Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves. 14 Division titles in a row. We’ll just gloss over the strike season, because true Braves fans know the Braves would have made a second-half run to catch the Expos—if it wasn’t for the strike this would be 15.;-)
I know the rest of the baseball world has to hate the Braves and their continued success, even if they appreciate it. It’s no fun to watch a consistent winner. But, you have to remember how bad the Braves were before the run started in 1991. From elementary school through high school, being a Braves fan was hard. In 1991, I was a senior in high school. That season was just such a relief. I could actually enjoy being a Braves fan. When Sid slid I was back in my freshman dorm room (Marsh 421). I had walked back from a party to pick up some more liquid refreshment, because I couldn’t stand to watch the Braves lose at the party. When I turned on the TV in my room, I experienced the most exciting baseball-viewing experience of my life. He was safe, and we all started jumping up and down in this tiny dorm room, so we had to run out into the hall. It turns out every one in my dorm had the same idea, and the entire population of the floor spilled out to the hall to celebrate like we were in the locker room. It was amazing. I learned never to give up on the Braves ever again. Though the fun of those two seasons was fantastic, it still never seemed to make up for how bad the Braves were.
Last night, those feelings of relief, of winning and not losing, came back. It’s fun to win, and there are no diminishing returns to it. The 14th time feels like the first time to me, so I can imagine that it must feel 100-times greater to the guys on the field. Congrats guys, you played a great season. Through all of the frustrations, you’ve managed to do it again.
Now, here’s what I want for the playoffs. I want the Astros, not because I think they’re easier than the Phils, but because they’re better. I’m going to root for the Cards in the Division Series. I want to see La Russa lose to Cox, how sweet. And then, I want the World Series, the AL opponent doesn’t matter. If the Braves get there, that’s what matters, I think they have a shot. No doubt they have some magic. Go through the best. Don’t try to win the World Series, try to win every baseball game. Play hard, keep your head on straight, and leave it all out there on the field. For a long time this team has played not to lose in the post-season. It’s time to just play. This is going to be fun!