Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #25 Turner Field

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

30. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)

29. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  (Oakland Athletics)

28. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)

27. Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)

26. Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)

25. Turner Field (Atlanta Braves)

Turner Field was a little like Atlanta itself: generic, artificial, and a derivative of something more authentic.  That sounds a little harsh, and it is, but there was nothing remarkable about Turner Field, much like there is nothing remarkable about Atlanta.  Both the stadium and the city have everything you need, but neither of them are very unique.

Years ago, the State of Georgia passed a law giving generous tax breaks to Hollywood studios filming in the state.  If you’ve noticed a proliferation of TV shows and movies with an Atlanta backdrop (The Walking Dead, almost every Marvel movie), that’s why.  On one level, it’s a basic financial transaction between corporation and municipality.  On another level, it works.  Atlanta easily passes for Generic American City for any film project where the location in fungible.  Atlanta is there, it fills the frame, but it doesn’t overshadow what’s in the foreground.

Turner Field was Generic American Ballpark.  It had a pleasant brick exterior, exposed steel in the concourse, all the modern concessions, and a giant video screen.  But it was difficult to pinpoint–other than the incessantly grating tomahawk chop music–anything about the place that stood out.

Turner Field, of course, is the only stadium in this 30 Stadiums in 30 Days countdown I refer to in the past tense.  The Braves played their last game there last fall, and the stadium is being repurposed for Georgia State football.  Atlanta will be moving to a stadium, well, outside Atlanta to neighboring Cobb County, closer to the team’s suburban fan base.  The new stadium, SunTrust Park, will be a multi-use development with office space, apartments, restaurants, a movie theater, and a bowling alley.  The strategy–and it’s not a bad one–is to generate income 365 days a year.  It’s the latest trend started to some degree by the Cubs and Tigers to benefit from non-baseball revenue near the site of your home ballpark.

But enough about the new place–back to Turner Field.  The stadium owes some its awkwardness to its origin.  It was initially constructed as the home stadium for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.  In an impressive display of civic efficiency, it was immediately converted to a baseball-only facility for the 1997 season.  The renovation was so complete, you’d never know it was constructed for track and field and not baseball.  In 2005, Turner Field was upgraded with the largest video screen then in existence along with LED displays, which frankly were oppressive to the eyesight.

Turner Field was built within walking distance to the Braves former home, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium near downtown Atlanta.  The near is critical there because Turner Field was near a lot stuff, but adjacent to nothing.  For the fan, there was nothing more to the gameday experience than the game–no walkable restaurants, bars, or anything else.  It was just a sea of parking lots.  The new stadium project will attempt to remedy that, and then some.

The outline of the old Fulton County Stadium outfield wall is still marked in the Turner Field parking lot.  This is noteworthy because the Fulton County outfield saw one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.  Aaron is omnipresent throughout Turner Field, along with several other notable figures in Braves/Georgia baseball history, like Phil Niekro and Ty Cobb.  Along the second deck in the outfield, the Braves displayed 14 pennants, signifying one of the most impressive feats in baseball history–14 consecutive division titles, including five pennants and one World Series win in that stretch.

Most of that recent success took place at Turner Field.  Nonetheless, attendance dwindled, some theorize because of the stadium’s inconvenient location.  So after 20 years–adolescence for a baseball stadium–it was abandoned.  It speaks to the fans’ affinity for the place that very few tears were shed.  Atlanta can, and will try, to do better.

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Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #26 Miller Park

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

30. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)

29. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  (Oakland Athletics)

28. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)

27. Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)

26. Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)

Anyone who has been to Wisconsin in April knows why the Brewers have a retractable roof.  It can get cold, and when it gets cold, a climate controlled stadium can have huge benefits.  But there’s something about indoor baseball that doesn’t feel right.  It just doesn’t feel like baseball.  Now that we’re at number 26 on this countdown, we can see it’s not a coincidence that four of my bottom five stadiums are domes or retractable roof stadiums.

It’s not the roof, however, that puts Miller Park near the bottom of my list.  It’s the feeling inside the park.  Much like Chase Field in Arizona, Miller Park looks and feels like a warehouse or airplane hangar.  More than any other stadium, Miller’s roof is very prominent, both when it’s open and closed, and that’s not a good thing.  The roof itself is an innovative design that unfolds like a fan.  It’s a nifty piece of engineering, but it’s not an atheistic masterpiece.

