Of Braves’ potential sale, Freeman/Kimbrel rookie vote

If Liberty Media hung a For Sale sign out front of Turner Field next month, would Mark Cuban be permitted to purchase the Braves if he was the highest bidder? Or at this point, given the way baseball has treated him in the past, would he even bother bidding for the Bravos?

No, Mark Cuban is not your typical prospective baseball owner. But is that a bad thing?

No, Mark Cuban is not your typical prospective baseball owner. But is that a bad thing?

Under the terms of the agreement when Liberty Media bought the Braves in 2007, the Denver-based conglomerate could sell the team only after baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement expires, which is Dec. 11. A sale doesn’t appear imminent, unless there is a lot of advanced negotiating going on that we haven’t heard anything about.

Anyway, I was asked again last week about Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban potentially buying the Braves. I really don’t know if he has much interest, but the iconoclastic 52-year-old billionaire has previously expressed interest in buying a baseball team and generally drawn negative reaction by the Old Boys of major league ‘ball.

Of the reasons that most other owners and perhaps commissioner Bud Selig don’t want him in the club — the owners vote on new members — here are the main ones as I see it:  he’s brash, outspoken, and particularly hasn’t bitten his tongue when criticizing the establishment — in the NBA and elsewhere.

Baseball establishment tends to frown upon that sort of thing.

But also — and they’ll never say this — I’m pretty sure other owners are apprehensive, even fearful, of this fact: While most owners want to turn a tidy profit, Cuban showed with the Mavs that he could stomach losing many millions for years in order to build a championship team.

It was more than just a business for him; it was his expensive hobby/passion, and he wanted it done right.

In both of those respects — brash, willing to lose millions — Cuban is a lot like Ted Turner, who spoiled Braves fans back in the day by being an iconoclastic, colorful billionaire who didn’t mind losing millions pursuing his passions– Braves, America’s Cup, CNN, etc.

To me, it’s unfortunate that there aren’t a few other owners who have the passion, daring or whatever else it takes (besides obvious deep pockets) to lose money in order to win. At least not lose millions on any consistent basis over a period of years.

I covered the Marlins when Wayne Huizenga owned the team and funded a 1997 free-agent buying spree that ended with a World Series championhip. Early and mid-season attendance was so low and his losses so high in ‘97, Huizenga decided even before the playoffs that he would blow up the team and sell off most high-priced players as quickly as possible.

Now here is Cuban, who has the funds to do what he wants, and has shown he has the stomach to take big losses in a sustained drive to build a title team. If Cuban had owned that Marlins team, you can be assured he would have kept it together in ‘98, and players from that team, guys like Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla and Moises Alou, will tell you they were more certain they could win another World Series or two than they were of any other team they ever played on.

There once was a brash Braves owner named Ted....

There once was a brash Braves owner named Ted....

But I digress…

Baseball has a lot deeper revenue streams these days than a decade ago, and can be a lot more selective with who it lets in its owners club — for better or worse.

If only the owners and Selig would have been more selective when voting on the likes of Frank McCourt, and maybe a little less uptight when considering Cuban. Now that McCourt has flamed out spectacular fashion with his Dodgers ownership debacle, might it make someone with the unquestioned resources of Cuban just too solid for baseball to pass up if he makes a serious bid for that team or another, perhaps for the Braves?

(Cuban told the Los Angeles Times last week that he looked into buying the Dodgers, but that the current asking price of $1 billion to $1.2 billion was too high. From what I gather, the Braves might go for roughly half that amount, if Liberty decides to sell.

One more thing I’ve thought about: It seems a bit hypocritical to laud the late George Steinbrenner for how he ran his Yankees, full of bluster while spending double, triple, quadruple or more what most other teams spent on payrolls, while coming up with excuses for not providing a good reason why it won’t invite Cuban to the party.

I dare say Mark Cuban has a better connection to younger fans than any current owner. And as good a job as baseball has done raising revenues and increasing attendance in the past 15 years, it could do even better with the younger audience. Cuban has shown not just a willingness but a strong desire to sit down front in a Mavs T-shirt (and I’m sure, a baseball jersey if he owned a ballclub) and cheer along with fans on a nightly basis.

He’d be the visible owner that so many fans relish the opportunity to see, displaying a passion for his team and not just for its bottom line.

If Braves are sold, would you want Mark Cuban to try to buy them?

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   It’d probably be too much to expect for Atlanta’s baseball fans to benefit for a second time in four decades from a colorful billionaire who doesn’t mind losing many millions in pursuit of a championship, but for the sake of baseball I hope that some team, and baseball’s Old Boys,  can someday see the light and let this guy into the club, provided he still wants in.

