Cobb County, Georgia taxpayers paying for traffic control at Braves games

Associated Press
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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.

 

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.