Braves see Nats celebrate (Pirates may do same)

Nationals became 11th team to celebrate something on Braves' field since 1992.

Nationals became 11th team to celebrate something on Braves’ field since 1992. (AP)

The Braves celebrated the signing of a title sponsor for their next stadium Tuesday.

Washington celebrated something that moves the meter a little more with fans — the National League East Division title.

There’s your balance-of-power update, Braves fans.

The Braves lost to the Nationals 3-0 at Turner Field. They watched the Nationals stream out of the dugout for a brief on-field celebration, which was followed by a dizzying champagne-and-beer soaked party in the visiting clubhouse.

ADDITION Nationals Braves Baseball

This is what a winning clubhouse looks like. (AP)

This kind of thing isn’t new in Atlanta. The Braves have lost elimination games in 10 postseason series at home since 1992, and this might as well have been the end for the 2014 season. They have lost five straight and 11 of 14 in September. At 75-76, they’re under .500 for the first time since being 0-1. They’re not only dead in the East, they’re 5½ games behind Pittsburgh for the second N.L. wild card berth.

Simple math: If the Pirates (80-70) split their final 12 games, the Braves would need to go 11-0 just to tie them.

But, hey, the Braves have a big dirt lot in Cobb County and a deal with a bank.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez congratulated the Nationals, but added: “You never want anybody to celebrate on your field. But they did it professionally.”

How much blame should Gonzalez share for this late-season downward spiral? He said Thursday, “I take full responsibility,” even though many would point to the flawed roster built by general manager Frank Wren.

For the full MyAJC column on Gonzalez and the Braves, click here.

This could get even more humiliating for the Braves. How’s this for a scenario? Pittsburgh comes to Turner Field for a four-game series next Monday. The Pirates conceivably could clinch the wild card berth here, which would mean two opponents in the same season would celebrate something at Turner Field (a franchise record).

Washington’s celebration was relatively tame on the field but not in the clubhouse. Players shouted while loud music players and they sprayed each other champagne and beer.

“It’s a great feeling just to wrap it up,” said Nationals and former Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche. “For us, the sooner the better.

“I think last year just proved how hard it is to get into the playoffs. It’s not a given, no matter how good your team is on paper. You have to come out here and get it done. Last year was kind of humbling for a lot of us. We came back this year with a little more fire. We knew we needed to start in March to make this thing happen.”

When asked if the clinching game carried special significance because it came in Atlanta, against the Nationals’ rival and LaRoche’s former team, he said, “I don’t know that it was that big a deal, like some people are making it out. Individually maybe for some guys it is. But it happened to be here so it worked out great.”

Like St. Louis, Arizona, Florida, Chicago and others, an opposing team clinched something in Atlanta. Maybe the Braves need to perform an exorcism here before they leave.

Digital Jukebox
— MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility’
— AJC: Braves’ opponents often celebrates here
— MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side
— AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s narrow escape
— AJC: Danny Ferry takes leave but Hawks won’t change with this ownership
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Hawks giving lessons on how not to contain a fire
— AJC: Goodell was at Masters when Rice video arrived at office
— AJC: Adam Silver, Magic Johnson see Ferry-Deng differently
— MyAJC: Only cure: All Hawks’ owners and Ferry must go
— AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta
— MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions
— AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email
— MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0
— AJC: Short takes on Tech’s 38-21 win over Tulane
— AJC: Live blog: Tech tries to spoil Tulane’s party
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Video evidence of Stephen Garcia hitting bottom
— MyAJC: Falcons need Mike Nolan to create an illusion
— AJC: Michael Sam not being viewed as just a player
— MyAJC: With Todd Gurley, possibilities are endless
— AJC: Short takes: Georgia 45, Clemson 21
— AJC: Cantor’s magic tallis has cure to Braves’ problems (on Fridays)
— AJC: Weekend Predictions (no lie): Dogs over Clemson
— MyAJC: Richt, Georgia need another highlight
— MyAJC: Braves CEO Terry McGuirk vows ‘Everybody accountable’
— MyAJC: Full Q&A with Braves CEO Terry McGuirk
— AJC: On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball

Reader Comments 0

59 comments
Teamo90s
Teamo90s

Get rid of the loathsome chop & chant.  I like the Braves, but every time I hear it I think the mindless fans there deserve whatever they get, including a home-field humiliation.

