Amiable Matty D’s ready for whatever role

Atlanta+Braves+v+New+York+Mets+EQ5kVRA3sybl

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – After a winter of rumors that the Braves might sign Xavier Nady, Johnny Damon or one of a half-dozen others to play left field, those guys aren’t here. And Matt Diaz is.

Who’d have thunk it five years ago, that Diaz would still be here? That he’d become not just The Survivor, but one of the more popular members of the Braves with fans and teammates alike.

(Speaking of popular — or not — I should point out that my day began with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz staggering into the living room of the MIB Blog annex headquarters, wearing what appeared to be pajama pants, asking to borrow shampoo. “I’ll just put some on my head,” he said.)

Now where were we? Oh, yes, Matt Diaz, who came to the Braves in largely overlooked trade for minor league pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez a week before Christmas in 2005. When the trade went down, they were both obscure.

If someone knows what ol’ Ricardo is doing these days, let us know.

Diaz? Since he came to the Braves he’s hit .316 with 34 home runs, a .363 on-base percentage, a .466 slugging percentage and an .829 OPS in 427 games and 1,161 at-bats while used in a variety of corner-outfield roles, most of them part-time.

You’re talking about a guy who was already 27 when he was traded to the Braves and had just 119 at-bats in the majors, with a .252 average and two home runs to show for it.

So maybe that’s why Diaz doesn’t get too worried when the Braves acquire Melky Cabrera in an offseason trade, or when he hears rumors that the team’s pursuing Nady or Damon to play left field, or he reads that phenom Jason Heyward could be playing every day in right field from opening day.

Diaz doesn’t call around to ask reporters or club personnel: “What about me? Will there be a roster spot or any playing time left for me?” No, he hangs out with his family in Central Florida while all this is going on during the offseason, does his P90X diet/fitness regime for the second winter in a row, and prepares for spring training and the 2010 season.

And when someone – me — asks him a few days into camp about his possible role, he sort of shrugs.

“When I came to the Braves in ‘06, I had no expectations other than just hoping to make the team,” Mr. Amiable says. “So I always try to take myself back to that place and just try to figure out how I can help the team. And really it’s worked out for me in the long run – just by trying to help the team, it’s helped me personally.”

He’s almost too nice to believe at times. Almost seems too selfless and too good a teammate to wonder if there’s not something going on behind that innocent smile and he-could-be-the-insurance-salesman-next-door look.

But it’s 100 percent authentic, folks. At least from all I’ve seen over five years, and from everything I’ve ever heard anyone say about him, on or off the record.

So here he is starting his fifth season with the Braves, and it looks like Diaz could either be the primary left fielder, or play in some sort of straight or partial platoon with Melky Cabrera – Diaz has a .347 career average and .921 OPS vs. lefties, .276 with a .721 OPS vs. righties.

Either way, it’s all good with Matty D. That’s what he says, and he sure says it like he means it.

“I feel like Bobby knows that for months at a time I played every day for him in the past few years,” Diaz said. “For months at a time I’ve platooned for him. And there’s been months at a time where I felt like I just pinch-hit. But whatever role I’ve been in for that time, it’s been a good one for me. He’s always put me in a position to succeed.”

Yeah, but…

“I’m not really concerned about it,” he said. “I talked to [veteran newcomer Eric] Hinske about it, too. He went from being an every-day guy to be being a bench guy. You just talk to him and realize for him to be able to do that, he’s checked his ego at the door. And looking back, that’s really what I’ve been able to do and tried to do, is just check my ego at the door.”

Diaz has had two seasons where he got at least 300 at-bats, and he performed exceptionally well in each. He hit .338 with 21 doubles and 12 homers in 358 at-bats in 2007, and hit .313 with 35 extra-base hits (13 homers) and 58 RBI in a career-high 371 ABs in 2009.

Doesn’t he wonder what he might do in 500-600 at-bats as an every-day starter? Wouldn’t he love to be the starting left fielder for, oh, at least 140 games this season?

