V Vernacular

09/07/2007 (2:55 pm)

Time To Break Out the Big Guns

Filed under: Rent

In one of his quotes, Frenchy brings up the incident that I always think of whenever things start to look impossible:

“For us, I know mathematically it’s getting tough to make the playoffs, but you’re never out of it,” right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. “The A’s won 20 games in a row a couple years ago (2002), and we’ve seen teams go on big winning streaks and teams falter late in the year.”

As long as this is still a true historical fact, hope is not lost! I guess! I mean, this was not my mood at all this weekend, but hey, that game on Wednesday? Maybe it was a sign! We do have one of those 20-game in a row A’s on our team! You never know!

What I’m trying to say is: here’s a picture of Rent and his goldfish for good luck.

Sorry for the sliced-off text, but my scanner isn’t big enough to capture this photo in its full glory. Thanks to the Braves Pet Calendar for the image. I got such a kick out of Little Edgar that, shortly after buying the calendar at CNN Center, I went to a Thrashers game, had a few $10 daiquiris and texted “merry xmas little edgar!!!” to the scoreboard. It’s one of the few things I’ve ever texted there that actually made it past the censors.

The Cardinals may have the incredibly awesome Rally Squirrel, but we’ve got Little Edgar.

05/21/2007 (3:39 pm)

Youk’s Revenge

Not much to say about that road trip except “wow, it sucked.” I mean, sucked like I didn’t even think we were capable of sucking. Not yet, not when I was just getting used to the idea of actually staying on pace with the Mets this season. I really wanted to go into this series at home on a high note, but I guess we’re just going to have to turn things around starting tomorrow.

Things I did like about this series:

–Smoltzy looked great, despite the pinky. That little collision with Kearns could have gone so much worse.

–Frenchy went through a little stupid spell in Washington, but he remembered whatever he learned from his Heap Tapes in Boston, and looked so smart up there. Unfortunately, as Mac suggests over at Braves Journal, Andruw seems to somehow have gotten ahold of Frenchy’s old brain. Didn’t Bobby tell Frenchy not to leave that thing lying around? Doesn’t he know Andruw’s at that age when he gets into everything?! But speaking of smart, how brilliant was Salty pinch hitting, looking at eleven pitches before walking in a run (after he missed a grand slam by about ten feet)? We really, really need another starter, but I want to keep him. Could we get a starter for Thor? I’ve always liked him, but he’s pretty much dead to me after grounding into that double play yesterday — at least for a week or so.

–I haven’t seen them all stupid-happy like they were during that monsoon win on Saturday night in awhile. The Former House Mates in particular: did anyone else notice the shot of Frenchy giving Kelly a pep talk before he went out there to try for a single to complete the cycle? And Heap pulling Kelly out of the high-five lineup to hug him just killed me. Classic Those Two — Frenchy being all, “EVEN IF YOU HIT IT TO THE WALL, STOP AT FIRST, OK?!?” and then Heap with the sympathetic encouragement when he couldn’t do it. Winning is always good, but they’re also so much funnier when they’re winning.

Though Heap can be pretty funny when we’re losing, too. Check out the latest pupil in the Chipper Jones School of Stink Eye:

Here he is all thrilled that he’s tagged out Youks at home, biting his tongue and trying not to grin. But then:

Youks hits a cheap, foul-ish homer, and BOY has Heap got the stink eye working. Nice. Chipper would be proud.

We’re up against our old friend Jorge Sosa tomorrow night. I wish I could be at the game to boo the living hell out of him. One of my greatest memories of last year was Bobby putting Sosa in late when we had a significant lead, and Sosa immediately giving up a walk. Before the batter had even made it down to first, Bobby stormed out to the mound (and we all know that Bobby isn’t normally very quick on his feet) to flagrantly chew Sosa out (this was well into the long season of bullpen mediocrity, plenty of it from Sosa himself), and poor Rent had to stand there and translate. The best part was Heap standing in the middle of all of this and looking terrified, his eyes bouncing back and forth between Sosa, Bobby and Rent like one of those cat clocks.

