Archive for April, 2010

Going Through the 5 Stages of Grief With the Braves

The Braves are  staring 10 losses in a row right in the face. 

I don’t think the Braves were destined to win a game in St. Louis.   On a day when Albert Pujols was taking a breather, the Braves had arguably their best pitcher going.  It was a win-win?  Not so fast, my friend.  One two out, 3 run home run that bounced off the foul pole and a pulled hamstring later, the game was over really before it got started.

This is a dark spot on the Braves franchise.  The Braves have seen some very dark times.

The Braves send out stud Tommy Hanson tonight, but that hardly means anything anymore.  I am hoping the Braves lose one more tonight before they turn it around, so on the ESPN standings column that says “Last 10”, you’ll see 0-10. 

It is said that there are 5 stages of grief.  I believe I have gone through them all sufficiently over the two weeks, and have moved on to the final acceptance stage.

Here is my thought process during each of the five stages when it comes to the Braves:

1.  Denial: “The Braves offense can’t be as bad as this,” I would often think to myself. “I mean, they have been no hit by a hard throwing up and comer.  The Braves had clutch hitting when it counted late in the game, so it’s not so bad. Roy Halladay is the best in the business.  The Phillies are just good. ”

2.  Anger:  “Why isn’t Yunel Escobar running out a close ground ball harder? Four errors in one game? Why is Yunel not tagging up?  Chipper is hurt again?  Come on!   Why does Bobby Cox feel it necessary to pull out his starters when they get in a little bit of trouble? I mean Hudson is pitching a gem.  Don’t you think the ace of the staff has earned the right to get himself out of a jam?  Who would be better to get out of a pinch: former All-Star Hudson or Peter Moylan?  Oh my, Peter Moylan just gave up the tying run.  See! Unbelievable.  Only Frank Wren could find a way to mess this up.”

3.  Bargaining:  “Ok, look, I know I was angry and I am sorry.  Listen, if the team gets it turned around, I promise I will not say mean things about Frank Wren anymore.” 

4.  Depression:  “Why am I watching this? I know what is going to happen.  This 3 run lead won’t last.  It physically pains me to sit here and watch this.  What is the bother anymore?” 

5.  Acceptance:  “Well the Braves just suck.  Let’s face it:  they are a mismanaged franchise that makes poor personnel decisions.  How long until football starts, so I can go through this process all over again?”


BBQ Thursday: Jomax Edition

Due to real life obligations, BBQ Thursday has been placed on the “back burner.”  So without further ado…

I was traveling in East Georgia last week and was going through Metter, located halfway between Dublin and Savannah on I-16. 

It was lunch time and I was hungry.  The Metter exit has all kinds of fast food fare, but I wanted some Cue.  Google led me there.

Jomax BBQ is located right off the main road (across from the Waffle House), less than a mile from I-16.  It is a very charming building, the type of place when someone says “BBQ joint” you know exactly what pops in mind. 


I walked in and immediately liked what I saw.  The back wall was adorned with UGA paraphernalia, so I knew I was amongst friends.  I sat down and looked over the menu.  In addition to BBQ, they offered up Pot Roast and Vegetables.

After looking over the menu, I decided to go with my good ol’ stand by: a BBQ Sandwich (Jumbo), potato salad and sweet tea with lemon.  No more than 3 minutes after I ordered, my food was brought out.  I’ll say the service at Jomax was exceptional; the waitresses were very attentive and sweet girls.


Being hungry, I appreciated the quick delivery.  I dug on in and was pleased.  It wasn’t the best BBQ I have ever had, but it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t too dry.  I did add sauce to my sandwich.  I was disappointed in the sauce.  It wasn’t sweet and it wasn’t hot.  It was kind of bland.  I like either sweet or heat.  Nothing doing with their sauce.     

I liked the potato salad.  It was made exactly how I like it (and how my wife makes it), with just a hint of mustard-just enough to let you know its there.  I have found that sometimes you take a gamble with ordering potato salad in a restaurant; this gamble paid off. 

I finished up lunch rather quickly.  I pushed my plate away and the waitress asked me if I would like desert.  I usually decline desert in restaurants, but I had a feeling there would be some peach cobbler on the menu.  To me, a good BBQ meal isn’t complete with out a bowl of peach cobbler.  

Jomax didn’t disappoint.  They brought out a cup of peach cobbler.  I think it was day or two old.  It definitely wasn’t fresh, because the waitress asked me if I wanted it put in the microwave served hot.  It should have been hot already I thought.  But my standing rule is there is no such thing as bad cobbler.  It was good, not the best, but I would get it again.

 The one complaint that I had from Jomax was the price.  My lunch (including a generous tip for the outstanding service) was over $15.  That is an expensive lunch-even with a desert.  If you go, don’t order your items a la carte like I did; you’ll be better off getting a dinner plate.  The jumbo sandwich wasn’t as jumbo as I had hoped for, so by getting the dinner you’ll get a larger portion. 

 Overall, Jomax was a good place to get a meal.  I was able to get some cue, support a local business and avoid fast food.  That should be three reasons enough to go there if you’re passing through Metter at lunch time.  It was not the best BBQ I have ever had, but it by far wasn’t the worst.  What Jomax lacks in its BBQ, it is made up for in atmosphere and service.  A good place to eat, and if I’m passing through Metter again during lunch I’ll stop by for some more.


Braves Are a Bunch of Lolligaggers

The Braves now sit at 8-12…how they won 8 is a miracle.

Bobby needs to send everyone in the shower. 


Lewis Wednesday

A Man, His Dog, And His Truck

A few years ago I went out and bought myself one of those sexy convertible imports. Maybe it was a crisis of middle life.

Maybe I thought owning such an automobile would take away notice of the creeping years. A guy driving a sexy convertible import – a flashy red one – is conquering hills in a metallic blur, not going over them into the land of arthritis and prunes on the other side.

The trouble was the car never quite fit me. Perfume on a hog, that sort of thing.

I looked and felt out of place in it. People would see me in it and look at me as if to say, “Look at that old man driving his kid’s car.”

Or they would say, “Look at that person having a middle-age crisis. Why doesn’t he get a Lincoln and join the AARP?”

I was terribly fastidious about the car as well. I wouldn’t even allow my dog Catfish, the black Lab, to ride in it.

I was afraid he would drool on the expensive leather seats or leave a hair. He would look at me as if to say, “You love that stupid car more than you do me.”

One morning I went out and found a flat tire on my sexy convertible import. It looked like something had gnawed the air out of it.

Coming to my senses

The good news here is I no longer have that car. I traded it. I did what very few people have ever done.

I traded my flashy red, sexy convertible import for a truck.

I think it was a sign I am over any crisis of middle age and that I am aging gracefully and that I am a mature individual.

I had a truck once before. The speedometer went out when it had 120,000 on it. I drove it another two years before it finally rolled over on its back one day and passed away.

I didn’t worry about Catfish drooling or getting hair in that truck. That’s what trucks are for.

But instead of getting another truck, I went for the import, and it has taken me this long to come to my senses.

The guy made me a pretty good deal. I did find out that 14 minutes after you purchase a sexy convertible import, it loses about 60 percent of its value.

“This is all this car is worth now?” I asked when told what it would bring. “My dog never set foot in it.”

The guy showed me the book that lists what cars are worth.

“Best I can do,” he said, jingling the change in his pocket. When a car dealer starts jingling the change in his pocket, he knows he’s got you.

A contented Catfish

But it’s a pretty truck. I got red again. It’s got everything on it but a CD player, which I didn’t want anyway because I don’t own any CDs and, even if I did, the CD player probably would break or my CDs would become the first in history to rot.

But I’ve got a tape deck, a radio, air conditioning, power windows and locks and there’s a luggage rack on top. Catfish gnaws one tire on my new truck and he rides up there.

I went on my first drive. For the first time in years, I felt comfortable on the road again. I felt like an adult, not some 24-year-old with the top down, the wind blowing through his flowing locks as he cruises for girls who pop their gum and use “goes” in place of “says.”

