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Mets owners lose bid to build a mall next to Citi Field

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The Mets owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, are real estate guys. And next to the stadium in which their team plays is a big open space currently serving as a parking lot. Real estate guys don’t like big open spaces. They want that land to generate as much revenue as possible, and baseball parking lots don’t generate any revenue for, like, 280 days a year. As such, Wilpon, Katz and their business partners wanted to build something there: a mall.

The problem: that land is not theirs. It’s publicly-owned parkland that was designated for baseball use in 1961. Shea Stadium sat on it for decades. As a parking lot for Shea’s replacement, it’s still being used for baseball. As a mall . . . not so much.

The Wilpon/Katz-controlled entity, joined by the city, argued, rather clumsily, it seems, that a mall would TOTALLY be in the public interest because, um, well, the money from it would be used to build other public stuff later. The court didn’t buy it, and now their dreams of building a mall next to Citi Field are dead. You can read the whole decision here.

You can get away with a lot of fleecing of the public when you own a baseball team, but even then there are limits.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: