Afternoon, kids. I'm coming to you LIVE! from the press box of Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World in Orlando. It's the Spring home of the Atlanta Braves and today they'll be taking on the Astros of Houston. I'm enjoying a complimentary Sprite. Your starting lineups and a recap of my morning thus far. After the jump.
This game is being broadcast on ESPN if you wanna follow along on TV. I met Karl Ravech. Nice guy. I watched BP on the field. That was neat. I went into the Braves locker room to interview a few guys. Tim Hudson, Brian McCann and Garrett Anderson were all very cool. Derek Lowe wasn't. But hey whatcha gonna do. More on all that later. I figure I'll do about three innings then my computer might explode from the heat. Now I know why the veteran press guys sit in the second row.
Your starting lineups:
12:54: Braves fans are obsessed with Chipper Jones. Jorge Campillo on the mound today.
12:55: Adam Vinatieri throwing out the first pitch. Escorted to the mound by Mickey Mouse. Thank god I don't do drugs.
1:05: First pitch is grounded to short, but beat out for an infield single. Jason Michaels up.
1:06: David Ross gins down whoever that was leading off in a steal attempt. Jason MIchaels doubles to left.
1:07: Lance Berkman is up. Put on quite the display in the cage. This sun is making my Sprite hot.
1:11: There are two female reporters on either side of me keeping score. I feel kind of lame for not keeping score myself. But I don't feel like getting up. Tejada up. I'm gonna get a sunglass tan, I can feel it.
1:14: Tejada hits a rocket to the left center gap. RBI ground rule double. The aforementioned women on either side of me work for the Astros. Apparently I've been pronouncing JR Towles name incorrectly for over a year. It's "TOALS" Base hit for Newhan. Drives in two. 3-0 Astros.
1:18: Astros player name I keep hearing, Brian Bogusevic. Former first round pick as a pitcher. Now is an outfielder who can apparently rake. May make the team out of camp, but will almost certainly see time with the club this year. I refuse to get food from the buffet. That's way too sportswritery. The Sprite will be just fine, thanks.
1:20: Oh, holy crap I'm watching Roy Oswalt pitch. He just struck that guy out. Kelly Johnson is up now.
1:22: Strikes out Kelly Johnson, too. CHIPPER GET OFF YOUR LAP TOP, YOU'RE UP!!!
1:23: Chipper strikes out too. That's karma for being a troll. Oswalt looked awesome but like my Dad always says, "Pitchers are always ahead of hitters this early. Go shave." Well not the shave part doesn't apply but you get it.
1:26: Chris Johnson hits a rocket that riccochets of Chippers glove for a base hit. Not a good start for Campillo or Larry so far.
1:29: Humberto Quintero strikes out. I've been pronouncing his name wrong TOO. I was saying it "Tom Smith." Darin Erstad is up. DID YOU KNOW HE USED TO PLAY ROUNDERS?
1:34: Sorry technical difficulties. THAT GUY FROM A&E TOLD ME THE SPRINT CONNECT THING HAD INTERNET ANYWHERE! On this day in 1935 the Yankees released Babe Ruth... and they never won another World Series.
1:36: This direct sunlight is making my computer wicked hot. Some dude just grounded out. Yunel Escobar is up. Must. Not. Eat. Buffet. Wrap. Sandwich.
1:37: Oswalt absolutely drills Escobar. He's walking gingerly down the first base line brining up Frenchy. Oswalt always struck me as the kind of guy that would take Spring seriously. Frenchy grounds out to third.
1:40: David Ross jacks a 2 run Ding Ding to left. 3-2 Astros.
1:44: That inning ended while I was in the bathroom. Matt T gets his wish, Tommy Hanson in for The Braves.
1:47: Hanson just hit some guy. Dude are we gonna get a spring brawl? Awesome.
1:50 John Gall drives in Carlos Lee. 4-2 Astros. HANSON DONT LOOK SO HOT, MATTIE BOY.
1:51: The excitement in a Spring Training game has the lifespan of a gnat. Chris Johnson sacrifices to deep center. 5-2 Astros. Tom Smith is up.
1:53: Tom Smith grounds out to end the inning. It's the middle of the third. We'll do the bottom of this inning then it's time for all of us to get back to work, eh?
1:56: You'll see it next week after I put up some photos of my travels, but this stadium has a very cool hill right behind the left field wall in lieu of bleachers. Lay out a blanket and relax. I can dig that. Maybe I will for the second half of the contest. p>1:59: Greg Norton wants to escalate this beanball war so badly that he just fouled a ball of the inside of his calf. HE'S TRYING TO INCITE A RIOT.
2:03: CHIPPER JONES JUST ALMOST HIT A FOUL BALL AT ME IN THE PRESS BOX. Some fan caught it like two rows in front of me. I mean... that really is someone pretending to be Chipper in the comments and not really him right?
2:06: It's top of the fourth now. Fine. Fine. I'll go look at the buffet. Erstad lines out to second. Another One Bites The Dust plays. Funky.
2:09: Berkman bloops to center. Two guys on. Now batting for the Astros: Mark Saccomano. Is he related to Bob? Does he sell rat hats? Break out the "almost all my Tv references are ten years old" tag!
2:13: Tejada flies out to left to end that half inning. My computer is going to overheat and I'm getting hungry. Hope you all enjoyed the most professional thing we've ever done! Enjoy the rest of your afternoon and I'll talk to you all tomorrow from the Cards/Mets game in Port St. Lucie.