Spring Training Report- Non Roster Invitees, Pitchers

The Atlanta Braves are ready to open up Spring Training camp on Thursday, February 13.  While, the majority of the 40-man roster returns from a season ago, the roster did take some hits this off season, losing Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm and Brian McCann to free agency. However, the Braves are locked and loaded to compete for their second straight East Division crown and their third straight postseason berth.

The Braves will enter camp with 62 players, inviting 22 non-roster players to join the fold in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Many of the players will get their first taste of big league camp, while others will compete for a chance at the 25-man roster. Arms are always at a premium, so we will go over all the hurlers that will report to the Disney complex on Thursday.  The Braves invited 11 non-roster pitchers, left-handers Ian Thomas, Daniel Rodriguez, Atahualpa Severino and right-handers Lay Batista, J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh, Mark Lamm, Cody Martin, Yunesky Maya, Gus Schlosser and Shae Simmons.

Martin (Moore)

Martin (Moore)

Among the 11 invited, two have big league experience as Severino and Maya spent some time with the Washington Nationals. In 2009, Maya fled Cuba and signed with the Nationals. However, the 32-year old right-hander didn’t live up to the four-year, six-million dollar deal that he signed with Washington, going 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA in 16 games (10 starts) for the Nationals over the last four years. He will compete for a bullpen spot along with former teammate Severino, but they could end up with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Former Los Angeles Angels’ farmhand Lay Batista is the only other non-roster invitee that did not start his career in the Braves system. Batista reached Double-A last year, going 5-8 with a 3.37 ERA in 122.2 IP. He has relief experience, but primarily started the last two seasons.  He will likely start in Double-A Mississippi, but he will get a long look at big league camp.

The rest of the invitees have been with the Braves since they began their professional careers. Left-handers Ian Thomas and Daniel Rodriguez are interesting prospects, as the Braves’ bullpen enters camp with one lefty reliever. While, Jonny Venters recovers from “Tommy John” surgery, the Braves will look for another southpaw to emerge during Spring Training. Thomas had a strong showing in 2013, going 7-8 with a 2.76 ERA in 104.1 IP. He struck out 123 batters while walking 37. Rodriguez’ numbers did not resemble Thomas’, but he has been in big league camp two straight seasons and starred in Triple-A Gwinnett last year before an injury shutdown his 2013 campaign.

Rodriguez was not the only one that was shut down with an injury in 2013, as Graham had to miss the second half of the season with a shoulder injury. Graham made a name for himself during last Spring Training, tossing in 9.0 IP, allowing six hits, striking out five and recording two saves. He was sent down to Double-A Mississippi, landing on the DL in May.

With Graham’s absences on the M-Braves roster, Schlosser, Lamm and Martin, had a chance to shine for the Braves Double-A affiliate. Schlosser had the most impressive resume, going 7-6 with a 2.39 ERA in 25 starts, but he was the only one of the three that was not promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett. Lamm and Martin got their first taste of the International League circuit. Lamm went 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA, while Martin went 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA for the G-Braves.

Finally, the last two players that will get a look during big league camp will be Simmons and Hursh. Simmons dominated Class-A Rome, recording a club-record 24 saves, surpassing former record holder Sung Ki Jung of the inaugural 2003 club. While, last season first round pick Hursh will get his first taste of the big leagues during Spring Training. Hursh lived up to the billing last year, going 1-1 with a 0.67 ERA in 27.0 IP for Class-A Rome. The former Cowboy has an impressive upside, but he is likely heading to Double-A Mississippi to continue his development.

The 11 pitchers that are heading to big league camp will get a long look during Spring Training, but it is likely that all players will start the season in one of the Braves Minor League systems.

Tomorrow we will go over the 11 position players that have been invited to big league camp.

