Gorgeous day for Braves at ‘yard

 Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – It’s an absolutely postcard-perfect day here at Dark Star Ballpark, where the Braves will be hitting the field a few hours late today because of physicals for players this morning. Same schedule Sunday, workout starts at 1 p.m. each day.

  As I type, players are starting to stream in, and a group of four Dominican players is strolling across the outfield in street clothes, one standing out from the others by his sheer size. Oh, yes, that’s Rafael Cruz, the wide-bodied reliever the Braves signed after a scout saw him throwing 96-98 mph this winter for Aguilas in the D.R. Winter League.

  Word has it that after the Braves signed him, a half-dozen other scouts approached him following his next game, when Cruz touched 99 on the radar guns. He waved them off, explaining that he had already signed with the Braves.

  He hasn’t shown that stuff yet in camp, but the Braves think he might either be fatigued from winter ball or just waiting, holding back his best stuff until the games. We’ll see soon enough.

  It’s hard to believe the Braves will start playing games already on Wednesday, when we cruise down I-4 to Lakeland for a tilt with Detroit at Tigertown. Love that ballpark, and the fact I can ride over on the bike is nice, too. (And they have a Harley shop right at the exit you take to get to the ballpark.)

  OK, we’ll let you know as soon as we do whether Chipper Jones is back at practice today. Hoss missed yesterday’s workout because he was sick. Nothing serious, or at least they didn’t think so when he left. We’ll make sure today.

 By the way, check out this video that someone did for Luke Bryan’s “We Rode in Trucks,” the special Buck Commander version for the hunt-video company that Chipper, Adam LaRoche, Ryan Langerhans and some other friends started a couple years ago. This video is pretty damn cool, I gotta say. 

  If anyone’s having trouble with that click-on link, just paste this in your browser: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?oid=13699453668&v=529371638541

  I want to apologize again for the massive tech problems we’re having with the new Wordpress blog platform, which simply hasn’t been able to handle the volume of comments on this particular blog, hence their decision to keep the comment load at about 100 so it doesn’t slow down all the blogs at our paper, the way it was doing last week.

 I’m with those of you who’ve said it’s a terrible situation for the blog, because so many folks don’t get to come on all day, and end up missing everything but the comments posted in the past couple hours. Only solution, until the figure out on the tech side how to handle the comment loads of this blog, is to keep posting new blogs every couple hours.

 As you can imagine, that’s not possible, not if I’m to be on the field, in the clubhouse before and after workouts, and writing stories and notebook for the paper and website. And if I’m not on the field and in the clubhouse, talking to players and Bobby Cox, etc, then I’m not going to have a lot of the Braves stuff we need anyway.

 So I’ll try to post shorter, more frequent blogs until we get this ironed out. But I won’t be able to do it every time we get to 100 comments. Just not possible. Bear with us, hopefully they’ll get it fixed soon.

  The Griffey story: Here’s an interesting Sports Illustrade account of the Ken Griffey Jr. decision. For those who might not have heard about it (he says, tongue in cheek), “Junior” chose to sign with Seattle over the Braves last week.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/02/20/griffey.seattle

  Death of an indie record store: Here’s the last e-mail from Don, who’s about to shutter his Ella Guru record/CD store in Atlanta. He wrote:

   “Ella Guru’s death throes continue (aw, it’s not really that bad). 50% off anything and everything used, 25% off new. Last week-plus and we’re gone, daddy gone. Flea-market pricing for y’all; nothing but deals. Don’t want to move it, would much rather sell off as much as I can. Believe it, there’s plenty good junk left in here, puh-lenty. Come on by. One item: we may make it until the 28th and may not — there’s some possibility we have to be cleared out completely by that day. “

  You people should stop by and see if you can get a deal on a bunch of good used CDs, and maybe a new one. It’ll be the only time the new CDs there were reasonably priced (that’s a jab at my man Don, who, of course, couldn’t sell his new CDs at the loss-leader prices that bulk places like Best Buy and Target do).


FOREVER YOUNG by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always,

May your wishes all come true,

May you always do for others

And let others do for you.

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung,

May you stay forever young,

Forever young, forever young,

May you stay forever young.

 

May you grow up to be righteous,

May you grow up to be true,

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you.

May you always be courageous,

Stand upright and be strong,

May you stay forever young,

Forever young, forever young,

May you stay forever young.

 

May your hands always be busy,

May your feet always be swift,

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift.

May your heart always be joyful,

May your song always be sung,

May you stay forever young,

Forever young, forever young,

May you stay forever young.

597 comments Add your comment

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
12:00 pm

Thanks, David. Let’s go ST!

Josh from Columbus

February 21st, 2009
12:00 pm

DOB,

I am really late on this, lol, but why do you call it Dark Star?

RonAl

February 21st, 2009
12:01 pm

Do we know who will start for the braves Wed. Will it be 2 ennings only.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
12:02 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.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
12:03 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?

Josh from Columbus

February 21st, 2009
12:05 pm

Can we sign Raul Mondesi again? That would be great.

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
12:05 pm

“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, 2009
12:07 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.

johnsbravos

February 21st, 2009
12:10 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.

G thebrave3

February 21st, 2009
12:10 pm

Josh you’re kidding right

ChipperFan

February 21st, 2009
12:11 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).

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 21st, 2009
12:14 pm

Uh Dave.. Did you e-mail that link to S.I. to Huddy???

Steve McP

February 21st, 2009
12:15 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

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
12:23 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, 2009
12:31 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.

UNCBrave

February 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

DOB, are the Braves going after ANDERSON or EDMONDS (#1 choice)? Please say YES!

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

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.

ArkyTech

February 21st, 2009
12:34 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, 2009
12:35 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!

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
12:44 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.

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2009
12:44 pm

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.

James

February 21st, 2009
12:48 pm

Rusty–

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.

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

Hey anyone know were I can find out who on the roster is out of options?

James

February 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

njbraves

February 21st, 2009
12:51 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.

James

February 21st, 2009
12:52 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.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
12:52 pm

Nj, I think Griffey wants his legacy to be that he finished his career with a team that will lose 100 games.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

James, you meant country right ?

Minnesota Jacket

February 21st, 2009
12:55 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!

Danga

February 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Anyone know how late Ella Guru is open today? Thinking about heading down that way.

Mitchell

February 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

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?!

James

February 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

Do the Angels play in Vinings?

ak

February 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

ey, that record store’s in inman park, not candler. just saying.
assuming its still on elizabeth st.

James

February 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Isn’t Dark Star the guy in “Spaceballs?”

No, wait, that’s *Dark Helmet.” ; )

John Quest #2

February 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Chris from the Rock

February 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Who was dropped off the 40-man roster for Glavine? Was it Lerew? The Braves’ official site has 41 players listed.

MGL

February 21st, 2009
12:59 pm

Mitchell – Dark Star is the name DOB has given to the Disney complex.

cabravesfan

February 21st, 2009
12:59 pm

Chris-

They moved Huddy to the 60 day DL- probably won’t show until the season starts

Danga

February 21st, 2009
1:00 pm

Hudson was put on the 60 day DL in order to make room for Glavine.

Runnin

February 21st, 2009
1:01 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.

RIP Skip

February 21st, 2009
1:20 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.

Travis

February 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

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.

Josh

February 21st, 2009
1:24 pm

I really wish the Ajc would just fire Terence Moore already!

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
1:34 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

Jay Watson

February 21st, 2009
1:37 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.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
1:38 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.

John Quest #2

February 21st, 2009
1:42 pm

I’m going on the 15 day DL, writer’s cramps. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
1:44 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.

C's

February 21st, 2009
1:44 pm

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.

Johnson's Girl

February 21st, 2009
1:47 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

Al Roker

February 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

If you’re headed to Mickeyville, enjoy the weather on me:
http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Weather.aspx?location=USFL0372

Big Al

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

“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!

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
1:50 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?”

HeywardTheFuture

February 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

You should’ve said “It’s Ryan Howard and Derek Lee’s love child.”

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

You shoulda said,”that our next Ryan Howard…without all the K’s, BI-”!

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
1:56 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.

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2009
1:58 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.

Thanks

The Artist Formerly Known as Too Hot For Teacher

February 21st, 2009
2:00 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.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:01 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.

patrocket

February 21st, 2009
2:02 pm

What girl scout troop is Hudson in?

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
2:04 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.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

Whew! Having trouble putting thoughts to words! Poor grammar and everything! Sorry.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

Heyward the Future, Ok, that was weird! We both mentioned Ryan Howard and used quotes…at the same time too.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:06 pm

Yeah, that is what I was looking for mbatl. Thanks.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:07 pm

mbatl, what about their contract if they refuse the assignment?

Daybed Wagmoe

February 21st, 2009
2:10 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq_e2Q2HxXg&feature=related

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
2:10 pm

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.

Daybed Wagmoe

February 21st, 2009
2:11 pm

Well apparently you just enter in the text and it takes care of the rest. Hmmm, that was easy.

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
2:13 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).

Doc Holiday

February 21st, 2009
2:14 pm

Please get rid of soriano and JF………..Just then we will start going forward.

Andy K.

February 21st, 2009
2:17 pm

DOB When do the minor league players have to report to Dark Star?

braves4ever

February 21st, 2009
2:20 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.

patrocket

February 21st, 2009
2:21 pm

Is Medlen going to start or relieve this year?

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
2:21 pm

Can’t believe no one’s commented on that video with Chipper, LaRoche, Langy and the boys. That’s pretty good stuff.

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
2:22 pm

HERE is probably a better description, from a better source.

chuckw/deadjournalist

February 21st, 2009
2:26 pm

The video was okay. I’ve been sitting here thinking about Heyward in the outfield. Now that’s good stuff.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:26 pm

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.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
2:27 pm

She’s sick in love with you DOB. Sometimes their anger is a sign of flirting.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 21st, 2009
2:27 pm

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?

Andy K.

February 21st, 2009
2:28 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

GeorgetownKid

February 21st, 2009
2:32 pm

Mr. O’Brien,

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?

Thanks!

The Goche

February 21st, 2009
2:33 pm

Hey, DOB.

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.

hello, Neuman.......

February 21st, 2009
2:35 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…..

Johnson's Girl

February 21st, 2009
2:36 pm

My obsession is the Braves – but I was YOUR obsession at one time hence my comments

hello, Neuman.......

February 21st, 2009
2:36 pm

Enter your comments here

Rusty in ATL

February 21st, 2009
2:37 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.

Rusty in ATL

February 21st, 2009
2:41 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.

Danga

February 21st, 2009
2:42 pm

Hey guys good story about Lance Niekro in Braves camp in the NYTimes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/sports/baseball/22niekro.html?8dpc

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
2:50 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.

brAves Sucios

February 21st, 2009
2:50 pm

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.

Danga

February 21st, 2009
2:50 pm

Does Schafer project as a lead off hitter? Where did he hit in the minors?

Little Joe

February 21st, 2009
2:51 pm

Dang, thought we could bet through a whole blog without mentioning that Seattle guy.

bigchiefrg

February 21st, 2009
2:52 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

braves4ever

February 21st, 2009
2:52 pm

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.

Danga

February 21st, 2009
2:52 pm

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.

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
2:53 pm

Danga, Schafer batted leadoff almost exclusively in ‘07, but mostly 3rd or 5th in ‘08.

Danga

February 21st, 2009
2:53 pm

Danga

February 21st, 2009
2:56 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, 2009
2:57 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.

USEDCARS

February 21st, 2009
3:00 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

18 Wheels of Love

February 21st, 2009
3:08 pm

OK, the video….

Terrible song.

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.

oldbravesbag

February 21st, 2009
3:09 pm

Dave…You never talk about Kelly, Is he too boring???

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2009
3:13 pm

mbatl,

Thanks for the source, I have saved it for further use. DOB disregard my question as I am sure you probably have.

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
3:13 pm

They shoulda been drinkin’ Natty, 18 Wheels.

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
3:22 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.

18 Wheels of Love

February 21st, 2009
3:23 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.

C's

February 21st, 2009
3:27 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!

FSUbravesfan10

February 21st, 2009
3:33 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.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
3:34 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.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
3:40 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.

Epinephrine

February 21st, 2009
3:42 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.

John J.

February 21st, 2009
3:43 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

February 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

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.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
3:46 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.

18 Wheels of Love

February 21st, 2009
3:47 pm

Griffey presser on MLB Network right now.

Little Joe

February 21st, 2009
3:48 pm

Myabe the press corps should do they same and get in shape. Show the boys you care!!!!!

bigchiefrg

February 21st, 2009
3:50 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

Robert

February 21st, 2009
3:52 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.

Robert

February 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

Enter your comments here

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
3:57 pm

Glad to hear that Josh and Brandon are swinging the bat well!

Hunter

February 21st, 2009
3:59 pm

DOB-
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.

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2009
4:00 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.

18 Wheels of Love

February 21st, 2009
4:00 pm

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.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
4:01 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.

Murphy

February 21st, 2009
4:08 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?

mbatl

February 21st, 2009
4:11 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.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
4:13 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 ?

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
4:14 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.

ppaddy

February 21st, 2009
4:22 pm

DAB, Ohman Hasn’t signed yet. Is there any chance the Braves would make him another “lower” offer?

ppaddy

February 21st, 2009
4:22 pm

Sorry DAB……I meant DOB……Duh

Saff

February 21st, 2009
4:26 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?

35YearBravesFan

February 21st, 2009
4:27 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??

GO BRAVES!!

Johnny B

February 21st, 2009
4:30 pm

Greeting all!

Sure is good to get back to good ole baseball “on the field” activities and away from the drama crap!

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
4:30 pm

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

Andy K.

February 21st, 2009
4:30 pm

35YearBravesFan His name is Phil Falco, I beleive…

King521

February 21st, 2009
4:35 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!

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
4:39 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.

jed

February 21st, 2009
4:39 pm

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.

cam datzker

February 21st, 2009
4:43 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..

Danga

February 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

Chop Chop…I’ve recently come to that realization as well. Not cool, but cooler than a pulled quad.

Brian

February 21st, 2009
4:53 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

Lew

February 21st, 2009
4:54 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.

Brian

February 21st, 2009
4:54 pm

Sorry, the phone# is 770-425-1006

Duke

February 21st, 2009
4:58 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.

DiamondbackMac

February 21st, 2009
4:59 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?

Lew

February 21st, 2009
5:01 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.

DiamondbackMac

February 21st, 2009
5:02 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.

matt r

February 21st, 2009
5:05 pm

No offense, but if Kawakami took a dump on the mound, Bobby would have liked what he saw today.

winterville

February 21st, 2009
5:06 pm

DOB

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?

ease19

February 21st, 2009
5:08 pm

DOB

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.

Steve McP

February 21st, 2009
5:12 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.

bravesfan54

February 21st, 2009
5:13 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’?

BravoMan

February 21st, 2009
5:13 pm

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.

Steve McP

February 21st, 2009
5:14 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)

FYRMedic

February 21st, 2009
5:15 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.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
5:16 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.

winterville

February 21st, 2009
5:22 pm

DOB

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!

Anders

February 21st, 2009
5:29 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?

ease19

February 21st, 2009
5:33 pm

Anders (Newman) – I believe it was only Lowe who was running stairs

Go away

AZ Braves Fan

February 21st, 2009
5:37 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.

VolBrave

February 21st, 2009
5:37 pm

*DOB*

Any updates/details on Ohman?

**Everyone else**

Any updates/details on Ohman?

spotts

February 21st, 2009
5:38 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….

spotts

February 21st, 2009
5:39 pm

But MLB.TV claims to carry more than 100 live ST games.AZ Braves Fan

You sound like you work for them

Anders

February 21st, 2009
5:39 pm

Ease 19 (Soup Nazi)- I’m quite aware of that. No.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
5:39 pm

AZ, i dont think that is accurate because that shows that only a few games all year will be televised.

spotts

February 21st, 2009
5:42 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

Catfish

February 21st, 2009
5:42 pm

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.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
5:43 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.

Catfish

February 21st, 2009
5:43 pm

Didn’t mean to say hit for power twice. Meant to say that he also could throw.

AZ Braves Fan

February 21st, 2009
5:47 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.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
5:51 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

Tim Hudson

February 21st, 2009
5:53 pm

I’M COMING FOR YOU O’BRIEN!

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 21st, 2009
5:57 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…

Swisher Fan

February 21st, 2009
5:59 pm

LOWEST SEASON OBP FOR SWISHER EVER: .322 IN 2005

ANDRE DAWSON CAREER OBP: .322

Curious George

February 21st, 2009
6:04 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.

Jay

February 21st, 2009
6:04 pm

SWISHER FAN,

Swisher’s Lifetime Batting Avg – .241

Keith Lockhart’s Lifetime Batting Avg – .261

ease19

February 21st, 2009
6:08 pm

Anders (Newman) – Good one

If you are going to talk smack, at least have your facts straight…

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:10 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.

ease19

February 21st, 2009
6:10 pm

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…

ease19

February 21st, 2009
6:12 pm

Sorry dude about the double post…refreshed and submitted at the same time…didn’t think the first one got through

Swisher Fan

February 21st, 2009
6:13 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.

DiamondbackMac

February 21st, 2009
6:17 pm

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:17 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?

Doc Holiday

February 21st, 2009
6:17 pm

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?

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:18 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.

C's

February 21st, 2009
6:18 pm

I like Swisher, I just don’t think he’s worth what the Yankees will want PLUS what we’d have to pay him.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
6:19 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?

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:19 pm

Ease 19 – No problem. Just jousting with you.

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
6:21 pm

Swisher = NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:23 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.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:25 pm

By turn into a starting catcher I mean through a trade. Just to be clear.

HeywardTheFuture

February 21st, 2009
6:26 pm

Even if Kawakami falters, it’s nice to know we have the best back-up plan in baseball down there at AAA.

Doc Holiday

February 21st, 2009
6:26 pm

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.

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:27 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.

Tyler Durden

February 21st, 2009
6:29 pm

DOB,

Are you ready for project mayhem?!?!?!

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:33 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?

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
6:33 pm

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

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:37 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

February 21st, 2009
6:37 pm

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.

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:39 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.

Run Heap Run

February 21st, 2009
6:40 pm

Oh and DOB, if you see B-Mac wish him a happy birthday for us.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
6:42 pm

Lew- Your 6:39 left me speechless. Perhaps there is hope for peace in the Middle East someday!

spotts

February 21st, 2009
6:43 pm

Jay – nice Keith Lockheart burn

Doc Holiday

February 21st, 2009
6:48 pm

LEW

I just hope for the good of the team that this is t least half true, cause sadly, this team performance will (like last season) be strongly associated to how JF performs. We dont have to much power as we all know, so if he comes out and plays like cinderella again, we will be in a lot of trouble, no matter what the rest do.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
6:48 pm

Anders, I don’t know if the Braves actually had that in mind. However, it actually could play out that way. Hudson has already stated that he feels like he can be more of a leader since Smoltz is no longer there. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics of the team have changed.

Tomas

February 21st, 2009
6:50 pm

Well if Kawakami, doesn’t work out, it’s a good thing they resigned Tom Glavine. Jorge Campillo, Charlie Morton, Tommy Hanson, and Jo-jo Reyes could fill Kawakami’s spot if he doesn’t work out.

DOB, who has impressed you the most so far this spring of the Brave outfielders? Jayson Heyward, Jordan Schafer, Brandon Jones, Gregor Blanco, Josh Anderson, Matt Diaz or Jeff Franceour?

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:55 pm

Anders-Hey, It’s kind of a hard thing to dismiss-like I said, he’s no longer a Brave and he’s somewhat P.O.’ed about it. I may be a smart a$$ and an occasional pain in the behind, but I am realistic (though some of the Doom and Gloomers would disagree). I DO know that there is a changing of the Guard in Atlanta-probably more so when Bobby Cox retires.

Lew

February 21st, 2009
6:59 pm

Doc-From all I’ve heard this winter, he changed his approach, his workout regimen to add increased strength with increased flexibility and is highly motivated to make himself be what he can be (without joining the Army). If Chipper says he’s changed, I will tend to believe it. Lord knows the raw talent is there and we have seen before he has the desire to change (going to right field late in the count like in 07). I’m willing to bet one of my drawings his numbers will end up at least to 07 levels and wouldn’t be surprised to see a breakout season from the Boy.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
7:01 pm

Lew- Agreed on your 6:55. Personally I think they’ll be happy to be competitive for most this year but they are really pointed towards 2010. If Hudson comes back near where he was begore the injury they may have a real good rotation.
By then they’ll have a good read on Frenchy and will most likely find the bat for LF they need.

I still think the bullpen needs to prove itself over the long haul.

Doc Holiday

February 21st, 2009
7:06 pm

Lew

Im pretty sure he is capable of more than what he did in 07, and we all wish he gets there. Only time will tell. But it sure is encouraging to read about chipper being close to the boy trying to help. At least it talks about the fact that chipper knows that situation is one of the biggest problems around the team.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
7:07 pm

Tomas, too early to judge who’s impressed among OFs, in my opinion. Way too early. You just can’t get a gauge on guys based on a few days of batting practice, particularly when Schafer and Heyward have been on the backfield, where I’ve seen them hit once.

Next weekend, perhaps we can start talking about that stuff, after they’ve at least played a few games.

Gary

February 21st, 2009
7:07 pm

bigchief,

Andruw Jones was 19 when the Braves broke camp in 1997. He didn’t turn 20 until about 2-3 weeks into the season.

On another note, those of you talking about LF and CF and the options the Braves have. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schafer platooning with Diaz in LF if Anderson shows the speed and hitting he did late in the season last year. Bobby has done this before with the man I mentioned above. Andruw came up in 1996 and platooned in mostly LF with Ryan Klesko and some in RF with Jermaine Dye right after Dave Justice was lost for the season with his back injury. When the Braves traded Grissom and Justice for Lofton and Alan Embree just before the 97 season, Bobby continued to platoon LF with Andruw and Klesko. The 97 season basically allowed Andruw to prepare to take over CF in 1998 once Lofton’s contract was up. Don’t be surprised if this happens with Schafer too. Bobby has been known to do this.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
7:08 pm

Run Heap Run, I talked to BMac after the workout but forgot to say happy b-day to him. Sorry about that.

RIP Skip

February 21st, 2009
7:08 pm

DOB…sorry if I missed it, but what do you think about having a scout or two chat with the blog sometime this spring? Scouts are always interesting. Thanks for all your great work.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
7:13 pm

DOB, what are your thoughts about adding Garret Anderson?

McFann :Ô:

February 21st, 2009
7:16 pm

DOB I talked to BMac after the workout but forgot to say happy b-day to him.

Mmm…shamey shamey!

Lew

February 21st, 2009
7:17 pm

Anders-I think you and many others will be quite surprised at how well the Braves keep up with the rest of the division this year. The team is much better than what many give them credit for. Not saying they’ll win the division, but they WILL contend.

McFann :Ô:

February 21st, 2009
7:17 pm

OK, I’m not sure why that whole post was bold. Sorry ’bout that.

C's

February 21st, 2009
7:21 pm

If we are to sign a vet to platoon in LF with Diaz, I’d rather it be Jim Edmonds.

2008 OPS vs RHP:

Edmonds: .883
Anderson: .773
Gonzalez: .770
Griffey Jr.: .841

ernesto

February 21st, 2009
7:22 pm

Don’t want to pile on, but the 100 post thing SUCKS!!! Fix it faster fellas. (I find a little alliteration always helps grease the wheels.)

Anders

February 21st, 2009
7:23 pm

Lew- If the Braves click on all cylinders, no injuries and all their guys return to their best forms than yes they will contend. I just don’t see all of that happening and I don’t think they have enough depth to withstand too many set backs or if guys fall off in production.

We’ll see.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
7:29 pm

DOB, If you see Kotchman tomorrow tell him we said Happy Birthday.

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
7:33 pm

What will “contending” mean in the NL East this year?

The Phils won 92 last year. I’ll give 87 this year.

The Mets won 89 last year. I’ll give them 91.

The Braves won 72. I have them down for 85.

That’s contending, but I don’t see the Braves necessarily getting better than those 85 wins in 2010. 2009 will likely resemble a last gasp attempt under Bobby to make the postseason. Should be more interesting than 2008, though. I guess that counts for something.

Eric In Albany N.Y.

February 21st, 2009
7:35 pm

DOB is there any way we can get the pic of that redsox guy off the front page of the AJC sports section? all i can think about is him crying all day and all night when i look at it… perhaps you put ton glavine up there… or someone who plays in atlanta

Just a thought

DAP

February 21st, 2009
7:39 pm

chopchop i wouldnt be surprised if 4 games seperate the top three teams this year, and i think that the braves will be one of those teams. i think we will be watching meaningful games in september.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
7:44 pm

Chop Chop – The Mets are bringing back virtually the same position players that were second in the league in runs scored. They’re brining back basically the same starting rotation where none are in the declining point in their careers and they improved their bullpen with two shut down guys and you only see 2 more wins?

Yet, you see the Braves winning 13 more games than they did a year ago? Sorry, that doesn’t compute to me.

ncscoots

February 21st, 2009
7:45 pm

So, Chop, without having seen even a single pitch or AB in a single ST game, you’re ready to make evaluations on the relative strengths of not one, but three teams, and call the end of the season six months from now?

I guess you could do that, if you assume that a not single player on either of the three teams will get hurt, that not a single player will underperform or outperform expectations, and that all the players on all three teams are exactly the same players they were the year before.

Otherwise, probably a touch premature. Heck, even KC will wait until the end of ST to declare the Braves WS caliber, LOL.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
7:50 pm

Will try to remember that with Kotchman tomorrow. He’s really been in good spirits, as I mentioned the other day. I told Bowman that I couldn’t believe it was the same guy, he was smiling so much more than he did after he came to the Braves last summer.

Bowman then went and talked to him and came away with the same impression. Of course, Bowman will probably throw him under the bus at the first opportunity.

C's

February 21st, 2009
7:52 pm

C's

February 21st, 2009
7:54 pm

BTW Dave, have you thanked Bowman for the tossing of you under said bus?

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
7:54 pm

Vol Brave: I texted Ohman last night to see if he’d signed, and no, he had not. He left me a voice message and sounded in good spirits, though, so I’d guess he might be close to a contract. That or he’s just a very calm individual.

cvbraves

February 21st, 2009
7:54 pm

DOB: Braves haven’t released or spoken about who’s going to pitching in next Thursday’s game in Orlando, have they? (I see on some web sites, a few teams had already set their schedule for the first few games). Anyway, I just got tickets to the Thursday game and am going to make a quick trip from St. Augustine to see ‘em play.

ncscoots

February 21st, 2009
8:01 pm

Bowman is obviously a man of no honor, DOB. Notorious bus-throwing and curb-kicking cur that he is, who knows the next target of his spineless ire?

But, other than that (and the West Virginia thing, of course; goes without saying)…

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
8:01 pm

Of course it’s premature, scoots. I can throw any prediction I want to out there and have it be wrong. Ain’t no skin off my arse, brother ;)

Here’s my stupid reasoning, Anders:

Beltran and Delgado won’t be as good this year as last. The starting pitching will continue to be inconsistent. The bullpen will be better, which will make up for anything (and a couple of games more) that the Mets lose from a drop-off in production from Beltran and Delgado.

As far as the Phils go, Moyer won’t be as good. He’s old. The end of his career happens in 2009. Ryan Howard will reverse his overall decline a bit. Jimmy Rollins will be better, but Ibanez won’t provide the same kind of production as Burrell. Chase Utley will struggle. He will push too hard to get back early and have problems through a significant portion of the season because of it.

The Braves? The injuries will not kill the team like they did last year. The new pitchers, especially Lowe and Vazquez, will provide the solid if unspectacular innings that the team sorely missed in 2008. The bullpen won’t be great, but the reduction of innings will allow it to be better. As a whole, the lineup will be a little better this year. I think Johnson and Escobar are about where they’re going to be as big league hitters. Francoeur will be better, as will the overall outfield production. Chipper and McCann will not be quite as good. Kotchman will have a rather pedestrian year at first base. In the end, the significantly more reliable pitching and the uptick in hitting will make the difference. If healthy, the Braves were probably an 85-90 win team in 2008. I think that’s where they’ll be on the low end of that this year.

Leah

February 21st, 2009
8:09 pm

DOB, don’t forget KJ’s birthday tomorrow, too. Kotchman and KJ share the same birthday. Hope those two and BMac have/had a good one!

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
8:10 pm

It’s just a hunch on Beltran, Anders. He played 161 games last year. He hadn’t played in that many since 2002. He’ll miss 15-20 games or so (151, 140, 144 games played the previous three seasons). The same thing is true for my prediction about Delgado. The previous four seasons in games played for Delgado looked like this (128, 144, 144, and 139 in ‘07). He played 159 games in 2008. I expect him to miss 15-20 more games.

Leah

February 21st, 2009
8:11 pm

By the way, good to know that Kotchman is in great spirits and is fitting in well with the others.

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
8:12 pm

“I think that’s where they’ll be on the low end of that this year.”

Interesting attempt at a sentence by me. I guess it’s close enough for bloggin’.

Coxlover

February 21st, 2009
8:13 pm

I really think we’re going to see a big improvement in Kotch this year. I think it just took him some time to adjust being with a new team.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
8:16 pm

Kotchman=Adam LaRoche

Reality

February 21st, 2009
8:20 pm

DOB says he’s guessing that Ohman might be close to a contract. Which, of course, means that Ohman won’t sign anywhere for at least a few more weeks.

steve

February 21st, 2009
8:20 pm

LaRoche hits more homers….and he’ll wait until about August to do it.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
8:30 pm

Chop Chop

As soon as you start predicting guys droping off for no apparent reason but a hunch we’re spinning our wheels. Beltran gave no indication of drop off and as a matter of fact reported to camp feeling 100% better than last st when he came back after double knee scopes.

Hey, anything can happen to any of these guys but for the sake of these types of discussions all we can use is how each guy performed last year and then some overall depth to withstand the injuries that are sure to happen for all teams.

The Mets lost both corner outfielders, their second baseman, both catchers, John Maine and Billy Wagner all for significant periods last year. They played through it and were still right there on the last day of the season.

I’m still petrified about this damn WBC. Does nothing for me but make these guys play more meaningful games then they would normally have to and put them at risk for injury.

As an example what’s to keep K-Rods mgr from running him out there every game in March? I think the owners are nuts to put the top assets in mlb at this risk.

McFann :Ô:

February 21st, 2009
8:34 pm

Why no photos for today? :(

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2009
8:35 pm

Anders, F. Rodriguez is one guy I’d be worried about in the WBC. Dude is a prime candidate for TJ surgery, IMO, and the extra high-intensity innings that the WBC will provide certainly won’t help that. Good thing you guys went out and got Putz as a more-than-qualified plan B.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
8:36 pm

I just saw on the scroll on MLB network that based on a blog report the Phils saw on the AJC website they have stepped up there offer to Ohman and will likely sign him tonight.

In a related story Tim Hudson was seen screeching out of the Braves st complex parking lot in chase of what appeared to be a motorcycle.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
8:41 pm

Steve from Oh – Most pitchers today are candidates for TJ surgery, but asking a closer to do what they do in March is absolutely crazy imo. At best you lose quality innings off the guys arm that they’ll hopefully need in September.That’s the best you can hope for!

I still get pissed when I think about Mike Richter blowing out his knee at an NHL All Star game skills contest. The rest of that season was cooked for the Rangers.

Did you see Orlando Hudson signed for 1 year at #.38 mil with the Dodgers? Wow.

AZ Braves Fan

February 21st, 2009
8:41 pm

Lew, thanks for the feedback on your Extra Innings experience. And no, this was not a blackout issue (ie, in-market [AZ], Sat Fox national, or Sun night ESPN exclusive).

Being an out-of-market Braves fan and a software engineer, I was kinda driven to find an answer as to why some Braves games didn’t come across. Without taking too much precious blog space, I’ll try to explain what I found out.

I imagined that a broadcast Braves game (either from the home or away team) would flow from MLB –> Extra Innings (On Demand) –> Cox Phoenix –> my house. For other people, this would be different.

In fact, it’s more like Broadcaster (licensed by MLB) –> Extra Innings (On Demand) –> Cox Phoenix –> my house. The best I can figure it, On Demand had not succesfully negotiated with all the broadcasting entities to ensure rights. This would come into play if both the home *and* away feeds were coming from independent (?) broadcasters.

For example, any games on Peachtree TV automatically meant that either 1) I was getting the non-Braves feed, or 2) if it was an independent non-Braves feed like San Diego channel 4, or Texas’ KTVT, I got zip. I mean, it wasn’t even on the On Demand/Cox listings. It just wasn’t there period.

I discovered that some of the broadcast deals went all the way back to the 1970’s and created this patchwork of coverage that is just bizarre by the way we think of things today. Do you remember a big stink last year about MLB coverage and negotiations? This is part of that issue. And our not-so-beloved commissioner has said this would be worked out, but it’s a big mess involving $$$$, so I don’t see it ending anytime soon.

One more odd example. The Fox national exclusive deal (most Sat’s for games starting before 6pm ET) is just as limiting. Fox determines what game my AZ market will get those days. And usually it’s not the Braves due to a 1pm ET/10am MT start. So one day, I drive to the Fox Sports bar in Scottsdale. They’re Fox, right? They should be able to get it. Nope. No can do. On those days, I would have to go to another state (market) to get that broadcast *regardless* of whether or not it’s cable, sat TV, or even MLB.TV! This is a real pain in the arse on those days where you have a match up like Smoltz v. Glavine.

Whereas the sat TV guys made their deal, and as I understand it, you can even add the Peachtree TV channel to your Dish subscription. So in theory, I could get all the PTV games in my house out here. But I don’t have Dish and am not likely to change.

bigchiefrg

February 21st, 2009
8:45 pm

Thanks gary…I dont know why I forgot about him. I saw him play in Charleston, SC against the Rainbows (now the River Dogs) in ‘95 when he was at Macon. He was a man amongst boys. Man I hope he gets back on his horse and finishes out what appeared to be shaping into a sure-fire HOFer.

Similarly last summer I saw Heyward playing for Rome at Charleston. He looked like he was in a completely different class. That kid will be in Atlanta sooner rather than later.

Leah

February 21st, 2009
8:45 pm

McFann

I was wondering the same thing. :?

brent a.

February 21st, 2009
8:46 pm

I don’t really understand what Will Ohman is gaining by sitting around.

I wonder if some FO’s are concerned about his late season drop-off, and combined with the economy, are not offering him a decent contract.

Either that, or, there just aren’t any teams offering, for which he would really be interested in playing for.

It just seems strange that the guy hasn’t found work, yet.

TheManMike

February 21st, 2009
8:54 pm

DOB-

Love all the Dylan songs in the blogs lately. Its a Bob Dylan time of year i think….

doug h

February 21st, 2009
8:57 pm

DOB i was hoping you were banned from braves club house. Maybe the players will stop talking to you.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
9:06 pm

DOB i was hoping you were banned from braves club house. Maybe the players will stop talking to you. (Doug 8:57)

Yeah, that would make this blog fun for you Braves fans. Guy, you have no idea how lucky you are to have this much access. Trust me, I’m in NY and there’s nothing remotely close. With no player access you might as well just read the box scores.

ernesto

February 21st, 2009
9:16 pm

Doug H, does that H. stand for Head up ass? Cause it should.

Little Joe

February 21st, 2009
9:18 pm

AZBravesFan – great blog! good stuff. btw, your sundevils will be in Athens, ga for the big rematch this Sept.

ernesto

February 21st, 2009
9:19 pm

Ok, what’s with the Bowman throwing people under the bus thing? A story I missed? A blog joke? Something Bowman’s wanted for in another state?

McFann :Ô:

February 21st, 2009
9:23 pm

Leah

Yeah. What a bummer. I always look forward to the photos. That sky-shot of all the guys stretching on Wednesday is funny…looks like their having a “dance fight”.

Also like the one from Monday that looks like BMac is holding the sun under his arm.

Lew

February 21st, 2009
9:28 pm

AZ BravesFan-That’s strange. I thought that MLB just broadcast and that was the EI package. Apparently there is cherry picking among carrier. I’m with Comcast, so I really don’t know how anyone else would do it.

Come to think of it, early last season Jersey Gil was having trouble with the game selection on his cable company, so I guess I’m not surprised as much as I thought. Nevermind.

Anders- What will happen will happen. However, I did research one thing which might prove interesting to you. Every single relief pitcher I found with 50 saves, dropped between 10 and 27 saves the following season. I may have missed someone, but I checked on Smoltz, Thigpen, Mo Rivera (did it twice-once at each extreme) and Gagne-maybe more-I can’t remember and have no interest in checking again tonight. I would not expect Rodriguez to save more than his normal 41 or so-exactly the paceWagner was on when injured the past two years. Loke I said-you improved your closer for September and not much more. Yes. Yes., I know the Mets only lost by a game or two the last two years. Hang on to that though. It might give you the comfort level to make it til September when the Mets fold again.

Frankie Knuckles

February 21st, 2009
9:28 pm

“Yeah, that would make this blog fun for you Braves fans.” – Anders

Who do you pull for man? just curious. And how long do you think it’ll be before you turncoat on your team and hop on the Bravos bandwagon?

spotts

February 21st, 2009
9:33 pm

Anyone see Bowman’s article on braves.com

Braves like what they see as Kawakami throws
Count manager Bobby Cox among those impressed after Japanese righty Kenshin Kawakami worked first in the bullpen and then to live hitters on Saturday

now I’m no Areopagus, but doesn’t that contradict DOB saying that Kawakami was unimpressive? Just curious (because I’m relatively new here) but is there some kind of rivalry between Bowman and DOB?

Hanks heroes 44

February 21st, 2009
9:34 pm

Is the Braves contract offer to Ohman still on the table? and are we in the ballpark with that offer.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
9:36 pm

Lew- I certainly don’t expect 60+ saves from K-Rod. I do think he will get 45 or so. Plus Putz will pick some up along the way. There’s no denying overall the Mets bullpen has been well upgraded. It’s the first thing out of every baseball reporters mouth I’ve seen when they discuss the Mets. If the Mets added K-Rod and nothing else to the pen I think your point would carry much more weight.

If the Mets had K-Rod or wagner last September I think we both agree they make the playoffs – that’s my point.

Steve McP

February 21st, 2009
9:38 pm

Frankie Knuckles – Don’t come here much? Anders is a Mutts fan, but he enjoys the baseball comment here and for that he puts up with lot of flak.

Leah

February 21st, 2009
9:38 pm

McFann

Maybe they didn’t post them today because of the physicals that took place this morning, which pushed the workout back to 1:00 pm? Just a thought. If that’s the case, then there likely won’t be any pictures tomorrow either. :(

Yes, I look forward to them daily as well since I can’t get down there to watch the action myself. Maybe one day, though.Yes, a lot of those pictures are really good. Not sure that I have a favorite, though, but there are some good pictures in the ones that have been posted. Hopefully there will be lots more of the same quality.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
9:39 pm

Frankie Knuckles – Yeah you got me. I’m positioning myself to jump on the Braves bandwagon. And Lew’s a closet Mets fan.

Graham

February 21st, 2009
9:39 pm

Hanks heroes 44

The offer to Ohman was pulled some time ago, possibly December. It wasn’t known until just a week or so ago that the Braves did pull it, but the offer no longer exists. If the Braves have gotten involved in discussions again, they are keeping it close to the vest.

bigchiefrg

February 21st, 2009
9:39 pm

Its good to see all the haters dwindling away and people going back to talking baseball. Now if we could just get the post level back to 100 we would be set.

hey DOB…u a scotch or bourbon guy?

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
9:43 pm

So I subscribed to mlb.tv premium here in the northern Metamucils wasteland… let you know if it is as good as projected…

Saw a great flick tonight, a frenchie flick called UV… worth checking out…

Good to hear everyon is underestimating my man Kamikaze… leave the dude alone… he will rule in ‘09

“Shake and Bake”

PG Warning – the author of this part of the blog is inebriated muchly…

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
9:46 pm

DOB- where do you watch the braves games when their on the road?

McFann :Ô:

February 21st, 2009
9:46 pm

Leah

That’s a good point–could be the physicals.

I look forward to them for the same reason you do–can’t get down there in person. I’m sure once the weekend’s over, they’ll post some new photos up.

ease19

February 21st, 2009
9:50 pm

Anders (Newman) – This 100 post thing is really a drag…I don’t have the time to spend all day reading a blog! I love the jousting and hopefully it will continue once the geeks fix things. I am just as much as a sarcastic smartass as you are! And in defense of Lew, there is no such thing as a closet Mets fan. A Braves fan would break out in hives just thinking about it.

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

Anders

February 21st, 2009
9:50 pm

Andrew- DOB watches most of the road games in Stinky’s Clam Bar in Norcross.

Leah

February 21st, 2009
9:51 pm

McFann

Let’s hope so.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
9:53 pm

Anders

February 21st, 2009
9:53 pm

Ease 19 – Glad to hear we have an understanding. Looking forward to posting with you.

Lew needs no one defending him. He’s certainly got that covered.

ease19

February 21st, 2009
9:54 pm

Anders – Again, get your facts straight before you talk smack!…Its called Barnacles and is next door to Oasis (a gentleman’s club)…Can you fault him for that?

GTguy84

February 21st, 2009
9:59 pm

DOB – Any word on who might be getting the start Wednesday against the Tigers?

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
10:04 pm

Anders, I hate saying this, but our Braves aren’t as offensively put together as your Muts. If both teams bullpens stay healthy, it’s about even in my book. The starting rotation tilts a little to our side when you’re talking about depth and really, the guy who’s not getting the attention right now that might have the best year out of all of our pitchers is Vazquez. Moving to the NL with Cox might be exactly what he needs to finally have that “breakout” season. Anyways, when it’s all said and done, if Atl. gets no one to protect our big bats in Chipper/Mac, I’m afraid your team will edge out mine this year.

But, I’ll tell you this right now, next year the Bravos should be very dangerous in every way you can think of. We Braves fans shouldn’t sweat ‘09.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:06 pm

GTguy84, chuck james will sign a 10 day contract and start for us..even tho he is hurt he wants to show that he can be a true number 1 starter

Run Heap Run

February 21st, 2009
10:07 pm

Andrew – DOB goes with the team on most road trips. It would be easy to dislike him out of pure envy if he weren’t so darn good to us. :)

brian

February 21st, 2009
10:12 pm

obviously I am biased because I am a Braves fan, but this years team looks a lot stronger than last year. To get the pitchers we have while still keeping Yunel, KJ, and prospects (except for Flowers) is pretty impressive.

CF Anderson
SS Escobar
3B Chipper
C McCann
1B Kotchman
2B Kelly
RF Frenchy
LF Schafer/Diaz

SP Lowe
Jurrjens
Vazquez
Kawakami
Glavine

Not bad at all

Mark Windsor

February 21st, 2009
10:12 pm

I just dont understand why so many want swisher or nady..i mean these are marginal decent players who want between 4-6 million..Braves got talent in outfield do you really think a guy who hits 260 25 homers is gonna do it or maybe one of our own hit .300 12-15 homers 85 rbis and some good speed and cost 460,000 plus they gain major league experience to either improve with the Braves or make great trade bait..I think we are going to be okay..yes Im banking on Frenchy, but I think he can do it and if not we can make a trade if it makes cents.seems to me the yankees have let it be known to all these guys are available no takers..leave them in NY

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
10:12 pm

Josh Andersons Over all stats last year….

In 630 Abs
Hits 195
Runs 98
2B 32
3B 5
HR 7
RBI 52
SB 52 (Yes, 52!!)
CS 8
Walk 38 (His one flaw)
SO 90 (Only 57 in 500 Abs in AAA.. I think he was pressing in MLB. I’m expecting around 75)
Average 304
OBP 348
Slugging 416

Am I the only one rooting for him over the other outfielders to win a spot? I would love him to have a year similar to that in the lead off spot this year.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:13 pm

Man DOB has the best job ever. I can see him and Huddy throwing them down this year.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
10:15 pm

TnBrian – I’ve said before that if Hudson comes back from his injury close to what he was before he got hurt they might have a real good rotation in 2010.
That gives them a year to figure out the outfield situation. The real risk for 2010 is Chipper. Will he hold up? Can he still be the center of their offense at 36 or so? It’ll be interesting to see what type of extension he signs and how much salary he gets. You could be looking at $30 to 32 mil in Lowe and Chipper alone. Heavy numbers.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:17 pm

Oromus, what stats of anderson’s there are you showing? Career? His not an everyday starter in the pros. Most of that was in minor ball.

18 Wheels of Love

February 21st, 2009
10:19 pm

Finally saw Slumdog. Great movie. Very different but very well put together. Whoever edited that flick put in some serious overtime. Best of the year? I could see that because it hit you from a bunch of different angles and it ended very well. Those Indians love to dance in movies!. Every Indian movie I have seen (the other being one with Sayeed from Lost in it) they always have some kind of crazy dance in it. I prefer stuff like Frost/Nixon but this was still a good movie.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:20 pm

Anders, I wouldn’t be looking for Chipper’s contract to be worth the average annual value you are projecting. He and Lowe won’t be $30 mill between them. You gotta remember, Chipper will be 38 and 39 in the second and third years of that deal, assuming it’s at least a three-year extension. I haven’t heard any figures yet, but I’m gonna guess it’ll be less than $10 mill per year for Chipper. But again, I’m just guessing.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:22 pm

18 Wheels: The “Bollywood”-style ending to Slumdog was brilliant, the whole cast breaking out in song and dance. That was a terrific movie.

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
10:22 pm

Andrew, That was his “over all” year last year, as stated. MLB and AAA combined in 08. I like his potiental. 50 SBs in the lead off + 40 EBHs means he’ll be in socring position a LOT for the guys in the middle of the order. He’s the best lead off option we have and I hope Schaffer doesn’t beat him out because we need Andersons 40 to 50 SBs a lot more that the 10 to 15 extra homers Schaffer will provide.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2009
10:23 pm

Anders, sure, Chipper is a question mark as he gets up there in age. But at the same time, there is a light at the end of that tunnel with guys like Heyward,Schafer, of course McCann and if Francine turns it around from here on out, are guys that’ll be around for a long time. When Murphy left, we had Justice,Gant,Pendelton, etc. that more than made up for his loss. It’s definitely not Chipper’s talent any Braves fan is worried about, it’s obviously injuries.

Little Joe

February 21st, 2009
10:24 pm

Huddy will become trade bate for that ellusive left-fielder. We have all the pitching we need for now. I like Huddy, but I think he’s lost the edge he once had.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:24 pm

GTGuy84, Bobby told us after today’s workout that they’ll sit down tomorrow and work out the spring rotation after talking to the pitchers, finding out if any have any early preferences, etc. He’ll probably announce the pitching plans tomorrow or Sunday.

Braveheart

February 21st, 2009
10:25 pm

——– saw Jr.’s press conference and he seems like a depressed and confused man. Maybe it’s just me, but he does seem a little off. I know it’s not right to judge someone you don’t even know, but still. ——–

I didn’t see it, but something has always bothered me about Junior. When he was a teenager he tried to commit suicide by ingesting 277 pills of aspirin. That’s always really bothered me about him. His dad was famous and wealthy. Junior was already a legendary prodigy who was about to get drafted and be in the big leagues like a year later, but he still had enough turmoil going on his head that he tried to kill himself. “It seemed like everyone was yelling at me in baseball, then I came home and everyone was yelling at me there,” he recalled. “I got depressed. I got angry. I didn’t want to live.”

I think it’s clear there’s still alot of turmoil going on in his head, with everyone pulling at him, always wanting him to be what they want/need him to be, which conflicts with what he really wants/needs, which is to be left alone to be happy and at peace with the game and his family. I think he really wanted to come here, but everyone started yelling and pleading and pulling at him again and he took the path of least resistance just to get them to back off. He even threatened retirement the longer that thing dragged out, which is akin to a suicide threat relative to his baseball career.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
10:26 pm

DOB – Really? I’m really surprised. I thought he’d want at least as much as Lowe being Lowe is 36 hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Braves yet and didn’t leave all the dollars on the table Chipper has over the years. If the Braves get Chipper for $10 mil per or below that’s a bargain imo.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:27 pm

Oromus, cox doesnt run the steal that much…how many SB’s did Anderson have for Atlanta? I think Anderson had plenty of playing time last year for the Braves and i really dont think he can produce anywhere near his minor league numbers for the big league club..

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:27 pm

Actually, I like to cover most of the road games from Famous Pub in Toco Hill Shopping Center, near my house.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:30 pm

DOB, so how many game are you on the road with the team?

Anders

February 21st, 2009
10:32 pm

Earth to Andrew, Earth to Andrew.

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
10:34 pm

Andrew…

He had 10 stolen bases (1 CS) in 136 ABs in MLB last year. So, Cox ran him quite a bit. Multiply that out to 600 Abs, and we have something we haven’t had since furcal… a Lead off man with 45 to 50 Steals. Did I mention that the last time we made the Playoffs, Furcal was leading off for us? BTW, Anderson has also hit over 300 in 200 ABs in the MLB for his career so far. The dude deserves a real shot, IMO.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:35 pm

Anders, it’s hard to really say with confidence what Chipper will get, because it’s a unique situation. Lot of facts to consider: His age, his robust numbers (when healthy) the past few years, his immense stature with the club, the fact he’s taken less to stay and would like something close to market value this time, the economy, etc.

So it’s just a guess, but I’m pretty confident saying it’ll be closer to $10 mill per year than $15 mill, if it’s a three-year deal. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a little less than $10 mill per (also wouldn’t shock me if it’s slightly more).

Chop Chop

February 21st, 2009
10:36 pm

Junior doesn’t like to make decisions, Braveheart. His unwillingness to waste his immense baseball talent caused him to become a superstar in a game that demanded more of him than he felt comfortable with. Junior could have had things a lot easier if he had just decided to do something else with his life. Instead, he’s got millions of dollars and doesn’t really know who he is.

(Sounds like a character sketch, doesn’t it?)

Fred

February 21st, 2009
10:36 pm

Anders, Don’t forget how Robert Edwards blew out his knee at a pre-probowl event in Hawaii, which basically ended his career. I agree 100% with you (and most people not named Bud Selig) that the WBC should NOT be during spring training. I could easily see Chipper pulling a hamstring or a pitcher screwing up his arm.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:37 pm

Andrew, I’ll do about 60-63 of the 81 road games, plus the All-Star Game (if we cover it this year) and World Series (if we cover it this year). Carroll does the other Braves road games.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
10:41 pm

DOB – Fair enough. On another topic, the WBC. I’ve been pretty clear I hate the risk it is to the players etc.. Can you share the general thoughts of mgrs etc on the tournament? I would think they hate turning over their best players to another mgr to be used as they see fit.

Also, what is the end game to having this tournament. Off shore teams?

Thrillhouse44

February 21st, 2009
10:42 pm

What cities do you try to avoid during hte year, DOB?

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:43 pm

Helluva comeback by the Sooners at Texas, with Blake Griffin out since before halftime with a concussion. Brutal assignment for the Jayhawks on Monday — at OU.

Braddd

February 21st, 2009
10:45 pm

Is it possible Martin Prado could get a starting job at 2B and Johnson is moved to the outfield?

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
10:46 pm

Thrillhouse: Every time I mention cities I try to avoid, I get angry e-mails. Since I’ve gotten a decade’s worth of angry e-mails this past week, I think I’ll avoid naming the cities I prefer to avoid at this time. I’m sure you can understand.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:46 pm

Oromus, i agree with you about needing that speed in there at the top of the lineup..but you really can’t say multiple his numbers because you dont know if he will consistantly do that…

Poorbrave

February 21st, 2009
10:47 pm

Oromus, you are not the only one. Man I’ve been pulling for Josh to get a chance all last year but Cox waited till Sept. to call him up.(except for couple days) Thanks for info on Josh. Hope he wins starting job in CF. Give the man a chance and I believe he will produce.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:47 pm

DOB, do you know if Charles Thomas is still with the A’s?

Thrillhouse44

February 21st, 2009
10:49 pm

DOB, I figured you couldn’t answer that. But, let them pile on now while your mail box is full and you’re half-reading them all anyways. Nah, I understand, bud.

jason in the atl

February 21st, 2009
10:50 pm

DOB – i’m watching the Texas – OU game now and it reminds me why i love college b-ball almost as much as baseball. I never saw your follow up to Chipper’s comments about loving T. Hanson’s game so much. Sorry, if you’ve already elaborated on that… but I’d like to hear more about the phenom…
Thanks!!!

C's

February 21st, 2009
10:51 pm

DOB – As discussed earlier, would Bobby consider putting Anderson in CF and platooning Schafer with Diaz in LF? The way he did Andruw before he took over the full time CF job.

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
10:52 pm

Braddd

Prado will likely hit 5 homers at most…. Why would you play him every day when KJ at 2nd will hit around 15 and a Diaz/Jones platoon could produce 15 to 20? Prado is a good bench guy, but, he doesn’t really have any skills that say he should be an every day guy. He has had a good average, but, with more ABs and betetr scouting reports, that will drop. Which will leave us with a completely average guy at 2B at best.

Not only that, but, they are looking to platoon Diaz in left and KJ was 2nd in the Majors last year among lefties with a 330+ average against left handers.

Braveheart

February 21st, 2009
10:52 pm

——- Every time I mention cities I try to avoid, I get angry e-mails. Since I’ve gotten a decade’s worth of angry e-mails this past week, I think I’ll avoid naming the cities I prefer to avoid at this time. I’m sure you can understand ——-

Nah, embrace it like your brother Conan O’Brien did in his Conan Hates My Homeland series of skits.

Awhile ago, Conan did a bit where he showed fake Euro coins. One of those coins made fun of the Ukraine, which provoked a lot of angry letters. Here’s the interesting part: those letters were from the Ukraine. Conan had no idea that Late Night was aired in the Ukraine, and began to wonder where else he was on. You would think he could just ask NBC, but they won’t tell him, because then they’d have to pay him more. There is just one way to find out, and that is to viciously insult every nation in the world, and see which ones he gets letters from. Read the insults here: http://conan.kary.ca/

Anders

February 21st, 2009
10:53 pm

DOB – I did see that you mentioned Seattle as one of your favorite cities. I too love that city. Especially when the mountain’s out. What a view from the Waters Edge hotel.

Also, if you’ve never taken the underground city tour there I reccomend it. It’s a little corny at times but very, very interesting.

My favorite city? San Diego.

Andy K.

February 21st, 2009
10:54 pm

C’s (DOB please correct me if I’m wrong), but I think DOB has already addressed this, saying Schafer is far too good of a defensive player to platoon in left, so he would likely be in CF…

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
10:55 pm

Oromus, so i guess Anderson’s average will drop too when they get his scouting reports out huh?

Andy K.

February 21st, 2009
10:56 pm

DOB, how does Jordan pronounce his name???? Shea-fer or Schaf-for, because i know some people with the last name who pronounce it both ways.

