October 6, 2012
The Atlanta Braves lost the glorified play-in game (NL Wild Card game) to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Friday night in Atlanta. The game was marred by controversy due to a bad call by the umpires on an “infield fly” in the bottom of the 8th inning. The call threw a wrench into a potential rally by the Braves, who would have had bases loaded with 1 out. Instead the Braves had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would request a protest after the call, which was quickly dismissed by MLB officials. We all know how it is with umpires or referees in sports. They are going to make bad calls, sometimes more often than not. While this infield fly call was horrible, it’s not the reason why the Braves lost. The Braves did commit three errors and blow an early 2-0 lead. Obviously, the call is what everyone wants to talk about, but I want to focus on the reaction by the fans at the game. Anyone who watched the game saw how charged up the crowd at Turner Field was, and it made for a great atmosphere. Sometimes those emotions can bubble up negatively, and the right (or wrong) circumstance can cause those emotions to bubble over. After that blown call, fans proceeded to throw dozens of beer cans, bottles, food, and whatever else onto the field. The crowd was very upset, and understandably so, but there is a way to conduct yourself and handle the situation with class. What some of the Braves fans did last night displayed anything but class. In fact, it was downright classless. If you want to boo or let your comments be heard, that’s one thing. When you start throwing objects on the field of play, that’s when you cross the line. Not only do those actions make you look bad, you put innocent people in danger of getting injured. You could hurt one of the players, one of the other fans, or worse of all, a small child. I’m not going to say the whole city of Atlanta has a bad fan base because of the actions of a few rowdy patrons, but this was a horrible display for the nation to see. I’ve been to a Braves game and I’ve seen these fans in action. They are some of the most loyal fans you’ll ever see (the game I went to was 18-inning affair). I believe this incident doesn’t reflect on the whole city, but you can’t have these things happen. A wise person always says to me you find out what a person is all about when that person goes through a period of adversity, or when things don’t necessarily go the way they want it to or think it should. If Friday night was any indication, those people who let their emotions boil over would receive a failing grade in that department. I always say expect the refs or umps to miss some calls. As fans I think we’ve seen more that enough evidence to believe officials will mess up. At the end of the day Braves fans, it’s still on the team to take care of business. Maybe that’s what the fans should be the most frustrated about.
By Charles Taylor