(Note to Wayniac Nation. The following link takes you to the November digital issue of Baseball Magazine. Baseball Magazine was the first monthly baseball magazine published in the United States. Founded by Boston sportswriter Jake Morse prior to the 1908 season, the magazine ran for 49 years before shutting down for good. My colleague and former editor Billy Brost decided to take on the daunting task of bringing back one of baseball’s treasures from the dead. Moving forward, I — along with several other writers I have worked with in the past and present — will contribute pieces looking at the history of the game and human interest stories of superstars that time may have forgotten. Hopefully, you follow along the journey.)
The New York Mets made it back to the Fall Classic for the first time since the Subway Series against the New York Yankees in 2000 this past October/November. I incessantly joked around with the Mets’ fans who are my friends and family that Bobby Bonilla — a member of that 2000 squad — was still making more money than Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom combined.
But you know me by now. I said, “Hey Wayniac, there has to be a worse contract than Bobby Bo, right?” Sure enough, there was… and is, as a contract signed long before Bobby Bo’s is still being paid to this day. In fact, it is being paid by a team that is disappointing its loyal fanbase by tearing it down and trading away every fan favorite in order to cut salary for their new stadium. Oh, life’s sweet irony.
Every July 1st my friends — especially The Thread and Holloway — text out Happy Bobby Bonilla Day. Well, Braves fans, you won’t be happy, but it is time for you to recognize Bruce Sutter Day.
But I hesitated writing a post until I slept on it. I didn’t understand trading away Jose Peraza at the deadline for Hector Olivera, but after seeing Ozzie Albies play in person (and snagging this interview with him) I understood that there was a bigger picture and a better prospect to fill the void left by Peraza.
So, I slept on it. And I still don’t understand it.
Between my work as editor at Grading on the Curve and now with John Sickels over at SB Nation’s minorleagueball.com, I have done a lot of work on the Atlanta Braves farm system. I’d like to think I have become pretty familiarized with their farm system, which was no easy task as it completely revamped itself under John Hart last season.
The scary thing is that they added even more to that arsenal in this year’s MLB draft. In the first round alone, the Braves were able to nab two highly regarded pitchers. One was Mike Soroka. The other was Kolby Allard.
Over at minorleagueball.com, I have been compiling a series of prospects that I am excited to watch in this coming 2016 season. Allard was my most recent installment. Only 18-years old, Allard is far away from the Majors, but hopefully I get to see him and meet with him in Rome this coming season.
Allard could easily be the steal of the draft. He was widely considered the best prep school pitcher in America, but because of a senior season spent on the shelf due to stress issues in his back, Allard’s draft stock fell. Some even felt the Braves gambled too much taking him at 14th overall, but by season’s end, Allard looked like everything advertised in is MiLB debut.
I know you want to know why I am excited about Allard, and you know you are as well. It’s all provided in the link below, so take a read.
A lot of people have asked my opinion of the most recent Atlanta Braves trade. Quite frankly, I still don’t get it. I know John Hart coveted Hector Olivera this offseason, and I understand the goal of the 2015 Atlanta Braves was to have a cost controlled team in place to go and grab a high end ace or superstar bat for the grand opening of The Cobb County Braves Stadium (sounds like a place where the Bo, Luke and Uncle Jesse would watch a game, doesn’t it?).
I don’t mind that they traded away Alex Wood and Jose Peraza. It’s just that Hart’s deals up until this one were huge wins for the Braves. This one is full of huge question marks. If Olivera doesn’t stay healthy, which he hasn’t in nearly three years with two separate trips to the DL added to the list in 2015, the Braves just gave away one of the league’s promising young lefties and their top prospect. I simply feel that the Braves could have gotten more, even with the Dodgers taking Arroyo’s salary and sending over a draft pick (which let’s face it, a draft pick in MLB is more of a crapshoot than any other sport).
But, up to this point, you simply have to have faith in Hart. His moves have reshaped the Braves thus far and they seem to have a much more promising future now than they did during the Frank Wren Era. And like I said, I am ok with the fact that they moved Peraza.
The reason is that they have an exciting prospect in Ozhaino Albies, more affectionately known as Ozzie around Rome and the South Atlantic League. He made Peraza expendable, and at 18 years of age, he is now considered the Braves No. 1 prospect in the system, and widely considered a top 30 prospect in baseball. And this past Friday night, he sat down with The Wayniac and spoke about 2015 and beyond. So sit back and meet Ozzie Albies.
What if I told you everything you ever knew about sports was a complete lie?Don’t be so dramatic, Morpheus. But seriously, folks. What if some of the biggest truths you have been force fed by the media and disenchanted fans turned out to be a total lie?
It’s a new era in Braves Country. Last week, the Atlanta Braves fired General Manager Frank Wren. Wren, who was handed the reigns from legendary Braves GM John Shuerholz in 2007, was a man known for building the minor league system. Wren was a man who stuck to his young guns and homegrown talent in hopes of winning championships, more lovingly known down here as The Braves Way, but that ultimately may have been his demise.