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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

VICE: Baseball Erotica #1: John Smoltz and Tom Glavine

Um, NSFW.

Smoltz remained silent and tried to to stand up straighter. Even his eyes were correctly positioned, looking dully ahead with the plasticine sheen of bad taxidermy. In front of him sat a cork board lined with weather-wilted photocopies of He Who Should Not Be Named, augmented by sharpie to include fecal beards and Pollockian body fluid-based decorations. ####### Maddux.

Smoltz lost track of how many times they repeated this dance. All he knew was that he had to keep getting up. Until one time, he faltered.

As Glavine berated him like a drill sergeant, he forced him down onto hands and knees and hastily cut away his clothing. Smoltz listened to the sound of the scissors as they swam across his outfit, bisecting it for His pleasure, and was grateful for the splinters now, as they gave him something else to think about besides the throbbing marks made by a talented paddler. As Glavine cursed and spat on the floor, Smoltz’s zip-tie bindings cut his skin, listlessly biting at his wrists the way a butter knife saws on a ripe tomato.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:49 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, erotica, john smoltz, tom glavine, vice

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Schoenfield: Why didn’t the Braves win more titles?

This article isn’t meant to be a criticism or detract from the accomplishments of Maddux, Glavine and Cox, but it’s also fair to point out that part of the legacy of those Braves teams is that those 14 playoff appearances led to just one World Series title (1995). Why wasn’t it more? The law of averages—if every playoff team were considered equal—suggests the Braves should have won 2.1 championships in this period, so they really only underperformed by one title by this measure.

But the Braves were often better than the opponent who beat them, at least in the regular season, so maybe it should have been at least three titles. I thought it would be interesting to go back and see what went wrong for them. We’ll list three factors for each postseason series defeat during that period.

...Of course, in the postseason, when the margin for error is smaller and the opponents better, those mistakes become more important. Still, maybe that wasn’t a decisive factor; the Braves reached on an error 58 times in these 14 playoffs years, their opponents 64.

Maybe a key to the Braves’ success—starting pitching depth—just wasn’t as big of a factor in the playoffs, when their opponents could shorten their rotations. Maybe power pitching does win in October; think of some of the pitchers the Braves lost to (Schilling with the Phillies and then the Diamondbacks; Johnson; Wood and Prior; Clemens and Roy Oswalt). The Braves’ best playoff starter was Smoltz, more of a power pitcher than Maddux and Glavine. Maddux went 11-13 with a 2.81 ERA in his Braves postseason career but also allowed 18 unearned runs in 27 starts; he was good but not quite the Maddux of the regular season. Glavine was 12-15 with a 3.44 ERA in his Braves postseason career. (He had a 3.15 ERA in the regular season during this period.)

But Braves fans will always have 1995, Maddux pitching a two-hitter to win the opener and then Glavine clinching it with that masterful Game 6 performance, allowing just one hit in eight innings. It’s hard to believe that was 19 years ago.

Thanks to Chet.

Repoz Posted: July 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history

Saturday, July 26, 2014

HoVG: John Rocker Shows Up in Cooperstown… “Survivor” Up Next

Well, guess I can add gutless Ryan Klesko to my mierda list.

ku

This year, however, is a little different.  Probably thinking there’s a way to cash in on the glut of Atlanta Braves fans making the trip north…there’s also John Rocker.  And, sure, it’d be easy to suspect that Rocker is in town to support his former teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and skipper Bobby Cox, but, it’s Rocker…and we know that’s not how dude operates.

Rocker (alongside another former Brave Ryan Klesko) was holding down his patch of sidewalk selling books, posing for pictures, signing autographs and, naturally, telling folks to “Speak English”.

Repoz Posted: July 26, 2014 at 09:37 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hof

Friday, July 18, 2014

Braves release Dan Uggla

That is one Uggla contract.

The Braves on Friday released second baseman Dan Uggla, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman has learned.

The move is notable because Uggla, whom the Braves signed to a five-year, $62-million deal just prior to the 2011 season, is still owed the remainder of his $13-million salary for this season and another $13 million for the 2015 season. In other words, making Uggla go away is worth, oh, almost $20 million to the Braves.

Even with the money involved, the decision is easy to understand. Uggla in 2011, his first season after being acquired from the Marlins in exchange for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn, tallied 36 homers. Since then, however, he’s batted .196/.320/.357, and this year he cratered to an OPS+ of 33 (!).

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:02 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: bad contracts, braves, dan uggla, released players

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Braves Suspend Dan Uggla For One Game

No, Braves fans, you can’t void his contract for being late.

The Braves have issued a one-game suspension to Dan Uggla, the team announced… Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez declined to comment on the specifics of the suspension but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears it was due to Uggla being late (Twitter links).

... O’Brien speculated yesterday that with [Phil] Gosselin on the way up, the Braves could have designated Ugggla for assignment today.  The suspension gives Atlanta a bit of extra time to decide what they’re going with Uggla over the long run, as the club still owes him approximately $5.42MM for the remainder of this season and $13MM in 2015.

