Tag Archives: braves

Gattis Loss the Latest in a ‘Really Difficult’ Time for the Braves

Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, trade, traded, trades, losing popular players, Jason Hayward, Upton, MLB, Major League Baseball

Say goodbye to Evan Gattis, Braves fans.

The day after the Braves traded popular slugger Evan Gattis to Houston, the team’s director of public relations acknowledged the challenges of the last few months.

“It’s been a really difficult off-season,” said Beth Marshall, in response to a question today at the Public Relations Society of America’s Georgia chapter luncheon in Buckhead.

The Gattis trade followed earlier swaps of other “fan favorites,” as she called them — including outfielder Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Plus, plenty of fans (including this one) are still miffed about the move to Cobb County.

(The Gattis trade might be the last straw for me. Big hitter, nice guy, remarkable story… Come on, y’all. This is what we’re losing?)

Marshall, on a panel with three other sports PR pros, called the trades “a necessary process for a lot of different reasons.” She said they bring not only P.R. challenges, but marketing issues, as well, since fans can’t come to see some of their favorites anymore.

With so many new names on the roster, everyone within the Braves organization will have a lot to learn at Spring Training — so they can help educate the fans, in turn.

Other morsels from the panel, shared on the PRSA Twitter feed:

  • A British couple touring the College Football Hall of Fame were flummoxed. “Do people actually GO to these games?” they asked a tour guide. – from Traci Messier of the Jackson Spalding agency, which works with the Hall.
  • The Hall activated Kia sponsorship with tailgate exhibit featuring their vehicles. That’s a good example of how corporate sponsorships have to be directly relevant for the sponsor and the event.
  • Comparing launch successes, speakers pointed out that the Hall’s events and grand opening were spread out; the Braves held everything about their move secret until One Big Announcement.
  • Athletes’ social media posts can help build brand — or destroy it. Marshall tells players to not tweet anything they wouldn’t say on TV.

RELATED: Say goodbye to Jason Heyward

RELATED: John Rocker on ‘Survivor’

RELATED: Pics inside the College Football Hall of Fame

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Braves Fans Respond to Heyward Trade on Twitter: Say-Hey It Ain’t So

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, traded, outfielder, baseball, major league baseball

Say goodbye, J-Hey…

Why is it that nothing breaks your heart like baseball?

I’m so disappointed by today’s news that the Braves traded Jason Heyward. I’m a longtime fan of the game and the team, and I was hoping to watch this kid grow up before our eyes and spend his career at Turner Field —

Oops! … Make that, somewhere in metro Atlanta.

Is that too much to ask? To see a talented, likable young player spend his career with the same team? Or at least much of it?

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, trade, baseball , T-shirt, fan, 22, St. Louis Cardinals,

I’m keeping it.

Am I being romantic? Thinking the game is more important than the business? Of course. It’s baseball!

But I’m no expert, and I don’t enjoy following the ins-and-outs of trades and negotiations and free agency, and why the BJ Upton deal ruined everything that Dan Uggla didn’t destroy.

I just know that I’m one step closer to bailing on the Braves completely. After the terrible season. After Uggla. After COBB COUNTY… And you can’t tell me that of all the crappy things about this team, that Jason Heyward was the one that needed to go. You just can’t.

La Stella was an exciting anti-Uggla — so, of course, he’s gone, too.  At least we still have Freeman, Gattis, Chris Johnson, for now… But still, J-Hey was special. And he said he didn’t want to go.

On Twitter, fans who are more informed, funnier and angrier are offering better commentary. Here are some samples.

And Braves, seriously: I might be done with you.

The Braves just traded Jason Heyward to the Cardinals. So uh, that’s it for me and baseball

Atlanta Braves, after milking Cobb County taxpayers for hundreds of millions, trade Jason Heyward before his payday:

Jason Heyward: I want to thank the fans in Braves nation. I gave it 100% for them.

