The Braves are going to ask for tax credits for their new ballpark

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The idea behind tax credits and other tax incentives is to convince businesses to invest in the jurisdiction over which the taxing authority holds sway. When the business is already committed to investing in the area and there is no danger of losing said investment to another jurisdiction, there is little reason to grant that business tax credits and incentives. To do so is pretty gratuitous, actually.

But hey, sports:

Jim Walls at Atlanta Magazine has secured some documentsshowing “negotiators for Cobb County and the Braves considered funding packages that included up to $60 million in state tax credits on top of the $300 million in county funding.”  . . . another incentive, created especially for new tourism destinations, that can be granted only by the governor. If the team were approved for the program, it could earn the Braves a 10-year rebate on all sales taxes it collected at the new stadium – perhaps $20 million.

The Braves are absolutely undoubtedly staying within the state of Georgia. They have committed to it. There is no going back to Wisconsin or Massachusetts. They’re building a stadium in Cobb County. Yet I wouldn’t bet a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys that Georgia won’t give them the tax credits they want. Because governments — especially when sports are involved — have totally forgotten what the whole point of using the tax system as a means of incentive creation and have committed to straight corporate welfare. It’s pretty gobsmacking.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.