The Braves: Picked to lose in 2015, already trailing in 2017

Take a peek at the scoreboard in the bottom left corner.  (Courtesy Atlanta Braves)

Take a peek at the scoreboard in the bottom left corner. (Courtesy Atlanta Braves)

Take a peek at the scoreboard in the bottom left corner.  (Courtesy Atlanta Braves)

Take a peek at the scoreboard in the bottom left corner. (Courtesy Atlanta Braves)

The Internet is a-twitter, as it were, over the latest “renderings” of the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium, which show — according to the lavish new scoreboard, and I tee-hee even as I write this — the home team trailing the Washington Nationals 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

(An aside: I’m sure this three-run deficit will somehow be Frank Wren’s fault.)

Each side is shown with 10 hits. The Braves have committed the game’s only error. That sounds about right. Except for the Braves having 10 hits. And three runs. That’s a lot for them.

Here we pause five seconds for you to tee-hee, too. And then we move onward to … sabermetrics!

The very useful site FanGraphs projects the Braves to finish fourth in the five-team National League East in 2015, which comes way before they move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County and patrons get to park at Cumberland Mall, much to the non-delight of Cumberland merchants. The Braves, who just went 79-83, are bound for 75-87 next season, according to FanGraphs’ crunched numbers.

They’ll score .25 more runs per game than in 2014, according to FanGraphs, but they’ll yield .54 more RPG. Ergo, more losing.

I can’t say I disagree. The Mets are scheduled to get Matt Harvey, their best pitcher, back from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins are scheduled to get Jose Fernandez, their best pitcher, back from TJ as well, and the Fish have actually spent money this offseason. The Braves have traded Jason Heyward and handed $45 million to Nick Markakis.

By 2017, things might be much different. But if the “rendering” is accurate, the Braves might want to invest in a couple of big-swinging pinch-hitters. It’s hard to override a three-run deficit with singles. (Although the Nats’ Drew Storen isn’t to be confused with Craig Kimbrel, so hope remains.)

Reader Comments 0

60 comments
Captain Baseball
Captain Baseball

Don't give me this crock about building a team for the new stadium in 2017. If the Braves turn tail and become losers by "rebuilding" the new stadium will be just as empty as the new stadium in Miami when the Marlins started "rebuilding." and they have a dome with air conditioning! The Pirates and the Royals spent 20 years "rebuilding." Take a guess what attendance was like for them. The Braves already have a tough time getting butts in the seats and this "rebuilding" is going to alienate fans more. I am tired of baseball GMs thinking like Wall Street hedge fund managers. It's time the owners start acting like representatives of the proud city of Atlanta, not bean counters working at Marley and Scrooge Corporate headquarters.

BLowE12
BLowE12

And folks wonder why ATL fans find other things to do on game day.. Sheesh!

Curious_George
Curious_George

As ill-conceived and poorly as these stadium designs have been executed, are we sure these plans for the new stadium are not a Tyler Perry Production?


DrPhill
DrPhill

For the first time in 25 years, I really don't care what the Braves do.

BTC
BTC

The funniest part is how full the stands are depicted!

Mr-Buckhead
Mr-Buckhead

On the Jumbo-Tron. Is that J-Hey batting?

FarTrain
FarTrain

Anybody else notice all that traffic backed up on the interstate?     Heh, heh, heh!   Is that normal?

FSUBetty55
FSUBetty55

The giant 'A" braves logo in the outfield is backwards.

FarTrain
FarTrain

As someone pointed out on another blog somewhere, the outfield does look like it has 4 OF's and an ump standing close to the CF.  The question was also asked is the sun even setting in the right place, besides it being 930PM at night.?  Not sure about that one as I don't know the East-West positioning of the field.  Anyone?

reckingball
reckingball

The FanGraphs projection, along with all of the other predictor's predictions, are only guesses,and should be filed under BS.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Looking forward to new park.  Now get some darn good players.  Fire Fredi, JS, McGuirt, and Cox. Screw the old "Braves Way"... it's  time to move up to the present and future.

Thanks Mark, good job.