As if  fans weren’t already excited about , here are five more reasons to be stoked: 

“This deal is definitely focused on the short term.” –  GM John Mozeliak:  

Thanks  for 5 years of giving your all to 

Jason Heyward‘s 1st MLB AB remains one of the coolest baseball moments of the decade. http://m.mlb.com/video/v7282459/chcatl-heyward-hits-threerun-homer-in-first-atbat

 trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took a monumental risk. Blog: http://jeffschultz.blog.ajc.com/2014/11/17/braves-hart-takes-huge-risk-by-dealing-heyward/

 Hart’s approval rating just took a nosedive. Braves fans are 

 Better to move JHey than Jup. “Potential” never hit 25+ homers in back to back seasons.

Jason Heyward is an impact defender but has really slipped offensively. Last 2 years: 25 HR, .400 SLG. Nate Schierholtz: 28 HR, .400 SLG

. to STL.  to ATL. We have our first blockbuster.  

The Braves traded Jason Heyward to the freakin’ Cardinals? C’mon now John Hart.

why would you trade Jason Heyward PERIOD??? RT : Why would you trade Jason Hayward for pitching.

If Jason Heyward is traded because of the ridiculous  contracts given to Uggla & BJ there is no justice in this world.

RIP Jason Heyward dreams

RELATED >> Read blogger Sean Breslin’s take on this. 


MORE SPORTS: Photo tour of Atlanta’s new College Football Hall of Fame

MORE SPORTS: John Rocker on ‘Survivor’

MORE SPORTS: Fun night at the Braves game

No Surprise: John Rocker Does as John Rocker Does on ‘Survivor’

John Rocker, Survivor, Braves, closer, baseball, pitcher, asshole, jerk, bigot, racist, homophobe, Sports Illustrated, New York, subway, queer with aids

John Rocker on “Survivor” — sorry, big guy

Predictability can be good in some stories, like the one about John Rocker and “Survivor.”

Before the season started, I wrote that the ex-Braves closer/infamous jackass wouldn’t last three episodes on the reality show, on which contestants must “outplay, outlast, outwit” each other. Big, aggressive jock types never do well on “Survivor,” and Rocker’s temper and lack of social skills would do him in quickly, I said.

And I was right! Wednesday on episode 3, the opposing tribe called out Rocker for some questionable play and for the Sports Illustrated article that obviously haunts him still. Rocker took the bait, telling a woman that he’d punch her teeth out if she were a man, and then proposing a fight. That made Rocker’s own tribe nervous, and they booted him.

Best part?

“I had a damn (immunity) idol right in my pocket, too,” Rocker said after the vote. So he joined the ranks of embarrassed contestants who got ejected while holding a free pass.

“Survivor” is such a great show, often a microcosm of real-life social interaction, and in this case a repeat of it.

And John Rocker? He’s a gift that keeps on giving.


MORE SPORTS: Photo tour of Atlanta’s new College Football Hall of Fame

MORE SPORTS: A new world for gay pro athletes

MORE SPORTS: Fun night at the Braves game

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The Week in Review: Thanks for a Record Number of Page Views!

storycroft, page views, engagement, blog, Atlanta, John Rocker, Survivor, Truman Capote, Positive Challenge

Thanks for helping me end the summer with a bang!

I want to thank subscribers to this blog for their support over the last eight months. With your help, storycroft.com got more page views on Friday than on any other day. And on Sunday, we came this close to setting another record.

Why the excitement? First, I jumped on a breaking story that’s relevant to my premise. Then I worked the system hard while staying true to that premise.

Early in the week, I had two posts — about finishing my Positive Challenge and about great quotes from Truman Capote — that drew a good but unremarkable amount of page views and engagement. But right after I posted about Capote, news came that “Survivor” was adding controversial ex-baseball player John Rocker to its cast of castaways. I had to weigh in — and I got some of the Internet traffic driven by Rocker and the show.

I decided to build on it by re-linking some older posts to referral sites where I had posted them before, like reddit.com and stumbleupon.com, and I was stunned by the tidal wave of page views that came from them a few months after their first run. (Thanks, Sophie… and Josh, The Run Commuter… and the King of Pops… and Ponce City Market…) I also sought out other discussion boards about Rocker and other topics in my posts, and that got me referrals from large, commercial sites.

Just as important, engagement was high on the blog and on my social media pages. Readers were clicking through photo galleries. And on links and images at the bottom of posts. And retweeting and sharing posts on Twitter and Facebook. Anybody can lure in one-timers with click bait. But that doesn’t interest me. At some point, we have to focus on improving engagement at least as much as page views.

