Welcome to Florida game thread: July 23, Braves at Marlins

Florida, or “America’s Wang”, was annexed by Andrew Jackson after the War of 1812 against the orders of President James Monroe, who thought it would cause nothing but trouble. James Monroe was a smart man and one of our most underrated Presidents. One writer describes Florida at the time as “a volatile no-man’s-land, a center for international intrigue and illicit commercial activities.” It hasn’t changed. The state is divided into beaches, which make up one percent of its land area, and pestilential swamps, which make up the other ninety-nine percent.

The largest city in Florida is Jacksonville. The largest metropolitan area is Tampa-St. Petersburg. Some sources claim that the largest metro area is Miami, but the United States Census Bureau has defined Miami as “a free-flowing mob” since 1970. The Miami city government was almost dissolved in 1997, and I am not making that up. Miami’s nickname is “The Magic City”, which they stole from Birmingham; this is appropriate as theft is Miami’s third-largest industry after drug-running and tourism, just beating out bribery and land swindling. Miami is the home of writer Dave Barry, whom I am not ripping off at all.

Miami has been the setting for several television shows featuring massive shootouts and explosions, including Miami Vice, Burn Notice, Dexter, and, most violent of all, The Golden Girls. The most important musical acts associated with Miami are KC and the Sunshine Band, the Bee Gees, and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. So let’s just leave music alone.

Miami’s greatest sports hero is Dan Marino, who never won a Super Bowl and has a great sense of humor about it; be sure to bring it up if you see him. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were the only team in NFL history to have an undefeated regular season and go on to win the Super Bowl. Every year, the surviving members of the team have a ritual: when the last undefeated team in the NFL loses, they break open a bottle of champagne, which they pour on the ground as a libation to their Lord and Master Satan, to whom their souls are forever bound by dark and secret oaths. The Florida Marlins have won two World Series in their existence, but their fans are waiting until they win a division title to come out to the games. Miami also has a professional hockey team, due to South Florida’s longstanding reputation as a winter sports hotbed.

The highest point in Florida is the top of Shaquille O’Neal’s head. Florida’s official state animal is the pet python that escaped and lives in the Everglades and eats dogs.

314 thoughts on “Welcome to Florida game thread: July 23, Braves at Marlins”

  1. Florida, or “America’s Wang”

    Sorry, this was as far as I got. Awesome.

    (Does that make Hawaii “America’s Poo?”)

  2. My favorite writeup yet, Mac, thanks!

    “The Florida Marlins have won two World Series in their existence, but their fans are waiting until they win a division title to come out to the games.”

    Love it.

  3. *Claps*

    That was exactly what I was waiting for.

    Our state animal is actually the Florida panther. Experts say there are 80-100 of them left, but don’t worry, with a little time we can allow more developers and roadbuilders to pave over the rest of their habitat so we can pick off the rest of them with our SUVs.

  4. Stu, I’m on the edge of my seat — I know that Iron Man is either #1 or #2 on your all-time superhero trade value column. But who else is in the top ten?

    If Marvel called up DC and offered to trade Spider-Man for Batman, who would hang up first?

  5. Greeting from Minneapolis…

    Well done, but I can’t believe you didn’t mention the most culturally devoid “major city” in America—Orlando.

    Wanna see a tank of big fish? Sea World.

    Need booze? On Int’l Drive, there’s Liquor World (I swear).

    No history. Nothing is real.

  6. @Stu, maybe one’s appetite for heavyhanded foreshadowing, trite storylines, obvious plot devices, one dimensional characters, noblesse oblige and dimestore populism diminishes with age. Or maybe it’s just you.


    //well in a way!!

  7. I know nothing about comic books, but I have played Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. And that qualifies me to say that Iron Man is a fascist and Spiderman is one of the lamest superheroes ever. He’s Jay Baruchel in tights. Maybe that’s the point. But if it is, the point sucks.

    Mac, I love these Player Hater’s Ball posts. Well done.

    Bethany, I don’t think there’s a lot of forgiveness out there for Roman Polanski outside of Hollywood. But Chinatown is still one of my favorite flicks.