Miller Park isn’t a bad stadium; it’s actually a very enjoyable park.  It’s still relatively new, so it’s loaded with all the modern amenities.  Because it’s Milwaukee, there’s a beer stand or bar every five feet.  Bernie Brewer, the team’s mascot, has a his signature yellow slide to go down after Milwaukee home runs.  It’s kitschy and cheesy, but it’s the right kind of kitschy and cheesy.  Besides, it wouldn’t be Wisconsin without a little bit cheese.

Miller Park was built right in the middle of the MLB stadium boom in 2001.  Between 1998-2001, seven stadiums opened in four years.  All of them capitalized on the retro-classic or retro-modern style in the spirit of Camden Yards, which opened in 1992, or Jacobs Field, which opened in 1994.  Unlike it’s contemporaries, the Brewers opted not to build their stadium near downtown like Houston, Pittsburgh, or Detroit.  Instead, Miller Park was built next to the old Milwaukee County Stadium, which everyone couldn’t wait to tear down.  The distance detracts from park atmosphere.  I prefer downtown stadiums, which are a little bit closer to the life of the city.  One byproduct of the stadium’s location and it’s proliferation of parking spaces: the Brewers have a very healthy tailgating scene.  In fact, of all the stadium’s I’ve been to, Miller Park felt most like a football game.

One final thing: Miller Park has a statue of Bud Selig.  That’s gross.  Please avoid it if you go, or do humanity a favor and tear it down with your pickup truck when nobody’s watching.  Bud Selig did some good things as commissioner, and some very bad things.  But a statue?  Egads.  Now that I’ve reached the end of this writeup, I’m starting to think #26 was being kind.  Appropriate though, because if there’s one thing Wisconsinites understand, it’s being too nice.

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Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #27 Rogers Centre

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

30. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)

29. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  (Oakland Athletics)

28. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)

27. Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)

It’s hard to believe that Rogers Centre–then Skydome–was the premier baseball stadium in the sport when it opened in 1989.  At the time, the Skydome was new, fresh, and exciting. In many ways, it re-imagined what a stadium could be.  It had a hotel overlooking the playing field!  There was a Hard Rock Cafe IN the stadium! (The restaurant closed in 2009).  The SkyDome was the first retractable roof stadium in MLB.  In 1989, the Skydome was first in many ways.

Now, it’s “last” in many ways.  Other than Tropicana Field (which has its own problems), Rogers Centre is the last MLB stadium left without natural grass.  It’s also the last stadium to be constructed for both baseball and football.  Rogers Centre is the last American League stadium to hold over 50 thousand fans.  When constructed, the SkyDome was built to big, modern, and multifunctional.  It was revolutionary.  But that revolution ended rather quickly following the construction of Camden Yards three years later.  At the time, the SkyDome looked like the future.  But in the retro park era, most MLB teams decided the future involved looking back, not forward.

The SkyDome became the Rogers Centre in 2005 after the team and stadium were bought by Rogers Communications.  Many locals are still upset about it.  But by 2005, the mystique of the SkyDome had largely worn off.  The Blue Jays played nightly before sellout crowds after the stadium was opened.  The team won back to back World Series in 1992-93.  Toronto and the SkyDome was the center–I mean centre–of the baseball world.  By the mid-2000’s, well into the MLB stadium building boom, the SkyDome started to appear rusty and out of date.  Rogers Communications poured plenty of money into the stadium bring it into the 21st Century.  Renovate, not replace, was the plan.

Now in 2017, Rogers Centre is a little bit of an outlier among MLB stadiums.  To my knowledge, though, there no plans to build a new stadium in Toronto, unlike Atlanta and North Texas, who abandoned/will abandon parks before they’re even 30 years old.  On the contrary, plans are in place to renovate the stadium even further.  Natural grass will be in place by 2018.  The temporary seats to accommodate football will be locked into place.  They’re a little late to the party, but the Torontonians are finally catching up the modern baseball stadium trends.  It helps that the stadium is downtown Toronto.  In any other location, it might be tempting to build a new one.  Instead, we’ll probably keep seeing one fresh coat of paint after another.  25 years ago, SkyDome was probably considered to be great.  Now, it’s not even good.  It’s just good enough.

