Well Braves fans, the season for us has officially fizzled out. It could be worse though. For the greatest collapse in history was outdone by Red Sox, a team that pays its players twice the amount the Braves do. It was pretty surreal. When the Braves lost I wasn’t mad. I was simply sad.
But there is always next year... right?
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but I have some dire predictions for next year. And these aren’t heat of the moment either. I’ve been sitting on them for a few weeks.
First the bad news: next year will be a transition year. The good news: it’s going to get really good after that.
The Braves won’t be terrible, they will be mediocre, and they will miss the playoffs. The first reason is age. I’m looking at you Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson, and Chipper Jones. I have a gut feeling that Lowe isn’t going to be traded unless the Braves eat at least 12 of his 15 million. That alone is going to clog up any hopes of spending money. Chipper was probably our third most productive player this year which is good but the problem is injuries. My problem with Chipper is that he cripples our lineup when he isn’t in the lineup, which increasing every year. And while I think Tim will have a good year I think he is going to show the first chink in his armor. I’m predicting a high threes ERA.
After next year there is going to be a lot of payroll turnover. Chipper will in all likelihood retire, (insert Favre jokes here) Lowe will be gone, Hudson’s option will be on the table, McOut will be playing bench for the Brewers, and Kawakami will have been eating Ramen in Japan for twelve months.
The good news is that through all of this our youngyins are going to develop. I just think that next year will be a little too soon to say the guys like Minor, Delgado, Vizzy, and Pastornicky will be terribly impactful. Hopefully by 2013 Heyward, Freeman, and Hanson will be elite players.
But there is always hope. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong.
This season was exciting, boring, and infuriating all at the same time. It’s what makes the game so great. If you don’t get your heart ripped out of your chest every now and then then you wouldn’t appreciate the impossible victories. Hopefully this will burn in the minds of the Braves for as long as it takes to win the World Series.
I will leave you with a profound quote from Adolph Hitler
“I really thought we’d win that.”