Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
National League East
This is the sixth and final installment in the One Move series. If you’d like to check out any of the previous editions in this series, you can find them here: AL East, NL West, AL Central, NL Central, AL West.
We wrap up the series with a look at each of the teams in the NL East. This was the most painful division for me, as I think most of the teams are where they are, with the Braves and Nationals at the top and the Mets and Marlins at the bottom, and the Phillies planted firmly in 2008. The only obvious move to me was the one suggested for the Nationals, so if you can come up with something better for any team involved, let us know in the comments. I thoroughly enjoyed the debate on the last article.
The Move: Investigate Trading Craig Kimbrel
I have to admit that this is not an original notion to me, not that any of these have been, but I specifically pilfered this one from Mark Smith of Talking Chop, who wrote exactly why the Braves should trade Kimbrel this offseason. I’ll try not to rehash what he says, because you really should read the article. Long story short though, Kimbrel is about to get paid handsomely (upwards of $6.5M) and the Braves don’t have the largest budget in town. What they do have is an extremely competent bullpen that operated in spite of major injuries (Venters, O’Flaherty) and a GM who seems especially adept at assembling them. They have backups in place in the form of Jordan Walden and Jonny Venters (if healthy), not to mention David Carpenter as a viable option. Acknowledging that Kimbrel is the best closer out there, but also that closer is not necessarily the position to which a team wants to be allocating a ton of resources, the question of course becomes what the Braves could get for him.
Braves New World? Taxpayer Funding Remains A Concern As Atlanta Rushes Towards New Stadium
There have not been any confirmations as to how much the proposed ballpark will cost taxpayers though it’s clear that they will pay something: financing will come from the team and the Cobb County government. The split is rumored to be $450 million in financing provided by Cobb County with the Braves putting up an additional $200 million (it’s worth noting that the Braves dispute these figures). Interestingly,$200 million is the same figure the team claimed they would have to put into Turner Field in order to “truly enhance the fan experience.”
The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority will own the stadium and lease it to the team – a pretty standard arrangement for today’s professional sports teams. And yes, the Braves plan to sell the stadium naming rights; it will be interesting to see what role the Falcons’ new stadium plays in that deal as Atlanta has just inked a deal for their new $1.2 billion stadium, also slated to open in 2017.
Now, Cobb County has to answer two questions: Is it worth it? And assuming that it is, where is the money coming from?
The Cobb County you may (or may not) know
[Editorial Note: We're always fair, and impartial at Tomahawk Take when political issues arise (and that is why I am posting this news), but I have to go on record and say I completely disagree with the sentiment expressed and implied in this article - the implication that events that may have happened in Cobb Country in the past, or comments by certain persons interpreted a certain way, are reason to blindly label the whole county in a particular fashion. It not only is unfair to Cobb County, but unfair to the Braves who've chosen to relocate there.]
Cobb County is full of contradictions. Its schools are among the best in the state (a low threshold, to be fair). Atlanta’s ballet and opera companies recently relocated there and both say its been good for business.
But Cobb County also has a sizable contingent of yahoos. One of its hamlets, Kennesaw, passed a law requiring every citizen to own a handgun. In the 90s, county commissioners lost the opportunity to host the volleyball competition during the Atlanta Olympics because it insisted on a resolution condemning the gay lifestyle as ”incompatible with the standards to which this community subscribes.” And it was only five years ago that a tavern just off the Marietta square sold T-shirts featuring “Obama in ’08″ inscribed over cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana.
Braves notes: Atlanta still hopes to keep Hudson
ORLANDO, Fla. — While Atlanta hopes to re-sign veteran starter Tim Hudson, other teams including the San Francisco Giants might force them to raise their initial offer to make it happen.
The Giants are one of about 10 teams that have expressed interest in the 38-year-old right-hander, and they’ve spoken to his representative about the possibility of Hudson returning to the Bay Area, where Hudson (Glenwood, CVCC) started his career in 1999 with Oakland and was a 20-game winner in 2000.
Hudson would like to return for a 10th season with the Braves, but also enjoyed his six years in Oakland and would consider a move to the Giants, who are said to be serious about adding another proven veteran to their rotation.
Hudson, a 205-game winner who made $9 million each of the past four seasons, was offered a one-year deal last week by the Braves with a base salary that was believed to be worth well below half that amount. He went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts in 2013, including a 2.73 ERA in his last 10 starts before a season-ending broken ankle July 24.
The Braves Ballpark Bamboozling is beginning on schedule
More likely? Based on what, peyote hallucinations? How about some acknowledgment — even the slightest acknowledgment — that every single stadium ever built has been accompanied by promises of economic development that have gone unfulfilled. That pie-in-the-sky “it’ll pay for itself” rhetoric is almost always shown to be utter baloney in the end. How about a little more critical thinking and a little less magical thinking
Not happening, because boy howdy, magical thinking is clearly the order of the day here. To wit: there are acknowledgments of traffic problems that are quickly dismissed with an assertion that they’ll surely fix those problems by then. How they’ll fix it is all vague, but we have top men on it. Top. Men. And there is an assertion that “99% of taxpayers” will not feel any sting from this thing because of some magic taxes that don’t have any economic implications at all will take care of it. Don’t worry your pretty little head.
None of those kinds of assertions ever turn out to be the case, of course. Stadiums always cost more than first claimed. The public part of the bill is always bigger than it’s initially claimed to be. The economic impact of these places is always far less, if it even exists at all. But this time it’ll be different, though! Because Jon Schuerholz has integrity. And the commissioners find it appealing. It’s a home run/slam dunk hybrid, after all.
Why do people continue to peddle this stuff? Maybe it’s because people buy it. Or don’t care. But whatever the case, the fact that it is peddled at all is an absolute disgrace. It’s cheerleading disguised as journalism.