222 thoughts on “Does this even count as “news”? “Olds”, maybe.”

  1. I’m of the opinion that the Braves should release Hampton, so he does not distract the team anymore. This team is not going to be improved much even if he comes back, so why hold on to him?

  2. From the last thread:

    Mraver, kudos on some great posts this morning. I have enjoyed reading them.

    I am not a subscriber to Baseball America, but I heard that Freddie Freeman got an “honorable mention” on their mid-season Top 25 prospects list. If this is true, it would be quite remarkable, and one could be almost certain that he would be a top 50 prospect.

    Freeman has really been every bit as good as Heyward (who is the #5 prospect by BA’s reckoning) this year and is a month younger.

    As for the others, Hanson, Teheran, Hernandez, and Schafer should all remain highly regarded, with Flowers, Medlen, Rohrbough and Locke on the rise.

    Feliz will be top 20 (#13 now). Max Ramirez will be way up there, as will Andrus.

    We can lament the trade of these guys for our “rental Tex,” but we should celebrate that the organization that put all of these guys in one farm system is largely intact.

  3. Bethany, I agree. This should be the last attempt that they give him of a comeback. However, he’s still on the DL and I’m sure we are collecting insurance money on him. I bet if we release him, we might lose that

  4. Question. Glavine and Alyssa Milano dated? There was some news blurb on her swearing off dating ballplayers and listed him as an ex, though I believe he was married at the time he was supposedly dating her… please tell me this is just a ridiculous interwebs thing.

  5. Also of note today: the Earth spins on its axis, “The Today Show” aired on NBC, & Paris Hilton is waking up in a strange bed.

    Yes – the more things change, the more things stay the same.

  6. I also think Hampton should have his own WING at the Mayo Clinic and retire from Baseball so he could play a permanent patient on “Grey’s Anatomy”.

  7. from Dan in the last thread…”F that. If the two leagues absolutely must have the same set of rules, than the AL can ditch the DH and play real baseball again.”

    Dan this is directed towards baseball and not you, but why would you play a game in which two different leagues have two different set of rules in which to play from. Then combine the two leagues for one final series to crown a champ. It doesnt make sense to keep it this way.

  8. #4

    If she starts dating Julian Tavarez, then Milano’s obssession w/ ballplayers clearly will have gone too far.

  9. Oh, around.

    Well, I’d like to use Jake as my excuse, but truth is, this team is rather depressing. Still watching us on MLB.com all time, just haven’t been in spirit to comment on it.

    Kinda like Jeff Francouer’s whininess, I am just dispirited.

  10. You know, Glavine did sign with the Mets which is a more egregious act of unfaithfulness than dating Alyssa Milano while married.

  11. Parish, I understand the point you’re making, but if I were married, I think I’d rather a player on my favorite team sign with my least favorite team than have my wife cheat on me.

  12. Where’s the “Total Indifference” option, Mac? I’ve become numb to injury news on Hampton. I literally had no reaction upon reading last night that it had happened.

  13. AAR,

    Read my post again.

    What if your wife was dating Alyssa Milano while married to you?

  14. PS: As of yesterday, my wife and I have a contract on a house. We’re to close on July 31st. We’ll be first-time home owners. We are excited and terrified.

  15. Congratulations, Stu!
    I voted for “hysterical laughter,” though this time wasn’t as funny as when he got hurt warming up before his intended major league debut earlier this year.

  16. I voted for hysterical, but my laughter was more maniacal than hysterical. This season has oft reminded me of the movie armageddon when Steve Buscemi, after one more thing has gone wrong, makes the comment: “It’s like a g@#$d@#$ Greek tragedy around here.” and laughs.

  17. Am I the only one who REALLY wishes the AS game had gone an extra inning or two so the pitchers could’ve been David Wright and JD Drew? That would’ve been comedy GOLD.

  18. From the Hamptochondriac article:

    His list of injuries, all since 2003, includes: right calf, left forearm, lower back, herniated disc, left elbow, left hamstring, left pectoral muscle.

  19. Stu, congratulations, Noting like writing that first mortgage check, but you get numb to it really quick.

  20. Yeah, it’s a great house. We’re going to love living there until the bank forecloses.

  21. I feel sorry for Hampton, but he just needs to get out of town.

    Congratulations, Stu! I’m so happy for you.

    I kinda wish the AS game had gone a little longer too. There was no way it’d end in a tie, right? I mean, if it really “counts,” they would have to have someone pitch.

    Guess who’s birthday it is? Rob’s birthday! What am I doing? Sitting in my boxers eating Apple Jacks and watching the second season of Scrubs. What a country…

  22. 32 — ha! It does seem like a good time to buy. Hope you enjoy the new home, Stu. We keep flushing rent money… not sure when that will end. Sometime.

  23. best wishes for a good one, Rob.

    I too was hoping the game would keep going… I really wanted to see position players pitching.

  24. I’m never going to wish ill on a ballplayer but I hated watching Hampton pitch. His numbers may have been decent but the guy seemed to have absolutely nothing out there. He was a one pitch pitcher and that pitch was not very good nor did he control it very well. Think about this: Mike Hampton has been more useful to this team this year than Corky Miller and possibly Jeff Francouer.

  25. and for the triple post…

    I voted stunned silence because I just couldn’t believe the timing. I thought I was expecting it, but I was still surprised.

  26. Rob,
    Today is our 4-year wedding anniversary. (My wife’s and mine, not yours and mine. We’re not married, you and I.) Which means you were how old when I got married?

  27. mike hampton’s first injuryin early 2003: pulled brain. the rest of his injuries, including ones he “thought” required surgery, were just the downward spiral of a pulled brain. it’s a nagging injury that seemingly affects the whole body.

  28. c. shorter,
    If not for a generous, down-payment-paying (mostly) father-in-law, we’d be doing the rent thing for a lot longer, too.

