There have not been many new stadiums around Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves are among one of few teams. They are now playing at a new field, SunTrust Park.
Atlanta just opened up a special new chapter with the stadium. In Friday night’s opener, they celebrated in a few different ways. A fly over by a few U.S. Navy jets during the National Anthem may have been enough to kick off their opening against the Padres, but the Braves did not stop there.
There were a few special guests for the Braves. Some former Atlanta Braves greats resurfaced during the first pitch including slugger Hank Aaron and Bobby Cox, according to New York Daily News. The 83-year-old, Aaron needed a cane to walk on the field, and then proceeded to toss an underhand pitch to Cox, who was the former Braves manager.
It was a special tribute to the former Braves legends. Cox just had a new bronze statue unveiled at an entrance to the stadium on Thursday. It was the Braves’ game before it even started. They may have been happy of the end result of the game as well.
Atlanta was able to finish out on top, handing the San Diego Padres their sixth loss of the game, as they defeated them 2-5. They left the Padres to three runs unanswered for. There could be more where that came from ahead for the Braves.
As the Braves team readjusts to a new field, and break it in a little bit, there may be an added pressure on the team to perform well this season. Atlanta has fell victim to losing seasons in the past. Just last year was one of them. While the Nationals led the NL East with 95 wins on the season at the top of the standings, it was a different case for the Braves.
They were on the opposite end of the division, as the last place team, going 68-93 on the year. When it comes to this season, they want a better result. They want to finish the year as a winning team, especially since it is their first year in the new stadium. Atlanta may want to start their first year correctly.
So far the Braves are not off to the hottest start. They are a losing team, as they go 3-6. On the bright side, they are not last place, the Phillies are, who are going 3-7. In addition to that, the season is just beginning. They have only played nine games, Atlanta has time to flip their record to a winning one.
Starting off the year by playing catch up may not have been their game-plan for their 2017 season. Today the Braves will be playing their second game of a three-game series against the Padres. They will be aiming for their third consecutive victory.
Can the Atlanta Braves make their first season at their new stadium a winning one? Will the Braves make a postseason appearance? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary By Cody Macleod