Why does everyone want to give millions to billionaires?

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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.

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.