Why the Braves will (not) make the playoffs

atlantabravesThe Braves have made some good moves recently that we all know about. The starting pitching is above average, the relief pitching adequate, the offense is also adequate and the defense is excellent. It appears to a Braves fan that the Braves are in the best position to take first in the East. Under the management of Cox, the Braves are poised for a great second half run. Of course, it would be nice if the front office could add one more offensive punch.
I just do not see it happening.
I cannot pretend to know the clubhouse atmosphere, but I can read enough in the papers, and perhaps, see enough on TV and at Turner Field to draw conclusions as a fan.
Picture I took on 5-10-07 23:20, 13 May 2007 ....
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I hear that Chipper is the leader of the team, but does it mean he merely sets a good example? I am not seeing evidence of the leadership role that one would expect from Lowe as a pitcher. There are other players with too many struggles (or perhaps too young) to prevent them from stepping in as leaders. A leader will clearly make a difference on and off the field.

There should be more evidence of the camaraderie that you’d expect from a team vying for a playoff position. Perhaps I am unfairly comparing the current Braves to the Braves of the past, where the pitchers played golf together, where we knew players spent time together and bonded. Can we speculate how many games were won due to information shared and the chemistry built during those years? It also seems like there is little communication between the players on the field.
Perhaps the management style of Cox where one is expected to go about his business quietly is hiding the evidence that I seek?
I am juggling leadership and camaraderie, but these strengthen the other. Certainly, teams can go to the playoffs and win the World Series without either of these. The Braves do not have the budget to overcome the lack of these qualities.
As my friends would often say at this point (besides ‘Whatever’), what are you trying to say? Put aside the talk of leadership and camaraderie, please. Where’s the spark? That sense of expectation that, hey, we can do this, we can win this thing? The sense of fun and enjoying the run. Look in the Braves players’ faces after the All Star break, wherever you may be watching and tell me what you see. Judge for yourself.

I’d be more than glad to be proven wrong here. And I welcome all comments without symbols. Have a great day.

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  1. Kent Weatherly

    July 16, 2009 at 9:32 am

    When the Braves were in the playoff hunt every year they would start every game fully expecting to win. The perception I get now is that they go into every game hoping not to lose. This attitude is not something that just started this year. I think the turning point for the Braves was in the 1999 World Series when the Yankees swept them in 4 straight games. After that the Braves still won their division. Everyone thought they were still good but the reality was that the rest of the East stunk. When the Phillies, Mets and Marlins passed the Braves in 2006 then the reality set in that they were an average team. They could no longer just go out and buy a good player or two and make the playoffs. In 2009, they are still an average team but they have some pieces in place that in the next couple of years could make them really good. Frank Wren can make or break this teams future with his next move. If he tries to trade away some prospects for a rental player for this year it will mean 3-4 more years of mediorce teams. What I think he needs to do may shock some Braves faithful but I really think it’s time for another Dale Murphy moment. He needs to trade Chipper for some more prospects. Chipper may get on a team that makes the playoffs and the Braves would build for the future. It’s a win-win for both. I love Chipper but last I checked the goal of the team was to win.

    -Go Braves!

  2. Fox

    July 18, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Watch what happens second half of this season.
    Braves will take the NL East.
    worst case, Wild Card.

    so easy to judge a group you have never been apart of huh? shows lack of understanding on a basis of character and leadership traits among a very tightly woven family of ball players.
    you mentioned golf, it amuses me, watch the pre-game interviews on fox sports south. lots of the guys play together.
    get a clue.
    also funny you should mention that, look at how well they have accepted their new guys…the guys that stepped in and stepped up when they were needed. Martin Prado. (need i say more?) Conrad.. Hernandez…
    thats what this organization is about and as you contradict your own statements you are blind to all of it. your lack of knowledge of the game and especially of Bobby Cox is shameful, im sure he was voted one of the managers “most would like to play for” because he is no good…im sure your right. he takes care of business behind the scenes. and players respect that.
    as for the Braves play starting NOW. post 2009 alstar break, expect a show.
    they have what it takes.
    *proven wrong*

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