We’ve tried to change it.
Rebooting the computer doesn’t work. Choosing another option isn’t a workable option. Our wallpaper on one of our newsroom computers reads “Atlanta Is Braves Country.” We don’t know how it landed on the computer and have no earthly clue how to remove it. It just won’t go away. We’ve tried.
It’s the perfect analogy for the Braves in 2011. They just won’t quit.
Living in the shadow of the Philadelphia Phillies in a National League East race they can’t win, Atlanta loves the wild card this season. The Braves would currently lead the National League Central or West, but they live in a division where they are overlooked.
Atlanta’s one of seven teams to hit 60 wins on the first day of August. They are among the elite in baseball. At the same time, a World Series celebration around Centennial Olympic Park acts as a pipe dream for most baseball fans.
Especially those who live in the capital of the southeast.
Atlanta fans are fickle. They know sports, they just don’t embrace their teams. When the Braves owned baseball in the 1990’s, Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium would feature empty seats for a postseason game. The late, great broadcaster Skip Caray would point out that an Atlanta crowd would fill up a stadium against Cincinnati on a random Sunday, but wouldn’t show up for a playoff game. Atlanta acted like a spoiled teenager who always got what they wanted. There’s no collective feeling of team unity in the city Coca-Cola owns.
Ted then divorced Jane and the team went south in a hurry. It’s been a decade since the Braves have made the National League Championship Series. (They made eight NLCS’s in the ’90’s. That doesn’t even include the 1994 season, which the Montreal Expos won the World Series. Sort of.)
Fast forward to this season. Atlanta’s making moves at the trade deadline and in the driver’s seat to take the wild card. They won’t receive a bye to play in October. Atlanta gets the Diamondbacks and Giants in the middle of the month. It’s the perfect time to show where the franchise will head.
Philadelphia has four aces in its arsenal, but it matters little during the summer. They give out a shiny gold trophy at the end of October to a team that goes all in and produces a straight flush.
I hope the good folks of Atlanta understand they have a legitimate shot to pop champagne at Turner Field.
Get an instant “Dash of Dachille” on Twitter. Follow him at WBALDash. You can also “like” Dash on Facebook. Just search “Dash of Dachille.”