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@58Supersports Agree scherholtz IS THE MAIN PROBLEM, DOES NOT CARE ABOUT FANS, TOTAL LOSER, ONLY COLLECTING FAT SALARY AND DOES NOTHING. I WILL NOT ATTEND AGAIN UNTIL scherholtz  IS FIRED ! HE IS TERRIBLE !

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@58Supersports FORGOT THIS "freddi" IS A COMPLETE JOKE AND A TOTAL LOSER IDIOT, ANY LOCAL LITTLE LEAGUE COACH WOULD BE BETTER THAT THIS "freddi" THING ! BUT THEY WILL NOT FIRE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE FIRED ! I WILL NEVER ATTEND UNTIL scherholtz IS FIRED AT THE LEAST, FIRE THAT IDIOT !

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

I couldn't care less. I'm done with the Braves. I'm done with the Falcons. And if Atlanta Spirit group weren't trying furiously to sell the Hawks, I'd probably be done with them too. Not because I don't support my teams. Because I don't support these scumbag owners who try to fleece taxpayers so the team can make more money.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@DrGonzo  Not totally disagreeing with you but in fairness to Arthur Blank, he's footing $1.2 billion of a $1.6 billion stadium that the World Congress Center Authority will get a ton of money out of. He's paying a mint for a facility that will generate considerable revenue year round for all parties.


Whereas Liberty Media ($17 billion in profit per year) is only fronting half the cost (around $400 million) of a 30,000 seat, seasonal, single use stadium/outlet mall that will be fairly useless half the year. So, yeah, to hell with the Braves.

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@DrGonzo AMEN HAVE NOT ATTENDED ANY ATLANTA PRO SPORTS SINCE THRASHERS WERE SOLD DOWN THE RIVER BY ATLANTA STUPID GROUP AND GARY buttman  AND daley OF NHL WHO HATE ATLANTA ! SCREW ATLANTA SPORTS, EVEN 25 YEARS AGO IT WAS LOSERSVILLE USA, STILL IS ! WHO CARES I DO NOT !

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@FineousMcDirtyBird @DrGonzo NEVER BEEN TO A FALCONS GAME NEVER WILL, THROW AWAY FREE TICKETS, JUST ANOTHER ATLANTA LOSER, LIKE ALL ATLANTA TEAMS ALWAYS ARE, 1 CHAMPIONSHIP IN 48 YEARS OF PRO SPORTS, AND GIANTS HOW MANY WS TITLES IN 5 YEARS ! PROVES THIS scherholtz IS A LOSER, HATES FANS AND COULD GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WINNING, BRAVES HEADING BACK TO EARLY 70'S BEFORE TURNER, AND THAT WAS LOSING AND LOSING BIG, ON IT'S WAY BACK. THIS john hart HAS BEEN A COMPLETE BUST, NOTHING, WE HAVE NO HITTING AND WILL NOT, I WISH THEY WOULD MOVE TO winnipeg TOO, I COULD CAR LESS IN PERSON OR ON TV !

jdcigar
jdcigar

I like how the stands are full!  Must not be a weeknight in April, May, August or September

kenstallings
kenstallings

Makes one wonder who drew the renderings?  

Curious_George
Curious_George



The Atlanta Brave$     =       Bill Cosby Offering a Drug-Laced Jell-O Pudding Pop




Cobb County               =        A Starstruck Beauty with a Sweet Tooth



Jazzpman
Jazzpman

Well good luck to the Braves, after the entire front office is let go, then they have a chance at a turn around.


The current group is clueless, it's not as if they said NO to the current signings, and then blamed Wren !

maxman2660
maxman2660

but they still gonna make lots of money, and that's what important to the liberty media of the world's,fan's will be flocking to the new stadium(not me)

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

If accurate we all have bigger fish to fry; The sun has yet to set at nearly 10 pm.

Hodor
Hodor

Don't bother explaining that the rendering is an actual screen shot of the Nationals scoreboard where the Braves were visiting and winning.  I would fire the design team for making such an idiotic mistake.

Great reporting.

Curious_George
Curious_George


Do any of those renderings of the new ballpark highlight the field-level seats behind home plate where the current (and soon-to-be FORMER) Cobb County Commissioners will have complimentary season tickets for life beginning in April 2017?


