The Athletics now play in the Overstock.com Coliseum

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The Contra Costa Times reports that the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum — home of the A’s and the Raiders — will be renamed Overstock.com Coliseum. The deal will earn the county $1.2 million a year for the next six years.  I have two issues with this:

1. Anyone really betting that the Coliseum is going to last six more years? I mean, even Bud Selig’s committees have a shelf life, and I have a hard time seeing the A’s plying their trade in that joint in 2017.  From what I understand the Raiders are itching to get one of those fancy new stadiums too, be it in Northern California or elsewhere.

2.  I’m not sure why companies continue to buy naming rights for previously-built and previously-named stadiums, because people are just going to use the old names anyway. Or they’re going to use cutesy nicknames like “The O,” which is the opening sentence to the linked article. Or Surplus Stadium or whatever.  Indeed, after this post, I can pretty much guarantee that no HardballTalk writer will use the name “Overstock.com Coliseum” in a post — at least in a non-mocking post — and fans will continue to call the place whatever they’ve been calling it for the past 40+ years.

But hey, I never said I understood business.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?