LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The National League East has become a beast, and many experts are picking the Braves to finish no better than third or fourth in the division in 2012.
But while acknowledging bold offseason moves by the up-and-coming Washington Nationals and stadium revenue-boosted Miami Marlins, Braves players say their own team is capable of holding off the upstarts and nouveau riche and making another run at the Philadephia Phillies.
“That’s what you play this sport for, to have competition, to have a challenge,” Braves left fielder Martin Prado said. “This is what we’re looking for. This is the kind of season where either you put all your money in, or you’re out. So I’m putting all in.”
After the Braves lost 20 of their final 30 games in 2011 and were eliminated from the wild-card race on the final day of the season, general manager Frank Wren rolled the dice by not making any major additions and putting faith in the Braves’ ability to play as