Discussion

Braves' new world

Updated: September 29, 2010, 10:00 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Having been a rabid Dodgers fan in the first 24 years of this life, I present to you the championship lineup for Tommy Lasorda's team in Game 5 of the 1988 World Series:

2B Steve Sax
1B Franklin Stubbs
LF Mickey Hatcher
RF Mike Marshall
CF John Shelby
DH Mike Davis
C Rick Dempsey
3B Jeff Hamilton
SS Alfredo Griffin

Lasorda's choices had been greatly altered by injuries to Kirk Gibson, Mike Scioscia and others, but in a short window, this collection of journeymen and castoffs somehow managed to finish off the Mets in the National League Championship Series and then win four of five games from an Oakland team loaded with the likes of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire and a bunch of other mashers. They rode the brilliance of Orel Hershiser and the Dodgers' pitchers to a title.

If Lasorda had been forced to use that lineup the entire summer, the Dodgers wouldn't have ever had the chance to compete in the postseason, but in a short time frame -- in a small window -- they made it work.

Lasorda's lineup came to mind after word broke about Martin Prado's injury on Tuesday night. Prado is done for the year in Atlanta, and so is Chipper Jones, leaving Bobby Cox to quilt together some young players and veterans around the steady Brian McCann. An example:

2B Omar Infante
RF Jason Heyward
C Brian McCann
1B Derrek Lee
LF Melky Cabrera
SS Alex Gonzalez
3B Brooks Conrad
CF Rick Ankiel

The 2010 Braves look like the '27 Yankees in comparison to the '88 Dodgers, and they have three good starting pitchers and a very deep bullpen. But the mystery every day will be about how the runs can be produced, and some pixie dust will be needed -- the unexpected bolt, the kind that came in the seventh inning on Tuesday night.

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