Next year’s silver anniversary

In 2012 we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Sid’s slide, and the 30th anniversary of the ’82 NL West champs.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the worst team Atlanta has ever seen, regardless of sport. Despite having 5 present, future or borderline Hall of Famers (Bruce Sutter, Glavine, Smoltz, Murph, Ted Simmons), the ’88 Braves lost 106 and should have lost more. They ranked next-to-last or last in the NL in:

  • Hits
  • Runs
  • BA
  • Slugging
  • OBP
  • ERA
  • CG
  • Saves
  • Hits Allowed
  • Fielding Percentage
  • Attendance

Four players batted under .200 (min. 50 AB): Jim Morrison, Jerry Royster, Simmons, Damaso Garcia

No Braves pitcher reached double digits in wins. Reliever Paul Assenmacher’s 8 wins were second only to Rick Mahler’s 9.

The ’88 Braves did lead the NL in one category: Errors. Their DP combo, Andres Thomas and Ron Gant, combined for 60.

Paul Assenmacher w/ a bad attitude

Actually, that’s not fair to Assenmacher, who was better than Al Hrabosky, at least as a Brave. And he was more affordable than the Mad Hungarian, signed to a ridiculous (at its time) 5-year, $2.2 million contract prior to the 1980 season.

Geno flopped as the Braves closer in ’79, but Hrabosky wasn’t much better for the Royals. He had a 1.662 WHIP and saw his strikeouts drop from 60 to 39. But Ted liked personalities and was willing to overspend to get one.

Unfortunately, jerks don’t sell tickets, and neither do middling set-up men. Three Braves had more saves than Hrabosky in 1980, including the late Larry Bradford. Hrabosky was released halfway through his contract and never pitched in the majors again.

His two most memorable moments as a Brave say it all: