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Open Thread, 4.22, Hello, #Braves fans, I’m Tim Howell

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Hey, guys. Tim Howell here. BRAVES FAN and OPTIMISTIC MAN!! That’s me. So what say we dispense with all the negativity for a little while.

I thought I’d pop over and cheer everybody up — in the midst of this 4-11 start, which is only less than 10 percent of the season. That’s nothing! Anyway, as my granddaddy Lim Fowell used to say, turn that frown upside down.

He didn’t really say that. I wish he did, though. He actually was a very angry man. But that’s a story for another day. ;(

Instead, let’s count our blessins as Braves fans, how bout? Because as a fine broadcaster I know — hint, his name rhymes with mine!! — said(really this time), “There’s a blessin’ in this lesson.” And there are lots of blessin’s in this lesson of the Braves so-so start to the 2016 championship season.

Blessin’ 1. Is it just me or does the team of Powell and Sutton just keep getting better? Nothing I like more than a glass of cold iced tea on my front porch and Jim and Don on my radio on a Hyndai Sunday afternoon! Skip and Pete are great and all, but I’m not sure if Jim and Don might not be even better! I see another two-headed bobblehead in our future, Braves fans!

And that Chip is a hoot!! Does it get any better than him imitating his dad?! And Paul Byrd brings a wonderful ex-player’s insight to his stuff on TV, doesn’t he??!!

Blessin’ 2. SunTrust Park in Cobb County. I can’t wait!!! What do I not like about the move to Cobb? NOTHING. I love everything about it. The park will be closer to my house. (I mean, let’s admit it, it’s a little scary going down to Turner Field.) We’ll even still have our iconic Chic-fil-a cow. But will the cow work on Sundays?!! Just a little funny there, praise Jesus! Keep the Sabbath sacred!

Blessin’ 3. We have wonderful owners in Liberty Media. Did y’all see the ajc story about Mr. Greg Maffie, the head of Liberty? He really cares about our Bravos. And I love that line about not letting their employees wear Rockies gear! LOL!! The man even has a sense of humor. I love it!!!

Blessin’ 4. The fiddler on the roof, as I call him. I tell you what, after a Freddie Freeman home run, there aren’t too many things I enjoy more at a game than listening to The Devil Went Down to Georgia and seeing that guy with the beard wearing the Braves jersey play his fiddle. Cracks me up!!!

OK, guys. I hate to end this on a negative nelly note, but I do have one small criticism. Or let’s call it a suggestion. Lay off Fredi, people! And, you know, the Braves do a pretty good job of saluting our Brave Men and Women in Uniform. But I think they can do even more ! How about we have tributes to the Military between every inning of every game?? I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free!!!

Last thing. See that picture up above of the Braves celebrating a championship? Well, we’re gonna be doing that again soon. Just remember that. Goooooo Braves!!

Lineup: Markakis, Castro 2B, Freddie, Garcia, Pierzynski, KJ LF, Aybar, Smith, Norris.

 

 

For old time's sake, one last time.

Duane checks in from the Mouse/Open Thread Aug. 14, #Braves vs. Serpents

You might be asking yourself, “Self, where’s Duane been? We ain’t heard from that smart, handsome fucker in a long time.” You’d be right! But here I am, in Whorelando–ha, really Orlando–of all places.

I’ll fill you in on how I got here in a minute. It’s a not really that long of a story.

First stuff first. I see our hotshot Cuban third baseman can’t even get a hit against damn rookie league pitchers just out of high school and junior college. Hector Oliver was 0-for-2 last night in a game down here.

This is what we gave up Alan Wood and Piazza for?! Shitfire. Let’s hope Fidel picks it up soon or we’re gonna be as screwed as …well, screwed. I can’t think of a good something we’ll be as screwed as. As Maryilyn Chambers, how bout that? She was screwed a lot.

Anyway, we got 116 minor league pitchers and nobody can hit the damn ball. I hope Mr. Hart and his nerdy Dick Grayson sidekick find some hitters or we’re gonna have a staff full of Shelby Millers next few years.

Moving on. Why am I in beautiful central Florida? Well, Hal and Brenda went on a second honeymoom to Disney. They towed their camper. I hid in their camper. Brenda discovered me and quickly decided I was not welcome. I managed to get a job as the only Anglo on the Disney grounds crew, and here I am. In case you don’t know, it’s hot as a ditch digger’s ass crack down here in August.

Sorry Gotta go weedeat over by Space Mountain.

Go Braves! (Photo of me and the ex for old times sake)

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Open Thread

The Bravos come home to face a lefty with whom I am utterly unfamiliar. Robbie Ray sounds like a dude you went to grade school with. He’s got decent numbers. He’ll face: Peterson, Maybin, Markakis, Gomes, Pierzynski, Garcia, Swisher, Simmons, Julio.