  29. Stu…congrats on the house! BIG step, but you & your wife sound ready for this. It’s nice to own property, even if the economy is completely in the sh—er.

    No one should cheat on their spouses. But I imagine Alyssa Milano may fall into the ‘free pass’ list that some husbands have begged for.

    Actually, my buddy who works for the Nationals was at the SuperBowl this year and spent quite a bit of time talking to her and even got her digits…I told him if he actually played for the Nats, he might have a better shot at closing that deal…

  30. We’ve had one, Smitty, but haven’t been able to utilize it while living in our apartment. I’m very much looking forward to football season.

    It’s a good thing we already had one, because we can’t afford to buy anything for the next several decades!

  31. Congrats, Stu.

    Just watch, Hampton is going to get picked up by some desperate team for the league minimum next season and win 15 games.

  32. On “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Larry David is given a birthday present from his wife and being able to cheat one time. So he spends the next several episodes trying to find the right woman to cheat with. Alyssa Milano would be one obvious choice.


    Congrats on the house. Now you too can enjoy finding someone to come out to fix things!

    Re Hampton: I understand people’s frustration but why the hell would he want to fake an injury so he could not pitch? I mean, he is playing baseball, not taking a humvee through Baghdad. Ok, I understand the argument that he is just trying to take the money but still, why would he not want to pitch? It’s fun. The idea that he is faking just makes no sense to me.

  33. There was a quote in that article about how he probably would’ve been able to continue, but not wanting to push it. Given that he can’t seem to stand up without tweaking something, wouldn’t it make sense for him to push it one of these times just to see if he can get through it? I guess I’m imagining a world where he isn’t a hypochondriac, though. Silly me.

    Also, @27: Did anyone else find it odd that Buck and McCarver were wringing there hands so much about what would happen if it went another inning or two and the two teams ran out of pitchers? Isn’t it obvious that they would have brought in a position player to pitch? And while we’re at it, why wasn’t that the solution instead of ending the game in the infamous tie game? Buck and McCarver were acting like Selig would’ve ended it in a tie again this time. Which, knowing him, he probably would have. The next time somebody runs out of pitchers in a regular-season game and has to pitch a position player, the manager of that team should call Selig and ask that he pronounce the game a tie. I think there’s a 50-50 chance that he would do it.

  34. #39 – whew…thanks for the explanation, we were getting worried. Anyways, congrats Stu

  35. Marc,

    There’s a difference between faking and being a hypochondriac. I don’t think he’s purposefully trying to rip us off. I think he legitimately thinks he’s far more injured than he is. After missing two seasons in a row with surgery (both of these injuries were obviously legitimate BTW), I think he became hypersensitive and that now whenever he feels a tweak or a twinge, which he’s bound to feel pretty much every time he pitches given his age, he asks to leave the game because he fears he’s injured himself again when most pitchers would just pitch through it. That’s not based in any particular knowledge of psychology or anything, it’s just my opinion.

  36. The Hampton situation reminds me of the chorus from an old Elton John song,

    It’s sad, so sad,
    just a sad sad situation
    and it’s getting more and more absurd

  37. as bad as Washington has been this year, their pitching isnt all that bad…matchups this series

    Redding 3.85 vs Jurrjens 3.00
    Lannan 3.40 vs Hudson 3.13
    Perez 3.71 vs Reyes 4.40

  38. Nick,

    The distinction makes sense but some were arguing that he was faking. A hypochondriac doesn’t fake; they really think something is wrong.

  39. I pull the “total-indifference” lever on Hampton. Whenever I think of him, it’s always visions of cartoon moneybags with wings. Just numbness.

    Good call. Although I was always a big Elton John fan, I never liked that song until I heard Ray Charles sing it. Either way, Hampton deserves something dirge-like.

    Another tune directed at Hampton could be Camper Van Beethoven’s “The Ambiguity Song,” with the line, “Everything seems to be up in the air at this time.” Perpetual truth, that is.

    Congrats, Stu.

    We’re in similar boats. Just did the condo thing in the city. I’ve traded the beach & quiet of Long Island’s North Shore for the concrete & craziness of Long Island City, Queens. I must be nuts. (My gf is like a Chinese Woody Allen, a city gal somewhat suspicious of comfort.)

    But living across the street from the 59th Street Bridge does make me often whistle a particular Simon & Garfunkel tune.

  40. Gentlemen, I just got married 2 weekends ago and to show you how cool my wife is she agreed to have the Braves game on mlb.tv projected on the wall of the wedding/reception hall the whole time except during our vows. It was pretty cool! The only negative is that the Braves lost.

  41. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, while Hampton is just broken. I’ve been saying on this blog for over 2 years now that Hampton should be released. I’m glad there are others who now agree with me. He needs to become a paid patient for orthopedic docs so he can actually give something back for a change instead of stealing a salary like he’s currently doing. Hey, I’m sorry the guy is hurt, but right now he needs to have a red cross on his jersey rather than a tomahawk.

  42. if he is released you have to pay him, insurance probably would not have covered any of it either.

  43. Releasing Hampton is like leaving your car that doesn’t work on the side of the road while you’ve still got a car note to pay. Keeping him is like selling it to the scrap yard for $20 and buying Lotto tickets… better than nothing, but not an option to make you happy.

  44. Catch-22, baby.

    Question for the forum: Anybody here have FiOS service, either for Internet or television?

    Curious to know how that’s working out for you. My building isn’t wired for regular cable, just FiOS right now, but FiOS TV service isn’t available just yet. Trying to make a decision here.

  45. Hey I’m heading down to Turner Field for the first time on Saturday and wondering if anyone knows what time the gates open and what time the Braves take batting practice. Also, if anyone has advice on any good places to eat down there, please let me know. Thanks

  46. Don’t you wonder why Hampton doesn’t simply stop yanking on his groin?

    A tragic case of pitchinginamajorleaguegamephobia?