  8. From last thread, I concede that Drew Barrymore is a good counterexample to the trend of Hollywood double standards based on sex. But I think she’s the exception that proves the rule, at best.

  9. 9—

    maybe one’s appetite for heavyhanded foreshadowing, trite storylines, obvious plot devices, one dimensional characters, noblesse oblige and dimestore populism diminishes with age.

    Or maybe just with a better ride?

    5—Batman, another rich, inventive nerd, is the other one in contention for the top spot. The rest of the Top 10 would probably be filled with Marvel guys, though.

  10. 12 – I confess, I am missing the snark (which I doubtless deserve) here – are you crumming on my bike or my age or something else?

    /oh well, better take some of my brain pills.

  11. Another great post to start a series. Hopefully we’ll also get a game played, somehow.

  12. 13—No snark. You were saying that our difference in age (yours being higher) might account for the difference in our appreciation of the movie. I was saying that our difference in transportation (yours being far cooler) might account for the difference. I have no idea what I would think of the movie if I weren’t such an Iron Man lackey.

  13. 16 – Ah, claro! In the words of my good pal Nelson Mandela, “where you stand depends on where you sit”.

  14. Mac,

    Having lived in south Florida in the 80s, I must point about a few things that you missed. First, in the summer, Miami is not just LIKE hell, it IS hell. Miamians are smart enough not to sit out in 150% humidity with a 100% chance of thunderstorms at a football stadium to watch a team with a payroll of $12.

    There is no state income tax–which is great for the drug dealers since they normally pay lots of taxes on their income. Also, the First Amendment does not apply in South Florida when it comes to Fidel Castro.

    On the other hand, Miami has incredibly beautiful women-which is great as long as you are a multi-millionaire.

  15. Stu, Iron Man, in my opinion, is definitely in the top 5 superhero movies. I’d only put it behind Dark Knight and Spiderman 2.

  16. Mac,

    I have been reading this site for seven or eight year, and that is the funniest thing I have read on here. I almost peed my pants.

  17. @22 Eh, doesn’t change the fact that Iron Man was not a bad movie. It had good humor and brought a character no one knew about into popular culture.

  18. My top 5, in no particular order: Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Iron Man, the first two Superman movies.

    Somehow I’m on the Royals email list. They’ve given up trying to tell people to come see their team, so their current pitch is that the Yankees are coming to visit. I think they should try it out on New Yorkers, the plane trip’s not too bad and the tickets are a lot cheaper.

  19. Could Schafer still be suffering the effects of surgery? I dunno, seems like he ought to be back to health by now.

  20. Or, more likely, the injury has changed his career arc dramatically. I am pretty sure he was good at some point.

  21. Mac,

    One quibble with your otherwise excellent Florida write-up: James Monroe underrated?? I don’t know; I just don’t know….

  22. Maybe Wellman will work with Schaffer again on the commando moves and get him fixed.

    I do think the wrist is still a problem, but that makes me think it is possibly permanent. If it is permanent and if that was contributed to by his concealing the injury and / or bad doctors and / or training staff in Atlanta, then that makes it tragic, in a Greek tragedy sort of way.

  23. Kung Fu Panda, by a mile


    The incredibles was really good, btw. And why not Pixar films? At least they don’t try to hide the fact they are animated.

  24. Iron Man is top five. The other four are The Incredibles, Hancock, Unbreakable and Dark Knight.

  25. Because Pixar is better at making movies than everyone else.

    Ooo, I had forgotten about Unbreakable. Love that movie.

  26. Army of Darkness is the best superhero movie. If you narrow it down to dudes in spandex, I’d give the nod to Blankman.

    Schafer never quite had the stats to back up his immense hype. In his best season, he still had a pretty frightful K-rate. But his stats this season suggest he’s either still hurt or hasn’t regained his timing.

  27. Ha! Awesome. I love the “welocome to…” game threads.

    I actually liked that Gloria Estefan song they used for the Olympics.

  28. Stu – I have to agree.

    Marvel clearly has the best lineup, but it’s hard to go against Batman.

    Just because I’m a Braves fan does not mean I can’t admit that Albert Pujols is the most potent offensive force out there.

