45 thoughts on “Huh.”

  1. I think we may move him to third base and then move Chipper to first. Or we will trade him or trade McCann at some point

  2. And what does the Braves Journal community have to say about the upcoming blockbuster (and Big Boi vehicle) “Atl”?

    Will it be better or worse than “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” and “The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course”?

  3. If the Braves are indeed serious about trading for Wilson, it tells us how uncomfortable JS and Bobby are to have LaRoche and Jordan sharing time at first base.

  4. The “mailbag” column at the Braves’ site thinks that the Braves are pretty set on Jordan playing first, and with KJ (and Jurries) starting in Richmond. So if trading for Wilson keeps Jordan from making the team, I am for it.

  5. I’m just really pissed off because it’s not right about what’s happening to Jurries. The spot was open and he did great so what gives?

  6. Not that I’m harboring any ill will here (because I appreciate much of what Brian Jordan has done for the Braves), but I think he’s gonna hafta be incapacitated before Bobby loses faith in him & sets him aside. Putting him at first, to me, looks like a sure sign of just finding a place for him.

    Craig Wilson would be an excellent platoon/bench guy. If ATL got him, I like our bench & Bobby’s flexibility a whole lot more.

    BTW, I’m loving this Soriano mess. Everyone looks bad. Bad decision by GM + intractable old-school manager ÷ selfish contract-year player = toxic explosion.

  7. Kyle, I agree with you, but let’s not forget that even though you and I call him T.I., we don’t know him. He ain’t tripping, the truth is really that we don’t know him.

    He’s pretty unknowable.

  8. I guess you’re right. I previously thought he was either a king, an ex-drug dealer, or a fan of 24-inch rims. However, upon reflection, I realized I don’t even know him.

  9. I think the Pirates would be looking for starters, but I also don’t think Wilson is in their plans at all, so he might be cheap.

  10. I fear the day Bobby decides we have to put Jordan in the bullpen because he is ‘such a great teammate’.
    FREE JURRIES!!!

  11. This column: http://tinyurl.com/jb93q says “The Rangers have put out feelers for a veteran starter, with Atlanta’s John Thomson and Boston’s David Wells among those under consideration. . . .”

    Who do the Rangers have that would be worth asking for for Thomson? Hopefully not Phil Nevin. Joaquin Benoit looks like a good reliever.

  12. On an unrelated note, in part due to TBS’s lack of ample Braves’ games, I’m thinking of ditching my cable and just picking up MLB.tv on the internet. Jenny and whoever else had this last year, how did yall like it? I assume you got all the games and the announcers were tolerable . . . Any thoughts?

    (This no-cable arrangement will not last past October when the new season of Battlestar Galactica begins and baseball season ends, btw).

  13. As someone who has been away from atlanta for too long, I’m looking forward to ATL, if only to see the location shots.

    I also really like TI, so that won’t hurt.

  14. The NCAA gamecast was watchable, so if the MLB gamecast is anything like it it would be ok. One drawback for me would be having to be at the computer to watch the games, when I’d much rather be on the couch.

    I personally am fine with MLB audio, since baseball on the radio is almost as good, and I can get things done while I listen.

  15. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Kelly Johnson or Jurries, but talkin’ about getting the shaft. Good grief, this is insane. What is it that our guys see in Jordan? He clearly doesn’t have another ounce of quality baseball left in his body? If we could get him as a coach, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but the guy is like 39 playing on knees that were destroyed playing football. Including him on the roster is such an incredible waste of a spot. I just don’t understand what in the heck is going on here. I mean no one likes taking a horse out to pasture, but at the end of the day it’s the only humane thing to do.

