Tyler Pastornicky

I kept putting this off, but it sure looks like the Braves intend to make Pastornicky the starting shortstop to begin the year. Needless to say, simply handing a regular job to a rookie with no major league experience (he was on the roster at the end of the year but never appeared in a game) who is not considered an elite prospect is an unusual move. But the Braves are planning to. The chances of this being a disaster are very good, and with only Jack Wilson in reserve things could get very ugly at shortstop.

A fifth-round pick by the Blue Jays in 2008, Pastornicky came over in the Yunel Escobar trade/debacle and was not considered a key piece by most. He didn’t do very much for the Braves in 2010, but last year he hit .314 between Mississippi and Gwinnett, including .365 in 27 games in AAA. He didn’t walk a whole lot or hit for much power (isolated power an even .100, seven homers) and a lot of people are skeptical that he is really a .300 hitter. If he’s not a .300 hitter he’s going to be a drag on the lineup.

Defensively, looks more like a decent, middle-of-the-pack guy than a star, but the Braves seem to think more highly of him than most outside observers. In the end, needs to play well to be more than just a seatwarmer for Andrelton Simmons, who is not exactly A-Rod.

Tyler Pastornicky Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com.

96 thoughts on “Tyler Pastornicky”

  1. JC’ed.
    Thx for the gammons article. So how hurt is too hurt too play? I do remember Chipper saying that 80% of Heyward is better than than than most. So Heyward was at < 80%?
    Are the Braves wrong to push the kid when apparently all the medical tests came out negative?

    I sure hope Pastornicky doesn't suck too bad. I guess that the Breves are holding to that last 4 mil for something else.

  2. Watched Senna and Man on Wire this weekend. Loved Senna. Best doc I’ve seen in awhile. Great production. Man on Wire was ok. The French guy is a self promoter and it was 30 minutes too long.

  3. There aren’t a lot of shortstops out there. I hope this kid does well. I saw him play in AA. He has a quick bat and runs fast.

  4. @1

    This is probably going to be somewhat unpopular, and I didn’t say this when it was going on because I didn’t really want to get involved in the argument at the time, but you’re almost never going to be 100 percent healthy throughout a baseball season (or so I hear). With as oft-injured as Heyward seems to be, if he can’t learn to play with a nagging injury here and a nagging injury there and be more effective than he was last year, I think we’re all going to be sorely disappointed at where his career winds up. He has to be able to play with minor injuries, and if it was a major injury, something would have showed up on the tests. Chipper was 100 percent right, and I found it absurd that so many people were on his case last year for saying what he did. Frankly for anyone to take Jason Heyward’s side over Chipper’s at this point in any clubhouse issue is absurd. If medical tests are showing nothing wrong with him, he can’t be slumming it down in Orlando claiming he’s still not 100 percent. That just isn’t acceptable, in my opinion, and that fans would be so flabbergasted that Braves players/coaches/front-office people would find it unacceptable is a little bit baffling to me.

  5. An average at best defensive SS who can hit singles with no patience or power. Sounds like he’s destined to become a utility guy. OR get the starting job day one for a contending team!

  6. Mac, I don’t think Adam was an elite prospect when the Braves handed him the first base job. So, the situation with Pastornicky is not completely hopeless.

    @5 Nick, I wish we all can remember Chipper has learned how to play with injuries since 2004 when he was 32 years old. Jason is only 22. He is learning how to play with pain and how to deal with his swing being messed up. Give the kid a break. Chipper has said a lot of things all these years and not everything he said is correct. There is one thing he said on Heyward which I agree with him though, and it’s that Heyward’s swing is probably too inflexible.

    @6 His low strikeout rate is something which gives me hope. We have no choice but to be hopeful!

  7. I’m pretty sure Chipper Jones, who blew out his ACL in 1994 and rehabbed it completely in order to debut a year later in 1995, had some idea of playing through pain before he turned 32. In fact, I’d suggest that he played through pain until he turned 32, and then when he got older his body stopped responded as well.

    Chipper is one of the most durable 3B in baseball history, after all.

