V Vernacular

08/30/2007 (5:50 am)

Bobby Seems To Be Confused

Filed under: Diaz

One thing before I go:

Diaz, sporting a fresh haircut by Dolphin Stadium’s resident barber, continued his inexplicable mastery of Florida pitching with two homers and a double in the Braves’ badly needed 7-4 win against the Marlins on Wednesday night.

“I wish he had enough at-bats — he’d lead the league in hitting,” manager Bobby Cox said after his Braves came away with a 2-1 series win to salvage something from an otherwise disappointing road trip in which they lost six of 10 games.

You do know that you’re the one who has control over how many at-bats he gets . . . right, Bobby?? This is like saying, “too bad I cost him the batting title and the team a shitload of runs! C’est la vie!” I liked the platoon with Willie, I’m just sayin’. Weird quote.

Slightly related, for radio listeners: how great was Pete when Escobar got hit and Matty followed up with a homer and “fist pump” in the direction of Dontrelle? “It’s as if he’s saying, take that, for hitting my teammate!” Too cute, Pete.

Have a good Labor Day weekend, everyone . . . see you at the Mets series!

08/29/2007 (11:07 am)

A List Of Things I’m Mad About, Followed By A Hiatus

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap,Smoltz

I’m going on a little mini-vacation starting tomorrow and won’t be back online until Labor Day evening at the earliest. We’re actually going to be downtown all weekend, and we’re going to the Mets games on Friday and Saturday, but we’re staying in a hotel that charges like twenty bucks a day for internet access, and I don’t really feel like crawling around the Peachtree Center food court with my laptop at any point this weekend, so screw it, I need a break from the many hours I spent online every day anyway.

But before I go?

Things I’m Mad About!

1. Smoltz barking at Heap last night, on the field, in the most bitchtastic manner possible, after a botched play on first that Heap had nothing to do with. You kidding me? If you’re going to be That Guy when we’re losing, Smoltz, please direct your anger at someone with an ego at least somewhat proportional to yours, so at the very least we can have another media blowout to entertain us as the season draws to an underwhelming close. When Heap threw that ball into centerfield shortly afterward, I had to cringe and hide my face. That’s what happens when you pick on him, Smoltz! Everything Heap does wrong can be traced directly back to other people’s faults, but readers of this blog of course know that by now.

2. Normally I wouldn’t bother, but this here blog features an exclusive “fuck it, I’m going after the owners” quote from Andruw today, so I read it. I got as far as “sartorial tastes” before I regretted eating breakfast beforehand.

3. Finally, you know what has really been making me mad lately? Frenchy. I’ve felt irrationally angry whenever I’ve seen him for the past few weeks. I keep telling myself to lay off a little bit, because he’s improved a lot this season — or at least it looked that way for awhile. Recently, it’s like he just dumped everything and went back to vintage April 2006 Frenchy, because that’s exactly what this team needs right now. His flailing, bent-at-the-waist strikeouts last night were just unbelievable, and the fact that he got himself thrown out really pissed me off. He’s been sniping at umpires constantly for the past week or so, cause it’s got to be SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT, right, Frenchy? Sometimes tirades are well deserved, such as Teixeira’s a week or so ago, when the game ended on a strike call though the pitch was a foot off the plate. But when Frenchy is swinging at stuff that is three feet off the plate without a moment’s hesitation, does he really expect a lot of leeway from umpires? Oh, and I’m so sick of the elbow knock. I blame Frenchy for it entirely.

I also blame him for this:

I don’t blame hapless Orr for trying to get out of the way, or Andruw for trying to overcompensate, but still. Next to “Pete Orr” in the baseball encyclopedia? This picture, yes?

08/28/2007 (9:29 am)

Captain Obvious

Filed under: Diaz,Joey Devine

Matty on our postseason chances:

“… It’s up to us. We’re in it together. We’re gonna figure it out together. And if we don’t figure it out, we’re gonna do that together.”

Well, alright then. Good to know some of you won’t be seceding from the team if things go wrong.

Meanwhile, pardon me while I effing puke:

“I apologized to him,” Cox said of Devine, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Sunday at St. Louis. “He had a good outing.”

Devine has allowed one run and six hits with six strikeouts in five innings with the Braves between his frequent trips back and forth to the minors. Cox said the right-hander understands how the system works.

