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Atlanta Braves news and links: Simba wins award and Olivera begins Winter League action

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Andrelton Simmons added yet another piece of hardware for his individual efforts at shortstop, while Hector Olivera began his stint in Winter League action.

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Simmons wins Fielding Bible award

For the third consecutive season, Andrelton Simmons was a unanimous choice for the Fielding Bible's award at the Shortstop position. If that's the case, then this is probably a good omen for Simba's chances at getting yet another Gold Glove. Either way, it's always nice to see our amazing defensive maestro getting recognized for his efforts, and even moreso in what was considered a "down year" for Simmons.

Olivera makes Winter League debut, while Cabrera is doling out high heat

Last week was an important week for Braves in Fall and Winter League action, because this was the week in which Hector Olivera made his Winter League debut. The Braves' prospective 3rd baseman of the future had himself a solid start to his Winter League campaign, and you don't need us to tell you that it's extremely imperative that Olivera continues his development any way he can. Meanwhile in Arizona, Mauricio Cabrera has been topping 100-mph with his fastball, but he's also been wild. Obviously, if he can get things together then Cabrera could end up being an extremely valuable asset to the Braves, but for now, they're just hoping that he can get that Fall League ERA down.

Braves sign Chris Volstad

The Braves have made their first signing of the 2015 offseason, and it's predictably a pretty small move. Atlanta has signed pitcher Chris Volstad to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Volstad actually spent all of last season with the Pirates' AAA Affiliate and hasn't been a regular Major League pitcher since 2012, so his chances of making the Major League team will probably be extremely slim.

The relocation to Cobb County could end up being a mess for the Braves

As we get closer and closer to the Braves' big move to the suburbs, it's becoming increasingly clear that traffic is probably going to be a problem for everybody involved -- especially for the first season, since the pedestrian bridge won't be ready by then, and there may not be enough parking for everybody who wants to go to the games. So, unless the Braves and Cobb County can pull off a miracle, this might end up being a huge traffic mess for fans when the stadium opens in 2017.

Somehow, "neither the Braves nor the county has released any information about its plans for traffic control, pedestrian safety, or parking," the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Problem is, there’s not enough room for everyone to park right near the stadium. There are, however, about 2,000 parking spaces and a bus hub just across I-285.

Walking can’t be completely eliminated from the stadium planning — all those people still have to cross the highway on foot. So Cobb County will construct a foot bridge over I-285 for $9 million.

But county officials recently announced that the bridge project would be delayed for at least a year and won’t be open in time for the Brave’s first season at SunTrust Park. That was after the Georgia Department of Transportation refused to help fund the project.


Royals win 2015 World Series

Hey y'all! Remember when we made our staff predictions here at Talking Chop and nearly the entire staff had the New York Mets winning? Good thing the Kansas City Royals didn't pay attention to that, because they just won the World Series in five games. Despite the fact that Matt Harvey and the Mets' pitching staff finally made good on that whole "dominant pitching" thing in Game 5 of this series, the Royals finally broke through late in the game, because that's what the Royals do -- they wait until they're on the ropes to absolutely crush whatever hopes and dreams their opponent had of winning the game. The Royals tied the game in the top of the ninth inning thanks to poor defense from the Mets, and then proceeded to break the game open in extra innings to claim the Commissioner's Trophy.

Also, I know that the Royals have been an excellent baseball team for two consecutive years now, but I still can't believe that I'm typing out the phrase "2015 World Series Champion: Kansas City Royals." That's how much of a laughingstock that franchise had become since the '70s  and '80s, and now look at them: World Series Champions. Baseball is an amazing sport, and they're proof that there's always hope for even the downtrodden in this sport.