#133: The Future Is Now

Vox O'Raisins

Vox O’Raisins

 

2015 STARTS NOW

Not feeling very good about our team this morning. Let me clarify… not feeling good about it as a whole. Sure, there are elements and players that I still am glad we have. Freddie, Jason (hopefully for more than just 2015), Simba, most of the pitching staff…

But as a whole, this team was more than just painful, they were embarrassing. At a time when the Braves faced must-win games at home, when they had to show their mettle, they were outscored 27-9 over six games. They were shutout twice. They scored in just 4 innings out of 53. 4 out of 53! They managed just 3 ER off 6 starting pitchers. In all my years of watching baseball, I’ve never seen anything like it. This was beyond collapse. Something has to be standing up to collapse. This team seemed as though they never got off the bench.

I need to qualify that statement. Our pitchers need to sue the rest of the team for non-support. We have a lineup full of dead-beat-batters. Our starters have notched a league leading 108 quality starts through game 156 to date this season. The segment that should have an excuse, that was truly decimated before pitch 1 of game 1, leads MLB in quality starts. Yet, the Braves are heading toward a sub-.500 team for only the 3rd time since 1990.

It’s mind-boggling.Upton-BJ.Wren

Things change over time, and sometimes change quickly. Two weeks ago, I advocated for Frank to be given one more shot to correct his mistakes. As recently as a few days ago, I half-heartedly stood up for Fredi in that he has been dealt a rotten hand. But the series against the Mets revealed more than just the obvious flaws we’ve discussed ad nauseum. Frank assembled a team that lacks certain necessary game elements to be effective, and he allowed the team’s leaders to leave at the same time. His inability to get along with other staff directly led to long-time and highly respected scout Dom Chiti and coveted pitching instructor Dave Wallace leaving for other teams. And it was revealed over the weekend that John Schuerholz is the one that stepped in to the breach and prevented Roger McDowell from departing to the Phillies. This team lost several strong planks and attempted to replace them with Popsicle sticks. The boat is sinking, fellas.

Fredi Gonzalez

Fredi Gonzalez

As for Fredi, yes he was dealt a rotten hand. But he looked totally lost and defeated over this last week as well. He appeared to be grasping at straws. And while he did seem to manage his pitchers better this year, his mis-handling of Even Gattis is just unforgivable to me. And let’s not forget this is the 2nd September in the last 3 that the Braves looked like they were making vacation reservations early.

No, there is much work to be done both on and off the field. We have 2 years left before we open a brand new ballpark and a new era for the team. There is no way that Terry McGuirk and John Schuerholz are going to let this bunch pave the way. This is the offseason for the foundation to be laid. Frank is and Fredi should be gone, along with Walker/Fletcher and Tosca, and likely Dascenzo. I still believe TP and EP should be safe, given their long term ties to the championship days of this team.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

At least John Schuerholz finally did what had to be done and canned Wren and his right hand man Burse Manno more changes are likely. My money is on John Coppolella, but with the appointment of John Hart as interim GM and the announcement of a blue ribbon search committee consisting of Schuerholtz, Hart and surprisingly Bobby Cox, anything is possible. That said, the new guy will get started with evaluating the team top to bottom.

I would have liked to see TP lead the last 7 games to see what he’s got. I’d would be nice to see if he could rally the troops and get this team to show some pride before heading to the beach or the golf course or the woods. However, perhaps his recent back trouble precluded that. That and Bobby Cox’s support of Fredi Gonzalez.  For better or worse, Bobby still appears to be willing to take a bullet for his guy.

As far as any great hope for 2014, it walked out the door yesterday. The push for 2015 should started today.

~ Raisins ~

 

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487 Responses to “#133: The Future Is Now”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady September 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks to Vox and Gil!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Really CL. this is Rasins lead, I only made a few minor tweeks. Please give the by -line to Kenny… Thanks, Gil

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Great opine Kenny, now, if we could at least give Woody a little support tonight.

    Like

  4. 4 Vox O'Raison September 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Dadgum! Suffering a blow before they even hit the field tonight…

    Like

  5. 5 Vox O'Raison September 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks y’all. When I began that, we had a GM. I started it as an opine to drop the hammer before game 1 with the Pirates, but it grew. I massaged it a little and treated it as a lead candidate. By the time I was finished and submitted it to the editor’s office, we had just dropped the hammer. Timing is everything… 😛

    Like

  6. 6 Vox O'Raison September 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    At least JHey is back. 2nite’s lineup:

    1- Boni, CF
    2- Goss, 2B
    3- Free, 1B
    4- JUp, LF
    5- JHey, RF
    6- Bcourt, C
    7- CJohnson, 3B
    8- Simba, SS
    9- Alex Wood, LHP

    Like

  7. 7 Vox O'Raison September 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 8 vaquietlife September 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    We have a lot of great pitchers right now, and I hope they keep Roger McDowell, I’m not sure how I feel about Terry, I didn’t care for him as the hitting coach. But he seems to be doing ok at first base. Players, well we all know they will keep whoever they want too, and let whoever they want to go. I hope to see, Freeman, Haywood, Gattis, and a few other’s back next year. But they don’t ask me. We have some young players that are trying, but, there is no real leadership for the players right now. So I guess a lot of them will not be around next year either. I hope they get rid of Melvin, today would be nice, but a least before spring training. I would like to see some of our old players, that are retired come into some of the coaching position. Time will tell. I told Gil back when they got rid of Dan, that they would not do anything for the rest of the year. Gil called it my curse, but what I really saw was that they didn’t have a leader, so all heart went out of the team. Just my feelings, but Gil can tell you how many times I have been right. Blessing all 🙂
    Ms. Josie

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Sigh… Another great pitching performance goes for naught tonight. Oh well, the Pirates are going to be tough going into the playoffs.

    Still say Fab5 had a hard time getting over his best bud being released… Well, get use to it Freddie, it’s a business….

    Well, the Atlanta fans got to see a lot of celebrations on the field this year. Too bad it was always the visiting team….

    Like

  10. 10 Vox O'Raison September 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Jeff Passan: Braves president John Schuerholz offered [Interim GM John] Hart the option of taking over the team’s GM duties full time, sources told Yahoo Sports. Before making a decision, Hart told Schuerholz he needed to give it serious thought, sources said.

    Were Hart to accept the job, it’s likely he would groom assistant GM John Coppolella, 35, whom the Braves retained.

    Uh, I believe I called that one earlier today. That seems the most likely scenario to me, and the most seamless.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–braves-offer-john-hart-full-time-gm-job-012722315.html

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo September 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Well done V!
    Yeah, I have been feeling a bit of a gloomy Gus of late. Haven’t even bothered watching them of late. At least in the late 80s, they lost, but the games were 7-5, 6-4. Some scoring.
    And I don’t feel so hot about the near future, either.
    The braves pitched WAY above their heads this year.
    Are Teheran and Wood sub 3.00 ERA guys every year? Just don’t know. Not many starters are, you know?
    Is Harang a 3.60 ERA guy? He is…this year. He has pitched more innings this year than any year since 2007, Bush was still president. A long time ago. He will be 37 next year. What can one reasonable expect from him next year? Who knows?
    Is Mike Minor a 4.77 ERA guy? Not likely. He has a 4.10 ERA for his career. Not exactly a #2/#3 guy. But, he’s only 26. And it would be hard to trade him during the offseason, with the shoulder issue. And what could you get for a soft tosser coming off a 4.77 ERA?
    Is Santana going to be back next year? Not likely, is it? Especially with a terrible taste in his mouth from this terrible finish. Hey Irvin, would you like to get a 4,5 year, 60-75 Mil contract from the Yankees/Red Sox/Mariners , or get a 2 year deal for less per year for a team with no offense?
    So, what are the odds that in 2015, the pitching staff will have a better ERA than 27 other teams? Not very likely.
    IF the braves trade Justin and Gattis, the next biggest home run hitter is Freddie Freeman, with 18, then JHey, and BJ tied for 11. Yikes….
    Justin has 97 RBIs, trade him, 2nd best is FF with 76. Then JHey with a robust with 58 . Ugh…
    Is the offense going to be better next year without the admittedly streaky J Up, and Gattis? Can it be worse than this year? Well, it could be…hard to believe, but true. It all depends on who the braves could get for them. And, if they got back 2 20+ homer guys…they are still not going to be much better.
    Of course, I am thinking like V, that at least one of the guys would be a singles hitting CF, you know, a Michael Bourne kinda guy. So, less homers, but in theory, more runs will be scored. except…well, we all know the worst thing that could happen to this offensive offense this year, is to get runners on 1st and 3rd, with no outs, 1 out….not likely to score. So, not exactly sure that a better leadoff guy helps a ton, but it should at least allow JHey to bat 2nd, 5th…something better than leadoff. We know he will do it, but hates it.
    Now, I love V’s idea of trading for J.D. Martinez….thing is…I don’t see where it benifts the Tigers to trade a dirt cheap guy hitting .316(2 points higher than Miguel Cabrera), with 23 HR’s, the same number as Cabrera, who isn’t even getting a half a million…yet.
    They traded Prince Fielder…Torii Hunter has had a very good year, but will be 40 next year. (not sure if he’s signed for next year or not) can’t see them potentially losing Hunter, Victor Martinez, and J.D. I think the chance of a trade would come down to how well the Tigers do in the playoffs. If they lose Max Scherzer as a free agent, then if they trade offense, they are going to want a starter in return….
    Thing is, I could have more optimism , if, we weren’t in the NL East. The Mutts have some very good arms. The Marlins have some very good arms. We know the Nats have several #1’s and #2’s on their staff. So, those 3 teams could, could all finish above the Braves next year, if there aren’t some very good trades/signings to be made in the off season.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 12 Carolina Lady September 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

    ALL RIGHT, BER! “Bush was still president”
    Do NOT try to convince me that THIS is Bush’s fault, too!!!
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Well CL, the circumstantial evidence is tremendous…. It would not be so bad if the Braves were able to “beat the Bushes” and pull some offense out of a hat. Heck, they may already have enough offense, they just need a magician with a magic key who knows how to unlock the talent. Hey, it worked for Jordan Schafer, after he was released but it was there all along…..

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 14 Vox O'Raison September 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    They do look like a bush league team right now…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Folks, the Braves are so weak on offense that even Dan Uggla could have hidden behind these clowns and not stuck out. That folks, is saying something.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. 16 Vox O'Raison September 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Well, I guess since there is, and should be, a concern for the integrity of the game, and since the Bucs and Giants are battling for the top WC spot (heck, are the Bucs eliminated from their division yet?) Fredi needs to continue to put out a “competitive” lineup for the next 2 games. But as soon as the weekend arrives and the Phils hit the Ted, I am playing all rooks and reserves baby. I’m talking a lineup of Goss, TLS, Boni, Terdo, B’court, Pena and Constanza. Oh.. and Fab 5 Fredi in his familiar #3 hole. (He won’t come out.)

    Now that I think about it, why not go ahead and play ’em tonight? They can’t do any worse. They literally cannot do any worse. The supposed “A Team” has lost 10 of 11, and scored a grand total of 17 runs in those 11 wretched games. And the 1 game they actually won in that stretch was a day game following the Nats’ clincher and most of their team was probably still hungover.

    Do we have a “C Team”?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 Vox O'Raison September 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    the Braves are so weak on offense that even Dan Uggla could have hidden behind these clowns and not stuck out

    Can we sign Uggla for the last 5 games? It’s not like it would cost us any more money…

    Like

  18. 18 Vox O'Raison September 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    2nite’s lineup:

    1- Boni, 2B… Don’t get it. Gosselin actually gets a hit here and there. Should be in CF instead of Bossman.
    2- Simba, SS… Terrible choice for #2. Currently screws himself into the ground like fellow countryman Andruw Jones.
    3- Free, 1B… yeah
    4- JUp, LF… Might as well hope he gets another homer or 2 to inflate his reputation and trade value
    5- JHey, RF… yeah
    6- CJohnson, 3B… Might as well. Other choices are slim.
    7- Bcourt, C… yeah
    8- Bossman, CF… No, no, no, no, no. Not another AB in a Braves uni. Ever.
    9- Julio Teheran, RHP… God love him. Hope he pitches a shutout. Would probably still take the loss.

    My lineup would be:

    1- JHey, RF
    2- Goss, 2B
    3- Free, 1B
    4- JUp, LF
    5- Bcourt, C
    6- CJohnson, 3B
    7- Boni, CF
    8- Simba, SS
    9- Julio Teheran, RHP

    Like

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Julio spoiled for the Bucs tonight with that 2 run single after walking the guy with the most strikeouts on the club.

    Vavaro looked really amped up when he came in, not pitching for two weeks will do that methinks…

    Yes, the Pirates still have a chance at the Central pennant.

    I am wondering if Justin will get to 100 RBI? Only one away now after setting on 97 for a couple of weeks.

    Like

  20. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Yep, Melvin is worthless!

    Like

  21. 21 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Simba, SS… Terrible choice for #2. Currently screws himself into the ground like fellow countryman Andruw Jones.
    Funny, I was saying to someone last night that those hitting lessons from Andruw were really paying off for Simmons 😛

    Like

  22. 22 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Nice, very nice to see a win though…

    Like

  23. 23 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Sadly, we don’t have another Wednesday on the schedule… 😦

    Like

  24. 24 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 8:10 am

    It should also be noted that 2 of those wins came on days following the opposing team celebrating playoff clinching wins and thus days when the opposing team was probably hungover. 😉

    Like

  25. 25 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    BTW- it has become alot easier to joke about it after a few days have passed. The initial pain has subsided.

    Like

  26. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

    And thus Raisins, the adage “time heals all wounds” at least those which are not fatal… but I digress….

    The As backed into the playoffs last night, the Ms are hanging on with the Giants attempting not to fold.

    Tom Glavin was opining last night the same “Jason to center, Justin to right and Gattis in left we have been spouting here on the B & S for a while now. I still think it makes sense. I know, Evan is not the most polished outfielder but he will drive in more than he will let in and he is one of the few boppers the Braves have at their disposal. Does anyone really think another team will trade a proven hitter for Gattis? Surly one not as cheap. Who is out there who would be better? No one in the current system….

    He can still catch every couple of weeks if that is what the Braves want. No, I think once they get rid of the black hole in centerfield and move Johnson down the line up, they will do okay.

    Did you not see Simba go to right a couple of times in the past two nights? He may finally got that figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 27 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Did you not see Simba go to right a couple of times in the past two nights? He may finally got that figured out.

    And I saw Fletcher literally giddy about it one time, too. 🙂

    Like

  28. 28 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Of course it still won’t save Fletch’s job… 😉

    Like

  29. 29 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    AP: Twins’ hurler [Phil Hughes] caps off impressive season with 16-10 record, 186 strikeouts and just 16 walks, but rain delay ends his day – and his season – with 209-2/3 innings pitch, one [out] short of a $500,000 bonus written into his contract.

    Hughes struck out five without a walk over eight innings… Manager Ron Gardenhire said Hughes would’ve returned for the ninth on a dry day, but the 66-minute delay ended that.

    Man, I would have been on my knees pleading with Gardenhire to let me just get the 1st out! 😯

    Like

  30. 30 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Chipper Jones, on 680theFan this morning: “I’m not sold on the fact that Bobby was sold on wanting to leave when he left, I think there was a lot of friction between he and Frank Wren back in the day. It’s not a coincidence that Bobby is now back in the fold.

    “You know, Fredi is the manager of this ball club and he had very little say so in some of the personnel changes. If you are the manager you need to have some say so in the tools that are going to help you win ball games on a nightly basis. I can’t say 100 percent, I can say in my opinion, from time to time Fredi was probably told who needs to play.”

    Like

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I can’t say 100 percent, I can say in my opinion, from time to time Fredi was probably told who needs to play.

    How else could he explain the constant disaster of having Melvin in the line-up?

    Anyway, it is enlightening to hear the story of what was going on behind the scenes. Even ten years ago…. I am sure it was eating Bobby up to have to play some of the retreads he was handed between 2006 and 2010.

    Of course, Wren was dancing to the corporate tune being played by Liberty…

    Well, the Brewers have been scratched off the list this afternoon. The only thing to decide is the Central and who plays where….

    I know some of the folks across the street were whining that Evan Gattis was penciled in to catch Hale tonight saying what was the use… To me it is important to see if Evan can recover…

    I know he has value but I think that said, he has a lot of value to the Braves too.

    Look, if Ryan Klesco could play left field for the Braves, You can put just about anyone out there.

    Adam LaRoach will be looking for a job next season, Move Freddie to third, but then, That is not going to happen…

    Like

  32. 32 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Move Freddie to third

    Ew.

    Like

  33. 33 Vox O'Raison September 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I think the only real positions truly “up for grabs” for 2015 are in the OF. JHey will be there… not so sure about either Up. Jose Peraza will be at 2B. He’ll have to practically break a leg in Spring Training to not be afforded every opportunity to seize the moment.

    Like

  34. 34 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Well, at least the braves are scrappy….not getting blown out like a AAA team…. At least Joey T made a great play at 1st….wonder if the folks on baseball tonight were still checking out a 10-0 game….

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 35 berigan2electricboogaloo September 26, 2014 at 6:48 am

    How about Derek Jeter????? I too got a bit tired of the hype, but all the guy did was win….and you hear it so much, with class. Hated him when the Yankees were facing the braves, but what a player…and what a way to end his career at Yankee stadium
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/11589333/derek-jeter-plays-final-home-game-new-york-yankees

    Liked by 2 people

  36. 36 Vox O'Raison September 26, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Well, the “regular” season is done. Neither the Braves nor the Phils can affect anything else in baseball for 2014. I truly hope Fredi’s lineup – now that Frank isn’t bullying him into anything – is made up of Terdo, TLS, Goss, Bcourt, etc.

    The one veteran I hope gets to play ’em all though is JUp. I really want him to get 1 more RBI to reach the 100 mark, and wouldn’t mind 2 more HR in that little league park. 30 HR and 100+ RBI makes him much more attractive on the trade market. 😉

    Like

  37. 37 Vox O'Raison September 26, 2014 at 7:41 am

    BTW- an update on Twins’ pitcher Phil Hughes, who fell 1 out short of triggering a $500,000.00 bonus due to a rain delay. Twin’s management, in appreciation of the great season he has given them this year, and acknowledging a loud and clear fan outcry, offered him a relief appearance during the last series so that he could make that threshold.

    His reply? Thanks, but no thanks.

    He said, “I just didn’t feel like it was right, If we were fighting for a playoff spot, I’d 100 percent be available, but given the circumstances, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.

    “I owe too much to this organization for the next two years to be risking getting hurt for an incentive. If my last start of the year gets rained out, or my last inning gets rained out, for whatever reason it’s just not meant to be.”

    And he offered up a couple more items that should be noted. In essence, he said that he could easily pitch an inning in a game, much like he would normally have a side session between starts. But he felt like doing something that focused solely on himself would “set a bad precedent” in the clubhouse, and he didn’t want that. Said he owed too much to the team and to the organization. Then he took the opportunity to thank the Minnesota fans for campaigning for him to be given the bonus anyway, or a least the opportunity to earn it.

    He’s under contract in Minnesota for 2 more seasons. I wish we could bring him here. He’s the kinda guy I can be a fan of.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Wow, that is something…..

    Okay, last night’s game. Okay Pirate fans, the Braves did their part, it is now between the Cardinals and Buccos. I think the Bucs would have to sweep and the Cards lose two out of three…..

    Pretty sucky game last night eh?

    I think Freddie needs a night off but won’t happen. Only three more games to play.

    Yes, anyone else think that Justin would be stuck on 97 RBI for an entire month? Would be easy for him to miss it by one…. He has been in full pull mode for about that long now….

    Like

  39. 39 Vox O'Raison September 26, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I think Freddie needs a night off

    He’s about to get 130 or so… 😉

    Like

  40. 40 Vox O'Raison September 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

    My lineup against the Phils would be:

    Goss, SS
    TLS, 2B
    JUp, LF
    Doumit, RF
    Terdo, 1B
    Bcourt, C
    Pena, 3B
    Boni, CF

    Like

  41. 41 Vox O'Raison September 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Nah… I reconsidered something. I want to see Heyward.

    My lineup against the Phils would be:

    Goss, SS
    TLS, 2B
    JHey, RF
    JUp, LF
    Terdo, 1B
    Bcourt, C
    Pena, 3B
    Boni, CF

    Like

  42. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Heyward’s thumb must really be bothering him, I was shocked he did not attempt a throw to the plate on the foul ball by McCutchen which scored Harrison from third last night.

    If anyone would like to show film of a team that really understands the fundamentals of base running, the Pirates are a good team to watch.

    Wow, talk about a team stinking up the joint, the Redskins looked awful last night too… No where for this weary fan to turn this year, Va Tech is weak too. I guess I will do a lot of reading this off season….

    VOX, you realize it is line ups such as the one you propose which are frequently seen during spring training. Sadly, the Braves think those teams are worth paying $35 a person to watch….

    A lot depends next season on if the Braves can again find some offense to go with their pitching. I would not mind Harang getting a return gig for next season but tonight will be the last we will see of Magic in a Braves uni.

    I noticed Jonny Venters had his TJ done by the same doc as Beachy in California. Said he had nothing against Andrews but wanted to try a different technique. Cannot blame him.

    Anyone have a clue as to what happened to Avilan this season?

    Like

  43. 43 berigan2electricboogaloo September 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Didn’t Chipper, an above average 3rd baseman, move to left for the good of the team? I know FF is a great 1st baseman, but…I have no doubt he would be a great 3rd baseman too…and 1st basemen are a dime a dozen(though great fielding one’s are rarer of course)
    one of my gripes with the braves the last few years, is not seriously looking into getting into the Cuban market. Would…Yoenis Céspedes, Aroldis Chapman, Jorge Soler(Cubs, 22, 5 HR’s 18 RBI’s .328 AVE in 22 games) his massive contract? On June 11, 2012, Soler reportedly agreed to a nine-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Cubs
    With all his hot doggery, would your rather see BJ or Yasiel Puig in CF???
    The one that ties into all of this 1st baseman talk…. José Abreu How would you like to have a 27 Y.O. 1st baseman(or sub par left fielder) who hit 35 HR’s, drove in 105 RBI’s and a .315 BA??? (He was also on the DL and played for awhile with a bad ankle) All the while playing in a pitcher’s park. His massive, massive contract?
    In October(2013), he signed a six-year contract with the Chicago White Sox worth $68 million…
    I know, the braves have a decent record in latin nations, but…Cuba seems off the radar. Is that Wren’s fault? Or an organizational issue? Or, all about the Benjamins?
    One thing the Braves don’t seem to be able to develop right now, is hitters. Can you really count FF and JHey, considering how long ago they were in the minors? There is one guy, the 2nd baseman, who still may be too young to take 2nd base(or they will want to keep him down on the farm for a few months, to start the clock late on arbitration, a sure sign of a team devoted to winning….3rd place :/ )
    I sure hope they will focus on signing a real hitter, perhaps a college kid….after all, a sub .500 record does mean a better pick in the draft….

    Like

  44. 44 berigan2electricboogaloo September 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Gil, unless Avilan was worked a bit too much in 2013(Doesn’t look terrible, 75 games, but who knows, perhaps too many streaks of 3 games in a row?)

    and hats off to Phil Hughes! He will be even more loved up in the land of a thousand lakes…

    Like

  45. 45 Carolina Lady September 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Raisins, way back, you asked, “Do we have a “C Team”?”

    The answer to that may be US – but I’ll have to be the bat boy or something. Y’all will have to do the heavy-lifting.
    🙂

    Like

  46. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Well, the Braves made it back to the pack with last night’s loss. There is now a thee way tie for 2nd/4th in the NL East….

    To be honest, one would have to think the Marlins and the Mets are both on the up swing. Phillie is still going to be old…. The Braves will be the mystery team next season.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    The answer to that may be US – but I’ll have to be the bat boy or something. Y’all will have to do the heavy-lifting.

    Naw CL, you are the “Skipper” of this crew….

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 48 berigan2electricboogaloo September 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Honestly, might as well lose the next 2, better draft picks…
    Always looking on the bright side, I am…
    😆

    Like

  49. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, a better draft pick but it only works when you have the right guys with eyes surveying the talent. Still, the difference between Wheeler (Mets) and Minor (Braves) was that the Mets got to pick first….

    Justin got his 100th RBI last night so give him the weekend off….

    One has to wonder if Bethencourt doesn’t have a little bit of a lazy streak. Two nights in a row I have seen him try to back hand a ball outside (wild pitch) only to have to chase it to the screen. Charles Johnson is still the best I ever saw and blocking balls in the dirt. He was all arms and legs back there but he was super limber.

    Nice crowd in Philly last night. 33,000… Not bad for a couple of last place clubs playing for zilch.

    Like

  50. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    So, if the nickname for the Phillies’ ball park is “The Bank Vault” what will they nickname Sun Trust Stadium?

    Like

  51. 51 berigan2electricboogaloo September 28, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Well, if it was a dome…..STD???? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Great to start the day off with a laugh Ber.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 53 berigan2electricboogaloo September 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    😉
    Well, ol Joe was clearly not getting what Chip was saying about trading Cole Hamels. Chip’s very good point was that he is about their only trade piece, and how they need young players…Joe said he wasn’t the problem, that they should get rid of the older players if they can….well, how is that going to make the Phils better? Not that I want them to get better 😉

    Like

  54. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    No Ber, he did not get the point that to get good players (prospects) you have to give up something and the point that the Philles had little to lose as far as getting back on top because they are going to have to rebuild.

    Well, the Phillies fans did not mock Kimbrel today….

    And did not James Russell pitch a nice 4 innings? Maybe he should have been the long relief guy?

    Like

  55. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Everyone seems to believe that Evan Gattis is gone and likely Chris Johnson too…. It is going to be an interesting off season for the Braves methinks…

    Like

  56. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Gil, James Russell looked very good as a starter, surprisingly enough. He should stick around in case Santana and Harang are not here next year…who knows?

    Well, guess it was a good thing to end the season on a high(ish) note. Taste isn’t as bad…3 hits,(all in the 1st) 2 runs…and still won the game!

    Still not sold at all on gatting rid of Gettis,…errr, getting rid of Gattis 😛
    But, you all know that…missing all that time, and catching, and still was in a tie for 18th in homers in the NL. Which means more than 180 or so other guys. Lose him, trade Justin…just don’t see how that improves the team, unless they get great prospects back…and prospects are just that.
    At least those two are a known quantity. to a degree. Still say Gattis could be a 30+ HR guy.

    Replacing CJ…a platoon of LaStella and Gosselin perhaps? More balls in play, to be sure…CJ , was just like BJ….in the last week of the season, finally seeing the light, and going to right field. Justin too…Walker and the other guy, must be pulling their hair out. Now use guys get it…Sigh…

    And what is CJ exactly? Only 23 walks. That’s terrible. 10 HR’s but only scored 43 times. That’s terrible, but not sure who’s fault that is, beyond the guys behind him . Take away his 10 HR’s , he was on base 165 times, and was only driven in roughly 25% of the time. Man.

