Wednesday, September 28, 2005


The Atlanta Braves have just clinched their unprecedented 14th straight division title!

Big whoop, you might say. They've only won a single world series in that span, you may point out. But what makes this one so special is the expectations at the beginning of the season, along with the season-long ups and downs.

The Braves were expected to contend, but maybe fall to the Phillies, the Pedro-led Mets, or the Dontrelle-led Fish. Once the injuries struck to Chipper Jones, Horacio Ramirez, John Thomson, Mike Hampton, Tim Hudson, and Johnny Estrada; and the Brian Jordan/Raul Mondesi experiments failed miserably, expectations, as well as the team's record, sunk. These guys were something like 7 games behind the phillies at the break (I could be off there) and utilized 17 different rookies. That's nuts, yo.

But on the backs of Smoltz and Andruw Jones, and the surprising bat of Jeff Francoeur, the Braves came back. Others stepped up along the way, including Adam LaRoche, Marcus Giles, perennial underachiever Rafael Furcal, and the rooks (Davies, Boyer, Langerhans, Betemit, Marte, McCann, et al).

Whoop it up, boys. You deserve it. Time to buy tickets to the Braves-Astros series!


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