“Is He A Good Hitter Or Something?”

First of all, sorry I was a punk and didn’t realize I had comments to moderate on a post I made a few days ago. Incidentally, both comments asked the same question: Why is McCann called Heap?

As this little interview explains, Heap’s minor league teammates jokingly called him a “heap of crap” because he “slept a lot.” Actually, that particular interview leaves the “of crap” part out; I read about that part of the nickname in a chat transcript with Heap on Scout.com. I would link to it, but I don’t have a Scout.com account anymore (and in fact only had it for three days for the free trial, because I wanted to read that transcript), so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I actually have no idea where I first heard him called Heap, but I know it was before I saw the above AJC interview or read the chat transcript. I expect it was on a Braves message board somewhere? Anyway, I tried to resist calling him that, I really did, but as soon as I gave in, it really stuck. I can’t type or say “McCann” for the life of me (“Francoeur” instead of Frenchy is equally weird, and I once saw a couple of girls in the outfield bleachers with a “WE LOVE JEFF” sign and was all, who the hell is Jeff?? I thought it said “Jeter” at first).

We beat the poor Nationals into the ground today, 14-5. I was listening at work, and it was pretty sad, but I kept catching myself with a wicked smile on my face. Beating the Nationals is like convincing your friend’s really dumb younger sibling that your bedroom closet is haunted. You hide your friend in there, have him make scratching noises, try not to laugh, and it’s all fun and games until somebody starts crying. Cormier pitched well for three innings, and our regular lineup finally started hitting, admittedly against the Nats. Poor Nats. And we’re playing them again tomorrow, too.

Frenchy and boobs at high noon. I think I know how this showdown’s gonna go.

I’m actually starting to feel guilty for all the jokes about Orr, but I couldn’t resist. No comment required, anyway.

This article about Chuckie made my day. They get a little bit from everybody:

Eddie Perez on Chuckie:

“He comes to the ballpark just because everybody comes to the ballpark. He’s out there stretching just because he follows people. He doesn’t know what time we need to be out there or anything.”

Kelly on Chuckie:

“He has no clue who he is facing. He doesn’t know a name. He doesn’t know anything. He just throws it. … To him, everybody is just a batter.”

Heap on Chuckie:

“He attacks you early in the count and his stuff is good enough to challenge the top hitters in the game. He keeps his changeup so far down that it keeps him off his fastball. That lets him elevate his fastball, and they can’t catch up to it.”

I love how Heap describes Chuckie’s brilliant strategy, and everyone else is all “Yeah, he can barely tie his shoes. Ha, what a fun guy!” Maybe Heap is actually doing all the thinking and only assuming Chuckie understands his careful planning, or maybe he’s just giving Chuckie the credit he deserves. Either way, this is what I mean about Chuckie and Heap being inseparable as a battery. I like Chuckie’s approach, his quickness on the mound and his disinterest in other players’ egos, but hooray for Heap for sticking up for him and making him sound at least a little complex.

It cracked me up that Chuckie asked of Todd Helton, “is he a good hitter or something?” Not because I think it’s that amazing that Chuckie hasn’t heard of Helton, but because the idea of a major leaguer saying “good hitter” is just funny. I think more players could benefit from viewing the game like a casually interested nine year old, but someone on a Braves forum I was checking out today made a good point: his carefree attitude could come back to bite him in the ass if things stop going his way for awhile. Think “Manny being Manny.”



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