Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Chairman's Box and Bell

Peter Bragan Sr. at Wolfson Park, 1984.  Florida Times-Union.
Peter Bragan Jr. (right) at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, 2012

Peter Bragan Sr. owned a successful car dealership before purchasing the Jacksonville Suns in 1984.  Like all captains of industry, Senior had in his home a large bell which he used to signal the successful completion of an accomplishment, like impregnating a busty coquette or making a really good ham sandwich, for example.  Not content to sequester the Bell of Accomplishment from the masses who loved him, and whom he loved, Senior mounted the Bell of Accomplishment onto a lacquered yoke and in turn, mounted the yoke-and-bell assembly onto wheels so that it could be placed among the Jacksonville commonage.  And now, even after Senior’s passing, the bell can still be heard heralding every Suns’ home run and victory at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

"Please do not sit in the Chairman’s Box."  It shall remain empty.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Bullpen Bench at Jacksonville

At Jacksonville Suns games, impudent children are shamed, much like Hester Prynne, with Logan Morrison jerseys.

One thing separating our summertime diversion from the lesser sports is diversity of setting.  Baseball parks provide variety in the form of varying outfield and foul territory dimensions.  Such variety keeps the sabermetricians busy with their slide rules and gum erasers, but for most fans the appeal is different.  

One appeal is that time spent simply talking about those nooks and crannies provides our stomachs respite from the gaping maw of our insatiable appetite for Cracker Jack; wet, steamy peanuts; and all manner of sweet delights found at the confectioner's table.  More importantly, these jutting irregularities allow us to appreciate the comical hardships endured by athletes suffering errant ricochets and, at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, unsupervised mouthy runabouts in close proximity to the home team’s bullpen.

The BBB documents below the effrontery uttered by those willful little hellions:

“Hey, can you hear me?”

“I bet I could throw faster than you."

“When the game is over, you guys wanna come over and play Xbox?”

“When is the game gonna be over?”

“Hey, can you hear me?” 

“My sister says you're not really that cute.”

"My mom says you have a flat butt.  She calls you Mr. Flat Butt."

“Hey, can you hear me?”

"Can you teach me to spit like that?"

“Is this the World Series?”

“Hey, can you hear me?”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ejection Video: Billy Gardner Jr., Montgomery Biscuits

Hello everyone!!!  Greetings from the American Workplace, where happiness is mandatory and important work gets done while everyone pretty much acts like an asshole.  Today we bring you the latest in Ejection Video, straight from the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  The BBB staff of analysts, hangers on, groupies and what have you, requisitioned the company vehicle and, from the looks of its windshield upon arrival, used it like the Grim Reaper’s scythe, cutting a swath through Florida’s flying insect population en route to America's largest city by landmass.  

The city's insurance comptroller may tell you the 2012 BBB Trip to Jacksonville is second only to the Great Fire of 1901 in terms of being a total loss, but we did manage to yield some value-added entertainment units for your stupefied consumption.  We will undoubtedly leverage said units for future profit and the glorious moral decay that accompanies stunning financial success.

Despite repeated requests from management, the official BBB videographer refuses to sit in the front row for fear of being hit by a fast owie baseball.  His flinching cowardice resulted in the following hazy, unfocused video of manager Billy Gardner, Jr. being ejected from a game between the Jacksonville Suns and the Montgomery Biscuits.  Yes, that’s right.  The team’s name is the Biscuits.  And the BBB videographer is under a performance review at this point.

It should be noted that our headquarters is somewhat centrally located in Florida and this was our first exposure to Double A baseball, where the games are so important three umpires are required.  We were also quite impressed with the exterior fa├žade and the existence of a true upper deck at The Baseball Grounds, unlike the upper deck at Clearwater's Bright House Field, which doesn't extend all the way around home plate.

Anyway, in the shuddersome words of the Hilton and Kardashian business handlers, "Let's see the video, sweetheart."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Mysterious Windows of Joker Marchant

March 14, 2010. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers.

One of the more intriguing sights of Florida’s baseball parks' is the mysterious building just past the first base line at Joker Marchant Stadium.  The darkly shaded and, until now apparently, tinted windows have always kept nosy onlookers from peering into the clandestine operations of the Detroit Tigers installation in Lakeland.  What’s in there?  Minor League scouting department?  Player training rooms?  Jim Leyland’s spring training stockpile of unfiltered Camels? 

The prevailing theory amongst the BBB staff of leisured analysts, who like to chit chat by the water cooler all day when they should be making funny gifs, or proofreading, or doing something for Christ’s sake, is that the dark tint hides the executive office of "The Judge" (Robert Prosky), owner of the fictional New York Knights baseball team in The Natural, starring toothsome Robert Redford. As you may recall, The Judge kept his office dimly lit, thus proving he had overcome a powerful childhood fear of the dark.  Thanks to the good folks at YouTube, the relevant scene is available below, and no, Jackass, you don't have to watch the whole movie.  Just harness a few calories from this morning's Mr.-Pibb-and-potato-chip breakfast to click and drag your electronic mouse pointer to the 54:45 mark.

Sadly, the BBB analysts’ theory was disproved Saturday as the setting sun retired to the west and revealed the room's interior.  There was no hint of swirling cigar smoke, or imposing taxidermy, or powerful men uttering threats implied through teeth gnashed.  There were no imposing capitalists with their generous offers, provided we have an understanding, of course.  There was nothing but boring chairs and stupid walls and dumb sunlight, spreading its factuality all over everything.  

Dammit Truth, you've ruined Mystery again.

August 4th, 2012. Flying Tigers vs. Clearwater Threshers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Miami Marlins, et al, Facebook Pages Hacked

Deadspin reports several Major League baseball teams' Facebook pages were hacked today.  Check out the many skillfully crafted updates via this electronic Internet-ready link located here.  If you are disappointed, outraged even, at the brevity of this particular BBB post, please be aware that the BBB cordially invites you to go screw yourself.  We're busy updating our password complexity policy to require letters, numbers, and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Midget Wrestling

Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)
McKechnie Field, Sat. July 14, 2012

I know you, reader.  I know you are a true sophisticate, refined in taste and reserved in demeanor.  At the conclusion of the evening, you’ll retire with your port, vintage of course, to the study with other aesthetes of patrician society to discuss pressing matters like who, to a greater extent, achieved both darkness and smoldering darkness, Bang Tango’s Joe Leste or The Cult’s Ian Astbury.

However, consider this insidious question:  If, at the entrance to your elegantly understated entertainment destination of the evening, you were approached by a stranger and informed of the whereabouts and the whoabouts of a free midget fight, would you attend that engagement instead?  If that same free midget fight were to muscle itself, bald and screaming and moist, as if thrust from raw humanity’s birth canal, into the clutch of a baseball double-header at lovely McKechnie Field in Bradenton, then the path laid out before you is clear.  Midgets and baseball it is!

As always, the video is a rousing, smashing success because the software used to create it tells us so.