Chop and chant go perfectly with the bottles-throwing, beanball-cheering crowds, and Braves should do better.

southgabrave
southgabrave

The 2 boneheads need to go sooner. than later. The fundimental mindset and approach to the game needs to change. Want to put fans in the seats? Make it exciting baseball! Speed defense and pirching. Hitters putting the ball in play. Hits in the gaps. Base runners and stealing bases. I like the HR as much as anyone, that should be keft to your 3-4-5 guys and wvertone else should concentrate o OBP. Fewer K's and mote cintact. Good pitching and great fefense. Thus Heyward Freeman and Simmons are assets. Also looks like Betancourt is a value too.I like Gattis playing daily with hus bat but his value nay best be in a trade to the AL. Justin would bring a value trade chip. Thus CF, LF,3B 2B and a lot of bench help is needed

bigred1xxc
bigred1xxc

when is fredi leaving? I think day after braves eliminated from playoffs would be good, also take that so called hitting coach with him. the tenure of fredi has been marked by the team doing really well when no pressure. what was our first 25game record this year? what has been the record the rest of the year? when there is pressure we fold, every time, nice guy but can't handle the job

TherealTed
TherealTed

Yay Washington! It's always great when the Braves are eliminated from the postseason. It's even better when they don't make it to the postseason!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I will be celebrating also when we can finally bring this horrible season to a finish! Fire Frank Wren and I might think about coming back next year.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@TreeRollins  Agree on Fire Wren and add Fredi to the list....and I may go back next year, which I'd love to do..

larcato99
larcato99

I saw an interview with the Braves president saying that things would change next year if this season ended badly.  I think he was talking about new stores and parking lots at the new stadium.  Say hello to the triple A Cobb Braves.

Gman84
Gman84

Fredi takes full responsibility but who cares... ownership doesn't pay the slightest attention to the Braves except on April 15th. Fire 'em or keep him....dosen't matter

I'll bet the Nats celebration really bothered BJ & company. Nobody on the Braves cares even in the slightest....this team doesn't have an ounce of heart

Having driven the fans away they can bag the Cobb Co relo and move into their AAA facility....it's where this lineup belongs

Ersatz
Ersatz

Other teams will enjoy clinching playoff berths in cobb's Mistrust Park too, right before celebrating at the 7-story Applebees in barvesworld.

DealMe
DealMe

will these teams pay the braves for cleaning up all that spilled champagne they spray all over the club house???

Doktor13
Doktor13

@JaySly Have BJ Upton actually earn a few of those millions with a broom, mop and shovel...

YoDaddie
YoDaddie

Seems that whining is a requirement to be a Braves fan.  I thought DC fans were bad . . . you guys make them look like cheerleaders.

The Braves led the NL last year in homers and slugging pct and was fourth in runs scored.  How could anyone have predicted things would turn out like this, especially after the way you started?  Quit your bellyaching.  No doubt next year with a healthy rotation and an adjustment here or there, the Braves are back and competitive.  Sheesh, grow a pair!!!!!

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

@YoDaddie What you lack is perspective. The Pollyannish BS does not cut it. A pattern of failure has been established. Since you are so happy with the product, cough up for some season tickets for you and your family. You will certainly not have to go on StubHub to get them.

YoDaddie
YoDaddie

@BaseballBuff @YoDaddie 

WAAHHH!  Just as a pattern of failure has been established, it follows on the heels of a pattern of success from last year and through April of this year.  What's to say that a pattern of success won't be established next year??!!  What perspective are you employing?  I can tell you this, it's not based on anything baseball-related.  

Big Wally
Big Wally

@YoDaddie Pitching wasn't a problem.  However, there's not a single every day player that over achieved this year.  In fact, almost all under achieved.  You have two corner spots (3rd base and RF) that give you no power and RBI's, which you need from your corner positions.  We don't have an everyday 2nd baseman.  SS who is all field and no hit and 1st baseman and LF who whiff a lot.

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

@YoDaddie  A big-picture perspective, from following the Braves since they arrived in Atlanta in 1966. Pattern-recognition is directly related to IQ. I can tell that you are not up to the task.

Big Wally
Big Wally

.......but BJ had a hard hit ground out the other night.  I got a feeling he's about to crank it up.   .210 here we come, look out pitchers.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

This is the worst hitting team.....from basic hitting fundamentals.....that the Braves have ever......I mean ever.....put on a baseball diamond.  TIME FOR BIG CHANGES TOP TO BOTTOM. 


I truly believe the Braves have two everyday players worth keeping......Freeman and Heyward....and maybe the young catcher.  Dump the rest....including Justin Upton....as he simply cannot hit a top of the order pitcher...or even a decent #3 starter.  All his stats seem to come from hitting off #4 and #5 starters or off journeymen middle relievers.  He is dead wood against the better pitchers in the league.    