-JD-

Brian Snitker Interviewed on 92.9 The Game

Snitker PC

Brian Snitker answers questions at his January 23 press conference at Coolray Field (Photo by Chris Roughgarden)

In case you missed it, new Gwinnett Braves Manager Brian Snitker was a guest on Mike Sammond’s radio show on 92.9 The Game last Saturday.  In the roughly 10-minute interview, Snitker talked about his move back to the minors, the challenges of managing and coaching third base simultaneously, his experience as the Major League third base coach for Bobby Cox and Fredi Gonzalez, the development of Braves’ top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, his thoughts on Atlanta’s club in 2014 and more.

Click below to listen:  

-DL

Photos & Quotes From Snitker’s Press Conference

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The following quotes were taken from Brian Snitker’s introductory press conference on Thursday afternoon.

How did this whole process come about? How did talks with (Atlanta Braves G.M.) Frank (Wren) and (Atlanta Braves Manager) Fredi (Gonzalez) go?
Snitker: “In these situations, you really don’t have a lot of say. Frank and Fredi called me into their office and told me this is the direction they wanted to go. From my standpoint it was a good mix for me because at the time I didn’t have to stay and could have gone somewhere else and pursued another Major League job with another organization, but after talking with them I told them that I have been here 37-38 years and I’m getting to that age were I’m not looking to start over anywhere. This situation is really good for me. I will be able to stay home. For 16 years in this business I left in February and came home in September, and my wife was left home with the kids. It was a good fit for me, I’ve known (General Manager of Gwinnett Braves) North (Johnson) for years, we go way back, there’s some great people here. The staff here are guys that I have a lot of respect for. I’ve worked with Mike Graus, our trainer, for over seven years in the minors, all the way from A-ball to AAA, so it’s just a good fit for me.”

Is the preparation any different from third base coach to manager?
Snitker: “It’s a lot different. When I first started as the third base coach, I was coming off of many years of managing, and I was trying to put a hit-and-run on and reminded myself that I couldn’t do that and I had to wait for (Former Braves and Hall of Fame Manager) Bobby Cox to do that. I just had to back off the throttle a little bit and realized I couldn’t get involved in that part of the game because that’s what (Bobby) is getting paid for. I prepared to coach third base for the last seven years, going through the video and looking at opposing teams’ players, and running the outfield defense and stuff like that. This is going to be a total team thing, which is going to fine. I will be more prepared in the whole game, more so than I had to in the past.”

Is that what you mean by opportunity at the Major League level, now at the Minor League level you get more autonomy now that you get to call your own shots?
Snitker: “You’re running the whole thing. You’re in charge and you’re responsible for a lot more than what I was previously doing.”

Will you coach third base?
Snitker: “Yeah, I enjoy that. I kind of like the stress of it. I always did the minor leagues unless I was injured, and as I’m getting older that is a possibility, but I will start off doing it.”

You’ve been in the big league twice on two different stints. Can you talk about how you can help these guys in the big picture?
Snitker: “I think a lot. I think being there with those guys for however many games and getting to experience playoff baseball, because there is nothing like it. It is such a cool experience and feeling. I remember when we won the wild card, Bobby’s last year, I told myself ‘I hope these guys remember how good this feels and how much fun this is when they get to Spring Training and get to the season and are they are tired, I hope that remember that feeling of playoff baseball. I learned more from the players than the actual game. When you watch those professional guys do it day in and day out, especially the guys that do it really good and watching them. Every day is the same, the work ethic is consistent. You know, guys like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Mark Teixera and Jason Heyward or Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann, you see how those guys had to prepare and what they put into it. It’s amazing. You don’t just show up and go out there and are really or make it look easy. It takes a lot mentality and physically to perform at that level and slow the game down so you can perform at that level. I think watching all those guys will do nothing but help me in this job.”

Do you have a sense of how (working at the Major League level will help you)?
Snitker: “Yeah, just from the experience. Just from experiences everything I went through the last seven years. I know where these guys are trying to go and do, whether it’s the mindset of a reliever or having to play every day and not taking days off or pitches off. At the Major League level if you screw up, you have to watch it for 24 hours on ESPN until they play another game. Like if I got someone thrown out, they highlight you and it’s for everyone to see for the next 24 hours. But my experience won’t allow for me to take pitches off or take any play for granted. The overall experience the last seven years will make me a better manager.

