, okay maybe a few more than two…
    One, Joe Simpson is taking pain killers, they always have a way of letting one’s true feelings come out. Joe is frustrated by all the lollygagging. Me, I just feel like gagging…

    Two, this team is really young and has lost it’s rudder… That is, Dan Uggla, who for all his woes with the bat, kept guys like Fredi Freeman grounded.

    Three, the Braves should hire Jim Leland. They need a guy who will stop glossing over the obvious. Gonzalas wants to be buddies with his payers. Just doesn’t work with a bunch of young kids.

    Four, incredibly, the gNats keep losing too, allowing the Braves to stay close enough to give them hope they will turn things around.

    Five, Mike Minor is toast…. He has the demeanor of an abused spouse…. If it isn’t physical, it is worse….

    Like

  184. 196 berigan2electricboogaloo August 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Accidentally clicked like, sure didn’t mean to….Man, that’s terrible news 😦

    Like

  185. 197 Vox O'Raison August 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 198 Vox O'Raison August 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    The Associated Press: NEW YORK — The San Francisco Giants have designated second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Tyler Colvin for assignment after losing five of six on a horrid homestand.

    Ouch.

    Like

  187. 199 berigan2electricboogaloo August 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    “Dan Uggla did not travel with the team to New York after Wednesday’s game and is contemplating whether he wants to report back to Triple-A Fresno in an effort to get his timing, Giants GM Brian Sabean said.”

    It really wasn’t fair to call him up after what, 2-3 games in the minors? And as we got to see, the buzz saw that is the Dodgers, will put most anyone into a slump

    Like

  188. 200 Carolina Lady August 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Wow. I hate the news about Pete. Yeah, I hope there is a big broadcasting booth in heaven ’cause that’s where he and Skip belong. Skip’s birthday is this month: Aug 12.

    Like

  189. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville August 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I’m sure Pete could no longer stand to watch BJ sully up the game….

    Rest In Peace Professor, you have earned it….

    Like

  190. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville August 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Some comments on the Braves as they are currently constructed…. Time to reconstruct, starting with the centerfielder.

    Give Fredi Freeman a night off, his heart is not in it right now…

    Send down Minor, give David Hale his spot, cannot do worse…

    Someone suggested trading Melvin, here is a fact, if the Braves tried to trade him and agreed to pay all his salary less a million dollars a year, most teams would still pass…. He is just that bad right now…

    Like

  191. 204 Carolina Lady August 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    A case in point in the current lack of unification of the team and general unhappiness of the players. Freddi G. is a total failure in his non-management of this team. Hope Wren is listening!

    Like

  192. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville August 3, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Question, has anyone seen Fredi Freeman smile since Dan was released?

    Liked by 2 people

  193. 206 berigan2electricboogaloo August 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Gil, it makes you wonder…
    Other things that make you wonder during a 6 game losing streak.
    Are the Padres, the worst hitting team in baseball, this good? Is the NL West the toughest division now?
    How in the wide, wide world of sports can the braves on back to back nights, get the bases loaded, with no outs and score neither time? 😕
    Whole lotta questions, few answers though….

    Like

  194. 207 berigan2electricboogaloo August 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Can you imagine the ex-Cubbies excitement, coming over from a last place team, to team a few games back? Then…the team goes on a long losing streak? That has to stink.
    Speaking of stinking, BJ is 5 for his last 25, for a crisp .200 average. No doubles, no triples, no homers…and yet….he puts some sort of voodoo on folks. I have heard for a month plus, he really is doing bettter (I think they said a night or 2 ago, .250 from the leadoff spot) heck, its effecting me, I would swear he has had some good swings this roadtrip. Swing does seem to look better…I don’t know….

    Like

  195. 208 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I don’t think Dan’s departure has had a real effect on the team, but the loss of Tim Hudson in the offseason was bigger than just pitching. He was the last of the real leaders after Chipper’s retirement. This team was in need of Jason or Freddie to step up and take the reigns, and neither has. Jason is not signed beyond 2015 (and I am doubtful he will be. Honestly, he has quite pedestrian numbers. I’m not so sure I wouldn’t try to get something for him this offseason.) He’s not the guy. Freddie is the guy, and he just simply hasn’t asserted himself. I’m blaming the California upbringing. Cool waves, dude.

    And the other Fredi has been worse. It’s not just his management of his bench and bullpen, which is questionable for sure, but his in game strategy has been really lousy lately.

    Let’s leave the team malaise out of it for the sake of discussion. I’ll cite 3 specific moments in yesterday’s game.

    Example #1. Late game, after ATL has scrambled back to tie it. He has the potential winning run on 1B and employs a pinch runner. Good call to go with a speedy runner over Gatt. Then the opposing catcher, the only one remaining on their roster after the other guy was already subbed out, gets nailed in his throwing elbow and has to have treatment tojust to stay in the game. Why was Gossellin not running on the 1st pitch following? And when he did run on the 2nd pitch, why was the batter swinging to spoil it? There was not another attempt, and the Braves went away meekly. That lands in the manager’s lap. He’s supposed to be the one making those calls. The manager has to be in control over what the players are doing. That’s his job.

    Example #2. Their pitcher has just walked 2 in a row and Pena comes to bat with the potential go ahead run in scoring position. He swings at the 1st pitch and pops up softly to short RF for out #3. Why was he swinging at the 1st pitch when the opposing pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone? That lands in the manager’s lap. He’s supposed to be the one making those calls. The manager has to be in control over what the players are doing. That’s his job.

    Example #3. Bottom 9. 1 out and the potential winning runner on 2B. Why was the next batter not walked intentionally to set up a possible DP? That one leaves me scratching my head more than the others, which is saying something. The broadcasters supposed that Fredi was concerned about potentially facing Tommy Medica again. Really? Tommy Flippin’ Medica? Some guy that nobody east of the Mississippi River had never heard of before he torched Mike Minor and got into everyone else’s head? That lands in the manager’s lap. He’s supposed to be the one making those calls. The manager has to be in control over what the players are doing AND thinking. That’s his job.

    I think Fredi was overmatched, and his team felt similarly overmatched. He’s managing “from his heels” and the team has taken on his demeanor.

    When a team does not have a strong enough manager, they must have a strong leader in the clubhouse. The Braves have neither. It’s a bad, bad recipe. I can think of one guy in that dugout that is strong enough to take the wheel and steer us out of the ditch, and that’s Terry Pendelton. Maybe when we fly back into Hartsfield with our collective tail between our legs after going 0-fer on the west coast roadie, somebody might finally crank up the heat under Fredi’s seat.

    #firefredi

    Like

  196. 209 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Correction… Example #3 was top of inning 10, not bottom 9. I need another cup of coffee… 😳

    Like

  197. 210 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Correction of my correction. I have confused myself. I feel like Fredi. I can’t keep up with innings or situations… 😦

    Like

  198. 211 Gil in Mechanicsville August 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I feel ready for a “malaise” speech from the Commander…. Sure looks like it would suit this team.

    Fredi is never going to be a rah rah guy… not his nature, he is too laided back, same for Gattis… those guys are great team mates if your car breaks down but not a guy you look to for a butt kicking when one is needed.

    Young team needs a stern manager… Pendleton would fit the bill bit I don’t know if he wants the job. It is why I mentioned a guy like Jimmy Leyland. Even Chipper Jones but not going to happen this season.

    Nope, the youth factor finally caught up with the Braves….

    The one guy who has some fire, they put a muzzle on. That being Chris Johnson…. DON’T SHOW ANY EMOTION OR WE WILL SIT YOU… Well, message received apparently.

    Just so many “rookie” mistakes being made.

    I said August would be tough, I didn’t think it would be impossible. At least we don’t have to see them get beat tonight. Mercifully, a night off…

    Like

  199. 212 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

    the youth factor finally caught up with the Braves…

    True statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  200. 213 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I was remiss to overlook the leadership that Mac gave us also. It was Mac who stood in the baseline and screamed at Carlos Gomez for showboating. It was Mac who made sure the game was played the right way. And that’s exactly what is missing now. Youth has much to do with it. Management has a little to do with it too. Youth has to be managed in a special way, and I’m not so sure Fredi has the touch. That was definitely one of Bobby’s strengths.