“Yeah I would love that,” he said. “I feel like by not playing every day I do miss some slumps, but I also miss some hot streaks in there, too. So I don’t know if I’d be – I guess my career average is right at .310 – I don’t know if I’d .310, but I think I could be productive as a main guy, I really do.

“The only year I really got a chance to play every day was in ‘08, and I got hurt. I stunk in April, which is usual unfortunately for me, then got hurt in May.”

Diaz hit .244 with two homers and a .264 OBP in 135 at-bats in 2008, when he hurt a knee in May and played only one game the rest of the season, in September. His other three seasons with the Braves have exceeded all expectations anyone could have had when the Braves acquired him.

Can he hit .300 with 25 homers in a full season as a lineup regular? No one knows for sure.

“Hopefully this year if I get a chance to play more, I’ll start out a little hotter,” he said. “I changed my offseason regimen a little just to try to get ready, to try to change up what I do in April, that’s for sure.”

Diaz wants to be ready, because he’s got a feeling about this team. One he and some of his teammates have never had before, at least not to this degree.

“This is the most confident I’ve ever seen a Braves camp,” he said. “And I think we have reason to be my confident…. If you look at last year, we just have more ‘knowns’ this year. Like, Tim Hudson we know his record. Javy [Vazquez] had a great year last year; it was a career year for him. Can he do it again? Absolutely. But we know Tim Hudson can do that.”

braves.0221 j

Jurrjens has done a lot of stretching and limited throwing in camp (Phil Skinner/AJC)

♣ Jurrjens update: I’ll give you another update on Jair Jurrjens in the comments section below after I talk to him in the clubhouse following today’s workout, which is wrapping up now. But for now, what’s important to note is that the Braves and their prized right-hander aren’t out of the woods quite yet with his shoulder situation.

Most of you know he had an MRI last week after complaining of shoulder stiffness when he reported early to spring training. He’d felt something pop when he made an underhanded throw during a loosely organized game with other professional players in Curacao before leaving for Florida, then had lingering soreness after he got to camp.

The MRI was clean, no problems with the rotator cuff or labrum whatsoever. Just some inflammation in the shoulder, according to the doc.

Progress has been good so far, with Jurrjens playing catch Sunday and Tuesday, then long-tossing yesterday from as far as 90 feet. But there’s still a ways to go before he’ll be ready to get off the mound and hopefully make a start no more than a week behind the other pitchers.

Here’s what pitching coach Roger McDowell told me this morning: “We’re still not [in the clear] yet. Yesterday he threw up to 90 feet and felt minimal pain, so no, we’re not. It’s just going to be a day-to-day thing and progression until we get on the mound.”

Also, despite so many proclamations that Tim Hudson is 100 percent recovered from his ligament-transplant elbow surgery (aka “Tommy John”) and ready to go, McDowell points out that there still must be at least some caution moving forward in the early part of the season.

“We’re still getting out of Tommy John territory so that being said, it’s going to be a year where we’ll be careful and watch,” McDowell said, “and as we continue through the year we’ll start to take some of the reins off and let him go.”

Alright, I’ll be back in a while. Headed back down to the field and clubhouse. Let’s take it out with a cut from one of the finest, hard-edged singer-songwriters to come along in recent years:

william-elliot-whitmore

“ONE MAN’S SHAME” by William Elliott Whitmore

Don’t alter my altar

don’t desecrate my shrine

My church is the water

and my home is underneath the shady pines

Don’t underestimate the spine in a poor man’s back

when it’s against the wall and his future’s black

One man’s story is another man’s shame

I ain’t bound for glory, I’m bound for flames

Take to the woods boy, and cover up your tracks

Go away child and don’t look back

Sad is the lullaby from a mother’s heart and soul

When she knows her child has strayed from the foal

The parish will perish

by death’s cruel hand

and finish the job that fate began

All that static in the attic,

that’s just an old drunk ghost

His chains are rattlin’ but his end is close

Ain’t no hell below and ain’t no heaven above

I came for the drinks but I stayed for the love

560 comments Add your comment

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
12:54 pm

William Elliott Whitmore? Don’t think I know him. I’ll have to look him up this evening.

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
12:59 pm

Another P90X reference… DOB are you getting kick backs?

MattyRoss

February 25th, 2010
1:02 pm

Glad the staff is deep, I’ll say that. I don’t think we’re in for another rash of pitching injuries like a couple years back, but it’s good to have the insurance we do. I think Medlen could win a dozen this year, if he were in the rotation.

Canedawg

February 25th, 2010
1:04 pm

Canedawg

February 25th, 2010
1:15 pm

Equations…

If

“Jason Heyward, rookie” = “David Justice, rookie”

Then

“Braves Wins” > 90

If

“Jayson Heyward, rookie” = “Jordan Schaffer, rookie”

Then

“Braves Wins” < 90

Haulin' the Tarp

February 25th, 2010
1:17 pm

my 25 man roster

Position Players:
1b Troy Glaus
2b Martin Prado
3b Chipper Jones
ss Yunel Escobar
c Brian McCann
lf Matt Diaz
cf Nate McLouth
rf Jason Heyward
util of Melky Cabrera
util of Eric Hinske
util inf Omar Infante
util inf Brooks Conrad
backup c David Ross

Starting Rotation
Tim Hudson
Jair Jurrjens
Tommy Hanson
Derek Lowe
Kenshin Kawakami

Bullpen
Billy Wagner
Takashi Saito
Peter Moylan
Kris Medlen
Eric O’flaherty
Jesse Chavez
Mike Dunn

seems like a pretty good bunch of ball players to be excited about. we have that veteran presence in the bullpen and off the bench.

bravesgrl4life

February 25th, 2010
1:18 pm

I posted a link yesterday to a story about Matt Diaz. He is a genuine good guy, and I am proud that he is a fellow Polk County, Florida resident. I grew up there and stayed until just before my 21st birthday.

Thrillhouse44

February 25th, 2010
1:21 pm

and stayed until just before my 21st birthday

What? Are there no good bars in Polk County?

Ignatius J. Reilly

February 25th, 2010
1:26 pm

matty diaz is full of win

was it last year that some kid had a matt diaz dryboard in the stands…kept scribling on the thing about diaz. was funny…much unlike this post

glove51

February 25th, 2010
1:27 pm

Haulin’ the Tarp: i believe you nailed it exactly. We’ll see.

Canedawg

February 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

Diaz and Melky in left is a good platoon. Chipper needs to not suck for 3 months, and I fully expect him not to. The Braves team optometrist needs to be board certified this year. Yunel needs to spend more time taking grounders and less time frosting his hair. Prado needs to play 140 games. The Vice President and Treasurer of the local AARP chapter – aka our new closers – need to stay healthy and throw pills (and not give up missles to lefthanded outfielders in the 9th). Chip Carey needs to have the same pre-game, uh… meals, as his granddad to calm him down. Troy’s shoulder needs to be less Helen and more Achilles. Tommy needs to be Kerry Wood, the early years, and hold off on his eventual arm trouble for at least another season or two. If the planets align…

rammerjammer

February 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

DOB, thanks a million for the Matt Diaz interview. He is tops.

Puma

February 25th, 2010
1:29 pm

Would love to see a full season of Dee Azz in left.

It seems like some players unfairly get put in a niche (4th outfielder, utility infielder etc) and then no matter what they do they are stuck there. Diaz has the “bad defense, can’t hit rigties” tag and it seems to haunt him. His D is pretty good as far as I can tell, not real pretty but gets the job done. His hitting ain’t real pretty either, but gets the job done.

thinbreakness

February 25th, 2010
1:31 pm

Haulin-
Most certainly will be the team. I think Proctor will replace Dunn. Although that only gives us 2 lefties in the pen, Chavez is more effective against lefties than he is righties, (.356 OBP v RH and .288 OBP v LH). Like you, I like Conrad over Thurston because Conrad switch hits.

