Early Game Thread: May 1, Rockies at Braves

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A serious note… I think that the expected transfer of ownership of the Braves to Liberty Media is likely to be a disaster. And that ownership by any entity that only wants the team as a tax writeoff is likely to be. It is hopeless to try to convince Time Warner of this — they simply don’t care, especially now that they’ve unloaded Turner South.

That means that the appeal must be to the owners of the other teams, who have to approve the stock transfer. I do not think they’re likely to be happy about any non-cash purchase.

I suggest contacting the Commissioner and asking him to oppose the transfer of the Braves to Liberty, or to any entity that has no interest in the team except to avoid tax penalties, and which will likely flip it as soon as it can without paying taxes. It is not in the interest of Major League Baseball that its teams be used in this fashion — especially when there are interested, local owners who will pay cash.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
Phone: (212) 931-7800

96 thoughts on “Early Game Thread: May 1, Rockies at Braves”

  1. Bravo Mac,

    For everyone interested in helping this cause. There has been a petition started. I posted the link for this petition in the message board here. So, go take a look, sign the petition and send it to anyone that will sign!!! Spread the word!

  2. Well, I’m not so worried. I’m kind of excited that all they want is the tax write-off, because it means they want more money. If they want to make money, they’re going to have to please fans. Taking a team that could be generating profits and tanking it doesn’t seem like a good strategy. My guess is that if it wasn’t public knowledge, we’d have no idea a transfer of ownership took place.

    I also prefer to stay away from Jimmy-James-like billionaire owners. Those guys may be willing to spend money on the team, but they are often more apt to do a lot of damage. Just look at Dan Snyder with the Redskins.

  3. JC, your example of Dan Snyder and the Redskins contains both the “billionaire owner” example and the “wants to make money” example. The Redskins have been making money hand over fist, despite putting a generally poor product on the field.

  4. Any thoughts on this kid Jimmy Williams the falcons got? I heard he’s buying a gold lamborghini, so it’s nice to hear that his priorities are in order.

  5. Except that they got to the second round of the playoffs last year and this year’s looking even better. True, the Redskins have had some awful years, but it appears that Dan Snyder does have a learning curve and is finally moving up it. All is not as bleak as it seems.

    JC, the obvious counterexamples to your phobia of billionaire owners are the Yankees and Red Sox. Having billionaire owners has not hurt them in the slightest, to put it mildly. They are successful AND making money hand over fist.

    But I, too, am leery of this Liberty Media thing. It seems like a deadbeat dad claiming his kid as a dependent on his 1040 even though he doesn’t do anything for the kid and doesn’t care, just so he can get a deduction or a child credit or something. I’m all for the “contact the commissioner” campaign.

  6. Oh, there’s no doubt that there are good billionaire owners. But the bad ones can be really bad (see Rankin Smith). I prefer the even keel of a corporate owner.

    The Skins may be raking in the dough, but it would be hard for the Redskins not to make money. DC is Skins crazy. My point is that Snyder used to think he could run the team, and he made some horrible moves because of it.

  7. The BravesBeat website is pissing me off…
    The links to email adresses don’t work, so no one can really email you through the “email us” section…
    Michael Rapaport has been MIA for 11 months, and his Rap Report section never changes…

    What is going on????????

  8. Michael doesn’t write for them any more. You can see him around here from time to time.

  9. Yeah, I’m not sure that ownership will really make a difference in the short term. Since Time Warner took over it is basically J.S., Bobby, and the excellent scouting department who have kept the organization where it is. I think that they have done all this despite Time Warner. The new owners don’t necessarily worry me, but for the fact that our excellent management regime is getting long in the tooth, and someone will have to step in to take over within the next five years or so. That will be the point where the ownership really shows what it wants to do with the team, and where you have a management core that has been selected by ownership and will not carry near the clout of J.S., et al.

  10. I think I can see the trees behind the forest. MLB is essentially requiring a percentage of local ownership. Blank is interested (even in the minority interest). Liberty is taking it for tax reasons. Liberty wants a buyer. Liberty is probably going to make the deal as 75 to 80% owner with Blank directly contracting on the difference. Blank will have an option to buy from Liberty under a cross shareholoders’ agreement (no way Blank takes a minority without protection in cross shareholders agreement). Blank will take operating control (with risk of loss on him). It makes too much sense that this is being considered by all of them from all of the smoke signals going out.

    Maybe we don’t need to make too big a fuss with MLB. The cards seem to be lining up just fine.

    Cliff Harpe

  11. Interesting. Here’s a graph of Francoeur’s LD/FB/GB tendencies, this year and last (Fan Graphs). He’s hitting a lot more ground balls this year.

  12. I’m becoming convinced that our time with Cox and Schuerholz is growing pretty short. I also think they’re kind of joined at the hip, so we might lose both at once. When JS decides to call it quits, I’d be quite comfortable putting Dayton Moore in his place. Bobby? No clue.

  13. There’s a difference between having a billionaire owner with a player salary cap. In the NFL, meddling owners often get in the way. In MLB or European soccer, pumping money into player salaries trumps any damage incurred through meddling. Just look at Chelsea. It’s just gotten ridiculous.

  14. The Braves didn’t fare so badly with their former billionaire owner, did they?

    Do you count the 70s and 80s?

  15. In one of my roto leagues (head to head, offensive categories of R, HR, RBI, SB, K, AVG, OPS) I have the “problem” of having too many guys for the 1B, 3 OF, and DH spots. Players on my team who qualify for one or more of those spots (2006 OPS):

    Giambi (1.406)
    Berkman (1.141)
    M Cabrera (1.038)
    Bonds (1.121)
    Hafner (1.107)
    Gomes (1.185)
    Drew (.910)

    My other offensive positions are in decent shape as well:
    2B – Freel (.763)
    3B – Wright (.961)
    C – Willingham (.988)
    SS – Guillen (.994)

    Poor Ryan Freel is obviously out of place in this group of bombers, but he allows me to occasionally tie or win steals.

    Two questions:

    1) Who to start of this group? I try to cycle Bonds in and out of the lineup depending on when he’s going to play, but my normal lineup assuming he’s playing is Giambi at 1B, Hafner at DH, Cabrera, Bonds, Berkman in the OF, leaving Drew and Gomes on the bench.

    2) Should I trade for anything? I could use a better second basemen or another frontline starter, but I kind of like having “too much” offense, as these guys are bound to taper off.

    Side notes: Gomes has 34 Ks in 82 at bats – WOW. My record is 36-13-3, 4-0 overall. The pitching categories are stupid (W, L, SV, ERA, WHIP) so I have a roster with only High-K pitchers and lots of closers; I am willing to concede W every week and not start mediocre guys who drag down L, ERA, WHIP.. It’s working so far.

  16. Are we required to pay any of Foster’s or JOhnson’s salary this year? Especially if never one of them play a game for us? I was just looking at our teams salary and they were listed. I didn’t know if insurance would cover them as well.

  17. The things I’ve read about the ownership transfer are similarly conflicted – and complicated. Liberty, as a corporation based in Colorado, is scary. And Blank, who puts professionals into place, would be a great owner in that he respects the game and the means to win at it (money and ‘knowledge’). But I’ve also read some things that align it with what cliffharpe wrote; in fact, I think Mac posted a link about it here some time ago.

    If Blank takes operating control then great. If he doesn’t, or can’t for two years or more, I’d be really concerned about the payroll during the ‘twighlight years’ of the C-S dynasty. Even the players have expressed some concern over the possibility.

    I guess my question is – if Blank would be in line to take control, why would that information be so veiled? Why would the AJC run a scare piece, as they did two weeks ago, and make it sound like Liberty was going to be just as bad as Time Warner?

  18. Standard Lineup:

    Giles
    Renteria
    Jones
    Jones
    LaRoche
    Frenchy
    McCann
    Langy
    Hudson

    which Hudson will show up tonight? For that matter, which offense will show up tonight? I am optimistic after yesterday’s performance!

  19. Can we expect a high scoring game?

    ATL: RHP Tim Hudson (1-2, 5.87 ERA)
    The righty allowed 10 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings against the Rockies last year.

    COL: RHP Jason Jennings (1-1, 6.60 ERA)
    The 2002 NL Rookie of the Year is 1-2 with a 9.56 ERA in three career starts against the Braves.

  20. I may listen to this on the radio so I can hear the good announcers instead of the roll-overs from FSN who have taken over Turner South.

  21. you might luck out with that sports radio station in VA that someone found. it definitely won’t be on WGST.

  22. Why is MLB.TV crapping the bed for this feed but just fine for the other ones? It buffers every 2 seconds when I try to watch the Braves and, tragically, runs great when I tried the Yankees. Ugh.

  23. Is this on Fox Atlanta Public Access? Fox Midsouth Public Access is carrying Cincy, which in theory is nice, but not if they’re showing it over Braves games now.

  24. Hah. Right after the commercial break in which I posted, they put up the old Turner South status graphic. FOX MUST BE READING THIS BOARD IN REAL TIME.

  25. I think it’s safe to say that yesterday’s game was not a sign that Francoeur is breaking out of his funk. Just a sign that the Mets’ staff failed to read the scouting report.

  26. My thinking on the Braves sale is similar to Mac. I think Libery Media will keep the Braves for two years, status quo, and dump the team to the highest bidder. The bad thing about being status quo is that the new ownership may shy away from committing in long term liabilities like new contracts for Andruw and Marcus.