  8. @8 He also called out on Drew, and Drew ended up having the best season of his life in his lone season with the Braves after getting himself healthy enough to play.

    All I am trying to say is, it’s not like Jason is a slacker. He was trying to learn how to play with pain and issues. He is only 22. Give him a break.

  9. 5,

    The truth is somewhere in between. Chipper is the leader in the clubhouse, and if that’s the way he does things, so be it. As you mentioned, nobody in profession baseball (or, quite frankly, even a workout/exercise plan that’s worth a crap) is ever going feel 100% at anytime. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way that Chipper acted.

    That being said, when the future of your franchise indicates that there is something wrong, and it is wrong enough that is affecting his ability to play the game at a high level, you pause and take notice. Medicine is filled with patients that present for complications and pains that are never correctly diagnosed by physicians; and, even if the tests come back fully negative, sometimes it means that you’re not running the right tests (and I say this as an individual with an aspiration to enter the medical industry). My priority is to have Jason healthy for his age 25, 26, 27, and 28 seasons, when he’s going to be a yearly MVP candidate. If that means shutting him down today, even for a year, to correctly diagnose his condition and give him proper treatment, I’m completely for it. After all, if you don’t take care of your players, you become the Mets.

    What’s overblown is that this has become a Chipper vs. Jason story. It isn’t that. It’s a veteran giving advice to a younger player about the intricacies of the game, and it’s absolutely valid to do. There is nothing wrong with that, but the media has made much more out of it than should be made.

    Ten years down the road, we’re definitely going to judge Chipper and Jason for this event. Jason could have the injury history of JD Drew, or Mark Prior, and depending on how he turns out, we’re going to label Chipper as a great leader or an idiot. That’s what the media has made this into, and it’s grossly unfair.

  10. @10, 11 It’s like when your kids keep claiming that there is somewhere wrong with their body, do you keep thinking that they only want to avoid school or you eventually listen to them, ha.

  11. Nobody here knows what kind of pain Heyward had last season. Maybe he was simply hamstrung by a minor, nagging injury. Maybe he was legitimately hurt. Maybe ge was 80%, or 50%, or maybe the whole percentage concept is moot because his shoulder just hurt enough to affect his swing and thus his results. All we know is that everything people write here, on a blog, where all of the information is mediated and then mediated again, is speculation.

    Hopefully 2012 goes better.

  12. Consider me uneasy about the SS position. Maybe Jack Wilson will end up being this year’s Walt Weiss… hold our noses, bat him 8th & hope he catches the ball. Surprise me, Tyler.

    BTW, heard this sentence today, something I’ve never before heard uttered: “Who won the Pro Bowl?”

  13. Really disappointing that they’re going with Pastornicky. He is not ready if he’s ever going to be good enough to play every day. There were plenty of opportunities for the Braves to upgrade the position this winter. No idea why they settled for this, they didn’t have to.

  14. If Pastornicky works out, Wren will look like a genius and it will validate the Braves way of playing young players early. If not, obviously, there will be a different scenario. It could work–stranger things have happened–but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a money-saving move. What gets me is that the team can do this and then wonder why people aren’t excited about the team.

  15. #16 – Just wait until next year when the org. announces Chippers retirement and his replacement is Joe Terdoslavich.

  16. If Heyward and Prado return to form and Uggla decides to play a whole season the team can carry Pastornicky’s glove. The bar is low for him. All he has to do is get on base more than Alex Gonzalez.

    I admire Jayson Heyward’s demeanor and the way that he is handling all the stuff said about him. Shoulders are hard to diagnose and I don’t think the kid would lie about how bad he was hurting. But I also see the Braves point of view. All the tests are negative,kid go out and play ball. To everyone’s point, I get it, he needs to learn to adjust his swing and that comes with experience.

  17. #18 – Not really. There is a huge dropoff defensively from Alex to Pastornicky. Pastornicky needs to make up that difference offensively. If he comes out of the gate slow, then we get Jack Wilson. SS could be a huge issue next year. I hope Pastornicky can give us a .280avg/.350obp with 20+ steals. Thats probably a stretch from what most scouts think is a utility player. Maybe he’ll find something in the majors like Prado did.

