Morning Chop: Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News
When commissioners step up to the plate, how will they swing on vote…
County Chairman Tim Lee predicted this week that the vote to build a $672 million Major League Baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves would be unanimous.
Home Grown Free Agents
Free agency has been a blessing for players looking to cash in on their performance by getting paid by the highest bidder. Unfortunately, for fans, this means that players who are home-grown and on the teams they followed as kids have the ability to depart for more money.
Brian McCann, who was born in Georgia and has been on the Braves since they drafted him, declined their tender this off-season in hopes of cashing in on a multi-year mega contract. I understand that players want to be paid what they are worth. I understand that players want to cash in on their short professional careers. I wish that THEY would understand how much more they are appreciated by fans that have seen them grow up and followed them forever.
Braves set to move on, but memories will remain
ATLANTA — The Braves? Moving? Days later, this news still is sending shock waves around baseball and beyond. Team officials announced Monday they will relocate for the 2017 season from Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to Cobb County, which is a northern location about a dozen miles away. Just so you know, I live in Cobb County. I have more than a few thoughts on the matter, but at the moment, there are too many loose ends and not enough tight ones for a deep conversation.
No worries. I’ll discuss what I know for sure, which is: With such a move by the Braves, there will be a slew of memories left around Capitol Avenue, where spanking new Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was waiting for the Braves in 1966 after they bolted from Milwaukee. Turner Field eventually came along courtesy of the 1996 Olympics. In the aftermath, with the greatest of ease, the Braves and city officials turned it into a Major League ballpark for the 1997 season.
The transformation was so smooth that the Braves got the upgrade in their facilities they were seeking without spending a lot of money, and baseball traditionalists got a chance to preserve history.
Turner Field was placed less than a half block from Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Not only that, the spot of the former stadium was turned into a parking lot that nevertheless contained an outline of where the old diamond was located. Better yet, the landing spot for No. 715 was immortalized forever. That spot was where Hank Aaron‘s homer dropped from the sky on April 8, 1974, against the Dodgers to give the legendary Braves slugger the career home run record over Babe Ruth.
Braves deal highlights debate on public money
ATLANTA — When Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed found out a neighboring community had made a generous offer to help finance a new Braves stadium, he balked and said the city simply couldn’t compete.
Reed’s decision comes a few months after the mayor faced tough criticism for pushing through a plan to use public money to support a new NFL stadium downtown. And it underscores the challenges facing cash-strapped communities nationwide as they weigh the risks and rewards of using public money to help finance major sports venues.
“The bottom line is that the city was presented with a choice, and that choice was encumbering between $150 million to $250 million in debt and not having money to do anything else,” Reed said, referring to the city’s share of costs for desired improvements at Turner Field.
Instead, the mayor announced Tuesday that Turner Field would be demolished when the Braves leave in 2017, making way for a new large-scale development. Reed has said the city couldn’t match Cobb County’s offer of $450 million in public support to the Braves, though the team disputes that figure.
Braving New Territory: Pitching About WAR
Stats We’re Talking About: W-L
Kill the Win.
It’s simple and elegant, but it kinda misses the point. One of the main themes for today is isolating what a pitcher does from outside contributing factors – defense, bullpen, run support. While that sounds like “duh”, it’s the basic misconception behind the statistics we’ll be discussing. Offense and defense are fairly easy to see what they’re responsible for – hitters either get out or they don’t, and fielders either make the play or they don’t – but pitchers aren’t quite so easy. They have the cannon arms and the break-neck curves, but what happens after the ball leaves their hand is still a bit of a mystery.
But pitcher win-loss records aren’t particularly good at isolating what a pitcher does. Although a starting pitcher will likely have a huge influence over a particular game, there’s a lot they have little influence over that can still make a major impact. The first thing is the run support from the offense. No matter how well the pitcher pitches, a good or bad offense can kill him or save him. Defense is another thing. Once the pitch leaves his hand and is contacted, it’s up to the defense to make the play and avoid errors. And then we get to the bullpen. The starting pitcher could have done everything well, and the bullpen can blow it with a few swings of an at-bat. If you’re looking for something to indicate a pitcher’s performance, a W-L record tells very little of the story, and it’s a story that will need a lot of context.