There are lots of markers of age in a time of great technological change. But one rarely remarked upon, because it really has almost nothing to do with technology, is going to movies on time. In my youth, it was quite common to go to the movies (whether dropped off by your parents at the theater or brought with your parents) without any notion of what time the movie began. You arrived, sat down, watched the movie from wherever it was at that time, watched a few trailers and cartoon features after the closing credits, began watching the movie from the beginning, and with the invariable phrase â€œThis is where we came inâ€ leave when the movie returned to your starting point. If you were really intrigued, you might watch the movie again to the end.
You didnâ€™t do this for every movie, but you did it when you were more or less randomly â€œgoing to the moviesâ€ just to get out of the house. That was a thing. My grandchildren find this hard to believe. Their parents find it somewhat difficult to believe. The practice predates my birth by at least 30 years, and was gone by the time the multiplexes were constructed in the 70s.
I bring this up because in this Braves season I feel like: â€œThis is where I came in.â€Â Weâ€™re playing the Phillies, weâ€™re around .500, weâ€™re not in first place but in shouting distance, weâ€™re waiting for the bullpen to solidify, etc. etc.Â Iâ€™m going to stick around and wait for the coming attractions, I guess, but this is where I came in.Â And because the season has had no narrative arc at all, itâ€™s easy to get disoriented.Â If I get up and walk out, itâ€™s just because I got confused.
Yâ€™know what else is confusing?Â A Dansby Swanson grand slam.Â Solid bullpen pitching (a Grybo from Jackson, but not a critical one).Â La Gran Calabaza getting on base (OKâ€¦ it was a walk, but baby steps.).Â An easy 7-2 win. 47-48.Â One game away from .500.Â This is definitely where I came in.Â Â So is this the game that turns it around? Turns what around? All we do is play games and win about half of them. Welcome back. As long as we’re in Philadelphia, it was an Eagle who said: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
John McGraw was a good manager; he ranks third all time in wins.Â The guy in first in wins kept his job because he owned the team.Â They arenâ€™t the same guy.Â Ted Turner, I would point out, is second in wins by a team owner/manager, with 0. Â I presume Chip can keep Connie and Ted separate.
JonathanF, thank you. Again I delight in your writing.
What a great game! And no Chip for the radio audience! Life is good!
I think we are roughly the same age. I went to a bunch of movies before multiplexes were a thing, and never watched a movie at a theatre as you have described. Seems weird to me that anyone would do that, like opening a book at a random page to start reading, then flipping to the first page when you reached the end.
That said, I definitely feel that this where I came in.
This has definitely been a weird, marking time season. We can’t have had either a 2-8 run (or worse) or an 8-2 run or better all season. Just plodding along, going 4-6 and 6-4, etc… This has to be nearly a record for this level of mediocrity so far into a season. Maybe we’re saving our run for the September and the playoffs….
If this season is Groundhog Day, I wouldn’t mind pantsing the Phillies a few hundred more times.
Great recap, Jonathan!
I will say that ever since Braves Journal took over the bullpen, our choices of Chavez, Jackson, Smith,
Tomlin, Matzek, Santana, and Greene have pitched 10 innings and allowed only 2 runs.
First guessing is easy; who knew?
(Never mind that the 2 runs lost a game.)
Thanks, JonathanF. I do remember the practice of going into the movie in the middle.
@3 asks a good question. Is there searchable data available to answer whether a team has ever gone through a season (or even half a season) with no ten game stretches of 8-2 or better or 2-8 or worse?
I haven’t checked, but I’m not sure we’ve even had a 7-3 stretch this season (someone on TC asserted that).
The Cleveland Indians have changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians.
The number 1 thing to remember this year is there is no such thing as momentum. We can’t say Atlanta is playing well and expect them to win a 4 game series against the Phillies. I know it could happen, but given the inconsistency and false hope of this season, a 2 and 2 series split is the maximum expectation we should have. Anything beyond this is setting ourselves up for disappointment – especially since it would mean we would be above .500.
@7 – Legal guardians everywhere should be offended.
@6 – Haven’t double-checked the rest of the season, but just looking at BBRef, we did have a 7-3 stretch, and we actually just had it: from June 30 – July 10. It started with the 20-runs-against-the Mets game: took the last two from the Mets, two of three from Miami, one of three from Pittsburgh, and then the first two against the Marlins, before the All-Star Break. That torrid stretch brought us from 37-41 to 44-44. Of course, we lost the next day.
It feels very This Season that our hottest part of it would include losing two of three to the Pirates. They should work that into the Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce ad copy somehow.
Also, JonathanF, excellent recap, as always. Had no idea about the movies thing.
@6: Three teams since 1920 have gone through a season without having a run of 8-2 or better or 2-8 or worse. But there’s an asterisk: all three were in last year’s 60 game season: Milwaukee, St. Louis, and the Mets.
I have gone to a movie like that a few times but not intentionally. In fact, I kinda have a pet peeve about seeing both the movie and the previews (and cartoons or whatever). The most memorable example of this is from Annie Hall. Annie and Alvie got to see The Sorrow and the Pity and they argue until the movie starts at which point Alvie says he can’t (won’t) go in. She says it’s a 4 1/2 hour movie; how much difference can it make to miss the first five minutes.
@7 I cannot think of a worse name. Every team name has the implication of some sort of aggressiveness. Guardians implies they are just going to sit there (I guess pitching and defense). I guess they might have been useful to prevent the drive-by shooting outside of Nats stadium. Spiders would have been a much better name with both aggressive and historical relevance. Then we could also quote Ron Weasley and say “Why couldn’t it be follow the butterflies?”
I also think John McGraw may leap out of his grave and punch Chip’s lights out for confusing him with someone like Mack. That is if McGraw’s reputation is even 50% accurate. Of course, Mack did eventually spawn a politician.
That being said, the consistent mediocrity of this team really leads me to believe that one added piece could change that – especially a lockdown reliever but maybe a bat would do the trick too. It may not make us world beaters but it might be enough to win the division at which point you join the craps shoot.
We’d need a Goose Gossage/Rollie Fingers type… someone who eats up the game’s last 6 or 8 outs — you know, the extinct type.
FWIW, in my book, “Annie Hall” is the funniest movie of all time, and one of the best.
And yes, when I was a kid in the 1970s, I’d spend entire days at the movie theater, especially the ones on post at Ft. Benning (memorably known as Theater #1, Theater #2, etc.). You’d get a whole program (cartoons, news, ads, etc.) & it was usually a double-feature, too.
Right… you just showed up whenever you showed up, took it all in & usually bailed at the spot you came in. Now it seems totally weird, but back then… not nearly as many entertainment options.
My double-feature faves were the kung-fu flicks like “Enter the Dragon” matched with the Blaxpoitation flicks like “Cleopatra Jones” or “Foxy Brown” — those theaters weren’t always so strict on the R-rated movies. But I also got dropped off for plenty of those Disney double features as well… “The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes,” “The Love Bug,” “Escape from Witch Mountain,” that kind of stuff. The theater would be packed with Army-dependents running amok, jacked on candy & sodas.
It was like… who needs a baby-sitter? Give the kids to Uncle Disney.
Thnx for the memories, JonF
New thread. Just skip to the comments if you don’t like trade speculation.