But trust me Braves fans, if he’s not buying your team then you wouldn’t want him owning a competitor in your division, or probably not even in your league. Because money talks, and free agents listen intently. If Cuban ever buys a team, they’ll be well-funded. And win.

Rookie of the Year on Monday: When the National League Rookie of the Year is named on Monday, it’s almost certain to be an Atlanta Brave. The question is, which Brave?

Closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman are regarded as the leading candidates for the award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Most reporters expect the balloting to be close between the two.

There has been much discussion and debate over which is more deserving: Is it Freeman hitting in the middle of the order for a contending team much of the season, batting .282 with 21 homers and a .795 OPS while also playing strong defense? Or Kimbrel, who tied for the NL lead with a major league rookie-record 46 saves and led major league relievers with a whopping 127 strikeouts in 77 innings?

Heyward (left) was the BBWAA's NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2010, and Freeman (right) is a leading candidate for the award this year.

Heyward (left) was the BBWAA's NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2010, and Freeman (right) is a leading candidate for the award this year.

Many people have asked me for whom I’d vote, and I’ve honestly gone back and forth between those two guys more than for any two award candidates in any category in recent years.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution doesn’t permit writers to vote for awards, and in this instance I’m almost glad — it meant I didn’t have to worry about possibly being one of two Atlanta chapter BBWAA members with a rookie vote, and having to decide between Freeman and Kimbrel. Honestly, they’re both equally deserving in my view. They really are.

Phillies pitcher Vance Worley, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa and Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy could also get plenty of votes, creating the possibility of the top five finishers coming from the NL East.

Kimbrel and Freeman, however, seemed to separate themselves from the field as the season wore on. The only other candidate who might be close to them is Worley (11-3, 3.01 ERA), who was outstanding but pitched in only 25 games (21 starts) and spent 1-1/2 months in Triple-A.

While his performance would be good enough to win the award many years, Worley is up against two Braves who were integral parts of the team from Opening Day.

Kimbrel has already won a couple of other awards including Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year. Braves right fielder Jason Heyward won the Sporting News award in 2010, then was edged out for the BBWAA award by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey.

The BBWAA and Sporting News NL rookie winners have different in three of the past five years, including each of the past two. In 2009, the BBWAA award went to Chris Coghlan and the Sporting News award to Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ.

In 2006, SN voted for then-Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla while the writers award his Marlins teammate, shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Freeman, who didn’t turn 22 until Sept. 12, led NL rookies in doubles (32) and RBIs (76), tied Espinosa for the home run lead, and led NL qualifying rookies in batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.346) and slugging percentage (.448).

Braves closer Kimbrel has already won a couple of rookie awards and is considered the other leading contender along with Freeman for the BBWAA award.

Braves closer Kimbrel has already won a couple of rookie awards and is considered the other leading contender along with Freeman for the BBWAA award.

Kimbrel, 23, was 4-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 79 appearances. He converted 25 saves in a row during a streak of 38 consecutive scoreless appearances from June 14 to Sept. 8, a stretch of 37-2/3 innings that was the majors’ longest scoreless streak in 2011.

The Alabama native’s otherwise terrific season ended with a rough stretch that included a blown save in the Braves’ final game, an excruciating 13-inning loss against the Phillies that, coupled with a St. Louis win that same night, kept the Braves from playing St. Louis in a one-game tiebreaker for the wild card.

After Sept. 8, Kimbrel was 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in eight appearances and blew three of six save opportunities, after blowing five of 48 previously. The Braves lost 18 of their final 26 and blew what had been an 8-1/2-game wild-card lead over St. Louis on Sept. 5.

Freeman and most other Braves hitters also struggled in September. After batting .333 with nine homers, 30 RBIs and a .922 OPS in 48 games from July 3 to Aug. 25, he hit .239 with three homers, 12 RBIs and a .663 OPS in his last 29 games.

Voting for all BBWAA awards is solely based on regular-season performance; votes are in before the postseason begins. The NL and AL rookie awards will be announced Monday, followed by the AL Cy Young on Tuesday, the AL and NL Manager of the Year awards on Wednesday, and the NL Cy Young on Thursday (Nov. 17).

The AL MVP will be presented on Nov. 21 and the NL MVP on Nov. 22.

Kimbrel, Hanson and K’s: Going through the sortable stats to get the top 100 strikeout totals in the majors in 2011, guess how many pitchers on the list had 130 or fewer innings?

Three, two of whom were Braves: Kimbrel and Tommy Hanson.

Hanson had 142 strikeouts in 130 innings over 22 starts, tied for 57th in the majors with Pirates starter James McDonald (142 strikeouts in 171 innings over 31 starts).

