Morning Reads for Tuesday, November 12th

Yesterday was somber as we remembered our troops, today is somber as we remember our Braves.

Your Morning Reads after the jump…


  • Here’s How Memes Went Viral — In the 19th Century (Wired)
  • Batman is going to the penitentiary (HuffPo
  • The Exciting World of Insurance Selling (Priceonomics)
  • Why Infographics Are Colorful Yelling (Slate
  • Dems love for Liz Warren might make Hillary run moot (New Republic)
  • U.S. military wants to create “Iron Man suit” (LA Times)
  • A Half-Ton Giant Freshwater Stingray With a 15-Inch Poison Barb, why you scared? (Wired)
  • New York’s mayor-elect: Try to be successful, if you dare (Economist



“Cobb County’s local government has promised to give the Braves’ $450 million worth of tax funds without discussing it in public or without bringing it up at a single public meeting — which of course makes a mockery of the state’s open meetings law. “
-Tom Crawford on Facebook
“We’re thrilled to get this done”
– Frank Wren, on the signing of Dan Uggla to a five year deal, approximately 1/4th of the Braves Turner Field lease.
  • On broken promises and the Ted’s surrounds the rest of the year (AtlantaMagazine)
  • Braves furtive glances and decisions made on fear (AtlantaMagazine)
  • 13 ways of looking at the move, almost all are bad (Forbes)
  • when FORBES and I agree, Barves, you should have a sad,
  • Braves move hearkens back to Atlanta’s self-segregation (Grantland),
  • as I surrender my citizenship in Braves Nation,
  • A baseball team once played here (SBNation),
  • I can find other places to drink a beer
  • ATL was told give us 450 mill within 48 hours, (AJC)
  • were told “no” by the city’s powers, (AJC)
  • Infographic shows Barves are bucking a trend, (Deadspin),
  • and with this my Braves fandom comes to an end.




    • Stefan says:

      Sometimes you have to stop and consider why you are a fan. For me, fandom is created when your own personal identify and that of the team have some congruence. The Braves meant a lot to me. References to Jerry Royster, Gene Garber, Glen Hubbard, and Terry Harper have been included in past Morning Reads. That historical connection will not fade, but there is no future for me and the Barves. Maybe they decided this long ago, but it was communicated to me yesterday that our relationship, which began over Murphy and Horner, continued through Bruce Benedict and Rafael Ramirez, evidently finished Uggla, as perhaps we all knew it would.

      They can never take Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux away from me. I was at the first game at the Ted and maybe I’ll go to its last, but if so it will be to cheer for a team that has already played its last game.

      • Noway says:

        No need to lament, Stefan. Why?
        Do you remember before they even built The Ted, the Braves talked about moving to the suburbs, specifically the Alpharetta area? As a result, the minority screams were deafening and they stayed in downtown. Same thing will happen here.
        Dem Braves ain’t going anywhere.

        • Stefan says:

          I don’t recall that, but moving in Alpharetta in advance of the Olympics was never going to happen. Those deafening screams are those of the majority, by the way, not the minority. But I hope you are correct, though probably for different reasons.

          • Noway says:

            My point was that thoughts of taking them to the ‘burbs didn’t fly then for the reason I listed. It will not fly now, either.

            • bgsmallz says:

              Can we at least help national media distinguish between ‘burbs and non-burbs, rather than pander to it in our articles and comments? The 6 cities/areas that make up the northern perimeter (Vinings, Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, and Chamblee) have over 275,000 residents…that makes the area more dense than the city of Atlanta.

              [just think of all of those people that get off of work and can’t go to the game says Forbes Guy? Right…because no one works near 75/285 at any of those Fortune 500/1000 companies? Dumb]

              The site is literally less than 1.5 from the city limits…yet somehow we’ve let the narrative be about urban vs. sprawl? You want to see a microcosm of why the region stinks at getting things done together…especially on transportation? It’s because we lazily apply labels and try to conform every area into a ‘urban’ or ‘sprawl’ box. I’m not going to touch the race issue (although, I wonder if people would be howling if the stadium was moving to Midtown or hypothetically back to Ponce De Leon Park…both of which have demographics that are LESS diverse and OLDER than 30339)…we at least have to understand that geographically, there are more than two Atlanta’s…otherwise we will fail every important regional decision from stadiums to transportation to education to….

              • Stefan says:

                Adding up the population of various cities does not mean those areas are dense. This is also, by the way, the fallacy that lies beneath the “heat map” that I’ve seen bandied about. The way in which the data is displayed underweights dense areas.

                • bgsmallz says:

                  I didn’t just ‘add up the totals’…I took the totals and divided them by square miles. That is literally the definition of population density.

                  • Stefan says:

                    True, but that’s picking areas. Downtown, Midtown, even the interior neighborhoods are relatively more dense than say, East Cobb. Throwing Dunwoody, Brookhaven don’t really add to the argument. I have to travel to and from 285/85 about twice a week around 7:30, and the distance across the top of the perimeter takes approximately 5 times as long as coming from the city center.

      • TheEiger says:

        So you are no longer a Braves fan because they decided to move to the center of their fan base a total of 15 miles away? It is literally 50 feet OTP and you are burning your Braves gear.

        • John Walraven says:

          +1. The Braves will still have an Atlanta mailing address, by the way.

          And my fellow Cobb County residents who are already complaining about tax funds being used to pay for part of a stadium, think about the property taxes that the Braves will pay on 60+ acres with a baseball stadium on it. They’ll also pay more in sales taxes than anyone can imagine. Those $4 bottles of water, $7 hot dogs and $10 parking spots, taxed at the local rate and with the SPLOST, will generate funds that will build a great base for future revenue for the County. The Braves will be a great corporate citizen and this move is a great coup for Cobb.

          • SmyrnaModerate says:

            Until we all see the fine print, I think it’s a presumption they will be paying any property taxes. Most of these sweetheart deals often include future tax breaks/abatement so that can go on for decades. Not saying that’s going to happen here, just that we don’t know yet.

            • David C says:

              Also, given that apparently the county is going to own the stadium, it’s pretty clear the Braves won’t be paying a nickel in property taxes…

          • Stefan says:

            The Moon could have an Atlanta mailing address if the zip code were correct. Oh, and they won’t be paying Cobb taxes on any of that. They price it at round numbers and they keep those round numbers.

            • atl_man says:

              Sorry chief. If the city of Atlanta wanted to keep the Braves’ tax revenue, they – WE! – should have attended the games. And yes, the political leadership of Atlanta was out to lunch on this issue also. When was the last time you saw the mayor of Atlanta at a Braves game? Or heard him ask/tell the city residents to go the games? If the city’s political leadership expended 1/10th of the effort to engage the fans in the Braves as they did to get us to recycle and get out of our cars to walk/bike/use MARTA, we would probably still have the Braves.

              I am sorry, but baseball isn’t “urban”, “hip” or “cool” for the city crowd anymore. Maybe baseball needs to be more prominently featured in rap videos and Tyler Perry/Paula Patton movies to change that, who knows. But don’t blame the Braves because most of the residents of its own city would rather watch Miley Cyrus (or at least Rihanna or Nicki Minaj) “twerk” than a MLB game. That’s why the Braves are leaving whether folks want to admit it or not.

          • atl_man says:

            Excuse me, but why are Cobb County volk now scrambling with statements like “it will still have an Atlanta address” and “it is still very close to Atlanta” (but outside the city limits so Atlanta will receive no benefits from the Braves whatsoever)?

            If people from the city proper wash their hands of the Braves, what is it to you?

        • Stefan says:

          Sometimes the way you do something is as important as what you do. This feels more like the Colts’ midnight move out of Baltimore than it does the Raiders to Oakland (I recognize those are both teams leaving for entirely different metro areas).

