Two weeks ago when the Atlanta Braves Fan Confidence dropped from 76% to 74% I considered it static in the sample and not an indication that the off-season confidence of Braves fans was any less. But I may have to reconsider this week as the confidence level drops another 2% to 72% -- its second consecutive fortnight of decline. The poll also had its second-highest voting total of 905 participants, likely a holdover from the activity of the Winter Meetings.
It could be those Winter Meetings, of course, that caused the Fan Confidence Rating to drop yet again. While the Braves netted a positive from the meetings, in the form of durable reliever Jesse Chavez, they were made to look a bit foolish by what I have coined the Soriano Surprise -- reliever Rafael Soriano's decision to accept salary arbitration. The disgruntled fan argument is still be rehashed in the press, with Mark Bradley of the AJC the latest to chime in with his opinion of the Braves ignominious off-season so far. All are valid questions, but shouldn't we wait to see the final product?
As far as a developing product, I would still consider this off-season to be moving in a positive direction. In the past two weeks we've had a flurry of action, all centered around the bullpen, but the bullpen was a huge hole that needed to be filled this off-season. Now that we're on the other side of that attempt to fill the bullpen hole, I would say that it's been filled better than it was left at the end of last season. We replaced our closer and setup man with two, albeit older, but equally capable, and far more experienced players, and we added an additional durable middle-innings reliever.
Perhaps it's a matter of perspective, and some folks are always going to view what I view as glass half full as glass half empty. That's why we have the poll, to average it all out.