Braves fans, I've defended this team a ton this season talking about how they were undervalued, and how the skeptics were treating them like they would never score runs, and how they could potentially contend for a winning record. Then, the Freddie Freeman injury happened and that started a chain reaction that led us here. Grilli was injured, the team went into a July offensive slump that is only rivaled by September of 2014, and now we're trading the team away. In essence, we were 1 game away from cresting the hump of a winning record, and then it all went to pieces.
Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza, and Bronson Arroyo were all traded to the Dodgers via a 3-way with the Marlins. Giggity. That's 3 guys from the main roster, one of our top prospects, and a salary dump. And we're not done yet, the deadline is Friday. John Hart could easily move more guys. I joked last night on Twitter that John Hart fired up Game of Thrones, put Flight of the Valkyries on the loudspeaker, and started making phone calls.
The question that most Braves fans have is why? Why trade away Wood when we still have to deal with an obviously struggling Teheran and a Chris Johnson contract only a mother would love. Why is AJ Pierzynski still on the team if he has any value at all? Why would you accept an unproven 30 year old Cuban player who has never been in the majors? WHY NOT BRING MARTIN PRADO BACK?WHY DO YOU HATE US? None of these questions have good answers right now, and the crappier part is they won't have good answers until likely 2 years from now.
I could tell you the details of the trade, but there aren't any. Hector Olivera is a 30 year old Cuban player who has spent his career so far in the minor leagues or in Cuba. Paco Rodriguez is a lefty 24 year old reliever who is going to miss the rest of the season with elbow surgery. And Zachery Bird is a young prospect in the minors who is 20 years old, throws right handed, and hasn't made it past A-Ball yet. The deal is trading for magic beans. I can't tell you a thing about the guys we got because nobody knows, with the exception of Paco, how they will play in the majors. And Paco only has 85 innings in his career. Of those he's got a 2.51 ERA, so it's not that bad for a reliever.
Now why no more previews and recaps? Because honestly, I do this for fun. I enjoy watching the team. I'm a fan just like you. And because I'm a fan, that's likely why you come here to read my stuff instead of just going to Talking Chop or another blog that's obsessed with sabermetrics and trying to convince you they are right and you are stupid. There's thousands of options, and you chose mine, and I love you for it. I love the feedback I get from readers.
But this Braves team we're going to watch in the aftermath of these final trades? This is a spring training team. This is hitting the reboot button mid-season and watching guys who will be playing for roster spots. Under no circumstances are the Braves trying to win anymore. They've completely given up and as such I see no reason to worry about matchups or records or recaps. They don't care about winning the game so why in the world should we agonize about the results game by game?
Instead, I plan on switching gears with the blogs. I'm going to do weekly features on guys like the WHO THE HECK IS THIS ATLANTA BRAVE? More often. I'm going to have more fun as I make fun of the silliness of this team. I'll do the occasional rant. In essence, it will be more free-form, more fun, and more about where the team is heading instead of just recapping where they've been. And I'll toss in some stats too. Should be more interesting reading down the stretch to us getting eliminated. Ugh.
Does that mean I'll stop watching? No, I'm an addict and possibly a masochist. It does mean I'll change HOW I watch though, and I suggest you do the same. For your sanity.
Anyway, on to bigger and better things. Like clearing ground on that new stadium, and the team that will play in it!