11:52 am February 21, 2009, by David O'Brien
18 Wheels of Love
February 21st, 20093:08 pm
OK, the video….
Funny seeing the boys in camo and war paint. I’m guessing Langerhans, Chipper, LaRoche and those ZZ Top/burly guys used to watch NWA wrestling on Sunday afternoons too. Lots of Road Warrior look-a-likes.
The one thing that baffles me though…those guys have some serious coin and yet they drink Miller Lite.
February 21st, 20093:09 pm
Dave…You never talk about Kelly, Is he too boring???
February 21st, 20093:13 pm
Thanks for the source, I have saved it for further use. DOB disregard my question as I am sure you probably have.
They shoulda been drinkin’ Natty, 18 Wheels.
February 21st, 20093:22 pm
Of course, they may not be connossieurs of beer. If one drinks beer because it’s beer, why should one pay a bunch of money for beer? They’re not a bunch of snobs like Keith Law. I stumbled across that blog the other day after reading some of Law’s comments on Talking Chop. Some of those comments were posted here on the blog several times over the past couple of days, especially the ones at the end about Glavine.
Anyway, Law is a snob. I’m sure he doesn’t drink Miller Lite. He’s probably too busy making cupcakes.
February 21st, 20093:23 pm
I guess rolling up with a cooler of Guiness and Sam Adams isn’t cool in the hunting world. My brother is master hunter so maybe I’ll ask him.
February 21st, 20093:27 pm
I once ran out of gas in my car. Luckily I had a Natty Ice under the seat. I just poured that into the gas tank and it fired right up!
February 21st, 20093:33 pm
DOB, Along with being a fulltime student at FSU, I also guide hunts on a plantation in south GA, the buckcommanders video is pretty bad to the bone. I bought it when it was 1st released and am waiting for the 2nd one to be put out there, it’s real cool to see MLB players and especially Chipper interacting in a huntin’ camp setting, and the Luke Bryan video is pretty dang cool.
February 21st, 20093:34 pm
Well, I don’t want to be too critical of Kawakami, since it was only his first session facing hitters. But it was not impressive, folks.
Again, way early, and he only threw fastballs, a few curveballs, and one cutter. But Josh Anderson and Brandon Jones were crushing pitches, hanging curves and fastballs.
February 21st, 20093:40 pm
Danga, Schafer could eventually hit in a wide variety of spots, dependin what else the team had. He’s got some power, some speed, should be a good average and OBP guy. Could he hit leadoff? Yes, but doubt they’d have him do that right away.
February 21st, 20093:42 pm
Honestly…barring other injuries I wouldn’t even be too upset if Kawakami turned out to be a bust. I’d feel very comfortable with Hanson or Morton giving that spot a go, depending on how things work out.
February 21st, 20093:43 pm
Everyone talks about the outfield but who do the Mets have in the OF besides Beltran?? Let’s see what happens this spring before we get too excited. McLouth of the Pirates came out of spring training last year and was great. Maybe one of the young Braves players will be this year’s McLouth!
Rusty in ATL
Frank from Kansas,
Rusty…..ya forgot some
I am referring to the 1991 team that we broke camp with. Rafael Belliard was the opening day starter at short. Blauser came along later in the year and contributed, but Belliard was the guy most of the year. Brian Hunter was a middle of the year callup that subbed in for Bream when he was out for an extended period with an injury. It ended up being a platoon between him and Bream eventually, but Brian Hunter was exclusively a pull hitter, below average defense and undisciplined at the plate at best. Fred McGriff didn’t play for the Braves until 1993. Damon Berryhill was aquired in a trade the last week of the season in 1991 to play for the next year. He wasn’t even eligible for the post season roster. Charlie O’Brien didn’t come to play for the Braves until 1994. Quilvio Veras didn’t come to play for the Braves until 2000. Walt Weiss came to Atlanta in 1998. Deion Sanders was part of the outfield in 1991, and he was/is part of my discussion about how we had speedsters as opposed to sluggers back then. The discussion was strictly how this team compared to the 1991 team.
Now…the one guy I did forget, now that I think about it, is Ron Gant. He played a lot in left for us that year, and had tremendous power. But, he also ran an awful lot as well, and if Schafer makes the team, I think he is very comparable to Gant in 1991.
February 21st, 20093:46 pm
Watching Braves do baserunning drills on the field below while we watch Griffey’s press conference on MLB network on the tv in the pressbox.
And guess what the Braves are doing right now? Something I’ve never seen them do at the end of a workout — group stretching. Honestly, the entire team is stretching on the infield. Probably good to see, given all the pulls and strains they had last year.
February 21st, 20093:47 pm
Griffey presser on MLB Network right now.
February 21st, 20093:48 pm
Myabe the press corps should do they same and get in shape. Show the boys you care!!!!!
February 21st, 20093:50 pm
I hope Im wrong but ive just had a feeling the kawakami is not going to be very good. I know we have invested a modest amount of money in him but maybe it will be a little opening for our boy morton.
Just curious…in an article about the kids Bobby Cox mentioned the braves had broken camp before with a 19 year old. anyone know who he could have been refering to? The youngest I can think of is steve Avery, but he turned 20 during the 1990 season and was 20 for his debut
February 21st, 20093:52 pm
DOB: Looking at our pitching depth with Lowe, Jurrjens, Kawakami, Vazquez Glavine, then Reyes and Morton. When Hanson dominates AAA, do we make room for him if everyone stays healthy. He needs to be called up when he is ready in my opinion.
Enter your comments here
February 21st, 20093:57 pm
Glad to hear that Josh and Brandon are swinging the bat well!
February 21st, 20093:59 pm
Thanks for all the updates as always. Can you elaborate a little bit more about Kawakami’s BP session today? Did it look like he was trying to run it past the hitters or did it seem like he was just loosening up the arm? If it’s the former, I’m pretty concerned. I think everyone is interested in what this guy can bring to the table so the more you can report on him the better.
February 21st, 20094:00 pm
DOB do you believe KK was throwing 100%? The way you have talked before it seems that he is taking his time getting up to speed. If he threw mostly fastballs to the lefties at not 100% then I would expect him to get ripped a little.
Watching Griffey at the presser, seems like a stand up guy and would have made one hell of a Brave. That’s too bad.
And if we blame anyone for Griffey going to Seattle it his daughter. Once she said she was OK with him going to Seattle, that is when he committed to them.
February 21st, 20094:01 pm
I hope the Mariners lose 120 games and the Braves win the World Series. I’d love to see the look on Griffey’s face if that happened.
February 21st, 20094:08 pm
Andruw was 19 when he first came up with the big club. Not sure if he technically broke camp with them or not, but he was 19 that year he hit the homers in the World Series, yes?
February 21st, 20094:11 pm
“And if we blame anyone for Griffey going to Seattle it his daughter. Once she said she was OK with him going to Seattle, that is when he committed to them.”
Ha! Don’t know if you have kids, 18 Wheels, but if one of them said, “Dad, it’s okay for you to leave…”, would you just go?
Anyway, I have no problem with Griffey doing what he thought was best. Shame that the media flare-up happened here, but I don’t think Wren was at fault at all. Griffey suggested he’d consider Atlanta, Wren made an offer but refused to get into a bidding war, and Griffey chose to do something else. Move on.
February 21st, 20094:13 pm
I don’t have a problem with Griffey doing what he thought was best either but did he really have to drag Atlanta into all of this and waste our time ?
February 21st, 20094:14 pm
TexasBrave, the velocity wasn’t bad according to Mac and Bobby, just the location. He was up in the zone. That’s easily corrected.
Actually, Cox didn’t even think the location was bad for first time out. He said he liked what he saw from him today.
Mac said if he keeps the ball at the knees, he’ll be very successful.
So like I said, I didn’t want to come across as too critical of first time out. means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It’s not even a spring-training game, just a workout. And even spring games don’t mean anything unless you’re competing for a spot. He’s not.
February 21st, 20094:22 pm
DAB, Ohman Hasn’t signed yet. Is there any chance the Braves would make him another “lower” offer?
