Ross has the Braves sh-sh-sh-Shakin’

SAN DIEGO – Damn you, Eddie Money and David Ross.

Not only can I not get Eddie Money’s “Shakin’” out of my mind, I actually found myself singing the unofficial team rally song aloud as I walked back to my hotel at midnight after Tuesday’s game. (Some of those unfortunate folks sleeping on sidewalks in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter must’ve thought, dude’s a dork.)

Ross (left) hugs Jair Jurrjens late Tuesday after Jurrjens pitched first complete-game win for Braves since 2009.

Ross (left) hugs Jair Jurrjens late Tuesday after Jurrjens pitched first complete-game win for Braves since 2009.

Since we’ve got a budding phenomena here, one that will likely last as long as the Braves stay reasonably hot, it demands to be addressed. So I went to the man at the center of it for answers. No, not the popular ‘80s rocker Eddie Money. Ross.

I’d noticed him singing the song in San Francisco last Friday, and each day since,. with the notable exception of Monday, when I did not hear Ross sing it in the clubhouse once before or after the game.

That night’s 13-inning loss is the only defeat for the Braves in their past five entering today’s road-trip finale against the Padres. In other words, the only game they’ve lost since Ross started singing (and dancing to) “Shakin’” in the clubhouse.

I went to the veteran backup catcher to get the story this morning, after his two-homer, four-RBI performance last night helped the Braves and Jair Jurrjens pound the Padres 8-2.

Ross was in a good mood, but that’s not unusual. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him not in a good mood. He’s not only as professional and easy to deal with as just about any athlete I’ve come across, he’s also really funny, with a self-deprecating sense of humor.

So after mentioning to him that Turner Field might erupt if he came to bat with “Shakin’” playing during the upcoming homestand – he got a kick out of that, but didn’t dismiss the idea — I asked him about his affinity for that nearly 30-year-old tune.

“Just something fun, to loosen things up,” he said, smiling as he sat at his locker and pulled on his uniform socks. “You come into work to have a blast. Winning obviously cures all that. But, like, when you feel something after you win, like ‘Yeah, man.’ That’s just one of those feel-good songs.”

The timing of him singing it repeatedly happened to coincide with the Braves beginning a series sweep at San Francisco, coming on the heels of losing three of four at Dodger Stadium including an excruciating 12-inning series final defeat.

So it was perfect – catchy, feel-good ‘80s hit that sticks in your brainpan, and instant association with winning when the Braves went out and beat the Giants in the series opener, hours after they’d heard Ross belting out this song that is older than most of them and that, as it turns out, even Ross, 35, was not familiar with until recently.

“Me and O [Eric O’Flaherty] were just sitting in a sports bar and heard it, and he Shazaamed it on his phone because he didn’t know what it was,” said Ross, who was watching the NCAA basketball championship game in Washington D.C., after a Braves game during the season-opening series.

“Neither one of us had ever heard it, believe it or not, especially since I love listening to music. A week later we were in the weight room and it’s playing, and I’m like, man, I’ve heard this song. Where have I heard this song? I said, O, have you heard it? What song is this? Because it was his Ipod [the song was playing on in the weight room].

“He’s like, ‘That’s that song we heard that night at the sports bar.’ And I’m like, sweet, dude! So then I went and downloaded it and started singing it, and it just caught on.”

But it wasn’t until San Francisco that he started singing it aloud, in the clubhouse.

“We went to San Francisco, I just played it after the [series-opening win] on my Ipod, through my computer,” he said. “I started singing it before that day and had it in everybody’s head; you heard me in there being an idiot.

“It had stuck in my head that morning, before the game I was listening to it on my computer. And I was just singing, ‘Shake it…’ and everybody was laughing at me.”

Then they won, and he sang it in the clubhouse, and teammates started laughing. Soon some of them started singing it. After the Braves’ Saturday afternoon win in San Francisco, the middle game of the series, Ross belted the song in the clubhouse as he changed into his street clothes, shaking his hips as he pulled up his pants.

“It’s one of those things,” he said. “It’s all fun and games … until you start losing.”

For now, they’re winning. And the song is spreading. Just listen to it here and try not to sing along. You can’t.

After Ross’ big game Tuesday, he was being interviewed by reporters when 39-year-old Chipper Jones walked past. Jones, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning to tie Mickey Mantle for second place on the switch-hitters’ career RBIs list, broke into song as he walked past Ross and the crowd of reporters. “Shakin’…” Jones sang, off-key and joyful.

Someone said to Chipper, that song was addictive, isn’t it? To which he smiled and replied, “It’s addictive when Rossy sings it, and does his little dance number.” (By the way, Chipper just moved ahead of the Mick with a first-inning RBI as I typed this today.)

Here’s the thing about Ross: He never takes himself too seriously, but he’s no class clown. He has the rare ability to walk that line, to keep the clubhouse loose in trying circumstances, but also be first in line in rare instances when a stern word is required to keep anyone in line who might not approach workouts or games in a professional manner.

The Braves gave him a two-year contract extension last year not just because he’s arguably the best backup catcher in baseball, but also for leadership and for the knack that he, along with Eric Hinske, have for helping keep the clubhouse straight, for helping foster the team chemistry that the Braves said was a big reason they were able to overcome injuries and make the playoffs last year as the wild-card winner.

The Braves signed Ross to a two-year extension because he's arguably the best backup catcher in baseball, as well as a team leader and strong clubhouse presence.

The Braves signed Ross to a two-year extension because he's arguably the best backup catcher in baseball, as well as a team leader and strong clubhouse presence.

The same chemistry that they say has helped get them through an erratic first month without anyone on the team being nearly as worried or pessimistic as some outside observers.

Jones was asked about the luxury it was to have a backup catcher as good as Ross, who can fill in so ably for five-time All-Star Brian McCann.

“Yeah, it huge,” Jones said. “It’s really huge, to have a guy back there who is as good defensively as anybody in the game, then have him come in and swing the bat a little bit, too – two homers, four RBIs out of a backup, that’s a nice luxury to have. It’s not the first time he’s done it, too.”

So check it out once more, this time with Eddie in his full live-mode glory, by clicking here.

And as I discussed with Ross, wouldn’t it be something if the folks at Turner Field would play that song at some point during the homestand opener, the way the Giants play Journey’s “Small Town Girl” during a between-innings moment at every home game and show the crowd singing along on the video board?

Not to mention what it would be like if he actually came to the plate with it playing.

Alright, we’ll wrap this up. I had some stats to give you, but it’s an early start today and I’m out of time. Had to pack and check out this morning, catching a red-eye flight home tonight, mercifully, after 11 days out here in California.

♣ OK, wait, I’ll just point out a few quick ones: The Braves scored fewer than four runs four times while going 1-4 from April 17-21, hitting .228 in that span. They’ve hit only .220 in their past five games, but scored 4, 5, 9 and 8 runs while going 4-1. Walks, homers and hits with runners in scoring position will do that….

Don’t look now, but the Phillies are 6-5 with a .202 batting average (and 3.09 ERA) in their past 11 games. The Phillies scored four runs or fewer in 14 straight games before a 7-5 loss at Houston on Tuesday. They’ve hit one or no homers in 13 of their past 15 games….

The Braves have hit 17 road homers – tied with Cincy for the NL lead — to the Phillies’ nine road homers (Braves have played majors-leading 16 road games to the Phillies’ 12. More surprising: The Braves ahave 10 home runs at home to the Phillies’ 8.

The Braves are tied for second in NL with 27 homers, behind Cincy’s 29. The Reds have hit 20 of their homers in their hitter-friendly home park.

Today’s Braves starter, Tommy Hanson, is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his past three starts. He’s 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts against the Padres, including 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two at Petco Park.

I’ll close with a song written by Kate Wolf and covered brilliantly by Dave Alvin, with his Guilty Women side band. You can hear him do it live by clicking here.

alvin_d_1_500

Dave Alvin

“HERE IN CALIFORNIA” by Kate Wolf

When I was young my momma told me
She said child take your time
Don’t fall in love too quickly
Before you know your mind

She held me round the shoulders
In a voice so soft and kind
She said love can make you happy
And love can rob you blind

Here in California fruit hangs heavy on the vines
There’s no gold I thought I’d warn you
And the hills turn brown in the summertime

Now I will learn to love you
But I can’t say when
This morning we were strangers
And tonight we’re only friends

I’ll take the time to know you
I’ll take the time to see
There’s nothing I won’t show you
If you take your time with me

Here in California fruit hangs heavy on the vines
There’s no gold I thought I’d warn you
And the hills turn brown in the summertime

There’s a old familiar story
An old familiar rhyme
To everything there is a season
To every purpose there’s a time

A time to love and come together
A time when love longs for a name
A time for questions we can’t answer
Though we ask them just the same

Here in California fruit hangs heavy on the vines
There’s no gold I thought I’d warn you
And the hills turn brown in the summertime

2,193 comments Add your comment

TennesseePaul

April 27th, 2011
3:46 pm

Thanks for the work DOB

TennesseePaul

April 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

And Chipper now is the owner of 2nd on the all time switch hitter list…

Congratulations Chipper.

