Miller High Life offers to pay Christian Lopez’s tax bill

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We passed along word yesterday that Christian “I caught Jeter’s 3000th” Lopez will probably have to pay a five-figure tax bill on all of the merch the Yankees gave him in exchange for the home run ball.  But don’t worry, Christian! Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that help is on the way!

Miller High Life, which recently had a campaign to make its beer the official beer of fans, has offered to cover the bill—which could be more than $10,000—for Lopez, who said he has about $100,000 in student loan debt as well.

Now listen to me closely, Christian: take the cash if it’s being offered. Do not settle for $10K worth of the Champagne of Beers. For two reasons, really. One because, like, it’s Miller High Life. But two, because you’d then have to pay tax on the beer.  Although, he may have to pay tax on the cash too. Though eventually, with people paying each subsequent tax bill, I suppose he could pare it down significantly.  It’s probably worth noting right now that I got my lowest law school grade in tax class.

Maybe he can just avoid taxes altogether, however. My friend Ethan had a great idea in that regard.  From his email to me yesterday in which we talked about the tax implications:

If he had a really ballsy tax lawyer, he could argue that the purchase of his seat for that specific place and date was a shrewd investment of $99.95, which resulted in the capital gain of XXX when it could have been a dead loss, meaning that he should be taxed at cap gains rates, not normal income, approximately halving his tax bill.

Tax-hawks: would this fly?  I’d try it!

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.