Fouled Out


Korah Beth Clark

Being a Braves fan these days is like being in a long-distance, abusive relationship.

Think about it like this: there are 162 regular season games, with 82 at Turner Field. The Braves are in town for a few days and then jet off to the next city overnight. And who can make it to all 82 home games? Even some of the players don’t. You’re not there to see them everyday, and you only get to see them through a glass screen when they’re not at home.

And talking about abuse, they make all of the decisions in the relationship. At the beginning of the 2015 season, only six players were on the 25-man roster that played for the Braves last year. Since April, only three of those players remain: Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran and Andrelton Simmons. What if one of those former players was your favorite? How can they just trade guys without your consent?

There are different types of trades and emotions that you just have to understand and discuss with the Braves. For example, the Braves have crushed my heart many times this season. For the past few years, my favorite Braves players (because you can’t just choose one) have been Chris Johnson and Alex Wood.

Now, I understand that after Johnson’s first season with the Braves when he almost won the National League batting title, he had not been as productive as the club needed him to be. Yet after spending time on the disabled list and being sporadically placed in the lineup, it’s no surprise that his performance declined even more.

The Braves were bound to trade Chris Johnson and I was OK with that.

Alex Wood, my personal favorite entertained the fans with his funky delivery and charmed the ladies with his grin and Bryce Harper-esque hair. I always felt somewhat confident when Wood was on the bump and cheered him on when he struggled.

Wood was supposed to be a core member of Atlanta’s starting rotation. Yet, As the trade deadline neared, Wood was mentioned as a potential piece in a move for the Dodgers to get David Price. I was relieved when the Blue Jays snagged Price from the Tigers.

I took a nap and woke up to the news that Wood had been traded to the Dodgers after all.

I woke up to find my favorite player gone. How could they do that to me?

They had done this to me before. When they decided to trade Craig Kimbrel on the eve of the greatest unofficial holiday of the year (opening day), we talked it through and decided that the Kimbrel trade was the best thing for the team.

The Braves dumped me out of the blue, over a text message by trading Wood. But they still wanted things to work out, and we eventually decided that I would not get too attached before 2017, because that is when things can start getting serious.

Being a Braves fan these days is all about learning new players, learning to not get too attached and learning to be OK with losing for a couple of seasons.

But I promise, if you can put up with this abusive relationship for the rest of this season and the next, your relationship with the Braves will be worth all of the pain. They may even get you a Commissioner’s Trophy.


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