Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and the greatest singer of my lifetime, passed away today. She joined other musical royalty who had earlier passed away on this same date, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, and Robert Johnson, the King of the Deltas Blues. It’s not just musical royalty; Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, and Bela Lugosi, the King of Horror, also died on August 16. Finally, two people very significant in Atlanta history, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind, and John Pemberton, creator of Coca Cola, breathed their last on this date.
On the Braves front, as today broke, we were all shook up about the events of Wednesday night. I felt the need to say a little prayer that the x-rays on Ronald’s arm would be negative. This felt like a crossroads; I worried that if his injury was serious, the Braves’ remarkable run could fall apart and we’d find all our love in vain. Fortunately, his arm turned out to be OK, so much so that he was able to start Thursday’s game.
We learned this afternoon that the chain of fools extends from the hounddog Jose Urena and Don Mattingly all the way to the Commissioner’s office. Showing no respect for the integrity of the game, the MLB announced that the penalty for Urena’s perfidy on Wednesday will be a paltry six game suspension. Suspicious minds wonder what is wrong with these people. If it were up to me, Urena would be hoppin and boppin to the Jailhouse Rock.
By the way, this light suspension means that Urena will be eligible and likely to pitch when the Braves go to Miami later this month. This could be ugly; they had better think, think, about what they are trying to do to us. (thanks to JonathanF for that one)
And oh yes, the Braves did play the Rockies Thursday night. We got good Julio tonight. He went seven efficient innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs, striking out 7. That should have been enough to win, because although the Braves only had 6 hits themselves (one of those a first inning single by RAJ), they scored three runs. One was on a second inning homer by Suzuki and two runs scored in the fifth on consecutive doubles by Zuk and Dans and an rbi single from Teheran. Unfortunately, Brad Brach (closing because Minter had pitched 2 games in a row) gave up three runs in the ninth and the Rockies won the game 5 to 3. To be fair to Brach, all three runs were unearned thanks to a error by Swanson allowing the first batter in the inning to reach. But Brach shouldn’t escape all blame; he then walked the second batter of the inning. The offensive hero for the Rockies was David Dahl, who had a homer earlier off Teheran, and then a big two run double in the ninth.
Tough loss for the Braves, but they still have a game and a half lead on the Phils, who managed to split a double header with the Mets despite giving up 30 (really!) runs on the day.
Three more big games with the Rockies this weekend, with Newk, Sweet Home Chicago Folty, and Anibal taking the mound.