Though the Major League Baseball season officially started last week with two games in Japan, the season has kicked off on the home front tonight with my team, the Atlanta Braves facing off against division rivals the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital. As always it’s fun to see the familiar faces of your team, plus get the first chance to see the new additions in action. Notable in that category is Mark Kotsay, who takes over center field from departed free agent Andruw Jones, a fan favorite and one of the best defensive players at the position in the history of the game. So far Kotsay has looked good, tracking down some deep balls in the corners, though I have to say that I will miss watching the effortless grace with which Andruw roamed the outfield. And in both the familiar and the new face category, Brave’s fans have the opportunity to welcome back pitching ace Tom Glavine, a welcome addition to a pitching rotation whose #3 slot has not been too formidable in comparison to numbers one and two, Tim Hudson and John Smoltz. At least one ESPN writer is willing to go out on a limb and call the Braves, who’ve missed the playoffs the last two seasons, a World Series contender. We’ve got one hundred and sixty-two games to see how that pans out.
Many congratulations to BobbyP and MsXTC on the arrival of their first born! Joseph Walker (who at only 4 hours old has no online pseudo-name yet) arrived at 12:17 pm at 7lbs 3oz and 21 inches long at Women’s Hospital here in Baton Rouge. BobbyP reports that both mother and child are doing well and JW (I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to call him this until he’s old enough to tell me to stop) arrived with 10 fingers, 10 toes, and all other requisite male-oriented appendages.
Free time for A&W posting has been hard to come by recently, with a lot of time devoted to the doing of things and not enough time for reflecting upon them or even really catching my breath between them. In the last few weeks there have been trips to NO for both Wilco and St. Patrick’s Day, each excellent adventures, plus the first meeting of the Historically Curious Flavors & Pastimes Investigatory Committee (more on this to come as a regular A&W feature). Just this last weekend Maddie Potter and I had BobbyP, MsXTC, Wrestlerette and Wgo over for the first cookout since time changed. Over vegetable kabobs, hot sausage po-boys, galvanized buckets of ice cold beer and a fire on the deck we celebrated BobbyP’s birthday, he and MsXTC’s last weekend of living child-free and the arrival of the Vernal Equinox and Easter, all rolled into one. Through all that I’ve somehow knocked out over 20 hours of overtime (any web application in developers in the Red Stick area looking for work?). So yeah, things are jumping.
In that ever futile yet always waged battle against lost youth, I begin my 36 hours of Spring Break. As with last year’s mini-Spring Break to see Yo La Tengo at Tipitina’s, this year finds me on a trip to NOLA back to Tips, this time to see Wilco on the second night of their two night stand there. Maddie Potter and I are going to get down there early enough to wander up and down Magazine Street for a bit and hopefully the weather will be warm enough to enjoy a few pints on the balcony of The Balcony, just as I did the evening of the Wilco show at the State Palace Theater back in 2005 (that was the last live show I saw in NOLA before Katrina). After a night’s stay at the Prytania Park Hotel we’re hoping for a lazy lunch and meander up River Road back to Baton Rouge. SPRING BREAK!!!
The show is being streamed live from the Wilco website if you want to give a listen.
Along with most of the football following world I’d like to give a public thanks to quarterback Brett Favre, who announced his retirement from professional football today. I consider it one of my distinct pleasures as a football fan to have been around to watch him play the game and as a fellow Mississippian, it was a point of pride to share my home state with one of the greatest players in football. While the Saints are my first love in the NFL, the Packers have always been my second favorite with Favre at their helm. I even had a Packers Party during this year’s NFC Championship between the Packers and Giants, replete with brats and cheap Wisconsin beer, which turned out to be #4’s farewell game. Wright Thompson’s article on ESPN.com says a number of things that I can’t say any better about Brett, Mississippi, and the hole he’s left in many a football fan’s heart. It’s a good read. So thanks again, Brett, for all the memories. I wish you’d played one more year so I could have seen you play in the Dome this season, but the fun’s got to end sometime, I guess.