Oh, and the home team signed Edwin Jackson. Guess you have to fill the bullpen with somebody.

 

"Remember me?"

Office’s 10th Anniversary Gala Goes Awry

Remember Dave? Condescending. Ill tempered. Moussed-up ‘do that looked like Afalfa’s from The Little Rascals. (Assuming Dave used a picture of himself with his disapproving comments.)

He had the gall to show up at the Office’s recent 10th anniversary gala at the Fox Theater in Midtown Atlanta. Fortunately, Duane, a frequent target of Dave’s digital vitriol, also showed up. Difference is Duane was invited.

As he’s wont to do, Duane boozed it up good—had about nine Jack-and-Cokes. At some point, Dave commented about Duane’s level of education or personal hygiene or some such. Subsequently, Dave ended up bleeding on one of those grand stairways that lead down to the bathrooms at the Fox.

It could’ve been worse for Dave.

Duane had set upon him when octogenarian Doyle Harcavey, himself a couple of whiskey sours in, wandered out of the restroom, saw the fracas and pulled Duane off Dave. Doyle accidentally was knocked down himself and several passersby joined the fray. In the melee, Doyle bumped into Mike Hampton, re-injuring the southpaw’s pectoral muscle.

It was all too much for Hal Phellis. Perhaps the most reviled figure in Rowland’s Office history, Phellis issued a tearful plea for peace. To which Atlpaddy responded: “Fuck off and die, you ridiculous bear!”

Things then calmed down but briefly. Minutes later during the keynote speech, our namesake was determined to settle some scores. Among other things, Rowland alleged that Preston Hanna still owed him money for an illegal drug purchase. With that, J.D. Drew stormed out in a huff but not before demanding his personal appearance fee be paid in full. (It’s now in attorneys’ hands.)

It was about that time that security cleared us out. It didn’t much matter. We would’ve been ejected anyway after the folks from the Georgia-Pacific sales meeting figured out we had crashed their party that featured lame country music acts Cole Swindell and Rascal Flatts. (Dave enjoyed the music.)

Nevertheless, it’s too bad things got shut down. Chuck James and Larvell Capra had started an arm wrestling tournament. Chuck, who’s now installing windows for Lowe’s full time—he long ago burned through the $1.2 million he earned as a big leaguer—was amazing party guests with his utter lack of baseball knowledge. You’ll recall that Chuck had no idea who Todd Helton was, as he prepared to throw his first big league pitch to the Rockies great. Chuck wondered aloud when Bobby Cox would retire.

All things considered the party was a smashing success and an appropriate way to mark our humble blog’s first decade of existence. Word from the Julio Franco Assisted Living Center is that Doyle is OK. We’re not sure what happened to Dave and don’t really give a damn. Duane made it back to sleep in his ex-wife’s boyfriend’s Scirroco. We hope Rowland makes it safely back to Sacramento. His whereabouts were not clear at last report. Ol’ J.D. said he’s praying for our souls.

Chuck James was a good sport about the whole thing. In fact, Chuck likes a good throw down and proclaimed our party “pretty fucking sweet.” You’ll recall that during his days as a Braves farm hand, Chuck broke his arm diving toward a swimming pool.

If you were there, we hope you had a good time. If not, we’ll see you in 2025.

DFFP

Duane checks in as he recuperates from a beating

Hey, peeeeps. Sorry if I have a few more typos than usual in this article. I’m recovering and I ain’t quite right yet.

What are you recovering from, Duane?

Good question. I got my ass kicked by a trucker after I viideoed him getting a blow job from a Mexican whore at the truck stop where I used to work, up till last week. I was washing dishes in the restaurant at the Pilot Travel Center — where I could eat for free, which was nice. Their country fried steak ain’t bad. I would say go try it but now, to hell with em after they fired me for pretty much no reason.

Anyhoo, speaking of ass whuppins, the Braves are 1-2 and first chance they get to make a statement against their arch rivalry, the Nats, what happens? You got it. They lost.

I don’t like where this is headed to, folks. No Heyward, no Gattis, no Justin. No guts. No glory. No i phone for Duane any more and no health insurance. My best friend Hal, who as you might recall is married to my ex-wife, Brenda, came and got me out of the emergency room, and let me spend the night in his man cave where he mostly plays video games. Don’t tell Brenda. She don’t know he’s still helping me, or that I still owe Hal about $3,000.

