Night game for surging Bravos

 
  Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – The surging Braves have a night game at Dark Star, which meant last night was an all-night swingin’ soiree at the AJC rental mansion here in picturesque Kissimmee.
  Or not.
  Actually, I fell asleep watching Damages at about 10:30 p.m., a couple hours after driving back from Port St. Lucie, where the Braves won yet again (ho hum, right?) as they move closer to clinching the coveted Grapefruit League title.
  (Fortunately, they replay Damages on FX in early-morning hours, and I woke at about 1 or 2 and the show was in almost the same spot where I fell asleep watching it hours earlier. I kid you not. So I finished watching it.)

Glenn Close = good Damage

Glenn Close = good Damage

   We’ll get this blog up now and update you later today with news on rehabbing guys and WBC pitchers returning to camp, when they’ll see their next Grapefruit League action and all that.
  Meanwhile, about that mythical title…. We mention the Grapefruit League title sort of sarcastically, because it ain’t gonna mean much if the Braves leave here with the best record in spring training, then stumble out of the gate.
  And regardless of what happens, these wins (and losses) will be forgotten by the time the team leaves Philly after its season-opening series that begins Sunday night, April 5).
  That said, it’s certainly better to win all these games than to lose like the Houston Astros. You can develop a losing culture when you’re getting beat every day, day after day, the way the ‘Stros are. Especially if you’ve got a young team, or had questions coming into camp about your ability to conted.
  They’ve won one spring-training game, the Astros. One!
  The Braves are 14-3 in Grapefruit League play, and 16-3 with wins against WBC teams included. They’ve won 11 of their past 12 games against major league squads, and 13 of 14 including the wins against Panama and Venezuela.
   But it’s not so much the wins as what the Braves are doing TO win. And the major injuries they’ve avoided (a side strain for Chipper, who might be back by this weekend, and a strained calf for Garret Anderson, who could be playing sometime next week, are not major injuries, nothing like the stuff the Braves have endured in recent springs).
   As for what they’re doing to win, they’re getting plenty of hitting, mostly solid defense, and outstanding pitching, particularly from their starters (1.93 ERA in the past 12 games). They have the best team ERA (2.86) and the best team batting average (.302) in the National League, and that’s including teams in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
  Actually, their team ERA is a full run lower than the NL’s next-best.
   Granted, several teams have been without their top starters, such as the dismal Astros (Roy Oswalt is with Team USA) and the Padres (Jake Peavy is with Team USA, not quite matching the performance of hunting pal Oswalt).
  The Braves have been without Javier Vazquez, who pitched well for Puerto Rico, and Jorge Campillo, who was solid for Mexico. We’ll let you know later today what the plans are for those guys in the coming days.
  Bobby Cox had said before yesterday’s game that Vazquez would throw an intrasquad game today at Champion Stadium, but changed his mind after talking it over with pitching coach Roger McDowell. The Braves announced late yesterday afternoon that there’d be no intrasquad game today.
A few leftover quotes from the past week:
  – Tommy Hanson yesterday at Jupiter, where a few New York writers were the latest to ask the Braves’ top-rated pitching prospect about what it feels like to be the center of so much baseball buzz this spring, and whether he believes he can win a spot in the starting rotation and if he can win now in the bigs:
   “I’m just going to go out and throw,” he said. “Wherever they want to send me, that’s where I’m going to go. If I do get to Atlanta at some point in the year, obviously the goal would be to try to win games….
  ”I’m just going out, just trying to staty healthy, trying to get ready for the season. It’s one of those things where I don’t get to dictate that. They tell me where to go. My goal is just to be healthy and get ready for the season, and wherever they send me.”Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
   As for the buzz: “Really it’s just kind of cool to hear my name and hear people talking about me. But I just go out every day and, I know I’ve still got a long ways to go to get better, still got a lot of stuff to learn to pitch in the big leagues and to be successful. So I think when it comes to that stuff, I kind of just let it go in one ear and right out the other, just because I know I’ve got a long ways to go and a lot of stuff to work on.
   But, he was asked, could he help the team now, if he was in the rotation to start the season or soon after? Here’s where the big kid’s confidence prevailed.
   “I think with what I’ve got right now, I feel like I could go out and get whoever’s in the box out with what I’ve got,” he said. “I’ve still got things to work on, but as far as that goes, I feel confident with what I’ve got right now that I could go out and do well.”
Most who’ve seen him this spring, and last fall in Arizona, would agree….
  – Jordan Schafer, after facing Jo-Jo Reyes’ changeup in an intrasquad game Monday (Reyes is throwing it to lefty hitters this spring, something not many lefty pitchers do). “If he would have thrown that with two strikes, I would’ve swung through it,” Schafer said. “I mean, you don’t ever see that really, lefty-lefty changeup. He don’t have to use it a lot, just once in a while, just as another pitch to put in the back of their mind, especially with two strikes. It’s not a changeup that kind of goes where a lefty likes, where it’s going to drop on the [bat]head. It’s kind of like a four-seamer that just drops down.”…
  – Derek Lowe after his Saturday start, on gauging how feels and if he feels ready for the season: “I firmly believe hitters will tell you how good your stuff is. I don’t care what I think my stuff is. Hitters will tell you, especially later in spring training when you’re facing more regular guys.
