11 days after their season opener and after playing eight games on the road, the Atlanta Braves are finally going to play their home opener against the Padres today. Of course, this is an especially monumental day in club history since today’s home opener of SunTrust Park. Julio Teheran will be starting the game, plenty of Braves luminaries will be in attendance, and this will hopefully be the start of a fun home season at the Braves’ new home.
"It will be fun," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. "The city is excited, and of course, we're excited. I think everybody is anxious to allow everybody to see the new stadium. We're excited to play in it. There's nothing really to complain about that we would change or upgrade. We're definitely fortunate to have that as our home field."
Earlier this week, the Braves added another wrinkle to the home-opening festivities — they’ll be wearing a special batting helmet design for Friday and Sunday’s games. The helmet features the new raised “A” logo, but it also has a carbon fiber pattern on the helmet and the Inaugural Season patch that’s on the sleeves of the jerseys will also be on the back of this helmet as well.
When Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria claimed that he had a handshake deal for around $1 billion to sell the Marlins, Braves brass took the time to mention that they figured that their team was worth more than Miami’s was. According to Forbes’ valuations of MLB teams, that’s correct. Forbes has the Braves valued at around $1.5 billion, which is good for 12th out of baseball’s 30 clubs.
...The development of The Battery Atlanta around the stadium without a doubt played a large role in the evaluation. Another Forbes article discusses Atlanta’s plan to build restaurants and stores around the stadium for the ultimate entertainment center and says that while this may won’t directly benefit the Braves with additional revenue, it will impact the owners positively.
Perhaps even better news for baseball fans is that the MLB as a whole appears to be financially healthy. As Sporting News pointed out, Forbes has franchise worth increasing across all of Major League Baseball with the average worth of a team being $1.54 billion - a 19 percent increase from 2016.
By the eighth inning of last night’s game between the Marlins and Mets, Yoenis Cespedes had clubbed another two dingers (he’s hit five in his last two games. Yikes.) and the two teams were tied at eight. It seemed like we were headed to a high-scoring barnburner, but scoring slowed down to a complete halt and another run wouldn’t be scored until the 16th inning. That’s when Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo homer to make it 9-8, and the longest game in Marlins Park history ended after 16 innings and 5 hours and 38 minutes of play.
Meanwhile in Milwaukee, there were hot trade rumors last summer surrounding the Brewers and the Dodgers when it came to Ryan Braun. Apparently Braun was very close to being shipped to Chavez Ravine for prospects, but a deal never happened. However, the two teams are still talking turkey, and a deal could happen sometime this season. As one of my fellow writers on our lovely website would say, “Stay tuned.”