FJR

April 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

did Don just say “Tommy Hanson’s not a hell raiser” on radio?!

bravesgrl4life

April 27th, 2011
3:53 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB. The old one was getting kinda stale :)

VaBravesFan

April 27th, 2011
3:53 pm

Thanks for the new Blog DOB.

Bat Masterson

April 27th, 2011
3:54 pm

Thanks for the head up on mlb.tv

The picture is much better than mlb.com or whatever it was the last time I used it.

bravesgrl4life

April 27th, 2011
3:54 pm

Maybe Shaun won’t find this one to continue the bullpen debate.

Jason in Houston

April 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

first to say first?

The Bream Team

April 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

DOB,
Do we expect this Shakin craze to take over Turner Field this weekend?

Arkansas Transplant

April 27th, 2011
3:57 pm

Ease in case you didn’t see my last post,

Hey Ease, thanks for reminding me that I had another team. I’d totally forgotten about that league and now I wish I had just continued to forget. Och.

cabravesfan

April 27th, 2011
3:57 pm

Forgive the repost, but for those interested:

According to Tony Bruno, Oswalt went home to Mississippi to check on his family after the tornadoes and should be back for his next start. His parents lost their home last year.

Unknown Hinson

April 27th, 2011
3:57 pm

Anyone know what’s a good radio station to find the game on the internet? The Cleveland TN station is down because of tornados

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Bad at bat A-Gon.

bravesgrl4life

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Murph

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Ah, new blog… thanks DOB!

Anyone else getting some crappy playback on MLB.TV? I wonder if being the free game o’ the day is bringing in too many people.

Everyone close your game feed and let me see if mine improves, ok?

Arkansas Transplant

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

bravesgrl4life, I don’t think you’ll get that lucky.

VaBravesFan

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

McLouth nice hit right there.

Venice Jim

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Excellent job, Nate!

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Yeah…fresh DOB Bloggage!
And, yes I read it all.

Matt

April 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

Come on Tommy. Get Freddie in!

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

Suicide coming up?

My Man Nate

April 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

oh yeah baby!!!!!

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
4:00 pm

A-Gon costs the Braves a run, not getting Freeman over. Still should have sent him with the pitcher coming up.

Mixxo

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

That was great Tommy. Now siddown!

Mixxo

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Thanks Brad!

VaBravesFan

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Marteeeeeen!!!!

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Nice job Martin Prado! 8)

bottom of another 5th

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

gotta send the runner there on nates single
garbage

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Yes…2 run error

Chris from the Rock

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Marteeeeen!!!!!!!

Boo birds out in SD today hahaha

CaptainMudderland

April 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Heads up running by Nate results in a run

BFChris26

April 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Marteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Murph

April 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

A-Gon’s negative run production rescinded much like all NBA technicals.

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:02 pm

Well, that atones for “the catch” made in right field at the end of game one that did us in. We’ll take it.

Mixxo

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

Jason gon jerk sump’n here?

The Bream Team

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

who is going to be that all star representative from san diego?

flange1

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB!

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

Give him the RBI’s. I could use 2 for my fantasy team!

Arkansas Transplant

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

Has the game started?

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

They called that an error!?! :roll: Wow. Tough scorer.

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

And then Bartlett with a great save to rob Prado of a run.

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

RC

April 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

What was the error that caused Marteeeeeeeeen to reach base? Gameday just says, “Martin Prado reaches on fielding error by first baseman Brad Hawpe”.

The Bream Team

April 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

Eddie Murray has a great mustache

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:04 pm

Bream Team, Probably heath bell.

BravesQueen

April 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

Just dropping in to say hi! Great start to the game this afternoon.

A couple of more ‘thanks’ I need to give: Captain Mudderland, Brava, I appreciate your prayers and concern regarding my son yesterday.
For those who’d like to know, here’s an update on him: He had another episode during an office visit this morning. Luckily, we were sitting with the pediatrician at the time, who was able to witness what was happening. The heart monitor recorded everything. The Dr also had to give him a breathing treatment b/c he was having trouble moving air and his O2 level was low. :(
This is a very scary time for us both. I hope we are able to get some answers next tuesday when we see the cardiologist. We would be grateful for your continued thoughts/prayers.

GO BRAVES!!

The Bream Team

April 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

ball got under hawpe glove down the line. Righthanded 1st baseman makes the play every time. Wasn’t too tough, should have been an error.

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

Come on Chipper. Park one.

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

cabravesfan

April 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

VaBravesFan

April 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

Chipper!!!!!

BFChris26

April 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

Chipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Chipper’s finishing trip with a flourish, eh? As are Braves. UP 5-0 in the 2nd inning

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

That dude is strong. His HR yesterday and that poke were both with him reaching.
Way to go, Chipper.

MIdtown

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Chipper relishing his return season!

flange1

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

CHIPPER!!!!!

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Chipper hit the ball hard. Almost hit it out to dead center.

Tommy can pound the strike zone now.

Hope Maybin is okay. Need him robbing other NL East team of hits out there in center soon.

Fargo

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

anybody else having issues with mlb.tv?

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Maybe Chipper ought to bat clean up.

Dutchieeeeee

April 27th, 2011
4:07 pm

Ok…we’re walking….sac flying….doubling…..groundout ribbieing…..and stand up trippling!

I think we’re getting to Latos early enough!

And way to go Mr. Jones, collect your legacy at your conveniance!

RC

April 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

Chipper putting a little distance between himself and the Mick.

glove51

April 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

Someone asked on the last blog about Uggla’s Babip. He has indeed been VERY unfortuante to date, with a Babip of .181 thus far this season, vs. .302!!! entering thsi season.

Murph

April 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

Anyone know who the older SD announcer is? He makes Chip sound informed.

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

Lord, if Uggla was having a career year we’d be near unstoppable right now.

Matt

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

McFann, That one was for you!

Soph

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

Go everyone, go!

cabravesfan

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

MAC!!! DOUBLE!!!! RBI!!!! Somewhere, McFann is happy :D

VaBravesFan

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

We are killing the ball today!

tiger297

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

double for mac…

CaptainMudderland

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

David O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

McCann RBI double off the right-center wall, a homer in any park except this one. Braves up 6-0

MFin04

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

Might be a good time to pull Tommy Hanson, and get someone in that can hold a 6-0 lead.

Rick

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

I was actually wondering yesterday where they ranked in homers so far this season. Hopefully they can keep that up, it will actually make a difference if they can get guys on base.

BFChris26

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

BATS ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bat Masterson

April 27th, 2011
4:09 pm

And There is McCann’s double.

McFann should be happy

McFann's date

April 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Where’s my Axxe spray???

Holy McGoodness!!

RC

April 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Hey, Brian’s first double of the season! Right?

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

April 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

McHALLELUJAH!! :D

FIRST DOUBLE!!!!

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

April 27th, 2011
4:10 pm

Didn’t realize we had a new Blog. :oops:

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

McCann “joins the hit parade”.

FEAR

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

wow….who are these braves?

Hugo Z Hackenbush

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

Time to bring in Kimbrel,dammit.

FEAR

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

oh wait Kuggla is the same guy

ray k.

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

Uggla… man he looks totally baffled.

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

HEY! They didn’t reshow BMac’s Double! :evil: :P

Arkansas Transplant

April 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

you better bring Kimbrel in now, you won’t want to loss the lead. Right Shaun?

The Bream Team

April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

Dick Enberg is a broadcaster for the Padres now.

Stereowire

April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

This team is on a roll. Let’s hope Uggla can get some good wings on the ball today and the Bravos head back to Atlanta in fine form.

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

DOB McCann RBI double off the right-center wall, a homer in any park except this one.

I always did like Petco Park. :cool:

Jimmy

April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

Braves up 6-0 after 1 and a half.

Action in the Braves bullpen – Linebrink and Sherrill.

Mixxo

April 27th, 2011
4:12 pm

Lets get more. We’ll need ‘em….with this guy on the mound.

Bat Masterson

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Everyone close your game feed and let me see if mine improves, ok? _ Murph

The deer watching the game with me don’t much care for that idea, Murph.

Bayou Brave

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Is it just me or has the ajc website been acting up all day?

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Matt, cabravesfan, Bat M.

:D :D :D

@fauxfrankwren

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Love it!

I think we have a theme song for the season. Maybe the fans at the Ted will embrace it.

http://twitpic.com/4q62my

David O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Braves came into this game leading NL in RBI from 3Bs and RBI from catchers. They’ve since raised those totals to 26 and 21, respectively

ContactBuzz

April 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Did someone shoot one of the OFs (Last Boy Scout-style) on Hoss’ triple?

cabravesfan

April 27th, 2011
4:14 pm

Hey- Turtle legs are out and dancing!

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