11:52 am February 21, 2009, by David O'Brien
February 21st, 200912:00 pm
Thanks, David. Let’s go ST!
Josh from Columbus
I am really late on this, lol, but why do you call it Dark Star?
February 21st, 200912:01 pm
Do we know who will start for the braves Wed. Will it be 2 ennings only.
February 21st, 200912:02 pm
Btw, the Braves scouts really seem to do a good job. It may not interest others, but I think it could be neat to have interviews with some of them on the blog. It would be interesting to see that side of the developing of a team.
February 21st, 200912:03 pm
Back to the OF thing. Luis Gonzalez? The 40 soemthing Gonzalez? Something doesn’t sound right about that story. I don’t know, maybe the Braves really have faith that Francine will come back. Maybe they feel after the Jr. thing that Gonzalez will at least bring a good teammate and mentor to the younger guys. You can tell he’s an awesome teammate, but how much can he seriously help with the bat?
February 21st, 200912:05 pm
Can we sign Raul Mondesi again? That would be great.
“You can tell he’s an awesome teammate, but how much can he seriously help with the bat?”
And his fielding has dropped into Adum Dunn territory. Just say no to Luis!
Gil In Mechanicsville
February 21st, 200912:07 pm
Always love to get news on the kids DOB… We can read all we want about Chipper and Mac and Glavine from multiple sources but doggone little about the rookies and the newbies in camp. You do not have to devote all your time to it but it’s nice to get a little fresh news once in a while.
February 21st, 200912:10 pm
DOB, why don’t you go get us some meat on the Braves and stop talking about yourself and the stupid blog issues! Go check out the kids today. I want some details on how shafer looks and if you think Hanson still is looking as good as he did at camp Rog.
Josh you’re kidding right
February 21st, 200912:11 pm
Thanks for the update, DOB.
If I can request a topic for an upcoming blog, I know many of us on here would love to hear about Jason Heyward and / or Tommy Hanson. Put on your “scout” hat and let us know what you think of those two, please (if possible).
February 21st, 200912:14 pm
Uh Dave.. Did you e-mail that link to S.I. to Huddy???
February 21st, 200912:15 pm
Nice link to the Griffey story DOB – certainly paints a more restrained and reasonable version of events than has been bandied around here for the last few days. AND there was no mention of the AJC LOL
February 21st, 200912:23 pm
So Gonzo’s defense is that bad huh? Just no reason to blow money on him if his all around game has dropped so much. In that case, their best bet is to, if he doesn’t suck in ST, is to just let Schafer take over CF to open the season, and let Anderson and Jones duke it out in ST for the platoon with Diaz. Who knows, maybe Schafer can turn into Sizemore. I do like Anderson, but if Schafer who has some power shows he’s ready, than Anderson should lose that CF job. It’d be different if they had gotten a big bat for LF, but they didn’t or haven’t yet.
Kieran(Long Island Braves fan)
February 21st, 200912:31 pm
Isn’t feilding an outfeild with B. Jones/Anderson and Diaz/Infante exactly what they wanted to avoid coming into the off season? How can a Braves fan expect to be excited about his team competing against the world champs and the improved Mets with an outfeild thats not going to hit more then 30 homeruns combined?
How can go from whiffing on big bats to somply not doing anything?? And “Letting the young kids play” is such a bogus answer. “Giving the young kids a shot” in this case is taking the mediocre youthful players who dont project to be major league starters and platooning them with well traveled Par to sub par hitters.
C’mon man there better be something behidn this, and if the answer is there’s no money left then Frank Wren should be fired for mis allocating Funds to one pitcher.
The goal in the off season was clearly stated to be an Ace an a big Bat, by the GM himself. Maybe if he catches a foul cball off the back of his head in BP that will wake him up a bit and he’ll start trying to out smart the feild for once.
February 21st, 200912:32 pm
DOB, are the Braves going after ANDERSON or EDMONDS (#1 choice)? Please say YES!