    I’ll tell you who I wish would step forward, and who I think could (and maybe should) do it, and that’s Justin Upton. He’s a veteran, and a respected one. He should be the one delivering the message in the dugout that certain things are not tolerated. He should also show Freddie how that’s done because Freddie is the one that has to take the baton, much like Chipper did when David Justice left. Gerald Laird cannot assume that role as a part-time player, but perhaps he could take someone like Freddie under his wing and push him in that direction.

    Like

  201. 214 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Like

  202. 215 berigan2electricboogaloo August 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    V, Gil, very good points! Not much that I can add…I know all managers make mistakes, and I think one quality that FG has that other decent managers have is some patience…we all know if we were managing(and we don’t know how much crud FG gets from above on who he can, and cannot play) we wouldn’t have been as patient with certain players. But…we all see times runners should be running, and don’t. Heck, the broadcasters were bravoing (a word?) Gattis for hitting the ball to the right side so JHey could get to 3rd with 1 out. Thing is, of course JHey didn’t score. Should Gattis be doing that, or trying to get a hit? I know, in theory, it is the right thing to do…but in practice….I have heard that stats show bunting runners over, or hitting to the right side…doesn’t pay off overall(Of course, I hear that but have never found the stats one way or the other) but…it rarely works out for the braves, even going back to Bobby. To me, a runner on 3rd with 1 out tells me the pitcher will throw pitches up a bit, and the next braves hitter will pop it up…2 outs…now you need a 2 out hit, and what are the odds of that with most braves hitters, with RISP? 1 in 4 or less? Again, if you had a team, say like last years Cards that hit 333 or whatever with runners on…it’s not a big issue.
    But, teams like the Red Sox, (When they are good) Yankees, A’s, they can seemingly get sac flies at will or hits when it counts, (Late and close)
    Whatever…You get the feeling sometimes, like with the Pads and Braves, both managers fear doing anything against the book. Braves bringing in the new lefty Russell, to face a lefty, even though he is getting out Righties at something like a .103 rate (292 against lefties I think I saw?) and I think Bud Black did something similar, even though the numbers didn’t make sense.
    I know the reason in theory we got Russell is to get lefties out(Maybe Russell was taken out after getting the leftie out, when a right handed hitter was coming up?) I mean, at that point, might as well have robots make decisions based on the book…
    Ya know, if the braves would win 6 in a row, I’d have much less to whine about! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  203. 216 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    You know, that’s all abstract immeasurable stuff. Wanna improve the team immediately? You just traded for an experienced and talented leadoff hitter. How about play Boni and bench BJ? Instant impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  204. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville August 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    VOX, I think we can agree on the who and what but it is up to the players to take the bull by the horns so to speak and some guys just don’t want or are not suited to that role.

    During my career in the workplace, I discovered it was the kids who needed guidance and the vets who did not need some wet behind the ears manager looking over their shoulder. Baseball is no different from any other business in that respect.

    A lot of folks questioned Bobby’s decision making at times but no one questioned his authority or what was expected. Remember when he called out Andrew Jones or how quickly he jettisoned Fricke after he tried to take out an opposing first baseman?

    This team reminds me a lot of the 2006 team. Just not seasoned enough to make the big push. At least they have an excuse, they are young and Melvin Upton’s contract falls squarely on Frank Wren’s shoulders but then, No one really thought he would be this bad… If I had the say so, Melvin would be occupying Dan Uggla’s old spot at the end of the bench…

    Like

  205. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville August 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    AMEN & AMEN….

    It is the situation Ber but then again, you have to know who is hitting behind you. Like I said, lots of rookie mistakes this season. I have lost count there have been so many.

    The real question may be how long the Braves are willing to suffer through Melvin’s ineptitude.

    Like

  206. 219 Vox O'Raison August 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Not only is Boni a true leadoff hitter – which has eluded the Braves since… Furcal in 2005? – he is a switch hitter, so he can help balance the RH heavy lineup against RHPs. Did someone say lineup? Y’all know I love making my own lineup card, and mine would be:

    1- Boni, CF (S)
    2- La Stella, 2B (LH)
    3- JUP, LF (RH)
    4- FreeRide, 1B (LH)
    5- Gatt, C (RH)
    6- JHey, RF (LH)
    7- CJohn, 3B (RH)
    8- Simba, SS (RH)

    Yes, I want JUp batting 3rd, He’s been our best offensive player this year despite his inconsistency. Freddie seems to have inherited the spot and is glued to it, but I would personally place JUp there.

