In extremely shocking news, fans decided against flocking to watch a bad baseball team play mostly bad baseball. The Braves saw a precipitous drop in attendance and local TV ratings over this past season, which isn't really a surprise considering that they moved most of their familiar faces and entered rebuilding mode. Obviously, a successful rebuild will bring those fans back, but for now, it appears that people chose to spend their time doing anything but watching the Braves.
The Braves’ TV ratings in the Atlanta market plummeted 36 percent from 2014 levels, the largest percentage decline by any MLB team in its local market, according to a study by Sports Business Journal. And announced attendance fell by an average of 4,048 per home date this year, more than for any team except the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves’ total announced attendance of 2,001,392 was their lowest since 1990 and down almost half — 48 percent — from the franchise’s record high of 3.88 million in 1993. This year’s average of 25,017 per home date was down 14 percent from last year and down 20 percent from 2013.
In their next-to-last season in Turner Field, the Braves ranked 24th among the 30 MLB teams in attendance, compared to 18th in 2014 and 13th in 2013.
After starting the season with an extremely shaky option in Chris Johnson, the Braves have ended the season with an idea of who they want to man the hot corner for the forseeable future, and that man is Hector Olivera. In between the departure of Johnson and the arrival of Olivera, third base was a bit of a revolving door for the Braves in 2015. If all goes well, that probably won't be the case in 2016 and beyond.
For the next couple of months, the Arizona Fall League is going to be in full swing, and the Braves will have some representatives in Arizona getting in on the action. Naturally, our minor league team will be covering all of the Braves-related happenings in Arizona, so make sure to keep on visiting here for updates on all of the Braves prospects who will be participating.
In a bit of minor news concerning the Braves coaching staff, AJC Braves beat writer David O'Brien made note of the fact that Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez aren't being considered for any open managerial positions. Oh well. Their ignorance of who DOB feels are strong candidates should be the Braves' gain.
While the National League was in the spotlight on Saturday (including the Cubs tying the Cardinals 1-1 and the Dodgers tying up their series with the Mets in extremely controversial fashion), the American League took center stage on Sunday. The Toronto Blue Jays dropped their first two games at home, but proceeded to travel to Texas to beat the Rangers 5-1 to stay alive. Meanwhile, the Astros held serve at home by beating the Royals 4-2. The Astros are now one win away from the ALCS, and the Astros vs. anybody would be an extremely improbable ALCS scenario, but here we are.
By now, I'm sure that all of you have seen what could loosely be considered a slide by Chase Utley during the late stages of Game 2 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and Mets. The tackle ended up breaking Ruben Tejada's leg, and then MLB proceeded to put a terrible rule on showcase when they awarded Utley second base on the "slide." Now, Utley's been suspended for Games 3 and 4 (which are both in New York -- hmmmmmm). Either way, after the Pirates lost Jung Ho Kang under similar circumstances, it's clear that it's time for MLB to do something to better protect middle infielders, because this is starting to get out of hand now.