A lot of people who were fans of the original series hate Atari due to what they did to the series over the years. One of the few number of things they complained about:
1) Removing the characters: They started removing characters like Lui and Kenny out of the series and replaced them with Joey, Sam, and Arthur. This made people hate them. Now recently in Backyard Sports Rookie Rush and Sandlot, most of the all the original Backyard Sports kids are gone except for Vicki, Dimtri, Tony, Sidney and Ashley, Jorge, Pablo, and Keisha.
2) Removing pros: I have to say I didn't care about the pros as much but it was the main thing that kept this game going. It made the game a lot more fun.
3) Personality changes: Most the characters' personality changed for those who stayed in. Fans didn't like it.
4) No Online play and got rid of the gameplay that made this game great.
I feel sad that a series like Backyard Sports have so much more potential. It's a pity that Atari ruined it.