My new truck is American-made, too. I feel a lot better about that. And it will save on gas, which will help me pay my fair share of taxes after getting so filthy rich during the Reagan and Bush years.

I took Catfish on my first ride in the new truck. He sat right up there in the front seat and drooled and shed happily away.

But we were a team again. A man, a dog, and a truck. All is right with my world.

Nobody can tax that. Can they?

The NCAA Screws It Up Again

The NCAA announced University of Washington President Mark Emmert as its new CEO today. 

This means Mike Adams will continue his reign of terror,  machiavellian rule term as President of UGA (for now anyway). 

This is probably a good thing.  As much as we dislike Bow Tie Mike, he would find a way to screw up the already screwed up NCAA.  The whole country should thank UGA for taking one for the team on this one. 


Buffett Tuesday

Oh the gloom and doom in the sports world.  Logan Gray may/may not transfer.  UGA baseball sucks.  Braves suck.  What could possibly make everything better on a Tuesday?

Jimmy Buffett! 

 Everything can be made better listening to Jimmy Buffett.  For the lucky ones who will be making the trip to Atlanta to hear him tonight, have fun.  I went two years ago and had a blast.  Best concert I have EVER been to.  For those of us who are stuck at work today and can only dream of what it would be like to be in Margaritaville, here are some Buffett tunes to help us get through a Tuesday. 

What is your favorite Jimmy Buffett song?  Let us know in the comments.

A few of Corbindawg’s favorites…

My mom warned me about people like me…

But my all time favorite…

Where Can One Find the Best Brunswick Stew in Atlanta?

The has a story asking readers to name their favorite BBQ joints to get their favorite Brunswick stew (after clicking the link, you may want to refresh the page).   

If you are going through the Atlanta area, you may want to check some of these places out.

And BBQ Thursday will return this week with my review of a recent visit to JoMax BBQ in Metter.


Logan Gray- You Can’t Leave Us Now, Not Like This

Yesterday afternoon, I thought granitedawg was playing a cruel joke when he told me that Logan Gray may leave UGA. I dismissed him immediately and turned the conversation elsewhere. However, I checked into it later on and saw that this was in fact the rumor. Sorry granite.

Right now, this is merely speculation. However, if there is some substance to the rumor, this would be detrimental in the worst way to UGA football.

Aaron Murray will be the starting QB this fall, we know that. If all goes well and Aaron comes in on his white horse and is our savior, then that’s great! If he is protected by an experienced offensive line, wonderful! If he doesn’t make a bad decision to dive for a first down and have his shoulder knocked out of socket, perfect! But, the fact of the matter is this: Aaron Murray will be a freshman QB with no field experience, and in the violent game that is football, there is a reasonable chance that he will not go unscathed for an entire year.

Yes, I’m planning for the worst, but don’t you have to?

So, let’s say that Aaron Murray does not get hurt and is the magical fix that we members of Bulldog Nation are praying for. Logan Gray transferring is no big deal, right? But what if? What if Aaron Murray gets hurt? What if he wrecks his scooter? What if he slips walking into the SLC and sprains an ankle? Where would we turn? Hutson Mason? Surely not. But what would the other option be?

After looking into this a bit more, I talked with granite again and made the observation that if, at this point, Gray did transfer, and Murray did get hurt, then Washaun Ealey would be a better replacement at QB than Hutson Mason. Ok, that was in jest, but has Mason even turned 18 years old yet?

Looking ahead to next year, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if Gray transfers. I truly believe that UGA will land either Lamay or Marshall, each of whom has the talent to start in their second year in the program. I think that they would both immediately battle Mason for the #2 spot on the depth chart (this is a MAJOR reach, so please don’t hold me to the fire, I’m just looking at rankings, athletic ability, etc.; I know Mason is a pretty decent QB with some upside).

For the present though, we need Logan Gray to stay with UGA. Even if it’s to move to receiver, we need him to stay. You’ve got to have a backup QB with some type of experience. If UGA has any chance of winning the East, it will be with Murray or Gray at the helm. I just don’t think we could do it with Mason playing QB.

