What a Braves fan tweets at 4AM when his team faces elimination

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I have a cold and feel like crap and last night’s Braves-Dodgers game was not exactly a big bowl of chicken soup on top of it. So it’s probably not surprising that I went to bed somewhat grumpy, resigned to the fact that Freddy Garcia is all that stands in between the present and the Braves’ elimination. And of course, this wasn’t a recipe for a good night’s sleep, so I was up at 3:53 AM. Here’s what happens on Twitter at that hour when you find yourself in my frame a mind with some cold medicine added on top:

 

Hark! An actual major league baseball player is up too and tries to help:

 

It’s not nothing I guess. Though I’d probably feel better if the best of his playoff performances hadn’t been pre-9/11, but you do what you can. What else do people got?

Again: true. Though how much weird stuff can really happen when, even if Freddy comes through, you gotta find a way to win again on Wednesday. That really sends the mind reeling:

 

“If I could free my hands,” he thought, “I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader’s farthest advance.”

Except Clayton Kershaw will be standing there in a Union uniform ready to snap you, the noose and your neck back to reality. Sigh.

Cast about for hope again. Let’s see if Freddy Garcia has anything that can help me out:

“I don’t panic. I just make pitch.” — Freddy Garcia.

Huh. That’s actually a little comforting in some twisted way. I mean, sure, it doesn’t make Freddy Garcia anything more than he is, but it woulda been nice if Julio Teheran had that kind of equanimity about him last night, no?  Yeah, I can sort of get behind Garcia’s groove here:

source:

Playoff baseball, man. It’ll make you believe anything and reach for anything in desperation.

And even if my boys go down in flames tonight, I wouldn’t change a thing about how the playoffs roll.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