Morning Chop: Tomahawk Take’s Summary of Braves’ News
Predicting Atlanta Braves’ Starting Lineup Next Season
While the 2013 season ended in disappointing fashion for the Atlanta Braves, the future still remains bright for the organization.
The nucleus of the team will remain in Atlanta, with the organization having control over their young players for the next few seasons.
There are some questions facing this team as the offseason begins. The catcher and second baseman positions appear to be the biggest questions at the moment.
We will obviously know more about these questions over time, but here’s a look at a projected lineup for the Braves in 2014.
1. Jason Heyward RF
2. Andrelton Simmons SS
3. Freddie Freeman 1B
4. Justin Upton LF
5. Evan Gattis C
6. Chris Johnson 3B
7. B.J. Upton CF
8. Tommy La Stella 2B
Atlanta Braves news: What to expect for the 2014 season
Despite another great year that was highlighted by an NL East title, the Atlanta Braves are sitting at home, watching the Cardinals and the Dodgers duke it out for the right to go to the Fall Classic. This season was certainly not a failure for Fredi Gonzalez’s gang, but it certainly did not end the way the team and the fans had wanted it to with yet another early exit in October. At this point, all the team can do is gear up and prepare for 2014, a season that appears to be one full of a great deal of promise along with a great deal of change. While it is still very early, here’s a quick look at what Braves Country may be exposed to next season:
The Times, They Are a-Changin’
The 2013 season sure had its share of highs and lows, but with that being said there may be several key Braves that do not return. One of the more notable players is starting pitcher Tim Hudson, the veteran hurler who has played with the Braves for the last nine seasons and held an 8-7 record with a 3.97 ERA when he broke his ankle midway through this year. Hudson, who turned thirty-eight years old in July, will be a free agent once this MLB season officially ends, leaving many, including myself, to believe Atlanta will not risk giving him another contract considering his age and recent injury issues.
MLB teams support anti-bullying initiative for LGBT youth, get slammed by angry fans
If you follow your favorite baseball team on Facebook or Twitter, you probably noticed that on Thursday they changed their avatars to include a purple frame.
The reason? An MLB-wide show of support for GLAAD Spirit Day, which aims to reduce bullying of LGBT youth. Purple is the color of Spirit Day, thus the avatar change.
Teams posted a message like this one:
As you can see, the tweets were pretty standard, as was the message: Support kids who are different and who might get bullied because of it. The links take people to the GLAAD Spirit Day page, which talks about the day and encourages people who wish to support to “Go Purple.”
Bullying = bad. Especially when kids are being bullied. Anybody who has a child, or a little brother or sister, or niece or nephew can agree with that, right?
Oh, but things aren’t so simple on the Internet, where people just love to argue and be offended. As Deadspin documents, the Facebook page of the Atlanta Braves turned particularly ugly in response to the Spirit Day post. Here are a few of the comments:
“Stick to baseball. Stay out of politics. I’m ashamed that they have taken this stance.”
“Well, I pulled my son from Boy Scouts due to their support of homosexuality and now guess I am no longer a Braves fan. And yes I will remove myself and refrain from supporting any organization or people who support LGB groups no matter the age!”
The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WAR
Just before I sat down to watch game four of the ALCS on Wednesday night, a link to a neat little series of graphics from Mauricio Rubio and Craig Goldstein rolled across my twitter feed. In their piece, Mauricio and Craig show that the St. Louis Cardinals, unlike the other organizations remaining in the 2013 playoffs, owe most of their success to homegrown draftees— over 70 percent of their WARP, in fact.
I tried to remember the last time we saw a team that relied so heavily on their farm system make it this deep into the post-season . The 2008 Rays immediately came to mind, and prior to that maybe only the Moneyball A’s of the early oughts.
But instead of just relying on memory I decided to get particular about it and wrangle up the data. What I found is that despite the high number of homegrown players on the roster, the Cardinals aren’t getting any more production out of their youngsters than the typical major league club. The Redbirds 18-25 year olds were worth a total of 7.7 fWAR this season, just a hair below the average of 7.9 for a major league team.
In fact, it was another club from the 2013 post-season that seemed to be getting historical production from their youth core— The Atlanta Braves.