Back to the Braves. Now that Minor’s going to have his arm amputated, and we already under .500, I don’t know what the hell’s gonna happen. I got no job, no wife, no money, though Hal’s gonna talk to his cousin, who’s manager at the new apartments out by the interstate near West Point about letting me dress up in a clown suit with a sign to try to get people to come in and look at the apartments.

Ah, shitfire. It’ll work out. I always manage to land on my feet. The Bravos? Well, if the Hawks can do it, maybe our Braves can do it, too. Congratulations, Nique for your statue and Nique Week. I hear that statue’s already taken 28 shots. Ha!

Kiss my ass, Liberty Media. Kiss my ass, cobb County. Kiss my ass, Josh McKoon. Kiss my ass, Bryce Harper.

Go Braves!

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Enough with all this Gloomy Gus Business!

By Tim Howell

A wise man — or let’s say person, for you gals out there! — once told me that when you frown, you frown alone. But when you smile, the world smiles with you!😉 How about that!

Which brings me to our eager, young 2015 Bravos. Like all of you, I’ve read and heard all the hand wringing and moaning about how awful this year’s squad is going to be. My reaction? I’m not buying it.

President John Schuerholz put it beautifully when he said, “This looks like a team that is going to play really good baseball and play the game with spirit and a winning attitude and a committed attitude of winners.” (We could use some leadership like that from some other president I know about. But I’m not here to talk politics!)

President Schuerholz’s candid view is good enough for me! After all, that man knows a thing or two about winning, a winning attitude and a committed attitude of winners. And what more can you ask for than a winning attitude AND a committed attitude of winners. For starters, the leadership is going to be AMAZING. Nick Markakis, EY Jr., J. Gomes, A.J. Pierzinski (spelling is not my strong suit, sorry!) and Jason Grilli will be terrific voices of experience in the clubhouse. And don’t forget, Braves Country (ah. feels good to type that. Makes me think of sweet tea, church, anti-gay marriage laws and families listening together on the front porch) the steady, calming hand of Fredi Gonzalez is back! I don’t know of a better leader in baseball than that good man.

Secondly, think of the excellent pitching. Our young staff should be as strong as any in the game. Julio, Minor, Alex Wood (woof! woof! Go Dawgs!), and Shelby Miller….I’ll go to the post with any of those guys and like my chances any day against any ball club. Then we have Craig Kimbrel (with a K!) at the back of what should be another stellar bullpen.

And the lineup this year will be scrappy, will make contact, move runners and play an exciting brand of baseball. Speaking of baseball, this great game is played not on paper or computer screens where the national media is trashing our team, but on good ole American dirt and grass, which by the way will be all over Gomes’ uniform as that clever tweet from the ball club said! It’s not played on paper or on an attitude of paper.

So we’re going to show all you Negative Nellies, Gloomy Guses, Pessimistic Pauls and Downcast Daves out there! There’s a blessin’ in this lesson. I for one can’t wait to watch these hungry, dedicated Braves shock the world in 2015! You can’t measure a man’s heart or his winning attitude and attitude of a winner!

gwtw

Welcome to Cobb County, Braves fans!

The Office has obtained internal documents detailing blockbuster promotional plans for inaugurating SunTrust Park on the outskirts of Smyrna. We used the Freedom of Made-up Information Act to get our hands on this gold. A few highlights:

  • Fergit Hell Night! In the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain, Confederate reenactors and belles in hoop skirts will cavort on the field and throw out the first pitch, then roam the crowd for daguerreotypes with fans. The first 20,000 spectators will receive free fake severed limbs!
  • Agenda 21 Night. Cobb is actually a pretty diverse place now, but it remains a right-wing stronghold. As we’ll be playing alongside a highway named for a former John Birch Society president, and near a bridge named for segregationist governor Lester Maddox, let’s fit in. Drive the Hummer and another SUV–anything but public transit — and listen to speakers talk about how bike paths are a UN plot to take over America.
  • Gordon Wysong Bobblehead Night. Honoring the brave Cobb County Commissioner who stood up to the queers, drafting a resolution condemning the gay “lifestyle” as incompatible with community standards. Cobb may have lost an Olympics volleyball venue but it gained a hero.
  • Fake Lame Country Musician Night. Catch a fake post-game concert by our fake Charlie Daniels fake fiddler, joined by fake Billy Ray Cyrus, fake Zach Brown Band, and fake Lee Greenwood singing I’m Proud to be a Fake American!
  • Duck Dynasty Night. Come pay for autographed duck calls and “Save the Robertsons from Obama” beer koozies. Meet the bearded, rich good ole boy sociologists and political scientists and hear their intriguing theories on race relations and geopolitics. We might even have a video address from Gov. Palin. Fingers crossed!!
  • Honey Boo Boo Day. Is there anything the folks up North like more than a sharp-tongued fat Georgia redneck gal? She is charming, ain’t she? Come meet the family behind the hit reality show!
  • Stand Your Ground Night. Dare some other fan to take a step toward you….and then shoot them!
  • You Decide the Shopworn Southern Stereotype Night. Come as your favorite Dixie cliche — tote a gun, a Bible, a gun and a Bible, listen to bad popular country music, hate gays, deny evolution and climate change — you decide. It’s sure to be fun, y’all!!!

