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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mets get Braves’ Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson | MLB.com

Mets get some help. The Braves save some cash and add more pitching depth to their minor league system.

Stuck among the National League’s worst offensive teams for most of this summer, the Mets on Friday saw their season-long hunt for offense finally bear fruit. The club announced late Friday that it has acquired third baseman Juan Uribe, utility man Kelly Johnson and cash from the Braves, in exchange for pitching prospects John Gant and Rob Whalen.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, trades

Thursday, July 16, 2015

 John Hart: ‘I never made promises we were built to win’ | www.myajc.com

Nice interview with John Hart.

Q: So it’s not as if you expected a better record.

A: I’ve never made any false promises that we were built to win this year. We felt we had an energy and a good makeup. But you don’t trade your closer opening day, trade for draft picks, trade middle-of-the-order bats and expect to win. I won’t lie to fans.

Bad news on Freddy Freeman.

Q: Freeman was supposed to be back a while ago. What happened?

A: It’s more serious than we expected. I’m hoping he’ll be back before the first of August but he may not be. He’s working hard to get back but it’s a slow-healing injury and it still gives him pain when he swings. He dinged it, played four or five days with it, and we have him a few days off. We gave him an injection and thought he would be back in two or three days but it was no better. We did further tests and found it was more serious than we thought.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 16, 2015 at 10:58 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, interview, john hart

Monday, July 13, 2015

Albies showcases talents at Futures Game | braves.com

If he’s not already on your prospect radar, it’s time to put him there.

MLB.com ranks Albies as the Braves’ fifth-best prospect and considered him to be the top speed prospect on the World Team roster that was assembled for the Futures Game. The 18-year-old shortstop has played just 137 games at the professional level, but in the course of doing so, he has given the Braves reason to believe he has special talent.

Albies has batted .343 with a .410 on-base percentage and 47 stolen bases (60 attempts) through his first 137 games at the professional level. Despite being one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League, he has hit .331, compiled an .812 OPS and proven successful with 25 of 33 stolen-base attempts with Class A Rome this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2015 at 08:50 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ozhaino albies, prospects

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Klapisch: Mets’ 16-13 win over Braves in 1985 an instant classic

Thirty years ago today (and tomorrow morning), announcer John Sterling was well on his way to being beyond insufferable…

The voice on the other end of the phone was tense. The message was a newspaper editor’s equivalent of a naked threat.

“Need that story.”

It was 30 years ago today. More importantly, it was past 4 a.m. and I was on deadline in the press box at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, trying to find language that would capture the history I’d just witnessed.

The Mets and Braves had staggered to the finish line of a 19-inning game that’s remembered as one of the longest and craziest ever played. The Mets won, 16-13, but the NFL-like score leaves out the incredible details – like the 43 players used by both teams, the 46 hits, the 37 runners left on base, the 22 walks, Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle (albeit in 10 at-bats) and Gary Carter catching the whole way.

And me? I was a beat reporter at the New York Post, back when the tabloid had seven editions, including its sports final at 1:45 a.m. designed to include West Coast results. But the edict came down when the Mets and Braves blew past the last deadline – they would hold for the final score.

Little did my editor know what he’d gotten himself into. Already, because of rain, the game was delayed by nearly two hours – first pitch wasn’t delivered until 9:04 p.m.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 04, 2015 at 09:37 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, extra innings, mets, pitchers hitting, rain delays

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Braves have one eye on present, two on future | braves.com

“When we get to the Trade Deadline, we won’t look to ship out everyone who is on a free-agent contract or everybody who is over the age of 30,” Coppolella said. “We’re going to look to make good solid baseball trades that will be made in the best interest of this franchise. I don’t know if we’ll be as active as we have been previously. We’ll see what comes up at the Deadline, but by no means will we totally gut this team.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2015 at 06:42 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Braves See Value In High-Risk Acquisitions - BaseballAmerica.com

The Braves think injured pitchers are the new market inefficiency.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects, tommy john

D-backs trade Arroyo, Toussaint to Braves | MLB.com

Another nice trade for John Hart.

The D-backs announced on Saturday that they have traded right-handed pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint to the Braves for infielder Phil Gosselin.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bronson arroyo, diamondbacks, phil gosselin, touki toussaint, trades

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pretty Good, episode 3: Lonnie Smith fought the 1980s and beat its ass down

This is pretty good.

