New York City to invest in the development around Citi Field

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I’ve not been to Citi Field, but I’ve flown in to LaGuardia a bunch and have seen the blight surrounding it. It’s a lot of junkyards and derelict warehouses and, presumably, is a wonderful place to stash dead bodies and stuff. But soon it will be shimmering with commerce, hotels and housing:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has announced an agreement with a group of developers that includes the owners of the New York Mets to clean up and develop a blighted neighborhood next to the team’s stadium.

The agreement was announced Thursday. It covers a 20-acre portion of Willets Point in Queens, where Citi Field is located.

The developers include the Mets owners themselves, via their company Sterling Equities. And it is estimated to be a $3 billion deal of some kind, presumably with a healthy municipal investment.

Just something else to remember the next time someone claims that a publicly-financed ballpark will spur local development. Sure it will. A decade later and only with a zillion dollars of more tax funds.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.