Archive for the 'All-Star Break' Category

#185: Half-way Home, Let’s Hope We Are Not Caught In A Rundown.

Gil from Mechanicsville

27 Jun 2019


The Braves have completed the first half of the 2019 season and somewhat surprisingly, they are 4 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies who are maintaining the second slot.

The Washington Nationals have hit a soft spot in their schedule and are making a push towards the top but are one game under 500 and sit 7-1/2 games behind the 1st place Braves.

The Mets have taken a nose dive towards the cellar and look to vie with the Marlins for last place in the division. So, there is still a long way to go in the season and as we all know, any team is only one major injury away from having to cash it in for the season. That is, any team not named the Yankees or the Dodgers who are so deep they appear able to withstand just about anything other than a plane crash.

The Braves are currently in the middle of a 10 game road trip. They took two out of three from the Nats and split a four game series with the Cubs in Chicago. Perhaps more importantly, they have won the season series with the Cubs 5 game to 2. This could be important if the Cubbies manage to win the NL Central.

The Braves are now on their way to New York for three game date with the struggling Mets before heading home to finish up the first half prior to the All-star break. They will play 3 games against the Phillies and 3 with the Marlins.

That means the Braves have 9 games before they take a much deserved break. By tomorrow, we will learn which of the Bravos will be playing in Cleveland. I am pretty sure the Braves will be well represented, let’s hope none get hurt.

NL Standings as of 27 June 2019:

National League – East
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves 48 34 .585 0 24-17 24-17 445 400 45 16-11 44-32
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies 43 38 .531 4.5 27-17 16-21 391 387 4 20-17 38-35
Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals 39 40 .494 7.5 21-19 18-21 396 383 13 21-17 36-39
New York Mets
New York Mets 37 45 .451 11 20-14 17-31 390 423 -33 19-19 33-42
Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins 30 48 .385 16 13-27 17-21 273 350 -77 12-24 25-44
National League – Central
Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs 44 37 .543 0 29-16 15-21 411 348 63 13-11 37-31
Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers 43 38 .531 1 25-17 18-21 399 405 -6 20-12 40-31
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals 40 39 .506 3 24-18 16-21 358 349 9 15-17 36-33
Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates 38 41 .481 5 17-19 21-22 371 425 -54 12-14 28-37
Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds 36 42 .462 6.5 19-17 17-25 336 296 40 13-19 30-35
National League – West
  • 1
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    Los Angeles Dodgers 55 27 .671 0 34-9 21-18 425 300 125 24-10 54-24
    Colorado Rockies
    Colorado Rockies 42 38 .525 12 22-15 20-23 444 424 20 18-16 35-34
    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Arizona Diamondbacks 41 41 .500 14 17-22 24-19 423 376 47 14-25 32-37
    San Diego Padres
    San Diego Padres 40 40 .500 14 21-20 19-20 361 388 -27 16-17 33-37
    San Francisco Giants
    San Francisco Giants 34 45 .430 19.5 16-23 18-22 306 399 -93 18-22 28-38



#167: Trust The Gut


Vox O’Reason


As of today, here are the moves my gut says will happen over the next 18 days, in the order of how certain I feel they’ll happen…




Ozzie Albans


Brandon Phillips


Brandon Phillips will be traded and Ozzie will be promoted. This one is almost a lock. Ozzie Albies is ready and Brandon’s contract is very friendly. This one is a no-brainer.






Matt Adams


Matt Adams will be traded. First, his breakout early season here put him on the radar, but he has come back to earth a bit recently. The time is right now. He’s controllable for a couple of years and has a team friendly contract, making him easier to move.


Johan Carmarga




Johan Camargo has emerged as a real answer at 3B, where our franchise cornerstone 1B is currently residing like a square peg in a round hole. Adams will be traded and Freddie Freeman will rightfully return to 1B while Johan assumes the primary duties at 3B. All will be right with the world. Sean Rodriguez will then join the team as the super-sub he was intended to be and play all over the field.



Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia will be traded. He won’t bring back what we hoped he might a month ago, but we’ll get something, and we’ll like it.


Hard to say what the corresponding pitching move might be.