Curious_George
Curious_George


If the Braves were truly sincerely about putting the new ballpark in a location closer to more of their core ticket buyers where MORE people could attend games regularly in order to gain more public support for proposal, why did they "plan" a new ballpark with 10,000 or so FEWER seats than Turner Field with more fans supposedly able to attend and fill up more seats?




Rick_C
Rick_C

@Curious_George Because they aren't going to draw 50,000 on a regular enough basis to justify that.  Turner Field is currently the fourth largest MLB stadium by capacity.  Most of the newer stadiums are being built for a more intimate experience.

Curious_George
Curious_George

@Rick_C


Did the Brave$ try to sell the public on this idea based on what the Marlins and Pirates are doing in their respective markets, Rick_C, or did they try to make Braves fans (& Cobb taxpayers) believe it would indeed be easier for MORE of them (not fewer) to be able to come and have available seats?



Rick_C
Rick_C

@Curious_George Yes, it will be easier for their core fanbase to attend games, but they aren't going to jump 10,000+ in average attendance per game.  That would be an extremely unrealistic expectation just because of a change in location.

Rick_C
Rick_C

@Curious_George To insert some more numbers into this - in 2014 the Braves averaged 29,065 per game.  They plan for 41,500 seats in the new park, a difference of 12,435.  The largest increase in attendance per game for any team from 2013 to 2014 was not even one third of that amount (the Mariners with a per game increase of 3,738).  It doesn't matter where the Braves place the stadium.  They aren't going to get 50,000+ attendees like Turner Field held on a regular basis regardless of location.

NormanWhite
NormanWhite

I wish you folks at the AJC would just get over this stadium bashing.  They're moving.  Get over it.  You're not going to stop it.  If you want to be upset, be upset at the Atlanta government officials who totally ignored the Braves so they could court the Falcons and get a new stadium to host NFL football, the NCAA CFP, NCAA basketball Final Fours, a Super Bowl (if there's no ice), MSL soccer, and maybe an odd motocross and monster truck show here and there.  The rest of the time, it'll be empty, not generating a penny. 

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@NormanWhite  And the baseball stadium will host what for the other 282 days-a-year it won't have baseball (allowing for 81 home games and two exhibition)? Proms maybe? The stadium is getting built so I agree that the time for hand wringing is over, but there is a reason the city invested in a state of the art, multi-use, retractable roof facility: They'll host more events, host more high profile events (yeah, the Super Bowl is no big deal. Nor are regular Final Fours, SEC Championships, College Football Playoffs and Championships, NFL games, MLS games, WrestleMania, etc.), and make much more revenue than a seasonal, single-use baseball stadium with an outlet mall attached to it.


But do go on about how stupid a monster truck show is when Sun Trust Stadium sits empty from October to April.

KatieR620
KatieR620

@NormanWhite Not that it matters that they are moving... but ignored? No.  The Braves had 2 stadiums built free of charge by taxpayers,  the Braves decided that the neighborhood was perfectly good with them back in the 60's and then again in the 90's.


The Galleria isn't much better but then after spending another 500 million dollars of taxpayer money and another billion in investments after that,  maybe it will just be an annoying traffic nightmare 81 times a year.


The Braves hope it will be an annoying traffic nightmare 81 times a year anyway...as unbelievably boring as this team has been the last 2,  John Hart has a lot of work to do to make them interesting.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@Rick_C @FineousMcDirtyBird @NormanWhite  Weird that you don't want to have the debate but commented anyway but here we go. Yes, the outlet mall/hotel/office space/condo area will be in use all year. And because the Cobb area (to say nothing of Atlanta) has so few outlet malls, hotels, office parks/buildings, and condos, it's sure to be a gold mine. Particularly since it will be so much more expensive than all of the other cheaper and conveniently located options spread out across the entire North side of the city. The stadium itself, however, will sit there like a pretty hole in the ground for half the year, serving no purpose other than being a money pit of year-round maintenance costs.


Is it that you guys who love this deal haven't thought this one through or are you too blinded by your love for this team that could care less about its fans that you've concocted this notion of a commercial renaissance in the crappy section of Cobb County.

Realist101A
Realist101A

New stadium will be awesome, deal with it or don't come.

DrGonzo
DrGonzo

@Realist101A I won't come. Also, you can tell your pal Tim Lee I'll be moving out of Cobb County so I won't have to pay for this corporate welfare.

josephina
josephina

I've been worried since day one about parking for the new stadium.  My husband is handicapped and we've always parked immediately across the street (green lot) from Turner Field.  Just a few steps across the street and a wheelchair ride is there to take my husband right to our seats.  I've asked, and asked about the handicapped parking and no one will even answer me.  We've assumed they do not want to bother with the handicapped at the new stadium, so we will no longer attend the games once they move.  I bet we won't be the only season ticket holders who will no longer buy tickets due to this parking issue.

Rick_C
Rick_C

@josephina So you aren't going to go when you don't even know yet what the accommodations will or will not be?  You know what they say about when you assume things...

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Hard to believe only a few comments so far on this big, fat, slow one coming right down the pike. Who is running this show, any way? 


First thing to do: Fire the designer, artist, PR person, marketing person (or all of the above) who produced and released a rendering of the Braves losing to the Nats inside the brand new Sun Trust stadium, to presumably help to "sell" the new stadium.  With friends like that, you don't need enemies. Yes, the rendering does carry a strong ring of truth, but  this is marketing, not sports analysis. 


The black humor is no doubt appreciated, however, by the beleaguered Braves fan base and highly interactive, allowing fans to comment on how Nats, 1 or maybe 2, in the bottom of the eighth, Braves, 0 would be more accurate. Or other wags might comment - no worries here. The scene is now set for BJ Upton to come to the plate in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and bases loaded and . . . . .  and . . . . .  strike out. Like, what else could you have possibly been thinking?  


Turns out the Braves have not filed for the required special use permit under the zoning code to build a stadium - just for the mixed use development, but the stadium's foundation is under construction. And either no one has spoken to General Growth yet (that would be hard to believe, but very possible the way all of this has come down so far. Or, perhaps the discussions were begun and are going badly, and GG has applied some leverage by filing an appeal. 


General Growth's attorney says this project needs 21,000 parking spaces to work. That is very likely an accurate number. General Growth plays in the major league of big time commercial real estate, and they have been doing it for decades. Tim Lee and the Cobb County Commissioners will need to understand that they are not going up against the Cobb County taxpayers, but commercial real estate experts that have done it all and who have seen it all - nationwide. 


True enough, this is not a privately owned new development, and so the county commissioners already have, and will continue, to cut corners on things that they would now be roasting a private developer alive for doing. But, again, GGP is as big time as it gets in commercial real estate, and they know how to play this game. 


If any existing parking is used by Braves fans at the Cumberland Mall, or on the east side of I-75 via a new and very expensive pedestrian parkway (not in the original budget numbers), or any where else off site, someone (very likely the fans and the taxpayers) is going to be paying for it, and it is not going to be cheap. 


The rendering shows a lot of development, but no parking. Parking decks cost about $12,000 - $15,000 per parking space to build. At $12,000 per space, the Braves will need about $252 million just to provide the parking for 21,000 parking spaces. So, of course, they are going to try to gobble up every already existing parking space they can within a mile -- but they are going to have to pay for it. 


Perhaps the Braves won't really need to come up with the necessary amount of parking spaces because the county commissioners will agree to anything they want, and the fans can just figure something out. But the, the courts might be another matter. The Braves say they have another $50 million in reserve for parking. They had better. They are going to need every last penny of it. 

cc423
cc423

@Ficklefan There is another article in today's AJC in which Cumberland Mall says that it will not allow the Braves to use their parking on game days.

Curious_George
Curious_George

How will folks who are gullible enough to buy condos on this ballpark property be able to get home from work to their parking spaces & parking garages with the logjam of traffic & throng of jaywalkers there on game nights AND with most/all of the immediate surrounding streets reported to be closed to vehicle traffic during those times?




gfw
gfw

I understand B. J. Upton is available.  Oh, wait....

Savdon
Savdon

Every time the gazillion dollar man in Miami steps up to the plate and the Braves aren't leading by more than 8, just plunk him in the thigh and get it over with.