Sorry DAB……I meant DOB……Duh
February 21st, 20094:26 pm
yeah DOB that chipper video with luke bryan was awesome especially for GA boys i love that song and thats a great video to go along with it should be a music video and also did i see Kotsay in there? I know Laroche, chipper, langerhans, luke bryan, and alot of random people but anyone else that you recognized?
February 21st, 20094:27 pm
Good for the team to stretch…add some Pilates to it also. We had way too many quads and hamstrings going out on people through out the season.
BTW, what’s the conditioning coach’s name??
February 21st, 20094:30 pm
Sure is good to get back to good ole baseball “on the field” activities and away from the drama crap!
Conditioning coach – good to hear we are being professional and actaully doing team stretches… how many 100’s games did we lose top notch players for last year because of soft tissue injuries which are usuallu avoisable
Chipper, Yunel, Kotsay etc etc
35YearBravesFan His name is Phil Falco, I beleive…
February 21st, 20094:35 pm
It is Phil Falco….He replaced Frank Fultz who “left” after 16 seasons with the Braves in the middle of last season. Teams that stretch together WIN together!
February 21st, 20094:39 pm
Kotsay’s got a bad back. Chipper’s old.
I don’t know that stretching could have prevented Glavine’s elbow blowing up, Smoltz’s shoulder blowing up, Huddy’s elbow blowing up, Soriano’s elbow blowing up, Moylan’s elbow blowing up, and Hampton being hurt for the bagillionth time.
Nevertheless, guys should be stretching. Helps ‘em keep loose, especially the older guys. I’m 29 and have recently come to the realization that I have to stretch. It sucks having to take a few minutes of my damned precious time to do it, but the resulting lack of muscle pulls is sorta-kinda worth it.
thanks for the video. those nashville goons keep writing the same freakin’ song over and over again, though. there’s always “momma and diddy,” beer, buddies, a big fuzzy jesus, lost innocence, and a freakin’ pick-up truck. wow. shoot me.
February 21st, 20094:43 pm
What happened to acquiring Garet Anderson? I thought if the braves didn’t get junior, they would pluck up Ex-Angel Garret Anderson’s lefthanded bat. If i were The San Francisco Giants I would sign Garret
Anderson to a incentive laden contract. Anderson batting 4th would help the G men move closer to a NL West title..
February 21st, 20094:46 pm
Chop Chop…I’ve recently come to that realization as well. Not cool, but cooler than a pulled quad.
February 21st, 20094:53 pm
All, for all of you Braves Fans that are watching your pennies in this tough economic climate our company the Historic Marietta Trolley is running a shuttle to Turner Field from the Marietta Square for $10 per person round trip. Here are the dates:
April 10th- Home Opener vs. The Washington Nationals
May 15th- vs. The Arizona Diamondbacks
June 26th vs. The Boston Red Sox
More times to be announced for later in the Season
Contact the Historic Marietta Trolley @ 770-425-1106 with questions
February 21st, 20094:54 pm
DOB-I have been to numerous Spring Training workouts over the years and you’re right-I NEVER saw anyone do stretching like that. Never saw a pitcher work out like you described Lowe’s workout, either. This definitely portends better conditioning and likely less injuries to obliques and hamstrings. You did say they were bunting today, too? That would be good as well. Fundamentals would be good to practice-intensively.
Sorry, the phone# is 770-425-1006
February 21st, 20094:58 pm
DOB, just took the time to watch the video. Adam Laroche just makes me laugh when I look at him. It’s just funny to see those guys out of their natural character. Good stuff. To bad about Don Ellas, good spot.
February 21st, 20094:59 pm
jed there’s always “momma and diddy,” beer, buddies, a big fuzzy jesus, lost innocence, and a freakin’ pick-up truck. wow. shoot me.
What else is there that’s worth singing about?
February 21st, 20095:01 pm
Actually, shooting him would make a good country song-especially if the shooting was in a bar with all his buddies who lost their innocence.
February 21st, 20095:02 pm
Duke It’s just funny to see those guys out of their natural character. Good stuff.
