A shallow victory, if one at all
As fate would have it, the resounding, impressive, and energizing manner in which our Atlanta Braves laid claim to another National League Pennant sent a much-needed message to the Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred.
You might have guessed it. Commissioner Manfred is another high achieving and well-educated individual who earned his law degree. As we often find, Manfred has the corporate business experience but, to my understanding, is not an entrepreneur.
In mid-Summer, Commissioner Manfred expressed no scruples in taking away the hard earned 2021 All-Star baseball game from Atlanta and planting it in Denver. The repercussions of this knee jerk reaction to the passage of the Georgia Election Integrity Act (SB202) caused a gnashing of teeth, along with much consternation by local business owners, restaurant, and other hospitality entities throughout the Cumberland area.
Furthermore, the decision to take the game away from Truist Park sent a message to us taxpayers, after all, we have a vested interest in our Braves. We should support every stadium use opportunity available to Braves management. With the click of each stadium turnstile and the register sale of every item, we love to hear the chi-ching filling up the local sales tax coffer.
The ill-conceived notion that was intended to cause lasting harm and teach a lesson backfired like an aged Model A Ford. I would love to know what the Commissioner thought after that last pitch ending the September 30th game that clinched the Pennant and raised the stakes of America’s game. It is clear to me, sports and science are at least two major areas politics needs to steer clear of.
The lesson here is clear. Right always wins out. Yes, it might not be immediate. It may even be subtle. The overall and lasting results are what really matter. The additional hotel rooms that will be purchased, the additional seats that will be filled at the Battery area eateries, and the extra shot in the arm to the vendors, all serve to prove the point…Time and reason can resolve a great deal in our society. If nothing else, baseball will likely think twice before again measuring depth with both feet. As with Edward Gibbon’s sage quote, “The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.”
My solemn wish now, other than a World Series ring for the home team, would be a fitting Atlanta celebration honoring Hank Aaron, prior to the first World Series home game. They tried, as best they could, to do something for Hammering Hank at the All-Star game in Denver. However, there is no place like home to celebrate a hero.
By the way, a side of Hank Aaron, not often mentioned or appreciated enough, is the fact Hank Aaron was a businessman and a philanthropist.
Professional athletes, past and present, should be commended for their willingness to give back for the benefit and aid of the community, oftentimes, in support of the very fans who rooted for them and made noise, whether in the stands, tailgating, or at home, cheering them on.
It would be appropriate to remind all that major sports league Commissioners, like Rob Manfred, have the enviable position and ample opportunity to positively impact communities with ‘good trouble’ instead of swaying into areas that usually ends up being divisive, with short-term gains, if any. It usually does more harm than good. It sure reminds me of what can happen when someone from the city walks into the barn.
More importantly for now, let us enjoy our moment, appreciate the noisy and excited crowds, and the fan support for our home team. We look forward to more reasoned and responsible decisions in the future from our sports commissioners.
Lastly, words matter, but actions matter ever more. Go Braves!
Special Note: Cobb County, South Cobb especially, lost a true humanitarian and unity in the community soldier this week. Howard Koepka lost his battle against COVID complications and was called home. He will be missed. Please keep his family in your prayers.