Oh, I want new readers, of course. But I also hope anyone who visits storycroft.com will come in and sit a spell, as we say down South. To click on another story, leave a comment, recommend it on social media.

You know: Have a conversation — and tell a story.

If you enjoyed this post or anything on storycroft.com, please subscribe at the top of the right column. And ask a friend to do the same. Thanks! 


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John Rocker on ‘Survivor’ — Good Luck with the ‘Outwit’ Part

John Rocker, CBS, Survivor, reality TV, Braves, baseball, closer, Jeff Probst

John Rocker when he was a closer for the Atlanta Braves

Say it ain’t so, Jeff Probst.

You’re not really putting mean ole John Rocker on “Survivor,” are you? Not on one of my favorite shows for so many years now – shoot, almost as far back as Rocker’s flash-in-the-spotlight 15 minutes of fame.

I worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then. All of us in Atlanta remember the big lunk for being a big jerk while a closer for the Braves, particularly in that infamous Sports Illustrated article, where he said nasty things about gays, immigrants, minorities, New Yorkers and, gosh, just about everybody.

And after that, I wrote about him a time or two when, even outside of the limelight, he found a way to be obnoxious, particularly to gays.

When I was in the media, I never got to meet him, although I have seen him in person. He is, without a doubt, one of the most physically beautiful men I’ve ever seen. And talk about a powerful masculine presence… He’s huge, built, aggressive, obnoxious and used to commanding attention. You know the type – loves how attractive and intimidating he usually is, probably asserts himself when he doesn’t get the attention he’s used to.

Jeff Probst, Survivor, CBS, reality TV, John Rocker

Jeff Probst, host and true “Survivor” stud

There’s often some guy like that on “Survivor,” which pits castaways in a competition that is part physical, part survival and part social. “Outlast, Outplay, Outwit.”

Outwit. Ha.

The Rocker types never last long. Too physically threatening, too socially divisive and tone deaf… and, well, usually not the smartest in the bunch.

“Survivor” has had pro athletes on previous seasons, most of them way more famous and accomplished than Rocker, who had a few years of notoriety before his obnoxiousness eclipsed his gifts as a closer. Future Hall of Famer Jeff Kent was on a few seasons ago and most of the other contestants had no idea of his wealth and stature. So maybe Rocker can coast under the radar.

Given his long track record, though, I’m guessing we’re in for a whole new round of reasons to hate him or laugh at him when the season starts Sept. 24.

He probably won’t last three episodes. But I’ll be watching every minute.

Got me, Probst.

John Rocker, CBS, Survivor, gay couple, baseball, braves, atlanta

Rocker and his girlfriend, top row left, join a gay couple and some racial minorities (uh-oh!) on the coming season of “Survivor.”

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Wrapping up the Challenge: 3 (of Many) Positive Things about Life in Atlanta

college football hall of fame, atlanta, attractions

Atlanta’s newest attraction. Y’all come.

It’s been great to share good thoughts with the Positive Challenge, and I’ll keep up my attitude of gratitude. But today I’m wrapping my seven-day Positive Challenge with a look at three great things about my city, Atlanta.

1. Downtown rocks. With the newest addition of the College Football Hall of Fame following the Center for Civil and Human Rights by just weeks, we now have a bunch of great reasons for folks to spend all day, or more, downtown. Unheard of just a few years ago, and a boon for residents, tourists, conventioneers, businesses, etc.

2. The BeltLine Corridor. I enjoy starting a bike ride at the Inman Park end of the Atlanta BeltLine, riding past the soon-to-open Ponce City Market, and circling the loop inside Piedmont Park (the city’s crown jewel). Throw in a popsicle from the King of Pops or some Jake’s Ice Cream, and that’s a great afternoon.

3. Labor Day Weekend. Coming up fast again… Annual favorites DragonCon, the Decatur Book Festival, Black Gay Pride and … what else am I missing? This year, the Braves host the Marlins and the Phillies. And hometown superstar Jennifer Nettles plays Chastain… Who has time to grill? Dang.


