Braves fans, this might be the time to avert your eyes

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher David Aardsma, right, hangs his head after giving up a three-run home run to Philadelphia Phillies' Freddy Galvis, left, during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher David Aardsma, right, hangs his head after giving up a three-run home run to Philadelphia Phillies’ Freddy Galvis, left, during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher David Aardsma, right, hangs his head after giving up a three-run home run to Philadelphia Phillies' Freddy Galvis, left, during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Even they can’t bear to watch. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

This marks the second time since 1990 that the Atlanta Braves were sellers at the trade deadline. The first was in 2008, when Frank Wren divested the team he’d inherited of Mark Teixeira, whose deadline acquisition the year before at the cost of a five good-to-excellent prospects cost the Braves dearly. (All Wren could get for Teixeira was Casey Kotchman, who was himself traded at the deadline in 2009.)

The point being: We’re not used to this. That’s a good thing. If you follow a team that makes selling an annual event, you’re seeing a lot of losing. Even when the Braves haven’t been as good as we’d hoped, they haven’t often stunk.

This team didn’t quite stink, either — at least not until the selling began. The Braves were 45-50 when Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe were shipped to the Mets, which was just bad enough to make everyone know they weren’t going anywhere. They’re 2-8 since. Until they won Sunday in Philadelphia, they’d lost eight of nine.

They scored a total of five runs in three games in St. Louis. They scored four in three games in Baltimore. They were outscored 25-6 over the first three games against the worst-in-the-majors Phillies, who’d just dumped Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. If you’re looking for a reason why the final two months might not utterly awful, 20 of the remaining 57 games will be played against opponents who were themselves sellers.

But that’s about it. From here to Oct. 4 figures to be rough. That’s not to say the Braves shouldn’t have sold — they’d have been silly not to sell — but there’s a human element involved. Those players who remain have tangible proof the organization has punted on 2015. Even for the proudest of professionals, it’s hard to approach games that don’t matter the way you’d approach games that do.

Which is my way of saying: If you’ve ever been of the inclination to turn your attention to a different sport, this is the time. (The English Premier League gets going next weekend, and every single game is available stateside.) The Braves will back next spring, presumably improved. You won’t have missed much.

From Sunday’s AJC: In landing Olivera, the Braves dared to dare.

Reader Comments 1

274 comments
bpersfirst
bpersfirst

This column seems a bit two-faced.  First Bradley proclaims how smart this front office is after the Olivera trade.  Now he gets it that the team may not have much the rest of the year.  As talk radio said this morning --if Olivera isn't a significant bat/position player, then the Braves trade with the Dodgers is just awful. 

HUDDYS1FAN
HUDDYS1FAN

Guaranteed back to back losing seasons which hasn't happened since 1989-90. Basically this team is currently in it's worst condition in  twenty-five years.


That's the brutal news. The good news is they are on track to get back in the win column soon. 2016 can't get here fast enough, neither can football.

buellerbuellerbueller
buellerbuellerbueller

Let's all skip over to the Falcons page and buy into the hype there for a half season or so.    We've got a new coach,  Kroy is back, the team is already playing faster and harder, and we're undefeated, 

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

Sellers yeah.................but to sell out on a guy who pitches left-handed and has 4 more years of team control and to throw in your team's #1 prospect was just plain stupidity as far as I am concerned!Hart better hope this 30 year old Cuban rookie can play 3rd base and hit .300 with 20 homers because if he can't then Hart will look like the second coming of Frank Wren and that's not good!

ChiefNocahoma
ChiefNocahoma

Isn't this about the time the immortal Skip Carey would tell the fans still listening that it might be okay to go ahead and walk the dog?  

BLowE12
BLowE12

@ChiefNocahoma Not sure.. I was already into football by this time when he was around in the 80s.

MiltonAJC
MiltonAJC

Anyone think that Jonny Gomes might make a good Manager in 2017?

POV1948
POV1948

Had forgotten just how bad the acquisition of Texiera turned out to be.  Wren got more wrong than right, but all GMs muff a few.  The Schuerholtz trade of Wainwright for JD (oh no, another boo boo) Drew is a hall of shamer.  

freezboy
freezboy

Mark... now you know the Rocky series was what did us in... not the sell off..... 

RepublicEducator
RepublicEducator

And yet the Braves will be asking us to travel to a part of Atlanta that is impossible to get to from 4-6 each day to watch games in a couple of years. They better get it right in the off season this year because I for one will not be traveling to that mess; I will support the G-Braves and leave it at that. 

reckingball
reckingball

It's hard to believe that some fans can't see the plans for the future being put into place.

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

And remember the Soviets had 5 year plan after 5 year plan with all the promises failing.

Wren was incompetent and he paid price as accountable for bad decisions on Ugglas, BJ Upton and Chris Jonhson.

But ... any man knows you can contract with an incompetent by putting all kind a penaltys in deal to punish carelessness and incompetents. But you cant contract under no circumstances with someone who dishonest and cheats and lies.

Hart and Coppy been dishonest to 2015 fans in saying they goning compete but thinking they know better how to make Braves better by "sacrificing" 2015. But that lying no different than Obama telling peoples lies to pass healthcare cause he think he know better. Maybe they know better and maybe they dont. If performance go down at all in 2016 they need be sent packing for lying to implement schemes.

If ideas are good and you taking risk as mgt, you got to be open about it with what you doing especially to customers, shareholders or anyone else footing the bill. Those footing the bill got to have opportunity to withdraw there resources and support if they dont agree with the dierction and riskyness of plan. Otherwise if you dishonest try to keep the resources by fraud and not telling whole truth a risk and plan to "sacrifice" then you should be judge much harsher than the incompetent like Wren.

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

A plan is nothing. Accomplishments is.

The plan been to cut cost, cheat fans, take the money and go to Vegas on high risk roulet wheel bets with promise to be better in future ... SOMETIME in future.

If acomplishments dont come soon for this high risk gambling then sombody in deep trouble for "sacrificing" team, year and fans in 2015.

freezboy
freezboy

In a few short days we going to get a look at our new..roster addition...then we can start to make a value judgement....WOOF

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

Dan Uggla hit OK to begin with but was s total fail. Can Olivera give us .270+ and 20 HR for 145 games for 3 or 4 years.

Wayne Canon
Wayne Canon

@Hairy Dawg Both the Uggla and BJMelvin trades looked great on paper. I don't think anyone could have predicted the utter and total collapse of both of them. I think what made the situation worse was the Braves continuing to play Melvin and Dan week after week, month after month waiting for them to 'snap out of it'. I may not be a Bobby Cox, but I know it isn't a good idea to have a lead off hitter batting less than .200

reckingball
reckingball

So,.......the 2014 version of the Atlanta Braves could have been fixed by eliminating a manager, and two position players, and how would that have improved one of the most boring Braves teams in the last 14 years, that had no plan for improvement, under the former GM?

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@reckingball  Nobody wanted Wren.  He should have been fired two seasons ago at a minimum.  Having said that, Hart is headed off in the extreme opposite direction.  Couldn't we get a GM who understands the concept of assembling a balanced good team?

jlrhoya
jlrhoya

So I guess we have the "Old"Hart as our local psychologist as he is pulling a major mind trick on us and the rest of baseball right now?


What I do not get is why neither Hart nor Liberty Media are doing anything to try to reassure the fan base right now that we are on the right track?  Instead it is like every move occurs behind closed doors and is sprung on the city like a gotcha.  If it was not the fact that they are building the new stadium, I would swear they were trying to escape to another part of the country.


Even in the great rebuilding years of 1989 and 1990 it seemed like you could see a future being built.

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

@jlrhoya Braves fans are the only ones who think this change is either wrong or progressing poorly.

BLowE12
BLowE12

@Hopeless in ATL The Philly Fans this weekend Showed us (disgusted mostly as BLUE empty seats.) In support! Isn't that right?? Right???

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

@BLowE12 @Hopeless in ATL The Phillies showed us, screw the crying "fans" (though I bet not Philly fans).  They are finally moving on too.  They had a miserable start this year with great old players and they have sold, but they are now playing good baseball under veteran leadership and with youngsters.    

freezboy
freezboy

Lots of backlash on this trade thing...remember this the 1st time in a long long...we were sellers

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@freezboy  That's why we hate it.  No need for it.  With all these "savings" this year, we should have been buyers.

freezboy
freezboy

@SupremeGrandPoobah....buyers for the short term for sure...our farm system was in tatters...and all good clubs have a very good farm system... 

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

I miss it a lot, but I can't stand to watch it any more. The sad part is that all of this did not have to happen. Only three people needed to leave in order to turn the Braves around: Gonzalez, BJ Upton, and Dan Uggla, the ineffective master of the September slump, one of the most over rated, but biggest salary lottery winners in MLB hisotry, and another over rated not quite as big salary lottery winner. 


That it's it. Three guys. This blood bath and the intentional dumbing down of the team was not necessary. All of those Braves teams could have been contenders for the NLC and the WC. Can't make economic deals? Bite the bullet, fire the manager, and bench the over rated and over paid lottery winners. But, now the mantra is "Get 'em young and especially get 'em cheap . . . . and just wait until next, next, next , next year." 


Let's see now. A brand new, highly tax payer subsidized stadium?   A big, brand new, fancy mixed-use retail, commercial, office, residential development anchored by a Major League baseball team?  A Main & Main location in the heart of one of the most wealthy and affluent demographic areas in the Atlanta metro area? Lots of fancy new restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and a live work and play environment? In other words, lots and lots of money soon  to be made the NW intersection of Main & Main that will not depend on how the Braves are doing.


So, tell me exactly why a corporation based in St. Louis, MO,  that t owns the Braves as a side business (and that could give a hoot about Atlanta baseball fans)  would not dumb down the team as much a possible, and keep salaries as low as possible, and keep a proven losing manager in place,, tailor made for a mediocre and losing  team -- while selling as just as much "Just wait until next year" snake oil  as it possibly can?  Why would they not do that?  In two short years, they will not need to pay top MLB salaries, or risk any more salary lotteries just to have a winning team. They will make make big, big profits regardless. 

LEWWHEEL
LEWWHEEL

GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

2 things:  (1)  The Braves annual implosion gets earlier and earlier each season.  With Bob Cox, it didn't begin until October; with Fred G. it was September for a while and has now progressed to late July.  Not good.

(2)  There's seems to be an erroneous belief -fostered by the likes of Mr. M. Bradley - that because the Braves are lousy now, they will be good later.  Just because a team is bad does not mean that it is rebuilding.  Me thinks the Braves are plain lousy and won't improve with the current regime in place, and may not improve after that. 

tmc
tmc

@ShovelPlease totally agree. The Braves management acts as if they are intitled to be good again in two years just because they know more than anyone and are doing what they are doing. Loading up the minor leagues with pitching makes the minor league teams have pitching prospects... but there is absolutely no guarantee that will turn into anything on the major league level. What they are not calculating is how much they are angering the fans, who don't understand trading MLB talent for minor league pitching over and over. They don't give out trophy's or awards for having a good farm system or team. It's all about the MLB and improving on that level. Just like when you win 14 straight division titles, it breads winning. Losing breads losing, just ask the Cubs or Pirates or KC. Look how long it's taken them to come back to relevance. 

Waredawg
Waredawg

In response to my own last post, I wasn't seriously suggesting that Freddie isn't a substantially better player than Kotchman, but you can barely tell it by current results. For all his assets, Freddie is more a complementary "star"

than the guy you build a team around (doesn't produce well without protection). And while I understand the "grand plan", as a fan I'm p.o.ed that any season has to be sacrificed. I thought in April that we were one or two bats from being a marginal WC contender. I'm not sure it was totally necessary  to throw away the last 60 games of '15 to "stockpile" for '17. I think we could have made a few judicious moves ( or not made some) to keep us competitive in '15 without compromising the overall vision. Sorry, but I'd much rather watch and support a borderline .500 team than one that will now be lucky not to lose 90 games.

I don't think that not trying harder to be competitive in '15 is remotely fair to the fans. As I said, we've put all our eggs in the '17 basket, hope we don't trip and break some on the way to market. Planning for the next year is always a huge risk. Right now they are nearly unwatchable, so I just won't watch.



reckingball
reckingball

One thing you can say for the 2015 Braves right now, ......... is that they give all of the people that love to complain, belly-ache, cry, whine, etc., etc., etc., about them,  ........... some good material to use when they log on.

BravesFanInNashville
BravesFanInNashville

@reckingball Yep...  I prefer to embrace the process of getting out of these bad times and I personally believe pitching is the way to get there the fastest.   Look at Toronto... their lineup is staggering and even though they added Tulo they knew they had no shot without pitching.   They traded for Price because even though they can score a ton of runs they aren't going to win without a shut down ace.  

reckingball
reckingball

@BravesFanInNashville @reckingball 

Pitching is what almost all teams are looking for every season. All of these folks that complain about drafting and stockpiling pitchers don't seem to be able to grasp the concept, that pitchers  can be traded for hitters, at some point down the road, if need be.

tmc
tmc

@reckingball @BravesFanInNashville as a general statement i agree with you, but this teams management has proven to go overboard and neglect the offensive side of the equation. There must be a balance with a slant towards aquiring pitching. And who says you have to rebuild an entire farm system in one season trading proven MLB talent and young potential talent just to build the minor leagues? The unfortunate answer is: The Braves management team.
And because it's so lopsided, i see a longer recovery than just a year or two...

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