Here they are: The Worst Songs Ever!

April 27, 2015 at 1:42 am

“It makes my ears bleed!” “It makes me feel sick!”  “It makes my hair stand on end!”

These are some of the comments I’ve received in my quest to identify the Worst Songs Ever.  Although the 1970s is considered to be The Decade of Bad Songs (that era gave us “Run Joey Run,” “Convoy,” and “Kung Fu Fighting“), there were plenty of duds before then, and they’re still cranking them out today.

Meghan Trainor’s 2014 ode to big backsides, “It’s All About That Bass” got its share of votes (“I’m skinny and I can’t help it, leave me alone”) along with Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” (“I TURN it off, every time it comes on”) and the “Frozen” anthem, “Let It Go” (“Please tell your ten-year-old daughter to like another song!”)

From recent years, “What Does the Fox Say?” caught plenty of scorn (“I know what I’d tell that fox”), along with the Black Eyed Peas “My Humps” (“Belongs in the Bad Song Hall of Fame”), and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” (“They should have unleashed them in the studio!”)

1990s music lovers had plenty to say, from Hanson’s “MmmBop” (“Mmmm..No!”), the bubblegum-flavored “Barbie Girl” (“Even Ken hates this one”), and Ricky Martin’s “Living La Vida Loca” (“I know all the words,  and I’m not proud of that.”)

Whitney Houston’s 1992 power ballad “I Will Always Love You” also came under fire.  “Pure howling. It brings shivers from head to toe!”

The 1980s are remembered for MTV and big-hair, but some haven’t forgiven that decade for Starship’s “We Built This City” (From the band that gave us some of the best songs of the 60s?  Did they sober up or something?”), Toni Basil’s cheerleader anthem “Mickey” (“I pulled a muscle trying to switch to another station”), and every song recorded by Rick Astley (“Never Gonna Give You Up“), Boy George (“Karma Chameleon“), and the B-52’s (“Rock Lobster“).

Stevie Nicks has plenty of fans, but some of her 1980s-era lyrics were singled out for special attention.  Her 1981 hit “Edge of Seventeen” includes this line: “Just like the white winged dove, sings a song sounds like she’s singing, ooh, baby, ooh, baby, ooh.”  (“I’m sorry, I don’t get it.  Does anyone?”)

The 1970s decade is in a league of its own.  There were nominations for the Temptations epic “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (“Is it over yet? Please, make it stop”), the tear-jerker “Seasons in the Sun” (“We had joy, we had fun, until this song came on”), and 3 Dog Night’s hard-to-avoid “Joy to the World” (“If I hear Jeremiah was a bullfrog one more time, my head will explode!”)

Paul McCartney’s 70s output incurred the wrath of many, starting with “Silly Love Songs” (“After writing all those Beatles classics, he must have run out of ideas.”) The lyrics of “Let ‘Em In” were quoted: “Someone’s knockin’ at the door, somebody’s ringing the bell, do me a favor, open the door, let ‘em in.”  (“Did he win a bet that his fans would buy anything? I guess he won.”)

Then there was America’s “Horse With No Name” (“At first I thought it was Neil Young, but he wouldn’t stoop to that”), “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” (“Boo is the right word”), and Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” (“A one-hit wonder. No wonder.”)

That decade must also be held accountable for “Billy Don’t Be A Hero,” “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” “The Night Chicago Died,” “Delta Dawn,” and the infamous “Muskrat Love.” Who can forget these words: “Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam, do the jitterbug out in muskrat land, and they shimmy and Sam is so skinny.”  Yes, I played that on the radio.  A lot.  Please forgive me.

The 60s gave us Bobby Goldsboro’s depressing “Honey,” the tragic “Leader of the Pack,” and the never-ending “MacArthur Park” (“Somebody, get that cake out of the rain already, it’s been 50 years!”)  There were also votes for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Sugar, Sugar” (true confession: those are two of my guilty pleasures).

Even though we only hear them over the holidays, several Christmas songs were named: Jose Feliciano’s earworm “Feliz Navidad,” the too-sexy-for-some “Santa Baby,” McCartney’s repetitive “Wonderful Christmas Time” and the unfortunately unforgettable “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” (“Whoever got rich from that should send us all a rebate!”)

