The political spin over the new Braves ballpark is on down in Atlanta

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Question: if ballpark deals are as obviously awesome and beneficial as everyone says, why do the people who support the Braves new ballpark deal feel the need to conduct push-polling and to write constituent letters that would make your average Ministry of Propaganda blush?

Jim Galloway of the AJC has the details of it all, including that telephone poll which actually spends more time advertising than it does questioning folks about their opinions. And a letter from a Cobb County commissioner to a constituent complaining of public money being spent on a ballpark which starts out with “Sorry that you are so upset about a fabulous economic development for our County that will not effect your property tax bill.”

Of course, the anti-stadium folks have their own campaigns too.

Anyway, this will all be fun to go back and look at in five years when the “Ballpark not the economic engine its backers promised” stories come out.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.