V Vernacular

05/07/2008 (4:18 pm)

Kissgate ’08

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Skip

Man, did Sports South make a big deal about Frenchy kissing Kotsay on Sunday! How many times did they replay it? I counted at least three. I was waiting for a slow motion replay with commentary about his technique.

Personally, I found nothing especially hilarious about it. It’s pretty much in line with what we know about Frenchy already, and in terms of weird, intriguing things that Frenchy has done in the dugout, it ranks below some of the looks I’ve seen on his face this season in terms of significance. I guess it is a sign that perhaps he is coming out what has looked like a deep depression? Or a sign that he’s lost his mind entirely. Hmm.

I did enjoy the fact that, after the second replay, they cut back to the dugout at present, where Frenchy was sitting next to Heap, who was furiously biting his nails. Now that’s comedy.

In other news, I thought Skip was being a little mean to Chip on the radio last night, and I happened upon Chip being interviewed on 94.9 this morning on the way to work . . . someone called in and said the same thing! Chip did not deny it.

04/01/2008 (6:25 pm)

Post-Opening

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Skip

Two things that are kinda breaking my heart right now:

1. The idea that we don’t have too much longer with Skip on the radio. He’s cutting back his travel due to health reasons, and it’s forcing me to think about years ahead, when we won’t even have him for home games. I’m much more sentimental about Skip than I am about any Braves player (with the possible exception of the Lemmer), and when he did his “a fan from Douglasville comes away with a souvenir” bit last night, it seemed like okay, now the season has begun (even when he went on to bust my balls for being a blogger who doesn’t like Glavine, haha). One of my favorite Skip memories is from late 2006, when we were well out of the races. I was working on some research for my thesis with the game on in the background, my husband was out with some friends, and as the game got shittier and weirder (it was the night of Heap’s first ejection), Skip and Pete just threw caution to the wind and starting talking about the old radio call in show that Skip did, which I miss so much. They basically just dissolved into laughter for five minutes toward the end of the game, and I was cracking up along with them, remembering the rednecks who used to call in, and how Skip would unapologetically tell them they were idiots. I’m really grateful that he’s broadcasting at all in 2008, and I really hope he’ll be back next year.

2. This bullshit:

!!!

09/30/2007 (7:24 pm)

Another Weird Season Bites the Dust

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Skip

Jesus, what a game. It was truly the kind of thing only that Lynchian joke of a ballpark in Houston could deliver. Skip made it 100% enjoyable — I barely noticed that the regular starters who hadn’t already boarded the charter sucked on a comical level — and I’m really, really glad I recorded his final TV broadcast. As soon as it ended, I marked it “save until I delete” on my Tivo. Right up there with Frenchy and Heap’s first tandem interview with OKT, it will never be deleted. When Skip started off the broadcast by telling Chip “I almost called you Josh,” I knew I was in for some serious entertainment. The awkward Star Trek jokes, digs at the sponsors (all the better for the fact that he was basically doing a pastiche of his previous sincere objections to the Afleck duck), and his impatience with the constant hugging of Craig Biggio (somebody had to say it) were all delightful, as was his heartfelt message for the fans. I don’t know what the Braves would be like for me without Skip. I refuse to think about it.

And apparently “Peachtree TV” is a real . . . thing . . . of some sort? I had been under the impression that it was just a complex metaphor and/or inside joke.

The Phillies won the division today. Try saying that out loud without laughing mirthlessly in disbelief! Listening to Mets fans gripe is always fantastic . . . but the Phillies are just icky. At least I’ll have a passionate investment in the 2007 playoffs — watching the Phillies get eliminated! I’m personally rooting for the Indians to take it all . . . unfortunately, I think the Diamondbacks will take the NL title. I remember being really happy for them when they beat the Yankees in ’01, but that was a very different team. I can’t get behind anything that Eric Byrnes is a part of . . . my irrational hatred of him on behalf of Heap’s ankle prevents it. Also, I generally root against people who were once on the A’s. I’ve only recently forgiven Huddy for that former affiliation.

Alright, let’s get on with it:

Your McFrenchy Moments of the Year!

