Opening Day Game Thread: April 1, 2013

Welcome to Philadelphia:

Philadelphia, known as “The City of Brotherly Love” ever since Benjamin Franklin invented sarcasm in 1767, is the largest city in Pennsylvania and a suburb of New York. Philadelphia was founded by Quakers, who have to still be wondering what happened. The city was the site of the writing of the United States Constitution and the nation’s capital from 1790 to 1800. Pennsylvanians were hoping that the country would never get around to actually building Washington DC and the capital would remain in their state. Things in Philadelphia have consistently gone downhill since 1800.

Philadelphia’s sports teams are best known for their consistent record of bitter failure. The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a Super Bowl. The Philadelphia 76ers have not won an NBA title since 1982 and used to play in Syracuse. The Philadelphia Flyers have not won the Stanley Cup since 1974. Temple University football is coming off its first winning season since 1990. And while the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, it remains the case that they have lost more games than any professional sports franchise in history and their total of two World Series wins is tied for the lowest of any of the “original” sixteen teams. All of this has understandably left Philadelphia sports fans bitter, a bitterness they express by gaining weight and by booing basically everybody except for Philadelphia players who may have killed or maimed members of the opposition.

Philadelphia’s signature items of cuisine include “cheesesteak”, which makes up for its lack of steak-quality meat by being extremely cheesy. Entire elections have swung on proper cheesesteak etiquette. Another well-known Philadelphia delicacy is “scrapple”, defined by Wikipedia as “a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices”. Yum, pork scraps and trimmings!

Philadelphia music is defined by the “Philly Sound”, which is the sound of musicians leaving Philadelphia for New York as quickly as they can. Famous Philadelphia music acts include the O’Jays and Hall & Oates, and I really like both and don’t have a joke here. Philadelphia was also the home of American Bandstand until Dick Clark left Philadelphia in 1964 in search of virgins whose blood could maintain his unholy lifeforce.

This one’s for Mac.

193 thoughts on “Opening Day Game Thread: April 1, 2013”

  1. Keep this info on bravesjournal but according to a bar owner where brad clontz visits, chipper has expressed interest to fredi about coming back after ASB if the Braves are in contention. That’d be interesting…

    Edit: the bar owner told me that clontz and chipper are “buddies”. I don’t know if any of this is true.

  2. I’ve been beating that drum since the last out of the WC game! @3, I don’t care if you are an anonymous person on the internet posting on April Fools’ Day that you know a guy who knows a former Brave who knows Chipper who swears he’s coming back midseason. Today, you are Peter Gammons. I WANT TO BELIEVE.

  3. From Ken Rosenthal:

    Any chance the media pundits start calling New York fans “apathetic” and “bad fans?” I’ve never seen Turner Field look that empty at any point during a game, even if there was a heavy rain or if the Braves were being blown out. The reported attendance at Yankee Stadium was below capacity, too. And keep in mind, the Yankees home playoff games last year didn’t sell out.

  4. I will say that I didn’t even blink at the fact that today April 1st. My source could be false but it’s legit. 😀👍

  5. The lumbering, oafish, bloated, tiresome Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is the Ottoman Empire of Major League Baseball. I’m honestly surprised Yankee “fans” have held on as long as they have to it.

  6. I attended many Yankees games in 1996 and 1997, and the place was usually half empty. For arguably one of the greatest baseball teams ever assembled, and certainly the most exciting Yankees team in a generation or more. But people like to pretend that economics has nothing to do with “fandom.”

  7. #16
    Like most clubs that win a title, the Yanks began to draw after they won the ’96 title. They went from 2.2 mil in ’96 to 2.5 to 2.9 to 3.3. Eventually, they hit the 4 million mark in 2005.

    That pic is the bottom of the 9th in an 8-2 game during a chilly, windy, drizzly day. Hardly indicative of much.

    It’s kinda difficult to imply that Yankee fans are unsupportive. (Front-runners maybe, but not unsupportive.) I mean, they did draw 4 million into the old stadium in each of its last 4 years (2005-08). The new place has 7,500 fewer seats & it’s obscenely more expensive, but they’ve drawn between 3.5 & 3.7 mil each year so far—-good for 1st or 2nd in MLB attendance since 2009.

    That said, this year’s team seems as if it’s going take a big step back & they are going to feel it at the gate, especially if they get off to a bad start.

    I’ve had an upper-deck season-ticket plan since the ’90s & this is the first off-season where the Yankees allowed me to both move my regular seats to a better upper-level spot and actually pick that spot.

    Each year, we get a “designated sales person” to contact for any issues we may have, but this is the first year where my sales guy actually called me back or returned my email within minutes of them being sent. And the club has never advertised for season tickets to the extent that they have this year.

    The club is definitely feeling it and it’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. But, overall high prices coupled with potentially bad baseball could mean a significant dropoff in The Bronx this year.

    It’s been said before, and it’s true, that the only 2 pro teams in NY that will draw well when they’re bad are the NY Giants & the NY Rangers.

  8. “Time, like an ever rolling stream,
    Bears all its sons away;
    They fly, forgotten, as a dream
    Dies at the opening day.”

  9. Jeff Francoeur just grounded out on the first pitch with the tying run on second to lose the game for Kansas City. He’s in midseason form already!

  10. It’s been on ESPN2 here since 7, they just showed Chipper throwing out the first pitch.

  11. Is Andrus Worth his deal ?? or will it look like a steal to have a SS at 15 mil several years down the road? I’m wondering what Simmons will be getting eventually…

  12. That was frickin awesome. I’ve now seen Heyward homer twice and freeman once on first AB opening day! Woot!

  13. This line-up is going to be a lot of fun to watch, especially when they throw McCann or Gattis in the mix.

  14. Keep this info on bravesjournal but according to a bar owner where brad clontz visits, chipper has expressed interest to fredi about coming back after ASB if the Braves are in contention. That’d be interesting…

    What if Johnson/Francisco are playing wel…

    Yeah, Chipper coming back would be nice.

