Leadoff: Four long years since Braves were in playoffs


Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early look at Atlanta sports.

Major League Baseball’s playoffs are underway, without the Braves for the fourth consecutive year. And given all that has happened with the Braves in the past few seasons – and in the past few days – it probably seems a lot longer than four years since they were last on the postseason stage. 

Who would have guessed on Oct. 7, 2013, when the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in Game 4 of an NL Division Series, what the next few years would bring … 

> Leaving Turner Field for SunTrust Park … 

> The team’s teardown and rebuild, the previous consummated quickly and the latter still a grueling work in progress … 

> Four consecutive losing seasons, including three of 90-plus losses … 

> Trading away Craig Kimbrel and Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis and Alex Wood and Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, mostly for prospects and payroll relief … 

> The firing of Frank Wren and the subsequent rise and fall of John Coppolella as general manager … 

> And now a franchise-rocking MLB investigation into allegations of cheating on the international player market ... 

By the way, several members of the 2013 Braves are in this season’s playoffs, including Kimbrel with the Red Sox, Brian McCann and Gattis with the Astros, Wood with the Dodgers and Heyward with the Cubs. Game 1 of the Red Sox-Astros ALDS is on Thursday.

ICYMI … 

Brian Snitker will continue as the Braves’ manager, the organization having decided to pick up the 2018 option on his contract. See David O’Brien’s story here.  

> Atlanta is among 32 potential host cities if a joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada lands the 2026 World Cup. If the bid is selected by FIFA, at least 12 cities will be selected as venues for games. See Doug Roberson’s story here.

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