Are you a different manager than you were seven years ago? How are you different?
Snitker: “My experiences are going to make me be different. I’m not the same guy that I was seven years ago. I went through a lot in those last seven years. It was similar to the first time when I managed for a while in the minors and then I had to coach. I wasn’t real happy about it at the time, I didn’t like what was happening but it was more of an ego thing than anything else. In retrospect when I started managing again, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. So those layoffs and working for other people have made me different. I got to work with two of the better managers in the game of baseball, Bobby Cox and Fredi Gonzalez, who is not a whole different from Bobby. They are practically the same guy on how they handled situations or players and the adversity that people don’t see on an everyday basis. I told these guys upstairs, ‘You have no idea what a Major League manager goes through in the course of a day.’ When the game starts is when a manager can relax. It’s the time leading up to 7:05 PM when those guys make their money, because there is something all the time and watching how they handle that is going to help me handle things better than I did before. I probably won’t be as reactive as a I use to be. Again, physically I’m not sure I can do some of the things that I use to do. But in watching them run a team and how they handled themselves and their attitude will only make me better. Bobby was the same guy every day, whether we were up 12 or down 12. I’d sit there and react to the game and he asked, ‘What’s the matter?’ I’d sit there and see a guy hit a 0-2 fastball out and I’d be raising hell, and he looked at me and says, ‘What’s the matter?’ I didn’t know how he could just sit there, but he was amazing. All the balls that man would keep in the air was phenomenal. And what a great experience it was for me to be there the last four years.

Anything specific about how they helped you?
Snitker: “How they handled everyday situations, especially Bobby. That last year he had so many people at him, asking for different things, but he kept so many balls in the air and you would never know it. He is amazing, it was such an honor to be there the last four years. We sit in the radar room every night after the game and just talk and that was just priceless. I wish I had a tape recorder. Fredi is the same way. Number one, they are both good men and that’s what makes them who they are.”

What do you see role with the Atlanta Braves organization? Is it player development?
Snitker: “Absolutely. It’s always player development. It’s about these players and getting them to the Major Leagues. They are the reason we are here and have jobs. I want it to be a good experience. When we leave here in September, I want them to look back and not care about the win-loss record, but their experience with the 2014 Gwinnett Braves. Hopefully they can have a good feeling about it, I know some won’t because they had a bad year, but I don’t want it to be because I’m beating them over the head. I want them to enjoy their time here and if they do that they will probably perform well.

Snitker: “It wasn’t bad. Like I said I was young and reactive. It’s funny they (Gwinnett Braves) asked me what number I liked to wear and I always wanted to wear number 4 because that was Luke Appling’s number. And Luke was with me a lot. He played a big part in my baseball career when he was one of my best friends. He was always there and he’d keep a lid on me a little bit. He was there to bounce things off of. That first year was fun, I mean we were playing baseball. Back then you set up the machine to hit extra and you’d always want to be first one to hit.”

-JD-

G-Braves Introduce Manager Brian Snitker

Manager Brian Snitker and GM North Johnson.  Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden. (For full press conference video-click photo.)

Manager Brian Snitker and GM North Johnson.
Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden.

The Gwinnett Braves held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to introduce their new Field Manager Brian Snitker.

In front of local media, VIP guests and front office staff, Snitker officially took over as the new skipper of the Gwinnett Braves. He replaces Randy Ready, who left the organization after one season with the Braves. Snitker will serve as the third manager in Gwinnett Braves’ franchise history.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Snitker. “I live 14 miles from here. I have raised my kids here in Lilburn and Brookwood High School. My mom lives five minutes from here. This couldn’t be any better for me.”

Snitker, who last served as the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves, has plenty of managerial experience, spending 17 seasons with the Atlanta Braves organization. He posted a career 1140-1145 record while leading ten different affiliates from 1982 through 2006. In 1999 and 2000, he led the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to consecutive Carolina League Championships. After the 2006 season, Snitker joined the Atlanta Braves as their third base coach and served under Hall of Fame Manager Bobby Cox and current Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez.

“I got to work with two of the better managers in the game of baseball, Bobby Cox and Fredi Gonzalez,” said Snitker. “They were practically the same guy on how they handled situations, players and the adversity that people don’t see on an everyday basis.”

Atlanta Braves prospects from left to right: Aaron Northcraft, J.R. Graham, Gus Schlosser, Kyle Kubitza and Lucas Sims. Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden

Atlanta Braves prospects from left to right: Aaron Northcraft, J.R. Graham, Gus Schlosser, Kyle Kubitza and Lucas Sims. Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden

The thirty minute conference was lighthearted and fun, as Snitker was joined by General Manager North Johnson, Media Relations Manager Dave Lezotte and Atlanta Braves prospects Lucas Sims, Kyle Kubitza, J.R. Graham, Gus Schlosser and Aaron Northcraft. Snitker and the prospects fielded questions from the local media as well as Gwinnett Braves season ticket holders. Snitker will head to Spring Training as soon as pitchers and catchers report to Lake Buena Vista, FL at the beginning of February.

Season ticket holders and G-Braves staff. Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden

Season ticket holders and G-Braves staff. Photo credit: Chris Roughgarden

All in all, it was a great day to be at Coolray Field. With the beginning of the season approaching, Snitker is up for the job. Gwinnett kicks off the home schedule at Coolray Field on Friday, April 11th at 7:05 p.m. against the Durham Bulls. For more information on the G-Braves and Coolray Field, visit Gwinnettbraves.com, as well as our social media outlets at facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves!

-Juan Dorado

New to the Mix – Alden Treadway Staff Feature

This offseason, the G-Braves have brought in eight new staff members. To get fans more acclimated to the recently added staff, we will be having weekly staff features here on the blog. The next newbie is Account Executive, Alden Treadway.

How did you end up with the G-Braves and what previous sports experience, if any, got you to the position you currently hold?

This is my first job in the sports industry. I previously worked in software sales in Nashville, TN. I saw this awesome opportunity to start a career in the sports industry and jumped on it!

As a new member of the staff, what are you looking forward to most when it comes to working for a new team?

I am most looking forward to working in a smaller environment, and taking the time to get to know everyone here at the Gwinnett Braves. I am also looking forward to learning the ins and outs of working for a sports team, and game days!

What is your dream job in sports and how does it compare to what you wanted to be as a kid?

My dream is to find my niche within the sports industry, and really excel at it. When I was a kid, I wanted to be something different everyday! My favorite day was when I decided I would be an astronaut.

We asked each new staff member a number of “This or That” questions to find out some things you might not figure out by just looking at the online staff bios.

“Backstreet Boys all the way” was Alden’s reaction to the N’ Sync & Backstreet question. WHen it comes to movies, The Sandlot is her all-time favorite, so it doesn’t seem like Goldberg and the Mighty Ducks stood much of a chance in that aspect of things. After admitting to dressing up as the red Power Ranger on various occasions, she picked the Putty Patrol fighting Power Rangers over the Ninja Turtles. If there was a TV Sitcom she could be a part of, it would be Friends while her favorite cartoon growing up was Road Runner. In the Adam Sandler movie question, she selected the penguin-hallucinating personality of Billy Madison over the high-tempered, Bob Barker fighting Happy Gilmore.

Alden is more of a night person than a morning person, which is good for the long hours of baseball season, or perhaps because she fights crime as she picked Superwoman as her favorite superhero over the Superman or Batman selection. I guess the question could be a little partial towards males when push comes to shove. If a movie was made of her life, Emma Stone would star as Alden Treadway in a comedy. She also prefers College Football (“Go Rebs”) over the NFL.

In the food portion of the quickfire, she doesn’t like McDonalds or Burger King but if she had to choose, it would be Micky D’s. Chick-Fil-A beat out Zaxby’s and she would pick Mexican everyday of the week over Italian food.

