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.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.