Fourteen things to shovel on the last-place Atlanta Braves:
1. Fourteen spadefuls of dirt for each game that separates the last-place Atlanta Braves in last place from us in first place.
2. Four spadefuls of dirt for each position in the standings that separates the last-place Atlanta Braves in fifth place from us in first place.
3. One spadeful of dirt to acknowledge that if there were a lower place in which the last-place Atlanta Braves could languish, the last-place Atlanta Braves would most assuredly languish within it.
4. Three spadefuls of dirt in honor of the three Atlanta expatriates — Tom Glavine, Julio Franco and Eli Marrero — who played key roles in extending our lead over the last-place Atlanta Braves Sunday.
5. Two spadefuls of dirt to salute the two newspapers that came together to merge what we now know as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for it was the AJ-C's headline on the subject that alerted me to the irony surrounding three former locals being in first place while 25 current last-place Atlanta Braves are in last place. Well done!
6. Fourteen spadefuls of dirt to match each of the blown saves recorded by the last-place Atlanta Braves bullpen this season.
7. Seven spadefuls of dirt, one for each loss in a row the last-place Atlanta Braves have accumulated.
8. Ten spadefuls of dirt, one for each loss the last-place Atlanta Braves have chalked up (or down) in the past eleven games.
9. Fifteen spadefuls of dirt, one for each loss in June by the last-place Atlanta Braves.
10. Seventeen spadefuls of dirt, one for each loss the last-place Atlanta Braves have experienced in the past twenty games.
11. Twenty-four spadefuls of dirt, representing approximately how many thousands of Boston Red Sox fans turned Turner Field into Fenway South Sunday night. The Journal-Constitution reported The Ted was an evenly divided house. Sounded more Bostonian than Atlantan on ESPN. No matter how you slice it, a house divided against itself — even in the heart of Dixie — cannot stand…especially after fourteen consecutive division titles should've won you enough loyalty to drown out the invading armies of Red Sox nation.
12. Fourteen spadefuls of dirt for each division title in what was a remarkable run. It was quite a feat. It really was.
13. Eleven spadefuls of dirt specific to each consecutive National League Eastern Division title, dating back to 1995. That was a great streak. It truly was.
14. One spadeful of dirt for a new streak: Consecutive seasons without a National League Eastern Division title won by the Atlanta Braves.
And one to grow on.