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Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #28 Chase Field

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

30. Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)

29. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  (Oakland Athletics)

28. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Just outside Phoenix is Frank Lloyd Wright’s old winter home, Taliesin West.  Today, it is a tourist attraction and an active school of architecture.  On the way to Chase Field, I visited the famous site, so the ideas of Wright were fresh in my mind as I went to see my first Diamondbacks home game.  I’m not a huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan; many of his architectural ideas are, to be kind, pretentious.  But I do subscribe to his underlying philosophy that buildings should complement the landscape.  Architecture should blend with its surroundings.

I feel this way about baseball stadiums. Dodger Stadium feels like it was built for the California sun.  Fenway fits in its Boston neighborhood, and it always has.  The Giants didn’t try to avoid the Bay–they built right up to it and made it part of their stadium.

This is a long way of saying that nothing at Chase Field feels like Arizona, one of most distinct natural settings in the world.  A stadium architect looking for inspiration wouldn’t have to go far to find it.  The Grand Canyon.  The Sororan Desert.  One quarter of the state is occupied by Native Americans, mostly Navajo, with truly unique and dintinguishing imagery.  I don’t know exactly what I imagine Arizona’s stadium to look like, but I do expect it to reflect Arizona.

Instead, the Diamondbacks play in an airplane hanger.  Or a warehouse.  It’s a giant building with big windows with seats and a baseball field.  It’s simple, and not in a good way.  It’s not particularly charming and it doesn’t feel cozy or welcoming.  Again, it’s a large warehouse for professional baseball.

There are good features to the stadium.  The team managed to keep natural grass even though it’s a retractable roof stadium.  A have a bias against indoor baseball, but the Arizona heat makes the climate controlled arena the best of two bad options.  Chase Field is still relatively new-built in 1998–so most modern amenities are there.  Concourses are open.  Sightlines are fine.  Despite the roof, the design makes heavy use of windows to allow plenty of natural light.  The stadium is also right downtown in Phoenix, within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and hotels.  The stadium is serviceable.

But that’s it.  Serviceable.  The baseball stadium genre throughout MLB has become so innovative, a generic park like Chase Field feels a little bit left behind.  I don’t see a need for Phoenix to immediately construct a new ballpark.  But if they did, Chase Field wouldn’t be irreplaceable.

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Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #29 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

30. Tropicana Field 

29. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 

Like Tropicana Field, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum exists for one reason: the team hasn’t yet figured out a way to replace it.  Built in 1966, the A’s stadium is tied with Angel Stadium as the second oldest in the American League (Fenway, of course, is the oldest).  Unlike Angel Stadium though, which has been renovated and has otherwise aged gracefully, the Coliseum has actually gotten worse.  In 1996, to lure the Raiders back to Northern California from LA, an additional upper deck was put into the centerfield stands. The construction, which blocks the view of the Oakland hills beyond the centerfield wall, has been derisively named “Mount Davis.”

Mount Davis, along with the entire upper deck, is often covered by tarp to reduce the stadium’s “capacity” to the smallest in MLB.  The configuration is an atmosphere killer.

The Coliseum is a holdout from an earlier era of stadium building.  Many of the park’s contemporaries–Shea Stadium, RFK–have been replaced by newer parks with more amenities.  Without the unnecessary centerfield stadium enclosure, the Coliseum might emulate some of the charm of Dodger Stadium, but with it, it more resembles the cookie-cutter, dual-function stadiums that propagated MLB during the 70’s and 80’s.  Indeed, in 2012, the Coliseum became the last baseball stadium also used for football.

The stadium’s defining characteristics are blandness and emptiness. It lacks charm and coziness. There are a lot of seats and not enough people to fill them.  The Coliseum has the largest amount of foul space between the baselines and the crowd–a necessity to accommodate the conversation to a football field.  The layout only dries a wedge between the fans and the action.

The stadium long ago entered its garbage time era–everyone agrees it needs to go, but no relief is on the way.  The A’s have struggled to get new a smaller park closer to population centers in downtown Oakland and their proposed move to the wealthy San Jose area was blocked by the San Francisco Giants.

Oakland’s sole purpose is to remind us how fortunate we’ve become.  Thirty years ago, Oakland’s Coliseum didn’t stand out.  Now, it’s a oddity and an eyesore among baseball’s dazzling landscape of newer aesthetically pleasing baseball-only ballparks.  MLB’s stadium revolution has undoubtedly been a good thing for the game–but Oakland and its crumbling Coliseum have been left behind.McAfee_Coliseum_(15993646150)

Ranking 30 MLB Stadiums in 30 Days: #30 Tropicana Field

Last year, I achieved a life goal: seeing all 30 active MLB stadiums.  It’s a fleeting achievement though, which will become obsolete the moment the Atlanta Braves open their brand new stadium this April.  So now is the perfect time to rank the stadiums, since I’ll need a new ranking in only a few weeks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll countdown the best stadiums in MLB–Turner Field included, since this is the last time I’ll ever get to rank it.

