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

Palm beach

Palm Beach wants to give the Nationals and Astros money to play there, the teams want more

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Great moments in taxpayer funded sports facilities. Palm Beach County has offered to put up $55 million to build a spring training facility for the Nationals and Astros. But the facility may not happen. Why? Because that’s not enough for the Nationals and Astros. They want $155 million:

A divided Palm Beach County Commission rejected a request by the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros to sweeten the county’s proposal to build a spring training stadium for the two teams in West Palm Beach.

But commissioners on Tuesday also directed county staff to continue negotiating with the teams, and report back to the commission within a month.

This is not one of the more egregious publicly-funded ballpark situations ever inasmuch as communities in Florida have long jockeyed to get and keep spring training facilities and there is, generally speaking, a lot of public support for using taxpayer money to do it. As well as established funds to do it.

But it doesn’t change the fact that, between them, the Lerners and Jim Crane could buy and sell many moderately sized countries yet still want more money from a local government for buildings that will, first and foremost, benefit the Lerners and Jim Crane.

Derek Jeter’s final game in Yankee Stadium could be cancelled because of rain

Derek Jeter
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Tomorrow afternoon, Derek Jeter is scheduled to play in his final game in Yankee Stadium. This is the forecast for the Bronx for tomorrow:

source:

The best part: since there are no playoff implications for the game, and since both the Yankees and Orioles have to play someplace else on Friday, it will almost certainly not be made up if it’s rained out.

I’m not sure if this is a matter of God, for the first time ever, not doing whatever is in His power to make things nice for Derek Jeter, or if it’s God crying because He will no longer be able to see Derek Jeter play.

Anyway: thoughts, prayers.

Bud Selig talks about what MLB is doing to create a domestic violence policy

Bud Selig
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Last night, following his bestowing of a major award on Derek Jeter, Bud Selig spoke from Yankee Stadium about baseball’s work on a domestic violence policy.

Specifically, he said that Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president for labor relations Dan Halem and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark had been meeting to discuss a framework for how to deal with cases, as well as meetings with “various groups seeking input,” which one hopes and presumes to be anti-domestic violence groups and womens organizations.

Selig’s comments:

“We’re going to be very proactive in that area. Baseball is a social institution and needs to deal with things like this directly. And we will . . . We’ve been having meetings with various organizations — two a day starting last Friday. And had a couple more today and a couple more tomorrow. And talking to the Players Association about it.”

Sounds good to me. As we’ve discussed, coming up with a policy will not be an easy task. But as long as the league is working with the union and getting input from people who know way more about the topic than Major League Baseball does as opposed to hastily coming up with something simply to get in front of the next bad bit of P.R. that comes its way, it’s a good thing.

Bud Selig says A-Rod will “have a clean slate” once his suspension is over

Alex Rodriguez
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While cameras will follow his every move and while pearl-clutching columns will no doubt be written, when Alex Rodriguez reports to spring training next February he will be just like any other player in the eyes of Major League Baseball. That’s what Bud Selig said yesterday. From the Daily News:

And outgoing Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said that when a player returns from a suspension, he has a clean slate in the eyes of the league.

“They do in my eyes. I’ve said that to a lot of players,” Selig said at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, a visit that’s part of his farewell tour of all 30 MLB parks. “Listen, we’re a social institution. A guy does something, he gets disciplined, he comes back. We shouldn’t keep penalizing him.”

That’s right. Only baseball writers can do that.

Of course, another part of being treated like anyone else is being subject to being DFA’d if your current team doesn’t like you or want you. And that’s going to be the real A-Rod story of the offseason and spring training. As Selig said, “whatever happens between Alex and the Yankees will happen. It’s up to them now.” I have no clue what’s going to happen there.

On the one hand, I can see the Yankees just cutting ties. The thinking being that whatever the Yankees of the 20oos and 2010s have been, they ceased to be with the suspension, two non-playoff seasons and the retirement of Derek Jeter. Alex Rodriguez was a giant pain in the ass, he is now old, he is no longer any kind of bet to be an All-Star caliber performer and no one really needs the headache.

Part of me wonders, however, if someone on the Yankees will think “well, maybe there’s a chance he can still hit,” will look around and realize that there isn’t any kind of real offensive talent on the roster anyway and decide that they’ll at least give him a look-see in spring training.

It’s anyone’s guess, really. I feel like there are equal chances of him playing in New York, playing for some other team, being given a fair shake only to show that the age and layoff eroded his skills too greatly or showing that he can still play yet being given a total defacto blackball a la Barry Bonds and never playing baseball again anyway.

How mature. The Giants are boycotting a reporter for doing his job.

giants logo
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With the full disclosure that the reporter in question, Andrew Baggarly, works for CSNBayArea.com, which is part of the Comcast/NBCUniversal family which also puts out this blog and employs this blogger, I bring your attention to a silly little display by the San Francisco Giants.

It seems that they are boycotting Baggarly because he reported something which no one on the Giants is refuting. From Henry Schulman of the Chronicle:

Pagan was not immediately available for comment. Before Bochy spoke, Pagan abruptly cut short a group interview because of the presence of one beat reporter whom he and other players say they will boycott, angry over something he wrote.

 

More explanation from Bay Area Sports Guy:

Apparently the team has decided en masse that they won’t speak to any members of the media if Andrew Baggarly is present. Multiple sources have told me his report about an argument in the clubhouse between Sergio Romo and Shawon Dunston precipitated this “boycott.”

This is Baggarly’s report, which is newsworthy, not sensational and which has not been refuted by anyone.

We’ve seen this sort of thing in the past, most notably with the Seattle Mariners back in 2010. It’s never a good look for a team, especially a team that is scuffling as it approaches the playoffs like the Giants are. It’d be one thing if the reporter in question was engaging in shady muckraking, but Baggarly is among the best in the business. If anything, he has erred on the side of caution more than good journalistic ethics even require. And even if you have a problem with a reporter, every team employs media relations people whose job it is to work with the credentialed press and smooth over difficulties like this specifically so that players and reporters aren’t sparring with each other in such a fashion.

The Giants face elimination tonight against Clayton Kershaw. One would hope that their focus is more on that than on silly little pissing matches with a working reporter who is just doing his job.

(h/t Deadspin)