As the Braves face the Mets in another largely publicly-financed ballpark named after a bank, it got me to thinking, specifically about this: maybe Cobb taxpayers are getting a bargain for their $400 million or so.
I jest. As distasteful as the back room deal that created SunTrust Park was, Cobb is paying significantly less than are taxpayers in some other places. Citi Field was built with $600 million in public money. Most recently, for some reason “public officials” in and around Las Vegas agreed to fork over more than $1.5 BILLION so Al Davis’s son can fuck over Oakland fans yet again.
Ah, well. I don’t live in Cobb County, so the new yard is only costing me psychically and in terms of time and convenience. On the former, I compartmentalize. I never followed the Braves because of the owners, whether it was the group that brought them here or Ted or Time Warner or the despicable robber barons of the Rockies. I root for the players, and they had nothing to do with the shitty machinations that sent the club up I-75. That’s my approach. You, of course, are free to agree or not.
Another thing I thought about this morning is how much the new yard affects Coppy and Hart’s rebuild. I suspect they would have been less likely to sign our two quadragenarian (is that a word?) starting pitchers had the team stayed at the Ted. But otherwise, I’m not sure they’ve done anything different because of the move. Nor should they.
Another thought: Syndegard, today’s Mets starter vs. Julio, throws the ball absurdly hard. He averaged 98 on his fast ball last year. So, it’s probably really hard to hit. Velocity is up all over. I attended games Saturday and Sunday between Auburn and South Carolina, and most pitchers in those games threw 90-95. By the way, high-level college baseball is quite entertaining. Getting around, eating, etc. is all far easier than at a big league game because the park is much smaller. They don’t sell beer, but other than that it’s a lot of fun. I recommend it.
Our Bravos embark on what figures to be a bridge season in a half hour under cloudy skies in the Big Apple. Our lineup, which figures to be consistent barring injuries: Inciarte, Dansby, Freddie, Kemp, Markakis, Phillips, Garcia, Flowers, Julio.