#146: A Dim Light in the Dark

 by Vox O’Reason  –  Northeast Georgia

OK… I tried to give up and check out, because the collective displeasure across all venues about the 2015 Atlanta Braves was becoming almost overwhelming. It’s not in my nature to cater to the dark side of things. I am a “glass half full” guy, and will give the benefit of the doubt to a fault. I know it and I admit it. And I refuse to change it. You see, I am just a sinner saved by grace. A humble and grateful man that looks at things in a unique way, because I have a perspective that looks at things in a unique way. I march to the beat of the proverbial different drummer. And I’ll eagerly crank my guitar up and play loudly right along with him. I am the classic non-conformist… but for good reason. I strongly believe in that reason, and have submitted to being a voice for that reason… so to speak.

So for that reason, I have something to get off my chest. I reached a breaking point yesterday. Don’t misread or ballthruwallmisunderstand me. It’s everywhere, not just here in our little corner of Stuffville. Everywhere. Maybe because my neighbor and fellow fan has already converted all his Braves swag over to Bulldogs and Falcons… maybe because it was a Monday… maybe because everything collectively had gotten too loud for me to tune it out any more. I don’t know.

But yesterday I slipped a groove and went sideways. And in the evening as I was pushing my old lawn mower around on my overgrown yard, exerting and sweating – purging if you will – it kind of hit me. I shall not be swerved. I shall not conform. I shall not be silent. And I will explain why.

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dizzydeanThis is a flippin’ game, folks. It’s a bunch of guys in pajamas playing a game where one team tries to keep another team from hitting a little ball and running around in a big circle back to where they started so that they can go into a clubhouse and hug each other. It’s a kid’s game that grown men get to play. It’s something I did when I was a kid. And when I watch these grown men play it, it still takes me back to that time when the only thing that mattered was if we had enough guys to be able to hit to all fields, or if we had to close off Right Field. Heck, sometimes we didn’t have enough guys to even have enough baserunners. Anyone else remember “imaginary man on first”? We met at the school playground, set out our small squares of cut carpet, and started tossing the ball around to get loose. I always pulled up on my bike with my well worn glove slipped over the handle bar. Carrying my bat on my bike was a little trickier, but it could be done. Half the bats had been cracked, but we just wrapped extra tape on it to keep it together. And when that battered old bat sent that marked up baseball over the fence and into the woods, it was magic. Not Harry Potter magic. It was Ernie Johnson magic. And in my own mind, I could hear Ernie making the home run call as I circled the makeshift bases. I loved playing shortstop more than anything else, even more than hitting. I loved making the plays. I loved fielding the ball and turning quickly to gun it to first. I was Jerry Royster. I just knew that one day I’d be pickin’ them at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. I just knew it. The closest thing we ever had to a fight was if the runner was safe at home or not. And we even managed to work that out without too much difficulty every time. Those were truly the golden days. I miss them. They are long gone.

Now instead of fighting over being safe or out, I have to fight to keep my clients happy or my business will fold. You see, the next vendor for them is just a simple turn of the Rolodex away. I‘m expendable. My ability to keep my creditors off my heels is at the whim and pleasure of someone else. There’s a lot of pressure in that. I have a family that depends on me. This is my adult reality. It’s a very real everyday fight. And the clients hold all the cards. All the cards… and they know it. I have to fight this fight. No choice. It ain’t easy.

My wife teaches in a broken public education system where “No Child Left Behind” means no child gets ahead. They are overcrowded and underfunded. It’s run by bureaucrats that couldn’t teach a fish to swim. The system has given all the power to the kids and stripped the teachers of any authority. The students won’t learn and their parents don’t care, if they’re even in the picture at all. Most of today’s kids are savvy enough to realize that the schools cannot afford to hold them back and must push them along, like cattle in a herd. These kids truly have checked out and don’t care. Yet the teachers’ very livelihood depends on whether or not these kids can perform on standardized testing. It’s no wonder that quality college students are fleeing from education in unprecedented numbers. Where will the next generation of real teachers come from? It ain’t easy.

My oldest kid is trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to do in a world that increasingly punishes accomplishments and rewards apathy. It encourages entitlement and quenches ambition. Most public universities will openly seek to change every moral convention under which he has been raised. And they are proud to do it. He has to hold strong to his convictions and try to navigate in hostile waters. It ain’t easy.

My youngest lives in a world of intense and extreme peer pressure that demands conformity into a socio-group that has no moral compass. If you don’t belong to the right cliques, you are shunned and cast in any number of negative stereotypes. Self-esteem is promoted as more important than discipline and respect, yet the kids themselves do more damage to their own peers’ self-esteem than any educator or administrator ever could. I cannot imagine the pressures that she lives under on a daily basis. And we parents have to walk a balancing act to demand discipline and respect without adding additional pressures. And often we fail because the cards are stacked against us. It ain’t easy.

This next generation of voters and leaders stands and cheers loudly as Kanye West announces, in broken English, at the MTV Music Awards that he is running for president in 2020. These same current voters are giving presidential candidateduh and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders more tread than any American should ever have to imagine. In South Carolina, some character named Deez Nuts is getting 9% of the votes in early polls. This is reality. We’ve reached the tipping point where those who can take have crossed the 50% barrier to those who produce. They know it and are doing everything inside – and outside – the law to keep it that way. And the current “leadership” supports it. It’s crazy.

This “leader” can shape and change this great nation into his own globally submissive vision with “a pen and a phone” and we the sheeple stand by powerless to stop him. Remember when his spokesperson said at his first coronation, er… I mean swearing into office that they were “ready to rule” right away? That wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was deadly accurate. It’s insanity.

Immoral and evil men can shoot and assassinate innocent sworn officers of the law, and our “leader” remains silent. But our defenders under the rule of law can exercise their lawful authority over law breakers, and our “leader” makes a public statement that empowers radicals to create public uprisings and riots and that encourages more killings of innocent people. And that is supposed to be model “leadership”. It’s worse than insanity; it’s evil.

People are now allowed to “choose” their gender. A man in a dress changes his name and is considered a hero, worthy of Bruce-min1awards and accolades. A prominent American university has announced that the pronouns “he” and “she” are being replaced on their campus because they are considered offensive. Meanwhile, a public school in this very country of ours has taken the labels off their restrooms so as not to force children to have to make that gender choice. And if you dare speak out against it, you are considered to be “hating”, publically vilified, and subject to losing everything you’ve ever worked for. It’s darkness overtaking the light.

Here in the US, a country founded on Christian principals no matter how the “leadership” tries to rewrite history, my fellow believers in Christ and I are losing our rights to practice our faith more and more each day as darkness tries to silence us completely. In the Middle East, they are practicing an open and public jihad to exterminate us. Yet our “leadership’ makes a deal to give them nuclear capability and the funding to accomplish it. All the while, most of America is being indoctrinated to think that Christians are a hate group with the liberal media fueling the fire daily. The bible says that everything will flip, that what is evil will be called good and what is good will be called evil… and it’s happening right before our very eyes. It’s real, and it’s happening all around us. I know and believe that we will be the victors. Darkness cannot prevail as long as light exists, no matter how dim the light gets. But the fight is difficult and bears its own collateral damage. It’s here and it’s real.

So I come back to baseball, and to my team the Atlanta Braves because it is like a warm blanket on a long, cold night. It’s the Baseball_frogone thing I can sink into and temporarily escape this insane and evil world. To me, it just simply takes me back to being a kid, picking teams, lining up and stepping into the batter’s box, where the biggest thing I had to worry about was who was pitching. After all, it’s still just a kid’s game, even if it is adults playing it. It might not be Jerry Royster making the plays anymore, but Andrelton Simmons is just as good. Better, even.

Does it really matter that the Braves got drubbed by the Bronx Bombers in their own home park? Is it really all that serious that half our players, and most of our bullpen, wouldn’t make the 25-man roster in some cities? Does it really have a major impact on our daily grind that Shelby Miller hasn’t won a game in over 100 days? To me is doesn’t. To me, it really doesn’t mean a tiny sliver of a thing in the overall scheme of today’s reality. They can get beat 20-6 and still come back to the park for the next night’s Bulova Time of First Pitch. The only thing that has changed are the numbers in the standings. Maybe a bullpen arm or two. The world still turns.

Skip3On the day that the great Skip Caray passed away, one of the Mets broadcasters noted that during an extended losing streak back in the mid-80’s when the team was annually awful, that Skip once introduced the team at the start of a broadcast with: “Like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves take the field”. Skip never took the game too seriously, never lost his sense of humor, and never lost his perspective. Neither will I.

My team has warts… big’uns too. And I still love them. Hey, let’s play two!!

ump

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773 Responses to “#146: A Dim Light in the Dark”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady September 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Just terrific, V! Thanks a million for sharing it with us – and for being an outstanding human being!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville September 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    A great opine VOX, you said it better than I ever could. A tip of the cap sir….

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 3 JoAnn Brooks Elliott September 1, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Can’t begin to say how this has touch my heart and soul. God Bless you. I am sitting here in tears, Thank you for putting our world back in order. It is a game, and it’s a way to escape. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 4 berigan2electricboogaloo September 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Gil stole my line V! I will change it slightly to some excellent opining there! From the heart, from the soul…and it shows! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 5 chrisklob September 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Excellent work Raisins and some very salient points as well. The world is completely upside down. Left is right. Up is down. It’s absolutely sickening to me. Just wish the Braves were having a competitive year. It’s a lot more fun to watch them when they are

    Liked by 3 people

  6. 7 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Thanks y’all. i don’t often bare all. But there ya go. Those days back at the old school playground are some of the very fondest memories I hold. And I do hold onto them very tightly. I don’t share with with many, so know that y’all are special.

    Like

  7. 8 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 7:59 am

    So Folty, who missed his last start with the mythical flu like symptoms, has been placed on the 15-day DL with costochondritis, which is inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. That makes it a little difficult to pitch. Thus, the Braves have brought back Williams Perez out of sheer necessity. The Marlins mantra tonight will be “hit ’em high and watch ’em fly”. Hopefully the wind will be blowing in tonight.

    Young pitching is great to have. But even a talented young pitching staff is going to struggle because they are still learning at the highest level. That’s why we needed that veteran presence in there somewhere. That’s what Eric Stults was supposed to be. It’s what Trevor Cahill was supposed to be. Alas, none of them worked out, and we went with a collection of toddlers.

    Even the most talented young staff needs a veteran presence. He’s the rudder. Just look north to Flushing and the Mets. They have arguably the best young rotation in the game, with 73 year old Bartolo “Methuselah” Colon stuck right in the middle. Want another example? How about the 191 Atlanta braves? You don’t get much more talented than future HOF Tom Glavine (age 25, 20 wins), future HOF John Smoltz (age 24, 14 wins), Steve Avery (age 21, 18 wins) and Pete Smith (age 25). But they also had Charlie Leibrandt (age 34, 15 wins).

    And that’s what the Braves must have next season to make their rotation click. Shelby Miller and Matt Wisler are locks. Folty is certainly in the mix. Hopefully ManBan is closer to 100% physically. (Notice I didn’t mention Julio. I think the Braves will part with him over the off-season.) Even if Julio sticks, you have 4 very young and talented pitchers. You must have a veteran presence to make it work. I hope that’s high on John’s shopping list this offseason.

    Like

  8. 9 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

    So who might the Braves look to as their veteran linchpin in 2016? Well, the 2016 FA class is very thin at position players, but there are a few pitchers that are interesting. You can go ahead and take David Price off the board. We all know the Braves won’t be in on the elite names. So that knocks out Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann. It probably also knocks out Jeff Samardzija, although I’d like to think they might at least make a run at him. Guys like Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo are much more likely. Would 28-yo Mike Leake count? Sure… why not. I’d take any of those 3. Past that, you have reclamation projects like Doug Fister and Rick Porcello. Hmmm… yeah. Been there, done that. Reminds me too much of Stults and Cahill.

    Like

  9. 10 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 8:26 am

    My dream (but still realistic) rotation in 2016? Why, that’d be RH Jeff Samardzija, RH Shelby Miller, RH Matt Wisler, LH Manny Banuelos, and RH Mike Foltyblahblah.

    Like

  10. 11 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Sleeper FA pitcher to keep an eye on…

    BAL’s LH Wei-Yin Chen. This year he’s 8-7 (but as we know, W-L is a poor indicator), with a 3.36 ERA over 162 IP. Across 4 years with BAL, he’s averaged 205 IP per season and a 3.74 ERA. He’s a low profile guy who isn’t mentioned in any FA preview lists, so he might be thought to be a bargain for someone except that he’s represented by Scott Boras. In other words, he’ll probably require a 5-year deal at #2 starter money. He’s more like a #3 starter who probably should not get more than 3 years, 4 at most. Still, maybe a name to remember.

    Like

  11. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville September 2, 2015 at 9:05 am

    VOX, I’m not sure the Braves will go the FA route quite yet, might use some of that young talent acquired to trade but not too much. They still need a couple of steady bats in the line up. They are not going to win without them.

    And how about the Royals? I hope Jonny is immune to chicken pox….

    Like

  12. 13 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I agree, Gill, but I think they’ll use those stockpiled arms to acquire bats, not pitching. Well, a starter anyway. Who knows how they’ll remake the woeful bullpen? I think they’ll pick up a veteran starting pitcher via FA.

    Like

  13. 14 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Can anybody ever remember hearing of a pitcher being DL’d with costochondritis? It sounds hideous, but might not be anything. In fact, I suspect it’s more tactic than anything. The Braves had no one to start today’s game. And because Williams Perez had just been optioned to AAA Gwinnett on Saturday, the only for him to be activated before Sept. 8 is if he’s taking the roster spot of a player who was placed on the DL. Rules say you can’t be recalled for 10 days. I have a feeling that Folty’s chest will be feeling alot better on Sept. 11, the day he’s eligible to return. His DL stint is retroactive to Aug. 26.

    Like

  14. 15 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Speaking of the woeful bullpen, here is a list of recovering pitchers that we have on the team, but don’t have in the bullpen this year due to injury:

    Jason Grilli. He could possibly be ready for the start of ST.

    Paco Rodriguez. The forgotten name from the LA trade. Very good LHRP that should be ready for ST.

    Chris Withrow. TJ in June 2014. On track in rehab and should be ready for ST.

    Daniel WInkler. TJ in June 2014. On track in rehab and should be ready for ST.

    Shae Simmons. TJ in Feb. 2015. On track in rehab and could be ready for ST. Might not be ready to make an impact at the ML level until mid-season.

    Those 5 pitchers alone, if healthy, could transform a bullpen. Even if we hit on only Grilli, Paco and Withrow, that’s a big difference. Grilli and Paco could make a formidable 7-8 inning setup combo leading to Viz, who has emerged as a pretty dang good closer. And Withrow could find himself in the setup mix as well, being a former closer.

    Like

  15. 16 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Gil, does Mike Minor count as a veteran starter? Braves have indicated that they could bring him back in 2016. Maybe he’s the veteran #3 or #4 guy in the rotation next year. As much as I’d like to think we could get a horse that’ll provide 200 IP, Minor could still be a good option. One can only wonder what he’s capable of if he could have a full healthy season.

    Like

  16. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo September 2, 2015 at 10:47 am

    V, you mentioned Doug Fister….from 2011 to 2014, he didn’t have an era north of 3.67, and that was mostly in the A.L. 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 2014….could McDowell fix him? I don’t honestly know if he has lost speed off his fastball or not…I think unlike Cahill or Stultz, at least he has a more recent history of being an excellent starter…

    I got a trade name no one will like hearing, but might bring in a bat or two.
    Shelby Miller…. 😯

    Would you at least entertain trading him to say the Cubbies for one of their many young bats???

    Like

  17. 18 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Would you at least entertain trading him [Shelby Miller] to say the Cubbies for one of their many young bats???

    Not unless you can bring back 2, including Kris Bryant. In other words, I wouldn’t trade Shelby Miller unless it brought back a truly unreasonable return. Maybe for Bryce Harper. 😉

    Like

  18. 19 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    BER!!!!!!

    Early game today, folks. Starting now…

    Like

  19. 20 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Congrats Hector on your first MLB hit, and 2 RBI to go with it. 😀

    Like

  20. 21 Vox O'Reason September 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    And just like that, the Braves inch ever closer to a better draft pick. (See, it’s all in the wording.)

    Like

  21. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville September 2, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Did not realize there was an early game today, Miss Josie;s senior bowling league began this afternoon. One thing about seniors…. most all are baseball fans… Consensus is Matt Williams has seen his final season in DC. That and they have no middle relief… As in, can’t hold a lead….

    Well, we knew the Braves would struggle….

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville September 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Ber, I have been wondering if Simba might bring back a king’s ransom?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 24 Carolina Lady September 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Miss Josie is too young to be on a senior citizen’s team.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 25 Vox O'Reason September 3, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Ber, I have been wondering if Simba might bring back a king’s ransom?</>

    Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!!!!! 😯

    Like

  25. 26 Vox O'Reason September 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

    One of the first names I remember from being a very young Braves fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 27 berigan2electricboogaloo September 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Gil, I think Simmons would, but…I think at this point, there has to be the 2 faces left for the fans to relate to. Plus, if it was just F.F. that is just too much pressure on 1 guy to be one guy people know…

    Like

  27. 28 berigan2electricboogaloo September 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I could have worded that better oh well…

    Like

  28. 29 Vox O'Reason September 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    No way I trade Simmons. I trade Freeman before Simmons. You gotta have the D. And speaking of that, don’t be surprised to see more of Daniel Castro at 2B. That dude can play some ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville September 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    too much pressure on 1 guy to be one guy people know… Like Dale Murphy huh?

    Don’t have a cow VOX, I felt the same way when they traded away Gattis but it is baseball and there will be very few players who will spend their careers with one club like Chipper Jones did, even though he might well have added to his legacy as well as his bank account.

    To be honest, there are quite a few players now on the Brave’s forty man roster at this point who will be household names in Braves Country five years from now. Oh well, gives Greg McMichaels a lot of folks to invite back for alumni weekend…

    Augh!!! Braves playing the gnats in DC so I will be forced to listen to the Washington announcers…. Awful, awful, awful….

    Like

  30. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville September 3, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Yep, I thought about trading Freddie too… Depends on how serious you are in making over a team… Like the Cubs have done…

    Like

  31. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville September 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Going back and re-reading what I wrote two panels above, what I meant to say was there would be very few players on the current 40 man roster whom I expect to be with the club 5 years from now. I expect lots of turn over for a while.

    Like

  32. 33 chrisklob September 4, 2015 at 12:21 am

    i knew this would be a bad year. in fact, i knew it would be a really bad year to be a braves fan. i just didn’t know it would be this bad. the only hope is that hart et al are able to get some pretty good picks that might help in 3-5 years.

    one of the guys i work with is as passionate about the red sox as we all are about the braves. you may know that frank wren is being considered to be their next gm. i told him to be afraid, be very afraid. their minors are loaded right now. if he’s hired i wonder what it looks like in a year or two.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. 35 berigan2electricboogaloo September 4, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Chris, it’s so funny how this year has been. I was predicting a 90 loss season. They then went 42 and 42 to start the year! Amazing! I was eating crow, and wondering if this team could somehow get into the one game wildcard hunt…then, as the article mentioned, they have won just 12 of 50 sine that time…if they played .500 the rest of the way out, with already 80 losses, they would likely end with 94 losses….and who expects that?
    So, a 100 loss season that no one predicted….
    I was trying to find a bit of hope in the 2016 draft, and guess what? Top five picks as of today? All pitchers….sigh…where is the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper when you need him?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 36 Vox O'Reason September 4, 2015 at 8:54 am

    FrediG is pi$$ed. It’s one thing to be bad, it’s another to roll over. I’m glad to see him call these dudes out.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. 37 Vox O'Reason September 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I was trying to find a bit of hope in the 2016 draft

    Funny you say that… I too tried to take a peak at what might be available, but here’s the thing…

    It’s too early to even speculate. For one, the baseball amateur draft is unique in that is does not occur in the offseason, but in midseason. Secondly, the potential picks will play almost another entire season before it happens, so there will be a ton of movement across the radar between now and then.

    One other thing to consider is that most sources that are already looking to that draft are considering High School talent, and pitchers are the easiest to get an early eye on. Whatever offensive standouts that may break into the upper echelon likely won’t emerge until they are well into their respective seasons.

    That especially applies to college talent, who are closer to helping at the ML level anyway. Prime example is this year’s top pick Dansby Swanson, the SS out of Vanderbilt. who immediately became the D’backs #1 prospect and absolutely crushed at their High-A affiliate. Still he is projected as a 2018 arrival.

    For the Braves to show any significant improvement between 2015 and 2016 will mean that the young pitchers actually learn something this season, and that John and John can carefully swap some of the accrued arms for a bat or 3. That will be the real trick.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville September 4, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Folks, there is unattractive, there is ugly and there is butt ugly. Then there is so ugly you have to sneak up on a glass of water…. Last night was one of those, in fact, the past couple of weeks has been two bagger ugly, you know, in case one bag falls off, there is still a security bag in place so those whom might gaze upon the ugliness won’t be turned to stone.

    This team has checked out, given up and has packed their bags awaiting the final game of the season. Character is not how you handle winning, almost anyone not names Bryce Harper can handle winning. It is how you handle adversity. It is in this area that the current group of place holders are stinking up the place.

    I’m not sure I can risk my eyes any longer by watching this continuing debacle.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. 39 berigan2electricboogaloo September 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    V, thanks for the info…I honestly haven’t followed the draft much (and it’s never been like the NBA or NFL drafts) I just have known when there were real can’t miss guys…of course, Mike Trout was not picked by a dozen or so teams (Kinda hard to believe with his speed alone)
    Hopefully the braves can get lucky

    Like

  38. 40 Vox O'Reason September 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I picked this info up from a Tweet earlier. Not sure the sourcing so I can’t verify the accuracy. But it sounds about right.

    1986-2005 drafts: 70% of #1 picks productive MLB players. #2: 45%. #3-4: 35%.

    In other words, once you get away from the top 4 picks or so, it’s all a crap shoot anyway. Right now I believe we’re on target for #2. Suits me just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville September 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    VOX, are you telling me there is a team in major league baseball that is worse than the Braves? Oh my Lord…..

    Liked by 2 people

  40. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville September 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Okay, a chance for Julio to shine tonight…. Have to break this cycle sometime….

    Like

  41. 43 Vox O'Reason September 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    VOX, are you telling me there is a team in major league baseball that is worse than the Braves? Oh my Lord…

    Yes, but likely not for long. The Braves are currently 54-80, while the Phils sit 1 game back at 53-81. Even if the Braves escape DC still out of the basement, they go to the City of Brotherly Shove for 3 head-to-head games to determine the frontrunner for the #1 pick.

    Like

  42. 44 Carolina Lady September 4, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I guess there is a blessing in not being able to see the Braves’ games. :-/

    Liked by 2 people

  43. 45 Vox O'Reason September 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Who wants to bet that the Nats load up their lineup with lefties against JTeh (pronounced J-Tay) tonight?

    Julio is holding RHB’s to a .219 AVG this season, but LHB’s are raking a robust .306 against him. He’s also given up 15 HR’s to lefties vs. 9 to righties.

    Like

  44. 46 berigan2electricboogaloo September 4, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    wow….just….wow.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville September 5, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Okay, the Braves held them off as long as they could but it was inevitable. The game was just one inning too long for the Braves’ pitching staff to hold off the on slaught.. Failing to get an insurance run with the bases loaded and no outs just was another nail in the coffin.

    At least it was interesting. Julio looked like he pitched with a little more heart and fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 49 Carolina Lady September 6, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Interesting comment in the Coppolella article above (thanks, Ber!):
    ” We think we’ll be a team that will play meaningful baseball late into the season next year. We think we’ll be a really good team in 2017, and maybe start that window to where you feel like you can battle every year in that time between 2017 and 2018.”

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville September 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    The month of September has become a pariah for the Braves in recent years. It is like they just flat run out of steam. Many a Derby winner has faded down the stretch when faced with a mile and a half race. Their legs just give out under them.

    The Phillies have played much better since the All-star break as they have jettisoned older vets. The Marlins still lack pitching but they are playing better. It is the hapless Braves that opposing teams look forward to playing this month. The number one draft overall draft pick for 2016 looks more attainable with each passing day.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2015 at 7:15 am

    in case use guys didn’t know, braves win, BRAVES WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  49. 53 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Granted this was all against the Phillies, but…

    Williams Perez looked fairly gritty last night, as if he really wants to be a part of the rotation. 7 strong innings and 100 pitches. Really gave the bullpen a huge shot in the arm.

    The bullpen actually looked decent. Matt Marksberry (in his new Oakleys) came in and retired the side in the 8th on 5 pitches. What? From our pen?

    Viz iz Viz. Glad we have him. He’s not a stopgap; he’s part of the future.

    Braves got some timely hits with runners on base, something that has been completely absent since July 7.

    Hopefully, the Hector Olivera we got a glimpse of last night is the guy we traded for. And in case you didn’t notice, neither the ball he hit to the gap for a 375′ double, nor the HR to left field were “squared up”. FrediG even mentioned that in his post game comments. Hector didn’t really get the barrel of the bat on either hit, but he’s strong enough to still get the results. And y’all realize this is a guy that has very few AB’s in American baseball, right? I’m looking forward to seeing what his ceiling is.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 54 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

    General observations…

    Has there been a steadier more consistent hitter in a Braves uni than Nick Markakis? I know the guy is super low key and quiet as can be, but he just keeps hitting. His 157 H’s is 4th in the NL.

    How many 2B’s does he have now? Let’s see… that’d be 33, good enough to tie him with 3 other hitters for 3rd in the NL, behind only Todd Frazier and Nolan Arenado, and tied with Bryce Harper, Matt Carpenter and Andrew McCutchen. Not bad company. The weird thing is that of those other 6 hitters, 3 have 30+ HR’s, and the other 3 have 20+ HR’s. Neck has 2.

    Like

  51. 55 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Another observation…

    Christian Bethancourt might be done in ATL. The guy had about 4 weeks to prove he’s a part of the future here, yet he’s found himself back on the bench. He might have instead played his way into being a part of the package that is traded for a new catcher this offseason.

    Like

  52. 56 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Ryan Weber makes his MLB debut tonight out of sheer necessity. Still, I’m excited to see another youngster in dreadful season. I don’t know that he’s a serious candidate for anything next season, but he’s done one thing in both AA and AAA this year that has earned him the start: he’s issued just 10 free passes in 99.2 IP. That’s an astounding number.

    He has made appearances in 38 games, but only started 9. I wouldn’t expect him to go too deep tonight. BTW- he’s posted a 2.35 ERA for the season.

    And he seems to be a good kid. Check this out:

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 57 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Heh heh. Funny. 😀

    Like

  54. 58 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Like

  55. 59 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Looking good!!

    Like

  56. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I have to say, last night, Williams Perez was a little ray of sunshine in what has been a fairly gloomy second half. As for Olivera, Harrang clowned him in his first two plate appearances making “Desi” swing at down and way out of the strike zone sliders that made me instantly think of Francour when could not lay off that pitch.

    Ah, but baseball can be a game of redemption, not like he was pinch hitting and it is all or nothing. Goes to show you, if you throw it in the strike zone, he can hurt you.

    Yes, Bethencourt let in the first run with Shelby Miller pitching Sunday. The “wild pitch” charged to Miller was should have been blocked by Betty, any ball in the dirt will automatically be called a wild pitch by the official scorer but anyone who knows a whit about baseball knows that most are stoppable and not just by the wall behind home plate.

    Perhaps another organization can convert him into a pitcher or a right fielder but you can bet the book is out on him. Mike Piazza could not throw base stealers out to save his sole but he could hit and he could block bad pitches.

    Dale Murphy was forever throwing balls into centerfield but he could hit and he had a strong arm and decent speed so they put him in center.

    I know, trade him to Boston where Frank Wren is rumored to end up, He liked Betty so much, he might just throw in Bradley Jr. in return….

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Looking at the the remaining schedule, it appears the Mets have the easier path. They play the Braves seven more games. The Nats play the Braves only twice…. The Braves can still return the favor to the Nats and keep them home for the play-offs….

    Like

  58. 62 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Nice example of perspective:

    Like

  59. 63 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Very weird scenario is in play for next season. The Braves, of course, are moving into the new ballpark in 2017, right? Therefore, 2016 is their last season at Turner Field…

    The preliminary schedule is out for 2016. As it stands, the Braves will close the regular season at home against the Detroit Tigers of the American flippin’ League. How weird is it to close the regular season against an AL team? First, if they don’t make the playoffs, they close the doors at The Ted with an AL team. Second, if they are fighting for a playoff spot, be it WC or Division, they’ll play their final games against a team that has zero playoff implications.

    Have I mentioned my disdain for interleague play? Of all the things Bud did that were good for the game, I despise the All-Star game fiasco the most, and interleague games next. Yes, it’s kinda cool to visit some AL parks and see a handful of AL stars. But it totally screws with the equity and balance of schedule strength, and it also causes crap like the above mentioned schedule snafu. If you absolutely have to have it (and blow what used to be the real mystique of the World Series), then do it the way it was originally introduced and confine it to a specific window of dates around mid-season. Of course, moving Houston to the AL and having an odd number of teams in each league now makes it necessary to have some interleague series happening at all times. See what happens? They start with a minor scratch on the surface, then blow it wide open to a gaping wound.

    If this is the course that is set before us, then why even have the NL and AL? Might as well throw all tradition and convention out the window and just have 1 Major League with 6 divisions. It’s practically there now anyway…

    Bleh! 😡

    (Did I adequately convey my disgust in this post?)

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I think you nailed it VOX…

    So, what two cities have other market share they are willing to concede in order to expand each league by one team? See, unlike football where revenue sharing has given every team a shot at making the playoffs as they share the profits via TV revenue etc and the NBA where you can play in Portland and Cleveland and still have as much chance as Boston and New York to win championships because of salary caps. Baseball continues to enjoy anti-trust exemption. New York could easily support three teams. Montreal has indicated they want a team again. Portland Ore. Still wants one, Oakland wants to move out of Oakland but the Giants are not yielding any of their “honey pot”

    Charlotte NC and the Raleigh-Durham NC area, both could support a team but would take more market share away from the Braves who have already ceded territory to Tampa, Miami and Washington. Norfolk could conceivable support a team but both the Orioles and the gNats would throw a hissy fit. Nothing to do but expand to Havana and San Juan, Puerto Rico I guess.

    No matter, it is going to be tough for me to have a team to root for in the WS… Except maybe the Astros…. Come on El Orso Blanco….

    Like

  61. 65 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Half a prophet star for me:

    Like

  62. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    By the way, I hate the DH… too much like softball for me. The want to shorten the game (speed it up) but they want lots of scoring… Okay, take away the DH and start awarding bonus runs when a 500 foot home run is hit…. That should do the trick… watch the strike out rate climb…

    Like

  63. 67 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I kinda thought they might bring Terdo back too…

    Like

  64. 68 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    By the way, I hate the DH

    Me too. Always have, always will.

    Like

  65. 69 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    So, what two cities have other market share they are willing to concede in order to expand each league by one team?

    On one hand, it makes too much sense. I mean… two 16 team leagues? 4 divisions of 4? Would make regional divisions, travel and bracketing the playoffs much easier. (But I wouldn’t want to be the one drawing the regional maps.)

    On the other hand, pitching is already too diluted across the existing 30 ML teams. And can you imagine trying to flesh out another 50 active roster spots? Heck, the Braves couldn’t even fins enough MLB ready players this season.

    That said, if you could tap into 2 more big TV markets, then every other owner would be on board. It’s fine to give away 6% (another 2 slices) of the pie as long as the pie grows by 7% or more…

    Like

  66. 70 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    2nite’s lineup:

    1- Marky, RF
    2- Hector, 3B
    3- Freebird, 1B
    4- AJP, C
    5- Swish, LF
    6- Petey, 2B
    7- Andy, SS
    8- Bourn, CF
    9- Ryan Weber, RHP

    Like

  67. 71 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Just a glimpse at that lineup cause me to ponder…

    Markakis is excelling in the leadoff spot. Depending on exactly what we have in Hector, that could be a fairly good 1-3 for the next couple of seasons.

    Betty is on the bench again. He’s done. Towel thrown in.

    I think AJP is back next season. He has been an exemplary payer on a difficult team. And how ironic? We were all worried before his season began about what he might bring to a young team, Thank God he’s been here. He has been a steady rudder. He’s stated he wants to come back and management has stated they’d like to have him back. Sounds like an agreement might can be found.

