Darren Daulton talks some sense

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Daulton.jpgRetired Phillies catcher Darren Daulton believes in alchemy, auras, telepathy, energy transfers, astral planes, planetary ascension, and parallel universes.  He believes that he had an had out of body experiences while playing at Wrigley Field one day. He believes that the universe is created and sustained by numerical synchronicities — the number 11 is particularly important in his life — and
that all matter is charged with extradimensional vibrational energy. He believes
that his moods have altered the weather before, that the pyramids were created by a lost
civilization — or possibly aliens — and that people with knowledge of the workings of the
universe will ascend to a higher plane of existence on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m.

And in the wake of the McGwire business, he’s talking more sense about steroids than anyone:

I think it gives a real good pulse of the American people . . . I mean, if I was a foreign country and wanted to take over this
country, I’d get a prescription for steroids and stand at the border
and wave them, and then watch the American people fold . . .

 . . . Finding out whether or not a guy does steroids or not, I could never
understand this. There are a lot of things that a lot of people do
behind closed doors that they probably don’t want the public to know
about. Whether you’re cheating on your wife, your husband, or you’re
doing drugs, you don’t want your boss to know about something, you’re
hiding something from somebody, or you’re watching porn and you’re
masturbating. Whatever it is, everybody’s got one of these or they
wouldn’t be here, but it seems like everybody gets to cast the first
stone when somebody else is caught doing something, or allegedly
caught. It makes them feel better, and again, this is kind of the pulse
of the American ego, as long as we can point our finger at somebody,
we’re okay, we feel better about ourselves.

The fact that one of the biggest nuts in the hemisphere is saying the
most sensible things about steroids probably means something. Though
what it is I have no idea.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates Rajai Davis #20 two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $5 million contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

Sarasota County to build the Braves a new spring training facility

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The Braves have trained at Walt Disney World for several years. The lease is up, however, and they’ve been on the hunt for a new facility for some time. Disney is just too geographically remote from most of the Grapefruit League facilities so they’ve looked on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for some time.

Their search appears to be over, however, as they have reached an agreement to move to Sarasota:

The Atlanta Braves formally plan to move the team’s spring training home to North Port in 2019, the team and Sarasota County announced Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement set the stage for final negotiations this spring on a contract to bring the Major League Baseball team to a new complex in the West Villages district just south of West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41, near the State College of Florida campus in North Port.

It’ll be a $75-$80 million complex on 70 acres. The story says it’s envisioned to anchor a “town center” commercial and residential district. If anyone has ever been to a spring training facility, however, one knows how ridiculous such an idea is. There is nothing more geographically un-centered and dispersed than a spring training facility. It’s a sea of open fields which private citizens generally cannot access and large parking lots. These facilities typically require major arteries, not quaint town streets, for reasonable access. The best any facilities do to integrate with surrounding communities can be seen in Fort Myers with the Twins and in Surprise, Arizona with the Rangers and Royals, where the facilities are part of larger community parks and recreation centers. That’s OK, and certainly better than nothing, but they’re not the anchors of the vibrant live/work/shop developments like the Braves and Sarasota are describing here.

But of course everyone involved has to say that, because selling such facilities as the engine of pie-in-the-sky development is a key part of making the large expenditure of public funds seem more palatable. And yes, there will be a big expenditure of public funds here: the Braves will be getting $56 million in taxpayer subsidies for the new place, some from the state, some from the county. The amount from the county, by the way, is calculated to fall just below the threshold required for a public vote on the expenditure. The Braves have always been blessed with the ability to avoid public votes for their corporate welfare, of course.

One wonders how many other wealthy private businesses owned by multinational corporations get tens of millions in tax dollars to build employee training centers. Not many, I’m sure. The Braves always seem to luck out in this regard, however.