TnBrian, funny you mention that (about Sizemore). Was just reading THIS article about Sizemore’s development.
Nothing to guarantee that Schafer will become the next Sizemore… but Sizemore was a “tools” guy like Jordan is, and things worked out pretty well for him. The paths seem pretty similar so far.
And if Schafer does make the team… to me it’s worth noting that Sizemore spent about a year batting 8th/9th before he was moved to leadoff.
February 21st, 200912:34 pm
DOB, can we go back to the old format until a solution is found? I really miss scrolling through and reading your comments.
Rusty in ATL
February 21st, 200912:35 pm
For all the belly-aching some fans have done for the ‘lack of offseason success’ – all of us would have absolutely jubilantly took 3 new starters in the middle of last season, when our rotation was in shambles. Wren said he was going to add 2 quality pitchers, and he added three. And don’t forget, we have Tim Hudson coming back hopefully at the end of August, and anything he gives us will be a bonus. That’s sort of like a mid-season trade. Plus, he will likely be motivated to pitch well and get his option picked up. I think the Braves pitching staff is going to be much better than the middle of the pack bunch from last year. Additionally, the bullpen could really be an asset with Moylan, Soriano and Gonzales at the end of games. If they are all 3 healthy, look out. It will compare to Hammond, Remlinger and Smoltz…except the first two throw a lot harder than Hammond and Remlinger did. Also, with only seven bullpen slots, and the rotation pretty much set, there is going to be some fierce competition for those last couple of spots in the pen. A lot of clubs just try and fill out these spots. We have proved commodities – and good ones at that – fighting for them!
As far as the offense goes…folks we were 3rd in batting average and 6th in runs scored last year, as bad as we say it was. I know Tex had some to do with that, but it’s not like Kotchman is going to produce nothing. Even with him at first, I think our infield, offensively, is good enough to match up with anybody on any given night. The outfield, well it is just not something that is clear today. But one thing that is clear, we have options. There are four guys…Anderson, Blanco, Jones, Schafer…competing for 2 spots. And let’s face it, even the guys who win the spots are going to be aware that they need to stay on the top of their game because of the other two lurking behind. Options are always good in any sport, and the Braves have them. Don’t forget the 1991 Braves had speed over power with Deion and Nixon in the outfield, and they did just fine. In fact, they were very resourceful in scoring runs.
I am going over to the stadium next week to pick out my seats in my flex plan, and I am really excited about the possibilities this year!
February 21st, 200912:44 pm
Rusty, I think we are in trouble if Frenchy plays like he did last year and Kotchman plays like he did with us last year. In 43 games, Kotch hit .237, 2 HR, 20 RBI’s. That concerns me a little. Another thing that concerns me is that our offense is dependent on an old, injury prone player like Chipper. He absolutely has to stay healthy this year for us to go far.
Although I would love to see us get an outfield bat to hit behind Chipper, I still think we can count on a few more home runs from the outfield than we had last year. I look for Jeff to do a little better and most likely end up with 20. If Anderson starts in center then we can pencil him in for around 13 which is the pace he was on last year. I also think we can expect the same 13 from the Diaz platoon. That would give us around 46 which is 20 better than last year.
Nothing to jump up for joy about but it is an increase in production which is what we want. Still wish there is a bat somewhere to be had though for left field.
February 21st, 200912:48 pm
I totally agree with your comments about the Braves having speed in the OF. They were a much more dangerous team in the early 90s because of that–when they could manufacture a run at-will, so it seemed–and there downfall started when they went to building teams that relied on the three-run homer.
I think the Braves will have a good year: possibly win the division, *should* win the wild-card.
February 21st, 200912:49 pm
Hey anyone know were I can find out who on the roster is out of options?
February 21st, 200912:51 pm
Screw Griffey. How would his legacy be any different if he signed with Atlanta? He chose a team that has absolutely no chance of making the playoffs. We all know the Braves aren’t a lock for the postseason, but they seem to be in a better position than the Mariners. I’ve always respected KGJ, but he doesn’t seem to care about winning anymore. He had to know that the Reds didn’t ever have a chance, and now he chooses poorly again.
