Here’s your depressed Braves’ fan viewing guide to postseason

Former Brave Evan Gattis led Houston in home runs and RBIs this season. Tonight he will be opposed by another former Braves’ catcher, Brian McCann. (AP photo)

Former Brave Evan Gattis led Houston in home runs and RBIs this season. Tonight he will be opposed by another former Braves' catcher, Brian McCann. (AP photo)

Former Brave Evan Gattis led Houston in home runs and RBIs this season. Tonight he will be opposed by another former Braves’ catcher, Brian McCann. (AP photo)

Welcome to baseball’s postseason …

… in other cities.

The Braves’ season officially ended Sunday. It unofficially ended months ago, or more likely last winter when team executives John Hart and John Coppolella took a sledgehammer to the roster and then tried to make it look all pretty. (Quoting my handyman: “Spackle and paint, where the inspector ain’t.”)

I’ll have a column posted later on my view of the team’s future after day-after conversations with Hart, Coppolella and manager Fredi Gonzalez. UPDATE: Here’s a link to the column.

Until then, as a sort-of public service to doubled-over local baseball fans, I decided to pick through the postseason rosters and give you something to maybe cheer about in baseball’s playoffs.

Because, yes, it seems some former Braves are doing quite well.

• A.L. wild card (tonight): Houston at N.Y. Yankees: While the Braves went through the season watching Christian Bethancourt struggle and a 38-year-old intended backup, A.J. Pierzynski, starting 105 games, this series will feature Atlanta’s popular links to the past: Brian McCann vs. Evan Gattis. McCann led the Yankees with 94 RBI, was third in home runs and fifth in OPS (on-base percentage and slugging percentage), Gattis (a.k.a. El Oso Blanco), primarily a designated hitter now, led the Astros in both home runs (27) and RBI (88), which isn’t bad for a guy making only $526,500, which again makes you wonder why Hart and Coppolella felt a need to get rid of him. But that’s another story. Former Braves and Georgia Tech first baseman Mark Teixeira is out of the playoffs for the Yankees with a fractured shin.

• N.L. wild card (Wednesday): Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh: This doesn’t quite have the ex-Braves’ marquee value of the other game. The Cubs have backup catcher David Ross and utility infielder Tommy La Stella, who was traded to Chicago for pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (and three international signing bonus slots). Vizcaino was sent to Gwinnett and then was suspended 80 games for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs. So, yeah. (UPDATE: To be fair, Vizcaino was impressive when he got out of baseball time-out: 3-1, 1.60 ERA.) Pitcher Charlie Morton (9-9, 4.81), a former maligned young Brave, has been in Pittsburgh for a while now but struggled down the stretch of the season.

• A.L. Divisional Series (Thursday): Texas at Toronto. The Rangers still have the final major remnant of the Teixeira trade, shortstop Elvis Andrus, who led the team in stolen bases (25) and games (160) and ranked third in hits (154) and fifth in RBI (62). Toronto, which won the American League East, is Brave-less.

• A.L. Divisional Series (Thursday): Wild card at Kansas City: Former Braves’ utility man (and All-Star) Omar Infante has been struggling most of the season with a bone spur in his elbow, though he recently received a cortisone injection and is expected to play. On the bench: Jonny Gomes, who provided the Braves’ season highlight when entered a relief pitcher. On the mound: The popular Kris Medlen, who was not re-signed after his second Tommy John surgery but is 6-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 15 appearances (eight starts).

• N.L. Divisional Series (Friday): N.Y. Mets at L.A. Dodgers. The Mets were on the other side of one of the most illogical trades the Braves made this season, getting utility players Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson for two after-thought minor leaguers. Uribe hasn’t been nearly as effective a hitter in New York (.219) as he was in Atlanta (.285). Johnson provided an early spark (hitting a home run in his Mets debut) but wound up hitting .250 (five homers, 13 RBIs) in 49 games. New York also has outfielder Eric Young Jr., who was a Brave for five minutes, and acquired reliever Eric O’Flaherty (from Oakland) in August. The Braves’ oft-debated Hector Olivera trade with the Dodgers meant parting with starting pitcher Alex Wood and reliever Luis Avilan. Wood, solid in Atlanta, has struggled in L.A. (5-6, 4.35). But he was strong in his final start of the regular season (two runs, five hits, seven innings). Avilan (0-1, 5.17 in 23 appearances) has been awful

• N.L. Divisional Series (Friday): Wild card at St. Louis. Things are working out nicely in St. Louis for Jason Heyward, whom Hart traded for pitcher Shelby Miller. He’s not hitting a ton of home runs but he is doing everything else, hitting a career-high .293 with 23 stolen bases, 33 doubles, 13 homers, 60 RBIs and obviously playing great defense.