    If I had to make a bet today, I’d bet that Jace Peterson will not be our regular 2B next year. I do think he’ll make the team as a utility guy, and that’s probably the ceiling on him. But as we’ve often noted, when a guy plays every day, his deficiencies are exposed. Jace is a nice player, but not a star. I think that position will be on the Braves shopping list this offseason.

    Like

  68. 72 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    You know, the more I consider ML expansion, the more I think I wouldn’t mind it. My main argument is diluting the already scarce pitching pool, but if you consider that scoring is down across the league, maybe this is a “natural and organic” way to bring the offense back. Certainly it’s a better answer than lowering the mound.

    And maybe we all need to get used to the idea. Back in July ML Commish Rob Manfred acknowledged that MLB has prepared for such an eventuality anyway. (Of course he did if it means more $$$ in the owners’ pockets.) At that time, ESPN reported that MLB had looked at Montreal, Charlotte, San Antonio, Portland, Vegas, OK City, northern New Jersey, Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, as possible new locations.

    I can’t imagine going back to Montreal. And geographically, it doesn’t make alot of sense. Portland does. So does Charlotte. I would think a league self-righteous enough to hold the all time hit leader out of the game for betting would want to stay far away from Vegas. How about New Orleans? Wouldn’t they be able to support a ML team? Might make a good “NL Southeast” division rival for the Braves. 😉

    Like

  69. 73 Carolina Lady September 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    re: interleague play – ya done good, V!

    Like

  70. 74 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you John and Fredi. Take care of that young man’s elbow. In fact, just shut him down for the rest of 2015.

    Like

  71. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I think a lot of the Braves young talent could benefit from some winter ball in the Caribbean. It is a reasonable schedule, teams play three to four games a week, get to play positions not normally in their comfort zone. We shall see.

    Like

  72. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Norther New Jersey? Yankees will never allow it…. Period…

    The Big Easy? Don’t know. it is the original “Sin City” without all the gambling Vegas exist on.

    The more teams, the more opportunities for players. but, we would see a lot of 16-14 games….

    Like

  73. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t know if MLB has enough money to pay off the drug cartels, not to mention the politicos in Mexico and the all the kick backs and payoffs required. Hey, it is just how those countries do business…. Like New Jersey, but different….

    Liked by 2 people

  74. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I’m trying to remember the formula for the population/income necessary to support a MLB team.

    Like

  75. 79 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Gil, V, “we hate the DH” Berigan, always the contrarian….I hate pitchers batting .088 up with the bases loaded 😉

    Like

  76. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Also, contrarian Berigan likes Interleague play…but, the way it is now? Stooopid. No rhyme , no rhythm .

    Like

  77. 81 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Contrarian Berigan finds playing the Phils, Mutts, Nats over and over at the end of the year, boring. Would rather see 15 instead of 18 games against the NL East teams, and play teams like, say the Cubbies or Cards, piratats 9 times a year. That’s more interesting, IMO

    Like

  78. 82 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2015 at 2:47 am

    as for Ryan Weber…wow, I missed the game (Dad’ birthday, took him to dinner) and saw the highlights. Heard folks calling his sinker Maddux-esk. Perhaps more of a 2 seemer, but wow, I saw some pitches to lefties that looked like they would be 4 inches inside, dart like a bugs bunny pitch and going over the plate.
    Wonder why they didn’t turn him into a reliever or something….But, he sure does deserve another start or 2. I couldn’t tell velocity , I saw something like 82 on a few pitches. Did anyone see what he tops out at?
    In the post game, he jokingly said he had a chip on his shoulder after seeing so many other guys called up before him.
    That’s why I wondered about his “velo” (hate that abbv) Could it be the bravos would ignore someone who throws softer ala Glavine and Maddux, and bring up the 95+ stuff?
    I know, just one start, but good on ya Mr Weber!

    Like

  79. 83 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I watched most of the game, and Mr. Weber indeed came as advertised. His final line:

    6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. That included 11 groundball outs w/ 2 double plays. He threw 48 strikes in 74 pitches. Personally, I thought he could go another inning. He appeared to me to have enough to go 7, but I think FrediG and Roger had a 6 inning cap on him. (Never a good thing with the pen ATL has. McKirahan came in for the 7th and immediately surrendered hits to 2 of the 3 batters he faced. Thankfully Dan Burawa came in and got out of it. Sadly Burawa did not fare so well in the 8th. Yowser.)

    As you observed, Ber, Weber throws his 2-seamer at 89-90 MPH, so he doesn’t exactly grab anyone’s attention. But it moves, alot. He throws that pitch about 50% of the time to set up his sinker, which is his “out pitch” and is a very good one… obviously. That sinker comes in at about 82 MPH, making it more like a changeup with sink. Great pitch if you can sell it. He also has a 4-seamer and a curve as secondary pitches.

    Looked like the Phils adjusted to the consistent location of the 2-seamer after they turned the lineup over the first time. If you saw the game after the 6th inning when, after Weber came out, you saw AJP in the dugout “coaching” him up a little. Chip and Joe observed AJP illustrating to him that occasionally elevating that 2-seamer a little and keeping it inside will cause a hitter to raise his elbow thus disrupting his swing plane. You could very clearly see the demonstration from catcher to pitcher. Very cool moment. Good learning moment. Looks like the kid has the tools… just needs the coaching. His story is quite similar to that of Brandon Beachy, himself a no name non-prospect called up in September to make an emergency start. That turned out OK. At 25 years old, he isn’t a kid, either. He has earned another start, and certainly an invite to the ML camp next spring. In other words, he made the most out of his opportunity.

    FrediG’s impression (quote courtesy of ajc.com): “Terrific. A.J. was raving on his sinker every time coming back to the dugout. He threw the ball over the plate. For his first start in the major leagues, I don’t think he was even worried about anything. I was really impressed. I think he did a great job for us, gave us an opportunity to win the game We had a bunch of people on base the whole game, and just couldn’t get that bloop single when we needed it.”

    Yep. That about sums it up alright.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I watch the game too, all except for the three run homer in the eight.

    Anyway, that is another story…

    Weber looked good, very poised, of course it was against the Phils but they are better than the Braves so moot point. I too was reminded a bit of Madddux without the dipsy doodle cutters. I did notice the wildly erratic strike zone of the home plate umpire. Tought to win when the other team has ten players on the field.

    To his credit, Webber kept the fat part of the Phillies bats off the ball. Two hard hit balls all night I think.

    Unfortunately, the Braves have lost their mojo at the plate and I would not be surprised to learn that Freddie Free has a groin pull this morning. No one will say but if I could see how he navigates steps I could tell for sure.

    Anyhoo, I flipped over to watch the comeback of the ‘Mazins over the gNats… Karma is a bitch…. remember how the (maybe you did not have to listen the gNats announcers gloat when Washington came back on the Braves early in the season) but you never heard such wailing and gnashing of teeth as Bob Carpenter and F P Fantangelo over the collapse of the Washington pen, Up 7-1 with two outs in the 7th inning, the Mets scored six runs (added by 6 walks) off Storen. Then in the eight Papabon, late of the Boston and Philadelphia, gave up a pinch hit homerun to Nieuwenhuis. Guys, I am not a Mets fan but for some reason I loath the Nationals….

    Take that Mr. Money bags…..

    Anyway, back to the poor side of town…. The Braves have not given up, they have just given in. Nothing to do but ride it out and hope for better times and pray the “Braves’ Way” bares fruit in the future. One thing about drafting pitchers, odds are there are some bullpen arms in the mix somewhere…..

    Oh by the way, I think weber hit 93 once last night but when is the last time Bartolo Colone touched 90 on a radar gun? Give me a kid who can pitch. 99 might be sexy but getting some Ws on the board is better….

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 85 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 86 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Shoot, had to happen sometime, but at least he got a ring! (and a homer last night)
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13614545/tim-hudson-san-francisco-giants-expects-retire-season

    Like

  83. 87 berigan2electricboogaloo September 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks guys for the scoop, the dope, the 411, the skinny…..sorry , guess I have watched too many detective films in my life….
    Oh, I know what I was going to mention.
    One thing to remember with expansion. or…a few things. Population is always increasing. I remember making this point I guess back in the 90s (shoot, were the Marlins and Rockies the last 2 expansion teams?)
    Plus, more players from Japan and Korea , more Cubans can play in the majors.
    Look at a team like the Cards. Heck, they have the talent of 2 teams!
    They have rookies Stephen Piscotty (24) hitting .331 in 163 AB’s , Randal Grichuk (23) 16HR’s 46 RBI’s .283 in 291 AB’s and one of those guys wouldn’t be playing here (Or they wouldn’t have traded for JHey) if Oscar Taveras hadn’t killed himself drinking and driving (Still haunts me to think a scout or GM said they wouldn’t trade him for 2 Jurickson Profar’s (who hasn’t been in the majors since 2013, has missed all of 2015 with shoulder issues and is still only 22 years old)
    They lost Adam Wainwright, a true ace, and are still on pace for 100 wins .
    They can afford to lose a player or 3 😉
    Look at someone like Jace Peterson…a rookie, driven in 50+ RBi’s on a terrible team, and…we all seem to think the terrible team wouldn’t want him starting next year. Seems a bit unfair as some guys do improve with more playing time. he plays good defense. And, in the past….teams gladly would take a middle infielder hitting .240 who drove in 50+ runs. (Just looked, weird, .267 with a .370 OBP with RISP, and in 63 AB’s batting 7th? .333 BA!)
    anyway, my long convoluted point is fine starter for an expansion team….might even be good on a good team….

    Like

  84. 88 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Rosenthal: I’ve been hearing all season that players are frustrated with [Fredi] Gonzalez, that he essentially has lost the clubhouse…

    Obviously, Gonzalez is not to blame for the team’s collapse — Hart and assistant GM John Coppolella left him with precious few competent major leaguers after parting in July with Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and then with Jim Johnson, Alex Wood and Luis Avilan, plus prospect Jose Peraza.

    On the other hand, the Braves had a minus-101 run differential during their 1-19 stretch entering Monday; the 1939 Athletics were the only other team since 1900 to be outscored by 100 or more runs over a 20-game span, according to research by Keith Costas of MLB Network.

    If the youngsters are not improving and the veterans are disenchanted, shouldn’t the Braves at least examine whether Gonzalez is part of the problem?

    I’ve been mulling this one over. I’ve made no bones in the past about how I disagree with Fredi’s bullpen management. Always have. But is he at least partially to blame for this historic post-ASB flameout?

    He really hasn’t had much to work with, but I’m not so sure that is an all encompassing excuse for some of the things we’ve seen this year. There has been instance after instance of him pulling a hot starter after a certain inning or pitch count only to watch this bullpen hand the game over to the foe on a platter. Fredi is not new here. He’s not blind to how vulnerable the pen has been all season. Unless he’s been given marching orders from above to limit pitchers, he’s directly to blame for at least a handful of losses just on pure pitching mismanagement alone.

    And lest we forget the last 2 Septembers? I haven’t.

    If he truly has lost he veterans, that’s a stinging indictment, That means guys like Freddie and AJ. Ouch. Gotta say, too, that the timing of this piece by Rosey is harsh too. If the Braves don’t show some semblance of a pulse, some signs of life over the next 3 weeks, FrediG may not survive.

    Have I mentioned how much I like Terry Pendleton?

    Like

  85. 89 Carolina Lady September 9, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I think Terry would be awesome as manager. But haven’t all the coaches and managers had their contracts extended? Or was that just for this year?

    In other news:
    http://www.wect.com/story/29993258/batter-up-is-wilmington-still-in-the-game-for-minor-league-baseball

    Like

  86. 90 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Yes, CL, they were all extended for 2016. Most aren’t paid enough to make that a big deal, except possibly the manager. Fredi is not one of those. He’s not a “highly paid” guy.

    But everyone knows 2016 will still be a struggle, so what “good” manager would want it? I believe the plan all along is to bring in a new manager for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 91 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Yes I have, Fredi. Have you? Because I’ve seen you turn it over to them too many times. Maybe the lightbulb has finally come on. It better.

    He’s pulled Julio from games a few times this season only to watch the bullpen blow it. In fact, Julio is probably one of the veterans Fredi has “lost”. Perhaps last night was an effort to win him back. It paid off, too. That K with the bases loaded was fantastic. Best fastball of the night, and at over 100 pitches. I hope Fredi took note.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. 92 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

    From the “credit where credit is due” department: Christian Bethancourt had a whale of a game last night.

    You reckon he has seen the writing on the wall? If he can string a few of those kind of games together, he just might work himself back into consideration to hang around.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 93 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

    How ’bout those Nats? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 94 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Something to keep our collective eyes on…

    Like

  91. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville September 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I believe the plan all along is to bring in a new manager for 2017.

    A lot like Russ Nixon. He saw the team getting better, he suffered a lot of abuse from everyone when he did not have anything but a stable full of nags. That said, Freddie had his chance with the 2014 Braves but he learned bullpen management skills at the knee of his mentor, Bobby Cox.

    Funny thing about September baseball, on a night I should feel overjoyed with a win on the efforts of a very sharp Julio Teheran, it was sort of anti climatic. Low energy would be a good description.

    Our old friend Kelly Johnson did it again last night with a game tying homer in the 8th inning. The Mets countered by bring in Drew Storen, their here to fore closer who was supplanted by Papelbon and gave up a two run homer to Cespides. Cespides by the way have come up with a work around his contract clause which would allow the Mets to vie for his services in the free agent market. Don’t let anyone fool you, Most every major star nat named Greg Maddux loved the draw of the Big Apple.

    Our old friend Evan Gattis hit home run number 23 last night. Sigh, I know… not spectacular but what a difference maker he could have been. Oh well, it is in the past….

    Liked by 2 people

  92. 96 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Our old friend Evan Gattis hit home run number 23 last night. Sigh, I know… not spectacular but what a difference maker he could have been.

    Perhaps if the Braves needed a DH. 😉

    Like

  93. 97 Vox O'Reason September 10, 2015 at 11:35 am

    So the Braves host the Mets tonight to start a 4 game series against the division front runners.

    Well, maybe we’ll have a chance tonight since we’re at home. Maybe we’ll have a chance tonight if the law of averages catches up to Shelby. Maybe we’ll have a chance tonight if they have a bit of a letdown after their HUGE series in DC.

    Then again, the Mets have ageless Bartolo Colon toeing the hill tonight. He just happens to be on a streak of scoreless innings that has stretched to 25 IP. Well, maybe he’s due for a rough outing as much as Shelby is due for something good to happen. And Shelby is certainly due for something good to happen.

    Lots of “maybes”…

    Liked by 1 person

  94. 98 Carolina Lady September 10, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Cosmos alignment?

    I remember way back when the hapless Braves were swimming around in the deep end of the pool when Ted “managed” the team for the heck of it. In yet another meaningless game, he had catcher Bruce Benedict “manage” for a bit. The whole team was laughing at themselves – which is about all they could do at the time, but they had fun for a change. TBS had a camera trained on the dugout and the audience enjoyed it as well. Wonder if it isn’t time for a little tomfoolery again? Nothing breaks up depression and hopelessness like some good laughter.

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville September 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Yes VOX, I realize that Evan Gattis is the prototypical American League player but the same could be said of Matt Holiday, hasn’t slowed him down much.. Oh wait…

    Like

  96. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville September 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    And the blood letting begins, with the Phillies officially eliminated, Ruben Amaro fired today.

    Like

  97. 101 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Back to reality. Plenty of chances but could not get the timely hits. Had a chance late, then the bullpen threw gasoline on the fire. It’s a familiar script.

    Like

  98. 102 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

    General observations:

    Cameron Maybin is missed.
    Michael Bourn v2 is not the same guy we had here before.
    Nick Swisher looks healthier than I thought he would. If he was not essentially still getting his timing back after being out all year, we might have something. 2016 could be a good year for him.
    Freddie Freeman is portrayed as a “star” and paid as a “star”, but he doesn’t rise to big moments like a “star”. Sorry, Freebird… but it’s true.
    Our bench is seriously lacking. Our 2 PH went hitless with 3 LOB last night.
    Ryan Kelly is not ready for prime time. He may not be ready for any time.
    Ross Detwiler is terrible.
    Edwin Jackson is terrible.

    Like

  99. 103 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Someone in charge needs to better coordinate the Fox SportSouth weather delay programming. While waiting out last night’s flood (4+” of rain in a little over an hour. That is the very definition of a flash flood, folks.), we watched the “Driven” specials on Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones. Then we went straight to the live game to see FrediG and the Chipper-less, and hapless, 2015 Braves. The juxtaposition (FOB?) and irony were staggering. And it made the 2016 version look even worse.

    I look around the league and see young stars being called up and making instant impact. Kris Bryant in Chicago. Joc Pederson in LA. Carlos Correa in Houston. Byron Buxton in Minnie. Even Michael Conforto for the Mets.

    Who are the Braves anxiously awaiting to be called up and make an instant impact?

    Uh… I’m drawing a blank.

    And that, good folks, is the legacy that Frank Wren left us in Atlanta. He gutted our scouting department and made a series of top draft picks that were dubious at best. And now we are left with… well, nothing in the near future but a bunch of arms that were picked up in trades after Frank was shown the door. (Except for Lucas Sims, who is still not a certainty, and Jason Hursch.)

    Here is a list of Frank’s #1 draft picks:
    2008 – LHP Brett Devall – released in 2011 after reaching Class A
    2009 – LHP Mike Minor – we know the history there
    2010 – SS Matt Lipka – shifted to CF; played AA in 2015; not listed on the team’s Top Prospect charts
    2011 – LHP Sean Gilmartin – traded in 2013 to MIN for Ryan Doumit
    2012 – RHP Lucas Sims – reached AA in late 2015; currently Braves #7 prospect; estimated ETA: 2017
    2013 – RHP Jason Hursch – reached AAA in late 2015; converted to reliever in 2015; currently Braves #17 prospect; estimated ETA: 2016
    2014 – OF Braxton Davidson – 1B converted to OF immediately after being drafted; currently Braves #9 prospect; estimated ETA: 2018

    In other words, the 1st drafted prospect position player to have any hope of making an impact is slated to arrive in 2018. If he develops as hoped. (It is possible that RHP Jason Hursch could help out the bullpen next season, but then again, nobody could be worse. And I’m really trying to focus on hitters.)

    We do have recent trade acquisition 3B Rio Ruiz on the horizon (2017), but nothing of substance for 2016 with the possible exception of recent trade acquisition CF Mallex Smith. But his game revolves around speed, and he isn’t exactly an impact bat.

    So does this mean that 20

    Like

  100. 104 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2015 at 8:36 am

    As you all know, I am not a big F.G. supporter. But, for half a season, he kept a team mainly full of rejects and kept them at .500. Hence the contract extension. And I had to laugh when I read Rosenthal’s comments about the veterans on the team griping. Veterans? Veterans? (Picture former Saints coach Jim Mora saying it 😉 )
    F.F. Simmons and Teheren. That’s it right? Anyone else left from 2014? Just checked. Nope. Not a single bullpen arm. 22 of 25 new faces this year. So, if someone like A.J. is moaning, honestly, his whole career he has been known to do that. He’s been great for the kids, no doubt. But, I can’t see a guy here 5-6 months making too much noise. Heck, the only other “Vet” is Maybin. Maybe Maybin ? (couldn’t find a 3rd m word to make that even more hilarious -Maybe Maybin is Moping? )
    What is F.G. supposed to do with the worst bullpen in baseball? Not use it? Then you extend starters, none of which are over 24?
    I laughed a bit when Teheran was being praised all over the place for his first start of the month. Went all of 6 innings, 114 pitches. Swell, just swell. What Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux would call a poor outing, was considered a studly effort.
    I know, it’s not fair, those guys were/Are HOF’ers.
    But, looking at his game log, every time save one I think (just looked) if he reached 7 innings, he was also over 100 pitches. Should F.G. push Teheran to I25 pitches in meaningless games, to get to 8 innings?
    Now his last start was a good start, 103 pitches in 7 innings, lots of energy.
    I just don’t see how you can hang the 2nd half on F.G. or McDowell with the talent this team has. Some really good arms there, but just the big 3 did when they first came up, they are gonna stink their first year in the bigs.
    I think F.G. has improved his in game moves….for the most part.
    Bruce Bochy looks like a genius when he takes a starter out in the playoffs with only 5 1/3rd innings (or less) cuz he has had a great bullpen that simply doesn’t give up runs.
    Don’t think he could do much at all with this motley crüe…crew.
    Should F.G. play Bethancourt more? Well, perhaps, since A.J is 38, and while it’s good to have a vet calling the games for the kids, the kids are not alright, right now anyway…
    I’m sure at times he’s been told to play someone like Eury Perez to see what he’s got. And really, not a bad player, (.269, 331 OBP)but no pop at all.
    For all the griping about the DH here…Wouldn’t it be nice if Nick Swisher could be the DH next season? Perfect rah-rah guy to have on a team, but can you see him playing much left/1st next year? Paying him a lot to be Gomes next year….
    Anyway, this is too long, and I need to do some work….
    I won’t cry if F.G. is replaced by T.P. I just don’t know who can do a better job, with this talent, at this stage in it’s development.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 105 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 8:43 am

    OOPS!! Continuation…

    So does this mean that 2016 will be a repeat of 2015? Not necessarily.

    One need only look to our current guests, the Mutts, to see how quickly an offense can be turned around when you have an abundance of pitching to work with. Their offense went from woeful to Whoa! with a simple series of trades from their stockpile of pitching. They acquired Yoenis Cespides, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in a matter of days, and immediately morphed into the Division dominators.

    The Braves also have an abundance of top pitching prospects in their quiver and could follow a similar path. John Coppollela hinted at as much in a recent interview.

    If Hector Olivera can continue to become acclimated in MLB and pan out to what we all hope he can be, and if they can come up with some pop for LF and 2B, they could seriously transform the offense.

    Of course, fixing the bullpen grease fire is an entirely different animal…

    Like

  102. 106 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I don’t think FredG is the problem. But I don’t think he’s Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa or Joe Torre either. He’s not even Clint Hurdle, Terry Francona or Buck Showalter. I have never liked how he handels his bullpen, and I don’t like how he religiously follows “the book”. Screw “the book”, right Joe Maddon and Mike Matheny?

    At least he’s not Matt Williams. 😉

    Like

  103. 107 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Wow V, that sure puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? How in the wide, wide world of sports can the Red Sox think of Wren as a G.M.? A known arse, who it terrible at drafting talent.
    And what’s amazing is teams like the Cubs, don’t just have Kris Bryant, (basically the next Mike Schmidt, w/o a terrible first season, look up his first year) Addison Russell (granted, came over in a trade) but also Kyle Schwarber. Already a superb hitter, and, get this…drafted in 2014! After a whole 147 games in the minors, he’s hitting 262, .356 OBP, 13 HR’s 38 RBI’s in only 168 AB’s . Only F.F. has more homers on the braves team.
    V, not only do the twins have B. Buxton, they also have Miguel Sano. Looks very generic at the plate, but what power! Apparently according to one stat nut on baseball tonight (the grantland writer) he had a documentary crew following him when he was 16. An international pick that at the ripe old age of 22 is putting it all together.
    16 HR’s 43 RBI’s .281 BA .389 OBP. in 196 AB’s.
    So clearly, there is still hitting out there…I ran thru the cards guys a few days ago, and not all if many were even high draft picks.
    And I think that’s why all those international draft slot/picks/whatyacallit are going to be so important. But, if you are signing 17-18 y.o.’s it’s going to take 4-5 years before they show up, unless you go after some Cuban’s …but Liberty will have to clear out the cobwebs in their fat, fat wallets and pay up to get folks like Hector Olivera , without having to giving up talent later on. Imagine having signed him for what the Dodgers offered (or a bit more, no doubt) AND having Alex Wood and Peraza to either play here or trade for hitting in the off season?
    But, that train left…just like Gil feels with Gattis (and heck, right now, I would rather have seen him in LF trying to make plays , than the guys who have played there this year-But, if Folty turns into a 15 game winner, that will make things considerably better) it still sticks in my craw…just a bit 😉

    Like

  104. 108 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Bullpen certainties for 2016;
    — Closer Arodys Vizcaino, and that’s about it.

    Bullpen hope for 2016:
    — RHP Dan Winkler, activated from the 60-day DL yesterday following TJ surgery 6/2014
    — LHP Paco Rodriguez, acquired in the Olivera deal, had “loose bodies” removed from elbow 5/2015
    — RHP Jason Hursh, Braves #17 prospect
    — RHP Chris Withrow, recovering from TJ surgery on 2/2014 and offseason back surgery
    — RHP Shae Simmons, recovering from TJ surgery on 2/2015
    — RHP Jason Grilli, recovering from ruptured Achilles tendon 7/2015

    Other possibilities, depending on how the starting rotation shakes out:
    — RHP Williams Perez
    — RHP Mike Foltynewicz
    — RHP Ryan Weber

    Like

  105. 109 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Each should have a shot to make the team in ST 2016. I am most excited about Tyrell Jenkins, I think this kid’s gonna be a star. Do y’all realize we got him along with Shelby for JHey and Jordan Walden?

    Shelby and TyJenk could be our #’s 1 & 2 pitchers for years to come.

    Like

  106. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2015 at 9:48 am

    V, Gil, use guys may or may not find this interesting. Looking up Tyrell’s numbers, stumbled upon this fangraphs list of top prosects from earlier in the year. Interesting to see who has already success, and who might be available for prospects…
    Is someone like Tyrell Jenkins easier to trade than say Wisler or Folty just because he hasn’t been called up ? (and looked less than steller like those 2 have of late) Or have more scouts seen those 2 in the bigs and would be more willing to project what they can do down the road?

    Oh, the link…for once, not just a small sample article http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fangraphs-top-200-prospect-list/

    Like

  107. 111 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

    so much for getting things done….

    Like

  108. 112 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 9:51 am

    <i.And I think that’s why all those international draft slot/picks/whatyacallit are going to be so important.

    You got that right. And the Braves used theirs this year on highly touted OF Cristian Pache, #10 on MLB Top 30 Int’l Prospects list, and OF Derian Cruz, #24 on MLB Top 30 Int’l Prospects list. Both are 16-years old, though, so we won’t see the fruits of these signings for several years to come.

    The Braves also stockpiled int’l signing slots for next year, so they’ll dive headfirst into the market again. And while the higher profile trades were designed to make the Braves relevant again by 2017, these int’l deals are designed to help keep them relevant for years to follow.

    Like

  109. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2015 at 9:53 am
  110. 114 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

    all the braves guys are pitchers

    Except for Hector. 🙂

    Like

  111. 115 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

    One more thing on the int’l signing slots…

    Why did the Braves trade for so many int’l signing slots for 2016?

    The rumor (courtesy of Keith Law) is that the Braves already have a handshake agreement in place with 15-year-old Venezuelan SS Kevin Maitan phenom to sign him to a deal that will likely exceed their 2016 bonus pool by itself. Maitan has been compared by many scouts to Miguel Cabrera. Not a bad comparison, huh? Law describes him as “a monstrous teenager with an elite body, advanced feel to hit and big-time power projection”. Sounds good to me.

    But again, only 15 (16 by draft time).

    Liked by 1 person

  112. 116 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 10:10 am

    And where else do you get all the past, present and future draft/int’l signing talk on a Friday morning? Nowhere but here. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  113. 117 Vox O'Reason September 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Here’s a random thought without basis in anything at all…

    According to FanGraphs, whom Ber brought to the table this morning, the current #1 prospect in all of MLB is 3B Corey Seager of LAD. Seager is a September callup already making his presence known in the LA lineup.

    So what do the Dodgers do with current 3B Justin Turner (.284/.355/.845, 15 HR)? Hmmm… perhaps they would trade him for pitching? Especially if they lose Zack Greinke to FA?

    Acquiring Turner for 3B would let Hector go back to 2B where he is most familiar and comfortable, and add a nice offensive and defensive piece to the everyday lineup. He’s a middle of the order RH bat that would help provide protection behind Freebird.

    Picture this:

    1- RF, Markakis (L)
    2- 2B, Hector (R)
    3- 1B, Freebird (L)
    4- 3B, Turner (R)

    1-4, now we’re getting somewhere.

    5/6- LF, ??
    6/5- C, AJP/Betty/?? (L/R)
    7- SS, Andy (R)
    8- CF, Mallex Smith (L)

    Still work to do, but Justin Turner at 3B would not be a bad pickup. he’s currently 30-years-old and under team control through 2016, with #8 prospect Rio Ruiz is expected to be ready to take over in 2017.

    Like

  114. 118 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Just remember, a WS contending team cannot realistically have a shot if they are starting two or more rookie position players. If the Braves want to play lots of rookies again next season, that is okay with me, just to get them seasoned for what is to come.

    Turner? Funny, he did not play all that well in the NL East… I’d just a soon have Urebi for another season as a fill in.

    Like

  115. 119 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Okay, second try at this…. Last night I thought Wisler looked pretty good, a minor slip up on the balk but that’s baseball. Lots of action this weekend. Good to have the ability to record stuff…

    Like

  116. 120 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Is there anything in sports more horrifying than the Braves bullpen?

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 121 berigan2electricboogaloo September 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Ok V, I agree… FG is not very good at handling a bullpen. I was all ready to joke here and say, I don’t know much about this Moylen kid, but we might just have our new closer…He got 2 very quick outs then had 2 strikes on…some mets hitter. Hit a gapper that Maybin just about made a spetacular catch on, but it came out of the glove when it hit the ground. So…1 lousy hit , game 7-4 braves and out comes Moylen and in comes Kelly, one of the many pitchers that are the opposite of good, and after a walk, a 3 run homer….sigh…. why does 7-7 feel like 10-7 Mets?

    Liked by 3 people

  118. 122 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Two outs and nobody on in the 9th… 2 strikes even. Then 6 unanswered runs. It’s surreal, as if Alfred Hitchcock made a sports movie.

    Liked by 2 people

  119. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Well, the Braves came within one spectacular catch of winning the dang game.. So way the things are going for the Bravos this year…

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 124 berigan2electricboogaloo September 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I wrote that before Edwin Jackson came in….I started thinking, why didn’t he come in for 1 out? Of course, he got 2 outs then made a huge mess….there really are few options in that bullpen…none really…

    Like

  121. 125 berigan2electricboogaloo September 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    but, there is some good news out there…we are in a tie for first! Wait worst…no, first…Phils and braves have the same win-loss record (and the Phils have been really bad 3-7 in last 10, but won 2 in a row) so…that first draft pick is becoming more and more a real possibility…

    Like

  122. 126 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    there really are few options in that bullpen…none really…

    Yep. That about sums it up.

    Like

  123. 127 chrisklob September 14, 2015 at 1:18 am

    at this point i’m just hoping the braves continue to lose just for the draft picks. the last six opponents are TOR, PHI, NYM, MARL, NATS, STL. at least three of those teams are still playing for something.

    the good news is that the last time the bravos had the first overall pick in the draft (at least to my memory) they picked a short stop from a florida high school. can’t recall his name but he did manage to hang around for a good long while.

    maybe lighting can strike twice.

    Liked by 3 people

  124. 128 Carolina Lady September 14, 2015 at 3:07 am

    #10. Sure wish he was around! Along with a cast of thousands.

    Liked by 2 people

  125. 129 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

    With a scheduled off day today to go with all the unscheduled “off” days we’ve seen recently, I’m not expecting much “news” today on the Braves front. So today might be fairly slack here at the ol’ B&S as well.

    That said, y’all know I can bloviate at all times and in all circumstances. So…

    Did you happen to see any of Ryan Kelly’s quotes after last night’s calamity? The kid has zero confidence. He sounds whipped. His tone reflects that he is overmatched and overwhelmed. I almost feel sorry for him, except that I have a bit of a hard time feeling sorry for anyone that is making a prorated annual salary of $507,500 to play a game. Just sayin’.

    Like

  126. 130 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    It is certainly mind boggling…

    Like

  127. 131 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Crikey! This could get ugly. Uh, uglier.

    Like

  128. 132 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t think you can overstate the impact losing Jason Grilli had on the ATL bullpen. Not just his actual pitching, but his mentoring as well. He was the rudder. They’ve been way far off course ever since the cursed Achilles exploded.

    No way a kid like Ryan Kelly would be so completely shell-shocked with big brother Grilli giving counsel.

    Like

  129. 133 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    By my early count, I see 24 blown saves. I need to verify that number…

    Like

  130. 134 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Yep. Confirmed. 24 blown saves. Most in all of MLB.

    The ATL pen has converted saves at a 61% rate. The includes Jason Grilli, who had converted 92% (24 out of 26 chances) of his save opportunities when he went down. The means the rest of the pen combined has converted at a 39% rate (14 / 36). That’s hideous.

    No more commentary needed. ’nuff said.

