After a good start to the season against Philadelphia, the Braves have dropped their last two against the lowly Washington Nationals. Instead of jumping off the nearest bridge, or perhaps taking that hunters rifle out to the back yard, lets keep in mind it is still VERY early in the season. The most important thing to look at here is the division.
Yes, the NL East is one of the most talented and toughest divisions in the league. It’s the AL east with guys who bunt and steal bases – essentially. It may not look good at the moment but can anyone who has watched this division closely over the past several seasons really think that things are all that bad? Yes, Yes oh yes losing to the Nationals is like dropping an hours worth of money into the parking meter only to stay for two minutes. It sucks. I still to this day cannot name the rotation of the Nationals. If I were to be drafted by an MLB team I would pray for Washington… a quick path to the big leagues.
With that in mind, the infallible Marlins lost two games to the Pirates! Pittsburg for heavens sake, a team that has not made the playoffs since Sid slid. Pittsburg has drafted, scouted, managed and traded poorly for two decades, and they got two games over the Marlins- Baseball’s hottest team.
This is your team, Enjoy the 2009 braves. Jordan Schaeffer has cooled but he is still batting .280 with four doubles. This Braves team, although I have been pessimistic, has so much potential to be “That Team”. The “That team formula is in the works, but essentially it is a team that is not chalk full of superstars, good chemistry and several rookies that can emerge, if for just one season. Some past “That Team” (named after the fact that everyone looks at the team and says “that team was not all that good but still won”)
2006 St. Louis Cardinals – WS winners.. A team that hardly made the playoffs won is all with just 803 wins, one superstar and a standout season from Chris Carpenter. Great managing in Tony LaRussa (Bobby Cox anyone) and contribution from reclamation project in Jeff Weaver (Garrett Anderson?)
2001 New England Patriots… great coaching, a team chemistry and a belief that they could win in a mediocre division
There are many more “That Team” examples, if you have one go ahead and let it fly. Point being, the Phillies are struggling, the Marlins are cooling and the Braves need to gather themselves and play that cohesive brand of ball .