Blogging live from Braves training camp…

  Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – I could tell you about how beautiful the weather is here at Dark Star and how impressive Kenshin Kawakami played on the golf course yesterday with Derek Lowe, Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann, but let’s be real: You folks want to know about Ken Griffey Jr. and Tom Glavine.

 Especially Griffey.

  First, though, let me tell you that not one, but both Aussie relievers have agreed to come on the old blog to chat with you folks at about noon. Peter Moylan and Phil Stockman, two of the funniest blokes you could hope to meet, will field however many of your questions they can handle in about 15 minutes (we’ll try to keep them longer, but they’ve got a tee time just after 1 p.m.)

 OK, now the Big News:

 Griffey’s expected to make a decision and sign this afternoon, and I’d be very surprised if it’s not with the Braves. I’m told the details have already been worked out, though the agent will meet with GM Fran Wren once more this afternoon. Don’t know about the physical yet, if they’re doing it today or what.

  No announcement is expected from the team until Wednesday (in part because of the A-Rod circus over in Tampa, but also because a Griffey decision probably won’t come until late afternoon, too late to call a press conference).

  Seattle is his other option, but it’s been clear for several days that the Kid was leaning heavily toward Atlanta, to be so much closer to his family in Orlando and play for Bobby Cox on a team that’s expected to be more of a contender than the Mariners.

  Glavine’s all but a done deal, folks, just a matter of dotting i’s and crossing t’s, from everything I’m told. He’s going to be a Brave, but probably won’t be down here until close to March 1 because of his rehab schedule. He’s probably going to get a $1 mill guaranteed salary and a $1 mill bonus if he makes the opening day roster. He’ll be able to make about $2 million or $3 million in additional bonuses for time spent on the active roster (or time spent off the DL, if you prefer to look at it that way).

  How ’bout this rotation: Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Kawakami, Jair Jurrjens and Glavine, who won’t have to make his first start until April 19 because of early off days on the schedule. His second start would be April 29, according to Bobby Cox. That works out perfectly for the 42-year-old lefty, coming off elbow and shoulder surgeries.

  Cox said Glavine told him he felt great, better than he had in six years. Bobby said yesterday that Glavine’s shoulder has probably been hurting for the last 15 seasons (OK, Bobby is prone to hyperbole, but the point was made).

  Cox went into nostalgia mode talking about the “rare breed” that Greg Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine were, pitching through so many other injuries over the years. At the Winter Meetings in Vegas, Maddux did his retirement announcement press conference and said the biggest thing he got from pitching with Glavine was the understanding that you can pitch through soreness and even pain, that there’s a line you can push and help your team the most by being able to go to the post every five days, to be reliable.

  It’s worth noting, until last season Glavine had never been on the DL in his entire career.

  Griffey’s been injured an awful lot in the past decade, but he had knee surgery after last season and the Reds doctor that did the surgery said Junior is in great shape now, that he lost some weight and should have improved power and mobility after having everything he did, basically, affected by the sore knee last season with the Reds and White Sox.

  Suddenly, Chipper Jones will have a teammate who’s surpassed him by more than 200 homers. Griffey, 39, has 611 home runs in 20 major-league seasons. Together, he and Chipper (408 homers) have more than 1,000 homers and more than 3,100 RBI, not to mention two MVP awards (one apiece).

  ”And I’ll be pulling for him to get 640,” said Jones, who made it clear he welcomed the opportunity to share the clubhouse with a superstar slugger who’s even more decorated than Jones.

  Griffey hit .249 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs last season with Cincinnati and the Chicago White Sox, including .272 with 14 homers and a .372 on-base percentage in 327 at-bats against righties. Since 2005, Griffey has  hit .291 with a .908 OPS against right-handers, and .231 with a .740 OPS against lefties.

  That’s why he’ll probably be used in a platoon, more or less, with Matt Diaz, who has always hit well against lefties (Diaz can also hit righties, though last season his numbers slipped in an injury-plagued season).

OTHER MATTERS

 – Kelly Johnson told me this morning he hopes to get his arbitration case settled before the scheduled Thursday arb hearing in Thursday. If he doesn’t, the 2B will miss Thursday’s workout and probably Friday’s.

The Braves’ other unsigned arb-eligible, RF Jeff Francoeur, said he’s prepared to endure a schedule arb hearing Friday in Phoenix. He’ll miss Thursday and Friday workouts, probably.

Speaking of Moylan, he’s throwing on the mound right now as I type this, facing hitters including Omar Infante, who got here today. From this distance, Moylan looks good, though perhaps not as dominant as he looked in his first session against hitters on Sunday. Important thing about this is that he’s back out there facing hitters again for the second time in three days, so the elbow obviously recovered well after that initial impressive session Sunday. Remember, Moylan is barely nine months removed from Tommy John surgery.

