The one true thing that never dies…

There are few rhetorical gambits more risible than pretending that “generational characteristics” are anything more than astrology applied in ten year increments. While I, as much as anyone, would certainly appreciate it if you Millenial types would kindly exit my lawn post haste, I do not believe we should assign you individual characteristics based on the random assignation of your birth date to a cohort. That said, I will merely mention the following in passing.

You kids, with your Phillies and your Nationals and your sadly pathetic retro-80s electropop, are doing it wrong. As we discussed during the Toronto series, rivalries do not spring fully formed from the gaping maw of Bud Selig’s fevered brainpan. They are forged in the fires of Mount Doom, where hate is a geological force. If you are a Braves fan, you do not hate the Nationals. The Nationals are just the flavor of the month with fantastically bad hair. They’re insects. They’re nothing. You do not hate insects. You crush them, like bugs.

You do not hate the Phillies. Three years of moderately decent play amidst an otherwise decades long march of pathetic horribleness? No. You don’t hate that. You pity that, and try to wash it off when you get out of that godforsaken airport.

The Mets? Oh please. That’s like hating Corky from L.A. Law. No, my lovely wee lads (and lasses.) Braves fans do not hate the Mets. We point at them and laugh, until someone chides us on Facebook about bullying the special needs class and how that’s not the sort of retro-80s thing that we’re supposed to be bringing back around. The Mets! Tie your shoe, Ike Davis.

No, my dear ones. We don’t hate any of those teams, because they’re beneath our gaze. They are…minor, to us. As proper Braves fans, we hate only one team. As Braves fans, we have only one real rival who merits our passion. As Braves fans, we save it all for the garblegarbled Los Angeles Dodgers.

We hates them, my preciouses. We hates them like hobbitses. We hates them like HBO viewers who didn’t read the books suddenly hate Walder Frey. We hates them like Brett Butler slapping yet another weak singl to the opposite field, stealing second and coming around to score the 32nd run of the game with two out. We hates them the way a proper Falcons fan hates Joe Montana and the rassafracking San Francisco Forty-Niners. From hell’s heart, we stab at them. With hate’s last breath, we spit at them. For every season we watched in near-tears as the greatest player in the history of Major League Baseball, Claudell Washington, was denied his rightful trip to the playoffs…

Die, you scum Dog bastards. Die in hell!

Consider this your game thread, if you can stay awake that long…

216 thoughts on “The one true thing that never dies…”

  1. JC’d:
    I don’t see much, Alex, at least on a quick look (it’s kind of a pain to get this data). So far this year, NL teams are averaging 4.07 runs per game with a standard deviation of 2.84 runs. The Braves are averaging 4.52 with a standard deviation of 2.95. A difference this small is insignificant based on 59 games. There could be something happening in the tails which a simple standard deviation analysis doesn’t show, but you won’t be able to tell with this sample size. There’s no evidence at the moment that the Braves should be any streakier than other teams.

    The current average streak length for all teams is 2.07. the Braves have somewhat longer streaks (2.77), but teams with good (or bad) records almost have to have longer average streak lengths. The Marlins, who certainly don’t seem streaky, just bad, have an average streak length of 2.66.

  2. Fascinating. Well, either that’s one theory out the window, or maybe we just haven’t played enough season for the Braves to really separate themselves from the pack in that regard.

    But that’s pretty good news. It pretty much just means that the Braves are a good team.

  3. It pretty much just means that the Braves are a good team.

    Shorthand: a team with good players and a good record is probably good.

  4. The Gettysburg Address, Churchill’s “We Will Never Surrender” speech and now this game thread. Such bold and precise eloquence. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

    I want to sit in life’s balcony with you like the two old guys from The Muppet Show.

    Dodger Hate. Righteous. Righteous indeed.

  5. I like the fact that we score a lot of runs despite poor RISP numbers. Should that BABIP drift up just a bit, by virtue of an even slight Upton/Heyward/Uggla renaissance of some kind, there are going to be a LOT of crooked number innings.

