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Official 2014 Atlanta Braves Season Thread

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#1
UAdan

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There is something about watching that morning dawn break over the horizon on that first day of baseball season that sends a chill up your spine. It's something both hauntingly beautiful and powerfully reminiscing. Children spill out onto that perfectly adorned diamond – a striking blend of lush emerald grass, white-chalked lines and a soft brown playing surface, just primed for action. Their little legs carry them as fast as they can go, leaving nothing but that familiar infield dirt kicking up in their wake. Meanwhile, grown men dust off their hobbled knees with a feeling of vigor and youth, scoffing at the notion that they’re enjoying a ‘kid’s game’. They rationalize, instead, that it’s impossible to put a restriction on experiencing the nostalgia of hearing the sharp thwack of an aged pine bat lacing a ball into the outfield. They argue that they, too, should have that chance to take themselves back to yesteryear with a spirited game of ‘catch’ that leaves the palm of their hand with an unforgettable sting.

Baseball truly is the Great American Pastime. Anyone who has experienced it still pauses, even for just a brief moment, whenever they catch a glimpse of a ball field, and they remember. Be it on television, or sitting inside a state-of-the-art stadium with 40,000 other spectators, or a cozy park on a street corner, or the simple makeshift diamond found on any American backyard that we’ve all played at many times before. There’s nothing quite like the return of this game every spring that evokes more warmth and youthful satisfaction, whether you’re eight or forty-eight.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The time has come for your reigning National League Eastern Division Champions. Today, in sunny Orlando, Florida, the Atlanta Braves saw their pitchers and catchers report for action, along with many other position players. Sure, it’s 45 days until Opening Day, but in our undying eagerness for something to look forward to, we can officially deem this season – and SECtalk’s Official 2014 Atlanta Braves Season Thread – underway.

Last year was one that brought lots of excitement and storylines. It was a journey that saw the Braves start out in other-worldly “hot” fashion, winning 12 of the team’s first 13 games as newcomer Justin Upton regularly disposed of pitches over the left-field fence. The Legend of The White Bear took the country by storm. The dazzling poise of the young Atlanta arms – Medlen, Minor and Julio – was the foundation for success. Freddie Freeman played his way to a mammoth contract by finishing in the top five of the NL MVP race.

But there was the bad, as well. Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward’s devastating injuries, and the ultimate heartbreak in the bottom of the 8th in Game 4 of the NLDS against the mighty Dodgers. Longtime Braves ambassadors Tim Hudson and Brian McCann no longer will be found in the locker room, leaving many concerned about the future.

But as we have seen time and time again, it is a season anew. There are fresh hopes and expectations. Most of the pieces from Atlanta’s 96-win, division crown team from last year still remain. Yes, it’s a younger team. But there are cornerstones.

The pitching staff is composed of a familiar threesome: Medlen, Minor, Julio. Others waiting in the wings, hoping to prove themselves, like Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood.

The bullpen is the best in the game today, period. There is no pitcher more dominant in baseball right now than Huntsville, Alabama native Craig Kimbrel. In front of him, Walden, Carpenter and Avilan figure to make the late innings brutal for opposing lineups.

The lineup itself is very much the same as what we saw last year, with the exception of El Oso Blanco prepared to take the reins full-time for the departed McCann. Lots of questions, such as…can Chris Johnson repeat his near-batting title performance? Can BJ Upton and Dan Uggla rise from the depths of despair and become legitimate weapons for the offense? And just how good is Freddie Freeman going to get, after last year’s promise at only age 24?

Lots of questions to be answered, lots of days until that first 'real' game.

But now, the discussion begins.

It’s baseball season.

Posted Image

ALABAMA FOOTBALL 2014


10-1 (6-1)

Next Game: vs. Auburn Tigers

THE IRON BOWL


#2
Mizzou_Fan

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#3
adfalcon

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Wonderful post, UAdan, it's hard to believe that spring training is nearly here.
#18 Ole Miss Rebels: 8-3(4-3)
Laquon Treadwell@SuccessfulQuon
Injuries part of the game we love to play, god has a plan for everyone & with that plan come obstacles. Keep your faith & jump the hurdle!
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Formerly known as #ThisisMULLENSstate

#4
UAdan

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On a more personal note...what do I, UAdan, hope/expect to see from this thread this season?

