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.

 

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.