“They understand, but it’s still hard,” Cox said.

Meanwhile, the manager was glad to have back one of his favorites, Orr.

Christ. I hope they just sent Devy back to the McCann McMansion (his foster home in years past) to wait for the roster expansion this weekend. After the way they’ve dicked him around this season, they should just pay for his damn hotel room for the remaining two days in Miami, give him a little vacation, some meal money. Hell, they should have Dontrelle make a few calls, get him into some posh clubs. Though, actually, that might be a little too much pressure for the Devinator. Maybe they could just pay for an hour of parasailing, or a glass bottom boat cruise.*

*Do they have those in Miami? All of my beach experience is based in the Redneck Riviera, so . . .

08/27/2007 (11:25 am)

Keep Him In Line, Heap

Filed under: Joey Devine

Well, okay. Fine, Braves. If that’s the way you want to go out? Whatever. Cool. Great. I’ll just try to focus on the positive:

Together at last! Devy is the other guy I will make apologies for no matter what, in case you hadn’t noticed. I like the idea of these two as a battery. Heap kept him cool in his inning last night, even after he walked Pujols and gave up a hit — he gets it, and wrangled the Devinator back under control. Only enjoyable part of that game, really.

And we’ve got Scott “Crazy Eyes Killer” Olsen to look forward to tonight. Maybe they’ll brawl?

08/25/2007 (11:31 am)

“Life After Wickman”

Filed under: Joey Devine,Wicky

Wicky was DFA’d yesterday (what is my favorite past tense verb of all time? DFA’d. Not just in relation to this particular DFA’ing, and not that I particularly enjoy it when players get turned out on their asses – though I do usually favor cutting the slack sooner rather than later – it’s just fun to say). Andruw, God love him, immediately spills the dirt:

“If it’s not a save situation, he was not happy about it,” Andruw Jones said. “It’s not fair to the team. It’s not fair for the manager. The way he was going about his business, separate from everybody.

“We’re a team. Everybody has their own attitude. Everybody’s got their own feeling about each other. Everybody’s got their own way of going about their business. But when we put a uniform on and we’re all together, we’re all as one. And we need guys who want to go out there and perform.”

I love it when they go gossipy as soon as moves are made. I’m not at all surprised to hear this about Wickman. Last year he was our savior and seemed rather cuddly, but this year I could sense more of the attitude. And as if I wasn’t happy enough about letting him go, look who is up to take his roster spot:

“I feel like I’m back to being the old Joey Devine,” said the right-handed reliever, who registered three strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning for Triple-A Richmond on Thursday night.

Make me proud, Devy!

08/22/2007 (9:57 am)

No Excuses, Except For This Really Good One

Filed under: 2007

One principle that never fails when it comes to quotes from ballplayers: as soon as you hear them say “no excuses,” they’re about to offer up an excuse.

“There’s no excuses,” Moylan said. “The ball just kept slipping out of my hand, and no matter of rosin would keep it sticky. I’ve never had that problem before.”

That’s actually a pretty good excuse. I mean, I’ll take it. We don’t want to be mad at you, Moylan. Heck, I don’t want to be mad at any of them, except of course Hampton. I can’t even believe he has the nerve to dress out for games. He’s going to be my excuse when explaining this season as a fan. As soon as someone opens his mouth to, I don’t know, criticize our record at home, or Andruw’s complete offensive collapse, or that time Chipper slept with a Hooters waitress (it amazes me how often people cite this as a reason to hate the Braves), I’ll just say, “Yeah, well — no excuses, but, I mean. Mike Hampton.” That should shut them up.

08/20/2007 (9:37 am)

“Heap(s)!”

Filed under: Heap

I don’t even know where to begin. This is like the Davies “Heap and Frenchy were snobby when I sucked!” retrospective times a thousand. Daniel, when I said you’d made my morning by sending me this link, I really meant you’d made my week.

I never even knew the whole backstory about Heap’s older brother (better dead than Reds? I knew there was a reason I had that phrase stuck in my head last night at dinner). Any article about Heap is of course a delight, but, I mean:

Brian is supposed to be laid-back and beloved in the clubhouse; I hear Brad is a hothead, and he’s probably bitter.

