Wait, you thought they were moving into a baseball-specific ballpark? Ha! How little you know of commerce today. Marlins team president David Samson:
“We’re prepared to host football games. We’re prepared to host soccer games. We’re prepared to host home shows, boat shows, trade shows, baseball tournaments, college baseball tournaments and concerts. All of these things can happen in all different shapes and sizes, because we’ve got the roof, we’ve got air conditioning. It makes it a very attractive place for events.”
Such is the way of the world now. I’m just happy that baseball is the primary use for these places and that the football games have to be played with weird configurations rather than the other way around, like it was in the 70s and 80s. Oh, and here’s a new twist on naming rights:
“There will be four quadrant partners — we’ve got the red, green, blue and yellow. There will be companies who will name those quadrants, plus a naming rights partner for the whole ballpark.”
Who even thinks about a ballpark in terms of quadrants? And that’s important, right? Because if regular fans don’t acknowledge your designation, what’s the value of the naming rights to begin with?
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.