nine eightseven games left, this sh*t ain’t over.
This is the FanGraphs Win Probability chart for last night’s game. Strictly speaking, it relays in short order the actual competitiveness of the game played between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves on August 06, 2013. But, being as it is driven by mere statistics, it fails to capture, well, you know, the little things.
For example, there’s no first inning, first at bat plummet of “here we go again” depression, regardless of how unexpected it wasn’t, when Nick Johnson took a run of the mill baseball swing and managed to injure his neck in the process. And there’s no spike of pure hatred when Everyone’s Favorite Choirboy drove a first pitch fastball out to deep center in the third. You can kind of see that on the brief spike of “Nationals win probability increases beyond a coin flip” but it doesn’t really do justice to the event. How does one graph “DIE IN FIRE!!!” really?
Still, it does the job okay, this little graph thingy. Until the fifth. And the plunking. And Julio Teheran walking off the mound after having plunked His High Holiness of Harpers, directly at him, dead stone faced and daring the boy to take a chance. No graph on the planet can convey the pure, unadulterated joy of that moment. “You want to admire your handy work while marinating in a 13+ game hole, son? Yeah. Let’s talk about that.”
Let there be no mistake. That fastball to the derriere was purely intentional. It was a message sent to young Master Harper in the surest of terms. And it was pure, unadulterated awesomeness. Somebody get Julio a box of Jheri curl. There’s a new sheriff in town!
The awesome subsided for a couple of innings after the Great Plonking, but then ratcheted back up for the 8th and 9th. Again, simple WP% doesn’t tell you much about Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel striking out the side, respectively, in those innings. It really doesn’t convey the final at bat, where Bryce Harper stands in against Kimbrel thinking “one swing,” battles to a full count, and then swings through high cheese to end it. No graph could do that.
About the only thing that went wrong for Atlanta last night was Mr. Glass and his Amazing Non-bendy Neck problem. One wants to love that guy for all of his potential and talent and how obviously good-natured and positive a player he is. But then he goes and injures himself swinging a baseball bat. I remember a conversation among Yankees fans, back in 2010, about whether or not Nick Johnson was “injury prone” or just unlucky with a string of injuries. Then he went on the DL for weeks having injured his wrist…swinging a baseball bat. One of the comments that stands out was something to the order of “if you get injured swinging a bat, you’re probably injury prone. Swinging a bat is something a baseball player should be able to do!”
Oh well. We’ll see how fast he comes back. Honestly, the lead is 14.5. There’s no rush. Get Terdo and Todd Cunningham a few more swings. Or see if Success! is ready to get back at it. And order more bubble wrap.
The Braves send Kris Medlen out to face down Jordan Zimmerman in the series finale tonight. That’s a matchup that theoretically favors the Nats, but that would assume the Nats aren’t an offensively morose club spiraling out of control quickly. We shall see.
But enough of that. Let’s go watch the awesome some more instead.
You could probably strike “this” “ain’t” and “over” as well.
I think our focus is now on getting the best record in the NL.
When I heard the learnâ€™d announcer,
When the replays, the slo-mos, were displayed in browsers before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and saber them,
When I sitting heard the announcer where he recounted with much disdain in the broadcast booth,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wanderâ€™d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Recall’d in perfect silence Harper getting a fastball to the derrier.
Julio has turned into quite the bad-ass, hasn’t he?
And I’m with Rob on Harper: I can’t help but like him. Which doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy to see Julio plunk him.
I’m with you.
Does the best record still dictate home field advantage in the NLDS and NLCS?
It’s so stupid that MLB gives home field in the WS to the winner of the all-star game, and even stupider that the game is managed by last year’s winner who may or may not be in last place this year.
I find it hard to like anyone who refers to himself as “the 20-year-old”.
Quien es mas macho? Julio es mas macho!
When did he refer to himself as such?
It was the Nats twitter feed, so you probably can’t lay that on Harper
Yeah, if that’s what he’s talking about, that’s obviously not Harper — it was tweeted during the game.
Eh, it’s more fun if you do.
Harper’s like Pete Rose and Joakim Noah – takes all you’ve got to give them credit for their strengths.
Must be a dude thing; I find Harper completely insufferable. Yeah, I get it, you all wish you were swaggering MLB players at 20.
No, I just like the competitiveness. And he’s pretty great at baseball. And he’s 20, so I forgive him a lot of the…youthful exuberance.
He’s a damn good player who busts ass every moment he’s out there. It makes a lot of things far more tolerable.
He’s just good. Most Braves fans hate him not because he’s a bad person or whatever, but rather because he’s really good and on the other team. If he was on the Braves, everyone here would love him. Because he’s not, he’s “insufferable.”
Personally, I’m fine with him.
My facial hair at 13 was more prominent than Harper’s at 20. Give up the ghost, bro.
That said, he’s pretty awesome.
THAT said, him getting plunked was pretty awesome too.
I’m not a fan. He comes off as a douche bag to me.
I understand why people like him.
I hate Joakim Noah, but that is because he is a Gator.
@6: How is it any worse than the old system that alternated years? Or a coin flip?
