ATLANTA--The Atlanta Braves have won 13 straight division titles, but only one of those has translated into a World Series championship. The rest ended in defeat, including four first round exits in the past five years. But Atlanta fans can take heart because the 2005 club is different, and they are definitely, positively not going to choke this year.

“Everybody always talks about our postseason problems, and I suppose that’s fair,” said manager Bobby Cox, who has presided over the team during their unprecedented run of regular season dominance. “We have had our issues. But this year, I don’t know, things just seem different. We have a young bunch, really aggressive and loose, and there’s a fire that I haven’t seen from this team in a while. I think it’s safe to say this team is much, much different than the previous ten.”

While past Braves teams have been comprised of professional, no-nonsense type players, the 2005 edition has a plethora of younger, more fiery players. It’s a refreshing change that will no doubt ensure the team another World Series championship.

“Right now we’ve got the tools to go all the way,” Cox said. “It’s not just pitching and defense like the old days. We’ve got Andrew Jones having an MVP type season this year. We’ve got the speedy Rafael Furcal, and we’ve even got Jeff Francoeur, the young phenom. We are definitely built for the postseason. Of course, we said that last year, and the year before. We always say that, and we always lose. If I were a smarter man, I’d say the problem is me.”

Some say the Braves problems have been made worse by the pressure of having failed so often in the playoffs. Fortunately, most members of the failed teams of the past are no longer around.

“We’ve got some fresh faces around here this year that haven’t experienced the heartbreak of the past,” said Skip Caray, television analyst for the Braves. “These kids are just out there having fun.They’re brimming with confidence. Sure, in two or three years they’ll be uptight, frazzled veterans afraid to step foot in the postseason, but they haven’t gotten there yet. So let’s enjoy this while it lasts.”

Braves fans are some of the most jaded in all of baseball, but there’s a different feeling this year, even among the people of Atlanta. This team, unlike all the rest, is absolutely going to the World Series.

“This is the year. They’ve finally got the right team,” said Sandra Hollins, 47, Braves season ticket holder since 1988. “This team has really captured the hearts of the fans. We have a special bond with them. Of course, most cities have special bonds with teams that win. If they get knocked out in the first round again, the bond will be obliterated pretty quick. But that’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen. Keep repeating it to yourself and you start to believe it.”

With just over two weeks left in the season, the Braves look like they’re on their way to another division title. Is it a time for celebration? It depends who you ask. For the rookies it’s an experience of a lifetime, but for the veterans it’s simply more of the same.

“Oh, yea, we’re going to win the division. Great,” said Chipper Jones, who won one World Series with the Braves in 1995. “Excuse me for not getting all pumped up about it. Sure, everyone keeps saying this team is different. So what? What do you think they said last year? And the year before? Man, we won 101 games in 2003. We were the favorites, and what happened? First round exit. I’m not saying we can’t win this year, I’m just saying—well, no actually, I am saying we can’t win it this year. There. Somebody has to be the voice of reason.”




Copyright 2005, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission. This article is satire and is not intended as actual news.











Braves Definitely Not Going To Choke This Year

September 13, 2005 - Volume 2 Issue 8