Dear Santa...

BravesCenter's Bill Shanks looks at the Braves top ten Christmas wishes on this Christmas Eve.

Dear Santa,

As a Braves' fan, I feel it is time that I ask you for a few things for my beloved Atlanta Braves. How can it hurt, right? You've just got to be a Braves' fan. I mean, Tommy Lasorda says the man upstairs wears Dodger Blue, and we all know that's a joke. So we've got to believe that you yourself are partial to our Braves. So Santa, forgive me why I don't worry about myself this year, and simply ask you for a few things for my Braves.

10. Patience for the Braves' Nation - Santa let the fans that follow our Braves have the patience to believe in General Manager John Schuerholz to do his best to construct yet another winning roster.

9. Resurgence for Edgar Renteria - Let Renteria prove to the fans that he was, in fact, simply unhappy in Boston in 2005 and that he can still be a productive shortstop.

8. Consistent playing time for Adam LaRoche - Please Santa convince Bobby Cox to let Adam LaRoche play everyday, so that he can become more consistent and prove he can be an effective starter.

7. 150 games for Chipper Jones - Make sure he's all healthy Santa, and that his hamstring and muscles are all rested and ready to go for the entire 2006 season.

6. Good sophomore seasons for our kids -Let Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Kyle Davies, Blaine Boyer and all the others avoid any jinx and be the productive players we know they can be.

5. A good teacher in Roger McDowell - Let our new pitching coach work well with the young pitchers Santa, so they can reach their potential and keep pitching as the focal point for the team.

4. An effective Chris Reitsma - If he can only be a consistent closer, we can hold off until Blaine Boyer and Joey Devine are ready to take over. Make Reitsma consistent Santa.

3. A healthy right arm for John Smoltz - Make sure that arm is sound Santa. Go sprinkle a little magic dust on John's arm when you go to visit his kids. Just make sure you leave 200 innings in his stocking.

2. Put the Braves in Ted Turner's stocking - Doesn't Ted want something to play with? Ok, he's got all those buffalo, but wouldn't the Braves be his perfect Christmas gift? He would be our perfect gift as the new owner!

1. A World Series Championship - Come on Santa, you know it's time. Let the 2006 Braves win the World Series. They deserve it, and Lord knows Santa, so do we.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at

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