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.


Like 1991 all over again

It’s been five years since the Braves have been to the postseason. Provided that they take care of their own business this weekend against a Phillies team expected to rest some of their starters, Atlanta will be back in the postseason as the wild card with a NLDS matchup against the Giants being a good possibility.

Many of us at TGT have fond memories of when the Braves’ run began in 1991. Back then, with the Braves playing in the NL West, it wasn’t unusual to be on pins and needles seeing if the Braves could pull out a win and then anxiously awaiting the results of the Dodgers’ game out on the west coast. There were many a dreary eye the next day as many stayed up late hoping for a Dodger loss.

We’ve seen the exact same thing this week. The Braves are now 1 1/2 games in the wild card lead following a sweep of the Marlins and the Padres losing 2 of 3 games to the Cubs. Each night after the Braves win, many fans either stayed up to cheer for a Padres loss or have done like me and check the Padres game result on their phone when I wake up each morning.

Isn’t pennant fever great?

Lugnut Dawg

Jeff Francouer Has A Weak Arm

I was out of pocket yesterday so I couldn’t relay this story. 

Some college buddies and I met up at the Ted on Monday evening and watched the Braves take Game 1 against the hated Mets.  We saw some great action.  Jurrjens fanned 8.  Wagner came in and shut it down.  Some solid two out hitting was on display, and Jason Heyward and Brain McCann each hit homers.  A great time.

Being 2-for-1, we were able to get some really good seats in the lower level along the third base line.  Towards the end of the game, we moved down to right on the field. 

It was refreshing to hear Jeff Francouer get booed.  I have made my dislike for him very obvious.   During the 4th inning or so, someone threw a Coke bottle on the field to hit Francouer.  Now there is no need for that.  But, once Jeff got time to be called, he tried to be a bad dude and throw the bottle back in the stands.  He missed and it fell short of the wall.  HOW EMBARRASSING. 

We told that whiney brat Francouer what we thought of him.  I don’t know if he could hear us, but I would like to think that he could have heard me yell “he should have stuck to football to help lead Clemson to another 7-5 season” (Buypropertyucheedawg  told me that, if I heckle, I need to be more concise). 

FYI Braves fans…strike up a conversation with the security guards.  We had some guys near us who looked like Secret Service Agents with their shades on.  They were big, mean looking dudes.  I wouldn’t mess with them.  However, they thought our insults hurled at Frenchy were funny and got to talking to us, so I asked this hypothetical question: If I were to run out on the field to tackle Francouer , how long of a head start would he give me? I asked for five seconds.  He advised me not to do that.  I obliged.  He went on to say that they get paid more if they have to tackle someone, so these guys have an incentive to whoop somebody. 

Speaking of Frenchy, it seems like that prima donna is getting traded to the Rangers.  He underwhelmed with the Braves; he was no good for the Mets.  Maybe he can get along in Texas and their coke head manager.  Seriously-how bad was their outfield to begin with? 


Braves Shake Things up at Deadline

Goodbye Jesse Chavez and Gregor Blanco; welcome Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth.

This seems like it will be a nice deal for the Braves. We’re strengthening our already deep bullpen with the hard-throwing Farnsworth (a former Brave, btw) and adding much-needed OF support. Ankiel has not played much this year, but appears to be geared up and ready to go, having played fairly well the past 8 games after a long layoff recovering from injury.

I liked Jesse Chavez alot, but I think Farnsworth will be an even greater asset. You’ve got to think Ankiel will get a shot at CF immediately. Our OF should see a pretty quick boost in offensive production with his arrival.

For what it’s worth, Farnsworth will wear #43 and Ankiel will don the #28 jersey.

Glad Wren didn’t sit on the sidelines. Looks like we’re at least giving it an effort to gear up for October!