Kris Medlin


Not sure Kris Medlen is ready, but he seems a possibility. Lucas Sims is also a possibility. Of course, Coppy trading for his elusive “ace” is also a possibility, although a remote one. Regardless, Garcia will be moved since he was only intended as a half season bridge anyway.


Those moves I feel fairly strongly about. Here are some I think could happen, but I’m not as certain…



Jason Motte

Jason Motte


Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson could be traded. His value is not very high at the moment, but he happens to be a bullpen arm at a time when bullpen arms are in high demand. If Arodys Vizcaino was healthy, I’d see him as a stronger trade candidate, but since he’s not, JimmyJohn is the guy. Jason Motte is also a possibility here, although a lesser one.





Matt Kemp


Nick Markakis could be traded. Up until very recently I felt the team would keep him through at least the middle of next season. But the fact that Ronald Acuna just got bumped to AAA tells me that the Johns feel The Answer To Everything could contribute very soon. I think that truncates Nick’s timeline. I do not think Matt Kemp will be traded. He just fits here for the time being, both on the field and in the clubhouse.



Anthony Recker



One of Kurt Suzuki or Tyler Flowers could be moved. I don’t feel really strongly about this one, but the demand for catching could make it happen if the right offer came across Coppy’s desk. It could also be hastened if Coppy receives a decent catching prospect in any of the above mentioned deals. The Flowers/Suzuki tandem has been very good, but Anthony Recker proved last year he can be a capable backup if called upon.


That’s it for me. That’s all my gut tells me. Then again, I could just be hungry.



#130: Time to pull the plug, Frank….


Gil in Mechanicsville, VA

The Dan Uggla situation has extended beyond what any reasonable person should have to endure. I think  everyone gets it, Dan is past his prime and the Marlins snookered the Braves into taking a guy who was going to be  way over priced. The Braves should  have seen it for what it was. It is like many other GMs  discovered in the past  when trading the Braves for a  pitcher whom the Bravos had given up on. Said  pitchers hardly ever recovered  after being discarded by the Braves.UgglaSigns

Perhaps it is Frank Wren’s ego which will not allow him to admit he made a mistake. Message to Frank, get over it. If you don’t make a mistake or two, you are not trying hard enough. Okay, Kenshin Kawakami was a huge goof but Bobby Cox was involved in that a little bit. Never sign a pitcher who you have not personally seen in action yourself. Of course Melvin Upton may be on track to equal that blunder in scope. I’ve said it before, Melvin Junior stands to be the Braves’ Jason Bay. At least we all understood when you were forced to sign Derek Lowe for 4 years and $60 million, the Braves needed pitching and the Braves did actually get some value from him.

Get over it Frank, cut the cord and move on. You have to look at the situation as the cost of doing business. Salary is salary, whether you are paying one guy 90% or everyone gets an equal share, at the end of the day, it is what you are paying your team. It is why most teams are loath to give more than a three year contract and players push for huge payouts because it guarantees them a spot on a roster, no matter have miserably they fail.

Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla

So let it be with Dan Uggla, even if he is released tomorrow, it will not be the worse failure or bad trade the Braves have ever had. That distention still belongs to Ted Turner for the Len Barker trade and to Jonathan Schuerholz for when he traded away the farm in 2007 for Mark Texeria. Of course, the Rangers were pretty happy with what they got. It propelled them into the World Series for a couple of years. That said, think about how Billy Bean felt after trading away Tim Hudson for Tommy Tee and two pitching prospects who never panned out.



Throughout Dan’s exile to the nether world of the far end of the bench, all we have heard is how Dan has stayed professional. Working hard to stay ready and rooting for his teammates despite the fact he has become persona non grata on the 25 man roster. hey, he has done some good things for the team. Perhaps the Braves can restructure his contract so he gets paid $1 million dollars a year for the next 30 or so years in exchange to agreeing to his release. The Braves are going to have to pay him anyway. Dan is not stupid, he is not going to quit or refuse an assignment. After all, if the Braves are willing to play with a 24 man roster, he is willing to also serve for another season and one half.

