Atlanta Braves Afternoon Chop: Golden… Together

Sep 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) catches a fly ball against the Detroit Tigers in the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For all the strangeness of the Rawlings Gold Glove awards, it’s still always nice when one of your own Braves’ standouts is recognized for excellent.

Centerfielder Ender Inciarte of the Atlanta Braves won his first Gold Glove yesterday!  Here’s the story from SI.COM

MLB ANNOUNCES 2016 GOLD GLOVE WINNERS  / SI WIRE

Major League Baseball’s award season got underway with the presentation of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards on Tuesday night.

The winners were selected by MLB managers, coaches and statistical analysis from the Society for American Baseball Research. Managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players.

The Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers had four finalists each. Pitcher Jake Arrieta, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Addison Russell and right fielder Jason Heyward are the representatives from the World Series champions.

Inciarte beat out the Reds’ Billy Hamilton.  Voting results were not released, but this was expected to be a close race – and the metrics tended to favor Hamilton.  Reds’ watchers were speculating on the reason the contest tipped to Inciarte:

Inciarte missed time early in the season, but then voters on awards like this tend to like strong finishes, and Hamilton didn’t have one – he was out for the rest of the year after September 4th.

Meanwhile, Inciarte staked his claim with one of the most spectacular plays of the year on September 21st… perfect timing for his voters.

Sep 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) is congratulated by left fielder Matt Kemp (27) after scoring a run during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumor Central: Braves don’t intend to trade outfielders

ESPN.COM / KYLE BRASSEUR

Despite being in the midst of a rebuild, the Atlanta Braves aren’t looking to trade any of their veteran outfielders this offseason.

“We really like what Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis did this year,” Braves GM John Coppolella told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We feel like we’ve got one of the best outfields in all of baseball, and we don’t want to break that outfield up. Now, if somebody offers something crazy, do you have to listen? Sure. But we’re not out there shopping guys.”

According to Coppolella, the team is focused on improving its starting pitching this offseason. O’Brien writes that the Braves are looking to add at least two starting pitchers on short-term deals.

 

[ Ed. note:  we had started to get a flavor of this as all three regular outfielders started to blossom offensively… and defensively, in at least one case… over the second half of the season.

Coppolella has essentially just made that impression official now.  If all continues on the current trajectory, the Braves will head into Orlando with Kemp, Inciarte, Markakis, Mallex Smith, and perhaps Jeff Francoeur as their outfield contingent.

The good news is that this allows Coppy to focus entirely on his pursuit of improved starting pitching this Fall… and that’s good news ]

Sep 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Chase d

Braves revenue, profits tank in third quarter

ATLANTA BUSINESS JOURNAL / MARK MELTZER

The Atlanta Braves have been described as “tanking” on the field — tearing down their Major League team to build a stronger team in the future.

And their financials tanked as well in the third quarter.

Parent company Liberty Media Corp. announced Tuesday that revenue for the Braves dropped $10 million to $109 million in the third quarter, operating income decreased $15 million to $1 million and a measure of profitability, adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, or OIBDA, decreased $14 million to $16 million.

Liberty blamed the results on “a decline in ticket sales and broadcast revenue as a result of having fewer home games in the third quarter of 2016, with 35 home games in 2016 versus 42 home games during the same period in 2015.”

Liberty said that, as of September 30, approximately $496 million had been spent on the team’s new ballpark, of which approximately $373 million of funding was provided by Cobb County and related entities and $123 million provided by the Braves. Approximately $238 million had been spent on the adjacent mixed-use development, The Battery (including $7 million of cost towards future development phases, including the cost of buying land), of which approximately $27 million was provided by JV partners’ equity.

Total debt attributed to Liberty Braves Group increased by $75 million primarily as a result of additional borrowings, net of repayments, for funding the ballpark and mixed-use development.

The Braves went public in April as a result of Liberty Media selling a new tracking stock. The Braves stock (Nasdag: BATRA) closed Monday at $16.57 a share.

[ Ed. Note:  it does appear that the Marketing Department pulled out all the stops in an effort to bring people in to Turner Field in 2016.

New food items, extra concerts, ticket deals, commemorative bobbleheads and other giveaways were on the docket, yet the numbers still fell short of a bad 2015 even as the team finished strong.

That should turn around in 2017 for multiple obvious reasons, so let’s hope this past season represents the nadir of revenue that is never approached again. ]

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