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.
Well Braves fans, after almost a decade of sustained mediocrity—one division title and two measly postseason wins—a head is finally rolling. But it’s not the head you wanted.
After the recent one-game suspension of Dan Uggla, it seems safe to declare that Tommy La Stella will frequent Fredi Gonzalez’s starting lineup for the rest of 2014 and possibly beyond. The 25-year-old has performed serviceably, hitting .292 in 154 at-bats—a welcome jump in production from the .189 average that other Braves second basemen have collectively hit this season.
I don’t think I will be able to get to as many games because of transportation to and from the games. It was easier up here because it only took me like four or five minutes to get there and only fifteen walking. And I think it will hurt the area around Turner Field because now we don't have anything here.
So, who knew about Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee’s ties to a turf company before the Braves deal was announced?
When Tim Lee isn’t running Cobb County government, he's promoting an artificial turf manufacturer. But the Cobb County commission chair doesn't see that job conflicting with his newfound role as cheerleader-in-chief for a $672 million Atlanta Braves stadium. "I am so far removed from the process of what goes in what stadium, it's not even funny," Lee told me last week.
It was party time in East Cobb, Tuesday morning be damned, courtesy of the county’s newest corporate citizen. The Braves laid down AstroTurf beneath the dance hall-sized tent they pitched in the middle of the barren Cumberland construction site that will, in two years time, be their new home—the newly christened SunTrust Field.
One year ago today, our local baseball team crashed the Veterans' Day news cycle with the announcement that it was fleeing downtown for new digs in the northwestern 'burbs. Today, the team released a time-lapse video of construction on the stadium/mixed-use development near Cumberland—compressing twelve months of slow fan torture into one rip-the-bandage-off minute.
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."
The Braves' new neighbors in Cobb County may be in for sticker shock. A proposed tax district planned to help subsidize stadium construction would comprise more than double the taxable property in the existing Cumberland tax district.
For both millenials and long-time fans, this Braves season is starting to bring flashbacks. Young fans recall the collapse of 2011 as the long-sufferers fight off visions of the late 1980’s. The team has lost six straight games—falling to three games behind the first-place Nationals. Despair over this slump is mitigated by a trade with the Cubs that could give the team a needed jolt.