Milt Bolling - 1956 Topps

Former Red Sox infielder Milt Bolling dies at 82

7 Comments

Milt Bolling, who spent seven years in the big leagues in the 1950s and afterwards worked for the Red Sox for 30 years, passed away Saturday in Alabama at the age of 82.

Frank Bolling, Milt’s brother and a former MLB All-Star, told al.com’s Mark Inabinett that Milt’s health had been in decline following open-heart surgery three months ago.

Milt Bolling came up with the Red Sox in 1952 and became the team’s primary shortstop a year later. He had his best season in 1954, hitting .249/.337/.358 with six homers in 370 at-bats. However, he suffered a broken elbow the following spring and missed most of the 1955 season. Primarily a part-timer after that, he was traded to the Senators in 1957. In 1958, he briefly played with little brother Frank in Detroit, appearing in 24 games for the Tigers.

“We played against each other in the big leagues, and then he came over to Detroit in 1958, and we played together as a double-play combination,” Frank said, “with me at second base and him at shortstop. We have some great tales. We had a lot of good times.”

According to Wikipedia, Bolling later served with the Red Sox as an executive assistant to owner Tom Yawkey and as an area scout based in Alabama.

Milt Bolling is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joanne, as well as four children and nine grandchildren.

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
4 Comments

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
14 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.