Giants not planning payback in rematch vs. Marlins

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The San Francisco Giants take on the Florida Marlins in a three-game series beginning Friday.

At first glance, this might not seem like much of a series, what with the Marlins entering the weekend on a seven-game losing streak, and the Giants preparing to face the talented Atlanta Braves early next week. But then we are reminded that this is the first meeting between the two teams since late May, a fateful series that saw San Francisco lose star catcher Buster Posey on a controversial play at the plate.

When Scott Cousins barreled into Posey, it knocked the young star out for the season, effectively changed the Giants’ season and also caused Brian Sabean to lose his mind.

So much has changed with these two teams, though. Jack McKeon is running the show in Florida and Cousins has been out since June with a back injury. And the Giants have replaced Posey’s bat – if not his leadership – with Carlos Beltran (who is also now hurt).

So now, with the teams meeting for the first time since then, should we expect some fireworks? In a word, no.

“We’ve moved on,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. “We have bigger things to be worried about. That’s trying to win and get to the postseason. What happened is behind us.”

More from Baggerly:

Posey, after two surgeries to repair torn ankle ligaments, isn’t looking back, either. He declined multiple interview requests as the Florida series loomed. Posey is only now beginning to put weight on his left foot, but other wounds haven’t healed. He still hasn’t reached out to return Cousins’ apologetic phone call.

“Buster wants to move forward, and I’m proud of how these guys have not dwelled on what happened,” Bochy said. “When you lose your starting catcher and cleanup hitter, it’s devastating.”

In truth, the Giants have a lot more to worry about than the Florida Marlins. With a dramatic victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night, the D-backs have taken a full game lead in the NL West, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere.

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Alabama man arrested for stealing a Braves golf cart from SunTrust Park

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Last Tuesday night, the Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants at SunTrust Park. They lost 6-3. An Alabama man named Marcus Stephens almost came away a winner, however. At least if stealing a $4,500 golf cart that belongs to the Braves makes you a winner, which in some circles I suppose it would.

Stephens lost, however, when he crashed the cart into a metal pole, attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies. This all went down at 1:40AM Wednesday morning. The report doesn’t mention anything about alcohol being involved but I’ve read enough stories like this to make educated guesses about such things.

That being said, Stephens seems relatively composed in his mugshot:

I mean, yeah, the eyes look a bit red and puffy and the overall vibe he gives off is “I came to the game as part of the Sigma Nu reunion (Auburn University class of ’06, GO TIGERS!),” but I expected much worse after reading the headline.

 

Anyway, dude is out on bail. Somewhere, someone is really super proud of him, I’m sure.

Report: The Yankee Stadium charity is a secretive, self-dealing boondoggle

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The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.

The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:

  • Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
  • Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
  • There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.

Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.

If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.