There’s no two ways around it, The Atlanta Braves are awful. It may seem like I’m a day late to the party on this after Williams “Replacement Level” Perez threw 85 pitches in 8 innings last night to lead the Braves to a 4-1 win, but that glimmer of hope was just a flash of what baseball is supposed to look like. Typically, the Braves don’t even get close.
Atlanta’s offense has been just terrible and there’s no sign of improvement any times soon. In fact, the Braves have an OPS 150 points higher with runners on base than in all other situations, which means that they could even regress. The offense has been terrible and Braves fans enjoyment is made all the less fun by the Phillies’ delight in their newfound pitching. The two once-great NL East rivals were supposed to endure their respective “rebuilds” together but now the Braves are feeling awfully lonely in being so awful. But you know what? That’s not so bad.
This was the plan all along. Since Jon Coppolella took over as GM-in-practice, the Braves direction has been clear: rebuild the farm system, and return to the “Braves Way.”
Rather than blasting the Braves for thinking an actual Major League lineup should include Chase d’Arnaud, 2016 Jeff Francouer, and Tyler Flowers, it’s time for Braves fans to ignore the 2016 Braves and point at other fan bases and laugh at their despair.
Why? We always knew that a bad season was coming. That it’s this bad is a bit of a discouraging sign for the decision making process of the Braves’ powers that be, but this is the moment just before the dawn. There’s a future in Braves land and it involves prospects and a new stadium.
Other fan bases? Ha their life is about to get much, much worse. I’ll outline below why being a Braves fan is better than being a fan of select few other organizations:
Los Angeles Angels– When you’ve got Mike Trout, things aren’t all doom and gloom, but he’s the lone rose in a thornbush of crap. The Angels are saddled with a terrible rotation, no farm system and a budget handicapped by Alber-tross Pujols and Jared Weaver. The Angels aren’t going to win this year and that has to be a huge disappointment for their fan base. The bigger disappointment? That all they have to look forward to is wasting Mike Trout’s prime just like the Mariners did with King Felix.
Los Angeles Dodgers fans without Time Warner in LA– Imagine being a diehard fan, but because of a cable TV dispute you’re unable to watch a single game. Now, imagine that you have a good team with the greatest broadcaster ever and you’re unable to listen as he calls his final season. Further, imagine you had to endure the same experience last year as corporate executives argued about marginal costs. Life sucks for those fans.
Oakland A’s– Max recently covered how bad the A’s are, with a collective OBP that ranks last in the AL and an Ace with an ERA of 6. Their stadium often has plumbing issues, so it can literally smell of crap. They’ve never had a budget and there’s no end in sight for their stadium situation. What ever happened to that “exploratory committee?” That’s a question that A’s fans maniacally repeat as they lie awake at night wallowing in their cellar dweller sorrow.
Montreal Expos– They lost their team. There’s literally not even a single good thing about being a Montreal Expos fan, because the Montreal Expos don’t exist. If they did exist though, they’d have Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. Boy, that’d be fun! Ha
Minnesota Twins– I painted a pretty picture about Miguel Sano the other day, but there’s serious reasons for despair in the Twin Cities. Their top prospect got sent to the minor leagues because he turned out to be BJ Upton but without the good years with the Rays. They’re a single game better than the Braves so far and they thought they’d be legitimately good this year. Their closer is hurt and sadly on the Sean Doolittle path to non-recovery. Their rotation doesn’t strike anyone out and their field is a homonym for like an Army artillery test facility. Plus, it’s cold in Minnesota and there’s lots of bugs there. (Editor’s Note: Sean and I were in Minneapolis last summer and I found quite pleasant. We’ll be going back in the last week in June. Coming at you Eagan, MN!)
Maybe being a Braves fan sucks, but at least it doesn’t suck as bad right now as those fan bases. Plus, if the other Off The Bench co-founder is going to repeatedly demand a Braves hit piece, other organizations are getting punches- nay, haymakers – thrown at them.
There’s a future in Atlanta. Braves fans should pick a different team to root for. Just not one of the ones I mentioned above.