Posts by charlesad

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Open thread, 4/17, #Braves vs. Chuck Barrisses

It will be hard to top Julio’s performance, but Alex Wood and the Bravos will take the diamond and seek the sweep this afternoon. CB tells me Julio was the first visitor to throw a shutout at Citizens Bank Park. His work was beyond impressive. So was Gattis’. I love the tweet, retweeted on the Office, from Demetreus that Gattis will name his kid Citizensbank.

And a tip of the Braves cap to CB for accurately predicting the Braves would have double-digit hits and strikeouts last night. Re whiffs, the good news is the Braves are middle of the NL pack so far in Ks, with 126. Only three NL teams have fewer than 123.

I like the chances for a sweep, though you never know what to expect from A.J. Burnett. He’s capable of dominating any lineup. And he’s capable of giving up four or five runs in five innings.

Today’s lineup: J-Hey, BJ, Freddie, J. Upton, Johnson, Uggla, Andrelton, Laird, Wood.

* Born in Philly, Barriss, who’s still alive at 84, is an entertaining but deeply strange man. No one seems to know whether his claims of being a CIA assassin were true, though it seems highly unlikely. The entertaining side of Chuckie, Baby: 

 

 

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Julio first #Braves pitcher in 11 years to throw a 1-0 shutout

Just how rare was Julio’s gem? The last Brave to throw a complete-game 1-0 shutout was Russ Ortiz in September 2003 against the Marlins and Josh Beckett.

And Ortiz drove in the run with a two-out single to score Javy. That game was Ortiz’s 20th win.

Something tells me Julio is destined to be a better Brave than Russ Ortiz. Well done, Julio. Well done.

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Open thread, 4.14, #Braves vs. Michelle Malkins

First off, happy birthday to two great Braves, David Justice and Greg Maddux. They were born on the same day in 1966. Damn, we’re getting old.

The rolling ball of butcher knives that is the Braves’ attack heads to the assisted living center in Philly. Yeah, Chase Utley is ripping the ball as he teases Philly phans before his inevitable long DL stint. And Jimmy Rollins is off to a nice start. But the Phils’ pitching is mediocre. Their starters have pitched the second fewest innings of any rotation in the NL, and their combined WHIP is 1.60. The bullpen is 9th in the league in ERA. Papelbon’s numbers are ugly — a 5-plus earnie — but he’s really only had one awful outing amongst five. Still, he’s clearly sliding, clearly a d-bag, and clearly he and his teammates share a mutual dislike. Which is nice.

Our heroes will face 34-year-old mediocrity (the other) Roberto Hernandez tonight, then Cliff Lee tomorrow, who’s still Cliff Lee but has yet to dominate in any of his three starts this season, TBA, and a guy who started the year at AAA. So that’s not too daunting.

We’ll see tonight if Ervin can keep his pitches swervin like last time out. Then it’s Hale, Julio and Wood.

Your Bravos lineup, again missing Chris Johnson, which is kinda interesting: J-Hey, BJ, Freddie, J. Upton, Gattis, Uggla, Andrelton, R. Pena at third based, Santana. I’m guessing Fredi likes the way Pena is swinging and wants to give CJ another day because he’s swinging so poorly. Or he could be injured.

* Philadelphia native Malkin is a ridiculous right-wing columnist who, among other stupid shit, has defended the U.S. imprisonment of innocent Japanese-American civilians during World War II.

 

 

 

Ditch the replay system

It’s always fun to be at the yard when the Braves win, especially against the Natspos.

But last night’s three-and-a-half-hour-plus marathon was a tad trying, though some of that was because my highly mobile 4-year-old was there. I made two trips to the base-running place near the cow, and my father-in-law took him up there another time.

However, the replay system also added probably 15 minutes to the game time. I liked replay at first, figuring it’s worth adding 5 minutes to a game to be sure it’s not determined by a bad call. But the system is adding too much time. Not only is it the actual replays — like the 5-minute delay on the McOut bunt last night — but also the times the managers stroll out to stall while their video guys tell them whether to challenge. And last night it seemed the Natspos stood around and jawed with the umps after every close play. And then Zimmerman oozed off the field after being picked off. OK, he was hurt. He gets a pass. And Rendon trudged from first back to the batter’s box after a ball he hit went foul. That’s the kind of stuff the umps should speed up. That and, again, the damn stalling by managers to let their guys watch replays.

