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Those big, bad Dodgers against those poor itty-bitty Braves

September 30, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Atlanta's Evan Gattis, right, is congratulated by teammate Dan Uggla after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Some players on the Braves are upset the Dodgers are favored by some to win their National League division series playoff.
Atlanta's Evan Gattis, right, is congratulated by teammate Dan Uggla… (Daniel Shirey / Getty Images )

The Braves couldn’t wait one day before playing the oldest and most tired of sporting clichés -- nobody loves us!

Nobody thought we could do this! Nobody picked us to win! Nobody thought we could pick matching socks!

It’s tiresome at the high school and collegiate level, but you’d think by the time they become professionals they’d have discovered a new shtick.

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Nope, you still hear it all the time. Is Brian Wilson really the only original man in baseball? The us-against-the-world mantra is as old as Tommy Lasorda. Possibly older, but only possibly.

“We get no love from anyone,” said Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday. “It’s better that way though.”

There may be no crying in baseball, but there sure is plenty of whining.

Some of the Braves apparently feel slighted because the Dodgers are favored to win their division series. Why can’t one team be favored without the other taking it as great insult?

Hey, somebody is favored in every contest of every stripe. Pretty sure the Spartans knew they weren’t the favorites at Thermopylae, but don’t think they bothered weeping, “We get no respect!” I have never been favored in a single disagreement with my wife.

So if you were going to forecast a winner of the Dodgers-Braves series, why wouldn’t you go with the team that can start Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the first two games, the team with the record payroll, that went on a 42-8 run?

That doesn’t mean the world will be shocked if the Braves win. They have a very good lineup and rotation, and maybe the best bullpen in baseball. They have home-field advantage, in one of the few ballparks where it may mean something. They took five of seven games from the Dodgers in the regular season.

The Dodgers’ prized four-man outfield is down one superstar (Matt Kemp), possibly down another (Andre Ethier) and with a third slumping (Yasiel Puig).

If the Braves win, it will not be the Miracle on Grass.

“Nobody’s picked us all year anyway,” third baseman Chris Johnson said. “Nobody picked us to win the division; it was the Nationals’ year. So we’ve already been through stuff like that and we’re fine like that.”

And they lived and everything. Didn’t we learn in “The Crying Game” that people aren’t always what you expect them to be? Play the games and see what happens.

As young Kris Medlen said, in a mature voice of reason:

“We have a good team and we think we can beat anybody, whether it’s Kershaw or whoever. Whoever it is, we think we’re going to win. That’s pretty much the bottom line.

“Whether or not we get the publicity we should get, it’s just not important to us. We don’t need someone to tell us that we’re going to win or lose. It’s played on the field.”

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