    Or maybe he’s just a sick, sadistic bastard, who enjoys periodically raising hopes in the Bravo chest, then dashing them to flinders.

    As for Julian Tavares, I understand he was christened Pineapple Face, but changed his name to Julian when he applied for his first passport.

  47. Eric,
    Are you looking to eat in the ballpark? There is not much to recommend for food inside the park; it’s mostly just your normal stadium food. The chop house is not too bad but more spendy than even the already high priced regular stadium food. The batting practice and gate opening times (plus lots of other useful info about Turner Field can be found here

  48. I don’t know about the insurance not covering it. I remember reading certain articles about teams going to some sort of arbitration or board to contest it. Now, I don’t know a damn thing about how this works, but I can say that it if this case were to be heard by a board like this, the Braves should win hands down because of the amount of time he’s been hurt. I’m pretty sure it’s the whole reason that teams take out these policies. Maybe someone else who knows about this stuff can weigh in because, at least to me, it’s an interesting topic. But pay him or not, the release would be symbolic in that the Braves are cutting ties with dead weight and moving forward in a new direction. In other words, an attitude of demanding results or getting the heck out of Dodge. This apathy must cease for this franchise to be as successful as it once was. Oh yeah, that, and Cox needs to go. And Frenchy. And Corky.

  49. Thanks Hap. I didnt realize they had time scheduled for infield practice. Do teams use this?

  50. Eric-

    There aren’t a whole lot of food options within walking distance to the ballpark. In the Grant Park/Cabbagetown area (really close to Turner Field but you need a car) there are some good restaurants. Six Feet Under on Memorial Drive is really good and a great place to go after the game. If you like bbq, Daddy D’s (also on Memorial) has some of the best Atlanta has to offer. Do you know what you’re looking for in particular?

    If you want something right next to the stadium, you either need to bring it yourself or buy it inside.

  51. On the AS Game: I still think it’s stupid that ‘it counts,’ especially when you consider that the managers want everyone to play who is able to do so. If I was Tampa I’d be pissed; if I was Philly I’d be pissed; if I was Arizona I’d be pissed. Hell, I’d probably be annoyed if my catcher worked a full game’s worth of innings, as Russell Martin did. It sounds as if everyone wanted that thing to end, from fans to the managers. I’m not sure if there’s an easy fix, as I don’t like ties either.

  52. Eric,
    Don’t worry they’ll charge you 7 dollars for a Chili Slaw Dog- that seems reasonable, oh wait it’s a f$%&ing hotdog

  53. The problem with Turner Field hot dogs is they are actually “luke warm” dogs. I have been complaining to every Turner Field representative I can for the last 6 years (because originally they actually were “hot” dogs) to no avail.

  54. I guess its up to my girlfriend where we’re going to go, which means we’ll probably drive somewhere and she’ll change her mind. Thanks for the suggestions though, I’ll keep them all in mind

  55. Mike Hampton timeline…

    Dec 9th, 2000 – signs 8yr/121 mil contract
    2001 – 14-13 5.41 era
    2002 – 7-15 6.15 era
    Nov 2002 – traded to Braves
    2003 – 14-8 3.84 era
    2004 – 13-9 4.28 era
    2005 – 5-3 3.50 era
    August 2005 – 1st TJ surgery
    2006 – out
    March 2007 – tore oblique muscle in BP
    April 2007 – 2nd TJ surgery
    Nov 2007 – partial tear of Hammy in Mexican league
    April 2008 – strained pec muscle in pregame warmup
    July 2008 – pulled groin muscle

    he’s had back, forearm, and groin injuries other than these, but I couldnt find the dates. To sum up his contract, since 2001 he’s pitched:

    134 games or $900,298 per start
    812 innings or $144,901 per inning pitched

    that my friend is obsurd

  56. Parish-
    Yeah and tell ol’ Mikey the chili slaw dog ain’t on the menu- you gotta ask for it.

  57. Eric,

    I don’t know where you are coming from, but there are many construction projects on the interstates going on over the weekends. Make sure you don’t get in that mess. I think Georgia DOT has a web site.

    MARTA doesn’t run trains really close. Closest station is Georgia State (at northeast corner of the Capitol). I believe there is still a bus from 5 Points Station to Turner, but somebody else will have to give you the details.

    My memory is that Skip & Pete’s in the stadium wouldn’t be a bad option. A pretty good barbecue plate there is about $12 (which compares to what I can get in South Georgia for $8.00). You can spend a while taking in the Plaza atmosphere, which is pretty good if you don’t go regularly.

  58. If there were 50,000 fans in Turner Field, it’d cost Mike Hampton 650,000 dollars to buy everyone a hot dog and a Coke at the given price.

    Turner Field hot dogs are good, but like some here already said, they’re never really all that hot. Sometimes they seem almost cold.

  59. Let’s be fair. Hampton gave the Braves some decent production that they really weren’t paying for because the other teams were paying the bulk of his salary. All in all, the Braves probably didn’t do all that badly with Hampton although it’s hurting now. Releasing him now would be pointless; if they want to send a signal, release someone that is actually playing and not producing. I say just ignore him, it’s not your money and it’s not as if his salary is hamstringing the Braves since he will be gone next year (or his salary will be)anyway. Anyway, it’s not as if Hampton’s absence has really hurt the team; Francoeur’s presence has been the real problem.

  60. CharlesP’s analogy about Hampton is dead-on. I totally agree.

    Releasing Hampton does you no good, except you may save a pro-rated $330,000 if someone picks him up. Sorry, I’d rather see if he could possibly throw a couple innings in September when Jair, JoJo, Hudson, Campillo, and Morton are all gassed for different reasons. I’m sorry, but after all that we’ve paid him, I’m not gonna finance some other teams’ feel good story when fate kicks us in the butt and Hampton goes 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in September, winning the division for the freaking White Sox. Pass.

    The silver-lining about Hampton (if you wanna call it that), is that the dude refuses to quit. You gotta tip your hat for that. The dude just will not stop rehabbing. He’s given us jack on the mound, but at least he’s trying to earn his money instead of pulling an Albert Belle and mailing it home for a career.

    I wanted Sexson too, AAR. I feel your pain.

  61. Marc, you can’t give Hampton a pass and then crucify Francoeur. The absence of Hampton’s career averages pre-injury has hurt us more than Francoeur’s presence. Plus, Francoeur is making nothing. That’s a pretty weak argument just to get a jab in on Frenchy.

  62. Hampton’s absence hasn’t hurt the team this year. But it killed us last year. Quoting me:

    Starters other than Smoltz, Hudson and James went a collective 27-39 despite an offense that scored five runs a game, which is only to be expected since their collective ERA was about 6.00. The “best” of them was Buddy Carlyle, who had some good starts but wound up 8-7 with a 5.21 ERA. Kyle Davies was sent to the Royals after going 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA in 17 starts… and he was one of the better pitchers in those slots. The only starter other than Smoltz, Hudson and James to pitch well in 2007 was Jeff Bennett, who made two starts late in the season. The rest of the starts came from guys like Jo-Jo Reyes (2-2, 6.22, more walks than strikeouts), Lance Cormier (2-6, 7.09, 16 homers in 45 2/3 IP), and Mark Redman 0-4, 11.63, a fiend from the depths of Hell).

  63. Mac, when we can’t spend $15M on a free agent pitcher because the check’s got Mike Hampton’s name on it, then his absence has hurt us. And the angle I guess you’re taking, the fact that we weren’t relying on him, shows how bad his situation has been. He’s so useless, we’ve had to just block him out! To say $15M in sunk costs can’t ruin any organization or business isn’t reasonable.

  64. To further develop that, yeah, we have Campillo or Reyes or whoever picking up his slack, but if Hampton were getting the job done, those players could be used a) in the bullpen or b) in a trade for an outfield bat.

    If Hampton was pitching, we would be a better team this year. You can’t deny that.

  65. Rob, we don’t need a pitcher. We probably would have spent that money on a pitcher who would have been worse than Reyes has been. What we need is an outfielder and some decent bench players.

  66. Rob,

    The point is, Hampton’s been hurt but, as far as I can tell, he has been working his ass off to get back but it hasn’t worked out. It’s not his fault teams threw a lot of money at him. I concede that Mac is correct that not having Hampton hurt last year but it’s the incredibly poor play of Frenchy that is killing the team this year. I’m not giving him a pass but he did help the Braves in the past. His salary is his salary–what should he do, give it back? (The union wouldn’t let him if he wanted to.) I guess he could have just quit but he wanted to try to play.

    I doubt that Mike Hampton is the reason the Braves didn’t go after a big-name pitcher. If so, that’s life. They knew they were taking a risk when they got him because he had been awful in Colorado.

  67. Hey, I need a huge solid from someone. I’ll PayPal ya a couple bucks if you can call my phone. I can’t find it ANYWHERE and I don’t have a home phone.

    It’s [REDACTED]. THis would be a GREAT birthday present.

  68. We might have improved the bench.

    I, too, think that Hampton has been the biggest factor that has ended the team’s streak. Paying him a significant portion of the payroll to have surgeries and rehab is not a recipe for success unless you’re the Red Sox or the Yankees. We survived in 2005, expected nothing in 2006, but have been deprived of an “opening day starter” for all of 2007 and 2008.

  69. If anyone just called me, it’s in my couch and I can’t find it. I’m searching…

  70. I got your voicemail too. I lost my phone for over two weeks and recently found it on top of the grill in the back yard. So check your grill if you have one.

  71. And, of course, there’s the worst-case scenario: Check your washing machine.

    Once, I managed to wash and dry my Nokia.

  72. AAR wasn’t it just last year that the RF in question finally got off his parent’s cell plan? couldn’t get a replacement phone in NY because he wasn’t on the bill as I recall.

  73. AAR, I hope you’re suggesting that the RF is himself a “huge solid” and not that one might find a “huge solid” somewhere on his person.

  74. Yet another reason to love braves journal. And I thought photoshopped images of batboy and statues of weevils were enough.

  75. You guys are awesome. Love it. I was needing to get on my way to work, and I just couldn’t find my phone anywhere. I’m by myself, no house phone, and you guys came through. Much thanks. Thanks for removing my number too. I got some weird “online chat” text message, but surprisingly it was before I posted my number.

  76. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I think we’re going to check out Skip and Pete’s. Although now I’m worried since we’re facing a lefty on saturday that I might have to see Prado and Corky in the lineup. ugh

  77. Back to Hampton…

    Having $15M in salary tied up in someone who’s not even on the field can’t possibly not be a detriment to a team. I agree that if we had $15M to spend, and we landed a SP, he would probably be better than Reyes. Then Reyes becomes very expendable, and we trade him for an OF bat. Or, in a better situation, we spend $15M on some decent outfield offense and not have to rely on Kotsay, Diaz, Blanco, et al or trade for Josh Anderson. Then, we still have Villareal, who very well would continue to pitch well if he were still in Atlanta. He really fell off quick…

    Obviously, last year he was even more of a detriment. You listed the crapathon we threw out there. This year, we’ve been more fortunate to have more depth. But the point still stands, pitching depth = trade bait. If Hampton is getting the job done, it gives us more flexibility to make a trade, or it could give us money to land an OF bat.

  78. I guess so, ububba. Thanks for the VM, by the way. It’s always kinda cool to hear how people sound who you read quite frequently. Unless it’s Tim Kurkjian. His voice annoys me.

  79. ububba’s VM presents a good opportunity for me to ask what I’ve wondered for a while: how is “ububba” pronounced? In my head, I say it like “you-bubba,” but I’ve recently realized that “uh-bubba” or something which would totally blow my mind, like “u-bub-b-a,” are possibilities.


    PS: Did ububba leave his real name (I know it’s no secret), or did he identify himself only as “ububba”? I’m hoping for the latter.

    PPS: House-hunting/buying may have made me crazy.

  80. Rob, I sold your number to a refinancing telemarketer. Hope you don’t mind.

    Also, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a good-hitting corner outfielder, but I can’t seem to come up with one that might be available. Thoughts?

  81. Nady is available, but I heard that his price is through the roof

    According to Buster olney:
    The asking price for Xavier Nady is considered to be extraordinarily high right now, and rival executives have a sense that the Pirates are not going to lower their demands for the corner outfielder before the trade deadline. Nady will be arbitration-eligible this winter

    And if Nady is expensive, I cant imagine what they are asking for Bay

  82. @123 You’ll probably see Prado. And yet, the past two seasons vs. LHP:

    Prado: 67 ABs, 649 OPS.
    Johnson: 232 ABs, 758 OPS.

    Small sample size, but still, you gotta love it. Johnson also happens to be 30 for 91 this season, and in an anemic offense against lefties no less.

  83. HAHAHA, Stu. I was actually going to comment further on his voicemail, but I didn’t wanna sound like a weirdo. Thank you for picking up the slack there. He did not give his real name, and pronounced ububba “you-bubba”. Needless to say, unfortunately, not very mind-blowing.

    BTW, ububba, Florida hasn’t been very sunny lately. We’ve been getting a TON of rain here in NE Florida, which is great since we didn’t get more than a couple inches for about 2 months. Very sad, but good for my grass now.

  84. i’ve got no grass here in no. florida. grass is way overrated. give me shade any day…………..but the jungle is rapidly trying to reclaim the land and the house with it.

  85. I think the weirdness of our conversation has sent everyone away. Maybe it’s the 4th place status… dunno…

  86. Takes a lot to creep me out, believe me…

    Nothing secret. If you click on my screen name, you can navigate your way to my real name & pic. Of course, you gotta be bored to death to do it—4th place status can do that to you.

    And Rob is correct. I pronounced it that way, but it kind of just lives on the page. That might’ve been the first time I’ve ever said it.

    FWIW, the screen name comes from a few things: Pere Ubu, a weirdo rock band from Cleveland (name based on an absurdist play—I like that); a function within the APBA for Windows game; and my own nickname.

    Anyone who plays APBA for Windows knows that, in order to “create an organization,” you must give it a name and they all start with “U-.” I have U-Bubba, U-Bubba2, etc. (Been awhile since I played, though.)

    And Bubba is just a nickname that Yankee folk gave me because of my Georgia roots. I’m fine with it. Better than getting called Boss Hogg or Lester Maddox or something.

  87. lol……….speaking of yankee folk, i’ve been trying to entertain my wifes 19 yr. old nephew from Philadelphia. he gets real nervous when theres no pavement under his feet and the owls at night send him to locking doors and windows. right now, hes actually taken the canoe out by himself after i assured him that no gators would attack and no snakes would ambush him from the trees. hmmmmm…….hes been gone awhile, maybe i shouldnt have done that.

  88. lol……….speaking of yankee folk, i’ve been trying to entertain my wifes 19 yr. old nephew from Philadelphia. he gets real nervous when theres no pavement under his feet and the owls at night send him to locking doors and windows. right now, hes actually taken the canoe out by himself after i assured him that no gators would attack and no snakes would ambush him from the trees. hmmmmm…….hes been gone awhile, maybe i shouldnt have done that.

  89. lol……….speaking of yankee folk, i’ve been trying to entertain my wifes 19 yr. old nephew from Philadelphia. he gets real nervous when theres no pavement under his feet and the owls at night send him to locking doors and windows. right now, hes actually taken the canoe out by himself after i assured him that no gators would attack and no snakes would ambush him from the trees. hmmmmm…….hes been gone awhile, maybe i shouldnt have done that.

  90. I love how people flip out about certain things in the South. The bugs, the snakes, the snakehandlers…

    I’m way past trying to explain to people that, y’know, Deliverance was just a movie. Anymore, I don’t mind if they believe it.

    Works the same way up here. There’s some truth, but a lot more myth, although my feelings toward Mets fans hasn’t changed much.

  91. What’s really surprised me is how little talk Ohman’s gotten. Unless the Braves want to keep him around next year (and that actually wouldn’t surprise me), he should be one of the first guys to go. I mean, I’m guessing he’ll be a class B free agent, which means a sandwich pick (not bad), but I figure we could get a couple pitchers in A-ball for him at least.

    But as long as I’ve mentioned it, what would you guys think about retaining him? Ring’s been fine, but he’s more of a LOOGY, and you’d like to keep Gonzo for the last few innings. Ohman’s been good outside of Wrigly for most of his career…. Perhaps we should give him a two year deal for, say, 10M?

  92. the last time a new yorker hit me with the deliverance thing, ( they asked me where was the banjo music), i asked them if taxi driver was filmed in their neighborhood.

  93. Ha!

    I have conversations with my girlfriend about one day moving back to Georgia & she asks me questions that only an entomologist or zoologist can answer.

    Bugs & snakes freak people out. But if you grew up on the Chattahoochee (or those Florida swamps, I guess), they don’t register much of a response.

    Full Disclosure: My 2 favorite movies are about NYC—Taxi Driver & Annie Hall.

  94. I must be dim. I checked out ububba’s website and could find nothing. I’m at work with nothing to do. Oh well.

  95. ububba,
    FWIW, I said your real name was no secret. You’ve mentioned it here before (though I think it’s been a long time) and, of course, there’s the webpage.

  96. I found this man. I have a visual; I repeat, I have a visual. My search is complete.

  97. ububba……….whenever someone tells me they’re thinking of moving to florida, i’m sure to run down the list……..bloodthirsty bugs,huge spiders, poisonous snakes,(4 kinds!)bears, panthers, wild hogs, wild dogs, gators(reptiles and football fans) and throw in jellyfish and sharks for a kicker…….. come to think of it, i’ve probably cost myself a lot of money over the years doing that.