The Braves have company on the sideline. The San Diego Padres, with former Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielders Justin Upton and Melvin/B.J. Upton, had a disaster of a season. So there won’t be any postseason hauntings from them.

Recent ramblings
Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt
Falcons 4-0, Freeman 7 TDs — who didn’t see that coming?
• Short takes: An easy Falcons win, and this is a team to take seriously
Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most
Short takes: Georgia’s reality check — there’s a problem at quarterback
Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions
Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here – Dogs over Bama
Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this
Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves
Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now
Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama
Short takes on Georgia’s win over Southern
Weekend Predictions: Lilly takes the lead and likes Falcons
Falcons’ fourth-quarter fizzles absent so far under Dan Quinn
Braves have been more adept at building off field than on it
Overreaction Monday: Are things as they seem with Falcons, Dogs, Jackets?
Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance
Short takes: Lambert says, ‘I just had to go through a rough patch’
Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance
Tech over Irish, Georgia over South Carolina (but not by 17)
Tech has something Georgia would like — comfort at quarterback position
An impressive opening by Dan Quinn’s new Falcons
Short takes: Gruden praises Falcons’ defense after win
Georgia looks like a shaky 2-0 with its passing game
Short takes: Another Georgia win but QB issues continue
Weekend Predictions: I can’t block this Falcons’ upset from my brain
Poll: I say 9 wins for Falcons, national media mixed, what say you?
Falcons’ late roster scramble not a good sign
Fredi Gonzalez needs to make more of his losing hand
Lambert good but didn’t do enough to cement starting job
Lambert, lightning and the joy of Keith Marshall
Kennesaw State’s little startup off to a dazzling start
Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets roll, Spurrier escapes, Petrino goes down
Falcons won Julio Jones trade but would like to forget 2012 draft
 

Reader Comments 0

85 comments
Jpace
Jpace

Let's be sure to invite John C. Malone to throw out the first pitch at the home opener next year. What a thrill it will be seeing old John C. He's the chairman of Liberty Media, the absentee owner of the Braves. I hope I have his name right. If he can get the ball over the plate, maybe he can be the beef in the bullpen that the Braves once had but, alas, no longer have. If his name really is John, then he'll fit right in with the other 3 Johns who put the 2015 team on the field. What a thrill it was to watch them play this year as they finished 31st among the 32 teams...and didn't come close to strengthening the minor league prospect pipeline. Can't wait for the franchise to move into my neighborhood in Cobb County in just a couple of years. Hoping that property values will not be too badly impacted.

58Supersports
58Supersports

 Looks like a Mets & Royals World Series  as both Jays and Cubs down 3 games.

Lovebaseball
Lovebaseball

Way to go clint_reno. Well said. Braves need to start fresh by building a NEW TEAM, and get a MANAGER who can win. Don't even think about TP.

Mike
Mike

In regards to the Braves new digs, a crosswalk with a push button would be helpful, and please don't start the countdown at 10.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Jeff do a story on the Braves draft for #3 pick....Thanks.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Yeah, un-huh, we could watch some of that, or we could reread your dismally uninformed previous articles and pretend as you would have had us do that the Braves were going to be a factor in October.


You are the absolute crappiest sports journalist I have ever read. 

Clint_Reno
Clint_Reno

I loved watching the Cubs play. The players show emotion and they give 100% for Maddon. When is the last time you saw a Brave punch their fist in the air over an out? Never. I really hope the front office looks outside of this organization for  next manager. I know they will take the lazy road though and hire Terry Pendleton as next skipper. God! I would love to see this team sold and a real manager brought in that demands hustle and allows the players to show emotion. Fredi is just watered down Bobby Ball and that got old in 2000. Braves fans want a real change. Time to start a new era.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Cubs look great... Pirates 98 wins this year go home.

Joe Maddon one damn great manager... why can't Braves get one.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Let's see what other 30 year old (though actually probably much older) rookies we can trade for.

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

Braves? Hummmmmmmmm That sounds familar. Wasn't there a team named that once upon a time that played downtown?

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Now that the precious Yankees have been eliminated by this ridiculous one game playoff, look for them to change it this offseason

58Supersports
58Supersports

NYY about to end the season 3-0 Houston... Game over...Mac goes home, Gattis plays on.