   “So, you know, the results are letting me know I’m doing fine, if that makes any sense. Whereas if I was going out there giving up six or seven runs every game, that’d be a different story.”
   On whether starting opening day still is a big thing for him (it’s assumed he’s the Braves’ opening day starter, though Bobby Cox hasn’t announced anything): “He [Cox] hasn’t even spoken with any of us about it, so it’s kind of hard to say where and when you’re going to pitch,” Lowe said. “But opening day is always exciting. [He smiles.] My last two have been horrendous.
    ”We’ll talk about that whenever he decides what’s going to happen.”…
   Finally, Lowe on his overall impression of his first Braves camp: “It’s fantastic. I’ve said since Day 1, he [Cox] allows you to do your routine. So I’ve been doing my regular-season routine in between each start the last three weeks. So that makes it easy. Instead of, ‘everyone’s got to run on Tuesday, we’re going to run 10 poles,’ he knows you’re going to get your work in. It’s kind of hard to complain when a guy lets you do your regular routine.”…
  – Casey Kotchman on not having a 40-homer type guy in the lineup: “We didn’t really have anybody that could hit 40 over there [with his former team, the L.A. Angels]. When you have guys that can take extra bases, hit balls to the gaps, the home runs are overrated. You’ll take them any time because it’s instant runs on the board, and obviously as a lineup we would like to him ‘em, and who knows maybe we will. But when you don’t have name guys who are established who’ve done it, it’s moot.
   “You need to have quality at-bats with guys on base. Pitchers can pitch to guys with a lot of holes in their swings who are going to hit a lot of homers. They know if they make their pitches, guys make outs. Whereas if you can hit, they know they’ve got to work, especially with guys on base. We just need to put the guys out there.”
    OK, enough baseball talk. Let’s talk sleep patterns, etc: Just to expound upon something I was saying this morning on the other blog to a question from Chris from the Rock, about why or how some people (including me) post at 3 or 4 a.m.: My sleep patterns during spring training are stupid. Illogical. Unhealthy.
  I’ll fall asleep at 10 o’clock sitting in this uncomfortable loveseat chair thing that doesn’t face the TV. Rather than angle it toward the TV, which would be too easy, I’ll instead sit in it sideways, with my legs on top of one chair arm. I’ll wake up at 1:30 with my leg feeling like it’s been amputated, it’s so numb from being almost hyperextended and blood flow cut off for 3-1/2 hours.
   Then I’ll hobble around for 10 minutes, literally wondering if I might have done permanent damage this time. I’ll sit up for a while, read the comments, post one or two, watch the third or fourth replay of SportsCenter, read part of a magazine, fall asleep again literally while flossing my teeth watching the second half of an NBA game replay on ESPN, and wake two hours later with floss wrapped around my finger so tight that it’s as numb as my leg was earlier.
   By now it’s 5:30 a.m. and my alarm’s going to go off in 45 minutes or so. So to complete my idiot’s cycle of [non] sleep, I’ll typically just decide to stay awake and make coffee.
  And if that’s more information than anyone needs, well, sorry. I’m loopy and cranky from no real sleep. Point is, this lifestyle, or my approach to this lifestyle, to spring training, isn’t conducive to normal human existence. But caffeine and adrenaline, and Padrons and Cohibas, make things better.
   Besides, it’ll be back to normal soon, when the regular season begins, and I can resume my regular pattern going to bed at 3 a.m. and waking at 9 a.m., like a regular person. What’s that? Whaddya mean?
  Going back to Atlanta for the weekend, last couple of days off before we go into the final stretch and directly into the season opener at Philly, etc. Can’t watch Kansas play in the NCAA tournament while on Disney grounds or within sight of Disney property, as its resulted in a list of dismal upsets in the past, ranging from both of those first-round NCAA tourney exits a few years back, to the loss to Baylor the other day in the Big 12 tourney (made the mistake of putting it on in the pressbox TV at Dark Star, figuring no way the curse could affect my boys in a second-round Big 12 tourney game vs. Baylor).
   Anyway, while home I’m gonna try to a little more reconnaissance in the mission to establish a new blog CD/record store. We can only mourn Ella Guru’s demise for so long, have to turn to the page and find another purveyor of quality music. Gotta get the new CDs by Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Atlanta’s own Black Lips (who happen to be playing here in downtown Orlando on March 30 at The Social, along with another stellar Atlanta band, Gentlemen Jesse & His Men).
   I’m leaning toward giving our much-sought (yeah, right) endorsement to Wuxtry Records (I’m talking about the one by Emory, not far from my house, but you near Athens, Ga., can enjoy the larger store over there). Always loved the cramped, old-school, dusty-record-bin feel of the place, the one on North Decatur Road.
   When I went in there a couple of weeks ago, the guy behind the counter struck up a conversation when I asked for the new Neko Case CD,and and next thing you know, the dude’s burning me a copy of the hard-to-get third CD from Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8. The two discs in the regular package are outstanding, but the third, which they only made available in a special overpriced package with a coffee-table book you’d probably look at twice, is even better. And the guy burned me a copy of it, and he would’ve burned you one, too, if you were there (he doesn’t know me, I don’t know him, I never mentioned what I did for a living or anything like that, because I never do anyway, because I hate talking about Braves baseball when I’m in a record store, unless it’s with Don, who knows how to do it painlessly).
  If you have the time, here’a a link  by brother sent me to a a good read on a dude, James McMurtry, who in the past decade has moved to the very top of my list of favorite singer-songwriters, as most of you know by now:   http://www.slate.com/id/2213709/

