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Atlanta Braves: Fans Can Start Bracing for the Loss of Brian McCann

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Now that the postseason is over, the speculation of where prized free-agent catcher Brian McCann will land can proceed without other piddling distractions like the World Series.

Reports in the wake of the Atlanta Braves' disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers suggested that McCann would be priced out of the Braves' budget, with deep-pocketed teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and (gulp) New York Yankees looking to acquire a backstop. And as that cold financial reality has set in for more and more Braves fans, the rationalizing stage of grief has become louder and louder.

Go ahead and search for "Brian McCann" on Twitter.

Among the optimistic Yankees fans who still believe they have provincial first dibs at all free agents and Rangers fans recovering from their own disappointing season, you find an undercurrent of depression among the Braves faithful.

McCann has been the cherubic face of the franchise and a fan-favorite since his debut in 2005, but suddenly he's "too much of an injury risk for a huge contract" or "certainly not worthy of a Molina-deal." The stink of a recent 0-for-13 postseason is also front and center. You'll fine some nonsense about how clutch he is or isn't, and plenty of screenshots of him making enraged-eyes at Carlos Gomez and Jose Fernandez.

It's not a very flattering buzz, but it's certainly expected as a stage of grief. Denial and bargaining will give way to anger when the ink on his contract dries. I just hope we can all move on quickly to acceptance. I'd go ahead and pencil in a half dozen columns about the promising future of catching prospect Christian Bethancourt cropping up sometime thereafter.

Patrick Richardson is a longtime follower of the Atlanta Braves who started playing t-ball right as Atlanta's record-setting run of division titles began. He is an amateur but enthusiastic sabermetrician.

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