A Michael Bay production

I have a proposal for fellow Braves bloggers and their readers: Let’s take back our ballpark experience. A petition, a protest, whatever, but let’s do something to let the hierarchy know we’re not pleased.

First, fire the deejay. Or at least take his meth away. There’s three sound effects for every foul ball, each one on the nose. Opposing pitcher walks a Brave — cue The Proclaimers. Pitching change, “Call Me.” Silence, and spontaneity, is the enemy. Baseball games aren’t Michael Bay movies.

There’s way too many other frills besides the ongoing soundtrack, few of which have anything to do with baseball (I’m looking at you, Mark Owens). Invite Braves greats and loyal fans to throw out the first pitch, not some fat corporate exec from Verizon. Play clips from classic Braves games between innings. Enough with the incessant shilling.

And if you’re going to have a post-game concert, see if you can get someone besides a Christian rock band or Creedence Clearwater Reunion. Who’s next, Smoghat? Steely Doug?

To sum up, stop trying to attract the casual fans at the expense of those who really like baseball. BRAVES baseball. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were watching a game in Arizona or Houston. Or, God forbid, Boston. Baseball is not a distraction. Stop treating it that way.

Who’s with me?

–CB

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27 Comments on A Michael Bay production

  1. I hate to break it to you, but in this thing called “reality”, casual fans vastly outnumber “real” baseball fans. For every “real” baseball fan that is filling out a scorecard, there are hundreds of fans who brought their kids, are reading a book, are yakking on the phone, and who came with a group of friends to hang out.

    The organist, soundboard engineer, and the entire PR department play to the casual fans because the casual fans are the ones who dump tons of cash because they are only going a few times a year.

    The bottom line is that you have to take the good http://rowlandsoffice.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/the-coolest-organist-in-the-majors/ with the bad.

    But hey, what do I know? I wear a giant helmet.

  2. Attendance is down, so whatever they’re doing isn’t working. Once again, you’re being contrarian just for the sake of it. And yes, the organist is good. It’s everything else that’s annoying — like yourself.

  3. Attendance is down because Atlanta absolutely sucks as a sports town. Don’t forget that even during the playoff runs, the Braves would play in half empty stadiums in the NLDS.
    But, yeah, I’m just being a contrarian. Doesn’t matter that what I said was true. It just happens to disagree with the blog’s author’s obviously emotional rant so I just have to be wrong.
    So you just keep thinking that, unlike every in other sport, in baseball the “real” fans outnumber the casual fans.

  4. So Atlanta was a great sports town a year ago, when the Braves drew better? Once again you twist the argument to satisfy weak counterpoints. Isn’t there a “Friends” marathon you should be watching?

  5. “So Atlanta was a great sports town a year ago, when the Braves drew better?”

    Did I say that? Nope. The only person being “contrarian” is you.
    The OP said he wanted the stadium experience for only real fans. I pointed out that casual fans vastly outnumber “real” fans.
    You then follow with an insult and I point out that Atlanta sucks as a sports town. Which it does. During the playoff run, Atlanta fans thought the playoffs were their birthright so they didn’t consider the regular season and first round necessary. Then the Braves’ salary and “duct tape with bailing wire” approach cost them playoff wins and the fans started to actually care even less.
    What is hilarious is that I have yet to actually disagree with you on anything and yet you feel a need to be hostile.
    And if you must know, I’m watching the Steelers game right now, but I’ll keep an eye on TBS for the marathon later.

  6. I didn’t say the stadium experience should exist only for real fans. Here’s the line you twisted: “(S)top trying to attract the casual fans at the expense of those who really like baseball.” Baseball fan or not, Turner Field’s theatrics annoy. They should hire you as the new between-innings host. You’d fit right in.
    And yes, that was an insult. Your future comments will be ignored.

  7. I know it’s bad form to say anything positive about the Little Bears on this board, but the game I saw at Wrigley this summer (which the Braves won!) was refreshing because of the lack of artificial crap inside the stadium. I don’t remember any recorded music (other than Harry Caray doing his thing), and the organist would follow the crowd’s lead in playing rally music. So it can be done. Although you might need an 80-year-old park.

