For the players, Miami is a “girlfriend city”

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I was gone yesterday afternoon so I wasn’t following the blow-by-blow of the Bonds trial. By missing it, though, I missed a doozy.  In case you missed it too, know this: to players on road trips, there are “wife cities” and there are “girlfriend cities.”

This came up during Kimberly Bell’s testimony, in which she said that Bonds told her about the idea. Bonds would know too, seeing as though he dated Bell through parts of two separate marriages. During her cross examination, Bell said that Miami was a “girlfriend city.”, so she’d rendezvous with Barry there and other girlfriend cities.

Quite the concept.  Maybe it explains why the Braves always seem to play so flat against the Marlins on the road!

I’d love to have a list of all major league cities and have them rated for wife or girlfriend-friendliness.  And in case you think I’d use such information for player-stalking purposes, I should say that I’m more interested in the criteria for categorization than anything else.  Based on Miami being for the girlfriends I’d assume that a hot night life is important for that, but there has to be more to it.  Like, which way does good shopping cut?  And does the entire breakdown of the cities give us any idea as to whether cheating players have more contempt for the wives they betray or their girlfriends they use?

Put differently, who gets stuck with Cincinnati?

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.