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 ATLANTA (AP) -The Atlanta Braves were peeved to learn that another Sunday game was switched to an evening start.
Their July 22 game against the St. Louis Cardinals has been changed to 8:05 p.m. instead of the usual 1:05 start to accommodate an ESPN national telecast. It was the third time a Braves game has been moved this season.
It will be Atlanta's fourth appearance on the cable network in a seven-week period, but this is one time the Braves wound prefer to be the Not Ready For Prime Time Players. They will head out right after the game for a West Coast road trip, which starts the following night in San Francisco.
``Somebody's just not using their heads,'' manager Bobby Cox said before Tuesday night's game against the Washington Nationals. ``Why don't they just look at the schedule once in a while and say, 'You know, there's just as good a game somewhere else?'''
Jeff Francoeur, the Braves' union representative, called the players' association to lodge a complaint but there's nothing it can do. While the labor agreement does require an off day when a team is traveling from the Pacific to Eastern time zones, there's nothing that covers a trip in the opposite direction.
``We're not happy about this,'' Francoeur said.
Cox said he has to take extra precautions after his team makes such a long trip.
``You're hands swell up because of the time and no sleep,'' the manager said. ``You think about your bullpen guys that go that night.''
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the Braves knew all along that the switch was a possibility.
``Our goal is to serve the audience with the best possible matchup, and all teams have been aware of the potential games for this national game-of-the-week window for months,'' Krulewitz said.
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