  98. Good for the Phillies, I guess. One hopes the Mets will over-react. I’m still hearing a lotta Ibanez talk. And they don’t seem to be worrying about Pelfrey anymore.

    Sorry Stu, I’m probably still knackered from Tuesday night’s game. Go to the Word from Our Editors.

    Like that cap I’m wearing?

  99. Seriously, Ububba? A new Beck CD that doesn’t suck and a new REM CD that doesn’t suck within months of each other? Is this the end-times?

  100. funny stuff on here today.
    Oakland, wow, Harden and Blanton while in second place.

  101. Rob,
    Hank Aaron’s #.


    It’s a little typically schizo–a little breakbeat here, a little garage guitar there, super tuneful, of course. The guy’s a craftsman.

    I actually liked the last 2 Beck records a little bit, but I never went back to them. So what does that say?

    This one is co-produced by Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, The Grey Album—Beatles/Jay-Z mashup), and he’s a UGA grad, BTW. Had to throw that one in…

  102. Hmm. I wonder how I can find out if any prominent players have worn 22. I couldn’t care less about numbers unless they’re 7, 10, and 44. I have a Smoltz jersey-shirt thing and I can’t even think of what number he is.

  103. for obvious reasons, i tend to learn football players numbers but i can watch the braves (damn you tbs) for years and have no clue about numbers.

  104. And Chief Nocahoma goes where I’ve been wanting to all day. Glad somebody finally said it.

  105. Reds just scored 3 and have an 8-6 lead over the Muts…Santana went 4IP and gave up 5ER

  106. Has there ever been anyone in such a protracted injury status as Hampton that seemingly just NEVER got released? I mean I just can’t think of a historical precedent for this.

    It’s going on 4 freaking years since he’s thrown a ball in a MLB game but yet we’re still paying him big money. I just can’t think of anyone like this.

  107. By the way guys I know you guys aren’t going to believe me but I got married at Turner Field at the 755 Club in April 2008. And I live in California. If you guys don’t believe me I guess I will have to post a photo. I had about 25 friends and relatives come out to Atlanta for it. It was a great time.

  108. Chief,

    It’s his contract. If he was a) out of contract or b) in his arbitration years, he’d be gone. The idea is that, unless he retires, you’re on the hook for this money. You might as well try to get something out of him. And since he’s a good pitcher when healthy, if he does pitch, you’re probably going to get good innings. We forget that after his Colorado implosion years, he was a quality pitcher for us, and he’d probably be good for us now.

    The year after Coors, he was 14-8 with a 3.84 ERA in 190 innings and won a Silver Slugger award. The next year he was 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA in 172 innings. Raise your hand if you wouldn’t take that right now. I know our pitching is good right now, but do we really think that Campillo, Reyes, and Jurrjens are all going to sustain their levels right now? I think one of them is set for a decline.

  109. Does this sound familiar ???


    Q How does Brook Jacoby still have a job with the Reds organization? The team batted just over the Mendoza Line (.200) for an entire month, we don’t work pitch counts, we can’t bunt and the second coming of Ty Cobb (Jay Bruce) can’t even make contact now. What is the compelling reason to keep a guy as your batting coach who himself only batted over .275 three times in his career? — Creighton, Nashville, Tenn.

  110. Tell you what, here’s a guy we should be trying to acquire, post-hype 3B Dallas McPherson, now with the Florida Marlins.


    The guy is absolutely mashing AAA, but it’s his sorry luck that Jorge Cantu is having a good year to block him. McPherson is currently batting .296 avg/.403 obp/.674 slg/1.077 ops with 32 HRs!!

    Let’s get him, put him at 1B and then maybe move him to 3B after Chipper or keep just him at 1B–he’s got the power.

    Could the Marlins use Wil Ohman? Ohman for McPherson!!

  111. Obviously, this would be a move in concert with a Texeira trade, say to the Boston Red Sox for 1B Lars Anderson and SP Justin Masterson.

    McPherson to 1B, Anderson to AA Mississippi and Masterson to the rotation. Wicked!

  112. jj3bagger,

    Of course it sounds familar. Every fan in America wants to fire the hitting coach if the offense is struggling, the pitching coach if the pitching is struggling, and/or the manager if the whole team is struggling. Ya know, because the players aren’t to be held accountable.

    BTW, saw The Dark Knight tonight, people. That was a very good movie. Heath Ledger’s performance was chilling to say the least.

  113. I must have missed it.

    What’s up with Matt Diaz? He is on Mississippi roster on a rehab assignment. He played for 1 at bat on 7/11. They played 7/12, 7/16, and 7/17 and he got no at bats (maybe wasn’t in the game in the field either, but I am not sure from what I am reading.)

    I guess he reinjured himself, but I can’t find anything on it.

  114. Here ya go Cliff, guess he’s not in MS anymore… you scared me for a minute.
    From Yahoo

    Left fielder Matt Diaz was with the team for Thursday’s workout but wasn’t activated off the disabled list.

    Diaz, who has been out since May 28 with a strained posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, has struggled to adjust to his brace.

    When asked if he believes Diaz is ready, Cox said “I can’t say. I know he had trouble playing with that brace.”

    Diaz worked out Thursday while wearing a lighter, less restrictive brace.

    “I feel fine. I feel good,” Diaz said before adding “I don’t know if I’ll be 100 percent the rest of the season. … I feel I can come in and give a quality at-bat. I’m ready to help when they want me.”

  115. Rob,
    Wow Ledger was amazing- one of the great performances. I thought the movie as a whole was well paced, and although 2 and half hours, never felt like it was dragging. What a fun, wonderful movie.

