ATLANTA- They did it! Bobby and the boys stumbled their way into the post season in dramatic fashion on Sunday evening. No matter how they got in, the Atlanta Braves are returning to the post season for the first time since 2005. The dream has come true, Bobby Cox is returning to the post season in his final managerial season. The storybook tale is unfolding right before our very eyes. Do the Braves have a chance in the playoffs and how might they match up in the post season?
Do they have a chance? Yes, but the Braves are far from being a dominant team right now. The ball club is fortunate to be where they are now. But before all the Braves fans flood the comment boxes with hateful messages, if I was to tell you at the beginning of the year that Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, and Kris Medlan would have season ending injuries, Omar Infante had the highest active batting average on the team at the end of the season, Tommy Hanson finished below .500 on the year (10-11), and only two starters from the Braves opening day lineup remained on the lineup that played the last game would you believe that the Braves would win the wild card? No, absolutely not. The team I just described would be more like a .500 or below average team.
But, this team, albeit limping into the playoffs, is one of the more resilient teams I have ever seen. The 2010 Atlanta Braves really are the true definition of a team. In every facet of the word, the Braves are a group of individuals that form to create something greater. On any given night anyone could be the hero. Bobby Cox describes them as the hardest working team he has ever been around.
It is going to take a monumental effort for the Braves to advance in the playoffs. I am going to be shaking the pom poms and chopping the tomahawks as much as anyone, but if you want an honest opinion you have to be realistic. Tim Lincecum is a better pitcher then Derek Lowe and Matt Cain has more experience than Tommy Hansen. The Braves offence, while having many different heros each night, lacks consistency that most playoff teams have. Not to mention the Braves fear of playing in opposing teams stadiums.
But, the Braves have passion and a deep drive to win even if they are trailing with seemingly no way of coming back.
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In sport, the results do not always add up. Games do not always turn out the way they were predicted on paper. Nate McLouth may be hitting .190, so what. When the game is on and there is just one at bat to think about, he could come through and drive in the winning run. When you make the playoffs anything can happen. The magic that has surrounded this team all year could carry on through November. All I know is there is something special about the 2010 Atlanta Braves and I would not count them out of anything.