    In his 5 full(more or less) seasons, he has hit .308 or higher, twice. But, his OBP for his career is only .319. What are you going to get trading him? Salary relief? He gets about 8 mil a year for the next 3 years. Anyone really interested? Might be one of those guys that only the team that has him would also start him.

    LaStella and Gosselin are both 25, and both will be 26 at the start of next year. Are they really starters? Hard to tell. Too bad La Stella didn’t catch fire again at the end.

    Still a lot of questions……

    Like

  57. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2014 at 2:58 am

    take a look at the list of the top home run hitters in the NL. Only 3 guys, 3…hit 30 or more.
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/homeRuns/league/nl/year/2014/seasontype/2
    Now, look below them at the guys that hit 20 or more this year.
    Who would be legitimately available? I just see 3 guys…Curtis Granderson(too expensive, older, though I like him a lot, might rebound)
    Mark Reynolds (22 HR’s only 45 RBI’s, .199 BA ) and Marlon Byrd (37, with 2, count em, 2 years left on his contract, but the best hitter of the 3) so….anyone excite you there? Didn’t think so….
    You know, there is a guy….who hits pretty well with runners on. in those 291 ab’s wth Runners on, he hit 14 HR’s, drove in 86 RBI’s and hit .261 . He also drove in 95 RBI’s, for 4th best in the NL. That horrible, no good, waste of money, that should have been released, according to the experts, Ryan Howard. Amazing, ain’t it? He is terrible, with no one on, hitting .182 in 275 AB’s. Put him on a team, where guys are always on, and he’ll drive in 110 next year, while the Phils pay 75% of his contract…cuz he stinks. 😕

    Like

  58. 58 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Since my fatty liver disease…or something is making me hot and sweaty and not wanting to sleep…
    here are the AL HR leaders. Again, look at the guys who hit 20 or more Hr’s and tell me who might be available.
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/homeRuns/league/al/year/2014/seasontype/2

    Like

  59. 59 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Kyle Wren played for the braves at some point during 2015/16? He did hit .290 and steal 46 bases this year. Plays CF, but haven’t heard a word about him, except him being drafted by the braves. He got some sort of recognition from the braves for his play at Class A Advanced Lynchburg (he did go up to AA for 56 games)

    Like

  60. 60 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2014 at 3:28 am

    heh…was looking for something, anything on Kyle Wren….wasn’t having any luck, then found an article finally…and it’s written by…DOB. Of course.
    You all may have read it, but I sure missed it….
    http://atlantabraves.blog.ajc.com/2014/06/30/braves-prospect-peraza-is-special-just-ask-kyle-wren/

    Like

  61. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Sorry about the sleep problem, been there, done that, and it is a bummer….

    Ber, I am not the one advocating moving Evan Gattis, I love the guy, just passing along info from the talking heads….

    You are right, and will we not hear the Braves bemoan the fact the absence of a bopper in the middle of the line up if Evan is moved?

    Like

  62. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2014 at 8:23 am

    And Kyle Wren won’t have to worry about being accused of getting preferential treatment now…

    Like

  63. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Heard on MLB network the other night that no matter how many stolen bases you have, anything less than a 75% success rate is considered a negative…

    The thing I do remember is when Furcal was leading off, how many times the Braves would have a one to nothing lead by the end of the their first inning.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 64 Vox O'Raison September 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I was away all weekend and missed the last 2 games of the season. Can’t believe they went and won those, costing themselves 4 spots in the draft order. They now pick 16th, behind both the Mets (15) and the Marlins (12).

    Ughhh…

    In all seriousness, those spots may not make too much difference outside the top 10. In baseball, there is usually only a consensus across the top 2 or 3, and sometimes not even that. Scouting and needs can make a big difference in each respective team’s amateur player rating.

    Now, my comments from the season wrapper:

    James Russell is not a starter. He’s a decent reliever who gave us a good 4+ innings in a spot start. His trouble is that he’s a lefty who cannot get out lefties. And as a guy due a big raise as a 3rd time arb eligible, he is a prime candidate to be non-tendered.

    Luis Avilan is horrid. That is all.

    Platooning La Stella and Gosselin is not an option. TLS actually hit lefties 60 points higher this season even tough he bats lefty himself. If TLS wants to be a ML contributor, he must close that hole that ML pitchers exposed in his swing. I hope he does, but his lack of versatility is going to hurt him regardless. 2 words: Jose Peraza. TLS is a short timer in ATL.

    The jury is still out on Gosselin, but his career path seems to be taking him to be a top utility guy and not an everyday starter. He does alot of things really good, but not any one thing really great. He will supplant Ramiro Pena, who could very well be traded.

    I think there is mutual interest in the Braves and Aaron Harang to come back on a new 1 year deal. I’m all for it. The Braves need a bridge to Jason Hursch and Lucas Sims, and Harang benefited greatly from Roger McDowell. I can see that getting done. Also, the Braves do not have to wait until the FA period to negotiate with Harang. Advantage ATL.

    As both Gil and Ber said earlier, you have to trade quality to get quality. JUp seems a no brainer. He’s a productive guy who had a good overall season (although all of us know in ATL that he can go through extensive periods of stinkiness); and with just 1 year remaining on his deal, he’s attractive to teams not wanting to take on a long term commitment in a trade. And Hart or Coppy or whomever sits in that cozy suite at The Ted could do a whole lot with his annual $15M commitment. JHey comes to mind.

    I would like to see Heyward signed to a Freeman-like deal. His numbers are not where we’d all like to see them, but he does alot more than the numbers show. And he is also still really a youngster at just 25. I believe one of JHey or JUp will be earning those big $$ from Liberty next season. I hope it’s JHey.

    I’m not wasting any more keystrokes or pixels on the former CF.

    Which brings me to the very touchy subject of Evan Gattis. I understand wanting to keep his power bat in the lineup. I really do. But IMO, he’s too much a defensive liability to try and play everyday. And you cannot keep his bat on the bench. Well, Fredi seemed to want to, but it makes no sense. Bethancourt has arrived, and has proven he can hit and drive in runs. He is the everyday catcher. Evan profiles better to DH than most current DH’s do. Think Detroit would like El Oso Blanco to be their version of Big Pappi? I keep thinking what kind of damage he could do batting 4 times a game over 81 games in the Juice Box in Houston. Yowsers!

    Speaking of Bcourt, I have seen and read that some scouts have tagged him as “lazy” behind the plate. I think that is a bold and hair-triggered statement. He’s a kid who has just barely turned 23 years old. He’s immensely talented, and has been able to get by on that talent his entire career. But as most kids find out when they reach The Show, it takes more than raw talent. I’ll give this kid the benefit of the doubt that he’ll work and learn and continue to develop as a player. I remember similar statements being said about Yadier Molina as a rookie. He turned out OK.

    And then there is Chris Johnson. Has there ever been a player so middle of the road? Man he’s a hard guy to get a handle on. I think he is a very good player, not a great one. He is much better defensively than his reputation hinted, but still not Brooks Robinson or Mike Schmidt. He doesn’t have the power of a traditional hot corner hitter, but he strikes out as much. Yet he contended for the NL batting title just 2 years ago. I’ve watched him for 2 years and still don’t really know who he is. He is controllable for 3 more years (with a team option for a 4th) at a moderately reasonable price for a ML starter, so he could be a trade piece as well. The trouble is, the Braves do not have a replacement ready if they send him away. I see him in a position much like he was when he came to Atlanta. He could go as a swap of 3B’s in a deal where someone else (JUp? Gattis?) is the principle in the deal. Maybe he’s Justin’s shadow. 😉

    Well, those are my closing thoughts for now. The Braves news cycle will slow for a couple of weeks as the playoffs go about their merry way. It’s possible a new GM could be announced before the WS, but that’ll be about it. But once the new champion is crowned, and the silly season begins, this could very well be a busy one for Los Barves. Rest assured we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground.

    Like

  65. 65 Vox O'Raison September 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Holy smokes! That post accidentally turned out quite Savannah Guy-like!! 😯

    Like

  66. 66 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Gil, Don’t worry, I know you are not anti Gattis…IF the team could be made better, I could see moving him…but I just don’t see how that is going to be likely.
    Interesting, you mentioning Furcal…just looked him up. Between 2002 and 2006(with Dodgers in 2006) he scored at least 95 runs.each year. Yet only stole more than 40 bases 1 season. In 2003, he scored 130 Runs! Check out the RBI leaders on the club that year. Anduw, 116 RBIs, Chipper, 106, Javy 109, and Sheffield 132 RBIs! Heck, even Robert Fick(make one mistake and you are gone) drove in 80, in 406 AB’s. That would be 2nd on the 2014 club. 5 guys, 5…scored 100 or more runs. I didn’t even mention Vinny Castilla and his 22 HR’s and 76 RBI’s man, what an offense! and…how many guys struck out 100 or more times that year? 1. Andruw, with 125…
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=0&season=2003&month=0&season1=2003&ind=0&team=16&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

    Like

  67. 67 Vox O'Raison September 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    So, if the nickname for the Phillies’ ball park is “The Bank Vault” what will they nickname SunTrust Stadium?

    How about the “Bread” Box? Hmmm… that one might be a little dated…

    The ATM?

    The Debit?

    The Money Market?

    The Overdraft?

    Like

  68. 68 Vox O'Raison September 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Heh heh… “Sure, anything if I can keep my job!” 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 69 Vox O'Raison September 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    NEWSFLASH!!!

    Like

  70. 70 Vox O'Raison October 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

    And this, folks, is what propelled KC into a real playoff series. It’s also what squashed any hopes the Braves had of sneaking in the back door.

    One truth is always constant: Speed never slumps. And that is why I am a proponent of maximizing Gattis’ very high value now. He’ll never bring as much back in a trade as he will this offseason. This team needs guys who can get on base and who can run. We have neither. Heck, Houston is better positioned to succeed in 2015 than the Braves are.

    Speed never slumps.

    Like

  71. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

    VOX, for years, all we heard was how badly the Braves needed a right handed bopper in the line up to drive in runs, the problem was not so much getting guys on but getting guys in.

    I’m not saying the Braves “must” hold onto Gattis but simply having a lead-off guy is not going to solve the Braves’ problems. It is having the experience to understand situational hitting. Knowing that you are going to fail 7 times out of 10 but not decreasing your chances of success by trying to pull every ball. Aside from dealing with guys who have more holes in their swing than a slice of swiss cheese,, seeing over and over guys pulling off the ball over and over again and striking out on pitches down and away.

    All I am saying is I understand the business, I know changes have to be made but if you are going to trade away your best hitter, you better get something more than a speedy lead off type.

    If having a burner at the top of your line up was the Key too success, Toronto and Cincinnati should both be in the play-off. Ball clubs have a lot of moving parts. They all have to mesh.

    We I have a little more time, I will break down my opine, ala Raisins, on the Braves’ personal by position.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 72 Vox O'Raison October 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I gotcha, Gil. We really are not in too much agreement. You do have to have guys to drive runs in. That falls on Freeman, Heyward, Johnson (if he’s still here) Bethancourt, and to a certain degree Simmons. I really don’t care if my bopper is RH or LH. In fact, as currently constituted, the lineup has been too RH heavy all season at 6 RH to 2 LH. (TLS was another LH for a little bit until he started down the Ugllian path.)

    Of course, we don’t know who will be in LF or CF in 2015, and really not 2B either. But between those 3 uncertain positions, we have to have 1 guy who can get on base and utilize his God given gift of never-slumping speed, and 1 guy who can do ANYTHING but strike out. (Bunting is NOT a city in China.)

    Those are 2 guys not currently on this roster.

    I’ll make you a deal… if Jose Peraza can make the club and man leadoff and 2B sufficiently, and if Justin Upton can be peddled for a CF who can strike out less times than he makes contact with the ball, I’ll be content with Gattis in LF. But without a #1 and a #2 to make 3-8 actually work, I’m not gonna be a happy dude.

    It’s a little like my golf game. I can pitch and putt pretty darn well. But I can’t get off the tee worth squat. It doesn’t matter how well I can stick ’em and drop ’em if I can’t get down the fairway first. (Then there’s that whole analogy about green fees and cart fees costing too dang much and preventing me from playing at all. But that’s a different rant for a different time.)

    Like

  73. 73 Vox O'Raison October 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    We really are not in too much agreement.

    I meant to say “We really are not in too much disagreement.” Wow, that could not have gone much more awry, eh? 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  74. 74 Vox O'Raison October 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    ICYMI- Fredi and his coaches were to meet with John Hart and Co. this morning. No word yet on the outcome of those meetings. Hart and JS both stressed repeatedly that Fredi’s job would be the new GM’s call, so I don’t expect anything like that to come out of it. Plus, Greg Walker already resigned and took his elephant out of the room with him.

    Gut feeling, there won’t be any real changes come out of today’s meeting. In all likelihood, it’s just a “lay it all out on the table for all to see” kinda meeting. It could also serve the purpose to let anyone who wants to walk now and seek existing opportunities the chance to do so.

    Given the excitement around KC’s improbable win last night, luring Dayton Moore away from there might have gotten considerably less likely over the last 24 hours. Was it coincidence that the coaches’ meeting was scheduled the morning following the OAK/KC play-in game? I dunno. Seems kinda convenient, though. Had the Royals lost in just 1 game, the air could have very well been let out of their playoff balloon. Not now. That win made them a real playoff team and a real contender. Moore’s work has come to fruition. I don’t think he’ll leave it now.

    My money is still on Hart taking the reins full-time for a year, with Coppolella as his understudy to take over full-time from there forward. It’s a good arrangement, and does create a little continuity. Anyone in business understands the importance of continuity. And as angry as this team and the admins made me this year, it isn’t a team that needs to start over and rebuild. It needs to grow and mature. It needs to fill some holes and move forward.

    Like

  75. 75 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I saw this on DOB’s twitter feed yesterday, before Walker was fired. Interesting, and also shows why he wasn’t a very good hitting coach, IMHO
    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/walker-on-braves-offense-huge-disappointment-would/nhYBY/

    Like

  76. 76 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve heard that if Coppolella isn’t the next braves GM, that there’s a good chance he goes elsewheres….I hope the braves think long and hard on that fact, IF they indeed want him to be a GM with the braves….
    searching his name, I found this MLBtrade rumors interview with him, 3 years ago.
    Sounds like a good guy.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/09/gm-candidate-john-coppolella.html

    Like

  77. 77 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    V, I guess the issue at this point is….who in the lineup, scares opposing managers and pitchers? J Up when he’s hot, FF, (even when he has an “off” season , still hit .290 with RISP) Gattis, and…that’s about it. Only guy right now I want up with the game on the line is FF. Trade J Up and Gattis for 2 CF’s the Nats and Phils have(a conversion we can have during the long off season now, down the road, or over and over again during the long off season who might be available? :/ ) that leaves FF, JHey, and CJ, if he’s still here. We know CJ is not the guy(at least this year, if he reverts to a .300+ hitter next year, perhaps) and JHey…I still see him as a guy I wouldn’t be afraid of. Bust him in with fastballs he can’t get to, and sliders away. Bethencourt, Simmons…are they going to take major steps forward next year? Right now, I like Bethencourts going to right field approach to Simmons falling down style, a lot more.
    Compare and contrast to the Nats. Ryan Zimmerman…is a bench player for them in the playoffs. They don’t have a place to play him now. Next year, they will have to get rid of a very good first baseman to find a place for him in the lineup. Gio Gonzalez (10-10, 3.57 era) is their 5th starter right now….their longman or Loogy during the playoffs.
    Just a wee bit deeper than the braves. How in the wide, wide world of sports are we going to seriously compete with them next year????
    If they don’t re-sign either Harang or Santana(2 guys that would be the Nats 5th starter if they didn’t have Gio) the homeboy upstairs is going to trade one of Gattis or J Up for a starter…now I’m turning back into a gloomy Gus again….I truly don’t know how the braves can improve the hitting, and pitching during the offseason, so the team can complete with the improving Mutts, Marlins, and already very good Nats….hopefully, they will find a way!

    Like

  78. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    The gNats had designs on moving Ryan Zimmerman to first two years ago when LaRoache lobbied for a three year contract. Washington refused, holding fast to two. The thinking was Zim’s bat was too valuable to discard but his defense along with his arthritis would dictate Ryan being moved to a less demanding position. They also knew they had Rendon in the pipeline who could play third base.

    I think Roachie would be a perfect fit for the Yankees next season with Texieria being hurt all the time. But, that is just me. one thing I can guarantee, LaRoache won’t be in DC next season.

    There will be some guys available next season who could help the Braves but it really comes down to is how much money they have to fill the gaps.

    One more quick comment, since the banning of PEDs, the smart money is to go with the guy who has his future ahead of him rather than one who has his best years behind him. Thus, spend the money on J-Hey and let Justin Upton go.

    Still, maybe a new hitting coach (Ron Washington) could straighten out BJ so he at least could be serviceable in centerfield. Would having BJ hitting .250 make him tradable? Still, loafing in the outfield is pretty off putting for me.

    Like

  79. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I’m not a sabermetrics guy by any stretch of the imagination, no, I’m a see it with my own eyes to believe it sort of fellow. I guess that is why I get so frustrated when I see guys dogging it.

    I know Chris Johnson is not Raisin’s favorite but he is serviceable. I think he was misused this season, he thought he had to be Evan Gattis but he needs to be Tony Gwen. He can be a great 7 hole hitter but he needs to know he is not a bopper. Sure, he’ll hit 15 or so a year but it should be by accident, not by design.

    Trouble it, third base is a “power position” That means you need to get the power from some place else.

    Like

  80. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Ron Washington, hitting coach…hmmn, like the sound of that. Did you hear the Twins fired Ron Gardenhire? Surprised, cuz they were playing very well against playoff teams….from mlbtr…

    Gil, a power hitting 3rd baseman…
    By Steve Adams [October 1, 2014 at 10:34pm CDT]

    In this morning’s Insider-only blog, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes that he feels a Josh Donaldson trade is likely for the Athletics this offseason. Billy Beane has shown a willingness to trade players at their peak value, Olney writes (citing the Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill trades, among others), and Donaldson’s salary will begin to rise quickly now that he’s hit arbitration. Olney looks at the rest of Oakland’s roster and notes that no other trade candidate has value as high as Donaldson’s, so while Jeff Samardzija would be an attractive chip, Donaldson could help Beane usher in his next roster reconstruction.
    2012, 24 HR 93 RBI’s .301 BA
    2013, 29 HR 98 RBI’s .255 BA
    So, they would ask a ton for him…what do you give up for him?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I know who I would give up, it is who would he take? That was some barn burner between Oakland and KC. Who would have thunk it would have been a slug fest with the starting pitching?

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 82 Vox O'Raison October 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I guess the issue at this point is….who in the lineup, scares opposing managers and pitchers?

    Nobody, and that is the point. As for Gattis, it’s hard for him to scare anyone when he isn’t in the lineup. And if the game is on the line late, he’ll be on the bench while a defensive replacement LF is in the game for him.

    I have said repeatedly, I love the guy. But he’s a square peg on a team filled with round holes. And alot of holes at that.

    Gattis or J Up for a starter…

    Won’t happen. Pitching is not our problem. I think they could work toward re-signing Harang. Santana is a goner. The only question with him is whether the Braves extend him a qualifying offer. But that is only procedural; he’s done in ATL. Even at that, they will have plenty of rotation candidates to fill essentially 2 open spots. And David Hale is probably the leading candidate for #5. Re-sign Harang, and the rotation is pretty set before camp even opens. And don’t discount Medlen making his presence known. I would not count that guy out for anything.

    What you have to get for JUp and/or Gattis is speed and consistency. Those are key elements lacking on this team. The other thing to consider is that you have to get some good prospects as well.

    Many people think Frank was fired for this year’s collapse. That is only one small piece of the pie. If you go by performance, the Braves were well above .500 during Frank’s tenure, and have made steady progress (except for this season) since he’s been around. But he decimated our farm system. It is currently ranked 29th out of 30. That, my friends, was what got Frank canned. If we don’t begin to restock now, we’ll blink and suddenly be the Phillies – old and bereft of immediate help.

    and JHey…I still see him as a guy I wouldn’t be afraid of.

    Only my opinion, but I believe he is still a guy with great offensive potential. He’s a guy who views himself as a middle-of-the-order hitter, but has bounced around between #1, #2 and #5 way too much. And to his credit, he did a great job as a leadoff hitter. But he changed his approach, as a pro should do, to accomplish it. IMO, it has stunted his development as a power guy. I would dearly love to see him bat #5 for an entire season and see what we could get out of him.

    But who leads off? Here we go back to my circular argument. It all begins with #1 and #2. They drive the rest of the lineup. We don’t have ’em. We saw where it got us.

    The sabre-cats will tell you that order doesn’t matter. They need to get out of their basements and start watching some actual games. It’d do ’em some good, and maybe help their skin a little too. Every good recipe has to be put together carefully and precisely, or even the best ingredients will come out like a brick and taste like poo.

    I know Chris Johnson is not Raisin’s favorite but he is serviceable.

    I am pretty ambivalent when it comes to Chris Johnson.

    Chris Johnson of 2013 was a good hitter for the bottom of the lineup. But you can’t bat him #1 or #2 because, as Skip Caray so eloquently would state: You don’t time him with a stopwatch, you time him with a calendar. You can’t bat him #3, #4 or #5 because he doesn’t hit for enough power. So he becomes your #6 or #7 guy. Still, he can drive in your power guys as long as they are doing their job, pounding the gaps and standing in scoring position.

    Now the Chris Johnson of 2014… he was a different guy. He was a guy who struck out at an alarming rate. So he became another hole in the lineup, next to Uggla or that other guy of whom I am no longer typing about. And it gets hard to hide Simmons’ bat at #7 or #8 when you are trying to hide half the other guys down there too.

    So in the end, we had Johnson, Simmons and He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned representing a free inning for the opposing pitcher 3 or 4 times a game. For a team that had a hard time scoring, giving away innings was not a formula for success.

    Now… here’s where the “ifs” begin.

    IF we can find anyone to get on base 1 & 2, and IF our middle of the order guys can do their jobs, and IF the new batting coach can remind Andrelton that he is not Troy Tulowitzki, THEN I have no problem with Chris Johnson batting #7 or #8.

    So, they would ask a ton for him…what do you give up for him?

    Billy Beane will want prospects. We don’t have any. Our best hitting prospect was Victor Caratini, the Braves 2nd round draft pick in 2013. He was a 20 year old C/3B prospect who was batting .279/.352/.406 with 18 doubles, 5 HRs and 42 RBI for Class A Rome this season before being given to the Cubs for 2 months of Boni and a LHRP who couldn’t get out LH hitters. Caratini is now ranked the Cubs #13 prospect behind their stockpile of highly ranked middle IF’s. He was the only real power hitting prospect above rookie level in the entire Braves system. Frank gave him away. Frank is no longer employed here.

    Like

  83. 83 Vox O'Raison October 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

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  84. 84 Vox O'Raison October 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 85 Vox O'Raison October 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

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  86. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    So, is the problem with the Braves’ minor league system due to lack of money or incompetence? The Nationals had to rebuild their minor league because under the ownership of MLB, their minor leagues were gutted.

    I know JS emptied the cupboard but that was a long time ago.

    Like

  87. 87 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Wow…29th out of 30. That’s…that’s not good is it? 😦
    Guess that makes sense when you looked at lists of top prospects in the organization and they didn’t look that…top. Honestly, even the so called pitching studs Lucas Sims… I know he’s only 20…but… a 4.19 ERA in A ball…just ain’t that exciting sounding to be. I do see his ERA was around 5 at one point, so at least it came down as the season wore on. Gee, I sure hope he has a low 90’s fastball and decent offspeed pitches that will make him a wonderful 3-4 starter. :/ I know..that’s mean…perhaps instead of signing local guys out of high school(Hey, they will sign cheap!)
    They will look nationwide for the best players when they draft in the future.
    Sure wish they would look at some of those Cuban kids, like I mentioned before. The Poor Red Sox have so many outfielders now(Likely 2 Cubans there for a long time) that they didn’t even bother to have a private tryout with the latest available Cuban outfielder…
    They might have an outfielder or 2 to trade…now, if only the braves had something to trade back….

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  88. 88 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 6:19 am

    V, I was thinking, (hey, it happens once in awhile) if Jose Peraza is ready next year…braves don’t need to get 2 more burners, do they?
    IF they trade J Up(surely not a given, unless we find out he was a negative influence in the clubhouse, and guys did seem genuinely happy to see him get 100 RBI’s) and Gattis… That leaves FF, JHey, and Chris Johnson to be the main RBI guys…if that’s the case, it won’t matter how many jackrabbits on on base, they will walk FF and take their chances with the rest. That along with Bethencourt and Simmons, just isn’t a serious lineup. At least not serious enough to win the division.

    And David Hale? 27 years old. Not exactly a kid. 87 innings this year. 125 in 2013.
    He might be a decent starter. Which is all I guess you want from your 5th guy. But, I don’t expect Wood and Teheren to be below 3.00 ERA guys next year. Could happen, but wouldn’t count on it. What is Minor? (did we ever hear if he had an MRI? and I getting whatyacallit, forgetful?) The former 1st round guy had an ERA north of 4 in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Was 2013 a fluke?
    And is it realistic to expect a 37 Y,O. Harang to have another 3.60 ERA, when his career ERA is 4.21? Did I mention he is going to be 37 next May?
    Again, being realistic, even if Medlen comes back strong….is that a rotation that is going to outpitch the Nats? If you can’t outhit, or outpitch them, not sure how you can outwin them….
    Gloomy Gus Out….

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  89. 89 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 6:28 am

    I somehow missed this story on Medlen back in August. Really hate the AJC these days…so hard to find articles…anyway, if anyone missed this…
    Didn’t realize it was also his 2nd TJ. Thought I heard someone say it wasn’t. Probably someone at a trivia venue that was wrong 😕
    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/medlen-confident-hell-pitch-in-15-hopes-its-with-b/ng3z7/

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  90. 90 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

    if Jose Peraza is ready next year…braves don’t need to get 2 more burners, do they?

    Exactly. If this kid could successfully make the jump, he would also make the new GM’s job alot easier. But here’s the rub… can’t count on him because you won’t really know if he can compete until spring. So you have to prepare as if he won’t be there. I hope he is.

    IMHO- I think they still need to seek a solid Span/Revere-type CF and a LF who hits for more AVG than HR. Chicks may dig the long ball, but it isn’t a reliable method of scoring runs on a consistent basis.

    I don’t expect Wood and Teheren to be below 3.00 ERA guys next year.

