Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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13 Nov

Mark DeRosa Retires

I’d like to write about this at greater length, but for now I’ll just note that Mark DeRosa has retired. I always liked him, from the time he came up.

He had a 16-year career, which is pretty astonishing considering the way he left Atlanta, after utterly failing to hold down the starting job at third base that the Braves gave him in 2004. He was an okay hitter and an okay fielder who played for eight different teams and played every position on the diamond but pitcher, catcher, and center field.

Anyone have any DeRo memories?

151 Responses to “Mark DeRosa Retires”

  1. 1
    Smitty Says:

    On the old Braves Journal site there were three Braves blogs (I think it was called Braves News) and a cat named Michael Rappaport (I think was his name) ran one of the blogs.

    We got in a huge argument over if DeRo was a major league level player. I argued that he would be the Braves third baseman for a decade. He said he would wash out quickly. I guess we were both right and wrong.

    My favorite actual memories were the double he ripped off Kerry Wood in the NLDS and the time he decided to build a new stadium in Cobb County and move the Braves out of Turner Field (couldn’t help myself)

  2. 2
    iceberg584 Says:

    Possibly the coolest fact about Mark DeRosa: he was the starting quarterback for the Penn Quakers back in the mid-90s before focusing on baseball.

    As a current Penn grad student and resident of New Jersey (DeRo was from North Jersey), he’s definitely one of my favorite ex-Braves.

    Always have been sad about how he fell on his face when given that shot in 2004. He actually had a chance to grab a starting spot in May 2002, but tore up his ankle running out a double. He had been playing really well and was getting a lot of time at second base, if I recall correctly. His injury sort of paved the way for Marcus Giles to lay claim to that position.

  3. 3
    D.N. Nation Says:

    DeRosa vs. Lockhart. The battle of our time.

  4. 4
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    JC’ed. I’ve been thinking a good bit about this decision to move to Cobb and I can see different sides of the argument, but in the end I am still left with the feeling that it is an awful decision for the fans, for the city of Atlanta, and, in the long run, even for the Braves.

    I grew up in an unincorporated town in a rural part of a county that is only now becoming part of Atlanta’s southside exurban sprawl. I was lucky to have the opportunity to go to college in a different part of the country but came back after graduating and briefly spent some time living and working in Atlanta. Briefly, because I quickly realized that I was no longer in any meaningful sense “southern” and Atlanta seemed a dysfunctional city choked with cars flowing in from suburbs full of people who might as well have been from Mars insofar as we shared much in common.

    That was fifteen years ago, but I come back to visit fairly often and while the suburban counties still strike me as the same alien landscape I’ve been impressed by how rapidly Atlanta is changing for the better. It’s never going to be liveable in the way that a place like Portland is but the future is going to be determined by kids who were raised in the suburbs (or beyond) moving into the core. This is THE major 21st century demographic transformation, it’s happening all over the country and it can’t be stopped, even in the south, even by corruption, obstruction and incompetence. My sense is that the Braves, by chasing target fans in the northern suburbs, are going to be stuck with a shrinking fan base in the future. By 2027 we will be reading rueful stories about how the team is failing to capture key demographics and by 2037 there will be no choice but to try and find a site downtown.

  5. 5
    Grst Says:

    While Atlanta is growing faster than its suburbs according to the last census, it’s not as if the suburbs are shrinking, nor do I see them as likely to any time in the near future.

  6. 6
    'Rissa Says:

    I got to see DeRo play several times in Richmond, and I remember being pretty bummed when he couldn’t hold down the starting job and stay in Atlanta. He was always one of my favorites. I just saw on Twitter that he was offered Major League coaching opportunities but turned them down for a MLB Network position. I guess he enjoyed his time on-air during the playoffs. I think he’ll make a fun analyst.

    @1 I was thinking about that 3-blog site the other day, and trying to remember the name of the site and the different blogs. For awhile I only read the third one and occasionally the one Rappaport ran. The third one always had game threads, and then Mac started including game threads after his readers asked for them. For a couple of months both blogs ran the threads, and then the one I read stopped doing it and said that the party was over at Mac’s place during games. That’s what got me started on BJ, and I never did go back to reading the other blog. I’m glad I switched over before they all split. I just wish I had done it sooner. Mac’s was definitely the best.

  7. 7
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    5-No one said the suburbs will shrink, or even stop growing. But the only people who will live there are people who can’t afford to live closer to the core and they will all aspire to move in not out. One way these commuters will express that aspiration is by staying or making a trip downtown to see a ball game. And the Braves will have already figured out, much to their chagrin, that these same commuters were less than willing to fight the same traffic they loathe and aspire to escape just to visit a decaying theme park in Cobb County.

  8. 8
    doughnutman Says:

    Love the move to Cobb! Can’t wait to see what the new stadium looks like!

  9. 9
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I was always really proud of the way that DeRosa went on to have a fine career for a decade after his struggles in 2004. It isn’t easy to stay in the majors for a decade and a half.

  10. 10
    Grst Says:

    @7 That seems like a lot of unsubstantiated generalizing to me, and I find it quite unlikely to be the case. But it’s not like I can prove it either way, so I guess they’ll find out.

  11. 11
    JonathanF Says:

    Iceberg584 has it right. As the Penn starting QB, DeRosa’s teams beat my Bulldogs three years running. Made it difficult to root for him a Brave.

    Also, my wife could never remember his name and just called him “Good looking.” That didn’t help.

  12. 12
    td Says:

    DeRosa and Kelly Johnson seem to be pretty similar. Both can be incredibly streaky and they have similar power numbers. With 8 fewer years of service time for KJ and some age related regression for DeRo, their career numbers are pretty close.

    DeRo .268/.340/.412/.751 (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) OPS+95 (16 yrs, 8 tms)
    KJ .253/.335/.427/.762 (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) OPS+103 (8 yrs, 6 tms)

    Their career years are also pretty similar
    DeRo (age 33 Cubs) .285/.376/.481/.857 OPS+117
    KJ (age 28, Dbacks) .284/.370/.496/.865 OPS+127

    I will be surprised if KJ is able to last 16 years in the majors.

