Private businesses in Tampa are going to look into a new Rays ballpark in 2011

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The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is going to spend much of 2011 looking at new stadium options for the Rays.  The key: they’re going to focus on private, rather than public financing options.

My observations of chambers of commerce closer to my own home suggest that when a group of private, up-by-their-own-bootstraps entrepreneurs get together and talk about big plans they usually end up asking for government handouts anyway, but let’s leave that cynicism for later. For now, let’s just be happy that it’s not a city council or county commission putting this on their agenda.

My favorite observation from the article:

Much has been made of a Trop contract provision that forbids the team from negotiating with third parties about leaving the Trop before 2027. But the contract does not prevent the team from discussing generalities.

So what the hell would the owners of the Trop do if the Rays did discuss specifics about leaving?  Find the team in breach of its lease? Evict them?  Oh, please, don’t throw me into that brier patch!

Twins hire Baseball America’s John Manuel to work in the pro scouting department

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John Manuel of Baseball America announced via his Facebook on Tuesday that he has been hired by the Twins to work in the club’s pro scouting department. Manuel started working for Baseball America in 1996 and has been an editor for the publication since 2005.

The Twins have been among the slowest teams in baseball to modernize, but a recent reconstruction of the front office helped the team reach the postseason as a Wild Card team. Manuel will work with a front office that includes president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine.

The Twins aren’t the only team to poach baseball writers. The Astros’ front office, for example, includes former Baseball Prospectus writers Kevin Goldstein, Mike Fast, and Colin Wyers. So it’s not surprising to see Manuel get a job with the Twins.