Watching the Nats game Thursday night I started to think about the Nats free agent class of 2016. Both Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond hit free agency after two more seasons (Detwiler does also, but he is not in the same category). It will be the first time the Nats need to make the call about salary structure for the team. Do they resign their players for FA market rates or do they back fill with organizational talent at pre-arbitration rates. In a lot of ways the type of team, and the type of owner the Lerners are will be understood at that moment. The MASN arbitration in the hands of MLB will probably have the biggest say.
I have come to a realization that is actually quite liberating:
This is actually not a joke. The Nationals cumulative position players have been bad this year. If Rizzo were to pull off a complete trade for every position player on a probable 100 loss team and pared them with the current pitching staff, the Nats would be 4 games better. Below is the combined production by position for both teams.
Attending a baseball game in Dodger Stadium was a surprising experience. It was all about expectation and location. I expected a normal stadium (it isn’t) and I expected a urban local (not even). Living in LA means sitting in your car a lot. Hopefully, moving in your car, but most likely just sitting. I lived in the high desert of San Bernardino County, so it was a good hour drive from my home to Chavez Ravine. After so much start and stop, I exit the 5 onto Stadium Way which then winds through Elysian Park past the Chavez Ravine Arboretum. While driving through a park I saw families eating picnic lunches. I began to question if I was in the right place. At that point the trees opened to provide a view of one of the most unusual stadiums in baseball. From the parking lot the Think Blue sign is large and sets a very Hollywood sign tone for the experience.
In 2009 the Atlanta Braves, which unlike most MLB Franchises happens to own their own AAA franchise moved the Richmond Braves to a new stadium built in Gwenette a suburb of Atlanta, now know as Coolray Field. The move was curious at the time because, while the Richmond Diamond was not the most modern of facilities, the team always was an average AAA draw and the affiliation with the city was long standing. In fact the Richmond Braves used to be the Atlanta Crackers before the the franchise from Milwaukee relocated to Atlanta. The best comparison to DC would be moving the team to Leesburg, Manassas or Germantown. This move was less financial decision, more a deliberate strategic retrenchment plan the Braves organization developed . That is for another post.
The stadium is a generic minor league Populous design. It was built in the middle of an empty field with ample parking, It has none of the charm or sense of place that most of the successful minor leagues stadiums have. The Continue reading “Review: Coolray Field”