‘Hopes’ not enough for Braves, based on record
June 17, 2014 12:00 AM | 1219 views | 9 9 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

John Schuerholz, president of the Atlanta Braves, stated recently in meetings in both Atlanta and Vinings that he “believes” and “hopes” the Braves new stadium and accompanying development will benefit the fans and the Cobb community.

This is not the first time we have heard of his hopes or his beliefs. He believed and hoped that the Braves’ stadiums in Gwinnett and Atlanta would do the same. It never panned out for those communities. In point of fact, his “fields of dreams” turned into “fields of schemes.”

I am sorry to tell Mr. Schuerholz his beliefs and hopes are not enough for the people of Cobb. We do not want to be his third strike, to allow his mistakes at our expense. He will say, “This one is different; we have a mixed-use development!” But perhaps he forgets the following: Development around the other stadiums was promised but never materialized, the Braves organization is under no obligation to build the mixed-use development he refers to and the Braves have been unwilling to make such a contractual commitment!

When asked in other interviews whether he thinks it will happen and will truly benefit the community, Schuerholz answered that he is “not Nostradamus.” Indeed, he is not. And you need not be Nostradamus to know that developments surrounding stadiums in other cities have been economic flops.

We welcome the Braves to Cobb. But given Schuerholz’s poor record, the Braves and Cobb must put him on probation. To redeem himself, he must perform community service (not only providing free T-Shirts to his “booster club”) by volunteering to work at our understaffed and underfunded police department.

Or, if that department finds him unsuitable, perhaps by serving as an assistant to what will soon be an overwhelmed Ethics Board as the foreseeable flood of ethics and corruption complaints relating to secretive negotiations between the Braves, the Commission and their cronies plays out.

Since Schuerholz and his organization are requiring a massive amount of government welfare, new state law requires he must be drug tested (at his own expense), and he must try to get a real job under the “welfare to work” program. (Apparently, his present billionaire employers must not be able to pay a living wage since they can’t even build themselves a stadium).

Here in Cobb, we believe in giving hand-ups (or at least a raised finger) rather than hand-outs, especially to lazy billionaires on the public dole.

If he complies successfully with all of the above conditions, then the people of Cobb will vote in a referendum whether to welcome him and his organization here, with some degree of limited assistance.

Rich Pellegrino

Mableton

Member, Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency

Comments
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Rich Pellegrino
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June 22, 2014
"When we humanize we can't demonize"...and that is what we are learning to do in Cobb. Humanize the right and left and we find that they have a lot in common and are seeking similar goals...humanize the current immigrants and we find our ancestors and current hardworking folk who are assets to our communities...and yes, humanize the "Braves" organization and the BOC and we find a business trying to get the best deal and a relatively inexperienced BOC (when it comes to such negotiations)believing they are getting a good deal. And then there are the rest of us...the people of Cobb...who, according to the recent polls, feel that we are getting shafted and that they are powerless to do anything about it. This is where some people, from all backgrounds, parties, labels, etc... step up, speak out, and say hold on, hell no, enough is enough--to massive corporate welfare, crony capitalism, and lack of citizen trust and representation. And that is what democracy is all about...it is playing out right before your eyes and you can either take your place at the table or be on the table. Or you can just sit back and disparage those fellow citizens who are thinking, deliberating, and acting to safeguard their and your rights. Your choice....
Kevin Foley
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June 23, 2014
Rich - I wrote recently about the way the right's approach to public discourse has devolved into nasty, personal name calling. The Conservative media made it socially acceptable to disparage those with whom you disagree rather than respectfully consider a differing opinion.

Go read the comments my weekly columns receive from conservative readers. Few if any address the substance of my arguments or attempt to thoughtfully push back on them. They merely follow the template set down by Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and all the rest.

It's pathetic, but as you assert here, these folks get the government they deserve, one that in the case of the BOC would, with secrecy and speed, hand $400 million of their tax dollars to a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Kevin Foley
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June 18, 2014
Rich, it's interesting how Cobb County's anti-tax crowd thinks handing $400 million to Braves' owner Liberty Media is OK but health insurance for 650,000 poor Georgians is an abomination.

I detected duplicity when I read a quote from Schuerholz saying the $400 million the Braves promised to spend on the mixed use development is a "goal" (see my recent column).

Anyway, Tim Lee and the others won't run again knowing the tea party will defeat them. They'll all celebrate putting one over on the rubes in their sky box at the new stadium.
stayoutofskybox
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June 18, 2014
Geez, Kevin, you're all over the map, these days. You got hammered and humiliated on your Bergdahl debacle so now you're injecting yourself in another forum to divert attention to your weak defense.

I'll pay all the taxes in the world if it's for things that will affect my community in a positive manner. Spending my tax money on illegals and their healthcare is not something I want to support. Just like you don't want to support Braves baseball and the new stadium and development that are definitely coming, I don't want to support benefit sucking illegals who bring nothing to the table.

I'll be looking for you at a Braves game when the new stadium opens. It'll be interesting to see if you ever attend one. And if you do, please stay out of the sky boxes. You're filled with so much hot air that I'm sure you're a very big farter! Play ball!
Kevin Foley
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June 19, 2014
stayoutofskybox - (whoever you are) "hammered" by a bunch of trolls is like being shot with nerf balls. Go read those comments...few if any actually address the substance of the column or offer any intelligent critique, just personal attacks. That's how right wing extremists roll.

You want the $15 billion Liberty Media to get your $400 million tax dollars so their millionaire employees can play ball in Cobb, then you're dumber than you sound (unless you are Tim Lee).
Tony Cain
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June 17, 2014
Tell me again why the people of Cobb will be taxed for decades to pay for a stadium and the maintenance costs of that stadium so millionaire ballplayers can make more millions and billionaire team owners can make more billions.
suchahater
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June 17, 2014
Is this letter an attempt at humor? Or has Richie been cooking meth with his illegal buddies?

"This is not the first time we have heard of his hopes or his beliefs. He believed and hoped that the Braves’ stadiums in Gwinnett and Atlanta would do the same. It never panned out for those communities. In point of fact, his “fields of dreams” turned into “fields of schemes.”"

News Flash: The Gwinnett Braves are doing just fine and John Schuerholz didn't fail in downtown Atlanta!! The City of Atlanta made countless promises to the Braves organization and citizens for 17 years and sat on their hands and did nothing! Now there's a shocker! Like the majority of people with a strong work ethic and a go-getter mentality, Mr. Schuerholz decided to make something happen on his own. Thank heavens he did.

Geez, Richie, it's not healthy to harbor such hostility and envy against successful and hard working people. Now pipe down and try for one day to stay out of the spotlight.
Hank Moody
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June 17, 2014
This letter to the editor only highlights Mr. Pellegrino's lack of an argument against the Brave's moving to Cobb.

Like all failing campaigns, he is now forced to adopt outlandish statements that have no basis in reality and have quite frankly left me bewildered.

The whole anti-Braves movement has lost whatever focus they may have once had and is now engaged in ignorant, inappropriate, nonsensical, and borderline conspiracy theory mud slinging.

e.g. This letter to the editor, pretending to be arrested at the Commission meeting.

Is his crusade really for the Cobb Taxpayers like he says it is or is it just the new hobby of a bored citizen in need of some attention?

Bob Johnson
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June 17, 2014
Rich letters like this are the main reason no one takes you seriously about anything you talk about.
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