 

 

DFFP

#Braves aren’t only ones on a losing streak

By Duane From Forest Park

Do you hate bosses as much as I do?

Get this. Few nights ago, I’m stocking shelves at the porno video store on 75 south where I been workin for a few months now — dildo manager kept promising me he’d make me assistant night manager (lots of dudes rent their pornos at night) but it ain’t happened — and listening to the game on my headphones. So I can’t hear much. Turns out dildo was talking to me from the end of the aisle, which is like 50 damn yards long, but I ignored him on account of I’m listening to Jim and Don. About that time Tommy La Dropped the goddam ball dropped the goddam ball and our chance to beat King Feelmeup was gone with the stank wind.

So then my boss, Raeza — “I was chemical engineer in my country, blah, blah shit I can’t understand” — comes at me bitching about how, “The Duane, you putting Big Butt Bonanza series in special all star cocksman section!” I was right at that moment enraged by our second sacker sucking so I ripped off my headphones and told Raeza, I said, “Damn, you a smart chemistry engineer so you’ll understand — how the hell can I concentrate on big butts and cocksman skin flicks when the Bravos are about to lose seven straight?!? Raeza likes soccer, of course — which he didn’t like it much when I told him I’d as soon be water boarded as watch the World Cup — but, anyway, one thing led to another and he sent me home.

I told Raeza time and again — I often seem to stray from his hard-ass rules, see — that my buddy’s cousin owns the truck stop/adult fantasy emporium and he can’t fire me if he wants to. But I walked out chanting “USA, USA” at him. Pretty funny, huh? Speaking of, I had to explain to him — a damn scientist or so he says — that Doggie was talking about lighting a fart. Anyhow, I’m in kind of limbo right now. My buddy I mentioned, Wesley, whose cousin owns the shitty outfit ain’t returned my calls.

But don’t y’all worry about ole Duane. It’ll work out. Always does, cuz! Hell, I’m going over to Hal and Brenda’s tonight to watch the game. (Don’t tell Brenda. I gotta sneak in and out of Hal’s man cave while she’s out playing boggle. And don’t tell Hal, but I still beat off thinking about Brenda.)

Moving on, BK Upton needs to be mopping floors at the jack shack out back of the video store. Fuck him and his $15 million a year and his fucking maserati and his Maserati radio commercial. I wouldn’t take a free blow job from Kate Upton if that shit stain BJ Upton was advertising it. Well, maybe. But you get the idea.

And Freddie Freeloader damn well better get his bat out of his ass. And the White Bear needs to learn how to stop a GD ball in the dirt And good riddance, Danny Uggs and Tatoo Boy Schafer. This shit’s all going south so fast I don’t know what the fuck to do. Maybe Ted Turner’ll come down and manage.

And I believe Raeza could make a better GM than Stank Wren. Nice idea to have not one but both of the worst players this side of Chris Crapward as your highest paid on the roster! Brilliant, fuckstick! And somebody I know said Stank’s wife was rude to them at a ball game, so there’s that.

And welcome to town, Bryce Hyped. Now go ride a fucking cactus, you overhyped, entitled, ridiculous-hairdo-wearing loudmouth. Maybe you can do Ted Cruz for president commercials next.

Later, homes. Keep the faith. Go Braves!

DFFP

Duane’s Harang Harangue

First off, I didn’t know there was a word that’s the same as Big Ol Hangdog Harang’s last name. Headline writers. Bunch of pointy-headed dorks.

Speaking of loser nerds, I see where the so-called sabre math geeks are crapping all over my boy Aaron Harang. Gives up too many fly balls, their computers tell em. Some of them fly balls will start landing over the fence. No way he’s “reinvented” hisself after all these years, blah, blah, blah, horseshit, dogpiss.

Listen. I thought I was done with math when I dropped out of the 9th damn grade. (Just kidding. Graduated 183rd in my class at FPHS! Go Panthers!) Point is, to hell with all these statistics like xfip and babip and dwar. Sounds like a bunch of shit from a new hobbit movie. Can’t get enough of them guys living underground, I guess. Y’all think Lemke might be a hobbit? Ha. Just joshin, Lemmer. I love ya.