So, to wrap this up, hopefully Gray’s meeting with CMR today is to talk about a position swap. Or if it’s not, hopefully CMR will be able to convince Logan to stay with UGA. Bottom line is: We need Logan Gray to wear Red and Black this fall.


Disturbing News Story from Atlanta

I chronicled the ineptitude of the Macon police department while  busting a house of ill repute (or in Macon’s case, message parlor of ill repute).

Apparently, things are no better in the ATL.

Four college students were kidnapped, put in a trunk, called 911 from a cell phone…and put on hold.

I don’t know what is more alarming: 911 put the callers on hold or that the alleged kidnapper was 17 years old.  And his accomplice is even younger

Wow.  The Braves offense isn’t the worst thing in Atlanta. 


Braves Review and Preview

Well, dern.

That was about as bad a week of baseball as a Braves fan could ask for. 

A week that started out with such excitement and promise ended with such despair.  I bet if you took a pulse of the Braves Nation Wednesday morning and this morning, the readings would be a complete 180.

Tuesday night, we saw 3 home runs in the last 4 at bats to seal a walk off victory against the rival Phillies. With Roy Halladay coming to town, we stole a victory and found some much needed power.  The team even pulled a pretty funny prank on hero Nate McLouth. 

Then Wednesday came.  The Doc’s prognosis was worse than I thought.

After being shut out for 8 innings on Tuesday, Roy Halladay shut the Braves down for a complete game on Wednesday.  Thursday the woes didn’t get any better, as Derek Lowe’s lack of control finally caught up with him.  The Braves didn’t get an earned run off Phillies’ starting pitching.

But that’s ok.  The Phillies are good, and I predicted we would go 1-2.  As the loss against the Padres showed us, no matter how ugly a loss is, it is just a loss in a 162 game season. We could go and take a series against New York.

 Oh boy.  You had good outings from Kawakami, Jurrjens and Hanson this weekend that were wasted.  Last night, the game was mercifully called due to rain.  The Mets held on to a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, so the game was just called.  Now, I think a 1 run lead in the sixth is hardly over, but honestly how can you be mad?  What have we seen in the last week to make you think (and the umpires think) the Braves would score a run?

They are beating themselves.  It makes you wonder how bad they want to win.  I am being serious.  4 errors Friday night, including an infield fly error.  Escobar’s bone headed base running mistake (and I won’t even mention the bleach blond headed punk gingerly running out a grounder), and last night continued errors.  If the Braves are going to screw around like that, they don’t deserve to win.  It physically pained me to watch the Mets series.  Imagine how it must make Bobby feel.  

Ok, I will mention Escobar.  Look at Jose Reyes last night and his hustle.  He scored from Second Base due to alert base running and hustle.  Escobar can’t even run out a grounder, or tag up and score from 90 feet away. 

Chipper is hurt…again

However, we are barely just over 10% through the baseball season, so it is still ridiculously early.  But remember what happened last year.  The Braves were one of the best teams in baseball the second half, but couldn’t overcome a poor first half.  So there is time to correct the glaring obvious problem-the poor offense.  With the Phillies being so dominate, we are reliant on the one Wild Card spot.  The Braves can’t afford to get in an early hole that be overcome.

However, this was a problem that was glaring and obvious last October, right? Am I mistaken, but isn’t that what the offseason is for?

Before you think I am being a Negative Nancy, check out these post by Dave O’Brien.  The offense sucks.  The leadoff batters can’t get on base.

Now, the Braves go to St. Louis.  At best we should hope to split this series.  We then get a reprieve at home against the equally poor Astros, but then have to play the Nationals and Phillies on the road next week. 

If I said it once, I’ll say it a million times.  I think the Braves could haves something special here.  I do.  I think if they can make it to playoffs, they could be a real dangerous team. 

But somebody other than Jason Heyward has to step up.  While Heyward is outstanding, he is still only a 20 year old rookie.  He can’t be expected to carry this ballclub on his back as he had done so far this season. 

Hudson is going tonight, so perhaps he can stop the bleeding. 

Go Braves!