What a difference 10 years make

In 2003, the Braves’ $106 million payroll was the third-highest in baseball, behind only the Yankees and Mets.

In 2013, they ranked 16th, with $89 million committed to player salaries. In 2014, the Royals and D’backs appear primed to have higher payrolls.

I hate to be keep being a wet blanket, but those who think the Braves will re-sign either Jay Hey or Freddie are dreaming. It ain’t happening.

Blame Liberty, and the man who made their ownership possible:

I said, ‘YOU SUCK!’

13 thoughts on “What a difference 10 years make

  1. I finally have an inkling how Kansas City Athletics fans in the 1950s must have felt when their good players kept getting traded to the Yankees.

  2. We need a brash billionaire to come in and seize the team from Liberty, then shower Heyward, Simmons, and Freeman with the hundreds of millions they deserve.

    And name the new ballpark what the last one should have been named; Hank Aaron field.

  3. To take one case by itself, I don’t think losing O’Flaherty is catastrophic. He’s out until July, so Oakland’s paying him for two years for a year and a half of pitching, at best. EOF handled it with total class. And with set-up guys, I believe they generally have a few good years and then hit the skids. I’m certainly not hoping EOF flames out in Oakland, but after his injury, it would not shock me if he does. It’s unfortunate he’s gone, but I don’t think it was an egregious mistake by FW. We have younger options in Avilan, who was excellent last season, and Ryan Buchter, who had 100-plus Ks in 60 innings at Buford.

    Overall, yeah, things ain’t looking real encouraging from the financial end. Consider this: If the Braves had simply kept pace with inflation, the payroll last year would’ve been $134.2 million. So $89 million was effectively a 34 percent cut from 10 years earlier. That is substantial. And if Liberty has lowered ticket or beer prices by a third, I somehow missed that.

  4. Clearly Liberty sees more profit in fielding a team that’s just good enough to compete in the expanded playoff tournament than in trying to field the best team in the game.

    The Braves can’t be the only club run this way. What a great commissioner we have.

  5. Correction: I was wrong. I thought the Hall made those decisions, but apparently Maddux was okay with it. Regardless, thou shalt not speak ill of the greatest pitcher of his generation (see next post).

  6. Definitely bummed about Maddux, though I somewhat understand his reasoning. However, he did spend the prime years of his career in Atlanta and won his only World Series in Atlanta.

    I still love Mad Dog though.

  7. charlesad, Avilan pitched great last season, but unless Butcher, who’s been bouncing around the minors since 2006, can cut down on his 0.82 BB/IP, or unless David Hale rather than Alex Wood is the No. 5 starter, then Avilan’s the only lefty in the bullpen until Johnnie Venters and/or Gavin Floyd return to health. (And who knows whether Venters ever will?) The A’s have been pretty cagey about not paying any players above market value, and the deal they gave EOF seems to be along those lines. The problem is that Liberty Media doesn’t even want to pay market price for talent.

  8. Arthur Blank or Mark Cuban would be good owners. You think they have a spare billion lying around?

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