Had one player mention to me that he though the Braves should give the young guys a shot in LF rather than sign Griffey. And I’m thinking, are you kidding? You really think after the Braves outfield hit just 27 homers and also did nothing else well offensively in 2008, that GM Frank Wren is just going to go with the same guys or younger guys this year? That he could roll the dice that Francoeur will bounce back from his dreadful season, that Josh Anderson or Jordan Schafer would be ready in CF, and that Matt Diaz and whoever else already in the organization could handle LF? Can you imagine the heat Wren would take if he did that, if he didn’t make a move, and then the outfield produced at a rate similar to last year? I can.

 – OK, that’s it for now. Gotta get down to field and clubhouse. Hey, I gotta say, it’s good to be down here in Florida, even if it’s been busy, and even if directions to our rental house go, “Turn right after you pass Medievel Times and the huge Wal-Mart” (never a good sign; and seriously, that’s how you get there). The weather’s perfect, the Braves are making news, and their newcomers so far have all looked impressive. Oh, and I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s live version of Astral Weeks that came out recently. Tremendous.

This ain’t from that album, but it’s also sublime:

 

“INTO THE MYSTIC” by Van Morrison

We were born before the wind

Also younger than the sun

Ere the bonnie boat was won

as we sailed into the mystic

 

Hark, now hear the sailors cry

Smell the sea and feel the sky

Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

 

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home

And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it

I don’t have to fear it

 

I want to rock your gypsy soul

Just like way back in the days of old

Then magnificently we will float into the mystic

 

And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home

And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it

I don’t have to fear it

 

I want to rock your gypsy soul

Just like way back in the days of old

And together we will float into the mystic

Come on girl…

Too late to stop now

 

 

 

102 comments Add your comment

Hairy Octopus

February 17th, 2009
5:05 pm

As a public service, here are what some of the terms in the previous post mean:

umbrage – what they build to get over a, um, river
paroxysms – a religion where they worship two oxes
metastasize – when David Wright feels strongly compelled to give to his church
chinchy – Chongy’s partner

Hope this helps some of you vocabularily challenged commoners.

i cant take it anymore

February 18th, 2009
7:36 am

it’s too early to proofread…

ncgary

February 18th, 2009
8:00 am

did anyone stop to think that if baseball were still played in the year 3000, uniforms would hae to be adjusted we could then see players with 42A, 42B, etc…

you know , by then almost every number would have to have been retired, oh well i know , more waste of blog space. lol

Ben

February 18th, 2009
8:01 am

THR SEATTLE TIMES- reporting Griffey, according to their sources will be a Brave. Congrads to DOB , for being the 1st to report this story. DOB, I bet your source is Chipper.

TnBrian

February 18th, 2009
8:02 am

Probably not much to it, but I’d like to see what kind of attitude Yunel brings to S.T. after this offseason. Maybe he’s matured through all of this or maybe he has a huge chip on his shoulder…which might not be a bad thing.

Wayne in Utah

February 18th, 2009
8:03 am

testing….can’t get to the bottom of the comments??

Runnin

February 18th, 2009
8:06 am

What “all of this” are you referring to that Yunel may have a huge chip on his shoulder about???

Couch Tater

February 18th, 2009
8:10 am

Wayne,

I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of these comments for a couple of days. They have come out of the woodwork. Seriously, I read somewhere above that the computer guys are aware and working on the problem.

TnBrian

February 18th, 2009
8:12 am

Like I said, there might not be anything to it, just saying he was talked about for months as the centerpiece to the Peavy trade. Plus he has a bad temper.

'toga party

February 18th, 2009
8:14 am

Bubdylan “Night folks. (Kid, if you’re out there, don’t Furc us over…)”

You were on a nice roll last night Bub, but that last line is just priceless. Well done.

cvbraves

February 18th, 2009
8:18 am

Amazing that the New York Post had the story on Kelly’s agreement with the Braves before Bowman or DOB. Guess Griffey, Glavine interest put things on overload. Glad to hear about Kelly, though.

Thanks, Deep Throat.

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
8:21 am

Nothing yet, folks. Headed down to the clubhouse.

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
8:23 am

But we brought in Kenny Rosenthal to close, so we should have a deal soon. He’s sitting here next to me. Even brought me a gift, the Clash “Singles” CD, to download. Barely had the heart to tell him that, “Dude, of course I have all those songs. Be serious.”

