That's whom I was thinking about when Shingo after came in and gave the Marlins a bingo. (By jingo!) Him and Billy Taylor. Dial-up being dial-up, I'm not going to investigate, but I'm sure Taylor and McElroy might have made decent first impressions before being packed off after a single partial season.
Yes, a nice win today, followed down here in Vacation Paradise (which it totally was today — 80, just enough breeze to cool things off) via the WB and FAN, which was accessible with some mild gymnastics while walking about. Was particularly glad to see Clifford hit one to dead center (fuck the Marlins for every goddamn time one of their fielders has caught a drive from us in one of Soilmaster Stadium's 440' cul de sacs), Wright pour it on late and Seo show that whatever nuttiness is going on, he's not coming out of the rotation. And to see some tolerable production coming out of second base — all is not lost, Kaz, just do what you're capable of and don't get hurt, y'hear?
It's funny about the Braves. I don't have the same dread that usually manifests itself when we arrive in Turner Field with a season in the balance, and you've absolutely nailed why: Because it's extremely hard to claim that we even deserve to be in the running for something at this point. If the Braves knock us into 2006, it will hurt, but it won't be the shock that '98 or the '99 postseason or '01 were. Those were a lot better teams than this one; an end to '05 would just be finally coming back to earth, even if it were Schuerholz's Slaughterers offering the coup de grace.
Which isn't to say I don't like this team. I do — a lot, despite my grousing about Victor and Kaz and Kaz and Ice and Offerman and Looper and Koo and Graves. There's a difference between bad roster moves and bad guys, and of this year's Mets, Offerman and DeJean are the only ones who seem like they might be guys you wouldn't particularly want to root for. I like this team and I'll cheer madly for whatever wild-card hopes we have until math dictates otherwise (and we still might win — plenty of time left), but this ain't a great team, and no amount of devotion can hide that. It's a .500 team trying to make the leap to the next level, but the mismatches and the growing pains and the roster mismanagement and the injuries and the bad luck strongly suggest that's not going to happen. That's OK in a year in which .500 and respectability would have been accomplishment enough — mission most definitely accomplished even if nothing else happens. Do I want more than that? Of course. Will I be disappointed not to get more than that? Sure. Will I be surprised not to get more than that? Absolutely not.