clemens ap

Roger Clemens invited to pitch for Puerto Rican team

15 Comments

Look, kids: a real-life Kenny Powers!

According to Christian Red of the New York Daily News, former major league starter Roger Clemens has been invited to join the pitching staff of Indios de Mayaguez, a Puerto Rican winter league team that recently signed a contract with his son, 24-year-old corner infield prospect Koby Clemens.

“The Rocket” has been throwing bullpen sessions for the past couple of weeks at the Indios facilities. And while he hasn’t responded yet to the invite, the club’s GM seems optimistic that something might happen.

“He didn’t say ‘Yes,’ and he didn’t say ‘No.’ I hope he does play, because that would put people in the stands,” said Indios de Mayaguez general manger Ramon Conde.

“We have a beautiful stadium in Mayaguez by the ocean that (seats) 15,000. Clemens would put a few thousand people in the seats. The door is open.

He got his fastball up to 91, 92. I’m pretty sure he (could) get in shape in two weeks. I think he would be interested to play with his son.”

Clemens last pitched in the big leagues back in 2007, when he registered a 4.18 ERA and 68/31 K/BB ratio in 99 innings with the Yankees. The 49-year-old, due back in a D.C. court on April 17 for a hearing related to his previous perjury charge, would have to pass a physical before actually suiting up for Mayaguez.

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

att park getty
Getty Images
7 Comments

This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.