It isn’t the managers’ fault. They’re trying to win. It’s the system’s fault. Well intentioned though it is, replay needs to go. So far just a third of challenges have resulted in overturned calls. I’d be curious to know how many minutes and hours cumulatively have been larded onto already protracted games.

Enough. It not only slows down a game that even hardcore fans think needs to speed up. It also skews the game’s natural  rhythms. Take last night. After that interminable discussion of whether McOut was in fact out at first — he’s safe or he’s out, how hard can it be to watch HD replays and make a call? — Wood was clearly less sharp. Not that he was Madduxian before that delay. But his strike percentage dropped significantly after that, according to a website that somehow compiles every pitch from every MLB game into all sorts of weird stats on lateral movement of pitches and the like.

Maybe there’s a way to use replay in critical situations without dumping quicksand into games. I get the argument that you never know if a play in the first inning or the 9th will affect the outcome. But bottom line, the umps generally get it right. And it’s not life or death, anyway. If the choice is get every call right but slow down the game and mess up the pitchers, or have an occasional missed call, then I’m inclined to vote for the latter.

bombo

Open Thread, 4.11, Bravos vs. Bombo Riveras

Andrelton’s out again, though he tells the local organ he can pinch hit.

Julio T. is off to a nice start but has not really had his A-grade stuff in either of his two outings. So he figures to have it tonight. Let’s hope so because the Natspos have been knocking it around pretty well lately. Meanwhile, the enemy hurler, Tanner Roark, hasn’t pitched in eight days. Maybe he’s rusty. Roark has pitched well in his 59-2/3 big league innings after putting up OK numbers in the minors.

Honestly, I know little about the guy.

I know it’d be nice to see the Braves offense have a decent night, with production from someone other than just Freeman and one other guy du jour. It was Justin last night. He’s streaky, we know, so maybe he’s about to go aripping.

Tonight’s lineup: J-Hey, BJ, Freeman, CJ, Justin, Uggla (yeah, he looks better but it’s time he got some hits), Gattis, R. Pena, Julio T.

* Rivera played briefly for the Expos in the 1970s. For some reason, Garrison Keillor wrote a song about him in the late ’70s, according to WIkipedia, and he’s mentioned in the book Shoeless Joe. That’s the book on which the movie, Field of Dreams, is based. CB always cries when he watches that movie. As for Keillor, he’s OK. But who the hell books a gig at Chastain Park and then bitches about the audience talking through the show? That’s a little like going to a game and whining about BJ striking out.  

Phoebe_Cates_at_81st_Academy_Awards

Open Thread, 4.9, Braves vs. Phoebe Cateses

The Braves’ offense has been downright offensive! Runs have been as scarce as sober nights with Charlie Sheen! Clutch hits are as hard to come by as understatement on the Real Housewives of Atlanta!

Enough of the Rick Reilly impersonation.

A few not so fun facts:

No Braves regular has a hit with a runner in scoring position and two outs. Teheran has the only one in 23 at-bats (.043 BA).

With RISP, the club is hitting .159.

Julio has as many RBIs — 1 — as Justin, BJ and Gattis combined.

Take away Freeman (.517 OBP) and the team OBP is .224.

Gattis, BJ and — surprisingly — Uggla have no walks among them.

The good news is the pitching has been superb, and 155 games remain. Those start tonight, of course, as the local batsmen take their cuts against Smyrna native Zack Wheeler. He can hurl a baseball at a high rate of speed. He faced the Braves thrice last season and allowed six earned runs, including his big league debut when he blanked the home nine over six innings.

More interestingly for us, our new man Ervin Santana toes the slab for the first time as a Bravo. No Met has more than four at-bats against him, despite his 1,600-plus innings of MLB work. It sure would be nice to welcome him with a few runs. But we probably should not count on such a thing.

Lineup a little different: J-Hey, Simmons, Freeman, CJ, Justin, Uggla, Gattis, Schafer, Santana.

