Somehow, someway, the Braves finished a game above .500 in 1980. In the eyes of Ted Turner and the Braves fanbase, the team was ready to contend. Sure, maybe Ted could have paid Gary Matthews what he wanted rather than send him to Philadelphia for Bob Walk. The Braves could have made a stronger run at Dave Winfield. Darrel Porter would have been better behind the plate than Benedict or Pocoroba. If it was a pitcher they were after, Luis Tiant and Don Sutton would have made better choices than the great Gaylord Perry.
Perry was perfectly acceptable, and nothing more for the Braves. He certainly gave the Braves fans, in Atlanta and across the country, the chance to watch a crafty all-time great. The goal, however, was to win and Gaylord Perry did not help the Braves achieve that goal.