Seriously, how great is that. :D
Oh, how do we know that... well, there's a fantastic article on the AJC website all about our closer. Some of it is a rehash of stories most of us have heard before, but there were several pieces of new information.
The article didn't come with pictures (sad), so I'm going to intersperse quotes with my own pics, okay? Okay. :) (eta - oh, now they've added a couple. Mine aren't hurting anything here; I'm leaving them.) :)
“He’s on my fantasy team,” declared Billy Wagner, who at the close of last season retired as a Brave while ranked fifth on the all-time saves list (422).
Back in rural Virginia, Wagner has followed his protege’s progress with optimism, while tending to his farm and coaching his two sons’ baseball teams.
“He showed what he was about in the playoffs — he was as good as anybody I’ve seen. I think that showed a lot to the team,” Wagner said.
The Kimbrel you see today closing games for the Braves bares little resemblance to the one who left high school just five years ago.
Well, facially, not that much has changed. Kimbrel’s apple-cheeked mug remains more suited for homecoming court than a major league bullpen.
Kimbrel the player, though, is an entirely different beast now.
I have other pics of his face; I just like this one lately.
Outwardly, Kimbrel has taken some significant steps to look the part of a closer.
For one, he has developed a menacing pre-pitch routine, in which he bends low and dangles his right arm, nearly brushing the mound with his fingertips, while looking in for the catcher’s sign. He says he began doing that only last year, in Triple-A, and that it serves no practical purpose.
“He probably spent a long time in front of the mirror thinking of that one,” McCann said.
“It looks cool to me,” Kimbrel said.
(Again, there are plenty of these pics in the archives from different angles)
And Kimbrel has allowed his hair to be cut into a modified Mohawk by pitcher Kris Medlen. It’s a look that he thinks might make him look a little less callow, a little more mean.
Kimbrel practices his laconic closer approach every time he describes his job: “I just go out there and pitch, that’s all I do. It just happens to be that [last] inning, in that role. There’s a little more pressure, but it still just getting three outs.”
The rest of the article is seriously great. Read it and learn a little more about our closer, and Mr Hummer? If you want to write articles like this about the rest of our Braves, we'd love to read them. :)
(PS - If he's trying to be more mean, does that mean I have to stop calling him "Kimmie"? I was calling him that before he said Moylo was in that video the AJC put up! Great minds, Moylo...)