V Vernacular

06/27/2007 (11:30 am)

The Scooter Situation

Filed under: Frenchy,Kelly,Salty,Thor

Scooter has entered platoon land, and he doesn’t want to talk about it. Dave O’Brien assumes this means he’s pissed. I of course came to the same conclusion, but I kind of hate to see Scooter called out for his dissatisfaction with the situation, since he’s already on Bobby’s bad/platoon side. I think it’s interesting that guys like Scooter get yelled at openly in the dugout and then promptly platooned while Frenchy is scot free to do whatever the hell he wants without consequences. Really interesting.

I like Escobar, and I enjoy seeing him play up here, but it still seems like Scoot got the shaft. He’s been slumping along with everyone else (Frenchy, anyone?!), but he had such a great start to the season after working so hard to get ready, I don’t think he should be slapped with a platoon death sentence so quickly. Maybe it’s not a death sentence — some platoons work. I used to harp on Bobby for having the nerve to platoon Diaz with dead on his feet Langerhans, but when Diaz got a (very short) chance to play more regularly, he wasn’t spectacular, and the platoon with Willie works beautifully. But I personally would have liked to see Scoot get a real chance to authoritatively reclaim second base before Bobby handed half his playing time over to Escobar.

Still, Escobar is a valuable addition to the club, and Bobby has to play him somewhere, he’s too good to just ride the bench with the likes of Orr and Woody. But I don’t blame Scoot for feeling like he got his playing time docked a bit prematurely.

In the meantime, Salty on first base is an absolute delight, but I feel bad for Thor, who just can’t seem to get anything going consistently. I always feel more optimistic when I see Salty over there, and he’s still at that developmental defensive stage where his errors are just like comic relief.

We just have too many likable fellas on the team right now. And as likable as Frenchy is, it’s really starting to piss me off that his slumps don’t yield the same consequences that the others’ do. I’d be all for playing Willie in right once in awhile, but hell, I’m ready for Willie to play center . . .

05/11/2007 (1:35 pm)

Steal City

Filed under: Ex-Braves,Thor

It feels good to start a long road trip in first place, especially when we’re looking ahead to the Pirates and Nationals. The Mets are going against the Brewers this weekend, with Jorge Sosa on the mound tonight. Sosa somehow beat Brandon Webb in his last outing, so with that one in a million anomaly out of the way, I’m sure he’ll return to the form we’re more familiar with. I don’t think I’ve ever checked a rival team’s schedule as obsessively as I have so far this season with the Mets — I’m really enjoying the close race, even though it keeps me extremely tense over every game. It’s just the type of season where we can’t waste a single opportunity without losing important ground.

Tonight we’re facing LaRoche for the first time. I’m not at all surprised that he’s doing absolutely nothing for the Pirates. I was never a LaRoche fan, and was very happy to see him go. His good second half last year just added to my hatred of him, somehow — he only ever seemed to do anything in those blowout games we played toward the end, when he would hit multiple homers after we’d already put up seven runs. I still feel like the season just completely died (it had been dying for awhile, but even so) when he made his executive decision to bunt at the end of that game against the Marlins. I know he was well-liked in the clubhouse and is probably a nice guy, but I just never warmed up to him, and I’m thankful as hell that Schuerholz was smart enough to unload him. The Thor/Wilson offensive hole at first is frustrating, but I still think getting Gonzo for Rochy was a delightfully wicked steal.

Now that I’ve said all of this, I’m sure LaRoche will hit a walk-off slam tonight. That’s just the kind of obnoxious bastard he is.

How worried are we about Thor, by the way? I had high hopes for him this season, but he’s just insanely impatient, and after seeing Frenchy shockingly learn how to take some pitches, I’m starting to wonder how likely we are to see another miraculous turnaround.

04/05/2007 (8:06 am)

Let the Wacky Races Begin!

Every now and then, the Braves play a game that comes off looking like an episode of the Wacky Races. A Wacky Races game necessarily involves extra innings, some combination of weird errors and amazing plays, and fans acting like morons. Usually, it also involves the Cubs. Like that game last year, where we hit nine homers in twelve innings, Reitsma gave up about eighty runs at some point, a crazed Cubs fan ran onto the field and got tackled, and we ended up winning because of a Cubs error that involved a ball bouncing off an infielder’s head. This was also the game where Reitsma ate part of a towel in the dugout.

So anyway, that game, last night? I can’t believe we’re pulling out the Wacky Races shit this early in the season, I love it! Not only was game play weird, there was a ton of crazy crap going on all night.

At first, it was just a great pitching duel. I hate Cole Hamels, but I have to admit he looked good, and Huddy! Where have you been all my life? But there were little pockets of weirdness even early on. I was listening to the audio from the radio, so I didn’t hear the explanation for this if there was one, but just WHAT was Chuckie doing with those cups of coffee?? Cause he certainly wasn’t drinking them, though he looked like he might have had about eight cups before the game. He was pretty constantly jumping, when he wasn’t mysteriously pouring coffee back and forth between two cups. And Heap calling time for his eyedrops was pretty bizarre, too, though I sympathize with him. My contacts drive me crazy on a regular basis, and I don’t go to work in a huge bowl of dust and dirt every day.

Is is just me, or is Chipper stepping up to coach our relief staff while McDowell naps in the dugout? He again came over to give Gonzo advice during that crazy ass 8th inning. I was starting to think Heap and Gonzo were intentionally acting like they were out of their minds to scare the hitters (it didn’t work, but the runners may have been affected). Heap chucked the ball into center while trying to throw out a runner, and Gonzo was pacing all over the field, muttering to himself. But of course, the inning ended pretty memorably, cause he wouldn’t be Heap if he didn’t instantly redeem himself, and the Frenchy-Kelly-Heap tag at the plate was just lovely.

And speaking of Pitching Coach Chipper Jones, when Chipper snuck up behind Wicky and scared the shit out of him??! Yeah, I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile, though I was also laughing hysterically after Heap’s ninth inning home run. I don’t know, there was just no way Heap was going to hit a two-run homer off of Gordon on the first pitch, but then he did, it was funny.

Of course, the Philly fans, in their typical classy fashion, immediately began throwing “debris” onto the field after Heap’s homer. And the Sports South broadcast replayed the little dip thing that Heap does with Andruw now (you’ll know if/when you’ve seen it, it’s dorky) almost as many times as they replayed him tagging Howard out at the plate.

The Philly fans were really giving Frenchy hell over there in the corner, and I hope I’m not the only one who caught the psycho-killer grins he gave them. Only Frenchy punching a drunken Philly fan in the face could have made this game more wacky. If only they let ballplayers get away with that kind of thing, I’m pretty sure he would have been up for it.

Anyway, it was a really fun, satisfying win, with Thor as the 11th inning hero. If this is the way the games are going to go this season, bring it the hell on. I’m starting to think the whole season is going to be one long Wacky Race.

On a slightly different note, thanks to reader Daniel for directing my attention to this amusing video of Andruw drinking whynatte (coffee and Jagermeister). And speaking of coffee, seriously, someone explain what was up with Chuckie and that coffee. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Jagermeister was involved somehow.

02/23/2007 (6:41 pm)

“I Went In On The Bounce”

First of all: I have the 2007 portraits in my possession, and they are magnificent. I’ll post them on Sunday night; we’re going away for the weekend so this will probably be my last post until then. I’ve got a ton of normal pictures to post for now, and ALSO:

The first Heap and Frenchy article of the season! Alright, now spring has officially begun. And let me tell you guys, this one really sets the bar high. Bowman like, recreates their couch time in front of the TV and everything. He’s officially a fangirl and I’m so pleased, even though he totally stole my observation about Frenchy saying “neat” all the time, which was so original and insightful.