    Actually, I do. In fact, I expect Teheran to be better in 2015. Wood? His stuff last year wasn’t flukey. He hides the ball well, has a deceptive delivery, and has very good stuff. Barring injury, I see no reason he can’t repeat.

    What is Minor?

    Legit question.

    That leaves FF, JHey, and Chris Johnson to be the main RBI guys…

    Yes. It does… sort of. Remember, we have 3 positions to fill. LF, CF and 2B. Will they be filled internally? Remains to be seen. LF could still be JUp. Or Gattis. It could happen. But if it is that type of all-or-nothing hitter, you better have your 1-2 guys in CF and 2B. Those are 2 positions that literally killed us in 2014.

    This lineup needs more than tweaking, else we’ll have more of the same in 2015. The Orioles scored 12 runs on 12 hits last night, and only 2 were HR. They were 6-11 with RISP. That is where the Braves must improve.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Good morning folks, always interesting to read your opines. Just a couple of things to throw out there for ya’ll to chew on.

    The Braves did pretty well in the 90s’ and early 2000s living off the three run homer… Actually, I don’t think it matters how you score runs, just as long as you score runs.

    So, here is the skinny… We bashed TP for years because the Braves failed to drive in runners time after time. Most of those failures were due to having a guy at the plate who failed to realize that you did not pull the ball when pitcher were throwing down and away. Situational hitting…. Knowing when to take the ball the other way. Home runs are hit when a pitcher makes a mistake. either location or a hanging breaking ball, that and the batter has the strength to get the ball out of the ball park.

    Who is to blame for these failures? Mostly, it is a player who wants to see themselves on Sports Center. They don’t seem to get it that major league pitchers are a lot better than those guys in AA and AAA… They not only can throw 96 mph but they can make the ball do things we mere mortals can only do with a wiffle ball.

    I won’t bother to list all the players we have seen go through the debacle of failing to get runners home because of their refusal to play ABC baseball. I just know the manager has to take control of his players by getting them to play up to their capability. One simple example, LaSella… If I were Fredi, I would fine him $200 every time he hit one of his warning track fly balls. He does not have power, he needs to stay within himself and hit line drives. I see that upper cut swing sneak into his repertoire and rant because that is not who he is. It is why he is going to lose his job to Phil Gosselin.

    Don’t be surprised to see Tommy packaged with someone else in a trade. I think the real 800 pound gorilla in the room is who will be the Braves’ next GM. We can opine all day on what the Braves need to do but until their is a new GM, we have no clue what direction the Braves are going to take.

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  92. 92 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 10:51 am

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  93. 93 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

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  94. 94 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 10:58 am

    The Braves did pretty well in the 90s’ and early 2000s living off the three run homer…

    ’tis true. But the game has changed. The days of multiple 40+ homer guys is gone. Almost every pitcher hits mid-90’s on the gun, and plate discipline is a rarity. You mentioned ESPN highlights… and it’s true. Kids have grown up seeing the HR lauded as the No.1 highlight of the night. So that’s what they want to do. There was a time that K’s were shameful. No more. Now it’s accepted as the “bad with the good”. With PEDs mostly gone from the landscape, pitchers have the advantage. Teams better stock themselves with guys who can get on and run. It’s how the cycle has turned.

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  95. 95 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Don’t be surprised to see Tommy packaged with someone else in a trade.

    Agree 100%.

    Like

  96. 96 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

    And I would love to see Jose Peraza get some time in CF in his winter ball league.

    Like

  97. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Bo Porter is a good choice for the third base coaching job, puts him in position to replace Fredi next season. I like Porter, he has some fire and drive and passion that seems to be missing from the Braves’ line up. I liked him in DC, I liked him in Houston and I think I will like him in Atlanta.

    So the assistant hitting coach was canned too… What a shocker.

    Fredi G was retained for 2015, I’ll bet Bobby Cox had a lot to do with that decision.

    Doug Dascenzo was on the Braves staff as third-base coach and outfield/baserunning coach. It was said he did not do a bad job, they just wanted to go in a different direction…. First time BJ loafs I’ll bet you see one big time butt chewing… Bo won’t put up with lollygagging. Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Agree on moving Paraza to the outfield. If something happens, he can always move back to second but it is good to have options. Besides, if Evan Gattis in in left, you employ the Andrew Jones alignment used when Ryan Klesko played left field. Ryan played the left field line and Andrew covered everything else… Just saying…

    Like

  99. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I would not be near as frustrated with Melvin if he at least played a gold glove center field. Trouble is, he sucks everywhere and then bitches at everyone else like it’s their fault he sucks….

    Come to think of it, Bo Porter and Terry Pendleton are really cut from the same cloth as far as playing the game hard all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    So, here is my suggestion on how to use Evan Gattis next season. Let him catch every 5th game or so, let him play left field when he is not catching and let him DH when they play AL teams. Bethencourt can catch most days and let David Carpenter catch a couple of times a year. Yeah, I know it is not going to happen but you have to start somewhere.

    As for Paraza, remember the old adage. You cannot steal first base….

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 101 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    IF the team was willing to pay out some moola, take a chance(and one can understand being risk adverse right now) I’d take a chance on this guy….
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/free-agent-profile-yasmany-tomas.html
    Then, you trade J Up for a #2/#3 starter, and Gattis for the speed burner that we don’t even know is out there….
    but, it would be risky.

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  102. 102 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Check out what the “experts’ said about Jose Abreu before his rookie year….
    Weaknesses/Cons

    If Abreu has a few vintage Ryan Howard or David Ortiz-caliber seasons during his contract, he should easily be worth $50-60MM, and could provide an excellent return on investment. MLB executives are drooling at the thought. There have been some less-than-glowing reports about Abreu’s overall hitting ability, however.

    Abreu’s bat speed was questioned in a pair of excellent reports from Badler and Crasnick, and there are multiple scouts who feel he will struggle against hard fastballs inside. Crasnick talked to a scout who described Abreu as a less-athletic Dayan Viciedo, a player with a .264/.306/.432 line in over 1,200 big league plate appearances. In sum, Viciedo has been about replacement level for his career. The scout felt that Abreu has more power than Kendrys Morales, but is a worse hitter. There are few questions about Abreu’s power, but will he be able to hit for average or draw a walk? Badler has noted that scouts and teams have extensive history watching Abreu, but based on reports, it’s unclear whether they project him over or under Morales’ .333 career OBP.
    So, what did this guy do? in `145 games(went on dl, played weeks with a bad ankle before dl
    36 HR’s 107 RBIs .317 BA .383 OBP

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  103. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game.

    Exactly why I am loath to trade Gattis…. The return has to be huge, just saying….

    Liked by 1 person

  104. 104 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Anyone else see the Os vs Tigers today? Baltimore has got some clutch hitters. Video of the game should be mandatory to watch by Braves’ hitters as how to hit what you are pitched.

    Also a reminder of how important a strong bullpen is to have a successful season. I don’t think the Os will lose three in a row to the Tigers….

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  105. 105 Vox O'Raison October 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    The return has to be huge

    Agree 100%.

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  106. 106 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Holy Cow, use guys watching the Cards/Dodgers game? Hit, after hit, after hit against Hershaw in the 7th. 6-2, now 7-6 in the 7th….Gil, another game that should be MUST SEE video for every braves player….man….

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  107. 107 berigan2electricboogaloo October 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Matt Holiday isn’t a very good left fielder…but he’s a very good 3 run homer hitter! :mrgreen:

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  108. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Ber, I rest my case for Evan Gattis….

    And who would have predicted a 10 to 9 score from a match-up featuring Wainwright and Kershaw? Baseball is a really really fluky game….

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 109 Carolina Lady October 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Okay. I admit to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, so explain the rational behind this:
    Big hitters are scarce, therefore we must demand a lot in exchange for Gattis.
    Why trade away what is scarce when we already have him? It doesn’t take a genius to learn LF.
    The best pitching staff in the universe won’t make up for poor hitters, runners, etc.
    Gotta make a milk run to the store.

    Liked by 1 person

  110. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    CL, that has been the topic of the great debate….

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  111. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Huddy has pitched a gem tonight but might yet lose 1-0 to Zimmermann. Now he knows how Smoltzie must have felt.

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  112. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Well, a no decision for both starters…

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  113. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville October 5, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Wow, shades of 2005…. 18 innings and I know the fans were hungry because the union the vendors have in DC shut down sale after 6 innings….

    Taking out Zimmermann with two outs after a walk in the bottom of the ninth will get Williams second guessed for years in Washington but I cannot help but think of how doing the exact opposite got Grady Little run out of Boston back in the day for leaving in Pedro Martinaz. See, there are not right answers when you lose, only wrong ones.

    The Fat ladies are warming up in the wings for the gNats and the Tigers…

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  114. 114 berigan2electricboogaloo October 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    lost the post I was making…hit magical key to close browser window. Sure wish they didn’t have that key 😦 anyway, wasn’t too far along…was just saying after watching the 13th to the 18th inning, I almost felt sorry for the Nats…then, after seeing what I missed earlier in the game, horrible, horrible calls from the home plate ump against the Nats,(if it was near home plate, it was a strike) then the Nats having 1 out to go, and this time Zimmerman’s pitches were not called strikes, when they were closer than the pitches Asdrubal Cabrera got tossed from the game…I feel sorry for the Nats and their fans. I’d check that umps bank account to see if any large sums of moola strangely appear in it.
    Just like that infield fly rule ruining the braves chances a few years back…Umps should not decide who wins and who loses…man….

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  115. 115 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Remember when I said it would be a Orioles/Royals ALCS??? 😛
    Congrats to both teams. Amazing…Royals sure seem like a team of Destiny, but we know what can happen to a team, seemingly on a role…

    Like

  116. 116 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 117 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

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  118. 118 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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  119. 119 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

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  120. 120 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

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  121. 121 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Looks like JS is getting the front office back in order again after Frank let the sheep scatter far and wide. He must have been a real peach to work for.

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  122. 122 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    He’s getting the band back together… 😀

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  123. 123 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    DOB:

    An aggressive reshaping of the Braves front office continues with the return of longtime former scouting chief Roy Clark and the promotion of highly regarded scout Brian Bridges to scouting director.

    Eight days after the the Braves’ disappointing season ended and two weeks after the firings of general manager Frank Wren, assistant general manager Bruce Manno and Jeff Wren as special assistant to the GM, the Braves have hired a new special assistant (veterable former Mariners and Yankees scout Gordon Blakeley), named a new scouting director, and brought back Clark, who could have a special assistant’s title.

    The flurry of front-office moves increases speculation that a new Braves GM is already in-house, and that either interim GM John Hart is going to remove the “interim” from his title or serve as a mentor as they groom assistant GM John Coppolella for the post.

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  124. 124 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I still believe this is the Braves’ best option… and the most seamless. In fact, there do not appear to be any seams getting in the way of business thus far, and business has definitely been getting done.

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  125. 125 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    It does make me wonder… which John is running the point? Because whether it’s John Schuerholz or John Hart, John is getting it done! Somebody up there is setting goals and reaching goals without delay or impediment. That is how business is conducted successfully. I like it!

    Like

  126. 126 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Among the 43 players to elect Minor league FA, there are a few who may be of interest to our neighborhood:

    Braves: RHP Pedro Beato
    Giants: 2B Brandon Hicks (former Brave)
    Indians: MI Elliot Johnson (former Brave)
    Padres: OF Jeff Francoeur (former Brave)

    Actually, I suppose technically Beato is now a “former” Brave too.

    Like

  127. 127 Vox O'Raison October 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Scott Lindholm, SB Nation:

    The narrative for the Royals this postseason is small ball, a term used to denote teams that use speed and sacrifice bunts to score runs. While it’s familiar to those with knowledge of baseball history, it’s a strategy that fell by the wayside with the introduction of more potent offenses in the mid-1990s. The term was revived briefly to describe the 2005 White Sox, a team that was near the top of the AL in stolen bases, led in sacrifice hits.

    The Royals lived up to the moniker this season — they were last in the AL in home runs and walks by a fairly healthy margin, but led in stolen bases. They had five players with double-digit steals and presented a fresh alternative for those who yearn for old-fashioned baseball.

    The Braves have no speed. They don’t provide sacrifice AB’s. They don’t bunt. They swing hard and miss alot. The Royals have reached their league championship. The Braves are re-tooling their entire front office.

    I hope i don’t sound like a broken record, but have holes. We need help.

    I’m OK with Fredi returning because he is on the hottest seat in MLB for 2015 before this 2014’s post-season is even cranked up good. His seat is so hot he’ll have to wear insulated skivvies under his knickers. But to be fair, his personnel didn’t leave him alot of room to manage in 2014. No, he’s not my favorite. Yes he irritates me at times. I am happy with the coaching moves that have been made. Bo Porter was a perfect hire. Having Porter, TP and Eddie Perez on the coaching staff is a tremendous plus for any manager, especially Fredi. I expect the new hitting coach hire to be just as impactful. There has been nothing done over the last 2 weeks to cause me to expect anything less. John (pick one) has gotten his man in each hire.

    KC is getting it done with sound fundamental ABC baseball, and with good pitching and defense. Sound familiar? Is it coincidence that the guy who brought that to KC, Dayton Moore, learned at the feet of John Schuerholz? Uh, no… it isn’t. And John Hart shares JS’s philosophies.

    The Braves have the starting pitching. The have most of the defense. They need help with the fundamentals. Porter and the new hitting coach will hopefully make great strides there. Need a CF badly. Need one with speed. Need one with a glove. Need one not named… Oops! I almost wasted a few keystrokes on He Who Will No Longer Be Mentioned. Not gonna do it…

    Like

  128. 128 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Sounds like the right people, and moves are being made(well, I guess the people were already made, but I am too lazy to re-write this sentence)
    It’s going to take awhile to rebuilt the farm, sadly. Some good choices this winter(have a decent chance with a fairly early pick) will go a long way to that goal.
    Don’t forget, with all the great pitching and defense, the Royals have had timely hitting, and great situational hitting. CJ Wilson honestly wasn’t pitching that badly, but the Royals got back to back hits to the opposite field, a walk then a Alex Gordon ball off the left-center wall, again not pulling. 1st baseman and 3rd baseman each hit 2 homers during the 3 game series…if we can’t poach Moore, who is their hitting coach? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  129. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Well, a couple of familiar faces in the NLCS with the Cardinals (getting it done with pitching and a three run homer) and the Giants showing the gNats all you have to do is put the ball in play to have a chance….

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  130. 130 Carolina Lady October 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Y’all like living on the edge, do you??? tap-tap-taptaptap

    Like

  131. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    We are just overwhelmed with personal reflection CL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  132. 132 Carolina Lady October 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    LOL, Gil! tapity-tap-tap-tap-tap *waiting*

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  133. 133 Vox O'Raison October 8, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Happy Birthday CL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (… he said shamefully a day late…)

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 134 berigan2electricboogaloo October 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    CL!!!! Sorry about that! Didn’t see the notification via facebook! 😦 Or is it listed there????

    Happy Birthday!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2014 at 9:50 am

    See what happens when we get so wrapped up in ourselves? We forget important events and dates…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARGIE!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Yep, I always said the “Soyant Green” factory would be discovered in due time…. It would be funny if it were no so sad….

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  137. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I heard a good senior citizens’ joke at the bowling alley yesterday…

    This elderly lady said, she wants her last words to be: “I buried a million dollars under the…….”

    Liked by 2 people

  138. 139 Vox O'Raison October 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Slo-o-o-o-o-o-ow news cycle right now.

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  139. 140 berigan2electricboogaloo October 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    From a MLBTR story on the Dodgers GM being on trouble…
    Additionally, the Crawford acquisition combined with extensions of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to create an expensive logjam of outfielders for the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig‘s emergence as the team’s best hitter has made it impossible for all four to get regular at-bats, and top prospect Joc Pederson has no clear path to everyday at-bats with the Dodgers in the near future, either.
    Why do I mention this? Do I want Ethier, or Crawford? No…though if the Dodgers paid for some of Crawfords contract…no, my under the radar thought? Scott Van Slyke.I know, not the “sexiest” move, but in limited play(5th outfielder, still got more AB’s than Schafer) but in 212 AB’s, he hit 11 HR’s, drove in 29, hit .297, with a .386 OBP. He’s 28, and never really given a chance to prove he’s a regular.
    Obviously, he wouldn’t be a good choice to be the speedster, leadoff guy…. but, if J Up was traded…if nothing else, he’d make a great 4th outfielder, assuming Boni doesn’t re-sign….

    Like

  140. 141 Carolina Lady October 10, 2014 at 1:28 am

    (Boy, y’all just barely squeezed yourselves out of major trouble!)

    Thank you very much for the belated birthday wishes! 😀 😀 😀 😀

    I am astonished to have reached this number. I can’t figure out how it happened. Something just isn’t right! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  141. 142 Carolina Lady October 10, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Ber, I have my birthdate listed on FB as 1911. I don’t think they believe me so my birthday is usually not listed there. 😀

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  142. 143 berigan2electricboogaloo October 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    CL, it’s funny , but when I went to your about page on facebook…I didn’t see any info! I too claim a different birth year, with correct birth date…but , I don’t see your date!

    Like

  143. 144 Gil in Mechanicsville October 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Hi folks…. Just checking in to let ya’ll know I’m still kicking….

    Liked by 2 people

  144. 145 Carolina Lady October 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    You keep right on, too! :-))) *hugs*

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  145. 146 Carolina Lady October 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Ber, I don’t have much open there. Only the least possible. 🙂

    Like

  146. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville October 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Watching the games yesterday, in addition to one heck of a footbball game between Baylor and TCU and a wild NASCAR race in Charlotte. I kept thinking, Chris Johnson should be watching video of the Panda…. Same type of hitter (before they tried to make CJ a clean up hitter) Hit it where it’s pitched and be happy with the occasional home run.

    KC has worked the O’s into a corner. Not like they can’t recover but I think the Royals are in their heads….

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 148 Vox O'Raison October 14, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Yawn…

    Like

  148. 149 Carolina Lady October 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    *stretch* I think I’ll clean the kitchen cabinets…

    Like

  149. 150 Vox O'Raison October 15, 2014 at 9:34 am

    John Hart turned down the offer to be the Atlanta Braves’ general manager, prompting the team to focus on current assistant GM John Coppolella and Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore as its top two targets, sources told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

    I find this piece by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports kind of intriguing. First, I do not dispute the info, but I do find it odd that neither of the team’s beat writers has the story, and neither has confirmed it. In fact, DOB comments that team officials still insisted they know nothing as recently as yesterday. For a team that is famously tight lipped, how does Passan have a story that no one else has?

    Second, he suggests the team is also looking at Dan O’Dowd, who recently resigned from the Rockies. Why would the Braves be interested in someone with no previous ties to the team, and who did not had much success with his former team? Makes no sense to me.

    I still believe John Coppolella is their guy. I don’t think they would have already retained the manager if someone from the outside was coming in. But I do think they are waiting until KC is done just to cover the Dayton Moore base. And if that is the case, does it suggest that perhaps there has already been an off-the-record conversation?

    The intrigue continues…

    Like

  150. 151 Vox O'Raison October 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

    One more thing… many resources I read have suggested the Braves could take the fresh Pres. of Baseball Ops + GM approach that CHI / ARI / LAD are now using, where you have a President of Baseball Operations (Theo Epstein, Tony LaRussa, Andrew Friedman) working directly above a GM (Jed Hoyer, Dave Stewart, TBD). If that is true, and I could see it, then perhaps they are contemplating Dayton Moore as Pres. of Ops and John Coppolella as GM. That would be an ideal 2-pronged approach as Moore is an “old school” type guy that learned at the feet of John Schuerholz and Coppolella is a modern analytics guy. Best of both worlds working together. I like the approach. I wonder if it is even remotely possible..?

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 152 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2014 at 11:13 am

    If it is going to be Dayton Moore, perhaps the only question is how much more money will he be able to command if his current club wins the World Series vs an AL pennant.

    Too many people have been hired and put in place for the Braves to go with an outsider, especially a guy like the Rockies’ O’Dowd (or he with a rep in the club house looking over Walt’s shoulder all the time). No, this far along, it’s going to be a bidding war for Moore or as previously suggested, John Hart mentoring Coppolella for a season or two with a firm understanding between the club and Coppolella he will get the job to prevent him from jumping ship, ala Dayton Moore to the Royals because John Surholtzes did not yet want to let go of the reins.

    Remember that Moore was heir apparent at the time of his departure and Wren was second choice.

    It is all conjecture at this point but too many folks have be put in place at this point for a big shake up to take place. That has already been done by letting Wren and his right hand man go and keeping Fredi G.

    I don’t know how much the MLB network pays a guy to be an analyst but it must certainly be more than mere pocket change. I cannot see why Dayton Moore would want to move his family from KC to Atlanta either. It would not be under the same circumstances as it was for Shurholtz.

    Liked by 1 person

  152. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

    One last thing, never in my adult working life have I ever been in a situation when a new boss did not clean house and bring in their own guys to work with him/her. No matter how good those in place were doing their job, the new guy just did not want to have guys in his inner circle who might have some sense of loyalty to the old regime. True in politics, true in the workplace. Sure, one or two lower level guys might be given a chance to show what they can do but for the most part, an entirely new team is brought in. That is why I think something is already in place as far as the Braves are concerned and they are simply haggling over price now….

    Like

  153. 154 Vox O'Raison October 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

    It is all conjecture at this point

    Absolutely true. But fun conjecture nonetheless, especially when there is nothing else in Braves-land to talk about.

    No, this far along, it’s going to be a bidding war for [Dayton] Moore

    Can’t be. He is under contract with KC. But the owner there has granted Moore permission to speak with ATL given his previous ties here. Quite gracious, actually. But the owner doesn’t believe for a whit that Moore would leave the organization. And that is quite plausible given the Royals magical run in this year’s big dance.

    Would he uproot his family and come back to ATL? There are many pundits that believe the ATL job is a plum job, especially moving into their new era. Is it likely? I don’t think it’s likely, per se, but never say never… not when there is money and position involved. In my theorem, I stated he could come on board as President of Baseball Operations. I still think so. I also think it is very possible that there have already been covert conversations – possibly even ongoing – between Moore and Schuerholz. Remember, they are good friends who have stayed in contact consistently over Moore’s 9 years in KC.

    Stranger things have happened… just this week. Just look at Andrew Friedman’s shocking departure from Tampa as their longtime GM to become LAD’s new President of Baseball Operations. The precedent is there.

    with a firm understanding between the club and [John] Coppolella he will get the job

    Oh, I believe Coppolella will be on board in some capacity, maybe as the aforementioned GM. My belief, as I’ve noted, was that John Hart would mentor him along for a year or 2. But if Jeff Passan’s article is true, Hart won’t be in any full-time capacity, so that scenario is out.

    And I can’t see Dan O’Dowd on board in any capacity. That had to be pure speculation on Passan’s part. There are no ties whatsoever to the Braves. That pasta does NOT stick to the wall.

    Whatever the case, it makes for good conversation and discourse. Much more interesting than trying to figure out to whom we can pawn off an albatross CF.

    Like

  154. 155 Vox O'Raison October 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Schuerholz on report of Hart declining GM job: “Not accurate”

    … according to DOB.

    Yeah, it just did not seem to have the feel of something coming out of the lair of secrecy that is the Braves front office. That’s why I questioned it earlier. If the Braves were to go with the current trend and employ the Pres/GM model, Hart/Coppolella would make alot of sense. And it would allow Coppy to take the GM title now even with Hart around in a pseudo-mentor role.

    Like

  155. 156 Vox O'Raison October 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    “At best the article was not accurate with either the facts or the assumptions,” Schuerholz said in an email to the AJC on Wednesday in response to a question about the report, which cited unnamed sources. – ajc.com

    Ha ha ha… That’s JS’s way of saying that the Yahoo Sports report was a load of [fill in the blank]. 😆

    Liked by 2 people

  156. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    So, big surprise, KC sweeps the birds to make it to the Big Dance… Wouldn’t it be a trip if the Giants get in so the two wild card teams get in?

    It’s all about who gets hot at the right time….

    Like

  157. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    The bookies pocket the dough once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Giants inch closer to the Big Dance with another win…. Amazing.

    Like

  159. 160 Vox O'Raison October 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Potential corner OF for the Braves in 2015: Nick Markakis

    His option for 2015 was declined by BAL, so he is a FA. He bats lefty, something lacking in our lineup, and has a high career OBP of .358. Even as a lefty, he has hit both LHP and RHP almost equally. He has had plenty of experience batting leadoff in his 9 year MLB career, with 1098 PA’s in the #1 spot. He doesn’t have the power that Justin brings to the show, but he will hit 10-15 a year. Something to note in his profile is that he consistently makes pitchers work, averaging right at 4 pitches per AB. He has only tallied 100+ K’s in a season twice, both years being very early in his career. He’s durable, having played in at least 147 games per 8 of those 9 MLB seasons. And he is a veteran player that might bring some toughness and leadership to a team lacking both.

    And did I mention that he’s from these parts. He went high school in the ATL area, and college in north Georgia?

    He is expected to command 3 yrs / $40M, an average of roughly $13.3M per year.

    Will we pay JHey $13.3M per season on an extension? Wishful thinking. Freddie was extended for 8 yrs / $135M. Do the math. Jason was offered a similar extension and declined. He is approaching FA as a 26 year old, a rare catbird seat position for most players. Many pundits say he will certainly go to FA. JHey will easily command $17+M per season… and possibly closer to $20M.

    And if you compare offensive stats, Markakis’ numbers are superior. Now, understand… I am not saying I would prefer Markakis over JHey. But I’m not sure Jason is going to be here after 2015 anyway. He would bring back a nice return in a trade for a team looking to restock its farm system. The best we might hope for after 2015 is one draft pick. Just pointing out the facts.

    And if we were to trade Justin, then his $14.5M is up for grabs.

    All I’m saying is that we are probably going to have to replace a productive corner OF very soon. We could do worse than Markakis.

    Like

  160. 161 Vox O'Raison October 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Speaking of JHey, here is an outstanding article offered up by the esteemed Peter Gammons on JHey’s power decline. It’s a great read.

    http://www.gammonsdaily.com/diagnosing-jason-heywards-power-decline/

    Hmmm… if Gammons can figure that out, couldn’t a hitting coach also figure it out? Well, I have a hard time believing they couldn’t, or haven’t. Does that mean they haven’t communicated that very well to Jason, or does it mean he doesn’t listen? Interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  161. 162 Vox O'Raison October 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Another good read, this one from Jon Heyman:

    Royals owner Glass: GM Dayton Moore is ‘absolutely’ staying in KC

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24753908/royals-owner-glass-gm-dayton-moore-is-absolutely-staying-in-kc

    Like

  162. 163 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    V, that is very interesting, the Gammons article….Got a bit technical , but still followable (gosh, that’s a real word?)
    You do see the occasional hard hit ball off his bat, but the stats show, it’s not like it used to be…I see a lot of singles….
    To toot my horn a little (toot, toot!) I think I have said a few times through the years, for JHey to just go back to how he swung in 2010. And those two picks, show it all…
    Like you say V, is JHey able to adjust, to listen, or is he super stubborn at this point?

