Let the Jokes About Chipper’s Sex Life Begin

Chipper’s beard was a hot topic of conversation among the ESPN announcers today, during the first televised Braves spring training game (also the first game ESPN has televised this season). Apparently, the beard is Chipper’s way of “rebelling against his wife,” who hates it. Chipper was interviewed by the dudes after he was taken out of the game, and they asked him if he was more afraid of drawing the wrath of Bobby (who presumably has issues with the beard himself) or his wife. Chipper of course answered that he was more afraid of his wife, and after he left Kruk said, “Bobby can bench him, but his wife can really bench him.”

Jokes about players’ wives withholding sex? Now it’s officially spring! Hooray!

The game today was the first one I’ve seen since my husband and I got a huge new television and HD cable as a Christmas present to ourselves, so it was a religious experience for me. I did find myself getting distracted by the detail that I can now see in the crowd: I was mesmerized by a kid eating an ice cream bar at one point.

Notes from the game:

–LaRoche forgot his jersey. LaRoche. Forgot? His JERSEY. He wore an impromptu number 96. At this point I’m just really impressed that his wife was able to see that their children survived past infancy. It must have been a challenge, just making sure he didn’t burn the house down every time he tried to make toast. I thought nothing could beat going to play golf with Tiger Woods and forgetting your clubs, but LaRoche certainly has a way of topping himself.

–Smoltz looked excellent; his breaking stuff was just embarrassingly good. He tried to throw a knuckleball to Rochy. They uh, had a laugh about it. He needed only 12 pitches in his first inning.

–Diaz got a hit, and tried to overcompensate for his reputation in left by tumbling into a concrete wall in an attempt to catch a foul that was well into the bullpen:

Thankfully he was okay. Someone please tell him that he’s on the goddamn roster before he kills himself. I swear most of his problem in left is nerves.

–Heap grounded out twice and missed a chance to throw out a runner, but he did make important tag at the plate after a great assist from Andruw:

Now if nobody could get near Heap again until April 1st, that would be great. Collisions at the plate are so not happening in spring training games, ya hear me?

–Frenchy homered, and even looked at the first two pitches in his first at bat! They were both balls, but the ump called the third pitch he looked at a strike, so Frenchy swung wildly at the next one. But anyway, he homered. He looked a little asleep out there in right, but it was a half-game golf day, so I guess I won’t be too bothered.

–Chipper and Andruw both looked like goofballs at the plate. Chipper especially looked like he wasn’t having any of this practice shit. It’s to be expected, I suppose. Andruw was certainly awake in the field.

–Gonzalez gave up a two run homer and Wicky’s inning ran a little long, but I’m not really worried about either of them.

–McBride, on the other hand, looked a little weak. Moylan was surprisingly good. The Vulch gave up a home run.

–Apparently Chipper flew to Japan during the offseason to have his new cleats fitted. The idea of Chipper in Japan will never stop being funny. I’m sure he went right to KFC like Andruw did while he was there.

–I don’t care for Andruw’s new spiderweb tattoo.

Peter Gammons is in love with the Braves, by the way. I’ve heard or read about a thousand positive things from him since spring training started, and hopefully the rest of the mainstream media will follow his respected lead. They sure hated our asses last year, seemed like.

Miscellaneous:

Orr almost killed KJ this morning. Orr just needs to go home before someone loses an eye, I swear.

–Dave O’Brien mentions the cover of the new media guide in his blog today. It features — what else? — Heap and Frenchy. Dave calls it the “dawn of a new era” for the Braves, and this is certainly true of their marketing department, if nothing else. I think it’s brilliant, and it may seem like Heap and Frenchy were just handed to them, but this has happened before in major league baseball, and while those childhood friends weren’t touted as equally as Heap and Frenchy (whatever happened to Munson, anyway?), I think the shameless flaunting of their history is a great approach here. Get them on the cover of everything and keep them there as long as you can.

The Rise of the Silver Catcher

It’s promotion schedule time! This year it’s mostly the old standards — a night where you can win the game worn jerseys (tastefully abbreviated as JOOB on the schedule), t-shirt giveaways, bat nights, hat nights, and plenty of kids running the bases all summer long. They also offer a sneak preview of the Heap statue they’ll be giving out on July 19:

I guess it’s silver because he got the Silver Slugger last year? Either way, the likeness is astounding.