The second baseman hasn’t lived up to expectations since joining the Braves and signing that five-year, $62MM extension in January 2011.  Uggla has a .209/.317/.391 slash line and 79 homers over 1984 PA as a Brave and he’s seen his role decrease as his output has declined — he was left off Atlanta’s playoff roster last fall and saw his starting job usurped by [Tommy] La Stella and Tyler Pastornicky.  Today’s suspension is the clearest sign yet that Uggla’s time with the club is about to end and the Braves will have to eat the remainder of Uggla’s contract.

The District Attorney Posted: July 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dan uggla, phil gosselin

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

McCann’s old hitting coach: ‘He’ll never be comfortable’ on Yankees

“New York is not Brian,” Pendleton said before the Braves fell to the Mets 4-3 in 11 innings. “That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that.”

TP is always making friends.  McCann hit .230/.300/.399 in ‘12 and is hitting .230/.289/.379 now.  He’s fat, has a lot of miles on him, and is on the wrong side of 30.  What did you expect.  Enjoy the part of the contract where he is still able to catch.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 08, 2014 at 07:29 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brian mccann, opinions are like, yankees

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Scarpetta leads Lynchburg to second straight no-hitter:  Braves’ Carolina League affiliate holds Wilmington hitless for second consecutive night

For two nights, Class A Advanced Lynchburg’s pitching staff has been unhittable. After Braves’ No. 1 prospect Lucas Sims and Alex Wilson combined for a no-hitter Thursday night against Wilmington, Cody Scarpetta and Benino Pruneda combined for a no-hitter of their own Friday, as the Hillcats defeated the Blue Rocks, 5-0.

CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 28, 2014 at 09:46 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, collective vander meer-ism

Friday, June 20, 2014

Gavin Floyd suffers fracture in elbow

Floyd broke the olecranon—the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out behind the elbow—as he made the first pitch of the seventh inning, a curveball that Jayson Werth pulled foul, deep along the left-field line.

“In the big picture, I think he’s going to be OK,” Gonzalez said.

A similar injury ended the career of Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya in 2010.

“I mean like a really big picture.  It probably won’t kill him is what I’m saying.”

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, injuries

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WaPo: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Could this mean Chief Wahoo’s days are numbered?


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tempers flare as Rockies beat Braves

The Rockies led 8-3 in the eighth when Dickerson fouled away a pitch and knocked off Laird’s facemask.

...

With his next pitch, Atlanta reliever David Carpenter hit Dickerson in the thigh and was ejected.

“I guess Carpenter thought it was on purpose,” Dickerson said.

Ah, those loveable scamps are at it again.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:34 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rockies, unwritten rules

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What’s Behind Baseball’s Right-Handed Power Decline?

Although eight of the top 10 home run hitters in 2014 are right-handed, such success comes on the heels of some very fallow years, and it belies the larger trend. Only eight right-handed hitters reached 30 home runs in 2013, and only 36 hit 20 homers, both the fewest in a non-strike-shortened season since 1992. Only 11 righties posted a slugging percentage above .500 last year, also the fewest in any season since 1992. And even though the top of the current leaderboard is righty heavy, there’s been no appreciable change in the overall rate of right-handed home run hitting: The overall HR/AB and slugging numbers for righties in 2014 are only a modicum better than the 2013 figures, and they are still worse than 2011 and 2012.

“It’s hard to find power,” Braves general manager Frank Wren says, “and it’s really hard to find right-handed power in today’s game.”...

No one interviewed for this story is confident in a catchall answer to explain the decline, and the most common theory is that this is merely the natural ebb and flow.

“I’m sure we’ll get right-handed hitters back,” one AL scout says. “I’ve got to think it’s cyclical. This is the Bronze Age of right-handed hitters. There’ll be a Golden Age coming.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, right-handed power, scouting

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Anatomy of a start: Jake Peavy dissects his last outing against the Braves

Inside the head of a veteran thinking man’s pitcher.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2014 at 08:14 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jake peavy, pitching, red sox

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Corcoran: Top studs and duds: The best and worst No. 1 picks in MLB draft history

1. Chipper Jones, SS, Braves, 1990

By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with the Mariners, but Jones, a regional high school shortstop who settled in at third base in the major leagues, spent his entire 19-year, soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with team that drafted him.

“He looks just like you, poindexter!”

Eddo Posted: June 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, draft, mariners, mets, padres, twins, white sox, yankees

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Braves 3B pulled from game after tantrum

The veteran third baseman threw a tantrum in the tunnel leading into the Braves clubhouse following a second-inning strikeout against the Colorado Rockies, forcing manager Fredi Gonzalez to remove him for Ramiro Pena in the top of the third.

A 73 OPS+, leads the league in GIDP, sorta nuts, and a three year extension that hasn’t even kicked in yet.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:24 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, grow up already

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hadricourt: Bullpen mixup a lowlight in Brewers’ loss

Roenicke then went to plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth to make a double-switch and pointed to the bullpen for a lefty. There was no lefty warming up so Duke volunteered to come out, but Roenicke told Culbreth he wanted Smith.

The rules state that a new pitcher can throw no more than eight pitches after taking the mound. Because Culbreth was informed Smith had not been up in the bullpen, he asked Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez if he would agree to more pitches and Gonzalez said no.