* Phoebe Cates is a terrible actress who has done nothing of note since Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which came out when I was in high school, and I remember Rowland Office.

 

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Open Thread, 4.5, Bravos vs. the Patch Adamses

Three Braves regulars have more than 15 at-bats against Strasburg, who often pitches more like Stressburg against Los Bravos. That trio–Freeman, Heyward and Uggla–are all hitting over .400 against the gnats’ hurler. Stressburg’s career ERA against the Braves is 3.68. That’s hardly Albie Lopezian, but it is .68 above his career earnie.

That he has a career ERA of 3.00 is a tad surprising.  Anyway, as for today’s tilt, I suspect Julio to be sharp after battling his way through the opener with far less than his best stuff. Stressburg did much the same but gave up 4 runs to the crappy Mets. So, bad news, he’s probably due to pitch well, too. That likely adds up to another 2-1 affair.

Since I typed that, it’ll probably be 10-9.

Julio has made 35 big league starts. He’s 15-10 with a 3.43 ERA. That’s better than Avery, Maddux and Glavine at the same point. That is not to say Julio will be better than those guys. Chances are, he won’t be better than Maddux and Glavine, though with good health he could well surpass Avery’s career body of work.

As for a small body of work, how about Carpenter yesterday? That’s the sort of outing that could cement him as a first-rate setup guy. If he needed a confidence boost after his October struggles, that should do it. Yeah, it’s just April, but these games matter, especially any one you can take while DC has the clear advantage against the Braves battered rotation. I will nominate Carpenter’s 8th yesterday for performance of the season so far.

Turning to the offense, Uggla’s numbers are not eye-popping so far. But he looks night-and-day better than last season. It’s not just Braves homer broadcaster babble — he is hitting the ball hard. He got called out twice yesterday on pitches that were probably balls. Happens. Justin will come around. BJ. Hmm. Not hitting. Not bunting. Rarely putting the ball in play. Give it a few more games, and if BJ keeps whiffing two-three times per outing, then switch him and Simmons in the order.

* Yes, the real Patch Adams is from Washington. I suppose it’s not totally his fault that movie goers were assaulted with the abomination that bore his name. But it happened. So he shares blame for the most annoying screen character of the past quarter century.

 

 

 

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Opening Day Open Thread, 3.31.2014

To our friend, Black Larry King, I’m not sure where the past few months have gone. But time begins today for Braves fans.

Julio T. will be solid in the first of what I think will be many Opening Day starts. I’m not sure Yovani Gallardo, the opposing moundsman, is the pitcher he was three or four years ago. Many of his numbers went in the wrong direction the past two seasons and he’s reportedly lost a few ticks on his velocity. I don’t follow him nor the Car Salesman’s old team enough to have a clear read on the guy.

Anyway, I’m convinced Julio is a star in the making and that the Bravo offense will be improved. It starts today. If our club can stick around .500 through the first three weeks, things should be OK. That said, six early dates with the Nats are significant. The same was true last year, but that team has the talent to streak ahead of the pack, so staying close early is important.

Not startlingly original thoughts, I know. But that’s what I came up with. Go Julio. Go Bravos! Today will be the first of 85 to 91 wins.

Milwaukee is or was home to such delightful people as Tony Kubek, Laverne and Shirely, Richie, Fonzie, and guitar pioneer Les Paul, but also to Jeffrey Dahmer.

Your line-up:

Jay Hey

BJ

Freddie

CJ

Justin

Uggla

Gattis

Andrelton

DFFP

Duane says, “Welcome back, Danny Uggs!”

And welcome back to me, I guess. I won’t bore y’all with the whole story, but let’s just say I got fired from the Starship Satellite location up in White County. Yeah, I was north side for a while. My pansy ass boss thought me taking a few nitrous cartridges for myself was somehow a big honking deal. So he let me go. I said fine, you little bitch, it ain’t like I ain’t been fired before.

Which is true. Anyhow, it’s not completely true that it’s fine, though. I’m back living in my buddy Hal Phellis’ spare room. Hal’s got a HD flat screen with a awesome cable package. So that part’s good. But Brenda’s there, too, because she and Hal got married. She’s, um, not pleased that I’m bunking over and says I got to be out by the end of the month. We’ll see.