February 21st, 200912:52 pm
Kotchman is a young player who was traded from a team potentially heading to the World Series to a team completely out of contention. On the other side of the county. He’ll be fine this season.
Nj, I think Griffey wants his legacy to be that he finished his career with a team that will lose 100 games.
February 21st, 200912:53 pm
James, you meant country right ?
February 21st, 200912:55 pm
Good morning Bravo fans can’t wait to hear about some good news from the new pitchers we have and the young guys today. Keep up the good work DOB!
Anyone know how late Ella Guru is open today? Thinking about heading down that way.
I have to leave so I’ll have to remember the time I wrote this and come back for the or some answer to the question I am about to ask for the millionth… well, make it third or fourth time:
WHAT THE HELL IS DARK STAR?!
February 21st, 200912:56 pm
Do the Angels play in Vinings?
ey, that record store’s in inman park, not candler. just saying.
assuming its still on elizabeth st.
February 21st, 200912:57 pm
Isn’t Dark Star the guy in “Spaceballs?”
No, wait, that’s *Dark Helmet.” ; )
John Quest #2
Chris from the Rock
Who was dropped off the 40-man roster for Glavine? Was it Lerew? The Braves’ official site has 41 players listed.
February 21st, 200912:59 pm
Mitchell – Dark Star is the name DOB has given to the Disney complex.
They moved Huddy to the 60 day DL- probably won’t show until the season starts
February 21st, 20091:00 pm
Hudson was put on the 60 day DL in order to make room for Glavine.
February 21st, 20091:01 pm
Dark Star is the unoffical (?) name of the Disney Sports Complex where the Braves have ST every year. No one knows who started calling it Dark Star or why. I imagine it’s some kind of sportswriters’ humor.
February 21st, 20091:20 pm
DOB…Thanks for the blog. I agree with PTBNL. I would love to have you bring a scout or two up to chat with the blog. That would be really interesting.
Interesting article from Terrence Moore. For years the Braves have been blasted by this one-dimensional writer for the AJC about the lack of African American players on the roster. We offer Griffey a contract and don’t get any credit for trying? How about we stick to current events Mr. Moore.
February 21st, 20091:24 pm
I really wish the Ajc would just fire Terence Moore already!
February 21st, 20091:34 pm
TexasBrave: There is no place on any website that I know of where you can find list of out-of-options players.
But here are the Braves guys on 40-man who are out:
J Anderson, OF
B Boyer, RH
M Gonzalez LH
D Lowe RH
A LeRew RH
G Norton util
D Ross C
R Soriano RH
P Stockman RH
February 21st, 20091:37 pm
DOB, loved reading about the youngsters on Field 2. Are the work outs/games there open to the public? I’m coming down to Dark Star to see some Braves games later in the spring, and I’d love to also see guys like Heyward and Freeman.
February 21st, 20091:38 pm
Chipper’s still sick, but he’s gonna go through the first part, at least, of the bunting drills they’re about to do. Braves are doing a lot of fundamentals today, focusing mostly on that. Chipper said he wants to show the “young pups” how to go first-to-third, etc., set an example, before he exits early today. He took more antibiotics when he got to the clubhouse.
Kawakami is only pitcher who’s going to throw BP today, he’ll face lefty hitters B. Jones, Anderson, Blanco and one of the minor league catchers.
Soriano did throw again yesterday, no problems. Cox didn’t sound too convinced when we asked if Soriano is ready or would be ready. But I think that’s more a reflection of fact that Soriano doesn’t communicate much when it comes to responding to questions about how he’s feeling, how the arm feels, etc.