  13. 13
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Were there any other college starting quarterbacks who made it in baseball? Drew Henson obviously never made the majors. I guess Charlie Ward would be another example of a starting QB who went into a different sport.

  14. 14
    ububba Says:

    I recall seeing Drew Henson’s first MLB at-bat. He struck out.

    I used to point to him as an example to Yankee fans of their inherent advantage over the rest of the league: They easily could absorb very expensive failures.

  15. 15
    John R. Says:

    I met DeRo at a Springsteen concert in Florida in 2000. Night off from Spring Training. Very, very nice guy.

    @4, It’s only 12 miles away from the current spot, and it’s literally on the border of the Perimeter. I can understand where a lot of the lamenting comes from about the Braves moving, but perspective is important, too. There’s no community that represents affluence more than Manhattan, nor one that inspires in others aspirational feelings, and the only time you’ll ever catch a Manhattanite leaving their environs is to go catch the Jets or Giants in New Jersey, or Yankees in the Bronx. If a Marta leg goes up to the Galleria area, people from inside the Perimeter will go, happily.

  16. 16
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    @10-Like I said, you are free to call it “unsubstantiated generalizing,” but this is a fundamental social and demographic shift, it’s happening everywhere and it’s documented by plenty of solid, peer-reviewed research. There are lots of popular accounts like “The End of the Suburbs” that might exaggerate the effects or fail to account for regional differences, but the data does not lie and it would be shortsighted for the Braves to ignore it.

  17. 17
    D.N. Nation Says:

    @13- Todd Helton.

  18. 18
    D.N. Nation Says:

    The Braves will be moving from Cobb around 2030. Of this I have little doubt. Hopefully for that county’s sake, the experience of having the Braves there will….enlighten them to a few things about growth.

  19. 19
    Smitty Says:

    @13

    Josh Booty

  20. 20
    JonathanF Says:

    Todd Helton played QB at Tennessee.

    Adam Dunn was a redshirt QB at Texas to Major Applewhite. he switched to TE when they recruited Chris Sims and the handwriting was on the wall.

  21. 21
    JonathanF Says:

    This looks to be a more-than-complete list, since it includes college QBs who were merely drafted. Scanning it quickly, I notice Trot Nixon, Ryne Sandberg, Matt Holliday,and Grady Sizemore as well. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-dish/2012/2613105.html

  22. 22
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    My bad on Henson.

    So, of that list, by my eyeballs, the only people who I recall to have achieved any kind of success are:

    Clayton Richard
    Matt Tuiasosopo
    Seth Smith
    Joe Mauer
    Grady Sizemore
    Carl Crawford
    Matt Holliday
    Adam Dunn
    Mark DeRosa
    Todd Helton
    Trot Nixon
    Ryne Sandberg

    Strangely, it appears that Clayton Richard is the only former QB to have any success as a pitcher, though Casey Kelly and Zach Lee are pretty well-regarded prospects and Archie Bradley is a top-three pitching prospect in baseball.

    Still, it’s weird that a former wide receiver, Jeff Samardzija, has been a better pitcher than any QB drafted in the last 45 years.

  23. 23
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    15-Yankee stadium is the width of the Harlem river from Manhatten–about 200 meters. How many parking spots does it have? A couple hundred? The other boroughs are not comparable to Atlanta’s suburbs or Cobb County; the Knicks are right smack in Manhattan and the Nets moved into a new arena right smack in downtown Brooklyn. Even Citi Field, which was built with parking revenues in mind, is sandwiched between Brooklyn and Queens and is easily accessible by the 7 train and the LIRR (and probably by bus too).

    MetLife is a different case, obviously, and not the analogy the Braves would want to draw. In fact the Jets badly wanted to get their new stadium built on the west side of Manhattan, closer to where the money is.

  24. 24
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New York is the most populous city in the country and one of the most populous in the world, not to mention the most densely populated baseball market in the major leagues. Atlanta’s civic infrastructure is not comparable.

  25. 25
    fm Says:

    I remember Mark DeRosa was, along with Marcus Giles, one of two players who actually did anything useful in the 2003 NLDS. He hit the go-ahead double in the eighth inning in Game 2, and doubled and scored the only run off Mark Prior in Game 3.

    I also remember he was playing shortstop in September 2004 and blew out his knee when his cleat got stuck in the grass as he was trying to make a jump-throw.

  26. 26
    beege Says:

    Yes, Helton is the only NCAA player to hit 20 HRs and throw for 20 TDs in the same year.

    I remember going to a game with my Mom and my Aunt in 2002. They kept giggling and passing the binoculars back and forth so they could get a better look at DeRosa’s ass. That wouldn’t really qualify as my ‘favorite’ memory though. Maybe ‘most scarring.’

  27. 27
    JonathanF Says:

    Looking further at the list, Alex, a bunch of these guys (Nixon, Sandberg, Sizemore,…) were high school QBs who never went to college after they were drafted by baseball.

    But I don’t think it’s that odd that QBs aren’t pitchers. Pitching is one of the oddest skills around and most pitchers (this is where Tom Glavine leaps up in anger) aren’t really great athletes. They are guys with a particular athletic skill.

  28. 28
    John R. Says:

    I only bring up New York to highlight the fact that Manhattanites attend sports events in the Bronx and New Jersey. That’s about the ONLY thing they’ll leave Manhattan for.

    I believe Atlantans living inside the perimeter will also go to the Galleria area to catch a Braves game. That’s my only point.

  29. 29
    Edward Says:

    @27

    And John Smoltz, and maybe our current Multilingual Maestro Andrelton Simmons (edit: leaping up in anger, that is)

  30. 30
    krussell Says:

    I still think there’s a good chance this move doesn’t happen. How in the world do you announce such a thing without knowing how it will be financed? Seems a lot more like a trial-balloon to gauge public sentiment, rather than a done-deal.