Anyhoo….on to better things. My boy Uggla’s back! Danny was 2-for-2 today. He’s establishing attitude and will to win early. Shows what a man can do when he’s playing for his job. On the other side of things, I’m afraid Mr. Freddie Freeloader’s big new contract might be going to his head. Did anybody besides me notice he’s batting zero point zero since his big extension? Hah, hah. big extension.

I hope Fredi’s on Freddie’s ass hard after that pitiful showing today. At least our other Freddy, Garcia, was strong today. Two perfect innings. I don’t know why you take out a guy with a perfect game, but, hell, I’m old school.

Later, fellas. I’ll try to check in more often now that I got some time on my hands.

RClKVums

How much Hart in these extensions?

It’s been little noted in the coverage of the Braves’ flurry of contract extensions, but it would be fascinating to know just how much of a role John Hart played.

I had forgotten until the past couple days that the Braves in November hired the former Rangers and Indians GM as a special advisor. If you’ll recall, Hart was among the pioneers in signing young stars to extensions before they hit free agency. At Cleveland in the 1990s, he locked up a core that included Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez. It worked out pretty well. In Hart’s 10 years with the Tribe, they won six division titles and two pennants.

Who knows what sort of input Hart has here? We surely don’t  know, and probably never will. But I doubt a special advisor would be instrumental in pushing such a franchise-shaping series of moves as the Braves’ brass has made. The more likely scenario is that the Braves hired Hart because they knew they’d be embarking on the lock-up-the-kids strategy and wanted someone on speed dial who’d done it successfully. Not only that, but Hart extended the Cleveland core as that team was about to move into a new ballpark, as the Braves of course will do in three years. Tomahawk Take did a thorough look at all this, so cap tip to them.

Apparently, JS and Hart are big buds. Of course, Hart has already had a hand in shaping recent Braves history, as he was on the other end of two of JS’s most infamous trades: He was the Indians GM in the Justice/Grissom for Lofton/Embree deal, and he was a special advisor to Texas when JS shipped them half the farm system for Teixeira.

Greatest Brave of Them All Turning 80

Henry Louis Aaron turns 80 on Wednesday. Steve Hummer wrote a nice piece on ajc.com to mark the occasion.

It’s not the definitive Aaron story, but it includes some good nuggets, including these:

Note to the generations of fans who never witnessed Aaron in a uniform: He did more than hit a baseball into the seats. He ranks third all-time in number of hits. First in RBIs, extra-base hits and total bases. Fourth in runs. Had three Gold Gloves.

…..Aaron hit more home runs off Drysdale (17) than any other pitcher. He hit .362 vs. Koufax, with a .647 slugging percentage. Had eight home runs and hit .288 lifetime against Marichal. He nicked Gibson for eight homers despite hitting just .215 off him. Hall of Famers all.

Happy Birthday, Hammer. You are and always will be The Greatest Brave of Them All.

Here’s why Liberty is holding onto the Braves

Why is the media conglomerate from Colorado — the one that as of today is worth $15.29 billion on the open market — holding onto our baseball team, or that tax write-off/asset that somehow greased the conglomerate’s big deal with Time Warner a few years ago?

I’m thinking it has something to do with the figure 47 percent. That is how much the value of the Braves franchise has increased just since Liberty bought it in 2007. You and I probably don’t own anything that’s appreciated that much since the recession started. As of October 2013, our Bravos were worth $760 million, according to Bloomberg, which crunches numbers for a damned good living. So even after accounting for inflation, the value of the Braves has soared by nearly half since Liberty took them off Time Warner’s hands.

Not a bad return for the work Liberty’s put in. Why, the conglomerate has ….um, reduced payroll since 2007 by nearly 10 percent in inflation-adjusted terms while slightly raising the cost of attending a game and convincing a county government whose busiest highway is named after a dead president of the John Birch Society to hand over $300 million to help fund a suburban ballpark/office park/shopping center.

Whatever money Liberty has pumped into the Braves has been spent on real estate, video screens and arcade games, not on starting pitching and outfielders. But it’s their asset. They can do as they please. We’re just ticket buyers/bloggers/TV viewers. But this is our blog, and we can type what we please.

