Well, it's now official - the streak of 11 straight division titles - and 14 in 15 years - is over. The last time the Braves failed to make the post-season, Bush I was President, we had not yet fought a war in Iraq, the Soviet Union still existed, Turner still owned the team, Home Alone was the top movie of the year, Rhythm Nation was the top album.
Good gravy, am I glad to see the back of 1990.
The good news is, I don't think we'll be away for long. The farm system is a bit weak, mostly because it produced so much last year. With Chuck James showing he can pitch at the major league level and a step forward for some of the Baby Braves -- and maybe a little purse-loosening by AOL/Satan/Time Warner -- they can be right back in it next year. Of course, if they trade Andruw for nothing, we'll be sunk.
Still, it's been an amazing run -- a team on par with the great Yankees and Dodgers of the past, a dynasty defined by the greatest pitching staff of all time that managed to cling to victory for another few years at the end. Were it not for the post-season disappointments, the Braves of 1995-2000 would be considered one of the great teams of all time.