This cracked me up:

It’s Francoeur’s youthful exuberance that has always been so appealing to the mild-mannered McCann. From the time they began playing on youth All-Star teams together, their Type A and Type B personalities have created a perfect match.

“I was always so upbeat and in his face,” Francoeur said. “And he was just always so calm and like, ‘This guy is crazy.’ But we got along so well. He’s always done a great job of complementing the other side of me.”

They are a marketing department’s dream and I can’t wait to see what they do with them this year on the new Sports South. Hopefully the discrepancy in their performances won’t be so noticeable and the PR girls can really go wild. Though they probably will anyway.

If you liked this, you may also enjoy:

-An article in which Frenchy is referred to as “a polite, enthusiastic child of a man.”

-An article in which Chuckie is referred to as “a wisp of a pitcher.” It also includes a full recounting of the night Chuckie broke both of his wrists jumping off a shed into a pool the week before the draft.

-And finally: Looks like somebody hurt O’Brien’s feelings this morning! But he doesn’t care. He doesn’t! Totally not important! I mean why would he care? Sheesh! Let’s devote the entire AJC Braves page to Soriano’s cockiness and get over it, people!

Friday Images from AJC and Yahoo

02/15/2007 (8:00 pm)

I’m Freakin’ Out, Man!

Filed under: Gonzo,Heap,Preseason,Thor

Okay, I tried, but I can’t wait until tomorrow! There was actual baseball coverage on ESPN this evening, I hardly knew what to do with myself.

And we have our first pictures!

Hopefully they’ll post more on the official site tomorrow. Wire Image hasn’t even posted anything from the Yankee or Red Sox camps, so I’m not holding my breath for Braves pictures showing up there anytime soon.

Around the League:

Kerry Wood is already injured. A hot tub was involved. Naturally.
Zito is already freaking the Giants out.

That Other League:

-The Yankees are already publically bitch slapping and having clique drama. Girls, please! Only
in an article about the Yankees could the phrase “desire questioned” be used in the headline.

Dude, yay all around. Bring this season the hell on.

02/08/2007 (11:11 am)

Braves Spring Training Equipment: Lost?

Filed under: Preseason,Thor

So, thanks to MLB.com, I’ve seen the article about the Mets equipment truck that is headed down to Florida. I learned that “even the happiest of thoughts and the presence of Mr. Met couldn’t ease the pain of carrying equipment with numb hands and trying to talk with frozen faces.”

Then I read that the Tigers spring training equipment’s relocation to Lakeland is “actually a two-day, two-truck event.” And that “more than once, winter weather on the way down has delayed the truck by a day or two.”

Thank God MLB has been keeping us up to date on this process, but where, might I ask, is our article about the Braves spring training truck? Surely it’s being loaded somewhere, and probably it’s a little chilly? Certainly crew members are grumbling about the six hour drive, and just where the hell is Mark Bowman?! Not getting their quotes, that’s for damn sure. Could it be that there is something going on with our spring training equipment that the organization doesn’t want us to know about?

Just like Arod’s shocking decision not to comment on his contract’s opt-out clause at his recent children’s book signing, this silence on the matter of our spring training truck is disturbing, and hey, a little insulting. We’re tired of all the speculation and endless rumors, Braves, we want the facts. Take a lesson from the Mets, who understand that their fans NEED TO KNOW where the team’s batting practice balls and Gatorade coolers are AT ALL TIMES. And get the hell on it, Bowman.

In the meantime, we get articles about Hampton and Thor from the AJC. The Hampton one is about two sentences long (revealingly?) and is relatively information free, but the Thor one is interesting, as I’ve never before heard that he’s had problems with freaking out on umps in the past. He seemed calm last season, but almost eerily calm, now that I think about it. So, hmm. But I’m a Thor fan, and willing to give him a little bit of time to grow into first base (and happy to have Wilson just in case), and I also quite enjoyed this glamor shot of Thor that accompanied the article:

He kind of reminds me of Rainier “McBain” Wolfcastle from the Simpsons:

Which is, you know, probably a good sign.