Atlanta Braves Off Day Read: Mac and Cheese vs Gwinnett Braves and Ozzie Albies

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Mar 13, 2016; Okay, not the right parking lot… but a parking lot nonetheless. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2016; Okay, not the right parking lot… but a parking lot nonetheless. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Road Trip!

The day’s rituals started out as usual. Since this wasn’t Turner Field, Coolray Field does not allow ticketholders to bring in outside food. So we had to eat before we left. It being a 2+ hour drive for the family because we live in Macon, we decided to eat a hefty lunch. Today’s lunch of choice: Macaroni and Cheese (my face says yes, my stomach says no).

We all ate huge bowls of the deliciousness.

WARNING!!! Immediately, my stomach told me that this was a bad idea.

1:30ish and it’s time to pack everyone in the car for the long drive. Yes, 1:30 for a night game. I know that is kind of early, but if you have seen the lines on bobblehead nights, you would understand the need to get there early or run the risk of not being able to obtain the treasure.

2 hours later, we arrive at our destination. We were super early, but we were also only 2nd in line so we were guaranteed to leave with prizes.

Mar 12, 2016; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Ozzie Albies (87) tries to bunt during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2016; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Ozzie Albies (87) tries to bunt during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

We’ve Have Arrived!

The gates opened an hour before game time. By now, I am anxious to see Ozzie in person.

We decided to grab our hats from the special guest services stand and some food before we went to our seats.

The wifey grabbed a pulled pork BBQ sandwich from one of the vendors while the kids and I stayed with more traditional ballpark food and grabbed some corndogs and hamburgers.

There he stood, barely looking 5ft tall compared to some of the other giants on the team, our future shortstop or second baseman and savior up the middle; Ozzie Albies.

I snapped as many pictures as I could of him as he practices, stretched, warmed up and ran a few sprints. He received greetings from quite a few people, as if he had just jumped off the Greyhound to get there. It was a fun time. He looked happy, the team looked loose and ready. Welcome to Gwinnett Ozzie.

Reactions to the Game Itself

Williams Perez was erratic at best and Albies made an error fielding (signs of things to come and what to work on), but he still looked smooth. He has very nice arm strength and it looked pretty accurate from the small sample size that was displayed.

May 21, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Williams Perez (57) pitches during the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Williams Perez (57) pitches during the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /

I don’t know what the guy will bring at the plate for us in the future with the stick, but his frame reminds me of Rafael Belliard. Belliard was an excellent defender, but he couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a car. I am not placing Albies in that category, just offering my comparison in style of play, body shape/size and make. His demeanor was extremely pleasant and he looked like he was genuinely having fun. Hopefully, this could be the start of a wonderful career.

The game ended up being called due to the monsoon that came rolling in with the later innings. Overall it was an awesome experience for the family and for me to witness the beginning (somewhat) of who some are calling one of the saviors for this organization. Let’s hope he has a long and fruitful career wearing the Braves logo.

I look forward to being able to watch his growth within the system and finally on the major league field with the big boys.

#GoBraves #FrontOfTheJersey

(below are other snapshots of the game)

s/n: be sure to follow Ozzie on Twitter HERE he interacts to fans regularly

(Ed. note:  yes… yes, there was more to the story that involved macaroni and cheese.  Sorry about that, but we reealllly think that y’all needed to be spared just a bit of that! )