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buggin-boog | December | 2007 Articles

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Buggin' Boog

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This article comes from Steve.            In 2007, Braves fans welcomed a new face to the television broadcast booth and a new voice into their living rooms with the addition of Jon Sciambi.  By the time everyone had learned to correctly pronounce his last name, they were simply calling him “Boog.”  Sciambi was gracious enough to grant me a few minutes of his time before he hit the airwaves for his sports talk-show on WAXY 790AM “The Ticket” in Miami (12PM-2PM EST, Monday through Friday.)  We spoke about his new career with the Braves as well as his thoughts on the off-season.   SB:  What was your first year calling for the Braves like? JS:  It was a blast.  I got to work with great people.  First and foremost, working with Joe Simpson was fun and I learned a lot from him.  Overall it was just a first class organization and just being around great people everyday was really enjoyable.  And I know expectations are high but the team competed for a playoff spot pretty deep into the season so I enjoyed it.   SB:  Was it weird going from calling games for the Marlins to calling games for the Braves?  Did you have to reconcile any loyalties? JS:  You know, not really because I had two years where I was away from the Marlins doing just ESPN.  I think from a broadcasting standpoint you get connected with a franchise to be sure.  When I worked for the Marlins I worked for three different ownership groups including the current ownership group.  But now that they’ve traded Cabrera and Willis there’s not a single player on that team that was there when I broadcasted my last season there.  Last year it was only Cabrera and Willis so there really wasn’t any type of connection there the same way that it was so that was really a non-issue.   SB:  What kind of impact do you think fans can expect from Tom Glavine this year? JS:  He’ll help.  I think that the people who don’t like the signing by in large, in my opinion, don’t quite understand it.  They’re not signing Tom Glavine to be “1998 Tom Glavine.”  They’re signing him to be a guy for the back end of their rotation and last year the back end of their rotation is the reason they didn’t get into the playoffs.  They don’t need Tom to have an ERA of 2.75.  In my opinion if he goes out there and gives them the league average ERA and Smoltz and Hudson are close to what they were last year, that’ll be more than fine.  Last year their problem was that Smoltz and Hudson were brilliant, Chuck James was fine, but the four and five spots were a fiasco.   SB:  Speaking of Chuck James, do you think he can go another year with only two pitches? JS:  That’s such a good question.  I think he can, but to me it’s hard to envision him taking the next step if he doesn’t add a third pitch.  I think he can continue to be a good, solid, pitcher with two pitches but if he doesn’t add a breaking ball or maybe even a two-seamed fastball that he can use more consistently then I think it’ll be hard for him to take the step that he wants to take.   SB:  What did you think about the Edgar Renteria trade? JS:   I liked it.  I liked it form the standpoint of the GM’s perspective.  When you look at the models out there of how you want to run a franchise you’re always looking for good value at multiple levels.  You’re looking for cost efficient players.  I think Edgar is a magnificent player but if you were to ask me to project his performance down the line I don’t think he will have an offensive season in terms of average, on base, and slugging, as good as the one he just had for the rest of his career.  And Escobar is better than he is defensively according to the people I talk to.  So when you combine that with the fact that you’re paying him $10 million, you’re trading him at his peak price and you have a cost efficient replacement.  Even if my projection is wrong and he were to be the same offensive player next year, Escobar is making the league minimum and Edgar is making $10 million.  Is there $9 million difference in value between those two guys?  I would say absolutely not.  So I think for value, Escobar is a better player and they got two quality prospects so I like the deal.   SB:  How do you see centerfield playing out? JS:  I’m not sure but I don’t worry about it all that much.  You need to start with someone who will catch the ball.  This team will score.  This team finished in the top three in runs scored.  You have Teixeira and Jones at the corners.  I think Kelly Johnson is an underrated offensive player.  Then there’s Francouer and McCann.  They’ll score.  So I don’t think they need some monster to play centerfield.  I don’t think offense is going to be the problem.  I would hope that people wouldn’t freak out about what they’re going to do with centerfield because I think they’re going to figure it out and it’ll end up being fine.  One of the rumors I heard was Mark Kotsay but I don’t know.  I don’t think they’re going to get Aaron Rowand but whatever move they make I don’t think that centerfield is going to be a big problem.   SB:  How do you think Schuerholz stepping away from the GM role is going to affect the team? JS:  I know Frank Wren pretty well from Florida and he’s a well-respected baseball guy so I wouldn’t think it’s going to change all that much.  Frank’s two main mentors are Dave Dombrowski and John Schuerholz and both of them believe in finding guys with tools and both of them believe in developing farm systems so I really don’t think it’ll change very much.   SB:  Other than me, what right now is buggin’ Boog? JS:   (Laughing)  Great question.  Wow, not the weather in Atlanta.  It’s like 70 degrees here right now.  So what is buggin’ Boog?  You know what, I’m going with absolutely nothing.  With the Holiday season here I’m doing great.

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