  16. From my perspective, mlb.tv is acceptable quality and the price is right. I used it pretty extensively the past two years. If you have a laptop or an extra computer, you can connect it to your TV without too much effort; I doubt the quality would look very good on a bigger screen, but as byrd says, it’s a lot more satisfying to watch a game from one’s couch than from one’s computer chair.

    er: I guess you need cable for BSG if you _have_ to watch the night the episodes come out, but if you’re willing to wait, there’s always iTunes (if you’re scrupulous) or tvtorrents.com (if you aren’t). Did I mention that we don’t get HBO and yet I’ve seen all the Sopranos this season so far? Shhh…

  17. I’ve been watching a lot of the WBC on MLB.TV, and it’s definitely worth it. I wish they’d fix the full-screen option, but it’s big enough that you can see enough to enjoy the game and the quality is very good, provided your internet is fast enough. That’s the only caveat: if you don’t have 300k broadband, you will go crazy with all the rebuffering. But you can get pretty much every game you could ever want to see for what I think is a pretty reasonable price (although my parents are paying for it, so I wouldn’t know ;-). It’s not as good as TV, so if you already get TS and FSS on your TV, I’d just stick with cable. If, however, you’re like me and only get TBS anyway and can’t even use that half the time, it’s definitely worth it; you’ll just be grateful to have anything at all.

    Speaking of illegal downloading, Gnucleus is great…

  18. I second everything that Jenny just said. MLB.tv has been fantastic! I fired it up for the this month to watch the WBC and spring training and it’s been well worth it at $15/month or $80/season.

    My question for anyone who has had MLB.tv during the regular season is: Are ALL of the games available?

    I’ve gotten the MLB Extra Innings television package in the past and while it was great to get the extra games, not all games were available.

    Thanks in advance.

  19. Not all games are available – they use IP geolocation to figure out where you live and then black out games you “should” get where you live. Examples: the Sunday and Weds ESPN games are almost always blacked out in the US; the Saturday Fox games are usually blacked out; and home games in your TV market are usually blacked out. unfortunately for me, if the Braves play the Nats in DC and the game is on a channel i don’t get, this means I won’t get the mlb.tv game either. I can’t remember what happens if they play on Fox on Saturday but the game isn’t shown in your part of the country; I believe you still can’t see these games, but might be wrong.

  20. Don’t worry about Jordan making the team, if he does he will be hurt by May 1 and he will miss most of the season, you know, like he does every season.

  21. Per AJC:

    • OFF THE MARK: While most Braves were off Tuesday, Horacio Ramirez pitched in a minor league game for Class-A Myrtle Beach against an Astros affiliate. Results weren’t good: 5 1/3 innings, six hits, four earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts.

    But hey, four strikeouts! That’s like a career high. Any one know if he served up any ding-dongs.

  22. At least Horacio’s doing his best to play his way off the team. Hopefully, his spot isn’t as secure as Brian Jordan’s.

  23. Horacio Ramirez is terrible. I wish I had something good to say about him. I pray every night he proves me wrong this season.

  24. JC, I just checked your blog, and I think I need to quote this:

    Count South Korea as another team that has benefited from Mazzone’s teachings. In early January, Mazzone spent 10 days in Hawaii working with 18 pitchers from South Korea’s team. Now, South Korea’s 1.40 ERA is the lowest among teams in the Classic.

    “They’ve got a lot of talent,” Mazzone said.

    Mazzone needed the help of several interpreters, saying he never learned how to say “down and away” in Korean.

    You know, I thought we were joking when we were saying that everything bad in the world was Mazzone’s fault. But it turns out that Leo Mazzone is, in fact, both omnipotent and omnipresent, and this story proves beyond a doubt that he is just as willing to use his powers for evil as for good.

    Why couldn’t he have taught Dontrelle Willis how to pitch?

  25. Much as I dislike Homerun Ramirez, there isn’t really anyone on the roster who would likely pitch significantly better than him with the possible exception of Davies. I love Chuck James’ stats too, but a lot of scouts don’t think he will be nearly as effective against big leaguers; also, he’s likely to give up tons of bombs, and strike out fewer batters. Hell, he’d probably be better than Horacio (who am I kidding) but the error bars around Horacio’s performance are probably smaller.

