If you thought the Braves’ move to Cobb County would leave just Cobb taxpayers on the hook, think again. The team’s execs may seek millions more in tax credits from the state—largesse that would be underwritten by all Georgians.
It can’t have been easy to be a Cobb resident this week. Since Monday’s surprise announcement of the Braves’ impending relocation to a vacant lot near Cumberland Mall, the prevailing attitude from the rest of the metro area has been: Effing *Cobb*. Those highway-worshipin’, Applebees-eatin’ suburbanites spit in the face of progress [time] and [again], then steal our baseball team.
In the media scrum to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run, the undercurrent—the moral—of the story was the blatant racism he faced while chasing down Babe Ruth in 1974. In many of those commemorative stories, Aaron explained that he held on to the epithet-laced letters to remind him that racism still exists. Well more than a few “fans” have gone out of their way to prove Aaron right.
Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee must feel like he’s sitting in a dunking booth. During the Public Comment portion of the bi-monthly Board of Commissioners meetings, it has become almost customary for citizens disgruntled with Lee’s handling of the new Braves stadium to take their best shot at the chairman.
At today's press conference, Mayor Kasim Reed announced that the sixty-acre tract currently occupied by Turner Field and acres of asphalt will be developed into housing for middle-income residents.
If the new Atlanta Braves stadium becomes the economic engine that boosters predict, it would be as likely as seeing Julio Teheran throw a perfect game. Economists say they know of no major league ballparks that justify their public subsidies. "Study after study after study agrees with this finding," said sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University. "People don’t even study it any more, it’s so non-controversial."
On May 10, 1977, Ted Turner—the budding media mogul and owner of the sad-sack Atlanta Braves—told manager Dave Bristol to take 10 days off after losing 16 games straight. Too bad Turner had no clue what he was doing.
Mazzone has fond memories of Turner Field, where he wore out the bench as pitching coach, rocking nervously back and forth in the dugout beside manager Bobby Cox as the two oversaw the most successful stretch in Braves history.