    My least favorite in this group? Chris Johnson. I’m glad he’s hitting better – something like .290+ since the ASB? – but I’m just not feeling it. And I think he’s a little unstable. Wish we could have brought Martin home. I know he’s had a down year, but I want him more for the clubhouse than anything. HE would be a leader. No question.

    Like

  207. 220 Carolina Lady August 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    The Braves don’t have a rudder now. Nobody is steering the ship and the crew is very unhappy. Unhappy people don’t produce. Their captain has neither their admiration nor their respect. Wonder if Chip is available to pay them a visit? Sure would be a good time for it.

    Seems as if leadership has left the building.

    Like

  208. 222 Carolina Lady August 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Wow. Sure looks like it! DOB, take a minute to say Howdy sometime. 🙂

    Like

  209. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville August 5, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Well, we are all seeing the same things, just some of us are paid to espouse it. Besides, smart people know where to look for the correct answers…. Smarter ones are able to pass off those ideas as their own….

    Anyway, we all here at the B&S know the real geniuses…

    Take a bow guys..and gal 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  210. 224 berigan2electricboogaloo August 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    V, I like the idea of Bonifacio leading off! Of course, would FG do t? Or more likely, would Wren and the Homeboy upstairs allow him to start him and have him leadoff? I doubt it, just because what if Bonifacio got hot like he was early in the season? Then the brooder would become quite the poisonous player in the clubhouse. And we know they aren’t going to eat 45 Mil on his contract over the next 3 years.
    I honestly wonder if “they” would rather finish in 21nd or 3rd than admit BJ signing was a terrible mistake…

    Like

  211. 225 berigan2electricboogaloo August 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

    finish 21nd???? 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  212. 226 Vox O'Raison August 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha… 😆

    Like

  213. 227 berigan2electricboogaloo August 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Well, the braves ON BASE PERCENTAGE
    .310
    21st Overall
    or as l like to say… 21nd! 😕

    Like

  214. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville August 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Okay guys, got a note my AOL e-mail account was hacked… again…. will e-mail from my comcast account….

    Like

  215. 229 Vox O'Raison August 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  216. 230 berigan2electricboogaloo August 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    heh…I thought there was no chance…..BJ is 3 for 31 against King Felix, so he probably begged to be off

    Like

  217. 231 berigan2electricboogaloo August 6, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Well….Bonifacio made 2 catches that BJ might not have made. So, lets see BJ back out there tomorrow afternoon. Sigh…
    Not only do the best starters , best the braves, but they don’t even have to break a sweat it seems. King Felix has thrown 97(just heard the number) pitches thru 8…
    and Boy, that was a great play by the by their SS, guess I should learn his name…Chris Taylor.
    Speaking of SS’s Simmons strained his ankle covering 3rd, and had to leave the game. Hope we don’t see him out there tomorrow. Rest him for 2 days….
    The “sideline” reporter really talked up Bonifacio and how that chould give FG some ideas…Joe and Chip didn’t really touch the bait….

    Like

  218. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville August 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Why not Ber, his batting average is about what you would expect from a pitcher…

    I feel asleep after LaStalla dropped a pop up witch led to three unearned runs in the fourth inning. All I could think about was how that very play doomed Kelly Johnson in the eyes of many Braves fans…

    T’was somewhat adventurous for Bonni in the outfield last night. Made the plays however and did not loaf…

    Home plate umpire’s strike zone was somewhat of a moving target last night, I thought Woods deserved a better fate.

    Skip and Joe mentioned Felix’s Cy Young year and how he was 13-12 but his stats were great. Reminded me of why I thought John Smoltz was cheated out of a second Cy Young..