    Like

  163. 164 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    And if JHey is a 17 to 20 Mil a year guy, then yeah, trade him…let someone else try to fix his swing at that point. Of course, if he gets straightened out like say George Foster did at 26 http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/fostege01.shtml
    That would sting a bit…

    Like

  164. 165 Vox O'Raison October 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I think JHey has a ton of pure talent and still has not really blossomed. But at age 26, it’s time. I really do wonder if he’s “coachable”, or just getting by on his said immense talent. I wonder if he’ll ever reach his true potential. I’d like to think so, but I have a sinking feeling that he’s a goner at least by 2016 anyway. Understanding that he was offered a similar extension as Freddie last year, and turned it down, one cannot honestly expect that anything would be any different this offseason. He’s poised to enjoy a good ol’ fashioned bidding war in just 1 more year. I don’t think the Braves will even be serious contenders for him at that point.

    I have said many times I’d like to see him be here for his whole career. he has a certain unmeasurable quality that I want on this team. But if we’re only going to get his walk year in 2015, it would seem more prudent to at least entertain offers for him.

    Man… can you imagine the Braves opening 2015 with an entirely retooled OF? I suppose it’s at least a remote possibility.

    Like

  165. 166 Vox O'Raison October 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    And almost as if right on cue, MLBTR publishes a FA profile on Nick Markakis. Nice timing!!

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/10/free-agent-profile-nick-markakis.html

    Liked by 1 person

  166. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    In the post PED era, I look for the pro athletes to return to form and hit their stride from age 27 to 30. Just the way of the real world.

    Jason Werth of Washington did not really become the superstar he has blossomed into until he hit 27. Before that, he was just another guy vying for a place on a so so Orioles squad.

    So much for a player to learn, J-Hey did not benefit from learning in the minors all the nuances in the fine art of hitting. Like many other young phenoms, his defense has preceded his offense. He has also been bereft with advice from multiple hitting coaches, to his detriment, he is left with thinking more than he should while standing in the batter’s box.

    I’ll not fret of money until the Braves officially announce a hard cap. Of course the suits at Liberty would like to keep wages as low as possible but I suspect whomever takes over the GM’s chair, he will want to know how much flexibility he will have before committing to the job. Not so important to a young fellow like Coppolelle who wants a chance but before a Dayton Moore relocates from KC where he has had to build from scratch, he will not want to walk into a situation where he is saddled with someone else’s baggage.

    Just my opinion….

    Like

  167. 168 berigan2electricboogaloo October 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    V, I’d be fine with Nick Markakis….he’s a very good fielder, and has a good OBP, as you mentioned…
    Gil, as you mentioned Werth, I could see Scott Van Slyke being like him, and certainly under most people’s radar. He will never been given a chance with all the outfielders the Dodgers have….

    Like

  168. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I look for LA to unload some of their excess this season. I still don’t know how the Braves plan to deal with their Upton problem. Perhaps rather than a new GM, the Braves should hire a magician….

    And speaking of magicians, do you suppose the Braves could hire George Brett to work with some of their hitters? I know he did not keep the job full time but he certainly made a huge difference with KC didn’t he?

    Like

  169. 170 berigan2electricboogaloo October 17, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Gil, it seems it finally clicked with the hitters there. Giants don’t strike out much either, so they seem to forever have rallies going…
    Not much of a fan of the Giants, just not that exciting, but man, they sure get the job done. Without Lincecum or Cain this year! Every other year, they go to the W.S. and win it(well, since 2010) Hope it is the Royals year, this year…
    That said, Hunter Pence, aka the thinking man’s Frenchy…has made great defensive plays, stolen a big base, gotten hits, and knows how to get his teammates riled up…in a good way….Frenchy should be his shadow this winter! 😉
    Did you see how excited Michael Morse got after hitting the game tying homer? Would a braves player ever be allowed to get that excited in the playoffs???

    Like

  170. 171 berigan2electricboogaloo October 17, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Do you think the homeboy upstairs watches Cardinal games that Wainright pitches? 😦 Worst.trade.ever.

    I see Alex Rios 2015 contract was declined…he was very good til a .186 August…only 4 HR’s and 54 RBI’s, but still hit .280 with 30 doubles, 8 triples, on a very very bad team. A thought…but also 34 next year. And doesn’t walk…sigh…

    Like

  171. 172 Vox O'Raison October 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Wainright… Worst.trade.ever.

    Perennial ace RHSP Adam Wainwright with RHSP Jason Marquis and LHRP Ray King to STL for perennial turd OF J.D. Drew and C Eli Marrero.

    Worse than “The Teixeira Trade”, which is generally considered the low point in future HOF John Schuerholz’ career?

    A boatload of talent that I am too loathe to even list for mercenary 1B Mark Teixeira. Yes. The Waino deal is worse given Waino’s career and the general presence of Jerk Drew.

    What about the Len Barker trade?

    John Mullen sent legendary All-Star CF Brett Butler, 2-time All-Star 3B Brook Jacoby, and RHSP Rick Behenna to CLE for horrible RHSP Len Barker. Barker went 10-20 in just 2 seasons in ATL. Ew. This one is tougher to call. But yes.

    And I love to kick Reggie Sanders around.

    JS shipped beloved 1B/LF Ryan Klesko, 2B Bret “The ‘Roid” Boone and RHRP Jason Shiell to SD for 1B Wally Joyner, LF Reggie Sanders and 2B Quilvio Veras. Was there ever two more non-productive Braves players mentioned in the same breath than Sanders and Veras? Horrible, horrible trade. Sanders walloped 59 HR’s combined in 1999 with SD and 2001 with ARI, He popped a paltry 11 in his lone 2000 campaign here. And did you know that Klesko had more flippin’ steals than Sanders in 2000? True story. Veras was so bad he released in 2001. Yet… I think the Wainwright deal still trumps it.

    So yes… Waino deal = Worst. Trade. Ever. It continues to sting with each gritty and dominating start by Waino. BTW – that one is also on Schuerholz.

    I would rank them thusly:

    #1 Wainwright trade
    #2 Barker acquisition
    #3 Teixeira acquisition
    #4 Sanders/Veras acquisition

    And to round out my list of the Top 5 worst Braves trades…

    #5 Uggla acquisition

    The ever popular IF Omar Infante and LHRP Mike Dunn to FLA for 2B Dan Uggla. That wound is fresh enough that I do not even need to describe it. And it ultimately cost Frank Wren his job. Well, that along with the FA signing of He Whom Shall Not Be Named. At least JS had many favorable trades and signings to tip the balance sheet in his favor.

    Why is that #5 and not higher on the list? At least Danny gave us his best, even if his best had dropped over the cliff. The same cannot be said for Sanders or Drew.

    Honorable mentions:

    Bedrock to PHI; Jermaine Dye to KC; Justice to CLE; and for those who remember, Gary Matthews to PHI.

    Liked by 1 person

  172. 173 Vox O'Raison October 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Seeing how Travis Ishakawa and Mike Morse have played in LF (not exactly Jordan Schafer) for SF, I am close to swinging to y’all’s side to keep Gattis and play him out there… especially after Morse’s and ‘Kawa’s post-season heroics.

    Both of the teams I was pulling for have made it through their respective LCS. Now… how do I choose for the WS? How can you not root for KC to complete a truly magical season? But how can you not want Huddy to win a ring?

    And yes, Gil… it’s pretty cool that both Wild Cards will be battling in the Fall Classic. But it is a 2-edged sword. It proves that any team can get hot at the right time over 3 weeks and represent an entire 15 team league even if they could not be the best out of 5 teams over 162 games. I have well documented mixed feelings about it. Baseball has always been the game that rewarded regular season achievement. With the Wild Card round, especially with 2 Wild Card teams, it’s getting more of a “tournament” feel. It’s cool if you are a Wild Card city. But for the baseball purist – who nowadays gets dumped on for being antiquated and closed minded – it’s just another brick in the wall. Wild Card, 2nd Wild Card, DH, domes, artificial turf, all night playoff games too late for any working stiff to watch through to the end… I guess I’m just a dinosaur.

    I’ve learned to accept turf, as they have improved it alot over the years. Of course, it still changes how the game is played. And it still shortens great careers. Just ask Andre Dawson.

    I’ve learned to accept domes since most of the new ones are of the retractable roof variety. You don’t play baseball in harsh weather conditions anyway. But I’ll never forget the ever changing indoor wind direction in the 1991 World Series games in Minnesota’s Metrodome.

    I’m learning to live with the Wild Card. Might as well; it’s not going away. Having a third layer of playoffs is a financial boon to MLB. Wonder how long it’ll be before we go to a 4th? It’s coming. The silly 1 game play-in contest is a joke. It’ll expand to a 3-game series with the next Commissioner. Mark it. You saw it here first. Of course, with all of the new layers and milking of time, the Fall Classic will soon be known as the Winter Classic. This year’s potential Game 7 is scheduled for Oct. 29. Crazy.

    (And speaking of silly games, it is utterly ridiculous that a mid-season exhibition game determines the home field advantage for the game’s championship series. Mind-boggling. Bud’s biggest blunder.)

    No use arguing about the 8:07 pm EST WS game starting times either. All 7 potential tilts are already scheduled with that starting time. Marketing analysis proves that it covers the most prime advertising time across all markets. It’ll never change. Money rules the day, and TV money is the best. Never mind that they are losing young fans year after year because none of them can stay up to see the end of any of the games.

    And lastly… the DH. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever accept the DH. Ever.

    Not unless they do impose it quickly enough for Evan Gattis to be ours. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  173. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    AMEN VOX…

    Like

  174. 175 Vox O'Raison October 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Cool…

    Like

  175. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I noticed they did not mention the Cubs….

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    And, I’m glad Raisins, you are beginning to see the wisdom of playing Gattis in the outfield, after all, where would his defensive deficiencies really hurt the Braves the most, the outfield or as the catcher?

    Bobby Cox was no idiot, he knew the three run homer was a big game winner, you have to have guys who can hit the ball out of the park in order to do that.

    Of course, now that you agree, the Braves will likely ship Evan off to the nether world where he will come back to haunt the Braves like Ryan Klesko…

    Like

  177. 178 Gil in Mechanicsville October 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    The new rules limiting timeouts/visits to the mounds to three a game would not help Evan when Tehran pitches. That and at least he would give it his all. I have never seen him loaf…

    Like

  178. 179 berigan2electricboogaloo October 18, 2014 at 9:01 am

    MLBTR tackles the Braves for 2015….honestly, doesn’t give me a whole lotta hope. Surely the “new” braves braintrust can be more creative than this…
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/10/offseason-outlook-atlanta-braves-5.html#disqus_thread

    Like

  179. 180 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 8:15 am

    MLBTR tackles the Braves for 2015….honestly, doesn’t give me a whole lotta hope.

    Wadda they know? They don’t watch ’em or follow ’em like we do. Those are the same guys that said Evan Gattis was a “flash-in-the-pan” for 2013 whose “numbers are not sustainable” and thought he would tank badly in 2014 and that the Braves would miss having Brian McCann behind the plate. Strike 1; strike 2; strike 3… yer out! Perhaps they should get out of the numbers and into an actual game. And did any of them have any expectations for either the Royals or the Giants? MLBTR should stick to what they do best, and that’s compiling information. Opinions are not their strong suit.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 181 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

    As for the World Series, which begins tomorrow, I won’t be watching. Given the 8:07pm EST starting times, and the additional time between innings for the extra commercials, the games won’t be over until at least midnight. I refuse to be held hostage that long. I need to be productive (well, at least semi-productive) during the day, and I require a few hours of sleep. And the future of the game will be a short one as long as they continue to exclude school-aged children from their game’s biggest series. Dumb.

    Like

  181. 182 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Like

  182. 183 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

    OK… it’s Monday, still a day before the Fall Classic begins (too late in the evening), and there is virtually no news. Let’s play a game.

    If John Schuerholz called you today and hired you as new GM, what would your priority list look like?

    Ready… GO!

    Like

  183. 184 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

    #1: I call every team in MLB, and a few in other countries (maybe planets) as well, and see what it would take to trade the former CF. If it means taking back another bad contract, I do it. Heck, I’ve got a bad contract already. That’s dollars under the bridge… might as well see if I can’t get some kind of productivity out of it. I can’t think of anything worse going forward than seeing that dude out in CF in 2015.

    #2: I meet with JHey and his peeps, and I see if I can get a reasonable extension worked out. If we cannot come to terms on $$, then it’s evident that Jason and the Agentnauts are more interested in the contract than the team. I immediately make him available on the market and try to maximize his trade value.

    #3: If I do get Jason signed, I immediately make JUp available. If JHey a goner, I prepare to open 2015 with Justin in my OF with the possibility of trading him at the deadline. Much depends on his first half productivity, and on his desire to be here long term. An extension must be at least discussed, if for no other reason than to gauge his interest and desire to remain in ATL.

    #4: I see what it would take to acquire Dexter Fowler from Houston. They have a full OF and a top CF prospect in the wings. He might be available for the right price. Man he’d look good in our CF and at the top of our lineup. And he would also lessen the urgency to rush Jose Perraza to the bigs.

    #5: I make a full assessment of Aaron Harang and see if he’s interested on returning on a 1 year deal with team option for a 2nd. I want him in the back end of my rotation to give it some stability and a veteran presence.

    On the radar, but dependent on all other moving pieces: I have to make a long term decision on Evan Gattis. Can he be a LF? And what of Bcourt? He’s beyond AAA, thus is either my full-time C or trade bait. If I trade him, then I commit the backstop duties to Gattis. Oso is not a great defensive C now, and those limited skills will certainly begin to erode in 2 years when he hits 30. I will take calls on him as I know he has tremendously higher value with an AL team. I’ll listen, and will deal him for the right package, but it must be the right package. Trading offense off of an already offensively challenged team has to bring me offense back. That is unless I get said offense in another deal.

    Man, it looks like I have alot to do. It’s a good thing I got hired right away as there is alot to do in preparation for the GM meetings which begin Nov. 3. Yep, there is much to prepare for. Good thing I’m the full-time GM and we are not utilizing valuable time and resources still searching for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 185 Vox O'Raison October 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    If I post something from someone else, it doesn’t count as me typing the guy’s name…

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 186 Carolina Lady October 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I’d do everything that Raisins would do but hopefully would beat him to it! 😛 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  186. 187 berigan2electricboogaloo October 21, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Now, V…..games could be fast affairs, could be over by 10:30 or so…are you so old you can’t stay up til 11 pm? 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  187. 188 Vox O'Raison October 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    are you so old you can’t stay up til 11 pm?

    That is correct. Now get off my lawn!!

    😉

    Liked by 2 people

  188. 189 Vox O'Raison October 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Wow!! 😯

    Like

  189. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    VOX, I would immediately call in sick, I have a headache…. Can I collect severance?

    Okay, let me think about this a bit….

    One word of wisdom, no one is going to take Melvin because just like with Uggla, why take on any part of his salary when you know you can get him for the major league minimum at some point in the season…

    Liked by 1 person

  190. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I think my first phone call is to Liberty Media to find out how much money I have to work with. It is that single element that makes the job the difference between being a plum or a crab apple….

    Liked by 1 person

  191. 192 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    On the catcher stats, the difference between a passed ball and a wild pitch is often in the eye of the official scorer. That and a catcher getting crossed up by a pitcher who forgot the signs.

    The real black hole in the Braves offense is in center field… Solve that and a lot of the other ills will disappear.

    Like

  192. 193 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Because I am lazy, I am not going to use actual facts but my opine is Walden likely had the greatest number of passed balls/wild pitches per innings thrown.

    Like

  193. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Back to Melvin for a second, as long as he is in the line up, opposing pitchers will have no fear in walking Braves’ batterers in order to get to his spot in the line up.

    Like

  194. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Okay. Rasins, you were right. The game ran until midnight… I did not start watching until 11:15, by then it was settled. Giants 7 Royals 1

    Like

  195. 196 Vox O'Raison October 22, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Yep. Y’all will have to keep me updated. I’m not watching.

    Like

  196. 197 Vox O'Raison October 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

    no one is going to take Melvin because just like with Uggla, why take on any part of his salary

    No one will just take on his salary per se, and all 30 GMs (interims included) know it. It is more subtle than that. 1 of 2 things will happen. You trade him and eat virtually all of his salary to do so, with the amount of salary being eaten being inversely proportional to the value of whatever prospect you have to include to make it happen. This is not a likely scenario as it just is not good business to give away talent just to get rid of an albatross.

    Remember… the contract is already accounted for. It’s dead money. So the best tactic is to try to maximize what you receive for it.

    The 2nd scenario is more plausible… you make a deal similar to (or same as) the proposed CF [Whom I Will Not Name] for Cubs RHSP Edwin Jackson swap. While CF is owed about $46.5M through 2017, EJax is owed only $22M through 2016. Even here, a straight swap will not be possible. In my estimation, the Braves would still have to kick in the difference, being $24.5M to even make that happen. For both teams, the financial hit won’t change, only the player(s) on the roster. But each player has deleted his goodwill in his respective city. Each needs to go to greener pastures. Badly.

    And I understand the Braves/Cubs intend to revisit that discussion this offseason. I know for me personally, I’d rather move on from CF and see if there is anything left in the tank for EJax. Plus, you never know what Roger might do for a pitcher that used to be pretty good. He might make a decent innings eater at the back of the rotation if he could straighten out a few mechanical bumps. Now that the Cubs have a 5th starter, there is no more room for EJax there. They are motivated to move him and his contract.

    And he’s considered a good clubhouse guy. After his last start on Sept. 18: “I can accept and man up to what I’ve done,” Jackson said. “I’m not trying to run or hide from anything that I’ve done on the field. I take full responsibilities for any questions or anything that’s thrown at me. It’s just a matter of going out and finding yourself and having fun and pitching like you know you can pitch.”

    So who knows? The wayward Braves CF will have a new GM and hitting coach in 2015. Will it make a difference? Will those new bosses be in ATL or elsewhere?

    Regardless, the $46.5M is spent.

    Like

  197. 198 Vox O'Raison October 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Argh! Man i hate it when I compose a long post that evaporates.

    Oh well. Not gonna reinvent the wheel. Trust me, it was decent. ;-/

    Like

  198. 199 berigan2electricboogaloo October 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    V, you coulda watched last night, the game was over after the 4th inning :/
    I think the trade for Edwin Jackson makes perfect sense…for the Braves. For the Cubs, not so much…
    They, unlike the braves have real talent on the way, and there now. Why waste CF on BJ? Well, if they are dumb enough to do the deal, why should I complain?
    If EJ still has that nice smooth motion, perhaps he can become a very good 7th/8th inning guy? Clearly, makes more sense to have him start, but darn, 6.30 ERA? thats hard to do…real hard….

    Like

  199. 200 Vox O'Raison October 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Agree, but…

    Pitchers more than other players benefit from their position coaches. Just ask Aaron Harang how beneficial it was to work under Roger in 2014. Does that mean EJax would turn it around here? I dunno. Maybe. But I’d rather take a flyer on him than take another year of the CF.

    Like

  200. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    To be honest guys, anything that enables the Braves to move on from the Melvin in center field experiment, I am in. I would rather see Wren’s kid in center field at this point. I still would put J-Hey in center, move Justin to right and let Evan Gattis guard the left field line.

    After Evan’s last at bat they can put any other major league outfield in the outfield to cover the defense. How many innings. He can even catch every fifth game. Just saying, anything that subtracts Melvin from the line up adds to the Braves offense.

    A couple of little side notes. I think LaStella will be traded, His job was taken over by Gosslin and he won’t be a regular next season.

    Like

  201. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Okay, the Royals reversed the score on San Fran last night, winning 7-2. I caught the 6th inning when KC scored five times. No sweep this year…

    Like

  202. 203 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 7:46 am

    They had a game last night?

    Like

  203. 204 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 8:14 am

    This is the 2nd time in 2 days that I have composed a tome which has disappeared. 😡

    Like

  204. 205 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

    It was a mix of opinion, data and analysis. Took about 20 minutes to research and put together. I agreed with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  205. 206 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

    It’s official. John Hart named President of Baseball Operations on a 3-year deal. We predicted this 2 weeks ago. I look for the next announcement to be John Coppolella as GM. Braves will go with the new 2-headed model of PBO/GM. I like it.

    Like

  206. 207 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Like

  207. 208 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

    This should end all speculation regarding Dayton Moore as he would not, and should not, cede any power to anyone.

    Like

  208. 209 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 11:32 am

    John Schuerholz’ press release.

    “I’m delighted that John Hart has agreed to accept the position of President, Baseball Operations. Our organization is now poised to move forward in the best possible manner to do the important work that lies ahead. John’s credentials speak for themselves. He has had great success as a baseball executive and demonstrated remarkable ability to construct championship teams. We are excited by John’s dynamic and positive leadership style and look forward to him leading our baseball operations.”

    Like

  209. 210 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I like it. Alot. Assuming that Coppy is named GM, and I cannot imagine now that he won’t, it is the perfect mix of veteran experience and leadership with modern analytics and expertise. And in fact, Coppy himself has a reputation of not only the new, but a working expertise in the “traditional style” as well. Personally, I think this is the best avenue the Braves could take. Both execs are already involved in the organization (remember it was Hart who was key in signing our young stars to extensions) and will provide a seamless transition into the next era. And both execs have reportedly worked very hard restructuring the front office and scouting divisions since Franks sacking.

    Essentially, they’ve already been doing the jobs. Now they’ll have the official title to go along with the work. This in and of itself could prove to be the most important and critical move of this offseason.

    Like

  210. 211 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I am listening to the Braves flagship station right now where John Hart will be on in about an hour. I am snickering at the talking heads saying, “No one had this on their radar. This is a brand new position.”

    Uh, we had it here a couple of weeks ago. They need to keep up. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 212 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Like

  212. 213 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Like

  213. 214 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Like

  214. 215 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Listening to an interview with John Hart now…

    Highlights:

    * He is “the guy”. No bones about it.

    * He confessed that he covertly met with the CF and his agent last Friday for about 6 hours. They discussed desire and necessity. He made it clear that they “wear the contract” and that the best avenue for the Braves is to have the CF turn his career back around and be the “player he is capable of being”. But he also made it clear that the CF has to produce to remain in the mix. In other words, as opposed to Frank’s policy, the CF won’t be playing just because he’s making a ton of coin. I get the feeling that the leash will not be long, either. He mentioned the contract in the same breath as Uggla’s, so one has to think the CF either shows he’s turned it around early, or will be shown the door. He will NOT be an Ugglian distraction.

    * When asked if the team needed to be “tweaked” or “overhauled”, he said straightforwardly that the team underachieved in 2014; he said it could be more than a tweak, but less than an overhaul.

    * He views the team’s #1 order of business as “replacing 400 innings that Santana and Harang gave us”. He did not hint in what way they might do that except that to admit that there is not really anyone in the system to help accomplish that.

    He did say something that I thought was a little revealing. He mentioned that the team was behind on organizational meetings because they didn’t have “the guy” in place. To that end, they’ll have those meetings next week in Atlanta. Once they complete that, they’ll begin to “assess the FA market”. So that sounds to me like they intend to address the pitching needs through FA, not trades.

    I have to believe that he was given a clear picture of what his payroll constraints were gong to be before taking the job. He specifically said, “Its hard to tell John Schuerholz and Terry McGuirk ‘no’.” With mcGuirk involved, there is no question that they discussed payroll flexibility. And we all know that with the move to the new park on the near horizon, they HAVE TO field a competitive and marketable team soon. One has to think McGuirk assured Hart that he would have the financial ability to get this job done. Remember… he’s only signed for 3 years, which coincidentally (not really) is when the club makes the big move to SunTrust Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  215. 216 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    My first impression leads me to believe he’ll still do most of what we have anticipated. The subject of JUp and JHey did not specifically come up, but the dearth of talent in the upper minor league teams was mentioned. It’s obvious he must address that issue.

    I also think he’ll have to shed one of those contracts to acquire a pitcher. It just makes sense. And since Gatt is making relatively nothing, it also makes sense to fill the LF spot with him.

    I kind of see him bringing in 2 FA pitchers, trying to get production from within at 2B, begging the CF to give the club something for the cash outlay, and going with both Bcourt and Gatt in the lineup. That would give him the financial flexibility to fill the biggest holes.

    The biggest question mark will remain in CF, where the current guy either gives us something for the tab, or is another big Ugglian ding to the payroll.

    As to the 2 FA pitching targets, I foresee one guy being of the Harang type, perhaps even Harang himself. You know… an older guy on the back side of his career that could be signed for 1 year, maybe 2 at about $1-2M for the season. I see the other as a mid-level type guy. Forget Max Scherzer, Jon Lester or James Shields. Think more Francisco Liriano, Brandon McCarthy, Jorge De La Rosa. Somewhere around $10-12M pear year on a 2 year deal.

    Let me put it this way… They paid a little over $15M for both Santana and Harang in 2014. I believe they’ll look to replace them with another $15M worth of pitchers in 2015.

    Well, at least that’s how I see it from my office anyway.

    Like

  216. 217 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    McCarthy is 31 and posted a 10-15 season with a 4.05 ERA in 200 total innings pitched in 2014. That doesn’t sound great, but after being traded from ARI to NYY in mid-season, he went 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts. He’s probably looking at about a 3 year deal in the $11M per year range.

    And let’s not forget 36-year-old Harang was 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA over 204 1/3 innings. With a little offensive support, he could easily have won 15 games. We won’t get him on a 1 year $1M deal again, but maybe 2 years at $5M per? I hope they would act quickly to bring him back. I think he profiles perfectly to the 4 or 5 spot in our rotation.

    Like

  217. 218 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    And from out of left field, literally:

    Wha? 😯

    Like

  218. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Good points VOX, now, here was my question(s)… So, my first reaction when I saw the scroll across the bottom of the TV screen that Hart was signed to a 3 year contract as President of Baseball Operations…. My question was what? did they fire Shurholtz? They now have two presidents… duh…

    And what of the GM? Another layer of bureaucracy to deal with? Who are they, the Pirates? So, if they hire a GM, he is basically going to be an assistant GM. If I were Coppolella, I would be looking for a nice raise to go along with the added responsibilities.

    “Uh, we had it here a couple of weeks ago. They need to keep up.”

    Sigh, so true Raisins, I guess they forgot to read the blog that day…

    Like

  219. 221 Vox O'Raison October 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Well, as I understand it, Coppy won’t get the title “GM”. He stays Asst. GM. But he is right under Hart’s nose at all times. It’s the same arrangement as we surmised, just without the title.