Not every trade is a bad one, sometimes you get lucky. Chris Johnson is a great example of that. So keep the line moving




113: Another Sunday, More Thoughts…

The only thing about watching a Sunday baseball game is you usually only get to see all the scrubs play…

Looks like McCann is finally breaking out of his doldrums. Now, if only there was someone Uggla could talk with to get him turned around.

Chipper is getting back to where he was before the misplayed one hopper nearly took his leg off. McCann is making good contact. Bourne and Prado are just outstanding right now. Freddi Freeman is learning to play through the pain, Jayson Heyward is getting back to his rookie form and Simmons is really a nice surprise with the bat. That leaves Uggla on the MIA list.

That and having a reliable guy at the back end of the rotation.

Oh, and someone beside Venters to come in and throw gas on the fireman. After all, they are called fireman because they are supposed to be able to douse the flames, not be arsonist..

If Ben Sheets could return to form, that would be the outstanding story of the year, right next to Jair coming back and maybe Moylan being Moylan and being the ground ball artist he once was.

So, who do the Braves release to make room for another bat? I would say Jack Wilson is the 25th guy on the roster right now, closely followed by Hinske and Diaz. I once thought it would be Francisco but the big third baseman appears to be turning the corner a bit. The kid has so much raw power, he fails to realize the wall scraper count just as much as the 450 foot bombs. The only thing a big long loopy swing produces is a whooshing sound as the bat passes over the ball….

Minor or Delgado? Which has been more effective or maybe more correctly, who has been more consistent? One of them will go when Sheets comes up. Both have options, one is a righty who has better velocity, the other is a lefty. Both seem to hit the wall at some point. I think the prevailing thoughts of the many talking heads in baseball is the Braves need to do something to solidify their pitching staff. Adding another reliable and proven starter to the mix is the most likely answer. None of us know what kind of financial constraints Frank Wren is under but expecting to find the winning lottery ticket under your pillow is not likely to happen and makes for a pretty poor business strategy.

The old adage in racing is speed cost money, how fast do you want to go? Well, the same is true in baseball… Yes, sometimes a team finds the “Golden Ticket” but for the most part, to be a consistently winning franchise, you have to be willing to shell out the big bucks, just ask Ted Turner.

81: C’mon, kid!

Comments and articles herein are the intellectual property and opinions of the writers and may not be copied without permission of the writers.

by Savannah Guy

Watched the first two innings last night. A pretty exciting evening it was, but not because of the listless, hapless Braves. About the time the Braves game was called, a powerful storm rolled into Savannah like a freight train with massive lightning, driving pea-sized hail, rain, water spouts and micro-bursts. Pretty exciting stuff. Not so much the Braves.

It’s gotten to the point that Jeff Francoeur is more productive striking out than making contact. If it were not for killing rallies and hitting into double plays he’d get no action at all. Last night’s double-play with the bases loaded was not even a surprise.

As Gil said, it’s not Francoeur’s fault the Braves lost and it’s not Bobby’s fault that French can’t hit. However, Jeff has become the living, breathing metaphor for the entire team, with the exception of Chipper and Mac and our three starting pitchers ….. who are beginning to show their inevitable frustration for the lack of run support. The team looks listless when they take the field. They are a rudderless team. They looked as though they’d rather be somewhere else. Kelly is lost and confused. I’ve never seen this Atlanta team look so bad… ever.

So, what is the problem? Who should take the blame for French taking the field every day? Who is to be blamed for the 250 “slugger” taking a pouting 2-day, truncated stint in Mississippi? Who should answer for 233 hitting (missing) Kelly Johnson being cemented into second base when Prado or someone else could fill the spot?

Who takes the rap for Schafer struggling way too long before finally, appropriately, mercifully being sent back to the minors where he belongs this year? Who is responsible for using Peter Moylan until his TJ-recovering arm falls off? Who is responsible when the entire team goes into a funk and stays in that funk for two months? Who is ultimately responsible when a professional ball club appears listless, lost, confused and befuddled for so long? Who should be called on the carpet?

Who will call those in responsible management positions onto the carpet? With Liberty and the current regime, there will be no response to this miserable, hapless play, other than the usual spin.

For this Braves team, the GM, Cox and his buddies (otherwise known as coaches), there is no accountability for results outside of the accounting department and the dugout where some derrieres rest way too comfortably on their country club, media guarded, bullet-proof, faded and tattered laurels.

