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Ben's Sports Take: 21 days until Opening Day

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''Here's the top 21 things that have to go right for the Atlanta Braves in 2011 if they want to win the World Series.
Why 21, you ask? Well, besides the fact that the number graced the back of Warren Spahn—perhaps the greatest left-handed pitcher in Braves history—and is now hanging out behind the left field foul pole at Turner Field, 21 is the exact number of days we have to wait until baseball returns to Atlanta.

Let's take a gander at necessary outcomes 21-15:

21. Find a proper hiding place for Kawakami
—Ever since Kenshin Kawakami arrived from Japan back in 2009, he's done little to prove his worth—besides driving a sick whip. But all souped-up Maseratis aside, Kawakami has done next to nothing to merit his 3-year, $23 million contract. Two years, eight wins and 22 losses later, GM Frank Wren has made it clear that Kawakami isn't wanted on the big boy club anymore. So, he'll likely be sent to either Gwinnett County or Pearl, Mississippi—you know, the types of destinations that all international travelers dream of visiting.

20. Get that old-man smell out of the manager's office
—For the past 13 seasons, the manager's office inside the Braves clubhouse inside Turner Field has been occupied by one man. While we can all agree that Bobby Cox is the greatest manager in team history, we can't discount the fact that, well, he was old. And just like every visit to your grandparents' house when you were a kid, there was a certain aroma that permeated through the now vacant managerial office. In order for Fredi Gonzalez to properly focus on his new role as Braves manager, drastic measures must be taken to eradicate all of Cox's scents, smells and odors. Don't be afraid to break out the hazmat suits.''



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