Today the Braves held a great event for all the season ticket holders. I had never been to something like this so I decided to jump at the opportunity when a season ticket holder invited me to go. The event started out with a Q and A with Frank Wren. Most of the questions asked were “softball” questions and Frank gave the usual answer, but there was one question and one response that took me by surprise. After that, Frank introduced all the prospects and an autograph section followed. I will address the questions in the list below along with some other points about the future of the Braves. Please feel free to comment.
- For the most part, I feel comfortable with Frank Wren at the helm of the Braves. He reminds me of Thomas Dimitroff of the Falcons. It won’t happen quickly but this organization is heading in the right direction. That steady process could also be part of the problem. I am not interested in being above average every season, I am interested in winning championships. Perhaps the thought process is you can’t win a championship without being above average first.
- The tough question that was asked was about the state of our medical staff. I believe Frank Wren is overlooking the need for a new medical staff. Over the past few years, I believe the Braves have mis-managed some of the small injuries that have led to bigger injuries. I’m not going to sit here and give you a rundown of every case, because it is more of a collective argument against the staff. When asked about it today, Frank Wren essentially plead ignorance and talked about how it was more about dumb bad luck rather then his medical staff. Only time will tell whether this medical staff is a hindrance to this team moving forward.
- What do we do with Christian Betancourt? I am of the feeling that Brian McCann isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He is essentially the leader of this team and is one of the best catchers in the game. He will probably go down as the best catcher in Braves history. So what do we do with one of the best catching arms in the minors? It feels like a Saltamachia all over again. Betancourt will be well into the prime years by the time Brian is ready to give it up. If Betancourt is as good as people think he could be, I don’t see him lasting in this organization for much longer (trade?).
- We will struggle at shortstop in the coming years. Alex Gonzalez is a short term answer (and not a good one) and while we do have some players that can play defense at SS…not many have a MLB bat. I hope some of the guys that I saw today will prove me wrong, but I think it will be struggling point for at least 4-5 years (unless we acquire someone).
- The enthusiasm of our fan base is starting to get to me. The Atlanta Braves are a top 10 MLB team. Today, the Braves held an event for season ticket holders and they could invite up to four people with them. Those in attendance could meet the GM and some of the best young players in that organization and we could all fit in one room!!! For a majority of the top teams, this would have to be held in stages over a few days because of the amount of people. I don’t get it and maybe I’m not supposed to understand but I hope to get some answers soon. I plan on trying to get an interview with one of the front office members that deal with tickets and get their opinion on it. (UPDATE: Since the post, I was told by a source, first time I’ve actually go to use that, that they had to cap the event at 300 people. That explains the small attendance. I still plan on diving into the attendance issue this year.)