2010 Atlanta Braves – The Year of the Cox, Decade of the Heyward

Long-time Atlanta Braves manager, Bobby Cox, will retire at the end of this season thus bringing an end to a superb era for the Atlanta Braves and baseball as a whole. He will truly be missed by fans and players alike (thank goodness I got to a game last year in which he added to his Major League Baseball record of most ejections). The run of 14 straight division championships ended a few years ago, and the Braves haven’t been as competitive since. But this isn’t really Bobby’s fault. Team ownership quit spending as much on payroll while the division rival Phillies doubled down on theirs. They’ll most likely get to their third straight World Series this year.

But the Braves have something great to look forward to for the next few years (or hopefully more) and that is 20-year old phenom Jason Heyward. If you believe the massive hype around this guy, then he is the next superstar of the league. After seeing him play on tv yesterday in their preseason game, I believe it.

Consider a few of his qualities and accomplishments:

  • 6’6″, 245 lbs
  • disciplined at the plate and won’t chase bad pitches
  • batting over .400 in spring training this year
  • 2009 Minor League Player of the Year award winner
  • 2010 spring batting practice bomb destroyed the Assistant GM’s sunroof parked about 450 feet from home plate
  • his parents are Dartmouth grads and he interviews like he could ace a test or two there himself
  • he runs out ground balls and plays like every game could be his last
  • Bobby Valentine and John Kruk were gushing over him in the broadcast yesterday. There are literally DOZENS of articles written in the last few months praising Heyward. So if you’re a Braves fan, and haven’t heard about him until now, I encourage you to check some out. I linked a few good ones below.

    Here’s to hoping that Bobby and Chipper Jones can pass the torch to Heyward this year, that they’re sketchy bullpen won’t choke in late in games, that their solid starting rotation can stay healthy and that the Braves can regain their dominance of the 1990s.

    Peter Gammons article
    The Legend Continues to Grow
    Jason Heyward Facts (ala Chuck Norris Facts)

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