  31. 31
    Nick Says:

    @30

    I’ve been seeing this sentiment all week, and I really don’t understand it. If you’re floating a trial balloon, you don’t come out with this massive PR campaign announcing that you’re making the move and that you’re 100 percent sure it’s going to happen. You let the story leak and then gauge public reaction to that. (Which is what the Falcons did, by the way.) That way, if you wind up not doing it, it’s not a PR catastrophe. This, if they back out now after all these highly specific plans have been outlined and the full PR might of the team has spent the week making the rounds, would be one of the biggest PR catastrophes of this sort ever. Even if the story was about to come out before you were ready, you wouldn’t rush out and do all of this if you weren’t sure that it was going to happen.

  32. 32
    ububba Says:

    FWIW, when New Yorkers think of the suburbs, they think of Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut, not so much The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

    OK, maybe Staten Island…

  33. 33
    Grst Says:

    @31 I agree. If this is a trial balloon, it’s one of the most awfully executed ever.

  34. 34
    Smitty Says:

    @26

    Helton threw 4 TDs total at UT. In 1993 he was thrid string behind Heath Shular and Jerry Colquitt. In 94 Shuler was gone and Colquitt was hurt. Helton played a couple of games and hurt his ankle. Some kid named Peyton Manning took over and Helton never played football again.

  35. 35
    krussell Says:

    @31, I just can’t reconcile the reactions (or lack thereof) of Cobb County officials. They seem as surprised as anyone else.

  36. 36
    Smitty Says:

    @27

    Well, there was John Elway

  37. 37
    DougM66 Says:

    @28 I don’t know about getting to New Jersey from Manhattan, but there’s great public transportation in NYC to both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field; and of course MSG is right in the center of Manhattan. I haven’t been to Barclay Center in Brooklyn, but I assume it’s easily accessible by public transportation too. The new stadium in Cobb County means driving on clogged interstates unless the Braves provide a shuttle system to get from a Marta stop to the new ballpark, like the Braves Shuttle now that leaves from Five Points, but originally left from two or three stations north of Five Points.

    They also leave Manhattan to go on vacation!

  38. 38
    ububba Says:

    #37
    You can take the PATH train to the Meadowlands (or Newark’s Prudential Center) from 5 different stations in Manhattan. And Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has connections to several different subway lines, plus an LIRR stop. Very accessible.

    All 9 professional sports teams in the NYC area, with the exception of the NY Islanders, have trains that go to the venue’s doorstep.

    And the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn in a couple years.

  39. 39
    Nick Says:

    @38

    As an aside, who follows the Islanders? I’m genuniely curious. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone from New York that wasn’t a Rangers fan if they followed hockey at all. Are the people who live out on Long Island big into the Islanders? I guess I don’t really understand how they get anybody to go to their games with no immediately apparent fanbase and an arena halfway out on Long Island.

  40. 40
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Are we really attempting to compare Atlanta’s transit options to the NYC transit options? Really?

  41. 41
    krussell Says:

    If we just had more trains everything would be better. It always comes back to Monorail!

  42. 42
    Edward Says:

    @39

    There is of course great cultural history associated with the Nassau Coliseum, dating back to Lauryn Hill’s song “Everything is Everything” in which she raps “roll whichever Benz to Nassau Coliseum.” The arena has been a touchstone of the American popular consciousness ever since.

  43. 43
    Edward Says:

    @40

    Should we really not aspire to anything? Really?

  44. 44
    beege Says:

    @ 34,

    I stand corrected. That was something I always heard from all the Rockies fans around me that I guess I shouldn’t have repeated as fact. Maybe he had some sort of highschool record along those lines or something.

  45. 45
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I mean, we can aspire all we want, and MARTA still won’t be the New York City subway system.

  46. 46
    ububba Says:

    The Islanders story was well-told on a recent ESPN 30-for-30 documentary on this guy: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Spano)

    I’ve worked on LI for 23 years & I can tell you that there are still lotsa Islanders fans, actually. The team plays smack in the middle of a market (Nassau & Suffolk Counties) of about 3 million people.

    The Islanders began in 1972 (same as the ATL Flames) and they got good relatively quickly. Ultimately, they won 4 consecutive Stanley Cups between 1980-83. They made the Finals again in 1984. (Winning 19 consecutive playoff series is a pro record that may never be broken.)

    So, the team built a very loyal fanbase early on and it stayed fairly loyal until the mid-90s when things began to fall apart on the ice & in the front office. Ownership could never get money out of Nassau County for their outdated arena, etc. Referendums have failed. Further development for the arena area has failed. (And the John Spano “ownership” story, which set the team back even further, is one of the weirdest in the history of American pro sports.)

    So, what’s happened in recent years is that when the team has shown life, the fanbase has reacted positively (like last year when the team made the playoffs behind John Tavares, one of the NHL’s best young players). But its current owner Charles Wang (the Computer Associates guy) finally had enough. Instead of moving to another city, he made the deal with Brooklyn. Could’ve been worse.

    Lotsa Rangers fans on LI, as well, but I’m a NJ Devils fan, and that’s another story.

  47. 47
    JonathanF Says:

    You young whippersnappers are too young to remember when Atlanta had no subway at all. I-75 was just a pot-holed dirt road which led to the Brookwood Interchange where you transferred to a log flume ride down the river that was I-85. It went right to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, but you had to jump off fast to avoid being swept down the rapids to the airport. The biggest problem was getting back upstream after the game. That’s what held down attendance… only the strongest swimmers could go to games.

  48. 48
    Hap Says:

    All I know is right now when I go to games from north on I-75 traffic flows pretty decent until about Northside Dr. (which is inside the perimeter). The congestion appears to be caused by all the other Braves fans coming down I-85 and having to merge with us I-75 Braves fans plus all the other non-Braves folks just trying to get through Atlanta on I-75 or I-85 at that time of day. As someone coming down I-75 I look forward to not having to deal with that and instead just going south until just before I-285. I think, for me and my fellow south bound on I-75 drivers, traffic is going to be better. People coming up from Atlanta might now have to suffer through similar traffic as what I have been dealing with all these years. As for “everyone is moving back into cities”, I can afford to live in the city but have no desire whatsoever to do so. I guess that makes me an outlier.
    And finally, since folks were talking about the old blogs, if you ever want some nostalgia for Mac, his old backup site for when this one was having issues still exists here. Although it obviously hasn’t been updated in a long time. The tag line on the site still cracks me up.

