For better or worse, we got exactly what we expected out of the Braves marquee signing of the offseason: Nick Markakis. Markakis played 156 games and hit .296/.370/.376 with a .327 wOBA, 107 wRC for a grand total of 1.6 fWAR. While the power numbers were hilariously bad (3 HRs, .080 ISO), I'm sure that we'll all take a season like that from Markakis. The main question now is whether or not Markakis will get worse due to Father Time creeping up on him. It'll be interesting to see how this develops, but it's clear that Markakis will be the Braves' right fielder for 2016.
The Arizona Fall League has begun, and since the Braves have plenty of prospects in the Copper State for fall ball, we'll be doing our best to keep an eye on their progress for you. One of those prospects is Lucas Sims, who pitched two innings, gave up two earned runs, and struck out three in his AFL debut. The other Braves prospect who played was Connor Lien, and Eric didn't seem to be too enamored with his performance.
By this time next year, the Braves will have completed their final season at Turner Field and will be loading up the moving trucks for their arrival in Cobb County. As such, it's time to start figuring out which businesses will be partnering up with the Braves for their mixed-development project surrounding SunTrust Park. If this initial report is to be believed, then we should probably expect some big names to be waiting in the wings.
At a recent brick laying ceremony, Braves marketing chief Derek Schiller wouldn’t name retailers the development team has been pursuing. He said demand has been strong. Field & Stream is one retailer said to have shown interest in the Braves development, something Schiller at the time would not confirm.
Jeff Fuqua and partner Heather Correa of Fuqua Development, the retail team involved in the project, have targeted chef-driven restaurants, bars, high-end women’s apparel companies and a grocery store.
In April, Fuqua said higher-end retailers on par with J. Crew, Anthropologie and lululemon were to be expected. Fuqua is aiming for flagship stores for new entrants and retailers that have few shops in metro Atlanta.
In other news, on this date 23 years ago, Sid Slid. Enjoy this beautiful video footage of that fateful moment back in 1992.
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The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have a long and storied rivalry, but most of it involves the Cardinals coming out on the winning side of things. With that being said, Cubs fans now have one thing that they can lord over Cardinals fans for the foreseeable future: In the one time these two teams met in the playoffs, the Cubs won. That was the case last night as Chicago ended St. Louis's season by beating them 6-4 to advance to the NLCS. The Cubs continued their power surge from Monday night by adding three homers on Tuesday night, and those dingers were enough to eventually overpower the Cardinals. Chicago will now get to wait to see who their opponent will be in the NLCS, while the Cardinals get to enjoy the offseason after winning 100 games during the Summer. Bummer.
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For at least one night, the narrative about Clayton Kershaw coming up short in Postseason action was put to rest. The Dodgers ace lived up to the billing by striking out eight over seven innings of work, while only giving up one run in the process. He also sparked the rally that gave the Dodgers the three runs that they needed to win tonight. It was the type of performance that he needed to quiet the critics, which will make it super sad when he gets the lion's share of the blame for the next time the Dodgers lose a playoff game that he pitched in.