Thrillhouse44

February 21st, 2009
10:58 pm

San Diego…I wonder what Marcus Giles thinks of that city now. I wonder how much Marcus weighs now. DIdn’t he sign somewhere?

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
10:58 pm

Andrew, it;s highly possible, but, he DOES have a skill that could make him a line up regular. 40+ SB potiential. Prado doesn’t have any speed or power. That’s the difference. Anderson at 275 or 280 with 40+ steals would still be productive. Prado at 275 or 280 with 1 or 2 steals or maybe 4 to 5 homers would be a waste when you have better options at 2nd base in KJ and better options in the outfield as well. Are you just trying to argue tonight or what? lol

Oromus

February 21st, 2009
11:01 pm

Thrillhouse44 .. I think Giles signed a minor league deal with the Phillies. Either that, or he got a non-roster invite. I think they are looking for someone to start the season with in case Utley’s hip surgery keeps him out a while.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
11:03 pm

Andy K: Shea-fer.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
11:03 pm

Thrillhouse, Giles signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.

C's

February 21st, 2009
11:03 pm

Andy – If that’s the case, my bad. I missed that.

But I guess then I’d have to ask…..Andruw was a pretty good defender himself (<–understatement) and he wasn’t too good to platoon. So why would Schafer be too good?

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
11:04 pm

Oromus lol im not trying to come at you like that im just talking braves with fellow fans..but seriously Anderson is NO power threat at all…Prado has more power then Josh…we do need speed but also need some power so hopefully jeff bounces back and left gives us 15-20…i really want Schafer to show us why he is such a highly regarded prospect.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
11:07 pm

Oromus, also in no way was i trying to say prado should start 2nd or get more playing time cause i do like kelly there

Mania

February 21st, 2009
11:11 pm

Thrillhouse – I think M Giles signed with our good friends the Phillies.

flbravesgirl

February 21st, 2009
11:11 pm

I’d never heard that story before, Braveheart. Quite a different picture from the happy-go-lucky face Griffey has usually presented.

Mania

February 21st, 2009
11:12 pm

Anyone know when the first spring training game is on TV? Man I can’t wait.

Andrew

February 21st, 2009
11:13 pm

Griffey is going to regret his choice when Atlanta is pushing for a playoff spot and knowing he could have been here to help us get in..while the mariners sit in 4th

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
11:13 pm

C’s: Regarding your 10:51 question, if Schafer and Anderson made the team, I think it’d be more likely that Schafer would be the one in CF and Anderson in the platoon in LF. But I think it’s more likely, at least at this point, that Schafer spends a couple months at Gwinnett. Of course, that opinion could change in two or three weeks….

Jason in the ATL: Thanks for reminding me. I’ll put Chipper’s comments about Hanson in a new blog in the morning, OK?

Maddux

February 21st, 2009
11:14 pm

DOB, my fiance and I live near Fouous PUB. Can we meet up for a game?

Robert

February 21st, 2009
11:15 pm

DOB, does Hanson make the team if he is lights out or is he destined for AAA.

Frankie Knuckles

February 21st, 2009
11:16 pm

Anders – you just might be – your obviously, at minimum, subconsciencly intrigued by this historic organization. Your welcome on board man. But, i do understand you coming to this weblog – cause even New Yorkers can’t stand New Yorkers. Just kidding. But seriously, come to grips with it – denial aint healthy.

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
11:17 pm

DOB – several things

1.Chipper is worth MUCH MORE than $10 based even on say 120 games per year if you look at Tex, CC, AJ and what ManBoras is gonna get, even at 38, 39, 40… his hitting is getting better as the roidless pitchers wear down

2. Oroless (????) – We had an awesome pitching line up early in 2008 season and lead the NL EAst in April

SMOLTZ
HUDSON
GLAVINE
JJ
Campillo
The injured LH dude with no heart (I mean a heart problem)

and a stacked healthy bullpen..

3. Josh Anderson – I like him a lot, and he is one factor in what we need (oh that makes me think about Mike Hutchence and INXS, “give you what you need, what you need, yeah…”

If you look at our 90’s teams we had some very weak hitting links but great defence, Belliard, Walt Weiss etc etc…. we had a few clutch hitters… Javy Lopez and Justice…. but awesome pitching

This year our pitching looks bloody good, deep and solid and a good 1-5 beats a Phillies great 1, avg 2-5 and Mets great 1-2 and poor 3-5 anyday

Anders

February 21st, 2009
11:17 pm

Told ya Stinky’s Clam Bar was the right play. Nobody admits going there.

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
11:22 pm

Movies 2008 – My favs in order

1. The Wrestler
2. Gran Torino
3. Tell No One (Froggy flick)
4. Slumdog
5. Rachel getting Married and stoned blotto
6. Milk
7. Defiance
8. Rev Road
9. Vicky Cristina
10. UV (Froggy Flick)

Maddux

February 21st, 2009
11:22 pm

UFC 95. DIEGO????

Steve McP

February 21st, 2009
11:23 pm

DOB – Re: your 10.24 – Tomorrow in Sunday, so we expect something tomorrow?

Anders

February 21st, 2009
11:24 pm

dogsbrekky – I see your PG warning has been lifted. Have you sobered up in the last 90 minutes?

Your post says no.

bdbraves

February 21st, 2009
11:25 pm

DOB
Haven’t heard a thing about JJ so far this spring. Love watching him pitch. Got a gut feeling on how his sophomore campaign will go this year?

BossLady

February 21st, 2009
11:26 pm

Terrific Video of Chipper and the guys, Thank you.

It appears from the article that Griffey wanted to go to Seattle. Like I said he is a Superstar in that town.

I think Wren needs a good looking at if players think they can just play him like Furcal and Griffey. Who knows the others that we did not get details on may have done so too. If the plan is that you can just
meet with Wren you can get all his information to take to another team
for leverage. That is a bad reputation to have in this business. If he appears too eager and too willing to hand over the money players will continue to treat him like that. It is embarassing what has happened this off season and I personally do not like being considered as a town that get played on!!!

brian

February 21st, 2009
11:26 pm

DOB – If Schafer starts in Atlanta to start the season – do you think it would be an easier adjustment for him to play in CF for defense of will there be less pressure for him to be in LF so he can focus more on making the adjustments in hitting?

Chris from the Rock

February 21st, 2009
11:26 pm

Time to sign Edmonds. I think he’d be a fine LF platoon w/Diaz. He slugged .521 against lefties last year. And he may turn 39 this year, but he’d still be better than average defensively in LF.

Anders

February 21st, 2009
11:27 pm

Frankie Knuckles – Dogsbrekky said it’s your round.

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
11:27 pm

Anders – I only drink on days ending in Y, nowadays..

went to an excellent little Italian on 52nd Street (oh Billy Joel references) and 8th/9th and had a few Amarone and now watching the best western ever (Unforgiven) and trying out some old single malts… the g/f is asleep……. wooo hoooo

“God bless Australia baby”

Braddd

February 21st, 2009
11:28 pm

Mania,

Theres a ST game against the Astros this Thursday on ESPN I believe.

Anyhoo,

Where will JoJo and Morton start the season, in AAA or maybe the bullpen?

Anders

February 21st, 2009
11:30 pm

dogsbrekky – I’m guessing the gf is just pretending to be asleep.

Rocker

February 21st, 2009
11:30 pm

The more thought I put into it, I think that the Braves really dont look that bad. They have youth and speed and by the sounds of it, a hunger to prove the world wrong (especially those whose chose other teams over the Braves) and make a point that there will be another great run. Just not sure that will be this year unless we get someone to protect Chipper and McCann. But we are moving in the right direction

Robert

February 21st, 2009
11:31 pm

let Schafer play CF against RH

let Anderson play CF against LH and LF against RH

dogsbrekky

February 21st, 2009
11:33 pm

I know squat about basketball but after watching Mar madness in Vegas for a few years and following it ever since, 2009 looks mystifying to me… will be the best tourny in years..

I kind of like Huskies and OKLAHOMA but am a UNC fan……….

Kansas looked okay today OB 1 Ke Nobi’

bdbraves

February 21st, 2009
11:35 pm

Braddd

Funny story about that ST game against the Astros. I installed a Satellite system for the parents of Wesley Wright(reliever for the astros). Said they were going to watch and heckle “Larry”. So i de-programmed their remote before i left.

PTBNL

February 21st, 2009
11:39 pm

If I remember correctly, Anderson hit the third highest HRs of all outfielders last year while only playing one month (essentially). Though he only hit 3 (in one month), that is not “no power”. But certainly it is not his strength.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

bdbraves: JJ has flown under the radar so far this spring, really has. so much attention focused on new guys, when we weren’t talking about that other guy, the one who went to Seattle.

Anyway, I’m gonna talk to JJ in the next couple days, i think. My gut on his season? Just think it’ll be good, for one reason: He’s a really good pitcher. Kid’s got toughness and talent. Seriously strong competitor.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:03 am

dogsbrekky: saw and loved every movie on your list except UV and Defiance (didn’t see either of them).

Tell No One would be on my top 10, too. Great movie that very few in the States saw. Great suspense.

You see Funny Games? Pretty wrenching, dark stuff. But very good. Not in my top 10, but it’d be in my top 10.

Frozen River with Melissa Leo, that’s another really good one you should see, if you haven’t. Awesome performance by Leo (she was a cop on the old Homicide show set in Baltimore).

bdbraves

February 22nd, 2009
12:15 am

DOB
I agree, jj may be 20 game winner in the not so distant future, especially with a durable rotation in place now. Not as much pressure to toss a complete game every start.

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
12:21 am

Funny Games – yes, with Tim Roth

Forgot about it, part of my brain damage problem and seeing too many movies

I was very disappointed with quite a few movies, so much so I could do a 20 worst list, Ben Button sucked but I am the only soul who thought so !

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:22 am

D-B Truckers are on Austin City Limits right now….

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
12:23 am

What makes JJJ stand out for me is his understanding of the mental aspect of pitching. A lot of guys pitching in the majors rely solely on their stuff to get hitters out, their ability to throw the fastball past people, etc.

Jurrjens is different. You can see the way he sets hitters up, the way he throws a pitch with a purpose for setting up the next pitch and the pitch after that. It’s rare to see a guy who has such good stuff understand the mental aspect of pitching at such a young age. That, and his ability to grind through when he doesn’t have his best stuff.

I think Jurrjens is an ace in the making. You look at him and Hanson, and it’s easy to think these guys will be anchoring this rotation for a long time to come. Then you add in Lowe for four years and Hudson coming back next season and Vazquez for two years (although I could see him being moved this offseason with Hanson and Hudson coming into the rotation), and you’ve got the makings of a very deep, very good rotation.

And as the past three years have taught us, if you want to play in October, you’ve got to have good starting pitching.

–30–

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
12:24 am

JJ is compared to MAD-Dog in quite a few scouting type analyses..

Anders

February 22nd, 2009
12:29 am

Here in NY Manu Chao is on Austin City Limits. Different shows in different markets?

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:29 am

Now Ryan Bingham’s on Austin City Limits. Glad I’ve got this one taping on the DVR back home….

Scribe: Good take on Jurrjens. I agree on every point….

Anders

February 22nd, 2009
12:31 am

DOB- I saw that Bingham show. very impressive performer.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:31 am

Must be different in different markets. I remember that tonight in Atlanta, this was the show, because I set the DVR after missing it the first time it ran. This is the repeat.

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
12:38 am

You know, there is a certain Maddux-esque tone to the way Jurrjens goes about his business, the way every single pitch he throws has a purpose, as if it’s a brushstroke on a portrait. No wasted pitches whatsoever. Every pitch is thrown for a reason, every pitch thrown with the thought-process of setting up the next pitch.

Jurrjens still is a kid, but he pitches like he’s been in the bigs for a decade. I thought the same about Maddux when I watched him as a youngster in Chicago.

Even though JJJ is young, the kids could learn something from watching Jurrjens. He always seems confident in his stuff (Morton is who I think of here; Charlie has awesome stuff, but is lacking in the confidence department). JJJ can grind through those nights when he doesn’t have his best stuff or pinpoint control, keeping his team in the ballgame and avoiding the big inning (Jo-Jo comes to mind here; I think Reyes has good stuff and could be a solid major-league pitcher, but if he’s not sharp, if he doesn’t have his “A” game, then the wheels come off).

The way I see it, Morton and Reyes and Hanson likely will start 2009 in Gwinnett … pretty good top three for the G-Braves (worth the drive for the Scribe from the southern rim of the capital city to check them out). Campillo’s the long guy/spot starter, pitching out of the bullpen for the big-league club.

Any thoughts on Brandon Jones from the good denizens? I wrote about him for my little blog, how he could be the other part of the Diaz platoon in left. Dude hit 19 homers and drove in 100 while hitting .295 between Mississippi and Richmond two years ago, but seemed to take a step back in the power department last season (eight in Richmond, one in Atlanta).

While I’d like to see the Braves target Garret Anderson to go with Diaz, with the roster as it currently stands, I think Jones enters Grapefruit League play as the top candidate to play with Diaz in left field, with Josh Anderson winning the job in CF, and Schafer going to Gwinnett for the start of the season. All just my opinion, and all subject to change if Schafer shines in exhibition play (and he was pretty good last spring before being sent to the minor-league camp).

–30–

Marv Kleeman

February 22nd, 2009
12:40 am

Hey fellow Braves fans:

Some predictions for the upcoming season.

This is how the roster may shake out.

Starting Pitchers:
1)Derek Lowe 2)Jair Jurrjens 3)Javier Vazquez 4)Kenshin Kawakami 5)Tom Glavine

Relief Pitchers:
1)Mike Gonzalez(Closer) 2)Blaine Boyer 3)Manny Acosta 4)Jeff Bennett 5)Buddy Carlyle 6)Jorge Campillo(Long Relief) 7)Boone Logan(Lefty)

Footnotes:
Rafael Soriano(arm) and Peter Moylan(elbow) are both coming off major surgery. The Braves have incredible bullpen depth; there is no need to rush them into action. Let them continue to rehab so they can come back at one hundred per cent (i.e. the ability to pitch on back to back days.)

Though I like him; the one guy on the “bubble” may be Buddy Carlyle.

Starting Lineup:
1)Josh Anderson CF
2)Yunel Escobar SS
3)Kelly Johnson 2B
4)Chipper Jones 3B
5)Brian McCann C
6)Jeff Francoeur RF
7)Casey Kotchman 1b
8)Matt Diaz / Gregor Blanco LF
9)Pitcher

Footnotes:
I truly believe this would be the Braves most productive lineup. Kelly Johnson really raked in September for the injured Chipper in the number three spot.

Batting Gregor Blanco eighth gives the Braves a “de facto” second leadoff hitter. If Blanco gets on base the pitcher can sacrifice him to second and he can subsequently score on a single. When was the last time the Braves were able to play a little “small ball”.

Jordan Schaffer and Brandon Jones begin the season at Gwinnett.

Bench:
1)David Ross C
2)Greg Norton 1B / OF
3)Martin Prado 2B
4)Omar Infante 3B
5)Matt Diaz / Gregor Blanco LF

Conclusion:
The Braves are a .500 team who project to finish behind the Phillies and the Mets.

But anything can happen. That’s why they play the game.

So play ball.

keylargo

February 22nd, 2009
12:42 am

It would be great if Josh Anderson reversed his strikeouts and walks to be 90 walks and 38 strikeouts.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:46 am

Wow — Joe Ely just came out and joined Bingham mid-song. Says plenty about how much respect this young gun Bingham already has. Great stuff.

nolie

February 22nd, 2009
12:47 am

Here in NY Manu Chao is on Austin City Limits. Different shows in different markets?

Yeah. Here in SW Florida we can’t even get ACL. :(

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
12:48 am

Marv – most intelligent Braves analysis I have seen this year

Now get off this blog, you are too bloody good mate

“Shake and Bake”

uga-brave

February 22nd, 2009
12:51 am

anyone else go to the steamhouse oyster fest today?

BIG line fest.

all we did was stand in line.

well at least marta got their 60 million.

gotta love our new sociastic govt.

let the banks fail.

uga-brave

February 22nd, 2009
12:59 am

oh by the way i callled the lehman, bear sterns, collapse one year ago.

ask flange, or brave-dave.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:03 am

uga-brave…That is exactly why I don’t do any kind -fest anymore.

Anders

February 22nd, 2009
1:05 am

Uga-brave If you guys didn’t chase fans from other teams off this blog maybe George W. would have come on here to talk Texas Rangers smack and you could have warned HIM rather than Flange and brave-dave and this whole mess could have been avoided.

We were this close….

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:05 am

Hey DOB…Enjoyed my first cheeseburger from the Earl tonight with some sweet potato fries on the side. Then I went home and put on some good music that I purchased from Ella Guru earlier in the day. Thanks for the heads up on both of those spots.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:06 am

Anders…That is funny. But you are living proof that the regular bloggers here are not very effective at chasing off fans from other teams.

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
1:09 am

Marv: I’m normally a little more optimistic about things than I should be, so I’m gonna weigh in on why the Braves should finish above .500 and, while I think they’re one power bat away from being even with the Phils and Mets, I think they’re going to stay in the race all season.

(And speaking of being optimistic and bullish, uga-brave, when are we gonna hit a true bottom in the market? I know I’m loving buying shares on the cheap — my Roth cash goes in Monday — but if we get below 7,000 on the Dow, I’m gonna get a little worried.)

Now, baseball (noted transition from the Scribe): I think the Braves, as they are constructed right now, are good enough to win 87-89 games. Yes, I really think this team is good enough to win that many, and that might be enough to grab the wild card … though I recognize the NL East is going to be ultra-tough, with the Phils and Mets looking formidable.

The blueprint for success with the Braves in the 1990s rested on strong starting pitching, and a deep and solid bullpen. I see this Braves team constructed in much the same way, not with Cy Young starters going three out of every five days mind you, but with guys who can churn out quality innings and save your bullpen from entering games in the fifth and sixth inning every other night.

The health of Soriano and Moylan is critical to the pitching success of this team. We all saw last year that Boyer and Acosta aren’t cut out to pitch the ninth. But, you’ve got those guys locking down the seventh, with Soriano and Moylan pitching the eighth before Gonzalez pitches the ninth, and I think you have a very good formula for success.

Lowe and Vazquez typically hit 200 innings, and I think Jurrjens will join them — were the Braves in the race last August and September, I think Jurrjens would’ve pitched 200. Kawakami topped 145 innings in eight of his 11 seasons in Japan, and if Glavine is healthy, I think you could get 25 starts and 150 innings out of the fifth spot.