  29. Hanson, Medlen, Jurrjens, Terehan, Delgado, Vizcaino, Minor, Beachy.. These are all guys who look to at least be in consideration for a rotation spot in Atlanta’s future. That’s 8 guys for 5 spots, and that’s not counting for any “veterans” that the Braves might have in the rotation at that time (Hudson maybe?).

    The only ones that I would consider untouchable: Terehan, Delgado, and Hanson. Maybe Minor, but if he can be the key piece in a deal then I personally wouldn’t be calling for Wren’s head.

    Anyways, the point: Is Cody Ross/David DeJesus really the BEST we could hope for with that amount of pitching in the minors? Do we plan on fielding a 9 pitcher gimmick team in the future with pitchers playing all the positions and swapping onto the mound every inning or two?

    We have pitching now, and we have pitching for the future. A lot of people are worried about having to face Carpenter/Wainwright/Oswalt or Halladay/Hamels/Oswalt in a short series, and why is that? Because our offense, while good, does not strike any fear in the hearts of opponents, nor 100% confidence in fans.

    Can we really not let go of some of this embarrassing pitching depth to attempt to rectify that problem with someone better than Cody Ross? Isn’t that what you have to do when you’re going for it all? We’re not the Braves of the 90s anymore, who seemed almost entitled to a playoff spot. We’re back with the regular guys now, and we have to make tough moves for our chances just like everyone else.

  30. A lot of people whose opinions I respect liked Hancock. I don’t get it. The plot didn’t make much sense, the fight scenes weren’t good…. But then again, I only thought Iron Man was “okay”. The Batman movies, OTOH, were amazing.

  31. DeJesus done for the year.

  32. I liked the first half of Hancock. (Similarly, I liked the first half of I Am Legend.) Hancock went pretty seriously off the rails after an hour, but before that it was a good movie.

    Underrated superhero movie: Darkman.

    My irrational favorite: Blade.

  33. So you folks are the reason there is nothing decent to watch at the movies.

    I never realized that when I made my rule never to see a movie based on a comic book or a video game it would essentially exclude me from going to the movies for six months out of the year. Except of course going with my wife to sample whatever Katherine Heigl is selling this year.

  34. I wonder if Cody Ross will just head out of town with the braves after this series, it’d be convenient at least

  35. David O’Brien

    July 23rd, 2010
    4:21 pm
    Nolee, you might be right (the line about a warrant in So. Fla.).

    By the way, I just filed something for the Sunday paper about the Braves’ pitching prospects and how teams have been ringing the phone off the hook asking Wren which ones are available, etc. It should be posted online today or tomorrow, I think.

  36. Also knowing nothing about comic books, the whole Avengers crossovers in the Marvel movies have me excited for the rest of them. The latest pictures for Thor have thrown me off a bit, but I am pretty excited about Captain America. And then The Avengers movie in 2012 looks like it could be pretty awesome.

  37. No mention of any of the X-men movies? I thought they were pretty good, but I was a huge fan of the comic books growing up.

    Never saw the Wolverine flick. How was that?

  38. Pretty bad, Parish.

    Speaking of which, I’d nominate the GI Joe movie as the best bad superhero movie of recent vintage- there’s always enough going on to keep you from figuring out that none of it makes a lick of sense.

  39. @53 Don’t see it. It takes a really bad movie to overcome my love of Gambit AND Deadpool, but that movie did.

    I liked the first 2 X-men films, but they never focused on the characters I liked. Looking forward to the reboot.

  40. I always thought that Schaefer was over hyped. The Myrtle Beach effect. Have a good season at Myrtle Beach and suddenly you are a top prospect. See Marte, Andy.

    The Incredibles was the best SH movie. Even my wife liked Iron Man and Batman Begins so there’s that.

  41. Billings, Montana also bills itself as ‘the Magic City’ and is probably the least magical place I have ever lived.

    I always liked Image comics as a kid. I would love to see what The Maxx could be in the hands of the right director.

  42. Well to be fair, Birmingham isn’t all that magical either. Unless magical is a euphemism for shitty, in which case Nate McLout is a magical baseball player.

