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Opening Day In Atlanta

On July 4, 1985, the Atlanta Braves played the New York Mets. Fireworks were scheduled for after the game. This was all fine, until two rain delays interrupted the action. And then, neither the Braves nor Mets could end it. The game went into extra innings. Both teams scored a pair in the 13th. In the 18th, the Mets took a 10-9 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 18th, Atlanta pitcher Rick Camp -- who had never homered before -- went deep to tie the game. Only in the 19th did the Mets finally take the lead for good. By then, it was about 4 a.m... on July 5.

And still, Atlanta launched the fireworks.

According to team lore, many concerned nearby residents called the police, fearing some sort of attack.

I mention all this only because the "Rick Camp Game" stands, even today, as the reason behind the Braves' team policy: If a game goes past midnight, the fireworks show ain't happening.

For the Braves, this is the home opener. Fireworks are scheduled for after the game. Some kind of rain -- maybe a thunderstorm -- is scheduled to roll through during the evening. We'll have to keep an eye on what happens. Right now, the skies are overcast, somewhat ominous, but there's no rain. Hall of Fame broadcaster Pete Van Wieren will throw out the first pitch. Pilots from the Vance Air Force Base will perform a flyover after that. If you're keeping score at home, this is the Nats' second flyover of the season.

Now, some baseball notes. Op


*

The Nationals are currently without their two foremost second baseman. One, Ronnie Belliard, should return within a few days. The other, Anderson Hernandez, still might need a few more days before he can even begin a rehab assignment. Belliard, who traveled with the team to Atlanta, is day-to-day with back problems, but said today that "a couple more days, it's gonna be alright."

Hernandez is on the disabled list retroactive to March 27 because of a strained left hamstring. The would-be starter is making progress -- today, in Viera, Fla., he played five innings of an intrasquad game, tripling in one of his two at bats -- but is not yet ready to play a full game. Once he can play seven or nine innings, Manager Manny Acta said, Hernandez will begin a rehab assignment.

*

Elijah Dukes gets the start in right tonight. One reason: Austin Kearns is 2-for-17 lifetime against Derek Lowe. One of those hits, however, is a home run.

*

As teammates, Steven Shell and Nick Adenhart only spent part of one season together. That was back in 2007, as members of the Class AA Arkansas Travelers. Adenhart was 20, one of the Los Angeles Angels' premier prospects. Shell, then 24, was months away from becoming a minor league free agent and restarting his career with the Washington Nationals.

But despite their differing trajectories, the two became friends. They talked every day.

"He pitched kind of like his personality, believe it or not," Shell said. "Just how smooth he is. He had a nice, easy arm."

On Thursday morning, Shell received a call from his mother. That's how he heard of Adenhart's death, the result of a hit-and-run, just hours after the 22-year-old had made his season debut for the Angels.

Since then, Shell has struggled to make sense of what happened.

"I was thinking about it all day yesterday," said Shell, drafted by the Angels in 2001. "Just sitting there watching it on the news. There he was pitching the night before -- it's almost unreal."

By Chico Harlan  |  April 10, 2009; 7:16 PM ET
 
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Next: A Signing And A Delay

Comments

Don't the Nationals have a similar policy on late night fireworks?

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

And a carryover post:

I can tell you that the team made sure to subtly suggest to my firm not to try getting out of the contract (which we had never even considered!). They mentioned that they were enlisting a collections firm and considering litigious options for some of their clients. I think they knew what they'd be facing in this economy and decided to call all their patrons to remind them of the binding seat licenses.

As for the food, it was at least "gourmet" by ballpark standards. Apparently their chef was previously employed at the Ritz Carlton, so they did try to make it special. I probably ate in the club 40-50 times last season and noticed a decent variety of options. We'll know soon enough though what this year brings.

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Well said Alex, but I think they are having trouble with those as well. Contracts can be voided when one side doesn't hold up there end. For example "Gourmet buffet" was included in the wording of the contract - it most certainly was not!

Posted by: anyone1 | April 10, 2009 11:02 AM

-----------------------

Just to catch up on the discussion about season tickets, try being locked into a 7-year contract for 4 presidential seats. Talk about bad timing. So even if 20% cancel their tickets, the economic collapse doesn't mean the team's not still getting paid from its most lucrative sales.

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 12:19 AM

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Milledge fans, at least after working the count full. Guzzie slaps a single. Zimmerman Ks.

Posted by: tmp2234 | April 10, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Benda Knee" down on a called third strike!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 10, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Face of the Franchise continues to be faceless, two strike outs for DLOWE

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 10, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

DLOW strikes out the side, oh brother!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 10, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Did Bob Carpenter just point out the empty seats at Turner Field? Is he going to do that for every Nationals home game? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. That took some serious gumption!

