The megachurch of baseball

Could the Braves promotional crew be less inspired? As you may have heard it’s country and western night at The Ted, which is perplexing since they beat you over the head with that crap every other home game. Of course there’s few things more entertaining than seeing a photoshopped picture of Melky Cabrera in a 10-gallon hat projected  on the giant screen. I’m sure that brought in thousands of new fans.

Look, just because we root for the Braves doesn’t mean we have the same musical taste as Chipper Jones. Would it kill them to play a song without a twang every now and then? The Braves play here, in Atlanta — not Alabama. Is an occasional Outkast tune too much to ask? Hard to understand the benefit of promoting a bland, inoffensive experience at the old ballpark (ixnay on the baseball-ay …).

And why not promote the game for a change? When’s the last time fans got to cheer Otis,  Avery, Frankie or Sid at the Ted? Instead, we get Travis Tritt.

Take away the on-field action and you’d be hard-pressed to note much difference between an evening at the Ted and opening night of the GOP convention in Orlando. Can’t wait to see Todd Palin throw out the first pitch on Real American night.

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23 Comments on The megachurch of baseball

  1. PepeFreeUs // May 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm //


  2. Jack Straw // May 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm //

    Melkey in a 10-gallon hat! Be careful what you joke about; some things have a perverse way of coming true.

  3. atlpaddy // May 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm //

    Is Todd Palin really throwing out the first pitch on Real America Night? I don’t see that on my Braves 2010 schedule magnet .

  4. Every level of baseball plays under the assuption that fans are idiots and need to have loud noises and attractive young people thrown in their faces as often as possible.

  5. williemontanez // May 15, 2010 at 12:20 am //

    I was giving my 6-year old daughter an overview of keeping score tonight – explaining K for strikeout, 1B for single, etc. Her question to me – “How do you score the tool race?”

  6. jermaine's dye // May 15, 2010 at 7:10 am //

    See also:

    “The Ted” is named after a former owner who once had newly acquired free agent Andy Messersmith wear number 17 while changing the name on the back of his jersey to “Channel.” Those good old days of crass commercialization had a certain charm compared to the new sterile soulless corporate baseball castle brought to you by current Braves owners, Liberty Media.

    The following conversation happens nightly. It is one of an estimated 20,000 cell phone conversations that occur whenever the ball is in play at The Ted. For verisimilitude sake, insert the voice of Barry Pepper as Dale Earnhardt:
    “Dude. I’m here over in the Sun Trust Level. Where you at? Golden Moon Casino Level? Well, shit. Wanna meet up at Bud Pavilion before the Home Depot Tool Race? My money’s on Screw Driver. Who you got?”

    When you pass through the front gates of The Ted what do you find? Well, naturally you find what any baseball aficionado would find-a children’s theme park featuring the lovable characters from The Cartoon Network. Why? Don’t ask why. This is Atlanta. Capital of the New South. Our true God is the Union-Yankee dollar and we worship at the foot of a Chick-fil-a-Cow-God (Baal?) hovering majestically in left field. That’s right. Let Boston have The Green Monster. Let Chicago have Ivy. Let the Yankees have Monument Park. We’ve got Cow-God. He rests next our other major deity-a plastic Coke bottle tower (Babel?). Behold…

    What kind of fan-base does this produce? We have diabetes. We drive used Hummers. We wear Polo shirts and frayed hats of our favorite college teams and khakis and believe the earth is 4,000 years old. But mostly, as Braves fans, our greatest passion is to stay at home and watch reruns of Designing Women and Deadliest Catch. Or we go to Stone Mountain Park, former home of the Ku Klux Klan, and watch the Laser Shows and play putt-putt. When it’s time to head downtown (Scary! Black! Gay!) and watch the Braves, we’re likely on a church bus because First Baptist of Wherever got a good deal on group tickets.

    So we’ll be there. Every once in a while. And you can count on us to be wearing Red Sox hats and Jeff Franceour jerseys, drinking Coke and dreaming of Chick-fil-A. Just don’t expect us to watch the action on the field. We’re distracted. The lights are bright. The advertisements, pretty. And Cow God, like Doctor T.J. Eckleberg, is watching. Always watching.

    (Jerome from Decatur/Jermaine’s Dye)

  7. rankin' rob // May 15, 2010 at 8:30 am //

    Painful, but largely true. Attendance is up this year at least.

  8. Roadrunner // May 15, 2010 at 8:59 am //

    I particularly dislike the ersatz country music they blast whenever the home team hits a home run.