    Oh and while we’re talking about great superhero movies, how about Nick Cage in Ghostrider? Now that was magical.

  43. I’m a Tuscaloosa native. If it makes you feel any better, at least Birmingham is better than Tuscaloosa.

  44. @49 – You’re right. God forbid someone thinks a movie is entertaining if it originated as a comic book. Everyone knows a story can’t be any good if there are drawings involved.

  45. Dark Knight will probably go down as one of the greatest movies of the decade, imo, and it was based on a comic book.

    But other than that, anything after German expressionist films is obviously just garbage. The peak of cinema as an art form was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

    (This is me trying to do something with my film education. Are you guys impressed? Please tell me you are, because I’m currently suffering one of my weekly existential crises about my future as a graduate with a film degree that I just sort of fell into by mistake).

  46. Any news on weather and any chance of the game starting?

    (In urop so a little out of the loop)

  47. @Downeaster, if only you had spent a few lines describing how Genuine was better than Caligari

  48. @43, please let my good buddy Alex R. come on here to give his opinion of Hancock–it’s not to be missed.

    But I’d have to agree with you, mraver, Hancock was very mediocre and made no sense. Also, it had the worst villain of all time–just some chump who got his ass kicked in prison (although I can’t claim to remember his story because he.. sucked). On the plus side: Jason Bateman funny; Charlize Theron physically appealing; not Will Smith’s best but not hateable.

  49. Thanks, I’m not really sure how the Braves would fare in a doubleheader make-up game. We might have more depth than a lot of teams, but you never know what kind of team would be out there for the second game.

  50. The Myrtle Beach effect

    Over the last few years, Frenchy, McCann, Laroche and Langerhans all made there bones there to some extent. And with the exception of Schaefer, all became MLB regulars at some point, which is about as much as you can hope for from a guy in A ball. It’s a pretty good indicator of future success.

  51. @47, AAR, I can get on board with that description of Hancock (good start, devolution)–I think it turned around the time they tried to incorporate the villain (and weaken the superhero to make it “compelling”).

  52. I’m not sure of the parameters of the topic, but if we are talking about comic book adaptations, I think the Incredibles should be disqualified (not as a knock to the film).

    I’m a little surprised that no one has mentioned Sin City or The Watchmen. I remember seeing the Watchmen with a few people who hadn’t read the graphic novel. There was confusion on many levels.

    I also think many of these series have found the superior film to be the second one. I’m not sure why, but X2, spiderman 2, the dark knight, and blade 2 are the best of their lot. I can’t decide on the iron man(s).

  53. I was mortified with the altered ending in the Watchmen film, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the rest of it either.

  54. Honestly, I wish Nolan would do a third Batman movie and cast Hugo Weaving as a sort of dark, sadistic Riddler similar to Jigsaw from the Saw movies (only with less blood and gore of course, but that same sort of evil sadism). I think Weaving could pull it off better than anyone.

    Plus it would make him a near-god as far as the hierarchy for actors in “nerd” movies. Agent Smith in the Matrix, Elrond in the LotR movies, V in V for Vendetta, etc.

  55. Hey, I owned a comic book store for 16 years, Batman wouldn’t have a chance against Spiderman. In fact, Captain America would kick Bruce Wayne’s ass. Boy, I miss those days of stimulating conversations, such as “Could Iron Man defeat the entire team of X-Men?” Answer, Yes, as long as Professor X isn’t around to mind control. Best Superhero Movie: Superman II
    Most Underrated: The Flash Two-Part Pilot (Also the three episodes with Joyce Hyser—-check out Just One of the Guys sometime, YUMMY!)

  56. Far more worrisome: the Marlins are starting “Alex Sanabia,” a guy who had 5.9 K/9 at high-A last year and who has all of 17 major league innings of experience before tonight. In January, John Sickels left him off his list of the top 40 Marlins prospects.

    He’ll probably three-hit us until getting removed in the sixth, while Derek Lowe gives up three runs in five innings and gets yanked for Peter Moylan with men on first and third.