Two things I have never seen before - at least I knew what the rule was for number of warmup tosses.  But for the rest of the game, the question of whether or not Duke was eligible to come in the game again was the subject of much debate.  He clearly entered the field of play, but since he was not forced to pitch to a batter before leaving, was he officially in the game?

spike Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:06 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brewers, umpiring

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Braves Release Renderings of New Stadium

See link for images. Seems like Cobb County is paying for a nice-looking park.

CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:26 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadia

Braves will stick with six-man rotation indefinitely

Gonzalez announced that right-hander Ervin Santana, left-hander Alex Wood and right-hander Aaron Harang would pitch the club’s upcoming three-game series Friday through Sunday in St. Louis. The team used right-hander Gavin Floyd and left-hander Mike Minor in the first two games in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday, with right-hander Julio Teheran scheduled for Wednesday’s series finale.

Fredi gets a lot of guff from Braves fans for his in-game management, and occasionally rightfully so. But he’s consistently shown the willingness to think outside of “the book” for long term strategy. This move allows the Braves to keep a wary eye on both Alex Wood and Julio Teheran’s workloads.


Saturday, May 03, 2014

AJC - Gonzalez, Braves can’t confirm suspicions of sign-stealing

When virtually the same Marlins lineup which struck out 11 times against Aaron Harang last week at Turner Field pounced on him for 10 hits and a career-high nine runs on Wednesday night in Miami, he and the Braves had their suspicions.

Nobody came out and accused the Marlins of relaying signs, but it was safe to say eyebrows were raised. Harang had alluded to the possibility in his postgame comments, saying: “It was baffling, like, where were these guys last week? They were way too comfortable. It seemed like they were all hitting like Ted Williams.”

Buck Coats Posted: May 03, 2014 at 12:22 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, marlins

Friday, May 02, 2014

Braves extend Chris Johnson

3 years, $23.5 M with option

OK, it’s not a lot of money so it doesn’t really matter but ... Chris Johnson?  Depends what you believe about his defense I suppose but he seems more like the “be happy you got the good bit, now say goodbye” type.

This will bring his career earnings to about $32 M.  Possibly I chose the wrong profession.

Walt Davis Posted: May 02, 2014 at 10:04 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, chris johnson

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sullivan: How Ervin Santana Made Himself Complete

Santana was late to sign — and it took some injuries to get him to Atlanta — but through a handful of starts, Santana has demonstrated a new level of ability.

And, looking back, perhaps we were tipped off.

The Panic of ‘14 recovers.

spike Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:00 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: atlanta, braves, pitching mechanics

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Saturday, April 19, 2014

SCD: Bobby Cox Rookie Card Goes from Common Box to Hall of Fame

Cox collecting. Who knew?!

But for Bobby Cox, the cards of him as a player are limited. Topps issued one for him in 1969 (#237) after his only full major league season as a Yankee third baseman and then he disappeared from cards until he became manager of the Braves in 1978.

Cox, who debuted in the big leagues at age 26 after being acquired from Atlanta in December of 1967, was basically was a one-season wonder for the Yankees who used him as a starter in 1968 and then replaced him with Bobby Murcer in 1969 and later with Jerry Kenney. Cox suffered from knee ailments on a regular basis.  He would finish out the 1969 season as a Yankee and would end his professional career shortly thereafter.

Not every player’s cards take big price jumps when they’re elected to the Hall of Fame, but Cox’s election definitely helped the value of his ’69 Topps card, which went from a common not that long ago to a Hall of Famer. NM/MT graded examples have been bringing $55-65 with high quality ungraded examples not far behind.

Cox didn’t have a 1970 card, although there certainly could be one if Topps had wanted to print one, thus the only card issued during Cox’ career showing him as a big league player is a 1969 Topps Card (#237).

Not only is this card the only one to feature Cox in a major league uniform during his playing career it is also a bit of a challenge to find in high grade.

However, if you want a really difficult card of Cox during his playing career, go search for his 1967 Topps Venezuela card in the lowest numbers. These cards are really difficult to come by and some cards in that series are believed to have fewer than ten copies extant.

Cox, of course, is in the Hall because of his managerial success.  He’s fourth on the all-time wins list and a four-time manager of the year whose number 6 has been retired by the Braves.  It’s probably not something he envisioned 45 years ago when he saw himself on a baseball card for the first time.

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, yankees

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Jeff [Francoeur] Ears

Frenchy’s minor league teammates convinced him that one of the pitchers on his team was deaf. For a month.

NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 08:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, delta, idiocy, padres

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Braves Set American Flag on Fire At their Home Opener

As a scheduled part of their home opener, the Atlanta Braves set off fireworks before their game against the New York Mets on Tuesday. As an unscheduled part of their home opener, the fireworks set fire to the American flag that flies above the Braves Vision video screen in center field.
“It happened because of new pyrotechnics,” Braves spokesperson Beth Marshall said. “For the first time, they put pyrotechnics on Braves Vision. One of the pyrotechnics flew at the flag and lit it on fire.” Marshall added that the material of the flag is flame retardant, so it went out on its own.


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