In the space of less than two years former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has gone from staring bankruptcy in the face to audacious acts of philanthropy:
Georgetown University says the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers has given the school $100 million, the largest donation ever in the school’s history, to create a public policy school … The donation surpasses the previous record $87 million gift to Georgetown in 2010. The new school will be named the McCourt School of Public Policy and will launch in October, becoming the first new school at Georgetown since 1957.
I can only help McCourt’s input into the future public policy minds of our nation is limited to the resources they use to achieve their education. Because his special brand of policy know-how — borrow until you can’t breathe and then get bailed out by a friggin’ miracle, made possible only by monopoly power — is not exactly the example we need our future leaders to be learning.
Well, learning any more than they already are, that is.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.