During the 2013 off-season Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren made the moves necessary to give his team what should have been the best outfield in all of Major League Baseball. From the start of the season Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward were to be the ones to watch not only in the National League but in the entire game. What was a stumbling start turned into a dragging middle but now they finally look like the best group of outfielders in the game. It’s about time.
Allow me to clarify that I wasn’t irritated at Heyward for his slow start or even at B.J. for the dreadful season he has had up until a few games ago. Even Justin has had a drought through the middle of the season but that didn’t really bother me too badly. After all, the other teams in the division were going nowhere and the Braves kept stretching their lead in the National League East by other means. So why am I so glad they finally are playing the way they were expected to? Because that means the naysayers will finally have to stop throwing mud at Wren and Fredi Gonzalez for sticking with them.
Honestly, I understand frustration at lack of performance but it just gets hateful at times. Maybe there would be a call for something to change if the Braves weren’t steadily stretching their lead the entire time but considering that, why not stick with the veterans and try to get them going? All of the people that called the Braves management so many terrible names because they stuck with B.J. and Heyward now see the benefits of Gonzalez letting his guys know that he has their back.
That managing style might seem strange to some but Fredi comes by it honestly. He learned it from Bobby Cox and that man is one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. So, at long last everyone gets to close their mouths and watch the winning streak and the lead grow. I mean no disrespect to people for voicing their opinion but this is mine. You see right now the hottest outfield and the hottest team in MLB. One of the main reasons for that effort on the field from these three guys is the backing and support of their manager while they were struggling. Give them all credit where it is due.