Little Things

I’ve always taken great joy from the “little things” in life and also from watching other people.

These two elements combined the other day while Caroline and I were eating at a Mexican restaurant.

Two young men, probably in their early 20s, were eating in a booth adjacent to ours, and when one got up to use the restroom, I noticed a mischievous grin appear on the face of the other. Once his friend was out of sight, he reached for the salt shaker, started cracking up, and poured a generous amount of salt into his companion’s drink.

After stirring it in, he apparently decided he hadn’t added enough, and then added a second helping. He then sat there, eagerly watching the restroom for his friend to return.

When he finally did return, the look on his face after drinking his salty beverage and his friend’s reaction to that look were absolutely priceless.

The whole episode made my day.



After planning to do so for a long time, I finally got around to reading George Orwell’s 1984. I must say, I was disappointed.

I realize it was written in the late 1940s and that this was a scary time, but Orwell seems more than a little bit pessimistic.

On second thought, considering the clothing trends, popular music and hairstyles of choice of the 1980s, maybe Orwell’s prediction was somewhat rosy by comparison.


I Have A New Dog

Technically, it’s Caroline’s dog. She had been wanting a puppy for quite a while, and I told her that once she was out of school for the summer we could get one. So yesterday, we drove to Harrison, Arkansas and adopted one from the animal shelter there.

This is Jasper. He is a border collie/lab mix, and although he was very shy at first, he has warmed up to us pretty quickly.

So far, he seems to be pretty smart. Not only has he already taken interest in playing frisbee, but last night he somehow figured out which room was ours and whined and yelped outside our window all night. Good times.


Glavine Gets The Axe

So the Braves have now parted ways with Tom Glavine as well, deciding to release him yesterday.

I’ve been a Braves fan for as long as I can remember, so I hate to say this, but after his dealings with Andruw Jones, John Smoltz and now Glavine, it’s really starting to look like Braves GM Frank Wren is a heartless jerk who has no sense of history or loyalty.

Of course, he is trying to paint a different picture:
“It’s not a business decision from our perspective,” said Wren, who watched Glavine in Class AAA Gwinnett last Thursday. “It’s a performance decision.”

Glavine, who had season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder last August, has acknowledged that he has pitched with shoulder pain since spring training, when the velocity on his fastball was only in the upper 70s. He had been reaching the mid-80s in his recent outings, according to scoreboard readings.

But Wren said those scoreboard readings were inaccurate.
While the result of Glavine’s six scoreless innings Tuesday night were good, Wren said what Braves scouts have seen was not.

“In low-A ball, the pitching line is not a relevant factor in whether the ‘stuff’ could get major-league hitters out,” Wren said.

When asked why the Braves just didn’t break ties in spring training, Wren said, “We were very hopeful there would be a different outcome. We were hoping Tom Glavine would pitch for us.”
It’s hard to take Wren’s statements at face value.

First off, there’s the issue of Glavine’s velocity. Scoreboard readings indicated that it had improved from its low point in spring training, but Wren dismissed those readings as being inaccurate. How convenient. It’s also worth pointing out that Glavine’s fastball was always laughable and was never what made him a good pitcher. It seems a little disingenious for that to be such an issue here.

Also, Wren said that the fact that Glavine pitched well in his rehab starts (throwing scoreless innings, retiring 12 consecutive batters, etc.) didn’t matter because “…in low-A ball, the pitching line is not a relevant factor in whether the ‘stuff’ could get major-league hitters out.” That does make some sense. After all, Tom Glavine will probably be able to strike me out with regularity when he’s 65, but that doesn’t mean he’s big league material. Of course, that doesn’t address the fact that in his previous rehab start, Glavine threw five scoreless innings at Class AAA Gwinnett, which isn’t low-A ball.

Maybe the worst thing that Wren said was that bit about how the Braves were hopeful that Glavine would pitch for them. Really? A guy who has won 300+ career games on guile and a mediocre fastball did the same thing in his rehab starts, but that wasn’t good enough. Seriously, what were you “hoping” for? That Glavine would start hanging out with Roger Clemens and suddenly develop an upper 90s fastball? That he would discover that he could throw a devastating screwball with his right arm?

Look, I don’t know whether or not Glavine belongs in the major leagues anymore. I honestly thought he should’ve retired last season after his injury. Maybe the Braves shouldn’t have even signed him this year.

But they did. They signed him to an incentive-laden contract, which didn’t guarantee much, but indicated he’d be given a chance if he performed well. Fastball velocity aside, I think Glavine earned that chance, pitching well in the rehab opportunities that he had been given.

Frank Wren disagrees, but his treatment of the whole issue seems more than a little shady.

Further reading: Buster Olney echoes many of my own sentiments.


I Used To Like Summer…

So The Doc File has taken a backseat the last few weeks as I have been swamped with other things including work, travel, and a few computer projects that have eaten up much of the free time that I usually use to blog.

As a youth minister, summer is always a busy time for me, and the “summer grind” seems to start earlier every year. That being said, I am hopeful, maybe unrealistically so, that things will improve in a few days, and then I’ll have a chance to write about some of the things that have been floating around in my head.

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