More than any of these other giveaways and special events, everyone must make sure to mark their calendars for the September 9th game against the Nationals, when the Braves will have Bark in the Park (one of TWO Barks scheduled in the Park this season!), Pet Calendar Night (if you don’t have the 06-07 calender that features Rent staring lovingly at his goldfish, “Little Edgar,” you’re really missing the hell out) AND Girl Scout Night. I know, you’re thinking, Girl Scout Night? What’s the big deal? Well, last year we happened to show up on one of the Girl Scout days, and they had five hundred little girls parading around the field with their mothers before the game, and who had to walk out into right field to practice throwing with the starting pitcher while all of this was going on? Why, Heap, of course! He looked like he was afraid he was hallucinating. Then a rogue mom broke away from the crowd and ran to him before the security people could stop her, got his autograph and ran back, dragging her poor daughter with her. It was fantastic.

I listened to most of the game against the Dodgers on MLB radio today. All good news: we won 7-2, Davies had a good mini-start. Brayan Pena and Thor both benefited from really hustling down to first, beating out tags that would have been made easily if they hadn’t. Corky Miller, Escobar, Salty and Frenchy had some of the more memorable hits, and Paronto and Yates were fine to close it out. On the Dodgers side, Betemit was making errors all over the place, and LaRoche’s ridiculously good looking younger brother played a little third base.

Calvin Johnson of Tech’s football team showed up to the game yesterday. Frenchy of course rushed over to make a new friend.

Maybe Andruw needed the extra weight to sustain his wacky swing? I’m afraid he’s going to crack an ankle one of these days.

Matty decided to keep “the teeth” active in his own swing. I think they help.

Apparently Pena and Escobar are the Cuban Heap and Frenchy. They grew up together playing ball in Cuba, according to the AJC.

Kelly seemed more comfortable at second today, in the small amount of time that Bobby allowed him to play before cycling in Orr and Prado. He’s got a smart approach at the plate; I’m actually getting pretty excited about trying him as our leadoff guy.

Chipper congratulates Davies on a job well done. Chipper played about one third of an inning before taking off for the golf course this afternoon.

Am I the only person who can’t get enough awkward videos of Heap signing stuff for people? Probably, but do enjoy the above if you’re so inclined. I particularly like the part where Heap picks up that guy’s used tissue and inspects it curiously, and I love how the kid immediately sniffs the card after Heap signs it (for authenticity purposes?), then accuses him of signing it with glue.

First Game-Like Simulation of the Season!

I just finished listening to the second half of the Braves vs. Georgia Tech game on MLB radio. The game itself was pretty boring — we won 5-0 and our pitching was solid with 14 strikeouts (Harrison, Barry, and Ascanio each had two innings; Johnson, Lerew and Joey each had one). The only real surprise was Langerhans hitting a home run in the 3rd. Weird!

It was mostly just neat to hear Pete and Lemmer for the first time since last summer. There was also a commercial that featured their new slogan “Welcome to the Bigs,” which played a total of 5,032 times, seemed like. Interestingly, the actor talking about the magical experience of taking his kids to a Braves game has a rather obvious Boston accent (“bawlgame”). Are they trying to gain some nostalgic baseball cred by calling Red Sox Nation to mind?

The most hilarious line from the first commercial: “the drive to the game is almost as exciting as the game itself.” Right, sitting in rush hour traffic for two and half hours and missing the first four innings because the city can’t be bothered to build a MARTA rail out to the stadium — some of my best Braves memories! The closest I ever came to a nervous breakdown was circling the stadium looking for parking during the third inning one night, after suffering through surprise construction-related traffic on I-75. On the radio they were screaming about home runs that were being hit one hundred feet away from me, and I could hear cheering from inside the park while we were stuck in gridlock on Hank Aaron Avenue or whatever the hell that one that goes by the orange lot is called.

So I’m not too impressed with the first glimpse of their 2007 marketing campaign. I couldn’t understand the line about the bullpen in the other commercial they played — “with a new bullpen that can only be described as [something],” sounds like “nah”? When I first heard “new bullpen” it somehow called to mind improvements to the actual bullpen area inside the park, like they’d put in fancy neon lights or trampolines. Cause how great would Paronto fooling around on a trampoline be during those boring between inning mini-games? That would truly be worth advertising, but what is this “nah” concept all about?