 

  Alright, that’s it. Gotta wrap this up and write a Yunel Escobar story for tomorrow. Here’s a ditty from Mr. Waits’ terrific Small Change album.

“THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING (NOT ME)” by Tom Waits

The piano has been drinking, my necktie is asleep
And the combo went back to New York, the jukebox has to take a leak
And the carpet needs a haircut, and the spotlight looks like a prison break
And the telephone’s out of cigarettes, and the balcony is on the make
And the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking…

And the menus are all freezing, and the light man’s blind in one eye
And he can’t see out of the other
And the piano-tuner’s got a hearing aid, and he showed up with his mother
And the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking
As the bouncer is a Sumo wrestler cream-puff casper milktoast
And the owner is a mental midget with the I.Q. of a fence post
‘Cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking…

And you can’t find your waitress with a Geiger counter
And she hates you and your friends and you just can’t get served without her
And the box-office is drooling, and the bar stools are on fire
And the newspapers were fooling, and the ashtrays have retired
‘Cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me

 

829 comments Add your comment

KC

March 19th, 2009
12:26 pm

—- OPENING DAY VIEWING PARTY ——

Just a reminder for those in the ATL area. Open invitation:

Sunday, April 5th 7:45 pm

Jack N Jill’s at the Galleria Mall (near intersection of N 285 & I-75).

If you’d like to join us this year, just email me at kccjr1@gmail.com

Thrillhouse44

March 19th, 2009
12:27 pm

Is there a golden grapefruit trophy for title winners?

AJ

March 19th, 2009
12:29 pm

Thanks for the blogs, DOB! Always a reader, seldom a poster from Augusta.

dogsbrekky

March 19th, 2009
12:30 pm

Please do NOT watch KU and curse them DOBi One Knobi as they are a big part of my bracket……

Go ‘heels !

KC

March 19th, 2009
12:32 pm

Anders, to answer your question from the previous blog… I’m not sure about last year. I think the Mets were better than the Phillies in 2007 though (or should have been).

And for the record, I think the Mets are a little better than the Phillies, on paper of course, this year.

Most people pick the Phillies to win the division, and I think people are a little too impressed by them. They won 92 games last year. But if it weren’t for the season the Braves had and the way the Braves played against Phili (don’t remember exact head to head record, but Phili won nearly every game)… they wouldn’t have even hit 90 wins. And this team isn’t significantly different from last year’s team.

The Mets were tailgating the Phillies last year, and that was with a gaping hole (the bullpen) in the bottom of the boat. The Mets have not fixed that hole, significantly improving their team, while the Phillies did little to improve their roster. Advantage Mets.

Having said that, I think the Braves – again, on paper – look every bit as good as the Mets right now. NY has an offensive edge over ATL (though I think the Braves offense is going to be better than people think), but the Braves have the edge in the pitching dept.

David O'Brien

March 19th, 2009
12:32 pm

dogsbrekky, the curse only applies when i watch in sight of or on disney property, read the note. They win when I watch anywhere else.

Anders

March 19th, 2009
12:33 pm

DOB- Well those sleeping locations and patterns explains your always cheery disposition.

KC

March 19th, 2009
12:34 pm

OOPS… meant to say the Mets have NOW fixed that hole…

dogsbrekky

March 19th, 2009
12:37 pm

Excellent then, I have Louisville winning it all

GermanBravesFan

March 19th, 2009
12:38 pm

DOB – I was going to say/write something about your sleep patterns when I was at work today and saw you posting at 4 a.m. I guess I may have been the only one awake at that time since it was 9 a.m. and I was at work. well… wait… I was at work but I wasn’t awake. My bad!

Anders

March 19th, 2009
12:39 pm

KC- First of all, the Phils are a really good team. They have grit. Something I need to see from my Mets. Time will tell. I think you’re selling the Phils short. I’d watch for Rollins to have another MVP type year. He looks absolutely locked in at the WBC. He’s got 2 or 3 more top years in him and I think he’s gonna put the petal to the metal. Utley was half speed the whole second half so if he’s slowed in the first half this year so what? Hamels health is a huge key.

As for you saying the Braves are every bit as good as the Mets. I disagree. Let’s leave it at that as we will never bridge that gap. We can use the season for that.

Jeff321

March 19th, 2009
12:41 pm

The Braves have done really well this spring. However, most of the players driving in the runs and stealing bases are going to be in the minors.. Just something to think about.

In other words, we’re going back to the past — More waiting on that 3 run homer. Hopefully it’ll pan out better than the last 3 years, eh?

MFin04

March 19th, 2009
12:47 pm

Mets better than the Phillies on paper? Lol what paper the NY Times? The Mets choked while the Phillies won the world series.

MFin04

March 19th, 2009
12:48 pm

What was the Mets vs Braves W/L last year against each other?

Todo

March 19th, 2009
12:51 pm

Kotchman’s quote reminds me of Kelly Johnson. Speaking of which, with all the left handed bats in the lineup, what is with all the continued talk about trading Marteeeen? It’s not going to happen, but my question is, why Prado, and not Johnson? This will be the 3rd straight spring Prado will put up better spring numbers, not to mention his better numbers last season, and his great year in Richmond in ‘07.

It just makes sense 2nd would be the easiest position to flip a left-handed guy for a right handed one. Prado, relating him to Kotchman’s quote, appears to be a more quality (and consistent) bat and with runners on, and has less holes in his swing. His added BP power this spring marginalizes Kelly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to have both players because it strengthens our bench. However, the blog always speaks of Johnson’s “potential” as if he’s the next coming of Utely, and wants to throw Prado away via trade because of it. There’s no trade that will net the braves anything they need at this point, so why mention it? If there is a trade that’s going to be made, it will be trading the excess pitching for prospects.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
12:51 pm

When you have had the chance to choke 14 straight years in September, then come calling

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
12:58 pm

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) – New York Mets catcher Brian Schneider is out indefinitely with a strained right calf.
Schneider was a late scratch from Wednesday’s game after waking up with pain and stiffness behind and above his right knee. He underwent an MRI.

Novice Ned

March 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

What’s the latest on Gonzo’s arm strength/fastball? Is he throwing it as hard as Soirano these days?

Bigchiefrg

March 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

Did Morton go to Crash Davis’ class on how to give an interview? How boring. He needs to fire a shot across Chipper’s bow about being hurt (ala smoltzie). Then I’d be impressed

ncscoots

March 19th, 2009
1:06 pm

This will be the 3rd straight spring Prado will put up better spring numbers, not to mention his better numbers last season, and his great year in Richmond in ‘07.

Not again. Whose turn is it?

MFin04

March 19th, 2009
1:06 pm

Is Chipper going to be the next Smoltzie?

stupup74

March 19th, 2009
1:07 pm

It is important to note that the numbers in spring training this year have been set by folks probably starting in the minors at the start of the year. We braves fans better be careful in getting our hopes up, because the spring results may not boad well for this year….it boads extremely well for late this year, next year, and years after that.

That said, the braves have a chance to be a better team than that have been for the last three years. The other thing to remember is for once we have hope on the farm that is close to the big leagues. It is a good time to be a braves fan.