  18. Braves strategy to this point seems to be:
    1) Let players that you don’t like and you thought were overpaid walk
    2) Replace them with minor league players who most likely will be slightly worse
    3) Pray that Heyward, Uggla, Prado and a few starting pitchers have better years than last year and that the rest of the team does at least as good or better than last year with no injuries

    This doesn’t appear to be a great strategy. Let’s hope Wren makes a few deals early in the year or I wouldn’t bet on Atl’s chances – especially considering the manager.

  19. Braves 3rd inning: Heyward walks, Pastornicky bunts him to 2nd, pitcher bunts him to 3rd, Bourn strikes out.

  20. #22 – no chance.

    Heyward walks then steals 2nd, Pastornicky bunts him to third, MRSA calls on Hanson for the squeeze bunt, Heyward caught in rundown, Hanson K’s

  21. The Braves still have $4M to spend. If Pastornicky does not work out, Wren will be able to trade for one in mid-season who makes $8m.

  22. #24 – As we saw last year, giving away one win could be the difference. Hopefully Pastornicky/Wilson pans out if not waiting a half season could be too late.

  23. @25 I don’t think that’s Wren’s ideal plan, but he couldn’t find a decent shortstop at $4m salary, and he couldn’t find the trade package he likes in Prado/JJ in freeing payroll. The only thing that worked out this winter is trading Lowe away.

  24. @17 – welcome to the world of the Atlanta Freaking Expos.

    Unless Heyward fixes that swing, he’s going to have to platoon (with Diaz?) against lefties. Right now, he’s got no chance against a lefty that can locate.

    Freeman fixed the same problem. It can be done.

  25. The Braves are not a bad team and could be good. But how can you get excited? It just seems like pretty lame marketing to try to sell Tyler Pastornicky as the starting shortstop.

  26. This makes, what, the fourth straight year that the Braves will hand an opening day starting line-up spot to a rookie with no previous major league at-bats?

    OK, I looked and Freddie had a whopping 24 PA’s the year before.

    Still, it just seems that you’re going to get burned more often than not doing this while trying to compete.

  27. In 2004 the Braves gave LaRoche the job when he wasn’t an elite prospect. That is about the only time I can think of when it worked.

  28. First day of pitchers reporting, 1st piece of bad news…

    •If that means Hudson not ready till mid-April or May, that’s what #Braves will do. Too early to know right now. 44 mins ago

    •Ptching coach McDowell said #Braves will be cautious w/ Hudson (back surgery) to help ensure he’s healthy for summer and stretch drive. 46 mins ago

  29. Well, at least the one area we can deal with injuries is in the rotation. JJ-Beachy-Minor-Delgado-Teheran is not a bad rotation if the HH Boys can’t go.

  30. League average SS
    .261 .314 .374 .688
    Alex Gonzalez
    .241 .270 .372 .642

    #19 – So Pastornicky has to hit well above average to make up for the difference in his defensive ability and AGon’s? I respectfully disagree.

    It will be interesting to see how much rope Pastornicky has. A deal in mid season could be more expensive than just solving it with a good glove guy now.

    I know the excitement level is down for most becuase the team didn’t do much to improve over the off season but I’m starting to work up some enthusiasm. A healthy Heyward and Prado, a full season of Bourne, McCann healthy and ready to go. Heck just getting to see if Heyward can meet the outlandish expectations of him is an exciting prospect. Almost like getting a new player.

  31. Jeremy, AAG was ranked 2nd behind only Brendan Ryan in the runs saved category last year.

    The top five shortstops in infield runs saved in 2011, according to the Bill James Handbook 2012:

    1.Brendan Ryan, Seattle (18 runs saved)
    2.Alex Gonzalez, Atlanta (15)
    3.Elvis Andrus, Texas (13)
    4.Clint Barmes, Houston (12)
    5.Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado (11)

    So yes, Pastornicky needs to outperform AAG’s offensive stats by a wide margin for us to have an overall upgrade at SS. If he puts up a league average .688OPS but is just average in the field then I wouldn’t consider that an overall upgrade at the position. FWIW, Tyler is projected at a .635OPS with a marginal glove.

  32. JJ-Beachy-Minor-Delgado-Teheran is not a bad rotation if the HH Boys can’t go.

    That’s the third or fourth best rotation in our division.

  33. FWIW:

    Eric (CT)

    Given that the Braves drafts recently have been really bad, and the Latin Trio will no longer be eligible for prospects lists next year, is this the last of the Braves being in the top half of organizational rankings for a while? Thanks!

    Klaw (1:17 PM)

    That’s probably fair. I’m glad someone else has noticed that their drafts have been really poor of late.

  34. Pretty funny typo here in a tweet from Dave O’Brien:

    Luis Durango could compete w/ Constanza. RT @baseballfan30: @ajcbraves besides Costanza… who has a shit for the final bench spot….thanks

  35. Other than a few wretched outings (very few), I thought Buddy performed pretty well.

    I think the gnashing of teeth regarding our #8 hitter is wasted effort.

    Spoke with a guy who has seen Pastornicky a bunch and thinks we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Can’t have too many Ham Fighters in the MLB.

  36. The Brewers and the Twins have higher payroll than the Braves. I could have never imagined that…

  37. I’ve been thinking about our fortune and have decided that we’re (the fans) really not to blame.

    It was easier to take Bunker Hill than it is to get in and out of a Braves game.

    Safe, reliable, redundant people-moving solutions are obviously in need but no one ever does anything about it. Gonna have to think about that. There’s a money-maker in there somewhere.

  38. I don’t think getting in and out of the games is that big of a deal. If you buy your parking pass on line, you can go right to your lot.

    Getting out isn’t too terrible. I’ve ast in a lot worse getting out of a game.

  39. You have to remember that I’m from Birmingham and grew up going to games at Legion Field (Motto: “You might not get shot!”) so Turner Field is easy to me. But the location really is a problem.

  40. I’ve said it here before, but after growing up near San Francisco most of my life and living in New York for 4.5 years, I’m still really surprised by how aggressive the homeless people are in Atlanta. It’s especially bad near the stadium.

  41. @52, Regardless of what you think about the area around TF, I think “don’t ever move to Baltimore” is generally good advice. :)

  42. I continue to think Turner Field is really not that bad, it’s just people are looking for an excuse to not go.

    I wouldn’t go strolling through the neighborhood at night if there isn’t a Braves game, but on nights with a game, it’s really not bad as long as you park in an official lot, in which there’s always room. Nobody is going to mug you amongst tens of thousands of people in a well-lit parking lot.

    Also, if you’re experiencing any traffic around the stadium, you’re doing it wrong. Traffic on the connector is one thing, but you can just hop off at Fulton Street, park immediately, then after the game get in your car and hop right back on the connector. Don’t get off at Capitol Avenue, if that’s your problem.

    I’m constantly baffled at homeless people as an excuse to not go to the Braves game. Just ignore them. Why is that hard? If you can’t handle the fact that there are homeless people in Atlanta, you’ve got bigger issues than the Braves game.

    You know what’s a way bigger pain in the ass? Going to a game at any major college football stadium. Does anybody ever let what a pain it is to go to a game in Athens, for instance, stop them from doing that? Or Tuscaloosa, my God! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sitting in traffic an exit or two from Tuscaloosa for three hours, just so I can drive another three back to Atlanta, as much as the next guy… Does anybody let these colossal traffic catastrophes stop them from going to these games? No, of course not. Which brings me back to people trying to find an excuse to not go to Braves games.

  43. This would be an awful decision IMO…

    •#Braves manager Fredi G. said Teheran and/or Delgado would be bullpen options if don’t make opening-day rotation. 38 mins ago

  44. Anybody else think Vizcaino’s gonna be better than all of them?

    Frightfully small sample size, I know, but dude looked electric and tricky as hell. Pedro-esque.

  45. I have season tickets and I go to almost every home game but I can see why some people would not want to go to the game. Other than the stadium there is almost nothing else in the area of interest. I have been to other venues in other cities and I always like when the area is surrounded by clubs, restaurants, stores, etc. It provides something to do before and after the event. I think this is actually a common problem with most of the venues in the Atlanta area. For some reason whenever an arena or stadium needs to be built in Atlanta, the powers that be ask “what is the most out of the way and desolate place in the city we can put this venue?” I don’t understand why other cities can figure this out but Atlanta cannot.

  46. DOB tweet: “Braves 3b Chipper on possibly playing beyond ’12: I sit here with 3 wks to go before ST & I’m not ready to say this is it”.

    I dig it.

  47. Clearly, the Braves attendence is not unexplainable. I wouldn’t go to many games here in DC if the Metro didn’t stop half a block from the stadium. But, regardless of the reason,attendence is mediocre and that has to affect the way ownership views payroll.

    I was in Minneapolis recently for work and went by Target Field. It’s not in the best neighborhood–stadiums usually aren’t-but there are trains running downtown. Plus, there seems to be accessbible parking. I’m sure it is relatively easy to get to the stadium.

  48. Target Field is smack in the middle of downtown Minneapolis. The basketball arena is down the street one way, First Avenue (the club in “Purple Rain”) is down another. It’s loaded with hotels, restaurants & bars, plenty of parking.

    It’s pretty much everything Turner Field isn’t.

    The location of Turner Field isn’t great, but—let’s face it—Atlanta sports fans aren’t exactly the greatest either.

  49. It really is kind of a pain to get to the stadium if you’re out in the suburbs. For example, living out in Roswell, if you want to get to a 7:05 game early you have leave at about 5:30ish at the latest and at that time as you get near the downtown area the traffic is pretty bad. If you want to go even earlier then the traffic is awful.

    It’s been fairly simple for me to go for the SIX YEARS I’ve been at Tech. You just hop on Northside, take a left at the Texaco next to the shady barber shop with bars on the windows, cross the railroad tracks and you’re in the area!

  50. Bud Selig’s pushing hard for extra Wild Card team per league for 2012. What Bud wants, Bud gets. I have mixed feeling about this decision. On one hand, it seems to cheapen the 162-game season. On the other, it gives me a little more hope for 2012.

  51. Some will hate it and some will love it. I like the wild card and even adding another team to the mix. It gives teams in stacked divisions a little more of a playoff chance?

  52. don’t the wild-cards get screwed by having to play a 1 game playoff? I think it might actually enhance the regular season, or winning the division at least. I’m also hoping for a tie for one division pennant to throw the whole thing up in the air. this has the potential for a whole bunch of tiebreakers.

  53. @63 – There’s a simple solution for that problem.

    Don’t live in the fucking suburbs.

    Turner Field basically backs up to Grant Park on the east side. It’s not white bread Alpharetta, but it’s hardly a terrifying neighborhood. I might be a little more careful parking on the west side of the field, as that bleeds into Mechanicsville pretty quickly, and that’s not a *good* neighborhood per se. But good lord. If you’re afraid of Grant Park, you might as well move to a cloister and raise sheep.

  54. I agree with Nick. I park at the state Capitol building (free after 6 PM) and walk from there. I’ve never been harassed, even walking back after a night game. But then, I don’t consider “excuse me” harassment…just keep walking. Having to say “nope, sorry” a time or two doesn’t ruin a stroll. Nobody has ever touched me or impeded my progress.

    Now, I’ll admit that I wouldn’t do this if going alone, or if I had kids, but even then the E1 Marta station is a viable option. The lack of entertainment options outside the park is a bigger problem IMO.

  55. I will say that moving the start of weekday games from 7:40 to 7:10 was incredibly retarded. I assume they did it because people were whining about the freaking children not being able to watch the ends of games, or perhaps because it normalized the TV schedule with everyone else (including ESPN and MLB Network), but it does make it very difficult to get to the game on time if you don’t leave work early. It was a bad idea.