So the know it all math lovers tell us Big Ol Hangdog is gonna blow up anytime now. Well, I heard Leo on the radio this morning, and Leo says it might not be so. He says when a guy rejewvanates hisself like BOH, you just never know. You keep the positive attitude that he’ll keep it up. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Stay positive.

Which ain’t always easy when you’ve been beat down by the system like me. Y’all know that my ex-wife and love of my life, Brenda, is now married to Hal, who’s become my best friend. Thing is, Hal’s a great guy, lets me come over and watch his kick ass HD with the killer cable package. We watch Braves games and UFC matches. But he can only do it when Brenda ain’t there. She plays Boggle a couple nights a week, so that’s when I slip over there. Hal’s really upbeat all the time, and he’d loan me money till Brenda got wind of it and put the kaybosh on that.

Anyhoo, I been working at a pet crematory out by Newnan. Weird shit, but hey, it’s $8 an hour. Boss is a real fussy sissy boy wears a bow tie. Says the customers deserve a professional experience. He really cares about what he calls “the experience of the bereeved.” Whatever. I like animals much as the next sumbitch, but I still says it’s a strange thing to make such a big ass deal about an old dead house cat.

Well, I say BOH will keep kickin ass, no matter what the brave knights of the spreadsheet say. Go Braves!

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.

@BlackLarryKing’s Spring Training Things

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For more inane musings, follow @BlackLarryKing on Twitter

  • If time begins on Opening Day, where does it spend the offseason? They should tell you this stuff! …
  • He may have been nicknamed “The Cobra,” but the great  Dave Parker tells me he’s deathly afraid of snakes …
  • If there’s a better broadcaster than John Sterling, I haven’t heard him …
  • Do kids still eat Cracker Jacks? …
  • Taking walks is for wimps. The great Jim Rice told me that and I never forgot it! …
  • My sources tell me Sparky Anderson would love to manage again …
  • What’s with these new statistics? I’m still trying to figure out ERA! …
  • My 2 cents: The game misses Marge Schott …
  • Why three strikes and you’re out? Why not 2, or 4? …
  • What’s with these skyrocketing salaries? In my day players got minimum wage and fought in wars in the offseason …
  • Trust me, gang, Tony LaRussa’s pasta sauce is terrific! …
  • Is there a more beloved owner than Jeffrey Loria? …
  • Why do they call Ozzie Smith the Wizard? …
  • I miss the Rally Monkey …
  • Sad to hear Fay Vincent is retiring. He’s been a fantastic commissioner! …
  • The Uptons are the most talented brother duo since Ellis and Bobby Valentine …
  • Watch out for the Expos this year!

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!

J.D. Drew’s Diary returns (retirement edition)

In honor of Adam Wainwright’s latest gem … a new dispatch from Hahira:

Sorry it’s been so long since my last column. That bruised knuckle took two years to heal, though it still ain’t right, especially when it’s cold outside. And winter’s coming.

But at least the ‘Noles are winning. Stephen’s real worried about missing the Clemson game because the Red Sox are still in the playoffs. Serves him right for signing that 1-year contract. Hold out for more, I told him, but Stephen’s always been bullheaded. Then he goes out and plays 124 games! Heck, he’s earned a vacation, but the player’s union told him the Red Sox could void his contract if he left early. The union sure has gotten weak since that nice Mr. Fear left.

The season’s way too long anyway. I played 81 games my last year and that was just about right. I might have kept playing but nobody would give me a multi-year contract — probably because I’m a Christian. I know exactly what Tim Tebow is going through. I thought about calling him but ol’ J.D. don’t consort with no Gators.

People ask me what I’ve been up to since I retired. Mostly just catching up on my rest. I make sure to get my 14 hours of sleep a day — 10 hours every night, a nap after breakfast and another before dinner. I’m trying to fit an extra hour in so I’ll be good and rested for hunting season.

Fortunately I was pretty good about saving my money but, like my agent Mr. Scott used to say, you can always get more. So brother Tim and I invested in some Cracker Barrels. Business has been good though we’ve been having some trouble at the Hinesville location with this uppity lesbian who says we can’t require our employees to donate 5 percent of their paychecks to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Like I told her, I’m retired but I still give my 5 percent!

I used to do some personal appearances at them card shows, charging $50 for my signature and another $50 for a picture. But all that signing made my hands cramp up. I finally gave it up after getting a nasty paper cut.

I’ve been thinking about buying one of those hyperbolic chambers but it seems a little too New Age to me. One time when I was playing out in Hollyweird someone suggested I try yoga. I asked the Dodgers to pay for it but they refused. Blessing in disguise, it turns out, as I later discovered that yoga is a cult.