  8. When Fox bought the Dodgers they did away with organ music and inundated you with distractions. Fans and the media raised hell and they brought back the organist. Noise pollution doesn’t attract anyone — well, maybe Dave.

  9. “I didn’t say the stadium experience should exist only for real fans. Here’s the line you twisted: “(S)top trying to attract the casual fans at the expense of those who really like baseball.”

    What did I say? “The bottom line is that you have to take the good with the bad.”

    “Baseball fan or not, Turner Field’s theatrics annoy.” Ok, sure. Fine. Whatever.

    I’ve never disagreed with you yet you feel some need to purposefully insult me for no good reason. How insecure are you?

  10. Dave, this is what you said: “The OP said he wanted the stadium experience for only real fans.”

    Your retorts seem to follow a script:
    http://rowlandsoffice.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/nicknames-etc/

  11. PepeFreeUs // October 5, 2009 at 12:44 am //

    Any organist who plays both Led Zep and Dave Brubeck is a keeper.

  12. Braves 2010- National Anthem… brought to you by Verizon! Flag brought to you by Spngetech! Verizon’s sponsorship of the National Anthem brought to you by Budweiser! Throughout the entire time crappy music and cheerleaders doing random shit, all brought to you by The Home Depot!

  13. williemontanez // October 5, 2009 at 12:56 am //

    What does Duane from FP think about the Turner Field experience?

  14. But seriously, playing to the “casual” fan only pisses off the serious fans and annoy the causal fans. Fans aren’t stupid! A few catchy gimicks keep everyone involved, but don’t talk down to us.

  15. The organist, who played Morse code for National Michael Morse, rules. That’s about it. Dave’s a big Duane from FP fan, I know he’d love to hear from him.

  16. “Dave, this is what you said: “The OP said he wanted the stadium experience for only real fans.”

    “To sum up, stop trying to attract the casual fans at the expense of those who really like baseball. BRAVES baseball. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were watching a game in Arizona or Houston. Or, God forbid, Boston. Baseball is not a distraction. Stop treating it that way.

    Who’s with me?”

    Again “To sum up, stop trying to attract the casual fans at the expense of those who really like baseball.”

    You said that the Braves stadium experience is trying to attract casual fans at the expense of real fans. Now you can say that you didn’t mean that the stadium experience should only be for “real” fans, but the bottom line is that you think the Braves are changing that experience to attract casual fans and pushing away real fans. And you said that you wanted it to stop.

    Again, whatever. I made my point a while back. You want to pick an argument you can have one with yourself. You can have the last word.

  17. PepeFreeUs // October 5, 2009 at 5:46 am //

    I like the cheerleaders a lot more than the Chewbacca grunt or that damn “everybody clap your hands” thing which I associate with the Mutts and Shea.

  18. rankin' rob // October 5, 2009 at 7:31 am //

    They have to create endless advertising impressions to pay for the ridiculous player salaries. I would just appreciate SOME consideration for serious fans, better statistical breakdowns on the big board or something. The sound effects are lame. And please for the love of all that is decent, get rid of the evil cow.

  19. I would love to see Nazi Cow fall victim to some college fraternity hi-jinks. But to the point, I think what we are seeing is an in-game atmosphere of the kitchen-sink variety. There is no guiding hand in the way of individual ownership to put a stamp of personality on the organization, so it’s up to a bunch of corporate hacks to put their two cents in as to what they think works.

    “Hey do the Belafonte thing like the Yankees or John Denver like the Orioles!” or:

    “How ’bout more ‘Zombie Nation’ when the Braves score?” or:

    “The fans are restless, cue up the cheerleaders (as long as they’re not too “ethnic”) and t-shirt guns!”

    Finally, is anyone else getting the feeling that Dave is really a cranky robot?

  20. charlesad // October 5, 2009 at 9:49 am //

    Might as well wish lobbyists would get out of politics. Until the Braves start selling out every night and therefore don’t need to grub for every last ad dollar, all the noise is here to stay. It’s not much different at Hawks or Falcons games, at least the last time I went. I don’t know, but I imagine it’s also much the same at most other ballparks, except those like Wrigley and maybe Dodger Stadium where lots of people show up just to see the park itself or where the teams have drawn well for years.

  21. Have you ever really looked at the cow’s eyes? They’re pretty creepy. I can handle the coke bottle because it can kind of fit in the background and the bottle shape is a classic image of Americana, but that damned cow is going to be nothing but a curse for this team.

  22. Sharon Egan // October 5, 2009 at 11:16 am //

    I wouldn’t mind if walk-up music went the way of the dodo bird, myself. The “Crazy Train” riff for Chipper got old long, long ago. Surely these players listen to more than one artist; if the organization is going to keep walk-up music, at least cycle it.

  23. Viva Rufino Linares // October 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm //

    All baseball teams cater to the causal fan. While watching a Fox game of the week featuring the Yankees, I witness a “casual” fan sound asleep in the expensive seats that were closest to the field. How ’bout giving those seats to a family who is going to watch the game. Forget it. Those days are over. The “causal” fan is now given the experience of the “real” fan. Little do they know that the “real” fan experience is now the nose bled seats and dollar hot dogs. For the “causal” fan the game is secondary. It’s the experience of going to the game and being able to eat sushi. Those are the fans the owners will court from here on so they can spend $. That is just the way it is. I’ve always agreed w/ more baseball and less show, but most Americans need immediate entertainment and gratification. That’s why little will change at the ballpark, any ballpark.

  24. I went to the Braves game on Friday. My wife was out of town, so I went right after work and arrived at the park around 5:30. Put my cap on and went to the field level seats (even though my tix were for the upper deck). Sat about 20 seats down from two boys, presumably brothers, who were probably not older than 10 and 12, and who slipped down to the lower seats just like I had. They had gloves, hats, and were chatting with the security guards and trying to get the attention of the players for autographs. I’m sure the stadium was less than half capacity that night, but once the game started, most of the rows around us were about mostly full because we were right on the field. At the end of the second inning, however, a middle-age couple showed up. They first caught my eye because she had a brand new novel in her hand and neither of them had any Braves or baseball garb on whatsoever. They could have come straight from Perimeter Mall for all I knew. They followed the usher down to their “assigned” seats and of course, those two boys were in their seats. I was surprised that the boys put up a fight, but eventually the couple convinced the usher to remove them from their seats, even though there were at least 50 other empty seats in the area. What a shame.

  25. Good stories, Rufino and Wuky…sad but true. As much as I love Chick-fil-A, I hate that cow. A nice big sign would’ve been nicer, but less memorable.

    Dave kills me. Why is the only sign that Atlanta is a bad sports town that there are empty seats to playoff games (that start at noon or nine…on weekdays?). What about all the huge football stadiums that are filled every weekend, all around the South?

  26. BravesFanInTigersLand // October 6, 2009 at 11:34 am //

    Wuky – that makes me really sad.

  27. Jack Straw // October 7, 2009 at 8:36 am //

    For all its flaws, my memories of FulCo are better than my Turner Field days watching far better Braves teams. Simple nostalgia for my youth is part of it, but even when there were only 4000 fans at the game they were baseball fans. Disgustingly, some of the better conversations I have had at Turner Field were with Cubs fans down for a playoff game. They were baseball fans.
    The modern pro sports experience is geared for the ADD/ADHD generation. Everyone who grew up watching a lot of television needs their brain to be artificially stimulated every 10 to 12 seconds; the advent of home video games over the past 25 years has probably lowered that number to 6 to 8 seconds for the generation behind me. Since the culture will not be changing for the better, do not count on the baseball experience at Turner Field showing what anyone who follows this blog would call “improvement”.

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