    And JS is team President. He handles the non-baseball stuff like new stadiums and TV deals and such. Hart is baseball only.

    Like

  220. 222 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2014 at 4:20 am

    odd…if I were Coppelella, I’d feel like I needed to find another team. You’re too young kid….maybe in a few years…What? GM’s like Theo Epstein were younger than you? go away from me kid, ya bother me! :/

    Like

  221. 223 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2014 at 4:21 am

    This is the 2nd time in 2 days that I have composed a tome which has disappeared
    Perhaps the baseball gods are not happy with you skipping the world series! :mrgreen:

    Like

  222. 224 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I too wish I could remember to write long winded posts in gmail. Gmail, everything is saved that you type….
    Guess V isn’t the only one skipping the W.S. sadly enough…..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/sports/baseball/world-series-2014-baseball-is-no-longer-center-of-attention-in-new-landscape.html

    On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in…..

    But this week, more people watched “NCIS: New Orleans” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and — for that matter — “The Walking Dead,” the cable show about zombies. The audience for “Sunday Night Football,” a regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, was almost twice that of Games 1 or 2. Even last Saturday night’s college football matchup — Florida State University versus Notre Dame — drew more viewers than either World Series game.

    Perhaps the most compelling statement about baseball’s relative standing among American sports fans is this: Last summer’s World Cup match between the United States and Portugal drew 25 million viewers, roughly double that of the World Series opener

    Like

  223. 225 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Which is why I am pretty sure the players have their payouts tired to the gate of the first 4 games of each series.

    Face it, it is the fault of those who are promoting the sport. When the game of the week is always the Yankees vs Red Sox or Dodgers vs anyone, people don’t have buy in to the players,

    Other networks cheer when any other network flops…. It is their game…

    Football has become increasingly popular because of Fantasy Football… The geeks don’t have to come up with so many variables to have buy in.
    We older (a-hem) folks are not into the gambling and view a baseball game as a great opportunity to take a nap.

    Football may have a higher TV rating but I have noticed a lot of empty seats in the stands. Sports venues don’t make a dime off people who are not in the stands because they are buying their beer at the local 7-Eleven and not paying $5 a pop for a .50 cent brew…

    In other news, How long before everyone in America is wearing a face mask and refuses to shake hands like the do in Japan and China? The world has gone bat crap crazy…

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 226 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Gil, I was taking a break from the gloom and doom(and the networks like ABC NOT mentioning the terrorist with a hatchet in NYC) and put on the MLBTV channel…they were talking to Eric Hosmer, and guess what he and Kevin Millar(I think) were talking about? Fantasy football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sigh…
    It’s weird so, half the sports fans don’t want to watch one of the most exciting teams in years(the Royals) cuz, it’s a team from KC. Yet, for some reason, it doesn’t matter if the Superbowl teams are from Seattle and Denver????

    Liked by 1 person

  225. 227 berigan2electricboogaloo October 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Well, have heard a lot of good things about John Hart on MLB channel….so, like a teenaged girl I have changed my mind(as we girls have the right to do! 😉 )

    Like

  226. 228 Vox O'Raison October 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Here is a clarification of John Hart’s and John Coppolella’s roles in the “new” organization, as provided by Mark Bowman:

    Instead of immediately assigning the general manager title to somebody, Schuerholz has decided the duties will be carried out by Hart and assistant general manager John Coppolella (widely known as Coppy), who has only enhanced his bright future as he has spent the past month working with Hart to complete what has been a significant front office reconstruction process.

    “[Hart] will have many responsibilities that a general manager of a team would have,” Schuerholz said. “By his side, his right hand man will be John Coppolella. They will work in unison to continue to move this organization forward as they have done over the last three weeks and continue to grow. We have no plans at the moment to add another person in our baseball operations organization.”

    Recognized as one of baseball’s top young minds, Coppolella might eventually be given the GM title. But for now, he will carry out many of the responsibilities of the role while benefiting from the guidance provided by the 66-year-old Hart, who filled the GM role for both the Indians (1991-2000) and Rangers (’02-05) before serving as a senior advisor in Texas’ front office from ’06-13.

    “I think Coppy is a big reason why I took this job,” Hart said. “I’ve had a lot of people in the [GM] family tree, if you will. I’ve had a lot of young guys who have come through the office. Coppy is really good. I’m telling you, he is really good.”

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 229 Vox O'Raison October 24, 2014 at 11:08 am

    As I understand it, they will let the dust settle 1 more day before diving into their annual organizational planning sessions. Instead of the traditional trip to Orlando, they will hold these sessions in their offices at The Ted starting Monday and wrapping up Thursday. They usually hold these meetings right after the season ends, but the front office shuffle caused a delay and forced a bit of “catch up”. Remember, the league’s GM meetings begin in just 10 days, so there is much to do in advance. Hopefully there will be some access to the comings and goings next week and we might get a glimpse into the team’s vision for 2015.

    Then again, I think we already have a pretty good idea what that might be… replace 2 starting pitchers, fix CF, and clarify the future of JHey and/or JUp.

    Mickey Mouse could be the new GM and those tasks would still scream out as the top of the heap. But I think if Mickey Mouse would have been named GM, they probably would have continued the yearly trek to Orlando. But I digress…

    The bottom line is: after almost a month of mostly speculation and assumption, we ought to have some “meat” to chew on over the next couple of weeks.

    Like

  228. 230 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    “I think Coppy is a big reason why I took this job,” Hart said. “I’ve had a lot of people in the [GM] family tree, if you will. I’ve had a lot of young guys who have come through the office. Coppy is really good. I’m telling you, he is really good.”

    Likr I used to tell them at the “Evil Empire” praise is nice but if you really love me, throw some money at me because I know what is important to you..

    Liked by 1 person

  229. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville October 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Then again, maybe that was what was lacking with Wren, neither money nor praise….

    Like

  230. 232 Vox O'Raison October 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Gil, to hear some of the rumblings from the team, relayed but “off the record”, Frank was anything but personable. He was reportedly unapproachable and off-putting… just rubbed many of the players the wrong way. I even saw where one unnamed player said the day Frank was fired was a “great day” and “long overdue”.

    And remember, it was John Hart who moved to get the young core locked down, but it was Frank, according to reports, that botched the Heyward extension negotiations. One has to wonder if the window to get a new deal with JHey has now closed given he’s only 1 year away from hitting the open market at the same time he’s entering the prime of his career. It really makes little sense for him financially to lock himself down now. The only hope is that he has a real love for the city and for the team. I suppose we’ll know both soon enough.

    And I would bet you plenty that Coppy is getting well compensated for his new stature, whether a new name is tagged to it or not.

    Like

  231. 233 Vox O'Raison October 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Wow!! Within just a couple of weeks, the Rays shockingly lost both their GM and Manager. And they are 2 of the best in the game.

    You know that Don Mattingly has to be quaking in his cleats now. Can you imagine what the Friedman/Maddon duo might could do in LA with their seemingly unlimited resources? We all saw what they accomplished in Tampa with a near bottom payroll.

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 234 Vox O'Raison October 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    OK.. back to the Braves.

    I want to give you something to chew on, then I have to get back to work.

    Justin dropped 29 bombs with a career high 102 RBI this season, in what many consider his best season as a pro. (We in ATL know how streaky it was, but still…) And the guy is only 27 years old. His value will never be higher than it is right now. I think he has to be the guy who is shopped the hardest when the new hierarchy gets their collective feet on the ground.

    But what happens if they can’t get something worked out with Jason? Could we be looking at 3 completely new OF before 2016? That’s not tweaking, that’s re-building! And how can they afford 3 new OF?

    JUp is slated to draw $14.5M in 2015; JHey $7.8M. If they trade JUp sooner than later, they have his already budgeted $14.5M to play with. Now granted, they may have to spread that across both LF and CF, but $14.5M will still buy some talent.

    And what of JHey? Can we just let him walk in 2016? Will his $7.8M “salary slot” bring back another talented RF? Well, here’s an angle no one is looking at yet. The Braves will have Dan Uggla’s $15M drop off the books in 2016. OF FA’s for 2016? How about Gerrardo Parra? Alejandro De Aza? Dexter Fowler?

    Of course, If I have it my way, we’ll bring Fowler to ATL for 2015. 🙂

    The Braves are going to have to reach into the FA market over the next couple of years because their minor leagues are bereft of top talent at the upper levels. No other way.

    That said, there is one guy who would give you ML defense in CF, but maybe not ML offense. AAA Gwinnett CF Todd Cunningham is a guy who could play CF in the bigs, but maybe not give you much to write home about at the plate. Would you take it? I think he could at least give you better numbers than the former CF, and at a fraction of the salary. He’s 25, and is a switch-hitter with <10HR power, but did get on base at a .347 clip last season. He's considered the Braves #15 prospect. One other thing… he hit all over the lineup in Gwinnett, but spent a good bit of time leading off, where he says he's most comfortable. Something to think about.

    OK… Back to work now…

    Like

  233. 235 Gil in Mechanicsville October 25, 2014 at 10:05 am

    If Maddon had quit the Rays a month ago, I would bet Fredi G would be quaking….

    Now, on having big cash flow: Re Maddon…. Some guys do better with limited assets. Not sure why but I think it is what they are use to and how they operate best. I have seen it more than a few times. For one thing, fewer prima donnas…

    I can still remember when Baltimore had a locker room full of million dollar players and they stunk up the place like nobody’s business.

    Perhaps one of the hardest thing a GM has to do is make sure players can play as a team. I appears that the rest of the Braves were really happy when Justin got his 100th RBI. It also appears that BJ was often a square peg in a round hole.

    Did we not hear the same rumblings from Tom Glavin about Shurholtz about not being respected. (missed phone calls) etc…

    Anyhoo, I’ll not worry about the Braves outfield just yet, I will not be surprised by any trades or contract extensions or firings between now and next spring. A lot still comes down to the players doing their jobs. I learned a lot in life by losing, the thing I learned most is how much I hate it…. Maybe the Braves will feel the same way, not so sure about Liberty Media though..

    Like

  234. 236 Vox O'Raison October 25, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    And if Maddon does go into 2015 without a job, which is really possible since the only team currently with a vacancy is Minnesota, you know that Fredi’s seat will be extra hot as next season unfolds. And his won’t be the only one. It’ll be interesting to see if some GM feels like he has to be the first to sack his manager to have a shot at Maddon. Pressure, good folks. Pressure.

    Like

  235. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I doubt Fredi could feel anymore pressure than what he has been subjected to with Frank Wren’s reported demeanor. Of course, Fredi also worked under Jeff Loria in Miami… Whew, one would think someone would have to have a really think skin to work for Loria…..

    Well, the Giants tied the series up last night with some heavy offense. Amazing what a team can do when batted balls fall in.

    Okay, you guys in Atlanta have a morning game between the Falcons and the Lions…. YAAAANNNWNNNNNN! I am going back to sleep now.

    Like

  236. 239 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Yes… it is awful, Ber.

    Like

  237. 240 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Bowman:

    Kevin Seitzer has been hired to serve as the Braves hitting coach. The club could make an official announcement on Monday. Seitzer spent this past season as the Blue Jays hitting coach.

    Like

  238. 241 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Players gotta execute…

    Like

  239. 242 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Players gotta execute…

    Like

  240. 243 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Still, I like the hire. Apparently Hart has said he likes the hitting coach/asst. hitting coach model, so I suppose there is still one more slot to fill. I do not imagine it as critical, though. If I understand the roles correctly, the hitting coach works directly with the hitters, the asst. studies hours of video tape and makes notes and recommendations.

    Like

  241. 244 berigan2electricboogaloo October 27, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Interesting, not that a poor hitter can’t be a good hitting coach (Sometimes it seems to help) but here are Kevin Seitzer’s numbers for his career. 1557 hits, .295 BA, .375 OBP. Only struck out 76 times once in his career. Had hit best years after the age of 30 (.326 BA .416 OBP at the age of 34) Sounds like just the guy the team needs! Must have coughed up some decent money to have him leave the Jays after just one season. Way to go braves!

    Like

  242. 245 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    One might think so, Ber, since the reports are that the Jays wanted to retain him, but the 2 sides could not agree on a new deal. Probably had to come up with a little extra as incentive. But that’s the way it is if you want quality.

    Also, Seitzer has past connections to both JS who drafted him, and JH under whom Seitzer ended his career.

    Still, I am sure there was a little bonus to jump aboard. I like it. It’s out of the box and forward minded. It’s a good sign entering this new phase for the Braves.

    Like

  243. 246 Vox O'Raison October 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    See… I told you they would take their time with the asst. hitting coach. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 247 Gil in Mechanicsville October 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Truly tragic situation with the death of Oscar Tevaras. Such a promising talent cut short in his youth…. Should be a reminder to all the kids they are not bullet proof…

    Seitzer reminds me of Gene Presley. Same philosophy and approach when it comes to hitting. Now, if the players will simply do their part and listen to him.

    The Giants are on the brink of another WS championship, Of course, going back to KC won’t be a picnic….

    Like

  245. 248 Vox O'Raison October 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I can’t think of a better scenario. I really want to root for KC, but my heart is still with Huddy, whom I think was treated shabbily on his way out the door here in ATL. He made it clear he would have stayed here with just a respectable offer. In the end he got a much better deal in SF. And in reality, he gets a shot at a ring now. Truly a silver lining, but I wish he could have finished his career here. We missed his grit and leadership… not to mention his arm. Frank’s legacy becomes clearer and clearer all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 249 Vox O'Raison October 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Looks like Huddy gets his spot on the big stage. I am so torn. I love the David vs. Goliath aspect. (David was a king, right? Therefore royalty? And Goliath was a… giant.) But It’s dang Huddy.

    I think I have to root for Huddy unless he gets knocked out of the game, at which point I will be full in on KC.

    Actually, I don’t really care. Sad but true. It won’t impact me either way. At this point I am much more interested in how the Johns are going to fill 400 innings (400.1 to be exact) of starting pitching, and what our OF will look like in 2015.

    Like

  247. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I know where you are coming from VOX, I am just interested enough to check the score and a few innings but not interested enough devote 3 plus hours of my life to watching.

    Now, to the important stuff…. I expect Harang will be offered a chance to come back, I don’t expect to see the return of Santana. I guess the real questions will be how much the Braves will offer Beachy and Medlin and if they can be expected to return to form by the second half next season.

    One has to also wonder if Waldon will be returning next season or if his jump move will travel to another ML team…

    Like

  248. 251 Vox O'Raison October 30, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Well, I did it. I stayed up and watched the last 5 innings of Game 7 last night. Great half a game if you love great pitching and defense. Bumgarner is a post-season stud. And it was just like the backyard scenario… 7th game of the World Series, bottom of the 9th inning, 1-run game, 2 outs, tying runner on 3B. How many of us played that out a hundred times as kids?

    Baseball is a great sport.

    Now the offseason is upon us. Let us proceed with caution, but with steely purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 252 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Glad you watched it V! I had to pay to watch it, as something went wrong with my DirectTV yesterday. Tech is out now…quick turnaround, but not same day…so joined MLB for $9.99 to get the complete postseason package…1 game lucky me! 😛
    Felt bad for Huddy being pulled so quick, thinking, damn….not right. But then thought, well, the Giants, except for 1 game, have a lockdown bullpen. And today, Huddy is a World Series Champion, which I bet takes the sting out a bit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  250. 253 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2014 at 8:39 am

    And Gregor Blanco has 2 W.S. rings, which is 1 more than Bobby Cox or Chipper Jones have…guess it worked out being let go by the braves.

    Like

  251. 254 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Ok, something told me I might be wrong…Bobby has a ring from 1977 as well…

    Like

  252. 255 Vox O'Raison October 30, 2014 at 11:01 am

    And Gregor Blanco has 2 W.S. rings

    And was very fortunate his pitcher bailed him out after he tried to give KC the tying run in the 9th or he’d only have 1. Horrible defensive play letting that ball skip by him. If KC had tied it up with 2 out in the 9th, that place would have exploded. Not sure SF could have answered.

    But I’d still take him over our current CF. 😉

    Like

  253. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Good morning folks, ready to heat up the stove?

    I was really torn watching the WS final. Part of me wanted San Fran to win, part of me was rooting for the Royals. I am happy for the Giants, sad for the Royals. Now, it is time to get happy for the Braves again.

    Looks like Bowman is parroting our opines on pitching moves for next season. I think we will have a good idea of the direction the Braves will take as far as pitching goes if and when the Braves make a offer to Santana. I’ll bet the minions are busy trying to figure out who is available next year and when. More work than I am able to put into it right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  254. 258 Vox O'Raison October 31, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Eh!!! Messed up the link!!! 😡 Lemme try again…

    Why the Giants can thank Dan Uggla for World Series victory

    Liked by 1 person

  255. 259 Vox O'Raison October 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Interesting note from Mr. O’B: “Half of the Braves’ eight arbitration-eligible players are relievers: Carpenter, Walden, Russell and Johnny Venters, whose health makes him a non-tender candidate.”

    Hmmm…

    Here’s more food for thought, and this is courtesy of ME because I’d rather be researching this stuff than working [don’t tell anyone]: 3 of the other 4 are starting pitchers, being Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor.

    In my humble opinion, one of Medlen and Beachy will be non-tendered. They are both coming off their 2nd TJ surgery. Medlen has shown the ability to pitch from the bullpen, and that may be the one thing that draws a tender from The Johns. I’m afraid Beachy may follow Venters out the clubhouse door.

    The last arb eligible guy we have is Ramiro Pena, and I am on record as thinking the Braves may look to include him in a trade this off-season. Phil Gosselin proved he is a better fielder and at least equal hitter/baserunner in his late season tenure in the bigs. And he is still technically a rookie and making the league minimum. My bet is that he takes over the Utility role for Fredi in 2015.

    Back on the subject of starting pitching. What of David Hale in 2015? Hart starts every interview stating that we have to replace 400 innings of starting pitching. Hale doesn’t come up in his conversations. Wonder if that’s just laying low, or if he really isn’t under consideration? I think Hale could be a decent #5 if you can pull a top notch starter out of FA or through a trade. Just reading between the lines, but it seems the Braves are willing to spend the same $15M in between 2 pitchers in 2015 that they spent between Santana and Harang in 2014. And if Harang truly commands close to $5M annually that some predict, that may take him right off the table.

    As for me, I wouldn’t mind trying to sign (or re-sign) one of those upper mid-level guys and spending the minimum on Hale. But that’s just me. Adding one of Brandon McCarthy, Francisco Liriano or maybe even Jake Peavy to go with Teheran, Wood and Minor would not look so bad, in my opinion.

    All we are saying… is give Hale a chance. 😉

    Like

  256. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I would think Hale to be a good candidate to start the season as a number 5 starter. He seemed to be more comfortable as a starter but being the fuzzy faced rookie, is happy to have any chance to play in the bigs as opposed to long bus rides in the minors. After all, the bushes are still the bushes, no matter the fragrance emanating from the foliage.

    Four of the kids playing for the Giants in the series spent all or part of last season here in the capital of the Old Dominion playing for San Fran’s double A affiliate. I guess I should make a greater effort to actually go see a Squirrel’s game…

    Busy day for me today…. No, not work…. just making a concerted effort to get out more and away from the TV and the computer. Bad weather will force me inside soon enough.

    Like

  257. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville October 31, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Cubs hire Joe Madden to manage next season… If this doesn’t reverse the curse for the Cubbies, they have no hope.

    Like

  258. 262 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Like

  259. 263 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Key upcoming dated to keep in mind:

    Nov. 3 (today) — 2:00 pm deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to eligible former players who became FA’s

    Nov. 4 — FA period (silly season) opens

    Nov. 10 — 2:00 pm deadline for FA’s to accept/decline qualifying offers

    Nov. 10-13 — GM meetings, Phoenix

    Dec. 2 — Last day for teams to offer 2015 contracts to unsigned players

    Dec. 8-11 — Winter Meetings, San Diego

    Like

  260. 264 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Like

  261. 265 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Like

  262. 266 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    IMO- The Braves would be ecstatic if Santana accepted the QO. I believe they are prepared to go to that amount on a pitcher, but not on a 3-4 year deal. I believe Santana leads the pack of 2nd tier pitchers (likely landing a 3-4 year deal), and that that annual $$ amount is going to be about average, maybe a tad on the high side, for that group. From what I’ve read, I kinda get the feeling they would go 2 years on a similar amount, but not 3 years. They wouldn’t blink if he accepted the QO for 1 year.

    Like

  263. 267 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    The talking heads on the radio think I am way off base. They think it’d be disastrous if he accepted, even to the point that the Braves will not offer it. I suppose that part will be answered today.

    Like

  264. 268 Vox O'Raison November 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Yup.

    Like

  265. 269 Vox O'Raison November 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Free Agency begins today in MLB. It’s not the same as in the NFL or NBA when teams and players are faxing contracts at midnight. In our sport, players and agents typically prefer to wait, let a market develop, and find the best fit for player and team. That’s a good thing.

    MLBTR has posted their Top 50 FA’s and predictions as to where they’ll land. The Braves are mentioned twice in the list of 50, once for a starting pitcher and once for a bench addition. I think that is pretty accurate. Now as for the specifics… who knows? But nonetheless, here is their prediction:

    31. Edinson Volquez – Braves. As a 31-year-old coming off a 3.04 ERA for the Pirates, Volquez is in good shape for his first two or three-year deal. His 6.5 K/9 this year was a career-low for any full season, but his 3.3 BB/9 was a career-best and he still gets groundballs and throws hard. There’s upside here, and it could interest teams like the Braves, Twins, Astros, Mariners, Rangers, Marlins, Giants, and Diamondbacks. Prediction: 2-year, $18MM

    43. Emilio Bonifacio – Braves. Bonifacio offers speed, defense, versatility, and relative youth, although he doesn’t hit much. He’s the free agent leader for wins above replacement at both second base and center field, though that’s more a function of the weak market at those positions. As a super-utility guy on a two-year deal, he could provide depth for a lot of teams. Prediction: 2-year, $?MM

    Both of their predictions make much sense for the Braves. Volquez is a groundball pitcher, and the Braves have a stellar IF defense with the human vacuum at SS, Gumby at 1B, and steady if not spectacular in the other spots. I think Boni would be perfect to remain here in Atlanta on our bench and to spell… well, almost everyone. I concur with the above assessment. I believe the Braves will try to bring him back; it will simply come down to $$. If the demands aren’t too high, I think both sides would like a return.

    Liked by 1 person

  266. 270 berigan2electricboogaloo November 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I like Edinson Volquez…had a terrible year in 2013, a near 6.00 ERA…still, I bet he can get more than 9 Mil a year…

    Like

  267. 271 berigan2electricboogaloo November 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Here’s a under the radar possibility.

    Chad Billingsley
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/billich01.shtml
    Dodgers declined an option on him. Had some elbow issues (TJ, then Torn Flexor)

    Like

  268. 272 Vox O'Raison November 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  269. 273 Vox O'Raison November 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Liked by 1 person

  270. 274 Vox O'Raison November 5, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Liked by 2 people

  271. 275 Vox O'Raison November 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    In case you have forgotten, I am once again beating my drum to trade for the Astros Dexter Fowler. Their current RF, up-n-comer George Springer, was a CF in the minors, so the ‘stros can spare Fowler. Can you imagine Justin launching rockets into the stands in the Juice Box? I can…

    Let me remind you:

    Dexter Fowler, 28 years old, CF, SH, leadoff hitter, .375 OBP in 2014, last year of arb in 2015, FA in 2016. Currently set to play with MLB “All Stars” touring Japan. Oh… he is from Atlanta.

    Liked by 1 person

  272. 276 Gil in Mechanicsville November 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Hi guys, will post comments latter…

    Like

  273. 277 Bay Area Steve November 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Upheaval in Mudville. Get in there, darn it….

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 278 Carolina Lady November 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Steve! Hello, my friend! Glad to see you. You’re well?

    Like

  275. 279 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Howdy Steve!! How’re things across the street? Great to see you cross the road occasionally.

    Like

  276. 280 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Good news! The extra +/- $12M will just about cover Dan Uggla. 🙄

    Like

  277. 281 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Like

  278. 282 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:16 am

    2 Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger… yet missed the playoffs. Serious holes elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  279. 283 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Seriously, though…

    I almost don’t see how the Braves can NOT trade JUp this offseason. He is coming off what many believe to be his best offensive season, although we who watched him know he can disappear for long stretches. That said, he can heat up and be as dangerous as anyone on the game… thus the Silver Slugger achievement. And given that he will likely walk in another year anyway, the Braves have to try to trade him now while his value is very high.

    It serves 2 purposes, both equally important. He will return us a young talent somewhere on the field, and free up his $14.5M salary to help fill out the starting rotation.

    And there was one report out of NY that the Mets might be looking at him since they are in dire need of RH power. The writer speculated that the Mets might actually be willing to include highly regarded pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal. Read his arguments here for yourself:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/harper-trading-noah-syndergaard-hitter-justin-upton-sense-mets-article-1.1999168

    Would they trade within the division? Would it be good for ATL? Personally, I don’t think the Mets would trade Syndegaard within the division, but I could be wrong. I think it would be great for ATL in the long term. Short term? Eh… who knows?

    One thing is clear, one of JUp or JHey will have to go. It’s a necessary part of the biz. I still think JHey has the better upside, but I could be wrong.

    And who knows? Maybe the absence of little brother would allow big brother to step out of his shadow and produce? As the great Joaquin Andujar once said, “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.'”

    Like

  280. 284 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

    One reason to NOT want Noah Syndergaard in ATL is trying to spell his name consistently. Ugh. I’m just getting the hang of “Schuerholz” after 24 years. Coppolella is not as tough… it’s 2 P’s followed by 1 L followed by 2 L’s. 2/1/2. I can remember that. I think.

    Terdoslavich? 1 O, 1 A. Gosselin? 2 S’s, 1 L. Gearrin? 2 R’s. I can’t keep up.

    And up-n-comer Jose Peraza will be a real peach, too. 1 R, 1 Z. Maybe I can remember that.

    I may have to start referring to these guys by their uni numbers. What’s the old saying, “You can’t tell the players without a program”?

    The 2014 variation is “You can’t spell the players without a program.”

    Liked by 2 people

  281. 285 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Thanks for the plug BAS!!!

    It appears the ajc has forced another “new” format on the bloggers over there. Kinda clunky, if you ask me. I can understand their frustration.

    Like

  282. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Good morning folks, news from the north…. LaRoache a free agent… Would be a good fit for the Mets me thinks… or most anyone other than the Braves who already have a left handed first baseman. Zimerman expected to make the transition across the diamond from third.

    Now the Braves, It is a shame the Braves have to let Justing go, who by the way is a huge part of the Braves’ offense for pitching, which is not a problem. The real black hole resides next door in center field. I fear as long as Melvin roams the green fields of the Ted , little else will change as far as the Braves hopes to return to post season play.

