Catching up with Brooks Conrad

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While the winter is an awful, awful thing for a baseball fan, it has served one healing purpose for Braves fans: it has allowed us to forget about Brooks Conrad’s follies in the NLDS against the Giants.  In case you wanted to relive it, however — or if you actually want to find reasons not to hate the guy — there’s a nice profile of him in the AJC today.  This part might makes you just want to die, though:

In the first inning of Game 3, Conrad bobbled a double-play ball. Then he dropped a pop-up to right field in the second.

When Posey handcuffed him in the ninth, Conrad’s wife Jessie was in the concourse at Turner Field, taking their 3-year-old son Jaxon to the bathroom. She hadn’t even seen the play. But she heard booing and her heart sank.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, please no,’” Jessie said.

The stuff that follows about his teammates and family rallying around him the night of the game is hanky material.

Spring is upon us and it’s time for renewal. And no one could use it more than Conrad.  Here’s hoping that things turn out well for him him in the new year.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.