          And I am not rending garments over here, and this is not OTP/ITP. If they moved, say to the corner of Atlanta that abuts Douglas County in the extreme Southwestern quadrant, I’d be just as up in arms.

  1. atl_man says:

    I don’t mind the Braves’ moving to Cobb County. The reality is this: the city no longer supported the team. Let’s get real and play THE RACE CARD. Atlanta is nearly 50% black and (despite what some suburbanites choose to believe) a lot of those are people who make moderate and upper incomes. And Braves tickets were cheap. Finding them for $15-20 a pop was no trouble whatsoever. Yet the same crowd that would pack the Georgia Dome by tens of thousands to see those utterly meaningless “classic” games between HBCUs that can’t even win an FCS or Division II playoff game (41,000 went in 2012) can’t be bothered to show up. Go to a game and see how many black faces (that aren’t school kids given free tickets as part of the “urban outreach programs” that the team ran year after year only to get rebuffed) you could count. And contrast that to the number of black fans that attend the Hawks games or the MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE Falcons games. Honestly, it makes no sense. It really looks like blacks only care about sports (NFL, NBA) where blacks are the majority of the athletes. (And as for the nonblacks in the city, most of them are hipsters who are into biking and hiking, not professional team sports.) So were the Braves supposed to stick around and be some economic development engine for a city that mostly ignores it, or were they supposed to go where they can actually draw some interest and make some money? Sorry, but the Braves aren’t a jobs and tax revenue creation program. Their leaving hurts the city, but the region is better off with the Braves being in a place where they can sell tickets, attract people to restaurants and such and generate jobs and revenue.

    As for the city, they should just tear down Turner Field and build more condos, parks and biking areas for the hipsters. Maybe they should even build a skate park (as a measure of revenge against Cobb for the skate park facility that they are SLOWLY building in Kennesaw). Or they can build an office park there for all the IT jobs that are moving into the city. Make it another place for Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Emory grads can stick around and live and work after graduation (instead of, you know, moving to Cobb County).

    Losing the Falcons to Cobb County would have been a disaster because the football stadium can be used for so many other events and having a state of the art football stadium in the suburbs would have crushed Atlanta’s convention/tourism business. (Granted, some of those events will now be held in the baseball stadium in Cobb but not nearly as many or the same type. So, it will help Cobb more than it will hurt downtown.) But the city can recover from losing the Braves and even actually come out slightly ahead IF they choose the right path moving forward. (No, an entertainment/gambling district isn’t the right path. More housing for high-income educated urban people, many of whom will have children for APS, is far more forward looking.)

    Now back to the RACE CARD, where were the TEA Party types who were so dead set against the new Falcons stadium? The Braves stadium will require even more public money – at least twice as much – and will generate much less revenue yet everyone things it is a good idea! Looks like they weren’t so much concerned with fiscal conservatism as they were against investment that economically benefits an area whose politics and demographics they don’t support. Which is, of course, why minorities – and an increasing # of whites – don’t support the fiscal conservative movement … they can see right through it. And that is exactly why the future of the GOP (even in the “solid south” the GOP is losing ground in Florida and Virginia and needed the backlash against Obamacare to win North Carolina back) is in so much trouble.

    • D_in_ATL says:

      Atlanta allowed the shuttering a premier sports stadium. To trust that it will ‘choose the right path moving forward’ is pretty optimistic.

      • atl_man says:


        So you think that the city should have ponied up $600 million to keep the Braves? When they could have spent that money and A) the city residents would have still refused to attend and B) the suburbanites would have still come up with excuses to avoid it when we all know the real reason? Sorry. I would rather spend that money on the Beltline. You know, the project that was denied money from the T-SPLOST because the same “fiscal conservatives” doesn’t want to spend tax money … unless it ONLY benefits them.

        Sorry, the Beltline is a need in order to keep the hipsters in the city. The Falcons stadium is a need for the conventions business. The Braves are a want, and Cobb County wants it more than the city does. More power to them. Letting the Braves leave was a smart decision, so I believe that the city has another smart decision left in them.