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
8:25 am

cvbraves, not amazing. If you’re a veteran writer based in New York, good chance you’ll have an in with the union and get immediate lists of arbitration settlements, etc.

braves fan 16

February 18th, 2009
8:27 am

DOB does that mean Griffey is going to be a BRAVE. When you say a deal soon

dap01

February 18th, 2009
8:27 am

DOB: Any early observations now that Glavine and Griffey are set?
How does Escobar look? Is there any other player that has changed (like Diaz and Schafer’s new looks.) Has Kotchman arrived?

The Love Child of Dale Murphy and Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2009
8:29 am

I think Rosenthal has a man crush on DOB. Probably developed from the blog pic.

Kevin in Chatty

February 18th, 2009
8:30 am

DOB, you have to admit, you are excited about the prospectus of watching Griffey take batting practice this season. I wish I could be there on the front lines too.

I bet he can stil hit it a mile.

oasisbraves

February 18th, 2009
8:33 am

All I can say is…they better have a lot of “Griffey” Braves shirts and jerseys ready. Those are gonna sell like hot cakes. AND I WANT ONE.

The Love Child of Dale Murphy and Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2009
8:37 am

Eventhough they are well past their primes and will only be counted on as role players, it will be amazing if the Braves add a 600 HR hitter and a 300 game winner on the same day.

18 Wheels of Love

February 18th, 2009
8:38 am

Rosenthal to me seems more like a Bon Jovi kind of guy.

BT

February 18th, 2009
8:42 am

Get em DOB! Tell Griffey and Glavine your blogsters are ready for some signings.

Congratulations on your scoop yesterday.

Chris from the Rock

February 18th, 2009
8:45 am

That would be so sad if Blanco was removed from the 40 man roster to make space for Jr. I’d really miss his robust .309 slugging percentage.

MinnesotaJacket

February 18th, 2009
8:48 am

Good mornin Bravos around the world, I agree with all who say that those Jerseys will probably be in backorder within a day if I know how Braves Fans are! DOB I also agree though that I want to get this out of the way so you can start talking about how the players actually look right now because I want to hear that news with all the new pitching we have coming in!

Mike in H-Town

February 18th, 2009
8:49 am

Hope they show the Press Conference on Braves.com

Chad

February 18th, 2009
8:56 am

Enter your comments here

Ball Hound

February 18th, 2009
8:57 am

Anderson a perfect platoon candidate with his .341 vs lefties. This year is a Cox opportunity to manage a few platoon combos, involving more players in the action, which he loves to do. With our greatly improved rotation, Hanson in the wings (he ain’t Jo-Jo) and a healthier, top notch bullpen ( only weakness could be LHP) make no mistake this isn’t just spring optimism. There IS a lot of talent on this team, more overall than the team that won 84 games in’07. Only concern I have is Chipper. Will the lineup protect him, and will we have adequate reserve when he’s out of the lineup. It will be tough in the East again, but look for a very competitive race including the Braves.

TopFan

February 18th, 2009
8:59 am

May I suggest that a string of apologies are posted from all of the Nay Sayers immeditely following the announcement today the Jr is following in his daddy’s footsteps?(possibly at an early afternoon press conference, not sure where 3:13PM came from but I read that on another article somewhere)

Congrats on breaking the news DOB, really put your name out there on the line…..and it must be AWESOME when you get to politely tell the doubters to “SHUV IT”, I know you will make some type of very PC statement but you know deep inside you are holding a middle finger up on both hands….LOL kidding

Mike in H-Town

February 18th, 2009
9:09 am

Smokey Joe Wood

February 18th, 2009
9:09 am

Reliever Rafael Soriano hasn’t pitched in the first days of camp because of a respiratory infection. Cox said he would likely miss a couple of more days.

Hopefully, Glavine’s first act after signing will be to get up in Soriano’s face and explain to him about how to be a professional, go to the post, and do his damn job.

CharlieAlphaBravo

February 18th, 2009
9:10 am

Areopagus is a fraud.

I don’t know what to make of Areopagus’s words. On the one hand, Areopagus trumpets delusional stoicism laced with careless barbarism. But on the other hand, Areopagus’s writings are a treasure trove of ad hominem attacks, vengeful accusations, and biased reporting from a pretentious point of view. What follows is a series of remarks addressed to the readers of this letter and to Areopagus himself. Please don’t ask me to destroy the lives of good, honest people. I simply can’t do that. All of the anxious sighing, longing, and hoping of his heart is directed to a time when evil degenerates can keep us hypnotized so we don’t create and nurture a true spirit of community. I won’t dwell on that except to direct your attention to the clumsy manner in which Areopagus has been trying to keep essential information hidden from the public until they become politically moot.

