Tagged: Braves

Who Will Win What- N.L. East- Braves

Got you on this one and I thought it was easy. Mark McGwire hit the most home runs and never won and MVP. Today’s question is below.
3. Atlanta Braves 87-75 

Atlanta was in an unfamiliar place last offseason as they were rebuilding from a 90 loss season. The Braves play in the second hardest division with the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins. Yet the have the best rotation in the division. Atlanta will have a much improved season but will fall short of the playoffs by three games. 
The Braves swung for the fences and missed yet I guess you could say stole third base. Across the papers read “REPORT: JAKE PEAVEY TO THE BRAVES; BRAVES EXPECTED TO INK FURCAL; BRAVES AWAIT DECISION FROM A.J.; and GRIFFEY WILL PLAY FOR THE BRAVES. None of them came true. However Atlanta did sign Derek Lowe, Garret Anderson, and Japan star Kenshin Kawakami. While at the same time they traded for Javier Vazquez. They also resigned future hall of famer, Tom Glavine and signed former Red Sox catcher, David Ross. Even with all of these good moves Atlanta lost Mike Hampton and John Smoltz.
What Atlanta missed out on they got back. For example the Braves lost out on Ken Griffey Jr. but they signed Garrett Anderson. They lost out on the Jake Peavy trade but they traded for Javier Vazquez. They did not get A.J. Burnett then they signed Derek Lowe, who pitched a fantastic game last night. So really Atlanta did not lose anything from missing out on Junior, Furcal, Peavy, and A.J. In fact in my opinion they had the best offseason out of any teams and we saw that Sunday night.
Atlanta does not have the best bullpen. They really only have two guys. Led by closer, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano are they only forces out of the bullpen. Peter Moylan is coming off of a season where he only pitched 5.2 innings last season due to injuries. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty is so bad that last year with the Mariners in 6.2 innings he gave up fifteen earned runs! Jorge Campillo is a very important pieces because he can come out of the bullpen and start a game. However the Braves this year will not make it a six inning game. Instead it is a nine inning game.
The Braves have a good offense led by Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and Garret Anderson. Jeff Francoeur and Casey Kotchman will have much improved seasons which is a main part of the Braves because if they do not Atlanta can easily lose seven more games. Jones, McCann, Anderson, Francoeur, and Kotchman hit only 85 home runs. Baseball Prospectus projects them to hit a total of 87 home runs. I see them hitting a total of 100 home runs led by Chipper Jones’ 25 and Brain McCann’s 30.
Like I said before Atlanta has the best rotation in the Nation League East. The Braves have three aces but four guys make that up. Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez are great pitchers and aces on any team. Jair Jurrjens and Kenshin Kawakami are each half of and ace. Jurrjens is still improving and has not reached his full potential. However in a few years he will be an ace. Kawakami is not an ace because I have never seen him pitch and when you have not played in MLB and no one has seen you in a real game no one can call you an ace.
Derek Lowe did exactly what the Braves brought him there to do yesterday. Lowe pitched eight innings and struck out four while giving up no runs and only two hits. Lowe will have a great season with the Braves because unlike where he has pitched before Atlanta does not have the billions of fans that the Red Sox and Dodgers have. The sinkerballer will most likely win at least fifteen games, pitch 200 innings, and have an ERA under 3.50.
A very interesting case is Jordan Schafer. Schafer is a rookie who has never played baseball above double AA till last night. He was suspended for fifty games for violating MLB’s drug policy. In his first at bat in the majors yesterday he hit a home run and became the 99th player to hit a home run in their first at bat. In his second at bat he hit a single up the middle. In his third at bat he was intentionally walked! he finally got out after Brad Lidge struck him out. 
Everyone says pitching wins everything and it does 99 percent of the time. However you need run support to win a ball game. Unless one of the Braves players steps up big the Braves will be watching in October.
All right here is today’s question. “Who was the first player to hit two home runs from both sides of the plate on opening day?” You better get this one right!
Photo Credits
2- bostonsports.mlblogs.com
Also I would like to thank you guys for getting me to the final four in Max Maddness!!!!!!!!!

Glavine is Staying Put

Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine, who has a lifetime 3.49 ERA and has never been on the DL, posted 243 of his 300 wins with Atlanta (1987-2002).

