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What Went Wrong: "Just Like Rear Ends"

The Atlanta Braves were eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies for the second straight year, and Braves fans are not taking it well

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 6 months ago 4 min read

You know, I wasn't expecting this year's postseason to be the forum for déjà vu, yet here we are. For the second straight year, the Tampa Bay Rays offense fizzled in October. For the second straight year, the Los Angeles Dodgers had all of the expectations in the world, yet found themselves humiliated in the Division Series. And for the second straight year, the Atlanta Braves were upset in the National League Division Series by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now, I thought that Atlanta would learn from last year and get their payback against the Phils, but that did not happen. What happened here? From the looks of it, the Phillies got red hot, just like they did last year, and capitalized. It definitely seems like the Phils have the Braves' number when it counted, and they just simply outmatched Atlanta at every turn. This was simply a classic case of the better team winning.

At least that's what anyone with common sense would say. If you ask Atlanta Braves fans, well, everything I said is a bunch of bullshit. Recently, I've learned that Braves fans have the "true story" about why they lost to the Phillies for the second straight year. Here's one reason (according to them):

The Format

The current postseason format debuted in 2022

One culprit behind Atlanta's NLDS loss? The current postseason format. "It makes the regular season meaningless," they say. Ummm...isn't that the job of every sport's playoffs? The playoffs' objective is to be more important than the regular season, and this is regardless of format. The NHL sends 16 teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they've used a set bracket since 2013-14. The NBA does the same, but has an added play-in tournament for the last spots. The NFL, since 2020, sends 14 teams to the playoffs, and they do reseed after Wild Card Weekend. Since 2022, MLB sends 12 teams (six in each league) to the postseason, but they do not reseed after the Wild Card Series. The winner of the 3 vs 6 series plays 2, and the winner of the 4 vs 5 series plays 1.

That's another thing Braves fans blame. They feel that there should have been reseeding. "We should have played the Diamondbacks," they say. You mean the same Diamondbacks who swept the Dodgers?! You mean those Diamondbacks?! Honestly, problems and all, I consider the Dodgers a better team than the Braves. If Arizona could sweep the Dodgers, imagine what they could have done against a Braves team who couldn't hit the side of a barn (aka the real problem).

The Extra Rest

Orlando Arcia's response to Phillies fans after the Bryce Harper staredown

Braves fans are also blaming the extra rest they had as a result of finishing as one of the top two teams in the National League; in the case of the Braves, they were the #1 seed. The regular season ended on October 1. The Division Series didn't start until October 7. The Braves had five off days. Now, it has been said, especially in football, where playoff byes have been been a thing since the 1978 season, that extra rest could be either a detriment or a benefit. The vast majority state that the extra rest is a benefit, though some fans and talking heads do suggest that a team on extra rest could become rusty. In any event, it all depends on how a team responds, and the Braves' response wasn't a good one. Fun fact: in 2021, the Braves only had four days rest, one day less than this year. We all know how 2021 ended for the Braves.

Here's the truth: the Braves were too focused on killing as many balls as possible to get that home run record. They ended up with 307 home runs, which actually tied the record set by the Minnesota Twins just four years prior. The result saw them running out of gas when it counted, as they were still obsessed with hitting home runs. They also got a bit too cocky as well. The player pictured above is Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia. After the Braves won Game Two, Arcia decided to mess with Phillies star slugger Bryce Harper with these words: "Well played, Bryce." Famous last words. Harper responded with a number of dingers in the home games, as well as the staredown after one of them. All Arcia could do was make funny faces at a Phillies fan afterwards. That and a few bucks will get you a cup of coffee, Arcia, but it won't get you to the NLCS.

The Phillies are going to the NLCS, though, and the Final Four is complete. Philadelphia's NLCS appearance is their second straight, and unlike last year, they will have home field advantage against the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies are looking to make back-to-back World Series appearances for the first time since 2008 and 2009. As for the Braves, well, it's another early exit after winning the World Series in 2021. This loss has caused many fans to compare this current run to the one they had from 1991-2005, which saw them win the division every year, but only win one World Series in that stretch. 307 home runs, but only one win in the Division Series. Back to the drawing board.

Also, as a result of the Braves' elimination, there are no 100+ teams left in this year's postseason. In fact, the five highest win totals from this season are all eliminated. This truly is a wild postseason!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

Twitter - Facebook - Tiktok - Instagram

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  • Linda Rivenbark6 months ago

    A good synopsis of the 2023 NBA League Championship results. Now for the World Series 😁.

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