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No Ice Bucket Needed for This Challenge — Just Make the Positive Choice

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur

Nicole Brodeur

When Nicole Brodeur does something, I notice. She’s a great journalist, super-smart and one of my favorite friends.  She’s a columnist at The Seattle Times and, if you don’t read her, start now, even if you’re nowhere the Space Needle. She wrote yesterday about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a former NFL player who has the disease and still participated in the popular social media money- and awareness-raiser.

But what moved me to action personally was Nicole’s Facebook posts about The Positive Challenge. I asked her about it. Here’s what she said:

The Positive Challenge was thrown down by Jacqui Banaszynski. I’m not clear on the rules, but I believe that you have to write three positive things about your life, or that happened in your life, every day for a week. And you can tag someone to take over when you’re finished. I’m almost finished, so you start on Monday. Tag, Jay Croft, you’re it!

Replied Jacqui: Post three positive thoughts or events each day for seven days. Tag two people a day to do the same. All that is optional, of course.

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur, Jacqui Banaszynski

Jacqui Banaszynski

Well, all right. I’ve always found it a good idea to do what smart, beautiful women suggest. So I accepted the challenge. Today is Day Four. I’ll keep updating it on my own Facebook page.

What about you? Do you make a point to practice gratitude or positivity every day? Someone once said something like, “Happiness doesn’t bring gratitude — gratitude brings happiness.” I like that.

 

Here goes.

Atlanta BeltLine, public art, sculpture, overpass, North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Positive Challenge, civic improvements, Atlanta is getting better all the time, Nicole Brodeur

New sculpture on the BeltLine

DAY ONE OF THE POSITIVE CHALLENGE

  1. I’m grateful for awesome friends like you.
  2. Can I say something as simple as coffee? Because I’m drinking it right now and would be useless without it.
  3. 
The words, the words… always, the words.

 

DAY TWO OF THE POSITIVE CHALLENGE

  1. I was pleased to see new public art on the BeltLine overlooking North Avenue last night on my way home. Today I shared a photo of it here that Atlanta BeltLine put up. Yay. Love public art. Love the Atlanta BeltLine. Love civic improvement and community involvement.
  2. I reconnected with an old friend this week. Great to catch up. Hope I can see him again soon.
  3. I’m healthy. Everything works. No physical problems. And I’ve been sleeping great the last year, which was not the case for a long time. So: thankful for my health, every day.

DAY THREE OF THE POSITIVE CHALLENGE

  1. I love that my job is so close to my house. I can come home for lunch. In fact, I’m home for lunch right now. In the craziness of metro Atlanta traffic, this close proximity is no small blessing.
  1. I love cheat days. Not because I love to cheat so much (except for ice cream), but because it’s inevitable that at least one day a week will be chaotic or, yes, tempting, and the cheat-day concept is a nice reminder that it’s OK to be, you know, imperfect. Dadgummit.
  1. I’m grateful that today is my friend Tony’s 50th birthday and that my friend John, Tony’s partner, will be celebrating his 60th soon. Because I’d go crazy without them and, you know, I like nice round numbers like 50 and 60… which is why I’m staying 40 forever! Bah-da-bing!

DAY FOUR OF THE POSITIVE CHALLENGE

Something a little different today: Three pics from a great Sunday evening watching the Braves win (!!!) at Turner Field. Ya gotta believe in The Boys. Still, even this late…

Atlanta Braves, positive challenge, Turner Field, Braves leaving Atlanta for Cobb, Jay Croft, storycroft, Byron Whitt, Atlanta, friends at a baseball game

At a Braves game with my buddy Byron Whitt, enjoying Turner Field and its proximity IN THE CITY OF ATLANTA while we still can.

Atlanta Braves, Chris Johnson, Turner Field, best ass in baseball, best butt in baseball, sexiest baseball player, most handsome baseball player

My favorite Brave, Chris Johnson. OK, my baseball BF, right Trish Buswell? Chris, you can email me here on the blog. Or Facebook or Twitter. Or just wave next time you’re at bat, and I’ll know you’re thinking of me.

Nicole Brodeur, Seattle Times, Positive Choice, Jay Croft, Atlanta, Braves, ice cream, Turner Field

Ice cream + baseball = summertime bliss.

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