Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Braves

22
Dec
09

Melky Cabrera? That’s IT?

What the hell are the Atlanta Braves doing, all t the talk has been about how they need acquire a bat to help their struggling offense and the team’s biggest chip was Javier Vazquez who was OUTSTANDING last season. So, in a move to bolster their offense, the Braves move Javier for MELKY CABRERA? WTF?

What am I missing here? Why would the Braves look to add an outfielder who, at best, is a 20 HR hitter and has a career OPS+ of 88? They already have Nate McClouth, now they’ve added a WORSE hitter and in exchange gave up a 200 IP, 200+ strikeout, seems like some shrewd management there.

Is it possible that Melky was the BEST deal available? That can’t be true, he’s like a shittier, younger Marcus Thames and he just got traded for one of the best starters in the NL the last two seasons. At least when the Yankees acquired Vazquez the first time they included Nick Johnson who can actually perform in the majors.

With Jason Heyward, rookie extraordinaire looming, the Braves can have a pretty young outfield in place as early as next season, although, of course, one of those spots will be with Melky who really isn’t good enough to deserve it. This is a GREAT move for the Yankees and the Braves just BLEW it. After all, why would you want to trade a really valuable piece for something USEFUL!

I just hope that Vazquez’ previous struggles in NY will return, but so far, the Yankees offseason has been going swimmingly.

26
Sep
09

Braves Owners Selling Up Some Steroids

bodybuildersLiberty Media is  giant conglomerate with many businesses under its umbrella including QVC, Ticketmaster, DirecTV and of course, the Atlanta Braves. Among their success stories is a little website, started in a garage by a then-19-year-old Ryan DeLuca;  Bodybuilders.com became a huge success, and was ultimately acquired by Liberty in 2008 for the princely sum of $100 million. Today the business makes approximately $150 million in sales a year.

But all is not well, it seems that three of Bodybuilder’s suppliers are being investigated by the US Attorney’s office for selling steroids. While charges are yet to be brought against Bodybuilder’s directly, an agent in the US Attorney’s office purchased 31 items from the site with 23 of them testing positive for anabolic steroids. That’s not so good. As well, the company has received multiple letters from the FDA accusing them of distributing steroids and unlawful package labeling.

Nicely done Liberty Media, I like what you’re doing; it’s just smart business to cut out the middle man.

[KTVB]

04
Sep
09

We Can All Rally Around the Rally Head

rallyheadTrailing the Rockies by 4 games in the wild card race, the chances of the Atlanta Braves making the playoffs aren’t great. That isn’t stopping Braves reliever Peter Moylan though. The burly Aussie righthander who has had 75 appearances this year without allowing a home run has shaved his head, well, part of it, in what he’s terming the “Rally Head.”

He’s not worried that he looks like a bad James Lipton or John Smoltz impersonator, “”I would do anything appearance-wise to get into the playoffs,” he told MLB.com.

While his hair efforts aren’t likely to make much difference, he intends to keep the new ‘do, at least until September 20, when former teammate John Smoltz and the Cardinals come to town.

[Big League Stew]

30
Jun
09

Francouer’s Gobble Gobble Underwear

jeffWhen Jeff Francouer was called up in 2005 from Double-A I almost immediately fell in baseball-love. The young prospect started his career with a .300 avg, 14 HRs in just 257 ABs and an OPS+ of 126 seemed to signal a future superstar. Toss in his prodigious throwing arm and his enthusiasm for the game and I was smitten. His first full year though saw the average drop to .260 but he also managed to knock 30 balls over the wall and was still seemingly learning the game. Another reason I (used to) pine for Francouer; up until last season, the life-long Red Sox fan was using a Red Sox branded credit card until several of his Braves teammates chided him and made him get rid of it. Despite growing up in Georgia, Francouer has always been a Red Sox fan and that always makes someone better in my book.

These days Francouer has gone from struggling to anemic. He was sent down to the minors last year in an attempt to get him back on track, which unfortunately didn’t help. In an effort to both help his scuffling team and his own stats, Francouer told reporters he will be wearing his lucky Thanksgiving-themed turkey boxer briefs. According to Francouer the Braves are 7-0 when he wears the lucky briefs, including Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Red Sox.