  57. I heard a rumor that Nolan is thinking of casting Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as the Riddler in his next Batman movie. I can’t say that would suck. Not even a little bit.

  58. Some people will still think Jordan Schafer still has a wrist injury when he is 45 and playing on a beer softball league batting .215

  59. If Schafer is willing to show up and play every night for our softball league..I’ll take him.

    In seriousness, how hurt was Heyward? Will we every know?

  60. Fave Polanski: “The Pianist,” right up there with “Chinatown.”

    I wish, but the Twinks are in Bal’mer.

    Instead, I’m at an event at First Avenue (of “Purple Rain” fame). The thing started at 5. Thank God they have Guinness on tap.

  61. Didn’t look like all that bad of a pitch really. Time to get some runs off the rookie, guys.

  62. Considering the chips we have and apparent interest in them, if Wren DOESN’T make a move (beyond AAG), then I will count it against him. Not that he or anybody else in the world cares a single iota, just putting it out there. We have too much depth, too obvious a need, and are in too good of a position not to make a move right now.

    Also, smh @ Derek Lowe. smfh.

  63. I’ve reached the point that so long as somebody other than McLouth is playing CF, I’ll count that as a victory for the team.

  64. Depends what deals are out there. If you can’t get proper value in return there’s no reason to deal prospects now just for the sake of dealing them.

    Edit: The one small silver lining is that l’Out’s swing does at least look more level.

  65. Wow. Thanks a lot Nate McJumpoffabuilding. Not only did you hit into a DP to end the inning, but you just substantially increased Wren’s interest in Ross. It’s like you invent new ways to hurt the team.

  66. So far this year:

    McLouth: -0.9 WAR
    Melky: -0.3 WAR

    If we had even a league average guy in CF…

  67. #111 – Lowe giving up runs and the offense being shut out by a guy I’ve never heard of? Is there really any other way this game could go?

  68. Cary INSISTED I pop in here to make a comment about the film “Hancock”.

    Here’s my 2 cents – that was one of the biggest pieces of crap movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I lost all respect for Will Smith after that, or at least gave me further license to make fun of him for being a Scientologist.

    Never have I seen a movie so horrible pieced together like it was edited by Helen Keller. The movie actually set back five years of my brain’s higher learning functions.

    Ok, I have more but back to watching the game online. Just wanted to take a few moments and rip the hell out of “Hancock”. Cary was one of the people responsible for making me see it. He STILL owes me one.

  69. Alex, given how things are going so far, feel free to interrupt this game as often as you like.

  70. Brian J,

    Cary insisted I comment on “Hancock”. That is my ONLY interruption :) But scoring some runs off this no name Florida pitcher might be nice.

    Why does Lowe LAWAYS insist on spotting runs (plural) to the opposition??

  71. The Watchmen should go down in film history as a case study in how slavish devotion to source material will ruin a story.

    Hancock was a good film.

  72. I’m not sure something like Marlins career leader in home runs should count when it’s just 143…

  73. I didn’t absolutely hate the Watchmen until that horrible sex scene set to Leonard Cohen. The movie completely and irrevocably lost me there.

    I didn’t like Hancock too much, but I often times breathe through my mouth. Bad allergies.

    Big AB for AAG.

  74. those short little arms Nat’s got don’t account for much distance on those fly outs :D

  75. new topic: I know we dont NEED Oswalt, but he has said he wants to play for us. I am in favor of trading for him just so he dosen’t end up on the Cardnals, thus making them impossible to beat in the postseason. Who’s with me?

  76. Lowe has 82 pitches through 4 innings. He might be done after 5.

    We better score some runs soon, looks like the clouds are rolling in.

  77. So is that the first rule of Braves Journal now? (And presumably also the second?)

    Prado: Should still be feared.

  78. BP estimated that Prado would hit nine home runs all season. (Comparisons: Schafer 9, Escobar 14, McLouth 20)

  79. @139

    The money quote (and the funniest qualified praise you’ll ever read):

    “Here is the thing: the Royals could actually acquire Francoeur and have it turn out to be a useful move. For all the jokes and all the ridiculous bravado around Francoeur’s clubhouse demeanor – supposedly, he is the one who dictates when the rest of the team shaves … and this is highlighted as an endearing quality to have in the clubhouse; only in baseball would being the guy in charge of everyone else’s facial hair be such an important position – Francoeur could actually be a decent platoon mate.”