That brings us to the 3 Worst Songs Ever, as selected by you.  Number three is “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega from 1999 (“I’ve seen too many drunks try to dance to this at wedding receptions”), and number two is the 1995 dance sensation “Macarena” (“Every time they say Macarena, it’s followed by the sound my cat makes when he spits up a hairball”)

So what’s the Worst Song Ever?  It’s another 70s stinker, Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck,” which topped the charts in 1976.  Can’t argue with this one, folks.  Thanks for sending in your nominations!  You have a good ear for bad music.

Mr. Nice Guy: Scotty Probasco

April 23, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Last October we lost the Voice of Chattanooga, Luther Masingill.  On Saturday we lost another local legend.  Scotty Probasco’s infectious optimism gave our city a bright, wide smile for many decades.  Can you picture Scotty without that smile? Me neither.

Scott L. (Scotty) Probasco, Jr. 1928-2015

Scott L. (Scotty) Probasco, Jr. 1928-2015

I was in his company only a handful of times at best.  I was fortunate enough to interview him once or twice, and I remember him welcoming me as if we were longtime pals.  I’m sure many bank presidents are quite cordial, but Scotty set the gold standard.

You can read his obituary and get what is surely just a partial list of his many accolades and accomplishments.  He leaves behind children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild who will undoubtedly carry on his legacy of kindness.  But for those of you who might have heard about his passing on the news and wondered, “Why are making all this fuss over an elderly gentleman,” I want you to see the video below.

In 1988, my station did a series of reports called, “The Power Pack,” profiling the ten most powerful people in Chattanooga, as selected in a Chamber of Commerce poll.  Scotty was pretty high on the list, an honor that made him proud, and just a little embarrassed.  Despite his wealth and prominence, he really didn’t see himself as a part of the city’s power structure.  He believed that banking was a profession that gave him a chance to improve the community.  And did he ever.

My former co-worker Bill Markham produced and narrates the three-minute profile of Scotty Probasco you’re about to watch, and I think he did a fine job of capturing the man’s charisma and energy.  As we remember this fine man, I hope you’ll agree this brief story serves as a nice tribute.


25 years ago: Vince Carroll enters world, makes the news

April 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm

It was Sunday, April 22, 1990.  An amazing little fella named Vincent Anthony Carroll made his earthly debut, and his arrival was covered on the nightly news.  Yes, today you know him as a tall, handsome young man, but his beginnings were far more humble.  Check out his first TV appearance, along with his glowing mother, his adoring big brother, and a bearded guy who likes to talk.

Happy birthday, big V!

A message for teen drivers

April 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm

We’ve lost another teen driver.

I read the news on TV each evening.  People often tell me, “We have a tape of you on the news, and we’ve watched it over and over.”  I always say thank you, and then they say, “Our son died in a car accident, and you said your thoughts were with the family.”

Logan Dotson 1997-2015

Logan Dotson 1997-2015

A Dade County High School 11th grader named Logan Dotson lost his life on his way to school.  The principal, Josh Ingle, had to handle the duties that every principal dreads: telling the students that they’ve lost a friend. He must tell the teachers that a young man they were interacting with just hours before won’t be coming back to class.

Mr. Ingle struggled to talk about Logan when he was being interviewed on-camera.  He was into mischief, Mr. Ingle said, nothing serious, just the stuff that high school boys do.  He loved the outdoors.  His Facebook page reflects that love, with photos and comments about racing and hunting.  The recent rain has caused many accidents, and surely played a role in Logan’s accident Wednesday morning on Burkhalter Gap Road on Lookout Mountain.

I have not seen or heard any evidence to indicate that Logan was at fault.

I just want you to know about a few basic things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening to you.

When your parents and grandparents were learning to drive, we had distractions too.  Just not nearly as many as you do.  We had a radio, and usually a tape player.  And sometimes we had too many other kids riding with us, but that was about it.  In 2015 you have a phone, which is distracting enough.  You can also text, tweet, take photos, look at photos, read other people’s texts and tweets, find your favorite song or video, and even play games, while you’re in that fast car, or big truck.

On the news ten years ago, I read the name of a 17-year-old girl who died in a car accident, and that’s when I first heard the term “texting while driving.”  Since then, distracted driving accidents have become a too-frequent occurrence.

Many teens who survive crashes say that after their first year or two of driving, their confidence went up, way up.  “I’ve gone a whole year without anything happening, there’s nothing to this!”  Frankly, when you’re 17, a year is a long time.  If you’ve driven 365 days without being in a wreck, you often think, what could possibly go wrong?

That’s when police say most kids get in trouble.  You take more chances, you get a little careless, you start feeling bulletproof.  You sent a text yesterday when traffic was a little slow, so you’re even better at it today.  You can send a text without even looking at the keyboard, and it’ll just take a second to read the reply.  You all know what happens next.  You spend more and more time focusing on your device, which equals less time focusing on the road, and that’s when you collide with someone else who may be doing the same thing.

Although there are many arguments against even allowing 16-year-olds to drive, I’m not going there.  I’ve never been a fan of age dictating who’s mature enough to drive.  I’ve known 14 and 15-year-olds who were safe drivers, and I know people in their twenties who are downright reckless.  We make it pretty easy to get a driver’s license.  Most people ace the written test the first or second time, and the driving test basically consists of making a few right turns.  Due to funding cuts, most schools don’t offer the free driver education course that was available to me in rural Alabama in the 1970s.  It boggles my mind to say that, but it’s true.  These days, we’re not real choosy when it comes to putting drivers on the highway.

All we can ask you to do, is be smart.  We know that the leading cause of teen deaths is highway accidents.  And of those, we know the main reasons are distractions (from devices, to too many teen passengers), alcohol and drugs, speeding/recklessness, failure to use seat belts or headlights, following too closely, drowsiness, and of course inexperience.

You’re not invincible.  But, you are loved.  Your family needs you.  Your friends would rather have lunch with you, instead of placing a cross on the side of the road.

Andrew Daniels, Destiny Canterbury and Jeffery Berry

Andrew Daniels, Destiny Canterbury and Jeffery Berry

As a news guy, I’d rather not read your name on the news unless you catch a big fish, earn a scholarship or win the lottery.

And as a father,  if this has convinced you to drive a little safer, all I can say is thank you.



I hate that song!

April 18, 2015 at 2:07 pm



Does “Achy Breaky Heart” make your ears ache?  Do your dogs hide under the bed when they hear “Who Let The Dogs Out?”  Does your baby scream when Paul Anka sings “Having My Baby?”

Do you switch stations when you hear a song by Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton or Mariah Carey?  Does Meat Loaf make you want to skip a meal?  Does the Macarena make you want to give up Mexican food?  Is “All About That Bass” about to make you give up music?

I enjoy writing about music.  I noticed that I always write about great songs (in my opinion).  Like this one.  And this one.  Who could forget this classic? And most definitely this all-time great.

But as I was looking through some old newspapers clippings I’d saved, I found one by Dave Barry, one of my favorite writers.  Many years ago, he compiled a list of really bad songs.  He did a thorough job, but maybe it’s time for an update.

That’s where I need your help.  If there’s a song you just can’t tolerate, past or present, tell me about it.  Even if there’s more than one.  Maybe listen to your favorite station, classic or current, rock or country.  When you hear a really, really bad one, write it down, and let me know.  Send your least favorite songs to me at this address:

I’m putting together a list, and using your nominations, I’ll spotlight the Worst Songs Ever in a future column.  And yes, there are prizes involved, so you might win something cool!

Once again, the address is

Just be careful nominating anything by the Spice Girls.  They’re my guilty pleasure.  How could anyone think this is bad?  “So, tell me what you want, what you really, really want…..”



These “things” always happen to me

April 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I mean well, I really do.  But sometimes “auto-correct” plays tricks on me.  A few days ago, this lady sent me a message about her teenage daughter.  “I’m so proud of her!  She just won another major award.”  In my reply, I intended to write, “I’ve always believed your daughter is destined for some really big things.”  But evidently, I hit a wrong letter, and the word”things” became “thighs.”  Gee, that gives the sentence a whole new meaning.  Sorry about that.

Overheard from a favorite waitress:  “My doctor told me I have ADD-HD.  I don’t pay attention that often, but when I do, everything looks really sharp.”

A senior citizens group just invited me to speak at their next meeting.  The lady who called asked me, “How long do you talk?”  I jokingly replied, “Well, usually until people start falling asleep.”  “I’ve heard your speech,” she said. “That should take about ten minutes.”

Mick Jagger, great-grandfather

Mick Jagger, great-grandfather

Mick Jagger is now a great-grandfather.  He will spend this summer doing stadium shows with the Rolling Stones.  My great-grandfather liked to whittle.

