Braves careful not to over-prepare

The Atlanta Braves' low-key approach to playoff preparation has been honed over the last decade-plus.

Updated: September 30, 2003, 12:12 PM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
The Atlanta Braves' October Breakfast Club held its annual meeting Monday, with Robert Joseph Cox presiding. Over coffee and danish, the Braves digested topics ranging from Mark Grudzielanek's two-strike approach, to Dusty Baker's philosophy on pitchouts and sacrifice bunts.

Atlanta's astounding run of 12 straight division titles has resulted in only one championship, but the Braves know the postseason drill better than anyone. They might lose because their pitchers spit the bit or Mark Prior shuts down Gary Sheffield. But when it comes to off-field concerns like ticket requests, media scrutiny and pre-game preparation, they'll never be caught with their stirrups down in October.

The Braves were playing in Philadelphia over the weekend when they learned they'll play the Chicago Cubs in the best-of-five National League Division Series starting Tuesday. Scouts Paul Snyder and Harold "Hep" Cronin, who've been trailing the Cubs for about two weeks, were scheduled to debrief manager Bobby Cox and his coaching staff Monday morning in Atlanta.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer