Law school buys minor league ballpark naming rights

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The Thomas M. Cooley Law School of Lansing, Michigan charges its many, many students something like $25-30K a year in tuition for what U.S. News routinely considers a fourth-tier legal education.*  And now their tuition dollars are going to the Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays:

The baseball park will be renamed Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Stadium in time for the Lugnuts’ season opener in April, said James
Butler, a member of Cooley’s board of directors and the board of
commissioners for the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities
Authority, which runs the ballpark. General Motors gave up its naming rights to Oldsmobile Park as part of its bankruptcy reorganization last summer.

Well, seeing how good a naming rights deal on that park did for General Motors in general and Oldsmobile in particular, I can’t see how this isn’t a fabulous deal for Thomas M. Cooley.

If I paid tuition to that fourth-rate diploma mill they call a law school I’d storm the administration building.

*I’m well aware of the criticisms of the U.S. News rankings and agree with many of them. It’s quite telling, however, that Cooley has done so bad by so many different ranking systems that it actually went out and created its own alternative ranking system that appears to have been designed for the specific purpose of giving a high ranking that Cooley can use in its marketing materials. And in those gamed rankings, Cooley ranks 12th.  Seriously.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.