Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hangin' with the Chief

Tuesday night Will texted, asking I bring the shirt he's left when we met. I'd volunteered to take him to the airport. Work has been a killer, but I took a half day. I left at 11:30 and met him at the Indian Trail park & ride. He left Athens at 11 am for his 1:50 flight to OKC. We made good time through downtown. In the airport he saw Andy Landers and the UGA tennis team.

Drove up to Alpharetta in time to pick up M at 2:15. Met Sarah in downtown Alpharetta (Cherokee County is on break this week). Stopped at Publix for sandwiches and made it to the Ted by 3:45. Made M & S stand in the dollar line while I joined a conference call. That piped in Turner Field loudspeaker music reminds me of Six Flags. ESPN has filming pregame shots of our line of fans. Probably edited out Crazy Darrell, who was busy playing catch (endangering all around him). One of my new bobblehead buddies was near me in line (he calls me 'sir'). Inside M & S sat in the shade during BP while I made my trade. I thought they'd like the section 215 row 6 company seats, so I gave them space and sat with the Chief.

Robert had a few other buddies cowtowing to him, but the baseball talk was fun. Robert was scanning the 2015 schedule for the first time, and expertly noted that the two season-ending series against the Nats and Cardinals could be decisive. During the game he worked out his 2015 trip to visit his sister in Boston – while the Braves are at Fenway. He will fly back and go straight to Turner Field. Robert said the Simba Cam has become almost a nightly feature. He usually takes a walk around the park during the second inning, to greet all the regulars he knows (including Johnny and Marshal, who were once more no-shows).

Did anyone say why Scott Fletcher was coaching first base? Robert thought it hilarious when Roger McDowell sat in the ball boy's chair down the rightfield line.

We left in the top of the eighth and stopped by the Varsity on the way home. Drove up to Windward, then over to Birmingham to meet S's mother, then back home. A lot of miles on the old Civic yesterday. This morning co-worker Tim went with me to retrieve Will's Jeep. W returns Sunday evening.

ROB: Where did the HR's go?  Last year we hit 181 - this year 118. We lost 20 with McCann.  Even though Gattis has been the starting catcher, with injuries and rest, he has had about the same number of plate appearances (and Home Runs) as last year.  Laird and Bethancourt have not homered. We lost about 20 at 2B.  As bad as Uggla was last year, he did hit 22 HR's, compared to his 2 this year.  Gosselin and LaStella have 1 each. Simmons hit 17 last year versus 7 this year.

Freeman's HR rate (HR/Plate Appearances) dropped from 3.7% last year to 2.7% this year.  Heyward dropped from 3.2% to 1.7%.  Johnson dropped from 2.2% to 1.5%.  BJ is at 2% like he was last year.  Justin has actually gone from 4.2% to 4.9%.

Terry Pendleton has back spasms - that is why Fletcher was coaching 1B.

Were you the guy walking around with an armful of bobbleheads all night?

ME: You would've been proud. I sprang for a Green Lot parking pass when I traded out the tickets, so I was able to stash the Glavines that Matthew, Sarah, and I received (plus the Maddux and Ruth I traded for). I didn't see that poor guy with all the bobbleheads. Some are hoarders (some LA fans get dozens), but a few are dads having to carry his entire family's haul. Speaking of that, hopefully my FB bobblehead interactions haven't been too bothersome for the non-bobblehead addicted. That photo I posted of several Glavines was actually stolen from someone else.
I knew that was a cheap shot to post the photo of the Gonzalez and BJ jerseys, but when I saw them lined up all together I just couldn't resist.

Home runs – the drop-off wouldn't be so had if the Braves shortened their swings and raised their BA and OBP and BARISP.

Matthew said Greg McMichael's daughter is in one of his classes. It just so happened that McMichael was outside Turner Field last night signing autographs at the electric car tent, so I was able to show M who he was. Wish I could earn tuition money like that.

With friends with differing political and sexual preferences, it is interesting to see what some people post. And I have a young mom friend who overdoes it as well. Posts the bad as well as the good. Sometimes I think I was a bad example to some people a few years ago when I was posting those baseball and science trip photos. Before Anna's prom I joked that I was going to post 1,000 photos. Some people post ten photos almost exactly alike. Adults are worse than teenage girls. One photo-posting mother posted her daughter's senior photos. The mom was IN one of the photos. I did see an interesting photo of Eddie Kirkland lifting weights. Quite impressive.

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