For the players, Miami is a “girlfriend city”

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I was gone yesterday afternoon so I wasn’t following the blow-by-blow of the Bonds trial. By missing it, though, I missed a doozy.  In case you missed it too, know this: to players on road trips, there are “wife cities” and there are “girlfriend cities.”

This came up during Kimberly Bell’s testimony, in which she said that Bonds told her about the idea. Bonds would know too, seeing as though he dated Bell through parts of two separate marriages. During her cross examination, Bell said that Miami was a “girlfriend city.”, so she’d rendezvous with Barry there and other girlfriend cities.

Quite the concept.  Maybe it explains why the Braves always seem to play so flat against the Marlins on the road!

I’d love to have a list of all major league cities and have them rated for wife or girlfriend-friendliness.  And in case you think I’d use such information for player-stalking purposes, I should say that I’m more interested in the criteria for categorization than anything else.  Based on Miami being for the girlfriends I’d assume that a hot night life is important for that, but there has to be more to it.  Like, which way does good shopping cut?  And does the entire breakdown of the cities give us any idea as to whether cheating players have more contempt for the wives they betray or their girlfriends they use?

Put differently, who gets stuck with Cincinnati?

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.