Say what you want about George Steinbrenner, but he was a hell of a businessman. From turning a tiny initial investment in the Yankees into a billion-dollar franchise, to starting his own regional sports network, rarely did the man make a business mistake. The pattern continued even until his death:
By dying in 2010, the billionaire and long-time
New York Yankees owner’s wealth avoids the federal estate tax, likely
saving his heirs enough money to field an entire team of Alex
death Tuesday came during an unplanned year-long gap in the estate tax,
the first since it was enacted in 1916. Political wrangling has
stalemated efforts in Congress to replace the tax that expired in 2009.
Because no one really knows his estate plan or the extent of his holdings, it’s hard to tell how much money he saved by going in 2010, but the back-of-the-envelope calculations in the linked article figure that, at a minumum, Big Stein’s heirs have saved $300 million+ by him passing in 2010 instead of 2009 or 2011.
Suggestion: whatever big free agent the Yankees sign this winter be given the nickname “tax break” or “death tax” or something like that.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.