    It is true that there’s nothing of consequence to do around Turner Field, but it’s really not that hard to drive somewhere else after the game. People act as if by the time you get back to civilization, there’s no way anyone would want to do anything other than go home. It’s right on the highway. It would take 10 minutes to drive to Midtown, 15 to drive to Virginia-Highland and Buckhead. If you’re on MARTA, there are train stations smack in the middle of Midtown and Buckhead. (Virginia-Highland, is admittedly, a bit tougher on MARTA.) I’m not really seeing the problem here.

    Hell, Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome are right smack in the middle of downtown, with a dedicated MARTA station and a bunch of stuff to do, and there are people who somehow think they’re not convenient, either. With some people, if the team was playing in their back yard, they wouldn’t go to the porch to watch because it would be way more convenient if the game was being played in their living room.

  56. Dusty,
    Did you ever get to read any of those sports books that you won from our fantasy baseball league? If so, what were the ones you’d recommend?

  57. Fredi is saying stupid things, and Chipper is saying he is not retiring…we are definitely ready for a new season!

  58. “Jones is entering the final guaranteed year of a contract that will pay $14 million in 2012. The deal includes a $7 million team option for 2013, which vests automatically at $9 million if he plays at least 123 games in 2012. The 2013 option has escalators that could add $1 million each for 128, 133, 138 and 140 games played in 2012.”

    That’s good. Fredi, rest Chipper more this year!

  59. Saw this quote in a Stark article on ESPN:

    “Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank,” one NL executive said. “Michael Bourn will be the center fielder in Washington a year from now.”

    It was out of the blue, the last sentence in a blurb about the Phillies getting below the luxury tax threshold. How it relates to that is anybody’s guess but I thought it was interesting.

  60. @73 This would give the Natspos of an outfield of Harper-Bourn-Werth for the next four/five years.

  61. OK, I know nothing about the A-Town area (except that maybe all of the locals reading this now want to crotch-punch me for calling it “A-Town”) but I’m looking at google maps and there is a rail station called West End Station what looks to be a mile from the stadium. I walk more than a mile to the college football game I attend so I see that as no problem.

    My guess is maybe that stretch from the station to stadium is a cruddy area?(I see scrapyards) Or that walking a mile is much worse than it now sounds when it is mid-July and like 120% humidity?

  62. Yeah, you probably wouldn’t wanna walk back to that station after the game. North and east of the stadium, and the stadium itself, is fine. South and west, not so much. A lot of people walk to the Georgia State station, and that might actually be farther than West End or Garnett.

  63. @63 – Mike N are you a student at Tech? Most folks I know who managed to escape with a degree took at least 5 years, most of them more than that.

  64. @56, Who’s looking for an excuse not to go? I was just making an observation. Why is my fandom being brought into question?

  65. Yea I’m a student there. This is really my 5th year of classes. I took a (school mandated) year off but still worked on campus so I just consider it my 6th year. Finally getting this thing done in May!

  66. @78

    Because you suggested that people might not be going to Braves games because of homeless people. If you do not follow your suggestion, that’s good, your fandom is not in question. You’re not the first person I’ve heard complain about it, though, which makes me think that there are actually people out there who have that on their list of reasons.


    Assuming you meant 285, I think that’s a common misconception. First of all, most Atlanta suburbs wouldn’t want the Braves to move into their town. But moving past that, the team has to be centrally located, otherwise you’d be seen as abandoning people on the other side of the city, and you would never get those people to go to games. It would be even worse for them than having it Downtown. And you’re very likely not to have MARTA if you moved to along 285, by the way. There are only three spots where MARTA either intersects or comes up right alongside 285.

  67. @81, I suggested no such thing. Someone mentioned that it was sketchy and I made an observation and shared an anecdote. I just thought it was weird that most of my unpleasant experiences with homeless/crazy/drug addicts have happened in Atlanta and not in cities famous for their homeless people like SF or NY. But that’s neither here nor there.

