Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Atlanta Braves - 13 Straight Division Titles

The Atlanta Braves continue to impress me. Last year I was sure they were the team to beat in the playoffs...I was wrong. This year I was sure the Braves would end up in second place at the very best...I was wrong. This year's team is half as talented as last year's team but they have good team chemistry. The core players of the Braves are playing hard and are playing aggressively. Andruw Jones is the most surprising, just the other day he grounded out with runners in scoring position and he slammed his helmet down in frustration. That didn't happen last year. Last year they were cocky, they were the king of the crop, the best team in baseball. This year they are running scared, they lack the excessive arrogance that held them back last year, they aren't as talented but they make up for it by hustling. Marcus Giles slides safely into home past Expos Catcher Brian Schneider Kudos to John Schurholtz for acquiring J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. Marrero has exceeded everybody's expectations. J.D. Drew has been revitalized in Atlanta and is finally healthy and becoming the player he has always been slated to become. There are still problems in the bullpen but Chris Reitsma has been able to pitch well despite a very poor start. Gyrbowski still continues to be one of the best at allowing inherited runners to score and Tom Martin has been close to atrocious since joining the Braves (if only we still had Hammond and Remlinger...). This year's ball club is reminiscent of the Anaheim Angels when they won the World Series in 2002. It is a collection of a few outstanding players but mostly it is a team of good/decent players who play a hard, scrappy baseball game.

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