For years, the Atlanta Braves were the kings of baseball with perhaps the king of all kings, third baseman Chipper Jones, leading the way. Then the Washington Nationals popped onto the scene a couple years ago along with the Philadelphia Phillies and rudely knocked them off their throne.
Between 1995 and 2005, the Braves won 10 consecutive NL East division titles before the New York Mets won one, the Phillies rattled off five straight and then the Nationals claimed the franchise’s first ever division crown in 2012. In the 2013, the Braves are back and have reclaimed their crown for the 13th time in franchise history.
They’ve been playing with a chip on their shoulder. They’ve pitched aggressive to Bryce Harper, have gotten into a couple of bench and bullpen clearing fights and have taken no prisoners on the diamond. This past Wednesday night, the Braves got into it a couple of times with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Some say the Braves are angry for no reason. You could also say that the Braves are just trying to retake the respect they feel they deserve as one of MLB‘s historically dominant franchises. Every time Craig Kimbrel steps on the mound, he personifies the passion and intensity that the players and the fans bring to the ball park every night.
The Braves are on their way back to the top. They started off the season with a 17-9 April and stayed above .500 each month except for a 10-13 September up to this point. As my colleague David Miller points out, don’t let their slow September distract you from their postseason potential.
A World Series Championship would mean that the Braves are back on top of the division and possibly baseball despite losing their leader, Chipper Jones. The Jones era would officially be behind them and they would put their NL East foes back in line and proclaim that they are the one’s to beat out of the east.