You know where I stand on the issue of public funding for ballparks. If not: I think it’s only slightly preferable to a swift kick to the groin. Not a fan.
But what if, instead of it being a taxpayer thing, it was a matter of private investment? That’s Phil Rosenthal’s plan for Wrigley Field: let the public buy shares in the ballpark and use that money for the $200-300 million in renovations the joint needs.
It’s one of those ideas that sound kind of neat when you first hear it, but that doesn’t hold up under even moderate scrutiny. The moderate scrutiny comes from Ballpark Digest, which deconstructs Rogers’ proposal. He explains why it wouldn’t work within baseball’s current system — neither MLB nor the Cubs have any desire to offer the kind of transparency required of such a deal — and while it wouldn’t work structurally. Mostly because it would require way too many investors offering way too much money per share to both finance the thing and to keep anyone from gaining a controlling interest over the ballpark.
Nice idea, I guess. But I don’t know why so many people spend so much of their time trying to think of ways to help billionaires with their million-dollar problems.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.