The Braves are Really Shitting the Bed Right Now
Living here in Chicago, I gladly pay MLB TV $20 a month so that I can watch my beloved Braves every night.
I’m starting to think that I should ask for my money back, because this team is anything but a joy to watch.
We’ve lost 7 of our last 11 games, and now trail Washington by a half of a game in the NL East. Watching this team is absolutely painful. They don’t play baseball the way baseball is supposed to be played. Aside from maybe one or two guys, every hitter in the lineup is selfish, refusing to be selective at the plate, bunt, or even just put the ball in play to advance or score a runner.
This team is built on the 3-run homer, they keep telling us. Guess how many we have so far this year? Fucking 7! 59 of our 68 total home runs have been solo or 2-run shots.
I’m absolutely sick of hearing Chip Caray mutter, “And now (insert mediocre pitcher) has a career high (insert high number) strikeouts on the night.” We made Kyle Kendrick, who was 1-6 with a 4+ ERA entering last night’s game, look like he was pitching against 12 year olds.
Aside from a recent outburst of 13 runs in Colorado, I can’t remember a time this year when this team has put up more than 6 runs in a game. I’d look it up, but I’d probably get sick while doing so.
BJ continues to lead the league in foul tips and at least once a night, will take a right-down-the-middle called third strike, only to argue the call all the way back to the dugout. I won’t even mention his laissez-faire attitude in center field. His brother Justin, while putting up good numbers thus far, has 81 strikeouts in 66 games, many of which have come at key moments in a game (e.g. runner on 2nd, 0 outs in a tie game in the 9th). Chris Johnson’s 2013 campaign was a fluke. Andrelton Simmons is a wizard in the field, but at the plate, he thinks he’s Sammy Sosa – always chasing pitches out of the zone and swinging his bat like he’s competing in the god damn outdoor games. Even Freddie Freeman lacks patience, and has underperformed, following his damn-near MVP season of 2013. Jordan Schafer deserves a shot at being the everyday center fielder – he gets on base, has speed,
The starting pitching has carried the load thus far, but even the great ones will run into a wall from time to time. The bullpen, despite brilliance from rookie reliever Shae Simmons and rockstar Craig Kimbrel, has been shaky of late. I have no confidence in Luis Avilan or David Carpenter, who was just placed on the disabled list.
So who’s to blame?
Let’s start at the top, with Frank Wren, who has often been praised for his ability to draft and develop young talent. Thankfully he does that right, because he sure as shit can’t sign a substantial free agent. The Uggla experiment went on far too long, and it appears Bossman, Jr. is headed in the same direction. Nearly two-thirds of the entire payroll is tied up in players that don’t even belong in MLB.
Fredi Gonzalez is also a steaming pile of shit. His refusal to shake up the lineup infuriates me, and his nonchalant attitude in interviews is getting old. If I hear “that’s just baseball” or “gotta tip our cap to that guy” one more time, I might fly to Atlanta and fire him myself. He’s gotta go. Soon.
Call me a shitty fan, our whatever the hell you want, but I’ve been watching all season, and I’m being realistic. This team, as it is currently assembled, has no shot to succeed should it make the playoffs. If changes don’t come soon, falling to the bottom of the division is not out of the question.