<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

Petco Park

The San Diego city government has a suite for Padres games. And they don’t know what to do with it.

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When a city puts up public money for a stadium, it’s not unreasonable that the stadium will include at least some place for city use. Like, say, a luxury box. Petco Park in San Diego has a luxury box which is owned by the city, and it’s become something of an odd political issue.

The use of it in the past several years has not, actually, been terribly controversial. For the most part city council members give it to groups who request its use, such as charities, neighborhood organizations, youth groups and the like. Sometimes donors and political cronies get to use it, but apparently the process is transparent, with the city publicly listing who applies to use the box and who actually uses it.

But now the mayor wants to cease the city’s use of it and, rather, lease out the box and use the proceeds to fund city services. The story about all of that is at the Union-Tribune, and it shows that the politics about it all are somewhat complicated: does the city give away good seats to the public which they couldn’t otherwise get, or do they allow private groups to use it, but have the money come back to the city?

A third option — the team giving a lot more money back to the city in exchange for the cash cow it was given by taxpayers — is probably too ridiculous to be on the table.

Is Terrance Gore baseball’s fastest man?

Terrance Gore
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Andy McCullough of the KC Star has a feature on Royals’ pinch-running sensation Terrance Gore. No, not Jarrod Dyson, though even Royals fans often confuse the two, McCullough reports. Dyson is super fast but Gore is even faster. Indeed, McCullough’s paragraph ledes assert that Gore is the fastest man in baseball:

The fastest man in baseball drives with caution . . . The fastest man in baseball looks like a teenager . . . The fastest man in baseball was a scrawny teenage boy . . . The fastest man in baseball still toils in obscurity . . .

It’s a good feature on a guy who probably never would’ve seen the light of a major league roster a few short years ago, when stealing bases was not a priority for most teams. Heck, even today he might not have seen the light of day of a roster anywhere else but in Kansas City. The Royals are running wild this postseason, and Gore is a big part of it.

Still, part of me wonders how a foot race would go between Gore and Billy Hamilton. Let’s say we drop the Home Run Derby next summer and have a race? The All-Star Game is gonna be in Cincinnati, so it’d be a great spectacle featuring a local player . . .

Russell Martin no longer hates the Red Sox

russell martin getty
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September 2011. Then-Yankees catcher Russell Martin said this:

“Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me . . . Because I hate the Red Sox. They are fun to play against because they have a quality team and they are gritty and they play hard and stuff, but I would love to see them lose . . . I guess it just comes with the territory. When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way.”

Russell Martin, impending free agent, in September 2014, on the possibility of signing with the Boston Red Sox:

“It’s definitely a place to consider if the option is there,” Martin told WEEI.com during a late September interview . . . “It’€™s a great baseball town. People love their baseball. For the most part they’€™ve always been competitive. They’€™ve got a great team. [Dustin] Pedroia is one of personal favorites. I love the way he competes so it would be a pleasure playing with him.”

The lesson here is not that Martin is a hypocrite or anything. The lesson here is that free agency politics and saying the right thing to the local press at a given time is a far greater consideration for players than the rivalries we as fans have decided are important.

We’re rooting for laundry, people. The players know this way better than we do.

The Rangers will decline Alex Rios’ option

alex rios getty
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Another big shocker from the land of options: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Rangers are expected to decline Alex Rios’ $13.5 million club option for 2015.

Rios batted .280/.311/.398 with four homers over 131 games this season. He was mentioned in trade talks, but no one ever bit. Which isn’t surprising. It’s possible he could be useful for someone next season, but not at eight figures a year.

Tom Seaver got in shape with Reader’s Digest Condensed books

Tom Seaver
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My friend Ben owns a used bookstore in Wooster, Ohio, and when he comes across fun and/or weird baseball-related stuff he shoots it my way. He shot this my way this morning. It’s Tom Seaver, then with the Mets, explaining how Reader’s Digest Condensed books were a key part of his spring training regimen:

source:

Seaver owns a winery in Calistoga, California now. I picture him up in the hills among the vineyards, settled into a nice leather chair in some beautiful mission-style house, lighting a fire in the fireplace and settling into a condensed version of “The Good Earth.”

I also picture Pete Rose or someone derisively calling him “Shakespeare” back in spring training in 1970 or whatever.