The Atlanta Braves were the NL East division champions, are the NL East division champs and will be the division champs until they notify us they are ready to abdicate the throne room.
"I don't know if I'd go that far," Braves ace John Smoltz says, chuckling.
Oh, yes. Absolutely. Without any doubt, suspicion or equivocation.
At 14 consecutive division titles -- the first three in the NL West -- and counting, including last year's youth-infused jaw-dropper, there can be no doubting the Braves. General manager John Schuerholz is a magician. Manager Bobby Cox is a snake-charmer. Smoltz is a miracle worker.
"I haven't been here that long but, in the five years, I think, that I have been around, every spring it's the same story: This is probably the year we're going to fall," second baseman Marcus Giles says. "I think when I came in, we had won 10 in a row. Now it's 14.