All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Calendar Guy

So, as I noted earlier, Paul Janish got a month in the Braves team calendar. Yes, I bought one, just so I could see it with my own eyes.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big Janish fan. Probably his biggest fan aside from his mom and that guy who bought his pink jersey. But I'm really surprised he got a month in the team calendar. Craig Kimbrel didn't get a month, but Janish did.

I wonder if he gets any extra money out of this, or does every MLB player get a cut of the royalties from MLB licensed products, whether they're pictured or not?


posted by BubbaFan, 7:19 PM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Paul Janish is still a Brave

Today's the deadline, and the Braves have announced their roster moves. They added three players, none of whom seem likely to contribute any time soon. That means their roster is full.

They can still remove players; they have to do it by Dec. 2 if they want to take anyone via Rule 5.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

Mr. February

So, apparently Paul Janish got a month in the Atlanta Braves 2014 Wall Calendar.

(That's him, first little square photo, at bat in road grays.)


posted by BubbaFan, 6:43 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Orioles?

Tomorrow's the deadline to file roster lists for the Rule 5 draft.

Orioles beat writer Rich Dubroff thinks Baltimore might be interested in both Jeff Niemann and Paul Janish, if he's non-tendered. (The Orioles are looking for second basemen.)

Meanwhile, the Reds inexplicably signed Skip Schumaker for 2 years, $5 million. Seems like an odd move. I don't see how he fits on the roster, unless they're planning to get rid of Jack Hannahan or Xavier Paul.

If they do trade or release Hannahan, Janish would be a good fit. They'll need a backup infielder who can play SS and 3B. Schumaker only plays 2B and OF (and none of those very well).

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, November 18, 2013

Two more days

Paul Janish and Jeff Niemann

Wednesday is the deadline for teams to set their rosters for the Rule 5 draft. After that, they can still remove players, but they can't add any.

The Rays outrighted Jeff Niemann; he has elected free agency. He could still end up back with the Rays, but outrighting him now frees up a roster spot they could use to protect a prospect from the Rule 5 draft, and also means they won't have to go to arbitration with him. If they do re-sign him, it will likely be for much less money that he would have gotten in arbitration. He's recovering from shoulder surgery, and might not be ready to play until the middle of the year, or even later.

They could have waited until the non-tender deadline in December, but that means they would be too late to use his roster spot to protect a player from Rule 5.

Someone posted this amusing comment on Twitter:

Not sure what the Braves are going to do about their infield situation. They already outrighted Phil Gosselin back to the minors a couple of weeks ago. The roster stands at 37 now, so they have room to add three players to protect them from Rule 5. If they don't need more than that, they may just put off the decision until the non-tender deadline (Dec. 2).

Teams generally prefer not to do that, since if they're going to cut a player, it makes sense do it now. That way, they can use the roster spot to protect a prospect from Rule 5. But sometimes, players don't get cut until the non-tender deadline. That happened to Andy Phillips. They needed his roster spot, so nontendered him - the day he was at a charity event on behalf of the Yankees. The Reds nontendered Jorge Cantu days before the Rule 5 draft. They had hoped to work out a deal with him, but he refused their best offer and they didn't want to go to arbitration with him, so they nontendered him. Many fans were irate; it was too late to use his roster spot to protect a prospect, and while the Reds did make use of Cantu's roster spot by drafting a player via Rule 5, many felt they lost a better prospect than they got. (As it turned out, neither prospect amounted to much.)

So, if Janish is still a Brave Thursday morning, it doesn't necessarily mean he won't be nontendered. Heck, the Braves might wait until the end of spring training to make a decision; Janish's likely salary is not a lot of money, as MLB measures it.

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posted by BubbaFan, 11:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, November 11, 2013

Haunted Houston

A foggy night in Hermann Park

What do you do on Halloween night when you're too old to go trick or treating? Go on a ghost tour, of course.

I don't think I really believe in ghosts, but I love true ghost stories. Also, I've found these ghost tours are an excellent way to learn about the history of an area.

We chose the downtown Houston ghost walk because we were staying in downtown Houston, and didn't bother to rent a car. (There's so much to do in downtown Houston in easy walking distance, or along the light rail line.)

The ghost walk guide told some fascinating stories, but I'm not sure I believe all of them. He said Hermann Park is built on a cemetery, and they didn't bother to move the bodies. (Actually, I do believe that. I've seen that done elsewhere.) But his claim that bones float up in the lake seems...far-fetched. He also claimed that several people have died rolling down the hills built with fill from the construction of Fannin St. (Pictured above.) I couldn't find any confirmation via Google.

Then there was his story about Rice University. He said there's a building on campus that was supposed to be the founder's home, only he was murdered before he could move in. It's true that William Marsh Rice was murdered - a shocking crime that would have kept Nancy Grace busy for months had she been around back then. But so far as I can tell, the university was only founded after he died, and there was no house built for him on campus.

Anyways, he claims this building, called Jones Hall, is so haunted Rice can't use it. Supposedly, every night the place is vandalized (presumably by the ghost of Mr. Rice). Furniture overturned, graffiti on the walls, etc. So the building was shut and stands unused. Once a week janitors go in, clean up the mess, and close the building again. The next week, it's trashed again.

I'm pretty sure if that happened, it would be national news. On Coast to Coast AM, if nothing else.

Eh, it was entertaining anyway. I gave the guy a tip. But I wish more people had Glen Grant's knack for stories that are weird but not so weird it's ridiculous.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, November 08, 2013

Reading the tea leaves


It's that time of year, when everyone's making roster predictions. The AJC had this to say about Paul Janish:

The Braves quietly avoided arbitration last year with backup infielder Paul Janish when they signed the veteran to a one-year deal. Janish was limited by injuries this season, playing in just 52 games and hitting 7 hits and 2 RBIs. He is a free agent.

I don't think that's quite accurate. Janish is up for arbitration again this year. And he wasn't limited by injuries. He did start the year on the DL, but he was healthy after the first month or so. He just didn't get a lot of playing time.

AJC beat writer David O'Brien thinks Janish will be back.

Other Braves up for arbitration: outfielders Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer; pitchers Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Jonny Venters, Jordan Walden and Cristhian Martinez; and infielders Chris Johnson, Ramiro Pena, Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish.

Teams have until a Dec. 2 to offer contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, with those who don’t get offers become non-tendered free agents. From what I hear, Martinez seems the most likely candidate to be non-tendered among the Braves’ 14 arb-eligibles. It wouldn’t surprise me if all the others are back.

I don't see how they can carry Pena, Elliot Johnson, and Janish, but who knows.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:44 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Hot Stove heating up

The GM/Owners Meetings will be this weekend in Orlando. There may or may not be any big deals made, but groundwork will be laid.

Nov. 20 is the deadline to set rosters for the Rule 5 draft; after that, players can be removed, but not added.

The tender deadline is Dec. 2.

MLBTR has Paul Janish on their nontender list. Also Jeff Niemann. As they point out, that doesn't mean they will be non-tendered. They've had Janish as a non-tender candidate for the previous two years, and he's been tendered a contract anyway. (I'm kind of amazed they don't consider Ramiro Pena a nontender candidate, but I guess he really impressed in his very small sample size.)

Phil Humber already knows his fate. The Astros released him as soon as the season ended. He's signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A's.

The MLB Network is airing an Arizona Fall League game live every night this week (as a test of expanded replay). The announcers were discussing Nick Ahmed tonight, a shortstop prospect drafted by the Braves, sent to the Diamondbacks in the Justin Upton trade. They compared him to Paul Janish - tall, lean guy, strong arm, good glove. (Ahmed won the minor league Gold Glove at SS this year.) They said a shortstop like that has a good chance of having a big league career.

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posted by BubbaFan, 10:49 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Rice Alumni Baseball Game 2013

Some of the more veteran alumni

I did end up going to Houston. I had a friend who wanted to go to some quilt festival thing this weekend. She didn't want to go alone, so I went with her. I figured she'd find some friends and not need me after the first day, and that's how it worked out. The quilts were interesting, actually, but only for about half a day (for me, a non-quilter).

The alumni baseball game was very quiet this time compared to the last time I went. It was apparently the first time they held it in November instead of February, so maybe people didn't know about it. And the last one, in 2012, was rained out, so maybe that discouraged people. Maybe they're intentionally scaling it back. Or maybe people have finally given up hoping that Lance Berkman will show up. :-)

Whatever the reason, it was a much smaller affair. There were a lot fewer people there. Last time there were concessions open and an autograph session with the current Rice team before the game; there was none of that this time.

They did have the scoreboard working, and someone announcing the game, which was nice.

The ever-photogenic Joe Savery was probably the biggest name current player there (that I noticed, anyway).

I was hoping Tony Cingrani would be there, but I didn't see him.

Paul Janish was there. I wanted to ask him if he expected to be back with Atlanta next season, but he was there with his family and I didn't want to bother him.

I also toured Minute Maid Park (which was right across the street from the quilt festival). Man, I'd forgotten the Astros were in the World Series in 2005. It feels like they've been terrible forever.

And I saw the new dinosaur hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. (It opened in 2012.) It is much better than the old one. Bigger, with updated exhibits and some stunning paintings that look like photos. I've heard people say it's better than the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I do like the layout; it leads you through time, and the paintings that put flesh on the bone mounts are terrific. And it's not as crowded as the AMNH; the dinosaur halls there are always sardine city. Still, I wouldn't say it's better. The specimens in NY are more spectacular, IMO. (I guess not everything is bigger in Texas.) There are a lot of nice fossils at the HMNS, but no real show-stoppers, like the huge dinosaurs at the AMNH or Carnegie. Definitely worth a look, though - I'm not sorry I went.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:11 PM | link | 0 comments |