By Blake Chadwick
As a Mets fan, how could you EVER, POSSIBLY cheer for the Braves? The team that tormented us year in and year out for 14 in a row atop the NL East. The team that was on TV EVERY single day and was “America’s Team”. Then along came fantasy baseball. See, prospects have the ability to make one’s eyes very wide and take things out of perspective. As Mets fans, we know this very well.
Let me digress, this season as the Braves attempt to regain their former glory, are riding a wave of youth. Martin Prado, Yunel Escobar, Brian McCann even. Of course fantasy darling Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens locking down the rotation as well. This year, they debuted a new gun. Jason Heyward. The hype surrounding this kid was almost Lebron-esque. His towering 450 foot plus HR in Spring Training sealed the deal for me. For the first time, I was going to go out of my way to draft an Atlanta Brave. Hell, I might even cheer for him deep down. Then it all fell into my lap. In my 8 team rotisserie style league, there are 22 roster spots. In round 21, all of my hardwork scouring draft sheets and prospect lists paid off. Apparently, I was the only person outside of the person in the league with the team name “Jason Heyward” to know who he was. Well that genius didn’t pull the trigger so I went with it. Then came the shot heard round Turner Field. On opening day, I was plopped down on my bed watching the array of games. I settled on Cubs vs. Braves. Then the unthinkable happened. Heyward stepped up to the plate to a standing ovation to face Cubs fireballer Carlos Zambrano. I was locked in. I felt the energy running through that stadium. Heyward JACKED a ball to deep right field and the stadium literally shook. I jumped up in the air pumping my fist for fantasy production in the first few minutes of the season. I was sold on Jason Heyward. I was ecstatic to own an Atlanta Brave. It didn’t even phase me. Only for the love of fantasy.