The Braves send up a pinch-hitter in the seventh and My Son The Braves Fan - The BRAVES FAN - turns and says, "Dad, who is this dude?"
Huh? That's your team. Not mine. I have no clue.
With Jesus Colome on the mound, I figured he was dangerous even if he was Minnie Pearl. My fears were confirmed as the ball sailed harmfully through the night and into the Nats bullpen.
Brooks Conrad. A guy his own fans didn't even know just stuck another dagger into a heart full of them. Brooks Conrad. In his first at-bat for the Braves. I'm sure he's smart enough to understand he'll usually be facing major-league pitching.
A young friend who worked in my office at VCU was there (in the President's Club at that) so I sent him a text.
ME: Who the heck is that guy?
HIM: No idea. But I like him.
Yeah, I bet you do. I'll trade you Colome for him. Next text to another young Braves fan who worked with me at VCU, one back in Richmond.
ME: Brooks Conrad? Who is that?
HIM: Apparently the greatest hitter ever. Beyond that, I got nothing.
Braves.com tells me this guy landed in D.C. less than 12 hours before stepping up and ruining my night. It was his 20th at-bat in the big leagues. He played in six games for Oakland last season, collecting three hits in 19 at-bats. This will shock you. It was his first major-league home run.
If the Braves were on MASN, Brooks Conrad would be the "who?" guy in the commercials.
Another text later from a friend at the park: The bullpen must go. All of them.
Me: I'll drive.
Yet another text from Braves fan back in Richmond: I knew the Nats' bullpen was bad. I didn't realize how bad.
Me: Brutal would be an upgrade.
That's 4-18 with the big guy in the house.
Worth noting (or nothing): We sat in the Red Loft seats for the first time. Or the Porch. The higher ones, whatever they're called. Interesting vantage point. I had seats in both rows. If you go this route, get Row A. You can see much more of the field - like all of it.
I also tried one of those Fred Flintstone ribs for the first time. It was basically a huge bone with a lot of fat covered in sauce. They were out of forks but that was OK. It was cold and I could pick up the bone. Not going to spend 12 bucks on that again.
Enjoyed the fireworks show. Was it just me or were they spelling out, "BROOKS CONRAD OWNS YOU. CHUCK NORRIS FEARS BROOKS CONRAD?"
That's enough out of me for now. On to bed, where I'll no doubt wake up screaming, "WHO IS THIS GUY AND WHY IS JESUS COLOME STILL ON THE TEAM??"