1. A (hopefully) executed Braves fan-wide jersey avatar change to combat that untimely losing streak...
2. @CrimsoNation713 for his salivating over the ass of our backup utility infielder, and to reminisce about players from 30 years ago that nobody else has ever heard of.
3. @GoldenRebel , our esteemed SECtalk Braves chief scout, for his wide-ranging knowledge of the team's farm system and minor league talent.
4. @HFS , for his always-intriguing statistics that make us want to fap at visions of a World Series title.
5. @Tider27 , for his never-ending wet dream of the Braves acquiring that always-elusive "ace" pitcher.
6. @Ocho , for showing up like once every 3 weeks and giving out 500 high fives in the ten minute timespan that he's logged in.
7. @Mizzou_Fan , our Cardinal friend and honorary Braves fan, who will mostly correct UAdan and others for factual inaccuracies and talk about how the Cardinals are the best team in the history of baseball.
8. @adfalcon , The thread's admirable martyr ... as he selflessly dons that BJ Upton avatar even if BJ continues to hit below .200.
9. @MCD , still asking if the Braves have traded for Martin Prado yet.
10. @ Neil Caudle is Superman , knowing that we have his trolldom on our side of the fence and Iron Bowl rivalries are temporarily set aside.
11. The GAMEOVER gif after every time Kimbrel slams the door in the 9th.
12. UAdan leading the post count in this thread by like 1,000 over the second-place person :trollface:
13. SECats coming into the thread to tell us about how the Braves have the 15th-20th best fanbase in MLB.
14. hothotz for pissing us off and making us laugh at the same time.
15. Fredi cap-tipping references after a loss.
16. Lots of trollolols on the WNFF Nats board. Delicious tears.

Posted Image

ALABAMA FOOTBALL 2014


10-1 (6-1)

Next Game: vs. Auburn Tigers

THE IRON BOWL


#5
CrimsoNation713

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View PostUAdan, on 13 February 2014 - 04:58 PM, said:

There is something about watching that morning dawn break over the horizon on that first day of baseball season that sends a chill up your spine. It's something both hauntingly beautiful and powerfully reminiscing. Children spill out onto that perfectly adorned diamond – a striking blend of lush emerald grass, white-chalked lines and a soft brown playing surface, just primed for action. Their little legs carry them as fast as they can go, leaving nothing but that familiar infield dirt kicking up in their wake. Meanwhile, grown men dust off their hobbled knees with a feeling of vigor and youth, scoffing at the notion that they’re enjoying a ‘kid’s game’. They rationalize, instead, that it’s impossible to put a restriction on experiencing the nostalgia of hearing the sharp thwack of an aged pine bat lacing a ball into the outfield. They argue that they, too, should have that chance to take themselves back to yesteryear with a spirited game of ‘catch’ that leaves the palm of their hand with an unforgettable sting.

Baseball truly is the Great American Pastime. Anyone who has experienced it still pauses, even for just a brief moment, whenever they catch a glimpse of a ball field, and they remember. Be it on television, or sitting inside a state-of-the-art stadium with 40,000 other spectators, or a cozy park on a street corner, or the simple makeshift diamond found on any American backyard that we’ve all played at many times before. There’s nothing quite like the return of this game every spring that evokes more warmth and youthful satisfaction, whether you’re eight or forty-eight.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The time has come for your reigning National League Eastern Division Champions. Today, in sunny Orlando, Florida, the Atlanta Braves saw their pitchers and catchers report for action, along with many other position players. Sure, it’s 45 days until Opening Day, but in our undying eagerness for something to look forward to, we can officially deem this season – and SECtalk’s Official 2014 Atlanta Braves Season Thread – underway.

Last year was one that brought lots of excitement and storylines. It was a journey that saw the Braves start out in other-worldly “hot” fashion, winning 12 of the team’s first 13 games as newcomer Justin Upton regularly disposed of pitches over the left-field fence. The Legend of The White Bear took the country by storm. The dazzling poise of the young Atlanta arms – Medlen, Minor and Julio – was the foundation for success. Freddie Freeman played his way to a mammoth contract by finishing in the top five of the NL MVP race.

But there was the bad, as well. Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward’s devastating injuries, and the ultimate heartbreak in the bottom of the 8th in Game 4 of the NLDS against the mighty Dodgers. Longtime Braves ambassadors Tim Hudson and Brian McCann no longer will be found in the locker room, leaving many concerned about the future.

But as we have seen time and time again, it is a season anew. There are fresh hopes and expectations. Most of the pieces from Atlanta’s 96-win, division crown team from last year still remain. Yes, it’s a younger team. But there are cornerstones.

The pitching staff is composed of a familiar threesome: Medlen, Minor, Julio. Others waiting in the wings, hoping to prove themselves, like Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood.

The bullpen is the best in the game today, period. There is no pitcher more dominant in baseball right now than Huntsville, Alabama native Craig Kimbrel. In front of him, Walden, Carpenter and Avilan figure to make the late innings brutal for opposing lineups.

The lineup itself is very much the same as what we saw last year, with the exception of El Oso Blanco prepared to take the reins full-time for the departed McCann. Lots of questions, such as…can Chris Johnson repeat his near-batting title performance? Can BJ Upton and Dan Uggla rise from the depths of despair and become legitimate weapons for the offense? And just how good is Freddie Freeman going to get, after last year’s promise at only age 24?

Lots of questions to be answered, lots of days until that first 'real' game.

