In sports, it’s rare for a player to be traded and still hold no animosity toward his former team. There’s always someone who gets offended by the routine deals that take place every day.
So with former Brave Martin Prado, it’s truly refreshing to see his affection for his old teammates and executives as his Arizona Diamondbacks host Atlanta for the first time since his offseason trade.
Dealt for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson (two integral pieces of the Braves’ hot start), Prado was a key part in one of the biggest trades of the offseason, and an asset Braves fans weren’t all too happy to part with. He was a favorite around this city — the subject of commercials and chants inside the ballpark. He was known for his gritty, no-nonsense, I-can-play-any-position-you-ask-me-to-play attitude, and he wore the Braves uniform with pride.
So when he was interviewed by Atlanta media before the opening game of the series Monday night, one quote of his really stood out to me. Whether it was sincere or not, it’s not something you typically hear a player say about his former club.
“The thing that makes me feel real good is that you know that you got traded and the [Braves] now look better,” Prado said. “I’m happy because all of my ex-teammates can see that they gave up something, but actually got a better team. That’s what [Braves general manager Frank Wren] was looking for. He made a good move.”
Prado was rewarded for that great quote and his beloved tenure in Atlanta with a really nice piece from Mark Bowman that contained the quote above, and it makes me extremely happy to see his time with the Braves end well. He was one of my favorite ballplayers for the past few years, and I would have gladly paid the price of admission just to see him play. Heck, I still would.
Maybe Prado will wear a Braves uniform again somewhere down the road. I’d welcome it, and because he’s been so classy in his departure from Atlanta, I hope all Braves fans would, too.