Braves Fans Respond to Heyward Trade on Twitter: Say-Hey It Ain’t So

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, traded, outfielder, baseball, major league baseball

Say goodbye, J-Hey…

Why is it that nothing breaks your heart like baseball?

I’m so disappointed by today’s news that the Braves traded Jason Heyward today. I’m a longtime fan of the game and the team, and I was hoping to watch this kid grow up before our eyes and spend his career at Turner Field –

Oops! … Make that, somewhere in metro Atlanta.

Is that too much to ask? To see a talented, likable young player get to play out his career with the same team? Or at least much of it?

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, trade, baseball , T-shirt, fan, 22, St. Louis Cardinals,

I’m keeping it.

Am I being romantic? Thinking the game is more important than the business? Of course. It’s baseball!

But I’m no expert, and I don’t enjoy following the ins-and-outs of trades and negotiations and free agency, and why the BJ Upton deal ruined everything that Dan Uggla didn’t destroy.

I just know that I’m one step closer to bailing on the Braves completely. After the terrible season. After Uggla. After COBB COUNTY… And you can’t tell me that of all the crappy things about this team, that Jason Heyward was the one that needed to go. You just can’t.

La Stella was an exciting anti-Uggla — so, of course, he’s gone, too.  At least we still have Freeman, Gattis, Chris Johnson, for now… But still, J-Hey was special.

On Twitter, fans who are more informed, funnier and angrier are offering better commentary. Here are some samples.

And Braves, seriously: I might be done with you.

The Braves just traded Jason Heyward to the Cardinals. So uh, that’s it for me and baseball

Atlanta Braves, after milking Cobb County taxpayers for hundreds of millions, trade Jason Heyward before his payday:

Jason Heyward: I want to thank the fans in Braves nation. I gave it 100% for them.

As if  fans weren’t already excited about , here are five more reasons to be stoked: 

“This deal is definitely focused on the short term.” -  GM John Mozeliak:  

Thanks  for 5 years of giving your all to 

Jason Heyward‘s 1st MLB AB remains one of the coolest baseball moments of the decade.

 trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took a monumental risk. Blog:

 Hart’s approval rating just took a nosedive. Braves fans are 

 Better to move JHey than Jup. “Potential” never hit 25+ homers in back to back seasons.

Jason Heyward is an impact defender but has really slipped offensively. Last 2 years: 25 HR, .400 SLG. Nate Schierholtz: 28 HR, .400 SLG

. to STL.  to ATL. We have our first blockbuster.  

The Braves traded Jason Heyward to the freakin’ Cardinals? C’mon now John Hart.

why would you trade Jason Heyward PERIOD??? RT : Why would you trade Jason Hayward for pitching.

If Jason Heyward is traded because of the ridiculous  contracts given to Uggla & BJ there is no justice in this world.

RIP Jason Heyward dreams

RELATED >> Read blogger Sean Breslin’s take on this. 

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Krog Street Market Continues Atlanta’s Intown Redevelopment Buzz — PHOTOS

Krog Street Market, one of the many intown projects to turn old industrial space into fabulous retail/restaurant developments, is coming along smashingly.

Friends had a great dinner Friday at The Luminary, where the bar staff says they’ve been packing in diners for a couple of months. John Tarrant told me Saturday that he and his wife, Cindy, hope to open French Market Flowers next week. Folks at Little Tart coffee and bakeshop said the same thing.

Krog Street Market is next to the BeltLine and not far from Ponce City Market. From the engaging and informative website:

Krog Street market is a destination for Atlanta’s intown culture – those who are always searching for unique, specialty creations. It’s designed to be as authentic as the 1920’s warehouse it’s built into. With market stalls to sell produce, goods, and prepared food, along with a few southern-grown restaurants and retailers, the market will offer Atlantans a gathering place of sorts – a locale for taking in an extraordinary meal or picking up a few inspiring ingredients – a west coast-style market, right in the heart of Inman Park.