Speaking of real estate, I assume the Braves will partner with experts to build their mixed use development. Of course, that’ll mean splitting whatever money they might make from the development. Lord knows, another shopping center and office park in Cobb County is a sure-fire success, isn’t it? That’s what worries me. The Braves have not come out and said it — JS and Co. are about as publicly candid as the North Korean government — but it seems obvious this real estate gambit is at least partly a result of the horrific local TV deal the Braves ended up with after all those genius media execs finished their transacting.

So because supposedly shrewd businesspeople saddled our team with a financially crippling TV arrangement that lasts a quarter century, our team, along with Cobb County taxpayers, are embarking on a massive real estate venture that may or may not ever pay off. I’m no real estate pro, but you don’t have to look far to find similar boondoggles. Check out the ajc’s story about the Cincinnati project, for example. Toby Keith owns a restaurant in the complex next to the Reds’ ballpark. Cool!

This might be an oversimplification. But there is at very least a big kernel of truth here: While third-tier organizations like the Astros and Padres rake in newfound TV riches, the team with the biggest regional radio network in pro sports and so a large following to watch games on TV — yes, our Atlanta Braves — is left to gamble its future on a real estate project. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe it’s sadly appropriate that in a place long ruled by real estate developers, the Braves have to pin their hopes on a shopping center. Hey, maybe the Braves can give Heyward, Freeman and Andrelton a cut of the take from the bars and restaurants out there at 285 and I-75. I joke, but it would be intriguing to see if MLB and the players union would OK an arrangement like that. Maybe Braves Acres could work after all!

Or maybe if Braves Acres becomes a pipe farm — PVC poking out of the ground everywhere with no buildings to hook to — Liberty will rush to sell and we’ll get a decent owner. Then that owner would have to spend a few years getting out from under the real estate disaster.

On the bright side, pitchers and catchers report in less than a month. And Lucas Sims and Jason Hursh appear to be progressing nicely.

‘We gonna fight tonight’

From the Office vault: 

I have to pass along this hilarious story I heard from a friend yesterday. I believe it to be on good authority.

A lot of you probably remember the June 16, 1984 brawl ignited when Mario Soto repeatedly brushed back Claudell. Claudell tossed his bat toward the mound, went to pick it up, and then turned toward Soto with malice in mind, and rightfully so. I didn’t remember this part, but according to Wikipedia , Claudell tossed umpire Lanny Harris to the ground to reach the Reds’ combustible hurler.

We still trust

I recall that Soto threw the ball at Claudell while he was being restrained, but hit Braves coach Joe Pignato instead.

All that’s pretty funny, but here’s the funnier part I just heard. That night was Ken Oberkfell’s first game as  a Brave. He’d been traded from St. Louis the day before. Rick Camp greeted Oberkfell when he arrived in the clubhouse. After pleasantries, Camp told him, in his Trion, Ga. accent, “We gonna fight tonight.”

Thinking he meant the two of them, Oberkfell asked why, as they had just met. Camp said no, there’ll be a brawl on the field because Mario Soto was pitching and “Claudell Washington hates Mario Soto.” Apparently, Camp, and presumably everyone on the Braves team, knew Soto would throw at Claudell at some point. He did, and they did fight.

Lunch with Tex

From the Office vault: 

(The Yankees still owe the 34-year-old Borasbot $67.5 million over the next three years. Since 2009 he’s missed 202 games and has a .249 BA, .345 OBP and .479 slugging percentage. Re-signing him would’ve been nearly as big a mistake as trading for him.)

The Office had a chance to sit down for lunch recently with former Brave and new Yankee Mark Teshowmethemoney at his favorite ethnic restaurant, Olive Garden. Here’s our account.

Teshowme took a sip of his specially brewed power shake, nibbled his Caesar salad – no croutons — and almost, almost laughed. We were discussing the notion that he might have signed with the Nationals, Orioles, Red Sox, Angels, or, gasp, the Braves during last season.

Eeeexcellent, Mark!

Eeeexcellent, Mark!

“It was never about the money,” Teshowme said with a quick glance across the booth at Mr. Boras, who pushed buttons on a hand-held device before Teshowme talked. “I wanted to go to a place where I would have a chance to win. It has always been my dream to play for the team with the biggest payr…with the tradition of the Yankees, who have a real chance to be in the postseason every year.”