    JC, have you read Tango and MGL’s book? If so, are you planning on doing a review and/or application of some of the principles to the 2006 Braves? I was thinking about doing some combination of the two myself but don’t want to bother if someone smarter is taking on the task :)

  26. (btw, that should read “strike out fewer batters [than he did in the minors]” not “strike out fewer batters [than Horacio]” – the latter is not possible :)

  27. Nope, I don’t even own a copy. I buried right now in baseball books, and I’m loving The Fielding Bible. I have two books for which I owe reviews so I have to finish those first.

  28. For a #5 starter, that outing by HoRam would have been pretty decent…except that it was in A-ball and he’s supposed to be a major league pitcher. Whoops. I really can’t think of anything good to say about him except that he can walk and breathe at the same time and he’s left-handed. How bad do you have to be as a LHP before the advantage of simply being left-handed becomes a wash and you’d be better off with an all-righty rotation? Or am I just being stupid here?

  29. Horacio had enough of a platoon split last year that he would have been of use as a LOOGY. Better in that role than Foster (who should have been used as a standard reliever) anyway.

    Nobody knows what James will do in the majors. His strikeout rate is so good but his fly ball rate is so high.

  30. per The Book: the benefit from having a left-handed starter is that generally left-handed pitching hurts left-handed hitters a lot (more than rhp hurt rhb). rhb as a group hit ~5% better against LHP than against rhp (although some lhp have reverse platoon splits, and some lhp have extreme platoon splits). for sp, you really don’t care about handedness as much as you care how good they are. LHP prospects are better than equivalent RHP prospects simply because if they don’t work out as starters, you can always convert them to LOOGYs.

    lefty relievers have a significant generic platoon split and also have “personal” platoon splits.

    basically, there is no reason to have a LHP in the rotation for the sake of not having an all RHP rotation; however, there is value in carrying LHP relievers (but probably not at the expense of good RHP – e.g. the angels with several very good RHP are better off not dumping one good RHP for a crappy LHP)

  31. I should add that in a division with the Mets and Phillies you better have some LH pitching. I would let Horacio pitch in the parks where homers aren’t as big of a concern, which includes all the parks in the division except Citizens’ Bandbox in Philly. Alex and I have actually been trying to figure out a way to trade him to the Natspos, where he might be the same pitcher and put up a 3.00 ERA.

    That we don’t have a lefty starter who is likely to go into Philly and not get shelled is another reason I’m more worried about the Phillies than the Mets.

  32. So we’re back where we started: keeping HoRam simply because he’s left-handed. I was sort of hoping we could conclude the opposite, you know…and the thought briefly occurred to me that David Wells might be a good solution, but then I remembered that he’s an old loudmouth lard bucket that Bobby would probably hate (as I do), so despite him being a better pitching option, I guess that’s not such a great idea.

    Additionally, if anyone has a need for a pet cow, they can have the one I just had when I heard Adam Vinatieri signed with the Colts. The cow is very friendly, but it occasionally bites.

  33. Does anyone think that Jordan deserves a roster spot?

    Has anyone heard Cox or JS justify his inclusion on the Opening Day roster?

    Is LaRoche bad enough and held in such low esteem as to make Jordan appear to be the better offensive option at 1B?

    Is Diaz not going to make the roster?

  34. I’m not panicking about having Jordan on the opening day roster. I don’t particularly like it, but as long as he’s in a backup/ pinch hitter role, he’ll be about average – no more. The thing to panic about was last year when we had Mondesi and Jordan as STARTING outfielders.

    I’m also not going to scream about Jurries not making it. If he continues to do well in the minors, he’ll get his chance very soon. Just wait for Jordan to go on the DL. Look at all the players last year that made significant contributions that were barely heard of during spring training.

    It looks like Kelly Johnson will get the short end of the straw in the OF unless a trade is made. Diaz is out of options (Johnson isn’t) and he’ll get his chance. Overall anything beats the Jordan/Mondesi corner outfielders combo!

  35. I really don’t understand the Brian Jordan thing at all.. This really just goes beyond belief. Maybe Bobby just needs someone to star the year and fail miserably.