I’ll be back soon with some more legitimate — and interesting, I’d wager, to most people — end of the season wrap ups this week. Now that I don’t have ball games to watch at night, I might actually have time to update my baseball blog.

07/14/2007 (9:27 am)

DRAMA!

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Salty,Skip

So I woke up this morning feeling like I’d only dreamed a baseball game last night, after all the off days. I came to the computer and read email for a few minutes before I remembered that there would be AP photos and quotes to harvest, brand new! And boy were there. Apparently the second half is going to be dramatic as hell, if this morning’s crop is any indication:

1. Gary Sheffield opened his mouth, the usual drama ensued. I love Leyland’s response anytime the press tries to pull him into the Sheffield fray: “I don’t care what he says,” Leyland said. “He’s a grown man.” You tell ‘em, Jimmy.

2. Ledezma ran his passport through the washing machine. Hey, who hasn’t! This of course means that he’s stuck in Venezuela.

3. Terry had some minor heart trouble, but he’s okay.

4. Mini headline on AJC.com: “Mets are panicking”!! We’re only 1.5 back. They lost to the REDS last night. The Reds, you guys. What is this “still in the race after the break” thing and what do I do with it? Last year is still haunting me, and I keep waiting for the punchline, but this is exciting.

5. JS on Salty: “I don’t have any intention of trading him.” Thank goodness! Now if only he’d add, “and I have every intention of miking him permanently.”

6. Skip’s shirt last night. Enough said.

And what’s this?:

+

“That’s what you’ve got to do to starting pitchers, is make them work and not just go up and swing at the first pitch,” McCann said.

Who you talkin’ bout, Willis?

05/07/2007 (8:02 am)

“He Wants to See the Kid Hit!”

Filed under: Chipper,Salty,Skip

Chipper’s fury after that check-swing call by Davidson was pretty glorious, and based on his post-game quotes, I don’t think he calmed down for quite awhile afterward. I wonder if all those dogs they had at the park yesterday were barking along with him?

The official site collected this quote on the incident:

“Looking at it in slow, slow, slow motion, it could have gone either way,” Jones said. “But that’s not even what made me mad. The fact of the matter is he looked over at our dugout — when Bobby stepped out, he [leaned toward our dugout], waited on Bobby to open his mouth, couldn’t even tell what was said, and he threw him out. That’s what upset me.”

Pretty diplomatic, admitting the call could have gone either way, then carefully explaining that he was only sticking up for old Bobby.

The AJC included these little gems in their coverage:

“Bob Davidson feels like the thousands of people in the park come to see him. He’s always been like that. It’s a joke among the players.”

“It’s a shame the cameras have to put [Davidson] on TV for 30 seconds.”

That’s the Chipper I know and love! I just hope Davidson doesn’t end up calling any playoff-clinching games for us down the line . . .

Skip had his dog (Larry Caray) in the studio during the broadcast, and apparently he got pretty excited when Salty came up to bat. Skip laughed and said, “He wants to see the kid hit!” I have to agree, Larry. I tried to keep an emotional distance from Salty, knowing we had no place for him, but he’s definitely grown on me in the past few days. I know the possible scenarios for keeping him have already been talked to death, so I won’t bother, but I think I may actually be moving into the Keep Salty camp for the first time.

04/17/2007 (11:10 am)

“Like An Alimony Payment”

Filed under: Bobby,Frenchy,Gonzo,Skip

The only things I really enjoyed about last night’s game were the Wrath of Bobby and Skip comparing the game to an alimony payment, which makes absolutely no sense, but was wonderful just for that reason.

Much like Skip’s first wife, I guess the Nationals deserved the win. They’ve been through a lot.

I’m now officially worried about:

1) Our offense. We rely too much on home runs and fly out too much. A home run is never a bad thing, but something is philosophically off.

2) Gonzo. What in the hell. I’m still glad we offloaded LaRoche, though. If he busts loose in July and makes a huge difference for the Pirates, I’ll eat my words, but until then, I’ve got more hope for Thor. And hopefully Gonzo will remember how to locate pitches sometime soon.

3) The nearing apocalypse. Frenchy walked twice.

03/17/2007 (3:58 pm)

One Week At Disney and Skip Is Already Contemplating Murder

How awful were those green hats? I was embarrassed for everyone involved.

We lost to the Cards this afternoon, but no big deal — Smoltz got hit but he looked fine, Wicky looked sort of terrible. I have a bad feeling about Wicky this season, I don’t know. I hope I’m wrong. Anyway, we were on pace with the Cards for most of the game, hitting Looper pretty well (Wilson homered, Frenchy went 2-3, Thor displayed some amusing baserunning after hitting a triple), then the consistently horrible Jonathon Johnson (where did he come from and why?) threw the game away at the end. Last night we tied the Cards, and to be honest I don’t remember much of it, as I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early this year. One thing I do remember: the announcers mentioned that Kelly got some tips on his stance from Heap. I love it. When Bobby retires, I think we need to reinstate the old player-manager role and just let Heap whip everybody into shape.

I noticed the commercials for Sports South’s pre- and post-game Braves features for the first time today. I guess it will be similar to the old “Dodge Braves Report” and the “Around the South” that followed the game, but it should be interesting to see what they do with it. Their spring training broadcasts are really interview-heavy (sticking headsets on players as soon as they leave the game and speaking with them for quite awhile), and I normally like this sort of thing, but I wonder if they’re going to do it throughout the regular season? It seems like the players would get tired of it pretty quick. I do hope TBS continues making players wear mikes on the field from time to time . . . really enjoyed Diaz talking about time travel in the dugout last year, and everyone staring at him like he was insane. I also loved how Heap went completely silent when he was miked, to the point that Smoltz walked by and told him he should “probably say something.”

Skip was pretty great today (I muted the Sports South broadcast, sorry Joe), making fun of the way the horrid Disney PA announcer says “Thorman” and adding that “no jury in the world would convict you if you shot this PA man.” I don’t blame him; the Disney-fied park antics annoy me even from my couch. And what was up with playing the Star Wars theme when Smoltz came up to bat? Skip mentioned something about the players’ hotel, and said that they stayed in “the Safari hotel” last year. I can’t believe they stick them in the theme hotels! How great would be it if they made them stay in this one? Maybe the minor leaguers have to stay there as part of their hazing. That place looks nightmare-inducing — could that be what happened to poor Joey?

03/10/2007 (6:37 pm)

“Already in Midseason Form”

Now it’s officially baseball season (I know I’ve said this about three times so far this year, but for real this time): Skip is back! He called our game against the Blue Jays today with Pete, and I was grinning like an idiot the entire time. Even if he’d done the whole thing pretty dry, starting out slow or something, I would have been thrilled just to hear his voice again, but as he said to Pete at one point, he was “already in midseason form,” going on about Bark in the Park (very excited that we have two this year) and subtly ripping on the sponsors with glee. Just the phrase “Chipper’s exploits” had me laughing for ten minutes. His best comment came pretty early, remarking on the atmosphere at our Disney stadium:

“The music and sound effects here are unrelenting — they just beat you to death.”

When Bobby retires, it will be very strange, and I’ll probably be upset and thrown off for awhile. But when Skip retires, I will be an absolute wreck. Skip is the only reason I survived our 2006 season (that and the ability to mute Torborg). I have so heavily associated my whole life as a Braves fan with his voice, I can’t even imagine the team going on without him. For now, I’m just really happy that he’s shown up to do the radio broadcasts with Pete. He was trying to have Pete explain the internet broadcasts to him, and that was comedy gold in itself.

Our pitching was excellent today. Well, the new guy hit two batters, but he only allowed one run. Soriano and McBride were solid, and Cormier was surprisingly good for four whole innings. He seems more consistent this year, but it’s still early. I do have more hope for him than Davies at this point, but even he hasn’t been terrible. So I’m feeling a little more hopeful despite Hampton’s injury (Bobby is now saying “at least two months”), but I guess I should hold off getting too excited until after Davies’ start tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with a great AP picture from the game today:

If there was a “Best Overall Use of Teeth in Expressing Emotion” award for ballclubs, the Braves would win it every year. Chipper, Diaz and Heap (who hit his first home run of the spring today!) are all experts at this. Keep up the good work, Chip!