The Mets certainly don’t need any more ragging, but sometimes it’s hard to resist. A rough offseason filled with negative storylines has bred a mile-high pile of superb quotes and observations. Here’s the opinion of one veteran sports agent, courtesy of the New York Post’s Joel Sherman:
“How can you have that payroll and still not have a starting catcher or
first baseman, a second baseman you hate and no legitimate starters
after Johan [Santana]?”
It hasn’t been a pleasant winter in Queens. The Jason Bay signing
was nice, but beyond that we’ve witnessed public relations nightmare after public relations nightmare from general manager Omar Minaya and his cohorts. The Mets set out to trade second baseman Luis Castillo and were unable to find any takers. They also had serious interest in acquiring both Joel Pineiro and Bengie Molina, but, for whatever reason, lost out to other clubs in the bidding process. And let’s not overlook the wild circumstances surrounding Carlos Beltran’s abrupt knee surgery
Gary Matthews Jr. is no savior either.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.
The measure can still be amended by lawmakers, and if it passes the Senate it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.
In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.
Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.
The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.
A’s representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.