The End? Or The Beginning?

John Smoltz is no longer a Brave. Words that any Atlanta fan never thought they would hear as long as they lived. The only time that kind of sentence would be appropriate would be John’s retirement announcement. But, we aren’t going to get that fitting ending. No, a certain team from Boston will get to bask in Smoltzie’s twilight while us Braves fans, the ones who grew up watching him, have watched him for almost two decades now continue to watch as our team is run directly in the southern direction.

This latest departure, clearly the most severe, is just the icing on top of the most abysmal offseason that any Braves fan has ever laid witness to. We’ve lost out on two ace pitchers. We’ve lost out on a talented young arm from overseas. We were royally conned out of a shortstop that was undoubtedly on our team for several hours. One by one, we’ve seen free agents pen contracts elsewhere, and due to unexplained stubbornness, we’ve been unable to complete trades that seemed very possible to pull off. And now, we have to say goodbye to one of the most recognizable Braves of all-time. A hall of famer who no one could match in intensity or resilience, especially not in the playoffs, will be donning a new uniform this upcoming season. Unbelievable. Wren is now left with no choice but to sign some pitchers now (and now it seems he is doing just that).

But, is this the end? For some bizarre reason, I don’t believe that it is. Smoltz’s departure is just yet another one of the glory day players off on his journey elsewhere. I hate to say it, but wake up Braves fans. We have got to stop clinging to days long since passed. Though we won’t admit it to ourselves, we all know that our next winner won’t involve Smoltz, Glavine, or Chipper, who will most likely follow suit after Smoltz now. I mean, what’s to stop Larry from looking for a winner when he becomes a free agent next offseason? Because, though I think we’ll be improved greatly at the end of the season than from the start, we still won’t be able to achieve championship caliber.

I know. It’s hard. It sucks. Life’s over. But, I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that us fans need this. We’re like drug addicts. We need our Smoltzie, or Tommy, or Chipper fix much too often. It’s about time we kick this habit. It’s deteriorating our health. How can we expect to improve if we keep going back to it, expecting these things to lift us up and beyond?

So, I don’t believe that John Smoltz’s absence marks the end of “The Braves.” No, in fact, I think it marks the beginning of something…new. It may seem like the end right now, but remember, you’re just suffering from with drawl symptoms.

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