    Remember this sale is not about corporate vs individual ownership. This is about Liberty Media vs Blank. Liberty Media is only into this for tax avoidance purpose. The Braves are only a part of the other assets, liabilities, and equities being exchanged. Liberty Media is only interested in acquiring a bunch of assets for its TW stocks and resaling these assets later to avoid the big fat tax payment. The company has no prior interest and experience in sports franchise or anything related to sports. I don’t see Liberty Media will care much about the long term development of the Braves, and what’s good about a transitional ownership? If Liberty Media comes out and says they are keeping the Braves as a long-term investment, my opinion will be different.

    Liberty Media’s purpose in acquiring the Braves is just wrong, and I don’t see any good coming out from this transaction from the Braves perspective.

  27. As the current Metlore goes, it wasn’t so much about acquiring Jorge Julio; it was more about getting rid of Anna Benson, who was becoming an embarassing annoyance for Met brass.

    Julio was a project that pitching coach Rick Peterson said he could fix in two weeks. But Julio remains the classic “million-dollar-arm/ten-cent-head” guy.

  28. I’ve figured out why I hate Frenchy’s hair: it makes him look like LaRoche.

    One is too many, Jeff.

  29. Marcus!

    kc, yeah he did; I was kinda kidding about Peterson & Julio, who seems to have a bit of an ego.

  30. Sorry, Stu. That was really meant as more of a knock on LaRoche’s hair and unattractive stubble than anything else. Not a big buzz cut fan…

  31. ububba, so Peterson didn’t really say it? I would thought Peterson will avoid making such a promise after the Zambrano experience!

  32. Not a big deal. I just think we should save the LaRoche remarks, if we must make them, for his failed at-bats and fielding misplays.

  33. It’s funny that the title of the Braves Chop magazine is “Reitsma Rescue.” I think it should be “Rescue Reitsma” instead.

  34. This inning is a perfect example of why McCann should NOT be hitting behind two out machines.

  35. Unbelievable… except for one pitch to the pitcher and Huddy would be flirting with a no no

  36. Pinto over at Baseball Musings cites Bob Sikes as saying the Mets might be able to make a deal for Johan Santana this year.

    http://www.baseballmusings.com (scroll down)

    While that would be incredibly bad news for the Braves, I don’t think it’s very likely.

  37. If Carl Pohlad pulls a Jeffrey Loria over the lack of a new stadium, I wouldn’t be surprised by that.

  38. J, you’re right, Hudson has pitched another gem… guess I owe him quite an apology from the beginning of the year. Here’s hoping this means he’s healthy.

  39. I’d be surprised if other teams (Braves included) actually allowed the Mets to get Santana if he hits the market. Remember, we’ve still got some payroll flexibility, and acquiring Santana near the deadline could fit within our budget. And there are other teams with more payroll flexibility and more prospects to offer who might be similarly interested in keeping Santana away from the Mets.

  40. Just heard over the radio: Tom Martin’s up in the Colorado Bullpen.

    Please?

  41. Yes, both Martin and King are in the Rockies’ bullpen. We are seeing a lot of old friends recently…

  42. Now pitching for the Colorado Rockies, Tom Martin. Thank you, Clint Hurdle!

  43. Can someone gimme a score update? MLB.tv and espn.com aren’t working for me. It’s killing me.

  44. A masterpiece.

    KC,

    Just got home. No, Peterson didn’t actually say that referring to Julio, but local Metlore puts words in Peterson’s mouth.

    Typical comment: Peterson said he could sort Zambrano in two months–hey, Peterson, it’s been two years!

    BTW, Zambrano pitched well tonight.

    Also, if they show it on Baseball Tonight or somewhere, check out the flyball that Soriano misjudges. Problem was, Reyes didn’t run hard out of the box & got thrown out on the bases.

    Let’s go Nats.

  45. I mean that it’s easy to be a great situational lefty, if that situation is geting Adam LaRoche out.

    Unfortunately, Adam LaRoche was on our team.

  46. Great game, Huddy.

    Seriously, AAR, what did you mean about LaRoche? Bobby pinch-hit Jordan for him in this game, so Martin didn’t face him.

  47. just getting home… looks like a great game!

    much needed! and a CG by Huddy… good to see that again!

    …anyone else absolutely LOVING McCann… I don’t know what we’d do without him right now… I hope he stays this great the whole season! I’m loving it… I look forward to seeing him play every day!

  48. Oh… right. I guess I was just trying to throw in a dig at LaRoche. But you’re right, it was both irrelevant and incorrect.

  49. Just got home too, and remember–any knocks on laroche are never irrelevant and usually not incorrect.
    Great game, huddy.

  50. yea…I’m used to spending forever catching up on posts when I’ve been out, but tonight was pretty slow.

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