58Supersports
58Supersports

@Hopeless in ATL @58Supersports  what? he played in 153 games, 566ab, 27hr, 88 rbi, 250 ba and he didn't play much?  How many Braves hit 27 homers and had 88 rbi's..ok I know he DH 99% of time but ????? where do u get 27 homers for salary of $555,000 year.

HUDDYS1FAN
HUDDYS1FAN

Hart has made some good trades, a couple of bad ones and then altogether trades which were totally unnecessary. 


So....where to go from here? Well I think we can all agree that there is nowhere to go but up. However, patience is a virtue few fans have in abundance. 2016 won't be much better than 2015, as the massive holes in this roster are going to take time to fill.

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

@HUDDYS1FAN 


The Olivera and Gattis trades are the bad ones


The Heyward and Kimbrell deals -- quite good to be truthful -- Wisler should be a solid number 3 and they got rid of the BJ contract


Shelby will win more and Tyrell Jenkins -- got to wait and see --


The J Upton deal -- the jury is still out


Gattis deal -- can still grade that as incomplete you can make a fair argument on that


But the Hector Olivera deal made no sense -- would have made some sense if he was 26 or 27 but not going into his age 31 yr with injuries the last 2 yrs

reckingball
reckingball

@VeryDisgusted If he was in his mid 20s, the trade would look better, but even if he was 26 or 7, the Braves were giving up a little too much, imo. He kind of moves around like he is in his mid 30s at times.

Hopefully it will work out in the Braves favor, in the end.

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

@reckingball


I agree-- we all hope but I am just being realistic


I cannot see Olivera as anything more than an ordinary player and Peraza -- I think he is a young tablesetter -- maybe a Dee Gordon kind of guy


And as frustrating as Avilan could be he was way better than what took his place


We better hope that Rio Ruiz (who did not have that good a yr in the minors as a 21 yr old) can get better and be the longer term fixture at third by 2017 or 18. 


I just do not get it with Olivera

TomGaff
TomGaff

I wonder if our 35 yr old Cuban Superstar will become the next Chipper Jones in 2016? I still think they play about AA ball in the Cuban league, not expecting much, if being completely honest! I'm still peeved(wanted to use than other word but --) about trading Evan Gattis to Houston for essentially three life time minor leaguers. Yes Folty(who throws about 110mph) was back and forth from Atl to Gwinnett all last season. Hurt arm already, shady control and lack of 2nd pitch will be his doom? The White Bear(Gattis), who was making $500K and tied up under contract for that amount for next 4 years (MLB chicken feed salary) hit .246BA, 27 HRS, 88 RBI's, 20 doubles, 11 triples(I could not believe than for a 260lb man, with no skills to play anything but DH) for the playoff bound Houston Astros. By the way he played in LF about a dozen games with only 1 error, not too shabby if you ask me! We will not have a competitive team for next 5-10 years, that is my call!!

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@TomGaff Olivera  will surpass Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Mr. Steroids before he is done here.  800 HR and 2500 RBI no problem.

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

@TomGaff Gattis had the same number of many games played in the field (all in the outfield) as the number of triples.  He is worthless to a NL team.  

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Hopeless in ATL @TomGaff Hey dude, when you have a YOUNG big stick, you find somewhere to play him! They do not come along very often. Especially when they are making the ML minimum and is tied up under contract at that same salary for the next 4 years. You are completely hopeless and apparently know nothing about pro sports!

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

@TomGaff @Hopeless in ATL Hey dude, I know you and your girlfriends dig the long-ball, but Gattis is a one-trick pony.  He fielded a pitiful .833 this year in the 11 games he played. His one charged error, extrapolated over a full season of games, would have made at least 16 errors in the outfield.  He couldn't catch either, let alone call a game.  He was a 26-year-old rookie who had quit baseball for a few years, and we sold high on him.  No big loss to a NL team.        

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Hopeless in ATL @TomGaff Look Hopeless, no one on the Braves put up numbers any where near what Gattis accomplished in Houston. It was a bad trade, we got ZERO for a young slugger. One game this season, we had 12 hits, all singles. You can't win consistently with that type production? You must be related to Hart(the GM who dismantled the Braves for the next 5-10 years). We finally saw what he could do if he got about 500 AB's!Bethancourt and a 40 year veteran is a better choice behind the plate, get real man!

joedavis
joedavis

This actually is intended for Mr. Schultz after his Tuesday story about Braves outlook for 2016: referring to "famous Braves alums (Glavine, Smoltz, Chipper, etc)"  Schultz writes, "they all despised Frank Wren so much."  The Atlanta sports media continues to treat us to remarks like this, now that Wren is way out of town.  Never once, while Wren was employed by the Braves, was there any hint of all this hatred in any Atlanta sports story.  Only after he left, did these "insiders" share this little nugget.


How about telling us the real story?  Maybe while it's still news?

Hopeless in ATL
Hopeless in ATL

@joedavis Sounds like that is the real story.  The one that could't be printed in media while the chump was still in office.  

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

@joedavis Can't wait to hear the "real" story on the idiot manager if he EVER leaves town.  Heck I'd prolly prefer to still have Wren if it meant FG was gone. The guy is a total looser!

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

Schultzy: seriously, all kidding aside--why is Freddi still here? The gNats fired last year's manager of the year, who had the best record in the NL, and followed that up with a winning record, albeit disappointing season, this year.  Your defense of FG always goes back to his record from 2010-2014 or something absurd like that....Clearly Williams was more defensible than FG in terms of his accomplishments, yet the gNats did the right thing when it was obvious that it wasn't going to work.  So why do we continue to hold onto FG?  He is NOT going to take this team to the next level.  

MHToulou
MHToulou

The article needs to be renamed. Really there are no Braves fans left after this debacle of a season

reckingball
reckingball

Looking forward to the 2016 season.

Go Braves

reckingball
reckingball

@58Supersports....Why are you trying to bully people? I have not said anything to you. Aren't you calling me a name, with your comment?

Kickass
Kickass

Smaller stadium, and unless the payroll shrinks, higher prices to follow. Higher concession prices, higher parking prices, and higher souvenir prices. Here is a sample of an Owners Ultimate DREAM STADIUM: 10 thousand Luxury Sky Suite Seats, 10 thousand Luxury Sky Box Seats, 10 thousand Luxury Box Seats/Club Level Seats, and 10 thousand to 15 thousand general public seats (upper level/outfield).  This way, those that can afford seats equivalent to a mortgage payment can sit in Luxury and the rest of us can be happy just to get into the stadium. And hopefully, the 30 thousand Luxury seats will be able to subsidize the non luxury seat buyers to where we can afford to take our families to a game without it costing a car payment.

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

@Kickass LOL! Sounds similar to my experience at the GA Dome last weekend.  Paid $100 (a bargain!) for a pair of nosebleed seats.  Discovered they don't even have a middle-of-the-pack section--it goes from nosebleeds to luxury boxes to field level.  And we peasants in the upper level are not even allowed to use the bathroom on the lower level.  BTW, the concession experience was absurd.  I literally spent almost the entire 2nd quarter in line to buy a margarita and bbq nachos.  Completely incompetent staff (typical urban Atlantans).  I hope the new Braves experience isn't like this, as you described above!

FarTrain
FarTrain

"Depressed"? Who's depressed?  Not me.  Gave up on them after last year and saw this coming all the way. If the Braves are anything near mediocre by 2017, and come in about third place, the owners, management, and FG(yes dummy will still be there) will consider it a monumental success.  BTW, Wainwright of the Cards was left out of this article, as usual, and he would be the "ace" of the Braves staff most likely.  In fact, one could probably take all these players and field a complete team that would have done 3 times better than the Braves did this year.

reckingball
reckingball

@FarTrain Would the Brave have paid the money to Wainwright, to keep him from walking, when he became a FA?

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@reckingball @FarTrain   No. We don't pay our farm system players once they become good enough to earn a big pay increase.  We waste the money on people like Uggla, Melvin, Markakis, Swisher and Bourn.

DrPhill
DrPhill

Jeff, you really know how to hurt a guy. Even "Melvin" Upton and Chris Johnson showed great improvement when traded to other teams. The worst aspect of these trades is the Braves got nothing in return, with the exception of Shelby Miller, who appears to be suffering from a curse.

reckingball
reckingball

@DrPhill Yeah,....Melvin is hitting .254 and has 5 HRs and 17 RBI, already this season. 

And that Wissler kid the Braves got in the trade, he ain't never going to be no good. His sabertronics is bad.

Just some of Hart's junk.

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

@reckingball @DrPhill There seems to be a trend of good players coming to Atlanta and literally forgetting how to play (Upton, Ugla, Schaffer, McClouth, Bethancourt, etc), and then there are others who left Atl and blossomed/improved (Heyward, Gattis, etc)..  Is this the darndest coincidence in the history of the world?  Or is there a common denominator in Atlanta?

reckingball
reckingball

@CarrollSanders I would not say that Heyward and Gattis have blossomed, perhaps a slight improvement over last year, but not that much, imo.