    Like

  131. 135 berigan2electricboogaloo September 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Thing is, weren’t the braves likely to trade Grilli and J Johnson as a package?

    Like

  132. 136 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Not from what I read. The plan all along was to keep Grilli through the end of his 2 year deal. Was here for his leadership as much as his on field performance.

    Like

  133. 137 berigan2electricboogaloo September 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    😉
    Vox O’Raison
    July 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    My guess is that Folty is “insurance” in case ManBan experiences the same dehydration and cramping that plagued him in his last 2 starts, including his MLB debut and his last AAA start. Regardless, I have made no bones that I think Folty would be a great late inning bullpen piece. Why not call him up now so that he’s comfortable in that role when Grilli is traded and JJohnson takes over as closer? 😉

    Like

  134. 139 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2015 at 5:44 am

    V, I apologize, I would have sworn you passed along the rumor, but can’t find it here…looked on MLBTR and saw this about the possibility of trading Grilli, but can’t find the talk of trading both for a super package. Perhaps I heard it on baseball tonight? I’m getting old…or already old 😛

    Jason Grilli Out For Season With Achilles Injury
    By Brad Johnson [July 11, 2015 at 8:20pm CDT]

    Braves closer Jason Grilli is done for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Grilli was in the midst of a resurgent season after losing his job as the Pirates closer last summer. In 33.2 innings, he had a 2.67 ERA, 24 saves, 12.03 K/9, and 2.67 BB/9.

    With the Braves on the outer fringes of contention, many analysts believed Grilli would be an attractive trade deadline target. The Blue Jays, Cubs, Dodgers, Nationals, and Tigers are among the contenders rumored to be looking for relief help. The club has dropped four straight contests and is now four games below .500. Atlanta is five games back from the second Wild Card slot.

    Like

  135. 140 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2015 at 6:12 am

    interesting column by peter Gammons about pitching, risking injuries…and the playoffs…
    Noticed this part in particular…Wren? Braves docs?
    One spring the Braves had two very good pitchers, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, go down with Tommy John. I said, “at least they’ll be back by the All-star Break next summer.” A Braves official said, no, they’d be ready for the opening of the next spring training, “because it’s just 11 months recovery time.” Not the 15 Dr. James Andrews had always recommended, stretching to 18 months.

    Beachy and Medlen each had second TJ Surgeries.

    http://www.gammonsdaily.com/peter-gammons-dark-knight-dark-nights/

    Like

  136. 141 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Interesting indeed Ber. It does make you wonder who the Braves “official” was, doesn’t it? But given all the reports that Frank was a complete control monger within his organization (which drove away all the top scouts, most of whom have returned), one might assume that it was his policy. And you can’t help but wonder if the Beachy/Medlen catastrophes didn’t contribute at least a little to his dethroning.

    And wouldn’t a veteran Medlen-type have been a God-send this season?

    Liked by 1 person

  137. 142 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

    By the way, you notice that the current regime has not rushed back Chris Withrow (TJ on 2/21/14). There was talk at the time he was acquired along with Juan Uribe that he might join the bullpen late this season, but no one has even whispered his name. He should be almost 24 months out by ST 2016.

    BTW- He is an experienced closer.

    Like

  138. 143 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Speaking of Juan Uribe, it has been well documented that the trade of Uribe and Kelly Johnson to NYY signaled the official surrender to the 2015 season. And the evidence to that end is overwhelming.

    But we must not forget the 2 pitchers we received in the deal, especially John Gant. He finished 2015 on Baseball America’s “Hot Prospect Sheet”, completing his season in AA Mississippi where he went 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 7 starts. The 23-year-old northpaw notched 43 K’s over 40.2 IP, while giving away only 14 free passes. That’s a formula for success… just ask rookie Ryan Weber. This is how Talking Chop’s Garrett Spain describes him:

    “He has a full arsenal of pitches, and while he doesn’t throw hard he gets great movement on his fastball and all of his off speed pitches. He has a large 6’5″ frame, and uses it well in getting downhill action on his fastball. His best offspeed pitch is a wicked vulcan change, and he also has a solid above average breaking ball. He uses his pitches well and could remain as a starter despite the crowded playing field at that position.”

    Hmmm. Sounds like he just described a taller Kris Medlen. I expect him to open 2016 in AAA Gwinnett.

    Interestingly, the other guy in the trade, Rob Whalen, is actually one spot higher in the Braves Top 30 prospect rankings (23 and 22 respectively), although there wasn’t alot of news on him in 2015. He’s just 21-years-old with a good bit of development in front of him. He has similar stuff to Gant, with a hard sinker as his feature pitch. He’s was a starter at +A Carolina for the Braves, but could be converted to a reliever as he moves up. His sinker would be especially valuable coming in late inning situations where a ground ball out is needed.

    Neither is expected to contribute at the big league level until 2017, but each one seems to be making a good impression at his respective level. Hopefully we can look back in a couple of years and be glad we made that deal.

    Like

  139. 144 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 7:57 am

    And speaking of the Braves Top 30 Prospects…

    Do y’all realize that 7 of the Braves’ top 10 are pitchers? 12 of the top 20? 19 of the top 30?

    That’s the “account” from which the Braves will shop for bats this offseason and next.

    Like

  140. 145 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:18 am

    And speaking of the Braves shopping this offseason (I could do this all day)…

    In a recent piece, Bowman said, “The Braves have approximately $25 million to $30 million to spend this offseason, and a significant chunk of this money will be aimed toward rebuilding the bullpen.”

    Now it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to know that the Braves bullpen is the worst in MLB, and maybe the worst in years. In my opinion, the only guy in the current pen that even belongs in a ML uni is Viz. In fact, I hope he’s the only clown in that circus that returns for 2016. Too many painful memories with the others. One should reasonably expect Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow to be return from injuries and be a part, and likely Jason Grilli as well. Docs say Grilli could be ready by the start of ST. But that still leaves 3 spots open. Don’t look for the Braves to go after a big name closer or anything, but a solid late inning reliever or 2 isn’t out of the question. There is also the possibility that Folty could move into a late inning role, but Bowman and DOB both contend that the Braves still want to see how he continues to develop as a starter.

    As for starters, Bowman also repeats the same contention we’ve made here for a few weeks, saying the team may look to “add some experience and leadership to a rotation that could be rather young again next year.” Yeah. Duh.

    One more interesting note in his opine. He states that Christian Bethancourt “has obviously fallen out of favor”, but notes that the Braves will probably not look to move him while he’s at a very low trade value. Still, they have given every indication that they want AJP back for 2016 in a backup capacity and will still look at outside candidates for the starting role. He mentions, as we have, current Oriole and Atlanta resident Matt Wieters, but also notes that if his price goes too high, a guy like Chris Iannetta could be a candidate. That’s a name I have not heard mentioned before. I’ll have to do some quick research…

    Like

  141. 146 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Yikes. OK… don’t go and look at Iannetta’s 2015 numbers. Just don’t. Avert your eyes. Why, Mr. Bowman, would you even speak of Iannetta as a real candidate?

    Ew. 😛

    Like

  142. 147 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:33 am

    The problem is simply that aside from Matt Wieters, there aren’t any other strong starting catchers in the FA market. Maybe Alex Avila for his reputation as a good receiver, but not so much with the bat. Plus, if you bring back AJP, you probably want a RH compliment, which Avila is not.

    The trade market is likely the Braves’ best bet.

    Like

  143. 148 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Alright. Enough morning bloviation from me for a while. Hasta mañana.

    Like

  144. 149 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Like

  145. 150 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 9:59 am

    The focus of the above post is that Hector Olivera will play winter ball in Puerto Rico this offseason. Good news there. (Not sure how the other tweet followed it into the link.)

    Like

  146. 151 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Rosenthal: The Braves could be one of the teams that pursues [Yoenis] Cespedes in free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking.

    Cespedes has 17 HR’s in 41 games since joining the Mutts, including 9 in his last 13. Would the Braves make a high profile signing like Cespedes? And we’re talking $100M+ in commitment. Well, if they want to sell tickets in 2016, and more importantly in the new park in 2017, they just might try. Somehow I doubt they could stay in the bidding, though. You know there will be other teams in the mix with those Cadillac TV deals that are overflowing with cash.

    Like

  147. 152 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    nice story on Julio Franco…still playing baseball in…Japan
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13630613/at-57-years-old-julio-franco-playing-baseball-japan

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 153 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Bowman: “Fredi said Folty (out with pneumonia) likely will not regain enough strength in time to make another another start this year. The Braves are hoping he can make a couple relief appearances next week.”

    McAlpin: “Foltynewicz will throw a few bullpens this week and could rejoin the team on the trip in New York next week.”

    DOB: “Braves hope to have Foltynewicz back during the road trip next week to make at least 1 or 2 relief appearances.”

    Like

  149. 154 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Like

  150. 155 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Gil, as for Justin Turner, I read…somewhere’s that his leg kick had really improved his hitting….Funny thing is, Mattingly doesn’t like to play him more than 3 games in a row, cuz of his knees. Of course that could work with Hector Olivera, he could play some 3rd on those days to stay sharp there.
    I imagine though, that The Dodgers aren’t going to let arguably the best starter of the game go (opting out of his mere 20+ million a year deal) for what, another 10 Million a year?
    Forgot what their TV deal was, 8 billion, yes…8 billion…interesting short article on the issues some Dodgers fans (well this one writer in particular, talking for others) have because of this super-duper mega deal
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/media/20150606/debating-where-to-land-on-the-charter-dodgers-deal

    Like

  151. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Money does not guarantee a World Series win but it sure does improve one’s chances…

    On Cespesdes, chances of signing with the Braves, not going to happen. He will stay in New York or sign for Juancarlos Stanton type money somewhere. Braves just cannot compete as yet. Won’t be in the same neighborhood until they have a private owner with lots of money to throw away.

    On Kelly, what did Yogi say, half this game is 90% mental….

    So close to being over if Cameron had been able to keep his glove right side up in the 9th..

    By the way, while having a guy who can throw 98 is great but they don’t seem to have a very good shelf life. I would still take a Greg Maddux clone any day over a Roger Clemons type. Bring on a bunch a guys who can throw strikes or not whenever they want and I will be a heck of a lot happier. At least their elbows might stay glued together.

    On Jason Grille, Achilles injuries are not to be trifled with. Just ask Ryan Howard… Tough injury to come back from without messing something else up trying to compensate.

    The old saying in drag racing, “Speed cost money, how fast do you want to go”? Well, baseball players are a bit like that, you want good players? How much are you willing to pay?

    Liked by 1 person

  152. 157 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Julio is pulled with 2 on and 2 out in a 2-2 game. 6th inning. I am going on record as saying that this is a mistake.

    Like

  153. 158 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Well, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then…

    Like

  154. 159 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    V, I honestly don’t know what F.G. could do there….once again, our “ace” threw a ton of pitches (at least this is a very legit team he was walking guys on) 113 pitches, 5 2/3rds innings. I would have let him try to get out of it too…but, say he ended up throwing say, 12-17 more pitches (heck, Buehrle walked and fouled off a few pitches) and after 130 pitches, had a sore arm…then it’s the whole, why blow out a kids arm in a meaningless game? Can’t imagine wanting to manage this team…well, the moola would be nice…guess you just go home have a bag of ones and fives (hey, he’s a manager, not a player) and roll around your bed Like Scrooge McDuck in a sea of dinero , that could help

    Anyway, big hit by Simmons, nice to see all the fellas, even the broadcasters happy…it’s been a long time since they won at home…

    Like

  155. 160 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Nice win indeed. And a real win… not a giveaway. They actually looked like a real baseball team. And that includes the bullpen. (Gotta give credit where credit is due. Well, today anyway.) Of course, almost the whole staff got put in there, but still…

    Ber, if I’m Fredi, I give him 1 more batter. This is for a couple of reasons. 1, as Fredi himself said last week, “Have you seen our bullpen?” and 2, if Julio can get out of it, then he at least has the possibility of a W if the team can score in the bottom of the inning. The way he was removed, he only had the chance for a L. That’s gotta be demoralizing as a pitcher.

    And he did the same with Cunniff, who was rolling. Cunniff comes in and faces 4 batters, striking out 2 of them, then issues a walk with 2 outs and gets yanked. Fredi burns another pitcher in the process. Gwinnett’s season is over. He doesn’t have an endless supply of overmatched youngsters to bring up anymore.

    As for pitch count, well… I sit in the Leo Mazzone camp. Leo contends that the total number of pitches is not as important as the number of “high leverage” or “high stress” pitches. And Leo also contends that the catcher is the best judge of when a pitcher is reaching his limit. Maybe Julio was spent. I don’t know. But Fredi has become completely rigid as to how he manages both the starters and the relievers. As for the starters, Fredi freaks out when a starter crosses the 100 pitch line. From what I have read, 120 seems to be the magic number in most other dugouts. And when it comes to relievers, Fredi goes strictly by the righty/lefty matchup. The problem is that an opposing manager can pull back a hitter to get the favorable matchup. Fredi can’t. And he goes through relievers like we go through Tums watching them. Fredi used 5 relievers last night. Who’s left for tonight? Edwin Jackson and Ryan Kelly? Better hope Shelby can be efficient.

    Like

  156. 161 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Just to be clear… I’m not completely out on pitch counts, and I don’t advocate disregarding a pitcher’s health just to squeeze extra pitches out of him. I’m just not convinced Julio was done at that point. Maybe he was. I just would have liked to have seen him face 1 more batter with a real chance to get out of the inning. I think our chances were better with Julio than with our sieve, er… bullpen. Fortunately, it turned out OK. I’ve just seen too many games where it did not.

    Like

  157. 162 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

    DOB says “rookie [Daniel] Castro to get more starts at 2B rest of way”. i think he’s earned it. He’s a terrific defensive player and has shown he can hit a little too.

    Like

  158. 163 berigan2electricboogaloo September 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    V, I am sure you are correct , it is demoralizing for a starter to come out with no chance to win after a decent effort, but I think Julio has to take some of the blame for not being more efficient.
    I know he’s not the ace this year, but in the past few years, he has been. But, even though he started off better than Smoltz, Glavine , and Maddux.
    I don’t feel he yet has that bulldog attitude , plus….he just doesn’t have that out pitch, IMHO. So, even more than Glavine it seems, he has to be careful, and the pitch totals add up.
    Like I said, F.G is in a tough situation.
    I also hear the statheads talking about pitchers doing worse thru the order the 3rd time around, acting like all starters are worse (don’t believe that part, but I am not going to attempt to look that up) Of course, we were all spoiled by Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux, who only got better as the game went along…

    Liked by 1 person

  159. 164 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Tru all dat…

    Like

  160. 165 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I have a question…

    When was the last time that Freddie Freeman came up big in a game? Not trying to bash him or anything, but I can’t remember the last time when the Braves needed a big hit from him in a critical moment in a game, and that he came through. I can recall several, like last night, when he popped up, or that he struck out. When was the last time he rose to the occasion like a “star” should?

    Am I alone in thinking that he just doesn’t do that?

    Nick Markakis leads the team in Game Winning RBI for 2015 with 7. Jace Peterson even has more (6) than Freddie, who has only notched 5 GWRBI. Really? Heck, in just 5 weeks in ATL, Nick Swisher has amassed 3 GWRBI in very limited playing time.

    By contrast, Josh Donaldson leads all of MLB with 19 GWRBI. And to really make it sting, Jeff Francoeur even has 8 GWRBI.

    Is the GWRBI a real measure of a player’s total impact? No, not entirely. In fact, it has even disappeared from most modern box scores in favor of the newer analytics based boutique stats. (Y’all know how much I love those…) But it does tell you without interpretation how many times you’ve drive in the winning run. Period.

    IMO, Freddie needs to put on his big boy baseball pants and start carrying this team a little more. He’s supposed to be one of the team “untouchables” and leaders. He’s certainly being paid like it. I believe it’s time he started performing like it.

    Like

  161. 166 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    If you do happen to fall into the camp that likes the new analytics, the favored stat to measure a players “worth” is WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. It’s the sabermetric attempt to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one comprehensive stat. The idea behind WAR is to represent how much better a player is than a player that would typically be available to replace that player. Fairly straightforward, I suppose. I have no idea how they actually come up with the numbers, though. (And honestly don’t care.)

    Anyway,..

    Freddie Freeman comes in at 115th in MLB with a WAR of 2.7. In other words, he’s worth 2.7 more wins to the Braves in 2015 than the average Joe. The Braves leader is Shelby Miller, 44th in MLB at 4.12 WAR, Andy Simmons follows and is is tied for 73rd in MLB at 3.49.

    Alternate perspective.

    Like

  162. 167 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2015 at 12:25 am

    V, I hadn’t thought about FF…really at all lately…interesting points you made, he has been quiet….hardly notice him on the field…

    so, did some digging….
    With none on, 202 ab’s .233 B.A.
    Runners on, 173 ab’s .331 B.A., .444 OBP
    in scoring position, 85 ab’s (in the whole year? wow) .365 BA .505 OBP
    Ok, more stats
    Pre all star .299, .367 OBP
    Post all Star, only .233, but…a .368 OBP….so, is he just being pitched around? The guy behind him tonight? Adonis Garcia. If you were a pitcher, who would you pitch to?

    Like

  163. 168 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2015 at 12:28 am

    so…why is FF not hitting for average?
    From the fantasy baseball part of espn, and…old….

    News: Freeman went 2-for-3 with a homer, a walk two RBI and a run in Friday’s loss to the Yankees. (Fri Aug 28)

    Spin: Freeman’s home run was his first since July 28. Hampered by injuries, Freeman has batted just .217 over the past month, his season averaged dropping by 17 points to .281 in the process. Freeman has been solid when healthy this season, but it’s fair to wonder whether Freeman will be healthy enough down the stretch to help your team.

    Like

  164. 169 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2015 at 12:36 am

    AVG HR RBI OBP
    .277 16 56 .367

    ^^ FF’s numbers , and missed a lot of games…

    BA HR RBI OBP
    .293 12 55 .355

    JHey, on pace for 156 games…

    Like

  165. 170 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 8:54 am

    You make a good point about Freddie being pitched around. He needs AJP behind him every night. As for JHey’s numbers, I think he’s been overrated since his rookie season. For the life of me I can’t understand why he projects to get such a monster contract in FA. Nice comp between his and Freddie’s numbers. Neither is impressing me this year.

    I hope that Freddie has some type of presence batting 4th behind him for 2016. A healthy Nick Swisher maybe?

    By the way, speaking of Freddies…

    I’m about tired of FrediG playing the “matchup” game. Hector sits for a second straight game because he likes the matchup with Adonis? Then play Adonis in LF. We need to see Hector get playing time. I don’t like it. FrediG is starting to seriously get on my nerves again.

    Like

  166. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Morning all, watched part of the game and then switched over to watch the debate… There were some losers on that too….

    On Freddie, I still think he is playing through injuries. That and being pitched around but I think it is injuries that are holding him back. No different than when Brian McCann would solider thru August with his bat getting slower with every game

    Frenchy has found a mentor in Charlie Manual, He could have been great if he had gone to Philly sooner. Just the way it is for some players.

    More and more here in the Washington National’s Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere, we hear Matt Williams is done in DC. Too bad but when you are given the keys to the castle, you better be able to defend it.

    Liked by 1 person

  167. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    One other observation, for an organization (that being Major League Baseball Inc) with a history of being so anti gambling, they sure appear to have no problem pushing on line gambling in the vain of Draft Kings et al.

    They lose a lot of credibility with me as far as that issue and their continued ostracizing of Pete Rose.

    Liked by 2 people

  168. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Okay, time is getting short, One has to wonder if there are really many more races other than the AL West that remain in doubt?

    Me thinks (homage to Journalist Bob) the Astro’s youth is feeling the pressure from Texas.

    Liked by 2 people

  169. 174 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I’d like to see Freddie Freeman show 10% of the fire and emotion that Nick Swisher has. it might serve him well. Typical Cali kid attitude.

    RE: Francoeur. it doesn’t hurt anything being in Philly’s band box. Jeff had warning track power in ATL and SF. He’s a slugger in Philly.

    100% agree on the Draft King thing. Kinda makes me mad.

    Agree too on Houston’s youth catching up. Still think they can make some noise in the post-season, though.

    Like

  170. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 9:46 am

    You folks realize the Cubs and the Dodgers have identical records?

    St Louis will likely win 100 games but I am not sure they will win the NL Pennant. Hard to gauge the Mets and others right now with so many extra folks and with such a big lead, they are not feeling pressured.

    The gNats are better than the Phillies… big shocker…

    .

    Like

  171. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I think Freebird is a sensitive kid, not a seasoned veteran. He misses a lot of his friends. One almost has to have a short term memory when it comes to work place acquaintances on pro sport teams. Some guys just have a natural leadership ability. Freddie just may not be that kind of guy, at least not at this point in his career.

    Failure is a great character builder. The Braves should have a lot of characters after this season, especially the bullpen staff….

    It will be interesting to see how Matt Wisler does in the face of a lot of bangers tonight.

    Like

  172. 177 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I think Freebird is a sensitive kid

    He needs to get over it and grow a pair. I can think of 135 million reasons why.

    Like

  173. 178 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Yes VOX, but wishing it will not make it so, he has his best years ahead of him at least. Even Michael Jordan didn’t win in Chicago until they surrounded him with guys like Pippen and “shutter” Dennis Rodman…

    I think it is interesting that the Braves have decided to give Daniel Castro a shot at playing second base. He is a better defender than Jace Peterson. I’m like you in feeling that Jace has been exposed as a guy who is not really an everyday player, at least not at this point in his career.

    I am inclined to believe that Simba might be the most gifted athlete the Braves have under contract. He is still just getting started with his career. The Braves simply need more players with talent who can also hit.

    Like

  174. 179 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Simba is truly amazing, and Daniel Castro is no slouch himself. Add to that a guy like Mallex Smith in CF to go with all the young pitching and you begin to get back to the formula that propelled the Braves in the 90’s. Just need some pop to come from someone.

    Like

  175. 180 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I think when they introduced the all brand new braves during the home opener, the very few guys left over looked…muted…the fans were…muted…
    F.F. and Simmons have always been on teams that were at least expected to be competitive if not in the hunt for the playoffs…
    Has to be weird to lose all the guys you played with your whole career(Save 1 or 2)
    I laughed when looking up something on MLBTR and seeing a dec story saying, the braves were NOT going to trade Kimbrel.
    Why should FF. or Simmons not feel like they could be traded for prospect or two, just cuz someone told them they wouldn’t be traded?
    Granted, a lot of moola to just go out there and do your job, but now…no one is coming to games…no one. Even when the Jays are in town.
    As I mentioned earlier in the year, when they traded every hard thrower in the bullpen away , it always demoralizes a team to watch lead after lead get away….I was truly amazed the bullpen was half decent for a few months (So lucky Jim Johnson was turned around, at least while here, and that Grilli didn’t lose his fastball, by the by 39 come November )
    the team fell apart while F.F. was on the D.L.
    I just don’t know what he’s supposed to do to rally the troops.
    The kids? is a 26 Y.O. supposed to talk to a non english speaking soon to be 31 Y.O. 3rd baseman to man up and play as much as he can?
    V, I am sure you saw something about ..crud, my short term memory is something something…Hector Olivera…
    from DOB By David O’Brien – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    

    The Braves believe that third baseman Hector Olivera will be a big-time hitter next season after he’s played winter ball in Puerto Rico and had a full spring training, and they expect him to a lineup regular for most or all of the five seasons left on his contract after this one.

    But for now, in the initial weeks of his first major league stint, they’re giving him a couple of days off a week. Easing him into things after Olivera, a 30-year-old Cuban defector, missed all of spring training due to his late signing with the Dodgers and missed most of two months this summer for a hamstring strain.

    I wonder, is this F.G.’s doing? Or above? Or do they see a guy that looks…I don’t know, not ready? Scared even?
    Remember how he was going to come up a week before Sept, then they waited? I really, really hope they didn’t make a mistake with him.
    He clearly has talent, and a lot of pop. But, he doesn’t appear to be the Showboater Cespedes or Puig are…which is good and bad. You need to have that cocky attitude at times when things aren’t going good…have to believe its just a short term issue if you aren’t hitting….
    And that’s the problem with this team, as currently constructed. Name a young position player on this team (other Simmons and F.F) that will be starting next year? Alright then….
    a lot of work needs to be done…..

    Like

  176. 182 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Nah. I don’t think he’s either scared or intimidated. I buy into the fact that he didn’t have any spring training and very little exposure to professional baseball at the time of the trade, not to mention the hamstring issue that delayed his arrival in ATL. And I think the hamstring issue is attributable to the lack of ST. So it’s like a double whammy.

    That said, I’m still a little baffled at “easing him in”. How are you gonna get your feet wet if you don’t get in the pool?

    As to Freddie and his wittle feewings, the guy is a professional athlete getting paid big, VERY BIG bucks to play the game. When it comes to signing a contract or dealing with a union issue, they know it’s a business and have no problem acting like professionals. When they get a little butthurt, then they’re just “confused kids”. I say BS. They know coming in that they or anyone can be traded at any time, and that they are being paid a hefty sum to perform. Period. In Freddie’s case, he’s pulling down $135M from the Braves. That’s alot of reasons to go out and do your job.

    You know what makes it hard to do your job? When you get laid off because the company can no longer afford to pay your insurance as dictated by the Pretender In Chief. Or when your car breaks down on your 1 hour commute in rush hour traffic because you couldn’t stretch the paycheck anymore to replace the leaky radiator. I do not and will not feel sorry for any highly paid professional game player who travels in First Class on chartered flights and doesn’t even have to carry his own luggage to his hotel suite. Just won’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  177. 183 Vox O'Reason September 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Good. Glad they took care of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  178. 184 berigan2electricboogaloo September 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    The good news is there will be be a lot of strong arms come spring training…

    Liked by 2 people

  179. 186 Vox O'Reason September 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Wow. Just wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 187 Vox O'Reason September 18, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    2nite’s lineup:

    1- Marky, RF
    2- Castro, 2B
    3- Freebird, 1B
    4- Adonis, LF
    5- Maybin, CF
    6- Andy, SS
    7- Hector, 3B
    8- Betty, C
    9- Williams Perez, RHP

    Like

  181. 188 Vox O'Reason September 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Does this guy fit the mold of a veteran leader for a young staff? Might the Braves look to someone like this for 2016?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/09/free-agent-stock-watch-john-lackey.html

    Liked by 1 person

  182. 189 Vox O'Reason September 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Nah. Probably too expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

  183. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville September 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Good afternoon folks, I have been considering buying stock in the companies that manufacture neck collars. I noticed a lot of head snapping as the Jays hit home runs this week.

    Oh well, the price we pay for letting the kids take their beatings in the bigs.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville September 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Sorry I have not been more involved in our conversations at late but trying to tie up some loose ends around here prior my oldest daughter’s wedding next week.

    Had a bunch of X-ray done on my back, good news bad news… Nothing has changed, nothing they can do…. Suck it up and deal with it…. Thank goodness for alcohol…. Snake oil is good thing…. Much better than mouth wash…. That said, even I have certain standards I won’t violate… Must be good snake oil…. Still not sure if it is used to ward off snakes, prophylactic against snake bites, prevents one from seeing snakes or helps one to stop seeing snakes… No directions are on bottle, perhaps you won’t care if you are bit? Whatever works eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 192 Gil in Mechanicsville September 18, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Folks should remember, even with all the talent the Braves had, they still went out and signed the Crime Dog.. Guys like The Big Cat…. Hey, you have to be a player and a mover and shaker to get a team you think can compete and you can still end up with a season like the gNats’.

    Liked by 1 person

  186. 193 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Use guys know me, Mr. Optimism :p
    John Lackey would be a great signing. But….like you said V, moola.
    Heck, it made me think back to…had to look it up, 2008. Remember that offseason? I forgot how back the 2008 braves were. 72-90.
    McCann was 24 and was the best hitter on the team that year 87 RBI’s lead the club, the Fred McGriffs, and Andres Gallaragas type of RBI machines were long gone from the lineup) Tex would have likely gotten more than 87 RBI’s, but we traded him away for…Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek . Bleh. Kotchman was a bust and Marek never made it to the big leagues. What a great…great treasure trove for Tex Wren got back for us.
    Remember way back when they said you couldn’t get much trading a guy at the end of July? What has changed in 7 years? Couldn’t they have gotten a 1st round pick back from the team that signed him? Or am I forgetting something?
    I do remember “them” saying, hey you can’t get much for a 2 month rental. But now, you see it all the time, teams getting excellent prospects back for the 2 month rental …anyway, so far away from the point I originally intended to make….
    before I go there, a few more dumb points my brain insists I make…
    Frenchy was also 24, but only hit 11 Hr’s and drove in 71. While hitting .239. .294 OBP. But by golly, Bobby Cox made sure he was in 155 games anyway. (yep, it was the year he also went to the minors for 3 whole games)
    But, even though Omar Infante hit .293 ,and Martin Prado hit .320, neither got in 100 games, cuz… utility players only. Anyway, when F.G. makes you want to pull out your hair, remember things like this that Bobby was doing at the end of his tenure.
    Ok, my really super duper great point or something…
    after that 72- and 90 year Bobby was still a respected/loved manager around the league, everyone wanted to play for him…yet….remember all the players that stuck out their hands to shake for a deal, only to pull back and say Psyche, or something to that effect…or their wives didn’t fly, only wanted to be in chauffeuring distance from their home town
    Anyway, after everyone and their brother turned the braves down, “we” had to settle for Derek Lowe and K.K. to fill out the rotation…not exactly top of the rotation guys…and true, don’t exactly need one of those either, but the last 2 “experiments” with the Pads guy who had a so-so ERA in San Diego , and the guy we released and ate a lot of contract on….it needs to be a solid #3 guy….and, if you were a solid #3 guy would you come to a 100 Loss team that hasn’t won a game for Shelby Miller since Bush was in the white house?
    That’s the tough sell. For the same moola, (in theory) would Lackey sign here at 37, or go back to the Angels, Cards, or go to Yankees/Giants and have a chance to win another W.S. before he retires?

    So I am afraid we will have to settle for a #4-5 guy again, or a former decent starter that will hope for a 1 year turnaround at the McDowell school of career saving….

    Just get a bullpen together…somehow….someway…probably by overpaying cuz…well see above, why sign here when you can play for a playoff contender….
    The Voice of Doom has spoken 😦

    Like

  187. 194 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Now, time for the voice of Reason to speak up! 🙂

    Like

  188. 195 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2015 at 3:34 am

    another blast from the past…. Jair Jurrjens…man, hadn’t thought of that name in awhile. got released by the Rockies AAA team at the end of August.
    Guess pitching with a bad knee ruined his arm.
    Look at all the good braves starters last 5 years or so.Tommy Hanson , Jair Jurrjens, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen. Only Medlen is still in the majors. And get this…all are 29.
    Still younger than our 3rd baseman. :/
    But, why did they all blow out their arms? Pitching too soon after T.J? Pitching too many innings too soon? (we all know Hanson had the weird motion, but seems he also jumped up a lot, innings wise in the minors)

    Like

  189. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Medlin is doing quite well in KC. That said, your many points are well taken. Taking one for the team is getting a bit old for a lot of young pitchers.

    Bobby did ruin a bunch of young arms but it is the same reason the army doesn’t want old guys in the ranks. They will always ask why before they jump…. Right now, the hot ticket is the Mets. They suffered a lot of humiliation after the Bernie Madoff deal but they have put together a team that looks as any in the league.

    Guys like Kelly Johnson and Urebi turn that team around and the addition of Cespedes and Wright have made them feared. Their young pitching is getting to the edge but they have the offense to cover it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  190. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2015 at 10:37 am

    VOX is on a Mission From God this week end Ber. He will return Monday methinks…Good post though.

    Liked by 1 person

  191. 198 berigan2electricboogaloo September 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Guess the phils just want it more 😉

    Like

  192. 199 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Yes, a bit of good news bad news with the Braves’ sweep of the Phils this week end. The Braves are not going to have the worse record in baseball, bad news, they won’t get the number one pick next June. That said, they should still get a good one. Wonder if it will be a pitcher?

    Like

  193. 200 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Now, time for the voice of Reason to speak up!

    Sipping my coffee, catching up on my reading, and warming up my typing fingers… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 201 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Remember way back when they said you couldn’t get much trading a guy at the end of July? What has changed in 7 years?

    Adding another layer of playoffs. Now you have more teams that think they have a shot. And they probably do. To me it’s a double edged sword. The more layers you add to playoffs, the more exciting it can become, and the more exciting it is for more cities. But it also reduces the importance of the regular season, and I am completely against that. But I digress…

    The real question was about trading. Now at the end of July, there are more teams still in the race than out of the race. So you have created more demand for specific pieces and less supply. Simple economics. The price of the supply rises.