I missed the first five innings, but it sounds like nothing much happened outside of Langerhans homering, and apparently Kelly screwed up a play at second and got Heap charged with an error. Lovely.

Two unrelated notes:

My friend brought my attention to this article about the Giles brothers this afternoon. If I could come up with a single word to describe it I would, but you just have to read it to believe it. A little preview that may very well terrify you into skipping it entirely:

Minutes later, Padres pitcher Chris Young is red-faced and out of the shower, still shaking his head.

So there’s that, and also: BREAKING NEWS! Heap wears glasses:

I knew it! All last year he was always blinking dramatically and widening his eyes awkwardly before he hit. I do the same thing when my contacts are bothering me. I finally found a clear(ish) shot of him wearing glasses, so this proves that his contacts were indeed the problem. I feel so vindicated.

“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 . . .

Someone finally got a picture of the elusive Rent! They got him while his back was turned, nice.

You can see the remnants of The Stomach here.

What is with the iridescent purple glasses?! Last year Heap had them, now Andruw.

Our prospect Lillibridge, snatched from the Pirates. He’s about twelve years old, looks like.

God, LOOK at Hampton. He’s so hangdog, it’s getting irritating. Maybe it’s legitimate, though, maybe he’s just disappointed that he can’t pitch. But something about his “nope, can’t do it!” attitude seems so smug, I don’t know. Smoltz is so over it he fell asleep.

I hope Heap doesn’t get all cynical like Chipper someday. In the meantime, the contrast in this picture is hilarious. Heap isn’t all “PLEASE LOVE ME!!” with the fans like his pal Frenchy is, but he’s pretty accommodating. Terry has been around the block a few times and he’s still enthusiastic as hell!

This kid is cute — a little too cute. Frenchy, is there something you’re not telling us?

And then they bring out the old man on his little cart so the fans can have a look.

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.

“You Want Me to Throw a Changeup With a Pepper?”

Still not a lot of news out of camp, save that Harrison will pitch against Tech on Wednesday, and Davies will start against the Dodgers on Thursday, meaning Smoltzie will start against the Pirates for the first televised game on Friday! I’m very excited to see that, and to hear about how Harrison and Davies perform.

Dave O’Brien did a little around-camp perspective on his blog today, which sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is. To surmise: Thor is a power hitter (who’d have thought), Gonzo is looking good so far, Soriano still doesn’t want to be friends with Dave, and Diaz is still hitting impressively. Dave mentions that some of his ingenious readers have already accused Diaz of using steroids based on what they’ve heard from camp, which is a real “I wish there was some way I could physically harm you via the internet” moment for me, not just because I personally like and respect Matt Diaz and don’t understand what the big deal is — he hit well last year, too, for power and otherwise, Bobby just never played him — but mostly because it just astounds me that someone can show up looking exactly like he did the year before and still get accused of using something after the first mention of hitting for power. Incredible. It also amazes me that Dave thinks he even needs to acknowledge such idiocy.

I’m really starting to grow fond of Kelly’s completely vacant look. It compliments Langerhans’ slightly threatening stoicism nicely. There’s Woodward back there, pictured for the first time after arriving at camp sick last week. He looks so . . . Mets-like, ugh.

Andruw looks so slim, I’m impressed! I had assumed reports of his shapeliness were greatly exaggerated.

Working his grin in the dugout. I read today that Andruw lives over in Sugarloaf by Heap and Frenchy (at least I assume Frenchy’s new house is somewhere around there). I had always imagined him as more of a Buckhead guy. I wonder if any of the Braves actually live downtown? Maybe Rent has a penthouse or something.

“I don’t know how to put this, new guy, but I’m kind of a big deal.”

Rookies being all scrappy.

Heap finally took himself out of the Longest Mullet competition. Frenchy was probably giving him a hard time about it — it disappeared around the time the position players showed up.

I can’t believe the same guy who takes this picture when he’s asked to pose can also look like he does above. Regardless, he’s nearly immobilizing in person — if this baseball thing doesn’t work out he could totally rob banks, people would just stand there and stare.