TampGator1
TampGator1

.............and just way too many strikeouts from everyone in the order.  I have never seen a team with such bad hitting fundamentals and approaches to hitting.  Please....someone get a tape out of Terry Pendleton hitting and show it to the Braves hitters.....and say....."this is how you consistently put the ball in play and hit for average and some power".....but more importantly......"this is how you score runs and win games for an above average pitching staff."

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@TampGator1


Good post with the exception of J-UP in my opinion. Take him out of the lineup and see what really happened to these Braves (cowards is a better name)  this year.  Also I am beginning to think more and more that Freeman just fell flat this year. I think when his BFF Uggla left so did his game.  Makes me wonder if he is the right person to lead this team.  Heck I am going all in now.  He needs to go see the wizard before next year starts.  Simmons is a keeper but someone has to teach the kid how to hit and not swing for the fence every time.   They will be sorry when JHey leaves...he will be a monster player for YEARS! And the young catcher is a keeper also. Bethancourt is going to be good for a long time! The rest of them guys you can do what you please...package, trade, do whatever. Change the culture of the team! It starts by going in a different direction of the three run homer. Also starts by changing a want to be clone of Bobby Cox.  Fredi G., could not carry Bobby's coffee.  If he has this team we would be coasting with a 8 game lead on the NAts. 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Good article only one typo that I wanted to point out to you JS.  You stated the following:


Braves see Nationals celebrate (Pirates may do same).


It needs to read:


Brave see Nationals celebrate ( Pirates will do same).


You can thank me later.  No charge. 

theoriginaltruth
theoriginaltruth

I have to believe that the Braves will make a major change like dump Wren...and of course Fredi's tenure would have to be determined by the new GM....


With two years before the move to Cobb, can they risk another year or two on the present course that has been characterized by Wren's continuing pattern of blown major money decisions? 


no....Wren must go...

cvan32802
cvan32802

Jeff, it's a no-brainer at this point - Wren and Fredi need to go.   The team's performance is driving away the fans and Wrenny and Fredi are poster childs for the team's failures.   Fans may disappear if they are retained.

58Supersports
58Supersports

I just can't understand anyway possible  that  CEO Terry McGuirk would keep Frank Wren as GM. He has made more mistakes than the FBI has finger prints. Fredi has been a joke also with his game plans, what plans, and stupid line-ups. The new GM should hire the new Manager and Coaches....clean house!!!! I've been a Braves fan since the move to Atlanta 66... I have watched it all and Wren is the worse excuse for a GM in that long period of time and I thought John Mullin was bad..  Fredi  also ranks in the bottom two managers.  I find it hard to believe JS and BC defend these two.


If Wren is back nothing will change except more wasted Money...and less fans. The fans deserve better, also Atlanta, Georgia, and everyone . Get it done  Terry McGuirk!!!!!!

JK1001
JK1001

52-43  Win percentage 55%  With Uggla

23-33  Win percentage 41%  Without Uggla

Hard to believe but true

58Supersports
58Supersports

@JK1001  Uggla had nothing to do with the other players crash.. Uggla was just one of many that need to go.

BTC
BTC

And yet, people still keep coming out to the ballpark to watch them lose.  I'd like to see attendance <1000 some night. That might get someone's attention.

Jazzpman
Jazzpman

Fire Wren PLEASE, who in Atlanta wants to keep watching other teams celebrate on the Braves home turf ?

BaseballBuff
BaseballBuff

I would ask Mr. Hall-of-Famer Bobby Cox if a baseball team cannot get fired up like a football team and consciously elevate its level of play, as he has always contended, would he concede that it is possible for a baseball team to lower its level of play because of fear of failure, i.e., choking, wearing the iron collar, etc.? Although not loaded with talent, the 2014 Braves had a legitimate shot at the postseason. As the clock ran down into September and the Braves needed to play their best baseball, they played their worst. We poor souls who follow the Atlanta Braves have seen this again and again and again in one form or another. The lack of leadership, the lack of spark, the lack of confidence to get it done when it counts the most has again manifested itself with another rival celebrating on the Braves' home turf.

The point is that there are issues of negative team psychology at work that need to be overcome. These issues first became apparent during the "tired" Braves' 1993 playoff choke against the Phillies. The organization has never acknowledged this problem, so the problem persists. Leadership on the field is the best solution.  The Braves have not had their own version of a true on-the-field leader and clutch player like Bernie Williams or Paul O'Neill or David Freese or Lance Berkman, players who refused to give up, who refused to lose, who could come up with a huge, huge hit. Never get too high or too low has been the credo. Lose when it counts, when the other team is ready to play, should also be part of that credo, because that is the way the years have played out. Disgraceful stuff.