Teshowme then politely excused himself. He had to shave. Four hours’ growth of beard, he said. Mr. Boras followed.

What're we getting paid for this?

What’re we getting paid for this?

When they returned 15 minutes later, Mr. Boras shifted places to sit next to his client. Teshowme finished his salad, then consulted with Mr. Boras before ordering a plate of fat-free pasta. Mr. Boras ate nothing.

“Like I said, I just want a chance to win,” Teshowme said as Mr. Boras nodded. “And with a team whose contracts total $1.2 billion…I mean, with great hitters up and down the lineup and a rotation and bullpen like ours, I can’t wait to leverage the enhanced revenue opportunities of our new venue, um, I can’t wait till spring training.”

Teshowme meticulously ate his pasta and sipped his special shake as Mr. Boras produced a portfolio of documents. They were endorsement proposals from companies seeking a bland, “CEO-type” celebrity spokesbot. Mr. Boras snickered as he recalled someone from the Special Olympics asking him if some of his clients could do commercials — for free!

After Teshowme finished discussing his affection for the old sitcom Night Court, Tim Allen movies and smooth jazz, he haggled with the waitress over the check, as Mr. Boras worked his hand-held and grinned.

Suddenly, Mr. Boras’ expression darkened. There had been a last-minute snag in negotiations with the Yankees. Teshowme and Mr. Boras understood that the contract called for free haircuts every three days, but the tightwad Steinbrenner brothers only wanted to provide the free coiffes once a week. A staffer from Mr. Boras’ office then whisked Mr. Boras and Teshowme out of the Olive Garden and they boarded a black SUV with darkened windows.

“We’ll show them to renege on a deal,” Mr. Boras huffed as his face disappeared behind the SUV’s tinted back window.

Just then, the waitress burst outside and flung two quarters — Teshowme’s tip, apparently – at the departing vehicle. “I don’t need your damn change that bad,” she shouted.

The driver screeched to a halt, hopped out, scooped up the money and then drove away.

Duane is in crisis

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit. Where in the hell do I start?

OK. The Braves took a jackhammer to my heart and soul again. And I’m so confused and hurt and angry. I’m angry at Frede and the team, and I think I’m even angrier at the media and other people who are angry and downing my Braves. Because, dammit, they’re my…our….Bravos. And by God, I love ‘em as much as ever. Then again, I’m in a — what do you call it? — a confoundrum. They not only ruined my week, month, hell maybe my year, but they also got me fired from my job at the adult superstore off I-75 near Griffin.

One day at a time

One day at a time

Which leads into a whole nother but related story. Hells bells. Might as well explain. I reckon it all ties together in one way or another, like a big web of intreegism.

Aight. a few months ago I got a job stocking DVDs on the shelves at the store. (I get to take home one disc a week free, a nice french benefit.) Well, I was scheduled to work last Sunday night and there wasn’t no way in hell I was missing that ballgame. My cable got cut off, so I called in sick and went to Hooters to watch. My shitstain of a shift manager happened to be in there, and he just had to go tell the store manager about it, who just had to call me into his office on Monday and tell me the Lions Den no longer needed nor desired my services, or some corporate double talk like that. I told him he couldn’t fire Duane cause by God I quit.

I made the last part up. Really, he told me they didn’t want me, and I sat down and cried and begged for my job because I told him I had child support to pay — which, between us, ain’t really true. Long story short, he told me to get out of his sight and called the bouncers and they way too roughly in my opinion throwed me out into the parking lot. I remember the sun really hurt my eyes because the inside of that place is pretty dark.

Anyways, I been living in the basement apartment, a really small one, more like a closet with a shower and a microwave really, and it’s in the basement of a house owned by this guy who’s been dating Brenda. Yeah. Weird, I know. Believe me, I wanted to hate this guy, Julius Rolack, but dammit he’s about as nice a fellow as you could ever meet. He even told me I could go without paying rent for the next month since I lost my job. And that’s even after I told him the truth about how I lost it.

