I love how the Atlanta, errr, the Metro Atlanta Braves, are making 2016 about saying goodbye to Turner Field and all the “great memories” to have taken place. I mean, I get it, anything to distract ticket buyers and fans from the atrocity that is on the field, but this is just laughable.
The only people who should be saying, “Thanks for the memories”, to Turner Field are Atlanta Braves playoff opponents.
There have been 11, yes, 11 playoff series clinched at Turner Field over the 20 years it has been around. In nine of them, the Atlanta Braves watched from the home dugout as someone else celebrated on their field. Nine times they watched someone come into their house and slap them around and leave with all their valuables, and their wife. Half of the national league has celebrated winning a postseason series at Turner Field.
Just think about that for a minute. Half the league has won a playoff series and sprayed champagne inside a clubhouse at Turner Field. In only two decades. That’s special, folks, real special.
By comparison, there were eight playoff series clinched in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in the 90s, and the Braves were victorious in six of those.
So spare me the, “thanks for the memories” bullshit when it comes to Turner Field.
Whether it was Eric Gregg calling strikes in Cuba in game five to set up a stunning defeat to the rent-a-title Marlins to begin the Turner Field legacy, Sterling Hitchock two hitting a team that won 106 games during the regular season while your Cy Young Award winner gets shelled in an elimination game, or giving up 24 runs to the Cardinals in a trio of games after allowing the fewest in the regular season, Turner Field has been not just the culmination of disappointment, but ugly disappointment. And disappointment it all too often hosted.
There’s losing three straight at home, with a four error game in the middle of it against Arizona to look back fondly on, following that up with a game five loss at home against San Francisco.
Or maybe you prefer remembering 2003 when the Braves led the National League in runs scored by over a full run per game, only to strike out 18 times in 15 1/3 innings against Kerry Wood at Turner while totaling five hits, including just three in an elimination game as a team the Braves won 13 more games than during the season advanced to the NLCS.
If that’s not a sunny enough memory, try 2004, watching Carlos Beltran go ape shit as the Braves allow 17 hits at home in an elimination game. Though, that’s what you get when Jaret Wright is your game five starter, I suppose.
If you still haven’t had enough fun going down memory lane, I’ve saved the best for last. And I only need for words.
Turner Field can’t be a distant memory soon enough. Unless you’re an Atlanta Braves playoff opponent, then you’re going to kinda miss the place.