  6. Also, this happened on Twitter:

  7. Yes, a true Braves fan will know EXACTLY where he was when Bob Watson drilled hat grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to go 6.5 up on Those People.

    True Braves fans remember laughing with glee as Ozzie Smith took Tom Neidenfuhrer deep in the ’85 playoffs. (Ignore the fact that we sucked royally in ’85. You were rooting against the Dodgers in any way possible).

    True Braves fans think Orel Hershiser was throwing spitters in ’88 to the roided up A’s and that the ’88 WS should be retroactively awarded to oakland.

    In other words – preach it Brother Sam, Preach!

    Edit: True Braves fans also don’t concern themselves with the correct spelling of Dodger relief pitcher’s last names, preferring to Godwinize the Dodgers whenever possible.

  8. 31. ATLANTA BRAVES (compensation pick for losing free agent Michael Bourn): Scouting director Tony DeMacio’s affection for lefthanders could lead him to Kaminsky, Green, Krook or Gonzales (who’s reminiscent of Atlanta’s 2011 first-rounder, Sean Gilmartin). Harvey might trump all the southpaws. If the Braves desire a bat, it could be Hart, McKinney or Demeritte.

    PROJECTED PICK: Hunter Green.
    (Mock draft 1.0: Billy McKinney/2.0: Hunter Green/3.0: McKinney)

    BA mock Draft – http://ht.ly/lLIYi

  9. With respect to the Braves’ offense and run production – the team’s overall offensive line is .247/.324/.420 (.296 BABIP) versus what Spike reports is .236/.337/.340 (.299 BABIP) with RISP. Basically, the Braves walk a bit more and hit for substantially less power with runners in scoring position, which has suppressed our run production a bit.

  10. I don’t get Daft Punk, either. And Hunter Green is a shirt color, I’m pretty sure.

    And, with that, I’m off to the beach. Thanks for pinch-hitting for me, Sam — I’ll getcha back.

  11. @6, Kudos to Mark Wohlers for deftly navigating the hazards of “you’re/your” spelling, and on social media no less!

  12. @7, When Bob Watson hit that home run on the 8″ black and white TV in my room, I raced through the house screaming my head off. It was at that point that I became a baseball fan, a Braves fan, and a Dodger hater, all in one. Growing up in Vero Beach, FL, it was hard to wear your Dodger hatred in public but I found my ways.

  13. Much as it pains me to admit I know this, I do not recall a character called “Corky” on LA Law. I believe you mean “Life Goes On.” Perhaps you may have meant Benny.

  14. All the discussion on the streakiness of the Braves has been interesting. It does seem like we’ve been shutout more often than in years past (7 in 59 games), but the real streakiness may be with the pitching. I know we gave up a load of runs when the Giants swept us in early May(8, 10, and 5) and Maholm and Hudson have definitely not pitched consistently recently. All in all, with our full lineup back, we may not have many more streaks similar to losing 7 out of 9 with a 5.44 ERA like we did at the end of April – we can only hope not.

  15. 10- Did I miss a Daft Punk discussion? The new album strikes as museum quality craftsmanship but it still leaves me feeling hollow in the soul (were that a concept I believed in). I have to wash it down with some Johnny Cash.

    I don’t think we go with Hunter Green. Maybe Hunter Harvey if he is available, but he is going to go earlier. I am less certain Ziomek will go early, and my gut tells me we might take him.

    Stu, do you like Ziomek?

  16. We need more walk off walks, balks, wild pitches, pass balls and hit by pitches. We got some of them one year.

  17. I’m sorry, but as one of those lawn-dwelling millenials who arrived in Atlanta years after division realignment, I feel nothing for the Dodgers. Do hate the Nats and Phillies, though.

    But for all you oldtimers, I’ll be rooting for not just a Braves sweep, but a humiliating sweep that broadens the disastrous scope of the Dodgers’ 2013.

  18. IIRC, that Watson HR was a 2-run PH job off Steve Howe. What I do remember was that I almost drove off the road with Ernie Johnson’s radio call.