Kimbrel ranked 72nd with 127 strikeouts in 77 innings. His were obviously all in relief, making him the only pitcher in the top 100 with fewer than 17 starts. (San Diego’s Cory Luebke had 154 strikeouts in 139-2/3 innings over 46 games including 17 starts.

Kimbrel was the only full-time reliever in the top 100. In fact, Luebke was the only other pitcher on the list with fewer than 20 starts.

Besides Kimbrel and Hanson, the only pitcher among the top 100 to work 130 or fewer innings was Seattle’s Erik Bedard, who struck out 125 in 129-1/3 innings.

♣ OK, let’s close this with one from Guy Clark, off his masterful debut album Old No. 1, which you can hear by clicking here. I had the privilege of seeing Clark do this one last week during his set at the end of a 70th birthday tribute show in Austin, Texas, which features performances by Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, James McMurtry, Jerry Jeff Walker, Shawn Colvin, Rosie Flores and a bunch of other folks, all doing Clark covers. It was terrific. Even better than the brisket, jalapeno hot link and mac & cheese I ate at Lamberts in downtown Austin – and that’s saying something. (Damn, that was good eating.)

86701

“DESPERADOS WAITING FOR A TRAIN” by Guy Clark

I played the Red River Valley
He’d sit in the kitchen and cry
Run his fingers through seventy years of livin’
And wonder, “Lord, why has every well I’ve drilled gone dry?”

We were friends, me and this old man
We’s like desperados waitin’ for a train
Desperados waitin’ for a train

He’s a drifter, a driller of oil wells
He’s an old school man of the world
He taught me how to drive his car when he was too drunk to
And he’d wink and give me money for the girls
And our lives was like, some old Western movie
Like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train

From the time that I could walk he’d take me with him
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe
There was old men with beer guts and dominos
Lying ’bout their lives while they played
I was just a kid, they all called me “Sidekick”
Just like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train

One day I looked up and he’s pushin’ eighty
He’s got brown tobacco stains all down his chin
Well to me he was a hero of this country
So why’s he all dressed up like them old men
Drinkin’ beer and playin’ Moon and Forty-two
Jus’ like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like a desperado waitin’ for a train

The day ‘fore he died I went to see him
I was grown and he was almost gone.
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen
And sang one more verse to that old song
(spoken) Come on, Jack, that son-of-a-bitch is comin’

We’re desperados waitin’ for a train
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

5,259 comments Add your comment

TnBrian

November 10th, 2011
12:28 am

First! AGAIN

TnBrian

November 10th, 2011
12:35 am

Thanks for the late nighter. Good entry as usual.

Beddy time. I’ll be grouchy all day anyways being tired,but I’ll at least try to get a few hours of sleep

N8

November 10th, 2011
12:35 am

Cuban would be a dream come true. Which is why it will never happen.

David O'Brien

November 10th, 2011
12:36 am

Just added a poll to the blog, so go back and vote if you didn’t the first time. Thanks.

TnBrian

November 10th, 2011
12:39 am

N8,now, now. Never say never. Really though,never say never. Starnger thigs happen all the time.

I really have to go to sleep now. I’ll never function through the day. :wink:

JFH

November 10th, 2011
12:42 am

Look at Beachy K/9 (10.7) vs Hanson (9.8).

Chop Chop

November 10th, 2011
12:43 am

The Braves could probably be had for the kind of price Cuban would like to pay, but I think I’d rather own the Dodgers if I could swing it.

Kimbrel’s the rookie of the year. His level of performance was ridiculous.

Mike S

November 10th, 2011
12:44 am

Wow, 97% for Cuban so far. I expected it to be favorable, but not by that much…

N8

November 10th, 2011
12:51 am

Yeah, the two “no” votes for Cuban owning the Braves are probably from Philistein and Anders. LOL

The A Bomb - OUTCHOKED ® TWICE!

November 10th, 2011
12:53 am

Think Cuban would settle for SETH SMITH???

Steve

November 10th, 2011
12:53 am

Oh man. You should not even have started this thread. Every Braves fan around is dreaming of the day Liberty Media will be out of the picture. Then, to throw in the dream of MarkC taking over … might as well start talking about what you will do if you win the lottery.

Ok, so maybe the odds are better than the lottery .. but still.

MLB owners don’t want Cuban in because they already hate the free-wheeling teams like the Yanks, Phils and Red Sox. So eveyr other owner will be against Cuban. Then you have those three teams who willbe against him just because they don’t want the competition.

I see very little chance he is ever allowed to own a team .. which is sad for fans of the game.

Rey

November 10th, 2011
12:55 am

DOB as a follower your work I think it would be great that more people like Mark Cuban should be allowed to own a team in baseball. It would be nice if he did own the Braves.