  15. The Andrus deal is a bit weird with Profar hanging around. I’m not sure he’s ever going to be anything but a liability with the bat – he’s exactly the kind of guy you should be looking to move.

    PS – Uggla?

  16. I love how they were talking about walking Upton to get to Uggla before the game. Awesome theory, guys.

  17. Well, it’s a good things Simmons is as good as he is, because we’re going to *need* a superstar fielder to catch Laird’s throws.

  18. That was an incredible diving stop by Simmons on Laird’s errant throw. Watching his daily highlight reel is going to be loads of fun as well.

  19. ?

    15 pitches per inning is fine. At that rate you get through 6 or 7 no problem.

    I’d have actually characterized it as “pretty efficient”.

    Also: Andrelton!

  20. 63 — I don’t really see that happening with his contract, but you never know.

    Additionally if McCann can get back fully healthy it might not be a bad thing to let Gattis catch a lot of games in the minors rather than one game a week as the backup. Just so the Braves get a better look at whether or not he could be a full time starter.

  21. This strike zone graphic needs to be put to rest during live action, much like FoxTrax during hockey.

  22. Chris Johnnson kind of looks like Schafer if Schafer looked like a baseball player.

  23. Chipper is drunk!

    Maybe Ryan (#3) was on to something, and Chipper came to the game from the bar?

  24. @78 I expect a number of things from Simmons, but a smart at bat is not one of them. One of the reasons he shouldn’t be leading off.

  25. A lot of our guys haven’t seen much of Hamels. He can make you look really stupid. Still one of the best in the league.

  26. Episode: When Tim Hudson suddenly loses the ability to get anyone out, to the degree that it is surprising he has full control of his limbs and his bowels, he is having an Episode. Usually in the sixth or seventh inning.

  27. Hudson has nothing. I dunno what the radar gun is showing but I bet he’s not hitting 90 with the fastball.

  28. Dammit, Bethany, I wanted to make that joke. But I wanted to wait until Luis got out of the jam.

  29. @93 I disagree. He had a reasonable shot at getting an out and was right to try it, imo. If he throws to second then Utley just stays at first, he’s not going to run into the out. Sure, you keep the go-ahead run at first instead of in scoring position, but it’s only the 5th inning. If it’s later in the game that’s one thing, but right now you try to get the guy out and reduce the odds of an even bigger inning.

  30. Whew. Nice work Louis. That half-inning took like 6 hours. Now let’s get Freeman back to the plate so we can score again.

  31. @98, we’ll have to agree to disagree then. There was no play at 3rd. Keeping the double play in order is the best way to get out of the inning. That or bring in a filthy Avilan.

  32. Don Sutton reads this blog. For sure.

    Other people heard him sing “Feliz Navidad” just now, right?

  33. Walk/double/single in the same amount of time that it took for Chip to expound on what a good pickup Durbin was for the Phils.

  34. The Durbinator, Braves might have wrung the very last drop of blood from that stone. Though he didn’t exactly start last season in impressive fashion either.

  35. Oh, we definitely cut bait on him at the right time. Certainly not arguing that.

    Also…woo, new lineup!

  36. I dunno about Reed. A DP that brings in a run doesn’t really score any points in my book.

  37. Durbin continues the tradition of former Braves infecting division rivals with their suckitude.

  38. Good Simmons story told by McDonough on ESPN2. Apparently, as soon as Simmons came up, after seeing him in 3 games, Hudson went to Fredi and told him that there’s no reason to use Jack Wilson for his starts any more.

  39. Chip Caray seems like the kind of guy who would cry at an opera.

    No offense to opera fans.

  40. sup fellas, I haven’t posted much here before, but I have been lurking for over 3 years.
    I hope to have a more active role from now on; go braves!

  41. Nice to see Chris Johnson take a walk! Maybe the battle with El Nino Destructor will spur Johnson to improve his game this season.

    PS – I also note that he has the same initials as Chipper Jones… coincidence? Almost certainly yes.

  42. Thanks, I’m a bit ashamed to say I posted on AJC once in a while, but I don’t like the new format they have going over there.

    Not to mention the quality of posters is infinitely better here :)

    Hmmm…not sure why they went with Pena instead of Juan Fran there :/

  43. 166 — FatJuan was up shortly before Reed pinch hit, he might have been announced before the pitching switch.

    It’s so silly that I’m just a little disappointed that Kimbrel only strikes out one.

  44. Anyone catch the inning where Chip and Murph were talking about the 500 foot bombs that Fat Juan and Gattis were hitting in practice yesterday? Can’t wait to see them in the same lineup.

  45. 178- I was watching the phillies feed and they mentioned that the pitching change was made before Juan was announced; moot point now, no harm done.

    And yeah, Kimbrel was a little wild, Laird has got to get better at framing pitches.

  46. “Damn, didn’t even have to acknowledge the ignorant, balding, overweight dumbass that is @petegaines bfor u guys took care of it. Love y’all!”

    “Here’s a tip. If ur gonna talk smack on the twitta, don’t put ur girl in the avi with you. Just askin for trouble when she outweighs you!”

  47. @183

    Had no idea Tweetdeck was so effective at fighting male-pattern baldness. Someone should contact a medical journal or something.

  48. If Opening Day is any indicator of the future, I think we could be in for a pretty fun season.

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