February 21st, 20091:42 pm
I’m going on the 15 day DL, writer’s cramps. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
February 21st, 20091:44 pm
David, I know it is not likely, but does that mean that it would be possible that if one of the guys sent to the minors (pitchers) really does great and Glavin is not doing so hot, that they could actually (though not probable) send him to the minors and bring up the hot pitcher? I mean, you did not list him as out of options, that is the reason for the question.
Good to hear they are working on fundamentals. This club has been really bad at doing the little things the last few years. And without a lot of power in the lineup, they’re gonna have to do the little things to score runs.
February 21st, 20091:47 pm
Dark Star is a name given to a place any normal baseball fan would LOVE to be from Feb thru March – but some ‘reporter’ (and I use that term lightly) considers it a burden to be forced to work from Orlando FL and watch the Braves play/practice baseball during the spring….hence the negative connotation
February 21st, 20091:48 pm
If you’re headed to Mickeyville, enjoy the weather on me:
“Sore”iano is going to be a question all year, I’m afraid. When they first got hi he looked like a competeter and seemed like a guy that wanted the ball. Now, it seems like he could be one of the very few who doesn’t like Bobby.
I just watched a clip of Tex talking about A-Roid and man, I seriously think Boras has a remote control, controlling everything that boy says and does. But I wish he was still a Brave…FU–, I wish he was!
February 21st, 20091:50 pm
I was standing in the clubhouse while ago, talking to a few writers, when Heyward walked past without his shirt on. A national writer from Philadelphia said, “Who’s that?”
February 21st, 20091:55 pm
You should’ve said “It’s Ryan Howard and Derek Lee’s love child.”
You shoulda said,”that our next Ryan Howard…without all the K’s, BI-”!
February 21st, 20091:56 pm
PTBNL: Actually I got my list of out-of-options guys before Glavine was signed, so I’m not certain about his status. But they wouldn’t do what you’re suggesting with Glavine.
February 21st, 20091:58 pm
John Quest #2 and DOB thanks for the list, both matched up.
DOB I am going to ask a stupid question and if it doesn’t get answered then I know to never ask again. I see that you put Derek Lowe’s name on there but not players like Chipper, Buddy, Campillo, Bennett, Glavine, Hudson, Etc. Does this mean (although highly improbable) that the Braves could option Chipper to the minors without waiving him?
As much as I know about the game of baseball, its the in’s and out’s outside the game that I still need to learn.
The Artist Formerly Known as Too Hot For Teacher
February 21st, 20092:00 pm
thanks for the new blog – when you get a chance can you talk to Jones and some of the guys who hit off of Kawakami and try to get a feel for what they think. That’d be really cool.
and hearing you talk about cruising I-4 on your bike makes me miss mine – had to sell when my son was born.
February 21st, 20092:01 pm
I am confident that they would not, I could have expressed my question better. I was just wondering if there was a time when options were time limited. I just thought of it as an interesting thought. I would imagine that some time along the way some manager has done something like that… for reasons maybe that were not obvious at the time.
I knew you have given that list a few days ago.
Thanks for the answer.
February 21st, 20092:02 pm
What girl scout troop is Hudson in?
February 21st, 20092:04 pm
DOB, not sure, but I think that a player with 5 years or more of service time can’t be sent to the minors without his consent. So while (maybe) the Braves could send a Tom Glavine or Derek Lowe to the minors, those players could refuse such an assignment and become free agents if they chose.
Whew! Having trouble putting thoughts to words! Poor grammar and everything! Sorry.
Heyward the Future, Ok, that was weird! We both mentioned Ryan Howard and used quotes…at the same time too.
February 21st, 20092:06 pm
Yeah, that is what I was looking for mbatl. Thanks.
February 21st, 20092:07 pm
mbatl, what about their contract if they refuse the assignment?
February 21st, 20092:10 pm
Sorry, I have no idea how to post a link so that it’s in blue and you can click on it. But check out this video of Braves Batting Stances on youtube:
Johnson’s Girl: We thank you for your dozens of comments the past few days. You must have raised veins in your forehead as you type responses to my every observation and opinion. Do you ever comment on the team? Or am I your only obsession? Either way, hey, glad to stoke your passion.
