Once again, the Phillies will be taking on the Braves. After mostly avoiding them in the first half of the season, the Phillies seem to have played them every other week in the second half. This is somewhat unfortunate since the Braves are very good, and the Phillies can not make that claim at the moment.
What’s New With the Braves
Yes, they’re still in first place. Yes, they still have the best record in baseball. And yes, they’re still a near lock to make the playoffs. ESPN.com has their chances of making the playoffs at 99.9%. Then again, stranger things have happened…
Reason to Hate the Braves
Now that the NFL season has begun, baseball’s rivalries seem a little lackluster in comparison. So I’m going to try to find some reasons for Phillies fans to really hate the Braves. Obviously, the teams’ relative position in the standings is going to cause a bit of anger, but I want to go deeper than that.
I’m having a tough time with this. Back when the Braves employed noted adulterer Chipper Jones, he provided a much easier target for our dislike. Or at least he did up until last year. Then, he went on that year-long Chipper Jones farewell tour and everyone declared that he was an amazing human being simply because he was good at baseball for a long time.
The adultery is bad enough in itself. But the fact that he sired an illegitimate child with a Hooters waitress? Could you be any more cliché there, Chip? (Apparently, yes, he could be. Almost immediately after divorcing his second wife, he began dating a former Playboy model.)
So yeah, Chipper was easy enough to hate, but today’s Braves just don’t merit the same animosity. Except maybe for Andrelton Simmons, because what the hell kind of name is Andrelton? I see that he’s from the Netherlands. Is Andrelton an actual name in the Netherlands?
Stats That Make You Question Things
In Dan Uggla (.184) and B.J. Upton (.199) the Braves have two hitters in their regular lineup batting under .200. These are two guys who they actually consider to be important parts of the lineup, and yet the Braves still have the best record in baseball!
Tweet of Pessimism
#Braves Kimbrel majors-leading 44th save, and 34th in a row without a blown save
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) September 4, 2013
Wouldn’t it be nice if one of the Phillies’ young relievers could do this well? Why is it that the Braves seem to have the market cornered on young relievers who instantly succeed at the major league level?
Tweet of Importance
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 6, 2013
Just when I thought I wasn’t going to find a good reason to hate the Braves, Twitter comes to the rescue. I don’t know why the “Ya’ll” bothers me so much. (Maybe because the punctuation is wrong and it should actually be “Y’all”?)
Considering that the Braves official Twitter account made fun of Bryce Harper earlier this season, maybe I should cut it some slack.
Maybe the Phillies’ young players will learn from playing all of these games against the Braves, and the results will be reflected next season. That would be nice, right?