The silver anniversary of rock bottom: Coda

The rebuilding project began in June, when the Braves drafted Steve Avery, Jimmy Kremers (traded in ’91 for Otis), Turk Wendell (sent to Chicago for Damon Berryhill and Mike Bielecki, who had a 3.09 ERA in 242 IP as a Brave), Mark Wohlers and Tony Tarasco (part of the package that brought Marquis Grissom to Atlanta).

A few months later I jumped — literally — when I heard that Ken Oberkfell had been traded to Pittsburgh. It didn’t matter who they got in return (Tommy Gregg); Obie, more than anyone, represented the malaise of the mid-80s and he had to go. Soon after the Bravos cut bait with Ozzie Virgil, Rick Mahler and Jerry Royster.

Unfortunately, their replacements, in some cases, were worse.

Yes, Ozzie Virgil sucked, but Jody Davis, acquired for Kevin Coffman (terrible in his own right) and Kevin Blankenship, was Dan Uggla without power, batting .161 in 267 AB’s as a Brave. Otherwise, Bobby’s biggest acquisitions that winter were 41-year-old Darrell Evans, Mark Eichhorn, ¬†Dwayne Henry and Jeff Treadway.

The team’s 63-97 finish in ’89 was no surprise.



The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: June 18, 1994


The Braves were destined to lose this game, considering the line-up facing the Reds that day.

Jarvis Brown RF

Jeff Blauser SS

Roberto Kelly CF

Fred McGriff 1B

Javy C

Bill Pecota 3B

Dave Gallagher LF

Mark Lemke 2B

But the Braves did have Glavine on the mound, though June 18 would not be his best day (just as 1994 was not his best year, for a number of reasons, including a 3.97 ERA). Glav and Mike Bielecki allowed 6 runs each to the Reds, who finished with 16 on 20 hits. (Former or future Braves — Deion, Jerome Walton, Reggie Sanders and Bret Boone — combined for 10 hits.) They could’ve scored more, as Braves pitchers walked 8. Eleven Reds were LOB.

Meanwhile, Reds pitchers walked none and the Braves managed but four singles.

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Reds            3  0  0   0  0  0   5  2  6   16 20  0
Braves          0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0    0  4  0