Braves 6, Mets 1

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 14, 2012 – ESPN.

John Burkett in 2001. Jaret Wright in 2004. Jorge Sosa Kim Jong-Il in 2005. And now, just maybe, Ben Sheets in 2012. Back in the Leo Mazzone years, it was fairly common for the Braves to pick a guy up for a song and have him have a stunning year for us.

• We paid a 35-year old John Burkett $2.5 million from 2000-2001, and he made 56 starts and had a 3.74 ERA at the height of the steroid era; 2001 is easily the best season of his career. It led the Red Sox to give him a 2-year, $11 million contract in the offseason; he completed 59 starts with a 4.85 ERA.
• We paid Jaret Wright $850,000 in 2004, and he went 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA — easily the best year of his career. It led the Yankees to give him a 3-year, $21 million contract in the offseason; he completed 43 starts in three years, with a 5.08 ERA.
• We got Jorge Sosa in a trade for Nick Green, paid him $650,000 in 2005, and he went 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA, really the only good year of his career. Unfortunately, the Yankees didn’t sign him, and he had a 5.46 ERA in 87 1/3 innings with us in 2006, which is why we started calling him Kim Jong-Il around here.

That’s a big part of how Leo Mazzone got his reputation: supplementing our three aces with ace-caliber performances from some of the unlikeliest sources.

Including today’s game, Ben Sheets has pitched a grand total of 136 innings in the majors and minors since 2008 — the bulk of them came in 2010, when he signed a $10 million contract with the Oakland A’s and completed 20 starts before being shut down. It’s almost impossible to imagine him coming back and being amazing.

But this would not be the first time that the Braves coaxed an amazing performance from a guy who has been out of baseball for nearly two years. After all, Chris Hammond had been out of the majors for nearly four years between his last start in May 1998 and his first relief appearance in April 2002 — and he only had one of the greatest relief seasons of all time, 76 innings with an 0.95 ERA. Of course, that led to a two-year, $4.8 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason. The Braves paid him $450,000 for his efforts in 2002.

It’s too early to put Ben Sheets in that category. But it would be hard to imagine a more promising start than today’s game. He completed 6 scoreless innings, gave up just two hits, and got five strikeouts against just one walk, and it took him just 88 pitches to do so. The Braves couldn’t muster much against Johan Santana until the bottom of the 5th, but then they erupted for six runs, capped by a three-run Freddie Freeman home run. Other than a Met run in the 7th, that was pretty much the whole game right there.

Not only did the Braves just sweep the Mets, but they may have found the starting pitcher that they needed.

296 thoughts on “Braves 6, Mets 1”

  1. Swept the Phils, swept the Mets…its a good day

    This team has some major issues. Rotation, bullpen, bench and somehow they are 10 games above .500

  2. The list of relievers who the Braves picked up for a song and had amazing years for the Braves is much, much longer. Eric O’Flaherty and Mike Remlinger would be right at the top. But bullpen spare parts are a lot easier to find than aces who come out of nowhere.

    Javier Vazquez could almost be added to the list, but he had been good before and the Braves paid a higher price, both salary and prospects, than they paid for Burkett, Wright, or Sosa. Still, he had the single best year of his career in his one year in Atlanta.

  3. Someone mentioned oppossum in last thread. My sister-in-law called for the dryer repairman when her new dryer stopped working. She called back to cancel because my brother fixed it. The woman who took her call said the trip was free under warranty. My S-I-L said no since my brother had removed the oppossum which had lost his head. The other woman could not stop laughing. Couple of cases are on Google

  4. What a delight to come home to – Sheets over Santana! Nice sweep.

    Burkett, Wright, Sosa. Yeah, those were nice seasons…until the playoffs. Sheets, however, I might feel comfortable with on the mound in a big game. I think if he’s healthy enough to toe the rubber, he’s money.

  5. For what its worth, Minor and Delgado have both had starts this year on par with this one. The problem with them was their lack of consistency. Jury’s still out on Sheets, but he definitely looked good today.

  6. It’s another day off the calendar with an in-division win. This club is gonna be a one game at a time affair for the rest of the year.

  7. This has been a crazy-streaky team, so winning 7 straight almost makes you recoil to consider what’s on the horizon.

    But sweeping the Mets, our immediate divisional WC rival, is no small thing. And winning games started by Dickey & Santana is really huge. Nothing bad about it, no matter how it’s accomplished.

    Next up: JJ vs Zito. Of course, if we don’t beat Washington once in a while, we could end up paying close attention to Giants’ results the rest of the way. Meaningful baseball on the calendar, folks.

  8. In basic results, Delgado and Minor had similar starts, but outside of Hudson and Beachy, no one wearing a Braves hat has displayed such formidable control as a starter this season like Sheets did Sunday. His curve was nasty and his fastball was placed right where McCann had his glove.

  9. The difference between the start yesterday and starts by The Mingado is that Sheets has a history of consistent success to extrapolate from while The Mingado do not.

  10. The braves started my vacation with a sweep of the Phils and then ended it with a sweep of the Mets.

    Those two thing and 126 holes of golf at the beach for 10 days make for one heck of nice vacation.

  11. I jsue hope Sheets can stay healthy. He also has a track record of being unable to do that.

    If we made a move for Dempster this week, how would you all like our rotation going forward?

  12. Let’s be real, guys. The FB was mostly down, but Sheets got some generous calls yesterday. Had he been getting squeezed, you’d have seen him in some tougher spots. And while the curve looked good, he wasn’t getting a ton of swing-and-miss on it. Also, the FB didn’t have great velo, working consistently around 89-92.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was impressed, and if he can do that consistently, he’ll be a very, VERY welcome addition to the rotation. But let’s just take a step back and see him do it again.

