OK, you already know I am a homer when it comes to my pro sports teams. I wanted to give my raw, unedited thoughts on the state of the Atlanta Braves in the second half of the season.
This Braves team is ahead of schedule, currently only a half a game back in the NL East. If anyone would have asked me where the Braves would be at this time of year, I most likely would have said 2nd to Last Place. I did not expect this team to be in the playoff hunt this season. I am very happy and would love for the Braves to make a run for a title. But is that realistic this season? Probably not. I have watched this team when they have had to play the top notch teams in the NL and AL and they have struggled. The Dodgers are still the NL team to beat in my opinion and the Braves have not done much against them so far. I think a lot of this has to do with relief pitching. You should hear me groan when Peter Moylan or Sam Freeman come into the game. That is usually a guaranteed run scoring inning for the competition. As for the other players, all of them go through slumps throughout the season but I feel pretty good about most of the offense. All good hitting teams will be stymied by good pitchers and the Braves are no exception.
Right before the trade deadline, we did get a few players. The Braves received OF Adam Duvall from Cincinnati for RHPs Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and OF Preston Tucker. I hated to see Tucker go but he was mainly a bench guy for us anyway. Getting Duvall may mean that Inciarte or Markakis time as a Brave may be coming to an end when the season is over. That is just speculation of course. I hope we keep Markakis as he has been stellar this season. On the final day of the trade deadline, the Braves got RHP Kevin Gausman and RHP Darren O’Day from the Baltimore Orioles for minor leaguers RHP Evan Phillips, INF Jean Carlos Encarnación, C Brett Cumberland, LHP Bruce Zimmerman and international signing slots. We needed some pitching help so I am hopeful this works out. O’Day is out for the season but he should be a big help next season.
I totally agree with the post by Alan Carpenter at tomahawktake.com in that the Braves did pretty good with these trades. (https://tomahawktake.com/2018/08/01/atlanta-braves-did-well-for-themselves-at-the-trade-deadline/)
My homer self would love to say that the Braves will win it all! But I am a realist and I dont think this is the year. I believe the Braves will make the post season but I don’t think they will make it even to the NL Championship Series. This team is poised for a good run starting next season in my opinion. I will continue to watch and enjoy the rest of this surprise season.
Let’s kick off my first sports post with a bit of history. Why am I a Braves fan? Some would say it is because I live in Atlanta. Fair point. The real reason I am a Braves fan is because I grew up watching them or listening to them with my Paw Paw, Charles Dunn. Back when I was a kid, the station WTBS was local channel 17 here in Atlanta. They showed the Braves games on there. WTBS eventually went nationwide as TBS and the Braves were shown across the country. I remember watching games, which honestly were mostly bad games, at his house when we would go visit my grandparents. I remember players like Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, Chris Chambliss, Phil Neikro in the 80s. Most of those years were losing years. Then came the 90’s and Bobby Cox became the manager. In 1991, when I was a young 19 years old, the Braves finally won the National League in my lifetime. The 90’s had some great players come through the organization: Ron Gant, Terry Pendleton, David Justice, Brian Hunter, Sid Bream, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and so many more! Late nights watching these games at home, especially in 1992 and the Sid Bream slide to win the game and send the Braves to the World Series (see the slide and radio call here, not best video quality, it was 1992: https://youtu.be/kYIPtLDWx-s). I remember running around the house (it was pretty late) screaming and running into my Mom’s room waking her up. Man those were good times.
There is a lot of good memories watching these Braves teams, even through the bad times. I may not get to watch every game today but I keep tabs on the scores. I get mad at pitchers, scream at the TV and cheer loudly when a big hit scores a run. I go to games when I can (usually when my company offers seats in the suite, yeah that is the way to watch a game) at SunTrust Park (only in its 2nd year of existence). If my Paw Paw was still alive I know how much fun he would have going with me to a game at SunTrust since it would have only been 15 min from his house.
So there you have it, the Braves have been a huge part of my life and always will be no matter where life may take me. I have attached some pictures below showing some of my Braves memories. I plan on posting my All Star break summary of the 2018 Braves sometime next week so I hope you enjoy that. Thanks for reading!