More running! I only recognize Diaz in the middle and Gonzo out front. The guy behind Gonzo looks suspiciously like Reitsma.

The beard perseveres.

You knew it was coming sooner or later: the Chipper money shot.

So, yesterday Heap and Frenchy were “interviewing” each other, now Moylan is taking pictures — is this the new PR campaign, the Braves cover themselves?

“What do you guys think?”
“Well, as shots of Chipper’s crotch go, it’s good, but not great.”

One more for the road:

Barry Zito, ladies and gentlemen.

Rookie hazing is so cringe inducing for me. I’ve never been one to find men in drag hilarious as a rule. Check out what the Mets are making their rookies do – yikes! Oh wait, they all have to do that. Damn, that’s rough.

The Portraits Revealed

Apparently the Braves had their physicals this weekend, and during the week they had their equally important Picture Day! The results range from adorable to absolutely terrifying, and yes, the terrifying one is Orr’s. And I’m not even making a dig at his looks or anything, there is something legitimately terrifying going on in his picture, I swear . . . proceed at your own risk!

Sorry about the Getty Images tags . . . I priced one to see how much it would cost to get the pictures without the watermarks, thinking if it was fifty cents that would be fine . . . it was going to be $100 for one picture. So, no. But you’ll get the idea, anyhow:

Andruw goes for the “slightly parted lips” look.

Chipper kept the beard for his picture. I guess he wanted to make sure it would go down in official Braves history.

Chuckie went for the “I could kill you with my bare hands” look.

Davies looks a little catatonic.

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Diaz rocks the “on the verge of tears” look in his portrait.

Frenchy’s is the goofiest by far.

Gonzalez looks like he might start singing about his unfaithful lover who broke his heart any minute now.

I think they drugged Hampton.

Heap’s picture is of course the best. He’s got the cheeks going and everything.

Huddy tries too hard.

Joey looks scared to death as usual, poor thing.

When I saw the preview for this picture on Getty Images I totally thought Kelly was doing the “hang ten!” sign and got all excited.

This is actually the most personality I’ve ever seen Langerhans display, I’m impressed.

McBride contributes by making Heap actually look his age by comparison.

Alright, I’m just gonna say it: Orr, what the HELL is going on in your PANTS, dude?!?!

Heh, I love Pena. It so doesn’t even occur to him to try and act cool.

Rent is just too cool for everything by nature, he can’t help it.

Smoltz brings his usual quiet dignity to his portrait session.

For some reason this picture makes me think Thor would look really cool with one of those giant walrus style mustaches.

This is just a masterpiece. Wicky looks like he should be sitting with a couple of cocker spaniels and holding his hunting rifle while smoking a pipe.

Wilson gets the award for the worst posture, but his mullet is like totally kicking the other team mullets’ asses, so he wins.

Not a lot of news out of camp this weekend: Hampton is doing well, Aybar is still having visa problems and hasn’t yet arrived. The only thing worth linking is Chipper referring to Thor as “Captain Caveman.”

This might as well have been Frenchy’s official team portrait.

The AJC also brings us this little Heap and Frenchy moment:

The captions on AJC said they were “interviewing” each other. I don’t know what the hell that means, but I hope we get to read the interviews if we were supposed to take that literally. Props to the photographer who was all “Excuse me fellas, can I just wedge in here for a minute?” I hope he sticks around for the whole season.

“I Went In On The Bounce”

First of all: I have the 2007 portraits in my possession, and they are magnificent. I’ll post them on Sunday night; we’re going away for the weekend so this will probably be my last post until then. I’ve got a ton of normal pictures to post for now, and ALSO:

The first Heap and Frenchy article of the season! Alright, now spring has officially begun. And let me tell you guys, this one really sets the bar high. Bowman like, recreates their couch time in front of the TV and everything. He’s officially a fangirl and I’m so pleased, even though he totally stole my observation about Frenchy saying “neat” all the time, which was so original and insightful.

This cracked me up:

It’s Francoeur’s youthful exuberance that has always been so appealing to the mild-mannered McCann. From the time they began playing on youth All-Star teams together, their Type A and Type B personalities have created a perfect match.

