After 139 regular season games and 254 plate appearances, Brooks Conrad's Atlanta Braves career is probably over. Guys like him are readily replaced, hence the term replacement player. His major-league career may be over as well. Nevertheless, he could be remembered in Atlanta perhaps as long as David Justice, whose solo home run in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series sealed the city's only championship in a professional sport. Baseball is cruel that way.
People will overlook the fact that his defensive misplays only cost a share of one victory in a division series, not Game 7 of the World Series. Maybe Conrad is actually lucky on that account. He might otherwise have left a musty Baseball Reference page behind as the only record of his existence. The way it looks right now, he will be remembered -- not for something good, of course -- but at least remembered. Given the choice, I would rather be remembered as a guy who was over-matched than not remembered at all.
Giants 3, Braves 2 (San Francisco wins series 3-1)
I'll lay it out: I was hoping for the Braves to win this series. Yes, the Giants are "the California team" in the playoffs, but my feelings for them have been colored by five years' in the Bay Area. It has nothing to do with Bonds or 2002; no harm done to the Angels in either case. No, you see the Giants are the Dodgers of their media market. Somehow their long and glorious history way back before anyone can remember makes them a superior product, and it also means their fans are more virtuous and long-suffering than anything you could possibly imagine (remember the Marcos Breton interviews during Ken Burns' latest serenade to baseball nostalgia?).
I actually maintain stable diplomatic relations with two Giants fans to this day. One is a good fan whom I am pleased to associate with. The other is a cool guy in the right environment, but he's just insufferable with sports. My team had the greatest home-run hitter of all time, who did your team have? You know, the "superfan." Then I actually went to a Giants game with him (a really exciting game too), and he spent all nine innings leaving childish messages on his girlfriend's answering machine. When he starting caring about baseball again (about three weeks ago), I had to fill him in on who this "Buster" person was.
There you go, empirical proof that you should be heartbroken for the Braves. Such a gruesome death too. Errors, misplays, injuries, questionable managerial decisions, Alex Gonzalez -- I mean, just keep Yunel Escobar if you want a shortstop who doesn't run out routine balls in play. Brian McCann was just about the only thing the Braves had working for them with the stick or the leather. So Bobby Cox seems to be have gone the way of Bobby Bowden: being a legend in your own time usually means you've had wayyyyy too much time. I know TV analysts eat it up when the manager leaves in the starter in, but Derek Lowe was trying to drive too many miles with the fuel light on. At least John Lackey's mid-inning removal from the 2009 ALCS shows that Mike Scioscia still has wits about him. Well, he did as recently as 12 months ago.