Posted by: mjwies11 | April 10, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that even after multiple internet files scrubs, I can only receive the ATL feed on mlb.com? Charlie & Dave are broadcasting & are listed as "live" on the selector, but when I select that feed, it defaults to Sutton & some other yutz. G-RRRR-R!

Posted by: BinM | April 10, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Woot! Elijah Dukes breaks up the all-Lowe-all-strikeout game!

Posted by: swang30 | April 10, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Lots of empty seats there in Atlanta for a home opener. If Stan Kasten was still there, he'd at least have invited down a bunch of Phillies fans to fill the place up.

Posted by: RickDotSalt | April 10, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I've got Charlie and Dave on MLB audio, not sure what the problem is for you BinM.

Pretty bad that I have to pay to listen to the local team seeing that FED is in a dead zone south of Woodbridge

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 10, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

OUCH! That one hurt a lot. I can't imagine that something's not broken there.

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow... Charlie and Dave are BLASTING LM for not scoring on Zim's double!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Definitely should have gotten more out of that inning...

Posted by: Cavalier83 | April 10, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Got lots of problems scoring with RISP? No one can hit..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

On TV, they said it was a ground rule double. Runner on first (Milledge) is only allowed two bases.

Posted by: RickDotSalt | April 10, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I'm having an unrelated, yet similar problem. I have a free preview of Extra Innings, but the Nats game just won't show.

Still, Charlie and Dave are more than adequate. And they are really laying into Milledge for not scoring.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 10, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I really don't see why. He was tagging from second on a deep fly to right field. That's a pretty standard play.

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Wow... Charlie and Dave are BLASTING LM for not scoring on Zim's double!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:13 PM

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

If you're in the area the Extra Innings coverage is subject to blackout - as is MLB.tv.

MLB.com audio is still under a free preview for those who can't hear our wonderful WFED broadcast signal.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

They were wrong. It was not a ground rule double. Milledge went from second to third because he was planning to tagup on a fly ball to right. It was the right thing to do and I really don't see why they're on him for it.

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Paraphrasing - he should have been halfway not tagging up; basic baserunning; not supposed to have to learn that at the big league level.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. This is starting to get repetative.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Now 3-1 Braves. This will be an uphill battle now. No way we will score 2 runs.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Why not, we've scored at least 3 runs in every regular season game this year.

Posted by: swang30 | April 10, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

This season is gonna be the same as last year, I want to see some GOOD baseball..

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I love routine flyballs drop in for doubles.

Posted by: danp3111 | April 10, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

i cant find charlie and dave, either on the radio (could be bad reception here in very northern va) or online.

need help. carpenter eating into brain.

thanks!

(i still like shairon martis here, in the 3rd, they forced him to pitch the terrible atl ss on that one pitch)

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

swang30: 3 runs! :D What an accomplishment... well it is for this team.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

How do you know it wasn't a ground rule double?

Posted by: RickDotSalt | April 10, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/

Click on the WFED link. You need to register on MLB.com to access. It's a free preview right now.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Because I'm watching the game. But if you need empirical evidence, Milledge went from second to third. If it was a GRD, he would have been granted home plate.

------------------------------

How do you know it wasn't a ground rule double?

Posted by: RickDotSalt | April 10, 2009 8:33 PM

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 10, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Rain delay

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Rain Delay. So much for Martis's outing. Expect to see Tavarez when the game resumes.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

thanks rickety cricket

i dont like going to mlb.com anymore cause its so loaded down with nonsense, my cornputer almost crashes. but to avoid carpenter brain ant invasion it might be worth risking...

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It makes me jealous that the Orioles are off to a great start. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah... MLB.com is the only legit place you can listen online - you know... licensing and all.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 10, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

even on ground rule double, lastings was on second. he could have made it home. ball hit the scoreboard, came into play. lastings stopped at second, he probably went back to tag up (as it looked like it might get caught). that is sloppy play. he could have waited a bit at the beginning and been home easily.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

oops sorry, lastings stopped at third. from second, on a double off the scoreboard. the pitcher scored easily from 3rd (yay, shairon, nice R)

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

rache216

dont be too jealous of O's. they have similar problems (pitching) and a tough division too. less of a chance than nats possibly, even over 3-5 year window.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

malcolmyoung1: But they're able to score runs. We can't score runs or get the pitching we need.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Was Listach waving Milledge around or did he hold him?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 10, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

rachel216

all the more frustrating for them.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 10, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

great play. dukes direct throw to flores.

braves runner out at home.

great play!

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | April 11, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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