Associated Press

Cobb County, Georgia taxpayers paying for traffic control at Braves games

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The industry standard these days is for professional sports teams to pay if local police forces are needed for traffic control and such on game day. It wasn’t always that way, but it has trended that way over time. Today the vast majority of teams either reimburse municipalities for police work or else that cost is accounted for in rent payments on publicly-owned stadiums.

The Atlanta Braves don’t pay for traffic control in their new home in Cobb County, however. Not because they drove a hard bargain or anything, though. They don’t because the Cobb County government didn’t think to ask or demand them to pay. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The stadium operating agreement between the Braves and Cobb County is silent about the county’s obligation to pay for traffic control, and two Cobb commissioners told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the issue was never discussed publicly.

It wasn’t discussed, it seems, because the Cobb County folks just made an assumption. And the Braves, apparently, did nothing to disabuse them of their assumption. Here’s the recently-retired county manager who participated in the new stadium deal:

“That’s news to me because … we were told that the Braves would take care of everything inside the stadium and Atlanta took care of everything outside the stadium,” Hankerson said. “If it was something different, this is the first time I’ve heard of it.”

We’ve been pretty critical of the Braves in connection with their new ballpark over the past couple of years, but this one is all on Cobb County. Sounds like they got had.

 

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.