    Daft Punk? Funny, I was just picking up my “Random Access Memories” vinyl earlier this morning. (The record’s OK, but I liked ’em better when they used drum machines.)

  19. 16—I do like Zo. He’s very much like Alex Wood (minus the injury history) — a lefty with good stuff and a funky delivery. Not too many places I’ve seen have him going that high, though.

    …but I’ve sort of been quietly assuming that the Braves would be on him at #31.

    EDIT: Although it would be a big departure in one sense: The kid is from Massachusetts, not GA or a neighboring state.

  20. spike: Much as it pains me to admit I know this, I do not recall a character called “Corky” on LA Law. I believe you mean “Life Goes On.” Perhaps you may have meant Benny.

    There’s an “all looks the same to me” joke in there I should probably avoid making.

    Anon21: But for all you oldtimers, I’ll be rooting for not just a Braves sweep, but a humiliating sweep that broadens the disastrous scope of the Dodgers’ 2013.

    It’s probably the best we can hope from you lot.

    JoeCraig: 10- Did I miss a Daft Punk discussion? The new album strikes as museum quality craftsmanship but it still leaves me feeling hollow in the soul

    Pick up the new Coliseum and scour your brain.

  21. In my twenties but don’t consider myself a millennial, although I’m not sure where the official generational age cutoff stands.

    Sartorially, I don’t wear day-glow bright clothing or deep v-neck shirts and I curve the bill of my caps in the Cooter fashion the way it’s supposed to be worn. And I hated that We Are Young song. So I guess I’m not a millennial.

    Anyway, I’m too young to know the dodger hate, but I will go along. For me, the Marlins will be the team I forever loathe. 1997 scarred me deep and I just can’t stand that they have 2 World Series wins in years when Braves teams were great.

  22. Wonderful post, but I suppose the most hated team depends on one’s perspective. To me, the Mets and their fans aren’t Corky. They’re the most vile, reprehensible, judgmental people in the world who saw my Braves cap at a 2000 game at Shea Stadium — which smelled like unflushed toilet water, no matter how far you were from the restroom — and assumed I must have an I.Q. of 44 and be a virulent racist because some idiot, troglodyte, scattershot, thick-skulled relief pitcher decided to speak ill of any ethnic or social group that differed from his own. The patrons of Dodger Stadium, on the other hand, see my Braves hat, shrug and go back to perusing “Us” magazine to see if they’re hot or not.

    Players, managers and owners come and go. Fans stay. I’ve got no issue with the Dodgers. The Mets can take up permanent residence in the seventh circle of hell. Of course, they wouldn’t know the difference between that and Shea Stadium, having spent 45 seasons whiling away their summers in that rat-infested, vomit-stained erector set.

  23. I for one am deeply touched by the broad diversity of hates brought together in the broad tent of Braves fandom.

  24. I think the ’82, ’83 & ’91 NL West Division races are what made the Dodgers hatable.

    Before the ’80s, the Braves were so bad I didn’t get caught up hating the good teams that stomped us (Reds, Dodgers, Phils & Pirates) because there was no real rivalry. Back then, if Niekro wasn’t pitching, you’d tend to resign yourself to a loss.

    I generally worried about the Braves staying above the Padres (and the Falcons staying above the Saints).

  25. I hope Pena doesn’t always play at CJ’s expense rather than Uggla. But with the sinkerballer on the mound I’ve got no problem with hiding CJ in the dugout.

  26. 2 Ga HS OFs from the same town go in the top 10 picks. I know it was predicted, but still.

  27. @35: When you think about it, aren’t knees just elbows with more hair?

    No? Well, that’s what I get for going to law school.

  28. Great post, Sam.

    I was a Dodgers fan before the Braves moved south but lost my fondness for them in the early ’80s.

    Let’s whup us some Dodgers.

  29. when you visit this Doctor it seems he has to find something…

    has ever a virgo intacta
    been sent to the Doctor exacta
    returned as he came
    his body the same
    billing the dominant facta.

  30. No doubt I will lose some street cred here, but my former white-hot Dodger hatred has mellowed with the passage of time, the retirement of Tommy Lasorda, and the infrequency of six games a year. I hate the Dodgers like I hate Hessian mercenaries — I remember the historic context, but I only have the energy for so much contemporary hate. By the way — Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Jim Leyritz and Eric Gregg? Still furious.

  31. My hatred of the Dodgers stems from a different, earlier place: I hate them for leaving Brooklyn.

  32. Gotta say, though, that Dodger Stadium is an underrated place to see a ballgame and Echo Park nearby has some great shops, restaurant/bars & clubs.

  33. @45 I was hoping Braves could get him. His power looks legit from the videos I watched earlier today.

  34. Holy manaea, Ian Clarkin is still available too. It’s going to be a lefthanded starting pitcher, but which one?

  35. BA had Clarkin going 15th, and I don’t think I saw anybody predicting he’d still be available this late.

  36. And the Braves pick Jason Hursh of Oklahoma State. He’s already had his team-mandated Tommy John! Uh, yeah?

  37. Develop him, trade him for an everyday player and then let someone else deal with his next TJ surgery.

  38. I feel like a real bandwagon jumper joining in during the 1992 season. Is there a braves journal code of conduct relating to watching games? specifically, I would choose vin scully in a heartbeat over chip, now I feel like I’m cheating on my significant other. And so I ask for guidance, who should I listen to?

  39. Hursh projects to be a starter or reliever??
    Btw Ian Clarkin said ” I cannot stand the Yankees” in his pe-recorded video must be a dream come true for him.

  40. @61

    Scully. He is a national treasure. And he is taking it to another level entirely by sharing thoughts on D-Day. Chip has been a national laughingstock.

  41. Pena at 3rd is a really good idea against a good RHP and with Hudson on the mound.

  42. 64-He looks like a fastball-slider late inning reliever to me, but he’s a starter in college.

  43. Maybe the solution will be to start Beachy on road trips and Hudson at home.

  44. Pitching to Schumaker here, when you kind of suck, seems greedy to me. Face the .120 hitter and the pitcher.

  45. #78
    It’s a suspicion that Skip Caray would jokingly confront Sutton with on-air, and no, Don didn’t much like it.

  46. So, Vin Scully just told a story attributed to the umpire Doug Harvey. Harvey suspected that Sutton was hiding sandpaper in his glove to doctor the ball. So Harvey went out to the mound and asked to see Sutton’s glove. In Sutton’s glove, there was a piece of paper. He took it out and looked at it.

    On the piece of paper were the words, “You’re warm, but it isn’t here.”

    Harvey swears that this is a true story.

  47. Color me unimpressed with the collective stolen base ability of the team so far this year

  48. 84-We’ve attempted 13 fewer stolen bases than the league average, which is a pretty good stat if you ask me. And a handful of the dozen caught stealings are on Fredi.

  49. @65 It would be one thing if we could say about Chip, “he might be a national laughingstock, but he’s ours.” Except he’s not ours, he’s the Cubs’ guy. His dad was ours, and we love Skip, but, as far as Chip goes (and as he is fond of saying), once a Cubbie, always a Cubbie.

  50. Even if Chip was “mine,” I’d still hate him.

    Also, maybe instead of bunting, they should just stand there and pray for a walk.

  51. @93

    I hope those responsible for deciding Maddux’s cap on his HoF plaque disagree. And I don’t even regard Chip as a Cubs guy. Or even a baseball guy. In the part of Florida where I grew up, he was the first TV voice of the Orlando Magic. He wasn’t completely intolerable. Maybe it was because in those first few years, he and the team were one and the same: crap.

  52. Huddy just popped 91. Haven’t seen that too often this year. With the avoidance of an episode, he seems to have settled in.

  53. Damn, the Tigers got Ziomek just a few spots before us. Wahl is still available. Might as well get two hard-throwing righthanders.

  54. I really wish Justin would go back to being good. Also, both Uptons love to blame the umps for strikeouts. It’s almost as annoying when Justin does it as when BJ does it.

  55. So we made Greinke throw 60 pitches through 3.

    And he might still record more outs than Huddy today.

  56. Dan Uggla can sure make the ordinary look remarkable out there, can’t he?

    He plays second base like he’s wrestling an alligator.

  57. @102 ” He has a good arm and blocks balls well” ? doesn’t sound too exciting but who knows.

  58. We gotta do something this inning, or Greinke is going to go 8 and we’ll only see one reliever.

  59. I was wondering when Scully would get around to telling me that Uggla is Swedish for “owl.”

  60. Hey Fredi, you might want to start thinking about pinch-hitting for Danny boy when the game is on the line.

  61. It would be so much easier in my life if Uggla became a Met. It’d make my hatred much more efficient.

  62. Uggla lost the game today. Only legit chance we had at a sac fly there, and he took two strikes down the middle, and the only pitch he offered at was the worst one he saw.

  63. I feel like we just got Lonnie Smith’d. Except I don’t think Freeman would have made it even if he tagged.

  64. Nice Schafer…good start…Best part is we have some speed on the basepaths..

  65. Major League Baseball regrets to inform you that your winning streak is dead because your players were stupid.

  66. *Of course* Jason gets the hit there. This game should have been tied so many times..

  67. Just hit the ball out of the fucking park. Can’t get anything wrong when you do that.

  68. Justin can’t hit ANYTHING right now. He can’t even make contact. He might aswell just not swing and hope they walk him.

  69. There are too many outs in this lineup if Justin is going to be an automatic out. Every game we lose with Gattis still on the bench is an embarrassment.

  70. Maybe I’m wrong, but why not let Hudson hit for himself? Only 76 pitches, 2 hits allowed…

  71. 161 — Schafer was running on the play and didn’t retag 2nd after he passed it.

  72. I think you have to pinch hit Gattis for Uggla in the 9th. Then you pinch hit Johnson in the 9 hole if it comes up, and move Pena to 2nd.

    You gotta cut the rope on Uggla at some point.

  73. On the replay it looked to me like Schafer did touch the bag with the toe of his left foot. CB Bucknor made the call, so make of that what you will.

  74. #161
    He wasn’t just running.

    Like a total busher, he got snookered into sliding headfirst into 2nd on a flyball right in front of him.

    Given the time & situation, it’s hard to have a worse baserunning mistake.

  75. He didn’t touch it, or if he did, the last molecule of his spike touched the last molecule of the base. It was the right call.

  76. Schafer and Simmons are an awful lot of stupid. Don thought he wasted a strike on himself by trying to bunt on the second pitch of his AB.

  77. Fredi had to pinch hit for Hudson. Can’t let the pitcher hit in the 8th down 1-0.

  78. Pinch-hitting Schafer for Hudson was the right move. But then he should have been pulled for a pinch runner.

    EDIT: Doesn’t matter anyway, because Gearrin shouldn’t be anywhere near a high-leverage situation, and he just reminded us why.

  79. Another one for the Gearrin “his ERA would be sparkling if not for these few outings” file.

  80. Gearrin is a ROOGY and nothing more. He shouldn’t pitch a full inning in a high leverage situation.

  81. Just like stupid Freedie to leave a pitcher out there when its obvious he aint got it .. their hot hitting rookie gets at bats when he ( Puig) is hot .. ours (Gattis) rides the pine .. boy ..Freedie can make some blunders ..

  82. Bucknor blew that call on Schafer. They only showed one angle on the Dodgers feed but it shows Schafer’s toe on the front corner of the bag.

  83. 2.77 WHIP, 14.54 ERA in Gearrin’s last five appearances. If you transpose his first and last initials, you get “GC” — “Gas Can.”

  84. Not sure how Bucknor made that call. On the replay I saw he was watching the ball in the outfield.

  85. I will never understand why Fredi sends a guy like Cory out there, watches him get into a terrible mess, and leaves him out there when it’s clear he doesn’t have it. People like to say that he’s aggressive, but if he’s so freaking aggressive he should yank him after the second guy gets on.

  86. So many mistakes by Fredi Gonzalez tonight. You’ve GOT to sit Uggla and J Upton. Don’t. bring Gearrin in in a 1 run pressure game. Pinch hit Gattis for Uggla. Teach your stupid base coaches how to manage runners.

  87. Where’s the dude who thinks pinch running for your players when they might come up later in an at bat is a good move. He needs to be on Freddie for not pinch running for slow footed Freeman when we had 1st and 3rd no outs.

  88. I’m still pretty sure he didn’t touch the bag, but if he did, we lost all right to be upset about the call when Schafer fell for the stupid-assed Chuck Knoblauch fake. I refuse to debase myself by complaining about that call, and so should you.

  89. On the Dodger feed they only showed the replay once, from a single angle, but you can pause it and see his toe on the bag, with a sliver of bag visible below his spikes. His foot is on the bag, not in front of it. And Bucknor is not even looking in the direction of the bag.

  90. Love the Hursh pick. Know nothing about the catcher.

    Detroit’s got a nice little collection of former VandyBoys.

  91. I feel awful for Huddy. He was just cruising through their lineup. Greinke is nasty but he wasn’t very efficient. Definitely a game we could have won.

    I hate west coast games, because I end up losing sleep, feeling ill because of the loss, then have to be grumpy all day the next day until they play again.

  92. Easily a game we should’ve won. It’s easy to second guess but I wish Schafer had PR for Freeman in the 7th and Johnson to PH for Uggla. Either way, what was Freeman thinking? He was about 5-6 feet off the bag when the ball was caught and had to go back and tag up.

    Uggla needs to sit right now and put Pena at 2nd. I’ve never seen a ball player like BJ Upton who gets so visibly upset at strike calls. It affects his whole AB. Gearrin needs to head back to Gwinnett.

  93. It’s one of the 60 you’ll lose. Think about it that way and it’s marginally less painful.

    And yes, Justin looks awful right now.

  94. Stu, why do you love the Hursh pick? He seems like a live arm, but I don’t know enough about him to know how he compares to others in the draft.

    Just from following the post-draft coverage, it looks like both Hursh and Caratini were seen by prospectheads as being ranked below the spot where the Braves chose them. So I’m wondering if they did that in order to save money to spend on their midround picks. That’s what a lot of teams are doing since the draft bonus caps were instituted.

  95. Hursh has maybe the best fastball in the draft, and it’s just fun to see the Braves go with a stuff guy instead of a command guy, for a change.

    VU players with a chance of going today:

    Tony Kemp (2B)
    Spencer Navin (C)
    Connor Harrell (OF)
    Mike Yastrzemski (OF)
    Conrad Gregor (1B)

    It’d be awesome to see the Braves take one of these guys — especially Harrell or Yaz, who are seniors and therefore already done with school, anyway.

  96. hits fall within, the center cannot hold
    misguided relays go not where they’re told
    the throw is loosed, it could land anywhere
    the back up catcher has a vacant stare
    the best lack all conviction while the worst
    to Rome, Gwinnett depart, sadly accursed.

  97. Who would’ve predicted this?

    Gearrin’s splits
    vs LH – .210/.324/.243
    vs RH – .288/.364/.373

  98. SUCCESS! does not understand he needs to hit middle of the base with an umpire with poor spacial recognition skills.

  99. Espns Matthew Berry…

    . Julio Teheran, welcome to above the Wandy Line. Maybe. Still available in 34 percent of leagues, his next start is at San Diego. Then home to San Francisco, the Mets, at Kansas City and home to Miami. That’ll work. Unless, of course, all those starts go to Brandon Beachy instead. Must be nice to have a rotation so deep, a guy who flirts with a no-hitter, coming off a month of May in which he posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 24 Ks in five starts, is at risk of losing his rotation spot.

    Sorry Matthew, I don’t believe he’s at risk of losing his spot. Maholm should end up in the pen or traded.

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