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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Braves Newsbeat

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Braves near naming Brian Snitker manager |

As the Braves near the end of their managerial search, a Major League source said it looks like Brian Snitker will remain in the role he handled on an interim basis this year.

The Braves are expected to announce their decision within the next few days, at a time that does not conflict with Major League Baseball’s postseason schedule. But as they near the completion of this selection process, it looks like Snitker has maintained the early advantage he had on the two external candidates—Bud Black and Ron Washington.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 08:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brian snitker, managers

Friday, October 07, 2016

Hart: Braves’ rebuild is going faster than expected |

Which is why it was a big deal, in the first weeks after Wren’s ouster, to promote Brian Bridges to scouting director and bring back Roy Clark, who’d left for the Nationals. Coppolella’s vision includes “wave after wave of prospects” coming through the system: “I believe in waves,” he says, “not windows.” And Swanson, the tip of Wave 1, was as good as advertised.

Let’s be clear. The Braves aren’t yet where they need to be. But, as Hart said, “to where we are from where we’ve come” has taken barely two years. They’re not just on track. They’re burning it up.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2016 at 06:52 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Deadspin: I covered the Braves for a newspaper that didn’t exist

“When my sportswriter friend asked me, back in September of 2000, if I wanted to join him at an Atlanta Braves game that he was working, my first thought was, “That sounds fun!” When he suggested that I use an outdated photographer’s pass he had in his possession, issued for a different game vs. a different team, never mind that I was a real estate broker and not a member of the media in any way, shape, or form, my next thought was, “Does Turner Field have a jail cell?”

This wasn’t the first time I went somewhere I wasn’t supposed to go—when I was a teenager, I snuck into Georgia Tech’s football locker room by blending in with a group of recruits I saw waiting outside after a game. But when you get older, you presumably get wiser, and you start to think more about the potential consequences of getting caught. But I had been a Braves fan for most of my life, and this was an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look that few fans ever get to experience.”

Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: October 05, 2016 at 12:18 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, goofballery, media

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Braves’ instructional league led by young arms |

The next big thing.

Maitan looks like he belongs

Perhaps one of the biggest storylines at instructs for the Braves is the arrival of international signee Kevin Maitan. The top player on’s Top 30 International Prospects list, Maitan signed with the Braves for $4.25 million in July. The 16-year-old shortstop phenom is joined by others from this past signing period as playing in the United States for the first time.
“You look at these guys and they’re basically sophomores in high school,” Scheuerholz said. “They’re big, physical, they are baseball rats.”

Maitan stands out more than most. Schuerholz saw Maitan work out in the Dominican last year and wanted to withhold judgment until seeing him, not wanting the advanced buzz to color his evaluation. What he saw surpassed whatever expectations he was trying to hold back.

“You have your guard up, you don’t know the actual truth until you lay eyes on him,” Schuerholz said. “When I did, he could’ve fit right into a Double- or Triple-A batting practice. It’s now power, this guy is going to be a special player. He’s already gained weight in a good way, he’s gotten stronger, but it hasn’t hurt his agility and footwork. We’ll give him every opportunity to stay at short.”

The group of teenagers had been getting hundreds of reps in the Dominican prior to coming to Florida for instructs to help prepare them on the field. The month they are in Lake Buena Vista will help them acclimate to their surroundings so when they come for their first Spring Training, they won’t be too overwhelmed. They’ll also get to play in games—the instructional league schedule starts on Monday—something they are itching to do after a long time on the showcase circuit and in workout mode.
“They’re champing at the bit to play in games,” Schuerholz said. “That’s how guys get better, getting them that game experience. You can’t replicate that in practice. The sooner we can do that with them, the better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Game Ender! Walk-off dazzler denies Mets

Off the bat, the Mets were convinced it was a home run—convinced that finally, for one night, they had managed to vanquish a Braves team bent on disrupting their Wild Card chase.