Offensively, Frenchy has to bounce back. We all know that, and I think we’ll see a bounce back from Jeff-ro. Just too talented to hit .239 again. The leaner Francoeur, not adjusting his stance from AB to AB (as we saw last season) should be good enough to hit .270 with 20 homers. And he’ll have plenty of RBI opportunities.

While I’d like to see the Braves pursue Garret Anderson to platoon with Diaz in left, even with the roster the way it stands now, I think the Braves are good enough to be in the race come mid-September. They may fall a few games short, but I think this team is better than .500. It very well may be a team that wins 88 games in the East and finishes third, but if the Braves are healthy and get a bounce back from Frenchy, then I really think this team is going to be in the hunt all season.

Just my opinion, of course. And being the optimistic type I am, knowing the type of talent bubbling at the surface of the farm system that will arrive in Atlanta the next couple of years (Hanson, Schafer, Heyward, Freeman, Medlin, Marek, etc.), I really think this team is going to be playing October baseball again, and soon.

–30–

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
1:11 am

scribe, i agree with all your points of Jair…he’s so young and what really stands out is his command he has of his pitches

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:12 am

i cant believe so many here are still opposed to signing garret anderson to platoon with diaz. look at the rotation. look at the bullpen. look at the infield we have. you can win a world series with these guys. provided of course you can put together an outfield, which, right now, we do not have. francouer is a question mark. so is josh anderson in CF. i’m fine with matt diaz but he’s the righty bat in the LF platoon, the one who doesnt play as much. what some of you want to do is add one more question mark to the outfield (jones, schaefer, blanco, etc). why not limit your question marks? sign garret anderson and you can count on that platoon giving you around 100 rbi. problem solved. i’m optimistic about josh anderson in CF. but i have no such optimism regarding b. jones, nor do i have any reason to believe schaefer is ready, much less believe he should be rushed. and here’s the thing: if francouer is still tanking by the time we hit june, you’re gonna have to replace him. wouldnt you rather take steps now and assure that you only have one OF position to fix, as opposed to getting near july and having a lack of production from both left and right field?

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
1:15 am

uga-brave – God, there are some of us sad capitalists left

I grew up in socialist Australia, it sucked then………..

god bless USA……… think we are going to need him to straighten out our lame asses

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
1:17 am

jed – I think if they are GOOD ENOUGH, they are old enough

Throw ‘em in the river and see if they can swim

Did Tracy Austin, a few Williams sisters, Tiger, Jack Nicklaus, Glavine etc etc okay

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:25 am

brekky– hey, if they’re good enough, i agree. but there’s zero reason to believe b. jones or blanco is going to give you RBIs in LF. braves would just be hoping there. and by all accounts, schaefer is scheduled to be in AAA this year. why rush him into a situation he’s not prepared for? i want to see young guys playing too. but only when they’re ready.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:26 am

G. Anderson has been on steady decline for a while now. He only hit 15 homers in 557 at bats last year. Diaz hit 12 dingers in 358 abs in 2007 when he was healthy. I don’t like the prospect of Anderson changing leagues and running around in left field on those creaky old knees. Seems to me we’ve got a god shot of his production with better defense with a Diaz/insert kid here platoon.

keylargo

February 22nd, 2009
1:27 am

Dogsbrekky & ugabrave

The Braves have about 6 million left to spend. If the Braves send you guys that money can you turn it into 10 or 12 by the trading deadline? We could pick up a couple of big guns to bring us home>LOL

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:28 am

*good shot, not real sure what a god shot is, but it sounds awesome.

Weldon

February 22nd, 2009
1:29 am

Garret Anderson is a waste of a roster spot. Anderson hasn’t had an OBP over .340 since 2004, and it’s not like Diaz can’t hit right-handed pitching. I don’t see how he improves the team. What we really need is a stopgap center fielder…or for Schafer to totally blow us away in spring training.

Oh, and for Frenchy not to suck. That would be immensely helpful.

Chop Chop

February 22nd, 2009
1:30 am

Hillary’s over in China begging them to keep giving us cash. The unions and poor people must have done it.

Let’s let all the banks and businesses who engaged in this credit mess fail. That will only mean the closing of thousands of businesses and the loss of millions of jobs. Who are the new entrepreneurs that will start the new businesses? The same folks who ran the old businesses. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

As Yakov Smirnoff used to say, “What a country!”

(Maybe this is why I see the Braves winning 85 games instead of 90. Do I see the cup half-empty? Quite possibly.)

Run Heap Run

February 22nd, 2009
1:30 am

Aghhh the comment eater is back. Gotta keep a close watch on this blog of ….. ours.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:31 am

“Oh, and for French not to suck.”

Classic. The key to the season. Reminds me of this Posnanski column.

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/02/13/the-francoeur-arbitration-case/

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
1:32 am

Keylargo – sadly not a time to be trading, unless you are buying Corporate binds at the great rate of 5% pa..

I haven’t seen such a mess since the Asian crisis in 97′

I like Anderson in LF with a suprt sexy slim Diaz and throw Schafer to the great whites in CF……. sometimes you gotta say “wtf”, kid can play I am told by many astute beis bol minds…

I am more worried about my beloved Frog in RF…… think he and 1st base will be good in 09′

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:33 am

danga–against RHP, garret anderson hit .293/14/69 in 430 at-bats. you put him with diaz and you’ll get 100 rbi. he will also be a decent defensive LF. only thing that would concern me is him changing leagues. but that’s still better than having to learn how to hit in the majors, which all of these younger options would have to do.

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
1:34 am

Danga: Anderson has made two errors in his past 261 games in left field. His defense is solid. And, while he may not be a game-changing power threat, he did hit as many homers off RHP as Griffey last season (14) while batting 21 points higher and driving in 21 more runs off RHP than Junior.

And for those who are asking about Edmonds, I offer this: Both Edmonds and Anderson hit .301 in 2004. Since then, Edmonds’ average has dropped every year. Edmonds hit .235 last season. Anderson in the past four years has hit between .280 and .297. He hit .293 in 145 games last season for the Angels.

I think Garret Anderson is worth asking about. If the Braves got Anderson and he replicated his 2008 numbers against RHP, and if Diaz can replicate his 2006-07 production, then I think the Braves are right there with the Phillies and Mets.

–30–

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
1:34 am

Danga, good to hear. Did you say hello to ol’ Don while you were there? Man’s selling off his wares, ship’s going down … sad stuff. But he’s still got his damn Gators, who win a national title every few months.

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:40 am

weldon–diaz has hit RHP in the past but he sure didnt last year. i sure wouldnt bank on it, not with what i saw from RF last year.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
1:40 am

DOB…I did speak with Don…We talked a bit about the week you have had here, but I guess that is not as bad as losing the business you’ve been running for I don’t know how many years. It was a nice music shop. I wish I hadn’t waited until it was going out of business to check it out. And he did talk about being a big college sports fan, but I didn’t go into particulars because I overheard him speaking with someone else about living in Gainesville during college and I graduated from UGA. I don’t need to hear about them winning championship after championship. I have to see that crap every year.

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:45 am

sscribe–yes, that’s my point exactly. you’ve got a team that has potential to win a WS here. i dont think a lot of the blog gets it.

Coxlover

February 22nd, 2009
1:51 am

Jed, if the Braves have the potential to win the WS, then why would Griffey go to the Mariners to “preserve” his legacy ? Wouldn’t finishing his career on a team with the potential to win the WS be a better legacy than finishing his career with a team that may lose 100 games ?

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
1:55 am

sscribe,i agree with your points…Anderson really did have a decent season last year..i cant believe we wouldnt seriously think about signing him..unless the only reason we went after griffey was for ticket sales…its weird that with his numbers last year that he cant find a job.

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
1:56 am

coxlover,just goes to show you that griffey doesnt care about winning…you play to win the game ..hellooo

jed

February 22nd, 2009
1:59 am

coxlover–from reading what griffey’s said, i dont think he would agree with you. he wants seattle to be synonymous with ken griffey jr. apparently. do i think the braves can win the WS? yes. but they have to fix the outfield first.

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

February 22nd, 2009
2:08 am

I’m with the scribe, JJ is the Braves real ACE. Or at least until Huddy is back.

Three things that will pique my interest between now and the end of April.

When and if Josh Anderson and Jordan Schafer make the team.

How many different line up’s that Bobby Cox uses during the first month of the season.

The bullpen. Gonzalez, Soriano, Moylan and the rest must stay healthy and productive.

uga-brave

February 22nd, 2009
2:13 am

hey anders,

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I CHASED ANYONE OFF THIS BLOG?

oh by the the way if vegas wanted to go 52.5 vs. 47.5 on odds wake me up.\\

dude, i traded on one of the most sucsessful equity trading desks.

we made money on the spreads.

you my friend have no idea.

i hear your rambles about about how you think you are a business. man, blah, blah, blah.

let me tell you yankee, dont f with me.

i traded so many straddles and spreads. it would make your simple head spin.

i never get prsonal with bloggers, but you got my ire up.

bad mistake.

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
2:16 am

Coxlover: “Wouldn’t finishing his career on a team with the potential to win the WS be a better legacy than finishing his career with a team that may lose 100 games.”

Certainly on the surface, what you said is 100 percent correct. What player wouldn’t want to go out with a team that could be playing in October? And certainly, while we can debate all night whether the Braves as they are constructed at this point are good enough to earn a playoff spot, there is little debate the Braves have a better chance at getting to October than the Mariners.

But when you look at what happened with Junior, and look back at history, that totally throws logic out the window.

First of all, Junior played a big role in saving Major League Baseball in Seattle. He was the cornerstone of the team when they broke through in 1995, rallying to win that dramatic ALDS against the Yankees, Griffey scoring the winning run in extra innings of the decisive Game 5. Beyond that, his brilliance, his rise to superstardom, played a big role in the M’s staying in Seattle and the construction of Safeco Field.

And then, with Junior in the throws of the decision-making process, he talks with two Hall of Fame outfielders (two guys Griffey will join in Cooperstown): Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Both Hank and Willie returned to the cities where they started their careers (Hank to Milwaukee; Willie to New York City). Both spoke to Griffey about cementing his legacy by returning to where their careers started.

That, and the incentive money Seattle kicked in, played the dominant role in Griffey deciding to sign with the M’s instead of the Braves.

For a guy who’s never played in a World Series, I would think the lure of getting to the Fall Classic would win the day. But, I do understand Junior weighing the importance of returning to where his career started. That’s why, while I understand your statement totally and agree that under normal circumstances the lure of playing for a contender would be a big factor, in the Griffey situation, the pull of Seattle won out in the end.

And for the record, there is no way in hell published reports factored into that decision. You’re talking about a guy who has 19 years of major-league experience, a guy who grew up with media attention surrounding his family, a guy who was the best high school player in the nation. I just can’t believe a newspaper report influenced his decision.

Rather, it was the chats he had with two Hall of Famers who spoke of returning home, and Griffey’s realization of what he means to Seattle baseball — and vice versa — that led Junior to go back to the M’s.

Jed: This team could be, as the phrase goes, “sneaky good.” Good enough that, if it indeed can secure a playoff spot, could be a nightmare for the opposition in October, because of its pitching. I really, really think this team could make a run through October.

Getting there may be the more difficult proposition, though. But IF the Braves get to the playoffs, this team is built to win in October, with Lowe, JJJ, and Jurrjens as your three starters in the 10th month of the year, a deep bullpen, a good bench, and a lineup full of guys who can work the count and string together base hits.

–30–

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
2:18 am

uga brave – yeah I sold vol at >>> 60% in Oct 08′, but I am lying to you

uga-brave

February 22nd, 2009
2:19 am

oh by the way anders,

come find me. i usually can be found running around chastain.

always in a gratefull dead long sleeve t shirt, or georgia t shirt.

dont call me out.

come find me.

ssiscribe

February 22nd, 2009
2:23 am

Meant to say “Lowe, JJJ and Vazquez as your three starters in the 10th month of the year”

Time for bed … uga-brave, where do we bottom out, and what sector would you buy now?

Sleep calls, then duty calls tomorrow morning. Good conversation this evening/morning, folks. Thanks much, and talk with y’all soon.

Peace.

The Scribe abides.

–30–

johnbama

February 22nd, 2009
2:25 am

stop the anderson talk. seriously.

the braves to two steps back if they sign anderson. we have schafer and our own anderson waiting in the wings who i seriously believe have a much bigger upside. if those guys are good enough to be opening day roster guys….and i think anderson deserves that based on his shot with houston and with the braves….lets move forward.

so many on this blog are stuck on the older proven guys. sure they have done their thing but we are talking about guys that are on their last legs in mlb. why are you guys being so short sighted in this? at best a one year fix. what if a heyward is not ready in a year? do we then discuss bring shef back?

NickB

February 22nd, 2009
2:27 am

DOB you need to check out the original German Funny Games. I thought it hit much harder and was a much more effective film. Though the same director made both. Oh and make sure you check out Watchman in a few weeks. It’s the only comic to land in Time agazines top 100 novels of the 20th century. I own it and it is wonderful, am hoping the film can live up to even 50% of the greatness of the book.

johnbama

February 22nd, 2009
2:30 am

the more i think about this the more i get wound up. what did the braves do early in the 90s? trust their young guys….adding a significant older part. guys that we are talking about are not that significant. lets move on…give a anderson, jones and a schafer a chance. signing griffey or a garrett anderson sets us back 2 years easy.

uga-brave

February 22nd, 2009
2:31 am

anders,

you pick fights wit lew,

okay.\\

dont pick fights with flANGE or me.

i never call anyone out.

i am docile.

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

February 22nd, 2009
2:33 am

I just had to share this with the blog. We (the spouse and I) were doing some late shopping at Wal Mart last night. Bored out of my mind and waiting for her to get finished, I made my way over to the magazine rack.

As I was reading this major baseball publication (It only comes out at the beginning of the season) I had to snicker at the sheer absurdity of the writer. This fella by the name of David King was giving his so called expert spiel on our Braves. His starting line up included Clint Sammons in CF and Jo-Jo Reyes as the fifth starter with Kenshin Kawakami in the bullpen. No, I’m not pulling your leg.

He really wrote this nonsense. Not to mention his statement that the Braves starting pitching is highly questionable due to all the injuries from last season. His rotation included Tom Glavine even though I’m one hundred percent certain that the article was written before Glavine was under contract for 2009. I was laughing my azz off at 12:35 in the morning in the middle of Wal-Mart while attempting to digest the idiotic, amateurish journalism of some hack writer who knows virtually nothing about my team.

At any rate, this blog is if nothing else, informative and accurate most of the time. But to see gibberish in black and white on a store shelf really took the cake.

Chop Chop

February 22nd, 2009
2:47 am

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=At_fe.KtAOTSfKtT0JI8O2c5nYcB?slug=ti-francoeur022109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Ol’ Frenchy’s ready to go. I hope it works.

More interesting to me than the Frenchy stuff is Chipper’s preference for a left field bat:

…but they are talking to the Yankees about Xavier Nady (Chipper Jones’ preference, he said Saturday) and Nick Swisher, and spring training will be long enough to accommodate further roster adjustments.

General manager Frank Wren is wary of Nady’s cost in a trade and in salary ($6.6 million). So despite Jones’ lobbying, that may go undone as well, though if the Braves stay the course it’ll probably get heart-rending first.

“It’s been frustrating, I can tell you that,” Jones said.

jed

February 22nd, 2009
4:17 am

jonbama–i’m pretty sure we’re going to give josh anderson a chance in CF, and i’m fine with that. but you want us to go with b. jones or schaefer as well, neither of whom has a resume to support such trust. two years ago, jones had a good season, producing 100 rbi’s between AA & AAA, but that’s still the minors. last year, he was far from stellar. schaefer hasnt been beyond AA. sure, schaefer is considered a prime prospect, and he might well make it to atlanta by mid-summer, but why rush him? most importantly, why spend all this money on pitching in the off-season and then just wing it by taking a huge chance on brandon jones in LF? i’m typically in favor of playing younger guys when it makes sense, but in this situation–with this many unstable pieces in our outfield–we need stability, and that’s why you sign garret anderson.

now here’s a scenario for you, and this is what my thinking angles toward: for the first few months of the season, we have b. jones and schaefer in AAA. we get to june and francouer is hitting .230 again. now’s the time to give jones or schaefer a shot, and if we start them off in AAA, they’re playing every day getting themselves ready for that possibility. and, in that scenario, all we have to worry about is fixing the situation in RF, because the platoon of diaz and garret anderson will have already solidified LF for us.

this is not some invented hypothetical situation. it’s a reality the braves may well have to concern themselves with. what happens with JF is anybody’s guess. dont worry, though, the braves will get jordan schaefer up as soon as they’re confident he’s ready. i’m all in favor of that. but the worst thing we could do is rush him and put too much pressure on him (the pressure that comes with signing 4 starters in the off-season) when he gets here.

Matt

February 22nd, 2009
4:38 am

Hey Are the Braves looking at the Kansas pitcher who throw a No No ? Names Shaeffer Hall?

Thanks

February 22nd, 2009
4:48 am

I hope Tim Hudson breaks your face.

Steve McP

February 22nd, 2009
7:31 am

Nothing for 3 hours – is this broken again?

ncscoots

February 22nd, 2009
7:34 am

Whether you prefer an aging vet or an inexperienced rookie in LF probably depends on how you evaluate the scenarios outside expectation. Is it more likely that an aging vet will underperform expectation, or that the young player will outperform expectation?

You take a chance either way. Swift declines in aging vets aren’t exactly unheard of, and even highly touted rookies can fail. But, most things being equal, I tend to like the upside potential of the young player. If that scenario fails, it’s much easier to pick up, say, a Garrett Anderson later, than to unload a declining Garrett Anderson’s contract.

Since the Braves weren’t able to pick up a real difference-maker offensively, might as well get a read on some of the young OF in ST to see if any of them will be able to help or not. There will still be time to make a trade or signing before April 1, if the need arises.

Steve McP

February 22nd, 2009
7:56 am

DOB just read yesterday’s article on Kawakami – will his translator be allowed to go out to the mound with Roger McD during a game?

