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Braves' Move to Cobb Creates Strange Bedfellows

Liberal and conservative activists have united in opposition to the Atlanta Braves' move to Cobb County in 2017.

Normally staunch political opponents have found common ground against the Atlanta Braves' Cobb County stadium deal. Credit: Patch File Photo
Normally staunch political opponents have found common ground against the Atlanta Braves' Cobb County stadium deal. Credit: Patch File Photo
You would be hard-pressed to find any political issue that Debbie Dooley and Rich Pellegrino could agree on.

Dooley, the leader of the Atlanta Tea Party and Pellegrino, a noted champion of liberal and progressive causes, have joined forces with other community activists to fight the Atlanta Braves' stadium deal in Cobb County and the county commissioners who approved the deal.

According to an Associated Press article run in the Marietta Daily Journal, the group of concerned citizens is considering all options before them, up to and including removal from office all Cobb County Commissioners who voted in favor of the stadium deal.

Both Pellegrino and Dooley decry the cozy relationship between big business and Cobb County's government. Dooley says that the public-private partnership Lee touted as a "grand slam" for the county would not have come to fruition in a free market.

The Braves Come to Cobb


Pellegrino created the group "Citizens for Governmental Transparency" in the wake of the Braves relocation news and asked the Cobb Commissioners for a 60-day delay in the vote to approve the deal to allow citizens to digest the details of the memorandum of understanding between the Braves and the county.

Pellegrino told Patch in an e-mail that Citizens for Governmental Transparency will have more news on their battle against the Braves stadium deal in the coming days, but that a recall is, "reserved in our arsenal should other efforts not produce results."

