Achilles the Atlanta Brave

In Greek mythology, Achilles' mother Thetis dipped him in the River Styx which made him invulnerable to injury except for his heel where she held him. During the Trojan War, Paris, guided by Apollo shot an arrow and wounded Achilles in that heel, killing him. (Logic not being a major part of Greek mythology!) Thus the expression Achilles' Heel for an unguarded weakness.

My baseball team has the strength of the immortals in the regular season. Thirteen straight division titles, and leading the division by four games with nine to play...though not playing well lately. Which brings us to Achilles as a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Today's game showed exactly why the Braves collapse in the postseason pretty much every year. Bobby Cox is a brilliant manager for the long term. But when it comes to winning just one game, he has major flaws. He leaves his starting pitchers in too long. Tim Hudson came up in the eighth inning with a runner on third having already thrown over 100 pitches. Does Cox pinch hit for him? Nope. Do the Braves score? Nope. Does Hudson handle the ninth inning? Not so much. Four Phillies runs, and the game is over.

According to the tradition, given a choice between a long life of peace and anonymity and a short life of war and glory, Achilles chose the latter. The Braves have the glory of the regular season, but the short series of the playoffs remain their (repeated) downfall. At least Achilles only got killed once!


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