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Friday, May 27, 2016

Hector Olivera’s suspension doesn’t fully clarify future with Braves | Jeff Schultz blog

Anyone is tradable.

While Olivera’s case appears headed toward resolution, his future with the Braves is less certain. The fact he remains an unproven commodity and is signed through 2020 (with salaries totaling $32.5 million, including $8.67 million this season), makes him relatively untradeable. Yes, I say that even though the team found a way to trade Melvin (B.J.) Upton (packaging him with one of the team’s most valuable assets, closer Craig Kimbrel).

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hector olivera

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hector Olivera suspended 82 games for domestic violence incident

Braves outfielder Hector Olivera has been suspended 82 games under the league’s domestic violence policy, MLB announced Thursday. The suspension is retroactive to April 30 and will end August 1. Olivera agreed not to appeal.

“My office has completed its investigation into the allegation that Hector Olivera violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy on April 13, 2016,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Olivera violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on August 1st. Mr. Olivera has also agreed to make a significant charitable contribution to one or more charitable organizations focused on preventing and treating survivors of domestic violence.”

The suspension stems from an incident at the team hotel last month. Olivera has been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a woman alleged she had been assaulted. MLB placed Olivera on administrative leave shortly thereafter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 05:20 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, domestic abuse, hector olivera, suspensions

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Atlanta Braves prospect Dansby Swanson stays focused in Double-A debut with Mississippi | MiLB.com

Here’s another guy who looks like he’s going to be pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2016 at 11:39 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson

Braves trade minor leaguers for draft pick (and Matusz)

The Braves made another trade Monday that underscores the importance they place on the June draft in their rebuilding plan.

They traded minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and left-hander Trevor Belicek to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed reliever Brian Matusz and the No. 76 pick in next month’s draft. That brings to five the number of picks the Braves hold among the first 80 picks in the June 9-11 draft, Nos. 3, 40, 44, 76 and 80.

The Braves immediately designated for assignment the contract of Matusz, who could traded or released.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brian matusz, draft picks, orioles, trade

Friday, May 20, 2016

Braves’ front office situation seems unsettling | www.myajc.com

Then they changed their mind. It’s called image preservation. The decision was made to fire Gonzalez, and it was done clumsily by Coppolella. (Gonzalez receiving an emailed itinerary for a one-way ticket out of Dodge before he had been told anything.) Then it was the more-polished Hart who parachuted into Pittsburgh and did most of the media commitments, in part because public speaking isn’t Coppy’s forte.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, front office, general manager

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Braves fire Gonzalez as manager

Jeff Francoeur knows a good airline to get him out of town.

The Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday, after one of the worst half-seasons in the franchise’s 140-year history was followed by its worst-ever start to a season. They have a majors-worst 7-28 record.

An announcement of the firing and his replacement was expected from the team later Tuesday.

Although it’s widely known that the Braves are in the midst of a rebuilding effort that gutted the major league team while fortifying the minor league system, Gonzalez had long been a lightning rod for criticism from fans and some media members, and he ultimately paid the price for the team’s dismal performance.

Gonzalez, 52, was in his sixth season as Braves manager after replacing his mentor, Bobby Cox, when the legendary Braves manager retired after the 2010 season. He is the first Braves manager fired since Russ Nixon was dumped in June 1990 and replaced by Cox.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fired, fredi gonzalez

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Braves trade Chacin to Angels for lefty relief project

The Braves traded starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin to the Los Angeles Angels for 6-foot-8 left-hander Adam McCreery, a low-level relief prospect who’s 23 and hasn’t pitched above the rookie-league level.


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Atlanta Braves should bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa and the teepee

We live in a politically correct world these days, with people sensitive about anything and everything. We can never be in other people’s shoes to understand why something might upset them, but there’s little doubt, it seems easy for everyone to find something that gets their goat.