  49. 49
    Edward Says:

    @45

    The point about New York is that mass transit goes to the places where 40,000+ people gather for the same 2.5 – 4 hour span. While that takes planning and money and political agreement, it isn’t a lost cause to want MARTA to be like New York’s transit system in that respect.

    But whatever I mean whatever helps the Braves make as much money as possible so they can spend as much money as possible on players so that all major sports teams can spend as much as possible is a total win for us all woo woo let’s go sports teams go make yourselves some money.

  50. 50
    krussell Says:

    @47, that’s probably why there’s so many crackers on the north side.

    @48, traffic is going to be much worse on the 75 corridor unless they provide a viable path to go around and avoid the stadium traffic. The one good thing about having the stadium downtown is that for a weeknight game the people driving back home from work are going in different directions from the people headed to the stadium. 75 north is going to be a parking lot all the way down to 10th St or worse starting around 4:30pm on game days. Commuters like me will have to find ways to avoid 75 completely in order to get home.

  51. 51
    Nick Says:

    @46

    Just read the Wikipedia article about that Spano guy. Holy crap! How does that even happen?

  52. 52
    'Rissa Says:

    @35 DOB said on Twitter that only 5-6 people in the entire Braves organization knew about the move prior to the announcement while even fewer Cobb County officials knew about it. So, apparently there were only 10 people in the world who were not completely surprised by it. For something that is this big, that is astounding.

  53. 53
    D.N. Nation Says:

    @48

    From that old Mac link:

    “So, here’s what we know: Mark Redman is done; Ryan Langerhans is awful; and Fredi Gonzalez is really, really stupid.”

  54. 54
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I have no problem aspiring to greater transit options. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to pretend that “how many parking spaces does New Yankee Stadium have?” is a valid question. NYS doesn’t have the parking requirements of New Cracker Stadium North, or whatever the hell it ends up being called. Atlanta doesn’t have a subway system. It should. I’ll agitate for one along with you. But it doesn’t.

  55. 55
    blazon Says:

    @47

    metaphorically perfect…

  56. 56
    Dusty Says:

    Braves are keeping Venters, just agreed on a 1-year deal terms not disclosed.

  57. 57
    Edward Says:

    @54
    Well, yeah. I don’t know who brought up the parking space thing.

    I am still spitting mad that local governments all over this country are going out of their way to subsidize the capital needed for specific private projects. Public money should be used for public development, whether in Fulton or Cobb or on the Moon.

  58. 58
    Seat Painter Says:

    @56

    I’m perfectly fine with a one year incentive laden deal for Everyday Johnny Venters.

  59. 59
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I was replying specifically to the comment @23 that said:

    “Yankee stadium is the width of the Harlem river from Manhatten–about 200 meters. How many parking spots does it have? A couple hundred?”

  60. 60
    ububba Says:

    B-Mac in Pinstripes?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/yankees-making-major-push-beltran-mccann-article-1.1515899

  61. 61
    csg Says:

    @ajcbraves: #Braves Venters gets the same salary ($1.625M) that he had in 2013

  62. 62
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    It is absolutely remarkable that the Braves were able to conduct negotiations for a new stadium, with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, in such secrecy. This is a disciplined organization.

    That is not always a good thing, but a lack of discipline is almost always a bad thing.

  63. 63
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    So, here’s a game story from the 1915 Auburn-Georgia game, from the Atlanta Georgian newspaper.

    http://www.thewareaglereader.com/2013/09/the-o-b-keeler-story-on-the-1915-auburn-georgia-game-is-the-greatest-thing-youve-ever-read-or-had-read-to-you-about-auburn-football/#.UoP8EpQacmb

    If you haven’t seen it already, you probably oughta just read it.

  64. 64
    ububba Says:

    #63
    That’s a big bucket of awesome (save the game’s actual result).

    Really Weird Facts: Since UGA & Auburn commenced the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry in 1892, the series stands at 54-54-8.

    In that time, UGA has averaged 16.31 points, while Auburn has averaged 15.33 points—-that’s less than a point difference per game in 116 contests. And before UGA outscored Auburn 83-7 in the past 2 games, the point total stood at 1,771 to 1,771.

    It’s always my favorite game of the year—-usually, one team can grab the glory or plain ruin it for the other school. For me, the greatest Georgia/Auburn game was 1982:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hElWGJ8Ohto

  65. 65
    Johnny Says:

    I really liked DeRosa. Before he got hurt I really thought he would be the Braves SS for a while.

  66. 66
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    @59-Of course it isn’t relevant how many parking spots Yankee Stadium has, that was the whole point–Yankee Stadium (or any other sporting venue in NYC) is a terrible analogy for whatever the Braves build in Cobb County. But as a modestly skillful troll I suspect you already knew that.

  67. 67
    sdp Says:

    Geez, $1.625 for Venters. I think that’s a little silly considering he didn’t throw a big league pitch last year.

  68. 68
    JonathanF Says:

    Great story, but to put it in (some) context you have to realize just how new the forward pass was in 1915. It was less than a decade old, and the rules had only recently been changed to make it anything but a desperation weapon. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Early-History-of-Footballs-Forward-Pass.html
    The awe over a ten yard pass has subsided. Indeed, I think the biggest problem with football today is that they have made passing too easy. (well, that and traumatic brain injury.)

  69. 69
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Sounds like Venters has been throwing for about a month and a half. Braves must of liked what they’ve seen so far. Something tells me Wren heard the prices being tossed around for pitching and figured he is better off gambling.

