As is custom, President Obama welcomed the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants to the White House yesterday. Usually those meet-and-greets are really brief and cursory, but given all of the debt crisis ugliness, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Obama hung out with the Giants for a couple hours yesterday, trying to get his mind off things. I probably would.
Most notable during the visit: Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum — who are unique enough as it is — looking like a pair of terrorist/assassins once they were given suits and ties and placed in an official setting. Seriously, look at that pic and tell me that Wilson isn’t imagining eating Obama’s liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Or at least trying to make us all think that’s what he’s thinking because he has a reputation for edginess to uphold. Frankly I’ve lost track of whether we’re supposed to be shocked by Wilson, tired of his calculated weirdness or if we’re back to simply enjoying it. These trend cycles can be difficult to navigate.
Also notable: the Giants presented the president with a number 44 jersey. My first thought when I saw that was that it wasn’t too respectful of Willie McCovey who had the thing retired in his honor, but then I read that he gave it the OK. Which, given that McCovey is supposed to be a pretty awesome guy isn’t too surprising. If 44 had been Will Clark’s or something, though, there could have been trouble.
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.
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.