Aug 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) walks to home plate during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 1/5

Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News


Are the Braves a small market team now?

Hardball Talk

The Braves may be moving into a new stadiumsoon, but with the Phillies’ latest 25-year, $2.5 billion TV deal with Comcast SportsNet, Grant Brisbee of SB Nation argues that the Braves have more in common with the Rays than the rival Phillies, Mets, and Nationals.

Brisbee notes that in 2000, the Braves had the third-highest payroll among all 30 teams at $86 million. They stayed in the top-ten through 2006, but have had the 15th or 16th highest payroll in each of the past four seasons, hovering between $84 and $90 million. Their current TV deal, to compare to that of the Phillies, will give them between $200 and $400 million over 20 years.  Even in a vain attempt to put lipstick on a pig, Braves CEO Terry McGuirk admitted the team’s TV deal is bad:

“We have a long-term, 20-year deal. It is what it is. It was a deal that we didn’t like when we saw it, when we inherited it. And we knew that in the performance of time, it would probably not be the deal that we would like to have in the marketplace to exploit…. It’s not the only lever and dial we have to pull and turn to make this thing work, and we just have to be a little bit better in a bunch of other areas. And I think we are.”




Rowland’s Office

The Phils just inked a 25-year, $2.5 billion TV deal, which will give them roughly $75 million more in annual revenues than the Braves receive from their crappy contract with Fox.

I’d really like to know exactly who in the Time Warner cluster&*%$ negotiated the Braves deal. Shouldn’t they be held accountable for screwing the team — and shouldn’t Bud’s minions have prevented it, for the sake of competitive balance?

Never mind. I forgot that corporate fuck-ups are never held accountable.



Braving New Territory: The LI Detector

Talking Chop

Everyday Stats and Their Flaws

Stats We’re Talking About: … clutch

This should be a fun discussion. Clutchness is one of the more controversial issues in baseball analysis. The reason probably stems from our fixation on heroes, on people who rise to the occasion despite the obstacles. It’s a tale as old as time really, and while context and situations often dictate endings, we usually like to give success a human face. Facing a dominant closer in the bottom of the ninth inning is one of those occasions, and if a batter can get a hit in that situation, he’s defined as clutch, not simply that a batter will often get out in that situation anyway. Of course if he doesn’t, he gets the label of having “choked”. But to be perfectly honest, being “clutch” is more of a tool for storytelling than for describing and analyzing players.

There have been several studies on the idea of being clutch, and while there’s a mild effect at times, there’s not enough of one to get excited about. And to be honest, that shouldn’t be terribly surprising. When we talk about the very very top baseball players who have ever played the game, the differences in their skill isn’t that great. And by virtue of having played hundreds and hundreds of games against stiff competition, they’ve been through enough big spots that they should have learned to handle them at some point. This isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions, but everyone thinks their player is an exception.



Cincinnati development a cautionary tale for Cobb taxpayers (Subscriber Content)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

CINCINNATI — The bars, restaurants and apartments that have risen along the Ohio River next to the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park were more than a decade in the making and have cost taxpayers here tens of millions of dollars in subsidies and tax abatements.

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