You all probably know about the strange coincidence that was happening (I contend still is) in Atlanta. Since a Waffle House opened up at Turner Field, the Atlanta Braves (up until last night) had gone undefeated, winning 14 straight games. Now yes, the Braves did lose last night, finally, by a mere 1-0 score, but I’ll get into that in a moment.
Coincidence, you say? Is it really a coincidence? Is it possible that in this age of PEDS, the Waffle House crew have cooked up some strange brew they add to their delicious hash browns, and then deliver to the Braves’ locker room pre-game? When they are on the road, are the Braves taking high-tech, heated doggie bags full of golden, buttery PEDs filled hash browns with them? No! No! The Braves don’t have any players that use PEDs! I agree, but unless those wonderful hash dishes are filled with something other than potatoes, salt, and butter, how else you fixin’ to explain the connection?
I heard a rumor, and mind you, it’s only a rumor. I heard that last night, some member of the Marlins’ organization may have waylaid the WH crew as they were taking their hash browns down to the Braves’ locker room. I don’t know, perhaps they were hit over the head with a large loaf of bread or a sea bass. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it seems that at least last night, our beloved Braves, for whatever reason, didn’t get their usual helpings of (PED brew filled or not disclaimer) hash browns. Why else would they have lost? There IS clearly a connection between the hash browns and the wins!
Perhaps all this is not as mysterious as I want to believe. I suppose it could be just the very presence of the Waffle House in Atlanta, and specifically at the TED, that has become kind of a common man inspiration for a blue-collar team. After all, if the Braves were regularly stuffing their collective pie-holes with these delectable hash browns, I think we’d start seeing them get a lot bigger, and not in the typical Look how huge that guy is, he must be on PEDS kind of way. Rather, it would be the Look at that guy, he needs to cut down on the carbs! kind of way. That could be it! Perhaps the Braves have eaten so many plates filled with brewed hash browns, that the carb overload just caught up to them last night. Bellies full, bats dead!
All this strange Waffle House talk, Waffle Ball videos, and a plethora of other Waffle-related stories have all got my brain churning, much like Waffle House hash browns get my stomach churning just thinking about their buttery, goodness. I’ve discussed these theories, conspiracy or otherwise, with several baseball analysts (previous food-experience notwithstanding), and some of us have come to a conclusion. Those of you who disagreed can just kiss my grits! Here’s our conclusion: We think that if the Braves can go on a such a streak of greased lightning with the inclusion of a Waffle House at the TED, then perhaps some other ball clubs could learn from our success! Let’s look at some examples, and we’ll limit our research to our own NL East division….
New York Mets
There may be other food chains that started in the Big Apple, but one of the most well-known is T.G.I. Fridays. Yes! Thank God it’s Friday! Who hasn’t dropped in to a T.G.I. Friday’s at some point, and chowed down on some good, ole’ fashioned American Fare? They have just about everything you could want in American cuisine, but probably their most popular these days is their Jack Daniels‘ Grill food. Laced with, smothered and/or marinated in, and otherwise infused with Tennessee’s most famous whiskey, it’s a virtual smorgasbord of tasty burgers, shrimp, ribs, steak, chicken, and fish.
The Braves won the series against the Mets 2-1 back on May 24-26, lost what was essentially a five game series (with double-header) to the Mets on June 17-20, and split a four game series with the Mets on July 22-25. Facing the Mets who now have a current record of 52-61, the Braves ought to have fared better in those series, but of course we didn’t have the Waffle House in the TED for inspiration at that point! The Braves will face them one more time this year, and because we have a Waffle House, I predict a sweep! I noted that we only played the Mets one time on a Friday and we won that game 7-5. I just think that if perhaps there was a T.G.I. Fridays at Citi Field, the Mets would have won that game for sure! If they ate enough of the Jack Daniel’s Grill food, they might not even have cared! Food for thought. It’s been years since I visited Citi Field, so I cannot say for sure what food amenities they have now. I did find however, that they have a Pat LaFrieda’s Chop House. Weird, huh?
I couldn’t find a chain of restaurants that started in Philadelphia, but I’m sure there have been some. What I do know is that when you think of Philadelphia, you think of the famed Cheese Steak! It’s also been many years since I visited Citizen’s Bank Park, and while I don’t know for sure what eatin’ places they have, I’d bet dollars to donuts that you can get a Cheese Steak at many of them.
Ahh, the proverbial Cheese Steak! Notice the reverence with which I capitalized cheese and steak! Touted in legend and lore, it can be made with or without peppers, with various kinds of cheeses and cheese styles from sliced to chopped and shredded, to the age-old melted, cheese-wiz variety. Everyone loves a good Cheese Steak, whether you live in Philly or not! The Phillies have struggled immensely this year, and I have to wonder if they’ve gotten rid of some or all of the Cheese Steak establishments in Citizen’s Bank Park. Can anyone confirm this?
Miami is known as a food mecca, and we could talk about a ton of different fine-dining establishments, and world-class seafood, but you may not know that the infamous Burger King started in Miami. Yes, that fast food chain with the weird guy dressed like a king, looking at you in a weird way, commercials. They have wonderful burgers, cooked over a charbroil, flame grill. The problem is that as far as my research could take me, I see absolutely no listing of a single Burger King in Marlins Park. That, my friend, is a travesty of epicurean proportions! If the Phillies have struggled this year, the Fish have defined basement.
No dis to them, but I have to think that if they had just one, single BK establishment in their park, who knows where they might be now in the NL East race? Imagine fans being able to partake, pre-game, mid-game, 7th inning stretch, or post-game of a nice, freshly fried, delicious BK Premium Alaskan Fish Sandwich. When the Fish… uhm, I mean the Marlins got a bit healthier recently, got their rotation back on track, and started winning, my first thought was… They must have a BK in their park now! I see now that they don’t, so I’m at a loss to explain any wins they might produce, including last night’s victory. Did they get a BK?
No, I wasn’t going to leave the Nats out of the mix. I just mention them last because, well, that’s how they’re playing right now. Oh, and also because search as I might, I couldn’t find a single chain restaurant that got it’s start in our nation’s capital. I imagine about the only thing that gets started in Washington are lots of pork barrel spending, political back-biting, and actual conspiracies not of the food variety! Everyone had the Nationals picked to lead and even run away with the NL East this year, but that has not been the case now has it? I haven’t been to Nationals Park, but all I could find on their website was a mere Presidential Club Dining area. Need I say more?
That’s A Wrap
Our own Fred Owens like to finish his articles with the line above. I thought I’d steal his closer because the word, Wrap is in it, and that conjures for me thoughts of melty cheese, bacon, turkey, and all kinds of other goodies firmly ensconced in a delicious, fried, flour tortilla. Tasty yes, but that kind of food is a bit too healthy to get er’ done! in the world of baseball. You gotta have a waffle, a hash brown, a Cheese Steak, or something that sticks to your ribs to win games in today’s world of baseball. Whether these ball parks include such establishments, and whether or not they put any strange brews in the food, is a question they’ll have to ponder themselves. Is it a mysterious food conspiracy that’s helping the Braves to win all these games? A strange hash brew? I dunno, but I’ll wrap this serious article up, go get some lunch, and think about it some more.
[Disclaimer: This commentary is complete satire, and not intended in any way to disparage any eating establishment, ball park, ball club, or food variety. While I may not love all ball clubs, I certainly love all foods, and respect any organizations's right to eat what they like, even if you are what you eat!]