    I’ll weigh in on the MLB.TV thing. I had it the first year it was avaliable and it was pretty awesome. One thing I liked is sometimes you don’t get the local comercials (SOMETIMES) and instead get the announcers just chatting instead (this even happens alot on the Nationals TV Network where they odn’t really have any comericals masn or whatever it’s called). it can be very amusing to hear ratehr big announcers rip people. Also, wednesday night espn games should no longer blackout any mlb games, it SHOULD be this way on MLB.TV but it’s definatley this way on the Extra Innings. 2 years ago about halfway through the season espn failed to meet a contract things saying they have to show a certain amount of games to keep their national blackout and lost it. So really you should only be blacked out for Saturday games until 6 (fox) and the 1 sunday night game.

    Also, let me say I cannot stand espn radio, save dan patrick anymore. I about threw up a few times when colin coward went on and on and on about how great soriano is failing to completely miss the point about the whole 2nd base vs Outfield thing.

  36. I’ve traveled all over the country, listened to all kinds of sports radio & I can tell you that there’s nothing like WFAN in NYC. ESPN Radio is a pale imitation, and the ratings reflect that.

  37. “Upon arriving to spring camp, Diaz learned that his depth perception was “virtually non-existent” after he was administered a test by an optometrist visiting Atlanta’s clubhouse.”

    How can this guy even managed to hit so well in the minor league with no depth perception in his eyes? He may be a surprise to all of us this season.

    Nevertheless, the following is the link to the actual article:

    http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/032006/3726040.shtml

  38. Good find, kc. If Diaz really is better than his already solid minor league numbers, he’d be a great guy to have on the roster, eventually, hopefully, replacing the first base out machine.

  39. I’ve heard mike and the mad dog a few times, well not so much heard as had them on YES a few times while I do otther work. I wasn’t too impressed, likely because well it’s new york sports which I couldn’t care less about.

    I grew up listening to 570 WTEM which is now Sports Talk 980 in dc, which I always liked. Specifically, Tony Kornheiser, Steve Zaban, Andy Polley & The Sports reporters. Good stuff. Of course this is before any of the 3 went national, though I still like them all. Here in macon/warner robins 105.5 is the only sports talk and it’s ESPN until about 4 when they do some sort of SEC local/regional show which is terrible, and of no intrest to me and half the time after 6 it’s high school sports broadcast by 1 or 2 guys trying to talk over a telphone. Terible.

    Seemed like ESPN was my only hope and Dan is the only thing left worth listening really :/

  40. Hey guys. About Horacio Ramirez:
    Last year for Horam was just horrible. 31 homeruns, an ERA higher than the Sears Tower, but in 2004 we got a glimpse of what he COULD be. Hell, before he was injured, he was our best starting pitcher (not that we had a good rotation then). I would actually prefer to keep Horacio for at least one more year, even if it’s in the bullpen. Like Thomson, Horacio may not be great but he can eat up innings+ provide a winning record. Thomson can do the very same+ the opposite. Also, Horacio is cheaper, MUCH cheaper than Thomson’s contract. The fact that he, or any pitcher, is a LHP and that is a good reason to keep them is really just a mis-statement. This would only be REALLY important if it was either the AL or possibly playoffs. And THEN it would only have to be a reliever. But, Horacio is still 26, and has a better chance of producing good seasons than John Thomson. Thomson is not a John Smoltz or Roger Clemens, and he will only get worse. And this Roger McDowell (spell check)may be just what Horram needs. If Im not mistaken, he was a lefty, and also he was a sinker/cutter specialist. If Horram can create an effective and accurate sinker, his HR total should really decrease. And if he can become more aggressive with the strikezone (cutter)then he can maybe prove to be a decent #3 starter.But for now, Ill take Davies in the 3rd role after watching Spring Training, Horram/CJ in 4th and Sosa in 5th.
    To continue this novel-in-the-making, about getting Craig Wilson as only a bench player may not work. If you read the Pirate’s article about it, he states that he WANTS to be traded so he can be an everyday player, not a bench player. Unless you wanna sit Langerhans or make a defensive liability at 1st instead of LaRoche, be my guest JS.

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