I enjoyed a quick walk-through Saturday, where renovations are concluding, and I look forward to Krog Street Market’s success. It’s another exciting addition to the neighborhood. And now I won’t have to drive so far for my Jeni’s Ice Cream fix.


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Chicken Wing Ice Cream? Bacon Dental Floss? 7 Flavor Experiments to Make You Go ‘Ick’ – Or Not

As families gather for their holiday feasts across the country, millions of Americans will look forward in particular to one enduring favorite side dish: the green bean casserole.

campbells_green-bean-casserole_s4x3_lgIt’s a staple, after all.

But it wasn’t always so. In fact, it was invented by a Campbell’s employee, one Dorcas Reilly, some 60 years ago.

Hard to believe, but canned soup, fried onion bits and green beans weren’t always a natural go-to combo. Now the dish sells millions of dollars in condensed mushroom goo every fourth quarter.

It’s in the spirit of Campbell’s immortal La Reilly, then, that we aren’t sure whether to chuckle, cringe or take a bite when we see things like these seven flavor experiments. Some are new, some are just new to us, and some are sure to be gone by the holiday season next year.

Or not.

With commentary from friends who are chefs, food writers or both, most of them offered during a lively group discussion on Facebook:

Cappuccino-Potato-Chips1. Cappuccino Potato Chips, from Lay’s, which also test-marketed Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger this year.

Reports Jill Silva, food editor of the Kansas City Star: “I left those cappuccino chips out in the newsroom – where every dish gets wiped clean – and I was accused of trying to poison my colleagues.”

Kristen Browning-Blas, until recently the food editor of The Denver Post: “I suppose marketing people know that consumers respond to wacky new taste sensations. I think American palates are so inured to the artificial burst of sweet-salt flavors that real food doesn’t taste right to them.”

images2. Bacon dental floss. Jill also notes the growing popularity of bacon-flavored additives, including this one.

maplebaconbeer3. Carlos Frias of The Palm Beach Post posted this on Instagram: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. From Funky Buddha, no less.

4. “Garlic ice cream is the latest craziness I’ve heard about,” says Meridith Ford, a pastry chef, former dining critic at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and currently a marketing consultant for Atlanta restaurants.

Crazy — or inspired? I think this one could work. I still dream of Hector Santiago’s avocado ice cream at his late Pura Vida. And I don’t even mind Richard Blais’s foie gras milkshake, which endures currently at his Flip Burger chain.

chicken-wing-ice-cream5. Chicken Wing Ice Cream. Here, though, we draw the line.

6. Kool-Aid Pickles, included by Susan Puckett in her book “Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey through the Soul of the South.”

“They are a Mississippi Delta classic started years ago by kids in poor neighborhoods who would go into convenience stores after school and buy a pack of Kool-Aid, open it up and sprinkle it over a jumbo dill pickle,” Susan says.

Kool-Aid-Pickles“Then store owners saw an opportunity and started marinating them in different flavors. They are not for everyone, to say the least.

7. Frito’s Pizza at Papa John’s. Susan’s husband, Ralph Ellis of CNN, points out this one but offers no elaboration.

Sometimes, none’s needed.


So, will any of these make it to your kitchen this year?

Send us your own crazy favorites.

Bon appetit!

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‘Everybody Writes’ in the Content Age

Ann Handley, Everybody Writes, content, content marketing, brand journalism, book on writing better, how to write better, improve your writing, public relationsShe had me at “learnings.”

That’s when content-marketing expert and author Ann Handley won my heart. About halfway through her newest best-selling book, “Everybody Writes,” Handley lists the business jargon terms she most dislikes.

I was enjoying her choices, since they mirror mine. The “Yeah, yeah — what she said” admiration I’d been developing through the book warmed as the list progressed.

And when Handley concluded with “learnings” … well, that was it. I have a new girl-crush.

Or in Twitter parlance, Handley is my first #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday).

“Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” is:

  • A leading addition to the growing canon of books on content marketing/brand journalism/storytelling.
  • A snappy guide to help people write better in the Strunk & White vein.
  • And an endlessly valuable resource for anyone wanting to improve his or her communications skills, learn more about writing in today’s marketing context, and make sense of the various social media channels.

ALSO READ… ‘Epic Content Marketing’ … and ‘Tweet Naked,’ 2 More… 

It’s also ideal for browsing, dog-earing and highlighting phrases, experts and websites. It’s the kind of book you go back to and say, “Ooh, where was that thing…” and flip around till you find it. (Buy a printed copy, instead of the Kindle version I read.)

Handley’s helpful, no-nonsense approach seeks to demystify writing, and she breaks it down into endless useful tips — from the basics to a wide range of content creation.

As she points out, in today’s business world, “writing matters more… not less” and it’s a skill to be learned, not a rare talent that alights only the inspired. Her book will be a solid refresher for seasoned writers; helpful to print veterans navigating their way into digital; and most useful to non-writers who realize — or accept or admit — that  they really do need to develop writing skills.

Now that would be a learning.

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Requiem for a Teacher

I learned Thursday that my favorite teacher from high school died recently. A friend from back then messaged me on Facebook, but he didn’t share any details about what happened or what our former teacher’s life had been like since we last saw him in 1980.

Pete Mindock, Gateway High School, obituary, Jay Croft, storycroft, Atlanta

Mr. Mindock behind a typewriter, feet up

I found an online obituary in The Denver Post. Esophageal cancer, diagnosed a year ago, killed Pete Mindock on Oct. 14. He was 64 and left a wife and two adult children. His memorial service will be Friday in Denver.

Pete Mindock changed my life. He was the journalism instructor at Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., a suburb of Denver, in the late ‘70s when I was a teen-ager. He was also a real-live sportswriter at The Denver Post. And he might’ve been the first adult who ever told me, and showed me, that I was good at something.

He led the kids in producing an award-winning school newspaper. When I joined the staff as a sophomore, the editor was a senior who grew up to become a Washington Post and Time magazine reporter. I met my best friend there, and he went on to lead digital communications at PBS. It was with them all that I started to form my identity as a reporter and writer.

I remember Mindock as what they used to call a “man’s man,” naturally masculine and not sentimental, but playful and a tad vain. When you earned a compliment, it meant something. When you let him down, that did, too. He called me “Jaybird” sometimes. We called him “Smindo,” his log-on at The Post, until he made us cut it out.

Mindock taught me to value the precision of language, the responsibility of the media and what my role in the world could be as a storyteller.

He hated clichés. So I shouldn’t say that he and the Medallion gang opened a whole world to me. But they did.

They gave me an idea of what I wanted to be and how to become it.

Mindock left the school the summer before my senior year. I don’t think I ever saw him again. His obit informed me he had become a successful financial adviser for more than three decades, a lifetime beyond teaching and reporting.

I hope this is not a sentimental piece. But I sobbed in my office when I heard Pete Mindock had died.

I pulled out the yearbooks Thursday night and found what he’d scribbled to me, 35 years ago at the end of my 10th grade year. He ended it with this:

“Seriously, Jay, good luck and remember. Short sentences, short paragraphs and be honest. – Pete Mindock, ‘79”

It’s still good advice.


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Real Estate, Restaurants and the Delicious ‘Bitter’ — A Reader Shares His Favorite Local Blogs

A reader sent this handy list of Atlanta blogs he reads daily. I liked it so much that I want to share it — and ask you to let me know about other good blogs or social media accounts in and around metro Atlanta, or your own hometown. Shoot an email or leave a comment! Thanks.

Blog Name URL Notes
Curbed Atlanta Great real estate general interest site. Syndicate of the national site, but very up on development news and events in the community.
Eater Atlanta Curbed’s sister site. Very good for restaurant openings, etc. Eater 38 directory is my go-to for restaurant recommendations to friends.
Architecture Tourist This is probably my favorite site. He’s a great writer with an excellent eye. While his focus is ostensibly about  buildings and architecture, many times he makes poignant commentary on Atlanta, its history and its challenges and opportunities.
ATL Urbanist Always worth a look and I love his commitment to and advocacy of downtown.
Sidewalk Radio This is a podcast that also has a website cultivated by Gene Kansas, a local developer/broker focused on pedestrian-scale commercial  real estate.
Bitter Southerner This is an online magazine founded and edited by a friend, Chuck Reece. Great stories about the new/developing/emerging/blossoming South. Really excellent writing.
Creative Loafing – Fresh Loaf This is Creative Loafing’s news blog. While their slant is a little predictable, their coverage is generally excellent. Thomas Wheatley, their editor, is great – finds time and space for issues that otherwise completely uncovered.
Arts ATL Good arts news and events. I love their local architecture critiques.
Atlanta Reddit Page Read primarily for the comments – although a little scatter-brained (as you would expect) sometimes the insights into living in Atlanta can make it worth it.
Atlanta Time Machine Actually I changed my mind, this is my favorite. It’s not update much as he was run over in a tragic accident a few months ago… read more about it on the Atlanta Reddit page. WARNING – BLACK HOLE OF TIME – I could literally spend a whole day on this website.
Midtown Archive Great but rarely updated site. Still, I love what he is able to find.
What Now Atlanta? Restaurant and retail openings and closings by sassy gay boy. Oh – and failing restaurant inspections!

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What’s Her Story: Carrying on the ‘Peanuts’ Legacy While Drawing Her Own, Too

Paige Braddock, Snoopy, Peanuts, Jane, Jane's World, lesbian, comic, groundbreaking comic book, Charles M. Schulz, creative director

Paige Braddock, in a photo by her wife, Evelyn Braddock

The “Peanuts” holiday shows are seasonal classics enjoyed now by several generations. Starting with Halloween’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and going through to “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the beloved comic strip characters Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock and, of course, Snoopy work their magic every time.

But for Paige Braddock, the “Peanuts” gang is a year-round job of spreading sweet bliss. She is the creative director at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates in Northern California. Paige oversees the visual and editorial direction for all “Peanuts” licensed products all over the world. A cartoonist herself, she has drawn several “Peanuts” books, the Snoopy U.S. postage stamp, and the Newsweek cover of Snoopy when Schulz died in February 2000.

Paige, a former Atlantan with deep Southern roots,  also creates her own characters. She has written and drawn the groundbreaking comic “Jane’s World” since the ‘90s, among other projects. “Jane’s World” is about a sweet-natured, romantically befuddled lesbian and her group of friends. It became the first gay-themed comic to receive national syndication when it was picked up for Internet distribution in 2001. Paige started a publishing company to make it available in comic shops and bookstores. (Check out her home page,

Up next for this endlessly creative storyteller? A new illustrated children’s book, plus her first novel next year — and still running “Peanuts,” of course, created by her childhood hero, Schulz, who handpicked her for the job.

What does it mean to be creative director of Peanuts, Inc.?

It basically means you look at a lot of stuff featuring the “Peanuts” characters. Everything: pajamas, T-shirts, toothbrushes, slippers, tennis shoes, nail decals, video games and apps, books, animated commercials for MetLife. It’s to make sure items meet with our editorial standards and don’t use any “Peanuts” characters in inappropriate ways. Like, no profanity, or alcohol use would be two obvious elements to look for, but most of the time it’s much more subtle. For example, the characters need to stay “in character.” Linus should never sound like Lucy and vise versa. People ask sometimes what my typical day is like and it’s sort of impossible to describe. We do a little of everything at the studio and, on top of art direction, I actually still draw the characters from time to time for various uses.

Do you mind telling how you came to this job?

PicMonkey CollageCBI met Schulz — everyone called him Sparky — several times at National Cartoonist Society gatherings and one time, after I’d given a talk in San Antonio, he just came up out of the blue and asked if I wanted a job. I accepted immediately, not really knowing at the time what the job would involve. I think he’d been thinking of stepping away from all the demands of the licensing side of his business — basically, all the “stuff” — so that he could just focus on his comic strip. He wanted help with art direction for the licensed product. He never even advertised for the job. We just sort of met and something I said during the presentation struck a chord with him.

What was he like, Schulz? How was it becoming friends with someone you admired so much?

He was everything you’d hope the creator of “Peanuts” would be. Really. It was nice to meet someone you’ve admired forever and have them actually meet your expectations.

Can you share an example?

One of the things I liked about Sparky was that he took lunch very seriously, as do I. He took a lunch break at the same time every day no matter what was going on. We could be in the middle of some high-level discussion with a potential licensee and when 11:30 rolled around he’d say, “Well, it’s time for lunch.” I loved that. He would also show up at the door to my office with donuts or other desserts around 3 p.m. He’d say something like, “I’ve got this apple pie. Where should we eat it?” And then I’d follow him into the conference room for pie, coffee and some great discussion about theology. His observations were always funny and unique.

As a storyteller, what’s your role in carrying on what he started?

We try not to create new stories with the characters. But that’s not always entirely possible because, as we move the content to different platforms, like digital, we have to alter the content to fit the format. In those cases we use the comic strip as our “Bible.” Luckily, Schulz gave us 50 years of material to use as a guide. I see my role as one of stewardship, not authorship. I encourage everyone on the studio staff to employ the same approach.

How is that different from the work you do on “Jane’s World” and other projects that you originated?

It’s very different in terms of content. But I’ve learned a lot about character and story integrity from working on “Peanuts” over the years. Might as well learn from the master, right?

“Jane’s World” is doing great. How long have you been drawing it now?

I started “Jane’s World” in earnest back in 1995. There were even some early character sketches and single panel comics featuring Jane as far back as 1991 when I was working for the Chicago Tribune.


Paige Braddock, Jane's World, lesbian, comic, cartoon, Snoopy, Peanuts, Schulz

Jane’s World

She’s kinda you, right? Sorta?

Only in our shared love of donuts and our hairstyles.

What draws you to telling stories through comics, rather than just writing or just drawing?

Funny you should ask. I actually wrote a novel this past year and it will be released in May of 2015 from Bold Strokes Books. I’m writing it under a pen name. It’s a lesbian adventure romance. … Graphic novels and comics are very labor-intensive, and I just decided to tell a story rather than draw a story. It was kind of liberating, but hard at the same time. I realized how much I rely on the drawing to relay an emotion or feeling that, in a narrative, has to be represented in words. 

What’s your favorite comic?

Besides “Peanuts,” my favorite modern comic is “Cul de sac.” Hilarious.

As a reader, do you like them online or in print?

Definitely in print.

Does Snoopy tweet? Is Charlie Brown on Facebook?

Yes to both questions. Peanuts social media is managed by our licensing office in New York, Peanuts Worldwide.

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Why Social Media Storytelling is Like a Good Burger

PRSA, Georgia, Atlanta, Maggiano's, public relations, internal communications, business communications, social media, storytelling, facebook, twitter, instagram, children's hospital of atlanta, fleishmanHillard, Georgia Tech, Tech

My burger of choice is at Yeah! Burger, and here Steven Norris and I disagree. He’s more a Bocado man.

I love a good burger and I love storytelling. But it took a Georgia Tech social media pro to connect them for me today.

Social media storytelling is a lot like a good burger, Steven Norris said at a panel discussion sponsored by the Georgia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. A burger should be handcrafted, authentic and multi-layered, just like many stories told via social media. Different channels are like various toppings and condiments — with content being the meat patty and analytics the bun.

I like the idea, largely because it puts content as the centerpiece, regardless of, say, condiments or toppings. It will vary from project to project whether we employ chiefly Twitter, Facebook, any of the others or a combination of some of them. Maybe you lead with a nice slice of American cheese, squirt on a little ketchup and mustard and add some pickle slices today. Tomorrow, you keep it to a simple double-stack with mayo and lettuce. Wrap it all up in fresh-baked analytics, and you’re good to go.

PRSA, Georgia, Atlanta, Maggiano's, public relations, internal communications, business communications, social media, storytelling, facebook, twitter, instagram, children's hospital of atlanta, fleishmanHillard, Georgia Tech, Tech

Maria Jewett and Meg Flynn, with Steven Norris’s slide on the social media storytelling/burger recipe.

You get what he meant.

Some other nice moments from him and the other two panelists:

  • Steven: Any good social media post drives readers back to your website.
  • Maria Jewett of FleishmanHillard: “Having a great cause and having a great story will help your brand grow.”
  • Maria: “I am the editor of my own personal story and so are all of you” — and it’s not much different working for brands or companies.
  • Meg Flynn of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: It’s better to focus on original content (including images) than repurpose marketing material and stock photos.

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Featured Image -- 1953

9 Times An Editor Would’ve Helped

Jay Croft:

These kind of compilations are always fun, and thanks to 101books blog for putting this one together. (A minor quibble: This shows the need for proofreaders and copy editors. The term “editor” is so broad and often means people who provide other tasks as well. But anyone who has been in publishing — or read a blog post like this! — knows how invaluable copy editors and proofreaders are.)

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Editors are my favorite.

They are the unsung heroes of the content world. Writers get all the credit, but editors make the content sing.

If someone ever tells you that editing isn’t that important, or that anyone can do it, or that you don’t really need to hire an editor for your article or book, then you should know this: You’ve just received the worse piece of writing advice in the history of writing advice.

Everyone needs an editor. Even the President of the United States.

Need proof? Here are just a few of the many times using an editor would have been highly beneficial. 

View original 168 more words

Building the BeltLine Culture in Atlanta: ‘I Want to Be a Part of That’

I just got in from a bike ride on the Atlanta BeltLine, where it’s no surprise that everyone loves it. I was curious if people had an opinion about something I heard this week from a top editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The BeltLine will be bigger for Atlanta than the 1996 Olympics were.

I was never a big believer in the scientific veracity of “man on the street” interviews. But they can be fun and, as was the case today, illuminating.

Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine, BeltLine, North Avenue, bikes, bicycle, trees atlanta, jake's ice cream, Piedmont Park, Inman Park, Krog

Daniel Keiger is a big fan of the BeltLine and hopes it lives up to its full potential.

I found Daniel Keiger lounging in the sun outside Atlanta BeltLine Bicycle. He loves the positive, creative energy the trail fosters, and notes that it just keeps building on itself. Like others I spoke to (and the AJC’s senior managing editor Bert Roughton) he said the permanency of the project could mean it indeed will have a great effect on Atlanta. “There’s apartments going up everywhere here,” he said. “Everything leftover from the Olympics is going to be torn down. You know Turner Field is gonna be gone” with the Braves leaving downtown.

I stopped in for ice cream at Jake’s, because who wouldn’t, and I met a guy behind the counter who gave his name as just Kenya. “I love the BeltLine. It keeps it moving — that energy of it, people expending their energy getting around on their own. I love the area, period. It’s going to do nothing but get better.”

And my favorite quote came from Anthony Spina, who’s moving here from New Jersey to open a pizza shop in the same building as Jake’s (on the Irwin Street end). He told me he chose that location partly because of the trail, and he is proud to live without a car, noting the eco-friendly nature of the BeltLine. He likes seeing folks walking their dogs and jogging, but notes there’s more to it than just recreation. There’s real community, he said. “It’s the culture of the BeltLine. I want to be a part of that.”

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