Cause see, another reason Julius is so dam hard to hate, the sumbitch, is that he’s as much of a Braves fan as I am! And that boy never gives up hope. He even paid for me to go to a game with him and Brenda. Brenda didn’t know about it till I showed up at their seats. She wasn’t all that happy about it, but Julius, he just said something like, “Hey, we’re all friends and Braves fans here, let’s have a good time and cheer on our boys! Go Braves!”

Like I said, he’s really upbeat. I needed that these last few days. He told me, he said, “Duane, you can stay in the apartment as long as you like rent free, or at least for a month or two.” And I said, thank you, Julius. (I started to call him Dr. J but changed my mind.) He just said could I mow his grass and clean out his garage, so I said I guess I could seeing as how I ain’t paying rent no more.

Anyhow, once we got our real estate transaction squared away, I said, Julian, you think Frede shoulda brought in Kimbrel? And he says something like, “well, D — he calls me D — I think Frede did what he thought was right. He was trying to win, and Carp was trying his best and it just didn’t work out. But we’ll get em next year.” Dam if that didn’t bring tears to my eyes. We hugged right then and there. But that broke up when I whispered something in his ear about maybe us having a threesome with Brenda. Shit, ole Julius didn’t even really hold that against me. He just said, “well, D, now, I really don’t think that’s such a good idea,” and then we just moved on pretty much.

To break that tension, I said, well what we gonna do about Uggla and BJ? And Julius repled like, “Oh. They gonna be fine. They worked so hard, and they’ll come to spring training rarin to go and they’ll have great years and we gonna win it all next year! We’ll show em!” See, Julius really does talk like with an explanation point, if that makes sense.

Well, I’m finishing my lunch and beer break. Plus, I snuck out a couplea DVDs from the store. Hah. Hah. Now I gotta finish cleaning out Julius’s garage. Ya’ll take care, and go Braves!

Freddy+Garcia+Atlanta+Braves+v+Miami+Marlins+E-q2XCCWKXKl

Open Thread, NLDS Game 4

One way to look at the pitching matchup is that the Braves will have to beat the Dodgers with Kershaw starting to win the series, either in Game 4 or in a Game 5. So it’s better to face him on short rest for the first time in his career. Granted, it might be better to face him with someone besides Freddy Garcia hurling for our side. But Garcia was good in his very brief Braves tenure this season.

If the Braves lose the series, I don’t think Fredi starting Garcia will be the main reason. The main reasons are: Hanley Ramirez and most of the Dodgers are having the offensive week of their lives; and Medlen and Julio had really bad starts. Shaky defense here and there hasn’t helped, but those are the main ingredients in this 1-2 deficit.

That stuff doesn’t affect what happens from here, except inasmuch as that stuff caused us to be here, here being down 1-2 with Garcia on the mound. My logic might be twisted, but I have not gotten my usual ration of sleep the past few nights. Point is the Braves can go out and play well tonight. Just because they’re down 1-2 does not doom them to another atrocity. I suspect Garcia will exit quickly if he is getting hit hard. Like, say, if the Braves get down two runs in the first three innings, it’s time to bring in, I don’t know, Medlen? Which would of course re-beg the question of why he’s not starting the game.

Hell, maybe Freddy will pitch a beaut, Freddie will knock in a passel of runs and Fredi will look like a wise man. That’s a lot of F’s.

Go Braves!

Open Thread, 9/20, Braves vs. the Chip Carays

Before he was our daily annoyance, Chip called Cubs games. He looks and acts more like a Romney than a Caray.

Before he was our daily annoyance, Chip called Cubs games. He looks and acts more like a Romney than a Caray.

J-Hey is back! Really, after the angst machine that was the doubleheader sweep, things have gone nicely. First, the Bravos bounce back with a much needed win, punctuated by a vintage Kimbrel 9th inning. Now the team’s offensive catalyst is returning, with 10 games to refine his swing for the playoffs.

Those two events should expunge any psychological damage, and in fact could entirely reverse the mindset.

Let’s win today and tomorrow and get this shite done, Bravos. It gives me great pleasure to type this: J-Hey CF, J. Upton RF, Freeman, Gattis LF, McCann. C. Johnson, Uggla, Simmons, Maholm.