  13. I dont see how Wren couldnt make a move for another starter. He needs at least one of Greinke, Dempster, Garza, Liriano. There’s got to be some concern around Huddy’s ankle. Im still skeptical that we will get 200 innings from Hanson.

  14. Sheets did get lucky that Daniel Murphy’s shot hit high off the wall. We’d have been down 2-0 if it was a foot higher in left center. Other than that I dont remember too many hard hit balls. Has he always been a fly ball pitcher?

  15. Ernesto Mejia went 3 for 3 yesterday with a HR and now has a .911 OPS for Gwinnett. I hope he gets a September callup. We could use his RH stick on the bench. In fact, there are several Gwinnett players that we could use on the bench (Durango, Parraz, Mejia, Pie).

  16. Whats the story on Ryan Buchter? He’s having a nice season in the Mississippi Bullpen

    28G 1.32ERA 34IP 18H 16BB 43K

  17. @19-

    My impression was that he was a groundball guy, but I could be wrong.

    Also, I just read the ESPN writeup, and while they mention the controversial calls in the 5th, they imply that both were strikes when in fact they weren’t. Bad “journalism”. :-(

  18. Rosenthal’s latest points something out that I hadn’t even considered: Dempster’s a 10-and-5 guy. He can basically pick his destination.

    That’s another check in the plus column for a Dempster deal, as any leverage Dempster has, is leverage the Cubs lose.

  19. @22 – He’s 25 and in Double-A. He came over when we flipped Roderigo Lopez to the Cubs a year ago.

    He’s always struck out alot of people, but been inconsistent. Had some good years, had some terrible years. Maybe he’s turning a corner? I don’t think he’s ever pitched in Triple-A. If the Braves haven’t seen fit to challenge him, maybe they think he doesn’t have it.

  20. @27. Big outfield was mentioned as one of the reasons he choose Atlanta. Miller is small.

  21. @24-

    Ya, it was just off the plate. Like, JUST off it. The real problem is Sheets had gotten that exact call 2 innings ago for a punch-out.

  22. Am I alone in this? I have a hard time putting up $200-300 of my money to go watch a game in an MLB stadium where the players are taking home more money in one month than I make in a year.

  23. It was CB Bucknor behind home plate yesterday. So yeah, an inconsistent zone sounds about right.

  24. As one of the broadcasters pointed out, yesterday was a getaway day. Still, Bucknor’s the worst.

  25. Something to watch

    Zack Greinke will not make his Wednesday start.
    The Brewers are expected to provide a reason before Monday’s series-opener with the Cardinals. Greinke is an impending free agent and could be on the move at some point soon, but it’s not clear if that stuff is a factor in the decision for Wednesday. Tyler Thornburg will start in Greinke’s place against St. Louis.
    Related: Tyler Thornburg
    Source: Mike Vassallo on Twitter Jul 16 – 11:58 AM

  26. Wren said Greinke wasn’t “available yet” and the tone really made me think he was after him and had a very strong idea Greinke would become available real soon.

  27. Anybody remember this play?

    Maddux jumping over Don Slaught’s tag, dancing around him, and scoring?

  28. #36 – Apparently Wren had an interview on XM this morning and stated that Teheran and Delgado were off limits. Guess Minor is our trade piece?

  29. Tom Haudricourt –

    The Brewers have scratched Zack Greinke from his scheduled start against St. Louis on Wednesday but before folks start getting worked up that a trade is being consummated, the word from general manager Doug Melvin is that they simply want to give Greinke added rest after he pitched three times in a seven-day span, coming in and out of the all-star break.

    Greinke has no injury; apparently he just was fatigued from the recent work load.

    Greinke started the Saturday before the break but we ejected after four pitches in Houston, so he started the next day. He went three innings in that game, struggling in the first inning and throwing 66 pitches overall.

    Greinke started against Friday in the first game out of the break against Pittsburgh and struggled, allowing seven hits and six runs (five earned) in five innings.

    Whether he has been distracted by trade rumors or whatever, Greinke has not been sharp in July, allowing 20 hits and 14 runs in 14 innings.

    Rookie right-hander Tyler Thornburg will make that start Wednesday against the Cardinals in Greinke’s place.

  30. @37, I can’t believe you found that! A few years back I scoured the internet looking for it. Great stuff.

  31. @42 – The guy dealt with anxiety and depression a few years back, and seems to have bounced back just fine. I don’t think that’s really appropriate to label the guy a “head case”. Joey Votto had a similar experience, and I’d have no problems with him on my team.

  32. Smitty –

    Go get a haircut, you hippie. (And see what you can pick up from your barber…)

  33. @43

    He might be bouncing back, but his post season numbers are terrible. It makes me wonder if the presure gets to him.

    It is fair to wonder if him being on the trade market might be getting to him.

    The Brewers are sitting him because he is getting roughed up some. Another couple of bad outtings and the price goes down.

  34. Zack’s only had three postseason starts. I’m willing to overlook that. However, his social anxiety disorder is something he’ll be able to manage, but probably not completely fix. I think he’ll be fine, but he’s always going to march to the beat of his own drummer, and even if he isn’t exactly a “head case,” he’ll never be completely normal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — it’s just something he’ll always deal with.