Well that’s all for now. The old carpal tunnels is acting up and it’s not like I’m getting paid for this.

Yours in Christ,

Ol’ J.D.

Duane checks in

Fingers crossed!
Fingers crossed!

I see where Mr. Frank Spin, um I mean Wren, is telling Mark Bradford from the local outlet that everything is just fine. Might be the best team he’s put together. One question for Mr. Spin. Has he watched the first two ballgames? Yo, Frank. We’re 0-2, big man. Made a shitpot of errors yesterday that would make a tee-ball team look good.

I know. I can hear you guys now. “Duane, it’s spring training. Means nothing.”

That’s loser thinking. In opposed to that, here’s Duane thinking: Send a message. Make a statement. Get after their asses. NOW. This year it’s more important than ever. Chipper’s gone. It’s a new day. So far that day feels like a rainy, crappy Monday.

Sure there’s time to turn things around. But winners implement a mindtality right away. So Fredi needs to play his starters and win. I ain’t ready to say today is a must win, but it’s time to get off the goose egg.

Speaking of winning, some of you might be interested to know that your favorite Forest Parker — that’d be me — is turning things around. I joined a church down near Eagle’s Landing and Pastor Luke there is really inspirating me. He says anything’s possible in life or in the weight room with JC on your side. Brenda’s even thinking about giving me another chance. Keep your fingers crossed and pray for ole DFFP.

Go Braves!

A chat with former Brave Lonnie Smith

World Net Daily recently published a fawning piece on the persecuted ex-Brave John Rocker. In the article, the former closer shares his views on subjects such as immigration reform, the national debt and the general direction of the country.

We also learn that Rocker was banished from baseball because that Sports Illustrated writer tricked him into ranting about blacks, Asians, Asian women

A hell of a ball player

drivers, gay people, New Yorkers, young single moms, and assorted others who make the world less pleasant for John Rocker. His 6 ERA, and 6 walks per 9 IP over his last three big league seasons — not to mention his 6.50 ERA and 2.50 WHIP with the Long Island Ducks — aparently had little to do with his exit from the game.

Anyway, we thought we’d discuss the state of the world with another eccentric ex-Brave.

Rowland’s Office: Lonnie, thanks for your time.

Lonnie: Yeah. I don’t talk to many white folks.

RO: Rowland is actually black. But I’m not him.

Lonnie: Rowland who?

RO: OK. Let’s get right to it.

Lonnie: Right to what?

RO: What do you think is the biggest issue in the next presidential election? And a related question, should the National League adopt the DH, or should MLB kill it outright? 

Lonnie: Yeah, I thought about killing that mother fucker with the suspenders. Election? I think income inequality and some other fundamental questions about our nation’s economy are critical to the future. The DH? Three-time World Series Champion Lonnie Smith loves to hit. 

RO: What about the future of capitalism?

Lonnie: Well, we need to have a substantive debate about what kind of capitalism we want, you know? Managerial capitalism, or entrepreneurial capitalism, or worker capitalism, or some hybrid of all types. I do think we are in danger of further separating the country into long-term haves and have-nots. When people feel like they’ve fallen out of the system, and feel that the system doesn’t give them a fair shake, while they see Wall Street types making millions a year and getting bailed out by the Congress, it creates some dangerous feelings of disaffection and disconnectedness. People feel like the system is stacked against them. They withdraw and don’t participate. That’s bad
for democracy and the civic life of the nation and of our communities. 

RO: Wow.

Lonnie: Fuck, yeah. And I’m not sure big corporations and wealthy individuals should be able to bankroll elections. That’s not good for participatory democracy either. I fear that we have parties in this country that are quietly undermining our public institutions, at all levels, in the name of the free market. That is not good.

RO: Lonnie, what have you been doing lately?

Lonnie: None of your goddamn business.

RO: Lonnie, thanks again for your time. It’s been fascinating.

Lonnie: Get the hell off my porch.

Big win today

Yeah, I know. I can hear all y’all smart fellas now. “Come on, now, Duane, it’s just spring training. They ain’t even really trying to win. The capital of Iran and Of the Cat are just kids. Couple of bad innings. Wind was blowing out. Blah. blah, freakin blah.” Any of y’all ever strapped it up and got after somebody?

For old time's sake, one last time.
Lemme give you little pussy boys a clue. It’s called competition. It’s called attitude. It’s called wantin it. And it starts on day mother fucking one. That’s right. You establish attitude and focustude — I like that — right from the start. But our wily manager looks to be picking up right where he left off. So when Teheran and Delgado are working at some restaurant on Buford Highway in July, don’t come crying to ole Duane.

