Author: Craig Calcaterra

Braves ballpark

Great Moments in Government Ethics: Cobb County, Georgia Edition



We’ve noted before that Tim Lee, the chairman of the Cobb County, Georgia Commission, is in ethical hot water because he apparently bypassed some laws in his effort to lure the Braves out of Atlanta. Shocking, I know, that a politician would do such a thing when trying to lure a professional sports team.

But even better than his apparent skirting of ethics laws in doing so is his defense against the ethics charges he now faces. As the Marietta Daily Journal reports, his response to the ethics complaint filed against him is  . . . well, special:

The motion to reconsider, filed by Freeman Mathis & Gary attorney David Cole on Tuesday, states Lee “respectfully submits the board’s decision to schedule this complaint for a hearing was in error,” because the portion of the county’s ethics code the board used in its decision “cannot be a basis for discipline.”

The portion of the ethics code in question states government officials “by their conduct should avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

Cole argues the use of the word “should,” as opposed to “shall” or “must,” means the portion of the code is not a mandatory standard of conduct, but rather an “advisory statement.”

Got that? He’s saying “The law just says I should avoid impropriety. Not that I, you know, have to.”

A good chunk of my legal career was spent defending crooked politicians in front of the Ohio Ethics Commission. I will humbly submit that, even though government ethics commissions often lack teeth, if I had made such an argument in front of them they would’ve laughed my butt out of the building.

In any event, here’s to the eternal chutzpah of politicians who think giving handouts to billionaires and corporations so that they can profit more on their already insanely profitable sports teams is a good idea.

Hiroki Kuroda is considering . . . um, everything

Hiroki Kuroda

I post this not because it is news, but because it is a good reminder that, in the offseason, one must read reporters breaking “news” closely to make sure it actually, you know, means a dang thing:

He needed a “source” to tell him that.

Not that this is not valuable. I mean, we now know that Kuroda is not planning a career in ice dancing, championship dressage or attempting to qualify for the lumberjack world championships (to be held in Heyward, Wisconsin on July 23-25, 2015).

Good to know.

Tim Lincecum will probably head back to the Giants rotation in 2015

Tim Lincecum

The Giants are going to lose, in all likelihood, Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong. Or at least one of them. Maybe both. That leaves Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson as locks. Matt Cain if he’s healthy. Likely Yusmeiro Petit and  . . .

Lincecum wasn’t used much in relief in the playoffs. He has been fighting it for years now, but it still seems like the Giants’ best bet would be to have him in the rotation.

Everth Cabrera is in more legal trouble

everth cabrera getty

Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was arrested for domestic violence once, but had the charges dismissed. He was a Biogenesis All-Star. Then, late this season, he was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. Now his legal problems have gotten worse:

San Diego’s District Attorney’s office has filed a criminal complaint against Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera for resisting an officer’s order by force in September when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, a spokesman said Thursday morning.

We sure that was marijuana in his system? I have been told that it’s not exactly a substance that makes one aggressive. Oh well.

The Padres were already considering other shortstop options this winter, partially because of Cabrera’s legal problems but mostly because of his health and production problems. This doesn’t help him, I don’t figure.

Raul Ibanez is one of the people being considered for the Rays manager job

Raul Ibanez Angels

Two years ago Jason Giambi was considered for the Rockies manager job even though he was — and still is — an active player. Now another active player is on the list of candidates for the Rays job:

Raul Ibanez played 90 games between the Angels and the Royals last year. Unfortunately for him, it appeared a though his age finally caught up with him. He traveled with the Royals through the playoffs but was not on the roster.

He has been talked about possibly being a manager one day. Or a broadcaster. Last week it was reported that the Yankees were considering him for a coaching job. Any way you slice it, the next phase of his career is about to begin.

Maybe as the Rays manager.