Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Braves’ making a beer mistake

A lot of Coors Light, but any room for Atlanta's burgeoning craft beer scene?

A lot of Coors Light, but any room for Atlanta’s burgeoning craft beer scene?

Aside from the home of the Atlanta Braves, the largest city in the Georgia is awesome home to a growing number of craft breweries. From the large (Sweetwater) to the very small (Burnt Hickory), metro-Atlanta is one of the hippest spots in the country for craft beer. Since the early-2000s, craft beer growth in the area seems almost exponential and it’s great. Craft beer creates jobs, tourism, and something the locals can be proud of and share with visitors from other states.

With the Braves impending move up I-75 to Cobb County, they had every opportunity to embrace the beer culture sweeping through Atlanta. In fact, the new park finds itself in close proximity to three breweries (Red Brick, Red Hare, and Burnt Hickory), yet it was announced today that Miller-Coors will be the beer sponsor in SunTrust Park.  Continue reading

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ESPN needs to look in rearview: FOX is coming…

Watch out ESPN, FOX is coming...

Watch out ESPN, FOX is coming…

Saturday marks the launch of a brand new, 24-hour, cable sports network; it’s supposed to be the ESPN killer. We’ve heard this kind of talk before, most recently with the NBC Sports Network. Sports fans are fed up with ESPN’s shenanigans and are looking for a true alternative. Thus far, NBC Sports Net hasn’t proven its worth, but FOX Sports 1 could be very different.

Where FOX can succeed where NBC has thus far failed lies in the programming. FOX Sports 1 not only features a promising nightly sports news program, it will launch with significant amounts of live sporting events, including college football and basketball, NASCAR, MMA events, and starting next year Major League Baseball (including Division and League Championship Series). Another fascinating premise behind FOX Sports 1’s potential success (and something few are discussing) is the existence of a vast series of regional networks.

Continue reading

C’mon Braves, really?

Rain, rain go away

Rain, rain go away

UPDATE: I guess enough fans complained or the Braves realized that it wasn’t very fun to sit through a 4-hour rain delay on Monday. The team announced yesterday that anyone who has a ticket stub to the 6/17 game against the Mets can take it to the Turner Field box office and use it to buy a $5 ticket to 18 various second half home games. You can get tickets in pretty good sections as well, so it’s not a total loss for fans who suffered through Monday’s madness.

 

Even with threatening weather, I was excited to see my hometown Braves take on the Mets last night at Turner Field. I hadn’t been to a game since opening day and I was looking forward to seeing baseball. Yes, it was risky to buy tickets with a radar filled with different shades of green, yellow, and orange, but to the Ted I went. Not only was I greeted with close to a 4-hour rain delay, but a significant chunk of that delay featured no rain at all. First pitch was scheduled for 7:10; the game didn’t start until 10:52 EDT.

Managers Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves and Terry Collins of the Mets pushed hard to play last night, despite the weather, because the teams were already facing a 5-game series (there’s a makeup game today as part of a day/night doubleheader) and there’s a high probability of rain affecting one or both games today. I get what they were doing, but what resulted was inconsiderate to fans and unfair to players.

Stupidly, I purchased upper deck tickets to last night’s game, sat through the rain, getting rather wet and cold in the process, and it was so late by the time they actually started playing baseball, I left following the first inning. It was after 11:00 p.m., it was a Monday night, and it wasn’t the type of night where I wanted to hang at Turner Field until 2 a.m. What’s even more unfortunate is that because of the rainout policy, the thousands of fans that left before the start of the game (22,000+ paid to go, maybe 5,000 stayed) are out the bucks they paid to attend last night’s game. Families with young kids, folks that head to work early, and others that just gave up had a pretty rotten experience last night dodging rain, spending oodles of money on food and souvenirs that couldn’t be enjoyed while watching baseball.

It’s really sad when you’re hiding in the bowels of the stadium eating a hot dog watching the grounds crew standing on a field where it isn’t raining, but simply anticipating a storm.

From the players’ perspective, they must be pretty upset. Yes, they are paid an insane sum of money to play a game, but they are professionals and asking them to start a game at nearly 11:00 p.m. when they had a 1:00 p.m. game the following day is cruel and unnecessary. I could understand the push to get the game in if the Braves were playing a west coast or American League team, but it was the New York Mets, a team you play 18 times a year and will be back in Atlanta in September. To further the players’ case, they asked for a response from the MLB Players’ Association at 10:00 p.m. last night when the radar showed more heavy rain moving into the Atlanta-area, but were met with silence.

