I’m here at the ballyard to conduct a grand experiment. I’m here to see if the El Marko mojo still works. (”El Marko” was what Max Baker, who was so addled he nominated me for president of our senior class at Maysville High, occasionally called me.) And my mojo is mighty. From the AJC of Oct. 22, 1996:
“That the Braves are going to win this World Series is apparent. It is also, in the grand scheme, secondary. No longer is this team playing against the overmatched Yankees. The Braves are playing against history … This is the greatest team of the post-free agency era, among the best ever. You can trot out any of baseball’s storied assemblages – the 1927 Yankees, the Gas House Gang, the Big Red Machine – and wonder how these Braves would have fared, but that sword cuts two ways: Would those clubs have seemed so majestic if they’d had to hit against the Braves?”
That was, alas, the zenith — or the nadir — of El Marko’s so-called career. The Braves led that World Series 2-nil. They would lose it 4-2. The team I likened to the 1927 Yankees lost four straight to the 1996 Yankees. Talk radio in New York (and there’s a lot of it up there) had great fun with me for months.
I mention this because I just posted a little something about how I’m thinking the 2009 Braves will be playing in October. The 2009 Braves have won six of seven since the All-Star break and have closed within three games of the wild-card lead. They’re playing well. And I’m here today to watch them lose 15-2 and make me look silly for, oh, the 797th time this calendar year.
I’ll be happy to entertain any and all questions as we put my powers of hexation to the test, and I’ll begin with a couple of notes: The Braves announced today they’ll be moving to 680 The Fan and its FM affiliate Rock 100.5 next season, which affects me not one whit. (I’ve got Sirius XM.)
And according to esteemed colleague David O’Brien, the Braves have recalled Kelly Johnson and sent Brooks Conrad to Gwinnett. And Bobby Cox has named Johnson his starting second baseman for every game the rest of this century. (Kidding about that last part.)
Oh, and one thing more: In the moments before we get going here — it’s overcast, by the way — you might take a look at another El Marko post from this morning, this one posing the musical question: Is Tommy Hanson the best Braves’ rookie pitcher ever? As ever, I thank you for your patronage.