RJ Voorhees

November 10th, 2011
12:57 am

Mark Cuban would be a godsend compared to what we have now.

N8

November 10th, 2011
12:58 am

The very thing that made Cuban rich came from him simply being a fan of Indiana’s college basketball games. If I remember right, him and his buddy created it so they could watch their road games that weren’t on national TV.

That itself is pretty cool, and shows how “in” to his teams he is. He’s exactly what the Braves need. Not only because he’d spend on free agents and sign soon to be free agents to big contracts, but because he’s likely smart enough to go back to spending big on his scouting and developmental departments.

If Selig and the other old farts ever let him into their club, whatever team is lucky enough to be sold to him will instantly be one of baseball’s “large market” teams, no matter where they are located.

Arkansas Transplant

November 10th, 2011
1:04 am

Arkansas Transplant

November 10th, 2011
1:07 am

I guess if your going to wish…. wish BIG!!

SB75

November 10th, 2011
1:09 am

I would love Cuban as an owner. FW has done a great job with around 90 mil for payroll, What could he do if Cuban gave him 110 mil? If MLB hates the free willing ways of the Yanks, Phils, and Red Sox, why on earth did they let in the guy that bought the Nationals. Isn’t Lerner the richest baseball owner?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

kenhotlanta

November 10th, 2011
1:22 am

Thanks for the excellent blog, DOB. I would love to see Cuban buy the Braves and spend the money to bring us a winner.
But, until that happens, I would prefer us trading a pitcher or 2 for our needs rather than Prado. What if Chipper goes down again, or even Uggla? We would be covered immediately, plus I think Prado will rebound from last season at the plate, and he would fit nicely as a super sub assuming we can get a good LF. We have much more pitching choices at this level than everyday players, so lets trade from that pool rather than all the positives that Prado brings to the team.

Steve From Dalton

November 10th, 2011
1:29 am

Anybody but the Atlanta (lack of) Spirit.

nolie

November 10th, 2011
1:41 am

You only get three votes IIRC. For Beachy to get votes it would almost seem like a voter would have to name all three ballot choices as Braves, or am i misremembering the votes?

Bobby's Cox

November 10th, 2011
1:41 am

MLB owners don’t want Cuban in because they already hate the free-wheeling teams like the Yanks, Phils and Red Sox

Well then the lower-end payrolled teams will love him because that would mean more revenue sharing dollars that they supposedly pocket.

Bobby's Cox

November 10th, 2011
1:42 am

Cuban would be the best thing for baseball in general.

I hope LA doesn’t get him.

Ozzie

November 10th, 2011
1:43 am

Excellent article DB. You called it right in terms of the owners/Selig’s hypocrisy. The Braves and Cuban would be like coming home or peas n’ carrots – it just would feel right.

Liberty and AOL/TW before them has damaged this team and taking the wind out of its sails.

I hope Cuban is reading this blog and is really interested.

LA is a mess and a crazy market, chose ATL Mr. Cuban, dear God please chose ATL. :)

Mark Cuban to Atlanta

November 10th, 2011
1:46 am

nolie

November 10th, 2011
1:49 am

oh well…….

Ward

November 10th, 2011
1:56 am

Hello everyone! Wouldn’t mind Cuban at all,and actually think it would be great!!!!

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:10 am

Nice article DOB,but it still doesn’t explain who’s going to be The Braves LF,and nothing on trades……

nolie

November 10th, 2011
2:11 am

ain’t gonna be no trades………

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:17 am

No trades,then bring in Cuban……..

nolie

November 10th, 2011
2:20 am

Prado plays left except when Chipper is being forced to sit so he doesn’t make 123 games, then Prado plays third and Constanza plays left. Hicks plays short. We don’t need no steeenkin’ trades……..

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:21 am

I’m afraid no Play-Offs then…..

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:28 am

Here we go again……Wren is going to evaluate!Not mad,but Wren needs to get more busy…..I Like Wren,but don’t like the way he evaluates.

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:40 am

Braves will be in third palce next year,and we will miss the Play -offs again if wren doesn’t get us that LF……With out a trade even I don’t think the braves will make the Play-Offs again. Hope they do,but we need a LF with power.

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:41 am

I love the Braves,but telling it like it is.We need a LF with power…….

Ward

November 10th, 2011
2:44 am

Well, all have a good one! Peace,and talk tomorrow………

Elonbrave

November 10th, 2011
2:50 am

This whole Cuban thing…. could that actually happen? Is it at all likely? Is he thinking about it?

