The decade's most triggering comedy
The Atlanta Braves’ run to a World Series was one that did not seem possible as the end of summer approached.
The team that won 88 games during the regular season was not expected to make it through the gauntlet that was the National League. Out of all playoff teams in the National League, the Braves win total was the lowest, and by a decent margin.
They took down the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers in four games before playing a Dodgers team with the highest payroll in baseball and winners of 106 games during the regular season. Timely hitting and phenomenal bullpen pitching moved Atlanta past the Dodgers before they could beat the Houston Astros for their first World Series win since 1995.
Their path to a championship began at the trade deadline, when Atlanta’s front office made multiple moves that positioned them to make a run to the postseason. And once the playoffs arrived, the hottest team in baseball continued their streak.
Not everyone around the game is happy with the way the Braves went about it, however. Scott Boras — the longtime super-agent — slammed Major League Baseball’s system, which allowed the Braves to make six trades before the trade deadline, catapulting them to a World Series title.
“We have seen the championship in 60 days,” Boras said. “The rules allow them to be a less-than-.500 team at Aug. 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete and for very little cost change the entirety of their team and season.”
“And we saw this unfold to the detriment of teams that create at vast expense, planning and intellect and won over 100 games. In doing all this, we have now created an understanding that a fan would not know who the true team is until, frankly, the trading deadline.”
On July 30, the Braves were three games below .500 and sat 5.0 games out of first place in the NL East. Then, in a flurry of moves, the Braves acquired Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Eddie Rosario. Soler wound up being the World Series MVP, Eddie Rosario the NLCS MVP, and Duvall hit 16 home runs in 55 games with the Braves. Outfielder Joc Pederson was also acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 15. Each of the players was acquired from teams out of the playoff conversation.
“So, in effect, the integrity of the 2021 season changed because it was a race to the bottom to get draft picks for many, many teams unloading payroll, and not in any way respecting the integrity of divisional races and/or the dynamic of what a world championship should mean. …”
“It’s not about the Atlanta Braves, it’s just the fact that the system allowed them to do that,’’ Boras said.
Boras blamed baseball’s system, which he said incentivizes teams to tank in order to acquire higher draft picks.
“We need to return to a draft where cost certainty and the pick are not rewarded for losing,’’ Boras said. “You must make competitive requirements of winning and retaining the integrity so every team has a reason to win every game.’’
Boras’ comments came on Wednesday at the general manager’s meetings, as baseball braces for potentially the league’s first lockout since 1995 with the collective bargaining agreement expiring on December 1.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].