It is a question that is asked repeatedly in baseball. We ponder what the life of our sport would be like if monumental events never happened. What if Tommy Lasorda didn't have the guts to pinch-hit an injured Kirk Gibson with the game on the line? What if Steve Bartman didn't reach out to try and snag that foul ball away from Moises Alou? And what would baseball look like today if Jose Canseco never touched a PED?
It is a question that can drive a man insane. We look back on life's critical junctions and wonder if things would be any better or worse if a different road had been chosen.
So, what is the single greatest thing that has happened to Atlanta Braves baseball in the last 30 years? Chipper Jones. The selection of Chipper Jones with the first overall selection in the 1990 draft was a gutsy one, but it was one that then general manager Bobby Cox felt was best for the future. And he was right. But what if that had never happened? What if Bobby took a scout's advice and drafted somebody else?
I ask for some wiggle room on behalf of creativity, but this is what reality today could possibly have looked like if the Atlanta Braves never drafted future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.