Besides the expansion franchises of Tampa and Miami, which you can't really consider the Deep South and I don't consider very Southern, there's no competition to the Braves for the hearts of minds of Southern baseball fans. And Texas is its own entity in my mind, its own republic of Texas-flavored thinking.
But if Major League Baseball were to expand or a franchise would want to move, I would think Southern cities are good places to consider since the closest franchise, besides the Florida clubs, would maybe be the Cardinals or the Reds? Metro areas that call out to me are Charlotte and New Orleans.
Or maybe a franchise will move from where it is now to Charlotte or New Orleans? I know when I was in the Bay Area a couple of years ago, there were articles in the local paper talking about how the A's don't exactly have a good situation to work with (small market, cruddy ballpark, weak fan base), and that franchise has a history of moving around ~ Philadelphia, Kansas City, and currently in Oakland.
Whether MLB gets a franchise in one of those two cities or not, the success of the Braves is admirable and a testament to a very good GM and a fine manager.
But to get back to Isbell, what I find interesting is that two of his three favorite teams (he's a sports fan) won championships very recently: the Saints and the Crimson Tide.
Will this year's Braves squad make it a trifecta?