It would be difficult to overstate the role the Cobb Chamber, a 2,500-member business organization, played in bringing the Braves to Cobb, whether as public cheerleaders or private decision-makers.
The TV news cameras rolled. The newspaper writers hovered over their laptops. On Tuesday morning, two weeks after being escorted kicking and screaming from the Cobb County Commission chambers, the opposition to the Braves stadium finally was to have its day to address the commissioners. Three dissenters showed up.
In the last three seasons, Craig Kimbrel has redefined the notion of pitching dominance, striking out hitters at rates never seen before. Along the way, he has collected saves with an efficiency similar to that of Braves legend John Smoltz. This past weekend, Kimbrel equaled Smoltzie’s career total of 154 saves, a franchise record.
In case you’re curious, here’s what dissenters wanted to discuss at the Cobb Commission meeting on the Braves stadium
Before Tuesday’s vote on bond financing agreements for the new Atlanta Braves stadium, Cobb County commissioners refused to let critics voice concerns. A brief standoff ensued, as several members of the advocacy group Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency (CGT) stood to protest before police escorted them from the room. We were curious to hear what CGT might have said if given the chance, so we asked representatives of the group whether they’d come to the Cobb chambers with talking points in hand. As it turns out, they had.
Dissenters did not get a chance to weigh in at last night’s Cobb Commission vote on the Braves stadium
Last night’s Cobb County Commission meeting felt more like a Chamber-backed groundbreaking for the new Braves stadium than a public forum. Before the call to order, the room was packed with suits, ties, and a few nametags attached to people talking about business, glad-handing, and passing out cards—the only things missing were the souvenir hard hats and shiny shovels.
Critics of Cobb County's $314 million deal with the Atlanta Braves moved on to round two on Wednesday, filing a new ethics complaint against Cobb commissioners just hours before their first such complaint was summarily dismissed.
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.
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."
Granted, we did our share of taunting Dan Uggla last year. But Phillies fans are the worst. Spend your lunch break replaying this video courtesy of Timothy Burke at Deadspin.