“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
– Leo Tolstoy
Behold, friends. The end is nigh. The Braves wrap up their final home stand and the 2015 season against the St. Louis Cardinals, mercifully ending a season that has dragged on far too long. Many of us foresaw this dismal season coming, eyeing a promising start with the same doubt and skepticism of Thomas. But so many more were unprepared, hopes buoyed by the promise of contact, grit, fewer strikeouts, and playing this great game The Braves Way. Alas, as that great warrior, Time, marched on, it slayed the hopes and dreams of the proletariat. It laid claim to Jason Grilli’s Achilles, Mike Foltynewicz’s rib, Mike Minor’s urethra 1, and the promise of so many young players. And yet still, Time continues to wage war against our consciousness, presenting us with yet another three days of Braves baseball before it mercifully relents.
“For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.”
– Hunter S. Thompson
Indeed, many souls have been crushed in 2015. For every effervescent moment of elation as Mike Trout did something incredible, there was a disappointing Matt Wisler 2 start. Munenori Kawasaki drunkenly celebrated the Jays clinching the AL East, but that same day Braves fans were forced to watch eight plate appearances from the corpses of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. And when October 3 ends, and a champion is crowned 4, know that they surely arrived at that moment of triumph in no small part thanks to Atlanta’s futility. You bore the brunt of that futility—punishment for your fandom and a reminder that no matter what, you are an Atlanta sports fan, and the glimmer of beauty and warmth of joy will never find its way into your heart.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
– Sun Tzu
We know our enemy. They are the St. Louis Cardinals—owners not only of baseball’s best record, but of baseball’s best fans. There’s no sense in breaking down pitching matchups or lineups. All is lost. They are quite good and the Braves—they are not. Enjoy the triumphant return of Jason Heyward, whose 5.8 fWAR has out-produced the Braves entire outfield by 4.3 wins. Enjoy the last chants of the Tomahawk Chop 5 until next Spring. Unfortunately, you can’t enjoy watching the world’s most under-qualified MVP candidate, but you can dream on it. In this final series, the Braves face not a hundred battles, but three. Fear not the enemy, however, for destiny yields for no man, and if we’ve learned anything this year it is this: the Braves will play baseball, and the Braves will lose.
“Be not simply good, be good for something.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Look, this baseball team might not have been good for much. We had a few minor joys along the way: Shelby Miller’s lost season of dominance, KJ2K, etc., but ultimately this season was an exercise in patience. Though the season was bad, the future is still bright, with a bevy of mid-rotation arms in the system and a couple of minor league position players who didn’t look like complete doofuses with the bat. Being good or even mediocre this year wouldn’t have meant anything, as Coppy and Co. are building for a brighter future, not unlike what we saw in Houston this year.
We at BGS also tried to not only be good, but to be good for something. I like to think we succeeded in that. Until like July. Around the All-Star break it became abundantly apparent that pitcher cards were dumb, because while cool, it didn’t matter who pitched—the Braves were going to fail to score. Also, after four straight series of sitting down to make recap graphics and trying desperately to find a Series MVP, I had the following revelation: we suck, this is depressing, and how many more times do I have to write “BRAVES LOSE 1-2” while trying to make it sound like a shortstop who went 3-13 in the series was worth celebrating. On top of most of us changing jobs, moving, traveling for school, etc. which made things difficult, we picked a really bad year to try to do this blog thing. We learned what worked and what doesn’t, and we may even do better in the future. But we’ll never apologize, and this is the last time we’ll dare mention that we gave up6. I have no graphic for you. I don’t care. You shouldn’t either. I leave you with this quote—perhaps the most perfect tweet of the season—and one that should reverberate in your hearts and minds when you hearken back to the dark days 2015.
LOCAL MAN LITERALLY BEING FUCKED BY BASEBALL TEAM
— big lame James (@sadhistorymajor) July 30, 2015