    No wonder the big guy upstairs showed Wren the door, he see the same thing.

    No, I fear the Braves will have an outfield with somewhat poorer defensive prowess but no less offensive thump if Evan is penciled into the outfield in left. 4 out of every five days. No, the real hole in the line up is still Melvin.

    The defense (at least on paper) will be better behind the plate with the addition of Bethencourt. The Braves might even sign another back up catcher to spot the rookie. The only other question will be who will play second base on a regular basis. I don’t think it will be either Gosslin or LaStella. One I think will be traded and the other will be the utility guy.

    We can only hope the Braves will let Chris Johnson revert back to an on base guy and not expected to be a clean up hitter. Chris did best when he was allowed to channel his inner Tony Gwen and slap pitches to the off field with regularity and allow for the occasional home run to happen. All part of the growing process….

    Liked by 2 people

  283. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

    BAS…. Why would we go through all that turmoil when we can just be? Too many of those folks are so set in their ways that they only understand emotion, not facts…. Wishing seldom makes it true…

    Liked by 1 person

  284. 288 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    The only other question will be who will play second base on a regular basis. I don’t think it will be either Gosslin or LaStella. One I think will be traded and the other will be the utility guy.

    TLS won’t be a utility guy as he can only play 2B… and even there he’s not going to win any Gold Gloves. But Gosselin is a real utility guy who can go at all IF spots and LF as well. I expect him in that role unless the Braves choose to pay Ramiro Pena’s arb salary. I still think Pena will the one traded, TLS will open at 2B and Peraza will be called up at the proper time, whatever that turns out to be.

    If the Braves can trade Little Brother, I’m on record as being a new convert to playing Gattis in LF. And with that, there will certainly be a veteran catcher on the bench, whether they bring back Laird or go elsewhere. That is a no-brainer. I like the idea of giving Gatt a start behind the dish once a week or so, with him getting 4-5 starts in LF a week. I have no problem with that at all, especially if the Braves could bring in a nice LH bopper to reside on the bench and maybe make a start in LF once in a while. Sounds like a good plan. LH boppers are not really plentiful… but then again, what boppers are? If that’s the case, do you bring back SH Boni and give him a start or 2 a week? That guy can back up almost every position on the team, except maybe P and C. Then build the team around speed? Maybe… could happen. Seems to work; at least it did in KC.

    If the Braves trade Little Brother, whose value will never be higher, then what of Big Brother? Do you think there is any validity to Little Brother having an adverse effect on Big Brother? I mean… how would you like it if your Little Brother came in and took the luster away from you? Little brother excels and Big Brother seethes. I dunno. Can’t get any worse. Maybe JUp leaving would help bring some semblence of productivity back to the Elder Sibling. Even a little would be better than nothing. And I can live with burying him in the bottom of the order if we have competent bats at 1-7.

    Leadoff is till the key… still makes the rest of the lineup go. It’s crucial.

    1- Unknown leadoff, CF?
    2- TLS, 2B
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- Gatt, LF
    5- JHey, RF
    6- CJohn, 3B
    7- Bcourt, C
    8- Simba, SS

    Gee! That kind of takes a spot away from Big Brother! That does solve alot!!

    Seriously… there are only 2 feasible spots where leadoff can come from: 2B or CF. Everyone else is a regular and none fit the profile. Not even JHey. He needs to finally get a whole season in his natural place in the lineup. Jose Peraza is that guy eventually, but the question is WHEN?

    We’ll either see alot of continued experimenting at leadoff (like last year), or we’ll see a dramatic addition to the roster. I see no other way.

    Like

  285. 289 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Honestly, I think the Braves could go ahead and rush Peraza to The Show. Having a speedy leadoff hitter at the top as your 2B would make the rest of the roster alot easier to construct. And if the kid truly needs a little more seasoning at AAA, is there a guy in the trade market who could fit the bill for just 1 year? Hmmm… May be worth a little research.

    Like

  286. 290 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Hey.. how about Howie Kendrick of the Angels? The Angels are looking to shed some contracts because they are at the luxury tax level, and they have Gordon Beckham in house ready to take over. Rosenthal recently reported that the Halos are likely to trade either Kendrick or David Freese. Kendrick will make $9.5M in 2015 (the last season of his contract), and slashed .293/.347/.397 in 2014. Whether or not he could hit leadoff remains to be seen. He’s done it, but not alot.

    MLBTR:; “Since 2012, Kendrick has averaged 594 plate appearances and a .292/.336/.410 line and has been good for about twenty combined homers and steals per campaign.”

    Sounds like he could hit leadoff to me.

    Trading for Kendrick would require shedding an equivalent $9.5M from the payroll somewhere else. And he’s another RH; the Braves are overloaded with RH. We need LH balance in a bad way. And young Mr. Peraza doesn’t help there either.

    So this whole argument is probably moot, as the Braves may be forced to go with TLS or Gosselin until Peraza is ready… as it seems whatever payroll flexibility remains will go to replacing the 400 innings of starting pitching that is leaving via FA.

    Like

  287. 291 Vox O'Raison November 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    It is a shame the Braves have to let Justin go, who by the way is a huge part of the Braves’ offense, for pitching, which is not a problem.

    Agree that pitching was not the problem, but 2/5 of that rotation is now gone. Gotta replace ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  288. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville November 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    VOX, I am not worried about pitching too much. Pay Arron what he is asking, sign both Medlin and Beachy to incentive laden contracts and if someone else takes a big swing at prying them away. Not sure I would chance signing Gavin Floyd at all….

    Liked by 1 person

  289. 293 berigan2electricboogaloo November 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hey BAS! Do you have a app that reminds you to sign in once every 12 months or so? 😉
    V, I think you are right, it just makes too much sense not to trade J Up at this point.
    I do worry that the homeboy upstairs is so big on saying you can never have too much pitching (Which is true, to a point)
    but….this offense, if they are going to hope the 3rd times the charm with BJ, could really, really suck without J Up, and just getting a starter for him.

    Like

  290. 294 Carolina Lady November 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Time for the annual Willie Sturgill Golf Tournament again. Sports figures in town visit the Sturgill Dialysis Center.

    http://www.wect.com/story/27330034/celebrities-come-to-town-for-golf-tournament-autograph-signing

    Like

  291. 295 Carolina Lady November 7, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    It’s good to see some former Braves names listed, too. 🙂

    Saturday, November 8th, 9am-10am
    Dick’s Sporting Goods – Mayfaire Town Center
    Autograph session celebrity attendees are subject to change. Not all currently listed celebrities may be in attendance, as scheduling conflicts do arise.
    For the most up-to-date signing information, please check for updates on this page.

    Lacey Agnew – LPGA
    Heather Angell – LPGA
    James Arceneaux – Writer
    Jerome Bettis – Retired NFL
    Vida Blue – Retired MLB
    John Bunting – Former UNC Football Coach
    John Candelaria – Retired MLB
    Luis Clemente – Roberto Clemente Foundation
    Roberto Clemente – Roberto Clemente Foundation
    Frank Coonelly – President of Pittsburgh Pirates
    Arthur Culbreath – Olympian
    Dane DeHaan – Actor
    Joe Gallison – Actor
    Andrew Givens – Retired NFL / Sports Marketing
    Harvey Glance – Olympian & Track Coach
    Lyndie Greenwood – Actress
    David Irving – Hammerheads Coach, Retired
    Sonny Jackson – Retired MLB
    Brian Jordan – Retired MLB
    Ma’ake Kemoeatu – Retired NFL
    Chris Kemoeatu – Retired NFL
    Bruce Kison – Retired MLB
    Cliff Levingston – Retired NBA
    Bethany Levy – Actress/Stuntwoman
    Buddy Lewis – Comedian/Actor
    David Mobley – Golf’s Longest Drive World Champion & Reality TV Star
    Eddie Murray – National Baseball Hall of Fame
    Al Oliver – Retired MLB
    Mel Pender – Olympian
    Larry Rivers – Retired Harlem Globetrotter
    Russ Rogers – Retired Track & Field Coach
    Jim Rooker – Retired MLB
    Jerry Royster – Retired MLB
    Manny Sanguillen – Retired MLB
    Dominic Santana – Actor
    Rennie Stennett – Retired MLB
    Art Still – Retired NFL
    Gus Williams – Retired NBA
    Greg Vaughn – Retired MLB
    Tony Womack – Retired MLB
    Kevin Young – Retired MLB

    Like

  292. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville November 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Just a tad too far to drive for me CL…. 🙂 Of course, I could always stro by Dubins….

    Liked by 1 person

  293. 297 Carolina Lady November 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    @Gil 😀

    Willie’s hat is still hanging from his name plate at the cemetery. If I can ever remember to do it, I’ll get a photo. Quite interesting and a special touch, I think. It’s so high up, nobody can reach it without a TALL ladder, so it’s safe, I’d think.

    The foundation, founded by his wife, holds this tournament every year to raise funds for research, etc into kidney disease. I think it was 2001 when he died from kidney failure. Before that, you’d see him walking around just like regular folk, very comfortable with being just a regular guy. CLASS from the word go!

    Like

  294. 299 Carolina Lady November 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Little bit of trivia:

    Q: Which pitcher has won the most Silver Slugger Awards?
    A: Mike Hampton (five times from 1999-2003)

    Q: As teammates, when was the last time a battery won the Silver Slugger Award?
    A: 2003 Braves: pitcher Mike Hampton and catcher Javy Lopez

    (Anybody ever hear about Hampton now? Wonder what he’s up to? Sad story.)

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 300 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Odd and seemingly random thought for a Monday morning: I just realized 2 of our core young players are “Freddie and Jason”…

    Liked by 1 person

  296. 301 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Ew…

    Liked by 1 person

  297. 302 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Now, baseball. (Homage to The Scribe…)

    Today marks the beginning of the 2014 GM Meetings in Phoenix, AZ, and the beginning of the new regime’s efforts to rebuild the roster without tearing it down first. The Johns and their staff have been in AZ all weekend attending AFL games and observing a little of our minor league talent. And considering that we have little minor league talent, they didn’t have alot to assess.

    So onto the GM meetings which begin today, meetings that have evolved quite a bit over recent history. Not too long ago, the GM meetings were a time for the FOT’s to all get together, eat, drink, play golf… just generally carouse and hang out… and along the way maybe talk about some players and maybe lay the groundwork for some talks that might occur later on at the Winter Meetings.

    But no more.

    Baseball is now big business run by bigger business and played by businessmen. Their is little time to waste when putting together a team that has to be finely tuned to perform. It’s the difference between a 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo with a stock Chevy 350 and Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, and a Ferrari with God knows what under the hood. You can’t just fill her up, adjust the intake and rotate the tires.

    So Hartolella begins the fine tuning today. Here’s what we can expect to hear/read: Several teams are interested in a RH hitter that can knock 20+ HR and drive in 100. And we’ll hear it about both Justin and Evan. It’s up to the Johns to determine which deal will best restock the depleted farm system that they observed over the weekend (Like how I tied that back in?) while returning a MLB ready player that will make a real contribution to the roster. We’ll probably also hear a little about teams inquiring about Jason, and I expect the Johns to listen. Hey… they have to.

    But in the end, it makes more sense to keep the guy making >$1M and trade the guy making $14M. As for the other guy making $$8.5M in 2015 with uncertainty following, I still believe that John Hart will sit down with his reps and make an effort to extend him like the rest of the young core. It’s a new empire, and whatever broke down last year in negotiations is in the past.

    I won’t bother to rehash the Braves needs here. Not necessary. It’s no mystery. But I do think there is reason for hope. When you have competent baseball men pulling the strings, good things can happen. Just remember in 1991 when JS identified 3 main weaknesses, targeted 3 specific solutions, and made history. I don’t expect history in 2015, but I do expect good decisions.

    It could be a fun week.

    Liked by 1 person

  298. 303 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

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  299. 304 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 11:48 am

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  300. 305 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

    MLBTR:

    The Rays are moving toward dealing right-hander Jeremy Hellickson to an unknown National League team, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Times (via Twitter). A deal is likely to get done this week, Sherman adds.

    Though Hellickson has struggled recently and never graded out that well from a sabermetric standpoint, there’s plenty of upside to be had from an acquiring team’s standpoint. He’s still in his prime and was ranked among the game’s Top 10 prospects by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus prior to his promotion to the Majors. The Scott Boras client can be controlled through the 2016 season and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn a very reasonable $3.9MM in 2015.

    The Cubs, Rockies, Giants, Pirates and Braves could all make some sense for Hellickson.

    Like

  301. 306 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Maybe Hellickson and Ben Zobrist for Gattis and TLS? Zobrist can play all over the field, but has played more 2B than anything. He’s a SH, and slashed .282/.354/.395 in 2014, with 10 HR, 52 RBI and only 84 K’s. He has alot of experience at the top of the lineup, including leadoff, over his 9 year career. He’s 33 and signed only through 2015 at $7.5M.

    Zobrist could provide a LH bat, a leadoff guy, good D at 2B and veteran leadership. Just what the Braves are looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

  302. 307 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

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  303. 308 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

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  304. 309 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Not much news there… but I like to be thorough. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  305. 310 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Wang pitched 172 2/3 innings at AAA level in 2014, w/ 4.12 ERA and 73 K’s and 57 BB’s.

    Like

  306. 311 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    IMO he could be decent long relief candidate if Hale makes the rotation.

    Like

  307. 312 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Joel Sherman, NY Post:

    The Braves finished next-to-last in the majors in runs scored. Yet Atlanta is expected to use bats to fill what it sees as its bigger immediate need in the rotation.
    Atlanta will talk Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis with teams. That trio, along with Freddie Freeman, were the only Brave hitters who had positive offensive campaigns in 2014.
    It is Gattis, though, other clubs see Atlanta pushing the hardest. AL teams, in particular, could have interest because his defensive deficiencies could be masked with the DH and his righty power could be maximized.
    However, the Braves anticipate losing Ervin Santana (the Royals are very interested in a reunion) and Aaron Harang and the 400 innings they supplied to free agency. They have Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy coming back from their second Tommy John surgeries, and because it is the second for each, Atlanta is still weighing whether to tender both contracts.
    Thus, the Braves see their priority as filling the rotation while feeling they have to diversify their offense anyway. Atlanta feels its problem has been an all-or-nothing approach dominated by righty hitters that has left it too vulnerable.
    The Braves believe because there is a weak outfield market that Heyward and Upton could garner a lot of interest. Both can be free agents after the 2015 season. However, Upton is due $14.5 million and Heyward $7.8 million next year, and both of those are reasonable-or-better figures for their production.

    Haven’t we been saying that for 3 weeks? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  308. 313 berigan2electricboogaloo November 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    If this was Jeremy Hellickson, say after 2012 3.10 ERA. I could get pretty excited. 2013? 5;17 ERA. Last year? 1-5, 4.52 ERA in 62 innings. But, he’s cheap, and controllable….that’s what Championships are built on! 😛
    Ben Zobrist….basically Chris Johnson, with a better OBP. Might do better on a team were there are hitters. Not sure that is the braves. We do need better OBP guys…he will be 34 next year…do we leave the speedster down on the farm all of next year???? I don’t care if Ben Zobrist plays all the positions….that’s not FG’s game.

    Like

  309. 314 berigan2electricboogaloo November 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    CL, did I miss something about Mike Hampton?

    Like

  310. 315 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Gotta disagree on Zobrist, Ber. High OBP, low K’s, top of the order hitter. Zobrist slashed .282/.354/.395 with only 84 K’s. CJohnson went .263/.292/.361 with almost twice as many K’s at 159. Horrifying.

    And Hellickson had bone chips in his elbow, which was scoped mid-season. He’s not a bad risk, IMO. I think he’s alot closer to the 2013 guy after surgery.

    Like

  311. 316 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

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  312. 317 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Not surprising.

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  313. 318 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Braves sign outfielder Zoilo Almonte , break out the bubbly, World Series here we come…

    Liked by 1 person

  314. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    If the Braves trade Gattis, I will be greatly disappointed. Won’t be the first time. Would rather trade Justin and throw in Melvin as a gift…..

    Like

  315. 320 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The return for Gattis had better knock my socks off, Anything less would be a huge disappointment.

    Like

  316. 321 Gil in Mechanicsville November 10, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    “It’s the difference between a 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo with a stock Chevy 350 and Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, and a Ferrari with God knows what under the hood.”

    When I rebuilt my ’69 350, I put on a Holly 650 double pumper… Took it back off and re-installed the Quadrajet because I could not afford the 4 MPG. There is a lesson in there for anyone who cares to look for it….

    Liked by 2 people

  317. 322 Carolina Lady November 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Gil, in the aviation community, we’d say “All flap and no throttle.”

    Liked by 2 people

  318. 323 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Regarding Zoilo… as I have read it, the Braves are not expecting to make any big moves this week, only “depth” moves. As we have discussed, there is little depth in the upper minor leagues. I actually saw Zoilo in one of the games I attended at Gwinnett this year. I remember him because of the name… but remember thinking he had a pretty nice swing. I remember he homered in the game too. All that said, he is merely depth at the AAA level, or possibly a guy to play all around the OF in the event they do not re-sign Boni.

    And I do know that he signed a major league deal, but according to DOB it is because he had several teams calling. Had to pony up the major league deal to get him to sign. He has minor league options left.

    Gil, I trust John Hart to make the right deals, if any. He has built winners.

    Like

  319. 324 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Gil, I had a 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo with the 350 and the Quadrajet. It was messed up and 2 barrels were stuck open all the time sucking performance and fuel. I didn’t know any better and went with it for several months before finally selling the whole car.

    Like

  320. 325 Vox O'Raison November 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

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  321. 326 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 9:25 am

    MLBTR:

    President of baseball operations John Hart denied a Joel Sherman report that the Braves were shopping Evan Gattis, calling it “absolutely inaccurate.” Hart told the media (including David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) that “we are coming in with the idea that we don’t have to trade anybody. We have not made a call (to see if a team is interested in any player). We have received calls on people; we haven’t had any conversations yet.”

    Hart said the Braves will look to add starting pitching this winter, though they’ll look at the “B tier and down” rather than any of the big names on the free agent market. If Atlanta did acquire a higher-caliber, it would likely be in a trade. “Money could be freed up; there’s a lot of different dynamics there,” Hart said. “But from where we sit today, that would be the sort of level that we would be looking at.”

    The Braves could be interested in re-signing Aaron Harang, though Hart said the team will wait to see how Harang’s market develops.

    Like

  322. 327 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Reportedly the Astros have checked in on FA Hanley Ramirez. Now if they want a big bat, and are willing to pay the $$ for a guy like Hanley, why not trade for JUp? Can you imagine JUp swinging in the Juice Box for half his games? Wowsers…

    They have some good prospects in their pipeline, and they have Dexter Fowler. I bet a deal could be found. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  323. 328 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:38 am

    😯

    Well… I stand corrected. I suppose that removes us from re-signing Boni.

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  324. 329 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:42 am

    All examples of crappy defense in LF. I think Holliday is a great comparison.

    Y’all know I want what will improve this team the most, regardless of how we have to go about it. But I could definitely go for an OF of Gattis/Fowler/Heyward. Yes!

    Like

  325. 330 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Heck, if you could get a premier defender in CF (like Fowler), you could just plant Gattis a couple of steps from the line and give him about 30′ to cover. The other fellas could handle the rest. 🙂

    Like

  326. 331 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    “Just get to what you can, big fella… and don’t run over Dexter, OK?”

    Liked by 1 person

  327. 332 berigan2electricboogaloo November 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Ah, quadrajet talk, is there any prettier talk??? 😛
    I love them! They get badmouthed a lot, mainly because folks dealt with a bad one…or someone messed with one, without knowing the tricks to them. I have seen 2 page articles in a Hot Rod and elsewhere, and thought, well…a lot of folks will ruin some q-jets with that half arsed info.
    We had a 73 Caprice Classic convertible for many a year. Carb started to act up. My Dad actually had a book on how to rebuild Quadrajets, but thought carbs were way too complicated to mess with. So…car got harder and harder to start, drive, move…so, a friend in St Louis(we were in Jacksonville at the time) offered to rebuild it…few weeks later…still no better. bought one from a parts store…then the car ran like a top! (and you all know how well tops run)
    Fast forward a few years later, I start having carb issues with my 1969 Impala Conv (you might have seen pics of the well running wreck on facebook) Despite my Dad saying you have to be an expert to rebuild one, I took it on(Figured I could always buy another one anyway) mainly because of the book he had. The writer said, yes, it’s many pages on the rebuild(with tons of pics) but your granny could rebuild it from his instructions. And, he was right! Great tips that would stump someone who had never rebuilt one before, or had just rebuilt a Holley before.
    And the main problem with most q-jets over time? The Primary and secondary fuel wells leaked raw fuel into the intake, causing engines to run like…well, you know.
    He had two fixes, one, the real fix, drilling them out, putting in replacement plugs…hmmm, sounded above my pay grade…so, I went with the temp fix, epoxying them. Well, that temp fix lasted for years and years.
    And that full sized car, with a 350…got 19-20 MPG on the highway. And circa 1983-1987, that sucka blew the doors off most of the pathetic cars on the road at the time. Sad to see grown men cry after you won a race from a light, so I avoided their eyes most of the time 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  328. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    More stuff… I love it…. Back in the day, only two things ever really went wrong with GMs. Carbs and distributors. I traded an 84 Olds Delta 88 coupe because it developed a miss that only I apparently could feel. Learned way too late was that many of the distributors on the 289-350s would wallow out the shafts. (design defect that GM never told anyone about until 1992. Had the same problem (but worse) with a .90 Silverado with a 350 and an ’89 IROC conv with a 307. Once the distributor shaft was replace (for free I might add) they both ran perfect. Problem was, it was always an intermittent problem…. I still miss that Olds, it was the best driving and riding car I ever owned and I have owned lots of high end cars.

    Lesson learned far too late in life, You can afford to buy any car you want, the real problem come in being able to afford to keep it running…..

    The ’69 350 I rebuilt was a beast. It pushed about 500 HP when I finished with it. Miss Josie was a demon in it so I could not let her drive it…. I only had the tires and wheels to install on it to finish my rebuild when my oldest daughter bent the front bumper (which I had just had re-chromed). I never spent another dime on it and gave it to my oldest step son in exchange for painting my house….. He wrecked it by running off the road and hitting a culvert, flipped it three times end over end and broke the frame in half… To this day I don’t know how he survived the crash….. God looks out for little children and drunks they say….. DUH!

    Like

  329. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    And on rebuilding carbs…. I am about 50-50 on my success rate…. Not good enough for all the aggravation….. Not enough patience I don’t think….

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  330. 335 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Like I said VOX, Any trade of Evan better be the knock my socks off verity. As for Melvin, Fowler would be a great replacement…. Heck, Just about everybody would be a great replacement…..

    Yep, put two speedsters in the outfield and tell Evan to guard the left field line…..

    Like

  331. 336 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Alot of hot air blowing in Phoenix, and some of it is due to the climate. There are so many conflicting reports being bandied about…

    And it appears that John Hart is all about the posturing and positioning. One minute it’s “We don’t have to trade anyone” and the next it’s “We are listening on everyone.” I understand the distinction, but I don’t think he is going to tip anything at any point. Frank was as tight lipped as they come, but at least you knew you weren’t going to hear a whisper. It appears that John Hart is a master salesman and we’re liable to hear most anything. It kind of makes the game a little more fun as you really have to try to read between the lines. I bet he loves this, too.

    Tim Dierkes over at MLBTR places the chance of Evan Gattis being traded at 55%. Pretty safe bet, essentially saying “Maybe he will; maybe he won’t.” But it does lean toward “Maybe he will” a little. But only a little.

    I don’t see how there is any chance of the Braves opening 2015 with both Justin Upton and Even Gattis. And I’ll be very surprised if JUp is still here. It appears that he will have great marketability. It also appears that Seattle still wants him even after he blocked a trade to them 2 years ago. I was not aware that JUp’s ARI contract contained a partial no-trade clause allowing Justin to block trades to 4 clubs of his choosing. Reportedly Seattle has been removed from the list (his revised list includes the Jays, Brewers, Cubs and Indians) and they are back in the hunt.

    Still dreaming of Gattis/Fowler/JHey.

    Speaking of JHey:

    That does not bode well IMO. Hope it’s just more posturing.

    Like

  332. 337 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Like

  333. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I other words, prove you are going to be the superstar we always hoped for….Then we will pay but no more Melvins…..

    Like

  334. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville November 11, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    If baseball had the same type of contracts as any other sport, we would see some really obscene numbers bandied about but little of it ever paid out.

    Owners are still paying the price of collusion.

    Like

  335. 340 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm

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  336. 341 Vox O'Raison November 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Dexter Fowler just homered for the USA in the Japan-USA All Star game.

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  337. 342 Vox O'Raison November 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

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  338. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville November 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I hope the Braves search for a very good young pitcher isn’t at the expense of what little offense the Braves can muster.

    So, how do the Braves pry Fowler away from the Astros and leave Melvin on their doorstep in a reed basket?

    Liked by 1 person

  339. 344 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Much information began to flow last night. Let me try to sum it up this way:

    + John Hart prefers NOT to trade Gattis, and looks to be happy to insert him into LF.
    + They want a platoon partner for CJ, whose splits were pretty dramatic last season.
    + There is not alot of hope to trade Big Brother. Kevin Seitzer is working with him over the winter.
    + There is alot of interest in Little Brother, and the chances of him being in ATL in 2015 are pretty slim.
    + There is alot of interest in Jason Heyward, and he may be the key to acquiring a highly rated young pitcher.
    + There is a possibility that the Braves could go into 2015 with neither JUp nor JHey. That would signal a mini-rebuild.
    + There is about a 50/50 chance that the Braves may go into a brief “rebuild” mode for 2015 & 2016, but that is not a defined strategy as of yet. It mostly depends on what trade scenarios materialize.
    + They are listening on every reliever except Kimbrel. There is some league-wide interest in both Walden and Carpenter.

    Like

  340. 345 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Teams said to have a strong interest in JHey include St. Louis and Boston, both of whom have some top high level pitching prospects to offer. In the case of STL, we are talking about someone like Carlos Martinez, a 23 year old flame thrower who tops out at about 98-100 on the fastball… with sink. He was a starter in the minors, but has relieved in his brief stints in STL. Their fans gave him the nickname “Little Pedro,” because of his similarities in physique and pitching mechanics to Pedro Martínez.

    I might could get on board with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  341. 346 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Two years ago, SEA was including Taijuan Walker in a package of players they were sending to ARI for JUp before JUp nixed the deal. (He came to ATL a couple of weeks later.) They are said to be willing to include Walker for JUp again, and this time JUp can’t block SEA. Reportedly James Paxton is also a trade possibility.

    Reports say they are looking at a couple of FA targets, but would look at an Upton trade if the prices of VMart or HanRam go too high.