As the deal currently stands, Cobb County is on the hook for $300 million of the $672 million cost to build the Braves' new stadium in the Cumberland Mall area by Opening Day 2017.
Bob December 09, 2013 at 05:18 PM
If this deal goes through, the Braves should allow every Cobb resident deep discounts on tickets to attend any of the games.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Michael McDonald, a Sandy Springs Patch reader and blogger, asked me to post the following regarding his thoughts on the Braves' relocation:
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:38 PM
The Liberty Media Braves in cahoots with Cobb County have pulled off a triple play. They have stolen the Atlanta name. They have left the City of Atlanta and Fulton County with a white elephant, still in its teens. And their master plan will damage the economic and environmental infrastructure that they leave in the wake of this cynical, parasitic maneuver. /// “The gold standard team, the Atlanta Braves, moves to the gold standard county, Cobb” clucked John Scherholtz, after the Cobb County Commission voted to authorize a memorandum of understanding with the Braves on the night before the eve of Thanksgiving. Thus, mercilessly killing the goose that laid the golden egg for the Braves for half a century … Atlanta, Fulton County, GA.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
There are many culprits in this foul play. For starters, they range from the Atlanta Mayor’s office to the Georgia Governor’s office. Oddly, the Mayor seems quite happy to see the Liberty Media Braves leave, which raises questions about his personal agenda for Turner Field and its environs. His feckless actions are in sharp contrast with the courageous, bold moves of the esteemed Mayor Ivan Allen and the Forward Atlanta movement that brought the Braves to Atlanta in1966 as a tangible centerpiece for the slogan: “Atlanta: the World’s Next Great City”. All citizens of Fulton County need to keep a sharp eye on how Turner Field is carved up by hizzoner.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Governor Mis-Deal exclaims that Braves’ move to Cobb is: “Good for the State of Georgia”. While this may be good politics for his Republican base in that bastion of conservatism, Cobb County, it may not play so well in Atlanta and Fulton County come next Election Day. New York City never forgave President Gerald Ford, who during NYC’s financial crisis, in effect, said: “Drop Dead, New York”. Putting Hot Dog Nathan on the grill and turning the heat up might be in order for those of us who think Nat gave us a raw deal with his tone-deaf proclamation.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
John Malone, CEO of Liberty Media never met a tax avoidance gambit he didn’t embrace. The scheme to acquire the Braves from Time Warner was solely based upon a tax-free exchange of assets, which has now run its course. Owning a MLB team is not a great fit with Malone’s portfolio of companies … unless there will be significantly new tax breaks accruing from the ParaSite deal. Or, if Terry McGuirk, John Scherholtz et al, have worked out a pre-arrangement to insure their employment futures by anticipating an eventual leveraged buy-out of Liberty’s interest, If the hidden agenda, game plan calls for Casino Gambling in Cobb, Big John Malone may want to permanently stay in the game at the green felt..
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Cobb County Commissioners, and other powers that be, epitomize Cobb as the ParaSite. They have beggared their neighbors for years by failing to provide a rapid rail transit system for its booming population and thereby clogging the roads of Fulton and DeKalb Counties with their invading and retreating iron cavalry … while getting a free pass from these fore bearing neighbors. Cobb’s $300 million bribe to the Liberty Media Braves is akin to the biblical “thirty pieces of silver”. Two adages come to mind: one, “Be careful what you wish for” and two, “What goes around, comes around”. The Cobb electorate may well rue the day they got in bed with the gold digging, avaricious Liberty Media Braves. Conceptual drawings depicting the scenes around the ParaSite Stadium smack of a carnival midway-cum-Coney Island. Pure corn on the Cobb.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
The juncture of I-285 and I-75 impacts the interstate commerce of our country … as well as the heavy intrastate and local traffic. Currently, without Braves’ traffic, it is a notorious bottleneck that in time lost, wastes multimillions, perhaps billions of dollars. With the Braves at the ParaSite, the lost time factor will be exponentially greater. The Federal, State, County and City DOTs must have an important up-front say concerning the ParaSite’s viability. By exercising their collective responsibility and authority they could call: “Foul ball” on the ParaSite for the public good. A Federal, legal injunction could prevent yet another “Spaghetti Junction” @ The ParaSite.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:40 PM
There is no question that the Liberty Media Braves have financially injured the taxpayers of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County with their planned exodus. The City of Atlanta and Fulton and DeKalb Counties have some powerful weapons in their bat bags to make the Braves sit up and take notice. These remedies are available in the legal courts and in, the even more powerful, court of public opinion. The baseball seasons for 2014, 2015 and 2016 should experience a significant drop in attendance at Turner Field. If enough folks in Metro Atlanta want to vent their outrage at this parasitic ploy, diminished viewership, diminished listenership and diminished readership of Liberty Media Braves baseball could also deliver a severe economic blow to the corporate heart of Liberty Media; and also to its beholden media outlets. Imagine the adverse monetary impact if fans let the Liberty Media Braves’ sponsors know how they feel about this latest example of MLB hubris … screwing and holding cities and their citizens’ hostage and raping their tax base. By not flying Delta or not drinking Coke or Bud or disconnecting ATT, the will of the people would impact corporate P&Ls. Does BBBB have a ring to it? Boycott Braves Base Ball. If released, these Bs can really sting.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:40 PM
If the legendary Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis were the Commissioner of MLB today, he would not have tolerated this blatant, economic thievery. Landis saved the game of baseball as Commissioner after the Chicago Black Sox Scandal in 1919 through his iron-fisted intolerance of any kind of skullduggery concerning what was, in another era, called: “Base Ball - America’s Pastime”. If he were to be confronted with this ParaSite gambit in Cobb County, he would have surely said: “Not in my backyard”.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:40 PM
This whole episode could play out as a Waterloo for the egregious, over-reaching of all professional sports vis a vis their benevolent, city hosts. Baseball might well end up, past its time, if it doesn’t shape up and fly right. There is a difference between what’s legal and what’s moral, particularly in this ParaSite case. On both counts, the Liberty Media Braves have been caught off base.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:40 PM
The citizen, taxpayers of Atlanta and Fulton County should stage a bench-clearing brawl with the Liberty Media Braves in the absence of any stand-up leadership on the part of the Atlanta Mayor and the Georgia Governor. The best community, legal and business minds of the Major League City of Atlanta should not give up without a smart, tough, street fight even though the “wise-guys” from the Liberty Media Braves claim that “there’s no going back”. The City should throw Malone and his Braves a hard, inside, chin-high, 98 mph, fastball and make ‘em eat dirt.
Justin Ove (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 05:40 PM
The near 50-year history of the Braves organization in Atlanta clearly demonstrates that when challenged at clutch-time, they usually fold. /// In addition to making the current Mayor and the Governor eat their words of non-support, let’s ultimately make John Scherholtz and Liberty Media seek their fool’s gold elsewhere from Atlanta and its environs. No carpetbaggers, political hacks or ParaSites welcome here in Georgia.

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