  116. I’m the fence on when I’m going to see the Dark Knight. I know I won’t get to see it in the next 8 days as we’re heading out of town for a couple weeks next week, and while on vacation would be a nice time to see it, now that I’ve been informed that the IMAX version has a few scenes that were shot in IMAX native I’m thinking I’ll wait till I get home and can go up to MoG to see it there on the BIG big screen.

    While I know it’s one I’d love to see twice and just catch it on vacation and then on IMAX when I get back, I also know that seeing a movie twice in the theater is just not in the cards for me these days (between car trouble and three kids, my wife isn’t going to let me go see a “me” movie more than once for fiscal and time reasons).

  117. Wow, that sucks Charles. Sounds like you need to get a divorce. Just kidding! Seriously. Just kidding.

    I don’t know how I’m going to feel about this after it’s all said and done with, but I saw it with my brother last night. My rest of my family is probably going to wanna see it tonight, and they don’t seem to be able to see movies without me (my mom needs things explained haha). And then I’m already on the hook for a B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings; anybody a fan?) outing with some friends Tuesday night, and they’ve all said they wanna see Dark Knight. So I could very well see it 3 times. Now, I saw Casino Royale 3 times in the theaters, but I’m also not nearly as much of a Batman fan as I am a James Bond fan.

    The movie was one of the best, if not the best, comic book movies I’ve seen, but I don’t think that’s saying much for me. I’m not a big comic book movie guy. Each actor turned in a great performance (obviously with Ledger stealing the show), and the story was developed really well. However, I couldn’t help thinking through the entire movie that I was being entertained at the expense of a role that, many believe, really progressed Ledger psychologically to what ended up happening to him. I felt a little sad and guilty. At the end of the day, though, it was a great movie, and he put Jack Nicholson to shame.

  118. As for wings….Im a fan of BWW and On Tap (if you have them in your area) but still think Bob Bomhauers Wings are the best. I am not a fan of the food at Hooters

  119. A great article on Joel Zumaya (which ahs a link to an article on Mark Wohlers).


    The “unhinging” of Mark Wohlers (and later and to a less extent, the “unhinged state” of John Rocker) was, to me, the single biggest chink that affected the mid 90’s Braves.

    If he gets Leyritz and finishes the ninth we have 2 World Series in a row and at least 1 of the Yankees WS goes away. Plus, we would have continued to be sronger for several years.

  120. NE Florida has Dick’s Wings, and they have great wings. B-Dubs is the best, in my opinion. I haven’t heard of Bob Bomhauers Wings or On Tap.

  121. Hehe, we’ll I’m a big nerd and saw each of the LOTR movies 3 times in the theater, and the first two Star Wars Prequels in the theater multiple times. (as an aside, LOTR on IMAX wasn’t very good, as it was just bigger, SW Ep II was better on IMAX than normal because they A) cut it shorter and B)did some techno-blow up thing to make it more at IMAX resolution). However, outside of those I don’t get to do the multiple viewing thing generally. I would see almost zero “me” movies if it weren’t for my family going out of town and my 11 year old son finally getting old enough to go to things like Indiana Jones.

    I’m also a bit of a comic book nerd, and Batman is far and away my favorite mainstream superhero… so I’ll push my luck and go see this one SOMETIME.

  122. Thanks for posting that Cliff, though the loss in 96 still stings a bit it was nice to remember how electric Wohlers was for a while.

  123. Wohlers was good but he had problems even before Leyritz. Even though he saved Game 6 in 1995, if you remember, Pedro Borbon had to bail him out in Game 4. He came in with a 4-run lead I think and pretty much got hammered.

  124. Probably Marc. I predict we’ll hang out in the 4-7 games back range for the next month and a half, in the beginning of September we’ll have a little win streak that brings us to within 2 games of first, but we won’t be able to get any closer and will finally be eliminated in the last week of the season.

    Of course I’m talking out of my aft quarters there… but it’s about the best I can hope for.

  125. Wow, I just checked and while are last three games are against Houston, the 12 before that are all against the Mets and Phils… even if we can’t win it we can sure be spoilers.

  126. from MLB Rumors….

    “Kovacevic talked to a Pirates official who disputes the reports that the team’s asking prices for Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, and Jason Bay are exorbitant. Kovacevic notes that many of these reports come from New York, and in some cases they’re created as tests for rookie GM Neal Huntington. Welcome to the club, Neal!
    Bay is unlikely to be traded, but Nady and Marte are available. Kovacevic says many teams are in on Nady, and the Braves and Mets even conducted recent conference calls with the Pirates about him. The Pirates are focused on receiving two quality players for Nady, with an emphasis on pitching.”

    would you give up Chuck James for Nady

  127. csg,

    My understanding is that Nady is arb restricted and team controlled through next year.

    We still need an outfielder for next year. Schaffer may be ready, but will be unproven and will probably be in center anyway. I am a very pro Matt Diaz guy, but his hitting in Mississippi is still bad against righthanders (that was his big improvement with the Braves. He started hitting righthanders for a high BA, but no SLG which he had not done at ML level before) . Heyward can’t be ready before 10 (MAYBE sept call up in 09) Therefore, THE EXTRA YEAR is a big deal. ONE extra year and not more.

    Therefore, I would make a fairly bold move for Nady.

    I don’t know what the Pirates mean by “2 quality players.” I also am pro-Chuck James. But, certainly Chuck James is a reasonably cost controlled (next year is probably first of 3 arb years) and proven MLB 4th to 5th starter with a slight chance of being a little better. So, he should count for that.

    Then, if Lillibridge hadn’t hit like crap this year, ironically, he could be the other guy they could want. With McCutcheon ready to go in the outfield, then they don’t need (nor, outside of Schaffer or THE UNTOUCHABLE, do we really have anybody out there they would want anyway).

    Also, I think a young bull pen arm might be a “quality player” (Boyer, Acosta).

    If Nady is for real next year, then in 2010 you get 2 picks. If this is his peak year, you might get one pick. 2 picks will replace (with 3 years of so of deferred lag time) one of the two players.

