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DO THE BRAVES REALLY SUCK THIS BAD?

Braves Bring Back LHP Kolby Allard

Braves Bring Back LHP Kolby Allard

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves today acquired LHP Kolby Allard from the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Jake Odorizzi and cash.

Allard, 25, split last season between Triple-A Round Rock and Texas, going 1-2 with a 7.29 ERA (17 ER/21.0 IP) in 10 games out of the Rangers’ bullpen. He was 3-3 with a 4.65 ERA (46 ER/89.0 IP) in 20 games, all starts, for Round Rock.

Originally drafted by Atlanta 14th overall in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of San Clemente High School (CA), Allard made his major league debut in 2018 with the Braves. The team dealt him to the Rangers in 2019 for RHP Chris Martin, and he spent the last four seasons with Texas.

Odorizzi, 32, went 6-6 with a 4.40 ERA (52 ER/106.1 IP) in 22 games, all starts, for the Astros and Braves last season. 

Atlanta Braves Announce 2023 Spring Training Schedule

Atlanta Braves Announce 2023 Spring Training Schedule

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball today announced the club’s 2023 spring training schedule. The 2023 spring season will mark Atlanta’s fourth at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla., and will feature 16 home games at the facility. Atlanta’s 32-game exhibition slate will begin on Saturday, February 25, with a home game against the Boston Red Sox.

Ronald Acuna Jr. takes a break from batting practice during the 2022 Spring Training season.
PHOTO: J. Petrini, 680 The Fan

Atlanta will host 11 different major league teams at CoolToday Park, including three games against the Boston Red Sox and two games each against the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays. The Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays will make one visit each to North Port. Additionally, on March 8, the Braves are scheduled to compete against a team participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Further details, including the opponent, will be announced at a later date.

Atlanta will conclude its spring schedule at JetBlue Park against the Red Sox on March 28, before opening the 2023 regular season on the road against the Washington Nationals on March 30. 

              Season tickets and group sales for the 2023 spring season are now available, and individual game tickets will go on sale at a date yet to be determined. A-List and Beach Club Members will receive the first opportunity to purchase individual game tickets. To book a group or purchase season tickets, please contact a group sales representative at 941-413-5004 or SpringTraining@Braves.com.

              The Braves’ full spring schedule is attached, and is subject to change.

Atlanta Braves World Champions Trophy Tour Presented by Truist

Atlanta Braves World Champions Trophy Tour Presented by Truist

UPDATED SCHEDULE

ATLANTA (UPDATED March 30, 2022) – The Atlanta Braves continue to add scheduled stops to their World Champions Trophy Tour Presented by Truist. The 2021 World Series Trophy is underway and will continue to travel throughout Braves Country through Summer 2022 with a total of 151 stops, commemorating 151 years of Braves baseball. Stops will include the opportunity for fans to take photos with the trophy, as well as programming by the Braves entertainment teams, alumni, and more at select locations.

Confirmed tour stops include:  

* Venue ticket required for entry 

Date Time City/StateLocation/Event
March 304 – 7 p.m. CSTTroy, AL
Trojan Arena
April 15 – 8 p.m. CSTTuscaloosa, ALSewell-Thomas Stadium – University of Alabama Baseball Game*
April 21 -4 p.m. CSTBirmingham, ALUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham Baseball at Jerry D. Young Memorial Baseball Field*
April 32 – 5 p.m. CSTBirmingham, ALCrossPlex/Bill Harris Arena
April 5 2 – 6 p.m.Evans, GA Evans Town Center Park
April 74 – 7 p.m.Elberton, GAElbert County Comprehensive High School Softball Field
April 91 – 5 p.m.Madison, GAMadison Town Park
April 102 – 5 p.m.Peachtree City, GAPeachtree City Visitors Center
April 12 5 – 9 p.m.Lawrenceville, GA Coolray Field – Gwinnett Stripers Home Opener*
April 135:30 – 9:30 p.m.Rome, GA State Mutual Stadium – Rome Braves Opening Homestand*
April 15 4 pm- 7 pmCairo, GA Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club
April 16TBDAthens, GASanford Stadium – UGA Spring Football Game*
April 16TBDAthens, GAFoley Field – UGA Baseball Game*
April 194 – 8 p.m.Aiken, SCAcademy Sports + Outdoors – 321 Fabian Drive, Aiken, SC 29803
April 204 – 7 p.m.Columbia, SCCarolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field – University of South Carolina Softball Game
April 21 5 – 8 p.m.Thomson, GA Thomson Depot
April 225:30 – 9:30 p.m.North Augusta, SC Augusta GreenJackets Baseball Game*
April 2312 – 3 p.m.Vidalia, GAVidalia Onion Festival*
April 26 12 – 3 p.m. CSTNashville, TN Country Music Hall of Fame
April 264 p.m. – 8 p.m. CSTNashville, TN Bridgestone Arena – Nashville Predators Game*
April 293:30 – 7:30 p.m. CSTNashville, TNHawkins Field – Vanderbilt University Baseball Game*
April 30 12 – 3 p.m. CSTFranklin, TNAcademy Sports + Outdoors – 1915 Mallory Lane, Franklin, TN 37067
May 65:15 – 9:15 p.m. CSTPearl, MS Trustmark Park – Mississippi Braves Game*
May 7TBDStarkville, MS Dudy Noble Field – Mississippi State Baseball Game*
May 8 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CSTOxford, MS Swayze Field – Ole Miss Baseball Game*
May 115 – 8 p.m. CSTHattiesburg, MSPete Taylor Park – Southern Mississippi Baseball Game*
May 145 – 9 p.m.Tallahassee, FLDick Howser Stadium – Florida State University Baseball Game*
June 36 – 9 p.m.Chattanooga, TNMiller Park – Nightfall Concert Series
June 42 – 6 p.m.Chattanooga, TNRiverbend Music Festival*
June 51 – 4 p.m.Ooltewah, TNCambridge Square
June 2512 – 3 p.m. CSTAlbertville, ALSand Mountain Park and Amphitheatre
July 9TBDAlpharetta, GABraves Country Battles Tournament Championship
August 6 3 – 6 p.m.LaGrange, GASweetland Amphitheater 

Additional tour stops will be announced at a later date. Visit www.Braves.com/TrophyTour for additional details for each stop and to register to be a Braves Insider to receive communications about stops near you. 

Braves Champions Week Starts April 7.

Braves Champions Week Starts April 7.

Brian Snitker raises the Commissioner’s Trophy at Minute Maid Park after the Braves defeated the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series.
As the Braves are tuning up for a title defense down in North Port, Truist Park is getting ready for the season with a kick off party that will rival the parade! Braves Champions Week starts with Opening Day on Thursday, April 7.

In addition to the exciting traditions and regalia of Opening Day, they will also be hosting several special celebrations in honor of our World Series title throughout the first homestand. Here’s a look at how the Braves will celebrate Braves Champions Week:

Thursday, April 7 – Opening Day – World Series Pennant Unveiling

Friday, April 8 – 2021 Award Winners Recognition

Saturday, April 9 – World Series Ring Ceremony

Sunday, April 10 – Kids Run the Bases, presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with a complimentary World Series Championship edition of ‘I Ran the Bases at Truist Park’ t-shirt

Monday, April 11 – World Series Replica Ring Giveaway, presented by Truist (first 40,000 fans)

Wednesday April 13 – Champions Day – UGA National Championship Recognition (pregame); World Series Championship Koozie Giveaway, presented by Visit SarasotaWe have other celebrations planned throughout the season and we look forward to creating more memories with your family and friends. 

We cannot wait to hear the crack of the bat once again and to see you at Truist Park in 2022.
Kevin McAlpin: The Braves acquire A’s 1st Baseman Matt Olson ending the Freddie Freeman era in Atlanta

Kevin McAlpin: The Braves acquire A’s 1st Baseman Matt Olson ending the Freddie Freeman era in Atlanta

March 3, 2022
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA
In a blockbuster trade, the Atlanta Braves acquired Oakland Athletics 1st baseman, Matt Olson, essentially ending the Freddie Freeman era in Atlanta. Our Braves Truist Reporter, Kevin McAlpin, gives his reaction.

How sweet it is! Braves are WORLD CHAMPS! – BY BUCK BELUE

How sweet it is! Braves are WORLD CHAMPS! – BY BUCK BELUE

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker celebrates the team’s victory during a victory parade, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. The Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6 on Tuesday to win their first World Series baseball title in 26 years. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

November 11, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA –
The Braves World Championship Parade was amazing! The players were both surprised and thrilled with the number of Braves fans that lined the streets of this great city to show their appreciation for bringing us all another title.

A new generation of Braves fans is now on fire for this organization. It’s great to see. This is a ride they won’t ever forget.

After all, this team didn’t even have a winning record until August 8th. Then, the run through the World Series kept us all plugged in. Since August 8th, no team in MLB played at the level our Braves did! Our team went a 43-22, after finally getting over the .500 mark.

Max Fried stepped up his game and the team went 13-3 in his starts, since that August 8th date. Can you say “Ace?” That’s what Max was down the stretch and it was fitting that he was on the mound for the World Series clinching game in Houston.

Atlanta Braves players celebrate the team’s victory during a victory parade, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. The Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6 on Tuesday to win their first World Series baseball title in 26 years. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Our MVP Freddie Freeman was hitting .230 to start June, but absolutely took over the rest of the way. He went on a magic carpet ride! Hit .371 in July and just abused pitching the rest of the way! In August, September & October, Freddie hit .320 and was a difference-maker come postseason time. That’s just what you expect out of your star player.

