Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Centerfield settled

Looks like the centerfield job is settled... or basically settled. Yesterday the Braves traded Josh Anderson, the speedy out-of-options centerfielder for 3 pairs of Mizuno cleats and a half chewed envelope of Redman. This transaction paves the way for the Braves' centerfield to me manned by this guy:

McCann's Cans should also have plenty of competition in the right field upper pavilion seats. Perhaps a taste test/beer fest is in order.

Budweiser could not be reached for comment regarding the imminent change in selection offered by the Chophouse.

But don't look to see this frosty goodness cleansing the pallet of our outfield grass on opening day, instead you're likely to see:

That's right, Greg White (aka Gregor Blanco), or Schaefer light will likely shag the opening day fly balls allowing the "Real McCoy" to delay arbitration another year and subjecting him to the indentured servitude of the Braves for 7 years, in clear violation of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln would not be happy with you Mr. Wren.

We're having a baby!

I've dreamed of having a baby just like this for several years now, and if all goes well, we'll bring it home tonight:

for those of you trying to add 2 and 2... buying an SUV does NOT mean we're pregnant!

Monday, March 30, 2009


job, roof, 2nd job, looking for a new car... there's never any time

reminds me of this

Friday, March 27, 2009

Feeling good about pitching

Lowe has had consecutive stellar outings this spring, posting big strike out numbers and as always keeping the ball on the ground. He'll prove to be a work horse and a solid #1 starter. I'm predicting 18 wins.

Kenshin Kawakami had another great outing this week. We have him for three years so I hope he continues to impress. I do worry a little that his early success is a product of not being seen, and eventually major league hitters will figure him out (see Nomo). But for now lets enjoy the fact that he has great command and a ridiculous curveball. We'll give Kenshin 15 wins after a hot start.

JJ, all indications are that he has the "make-up" (whatever the hell that means) not to be overwhelmed by his early success. He's expected to have a sophomore year as great or better than his rookie one. My thought is, that he was our best last year, and any kid that has had to carry a team has gotten all the seasoning necessary. It's just a matter of performance now. Jiar is good at least 13 again, but I expect 15.

Vazquez, solid spring as expected. Bobby Cox is in love with this guy. He'll eat the innings like a solid 3-4 starter should. But don't be surprised if he does more. All the talk is that he's a perennial underachiever. But he's got great stuff and appears to be in a much better environment now. 16 wins would be nice.

Tommy G, well he's Glavine. We know what we've got and if he's healthy, he'll be a real asset in the 5 spot. I don't predict as many starts as most starters. Expect 12 wins, anything more is gravy, anything less and we've got Hanson waiting.

Don't forget about Huddy. Tim Hudson is rehabbing well and look for him to return after the Allstar break. Too early to tell how we'll fit him in, but he'll definitely help the club. If he can grab us 5-7 wins down the stretch, look out playoffs.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The rest of the roster

Ok, 12 pitchers set, 13 positions players to go:


13. Chipper
14. Yunel
15. Kelly Johnson
16. Crotch-man
17. McCann
18. David Ross
19. Prado (you know Chipper will be hurt)
20. Infante (because he does it all and hits)


21. Francouer
22. Garrett Anderson (because he paid for him)
23. Diaz (he's that good, I wish he could play more)
24. Josh Anderson (he's out of options, and he's pretty good)
*25. Jordan Shafer/Brandon Jones/Gregor Blanco

This last one is the tough decision. Jordan Shafer has done everything he can to prove he's ready but they can send him down so they probably will. Brandon Jones is a real talent but still a bit young (damn we've got a deep roster this year). Finally Greg White (aka Gregor Blanco), was a little hot and cold last year, and was probably only up because we were in a jam. Truth is we only have room for 1 center fielder and with Infante on the roster, we've got an adequate emergency backup. None of theses guys make it. Don't forget the Bobby's love affair with switch hitting (less than) phenom Greg Norton.

*Norton will fill the 25th roster spot and the last seat on the bench until he gets that 8th inning call.

If there are any readers out there, tell me what you think (by clicking 'comments' below) about using a roster spot for a guy that does essentially nothing but pinch hit. They'll through him in a few ball games at 1st and a few in left to give a start a break, but he's definitely not any better than the next guy to fill that void. Is he good enough off the bench to justify it? Bobby certainly thinks so. I have my doubts. I'd rather get Shafer up here and playing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Making The Cut- Trimming to 25

We're getting late in Spring Training, and it's time to determine who's made it an who hasn't. Over the last several weeks I've been thinking that Bobby Cox has some really tough decisions to make in trimming the roster from 40 to 25. Decisions I made in about 15 minutes this morning by printing the depth charts, 40 man roster, and spring stats. Maybe it wasn't as hard as I thought. The Braves should hire me as second chair to the skipper.

Let's talk pitching, I'll hit the position players later.

Starters. No surprises here:

1. Lowe
2. Vazquez
3. JJ
4. Kawakami
5. Glavine

That means we have to option Hanson, Campillo, Morton, and Reyes. All of which have options. Hanson may be ready soon, but where do you put him? Reyes has had a good Spring, but you certainly can't justify replacing any aforementioned started with and unproven kid. Campillo is good, and I'd like him in long relief, but there doesn't seem to be room for him there either, also it will be best to have him starting regularly in Richmond... errrr... Gwinnett so he'll be ready for a spot start if we have an injury.