A day after the Braves lost out on Ken Griffey Jr. Tom Glavine resigned with the Atlanta Braves today on a one year deal. The contract is mostly made of incentives which gives the left hander the chance to earn up to $4.5 million dollars. He will get one million dollars no matter what. Glavine has played with the Braves on two different occasions and the New York Mets once. Glavine in college Glavine was a two sport star in baseball and ice hockey. He was drafted by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round, 69th overall. In the MLB Glavine was drafted by the Braves in the second round. Glavine thankfully opted to play baseball and not hockey. Glavine got his first win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the game he hit Barry Bonds in the back. Years later Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s home run record the same weak Glavine got his 300th win. In 1991 Glavine won his first Cy Young award going twenty and eleven with a 2.55 ERA and 192 strikeouts. In 1991 he led the Braves to the World Series. The Braves lost though to the Twins four games to three. In 1992 the Braves made the World Series but lost to the Toronto Blue Jays four games to two. In 1993 Greg Maddux was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Braves. He, Glavine, and Jon Smoltz formed on of the best starting rotations of all time. From 1991 to 1993 he became the last pitcher in baseball to win twenty games in three consecutive seasons. In 1995 the Braves made the World Series and beat the Cleveland Indians four games to two. Glavine was award the series MVP. The next year in 1996 the Braves faced the Yankees and ost four games to two. In 1998 Glavine won his second Cy Young award going twenty and six with a 2.47 ERA and 157 strikeouts. In 1999 he went to the World Series yet again and lost to the Yankees four games to zero. In 2003 Glavine signed a four year $42.5 million with the Braves rival, the New York Mets. In 2003 Glavine had such a bad year that I am sure he doesn’t want me to mention it. He did though get to play with his brother, Mike after the Mets called him up. In 2004 he made the all-star game and lost some of his teeth by getting in car wreck. The wreck happened while he was in a taxi. In 2006 he preformed like his old self going fifteen and seven and made the all-star game. The Mets also won the National League East. That postseason he went two and one in three games. In 2007 Glavine resigned with the Mets. Going into the 2007 season he needed only ten wins to get to the 300 mark. On August 5 he won his 300th game beating the Chicago Cubs on ESPN. Glavine became the 23rd 300 game winner and the fifth lefty to get to 300. At the end of the season Glavine declined an option and became a free agent. Last year Glavine pitched in only thirteen games going two for four. The Griffey signing put the Mariners back in the weak A.L. West. Now the Glavine signing puts the Braves back into a strong N.L. East. Glavine will most likely be the fifth man in the rotation and if he gets hurt he has Tim Hudson to fill in. Glavine is a ten time all-star who has won won four silver sluggers. With Glavine’s injury history the only thing we can be sure on is he is a hall of famer.

1990/91 Braves - ('90: 67-95; '91: 92-70)
Tom Glavine

4- gamespot.com
5- fannation.com

Fantasy Baseball Help- Tip 1

I know Cob is starting a fantasy baseball league so I thought for all you first timers I thought I would give you some tips.

Draft Players on Good Teams

When drafting your team try to draft great players on average or great teams. The Mariners lost 101 games in 2008 year. In 2007 years ago they won 88 games. In 2007 Felix Hernandez won 14 games an in 2008 he won nine and lost 14. For pitchers run support is key. A baseball team with great sluggers and average pitchers will do fine. In 2007 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won 66 games. In 2008 the Rays won 97 games. Every single one of their pitchers did better because of run support. When drafting sluggers you can afford to break this rule for a really good player. Playing on a better team for a slugger means more runs, RBI’s, and a higher on base percentage. You get more runs because people will drive you in more. You get more RBI’s, because more people will be standing at third base. Lastly you will get a higher on base percentage because if a pitcher walks someone they will then have to face a better hitter next. Lets use the Mariners and the Rays again. In 2007 Ichiro hit had 111 runs, 68 RBI’s, and a .396 on base percentage. In 2008 he had 103 runs, 42 RBI’s, and a .361 on base percentage. Akinori Iwamura, of the Rays had 82 runs, 34 RBI’s, and a .359 on base percentage in 2007. In 2008 he had 91 runs, 48 RBI’s, and a .349 on base percentage. Sure his on base percentage dropped by .010 but he had a much better year. When you drafted players on good teams their confidence is higher which means a better year most of the time. So my list of teams I would draft from are the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Angels, A’s, Rangers, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Reds, D-Backs, Giants, and Rockies. I don’t plan on drafting any one from the Rays or Yankees though. Also I left the Brewers and Cardinals off for two reasons their pitchers and the fact that their not that heathy.

