Troubles With Parking Meters and Hello Again, Frenchy

Considering less than a year ago my experience in the world of journalism was non-existent and up until last month my experience in non-sports journalism just as unsubstantial, I certainly have grown in my time thus far at the JFP. Lauren already mentioned her experience with an interview on her second day, and I, too, earned some stripes with my efforts on my second-day interview. Running late, I was driving downtown for an interview at St. Andrew's Cathedral, a landmark with which I am fairly familiar. However, I did not plan ahead for having to a) parallel park and b) use quarters to do so. I doubt I have successfully parallel parked a car since Drivers' Ed and even then I use the term "successfully" loosely since I'm pretty sure I knocked over at least one orange cone.

Anyways, back to downtown Jackson, ten minutes until I'm supposed to be at the interview. I discover a spot less than two blocks from the cathedral that I can pull into, no car-shimmying required. Not believing my luck, I pull in and jump out to throw some quarters into the machine. Except I don't have any quarters. I rummage around the car, tossing the contents of the glove compartment left and right until I discover two quarters near the bottom. At the meter, I hold the quarter poised to drop in the slot until I notice the words "Out of Service" flashing across the meter. Arrrgh, I growl to myself. Knowing I'm running short on time, I consider risking it and leaving my car at the meter. However, it's technically not my car but my mother's. I know I could probably handle the meter maid's fines but probably not my mother's wrath, so I decide to start my spot search anew.

With fewer than five minutes to the interview I am again desperately searching for a pull-in spot. After driving a couple blocks, I find another user-friendly space, pull in, and quickly deposit my quarters. I arrived at the interview only a couple minutes tardy and despite my slightly disheveled appearance from the stress of my parking misadventure, do not receive any disapproving looks at St. Andrew's.

Now for a break from the (light) stress of interning, a quick note on Jeff Francoeur's visit back to PearlÂ…

Those attending the July 4 ballgame at Trustmark Park mainly for the fireworks display after the game experienced a taste of baseball glitterati on the field. Slumping Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur made his return to the AA-Mississippi Braves in hopes of regaining some of the swagger to his swing.

For many, this move by the Braves makes sense: In Atlanta, Francoeur is in his hometown and thus (many assume) feels added pressure to perform. Extra stress is the last thing a hitter needs when trying to breakout of a season-long slump. However, when I first heard of the move, I thought it was perhaps a bit of an overreaction. I perceived the move as the Braves' telling Francoeur they had lost their confidence in his abilities as a major-leaguer and thus want to make room for those who can perform on the field. In fact Jason Perry, Francoeur's replacement out of AAA-Richmond, has lit things up offensively since his debut in the majors, hitting a triple to win the game for the Braves in his first major-league at-bat. Certainly Frenchy did not miss that Sportscenter highlight. Perhaps sending Francoeur down to AA is the best thing for Atlanta, but I initially felt sure that it was not the best idea for Francoeur himself.

That was until I read this article explaining why Franceour is playing for the AA Braves instead of their AAA counterpart in Richmond. The answer is apparently very simple, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Article (http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/printedition/2008/07/06/francoeur.html): That's where Francoeur wanted to go. In the article, Francoeur credits his playing in the majors to M-Braves manager, Phil Wellman. Maybe the people being paid to make such decisions about managing players have a better idea of how to handle them than I, a mere fan. Either way, one thing is for certain: Francoeur wants to help his team win, whether he's in Atlanta or Mississippi and that pressure won't be going away anytime soon. With Atlanta's GM predicting Frenchy's stay in Mississippi to last three weeks at most, hopefully those three weeks will work their magic on his swing.


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