Rating Braves Excitement Meter

Jayson Werth

Jayson Werth

Atlanta Braves fans have been fortunate the past 20+ years.  Except for a few lean seasons, there has been high-quality, exciting baseball, at Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium and Turner Field.  So how excited are you for the 2014 season and where would your rank your excitement on a one to ten scale?

I’m excited about the upcoming season, but my excitement is not a ten.  Those of us who lived through the early to mid ’90s experienced what a ten feels like and this upcoming season is not a ten on the excitement meter.

So is it a nine?  No, I don’t think it is a nine, either.  No new stadium this season and no blockbuster off-season trades or free agent signings to get excited about.

I do think the upcoming season registers a solid eight on the excitement meter and that is pretty darn good.  The Braves have an exciting young corps of players to watch develop and most of all, I think the battle for the Eastern Division championship with the Washington Nationals could be epic.

The Nationals are easy to dislike with their “Nattitude” slogan and their nouveau riche status.  They shelved Strasburg at the end of the 2012 season and the ensuing playoffs like they expect to be there every season for the next ten years, even though they have never won anything.  They’ve got outfielder Jayson Werth, who looks like an escapee from the Manson family, and who disrespected the Braves before last season.  The are from Washington D.C. and their most prominent fans are politicians…need I say more?

Besides the battle with the Nationals, the story line I am most excited about this season is seeing how Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton bounce back from their awful seasons (we Americans always love seeing players bounce back from adversity almost as much as we enjoy seeing them go down the drain) and it will be very intriguing to see how Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves organization handles the situation if they don’t bounce back.

What is your excitement meter heading into 2014 and what are you looking forward to this season?

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Profile photo of Jim Hart About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

  • NorthAlabamaGM

    If I were more confident in Beachy being at full health, I would consider this a 10. I am anxious to see how these new rich kids perform this season knowing they are set for life if they are wise with their new foun dprosperity. This is probabaly an 8 bordering on a 10 or a 6. The fact that the front office didn’t do anything stupid this offseason has me excited. If Heyward is somewhere between his rookie season and and what he did in the leadoff spot last year, this will become a 10 very quick. If BJ Upton improves to average and is traded by July 31st and Schafer is starting in CF this will be an 11:)

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      NorthAlabama, you think the excitement going into this season compared to the early to mid ’90s? Perhaps you weren’t old enough to be following the Braves then, but that was a whole different altitude. That was a 10. That’s funny that you think the front office didn’t do anything stupid so that has you excited.

      • NorthAlabamaGM

        I know, I am weird when it comes to these things. I seem to have a different perspective at times than everyone else. In April 1991, I don’t think it was a 10 for everyone. If you remember they had just signed an old Terry Pendelton, an old broken Sid Bream, and a very weak hitting Belliard. But what made it exciting for me was a bunch of good young pitching and guys who could catch the ball. That is why I picked them to win from day 1 in 1991. That was a 10+ from the start not just when they started the run later in the season. If you remember they had a losing record at the all-star break … I still told everyone I could they would still win … becasue of pitching! This year, they didn’t sign an Uggla, they didn’t sign a BJ Upton, they haven’t traded the farm for a #1 pitcher. They let a middle aged expensive catcher and a very old pitcher go in the off-season. I am ecstatic! If Beachy, Heyward, Uggla, and BJ are just anywhere close to being their “normal” … this is an 8 pre-season waiting to become a 10 … for me. All the team has to do is play pitch and catch correctly to get to another 90+ win season and go to the playoffs. That is all you can ask for realistically … give us fans a chance to cheer an extra few weeks in October!

  • C.J. Smith

    I’m going to say an 8 as well. Realistically, you can’t really expect CJ to have the same numbers as last season. I would love to see it though. I’ve almost given up on Uggla after a 3 season slump but one would expect BJ Upton would have to be better than last year. I think the stats from the 3 outfielders are only going to go up. Braves won the East last year with the outfield def playing below what was expected. Improve on that this year and I say one can get pretty excited. I just do not see the Nationals having another season like last year. I hope it’s not true, but i personally think the Braves will have a tough go at winning the East this season.

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      C.J.. I will be surprised too if Chris Johnson has the same numbers. Only because he had such an incredible year last season. I think he will hit around .285 this season with more power (20 HRs). That will still be a good year. B.J. couldn’t possibly have as bad a season as he did last year. Could he?

      • C.J. Smith

        That is my thinking. But I said the same thing with Uggla a couple years ago and yet he still continues to go down hill. I’m not saying BJ will be batting .300 or anything, but I would be surprised if he does as bad as 2013. I just think the Braves will be in ok shape if the outfield produces just half as good as 2013.

    • Mike Crowe

      I can see BJ having another season like 2013, why not. Ugla has certainly been proof it happens. Even at his best BJ was an average player and now he’s older, richer, and still BJ Upton. He’s going to have to prove himself to convince me.

  • Mike Crowe

    I’d give it a seven, only because the Braves are defending champs, the front office seems to have awakened and locked up most of the players that matter, or in the process of doing so, and there is the pitching. But then there is Washington, perhaps, Fredi not knowing how to finish a season, BJ and Ugly, and another stupid free agent signing surely awaits in the wings – remember, there is a track record going on here. So yeah, I’ll go fifty-fifty that we make the post season, but this team is a long way from being as heart warming as the teams of the 90s – a long way.