Bobby's Cox

November 10th, 2011
3:06 am

We don’t need a LF with power. We have enough guys swinging for the fences already. We need guys to hit with RISP

Ward

November 10th, 2011
3:13 am

I might take a vacation from here for a couple of days.This is just plain frustrating, not leaving,just taking a small break……….peace!

richbrave

November 10th, 2011
4:21 am

Terrible news and sad news on the morning after an excellent editorial by DOB.

WILSON RAMOS of the WASHINGTON NATIONALS has been kidnapped by armed gunmen. Ransom is presumed to be the reason at this point. A number of VENEZUELAN ball-players and close relatives of ball-players have been kidnapped over the past decade, one player was killed recently even as negotiations were underway for a ransom to be paid.

Sad, but JOE PA is no longer the head of PENN STATE football. Along with the President of the University, GRAHAM SPANIER, the board of trustees fired PATERNO and the president yesterday evening. Understanding why everyone wanted to shield themselves from prosecution, it’s hard to fathom why no one in the University system wanted justice for the youngsters served. In the process, everyone involved lost their job, and opened themselves up to potential criminal prosecution.

richbrave

November 10th, 2011
4:28 am

That’s “justice served’ for the youngsters. Split infinitive I think, sorry. Always slept through English class.

ncgary

November 10th, 2011
5:07 am

it would be nice to have cuban as the man
but looks like dodgers stand a better chance of that

richbrave

November 10th, 2011
5:19 am

FALL BALL

ARIZONA

BRAVES hitting on all cylinders yesterday in the AZL.

1B JOE TERDS [.348 BA] 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI [12], 2 BB, 1 SO.

C CHRISTIAN BETHANCOURT [.323 BA] 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI [12].

LF TODD CUNNINGHAM [.286 BA] 1-4, 1 CS [1].

LHRP SEAN GILMARTIN [H 1, 4.85 ERA] 2.0 IP, 2 SO, 6 BF…28 p/ 18 S, 2 GO/ 1 AO.

BILLY BULLOCK [BS 3, 15.00 ERA] 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R/ER, 4 BB, 0 SO, 5 BF…34 p/ 16 S, 0 GO/ 0 AO. Notv ready for prime-time, and judging by this effort, he knows it.

AUSTRALIA

CANBERRA CAVALRY

No BRAVES played.

PERTH HEAT

No game scheduled.

DOMINICA

EASTERN TOROS

Lead-off JOSE ‘George’ CONSTANZA 0-4, 1 SO.

1B MAURO ‘45′ GOMEZ 1-2, 1 R, 2 BB

LF WILKIN RAMIREZ 1-2, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO

LHRP JOSE LUGO 0.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 BF…7 p/ 2 S, 0 GO/ 0 AO.

RHRP JAIRO ASENCIO [0.00 ERA] 1.0 IP, pristine with 2 SO, 4 BF, 0 GO/ 1 AO.

ESCOGIDO LIONS

2B/3B DIORY HERNANDEZ [.269 BA] 0-4, 2 SO.

C WILKIN CASTILLO [.300 BA] 2-4. Lost night on the base-paths, CS and PO first. 1 Passed Ball.

ORIENTE STARS

No BRAVES played.

MEXICO

Lead-off CF MATT YOUNG [.273 BA] 0-2, 2 BB.

Meanwhile our old buddy ‘the Flailing Cuban’ has two yard-shots for the opposition. CANIZARES [.295 BA] now has 7 HR, and 22 RBI. The guy just keeps raking.

VENEZUELA

CARACAS LIONS

No BRAVE played.

LARA CARDINALS

No BRAVE played.

ZULIA EAGLES

1B ERNESTO MEJIA [.278 BA] 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B [8], 1 BB, 2 SO.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
6:03 am

I would also like to see Cuban own the team. Would also like for him to offer me a six-figure job in his front office. Finally, would like to win the lottery. That is all.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
6:19 am

A few thoughts on the Penn State mess/disaster:

1. Hindsight being 20/20, they sure would look a lot better today had they not continued to let Sandusky hold his “clinics” on campus property. I also would like to know if anyone connected to PSU notified the organizaations that Sandusky was involved with.

2. If PSU officials wanted to avoid either bad press/ruining Sandusky at the time of the known incident, (again 20/20 hindsight) would it have not been a good idea to bring him in and tell him that they were going to pay for him to go through therapy for his problem, and if he refused they were going to turn him in?

3. I’d really like to know what Paterno was told, if anything, when he reported the incident to PSU officials all those years ago. Also, why they shut down his press conference.

4. Low class way to fire an icon. Send him a letter, telling him to call a phone number? If PSU officials were trying to hide anything when they cancelled the press conference, then Paterno would be free, I assume, to do anything he wants now that he’s fired. Unless there is a gag order tied to any severence/retirement. And if I was under a gag order, I would say so if I could.