February 21st, 20092:11 pm
Well apparently you just enter in the text and it takes care of the rest. Hmmm, that was easy.
February 21st, 20092:13 pm
PTBNL, I THINK that assigning a Derek Lowe (for example) to the minors would be tantamount to DFA’ing him unless he agreed to the assignment… but I’m no expert on this stuff, just reading websites … HERE is where I got what I posted earlier (scroll down to the “Now that a player has been signed to a major league contract… ” heading).
February 21st, 20092:14 pm
Please get rid of soriano and JF………..Just then we will start going forward.
February 21st, 20092:17 pm
DOB When do the minor league players have to report to Dark Star?
February 21st, 20092:20 pm
It’s not Dark Star but Death Star, and Darth Vader is really in charge of trade talks and agent discussions, they are trying to quell the invasion of the forces from outside the pavillion. Got to keep all the Empire ( Braves ) in check.
February 21st, 20092:21 pm
Is Medlen going to start or relieve this year?
Can’t believe no one’s commented on that video with Chipper, LaRoche, Langy and the boys. That’s pretty good stuff.
February 21st, 20092:22 pm
HERE is probably a better description, from a better source.
February 21st, 20092:26 pm
The video was okay. I’ve been sitting here thinking about Heyward in the outfield. Now that’s good stuff.
Thanks, mbalt. I seem to remember a time when the Braves had someone to refuse an assignment several years ago, but I don’t remember who it was or when. And… I don’t remember all the particulars regarding the contract. Just curious.
February 21st, 20092:27 pm
She’s sick in love with you DOB. Sometimes their anger is a sign of flirting.
JasonInFL (Formerly ME)
DOB, actually, I just watched the video…and it was pretty darn cool. It actually made me miss hunting camp up in Northern ME. Too bad Chip didn’t want to go hunt some large white tail in the Northern Maine woods! Those boys sure like the outdoors! Chip, Roachy, and Langy still hunt in the offseasons together?
February 21st, 20092:28 pm
DOB, you just about read my mind. Looks like Chipper and the boys have a good time in the off-seasons. They have a website for it too. Guys like Russ Springer (I think) join ‘em every once in a while
February 21st, 20092:32 pm
Who would you say is the “class clown” in the Braves clubhouse? From what I have read (especially from you), Maddux was big on practical jokes – especially the gross kind that involved some sort of bodily excrement – but I never got the impression that he was a traditional goof-off.
In the current lockeroom, who are the biggest goof-offs that make everybody laugh, even if it means making fools of themselves?
February 21st, 20092:33 pm
I know the status of Ohman has been nothing doing for quite some time.
I’m just wondering if, as he sits there on the market, and with us having few apparent plans for spending that money (unless we pulled a trade for Nady or Swisher), the Braves are at all reconsidering Ohman.
Last I heard was that his best bets were in the 1-1.5 million range. And since I heard that like a week ago I’ve seen no other news of any other teams pushing for him. I think if the Braves dropped in with a 1.5 mill deal or maybe 2 for 3 that we could get him back and he’d be worth it.
I guess you haven’t heard anyone around the Braves mentioning any even fleeting interest in getting back into those talks, because it seems like right now we could get him for less than we ever offered him before.
February 21st, 20092:35 pm
DOB, I watched the video, very good, but i am LMAO over the batting stances on the utube clip from daybed!!!! You have to watch them all: Braves, Phillies, Dodgers…..
February 21st, 20092:36 pm
My obsession is the Braves – but I was YOUR obsession at one time hence my comments
Enter your comments here
February 21st, 20092:37 pm
Cox lover, you are totally right about Frenchy. We have to have him play more like he did in 2007. The one good thing about that outfield in 1991 was David Justice. He afforded us the luxury of using speedsters like Nixon and Deion and also solid Diaz-type players like Lonnie Smith. I do think Diaz is going to return to the guy we saw in 2007 by just simply batting mostly against leftys and not getting over exposed. I tell you…if Shafer could win that CF job and become a solid leadoff hitter, and Frenchy can just hit .260 with 15-20 homers and 80-90 RBIs, then I think Anderson/Diaz or Jones/Diaz or Blanco/Diaz would be sufficient in left.