Knowing the team needed a win on Sunday, especially with rookie pitcher Tommy Hanson suffering a bout of the flu, before the game Francouer let his team know everything would work out; “I wore the turkey underwear,” he announced.

Francouer’s wife Catie washed the boxers yesterday, and Francouer intends to wear them again today, the first time he’s worn them in back-to-back games.

[AJC]

20
Apr
09

Bye Bye Buddy!

boyerbartonIn a boring bit of baseball bartering, the Atlanta Braves bumped Blaine Boyer out of their bullpen — and beyond the borders of the Big Peach — in exchange for Brian Barton of the St. Louis Cardinals. The beer barons of Budweiser who built the basically brand-new ebullient Busch Stadium, believe Boyer will bolster their own beleaguered bullpen; Barton meanwhile will battle for ball-playing opportunities below the big leagues — in AAA.

[MLB]

05
May
08

The Ageless One Hangs ’em Up

It’s a sad day around the world of baseball as the ageless wonder, Julio Franco has announced his retirement after 23 seasons in the majors and almost 30 years in professional baseball around the world. Franco, who holds the record as the oldest player to hit a home run in the big leagues, retires ostensibly at the age of 49, he announced in a statement from Mexico where he was currently playing.

Franco’s amazing career took him around the majors, playing for 7 teams, as well as several years in Japan, South Korea, the Dominican and Mexican leagues. Originally coming up as a basestealing shortstop, stealing 32 bases in his first full season in 1983, Franco later transitioned as he aged to a (semi) useful corner infielder, even playing some third base last year with the Mets before they released him and he briefly was picked up by the Braves once more. During his career he was a three-time All-Star, a 4 time Silver Slugger winner and was the runner up for 1983 Rookie of the Year to the immortal Ron Kittle. At one time in his career Franco played at every position in the infield besides catcher and pitcher. In 1991, Franco bested Wade Boggs for the American League batting title hitting a robust .341.

From his wikipedia page, here are a list of some of the records he holds,

Franco is the oldest player ever to hit a grand slam, a pinch-hit home run, two home runs in one game, and to steal two bases in a game. On April 26, 2006, Franco became the second-oldest man in Major League history to steal a base, behind only Arlie Latham, who accomplished the feat in a token appearance at age 49 with the New York Giants in 1909. On July 29, 2006, against the Atlanta Braves, Julio Franco became the oldest player ever to pinch run, when he came in for Carlos Delgado after Delgado was hit by pitch. On September 19, 2006, a day after the Mets clinched the division title, Franco started at third base in a game against the Florida Marlins. This was Franco’s first start at the position since his rookie year, an astonishing 24 years between starts at the position.

Famous for his legendary workout routines and eating a raw egg every morning, Franco ends up with 2586 MLB hits and a combined total of over 4200 hits counting his stints in South Korea, Mexico, Japan and the Dominican, joining Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players to ever have that many combined hits in professional baseball history.

Now that he is retired, I just have one simple request, for years there have been rumor after rumor that Franco’s listed age was not his actual age, that in fact he was older than he admitted. When he came up as a young prospect this wasn’t such a big deal, but now that he’s retiring, it is time for him to come clean. I want to truly marvel at this man, and he should get his due. If he truly has been hiding his true age and he is in his mid 50s (as I suspect) then he should be truly celebrated for being the oldest player in the history of the game. If he was able to play this game at such an age than he is a marvel and deserves the recognition therein.

“It was the hardest decision in my life,” Franco said in an interview published Saturday in the Mexican Sports Daily Record. “I always said I would be the first one to know the exact moment. I think the numbers speak for themselves, the production speaks and this is the right moment. I understand that my time has passed, and the great men and athletes know when to say enough.”

Indeed and you are just such a great man. You will be missed Julio, you were a constant for my entire life as a professional baseball player and have accomplished some incredible feats across the years. So congratulations on a wonderful career and a life seemingly well-lived, long live Julio Franco!

juliofrancorookiecard




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