Step right up

March 19th, 2009
1:08 pm

Everybody’s a winner. I saw Waits tour the Small Change album at the Bottom Line in NYC when it came out in 1976. Great venue, great performance, great show. I am more impressed with his work now than ever. I am listening to his Glitter and Doom show recorded in Atlanta last June on NPR. Doesn’t get much better.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92916923

Go Braves! Winning without Chipper, McCann or GAnderson. Not bad.

MiamiBrave

March 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

Just reading something online and I believe the Nationals signed Joe Beimel.

DOB is Ohman still unemployed haven’t heard about him in a while? And I don’t mean in relation to Bravos, just wondering if he’s still unemployed?

O’Flaherty looks like he might be coming along nicely

Bigchiefrg

March 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

I meant Hanson…not morton

ruined my own d@m joke

mbatl

March 19th, 2009
1:10 pm

Todo, until and unless the Braves add a strong backup 3B, Prado is right where he needs to be… backing up 2B and 3B for the Braves. I don’t understand anyone suggesting we trade him (and you didn’t), when we know Chipper is likely to miss time, and Prado is by far our best backup for him.

Not gonna go into the Prado vs. KJ debate… that’s a worn out topic, and it’s clear that KJ is the starting 2B.

Anyway, Martin will get plenty of playing time and is a very valuable part of the team.

MFin04

March 19th, 2009
1:11 pm

Leave lefties off the bullpen roster… there is no need. Just get righties who can get people out.

glorydays

March 19th, 2009
1:11 pm

DOB WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT JORDAN ZIMMERMAN WITH THE NATS, HOW DOES HE COMPARE TO HANSON AS A PROSPECT?

DAP

March 19th, 2009
1:13 pm

scoots

why dont you go ahead and take this one?

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:13 pm

NY fans are so lost……..Theres an ESPN poll going on asking which SS should USA start in the semis and the only states that think Derek Jeter is aa better option than JRo are..NY, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana and Oklahoma. That kind of says it all.

ncscoots

March 19th, 2009
1:14 pm

He needs to fire a shot across Chipper’s bow about being hurt (ala smoltzie). Then I’d be impressed

Yes, passively-aggressively trashing a veteran teammate publicly is always the best way to win friends, influence people, and nail down a big-league roster spot.

As I remember, it was Smoltz who went DL after that little bit of sniping. Oops.

Danga

March 19th, 2009
1:14 pm

DOB…I need you to watch that game on Disney territory…The North Dakota State Bison are my Cinderella team this year.

ncscoots

March 19th, 2009
1:15 pm

scoots, why dont you go ahead and take this one?

Gave it up for Lent; somebody else will have to give it a go.

dmack2027

March 19th, 2009
1:15 pm

Assuming Hanson forces his way into the rotation at some point this year, what will the Braves do next year.

Lowe, JJ, Hudson, Hanson, Kawakami, and Vazquez. That does not even take into account Jojo and Charlie (who have fairly high ceilings) and Jorge Campillo.

Who are the odd men out next year?

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:16 pm

MLH – I just want to be clear here…are you saying you a) admit that your team choked away 13 out of 14 chances, and b) that you’re proud of it? As I said, I just want to be clear. Because you may very well just have won the title for Weakest Trash Talker of All-Time.

David O'Brien

March 19th, 2009
1:18 pm

Step Right Up: I was at that Waits show in Atlanta at the Fox, one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. So was the show a couple years earlier at the Tabernacle.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:19 pm

I’m saying I would rather have my team have the chance to win the series every year and not win it, than my team to never get the chance to win it at all, like the Mets

RC

March 19th, 2009
1:20 pm

glorydays,

What I’ve read about Zimmermann is that he’s got a ceiling of a #2-3 starter. The knock on him is that he’s more of a very good pitcher than a dominant one….Baseball Prospectus says he lacks, “one knockout offering to project as an upper-tier talent.” But he is similar to Hanson in that he has 4 different pitches that he can throw for strikes. He sounds like Hanson-lite to me.

DAP

March 19th, 2009
1:22 pm

reality winning the division every year for 14 years is not choking. thats playing winning baseball, something the mets and their fans have little experience with.

while winning the world series is the overall goal, a team is not a failure if it doesnt win it all. the braves won 14 division titles and won the NL 5 times in the 90s. they accomplished a heck of alot despite winning only one world series, and while im sure they (and us fans) are disappointed, they (and we) have nothing to be ashamed about. there are 29 teams that wish they had the success the braves had during their 14 year title run.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:22 pm

MLH – Okay, I think I understand now. You have no problem with your team choking away 13 out of 14 chances to win the Series. And, to clarify, the Mets have won two World Series. Two.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:24 pm

DAP – So, you think that during each one of those 13 elimination games the Braves lost over the years, they were celebrating in the clubhouse? I mean, according to you, they were winners, right?

Andy

March 19th, 2009
1:25 pm

dmack2027,

If anything happens like it did last year—all of them will pitch. I’m staying in this year—if I am still here for next year…..that would be a heck of a starting 5.

Lowe, Hudson, JJ, Hanson, KK

MFin04

March 19th, 2009
1:27 pm

Hanson for Closer!!!!

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:27 pm

When did the Mets last win the series?

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:27 pm

dmack2027,
We might give one of those pitchers as charity to the muts, they need it more than us.

Andre "Pulpwood" Smith

March 19th, 2009
1:28 pm

James McMurtry is tremendous! One of my lesser dreams is seeing Springsteen cover McMurtry’s “Can’t Make It Here Anymore.”

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:28 pm

I would always choose for my team to be playing in October, than sitting at home with no hope at all

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:29 pm

MLH,
Muts won the WS for the last time in 1969. We all know Buckner won it for them in 86.

mbatl

March 19th, 2009
1:29 pm

DOB, anything to report on Escobar? Seems to me he’s had a pretty quiet and mediocre spring… no XBH, no stolen base attempts, slugging pct = his batting average (.273)… just seems (statistically) like he’s not really tuned in. Or maybe just needs a breakout game or two.

That’s okay, really… maybe just working into shape. Just haven’t heard much at all about him this spring.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:30 pm

MLH – If you want to start that, you’ll have to look through a pretty long lens for the Braves last championship as well. It wasn’t yesterday, you know. Of course, you are right on the cusp of the Grapefruit League title.

Salamander

March 19th, 2009
1:30 pm

Anders – agree with you regarding Rollins. He has looked great in the WBC, and I bet he has a monster season this year.

Hamels + 2009 “Verducci Effect” listing = ST elbow problems?

Of course, Jurrjens is on that list as well…

toga party

March 19th, 2009
1:30 pm

Great song choice DOB. My computer gets drunk all the time.

Thanks for the link on the McMurtry story as well. Good reading.

“…he writes songs with the kind of offhanded quick wit and painfully bitter, cut-to-the-bone romantic remorse…” – That’s perfect.

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:31 pm

Braves better get to october this year if we want to keep that 14 consecutive titles argument since we have not done anything in the last 3 seasons.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:31 pm

It may not have been yesterday but at least it wasn’t 2 decades ago

Braint

March 19th, 2009
1:32 pm

Not that it means anything DOB but – I was hanging on the set of “The Cleaner” yesterday and Benjamin Bratt said he liked the Braves in the NL East because of their pitching depth. He’s a huge baseball fan and he even mentioned the new phenom Hanson.

I know, I know, he’s an actor but I thought it was an interesting tidbit.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:32 pm

Doc – I wasn’t aware that Buckner’s play gave the Mets four victories in that series. Can you tell me when they changed the rules?

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:33 pm

MLH – Yeah–just a decade and a half. That’s so much better.

KC

March 19th, 2009
1:34 pm

Anders, no I’m sure we’re not going to agree on Braves as compared to Mets. But if you’re truly confident that the Mets are a better team, I would have happy to entertain a friendly wager. If you’re interested (seriously), just email me. I posted my address for the viewing party at the top of page 1.

NRBQ

March 19th, 2009
1:35 pm

Not to quibble, DOB, with you or T.W., but it’s milquetoast.

That album is Waits’ best.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:35 pm

How many division and league championships have the mets won in the last 2 decades?

Taylor S

March 19th, 2009
1:36 pm

I am going to the game tonight. Any one know if I can just buy tickets when I get there ?

Random

March 19th, 2009
1:37 pm

Jeff321 (12:41 pm): “The Braves have done really well this spring. However, most of the players driving in the runs and stealing bases are going to be in the minors.. Just something to think about.”

Braves RBI Leaders — BJones (9), Prado (9), Diaz (8), Freeman (7), Francoeur (7), Infante (7), Norton (6), Johnson (5). Yep, AA/AAA for sure — at least 1 or 2 out of 8. That’s “most” in your world of imagineering, right?

Braves SB Leaders (all 5 of them) — Schafer (4), JAnderson (1), Diaz (1), Gorecki (1), Prado (1), all else (0) — great sample size you got there, genius.

“Just something to think about”?

Or just something for you to pretend make-believe with your feelings and emotions?