    That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!!

  80. last time we put him in down one run, it didn’t work out too well. bobby’s taking the crazy pills again.

  81. So Chavez can’t be trusted with an 8-run lead but is currently warming up. Very weird bullpen usage.

  82. 172 — Yes, I tire of the whole squeezing one more inning of the starter that Bobby does with all of our pitchers.

  83. This is Chavez’ 4th appearance in July. His next strikeout will be his first since June 29. (Notably, that is three more appearances than Kawa-whoever.)

  84. Dear Wren:

    Please take note of how this team is losing to a pitcher who, by all reason, should be nothing more than a cheap garbage time guy. There is absolutely no reason that we should lose this game, so please do something to make sure this shit doesn’t happen again.

    Also, send Heyward after McBlowme again.

  85. Lowe in 6th inning, 2010: 10.38 ERA, 15 G, 13 IP. He’s been knocked out during the sixth five times this year, including three of the last four games.

  86. @172.. he has to.. we have 4 reliable bullpen arms right now, one of whom is Moylan, who’s arm is held on by duct tape. Another is Wagner who, God forbid, can NEVER be used before the 9th.

  87. I wasn’t blaming Heyward, I just want him to run over McLouth again so that we HAVE to get another OF.

  88. I’m forced to watch the Marlins TV broadcast here in Miami today. They sound completely heart-broken. Their god awful bullpen has done this kind of meltdown all year long.

  89. BMac. Seriously considering founding a temple in which all are welcome to praise his glory.

  90. 230 — Well, Hart sucks. I’d rather have a Hinske/Diaz platoon in LF. And I don’t think Hart can play center anymore.

  91. yesssssssss!

    again, the Marlins TV people sound so numb.

    and here comes the throw.. this game is tied ..


  92. Pet peeve: I hate when Joe says “Good at-bat” on a walk that’s not recorded as an at-bat.

  93. I think most relievers are headcases. This guy, Veras, just walked off the mound pointing to the heavens after that K, all pumped and whatnot.. he stopped halfway and realized, ‘oh yeah, we’re losing now’

  94. Can the Mets trade Jeffy to the Marlins RIGHT NOW and the Marlins put him in their lineup? Is that possible?

  95. McCann knocks in slightly more than his crappy catching allows, which is saying something.

  96. Wow……McCann’s defense is just horrible. I hope age doesn’t catch up with the Braves.

  97. If the braves lose the division, we will point back to this debacle. Stupid lazy azz defense all around.

  98. cant walk people, its pretty simple. Braves shouldve opened it up in the top of the 9th, Chipper shouldve knocked down Melkys throw, Bmac should be able to catch a straight fastball, Wagner shouldve been able to hold them….get em tomorrow

  99. McCann’s gaffe aside, Wagner’s velocity looks down on his fastball and he appears reluctant to challenge with it. When you’re careful to schmoes like Wes Helms and Donnie Murphy you have to figure he may be wearing down a little.

  100. #304 – people say that about every loss, this one hurts no more than the 1st one to the Pads

  101. Just thought I’d sign on to say that I fucking I hate the fucking Marlins.

    Oh, and Chief showed up after a loss, lol. What a surprise. :roll:

  102. If they blow a 6-game lead then they’ll need much more than this loss to get there. Many other things will have to go wrong. It’s possible, but this was just one loss.

    The Braves also have the most wins on the last at-bat of the game–in the majors. So it goes.

  103. That 3-2 slider to Uggla was nasty. The Marlins put in some good at-bats, and you had a passed ball. What can ya do?

  104. 306,

    He hit 97 with it and threw a pretty nasty slider to Uggla. Hang this loss on McCann (who would have been the game’s MVP otherwise. Cruel sport.)

  105. What is it with Marlins? It’s bad enough they have two world series wins to the Braves 1, but just imagine if they were able to keep half their talent home.

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