The National League playoffs don’t get underway until next week, but it looks like we’ve already got a clear team to root for — the Pirates — and a clear team to root against — the Braves. (Sorry, Javy.)
Atlanta is trying to do all within its power to get people to root against them — saying nothing of the potentially offensive and certainly annoying Tomahawk Chop chant. Wednesday night, the Braves’ catcher Brian McCann took up the mantle of baseball sheriff, enforcing the “unwritten rules” following Carlos Gomez’s home run trot. It set off a near brawl, the second time this month Atlanta has taken umbrage with an opposing player on a home run.
On Friday former Brave (and Pirate) Sid Bream was on NPR to talk about the playoffs. The notoriously slow-footed Bream is part of baseball lore thanks to his famous slide in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS, where he scored the winning run from second, beating the throw home from Barry Bonds. It sent the Braves to the World Series and the Pirates into 21 years of misery. The lead-footed former first baseman revealed during the interview how the Braves asked him to throw out the first pitch should they play the Pirates.
Talk about poor taste.
Yes, time heals all wounds. The Pirates have been a nice, feel-good baseball story since the start of April. Do they really want to be reminded of a play that fans have probably replayed in their minds hundreds, if not thousands of times?
Bream, who lives outside Pittsburgh, didn’t indicate whether or not he accepted the offer and played it neutral saying he’s rooting for both teams.
A lot still has to happen over the next two days for a potential matchup between the two teams. Atlanta is tied with St. Louis for the best record in the National League. The Pirates are two games better than the Reds, meaning they’ll likely host the Wild Card game at PNC next week.