  35. Cody Martin, RHP, Braves (High-A Lynchburg)
    Martin arguably had the best start of the weekend, striking out 14 during a two-hit shutout against Salem. And he’s been good all year, as he now has a 2.80 ERA for the Hillcats with 101 strikeouts in 86.2 innings. Studly numbers to be sure, but Martin is not a top prospect. He sits at 87-91 mph with his fastball, and his changeup and curve are merely average. He succeeds on outstanding command and control, and when everything is on—as it was on Friday—he can be what one scout calls “surgical.” He’s not a prospect getting a lot of attention, and he just doesn’t have the stuff to be a impact big leaguer, but there’s some value here. – Kevin Goldstein

  36. My barber says it will be a quick and simple deal, should go down in the next week or so.

    MIN gets: Minor, Pastorniky, Francisco and Mejia

    ATL gets: Liriano and Doumit

  37. #50 – He’s cheap, he’s a lefty, he’d probably improve coming to the NL

    Francisco Liriano is 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA and .170 opp avg in nine starts since returning to rotation, with 67 strikeouts and 25 walks in 57-1/3 innings.

  38. I agree on the walks, still an upgrade over Minor and Delgado though. Didnt think he was a FA.

  39. I’ll add to SPs to the original note:

    – Jeff Bennett posted a 3.70 ERA for us over 100 innings one year;
    – Jorge Campillo’s best season included 160 innings and a 3.91 ERA;

  40. Twitter folks, is this a legit account?

    MLB Sports Report ‏@MLBSportsReport
    #Braves to sign OF Michael Bourn to a long-term contract within the next week. Bourn would have been a free agent this offseason.

  41. Stark also says that the Braves are after a top of the rotation guy, not a Liriano or Vargas type starter.

  42. Yeah, I hate twitter.

    MLB Sports Report ‏@MLBSportsReport
    Sounds like Randall Delgado and Jose Constanza might be going to the Brewers for Greinke. Looking to confirm. ‪#Braves‬

  43. Most recent tweet “MLB Sports Report ‏@MLBSportsReport
    Everyone who RT and follows us is eligible to win season tix to your team’s 2013 Regular Season and the 2012 World Series..”

    The guys making it up as he goes along.

  44. Weird that Buster Olney and Bill Shanks follow him. Still, I’m sure it’s a fake.

  45. He’s a Braves fan that has a blogspot site. He’s a very poor writer. Don’t believe anything this guy says…

  46. Sounds like Randall Delgado and Jose Constanza might be going to the Brewers for Greinke.

    Before or after the Upton trade that includes the Braves giving the Diamondbacks Gotay and Carlyle?

  47. He’ll never confirm it.

    Fredi wouldn’t agree to giving up Constanza for Kate Upton.

  48. @67

    Smitty, there are 1,000 reasons to read this blog everyday.(all day) You are one of them. Classic.

  49. So AAR and I are in a 10-team, NL only league, and there are two players in the league who work in the same office — one experienced fantasy player, and one neophyte. The new guy traded the experienced player Carlos Lee for Eric O’Flaherty earlier this year. There was some grumbling, but the trade was allowed to go through (it takes four owner votes to cancel a trade).

    Well now the new guy is set to trade his buddy Corey Hart for Emilio Bonifacio. Admittedly this is not as egregious as the other trade — but given what’s come before, would you vote against this trade?

    (I know, other people’s fantasy issues are terribly boring….)

  50. If Lee for O’Flaherty was allowed to go through, you have to let this one through, don’t you?

  51. @75-

    Looks like a straight SB for HR trade, I can’t imagine you can deny this especially with already approving the less defensible prior trade.

  52. @75 I don’t really see what’s objectionable about either of those trades. In Lee for O’Flaherty you’re trading limited offensive value for limited pitching value, and in Hart for Bonifacio you’re trading power for SB. Depending on his team needs neither strikes me as obviously imbalanced enough to warrant interference.

  53. I should mention we count holds as a pitching category, so it’s not as though O’Flaherty has zero fantasy value.

  54. Just saw an episode of Pawn Stars where a guy brought in a 1995 World Series ring and 4 separate NL Champion rings from the Braves.

  55. 81,

    ‘Hmmm… best I can do is $32.’

    I really don’t like those kind of shows. The basis is an attempt to create entertainment out of people getting screwed and bullied out of their money. On programs such as Antique Roadshow, the presenters make an attempt to educate the individual on what they own rather than attempt to manipulate and take advantage of them.

  56. An addendum: what in the world happened to History channel? I really used to like the documentaries, Modern Marvels, and educational programs. Don’t see much of them anymore.

  57. @82 the best antique roadshows are where people find out their stuff is not worth that much. Sort of like watching the Phils lose this year.

  58. 85,

    Oh my, I had completely forgotten! That occurrence has had as much of a historical impact on our society as, I don’t know, World War II! It’s imperative that we educate ourselves and our children about it to an equal, if not higher, degree as the Civil War!

    (Note, we are approaching fulfillment of Godwin’s Law)


    Haha… sometimes. But at least when AR included those segments, there was a tantalizing back story for each item.

  59. Some less than cozy Minor League notes…

    Delgado doing his Teheran impression at AAA: 5IP 6H 6R 1BB 5K 2HR
    Lynchburg got lynched tonight, 14-0
    Moylan got hammered at Rome: 1 IP 3H 3R

  60. Well, if you liked Bill James’ comments on Joe Paterno, you’re going to love this:

    “Clemens never used PEDs.”

  61. I think Bill James has either officially gone crazy or is engaging in some sort of social experiment. Although I have to say, I’m leaning toward the former, as leading the social experiment with his absolutely loony Joe Paterno stuff is pretty much the equivalent of starting a fireworks show with the grand finale. By comparison, not being able to tell the difference between Roger Clemens not being convicted of something and being innocent of it is pretty tame.

  62. Had to laugh at the following from MLB:

    Royals: …General manager Dayton Moore is in a very good position, with closer Jonathan Broxton, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and outfielder Jeff Francoeur likely all available.

    Fits: … Francoeur would help almost any of the contenders as a guy who could swing between the outfield and bench.

