Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Braves to play July 3rd at Fort Bragg

The story from both the Braves and MLB came today that the Braves will play the Marlins on July 3rd in Fort Bragg. Here is the link to the press release: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/166636990/braves-marlins-play-fort-bragg-game-on-july-3?partnerId=as_atl_20160308_59107906&adbid=707302901769580545&adbpl=tw&adbpr=21436663

Apparently MLB will build a stadium for the event that will eventually remain as a softball field and mixed use facility on the base proper. That's interesting because usually stadiums cost a ton of money to produce, but I have a feeling this one will be a bit smaller and more spartan in scope.

Now for my thoughts about all this. On the one hand, I think it's great that we are doing something to promote baseball in a military installation. I think it's a neat gimmick that will be fun for the military and their families to get to watch an MLB game in person right in their backyard. I also think that baseball wants to maintain their image as pro-American given the recent semi-scandal that occurred when we found out teams were on the take for promoting "Hometown Heroes" in the military at MLB games. The Braves were no different in this regard. In fact they were the worst offender according to an article on CBS Atlanta.  http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2015/11/05/atlantas-pro-teams-all-top-list-of-worst-offenders-of-paid-patriotism-senate-report-says/

Which leads me to my second hand, I think the MLB picked the Braves for two reasons. One, because they have one of the largest state-to-state fan footprints in the South, which happens to include the footprint of North Carolina's Fort Bragg. And two, the Braves needed a little better PR after the pay-for-patriotism issue of last year, as did the MLB. Like many things, a good idea is a good idea no matter where it comes from, but I think it's a dual purpose here for the league to save a little face after these issues came to light primarily with NFL teams.

But that won't affect our enjoyment of the game one bit. Well, other than the fact that there's a solid chance with the Braves in rebuilding mode and the Marlins...being the Marlins, both these teams could horrible suck by July 3rd and you'll be wondering why MLB didn't send the Cubs and Cardinals down there to play in front of packed crowds. But then again, maybe they know something I don't know.


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