That is their natural character. We normally just see them at work.
February 21st, 20095:05 pm
No offense, but if Kawakami took a dump on the mound, Bobby would have liked what he saw today.
February 21st, 20095:06 pm
Has anyone made any assessments about Vazquez yet? I am actually pretty excited about him and what he might bring to the table. Has he looked good throwing the ball?
February 21st, 20095:08 pm
Kawakami could still be adjusting to the size of the baseball too…so to me its understandable that he would be leaving up in the zone this early. But your right, still a workout and you keep saying that he is on a different schedule.
February 21st, 20095:12 pm
Kawakami will be fine once he gets settled down and has that 12-6 curve on board. In the video of him that was around just after he signed it looked plain mean.
February 21st, 20095:13 pm
Johnson’s Girl – your 1:47 post reveals your “softer side”, does it not?
And, pray tell, what do you do when you are not in your divorce lawyer’s office anwsering your wife’s “written interogatories”? Just askin’?
Maybe Kawakami was nervous. Didn’t he throw one ball over the bullpen on to the field in his first session? Give him time to get used to his new atmosphere he’ll be fine. I think he’s got pretty good stuff. I still think his cutter is his best pitch from what ive seen on the video.
February 21st, 20095:14 pm
Cold somebody repost the link to the clip that everyone is talking about? It must have slipped back before the 100 posts so I cannot see it.
Just been to WCU and watched my first competitive baseball game of the season, great feeling to be back watching games again, now just up to the Braves to get started (ESPN Thursday is their first on TV)
February 21st, 20095:15 pm
DOB, we noticed the stretching going on yesterday. Definitely a nice sight and something new to them. In your OPINION, do you think Camp Cox is easy on the players or harder than most? Again, just asking your thoughts. IMO, it would seem like the Brave players don’t do as much as the other camps. Just looking for your thoughts.
February 21st, 20095:16 pm
Does anyone know where I can find the Braves tv schedule for spring training ? I know next Thursday game is televised but that’s the only game I know about.
February 21st, 20095:22 pm
Do you have any idea yet about who is going to be pitching in the first few spring training games? I want to know who we’ll be seeing on tv come next Thursday!
February 21st, 20095:29 pm
Running the stadium stairs and stretching at the end of practice – this represents a major change in training practices to you? I mean, what was last year’s regiment? A bunch of guys in baggy grey sweats tossing medicine balls?
February 21st, 20095:33 pm
Anders (Newman) – I believe it was only Lowe who was running stairs
AZ Braves Fan
February 21st, 20095:37 pm
Coxlover — looks like there are only 3 scheduled for broadcast TV. See http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/schedule/broadcast.jsp?c_id=atl
But MLB.TV claims to carry more than 100 live ST games.
Any updates/details on Ohman?
February 21st, 20095:38 pm
I hope this isn’t an indication of Kawakami’s nerves and a show of his ability to pitch under pressure. I seem to remember that Dan Kolb had a similar problem….
February 21st, 20095:39 pm
But MLB.TV claims to carry more than 100 live ST games.AZ Braves Fan
You sound like you work for them
Ease 19 (Soup Nazi)- I’m quite aware of that. No.
AZ, i dont think that is accurate because that shows that only a few games all year will be televised.
February 21st, 20095:42 pm
Nevermind AZ….I didn’t see that “claims to” in there. I thought you were offering a ringing endorsement “MLB TV carries hundreds of games, in crisp hi-def.”
But nope…I read it wrong. my b
DOB: Is Jordan Schaffer a similar type player to like a Grady Sizemore? B/c when I saw Grady Sizemore in spring training a few years back when he was breaking onto the scene he was one of the most impressive players I’d seen in awhile. He hit for power, he hit for average, he could steal bases, he had power and he could field. Does Schaffer have all those same capabilites? B/c if he does, he could really be something special.
I really think having a good leadoff hitter whether it’s a Josh Anderson or Jordan Schaffer would be huge for this team. I think it would only make players like Kelly Johnson and Escober better hitters if they’re hitting in that number 2 spot.