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 22nd, 2009
7:59 am

Good morning all, ssribe.. if you are still around, I would like to point out that nearly all the former Braves who played for Richmond have what appear to be low home run totals. A couple of explanations. First, the IL is considered to be a pitcher’s league. While there will always be some dregs for which players can fatten their numbers, they will be the exception rather than the rule. Secondly, Richmond was a tough park to homer in. The dimensions may have been the same as Atlanta but the humidity and prevailing winds made dingers a rarity, unlike in band boxes like Pawtucket.
Brandon Jones is more of a gap type hitter than a homerun guy. A nice player but he will never have the potential of a Jason Heyward.

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
8:10 am

Coach, did you buy the magazine or just read it? Isn’t that stealing? Walmart assistant manager was probably giddy over the fact that someone was actually reading one of their magazines and not just looking at the pictures. They have you on video, too.

dap01

February 22nd, 2009
8:37 am

If Jeff Francouer doesn’t bounce back during the first few weeks, at what point does Cox actually consider platooning him? RF was as week as any other OF position last year.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
8:39 am

Steve McP: No, the translator isn’t permitted to go to the mound with McDowell. But he’ll be in the dugout, in uniform, during games.

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
8:44 am

Roger will need to learn this Japanese Phrase, “hit the mitt or hit the pine”.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
8:45 am

Alabama’s “Mount Rushmore” foursome in this ongoing ESPN series was pretty incredible: Hank, Willie Mays, Bear Bryant and Bo Jackson.

18 Wheels of Love

February 22nd, 2009
8:47 am

DOB,

I’ve heard mentioned several times that Frenchy seems to have regained his stroke and confidence. Can you compare his BP AB’s this spring to what you saw last year during BP? I imagine Frenchy still hit some bombs in BP last year even though he was sucking wind during games. What makes this spring BP different so far?

18 Wheels of Love

February 22nd, 2009
8:51 am

Here’s my pick for SC’s Mt. Rushmore:

Joe Jackson, Jim Rice, Larry Doby and Radio.

richbrave

February 22nd, 2009
8:51 am

Hey Gil, you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

18 Wheels of Love

February 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

And Griffey looked totally unconvinced that he made the right call to go back to Seattle.

richbrave

February 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

GIL:

Looks like BLANCO is the marginal player we thought he would be. vAnd the LIL’ Bridge’s bat just wasn’t ready for prime-time.

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
8:58 am

18 Wheels – are you still wearing chains?

18 Wheels of Love

February 22nd, 2009
8:59 am

Chains as in? Alice in? Break these?

ncgary

February 22nd, 2009
9:06 am

agreed scoots at this stage of the game , might as well allow the kids to see who shines unless something good is dumped into wrens lap

braves fan 16

February 22nd, 2009
9:07 am

Hey Dave, where do you see Stephen Marek starting out, and do you see him making the team out of Spring.

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
9:10 am

ncgary

February 22nd, 2009
9:12 am

best way to pick up that big bat is to keep touting how good all these braves pitchers are throwing this spring, that will bring the big bat here

mike p in wc

February 22nd, 2009
9:15 am

DOB,
Heading to see Ryan Adamas in New Jersey tonight. Hopefully, he puts on a good show, last couple times I’ve seen him he’s been average compared to how great his recorded stuff is. I’ll let you know how it goes. Keep up the good work down at ST.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
9:30 am

18 Wheels: The difference is apparent in Francoeur’s swing — much better balance, and the hands are in better position and moving a lot less before pitch arrives. He’s hitting balls up the middle and some the other way. But again, this is B.P. I think most people are waiting to see if he carries it over to the games.

C's

February 22nd, 2009
9:35 am

dogsbrekky – You’re not alone on your assessment of Ben Button. That movie was “ehh”, at best.

Rodney Derrick

February 22nd, 2009
9:37 am

Gregor Blanco can bunt, and aside from Tom Glavine, he has been the only Brave in recent years who knows how to do so. That does not mean he will make the team, but folks should remember his good points, which also include big time hustle and the ability to work the count, two additional skills lacking with much of the team.

C's

February 22nd, 2009
9:37 am

Jed – If you’re set on getting a vet for a LF platoon, why Anderson over Edmonds?

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
9:38 am

DOB – They should be throwing sliders and curves, only, to Frenchy the entire Spring.

T2daD

February 22nd, 2009
9:44 am

Gotta agree w/ ya DOB, AL.’s Mt. R was awesome… Especially the BO running the wall highlight.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
9:48 am

Braves are among the top 10 teams in the majors(8th) in the FOXSPORTS ranking, still the mets and phillies in front of them. No team from the west is ahead of us. Only the cubs ranked ahead of us besides muts an phillies. Sounds like people are starting to notice our chances.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
9:53 am

Something tells me that the t greatest pitcher of all time, Jake Peavy (LOL yeah right) is going to regret not agreeing to sign with us.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
9:55 am

Interesting fact…….. according to FOX power rankings, 6 out of the best 8 teams in MLB are from east. No need for me to list them.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
10:01 am

Maybe this has been posted already but here it goes again:

Ken Rosenthal wrote this:

Just ask right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

“The way I look at it, A) I’m not going to suck and B) We have pitchers who will throw 200 innings,” Francoeur says.

johnbama

February 22nd, 2009
10:04 am

Jed,

I understand what you are saying but again there comes a time when you have to move forward. We did with John Smoltz, thankfully we did not sign Griffey. Based on your thought process you could have a old Anderson adjusting to a new league and a struggling hitter in right. I am not say we need to force feed a Josh Anderson or Schafer or Jones…..but if they show that they are ready to become productive major league hitters (define that as you may) during the spring then move forward. Guys like Smoltz, Glavine, Anderson and Griffey are great…..but it is time to move forward. I would much rather see the Braves trade for a Swisher than sign Garrett Anderson.

Run Heap Run

February 22nd, 2009
10:11 am

All this Francoeur hype needs to stop until at least … what is it? April 3rd? April 4th? I mean, I hope the kid has a better season, not because I like him but because he plays for my team. Until then I don’t need a daily comment about how much better he is than last year. I mean, “I’m not going to suck”? Did he plan to suck last year? I just….ugh. The boy gets under my skin. I hope he has a good season but to be honest I can’t wait until he’s wearing some other team’s uniform.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
10:23 am

Maybe that time Frenchy spent with Chipper is paying off if he’s hitting the ball up the middle. That’s one of Chipper’s bigest theories-try to hit it through the center field wall. Now if that approach works for Frenchy like it works for Chipper-or even half as well-then Jeff’s back.

keylargo

February 22nd, 2009
10:26 am

Here is what I think will happen with Jordan Schafer this year. I think he will open the season in AAA and let Anderson have a shot at CF. There is a number of days of service that a player gets during the year that determines whether or not he is a rookie again the following year or a second year player. I could use some help on what that number is exactly, but I think it is 86. Using that number, I think Schafer will be called up when he can NOT reach that number, thus still having 3 years to go before he goes to arbitration. Some time in late June or July he will get called up.

oldbravesbag

February 22nd, 2009
10:27 am

Dave, Can we get any thoughts on Kelly and Escobar this spring. Thanks..

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
10:28 am

For all you Soriano fans – He went on the DL 3 seperate times last year.
Chipper was on the DL once, and on the day-to-day list 8 times.
Keep stretching boys!

18 Wheels of Love

February 22nd, 2009
10:30 am

My obsevation of Frenchy the last 2 years is that his hands have been his problem. They have seemed really slow through the zone. I compare it to an amateur golfer blocking his drives. If you watch Chipper his arms go through the zone before his hands, but his hands very quickly catch up. That is what Jeff has been lacking. If he can add that to his game he can be successful. Kelly is also very good with the hands through the zone.

C's

February 22nd, 2009
10:32 am

keylargo – I think you’re right and that is something everyone should take into consideration when predicting who makes it out of ST. Same goes for Hanson as well.

Dadgum

February 22nd, 2009
10:32 am

Frank Wren it appears to me is going to stick with youth in LF. I like Anderson/Diaz in LF, Shaefer in CF, and Francouer in RF. In fact, that group should have an over/under of 50 homers. I’m taking the over.

For those clamoring for Edmonds, well, why? Do you think that he will put the Braves over the top? As much as you need experience you need youth and talent more. This is the perfect year to inject youth into the team. Talented youth mind you. This is the very reason I am not upset about Griffey. While it sounded cool to have Griffey it would have been merely window-dressing.

Unless all the young options prove unworthy in Dark Star I would hold my cards if I was Wren. So far I have to disagree with Wren on the Glavine signing. I have been a very vocal opponent of bringing Glavine back from the get-go (after the Mets). I know that was Schurholtz. Maybe Glavine will prove me wrong and I can handle that. So far I am right until proven wrong. I contend that there is no reason to play Hanson in AAA if he is effective at Dark Star. To that effect Wren just threw away 2 mil on Glavine when there is a better option as the #5 starter. In my opinion this will be the major theme at spring training and it is to be seen if Glavine will emerge as the #5 or retire. It’s almost even money either way. Oh yeah have I mentioned youth yet?

Rock on……we like our beer flat as can be, we like our dogs with mustard and relish, we gotta great pitcher what’s his name ah we can’t even spell it, we don’t worry ’bout the pennant much we just like to see the boys hit it deep, ain’t nothing like a view from the cheap seats.

TnBrian

February 22nd, 2009
10:33 am

I’m glad to read Chipper lobbying for Nady instead of just content that Frenchy is their right handed power bat for ‘09. Just like he said, until Frenchy faces live pitching, he’s pretty much the same guy that we saw in ‘08. To think ,all the work Wren did on the pitching might not be enough if Frenchy and KJ, especiall Franc., doesn’t bounce back. It can still be a disaster of a year.

Tyler

February 22nd, 2009
10:37 am

Yes, I do think the Braves have a few talented prospects. I’m not sure though, If they have enough experience to carry this years team. The Braves still need another veteran bat in their lineup. I think I saw where Chipper touched on this. I mean he does know this team well enough to know they need help. I believe their lineup would be average at best. What ever happened to the talks with Swisher and Nady. Those talks were going on before the Griffey one’s even began. (Come on Wren, I don’t think you’re a bad GM just a little unexperienced like this lineup will be if we don’t get ONE more veteran bat. I think Garret Anderson is still available too, at least make a move for him. Chipper needs help in the order, and Anderson, Diaz Shafer isn’t gonna cut it. Atleast not in the NL East. Sorry!!

Dadgum

February 22nd, 2009
10:38 am

It can also be a disaster of a year if they bring in a veteran and he doesn’t produce where youth would have been better served. Oh yeah and throw away another few million to boot.

Rock on….

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
10:42 am

Keylargo

You think the Braves are thinking about Schafers chances to be rookie of the year? or you think the rather fill out the blanks in the OF? I think they will call up the kid the if there is the need, period.

If I missed your point, then im sorry.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
10:48 am

Dadgum

Dont forget that as we speak, CF belongs to Blanco, whether you like it or not. And dont forget about his OBP either, 3rd on the team only behind chipper and Mc. Schafer can beat him or Anderson, but they will have to work hard to do so.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
10:50 am

“All winter long I’ve read where we need a right-handed power bat,” Francoeur says. “I know where that big right-handed bat has been. It’s right here.”

Gotta like the attitude. Hope he is right.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
10:58 am

I agree with ya Dadgum…It seems to be a good year to bring in the kids. We have a good pitching staff which should give the kids a bit of time to find their stroke at the major league level. From what I have read all of the kids can go get the ball which will help our team defense. Pitching and defense is as good a way as any to win a baseball game.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
11:00 am

Tyler

I understand your point about how young this team is. But dont forget that this guys are not getting any younger. KJ is not a baby anymore, neither is Mc. Kotchman is not a veteran but he has more than 1000 MLB AB. We will see a more mature yunel. Diaz isnt a kid either. We will have not rookies in the starting day lineup, so, that tells you something. They are young but they have some experience. Of course a veteran would fit just great, I have to agree.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
11:00 am

oldbravesbag: Escobar’s in even better shape than he was last year, just coiled muscles in those arms. He looks very good in the cage, but again, that’s all we’ve had so far. too early to judge anything. Kelly’s looked same as last year, no noticeable differences. I mean, they haven’t played a game, just facing BP pitching and doing infield drills.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:01 am

I really don’t think that if the Braves signed Garrett Anserson, they will be concerned with his OBP. He is probably the biggest bat that we can actually afford right now, so at least try to get him here. Any word on him?

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
11:03 am

It’s nice to see some other posters in here talking sense about a youth movement. I was getting hammered in here a week ago with the same perspectives.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
11:03 am

Like somebody mentioned, maybe our best choice is Edmunds

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
11:04 am

Doc, I think the point keylargo was making is that if the Braves can hold off on calling Schafer up until some point (I think in late june), they gain an extra year of control before he reaches arbitration. I’d guess it’d be a nice luxury if Josh can handle center field, but not worth losing many games over is Schafer is the clearly superior player at the start of the year. Doesn’t have anything to do with “rookie of the year” concerns.

And I don’t agree with you (though who knows!) on CF belonging to Blanco. He’s not a very good defensive CF – and he has options, so can be sent to AAA if necessary. I think Josh probably has the job until someone beats him out.

Eric from MO

February 22nd, 2009
11:05 am

Dadgum,”I like Anderson/Diaz in LF, Shaefer in CF, and Francouer in RF. In fact, that group should have an over/under of 50 homers. I’m taking the over.”

I will take the under. I would guess Diez gets 8, Anderson gets 4, Schafer 12, and Francouer (I will give some benefit) 20. That adds up to 44. With all that being said I would still rather have these guys than Anderson, Nady, or Swisher because I still dont believe they would improve us much, if any. With these young guys we get speed and they dont cost us anything.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:06 am

DOB, is there anyone else who could push Kotchman at first base? He could potentialy hit sixth or seventh in this lineup. Has he looked good so far this spring?

Travis

February 22nd, 2009
11:09 am

Biggest asset to the Braves this year will be Kotchman. We didn’t see the real deal last year.

oldbravesbag

February 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

Thanks Dave…appreciate it. I’m just hoping Kelly takes what happened for him at the end of last year and expands on it. I think Yunel will be more confident and hopefully smarter with his immense talent. They could be something else up the middle for a long time…..

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

I think Nady or Swisher cost too much, which would be the reason not to even attempt a trade, Anserson on the other hand could be cheap, and could be a veteran to teach the outfield for the young guys, But I agree Nady and Swisher are not even an option at this point. Too much to give in return and salaries are too high.

Eric from MO

February 22nd, 2009
11:10 am

mbatl, I agree with you. I dont think our starting CF right now is Blanco. Most anaylists have said it would be Anderson, which I would agree with. The guy deserves a real chance. Even though he hasnt played a lot in the Majors he has done well when he has been up. Now he may not be able to do it over a whole season, but maybe long enough for Schafer to get a little more seasoning in the minors.

scott cohen

February 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

Dave. I wish you would have more information on your blog and less lyrics of songs (though I admit I like some of them) I really would like to know your thoughts on some of the other non-roster invitees, such as Emiliano Fruto. I really wish someone like Rafael Cruz could just blow Bobby away and make the roster. I don’t feel comfortable with pitchers like Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle on the team.

Steve from OH

February 22nd, 2009
11:15 am

Mr. B, Edmonds is the best (platoon) bat that we can afford right now. I’d be ok with signing him, but if it’s Anderson or Gonzalez, I prefer B. Jones.

njbraves

February 22nd, 2009
11:16 am

Eric from MO….how can you say that Nady wouldn’t make the Braves better? He would be the best hitter in the outfield from day one. Swisher I want nothing to do with, but Nady for the right deal is the way to go.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:19 am

njbraves, what is his salary, like 6 million/year? Only way I go after him is if the Yankees release him, we can’t afford that as we have seen so far this off season.

Danga

February 22nd, 2009
11:19 am

Nady scares me…I think last year may have been just a flash in the pan. Especially the power numbers.

John Quest (off the DL)

February 22nd, 2009
11:20 am

DOB musta been a church. we were up to 142 posts!

Rayman

February 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

Nady would be a nice addition IMO. I hope they find a way to make that happen. If not then I would jump all over Edmonds to platoon in LF and backup CF.

Daybed Wagmoe

February 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

DOB — went and saw Delta Spirit play last night at the sold-out Bowery Ballroom in NYC. WOW. Their album is great, but their live show is about as energetic, loud, and rockin’ as they come. It’s a wonder the lead singer is able to scream like he does without seriously damaging his vocal cords.

I see that they’re playing at the Drunken Unicorn on Wednesday. I know that you’ve talked about them before on the blog, so hopefully you’ll be able to take in the show.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
11:23 am

JOhnQuest-Dude, I think the stretching is a good idea, too, but it won’t do a damn thing to remedy any problms Soriano had last year-off season surgery already did it. He had a nerve thaty would snap over the elbow every time he threw a pitch-sounds somewhat painful to me. They moved the nerve in the surgery and now it can’t happen anymore. Stretching, like I said, wouldn’t have accomplished any less time on the DL in Soriano’s case.

Doc-I think what Key Largo meant was that the Braves would be less than likely to start the six year clock towards Free Agency earlier with those players. I think it would be a moot point though, because the clock would have begun by placing them on the 40 man roster. I could be wrong about what KL was saying or the timing of their 6 year start, but I think that’s what the point was.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
11:25 am

Scott Cohen-I seriously doubt that including song lyrics has anything at all to do with DOB’s other content. It’s not like they’re taking up space meant for other comments. However, people’s comments complaining about the music do take up the space.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
11:27 am

If CF belongs to Anderson, how come Blanco was in Atlanta all of last year?

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
11:29 am

Mr.B-as to Garrett Anderson being cheaper than Nady or Swisher-have you looked up his previous four year’s salary levels? Dude has made between $9.6 and $12.8 mil each year over that time frame. Now with the current state of the economy for Free Agents this year, he may not command $12 mil agsain, but you sure as hell won’t get him for less than Swisher (minus the trade pieces, that is). He’s NOT going to sign for $1-2 mil.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
11:29 am

Lew, actually service time is based on being on the 25-man roster, not the 40-man. And Schafer is not on the 40-man anyway, and probably won’t be until he’s called up to the big club.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
11:30 am

Sorry Keylargo…….looks like (as I said right from the start) I missed your point.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:37 am

Lew-Mabey not but for Garrett Anderson we wouldn’t have to trade anything and he is younger than Edmonds is, I wonder what type of salary he is looking for because it seems as though he doesn’t have a ton of teams knocking down his door.

G thebrave3

February 22nd, 2009
11:39 am

mr. b I live right out side of pittsburgh and got to watch a half dozen of nady’s games he can play and is a great personality at the ball park. He would be a great pick-up if we could get NY to eat a couple mil of that contract and not have to give up to much.(nice thing about a deep farm system.) Even if it’s just a one year deal. Then jordan and heyward will be close to ready.

