In this post from John Perroto of Fanrag Sports, John Coppolella told a quick story about how back in 2006 then-GM John Schuerholz told him that then-Commissioner Bud Selig felt that the Braves were one of the model franchises in all of baseball — the “gold standard,” if you will. The Braves are far from 24-karat status right now, but the organization feels good about returning to that level soon.
...There is hope that the Braves are on the road to recovery despite going 67-95 in 2015 and 68-93 this year while trading many of their veterans and beginning a youth movement.
“We’ve never wavered in our belief that we were doing the right thing by getting younger and trying to get back to the Braves’ way of developing our own players and putting an emphasis on having a strong pitching staff,” Coppolella said. “It’s nice to see some positive results, though, on the field. We were able to walk away from the past season feeling good about where we’re at.
“We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us but we’re seeing progress.”
Meanwhile on the farm, one player who had a great season and followed it up with a nice fall league campaign as well was Dustin Peterson. The outfield prospect has done will to boost his status from being seemingly a throw-in prospect in the Justin Upton trade to potentially being a legit candidate to lock down a corner outfield spot in the future. According to David O’Brien of the AJC, the Braves are enamored with him and think that they have an underrated gem of a player on their hands.
The Braves think he could be a big part of their future in a corner-outfield spot.
“It’s very exciting. I love the Braves,” Dustin Peterson said. “They’ve been very welcoming, very hands-on staff. Just good people, and it’s a great organization to be a part of. You have a relationship with all the front office, all the coaches, all the staff, and it’s awesome. You know, that’s tough to come by. It’s really awesome to have.”
A day after he told that to an Atlanta reporter before a fall league game, Peterson and the rest of the Braves prospects in the AFL were taken to dinner by Coppolella and some of his top assistants. They had traveled to Arizona several days before the start of the General Managers Meetings in Scottsdale to check in on their prospects in the AFL.
When the Braves announced their move to Cobb County, one of the concerns that many fans had was whether or not long-time usher Walter Banks would be able to join them. After all, the man spent 50 years (!!!) with the team but it seemed like it that might be the end of it since he doesn’t like to drive after dark and otherwise takes MARTA to games — and since MARTA doesn’t operate in Cobb County, that brought up a conundrum. Fortunately, the Braves have teamed up with Uber to make sure that Banks will get a reliable ride to and from Braves games at SunTrust Park, which means that the legendary usher will keep on working Braves games into the future. Nice!
Remember on Monday when I posted a link saying that the CBA negotiations were going relatively smoothly and there didn’t seem to be any danger of a work stoppage? Well, things have changed and Ken Rosenthal is reporting that a lockout is possible. There’s still a chance that this could all be posturing and they’ll avoid a lockout, but the December 1st deadline is all of a sudden looming very large.
Now one angle here is that this is baseball ownership posturing with the threat of a lockout to get the best deal possible before the deadline on December 1st. This is likely if not probable given that there doesn’t appear to be new areas of concern between the two sides. According to Rosenthal’s report, baseball ownership appears to be willing to abandon the current qualifying offer/draft pick compensation in free agency model if an international draft can implemented. The player’s union wants no part of an international draft.
Former Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell has landed on his feet and will be the next pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles. McDowell will have a pretty decent task on his hand to help turn Baltimore’s pitching staff into a decent one, but if he can work the magic that he did while part of the Braes, then maybe he’ll be successful in that role. We definitely wish him the best.