But now, the discussion begins.

It’s baseball season.
Posted Image
"Whenever I see those crimson jerseys and crimson helmets, I feel humbled to have played football for Alabama. Other players in the NFL talk to me about their schools and their traditions. I just smile knowing the immense love Alabama fans have for our school and its football program. I'm proud to be a part of that Crimson Tide heritage."

-- Derrick Thomas

#6
GoldenRebel

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Reading this here while sitting on the john....what's more American than that?

It's a great day gents.  I can hear El Oso Blanco's mitt clapping from here.

Here's to a great year of the most beautiful game of the planet.





And no CN713, you can not touch Pena's booty

#7
adfalcon

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View PostUAdan, on 13 February 2014 - 05:20 PM, said:

On a more personal note...what do I, UAdan, hope/expect to see from this thread this season?

1. A (hopefully) executed Braves fan-wide jersey avatar change to combat that untimely losing streak...
2. @CrimsoNation713 for his salivating over the ass of our backup utility infielder, and to reminisce about players from 30 years ago that nobody else has ever heard of.
3. @GoldenRebel , our esteemed SECtalk Braves chief scout, for his wide-ranging knowledge of the team's farm system and minor league talent.
4. @HFS , for his always-intriguing statistics that make us want to fap at visions of a World Series title.
5. @Tider27 , for his never-ending wet dream of the Braves acquiring that always-elusive "ace" pitcher.
6. @Ocho , for showing up like once every 3 weeks and giving out 500 high fives in the ten minute timespan that he's logged in.
7. @Mizzou_Fan , our Cardinal friend and honorary Braves fan, who will mostly correct UAdan and others for factual inaccuracies and talk about how the Cardinals are the best team in the history of baseball.
8. @adfalcon , The thread's admirable martyr ... as he selflessly dons that BJ Upton avatar even if BJ continues to hit below .200.
9. @MCD , still asking if the Braves have traded for Martin Prado yet.
10. @ Neil Caudle is Superman , knowing that we have his trolldom on our side of the fence and Iron Bowl rivalries are temporarily set aside.
11. The GAMEOVER gif after every time Kimbrel slams the door in the 9th.
12. UAdan leading the post count in this thread by like 1,000 over the second-place person :trollface:
13. SECats coming into the thread to tell us about how the Braves have the 15th-20th best fanbase in MLB.
14. hothotz for pissing us off and making us laugh at the same time.
15. Fredi cap-tipping references after a loss.
16. Lots of trollolols on the WNFF Nats board. Delicious tears.
I am taking on a hard struggle, but with any luck my avatar shall turn the tides of time and BJ shall bat above .250
#18 Ole Miss Rebels: 8-3(4-3)
Laquon Treadwell@SuccessfulQuon
Injuries part of the game we love to play, god has a plan for everyone & with that plan come obstacles. Keep your faith & jump the hurdle!
Posted Image
Formerly known as #ThisisMULLENSstate

#8
GoldenRebel

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Pinned......just like our division championship

#9
CrimsoNation713

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View PostGoldenRebel, on 13 February 2014 - 05:32 PM, said:

Reading this here while sitting on the john....what's more American than that?

It's a great day gents.  I can hear El Oso Blanco's mitt clapping from here.

Here's to a great year of the most beautiful game of the planet.





And no CN713, you can not touch Pena's booty


Posted Image
"Whenever I see those crimson jerseys and crimson helmets, I feel humbled to have played football for Alabama. Other players in the NFL talk to me about their schools and their traditions. I just smile knowing the immense love Alabama fans have for our school and its football program. I'm proud to be a part of that Crimson Tide heritage."

-- Derrick Thomas

#10
StallingsBaldSpot

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My body is ready!!
Twitter: @country_cookin

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Formerly known as vandyfan84

#11
Mizzou_Fan

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I'm ready to post the "Game Over" gif and watch some great trolls of WNFF. Then I'll drop the occasional Cards are the best team in the history of the world and Infield fly remark. :trollface:

#12
UAdan

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I forgot @StallingsBaldSpot , for always reminding us where Mike Minor played his college ball.

Posted Image

ALABAMA FOOTBALL 2014


10-1 (6-1)

Next Game: vs. Auburn Tigers

THE IRON BOWL


#13
Ocho

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In! It can not get here fast enough.
....Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation....

#14
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Damn right, great kickoff to the thread, Dan.

But seriously, I wish we had that ace.

.

.

.

Posted Image


#15
UAdan

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On a much sadder note, I saw where Braves top advanced scout Jim Fregosi has suffered from multiple strokes and is in the hospital. Was taken off life support like an hour ago. It's not looking good.

Hope the guy pulls through. He's contributed a TON to this organization.

Posted Image

ALABAMA FOOTBALL 2014


10-1 (6-1)

Next Game: vs. Auburn Tigers

THE IRON BOWL







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