My kids are getting older. One is a teenager already and the other one acts like one. As such, our celebratory habits and routines have inevitably changed.
I’ve always enjoyed the Fourth of July with them, in large part because our town’s fireworks can be seen from our yard. For the past 12 years we’ve made hot dogs and hamburgers and have had little neighborhood parties. My kids and dozens of other neighborhood kids eat popsicles, catch fireflies and run around with sparklers and squirt guns in the twilight. It all ends with us sitting on the front porch watching the show, which goes off just when the kids get to the point where they can’t keep their eyes open anymore. It’s Americana cranked up to 11.
But it’s different now. We had our usual cookout yesterday and the kids enjoyed it just fine, but at around 6pm they hit me up for some money and took off for the next several hours to the high school football stadium. That’s where they set off the fireworks and have a more commercial Fourth of July festival. They hang out with their friends, buy overpriced concessions and get into some low-level mischief. I’m not gonna say that I hate the fact that I can now just hang out on my porch with an adult beverage and not have to chase children around, but I do miss it some. I miss the excitement.
The sort of excitement Clayton Kershaw showed yesterday after shutting down the Diamondbacks:
After the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks, the starting lefthander was taking questions from the media when he suddently had to jet.
“Oh, I gotta go — fireworks! I love you guys,” Kershaw said before running out of the room.
Can I adopt him? I have a lot of sparklers I didn’t get to use this year.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.