Perhaps that was a disclaimer that what I’m about to write might upset some, but it doesn’t worry me enough not to write it. Twenty-five years ago when the Atlanta Braves became the team everyone loved, it was easy for Native Americans to complain about things with the nickname that upset them.

That’s a shame. But it’s time to make the Braves special again as they move into Sun Trust Park next season. It’s time to bring back some of the things we grew up with that made the team special.

It’s time to bring back the teepee. And while we’re at it, let’s bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa and Princess Win-A-Lotta.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mascots

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Credit the Braves for trying stuff. Lots of stuff, actually | Mark Bradley blog

Change is easy when you stink.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Braves Play Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball

Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger. Says Joel Maxcy, a sports economist at Drexel University: “If there’s one thing the Braves know how to do, it’s how to get money out of taxpayers.”

The Atlanta Braves own most of their minor league farm system, including, along with a Double-A team, the Triple-A team in Gwinnett County, Ga.; the Single-A team in Rome, Ga.; and lower-level teams in Danville, Va., and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It’s an unusual arrangement. Major League Baseball teams always manage their players at every level, but they usually leave the day-to-day operations of farm teams to independent owners. The Braves prefer more control. “We can create a seamless thread all the way through our system,” says Mike Plant, the team’s president of development. The teams are all named the Braves and wear near-identical uniforms. Even the “Tomahawk Chop” chant is the same from Atlanta to Rome. “We definitely extend that Braves brand through everything we do,” says Plant.

The Braves are similarly methodical about using other people’s money to build their ballparks. In 2001, for example, while trying to persuade Rome to build a $15 million, 5,105-seat stadium for the Single-A Braves, who then played 150 miles south in Macon, the Braves brought local officials to Turner Field for executive dinners and to watch games from the owner’s box. “It was hands down the highlight of my life,” then-Floyd County Manager Kevin Poe says. That November, Rome voters approved a 1¢ sales tax to pay for the stadium by a 142-vote margin.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why Would Anybody Watch the Braves? (Baseball Prospectus)

Fightin’ words:

If you were in the Atlanta area on Sunday, you could have seen matinee performances of ‘Dream Girls’ (at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta) or ‘Ragtime’ (at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center). You could have attended an Italian Film Festival at the Plaza Theatre, or the Sweetwater 420 Festival in Centennial Olympic Park, where the craft beer was flowing and live music played. It was a free entrance day at several National Parks, including nearby Chattahoochee Park. Instead of pursuing any of those opportunities, 32,085 people bought tickets to see the Braves host the Mets, and I’m writing this article just to ask a simple question: Why?

Why, when the Braves started 4-13 in their final season as true residents of Atlanta, rather than white suburbia, keep throwing good money after very, very bad? Why, when this team’s upper management threw a temper tantrum over a bad month and a half in late 2014 and traded away nearly all of what was a tremendous, successful core of exciting young players, place any faith in their current plan to stomach years of losing in the hope of building another such core? Why, when this team is going nowhere this season and benefits far more from losing than from winning, go to the park and implore them to do the latter?

Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: April 26, 2016 at 06:21 AM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Friday, April 22, 2016

Braves may complain to union about condition of Turner Field infield

This would never happen with a new stadium!

Unhappy over the conditions of the Turner Field infield, Atlanta Braves players are considering contacting the players’ union to see if they can pressure their own club to make improvements, a source within the organization told ESPN on Thursday.

The source speculated that with the Braves leaving Turner Field for a new stadium after this season, the playing surface is not being treated with the same meticulous care as in the past and that the problem areas are the uneven grass and the unpredictable area where the turf meets the infield dirt….

“This is a tough infield,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You look at Dodger Stadium versus this field, and this field, the guys talk about it around the league that it is not the best infield as far as playing.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2016 at 02:26 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, field conditions, mlbpa, turner field

MLB’s replay rule can be challenging: When to challenge? | www.ajc.com

Yes, what we need is more replay. How about we cut the game time down to one hour so we can have two hours of replay and still get the game in under three hours?