While Areopagus is honestly entitled to ignore good advice from intelligent people, what we’re involved in with him is not a game. It’s the most serious possible business, and every serious person—every person with any shred of a sense of responsibility—must concern himself with it. My position is that whenever he finds himself confronted by the law, he insists it needs reforming. Areopagus, in contrast, argues that advertising is the most veridical form of human communication. This disagreement merely scratches the surface of the ideological chasm festering between me and Areopagus. The only rational way to bridge this chasm is for him to admit that I think that his ignorance is encyclopedic. You probably think that too. But Areopagus does not think that. Areopagus thinks that everyone with a different set of beliefs from his is going to get a one-way ticket to Hell. I suppose that’s all I have to say in this letter. If there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars I shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required.

What a douche-bag.

Queball

February 18th, 2009
9:11 am

I agree with the comments about Anderson probably getting the nod to start the season in CF. If his contact improves against righties he could be that top of the order speed-threat the Braves have lacked the past couple of years.

Oh, and DOB, did you get a chance to pick up Jason Isbell’s new album that came out yesterday? Good stuff from the former Trucker…

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
9:12 am

Nothing yet, so I’m not expecting him to be here today until a possible press conference after the workout.

But talking to Chipper only underscored my certainty that it’s a done deal he’s coming. Gotta write a new blog, I’ll put that stuff in there.

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
9:13 am

Queball, I was at the ballpark from 8 a.m. to 8:30 last night. So no, didn’t get Isbell’s new album. You forget, I’m in alternate-universe mode right now, no normal-life stuff.

18 Wheels of Love

February 18th, 2009
9:16 am

DOB isn’t an iTunes guy…he likes to feel up his new music purchases.

And then catalog them like Cusack in High Fidelity.

McFann O –[zzz]

February 18th, 2009
9:21 am

Spotts And while we’re on the subject, how about Brian Jordan’s postgame analysis?

Oh please…Like the time in September when the Fillies came to town and he was talking about what a “hard-nosed” player the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” is, and grinning from ear to ear said something like “And he took no prisoners when he ran into Brian McCann back in July!”

He’s got a man-crush on the Reaper…at least it appears that way.

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
9:22 am

Oh, and Braves just sent out release about the Johnson settlement. Only one unsigned man left standing, Francoeur.

Prime Time

February 18th, 2009
9:23 am

Fox Sports has a spring training power rankings column, 4 NL east teams in the top 12.

Queball

February 18th, 2009
9:24 am

When things settle into a groove and you can come back to normalcy, you should check it out. The album sounds like a love child Otis Redding, Joe Cocker and some backwoods mama. You know, my kind of woman.

Prime Time

February 18th, 2009
9:26 am

Braves are 8th

ncgary

February 18th, 2009
9:27 am

ah spring training where the alternate -univerasl ( mispeeled or disguisedledly appropriate (could this be that subliminal advertising in reverse? the unwritten key towards an understanding only known but to a few mortal souls????

nah put me in coach im ready to play today

shucks its on the job training day

18 Wheels of Love

February 18th, 2009
9:27 am

Seriously, why would Frenchy be deadset on going to arbitration? That has got to be a terrible business decision on his part. He’s going to lose. Didn’t Ludwick just get nearly the same amount that Frenchy is asking for? And he hit 35+ HR’s last year. To me it seems like Frenchy is still a bit sensitive over last years demotion and this arbitration thing is his way of pushing back.

TRobb1

February 18th, 2009
9:29 am

Along with all the other items of business, signings great and small, Wren has had to prepare to pimp-slap Francoeur in arbitration. That’s probably 20 minutes of preparation right there.

Bravesgal

February 18th, 2009
9:32 am

My guess is that Francoeur’s agents believe he has a good chance at winning or else they would have suggested he accept the Braves offer.

chuckw/deadjournalist

February 18th, 2009
9:33 am

Ken Rosenthal has surpassed Jason Stark as my fav. national baseball writer.

SeaAtl

February 18th, 2009
9:34 am

I think this post will get lost in the shuffle with so much going on, but after reading the Seattle PI post linked to by Mike In H-Town at 9:09 today, with the quote, “You really think Atlanta cares? Do you believe Braves fans appreciate your legacy? You think the city that couldn’t sell out playoff games when the Braves were winning every National League East title cares about your 600 home runs? Think they’re going to embrace you the way Seattle would?” I just have to vent. The “knocks” against Atlanta for years have been intertwined – that the Braves couldn’t win in the postseason, and that the Atlanta fans are apathetic and we didn’t sell out those playoff games. I can’t argue that we’re the most rabid fans, as I go to as many games as possible and many mid-week, mid-summer games barely gather a crowd. But I’ve went to a handful of those old playoff games and at least twice had to settle for $5 standing-room-only “seats” because it was so packed. Does anyone have the facts on this now nationwide-held belief that Atlanta doesn’t sell out playoff games? Have they just focused on the last 2-4 years when we kept bowing out in the first round? And are we the only city that has ever had this problem? Don’t we typically have a high regular-season attendance overall?

