Report: Time Warner, Comcast riding to the Mets’ rescue

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The Mets have been casting about for investors for a long time now, and they’ve not had a ton of success yet.  Yesterday it was reported that one of the $20 million shares they’ve been peddling is going to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.  Today we hear where more of those shares are going. From Richard Sandomir of the New York Times:

Time Warner Cable and Comcast are nearing a plan to finance SNY’s purchase of four shares in the Mets, worth $80 million, said one person with knowledge of the plan who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Kind of convoluted, in that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz’ company — Sterling equities — owns SNY, and then, in turn, SNY will own a stake of the Mets. Time Warner and Comcast, in turn, own stakes in SNY.  Makes my head get all fuzzy thinking about it.

Ultimately, though, the idea seems to be that Time Warner and Comcast don’t want to see the regional sports network they own suffer, and by shooting money, somewhat indirectly, to the Mets, they’re shoring up their network’s programming. Which makes more sense to me than some random rich person giving the Wilpons money as some sort of vanity investment. At least there are stakes here for the cable companies.

Oh, and I suppose I should offer a two-part full disclosure here: (1) Comcast owns NBC and NBC pays me, so you know; and (2) if things go sideways for the Wilpons and Comcast does something nutty like take the Mets over completely, I promise that when I am installed as the team’s Lord Protector that I shall be tough but fair in my administration of its affairs.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.