  2. View from Brookhaven says:

    Good to see Cobb still has no intention on letting “those people” in…

    “Cobb County GOP Chairman Joe Dendy sent out a statement that included these thoughts on mass transit and taxes:
    “It is absolutely necessary the solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.”

  3. Al Gray says:

    If someone can pry loose that “Memorandum of Understanding” or any other of the plans for this project a quick review might yield huge results. Over in Augusta we have stopped/diverted/modified considerable city administration outrages by getting only days in front of major votes then sort of blowing things sky high with FACTS.

    A lot of what is suspected to be behind the financing of this project we have seen over this way. Cobb seems to be recanting its Franklin Road Tax Allocation District after the county foolishly maxed out its TAD 10% max of the county digest, as has Augusta, whose incompetent administration wants to do the same thing. Undoing that TAD could free up TAD possibility for the new Braves park.

    Another aspect that is generally laughable – as it is with the horrendously misstated Falcon’s Stadium – is the assertion that the Braves will pay for all cost overruns. The Falcon’s can shift probably $150 million to $400 million to Atlanta under their MOU just through their granted control of design and the city obligation to run infrastructure up to the property line. Over here in Augusta, an affiliated company to the Augusta Chronicle became ‘partner’ to the city in the $50 million “TEE” Center. That boondoggle was kicked off with guarantees that it would cost taxpayers nothing, then sort of morphed to an unlimited claim on the general fund, with 1st year losses estimated at one point to exceed $800,000 AFTER a public infusion of $250,000 a year. (Of course none of this beyond the “no cost” hype can possibly be true because it wasn’t in the newspaper, right?)

    That building was complete and less than 180 days from operation when Augusta Watchdogs alerted a majority of county commissioners and intervened to garner major concessions to the final management agreement.

    All across the state, we are seeming stunning raids of public funds using various contracts and management agreements.

    I suspect that this one is not different.

    Get the MOU and the Financial plans. There will be a fireworks display before the Cobb Commission votes worthy of a Braves game in July.

  4. northside101 says:

    Seems like pro sports are one of the few enterprises where rewards are not linked to performance. The Falcons haven’t won a single Super Bowl in their 47 years of existence—not one—and have only been to one in their entire existence. They are 2-7 this what do we do? Build them a new stadium…at least the Braves have won a World Series, but at the same time, it has been a while since they won anything in post-season…but no problem, “behind closed doors” (with secrecy akin to “national security”), a deal gets worked out. Hawks? Hmm, even though they have not won an NBA championship, how long before they say Philips Arena is “out of date?”. Maybe 10 years if we’re lucky, are only five. Well, at least at the college level, no one is talking about razing Sanford Stadium……

      • Harry says:

        Wouldn’t it be a trip if Cobb can’t convince their electorate to cough up the money, and the Braves are reduced to staying at the old, broken-down ghetto Ted…or maybe moving to Nashville or Charlotte?

        • Noway says:

          Is the Ted actually that bad, Harry? If so, what are the real issues? And that’s exactly where they’ll be from now until the continents drift apart – Downtown!

            • Noway says:

              I was thinking you were mentioning bad infrastructure at The Ted, itself. I haven’t been in years and was just asking what were those issues at the stadium.

              • Harry says:

                We were lucky enough to attend the one playoff win with LA. The Ted is no Taj Mahal, sort of basic but not really bad overall. It’s only 16 years old. We took Uber and walked over some distance through the neighborhood to the east afterwards in order to reconnect with the driver away from the crowd. Everybody complains about the hood down there, but it’s really not that bad an experience.

                The main thing is that major sports are profit-making enterprises. They have every right to cut the best deal for them. Like you, I seldom attend a game, and it’s not a big deal to me wherever they are located as long as I can get to it. The main thing I dislike is the extortion whereby taxpayers are jacked up. I’m glad that Mayor Reed said no for once.

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