Ender Inciarte had other ideas. Racing over from his perch in center field, Inciarte leaped, thrust his glove over the fence and brought Yoenis Cespedes’ drive back into play. Rather than a walk-off homer, it became a game-ending out, allowing the Braves to cap a three-game sweep of the Mets with a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

... Inciarte had a first step of -0.73 seconds on the play, which means he was actually moving before the crack of the bat. He reached a top speed of 19.2 mph and covered 104 feet.

Ender Inciarte can see into the future.

Brian White Posted: September 22, 2016 at 07:37 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ender inciarte, mets

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Braves’ Freddie Freeman reaches 500 RBIs |

“I didn’t really think [hitting 30 homers] would happen, especially after the start [of the season] and obviously coming off an injury. You don’t know how it’s going to hold up,” Freeman said. “Just to stay healthy for a whole year is a big enough accomplishment for me. It just eases everything for me going forward into my career.”

Having just celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday, Freeman is surging into what might be his prime with the confidence he has gained while hitting .334/.434/.632 with 21 home runs over his past 82 games. In essentially half a season, he has nearly bested the career-best homer total (23) he carried into 2016.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2016 at 09:10 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, freddie freeman

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What I’ll never forget about baseball’s return to New York after 9/11 | FOX Sports

Fifteen years later, I know I was silly to be upset about the debate over when play should resume. The debate was appropriate. Baseball had to return at some point. But at the time, it was difficult to see things clearly, to remove the emotion from the moment.

The sadness was overwhelming. I remember welling up with tears several times a day after the attacks, for no particular reason. I well up even now thinking about those days, and I’m sure many of you do the same. But when I flash back to that night — to Diana Ross and to Liza Minielli, to Piazza and to Valentine — I can’t get the images out of my head, the eccentric manager in particular.

Baseball came back, and we were better for it.

Sing, Bobby V, sing.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, september 11th, yankees

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hector Olivera found guilty of assault, sentenced to jail

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was found guilty on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in a Virginia courtroom and was ordered to serve 10 days in jail on Thursday.

Olivera appeared before an Arlington County (Va) General District Court judge, who presided over, issued the guilty verdict and levied the sentence on the assault charge in a bench trial. Olivera was sentenced to 90 days in jail, although the judge suspended 80 days of that sentence, according to court records.

Olivera hasn’t appeared in a major league game since his April arrest.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2016 at 06:03 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, domestic assault, hector olivera, police blotter

Friday, September 09, 2016

Braves fans ask about Rio Ruiz, third basemen |

What more does Inciarte have to do to reach the “right arm” status like Freddie Freeman and Teheran in the eyes of general manager John Coppolella?
—Mason L., College Park, Ga.

Let’s see, Inciarte has established himself as an NL Gold Glove Award favorite, and he’s also proven to be a legit top-of-the-lineup catalyst while positioning himself to possibly produce the best post All-Star break batting average in Braves history. He’s 25 years old, under control through the end of the 2020 season and still a season away from making big money via arbitration-eligible status.

With the go-ahead run at third, Ender Inciarte hustles on a line drive to make a great running catch to end the 7th inning

Given that the Padres and D-backs are probably no longer willing to accept Coppolella’s calls, I don’t see how he would receive the ridiculous offer he would need to be tempted to trade Inciarte, who stands as a significant reason why Atlanta’s offense has proven to be so much more efficient during the season’s second half.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2016 at 11:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, notes

Hector Olivera Found Guilty Of Assault -

Hector Olivera, the former Dodgers and Braves prospect, was found guilty on Thursday of misdemeanor domestic assault stemming from an incident at an Arlington, Va., hotel in April. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Eighty of those days were suspended, however, meaning he will serve just 10 days before being released.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2016 at 07:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, hector olivera, padres

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Braves see no risk in possible Tebow signing |

As the Braves have continued to evaluate the possibility of signing Tim Tebow to a Minor League contract, they have remained interested primarily because they do not see an obvious risk. The financial commitment would be insignificant, and the former NFL quarterback would simply fill a need for Double-A Mississippi while serving as a non-roster player.

