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.
The Braves released veteran infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, per a team announcement. Right-hander Lucas Sims was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding move.
Bautista, 37, was recruited by the Braves in mid-April as a potential third base option. He inked a minor league deal with the club and lasted just 12 games in the majors, during which he batted a meager .143/.250/.343 with three extra-base hits and a .593 OPS across 40 plate appearances. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the big leagues — he collected 40 home runs, a .250 average and 5.3 fWAR with the Blue Jays in 2015 — his power has been noticeably declining over the last three years, and it’s clear the Braves don’t have enough time or opportunity to wait for him to get his groove back.
Without Bautista, Johan Camargo is expected to handle the hot corner on a daily basis. The 24-year-old infielder is working through his sophomore season at the major league level and entered Sunday’s game batting .226/.368/.403 with six extra bases and a .772 OPS in 76 PA. General manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that top infield prospect Austin Riley could also get a shot at playing third base sometime in 2018, though the club has no current plans to promote him from Triple-A at the moment.