But anyway, we’d better absolutely annihilate Sosa tomorrow. I wonder if he and Rent still have their matching purses?

04/29/2007 (9:00 am)

Don’t [Mess] With Rent

Filed under: Rent

This quote about Scooter is the most I’ve ever heard from Rent, in post-game or otherwise:

“He’s getting more fastballs to hit because of me,” joked Renteria. “He always had a good swing. And me and Chipper and the guys behind him get to see more pitches because Kelly takes a lot of them. It helps us a lot when a leadoff guy does that, lets us see what the pitcher’s got.

“Kelly and me are getting on base for Chipper, that’s what we try to do. It’s a lot different when Chipper [is in the lineup]. When he’s in there, pitchers know if they try to [mess] with me, Chipper’s going to get them.”

I would kill to hear the uncensored audio. Fuck with the top of our order and you’ll be hearing from Larry. Damn straight.

Now we get to see how Davies fares in Colorado. And it’s Sunday, and I only have one beer left. Could be a long game — here’s hoping our offense shows up for him. Everyone looked good last night, with the exception of Thor and Heap. Maybe slumping along with Heap will help inspire Thor to eventual greatness. As for Langerhans, I’ve got nothing more to say. Astound me, Ryan.

04/23/2007 (8:06 am)

The Sucker Can Hit

Filed under: Kelly,Rent

We had our windows open yesterday afternoon, which was probably not a great idea, because that game had me screaming and jumping around the room. I’m surprised our neighbors didn’t call the cops. And the best part, as pictured in the background here:

The pissed off Mets fans! Ah, whenever I hear “and the fans start streaming toward the exits” in the 8th, I always feel so proud of our guys (and glad Reitsma isn’t around to reliably make it interesting). I’m so glad that they’re leaving that godawful stadium with another series victory, and in first place. After the clowns tried to blind us and all, it only seems fair. And how obnoxious were their loudspeaker announcements? I tried to listen to the TBS broadcast yesterday, because I was in a Joe kind of mood (he was going off on Langerhans pretty good, even though he didn’t start in left), but after Chip said Reyes was the “most exciting player in the game!” for the eighteenth time, I switched over to his dad on the radio. It was a good choice, as usual. At one point Skip said that if we had to play a four game series in Shea Stadium he would “jump out of the booth and be done with it.”

There is really nothing better than being surprised by a player you don’t have the highest expectations for, and I just love the hell out of Kelly right now, as I’m sure everyone does. And I’ve loved Rent since his Marlins days, so it’s always great to see him be the hero. What a fun game . . . Bobby getting tossed just made it perfect. The only thing that worries me is poor Heap’s hand. As Chipper said, don’t be broke, Heap. Chipper also had a memorable quote about Kelly’s great performance:

I told you that sucker was gonna hit,” third baseman Chipper Jones said of Johnson, whose .423 on-base percentage ranks near the top among major-league leadoff men. “He’s got all the fundamentals and the mental side of it down.”

That mental side bit seems right — Kelly always looks almost eerily calm. It’s quite a contrast to old Gilly, and I appreciate it — keep up the good work, Scooter.

04/02/2007 (3:57 pm)

Look Who Has A Bullpen

What a great start to the season, a really exciting first game — I was up off my sofa jumping around when Rent hit that first homer to tie it up. It was such a perfect go-fuck-yourself for Slappy McWifebeater, knocking him out of the game with his tail between his legs. Skip had just been making some apologist-type comments about how he’d turned his life around (boo), and nothing burns me up more than losing to Myers, so when that happened — man. I bounced around the room until my ponytail holder fell out. And of course Rent’s SECOND HOMER (what day is this?? what is the year??) had me off the couch again.

And Heap, my God, this world does not even deserve your awesomeness. He’s hitting .750 for the season so far, ha. And I loved how he gave the ump a little hell for that one bad call during his third at-bat.

