Fredi Gonzalez is sitting in the Braves dugout at spring training, musing with a small group of reporters about the upcoming season, when the subject turns to something he'd rather forget.
So, how is the team coping with what happened six months ago?
''It leaves a bad taste in your mouth,'' the Atlanta manager keeps saying, with a bit of resignation in his voice. ''But now it's over with.''
Not so fast.
Atlanta's historic September collapse loomed over the winter like a bad hangover, and the questions didn't let up just because the team is heading into a new season. Until the Braves start carving out a different path - one that, for their sake, better end with a trip to the playoffs - they're going to be queried about what happened a year ago.
How they seemingly had the NL wild card locked up with a month to go, only to throw it away by winning just nine of their last 27 games. How a gut-wrenching, 13-inning loss on the final ...