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Major league baseball team in Atlanta, Georgia. Part of the National League's Eastern Division. Plays home games at Turner Field, formerly known as Centennial Olympic Stadium before it was converted into a baseball-only palace of a stadium.

The franchise originally played in Boston as the Boston Braves. In 1953, declining fan support precipitated a move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they played in County Stadium until 1965. They then moved to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and became the A-Braves.

The 1970s' main highlight was simple: the Braves' Hank Aaron became the all-time major league home run leader in 1974. Afterwards, though, the team went into a fairly lengthy slide, winning just one division title until 1991.

The Braves went on a tear starting in 1991. As of the 2001 season, they have now won ten straight full-season division titles, the longest such streak of any North American top-level pro sports franchise. The first three titles came in the NL West, then the remainder in the NL East after 1994's realignment (though they were second in the East behind the Montreal Expos when the 1994 strike halted the season). Unfortunately, postseason play has been their downfall, as the Braves have won five National League Championship Series during that span, but only one World Series, in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians.

Why the Braves don't win more championships.

It's quite simple, really. It comes down to managerial skills. Bobby Cox, simply put, is an excellent regular season manager, but is a horrible postseason manager. Why? Let's examine...

The reason that the Atlanta Braves have been remarkably successful this past decade is due almost solely to pitching. Oh, they've had their hitters - 1999 MVP Chipper Jones, 1993 batting champ Terry Pendleton - but they've always had at least four great pitchers, whether it be Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Kevin Milwood, Steve Avery, etc. When you have four great pitchers and a fifth serviceable one, you will win a majority of your games simply because most other teams only have one great pitcher, and your chances of facing him are slim. Even when you do face the best that opposition has to offer, you've got an 80% chance that one of your best is out there, too.

Because of this, you would expect that the Braves win a majority of their games by large margins. You would be incorrect in assuming this. Earl Weaver once said that pitching, defense, and three-run homers won baseball games. Cox seems to disagree with the third element.

Bobby Cox manages baseball in a way that some people call 'from station to station'. That is to say he micromanages - lots of bunts, sacrifice flies, hit and runs, etc. Now being in the National League requires you to do a number of these things more often than you normally would, simply because the pitcher bats in the NL, but Cox generally goes overboard, and as a result, the Braves have a ton of one run innings. And why not? You've got pitchers with sub-3 ERAs, so all you need is three or four runs a game and you're winning 100 games a year.

Fast forward to the playoffs. Now you're playing a condensed schedule, and you're only using three starters. Your advantage isn't as great. By the time you reach the World Series, you're facing a team with three great pitchers as well, and this one run shit isn't going to cut it. Add on to that the fact that you're facing some of the best hitters from the other league, and your pitchers are in trouble.

Now because their starting rotation is so great, the Braves of the past didn't care who was relieving (it's changed after recent post-season humiliation). They'd get comfortably ahead, and if Maddux and the gang ran out of gas, they'd throw in Joe Reliever, let him give up a run or two, and still win 3-2 or 4-2. No big deal. In the playoffs, Joe Reliever has to pitch more, because starters don't last as long, and Joe Reliever gets destroyed. Add to that the fact that the AL team has a DH who's had 500 at-bats waiting on the bench to pinch-hit for the pitcher, and Joe Reliever's in ever more trouble.

Yet Cox continues to manage the same way every year. And every year they get pistol-whipped. What is it, ten straight games they've lost to the Yankees? Maybe it's time to rethink that strategy...

The Atlanta Braves have made the post-season for a record 10 years in a row (1991-2001--The 1994 season was shortened.). They are the most consistent team in the National League to make the playoffs. Currently, their manager is Bobby Cox, who has led the team, as the Atlanta Braves, to their only World Series victory. The Braves have also won the NL Pennant 5 times, all occurring in the 90s. The Braves have captured the Cy Young award 6 times, with Tom Glavine earning 2, John Smoltz earning 1, and Greg Maddux earning 3. Those three have proved to be one of the most dominant trios of all time. The Atlanta Braves have also won four Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. Dale Murphy won 2, Terry Pendleton and Chipper Jones each winning one. Hank Aaron, the current all-time home run leader, was a player on this team. The Braves became known as the "Atlanta Braves" starting in 1966. Prior to that, they were known as the Milwaukee Braves.

The Milwaukee Braves were known as that from 1953 to 1965. They did win 2 NL Pennants under manager Fred Haney, and also winning a World Series (1957). A Cy Young award was won by Warren Spahn in 1957 also. Hank Aaron, also played on this team, won an MVP in 1957.

The Boston Braves was the name of the Braves from 1913 to 1952. A World Series was won in 1914. Prior to being the Boston Braves, they were known as the Boston Beaneaters, from 1889 to 1912. The Boston Red Stockings is the original name for the Atlanta Braves, coming into existence during the first year the National League began, 1877.

Source: www.baseball-almanac.com

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