“Whatever Tim decides, the fact that he wants to play baseball is good for the game,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “It’s similar to when Michael Jordan or others have wanted to play. It’s positive to draw this kind of interest to the game and make it a story because it’s good for baseball.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects, tim tebow

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ozzie Albies might not get September callup |

If there is a real debate, the answer should be no.

Braves executives will meet with the coaching staff within the next few days to discuss which players will be added when the active roster can expand beyond 25 players in September. Ozzie Albies stands as the most intriguing candidate, but there is no guarantee the highly regarded prospect will end this season at the big league level.

Dating back to the start of Spring Training, there has been an assumption the Braves would spend at least a portion of this season allowing Albies and Dansby Swanson to get a taste of the big leagues together and prepare to open the 2017 season as Atlanta’s double-play tandem.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ozzie albies

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jeff Francoeur is Still Employed by a Major League Team

From Frenchy’s perspective, it’s just about a best-case scenario: You’ve gone from a hopeless, helpless last-place team to one in the thick of a wild card chase; you’ve been traded not only within your division, but you’re staying in the same time zone and avoiding major travel disruptions. It’s easy to see why he’s excited.

But what’s in it for the Marlins?

gehrig97 Posted: August 25, 2016 at 11:04 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur, miami marlins

Marlins acquire Jeff Francoeur from Braves in 3-way deal

Delta has non-stop flights to Miami daily!

The Marlins have acquired outfielder Jeff Francoeur in a three-way deal with the Braves and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The deal will send shortstop Dylan Moore (from Texas) and catcher/first baseman Matt Foley (from Marlins) to the Braves and three international bonus slots (two from Miami and one from Atlanta) to the Rangers.

Francoeur, 32, recently cleared revocable trade waivers, making him eligible to be traded to any team. Miami has been looking for outfield help in the wake of Giancarlo Stanton’s potentially season-ending injury, and was linked to Carlos Gomez before Gomez signed with the Rangers.

Francoeur has hit .249/.290/.381 with seven home runs in 99 games with the Braves this season after signing a minor-league deal to return to Atlanta in late February


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2016 at 10:06 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur, marlins, rangers

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Braves promoting shortstop Dansby Swanson |

Unrealistic expectations with this one.

After trading shortstop Erick Aybar to the Tigers on Tuesday, the Braves created the roster spot necessary for Swanson to begin his Major League career. The 22-year-old suburban Atlanta native ranks as baseball’s No. 5 overall prospect according to

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2016 at 06:28 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, prospects

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Padres trade Matt Kemp to Braves for Olivera |

Reportedly, Hector Olivera will be designated for assignment by the Padres when he comes off the restricted list next week.

The Braves officially acquired Kemp and at least $10.5 million from the Padres on Saturday night in exchange for Olivera. Atlanta’s executives viewed this as a move that could enrich the club’s future and also create some excitement as the team attempts to turn things around during the season’s final two months.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2016 at 07:10 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, padres, trade

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Braves trade RHP Lucas Harrell to Rangers |

Maybe Demeritte isn’t a great prospect.

The Rangers hit two needs in one trade on Wednesday when they acquired right-handed starter Lucas Harrell and left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez from the Braves for Minor League infielder Travis Demeritte.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 28, 2016 at 08:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dario alvarez, lucas harrell, rangers, trades, travis demeritte

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Politician Who Cooked Up Horrid Braves Stadium Deal Gets Voted Out Of Office

If torches and pitchforks were socially acceptable…

As chairman of Cobb County, Tim Lee helped oversee the deal that put Cobb County taxpayers on the hook for almost half a billion dollars to finance the Braves’ new stadium. Not only has the new traffic nightmare of a ball park depleted the county’s public parks fund and ushered in a new wave of sinister legislation, residents never even got to vote on it or voice dissent at county meetings. Lee made the case that he needed to push the deal through in secret, because the Braves needed to adhere to a tight timeline.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 27, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: ballpark development, braves