    Couldn’t they have gotten a 1st round pick back from the team that signed him?

    Nope. Not in baseball. You cannot trade draft picks. You can now trade “international draft slot allowances”. But that is something else that is also new over the last year or so. The Braves were very active in trading for those allowances this past year because they need them for 2016. As I talked about a couple of weeks ago, there is a 15-year-old kid in one of the Central American countries already being compared to Miguel Cabrera. Pretty hefty comparison. Reportedly the Braves already have a verbal agreement in place with his representatives, but needed the extra slot allowances to swing the deal. Thus the flurry of trades to accomplish that at the deadline. Many things happening behind the curtains that none of us have any idea about. Making the sausage, so to speak. But again, I digress…

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 202 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 7:33 am

    why sign here when you can play for a playoff contender

    $$$

    Simple answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  196. 203 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    As I recall, when we signed Derek Lowe, we did sign him for a bit above his market value, but that wasn’t because he (or other pitchers) didn’t want to play here. Lowe was not a top tier pitcher, and the Braves were not in the running for any top tier FA’s. Rarely are any more. Lowe was near the top of the second tier FA’s, and the Braves overpaid to make sure they got the guy they wanted. (Plus, if you’ll remember, he was coming off a dominating playoff performance for LA in that preceding year’s playoffs, inflating his value.) In fairness to Lowe, he was not horrible here. Great? Of course not. But he had some moments.

    As for KK, I think they really thought they had something there. But I’ll place that blame squarely on Frank’s shoulders. When you literally run off the best scouting group in the league because of your obsessive micro-management mania, which is a documented fact, you are left with less than competent talent evaluators. And that, my friends, is the real reason the Braves minor league system was ranked 29th in MLB at the end of Frank’s tenure. Their scouting had gone to crap. As you’ll recall, just last week I gave a short breakdown of the #1 picks under Frank’s command. In a word – crap. It’s impossible to draft talent if you cannot recognize it. But again, I digress…

    KK was a heckuva pitcher in Japan. But that was while pitching once every 7 days with a smaller baseball. At least those was the reasons the Braves gave publicly. If you ask me, the scouts just simply swung and missed, which is more than I can say for most of the batters that actually faced KK. (But KK did have the nicest cars on the road in Pearl, MS. 😉 )

    Scouting is so important in perpetuating an organization’s success. The very first thing that John Hart did after formally taking the helm in ATL was to fire all of Frank’s scouts and get the band back together.

    I think I lost track of my point, but I think it is this…

    The overpaying for Derek Lowe and KK were more a function of middle market economics and bad scouting than of other pitchers shunning the organization. Professional players understand the color green before any uniform color, and that won’t change under any GM’s guidance. Still, I don’t expect the current Braves to be bidding for any top tier FA’s even under Hart & Coppollela. (Sounds like a law firm… or a sitcom.) So if they want to land for the best pitcher in this year’s second tier of FA’s, they’ll probably have to overpay again. At least the scouting will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  197. 204 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:14 am

    For the same moola, (in theory) would Lackey sign here at 37, or go back to the Angels, Cards, or go to Yankees/Giants and have a chance to win another W.S. before he retires?

    Like I said, if you want the best guy in the second tier, you’ll have to offer the best deal. But that goes for any team, not just the Braves. Money talks; everything else walks. When you are talking about signing a 37-year-old pitcher, you are talking about his last shot at a real payday. He’s taking the best deal, regardless of organization. If he gets 10 offers that are all the same, then he gets to pick his location with complete objectivity. But we all know the reality is that teams will compete for his services, and their “points” will be cash money. Whomever has the most points at the end of the competition will win. It’s that simple.

    (Now, there are always exceptions to any rule. But they are rare. And they also get reprimanded by the union.)

    Remember when Dan Haren said he’d retire before leaving the west coast? Remember when his agents said, “He really doesn’t mean that?” Well, not only did he report to Miami for ST, he was traded to Chicago mid-season and is about as far from any coast as you can get, if you don’t count Lake Michigan. Oh, and he plans to enter FA at the end of this year also. Like I said, money talks.

    Liked by 1 person

  198. 205 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

    VOX is on a Mission From God this week end Ber. He will return Monday methinks

    Yes… yes I was. And yes I have. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  199. 206 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:33 am

    If you beat the only team in MLB worse than you for all 3 games of a series, is it really a sweep? Or is it just kind of… there?

    On the positive side, they’ve helped their chances of avoiding a 100-loss season. On the other hand, they’re losing the race for the #1 pick. Not sure how I feel about that. I mean seriously, does anyone really care about the standings and the W-L at this point? Perhaps we’ll “gain” a game back on the Phillies tonight. Shelby gets the start in Queens against the front-running Mets, so we know we won’t score any runs.

    On a positive note, there have been some very good players picked with the #2 overall pick. Players like Byron Buxton, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Justin Verlander.

    On the other hand, Melvin was a #2. pick. Ew.

    And for history’s sake, the last time the Braves held the #2 overall pick was 1991 when they chose a college OF out of ASU named Mike Kelly. Remember him? Yeah, me neither.

    Liked by 2 people

  200. 207 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Work now…

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 208 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Couldn’t they have gotten a 1st round pick back from the team that signed him?

    Wait… you were talking about a compensatory pick for losing the FA, weren’t you?

    Was that system in place in 2008? Lemme check…Nope. Came into place in 2012.

    Liked by 2 people

  202. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Good morning fellow Stuffians… Do we really know if the best prospect in baseball will benefit the club which draft them. Look at the Pirates and all their failures. Yes, good scouting and having the ability to properly evaluate talent is important. Things like aluminum bats and not having to play everyday etc can be a difference maker. Still, Houston has managed to parlay a lot of early picks into a very successful team.

    The Mets have to be licking their chops at the thought of the Braves coming to town for three days. All that said, the Braves could return the favor to the Nationals when the gNats knocked them out of the race a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  203. 210 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

    The Braves aren’t playing badly, they’re just not scoring much. And their bullpen will continue to get torched because it is simply not a ML caliber bullpen. Still, it’s not like the team has rolled over. They’ll compete with the Mets to a point, but I think in the end the Mets will simply have too much to overcome. I predict we’ll take 1 out of 3. Maybe we win the opener as Jon Niese toes the rubber. That’s probably our best matchup. And my goodness, the law of averages has to catch up with Shelby at some point, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  204. 211 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 11:29 am

    The Braves bullpen:

    Liked by 2 people

  205. 212 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I ask the question again…

    When was the last time Freddie Freeman rose to the occasion at a big moment in a game? It certainly was NOT in the 2nd inning of tonight’s game with the bases loaded.

    Like

  206. 213 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Can we give McKirahan back to Miami now? Please?

    Like

  207. 214 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    That was completely uninspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  208. 215 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2015 at 5:28 am

    good grief! Poor guy!
    from mlbtr
    The Braves announced that righty Mike Foltynewicz underwent surgery to remove “the anterior half of his first rib.” Foltynewicz had been on the DL with rib inflammation and was then hospitalized yesterday after experiencing blood clots in his right arm. Atlanta assistant GM John Coppolella explained that, “our first and foremost thoughts are just for his health and that he is okay,” as Kevin McAlpin of Braves Radio Net reports (links to Twitter). The two issues are unrelated, per Coppolella, who indicated that the club is still trying to get its arms around the situation. It seems a safe be that Foltynewicz, a key part of last year’s Evan Gattis trade, will not pitch again this year, though there are no indications that he’ll have any lingering issues.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/09/braun-undergo-back-surgery.html#comments

    Like

  209. 216 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

    That is not an uncommon procedure, actually. There was a QB at UGA a few years back that had to have the same procedure. That portion of the rib was constricting blood flow to his throwing arm. Weird, but not horribly bad. It certainly puts an abrupt end to his season.

    That’s one pitcher that I don’t worry about too much. He’s got “stuff”. The only real question mark surrounding him is whether his stuff is better suited for multiple innings or for 1 late inning.

    Liked by 1 person

  210. 217 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Vox O’Reason
    September 21, 2015 at 8:33 am
    …Shelby gets the start in Queens against the front-running Mets, so we know we won’t score any runs.

    Sadly, a prophet star for me. This may be the strangest run of any professional athlete that I’ve ever seen. And it isn’t like they didn’t have chances. Freddie Freeman, the guy you want batting with the bases loaded, was up in the 3rd inning and flied out to CF. Well, I guess he’s the guy you want up. Somebody thinks so. I’m not so sure. He also struck out with a runner on 3B in the 8th. I suppose it’s easy for me to sit here in my office and criticize, but I’m just not seeing any “star” quality out of the guy that’s supposed to be our cornerstone. I don’t think he’s scaring any pitchers. We need somebody scary. Somebody. Anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Well, it wasn’t like we hadn’t been warned….. Freddie has picked up some bad habits trying to hit around the shift and the fact he has pretty much been left unprotected in the line up this season he will swing at just about anything. No one to pick him up… Look at Maybin who early on was red hot, now he is hitting at em balls, like Micheal Bourne. Just been a bad year to be a Braves’ fan…. For sure, if you don’t score any runs, you are not going to win any games.

    Liked by 1 person

  212. 219 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Hoping we get to see this dude in ATL next season. Probably not until mid-season, but looking forward to it.

    Like

  213. 220 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    V, I said earlier in the year…well, let’s see what I said…roll the tape…or somethin’…well, didn’t have any luck, between calling him FF or F.F. or Freddie, or Freeman…anyway, I think being the one and only power threat was not going to help him become a better hitter.
    I think instead of being more selective , he’s had to try to do more, cuz let’s face it…no one, including FF is going to scare a pitcher….
    as I mentioned a few days ago…his numbers at least look good for those rare times there are folks on base in front of him….
    Runners on, 173 ab’s .331 B.A., .444 OBP

    Like

  214. 221 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    There is one team in baseball that hasn’t hit 100 HR’s (88) guess which team? :/

    .250 BA that is 21st out of 30 teams, not horrible….last in runs by about 31 runs in baseball….that is horrible…

    Liked by 2 people

  215. 222 Carolina Lady September 23, 2015 at 3:52 am

    SAD SAD SAD!

    Yogi Berra, a baseball legend who won 10 World Series championships as a player with the New York Yankees and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, died on Tuesday night at the age of 90.

    More on this story: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2015/09/23/baseball-great-yogi-berra-dies-at-0/

    Liked by 1 person

  216. 223 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Yogi was famous for saying, among any other things, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” I suppose it’s over.

    Hat tip to you, Yogi.

    Liked by 1 person

  217. 224 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Good win last night. That’s the kind of night when you get a small glimpse at what the Braves are building. You got to see a little more maturity from Matt Wisler, who has said he has learned to be more assertive and aggressive on the mound. Well, that growth is allowing him to control the game, and he did just that against a pretty tough Mets lineup last night. You got to see the real power potential of Hector Olivera. Man he crushed that ball. And Adonis Garcia continues to hit off the bench. I think he’s a keeper. Now if we can just find a couple of more pieces to fill in a couple of gaps, and if we can just have a bullpen…

    But my point is this: That’s the kind of game we should look for next season out of Wisler and out of HO. Building blocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 225 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Sad to read of the passing of the great Yogi Berra, 90 years young and over shadowed for the most part by his contemporaries on those powerhouse Yankee teams but no less a Hall Of Famer in his own right. RIP Yogi… and your picnic basket too….

    Nice game last night by the young Matt Wisler. I must admit things looked shaky to start but he manned up and held serve the rest of the way.

    I realize the station to station baseball the Braves have instituted this season is fun and exciting but three run homers are pretty exciting too. Nothing like a little instant offense to help win ball games. I think it is a matter of understanding when to go for it and when a bloop single is all which is needed to score runs etc.

    I’m sorry I missed the “Fozn’s” debut Monday night. First pitch, hits the ump in the knee cap…. Now that’s baseball…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  219. 226 berigan2electricboogaloo September 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Sad to hear of Yogi passing…a Saint Louis boy, even though everyone thinks of the Yankees when they hear his name. And, rightly so…
    when folks brag about Jordan or whoevers championships… 10 W.S. Rings…
    take that! 🙂
    Rest in Peace Mr. Berra….

    Liked by 2 people

  220. 227 berigan2electricboogaloo September 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

    V, yep, building blocks…
    I think even moreso than the losses it was the fact that no one, NO ONE, save Julio Teheran looked to be improving the last few months.
    Matt Wisler looks to me to be throwing all with his arm, no real stride…very odd…like he was taking pitching tips from Tommy Hanson .
    Looked a lot better last night…and Hector…that was basically a high outside pitch he was able to pull for a homer…Brian Jordan was acting like it was a mistake by the pitcher, shoulda gone with a low outside slider…but to me, most folks don’t hit that pitch for a homer…
    So, I hope H.O. will be in the lineup again today…
    Just give us fans something, anything to hang our hats on….

    Liked by 1 person

  221. 228 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I read some of Wisler’s quotes after the game. basically he says he’s changed his mental approach, nothing mechanical. Says it started with his brief stint in the bullpen, where he got to really observe. Now he attacks batters with the objective of keeping them off balance. And it has shown in the results.

    And if you look at the way Teheran has progressed, along with the way Shelby has been throwing all season, and you see the foundation for a good young staff. Add a veteran to the mix and let the remaining youngsters – ManBan, Folty, WillyP, etc – duke it out for the 5th spot, and you have something.

    Personally, I like ManBan for the rotation, with WillyP and Folty going to the pen. Instant late inning improvement.

    Speaking of bullpen improvement, we also have the addition of Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow, with Shea Simmons coming in somewhere later in the summer. And then there’s Dan Winkler, who just made his debut.

    If you think about it, there are several potential effective bullpen candidates in house that just need to get healthy and get back into the flow. Add a good FA lefty to that mix and you have a real major league bullpen again.

    Building blocks. Hope for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  222. 229 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

    And to make sure I am perfectly clear on the matter of our bullpen, I do not want to see 1 person currently out there back for 2016 not named Vizcaino or Winkler. Not 1. Not McKirahan, not Marksberry, not Cunniff, not Moylan, not Jackson, not Kelly, not Burawa, not Detwiler and not Marimon. Not any of those.

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 230 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Somehow I keep forgetting that Mike Minor is a real possibility to return for 2016. And given that the “2nd tier” of available FA starting pitchers is a definite dropoff from the more expensive top tier group, we might all ought to pray that Minor’s shoulder is healed and that he can return to his 2013 form.

    Shelby (R), Julio (R), Minor (L), Wisler (R), ManBan (L) could be a pretty good rotation.

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 231 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Possible bullpen for 2016:

    Vizcaino (R), Folty (R), veteran FA (L), PacoRod (L), Winkler (R), Withrow (R), WillyP (R)

    Like

  225. 232 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I still believe Folty could be a dominating closer. And Viz has been pretty good himself.

    Like

  226. 233 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    What what?

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 235 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    2nite’s lineup vs. the ageless Bartolo Colon:

    1- Marky, RF
    2- HO, 3B
    3- Swish, 1B
    4- AJP, C
    5- Andy, SS
    6- Petey, 2B
    7- MayFly, CF
    8- Bourn-y, LF
    9- Williams Perez, RHP

    Like

  228. 236 Vox O'Reason September 24, 2015 at 7:19 am

    2 questions answered last night:

    1) Yes, Freddie Freebird can still come up big in big moments.
    2) Yes, he has still been dealing with the wrist issue, as was suspected.

    Like

  229. 237 Vox O'Reason September 24, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Ha ha…

    Like

  230. 238 Vox O'Reason September 24, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha…

    Like

  231. 239 Carolina Lady September 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Yogi talks about storming the beaches at Normandy on D-Day:

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 240 Vox O'Reason September 24, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Like

  233. 241 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    So, no game tonight, get ready to go fishing guys….

    Liked by 1 person

  234. 242 Carolina Lady September 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    At least they won’t get another ‘L’ tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 243 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 7:45 am

    5-1 over the last 6 games. Hope the off day didn’t kill the momentum. 😉

    Like

  236. 245 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Ha!!

    Like

  237. 246 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  238. 247 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 248 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman: “The Braves are willing to listen to trade offers on anyone, but sources tell Heyman that Freddie Freeman probably isn’t going anywhere. Atlanta is also said to be open to a return for Craig Kimbrel — the initial trade was made for the purpose of shedding Melvin Upton’s contract — though the ‘pen will receive a boost when Shae Simmons, Jason Grilli and Chris Withrow are healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  240. 249 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Do we need to sing the bullpen blues again?

    Like

  241. 250 Carolina Lady September 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Sure, V! You do it so well! 😉

    Wow, would I ever love to see Kimbrel back in a Braves’ uni!!

    Liked by 3 people

  242. 251 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Maybe not a win, but they sure showed something tonight. I think the young’uns might have learned a thing or two.

    Like

  243. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I have to say, however, that last night’s game had a familiar outcome. Despite scoring 11 runs, they fell just short. Oh well, got to see the dolphins spin….

    Weber was the prototypical rookie last night. He stuff just was not there. It is why he has been mired in the minors. who would have thought the Braves would score 4 runs in the first inning off Fernandez?

    Still hoping the Astros can hang on to the final wild card spot but they are a very young team and they are doing what young teams do late….

    Magic number for Matt Williams to keep his job is one…. Just saying….

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Going to be lot of turnover in SD this fall…. Hero to Zero in one short season…. Goes to show how fast the worm can turn. I guess they figured out it was not Bud Black who was the problem…

    Like

  245. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2015 at 9:13 am

    So, the only races still to be determined are out west. While the Giants are not yet eliminated, they are getting pretty close.

    The Astros are hanging on by their fingernails for the final wildcard spot but with a week to go, we will find out if they have what it takes. I am not surprised by Texas, felt like last season was the aberration…

    The Braves had their chance in the eight inning last night but, well, you know…

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 255 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I’m thinking Shelby Miller might be developing a serious case of self doubt…

    Liked by 1 person

  247. 256 berigan2electricboogaloo September 27, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Yep, or doubt in his teammates. Of course, I am sure it never crosses his mind that if he hadn’t been traded this offseason, he could have been 17-5 instead of 5-17, and instead of being on a team fighting to not have the worst record of 30 teams, he could have been on a team that could go deep during the playoffs…and being without Adam Wainwright (well he is back already as a reliever ) and Carlos Martinez, the Cards would be counting on Shelby to help them….

    Like

  248. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Anyone else hear/see the fracas between Bryce Harper and Papelbon the other night? Pap got on Harper for not running hard on a fly ball to the outfield and Harper took exception…. Ah, and they wonder why the gNats got swatted this season? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Still pulling for Houston but it is going to be tough…. Lots of character building taking place this year in the Big H. Still, a pretty good season for a team which had experienced three straight 100 loss seasons.

    Watched yesterday’s game with one eye open and one closed…. Sigh,,, any doubt as to who would win the game? Scary part is the Marlins have figured out how to win without Stanton in the line up. They are going to be beast next season. Of course it still comes down to being able to keep the other team off the scoreboard. In this age of 100 pitches per game limits being put on starters, middle relievers are becoming more important. That and they not being worn out by September as we saw in so many Braves’ teams.

    Biggest area of improvement needed by the young Braves pitching staff? Learn a pitch to get out hitters after getting them down two strikes.

    Been thinking, I wonder if Pete Rose could land a gig with “Draft Kings” if the new commissioner does not reinstate him? If so, could he reinstate “Shoeless Joe Jackson” too? I think it is a big joke for baseball to be in bed with any business that has gambling at it’s core? May as well let players endorse different brands of steroids…..

    Liked by 2 people

  249. 258 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    So, if you get a chance, watch the set to between Papalbon and Harper, of course the gNats did the only logical thing, they suspended Papalbon for the remainder of the season… HAHAHAHAHA… And the Phillies are laughing at the thought they traded away Papalbon and his contract too the gNats and have actually played better of late. Number one rule in baseball, you cannot fire the owner… unless you are Marge Shott or Charlie Finlely. They would have fired Ted Turner too but the kind of did that one too….

    Like

  250. 259 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Gil, I saw the fracas (blog first, if I spelled it correctly?) I know that some have issues with Harper not always running hard on pop-ups, etc, but he runs hard…most of the time, plays hurt, and is about the best player in the NL, on a team that offered him no support….so, for Papalbom to get so upset with Harper when he is not the problem with the nats…and to try to choke him?….He’s likely gone even if they have to eat all of his contract….

    Like

  251. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    So, what would Bobby do?

    Like

  252. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    So, good news bad news for me. Will only get the National’s feed for the Braves games the next three nights, The good news, I won;t be watching….

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 262 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    So, did Papalbon only sum up the Nationals’ season with a choke?

    Like

  254. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    HA! Take that you smarmy gNats….. AJ da man

    Liked by 1 person

  255. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Okay, I’m impressed, is it the Braves or the gNats…. ? Methinks the Nationals’ players are insuring Williams departure.

    Like

  256. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I guess the Braves feel they have more to play for….

    Like

  257. 266 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2015 at 8:29 am

    yup, Matt Williams is way , way done…stick a fork in him, he’s toast…or somethin 😉

    Like

  258. 267 Vox O'Reason October 1, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Hi folks. Drive by comment here… I’m on vaca, but have been listening to the games.

    Quick observation: The young pitchers – and they are by far the youngest rotation in MLB – are making great strides as the season winds down. I know that I’m the “glass half full” guy, but there is no denying the progress they have made over the last 3-4 weeks. I don’t have the time to go bring out their numbers, but if you look at Julio and Matty, and even WillyP, you will see some darn good starts to close the otherwise forgettable season. That’s progress, my friends, and that’s what we have been looking for.

    As for the offense, well… that has to be addressed. And I’m confident that it will. But developing pitching is the route that our FOT has chosen to go. And the last few starts from our youngsters is proving that the plan is moving forward.

    (Bonus find for September = Daniel Castro… Andrelton lite.)

    The glass is half full. Keep filling.

    Gotta go. See y’all later…

    Like

  259. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Hope you are having a great time VOX, we are sitting here wondering exactly where the hurricane is going to hit as I am sure CL is also. We expect our camper to be soggy toast by the time we go down next week. Oh well, another tax right off….. Can’t move it and if the storm takes it’s now projected path, well, mother nature is a bitch…. I am worried more about the trees around the homestead staying put.

    There was a very good reason folks did not build home near salt water until after the 60s. Certainly the native Americans saw the wisdom of staying inland except for fishing expeditions but so called global warming is not the reason for shore erosion.

    Like

  260. 269 Carolina Lady October 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Yes, Gil, watching Joaquin closely. As of this morning, it is forecast to increase to a Cat 4, but the rain is what concerns me more. We’ve had nothing but rain all summer and the ground is soggy.

    We’ve had 15″ of rain in the last two weeks alone and we’re forecast to get another 8″ to 12″ PLUS over the next few days. My house sits high enough that I don’t think it will get flooded but no doubt, Kelly and I will be marooned on our own little island as both ends of the road will be underwater, as well as the one leading back out to Market Street (Highway 17). We’re well-provisioned (ALWAYS stay prepared!) so we’ll just sit tight until it’s all over.
    🙂

    Gil, you and Miss Josie watch this thing; you may be more in line for a direct strike than I am here on the coast. At least, maybe it will be weaker once it gets inland.

    Kelly & I have prayed and know that we’re under God’s Divine protection so we have no worries and will just have peace through whatever comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  261. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Josie and I battened down the hatches here in Mechanicsville, moved the cars to a place where they are somewhat safe from tree limbs etc. The camp ground is located right on the Chesapeake Bay. We talked with some friends and they said the area where our camper is sited caught heck last weekend during the blood moon. Washed away part of the seawall so we shall see. God’s will be done. We will drive down next week but the good news is I have not already paid my none refundable site fees…:-) I’m thinking I may not even have a site… It was nice while it lasted but for the same money, we can take a nice two week cruise…. It’s getting too hard for us to keep up with the stuff around here.

    I passed up a very good deal on a nice Fox Steringworth DB shotgun today because all things considered, I just did not have room for it and I don’t feel like going thru all the trouble of reselling it. Hey, we all have out hobbies, I am seriously considering downsizing my rather large collection just because I can’t stand to shoot that much any more.

    Anywho… Stay dry and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to call….

    Liked by 1 person

  262. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    One last word, herricanes about as unpredictable as the chances of the Braves having a good team by 2017. So many variables…. Just have to be prepared for any emergency….

    Liked by 1 person

  263. 272 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Did I ever mention that I wondered if John Hart pretended to make the deals , to take the heat off of Coppolella ? Or did I just mention that to trivia players that are also baseball nuts? Anyway, I REALLY did say it 😉

    and now Coppo is the new GM….
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/10/braves-promote-john-coppolella-hm.html

    Like

  264. 273 Carolina Lady October 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Gil, I’m just thrilled to have a seat on God’s team bench! 😀 I’ve never figured out exactly what I’m supposed to do for Him – but I’m willing to do whatever He wants. If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll learn.

    Like

  265. 274 Carolina Lady October 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Wow, the 5 p.m. advisory is looking much better!! MUCH better! 😀

    Like

  266. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    More good news bad news CL, Not going to get the hurricane, still going to get hit by the Nor’easter… 🙂

    Yep, you said it Ber, always someone behind the curtain pulling the levers…

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 276 Carolina Lady October 2, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Gil, check this out. This is separate and apart from the hurricane, according to NOAA.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/wundergroundlive/comment.html?entrynum=17

    Like

  268. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

    CL, I worry about Klubber, I suspect he is waterlogged by now in Charleston.

    The Weather Channel. et al are predicting a tidal surge anywhere from 2 to 10 feet for Virginia Beach and the Bay…. Anything above 4 feet will leave me with one very soggy and likely ruined camper. Ok, well, I think I have gotten my money’s worth out of it. Time to move on, we’ll go down when it stops raining and salvage what we can which I don’t think will be a lot beyond my tools and my TVs.

    Looks like you will be in for a lot of rain, will find out that those folks who stopped up the storm drains with leaves and plastic will have done more harm that the storm. The worse part is getting disconnected from the outside world due to power outages. Make sure your stores contain a few good books to keep you entertained and batteries for your radio.

    Like

  269. 278 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Now baseball…. I thought Weber deserved a better fate last night. He might not be able to throw 90 mph but he sure can make a baseball dance like a wiffle ball. I don’t know why he had such a rough outing in Miami last week. Looked like he had lost all movement on his pitches and was throwing batting practice fastballs but if he can pitch consistently like he did last night, he will win a lot of games for a team that can provide a little offensive support. He gave up one home run. A shot on a pitch the hitter was fooled on but hit it just far enough to the opposite field to count as instant offense.

    I thought he was every bit as good as Strausberg at a fraction of the cost and drama….

    Like

  270. 279 Vox O'Reason October 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve never figured out exactly what I’m supposed to do for Him – but I’m willing to do whatever He wants.

    That’s all He’s ever asked… is for our willingness.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 280 Vox O'Reason October 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Oh… and CL, I love the new counter. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  272. 281 Vox O'Reason October 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Yes Gil, Weber was very good. And Strasburg has now finally figured out that you don’t have to throw 100+ to get people out. If you take a little off, it won’t fly quite as straight as an arrow.

    But back to Weber. I think many, including myself, had kind of written him off as a necessary substitute for what we assume will be the “A Team” of pitchers. But this kid has something, and he can no longer be overlooked as an extra. I think he’s earned a shot to be right in the mix for 2016. No question in my mind. As a starter, he’s every bit as good as Williams Perez, and his “stuff” lends itself better to starting than WillyP. I’ve thought now for a his last few starts that WillyP gets himself into and out of jams consistently. Man we could use a reliever that can consistently get out of jams, couldn’t we? WillyP is that guy.

    But what Weber really accomplished is to give the Braves more options for trade pieces to acquire a bat or 3. The more proven pitchers the better. And that is why the Johns – or maybe just John – has stockpiled the arms.

    Like

  273. 282 Carolina Lady October 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I have a new inground pool. Well, most of it seems to be still above ground – but can’t have everything, I guess. Rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain. Still. Kelly & I are good. House is secure, not flooded, new roof doing beautifully. Cat very unhappy that he can’t go out. He finally stalked off in a huff and, I assume, went somewhere else to take a nap.

    Vox, I saw that counter and thought of you. grin If I knew P&C report, I would have entered that, but don’t think it’s available yet.

    The new Win10 downloaded this morning. Have I ever mentioned that I really don’t care for a lot of change? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  274. 283 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Windows 10…. I have downloaded it onto my 2 CPUs which had Windows 8, not upgrading the laptop with Windows 7 and I am getting ready to retire the Windows XP machine, after all, it’s getting pretty old. Like boat anchor old … Saving the hard drives though.

    Now baseball…again…. Pretty dramatic comeback by the Angles today against Texas. I am very conflicted by the LAA vs Texas. Want the Astros to win the West but need to keep the Angles out of it too…. aaauuuuggghhhh!

    Raining in Atlanta… poo…

    Like

  275. 284 berigan2electricboogaloo October 4, 2015 at 1:57 am

    While we haven’t had the rain use guys have been having up north (Heh, you guys are northerners I guess, eh? 😛 ) V can tell you, the last few weeks have been quite soggy….
    What’s funny is a good friend , who loves to make last minute plans wanted to go to a game, shoot, a month or so ago cuz neither of us had seen a game in person. So, (I think I told this before, but whatever) we went down there expecting no one, and found the parking lots filled out (it was remembering the 1995 W.S. team I think) and people showed up in droves…so, we met a wonderful couple from his church and talked for hours…so not a disappointment (He then goes a day or to later to a game since some Church friends had a spare ticket-not that I am bitter about not seeing a game this year 😉 )
    So, earlier today, he texts me, thinking of going to the game tonight(last night now) was I up to it? Umm, err….all it’s been doing is raining, at it was still in the upper 50’s then….yep, a wimp I am these days…of course my Fatty liver disease has reared it’s ugly head again (though it’s forced me to cut back on my eating a lot, lost about 10 pounds in a month) so feeling cruddy and sitting in the rain in the cold, didn’t sound like too much fun….
    so, in a way glad the game was rained out…didn’t miss a no hitter or nothin’
    Scherzer tossed another won, but of course there is no baseball tonight cuz college football means there isn’t even room for a 30 minute baseball tonight on one of the 58 ESPN channels on the 2nd to last day of the season…man, if you want to know what’s wrong with American , well in a nutshell, it’s that few care about the American pastime anymore…guess it’s passed it’s time 😦

    Like

  276. 285 Carolina Lady October 4, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Just had a brief chat with Klobber: he and his family are well and aren’t flooded thus far. Many places in Charleston are waist-deep in water. Hard to imagine.

    Rain part 2 seems to be in the offing here Sun through Mon with predictions of a bunch more water – another foot or so. sigh

    The Cape Fear River is already above flood stage and will only get worse as all the water from upstream several hundred miles pours into it. I’m nowhere near the river but lots of people are and I really feel for them. This whole event is hitting people hard and it will be difficult for them to recover, especially without flood insurance.

    Is it spring yet?

    Like

  277. 286 berigan2electricboogaloo October 4, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Evan Gattis has 11 Triples…the Braves? 18. (Nats only 13 for the year) you cannot stop Evan Gattis, you can only hope to contain Evan Gattis 😉

    Like

  278. 287 berigan2electricboogaloo October 4, 2015 at 7:04 am

    CL, this rain just…sucks…if only half of it could fall in California…

    Like

  279. 288 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Up here in NEGA we’ve had a ton of rain. Fortunately for us personally, we aren’t in a low lying area. The biggest concern now is for trees. The ground is so saturated from all the rain that the shallow rooted trees are in trouble if the wind picks up, which it has this morning. Woke me about a hour ago. (Wind, not trees.)

    For us, the biggest hazard is our septic system, which is beginning to take a hit from the huge rainfall amounts. Like I said, the ground is saturated. You can fill in the rest of the story.

    This has not been the best week of vacation I’ve ever had.

    Liked by 1 person

  280. 289 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

    MLBTR: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was in Mexico this week to meet with baseball officials there, and it appears the addition of an MLB team south of the border is a possibility. If MLB were to expand, it could consider expanding into Mexico, Manfred tells Maury Brown of Forbes.

    Manfred also notes that MLB could add a team or teams in the US, and that Montreal is interested in having a team again. Television territories would not be a significant obstacle to expansion, Manfred says, as long as the new teams aren’t too close to existing ones. If MLB were to expand to 32 franchises, teams would continue to play 162-game schedules, but would be realigned in eight four-team divisions, Manfred says, noting that would actually make scheduling easier.

    It would also do away with the awkward 15 team leagues that cram an interleague series down our throats constantly throughout the season. Can you believe the Braves will bid farewell to Turner Field against the Detroit Tigers? That’s a travesty.

