The Braves: Still the worst, but that could be subject to change

A highlight from the first meeting of the Braves and Twins. Note loose ball. (Jim Mone/AP)

A highlight from the first Braves-Twins meeting. Note loose ball. (Jim Mone/AP)

When last we checked on the race — not sure that’s the proper word; can’t think of a better one — for the 2017 MLB No. 1 draft pick, the Atlanta Braves held the pole. Which was a kind way of saying they were the worst team in baseball.

With seven weeks remaining in a six-month season, they remain the leader among laggards. But it’s no longer a three-team chase. Others have joined the fray. The Braves and Twins, who’ve been 1-2 or 2-1 — or, put another way, 30-29 or 29-30 — since each started the season 0-9, are still the top/bottom two, but the Reds have slipped to fifth/26th.

The standings in Bizarro World: The Braves lead/trail the Twins by 3 games, the Rays by 4, the Diamondbacks by 4 1/2, the Reds by 5 and the Angels by 5 1/2. Each division features a team that hasn’t yet won its 50th game. The Braves haven’t yet won their 45th.

If we go by FanGraphs’ handy projections, the Braves have no cause to fret: They’ll finish 62-100, with the Twins and Reds at 67-95, the Diamondbacks and Padres at 69-93. The Rays and Angels are both ticketed to break 70 wins.

Being a pessimist, I can still see the Braves messing this up. They play Minnesota at Turner Field on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we know from recent history that the Braves own the Twins. (Granted, 2-0 isn’t the most voluminous of sample sizes.) A sweep here and it’s a one-game lead/deficit with 42 to play.

In sum, pennant fever! Sort of. (But not really.)

Further reading: Matt Kemp could stand to shed a pound, but he’s no tub of goo. (Terry Forster remembered.)

Further still: Appreciating A-Rod – it ain’t easy, folks.

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
DrTruth
DrTruth

At least they can't get any worse than worst....

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DrTruth

You might be surprised, Doc. Don't ever count out "Losersville."

CoppySucks
CoppySucks

When? When liberty finally sells them off, sooner rather than later hopefully? When a REAL baseball mind comes and cleans house, finally? Or do you still think that crap going on over there now is the new norm and they are actually on pace to become dominant again, as they should still be? The fact most if not all of you cannot see what the hell is really going on here, the new stadium which is almost identical and so not needed. This BS "Braves town" or whatever the hell it is they have labeled it this week? Atlanta as a sports town is a joke anymore. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@CoppySucks

A joke "anymore"???

It's been a joke for FIVE decades now!

"Anymore" my a**.

larietta
larietta

This Braves team is awful, but they seem to give an honest effort.  However on Aug. 11th, the Brewers scored in every inning of the game. This is so rare, there is even disagreement about the statistic.  Some site 16 occurrences in the modern era, while others state 19 games in 116 years. Regardless, it is a more rare feat than a perfect game (21 since 1900). The point is that it was done by a very bad Brewers team. What a sad highlight to a terrible season. 



Ficklefan
Ficklefan

So Liberty is actually full of Jerry Wests, Red Auerbachs, Robert Krafts, Jerry Jones's, Paul Browns, George Steinbrenners, Joe Torres, etc. etc. etc. strong visionary leaders and builders of great professional championship teams and dynasties. Not just a bunch of suits in the executive suites spending every waking moment driving up profits and value, and doing whatever it takes to increase that bottom line?  Who knew? 


So. Who do you think will grab the worst team in the MLB honors this year? Right now it looks like the Braves are a shoo-in. But, as we all know, it's not September Swoon time yet. I'm betting that the Braves will hold the Worst in Baseball title until the last two days of the regular season, and then they will blow it by winning a game they never should have won. Same, but different. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Ficklefan

Wouldn't be at all surprised to see yet another September Swoon. At least this time it won't be such a shock.

TomGaff
TomGaff

They now have a decent(notice I said decent, not good hitting) lineup. But with AAA pitchers going night in night out, you never know what you will be getting from them?

Rickster_
Rickster_

Don't know if "pessimist" is the right word. Seems more like "realist" based on history.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Rickster_

That's long been a bone of contention on ATL sports blogs.

Yours is the more "realistic" POV--especially based on that dismal sports history you referenced.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Not many high school players want to get drafted as position players other than pitching. Pitchers are easier to develop than hitters and get their shot earlier. However, In 2 years the low standard for pitchers is going to be 95-100 mph and if you can't break the 95 rule you had best try another position. Consequently, the Braves should shed all of their high 80s and low 90s prospects because they will be batting practice pitchers in MLB. A few will make it with a great change up, great slider & curve ball to go with a 90 mph fastball. MLB hitters turn around a 100 mph fastball like it is nothing which means you better be able to locate those pitches. Throwers don't make it, guys that can pitch do. A little advice to "Dad" coaches.....let your kid throw hard but don't let him try all of the speciality pitches until he matures. And, from the Braves HOFers, let the kids arm rest over the off season.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Wrecker @TideDawg MLB hitters don't turn 85 mph pitches around "regularly" either. A player hits .333 and he's considered a star but it is a known fact that he has failed to hit two out of three times at bat. So, Wrecker you better find something else to challenge. I don't think there's anything in that post that says "regularly".

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Who is said draft choice likely to be? Is there another MLB ready, power-hitting third baseman out there?

DrTruth
DrTruth

@bluebird2014  Austin Riley is in Rome.  He's hitting .255 with a .310 OBP.  He has 14 HRs and 131 SOs in 423 ABs.  His ETA is 2019.


Ruiz is hitting .270 with a .352 OBP at Gwinnett.  He has 7 HRs and 101 SOs in 392 ABs.  His ETA is 2017.