  70. 70
    John R. Says:

    @66, Joe, again, my only point in bringing up Manhattan was to rebut your idea that people inside the perimeter are going to abandon the Braves because they view going to the Galleria area as akin to landing on Mars and frolicking among the Martians. There is no way in God’s great universe that human beings ITP are going to be more finicky about where they spend their leisure time than Manhattanites, and yet the latter routinely leave for New Jersey to catch a football game, and for the Bronx to watch Major League Baseball.

    Manhattanites do not do this for great restaurants or even cultural events, but they do for professional sports. Marta or not, ITP folks will still be going to baseball games.

  71. 71
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I live ITP. I’ll go to the same number of games at White Flight Field at New Cracker Stadium as I did at Turner.

  72. 72
    Doubledawg Says:

    I think there is a sad myth that this is about improving attendance at games. The map the Braves posted to validate their cash grab reflects only purchases from their website. Most young professionals and folks living in town do not have to plan 4 weeks ahead for a game and are not buying tickets online. These are the people that show up for weeknight games, in groups, or in pairs. If you live in Roswell, the notion that you’ll save 20 minutes of traffic (because there will still be apcololyptic traffic) is not going to make you say, “to hell with bedtime, lets keep the kids out until 11pm on a Tuesday”. This is especially true when the cost of attending the game is going up.

    There will be less seats, so that’s going to mean ticket increase. They don’t care about suburban family fans, they know they will keep the downtown/midtown businessed and hope to pick up corporate packages from Galleria and Marrietta companies now too.
    Then you’ll have a development authority and private corp. looking to recoup $700,000,000 in investment. Oh, and they’ll have a monopoly now on parking, restaurant spaces. Forget the $10 dirt lot, $1 waters and $2 peanuts on the way inside. Its going to be “Braves Country”, and in Braves country, its about the $$$ ahead of everything else.

    Cobb will NEVER allow rail. They have already made that clear in less than 24 hours after the Braves dissed Turner Field for not having a rail stop.

    A final pet peeve with the blatant falsehoods, strawman arguments and complete BS the Braves have put out is this notion Time Warner stuck them with a bad TV deal. Guess what, Liberty Media was negotiating to buy (actually to swap for Time Warner stock it didn’t want) the team when the deal was signed AND bought it cheaper because of it. You don’t negotiate to buy a house, have the seller tell you they decided to remove all of the fixtures and appliances, then say, “oh well, I’ll still pay full price”. It was a part of the game to make the numbers work. So Liberty Media bought a car with no wheels and now Cobb is offering to buy them a shiny pair of rims. And in 10 years, on the verge of the TV deal coming back up, they’ll sell the whole thing and make a ton of money.

  73. 73
    John Gaines Says:

    @72

    The TV deal is up in ten years…? Man, the last fifteen years sure flew by.

  74. 74
    Doubledawg Says:

    I think they will sell in advance of the TV deal. I thought they had 13 years left. I think by then the cable company add on backlash will be hitting home and they won’t get a big splash. Liberty will know this and try to sell on the “potential”. It’s easy to ask for a billion dollars when your telling a sucker he’s going to get $100 million a year for the next 15 years in TV money.

  75. 75
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Why should I care where the stadium is located. Why should I care if CobbCounty pays for it?

  76. 76
    John R. Says:

    @75, Seriously.

    If Atlanta City gov’t doesn’t screw things up, Mechanicsville will be better off without a giant parking lot in their midst.

    And if Cobb wants them, who cares? If I was a Cobb taxpayer, I’d be mightily concerned, but I’m not, so who really cares?

    This stuff is fascinating as an intellectual exercise, but the heated passion it’s inspired is just wasted on a pretty simple issue of a business moving 12 miles from one location to another. Not talking about here, really, but my FB page has gone overboard with people with the vapors who you would never know were Braves fans until now.

  77. 77
    Dan Says:

    B-Mac in Pinstripes?

    Not saying it won’t happen, but every big-name free agent in every offseason is “rumored” to be being pursued by the Yankees.

  78. 78
    Stewart Says:

    My guess as to the reason for the hand-wringing is the perception that Cobb County is taking civic and cultural institutions from the heart of the city, and at some point one may wonder where the heart of the city lies. There is at least a perceived cultural difference between intown Atlanta and its northern suburbs that encompasses a myriad of factors too complex (and controversial) to cover here. Given that background, a degree of competition between those two areas should be unsurprising. Further, I think there is a perception that the suburbs of Atlanta are becoming (or already are) the dominant force in that relationship and in that competition. To some, that is an unsettling development.

    I tried a number of ways to elaborate on this point and be a little more direct, but all of them crossed the no politics line. Thus I will leave the rest up to your imaginations.

  79. 79
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Read this story about Coolray and Gwinnett. Then multiply all the cost figures by a factor of 15 and you have a pretty good window on what the future of the Braves and Cobb County looks like.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/31/taxpayers-on-the-hook-for-gwinnett-ga-ba

  80. 80
    cliff Says:

    On Venters,

    I think by resigning him, the Braves get a shot at arb 3 in 2015. So, it is like a 1.62 with a 3 to 5 million (depending on performance) option. If Venters performs well you can tender a 2015 contract or trade him.

    Venters probably figured he would have trouble getting that much guaranteed and probably felt comfortable staying in the same organization. Win / Win.

  81. 81
    Dusty Says:

    Yeah, when you are going to be paying someone $450,000 to $500,000 minimum for that roster spot anyway, paying a 1.1 million premium for someone of Venters track record is a no brainer to me.

  82. 82
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    When the Braves look at Cobb County, they see an opportunity to do what the Marlins and Twins ownership did. They see a chance to at least double the value of their $629 million franchise, and do so largely on the taxpayers’ dole. So of course they’re jumping at it. In fact, once you see the numbers out of Miami and Minnesota, it becomes a lot easier to believe Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed when he says that he could not have made a competitive offer to keep the Braves at “ancient, decrepit” Turner Field.

    One final thing, to bring us back to the loyalty question: Fans would like to hope that with new stadiums and soaring team values and revenues, grateful team owners would at least be able to expand their payrolls, bring in more free agents and field more competitive teams to watch and root on. But no, it doesn’t work that way.

    Jay Bookman on the Cobb deal…

  83. 83
    Marc Schneider Says:

    But it’s hard to blame the Braves if these idiotic and/or corrupt local officials are willing to make them a gift. I don’t live there but it frustrates me that these municipalities are willing to make gifts to corporations and billionaires but won’t spend for infrastructure or education. But that’s life and I don’t blame the Braves for playing the game.

    As for higher payrolls, the success of teams like the Cardinals to justify not increasing payrolls. And, in fact, it’s not clear that going after free agents is a very efficient or effective way to win. The Braves have been very competitive for nearly 25 years; it would be nice to see them compete for some top-drawer free agents and maybe they will. But, if they were to put any additional revenue into the farm system and work to keep their young players, that’s probably a better way to compete than to get on the tread mill of giving out large contracts to free agents that often don’t pan out (B.J. Upton anyone?) And, unlike football and basketball, baseball doesn’t have a free development system subsidized in many cases by taxpayers. My point is you can’t necessarily judge how the team is using any additional revenue simply by looking at the size of the major league payroll.

  84. 84
    Stewart Says:

    The question to me is whether sports teams qualify as civic institutions, and if so, should their behavior be different from that of other businesses?

  85. 85
    Rob B Says:

    @72

    Do you have a link to justify your claim that the ticket sales map only includes those tickets purchased from their website? As far as I know, that map includes ALL tickets sold, including those purchased via debit/credit card the day of the game at the ticket window.

  86. 86
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @84, I think to some degree they are, but they are rarely asked to demonstrate it. Essentially, in return for establishing local foundations, doing nice things for children in hospitals, not running away to another city, and enduring our unceasing hypocritical sanctimony whenever players violate their status as “role models,” sports teams receive nearly limitless tax breaks and free money giveaways.

    I don’t think it’s an even bargain.

  87. 87
    Rob B Says:

    The city will also likely be financing this with bonds, and using revenues generated by the new stadium to pay back investors 20-30 years from now. Private businesses aren’t as willing to give % of their revenue for something like this.

    I’ve seen it referred to elsewhere as getting a mortgage from the bank (Cobb) to pay for your rental house (the field). I think that’s fitting.

  88. 88
    Smitty Says:

    @82

    I am not worried about us becoming the Marlin or Twins (at least with the group running the show now.) They have shown over the past 24-25 years they are dedicated to winning.

  89. 89
    D.N. Nation Says:

    Forgive me if this is Too Much Politics, but:

    http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/political-insider/2013/nov/14/your-daily-jolt-divided-gop-thinking-moving-braves/

    “Support (for the move) actually grows to 63 percent among Cobb Republicans. But here’s the rub: 60 percent of those same Republicans oppose any use of taxpayer funds to finance the new stadium. Overall, 77 percent of Cobb voters polled were either opposed to taxpayer funding or undecided.”

    Such rosy-cheeked innocence.

  90. 90
    Doubledawg Says:

    @72

    I can’t remember where I read it, but I how else do you think they are getting the addresses? I’ve never provided an address, or even a zip code, at the ticket window. Why do you think retailers often ask for your zip code? Just because you use a credit/debit card does not mean your bank hands over your address.

  91. 91
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m shocked that after 50+ years of getting infrastructure for free from the City and Fulton, Cobb County residents seem to think such things grow on magic baseball stadium trees.

  92. 92
    krussell Says:

    I’m not sure what’s so surprising. Do you like Barves? Yes. Do you want to pay to build the Barves a shiny new stadium? No. That’s not really an indictment of Cobb Republicans.

    If any part of this comes to a referendum then it’s not gonna happen. It will definitely be interesting to see if and how they can manage to raise/divert public finds without asking the public’s permission.

  93. 93
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @78 – I think your points are well made, but for me personally, this move doesn’t creep into that territory. If they had moved to Alphretta or Roswell, or Kennesaw? Sure. That’s really “out of Atlanta.” Cobb Galleria is not “out of Atlanta.”

  94. 94
    krussell Says:

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2013/11/14/5104110/cobb-county-releases-financial-details-for-new-stadium

  95. 95
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Any conversation about Cobb Republicans — or any political party — is beyond the bounds of the no-politics zone. Let’s not talk about them.

  96. 96
    Marc Schneider Says:

    “Any conversation about Cobb Republicans — or any political party — is beyond the bounds of the no-politics zone. Let’s not talk about them.”

    Does that include the Whigs?

  97. 97
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Ima still call it White Flight Field, man. You can’t take the sky from me!

  98. 98
    Grst Says:

    @92 Woah common sense. We’ll have none of that ’round here.

  99. 99
    Nick Says:

    @91

    Pretty similar to their thoughts on transportation. Not sure why it’s so surprising. (Though I do understand that you were being tongue-in-cheek.)

    @90

    I’m guessing that unless you sign a specific thing with your credit card company which says “never give away my demographic information…ever” (and maybe sometimes even then), they’re giving the Braves/MLB your demographic information if the Braves/MLB ask for it. Maybe not your specific address, but probably at least your ZIP code. Cash is the only proven way to have that not happen.

  100. 100
    krussell Says:

    @97, WFF is a keeper for sure.

  101. 101
    Dusty Says:

    With the newest figures coming out saying that the Braves are paying 55% ($372 million of the $672 million) and the County is only paying $300 million, I wonder how that compares with other recent ballparks, namely Miami. Anyone have those figures?

  102. 102
    D.N. Nation Says:

    @101- Public paid more than 80% for Marlins Park.

  103. 103
    Smitty Says:

    @101

    Will we have to cut payroll to do it?

  104. 104
    csg Says:

    I don’t think Liberty will be cutting payroll. Every team is getting an additional $25 mil in revenue due to the National TV deal.