    I hope Simba’s ankle sprain is bad enough to force the Braves into resting him for a few days. Methinks it is what is effecting his hitting…

    Yep, just like 2006, lots of one run loses….. I know, last night was two runs but just shows how weak the hitting is. This team is just not good enough this season. It happens…

    Tough news for the Pirates. McCutchen with a broken rib after a hit by pitch…

    Like

  219. 234 Vox O'Raison August 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    3:40pm EST start time today. Boni is back leading off in CF again.

    Like

  220. 235 Vox O'Raison August 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Ow. And we have to attempt to stop the streak with Simba on the mend. At least Julio is pitching. Maybe we can win 1-0.

    Like

  221. 236 Vox O'Raison August 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Julio is having a Mike Minor kind of day… 🙄

    Like

  222. 237 berigan2electricboogaloo August 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Yep…sigh….about to have a historic roadtrip 😦
    And I hear Simmons has a swollen ankle, has a splint on, and is on crutches. No, not on the DL, cuz…need to get him back after 4-5 games, and be hobbled the rest of the year….

    Like

  223. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville August 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I could not bear to watch the latest train wreck…. I watched until Morrison hit his three run homer and knew the Braves were done at that point… So sue me 😦

    Like

  224. 239 Vox O'Raison August 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

    That was about the same time I left. And the night before, I also left it when Stel dropped the pop and opened the flood gates. I love baseball; I do not like the Bad News Bears. They are raising an anger level in me, and that’s just silly. It’s a game, and one I don’t have any life connection to other than a fan interest. Must step back and regain some perspective. I’m really glad today is an off day.

    By all accounts, this season has been a disaster. We lost 3 pitchers to TJ before even breaking camp. Think about that… 3 pitchers. And when we got another one back, he broke his elbow. Really? Then Uggs comes back with new eyes and renewed hope only to continue spiraling in a manner not seen since Andruw Jones, and that’s not really fair to Andruw. So he was unceremoniously dumped. Necessary? Yes. Just another brick in the 2014 wall.

    We have a “budding” star in RF that has been “budding” for 5 years and still cannot hit LHP’s. We have a budget busting CF who was an uncharacteristically big Braves FA signing and who will likely prevent the club from signing another big FA for 20+ years out of sheer trauma.

    We just wrapped up a historic road trip to the lost, er… west coast that was a franchise worst in the last 65 years.

    Miraculously, we stand only 4 games behind the Nats entering a 3 game series. To say that this weekend’s 3-gamer against the division leader is an understatement of the highest magnitude.

    The 2014 season turns on the next 3 games, and we’re missing our version of Ozzie Smith.

    I think we will see during this weekend what kind of team we really have, not just for 2014 but for the foreseeable future. Will they stand up? Can they stand up? Character will be revealed alongside any chances we may have of hanging in the race.

    Like

  225. 240 Gil in Mechanicsville August 7, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Who would have thunk it? The Marlins and the Mets are still in this thing…. The gNats for all their promise, still don’t have the killer instinct and the Braves are just road kill right now, plain and simple… New Lead to come this weekend…

    Like

  226. 241 berigan2electricboogaloo August 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Gil, you are right…Marlins and Mutts…NL East is so bad that they each only gain a game in the Wildcard over East standings…

    Like

  227. 242 Vox O'Raison August 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    The Braves simply do not have the pieces in place to be a championship team, and I have to keep reminding myself that they are very young. What are they missing?

    #1, a rotation leading ace. That’s right, I said it again. It’s much ballyhooed, and much debated, but a champion has an ace to lead the way. Julio has the potential, but an ace doesn’t go into a critical game, get a lead, and wet his pants. Julio did that yesterday. Most championship contenders have that tough 1-2 punch, like Kershaw-Greinke or Verlander-Scherzer.. The Braves have… uh, Teheran-Harang?

    #2, a slugger. One might think about Gattis or JUp or Freddie. The NL HR leader as of today is the Fish’ Stanton with 26. The closest Brave is JUp with 19, tied for 7th. The league RBI leader as of today is also Stanton with 74. The closest Brave is JUp with 64, tied for 8th. Both are middle of the road of 15 teams. Not championship caliber.

    #3, a leader. The great teams have a strong character leading the way ala Chipper Jones. The current Braves have a couple of Cali surfers, a couple of guys from a FLA retirement haven, and a handful of dudes who barely speak English. The only 2 guys who show any fire at all are BJ, who vents his K frustrations at umpires, and Chris Johnson, whom I really think may be a little unstable.