Jersey Gil

February 25th, 2010
1:36 pm

Since 2005 when i heard that the Braves trade for Matty Diaz i was so happy for the Braves, follow Matty career since he was In Florida State and beat Mine Alma Mater Hurricane in 1998 Championship, he was always a good hitter not much Power (home Run) more gap hitter with Rightfield power, never understand why the Barves not give him a regular day to day leftfielder, he was not more liability than loaf last year in fielder %.
Despite being the Tampa Rays minor league Career leader in hits and xtra bases, never give him the oppurtunity to play every day.

Charles

February 25th, 2010
1:37 pm

Any word on Cody Johnson,I know he strikes out a lot but he can hit a ball.Is he at Spring training and does he have any chance of being at Gwinett this year?

Willy Wally

February 25th, 2010
1:37 pm

Is 90 feet considered long tossing or just having a casual catch?

Haulin' the Tarp

February 25th, 2010
1:38 pm

thinbreakness

thats exactly why i put him in there. only other person i would put in there would possibly be mitch jones to help back up first as well and he can play outfield positions where as brooks can play 2b and not much more i think. conrads biggest strength is his switch hitting ability.

Reid in EAV

February 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

Shoulda known you’d dig the WEW. That song is awesome. And what a voice on that guy. Strong recommend to everyone who likes gritty singer/songwriters.

Space Monkey

February 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

DOB:

Apple just sold its 10 billionth iTune. It was a Johnny Cash ballad.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Apple-sells-10-billionth-song-apf-1873456689.html?x=0&.v=2

thinbreakness

February 25th, 2010
1:40 pm

Charles-
I bet Cody Johnson at 21 stays at Jackson. A first rounder that the Braves will not give up on easily. I’m sure he’ll get a lot of attention/instruction to help him cut down on his strikeouts.

ncscoots

February 25th, 2010
1:40 pm

It seems like some players unfairly get put in a niche (4th outfielder, utility infielder etc) and then no matter what they do they are stuck there.

What makes you think that happens “unfairly”? There’s no great conspiracy among front offices that relegates a guy with a superior skill set to backup status, LOL.

Those guys are seen for what they are, mostly, and good managers use them appropriately. The best way to maximize the value of a roster spot filled with a less-than-complete skill set is to reduce the number of opportunities for failure, not expand them.

I like guys such as Diaz as much as anyone, I guess, but which is more likely over 600 appearances: the guy gets an All-Star berth, or makes folks remember why he was traded for Ricardo Rodriguez?

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
1:41 pm

I like Diaz a lot, but since he’s been a Brave—

‘06= no playoffs

‘07= no playoffs

‘08= no playoffs

‘09= no playoffs

BravePack12352

February 25th, 2010
1:42 pm

DOB

Any BP today? And if so who stood out? Or am I jumpin the gun and that is what’s going on now?

thinbreakness

February 25th, 2010
1:42 pm

Haulin-
I agree and I think Cox likes 2 middle infield backups on the roster. That seems to be the consensus on the blog.

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
1:44 pm

Not that I’m supersticious or anything.

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
1:45 pm

TnBrian, you’re right! Diaz is totally the reason we haven’t made the playoffs. ;)

Chopper

February 25th, 2010
1:45 pm

Haulin’,

That is exactly my idea of the 25 man roster. The only spot I question even a little bit is that last bullpen spot. Mike Dunn seems like a good idea, hard throwing lefty. I guess if Scott Proctor is healthy, you might substitute him in that spot, only because he’s a more proven reliever.

But I agree, I think Brooks Conrad is the last backup bench spot. They don’t really have any other middle infield players that are AAA on the cusp, especially with Diory Hernandez out for 4 months. The OF is pretty well covered with Melky able to play all three spots, and that Diaz and Hinske can play the either corner spot. The IF corner spots are covered well because Hinske can do either, Glaus can do either if Chipper is hurt, Prado can also play either corner spot, and Infante can play all four spots. But Infante is the ONLY backup guy who plays the middle spots. So having a Brooks Conrad to be the backup 2B in the event Infante is having to play due to injury to either Escobar or Prado is a good idea. Plus I think he showed some grit and can be a productive pinch hitter or pinch runner for Bobby.

