Don’t Ever Forget: A collection of tweets from Atlanta Braves fans about Bryce Harper

https://twitter.com/Collin_Page_/statuses/368554676527976450

https://twitter.com/TimothyPeavy/statuses/368553447533989888

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Review: Turner Field

English: The front of Turner Field, the home o...
English: The front of Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves. Image was taken before the final game of the 2011 season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My review of Turner Stadium is remarkably biased.   I am incapable of separating the stadium from the team I despise.  I despise the Braves for their shady scouting practices (ever wonder how Jayson Hayward slipped all the way to 14th in the draft), how poorly they represented the NL East in the playoffs, and how they are then biggest obstacle to a decade of Nationals domination.

Turner Field is a direct mirror to the city of Atlanta.  That is to say, very generic, little charm, and a terrible location. Coca Cola and Chick-fil-A billboards are everywhere and mediocre bar-b-q seems plentiful. Unlike virtually all successfully designed stadiums that integrate or define a new neighborhood, Turner Field is located in the middle of a parking lot near, not in downtown Atlanta. So far, attempts to develop the area around the stadium are mired in bureaucratic city planning nonsense (let’s build a ferris wheel or another convention hotel)

English: Turner Field - Atlanta Braves play he...
English: Turner Field – Atlanta Braves play here – player memorial numbers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears there is some kind of informal dress code which goes as follows: Women:  Cut off jeans and cowboy boots, lots of makeup and an Upton Shirsy. (I couldn’t find anyone who was positive if they were wearing B.J. or Justin) Men:  Wear a shirt, unstuck it, and never actually watch the game. Only watch the roughly 1000 TV positioned around the stadium and talk on your cell phone.

The stadium is just like every other stadium developed by Continue reading “Review: Turner Field”

Last year was not Adam LaRoche’s “career year” this year is his worst

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Adam LaRoche is having a down year for him.  In fact, this is his worst full year as a MLB player.  Note, this year is the aberration, not last year.I have heard this completely wrong analysis is the Nationals more than once:

“It was unrealistic for the Nats to expect a repeat of last year, where many players had career years”

By that they could not be talking about Zimmerman, Werth, Harper, or Desmond.  All four have actually been around the same or a little bit better this year than last.  “Career Year” is code word for Adam LaRoche.  So lets look at the career of Adam LaRoche.  He has been a remarkably consistent hitter. For comparison purposes I removed this year and last year and 2011 (when he was clearly hurt) for career comparisons.

Season Team HR   R RBI SB
2004 Braves 13 27 45 45 0
2005 Braves 20 25 53 78 0
2006 Braves 32 17 89 90 0
2007 Pirates 21 30 71 88 1
2008 Pirates 25 22 66 85 1
2009 3 Teams 25 25 78 83 2
2010 Diamondbacks 25 25 75 100 0
2012 Nationals 33 20 76 100 1
2013 Nationals 17 26 51 51 3

Continue reading “Last year was not Adam LaRoche’s “career year” this year is his worst”

There is a very disturbing thing about the All-Star vote

Ian Desmond lost the final vote to Freddie Freeman of the Braves.  That in itself is not hard to understand, even though I personally think Desmond was the most qualified to make the team. But the vote was a popularity contest.  The Braves have a huge fan base that stretches throughout the Southeast.

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The more disturbing thing for the Nationals is that they have such a very small footprint of fans.  The vote map can actually be used as a proxy for a map of the Nationals and Braves fan bases.  Atlanta had a AAA team in Richmond for 30 years until recently.

The map is below:

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As you can see, the Braves are a hugely popular team in an area the Nationals should own due to proximity.  There is no reason that the Nationals can not have a fan base that stretched into the Carolinas considering there are no MLB teams between Half Street and Peachtree.  This brings up some interesting questions to ponder about the Nationals franchise and the measurement of growth of the team popularity.

Do the Nationals have any plans to grow the team’s fan base to become a regional team, or are they happy with the Washington Metro Area?

Due to the Nationals not owning their own TV rights, does the team care about cultivating a fan base that can not attend games?

What kind of financial advantage do the Braves gain by having a huge regional fan base, and how might that impact their ability to grow team revenue and afford high payrolls?

Is having the Nationals AA team in Harrisburg and AAA team in Syracuse benefit the regional popularity of the team?

Would Minor league teams in Fredericksburg, Richmond, Tidewater or Charlotte better improve the regional popularity of the team?

Does the team’s popularity outside the DC metro area matter financially?

 

 

A Justin Upton Update

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Bow your head and say a small prayer for Justin Upton’s MVP season, because it died a long time ago.

Justin Upton’s monster April is history.  Ancient history.  He hit 2 home runs and one in June.  His pathetic .211 batting average in May skyrocketed to .226 last month.  Overall, he’s put an average 1.0 WAR on the season.  In fact, according to Baseball Reference, he has a -0.1 Wins Below Average.

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Upton and the Braves got a ton of press in April when Upton hit 12 home runs en route to a 12-1 start.  I know it’s not exactly news that both have cooled off since then, but it’s totally worth repeating.

Watching Fox Sports Detroit, Interleague Baseball Matters

For years, the American League played the American League and the National played the National and the world seemed to function just fine. Then, interleague play was introduced and baseball got better. It got better because teams like the A’s and Giants, the Yankee’s and Mets played and the Blue Jays Orioles and Nats play. There are a few teams without geographic rivals (Red Sox and Braves,) but that misses the point; baseball is better with more interesting games.

That brings us to the Tigers / Nats match up this week. These two team, which are picked by many to meet in the World Series, are on the every six year rotation. Every six years the Tigers come to Washington. To put that into perspective, the Tigers roster has almost entirely flipped over in six years. Justin Verlander, is the only significant players still on the team that last visited DC at RFK. Ivan Rodriguez was there, then here and retired since then.

Wednesday and Thursday we have a chance to watch Miguel Cabrera and Bryce Harper play on the same field at the Continue reading “Watching Fox Sports Detroit, Interleague Baseball Matters”

Is Harper Pulling A Robert Griffin III

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It is with great pains that I introduce the Redskins into this blog, but I am starting to see some parallels develop between the two brightest stars on the Washington landscape.
The most over documented and talked about story of the last year was RG3s knee injury and subsequent surgery after the Seahawks Playoffs. RG3 re-injured his knee midway through the game, but continued to play. In hindsight, playing through the injury hurt the team.

Harper was injured in game two of the Braves series. Since that point he is 1-10 and does not look 100% on the field. According to reports of his batting practice swings, he looks normal, but his game results are not not. On Friday, he came up with two out and two on in the 8th and struck out. I think it is fair to ask if his being is hurting the team as he recovers from his contusion.