Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ten Straight

Every game that the Braves win seems so exciting. Once they tied it up and O'Flaherty entered the game, I was confident we could win with our bullpen. Not sure how long I can continue to expect great things from the pen, after Avilan so painfully strained his hamstring. I guess it wasn't a big deal for Kimbrel to come in, since he was already warmed up. He didn't pitch on Sunday or Monday, but now the Braves play nine games in nine days. With Avilan, Venters, and Martinez sidelined, Wren will look to Gwinnett for another lefty.

Not looking forward to losing, but the win streak will greatly buffer any pain. Can't wait for that first loss when the "same old Braves" refrain is dusted off.

Chris Johnson had a busy night at first. Made a sweet scoop on the last play of the game on Uggla's long throw from the shallow centerfield grass. Guess he's not often mistaken for the Tennessee Titans running back. It took me until now to make that connection. He may be playing over his head, but I'm happy with C. Johnson's competitiveness. As Randy Jackson would say, the dog is in it to win it.

Five solo home runs. I scolded Joel Norman for not catching one of them, since he was sitting in the left field seats. He said he came close to grabbing the Upton blast. Will's friends Caleb and Tanner were also at the game. Our work tickets were raffled off, but right now Tuesdays are a busy night at our house.

I'm a sucker for all the number 42 jerseys to honor Jackie Robinson. I knew the event was Monday and Tuesday, but when I first tuned in and saw Jeff Francoeur leading off first base I thought he had changed his number again. An educated mistake, since he's gone from 7 to 12 to 21. Forty-two seemed a logical progression. Frenchy led the league with 19 outfield assists last year, and easily gunned down Andrelton with a perfect throw. Nearly gunned down Schafer as well, but the throw was off the mark.

Two Jackie ideas: In the future the Braves would look good wearing the old-timey looking crème uniforms on Jackie Robinson Day. And even though the event is meant to honor the ex-Dodger great, teams could honor the breaking of the color barrier by wearing the number of the player who broke the color barrier on their team, or their most famous African-American player. The Braves and Brewers could all wear Hank Aaron's 44, and the Giants Willie Mays' 24, or Monte Irvin's number 20. The Royals could honor Buck O'Neal. Newer teams could stick with Robinson's 42, or honor a local Negro League great. I'll have to look up Jethroe's number at Baseball Reference. Today I mailed a letter to Bud Selig (my first ever, promise) with this suggestion. The powers that be might not want to take away from the Jackie-fest, but Selig worships the Hammer.

Nice Sports Illustrated article about 42, and Q&A with the director, who mentioned my old stomping grounds: Macon's Luther Williams Park and Chattanooga's Engle Stadium.

Hilarious how Brian Jordan often refers to the rightfielder as Jason "Haywood." Then a producer must quickly correct him through his earpiece, and Jordan pronounces it correctly from then on. What makes it worse is that Jordan has visited the Heyward home down in McDonough to shoot a TV show. Jason hasn't been getting many hits, but Jim Powell reminded the radio audience that Heyward had pounded the ball in Washington , but hit it right at people. Heyward had told Powell that wasn't worried, that he like the way he was hitting. Then sure enough, Heyward drove one out of the park in the eighth inning…opposite field, even.

With Tomahawkin' Tom Glavine in the TV booth, one of the other announcers made reference to the Nike "Chicks Dig the Long Ball" commercial he and Greg Maddux starred in. They called it "one of the greatest commercials in history." A great ad, but not quite the way I remembered it. Since I was on the computer at the time, I looked up the ad on YouTube and showed it to the fam. Do you guys remember how DJ Christopher Rude would always call Glavine "Tomahawkin' Tom" back in the early 90's during the morning call-in from Dan Patrick? 9:20 am sounds like the time of that 96 Rock sports report. Pardon the pun, but it was classic. They would always end the segment by calling out "John SMMMMoltz!"

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