Lonnie Smith is mostly remembered for about a five-second span of the 1991 World Series, but his entire career is one of the most fascinating sports stories of my lifetime.

 


Monday, June 15, 2015

3 reminders that long extensions for young players are still risky

Jedd Gyorko

He was a 24-year-old rookie middle infielder who hit 23 homers while playing half his games in Petco Park. How do you not want to lock that guy up? The only real question is when to stop offering him more and more years on the extension. He had a 113 OPS+ when he was 24, which meant it was reasonable to expect even more from him as he entered his prime, and that even more would mean he would be a perennial All-Star.

Instead, he was one of the worst everyday players in baseball last year, hitting .210/.280/.333. He’s hitting .210 again this year, and he’s doing it with even less power. There was a glimmer of hope last year, as Gyorko got relatively hot after the All-Star break, but he lost his job to Cory Spangenberg this season and was banished to the minors again. He’s 26 now, and he’s been a .220-or-worse hitter for almost two calendar years now. He’ll make $13 million in 2019, which is an absolutely stunning amount for a player struggling this mightily.

Even when the problem with a pitcher is hard to diagnose, like with Cahill and Romero, there’s still an element of assumed risk that’s easy to understand because pitchers are supposed to be fragile and mercurial. Gyorko reminds us that hitters can be just as weird, and considering how far removed we are from the version the Padres thought they were locking up, it looks like the problem had more to do with poor evaluation and overreacting to a fast start. It’s the new front office regime that has to pay for it, too.


Monday, June 01, 2015

Dean Martin roasts Hank Aaron

OMG!

Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2015 at 10:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hank aaron

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dan Uggla is a good hugger, Washington Nationals say

Uggla is known for his hugs. Freddie Freeman, with the Braves, is perhaps more well-known for his many on-field hugs, but Uggla said he taught that to Freeman. Fans have held up signs at games such as “I Want a Huggla from Uggla” at games. His nickname is, sometimes, Huggla.

“That’s one of our pregame things: hugging before the game,” Harper said. “I don’t konw. Hugs for Uggs, right? That’s what everybody says. I’m a big hugger, too. I hug [Drew] Storen out there every time he closes a game.”

Uggla also shares a daily hug with Tyler Moore. Why?

“It’s a hard place to be in, man,” Moore said, referring to the major leagues. “Getting a little bit of love every day won’t kill anybody.

Bourbon Samurai in America Posted: May 29, 2015 at 02:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hold me gently, nationals

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Braves minor leaguer Elmer Reyes charged with rape, kidnapping in Ohio

Yikes.

man met Reyes after Friday night’s Gwinnett Braves-Columbus Clippers game and agreed to go to a bar with him.

The woman said Reyes then paid for a hotel room because he didn’t want the women to drive after they had been drinking. One of the women fell asleep upon entering the room, and Reyes allegedly pinned the other to the bed and forced her to have intercourse.

The woman later called 911 and reported the incident. Court records show rape and kidnapping charges were filed Saturday.

Reyes, 24, is out on bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 2.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2015 at 03:01 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, kidnapping, legal, minor leagues, police blotter, rape

Braves, Dodgers To Swap Callaspo, Uribe In Six-Player Deal - MLB Trade Rumors

Trade talks between the Dodgers and Braves regarding Alberto Callaspo and Juan Uribe fell apart Tuesday morning after Callaspo vetoed the transaction, but talks rekindled just hours later after Callaspo had a change of heart, and the two sides have reportedly reached a deal, pending approval from the commissioner’s office. The Braves will acquire Uribe and right-hander Chris Withrow from the Dodgers in exchange for Callaspo, right-hander Juan Jaime and left-handers Ian Thomas and Eric Stults.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alberto callaspo, braves, dodgers, juan uribe, trade

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Callaspo-for-Uribe trade falls through | www.ajc.com

He had a right to do it. That doesn’t mean he was right to do it.

A proposed multi-player trade centered around veteran infielders Alberto Callaspo of the Braves and Juan Uribe of the Dodgers fell through Tuesday morning and was not expected to be revived.

