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RIP Braves

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by TheSportsPredictor, May 6, 2006.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Sure. The 2001 Braves were stacked with this lineup:

    Admittedly, this was the worst Braves team of the entire 14-year run. But still, that great pitching staff has Glavine and Maddux (17 and 16 wins), then John Burkett (12 wins), then nobody else with 8? Come on, come ON! Your right-side infield is Quilvio Veras and ... Wes Helms? ... And yet, they got to the NLCS before running into a juggernaut known as Aura and Mystique. Again, it's early. But I'd wait before writing the "greatly exaggerated" obit on the Braves just yet.
  2. John

    John Well-Known Member

    They need to bring back Steve Avery.
  3. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    As a longtime Braves fan, I will never, never count this team out when it comes to winning division titles. How can you? Fourteen in a freakin' row? It's likely no major professional sports team will ever again accomplish this feat.

    Not until the Braves are mathematically eliminated will I count out this team.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    As a Phillies fan from back when the Braves were in Milwaukee, I say wait before the funeral.
  5. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    Braves' outlook leaked bleak before in years past and they came out just fine. It's still only May.
  6. Dude

    Dude Active Member

    Clearly the balance of power shifted towards the Mets when they signed Julio Franco.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Man, I've been trying to figure this out for about 15 years now.

    I don't think it has anything to do with the team -- they've done their part with the winning (HOF execs in Schuerholz and Cox), they've got stars (the Jones boys, Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz), they're a player in free agency (Sheffield, Drew, Bret Boone), they've had engaging, likable personalities (Ted Turner, David Justice, Francoeur). It can't be the stadium -- ticket prices are realistic, the plaza is outstanding, very family-friendly (almost too much), views are great, cool little museum, traffic/location isn't a problem.

    My only conclusion is I think it's the city they play in. Atlanta is a city of two eras -- the people of the South who do care about the Braves, but mostly in a social sense. They're not always inclined to think of themselves as "major league" fans and, frankly, they would cheer about the same if it was the old Crackers of the IL as it is when it's the Braves of the NL. "Oh, how'd the Braves do? They won? Good, good. So how's your mama 'n'dem?" ... The other Atlanta is the people of the corporate interests that built the city into an international player in the 1960s -- but who have few ties to the city in a "rooting" sense. Those people help bring the money in, but don't live and die with the team like a good fanbase does (those in St. Louis, Boston, N.Y., etc.)

    Also, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the reason the Braves got such great support in 1991-96 or thereabouts, was 1) the novelty of it all; but 2) the Dawgs weren't winning. See, October will never be about postseason baseball in Georgia or anywhere in the South -- that's football season, dangit! Baseball's a nice diversion between spring practice and the SEC opener, nothing more. In the Ray Goff era, people in Georgia were more than happy to pay attention to the Braves in the playoffs. Now that Mark Richt has the Dawgs winning two SEC championships in less than five years -- woof, woof, woof! -- you'll have to win a couple World Series before you can even think about competing with Uga VI for top Dawg in that state! Can't blame the Braves for this phenomenon, by any means. It has nothing to do with bowing out in the NLDS every year, and everything to do with SEC football being huge in Athens again. That's the conclusion of a longtime Braves fan, and a longtime Georgia resident.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    May 6.

    How idiotic.
  9. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Hell, even June is too early to count a team out. Unless you're the Royals or the Devil Rays of old.
  10. suburbia

    suburbia Active Member

    I think it is more simple than that.

    Let's remember that, while the Braves have always been good during this run, they've seldom been really great. They keep getting to the playoffs, but only have 1 World Series title in that span.

    While the fans there were happy to get to the playoffs those first few years of the run, they eventually got bored with just making the playoffs and losing there. If they had won a few more titles during this run and established themselves as a bona fide MLB dynasty, maybe they would have generated and kept a larger following. But the fans got spoiled with all those playoff appearances, and their attitude became "yawn, wake me up if you get to the World Series."

    Oh, and I agree that it is way too early to write the Braves off or to pencil in the Mets for the playoffs.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    You forgot one...

    • On July 4, 1914, the Braves were 26-40, dead last and 11.5 games out of first place. They went on a 68-19 run, moving out of eighth and last place on July 19 and into first on August 25, eventually winning the NL pennant by 10.5 games over the Giants. Then they swept the Philadelphia A's in the World Series to cap the comeback that marked them forever as the Miracle Braves.

    Other amazing comebacks in baseball history:

    • 1951 -- On August 11 the New York Giants were 59-51, 13.5 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. They won their next 16 games and went 37-7 down the stretch, erasing the deficit in only 48 days and moving into a first-place tie on September 28. They beat the Dodgers 2-1 in a best-of-three playoff for the NL pennant.
    • 1964 -- (sorry, Michael Gee) On September 20 the St. Louis Cardinals were 83-66, 6.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. They won 10 of their last 13 games while the Phillies lost 10 in a row. Despite winning their last two contests, the Phils wound up one game back of the Cards, who won the pennant and the World Series.
    • 1969 -- On August 13 the New York Mets, who had never finished higher than ninth in the old 10-team NL, were 62-51 and in third place, trailing the Chicago Cubs by 9.5 games in the NL East. The gap was 4.5 games on August 31 but the Amazin's went on a 24-8 run to close the season, taking over top spot on September 10. The Cubbies, cursed by a black cat that ran out onto the field and to the Chicago dugout while the teams were playing at Shea Stadium, went 9-18 in the final month and finished eight games behind New York, which won the division, the pennant and the World Series.
    • 1978 -- On July 19 the New York Yankees were 48-42, fourth in the AL East and 14 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Yanks were still fourth on August 5 and 6.5 games out on September 1 but a six-game winning streak put them in first place on September 10. The Bosox wouldn't fade, reeling off eight straight wins to close out the regular season and force a one-game playoff, which the New Yorkers won. They also went on to take the pennant and the Series.
    • 1987 -- On September 27 the Detroit Tigers lost their third consecutive game to the Toronto Blue Jays to fall 3.5 games behind the Jays with only eight to play. That was Toronto's last win of the season, the Jays dropping a Philly-esque seven in a row to end the season while the Tigers won six of their eight games. They closed out by sweeping Toronto at Tiger Stadium, winning the AL East by two games.

    The point? As Yogi Berra and Lenny Kravitz would say, it ain't over till it's over. ;)
  12. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Um, yeah. They're the exception to the rule.
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