This is trouble. Or could be. Maybe today was what this team needed to get things turned around. Finally scored some runs. Got a victorry. That’s what it’s all about winning. Learning to win. Like Guy Lombardo said, if winning ain’t everything, it’s damn sure close. Or something like that.

Anyhow. Today’s win makes me feel a little better. Cept for, by the way, it’s all over with Brenda. I’m gonna try to get alimony from her. I’m meeting tomorrow with a lawyer from that outfit that advertises on sports radio, says they represent men in “complex allegations” and talk about how your wife comes in one day and out of the blue says she don’t love you no more. That aint’ exactly what happened, but we’ll see how it turns out.

If you’re wondering, no I ain’t voting tomorrow. I don’t like any of them sunsabitches. I got a part-time job with the city of Jonesboro, so I’m all for big government, homes. I want my job to get bigger, not smaller. Peace out and go Braves!

— DFFP

Duane checks in, and it ain’t a happy new year

Fellas, I’m writing with a heavy heart. And I ain’t talking about Frank Wren trying to trade away Marty Prado and JJ Jurgens for some dadgum modern-day Mike Lum. Naw. Some of you might know I was still hoping to patch things up with Brenda. (I still love ya, baby!)

I ain't smiling now

Looks like it ain’t gonna happen, sad to say. Here’s the ugly details. So after a lot of letters and phone calls — and yeah, I cried a bunch of times — Brenda agreed to go to dinner with me. I wanted to take her out on New Year’s Eve, but I settled for a Wednesday night in the middle of December. I had to take what I could get, yo. 

Anyways, I was splurging, gonna show her a first-class night out. Saved up my money and we headed to the Quincy’s on Jonesboro Road, only to get there and see it’s turned into something called the Playas Gentlemen’s Club. I’s pretty disappointed, but figured we might as well go in ’cause a guy outside told us they served steak, and that ladies got in free.

Dudes, one too many bare black asses shaking around sent Brenda over the top. She bolted out of that place like a, hell, like a vegan at Quincy’s megabar (if only). I caught up to her in the parking lot and she hit me with the num chucks she carries in her purse. I fell into a mud puddle and she stomped off talking on her cell phone, asking that damn new boyfriend of hers Wesley Lee to come pick her up.

So that’s where I’m at as we ring in 2012. Here I thought this year would be the best of my life. I won a pass on the radio to go hear Donald Trump, Rudy Guiliani, and Sarah Palin and Colin Powell and Tony Robbins speak up in Atlanta, and they got me all fired up and I bought Tony’s DVD and everything. Damn if it’s done shit for me so far. City of College Park — yeah, I moved back near home from Lagrange — cut my hours. Brenda’s gone. Won’t return my calls or texts, unless you count a picture she sent me of her and Wesley Lee kissing and him groping her ass.

It’s painful.

Speaking of, this offseason for our Braves ain’t making me feel any better. Why’s Frank Wren are you going to get some damn money out of Liberty Media hell bent on trading Marty P? Best player we got. Hell, why don’t he really cut the budget and give away McCann, Huddy and Uggla while he’s at it. Then I could cover the damn payroll. (I wish.)

Anyhow. The lights are growing dim. The walls are closing in. I need some reason to hope. And Rick Santorum ain’t it. Fuck him.

Future Braves promotions

1. Bill Campbell/Munson Steed Olympic Street Vending Night. Remember during the 1996 Games, when our disgraced former mayor gave his pal a sweetheart deal to turn downtown into a giant flea market just in time for the whole world to see it? I loved the Olympics overall. It was a hell of a lot of fun. But that street vending business was shameful. For this night, fans bearing their own airbrush T-shirt stand or wearing prison garb get in free.  

2. Wayne Williams night. Not sure what else to say here that wouldn’t be over the line even for us.

3. Lester Maddox night. Come celebrate that lovable segregationist who rode a bicycle backward across the Capitol lawn.

Carver and friends on Springer.

4. Sam Venable/Daniel Carver/Klan night. Venable used to own Stone Mountain and allowed the Ku Kluxers to gather there for years. Daniel Carver was — still is? — a Klan honcho from Gainesville who made several appearances as himself on Howard Stern’s Howiewood Squares. Come in robe and pointy hat and …ah on to the next one.

5. Stupid civic slogan night. Every day is an opening day was only the latest. I can’t seem to find any others right off hand, but there have been other lame marketing ditties by our town’s ever eager boosters.

6. Real estate developers almost always get their way night. Bring a mini wrecking ball and get in for half price, and destroy something old while you’re at it.     