  63. Why are we not in on the Jason Vargas bidding (presumably)? He looks like he could help someone out quite a bit.

  64. @60

    Jason Stark has a bit more cred…though if Greinke turns down 5 years 100 MM from Milwaukee not sure how the Braves extend him

    Other teams say ‪#Braves‬ only looking for a “top-of-the-rotation guy.” So be dubious of rumors linking them with Liriano, Vargas, etc.

  65. If Wren decided to trade for Frenchy, it will reverse all the respect I have for the guy.

    I honestly don’t see how any starting pitcher would deserve more than $15M considering the risks involved, not to mention S20M. Of course, I am not an agent.

  66. Fun Mets Fact: Reuben Tejada and David Wright are the only position players who would start on the Braves.

  67. @83 – Oh, my love/hate relationship with the History Channel. Has gone down since Roger Mudd left. We used to joke that the big ‘H’ logo stood for Hitler because there were so many WWII & nazi documentaries on there.

    The show they’ve been running about How the Earth Was Made is great, and I’ll own up to watching a few Pickers episodes here and there. But wayyyy too much ‘reality’ on there. Ice Roads, Pawn shop owners, Ancient Aliens(!) and Mountain people? I’ll pass. And what happened to those “History of Sex” docs they used to run at night? Now that’s entertainment.

  68. As a high school history teacher I appreciate what some of the shows have done to spark kids interest in the past. Shockingly the students like Pickers and it is a soft approach to bringing the past to the present.
    The quality of the History Channel Specials is much better but their regular programming has gotten away from hard history.

  69. I am still trying to understand how Swamp People, Ice Road Truckers and Ax Men have anythingot do with history.

  70. The same way Snooki has anything to do with music.

    Man, I sound like a curmudgeon.

    Ballgame tonight!

  71. I actually have a bigger problem with Pickers than Pawn Stars. You’re not going to get a good deal when you come to a pawn shop, it’s a fact of life. You are voluntarily selling something for less than it’s worth for the convenience of getting paid in cash that day.

    Pickers, on the other hand, often involves the two dudes going to someone’s place unannounced so they can systematically rip them off, all while waxing poetic about how they really get how important the items are and how they are going to go to a home where someone really appreciates them. I enjoy the sorts of things they dig up on that show, but as it’s gone on longer they’ve definitely started to increase their own profit margins. More power to them, but when you’re doing to it older folks who are just wanting to show off the things they love, it seems sleazy to me.

  72. I don’t mind Pickers or Pawn Stars. Most of the stuff they deal with has some historical ties. The people on the show seem to know their stuff and you kind of learn something.

    I went to the Pawn shop the last time I was in Vegas. It is very small. I did see the Old Man yell at someone for taking pictures.

    Then he laughed, explained why they couldn’t take pictures in that part of the store and signed an autograph for the people.

  73. I haven’t had cable in years. I always liked the History channel — good, fun, interesting shows about the past. I came to realize that they don’t always do a good job of explaining that the experts on their show or the lens that they’re using is one way to look at things (and typically does not represent the consensus view). It’s great to take different angles, but if you don’t present it as such, then it’s … entertainment. (Or maybe the news.) Not that viewers should expect otherwise.

  74. I almost never watch the History Channel any more. I liked it more when they did the old WW II documentaries. They were pretty campy but interesting. They used to do these shows in the morning where they would have these newsreels from the 50s that were basically Cold War propaganda but they were fun to watch.

    “Am I alone in this? I have a hard time putting up $200-300 of my money to go watch a game in an MLB stadium where the players are taking home more money in one month than I make in a year.”

    It doesn’t bother me. First, I guess its different if you are taking the entire family, but I have never spent that much to go to a game. My wife has no interest and I only have one kid. Second, my feeling is, if I get value for my money, it doesn’t matter to me how much others are making; if the players weren’t making the money, the owners would. And, the players have a very scarce skill that is in high demand. And, while this perhaps dangerously ventures into politics territory, if I let vast income disparities keep me from doing things, I would never leave my house.

  75. I don’t mind Pickers or Pawn Stars. Most of the stuff they deal with has some historical ties. The people on the show seem to know their stuff and you kind of learn something.

    You do know that the show is staged right? Most of the items are things that they have already purchased. Thats how these guys know so much about the items being brought in. You dont really think Chumlee and Corey are that bright do you?

  76. Why are we not in on the Jason Vargas bidding (presumably)? He looks like he could help someone out quite a bit.

    He’s an upgrade over Minor at this moment, but I wouldnt offer much for him and I wouldnt expect him to be part of a postseason rotation.

  77. On a friends recommendation I Tivo’d the Mountain Men marathon last weekend. After one episode I decided to just watch Eustace’s story. Whether or not it belongs on something called the History Channel, he does lead a life that appeals to a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity or fortitude to take simplicity to its logical conclusions.

    Of course, you have to wade through the endless repetition of action and stultifying voiceover so common to this kind of show, but a fascinating 45 minute documentary could have been made out of the seven hours on my DVR….

  78. Trading deadline discussion…

    So we’ve been linked in some way to about 5 starting pitchers. Given what it would take to get them, the years control that we would have them, and their signability beyond 2012, who would you guys like to see us trade for?

    Zack Greinke
    Matt Garza
    Ryan Dempster
    Jason Vargas
    Francisco Liriano

    Consider when answering: Both Garza and Vargas have another year of control.

  79. This is a pretty good inside look on how Pickers operates:

    I have no problem with the show. Is there proof that their profit margins have increased on the show or is that opinion?

    Regarding History Channel’s programming, I 100% agree and most cable channels have the same issues. MTV doesn’t play music, the Travel Channel has food shows, the Food Network wants celebrities with a ‘point-of-view’ and the E! isn’t entertaining.

