On Saturday morning, I sat in awe as Sportscenter spent approximately 30 seconds talking about the Atlanta Braves’ masterful comeback from down 4-0 to beat a really good Washington Nationals team, in extra innings, on the road, the night before.
During those 30 seconds, the only part of that awesome game they mentioned was a Bryce Harper two-run homer that occurred in the bottom of the first inning. That’s it — they spoke of nothing but a fairly inconsequential home run that might have been one of the least-important storylines in that ballgame. Then, they returned to their coverage of Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury and Tiger Woods’ illegal drop at the Masters.
I mentioned that because I need to give ESPN credit for how they’ve handled the Braves in the two days since their piss-poor coverage of the best Braves win so far this season (and believe me, if they weren’t the best team in baseball, I wouldn’t have cared at all, but you know how they’d be handling the Yankees if they were 11-1 right now). That goes for other media outlets, too — the Braves are getting a lot more attention than they probably should because they’re not a national brand and not a franchise in the Northeast, where the largest populations are centered.
(Also read: Admitting I was wrong about the Braves)
I won’t make you read any more of my writing because I want you to read the following articles from this morning around the country:
Grantland’s top article on their homepage is about the Braves’ unlikely road to 11-1. Definitely give Johan Keri’s piece a read, even if you’re not a Braves fan, because it also includes a power ranking of all 30 ballclubs.
ESPN.com says the Braves are doing it the right way, home-growing their talent and winning more games than anyone else with a middle-of-the-road payroll. It’s like Moneyball for the 2010s!
ESPN Stats and Info has also taken some time to acknowledge the Braves’ impressive start, taking a look at the MVPs of the first 12 games. They also mention a few incredible stats that back up the team’s dominance so far.
David O’Brien of the local AJC takes a closer look at the best pitching staff in baseball (they’re not just doing it with hitting, folks).
Just when you think the pitching staff is as strong as it can be, good news — Brandon Beachy could return from Tommy John surgery in time for the summer months. Many pitchers have returned from elbow surgery much stronger than before (example: Kris Medlen) … imagine if Beachy does the same.