I’m confused by the notion that we must explain our hatred of the enemy.
Hard not to respect Harper’s talent & effort. Hard not to notice his occasional immaturity. He makes a good straight-out-of-central-casting adversary.
Harper’s seems to me to be a phony ultra-competitveness that makes him an insufferable tool. I’m pretty sure his teammates hate him, also, but I could be reading too much into that. If I were in a clubhouse with him, I’d dislike him. You will notice that nobody on that team seems to be buying his act.
There’s also the hair. Hate him for the hair if nothing else. That’s terrible hair.
@21 – you know who Bryce Harper comes across as? Alex Rodriguez.
That’s a shame. He was entertaining:
No more twitter for me. Said I’d do it for one year and the time is up. Too much hate and too many trolls. Much love to Braves country! Xo”
Someone in the Braves front office told Chipper ‘you can continue tweeting, or you can have a front office job with us.’
Harper’s act is posting a 5.2 WAR season as a 19 year old, and 143 OPS+ so far this season. We could use an actor like that. I admire what happens between the lines. Everything else is either gossip or irrelevant. Separation of art and artist is where it’s at for me.
If Harper was on the Braves, I’d be constantly embarrassed by his douchebaggery. Would I like the numbers he posted for the team? Sure, but rooting for him would be a drag. Seeing him as emblematic of the team would be worse. I was skeptical of Deion Sanders when he first came up with the Braves, grew to really like his “all eyes on me” attitude, but it got to be too much and I was eventually glad to see him go. Same with Jordan Schafer, who has redeemed himself this year after having the douchebaggery humbled out of him. (Maybe not, but it sure seems like it to me.) Yunel was another douche I was glad to see sent packing.
Or maybe if you look to 20 year olds to be standard bearers for a particular behavior set, you will inevitably be disappointed.
I’d take Harper on my team, no doubt.
But I’d much prefer it if a solid dude like Jason Heyward just started hitting like him, instead.
I guess simply put: I’ll root for whoever wears a tomahawk. But it doesn’t break my heart that I don’t have to root for him.
Lots of teams have great players. I don’t spend a lot of time envying them or daydreaming about that player being on my team. Giancarlo Stanton seems like a swell enough dude. I’m glad when he loses.
@26, I can respect that, but I don’t see sports the same was as I do the arts. Joni Mitchell is arguably music’s biggest egomaniac, but she can back it up. When you’re one of the world’s greatest practitioners of popular music (which I think she is), you get a wide berth with me.
Baseball is different in that, to me, there’s a defining element of sportsmanship and being subordinate to the team. Showing off is best done through the act of hitting a home run, not doing a bat flip and a slide into home plate, or striking out a guy, not wagging your finger at him like you’re shooting a gun. When baseball gets as bad as the NFL, and guys are doing choreographed dances behind home plate after they hit a home run, well, that would suck tremendously.
@27 – I think this is a fair point, about Schafer and Yunel. Plenty of Braves fans weren’t fans of theirs. Of course, it would have been different if they OPS+’d 143. But, whatever.
Well, it’s a fair point about Schafer and Yunel, both of whom I disliked — but I don’t see how that relates to Harper. Harper seems a lot more team-focused than those first two did, to me. But, whatever. We all see what we wanna see.
@28, From Dale Murphy to Jason Heyward, the Braves have a great record of running “twenty-year-old guys” out there who play the game with respect for themselves and their teammates. One of the best moments in Andruw Jones’ career was when he got benched by Bobby in the middle of the game for dogging it in the field. He straightened up after that and wasn’t an embarrassment on the field or in the clubhouse. Well, until the Gold Club, that is!
I just can’t get behind applying my worldview to someone who has a set of life circumstances impossibly different from mine, let alone assigning some larger moral judgement to discrete actions I can only see out of context, and often unreliably reported. If you are comfortable, then feel free, I guess.
I’m not really interested in assigning any broader classification to Bryce Harper. My only feeling is, if the guy hits you, and you know why he hit you, take your base.
I’m not a blood thirsty fan, I’m never a guy screaming for retaliation and stuff. But, that stuff does happen in baseball. The players are all brought up learning how to carry themselves, how to respect the opponent. And if you don’t do it, you might get hit with a pitch.
I think it’s stupid, sure. But take your base.
Maybe a situation like Pedro Martinez, where he just hit guys BECAUSE THEY BEAT HIM, yeah, I’d find that irritating. But if the guy hits you, and you know why he hit you, take your base. Don’t do it anymore. Or do. But when you do, take your base again. Just shut up, and take your base. That’s baseball.
Everyone we’re watching is an entertainer in an entertainment business. If you actually think you know these guys on a level where you can relate and assign quasi-moral judgments, you’re either a silly person or a hacky sportswriter. “Everything else is either gossip or irrelevant” wins this thread @26.
That said I enjoyed watching Teheran plunk Harper… because it was entertaining.
That said I enjoyed watching Teheran plunk Harperâ€¦ because it was entertaining.
And because it hurt.
Also, I want to say, the best parts of that whole affair were a.) Brian McCann was going to rip him limb from limb, and b.) Jason Heyward running out with electrodes hanging out of his neck.