    Like

  342. 347 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Another team said to be kicking the tires on JUp is Cincy, who is in a similar boat with Johnny Cueto that the Braves are with JUp… both are FA;s after 2015. The reports say that the Reds don’t think they can re-sign Cueto, and are in desperate need for a power bat. (Can you imagine JUp’s power in that bandbox for 81 games? Oh my!) At any rate, Cueto would be the “ace” the Braves have lacked, but it’d be a roll of the dice on keeping him beyond 2015. That said, Ervin Santana’s salary slot is gone, and JUp’s would be too. That’s roughly $29M.

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  343. 348 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Wow… just poking around and it seems Seattle really likes JUp alot. The consensus is that they would like to sign VMart or HanRam as a RH power bat behind Robinson Cano. But the FA prices on both of them is expected to go above what SEA will spend and JUp is reportedly their #1 trade target. That comes from several sources.

    Like

  344. 349 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Further evidence that the Johns will have to be blown away to part with Evan.

    Like

  345. 350 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Wow… just from the different things I have read and listened to, it sure looks like there are going to be alot of trades happening. Basically everyone but the core is available. The “core” is essentially Teheran, Wood, Kimbrel, Freeman, Simmons, Bethancourt and even Peraza. (NOTE: Gattis might be considered part of the core, but they will listen given his tremendous value.) They will listen on everyone else. That’s not to say they are looking to trade everyone else, but they’ll listen to anything that will improve the club going forward.

    That’s pretty bold. It says 2 things… bring me your best offers, and maybe we’ll deal; maybe we won’t. It means they are serious about improving going toward 2017 and the new park, but they won’t trade for the sake of trading.

    They’ve set the salary bar for 2015, and it’s not one that will force them to trade anyone. So in a certain sense, they are in a very good position to deal. As Bowman put it, they have a very attractive storefront.

    They have a goal to acquire 2 good starting pitchers, and I get the sense it isn’t a “settle for” situation. They’ll deal for a solid top of the rotation starter. And given the assets they have to trade, they can sit back and wait for the best offer.

    By the time the silly season ends, they want to have solidified the starting rotation and fleshed out the upper minor leagues with some talent that can help them if needed. That is a glaring hole right now, and maybe the biggest reason Frank walked the plank. (Everyone likes to cite Uggla and theother guy, but those piles were stinking for a couple of years. The minor league void really came into play last season with all the team’s injuries with little to come and hold serve while the big boys healed.)

    Like

  346. 351 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Joel Sherman, NY Post: Braves general manager John Hart said the club intends to take Evan Gattis out from behind the plate and play him full time in left field as a way to assure him more at-bats.

    Well, if it is accurate, and not speculation, then it directly points to somebody departing, or at the very least (and most unlikely) sitting.

    Like

  347. 352 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 11:28 am

    “We want to get Evan’s bat in the lineup, and if he catches, he would play just 100 games and we would not have a bat perhaps good enough to hit cleanup for those other games,” [John] Hart said. “So we are going to put Evan in left field and see what we have.” – NY Post

    … and there is the direct quote.

    Like

  348. 353 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Notice he specified cleanup. That has to make Freddie Freeman grin from ear to ear knowing he will have Gatt hitting behind him in the order.

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  349. 354 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    1- ? (L/S)
    2- ? (R)
    3- Freeman, 1B (L)
    4- Gattis, LF (R)
    5- ? (L)
    6- Bethancourt, C (R)
    7- ? (L/R)
    8- Simmons (R)

    Many unanswered questions thus far…

    Like

  350. 355 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    That Joel Sherman guy at the NY Post is a busy fella, and has a great ear to the whispers of the Braves:

    [Kris] Medlen’s situation is even more complex [than Brandon Beachy]. He made $5.8 million last year and is a free agent after this season. Do the Braves pay him similarly in 2015 and allow him to go through what could amount to a re-acclimation season before potentially leaving them? [John] Hart said, “We need to get creative. We really like Medlen.”

    The Medlen situation is one we touched on briefly a week or so ago. His is a tricky one. It’s way different than Beachy. I pretty much expect Beachy to be non-tendered.

    But for Meds, he is a guy who has always resonated with Braves fans. You can’t help but pull for the guy. He just exudes something that most of us can connect with. I cannot imagine one Braves fan that wants to see Kris Medlen in any other uniform. But Sherman makes a great point. Can the Braves afford to pay Meds upwards of $6M for one season, an essential rehab season at that, just to possibly have him walk away? He won’t be tendered a QO, so they wouldn’t even get a draft pick for losing him.

    When he’s healthy, he’s so sneaky good. His changeup is devastating. I remember a batter saying a couple of years ago that you can know the changeup was coming and still not be able to hit it. And coming off a 2nd TJ, he should come out of the pen IMO. He’d be a great 8th inning setup guy since he performs equally well against LH and RH. The changeup… it’s confounding.

    The way I see it, the Braves really only have a couple of options here. They can’t go the arb route… just can’t. Too much money for too little certainty. They don’t have that great a margin for error. They could go the 2-year extension route, maybe with an option tacked on for a 3rd, with some cost certainty that doesn’t break the bank. Or they simply non-tender him then resign him on a minor-league incentive laden contract for 2015 and some innings related triggers that could give him a 2nd year. (That scenario could present itself to Beachy also.) But I really don’t see any way they tender a traditional 1-year deal or arb numbers to either of those 2 guys.

    Like

  351. 356 Vox O'Raison November 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    The Phils have signed Francoeur to a minor-league deal. One more chance for the guy…

    Like

  352. 357 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    V, thanks for all the 411 above, excellent work sir! 🙂 With all the stuff going on, it’s easy to miss a signing, the Tiger’s re-signed V-Mart…

    Like

  353. 358 berigan2electricboogaloo November 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    You can understand why a team like the Mariners (Now down to Hamram, err…Hanley Ramirez or J UP?) are interested in Justin…even though he has been in the majors since 2007, he is still only 27. So it’s still possible he will finally put it all together and hit 40 HRs and drive in 120. And of course teams like the Diamondbacks and Braves have seen first hand how very streaky he is, another team hasn’t. Plus, the braves offense was offensive last year. Put him in a more productive offense, and watch out.
    Still, losing him, and seeing him go to a 35-40 HR man doesn’t bother me the way it would with Gattis. Clearly, I am a racist! 😉 That, or the fact there is NO WAY the braves can afford J Up, and he will walk, verses having Gattis for a few more years(and if he puts up a few consistent years they can sign him with the new stadium)
    You know, as we all know, Matt Holiday is not a gold glover…but, he has a very good arm, and got at least one runner at home during the playoffs…Gattis, while not graceful as a gazelle , is an athlete, he tries hard, and while again having to learn on the job, can play LF

    Like

  354. 360 Gil in Mechanicsville November 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    VOX, you save me a ton of time by doing all the research and then I can be informed in just one stop…. I love this bar…..

    Of course, if the Braves J-Hey, HANK Arron will never forgive the two Johns…

    Like

  355. 361 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Like

  356. 362 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Now this is something that I am sure had to be done, but it sucks from a fan standpoint. Kyle Wren is a legit prospect with plus speed, plus defense, and pretty good numbers. This pitcher we picked up seems to be a long shot at best. Very pedestrian numbers at single-A that I won’t even take the time to type. Can’t see the equity here except that it seems they just needed to purge the organization of the last Wren. Frank must have really ticked somebody over there off badly.

    Liked by 1 person

  357. 363 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    DOB: [Kyle] Wren, 23, was traded to the Brewers on Friday for minor league right-hander Zach Quintana, 20, a third-round pick in 2012 who hasn’t met expectations in three low-level minor league seasons. Quintana is 11-13 with a 6.15 ERA in 52 games (34 starts), including two rookie-ball seasons, and has 139 strikeouts and 103 walks in 194 2/3 innings.

    Wren hit .304 with a .362 on-base percentage, two homers, 13 triples and 81 stolen bases in 185 games at four minor league levels (Double-A and lower), and the speedy left-hander drew praise for his defense.

    Scratching my head on this one. For an organization that has been very vocal about their lack of minor league talent, especially at the upper levels, this just makes no sense. I don’t give a rip if Frank broke into JS’s house and peed on all his sweater vests, there is no reason to just give a legitimate OF prospect away just because of his name.

    This kinda hacks me off. I hope there is more to this than what appears on the surface.

    Liked by 1 person

  358. 364 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    For some reason, this is being talked up as bringing back a mid-level pitching prospect with alot of upside. Sounds like spin to me, but who knows. I guess I don’t know either what Kyle Wren’s ceiling is, and maybe he is only a mid-level position prospect himself. After poking around, I don’t really see anyone criticizing the move, so maybe it isn’t as bad as it looks to me. Not that I thought KWren was going to be another Jim Edmonds or anything. I guess compared to Bossman, any OF prospect looks good.

    Like

  359. 365 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    OK… after some more poking around, I feel a little better. Quintana is only 20 and just a couple of years removed from High School. He was a 3rd round pick, so the kid has talent, just needs some development. KWren was an 8th round pick out of college and much further along in his development, with his primary talent being his speed which really doesn’t need “developing”. He projects as a 4th OF at best, and those are relatively plentiful.

    Like

  360. 366 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    V, I’m with you! If you can’t keep the ERA below 6 in A ball…who knows, perhaps some scout sees the stuff, and that if someone taught him a slider/cutter/change, he can at least be a decent reliever….well, looking him up, 5.70 in A ball, so to be fair, that is below 6, isn’t it? 😉
    And it does look like he has been a starter….so, put him in the bullpen, he gains a few MPH…we shall see…just seems like Wren could at least be a 4th outfielder, all the way to a leadoff guy

    Like

  361. 367 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Last thing I’ll offer on Quintana. He features a 91-93 mph fastball and hard curveball, but has struggled with control, as is evident by his high BB numbers. I suppose being only 20, there is still plenty of time to get his control under, er… control.

    Liked by 1 person

  362. 368 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Crimenity! 😯

    Like

  363. 369 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Staggering perspective.

    Like

  364. 370 Vox O'Raison November 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    And how about this… the Braves new home in 2017, SunTrust Park, is estimated to cost $672M. Does that mean Stanton is worth over half a MLB stadium?

    Like

  365. 371 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    On the one hand, I know that a player wants to be paid as much as possible, and in theory, nothing is wrong with that. But, in practice, players often end up putting too much pressure on themselves trying to live up to it, fans start to dislike you…not that A-Rod was a likeable sort, but look at the numbers he put up..I know, not good in the playoffs. Well, a lot of highly paid folks aren’t any good come playoff time…but, enough about 90% of the braves roster 😛 That’s not true. The pitchers showed up. 75%
    I know there is some opt out option, good for him….cuz, the Marlins are Lucy with a football. Not a matter of if, but when….

    Like

  366. 372 berigan2electricboogaloo November 14, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    672 Mil, sounds like a lot. Cuz it is….how about this?
    New Atlanta Stadium
    News reports state that the stadium will likely open in time for the 2017 NFL season. The total cost is estimated to be as high as $1.2 billion.
    So, why is a stadium that will host 8 games a year(I know, some other minor games no doubt too) cost twice what a stadium that will host 81 games a year? Of course, that 672 Mil could be wishful thinking. 🙄

    Like

  367. 373 Gil in Mechanicsville November 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Lots of things to comment on, first Kyle Wren. Who didn’t see that one coming? Really….. Kyle is a nice kid but really about the same level as Shurholtz son. I hope he gets a chance with the Brewers at some point.

    The Braves got another project. That’s okay but 91-92 and control problems has torn rotator cuff written all over it… Just saying….. Likely the Braves could have gotten the same kid for Melvin if they had thrown in the $17 million per year he has the Braves on the hook for.

    Good for Stanton, seams like a lot of money but it’s about time Miami got off some of that cash flowing to them from the Yankees in the form of luxury tax. Besides, the Dodgers will pick up some of that when he is traded. Don’t be surprised to learn that a lot of hid contract is back loaded. Loria has a history of doing that.

    Racist alert!!!!! The City of Atlanta is a black run city, baseball is a white man’s sport. No surprise to see money throw at the NBA and NFL and not MLB… Just the naked truth folks…..

    One thing for sure, the one guy who can hit a baseball just as far as Stanton will be making just over league minimum next season wearing a Brave uni patrolling the left field line. The Braves will make that back in El Orso Blanco jersey sales. Again, just saying….

    What people have to understand is all the money being thrown at players is because agents wised up to all the cash being ponied up by television. if I could hit a baseball 500 feet, I would be looking for million dollar paydays too, as it is, I’m pretty happy to be able to put on my own socks, not that it is all that easy but still…..

    So, as the two Johns try to rebuild a team that either over achieve in 2013 or under achieve in 2014 without anyone really knowing what they are doing, well, good luck with that.. The real reason the Braves don’t have a loaded minor leagues is because all their talent is playing in the show….

    Like

  368. 374 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Wow….amazed the Cubs were so quick to give up on him, good for the bravos! (no so sure about the international budget thingy, seems to me the braves should be trying to get more Cuban players)
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/11/cubs-acquire-tommy-la-stella.html

    The Cubs have announced they have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The two teams also traded 2014-15 international bonus slots: the Cubs receiving the Braves’ number four slot ($142K) in exchange for Chicago’s second ($458K), third ($309.3K), and fourth ($206.7K) slots (figures courtesy of Baseball America’s Ben Badler). The Braves will net $832K in the swap of bonus slots.

    Like

  369. 375 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Gee Gil…as young as a few braves players are, they have been up for years. JHey has 5 years under his belt…. FF 4+ years. Simmons almost 3 years. Gattis seems to fit the dumb luck category, rather than astute drafting of talent. Plus he’s 28. Seems like Christian Bethancourt is the only real full time player to come along in 3 years. And he won’t be a full timer til next year of course.
    Not every team can draft like the Cards, but not only were 6 of the 8 regulars home grown (as would have been Oscar Taveras) so is 4/5ths of their rotation(IF we count Wainwright , like we counted Smoltz as home grown) They also have 2-3 other home grown starters that have trouble finding a way into the rotation(or being injured part of the year)

    Like

  370. 376 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Even after the death of Oscar Taveras (Seems he was drunk, so stupidity cost him and his Fiancee their lives, damn shame) the Cards have two good young outfielders…I was just thinking of the one I can’t ever think of the name of… Randal Grichuk (need to think of bobby Grich) if the braves make a trade with the Cards. He caught my attention when I saw he hits the ball about as hard as anyone(it was some stat on espn during a game last season, 120+ MPH I believe) and just saw a link on mlbtr talking about a possible trade of JHey to the Cards(Don’t think they could get him as cheaply as the blogger guesses)
    http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/the-case-for-jason-heyward

    Like

  371. 377 berigan2electricboogaloo November 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    hmmm,, naturally, I lost the other article I just read, so…here’s another one on the top prospect in the Cards organization….
    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140818&content_id=90212362&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb

    Like

  372. 378 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 7:56 am

    So… TLS for Arodys Vizcaino. I like it! Arodys always seemed to have the best “stuff” of the minor league “Big 3” of Vizcaino, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. And according to Bowman, scouts say he is back to throwing 96-98 with that big curve he had when he was here.

    The talking heads all speculate he’s here for the 7th/8th inning, and I think that would be great. He has late inning electricity and would be an awesome bridge to Kimbrel.

    As to the international pool slots that were swapped, that was a pretty savvy way of being able to flesh out some of the minor league teams with some young Caribbean and South American talent. Doesn’t appear as if they’ll jump into the race for any of the top Cuban names, but you never know. At the very least they have greater flexibility in the international market now.

    I think it was a nice move for the team to address multiple needs with a fairly average Major League guy that didn’t factor into the future plans anyway.

    It probably also points to a 1 year signing of a place holder for Jose Peraza. I just can’t see the team going into 2015 with 2 utility guys sharing starting 2B duties. Especially when Ramiro Pena is likely to be paid about $1M in his first year of arb eligibility. Pena is a decent player, but not an everyday guy. His 2014 was a down year for him, but even at that I don’t believe his ceiling is going to ever be any more than just what he’s been thus far, and we have Phil Gosselin doing the same thing for half the salary. Just do the math. I guarantee that Coppy has.

    Hmmm… will the Braves look at an older vet on the downside with a 1-year deal, or will they look to trade for a guy with just 1 year left on his deal? Or maybe just look for a good FA signing of a mid-level guy that would be tradeable at the deadline or offseason, whenever Peraza is ready to take his place.

    Let’s go poke around and see who we can see, eh?

    Like

  373. 379 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Could the lefty hitting Kelly Johnson come home for a year?

    Like

  374. 380 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Could Kelly Johnson finally learn to play 2nd base? 😛 As Steve Allen used to say, all seriousness aside, not a bad thought….and if KJ was hitting .180 in Mid May, no reason not to bring the kid up

    Like

  375. 381 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

    The radio talking heads are reporting that the Int’l Signing Pool slots the Braves received in the TLS deal will allow JH to sign up to an add’l 10 int’l players to help flesh out the depleted minor league teams. It would appear that those slots are as important to the deal as Vizcaino is. If all this is accurate, it was a great deal for the Braves.

    Odd for the Cubs, if you ask me though. They have 3-4 top middle IF prospects close to breaking through to the bigs. Why pick up TLS?

    Like

  376. 382 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Holy Smokes!!!

    Like

  377. 383 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Shelby Miller:

    24 year old RHSP. He features 3 pitches: fastball, curve, changeup. He throws fastball & curve 98% of the time. His fastball sits at about 94 mph. He is a quality young starter.

    2013 (rookie): 15-9, 3.06 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
    2014: 10-9, 3.74 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9

    Like

  378. 384 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Tyrell Jenkins is a 22 year old kid in the minors who has had a few shoulder injuries, but projects with a high ceiling. He just wrapped up a healthy AFL stint with 2.22 ERA and 28 K’s in 24 1/3 innings (6 starts). 95 mph fastball with movement and a change. He’s completely healthy now and working on a hard curve.

    Like

  379. 385 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Holy Smokes indeed!!!! Didn’t the braves see my post above though? Shouldn’t they have tried to get another umm…outfielder????
    Like I said, Cards still have a ton of outfielders, shoot, shouldn’t Allen Craig at least come back??
    No doubt, Shelby Miller is a very good , very young pitcher….but gotta have some bats. Who is going to play RF, J Up?

    Like

  380. 386 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    My initial reaction is simple. We picked up a quality young, controllable pitcher and a pretty good pitching prospect for an underachieving star that in all likelihood would have walked in FA after next season anyway and a late reliever that can’t stay on the field.

    It’s really a pretty good deal for both teams. The Cards are still pitching rich, but needed offense. The Braves were missing 2/5 of their starting rotation. I think Miller is a tick below Teheran, and a tick ahead of Minor. Probably about on a line with Wood. It certainly helps the rotation picking up a guy that is a #3 at worst. And he’s still young, y’all. Think about how young our new top 4 are, but still seasoned.

    I hate losing JHey, but I get it. We all saw the writing on the wall. The real question now is if Justin goes or stays. And if he stays, for how long?

    Like

  381. 387 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    One other consideration: Jason was due to be paid $7.8M in 2015. Miller doesn’t hit his 1st year of arb eligibility until 2016 and will make <$1M next year. That will give the Braves an additional $7M in the budget to play with.

    Like

  382. 388 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    DOB: The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder has compiled a 26-18 (.591) record with a 3.33 ERA in 69 career Major League outings (63 starts) and 370 innings pitched. He has started 31 games in each of his first two full seasons.

    Y’all, like losing JHey or not, Shelby Miller was a great pickup for the Braves.

    Like

  383. 389 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Projected 2015 rotation:

    1- Julio Teheran, RH (23 years old, signed through 2019 w/ team option for 2020)
    2- Shelby Miller, RH (24 yo, under team control until 2019)
    3- Alex Wood, LH (23 yo, under team control until 2020)
    4- Mike Minor, LH (26 yo, under team control until 2018)
    5- ?

    Folks, that is pitching stability for the foreseeable future.

    Like

  384. 390 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Again, really like Shelby Miller, perfect fit. He throws harder than any other starter we have. you HAVE to have a hard thrower, if you ever want to get past the first round. Who would you want in a game 7, 300+ game winner Tom Glavine, 350+ game winner Greg Maddux, or John Smoltz?
    I just think they should have found some way to get another bat back, instead of a minor league pitcher.
    We know J Up isn’t all that and a bag of chips as a LF’er, but he did come up as a RF’er. But, Gattis, BJ and J Up, is not a good outfield.
    And it appears that they will try once again, for a 3rd year hope they can get something, anything out of BJ, cuz money…
    Now, they may very well trade J Up, so seeing what is going on on the 17th, clearly isn’t a…clear picture. Man, I can weave a tapestry with words 😛
    But, V, can’t go with Dexter Fowler in a trade now, if they want to stick us with BJ, can they? I liked that potential move…..Boy BJ sure makes other moves difficult…in case use guys didn’t know….

    Like

  385. 391 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Now… it certainly leaves a hole in RF. Obviously the initial projection says Justin moves to RF and Gattis steps right into LF. But the OF defense just took a big step backward.

    To be honest, the offense didn’t really lose a ton. Jason has underperformed at the plate since his rookie season. ESPN’s take is “The 25-year-old outfielder never lived up to expectations after a brilliant rookie season.” He’s been relatively disappointing at the plate only hitting .262 for his career and hitting 20 or more HR only once, including just 11 last season.

    Hopefully for him, his new environment will provide a nice kickstart for him… except against the Braves.

    Like

  386. 392 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Another interesting DOB stat:

    [Shelby] Miller is 6‐0 with a 2.14 ERA in 10 September starts, including a 1.48 ERA in five September starts in 2014.

    Ha… you know Fredi is thankful to see THAT.

    Liked by 1 person

  387. 393 berigan2electricboogaloo November 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Walden is Projected to earn $3MM in 2015, so there is that savings too.

    Like

  388. 394 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Walden is Projected to earn $3MM in 2015, so there is that savings too.

    Great point. And with all the bonuses JHey earned in 2014, his actual 2015 salary bumped to about $8.3M, if I understand correctly. So the Braves have now freed up around $10.5M. Given that they will also see a $13.25M salary relief following 2015 (Dan Uggla), could they look to extend JUp?

    Nah… still can’t see it. I think there is yet another shoe to drop. And it won’t be Bossman’s.

    Like

  389. 395 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Like

  390. 396 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    ESPN’s Keith Law and Buster Olney both call this one a win/win. I agree, not that my opinion matters much. 😀

    Like

  391. 397 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Like

  392. 398 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Like

  393. 399 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Upon further reflection, the Braves have now said sayonara to Heyward, Walden, Ervin Santana, Gavin Floyd, Ryan Doumit and Aaron Harang. If my math is correct, that’s a bit north of $30M in salary commitment removed from last year’s total.

    Liked by 1 person

  394. 401 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    And further news, Hank Arron has been relieved of his belt and shoe laces with the departure of J-Hey…

    Not sure Freddie Free is all that thrilled either but it’s a business, after all…

    Braves needed pitching and I think we all knew either Justin or Jason was gone, sadly, Melvin is still here.

    Will need a lefty bat to replace J-Hey…. Of course, J-Hey’s bat needed some replacement too. If the new hitting coach can cure Melvin’s yips, I’ll vote for him as most valuable person for the Braves.

    Still, the Braves need an outfielder, does Terdo get a shot? Pina? Lord knows we count count on Melvin. On the bright side, maybe Evan runs over him and forces him to retire and the Braves can collect his insurance….

    Liked by 1 person

  395. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Him being BJ….

    Like

  396. 403 Gil in Mechanicsville November 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I think we predicted LaStella’s leaving some time ago. Surprised the Cubs went for it but maybe they need minor league depth…. LOL….

    Okay, back to the line up….. I hardly know where to begin, the two Johns are shaking and baking….

    Like

  397. 404 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Shaking and baking indeed. It’s still early. I get the feeling that by the time John Hart (this is why Coppy isn’t GM yet… quite a bit of heavy lifting to be done right off the bat…) we will have 3 new OF. Seriously, I don’t think either of the Uppers will survive the purge.

    Like

  398. 406 Carolina Lady November 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Wow. Leave to get some chores done and the lid blew off! Yep. Will definitely need a scorecard next year. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  399. 407 Vox O'Raison November 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Michael Saunders and Taijuan Walker ought to do it…

    Like

  400. 408 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Funny to hear people bemoaning the fact Juan Carlos will be making a ton of money… Most make three times as much and can’t hit a baseball more than 90 feet. I guess they don’t realize how tight Loria is with the purse strings to begin with. Not to worry, Mike will be shipped off to the Dodgers or Yankees soon enough….

    I’m still a little sad to see J-Hey go but that’s baseball. No longer the feudal system it once was, In order to get quality, you have to give quality. I guess the big question remains, who will emerge a the team leader? I thought Jason was making strides in that direction, who now?

    That might be the two Johns biggest acquisition this winter…and most elusive…

    Like

  401. 409 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I cannot imagine Hart moving Gattis now unless it is a Herschel Walker type deal. (NFL reference. In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel to Minnesota for some talented starters and a butt-load of draft picks that directly led to the team’s 90’s dynasty.) But with JHey now gone, Gattis is the true remaining fan darling. There might be revolt if he were traded now. But I do believe that both Uptons are gone. I have nothing tangible to base it on, but just from things I’ve read and heard, I just get that feeling. I think Hart is intent on overhauling the entire OF.

    Like

  402. 410 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Interesting…

    Like

  403. 411 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

    ESPN’s Keith Law:

    Braves president of baseball operations John Hart, inherited little Major League pitching depth and an even thinner farm but improved both with this deal. [Shelby] Miller, who Atlanta controls for four seasons, is a mid-rotation starter at worst with the upside to become a strong No. 2 arm thanks to his delivery and improved approach to attacking hitters. Tyrell Jenkins becomes Atlanta’s best pitching prospect and looked to be fully recovered from his shoulder troubles. [Law] saw him in the Arizona Fall League last month.

    According to team insiders, Jenkins will begin 2015 at AA and could move up quickly. He’s probably a year or so away, but could move more quickly if he’s 100% healthy. According to John Hart, his shoulder ailment was the same issue that young Shea Simmons suffered last year. Simmons is fully recovered and will be 100% in camp with no limitations. In Jenkins case, the problem was discovered to be the result of too long a stride in his delivery which limited his hip rotation, which placed more strain on his shoulder. Even without the rotation, he was throwing 90+mph. Now he has shortened his stride and is getting full rotation in his delivery and is throwing “easy gas” on the heater. It has helped his secondary pitches as well.

    This is a kid to keep your eyes on. If Law placed him as a better prospect than Lucas Sims, that’s saying something.