5. Now that we have dealt with Paterno and saved College Football, the fair thing to do would be to go after the appropriate officials of the Catholic Church now, up to and including several Popes. And of course we need to strip John Paul II of his sainthood, right? And while we can’t go after the late Michael Jackson anymore, should we go after the people around him who worked for him? Can’t beleive he said, on national TV, “The highest form of love you can show a child is to share your bed with him”. Just sayin.

Jeff R

November 10th, 2011
6:26 am

DOB, appreciate the insights on why Cuban would likely be aced out of buying the Braves or any major league franchise. It’s a pity that MLB owners haven’t the room – or seem not to have the room – for a colorful owner like Ted Turner or Charley Finley or George Steinbrenner. These men helped add spice to the game and pushed the envelope at times.

But, of course, major league baseball will tolerate a Peter Angelos, who’s managed to run the Baltimore franchise into the ground. Or a Jeffrey Loria.

As to a Braves’ sale, I’d think the economy is a driver on that decision. Unless a potential owner (or ownership group) with very deep pockets comes along, with the economy uncertain and the potential for more trouble ahead, I think many potential buyers would think twice about making a big financial commitment now.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
6:37 am

Bill Veeck could never own a club now, could he? Of course, allegedly, before he bought his first team, during the Landis regime, he was going to buy the Phillies and stock them with players from the Negro Leagues. Landis reportedly got wind of it and stopped the sale. Veeck resurfaced after Landis’ death.

Jeff R

November 10th, 2011
6:43 am

Bill Veeck was sort of Charley Finley’s forerunner. Two very colorful and controversial guys.

Jim

November 10th, 2011
6:47 am

DOB, I don’t follow the NBA so I don’t know: Would Cuban be one to let his baseball people make the baseball decisions, or would he be a meddler?

Hummon

November 10th, 2011
6:49 am

Thanks for the Guy Clark, DOB. That’s a great one, one of many.

Ted Turner always had boats to build.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
6:55 am

Finley, though, had a tightwad streak to him that was his undoing, plus some unrealistic expectations as an employer. 1969–they went from a .500 team to a second place team and the manager, Hank Bauer, was fired. 1970–they finished second, and their manager, John McNamara, was fired. 1971, 1972, 1973–they finished first in their division each year, winning the World Series in 1972 and 1973. At the end of 1973 season, their exasperated manager, Dick Williams, left in disgust, and Finley would not let teams talk to him until the following summer. 1974 and 1975–finished first, winning the World Series in 1974. Following the 1975 season, Manager Alvin Dark apparently said some unflattering things about Finley from the pulpit, and was fired. 1976–finished second. After the season, he let almost all of his start players go via free agency (had already lost Hunter & Jackson), then traded his manager, Chuck Tanner, to the Pirates for catcher Manny Sanguillen. The next year, and for several years afterward, the basement. Until Billy & Rickey came along.

What an 8-year run. Financially, he channelled the late Connie Mack in building/dismantleing a franchise. But from all accounts, he alienated everyone who worked for him in virtually every capacity.

Trey

November 10th, 2011
7:22 am

It’s a shame about Wilson Ramos. I hope they find him unharmed.

Trey

November 10th, 2011
7:23 am

His native country is pretty dangerous. Hopefully his kidnappers let him go.

Ease

November 10th, 2011
7:39 am

Nice article DOB,but it still doesn’t explain who’s going to be The Braves LF,and nothing on trades… – Ward

Shoddy reporting DOB…why even bother if you are not going to immediately address Ward’s concerns. Ward is the heart and soul of this blog and you and Wren need to get the picture straight…

@Fredo

November 10th, 2011
7:44 am

Thanks, DOB. Enjoy your week off.

@Fredo

November 10th, 2011
7:53 am

So you say Mark Cuban won’t buy the Braves, Kimbrel or Freeman will probably win ROY and Kimbrel and Hanson struck out a lot of people in fewer innings than those whole were fulltime starters and not injured? Alert the media. Hey DOB, whatcha think about a potential Chipper Jones trade? Or maybe some insight into the possibilities that Bobby Cox returns to the MLB as a coach in Milwaukee? How about tax season this April? Any bold predictions that the Fed cancels that?

CB

November 10th, 2011
7:56 am

We need to let Fredo write the blog,the man obviously knows his stuff.

Kat

November 10th, 2011
8:10 am

David thanks for the new blog.

TennesseePaul

November 10th, 2011
8:11 am

Thanks for the work DOB.

flange1

November 10th, 2011
8:25 am

Thanks for the new blog DOB.

Sad news at Penn State all around.

