Schultz: Joc Pederson and his pearls have dressed up the Braves’ postseason

ATLANTA — Everybody wants there to be a great story. Like …
“ Well, yes, since you asked about the pearls : They belonged to my Aunt Edna. She passed away two weeks before the playoffs. I used to bring her soup every Tuesday. Her dying wish was for me to wear them in a game and hit a family run for her. besides, did I mention they were given to her by a boyfriend who she met on impart during World War II, and they fell in love, but she never saw him again ? Anyway, so I hit the 1-2 fastball and … ”
But there is no bang-up report about the genesis of Joc Pederson and his wear of drop. He just saw them one day and thought wearing them in games would be a dainty change of pace, which is saying a lot for a guy who walks around with a blond faux-hawk. So he texted his jeweler, the way we all text our jeweler between ferment hours, and what has followed is this Braves postseason morphing into some improbable Audrey Hepburn movie remake : “ Home Runs at Tiffany ’ randomness. ”
Pederson ’ s pinch-hit, three-run homer provided the game ’ s only offense in a 3-0 succeed over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday and gave Atlanta a 2-1 spark advance in the NLDS. He was acquired before the trade deadline when the team was desperate for an outfielder and needed a fiddling playfulness juice in the clubhouse, and in three pinch-hit appearances in this series, he is 3-for-3 with two homers and has driven in four of the baseball club ’ s seven runs.

Is it the drop ? He started wearing them in deep September, veracious about the time the Braves clinched the NL East. Since then, little kids and grown men have shown up in the stands wearing pearl. CNN ’ s Jeanne Moos mused about it in a story. Of all the plausible growing fashion trends in a baseball stadium, this did not figure to be one of them .
How did we get from Skoal to gemstones ?
Pederson can be kind of a clown .
“ Just a clown, ” teammate Orlando Arcia said, and he means that in the nicest potential, exploding fleet, squirting flower, let ’ s-all-pile-into-the-Volkswagen kind of way .
The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder always has strolled through life in his own individual Idaho, so it wasn ’ t inevitably a shock to anybody when he walked into the clubhouse one sidereal day wearing a strand of pearls .
Dansby Swanson on the beginning time he saw Pederson in the clubhouse in his fresh necklace : “ As disgraceful as it was, it wasn ’ triiodothyronine shocking. Joc is Joc. And I love having him around. I can ’ t mention enough how much of a gladden he ’ second been to be here and to keep things light. ”
Freddie Freeman is the vanilla of the ice cream world. Pederson is some combination of the other 30 flavors .
“ Joc just walks about here, shirt off, wearing pearls, ” Freeman said. “ I ’ megabyte not quite certain what that means. He came in here with blond hair’s-breadth and L.A. ( attitude ), and you precisely never know what ’ s going to happen. It ’ s like a Josh Donaldson feel from a pair of years ago. This a long season, so every day if he comes into the clubhouse and puts a smile on your face, it ’ s well needed. ”

Pederson is a career .232 hitter in the regular season. But he is playing in his seventh consecutive postseason, and in 67 playoff games, he is now hitting .286 ( 44 for 154 ) with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs, 27 runs and eight doubles. This October raise would be an improbable report if it didn ’ metric ton keep open find .
With Monday ’ randomness game scoreless and two Braves on establish in the one-fifth inning, Brewers reliever Adrian Houser threw Pederson a high inside fastball on a 1-2 count. Somehow, Pederson got about on it and hit it 402 feet over the wall in right field. Tough pitch to hit out, wasn ’ thymine it ?
“ Yeah, I guess I ’ m precisely a pretty commodity musician, I don ’ triiodothyronine know, ” he said in the postgame news league, drawing laughter .
He was wearing a gray hoodie, but his pearls were peeking out of the neckline .
“ I take them off when I sleep, ” he said.

The history of the drop, or at least american samoa a lot as we ’ rhenium going to get from a ridicule who by and large has avoided talking about them : “ I think I precisely saw the pearl, and I was, like, ‘ You know what ? That looks cool. ’ I ’ ve done the black range and the gold chain and all those unlike ones and — I think a set of other players have. But I don ’ thyroxine know, kind of hitch my eye. I was, like, ‘ You know, those look good. ’ And I texted the jewelry maker about it and got some out. And ( fans ) kind of went crazy. ”
cipher ’ s going to tell him to stop. Joe Namath once shaved his legs and wore pantyhose for a commercial, but that was fair a commercial. It ’ s not like he ever shaved his legs and wore pantyhose for games. We think .
Besides, the batch of Pederson smoking a cigar and wearing pearls when the Braves clinched the NL East created a special memory for the franchise, and this is just the natural progress. any teammate who struggles this postseason should fall in lineage. It worked for Roy Hobbs ’ teammates in “ The Natural ” when they all wore lightning-bolt patches on their uniforms .
And if the Braves don ’ t have a giveaway to 40,000 fans of “ JocTober ” pearls — it ’ s oklahoma if they ’ re fake — something is very amiss in the marketing department .
Pederson joked recently that he ’ second barely “ a bad bitch. ” But his postseason magic intelligibly precedes any mystic power of the pearl .

Snitker has resisted starting Pederson in the inaugural three games because the Braves director likes to have Pederson available as a pinch hitter in clasp situations, although Snitker left open the possibility that could change .
“ That guy ’ s got no heartbeat, ” he said. “ It ’ s like he ’ s on the resort area. Playing against him in the postseason concluding few years, you could tell that. He barely slows things down, and he has his bat. He doesn ’ metric ton catch caught up in anything other than his bat. ”
Pederson, who had left the Dodgers and signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agentive role, was acquired just before the barter deadline after the Braves lost Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna. That cope, Freeman has said, sent a brassy message to players in the clubhouse that management was serious about trying to salvage something of what had been a bad season .
“ It all started with the conduct for Joc, ” Freeman said .
Pederson played in three World Series with the Dodgers, winning a hoop last year. He besides torched the Braves in the NLCS, hitting .389 ( 7 for 18 ) with a home range and a .977 OPS. He said he has constantly been “ pretty laid-back. ” His key for postseason achiever : Staying that way.

“ Treating all the moments the same and not making any moments bigger than what they need to be, ” he said. “ It ’ s just another bat or good another pitch or equitable another ( day of ) playing outfield, whatever. ”
The tao of Joc. His pearl of wisdom .
( photograph : Daniel Shirey / MLB Photos via Getty Images )

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