  68. I think the real reason the fans don’t show up has been well documented: the fans got used to them winning so much. Then they stopped winning.

  69. @83 I don’t really buy that. If that theory holds true, nobody would attend any Yankees or Red Sox games.

  70. #84
    You know, when the Braves got good (’91-’92) & the Yanks were really bad (same years), Atlanta outdrew the Yanks. Braves drew 2.1 & 3.0 million, while the Yanks drew 1.8 & 1.7.

    In fact, the Braves outdrew the Yankees every year between 1991-1998.

  71. 84,

    I don’t think the either is the same situation as Atlanta. NY has nearly 4 times the number of people as Atlanta, and it can be argued that on a per capita basis, Atlantans attend Braves’ games at a much higher rate than people in NY attend Yankees games. NY could be exhibiting the same effect, but you wouldn’t notice it because of the massive difference in population.

    The Red Sox used to have extremely bad attendance when they sucked (no surprise). Even now, they haven’t experienced a prolonged length of success as the Braves experienced in the nineties. If Boston is still playing at a high level for the next ten years, then you could have a situation that was similar to Atlanta in the nineties. And even so, there’s another factor to consider: Fenway Park in Boston has become tradition. I lived in Boston for around a year or so, and every time we had family or friends come over from some place, they would always want to see the Red Sox play at Fenway. In that sense, I think Boston is becoming a little like Chicago– even if the Red Sox suck, they’re a must-see event.

    No, if you want to see a true experimental ‘Atlanta a-effect’ (can we coin this, please?) where a team that experiences prolonged success starts losing its fans, look at Indianapolis in the upcoming years. I think they’ll lose fans more quickly than they realize.

  72. 85,

    Sorry, I’m just reminded of the year Francoeur came into camp slimmed down and more tone. McCann said something about Jeffy looking like how he did in high school. Well, we know how that story ended…

  73. I was bored so I graphed attendance and wins from 1990-2011. Up until 2000 they track closely, but after that attendance is much less dependent on wins. The two 100+ win seasons in 2002-2003, for instance, saw lower attendance than any year in the 90’s after ’91, and it’s been stagnant ever since.

    Long story short, team performance doesn’t seem to be the only factor for current attendance levels.

  74. @87 I think you answer part of what I think the root problem is…and I think this has been pointed out previously by someone else, but I believe Braves fans tend to spread across the country rather than concentrating around Atlanta. There are plenty of non-Braves fans in Atlanta.

  75. @89, Interesting stuff.

    Side note: I watched “Drive” tonight after anxiously waiting for it to come out on DVD. Has anyone here seen it? It’s probably the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen in my life.

  76. I think a lot of the problem is that many Atlantans are transplants from other parts of the country. My family came from Detroit, for example, but we are all Braves fans. I don’t know if I could say the same for most other transplants.

  77. Everything mentioned factors in, I think. For every factor that someone doesn’t care about, there’s another they can’t be talked out of. The walk, the downtown denizens, and even the lack of outside entertainment don’t mean much to me personally — but I won’t go to afternoon games in the summer due to the heat.

  78. @93 – Yeah, nothing deters me from attendance other than afternoon game heat in June-August. Everything else is completely manageable and worth it to go to a game, and for me that includes routinely parking on the west side, which is not that bad if you’re basically competent at doing it.

    I’d say I’m in the 90th percentile of fan enthusiasm when it comes to the Braves, however, so as you go down the curve of fandom I assume you steadily pick up more factors that are deal breakers for each fan. If I was a 50th percentile fan, I might be deterred by both heat and ticket prices, or something else. Culturally, it could be the case that southerners are less prone to being extremely passionate about any one area of interest, so even though plenty of Braves fans exist there just isn’t the same quantity of rabid ones that populates northern cities, so we see the effect of hindrances to attendance show up more than other places might. That’s just pure speculation though.

  79. @94

    “Culturally, it could be the case that southerners are less prone to being extremely passionate about any one area of interest”

    I don’t buy that. I’ll cite college football as exhibit A. I won’t mention exhibit B on this board.

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