Forget about the Red Sox, the White Sox, and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (If any of you were bored enough to be thinking about them in the first place), because 2010 is the season of the Braves' Sox. Disclaimer: This post is libelous, incoherent, patently false, arduous, contains original research, etc.
As we all learned in college, many baseball players began wearing their socks over their pants in the 1920's to avenge the Rhadamanthine punishment levied upon Shoeless Joe Jackson by
The Satan of Swat esteemed baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Afraid that such seditious actions would undermine his reign, Landis unashamedly restricted the freedom of expression by persecuting all who were foolish enough to be caught paying homage to Jackson via this contagiously stylish alteration of traditional footwear.
The resilient Players' Protective Association (precursor to the MLBPA) threatened to go on strike in defense of their
new found bitchin' look beloved friend and former colleague, Ray Liotta Joe Jackson. Landis countered by announcing plans to re-neg the "gentelman's agreement" and replace the entire White Sox organization with Satchel Paige and 10 year old catching prodigy Josh "The Flying V" Gibson, effecting what is now known as the "Black Sox Scandal" (If you were under the impression that this moniker referred to another event involving a profitable forfeiture of the 1919 World Series, you may thank me for erasing your ignorance in the comments section.) Aware that this dream battery would require no additional fielders, the cartel quickly conceded.
This is a daguerreotype of Gibson at age ten, before puberty struck and converted his essence of "pure electricity" to human form.
But we already know this stuff, because our American History professors taught the really important material. If, however, you are at all confused about what transpired, this will surely set the record straight:
Kenesaw Mountain Landis by Jonathan Coulton (via RandomSignal)
Enough of this. I'm ready to talk some Atlanta Braves baseball!
2010 started off slowly enough for Brrraves Couuuuntry. After Jason Heyward devastated "Big Z's" psyche with a single, legendary shake of the lumber (inculcating within the fallen ace's mind an aversion to black, 6'5" sluggers), it's fair to assume the Braves had a more frustrating April than most H&R Block employees.
It was a month of tragedies that are, at present, inconceivable to this writer. We lost a home series. We were swept by the LOLMets. Our runs per game average sank below Dorfman's GPA. Luckily, the objects of our vicarious aspirations woke up to the reality that fat, drunk and starting Nate McLouth was no way to go through Bobby Cox's final season (see above link).
Those who have followed the Braves' season superficially no doubt attribute our dramatic May turnaround to Troy Glaus and Jason Heyward posting wOBAs north of .400, Tim Hudson inducing ground balls at a rate of 70.0%, and Prado moving up in the order (at the advice of Bobby's right hand man).
I must concede that if one subscribes to a worldview featuring things like "reason" and "logic," this confluence of favorable performances would explain why the Braves became scorching hot right before the weather did. I intend to argue, however, that the events of the baseball universe are determined by a preternatural force far more stylish than conventional cause and effect: the High Sox Goddess
April 17, 2010. Braves host Rockies in the second game of a three game set. Kenshin Kawakami is pinch hit for in the 5th for failing to record the win ("HE IS NOT A WINNAR," Bobby Cox said during the Braves Live press conference, having forgotten to take his caps lock off).
Jonny Venters came on to pitch the 6th. It seemed like a routine ML debut. God hadn't bought a ticket as he had to see Heyward's first game with the big club, but scrupulous retrospect reveals that what seemed like the low point in a sluggish start was truly the turning point in the proverbial Phoenix that the Braves 2010 campaign resembles.
If you remember this game it probably isn't because of Venters' debut. Ubaldo pitched for the Rockies, and had a pretty good game. More importantly, Jonny Venters became the first Brave of the 2010 season to Rock the High Sox look. Capricious sprite that she is, the High Sox Goddess levied a helping of irony upon the Braves by subjecting them to the powers of Ubaldo-one of baseball's preeminent High Sox superstars.
Too much text. Time for a picture.
Even before we non-tendered this pair over the offseason, the High Sox Goddess had it in for us. Ever since the Boston Redcaps (Braves predecessor) abandoned red as a secondary color, the relationship between franchise and cosmic-wardrobe-power has been tenuous. A curse was exacted upon the no-longer-Redcaps: until they fully embraced the beauty, dignity and bitching badassery of the High Sox look, the team would never win two World Series for the same city.
As the nineties elapsed and the aughts wore on, MGMT became concerned that the High Sox Goddess intended to enforce her curse indefinitely. Talented teams were led fiercely by Bobby Cox, but following the fateful '95 season, the ultimate victory of sport proved unrepeatable.
By 2005, the games had gone on long enough. In an attempt to appease the vindictive deity, The Front Office sat down with the organization's top prospect as ranked by Baseball America. They persuaded the young boy to wear High Sox, as a sign of obedience and good faith to their divine antagonist. The callow youth was slow to understand.
"If High Sox are so important," he inquired of the executives, "Why don't they put them on the scoreboard?"
This was the result:
The wunderkind took the baseball world by storm with his Golden Boy persona and "charmingly aggressive" approach at the plate. The High Sox Goddess was not fooled. So incensed was she that her wondrous omnipotence had been associated with Jeff Francoeur's limitless impotence that not only did she hold true to her World Series promise, but she also quashed the last refuge of optimism for Brrrraves Coouuuntry: Atlanta's 14 year run of consecutive Division Titles.
Venters' debut and continued success appear to have won back the good graces of the High Sox Goddess. It is unclear yet whether the acquisition of Rick Ankiel has flattered or offended her.
You may scoff at this bizarre mythology. Just realize your company if you do.