ATLANTA -- Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker hurled his opinion on the team's move to Cobb County, suggesting the Turner Field neighborhood's problems are the main cause.
In a column tiled "Who wants to fight crime on way to ballpark?" for conservative opinion website WND.com, Rocker said he heard the shocking news of the move while coming back from a hunting trip. He recalled fond memories of being cheered by Atlanta fans at Turner Field, but said he understood the need to build a new stadium in a safer environment.
"A heavy metal screen at the counter of a laundry/cleaning business, to protect the owner and his employees from both his customers and the residents of the community surrounding Turner Field?" he writes. "That is the environment Atlanta Braves' fans must endure before and most notably AFTER an evening of cheering on their hometown heroes."
Rocker said Turner Field was supposed to revitalize its surrounding neighborhood.
"But that's a task easier said than done," Rocker writes. "The crime and violence that has plagued the community since the 1970s -- when the city wooed the Braves franchise from Milwaukee and built Atlanta Fulton County Stadium -- wasn't just going to pack up and leave simply because a baseball stadium popped up, and the good residents of metro Atlanta weren't about to risk their lives by moving there, either."
COMPLETE COVERAGE OF BRAVES MOVING:
* Exclusive: Ted Turner doesn't want Braves to leave Atlanta
* Reed: 'My taxpayers aren't backstopping a $1.2M stadium'
* Ex-Brave John Rocker: Who wants to fight crime on way to ballpark?
* Exclusive Poll: Atlantans OK with Braves move to Cobb
* New drawings released of new Braves stadium
*Cobb County releases memorandum of understanding on Braves Stadium deal
*Pro/con campaigns on Braves move target voters
* Millions paid for land near stadium days before Braves bombshell
*Robb Pitts: Braves move may open opportunities for ATL
*Deal meets with Reed, Braves to discuss team's departure
*Cobb still mum on taxpayers' share for new Braves stadium
*Turner Field to be demolished after Braves leave
*Fulton chairman: Keep the Braves in Fulton County
*Turner Field neighbors fear "ghost town" if Braves leave, while Cobb County neighbors jumping for joy
*Tom Glavine says he's happy about the possible move
*Braves officials discuss new stadium during press conference
*Braves president Schuerholz announces new stadium
*How old is Turner Field?
*Historic moments at Turner Field