How has this GM done? Not so bad – five division titles over five seasons, plus a World Series title that was a function of a Whole New Outfield hired at the trade deadline. Oh, and every significant Brave is under contract for 2024 if not beyond. (On cue, the team announced Tuesday night that Travis d’Arnaud has re-upped for next season.)
As Anthopoulos and McGuirk walked to Tuesday’s press session, they spoke of possible deadline deals. A body in motion remains in motion, even a split-off one.
Back to McGuirk. “I don’t expect you (meaning us on the periphery) to see any changes. From an investor standpoint, it will allow a much clearer viewer of the Braves’ assets.”
Do the Braves have assets? Can Taylor Swift draw a crowd? They have baseball’s best record. They sent eight players to the All-Star Game. They’re on pace to draw 3.2 million. Truist Park is playing to 95.6 percent capacity. The Battery Atlanta has become a destination not just on game days. Max Fried has worked two pain-free rehab starts.
A question about the Braves’ spending at this deadline teed up McGuirk to, ahem, tee off. He has long insisted his team, even under the aegis of faceless Liberty Media, could and does buy as needed. Under LM, the Braves have won the National League East six times in 16 seasons; the profligate Mets have won it six times in their existence.
Said McGuirk: “Never has the disconnect been greater between salary and performance.”
(That mightn’t have been a reference to the Mets. It also might.)
More McGuirk: “We’re going to continue to be aggressive (personnel-wise).”
Then the capper: “This is a Renaissance period for our team.”
You can buy a share of Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc. for “about the cost of a ticket,” team president Derek Schiller said, though he didn’t advise anyone to stop buying tickets. “It’s a unique novelty. Fans of this team can become an owner.”
Sort of. Liberty Media retains the lion’s share of the shares. But, as Tim Tucker wrote in the AJC, “The split-off is widely seen by investors as a potential precursor of a later transaction in which the Braves could be sold to a private buyer at an enhanced valuation.”
So: Say hello to … Elon Musk?
McGuirk, speaking of a takeover, hostile or friendly: “(A sale) has to be done under the rules of baseball. Someone just can’t assemble the stock.”
We leave that for Wall Street. For the moment, we’ll allow the Braves to luxuriate in being the Braves. And, as they luxuriate, we’ll hear from Cobb’s hottest real estate developer – a certain baseball club.
McGuirk on the move to Cobb: “We looked at St. Louis. They have their Ballpark Village. It’s about 100,000 square feet. We had 200,000 here, then 300,000. We’re well on the way to million. We’ve become a paragon of how you build a team.”
Braves 1, Humility 0.
That said, it’s not bragging if you back it up. The Braves have hit a sweet spot in time. They’re really good. They should stay good for a while. They’re the toast of the town. They’re a Renaissance team. They’re a paragon of excellence.
So how come they’ve lost four of the past five games?
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