Bay Area Steve

February 25th, 2010
1:45 pm

WW, as you were a pitcher, I know you know the answer to that, but I’m curious if others’ definitions of long-toss coincide with my own. For me, if an eight-year-old can do it, can’t be long-toss. I’m thinkin’ 200 feet, minimum.

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
1:48 pm

I honestly wouldn’t even play Melky unless Diaz is just awful against a certain pitcher in his career, or of course if he needs a rest. Diaz is just so much better than Melk at the plate and I can live with his very average defense in LF. I think RF is Heyward’s to lose, so that’s pretty much taken. Melky is valuable though as he can play CF if something happens to Nate or he needs a rest, same with Heyward.

Bay Area Steve

February 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

Man, dude is gettin’ all big-league on us. We can’t even get the “new bloggage” anymore. Who does he think he is, Carol?

Clearly, I don’t handle change well.

Over/under on ‘OB leaving the AJC: 10 months?

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

That said, can we play some damn baseball … PLEASE!

sportsmandh

February 25th, 2010
1:50 pm

Enter your comments here

thinbreakness

February 25th, 2010
1:53 pm

BAS-
Said he owned a house in Atlanta area. Market being what it is, assuming he ain’t overly wealthy, I say over.

Jeff

February 25th, 2010
1:53 pm

I’d like to see how some of our guys performed after p90x, bet it could make a difference.

how2fish

February 25th, 2010
1:56 pm

DOB great job timely and informative..!

wwwgeorgiansforjurrjens

February 25th, 2010
1:56 pm

We like him. Check us out and join up.

RHR

February 25th, 2010
1:57 pm

Love me some Matty D. Hope he has a great year. With the Braves.

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
1:58 pm

Bay Area Steve, hopefully over… way over. I like our elitist, grumpy little beat writer. (all in good fun DOB)

Thrillhouse44

February 25th, 2010
1:58 pm

Wait, Willy Wally is another name for good ole WW??? Dude has more aliases than Usher has Atlanta hats.

Coach

February 25th, 2010
1:58 pm

Havent heard much about Cody lately. He has the tools but needs to be much more consistent to make it near the Majors. He is young and because of his draft pick, will receive more time to get better. Gotta stop striking out so much for sure!

Wes

February 25th, 2010
2:00 pm

What about this Mitch Jones kid from Triple AAA that hit .300 and 35 homers last year. Sounds like a good bat off the bench to me

RHR

February 25th, 2010
2:01 pm

DOB:

Apple just sold its 10 billionth iTune. It was a Johnny Cash ballad.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Apple-sells-10-billionth-song-apf-1873456689.html?x=0&.v=2

And it was to a Georgia man, I believe. DOB if that was you, can I get you to type me up a recommendation letter to take your soon to be vacant job? :D

RHR

February 25th, 2010
2:02 pm

Oh wait…the winner only got a $10K gift card? Piffle. I thought Steve Jobs would be more generous. Guess you ain’t quittin’ your job after all.

[...] told David O’Brien his shoulder was fine, DOB filed another report from Braves camp today saying JJ is “not out of the woods yet”. Pitching coach Roger McDowell said that Jurrjens was feeling minimal pain during a long toss [...]

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
2:09 pm

Limited update on Jurrjens: Bobby Cox said he was about to talk to Roger McDowell about Jurrjens and pitching plans, rotation plans for Grapefruit League games beginning Tuesday.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
2:19 pm

Cox said Jason Heyward not only busted the sunroof of asst. GM Bruce Manno’s car, but bent the frame around the sunroof. $3,400 repair, and there’s a $2,500 deductible

“We should fine him, make him hit the ball the other way,” Cox said, smiling as he ate a bowl of soup to warm up after today’s chilly, wind-swept workout.

Cox said Braves plan to install nets to protect the cars in that executive lot beyond right field, because Heyward routinely hits line drives out there that dent cars if they’re not breaking windows.

