Every baseball fan base envies Braves Country, but it comes out as hate. The Braves have been extending core pieces early at potentially team-friendly rates since 2019, when they inked Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies to long-term deals. Since then, Atlanta has handed out lucrative contracts to Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Michael Harris II, Spencer Strider, and, most recently, Sean Murphy. And Barstool Sports baseball personality Carl believes the club is actually stupid (his words) for handing out these kinds of deals.
Are the Braves smart for extending Riley, Olson, Murphy, Albies, Harris, Strider, and Acuña to their deals? Do they make sense for both sides? pic.twitter.com/aEmYHcVEkn
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) January 5, 2023
The premise of his argument is centered around the players not having any incentives to play well. He insinuates that Acuna, Albies, Harris, and the rest of the core that is locked up won’t be as focused on baseball; instead, they’ll be playing golf, having lunch, and eating cheesecake because there’s no longer the incentive of playing for a new contract. Yes, having “lunch” is now regarded as unfocused, complacent behavior by Carl. Thankfully, his counterpart Jake Arrieta, who is a 12-year veteran pitcher, provides some clarity.
“Can money make you comfortable? Sure. But the Braves do a good job of combining the right group of core guys that want to win… They’re still hungry for that [a World Series].”
Carl, you, me, and the rest of the general public would absolutely be susceptible to complacency if we earned the biggest paydays of our lives, but these are world-class athletes that aren’t like the rest of us. They don’t need any extra motivation; winning championships is the ultimate driving factor for these guys.
On top of that, the Braves culture is absolutely top-notch. The front office isn’t investing over $500 million in players that might have the intestinal fortitude to continue striving for the ultimate goal — championships. From Chipper Jones to Freddie Freeman, Atlanta’s clubhouse has remained competitive throughout the years. These contracts won’t change that.
Moreover, Michael Harris, Spencer Strider, Matt Olson, and Sean Murphy weren’t even a part of the 2021 World Series team. Do you think they’re just happy with their money? No, they want a ring of their own. Carl covers the Cubs, so it’s no surprise he’s taking shots at the Braves. His favorite team just overpaid for Dansby Swanson.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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