February 21st, 20095:43 pm
BTW- Kawakami wouldn’t be the first Japanese pitchers to struggle throwing the BIGGER ball used here in the states. Just saying, sometimes what happens in Japan stays in Japan.
Didn’t mean to say hit for power twice. Meant to say that he also could throw.
February 21st, 20095:47 pm
spotts — No, the key word was “claims”. I’ve generally not had good experience with MLB video broadcast products — be that MLB.TV or the outdated way that I get railroaded into non-Braves broadcasts (or miss them altogether) with MLB Extra Innings thru Cox cable.
Last year with Extra Innings, there were Braves games that were out of market (not in AZ for me), on the schedule, but still not carried thru the Cox Extra Innings because of some “negotiation” shenanigans last year between Cox’s provider (On Demand) and MLB.
Example: a weeknight game (with Maddux pitching, naturally) Braves @ San Diego when broadcast on Peachtree TV (Braves) / San Diego’s local channel (Padres). I couldn’t get it. I ended up going to a sports bar that had Dish.
February 21st, 20095:51 pm
im very suspect of kawakami,really because of what different scouting reports there are of him..and cox has never seen him pitch expect video..anyone can make a good video (chuck james)..maybe will be seeing hanson in the rotation sooner then we all think,and kawakami in spot and long relief..makes too much money for that gig
February 21st, 20095:53 pm
I’M COMING FOR YOU O’BRIEN!
Gil In Mechanicsville
February 21st, 20095:57 pm
Folks, nothing counts and nothing done in spring training really means anything until the last two weeks. Then the club’s hitting ability becomes a harbinger for what to expect. Pitchers are #1 loosening up #2 working on developing arm strength #3 getting a feel for new mechanics, follow thrus and the like. You don’t show all your moves in pre-season…
February 21st, 20095:59 pm
LOWEST SEASON OBP FOR SWISHER EVER: .322 IN 2005
ANDRE DAWSON CAREER OBP: .322
February 21st, 20096:04 pm
DOB, all of us in the blogosphere want even more information on Kawakami’s first session against live hitters. I know you’ve said a lot already, but you’re our only set of eyes at this point.
Swisher’s Lifetime Batting Avg – .241
Keith Lockhart’s Lifetime Batting Avg – .261
February 21st, 20096:08 pm
Anders (Newman) – Good one
If you are going to talk smack, at least have your facts straight…
February 21st, 20096:10 pm
AZ Braves Fan- I’m very surprised you had problems with the Extra Innings package. I live in Central Vermont (no local blackouts). I’ve had the package for at least five (maybe more) years and I miss maybe five Braves’ games a year on the package. Now you are aware that Extra Innings is not allowed to televise any Saturday games until 7 because of MLB’s contract with Fox Sports? I have XM for those games, but even though many times we get the opposing team’s feed, I rarely am not able to see the Braves on Extra Innings. It would likely be a different story in and around ATlanta, but I’m shocked you’re having difficulties in Arizona.
Anders – Good one
If you are going to talk smack, at least have your facts straight…And who says Kawakami is struggling? I mean, he’s adjusting but not the same as struggling…
February 21st, 20096:12 pm
Sorry dude about the double post…refreshed and submitted at the same time…didn’t think the first one got through
February 21st, 20096:13 pm
Jay, don’t care. Batting average is pretty much completely irrelevant. OBP, slugging and homeruns are what I look at.
I’d take a .220 hitter who walks 100 times and hits 20 homeruns over a hitter who hits .300, never walks and would be lucky to hit three homers in any given season.
February 21st, 20096:17 pm
Ease 19 (Frank Constanza) – Read Lew’s 4:54. This should clear the facts up for YOU. At 100 posts an hour I’m not sure we should be spending 3 of them every time we need to catch you up.
Enough smack for you?
Any word on how is JF going to produce more this year? or is he (and the rest of the team) thinking it will just magically happen?
February 21st, 20096:18 pm
Jay-You’re right-however, Lockhart never hit 35 Home Runs in a season, nor did he average more than 24 a season for his first five years in MLB. He never had anywhere near the RBI’s and he certainly never hit 21 HR in his absolute worst season. He also couldn’t be plugged into any of the three outfield positions or first base. Find a realistic analogy if you’re going to go that route.
I like Swisher, I just don’t think he’s worth what the Yankees will want PLUS what we’d have to pay him.
February 21st, 20096:19 pm
Swisher Fan, i’d would love to add swisher to our club..from what i know of him hes a gamer good defense and will give some decent power..just dont think braves have enough money to fit him under payroll..who could we trade to maybe for that out?
Ease 19 – No problem. Just jousting with you.
February 21st, 20096:21 pm
Swisher = NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
February 21st, 20096:23 pm
As for the Nady/Swisher situation. I think the Yanks are gonna hold those chips until they’re sure Posada can catch regularly and to a lesser degree that Rivera is fully healed. Posada’s coming off major shoulder surgery. Unless the Braves are willing to give the Yanks a prospect the Yanks think they can turn into a starting catcher if need be I think they’ll sit in the outfielders at least until very late in ST or maybe even into the early part of the season.
February 21st, 20096:25 pm
By turn into a starting catcher I mean through a trade. Just to be clear.
February 21st, 20096:26 pm
Even if Kawakami falters, it’s nice to know we have the best back-up plan in baseball down there at AAA.
I think Braves should make the last run for some help…….. they are sooooooo close (a power hitter) of being a playoff caliber team, that not making the last aggressive move would be foolish.
February 21st, 20096:27 pm
Anders-Much of the pitchers’ Spring Training regimen while the “Big Three” were all there consisted of throwing on the back fields, pitching batting practice and Golf. I always wondered they didn’t do more calisthenics and stretching, but when you’re in first place in your division every year for a decade and a half and your pitching is World Class year in and year out, with Six Cy Young Awards (and should have been 7-Denny Neagle should have beaten out Pedro) you might be able to get by like that.
After the past three years, however, with all the injuries and the less than superlative use of basics like bunting, I’d be surprised if the “Old Ways” remained in effect much longer. Maybe Lowe’s dedication will prove a good example to the up and comers in the organization-AND prove to The Doubters who think a four year contract to a 36 year old was a bad move-might not be as bad a move as they think. It might also go a long ways towards showing people why he has never been injured seriously to this point in his career.
February 21st, 20096:29 pm
Are you ready for project mayhem?!?!?!
February 21st, 20096:33 pm
Lew – Your 6:27 dovetails into exactly what I have been saying about the possibility that the Braves organization wanted Smoltz out. The dominant male was not the best example for the younger guys maybe or was at least stunting the ability of other veteran guys to lead?
How would it look if while Lowe was running the stairs and staying late to stretch Smoltz was heading out with his clubs over his shoulder?
Garret Anderson would be a fine platoon with Diaz…last year Anderson hit 293 14hr 69 rbi vs right handers..overall numbers last year 293 15 and 84 thats not bad at all
February 21st, 20096:37 pm
Yeah Doc-Magic. Chipper has been working out and hitting with Francoeur throughout the off season. He says that in addition to the weight loss, Frenchy has changed his approach at the plate (couldn’t find the article)-something to do with a change in the position of his hands and weight distribution in the batter’s box. Chipper claims he’ll have a much better offensive year and that Jeff is lining the ball hard to all fields.
You won’t believe it anyway, but this is what we’ve heard. Since Chipper also hammered Andruw’s attempts at change this winter, I’m inclined to think he might just know what he’s talking about. Maybe, just maybe, Chipper gave him some advice, too. I think you might agree Chipper DOES know how to hit.
Run Heap Run
Hope Chipper is feeling better soon..I read earlier where he threw out the 1st pitch at a Stetson University game last night in his hometown so it can’t be anything too serious. Glad he was able to do that for his hometown.
February 21st, 20096:39 pm
Anders-Maybe so. Since Smoltz is no longer in Atlanta (though for some ridiculous reason his picture in a Boston uni keeps appearing on the AJC sports page), I’d say the possibility of your suggestion exists. He sure is no longer a Brave.
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution