“Simba.”

That’s what we so lovingly referred to Mr. Andrelton Simmons as in Atlanta Braves country. Well, I don’t think I ever did, but I saw people on Twitter.com do it. Not a fan of nicknames really. Probably because I have been trying to make a nickname of my own catch on for years, and only a small percentage of friends ever fell in line. Actually I do have a nickname that is frequently used in a very close friend circle including members of my band: “Darren Stains” (see my twitter handle). But it’s an unfortunate nickname and the one I have been lobbying for — “Ford” — has fallen flat after many efforts to establish as an acceptable alias. Oops, there I go into “memoir” mode again. Only way I know how to write, I’m afraid. Hoping journalism school will fix that. Still going. Still writing about myself … must … stop ….

SIMBA. ANDRELTON SIMMONS. It’s a eulogy because as far as Braves country is concerned, him being shipped to the west coast means very soon he will be only a distant memory. Literally distant because Anaheim is really far away. Also, Los Angeles Angels games don’t start until 10:00 p.m. on the east coast, so we won’t see him much on the telly. Sure there will be highlights, but I wonder if we can believe they are real. After all, they happened while we were all fast asleep. Is it a dream? Or is this a nightmare?

Simmons, by my advanced calculations, was damn near the only thing to be excited about watching the Braves play in 2016. Winning ballgames is mostly a pointless endeavor now, but at least there was the possibility of seeing defensive devil magic every night. Not to mention, what the hell are Braves announcers going to say now when a groundball is hit to shortstop?

“Anndddd that’s where ground balls go to die.”

Yes, that’s the best that Chip, Joe, Don, and Jim came up with. And they said it over, and over, and over, and over.

I’m guessing the folks at Fox Sports South and the Braves radio network are holding production meetings right now figuring out how to make up for the 40 percent loss in commentary they just suffered with this trade. Do you think the rights to that catch phrase were included in the trade?

Simmons was a once-in-a-generation talent to some. Many believed he was the greatest since Ozzie Smith. Idiots believed that he was the greatest since Omar Vizquel. And the managers and coaches of Major League Baseball in 2015 believed that Brandon Crawford was a better shortstop. No respect for the good-as-dead, banished-to-the-real-OC Andrelton Simmons.

I’m going to miss Andrelton. Our only hope for a miracle would be for Lord Father Frank Wren to return to the Braves front office and resurrect our dear Simba. Of course this would require the Angels trading Simmons to San Diego, and then Wren agreeing to welcome Melvin Upton (this article’s version of the prodigal son) and his awesome contract back home to Atlanta in order to have Simmons attached to the deal. Then Melvin would hit 40 homers, Simba would save 137 defensive runs, and Wren would cast out John Hart and company for the evil and suffering they have brought on a God-fearing Braves country.

Goodbye Andrelton. May your quest to pitch in a blowout find much success and prosperity. I will stay up past midnight to watch it.

About The Author

Aaron Lunsford

Working on making Nashville less cool on a daily basis. Washed up drummer. Aspiring to be a washed up writer.

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