I have noticed a common theme when I am writing any articles about the Atlanta Braves. I am always praising the transactions of the front office and I am rarely critical of the Braves organization. I have been a Braves fan since before I was born since both of my parents are from the Atlanta area.
There is nothing wrong with always supporting your home team. I lived through the late 1970 and 1980s when the Braves were not very good or even watchable on some seasons. Watching the Braves play on WTBS to virtually empty stadiums didn’t bother me. The TV showed the game play by play not the empty seats.
How will the Braves be in 2017? Very good in my opinion. The only team I see the Braves competing with for the division series title are the New York Mets. The Mets have a young and aggresive pitching staff and they will play very well against other MLB teams. I will leave the Washington Nationals out of the conversation for reasons I will discuss later. The Philadelphia Phillies are in a rebuilding proces, and the Miami Marlins are a young team who aren’t quite ready to compete yet. I remember a couple of seasons ago when the Braves retired Greg Maddux’s number, 31. Maddux addressed the fans with the quote, “Come on Braves. Let’s beat the Mets as usual.” The Braves have always played the Mets very well, even after all these years.
The problems with the Nationals and the Marlins are the same. They both are coached by former MLB players who enjoyed success as players. Dusty Baker and Don Mattingly perspectively. Former players can’t seem to understand why new and talented players are not playing with the same passion and drive as they did as players. I can’t understand how my son is not as passionate about baseball as I am, and he can not understand why I do not play or enjoy video games like he does. It’s called a generation gap and despite everything we can do, you can’t make people do what they do not want to learn.
Am I suggesting that players like Bryce Harper do not want to win a World Series ring?Absolutely not, that is what all teams in baseball want. But I think the new generation of baseball players understand that every season is not a all or nothing run to the post season that their fans and owners want. The Braves should enjoy playing in the post season in 2017. There are no guarantees.