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The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Atlanta Braves

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We continue our trek through the NL East’s best unis. Next up: the Bravos:

The Best: Let us first specify that the Braves’ use of Native American iconography is problematic. Yes, the uniforms look good, but that tomahawk, while nothing as offensive as Chief Wahoo, does present a bit of a problem for me. Not one that I think should lead to boycotts or petition drives, but it’s something with which I’ll never be 100% comfortable.  All of that said,  the current home jerseys — which are much like the classic 1946-67 Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta uniforms, minus the big Indian head on the sleeve — are easily the best of the bunch. Of course, the Braves have gone and messed with a good thing quite a bit in recent years, adding in an alternate road uniform that looks like batting practice stuff, and that home Sunday red jersey that — thanks to our last image of it in 2010 — should be burned and never seen again. Well, it was awful before Brooks Conrad too, but he just adds to it.
The Worst: Man, the Braves have had some awful uniforms in their history. The 1929 numbers were notable for having a giant Indian head on the back instead of a number. The 1936-40 uniforms have an excuse for being ugly — the Braves had renamed themselves the “Bees” and adopted yellow accents. Many people hate the mid-70s getups, but I kind of like them. A bit of a dead end, sure, but at least they were trying something new and, God knows, there were teams who did way worse in that decade.  Ultimately, though, the early-to-mid 80s look is the worst in my mind. Not because they’re terrible, but because they are so bland and uninspired.
Assessment: There is nowhere else to go with any historical basis that’s worth a damn if the Braves want to change things up, so if they ditch the current duds, they need to go off in a new direction.  I don’t think they will, though.  Those tweaks aside, they’ve kept with the classic look for nearly a quarter century now, so it’s probably here to stay.  Just go back to the gray roadies and ditch the red alternates. Please? Pretty please?

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

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This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.