    I could stomach interleague play (barely) when they were confined to a brief mid-season stretch. But all season long is awful.

    Like

  281. 290 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Things are looking good for Shelby, and the Braves will not go sub-100 on HRs for the season. Good day so far

    Like

  282. 291 Carolina Lady October 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Well, it appears that I misunderstood about a new inground pool. It was actually the beginning of my new Soggy Bottom Mushroom Farm.

    Water is halfway up the mailbox posts. Radio says another 20″ of rain through Monday/Tuesday a.m.

    :-/

    Like

  283. 292 berigan2electricboogaloo October 4, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Wow CL, stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

  284. 293 berigan2electricboogaloo October 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Have had trouble posting here today….I’d click post, but nothing happened…
    now I can again…yay for Shelby! 🙂 good for him, has to feel good…..

    Like

  285. 294 Carolina Lady October 4, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Ber, I’ve got my little Jon boat tied up to the back deck. Semper Paratus!
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  286. 295 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Busy day for me sports wise… Redskins, Braves, Astros, NASCAR… Great Braves games today, Of course not like they were playing all the first stringers but still… Both Shelby and Matt pitched outstanding today.

    Like

  287. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Glad to hear everyone in Stuffville is safe….

    Like

  288. 297 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Also glad my rescue days are behind me, it is harder than it looks on TV… Someday I need to write all of it down before I can;t remember it any longer…

    Liked by 1 person

  289. 298 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Mixed feelings this morning. Yes, it is a little bit of a relief that Season #1 of the rebuilding project is in the books, but I am gonna miss these goons. Bad as they were at times, it was still my home team and it was still baseball season.

    It’s a long time to February.

    Yes… I know there are still a few weeks of playoffs left, but the season has effectively ended for me. Does that make me a bad fan? I hope not. I suppose I can pick a team and try to follow, but it isn’t the same. I know the Braves. I know their averages and their background. I know where they came from and how they wound up on the roster. Heck, I read half their Tweets!!

    To me, the playoffs are a little like being invited along on a nice trip with a group of people that you don’t really know. It’s kinda fun to be there, but it’s hard to be really truly enjoy it. It’s just… “nice”.

    Anyway, I’ll keep one eye open and root for the ‘Stros until they win or fall out, then go from there. Kinda like a flow chart (remember those?), except different. I like KC a little, but feel strange pulling against the NL. I suppose it depends on the teams left. I don’t think I can pull for LAD. But even though we Braves folks have a nice healthy dislike for the Mutts, I still have an equally healthy respect for them. I could see myself pulling their direction a little. At least I know that team better than most.

    Could this be the year the Scrubs actually break their long standing curse? (I’ll go ahead and answer that: No. It won’t.) And wouldn’t the networks be thrilled with a Toronto / Pittsburgh WS matchup? Ha!!

    I suppose the prudent thing for me to do is to make my prediction now before it all starts. I think Texas made some good mid-season moves to plug their holes, and they are a fairly hot team with alot of offense and enough pitching. And who is gonna beat Kershaw/Greinke?

    I like LAD over TEX in 6.

    Like

  290. 299 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 8:21 am

    If you missed it, AJP took out his season’s frustration on the Tool Race yesterday. 😉

    Like

  291. 300 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 9:18 am

    One more thing before I pause and return to work, this very tough season ended on a fairly positive note, with the team playing out the last few weeks the way they started the season. And this was all youngsters.

    Here are some stats, courtesy of the 3 beat writers:

    The Braves went 10-4 over their final 14 games following the awful 4-26 skid. They won 4 of their last 5 series. They went 8-1 with an 0.63 ERA in their last 9 home games. They finished 42-39 overall at Turner Field. Wisler produced a 2.33 ERA over his final five starts. Julio Teheran was 2-1 with a 1.51 ERA in his final six starts. Arodys Vizcaino was 9 of 10 in save opportunities with a 1.60 ERA and 9.9 K/9. And Shelby broke the streak in game 161. (Did you see the team completely rally around him? Did you see the love when the last out was made? That is how a clubhouse should be.)

    Y’all, we do have some strong building blocks to continue this rebuilding process upon. A top 3 of Miller/Teheran/Wisler is strong… strong. And every bullpen starts from the back end forward. If we can get Freebird healthy, let Markakis have a full offseason to regain his strength, get Hector assimilated into American baseball, and let Simba be Simba, we’ve got something.

    So while newly named GM Coppy falls short of having the same smooth speaking skills that the other 2 Johns possess, he certainly communicated one thing very clearly in his tour of introductory interviews: the Braves will be quite active plugging holes this offseason, including offense. He virtually promised 2016 would not be remotely close to 2015. I know that it’s his job to paint a rosy picture, but as I said he isn’t an articulate public speaker. He isn’t a team politician. There was no spin in his brief and direct words. The man is all business.

    Yes, there is much to look forward to as this season rides into the sunset and the the final campaign in The Ted approaches. 2016 will be brighter. I believe it.

    Like

  292. 301 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 9:59 am

    And of course, Day 1 back to work/school for the VOX family following a week of vacation/Fall Break that saw rain all 9 days… and the sun just came out. :-/

    I can hear Mrs. VOX screaming from here.

    Liked by 1 person

  293. 302 Gil in Mechanicsville October 5, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Good morning “Stuffville” … VOX, the clip of A.J. you posted left out the best part, when he went over and kicked the hammer in the nails while he was down…. Classic A.J. The other night, the Braves broadcasters posed the question of whom was this years MVP for the Braves. After a short period of posing, I concluded it has to be Perzenski. Who would have thunk it?

    What a great team mate he has been. Helping guide the young pitching staff all the while hitting .300 and running out every play to the end. I sure hope the Braves bring him back next season and he is able to fill the role he was originally picked up for to serve as a good mentor and team leader and be able to catch one or two games a week. Of course that would mean the Braves would have found one of the Molina brothers previously unsigned to hold down the primary job.

    Bethancourt is still young but who knows if he will every get his head in the game? Maybe trade him to Boston where Frank Wren now is employed.

    Now weather… woke up and discovered some tree branched on the ground in the front yard. Must have had a little wind last night…. Most of the heavy rain appears to have avoided us this time. The national weather maps show CL as getting hammered. Keep your head down Margie….

    We are waiting for the Campground folks to let us know when we can come down to assess the damage. I think we have two more high tides to worry about.

    VOX, tell the wife to take two Xanax and turn the kids loose outside so the can burn off some of the pent up energy. They do still have recess in Georgia don’t they? Anyway, I do think God has a sense of humor, he is just refilling all those lakes and reservoirs people lived near in southeast… When people pray for rain, they need to be specific as to how much…. Oh well, at least it gives all the TV weather people places to wade around in to show where the water has risen to. I’m bad, sometimes I wish they would step on something below the surface and cause them to do a pratfall… Now that would be entertainment. And enough with all the breathless emoting on whatever is going on. Sould like they are all auditioning to be the next Jerry Springer….

    Liked by 2 people

  294. 303 Gil in Mechanicsville October 5, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    And breaking news… Matt Williams will not be returning as the manager of the Nationals next season… Oh my, what a surprise…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 304 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Shocker.

    Like

  296. 305 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Oh, I will. I will.

    Like

  297. 306 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Kevin McAlpin: Hart on 2016: “We will be better. We will not have the financial limitations that we’ve had.”

    Like

  298. 307 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    More McAlpin: Hart says Braves’ main two priorities this offseason will be to strengthen bullpen and add offense.

    Well, duh! I hope so!!

    Liked by 2 people

  299. 308 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    One more McAlpin nugget: Hart says Mike Minor is “all systems go.” Ramping up throwing in Orlando. Still in Braves’ plans for 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  300. 309 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Bowman: Hart says Braves’ starting pitching needs will be influenced by Mike Minor’s progress.

    Like

  301. 310 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    DOB: Braves expect RHRP Chris Withrow to be fully healthy for spring training. Shea Simmons might not be ready to come off DL until early May.

    Like

  302. 311 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    More DOB: Hart said catching “is going to an interesting dynamic” and will explore that thin market. They want AJ back, but an AL team could swoop in. Braves brass reiterated they still love Bethancourt’s skills; said he’s still in the plans but also want the right guy catching young pitchers.

    Like

  303. 312 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Bowman: The Braves believe Hector Olivera will benefit from the 6 weeks he spends in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Seitzer will be down there as well.

    Nick Green made some very insightful observations yesterday on HO’s 3B defense. One has to wonder if the Johns would consider playing him back at 2B where he’s seasoned and comfortable. I would think they’d almost have to explore that possibility. And it would allow the team to look for more offense from the 3B spot via trade or FA.

    Like

  304. 313 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I get the feeling that Bethancourt is done here. Too bad his trade value is not very high. In my opinion, the former front office evaluated the guy too high in his progress, which in reality worked to stunt his development. How are you going to improve when you think you are already the second coming of Benito Santiago? I think Wren’s stooges were good at inflating alot of player evaluations.

    Reality is that Ryan Lavarnway was a much better receiver/defender. Not much offense, but a good catcher. If AJP gets away, Piston would be a good backup for a bona fide #1. (Chip Caray calls Lavarnway “Piston” because the legs go up and down alot but not forward very much. 😆 ) Still, I hope the team can find a way to bring AJP back. I agree that he was the team’s MVP this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  305. 314 Vox O'Reason October 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Here’s a couple of my own nuggets to hold onto as we head into what could be another dizzying offseason:

    The Braves have now shed all their outstanding “dead salary” commitments to players not on our roster. However… they hold the 2016 commitments to both Swisher and Bourn that together total $29M. I suppose those are somewhat tradeable, but certainly not for full contract value. I contend that Bourn is a valuable guy to have mentoring a youngster such as Mallex Smith. And Swish is a decent bat to have come off the bench… maybe not $15M worth, but at least there’s something there more than you got from Uggla or Melvin. He might have some value to a team in search of a DH, so a trade is certainly not out of the picture there.

    There’s also an $8.1M commitment to Cameron Maybin, whose production dropped dramatically as the season wore on him. His trade value was probably at an all time high back in July. In retrospect, maybe we should have kept Uribe and Kelly and traded Cam? I dunno. Maybe he can be equally as good in the first half of 2016 until Mallex Smith can come up and take the reins.

    All total, when you estimate the arb raises that are most likely to be awarded, the Braves will enter next season already having almost $94M in salary commitments to their current roster. Obviously that is subject to change as the roster evolves, but it sure doesn’t leave you much room to grow as it stands. Maybin and Swisher (and possibly Bourn) are really the only ones who might could be traded and impact the payroll, but still not at full contract value.

    Still much heavy lifting for John, John and John.

    Liked by 2 people

  306. 315 Carolina Lady October 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Some slides of southeastern NC, if you’re interested. Gil, you may recognize some of these places. Part 2 centers more on the Brunswick co. area. Thank the Lord for this high land I’m on! Had some big league flooding around me. I had only a teeny bit of water get in through the tracks of the sliding glass doors. Totally manageable – and I’m grateful. So many people were not so fortunate.

    http://www.wect.com/slideshow?widgetid=170762

    Liked by 2 people

  307. 316 Carolina Lady October 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    My neighbors across the street just had a big flatbed truck come in and haul their SUV off. Flooded out. Even my faithful Mercury sat snug in the carport. I’m blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

  308. 317 Gil in Mechanicsville October 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    CL, I once owned a 1950 Plymouth that hated moisture, if a dog peed on one of the tires, it absolutely would not start. It was a true fair weather friend.

    VOX, if you look at the Braves’ salary commitments vs actual payroll for 2015, you woulds see a difference of about 50MM dollars. As for Bourne and Swisher, I would keep Swish for the offense. Bourne hit into a ton of bad luck this season. Still, his value depends upon how soon Malix Smith is able to get to the bigs. or should I say, how soon he is actually a big league ready player.

    It is only my personal opinion that the Braves will not keep both Maybin and Bourne both next season. You need only so many fourth outfielders. As for Maybins’ offensive decline, I think it was fatigue more than anything else. He is not a highly rated defensive center fielder.

    As for Olivier’s position on the field, depends on who the Braves sign in the off season and who the trade away. I am thinking Garcia is pushing Peterson at second base. He is better defensively and growing offensivly.

    Liked by 1 person

  309. 318 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 7:37 am

    It is only my personal opinion that the Braves will not keep both Maybin and Bourne both next season.

    I would agree with that, and I might even argue that Bourn is more valuable. But given that Mallex Smith is probably not going to be ready before mid-season, not to mention that the organization could choose to delay starting his MLB clock for a couple of months so as to squeeze one extra controllable year of service out of him, You could still keep both Maybin and Bourn until closer to the trade deadline when either one may have a higher trade value. In fact, each of those two would be in the final guaranteed year of his deal (as would Swisher) which could make for an easier deal. That was by front office design, by the way.

    Like

  310. 319 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 7:44 am

    V, you are correct, the 3 J’s have a lot of work to do this off season. There are 29 other teams that think they need to build up their bullpens as well. And 28 teams have better records than the 2015 bravos, which I know would weigh on my mind if I was a reliever :/

    Still not sure what the thought was of getting Bourn and Swisher…I know they are great clubhouse guys I get that, but all that money they took on. I’d rather have kept Chris Johnson, and moved Hector to 2nd, or just eaten the 16 Mil he is owed the next 2 years, if he was so bad in the clubhouse (I imagine it had more to do with not starting than anything else) I know, they never want to do that…
    So now you have Bourn, who clearly had some terrible, terrible luck with balls hit right at guys seemingly for a month….but owns an OBP of .316 in 2013, .314 in 2014, and .310 between Cleveland and the ATL in 2015….those are Jose Peraza numbers, one reason we seemingly didn’t want the keep the speedy 21 year old. Bourn will be 33 in Dec.
    So, you going to play him full time next year? Leading off? He hit exactly 0 homers last year….

    Nick Swisher will be 35 later this year. A regular? He seemed to hit better than what I saw….195 in 149 P.A.’s (plate appearances) he walked a lot though….Dan Uggla again? So….you add Mallex Smith to the mix, that’s 5 outfielders…and that leaves Cameron Maybin with 10 HR’s as your main power threat….and he seems the likely one to get traded, right? I think I heard he was injured down the stretch, forget what it was, his wrist maybe?
    So, with pass history predicting the future, the braves won’t release Swisher or Bourn, so they can try to trade (eating 90% of the salary and getting a fringe prospect back) or play and hope Seitzer can get them back on track…but then that means no room to trade for an upgrade to the offense….unless you eat contracts….also, if you trade Maybin, and Mallex Smith needs more time, you have a trio of over 30 outfielders that isn’t going to a great help with a young staff….

    Gil, I think Adonis Garcia just ran out of season, don’t you think?
    His 10 HR’s tied him with Maybin for 2nd on the team but in only 191 AB’s
    Same age as Olivera too but more 30+ guys. Can he be good enough at 2nd? Had issues at 3rd at times…. Castro perhaps? Jace still?(John Hart really talked him up during the game the other night, but perhaps just a J.S. type buildup? I like him and he seemed to get some big hits early on)

    Rio Ruiz, took a step back after coming over in the Gattis trade, .233 with 5 HR’s in AA, but still only 21, but more than likely not a factor in 2016. And I see they haven’t tried him anywhere but 3rd (and DH)

    Like

  311. 320 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 7:54 am

    He seemed to hit better than what I saw….195
    Me once again butchering the King’s English … I meant to say I thought he hit better than .195, and I guess it was all the walks that made me think that….

    Like

  312. 321 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 7:58 am

    If you saw any of Fredi’s comments yesterday, one might read between the lines and infer that the Braves are still not 100% settled on Olivera at 3B. They’re settled on him being on the field somewhere, but LF looks like a possibility, even if only a slight possibility.

    One other possibility is that they will simply look for an additional offensive upgrade from a deal that works for them, whether it be at 3B, LF or even RF. Fredi sounds as though he’ll move the pieces around the field as necessary, even being willing to move Markakis to LF if a RF hitter comes available.

    And as much as I love Daniel Castro’s glove at 2B, and I really do, I personally prefer to move Olivera back to his natural position and find some additional offense from 3B, a position that traditionally carries more punch.

    But back to Olivera. assistant hitting coach Jose Castro is continuing to work with him daily in Miami, as both have off-season homes there. And when he goes to Puerto Rico for Winter League ball – reportedly for 6 weeks from early November until mid-December – he’ll be working daily with Braves minor league infield instructor Luis Lopez, who is on his Puerto Rican team’s coaching staff. So HO has a winter of hands on intense instruction ahead of him before heading into his first ML Spring Training.

    I hope the team will put him in the best position, both figuratively and literally, to succeed in 2016.

    Like

  313. 322 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:08 am

    The reason for acquiring Bourn and Swish for CJohnson was purely economical. They traded away CJ’s contract which was a longer term commitment to get back a short term commitment and cost certainty. Plus they received close to $15M in cash (salary relief) for last season. So when you add the total payout to Bourn and Swish ($29M guaranteed for 2016) vs. the salary relief ($15M) and CJ’s deal ($16.5M guaranteed for 2016 and 2017), the difference is almost negligible. But most importantly the team is off the hook for any of it going into 2017 when they want to be able to make a splash in FA going into SunTrust Park.

    That pretty well sums that part up.

    Like

  314. 323 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Gil, I never knew Plymouth’s used Lucas electrics! 😉

    Like

  315. 324 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Yes, Ruiz did struggle immensely for much of the season after coming over from HOU, but the second half was much better. And the reports on the team’s #8 prospect are still pretty positive. The current scouting report on him says:

    After struggling at the outset, Ruiz made a mechanical adjustment to his swing that has led to much better production. He has demonstrated good on-base skills and does a good job of using the whole field to hit. His power largely translated to doubles in the low levels of the Minor Leagues, but as he physically matures he should start driving more balls over the fence.

    Though Ruiz still has room for improvement defensively, he has the look of a future everyday third baseman in the Major Leagues.

    I think there is a chance that he could return to AA Pearl for the early going in 2016, but certainly isn’t expected to make a ML impact for at least another season, maybe 2. Heck, he’s only 21, so he’s still a baby.

    Like

  316. 325 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:23 am

    As for Adonis… well, he reminds me a little of a few guys that have passed through before – promising bat, painful glove. He finished 2015 with 10 HRs and 10 Es. Not sure that is a tenable ratio. But he definitely opened some eyes with his bat. No way he can be an everyday guy in the IF. Maybe LF. The jury is still out there, though.

    Like

  317. 326 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

    The way I see it, the Braves have to address 3 field positions – C for sure, and 2 of LF/3B/2B. Hector will wind up in one of those, but where is yet to be seen. I know the brass keeps saying 3B, but I truly don’t think they’ll paint themselves into a corner since they’re the ones doing the shopping for offensive upgrades.

    Like

  318. 327 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 8:30 am

    The point I never have seemed to get across(To DOB or anyone else) is the braves also> had to pay Swisher about 5 Mil for this year (out of the 15 Mil contract) and about 4 mil give or take of Bourn’s 13.5 mil contract. 5 mil for .195 B.A, 4 mil for .221 B.A. . Cleve paid 2 mil for .289 (over only 90 AB’s)

    So, as far as I can tell, the braves will have to come up with 23 Mil(after 15 mil in salary relief) for this year and next to save 18.5 on Johnson’ contract over 2 years.

    Again, if Swish or Bourn get hot 2016, then you can trade them, no doubt…but over this winter? Only for a bag of balls IF the braves eat salary. And you have to play them, right? Cuz moola.

    I also don’t get them saying now they have some salary wiggle room for next year if they have commitments of 94 Mil for next year.

    You cannot tell me they made money this year. I kept seeing “official” attendance numbers showing 24,000 when clearly there were less than 10K in the stands, night after night. Which also kills concessions, etc (feel sorry for the hard workin’ folks at the park)

    I have never heard how many season ticket holders there are year to year? anyone ever see numbers?
    How many will pay next year? Either for season tickets or games?
    I am sure Liberty will be generous in the 2016 budget…as always…

    Something I noticed last few weeks of the season. Anyone else? I saw a lot of baseball highlights of pennant contending teams with…a lot of empty seats in the outfield. Not in Chicago, Boston, Toronto, but in L.A. even in the Mutts stadium….

    Like

  319. 328 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 8:32 am

    italics issue 😕

    Like

  320. 329 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    and it shoulda said… Cleve paid 2 mil for .289 from CJ (over only 90 AB’s)

    Like

  321. 330 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:40 am

    As for my personal opinion, I think Bourn has a productive 2016 left in his tank. I don’t know if Maybin does. He’s never made it through a season healthy, and much of the latter part of 2015 was affected by foot issues to go along with the wrist thing. Great guy who flashed moments, even stretches, of good production. But not consistent enough to hang your hat on for my taste.

    I’d prefer Nick Swisher coming off my bench than Adonis. Is he worth $15M in that role? Of course not, but you gotta pay him so you might as well use him to his max potential.

    I would try to shed Maybin’s contract and give CF to Bourn for whatever time period of 2016 is necessary.

    Then I’d look for some offense in LF, and open with that guy/Bourn/Markakis as my starters. The oft forgotten Dian Toscano can hopefully be my 4th OF.

    Like

  322. 331 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Regarding the salary questions:

    According to John Hart and John Coppolella as well as Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk, and I heavily emphasize that caveat, Liberty is willing to increase the “budget” by as much as 25%. That’s partly due to new revenue streams created by new sponsors and partners for their new developments. Part of that willingness is also due to the knowledge that the team must take an attractive property into their new ballpark in 2017. So they are willing to spend more up front to enable the team to move forward into the future. Priming the pump, so to speak.

    Why? Well, regardless of reports to the contrary, Liberty looks at the Braves as a long term asset. And why not? All one has to do is look around the landscape and see the haughty values of teams all over the league. Once their sub-standard TV contract is up, this team is rife for a huge media deal. That is what Liberty sees on the horizon, and they’ll do what is necessary to make it as attractive a property as possible, including building a new ballpark which NOBODY saw coming.

    And I do see your point about the salary hit taken in 2016 by Bourn and Swisher, but the key there is that the hit is gone by 2017, and that was the goal. The current salary obligations for 2017, including potential buyouts for team options, is only $43,152,232. That total does not include whatever arbitration raises that will come due, but one can reasonably assume that portion to add up to an additional $20M or so, bringing the total to around $63M, give or take.

    And that, my friends, was the financial goal… to have max payroll flexibility going into 2017 so that they can bring in a big name to open the new park.

    Liked by 1 person

  323. 332 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 9:20 am

    One more thing…

    John Schuerholz and John Hart have proven track records. As much as we like to micro-manage their affairs, they really do know what they’re doing whether we fully understand it or not. (And I usually don’t.) But these guys literally get paid the “big bucks” for a reason. No executive hits on every deal, and if we just focused on the little thumbnails, we could nick them to death. But when we step back and take a look at the whole landscape, the result will be what we’re looking for.

    I’m sure if they gave me the reins, I would probably bring the house down so quickly that it’d create a sinkhole. 😉

    Like

  324. 333 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Me:

    😆

    Liked by 2 people

  325. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville October 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Morning folks… I mis-spoke yesterday. Meant Castro, not Garcia as possibly supplanting Petererson at second base. Either way, the Braves need consistent offense (read power) in the middle of the line up. There are so many factors which play into age versus effectiveness. What kind of nagging injuries become chronic? Eyesight? Bat speed? Quickness versus speed….

    And don’t you just hate it when you feel your team is being hamstrung by salary? I get it, players are always going with the memory of all those bus rides while in the minors, playing for chump change. Baseball excs are always under the gun to remind everyone these “men” are playing a kid’s game.

    TV reminds everyone they are footing the bill for all of it and want the games played so they can maximize beer commercial revenue. Now we have organized gambling poking it’s nose under the tent in the guise of fantasy league betting where teams mean little and the individual is everything. When will we uncover another points shaving scandal? Are umpires most susceptible? Official scorers? Just asking out loud….

    Liked by 1 person

  326. 335 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Gil, you just touched on 2 of my pet peeves with the game right now.

    #1, the always late starting times for all the playoff games. No kids ever get to hang on the edge of their seat for the 9th inning anymore. And yet baseball wonders why it continues to lose interest in its sport to the NFL and NBA.

    #2, once MLB got into bed with Draft Kings, it should have immediately sent an apology letter to Pete Rose and to the family of Shoeless Joe Jackson. It’s the height of hypocrisy.

    Liked by 2 people

  327. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville October 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I still remember being fooled into thinking Texiera was going to get the Braves back to the World Series when what it really did was propel Texas into the top tier of baseball hierarchy. You need what you need. I guess that is why they are going all in for pitching. Not just starters but guys who can fill out a bullpen. A place of weakness for most teams.

    Now expansion… One sure way to drive people even more crazy than they are now. Mexico? I rather put a team in Havana, it would be safer…. Of course all those defectors would be more than a little nervous.

    Montreal? Only if they ban those awful plastic horns… and promise to play on grass and not asphalt…..

    Liked by 3 people

  328. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville October 6, 2015 at 10:09 am

    NOLA? Maybe? Will chip away at both Atlanta and Houston fan base. Maybe they just need to invest in better seats for planes.

    Like

  329. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville October 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Oh well, is it nap time yet? Hmmmmm…. Does it make any difference? Going to need to be able to stay awake tonight.

    Funny VOX, I can still remember sneaking a six transistor radio into study hall to catch the WS games which were played during the afternoon. Sigh…. I knew we were done with those days when the lights were installed at Wrigley.

    Baseball, like golf, are sports designed for warm weather…. You should not play football in July and August and you should not play baseball in the snow…. Playing outdoor sports inside is an aberration as is playing indoor sports outside…

    For sure, we don’t need six umpires. We need better cameramen…

    Liked by 1 person

  330. 339 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 11:37 am

    For sure, we don’t need six umpires.

    But if you don’t have extra umpires, who’s gonna call the IF Rule in the OF? 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  331. 340 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 11:37 am

    IF Fly Rule, that is…

    Like

  332. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville October 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Yep, and I would have thrown trash on the field if I had been there too… Better that than the D cell batteries they toss in NY and Philly…

    Like

  333. 342 berigan2electricboogaloo October 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    According to John Hart and John Coppolella as well as Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk, and I heavily emphasize that caveat, Liberty is willing to increase the “budget” by as much as 25%. That’s partly due to new revenue streams created by new sponsors and partners for their new developments. Part of that willingness is also due to the knowledge that the team must take an attractive property into their new ballpark in 2017. So they are willing to spend more up front to enable the team to move forward into the future. Priming the pump, so to speak.

    V, I hadn’t heard that number, glad to hear it! They have to try to be more competitive next year, and certainly in 2017…I know I sound like a pessimist, a gloomy Gus, but I think I am a realist, at least with baseball.
    A weak bullpen, like I said early on, will defeat a team….now, I will freely admit I was wrong on Grilli and Jim Johnson (wonder if he would come back to the Braves, since the other 3 teams he has pitched for the last 2 years he stunked….stunked, I will leave it in place :/ ) I wasn’t wrong that the team didn’t think they really had to have a good one in place, the J.S. plan, any ol’ arms will do with a good pitching coach….
    And there need to be some good position players in the pipeline, and even the terrible minor teams will have one guy that is a ML ready each year…the braves didn’t have a one this year, save a traded for Jace Peterson (gee, I guess Frank Wren perhaps was the wrong guy to be the GM, perhaps….)
    Its a shame, cuz this was THE BEST YEAR EVER for rookies, If I can find the baseball tonight clip by TIM K, worth watching. Just an insane rookie class in 2015.

    The division thank goodness is weak, no NL Central.
    Honestly, the Marlins seem flawed (and I think I read their farm club is not so hot these days) The Phils have some young talent, but aren’t the Astros.
    Nats , while no doubt will be managed better, will be less talented, unless they luck into a good trade….The Mets, they are the team….so very many arms….unless they run into a wave of Tommy John syndrome, (and I wouldn’t wish that on any players/teams) they should be the team to beat for years. I wonder if ownership will be cheap again, and not signing Yoenis Cespedes (Yes, had to look him up to spell it)
    So, I do think there is hope on the horizon, but the 3 J’s need to be as smart as V thinks they are 😉
    Seriously, trades will have to be the way, cuz I don’t see this team paying 25 Mil for a top hitter, if there even is one out there to trade for…..

    Like

  334. 343 Vox O'Reason October 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Both John Hart and John Coppolella said it, Ber mentioned it, and I agree with it. The bullpen is the #1 priority. You can easily count 10 games that were lost by a porous bullpen in 2015. But do you have to go out and find 7 new arms? No, not 7. The simple fact that Arodys Vizcaino established himself as a capable closer is a positive in itself. Then add back into the mix guys returning from injury like Chris Withrow, who should be the 8th inning guy. What about Jason Grilli? Well, he’s a possibility, but for argument’s sake let’s leave him out. Shae SImmons should return, but not until May at the earliest. So you still need more to break camp with.

    Here’s where it gets a little interesting…

    Next season you’ll go to ST with 3 definite starters in Shelby, Julio and Wisler. The suits seem fixated on Mike Minor’s return leaving one more spot to be occupied by one of Manny Banuelos, Folty or Williams Perez. That doesn’t take into account late season discovery Ryan Weber. Assuming you keep one guy stretched out in AAA for depth, you still have 2 guys that won’t start. They very well could wind up in the bullpen. For my money, both Folty and WillyP could flourish in short inning situations. (I’m picturing Folty, Withrow and Viz as 7th, 8th and 9th inning guys. Not shabby at all, folks.)

    So now you need 2 more…

    The big blow for 2016 has already happened. The club was counting on LH Paco Rodriguez to be the primary lefty for late inning situations. But he’s on the rack for another year after a surprise TJ surgery a couple weeks ago. So you have to go out and find a lefty. That’s the item that is probably at the very top of the shopping list. If you can acquire that guy, you’re still short one. At that point you can evaluate the progress of Grilli and Shae Simmons and decide if another outside acquisition is needed. There are also a few leftover in house possibilities that will at least get a look.

    So the bullpen really isn’t as vaunting a task as it appears. But that one consistent and dependable lefty is the key to making it all work. You simply cannot miss on that one.

    And no kidding… a reformed bullpen is probably a 10 win improvement in and of itself.

    Like

  335. 344 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Anyone else watch the Astros take down the Yankees last night? What a fun game, the Astros reminded me of the 2013 version of the Braves, The Yankees the 2014 version. Both rely of power (home runs) and pitching. The Astros delivered, the Yankees didn’t

    Rumors are the network excecs at Fox were lining up at the windows in preparations to take a leap if they don’t end up with a New York/Chicago/Los Angeles team in the final mix. Their nightmare scenario would pit the Astros and the Pirates in the WS….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Of course Houston is the second largest city in the US now supplanting Chicago but most don’t speak English…. Of course the same might be said of Chicago… or New York…

    Liked by 1 person

  336. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Now the Braves… 25% increase? from which price point are they starting from? Last years on field salaries or total cumulative obligations? Last seasons on field payroll was 27th in the league or third from the bottom at around 63MM dollars.

    Like

  337. 346 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 10:33 am

    G’morning, y’all. The actual amount of $$ paid out in payroll obligations in 2015 for the Braves was $107.8M. That included all salary taken on, any incentives met, and all obligations to players sent packing elsewhere.

    From the things I have read, the Braves could boost that amount to $120M or more for 2016 depending on the players in the conversation.

    If I had to guess, we aren’t talking about adding one $25M player, or probably not even two $12-13M guys. More likely we are talking about a $8-9M player with two or three $4-5M guys sprinkled in.

    The biggest need for this team is an effective LHRP. There is not a clear dominant guy in the FA class this season, although Manny Parra would certainly be an upgrade. He would probably only cost at most $4M per season for 2 years. Probably a little less. Tony Sipp might be ok, but he’s been inconsistent and is coming off a magical team season in HOU. He’ll likely return there. If the Braves want an “elite” guy, they’re gonna have to dig one up in a trade. Can’t imagine the price of admission.

    It might be more beneficial for them to let ManBan come out of the ‘pen in 2016 anyway, given his proximity to TJ and subsequent cleanout. That’s a guy that could give you some solid work in relief. You have enough starter candidates without him.

    As for a bat, the Braves could look to a guy like Colby Rasmus, who smashed a long HR last night for HOU. He’s not a high AVG hitter, slashing .238/.314/.475 this season, but he did knock 25 HRs and would fit nicely behind Freebird in the lineup, providing him with some much needed protection. (Before you cite HOU’s tiny ballpark, Rasmus hit 13 of his 25 dingers on the road.) Rasmus is a good defender and could play CF allowing Michael Bourn to remain in LF. His price would probably be in that $8M range, and he’s probably looking at a 2 year deal. IMO, $8-9M for Rasmus would be a better investment than $9M for Cameron Maybin, as much as I think of Cam personally.

