In case you had forgotten:
NL East Standings
Do you see that team in 1st place? Hey! I think that's the Braves! You wouldn't know it judging by some of the things said on the threads this past week though. You'd swear this team is in last place or something. Just stop it. You look silly, to be perfectly honest.
Let's de-bunk a few of these TC misconceptions, shall we?
- The Braves offense sucks -- Wrong. We're 5th in the league in scoring, and we still haven't seen what a lineup with Prado, Ankiel and Gonzalez can do. I'm really looking forward to not having Melky in the lineup everyday. He's not an everyday player, and he now joins the best bench in baseball. The Braves might not have the most powerful lineup, or the fastest, but they're very solid.
- Frank Wren is a bad GM -- If you think this is the case, raise your right hand, flex, and quickly move it inwards towards you face until contact is made. Repeat. Repeat. And repeat again. It's not his fault Liberty Media has dropped the Braves' team salary by nearly $19M since he took over in 2007.
- Frank Wren didn't help the Braves at the deadline -- First off all, shouldn't we see how Ankiel and Farnsworth perform before making these judgements? It seems pointless to judge a trade before we see the outcome of the move. Second of all, it's not like Frank Wren and the Front Office were in an easy situation. The Braves, like most clubs, are struggling financially. Everyone should know this. They don't have the money to pay $10MM to a few guys over the next two months like the Yankees do. Ankiel and Farnsworth bring even more depth and stability to our club, and they barely cost us anything. We can always get another Gregor Blanco (his name is Matt Young, and he should be called up any day now.), Jesse Chavez was pretty awful, and we're already set with young relievers. I guess I don't really see how you couldn't like the move. We kept all of our stud prospects and improved our club at the same time. That's all a fan can ask for.
- The Braves are a horrible road team -- Not really. Sure, they're a not so great 25-32 away from the Ted, but did you know this is good for the 5th best road record in the NL? When you're the best team in the league at home (by a pretty decent margin too), this is more than an acceptable number.
- The bullpen is over-used -- Again, wrong. They've thrown the 5th fewest innings of any 'pen in the league, and they just added Kyle Farnsworth to be their 4th or 5th guy who can pitch dominantly in the latter innings. Oh, and Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Stephen Marek and others are waiting in the wings to come up to Atlanta.
- Terry Pendelton should be fired -- Look, TP isn't the best hitting coach in the league, but he's doing a fine job this year. He never had a ton to work with in the first place, yet the Braves are still an above-average club offensively.
- The Braves didn't make a move to counter the Phillies acquiring Roy Oswalt - This might be true, but since his return from the disabled list, this is Jair Jurrjens' stat line: 3-1, 6.2IP*, 4.33ERA, 12BB/32K. *Per start. That's pretty darn good. Roy Oswalt might be the bigger name, but I don't think there's any doubt that JJ can match Oswalt's production. I know we didn't technically "acqure" Jair at the deadline, but after missing more than two months of the season, it basically has the same effect on the Braves. So why is everyone worried about the Phillies acquiring a veteran pitcher past his prime?
- The Braves aren't playing well -- Want to hear something cool? Even with the series split against Milwaukee, and the series losses against the Marlins, Nats and Reds, the Braves still have the best record in the National League since May 10th. You know your team is pretty special when you can go 5-8 since the All-Star Break and still have the best overall record since mid-May.
So there's that for you. This post obviously isn't for everyone. There are many of you who already know what I've posted and don't certainly need reminding. But for those of you who are continually complaining and bashing the Braves, I hope you've read this. You're obviously entitled to your opinion. If you think the Braves are trash, well, I guess that's up to you.
The TC staff loves when you read and contribute to the blog. We really do. But it's getting frustrating to see comment after comment about how many things are wrong with the Braves. The fact is that there really isn't anything wrong. Are we having a bad week? Yeah. But so are most of the other teams in the league. We weren't going to win or tie every series for the rest of the year. It's a long season. And the Braves will be back.
Thank you for reading, and go Braves.