Who is to blame for the Braves leaving Atlanta? - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Who is to blame for the Braves leaving Atlanta?

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ATLANTA -

Who is to blame for losing the Atlanta Braves? Newly released emails show city of Atlanta leaders may have been scrambling at the last minute following the surprise announcement. With the team now headed to Cobb County, there are a lot of people pointing fingers about who dropped the ball.

The latest person to point a finger is an Atlanta city council member. He says reading the emails confirms his gut feeling that the city mishandled the negotiations.

RELATED: Atlanta Deputy COO suspended over Braves email

The drama plays out on the pages of the email. It tells the story of city leaders focused on a new Falcons stadium while the Braves grew increasingly frustrated as their own stadium plans seemed not as important.

"Well, obviously some mistake was made because they are negotiating with Cobb County," said Atlanta Councilman Michael Julian Bond.

Bond believes someone on the negotiating team dropped the ball on the Braves. The man in charge of the city's end of the negotiations was Deputy COO Hans Utz. He seemed to hint in the emails that the city was sending a very bad message to the Braves in an email between him and Braves Executive Vice President Mike Plant. Plant told Utz that 18-months after negotiations began they were not closer to resolving key elements. Plant accused the city of passing the Braves around while leaders went out of their way to help the Falcons.

"They weren't as serious about these negotiations and took the Braves for granted. Now, we are at risk of paying the ultimate price for that," said Bond.

The price for Bond is losing his beloved Braves.

They are synonymous with Atlanta and I think a greater level of concern and care, greater attention should have been given," said Bond.

But in a statement the city of Atlanta said it was engaged in good faith negotiations with the Braves adding the team announced it was moving abruptly and without warning.

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