The bullpen is where the real action is. Let's start from the back.

6. Gonzalez
7. Moylan
8. Acosta

* I'm placing Soriano on the DL until he can get over whatever is ailing him and build some arm strength.

Long relief:
9. Buddy Carlyle
10. Blaine Boyer

* There's been rumors of trading Jeff Bennett, I say go for it. He's had a terrible Spring, but early there were a lot of teams interested. We've got to shed him, he's out of options and we can't use him.

Lefty Specialist:
11. Boone Logan
12. Eric O'Flaherty

Logan has had a pretty good Spring, even though he had a rough 2nd half in Chi-town. He's our best option since we couldn't land Ohman. O'Flaherty has had a tough outing or two, but he's got big K #s, and I think he'll come around. Our other option is Ridgeway... he's only had 1 outing and it was terrible, I think he has options. Once Soriano is healthy, I probably get rid of one of our lefties, especially if either has an option.

That covers pitching. Time to get some work done.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It's over and we lost again. On paper, we (the US) made a decent showing, we made it to the next to the last game, and lost to the eventual champion. But don't forget we got smoked by Puerto Rico in the 1st game of round 2, and should have lost the second game to them.

I like the WBC and hope it continues, but only with the following modifications:

1. Show the freaking games- it's hard to get involved in a tournament when you can only watch a select few games on TV (especially early round games). I remember one 1st round US game that was played in prime time, but at the same time two 3rd world teams were showed on ESPN 2? Much less, I couldn't even follow the game on ESPN MVP (cell coverage through Verizon).

2. QUIT WHINING! The game is different... the US doesn't have it's star players... it means more to the other countries... and 874 other excuses that spewed from comentators' mouths like this guy. None of those excuses caused Jeter to attempt a throw to first without moving his feet because "the runner was fast as a Kawasaki" or cause David Wright to swing at a 58 foot pitch for strike three.

There's more I'm sure, but I'm out for now.

And we're back...

Sorry for the week-long hiatus. The wife, the pup, and myself headed to a little-known (and I hope it stays that way) oasis off the gulf coast of Alabama. Perfect weather, great food, can't be beat.

I intended to write a few blog posts during the trip and post them during my intermittent web access, but I got caught up in actually vacationing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Value of a good weekend

Never under estimate the value of a good weekend. This weekend was spent enjoying friends, fellowship, and food the 3 most important pillars of a good life. To give our life support a fourth pillar and in keeping with the "f" theme, I chose "fire" as the final pillar- refer to Noteworthy posts 1 and 2 below.

Friday evening the wife and I grabbed some Mehican from a local joint, and teamed up with our friends from bloggingpantsless (Mr. and Mrs. Mackalicious) to do so. We wanted to check out Mackie's new ride, but we always look for an excuse to spend a few hours with the Mackies, and it's always time well spent. We spent 30 minutes outside in the freezing rain only to be seated at a tiny 4-top table directly under the air conditioner (which was on) and a full speed ahead ceiling fan. Adding to our comfort was the unmistakeable aroma of burnt fajitas and so much smoke I had to resist the temptation on hit the deck and military crawl to the nearest exit. But as is always this case at this restaurante, dinner was excellent.

Saturday evening, included a large dose of birth control and more friendly fellowship. The Mrs. and I invited some law school buddies over for a cook-out, turned cook-in thanks to the weather. Again, great people that we love spending time with. We were worried about how we would keep everyone entertained, particularly 4 boys (7 months, 2, 4, and 6 ish), because our childless home is mostly devoid of toys. Never fret, 4 boys together are plenty of entertainment for all. Through a 15 month old puppy in the mix and we were set! Great times, good food and don't let the "birth control" comment fool you, the boys were good too.

Sunday, car show. My college roommate and I made our 7th annual trip to AJC International Car Show. If you haven't been, GO! We're kind of in the market for a new car, so this year was an awesome opportunity to check out every model without sales people. Top it off with a stop at the Varsity and a F.O. What a weekend.

We're beach bound for the rest of the week, but I'll try to get some posts together on the The Big March Madness Bracketology Dance between moments of sun and sand.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Attention Baseball Fans

Itching for the season to start? Can't make a spring training game? You can catch a pretty good baseball game just a few miles from home almost any night of the week right now. Check out your local high school (or if you live in East Cobb, your local 15,372 high schools). The level of baseball will surprise you. Even though we'll have some crappy weather the next few days, when days like we've had the past week return, it really can't be beat. 5 bucks, great weather, fresh cut fields and baseball.

Noteworthy Response

Dear Mr. [Lawyer]:

I am in receipt of your letter dated March 11, 2009 illustrating your client’s displeasure with my legal debris burning and threatening legal action. While I am sympathetic to Mr. White’s asthmatic condition, I find his course of action highly offensive.