And you know, I don’t see what’s so “Team Oriented” about getting your team into a fracas. You could blame him for hot dogging his homerun, and say he started the whole thing. Or don’t. But I blame him for not taking his base.
After the game he says, “We’re 14.5 games out, I need to be on the field.” If that’s so, then shut up and take your base, man. “Hey, I got under his skin and we turned it in to a free-base runner. Great!” Don’t make a big scene and drag your whole team on to the field where anything can happen now.
I don’t know the guy, all I know is my own experience, and my feelings when my teammates ran their mouths were “Come on, don’t drag us in to this. Play ball, moron.”
And boy, his team was all set to go to the mat for him, too. One of them almost looked like he might’ve been upset at Teheran. Almost.
I certainly disagree with Harper’s standing in the baseline and yelling – mostly because I’d be willing to bet that more than one of his teammates were frustrated enough by their season in general and their performances against the Braves in particular that they would have been happy to get it on. Nothing good comes from that, especially if you are the side looking to the postseason.
Yeah, I don’t think anyone has attempted to defend his post-plunking actions. You can appreciate a guy without appreciating every single thing he does.
@39 – I suspect there are very few grown men in the Nationals clubhouse who enjoy being lectured on playing “like a family” by “the 20 year old.”
@7 I love that you brought that SNL sketch into this. Julio es muy mas macho.
Excellent recap, Sam, and one I’m going to try to learn from (im still getting the hang of it; my last one had too much minutia in it, but yours smartly focuses on the few plays that best represent the whole game).
I love “The Sheriff” as a nickname for Teheran (less culturally problematic than the plays on his last name). He earned it.
@38 Don’t forget Uggla quietly getting right in Harper’s face. That stood out to me.
Uggla, Gattis, McCann and Freeman would be a bad combo on the other side of a dance card.
I watch Robinson Cano too much to ever get mad at another player for hustling.
No, not everyone who dislikes Harper would like him if he was on their team. This isn’t about “applying worldviews” or whatever, it’s about personal preference.
I don’t like his face, I don’t like the Grit(TM) and I don’t like the mouth.
I agree totally with @20. I love that he’s a wrestling heel. He’s basically A.J. Pierzynski with Andrew McCutchen’s talent.
I’m with Bethany on this one. The little bit of behavior we see and few things he has said just remind me too much of the douche-bag, redneck jocks I went to high school with (as opposed to the jocks who were actually cool, decent people although sadly too few). He might not be the totally arrogant, self absorbed, loud mouth that he appears to the outside world to be but it’s all I have to go on so until I see evidence to the contrary he will go in the douche category.
@47 – are you sure? You came around pretty fast on Cam Newton IIRC.
I forget if I posted this before, but I play in the DC softball league that Harper spontaneously played in for a day, right around the time of his call-up. Reports back were that he was a perfectly nice guy — if maybe a little too selective at the plate, considering the pitcher wasn’t capable of throwing him a perfect strike.
@50 Ok, for starters, Cam has never, ever been as douchey is Harper. My hesitance to embrace him at Auburn had nothing to do with his persona (of which I knew nothing) but a foolish concern about his mechanics.
I HATED Yunel, even when he was good, and I strongly disliked Chipper for a good portion of his career. So.
So, if AC Green got suspended for 4 games, Clowney’s gotta get at least 2, right?
Two sounds about right, I think. (Of course, if you root for Vandy, you might argue for 3.)
Eh. Wes Johnson will probably do to him exactly what he did to him last year, even if he plays. 😉
I say Manzel and Clowney miss zero games.
The NCAA will have a hard time proving this.
@52 – Didn’t he steal another kids laptop? So he’s not a douche? What would you call someone who stole your laptop, that you bought, and needed so you could get your education?
I mean, when I found out he was a pampered athlete on the football team, I guess I’d call him “human-garbage” more than douchey, but whatever.
Let’s all consider this –
â€œRockholm Syndromeâ€ is my new favorite term.
@56 Well gee, if all you can dig up on him is “he had a stolen laptop when he was 18” then I’m just not sure how I can counter that stunningly comprehensive argument that he’s a wretched human being.
I can tell you right now more things have been stolen from me than you’ll ever be able to experience, so step off.
If we’re gonna bring football up, I’ll just say that I don’t want baseball player preening to come close to matching what football players are accustomed to. That would take way more beanballs to the butt to ameliorate than even I’d be comfortable with.
@57, that’s the second time someone has linked me to that today. I don’t…like Rush. Don’t hate ’em, just don’t like ’em.
Oh I pretty much hate their music. They seem like quite bright, amusing and interesting people though, so there’s no hard feelings.
@58 – Oh, no, I understand. A 19 year old committing grand theft from a college student just doesn’t compare to a 20 year old running too slowly around the bases.
You know, I like Rush. I have a couple of friends who are crazily insanely huge Rush fans â€”Â they don’t have too many casual fans, mostly people who are insanely huge fans and people who hate them â€”Â and they got me to listen to a couple albums.
