If you’re looking for a microcosm of the Atlanta Braves’ 2016 season so far, this should do the trick: on Sunday morning, seven of the 11 most recent posts on the Braves’ Reddit page were about minor-league prospects.
That’s what happens when you’re a fan of a franchise in rebuilding mode, essentially eliminated from contention after the first month of a six-month season. As May begins, things are as bad as they can be for the 5-18 Braves, and there’s little reason to believe they’ll turn their fortunes around, or even be competent at any point this year.
Atlanta’s current pace is astoundingly bad. If they keep up their current rate of losing, they’ll finish the 2016 season with a 35-127 record. That would be seven losses worse than the modern-day MLB record of 120, which was achieved(?) by the 1962 New York Mets. For 54 years, that Mets team has been a laughing stock and the measuring stick for what is truly awful professional baseball.
(Also read: Braves begin selling stock, which immediately tanks)
If you’re boycotting the Braves, you may want to change your mind and go to a game this year. You might be witnessing a historically bad baseball team.
Much of the discussion across the city is focused on manager Fredi Gonzalez. I understand that little of this failure should fall on the manager’s shoulders because this team wasn’t designed to win and everybody knew it long before the first pitch was thrown on Opening Day. But when your team is on pace to finish more than 60 games behind the eventual division champion, it’s hard to imagine the same guy coaching the team for the entirety of that season.
Only the New York Yankees (74) have scored fewer runs than the Braves (75). The Braves and Baltimore Orioles are the only two MLB teams still looking for their first triple of the season. The dearth of home runs has been well-documented, but worth repeating: the Braves have hit just five long balls, 12 homers behind the second-worst team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. In April, 23 individuals hit more home runs than the entire Braves roster.
The good news is that it can’t get much worse. Even with this roster, the Braves are likely to happen upon a decent month where they maybe go .500 and escape the worst season in modern history. But this team is absolutely destined for at least 100 losses, and the April we just saw from the Braves all but cemented that.
Photo: AP/Charles KrupaFollow @Sean_Breslin