C’mon kid.


51: I Hate the All-Star Break!!!

Comments and articles herein are the intellectual property and opinions of the writers and may not be copied without permission of the writers.

by Salty

(The Most Boring Time of the Year)

Yeah, yeah, yeah…all voluntary, CL says! A real “slave driver”, she is! OK, I’m kidding, actually She’s a Beauty. Oh well…let me ramble aimlessly with music, humor…boring observations. ZZZZZZZ…fitting for the slowest time of the year…in my humble view. Summer’s ‘Dead Zone’.

Grinch…problem solved…Mrs. Grinch opportunity! SINGLE FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I’ll be waiting…. Let us know how the date goes!

Things to do when retired:

Working people frequently ask retired people how they keep their days interesting. For example, the other day Paladin went downtown to a shop. He was only in there for about 5minutes and when he came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. He went up to him and said, ‘Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break’? He was ignored, and the cop continued writing the ticket. Paladin called him a ‘Nazi.’ He glared at Paladin and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So Paladin called him a ‘doughnut eating Gestapo.’ The officer finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first, then started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more Paladin abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, Paladin didn’t care. He had come downtown on the bus with Nurse Cratchet, and the car that got the tickets had a bumper sticker that said ‘Obama in ’08.’

Paladin tried to have a little fun each day, now that he’s retired; it’s important to his health!

The media says there’s an oil crisis. I can get all the gas or oil I want…it’s money I need!

We’re addicted to oil? Nah…we’re addicted to mobility.

Ethanol: higher-priced hush-puppies! Be careful what you wish for.

Watermelon juice biz. Any takers? You did hear about watermelon’s amazing benefits…no four-hour issues! SG, you can do the ad campaign, ok? Make it uplifting spirited, OK? Pfizer can fund the start-up…make up for the lost Viagra sales!

The cover of this past week’s Economist magazine: ‘What a Way to Run the World’ with a picture of the United Nations as the Tower of Babel. Funny…sad.

A spot o’ humor:
One morning a man comes into church on crutches. He stops in front of the holy water and splashes some of it on both of his legs, then throws away his crutches. An altar boy witnessed the episode and runs into the rectory to tell the priest what he’d just seen. Without batting an eye, the priest says, ‘Son, you’ve just witnessed a miracle. Tell me, where is this man? ‘Flat on his arse, Father, over by the holy water.’

Does it feel like the early ‘80’s to you? This song rather captured the angst of the day. Hey, if you’re gonna feel down in the dumps, let the music lift you up…just don’t listen to the lyrics! Synchonicity II

OK, baseball…anyone recall the NL’s MVP in 1971? How about the ROY? Hint: Braves connection. Wow, where have the years gone. Reelin’ in the Years

Bored yet?

Remember when you Stuff-villians were in school? I don’t know the origins…but they’re cute enough.

Teacher: Berigan, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
Berigan: You told me to do it without using tables.

Teacher: FBG, go to the map and find North America.
FBG: Here it is.
Teacher: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?

Teacher: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it.
Now, Lew, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
Lew: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

Teacher: Hillbilly, why do you always get so dirty?
Hillbilly: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.

Teacher: Now, Gil, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
Gil: No sir, I don’t have to; my Mom is a good cook.

Teacher: Grinch, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’
Grinch: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L’
Teacher: No, that’s wrong!
Grinch: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

Teacher: WW, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.
WW: Me!

Teacher: Raisins, your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
Raisins: No, sir. It’s the same dog.

Teacher: SG, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
SG: A teacher

Teacher: CL, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’
CL: I is….
Teacher: No, CL….. Always say, ‘I am.’
CL: All right.. ‘I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.’

Teacher: Sscribe, what is the chemical formula for water?
Sscribe: H I J K L M N O.
Teacher: What are you talking about?
Sscribe: Yesterday you said it’s H to O.

Oh, Grinch…her picture!



Courtesy of Atlanta SPCA

Enjoy the rest of the season, Stuff-villians! Try to remember, more often than not, we’re aren’t ‘and idiots’, We Just Disagree

Take me outta here, Gerry! Baker Street


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