    Here’s a curveball for you…

    I have vented plenty at Fredi, and I think he has deserved most of that, but to be honest he’s been dealt a pretty rotten hand. And none of us knows how much pressure he gets from above to play certain players. His biggest fault may simply be that he doesn’t handle the press as deftly as Bobby, and therefor makes himself out to look like a doof. He’s had pitchers go down quicker than a Malaysian airliner, multiple black holes in his lineup, and no clear productive hitters on which to hinge any lineups. And somehow, even after a historic roadie to the worst coast, we are still in the hunt in mid-August. I guess he can do something right.

    Here’s the 2-edged sword. Things are not likely to improve a whole lot over the off-season. We’re locked in to most of our pieces, and don’t have the financial flexibility to make any significant upgrades. But the flip side is that Julio does have ace-potential. Freddie does have slugger-potential. And any number of our youngsters could step up and become a leader.. potentially. But it’s all potential I had a coach in high school who taught me that “potential just means you ain’t done $#!+ yet.” I guess the key word is “yet”.

    Will those elements emerge? Maybe. The potential is on the roster. But they ain’t done $#!+ yet…

    Liked by 1 person

  228. 243 Vox O'Raison August 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    So… the pitching matchups for this weekend’s critical 3-gamer with the Nats:

    FRI: Stephen Strasburg (8-9, 3.39 ERA) vs. Ervin “Magic” Santana (10-6, 3.59 ERA)… this one ought to be a good’un.

    SAT: Tanner Roark (11-7, 2.894 ERA) vs. A-a-ron Harang (9-6, 3.41 ERA)… where would this team be without A-a-ron? Roark is for real.

    SUN: Gio Gonzalez (6-8, 4.01 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (7-9, 3.20 ERA)… Gio is a better pitcher than that. Alex is pretty good himself.

    Observation: All 3 games appear to be pretty good matchups at a glance. No one knows which Braves team, or Nats team for that matter, will run out of the dugout. I am just so thankful that we aren’t tossing Mike Minor up there…

    Liked by 1 person

  229. 244 Carolina Lady August 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    That leadership element is key, in my opinion. I recall seeing TV shots in the dugout when Chipper would go talk to one or a small group – and they LISTENED. When EF Hutton speaks, etc. Sure wish he or someone like him would serve as bench coach. All those kids knew Chipper’s legacy and respected him highly. We need that SO badly. Right now they are simply a collection of players, barely even teammates. Something has to unite them and keep them focused.

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 245 Gil in Mechanicsville August 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Wow, Raisins, that is/was a lead worthy rant…

    Prediction, the Braves will trade Evan Gattis to an American league team for front line pitching and prospects this winter and promote Bethancourt as their everyday catcher. When you don’t have money, you have to be creative… It would help both Evan and the Braves…. If they are lucky, they can get someone to take Melvin off their hands too as part of the deal.

    Like

  231. 246 berigan2electricboogaloo August 8, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Very valid points V! Blogworthy indeed

    Like

  232. 247 berigan2electricboogaloo August 8, 2014 at 8:20 am

    tired…leadworthy

    Like

  233. 248 berigan2electricboogaloo August 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

    a wee bit of braves talk at the 17 minute mark….
    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=11320833

    Like

  234. 249 Vox O'Raison August 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Thanks y’all… just some thoughts I had on the off day. If you want to lift it for a lead, by all means with my blessing.

    There is one punctuation error – a missing period. It should read “But it’s all potential. I had a coach in high school…” The period splitting those 2 sentences is missing.

    Like

  235. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

    You heard the man CL… 🙂

    Like

  236. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Nice start for the Braves tonight, let’s see if it holds up…

    Like

  237. 252 berigan2electricboogaloo August 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    The Nats, the Braves biggest rival, and apparently, best friend too! 🙂

    Like

  238. 253 Carolina Lady August 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    AAAAAAAAND a new lead is up! 😀

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

Salty: Apr 22

FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

Skip Caray: Aug 12

Miss Josie: Aug 18

Carolina Lady: Oct 7

BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007


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