Wow. They've been owned by Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting, AOL TimeWarner, or TimeWarner (in one or another of those incarnations) since 1976! I knew it had been a long time, but I had no idea just how long, wow.
So, why the sale? Braves losing money or something? (By the way, another big "fuck you" to TimeWarner for selling WCW to the WWF back in 2001; I'm totally blaming you guys for Vince getting so damn lazy.)
"Dude, you order paladins to clean the litter box. You're, like, my idol." --Belkar Bitterleaf, The Order of the Stick
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Fan of the Indianapolis Colts-- Super Bowl XLI Champions
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Why keep such a small portion of your organization that has no guarantee of profit? While a cash cow with a loyal fanbase like the Cubs is a good asset for a shaky company like Tribune to hang onto (hell, just the free rights to the games for WGN 9 and 720 makes the case,) a corporation as diverse as TW doesn't need to concern themselves with the Braves, who have to spend a lot to compete and don't guarantee sellouts or big media contracts in exchange. There's not enough to gain to make it worth the worry.
TBS was already moving away from Braves broadcasts nationally; under the new rights agreement, with TBS picking up games-of-the-week on Sundays as well as DCS coverage and the NLCS this year, they only plan to run about 16 games all season IIRC.
Why make this trade? First, as has been said, Arthur Rhodes is near the end of the line. He lost his closer job about a month in to Octavio Dotel of all people, who was far from reliable. His value is minimal, especially considering his salary.