Other parts of the game I enjoyed:

–Chipper coming over to tell Gonzo how to get Utley for the third out. Whatever he told him worked!

–Skip saying “Welcome to Philadelphia” after a couple of stupid scoring decisions on errors.

–Smoltzie brushing Rollins back off the plate a few times. Heh heh.

–The pictures on the “up next” graphic that gets shown just before the commercial breaks were all messed up. Who were those guys??

–I didn’t necessarily like this, but I thought it was funny when Utley bitched to Heap after Smoltz backed him up off the plate. Shut up, Utley.

This bullpen thing feels like a nice dream after last year. Gonzo’s wildness was a little scary at first, and Wicky always has to give up that one heart-stopping hit, but I can hardly complain. And of course Smoltz was great, with seven strikeouts. Frenchy was disappointing, and I think I cursed poor Kelly by picking him to have a good game in Talking Chop’s Noc-A-Homa Win-A-Lotta contest. I thought I’d pick a dark horse, too easy to go with Chipper or Heap — and now I know never to go with them, because, man, did Kelly have a bad game. Totally my fault, sorry KJ.

Tony Pena Jr. just hit a triple off of Schilling in his first at-bat as a Royal! I don’t know why that just made me so happy, I guess the Braves have put me in a good mood.

Finally: you know who I really didn’t miss this offseason? Marc Fein.

02/27/2007 (6:16 pm)

“Whatever. We’ve Got Yoga.”

I’m starting to feel the pangs of real discouragement for the first time this preseason: Hampton says he’s a no go, despite Bobby’s optimism. I don’t know what scares me more, the idea that Hampton might flake out this season, or the possibility that Bobby’s ability to judge who is capable and who isn’t is fading. Last season sure made it look that way, with the Jordan platoon at first, keeping Pratt around when he might have tried Pena a little earlier, and the Reitsma Reign of Terror that Bobby staunchly supported well into June. If Hampton was an irresponsible jackass like Reitsma and wanted to hide an injury (or discomfort, in this case), we might have been in real trouble until the assassination attempts began around the All-Star break.

Maybe I’m taking Bobby’s ra-ra quotes to the press too literally, but I did notice his willingness to give eighth, tenth, thousandth chances significantly hurting the team last year. At any rate, good for Hampton for admitting when things are not right — I guess. I know pitchers have a tendency to be delicate flowers and sometimes wilt more readily than they need to. There’s really no telling, but either way, this leaves us with only three starting pitchers. Shit. No wonder everyone keeps talking about the bullpen nonstop . . .

Again, I need pictures to calm me down

I miss Maddux. This exchange from his recent interview with the AJC had me crying laughing:

Q: What are you thinking today?

A: I’m thinking today, whatever. We’ve got yoga today. So I’m going to go in there and do a little yoga, get all stretched out, then work on the fundamentals and figure out what to do until it gets dark.

Just the idea of Maddog doing the Downward Facing Dog pose makes me feel better about everything. And I can’t wait to hear about how Harrison does in his start against Tech tomorrow. Fun with rookies! Too bad I can’t watch on TV or even listen on the radio . . . around 1:00 I’m going to be going crazy just knowing there is Braves baseball going on somewhere without me.

02/21/2007 (4:32 pm)

“What’s Wrong With My Hair?”

I actually thought the beginning of this Dave O’Brien blog was kinda funny. I’m scared for my sanity, naturally. But there are also some good quotes there for those of you who aren’t losing your minds, including some from Wilson about his hair (“what’s wrong with it?”) and Gonzalez’s girlfriend (“hot”). Also, apparently Rent has arrived, though I’ve yet to see a picture of him. His conversation with Dave about Shakira is rather great.

Pictures from Yahoo and AJC

I’ll leave you guys with this:

We may have our problems — nervous second basemen, no fifth starter, indifferent owners — but at least we’re not Yankee fans. It looks really painful.