As you may have noticed in the previous post, we are not fans of the Braves’ promotions and marketing department. The game-day experience may lack subtlety but it’s stocked with needless, sometimes embarrassing distractions that have nothing to do with the game. They don’t ram baseball down your throat at a country music concert, do they?
Tonight fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Star Wars character, an event that would’ve made a lot more sense three weeks ago, when 50,000-plus geeks converged on Atlanta for DragonCon. Held now, Star Wars night comes off as desperate, which is probably appropriate considering the current state of the Braves.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Millennium Falcon will swoop in and shoot the fake-bearded fiddler.
Meanwhile, those of you clinging to hopes of a miracle won’t find much comfort in the line-up, sans Jay Hey. Obviously Fredi isn’t a big Bonifcacio fan.
Gosselin, Simmons, Freeman, JUpton, Bethancourt, Doumit, LaStella, BUpton, Teheran
Tomorrow night, the Braves will honor their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year. Jose Peraza, who hit .339 with 11 triples and 60 steals (but only 17 BB), brings hope for the future, but Jason Hursh, selected as the minors’ top moundsman, looks to be another first round misfire by Frank Wren. Hursh, the team’s first pick in 2013, wasn’t awful — 3.58 ERA, 1.308 WHIP — but 83 strikeouts in 148 IP doesn’t inspire much confidence. The previous year’s top selection, Lucas Sims, is considered a better prospect but sure didn’t look it this year, finishing with a 4.21 ERA and only 6.1 K/9 IP, down from 10.3 a year ago.
Mike Minor is the only top pick of Wren’s to reach the majors. Brett DeVall is out of baseball, Sean Gilmartin was traded for Ryan Doumit and Matt Lipka, who’s played 28 games above Single-A, has a .311 OBP and .334 slugging percentage after five seasons. It’s too early to judge 2014 first-rounder Braxton Davidson, who hit .224 with a .299 slugging percentage in 50 Rookie League games.