Open Thread, April 8, #Braves vs. Rick Scotts

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.

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14 comments

  1. “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.”

    Yeah I hear ya, As for this dim-witted rube, looking forward to small ball, looking forward to better contact, looking forward to seeing some young players start to mature and excited about another baseball season.

  2. My father, who has avidly followed this team since 1945, said last year was the most dispiriting one he’s ever experienced. That’s pretty impressive; I can see how people would be turned off for 2015. And if you care about such things, moving to the suburbs doesn’t help. Nevertheless, a real fan hangs in there. This was a good post.

  3. It’s going to be a good year–maybe two or three–to see a lot of Braves’ minor league games and watch the players of 2017 and beyond before they arrive.
    I’m happy to be close enough to see some of the draft picks we’ll get in June around Danville.

  4. Office, all of this reminds me of a time in Charlotte, North Carolina, when Rufus R “Freight Train” Jones put up a thousand dollars of his own money and challenged me to climb in the ring with him. So I accepted his challenge, climbed in the ring, took his thousand dollars, stuck it in my trunks and climbed right back out of the ring because I had done all that he had challenged me to do. He got angry about it, sure, but what could he do except accept that he’d been had? I stood nearly 7 feet tall and weighed well over 300 pounds, and my advice to everybody then was the same as it is today: When you see money laying on the table, I strongly suggest you pick it up and put it in your pocket. The people who run the Smyrna-Atlanta Braves understand and live by that philosophy. I still like to watch the boys play ball, though, even if their manager makes more bad moves than the Mulkey Brothers.

  5. Count me in, too. They’re going to have to work one hell of a lot harder than this to drive me away.

  6. Without Uggla and BJ in the lineup, I feel as though anything is possible. We may lose 95, but that awful cloud of dread has lifted.

  7. My team losing depresses me, and when I think the team is going to suck, I tend to be less emotionally involved to preserve my tenuous psychic health. But I’m not going to do something drastic like start rooting for the Nationals because they’re supposed to be good. MLB Tonight remains my primary nighttime TV viewing. (BTW, did anyone else catch Pedro Martínez’s debut as an MLBN analyst? He was really good at explaining some fine points about pitching mechanics and strategy, but then he was one of my favorite players who wasn’t a Brave.)

  8. I was ready to take my lumps and root for a losing team this year. I’m glad there has been no losing yet!

    CB: would you be mad if the Braves lost 16 in a row if it meant Fredi got fired over it?

  9. I’d take a 16-game losing streak if it meant no more Fredi. Three-game winning streak doesn’t mean this team is going to compete for a playoff spot.

  10. I’ll be the odd one out here…

    ” 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.”

    If more people actually gave a damn about this unbelievable waste, then maybe the soulless corporate types would start noticing. Same as every other complaint. Unless people actually react with wallets, like not going, then the corporate types will continue to steamroll us.

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