Tomahawkin

February 18th, 2009
9:35 am

**Coach and Chop Chop** Good assessment on how this team lacks the team speed and how it’s imperative that we play small in order to hang with the big boys (Philly and New York) But out lineup is what it is and I’m very reluctlant to say that Bobby C. Will emphasize the small ball tactics this year, especially with the bad success rates these guys have in terms of stealing bases….

'toga party

February 18th, 2009
9:35 am

I suspect that the Braves are the ones that aren’t willing to meet in the middle with Frenchy. They’re probably sticking pretty close to their exchanged figure, and not willing to budge much. They probably think the have a very strong case for arbitration, and don’t feel much of a need to negotiate.

That’s the only good reason I can think of that Frenchy would go through with the arbitration hearing. Nothing to lose.

SeaAtl

February 18th, 2009
9:36 am

I meant by “the last 2-4 years” the last 2-4 trips to the postseason…………

Nate in Maine

February 18th, 2009
9:39 am

Griffey just join the Braves so I can feel better. All this waiting around is like flash backs with the Furcal situation.

Andy K.

February 18th, 2009
9:45 am

SeaATLMy observations are that 50% of Mariners fans are still bitter from Griffey requesting and leaving on a trade in ‘99, and the other 50% are now bitter because he chose the Braves. They’re just making excuses, they are fans of a team far much worse than we are. Most of them don’t see that Griffey wants a chance to win, play the outfield, play for Cox, all while being very close to his family. A few of them however understand that there’s nothing left for him in Seattle. No one except Exec Chuck Armstrong or the Mariner Moose. No teammates, coaches, staff, etc. They saw Griffey as a savior, and that he would automatically end their problems. Heck, most Seattle fans are so mis-informed, they think we plan to start Junior in center!

Weezie

February 18th, 2009
9:45 am

Hey DOB,
That is some obscure stuff, The Clash singles? man he has his finger on the pulse. Forget that London calling or Sandinista crap, get me a singles collection!!!!!!!!
See if Kenny Rosenthal can get you Rolling Stones Hot Rocks or Rewind OR maybe The beatles Past masters Vol one. that is collection center piece. Forget that

So who is left going into arbitration besides the guy that use to be Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson?
THanks for the blog

Mike in H-Town

February 18th, 2009
9:46 am

SeaAtl, hes just being a sore loser douchebag. I have to hear that garbage all the time here with Astros fans. Its a tired argument.

beekay

February 18th, 2009
9:46 am

DOB
The past few years someone has come out of nowhere to surprise people and make the opening day roster. Willie Harris and Blanco come into mind….who would you say could be that darkhorse this year if you had to guess….also if you look back at the old blogs back in Nov/DEC I brought up Griffey as our left fieder and not one person commented. I never thought we could get him that cheap but was surprised that no one seemed to like the idea. It appears people are happy now though…not sure if it’s because he was the best of what was left out there/

'toga party

February 18th, 2009
9:47 am

Actually, if my suspicions are correct, Frechy’s situation kind-of reminds me of a murder trial I was a juror on. The defense had a really weak case, and we all wondered how it even made it to trial. Turned out, the defendant was on his third strike felony. Even a plea would have locked him up for life, so he had absolutely nothing to lose by taking his case to trial, no matter how weak it was. Might as well take a shot and hope for the highly unlikely scenario to unfold.

Insert Frenchy 3 strike joke here

Mike in H-Town

February 18th, 2009
9:49 am

And The Beatles self titled (aka The White Album) one is a perfect record.

DAP

February 18th, 2009
9:54 am

johnbama when chipper plays he is is an elite, elite, hitter and while we want to bang him for his games played he is so productive when he does.

uh…speak for yourself, man. i dont want to bang chipper. also, dont worry about griffey. if he is used right (against righties) he will be fine. he hits righties very well, and as you mentioned, he and diaz together should put up good numbers. that fact should put to rest the whole other part of your post. it goes without saying that chipper is a better hitter than griffey at this point.

