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Complaining: The other pastime

"Moses dragged us through the desert to the one place in the Middle East where there is no oil." - Golda Meir

"If I walked on water people would say I couldn't swim." - John Turner

Some people would say I'm a complainer.

Some people would say it louder than others.

I'm not proud of it, and I try to remind myself not to do it too much, but then again I guess it's one of the reasons I have a newspaper column. What sounds like complaining to one is being opinionated to another.

Despite having a lot of complaints/opinions about a lot of things, even I know that sometimes you should just shut up and be thankful for what you have.

Exhibit A: The Gwinnett Braves.

When the powers that be first floated the idea of minor league baseball in Gwinnett, I did what I do best: offered my opinion.

At the time, I wrote that I thought minor league baseball would be great as long as it didn't get too "Gwinnettified." In other words, I didn't want some upper-class version of minor league baseball. I still stand by that.

I don't want to go to a ballpark that is really a mall that happens to have a baseball team. I want blue-collar minor league baseball. I want cheap tickets. I want cheap beer. If we don't have Bring Your Dog night or Free Tomahawk Tattoo night or some other standard minor league hokieness, then I will feel a little short-changed. But I will still have fun, and what I won't do is complain about the fact that the county pulled off a real feat by luring the best minor league team choice possible.

The original study called for a AA team at least. Many thought if baseball came here that AA would be the best Gwinnett might be able to get.

But Gwinnett went one better and got a AAA team.

Triple-A. A league where future major-leaguers and stars pay dues. The place where injured superstars go to rehab hamstrings and elbows. It's not some bush league where wannabes languish for years, barely scraping by until their big chance hopefully comes. On the contrary, AAA is the last stop before The Show.

That was cool enough. But then the powers that be went one more step and got the Braves.

Just think: We won't have to go begrudgingly pull for some affiliate of the lowly Rays or (thank God Almighty) the Red Sox or Yankees. We can pull for the home team. And we don't even have to drive to Atlanta to do it.

Of course, the minute the announcement was made, the questions and complaints started flying. Where are they going to get the money? Why the secrecy? Why build it there? How bad will the traffic be? Have they studied the impact on the area?

You could give some of these people $1,000 in hundred-dollar bills and they would ask if you had anything smaller.

Good Lord, people. You got the top-tier farm team for a perennial playoff contender that just happens to also be the home team and you're worried about traffic? Which traffic do you want to fight: a little slowdown on Buford Drive or downtown Atlanta at rush hour?

Minor league baseball has the potential to be the biggest feather in Gwinnett's cap yet. And even if they do "Gwinnettify" it too much, it's still baseball. It can't help but be fun. And if it's handled anywhere near as well as events at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, it will be top-notch no matter what.

What version of minor league baseball we end up with might be up for some well-placed opinions.

The fact that we got it in the first place shouldn't be a point of contention.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.