“I was always so upbeat and in his face,” Francoeur said. “And he was just always so calm and like, ‘This guy is crazy.’ But we got along so well. He’s always done a great job of complementing the other side of me.”

They are a marketing department’s dream and I can’t wait to see what they do with them this year on the new Sports South. Hopefully the discrepancy in their performances won’t be so noticeable and the PR girls can really go wild. Though they probably will anyway.

If you liked this, you may also enjoy:

An article in which Frenchy is referred to as “a polite, enthusiastic child of a man.”

An article in which Chuckie is referred to as “a wisp of a pitcher.” It also includes a full recounting of the night Chuckie broke both of his wrists jumping off a shed into a pool the week before the draft.

-And finally: Looks like somebody hurt O’Brien’s feelings this morning! But he doesn’t care. He doesn’t! Totally not important! I mean why would he care? Sheesh! Let’s devote the entire AJC Braves page to Soriano’s cockiness and get over it, people!

Three days later, Heap and Frenchy are still in the batting cage. At least I think that’s Heap back there.

Aww. Kelly always looks so sad and impish, I’m actually starting to like him.

Yates is happy as hell about some bunting.

Smoltz is more serious, of course.

But Cormier wins! He went 12-12.

The kid with the giant ball is back. He will not stop until he has the priceless signature of every minor league catcher in the farm system! Clint Sammons obliges.

So, Corky Miller is hot, which is probably a moot point but there you are. I tend to be attracted to all catchers, though, unless they’re complete trolls in the style of Paul Lo Duca.

Salty and his evil doppleganger vie for a pop up.

“Hey, coach. What’s ‘hitting’?”

Someone who knows all about hitting is getting his glamor shot airbrushed! Matty still looks like he wants to murder someone. Whatever helps get him the job, I’m all for it.

Poor Orr. He looks like he knows the end is nigh.

Hampton was throwing today, so I guess his “significant discomfort” went away. He probably just didn’t want to get up early. That Hampton, what a scamp!

Soriano has arrived and is giving Dave O’Brien the meanest look possible. I hope Dave sees it, cause Raffy’s doing it as hard as he can.

Pena wants to be friends with the cool new guy.

Who wouldn’t want to be pals with someone who can levitate? No wonder he’s cocky!

“There goes Soriano!”
“Wow, he’s so cocky!”
“Did he just spit on Dave O’Brien?”

The Official Cole Slaw of the Atlanta Braves

From yesterday’s Braves Notes, this is the best thing I’ve heard since they reported:

If Matt Diaz continues to punish the baseball the same way that he’s done the first two days in camp, his defensive woes may not be a hindrance in his attempt to beat out Ryan Langerhans and Craig Wilson for playing time in left field.

I hope to God they’re serious about this. Overusing platoons really contributed to the slaughter last year, and I want Diaz to get that job so badly. I really feel like he could improve defensively if they just expressed some confidence in him.

Speaking of confidence, Soriano has finally arrived at camp and he informs us that the rumors of his post-traumatic stress syndrome have been greatly exaggerated:

“I’m not scared, I’m not a little kid.”

I have to say, I kind of appreciate Soriano’s “how dare you” attitude about the whole thing. Bohn, who played with him in Seattle, describes him as “cocky” in those Braves Notes. After suffering through a certain Canadian openly crying on the mound last year and then returning to the dugout to eat towels (this really happened in Chicago, he took a bite out of a towel and chewed it, then the camera cut away, so I’m not sure if he swallowed), I’m all for somebody cocky out there.

The Braves Notes also mention Hampton having “significant discomfort,” which is terrifying and kind of shoved down at the bottom of the page like nobody wants to think about it much, but I guess there’s no need to panic yet. There is also talk of maybe making McBride a starter, because he’s improved a lot. I could actually see this; I don’t think he works too well in the pressure of late innings, but he’s definitely got the stuff when he’s not having a panic attack out there. So, interesting.

Spring means fighting for roster spots and lots of leg rubberbands, but it also means dorky glamor shots, hooray! Here’s Chipper posing for one of his. I can’t wait until they come out, obviously. I like this new arty route they’re taking.

Andruw has modeling experience to bring to the table here. The girl on the right is a Braves publicist, according to AJC’s caption. I guess part of the publicist’s job is appearing on the scene to carefully direct Andruw’s portraits.