Here’s the thing: much like Queensryche, in the 2000s, Rush has left behind its ’70s-’80s bombast and turned into a pretty straight-ahead guitar rock band. Of course, they’ll always be remembered for the Ayn Rand concept albums, and the black-t-shirt-wearing loners who love them from generation unto generation, but nowadays they’re just pretty much a good hard rock band.
Queensryche’s last album (the self-titled one, not the “Frequency Unlimited” album which their former lead singer recorded with another band, also called Queensryche) is good, too.
I was in a Rush cover band in high school. Breathlessly gobbled down everything they did. Then grew up and was Rush-shamed into ignoring them for twenty years by music critics and friends who were too cool for Rush. Then my wife gave me the box sets that came out a year and a half again and I fell in love all over again.
What I love about them is that their music is technically difficult and challenging to play, but also pretty rockin’ much of the time. And that they NEVER thought they were cool, or wanted to be. That documentary shows them to be the three nicest, most normal people who’ve ever sold a hundred million records. I find that refreshing.
(All my friends in college were getting into the Replacements, Pixies and Husker Du. Some of that sounded okay to me, but much of it sounded like posers who couldn’t play. I’ll take music that engages me intellectually every time. [and I’m not talking about Peart’s lyrics, which are and always were terrible.] They’re not the Beatles, but they make me smile. And I still love playing La Villa Strangiato.)
Harper’s a tool. And until I meet him in person and are (possibly) forced to change that opinion, I’m going to really, REALLY rooting against him. And he’s a great ball player. That’s not up for dispute. It’s possible that I’d love him if he were on the Braves (public hatred for Joakim Noah makes me enjoy rooting for him even more!) but it’s also possible that I wouldn’t (I don’t particularly like the attitude often displayed by Justin Upton).
This was an example of a guy who took a really long trot, got plunked, and decided to make a HUGE deal out of it. Meanwhile, Julio walks slowly off the mound saying, “What’re you gonna do about it?” He said it TWICE! FKING AWESOME!
You know, if Rush is good enough for Nick Andopolis, they’re good enough for me.
When Cam started talking about “Cammy Cam Juice” is when he lost me.
And, of course, now he plays for the team I hate the most not named Saints or 49ers, so there’s that.
@64, I really tried to like them – saw the Farewell To Kings tour in high school, had tapes of all the records – but I just couldn’t get behind the overriding pseudo-classical hokiness. Rock’n’roll is primarily about about sex, or why you aren’t having sex, and Rush just never connected with me viscerally with all the highbrow stuff – and I was/am a pretty highbrow tolerant guy.
But what if you found out that Bryce Harper liked Rush?
I don’t think it would change my opinion of Rush much. But it would make me like Bryce Harper a little more.
@62 When I say something like “Harper is human garbage” you’ll have a point. As of right now you’re just full of it.
Neil Peart is the Bryce Harper of drummers, except better.
RE: Cam Newton
I’m a huge Bama guy, so of course I have a genuine dislike for the guy. However, I would love to hear from Urban Meyer on why he forced Cam out over a stolen laptop but decided to keep Aaron Hernandez around. Pretty bad judgement there. I’m sure no one has asked that question.
Not definitive, but from 2011:
Dan: Last song you downloaded on your iPod
Bryce: Hello World by Lady Antebellum
First 3 walkup songs of 2013:
#1 Bring Sally up-MOBY
#2 Imagine Dragons-Radioactive
#3 It’s Tricky-Run DMC
I’m guessing not a Rush fan.
@72 – good question.
And whatever happened to the information that Reggie Nelson and Hernandez were involved in something heinous that came out about a month ago?
Just kinda disappeared.
@70 – You’re moving the goalposts.
You stated “Cam has never, ever been as douchey is Harper.”
You don’t have to agree with me that he’s human-garbage. Although, I mean, he plays football. Doesn’t that really say it all?
BUT. Your statement above is a pretty difficult position to defend.
But I don’t care about Cam Newton one way or the other, because I don’t care about football. I do think it’s a shame the kid never had a chance to play team-sports, though. It might have taught him something.
@75 I’m not moving the goalposts, y’all are trying to drag me into some completely separate discussion over Cam that I don’t care about and have no desire to continue talking about it. I think Cam is less douchey than Bryce. You can disagree. It’s a stupid thing to talk about in the first place and I’ve had my fill.
@68 Yeah, if that’s your definition they definitely don’t qualify; I don’t think they’ve ever written a song about sex in over 40 years. But I think that definition is a little limiting; it would exclude a lot of great music, like some of the best stuff from the Clash and Stevie Wonder, just to name two that jump to mind. But sex was the inspiration and probably remains the best element. 😉
Mr Glass is playing one day after an injury. That’s shocking.
Reasons I don’t like Rush are held pretty much to two reasons: Geddy Lee’s stepped-on squirrel vocals, and that Neil Peart overwrites everything, whether it’s lyrics or drum fills.
I buy that this is a working class group of guys just all about rocking out up until I have to account for Neil Peart, then it’s harder and harder to keep that argument going.
The “debates” about the personalities/personas of people we “know” from seeing them play ball on TV is the awful part of ESPN. I move that we not have that here.
77, I saw Rush and the Clash for the first time in the same year – 1978 – and I assure you the Clash had quite a bit of sexuality built into their act. Rush began using the same themes as other rock acts do eventually, but it was too late for me.
Look, I don’t give a damn about Cam Newton. And I don’t give a damn what you think of Cam Newton. But “moving the goalposts” is EXACTLY what you’re doing.
You said that Cam has never been as douchey as Harper.
I said that Douchey is too kind a word for a pampered athlete who would steal a $1500 item from a college kid.
And you said “When I say something like â€œHarper is human garbageâ€ youâ€™ll have a point. As of right now youâ€™re just full of it.”
No. You said he’s a bigger douche than Cam Newton. I said, in so many words, that that is a ridiculous position to take. I think that Cam Newton is human-garbage, but I’m not full-of-it if I can’t make a convincing argument as such. I have to make a convincing argument that’s he’s a bigger douchebag than Bryce Harper, and I feel that I did that.
EDIT: And also, nobody’s “dragging” you in to anything. Spike raised the possibility that maybe your opinion on athletes is a bit inconsistent, and you doubled-down.
@79 I can’t disagree about Peart’s lyrics (I like his drumming better). But they’re not working class; they’re nice suburban kids from outside Toronto. (Also, factoid from the documentary I had never heard: Geddy Lee’s [not his real name] parents are Holocaust survivors. I don’t know why I found that so surprising, but I did.)
PS anybody who likes Rush, if you haven’t seen Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’s induction of them into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame a few months ago, complete with Foo Fighters playing the 2112 overture in costume from the album jacket, hie thee to HBO go ASAP. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen, and the band laughed their butts off.
@82 And I feel you didn’t. What is it you want, a cookie? Here, take a million internet cookies for winning an argument only you care about.
@81 Of course. But much of their lyrical content is primarily political, not sexual. That comes in the music and performance.
Also, honest to God, I know a lot of women who like Rush. I know, I don’t understand it either. 😛
@84 – I’ll redirect you back to 62.
A funny thing about Rush: Every time Iâ€™m flipping channels & come across the omnipresent Rush documentary on VH-1â€”and I mean, every time, even for an instantâ€”my girlfriend will scream, â€œI hate Rush! You know I hate Rush!â€
And I laugh, every time.
Itâ€™s so awesome that Sheffield uses the Allmans’ â€œMelissaâ€ as an example of â€œRockholm Syndrome.â€ I had the exact experience a few weeks ago.
I was working an EDM-fest at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver. Thereâ€™s a visitors center attached to the place and inside thereâ€™s a â€œhall of fameâ€ that has a gigantic screen, showing â€œgreat performances in Red Rocks history.â€ Most of it is of the jam-band variety.
For the most part, jam bands donâ€™t light my fire, but a 2009 Allmansâ€™ performance of â€œMelissaâ€ came up and for some reason, I stopped & watched. (It was hot outside.) Mostly, it was just Gregg strumming an acoustic guitar with Warren Haynes dropping the tasty Les Paul licks along the way. In the space of about 15 seconds, Greggâ€™s old growl just sucked me in & I ended up watching the whole thing.
I grew up in a world (the Georgia/Alabama border in the â€™70s) where it seemed like listening to the Allman Brothers was the law. I mean, they were like a radio PSA that you couldnâ€™t avoid, and everyone, everyone, everyone liked them. And to me, it didnâ€™t even matter anymore if you did or didnâ€™t consider them â€œgreat.â€ They were justâ€¦ always there. It felt like you were being held hostage.
At one point in high school after seeing a mostly desultory Allmans performance at the Columbus Municipal Auditorium-â€”Dickie was on-point, but Gregg was falling asleep at his B-3 organâ€”-I half-jokingly told my friends that I had â€œretired from the band.â€ I just couldn’t hear it anymore.
So, at Red Rocks it occurred to me that Iâ€™m so far removed from that place that it allowed me to give it another peek. And damn if Gregg didnâ€™t sound great and damn if I didnâ€™t re-discover the beauty of a song I had gotten completely sick of. As the author suggests, maybe itâ€™s just a case of distance.
Of course, maybe Iâ€™m just getting soft with ageâ€¦
Wait, some of y’all are legitimately angry at Harper for last night?
C’mon. It was hilarious. And it started a Twitter war between the Braves and Nats’ Twitter feeds, which was also hilarious. Harper trying to start something was like the mouthy dude who flicks off security right before getting chucked out of the bar at the end of the night. Nothing more.
I enjoyed watching Cam Newton play sans context, but that was tainted by his coach letting his players target Aaron Murray in the back after plays were over and for his team basically being the worst champion of the BCS era. But Cammy Cam doing his thing in a vortex? I’m OK with that.
(Yes, I know Cam didn’t play defense- shoot, no one on Auburn really did HEY-O- but it’s an association I just can’t get over. Sorry, Cam. You’ll live, I assume.)
Rush is terrible, but I will honor Mac by continuing not to discuss my musical preferences on this board.
I am to Rush as Johnny Lydon was to Pink Floyd.
@88 – Sorry, no Deerfeet.
@86 Not sure why you’re so proud of that, but ok buddy.
@83 Not working class? I thought their first hit was called “Working Man”? That’s okay, it’s not all that important. I’m sure they’re nice guys regardless.
One thing I don’t buy is this “chicks dig Rush” meme that has been getting legs lately. It’s hard to sex your music up, or project sexuality, when you’re playing to 95% dudes night in, night out. The only girl I knew who ever admitted she liked Rush forms a little too much of her worldview around the embracing of irony, so I’m not sure I will generalize her into some sincere crowd of women Rush fans.
In my opinion, it’s incredibly hypocritical of an Auburn fan to like Cam Newton and not Bryce Harper.
WARNING: Bitter Florida fan talking here.
@78 Well it turns out that it wasn’t so much a neck thing as it was a sudden onset headache. Which is kinda funny when you consider it’s Jason and he’s, well, Mr. Glass.
Jjschiller and Bethany, please, be nice.
I pretty much think everybody that has a somewhat irritating on-field personality and is a member of a team that is a rival of mine is a douche. To wit: Bryce Harper, douche. Cam Newton, douche. Everybody and everything even remotely related to the New Orleans Saints, douche. I, like Sam, kind of was under the impression that’s how sports fandom worked. It’s entirely possible that I would think far better of these people if they were on my team. It’s not something that I find worth contemplating, though.
I also understand this goes both ways. Looking at it the other way, I don’t begrudge Mets and Phillies fans for hating Chipper Jones. If I were a fan of one of those teams (God forbid), I’d probably hate him, too.
You might not believe me, but it’s really not personal. If Bryce Harper walked up to me and introduced himself right now, I wouldn’t refuse to have a conversation with him or anything. Hating someone in sports and hating them in real life are two totally different things. I don’t have to know anything about someone to think they’re a jerk as a sports fan. If Mother Teresa played for the Phillies and did something on the field that I found irritating, I’d probably hate her. Hell, I hate Drew Brees, and by all accounts he’s done a tremendous amount of good for the city of New Orleans and whatnot.
If you find this outlook sociopathic or something, and feel the need to think of athletes like regular people that you actually interact with on a daily basis, that’s fine, I guess. But pleas for me to consider a player’s personality in real life aren’t gonna change my mind, either. I really couldn’t give less of a crap.
Our third baseman, at one point, was Troy Glaus… in a playoff game. Just let that sink in for a moment.
And he just about puked on the field too. Good times.
Only knew one girl who ever liked Rush.
My younger sister actually bought “A Farewell to Kings” when it came out & saw Rush twice with me, but now she’s taking her teenaged daughters to Lady Gaga concerts.
@87 yes, that was much the same milieu I grew up in (except in Atlanta, but same time period). At the time the big rock station, 96 Rock, had a policy of playing in each hour one Beatles song, one Stones song, one Zeppelin song and one Who song. throw in generous helpings of Skynyrd and Allmans, and its a wonder they ever found time to play anything else. As weird as it may sound, to us liking Rush was actually kind of rebellious in that environment.
I will refer the curious to “Freaks and Geeks” for further explication of this odd late 70s/early 80s subculture.
Oh, and @99 my first girlfriend started liking Rush because of me. I’m still friends with her. I doubt those two facts are unrelated. 🙂
@95 – I defy you to find evidence that I have EVER been not-nice.
Okay, not really.
Let me upvote Nick @96. The entire point of sports is to focus your sociopathic, fascistic rage in a socially acceptable manner. As long as you’re not stalking the boy home, hate hate hate hate hate. Clear the system of those feelings. Then go get a hug from Freddie. Hugs are good.
(If a non-Braves team did the hugging thing, I’d hate that too.)
I fully endorse Nats fans hating on the entire “magic of waffles” meme.
That said, if Harper were a Brave, I’d feel about him as I’ve felt more or less the entire time about Jordan Schafer. Douche nozzle. Suddenly useful douche nozzle, but d’noz all the same.
P.S. I have always, and continue to this day, to despise John Smoltz as a person.
Can we get back to the fact that Julio Teheran took more steps toward Bryce Harper than the latter took toward him? Or how Jason Heyward was out and ready for a brawl when the entire Nats dugout wasn’t too anxious to join their leader?
Julio Teheran is officially a Badass Man. Like, “me and the boys boppin'” Dave Parker era Pirates badass.
@87 – I was at a pub a month or so ago; thin lunch hour, nobody there yet; and the bartender was jamming out to classic rock. The Eagles came on, and without realizing it I listened along. And enjoyed it.
It was terribly dirty.
Y’know, that documentary isn’t bad either… but there’s nothing huggable about that bunch at all.
And their manager Irving Azoff, who constantly reminds us that “Eagles Greatest Hits” is the biggest-selling record of all time, probably has the greatest nickname in all of music history: The Poison Dwarf.
@104 Julio Teheran is The Sheriff. Julio es mas macho.
@105 Music was better when we were young. (Now get off my lawn, you kids! :P)
I’m bored of the subject of MLB’s mascot (Harper).
To me, him and Trout were overhyped, but one actually, truly lived up to it in their first season. The other always had to have his numbers mentioned with “it’s good for a [something]-year-old.”
Rooting for Kris tonight. I so badly want him to regain his control and be amazing again.
I’m lookin’ and I’m likin’ on Heyward in the lead-off role. Man, if he could just increase his contact rate and BABIP just a little bit, he’s a .900 OPS guy. Man, come quickly, Heyward!
At least you made him work, Dan.
Still a decent at-bat, Uggla.
Yeah really good AB, starting down 0-2 and seeing 8 pitches.
@109, we could really use a dependable 3rd starter for October so I hope so to.
Freeman for MVP
Love it. Could hardly love it more. Make their guy throw 27, get him back out there after you throw 10.
10 pitches, we like that. Changeup is looking good.
I guess that swing was pretty good for a 20 year old?
I know I think this every night I watch the Braves play, but Andrelton Simmons has some truly ridiculous defensive skills on a baseball diamond.
Lovely swing there from BJ!
I said when BJ was still on the DL, that if anything was going to fix him, not playing baseball for 2 weeks would be it.
Oh Andrelton. He gets hot for a week and then he starts dropping his shoulder and boom, popup.
Take a pitch, Andrelton.
Did Joe really just blame Andrelton’s popping up on his being “weary from being in there every day”?
With the pitcher behind you and a man on second, you absolute have GOT to get that guy to 3rd, so the pitcher has a chance to drive him in with contact.
The one pitch, unproductive out by Simmons gets hidden by the Medlen K and 2 pitch out by Jason.
Heyward is killing the ball right now.
Ball one belt high down the middle, strike one at the shoetops.
Meds is rolling merrily along here. That’s really nice to see.
Oh please, oh please, oh please let this be the real Kris Medlen.
As great as Julio has been, I’d really love it if we had two guys pitching even better than him going in to October.
That’s not a single.
They’re really pounding Freddie in, here. I’d love to see him bail a little and turn on one.
EDIT: Or, not.
Some of the ugliest swings of McCann’s entire career.
Is it okay for me to start rooting against the Pirates now? I want them to beat out the Cards, but I also want the Braves to have the best record.. What am I supposed to feel, here?
Clearly I need to express that I’m rooting for Kris before every start.
@139 – He really needs to feel that we’re on his side.
Pitches in each inning for Kris: 10, 15, 9.
Overkill or not, I really wanna win this one.
I’m mildly surprised that there’s only one player in the NL with more homers than Dan since 2010.
Knock’em in Kris!
I vote we don’t waste this opportunity.
@143 – I thought it was Giancarlo Stanton, but he’s got 3 fewer than Dan.
Nice, Medlen! Way to help your own cause!
Great poke there, Kris!
Damn, so close to dropping in. Still, nice sac fly, Kris.
Okay Jason, not to anxious here. Get one to hit, he’s wild.
@143â€”I was very surprised to hear that. I would never have guessed he was so high on that list.
Really bad AB by Jason.
Justin’s having the AB Heyward should have had.
COME ON FREDDIE!
BJ with a multi hit game against a righty.
Freddie not happy!
The biggest problem facing the Nationals is the fact they booked Sammy Hagar for a post-game concert.
I think I’ve finally caught up on my reading after getting clued into the new addy (thanks again, Jim.) Missed all y’all. ‘Rissa, your Skip piece was amazing. Watching the game just hasn’t been the same without my peeps in the peanut gallery. Such a testament to what Mac created here.
That’s gonna be a hell of a weekend. Sammy Hagar and Gavin DeGraw?
Ugh Kris.. Don’t screw around here
Edit… Pussy foot around trying to be cute and now they have life
@ 162 –
I was thinking the exact same thing.
Well, dang it. That stinks.
*sigh* and Kris crashes back to earth.
He started nibbling.
There went his location.
Gah, straight down the chute.
Do they send Zimmermann back out? The kind of have to, don’t they?
EDIT: I guess not. We’ll face something called a Tanner Roark, which is obviously a piece of machinery used in the production of footballs and baseball gloves.
@161, Thanks, I really enjoyed writing it. I’m glad I was able to share it with you guys.
@3 – nice.
171 — I’m pretty surprised they didn’t try to get him through five.
Alright Kris, back on the horse here.
I guess Kris has decided that baseball isn’t hard enough, so he’s going to start 3-1 on every single hitter from here on out.
Apparently Frenchy is starting in center (!!) tonight for San Francisco, against a righty on top.
Well, I’ll be. BJ has three hits. In one night. The DL might indeed have fixed him.
Slick-looking catch, Span! You doofus!
BJ would have caught that.
@172, I seriously did a little bit of time traveling reading it. On the porch, listening to Skip and Pete.
Did Andrelton really just pop out to an infielder?
Simmons and his patented infield pop up
Well that was truly pathetic.
I’m honestly curious, is there a way to find out if any other team bunts as poorly as we do?
An idea just occurred to me that would make a great sitcom: an older-than-usual rookie coming back from emotional issues and a four-year walkabout becomes odd-couple roommates with a former #1 pick who’s trying to resurrect his fading career. I call it “B.J. & the Bear.”
Ay ay ay!
EDIT: Well, if we lose this game, I don’t suppose we could have much of a complaint, but still….we’re outhitting them 8-1 right now and it’s 2-2.
@184 – Sit com ? That’s what, like a reality show, but fake?
@186 Or a play that’s caught by TV cameras, yes.
(I really am showing my age, aren’t I?)
Can anyone look up our record after being tied thru 6?
Six feet under, huh Bryce? http://www.braves101.com/2013/08/07/washington-nationals-bryce-harper-stays-classless-in-comments-about-atlanta-braves-julio-teheran/
He’s hot, folks!
My faith is rewarded again.
Oh, and deja vu. And Ayala caught that homer with his hat.
I prefer April and August Justin.
A hot Justin is almost impossible to contain. I’m just shaking my head in wonder…
The best thing about the Heyward-Upton-Freeman-McCann lineup configuration is that it leads managers to let Upton face LOOGYs.
@195â€”I also prefer the April and August Braves, too. Funny how that lines up.
Bullpen-wise, I’m guessing no Avilan but everyone else available?
@199 – Let’s score two more, and let Medlen hand it to Kimbrel himself.
I’m pretty sure Brian hits better bearded, but I’m having a tough time finding those splits.
Quick, how long did it take Justin to get around the bases? This is pertinent information, and I can’t wait until Sportscenter to find out.
I just have this feeling that if BJ hit one, he’d walk until the part of the line where it widens for the running lane. He seems like the only guy on our club who’d engage in a tit-for-tat.
So far, the Braves are 1-0 against the Nats on this road trip when Justin hits a go-ahead homer in the 7th inning or later to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. So far…
I think you meant tatertrottracker.com.
Double play would be nice, then we wouldn’t be guaranteed to see Harper or Werth again in this game.
EDIT: So much for that idea.
Now a double play would be nice because it would keep them from tying the game.
Well, thank you so much Kris
Edit- some pitchers have a knack for wiggling out of trouble…Medlen does not
What was the clip of Harper, Desmond, and Davey Johnson about? I missed it, but I just want to know why Harper looked so sullen after being yelled at.
I kind of liked it.
Well, that didn’t last long.
Also, yes, it looks like Harper’s teammates and manager just can’t get enough of him.
@209â€”Joe was surmising it’s because Harper didn’t run hard on that popup. I don’t know what else it would have been.
Apparently Harper didnt run out his popup.
Dan’s gonna go yard here.
I didn’t see the actuall pop-up, only the replay of him jogging.
Was it so deep, or maybe in doubt, so that he should have been on second?
Uggla has become essentially worthless the last 10 days
I didn’t see anything that egregious on Harper’s part, but he definitely wasn’t running at 100 percent, and maybe if you’re gonna constantly throw your own team under the bus for not caring enough and draw them into unwanted potential brawls and so forth, they’re gonna feel like they’d better not catch you dogging it even the slightest bit.
Come on Parkman.
Joey Terds pooped out a walk.
I was just about to opine that Heyward’s neck might be still bothering him… . NEVER MIND.
As annoying as it has been to watch the Nats keep tying the game, it has been awesome to see the Braves keep taking the lead.
Oooh, danger here. Letting this lefty face Justin.
Justin!! Nice to have the good you back!
Love this team
Step on that neck.
Heyward is crazy fast BTW.
Speaking of six feet under..
@228 – 6 feet, 15.5 feet, whatever.
Uggla in the top 7 in RBIs since the end of June? I’m learning all sorts of things about him tonight I never would have guessed.
Adam M was right @197. Placing Upton at 2 between Heyward and Freeman/McCann is brilliant. Either Upton faces a LOOGY or they have to waste two pitchers.
Well, this is working out just swell.
Okay fellas, let’s make this one stick, shall we?
Well, I guess maybe Walden is unavailable, apparently.
Carpenter is hitting 97 on these fastballs. Nice find Wren.
I like waffles. Waffles are good.
If Carpenter can add a split/sinker he’d be pretty scary. He’s already throwing 95+ with decent control.
97 mph heat. -10 mph change. With location. All a reliever needs.
Carpenter is kind of like this year’s Venters. Starts off in mop-up duty and slowly gets trusted in more and more high-leverage situations. Great find.
234 — Walden has pitched four of the last five days, I’m guessing that’s it.
Let’s face the Marquis de Douche as the leadoff hitter next inning up by three, shall we?
I am shocked, shocked to find the Braves are in the bottom five in baserunning.
EDIT: Although, as you can see from the URL, great baserunning and $3.50 will get you a latte at Starbucks.
Regression! is so much fun to watch not regress.
@Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: #BlueJaysâ€™ DeRosa claimed on waivers. Team has until tomorrow to trade him, let him go or pull him back. Claiming team not known.
That was pointless, but oh well
BJ Upton is looking GREAT.
This is starting to get a little exciting, huh?
Bossman Jr now up to .198
Harper and Werth are the only two guys I’m concerned about here, and they could both go yard and we’d still have a lead.
And the sense of entitlement grows.