Archive for the 'Braves' Category

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: A fan of the ’93 Phillies

October, 1993 

I’m just as much a Braves fan as the next Atlanta chop-chop yahoo, but I’ve got to admit I’ve come to like the Philadelphia Phillies, too.

You know why? Because the prissy pots don’t.

They quoted this woman at a hair salon in the Atlanta papers recently. She was asked what she thought of the Phillies after watching the first two games of the National League Championship Series.

She said, “The tobacco chewing was pretty gross … I’m an environmentalist and so I just can’t understand the tobacco in terms of putting it into your body. There was also some pretty bad hair out there.”

Go shampoo a goat and leave the Phillies to look as they damn well please.

You hit something white with a stick and then you run and slide around in the dirt. You sweat and you spit and you curse.

In “A League of Their Own” Tom Hanks was trying to explain to one of his female baseball players about the game. She was crying.

“There’s no crying in baseball,” he said.

Of course there isn’t. There’s yelling and screaming and belching and John Kruk of the Phillies reminds me of the kind of guy who probably still thinks it’s funny to make escaping gas sounds by cupping his palm under his armpit.

That is still funny. It’s funnier than “Married … With Children.”

What to do with the prissy pots?

“I’m an environmentalist, so I just can’t understand the tobacco in terms of putting it in your body.”

That’s why they invented chewing tobacco, lady, so baseball players could spit in color. Take Len Dykstra of the Phillies.

Here’s a guy who would put up with Somalia for about as long as he would a hanging curveball. Len Dykstra is trying to win ball games, not get a GQ cover. He doesn’t care if tobacco juice dribbles out of the side of his mouth and onto his uniform. He wants it to do that. He wants to gross you out. It’s what he lives for.

Back to John Kruk. Ol’ John Kruk from West (by-God) Virginia. You look at this guy and you think outdoor plumbing.

He gets a raise, he buys a new satellite dish to put outside the trailer, so he can get all the stations when he isn’t making sounds with

his armpit. There was a quote from him once in Sports Illustrated. A woman saw him smoking a cigarette in the dugout during a spring training game.

She said something like, “Aren’t you ashamed? A professional athlete smoking.”

He responded, “I ain’t a professional athlete. I’m a baseball player.” The man’s a p-l-a-y-e-r.

I like that crazy relief pitcher, too. Mitch Williams. He’d give Queen Elizabeth a hotfoot. Hair? He styles with Kruk’s cigarette lighter.

I’m not on the sports pages anymore, so I can be a homer and root for the Braves.

But I would take the Phillies in a fight, a riot, a war. Send those guys to Somalia.

The only thing wrong with the Phillies is their name. Calling that crowd Phillies is like calling the corner barbershop, Christophe’s.

Call ’em the Muds or the Bloods. Or the Nightmare from the North.

I just happen to like my baseball teams a little on the trashy side.


Lily Anderson

I’d encourage you to take a few moments to watch this beautiful singing of the National Anthem, sung by 10 year old Lily Anderson of Cumming Georgia a few weeks ago at the Braves game.

Goes to show that there really are some things more important than a game.


Closing the Book on Derek Lowe

Charges against Derek Lowe in his DUI case have been dropped.

Personally I think this was a case of an over-zealous cop maybe trying to take advantage of the badge. Bulldog Nation knows a little something about that, don’t we? Derek should not have been behind the wheel after having a few drinks, but legally it seems he was was in line. He was probably over it, but now the organization can be as well.


Great Weekend For Georgia Sports

The Braves won 2/3 in Philadelphia.  UGA golfer Russell Henley won the Stadion Classic at the UGA Golf Course.  The Hawks tied things up with the Bulls.  The Diamond Dawgs saved a sweep from Auburn and had a dramatic comeback win. 

During football season, it is rare that all 3 Georgia teams win in the same weekend (Tech, UGA, and the Falcons).  In fact, it happened only once last season-on the October 9th weekend.  The Jackets beat Virginia, UGA beat Tennessee, and the Falcons beat the Browns.   It only happened 3 times during the 2009 season (weekend of September 12, September 17 and November 8).

Last night Atlanta teams were show cased on National Television doing well.  The series against the Phillies was as important as a series the first week of May can be.  The Braves had excellent pitching all weekend.  The bullpen was fantastic and the starters were dominant.  Even Julio Tehran in his MLB debut was decent. 

