Tagged: Francisco Rodriguez

Whats Next?

What is next for the Atlanta Braves? That is the question of the day. They let a fan favorite in John Smoltz pack up and head to Boston. They lost out on Jake Peavy, A.J. Burnett and finally Rafael Furcal.

Kenshin KawakumiNow they are after Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami. Here is the scouting report for everyone. His fastball tops out in the low 90’s and he mixes in a slow curve with a cutter. I haven’t heard of any crazy sounding pitches like the gyro ball that Daisuke Matsuzaka has. He sounds like a normal pitcher to me. He doesn’t have the typical deceptive delivery that is normally seen from Japanese pitchers, this guy just relies on his natural stuff. That could be good, then again, it could be bad.

Heard of that Kei Igawa guy? That turned out great didn’t it? (Laughs to self)

Japanese players can be really good like Matsuzaka, or they can be a complete bust like Igawa. I’m hoping he isn’t the later if he signs with the Braves. Baltimore however is also interested so don’t get your hopes up Braves fans. The Orioles have already signed Koji Uehara who is also a Japanese pitcher. Playing with another Japanese player may sway Kawakami’s decision to the Orioles. The Braves are apparently really close, but it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

Derek LoweThe other pitcher Atlanta is going hard after is that Derek Lowe guy. I hear he isn’t bad either. That’s just what I heard though. Atlanta is apparently getting ready to propose an offer, but how do we know Lowe won’t turn around and use that as leverage for the Mets? (cough, cough Rafael Furcal, cough.)

Signing Lowe would be HUGE for the Braves. They would fill a need while stealing him away from those darn Metropolitans. They have made major changes, especially in the bullpen. They are already making me sweat with J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez in the 8th and 9th innings.

The Braves can also have that luxury in the bullpen with Mike Gonzalez, Peter Moylan, and Rafael Soriano. If that darn Soriano would just stop having mysterious injuries that won’t allow him to pitch but are invisible to MRI’s. He has been leaving the team doctors puzzled and the Braves’ fans pissed. Oh so convenient that right after you sign an extension you “get hurt.” Prove it bud and you can sit all you want. Ask Mike Hampton, he did it.
Confused doctor

This off season the Braves have been all talk and no action. They talk of great things, but get nothing. As a fan, I am hurt by this. It really hurts when your team does nothing to make the team better. Sure, they signed Javier Vazquez. That is nice and all but it isn’t what they really need. Now I know what the Nationals, Marlins, Blue Jays, Padres, and Twins feel like. Every year they sign a whole bunch of nothing and their fans have to watch that bunch of nothing try and compete in a league stocked with talent. That talent is just stacked in a handful of places, not everywhere like it should be.

Maybe Atlanta can pull some strings and pry Xavier Nady away from the Yankees for less than they want. Fill a team need and make the Yankees worse, sounds like a deal to me. I doubt the Braves will get him as I have heard New York wants some top of the line prospects for him. Every Braves fan already knows Frank Wren won’t dare trade a prospect that may or may not suck. We learned the hard way in the Jake Peavy deal.

By the way, congratulations to Florida on winning the BCS National championship game and being voted the #1 team this year. Utah deserved both of those and got neither but whatever. That’s sports politics for ya.

Have a nice day,

~Ben

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I Am Not A Happy Camper

The past two days have been extremely frustrating for me. I, an Atlanta Braves fan, has sat around while my team does nothing and other teams sign the best players. I won’t name those other teams but I will say they rhyme with Spankees and Bets.

CC Sabathia

First, C.C. Sabathia, you may have heard of him. He is going to be a very, very rich man. He can start picking out a $40 Million mansion now because he is going to rolling in the dough. His contract is completely ridiculous. Sabathia is going to be the highest paid pitcher in the history of baseball. Does he deserve it? No. Will he get it? Hell yes. With the aid of my handy dandy calculator his new contract will be worth $23 Million per year. Yes, that is roughly $22.96 Million more than you make per year.

Francisco RodriguezThat Francisco Rodriguez guy also signed with one of those before mentioned teams I am not happy with. He signed for 3 years which means that is 3 years of knowing my team has almost no chance or rallying in the 9th inning. He kinda had 62 saves last year but I doubt he will get anything close to that in New York. The Angels were a small ball team that was perfect for someone rack up saves like he did. I really doubt we will see anything else like a 62 save season anytime soon.

While those signings were going on my Atlanta Braves were having “talks” with A.J. Burnett. Did they sign him? No. Does it look like they will? No. The “evil empire”, you all know who I speak of, look like they will go after him too. Basically this means the Braves have close to a zero percent chance of singing him. The only reason I can see him coming to Atlanta is that they offer a guaranteed 5th year while the “evil empire” doesn’t.

Jake PeavyFrank Wren really needs to make a big push for Burnett or return to the Peavy sweepstakes. I really don’t think there is another option out there that can get the Braves to the playoffs. I mean, come on, Atlanta’s back up plan is Randy Wolf. Please, that is a disaster waiting to happen. Wolf is a 4 or 5 starter at best. He is not a reliable backup plan.

Peavy may come at a high price but so does winning. If he waits around too long there won’t even be Randy Wolf left. I also don’t think the whole Zack Greinke for Jeff Francoeur idea is a great one. Greinke was pretty good for a really, really, really bad Kansas City team but that doesn’t mean he will be great in Atlanta. Francoeur just had a down year and I believe he will rebound and do just fine this year. Even if he had trouble at the plate he still played Gold Glove defense which is more than you can say about most players. Francoeur has tremendous potential. I mean, he does hit baseball to little kids across the globe.

Wren needs to make some moves soon before the rest of the free agents have signed with the Mets or Yankees. If Atlanta wants to compete this year something needs to be done!

Adios,

~Ben