Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Braves Chatter

If it's mid-February, then it must be time for reports to trickle out of Braves camp (as they do from each spring training camp, even, we presume, that of the Royals) about every roster player (and the occasional non-roster invitee) looking great. The hitters have all either gained or lost weight and either way, that portends a great season. The pitchers are all throwing with great velocity and are impressing Bobby (with the added perk this year that they're all learning new things from Roger McDowell.) Anyway, the reports are here and here. I don't have much to add, other than to say that it'll be interesting to return to these articles in July to see that Anthony Lerew, Chuck James, and Oscar Villarreal were so highly touted in spring ball. My guess is that one of the three will have an impact, although for James, that's contingent on one or possibly two injuries in the starting rotation.


peacedog said...

FWIW, James gave up lots of fly balls in the minors last year, and thsi is apparently pretty standard for him. I don't think that bodes well for his success as a starter (or possibly anything more than a specialty reliever), since he doesn't throw all that hard.

Also, it's worth noting that I lack anything non work related to obsess about, so this is all I have right now.

Michael said...

If I was successful in turning you into a softcore Michigan fan, then maybe I can do the same for F.C. Barcelona?

peacedog said...

Firstly, I don't know if you understand how good I am about obsessing about Braves prospects. Next time you see Dave Grant, ask him how bent out of shape I still am about Melvin Nieves not panning out.

Two, I see problems regarding my cheering for Barca. Outside of the Dawgs, my entire "primary" sports fan profile consists of teams that break my heart. Or suck ass. I'm not sure I can take another heartbreaker.

OTOH, I don't really have a good team abroad to root for anymore. My old crush on the Hotspurs has passed. I rooted for Man U but it was really only Schmiekel I cared about. So I guess I'm on the market (and, I do love the Barcelona onwership system. Hope Wilson's little brother's wife got him ownership for a wedding present. Fabulous idea).

Michael said...

I highly recommend "How Soccer Explains the World" by Franklin Foer, a quick and entertaining read. The chapter on Barca summarizes nicely why I started rooting for them. The club is owned by the fans. They've never had a sponsor on their jerseys. They were a rallying point for Catalan opposition to the Franco dictatorship, while Real were the regime's team. They've always played positive football. They've never had a hooligan problem (other than throwing coins, cell phones, and a pig's head at Luis Figo, but he deserved it.) Plus, Barcelona is my favorite city in the world (although London, Ann Arbor, and Charlottesville are up there) and I proposed to my wife there, so you'll have to take my word for it that they are the right team to support. And they need you tomorrow against the oligarch's team whose fans were among the first hooligans, whose coach whines constantly and coaches the most expensive team in the world to play behind the ball, and whose star central defender and midfielder taunted stranded American tourists after 9/11.

peacedog said...

Incidentally, is this game on the telley (see my usage of the non american term! Rawk)? I might be able to rustle up a watch, but it depends. I'll probably be at work or something.

Did you ever read The Football Factory? It's written by I think a Chelsea Hooligan. The accounts in it are, if memory serves entirely fictional but supposdely "loosely based on real experience" or somesuch. I might be confusing the origins with another book Chris Moore used to talk about. It may be that it was written buy a guy who became a Chelsea thug to write abou tit.

They get up to some escapades, real or otherwise.

Also, Chelsea had players who taunted Americans? Links to anything about it online, or care to explain?

Its interesting that Chelsea has seemingly replaced ManU as the Yankees of the Futbol world. Chris Moore's dad was a Chelsea fan once, but he was a fan dating back for ages and ages. I wonder what he thinks of the state of the club now.

Michael said...

2:30 on ESPN2.

There's a chapter in "How Soccer Explains the World" on Chelsea's hooligan tradition. Interestingly, the club is located in ritzy West London and has some really rich fans. They were the cosmopolitan English team in the 90s. All that is at odds with the hooligans they have.


"Lampard was already developing a reputation as a young hedonist when he, Terry and some teammates were reported to have been appallingly drunk and abusive at an airport hotel near Heathrow in front of some shocked Americans in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 strikes on New York City. Lampard was dropped from the England squad to meet Greece in Manchester, and English people the world over shook their heads at the continued misbehaviour of these highly-paid players."

By "drunk and abusive," the article means that he imitated an airplane.