Since this is my first post, here are a couple sentences about myself. My name is Natan, I've been living in Israel since 1993. As a child I lived in Ohio, but have family in Atlanta. I went to a game at Fulton County Stadium and have been a Braves' fan since. It was the last year before the division winning streak, so I can't be accused of choosing them just because they were good.
I see only a couple of games a year on TV, due to the time difference but hear a couple dozen per year via MLB.com Gameday Audio (listening to the third Cubs game as I write). I read the game wrap-up on MLB.com daily.
Here are a few of my thoughts in no particular order:
1. It seems like the offense is too similar to last year - over-dependent on home runs, and prone to long streaks of futility.
2. Strong pitching, similar to last year. This is despite all of the injuries.
3. The organization seems to promote pretty good players, on a regular basis: Teheran, Minor, Simmons, Wood, Heyward, Freeman just to name a few
4. In contrast, they don't seem to be so good with free agents. Lots of money was spent on Uggla, who really hasn't done much besides that crazy hitting streak a few years back. As for BJ, it doesn't look like he's going to have a big bounce-back season.
5. The Prado trade really worked out well for ATL. Maybe ARI as well, I don't know - don't follow them.
6. Heyward: it seems to me he can be a good player for a long time. I doesn't seem like he'll be a great one.
7. My prediction: another division title and another one-and-done in the playoffs. Everything seems too much like last year.
8. The Braves' radio announcers can be a bit annoying - the are overly-"patriotic". Sometimes they start praising a current or former Brave and go on and on and on until you want to blush. It gets a bit too much and you think you're listening to Pravda. Just say a good word or two and go on.