  105. 105
    krussell Says:

    Liberty will probably keep payroll about the same and put the extra towards all the great attractions that will surround White Flight Field. Maybe a ten-story Waffle House, designated play areas for home-schooled kids, pop country music fan zones, etc. We should probably send in our best ideas and help them out.

  106. 106
    W.C.G. Says:

    @105, this sounds like a job for D.N. Nation!

    (…I’d actually really like a 10-story Waffle House)

  107. 107
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I think, in a nod to Atlanta’s baseball history, we should call it New Crackers Stadium at White Flight Field, or NCS@WFF.

  108. 108
    Smitty Says:

    @107

    …Built by Home Depot and Fear!

  109. 109
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    On top of the 10 story Waffle House they’ll be an observation deck so that thrill seeking fans can peer through the magnifying glasses and look briefly upon the Urban Wastelands to the south and shudder.

  110. 110
    Smitty Says:

    They could call the area Tara

  111. 111
    Rob B Says:

    @90

    Yes, when you pay via debit or credit card, even if you don’t give them your zip code, they can and do get that info from your card company.

  112. 112
    Stewart Says:

    @86

    I agree. I just think it is wise to bring this point up with sports franchises when they do something like this, call it a business decision, then turn around and ask for public funds based on their status as a cultural institution. They get to be businesses when they like, and cultural institutions when they need. It reminds me of the medieval Catholic Church. Those folks regularly built cathedrals at the expense of other infrastructure by threat of losses (of a different kind altogether).

    (I hope that doesn’t cross the no religion line.)

    @92

    I think your point about a referendum is part of why the Braves came out with this big PR blitz and are talking about it as a “done deal.” There are a lot of things that could come between the Braves and getting a huge chunk of corporate dole. Asking the public about it is probably one of those things.

    @93

    I recognize that there is a difference between the Galleria and Kennesaw, but to many intowners (particularly the ones upset about this) I bet Cobb is Cobb.

  113. 113
    Grst Says:

    @112 I can’t really blame the franchises for this state of affairs. Local governments and/or voters should just stop throwing money at them, and realize that the evidence is quite clear that the economic benefits supporters claim will arrive from such appropriations simply never do.

  114. 114
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Right. If the people of Cobb County don’t like the county commissioners giving away corporate largesse to billionaires (likely in exchange for some prime shares in the construction contracts) they could vote in better, more reliable, more fiscally conservative leadership.

    Like Kasim Reed, maybe.

  115. 115
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think it’s best to stay away from both the Catholic Church AND the two major American political parties.

  116. 116
    D.N. Nation Says:

    I’ve always said that the city should create a “Kwanza Meeting Hall.” (Named for the District 2 councilman, not the holiday, though demographics of the city and his district are taken into account in the name, i.e., see what I did there?)

    In terms of White Flight Field attractions, I would say they should move the Big Chicken down there, but that would require advertising for dun dun DUNNNN Pepsi.

  117. 117
    Nick Says:

    @114

    Hilarious, though I’m not touching it with a 10-foot pole.

    Also, I realized I never imparted my Mark DeRosa memory:

    It’s definitely Game 5 of the 2002 NLDS, which as it turns out is one of the worst games in Braves history IMO. He was the only one who managed to get a freaking run-scoring hit in that game, and I remember thinking as numerous more highly-touted players failed time and time again over the course of the game that I would’ve stepped on my own mother’s head for the opportunity to get him to the plate in a potential game-deciding AB, and how unlikeley it was at the beginning of that year that I would’ve been thinking that in the biggest game of that year. I actually mentally connect that game to him more than I do the NLDS game he won the next season.

  118. 118
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    By the way, I wrote this about Mark DeRosa: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mark-derosa-retires/

  119. 119
    krussell Says:

    Some of the numbers in that document released by Cobb seem…improbable. It’s not my concern since I’m not a resident, but still. I guess I’m kinda rooting for huge corruption scandals in this one.

  120. 120
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I often wonder if a guy like DeRosa or someone like Craig Breslow of the Red Sox, who went to Yale and had a 34 on his MCAT, ever go nuts dealing with the limited intellects and education of most baseball players.

  121. 121
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You know, if Mark DeRosa hadn’t sucked in 2004 Chipper would have stayed in LF and the Braves wouldn’t have traded for JD Drew and Adam Wainwright would be your #1 pitcher today.

  122. 122
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @119 – I’m rooting for a big infrastructure project at the top end Perimeter that makes getting into and out of the stadium easy, a windfall profit for the Braves that gets translated into higher payroll for on-field talent (and/or Liberty cashing out at the height of the franchise revaluation in 2017 and selling to a more interested-in-winning ownership group) and years and years and years of enjoying a metro area amenity that a friggin’ suburban county actually paid for for a change.

  123. 123
    Askia Says:

    Deadspin’s take on the numbers here. Diverting current property taxes, impressive. Not hiring new teachers…not so much.

    http://deadspin.com/heres-how-cobb-county-will-pay-for-the-braves-ballpar-1464404976

  124. 124
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If Scott Thorman hadn’t sucked in 2007, the Braves wouldn’t have traded for Mark Teixeira, and our starting shortstop would be Elvis Andrus.

  125. 125
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Thurman didn’t go on to be a useful spare part.

  126. 126
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    No kidding.

  127. 127
    iceberg584 Says:

    @121. They actually traded for Drew before the 2004 season even began.

    Actually if I remember correctly, by the end of May 2004, Chipper had to come in from left to play third base – allowing Charles Thomas to slot into left and play out of his mind that summer. After the season, the Braves sold high and Thomas was the primary trade chip for Tim Hudson.

  128. 128
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well, no. Dan Meyer was the primary trade chip.

  129. 129
    Rob Cope Says:

    Dan Meyer. Haha. Chucky T did help quite a bit in that package. Looking back, the Braves cleaned up in that trade. Then they set to balance the universe in the Teixeira trade.

    @120

    I’ve wondered that too. However, you don’t have to be Ivy League-educated to be frustrated with some of the people in MLB. I’d imagine it would also be frustrated that your skills as an intelligent person don’t necessarily make you better at your craft, and theirs do.

