Would You Rather? An Atlanta Braves Fan Conundrum


Since 1990, the Atlanta Braves have gone through three “eras,” if you will, of baseball. It all began when Sid slid, completing the Braves “Worst to First,” year, and beginning of 14 consecutive division championships from 1991 to 2005. For years, many Braves fans around my age, the years of the “lowly Braves” our parents told us, seemed more like a fairy tale than actual fact. Those were great, great years.

Then, there was the fall out, from 2006-2009, when they were, at best, third place in the NL East, and had to watch the Phillies and Mets battle it out for the division title year in and year out. They were the years our parents had told us about, and finally I had seen the Braves not win a division in my lifetime. Not fun.

Then comes 2010, and that’s the era we find ourselves in now. The Braves are back and relevant, but for whatever reason, they can’t seem to break through. It all started in that magical final year of Bobby Cox in 2010, the first ever Wild Card berth (for better or worse, you decide), and hopefully, 2014 wasn’t the closing of that window.

However, there’s another team that has seen a recent string of success. This was the team that brought an end to the 2010 season. This is the team that won their third World Series in five years on Wednesday night. This is the team that has a South Georgia boy behind the plate, who beat out Jason Heyward for the 2010 Rookie of the Year (which I’m still bitter about). This is the team that had Tim Hudson start game seven for them in the 2014 World Series. This team is the San Francisco Giants.

2010 was an important year for both teams. It was the first year since 2003 in which the Giants had clinched a post-season berth, and the first time in five years since the Braves had. Since 2010, each team has made the playoffs three times. When the Braves have missed out on the playoffs, they’ve had winning percentages of .549 and .481. When the Giants missed the postseason, they had percentages of  .475 and .494. These two teams seem so so similar, yet there’s one major difference.

Since 2010, the Atlanta Braves have one postseason win.
Since 2010, the San Francisco Giants have three World Series Championships.

It’s a Braves fan’s worst nightmare. The team with one playoff win in five years has a record of 449-361 (.554). The team with three championships is 436-374 (.538).

With all this in mind, I riddle you this.

Would you be okay with a year like we saw in 2014, except a bit worse, every other year if it meant playoff success?

I know the answer, but it’s still curious who two teams are taking, essentially the same road, and one is seemingly always running on a flat tire.