With Sundayâ€™s 5-2 victory, the Braves wrapped up a series sweep over the Cubs. The Cubs fell to 12-24, 10.5 games out of first place, dead last in the NL Central. But the embarrassment didnâ€™t end there.
Sundayâ€™s loss marked the 10,000th in club history for the Cubs, joining only the Phillies (10,480) and Braves (10,176) in the five-figure gang. The Cubs got there a bit sooner than they would have liked, having won games at a meager .417 clip since the start of the 2010 season.
The Pirates will become the next team to join the ignominious club with 55 more losses. And unless the Reds lose 142 games between Tuesday and the end of the 2015 season, the club wonâ€™t see a fifth member until 2016.
- Phillies: 10,480 losses (.473 winning percentage)
- Braves: 10,176 (.502)
- Cubs: 10,000 (.511)
- Pirates: 9,945 (.503)
- Reds: 9,858 (.508)
Iâ€™m still processing the announcement that the Braves are abandoning a 17 year-old ballpark for a new ballpark in the Atlanta suburbs. But in the meantime, here are my initial thoughts:
- If anyone sees what the Braves are doing and STILL argues for public funding of ballparks, they should have their head examined. Turner Field was built for the Olympics and converted for baseball at great cost â€” some private, some public â€” and remains a more or less new and near state-of-the-art ballpark. Now Cobb County is going to pay for a new park. At some point it should begin to dawn on governments and tax payers that professional sports teams are playing them, but Iâ€™m not sure when that point is.
- We live in a world where the Rays are stuck in Tropicana Field and the Aâ€™s are stuck in the Oakland Coliseum, yet we will soon have two perfectly wonderful ballparks in the Atlanta area, serving a team that rarely fills one. Thanks antitrust exemption. If baseball owners were forced to deal with the same competitive environment as most business this wouldnâ€™t happen. Someone would come take over Turner Field. Or move to New Jersey. Whatever the case, this is sorta perverse.
- That said, the impulse for the Braves to want to move makes some amount of sense. The Braves are a business and their goal is to make money. They have a crappy TV deal so stadium revenue is paramount for them. They are clearly making a calculation that they can make way more money in the new ballpark under new circumstances than they can hope to make in Turner Field. The Braves released a map today which shows how large a proportion of their ticket sales come from the northern suburbs, where the new ballpark will be. Theyâ€™re not idiots. The financial incentives in play are probably pretty compelling.