I hate panic.

It seems like everyone is willing to write the Braves off unless they make major changes, but I just don’t see it at this point. No, they haven’t played great this year, and no, they’re not a perfect team, but…

  1. It’s just one month.
  2. They’ve had a tough schedule in that month and they’ve played in bad luck in that month.
  3. They don’t really have anyone on the team who is begging to be replaced.
  4. They’re just now starting to play better.

I mean, come on, guys. No, they haven’t hit… but a big part of that is that Martin Prado and Dan Uggla have gotten off to slow starts, and Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman all had stretches where they were ice-cold. You’re not seriously suggesting replacing any of those guys after one month of bad baseball, are you? Prado and Uggla will hit. There’s nothing in their performance record that suggests they’ve fallen off a cliff — Uggla in particular routinely has awful Aprils, but always comes back to hit 30 home runs. The only guy in the lineup I’d be in favor of replacing is Nate McLouth, and it’s not like center fielders who can hit are just falling out of the trees. This is basic stuff — you don’t make moves just to make moves. Replacing McLouth with Tony Gwynn, Jr., or whatever is just a panic move.

Really, what changes need to be made are all in the bullpen. Cut Sherrill and demote Linebrink to garbage time, then sit Fredi Gonzalez down and tell him to cut out the moronic hummingbird managing. In fact, while he’s in there tell him to stop running and bunting, too. Some teams are built to win that way, but the Braves aren’t — they’re a walks-and-power team, and they only slump on offense when they get away from that.

Normally I’m the first person in the room to press the panic button, but… it’s April. Only a fool would make definitive judgments based on what we’ve seen so far. The Braves have good pitching and good hitting. They will be fine. Making moves on the fringes not only won’t help, it displays a lack of confidence in the team and a lack of understanding of what it really takes to win baseball games.


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