In other news, the Denver Post owns a share of the Colorado Rockies:
The Post holds a 7.3 percent state in the major league baseball club that is majority owned by brothers Dick and Charlie Monfort. Ed Moss, CEO of the Denver Post, said Digital First Media, which operates MediaNews Group, owner of the newspaper, is seeking to sell the minority stake in the Rockies as the Post focuses on core print and digital business.
It always seems strange to me when newspapers own chunks of businesses which constitute a significant part of the news they cover. I mean, the Rockies don’t make the news randomly, in situations where a brief disclaimer can clear up a potential conflict of interest. They’re assured to be a day-in-day-out part of the Post’s sports section. To my knowledge nothing untoward has ever come of this relationship, but one wonders what the coverage of the Rockies would have been like if their ownership group found itself in a Frank McCourt or Wilpons/Madoff situation.
As for the sale: heck, with franchise values ascending like they are right now, it might not be a bad time for minority owners to cash in. There’s a huge bubble in team values these days and while it may not burst violently like the housing market did, no investment appreciates forever. Oh, and newspapers, in this day and age, could use some cash.
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.
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.