Open Thread, 6.18, #Braves vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Driving to work, I hear about these fucking Dark-Age savages overrunning Iraq. Then NPR tells me about the poachers who are probably going to kill every last wild elephant in Africa. Then the dog and/or cat shit on the rug in the kid’s room, and I clean that up.

Then I have to watch the Braves’ offense in extra innings, repeatedly squandering chances to win a game with a routine fly ball, a grounder not hit directly at a drawn-in infielder, or even a base hit of some sort. Someone make it stop. Sure, I could quit caring, about the Braves I mean. (Honestly, I’m probably no more concerned about the fate of Iraq in and of itself than most Americans. I just fear that some of those subhumans may one day try to kill members of my family or me, or that my 4-year-old might some day have to go try to kill them.)

Baseball’s supposed to be an escape from the daily stresses. I can’t help it, though. I can’t not care about the Braves. It’s in my bones, my brain, my soul. I’m not sure exactly where it is physiologically, but trust me, it’s there somewhere. I’m not going to dive off Spaghetti Junction or any such foolishness. (Sorry if I’m being totally offensive in this post.) But I admit it. I have a bit more spring in my step, I definitely enjoy watching baseball highlights more and on certain nights I go to sleep a bit faster when the Bravos win.

Sure, I like to think I’m a reasonably well adjusted adult. I love my kid and wife, my dogs, cat and extended family. We own a home (along with SunTrust Mortgage.) I’ve been mostly gainfully employed for many years now. We pay our bills. Etc, etc. Still, it pisses me off when BJ blunders, CJ swings at breaking pitches inches from the ground and off the plate, and on and on.

I apologize for the self-absorbed rant. Just had to let it out.

One last thought. As constituted today, this team won’t win 86 games, maybe not 81 games. And I’d rather the Braves fall out of the NL East race and focus on strengthening the foundation for the future vs. limping in as a wild card and being quickly dispatched yet again. I will never root for the Braves to lose any game. I couldn’t if I tried. However, big-picture, I’d rather this team find a way to improve significantly — through trades, or whatever — than eek out a playoff spot with a barely .500 record and then get squashed unceremoniously. We’ve had enough of that.

One last thought again. I sure would hate to see three lefties at the top of the lineup. I mean, if that happened we might struggle to score runs.

Well, well, well. Interesting lineup today: 1. La Stella 2B 2. Pena SS 3. Freeman 1B 4. Gattis C 5. Heyward RF 6. Johnson 3B 7. Doumit LF 8. Schafer CF 9. Harang P.

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21 comments

  1. Interesting lineup indeed. Fredi might be getting concerned for his job.

    I agree about the benefits of dropping out of contention. Extended bench time for Upton, release Uggla, fire Fredi and Walker/Fletcher — that’s what I would like to see.

    This team is miserable to watch, even when it’s winning.

  2. I feel your pain. I’m a Braves fan, do or die, but this bunch is hard to get excited about. Even if we somehow come out at the top of the crap heap that is the NL East you know we’ll get outmanaged-outplayed-outclutched in the post-season.

    I have a hard time feeling good about a team with BJ on the field, Fuggla on the bench and Fredi running the strategy.

    On top of that, throw in the fact that even though they’re only moving 14 miles north, they are viewed for it as just another faceless corporate entity, leaving a great ballpark(and Olympic legacy) to the wrecking ball, lame duck, headed for greener pastures, turning one of the city’s greatest symbols of the 1960s(we’re big league) into just another money sucking team soon to be playing at (insert corporate entity here) Field. Even Jim Powell is finally starting to get on my nerves.

  3. I also feel your pain. This is a hard team to watch. Not because we are only 2 games over .500, but because we won 96 games last year and now we are only 2 games over .500 almost halfway through the season. From 2006 to 2009 we did not make the playoffs, but we could look on the field and see why. This team should be better than this.

  4. Good one, paddy. Off to another fast start today — 1-0 Phils, bases loaded, one out.

  5. Great post. I know just the feeling you’re talking about. After the ’11 season ended I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I haven’t felt that way again until this season.

    And Rob, after listening to Ben and Don this series I’m wishing for Jim’s return. I gave up on the tv guys last year. Can’t stand chip. I mute the tv and listen and follow on at bat. We need smoltz in the booth permanently.

  6. Now why is Simmons pitching in this game? This is just a miserable team to watch. Phillies were one of the worst teams in baseball coming into this series. If I have it right the Braves are 2-8 in their last ten home games. Terry Pendleton should be named Mgr soon.

  7. I like A-B-C baseball and this team kills me with it’s relentless strikeout rate. Add Fredi Haas and Chip Carey into the mix and it’s intolerable.

  8. This is reminiscent of the Boston series, a team that came in having lost 10 straight and made us look like the ones on the losing streak. Philly is no good at all this year, but you would have never know that by looking at the scores in this series…

    I agree about falling out of contention too; it would give the management a good chance to make some necessary changes/upgrades.

  9. Because I live in Texas (and am too broke to buy the DirecTV baseball package), I don’t get to see many Braves games. But ones like today I would turn off after 2 innings. How many times has this team, after a rare great offensive inning, turned around and given it all back up? The starting pitching has sprung leaks — I expected Harang to fall off at some point, but lately, Santana and Minor haven’t been very good, either — and as has been said here before, unless we get good starting pitching, we don’t have many ways of winning games. Sure wish we could find a Cuban immigrant to bring in and make an immediate difference like the White Sox, Dodgers and A’s have done in recent years.

    At least I have the World Cup to distract me, and Holland have already advanced to the knockout round.

  10. If it’s any consolation, Charles, I’ve never considered you to be that well-adjusted an adult. 🙂

  11. I’ll take that as a compliment, “Sharon.” By the way, did you hear the Braves drafted the soon of “that Lenny Dykstra?”

  12. We-ulll, Chahles, you can just bet he’ll soon be strutting around like he was on his way to Cupperstown.

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