7. Wear another team’s hat night. Combine this one with “Kick the shit out of fans wearing Boston caps night” and it could be a lot of fun.

8. Escaped Emory monkey night.

9. Pothole Posse night.

10. Smog and traffic night.

Bring some more.

You won’t have me to kick around anymore

Hey, y’alls. It’s Hal. Why no exclamation sensation at the end of that sentence?

Have a nice life

 Well, I have some sad news. For me, anyhow. Be that as it may — I loves that expression:) — I’m going to stay positive! Like I always do:)

But might as well get to it, here, and get this over with. I may not be that Jeopardy computer or a major brainiac or something, but you don’t have to beat me over my bald head!! I got a sense from my first — and I’m announcing right now, my last — post that some of you guys do not really cotton to my take on things.;( Which is too bad, but that’s OK!! Go Braves, anyway, and I hope you guys have a great fun spring and summer. Maybe I’ll see some of y’all out at the Ted! I’ll be the smiling guy with the tuxedo bib on:)) LOL! 

By the way, I think on Opening Night I might get to hang out with Jeff Dawler — you know, the guy who does those entertaining between-innings games with fans (fingers crossed.) He has Chaaaarisma like it’s Charistmas!! I think they replaced him last year,but I heard Jeff will be back in 2011!!:)) SMILES WAY UP! I’ve been emailing him at the radio station. No word back yet, but a boy can dream!!

So any ole ways, Dave, Rankin Rob, Sharon — nice to see a lady baseball fan up in here — and the rest of y’all, I am sorry you all don’t like me. Sniffle. Frownie frown.:(((  (JKY — just kidding y’all.) About the sniff. I mean, I am a little sad. I won’t lie. I really thought this would be a great outlet for me, a way to meet some people and maybe enjoy a game or two with some new friends. But that’s not going to happen, it looks like. And that’s OK, as my IDOL — hells yeah!! — Stewart Smalley said. I’m good enough and at least some people, including me myself and I, like me.

GBWTWS!! Peace out, peepses!!

Who am I kidding?!? I hate every last one of you mean buttfaces, and I hope you all have a rotten weekend. I don’t want you to die, or anything like that. I hope your cable goes out and you don’t get to watch Kathy Griffin. Hah!

Hal Phellis, out.

It’s that time again!!

Now, be nice!!!

Hey, fellas, and gals. Is there a form of fella to apply to the ladies? I really don’t know.

My name is Hal Phellis. I’m new to this webloggin’ thing, so you guys bear with me, OK?:) First thing you need to know about me is I love my Bravos!!!! (PS I always say Bravos because it’s fun!) I also like exclamation points and smiley things!!:) I’m a positive guy. And that’s how I think about the Bravos. (I’m looking at you, Brooksie Conrad! Come back better than ever!!!!! Your defense will be great this year. Just great! And you, Nate McLouth, with that cute long blond hair. HELLLO!!!! Nate’s gonna be great this year. Best center fielder we’ve had since Andruw. Who I heard is with the Yankees😦 Oh, well. I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

Here goes my first article for those two fellas who operate the Office. What a great name!! They’re not always so happy and positive, though, to be honest with you. ;( Even though they don’t seem to much care for my pals — kidding. I wish!!! — Chip Caray and Bob Rathbun, they’re not really so bad.

Welcome to Spring Training 2011!! Is it really 2011 already? Can you believe it’s March????!! I’m still writing 2009 on my checks. DORKUS!

How time flies. And what a difference a year makes. Last year, we were all giddy about the J-Hey Kid. Look out, car, here comes a baseball!!!! This year it’s his buddy Freddie Freeman. Isn’t it great that they have a nice interracial friendship? I think it’s just great. And Freddie — how funny is it that our first baseman and manager have the same name, but spell it differently?!;) — anyway, I am SOOOOOO excited about Freddie Freeman playing first base. First — another “F word!” LOL.

And next to Freddie on the infield will be our new muscular second baseman Uggla. That’s kind of a funny name, but I love it!! He can smack that ball hard! I heard that he’s not a great fielder but I’m not going to buy into that stinkin’ thinkin’. We’re going to have a teriffic infield. I just know it.

Which brings me to Chipper. I saw where he got a little ticked the other day with his critics. You tell ’em, Chipsy!! My prediction? How about 1999 all over again?! MVP! MVP! MVP!

And what can you say about Martin Prado, Tommy Hanson, Timmy Hudson, Dereky Lowe and Jairy Jurrjens? They all totally and absolutely and 127% ROCK MY WORLD!!

How’d I do fellas? And gals?:) GBWTWS!!! (Go Bravos Win The World Series!!)