Some of you may remember a story from the New York Times back in 2007 that detailed some complaints from tenants of an apartment complex in the Tampa area owned by Alex Rodriguez. While Selena Roberts was guilty of taking some liberties with the subject matter at the time, it appears that conditions haven’t improved at his properties.
According to David Hill of NBCMiami.com, the Normandy Park Apartment complex recently came under fire from local housing officials for safety code violations.
A-Rod’s tenants identified a number of red flags to city officials, including overflowing trash receptacles, rusty pipes, and a heinously murky swimming pool which looked more like a science experiment than a place to cool off on a sunny day.
A local news team in Tampa also reported on the story Sunday evening, putting some extra heat on A-Rod and his management team.
“It’s amazing a person that’s got that much money can have properties that look like this,” one tenant told Tampa’s Fox 13 News. Another tenant called Rodriguez a slumlord.
But according to TMZ, the property managers employed by Rodriguez to oversee the apartments have begun cleaning up the complex and drained the offending pool. TMZ said a few of the tenants at Normandy Park said “everyone responsible seemed to step it up” after they first posted photos of the complex on Friday.
I’m sincerely wondering how much Rodriguez has to do with the day-to-day operations of this place. I’m guessing just about zero. Either way, it’s nice to hear that they are making some changes, even if it took the media to kick them in the butt to make it happen.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.