Francoeur said he’d like to see managers get two challenges per game. “That’s why I get frustrated — it doesn’t make sense that there’s only one challenge,” he said. “That’s such a huge call in the game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2016 at 01:53 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, replay

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Braves stock to begin trading Monday

Talk about junk bonds…

Shares of stock in the Braves are expected to begin trading Monday, according to team owner Liberty Media.

Liberty said it completed a long-in-the-works transaction late Friday to exchange its existing stock for three new tracking stocks – one tied to the Braves (Liberty Braves stock), one tied to the company’s 61-percent stake in satellite radio provider SiriusXM (Liberty SiriusXM stock) and one tied to the company’s other holdings (new Liberty Media stock).
Each share of Liberty’s existing stock is being exchanged for one share of Liberty SiriusXM stock, 0.1 share of Liberty Braves stock and 0.25 share of the new Liberty Media stock, according to the company.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 19, 2016 at 08:45 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Braves’ Hector Olivera arrested after domestic dispute

Reports in Washington, D.C. are saying Atlanta Braves left fielder Hector Olivera has been arrested after being involved in a domestic dispute.

ABC7 reported the female victim had bruises and was transported to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA.

Olivera was at a Ritz Carlton and was taken into custody.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2016 at 10:50 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, domestic incident, hector olivera, police blotter

Monday, April 11, 2016

Braves (0-5) are a minor league product in a major league season | Jeff Schultz blog

NEWSFLASH: The Braves stink.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Braves prospect John Gant has one of the strangest deliveries you’ll ever see | MLB.com

Who is the MLB VP in charge of the Ministry of Silly Windups?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2016 at 08:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, john gant

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Where Braves top 30 prospects start the season | MLB.com

MLB Pipeline is publishing a series of articles on where each team’s Top 30 Prospects are projected to start the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 12:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Utley Rule costs Atlanta Braves a baserunner vs. Washington Nationals

This rule is overkill and an overreaction.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 05, 2016 at 06:28 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick markakis, rules of the game

Friday, April 01, 2016

Dale Murphy on Brycer Harper & Bautista

Dale Murphy was talking with his wife Nancy about this supposed rift between generations. You probably have heard something about it. Bryce Harper wants the game to be more fun, livelier, with more feeling expressed, with bat flips and fist pumps and raw emotion. A few other younger players have said similar things either with words or, in the case of Jose Bautista, with an epic bat flip for the ages.
And in the last couple of weeks, a couple of great players from my childhood — Goose Gossage and Mike Schmidt — took issue with Harper’s words and Bautista’s tactics and the young players’ desire to be more demonstrative. Schmidt wrote that such displays “show a lack of respect for your opponent and the history of the game.”

Gossage concurred. “It was a bleepin’ disgrace,” he said.

Dale Murphy played when I was a kid too; he was a hero of mine. I have three Dale Murphy autographs in this house basically because, if you were a Dale Murphy fan, you just ended up with autographs the way that jeans end up with loose change. He was that kind of nice guy. Murphy was a fantastic player in the time of Schmidt and Gossage. He won back-to-back MVP awards just after Schmidt did. He faced Gossage 23 times, hitting just .130 against the Goose (Murphy did manage a homer against Gossage the very last time they faced each other).

In any case, Dale was talking with Nancy about this goofy rift between old school and new, this disagreement between these crazy kids today with their antics and the staid, respectful players of old who kept their heads down, when Nancy interrupted. ‘Wait a minute? Wasn’t there a player in your time who used to come on to the field doing backflips?”

That was Ozzie Smith, of course. And everybody loved it.

“Funny thing about us old guys,” Murphy says. “We don’t always remember our own time so well.”


