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NL Notes: Braves Opener Roadblocked By Bridge Collapse

The Braves’ unveiling of brand-new SunTrust Park was supposed to be a glamorous occasion. Instead, the coronation became a byproduct of a traffic nightmare, as Atlanta fans suffered through one of the worst highway incidents in the area’s history.

When a large section of Interstate 85 closed following a massive fire, the main route to SunTrust Park was now closed, forcing fans coming from the south to resort to back roads. Interestingly enough, one of the main reasons why the Braves moved to SunTrust (located in suburban Cobb County, approximately 12 miles from midtown Atlanta) was because of the expectation that traffic would be alleviated in a quieter location.

Either way, the transportation fiasco will keep things interesting, if the Braves’ exciting product fails to spice up this upcoming season.

Here’s what else is happening around the National League:

Apparently, many people didn’t want to wait until April to see the defending champions in action. The Cubs set attendance records for the Cactus League in 2017, as 226,933 fans paid their way into a Cubs spring training game. Chicago averaged more than 15,000 fans at each of their home games, proving that excitement is alive and well for Cub fans north and south.

Due to a pretty amazin sequence of events, Rafael Montero is getting yet another chance to emerge as a household Met. Due to Jeurys Familia’s 15-game suspension for domestic violence, Montero has been called up as his essential replacement. Familia is clearly the better pitcher of the two, but if Montero can put together enough decent outings, it’s possible that the Mets would consider keeping him on for the long haul.

The Nationals and Red Sox had the opportunity to take part in an event that is classic by its own standards. Before approximately 1,000 midshipmen, Washington and Boston played to a 4-4 tie on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Peep the link for more reaction from those who were lucky enough to be there.

With the regular season just a day away, the Brewers were quick to sign a durable, albeit struggling arm. Jared Hughes, a lifelong Pirate, was signed by Milwaukee this week after struggling for Pittsburgh during Spring Training. Hughes has stayed afloat for several years at the major league level —despite his struggles this spring, he may just need a change of scenery.

The Giants are excited about what Jarrett Parker can do, and they’re going to give him a chance to show them. Parker will likely sit on a platoon in left field this season, as the Giants see him to be worthy of a starting spot. Parker fits into an increasingly younger lineup, and it’s not out of the question that he could emerge as one of the better hitters in this lineup.