I keep thinking and comparing this team to 1991 because, hard to believe, last year’s team was a little bit like 1990’s team. The 91 squad was not wrought with superstars and came out of nowhere to win a division with two powerhouse teams (Dodgers and Reds). And while this year’s bunch may be lacking in some of the areas that team was, we have some parts that are just as good, if not in much better shape…like:
Brian McCann and Greg Olson (no match)
Yunel Escobar and Rafael Belliard (no match)
I’d take KJ over Lemke offensively in a heart beat, although Lemmer was better defensively.
Pendleton and Chipper are pretty much a wash to me, because while Pendleton played every day and was reliable, Chipper has a little more pop in his bat, and hits for higher average. (even though he plays maybe an average of 5 to 6 days a week)
Sid Bream was good, but did miss some time with his knees. I think Kotchman, while maybe not as much power as Bream, will show up every day and play excellent defense at first.
Rotation wise…we were stronger in 1991, no doubt. Bullpen wise, I think this team is better.
February 21st, 20092:41 pm
One other thing I might add…I would much rather be looking for a bat come June or July, with some depth in the pitching staff, than the other way around. Pitching will – always is – be a premium by then, and a lot of teams who may have thought they were contenders will be ready to sell off a bat or two. Plus, I guess we are going to be able to add some payroll, since Griffey fell through. 2 million dollars (or thereabouts) for Griffey for a full season equals 4 million for a half season, 6 million for the last 2 months…which could put us in a position to add a bat then that we might not be able to afford now.
February 21st, 20092:42 pm
Hey guys good story about Lance Niekro in Braves camp in the NYTimes.
February 21st, 20092:50 pm
Good point, Rusty. It may be a gamble, but I like having the option to start out with what we have (which is yet an unknown) and as you said 2 million will have more value later in the season so we may be able to really get some help if we need it then.
Unknown = young players that we don’t know what they will bring now that they are a year older.
DOB, way to get me unable to take Planet Waves out of the player in my car. Can’t get much better than The Band backing up Dylan, but please. . . stop encouraging me.
Does Schafer project as a lead off hitter? Where did he hit in the minors?
February 21st, 20092:51 pm
Dang, thought we could bet through a whole blog without mentioning that Seattle guy.
February 21st, 20092:52 pm
Good call DOB on the video, I wonder if my neighbors would be able to see me if i painted my face like that while doing a little yard work
DOB ,looks like you have a former friend,or foe in Johnsons Girl.
this blog could get interesting today but I can’t stay here to see it. Man I wish the techie folks would just work on this site instead of talking about it. It would be nice to read all later tonight.
Baby steps little joe…You can’t just quit cold turkey on something that was such a huge part of this blog’s life all wee.
February 21st, 20092:53 pm
Danga, Schafer batted leadoff almost exclusively in ‘07, but mostly 3rd or 5th in ‘08.
February 21st, 20092:56 pm
Looking at Schafer’s minor league numbers, I gotta say I hope he is our starting CF by the end of the season.
Frank from KS
February 21st, 20092:57 pm
Rusty…..ya forgot some
Blauser, Brian Hunter (the 1st baseman Brian Hunter, that is), McGriff, Berryhill, Charlie O’Brien, Quievo(sp) Veras, Walt Weiss, Deion Sanders……I could go on and on and list players at all positons who could outdo some of the ones who ALSO played the same postion.
February 21st, 20093:00 pm
David, What are your early perceptions of the presence of these young guys…Do they seem overwhelmed by the attention they are already getting or are they rolling with the flow..Do they act like they belong without coming across as cocky like Schafer apparently did last year
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