Without answering my above question with a lot of side talk, yes is the answer to the question. I know a lot of other writers would save their answer to the last line of their article, but that’s not how I write. I will back up my pick below. I don’t know about you, but I prefer straight answers to questions.
If you are obsessive about the Braves as I am, I’ve done my homework and even studied ahead. If I put this much effort in school, I’d be a PhD candidate. Just like last year I intend to be fully invested not only in the Braves, but baseball in general . I live in South Carolina and where I live loves to show a lot of baseball. True I could subscribe to MLB.TV and access all 162 games this 2017, but having access to 159 games thanks to Fox Sports and Fox Sports East, missing 3 games won’t make or break me.
Let’s turn back the clock to after the All Star Break in 20116. The Atlanta Braves made some bold moves and trades. Getting rid of Freddie Gonzalez as their manager was a popular decision in Atlanta. Gonzalez was hand picked by Bobby Cox as the manager to lead the Braves, but that didn’t work out. Yes the Braves did go to the post season under Gonzalez, and at the time Gonzalez did seem to be the next great manager following Bobby Cox. The lack luster Braves after their post season trip wasn’t all of Gonzalez’s fault but he took a lot of the blame as their did General Manager. It was time for John Hart and John Coppolella to take the reigns in Atlanta. Their first hire of Brian Snitker as the new manager was an amazing pick. Snitker has been with the Braves organization for many years as both a coach and manager. The Braves played their hearts out for Brian Snitker and the numbers proved it. When the Braves traded for Matt Kemp it was time to be excited in Atlanta again. The Braves were back, a new farm system and a certain swag.
The only downfall I see in Atlanta is depth. In a perfect world, the Braves would be injury free, but perfect worlds are only in fairytales. The Braves bench has a few good filler players available like Jace Peterson, but Peterson is not an everyday player like Dansby Swanson or Freddie Freeman. I’m sorry if that sounds mean, but I’m not here to make friends. The Braves farm system is full of players waiting to be called up to the majors. Experience is key and playing in the minors is the best. Trust me, Brian Snitker gets updates almost daily on whose ready for the big leagues. The Braves starting pitchers are ready to go and outside of Julio Teheran and Bartolo Colon, a lot of the other names might not intimate other teams. Mike Foltynewicz had to earn his starting pitcher role, despite of his 2016 performance. Pitching is key and the Braves are solid, and their bullpen is primed.
Injuries will happen and that’s baseball. Brian Snitker will demand the best from his players. The biggest difference I see in Snitker is he is realistic. He will not play players who are hurt with muscle pulls or arm issues like other managers in the NL East. Cough Dusty Baker. The Braves want to put a first class team on the field in 2017. SunTrust Ball Park is gorgeous and so are the 2017 Atlanta Braves. I will enjoy the ride. Do you want to join me? GO BRAVES!!!!!