The Atlanta Braves finally culminate the bitter struggle with the years of reaching a World Series since they did it in 1999, it is time to dream again in Atlanta of reaching the pinnacle of the game, taking the first step with their classification to the “Classic Fall ”after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday.
Until their passage to the World Series on Saturday, becoming champions of the MLB National League, the Braves had had qualifications followed to the postseason since 2018, although in a process of inconsistency, which finally ends in 2021 with the doors open to the great dream .
2021 National League Champions! #BattleATL | #KillTheNarrative pic.twitter.com/FBFQ0xDbYE
– Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 24, 2021
The regular season this 2021 for the Braves in MLB can be defined in simple words as a “roller coaster”, who saw the dream of winning their league far away when in the first half of the season they would leave a record of 44 wins and 45 losses, an aggravated process for the exit of the season of his star player in Ronald Acuña Jr. due to injury and Mike Soroka, as well as Marcell Ozuna for extra-sports court cases related to domestic violence.
Overcoming this has undoubtedly put the Braves at the heart and sentimentality of the game, who, wanting to continue to fight the fight, continued with the fruitful second half of 44 wins and only 28 losses, this after astute decisions by their management, who for the second half they would add to their roster Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario, the latter the MVP of the Championship Series who leads the Braves to the World Series.
We can now talk about our man today after such additions, filling in the gap of two by four outfielders, here as top manager baseball man Alex Anthopoulos, who runs Baseball Operations for the Braves and the architect of their success.
If the Braves’ season in MLB was a roller coaster, Alex Anthopoulos is the seatbelt to survive the ups and downs of relativity.
Anthopoulos, a Canadian of Greek descent, began his journey with the defunct Motreal Expos in 2000, going from a media relations intern to an amateur exploration coordinator for the organization; He then moved to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003, where he served from exploration coordinator, vice president of operations and assistant general manager, until in 2009 becoming general manager and senior vice president of tile operations.
During 2016 and 2017, Alex Anthopoulos played a pivotal role for the Los Angeles Dodgers, being vice president of operations, until his arrival in Atlanta as executive vice president and general manager in 2017, going on to become President of Operations of the Braves de cara franchise. to 2020.
The philosophy of Anthopoulos is quite clear, who distributes his command arsenal from the exploration and development of players, as well as an aggressive attitude when it comes to making changes in the transfer market.
His time with the Blue Jays speak openly about this, who at the beginning of the Toronto mandate acquired both José Bautista and Edwin Encarnación, two pieces directed through the development of their skills, leaving a great precedent in recent years in terms of great players for the Blue Jays.
He was also responsible for the acquisition in his tenure of Josh Donaldson in 2014, a player who two years later would become MVP of the National League.
In the same way, his great selections through the amateur draft such as the cases of Aaron Sánchez and Noah Syndergaard, two All-Stars in the league, although the last mentioned ended up being sacrificed in 2012, when the Blue Jays acquired the reigning Cy Young League. Nacional, RA Dickey, as samples of the command of an executive who does not shake his hand to sacrifice or win in transfers.
Likewise, countless other notable transfers from the Blue Jays, ranging from Troy Tulowitzky, David Price or even José Reyes, players of some relevance to the Blue Jays at the time.
During their time in Toronto, the Blue Jays reached the American League Championship Series in two years in a row (2015 and 2016), while a number of five seasons playing above .500 percentage (WL%).
In their short stint in Los Angeles, the Dodgers went to the playoffs in both 2016 and 2017, participating in this last year mentioned in the controversial World Series that the Houston Astros would end up winning.
Anthopoulos also has a beautiful history to highlight in international baseball, who participated in favor of his Greek culture and ancestry as a scout for the Greece National Baseball Team en route to the 2004 Athens Olympics, where the Greeks ended up saying tournament in seventh place among eight participants. This tournament marked the first time in Greek history that a national baseball team was assembled and gained worldwide recognition. The Greeks featured prospect and later baseball star Nick Markakis, as well as three-time World Series champion Clay Bellinger.
Upon his arrival at the Braves, Alex Anthopoulos arrived with many eyes on and a controversy that plagued the entire organization, after the expulsion for life from MLB baseball of John Coppolella, former general manager of the franchise who committed a rules infraction. of the recruitment of amateur players from the international market, resulting in the release of 13 player contracts signed by the Braves, the prohibition of signatures amounting to US $ 10,000 between 2019-20, in addition to the reduction of their budget for signing bonuses between 2020 -21 by 50%.
With this, the management of Anthopoulos comes the tough challenge of restructuring the organization’s farm system, who have gone from occupying the eighth best position according to the MLB Pipeline Farm System Ranking in the 2020 preseason, to the position twenty-three after the 2021 trade deadline.
The Braves today in their roster of forty players in MLB, have 13 players coming from the organization since the signing, while another 10 coming from free agency, 15 from the transfer market and 2 from waiver claims, as a result of the balance. between the development of players made in the organization, to betting on the exchange market and free agency.
The Braves are preparing for a World Series against the fierce Houston Astros, in a season where the actions of their management and as has been claimed throughout the season will remain in the history of the organization. Important part on the shoulders of Alex Anthopoulos.
CM – @ CarlosMoreta01 (Twitter)