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Friday, October 29, 2021

Passan:  It’s past time for the Atlanta Braves to move on from the chop

Even if we were to accept Manfred’s supposition that local tribes approved of the chop, the notion that only tribes within a three-hour radius of Atlanta are worth listening to is specious when the game is being broadcast to a national audience. Two years ago, longtime Muscogee (Creek) Nation chief James R. Floyd said the chant “reduces Native Americans to a caricature.”

Floyd’s voice is important, even though he’s not part of a nearby tribe, because once upon a time he would’ve been. There are 574 federally recognized indigenous tribes. None exist in Georgia. A particularly loathsome part of the Braves’ insistence on keeping the chop and the league’s support is the repugnant treatment of American Indians in Georgia. Thousands of Creek had their land in Georgia stolen during the early 1830s. Five years later, more than 16,000 Cherokee were forcibly removed from Georgia and banished to the Trail of Tears, the nine-state, 1,200-mile walk to their new land in Oklahoma. Thousands died….

At least Manfred was telling the truth about one thing. The end of the story is coming. That noise you hear this week emanating from Truist Park will sound like the tomahawk chop, but in reality it will mark the beginning of its death rattle. The chop is not long for Atlanta, and, with any luck, not long for the sporting world.

Come on, guys. It’s 2021. Let’s move on. Find something else.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 29, 2021 at 10:29 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, tomahawk chop

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   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 29, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6049897)
Move the Braves to Colorado and call them the Rockies. (What? Really? OK, never mind...)
   2. The Duke Posted: October 29, 2021 at 11:37 PM (#6050019)
It’s cool to be sensitive now but in no world that we can envision would a bunch of heavily armed settlers not run out the unarmed people living there. That’s just life. Using it as a discussion point now seems silly. Having said that, there’s no reason to use Indian names as mascots or use their sovereign names in team names anymore.

The Chinese have just shown the world that they are light years ahead of us on missile technology - We are essentially defenseless against attacks now. I half expect Biden to hand the keys over to them soon at which point we will be herded onto reservations as well.
   3. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:11 AM (#6050024)
Dumb and Dumber getting this thread off to a great start.
   4. Itchy Row Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:54 AM (#6050026)
It seemed racist in 1991, but I assumed it was racist in an ironic way, like how grunge was too cool for me.
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: October 30, 2021 at 07:09 AM (#6050033)
Passan chop?
   6. DL from MN Posted: October 30, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6050038)
Move the Braves to Colorado


I thought the article was suggesting Oklahoma City.
   7. Snowboy Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6050061)
"Professor, would you say that the Braves fanbase is sub-human, suspended somewhere between knuckle-dragging neanderthal and primordial goo, and that we should move their team to Oklahoma City and force them to march there, like some slurry with the fringe on top?"

"Yes I would, Kent."
   8. bookbook Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6050062)
It’s so obvious that it’s boring to note that the Atlanta team name and racist cheer should be changed.
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 30, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6050063)
It’s so obvious that it’s boring to note that the Atlanta team name and racist cheer should be changed.

Whereas nobody on this site ever discusses the problem with bad ball/strike calls. What's with that?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6050078)
It’s cool to be sensitive now but in no world that we can envision would a bunch of heavily armed settlers not run out the unarmed people living there.

The American Indians were far from unarmed, and had been waging vicious wars with each other forever. Much of the earliest trade and diplomacy among Europeans and Indians was the later seeking weapons and allies to fight their traditional enemies. Just like Hernan Cortes had 100,000 warriors from rival tribes with him when he defeated the Aztecs, almost every "Indian War" had Indians fighting on both sides.

Not to mention, most of the "running out" was done by infectious diseases that the Europeans couldn't have stopped spreading if they wanted to. The early Massachusetts colonies were founded on land literally abandoned by tribes that had lost 80% of their members to European diseases.
   11. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 30, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6050081)
Just like Hernan Cortes

Yeah, North American bands were totally identical with the Aztecs in number and development.
Good idea to mention the effect of disease. The Jacksonitis that wiped out the Cherokee in Georgia was legendary.
And other bullshit.
   12. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6050084)
Atrocities were committed on both sides but quite obviously one side kept right on committing them for a century or more after crushing the other side.


And yes by pretty much any standard indians were heavily outmatched when it came to weaponry. European and European descendant professional armies basically had to be incompetent and arrogant to run into serious trouble against Indians.
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 30, 2021 at 03:07 PM (#6050087)
Welp, I guess if Native Americans carried weapons, that totally justifies the chop.
   14. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 30, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6050106)
I like the Braves organization and the players, but man, is the fan base stubborn about this. Besides the chop, we got this lovely ad during last nights game. Now the Braves had nothing to do with this ad, but a huge segment of the fan base feels the same way:

https://www.newsweek.com/baseball-back-conservative-group-touts-georgia-voting-law-slams-mlb-new-ad-1643866

   15. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 30, 2021 at 04:41 PM (#6050110)
What's happened to Newsweek over the last several years is pretty damn insidious.
   16. and Posted: October 31, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6050323)
I was at Game 3. It was a bucket list item to attend a World Series game and with it being a five hour drive and involving my team and a friend's team (he was the instigator), it seemed the perfect opportunity.

Based on observation, I can say two things about the chop: 1) The Braves org absolutely promotes it. They have this drumbeat canned sound and a jumbotron image of a tomahawk chopping. When they play it, the chop starts. Any insinuation from the Braves that they aren't promoting it is a lie. 2) The fans do, absolutely, start it up on their own, with no provocation. It starts in concession lines*, it starts when the Braves are doing well, when they're doing badly, when there is a stoppage in the flow of the game, on the escaltor. One or two drunk guys will start it and it flows out like the wind. I honestly have no idea how the Braves or MLB could stop it at this point. Banning it and having the Braves actually ban it would, in my opinion, just increase the ferocity of the fans doing it. Of course, I don't think that's a reason not to ban it. Or just have the Braves stop initiating it. After a few years, it might die off. But that seems unlikely. The fans around me were young and energized and enthusiastic about the chop. If Freddie, Ozzie, Chipper, Smoltz and Murphy all came out with a PSA against, I doubt it would stop it.

The other thing I'll say, though I didn't participate in it, the effect live is far different than on TV. Having 40,000 people** (give or take) waving and chanting in unison - especially when they darken the stadium and everyone does it with their cell phones - is, racial animus aside, pretty cool. I can see why the fans like doing it. I think having that many people do anything in unison is pretty cool. A substitute could easily be as cool, but wouldn't have the fan memory at this point. Again, any idea that the chop is on its last legs or the way out seems terribly out of touch.


* the concession lines, and bathroom lines, were ridiculously long

** The park seems completely unable to handle a sellout crowd. Not enough concessions and, really, not much variety in concessions. Not enough bathrooms. Not enough exits to the stadium and zero crowd control at the gate. It was a scrum and standstill at the main exit for half an hour. Folks puhsing and shoving. A few folks fell down and if not for those near them immediately grabbing them up would have been in trouble. You come out and some folks are going left, some right, some straight, from every direction. They really need some sort of order at that exit.

In other words, it seems a park built for 15,000 people and they'll take their chances when they have a good night. All in all, a marked downgrade from Turner.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 31, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6050338)
Based on observation, I can say two things about the chop: 1) The Braves org absolutely promotes it. They have this drumbeat canned sound and a jumbotron image of a tomahawk chopping. When they play it, the chop starts. Any insinuation from the Braves that they aren't promoting it is a lie. 2) The fans do, absolutely, start it up on their own, with no provocation. It starts in concession lines*, it starts when the Braves are doing well, when they're doing badly, when there is a stoppage in the flow of the game, on the escaltor. One or two drunk guys will start it and it flows out like the wind. I honestly have no idea how the Braves or MLB could stop it at this point. Banning it and having the Braves actually ban it would, in my opinion, just increase the ferocity of the fans doing it. Of course, I don't think that's a reason not to ban it. Or just have the Braves stop initiating it. After a few years, it might die off. But that seems unlikely. The fans around me were young and energized and enthusiastic about the chop. If Freddie, Ozzie, Chipper, Smoltz and Murphy all came out with a PSA against, I doubt it would stop it.

The Braves wouldn't do this, of course, but the easiest way to stop the chop would be (1) Stop flashing the tomahawk; and (2) Drown it out with alternate music if it starts in the stands. It'd piss off their fan base, which is why it wouldn't happen, but even 40,000 choppers can't compete with a ballpark loudspeaker turned up at full blast.
   18. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 31, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6050425)
there’s no reason to use Indian names as mascots or use their sovereign names in team names anymore.
No GOOD reasons, but plenty of bad ones. Thanks to everyone who defends the chop for showcasing those bad reasons.
   19. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: October 31, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6050442)
Bunyon, thank you for that report. I thought the team had stopped cueing the chop, but I was obviously incorrect.
   20. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: November 01, 2021 at 09:12 AM (#6050471)
i gave up the braves after lifelong fandom because of this stuff and i'm largely avoiding the world series this year.
not ideal.
   21. and Posted: November 01, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6050477)
That's a big, and, to me, admirable step, Der-K. I've wondered about my fandom, too. But those roots are long and deep. I lost my father a couple of years ago and it was something we shared.

On the other hand, in addition to the chop, my sense from afar is that the Braves really only embrace the white elements of Atlanta. Atlanta has a deep and amazing Black history and it just doesn't seem to be there in either the fanbase or the organization. I'd love to learn I'm wrong about that. They also have some subtle ties to the eastern Cherokee, which could be cool and I'd like to hear more about. But I don't.

Anyway, for now, I'm forging ahead.
   22. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: November 01, 2021 at 09:42 AM (#6050481)
we each got to forge our own paths - i appreciate your consistent thoughtfulness on these pages, bunyon.

as you know, i'm equally afar - anyway, my take matches yours on what and who the organization cares about.
   23. Jeff R. Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6050492)
The American Indians were far from unarmed, and had been waging vicious wars with each other forever. Much of the earliest trade and diplomacy among Europeans and Indians was the later seeking weapons and allies to fight their traditional enemies. Just like Hernan Cortes had 100,000 warriors from rival tribes with him when he defeated the Aztecs, almost every "Indian War" had Indians fighting on both sides.

Not to mention, most of the "running out" was done by infectious diseases that the Europeans couldn't have stopped spreading if they wanted to. The early Massachusetts colonies were founded on land literally abandoned by tribes that had lost 80% of their members to European diseases.


Wow. People like you are the reason why there's a dearth of reasoned debate here.
   24. and Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6050493)
As far as the chop, I don't think world history matters. A very large number of our current fellow citizens have said it offends them and makes them uncomfortable. Thus, a decent, neighborly response is to stop.

It's sports, so causing offense is fine if it's directed at a team. An anti-Mets chant, for instance, would be absolutely fine.
   25. Greg Pope Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6050501)
The Braves wouldn't do this, of course, but the easiest way to stop the chop would be (1) Stop flashing the tomahawk; and (2) Drown it out with alternate music if it starts in the stands.

I don't know about easiest, but the surest way to stop it would be for the team to stop play whenever the chop was started. I mean, there would be some people taking perverse pleasure in stopping the game, but if the Braves were in the middle of a rally and suddenly had to stop for 3 minutes waiting for the fans to stop the chop, I'd think it would die off quickly.
   26. and Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6050504)
I guess I look at the Mexican national soccer team and conclude that stopping a popular mass cheer is very, very difficult.
   27. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6050508)
Der-K's position is interesting (and frankly admirable). I don't think he needs to feel he's doing a bad thing rooting for the Braves. We are seeing this in international soccer with Newcastle and the Saudi takeover there. It's fine to root for your team but it's equally fine to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe there are parts of it that are bad as well.

I'm a Red Sox fan. The Sox have a history with racism that is um...not fantastic. I'm not going to sit here and pretend otherwise. When the decision was made to rename Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park I was fine with it because of the many many good reasons for it. It doesn't stop me from rooting for the Red Sox though. If Der-K feels he needs to step away from the Braves that's perfectly reasonable though I don't think he should feel he has too.

This idea that something we support is thus infallible is idiotic. I was raised Catholic and still consider myself Catholic in belief at least (I don't attend church). I think there are a great many things I do in my day to day life that I do because I think they are right because it's what I was raised on. At the same time I'm not going to sit idly by and ignore the atrocities perpetrated by the Catholic Church. We'd all be better off I think if we could acknowledge the failings of those institutions we support.
   28. and Posted: November 01, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6050511)
Well said, Jose.
   29. . Posted: November 01, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6050514)
It's sports, so causing offense is fine if it's directed at a team. An anti-Mets chant, for instance, would be absolutely fine.


There's really no material difference in the two types of "offense," though -- which is why the idea of an "offense" veto becomes logically unworkable. Or becomes something like an injunction against "punching down," which is something different than "other people are taking offense." If, as I sense, people mean something like "it's uncouth to punch down," I'd probably agree, but it would also be way better if people would just come out and say that, since that's what they really mean here. (Obviously, if any particular individual takes offense at the whole thing, they're free to pull their patronage, as it appears Der K has.)
   30. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: November 01, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6050530)
I also think that when deficiencies are pointed out and addressed, we should reward those that make positive changes. Just as a simple example, McDonalds committed to cage-free eggs across their menu, so I'm more likely to get breakfast there than from a Hardees.

   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 01, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6050532)
The Braves wouldn't do this, of course, but the easiest way to stop the chop would be (1) Stop flashing the tomahawk; and (2) Drown it out with alternate music if it starts in the stands.

I don't know about easiest, but the surest way to stop it would be for the team to stop play whenever the chop was started. I mean, there would be some people taking perverse pleasure in stopping the game, but if the Braves were in the middle of a rally and suddenly had to stop for 3 minutes waiting for the fans to stop the chop, I'd think it would die off quickly.


So in response to my suggestion that the Braves would never do, you reply with a suggestion that the players would never do. I think we both have an idea of what we're up against. (smile)

OTOH Jose's take seems pretty sane and reasonable. I can't stand the chop for many reasons, but if I were a Braves fan I'd probably just roll my eyes and chalk it up to Strange Southern Customs. At this point I just wish that the networks would simply stop panning to the stands while it's going on, and treat the choppers as if they were streakers running out onto the field.
   32. Greg Pope Posted: November 01, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6050539)
So in response to my suggestion that the Braves would never do, you reply with a suggestion that the players would never do. I think we both have an idea of what we're up against. (smile)

Well, yes, it's not going to happen.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6050543)
40,000 choppers can't compete with a ballpark loudspeaker turned up at full blast.
IIRC, there are restriction on use of the PA system in between pitches, or while the pitcher is delivering the ball, for good reason, but not so on the fans. I’m afraid that if persuasion isn’t sufficient, folks will just have to live with this form of peaceful protest.
   34. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: November 01, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6050555)
Good posts by bunyon. I mentioned earlier that there has been talk of changing the name to Hammers, and people are already selling t-shirts and hoodies on-line. Same word mark, same colors, a hammer instead of the tomahawk, and ofc the fans could do a hammer motion in place of the chop and chant Haannkkkkkkkkk.

If I ran the Braves, I would push the name change and ask the fans to back it up as a tribute to the greatest Brave, Hammerin' Hank. I also think that the merch would sell bigly. I am 100% neutral on the Braves as a team/franchise, but I would buy an Atlanta Hammers t-shirt for sure (may buy one of the ones already for sale).

   35. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 01, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6050585)
People like you are the reason why there's a dearth of reasoned debate here.

There's a dearth of reasoned debate everywhere because of people who say things like, "people like you".
   36. jingoist Posted: November 01, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6050598)
Well, here's The good news.
You don’t need to see/hear the chop any longer in 2021 as the next 1 or 2 games are in Houston.
That said, all posters should read “ Guns, Germs and Steel”.
It will give you a more nuanced view of why Europeans more quickly evolved to explore and conquer the New World.
And if the shoe had been on the other foot, Native Americans would have done the same to Europeans if given the opportunity.
   37. An Athletic in Powderhorn, Silly Posted: November 01, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6050606)
Well, here's The good news.
You don’t need to see/hear the chop any longer in 2021 as the next 1 or 2 games are in Houston.
That said, all posters should read “ Guns, Germs and Steel”.
It will give you a more nuanced view of why Europeans more quickly evolved to explore and conquer the New World.
And if the shoe had been on the other foot, Native Americans would have done the same to Europeans if given the opportunity.
This is interesting. None of it is relevant to the topic of whether caricaturing a group of people is an OK thing to do, of course. But it's interesting that you feel the best argument in favor of keeping the chop is to talk about something else and hope people get distracted.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 01, 2021 at 07:40 PM (#6050607)
It will give you a more nuanced view of why Europeans more quickly evolved to explore and conquer the New World.
And if the shoe had been on the other foot, Native Americans would have done the same to Europeans if given the opportunity.
Username checks out.
   39. jingoist Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6050687)
No, I never said I am pro chop, or any such nonsense at ballgames, or anywhere else in fact.
I just followed the line of thought that humans have been enslaving and murdering one another long before recorded history.
   40. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: November 02, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6050691)
oh, i'm not taking a moral stand - just that i don't enjoy rooting for the team anymore. (still like many of the players, that group is pretty likable)
sort of like how i have fond memories of going to stone mountain park as a kid but i'm not going to visit that place now.
---
guns germs and steel is good, for the two or three people here who haven't read it yet.
---
as soon as they become the hammers, we'll learn about a thousand things aaron did that we're not okay with in 2021. that said - i like it - go hammers!
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#6050692)
as soon as they become the hammers, we'll learn about a thousand things aaron did that we're not okay with in 2021. that said - i like it - go hammers!
https://coololdphotos.com/hank-aaron-camel-cigarette-ad-from-1962/
   42. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 02, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6050693)
"This [amphetamine use] is not a present-day, modern issue," said [Al] Leiter. "You can look back at what ballplayers did in the 50's and 60's. There was always somebody peddling some kind of juice. 'Here, this will pep you up.' This stuff has been around in some form for a while." ... [Bud] Selig said he first learned about amphetamines while he was in the Milwaukee Braves' clubhouse in 1958. "We all know that amphetamines have been around a long time," said Selig.

-- New York Times, Nov. 18, 2005

Narrator: The biggest star in that 1958 Milwaukee Braves clubhouse that Bud Selig visited was the 1957 National League Most Valuable Player Hank Aaron.
   43. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: November 02, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6050701)
i have a poster of a tobacco card with king kelly on it on my wall + think uppers should be fair game for players.
(i use neither, am a relative teetotaler, but you do you peoples. most drugs should be legal; go hammers.)
   44. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6050707)
Good posts by bunyon. I mentioned earlier that there has been talk of changing the name to Hammers, and people are already selling t-shirts and hoodies on-line. Same word mark, same colors, a hammer instead of the tomahawk, and ofc the fans could do a hammer motion in place of the chop and chant Haannkkkkkkkkk.

If I ran the Braves, I would push the name change and ask the fans to back it up as a tribute to the greatest Brave, Hammerin' Hank. I also think that the merch would sell bigly. I am 100% neutral on the Braves as a team/franchise, but I would buy an Atlanta Hammers t-shirt for sure (may buy one of the ones already for sale).


That's by far the best name change suggestion I've seen for any team whose nickname has been under attack. It's much better than the Cleveland Guardians, and infinitely better than the laughable "Washington Football Team", which should be changed to "Washington Team Football", or "WTF" for short.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 02, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6050724)
ofc the fans could do a hammer motion in place of the chop and chant Haannkkkkkkkkk.
Yeah, but they would probably do the Haaaankkkkkkkk chant with the same war-chant melody, just to be juvenile trolls.
   46. coppermist72 Posted: November 02, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6050732)
Okay, the Hammers sound like a great nickname for Atlanta, but doubt it will stop the chop as the Red Tomahawk logo would likely get replaced with a Red Hammer. Which will all lead to the chop continuing but using the fist instead of the open hand, chant and all.

BTW, the chant is also done by the crowd and not piped in correct?


   47. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6050743)
To sum up my long post: The chant is often initiated and carried by the crowd. However, it is also initiated and carried by the PA. The team is officially involved often.
   48. glitch Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6050751)
I went to one regular season game, and I'm 90% certain that there was no team involvement with any chanting. At the NLCS (game 6), I noticed that they added the piped-in toms and scoreboard chopping anytime the fans started the chant. At the WS (game 4), they were actively instigating chants, including pregame having some screaming jackhole on the jumbotron telling fans to "let 'them' hear it" and "reverse the narrative" - whatever the hell that means. There is still none of that horrible war chant music they used to play.

Like Der-K, I find myself becoming less and less interested in supporting this team. Though, like bunyon, I'm forging ahead for now.
   49. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6050752)
My main thing is that at no point have I disliked the players and I quite like this group (even though I thought they'd get smashed by the Brewers and barely deserved entry to the postseason). If the Braves ever have a run of boring or unlikeable players, the laundry will not be enough to keep me in thrall.

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