Eric from MO

February 22nd, 2009
11:48 am

NJBraves I didn say he wouldnt make any difference but he wont make a big difference. He normally bats .280 and has a .330 OBP. Not very good. Last year was his career high in homers. He is a one year rental and is going to cost prospects. It isnt worth it. We are not going to win it with Nady next year. Might as well hold out for something better. When we negoitating for Peavy wouldnt it been nice to still have those 6 prospects we gave for Tex.

CaliChopper

February 22nd, 2009
11:51 am

Teams are not knocking at GA’s door because while he may still be able to swing a bat, he’s old and takes plays off. He shows a lackluster approach to the game, kinda looks like Manny when he wanted out of Boston.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
11:53 am

This is all I am saying, although it would be nice if NY could eat up some of his salary, I just don’t see him coming to us without losing Schafer or young pitching. Give me a break, I am in Iraq!

Eric from MO

February 22nd, 2009
11:54 am

Doc because it was a backup left fielder spot. Blanco isnt as good as Anderson defensively to covor CF. Also they wanted to get Anderson more at bats. Why do you think when Kotsay got traded Anderson became he starting CF?

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
11:56 am

MrB-It is immaterial whether we can get him without trading-we don’t have that much money. THAT is the problem, not giving upo a couple minor league players or one of our out of options guys.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

Problems with Nady:

1) Yankees are not desperate to trade him, so would want a boatload of prospects in return;
2) He makes too much money;
3) He’s not that good. Take away his huge 4 months in Pit last year, and his numbers are above-average, but not great;
4) If we got him, we’d lose him to free agency. In order to get draft picks in return, we’d have to offer him arbitration, and (in this market, which will be even worse for baseball next year), he’d probably accept and make $8-10 mil in 2010.

Other than that, I’m all for it!

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

February 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

Thanks

February 22nd, 2009
4:48 am
I hope Tim Hudson breaks your face.

————–

What kind of a name is “Thanks?” As for your post I hope someone “breaks your face.” Your post is exactly what this blog does not need.

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

February 22nd, 2009
12:03 pm

mbatl

I couldn’t agree more with your analysis of trading for Nady.

I’d like to see the rooks get a shot with Schafer in CF and Anderson getting a shot at a platoon with Diaz in left. I don’t see Blanco as a long term major leaguer. That’s too bad as he gave it his all last year but he appears to me to be one of those AAAA players. Maybe he can help some other team but I don’t see him helping the Braves this year.

PTBNL

February 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

Good points, Rodney, about Blanco. Or…. more appropriately, about unsung, important components of the game.

The discussion is interesting.

If indeed it seems that the Braves, as presently constructed, could be close to contention, it seems that the Braves’ present stance is the best course to take. So many here want to do something because of the question marks. Why not wait and find out about the question marks before jumping the gun. If you go back to last pre-season you will see that Ohman and even JJ were question marks last year. And these were key parts for the Braves last year. I am not saying that that is always the case. But if the Braves can actually contend for the first few months, we could find out where our young ones really are AND have opportunity to better the team in June or July. By doing so, as someone pointed out yesterday, if we have 4 million (for example) left in the budget now we could actually get someone with a 8 million contract (for half a year) which would be essentially doubling the money and giving us a shot in the arm toward the end. By then, we will have not only a better picture concerning our young outfielders, but also a better picture of how our pitching will hold up. We may have some very marketable players by then and not have to give up so much as we did with Tex.

It certainly could backfire, but any plan could backfire. It just seems that most of the options that have been mostly discussed for the present are not really very good options. I very seriously doubt that by waiting, FW is just sitting on his hands right now. Most likely they have a ton of eagle eyes all over the country (world even) looking for a great option to swoop in and get at a bargain just like they got that 100 mph relief pitcher that David mentioned yesterday.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

Can’t wait to go to the game on Thursday…I will be sitting about 3 rows behind the dugout!

PTBNL

February 22nd, 2009
12:08 pm

Doc, according to David the reason is because Blanco was out of options and Anderson was not. However, this year Anderson is also out of options.

Chris from the Rock

February 22nd, 2009
12:11 pm

Doc Holliday, do you really think Blanco starts the season as the primary CF? Yes, he did have a solid OBP last year, but he also had the third worst slugging percentage of anyone with 400+ABs in the league. People always assume a walk is as good as a single, but a walk doesn’t get a runner home from second. Blanco is a major league 4th OF, period. He has no business getting more than 200 ABs in a season. It’s obvious just from Anderson’s brief time in the big leagues last year that he brings much more to the table than Blanco. I say Anderson, if Schafer is sent to AAA, easily beats out Blanco for the job.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
12:12 pm

Just pray that we don’t lose Chipper at the break because we wouldn’t get his extension done.

PTBNL

February 22nd, 2009
12:34 pm

Hmmm The blog is stuck … on my computer.

Anyway, someone may have pointed out (since I keep getting the same comments when I refresh, I don’t know) but Blanco seemingly was not the favorite going into ST last year. But he had a good ST and he was out of options so the two combined helped him to win the spot in the 25 man roster.

Steve McP

February 22nd, 2009
12:37 pm

The Bear – long while since I studied Latin but shouldn’t your name be “Nil Illigitimus carborandum”?

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
12:41 pm

I think blanco would be a good reserve outfielder, but I think that Anderson in center and Diaz/Schafer in left is the safe option at this point, although I would still prefer to at least hear what numbers Anderson would sign for.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:47 pm

Mr. B, I don’t think G. Anderson is out of the picture for the Braves, despite what’s been said.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
12:47 pm

Mr.B-Anderson made $12.6 million last year and hit .293. Even if he signs for half of that, the Brvaves have a reported $5 mil left. The numbers just don’t add up at all. Even if he signed for a quarter of 08’s salary, we would be left with zero salary wiggle room for later in the season.

Dude, Anderson’s signing is just NOT feasible. It just isn’t. We only offered Griffey a mil. Time to move on. It won’t happen.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
12:49 pm

Apparently DOB and I see things differently. Inside information perhaps? Maybe a boost in what they’re willing to spend?

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 22nd, 2009
12:50 pm

DOB, it would appear as though Nady is out of the picture though, correct? Mostly, as Lew pointed out, due to salary?

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:53 pm

I mean, Chipper keeps talking openly about the need for a right-handed bat, how it would make the lineup a pretty good one, and I have a feeling he might know something. If they were pursuing G. Anderson, it’d be understandable that they wouldn’t want to talk about it, given recent events.

But hey, maybe they really aren’t. Maybe they’ll wait and see what the kids do this spring. Maybe….

Efrim

February 22nd, 2009
12:53 pm

Lew, I don’t think Anderson will cost more than 3 million. Abreu signed for around 5 million. I don’t think Anderson is as good as Abreu(actually not even close to as good), so I don’t think he’ll cost more than 3 million.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Daybed, glad you got to see Delta Spirit live. I have not, but heard they’re a great live act. That album’s very cool.

Efrim

February 22nd, 2009
12:55 pm

If they are going to get a right handed bat, than I am guessing Nady is the target. But who knows though, maybe there is someone who we don’t know about.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

DOB I just feel that he is the best option in left without trading away our farm system. All Spring we have heard that our young outfielders are not ready, mabey at some point this season they will be, and Wren and management feel that way to, judging by the way they pushed for Griffey. And, of all the other free agents available, he is probably the healthiest bat we can get that is affordable and would sign for less because of the market. I cannot picture a trade with the Yankees happening, I am sure they have had countless talks with them

nolie

February 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

Doc, according to David the reason is because Blanco was out of options and Anderson was not. However, this year Anderson is also out of options PTBNL

For certain Blanco was not out of options last season , and I’m pretty sure he isn’t this year either

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

Jason-I don’t like the idea of Nady even if we could afford to pay him. I don’t like one year rentals (especially of Boras clients) and his track record is somewhat spotty at best-he just hasn’t achieved at his current level for that long.

Were we to go through the Yankees for a deal (and especially to ask them to eat salary which would likely cause them to ask for more) I’d go with Swisher. He has a much better track record (even with a pitiful BA last year, he still hit for almost as much power as 08’s outfield combined), he has a good OBP while hitting for power, he plays all three outfield positions AND first base, is under contract for three seasons and would likely be relatively easy to trade should Heyward show up sooner rather than later. He would also provide protection for Chipper given his power potential and OBP-especially with Mac behind him.

We have the pieces to acquire him. IF we have the extra bucks, I’d rather have him than Anderson, as I really couldn’t care less about his BA as long as he hits Home Runs and gets on base regularly. Not to mention Swisher is younger and has a potential upside far exceeingly Garrett Anderson AND Xavier Nady.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:03 pm

Swisher is also a switch hitter.

PTBNL

February 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

Nolie, I did not look it up. I am just saying what I understood David to say just a couple days ago. He was responding to the same kind of question.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

Efrim-I think if he were going for as little as $3 mil, he would have been signed already.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
1:04 pm

RH bat? Only ones I’ve heard in rumors are Ryan Ludwick (and I just read about the Cards’ plans for 2B… they really could use Martin Prado); and Xavier Nady (already given my thoughts on that);

Sounds to me like DOB has some new hunches on Garrett Anderson, though.

But again, I’m fine if we do nothing now and see how the kids do.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
1:05 pm

Lew, G. Anderson wouldn’t cost $6 mill. You seeing what these guys are signing for? Abreu only got $5 mill guaranteed, and he’s 34 and has driven in 100 or more runs for six straight years. Anderson is 36 and hasn’t hit 20 homers or driven in 100 runs in the past five seasons.

Griffey got $2 mll guaranteed.

Chris from the Rock

February 22nd, 2009
1:08 pm

Not that I think the Braves will or should sign G. Anderson, but I doubt he’ll get as much guaranteed $$$ as Griffey. He’ll probably get about $1.5 MM + incentives.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
1:09 pm

Lew-If you could get him for 3-4 million for one year, you assume that he would be the answer for the year. I agree with saving something for the trade deadline, but if you do that, you risk being out by the break and then wondering if Chipper will go at the deadline becasue you do not have an extension worked out. It does sound as if they will get his extension done, however, if they don’t make a move on a free agent outfielder now, Chipper will be upset and if the Braves are out of the race at the break, we will be in rebuilding mode and Chipper will be traded for prospects. At least if you get G. Anderson or Edmonds or someone, you can show Chipper that you are trying to win. If we go into rebuilding mode, he will be gone.

Mike S

February 22nd, 2009
1:10 pm

Diaz/B. Jones in LF, Anderson/Infante in CF. That’s what i’d like to see to start the season (unless something big changes in camp.)

I’m excited to see how the youngsters do once these ST games get going.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:10 pm

DOB-I just don’t think Anderson is the answer to any of our problems. Quite honestly, I’d as soon go with internal options as go out and acquire anyone. I think this quest for an elusive “missing link” is unnecessary. None of the options are optimum and all will likely cost more than we really want to spend. I wasn’t all that heated up over the pursuit of Griffey, either. Let the kids play.

Also, I mentioned that even at $3 mil, we would not have the wiggle room for anyone later in the season, should the need arise.

TnBrian

February 22nd, 2009
1:12 pm

Well, than I guess Chipper is just a moron who doesn’t know how a lineup should be put together, right? If he really is lobbying for Nady, than I’ll take his word that he’s a guy that in between him and Mac, would seriously make this lineup dangerous. Some of ya’ll that are whining about Nady are the same ones that will complain when B.Jones/Diaz platoon has a .250 avg. 8hr between them come July/August. Diaz would be another weapon off the bench which would more valuable to the team than him platooning with Josh or Jones.

John Tucker

February 22nd, 2009
1:13 pm

If Francoouer does not hit this Spring, then I would rather have Anderson in CF and Shafer or Heyward in RF and Diaz-Shafer/Amderson in LF than anybody the Braves could trade for. Blanco and Brandon Jones are broorderline players and should be traded or let go early so as not to get in the way of the competition ofr all 3 OF spots—let Shafer, Heyward and Anderson
play and keep Francouer only as a backup if he hits this Spring.

GARRET ANDERSON IS TOO OLD AND SLOW TO SWITCH LEAGUES.

NADY IS TOO EXPENSIVE, ANS SWISHER STRIKES OUT TOO MUCH.

LET THE KIDS PLAY AND CUT FRANCOUER LOOSE OR TRADRE HIM TO KC–DATYTON MORRE STILL LOVES HIM. I CAN’T BEAR ANOTHER YEAR OF FRANCOUER’S NONPRODUCTION WITH MEN ON BASE.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:15 pm

Mr.B-I think you and all the others who think Chipper will be gone at the break are just plain wrong. First of all-if we’re in the race, CHiopper goes nowhere. Secondly, letting a 42 year old Smoltz, an underperforming Andruw or an aged almost retired Glavine ride are one thing. Chipper is the Apple to those other oranges. He has won a batting title and come in second the past two years. He is still performing at a much higher level than the others-not to mention that Chipper’s loss would REALLY p!$$ off many more Braves’ fans than the others combined. They have already started the re-negotiation process (as reported by DOB the other day). Chipper isn’t going anywhere.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this, but I really don’t like Chipper mouthing off about how we need a rh bat. Matt Diaz is his teammate, a right-handed bat, and is trying to earn a job. If my senior co-worker kept telling the press that I needed to be replaced by a better performer, I wouldn’t take too kindly too it. It certainly wouldn’t do much for my morale.

Plus, Wren (love him or hate him) doesn’t really need his marquis players yapping to the press about what moves the team needs to make. Enough pressure to put together a winning roster, within budget, without having to answer to Chipper’s public demands.

Not blaming DOB for reporting it…he should, of course. But sometimes I wish U Know Who would just focus on his job… playing baseball.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

John Tucker-They are not going to cut Francoeur loose. Nor should they after ONE lousy season by age 25. Get real.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
1:23 pm

Francouer will have a better year, and he had a gun in right which gives him a defensive edge, the braves will not move him. center field Anderson should be given a shot in center, if he can prove in the spring that he can get on base, has to with his speed and then get either G. Anderson or Edmonds or someone to platoon with Diaz without breaking the bank, which will make Chipper happy, extend Chipper’s contract and lets see where we are at the break. Going with what we have now won’t work. Shafer or B. Jones are not ready, but they will be before the end of the year.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Chipper wanted us to sign Peavy. Chipper wanted us to sign Burnett. When we got Lowe, Chipper was happy. Chipper just wants an effort made to bring in the best team we can afford to field. That’s why he’s renegotiated in the past-to give us more room. He’ll be happy as long as we stand a chance of playing in the postseason. We already have that potential-not to mention that if they were to give him his extension, they could re-negotiate his 09 contract or ask him to defer salary for a couple years.

This is not a black and white scenario here, despite what so many think.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 22nd, 2009
1:27 pm

Lew, but don’t forget, Swisher being under contract for 3 years and eating up payroll for that same amount of time could also be a detriment. Of course, he could have a good year and be a trade chip if needed. But, and yes Saber-heads, I do know that BA isn’t a stat you all adore, but; I just can’t get overly excited about a guy with a career .244 average…not to plug in between Chip and Mac (if that’s what the Braves are trying to do). I don’t necessarily want a guy in the 4-hole to sit there and take a lot of walks…I want a guy that will attempt to drive them in. To be honest, I equate it to the argument for and against The Hawk…whose mindset was to get em in.

Now, all of that being said, I don’t think Nady is head and shoulders above anyone. But, we don’t need long term commitments at this point, and a 1 year rental may be fine…depending on what it would take to get him.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
1:28 pm

All of you saying blanco is not better than Anderson are kind of wrong. I know Anderson could be better with the glove, more power. But you are being too hard on Blanco. IMO he did more than great. One of the more difficult thing to learn is plate discipline. He has it as a kid already. He has no power, but neither did Bret Butler, nor omar moreno. What about vince coleman? Hitting for a high SLG. might not be based only in power, but on the ability to find gaps and the corners of the OF. Maybe if Blanco learns that and you add it to his plate discipline, you have a guy with a much better OPS. Im not anti-Anderson. Im just defending what Blanco did last year, and that was get on base more often than not. With Chipper hitting 3rd, he would have scored more than 100 runs if braves (cox) knew how to baseball basic (bunting specifically or advancing the runners from 1st with 0 or 1 out.

I´ve never heard something as absurd as saying that a leadoff hitter is not major league material, taking in account that he had more than 400AB and he was 3rd in OBP on the team, and one of the guys that finished higher than him was the league best hitter last year and a future HOF. Thats out of order.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

Lew, I understand that the process is on-going. And I also stated that I think it will get done. However, if we are out of the pennant race at the break with no extension, he will be gone. Not by his doing, but the Braves will trade him at the deadline to start to rebuild. Now, I don’t know how close they are, but I would want Chipper to be happy while all of this extension talk is on-going. He wants a bat. Do what you can to get the best bat available without damadging the future. I believe that G. Anderson is the best available, value for a platoon in left field. I also think that would satisfy Chipper enough to keep the extension talks going and he would sign before the break. If the braves mention one word about rebuilding and His name will be the headline at the trade deadline.

Tomas

February 22nd, 2009
1:34 pm

I think Chipper is showing his leadership. He wants to win, and although the team has improved, the team is not a favorite. The right handed power bat would be the difference from a good team, to a favorite to win the East and possibly the World series.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:37 pm

Thank you AJC for taking that damned John Smoltz picture/story off the front Braves page!!!

MBATL, “He’s not that good. Take away his huge 4 months in Pit last year, and his numbers are above-average, but not great”

With respect, this is akin to saying “take away his accomplishments, and he hasn’t accomplished anything”. Those first four months in the Pit were was the first time in his career he’s been give the chance to prove what he can do on an everyday basis. He wasn’t quite as good in NY after the trade, but some guys take to a new team and a new league faster than others.

Nady would be a huge boost to this team. He’s not picking McGriff, Galarraga, or Teixeira… but he’ll hit 20+homers with 85-100 RBI, and hit for a good average. And he’d do it from the right side of the plate, which the Braves desperately need. Chipper’s right. We’re one righty power bat away from being (at least) on the level with NY and Phili. Nady would do the trick.