  130. 130
    Grst Says:

    @120 For even the moderately intelligent, I have to imagine life would be pretty miserable if you couldn’t avoid looking down upon, or at least managing to get along with, the less intelligent.

    I have no problem finding not very bright people who are nevertheless good people, while I’ve similarly known plenty of highly intelligent folk who are raging assholes. If they survived the Ivy League, I’m sure they can handle a clubhouse.

  131. 131
    Stewart Says:

    @113

    If you can’t blame the individual franchises, at least place some of the blame on organized baseball. They’re the ones who use franchise relocation threats to generate public concessions.

    @115

    I thought the historical reference might pass the test. I’m sorry if I offended anyone and I’ll stay away from the topic in the future.

  132. 132
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @130,

    No doubt you are correct. For some reason, perhaps unfairly, I imagine baseball players in general to be a particularly uninteresting and unattractive lot to spend time with if you are intellectually inclined. Of couse, being an Ivy Leaguer-or even a doctor-doesn’t necessarily make you intellectually inclined.

  133. 133
    John R. Says:

    One young lady among my Facebook friends list says the Braves relocation is all about racism and now she’s going to be a Cardinals fan. The hysteria surrounding this move is palpable. I don’t get it.

  134. 134
    ububba Says:

    #133
    It simply speaks to the remaining cultural divide (& distrust) between Atlanta & its suburbs.

  135. 135
    Smitty Says:

    @133

    That is a good one

  136. 136
    ryan c Says:

    If the plan is true and there will be restaurants, bars, and hotels surrounding the facility, I’m down!

  137. 137
    D.N. Nation Says:

    @133- It’s all about racism, so she’s going to be a fan of the organization that MOST rolls with that “WE play the right way,” “WE don’t wear bling” stuff? Right.

  138. 138
    Nick Says:

    @133

    I literally laughed out loud at my desk reading this. This has to be parody on her part, it’s too perfect not to be.

  139. 139
    fm Says:

    As someone who’s lived in the suburbs all his life, I knew there was something of a disconnect between the metro area and the city proper, but I never realized until the last few days just how distrustful the city apparently is. I never sensed that the suburban people that *I* personally know had this sort of disdain for the city.

  140. 140
    ryan c Says:

    He gave us hope in him one last time, but spent the rest of the year tearing that hope to shreds.
    http://www.bravesjournal.us/?p=953

  141. 141
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    It is exceedingly hard in the field of human endeavors to find a geographical area, topic of study, or group of people in which all racism and bigotry are entirely absent.

  142. 142
    krussell Says:

    I really think it’s class-ism more than racism. Some would argue that those aren’t really inseparable, and maybe to some extent that’s true. I live in the burbs and our neighborhood is as diverse as anything you’d find ITP. There’s been a lot of “black-flight” too, but nobody ever talks much about it because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

    To me Atlanta is the entire metro area. From that ticket map you could argue they should have built the stadium in Rowsell or Sandy Springs. Would that have been more palatable than Cobb? Maybe it’s the Cobb factor that pushes people’s buttons more than anything.

  143. 143
    Nick Says:

    @142

    There would’ve been hand-wringing, but I do think it wouldn’t have been quite as bad. Cobb is pretty much the poster child for annoying Suburban Atlanta counties in a lot of people’s eyes. North Fulton is still Fulton, after all, and it doesn’t have the MARTA issue.

    In addition, as you said, that ticket map would have more credence lent to it if you actually moved to the middle of the big red blob instead of trading the far southern end of it for the far western end of it.

  144. 144
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The question of classism vs racism* depends entirely on which direction and entity the question is being asked of. If the question is “why do the Braves want to move north to Cobb County?” the answer is “classism.” That is to say, the Braves want to move where the money is, and specifically where the money is that tends to buy their tickets. Period. End of story. Capitalism 101. Place your product within close reach of your customer base. Nothing to do with race at all, strictly speaking. If there were more Peachtree Cities on the south side than there are Marietta/Roswell’s on the north side, the Braves would be looking to relocate to the “black money.”

    If the question is asked of Cobb County, the answer is “historically, racism, and now, well, probably still racism out in East Cobb where the monied power brokers live.” The reason Cobb County has always avoided transit options is racism. The reason Cobb County wants to avoid transit options now? Racism. So when it comes to Cobbinites wanting to make sure the “wrong people” don’t take the train out to their lily white suburbs? Well, yeah. That’s race.

    The hysteria about the Braves is that they’re not letting the “OMG RACISM IN COBB COUNTY” dictate against “we are going to move to the money.” They’re taking the cash and ignoring the morally troubling history of the county. Because, corporate entity. Making money is all they care about at the end of the day.

    *How this is getting past the “no politics” rule is beyond me, honestly.

  145. 145
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    North Fulton is still Fulton, after all, and it doesn’t have the MARTA issue.

    Only because Milton County went bankrupt back in the day and Fulton had to bail them out. There is a constant swirl of “re-establish Milton as it’s own county so we’re not paying for Grady and those poor people in Atlanta” out in Alpharetta and Roswell.

  146. 146
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @144, yeah… let’s not talk about classism or racism any more.

  147. 147
    krussell Says:

    I’m gonna assume that as long as the discourse stays at somewhat abstract levels and doesn’t devolve into us vs them nonsense then maybe that’s ok? It’s truly impossible to talk about this subject without straying into local politics. I find it to be an interesting topic. Much more interesting than our lack of hot stove talk.

  148. 148
    ryan c Says:

    Time for a new thread?

  149. 149
    td Says:

    Wow. I never would have believed Mark DeRosa’s retirement would elicit this much controversy. (-;

  150. 150
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Move the team to Chattanooga and rename them the Lookouts. That would solve the problem. It’s only two hours from Atlanta and the traffic probably isn’t as bad as in Atlanta proper. Chattanooga has always wanted to be a suburb of Atlanta anyway, at least when I was growing up. :)

  151. 151
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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