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Friday, July 3, 2009

Brooks Conrad?

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. 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??"


dcbatgirl said...

Sorry you're having a bad week, but you're very funny and therefore a bit of a silver lining for this Nationals fan.

For me, Colume has long been a sort of death by paper cut. I understand he throws hard, but sheeesh!

MikeHarris said...

Gets hit hard, too. Often. There has to be some kind of record pursuit in the mix here. Highest ERA by a reliever who also lets every inherited runner score? That's the only reason I can see for keeping him around.

An Briosca Mor said...

I had the Fred Flinstone rib at one of the Red Sox games. It was great. Some fat, but a lot of meat. You must have gotten a bad one. I'd say give it another shot. Save the bone and throw it at the next reliever who blows a lead.

I also sat in the Red Loft seats once last year. I'll never do it again. Nice view, but the crowd of drunks behind you in the bar all game long really detracts from the experience. Especially when the usher (who was actually trying to start the wave from there earlier in the game) gives up keeping the drunks out of the seats around the seventh inning. I was in the front row, had a couple of empty seats to my right and then a thirtysomething woman there with her husband and two kids. When the usher gave up doing her job, a couple of drunks came down and sat on my left side and started hitting on the woman to my right. I eventually had to leave and go to one of the standing room areas to watch the end of the game. The score was 4-4 after eight. As I walked out, another drunk asks me "Is the game over?"

Never again. Not at the price they charge to sit there. Not even if it's free.

MikeHarris said...

On your recommendation, I will give the ribs (or is it rib?) another try.

They have two new ushers up there and they're very vigilant. My kids went downstairs around the 7th (I think my son wanted to get Brooks Conrad's autograph) and two young women tried to sit in the vacated seats. I was fine with it. The usher was not. He booted them.

My latest offering, by the way, was any five Nats with no qualifications for Brooks Conrad. The boy said no.

An Briosca Mor said...

Ask your food critic buddy Chico Harlan what the rule of thumb is on how many times you need to sample an establishment's cuisine before publishing your review. I believe Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema requires three visits. But that's for a print review. Blogs and tweets may require fewer.

Sounds like Stan heard from a few STHers in the Red Loft seats about the fan experience there last year. (They were only offering those seats to 81-game folks. No partial plans, even.) But it seems you do still need to be prepared to dance with Screech at the seventh inning stretch if you're sitting there. Guaranteed big screen exposure I guess, if you want it.

MikeHarris said...

Yeah, Screech paid a visit last night but was looking for a younger crowd. Plus, it was right after Mr. Conrad's introduction so I moved to the right and snarled.

At my old paper, we required two visits before a review. I saw a guy from the Times talking to people in the rib line last night. Need to check and see if anything was written.

Off to the park to get my heart stepped on again.

George Templeton said...

I thought Brooks Conrad was someone who starred on an afternoon soap opera.

Victor said...

I had one of those Rough Rider bones last night, myself. Some meat and a metric tonne of fat. My cardiologist would have had a heart attack if he saw me trying to eat that thing.

I had to get a pretzel dog later to stave off the hunger pangs. I'll let Mr. Harris try it three times; as for me...that's twelve bucks I could spend on something else.

Anonymous said...

The Gwinett Braves stadium is right around the corner from where I live and Brooks has played there for a while. When I found out that he would be gone up to the braves I was actually sad because I would miss his amazing catches, but I was happy for him. He is an amazing ball player. And he's nice to. I asked him for his signature and he was very nice. Great Guy.