ESPN was NOT fucking around, ya’ll. I basically stopped watching their television channel a few months ago because, well, I just don’t like Barry Bonds that much, thanks, but this article is excellent, no joke. I actually laughed out loud in disbelief at this:

Is Brad the favorite son?

Oh yeah, they went there. Of course, Heap and his brother did not bite. Heap is polite and adorable throughout — there’s even a mention that he called his mom to make sure she wouldn’t say anything during her interview that would imply that he’s better than his brother. He’s actually referred to as “kind of a stuffed animal” at one point. Which is, yeah, accurate.

And then, the brother, who, let’s face it, we’re all sort of wanting to be a little bitter and weird, right, cause how could he not be? Dude is living on a farm with a host family while playing for the Royals’ A-ball team (their mascot is a piece of celery), and when the reporter tells him that Heap says he’d trade places with him if he could, he busts out this little speech:

“I wouldn’t let it happen,” he said, leaning across the table. “Brian has busted his ass since he was a little kid. He’s gonna be there for a long time, and he deserves it. He is my best friend. He’s my brother. I tell him all the time, ‘Whenever something goes bad for me, I’m glad it’s me and not you.’

He’s a freaking Byronic hero, you guys. They’ve got the description of his dreamy looks and everything.

So, I’m pretty much floored. Here’s my only issue with this Pulitzer Prize worthy article:

His teammates call him Heaps, as in heaps o’ fries.

Um, not quite, but a noble effort.

08/19/2007 (10:46 am)

“Getting To The Dance”

Filed under: Frenchy

So, were those first few days after Tex arrived fun, or what? How about that one afternoon when Willie made that catch? Other than that, yeah. Dark times. Please enjoy a Frenchy quote that made me laugh:

“We have a team that’s good enough to win the World Series,” he said, “whether we go in as the wild card or win the division. I’d love to win the division, but anybody in here whose ultimate goal is to win the division has got problems.”

. . . Um, really? I understand his point — get to the playoffs any way you can, blah blah, the Mets never lose so fuck it, sure sure – but five games back in mid-August and still holding onto division hopes = “problems”?

I think Frenchy is pissed as hell, finally. He’s been a freaking zombie for most of this homestand, but suddenly, last night, he got the ZOMBIE RAGE working and homered twice. I wouldn’t be surprised if he kept up the pace this afternoon, and I pity any umps who give him bad calls, or pitchers who throw at Heap. Get ‘em, Frenchy!

08/13/2007 (10:07 am)

It’s A Long Story

Filed under: Frenchy,Heap

Two things that contributed to bad defensive plays in that game:

1) Bobby starting Prado instead of Scooter.

2) Eric Byrnes.

And if you can figure out how Byrnes was to blame, well. You’re probably some form of me, accessing this blog from another dimension. Hi.

Totally unrelated, Bethany asked that I post the transcript of the famous Our Katy Temple interview with Heap and Frenchy last year.

Check it out under the cut if you missed it, or just want to revisit the majesty

08/09/2007 (2:38 pm)

WILLIE!

Filed under: Willie

That game was so fantastic, I think I’m going to throw up. Seriously, I jumped for about three minutes straight after the last out, and I don’t even know what I did exactly after Willie made that catch, but it involved throwing myself off the couch to kiss the television when they showed Willie several times afterward. My stomach is like, iffy, my heart is racing, I love it!

The whole series was great, and though yesterday’s loss was a blow, at least it wasn’t a blowout. And while I was optimistic and super cheerful throughout the first game, then nervous and disappointed about the second game, when I turned the game on today I was just in the worst, pessimistic mood, getting furious about every Mets baserunner . . . and to have them pull it out like that . . . first in such Chipper and Tex back to back homer fashion, then making it interesting, then WILLIE — oh man. What a series.

Sorry I’m not very eloquent right now but I’m just overwhelmed by how wonderfully Disney movie-esque that game saving catch was. Particularly because RIGHT before Delgado hit that near homer, Chip was all, “If they end up losing this, the season is basically over. YEAH, I SAID IT.” And I had to agree with him, in an unrealistic, emotional sense. If we’d let that slip away — and then the homer — and the catch — holy crap. I’m all wound up!! I wish I was on that bus ride to Philly (and is a BUS RIDE not the greatest baseball image EVER after a win like that??!)! Hell, I feel like flying to Philly right now just to hug Willie.

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