    Comments, guys?

  128. I would give as much for Nady as for Holliday. Holliday’s road splits are no better than pre 2008 Nady.

    I don’t know why the Pirates would be so biased into holding Bay as compared to Nady.

  129. I would hate to give up on Chuck, but he may be the chip we need to give up to get the bad we’re so desperately in need of. That said, I could certainly see the GM reluctance to give up a pitcher who could be effective for us as a 4th/5th guy when SO many of our arms are young and may need to be rested later in the season (and all might not pan out). We also have Kotsay back, which should improve the outfield offense, and the GM has to wonder how much more of a chance you give Frenchy and Diaz to turn it around before you go shopping. If we were a spending team you’d take the gamble and bring in a guy, but as we’re not that team anymore Wren may be cautious to expend the resources he has.

  130. I bet the Bucs want much much more than Chuck James for Nady. I think we’re more likely to see Chuckie in ATL as a replacement for someone traded away than we are to see him a deal for Nady.

    Separate question just to stir the pot a bit: Assuming Tex leaves and the Braves don’t get a 1B via trade, would Giambi be a reasonable possibility as a free agent? Although it wouldn’t be my first, second, or even third choice, I say yes if he’d take a one or two year contract at a reasonable salary. He’s got an ops pushing .900 and would supply some power. Defensively he’s a liability and he’s 37 so there’d probably need to be a backup on the bench (the return of the mighty Thor?). Again, not my idea scenario, just a topic for discussion.

  131. Nady is a capable 1st basemen. So, IF diaz “comes back” even so so against righties and does his usual masterful job against lefties, you can create a Blanco / Anderson / B Jones platoon if you have to and move Nady to first next year.

    But, the “Francoeur problem” must be solved. It is almost like the classic 12 step problem. That is, he has to admit and know that he needs help. Because his statements and actions don’t show that, I (who also have been guardedly pro-Francoeur) am quite displeased with his performance.

    Maybe Francoeur could be one of the “quality players.” That would show why we think we need Nady, right?

  132. Isn’t Nady a notorious 1st half player that routinely gets hurt / slides bigtime in the 2nd half? Or is that overblown? I haven’t even checked the stats…

  133. I think Giambi hooks up with an AL team, for obvious reasons. Some AL team will pay him more than we ever should.

    He got out to a brutal start this year, got blazing for several weeks, and has begun to slump again.

    FWIW, his high-lev stats are lousy & season BA with RISP is something like .190. (A-Rod’s is about .230, Jeter about .310—Pinstripe fans tend to dwell on such things, so I can pretty much recite them.) But Giambi’s overall numbers remain very good. He still walks, he still hits HRs.

    Of course, he & Delgado remain the 2 worst defensive 1Bs I’ve ever seen. Joe Torre always seemed to have this creeping fear that Giambi was going to lose a big game with his glove—if you saw him play enough, you’d know why—so you rarely saw Giambi in the field in big spots.

  134. I wonder if the Braves (assuming they buy which I think is the wrong move but likely) could get Adam Dunn in a trade for cheap since he is a FA at year’s end and his BA is .228. Josh Anderson/Matt Diaz and Chuck James for Dunn maybe?

  135. 210 — I wouldn’t protest a bid for Dunn. Can’t say whether the Braves would be interested.

    But I believe the reds would be looking for more…

  136. Why wouldnt we make a move for Nady and then trade Tex for whatever our needs are for next year. We could either let Nady play 1st next year or in the OF depending on if we can get a 1B replacement in the Tex trade. We are 6.5 back from two different teams, this season is a lost cause

  137. My prediction is the Braves start off the second half red-hot, with a sweep of the Nationals. By late-July, they look like decent contenders for a playoff spot, and the Braves make a trade for a left fielder.

    Then the Braves, as they did in 2006 and 2007, melt down starting around the first day of August. They never go into any prolonged hot or cold stretchs and play right around .500 baseball from August 1st until seasons’ end. They are eliminated from playoff contention on the first day of the last week of the season and end the season with 83 wins.

  138. the Braves have 14 games before the ostensible trading deadline (although the deadline doesn’t mean that much because of waivers) with the Nats, Marlins, Phillies, Cards and Brewers. Eight of those games are at home. I would say if the Braves don’t go at least 9-5 (even at that, they would still be below .500), they probably are out of it and should NOT be buyers unless it is someone that will help next year. Nady might be worth a flyer but I suspect there will be quite a bit of interest and trading prospects for an outside shot at the playoffs seems like a dubious idea. To be honest, I’m not sure the Braves have enough to get someone like Nady unless they trade one of their better prospects.

  139. The Braves have a lot of desirable prospects, including a lot of pitching at the lower levels, if a trading partner were willing to wait. And Nady would help next year, too. I don’t want to be buyers for 2008, but I wouldn’t be against getting a jump on 2009 while at the same time trotting out a less-embarrassing 2008 OF product.

  140. I also predict the braves come out with an edge to their play and shave 2-3 games off the division lead the next 2 weeks. Maybe a sense of urgency will finally strike this team. Ofcourse to do this the offense is going to have to be more productive, which I think is possible if as McCann says they take a better mental approach to their AB’s.

    The worry I have is we make a push, aquire a hitter and then the pitching starts to weaken. I think we’ve gotten more from Jurrjens, Reyes and Campillo than we could have expected, and they may labor a bit in the second half as the innings mount. How awful it would be if we finally started hitting, only to have the pitching fall back.

    Ehhh, maybe that’s a little pessimistic, but it could happen.

  141. Stupid Reds.

    Btw, I think the Reds have a better record than we do. By definition, we are sellers.

    I say we kick back and watch the Mets and Phillies engage in Mutually Assured Destruction.

  142. 219 — Hanan, I can’t say that I really expect the pitching to hold up at this rate, either. But I’ll be hoping for it. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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