The Braves release a rendering of their new park. And it’s kinda “meh”

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With the caveat that early architectural renderings rarely if ever give us a great sense of what the final product will actually look like and feel like — and with the caveat that the vagueness of early renderings often gives the place an overly-idealized version of the final product — the Atlanta Journal Constitution gives us early architectural renderings of the new Braves park:

More pics here.

Kudos for what appears to be greater shade/sun-protection measures in those big panels up top. Demerits for what appears to be four or five distinct decks. The Braves are saying the park will hold only 41,500 people which is not crazy, but it does seem a tad overbuilt. If the idea is to have fewer rows in each section, OK, but in the post-pillar age, every row up means going back a little bit, so I wonder how groundbreaking this really is. I guess we won’t know until we can sit in the actual seats up high.

My bigger observation is that t just looks kinda generic. Is there new room for something — anything — that looks architecturally inspired as opposed to merely functional? The Braves are owned by a big corporation and these renderings look like the profit of a bunch of meetings in which everyone fought hard not to offend anyone else. Nothing is going to please everyone, but something bold would be neat. Not that Braves have ever gone for anything particularly bold.

Obviously things could change, but this is sorta underwhelming, even if it’ll almost certainly be a fine place to watch a ballgame.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.