Like It or Not: George Chidi on the 'Braves Blues'

I vowed not to watch the Braves this year. They quit downtown and I quit them. So, take the haterade for what it's worth. This is what it’s worth.

If anyone around here thought that the Cobb Galleria Braves were going to put the business of baseball ahead of the business of overpriced beer and overpriced tickets, then I've got a bridge to sell you.

Now their GM, John Coppolella, is out after trying to cheat their way out of on-field mediocrity.

The AJC reported that Coppolella was jumping the line when talking to international prospects. That … doesn’t sound terrible … does it.

But baseball has these rules because the international talent market treats kids like meat. For the buscones – the Caribbean baseball agents training 13-year-olds how to play – baseball is a business and their players are product. These rules are about the only thing separating the international league from child slave labor.

We’ll know more when the MLB investigation concludes.

There is, of course, another way to win that doesn’t involve cheating, but it’s more expensive:  You spend money on top players!

Unfortunately, Liberty Media seems more interested in the bottom line -- and the Braves’ more than half billion-dollar debt associated with the new stadium and the new restaurants and bars in The Battery outside.

In a meeting with investors this summer, Liberty’s CEO promised more financial discipline and prudence in the years ahead.

How’s this for prudence?

The Braves payroll is 23rd out of 30 Major League teams.

And, according to spotrac.com, seven teams, including the Nationals, have active player payrolls more than twice that of the Braves.

That’s how you win.

Having said all that, this was supposed to be the year!

Call me naïve, but I figured the Braves had been weak because management held back to finance the stadium. You know, put money in the bank, blow up Turner Field, and then spend like the ’97 Marlins and buy a playoff in the shiny new stadium.

Tell the fans that all the drama and scandal and $10 beers were finally worth it. Or something.

Attendance was up about 25 percent. And revenue was up even more:  34 percent in the first three months at SunTrust.

They made boatloads of money.

I thought moving the stadium was dumb but at least that they had a plan. You know, for baseball. This thing this is supposed to be about. Baseball.

Instead, the Cumberland Mall Braves tied for the worst home loss record in the league this year. Braves President of Development, Mike Plant, said the organization is “extremely proud” of how the season went.

Extremely proud. I wonder what it takes for them to feel shame.

DISCLAIMER: This segment represents the views of the commentator and not necessarily those of FOX 5 Atlanta.

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