Notes From Opening Day In Atlanta

Cory StephensContributor IApril 6, 2010

ATLANTA - APRIL 5: Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs heads off the field after being pulled in the 2nd inning against the Atlanta Braves during Opening Day at Turner Field on April 5, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

I was in Atlanta and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the day.

*Standing in line waiting to get into the stadium, I got to stand next to some braves fans. I can tell you that Braves fans hate the Cubs and Cubs fans. It all goes back to 2003 when Chicago filled up their park in the playoffs. They have not got over that loss. I go to Atlanta every year and you would think the Cubs are a division rival. Luckily the Cubs usually outnumber or almost equal Braves fans. Not every Braves fan is a jerk, but most of the ones I have come across at games have been.

*Batting Practice was a lot of fun. Go to the games early if you can. Stand in the outfield and try to bag a ball or line up along the dugout. I got a spot right in front of the Cubs dugout and watched  BP from there. Just tell them you have a ticket for that section and hopefully they wont ask to see your ticket.

* Hank Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch. This was something any true baseball fan can appreciate. They introduced him as The Real Homerun King. 

* The player/roster introductions always add a lot to opening day. It was cool to be there during Bobby Cox's last opening day. Even though I don't care for the Braves, or even Bobby Cox at times, it was a special moment for baseball and Braves fans.

* Byrd hitting a homerun in his first at bat was exciting and was one of the few things to cheer about all night.

* I knew the Cubs were in trouble when the pop ups fell in. Zambrano is always way too excited on Opening Days and almost always gets into trouble early. When will the Cubs learn not to pitch him in Game 1? I was watching for him to destroy the water cooler but he calmly sat down on the bench.

* Why was Marshall pulled so early? I know the Cubs weren't out of it yet, but he looked good and could have saved the pen. I guess the day off the next day made it ok to use the pen.

* Jason Heyward is going to be a star. He is only 20 and he is huge. He is going to be a force in a few years. No doubt my pick for ROY.

* The Braves played Quiet Riot over the PA when Theriot hits. I thought this was funny. Also played Freebird for Byrd.

* The Cubs looked horrible out on the field. They should not be little league errors. It was embarrassing.

* Towards the end of the game, I went down to the third row above the Braves dugout. It was amazing to see an MLB game from this close. If you ever get a chance, don't pass it up. The Usher will usually let you walk down there if you ask them when people start to leave to beat the traffic.

* the Tomahawk Flop is the most annoying thing to have to sit through at a baseball game for opposing fans. It is even worse in the playoffs or when the Braves are behind.

* The Braves have cheerleaders and a scoreboard to tell people when to cheer. The fans were more into the game yesterday then normal, esp Heywards at bats. I'm not a big fan of the scoreboard having to tell people when the game is exciting.

*Outside of getting beat down by the Braves, it was one of the better Braves/Cubs games I have been to in a while. Last year I saw Wells throw a no hitter thru 6 before Gregg blew the save. It was a lot better to be out of it early then to blow a game late.



Byrd/ARam Homeruns

Hank Aaron throwing out first pitch

Lou arguing a bad call



Zambrano and Samardzija

The missed call by the umps

The Tomahawk Flop song