“The monster that ate the public sector”

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This is not about baseball — it involves a football stadium — but if there is anyone out there who still thinks that public financing of professional sports facilities is a good idea, read this article in the Wall Street Journal about the Cincinnati Bengals’ stadium and then check your position again.

The lesson here isn’t about sports teams extorting a municipality. As is pointed out in the article, it’s about how it takes two to tango, both a sports team trying to get whatever it can (e.g. “holographic instant replay machines”) and a government with absolutely no will and/or ability to drive anything approaching a hard bargain, let alone simply saying no.

As the people in Cincinnati, Miami and a host of other places now know, all sense and accountability is thrown out the window when sports are involved.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.