The Braves can’t rest on their laurels too much this week.  The Braves have an off day today, then have a home stand against the Nationals (3), Phillies (3) and Astros (2).  The Braves catch another break it appears against the Phillies at the end of the week and will miss Roy Halladay as it stands now.  That is the third series against the NL’s best team that the Braves will miss baseball’s best pitcher. 

Looking down the road, the schedule eases up tremendously for the Braves over the next month.  After this home stand, the Braves have a series agasint at  Arizona (2), at the Angles (3), and at Pittsburgh (3).  Then they return home and face the high powered Reds (3) and  close out the month against the lowly Padres (3). 

The offense is finally starting to come around for the Braves.  After a dismal April, the Braves are 2nd in the NL in total batting for the month of May so far.   One area the Braves need to improve in are stolen bases.  The Braves only have 6 SB for the year.  6?!  The Braves are scoring runs, but only have a .241 batting average.  I am not saying they should start getting all Tony LaRusa on us, but they have got to find a way to manufacture some runs better.  

As long as the starters can go 6 innings, the rest of the game seems secure with O’Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel.  The bullpen doesn’t have much depth beyond that, but you can sacrafice a deep pen when you have the starting pitching that we do. 

A great weekend for the Braves and a great weekend for Georgia sports in general!


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Dreaming of Dealing

Jeff Schultz at AJC posted an obligatory blog post this morning about the potential of Albert Pujols in a Braves Uniform.  This is tempting to think about, but it won’t happen for several reasons:

1. The bosses at Liberty Media are cheapskates.

2. We already have Freddie Freeman.

3. It is somewhat of risk because the Braves would have to over-sign Pujols.  He is currently 31 and would probably garner a 5 year deal, but with that, he may or may not be productive past year. 

4. The Cardinals will do (and should) everything they can to keep him. He is the face of their franchise.

While Schultz is dreaming of Albert Pujols as a Brave, the comment section of his post got me thinking.  After Andy Pettitte’s retirement, the Yankees starting rotation is a mess at the 3-5 slots.   I wonder what we could get from the Yankees for Derek Lowe?  What about Brent Gardner and one of the Yank’s young pitchers (wonder if they would part with Ivan Nova)?

Gardner could solidify the LF/CF position for the Braves, while adding the speed factor in the lineup that they sorely need.  Prado will be at 3rd when Chipper isn’t, and Gardner could play Left.  Another pitcher to the Braves might compete with Beachy and Minor for the 4 & 5 spots (and Medlen when he returns in August). If not a major league pitcher, another might be worthy enough to package together in another deal — possibly for a CF or a younger SS.

What say you? If the Braves could make one deal to shore up their current weaknesses, what would it be?


Coach Talk from Fredi G

I like this (from Dave O’Brien):

Fredi G’s response when I asked him if #Braves would take more infield during season (after he mentioned more pitchers’ fielding practice in spring training):

“Yeah, I think so. The things that we can control. You can’t control the broken-bat single or the flare that falls in behind the second baseman. But you can control the bunt defense; you can’t make sure we get an out. You can control where you’re going on cutoffs and relays, the first-and-third situations, the rundowns, you can control those things.

“Like I told them, I don’t care if you give up a two-run homer in the ninth and we lose the game. But I’ll really be upset if you don’t know that bunt defense, where you’re supposed to be, or you threw it away. That kind of stuff that you control. Sometimes you make a good pitch and a guy hits it out of the ballpark. But if you threw a ball some place you weren’t supposed to throw it, that’s where I get upset.”

A little more discipline defensively would sure be a nice gift to fans in 2011. And a healthy squad for the full season.


A New Era

Today is a monumental day in Braves baseball. For the first time for many younger Braves fans, there is a new skipper. Coach Fredi Gonzalez officially takes over the reigns today as the 2011 Atlanta Braves (and hopefuls) embark upon south-central Florida.

Spring training is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather is beginning to turn here in the South, and with that we know that baseball is right around the corner. I was in Orlando last week and it was a balmy 78 degrees, compared to the frigid 40 I left in middle Georgia. I’m hoping that soon we will get that weather here in the midstate.

Chipper Jones and Martin Prado will begin practice today, with the rest of the crowd joining soon. I always enjoy analyzing the lineup, and I like what we see this year. The rotation will be strong again. I’m excited. If Lowe picks up where he left off and JJ comes back strong I’ll take our chanecs against the aging Phillies.

Here’s wishing Fredi and his team the best of luck for a great spring training and 2011 campaign.