    Like

  404. 412 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Y’all… it was kinda quiet for a few days, but the news cycle has intensified immensely. This is fun! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  405. 413 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Interesting that the Braves are meeting with Lester after proclaiming they would not be in the mix for any of the top tier pitchers. There were many dynamics involved in yesterday’s deal (and likely in those still to come). The obvious, of course, was the acquisition of a top starter, but secondarily was the acquisition of a very good starting pitching prospect. And the latest revelation (which we immediately point out yesterday) is the freeing of an additional $11M in salary flexibility. They were already budgeting $5m-$8M annually, so that kicks that number closer to the $20M that Lester is likely to command. And as our local beat writer has pointed out today, Lester makes his off-season home in the ATL area. For a guy who has already cashed in once, and is now about to get the final security deal, he might take a little less to be at home with his family year round. And if they could agree on a backloaded deal that escalates after 2017 arrives, and after a couple of albatross contracts are off the books, it might actually be more realistic than most folks want to imagine.

    And speaking of imagining, can you imagine a rotation of Lester, Teheran, Miller, Wood and Minor? Wow!

    And if you could get that kind of rotation in place, it’d make getting the offense together a little easier.

    Like

  406. 414 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    One step at a time, boys and girls… one step at a time. It’s still early. There’s still a big pile of wood next to the ol’ hot stove. There is a long winter ahead.

    Like

  407. 415 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Key upcoming dated to keep in mind:

    Dec. 2 — Last day for teams to tender 2015 contracts to unsigned players. This is when they will have to make final decisions on guys like Medlen and Beachy… and likely Jonny Venters. Another guy is David Carpenter, who could get shipped off in trade ala Jordan Walden before this date.

    Dec. 8-11 — Winter Meetings, San Diego

    Like

  408. 416 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Key upcoming dated to keep in mind

    Key upcoming dates to keep in mind:

    Like

  409. 417 Carolina Lady November 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Q: Who is the last Braves outfielder to hit 30 or more home runs in a season?

    A: Andruw Jones hit 41 in 2006

    Liked by 2 people

  410. 418 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    How about this… in 2006, 11 MLB players hit 40 or more HR’s.

    Q: How many in 2014?

    Liked by 1 person

  411. 419 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    A; 1. Nelson Cruz hit exactly 40.

    Liked by 1 person

  412. 420 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    In fact, in 2006, 34 players hit 30 or more HR’s. In 2014? Only 11.

    Like

  413. 422 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Chicks may dig the long ball, but Docs not so much. Especially league Docs.

    Like

  414. 423 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    American league?

    All of MLB.

    Like

  415. 424 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Amazing what making guys play clean can do to the game. Not just steroids and HGH, but greenies as well.

    Like

  416. 425 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    CL, that’s amazing, 8 seasons, if my math is right, and it often isn’t 😉

    Gil, now Stanton will be hated now sadly, as being successful is often a bad thing these days….
    Yet, check this out from mlbtr..
    Stanton will earn just $6.5MM in 2015, $9MM in 2016 and $14.5MM in 2017 before earning $77MM total over the following three seasons. In other words, should he opt out of his deal, he’ll have received $107MM over six years (an AAV of $17.83MM) and be walking away from seven years and $218MM (an AAV of $31.14MM).

    Like

  417. 426 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    It’s a smart deal for Stanton. He gets his money, but with the deal being so backloaded, it lets the Fish still spend to build a real team around him right now… specifically extending Jose Fernandez, assuming he comes back from TJ successfully. And with the opt-out clause, he can choose to leave if the don’t. Of course, I can think of 218,000,000 reasons why I would stay even if my team wasn’t winning.

    Oh, and it also lets them aggressively pursue Adam Laroche, which they are now reportedly doing.

    Like

  418. 427 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

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  419. 428 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm

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  420. 429 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Indians fans feel about Swisher much the same as we feel about Bossman. If nothing else, maybe at least it could be an exchange of fan nemeses.

    Like

  421. 430 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Steve Adams of MLBTR sums up the Heyward/Miller trade in a great way, I think:

    The Braves got four years of a cost-controlled mid-rotation arm with the upside to be more than that, and they got a crazy athletic right-hander who was a supplemental round pick/top 100 prospect pre-shoulder surgery. Said prospect just apparently had a great AFL showing. This was for one year of Heyward and two of a good-not-great reliever. They did fine.

    Summed up nicely, I think.

    Like

  422. 431 Vox O'Raison November 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    An info source called Atlanta Braves News Now is also reporting the scheduled meeting between the Braves and Jon Lester on Thursday, but they (whomever “they” are) hear there is strong mutual interest.

    I know the offense still must be addressed, but I cannot tell you how ecstatic I would be if the Johns could pull this off. Y’all… you know I can’t resist doing one of these:

    Possible 2015 rotation:

    1- Jon Lester, LH (31 years old, bona fide stud ace, butt-load of cash)
    2- Julio Teheran, RH (23 years old, signed through 2019 w/ team option for 2020)
    3- Shelby Miller, RH (24 yo, under team control until 2019)
    4- Alex Wood, LH (23 yo, under team control until 2020)
    5- Mike Minor, LH (26 yo, under team control until 2018)

    Except… I’ll bet that if they were to provide an early Christmas for we Braves fans, Mike Minor would be on the block. Yes, that’s right… Minor. He’s a still a youngster with “iffy” upside that would bring an offensive piece back in a deal. But with Lester, Teheran, Miller and Wood at 1-4, you can afford a typical 5th starter type (grizzled vet hanging on, David Hale, etc.) as the, well… 5th starter.

    And notice that when the Braves went extension crazy last year, Minor didn’t get his. Message delivered and received.

    Minor and Bossman might get you Swisher. Is Swisher still special? If he can get Bossman out of town he is.

    Liked by 1 person

  423. 432 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    See, I told you the Fish would back load Stanton’s deal. Loria is such a jerk…. A smart jerk, but still a jerk…. As soon as the big money part kicks in, Juan will be on a plane to the west coast…

    Swisher??? Naw, no help there. May as stay with the evil we know.

    Jon Lester would be a nice addition but we still need someone who can score runs.

    Like

  424. 433 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Absolutely no reason for Hart to trade Gattis unless Bossman’s contract is included and the Braves still get some value back. Sadly, the Braves would still lose on the deal….

    Like

  425. 434 Gil in Mechanicsville November 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Anything the Braves could get for Carpenter will be a bonus. He is like found money…

    Like

  426. 435 berigan2electricboogaloo November 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    hat tip to any braves scouts, Cards released him today 😉
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=butler002kei

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  427. 436 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Swisher??? Naw, no help there. May as stay with the evil we know.

    What? Did Gil just say he prefers to keep Bossman? 😉

    Jon Lester would be a nice addition but we still need someone who can score runs.

    It is still very early in the winter… in fact, the action has begun much earlier than in most years. Still 3 weeks until the Winter Meetings; 3 months to Spring Training.

    Absolutely no reason for Hart to trade Gattis unless Bossman’s contract is included and the Braves still get some value back.

    I can’t see Gattis being traded unless teams are willing to blow us away with an offer, and I am sure relieving some of the Bossman albatross is a factor there. It is only prudent to keep that possibility alive.

    Anything the Braves could get for Carpenter will be a bonus. He is like found money…

    Yep. Carp was actually very good except for about a 4 week stretch in which he was actually pretty bad. But the ability is there. Teams will be interested, and the Braves have better/cheaper options for the bridge to Kimbrel. Newly acquired Arodys Vizcaino will be one of them. Shea Simmons will be back as well. And don’t forget James Russell is still there. Although he could be traded too if we can find another sucker, er… GM that is looking for a LHRP (even though he doesn’t get lefties out very well).

    Funy about Russell, though. In 2013, he was a typical LHRP. Everything flipped for 2014. Maybe a full spring with Roger will fix that. Many think Roger is the best in the biz now, and it’s hard to argue that.

    Like

  428. 437 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Funy? 😳 Uh… funny.

    Like

  429. 438 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Did any of my fellow Stuffians catch Miller’s discourse with the Atlanta press yesterday? He acknowledged being excited to work with Roger (in fact, Roger had already called him) but let us in on another great revelation.

    He said that Justin Masterson taught him a sinker during the season that he began inserting into his repertoire in the 2nd half. The result? Well… judge for yourself.

    He had a .253 opponents’ AVG before the ASB, .201 after; .345 opponents’ OBP before, .259 after; 7-8 first half, 3-1 second; 4.29 ERA before; 2.92 ERA after. I’d say it was an effective pitch to go with his plus fastball and curve.

    Liked by 1 person

  430. 439 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Gordon Edes, ESPN: The Boston Red Sox made a contract offer to pitcher Jon Lester when he met with the team’s owners earlier this week, according to a major league source. The terms of the offer were not disclosed, and the source said he did not expect Lester to make a quick decision. Lester met with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

    Like

  431. 441 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm

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  432. 442 berigan2electricboogaloo November 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Only way Swisher would make some sense, would be if Gattis was traded. No way can you put Swisher and Gattis in the outfield. I do like his fire, that would be a good thing on this team. But, he has had two bad years in a row, last year being the worst.

    Like

  433. 443 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    It’s easy to get excited about the Braves upcoming conversation with Jon Lester; but in reality, is it even plausible to think they could afford to sign the guy? Granted, they have freed up a good bit of money already, and are likely to free up some more. And the nature of current deals is to backload them with the increase in TV revenues almost a given, and in the Braves case, the additional revenue streams made possible by the new park in 2017.

    But when you think of the dizzying amount of coin that Lester is likely to command – 6 years / $130M has been discussed – that is quite a commitment. John Hart sid all along he would look tho the next tier of pitchers. So what if the Braves were to look at another familiar face that is arguably the best of the next tier?

    Why not bring Ervin Santana back? His expected contract is thought to be in the area of 4 years / $56M-$60M. We paid him $14.1M last year and gave him the QO of $15.3M. Why not bring him back on a 4 year / $56M-$60M deal? The money is there, and a rotation of Santana, Teheran, Miller, Wood and Minor would be mighty stout. He has said he enjoyed being here, and he was great with the younger pitchers. I also think it would send a good message to the fans that 2015 is not a throw-away season.

    At least that’s my opinion…

    Liked by 1 person

  434. 444 berigan2electricboogaloo November 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I Just don’t see Lester signing here. Sounds like good PR, giving fans hope. Boston NEEDS him. They would have to trade half of their prospects to get Cole Hamels, who is paid what Lester will be paid, or, just pay Lester. Unless he really enjoyed not having a few dozen reporters asking him dumb questions after every single game in a small market like Oakland, or wants to be closer to home(he does have a home here, correct?) I imagine he’s back in Boston.
    Kind of guy the braves need come playoff time though. Tehren while too young to say it showed what he will do in future playoff games, was terrible in his one and only playoff game. Minor in a must win game? Shelby Miller is still super young…but at least has some experience in the post season

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  435. 445 berigan2electricboogaloo November 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  436. 446 Vox O'Raison November 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  437. 447 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Good morning! I’ve got my B&S mobile now! Woo hoo!!

    Liked by 2 people

  438. 448 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

    OK… now that I am where I can comment again…

    The DFA of Venters is not a surprise. I expect the same for Beachy as well. Pena is only a mild surprise. I really felt he’d be traded, and still think they probably attempted to do so. The problem is that he is due almost $1M in arb, and nobody wants to pay him that. So they wait for the inevitable release and go after him as FA. He’ll definitely get picked up by someone, but likely on a minor league deal at far less than $1M.

    I suppose the Braves could seek to work some kind of deal with each of Beachy and Meds at less than their respective arb costs. Medlen’s expected arb cost, in excess of $6M, is especially prohibitive. Hopefully both sides can come to an agreement on something beneficial to both sides that’ll keep Medlen in ATL. Hard to imagine him anywhere else.

    The 2 DFA’s clear enough space on the 40-man roster to protect some of the up-n-comers that would most definitely be claimed otherwise. Those added were Jose Peraza, Tyrell Jenkins, Brandon Cunniff, Yean Carlos Gil, Kyle Kubitza, Williams Perez and Mauricio Cabrera. If my math is correct, that fills all 40 spots. Any other adjustments (FA signings, Rule 5 claims, etc.) will require a complimentary move.

    Like

  439. 449 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Hopefully both sides can come to an agreement on something beneficial to both sides

    From the Department of Redundancy Dept.

    Liked by 2 people

  440. 450 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

    BTW- These roster moves were not random. Midnight tonight is the deadline for protecting players on the 40-man roster in advance of the upcoming Rule 5 draft taking place at the Winter Meetings in 3 weeks.

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  441. 451 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 11:07 am

    One more thing to take from the DFA of Pena…

    It signals that the team will probably not commit 2B full time to Phil Gosselin, either. He is now your only utility IF. It makes a move for a 2B bridge to Peraza a virtual certainty now.

    Like

  442. 452 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Roch Kubatko, MASN:

    It’s true that teams have approached the Orioles about pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who’s owed another three years and almost $39 million. And, yes, the Orioles would need to take on another big contract.

    Before any rumors develop, the Orioles aren’t interested in Braves outfielder B.J. Upton, who agreed to a five-year deal worth $75.25 million in November 2012 and has batted .184/.268/.289 and .208/.287/.333 in two seasons. He’s also totaled 324 strikeouts.

    The Braves checked with the Orioles to gauge their interest in an Upton-for-Jimenez swap, but it’s not happening.

    Leaving no stone unturned… 🙂

    Like

  443. 453 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Bowman: As I’ve written a couple times over the past couple weeks, the question is not whether the Braves will trade either Justin Upton or Gattis, the more intriguing unknown is whether they will end up dealing both.

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  444. 454 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    V, is there a wordpress app or somethin’? Any time I have tried to look at this blog on my phone, it’s super tiny text and takes beyond forever to scroll to the bottom of the page…

    Like

  445. 455 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Has any team, in recent times….traded all 3 outfielders(well 4 if they got rid of BJ and Gattis, who of course has been an outfielder, just not last year-man, we sure have an unique team, eh?) well, any team not named the Marlins?

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  446. 456 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I will be pleasantly shocked if the braves ever trade BJ for anything more than a bag of used baseballs. If the braves were to ever trade him, it should have been after 1 bad year. Teams if the braves had paid a chunk of his contract, would have taken a flyer on BJ. after two bad years though….only teams that will take a chance on him will do so after his release, or if the braves pay all but a million or two. Players that make sense for the braves, say Edwin Jackson, don’t make sense for the Cubs. Swisher would make sense if the braves needed a 1st baseman. Don’t think the Indians need an outfielder either.

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  447. 457 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    V, is there a wordpress app or somethin’?

    Sadly, no. Tiny text on the phone. But it looks pretty good on my Kindle.

    Like

  448. 458 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Has any team, in recent times….traded all 3 outfielders (well 4 if they got rid of BJ and Gattis)

    Cannot think of one. Boggles the mind…

    Like

  449. 459 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Regarding Bossman…

    You can bank on 2 of things: #1 The Braves will not just release him and eat the remainder of his deal in 2015. Simply too much money to do so. #2 No team is going to take back any of his contract on a bad contract swap. It’s a pipe dream on Braves fans’ part (myself included) to think anyone would take a guy who has been that bad for any reason. He’s been atrocious.

    I appreciate the Johns beating all the bushes, and they may get someone to take him. But it’ll have to be as a consolation in a deal that gives up a talented youngster. The Braves don’t have any of those to spare, so I just can’t see it happening. And either way, the club would still have to pony up a big chunk if not all of his salary. No different from just releasing him, which they won’t do.

    No… I fear we’re simply stuck with him for at least 2015. So if that’s the case, maybe I should grudgingly begin to pull for the guy to reverse his fortunes and stop beating him down. Maybe I should even considering typing his name again.

    I am rooting for Kevin Seitzer to make some real strides with BJ this offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  450. 460 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    And as for OF’s to fill in the empty spots, I think a deal with Seattle that sends Justin and Carp for SP Taijuan Walker and OF Michael Saunders is not unrealistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  451. 461 berigan2electricboogaloo November 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    from mlbtr….
    Yasmany Tomas Rumors: Braves In, Phillies Wary Of Overpay
    By Jeff Todd [November 20, 2014 at 2:31pm CST]

    Here’s the latest on Yasmany Tomas, the 23-year-old Cuban slugger who is among the exciting international players demanding attention:

    The Padres are still in on Tomas up to around the $70MM level, Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs hears (Twitter link).

    Earlier Updates

    The Braves are set for a private workout and should be considered part of the sweepstakes, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. As Heyman noted earlier today, Tomas has a visa and could be in attendance at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported recently that several dark horses could be in the race, and Atlanta would certainly qualify.

    Like

  452. 462 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Too many fantasy baseball GMs involved with the game now. Everyone wants to make trades based on what someone may or may not be worth for their fantasy team….

    On Gattis, he is the right handed bopper the Braves claimed they needed for ten years, He cost the Braves zilch in baseball dollars. He is better in the outfield than given credit for.

    Trade him if you have to but the Braves better get back more than a few prospects.

    Justin, well, he would allow the Braves some financial flexibility but I think he will be a better right fielder than anyone else not named Jason Heyward the Braves can come up with for the money. I fear the Braves are getting closer to the Marlins in the terms of payroll than they are the Nationals. You cannot keep poor mouthing and have professionals want to come play for you… Get off the money and get the players you need to be a force, not just be one of the field horses in the race.

    I can find something better to do than watch a team go thru the motions.

    As for Melvin, he is who he is, a good butt whooping would help but it is not going to happen. We can hope but to be honest, if the Braves’ new hitting coach can get Melvin turned around, he will deserve a spot in Cooperstown.

    Liked by 1 person

  453. 463 Gil in Mechanicsville November 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    All that money for Cuban rookies, I am not sure I am willing to spend Liberty’s money on another maybe…. Just saying….

    Like

  454. 464 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I think they are just doing due diligence on the Cuban in much the same way they did their due diligence on Lester. Nothing will come of either.

    They won’t and can’t make real offers to FA’s until they know what they have to spend. JUp’s status has a big $14.5M impact on that budget.

    $120M is a pretty decent budget until you consider that $13M is going to one guy playing for someone else, and another $17M is going to another guy you wish was playing for someone else.

    I still believe they are looking to fill the last starter’s spot by trading Justin. Once they have the rotation fleshed out, they’ll address the lineup deficiencies. And I still get the idea that Seattle OF Michael Saunders is going to be a part of that equation. I imagine the sticking point for Seattle is the pitcher they send us also. And since Justin only has one year left on his deal, they may want ATL to sweeten the deal a little. Many moving parts.

    But that’s just my opinion, for what it’s worth…

    Liked by 1 person

  455. 465 Vox O'Raison November 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Would Justin Upton and Mike Minor for Taijuan Walker and Michael Saunders be too hefty a price for ATL? I don’t think so. It doesn’t add another pitcher to the rotation, but it sure does upgrade what you have. Walker is a fantastic young pitcher with more room to improve… a high ceiling kid. Minor has reached his ceiling. It also frees up another $5M that Minor is probably gonna get. The you can go fishing in the FA market for someone like Justin Masterson, who was a big asset to Shelby Miller in St. Louis after coming over from Cleveland at the deadline. He’d be a good 5th starter. And Saunders is not the power threat that Justin is, but neither is he a high strikeout guy. He’s a gap to gap contact guy who will hit alot of doubles and occasionally poke one over the fence. But he’ll make contact and get on base. He’s also a better than average defender that can play all 3 OF positions. Did I mention… he hits LH, which is something our lineup lacks severely.

    Liked by 1 person

  456. 466 Carolina Lady November 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Raisins, sounds as if he would make a great addition to the team. I get so tired of them sitting back waiting for a 6-run homer. If they’d just get on base, move ’em over, then bring them IN, for sure they’d have a lot more wins. INHO, bunting should be mandatory training and practice BEFORE the season begins. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone be able to reliably execute a bunt since Greg Maddux left.

    Liked by 2 people

  457. 467 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    CL, the Braves have been great at getting folks on base, it’s the getting them over part that’s maddening. Opposing pitchers had so many holes in the Braves’ line up to look forward to, they never needed to pitch to Fredi Free or J-Up, they would throw stuff outside the zone and let them have their walks because they knew Melvin was lurking and Chris Johnson thought he was supposed to hit homers instead of doing what he did in his fist season with the Braves. Making contact and spraying the field.

    I get it, ball players know that chicks dig the long ball but those should be on mistake pitches, not going to happen on sliders breaking off the plate.

    Tip your cap to the good starters in the league, and their are a bunch of them. Speed will get you runs only if you can get on base. Right now, the Braves have only three players that opposing pitchers don’t want to face, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Fredi Freeman. That’s it… That leaves 6 other players they can pitch to…. They can walk the bases loaded and the Braves still won’t score. Evan is still learning, Justin is streakier than the Flash and Fredi keeps losing friends off the team faster than a GI on Omaha beach…. It affects a young player to the point he becomes a recluse….

    Like

  458. 468 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com:

    The Braves and Padres have emerged as the frontrunners in the [Cuban outfielder Yasmany] Tomas’ sweepstakes and top officials from both clubs are expected to meet with him this weekend in the Dominican Republic, according to industry sources.

    Uh… what what? 😯

    Like

  459. 469 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Yasmany Tomas profile, courtesy of MLBTR:

    Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game. Only 14 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013, and fewer might reach that threshold this year. Tomas has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale, wrote Baseball America’s Ben Badler in June, so he profiles as one of those rare 30+ home run bats. “He’s got a ton of power,” countryman Rusney Castillo told WEEI’s Rob Bradford through a translator this month. Tomas has produced a .290/.345/.504 throughout his career in Cuba, although those numbers include a pair of seasons in which he slugged just .385 (2009-10) when he was still a teenager.

    Though Tomas checks in at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, he’s “agile for his size,” according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez also says Tomas has a strong arm, so he fits the typical right field profile (some teams may prefer him in left, of course).

    Like

  460. 470 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

    From all indications, the money he is seeking is on a par with the salary that JUp is currently making… about $15M per season. Perhaps he is the direct plug-in for JUp, whom I fully expect to be traded.

    Gil, this appears to be a bat to fear. Perhaps there is a little fire behind the smoke after all.

    Like

  461. 471 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Heh heh..

    Like

  462. 472 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Joel Sherman, NY Post: The Braves are very much shopping Justin Upton and are requesting a higher return than they received earlier this week when they dealt their other corner outfielder, Jason Heyward.

    Seems lately Mr. Sherman has his finger on the pulse of ATL baseball as much as the locals do…

    Like

  463. 473 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    More Sherman: The only right-handed hitter who had more homers than Upton in the National League was Giancarlo Stanton (37), who just signed a 13-year, $325 million contract.

    … the interest in Upton is described by a person familiar with the talks as significant — the Astros, Rangers and others have inquired — and an executive from another team flatly said, “Justin Upton will be moved.”

    Like

  464. 474 Vox O'Raison November 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Steve Adams, MLBTR: If the Braves are to move Upton, their connection to Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas makes more sense. Dealing Upton for pitching prospects and replacing him with Tomas could afford the Braves comparable right-handed power that they will control for a much longer term. Tomas would, in theory, pair with Evan Gattis on the outfield corners to give the Braves a pair of powerful right-handed bats with which they could surround Freddie Freeman in the long term. As of this morning, Atlanta is said to be one of the front-runners for Tomas.

    Liked by 2 people

  465. 475 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Yes, and if Dexter Fowler were one of those pieces the Braves received for Justin, they would have a centerfielder who could be bookended by some big bats, Of course, if Seizter pulled off a miracle and got rid of Melvin’s hitch and has him hitting around .270, all sorts of suitors will appear on the Braves’ doorstep this spring.

    Of course there is always the old negative reinforcement ploy. Every-time Melvin strikes out, He would have to do extra wind sprints in the outfield between innings…..

    Liked by 1 person

  466. 476 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Sorry, but after watching Puig’s antics and seeing the human head case, Yunel Ecobar while at Atlanta, I am a tad bit leery of can’t miss Cuban superstars….

    Liked by 1 person

  467. 477 Gil in Mechanicsville November 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    VOX, you do know if Justin Upton is traded, Hank Arron will bemoan the lack of black players on the team. Remember, he does not count black Latinos as black…

    Like

  468. 478 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I was going to say, Terence Moore would have a hissy fit ….didn’t see his name at the AJC. Didn’t know he took a buyout in 2009.

    Liked by 1 person

  469. 479 Carolina Lady November 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Wasn’t there a song back in the 60s that said “Black is black..”? That’s all I remember about it.

    Like

  470. 480 Carolina Lady November 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Yep. That was the title of the song – 1967 – by a group none other than the “Los Bravos”. I kid you not! (Thank you, Google!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  471. 481 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    You all like re-runs, correct? 😉 Something I posted above on the 26th of Sept
    Yoenis Céspedes, Aroldis Chapman, Jorge Soler(Cubs, 22, 5 HR’s 18 RBI’s .328 AVE in 22 games) his massive contract? On June 11, 2012, Soler reportedly agreed to a nine-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Cubs
    With all his hot doggery, would your rather see BJ or Yasiel Puig in CF???
    The one that ties into all of this 1st baseman talk…. José Abreu How would you like to have a 27 Y.O. 1st baseman(or sub par left fielder) who hit 35 HR’s, drove in 105 RBI’s and a .315 BA??? (He was also on the DL and played for awhile with a bad ankle) All the while playing in a pitcher’s park. His massive, massive contract?
    In October(2013), he signed a six-year contract with the Chicago White Sox worth $68 million…

    Like

  472. 482 berigan2electricboogaloo November 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Wow, CL, that’s amazing! I wasn’t sure if you were pulling our legs or not, but nope, that was the groups name! Had no idea they were from Spain either….

    Like

  473. 483 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Berigan, I would rather see Evan Gattis in center field than Melvin… I think that pretty much sums up the attitude of every other team in major league baseball…. Maybe if the Braves had a minor league affiliate in China, they could hide him there for three more years but alas, he is simply a huge albatross hung around the neck of Los Bravos, the team, not the music group.

    I said this two years ago, Melvin would be the Braves Jason Bay…. Only the Mets had more money to work with at the time….. I still have not figured out why the braves let Jason Marquis but at this point, Ryan Langerhans could out play BJ….

    SIGH! It is what it is but not only does Melvin fail at the plate but his fielding has been somewhat less than stellar…. A double whammy if we have ever seen one.

    Liked by 1 person

  474. 484 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Hold on to you seats! Are you holding onto them? I didn’t mean literally sillies! 😛
    Anyways, I may be getting past months (Years?) of writers block, and writing a blog lead! Can you stand it? I think after 2 months or so, it may be time for a new one. This one is getting a bit unwieldy.

    Liked by 2 people

  475. 485 Gil in Mechanicsville November 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Me thinks you are right ber,,, will try to get it done this week end..

    Like

  476. 486 berigan2electricboogaloo November 22, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Well Gil, check mine out first! Don’t want to overlap! 😉
    I get the feeling mine is a bit time sensitive as some moves will happen fairly soone.

    Liked by 1 person


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