    If ESPN/Fox Sports were smart, they would realize that people subscribe to cable because of their live sports offerings. Everything else can be had through Apple TV, Roku, Hulu and Netflix. Offer a ‘sports box’ that costs $200 and charges a monthly streaming fee and away goes U-Verse, Infinity, etc. Or better yet, partner with an existing provider.

  80. I’ve got to confess that I like both American Pickers and Pawn Stars. On both shows I believe they’re reasonably fair to their clients. On Pickers the guys go to areas where things are collecting rust and offer them quite a bit for stuff that will never be used or sold. I like hearing the history behind certain things and seeing how much they’re worth.

    If you’ve ever had an estate sale you know how ruthless antique collectors can be. They often prey on those who have no idea what things are worth and are masters at talking things down.

  81. @116 I’m just opining on the profit margins as someone who has a small degree of familiarity for the market of the types of things they buy and sell. I’m not an expert, obviously, just an observation.

  82. @119 – I don’t watch American Pickers, but I happen to buy and sell “vintage goods,” and since that show has been around two things have happened: half of people think their beat up old stuff is a lottery ticket, and the other half think they are “pickers.” Suddenly, everybody is an expert.

  83. Hopefully Stark is correct: “Other teams say ‪#Braves‬ only looking for a “top-of-the-rotation guy.” So be dubious of rumors linking them with Liriano, Vargas, etc.

    Liriano? What year is it, 2006? Who’d want him over here walking the park every five days?

  84. Ive got customers wanting to take out lines of credit in order to travel around and bid on storage units. I find Storage Wars entertaining, but they certainly over value every item they look at. They will find one old Zebco fishing rod or a trashed cooler and think its worth $100.

  85. Ugh, I love Pawn Stars but when Chumlee starts spouting off the history of some vintage bicycle, the scripting has gone too far.

  86. Twins lefty Francisco Liriano is 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA and .170 opp avg in nine starts since returning to rotation, with 67 strikeouts and 25 walks in 57-1/3 innings.

    Id take Liriano over Vargas.

  87. @122 – I just realized that my comment sounded a bit like I was deriding Bethany for saying she had a “degree of familiarity,” when that wasn’t my intention at all.

    All I mean is that there are now so many people trying to play like they saw on TV, that is hard to get any business done.

    Your mid century Danish credenza is worth $2500… to an interior designer in Manhattan. It isn’t worth $2500 at your garage sale. It’s worth $700 to a person who can store it, repair it, photograph it, advertise it, and ship it.

  88. I’m not all that impressed with Garza. Maybe I’m wrong but I really don’t see him as a top of the rotation pitcher. I would prefer Dempster or Greinke but I really am skeptical that Greinke will be available.

  89. Most people have garage sales to get rid of things to make space and some walking around money. Credenzas are priced to move.

  90. If I was stranded on an island and could only take 100 english language words with me, ‘credenza’ would be one of them.

  91. I love all these shows. After 40 years watching the Big Three, I crave novelty.

    I think The History Channel is justified in showing the lifestyle of Troy Landry and that incredible month of September in the bayous. But, as the networks do, each hit show here still gets copied to absurdity.

    My current favorite is “Chopped” on the Food Network, because there’s always a twist (called the “curveball” ingredient), pompous people go home in tears, and culinary competitions have been around as long as people have cooked for a living.

    Maybe Chopped belongs on the History Channel?!

  92. @128 I didn’t take it that way. The antique stores in Auburn became a joke after those shows became popular because people think they can price their stuff at maximum value even though they are in a tiny market.

  93. 103,

    You know, I really enjoyed the first season of Ice Road Truckers. Call me stupid, but I was 16 when it first premiered, and I had no idea about the scale of the Ice Road in Alaska nor about how important it was. Also, in that first season, they really attempted to show why the machinery or goods that the truckers carried was important to the diamond mines, and I learned a whole lot about how mines operate. They lost that trait over the next couple of seasons, after which it just became a show about uneducated people’s personal problems. If I wanted to watch some people stupidly scream at one another, I’d just drive in NY traffic.


    On food channel, I’ve started to really dislike the arrogance and general ego of the chefs that they have appearing nowadays on The Next Iron Chef and Chopped (which I used to enjoy). They seem like they’re judging murderers and robbers when they’re actually discussing food. I mean, come on, you make other people happy for a living by making the world’s best food. Stop taking your profession so seriously and lighten up.

    However, I will always remain thankful to Food Network for Alton Brown’s Good Eats. That show taught me more about science than High School Chemistry, and much more about cooking than anything else. Good Eats and Braves baseball are positively the two best things about television.


    I certainly agree that pawn shops (and gun shops, and even automobile dealers) have to take into account the cost of storage, cost of restoration, and the percentage chance the item even gets sold before making an offer to the selling party. But I think there’s a tremendous difference between that and just trying to take advantage of somebody’s gullibility or desire for quick cash. In my limited experience with these shows, I’ve seemed to seen a whole lot more of these store owners clearly trying to squeeze every last bit out of a deal, and that’s what gets to me. To each his own, though.

  94. 115,

    What about promoting Medlen to the rotation and just promoting/acquiring a relief pitcher? I wouldn’t mind a Hudson, Hanson, Medlen, Sheets, and JJ rotation. I wouldn’t love it, but I wouldn’t hate it either. If Greinke is going to require a Zach Wheeler-type in return, I would much prefer if Wren just stayed pat at the deadline and tried to sign him in free agency.


    Chopped is great the days the judges decide to not act like a***s. Unfortunately, with Zakarian and Guarnaschelli, that doesn’t happen too often this days. They seem to think cooking is life-and-death art. The best episodes, for me, were usually when Aaron Sanchez and Marus Samuelsson were judging.

  95. Someone asked Wren about moving Medlen to the rotation at the meeting last Friday and he basically said Medlen fills a need and provides flexibility in the bullpen. He then, almost as a side note, mentioned something about Venters being on the DL. I think if Venters was 2011 Venters then we might see Medlen in the rotation but now Medlen is kind of covering the loss of Venters.

  96. Chris Santos is as bad as Scott Conant. He’s unbearable.

    Marcus Samuelsson, Aaron Sanchez, Alex and Amanda Freitag are all good. Ted Allen is pretty sharp as well. Samuelsson’s autobiography (“Yes, Chef”) just came out. He’s led a really interesting life based on the reviews.

    I also remember Alton Brown from the Good Eats days. His food pyramid (what to eat every day, 1/week, never) is really interesting too. Difficult to implement, but interesting.

  97. Amanda Freitag can be assertive, but she can also be very sympathetic. I like her a lot. Alex is more relaxed on her own show, which airs on Saturday mornings, I think.

    Alton Brown attended Lithonia High School.

  98. 141,

    Yup, I think the majority of Good Eats is filmed in Marietta. All the stores he goes to (Whole Foods, Kroger, Bed Bath and Beyond) are all located somewhere in that area.

    And, as a recent Columbus (OH) transplant from Suwanee, I have to say that you Georgians have it great with Publix. That is the greatest grocery store of all time.

  99. But Medlen really doesnt cover the loss of Venters. Fredi uses Medlen in multiple inning situations only at this point. He’s not just a 7th or 8th inning guy. He doesnt have the value that he should in our pen.

  100. @136 desert

    I agree on every point, with Aaron and Marcus (what a story!) being my favorites. Give Amanda chocolate and she’s yours.

    Someone above made a point about Food Network focusing on personalities, which I can see. But Alton Brown has a knack for making simple things interesting and complex things less challenging. He’s someone who would probably excel at anything that interested him.

    Glad he chose food. I’m all about good things to eat.

  101. Restaurant Impossible rocks (Food Network on Wednesday night)! I ate at the restaurant they will feature tomorrow (The Main Dish) and the owner was extremely grateful for what was done. Hopefully she’ll feel the same way after the episode airs.

  102. desert,

    You should visit Your Dekalb Farmers Market in Decatur. You name it, they got it–and at great prices. I miss that place more than anything in Atlanta (except, of course, for the Braves).

  103. I was a YDFM guy for years, but Buford Highway Farmers Market is ultra awesome. The prices and selection are just insane – separate Eastern European, Mexican, traditional and Asian meat counters, entire aisles of Jamaican, Thai, Indonesian etc. etc. centric products. It’s just stunning for a food guy.

  104. I agree that the Buford Hwy market takes the prize at the moment. But YDFM is planning a big expansion in the next couple of years — they’re going from 140,000 sq ft of retail space to over 650,000 sq ft. If they can get rid of the dank smell in the process…well, heaven might have a new name….

  105. Thanks Remy, I’ll have to check that out when I’m back in Atlanta. Local farmers’ markets are great.

    I used to love the International Farmers Market on Peachtree Industrial. The Peachtree Industrial location closed down a few years back, but they might have just moved somewhere else. They sold this gruyere cheese (probably not actual gruyere, but great nonetheless) called Tiger Cheese. It used to be sold in little wheel wedges (think Laughing Cow). If I had to subside on just one food for the rest of my life, I’d probably choose that little processed cheese.


    I always wonder how much longer those Robert Irvine renovated locations manage to stay open. The problem always seems to rest with the staff, owner, and cooks. I know that on the night when they re-open the restaurant, Irvine brings in Food Channel-hired cooks to do the vast majority of the cooking. Does he have to completely re-teach the cooks, well, how to cook? Wouldn’t that take an incredibly long period of time?

  106. @153 Thanks for the link, that was a really interesting read. It’s shocking to see how much recoil he had in that second gif.

  107. @154 – I was in San Antonio and went to an RI location before and after it reopened. Food was better for us , but not so much for another customer, and they weren’t equipped to handle the extra people that were coming. They red-lined about 3/4 of the new menu that Robert recommended. They cleaned out the restaurant, but the bathrooms were still terrible. I will be surprised if this restaurant makes it. Otoh, the Huntsville restaurant seemed to be vastly improved and the owner was very upbeat.

  108. As long as we’re talking about TV, let me throw this out there:

    My gal & I are just finishing up the entire box set of “The Wire.” (On to Season 5…) To me, it’s the greatest show in the history of television.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for another TV box set to buy? Anything that, in your opinion, comes close or (possibly)exceeds “The Wire”?

  109. Breaking Bad isn’t The Wire, but it’s in the same zip code. But you set a high bar. No show, IMHO, has nearly the scope of The Wire, either in the number of clearly delineated characters or the range of subjects covered. Breaking Bad has just about as good writing, and only slightly less good performances, but is much narrower in scope, both thematically and just in terms of characters.

  110. I’m not as high on Breaking bad as everyone else is. There’s a lot of scenarios where characters become complete idiots in order to serve the plot, which bothers me.

  111. I don’t disagree Bethany, but that’s because I think these are characters who actually are complete idiots under the right amount of stress, as I think many of us are… well, everybody but Greg Maddux.

  112. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, go with Archer. It’s hilarious.

  113. 157,

    I’m in the same boat. I’m three episodes away from the end of season 5, and I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’ve heard suggestions for Mad Men, The Shield, and Breaking Bad. Personally, I also really liked The Closer (at least the first four seasons).

  114. I really think we’ll get Dempster or someone nobody is expecting. I think the price for Greinke is being driven up beyond what we’re willing to pay.

  115. I’ll add a big ditto to “Breaking Bad.” I think the writing and acting is superb.

    I have to admit, I tried getting into “The Wire” and just couldn’t.

  116. Boy do I miss the “edit” button.

    Does “The Wire” start slow and get better or is it just not for me? I couldn’t find a character I liked. It seems like a great show but I was never desperate to watch the next episode like I am for “Breaking Bad” or “Game of Thrones” (or “Dexter” for four seasons).

  117. #158
    One of my best friends is all about “Deadwood” & he still gets pissed at me because I tried, but didn’t make it thru 2 episodes. (I’m sure I’m the one who’s wrong there—maybe I was distracted or something—I just have trouble committing to a show if it doesn’t grab me immediately.)

    FWIW, from all I’ve heard & read, I’m leaning toward “Breaking Bad.” Nice to hear some more recommendations, thanks.

    Post-“Wire” trauma is real. Now what?

  118. #170
    Characters on “The Wire” evolve & further reveal themselves over time, if that answers your question. I got into it right away & it seemed to move fine, IMO.

    Some of them have no redeeming qualities, and sometimes those characters are on “the right side of the law.” There’s definitely a lot of gray, but that’s what makes it fascinating.

    I’m thru 4 seasons now and, yes, I’d say there are a few “beacons of good” character-wise, even if they might be a little self-righteous here & there.

  119. I don’t watch any of these shows, or any tv at all, really, but I will say that Mad Men undoubtedly has the best furniture in it.

  120. 157,

    For me, nothing has comes close to The Wire. Deadwood was excellent, but incomplete. Breaking Bad has probably come closest, and managed to get even better in the most recent season, just as I was beginning to lose interest. We watch Mad Men, which can be entertaining for the styling etc., but the writing is pretty poor and the characters extremely flat. Tried Sons of Anarchy but it is really not much better than a daytime soap opera. The entire first season of The Shield was available on a long transpacific flight a few years ago and I managed to watch almost the whole season. It did a great job of passing the time, but I wasn’t hooked enough to watch any of the subsequent seasons.

  121. @168

    I agree about Dempster.

    I think the Brewers are floating rumors of an extension to try and drive up the price. I think his last three starts may have lowered the price tag some.

  122. I really dont want the Braves to even consider paying Greinke $20mil per for any length of time.

  123. I tried The Wire about 6 years ago and never made it past the first episode, so yeah I think it starts slow. But last summer me and the wife tried again and watched all 5 seasons. Honestly it still didn’t get good for me until about episode 3 or 4 but I will now join the chorus of those who call The Wire the best show ever.

    My favorite right now is Justified. Also loved Boomtown which only had one season back in 2002. I’ve watched the season about 15 times.

    If you’ve never seen it Sports Night is pretty great too.

  124. Nice call, Dusty. I’d forgotten about Sports Night. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, should. It’s Aaron Sorkin when he was just clever and not all West Wing preachy.

  125. Sorkin was plenty preachy on Sports Night. It just wasn’t necessarily politics preachy. :-)

  126. funny stuff:



  127. That’s really good to hear, Dusty. I’ve only ever gotten 2-3 episodes in so I’ll push through. It’s definitely jarring to watch something shot on film and not widescreen but I think I’d get over that quickly.

    “Justified” is a solid show. I wasn’t a huge fan of the episodic first season. All of the scenarios started to feel a little by the book. It really hit it’s stride in season 2 when they had a season-long story arc. One thing my friend always says, and I’m inclined to agree, is that “Justified” has the best female characters on TV.

  128. I think the original idea for The West Wing was great. You were never supposed to see the President. That was a great idea. It couldn’t follow through on that and went fairly rapidly downhill after that. Needless to say, Smitty, this is just my opinion.

    I can’t believe it’s only 4:11 — can they start the game tonight a little early?

  129. Francisco/Janish + The people who took Hoover/Redmond’s spots in Braves Pitching > Hoover/Redmond + The people who would have taken over over Francisco/Janish in Braves hitting.

    At least, it makes sense to me that way.

  130. I didn’t realize Deadwood was a TV show, but I’ve read Pete Dexter’s book. He’s one of my favorite writers, but Deadwood meandors a bit, though there are still a lot of great passages. Maybe the TV show reflects this style?

  131. Inconsistent? The Braves have six sweeps and have been swept four times themselves.

  132. @157 – TV is all a matter of taste, but I’ll echo above and recommend The West Wing and Archer.

    And The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Definitely that.

  133. The show Deadwood wasn’t based on the book, but it was close enough that Dexter wasn’t happy about it (especially Charlie’s character). The show certainly develops slowly but it is my favorite series.

  134. Not a great video but here’s Billy Hamilton, who already has 109 stolen bases in 88 games,running round the bases in 14 seconds on an inside the parker.

  135. In a new Morosi article, Dempster could use his 10/5 rights to reject a deal to any team, but his top 2 preferences are the Dodgers and the Braves. He also might be willing to go to a team that would sign him to an extension. That scares me a bit because he seems like he could go all Lowe on us, but I’d love to see him in an Atlanta uniform by week’s end.

  136. Dempster’s the one I’ve wanted all along, because he seems like he’ll be the cheapest in prospects. The Cubs apparently agree, because they are hoping to move him well before the deadline, so they can afford to focus on Garza at the deadline, and utilize some brinksmanship to get the most out of him.

  137. Wren seems to be looking for a top of the rotation pitcher that he can sign beyond 2012. Why would he go Dempster-diving?

  138. He might have said it to elicit an overpay from other teams for said “top of the rotation pitcher”, and divert their attention from his actual goal, and perhaps keep his cost down at the same time.

  139. What about Dan Haren? He’s currently on the DL and scheduled to pitch Sunday. He’s under performed and has a $15.5 mil club option for next season. The Angels could possibly be willing to move him with how’s he performed for them.

