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5 Norton-free reasons the Braves won’t make the playoffs

Last season he won a batting title. This season he's under .270. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Last season he won a batting title. This season he's under .270. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

1. Every preseason gamble on position players failed except the platoon in left field. Because the Braves spent the winter redoing the rotation, they took chances with their everyday eight. They hoped, perhaps against hope, that Jordan Schafer was ready and that Jeff Francoeur had recovered from his funk and that Kelly Johnson’s second-half surge in 2008 wasn’t an aberration and that Casey Kotchman could actually drive in some runs. Only one of those men is on the roster today, and the one (Johnson) lost his position to Martin Prado.

2. Chipper Jones began to show his age. He was hitting .335 before the game on June 10, at which point this correspondent proclaimed him “as splendid as he ever was.” He’s hitting .268 now. Moral of story: You never want ol’ MB to write something nice about you.

3. Derek Lowe wasn’t as good as the Braves hoped he’d be. He’s 13-9, which isn’t terrible. …

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