The local papers now can't write enough about the Braves. By contrast, when Gant reached 30 steals and 30 homers last year, the feat was buried on page 5 of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports section. The local economy can't milk enough from them, either; the city's troubled rapid transit system stands to make $200,000 more from its game-day shuttle to the stadium than it did last summer. But the players think they haven't achieved enough. They dwell not on how far they have come, but on how far they want to go. No team has rocketed from last to first in successive seasons. "For the most part, guys are relaxed and enjoying the season," says Pendleton. "We aren't bouncing off the walls, but we aren't scared to death either."
Wherever the Braves wind up in the standings, General (Manager) Schuerholz is already counting his 1991 Atlanta Campaign a smashing success. "Could things really be better?" he says. "I don't think so. Just remember: Last year, we were the laughingstock of baseball."