Dave Roberts complains about the “shoddy” playing surface at Turner Field

Associated Press
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The Braves are playing their last season at Turner Field. They’re also in cost-cutting mode all around. Put those two things together and it’s not hard to imagine that they’re going to cut some corners in their Dead Stadium Walking.

But one corner that shouldn’t be cut, as a matter of player health and safety and out of simple fairness and clean baseball, is the playing surface. Yesterday, there was a report that the Braves players are going to complain to the union about the quality of the surface.

But it’s not just a complaint from the local nine. Today Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, fresh from a series against the Braves, told Cliff Floyd and Casey Stern of SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel that the Turner Field surface is shoddy:

Casey Stern:  “Braves players are possibly going to complain to the union about Turner Field. … What did you see, if anything, about the conditions of the field in Atlanta over the last few days you played there?”

Dave Roberts:  “Yeah, I was extremely disappointed.  And it’s no surprise that those (Braves) players are complaining about it because imagine playing 81 games there.  This is Major League Baseball.  There are going to be some important games played in that ballpark this year and to have a shoddy surface dictate outcomes is unfortunate.  We had some errors there and the players, our guys, will own it.  But I think that the playing surface, you know, no one wants extra work there because the field gets beat up and you see Corey Seeger lose his footing.  It’s almost, I mean, I think that we get spoiled up here but it’s the Major Leagues and it should be the best of the best.  And it’s a little unacceptable to me.”

The audio can be heard below.

I am sure the Braves will fire back hard with comments and will deny that there is anything wrong with the surface. I am sure that they will claim that anyone saying otherwise is not “telling the whole story” or something similarly P.R.-speaky. But if their own players are complaining and the manager of a team that just cleaned the local guys’ clocks and who won’t be coming back to the ballpark again is freely saying it on a national radio broadcast, there is likely fire to that smoke.

It’s bad enough that the Braves are abandoning the city they’ve called home and a stadium that that is less than 20 years old for what can only be described as a cash grab in the form of a new, taxpayer-subsidized suburban ballpark. But to skimp on the playing surface in their final year is a disgrace.

Listen:

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.