The deal died when Callaspo exercised his right to reject the trade, a person with the proposal said, confirming a FoxSports.com report. Callaspo, as a free agent who signed last winter, can’t be traded without written consent until after June 15.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 26, 2015 at 03:41 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Royals minor-leaguer Rafael Furcal, former NL top rookie, announces retirement | The Kansas City Star The Kansas City Star

Veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal, who played seven games in the Royals’ minor-league system this year, announced Tuesday that he’s retiring from the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, rafael furcal, royals

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bruce Chen Announces Retirement

“Today, I would like to announce my retirement.  For the last 22yrs I have been doing what I love for a living. I feel blessed and fortunate”

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 19, 2015 at 01:06 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, bruce chen, expos, indians, mets, orioles, phillies, rangers, red sox, reds

Monday, May 18, 2015

Posnanski: The Win Machine

Oh, yes, it was one big looney-tunes adventure in Atlanta. After the eighth straight loss, Bristol gulped: “I’m doing all I can. I just don’t know what else I can do.”

After the 10th straight loss, Turner was admonished by — of all people — George Steinbrenner. “Nobody forced Ted Turner to buy the Braves,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re all over legal age and of reasonable intelligence. And when we bought these teams, we knew what the rules were.”

After the 14th straight loss, Turner said this: “I’ve got a cocked pistol in my hand. Who can I give the Braves to in my last will and testament?”

Turner then skipped out on a sailing vacation to join the team in Pittsburgh and see what the heck was going wrong. He sat behind the Braves dugout and watched his team lose a doubleheader. That made it 16 losses in a row. “I’d do anything to help us win,” a beleaguered Bristol told the press after the game.

Turner could not hold back now. He called Bristol into his hotel room the next day. Bristol fully expected to get fired. But Turner did not fire him. Instead, he told Bristol to take 10 days off, do a little reflection and maybe go scout the minor league teams.

“Who is going to manage the club?” Bristol asked.

“I will,” Ted Turner said.

“He owns the team, that’s his prerogative,” Bristol told reporters after the meeting. “I tried to talk him out of it. It puts a man in a strange position. I must be doing something wrong. I’m going home for a couple of days to take a long hard look at Dave Bristol.”

Turner made it clear from the start — he would be manager in name only. He planned to let his coaches, Vern Benson and Chris Cannizzaro, make most of the baseball decisions. But Ted Turner felt like he knew people, and he wanted to understand what was happening with his players. He was coming to the rescue.

“It seems like I had done all I could sitting up in the stands,” he told reporters. “I wanted to see what it’s like down in the trenches. … When you’re setting records for losing streaks, it doesn’t hurt to change things.”

And then Turner offered another one of his classic quotes: “If things get sour in your love life,” he said, “you go get a new hairdo, don’t you?”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2015 at 05:17 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, joe posnanski, managers, owners, ted turner

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Down and Away: Leo Mazzone might be the best pitching coach in Major League history. And no one will hire him

After the 93-loss season had ended, Mazzone says the Orioles assured him that he would be brought back for 2008. But on Oct. 12, 2007, Mazzone was fired with a year left on his contract.

“I thought we were going to have a little more time to get it done,” says Perlozzo. Connolly says it was less a lack of time than a lack of talent. Mazzone agreed with both of those assessments, but when he left he said all the right things in his statement to the press: “I understand and wish the team great success.” He was 59 years old. With his track record, he felt he’d have no trouble finding a new job. All he had to do was go back to his home in Atlanta and wait for the phone to ring….

Not counting Baltimore, there had been six pitching coach vacancies in the majors that winter. Mazzone did not receive a single call. Instead, he signed on to do color commentary for a few games on Fox. When no coaching offers came the following winter, Mazzone joined the crew of a local sports-talk radio show, voicing his unvarnished opinions to weekday commuters across the Atlanta metro. After the 2010 season, he went on Sirius XM and made his pitch for openings with the Mets and Yankees, to no avail. Instead, he started working with local youths and traveling around to speak to various high school baseball organizations, extolling the virtues of throwing more often while regulating effort, controlling the strike zone — down and away, down and away — and learning how to pitch.

The only major leaguers he talked to were the old friends who still phoned to check in. “When he and I talk about baseball, he still gets fired up,” says Perlozzo, who was hired as a third-base coach by Seattle just months after his firing and today does the same for the Twins. “I’m shocked that somebody hasn’t needed his talents. But he’s firm in his beliefs. Maybe organizations are a little leery of that.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2015 at 05:18 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, leo mazzone, orioles, pitching coach

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Braves pitcher Minor to have shoulder surgery

At least it would be “Minor” surgery.

The surgery could lessen the chances that Minor will not be offered a contract for next season by the Braves, who lost an arbitration hearing against him this season when the pitcher was awarded a $5.6 million salary.

