Stephen Strasburg: Public Administration Scholar

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has a story up today about Stephen Strasburg and his rehab. Strasburg is working out, writing in his journal, staying positive and … going to college:

He’s resisted video games. In an effort to work toward a degree, he took two public administration classes at San Diego State. SDSU, PA 460 and PA 497, a thesis course. He wrote his thesis on the effect new stadiums have on neighborhoods, focusing his research on Nationals Park.

I’d like to see that paper. Mostly because the bulk of the scholarship already done on this topic has concluded that ballpark development has very little if any economic impact on surrounding neighborhoods, the claims of politicians and team owners to the contrary notwithstanding.

So: did Strasburg break new academic ground on this topic and conclude that ballparks are broadly beneficial economic engines … or did he write a paper that is likely to totally tick off the people who sign his paycheck by concluding that publicly funded stadiums are nothing more than a boon to the rich, sold to taxpayers under false pretenses?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.