One of the best Christmas presents I received this year was a Braves blanket my sister made for me. I have used it since the day she gave it to me. It is very comfortable and quite warm. The other night I woke up sweating in December. I live in South Carolina and it has been a warmer Christmas than in the past. With a house full of family it has been difficult to write but I have found time to read plenty. I came across an article about how the Braves might be a threat in the National League East. I absolutely agree. Bringing in veteran pitching, trading for players, and signing players to long term deals. There still may be a new signing before Spring training, but that might be a long shot.
John Hart and John Coppolla have been very busy this offseason. The Braves team kept coming up when talking about trades for Chris Sale or Chris Archer. Another dominate starting pitcher would have been nice but not if it would have meant trading away prospects. The Braves will be in the thick of the National League East division title. During the 2nd half on the 2016 season. The New York Mets and their impressive starting pitching did not perform well in Atlanta or New York. It seems as if the Braves have always played the Mets well regardless of the location. The Washington Nationals did have a very impressive record against the Braves in 2016 but in the final 2 months of the season they did not. It could of been injuries to the Nationals line up and their pitching staff but all teams deal with injuries and fatigue in August and September. Brian Snitcker, the manager of the Braves, had his team playing very well and there were very few teams baseball who wanted to play the Braves in Atlanta or on the road.
One of the biggest off season holes besides pitching a lot of Braves fans wanted addressed was 3rd base. Adonis Garcia filled that position very nicely after the All Star Break. The Braves future 3rd baseman is currently in the Braves farm system. Garcia knows the Braves bench includes Chase d’Arnaud, Jace Peterson, and Sean Rodriguez. Any of these players can play at 3rd or 2nd base. Basically the Braves managers and coaches have back ups for players who are not productive at the plate. Also through a 162 game season players will have injuries or need a day off. The Braves infield looks solid both defensive and offensively. Statics are nice tools and numbers are important but team chemistry wins games. 2017 will be a very good season in Atlanta. Many writers are supposed experts do not have the Braves winning the NL East. That is understandable. The Braves were very good for a long time in the 1990s and the early 2000s. The Braves organization has a formula and the formula works. Other teams in baseball have tried the same formula but they have not worked as well. For Christmas dinner we had many pies for dessert. I think the 2017 Braves will be serving humble pie to many writers and “experts” who are picking teams to win their perspective divisions. Let’s open Sun Trust Park in style. The season is rapidly approaching. GO BRAVES!!!!!