Heyward’s mammoth blasts today was a liner that hit halfway up the Jumbotron above the right-center field fence, and another that hit midway up the yellow retaining wall BEYOND the cars in the parking lot.

BPennington

February 25th, 2010
2:21 pm

I think platooning him Diaz and Melky is the most plausible scenario.

gayle

February 25th, 2010
2:23 pm

Can Diaz manage? You know, nice popular guy that he is? Sounds like the fellow that’s in the dugout now – the one that everyone used to like playing for before he lost touch with the game, before he tried to manage in the post season.

It is a shame that the team, the city and the fans have to wait a year to get a new manager. This “farewell” tour is nonsense. Maybe interleague play will take the Braves to all the cities and teams that beat them in the World Series?

But four years out of the playoffs and counting, Braves fans are leaning patience. You’re going to need it.

bigchiefrg

February 25th, 2010
2:24 pm

There is no one in sports that I find easier to ‘Pull’ for right now then Matty D. I would love to see him play a full slate in LF and put up a 300/20/100 type year.

Great writing as usual DOB…You and all of the other denizens here make it awesome.

monty

February 25th, 2010
2:25 pm

“I like guys such as Diaz as much as anyone, I guess, but which is more likely over 600 appearances: the guy gets an All-Star berth, or makes folks remember why he was traded for Ricardo Rodriguez?”

I vote more likely to get an All-Star berth. Not that he will, just that I believe it’s closer to the truth than the other. Seeing how Ricardo is no longer in baseball and was only 10-15 as a starting pitcher with a 5.18 ERA. MAtty has a career avg. of .310 OBP .358. .459. slugg. and .817 OPS, and has performed a little better than that since with the Braves. So, in my book, reality is a little closer to All-Star than no name, unemployed and washed up. All we ever heard before last year was that Prado was just a decent scrub. Managers don’t always get it right. Some players get better with opportunity, and I believe Diaz is one of those guys.

The Official Skip Caray T-Shirt

February 25th, 2010
2:26 pm

Get the Official Skip Caray T-Shirt online now!

http://www.skipshirt.com

Logan

February 25th, 2010
2:27 pm

Fine Him? Get Manno to read the scouting report!

Jersey Gil

February 25th, 2010
2:27 pm

TnBrian ,sidslidkid:Can you two Genius explain to me how One Player make the different of making Playoff, out of 25 men roster in Baseball?

UKUGA/brent a.

February 25th, 2010
2:28 pm

I would take less money to play for a Matt Diaz-led team.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
2:31 pm

If you want to check out Eric Hinske’s full-back tattoo (and I do mean full back), there’s a picture of it on Jeff Schultz’s blog, or will be shortly.

Pythagoras cup

February 25th, 2010
2:32 pm

Sabermetricians: If you would like a formula for the 2:23…
http://improbable.com/2010/02/17/calculating-ph-in-pig-manure-carefully/

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

Jersey Gil, take it easy… it was just sarcasm. No one really thinks Diaz is the reason we haven’t made the playoffs.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
2:34 pm

Today was the first real chance we got to see Glaus handle some situational stuff at first base, and he seemed to have no problems fielding bunts and moving to the right position, etc.

Of course, doing it in game situations is where the real tests will be, making split-second decisions at position he’s not used to, fielding slightly off-target throws with a runner bearing down on him, that kind of thing.

DAP

February 25th, 2010
2:36 pm

i do think diaz would and will make a good coach at some level.

ncscoots

February 25th, 2010
2:36 pm

Some players get better with opportunity, and I believe Diaz is one of those guys.

OK…why do you believe it? I’m always willing to be convinced by a good argument for a differing view.

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
2:37 pm

Jersey Gil, ok, but when have I even hinted around that one player makes a difference in getting to the playoffs or not?

Robz747

February 25th, 2010
2:38 pm

I think Thurston will get the nod over Conrad, he was a starter for much of the year with the cards and plays 3B, SS, 2B, and LF… I still think both will rarely see the field though unless Infante/Hinske get hurt!