I can’t count how many Braves games I’ve been to in my life, but this was by far one of the worst experiences–if not the worst–I’ve had at a baseball game anywhere in the country. It’s one thing to delay an afternoon game into the early evening, but it’s an entirely different situation to delay at 7:10 game until nearly 11:00 p.m. on a Monday night…

C’mon Braves, I love you and you can do better that this.

P.S. I’m moving out-of-state in early August and this was quite possibly one of my last Braves games for quite some time. Way to give a great impression on my way out of Georgia.

Time for Hall to acknowledge steroids era

barry-bonds_lightbox

No matter whether he took PEDs or not, Barry Bonds was hardly the same player (or person) by the end of his career.

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to elect a single new member to the Hall of Fame. With names like Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa on the ballot, it’s not shocking that the writers shied away from the stench of performance enhancing drugs. Baseball fans knew it was going to be a controversial year. Bonds and Clemens represent two of the greatest players at their positions of all time and had PEDs not been an issue, both would’ve likely been elected to the Hall with well over the 75 percent of the vote necessary for induction. However, that’s not the case and Astros’ legend Craig Biggio was the only player that came close to the 75 percent bar.

Fans are outraged, spewing venom at the writers, calling the voting system antiquated, and the writers clueless. This humble blogger feels differently from the angry fans, who of course were all going to flock en masse to Cooperstown over the summer for the induction ceremony (yeah right…). I don’t blame the writers for failing to elect a single member to the Hall, in fact, I applaud them. The Hall of Fame should be a place for players that truly made an incredible, game-altering contribution to the game. Oh, and they must also represent the highest character possible. I know, I know, we have some terrible human beings like Ty Cobb in the Hall and Babe Ruth wasn’t exactly a saint, but now’s the time to change what’s been done.  Continue reading

World Baseball Classic: is it worth it?

To play in the WBC is an easy decision for future HOFer Derek Jeter, but the game's younger stars are more wary of the tournament.

To play in the WBC is an easy decision for future HOFer Derek Jeter, but the game’s younger stars are more wary of the tournament.

In March, a significant chunk of MLB players will abandon the comfy confines of their spring training homes in either Florida or Arizona to represent their country in the World Baseball Classic. This  year will be the tournament’s third iteration after tournaments in 2006 and 2009. On paper, the WBC is a great concept. It’s a way for ballplayers to represent their country, pitting teammates from one MLB team against each other as they don the colors of their country rather than their employer. While the intent of the WBC is clear, the timing is rather inconvenient. While established and in some cases future Hall of Famers like Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter want to leave spring ball behind for the WBC, no one bats an eye. As long as they were healthy, Jones and Jeter were going to be fine if they missed a few days of spring training in order to represent the United States. It’s the younger stars that remain the issue.

Those final few weeks of spring training are a key part of baseball season, where you can work out kinks in your swing and make the minor adjustments that make a major difference during the regular season. Many Braves fans are quick to blame the World Baseball Classic of 2006 on Jeff Francoeur’s quick decline. The Braves’ latest superstar outfielder–Jason Heyward–has already turned down an invite to the WBC in order to focus on the regular season. It’s a difficult decision for young MLB stars, who obviously want to represent their countries on an international stage, but at the same time want to adequately prepare for the MLB regular season. Continue reading

Other views on Braves’ BP caps

At the very popular SportsLogos.net (which is a great site to check out the history of logos and uniforms for sports of all kinds), a writer has taken the critics of the new Braves’ BP caps to task, making some very valid points in the process. Since we posted a critical take on the caps earlier today, and since we’re trying to just be good baseball fans at Root for the Home Team, we’re posting a link to the Sports Logos article. While you’re reading it, I highly recommend clicking on the link to the Jason Heyward bobblehead doll available for sale. It certainly brings up the possibility that the ‘screaming Indian’ is hardly the only racist Braves merchandise for sale.

http://news.sportslogos.net/2012/12/29/braves-bp-cap-is-perfectly-fine-settle-down/

Let’s not forget what this logo is, or why it is there; It is an almost exact implementation of a logo the team first used 58 years ago when they were located in Milwaukee. This isn’t a team breaking new ground into imagry that might possibly offend, this is a team paying tribute to their logos past, to an image many, many Braves fans have seen their whole lives, who associate it with good times of watching baseball. And who buy massive quantities of throwback merchandise with this logo and its variations.

This is not some old logo, relegated to the dustbin for lack of interest. It is one of the prime identifying marks of the team, and it is popular. It is available as a FatHead  everywhere on hundreds of different tshirts, and fills the Atlanta Braves Team Store in the CNN Center, and inside the stadium. During the season, thousands wear gear with this logo.

The Braves made an off-season splash with their signing of centerfielder B.J. Upton and are making it again…with a hat…