In the midst of a stretch of challenging and disappointing baseball, it's easy for a team to implode and for morale to begin to disintegrate. Here is a great quote from Scott Linebrink in DOB's must-read article from last night:
"I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team like this," he said. "Everybody does stuff on the road together, it’s not like you have your individuals or your little cliques. That’s been refreshing. It’s definitely a camaraderie, that we’re going to be there to pick one another up. It helps even more when you like the guy that you’re picking up."
The bullpen -- especially the young guys, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters -- relied on Billy Wagner so much last season. We knew the Braves would miss Wagner's arm this year, but some of us also knew that they would miss his veteran leadership just as much. Call it cliche, but that's an important part of any team ... and it's the tough stretches during the season like the one the Braves are in now when level-headed veteran leadership is most needed.
There has been some criticism from fans of the Braves acquisition of Linebrink, but they got him as much for his experience on the mound as his veteran leadership in a young bullpen.