Archive for the ‘Atlanta Braves’ Category

Watching the Falcons stadium debate, the Braves pursue something different

The Atlanta Braves would like to see this sprawl of parking lots north of Turner Field become a mixed-use neighborhood on par with Atlantic Station. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

The Atlanta Braves would like to see this sprawl of parking lots north of Turner Field become a mixed-use neighborhood on par with Atlantic Station. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

For the much-needed attention she paid to the city’s infrastructure, Shirley Franklin became known as Atlanta’s sewer mayor.

Kasim Reed may have something flashier in mind as a legacy. If things go his way, by the time he’s finished, Reed may be known as the stadium mayor.

You already know that Reed is a major force behind Arthur Blank’s effort to build a new, $1 billion-plus home for his Atlanta Falcons. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority would hold the title. A state-approved hotel-motel tax would pay for at least $300 million of the structure – perhaps more, if the Legislature and governor can be persuaded.

This winter, the Falcons project could require the mayor of Atlanta, a former state senator, to return as a full-time resident of the Capitol. While he’s there, Reed may also give some …

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Uh-oh. New Falcons stadium will ‘very likely’ require state Capitol approval

Atlanta Falcon fans begin to fill the parking lot tailgating on Northside Drive across from the Georgia Dome before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers last January. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Atlanta Falcon fans begin to fill the parking lot tailgating on Northside Drive across from the Georgia Dome before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers last January. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Note to Matt Ryan: No pressure, and thanks for the 6-0 start. But you and your teammates would be doing your boss a great service if the Falcons were still in the Super Bowl hunt come January.

Arthur Blank will need every advantage he can muster in the state Capitol this winter if he wants that new $1 billion stadium with the retractable roof.

After the quiet 2010 passage of legislation necessary to partially fund the enterprise — by extending Fulton County’s hotel-motel tax until 2050 — the idea was to keep the project away from lawmakers.

The problem? The hotel-motel tax is expected to contribute $300 million to the new stadium. But the bonding capacity for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the Georgia Dome and would oversee the new …

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John Rocker pitches political punditry, endorses Mitt Romney ‘by default’

Nine years after he threw his last pitch, former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker – whose stunning, single interview with a Sports Illustrated reporter in 1999 overshadowed his entire career – has turned to political punditry.

You can probably guess his general take.

John Rocker on a final pitch in October 1999. AJC file

John Rocker on a final pitch in October 1999. AJC file

The former pitcher, who now dabbles in real estate, is in the midst of plugging a new book, “Rocker: Scars and Stripes,” that delves into his thoughts on the American Dream. From an interview posted on the conservative site, World Net Daily:

On the presidential campaign:

”I won’t necessarily be voting for the Republican candidate as much as I will be voting against Obama. America has been the greatest nation this earth has ever known over the last 150 plus years. In my strong opinion Barack Obama does not hold a single core value or belief consistent with the principles that created this amazing country we call the United States of America….

“I have always …

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More on the political side of Atlanta baseball

Sigh. We’ve written before about the politicization of Major League Baseball.

Last month gave us a Civil Rights game. Today is Ronald Reagan Tribute Day at Turner Field.

And Eric Gray, spokesman for the Georgia Democratic party, just sent this note:

Georgia Democrats will be out in full force at this Sunday’s Latino Fan Fest with the Gwinnett Braves. While celebrating America’s pastime, the Latino Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia will be registering new voters before the Braves take on the Durham Bulls.

The registration drive will start at noon, followed by the game at 2:05 pm. Afterward, kids may run the bases and mingle with their favorite Gwinnett Braves players.

“Anyone who volunteers to help with voter registration will get a free ticket to the game,” said Carolyn Rodriguez-Monden, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Latino Caucus.

Telemundo will be sponsoring and promoting the event, which will showcase the diversity within the Hispanic culture with …

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Atlanta Braves schedule a Ronald Reagan tribute

In case you haven’t noticed, Major League Baseball is gingerly dipping its big toe into political waters.

Three weeks ago, the MLB sponsored “Civil Rights Weekend,” which in Atlanta included a tribute to Hank Aaron. Festivities include an unscheduled condemnation from Mexico-born (and U.S. citizen) Carlos Santana, who criticized Georgia’s new illegal immigration law.

This afternoon, the Atlanta Braves announced that next Tuesday, Flag Day, will be a celebration of President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday: The first 10,000 fans to arrive at Turner Field will be presented with Reagan’s favorite treat — jelly beans.

The day will also feature this video tribute:

And instead of Ludacris, music will come courtesy of country singer Tim Dugger. And — oh, yeah – the New York Mets will provide nine (or more) innings of entertainment.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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You needed a poll? Bobby Cox is a very popular fellow

Public Policy Polling of North Carolina, which normally sticks to politics, has ventured into Georgia’s sporting world.

And Bobby Cox, now that he’s done with the Atlanta Braves, may want to think about seeking a spot on next year’s ballot.

The numbers are drawn from the same early April survey that examined favorability ratings for Barack Obama and potential Republican presidential candidates.

From PPP’s Tom Jensen:

When Braves fans look back on the work Bobby Cox did during his time with the franchise, 86% express approval to only 5% who disapprove. Those are the best poll numbers we’ve ever found for a sports figure.

To put into perspective how good they are, last summer we did approval polls on 18 baseball managers, and the one who did best with his fan base was Mike Scioscia of the Angels at 65% approval. Bobby exceeds that number by more than 20%.

And Cox’s replacement?

Braves fans are mixed between optimism and reserving judgment when it comes to the hire of Fredi …

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