LOTS OF POSITIVES IN ASEA OF NEGATIVITY
I understand that as an Atlanta sports fan this has not been the year to be very thankful for your teams. Yet I still see a lot of positives amidst a very negative year in local sports.
2015 gave us the Hawks improbable January win streak and the top seed in the Eastern Conference Finals. We all know how that turned out, but the foundation for future success was laid. I expected the team to take a step back in regular season wins, but if healthy the post season may be more suited for their lineup. It was a lot better than previous efforts.
The Braves followed it up with a clunker. A clunker that the organization has promised will never repeat itself. I'm a bot more skeptical. The roster is in flux and the veteran talent is quite diminished. After a long winter, you want something to believe in. Right now, I'm having a hard time seeing it.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been a dumpster fire. After the fantastic finish to last season it was quite the let down. The problem I have with it is I don't see why they have played so poorly. The positive? Paul Johnson has followed up weak seasons with impressive rebounds. He better have a rabbit to pull out of the hat in 2016.
The Georgia Bulldogs defense seems to have rounded into shape nicely. See, I can lead with the positive. Truth is, there is no reason to lead with the positive about the 2015 Dawgs. They failed at the biggest moments and just struggled to get by GA Southern in OT. The positive may be that change is coming.
Finally the Falcons are 6-3. I expected them to be no better than 8-8. A winning season out of Dan Quinn would get him an A. Ten wins is an A+. After the 5-0 start unrealistic expectations were placed on this team. I hope to see a strong finish and with the defense already imporved by 5 points a game there is promise.
Thankfully, sports is always evolving. In Atlanta, the evolution can't come fast enough.
The Braves brass has a talking point. They said it 2 months ago and it was just repeated this week. I think it is one they did not think out properly. I would also suggest that they change it up immediately!
First it was John Schuerholz in the AJC and now it is new GM John Coppolella reprating it. It is something along the form of "We can't lose 95 games again. 2015 will never happen again. Losing 95 games is unacceptable." Pick and choose which form you want it to take it in, but it sets professionals up for a fall.
If I was Fredi Gonzalez I would be convcerned with the marchoing orders. We have stripped down the talent pool Fredi, but we need you to not lose 95 games. How is he supposed to do this? I know that teaching is part of the game, but how can you be expected to win without a major league roster filled with guys READY to win.
From the looks of things, 2016 is setting up to be an even bigger transition season than 2015. Again, I'm fine with it as long as I can understand the plan. I refuse to complain about an off-season plan until I see it to completion. If I like a move or hate a move I will give my thoughts along the way. I'm interested to watch this all play out.
If they don't with 95 games then it will be easy to make Fredi the scapegoat and send him on his way. I don't know if that is fair but I was actually surprised they gave Frede an extension for 2016 when they did.
Let it play out, but the 2016 Braves have a big soundbite to try and live up to. I would not want to have to work under that type of mandate.