B.S. Report: Braves’ losing streak nearly historic
I started watching the Braves in 1978 when I was just a kid, so I saw the late-1970s and the late-1980s. There was a lot of horrible baseball in those years. But then the 1990s rolled around and everything was great – for a long time. From 1991 through 2014, there were only three losing seasons. But this year the Braves are having one of those seasons that remind us of what we went through in the days when Atlanta Fulton County Stadium would have about a thousand people in it watching baseball. Thankfully, the Braves won last night, but this team is currently in its worst stretch in Atlanta history – THE worst stretch in Atlanta history – and it’s not even close. Those of us who went through those lean years prayed that we’d never see anything like this again, and there was hope that that would come true in our lifetime. But this second half of the season for the Braves has been awful.
The Braves were at .500 – 42 and 42 – on July 7th. Since then, the Braves are 13-41 – 13 wins and 41 losses. That’s a .241 winning percentage. Those 54 games are also a third of the season. To play that bad in one-third of a season is almost historic, for the Braves or any other franchise.
And for some reason, some people don’t want to even put some of the blame at the feet of the manager, Fredi Gonzalez. He’s in his fifth season as Atlanta’s manager. The team choked in 2011 and were edged out by the Cardinals for the Wild Card. They lost the one-game play-in game in 2012. Then in 2013, St. Louis edged out Atlanta for the best record in the National League after the Braves had a bad September. In the playoffs that year, Gonzalez left his closer, Craig Kimbrel, in the bullpen while a setup man gave up the game-winning home run to end Atlanta’s season. Then last season was a disaster, with the Braves having a team expected to do well completely fall apart. And now this… well, this season, this second half, has been a dumpster fire.
I believe completely in what the new front office has done to try and rebuild this organization. The young talent is on the way, as the farm system is now one of the best in baseball. But to absolve the manager for what has happened is ridiculous. He got a pass last year when some said, “Well, it was a dysfunctional roster.” The general manager got fired, and he should have been, but Gonzalez was given another chance. But why does Gonzalez get a pass for this? Yes, this was a transition year. I just don’t think this team should be THIS bad. I’m not saying this team should have a winning record, but to be this bad?
For this team to be in the worst stretch in Atlanta history… at some point the finger must be pointed at the man in the dugout. At some point, Gonzalez should be held accountable for the disasters that have happened in the second halves of the seasons he’s managed. And at some point, the Braves are going to need a new manager.