My lasting memory of Freeman in the postseason will be his game-winning, series-clinching homerun off MLB’s best closer, Josh Hader! Talk about amazing!

What made it fun for the fans was the fact that there were so many players that elevated their play and made a difference! Soler & Rosario will always be remembered in Atlanta, regardless of where they go from here. Joc Pederson & Adam Duvall were both outstanding after arriving in trades. Braves fans will be forever grateful!

After Ronald Acuna, Jr. went down injured, Ozzie Albies jump-started this team and brought the energy every single day. He hit 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the line-up. He played a gold glove 2nd base. He ran the bases like a man on a motorcycle! Fans will always cherish Ozzie!

Basaeball fans cheer ahead of a victory parade, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. The Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6 on Tuesday to win their first World Series baseball title in 26 years. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

My man, Austin Riley stepped up and had a breakout season at third base! He hit 30+ bombs and played the hot corner like an All-Star.

Charlie Morton was fantastic. d’Arnaud was a rock behind the plate. Dansby Swanson was clutch. Ian Anderson was untouchable.

The Braves Bullpen was just amazing in the postseason. Will Smith had to fight through some adversity during the season but did not allow a run in the postseason run. Matzek was lights out. Luke Jackson & AJ Minter got high-leverage outs in crunch time!

This entire Braves team gave us fans a ride we will never forget!

And thank you Brian Snitker for leading the way!

It was magical. Special. Thrilling. A season we all will cherish!

Buck Belue
Host of The Buck Belue Show
Weekdays at 10AM on 680 The Fan

FROM A GUY WHO WASN’T “SERIOUS ENOUGH” TO “TEAM LEADER” – BY KEVIN MCALPIN

FROM A GUY WHO WASN’T “SERIOUS ENOUGH” TO “TEAM LEADER” – BY KEVIN MCALPIN

freddie freeman, atlanta braves
FILE – In this Oct. 13, 2020, file photo, Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman watches his two-run home run during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the baseball team’s NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Arlington, Texas. Freeman easily won the NL MVP award Thursday, Nov. 12, topping off a trying year that saw him become so ill with COVID-19 he prayed “please don’t take me.” (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)


April 9, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Over the last 11 years, Braves fans have been spoiled, having a chance to watch the career of Freddie Freeman evolve into the player he is today.

While the 2020 season was his most memorable to this point, Freddie has proven to be one of the most consistent players in Major League Baseball. While superstars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and others usually are the ones on the covers of video games and magazines, Freddie Freeman deserves to be right there with them.

Originally a second round pick of the Braves in the 2007 Draft out of El Modena High School in Southern California, the now 31 year old first baseman is a four time All-Star, two time recipient of the Silver Slugger Award, a 2018 Gold Glove Award winner and this past season, Freddie took home the ultimate personal award as he was named National League Most Valuable Player.

While all those individual accomplishments are great, there’s one thing missing from his trophy case that his mentor Chipper reminded him about at the start of Spring Training.

Freddie spoke on a brief exchange he had with Jones saying, “I was talking to Chipper today and he said, ‘You’ve got every award now, but you’re still missing one thing.’

Yup, I know and I’m coming for it,’” Freeman replied.

This was in reference to Chipper still having Freddie beat in the World Series ring department.

While some players relish in the personal accolades, that’s not good enough for the Braves first baseman. “I have one goal, and that’s to win the World Series” Freddie declared in early March.

Let’s jump back to the MVP thing for just a second.

Winning one brings you, as Brian Snitker often says, “instant credibility”. It’s what he referred to when the Braves brought in Josh Donaldson in 2019 and the clout referenced to former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel when he was added midseason a couple years ago.

Earning the Most Valuable Player Award is a big deal, and Freeman joined some pretty exclusive company in 2020, becoming the first Brave to take home the award since Chipper Jones in 1999. The only other players in franchise history to earn such an honor were Terry Pendleton (1991), Dale Murphy (1982, 1983), Hank Aaron (1957), Robert Elliott (1947) and Johnny Evers (1914).

Of course the MVP Award is mostly based on offensive statistics, but I still believe Freddie is an underrated defensive first baseman.

With guys like Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo and others in the NL, his defense was often overlooked, but in my opinion, nobody makes a 3-6-3 double play look easier than Freddie Freeman. His ability to do the splits, stretches and lunges as saved countless errors from his infielders over the years, something his teammates often point out when asked.

I remember a conversation I had with Andrelton Simmons years ago, and even back then, he credited Freeman with saving a few errant throws that he didn’t think many other first baseman could get to.