BT

February 18th, 2009
9:54 am

Oh, and Braves just sent out release about the Johnson settlement. Only one unsigned man left standing, Francoeur. DOB

It’s at least reassuring to know that Francouer is still standing. If they throw a breaking ball low and outside at the arbitration meeting Jeff could swing and miss and land on his rear.

Lew

February 18th, 2009
9:56 am

It really mystifies me that so many think there’s no way we can compete against the mighty Phillies and Mets.

Last season the Braves scored exactly 46 less runs (753) than the Mets (799) and the Phillies (799) did. That is less than 1/4 run per game over the 162 game schedule. This was done with a team whose outfield only hit 27 Home Runs who many thought was a pitiful offense. Upgrades in Frenchy’s season (and I still think he’ll have a breakout season), the return of Diaz and the addition Griffey will help much to alleviate any anemic offense-IF it ever existed to begin with..

Yet, what really caused our downfall was the pitching (we all know the reasons why). We gave up an average of .39 more runs per game than the Mets and .58 more runs per game than the Phillies.

Over the winter, the Braves totally revamped the starting rotation (an extreme improvement over 08’s version) and will be getting back Soriano, Moylan and Stockman from injury and now have several more pitchers (Hanson, Marek, Medlen and Lerew) on the horizon for what quite possibly could be immediate duty. We also now have Campillo, Bennett and Carlyle available for either long relief or spot starting.

The Phillies pitching staff is no stronger-in fact, losing Romero for 50 games considerably weakens them. What exactly, is the possibility that Lidge has another perfect season? How effective will a 47 year old Jamie Moyer still be? Who else of substance do they have following Hamels? There offense is no stronger, either.

The Mets went quite a ways down the road towards improving the back end of their bullpen, but Rodriguez only really shores them up for August and September, as Wagner was as good as anyone until late into the last two seasons. Do they have the middle relief to get them to Putz and Rodriguez? What about the question marks at second base, catcher and two of the three outfield spots?

I keep hearing about the marlins, too because of their “Young Guns”. First off, those guns aren’t getting any younger and all have a history of injury. They have done nothing much to improve their lineup and their defense is atrocious.

How in the world does this all indicate we will not compete and will end up in fourth? Makes no sense at all. Maybe we won’t run away with the Division Title, but then again, neither will the Phillies or The Mets (and the Marlins won’t be there at all). Maybe we won’t go deep into the playoffs. But we sure as hell will be much closer to our divisional competition than many here seem to think. Enjoy your doom and gloom. It’s a delusional view point to adhere to, but what’s new?

Mike in H-Town

February 18th, 2009
10:00 am

Bowman updated his blog…Nothing new really. Just that he expected a deal to be done by now.

dap01

February 18th, 2009
10:00 am

Is it shocking that of all the people who could argue about getting the max in arbitration, Jeff Francouer is the only one who has the nerve to go before an arbitrator.

He was a terrible hitter, maybe one of the worst in baseball (except for Andruw)
He was a sub standard right fielder.
He was a poor base runner.

What exactly is he going to say?

ease19

February 18th, 2009
10:01 am

Anybody have any info on the ST TV schedule? I live in Atlanta so I can’t subscribe to MLB TV and have Dish which means no MLB Network as well.

GSU-Lee

February 18th, 2009
10:01 am

DOB

How much coffee do you consume at Dark Star per day? Like two pots?

GB

February 18th, 2009
10:01 am

Great post Lew. I agree 100%.

cr

February 18th, 2009
10:02 am

Lew:

I think your dead on with the above with 1 caveat. If we stay away from the injury bug and the SP is at least decent, which that is the worst it could be compared to last year, then we should be ok.

TheAntiMe

February 18th, 2009
10:02 am

If the Mariners fail to sign Junior Griffey they have only their front office to blame. Most likely they could have got Ken Griffey Jr. signed weeks ago, but I’m not so sure that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was even very interested in bringing Junior back to Seattle.

at least, outwardly, the Braves front office has shown much more love for Griffey than the Mariner’s GM has.

'toga party

February 18th, 2009
10:04 am

Good post Lew. I think a lot of us feel that way, and you verbalized it really well. I’m not booking plane tickets for October or anything, but there’s no reason to think the Braves won’t be right in the thick of the division race. I don’t live in the land of sugar plum fairies, but I think it’s okay to be a little optimistic this time of year.

dogsbrekky

February 18th, 2009
10:04 am

Lew – take a positive pill pal

The mighty METS and PHILS, I am laughing my lame ass as I write…

reason we can compete is PITCHING alone….. before our heroes went down like ninepins in Apr-May we were in the 1-2 position…..

WHY oh WHY are most of you dudes, half glass empty types…..

