Thursday, January 24, 2013

6 Stages of Off-Season Grief

This is a baseball post. That was your warning.

Today, the Braves made a trade that rocked the baseball world. This trade included one of the most beloved players of the past few years: Martin (Mar-teen) Prado.

I love you, Marteeeeeen!

Martin was everyone's favorite Brave. One stat about him was that he started at more positions throughout the season (5) than he had errors (4). Incredible player and from what his teammates say, he was a delight in the clubhouse... with manlier rhetoric, I'm sure. 

Last night, the talk was about the Arizona Diamondbacks trading outfielder Justin Upton to the Braves for a few of our prospects. The centerpiece of the trade was thought to be Randall Delgado, and up-and-coming pitcher from the Braves farm (that kind of makes it sound like we're growing players, but whatever, I'm going with it). The Braves acquired his brother (BJ Upton) early in the off-season and ever since then, there has been speculation of getting him out there with his brother. It would essentially be the outfield that all of the other teams drool over and fear. It was going to be perfect. This morning everything changed. 

When I read on twitter that Prado was involved in the deal, I couldn't believe it. Not Prado. Not our most valuable asset. Couldn't be. Why would we do that? This is ridiculous. Surely Frank Wren (the GM) has not jumped on a crazy train somewhere and gone off the deep end. Right? No one in their right might would trade Martin freakin' Prado. This has to be a cruel joke.

When I found out that it was true, I was a total basketcase. They traded my Martin. I could have strangled Frank Wren with my 2 tiny hands from across the state. Delgado was supposed to be the center of this deal. Not Martin. Who the hell is going to play 3rd base? Who the hell am I supposed to sing the Mexican Hat Dance to every time they do something good? Wren, my pitchforks are ready, along with the rest of Braves country.

Throughout the day, I tried to come up with ways to rectify the situation. For instance: The Diamondbacks only guaranteed Prado for 1 year according to the trade.  Oh, they only got him for a year? Maybe after the year is up, the Braves can re-sign him! Yeah! What a great idea! Then we can have our incredible outfield AND Prado rounding out the left side of the infield. Right where I'd always pictured him.

Then, it all hit me. My sweet Prado has left Atlanta. The player who I thought would step up to the plate and lead our team to a World Series has been traded away... and it was his fault (sorta). Simply, we can't pay him what he wants. We can't pay him what he's worth. WHY can't the Braves have more money? I'm never going to see him play in a Braves uniform probably ever again. Worst Trade Ever.

Finally, the storm has run out of rain. It's still a little cloudy but now I understand why it had to rain. In order to get something that we wanted (and we wanted it BAD), we had to give up something worth it. Next year Prado was going to be a free agent - when that happens, their price goes up-up-up. The Braves don't have a money tree and wouldn't be able to pay what he wanted - what he deserved. Simple as that. Baseball is a business and you have to use your assets when you can. We have Prado - why not use him as a bargaining chip to get someone that we really want for more than the one year that Prado had remaining with the Braves? If you take away all of the emotional attachment, it makes total sense. Sometimes it's just hard to detach yourself from your players. Wren can do that - and that's why he's making decisions and not me.

I added this stage. Mostly because it's happening to me right now. I'm actually excited about this trade. The more I thought about what happened the more I liked it. The players that we traded for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson (3rd Baseman) weren't even our top prospects! Aside from Prado, the only other thing they got was a 2-pitch pitcher. He'll probably hang out in the bullpen for a while trying to work on his 3rd pitch. Everyone else was "meh".

Prado was valuable to us because we needed him to be able to play lots of positions on the field and he could do that for us. With all of our new players (BJ Upton, Justin Upton, Chris Johnson) we have all of the tools we need to play good defense. We even kept our SS Andrelton Simmons since the Diamondbacks had already acquired the shortstop they wanted before this trade. We don't NEED Prado anymore. I will always love Prado, but he can get more money with other organizations and they can use him the way that he should be used. Now the Braves have arguably the BEST outfield in the majors. And one of the coolest catch-phrases for a group of guys, yet!

With the addition of Justin Upton, according to Accuscore, the Braves have jumped from a 24.2% chance to a 37% chance of winning our division (watch out Nationals, we're coming for you!). It is SO important to win your division now that the one game play-in is in effect (see: 2012 Wildcard game AKA THE INFIELD IS NOT IN THE OUTFIELD - UNLESS WE'RE IN ATLANTA WILDCARD GAME). Also, having a pair of brothers on a team is really awesome. How neat would it be to be playing a professional sport with you sibling there, helping you and motivating you the whole way? It can't be anything but good.

I can't wait for baseball season to start. This team that we've put together is one big threat to the rest of the teams and I haven't even STARTED to talk about all of the weapons we have in our starting rotation. I just can't even contain my excitement any more. April 1 can't get here fast enough!!!

See you at Turner Field!


  1. Now I'm ready to go to a Braves game!!

  2. Hi Tasha! Over from Super Sunday Sync and your newest follower :)

    What a cute blog name!