Why were the 1991-2005 Atlanta Braves so great for so long? I've always believed it was primarily because of one thing: better than any other team in the expansion era, they understood Bill James's great insight that winning teams invariably suffer because they stick with the players who got them there too long.
Terry Pendleton? Well, maybe a bit too long, since he was only OK in 1993 and awful in 1994, but it was other teams that then paid the price -- over 2000 more PAs as an over-the-hill player. Ron Gant? The Braves missed out on his MVP-level 1995...and a decade of him as a journeyman. David Justice, Jeff Blauser, Javy Lopez, Ryan Klesko, Andruw Jones...the Braves weren't going to let the possibility of a comeback season elsewhere make them keep a player a year or four too long.
Of course, they made some mistakes along the way, but here's what you need to know: almost ever player's last year as a regular stinks, and very few players had their last year as a regular with the Braves.
In other news, Aubrey Huff re-signed with the Giants for two more years.