Okay, now I’m starting to get suspicious – all the pictures from Thursday were taken from at least twenty feet away. Did they all go out drinking Wednesday night and come to practice looking like hell?

I guess Kelly wasn’t invited. :( I’m kind of wondering how these pictures get taken — does the publicist rush in and say, “Okay, okay, Kelly, we need a mood shot here, try to look really thoughtful and a little mischievous, too.” Or is he just sitting there thinking about what to have for lunch and someone zooms in on his face from 100 feet away?

Terry gives Kelly some hitting instruction. Kind of looks like Kelly just punched him in the shoulder and Terry’s all offended about it, but I’m pretty sure it’s hitting instruction.

I spent like an hour trying to come up with something that wasn’t totally inappropriate. And then I gave up, so, no comment. Frenchy is participating in a bubble gum blowing contest here. For charity, even! He actually looks goofy as hell in profile, but he’s got cute little ears.

Sports Gone South, via Deadspin, brought my attention to a rap about the Braves that is featured on the ChopTalk website. Just scroll down, it’s on the left. I got through three whole seconds of it before I turned it off, so, enjoy!

I was more interested in the “Bonus ChopTalk Recipes!” featured on the website, but they’re just normal recipes, not “Nicole Jones’ Turkey Chili” or “Heap’s Girlfriend’s Homemade Donuts” or anything cool like that, so that was kind of a letdown as well.

“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.

This picture has a real nature show quality to it . . . like the photographer was sneaking up on a flock of Braves in their natural habitat, observing their strange stretching behavior.

Sit-ups! What’s up with the one guy who’s just lying on his stomach? I thought LaRoche left for Pittsburgh?

Now they break out the leg rubberbands.

Close-up on Cormier with his rubberband – that one guy is still lying around on his stomach back there! Who is that? Salty, maybe?

Apparently Langerhans had the nerve to be born on the same day as Heap. Typical!

Our first shot of the elusive Corky Miller – he’s the one in the middle. He looks like Bruce Campbell.

The catchers getting some instruction from a coach . . . is that Heap leaning up against the fence with his sunglasses on like he’s way too cool for this? I love it.

Who is allowing Heap to catch without his chest protector?! Frenchy, get the hell on it!

Thank you! I see he also reminded Heap to put his hand behind his back. Good job, Frenchy.

I love how that one girl is just outright sticking a camera in his face. I can’t blame her, though.

Frenchy doing what he does best.

Andruw looks like he might have to kick a little Texan ass. I love how he kind of smirks even when he’s giving someone the stink eye.

What will we do next season without Andruw and his smiling?!

He’s looking pretty fit! According to Dave, Rent also looks like he’s in better shape than he was last season (not that he didn’t look fine then). Now if only I could find a single picture of him! But he’s pretty famous for hiding from the press whenever possible.

Chipper is still sporting The Beard. I like the palm trees in the background there.

The beard is even scarier up close. If wonder if he’s mad at his wife or something, or did he just lose a bet? That thing is somebody’s punishment for something, I’m sure.

Kelly has gone from looking scared and confused to just confused. So, progress!

Huddy doesn’t look very happy to be asked to sign a bat that already sports signatures from Langerhans and Orr.

The AJC describes this as Bobby contemplating something. Sort of looks like he’s contemplating whether he’s pregnant with a boy or a girl.

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.

“Nobody Ever Talks About Peter Orr.”

Did he seriously say Peter?? There’s a reason nobody talks about Orr as a realistic possibility at second, Bobby, and I was, uh, kind of hoping you’d have realized what it is by now.

The quote in the title is from the above-linked Mark Bradley article, which is basically about how Kelly is having trouble garnering the confidence to play second. Yeah, I might have guessed, from what I’ve seen so far. He looks pretty terrified. Gotta love it when the guy you’re counting on to start at second and lead off is described as “given to doubt.” But I won’t allow myself to be officially worried until I see him play on March 2nd in the first televised spring training game.

In other news, Willie Mays Hayes is now trying to fool the Braves into getting on the roster. Give him a chance, Bobby! Of course, this imitation Willie was described as a “non-athletic-looking man,” so maybe not.