For the second time in as many seasons the Atlanta Braves have tried to use the "Screaming Brave" patch on an official uniform piece and pulled it back under public outcry, leaving MLB The Show holding the bag.
Operation Sports noted yesterday that all of the new batting practice cap designs will be featured in MLB 13 The Show, which releases on Tuesday. As Pasta Padre then pointed out, that's not 100 percent correct; the batting practice cap Atlanta will wear this year is not this one. It's this one. And it shows how the big leagues still have a phony, mostly ass-covering relationship when it comes to the use of Native American imagery by their teams.
Paul Lukas, who runs the outstanding Uni Watch blog and writes for ESPN, got a look at the 30 new batting practice caps MLB had cooked up back in December. These lids are worn, as their title suggests, during pregame warmups, so they exist mainly to sell extra apparel to fans. Anyway, back then, Screaming Brave, based on the sleeve patch from the mid-1980s Atlanta Braves, was the logo on that cap's front.
The fuss that followed was similar to last year's use of the Screaming Brave, as was the team and league's response—remove it and bury the bad PR. In 2012, Atlanta wore a retro-styled alternate jersey that called back to the franchise's days in Milwaukee. Original plans had an old-style Screaming Brave on the left sleeve patch. After a predictable stink, it was replaced with a two-tomahawk logo.
But it was too late to be changed in The Show, which works off of official league stylebooks and finalizes these details well before the game ships. The game never was patched to bring in the correct sleeve patch. You can see it above.
This year, after Lukas revealed the new cap designs and commented on them, the Braves said that the Screaming Brave logo was one of several designs and was not final at the time it was published. That's crap. The thing was in the league's stylebook—MLB The Show is obligated to use what's in it—and, yet again, its existence in a video game shows they had every intention of going forward with it—unless someone complained.
Look, for some people, the names "Braves" or "Indians" are by themselves offensive. MLB and the Atlanta Braves have no problem continuing their use, so if they want to use The Screaming Brave, they should step up and own it. Why Atlanta thought this kind of thing would fly a second year is beyond me, different version of the patch or not.
I reached out to an SCEA spokesman who deals with the game to ask if The Show will put out a patch to replace the batting practice cap. We haven't yet heard back, but those who want to hang onto it as a type of collector's item may wish to avoid any title updates until more is known. (Roster updates would not affect uniforms).\
Update: A Sony spokesman replies: "Uniforms were locked into the game before revisions by MLB were made. San Diego Studios is working on altering the hat to match the current Braves batting practice uniform."