Glavine to Boston?!?

Tom Glavine a low risk high reward player said he felt good after throwing of the mound for the first time since elbow and shoulder surgery in August. Glavine is a local guy according to Julia (Julia your “dream” came true) over at Julia’s Rants. Glavine’s longtime teammate John Smoltz recently signed with the Red Sox. Glavine, a free agent, made thirteen starts last season. He went two and four, with 37 strikeouts, and a ERA 5.54. Tom Glavine is 42 years old. Glavine is a sure first ballot hall of famer he has 305 carer wins, an ERA of 3.54, and has 2,607 strikeouts. Glavine has played twenty-two seasons with the Braves on two different occasions and the New York Mets. He has won twenty games five times. While Glavine is a great player and I am sure he would love to go to the Red Sox, but Boston already has eight starters in Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden. Smoltz though could come out of the bullpen and I think Clay could too. As for Bowden he’ll come up from AAA in mid-season. He would probably cost a around the amount of Smoltz and is better. Am I saying that I would rather have Glavine then Smoltz? No, Smoltz will not pitch till June but he can be a starter or come out of the bullpen which I wish every pitcher could. Glavine will should sign with a team with young pitchers, the Rays, Twins, A’s, D-Backs, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Nationals, Marlins, or maybe even the Padres. he also could resign with the Braves who have signed Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves also traded for former Chicago White Sox, Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is listed as the Braves ace on Braves.com don’t get that one. I would put my money on the Brewers or the Braves. The Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees. Ben Sheets, the other Brewers ace is still on the market. One game I would love to see, Red Sox vs. Brewers, Jon Smoltz vs. Tom Glavine, at Fenway Park. 

Tom Glavine (left) John Smoltz (center) Greg Maddux (right)

Former Met Tom Glavine retired the final 17 batters he faced during the Braves' 6-1 win in the first game of a day-night doubleheader today.

Where Will Manny Go???

First- Derek Lowe is officially a Brave.

Second- Not a lot of news today.
Where will Manny Ramirez go! He is one of the best hitters ever and today. Manny wants at least 15 million a year and I think he should get 15 million. Manny may be a bad influence in the clubhouse but thats Manny. Some guys are just going to be like that. He is a great hitter and at 36 Manny still can slug the ball. Yes, he has terrible defense but his is better than Adam Dunn. Manny hasn’t signed for two reasons: the economy and his antics. If Manny had behaved and didn’t “force” the Red Sox to trade him Manny would be with someone. Manny hit 37 home runs, hit .332, and drove in 121 with the Red Sox and Dodgers. Manny has 527 carer home runs, with a .314 batting average, and has driven in 1,725. If Manny hadn’t refused to play, went inside the Green Monster, held up signs about trading him for Brett Favre (as shown) and said Derek Jeter was playing golf (also as shown) then he would probably resigned with Boston. Manny will probably end up with the Los Angeles Dodgers. If Scott Boras works his magic the deal will probably give him three years, club option for forth, twelve million dollars a year. If Boras can’t work his magic the deal will be three years ten million dollars. Manny wants to play till he is 40. So for his last year he could end up with the Yankees as a D.H. My baseball trainer Raffi, played minor league ball with Albert Pujols, Bartolo Colon, Willy Taveras, grew up with David Ortiz, and Manny. When I have my lessons guess who is there before me Willy Taveras! Raffi pitches to him and Willy hits. Raffi said that Manny wants to stay in Los Angeles and some other stuff. Click here to see his stats. While the Giants did show interest in Manny that idea kind of fell apart. One thing is will Manny sign before pitchers and catchers report to spring training? Or even before the end of spring training.
Manny Being Manny

Manny gets paid millions of dollars and the best he can do is cardboard! 

I was at this game. This was Jason Bay’s third game and I think that is Jason Bay batting.

What’s the Lowe Down on the Braves

First- Sorry for the cheesy title.

