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For Braves fans, a simultaneously encouraging and discouraging fact

Aug 10, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

Image (1) Braves%20logo.gif for post 4936

Buster Olney linked to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story about the Braves’ improving financial picture. After doing so, he said this:

The bottom line is that the no team has a harder budget than the Braves, who are like cadets at a military school. They are given an allowance and cannot and do not spend beyond that, which means the improvements made by their team this season — the signing of Ben Sheets and the trades for Paul MaholmReed Johnson and Paul Janish — are the product of great work by their baseball operations department.

Anyone who follows the Braves closely is well aware of this.  And it really, really stinks, especially if you were a fan back when Ted Turner owned the team and spent money and seemed to care about the baseball side of things as opposed to the bottom line. It just makes the speculative parts of the season — trade deadline, hot stove — totally boring.

But good point on Frank Wren’s moves this year. For the team to fill gaps like it did without spending money and without giving up top prospects, it’s hard not to be pleased with what they’ve done.

  1. Alex K - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Arodys Vizcaino was arguably their second best prospect. They didn’t give up nothing.

  2. illcomm - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Craig. At the end of the day baseball is a business n the raves spend what they can. If they hassle more supportive fanbase that showed up to the park, then they would have more monies to spend on their players.

    • Uncle Charlie - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Let’s try to hassle better comments.

  3. biasedhomer - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Part of the unwillingness to spend is because even if they do, the stadium won’t be packed every game.

  4. ame123 - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Braves are royally screwed by their never-ending TV contract that pays them peanuts.

  5. APBA Guy - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Part of the Braves problem is philosophical at the ownership level: they are owned by Liberty Media, and Senior Management treats the team like another division of a big corporation. They must make a profit, budgets are what they are. End of story.

    This is fundamentally different from many teams, who look to capitalize their investment off the resale, which except for a few examples, has always been higher than the initial purchase, and usually higher by a lot. These teams are willing to break even or even lose some money in a playoff year, if it means a chance to win it all, because playoff runs and winning build the fan base-including tv viewership, and ultimately, annual revenue.

    Liberty doesn’t take this approach. Nor are they likely to make any changes to their approach, as their CEO, Greg Maffei, was America’s highest paid executive in 2010, at the height of our economic downturn, his compensation totaled $ 87.5M.

  6. foreverchipper10 - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    It is excruciating knowing that the FO will never be allowed to spend what they need to in order to keep this club near the top of the league. I hate knowing that they don’t even have a shot at retaining Michael Bourn who has been nothing short of spectacular during his time as a Brave. Liberty can kiss my ass.

  7. nekotman - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I despise Liberty Media as they run the team as a business venture only. Atlanta has absolutely the worst ownership and tv deal I know of. I wish they would sell the Braves for a huge profit and get their sorry butts out of baseball. Whoever is responsible for the tv contract should be forced to swim in a cesspool.

  8. bravojawja - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Liberty Media has repeatedly said they’re not interested in selling the Braves, even though it’s been long enough since they bought the team they’d no longer face any penalties for selling, from taxes or MLB.

    Someone would have to blow them away with an offer, and there isn’t anybody in town willing to do it.

  9. hushbrother - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Getting Maholm was a shrewd move, he’d been quietly pitching very well for the Cubs.

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