I attended today's Braves power lunch at the ESPNZone in Buckhead. I had gone in to the event thinking that it might be a bit cheesy - don't know why, I just had that opinion of it for some reason - but it was actually pretty cool. The event was sold out with some 200 people in attendance. Lunch was served from 11am till noon; pasta and pork loin with good sides and deserts. From talking to others at the event who had been before, the food has been much improved.
The crowd was a bit older than I expected with lots of seniors and retirees - I'd say about half. A lot of people knew each other. It seems that there are a lot of repeat attendees to these events. As you would expect most of the people were real dire-hard fans with jerseys and all sorts of fan apparel.
The players in attendance were Buddy Carlyle, Andruw Jones, Chuck James, and Tyler Yates (pictured below from left to right).
The players got one bit of news over with quickly as Chuck James said that he didn't know if he should announce this or not, but he will be starting tomorrow. That got a big cheer from the crowd. James was pretty funny during the whole event and several players made some jokes at his expense - he took it all in stride with a big down home smile across his face the whole afternoon.
AJ strolled in with an Atlanta Falcon's hat on. After his first couple of questions he said that he was still a bit tired - apparently we may have gotten him up a bit too early this morning. He also had an interesting answer to a question about what position he played in little league. Andruw said he played catcher for almost eight years when he was growing up, and only switched to the outfield a year before he was signed by the Braves.
Andruw also spoke some more about the release of Bob Wickman. He repeated much of what has been said in the news already adding that "a couple of things went wrong [with Wickman] that some teammates [and Bobby Cox] didn't appreciate." Tyler Yates also added that the bullpen may be a bit unsettled for a time while everyone grows into their new roles, but that Soriano was the assumed closer.
They had a bunch of raffles during the event, and every attendee got a raffle ticket as well as a game card to be used at the ESPNZone (not sure how much was on it). On the way out they gave away gift bags with a foam tomahawk, bumper sticker, a copy of ChopTalk, and a Braves cap autographed by one of the players in attendance (I got Buddy's signature, yay).
There is one remaining power lunch event on Friday, September 21st at 11am. Tickets will go on sale September 3rd at noon. If you are available that day I highly recommend going. There's no mention of who will be on the panel, but they are trying to get Hank Aaron.