The Mets called about Adrian Gonzalez

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Adrian Gonzalez headshot.jpgLast night Matthew and Drew gave us the overview regarding Adrian Gonzalez, including the mondo contract he’s reportedly demanding and the odds of him landing in Chicago. Pile that on top of the long-running Red Sox speculation, of course.  But Boston and Chicago aren’t the only teams who would love to get their mitts on a young, inexpensive superstar. Heeeeeeeeere’s Heyman!

mets LOVE ike davis. but there were 1 of many to call about the great adrian gonzalez.

Two questions about that tweet:

1. I figured that Heyman didn’t capitalize proper nouns in his tweets because it was a hassle doing it from his phone or whatever, but he can obviously capitalize the word “LOVE.” Why not “mets,” “ike davis” and “adrian gonzalez?” Maybe journalism school isn’t as rigorous as some think; and

2. Do the Mets have the goods to get Gonzalez? Ike Davis is a decent prospect who would be immediately redundant in the event AG came to Queens, but he doesn’t strike me as the kind of player that someone with Jed Hoyer’s sensibilities would consider to be a trade anchor. Are there enough other near-ready prospects in the Mets system to get such a beast done? That’s an honest question, by the way, not me slamming the Mets system.

Certainly New York would be a candidate to give Gonzalez that Teixeira-like contract he apparently wants, but that’s two years from now. The real play for him will be before then.

Mike Piazza presided over the destruction of a 100-year-old soccer team

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Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame in January of 2016 and inducted in July of 2016. In between those dates he purchased an Italian soccer team, A.C. Reggiana 1919, a member of Italy’s third division. In June of that year he was greeted as a savior in Reggio Emilia, the small Italian town in which the team played. He was the big American sports star who was going to restore the venerable club to its past and rightful place of glory.

There were suggestions by last March that things weren’t going well, but know we know that in less than two years it all fell apart. Piazza and his wife Alicia presided over a hot mess of a business, losing millions of dollars and, this past June, they abruptly liquidated the club. It is now defunct — one year short of its centennial — and a semipro team is playing in its place, trying to acquire the naming rights from Piazza as it wends its way though bankruptcy.

Today at The Athletic, Robert Andrew Powell has a fascinating — no, make that outrageously entertaining — story of how that all went down from the perspective of the Piazzas. Mostly Alicia Piazza who ran the team in its second year when Mike realized he was in over his head. She is . . . something. Her quotes alone are worth the price of admission. For example:

Alicia, who refers to Mike’s ownership dream as “his midlife crisis,” offered up a counter argument.

“Who the f**k ever heard of Reggio Emilia?” she asked. “It’s not Venice. It’s not Rome. My girlfriend said, and you can quote this—and this really depressed me. She said, ‘Honey, you bought into Pittsburgh.’ Like, it wasn’t the New York Yankees. It wasn’t the Mets. It wasn’t the Dodgers. You bought Pittsburgh!”

In their Miami living room, Mike tried to interject but she stopped him.

“And imagine what that feels like, after spending 10 million euros. You bought Pittsburgh!”

At this point it may be worth remembering that Piazza is from Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania to be sure, but still.

Shockingly, it didn’t end all that well for the Piazzas in Reggio Emilia:

One week later, the Piazzas returned to Reggio Emilia, and were spotted at the team offices. More than a hundred ultras marched into the office parking lot, chanting and demanding answers. Carabinieri—national police aligned with the military—showed up for the Piazzas’ safety. The police advised the Americans to avoid the front door of the complex and exit through the back. Mike assured them it wouldn’t be necessary—he had always enjoyed a good relationship with the fans.

The carabinieri informed him that the relationship had changed. The Piazzas slipped out the back door, under police escort.

The must-read of the week. Maybe the month. Hell, maybe the year. The only thing I can imagine topping it is if someone can tell this story from the perspective of the people in Reggio Emilia. I’m guessing their take is a bit different than the Piazzas.