The Atlanta Braves have lightened the load on their players as the players will no longer shoulder the burden of carrying the screaming Indian logo, long considered insensitive by some.
The left shoulder patch, based on team mascot Chief Nokahoma, has been replaced by a new logo featuring a pair of crossed tomahawks, the words “Atlanta Braves” and the year “1876″ ( the team’s first in the National League) on the new-look uniforms.
The screaming Indian logo has been replaced in recent years by commemorative patches honoring deceased members of the Braves family. It just so happens that the new uniforms, which will be minus the tomahawk across the jersey front, are also lighter in weight.
Home run king Hank Aaron, 78, told MLB.com he likes the look and the feel.
“I think I could play a double-header in this,” said Aaron, who played in heavy wool uniforms during much of his career.
The Braves also plan to sport an alternative uniform for weekend home games, featuring cream-colored pants and tops for a nostalgic look.
Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann modeled the new uniforms Monday at Turner Field. It’s the team’s first new look in uniforms since 2005 when the Braves added alternate red jerseys. Atlanta will continue to wear the red for Friday night games.
“It’s nice to keep things fresh,” Jones told MLB.com. ” I think the guys really embrace any kind of subtle change, especially one this classy. It harkens back to the days when (Aaron) was terrorizing the big leagues. I’m proud to wear it.”
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla for extending his hitting streak to 29 games. He’s tied with Rowland Office for the second-longest streak in franchise history behind Rico Carty’s 31 in a row in 1970. During his 29-game hitting streak, Uggla has batted .354 (40-for-113), with 12 homers and a .717 slugging percentage. His batting average has risen to .220, which stands as his second-highest mark of the season. Uggla’s streak stands as the second-longest in the Majors this year behind the 30 game streak by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier.
Congratulations Dan Uggla you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
Now just 17 days left until Opening Day and it’s not on to the next one its onto second base. On Sports Grind Entertainment we don’t say keeping it real, we say keeping it 100. I have to got to keep it 100 and tell you that I’ve had terrible luck at my second base position the last few years. I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since 1989 when I found an add in local Washington DC baseball magazine, so it’s not like I’ve never had anything of value at that position. However, it’s been since 2006 when I had a hunch about a rookie named Dan Uggla that I did any real damage with my second baseman. I’m determined to change that around this season though.
If your little iffy on my rankings here, I wont blame you. We all know the cream of the crop is Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler, Philadelphia Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Boston Red Sox Dustin Pedroia buts lets go deeper.
Breakout Player: Kelly Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Johnson had a decent rookie campaign in 2005 but then experienced an elbow injury that forced him to miss all of the 2006 season and change up his position altogether. He exceeded all expectations in 2007 but as the years moved on Johnson slowly fail out of favor with the Atlanta Braves. Now Johnson is in Arizona surround by a lineup that doesn’t mind just swinging for the fence. Could that mentality wear on him come July or August I’m taking the guess it does and we will see him have a breakout year. He possesses good power for a middle infielder and those poor numbers he had in Atlanta last season can be blamed in part on a wrist injury and the unlucky .249 on balls in plays. The injury and low numbers should definitely keep him under the radar.
Sleeper Player: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
- Weeks went down with a wrist injury in May that required season-ending surgery that took its toll on the Brewers until they finally traded for Felipe Lopez in late July. At the time of the injury, he was hitting well and was challenging for the lead in homes runs. Lopez is gone and its back to being all Weeks at second base. He is a batting-average risk with middle of the road power, so don’t take him to early but not many will be thinking about Weeks because of the injury. An injury free season could return big dividends.
Risky Player: Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
- I know people will read Hills name as being risky and say I’m crazy or no wonder I’ve been doing terrible at this position the last few years but its players like Hill that have put me into that spot. I can’t argue Hills 36 home runs or his 108 RBI’s from last season, it even earned him a spot on the ALL-SGE-MLB Team. But in his previous four seasons Hills highest total of home runs was 17 and his career high in the RBI department was 72. Hill last season wasn’t putting the ball on the ground much which could explain his drop in batting average. Another explanation could be that he an abnormally high 17% of his fly balls went for home runs. I don’t expect Hill to reach the 30 home run mark this season and his home run/ fly ball ratio should regress back to a more normal rate of 10%. It these kind of numbers that make me believe that Hill is a good pickup just a risky to take early or for an above average amount of cash. Don’t spend more than $15.
Slipping Player: Freddy Sanchez, San Francisco Giants
- I can’t take the batting title away from Sanchez but that was four years and numerous injuries ago. Sanchez just signed a two year extension with the Giants, so they have hopes that he will return to being an everyday player once he has recovered from shoulder surgery. Even then he won’t do much for you except hit for a decent average.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the preview of the shortstop position.