Chalkline

November 10th, 2011
8:29 am

Cuban would be great for the Braves.

dap01

November 10th, 2011
8:31 am

Cuban would bring passion to the team and to the fans. Yes, the fans would benefit. MLB should recognize that.

And we would not go into each offseason looking for the CHEAPEST outfielder that is leftover like we do every year.

oldsquid

November 10th, 2011
8:39 am

The braves will never win a championship with it’s current ownership and management.

Cuban has proven what he can do in the NBA and my bet is that he can do the same in baseball.
If he gets the chance.

Sure would be fun to see that in Atlanta and finally see an end to this continual mediocrity.

brian

November 10th, 2011
8:49 am

great blog DOB. I would love to have Cuban but the last thing I want to become is the Yankees. I like homegrown talent. The Braves did it perfectly in the early ’90s. Mostly home grown talent with free agents or trades filling in the gaps (and not trading away top young stars like a budding Chipper Jones for McGriff, etc)

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

November 10th, 2011
8:53 am

Hopefully a new owner will mean lower beer prices at the Ted…..

Lew

November 10th, 2011
8:53 am

Kind of a moot point, isn’t it? The Braves have not been put on the market and Cuban will never own a MLB team.

dap01

November 10th, 2011
8:58 am

On a more important note: Are there any offseason rumors out there for the Braves?

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:00 am

I’m not a basketball fan and could be wrong, but didn’t Cuban’s Mavs only win One Championship?

braves4ever

November 10th, 2011
9:00 am

Lew, your 8:53 is right on, the only thing that could come from this is maybe a writer in Dallas will see all this fenzy in ATL and tell Cuban,which would spark a thought. Still as you say A MOOT POINT.

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:06 am

It takes time to build a winning franchise and Cuban has done so in only 11 years. Yeah, he has only won one title (2011), but the organization has been and is going to be a contender year in and year out.

dean

November 10th, 2011
9:07 am

“Characters” give the game Character. It seems the sporting leagues want nothing but a bunch of tight-azzes running things. As John Riggins said to Sandra Day O-Conner, “Loosen up baby.” Sports should = FUN.

Also…….Happy #236 to the USMC. Semper Fidelis!

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:08 am

Ease – You mean a contender (as in ther playoffs most of the time) kind of like the Braves? And it only took him 11 years?

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:13 am

Yes Lew…He bought the team in 2000. Before he took over, the Mavs had been pretty bad for the previous twenty years.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
9:13 am

It only took Cuban 11 years to win a title, right? The much-maligned Bobby Cox took 10 years.

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:14 am

Y’all do realize that the reason so many want Cuban to buy the Braves has nothing whatsoever to do with his track record of success, but his willingness to spend money?

Last year the Phillies and Yankees had the highest payrolls in MLB and were one and out in the playoffs. The Red Sox have spent more money in recent years than anyone not previously named and haven’t even made the post season in two years. It takes much more than money to make a winning team and it isn’t always (or even most of the time) that the biggest spenders win it all.

wjones

November 10th, 2011
9:18 am

True, Lew. We made the playoffs 14 straight years without EVER being the highest payroll team. IIRC, at least half of those years we were not in the top 5 (correct me if I’m wrong).

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:19 am

So owner (Cuban) = Manager/Coach (Cox)?

DawgDad

November 10th, 2011
9:24 am

” It seems a bit hypocritical to laud the late George Steinbrenner for how he ran his Yankees”

Outside of NYY fans and media, just who would laud him? MLB suspended him at one point. Small market teams and fans certainly would not, and he hasn’t done the Braves any favors.

Ownership isn’t the Braves biggest problem. Decision-making on handing out big-salary contracts is their primary problem, on-going as evidenced by Dan Uggla, and the associated roster shortcomings(left field, for example). Chipper perhaps has become a liability; he can still hit and he’s a future Hall-of-Famer, but he takes up two roster spots (needs a semi-regular as backup) and eats an enormous chunk of budget.

Bob the Blogger

November 10th, 2011
9:25 am

Read the article in Wikipedia on Cuban. He sits on the sidelines yelling at the referees all through the game. One player said that Cuban needs to control himself just like the players have to control themselves. Personally, I’d like to see someone with a little more maturity and stability in an ownership role.

1eyedJack

November 10th, 2011
9:25 am

Would take a private owner over a corporate one every time.

DC

November 10th, 2011
9:36 am

Bob..my teacher always taught me to not use Wikipedia as a source…maybe you should follow suit and besides cuban ranting at the umps would get crowd pumped…do you just sit there and be quiet at braves game? who am i kidding most of the fans do that…

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:37 am

Well, if time between purchase and winning their first Championship is the xriteria, maybe we need Wayne Huizenga to purchase the Braves. Hopw many years did it take him? Four or five?

