Take this Daily News story for what it’s worth: old news which has been mooted by months of more recent events. But if you’re into the sordid backstory of A-Rod’s fight with Major League Baseball, the award-winning Daily News I-Team would like you to know that A-Rod was going to quit last summer — retire from baseball and not fight MLB’s discipline — but he was convinced not to by Desiree Perez, a woman with a hefty criminal record that, somehow, has close ties to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
For what it’s worth, a source with knowledge of the Biogenesis investigation suggested to me last year that, at some point, Perez did have A-Rod’s ear and was somewhat troublingly influential in A-Rod’s decision making process, so there is probably not a ton of reason to doubt the veracity of this report. It goes along with a long line of stories over the years where Rodriguez responded positively to someone telling him he should act aggressively in some way, shape or form, be it legally or with business matters or what have you. He’s not exactly a mastermind. He’s easily influenced, it would appear. Not shocking.
That notwithstanding, the Daily News coming out with this today is rather hilarious given that (a) A-Rod’s decision making from last year has long been mooted given his decision to drop his legal case against MLB, accept his suspension and move on. Indeed, just this past week we heard that A-Rod is living a relatively quiet life of paying attention to his business and keeping in shape in an effort to come back next year. Even his ex-wife had wonderful things to say regarding the way in which A-Rod was going about his business as of late. We don’t hear much from the Daily News about that.
We also haven’t heard a peep from the Daily News about the story which emerged a week ago in which Major League Baseball was said by the Boca Raton police department to have knowingly purchased stolen documents during its investigation. I guess bad stuff that MLB did last year in an effort to get A-Rod is old, irrelevant news. Bad advice A-Rod took last year in an effort to fight MLB, however, deserves this sensationalist treatment.
Great job, I-Team! Way to stay on top of everything in a comprehensive and totally non-selective fashion!
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.
Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.
“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.
The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.
“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”
The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.
“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”
Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.
Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.
Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.