Rankings like this are inherently subjective.  I won’t try to give them a faux-objectivity by creating a point system like you’ll see in other rankings on other websites.  I also don’t rank peripheral factors like food, beer, and fan support.  I only care about the building and the location.  I’m ranking stadiums, not stadium experiences.

We have to start somewhere, so lets’s start at the bottom.

#30 – Tropicana Field – Tampa Bay Rays

Tropicana Field came to us by accident, and now we’re stuck with it.  Built by the city of St. Petersburg, Flordia in 1990, it actually predates the Rays franchise by eight years.  Setting aside the oddity of an American city building a stadium without the guarantee of a Major League team, the timing of the stadium’s arrival was far from fortuitous.  In 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards began the retro-ballpark era, ending the practice of soulless, aesthetically indifferent stadiums like Tropicana Field.  Had the city of St. Pete waited a few years, they likely would have caught the trend and build something entirely different.

What they did build is a sad home for baseball–a game not meant to be played indoors.  I understand the climate of Florida probably necessitates a climate-controlled arena.  But the Trop’s lack of a retractable roof doesn’t even give the team the option of an open-air game when the weather is cooperative.

Almost everything about the stadium is stale.  The seating bowl is unimaginative, the catwalks above the playing field give a warehouse vibe, and almost nothing in the decor is distinctive. Even the turf is uninviting; the artificial playing surface has a bizarre color inconsistency.

The outside of Tropicana Field offers nothing architecturally.  St. Petersburg is a very pleasant bayside city, but the stadium doesn’t really fit in with the skyline.  It’s just there and too far away from downtown to be convenient for those who live/work in the city.  The design of the building is a cylinder with a slightly sloped roof.  I’ve seen some interesting designs for replacement stadiums for the Rays over the years–retractable roof parks with a sailing or nautical themed architecture.  Almost anything would be an improvement over the current stadium, which invokes the era of the 1970’s and 80’s when domes and multi-purpose cookie-cutter parks proliferated MLB.  In an ironic twist, Tropicana Field doesn’t even have the functionality of the cookie-cutters.  The stadium concourses are actually very difficult to navigate, depriving fans of the only good thing about generic stadiums–convenience.

The Rays are in an unfortunate situation.  The Tampa market is not well-suited to support baseball.  For a good discussion of this, check out Jonah Keri’s book on the Rays, The 2% Doctrine.  The Tampa Bay area has a sizable population, but it’s demographically old and spread out.  Of all the teams in MLB, they actually have the fewest number of fans within 30 driving minutes of the stadium.

The park, of course, doesn’t help.  It’s simply not an attraction.  The team, for it’s part, has tried it’s best.   Without putting forth the resources to rebuild a stadium in its entirety, they’ve tried to dress up the Trop to be something useable.  Party suites have been added.  There is a fishtank in center field where kids can pet real-live Sting Rays.  The Ted Williams Museum/Hitters Hall of Fame in the stadium is actually a pretty good way to spend an hour or two.  But overall, this park is just marking time until a permanent solution arrives–whether that’s a waterfront downtown stadium in St. Petersburg, a stadium up north in Tampa, or a whole new team even farther north in Montreal.

Analysis: Matt Wieters to the Nationals – Scott Boras and the Lerners do it again

“When I met the Lerners their franchise was worth $400 million. Now it’s worth $2 billion.” -Scott Boras

Last week on the Jonah Keri podcast, Scott Boras sat down for a wide-ranging hour-long conversation on his business and the future of baseball. It was a rare illuminating glimpse into one of baseball’s most influential people. 

Among other topics, Boras discussed his philosophy when he’s selling a client to an MLB team. The above quote best demonstrates his strategy. Boras doesn’t sell the player, he sells his vision of the team with his client on the roster. To Boras, a free agent contract isn’t a simple exchange of services for money. Boras doesn’t advertise the free agent, he paints a mosaic for the owner/GM, where his client is the missing piece to something far greater. Boras isn’t selling a player, he’s giving the team something it doesn’t already otherwise have–a pennant, a playoff appearance, a higher franchise value.

