23
Apr
11

Braves Country

Below are the words to the Braves Country radio spot, 2010 version. I think it’s very well-written, eliciting visuals of the Braves-baseball experience and capturing the essence of what it is to be Braves fan.

This season is for every kid who’s ever pretended to hit a home run with 2 outs in the ninth.
It’s for the father and daughter who’s kept score every time they’ve been to Turner Field.
And for everyone whose memories of summer always seemed to have a Braves game in the background.
This season is for one of the greatest managers this game has ever seen.
For the players who haven’t forgotten who they’re playing for.
This season is for the fans.
From Nashville to Greenville, Macon to Montgomery.
For everyone who makes the drive from Augusta and Athens, Burmingham, Biloxi.
This season is for everyone who lives in Braves Country.

I haven’t heard it yet this season. And now that Bobby has retired, they obviously need to change the line “This season is for one of the greatest managers this game has ever seen.

Here also is the link to the “You’re in Braves Country” video by MLB.com, as narrated by Furman Bisher.

18
Apr
11

The first (and only) time I saw the Braves play

I’ve been a fan of the Braves for 20 years now, but I’ve only seen them play live once. It was way back in September 27, 2002.

I lived in New York that year, working as a consultant for Morgan Stanley. For months I eagerly awaited the day when the Braves will be visiting New York. The game almost got postponed because of Hurricane Isidore, but thankfully the storm dissipated earlier in the day.

It was a double-header. I was itching to leave the office because Maddux was pitching the first game. But I don’t think my boss would have accepted a baseball game as an excuse for leaving early. After the work day ended I was running to the Subway to get to Shea.

I was fortunate to catch the end of the first game to see Smoltzie blow away the Mets. He was a sight to see that night. His fastball consistently reached 97mph on the radar gun, striking out three en route to his NL-leading 54th save. The Braves won the second game as well — their 100th win of the season. Millwood pitched solidly, winning his 18th.

It was a great day for the Braves. They would end up winning 101 games in 2002 and ran away with the Division. But it was another heartbreaking post-season. After the Braves led the Division series 2-1, the Giants won the last 2 games and won the series 3-2. Damn it!

Two months later I was back in Manila, leaving baseball and New York behind.  I should mention that I got married in December that year. So I guess 2002 wasn’t a total waste.

17
Apr
11

Introduction

I’m a long-time Braves fan. I listen to the Atlanta Baseball Talk podcast every week, and while listening to podcast #142 I heard the host Steve make a call for Braves Bloggers. I thought it was time for me to start a Braves Blog of my own. I decided to call my blog the “Braves Bullpen” because of how the word “pen” is related to writing. Also, it’s pitching-related, and I’ve always had a preference for pitching over hitting.

The first thing you should know about me is that I’m from Manila, Philippines. Nobody plays baseball here. The number one sport here has always been (and will always be) basketball. Ironic, given that our average height is 5′ 4″. So growing up, I followed the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics just like everyone else. I had no idea how baseball was played and what the rules were.

The first time I was exposed to baseball was when I watched the movie “Major League” on VHS in 1991. Yes, it might sound funny, but it was Charlie “Wild Thing” Sheen who taught me the basics of baseball — pitching and hitting, balls and strikes, three strikes you’re out, and that you needed to get three outs to complete half an inning. From what I saw in the movie, I liked baseball as a game. But given that regular season games aren’t televised here, I never got to watch more games or follow a particular team.

Then a few months later I was able to watch the TV coverage of the 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Braves. After watching those seven games and seeing Glavine and Smoltz pitch, I was hooked. I thought, wow, the Atlanta Braves is a team I can follow. And boy, did I jump on the bandwagon at the perfect time, with the Braves putting together that wonderful string of Division titles.

I’m hoping that my blog will offer a different perspective on the Braves — by a fan who’s located halfway across the world. It’s true: “No matter where you’re from or where you are, if you are a fan of the Braves, you are in Braves Country.”




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