"What Could Have Been"

An eighth inning home run by Juan Uribe left Braves fans heartbroken.

The two run shot off of Braves reliever David Carpenter put the Dodgers ahead 4-3, and ultimately proved to be the game winner.

The Braves were officially eliminated on Monday evening in Los Angeles, losing the series 3-1. A host of emotions are being felt by Braves fans across the country, and some people are having a harder time than others. It's time to reflect on what was a promising season that ended in heartbreak.

Being positive is hard after such a tough loss, but three good things stick out in my mind about this year's club.

Number one. The Braves had team chemistry. Day in and day out, the players really seemed to gel. Win or lose, the team always tried to remain positive. Additions such as Justin Upton, his younger brother B.J. Upton, and Chris Johnson brought a lot to the clubhouse. Jason Heyward also emerged as a leader. All around, this group was a special team.

Number two. Turner Field was magical for a second season in a row. The Braves had the best home record in all of baseball thanks to a great fan base.

Number three. The team battled through injury. It was a season full of injuries, as over ten Braves spent time on the DL this season. The emergence of rookie Evan Gattis and the resurgent play of Jordan Schafer helped carry the team when all three starting outfielders were hurt in the same weekend. To get 96 wins was impressive considering the circumstances.

The loss is still tough to swallow two days later. It may get tougher for Braves fans this off season, as the team has several big name free agents. Here is the list, and potential scenarios.

Brian McCann, Catcher- Monday may have been McCann's last game as a Brave. Atlanta has yet to extend an offer to keep him in town, and the Yankees are in desperate need of a veteran catcher. In short, it will come down to money. If McCann leaves, expect Gattis and Laird to fill the void.

Tim Hudson, Pitcher- Hudson was hurt against the New York Mets when Eric Young Jr. stepped on his ankle, ending his season. Hudson is doing well, and is expected to make a full recovery by Spring Training.

Eric O'Flaherty, Reliever- O'Flaherty had Tommy John Surgery in late May, early June. He is expected to make a return next summer.

Scott Downs, Reliever- After acquiring Downs from the Angels at the July trade deadline, Downs may not return to Atlanta. He was left off the Division Series roster which could prove to be a reason why he decides to move on.

Paul Maholm, Pitcher- Maholm will more than likely walk during the off season.

Dan Uggla, Infielder- Uggla made it very clear he was upset that Fredi Gonzalez left him off the playoff roster. General Manager Frank Wren may decide to get rid of Uggla after a terrible season, but will have to eat a big portion of the salary Dan is owed next season.

The Braves' off season should be interesting, as they have cap room at their convenience. New faces are a certainty next April.

Until then, it's time to finish watching the postseason, even if the Braves are not involved.

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