Boras’ strategy has been enormously successful over his career. This approach is how Boras convinced Rangers owner Tom Hicks to give Alex Rodriguez $80 million more than the next highest bidder. Three years after that record-shattering $250 million dollar contract, Hicks couldn’t wait to get rid of it, and he eventually paid the Yankees to take it. Despite this, Boras’ worldview compelled him to say on Keri’s podcast last week, “the Rangers made money on the Alex Rodriguez contract.” And he might be right. 

Boras has taken this approach to the Nationals ownership group with great success. The Lerners, as real estate developers, are probably the perfect target. And since 2011, no agent and team have been more closely aligned than Boras and the Nats. Jayson Werth signed perhaps the the most shocking free agency contract since the above-mentioned A-Rod deal. Boras used his above sales pitch, and Rizzo and the Lerners bought it. To Boras, Werth wasn’t just a good outfielder with decent power and above-average defense.* He was a franchise cornerstone player–the kind of player the Nats needed to transition from non-descript quasi-expansion team to flagship National League franchise.  More Boras clients followed–Edwin Jackson in 2012 as the missing piece to an otherwise contending rotation, Rafael Soriano as the missing door closer on a team who couldn’t quite close the door the previous season, and of course Stephen Strasburg as the ace willing to forego free agency for the right price. 

*seriously, this used to be true 

And today, Matt Wieters. 8 years ago, Boras probably imagined Wieters first free agent contract to be a lot bigger than 2 years and $21 million. Wieters was a first round pick and consensus number one prospect in baseball back in 2008-09. His first game in Baltimore received a taste of the fanfare Nats fans would later see with Stephen Strasburg’s and Bryce Harper’s MLB debuts. Wieters was supposed to be a switch-hitting Mike Piazza with elite defense. Orioles fans passed around Chuck Norris-style “Matt Wieters facts.” He was a folk hero before he swung a bat in an MLB game. 

Well, Superman never put on his Matt Wieters pajamas. His first seven seasons on Baseball Reference don’t look like the first half of a Hall of Fame career. Despite that, Wieters actual production has outrun his probably undeserved reputation as a bust. He’s made four All Star teams. He hit more than 20 home runs three consecutive seasons. He even received MVP votes in 2012, winning a gold glove and leading the Orioles to the first of three playoff appearances in five seasons. 

Still, Wieters saw a slow decline as he approached free agency. His last four seasons look a lot like a league average catcher. Serviceable, but not worth forfeiting a first round pick. Wieters signed his qualifying offer last year after and injury-shortened 2015 season. His .243/.302/.409 2016 didn’t set him up for the payday he was hoping for. 

On the Keri podcast, Boras discussed the value of a catcher to a contending team. Since Boras is a salesman, assume he’s always selling. And his message was clear: a pennant winner needs a catcher. The subtext was even more clear: I have a free agent catcher for the team who needs one. 

The Nationals wisely let Wilson Ramos sign with Tampa Bay, who have time to let him fully heal his knee injury. Even if they brought back Ramos, there was no way the Nats could reproduce the production they received at catcher last year. 

Still, before today, it looked like the Nats had settled on the best of their bad options: a reclaimed Derek Norris or perhaps an ascendant Pedro Severino. A slugging catcher is a luxury. It looked like the Nats were prepared to make do. The foremost question arising from the Wieters signing is this one: did the Nats need to do this?

During the podcast, Keri asked Boras a question he couldn’t dodge. If he’s not getting traction from a front office, does he ever go above their heads, straight to ownership? Boras, in as many words, said yes. He goes to the people with the money–a different, perhaps less skeptical audience with the ability to sign the check. 

Think about the above quote. It’s absurd. There are a variety of factors that have driven franchise values into the atmosphere–cable tv, publicly funded stadiums, MLB advanced media. Even if Scott Boras is on that list, he’s way down there. Boras is simply riding a wave, trying to take credit for the tide’s gravitational pull. 

But perception is reality. And Boras successfully sold an alternate reality to the Lerners what their team would look like with Matt Wieters at catcher. 

Thanks to another Boras client, this team will look a lot different in 2019. The above quote is absurd, but it’s not inaccurate. Since meeting Boras, the Lerners have increased the value of their team five fold. I have no doubt Boras called them up told them exactly how much farther Matt Wieters will take it.