One of my fellow baseball fans asked me about Brandon Beachy, who used to pitch for the Braves. He’s now a member of the Dodgers, and is expected to join them later this year, after he recovers from an injury.  This reminds me of a story.  Beachy is quite handsome, so the ladies say.

Brandon Beachy (Enigma Online)

Brandon Beachy (Enigma Online)

When Beachy was scheduled to pitch against the Lookouts a couple of years ago (working his way back to the big leagues from a previous injury), my wife asked me to take her to the game.  She’s not a baseball fan, but she thinks Beachy is hot.  Early in the game, he was in the on-deck circle, swinging a bat.  My wife said, “Quick! Hand me the binoculars!” We were three rows behind home plate.

What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?

I have noticed that whenever a sports or entertainment superstar does something stupid, rude, or illegal, we always know what will happen next.  Their public relations firm will issue a sincere, heartfelt apology.

Overheard at the restaurant checkout.  Man to cashier: “Why don’t y’all turn down that $#@%#@$ music?  It’s too #@&%#@ loud!” Man’s wife to cashier: “Ah, don’t pay any attention to him. He needs to turn down his #$%@#$# hearing aid!”

Remember that old guy you used to ride with, who would point at every building, and tell you what “used to be there?” I think I’ve become that guy. Well, that didn’t take long.

Today’s grammar tip: never end a sentence with some random, unnecessary word or whatnot.

It never fails. I’m in the checkout line at the store, and I run into an old friend.  He’s someone I’d like to impress. His cart is filled with fresh vegetables, fruits, and skim milk. Mine is loaded down with Cap’n Crunch, mouse traps and a National Enquirer.

You know it’s the wrong day to eat at that buffet restaurant when the first thing you hear is a mom saying to her five-year-old, “Brandon! Get down off that food!”

Skip Caray

Skip Caray

I sure miss Skip Caray on the Braves TV games. Back when the Braves weren’t very good, during a rain delay, they would fill the time with a 3 Stooges comedy. Skip would say, “Now let’s watch the 3 Stooges…although you may not notice any difference.”

I just read two interesting new health studies in the newspaper. One says eating too much junk food is bad for your memory. The other says…uh…where did I put that paper? It was here a minute ago….

The other day, I complained about having “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift stuck in my head.  I couldn’t shake it off, because it’s a huge earworm.  Someone sent me the cure.  I played this video, and now I have a new earworm.  Play, and sing along.  I bet this one will roll around in your head too, and might even make you hungry!




The man who saw President Lincoln’s assassination

April 15, 2015 at 2:00 am

Here’s an amazing piece of American history, and TV history.  On Feb. 9, 1956, Mr. Samuel Seymour appeared on the the CBS game show “I’ve Got a Secret.”  As you’ll see, this 96-year-old gentleman’s secret is, he witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (150 years ago today, April 14, 1865).   He was five years old at the time.

Mr. Seymour passed away two months after this show was broadcast, and he was the last surviving person who was present at Ford’s Theater that evening.


On the road with Rick Smith: a rocky reception

April 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith is in the early stages of an 11-meeting “road trip,” hoping to gain support for increased school funding.  I attended meeting #2 in Lookout Valley Thursday night, and Smith’s reception was chilly.  Ice cold.

The auditorium was sprinkled with about 60 people, and after subtracting principals, elected officials and central office personnel, there were only 45 or so in the category of “interested citizens.”  This was a low turnout, considering the controversy over Smith’s suggestion of a 40-cent property tax increase, which would result in a sizable ($34 million) boost for the school system’s budget.


The meetings are well-publicized.  This District 6 gathering featured a sign at the Lookout Valley exit off I-24, warning motorists that Smith wanted to raise their taxes.  The sign listed the time and place of the meeting.  Plus there was the usual media support, with the entire meeting schedule being repeated on-air and online.  On top of that, Smith met with teachers from throughout that district a few days earlier, hoping to get them on board (as he intends to do in each district prior to the town meetings).

A few weeks ago, I predicted that Smith would have no trouble attracting parents, teachers, and PTA members to his meetings.  I figured they would be the proverbial choir singing along with his pro-education message.  I said his biggest challenge would be convincing critics to attend, and then winning them over.

It’s still early, so my predictions could still come true, to some degree.  The meeting at Wallace A. Smith Elementary on Tuesday night had a good turnout of parents and teachers from the Highway 58 area.  I would also expect a good crowd at a few of the other meetings.  Still, I was surprised that the level of support Smith experienced at Lookout Valley was pretty much zero.  If there were any parents or teachers currently active in schools, they did not make themselves known.  Maybe they were at the ball fields, at work, or helping with homework.  But with so much at stake, and in a district with seven schools, the low turnout was disappointing.


The folks who did attend were predominantly older, with many describing themselves as retired, or on fixed income.  One man said he was a business owner.  Those who spoke up expressed similar complaints and concerns.  No doubt Smith has heard them all before, and has answered the same questions repeatedly.

“Instead of asking us for more money, why don’t you trim the fat at central office?”  (Smith assured them he has done that.  At one point he said he cut a million dollars  by eliminating ten central office positions.  The surprised questioner fired back, “You mean ten people added up to a million dollars?” Smith said no, he should have been more specific.)

“We have to get by on no raise, or a 1-percent raise, so why should teachers get a 5-percent raise?” (Smith said teachers are having to pay higher insurance premiums these days. “So are we!” came the chorus of replies.)

“You say you have to buy a new math program, why do we change the way we teach math every year?  The numbers haven’t changed since I was in school!” (Smith said curriculum updates are mandated every seven years, and this is the year.)

After fielding a few more zingers, Smith got a little testy at times. School Board member Joe Galloway decided to step in.  Galloway, a much-beloved former coach in Lookout Valley, reminded the crowd that Smith had an 8-month-old granddaughter, “and he could be sitting at home playing with her.” But, Galloway continued, “He’s taking the time to come here and tell you the shape we’re in, and I think we should appreciate that.”  For the first time, Smith got some applause.

Galloway is one of a handful of Board members who is firmly on Smith’s side on most issues.  He told the crowd that he’s studied the numbers, and that Smith is right.  The needs are there, in everything from arts, foreign language, technology, maintenance and salaries, and that Hamilton County schools need more funding.

Smith said, “I’m not here to advocate for taxes, I’m here to advocate for kids.”  With two state legislators in the audience, Smith said, “I’m not blaming you, but we need to get our share of tax money back from the state.  We’re not getting back anywhere near what we send to Nashville.”


For 90 minutes, Smith capped off a long day by making a detailed, complicated case for increased funding.  I’m not sure he swayed anyone in attendance Thursday night, and from what County Commissioners are saying publicly and privately, he’s not likely to get much love from them either.

Near the end of his presentation, he bemoaned the fact that many of the schools’ problems these days are the result of ineffective, uninvolved parents.  There’s a lot of truth in that.  Now he must find a way to get those people to come to his meetings.

Here is the remaining schedule:

Mon.  April 20:  Signal Mtn. Middle/High  6:00 p.m.

Tues.  April 21:  East Ridge High   6:30 p.m.

Thur.  April 23:   Hixson High  6:30 p.m.

Tues.  April 28:  Brainerd High  6:00 p.m.

Thur.  April 30:  Red Bank Middle  6:00 p.m.

Mon.  May 4:    Orchard Knob Elem.  6:00 p.m.

Tues.  May 5:   Howard High  6:30 p.m.

Tues.  May 12:  Soddy- Daisy High  6:00 p.m.


Cohutta Elementary is ready for the test!

April 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm

The Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars song “Uptown Funk” is all over the radio this year, much like “Happy” was last year, and “Get Lucky” the year before that.  Kudos to a Whitfield County, Georgia music teacher, Lauren Buckner of Cohutta Elementary for putting the song to good use!  The Georgia Milestones statewide achievement test starts Monday, so the Cohutta teachers and students turned the song into “Milestone Funk.”  This ought to get the kids fired up.  Good luck on the test, Cohutta!  And feel free to share this with other schools and students who might enjoy:


Braves 2015: My fearless predictions

April 5, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I’ve been wanting to write a pre-season Braves blog for a while, but the roster keeps changing!  Even now, just hours before the first pitch in Miami, stars like Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons probably wonder who will fill out the team.  I mean, they’ve just traded Craig Kimbrel!

So long, Craig Kimbrel, it was nice to know you.

So long, Craig Kimbrel, it was nice to know you.

Still, after a trip to spring training and catching some TV games, I have an idea of what to expect.  Keep in mind that I made nine bold predictions to kick off the 2014 season.  I got one of them right.  That’s a .111 average. Dan Uggla and Melvin (B.J.) Upton had a better year than I did.  But, they keep trying, so I will too.

1.  It’s going to be a tough year for Freddie Freeman.  The Braves’ best all-around hitter no longer has Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, or Justin Upton to bat behind him.  For all their flaws, they were home run threats, and pitchers didn’t want to walk Freeman to get to them.

The Freddie Freeman shift: hit it to the left side, Freddie!

The Freddie Freeman shift: hit it to the left side, Freddie!

This year he won’t get many good pitches to hit, plus more teams are utilizing the shift against him, stacking the right side of the field.  On talent alone, he’ll still be a standout, but nothing will come easy.

2.  The Braves are going to win some 3-2 games.  Although most of their fine 2014 pitching staff is gone, they still have some quality arms.  I don’t think they’ll give up a lot of runs.  That brings us to #3, and unfortunately……

3.  The Braves are also going to lose a lot of 3-2 games.  Because of that good pitching, I don’t think the Braves are going to get blown out often.  There aren’t many high-scoring games anyway, except in Colorado, where everything’s made up and the runs don’t matter.  But with an almost total lack of power, the Braves are going to have to scratch for every run.  If they get behind early, look out. This isn’t a come-from-behind team.

4.  Clubhouse leadership is overrated.  I’ve read about 42 articles this spring emphasizing that the Braves had no leaders last year.  Evidently Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson and Eric Hinske were all inspirational motivators who could make you play like your pants were on fire.  Apparently, those left behind were too lackadaisical.  That makes for an easy story, but I’m not buying it.  Now we’re told that Jonny Gomes, A.J. Pierzynski and Jason Grilli will provide the spark needed to make their teammates want to win.  Maybe they will.  But isn’t that what the manager and coaches are for?

Manager Fredi Gonzalez talking with Atlanta baseball writer David O'Brien

Manager Fredi Gonzalez talking with Atlanta baseball writer David O’Brien

5.  Chemistry is overrated.  Big league baseball isn’t all that different from high school.  Look around the cafeteria sometime.  The jocks sit with the other jocks, the cool crowd sits at their own table, and so do the so-called outcasts.  No matter how much mingling is encouraged, kids of the same ethnic and economic backgrounds tend to huddle together.  Now, watch batting practice, that relatively relaxed pre-game ritual.  Just like school, the guys hang with whoever speaks their language, often literally.  Talent always wins out.  The history books are full of championship teams that had little or no chemistry.  Those teams had talent, with guys who played winning baseball.   We often think of Braves legends Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz as having great chemistry.  But they were never on the field at the same time.

6.  Rebuilding isn’t easy.  By my count, there are 16 players on the roster who were either unwanted by their previous teams, or unwanted by any other current team.  Leadership qualities and past greatness aside, it reminds me of the poster in the recent TV series “Fargo.”


Braves fans had better hope we’re right, and everybody else is wrong!  Otherwise, we’re in for a rough ride in 2015 (and 2016) reminiscent of the late 1980s.  The only thing entertaining about those years was Skip Caray.

New 2nd baseman Jace Peterson and utility player Phil Gosselin

New 2nd baseman Jace Peterson and utility player Phil Gosselin

7.  Best case scenario:  If the proven players (Freeman, Simmons, Julio Teheran) play up to their capabilities, if the new kids exceed expectations, and if the newly acquired veterans play like they did in their peak years, this team could surprise some people and win 80-82 games.

8.  Worst case scenario:  If one or more of those proven players suffer any long-term injuries, and if the newly acquired veterans don’t find the fountain of youth, it could get ugly.  As in 65-70 wins, dangerously close to the NL East cellar.

9.  Most likely scenario:  Somewhere in between.  Of course there will be injuries.  Some guys will come out of nowhere, others will disappoint.  It’s a long season, and based on what we know now, the Braves will win between 72-75 games, as they (hopefully) edge out the Phillies for last place.

10.  Attendance will be down at Turner Field, in its next-to-last year of operation.  Judging from the reaction to the Kimbrel trade, some fans may be bailing out already.  Do you remember the old joke from the late 1980s?  You’d call the ticket office and ask, “What time does the game start?”  The reply: “What time can you be here?”

All eyes are on 2017: a new ballpark and hopefully a team loaded with the talented young players the Braves have obtained to re-stock their farm system.  If all goes as planned, they’ll be ready for the big leagues by then.  Until then, patience, my friend.  Just keep repeating that word over and over.  We made it through the 1980s, we can make it through this.