Thius is really a piss poor time to put a team on the market, anyway. The Dodgers, one of MLB’s most storied franchises MUST be sold. They will cost a buyer close to a Billion dollars and the owner you want to buy the Braves is bidding on them and doing so in one of the worst ecomomic markets in our history.

Add to this that we’ve seen no indication that just because they CAN seel the Braves now, it doesn’t mean they will do so or even have any desire to do so. Face fact – it’s not Liberty Media that wants the team sold, it’s some of the fans.

Phils fan

November 10th, 2011
9:39 am

..i could see cuban(dressed as a WAFFLE FRY) going toe to toe with the Phillie Phanatic at Citizens Bank. love to it see..

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:39 am

DC – No, ranting at the umpires during the games from the sidelines would get Cuban suspended. MLB ain’t the NBA.

P'cola Brave

November 10th, 2011
9:40 am

If the Braves were to move Prado to the Rockies I’m assuming it would be built more around the prospect than Seth Smith. So if this were to go through I imagine the Braves will be willing to go with a platoon in LF this year. If this becomes the case I hope they give Cody Ross a lot of consideration to be the other piece of this puzzle as the guy really strokes LH pitchers. It should form a formidable platoon.

Seth Smith vs RHP: .290/ .364/ .518/ .881
Cody Ross vs LHP: .282/ .349/ .563/ .912

The one thing that worries me is Seth Smith away from Coors (Numbers include LHP&RHP):
Home: .296/ .366/ .559/ .925
Away: .257/ .332/ .418/ .750

DC

November 10th, 2011
9:41 am

he can yell at the ump just like i can from my seat…if he is in the dugout he will be held differently…

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:43 am

if time between purchase and winning their first Championship is the xriteria

Who said that? I merely pointed that fact out AND that the Mavs are now a sustainable product. If I remember correctly, Huizenga dumped his championship players the following year and the franchise took a nose dive.

raleighbravefan

November 10th, 2011
9:44 am

DawgDad – Mr. know-it-all…What would you have done about the pitching situation in 2008? (or do you even know or remember how bad the situation was at that time?)…Also, what kind of contract would you have given the team icon, face of the franchise, who had given the team breaks his entire career money wise, and who had hurt his own career by moving to LF for the good of the team…What kind of contract would you have given him the year he WON THE BATTING TITLE? Just wondering. You shouldn’t criticize decisions made without at least understanding the context of those decisions.

Phils fan

November 10th, 2011
9:45 am

..can’t smoke w**d in mlb

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:46 am

Ease – Sustainable? You mean like the Braves over the past 20 years?

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:46 am

Besides, you’re the one that brought up the length of his ownership, not me.

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:46 am

Nice article DOB…Good stuff. Its not posted on the side so here it is!

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-braves/braves-prospect-terdoslavich-gains-1221560.html

CB

November 10th, 2011
9:48 am

What,is weed a bad word now?

Lew

November 10th, 2011
9:49 am

Really, there are only three relevant points to this entire topic – 1. Money doesn’t guarantee championships, 2. The Braves aren’t for sale and 3. Cuban will never be acceptable to the MLB Old Boy’s Club.

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:51 am

I brought it up as a simple fact, not in any way to be argumentative about it. You mentioned it being only years. I thought the fact that a single owner, who took a scrap heap franchise all the way to the top, to be interesting. And yes, sustainable, like the Braves over the past 20 years.

abwright

November 10th, 2011
9:51 am

I agree with Lew’s point … Braves won’t be sold. MLB won’t let Cuban buy any team.

This blog is a mute point.

raleighbravefan

November 10th, 2011
9:53 am

Dodger sale will be as much a real estate deal as a baseball one…Also an iconic team…different opportunity for buyer than most teams would be.

There are plenty of private owners who micromanaged (like Ted Turner during the early years), who are poor baseball people, and/or who don’t spend any money…some have the lowerst payrolls in MLB. Corporate ownership isn’t inherantly bad or good. We’d all love someone like Cuban or Turner (there aren’t many)…But Liberty Media has not been a bad owner…The budget has been reasonable/winnable although not enough to satisfy fans, and they have let the baseball people run the team and been hands off (a MAJOR advantage). We can hope for better, but could easily get worse if they sell, wheather an individual or a corporation.

Phils fan

November 10th, 2011
9:53 am

..since the braves are looking to get all ‘mavericky’ with the good folks from texas… rick perry seems like the superior choice. see that debate last night?

Ease

November 10th, 2011
9:54 am

nolie

November 10th, 2011
9:55 am

Good thoughts raleigh

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