This Week in Braves Baseball from Someone Who Doesn’t Care


Photo courtesy of CBS Sports.

Braves pitcher Dallas Keuchel has a great game against the Mets.

Ava Lewis, Editor in Chief

I am not someone who has ever played a team sport or even had the audacity to entertain the thought. I’ve always been so much more interested in arts over athleticism and after years of being told dance wasn’t ‘hard enough’ to be a sport, my vendetta against all things sports-related only grew. It was much more about the game than the sport since I was young. In my history as an Atlantan my fondest Braves games memories were very focused around the amount of Dippin’ Dots® I would receive and something called the ‘7th inning stretch’ which meant I got to run around in the stands and hopefully leave soon after. 

But this week in the midst of first-month assessments, play-doh brains, and huge AP Bio tests, I started sitting in on my dad’s baseball watching binges to do homework and started to find the hidden gems tucked away in the Braves successful 2019 season, even if they had nothing to do with batting averages and stolen bases.

Braves vs. Marlins SunTrust Park, August 20-22

After a few stop-ins during the previous Dodgers games, I finally settled into my seat and watched the Marlins play the Braves. I was drawn in by the stark neon pink of the catcher’s fingernails, thinking at first he was just being stylish but soon realizing it was so the pitcher could see him give signals. I saw an array of colors from bright green to highlighter yellow as the innings cycled through as I tried to comprehend the intricate complexities of how the multiple men in matching attire tried to throw a ball into a little digital box. 

I experienced my all-time favorite moment in a second-inning where Adeiny Hechavarria. hit a home run into the stands and quickly his bat levitated out of his hands and off-screen as he ran across the plates. You couldn’t even see the bat hit the ground before he was almost back to home. I found most entertaining the way the commentators tracked his flying bat like it was a ball and the fashion in which Hechavarria slam-dunked his water cup into the trashcan after his success. I also supremely enjoyed the creepy dance from the sitting players occurring behind the reporter in one shot. 

Braves vs. Mets Citi Field, August 23-25

I returned for the cool black and white uniforms both teams were sporting and the ability to see every player’s absurd nickname and try to develop a backstory in my head. The overall aesthetic made the game worth the four hours and fourteen innings of baseball purgatory, and my personal favorites included High Foltage, Skywalker, and Ortega — the result of Rafael Ortega’s lack of nickname genius. 

Between the ball getting stuck in the padding of the wall and no one really knowing what to do and the catcher getting hit in an unfortunate spot more than once, the game was a chaotic neck-in-neck showdown that required multiple nights of watching. Pitcher Mark Melancon — “muh-LAN-son” as his jersey specifies — finally finished off the Mets with his eerie, goblin-like stance and strikeouts. Four out of five for Luke Jackson looking too scarily like my cousin. And no offense Mark, I just can’t unsee it. I’m horrible.

Braves vs. White Sox SunTrust Park, August 30-31

In my last Braves game endeavor, I watched the Braves take on the White Sox and proceeded to get angry about it being spelled “sox” for the rest of the whopping thirty-minute first inning. There was an exceeding amount of injuries on Saturday, with crazy pitches hitting Freeman in the leg for a walk, the umpire getting “sox-ed” — I’m sorry — in the knee, and one White Sox player getting hit hard in the arm twice in the same place. I’d come to memorize the extremely overplayed Georgia Lottery and Xfinity commercials much to my own dismay.

The highlight of the night was the second inning narration from Make-A-Wish recipient Adyson Harrah becoming a commentator and getting season tickets after a long battle with a rare blood disease that took his eye. He made me forget the horrors of Josh Donaldson’s sweaty mullet, far too reminiscent of the mullets I’ve seen in the hallways these past couple weeks. He was such a natural and it warmed my heart just to watch him. He also had a rad eyepatch because he’s that cool.

So I enjoyed watching baseball. After all that complaining and desire for more Dippin’ Dots® in a Braves hat shaped bowl, I found the funny, notable moments and made my own interesting story out of something I once deemed so boring I would rather sit and crush peanut shells under my shoe than witness. It was just fun to enjoy watching the personalities that appear when you stick forty guys on a team and learn their last names and interesting quirks as you cheer for your city. As someone constantly writing and analyzing for a deeper meaning in all that I do, I just sat back and laughed about levitating bats and over-excited old men. And as much as senior year excites me and scares me, maybe I just need to let it happen and make what fun I can.

Author’s note: I realize that the lack of deeper meaning just became a deeper meaning. I promise I’m working on it.