11 Awesome things about the Atlanta Braves

4:35 PM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- In celebration of the Braves clinching the NL East, here are 11 awesome things about the Atlanta Braves.

SLIDESHOW | See the 11 most awesome things about the Braves

1. Their park has a Waffle House:

In July, Turner Field became the first MLB park to host a Waffle House concession stand - even if it doesn't stay open 24/7. The pairing seems fitting, since both the Braves and Waffle House enjoy immense popularity throughout the Southeastern United States. And Braves players get to enjoy pre-game Waffle House:

2. Andrelton Simmons' defense:

The Braves' shortstop hasn't hit a ton in his first full season in the bigs, but he has established himself as one of the game's most valuable defenders with excellent range, a great arm, and good instincts in the middle infield. By defensive runs saved, he has been by far the best shortstop in the Majors in 2013.

3. The best nickname in baseball:

Evan Gattis became a folk hero for his massive homers while playing in Venezuela and earned the nickname "El Oso Blanco" - Spanish for "The White Bear." He has also got one of the game's most interesting backstories. The 27-year-old rookie spent four years out of baseball after high school, working a series of odd jobs including janitor and ski-lift operator. His nametag from his days as a janitor also serves as his Twitter avatar.

4. The second best nickname in baseball:

Ever wonder why a guy named Melvin Emanuel Upton goes by the initials B.J.? It's short for Bossman Junior. Mr. Upton is the original Bossman, apparently. B.J.'s younger brother Justin is the more productive Upton in the Braves' outfield, but no one ever called him Bossman.

5. They have dominated the NL East:

The Braves are 43-26 against their own division in 2013 and have been in first place since April 7. But on top of that, the title marks their 12th since their first full season in the division in 1995. They have won 63 percent of NL East pennants since they joined the division.

6. Craig Kimbrel is incredible:

Few dispute that Mariano Rivera is the best closer of all-time, and Kimbrel's only in his third full season in the Majors. But the 25-year-old fireballer has a 1.34 career ERA, and his 2012 and 2013 seasons were both better than the best of Rivera's career. He's so good.

7. They have a guy named Terdoslavich:

It's true. Joey Terdoslavich. It sounds like something Buzz would have called Kevin in Home Alone. Speaking of which:

8. Freddie Freeman looks like Buzz from Home Alone

9. They have the best active players from two different countries:

Colombia doesn't produce professional ballplayers at nearly the rate of its neighbor, Venezuela. Only six players born in Colombia saw big-league time in 2013, with Braves starter Julio Teheran looking like the best. And Andrelton Simmons has been the most valuable of the six active Major Leaguers from Curacao in 2013, though electrifying Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen also has a case.

10. A jump throw more impressive than Derek Jeter's:

Look closely: Reliever Jordan Walden actually leaps toward home plate during his throwing motion. It's baffling, and it's one of the many different looks offered by the Braves' excellent bullpen.

11. They have Dan Uggla:

And he's one of the most entertaining guys to watch play baseball. Uggla is 205 pounds of forearms, and he takes mighty, mighty swings. He doesn't connect as often as he used to, but he's still good for 20 homers a season.

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