Just as we expected, the 2015 season is going swimmingly so far.
Nevertheless, I sense abroad in Braves fandom an attitude bordering on disdain for this team. I’m not sure I get it. Yeah, the Braves aren’t likely to be good. No argument there. They are rebuilding. Got it. But why turn on the players wearing the uniform? Does a real fan ignore their team when they’re down? Turn away in disgust because the new GM has to clean up after the old GM soiled and puked and pretty much destroyed the bed?
Moving to Cobb County doesn’t help. I get that, too. But if people these days expect pro sports franchises–really the suits who run them–to be cuddly and emotionally invested like fans, then those people are naive. If you want to be loved back, get a dog. My view is I’ll root for the Braves on the field no matter what, barring something insanely offensive. I don’t have to like the move to Cobb. I don’t have to like Liberty Media’s soulless corporate ownership. I don’t have to like JS’s tone deaf approach. I don’t have to like Jim Powell’s shilling or the fake bearded fake fiddler, which is the worst thing I’ve seen since the “Hey, Vern” campaign in the ’80s. I don’t have to like the brass jumping in bed with some two-bit Cobb politico to get a bunch of taxpayer’s money for a new ballpark/shopping center/office park.
Truth is I don’t like any of those things.
Yet still I’m rooting for the team I grew up idolizing. The players on the field are not responsible for any of the foolishness I just mentioned. They’re the ones I root for. And I’ll enjoy their wins this year, as many as they get. So far I’ve enjoyed seeing Braves bunt well and play good defense and run the bases and not strike out 48 times a series.
To be sure, as I’ve grown older, married and had a kid, no sport means as much to me as it used to. It’s far down the list of life’s priorities. I’m past the point of getting genuinely angry about anything the Braves do or don’t do. It simply is not nearly as important as so many other things in life.
If others stop watching or caring, so be it. No one owes any sports team anything. I just don’t quite understand why some seem to think if you don’t crap all over the team at every opportunity, no matter what they’re doing, then you’re a dim-witted rube.
End of sermon. Feel free to disagree. I’m not sure I’m even making much sense.
Tonight’s lineup is different. When you’re trotting out three bench players every night, might as well mix it up. Guys like EY and KJ can be effective in spots, but best not to overexpose them. We all know the roster’s limitations.
The lineup: Peterson 2B, Simmons SS, Markakis RF, Freddie 1B, Pierzynski C, Gomes LF, Callaspo 3B, Maybin CF, Miller P.