Results tagged ‘ Greg Maddux ’
Growing up I always loved the Atlanta Braves. With pitchers like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, they arguably had one of the best pitching rotations of all time. Under former manager Bobby Cox, they even managed to be the NL East division champions for 14 consecutive years. But now all those players are now gone, and Bobby Cox is no longer managing the team. Do the Braves have what it takes to once again be the team to beat in the East?
The Braves spent much of 2011 in the mix of contention, but despite finishing with a record of 89-73, it wasn’t enough for them to make it to the playoffs. Thanks to having strong pitching and defense, the Braves were able to make up for the fact that they didn’t score a lot of runs last year. In fact, there were only six teams in the NL that scored less runs than Atlanta and off those six teams, only one finished with a winning record.
As much as I’d like to be optimistic about the Braves having a chance to compete for the division title, it’s hard to envision them having a great chance. The biggest factor in me saying that, is really they did nothing to improve their team during the offseason. Sure, you can argue the fact that Jason Heyward will likely improve on his 2011 numbers and I’d probably agree with you. There’s just so much depth in the NL East, that it’s going to be difficult for the Braves to ‘Tomahawk Chop’ their way through the competition.
I still do love the Braves rotation, but having Tim Hudson starting the year on the disabled list doesn’t exactly help Atlanta’s ability to get off to a fast start, but they still have quality pitchers in Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens and Brandon Beachy. If the Braves rotation can keep other teams in their division in check, then there’s certainly a chance that the Braves could be competing for one of the two wild card spots this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll be able to win the division, though.
Fun fact: If you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, you should probably root for the Braves, too. Why? The Atlanta Braves were originated from one of the two original National League franchises, and were originally called the Boston Red Stockings. They were and are in no way affiliated with the Red Sox, but it certainly is a bizarre coincidence.