Random

March 19th, 2009
1:37 pm

Jeff321 (2:46 pm): “Am I suppose to forget all the terrible pitching he did last year? Who cares if he was good until fatigue set in? Its all about my last memories.”

So, what you’re saying is that you don’t actually THINK when it comes to baseball analysis and evaluation of players’ performance, you simply only FEEL.

Duly noted.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:38 pm

MLH – again, are you saying that division and league championships are what the Braves are shooting for? That you and your team are satisfied if you win the division but fail in the postseason?

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:38 pm

Reality………….truth does not hurt, it just feels like a stone in your shoes.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:40 pm

And what are the Mets shooting for? Never even making the playoffs?

northbeach Scott

March 19th, 2009
1:40 pm

:Shamus: Hiliarious post from the last blog. Made me smile. 8)

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:40 pm

Doc – that’s a pretty line, but how about answering the question?

ease19

March 19th, 2009
1:40 pm

Since 1960, the Mets have won two World Series, appeared in 4, 5 National League pennants and 5 National League Titles….in the last 39 years. Braves did at least that over the course of 14 years (minus a second Wold Series). Hmmmmmm, something stinks!

McGriff Justice Gant

March 19th, 2009
1:41 pm

DMack -

Depending on Hanson’s progress, I see the Braves releasing Huddy (though I would hate to see him go). My preference would be to look for a trade for Kawakami or Vazquez along with Morton or Jo-Jo for a power hitting OF. We could then see a projected starting squad of Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez or Kawakami, and Hanson. Just my opinion.

DAP

March 19th, 2009
1:41 pm

reality

stop being stupid. the braves had already done their celebrating, sometimes a couple of times, before getting eliminated. you only celebrate when you win something, which the braves did 20 times between 1991 and 2005.

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:41 pm

It will be interesting to see where would the muts end up if Santana blows his arm in april.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:42 pm

They would end up where they usually do. Not in the playoffs. Nothing special there.

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

DAP,

Stop being so cruel………please dont use numbers like 20………REALITY might only be able to count to 10, if we are lucky.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

MLH – I’ll try to make this clear for you. We’re all shooting for the same thing: The World Series championship. Falling short of that–by an inch, a foot, or a mile, is still failure. You, however, seem to think the Braves should be seen as champions because they kind of, almost, sort of won something more than a lot of other teams almost won. Just once, I’d love to see a Braves fan stand up and admit, “Yes, historically, we have sucked in the postseason.” That’s all. I honestly didn’t intend to come here and troll on this board today, but the blinders worn by some of the people here are just too thick sometimes.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

Doc – If, if, if….and I can see where this is going. You can’t support your arguments, so now you’re stooping to elementary-playground-type stuff such as “Reality can’t count, hee hee.” Pretty weak.

And DAP, you’re saying–if I get this straight–the Braves did win, right before they lost. Right?

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

I never said we didn’t suck in the postseason. All I said is I would always rather be in the postseason and have a chance to win it all, than not be there at all with no shot. Like the Mets

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:48 pm

Why can’t you just admit that the Braves have been way more successful than the Mets in the last 2 decades?

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:48 pm

McGriff Justice Gant,
I dont see the Braves releasing Huddy, he is the type of guy they love. Good player, good guy, quite, hard worker, good example for the kids, etc. I think Kawakami (or whatever his name is) leave before huddy.

To me it would look like this in 2010:

Lowe, JJ, Huddy, Hanson, Vazquez

Gibby

March 19th, 2009
1:48 pm

Don’t worry fella’s Reality is obviously a perfect example of what happens when “no child is left behind.” He can’t help it. the educational system failed him

BB FAN

March 19th, 2009
1:49 pm

Reality,

“Why do Braves fans always call the Mets “chokers” when the Braves are the ones who squandered 13 out of 14 post-season appearances? To me, that’s a much bigger choke. 14 chances to bring home a trophy, and ONE win. Talk about freezing hard….”

It’s true, the Braves have one championship from their run of 14 straight playoff appearances. What do the Mets have in the last 14 years? Any 14 year combination for that matter?

Everybody says the Braves choked because they only won one World Series, but what about the Mets? Are we to just excuse them because they weren’t even good enough to make the playoffs for a chance at a WS ring for 20 years? Do they get a free pass because they didn’t even have a chance to win a championship? I mean every team starts 0-0, right? I don’t want to hear a fan of a team like the Mets (with unlimited payroll funds) call the Braves chokers because they only won one WS in 15 years. The Mets didn’t even win once! So what does that make them? Especially when you consider the ‘07 season. The Mets had the biggest collapse in all sports…They had a division lead of like 7 games with like 15 to go and lost it.

