Hello fellow Braves fans. Before I introduce myself, please allow me to thank the guys at Atlanta Baseball Talk for providing me a place on the vast, vast interwebnets to spout off about our favorite team, formerly “America’s Team”, the Atlanta Braves. I look forward to a productive season from the team on the field and an enriching experience for fans from the team here at ABT. So, you may be asking yourself “Who’s this jerk, and why do I care what he thinks, anyway?!”
You’ve got a lot of nerve, pal…
Well, my name is Chris. I’m an out-of-town Braves fan. We were once a proud and numerous bunch, but since the removal of Braves-centric baseball coverage from TBS, we are in decline. I inherited the team from my grandparents- natives of Winder, Georgia- who followed Atlanta baseball from the time of the Crackers on through the Braves years.
I picked the Braves up in 1987. They…were…awful. It didn’t matter to this nine-year-old, though. My brother and I had the uniforms, I played on a Little League team called the Braves, we named our dog “Murphy”. I went to my first game at Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium that year, a grey and misty September loss to the Expos that witnessed the first Major League at bat of one Ronald Edwin Gant.(He struck out to end the game).
I grew up a military brat. No matter where we moved, though, I kept my eye on the team. I’ll admit I got a little complacent about a decade ago. Watching the Braves fall to the Marlins in 1997 was particularly brutal, and for the first time, I started to wonder if Leyritz’s home run in the 1996 Series had broken the back of the team; frankly, that’s still a discussion worth having.
I really started to get back into the mix, though, before the 2003 season, when Glavine walked and we had to move Millwood. I’ve really enjoyed getting reacquainted with the team in the past six years, despite the end of the streak and the departures of, well, pretty much everyone I grew up watching.
I am not a stats-nerd, but that’s not because I don’t think they are useful. I’m just particularly awful at math. It also sometimes feels like I have no retention capabilities as far as statistical definitions go. I can recognize that a higher VORP number is preferred, but if you tried to explain how you got that number, you might as well be reading The Epic of Gilgamesh in ancient Sumerian to a comatose monkey. Why is the monkey comatose? That’s not important here, people. Focus!
Anyway, I have a lot of respect for stats, the new stats in baseball, and the folks who understand them. I think, rather than degrading the game, they actually make the game more enjoyable. Performance predictability is fun when it turns out to be accurate and exciting when it is inaccurate. I mean, who doesn’t like to see a 5’8” utility infielder and defensive replacement go yard in the eleventh inning of a game in the heat of a pennant-race?
Ok, before I start to ramble in my first freakin’ blog, let me wrap it up. I look forward to the year, to working with all the guys here at the site, and again, I want to thank them for the space. I’m cautiously optimistic as we get ready to kick of 2009. It’s going to be fun.