The Atlanta Braves are a surprising team so far this season, hanging around the .500 mark and avoiding long losing streaks. Being at the .500 mark isn’t enough to pound your chest and let off primal screams, but compared to what the Braves were predicted to be this season, it’s not bad. If management hadn’t flushed the season in the desire to build up for when the new stadium opens, who knows where the Braves would be right now. First place, perhaps?
So here we sit at the beginning of June and the Braves appear to be, to borrow the title from an old Gerry Rafferty song, “Stuck in the Middle.” Sorry Dave O’Brien if I stole your thunder and invoked a song to make a point.
Are the Braves going to spend some resources and try to win this season? Or are they going to just half-ass it and make it look like they are trying? The Nationals were predicted to be great this season and it still might happen. But with all their injuries, the NL East may just be there for the taking.
Being stuck in the middle is the last place professional teams want to be. It means you aren’t good enough to compete for a championship and not bad enough to be in full rebuild mode. If you are going to rebuild, then go ahead and rebuild.
Christian Bethancourt is a great example as to the Braves current flawed mindset. The kid is ready to play and should be playing right now. Not next week, not next month, but right now. If the Braves are truly in rebuild mode, then that is what should be happening. Fredi Gonzalez should be writing the kid’s name into the line-up nearly every night.
If the Braves are going to play A.J. Pierzynski instead of Bethancourt, then they need to go out and trade for some honest to goodness, major league caliber relief pitchers. Not some pick up off the trash heap, wing and a prayer type relievers that the Braves currently have on the roster.
Okay Braves, are you rebuilding or are you trying to win? Crap or get off the pot.