Eddie Money.bmp

The Braves have a rally song that is older than most of the Braves

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Look, it’s not always easy being a Braves fan. Part of it is because the hard core among us have to constantly answer for the largely indifferent Atlanta fan base, their playoff-no-shows and the Tomahawk Chop.  Part of it is that whole Buffalo Bills-esque five-pennants-but-only-one-title thing (though I’d take that over what anyone besides the Yankees have done in recent history).

A lot of it, though, is that there has never been anything particularly cool about the Braves. Lots of good players, but not many cool ones (my latest hope, Jason Heyward, strikes me as kind of a nerd, actually; here’s hoping I’m wrong).  No moments that transfer well to t-shirts or catch phrases that excite the fan base, however briefly. We have no “Chooooch!” or “Yooouuuk!” and our time in the national media spotlight was more a function of Ted Turner needing to fill time on his network in the 80s than of sustained excellence which, while it came later, was somehow less fun.

All of which is to say that I am 100% unsurprised that when the team starts to rally around something — in this case a rally song — that it’s kinda lame and old: “Shakin” by Eddie Money, according to Dave O’Brien.  You know, from the 1982 “No Control” album?  The one with this video? No, you don’t know because you either weren’t alive then or you had moved on from Eddie Money after the 70s were over to something less … sucky.

Not that I have a huge problem with it. I’m nearly 38 years old and I’m kind of lame myself. And, sure, nine year-old Craigy actually kind of liked that song. Heck, in some sort of half-ironic way I like it now. I hope the Braves’ adoption of it is ironic. I just kind of doubt it is.

And the problem will be if this takes hold and the Braves rip off, like, 20 wins in 30 games. Then it will start to become a thing. And once again I will have lots of people asking me why the Braves are so lame. And I will have absolutely no answer.

But I guess if it comes with wins, I won’t care.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.