In counseling against an Adrian Gonzalez trade, I’ve cited the idea that the Padres can’t trade him during season ticket renewal season because otherwise an already depressed and apathetic fan base may get even more turned off, if that’s even possible.
Well, turns out that the fan base may not be as depressed and apathetic as I thought, because as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports, the team passed 71 percent on their season ticket renewals last week. They renewed only 55 percent all of last offseason.
In addition, they’ve sold more new season tickets so far than all of last year.
None of which is to say that the Padres should go out and deal Gonzalez. It does show, however, that (a) there’s a stronger fan base in San Diego than a lot of us realized; and (b) baseball’s relative resistance to the overall gloomy economic situation may be even more pronounced than we thought.
The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.
Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.
Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.
He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:
Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.