Atlanta Braves fans rise up to defend their own! Justin Upton might be outfielder non grata in Washington, but he can take heart his aficionados will defend his right to not try. Also? Team die-hards are determined to shrug off Turner Field's torching of Old Glory this week .
After the soon-to-be Cobb County Braves accidentally lit a giant American flag on fire with some ill-placed fireworks, the Internet lit up, too , including photos and snarky comments about the Braves' patriotic conflagration. This included Roll Call After Dark, an unabashed Washington Nationals fan, who also took the opportunity to needle the Braves and their left fielder for an on-field foible that, while within the rules, was just kind of wimpy and an overly technocratic reading of the rules.
In an email received shortly after After Dark's post went live with the subject line "Justin Upton and the Braves," one reader stated: "Your comment about flag burning is a little sensational. You obviously know this was unintentional so I can't understand what you intend to stir up. Justin Upton was utilizing the rules of the game to benefit his team. This is nothing different than what any player should do."
Fair enough! Although I thought a headline that was an homage to "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," one of cinema's great satires, set the tone, I understand not everyone wants to joke around about such serious things as baseball.
And yes, Upton was utilizing the rules. But when the Nats' Kevin Frandsen was faced with a nearly identical situation two days later in left field, he — drum roll please — picked up the ball and threw it to the cut-off man. It's a game. Play it, don't litigate it!
Other correspondence went right for the disagreeable. In an email with the subject line: "While we are wasting each other's time reading ....." another reader showed he was none too amused:
"Unfortunately I just finishing reading your.....uh I guess it we would be considered an article, The burning of Atlanta. The next time you feel the need to have a third grade write for you, perhaps you should inform him to explain himself a little better. The title states "....Atlanta stops caring and torches old glory." Stops caring about what? Also, with the Justin Upton reference, way to stay on subject. If I had not seen the gaffe in left field to which you are referring, I would have no clue what the hell you were talking about. Perhaps an explanation if you're going to make such an accusation? And after reading this 4 sentence, off base, (pun intended), uninformative waste of internet space you call an article, its obvious YOU do not know what the hell your talking about either....Dick."
Thank you for your support! For the record, I would never consider the post an article. That's the beauty of a blog!
As far as asking "a third grade," I didn't know this was possible! If readers have any particular third-grade classes in mind that'd like to do a little freelance work for Roll Call, let us know! We're always on the lookout for young talent.
Regarding the title, it doesn't state that Atlanta stopped "caring." It stated that Atlanta had stopped "worrying." It's slightly different, and please see the "Dr. Strangelove" section above.
In response to the "Perhaps an explanation" about the incident criticism, I'd refer the reader to the Internet. It's a helpful tool, particularly its ability to insert links to other sources of information that enable a blogger to forgo needlessly wordy explanations. That's a good thing!
And finally, regarding "its obvious YOU do not know what the hell your talking about either ....Dick," the reader is absolutely right! People have been telling me that for years, most prominently my ex-wife!
I do, however, know the difference between "its" and "it's," and between "your" and "you're."
In closing, I'd like to just say, the Nationals have never burned the American flag at a home game, our left fielders field balls hit to them and we can all chill by listening to the smooth jazz of Kenny G play the "Star Spangled Banner."