Friday, November 14, 2008


If I didn't think that Ted Turner was crazier than a sh*thouse rat, I'd put more credence in this:
Ted Turner told ABC's 'Good Morning America' Tuesday that he may have interest in purchasing [the Braves] from Liberty Media.

Turner was promoting his new book, 'Call Me Ted.' He told anchor Robin Roberts at the end of the interview that he was, "trying to earn enough money with my restaurants and my books to buy the Braves back."
My guess is that
it was just one of those random interview things that come up and will amount to nothing.

That said, would the prospect excite me? Maybe. Yesterday, Pete Toms Jason and I were talking about Turner in a comment thread, and I noted that Turner was absolutely awesome starting around 1986 or 1987 or so in that he hired smart people, let them do their jobs, stood back and signed the checks and was a big fan. Kind of the proto-Mark Cuban, really.

What a lot of people forget, though, was that he was, well, a total loon for the first decade he ran the team, meddling in decisions he shouldn't have, insisting on awful trades, and generally giving Braves fans headaches. I haven't read his book, but my guess is that he was rather bored during those early years and enthralled with his toy baseball team. Later, during the good years, he was way more busy with his media empire and the Goodwill Games and stuff thus had less time to meddle.

If Ted Turner made a nostalgia purchase and became owner in 2009, my suspicion is that he would be way more likely to be the Ted Turner of 1976-85 than he would to be the Ted Turner of 1986-2000 or whenever it was.

This is not to say that it wouldn't be neat to have old Ted back for a while. It's just that you can't go home again.


mooseinohio said...

Maybe George W could buy the Rangers and we could have retro ownership to go along with retro uniforms?

As for Ted I suspect he would be a combination of the two but would help bring a brighter media spotlight to the Braves. Not that the Brave have done poorly, they just haven't done great things either.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

In the comments from a posting here earlier this week, like we KNEW this was coming!:

me: "The Yanks are family-owned. Ask the Cubs and Braves fans if they like being corp-owned or would they rather be family-owned? Betchya CC wouldn't mind seeing Ted back in the front row."

Craig: "Liberty is better than AOL/Time-Warner was, but each pales compared to Ted Turner. That said, I came in right around the time Turner decided to become sane for a while (1985-86), so I missed the stunts (Ted as manager!) and sadness (trading for Len Barker and a bunch of other zeros) that came before. I can totally see that a Braves fan from the mid 70s to the early 80s would have craved corporate ownership.

Ultimately, I would hope that any team I rooted for would have ownership that understood that the real value of owning a team was asset appreciation as opposed to year-to-year cashflow, and spent was necessary to grow the value of the asset as opposed to finish any given year in the black."

Craig Calcaterra said...

Jason -- sorry, I forgot that was you who brought it up, not Pete. I changed the post accordingly.

Richard Dansky said...

Never mind the Braves, has Ted's crazy reached the level where he's planning to get around to bankrolling "The Last Full Measure"?

Jason @ IIATMS said...

I didn't even notice that, CC.

Note to self: read more carefully.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Someone has, Richard:

Pete Toms said...

Somebody is going to buy the Braves, Liberty doesn't want the team....why not Ted?

Perhaps the value of these teams has finally peaked. NFL LOWERING playoff ticket prices, financing problems with new stadiums, MLB ticket prices flattened - if not reduced, MLB attendance slightly down in 08.....

This from Bloomberg yesterday as well;

Billionaire Julian Robertson, who founded hedge fund Tiger Management LLC, said North American sports franchises are overvalued.

``There is a lot of interesting business involved in these things, but they've been bid up to pretty ridiculous levels,'' Robertson said in an interview airing Nov. 15 on Bloomberg's ``On the Ball'' radio program.

So, how about it? Let's buy the Braves from Liberty 3 years down the road. I'm in for a $1,000. Anybody else? I want final say on all player transactions though, or I'm out!

Craig Calcaterra said...

Sorry, Pete. We can't let a Canadian by the Braves. National security reasons, you understand.

I'll chip in too. I'll let others wiser than me make most of the decisions, but I do get a couple of executive moves at the outset:

1. Banish the red alternate and solid blue alternate jerseys to the ash heap. The Braves will wear white home uniform and gray road uniforms, and there will be no further discussion on the matter. I may allow the sold blue road alternate cap, though. I bought one (even wore it today) and I think it's kind of spiffy.

2. All 162 games will be broadcast on WTBS by announcers of my choosing. If that conflicts with some MLB media rule or contract exclusivity, we will force them to file suit and deploy serial delaying tactics during litigation until they get bored with us and go away.

3. All night games will be followed by a movie that aired on the network between 1976 and 2000, and they will be promoed during the game via tapes of Skip Caray's original promos. Two Mules for Sister Sarah will air at least once a month.

I'm sure I can think of some others if given time.

christopher said...

Craig, are you going to be racking up billable hours during the serial delay tactics? And if so, is there any way I can get in on that gravy train without being a lawyer? An expert witness or something?

Craig Calcaterra said...

No, I'll do this one pro bono. If I can think of any counterclaims, though, I'll try to cut all of the investors in on the recovery.

Richard Dansky said...

Nope, not the same "Last Full Measure", alas. And I was so looking forward to more Jeff Daniels badass droopy mustache action....