Braves return Friday to kick off the 2nd half of the season with a 6 game home stand, hosting the Cubs and the Dodgers.

Wish the news were better as before the All Star Break we found out that closer Jason Grilli is done for the season and during the break, John Hart announced that All Star first baseman Freddie Freeman will not be back for another few weeks with a wrist strain.

So, it’s going to be interesting to see how the team reacts during the long hot stretch of late July and August baseball. I’m hoping the younger guys (Simmons, Peterson and Maybin) step up while the vets (Uribe, Freeman and Pierzynski) provide the leadership the team needs and has lacked in the past few years.

So with that, now is actually a good time to come out to a game. The painful truth is that crowds are lighter, but that means you can experience more of the fun side of Turner Field, that has nothing to do with baseball.

So, here is whats going on at The Ted: (this is the official press release that I’ve re-written with my own thoughts)

CHICAGO CUBS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES

Friday, July 17 at 7:35 p.m.

Friday Night Means – Fireworks! The best 8 mins of your week! Wait, the best 8 mins you will spend looking at the night sky this week. That’s better.

As always the MLB Ballpark App is free and can be customized to your liking. It’s a great way to keep up with the Braves and everything MLB. There’s “Check In” feature that you can take advantage of when you come to Turner Field and we always give away good stuff when you announce you are in the building. Friday Nights Giveaways include the opportunity to watch Friday Night Fireworks from on the field, Braves Koozies and Race Trac Gift Cards. You can download the App at Braves.com/ballpark, it’s free.

Saturday, July 18 at 7:10 p.m.

GATE GIVEAWAY! People love free stuff. The first 20,000 fans will get a NAPA Auto Parts Braves Hat.

C’Mon kid, do something half decent for your mom! It’s Mother/Son Day at the Ballpark. A special package includes a discounted game ticket, a t-shirt and the chance to participate in the pre-game parade. Tickets available at Braves.com/motherson.

The MLB Ballpark App Check In Giveaway includes a Braves Keychain and Academy Sports Gift Cards.

Sunday, July 19 at 5:10 p.m.

Nothing says Holiday Cheer like 98 degrees and sweat stains, It’s Christmas in July! Special ticket package includes a Braves ugly sweater t-shirt and participation in the pre-game parade. Tickets are available at Braves.com/Christmas.

It’s Alumni Sunday and this week it’s a good one. Get to the Park early to meet former Braves Dale Murphy and Mark Wohlers. They will be in the Fan Plaza starting at 3 pm. (Reminder, the game starts at 5, not 130)

LOS ANGELES DODGERS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (July 20-22)

Monday, July 20 at 7:10 p.m.

Dodgers always bring in a good crowd, so make plans to be there early and to be annoyed by the fringe LA fans. The MLB Ballpark Giveaway Monday includes a Braves t-shirt and Academy Sports Gift Cards.

Tuesday, July 21 at 7:10 p.m.

ANOTHER GATE GIVEAWAY! This time the first 20,000 fans get a Freddie Freeman/Jonny Gomes Hugging bobble head. Talk about exclusive.

The MLB Ballpark App Giveaway includes a Braves Tote Bag and an Autographed Freddie Freeman baseball.

Wednesday, July 22 at 12:10 p.m.

Final game of the home stand and it’s another Business Fan Special (don’t you dare call it a Business Man Special!!)

It’s also Summer Camp Day, so be prepared for thousands of campers hyped up on cotton candy putting their sticky hands on everything running around.

The MLB Ballpark App Check In Offers include a Dale Murphy Bobble head. Nice!

It’s gonna be hot, but its summer in Atlanta, what do you expect. Come out with the family for some fun. You never know this team may surprise everybody in the 2nd half of the season. Regardless, that guy on the big screen is pretty cool.

Follow me on Twitter @Marko6262

Mark

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