  9. Agreed. “Apache” is the only good song they play.

  10. Jack Straw // May 15, 2010 at 10:17 am //

    The lack of respect for the traditions of the game has its origins in the blasphemy that is the designated hitter.

  11. Everyone wants to be Bill Veeck, it seems…

  12. Except Bill Veeck was clever and appreciated the game.

  13. Willie, did you say to her, “You mean the Home Depot tool race?”
    The corporate advertising drives me nuts. The radio pregame show is usually 25 minutes of sponsorship crap and 5 minutes of interesting dialogue. Every facet of the game, from the warm-up pitches to the post game interview is sponsored. It gets old.

  14. Two points:

    1) Scoring a game with your old man at age five and hearing him wax poetic about the traditions of the national pastime is a Billy Crystal/Bob Costas fantasy. It doesn’t exist. My six year old daughter is a complete tomboy. She loves sports. She watches it on tv over cartoons. She plays soccer and stays dirty from playing outside. Even she gets bored at a 9 inning baseball game. You can not just present a baseball game, especially in football country, to people expect to have a full house 81 times a year that will buy concessions and pay attention to the team. This is not 1956 and this is not Brooklyn and the team we watch are not the Boys of Summer. That era is over.

    2) Stop bashing corporate whatever. Home Depot, Chik Fil A, Coke, and several other companies pay a lot of the bills at Turner Field. Do we have to like it? No. I don’t drink Coke, eat Chik Fil A and I rarely shop at Home Depot. We live in car racin’ country as well as football country. Racin’ can’t stop advertsing. Heck, every driver mentions 14 different companies before they even start talking about how they drove their car that day and I hear very little whining about that.

    I have been to two games this year. I paid for my tickets. My 14 year old daughter’s chorus sang the national anthem at one of those games. I enjoyed hanging with my kids, whether their attention was towards the game or not. Atlanta will never be New York, Boston, Chicago or St. Louis when it comes to baseball. I;m glad. Ever hung out with a Cubs fan or a Red Sox fan? They’re miserable miscreants of melancoly moping.

    For what it’s worth, the hammer is on steroids. He won both tool races I saw.

  15. PepeFreeUs // May 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm //

    I like grass, gray road uniforms and button down jerseys. I hate powder blue uniforms and those dreaful 70’s multipurpose stadiums. Nevertheless, I love the DH and I wish we had it here. As much as I enjoy the river of bullshit that flows from Huddy about his wonderful ability with the stick, I would rather a professional hitter get that spot.

  16. rankin' rob // May 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm //

    Diaz is out and will be undergoing thumb surgery. That would explain his ineptitude. Temporarily clears our outfield logjam.

  17. Tommy Hanson is dealing. 4ks. But he gave up a homer in the 1st inning.

  18. Nate McClouth just misjudged a fly ball by 60 feet on a cloudy night. wow. 5-0 D-Bags

  19. Tommy, we don’t complain about NASCAR because we don’t care. And their audience isn’t very discriminating. I understand that corporate sponsorship pays a lot of bills, but we don’t have to be willful slaves. The fatted calf in left is absolute overkill.

  20. Some Other Mike // May 16, 2010 at 8:40 am //

    Nice job waving the apologist banner there, Tommy. How are commissions holding up these days? LOL

  21. Some Other Mike // May 16, 2010 at 8:48 am //

    Sadly, Atlanta is thoroughly capital-poisoned, and after the sale, the Braves became a trading property of the corporate sociopath set. To get out from under the parasites, we’ll basically have to start a new franchise.

  22. atlpaddy // May 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm //

    Socio-economic arguments aside, can we at least all agree that Travis Tritt isn’t sporting the manliest of poses? I think it’s safe to say that Merle Haggard has never taken a picture like that.

  23. clete boyer fan // May 17, 2010 at 8:08 am //

    Tommy, my old man did teach me how to score at a ballgame; it’s a practice I still maintain unless I’m sitting in the lower level where I’m susceptible to foul liners. It’s not a made up fantasy, it’s generational. Kids today have shorter attention spans when viewing ballgames than I did when I went to Atlanta Stadium as a kid in the Seventies.

    Also, I don’t give a whit about advertising in racing. NASCAR sold their soul a long time ago and they don’t give a damn who knows it. They like being whores to sponsors. Baseball and advertisers have long been partners but they’ve never been seen as so desperate to shill until the past several years. Of course, you can say that about all of the major sports recently.

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