Over the last 20 years, only the Yankees and maybe the Red Sox have bragging rights over the Braves (even if each has spent billions more than other teams). The Blue Jays won 2 WS in the 90’s and the Marlins have 2 WS wins since coming into the league, but neither of those teams have had the same success as the Braves year after year. The Braves’ organization is the one every team models itself after.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:50 pm

Okay, MLH, you’re halfway there. You admit the Braves suck in the postseason. Now, come all the way towards clear thinking. How is winning two World Series equal to not being in the postseason, with no chance to win it all? Do Mets fans wish they’d won more? Of course. But to say the Mets never have a chance to win it all when they have two trophies is just plain inaccurate.

DAP

March 19th, 2009
1:51 pm

reality let me put it simply since you are pretty dense. the braves have been champions 20 times since 1991. they are not and were not chokers.

(getting beat is not the same thing as choking)

ease19

March 19th, 2009
1:52 pm

Yes, historically, we have sucked in the postseason.

There, someone said it…Of course the goal at the beginning of the season is to win the World Series, but at the end, if you happen to fall short, well it happens, but 14 division titles is something to hang your hat on. And as a Braves Fan, every time I go to Turner Field and see those pennants hanging in the outfield, makes me dang proud to be lucky enough to be a Braves Fan!,

Maddux

March 19th, 2009
1:54 pm

Anyone know if XM has the game tonight? Im blocked from it here at work. Thanks

Bravesforever

March 19th, 2009
1:55 pm

LOL – the Braves are not releasing Huddy.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:55 pm

BB Fan: Again, the Mets have won two World Series titles. In a span of 17 years. I know you have an arbitrary cut-off point of 14 years, but I still say two in 17 is a lot better than 1 in 14. And I think perhaps you want to go back to the Turner years and check your team’s payroll before you start crying about the Mets.

ncscoots

March 19th, 2009
1:56 pm

I can’t believe you guys are letting someone still push your buttons over whether the Braves were “successful” in the post-season or not. And a Mets fan, at that. Be the grownup, here.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
1:56 pm

So, DAP – would you say losing a three-game lead in a division when your closer and one key starter are on the disabled list is choking or getting beat?

McFann :Ô:

March 19th, 2009
1:57 pm

Scoots Gave it up for Lent; somebody else will have to give it a go.

LOL! But it’s St. Joseph’s Feast Day, so you get a break! Go ahead!

;)

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:57 pm

Reality,

Losing against the best team of the american league in a WS is not choking. Losing against playoff teams is not choking. Letting division title slip away like muts did is choking.

Not to mention how they choke against the cards in 2006.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:57 pm

To have the name reality, you sure do lack any of it

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
1:59 pm

Starters just play one game every 5 days.

Closers just play 2 or 3 outs a game.

That would be choking.

MLH

March 19th, 2009
1:59 pm

And I would say 14 division titles in the last 2 decades is better than what? Two?

ease19

March 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

nccoots, but then there will be the guy that comes on saying to defend your turf…besides Reality is jut having a reality check…

Reality

March 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

nscoots – as I said, I didn’t come here to push any buttons. And, historically, I have a pretty strog distaste for trolls myself, so I honestly do apologize for stirring the pot here. I was just hoping for a little honest baseball discussion, and not the “We like the Braves and you’re stupid and dense” type stuff that I got instead. So, I’ll leave and let Doc and DAP go back to convincing themselves the Braves are twenty-time baseball champions. Thank you and goodnight.

keylargo

March 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

Here is a look at the Braves from the NY Post. Seems the Braves are impressing a few people.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03192009/sports/mets/brave_new_world_forms_in_atlanta_160260.htm

ncscoots

March 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

LOL! But it’s St. Joseph’s Feast Day, so you get a break! Go ahead!

McFann, you are absolutely correct. Thus, it will be only my strong character that keeps me from correcting ill-formed thinking, and thrashing the ruffian in the bargain, LOL.

Reality

March 19th, 2009
2:02 pm

Okay, I really do apologize, but I just have to say one more thing. Doc–closers just play two or three outs a game? So really, they’re not all that important to a team? Oh, man…thank you. Thank you so much for letting me know there was no point at all in trying to discuss baseball with you. And thanks for the great laugh. Goodbye all.

Doc Holiday

March 19th, 2009
2:02 pm

Thats more like it REALITY………now you are out of arguments and now you are gone. Way to go.

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