V Vernacular

06/16/2007 (9:26 am)

Close Call

Filed under: Heap,Orr,Salty

Noo, Heap, don’t touch Orr, he’s bad luck!!!!

Phew . . . he stopped himself just in time.

Heap needs all the good luck he can get right now. His arch nemesis has recently taken his place in the lefty-platoon version of the batting order, where he is kicking ass, I must say, and rather endearingly so.

Salty on he and Yuney’s heroics in last night’s win:

“Maybe it’s just being young and dumb,” said Saltalamacchia, smiling widely in a postgame clubhouse that felt like something other than a morgue for the first time this week.

How can you not love him? I certainly didn’t expect to, but he won me over quick. I think Thor has a lot more to worry about than Heap, but I would love to see Heap throw out a few baserunners and get his defensive mojo back (not that Salty didn’t have a game where five Marlins stole on him — ouch! I was at that game, but could just imagine the broadcast cutting to suggestive shots of Heap watching from the dugout). Offensively, I think Heap will come around soon — the homer during the Loss of the Century was a good sign. And I’d rather have him behind the plate when it comes to calling games and babysitting borderline pitchers, even if a few bases get stolen in the process. Just stay away from the poisonous cloud that is Orr, Heap, and everything will work out.

05/16/2007 (2:32 pm)

Pittsburgh Gossip, Mets Rap, Frenchy vs. Heap, and Some Guy Who Bought the Team

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Orr,Soriano

I haven’t updated in a few days (though I have been enjoying posting at Talking Chop, where my secret identity has already been revealed), so there is a lot to cover. I’ll get right down to it:

–Thanks to Leah for letting me know that LaRoche’s fan club had some adventures in Pittsburgh with the Braves this past weekend, and posted about it on their Myspace page (beware: like most Myspace pages, it will blast music at you when you click on it). Their stories mostly just make our Braves sound like the generous, classy guys that they are, and the most interesting part is their report that Willie Harris and Soriano went to a club with Orr. How in the hell is someone as cool as Raffy putting up with Orr, especially where dancing may be involved? I’m thinking he and Willie were on their way out and ran into Orr in the elevator . . . “HAY GUYS CAN I COME?!?”

–Much is being made of Mets prospect/farmhand/public relations disaster Lastings Milledge lending his vocal talents to a friend’s rap song that features, well, your basic rap lyrics. As much as I love to see the Mets embarrassed, I have to agree with this guy:

One Mets player, speaking anonymously before Tuesday night’s game at Shea, wasn’t surprised by Milledge’s lyrics. “Language like that in a rap song? Shocking!” the player said sarcastically.

–I don’t know how I never came across this article before, but I’m pretty much in love with the story about Frenchy punching Heap after he beat him at ping pong. And the idea that they play Mario Kart never gets old. But which cars do they drive?! Frenchy — Bowser, Heap . . . Koopa Troopa? Oh, and in what universe does Frenchy know the word symbiotic?? After 10,000 questions on the subject, did he pour over a dictionary for weeks, searching for the right word? Don’t even get me started on the rest of that quote.

–So, the Braves officially have a new owner. Some old rich guy. I skimmed through the article: “stays out of the limelight” . . . “delegates well” . . . “distaste for taxes” . . . but this is all I really needed to know:

If he parties with Ted, he’s alright with me.

04/16/2007 (11:15 am)

Playing Favorites (Literally)

Filed under: Aybar,Diaz,Langerhans,Orr

Try to guess which sentence from this article about Aybar’s suspension infuriated me.

That’s right, it’s this one:

Even if he reaches a point where he’s healthy enough to play, the Braves may have a hard time placing him on the roster in favor of Pete Orr, who is a clubhouse favorite, beloved by teammates, coaches and manager Bobby Cox.

And no, it’s not because I hate Orr (though I don’t usually relish seeing him the lineup) or because I don’t think Aybar’s inability to show up for work is probably a sign that he’s a lazy asshole. If he can’t be professional, he has no place in this organization, and that attitude is one of the reasons I love the Braves. But one of the things that drives me insane about the Braves is the attitude displayed in the above statement (from the official site). If you’re one of the cool kids, in with the gang, then you have a better chance of starting games. Why is Orr is still around? They like him. How did Reitsma get so many opportunities to destroy our season last year? He was well-liked in the clubhouse, a great guy, etc.