Having said all of that, I don’t think the Braves should trade the farm for this guy when he’s going to be a FA at season’s end. I’m sure the Yanks would be willing to pay half of Nady’s salary this year as part of a deal… but they’re not going to do it out of the kindness of their heart. They’ll want that much more talent in return. I don’t think the Braves are going to be willing to meet NY’s asking price for Nady, and depending on what they want, that might be exactly the right call on the Braves’ part.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:37 pm

Doc-I know I’ll regret this one (especially if Random, Steve from OH or Shaun come back soon), but Blanco , while having a good eye and a fair OBP, is not a very good hitter and I would bet his BABIP is terrible. I for one, don’t care to have a leadoff player that has to walk 200 times a season to be effective. My bet is that he’s odd man out and will not even make the roster unless there are serious injury problems. There are certainly better in house defensive options available. He will not be a factor, IMO.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:38 pm

OOPS… meant to say that Nady is not like picking up McGriff, Galarraga, or Teixeira…

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
1:39 pm

We all have to remember that Diaz is a guy capable of hitting above 300 while playing some 100 games. That is an upgrade from last year.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

Doc-Not to mention that Blanco struck out one quarter of the time. He struck out 93 times in just over 400 AB. A player with one Home Run, and only 19 Extra base hits in 430 AB can’t strike out almost a hundred times and expect to play in the majors.

Mr. B

February 22nd, 2009
1:41 pm

Doc Holiday: Who right now could lead-off for the Braves. KJ is the only one. Not disrespecting Blanco, he did good. But on the roster as of today, Anderson is the best lead-off prospect we have. So, they should give him a push in center and check his OBP in the spring. If he delivers, it is his. Blanco just is not a good lead-off candidate. A good spring might put him in left with no other moves by Wren.

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:41 pm

Mr.B-He will be re-signed.

Coxlover

February 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

I was just doing some research to see where Chipper Jones ranks on the all time Braves hitting list. Here is what I found.

Batting average = 3rd
Home Runs = 3rd
Runs Batted In = 3rd
Runs = 3rd
Hits = 2nd
Doubles = 2nd
Total Bases = 3rd
Walks = 3rd
On Base % = 1st
SLG = 2nd

Aaron and Mathews are the top 2 in most categories, and if Chipper plays 3 or 4 more years in Atlanta he will pass Mathews in just about every category. So Aaron and Chipper will go down as the 2 best hitters in Braves history.

dogsbrekky

February 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

WORD of advice – do not drink single malts like they are red wine…

“Shake and Bake”

BuzzMEAT

February 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

So dave, the Braves are on ESPN thursday, who is the starter, is it Kawakami? because he is #2 on the deptch chart

Lew

February 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

Mr.B-Batting KJ at leadoff would be a huge mistake. When that high in the order he takes too many pitches, ends up with a two strike count and he is a terrible two strike hitter (look at his K’s). He needs to bat lower in the order where he can be aggressive early in the count.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

With respect, this is akin to saying “take away his accomplishments, and he hasn’t accomplished anything.KC

Ha! I’ll give you that one, but stand by the rest of my theories on Nady.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

Doc Holiday, you’re right about Diaz. He wasn’t sharp at the plate through the first couple months of last season (before getting hurt), but that’s not enough, in my view, to nullify what he already proved over the previous two seasons… .333 in 655 at-bats (with plenty of AB’s against righties in 06/0)

The start Diaz got off to DID lessen my confidence in him as an everyday player, and I would love to see the Braves get someone like Nady… but I’m not convinced that Diaz couldn’t be a very solid everyday player. And we KNOW that he’s a huge asset as a part-time player.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:47 pm

mbatl, just admit it… Nady is the second coming of Ted Williams! =)

Tomas

February 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

The thing about Garret Anderson, is that he has a low OBP, and doesn’t hit for a lot of power. He is 36 years old, and his range in left field is pretty bad. Griffey still is a better fielder than Anderson who has had leg problems the past couple of years and is not running as fast.

He(anderson) hits a lot of doubles, and always has a high batting average. He is also a clutch hitter. He hit 338, with 7 2B, and 1 HR in 130 at bats with runners in scoring position. And he will be very cheap, I’m talking about 1-2 million tops with a few incentives to make it close to 3.5 million.

Chop Chop

February 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

The only thing really out there for Chipper is to play on a bigger stage and not take less money (again).

(Can’t think of where I’ve heard that before. Wait. The guy’s last name rhymes with “Bolts.”)

Anyway, if Chipper plays well this year (and the team struggles), a trade request would not be unexpected.

Scalp 'Em Braves

February 22nd, 2009
1:49 pm

“Kelly’s looked same as last year, no noticeable differences. I mean, they haven’t played a game, just facing BP pitching and doing infield drills.” DOB

DOB:

You mean Toby McGuire is back at 2nd this year for the Braves? Wonder when he’ll don the Spidey outfit or snare a line drive with the web shooter?

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
1:49 pm

Lew
Blanco is the more experienced of all the young OF we have, so I dont think he will be left out. He might, but I wouldnt bet on that. I think it will be BLANCO, ANDERSON, DIAZ and JF. If Blanco is left out for BJ or Schafer because they perform better, so be it, I wouldnt mind. I just want the best out there. What I dont want is a leadoff hitter with a low OBP and Blanco to me looks like the best option as we speak. Ill be glad if Anderson and Schafer tell another story.

TnBrian

February 22nd, 2009
1:49 pm

mbatl, I think you and even myself are blowing Chipper’s remarks out of proportion a little. I’m sure he didn’t just come out and say, “you know, Diaz has been around for awhile and has never shown me or anybody that he has what it takes to be an everyday player, so we need a guy like Nady”. He’s saying more of what the team, including Cox has been saying all offseason that a run producing LF would definitely help. Diaz is not and will never be a power hitter that you can put in between Chipper/Mac. He’s just not. Nady or Swisher are, especially Nady who doesn’t K nearly as much. Yeah, he and B.Jones might turn out to be enough, but I doubt it.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
1:50 pm

KC, in fact, has Ted been thawed out yet? May be the first coming!

TennesseePaul

February 22nd, 2009
1:50 pm

Gotta agree with DOB on Anderson. No way that guy gets $6 million. If that is what he is holding out for.. he’ll be holding for a long long time.

I don’t like the idea of Nady even if we could afford to pay him. I don’t like one year rentals (especially of Boras clients) and his track record is somewhat spotty at best

This doesn’t leave many options as any signing of Edmunds, Anderson or anyone else is a one year rental. And Swisher, signed for three more years has a lack luster track record.

I’d rather sign than trade at this point. I can’t think of any quality player who’d be available via trade for cheep any way. As to how much money the team has… I’m thinking it is less than $5-6 million but that’s just a guess…

Coxlover

February 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

Chop Chop, if Chipper gets traded the Braves will lose a lot of fans.

bigchiefrg

February 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

We need to sober up to the fact that Ted Turner is not the owner anymore and we are not in the midst of a 14 straight division title run. Look at Texas this year for instance. They have 3 possibly 4 guys who will be very key portions of their team this year, all from the teixiera trade.

I hope FW is smart enough to learn from this mistake and see that it would be absolutely REDICULOUS to trade a bunch of great prospects to the evil empire for Nady or Swisher. Our organization needs to be run more like Tampa and Minn, not the NY’s or Boston.

STAY AWAY FROM SWISHER, NADY, or ANDERSON!!!!!!!!

C's

February 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm

I think people are overrating Nady as well. Even Chipper. I think he is a decent player, but no where near worth what it’ll take to get him. Not to mention he’ll be a one year rental.

TennesseePaul

February 22nd, 2009
1:55 pm

What is this Chipper Trade talk? Just last week there was news of a Chipper extension. Did something change? If not, I don’t see Chipper being traded.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:56 pm

C’s, I think folks like you and mbatl might be UNDERrating Nady a bit. However, I agree that the Braves shouldn’t trade the farm for a Nady or a Swisher. And I don’t think they will. The Yankees just aren’t motivated sellers, which means we’d have to overpay for Nady.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
1:56 pm

TennesseePaul, Chipper CAN’T be traded unless he wants to be. 10-5 powers. He can block any trade.

TennesseePaul

February 22nd, 2009
2:00 pm

KC… I don’t think the 10-5 would be an issue. Chipper has said in the past he’d work with the team if that was their request. I’m saying I don’t think the team will try to trade him. There’s no point in it.

PTBNL

February 22nd, 2009
2:05 pm

It’s kind of like the arguments about the young guys is a moot point because it is based on what has been shown so far (the past) which is such a small sampling. It seems to me that our hope is that at least one, if not two, of the young guys starts to click. Which would mean that they do not play according to what we have seen in the past, but at a different level. It would be great if either Anderson or Blanco would come around to a higher level and if Jones would join the club. Such a combination would be great.

But it seems also that if there is no “clicking” the Braves will have more pressure to do something else in order to improve the line up. Each of the guys bring something to the table, but it seems pretty unanimous that none of them (according to their past) brings enough to get excited about. The question before the Braves is who are they (each of these young outfielders) this year.

What is nice is that we have a good infield, a good starting rotation, a good catcher, a prospectively good bullpen and a good bench. And even with what we have, we have a good defensive outfield. So to have the weakness of offense in the outfield as the major hole in the team is a great step forward from the last few years.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

KC

February 22nd, 2009
2:05 pm

Our first look at the ‘09 Braves is only 4 days away!!!

ESPN will televise the Braves second spring training game of the preseason this Thursday, the 26th, at 1pm East.

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

February 22nd, 2009
2:06 pm

Gregor Blanco’s odds of making the team are steep.

Cox will almost certainly carry four main outfielders. Francoeur and Diaz are locked in. Even though we might see Infante and Norton play some in LF and CF, they should be considered part of the the usual seven infielders that Cox carries on his 25 man roster. Infante will serve as the Braves utility player while Norton will pinch hit and back up Kotchman at 1B.

Leaving two spots to fill in the outfield. Josh Anderson is out of options and represents the only source of speed and base stealing ability to be found on the team. Unless he really stinks it up in spring training, Anderson will make the team.

Leaving Jordan Schafer, Brandon Jones and Gregor Blanco to fight it out over the last remaining roster spot available. I think we all know who has the inside track on it.

mbatl

February 22nd, 2009
2:07 pm

Chipper will be signed to an extension before opening day. Mark it down. Book it. End of story. (well, at least that’s what I think will probably happen)

BravoMan

February 22nd, 2009
2:08 pm

Bowman thinks the Braves are still thinking of Anderson according to his new blog. It would make since to me, and if we wanted to get a right handed bat at the deadline it could happen too. Anderson won’t cost much at all.

Doc Holiday

February 22nd, 2009
2:08 pm

Lew
He did strikeout a lot, but an out is an out,specially if you are leading the game, there is no one on base to advance. He worked the count,you have to like that.

Blanco did strikeout 99 times in 430 AB, thats once every 4.34 AB. But What about Anderson? 33 K in 136 AB? thats once every 4.12 AB. In my math that looks a little worse. Not to mention only 8 walks in 136 AB, that doesnt sound good to me either.

AdirondackDave

February 22nd, 2009
2:09 pm

Coxlover — Thanks for that work. Can you do a little more math and project where he might be in, say, 4 more years when he may be seriously thinking about packing it in?

KC

February 22nd, 2009
2:10 pm

TennPaul, I agree. It would be a terrible idea – on many different levels – to trade Chipper, and I don’t think they’re considering it in the slightest.

DiamondbackMac

February 22nd, 2009
2:11 pm

Lew Hope you don’t mind, but I just sent you a joke I think you’ll appreciate.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2009
2:12 pm

Should be a NEW BLOG UP, with headline about Chipper calling Hanson a No. 1 starter

Coxlover

February 22nd, 2009
2:13 pm

Does anyone know if all the Braves spring training games will be on radio ?

C's

February 22nd, 2009
2:15 pm

I just think people are looking at what Nady did last year and forgetting what he did the previous years. Again, I don’t think he’s a bad player, just not the guy that will put us over the top. And unless we can get someone to put us over the top, I don’t want to trade what it will take to get him.

The one thing that I will say he has going for him, is that it is his contract year. And we all know how guys usually perform in a contract year.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 22nd, 2009
2:16 pm

KC, I will be at that game…I can’t wait!

twinbrave

February 22nd, 2009
2:17 pm

Braves fans just sit back and enjoy the first month or two of baseball. I hope the Braves don’t sign any available free agents at this point and I hope FW gets some patience; a good trade deal will be available by May. That’s if our young guys can’t get the job done.

There are plenty of teams with 4 starting outfielders and they will be willing to trade one of them, especially if this economy does not improve. These teams will feel the pain of their salaries.

AdirondackDave

February 22nd, 2009
2:19 pm

As for trading Chipper, that makes no sense at all. He’s a bargain now and will be when he signs an extension. Did I mention he’s one of the most productive players in MLB? Unless you value other teams prospects so highly that you are willing to write off the next few years (which makes no sense since we have outstanding prospects right now who will blossom in ‘10-’11), forget letting Chipper go. He’s the veteran rock that you build these hot-shot youngsters around.

Richie

February 22nd, 2009
2:20 pm

I just read on Bowman’s Blog that it doesn’t look like Anderson will be platooning in CF. Anderson said after talking with Mr. Cox, they just have a simple game plan against lefties. Here is the link from Bowman’s Blog: http://markbowman.mlblogs.com/. It is in the piece that says Kawakami’s Impressions.

Richie

February 22nd, 2009
2:23 pm

I mean assuming Josh Anderson wins the CF job in spring training. I meant to add that part.

Richie

February 22nd, 2009
2:29 pm

With that #7 pick in this year’s draft, I think we should attempt to draft prospect who can play the infield, 3rd base or a SS we can convert into a 3rd baseman. I said a while ago if the Braves didn’t have intentions on extending Chipper, then they might’ve attempted to talk to the Pirates about their top 3rd base prospect Neil Walker, who is of similar build in height, weight and attributes to Chipper. Since they are discussing an extension now, I think drafting the top infielding prospect and converting him would be the best option.

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
2:30 pm

DOB, if somebody in the rotation gets hurt this year do you think Hanson will be first in line to join the rotation..or do we have to go through morton,reyes etc. again

KC

February 22nd, 2009
2:32 pm

The case for Garrett Anderson:

- HE CAN HIT. A .296 career hitter, Anderson can still put the bat on the ball. He hit .293 last year, and unlike Griffey, he can handle lefties (.290 vs. lefties / .293 vs. righties).

- HE’S STILL A SOLID RUN PRODUCER as his 84 RBI in ‘08 would attest. While he has lost much of his once considerable power, he still has pop… connecting for 15 homers last year.

- DEFENSE: Yes, his range is diminished, but not as severely as a someone else stated here in a recent post. He can still span left-field just fine. AND Anderson has made 2 errors in his last 261 games.

- SOLID PLATOON PARTNER: Anderson hit 14 of his 15 homers last year off right-handed pitching, while Diaz has shown nice pop off of lefties. Put those two in a LF platoon, and you’re likley to get the following from left field: A .300+ average, 15-20 homers, 75-90 RBI

- WHY NOT? He should fit within the Braves budget just fine. He’s still a solid player, and for 2-3 million on a one-year deal… why not???

If you’ve got Anderson/Diaz in left field, you’ve got 4 positions (LF, SS, 2B, 1B) from which you can expect a .280-305 average, 13-20 homers, and at least 65 RBI… to go along with Chipper, McCann, and Francoeur.

If you add Anderson and get a rebound from Francoeur… that’s a nice lineup folks.

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
2:33 pm

Richie, i couldnt agree with you more.

Andrew

February 22nd, 2009
2:34 pm

richie-about the draft pick

CVan

February 22nd, 2009
3:03 pm

Is GA a type B free agent? If he is, was he offered arbitration?

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

February 22nd, 2009
4:00 pm

Garrett Anderson does NOT give the Braves a right handed slugger between Chipper and Mac. Anderson hits LEFT. Of course he could always HIT THIRD and let Chipper serve as that elusive RH hitter in the no. 4 slot.

If one of the rookies makes the team as a platoon with Diaz you still don’t have a RH hitter to follow Chipper. Nady is about the only choice to hit in the clean-up spot and satisfy Chipper or could it be Francoeur? He does hit Right and Chipper thinks he will fit the bill this year. If he is correct that will serve to solidify a lot of situations.

That will leave LF & CF up for grabs. I just don’t see Blanco with a .260 BA and .304 SLG avg making this team as an outfielder. He drew a lot of walks last year but that is not driving in runs. I would much rather believe that either Brandon Jones or Josh Anderson will wind up with the platoon job with Diaz and would likely put Schafer in CF. If they decide to send Schafer down for the beginning of the year and start J. Anderson then he will be in CF and B. Jones in Left with Diaz.

It makes sense. Who among those will Blanco beat out? None in my opinion.

Point to remember, the Braves CANNOT solve the RH hitter in the cleanup slot problem and fill the platoon slot with Diaz with the same man. So if they trade for Nady just where are they going to play him? LF, obviously and then where does that leave Diaz AND B. Jones? Blanco will be left at the starting gate with such a move and Schafer will start in Gwinnett and J. Anderson will start in CF. Any move they make is going to really complicate things. This is one can of worms alright.

Possibilities:
Frenchy RF
J. Anderson CF
Diaz/B. Jones LF

OR:
Frenchy RF
Schafer CF
Diaz/J. Anderson LF

Or:
Frenchy RF
J. Anderson CF
Nady LF

Or:
Frenchy RF
J. Anderson CF
G. Anderson/Diaz LF

And then who bats 4th when Diaz plays?

The best thing that could possibly happen would be for Frenchy to come forth and show everyone he can bat cleanup.

Almost any way you slice it Blanco is a goner.

I don’t envy Bobby Cox having to make these decisions although I don’t think he will have any trouble making them.

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

February 22nd, 2009
4:05 pm

Steve McP

Take your pick. I like my choice but you can certainly justify any of many choices.

Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism jokingly taken to mean “don’t let the bastards grind you down”.

There are many variants of the phrase, such as

Nil illegitimi carborundum.
Non illegitimis carborundum.
Illegitimi nil carborundum.
Non illegitimi carborundum.
Nil bastardo carborundum.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
Illegitimis non carborundum.
Illegitimus non carborundum est.
Nil illegitimo in desperandum carborundum
Nil carborundum illegitamae

CT in AL

February 22nd, 2009
4:09 pm

AJC just sent me a txt that G. Anderson just signed a 1 year deal w/ the Braves. I thought FW was going to give the young guys a shot but i dont blame them for keeping these negotiations quiet.

Mark B (MEB)

February 24th, 2009
9:06 am

Just experimenting :) :smile: ;) :wink: :mad:

keylargo

October 4th, 2009
1:47 pm

Add your comment