    Like

  338. 347 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Another good reason to consider Rasmus is that WAS is rumored to be interested in him to replace Denard Span. I’d prefer him launching long balls for us, not against us.

    Like

  339. 348 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I am considering taking on the daunting task of constructing a realistic 25 man roster for the Braves for 2016, including known salaries and reasonably projected salaries. My goal would be to put together a model that would upgrade both the bullpen and offense without busting the total bottom line in payroll. That’ll take a good bit of research and be quite time consuming for sure, and I’m not sure I want to invest it. After all, I’ll end up being very wrong anyway. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  340. 349 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    OK… I began the task of constructing my roster. I’m basing it partly on what I think will happen, but also in how I personally would address some positions.

    I’m still looking for a couple of positions, including my starting catcher and one more reliever. I sadly have admitted that an AL team has outbid me for AJP’s services in 2016. I am trading for a starting catcher and sending Bethancourt away in the deal. I have also traded Cameron Maybin and assigned Pedro Ciriaco to AAA. Most of the horrendous 2015 bullpen will not return.

    You will also be surprised to note that I have Folty in my starting rotation. 🙂

    More to follow. Stay tuned…

    Liked by 1 person

  341. 350 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I’m also not quire sure what to do with Ryan Weber. he was mighty impressive in his brief callup. Was he lightning in a bottle, or is he the real deal? I must decide…

    Like

  342. 351 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Please disperse. Nothing to see here.

    Like

  343. 352 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Update…

    I found my catcher, and only lack one reliever. And I’m still under $110M. Yay me!!

    Like

  344. 353 Vox O'Reason October 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Progress report…

    Since I found my catcher in FA, rather than via trade, I am keeping Betty and assigning Lavarnway to AAA as insurance. I’ve decided that I can give Betty a start or 2 a week and hope that my veteran (spoiler… I’ll keep his name secret until I unveil my roster) can help bring him along.

    Like

  345. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Knee surgery and catcher… two words you never want to hear or read in the same sentence. Wonder if Betty can play third base?

    VOX, never forget the old axiom that a major league team that wishes to contend must have at least 7 MLB ready starters at the beginning of the season.

    I love Weber when his “stuff” has movement, hate him when it doesn’t. Too many pitchers never seem to learn how to pitch when they can throw 95 plus.

    Everyone should remember how young this staff was this year. I remember some other guys who were not that great when they first started out in the majors.

    All that said, the bullpen is key, especially in today’s 100 pitches max per start adopted by MLB teams. Last night I could not help but think of Bobby Cox when the talking heads mentioned the lack of effectiveness by the relievers as the season has gone along. DUH! Have to admit, Bobby was one of the best in burning up a pen…

    I would like to see MLB change their rules a bit where they could have a 30 man roster but only be allowed to suit up 25 per game. Just a thought… at least in September and October….

    Like

  346. 355 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Oh well, little news to discuss until after the WS. Other than a manger or two or three looking for a new job.

    On Folty’s future with the Braves… I can handle him being moved to the pen. Still needs to learn how to throw strikes. I think have someone like Weber throwing 7 innings and then bringing in a flame thrower is much more effective than the reverse.

    Like

  347. 356 berigan2electricboogaloo October 7, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I keep forgetting to chime in and agree with those talking about draft kings, et al….like V said, Pete Rose should be reinstated as of today….baseball is in bed with gambling, and gamblers…..

    Like

  348. 357 Carolina Lady October 7, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    sigh Only 6 hours and 4 minutes left in this day. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  349. 358 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Gee, on the Five today, they came to the same conclusion we did about Draft Kings and sports….

    Liked by 1 person

  350. 359 Gil in Mechanicsville October 7, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Went to the camp ground today… No damage other than a lawn mower… lawn mowers really hate salt water…. Oh well, I have another waiting for a home, nowhere like the dump to find items others are too lazy to fix… Made a trade this week too. Traded my boat and trailer for a pick up truck…. Both need work. At least I can get in and out of the truck… Will post a picture later. 1988 Chevy Custom Conversion… My Ford needed a friend, besides, it is a lot easier to sell the truck.

    Liked by 2 people

  351. 360 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 7:19 am

    OK. I found my last piece, but am not quite 100% satisfied with a couple of decisions. 5th starter/bullpen is really difficult. But at the moment, I’m fairly happy and just a tick under $111M in total payroll.

    For the record, only 1 reliever that finished the 2015 season on the active roster is still in my 2016 bullpen. 😀

    Like

  352. 361 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Summary of last night’s NL Wildcard play-in (it really isn’t a playoff game yet) game:

    Jake Arrieta wins.

    Arrieta goes the full 9 and fully dominates the Pirates, both on the field and in the mind. Yep, after Arrieta was the Pirates’ daddy for 7 innings, Pirates pitcher Tony Watson goes bush league and plunks Arrieta at the plate, assumedly hoping Arrieta would retaliate in the bottom of the inning and get tossed. Of course, he didn’t and the Pirates had no answer for what Arrietta was dealing up. He was still dealing until the last out of the game.

    After the game a reporter asked Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, “Was there a pitch count number for Arrieta?” to which Maddon responded, “It was infinity.”

    Finally someone uses common sense over accepted convention.

    Liked by 1 person

  353. 362 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    As a follow up to my last statement, just because a practice becomes “accepted”, it still doesn’t make it correct.

    Leo Mazzone, the best pitching coach I have ever seen (and a HOF’er in my mind), says pitch counts are “hogwash”.

    Mazzone acknowledges that pitchers are landing on the DL and undergoing TJ more now than ever, but insists: “These theories on pitching are not working, We don’t need a pitch count or an innings count to tell us (a pitcher’s) done. If you’re a coach and you can’t read body language or certain types of mechanics, then you shouldn’t be a coach.”

    How about that? He actually endorses using common sense!

    Leo’s theory is simple. Don’t max out the effort. Period. He says, “You do everything you can as a pitching coach to keep those guys healthy. There’s not a particular pitch that hurts your arm. There’s not a number of innings that hurts your arm. It’s how you throw a baseball. Period.

    “If I had Verlander and Kershaw, I would teach them how to make the ball do something without maxing out your effort, and if you can do that, you’ve raised their longevity.”

    And Leo should know. How many shoulder and elbow injuries did Braves pitchers suffer under Leo’s watch? If I’m not mistake, John Smoltz was the only one. And again if I’m not mistaken, Smoltz was the only “flamethrower” in the bunch. In other words, Smoltz was the “max effort” guy.

    I’ve heard Leo speak on this many times, and have even read his book. His theory, which he developed under legendary Johnny Sain, simply says that the fewer “high leverage” pitches a pitcher throw, the better. He believes in throwing more between starts, but again with less effort. In other words, it’s never about the quantity, but always about the quality.

    And think about it… the new wave of pitchers in the game are mostly all throwing 90+ and most are at 95+. That’s what gets you noticed by scouts, and that’s what gets you drafted and signed. So if you have kids in high school and college already throwing max effort and then entering the pro level and ramping it up even more through refined mechanics, the amount of injuries is obviously going to increase as well. And it has.

    As we’ve noted previously, Steven Strasburg has become a better pitcher throwing 92 than when he was throwing 99. And the classic examples for us Braves fans are Greg Maddux, who rarely touched 90, and Tom Glavine, who only occasionally slung above 90. Both Leo disciples.

    Leo knows. He’s been there, done that, and has the championship t-shirt. Why doesn’t anyone – except Joe Maddon – listen?

    Liked by 1 person

  354. 363 berigan2electricboogaloo October 8, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Gil, I forgot to say, I did see the Astros/Yankees game. Very glad with the results. The Yankees just didn’t deserve to win with that weak staff.
    Astros remind me of the KC team of last year. Astros/KC will be low rated and perhaps the most exciting series of them all…we shall see…
    saw the last few innings of the Pirates/Cubs (of course wasn’t on during trivia, reason #459 that this country is doomed, no baseball playoffs on TV, but if it was Women’s soccer, every tv would have been on it, cuz everyone loves soccer deeply 😦 )
    feel terrible for the pirates(Could you imagine being a Pirates fan for the last 30 years?). We were their daddy in the early 90’s, now every team that meets them in the playoffs beats them and is their Daddy in that 1 game “series”. Really should be a 3 game series. It’s not a wildcard series, it’s a 1 game tiebreaker. Guess they should try to play better next year, apparently 98 wins just won’t get it done.
    I was thinking great run for the Cubs, but 2016 will be their year….so, now that they have won this game, might as well beat the Cards and the Mutts (really don’t want to see the best team money can by, the 2015 version win it all, just hope Kershaw wins a game) the the Jays. Hopefully the Jays or KC are in the W.S. Rangers seem a bit dull to me…but then again, haven’t seen a lot of their games…..

    Like

  355. 364 berigan2electricboogaloo October 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

    did ya know the Reds went 1-9 to snatch the 2nd overall pic from the bravos? 😦 I hope that doesn’t mean we miss out on the next Chipper…I wonder who the best 3rd pick overall was(braves or elsewhere)

    Like

  356. 365 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Regarding 1 game play-in “thing”…

    I also hate it. It’s silly. Any team can win 1 game on any night. Just ask the Braves’ opponents during the horrendous 4-26 skid. As bad as they were playing, they still managed 4 wins.

    But I will admit having 2 Wild Card teams increases the excitement later into the regular season. Did y’all realize that 7 games on the last day had playoff implications? That’s actually kinda cool.

    I heard this proposal a couple of weeks ago, and wish I had thought of it myself. This is the way HS baseball tournaments get their 3-game series in. Play a double header on day 1. If 1 team wins both games, they win the series. If the 2 teams split, go to the deciding game on the next day. And all 3 games would be played in the #1 Wild Card team’s home turf. That rewards the better regular season accomplishment. If the 3rd game was necessary, skip the off day and start the NLDS game the very next day regardless of travel. That rewards the Division winner for their regular season accomplishment. It doesn’t add any calendar days to the schedule, and still makes a series of the Wild Card play-in.

    Liked by 1 person

  357. 366 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Yep, getting the number three over all pick is the price you pay for actually being pretty decent the final week of the season, also for playing against a bunch of second stringers….

    Okay, I get resting players after you clinch but methinks a team looses it edge doing too much of that. Texas has owned Houston this season, but the Astros had no gimmes the final week. The Angles ran out of miracles… I did not get a chance to see the Royals much this season but know our old friends Chris Medlin and Jonny Gomes reside there now.

    Yep, Arrieta owned the Buckos last night, even the hard hit balls, and there were a few, could not get past the Cubs defense. Everything Maddon did last night was gold… That is play-off baseball… Going to be fun to see the Cubs and the Cards go at each other…. lots of history there.

    Anyone else think the Pirates’ Sean Rodriguez looks a lot like Sylvester Stallone? They should have hung a side of beef in the dugout….

    Methinks the Cubs should put a goat in the bleachers for the play-offs….

    By the way, that kid Kyle Schwarber playing right field? Who knew? I guess he could pitch too….. He is not the smoothest backstop behind the plate but he looked pretty darn good in the outfield. Pretty sure that 450 foot home run silence the crowd for a long time too. Nothing like early home runs by the opposition to quell the mob.

    Liked by 1 person

  358. 367 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

    As for the #3 pick…

    2015: COL SS Brendan Rodgers
    2014; CHW LHP Carlos Rodon (CHI OF/C Kyle Schwarber was #4, NYM OF Michael Conforto #10))
    2013: COL RHP Jon Gray (CHI 3B Kris Bryant was #2)
    2012: SEA C Mike Zunino (CHI SS Addison Russell #11)
    2011: ARI RHP Trevor Bauer (HOU OF George Springer #11)
    2010: BAL SS Manny Machado (NYM RHP Matt Harvey #7)
    2009: SDP CF Donovan Tate (LAA CF Mike Trout #25)
    2008: KCR 1B Eric Hosmer (SFG C Buster Posey #5)
    2007: CHI 3B Josh Vitters (SFG LHP Madison Bumgarner #10)
    2006: TAM 3B Evan Longoria (LAD LHP Clayton Kershaw #7, WAS RHP Max Scherzer #11))
    2005: SEA C Matt Clement (WAS IF Ryan Zimmerman #4, MIL OF Ryan Braun, #5, TOR SS Troy Tulowitzki #7, PIT CF Andrew McCutchen #11)

    2005 was a pretty good year, huh?

    So it goes to show that there are serious impact guys available at #3 as long as your scouts do their homework. Thankfully, the Braves brought the top scouts back into their organization again after Frank ran them all off.

    It also shows, in the case of Schwarber and Conforto, that you can get some pretty dang good help pretty dang quick too.

    Liked by 1 person

  359. 368 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Yep, Arrieta owned the Buckos last night, even the hard hit balls, and there were a few, could not get past the Cubs defense.

    Hmmm… pitching and defense. Where have I heard that before?

    Like

  360. 369 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 10:21 am

    BTW- I have finalized my active roster to open 2016. Now I just need to figure out a way to format it on here from my spreadsheet. 🙄

    Like

  361. 370 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Starting 8, Salary, Contract status
    Michael Bourn,$14,000,000.00,4 yr, $48M (2013-16), 2017 vesting option
    Nick Markakis, $11,000,000.00, 4 yr, $44M (2015-18)
    Freddie Freeman, $12,359,375.00, 8 yr, $135M (2014-21)
    Colby Rasmus, $8,000,000.00, 2 yr, $16M (2016-17), 2018 club option
    Hector Olivera, $8,666,667.00 , 6 yr, $62.5M (2015-20)
    Dioner Navarro, $4,000,000.00, 2 yr, $8M (2016-17)
    Andrelton Simmons, $6,142,857.00, 7 yr, $58M (2014-20)
    Daniel Castro, $520,000.00, Pre-arb

    Like

  362. 371 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Rotation
    Shelby Miller – R, $2,600,000.00, Arb 1
    Julio Teheran – R, $3,466,667.00, 6 yr, $32.4M (2014-19); 2020 club option
    Matt Wisler – R, $520,000.00, Pre-arb
    Mike Minor – L, $5,600,000.00, Arb 3
    Mike Foltynewicz – R, $520,000.00, Pre-arb

    Like

  363. 372 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Bullpen
    Arodys Vizcaino – Closer, $1,100,000.00, Arb 1
    Matt Albers – R, $4,000,000.00, 2 yr, $8M (2016-17), 2018 club option
    Tony Sipp – L, $4,000,000.00, 2 yr, $8M (2016-17), 2018 club option
    Jason Grilli – R, $3,500,000.00, 2 yr, $8M (2015-16), 2017 club option
    Chris Withrow – R, $600,000.00, Arb 1
    Manny Banuelos – L, $520,000.00, Pre-arb
    Williams Perez – R, $1,000,000.00, Pre-arb

    Like

  364. 373 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Bench
    Christian Bethancourt, $520,000.00, Pre-arb
    Nick Swisher, $15,000,000.00, 4 yr, $56M (2013-16), 2017 vesting option
    Dian Toscano, $1,300,000.00, 4 yr, $6M (2015-18), 2019 club option
    Jace Peterson, $520,000.00, Pre-arb
    Adonis Garcia, $520,000.00, Pre-arb

    Like

  365. 374 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

    DL
    Paco Rodriguez, $522,000.00, Pre-arb
    Shae Simmons, $520,000.00, Pre-arb

    Like

  366. 375 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Traded
    Cameron Maybin, $3,100,000.00, cash sent to offset remaining $8,100,000 owed

    Like

  367. 376 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Total: $114,117,566.00

    Like

  368. 377 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

    NOTE: All arb and pre-arb figures are estimated, but they are educated estimations based on past precedent.

    Liked by 1 person

  369. 378 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I added $20M in new players, but let about $5M go with Maybin’s trade. So my net payroll increase via acquisition is $15M.

    Like

  370. 379 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    2015 Colby Rasmus: .238/.314/.475 w/ 25 HRs

    Like

  371. 380 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:54 am

    2015 Dioner Navarro: .246/.307/.374 w/ 5 HR in just 192 PAs. hard to get in the game with high $$ FA Russell Martin playing in front of you.

    Career avg: .255/.313/.375, 13 HR, 59 RBI. Regarded as a top defender who throws out would be base-stealers at a 29% career clip.

    Like

  372. 381 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:56 am

    2015 Matt Albers: 1.21 ERA in 30 G, 37.1 IP, 6.3 K/9.

    Like

  373. 382 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:57 am

    2015 Tony Sipp: 1.99 ERA in 60 G, 54.1 IP, 9.7 K/9.

    Like

  374. 383 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

    All 4 available via FA.

    Like

  375. 384 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I chose to go the FA route because mock trades are really too speculative in this imaginative scenario. I didn’t want to just pull beneficial trades out of my…, well out of “left field”. Just suffice to say that any substantive trades made going forward by the Braves will be to upgrade the on field product. And those words are not mine; they are Coppy’s.

    Like

  376. 385 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Kris Medlen has made the KC ALDS roster. Good for him!!

    Liked by 3 people

  377. 386 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Meds is perhaps the one pitcher whom is most Weber like… Perhaps why I like Weber, he has had to learn how to pitch. Like the difference between the beauty queen type vs a gal who has worked hard to develop a personality because she knows looks always fade.

    Those 99 mph flame throwers always get slower as they age. Also appear to get wilder. Late life, movement etc will always fool major league hitters but fastballs only work against the slower bats. Hitting is always about timing, pitching is always about disrupting timing.

    I noticed last night the strike zone was pretty big east and west, not as much north and south. Pretty even handed though. It is all about knowing a particular umpire is calling balls and strikes. I don’t really have a problem with a strike zone being non regulation, just when it changes based upon the name on the front of batter’s jersey.

    One of the things that made Tom Glavin so successful was not pitches in the middle of the plate, it was getting the umpire to expand the strike zone to the point the hitter had to swing at pitches less likely to be hit solidly.

    Liked by 2 people

  378. 387 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I like Ryan Weber also, Gil. I didn’t retain him on my imaginary 2016 active roster because, as you said earlier, you gotta have 6-7 healthy starting pitchers. I’m stashing him back in AAA. He seemed the best candidate to me to go back and stay “stretched out” and ready to help if the call comes.

    I strongly considered keeping Weber as the 5th starter and sending Folty to the bullpen, confident that he could be very good in late innings. But I also think he has the potential to be a special starter so I’m willing to afford him every opportunity to become that. Will it happen in 2016? Probably not. But you need this year to get to next. Just ask Matt Wisler or Julio Teheran.

    By the same token, I think Williams Perez is a serviceable starter, but would better serve this team out of the bullpen. He’s a guy that has proven that he can get out of jams. Granted, they are always of his own making. But you have to agree that he’s almost a better pitcher with men on base. Makes no sense, but the evidence is plentiful. And if you need him to make an emergency start, he’s available.

    The real sticky one to me was Manny Banuelos. During his brief time in the rotation, he really showed flashes of brilliance. But he’s still young and less than 2 years out from TJ, not to mention the “cleaning out” that was done just a few weeks ago. Coming back by way of the bullpen was very beneficial to Kris Medlen (the first time) and seems a good way to ease ManBan back as well. Plus he’s a lefty, and we really need a good lefty in the ‘pen. And as with Meds, if you decide he’s more valuable as a starter, you can send him down to get stretched out and bring him back for that purpose. Gives you flexibility. There is also precedent. The Braves handled Alex Wood pretty much the same way a couple of seasons back. I think the bullpen experience helped Woody hone his starting pitching approach.

    Like

  379. 388 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Peterson or Castro? Peterson is a nice player who may have reached his pinnacle and might just be the bench player many scouts projected him to be. Castro appears to be more versatile afield and makes contact with the bat.

    Hey, you just never know when the next Simba will show up? You don’t know which of the young arms the Braves are stock piling will be traded for an everyday position player who can carry the team.

    You never know who is the real secret to a team’s success might be. Case in point is the gNats Denard Span. With him in the line up everyday, the Nationals would have won 100 games, without him, well, you saw the results. Bryce Harper, despite all his talent, is not a team leader. Just the way it is in baseball.

    They are a team in desperate need of an A.J Perzinski or David Ross or Jonny Gomes. For sure, the gNats fell way short of their talent level. The Astros by all accounts have exceeded theirs but it was funny that some of the pundits decried the lack of RBI by Gattis as a DH. Well, it is pretty hard to amass big RBI numbers when you have an entire line up comprised of hitters who can clear the bases in front of you with one swing… And who would have thought that Gattis would have amassed 11 triples in a single season, ever?

    The Stros have a shot if they don’t have to play Texas. Okay, time for the Texas vs Jays. Anyone remember when the Braves owned them? Wow, ancient history…

    Like

  380. 389 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Peterson or Castro?

    Fairly interchangeable, really. But Castro’s glove work is magical, and defense is very key to a team that wants to ride its pitchers to success. That said, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if Petey got a start or 2 per week.

    Like

  381. 390 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    And I think it’s a slight bit humorous that our resident Cuban has a teammate named Castro. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  382. 391 Gil in Mechanicsville October 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I know everybody wants to be an iron man and play every day but having the luxury of having guys on the bench who can allow for guys to play five games a week pays dividends in September and October if you ask me.

    Think about how many times we saw Brian McCann’s bat slow down as the season progressed. Hard to play 100% when you are not 100%. I still have the knowledge of how to do things I absolutely can no longer physically do. Sucks big time but it is a fact of life. I used my body up when I was younger, nothing left to make that last mile up heartbreak hill….

    Like

  383. 392 Vox O'Reason October 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Gil, that is exactly my thinking on “choosing” FA Dioner Navarro at C over trading for a guy like Jonathan Lucroy. Once you invest your capital in a guy like Lucroy, you have to play him 9 games out of 10. I’d like Betty to get a start or 2 a week. Honestly, I’d like to connect him with one guy in the rotation and let him catch once per turn, possibly progressing to more as he progresses in his development.

    Like

  384. 393 Carolina Lady October 8, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    V, I need you to go through my household budget and see what you can do with it! 🙂

    Like

  385. 394 berigan2electricboogaloo October 9, 2015 at 2:10 am

    V, that’s some mighty fine dominatin’ bloginatin’ !
    Thanks for the 411 on the 3rd overall pics….of course teams can find great talent, down the draft but having such an early pick for the first time in forever….really hope they pick well (who doesn’t?) also, the lousy 2015 helps in that every pick is earlier than usual. Hopefully the ol’ scouting gang getting back together helps….

    Now, time to be a gloomy gus (you berigan? YOU? NEVER! 😉 )
    about 1 pick…Colby Rasmus. Lots of Pop? No doubt. but, check this out…
    2011? Hit .225
    2012? .223.
    2013? .276 .
    2014? .225.
    And as you know, in 2013, .238.
    He’s played in the AL, and from part of 2011 to 2014, on astroturf in Toronto. In a Fantastic hitter’s park on a fantastic hitting team.
    Look at his numbers , HRs and RBI’s
    2011 14 HR’, 53 RBI’s .
    2012 23 HR’s 75 RBI’s (best year of his career most games, 151, .276 BA)
    2013 22 HR’s 66 RBI’s
    2014 18 HR’s 40 RBI’s in 104 games
    2015 25 HR’s 61 RBI’s in 137 games
    sure seems like he doesn’t drive in many runs for all those Homers, doesn’t it? Also, he strikes out a TON, 100 + every year, including 124 in 2014 in 346 AB’s! This year, 154 strikeouts.
    He’s 29, will be 30 next August.

    How about this dude? 23 HR’s and 81 RBI’s with a .243 B.A.
    then 28 HR’s and 78 RBI’s and, was only 28….played a lot on turf, and in a not too hitter friendly park in front of dozens of folks. Hey, lets sign him! We can put him with his brother in the outfield and sure, he struck out 169 Times his last year in Tampa, but wait til he’s playing in front of large home crowds , out of the tough AL EAST, and we all know that he’s a great CF’er…. yep….him.

    So, is this just a one year deal? Perhaps he’s ok then , but do we really want another “difficult’ player that strikes out a ton? Just sayin’……

    I like the other moves, the relievers, the possible starters….of course someone getting injured can through a monkey wrench into any and all plans….

    I still think I would trade Teheran (for a bat)just cause I don’t see him as a #1, just doesn’t have the swing and miss stuff unless folks swing early and often at pitches in the dirt….his fastball is very hittable unless up high (and guys who throw 89 can get guys out letter high)

    My 2, or 3 cents….

    Liked by 1 person

  386. 395 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Hi, Ber. I get the opposition to Rasmus, but I am strictly looking at 2nd tier FAs. My total outlay to him is what Melvin was getting in one year., and I’m only signing him for 2. That’s consistent with the “industry” expectation… 2 yr, $16M, or $8M per season. I don’t expect him to have a high average and drive in 100. I have him batting behind Freddie so that Freddie will get some respect in the lineup having a legitimate power threat behind him. And for all his faults, Rasmus is a legitimate power threat. I don’t know that you’ll find another 25 HR potential for under $10M. I tried. And he plays very good defense in a demanding position of CF.

    Ew. Just looked at something. Hot sot rookie Kris Bryant of CHI… gaining alot of support for NLROY, 26 HRs, 199 Ks. Sometimes there is a major tradeoff for power potential.

    Some more comparisons…

    Justin Upton: 26 HRs, .251 AVG, 159 K’s. The #3 rated FA expected to sign a 7 yr, $150M deal.

    Ian Desmond: 19 HR’s, .233 AVG, 187 K’s. He could be a guy to sign a 1 year deal in an effort to bump his numbers for another run, but that 1 year deal will be for $12M or more, and he could easily sign a 4-5 year deal at a $12M average.

    My point is simply that power in the post-steroid era is in short supply. And it’s gonna cost, either in cash or in sacrificing some other shortcoming. Is Colby Rasmus my ideal FA signing? Absolutely not. I’ll take Yoenis Cespedis, thank you. But no one in ATL is expected to pony up the 4 yr, $80M that will be necessary to get him here. Colby is a short term plug-in to give us some HR threat until one of our young prospects can fill the void, or a new revenue stream makes a higher $ signing possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  387. 396 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Question…. Will other teams have improved revenue streams too?

    Last night the Astros struck out 14 times, yet, won the game 5-2- based of Home runs… Okay, a little more that that but they are the 2014 Braves with more timely hitting… And without Melvin in the line up.

    The Braves have made so really good trades in the past as well as some bummers but Melvin’s Free Agent signing might just go down at the worse.

    A.J. Perzinski in the booth with John Smolts last night calling the Houston vs KC game. Will the draw of all that money in the safety of the press box influence his decision to return to the field next season? The talking heads are being paid pretty well for their opines.

    Oh yeah, now we see why Pete Rose owed money to the bookies… Went 0 fer in his pre game predictions….

    Here’s a tip, take the underdog and the points….

    I have thought the favorites (home teams) have looked flat so far….

    Like

  388. 397 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Too early for me to get into the free agent fray. Fun to watch though as multiple GMs start moving their belonging slowly out of their offices. It has to be one of the most least tenured jobs in sports next to being a head football coach anywhere….

    Like

  389. 398 Gil in Mechanicsville October 9, 2015 at 11:58 am

    By the way, my imaginary money is on Cole Hammels today against the Jays

    Liked by 1 person

  390. 399 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Here’s a question…

    Matt Wieters is the kind of impact bat the Braves desperately need… when healthy. Until blowing out his TJ (fits the Braves mold, right?), he was in the middle of a breakout season with the bat. Not surpsingly, he was somewhat underwhelming in his first season back in 2015, which was unfortunately his walk year. Might he sign a 1-year “pillow” deal to try to re-establish his market value? Would he be worth a short term deal to find out? Would he be worth a longer term deal?

    What say ye?

    Liked by 1 person

  391. 400 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Speaking of Wieters, in a very timely piece, CBSSports’ Jon Heyman writes today that “Atlanta will focus on pitching and catching this winter. A.J. Pierzynski, who hit well again for the Braves, is one catching possibility. Matt Wieters, a Georgia Tech product, could be another.

    So let me rephrase my earlier question…

    Would you rather take a chance on iffy 30yo Wieters, or steady 39yo Pierzynski?

    IMHO, I think the Braves could afford a Wieters deal. And being a native of Charleston, SC and a grad of Georgia Tech, he’d certainly feel at home in the ATL. he makes his offseason home in FLA. His parent still live in SC and often made the drive to BAL to see his games. ATL is alot closer.

    Biggest negative? He’s a Scott Boras client.

    Liked by 1 person

  392. 401 berigan2electricboogaloo October 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    V, I understand, you only have so much moola to spend, and there is a weak F.A. as seems to be the case recently.
    I just disliked the B.J. signing because of the low B.A. , though looking back at his numbers, it at least seemed plausible he would put up similar numbers…he didn’t. And that doesn’t mean Colby Rasmus would follow the same career path of B.J.

    As for the catchers? You never know when a catcher will just lose it. AJ will be 39 next year. How many 39 Y.o. Catchers have there been? Bob Boone? the fat Molina brother (amazingly) a few others….but, yeah Wieters….he would be an excellent choice, but you just mentioned his agent. And, I saw on the chat on mlbtr where they thought the White Sox really need a catcher, and what a great fit…so, there will be competition.. no doubt

    Like

  393. 402 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    And that doesn’t mean Colby Rasmus would follow the same career path of B.J.

    Into the crapper? 😉 In my opinion, much of that spiral was between Melvin’s ears.

    Like

  394. 403 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Mark Bowman writes today that the Braves will have “approximately $30 million available to spend” this offseason.

    Well now. That’s a more generous figure than I had estimated. I hope his sources are good ones. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  395. 404 Vox O'Reason October 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

    Liked by 3 people

  396. 405 berigan2electricboogaloo October 10, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Well, the playoffs sure have been interesting….really was hoping for Toronto vs Cubs or Astros vs Cubs…watch it be Cards vs Rangers or Dodgers vs Rangers…guess that would make MLB happy, one major market….
    still early, but don’t see how Toronto comes back unless they hit 5 homers a game on the road….

    In case you all missed this on the AJC or MLBTR, DOB (am I going overboard with the abv?) on the trades that hurt….
    http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/baseball/braves-the-trades-that-hurt-the-most/nnytJ/?icmp=ajc_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral&ecmp=ajc_social_twitter_2014_braves_sfp

    Don’t really like that last part….Alex Wood is great. We didn’t want to trade Alex Wood. We just couldn’t have gotten him in that trade without putting Wood in it. Actually at first they wanted (Andrelton) Simmons, and we said we can’t put Simmons in that deal.”

    Um, that deal??? So, they would trade him then?

    Like

  397. 406 berigan2electricboogaloo October 10, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Ok V, a question or 2….Colby Rasmus got 8 mil after a terrible year in Toronto…now, after a better year in Houston, (and what he has done in the playoffs) he isn’t going to sign for 8-9 mil.So, how high do you go for him? And how many years? was trying to figure out who his agent is , I stumbled upon this profile from last year, with all sorts of goofy matrix crud, you would almost think he had a great 2014….
    This may be his one chance to get a big contract….don’t think he will sign for 2/18 Mil
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/10/free-agent-profile-colby-rasmus.html

    Like

  398. 407 Gil in Mechanicsville October 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    To me, signing a baseball player is like buying a trailer/mobile home/prefab house… It is never going to appreciate in value and at some point, it is going to fall apart and be worth zero. Maybe that is true of anything you buy that has wheels. The best you can hope for is to get good use out of it while you own it.

    The you could be really stupid, like me and put $2000 into a car that is 20 years old, you can no longer drive and looking back, drive less than 200 miles on per year…. But it is a cool car and it allows Miss Josie to hang onto her mis-spent youth… Anyhow, The trading away of Urebi and Johnson was the turning point of two teams this season, the Braves and the Mets… I don’t think the Mets would have made the play-off without them. The Braves might not have made the ply-offs but they would not been a laughing stock either.

    Next season will see a lot of pressure placed upon Olivera to perform, they gave up a lot to get him. The Dodgers gave up money, something they can afford to throw away… No wonder there are so many free spending liberals in California.

    No question the Astros got exactly what they needed and wanted in Gattis. He doesn’t hit for high average but .248 for slugger is pretty darn good. I still think he could have become a decent left fielder. Rasmus is having a contract year at the plate, he did not cost the Astros all that much but he was on a team that allowed him to be who he is. He does not have to carry the team in Houston. There are lots of other guys who can cover for him. Put him on a team like the Braves and he will be exposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  399. 408 Carolina Lady October 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Enjoying all the posts! Super opines, they are.

    All is great here at Soggy Bottom Mushroom Farm. Getting lots of good (?) rain again. Keeps the mushroom in the lawn happy! Squirrels seem to find them tasty.

    (All of you are in the dog house, BTW.) tap-tap-tap-tap-tap

    Another fall last night. Tripped this time. Nothing serious, just hurts. I’m so thankful for aspirin! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  400. 409 berigan2electricboogaloo October 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    CL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D’Oh! So Sorry about that! Hope you had a great one! 🙂
    I don’t know why some birthdays show up on my phone (like my cousin Troy’s birthday is today, and said so on the phone, but didn’t see yours on the 7th. drat….

    Liked by 1 person

  401. 410 Carolina Lady October 10, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    lol, Ber! You’re forgiven! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  402. 411 Gil in Mechanicsville October 10, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Boy, do I feel like a dufus, how can I forget your most important day? You would pick a day that I would forget… Will try to atone for it by Christmas… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  403. 412 Carolina Lady October 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    You’re forgiven, my friend! I even left a very strong hint on that day but nobody figured it out. Funny!! 😀

    I love being able to hang out with y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

  404. 413 Gil in Mechanicsville October 11, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    So, Houston up 2 games to 1 over KC, will we get a chance to see Meds?

    Like

  405. 414 Vox O'Reason October 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Ahem…

    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday dear CL…
    Happy Birthday to you!

    (A few days late…)

    Liked by 1 person

  406. 415 Vox O'Reason October 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    MLBTR:

    Could Evan Gattis be a non-tender candidate? ESPN’s Keith Law, believes it could happen since the Astros have prospect A.J. Reed and others who could replace Gattis’ production at a fraction of his next salary. MLBTR projects Gattis will earn $3.4MM in 2016 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. While the slugger posted 27 homers and 88 RBI over 604 plate appearances, he only slashed .246/.285/.463 and his lack of defensive value as a near full-time DH put Gattis at or near replacement-level value (0.5 rWAR, 0.0 fWAR). This means Gattis might not even have much trade value around the league, Law opines in response to a sub-tweeted question asking if Houston would look to deal Gattis rather than just not tender him a deal. I’m not sure I agree with Law about Gattis’ trade value; right-handed power is a valuable enough commodity that I’m sure the Astros could interest at least a few teams if Gattis was shopped.

    Like

  407. 416 Carolina Lady October 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Okay, V. Forgiveness is yours. Come on out of the doghouse. You did straighten the sofa pillows this time, didn’t you?? 😀 (You have a great voice, BTW!)

    Like

  408. 417 berigan2electricboogaloo October 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Keith Law is a liberal…need I say more? Sure, why not. 😉
    He , like those other modernist stat heads care more for rWAR, fWAR than useless stats like RBI’s or B.A.
    Gattis lead the club in HR’s and RBI’s , and this was after a BJ worthy April (2 HR’s .164 BA) so, if the Astros are stupid enough to let him go cuz HR’s and RBI’s aren’t real statistics, and they don’t want to pay him under 4 mil a year, let them….I could see trading him cuz they have so many strikeout candidates, but to flat out release him?
    Stupid….

    Like

  409. 418 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 8:17 am

    To me, Ber, it’s a perfect example of taking the boutique stats to an extreme degree. I’m certain they have some of them have some use… such as WHIP for a pitcher, which is Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched. That’s a real observable and measurable gauge of how cleanly a pitcher gets through his games. It should come to no one’s surprise that the leaders are Greinke (0.84), Arrieta (0.86), Kershaw (0.88), Scherzer (0.92), and deGrom (0.98). Big duh, right? The top ATL starting pitcher was Shelby (1.25) followed by Julio (1.31), Wisler (1.46), and WillyP (1.55) and Manny Banuelos (1.55).

    As you can see, that’s a very telling statistic.

    But WAR (Wins Above Replacement)? How do you measure how a player can be replaced by another? it’s silly. Actually, it strikes me as quite arrogant that some self important geek thinks he can quantify a human being based upon a barrage of collected numbers.

    (And it concerns me that the same type of guy probably works for Obamacare somehow. But I digress…)

    Here’s what I know. If the Astros don’t want to pay Evan Gattis $3.44M next season, I know of a power starved team that would probably take him on, even if he can’t play a defensive position very well.

    Liked by 3 people

  410. 419 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Following this weekend’s waiver claim by LAA, I officially “unfollowed” Todd Cunningham on my Twitter this morning. Kinda sad. Good guy. I had hopes for him here. I certainly wish him the best of luck on the left coast.

    Like

  411. 420 Gil in Mechanicsville October 12, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Hear, hear, VOX…. Heck of a lot cheaper than Uggla… I would put him in left field and be done with it… The big guy can run. No, he is no Dion Sanders but if he was in the NFL, he would be a heck of a tight end/fullback/line backer… The big dude is quick. I just think Law is blowing smoke…. No gold glover is he but could be serviceable. Moot point anyway, if the Astros have someone waiting in the wings, they have other spots to move.

    And after all, it’s time for Gattis to make league average money, how much is Heyward and Upton going to make next season?

    Now the Chase Utley tackle… What a cheap shot. What I could not fathom was how he was called safe when he never touched the bag? The entire umpiring crew should be fired, period…. Six umpires and instant replay and they still get it wrong…..

    I’m thinking the Dodger hitters better wear their Kevlar vest when they come to the plate tonight. I would not be digging in….

    Like

  412. 421 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 10:40 am

    … if the Astros have someone waiting in the wings, they have other spots to move.

    And that is the key to the whole thing for HOU.

    how much is Heyward and Upton going to make next season?

    Pushing the $20M per season range.

    Now the Chase Utley tackle… What a cheap shot.

    Agree 100% without question. One can play hard and still stay within the rules and within common decency. Umps blew it. Hopefully the Mets can rally around it and use it to move past the Dodgers. (Can’t believe I just endorsed the Mets’ efforts…)

    I’m thinking the Dodger hitters better wear their Kevlar vest when they come to the plate tonight. I would not be digging in…

    Heh heh… 😀

    Like

  413. 422 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I’m thinking the Dodger hitters better wear their Kevlar vest when they come to the plate tonight. I would not be digging in…

    Maybe the Mets should start an obscure pitcher to drill Howie Kendrick in the fibula with the first pitch knowing fully well that he’ll get tossed. Then they can bring in their starter from the bullpen. It’s still “within the rules”, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  414. 423 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I’m not so sure it’s the batter that should be concerned. I wouldn’t want to be in the way of a baserunner… especially Jose Uribe. Big fella can generate some inertia!

    Liked by 1 person

  415. 424 berigan2electricboogaloo October 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    But WAR (Wins Above Replacement)? How do you measure how a player can be replaced by another? it’s silly. Actually, it strikes me as quite arrogant that some self important geek thinks he can quantify a human being based upon a barrage of collected numbers.
    THANK YOU V! I thought you were a bit of a believer in that stat…like you said, boutique stats ….I understand that a WAR of 7 means the guy is good, but…who cares? I can tell watching player X and know if he’s good. Also by the numbers of Homers and RBI’s.
    RBI’s are the 8-track tape to the statheads of today. Well, teams without a big RBI guy, usually doesn’t wins….

    Liked by 1 person

  416. 425 Gil in Mechanicsville October 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    For me, all the stats are for the fantasy freaks…

    Sure, there are some telling stats but most of those are performance based such as range, arm strength, mobility, and last but certainly not least, mental errors… Things like throwing to the wrong base, letting the ball roll through the five hole… You know, Bethencourt like errors.

    Does a player’s offensive abilities out weigh their defensive liabilities and vice versa?

    I notice that TBS stopped showing the little strike zone thingee… Man, there have been some really wide strike zones. I guess the umps don’t like offense…

    That is one of the things I noticed as the biggest difference maker for a lot of young pitchers between success or failure. If you can hump it up around 95 per, you can blow it by some hitters, other guys who are soft tossers need a strike zone with some spread to it. Think about Tom Glavin, he needed that wide zone.

    To me, it is all about a young pitcher being able to “challenge” a hitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  417. 426 berigan2electricboogaloo October 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    not very easy to go to Braves and stuff via my phone

    Like

  418. 427 berigan2electricboogaloo October 12, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    waiting to see gastroenterologist why not.talk Baseball huh? Glad you guys agree with what I was agreeing with or something Chase Utley slide was way way too latedisappointed in them it’s one thing to be hard nosed it’s another to run full speed into a guy and he’s a second baseman himself

    Liked by 2 people

  419. 428 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    … and Utley has appealed his suspension and will be in tonight’s game. Could get ugly around the ol’ keystone sack.

    Liked by 1 person

  420. 429 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Hey Ber!!

    Liked by 1 person

  421. 430 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Wow… the HOU bullpen is channeling the 2015 braves bullpen in the 8th inning of what should have been a closeout game. ‘Stros were up 6-2 heading to the bottom of the 8th, and are still trying to get through it with bases loaded and 2 out… now down 7-6. Walks, hits, errors. Ugggggly.

    Like

  422. 431 Vox O'Reason October 12, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Er.. I mean ‘Stros were up 6-2 heading to thetop of the 8th. Finally got the 3rd out. Now down 7-6, middle 8th.

    Like

  423. 432 Gil in Mechanicsville October 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Well, it seems everyone want to make it sudden death… Texas and Houston both lose.

    Like

  424. 433 Gil in Mechanicsville October 12, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    VOX, the error part is called “choking” think Brooksie….

    Like

  425. 434 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 9:53 am

    If you didn’t see it, it was an easy DP ball too. Bounced chest high and didn’t even have to really reach, moving straight toward 2B. He just somehow missed it. Would have let a run in, but the ‘Stros would have still had a 2 run lead with 2 out. Instead, 2 more runs scored with 0 out and all the momentum was in the visitor dugout. And we see how it ended. Royals went on to score 5 in the inning and add another 2 against a very flat and demoralized team in the 9th. The whole series could have very well turned on that play. Kauffman Stadium is not going to be a friendly environment to play a decisive 5th game for a young and inexperienced HOU team.

    Like

  426. 435 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

    And to give credit where credit is due, KC has a bulldog mentality and a lineup of good hitters that know how to simply put the ball in play. Sound somewhat familiar? It’s not hard to see what the Johns are attempting to model the Braves after. The big difference is the lockdown bullpen and the power sprinkled in the lineup. If I’m not mistaken, those are the 2 elements that our FOTs have vowed to address this offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  427. 436 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    As for the Mets seeking revenge for Ruben Tejada being Utleyed over the weekend, they got the best revenge by pounding Dodgers starter Brett Anderson for 6 runs and reliever (and former Brave) Alex Wood for another 4 in the first 5 innings before adding a couple more runs later in the game. In retrospect, it would be silly to jeopardize a playoff game “getting even”. But man oh man do I expect fireworks the first time they meet up in 2016. And we won’t have to wait too long. They meet on May 9 in LA. Then the 2 teams hook up again in NY starting May 27.

    Like

  428. 437 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Braves baseball!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  429. 438 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 10:36 am

    You are correct VOX, one must choose wisely the time and place for revenge. I still remember Witman plunking a Marlin in the ninth inning which led to a loss by the Braves. Besides, keep them guessing… It looks a lot less intentional. Of course you could always give the excuse Cole Hammels gave when he plunked Bryce Harper… Said he deserved it for being a rookie…

    Baseball, gotta love it.

    One further note, I’m sure that Torre spoke with both managers about the incident and warned them to keep a lid on it.

    Now, my question is still how a guy could be called safe even though he did not touch the bag? It was the game changer moment.

    As for Houston’s’ snafu, you said it, youth and inexperience…

    Liked by 2 people

  430. 439 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Still, I would not bet for or against any team currently still in these playoffs. As we have seen, the best pitchers can still get pounded and the best hitters can still go 0-fer. Plays made or not…. And you just never know who the umps have placed their money on to win or lose. Best indicator might just be on how tight the strike zone is on a particular day.

    Like

  431. 440 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Those guys are:

    #7 prospect, RHP Lucas Sims
    #18 prospect, RHP Andrew Thurman
    #20 prospect, SS Johan Camargo
    #21 prospect, RHP Mauricio Cabrera
    #26 prospect, RHP Daniel Winkler
    OF Connor Lien
    C Joseph Odum

    The much ballyhooed Sims is a former first round draft pick that began to show his pedigree last season after being moved up to AA Mississippi. Thurman is the forgotten piece of the Gattis trade and another former first round pick. He also received a late season promotion to AA. He’s a solid 4 pitch guy with a mid-90’s fastball and plus change that is a guy to keep an eye on. Camargo is a SH version of Daniel Castro that played in A Carolina this season. Cabrera is a flamethrowing pitcher that the Braves could to add to their bullpen hopefully as early as 2017 if he can gain a little better control over that 100+ fastball. He too received a promotion from A to AA in mid-season. We know Mr. Winkler, who made his ML debut and 1st appearance following TJ recovery last month.

    As for Connor Lien, he’s an interesting fella. Pretty much unheralded and unknown, he had sort of a breakout season in A Carolina. His game is very similar to that of the departed (not dead, just moved on to LAA) Todd Cunningham except faster and with a higher OBP. Not much power yet, but they think his 21 year old 6’3″ 205 lb. frame will fill out more, adding some pop in the process.

    C Joseph Odum is a puzzler, having repeated a year at A+. He’s a low AVG and low OBP guy, but does have a few HRs in his bat. It’s telling that there is very little info to be found on him. I cant imagine that he’s a serious prospect, likely being added as a familiar catcher for his Braves teammates.

    Like

  432. 441 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Here is one fact you can take to the bank, no matter who they are playing, the Astros will be the underdog because of their youth and inexperience. Next will be the Cubs, just because they are the Cubs…. Curse or no, I would let anyone with a goat in Wrigley Field for free if I were the Cubbies ownership….

    Liked by 2 people

  433. 442 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Okay, I am waking up now, time to get dressed and go to the grocery store…

    Like

  434. 444 Vox O'Reason October 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    MLBTR: Also joining the Braves is former Fangraphs prospect analyst Kiley McDaniel, who’ll become the team’s assistant director of baseball operations.

    Oh boy. Analytics. Yippee. Sarcasm font 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  435. 445 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Well, it has worked for the Cardinals and the Astros.. of course it was the same guy but still….

    Liked by 1 person

  436. 446 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Hard to not root for the Cubbies tonight… 6-4 Cubs in the bottom of the 7th

    Liked by 1 person

  437. 447 Gil in Mechanicsville October 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I have to say, that Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber reminds me a lot of me when I was young and playing ball, if I could hit, or run, or throw… but other than that, a dead ringer… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  438. 448 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Kyle Schwarber was the Cubs 1st round pick just 2 years ago. Not even… more like 1 1/2 years ago. 4th pick in the draft. There is hope…

    Liked by 1 person

  439. 449 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    That said, he was a highly rated college player having a very good season when drafted. (It’s kinda weird that the draft occurs in mid-season, but really makes for easier real time evaluation.) That’s why it’s nearly impossible to handicap the race now. Who knows what will happen next season? At least the Johns have left themselves open to drafting a college player with their first pick, which in the past has been a rarity. Hopefully we can find our own “Schwarber”. And hopefully it won’t be another pitcher.

    Liked by 1 person

  440. 450 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 9:13 am

    One anonymous GM from a club not expected to pursue [Yoenis] Cespedes told Heyman he expects the outfielder to land a contract in the vicinity of $150MM over a six-year term. The Mets have never spent at that level, but Heyman notes that despite having a stable outfield situation, the team very much wants to retain him.

    Wow that’s alot of cash. But Cespedes is a rare transformational player.

    I know full well that the Braves would not uncork that kind of coin. But think about this for a second. You could spend it and instantly have a dynamic offense. Or you can let your division rival spend it and chase them for the next 6 years.

    All I know is that they have to dig up a bona fide power source somewhere or we’ll get lost in this division. Mets = Cespedis & Duda; Nationals = Harper & Zimmerman; Marlins = Stanton & Bour; Phillies = Franco & a fading Ryan Howard who still exceeded our leading HR hitter, and more than doubled our second highest. Braves power = Freeman & ?? Adonis? Maybin?

    Lawd.

    Liked by 1 person

  441. 451 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Kind of scary isn’t it? The Braves formula for success was to have just enough offense to support stellar pitching and defense. Lots of three run homers… Now, it is all over the place. Long droughts on offense, pitchers who suddenly forget how and leaky defensive play.

    Oh well, my dad stuck with the Braves, so can I… I’m taking about the 70s and 80s… painful years…

    Liked by 1 person

  442. 452 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I can deal with a couple of bad years on the way back, after all, baseball has done a lot to level the playing field. Not NFL level but strides have been made. Now it is up to the front office types to assemble a stable of studs to carry forth what we can abide with.

    Like

  443. 453 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    The developer concept of the new SunTrust Park surrounding area can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/142379632

    Like

  444. 454 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Like

  445. 455 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Like

  446. 456 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Truth!! Both some of the best around.

    Like

  447. 457 berigan2electricboogaloo October 14, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    At least the Johns have left themselves open to drafting a college player with their first pick, which in the past has been a rarity. Hopefully we can find our own “Schwarber”. And hopefully it won’t be another pitcher.

    😆 to the last line in particular….V, are you sure you don’t want to see another #1 pick to be a High school pitcher? Why, in just 5-6 years, he will be throwing strikes in the new stadium in Winder GA? 😉

    Like

  448. 458 Vox O'Reason October 14, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Ber, early names:

    Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Arizona
    Nick Banks, RF, Texas A&M
    Willie Abreu, RF, Miami
    Jake Fraley, CF, LSU

    Liked by 1 person

  449. 459 berigan2electricboogaloo October 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I am soooo jealous of the players the cubs and cards have found, the young talented pure hitters….and they all can’t be #1 picks, right? Really good scouting staffs…I sure hope the braves can find some players like this. Honestly, they found some ‘nice” players in the last 10 years , but who have been the “elite” (not a huge fan of that word) hitters? FF is about it, IMHO.

    Like

  450. 460 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    The “Battery Atlanta” I thought it might have something to do with the defense of Atlanta during the War of Northern Aggression” but I guess that would be racist so some and “out of touch” . That said, Battery Park in Richmond did not have anything to do with baseball or being a vibrant community. I think some Ad geek type just like the sound of it and having never stay awake during history class in high school, heard “battery” and immediately thought of Duracell’s… Of course, they need to be careful not to name their new sports oriented restaurant :The Assault”. Just saying… but I digress….

    Liked by 1 person

  451. 461 Gil in Mechanicsville October 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    And Toronto is channeling their inner Atlanta. Of course the umps made the right call in this case…. Unlike the call made in Atlanta in 2010…

    Liked by 1 person

  452. 462 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Just my opinion, and I consider myself somewhat a baseball purist:

    Jose Bautista’s epic bat flip was awesome. Not showboating and not at an inappropriate time. It was emotion showed at a huge… huge moment in a huge game. Quite frankly, if baseball showed a little more emotion it might not lose so many younger fans to more intense sports.

    Liked by 2 people

  453. 464 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

    And how about Texas giving away the game to the Jays last night, three errors in a row? Two by Elvis? Oh the humanity to quote JJS…. Hammels was cruising and Texas just choked. Plain and simple.

    The Astros can be forgiven, they still have a bright future ahead of them. Just a little more bullpen help and they are there.

    LA and Mets get the stage all to themselves tonight…. The edge has to be on the Dodgers’ side but it’s baseball, you never know…. I wonder if the Nats are going to watch the game? 🙂

    Anyone else see/hear A.J. Perzinski in the booth last night along with Smoltz calling the Astros/KC game? Guy has a future behind the mike when he is ready…

    Liked by 1 person

  454. 465 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 11:33 am

    MLBTR: Billy Witz of the New York Times profiles Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus, who enjoyed a monstrous postseason performance and will soon return to the free agent market. Witz notes that Rasmus, whom he describes as a “free spirit,” struggled to adapt to life in a veteran-filled Cardinals clubhouse as a rookie and had difficulty adjusting to the culture in Toronto. The Georgia-born Rasmus, though, has thrived in a return to the South and in a lower-key Astros clubhouse. “I’d say this has been the best place for me,” said Rasmus. “The environment’s been good — a lot of young guys with a lot of life to them, and not a lot of big egos in the room. I just like to play baseball. I don’t like having too many people put their pressure down on me. I just like to play. That’s helped me.”

    Bring the Georgia boy home to this young, low pressure clubhouse. He can thrive here just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  455. 466 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Agree, Gil… AJP and Smoltz make a great team. AJP is a natural.

    Liked by 1 person

  456. 467 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Let’s see…

    First the Cubs, then the Royals and now the Blue Jays. If the Dodgers move on tonight, it’s going to be a blindingly blue LCS and WS.

    Liked by 1 person

  457. 468 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2015 at 11:55 am

    V i agree i had just missed his homer just the aftermath when i got to trivia and no sound so had no idea what had happened.baseball tonight to fill me in.bet we will see a Lot off accidental Bats in the way of the catchers with runners I. Third

    Like

  458. 469 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

    On third.slide texting because i a.m. as doctors again. Works much better than i could imagine.

    Like

  459. 470 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Ok dont have stat accessibility right now but what about this name alex gordon?not sure if royals will ante up what he will get.and what would he get? Worth it? Great outfielder good Bat.not sure of age

    Like

  460. 471 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Well, there won’t be much Braves news to bat around for a short while anyway. If I have heard this correctly, the Braves brass has already gathered in Orlando to observe some “instructs” (instructional league) and to begin their annual organizational meetings. It’s in these meetings that the group hammers out their plan and begins to take steps to identify and do background legwork on potential personnel targets.

    So as not to be considered “tampering”, we the fans won’t hear any of the names being discussed until Free Agency officially begins, right after the WS. Speaking of that, here are the key off-season dates we need to make note of:

    1 day after WS: Eligible players become FAs
    5 days after WS: Deadline for teams to make QOs to their own FAs
    12 days after WS: Deadline for FAs to accept QOs

    Nov. 9-12: GM meetings, Boca Raton, FL
    Dec. 2: Last day for teams to offer 2016 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
    Dec. 7-10: Winter Meetings, Nashville, TN
    Dec. 10: Rule 5 draft

    2016 Arb dates:

    Jan. 12: Arb filing deadline
    Jan. 15: Arb figures exchanged
    Feb. 1-21: Arb hearings

    Like

  461. 472 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Love Alex Gordon, Ber. At mid-season, pundits thought Gordon might get a Hunter Pence-type deal which is 5-yrs / $90M. But after returning from the DL and having a great 2nd half, now their talking 6-yrs / $120M-$150. Yowser! Not sure the Braves want to swim in that end of the pool. Gordon would be a great fit, though.

    Like

  462. 473 berigan2electricboogaloo October 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    V, yowza! I feel ago old that’s just crazy money for a guy 32 next year.been at doca for over an hour ao plenty of time to look up his stats.

    Like

  463. 474 Vox O'Reason October 15, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Agree, Ber. Just goes to show you how expensive big offense is. Think about how much Cespedis will get. Or JHey. Or JUp. Mind numbing.

    Like

  464. 475 Gil in Mechanicsville October 15, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I think I am just going to have to sit on the sidelines and wait until the free agents actually come available before chiming in. I’m not sure how much the Braves are actually willing or able to shell out. I do know they have gotten burnt a couple of times so caution is expected.

    Like

  465. 476 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Bowman: Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are among the top offensive players who will potentially be free agents this offseason. But each will come at a price that extends beyond the comfort zone of the Braves, who have multiple needs to address with the $25-30 million available.

    Heavy emphasis on the word multiple.

    Like

  466. 477 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Intense game last night in LA… Mutts earned the right to play Chicago. Should be interesting, and still a lot of blue….

    Like

  467. 479 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Alot of blue indeed, with a smattering of orange and a hint of red. I never thought I’d hear myself say this (and since I’m typing, I still won’t actually “hear” it) but I think I’m rooting for the Mets against the Cubs. Not that I don’t have a soft spot for the Lovable Losers, but I love a good undermutt and at the same time have grown to dislike anything connected to Chicago in the aftermath of our Gangster In Chief. Plus, he’s on record as being on their side; and if he likes something, then I am predisposed to NOT like it.

    Goooooo Royals!

    Liked by 1 person

  468. 480 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 10:13 am

    As for the sports betting, er… fantasy sites, all of MLB owes Pete Rose a major apology. Prosecute those who are cheating and place a few controls over those who remain. I could personally care less if people choose to lose their paychecks on gambling. I see it as a tax on the stupid. From the dawn of time, the only people that make real money off of gambling are the “house” and the mob. Why do everyday folks think their special? Alas, the overpowering lure of quick $$ can make almost anyone become stupid. They should learn to throw a baseball LH. The odds of hitting it big are better.

    From my personal perspective, the fantasy sites can do whatever they want to within legal bounds if they’ll just take the gosh awful commercials off the TV!! Every time I look up there’s another one… or the same one again. It’s going to push me further away from the TV. Of course, it’s almost as bad on radio.

    As for me and my house, we’ll serve the Lord. Now there’s a sure bet!

    Liked by 3 people

  469. 481 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 10:25 am

    From the article Gil linked:

    The companies say their business isn’t gambling because it requires skill to assemble a potentially lucrative fantasy team. But former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, who authored 2006 anti-Internet gambling legislation, told The Associated Press this week “there is no credible way fantasy sports betting can be described as not gambling.”

    Agree. Only someone who is blind to reality could think otherwise. Then again, Barack Hussein “Saul Alinsky” Obama got elected… twice. So anything is possible…

    Liked by 2 people

  470. 482 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Last year, 1.5 million Americans paid more than $1 billion in entry fees, according to the Sports Business Journal

    Wonder how many of those people have a job, and how many you and I are subsidizing? Wonder how many demand a “fair” living wage? Wonder how many want to take more from the “1 percent” to help them “make ends meet”? Wonder how many will vote for Bernie Sanders?

    Liked by 1 person

  471. 483 Vox O'Reason October 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Some new FA mumblings by Jon Heyman, as may relate to a few names recently bandied about here in the ol’ B&S:

    The Orioles are believed to be hesitant to make a qualifying offer to Matt Wieters and will only do so if they’re convinced that he won’t take it. (I can’t imagine a Scott Boras client that plays a premium position in the midst of his prime age doing so under any circumstances.)
    Colby Rasmus, on the other hand, is not expected to receive a $15.8MM qualifying offer from the Astros despite 25 regular-season homers and a strong postseason showing.
    Alex Gordon will be “a name to keep an eye on” in connection with the Astros this offseason, as the team may look to inject its lineup with more on-base percentage and batting average than the 2015 crop.

    The QOs are still important even with the Braves’ #3 pick being “protected”. The first 10 picks in the draft are “protected”, but clubs selecting in the top 10 of the draft still must surrender their second-highest selections instead. I doubt very seriously the Braves would give up even a 2nd rounder, so you can mark off Wieters if BAL makes the QO. Gordon is almost a lock to be offered, but he’s really out of our price range anyway.

    If I had to guess, I’ll say that BAL will not make the QO to Wieters, and that ATL will have a very serious interest if they do not. I doubt that the Johns have mentioned Colby Rasmus as much as I have. At least I haven’t heard or read anything indicating they have. Gordon is unrealistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  472. 484 Gil in Mechanicsville October 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I will have to wait until the Cubs and Mets actually start playing before my heart tells me who I am rooting for. I know, strange isn’t it? I was rooting for the Mets against the Dodgers just because… I think it will be very interesting how it all plays out in the end. I am of the belief it will come down to who has the best bullpen.

    As for players who may end up on the Atlanta roster, I don’t foresee the Braves going deep into the top tier free agent market. They are into drafting talent right now, the more the better. It is too soon to sink money into free agents. Not sure how Markasis ended up in an Atlanta uniform but he did and he is a plus on an otherwise dismal team.

    Like

  473. 485 berigan2electricboogaloo October 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    V, I truly, truly understand being so disgusted with…he who shall not be named…I will instead think about all those long suffering cubs fans, like the 100 year old that has never seen his team win the W.S. and everyone else under….108? Crazy….

    Like

  474. 486 Carolina Lady October 18, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I have to go with V on the Cubs – and the reason why.

    Like

  475. 487 Vox O'Reason October 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Mets knock out Arrieta to go up 2-0. Kyle Hendricks will face deGrom tomorrow. Can the Lovable Losers bring Lester back early for Game 4? If not, they’ll have to toss Jason Hammel. They really needed to pull a W out of at least one of Games 1 or 2.

    Chicago support or non-support could soon be quite moot.

    Like

  476. 488 berigan2electricboogaloo October 19, 2015 at 11:52 am

    CL, again…I do understand, but then if we think about NY, Comrade DeBlasio would be happy if the Mutts win, I’m sure, Gov Cuomo as well…I intensely dislike both of those men, (the Mayor more)
    I am beyond sick of the folks running(ruining) our country, (as I am sure everyone else here feels the same way)I won’t let them ruin baseball for me

    Like

  477. 489 berigan2electricboogaloo October 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    V, you are correct, most likely a moot point, for the cubs to win 4 out of 5 against this Mets staff…man….
    Funny, the mets nearly fired Terry Collins this year (I guess for not getting lousy hitters to hit, and other hitters being on the DL) and now they have a legit chance at the W.S.
    He’s 66, hard to not root for him (or his team) 10 years as a player, all in the minors. Long time manager in the minors…forgot(or didn’t remember) that he did manage the Astros and Angels…seems he learned some valuable lessons, and to be less uptight…just nice to see an “older” manager do well, since everyone seems to think GM’s should be 30 and Managers 35-40….
    Mets players don’t seem full of themselves, a nice way to see a team be…

    Like

  478. 490 berigan2electricboogaloo October 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    hmmm, any thoughts on Daniel Murphy? One playoff doesn’t a career make, but…he’s 30…you know, the age of our future superstar 3rd baseman…

    Sounds like the cheap arse mutts won’t bring him back….

    Latest On Daniel Murphy, Mets

    By Mark Polishuk | October 18, 2015 at 8:16pm CDT

    While Daniel Murphy has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Mets this postseason, two team sources tell Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News that the club still isn’t planning to bring the second baseman back in 2016. “He’s been great, really great, but it changes nothing,” one of the sources said.

    It has been assumed for months that the Mets would install Dilson Herrera or Wilmer Flores at second base next season, with Murphy signing elsewhere as a free agent due to his ever-growing price tag. “If they are keeping their payroll in the same neighborhood, they can’t afford to keep him,” one rival GM said. “He’s making $8 million now, will probably get a bump on that and he’s going to want some years….They already have all that money invested in Juan Lagares ($22.5 million) and Michael Cuddyer ($10 million) who are both back-ups now. You can’t keep your payroll under control like that.”

    more on this link…..
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/10/latest-on-daniel-murphy-mets.html

    Like

  479. 491 berigan2electricboogaloo October 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    V, interesting stuff above that you wrote about Qualifying offers …forgot about losing a later pick , even though the top pic is protected….
    But, how often do you get a chance to have your top pick protected?
    Who would you risk taking a chance on, this off season? Anyone?

    Like

  480. 492 Vox O'Reason October 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Ber, I have been noticing the chatter on Daniel Murphy, and am not at all opposed to that exploration. He’s no Daniel Castro with the glove, but he’s probably not any worse than Jace Peterson, either.

    It’s an interesting question in that the Braves desperately need offense, but value defense up the middle. Not to mention the fact that they are probably looking at top prospect Ozzie Albies at 2B as early as 2018. That said, given that Murphy is, as you said, already 30 he might not get more than a 3 year (maybe an option on the 4th) year deal anyway.

    And he is probably not going to receive a QO, either.

    But let’s also not forget. Even though he is killing it in these high profile playoff games, he’s still a .288 career hitter who has never hit more than 14 HRs or driven in more than 78 in a season. So he isn’t an elite bat.

    Call me crazy, but I think Adonis Garcia might give you .288 with 14 HRs and 78 RBI. Maybe closer to .277 with 28 HRs and 73 RBI, which is what his 2015 numbers extrapolate out to over 162 games.

    Now that I think about it, I’ll just stick with Adonis. We can stick him in LF where all defensive liabilities play. 😉

    Like

  481. 493 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Agree on Murphy, while a nice playoff run can raise a player’s profile (think B J Upton) it does not really define them as a player. Murphy has always been a decent bat, sometimes the only bat in a dismal Mets line-up. Just not worth a huge outlay.

    I have a sneaky suspicion Ozzie Albies may be Atlanta’s next shortstop. He will be ready about the time Simba’s contract runs out. How much could Atlanta get in return for Simmons? I don’t think anyone is untouchable if the right offer is made. Don’t get me wrong, I think Simmons is to shortstop what Andrew Jones was to centerfield for the Braves but everyone has a short self life.

    Even a great shortstop like Elvis of the Rangers can have lapses in the field and everyone always says how great Troy Trulo is/was a wonderful shortstop but only because of his hitting. Why? Because Fantasy Baseball does not award points for defense… Only hitting and pitching… At least that is my perception.

    Like

  482. 494 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Yes, the Cubs have dug themselves a pretty deep hole, not insurmountable but the Mets do have a better stable of starting pitchers.

    Like

  483. 495 Gil in Mechanicsville October 19, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I am also a big believer in being “strong” up the middle. Ask Texas how important that is. Yes, it is nice to have a 2nd baseman who has some power but I;ll bet most pitchers would tell you they would just as soon have guys behind them who have great range and sure hands. At least they would not feel the necessity to strike out the side each inning.

    Unearned runs may not hurt a pitcher’s ERA but they sure don’t help their won/loss record.

    Like

  484. 496 Gil in Mechanicsville October 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Up by 7 runs in the ninth inning and the Royals made a game of it. They may not have won last night but I’ll bet the put a scare in the Blue Jays in the ninth score 4 runs. Short turn around for the AL today.

    Like

  485. 497 Vox O'Reason October 21, 2015 at 8:18 am

    The Royals certainly put a scare in the Jays yesterday. 😯 R.A. Dickey is still shaking. Who would have guessed that IF Cliff Pennington would be pitching in a LCS game?

    We appear to be careening toward a NY vs. KC World Series, and that’s just fine with me. No conflicts in my rooting choice there. Go-o-o-o-o Royals!!!

    Like

  486. 498 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    The Royals starting hitting in the ninth inning Sunday night after being down 11 – 4 and never slowed down Monday. The momentum just carried over to Monday. Royals win 12-2 and I don’t think it was that close. Looks pretty inevitable for the Royals to return to the World Series at this point.

    One could say the same for the Cubs. Just don’t have the pitching at this point but they look scary good to return next season.

    Anyone remember when Clayton Moore left Braves to take the Royals GM position? He said it would take a few years but last season was not the year predicted for the Royals to be good, it was this season they were suppose to arrive. Muck like the Cubs and the Astros this season.

    One has to say the smart money is on the Royals to close the deal this season. Now the surprising Mets have the starting staff to pull an upset but I don’t think they have a bullpen that can hold a lead, especially against a team like the Royals who appear to be perfectly content to hit a cluster of singles as well as an occasional three run homer.

    Now the Braves… well, they are meeting… trying to figure out who to fleece next…

    Liked by 1 person

  487. 499 Vox O'Reason October 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

    especially against a team like the Royals who appear to be perfectly content to hit a cluster of singles as well as an occasional three run homer.

    Hmmm… where have I heard that recently?

    Isn’t it interesting that Dayton Moore was John Schuerholz’ top assistant, and Ned Yost was Bobby Cox’s top assistant? Fast forward to 2015, and the Braves makeover is designed to emulate what the Royals have done.

    The circle of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  488. 500 Gil in Mechanicsville October 21, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    What the old saying, Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery

    Dayton Moore was the Braves first choice to replace John Schuerholz until the Royals raided the hen house and Dayton got impatient. Can’t say I blame him. No matter which NL team his Royals square off against, they will be favored to win. Just too many tools to deny the crown.

    I don’t see either the Cubs nor the Jays sweeping the Mets or the Royals.

    Liked by 1 person

  489. 501 Vox O'Reason October 22, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Sweep!! And Daniel Murphy is earning several more million $$ in a 2 week span…

    Like

  490. 502 Vox O'Reason October 22, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  491. 503 Vox O'Reason October 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Not much going on in the Braves New World right now, but I did run across something indirectly relevant today…

    There is much chatter discussing whether the Cubbies should consider trading Kyle Schwarber to an AL team for pitching as he is a prototypical mashing DH-type with no clear defensive position on a NL team.

    Sound familiar to anyone?

    Like

  492. 504 Gil in Mechanicsville October 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I’ll take him, I’d find some place to hide him. He is still young… Of course, he will at some point go to the AL…

    Like

  493. 505 berigan2electricboogaloo October 23, 2015 at 4:04 am

    so, at the ripe ol’ age of ….22 , Kyle Schwarber is already thought of as a defensive liability? All I know is that before missing some balls in the biggest game(s) of his half season MLB career, playing a position he never played before, I saw a left fielder with a cannon of an arm, that was very accurate…something you can’t say about…well, a lot of braves outfielders through the years…even 30 Y.O. CF’er that I am sure defensive metrics claimed was a really good CF’er…oh well…
    Tell me something, does anyone recall JHey being a really good RF’er when he first came up? I sure don’t. Good, decent…made himself an exceptional RF’er, had the tools, but still, worked very hard on being great there.
    And folks like Gattis, or Kyle Schwarber, cuz they are not slim guys, are immediately thought of as not being outfielders. Lots of quick outfielders, get bad jumps, misread balls, overthrow the cutoff man, every time….throw offline…but, the fangraphs guys think they are swell cuz..speed.
    I’d rather a guy get a real chance , playing every day, to show if they can play Left or right (I think Kyle Schwarber played some right too) 2-3 months tells you nothing…you can, you will get better, with reps. Cal Ripkin wasn’t fast, but boy, he sure seemed to get to most of the balls out there..today, he’s be at 1st. White + slow = `1st

    Liked by 1 person

  494. 506 Vox O'Reason October 23, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Not necessarily advocating that Kyle Schwarber is a stiff, but for the sake of discussion:

    Ben Lindberg, Grantland: Left Field: “Probably not playable unless you have two CFs playing the other two spots,” said an AL scout, who followed up later to note that he hadn’t yet seen Schwarber’s latest NLCS mistakes when he first answered. Another AL scout was even harder on him. “He can’t read fly balls, he has a slow first step (and all subsequent ones too), poor instincts,” the scout said. “Just looks bad out there on every single play. Adam Dunn–ish … or even worse.” Worse than Dunn would be uncharted territory: The miscast DH posted the worst defensive season on record while splitting time between first base and the outfield corners in 2009. The same scout added that even if Schwarber devotes himself to defense, “He will always be one of the worst OFs in the league if he stays there,” concluding, “right now he is a disaster with the glove in the OF. Unplayable at present.”

    Worse than Adam Dunn. Ouch. cringing

    Catcher: I asked one AL scout what prevents Schwarber from catching. “Everything,” he replied.

    “He may be a decent framer but he’s a horrible [blocker],” the AL scout says. “And while the pop times are passable [how long it takes for the catcher’s throw to reach 2B after the pitch hits his glove on a steal attempt], the arm is not accurate.”

    The stats support those critiques. Between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors, Schwarber allowed 47 wild pitches and 12 passed balls in 574.2 innings. Moreover, Schwarber has thrown out only 21 of 105 baserunners (20 percent) in High-A and above.

    He ain’t Yadi. And he ain’t Miguel Montero, the Cubs’ current receiver.

    And here’s where I am going to surprise some people…

    I am mostly a purist when it comes to this wonderful old game. I hate domes and artificial turf. I have always spoken against the DH, but accepted it to the point that it was in a separate league. Now with the advent of constant interleague games, something that I think I dislike more than anything, there really aren’t separate leagues anymore. Yet, there are still different rules (DH).

    We all know that the DH will never go away. The MLBPA will see to that as it insures continued employment for too many players. And we saw up close with Evan Gattis what that means for NL teams… we trade away offensive assets because they are defensive liabilities. So it hurts our league talent-wise in the long run. (Although I still think the game is a better game when you have to take the pitcher’s hitting into your strategy.)

    Is the NL DH inevitable? I think it is, whether I like it or not. So why put it off? Why watch Schwarber launch rockets just to watch him flail around in the field a half inning later as he did in games 3 & 4? Does it help if he drives in 2 runs then lets in 3? A 1-run loss is still a loss. Why put Gattis in a position to potentially re-injure a balky back or knee because you need his bat in the lineup? If we’re gonna be forced to accept the DH eventually, then let’s just go ahead and do it and not be forced to have this debate any longer.

    Like

  495. 507 Vox O'Reason October 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Actually, I still hate artificial turf more than anything. I think of Andre Dawson’s knees and just want to cry. What Montreal’s cement sub-foundation did to him was borderline criminal.

    Liked by 2 people

  496. 508 Vox O'Reason October 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

    One more item…

    For those who might be wanting an update on our young players participating in this year’s Arizona Fall League, no you don’t. Trust me.

    Liked by 2 people

  497. 509 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    To me, having a D/H is like a softball league where you are forced to play kids who have no athletic talent but the league rules say everybody on the team has to pay a certain number of innings. When I played ball, I would have been very content being a DH, for all my other failings, I could hit. Even into my 40s playing softball and my back and arm were shot. I could hit.. Not long bombs because I could not twist my torso and employ my lower half but could still slash the heck out of the ball to just about anywhere I wanted.

    Any who, while I like the difference between the NL and AL, I foresee a total realignment coming where the two leagues merge and are sub divided into a bunch of regional divisions. Computer generated strike zones and as little human judgement as possible. Heck, we won’t even have real players, they will all be holograms. Ah well, I ramble, but at least that way the Cubs might have a chance to get back to the World Series.

    Liked by 2 people

  498. 510 Vox O'Reason October 23, 2015 at 10:41 am

    they will all be holograms. Ah well, I ramble, but at least that way the Cubs might have a chance to get back to the World Series.

    It might negate “the curse”, but they’ll contract some type of virus instead. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  499. 511 Vox O'Reason October 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Steve Adams, MLBTR:

    The Braves will pursue bullpen upgrades this winter after their relief corps struggled tremendously in 2015. Presumably, the club could be in the mix for some short-term upgrades that could be flipped come the trade deadline, though I’ll point out that the Braves will probably be better off in 2016 with the returns of Shae Simmons, Chris Withrow and perhaps Daniel Winkler from Tommy John surgery.

    The Twins are expected to pursue a reunion with A.J. Pierzynski, as many have speculated on recently (myself included). [CBSSports Jon] Heyman notes that the Braves will probably try to bring Pierzynski back as well.

    Like

  500. 512 Gil in Mechanicsville October 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I’m sure Perzynski will be torn between more money and a chance to make the post season vs being closer to home…. Just saying…

    Like

  501. 513 Carolina Lady October 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    ‏@BNightengale

    The average World Series ticket price is $1,539.51 for #Royals and #Mets, the highest WS prices ever tracked by TiqIQ

    Like

  502. 514 berigan2electricboogaloo October 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Does this guy look like Adam Dunn out there???? 😉
    http://mlb.mlb.com/wbc/2013/video/?content_id=344634683

    Like

  503. 515 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Well, I tried to find a video clip of Adam Dunn’s defense. I’m convinced they don’t exist. At least I can’t find any. But for fun, I am attaching a link to a 2.5 mile HR off Jose Lima. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  504. 516 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Speaking of World Series (well, somebody was somewhere), naturally the networks are dictating that all starting times are 8pm ET. In other words, screw all the children east of the Mississippi River. (… and many of us responsible adults that have to rise before the sun to produce so that we can provide benefits for millions of moochers.) That includes a huge NY audience. Such a great “plan” by MLB to grow the game through the younger generation. Let’s take the sport’s biggest stage and start the games too late for the kids to see the end. Brilliant. Sell-outs are what they are. Better pocket the coin now, fellas. You’re killing the golden goose.

    And they wonder why they are still losing the younger generation to the NFL and NBA…

    Liked by 1 person

  505. 517 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 8:25 am

    It’s gonna be tough for KC to overcome Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz. Oh well. I doubt I’ll be watching any of the games anyway. I hate to start something I can’t finish, and I really don’t plan to stay up ’til midnight for teams not starting with “A-t-l”.

    Liked by 1 person

  506. 518 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I always hated it when the Braves were playing on the left coast, well, except when I was working 4-12s so I could get home from work about 12:30 and still see the last three innings of most games.

    Sadly, not only will the games run late but the players will be playing in weather must more suitable for ice hockey than baseball. Unless they are playing indoors or in SoCal or the Caribbean, baseball should not be played into November….

    Liked by 2 people

  507. 519 Gil in Mechanicsville October 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    The NASCAR season is pretty much done for me too. That is with 8 or so races to go… Football, well, VaTech lost in 4 OTs to Duke and The Redskins pulled a last second upset.. Kinda… Sure glad I don’t bet on these things….

    Like

  508. 520 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times:

    The Cubs need at least one big, impact starter – along with a second horse, not to mention another two or three proven relievers – to feel playoff-confident about the staff going into 2016.

    Talks that stalled at the trade deadline are expected to be revisited with teams including the Padres, Indians and Braves for pitchers such as Tyson Ross, Carlos Carrasco and Julio Teheran.

    Two of the following three could be gone by spring training if the Cubs are able to pull off the trades for the pitching they want: infielder Javy Baez, second baseman Starlin Castro and right fielder Jorge Soler. The Braves are especially high on Soler.

    Re: Jorge Soler — In his 2 years in MLB, the 23 year old Cuban has slashed .268/.325/.433 while averaging 19 HRs and 89 RBI for a full 162 games. And he’s only gonna improve. He is signed to an extremely team friendly deal through 2020 that has only $23.3 total remaining.

    He’s still a relatively young dude that has not yet played a more than 101 games (2015) in a season. He has all the physical tools, but has experienced what alot of youngsters go through making adjustments.

    Would you trade a pitcher like Julio for a bat like Soler?

    Like

  509. 521 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Bowman says “The Braves could be in the market for righties like Joakim Soria, Jonathan Broxton, Tyler Clippard and Darren O’Day, along with lefties like Tony Sipp.”

    Can’t imagine that they wouldn’t be in the market for any reliever that is an improvement over the cast of stiffs they carted to the field in 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

  510. 522 Vox O'Reason October 26, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Count Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe as another baseball writer that thinks the Braves will show interest in FA C Matt Wieters. That’s not really earth shattering in and of itself. But Cafardo also believes the Braves will still re-sign AJP also. Hmmm… what does that say about the national reputation of CBeth?

    Liked by 1 person

  511. 523 Vox O'Reason October 27, 2015 at 8:00 am

    It’s a fairly interesting development that the Phils chose to remove Domonic Brown from their 40-man and that he chose to go the FA route. He is a certain “buy low” guy coming off 2 relatively poor years. But he was also the game’s #1 prospect back in 2010. And he had that one stretch in 2013 that was just scary. No doubt that there will be some organizations that feel they can “fix” him and help him achieve that 25 HR/100 RBI potential.

    Would the Braves fall into that category? No way he gets more than 2 years anywhere… probably even 1 year guaranteed with a team option. Are there better alternatives?

    One thing I keep going back to is how the team, back in 1991, brought along their young pitching then added a couple of specific key pieces that turned the whole club around. Could John C, with the blessings of John H and overlord John S follow the same blueprint again?

    I firmly believe that if they can square up the bullpen through their returning healthy pitchers (Withrow, Simmons, Grilli, Winkler) plus a newly acquired lock down lefty (Sipp?), and possibly Folty or ManBan.

    Then if they could do as Cafardo suggested in signing Wieters while re-signing AJP, and then add a mid-level power bat to the OF, I believe they would be an 85 win team or better.

    They didn’t break the bank in 1991 when they signed Sid bream and Terry Pendleton. What they did was fil a couple of specific needs.

    Maybe they fill their OF need with the promotion of speedy Mallex Smith to CF with LF being shared by Michael Bourn and Cameron Maybin.

    My point is this… even though the early Vegas odds have the Braves as the 3rd longest odds to win the 2016 World Series at 100-1 behind only COL (150-1) and PHI (300-1) – yes, that’s a real thing before the 2015 World Series has even begun, I believe that they are just a Bream and Pendleton away from relevance. This time it’s OF and C.

    Of course, much of that belief swings on the surgically repaired “hinges” of Withrow, Simmons, Grilli and Winkler… 😯

    Like

  512. 524 Vox O'Reason October 28, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Heckuva game last night… or at least the highlights were awesome. I’m sure people on the west coast enjoyed it. I was asleep.

    Like

  513. 525 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

    YAWNNNNN! Wow, some game. I turned it on in the 6th inning to catch the score and ended up staying until the end. No real quite in either team but KC is tough at home. Only bull pen guy who did not get into the game was Medlin… Impressive game though. The Mets have a good team but KC is still hungry from last season. I don’t expect a sweep but I think KC will win in six.

    Be nice if they would not being playing a bunch of five hour games….

    Like

  514. 526 Gil in Mechanicsville October 28, 2015 at 10:01 am

    If the Brave add many more Cubans, they can change their name to the Havana Sugar Kings… (Note.. Old IL team in the 50s)

    Like

  515. 527 Vox O'Reason October 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Soler wouldn’t be a bad guy to have, but I think I’d rather have Julio pitching, to be honest. I still believe you can acquire 15 HRs/75 RBI via FA.

    If I were pressed today to only choose 1 position to address through FA, I’d take Wieters at C. (Well, I also want to re-sign AJP as well.) And I’d let Maybin and Bourn play CF/LF until Mallex is ready (at mid-season). Then I’d let those 2 share LF alongside Mallex. Both would make great mentors for the youngster.

    And we should all pray that Hector is everything Coppy believes he can be.

    That said, if I’ve learned anything from watching the 2015 playoffs, it’s how important the bullpen is. That has to be job #1 for Coppy this offseason.

    As we’ve said repeatedly, we’ll get some good arms back off the DL, but not al lof them. Gotta have a lockdown lefty. And I’m still torn on Folty. He could be a real weapon in late innings. He could be our Wade Davis.

    Like

  516. 528 Vox O'Reason October 29, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I missed yesterday’s game completely, but am going to make a couple of observations judging only by the box score…

    First, the Royals have now beaten Harvey and deGrom to go up 2-0. Gotta like their chances.

    Second, Looking over the box, KC scored 7 runs without the benefit of a HR, and by going 5-12 w/ RISP. Isn’t that what they did pretty consistently in 2014 and 2015? And isn’t that what the Braves are aiming for? I hear people saying that the Cubs and Pirates rebuilds started with offense and finished with pitching. They ask where the Braves offense is coming from. Well, I say where are the Cubs and Pirates in the playoffs? That’s right… they’re watching at home while KC is getting it done again with strong pitching and timely hitting.

    Folks, the Braves are on the right track. We just have to be patient. And I’m telling you, with a couple of targeted acquisitions, and the return to health of some very key pieces, the Braves could be back in the Wild Card hunt in 2016. Call me crazy, call me a homer… whatever. I contend they aren’t as far away as 2015 would suggest.

    As you’ll recall, they were right in the middle of everything until Grilli and Freddie went down, and subsequently KJ/Uribe were traded. Grilli equates to bullpen stability, Freddie is our top hitter, and KJ/Uribe equal the balancing offensive piece. If we get a healthy Freddie back, have Hector contribute to KJ/Uribe levels, and add one more potent bat (Wieters? Rasmus?), our offense will be back to a competitive level. Couple that with a rebuilt bullpen – not as difficult as it might seem if the GM is committed – and we’re back in the hunt.

    I believe it as sure as I am sitting in front of the old desktop here, wearing my Braves jersey. (Can’t let it go…)

    Liked by 1 person

  517. 529 Vox O'Reason October 29, 2015 at 9:26 am

    MLBTR: Incredibly, the 54-year-old Mattingly becomes the Marlins’ eighth manager since the 2010 season, Knight points out. He’ll be replacing GM-turned-skipper Dan Jennings, who bizarrely transitioned from the front office to the dugout in nearly unprecedented fashion earlier this year after Mike Redmond was fired as manager. The Marlins will pay Redmond through the 2017 season and only recently had Redmond’s predecessor, Ozzie Guillen, come off the books, as his four-year contract expired upon completion of the 2015 season despite the fact that he was fired three years ago.

    The Braves are on just their 2nd manager since 1990… 25 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  518. 530 Vox O'Reason October 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Like

  519. 531 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Waiting again at doctors praying i get good new s via cat scan. Anyway. I saw game one. Missed game two. One was amazing yet knew the royals would win. Those were games braves always lose cuz save chipper most hitters didn’t knows how to cut down their swings. Go the other way. Royals totally but into that. One reason they will win the ws

    Liked by 1 person

  520. 532 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I think the.biggest challenge the braves have improving the bullpen is convincing good arm s off good season’s to join braves. You can get guys needing to rebuild their careers . but way is a top guy come here when u cann go to cubs dodgers. Mets? Unless u outbid them. And that’s hard these days. May have to trade for one or twi

    Like

  521. 533 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I think the.biggest challenge the braves have improving the bullpen is convincing good arm s off good season’s to join braves. You can get guys needing to rebuild their careers . but way is a top guy come here when u cann go to cubs dodgers. Mets? Unless u outbid them. And that’s hard these days. May have to trade for one or three

    Like

  522. 534 berigan2electricboogaloo October 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    for the life of me I have no idea why people would prefer a phone or tablet to computer if you try to write or post anything online.

    Liked by 1 person

  523. 535 Vox O'Reason October 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    The bullpen will automatically be better with the return of Chris Withrow and Shea Simmons. My gut tells me either Folty or ManBan will be there as well. Dan Winkler is better than what was there this year. Grilli is under contract. All that is good. If we could add a guy like LH Tony Sipp, it would make all the difference.

    Like

  524. 536 Gil in Mechanicsville October 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Greetings all, Ber, it is why people abbreviate everything on twitter, it is hard enough to avoid typos with a real keyboard.

    Now last night’s game, tuned in after the debate. KC showed the difference in being able to have a pitcher go a complete game vs being straddled with having to use a depleted pen after a 14 inning game.

    KC is all about putting the ball in play, said if you are going to keep throwing nothing but fastballs, they are going to pelt you with singles and doubles. Most impressive game by Cuato and Hosner is a hittin fool when guys are on base.

    Going to be chilly in New York Friday night.

    Bud Black tabbed by the Nats to manage the team. Somewhere in my ramblings, I think I suggested that.

    Liked by 2 people

  525. 537 berigan2electricboogaloo October 30, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Would you trade a pitcher like Julio for a bat like Soler?

    V, I just don’t know…I know I have made it clear that I don’t see ace, when I see Julio pitch…good pitcher, above average pitcher…but , I think he has to hit spots perfectly with his fastball, or he’s in trouble, because…it’s just an average fastball with little movement. In other words, I don’t see him stomping through the playoffs ala John Smoltz…

    but, Jorge Soler is yet another Cuban some team bought basically…(in other words, the braves could have bought him too, but didn’t cuz billionaire who owns team is cheap) Unlike the 3rd baseman, on the other side of 30, he is young…but, he strikes out a lot. Cubs don’t even need him. They need starters, Julio would be their #3 now, or #4 if they go and get David Price.(who, in spite of great stuff, is just ok in the playoffs)
    But, the braves have no power guys coming up right now, correct?
    Perhaps Soler can be Seitzed, or whatever….if he turns into a 25-30 HR guy….

    Like

  526. 538 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2015 at 9:16 am

    .(who, in spite of great stuff, is just ok in the playoffs) Kind of like Greg Maddux huh?

    The Braves will still be number three or four in the NL East pecking order next season. Of course there stands to be a lot of turn over on the Nationals roster by next spring. Look for them to try and move some of there older players and beef up their pen.

    Mets will be better and so will the Marlins. the latter if only by the change in managers. Still, same owner and it is he who really holds back that club.

    I expect the Braves’ camp to be wide open again this spring. Lots of opportunities for young kids to earn a spot on the roster. I love instant offense but you need smart hitters too. Guys who don’t fall pray to a good change up because they are always swinging for the downs…

    A good pen is essential for success in today’s game. Everyone throws 95 plus but you need a wrinkle to get big league hitters out. Most hitters get themselves out anyway by thinking too much.

    Bottom line, you still need everything to fall into place at the right time to win it all. KC has put on a clinic this fall but it is a long way from over, I haven’t forgotten how many times the Braves could not close the deal. SIGH! At least they were not the Cubs….

    Like

  527. 539 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2015 at 9:21 am

    On the possible trade of Julio, tough call, really…. I have seen him get better each year, he is deadly when his slider is working. Not so much when he has a tight zone and patient hitters to deal with….

    More and more I see that pitchers not only have to match up well against opposing hitters but umpires as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  528. 540 Vox O'Reason October 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Like

  529. 541 Vox O'Reason October 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Like

  530. 542 Gil in Mechanicsville October 30, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    still panning for gold in those backwater streams eh? Oh well, the Redskins went to the Superbowl quite a few times on the backs of 5th and 6 th round picks and unsigned free agents. Kerry Litghtenberg was a pretty good Indy League pick up.

    Like

  531. 543 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Very happy that the Royals are the 2015 champs. Very pissed that I could not keep my eyes open late enough to see it happen. I suppose if I didn’t have 50% of the American population to support by working, I could stay up and enjoy the game’s biggest moment. 8:15 pm EST starting times are an insult to all baseball fans on the east coast… at least the productive ones.

    😡

    Liked by 2 people

  532. 544 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Now that the 2015 campaign has come to a close, it’s time for the silly season to commence.

    Here’s a reminder of the key upcoming dates:

    Nov. 2: Eligible players officially become FAs at 9:00am ET today. The first 5 days of free agency is considered a “quiet period” during which FAs cannot sign with a new team. Both sides can talk during this period, but no deals are allowed until after 11:59pm PT on Friday. Players are allowed to re-sign with their old team at any time.

    Nov. 6: The deadline for teams to make QOs to their own FAs is 5:00pm ET on Friday. This year’s QO is 1 yr at $15.8M.

    Nov. 13: The deadline for FAs to accept QOs is 5:00pm ET the following Friday.

    Nov. 9-12: GM meetings, Boca Raton, FL.
    Dec. 2: Last day for teams to offer 2016 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters.
    Dec. 7-10: Winter Meetings, Nashville, TN.
    Dec. 10: Rule 5 draft.

    2016 Arb dates:

    Jan. 12: Arb filing deadline.
    Jan. 15: Arb figures exchanged.
    Feb. 1-21: Arb hearings.

    Like

  533. 545 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Well, I did see the Royals comeback, fell asleep before they made the third out in the 12th and thus did not see the end of the game. It was the bullpens which made the difference this year, that and the Royals tenacity. It was great to see Jonny Gomes on the sidelines cheering his team on.

    Funny, I was not disappointed to see the Mets lose, I guess deep down, despite my glee to see them take down Washington, In the end, I could not root for them with a pure heart. It would be like a Georgia fan rooting for Alabama to win the championship because they are both in the SCC….

    Besides, KC earned it, they payed their dues, suffered rebuilding for 25 years. It was time.

    Liked by 1 person

  534. 546 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 8:38 am

    The Braves go into the off-season with approximately $88M-$93M in committed payroll for 2016, depending upon actual Arb raises and assigned contracts to pre-Arb players. Also depending upon which fringe players remain with the team. (For instance, the team could simply choose to part ways with a handful of “AAAA” guys on the 40-man roster such as Ryan Kelly, Brandon Cunniff or Sugar Ray Marimon.)

    At any rate, there are a handful of various reports that state the Braves will look to operate with a payroll anywhere from $110M upwards of $120M, depending on whom you believe. IMO, they will keep a little wiggle room for mid-season to be able to take on payroll to further shape the roster.

    What that means is that the team should have somewhere between $17M-$22M on the conservative side to play with… and possibly more if they’re ready to start making moving forward more aggressively. Most national pundits still view the team as being in “rebuild” mode and thus expected to remain mostly quiet. But if you believe the local guys, the team wants to build momentum going into 2017 and therefore could begin to make a little more noise in 2016. Not Cespedis or Price noise, but maybe Wieters noise.

    I hope in the next week or so we will have a better grip on what Coppy’s plans are for 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

  535. 547 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Funny, I was not disappointed to see the Mets lose, I guess deep down, despite my glee to see them take down Washington, In the end, I could not root for them with a pure heart.

    My feelings exactly. And I am very glad that Jonny Gomes got another ring. He’s been the lucky charm for many teams, only missing the post-season in 2011. It simply proves you cannot completely quantify every player’s real value with a bunch of spreadsheets. I get that some of the numbers have some value when taken in proper perspective, but there is still more to a player’s value than just his BABIP, UZR, VORP or fWAR.

    Liked by 1 person

  536. 548 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Yep. And Kris Medlen too.

    Liked by 3 people

  537. 549 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Liked by 2 people

  538. 550 Gil in Mechanicsville November 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I expect that Jonny will make a great manager one day if he decides to take that route.

    Jonny Gomes is a very unique individual. He has taken his life experiences and allowed them to shape him into a very charismatic person. It seems like everyone he come into contact with, comes out the other side a better person for it.

    On a different note, it is going to be tough to make headway in the NL East next season. I do not expect Washington to be a second place team next year, no matter how good the Mets might believe they are right now. The Marlins can rebound if their owner can keep out of his own way. The Phillies were making strides at the end of 2015.

    I’m thinking it will be a stretch for Freddie G to see the opening of Sun Trust Stadium in 2017 unless he buys a ticket. Just a hunch….

    Liked by 1 person

  539. 551 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 10:55 am

    The Marlins can rebound if their owner can keep out of his own way.

    Regardless of how much talent those clowns amass, they will always trip over their own feet as long as their ownership and front office remain unchanged. Also, the Dodgers aren’t fools. If they let Don Mattingly go after 5 years and a 446-363 with the talent they had… there’s a reason. I foresee more stumbling.

    The Mets have great pitching… to that there is no question. But without the boost they got from September Cespedis, I’m not so sure they would have had the momentum they carried through the League playoffs. And when he cooled, so did their offense. I do not foresee their bats significantly improving unless they bring spend alot in FA. And I’m guessing they won’t.

    The Nats are also losing some key spots… like CF Denard Span and SS Ian Desmond. Not to mention P Jordan Zimmermann. Unless they do some major hole patching, they will come back to the pack too.

    Liked by 1 person

  540. 552 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 11:34 am

    At “November 2, 2015 at 9:09am CST”, or 1:55 after I posted mine here, Steve Adams of MLBTR posted his list of important dates… eerily similar to mine. It even places the Nov. 13 QO acceptance deadline date ahead of the Nov. 9-12 GM meetings dates like I did. Weird.

    Liked by 2 people

  541. 553 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hard for me to admit, but there is some validity to this. And get ready, because this appears to be the blueprint for the Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

  542. 554 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 11:58 am

    excerpt from above: *Given how undervalued defense remains around baseball, Kansas City deserves credit for committing resources to elite fielders and pitchers who benefit from good glove men in the outfield. In exploiting these market inefficiencies, the team’s front office has constructed a squad that excels at run prevention without ever having to dive into free agency for a high-priced starter.

    The Royals haven’t just won with defense, of course. At the plate, they’ve built a lineup filled with high-contact hitters in an era when power has become pricey and highly sought after. Moreover, in a time when hurlers have dominated and strikeouts have soared, Kansas City has assembled an offense that is less susceptible to the effects of elite velocity and pitching’s widespread supremacy.*

    Sound familiar? Good pitching, great D, high contact rate.

    Liked by 1 person

  543. 555 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    The Braves FAs are A.J. Pierzynski, Peter Moylan, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler. I can’t imagine they will look to retain any but AJP… maybe Moylan on a minor league deal similar to last year’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  544. 556 Vox O'Reason November 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Series of Tweets from DOB, in ARI covering the AFL:

    Watching Braves prospect Lucas Sims pitch in Ariz Fall League now. Impressive, and love how he gets ball and goes, no b.s., great rhythm.

    Sims perfect in his first inning, struck out last guy looking at fastball on the paint.

    Braves Sims topped out at 96 mph in his first inning (he piggybacked with another starter today)

    Braves prospect Sims has retired all six batters faced, including 3 strikeouts. Major improvement since beginning of ’15 season

    He’s been more 93-94, but it’s there. And he’s really worked on his delivery and direction to plate, consistency

    Sims was No. 10 in Baseball America’s #Braves prospects list last week. He keeps pitching like this, he’ll move up again quickly.

    Braves prospect Lucas Sims retired 9 of 10 batters faced in 3 inn., 4 K and no BB. Only runner reached on E6. 26 strikes in 36 pitches.

    Braves prospect Sims has allowed 1 H, 1 BB w/ 7 K in 6 scoreless innings over past 2 Ariz. Fall League starts.

    Scouts had #Braves prospect Sims at 94-98 mph today, got up to 98 in his 3rd inning. That’s quite encouraging for ATL.

    Like

  545. 557 berigan2electricboogaloo November 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I was hoping the Mets could at least get it back to K.C., I just knew K.C Would win, I even told my Dad they would tie it, then win 4-2 in the 12…well, It was 4-2 in the 12th, but K.C. had to spoil my prediction by scoring 3 more! 😉

    K.C. has an absolute shut down bullpen (In case you didn’t know) Mutts didn’t. K.C. has absolute confidence, like few teams do, that they WILL score runs late, usually in the 7th(Guess Giants do too, at least on even years)

    Guess I am sad baseball is over for this year…..but K.C. did deserve to win one after so many years…..