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How The Braves Could Cheat

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Getting Serious About Winning

MLB: All Star Game-Workouts Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The story that has been overwhelming baseball over the past couple of months has been the Astros cheating scandal. Within the past week, we have seen things really intensify with this story, with the punishments that have been handed down by MLB. For those of you out of the loop—and why are you reading this if you are?—the Houston Astros were using technology to communicate to hitters whether the pitch was going to be a fastball or an off-speed pitch. According to multiple reports at once, Scott Brosius’s son was operating a camera in center field and was relaying information to Carlos Beltran’s niece, who would bang a trash can containing Mike Trout’s HGH. Or something like that.

This all got me thinking...what if the Braves cheated on the field, and how could they do it? Now we all know that as much as we love our Atlanta Braves, if they cheated, they would be the one team who would find a way to use every competitive advantage available to benefit in absolutely no appreciable way, so I’m definitely not suggesting that the Braves actually do this. But, just for funsies...what could they do?

MLB: General Managers Meetings
Just casually putting this picture of John Coppolella in this article about cheating. Total coincidence.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros Method

I feel like this would be a little too brazen and obvious, because the league office is probably going to be on the lookout for stuff like this, but the easiest thing to do would be to just copy what the Astros did. After all, it worked, they’ve got a damn World Series ring to show for it, why change anything? Truist Park (god, that name is going to take some getting used to...) even has a huge freaking drum right there in center field! It’s perfect. In fact, I’m going to argue that in the name of competitive balance, the Braves should be allowed to do this, but only when Nick Markakis is at the plate. Because if we are going to have to trot out a lineup with Markakis as our cleanup hitter, he should at least be granted the courtesy of knowing what pitch is coming. It’s only fair. What’s the worst that could happen anyway? Nick will just hit bloop doubles down the left field line until around August when he gets tired. Pretty much harmless.

Houston Astros v Atlanta Braves
One bang for a fastball, two for an off-speed, or you can straight up Morse Code this thing.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The International Market

This is a little bit of a long play, but the Braves could really gain a long term advantage if they just got a little sneaky with the ways they signed international free age—you know...never mind. That one’s been done before. I’m sure if a team like, I don’t know...the Los Angeles Dodgers ever did something like that, the league office would hand down their harshest punishment as swiftly as possible, right? Guys?

National Science Foundation Holds News Conference On First Results From Event Horizon Telescope Project
This is a black hole in outer space. Notice on each edge, there are collections of gases that are swirling around the center of the black hole, under the influence of inescapable forces of gravity. Inside a black hole, incredible forces are at work, stretching pieces of matter endlessly into the singularity of the black hole, making it impossible for the pieces of matter to escape. In the center of this singularity, unable to be detected by man-made telescopes, are the Dodgers’ punishment for violating rules on the international free agent market.
Photo by National Science Foundation via Getty Images

Get Brian Snitker a Twitter

So, this needs to happen anyway, just so I can check his mentions on a daily basis. It would be guaranteed to be among the most entertaining moments in all of our social media experience. There would be some challenges here, because it’s common knowledge that Snit still uses a rotary telephone, so the learning curve is going to be a huge issue. Having said that, the Braves have one of the best social media teams out there, and shouldn’t have much of a problem getting him up to speed. Give Snit a cool handle like @FeelingSnitty, and the Braves could put his twitter feed in the dugout, so knowledgeable fans could send him tips about lineup construction, bullpen management, and tendencies that they see in our opponents. What manager wouldn’t want to open their feed in the morning and see constructive comments like “hey you jackwagon @FeelingSnitty, freddy freemen hasnt had rest since the hillery killed Ben Gazi, how about you give him a day off, punk”? Then, Snitker would know how to construct his lineup! When he’s not sure which reliever to put in the game, he can just open Twitter and see “yo @FeelingSnitty luke jaksun is very bad” and know exactly who the best bullpen option is. We all need a little help sometimes.

Divisional Series - Atlanta Braves v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three
When he places his hand on his chin, it’s his signal for when he’s about to leave a starter in too long.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Timothy Miller

Here’s our secret weapon. The Atlanta Braves have been fortunate to have one of the best in the business singing at their games, but I feel like he’s an underused resource here. When you have a guy who can project his voice like Timmy Mill, you really need to use him in as many ways as possible. Sit him in the dugout and he can sing the names of the pitches to our hitters, so they’re fully prepared for what’s coming. Imagine Clayton Kershaw getting ready to pitch and we hear “it’s a cuuuuuuuuuurvvvveeeee baaaaallllllll, a twelve to six cuuuurrrrrvvvveeeee ballllllllll” or “a chaaaaannnggggeeeeuuuuuuppppp, in the dirt, in the dirt, don’t swing you jeerrrrrrrrrkkkkkk.” Tell me that doesn’t give us the best homefield advantage ever.

Divisional Series - St Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
“a bunt! a bunt! they’re calling for a buuuuuuunt!”
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

JDunnah is a contributor for Talking Chop. He is a shameless goofball and a buffoon who deserves none of your praise, and all of your reproof. While he is currently in mourning the loss of Josh Donaldson (who is a goofball in his own right), he can be an entertaining, albeit exhausting, follow during the season. Interact with him on Twitter @JDunnah, if you’re into that sort of thing.