Never been happier playing baseball: MLB veteran on Braves stint

Despite some of the game’s best players not living up to expectations, the Braves hold the best record in baseball.

For the most part of the season, Atlanta has been without Sean Murphy and Spencer Strider, but perhaps more astonishingly, the team continues to win despite huge contributions from their three best hitters.

Despite having a season that was unanimously voted MVP, Ronald Acuna Jr. is having a rough start in 2024. In just 26 games, the superstar from Venezuela has a 102 OPS+ and just one home run.

In the series finale versus the Guardians on Sunday, Austin Riley hit a walk-off single, but his OPS+ of 93 is 7% below the league average. That’s not ideal for a man who has been a lock to place among the top 10 picks for MVP.

Despite only having three home runs so far this season, Matt Olson led baseball in home runs last year. Amidst a prolonged slump, the Braves first baseman has an OPS+ of 101.

Nevertheless, the team has the best record in the league, which is a credit to Alex Anthopoulos’s efforts in assembling the team. not just the roster with 26 players, but also the one with 40 players.

Furthermore, Atlanta boasts a wide range of talent. Outside of the field, the Braves are one of the most cohesive sports organizations. From CEOs to trainers, Anthopoulos and Brian Snitker have established a work climate where everyone wants to show up and pull on the same rope.

An MLB veteran agreed that it has been hailed as one of the greatest teams in sports. Kevin Pillar stated on Foul Territory that his time with the Atlanta Braves was the happiest he has ever had while playing baseball.

I would have done anything to return to that place. Playing baseball has never made me happier in my life.

Seven years with the Blue Jays and one year each with the Braves, Mets, Giants, Rockies, Red Sox, Dodgers, and White Sox are the eight teams that Pillar has played for.

Even though some of those visits were brief—just four games in Los Angeles—the feeling persisted. The Braves are among the top teams in baseball due to the abundance of skill on the squad, but they are also among the most well-oiled machines off the field.

Everyone is pulling on the same rope and trying to do their best for the person next to them, whether they are ushers at Truist Park or Liberty Media.

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