  140. I loved the West Wing as much as the next guy, but the new Sorkin show is almost laughing-on-the-floor bad.

  141. Good news…

    Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
    The Braves are going to try to sign Martin Prado to a multi-year deal, given his current standing as heir to Chipper Jones’s spot at third.

  142. More strikeouts in today’s game?

    A. Kimbrel
    B. Jurrjens and Zito combined
    C. Someone else

  143. That video is awesome, Alex.

    And I’ll go on the record as being a huge fan of both Deadwood and Justified. The review earlier was correct that it really took off in Season 2. Season 1 was a solid procedural with a very good setting and compelling characters. Season 2 I’ll put up against just about any season of television ever.

  144. Uh…not this again. He was more out than Posey. Bobby would have had to go to the hospital for a stroke.

  145. Gotta agree. Cant blame Bmac, even with his bad throw, when Blanco was out by two feet. What an awful call.

  146. Unfortunately, the Braves were not scintillating in the bottom half. Throw strikes, JJ.

  147. Did Melky just fake throwing the ball into the crowd? Is that another reason for me to dislike him, or would there actually have been ramifications had he thrown it into the crowd after the third out?

  148. Jurrjens is pitching a hell of a lot better than what his offense is doing behind him.

  149. Four things so far Melky has done for the Giants in this game that he would not have done for the Braves:

    1) Take an extra base
    2) Score a run from second on a single
    3) Make that catch
    4) Get the hit in the first place

  150. @ububba, late to the party, again, but The Wire is my favorite TV show of all time. Especially seasons 3-5. You’d probably enjoy Treme, also by David Simon. It’s about post-Katrina New Orleans and mostly focused on the music. He really nails musicians, if you ask me.

    And yeah, Breaking Bad is second to The Wire on the list. Season 4 is as good as it gets. And yeah, Justified is pretty dang good.

  151. Chip seems surprised that a soft tossing lefty could have a good record against the Braves…

  152. Barry Zito is going to pitch a no-hitter today.
    Barry Zito is going to pitch a no-hitter today.
    Barry Zito is going to pitch a no-hitter today.

  153. The Braves are discovering new and imaginative ways to fail. Again, I thought we were past this.

  154. Fredi needs to call someone at ESPN and clue them into Zito’s no-hitter so they can toss it on the front page. Good chance that breaks it up before the bats tonight.

  155. JJ’s been bad, Bourn, Prado and Chipper have played poor defense and the umpires have blown calls. sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  156. Just get a hit, please, and we can forget all about this when we trade for an ace.

  157. And he sticks the Tryple Grybo! What a remarkable performance by Luis Avilan, the Venezuelan Sensation!

  158. @279, an old Saturday Night Live cold open, with Darrell Hammond as Mayor Giuliani:

    Mayor Rudolph Guiliani: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. As you know, our beloved Yankees are in the World Series for the second straight year. Before tonight’s game, I received a phone call from the Mayor of Atlanta, Bill Campbell, and he proposed a little wager on the World Series. He said he’d send me a bushel of Georgia peaches if the Yankees won.. and if the Braves won, I had to send him a box of New York strip steaks. Well, I laughed in his face. I said, “Ha ha ha ha ha!” I said, “Listen up, you thissel-chewing hayseed. Betting for peaches might fly with you rubes in the Hillbilly State, but not with the Mayor of New York City.” He asked what I wanted to bet.. I said, “I know my Yankees are gonna win. I got $250,000 to back it up.” That’s right. A cool quarter of a million dollars. And he claimed he didn’t have that kind of money.. I didn’t call him a liar, I just said, “Fine, Huckleberry. If the Braves win, I send you a painting of the Virgin Mary smeared with fecal matter. And if the Yankees win, I want you to send me fifty of your most inbred, redneck Georgia state troopers to come up here and crack skulls of street vendors and cabbies.” Still, the man said no. You know why?

    Voice in Crowd: Because you’re crazy?

    Mayor Rudolph Guiliani: No. Because he knows the Braves suck. They suck hard, they suck at commitment, they suck completely. And then I said, “Okay, Mayor of Heehaw-Land: if the Yankees win, I’ll line up all our vagrants and crazies, winos and cabbies, and I’ll send them to Atlanta.. and if, by some fluke, the Braves win, I take your bums!” But, again, he refused, because Mayor Campbell knows that the Yankees are the better team! Finally, I said, “Okay, here it is: if the Yankees win, we get the severed head of John Rocker on a stick. If the Braves win, I’ll dress up like Scarlett O’Hara, and you can romance me with a plunger.” That’s when he hung up. ‘Cause he’s terrified of our Yankees! I want all you people to remember how much I believe in the Yankees next year when you’re voting for the Senate. ‘Cause you can bet your sweet ass Hillary doesn’t care about the Yankees, and we don’t need people like that in Congress. Thank you, and go Yankees! Oh, and one more thing: Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

  159. @252: the streakiness of this team is due in large part to the unpredictable starting pitching.

  160. You know, for the most part I’m able to just forget about players once they leave the Braves. I don’t care what Yunel, Lowe, KJ, or even Frenchy are doing at the moment. But Melky…for some reason I just can’t get over it. He’s probably my least favorite player in the major leagues right now.

  161. I’m OK with the All-Star MVP as long as he ends up destitute. Just kidding. Mostly. Ha ha.

  162. Mets lose after blowing leads in the 9th and 10th innings in Washington, on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

    LolMets just stopped being funny.

  163. You know Mike Minor is probably a crazy insecure guy. He probably gets worked up when his girl hasn’t texted him by 9:30am.

  164. I have never actually hated any player. I hate Melky Cabrera.

    If karma was real, now that he’s decided to try, he would suffer a career ending injury.

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