Thursday, April 04, 2013

Gattis Debuts

It was exciting, almost unbelievable, to see Gattis homer in his second big league at-bat. Nice that he kept the home run trot low key, as if he had homered before. As he left the batter’s box he tossed his bat and dropped his head, as if he knew it was gone. Then the ball barely cleared the fence. Later when Ryan Howard flew out to the warning track the Braves TV announcers talked about how the balls were being beaten down by the weather. So under normal circumstances, Gattis’ blast would’ve carried well up into the stands.

Like Jason Heyward’s first home run in his major league debut, I’m sure we’ll be seeing countless replays of Gattis’ first home run…along with the reaction of Evan’s family in the stands. Gattis joins Bob Horner, Jermaine Dye, Marty Malloy, Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Schafer, and Heyward as Atlanta Braves who homered in their first game. Let’s hope Gattis blossoms into a Heyward, not a Marty Malloy, who never hit another home run. Interestingly, Malloy was the subject of the book The Education of a Minor League Ballplayer, during his time with the Durham Bulls.

Justin Upton’s defense: the leftfielder charged hard for Jimmy Rollins’ first inning pop fly down the left field line. At the last second he realized he couldn’t catch it in the air, and tried in vain to knock the ball down. But the ball bounced out of Upton’s grasp, and the speedy Rollins had an easy double. The Phillies’ shortstop might’ve made second even if Upton had not left his feet, and instead played the ball on the bounce. Nice clip of Justin giving his thoughts on the new 42 movie. Parts of the movie were filmed up in Chattanooga’s old Engle Stadium.

It will be interesting to see if the Braves’ TV broadcasts continue with the extra in-game interviews, music videos, and film clips. Some are good, but some I can do without. Fox Sports seems to have stepped it up a notch. Young Isaac George battled the rain to attend game two.

Evan and Justin. At some point we’ll have more to talk about. With rain in tonight’s chilly forecast, our company seats were raffled off to a lucky employee.

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