Baseball is back in Miami

After a slow start out of the gate, the Marlins bounced back to win three of their last four.  Tonight, they have their Home Opener against the struggling Atlanta Braves; a win would definitely put momentum on their side.  Tonight’s game marks the first of a six game home stand, so hopefully they will be able to take advantage of the home field advantage and pick up a few wins.

Runs will be hard to come by tonight, as the Braves send out veteran ace Bartolo Colon, while the Marlins counter with Dan Straily.  Straily has had a rough start to the year, pitching in the Marlins loss to the Nationals.  In that loss, Straily only pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five runs. Hopefully Staily will be able to figure it out against the Braves and get the wins that the Marlins are going to need if the want to compete in the NL East this year, which looks to be wide open early on.

Breon throws historical opening pitch

Fraser Breon, a sophomore Journalism/ Mass Communications major at St. Bonaventure University and staff member of this blog, threw one of the most historical home opening pitches of all time for the Atlanta Braves this season.game of thrones dragon.gif

Gallivanting to the mound, her tamed fire-breathing dragon placed Fraser into position. They threw a fireball pitch that shot into the catchers hands with a sizzle.

The dragon flew over the crowd spreading confetti throughout the stands as the masses shouted and chanted.

On their exit, the dragon lit off some preliminary fireworks to get the crowd settled and ready to “play ball!”

Fraser Breon

Everlasting entertainment

Orlando, Fla.-Home to the Atlanta Braves spring straining stadium, the city is known for its various amusement parks, most notably Walt Disney World and Orlando Universal.

 

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Orlando Entertainment

 

Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world with attractions for all ages. Covering 27,258 acres, the park includes over 30 hotels, four theme parks, two water parks and golfing.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are theme parks located within Orlando Universal.

While on vacation, visitors may watch the Braves playing in the Champion Stadium, located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in the Walt Disney World Resort.

Fraser Breon

Cultural appropriation in sports

ATLANTA- Since the 1960’s, there have been various protests and other movements by Native Americans in the United States and Canada, battling the harmful stereotypes associated with sports team’s mascots.

Atlanta Braves
Controversial Mascot

The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, and the Washington Redskins are all examples of controversial sports teams with indigenous named mascots.

From 1966-1986, the team’s mascot was Chief Noc-a-Homa. Levi Walker, the man behind the costume, “dressed up in a chief’s war bonnet and face paint to perform a spirit dance on the mound before games. Walker would then sprint off toward a teepee in left field after his dance,” according to a CBS News article.

Although Chief Noc-a-Homa has been replaced by a walking baseball named Homer the Brave, when the team performs well on a play, fans resort to a cheer known as “the Tomahawk chop.”

Ultimately, many have decided that these names and references to Native culture is offensive to Native Americans. Legal action has been taken throughout the years to implement change both in major/minor league sports as well as at a high school level.

Fraser Breon

History of Hank Aaron

Atlanta- Senior Vice-President for the Atlanta Braves and retired MLB right fielder, Hank Aaron, was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster by his final season in 1976.

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Hank Aaron

Aaron played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League for three months before receiving two major league offers from the Braves and the Giants. After signing with the Braves in 1952, he moved his way up through the team and found himself at spring training just two years later.

He was named to the NL All-Star roster in 1955, NL Player of the Year in 1956 and NL MVP Award in 1957.  In 1968, Aaron was the first Braves player to hit his 5000th career home run and in 1970, he was the first Brave to reach 3,000 career hits.

The 1973-74 seasons were risky for Aaron due to the access amount of death threats rooted in racism resulted from him breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record in 74.

Aaron rejoined the Braves as an executive after the 1976 season and later was made vice president and director of player development. He has served as senior vice president to he Braves’ president since 1980.

August 1, 1982, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fraser Breon

AJ Minter as a Possible Relief Prospect

ATLANTA- Prospect pitcher A.J. Minter is likely to stand out at spring training for the Braves this year, especially given his recent success in the last season.

Even after working through his recovery from Tommy John surgery, a reconstructive surgery of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow, the Braves have stated they’re willing to keep an open mind.

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AJ Minter

 

He posted a 1.30 ERA, logged 34 2/3 innings during his first pro season, and his opponents to a .149 batting average. Minter was drafted in the second round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from Texas A&M University in Texas.

Although there will be more experienced relievers at camp this season, Minter may just prove himself to be worthwhile.

Fraser Breon

Atlanta Braves outlook

ORLANDO, Fla- The Atlanta Braves are looking to make noise this year as they ended the season last year with comebacks falling just short of a win. They closed the season with a record of 8-2.

Atlanta has a long list of returnees, including pitchers Jim Johnson,  Jose Ramirez and Mauricio Cabrera, that may help lead the team to victory this season. There is a lot of talk in camp about A.J. Minter, a left-handed prospect who has a strong chance of earning a spot this year.

There is an increasing amount of hype for the upcoming season as the team gets ready for training. The Atlanta Braves will begin Spring Training Feb. 25.

Fraser Breon