Craig Calcaterra

old TV

The Diamondbacks are signing a billion dollar TV deal

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The TV rights fees bubble has yet to burst. The latest beneficiaries of it: the Dbacks:

The Diamondbacks became the latest team to cash in on baseball’s exploding local television market, agreeing to remain with Fox Sports Arizona under a contract that’s believed to be worth in excess of $1 billion.

Sources would not provide details of the agreement, such as specific financial terms or even the length of the contract, but there are indications the deal is in line with expectations based on previous comments from club officials.

Those expectations are for either a 15 or 20-year deal. According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks currently take in around $31 million annually for their TV rights. If this new deal is for 15 years, it would triple that number on an annual basis, putting it north of $90 million a year. To put that in perspective, their 2014 payroll was only $108 million. As such, the club is not too terribly far from breaking even before they even sell a ticket, a hot dog, a t-shirt or a big foam finger.

Yankees fans: would you give up the 2009 title just to be rid of A-Rod?

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Reading the Juliet Macur A-Rod column in the New York Times because, apparently, I hate my life and I want to die.

It’s the usual thing in bad A-Rod columns: assertions that the current situation is “untenable” and that something must be done without explaining why, exactly, something must be done. A total memory-holing of the fact that the New York Yankees wrote the freakin’ book on how to deal with off-the-field drama and have never, ever once been sunk by it. And that even if they could be, the tail end of a drama involving a 40-year-old player is pretty small potatoes compared to a lot of stuff they’ve dealt with over the years.

Fact is, the A-Rod situation is going to play itself out pretty easily, actually. He’ll either play well or he won’t. If he plays well, the Yankees will use him. If he doesn’t, they won’t. If he sucks and they need the roster spot, they’ll release him. At most there will be some legal scuffling about the $6 million Willie Mays home run bonus, but it’ll probably settle quietly because who really has the stomach for that fight? This isn’t the Bronx Zoo here. This isn’t one of those fun Babe Ruth controversies. A-Rod is famous, but he’s not some big star who must be deal with anymore. He’s almost done. Hell, he may be totally done.

That stuff aside, however, here’s my favorite part of the Macur column:

The Yankees didn’t have to make Rodriguez the richest baseball player in history, with career earnings now at about $356 million. They didn’t have to agree to pay him more than the player in the No. 2 spot, Derek Jeter. They could have said goodbye to him for good in 2007. And they didn’t.

You cool with that Yankees fans? You cool with the team not signing A-Rod in 2007? Because I’m pretty certain that the 2009 title doesn’t happen without A-Rod almost single-handedly bringing it home for you all that postseason. I’m sure you can construct a reality in which the Yankees, freed of not paying A-Rod, acquired every good player available between 2007 and 2009 in order to win it, but you’re just speculating there. The actual facts on the ground are that Alex Rodriguez led the 2009 Yankees to the World Series title.

People say Yankees fans are spoile. That their team has won so many titles that giving up one wouldn’t even be noticed. But I think that’s baloney for the most part. Yankees fans I know are like any other sports fans: that season, that moment is what matters and that their joy of winning it all in 2009 is not fundamentally different than the Phillies winning one in 2008 or the Giants winning in 2010.

But what say you? Honestly.

 

An Indians minor leaguer was suspended for amphetamines

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Today is the pitchers and catchers report day for the Cleveland Indians. So getting suspended today is like getting suspended on the first day of school:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Cleveland Indians Minor League right-handed pitcher Tyler Sturdevant has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant in violation ofthe Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Sturdevant is on the Triple-A roster, which means he’ll likely play in Columbus when he comes back. In the meantime, Tyler, if you’re looking to hang out in Columbus call me, dude. I know you’ll have a lot of time on your hands.

Hiroki Kuroda says his years in the majors were “tougher than they were enjoyable”

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Hiroki Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers and the Yankees for several years, and pitched pretty darn well for a lot of those years. But upon his return to Japan, he is not remembering those years as particularly wonderful:

A simple question about how he viewed his time in the major leagues prompted him to drop a verbal bomb in his response.

“To sum it up in one word, it was ‘tough,'” Kuroda said in the news conference. “In a situation in which I didn’t understand the language and battled to make it through the season, the seven years were — including physically — tougher than they were enjoyable.”

Kuroda, 40, will pitch for the Hiroshima Carp this season. Here’s hoping he enjoys himself a bit more now that he’s back home.

Miguel Cabrera has been cleared for “limited baseball activity”

Miguel Cabrera
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Health update on Miguel Cabrera:

Cue that weirdo on Twitter who thinks we hate Cabrera for the suggestion that anything he does is “limited.”

Cabrera, of course, is rehabbing from surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his foot. With him being cleared, at least on a limited basis, the Tigers’ optimistic assessment of his time table — that he will be ready for Opening Day or soon thereafter — is still theoretically in play.

UPDATE:  The Tigers are saying as much: