Hank Aaron hits a walk-off HR to win a game against the Cardinals and that clinches the 1957 NL Pennant.
22 years ago today, Sid Bream was safe.
On this day in 1931, Braves legend Eddie Mathews was born.
100 years since the Miracle Braves.
Well, that wasn’t fun. The 2014 Braves couldn’t hit. They didn’t hit in April when they started 17-7 and they didn’t hit for the rest of the season. The 2014 Braves were one of the worst hitting Braves teams since 1990. That’s a long time ago. I played for the Waverly Hall Tigers Little League team that year. We went 17-0. What does that have to do the Braves? Nothing, but let me enjoy any pleasant memory I can while I write about this train-wreck of a season. Many of the current members of the Braves weren’t even alive in 1990. There was no internet in Harris County in 1990. In other words, it was a long time ago.
The pitching staff that suffered major injuries to Beach and Medlen in Spring Training wasn’t the issue. The Braves pitching staff was one of the best in the NL. Kudos to those guys. They went out there every day knowing the team’s offense was gutter trash and accumulated the most quality starts in the NL. Kimbrel led the NL in saves. Pitching wasn’t an issue.
So sudden was the collapse in September that GM Frank Wren lost his job. B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla’s contracts were bad, but philosophers will be debating why Wren extended Chris Johnson’s contract for centuries. It’s more confounding than the alleged existence of the god particle.
As you can see from this picture Chris Johnson was by far the worst third baseman in the NL.
Overall Wren did a pretty good job building a team from when he took over in 2007. Most of his trades were good and he did a fantastic job signing journeymen pitchers thrown away by other teams. People will concentrate on Uggla and Upton, but no one could see that kind of collapse coming. Wren’s biggest issue was he didn’t work well with others. Or at least that what insiders are saying now that he’s gone. John Schuerholz certainly made bad moves as GM and was never fired. Firing Wren had less to do with the product on the field and more to do with personalities in the front office.
So where do we go from here? The Braves should fire Fredi González, but they won’t. Apparently Bobby Cox likes Fredi the same way Cox loved bringing in Charlie Leibrandt to face Kirby Puckett in game 6 of the 1991 World Series. Why let the new GM pick the manager if the former manager has a strong opinion? It seems a bit ridiculous to me that González could survived after two major collapses, but that’s the Braves Way. The question for the Braves new GM is do they think this team can compete in 2015? If the answer is yes they probably won’t make many changes. If the answer is no some major changes are coming. 2015-16 could be rebuilding seasons and players like Gattis, Kimbrel, Heyward, and Justin Upton might be on the trading block. The Braves don’t have many good prospects on the farm right now so a lot of work has to be done to get some pieces in place.
My guess is the Braves target 2017 as the season to have fans super excited again. Opening SunTrust Park is a big deal for the organization and the product on the field is a big part of making it successful. The status quo isn’t going to cut it.
2014 didn’t give us much, but they can never take Dan Uggla’s grand slam against the Phillies away.
Difficult to believe that on a team that included B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla that LVP of the 2014 Braves was Chris Johnson. He was by far the worst third baseman in the NL this season.
Winning is fun!