Excuse me if I've told this story before. It bears a repeat.
When I take my son the Braves Fan/Virginia Tech graduate to a game between the Braves and the Nats, we have a simple deal. I buy the tickets and the food and all. If Zimmerman hits a home run while we are there, the boy has to stand up and sing the U.Va. fight song. Loud and proud.
Tonight, he did to a rousing round of applause from those around us. I was proud of him. He took his punishment graciously.
The night went downhill from there.
A friend made me promise not to panic too early and I guess five games qualifies as too early. But anyone among us fandoms who isn't getting a bit concerned needs to maybe start getting that way. I'm going to keep from ranting here but this is a team that couldn't afford a bad start and it is off to a very bad start.
Some things that did chap my tail tonight.
*Home plate umpire Chuck Meriwether and first-base ump Eric Cooper. When Cooper rang Milledge up from first on a phantom swing, even my son the Braves fan said, "WHAT?" Sure didn't look close from our angle. Milledge tossed his helmet and his bat in frustration and then walked away. It looked like Meriwether took off behind him to give him some grief. Yo, Chuck. Be a pro. Either toss him when he tossed his stuff. Or, better yet, understand it is a momentary show of frustration and let it go since he's walking away. Don't follow him. Don't continue the argument. Who are you, some Angel Hernandez wannabe? (We'll ignore the rest of Milledge's bad night at the plate and make it clear here that Meriwether and Cooper didn't have anything to do with defeat No. 5).
*When Kelly Johnson got the hit that drove in the winning run, how did second base end up uncovered? There's no play at first there, none. The play, if there is one, will be at second. Someone has to be there. It's a fundamental thing.
I suspect we'll see Gonzalez at second and maybe leading off tomorrow? Willingham in left, Dunn at first, Nieves/Bard behind the plate and maybe Dukes in center? A guy in front of me tonight asked when Willingham got hurt, since he didn't seem to be playing much. "Isn't he supposed to be pretty good?" he said. So I hear. And he isn't hurt.
This is the kid's Christmas present, so I'm happy he's enjoying the trip so much. We ate at The Varsity this afternoon, kicked around town a bit. Great fireworks show after the game. Very well done. One more and then we'll fly home and prepare to head to D.C. on Monday. I hope my head doesn't explode before then.