It is Mr. White who burns multiple security lights from the back of his home 24/7 which shine into my bedroom window; and it is Mr. White who runs sprinklers throughout the night producing noise which prevents my family from enjoying the pleasure of open windows; and finally, it is Mr. White’s property from which I consistently hear obscenities yelled which would offend anyone of respectable social conscience. I have tolerated these annoyances throughout my ownership of the neighboring property, and I regard such toleration as reasonable neighboring.

Surely you are aware that Cobb County has very explicit regulations regarding the burning of yard debris. While the fact that my fire burned beyond sunset was inadvertently in violation of these regulations, I can assure you that all future burning will be strictly compliant.

While your threat of legal action is likely an often effective manner of dealing with these issues, I am certain that you understand the folly of your argument in this case. The state of public nuisance law in Georgia is well-settled. As I am sure you are aware, a property owner only owes a duty to his neighbors not to interfere with such peaceful enjoyment of his property that a reasonable person would expect. He is not however held to a higher standard because his neighbor has super-sensitivities. Certainly the fact that Cobb County has such an explicit code regarding burning of yard debris is indicative that a reasonable person would not be deprived of his peaceful enjoyment by such burning. Therefore, your client has no right to prevent me from “outside burning of any kind at any time.”

Please note that had your client pursued a more reasonable means of communicating his displeasure with my actions, I would have likely been more amiable to his concerns. Instead of walking over to my house and having an adult conversation or mailing me a personal letter, Mr. White chose to hire an attorney to write a threatening and rather insulting letter. Therefore, I expect to continue burning my yard debris through April 30, when the burning ban is annually enforced.

Should you wish to contact me further, I can be reached anytime at [phone number].

Very truly yours,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Otherwise Noteworthy

In the "otherwise noteworthy" category, I give you this rant.

Monday afternoon, after a short day at the office, I came home and start a small (a very much legal) fire in my backyard to burn yard debris. With an hour, a fire truck pulls up in front of the house (I live in the back of a rather large neighborhood- we don't get fire trucks often, unless my fat asthmatic neighbor is croaking again). The truck doesn't stop or warn me or bother me at all.

Several hours later, my fire is still burning, and I'm still tending to it. Here comes the fire truck again. My this time, the sun had gone down. Little did I know burning after sunset is not ok. They give me a warning and put the fire out for me. Apparently they were just as annoyed with whichever nosey ass neighbor called me in as I was. I laugh it off, and vow to stay within the rules next time.

Today I receive a letter in the mail, along with a notice that I have a certified mail letter as well. The letter is from a local attorney. "Dear Goatboy: Your neighbor (not the aforementioned fat asthmatic) is bothered by your fire... yada yada yada... he and his kids have asthma... yada yada yada... stop burning or we'll go to court." Are you effing kidding me??? My neighbor to the rear of my property, who has multiple security lights which shine into my bedroom window and runs sprinklers all through the night, is bothered by my smoke?? More annoyingly, he paid an attorney to write a letter to threat legal action rather than knocking on my door or mailing me his own damn letter. I'll be working on a rebuttal tomorrow, it begins with starting another fire at 10am!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Jeff Francoeur is hitting a whopping .150 this spring with his updated approach, and I couldn't be more encouraged. If you've heard anything about Braves in the last year, you've heard how Francoeur had a "terrible year and really needs a bounce-back season." As if he doesn't put enough pressure on himself, he can't go a single at-bat without the commentator mentioning how terrible last season was.

But it's been equally well-documented that he busted his ass all offseason trying to fix the issue. The result thus far, the aforementioned .150 average. But what's impressive? He's scored 4 runs on only 3 hits in 20 at bats. How? He's walking! Who's walking? Francoeur's walking. Jeff Francoeur? YES. Jeff Francoeur has drawn 4 walks in his 24 plate appearance: 17% of the time. If you followed the first 2.5 years of Francoeur's free swinging (don't call me Richards) career, you know he never walks.

What's better? He has 0 strikeouts. Does Jeff Francoeur's new approach not only involves a new stance but also new-found plate discipline? He says the new stance really allows him to see the ball better. In his first 24 appearances, it looks as though he's dead on. Don't worry nay-sayers... the hits will come.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hanson is NASTY

Just returned from my first ever pilgrimage to the Mecca that is Grapefruit League Spring Training. My impressions: Hanson is nasty!

He had major league hitters look foolish. His fastball is around 96, and two off-speed pitches, one around 83 (slider) the other around 78 (curveball). He used the off-speed as a strikeout pitch for 7 strikeouts in 4 innings. It was impressive, even after a little control struggle. And he's HUGE. 6'6" and thick, he's an intimidating presence on the mound. I can't wait to see this kid in the bigs. But honestly, I hope we don't see him until late in the year. Barring injuries the rotation should be pretty solid without him.

Also Matty Diaz needs to play. I realize before getting hurt last year he struggled in the everyday role. But that was less than 1/3 of the season. He needs a chance to play because he can flat-out hit. I would hate to see him go, but maybe we should look to trade him somewhere that he can get to play. Consider Mark Derosa. Great off the bench in Atlanta, but became a top player in Chicago when he got to play everyday.

Oh there's more, this is going to be a great season. Out of time for now.