Why the Atlanta Braves Are Baseball's Worst Nightmare

(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal Constitution via AP)

The Atlanta Braves have taken a two games to none lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 National League Championship Series, winning Sunday evening 5-4 on a walk-off single by Eddie Rosario. This follows the previous game’s walk-off single by Austin Riley.

That the Braves are not only leading the series but in the series at all is something of a shock to many a baseball aficionado. Since mid-July, Ronald Acuña Jr., arguably the team’s best player, has been out with a torn ACL. Atlanta’s roster has decidedly less star power than the defending World Series champion Dodgers. Yet heroes are arising on a nightly basis propelling the team forward.

It is well nigh impossible to believe the Braves’ good fortune thus far is being viewed with less than zero enthusiasm at MLB headquarters in New York. From a national interest point, certainly, the prospect of either a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series, featuring two of baseball’s most storied franchises in a rematch of the 2018 series won by Boston, or Dodgers-Astros revisiting the 2017 series won by Houston in something less than honorable fashion, would be the desired ticket. The un-PC Braves? With a tomahawk on their uniform, the unseemly name, and located in not only the loathsome South but the voting-prohibiting state of GEORGIA?!! Why, it’s enough to make Gertrude Wokenheimer gag on her gazpacho.

This is the beauty of sports. Even as the ball does not care what color skin throws, catches, hits, or otherwise manipulates its behavior, it is equally indifferent to which city it resides. Whether the Braves players have any great fealty to the city of Atlanta is solely their concern. They clearly enjoy playing for one another, and their flair for the dramatic is fun except for Dodgers fans.

The series is far from over. If any major league team can rip off four wins in the next five games, it’s the Dodgers. Still, after the childish virtue-signaling baseball commissioner Rob Manfred bathed in by yanking this year’s All-Star Game from Atlanta after the state passed a comprehensive voting reform law, wouldn’t it be sweet justice indeed to watch him have to present the World Series championship trophy there?