A recent MRI of his shoulder again showed no structural damage, but if damage is found during surgery it would almost certainly be season-ending.

Presumably the only way Minor might return this seaosn is if no damage is found. Even then, it could be difficult for him to come back and pitch this season, given how much time he’s missed and the rehab and re-strengthening process he’d need to go through.

Arguably the Braves’ best pitcher in 2013, Minor struggled to a career-worst 6-12 record and 4.77 ERA in 25 starts in 2014 after missing most of spring training with what was diagnosed as shoulder tendinitis, which landed him on the disabled list to begin the season and caused recurring problems all season.

MRIs taken last year, this spring, and again early this season showed no structural damage, but Minor, who has been on the disabled list all of this season, has continued to experience pain or discomfort in the shoulder each time he has ramped up his throwing program.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, injuries, mike minor, shoulder surgery

Monday, May 11, 2015

Olney: Laying out each team’s Mount Rushmore and ranking the quartets

The Mount Rushmore for BTF: Chris Truby, Mike Piazza, Madeline Albright, and Frank Tanana.

And Mike Crudale.

So I picked my own four for each club, and then ranked the 30 sets of four. Here they are, from the best to the fourth-best (in my opinion) for each franchise:

1. Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Willie McCovey

2. Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mariano Rivera (see below)

3. Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Bob Gibson

4. Red Sox: Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez

5. Tigers: Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Miguel Cabrera, Al Kaline

6. Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson

7. Twins: Walter Johnson, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett

8. Athletics: Rickey Henderson, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson

9. Braves: Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Chipper Jones

10. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Clayton Kershaw


Friday, May 08, 2015

Braves’ McDowell trying to repair some damaged egos | www.myajc.com

“Feeling a weight? I’ve thought about,” McDowell said. “There’s weight on our shoulders from the standpoint of keeping us in games. We went into this season thinking, ‘OK, the pitching’s going to be great, and the offense is going to struggle.’ We haven’t struggled to score runs. You would hope the pitching would hold up its end of the bargain. But you go through those difficult periods, and you hope you’re able to grow from it.”

Stay there. He’s just getting warmed up.

“It’s like I told Julio the other day, ‘We’ve got about 25 or 26 more of these (starts). His record’s OK. But from the standpoint of getting deeper in a game, having more focus and taking that focus onto the mound — you have an eight-run lead twice in a game, I don’t care if it’s Julio Teheran or Mike Foltynewicz, our focus should be not on cruise but on getting outs.”

Feel free to read between the lines.

There’s reason to believe McDowell will get it fixed, simply because he always does. As Wood said, “Having Roger there to guide you along is big, especially for me after last week and with the shaky start I’ve gotten off to. We’re going to be fine when it starts kicking in, and when it does it’s going to be fun to watch.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, roger mcdowell

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Miller proving his worth with each great start | braves.com

The Heyward trade is working out for the Braves, so far.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, shelby miller

Monday, May 04, 2015

PBA.com: John Burkett Looking Forward to Career as PBA50 Tour Player

Burkett, an accomplished bowler for most of his life, is not a stranger to bowling in PBA competition, having bowled in a handful of Tour events since making his debut in 1990 in Pinole, Calif. He also competed in several regionals along the way, and most recently, he competed in PBA’s 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Resort Summer Swing and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as part of the process to get ready for PBA50 competition.

On April 12 he will join a field of approximately 120 players 50 years of age and older in the Pasco County Florida Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla.

George Plimpton observed that the smaller the ball, the better the writing about a sport.  There is no great literature of bowling, but maybe this thread can be a start.

BDC Posted: May 04, 2015 at 09:06 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: bowling, braves, giants, marlins, rangers, red sox

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Julio Lugo charged with kidnapping, gun posession

Former Devil Rays infielder Julio Lugo (2003-2006) has been charged in court with kidnapping, according to multiple reports out of the Dominican Republic.

Lugo last professionally played baseball for los Leones del Escogido, and last played stateside for the Braves in 2011.

Lugo’s arrest warrant was issued in the cities of La Romana and Santo Domingo for kidnapping and the posession of fire arms. According to the paper, Lugo and four men held their hostage and his girlfriend at gunpoint, demanding money that had allegedly been invested in a business venture.

A rough translation of the article includes how Lugo had, “always been willing to talk about it, assuring him that the money invested in the company, as well as that of other investors, was sure.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, dodgers, guns, julio lugo, kidnapping, legal, rays, red sox

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