Holland said that the ritual took root while he was still with the Rangers, and though he brought that with him to the White Sox, he was quick to defer personal credit for its effect on the clubhouse.
“My goal is just to bring the team closer together. I have been on some really good teams, and that’s something they do,” Holland said. “And for a team that’s growing, a young team like this, that’s the whole objective.”
Braves (vs. Cubs)
Status heading into series: 45-45, 7 back in the NL Central, 8 out of a wild-card spot
The bright side: Nobody expected the Braves to be in position to have a decision to make at the trade deadline, and maybe they’re not really contenders. But at this point in the rebuilding process, maybe it’s more important to keep guys like Brandon Phillips, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia and push to finish the season strong, instead of trading them for prospects who won’t crack a strong farm system’s top-25 prospect list.
On the other hand: Regardless how this season finishes, the first four months have shown the club is on the right track. Can you ever have too many prospects? Veterans Phillips, Dickey, Garcia, Nick Markakis, Matt Kemp, Jim Johnson, Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki have done admirable jobs, but they’re not part of the franchise’s future, so why not move them now and add to the stable? And then there’s Matt Adams, the first baseman they picked up from the Cardinals as a fill-in when Freddy Freeman went down with an injury. He’s been pretty amazing — 14 homers, .944 OPS in 46 games — and they’d certainly get more by trading him now than they gave to the Cardinals to get him. But he’s quickly become a fan favorite, and maybe they use the offseason to make a full-time outfielder of him. Yet another good decision the Braves didn’t expect to have to make.