I will bet you a dinner for 2 that we finish ahead of at least 1 of the Mets or Phillies and for 3/1 I will take we finish ahead of both…

BT

February 18th, 2009
10:04 am

Lew, best and fairest comaparison I have seen on the divisional race.

Thanks

DAP

February 18th, 2009
10:04 am

i agree that francouer is pushing back against the braves. he seemed in shock a little bit about the “business of baseball” last year when he got sent down. (in reality, that wasnt a business move, but a baseball move, since he was playing horribly) from the outside looking in(which admittedly, is not a perfect view), it almost seems like frenchy wants to give the braves a little taste of their own medicine, by going to arbitration. as a big jeff francouer fan, im sad about the way its being handled by him, and i get the feeling that he is gone as soon as he gets a chance.

Josh

February 18th, 2009
10:04 am

Dob, anything new on Griff?

dogsbrekky

February 18th, 2009
10:07 am

On ESPN First Take now they are going to have a face expressions/body language expert to see when AROD was lying yesterday

LEW – PLEASE take a positive pill

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

February 18th, 2009
10:09 am

Dap,

Frenchy can go in with the argument of…. “Andruw Jones is getting $16 mil a season and I was more productive than him…..”

not sure how well thats going to hold up, but as others on here said, he has nothing to lose…..

Blake Penno

February 18th, 2009
10:09 am

ease19

You can subscribe to MLB.TV without blackouts during spring training. I’ve done that the last couple of years.

Andy K.

February 18th, 2009
10:10 am

dogsbrekkyOh, the only thing that will prove was that A-Rods cousin was lying, because they are young and stupid…

Andy K.

February 18th, 2009
10:10 am

Who’s the proactiv girl? She looks familiar….

Steve McP

February 18th, 2009
10:13 am

Hey dogsbrekky, Lew’s comments were not so negative. He clearly states that the Braves will compete and thanks to their revamped pitching line-up could well make the play offs.

I don’t see the negativity that you quote in the overall post.

Nick from PA

February 18th, 2009
10:13 am

DOB,

Is this Griff thing turning into another Furcal situation?

Seems like a lot of the same he said-he said stuff going on.

dogsbrekky

February 18th, 2009
10:13 am

I seem to recall at the time of 2001 AROD had earned a contract of 1/4 a Billion $ and was advised by the “death roller croc” himself, Scott Boras….. young and naive after 7-8 years in the majors…… gulp !

Chuck James was solid until the 6th!!!

February 18th, 2009
10:14 am

Bubdylan

February 18th, 2009
12:20 am
“we want to bang him for his games played” – johnbama

I’m all for incentive-base contracts, but that’s ridiculous.

That, my good man, was hesterical…

Danga

February 18th, 2009
10:16 am

Francoeur’s last season won’t be the only season they judge while in arbitration. It will take into account his career up until this point. While he has never been an on base machine, he does have a couple of 100 rbi seasons under his belt. I don’t think he’ll win, but it isn’t like he doesn’t have any sort of arguement.

dogsbrekky

February 18th, 2009
10:16 am

Steve McP – yes in retrospect, Lew I apoligize………..

now lets see what is happening in the markets..

oh well, new lows… puts us at 1999 levels……..

back to baseball, Go Braves

getnathan

February 18th, 2009
10:22 am

I think Braves can win division if…

Usual production from Chipper, B-Mac,

80 runs scored by KJ and Escobar each

25-100 from LF (Griffey and Diaz)
90 RBI from Kotchman and 20 HR-100 RBI from Francoeur

15 wins and the 200 innings from Lowe and Vazquez .
Repeat of last season from Jurrjens (13-10, 3.68 ERA 188 IP)

22 wins from Kawakami and Glavine. 35 saves from Gonzalez, 30 stolen bases out of the outfield.

A lot huh? But you know you guys agree with me. And I think most of it is likely to happen. Braves can actually pull this off with some good fortune and a few breaks going their way.

18 Wheels of Love

February 18th, 2009
10:23 am

I love how Arod talks about the ‘over-the-counter’ stuff he injected.

Yeah, over-the-counter in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC you idiot.

Richie

February 18th, 2009
10:23 am

Lew, you know the media pundits have to pick against the Braves because so many of them had the Braves making a postseason run last year. Let them, this team is going to be so much better this year because the farm system is on the road to recovery. We potentially have 3 major league ready arms(Morton, Hanson, Reyes), that will start the season in Triple A. That is more than we had the past 2 or 3 years in the farm system. Plus a bunch of other arms who will be between Double A and Triple A as well. Just have to continue to build our hitting prospects and we wil be just fine. Let them pick against the Braves. As a Braves fan in NYC, I have seen enough of the Mets to know that team is a bunch of fool’s gold

chipperchop

February 18th, 2009
10:23 am

DOB,

Once again you have jumped the gun. It is apparant now that Griffey is using the Braves to get more money out of Seattle ala Furcal. He will be a Mariner before the end of this week. Thanks.

David O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
10:26 am

new bloggage is up

ease19

February 18th, 2009
10:28 am

Thanks Blake! Good to know!

I dare Areopagus to respond to Lew’s comments. Well said my man!

DAP

February 18th, 2009
10:29 am

getnathan i dont even think the braves need THAT much to go right to win the division. i think itll have as much to do with what goes WRONG with the mets and phillies (e.g. hamels gets injured, delgado hits a wall, howard’s OPS continues to slide, reyes pouts, ect.) but all that stuff you mentioned certainly is within the realm of possibility.

John Quest

February 18th, 2009
10:29 am

I think the Braves can win the division if they win the division.

Efrim

February 18th, 2009
10:30 am

Fracoeur’s agent is just doing his job, which is trying to get his client the most money. What’s Jeff suppose to do? Tell his agent to settle because he sucked last season? No. In Jeff’s mind, he didn’t suck the two years prior, so he wants his money. Understandable.

All that said, if he does win his arb. case and doesn’t rebound with a similar year to 2007. Well, then all bets are off. I’m sure the Braves want to hold onto him until their outfield prospects are ready, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him non-tendered….if he puts up a .260/.310/.400 line this year. Slightly improved, but certainly not worth 3 million plus.

TheAntiMe

February 18th, 2009
10:31 am

“speak for yourself, man. i dont want to bang chipper.”DAP

That’s funny, DAP. lol – The last thing the Bravos need before the start of a new season is a banged Chipper. :P

Lew

February 18th, 2009
10:37 am

Dogsbrekky-Dude, the “Mighty” appellation was sarcasm. Take a positive Pill? Surely you jest. If not for KC, I would be the Positive Pill Pusher here on the blog. You’re new and obviously uninformed if you actually think I EVER give the Mets any respect. There’s a history here on THAT subject without a doubt.

THE BEAR

February 18th, 2009
10:46 am

Frenchy has something to lose, a friendly relationship with the Braves front office. On the other hand if he doesn’t care then why not pull the plug on his little Jonboat? He had such a horrible year last year that he can’t possibly believe he is worth more to the Braves than KJ is worth. But again, I can’t read his mind. Maybe he really can’t see his inadequacies. If true that is a sad state of affairs because he is in for some rocky relations with any team he may play for in the future.

He should pay attention to Chipper on how to deal with the front office. Chipper is a wealthy man, playing in a warm and friendly environment and apparently looking forward to winding up his career among his supporters. Frenchy is rapidly burning bridges with everyone including those of us who have supported him up to now. That is no way to run a railroad. He reminds me a bit of J. D. Drew. Neither will ever enjoy the undying support of many fans but if a personality fits into that mold then go for it. Just don’t complain later that no one loves you.

cvbraves

February 18th, 2009
10:49 am

Where’s the new bloggage?

getnathan

February 18th, 2009
10:52 am

Gee John Quest. I think the sun will shine if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, too.

DAP (back to sports) – I think middle relief for Mets is suspect.
K-Rod will be lights out.

Phillies starting pitching does not strike fear for me. Lidge will not convert ALL of his save opportunities (Braves gave him fits last season, too even in the save situations). We’ll know right on opening night (Lowe vs. Hamels), and I can’t wait!!!!

Lee

February 18th, 2009
11:54 am

Griffey, Griffey, Griffey. SIGN HIM NOW before he changes his mind and goes back to his first team! SIGN now Braves! Think of how much ticket sales could increase. With my favorite baseball player of all time, I will attend every home game he starts, even if its only 30-50. He is the best legal hitter since Willie Mays! I don’t care if he is #17 or #31, since 24 and 30 are already taken. SIGN GRIFFEY NOW!

Fire Dave O'Brien

February 18th, 2009
1:18 pm

you should be fired. http://www.wsbtv.com/sports/18739891/detail.html#-

stop making a blog about crappy country music and BBQ, and get your facts right.

Chris Smith

February 18th, 2009
8:32 pm

Erik

February 18th, 2009
9:12 pm

Way to go Dan O’Biotch, multiple sources indicate that thanks to your report in the AJC Griffey decided on Seattle. You “jumping the gun” caused him to rethink his position. I think it’s pretty safe to say that without you jumping the gun Griffey would be a Brave. Way to go O’Biotch.

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