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Getting the 2016 Braves to the playoffs

Ya gotta have faith

At 31-58 (.348) on the season, the road to the playoffs for the Atlanta Braves is littered with obstacles. Some of these obstacles are tossed into the road by superior NL clubs, such as Washington, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona, San Diego, and Colorado. But other obstacles have been placed in the road by the Braves themselves, obstacles such as “being a shitty team,” “not spending money,” and “giving playing time to Adonis Garcia.” FanGraphs pegs the Braves division odds at 0%, their wildcard odds at 0%, and their overall playoff odds at 0%. The sabermetrics site expects Atlanta’s final record to be 61-101. In addition to all of that, the Braves are expected to sell their best players (Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, and Joe from downtown Atlanta) at the trade deadline.

Most people will dismiss the Braves’ season here in July, saying that there is “no way” the Braves can contend. These people look at fancy sabermetric numbers such as wins and losses and form a quick, shallow opinion. But, the games are played on the field for a reason. All is not lost for Atlanta.

Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 15, 2016 at 12:40 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, humor

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ordinance gives Braves development power to set vending areas | News |

How many politicians are in the Braves pockets?

Another one of Cupid’s concerns was that the ordinance could impact property owners near the stadium and The Battery Atlanta by restricting their ability to allow vendors to set up in their parking lots or other parts of their property.

“That is how I interpreted the code, that any vending of items by those classified as vendors would not be able to within a certain distance” of the stadium, Cupid said. “I just get concerned overall when we start limiting commerce to benefit a particular use — even if it’s county or private, I get concerned about overreaching in that area.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2016 at 07:41 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium deals

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dodgers acquire Bud Norris from Braves

The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Bud Norris from the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal of Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports two minor-leaguers will go to Atlanta in the deal.

Norris, 31, will provide immediate starting depth for a Dodgers’ rotation that has dealt with injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Brett Anderson so far this season. He has posted a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts, becoming a viable trade chip for a rebuilding Atlanta squad.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:07 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bud norris, dodgers, trade

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BA: Kevin Maitan Is Venezuela’s Next Great Prospect Read

Aside from older Cuban players who have come over, Maitan, a 16-year-old switch-hitting shortstop, is the best international prospect for July 2 since Miguel Sano signed with the Twins for $3.15 million in 2009. Scouts considered both players potential impact, middle-of-the-order bats, though staying at shortstop was never a realistic option for Sano. With Maitan, he might be able to stay there, which is why you can argue he might be an even better prospect.

It takes a lot longer than that to find a Venezuelan prospect as good as Maitan at his age. It’s not that the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Maitan is similar to Miguel Cabrera, but it’s easy to see why there are Venezuelan scouts who consider Maitan the best 16-year-old amateur prospect the country has produced since Cabrera signed with the Marlins 17 years ago for $1.9 million.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sandy Springs erupts over ‘nightmare’ plan to run Braves traffic through its streets

Cobb County’s plan for handling traffic generated by the Atlanta Braves next year is to get fans off I-285 and onto surface streets in adjacent communities.

The mayor and city council of Sandy Springs learned of this for the first time on Tuesday. They are not pleased. ...

The news account quotes a “visibly angry” Mayor Rusty Paul as calling the Cobb plan “our nightmare.” The mayor also said he had made calls to ranking Cobb officials to discuss traffic planning, but had never heard back.

We contacted Paul last night. He declined to escalate the situation – saying he was “optimistic that a solution can be achieved.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2016 at 04:25 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, traffic

Monday, June 13, 2016

From garbage man to garbage innings: An ode to Joe Winkelsas

An American (un?)success story.

It was there that a Brewers scout (re)discovered Winkelsas’ arm, which the pitcher claimed was restored by hauling garbage cans.

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