The top PH’s will be Hinske – Left, Diaz L or Melky Switch, Infante – Right, Thurston – Left with some speed!

toga party

February 25th, 2010
2:38 pm

Wait, Heyward hit one over the parking lot? What is this, a little league urban legend or something?

Any chance someone can dig up a photo of where that parking lot is in relation to the field?

TennesseePaul

February 25th, 2010
2:40 pm

Scoots: I like guys such as Diaz as much as anyone, I guess, but which is more likely over 600 appearances: the guy gets an All-Star berth, or makes folks remember why he was traded for Ricardo Rodriguez?

I call inappropriate options on that one. Toss a red flag. “Gets an all star berth”? Let’s be fair here. He’d have to play several years with above-quality production to bring in enough votes to make the All-Star team. Chipper Jones had a 7 year hiatus from the All-Star team. All he did in that time was hit .307/.408/.547/.956 with 156 HR while receiving MVP votes in four of those years.

I like Diaz too. I happen to think he would do pretty well and turn out to be a solid every day contributor to the team. More than just “a guy traded for Ricky Ricardo.” But All-Star? That’s a false option.

Homer

February 25th, 2010
2:40 pm

Homer

February 25th, 2010
2:42 pm

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

djvog

February 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

Great pick with WEW, DOB. That man honestly puts on one of the best live shows around. The guy alone with his banjo or guitar, stomping and playing his heart out, giving thumbs ups to the crowd for their applause—it’s awesome. I bought some merchandise from him after the show and he was the most gracious human being I have ever met, shaking my hand with sincere gratitude. Recommended if you haven’t seen him.

ncscoots

February 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

But All-Star? That’s a false option.

Just using extremes to provide contrast, my man. Hyperbole, and the like, LOL.

bigchiefrg

February 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

fire dob??????
FIRE HOMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray Pugh

February 25th, 2010
2:45 pm

Guys I like Diaz as much as the next unemployed person living in their parent’s rec room, but he’s not gonna put up .300/20/100 #s even w/ 500+ ABs. The guy just can’t hit righties, and he’s had plenty of time in his career to improve on that and he hasn’t. Ideally for me, he’s a pinch hitter supreme you want in the game in tight spots against lefties, which he murders as good as anyone in the game. However, next year I would prefer to see a McLouth-Schafer-Heyward outfield w/ Matty routinely giving breaks to all….

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
2:46 pm

I think Homer is jealous Dave gets to soak up the Florida sun around big league players. Shoot, I’m jealous. My life sucks!

Wilson

February 25th, 2010
2:46 pm

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
2:48 pm

Wow, that Hinske photo! Why would you pay that much money for underwear? Banana Republic? Wal-Mart for me cause they’re cheap.

RHR

February 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

Great. Now I’m thinking about TnBrian in walmart underwear. Thanks a lot.

sidslidkid

February 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

Wilson, That was pretty awesome. good job dude.

brian

February 25th, 2010
2:56 pm

I like Matty as well (even though he dissed my son for an autograph ball). The reason the Braves were looking for a LF is that they have McLouth and hopefully Heyward then 2 solid 4th OFs in Matt and Melky

dpelfrey

February 25th, 2010
2:58 pm

The wall DOB is talking about is about 30 feet behind the right-center fence. I imagine it would take about a 430 foot shot to clear it…sound about right?

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
2:58 pm

RHR, yep, skid marks and all.

1eyedJack

February 25th, 2010
2:59 pm

Dayum, Heyward sounds like Paul Bunyon.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
2:59 pm

Bobby Cox was asked what he though of Chipper comments late last season (and again this winter) when Chipper said he’d retire if he has another season in 2010 like he had in 2009.

“I never took them to heart at all,” Cox said. “He’ll play three more years, and play good.”

randy marsh

February 25th, 2010
3:00 pm

DOB,
Any word from Bobby on who might be taking the hill Tuesday? Just curious as I will be attending.

Rock On......