If Aybar apologizes and starts actually showing up to the park, I would rather see him at the plate than Orr any day. I understand that not following team policy will hurt him — it should. But being “beloved” really shouldn’t help Orr that much. Playing favorites has hurt the team in the past, and it’s already made an impact this season, with Langerhans getting to play instead of Diaz because of his “intangibles,” I guess. I think this is going to change soon — Joe and Chip were making some noise about it during one of the weekend broadcasts, and there is a defense of Diaz’s fielding in these recent Braves notes on the official site.

I’m more worried about seeing Diaz get a real chance in left than whatever will happen with Aybar and Orr off our bench, but I hope the better player — providing he also abides by club rules — will get the job, not the guy who makes everyone laugh and remembers to send birthday cards. Aybar’s attendance matters, but his friendliness in the clubhouse (or lack thereof) shouldn’t count for anything. I’m sure it’s nicer to play with guys who get along well with everyone, and team chemistry is important, but it should never eclipse actual performance.

That said, Diaz seems like one of the nicest guys on the team — maybe Langerhans gets preferential treatment just because he’s cooler. After all, look at what Diaz says when someone comments on how well he played at first the other day:

“I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none,” said Diaz, who entered Saturday, hitting .350 (7-for-20).

Dammit, Matt, learn how to sell yourself! Apparently it’s important.

04/01/2007 (9:13 am)

Opening Day

Filed under: Marketing,Orr

Of course, it’s not our opening day, but it’s the opening day nonetheless. I know I’ll be tuning in to root for the Mets to lose tonight, as much as rooting for the Cardinals to win makes my skin crawl. But whatever works — I sure enjoyed knocking the Astros out of the playoff race last year, even though it meant allowing the Cardinals to somehow go on to win the Series. I still hope Clemens retires this year so that the last game of his career will be a loss to Chuckie.

Whenever I hear the phrase “opening day,” I think of Atlanta’s “Every day is an opening day” marketing campaign. What, you didn’t know that Atlanta has a slogan? It even has a theme song. Really makes me miss Fred Toucher antagonizing the campaign endlessly on the radio. I’m liking the Braves’ marketing campaign so far this year — it’s nice and subtle, unlike last year’s embarrassing MC Hammer video (this is a real thing! I refuse to link to it, but Huddy plays air guitar, take my word for it), and that other country one where the guy with the mullet screams “GO BRAVES!” at the end. I also hated the decade banners out at the Chop House — do the Braves really want to remember the 70’s and 80’s that badly? I still say those banners were bad luck. If they had a slogan last year, I don’t remember it, which is not a very good sign, but this year their slogan is “Welcome to the Bigs.” Pretty cheesy but not too bad. I like the commercials with the players getting out of limos on a red carpet — they’re just humiliating enough to be funny. At least there’s no “dancing” involved this year. Yet.

I really liked ending the game on a Wicky note yesterday, and I appreciated the crowd getting into it there at the end, like Wicky’s third out was the official bell for the start of the season. I guess I should make some predictions, eh?

I’m excited about:
Smoltz, Heap, Chuckie, Gonzo, Soriano, Chipper, Kelly (as a leadoff hitter, and how funny is it that the Padres are making Gilly hit leadoff?), Paronto

Haven’t made up my mind yet:
Andruw (he looks goofy as hell at the plate lately, yes?), Huddy, Langerhans, Thor, Rent, McBride

You guys make me nervous but I’m hoping for the best:
Frenchy, Diaz (he seems to be panicking lately, he’s talking to himself at the plate and stuff), Cormier, Hampton

I’m worried about:
Wow, I actually can’t think of anyone I’m really worried about. Maybe Redman? But even he hasn’t been terrible. I guess I’m just relatively indifferent about everyone else.

Okay, now, I hate to keep picking on Orr (not really), but this picture:

Let’s just hope it’s not a metaphor for his 2007 season. Cause it’s not a bad one for his 2006. But hope springs eternal! GO ORR! Get off your knees, find your glove and work it out, man. On opening day, anything is possible.