Second- Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday. I was studying for a big test in science and had a basketball game, we won!
Third- B.J. Upton may miss opening day for the Rays.
Fourth- The Rays signed Gabe Gross.
Fifth- The Marlins are interested in Chad Cordero.
Sixth- The Brewers officially signed Trevor Hoffman.
Seventh- John Smoltz officially signed with Boston.
Eighth- Andruw Jones is close to leaving the Dodgers.
Ninth- Bartolo Colon is close to going back to the Chicago White Sox.
Tenth- My Celtics have won three in a row!
Eleventh- Cox Communications, a TV station in San Diego, got a new play by play guy for the Padres. Guess who it is??? My Godfather, Mark Neely!!! I’m not kidding, I swear.
Yesterday the Atlanta Braves signed former Boston Red Sox, Derek Lowe on a four year deal. I know some of my readers hoped that Derek Lowe would sign with the Red Sox. I thought he would sign with the New York Mets. The sinker baller was formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The same day Boston officially signed former Atlanta Brave legend John Smoltz. The Braves now have a great rotation featuring of Lowe, Javier Vazquez who they traded for this offseason, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, and the fifth spot is open to Tim Hudson who had tommy john surgery last year, Jorge Campillo, Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and James Parr. It will probably be Tim Hudson. The Braves are now interested in a power hitting right fielder to start and not Matt Diaz. They could also move Matt Diaz to centerfield. The Braves want Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher who are both on the New York Yankees. Nick Swisher hasn’t played a game with the Yankees because he was traded from the Chicago White Sox this offseason. Nady was with the Pirates then got traded to the New York Yankees in midseason. Swisher is under contact till 2011 while Nady will probably become a free agent at the end of the 2009 season. I think the Braves will trade for Swisher. I think the Yankees will want one or two minor leaguers and maybe Josh Anderson or Manny Acosta. The Braves will probably try to put a starting pitcher in there since they have nine. The deal will probably include Acosta though, because the Yankees have more “power.” If I was the G.M. of the Braves I would do the deal.
Sept. 9, 2002 Derek Lowe got the win, going six innings and giving up three earned runs. Lowe was ejected in the seventh inning by umpire Jerry Crawford for hitting Felix Escalona. Grady Little was shown the gate by Crawford for arguing Lowe's ejection.

Hall of Fame Winners and Losers- Part 5

Dale Murphy No, Never

Dale Murphy is on the ballot for the eleventh time. He hit .265, with 398 home runs, drove in 1,266, scored 1,197 times, had 2,111 hits, stole 161 and was caught stealing 68 times. Murphy played for 18 seasons with the Braves, Phillies, and Rockies. If he does go in it will be as a Brave. In just an eight span Murphy won two MVP’s, along with six golden gloves, four silver sluggers, the Lou Gehrig  award, and the Roberto Clemente award. In that same span he was elected to seven all-star games. This year he will get 15% of the vote and at his best 45% of the vote.

Jesse Orosco No, Never

Jesse Orosco is on the ballot for his first time. He has a carer record of 87-80, with an ERA of 3.16, and 1179 strike outs. Orosco, a relief pitcher is the all-time leader in appearances. He played 24 seasons with the Mets, Dodgers, Indians, Brewers, Orioles, Cardinals, Twins, Yankees, and Padres. He played with the Dodgers two different times. He made four errors at pitcher. He had a great .984 fielding percentage. Orosco is my favorite player on the ballot to not play for the Red Sox because in 2003 in 15 games for the Yankees he had a 10.38 ERA. Orosco will get 7% of the vote this year and his high will be 45% of the vote.

Dave Parker, No, Never

Dave Parker is on the ballot for his 13th year. He hit .290, with 339 home runs, drove in 1,493, scored 1,272 times, had 2,712 hits, stole 154, and was caught stealing 113 times. He made 144 errors at first, second, and in the outfield. He has a .966 fielding percentage. Parker played 19 seasons with the Pirates, Reds, A’s, Brewers, Angels, and Blue Jays. Parker if he goes in will go in as a Pirate. He won two batting titles, three golden gloves, three silver sluggers, and a MVP. He also was elected to eight all-star games. I think Parker should go in. He just missed 3,000 hits and had great stats otherwise, but I don’t think he will. Last year he got 15.1% of the vote I think this year he will get 17% of the vote and his best will be 24.5% of the vote back in 1998.