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Marta and Underground Atlanta Expand Braves Game Experience

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Braves Shuttle to Resume on April 13 with New Ticket Vendor, Live Music, Street Performers and More
Underground Atlanta announced today that Johnny Rockets, located on Lower Alabama Street, will be their on-site vendor for Braves Shuttle passes this year. Resuming on April 13, 2012, the MARTA-operated shuttle will originate at Steve Polk Plaza at Underground Atlanta and take fans directly to Turner Field for every home game during the baseball season. It will begin 90 minutes before first pitch and return to Underground Atlanta every 15 minutes until either the 7th inning or 9 p.m., whichever comes first*, but patrons can head down to Underground Atlanta early and hang out after the game for a full day of fun.

Choose from 13 eateries for a bite to eat, stroll through three levels of indoor and outdoor shopping and explore more than 100 years of Atlanta’s deep-rooted history. Tourist tip: A gas lamp built in 1856 still stands, noticeably damaged at the base by shelling from the Union army, lead by General William T. Sherman. Both residents and visitors alike can also enjoy special programming that will span throughout each game day, including:

  • Barbershop Quartet: Start choppin’! Appropriate for a departure to the stadium, on April 13, 14 and 15, along with other select dates, a Barbershop Quartet will send off patrons with their rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
  • Blues in the Alley: Perfect on a warm summer day or evening, Kenny’s Alley will feature live music from some of Atlanta’s favorite blues bands: Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28; July 4; Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
  • Street Performers: An afternoon of family-friendly fun,from 12 – 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during baseball season a variety of engaging street performers will fill the property.
  • Dance Parties with DJ Dano: High-energy fun for all ages, special theme parties include: Cinco de Mayo, May 5; Patriotic Party, May 26; Sock Hop, June 2; Beach Bash, July 14; Disco Fever, Aug. 5; Halloween Boo Bash, Oct. 27.

“With so much to offer to Atlanta residents and visitors, our partnership with MARTA just makes sense,” says Underground Atlanta General Manager William P. “Chick” Ciccaglione. “Convenient parking, diverse dining and shopping options and family-friendly entertainment will allow fans to expand the game-day experience beyond the stadium.”

The Braves Shuttle is a free transfer from MARTA bus or rail with a Breeze Card, or can be purchased for $5.50 round-trip from Johnny Rockets at Underground Atlanta.Braves ticket holders are encouraged to take advantage of the $3 parking at decks A and B at Underground Atlanta. To receive this special rate, patrons must show the same-day game ticket and parking ticket to the attendant upon exiting the deck.

*After the 7th inning or 9 p.m., whichever comes first, the shuttle will start taking patrons to the Five Points Station. The Shuttle will remain in service for after-game fireworks, concerts and other programs sanctioned by the Atlanta Braves.

About Underground Atlanta
Located in the heart of the downtown, Underground Atlanta is one of the city’s favorite attractions and a cultural hub. Opened in 1969 as a “city beneath the streets,” Underground Atlanta still exhibits many of the significant architectural features from its original structure. Visitors can pick up a self-guided History tour brochure at the information booth and discover the history firsthand. Explore six city blocks, 12 acres and three levels of 225,000 square feet of shopping, restaurants and entertainment at Underground Atlanta, a destination with more than 100 years of history. Visit on Wednesdays at lunchtime for a selection of Atlanta’s most delicious food trucks lining the street. Underground Atlanta offers a year-round calendar of cultural, entertainment, community and family programming with its signature events being Peach Drop on New Year’s Eve and Heritage Arts Festival in July. For more information, visit www.underground-atlanta.com or call 404-523-2311.

TBB Sports

Nuclear Cowboyz!

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Nuclear Cowboyz®, the only high octane-fueled freestyle motocross touring production in North America, came to Philips Arena on Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd, 2013. The action-packed narrative is themed around the legend of two powerful freestyle motocross tribes whose survival in their futuristic world is told through an amassed compilation of fearless freestyle aerial feats, gravity-defying stunts, and electrifying pyrotechnic and laser displays synchronized to an energizing soundtrack.

Nuclear Cowboyz 2013 has the greatest cast of freestyle motocross, trials and quad riders ever assembled, including recent X Games 2012 medalists Ronnie Faisst, Taka Higashino, Mike Mason, Javier Villegas and Winter X Games gold and silver medalist Colten Moore. The tour also includes former gold medalists Matt Buyten and Adam Jones as well as award-winning freestylers Geoff Aaron, Wes Agee, Nick Dunne, Julian Dusseau, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Derek Garland, Marco Picado, Brody Wilson and Keith Wineland in this action-packed freestyle performance of pure danger and raw combat.

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TBB Sports

WWE Raw!

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WWE returned to Atlanta for the first time in February when the Road to Wrestlemania 29 rolled into Philips Arena!

Just one week after F5’ing Mr. McMahon, Brock Lesnar returned to Raw and made his first Atlanta appearance is over 12 years!

Huge tag team main event with John Cena & The Unstoppable Ryback vs. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler! See your favorite RAW & Smackdown superstars including Sheamus, The Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, The Miz, Kane, Daniel Bryan, the Divas, and many more! Check out these exclusive TBB pics by John Adams!

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©2013 John Adams

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TBB Sports

Bobby Valentine Has Got to Go

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The Red Sox have had their fair share of woes this season, and now that it’s gone public that the players had a meeting with the front office in order to air grievances about manager Bobby Valentine, there’s another one to add on the pile. The players, it seems, feel as if Valentine doesn’t have their collective backs, a feeling exacerbated by his leaving Jon Lester in for a 4 inning, 11 run disaster of a start late last month in Toronto. The Red Sox front office, however, stands behind Valentine as their man, purportedly due to his strategic savvy. But how much effect does a manager really have on his team?

The media narrative of a manager as some kind of general locked in a battle of wits with the opposing manager is a tremendous exaggeration; for the most part, the only way a manager is going to make a significant impact on his team is in a distinctly negative fashion. Very rarely will a manager like Earl Weaver take the stage and effectively utilize platoons and defensive shifts to the team’s advantage, most managers don’t do much more than setting lineups, making pitching changes to a bullpen where the relievers have hard roles and occasionally pulling a shift on a lefty pull hitter. In that manner, Valentine hasn’t hurt the Red Sox, but I also imagine that most managers not named Ron Washington would avoid screwing that up; the Sox have a strong order and a solid, deep bullpen, two things that are unlikely to be done wrong barring a manager that knows almost nothing of baseball. A good portion of managers don’t even make the defensive shifts or call pitches, those tend to be handled by the bench coach and pitching coach, respectively, though there are some catchers that call pitches instead.

You may be wondering that, if managers do so little, what is their actual job? And it’s much simpler than people tend to want to admit: managers are meant to keep their players happy, that’s it. Terry Francona was good at this, Bobby Valentine is not. A team that gets along works as one cohesive unit and will avoid throwing any one member under the bus, even if getting along won’t make them play better. When there is such a tremendous breakdown of communication that the players are almost unified in their dislike of the manager, the manager has completely failed at his job and has totally lost control, and therefore the front office has no business continuing his employment. Rarely a team will come together where everyone hates each other but has incredible success in spite of that, akin to the Yankees teams of the mid to late 1970s. But, should it fail and the team plays less than spectacularly, expect the season to turn into a whirling maelstrom of distraction and drama, much as this one has.

To take this back specifically to Valentine, it’s worth mentioning that he was so regarded as a caustic, unapproachable manager that he was more or less exiled from the MLB after his stint with the Mets, forced to take a job in Japan, where managers are expected to take critical attitudes towards players that they don’t think are giving their all. Valentine’s manner of criticism, using the Youkilis incident from earlier this year, seems to be less about lighting a fire under an underachieving player and seems to be more about saving his own skin. Hence, the Red Sox players aren’t being divas, primadonnas, or whatever negative adjective one wishes to assign to them, they’re merely trying to protect themselves from a manager who has no qualms with openly trashing them in the media and putting a magnifying glass on their disappointing performance in order to take the magnifying glass off of his job. He has no concern for his players’ well-being, and as such they should have none for his.

So, should Valentine get fired? Almost certainly, when the manager has failed at keeping his team together, there’s no reason behind him keeping his job other than to spite the players. But will he get fired? Most likely not, since the front office, including Larry Lucchino, team president and general manager in all but name, seems to have cast their lots with him. He’ll continue being the manager until the fire starts creeping towards the front office guys, and just as quick as they sided with him, they’ll turn him into the villain. But until then, they’ll keep alienating the players in order to prove their point.

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