ByteMe
ByteMe

this is a second "September collapse" under Fredi.  Wren built a horribly flawed team again, but Freddie knows what he has and gets LESS of it during September.  That's on Fredi, not Wren.  I not think we need both a new GM and a new coach.

Nowayjose9
Nowayjose9

I guess the rest of the team said, well uggla and bk making millions and don;t have to hit. Why do we?

What a pathetic joke of an offense. Feel sorry for the pitchers. Time to blow up this team and start over

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Never has a team gone more meekly in the night.  A while back it was time to get it in gear and make the playoff push.  Instead the Braves reacted with total indifference.  Absolutely no sense of urgency.  This franchise simply doesn't have it. 

cloudodust
cloudodust

September Implosion. Logically, the Pirates should go ahead and celebrate. Why wait for the enevitable..? Still, it ain't over 'til it's over but keeping the faith is asking alot of the casual or even rabid fan at this point.  

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

They're not even worth ripping on anymore. I feel like I'm picking on somebody in a wheelchair. They are currently the worst team in baseball, the way they are playing. Lousy management from the dont-give-a-crap Liberty on down. The fact that they chose to announce the stadium name on the same day that they get shutout and their rivals celebrate on their field is just classic. Maybe the Nits can run around on the dirt patch in Cobb on the way out of town before they leave. (Of course they need to get their celebrating in while they're here. I doubt they win anything in the PS, but that's another story.)

58Supersports
58Supersports

@Mr. Negative  Stop the Cobb crap... It has nothing to do with this sorry GM and his hand picked losers on the field. If GM and Manager are not gone SUN TRUST PARK will be a joke too!

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Willie! Hows Queen Bee doin? All I know is that The Curse is bustin at the seams to make the move to Cobb. Any truth to the rumor that the crews have come to the site in the morning and found voodoo dolls?

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Baseball is getting to be like politics, and managers and players like politicians. Fredi says, "I take full responsibility" for what has happened this year. Really? Good news.  So, he is going to resign immediately at the end of the season, or he will not protest when he is fired?  No, not exactly.  


People with high profile jobs, lots of power, big responsibilities, big salaries based upon their anticipated performance, etc. don't really mean that. They just say it to make it appear like they are the leader in charge, that what they have failed to do is not really their fault, but they are willing to be "noble" and shoulder the blame. blame. What they are saying is that they will take full responsibility, but only if there are no consequences attached (like the great unwashed masses have to deal with) like losing a job, or taking a big pay cut, or no bonus, or whatever. I guess it must work, because they all do it because they all know how stupid people can be these days.


Jordan Schafer, who Fredi would not give the time of day (and perhaps he was ordered not to by the suits, lest it make BJ look even worse than everyone knows that he is). And guess what?  He is batting .308 in Minnesota and he as stolen 14 bases.  Do you think that Fredi might have been able to use what he called a "nice piece" (for any one else but the Braves) in September? What he should have done is tell the suits that Schafer gets a chance, period, and it has to be at least three weeks of steady starts. But, he didn't. He went along, and that is why he has to go. 


Will Braves fans have to watch another year of lost, leader less, dispassionate Braves wandering on and off the playing field, maybe winning, maybe losing, and certainly not hitting?  A group of players (several of them now set for life) not really a team, with no spark, no sizzle, no comraderie, no passion to win? Knowing that they have  manager in the dugout ready, willing and able to forgive and forget any and every bonehead play they make,  and who has no idea how to create any spark whatsoever and ignite the emotion and passion and determination necessary to get his guys to play up to their abilities and to win?  A manager who won't stand up and demand that his best players get a real chance and the poorest players, regardless of their pay, sit until they prove they are worth what they are being paid? 


I'm guessing that we will have at least one more year of that. And then when it's time to move into the new stadium, someone inside the corporation that owns the Braves will push the panic button. 



DavidinVirginia
DavidinVirginia

@Ficklefan I'm afraid you are right. I bet Braves fans get stuck with at least one more season of both Fredi the Genius and Wren.

creative
creative

The ajc should give you a job.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@Ficklefan  Agree ,  If Wren is back nothing changes and they deserve to be last.  Super blog!

Cousingeorgestone
Cousingeorgestone

After yet another collapse, you cannot bring either Dumb or Dumber back.   Which means the Braves will.  That after all, is the Braves.  A team incapable of making a decision.  Unless its a bad one.

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

What time is the press conference firing Fredi. That should be next story.

Braves71
Braves71

I heard Buster Olney on radio today state that if the Braves are to fire anyone, it will likely be Wren rather than Gonzalez.  I say drop them both and let's start over.

DavidinVirginia
DavidinVirginia

@Braves71 They both should go, but Wren should go first. He's the one who assembled this sorry excuse for a team.