Her walk up song is surely a Bon Jovi favorite, so take a listen and stay tuned for our next staff feature! We have three to go!

Tom Glavine: The First G-Brave in Cooperstown

Newly-minted Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine pitched twice for Gwinnett in 2009.

Newly-minted Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine pitched twice for Gwinnett in 2009 (Gwinnett Braves).

Though he played just two games with the club, legendary Atlanta Braves’ left-hander Tom Glavine is a former G-Brave.  With the announcement of Glavine as part of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2014 induction class yesterday, the Gwinnett Braves Baseball Club has its first member of Cooperstown.

Glavine, who will be enshrined in the Hall alongside rotation-mate Greg Maddux and their manager Bobby Cox on July 27, 2014, was ever-so-briefly a member of the Gwinnett roster in 2009.  The G-Braves were not quite two months into their inaugural season at then-named Gwinnett Stadium when Glavine came to town on a minor league injury rehab assignment.

Glavine had rejoined Atlanta as a free agent in 2008 after spending the previous five seasons with the New York Mets.  He went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts that year, a campaign shortened by three trips to the disabled list.  A nagging left elbow strain ended the left-hander’s season in mid-August, and Glavine underwent surgery with Dr. James Andrews to repair a torn flexor tendon on August 21.  The 2009 season was to be the 43-year-old’s comeback from the only major injury of his career.

His first rehab outing came with Double-A Mississippi on April 12, 2009, a 2.0-inning start in which he allowed a run on three hits in a no-decision.  Though he was efficient with 26 strikes among his 36 pitches, Glavine wouldn’t take the mound again until late May.

It was on May 23, 2009 when Glavine made his Gwinnett Braves debut.  In front of a Gwinnett Stadium crowd of 9,294, he turned in 3.0 innings against Toledo, yielding three runs on five hits.  Two of those runs came on a two-run homer by Mud Hens’ first baseman Ryan Roberson in the third inning.  Glavine left in line to lose, but the G-Braves scored seven runs over the fourth and fifth innings to take a 9-3 lead.  Two scoreless frames from reliever Francisley Bueno and a rain storm that erupted prior to the sixth gave Gwinnett the 9-3 victory in a shortened five-inning contest.

Five days later, Glavine made his final appearance in a G-Braves uniform and provided one last glimpse of his legacy for the 5,571 in attendance.  He handcuffed the Indianapolis Indians to six hits over 5.0 scoreless innings, walking one while striking out two.  Glavine threw 67 pitches, 41 for strikes to earn the win as Gwinnett prevailed, 10-6.

Those two outings (1-0 with a 3.38 ERA) marked the whole of Glavine’s time as a G-Brave.  However, it was not his final outing in professional baseball.  The last start of his career came with the Class-A Rome Braves on June 2, 2009.  Glavine won that game as well, tossing 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings, walking none and striking out two in a 3-0 blanking of Augusta.

Glavine’s rehab assignment ended after that game, as did his professional career.  Though he had been dominant in his last two minor league starts, the 22-year Major League veteran was released on June 3, 2009.  The following February, he officially retired from the game in order to join the Atlanta Braves’ broadcast team and serve as a special assistant to Braves’ president John Schuerholz.

Four years later, Glavine is rightfully headed to the Hall of Fame.  He goes in as a career 305-game winner, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, a 10-time All-Star, a World Series MVP and lastly, a former G-Brave.

Though Glavine is the first player to don the Gwinnett Braves uniform to reach the Baseball Hall of Fame, he’s not the only member of the 2014 class with ties to the Richmond/Gwinnett franchise.  Glavine, along with managers Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, all spent time as players with the Richmond Braves.

Bobby Cox, Richmond Braves third baseman in 1967.

Bobby Cox, Richmond Braves third baseman in 1967 (left photo).

Long before his days in the Atlanta dugout, Cox was a Braves’ farmhand himself, playing in 99 games with Richmond in 1967.  A 26-year-old third baseman, Cox batted .297 with 17 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs and 51 RBIs for manager Luman Harris and the ’67 squad.  That team finished first in the International League with an 81-60 regular-season record before falling in the first round of the playoffs.

Tony La Russa played for Atlanta in 1971 and was a member of the Richmond Braves in 1972.

Tony LaRussa played for Atlanta in 1971 and was a member of the Richmond Braves in 1972.

LaRussa played second base for Richmond in 1972 and appeared in 122 games for the club led by manager Clyde King.  Like Cox, he was productive at the plate, hitting .308 with 13 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 42 RBIs.  The ’72 R-Braves finished sixth in the IL with a record of 65-78, missing the playoffs.

Glavine as a member of the Richmond Braves, likely during the 1987 season.  (Gwinnett Braves Archives)

Glavine as a member of the Richmond Braves, likely during the 1987 season. (Gwinnett Braves Archives)

And finally we’re back to Glavine, who also pitched for Richmond in 1986 and 1987.  After going 11-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 22 starts for Double-A Greenville in 1986, Glavine joined Richmond and went 1-5 with a 5.62 ERA in seven starts.  Though his numbers weren’t great, he contributed to a team that claimed the franchise’s second Governors’ Cup Championship.  A 21-year-old Glavine returned to manager Roy Majtyka’s club in 1987, and despite a tough-luck 6-12 record, posted a respectable 3.35 ERA and four complete games in 22 starts.  That would be his last non-rehab stint in the minor leagues, as he joined the Atlanta Braves that same season and became a Major League mainstay in 1988.

While Cox, LaRussa and Glavine are going into the Hall based on the merits of historic Major League careers, each began their journey to Cooperstown in the minor leagues.  For a moment in time, those journeys intersected with the rich history of the Richmond and Gwinnett Braves franchise.

-DL

New to the Mix – Brandon Apter Staff Feature

This offseason, the G-Braves have brought in eight new staff members. To get fans more acclimated to the recently added staff, we will be having weekly staff features here on the blog. Up next is the new Marketing & Promotions Manager, Brandon Apter.

How did you end up with the G-Braves and what previous sports experience, if any, got you to the position you currently hold?

I started my baseball career in 2009 with an internship in Reading, PA with the Fightin’ Phils. After that, I enjoyed a nine-month stint as the Marketing Assistant for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in Delaware. The past three seasons, I worked with the Frederick Keys in Maryland. I applied for the G-Braves position from a posting I saw on PBEO. After interviewing here and meeting the staff, I knew it was going to be a great fit and a step forward in my career.

As a new member of the staff, what are you looking forward to most when it comes to working for a new team?

I am looking forward to interacting with the fans first and foremost. Whether it is on-field promotions or theme nights, I want everyone to have a great experience when they come to a game, even if the team loses. Also, working with a new staff is always a new challenge. That being said, the staff I get to work with here is great. Everyone has a great attitude about their respective jobs and we all get along. Also, coming from a team with a ballpark built in the late 80’s, it is surreal to be working in a gorgeous, state-of-the-art facility as well. This is my first time living outside of the Northeast, so I am looking forward to the new adventures this job brings.

What is your dream job in sports and how does it compare to what you wanted to be as a kid?

My dream job in sports is kind of undecided at this point. If I had to choose, it would probably be Director of In-Game Entertainment for a Major League club or perhaps General Manager of a Minor League Baseball team. The family fun atmosphere in MiLB is one of my favorite things to contribute to, so I hope that Minor League Baseball continues to be my profession for a while. How that compares to what I wanted to be as a kid? I wanted to be an ice cream man…so I don’t think I was really even close.

We asked each new staff member a number of “This or That” questions to find out some things you might not figure out by just looking at the online staff bios.

Brandon says Bye Bye Bye to N’ Sync as he prefers the musical stylings of the Backstreet Boys over JT’s group. When it comes to sports movies, he selected the classic baseball flick The Sandlot over the Bash Brothers, Coach Bombay and the Mighty Ducks. Having dressed up as Raphael for plenty of Halloweens as a kid, it is safe to say he prefers the Shredder fighting Ninja Turtles over the Megazord and the Power Rangers. When it comes to Adam Sandler Movies, Brandon chose the Snack Pack loving Billy Madison over the Chubbs trained swing of Happy Gilmore.

If he could be a member of a TV Sitcom family, it would be the Matthews family of Boy Meets World. If a movie was made about Brandon’s life, it would be a comedy and the lead role would be played by Paul Rudd. His favorite cartoon growing up was a tie between Ninja Turtles and Doug and he is a fan of Clark Kent’s double identity as Superman over Bruce Wayne and Batman. Brandon is a night person rather than a morning person and likes the NFL over College Football.

In the food aspect of the quickfire, he picked McDonalds over Burger King, Chick-Fil-A over Zaxby’s and Italian food over Mexican.

Take a listen to what he chose as his walk out song right here and stay tuned for our next staff feature later this week!

New to the Mix – Crystal Tanner Staff Feature

This offseason, the G-Braves have brought in eight new staff members. To get fans more acclimated to the recently added staff, we will be having weekly staff features here on the blog. Up next is the new Ticket Sales Manager, Crystal Tanner.

How did you end up with the G-Braves and what previous sports experience, if any, got you to the position you currently hold?

I previously worked in the ticket offices of the Atlanta Braves and Georgia State University Athletics. The G-Braves was a natural next step for me, because this team holds a lot of the philosophies that the Atlanta Braves hold.

As a new member of the staff, what are you looking forward to most when it comes to working for a new team?

It is really exciting to work for a team that welcomes new ideas and fresh perspectives. I also am looking forward to meeting more of our fans, and taking care of them.

What is your dream job in sports and how does it compare to what you wanted to be as a kid?

I would love to be a director of ticketing for a major professional team, which doesn’t even compare to what I wanted to be as a kid: I wanted to be Pat Summit’s Associate Head Basketball Coach for the Tennessee Volunteers. I grew up around basketball (my dad was a high school coach) and played in college, so I always thought I would coach.

We asked each new staff member a number of “This or That” questions to find out some things you might not figure out by just looking at the online staff bios.

When asked to pick between N’ Sync or the Backstreet Boys, Crystal couldn’t decide, saying it is the toughest decision of her life to pick just one of them. The Flying ‘V’ left a lasting impression in her sports movie life and she selected the Mighty Ducks over the baseball favorite, The Sandlot. Crystal also prefers College Football over the NFL.

If a movie was made about her life, Crystal said that it would be a romantic comedy and Helen Hunt would play her role. When it comes to TV Sitcom families, she would want to be a member of the Bluths from Arrested Development. In terms of superheros, she prefers Bruce Wayne’s Caped Crusader over Clark Kent’s Man of Steel. Also, Rugrats was her favorite cartoon growing up. In the Adam Sandler movie question, Crystal selected the penguin-hallucinating Billy Madison over the hockey wannabe, Happy Gilmore.

Food-wise, Crystal doesnt like Burger or Mickey D’s, she like Chick-Fil-A over Zaxby’s and Mexican food over Italian, which if you are keeping track, is the THIRD straight new employee that prefers Mexican food over Italian.

Last but not least, Crystal’s choice for walk up song. Take a listen and stay tuned for our next staff feature in the coming week! Only 118 days until Opening Day, ladies and gents!

New to the Mix – Andrea Sadtler

This offseason, the G-Braves have brought in eight new staff members. To get fans more acclimated to the recently added staff, we will be having weekly staff features here on the blog. Up next we have our new Senior Corporate Partnerships Executive, Andrea Sadtler.

How did you end up with the G-Braves and what previous sports experience, if any, got you to the position you currently hold?

I worked for the Chicago Sky (WNBA) right out of college doing ticket sales then was offered a position with Feld Entertainment selling sponsorship. Really enjoy corporate sales and sponsorship so wanted to continue that with the G-Braves. So, after I took the summer off to recover from wedding planning, quitting a job, moving, etc. I applied for the job with the G-Braves.

As a new member of the staff, what are you looking forward to most when it comes to working for a new team?

I am looking forward to all of the new people I will meet—coworkers, partners and others in the community.

What is your dream job in sports and how does it compare to what you wanted to be as a kid?

I can’t remember ever having a dream job growing up so I have turned my love for playing sports into working in sports. My “dream job” has changed drastically over the last few years as I have changed jobs, teams/organizations and had different responsibilities. So, I don’t want to limit myself on what I think I will like the most or better and instead I just focus on the aspects of my current job that I love.

We asked each new staff member a number of “This or That” questions to find out some things you might not figure out by just looking at the online staff bios.

Andrea…or Ande as she is known around the office picked Nick Carter and the Backstreet Boys over Justin Timberlake’s N’ Sync, The Sandlot over the Mighty Ducks and Ninja Turtles over the Power Rangers.

When it comes to her taste of Adam Sandler movies, she prefers the sweet golf swing of Happy Gilmore to the Snack Pack eating Billy Madison. If she was a member of a TV Sitcom family, it would be the Seaver’s from The Growing Pains.

An Indiana native and Colts fan, Ande picked the NFL over college football. Also, her favorite cartoon growing up was Scooby-Doo. She says she is a night person rather than a morning person, which could be related to her choice of The Dark Knight, Batman, over Superman.

 

Ande prefer’s Chick-Fil-A over Zaxby’s, BK over Mickey D’s and Mexican food over Italian.

Last but not least, her walk-out song….Oohh Ahh by The Grits. Take a listen and stay tuned later this week for another staff feature!

 

New to the Mix – Tyler Graham Staff Feature

This offseason, the G-Braves have brought in eight new staff members. To get fans more acclimated to the recently added staff, we will be having weekly staff features here on the blog. Let’s cut right to the chase and lead things off with the new Ticket Sales Manager, Tyler Grahamwho joined the team on October 18th.

How did you end up with the G-Braves and what previous sports experience, if any, got you to the position you currently hold?

I ended up in Gwinnett after spending the previous 5 seasons working for the Atlanta Braves. In addition to working in the big leagues, I interned for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. Working for such top-notch organizations has given me the experience I’ve needed to grow within this industry.

As a new member of the staff, what are you looking forward to most when it comes to working for a new team?

I’m looking forward to getting to know all of our season ticket holders and continue to make the Gwinnett Braves the premium experience in all of Minor League baseball.

What is your dream job in sports and how does it compare to what you wanted to be as a kid?

While I don’t have one job that I would categorize as a “dream job,” I can say that I always wanted to be involved in the business of sports in some capacity. I’ve been lucky enough to work with and learn from some great people and I look forward to continuing to pursue my goals with the Gwinnett Braves!

We asked each new staff member a number of “This or That” questions to find out some things you might not figure out by just looking at the online staff bios.

Tyler prefers N’Sync over the Backstreet Boys, Benny Rodriguez and The Sandlot over Charlie Conway and Mighty Ducks. He’ll take the pizza-loving Ninja Turtles over the Angel Grove saving Power Rangers as well. His favorite cartoon growing up? Doug. Whether or not he had a crush on Patty Mayonnaise is still a mystery to us all.

When asked who would play him in a movie and what genre his life story would be, Tyler went with Vince Vaughn as the actor to portray him in a comedy. If he were to be a member of a family in a TV Sitcom, it would be Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother.

Tyler likes the NFL (Chicago Bears) over College Football, Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s over Zaxby’s and Burger King. Mexican is above Italian in his book as well. Also, if he needed someone to save him, his choice was Batman over the Man of Steel.

Last but not least, his walk out song…Hells Bells by AC/DC…feel free to take a listen below.

If you want information on tickets, feel free to give Tyler and his ticket department a call at 678-277-0340. Only 116 days until Opening Day here at Coolray!

  •  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers