Freddie Freeman mad that GN’R’s “Welcome to the Jungle” didn’t play on throwback night

32 Comments

On Saturday the Braves did a throwback night to 1914. As part of it they nixed all of the loud music from over the P.A. including walkup music for the hitters and run-in music for closer Craig Kimbrel, relying on organ music instead. Kimbrel’s usual jam is “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses.

Not hearing that when Kimbrel came in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth really bothered Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman. From the AJC:

“My issue is when, I don’t mind using the uniform, I love the throw-back uniform, but when the atmosphere is taken out of the game,” Freeman said. “Fans are coming here to have an experience and there is nothing on the Jumbotron, no music is playing. I’m looking in the stands and people’s heads are down. It kind of takes the energy out of the stadium, especially when the best closer in the game comes in and there are not flames (on the scoreboard), nothing like that.”

I’m with you, Freddie. I mean, without flames on the Jumbotron and some GN’R blaring, it’s really not even baseball. And really, doesn’t anyone remember 1914 Braves hitter Possum Whitted coming up to this jock jam of the day?

Dudes: between the Braves announcers complaining about Bryce Harper all the time and Freeman finding reason to whine about this sort of thing on a night they beat the best team in baseball, it’s a real drag to root for the Braves these days.

 

Report: Mike Trout as recognizable to Americans as NBA’s Kenneth Faried

Rob Carr/Getty Images
4 Comments

On Monday, the Washington Post cited Q Scores, a firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, with regard to Angels outfielder Mike Trout. According to Q Scores, Trout is as recognized to Americans as NBA forward Kenneth Faried, who has spent seven seasons with the Denver Nuggets and is now a reserve with the Brooklyn Nets. Trout’s score was 22, which means just over one in five Americans know who he is.

We have talked here at various times about Trout’s lack of marketability. He has expressed zero interest in being marketed as the face of baseball. Additionally, based on the nature of the sport, it’s harder for baseball to aggressively market its stars since star players don’t impact teams the same way they do in other sports. LeBron James, for example, carries whatever team he’s on to the NBA Finals. James has appeared in the NBA Finals every year dating back to 2011. Trout, despite being far and away the best active player in baseball and one of the best players of all time, has only reached the postseason once, in 2014 when his Angels were swept in the ALDS by the Royals. Trout can’t carry his team to the playoffs and his team hasn’t helped him any in getting there on a regular basis.

Baseball is also more of a regional sport. Fans follow their local team, of course, and don’t really venture beyond that even though games are broadcast nationally throughout the week. The NFL schedule is much shorter and occurs once a week, so fans put aside time to watch not just their favorite team’s game, but other games of interest as well. A June game between the subpar White Sox and Tigers doesn’t have much appeal to it since it’s one of 162 games for both teams, and both teams will play again later in the season. Comparatively, a game between the Bears and Lions has more intrigue since they only play twice a year.

It’s kind of a shame for baseball that Trout isn’t bigger than he is because he is a once-in-a-generation talent, like Ken Griffey Jr. In fact, Trout is so good that he’s still underrated. He’s on pace to have one of the greatest seasons of all-time, going by Wins Above Replacement. Despite that, he’s anything but a lock to win the MVP Award at season’s end because the narratives around other players, like Mookie Betts, are more compelling.

Trout’s marketability is an issue that isn’t likely to be fixed anytime soon. Trout is who he is and forcing him to ham it up for the cameras would come off as forced and unnatural. Major League Baseball will simply have to hope its other stars, like Betts and Bryce Harper, can help broaden the appeal of the sport.