A couple years ago I did a segment on MLB Network, asking who I thought would be the next Braves player elected to the Hall of Fame. Obviously, it’s extremely difficult to project, but the organization had gone through quite a run with the likes of Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz, Chipper, Bobby and John Schuerholz. After a moment of consideration, the answer was clear. I don’t know what the next decade will hold for Freeman, but up to this point he’s certainly among elite company who have already found their homes in Cooperstown. Baseball-Reference has him listed with Eddie Murray and Carl Yastrzemski as the most similar batters at this point in their respective careers with Eddie Murray appearing to be the closest comparison by age.

Will Freeman’s career continue to evolve into one that could land him in baseball’s most exclusive club someday? Braves fans hope they’ll have an opportunity to see that career from start to finish with an induction ceremony for Freddie in Cooperstown as the finale.

No matter how things end up, there’s no question Freddie Freeman is an elite player. He’s become one of the “faces of the game” and should continue to be on that level for a long, long time to come.

This is not what you should expect from the 2021 Braves – BY KEVIN MCALPIN

This is not what you should expect from the 2021 Braves – BY KEVIN MCALPIN

atlanta braves, travis d'arnaud
Atlanta Braves Travis d’Arnaud (16) follows through on a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)


680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – No, the sky is not falling. No, the season is not over. No, this is not what you should expect from the 2021 Braves. Obviously, the new year didn’t get off to the start that anyone had hoped for, being swept out of Philly and held to just three total runs in the first three games. But the Braves have proven to be a resilient team. This group has always found a way to fight through adversity and move forward, not dwelling on a tough series. There’s 159 games to go. And remember what happened at the start of the 2019 season? That’s right, the Braves were blown out of Philadelphia, swept to start the regular season. Know how that year ended? That’s right, with the Braves winning 97 games en route to an NL East title. Meanwhile, the Phillies finished at .500 on the nose, going 81-81 during the 2019 season.

When you play 162 games, of course there will be series and weeks like the Braves went through. But remember, three games does not a season make. Does anyone really think the top four in the order will continue their collective struggles? I don’t. The manager doesn’t. Heck, the players don’t. Trust the back of the baseball card, and don’t base your opinion on a team or season on one series. Sure, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the numbers, especially the strikeout totals (35) for the first series. But at the end of the day, tip the cap to Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin and the Phillies bullpen. They were terrific. It happens.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t all doom and gloom from a Braves perspective this weekend. The rotation did their job. Max Fried admittedly didn’t have his plus stuff. But all told, if that’s his “C” stuff, you’d take that every fifth day. Charlie Morton was cruising through four, but the Phillies made him pay for a couple mistakes with two outs in the fifth on Saturday. And Ian Anderson, while the pitch count got up in a hurry, battled his way through five innings, limiting the damage to just one run. Ultimately, the Braves didn’t hit. The Phillies really didn’t either, but managed just enough to walk away with the sweep. Remember, it’s three games. Three of 162. This Braves bunch will be just fine.

Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.

ozuna sm

When it comes to Spring Training, statistics can be deceiving

FILE – In this Aug. 16, 2020, file photo, Atlanta Braves’ Marcell Ozuna watches his single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Miami. The Braves are bringing back Ozuna, signing the slugger to a $65 million, four-year contract. The Braves announced the deal for the 2020 NL home run and RBI leader Friday night, Feb. 5, less than two weeks before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The deal includes a fifth-year club option for $16 million with a $1 million buyout. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)


March 15, 2021 –
BY KEVIN MCALPIN
680THEFAN, ATLANTA – When it comes to Spring Training, often times statistics can be deceiving. Some players put up monster numbers, make clubs, and it never translates to the regular season. Others scuffle in March and put up MVP type numbers when it really counts. The latter was the case for Marcell Ozuna in 2020. Ozuna, in his first season with the Braves, as he was just 3-for-28 with 14 strikeouts in the abbreviated Spring session. And throughout the first few weeks of Spring Training 2021, Ozuna is once again off to a slow start, hitting just .125 over eight Grapefruit League contests. So, is anyone in the Braves clubhouse really worried about Ozuna?

“He’s one you don’t worry about” skipper Brian Snitker said over the weekend. “When the lights come on and that thing gets real, so will he” Snitker added. Ozuna is entering the first year of his four year deal that he inked in early February and is coming off a season that saw him enter the final game of the regular season with a chance at a Triple Crown. His 18 homers and 56 RBI were both tops in the National League and his bat provided ample insurance as Freddie Freeman cruised to an MVP award. 

So, is anyone really still worried about Marcell Ozuna’s slow start? If his teammates and manager aren’t, i will follow suit and trust the back of the baseball card. A lifetime .276 hitter with a career .801 OPS, Ozuna has averaged 27 homers and 97 RBI in each of his first eight Big League seasons. Remember, he had a slow spring and summer camp last year. And things turned out just fine for the Braves left fielder. 

Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and @BravesRadioNet

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