I'm convinced that the vision of John Hart and the Braves management has the organization pointed in the right direction. I'm NOT convinced that they are ready to contend for anything in 2015. After two weeks with the Braves in Orlando, a few things are very clear.
This is a happier clubhouse. Things just seem loose and you see a lot of smiles. I know, that means nothing right? Wrong. A happy workplace usually brings better results.
The approach at the plate that they have preached and acquired guys to bring to this club has worked fairly well in the Spring. That means a lot less strikeouts and opposing pitchers being asked to work harder.
I fear that this team will have very little pop, which will cause them issues and not bail out a pitcher who dials up a less than superior effort.
I love the pitching. I expect that the Braves staff should be in the top third of MLB teams. If the bullpen is not in the top quarter I will be surprised.
The number I put on this club is 82. I expect a winning season. It is only three more wins than last year, but I expect this club to have a lot more fight. Could they make it interesting for a few months? Maybe. Can they get to the post season? I don't see it.
If you are "rebuilding" and can put a winning season together that would bode very well for the future of the Braves!
Whatever penalty that the Falcons receive for pumping fake crowd noise into their stadium is well deserved. If it is more than a third round pick I will be annoyed with the sanctions. Some insiders, like our own Chris Dimino, have contemplated whether they will delay the draft pick penalty to next season. That would give the team the chance to acquire picks this year so they can make up for it. The Falcons better have a strategy. They also better have better common sense in the future.
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