Link-O-Rama: DNA testing for everyone!

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* After being burned on the international market when a 16-year-old given a $570,000 signing bonus turned out to be a 19-year-old, the Indians are considering using DNA testing on all players offered more than $50,000. “If a kid and his family decide to decline, we’ll pull our offer and pass,” assistant general manager John Mirabelli said.
* They’d already clinched a spot in the final round of the World Cup, but the United States still pounded out 12 runs on 17 hits in yesterday’s win over Italy. Team USA is now 8-1 overall with one more preliminary game remaining until the quarterfinals begin.
* Charlie Manuel said last week that he didn’t view Brett Myers as a closer option and now it’s a non-issue, because Myers has joined the lengthy list of injured Phillies pitchers with a sore right shoulder.
* By going 1-for-4 with a homer and two walks yesterday Prince Fielder notched his 40th homer of the year, moved into a tie with Albert Pujols for the NL lead in RBIs, and broke the Brewers’ single-season record for both RBIs and walks. Fielder became an everyday player in 2006 and since then only Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and Adam Dunn have more homers.
* In what is proof that Circling the Bases has no jinxing power, Howie Kendrick stayed on a roll this weekend and now has his batting average over .300. He was at just .231 when the Angels demoted him to Triple-A in June.

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

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This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.