The Atlanta Braves won their first World Series since 1995 last night, overcoming a laundry list of reasons they had to fall short this year. I predicted the Braves would capture a 2021 title back in March because I’m the most underpaid sports journalist in the game, but no one predicted they’d overcome all these injuries.
Expected ace Mike Soroka re-tore his Achilles in June, Ronald Acuna Jr. was lost to a torn ACL in early July, and then current ace Charlie Morton fractured his fibula in the middle of a postseason race. All that went down, so the team traded for Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Soler to help carry the load, leaving Braves star Freeman in awe of what they accomplished together.
Making the early prediction now:
The Atlanta Braves will be 2021 World Champions. 💍
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) March 28, 2021
“We hit every pothole,” he said after the Game 6 victory that clinched it all. “Every pothole you could possibly hit this year, and somehow the car still made it onto the other side. It’s just an incredible group.”
— Justin Cahill (@justybubPE) November 3, 2021
He’s right. A team that has already lost a top 5 player in the sport that then loses an ace in the middle of a postseason race probably shouldn’t expect to win.
But here’s another aspect of this championship that Freeman probably can’t announce publicly:
Remember when commissioner Rob Manfred moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta to a suburban white neighborhood over politics? That was a major distraction that Braves players were asked to address all year long. You mean to tell me answering questions for months about things that have nothing to do with baseball isn’t distracting?
The same can be said for Braves players opening Twitter to read ESPN’s Jeff Passan painting any Braves fan engaging in the tomahawk chop as “cosplaying natives” — again, another distraction that has nothing to do with the players on the field.
Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves on their incredible run to beat the Houston Astros and the hoopla of Manfred. And #chopon!
BRAVES WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS 💍
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) November 3, 2021