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Braves name John Schuerholz as vice chairman, Mike Plant as president, development and Derek Schiller as president, business

Atlanta Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk has announced several organizational changes, as the team prepares to close out Turner Field in 2016 and move into SunTrust Park in 2017. Team president John Schuerholz has been named Vice Chairman, while Executive Vice President Mike Plant has been named President, Development and Executive Vice President Derek Schiller has been named as President, Business. The new titles are effective immediately.

President of Baseball Operations John Hart will continue in his role with the Club and will report to both McGuirk and Schuerholz. Plant and Schiller will report directly to McGuirk.

Rickey! the difference between kangaroos and Zoras Posted: March 31, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Braves have pair of young shortstop prospects | MLB.com

If they put put Swanson in High A, he’s probably more on a middle of next year timeline.

The Braves saw enough from Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies during Spring Training to strengthen their confidence that these two elite prospects could form a double-play combo in Atlanta within the next year. Now, they must decide how to best develop these two high-impact shortstops.

After seeing Swanson and Albies develop a strong bond and friendship during their time in camp, the Braves flirted with the idea of pairing the two together on the same Minor League team and having them periodically alternate between middle-infield spots. But it now seems more likely that they will be separated and given the chance to both play shortstop on a daily basis.
“If we didn’t have Swanson, we feel great about Albies as our future shortstop,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We also feel great about having Swanson as our future shortstop. It’s a good problem to have, but we want to make sure we do the right thing for these kids, because whatever is right for them is going to be right for the Braves.”

If the Braves do separate the two, Albies will likely begin the season with Double-A Mississippi and Swanson with Class A Advanced Carolina.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, ozzie albies

Braves keeping Francoeur, will add him to roster

Though Francoeur proved productive through his first two Major League seasons, he began to decline and was traded to the Mets during the 2009 season. He has since played for the Rangers, Royals, Giants, Padres and Phillies.

But now, Francoeur is truly coming home to strengthen the Braves’ bench with his right-handed power potential. He can capably handle both corner outfield spots and he has acquainted himself with center field over the past few weeks.

And there was much rejoicing at BTF!!!

eddieot Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur

Monday, March 28, 2016

Braves release Nick Swisher, send Alex Torres down

Tough break, brah.

Nick Swisher was a player without a spot on the rebuilding Braves. Injuries and age had robbed him of many of the skills he had earlier in his career and while he did have some positional flexibility, he wasn’t necessarily a desirable option at any of the positions he could play.

After acquiring Swisher in the trade that essentially shuffled bad contracts around with the Indians (sending Chris Johnson to the Indians and taking on Michael Bourn as well), the Braves tried to trade Swisher during the entire offseason. Despite a serviceable spring training stint, no teams bit on a trade offer and the Braves decided to eat the money owed to Nick and gave him his unconditional release….

The Braves will owe Swisher $15 million this season, although some of that was covered by the cash received in the trade with the Indians last season.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 01:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick swisher

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tommy Hanson Had It All—Family, Friends and a Sparkling Career. Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Close as we are to loved ones, tight as we become with our best friends, some things are just unknowable. Depression, like a virus, barges in with invisible force and incapacitates with a silent thud.

Most likely, someone you know is fighting a desperately quiet battle with it as you read this. The website Healthline says that more than 80 percent of people with symptoms of clinical depression are not receiving any treatment for it, while the number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 20 percent each year.

Though Tommy Hanson was not diagnosed with depression, many close to him suspect it had him in its grip. When Tommy Hanson slipped away in November, only the shock and grief were tangible.

At the funeral in Atlanta, a who’s who from the Braves organization and others throughout baseball filled the church. Gonzalez, Cox and Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell sat together while so many fought a losing battle to keep it together.

“I remember looking around and seeing so many young people, friends of his, friends of his wife, teammates,” Gonzalez says. “You see all of his old teammates sitting with their wives and kids. And I said, ‘My God, this guy was just beginning his life.’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2016 at 01:10 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, braves, drug abuse, kris medlen, tommy hanson

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