February 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

And I was called “and idiot” for my observations concerning Hudson and how we can’t assume a pick-it-up-where-he-left-off mentality. Thanks McDowell and DOB. Guess I am cleared of idiocy(unless or until f.wren chimes in). Pencil Hudson as the 4th man in the rotation and in a let’s-see-how-he-progresses mode. That would be best for the Braves long term. We are of course assuming Lowe is ready to get back to being worth the 15 mil and Jurrjens injury doesn’t morph into some bigger issue after throwing in ST. Maybe everything goes smoothly for our esteemed staff in 2010. I am hoping but not betting.

Kieran (Long Island Braves Fan)

February 25th, 2010
3:02 pm

DOB- You wanted a Ricardo Rodrigez Update, ask and you Shall Receieve:

Ricardo Antonio Rodríguez (born May 21, 1978 in Guayubín, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher who is currently playing for the Sinon Bulls of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.

In a four-season career, Rodríguez has posted a 10-15 record with 104 strikeouts and a 5.18 ERA in 206⅔ innings, including one complete game and a shutout.

Rodríguez was invited by the Florida Marlins as a non-roster invitee to spring training in 2007, but did not make the team, instead playing for their Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, and Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians.

On June 17, 2008, Rodríguez signed with the Edmonton Cracker Cats of the Golden Baseball League.

unbelievable

February 25th, 2010
3:03 pm

“I like Diaz a lot, but since he’s been a Brave—

‘06= no playoffs

‘07= no playoffs

‘08= no playoffs

‘09= no playoffs” – TNBRIAN

Id contribute more of that to Jeff Francoeur. Matty had to ride the pine and watch Jeffrey play everyday

Rock On......

February 25th, 2010
3:04 pm

Oh yeah, and Heyward will start opening day in RF for Atlanta and bat 7th.

Kieran (Long Island Braves Fan)

February 25th, 2010
3:06 pm

After further review, that might not even be the same Ricardo Rodriguez haha… ahh well… If your out there Ricky, Let us know!

TnBrian

February 25th, 2010
3:07 pm

unbelievable, I was kiddin, but Jeff was good in ‘06 and ‘07. The pitching killed us through ‘06-’08 and the offense was a mess most of ‘09.

unbelievable

February 25th, 2010
3:09 pm

TnBrian – knew you were. Braves have had far bigger problems than a bench guy who hits above .300

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

Depelfrey: To clear that retaining wall or parking-lot wall, whatever you call it, it’d probably take a shot anywhere from 435-450 ft down where he cleared it yesterday in left-center (he didn’t clear it today; he hit a ball off it).

It’d be a longer shot to clear it closer to the foul line.

ncscoots

February 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

Guess I am cleared of idiocy(unless or until f.wren chimes in). Pencil Hudson as the 4th man

Cleared, and then convicted again, LOL. Which will happen every time you characterize the guy as a 4th starter, I’m afraid.

unbelievable

February 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

oh, and Jeff wasnt good in 2006, but he was better in 2007. But overall, his only good seasons were 2005 and 2009 with the Mets

dpelfrey

February 25th, 2010
3:12 pm

That’s a different Rodriquez. The one we had was Venezuelan.

dpelfrey

February 25th, 2010
3:14 pm

Has anyone ever hit one into the field beyond that wall in right center?

BravoMan

February 25th, 2010
3:15 pm

If I had to take a guess on those two open spots on the team I would guess that it would go to Brooks Conrad and Mike Dunn, however Dunn needs to obtain control and show that he can sustain it.

dpelfrey

February 25th, 2010
3:20 pm

Nevermind, I guess it would have to go over the monstrous scoreboard, which is probably impossible.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
3:20 pm

Kieran: The Braves had Ricardo F. Rodriguez, different one.

BravoMan

February 25th, 2010
3:21 pm

Heard about Heyward’s shot…I’ve been to that park several times. I know how far that is and I’m blown away right now.

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
3:22 pm

Randy Marsh: That’s the purpose of the meeting I said Bobby would have with Roger today, to discuss how the rotation will be configured. So, no, I have no idea who’ll pitch Tuesday. We might know tomorrow, though. Might.

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