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Column: The fun likely just beginning with the Braves

A good Braves team could become a great Braves team soon.

The views of the author are not necessarily the view of AllOnGeorgia.


I am with you Braves fans. I would have been curious as to what might have happened had the Braves forced a Game 5 in their National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chances are the result would have been the same as what happened in the first and second games in the series. The Dodgers would have won and they would be on their way to the NL Championship Series.

Thing is, the series didn’t go to a deciding game. And, it didn’t because it really had no business going that far, to be honest.

Wear roses colored glasses if you want, but the Dodgers are much better than the Braves. At least right now, and that’s fine.

They have won six straight West Division titles and played in the World Series last year. Even as hot at the Milwaukee Brewers might be right now, don’t be surprised if Dodgers get back to the Fall Classic again.

And while I still expect the Boston Red Sox or the Houston Astros to take down whichever teams represents the NL in the World Series, the Dodgers have what it takes to beat either one. I’m convinced of it.

After watching their performance against the Braves, I’m no longer willing to concede Major League Baseball’s championship to the American League.

So, Braves fans, take solace in the fact that your Baby Braves at least took a game against the powerful Dodgers and flirted with taking another one on Monday until they missed a chance to blow the game wide open in the middle innings and left a one-run game in the hands of the beleaguered bullpen.

For those that maybe didn’t know, let’s just say a 2-1 lead went to a 3-2 deficit in the sixth, that swelled to 6-2 in the seventh and that was the final score.

The Braves did more than a tired Colorado Rockies team did against the Brewers and also more than a pretty good Cleveland Indians squad did against the Astros. Both teams got swept while putting up little resistance. The Braves at least put up a fight and went down swinging, nonetheless.

Now, the Braves turn their attention to what will be an interesting offseason. It actually started with most of those players who treated Braves nation to a fabulous season watching from the home dugout as the Dodgers celebrated on the field at SunTrust Park following Game 4 of the NLDS on Monday night.

I got the sense that while they were disappointed and probably wanted to walk on down the tunnel and start cleaning out their lockers, that they wanted that sting that comes with losing a postseason series to really sink into their bones so that they could remember how it felt. And thus, they will maybe make them want to work harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Most Braves fans recognize that this young team took Braves nation on an unexpected ride through the spring and summer that led to winning a division pennant and making the postseason perhaps a year or two earlier than what was anticipated as the organization started a major rebuilding job a few years back with an overhaul of the roster.

The Braves are good again and it looks like they will be good for several more years to come. They have a loaded farm system and some money to spend. Thus, they can get better from within or by doing what teams like the Dodgers have done and bring in proven commodities.

Sure, it could be that no matter what the Braves do, they may remain just good, but not great. You could argue that is what the Washington Nationals have been. They were once young like these Braves and they added pieces here and there that figured to make the difference.

But, they have won a division title four times since 2012 and been bounced from the postseason in the opening series each time. That’s good, but it’s not really what you want.

Yes, these Braves also could be just like their counterparts in the 1990s. They perhaps could knock out a bunch of division titles, win some NL pennants, but maybe also win only won World Series in a bunch of trips to the final series of the baseball season.

Or, they might be like the Astros who have built themselves a serious contender, won it all last year and might just do it again this year.

Bottom line is the Braves matter again in baseball.

The 2018 season has ended, and what a fun one it was.

The real fun, though, could just be beginning.

Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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