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Braves offer a lesson that the Red Sox missed

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  September 26, 2012 12:15 PM

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The Atlanta Braves collapsed last September, too. They went 9-18 and kicked away their playoff chances.

As you might imagine, it didn't get a lot of attention in Boston.

But this should: the Braves clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday. At 87-67, they're guaranteed one of the National League wild cards.

Atlanta fired its hitting coach after the season. But manager Fredi Gonzalez stayed. So did GM Frank Wren. There wasn't any panic or departures to Chicago, just a determination to make things right.

Atlanta built around its pitching, survived a few bumps along the way and came out better for it.

Are the situations different? Sure they are. The Braves weren't crushed by injuries like the Red Sox were. They also weren't distracted by internal dissent, bickering coaches and other nonsense, either. They worked together.

Two collapses. One team bounced back and showed a lot of character. Another somehow got worse.

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