Eddie Money.bmp

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


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.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.