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Shocker: the Rangers new ballpark will cost taxpayers more than initially claimed

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Ballparks and stadiums often end up costing more than initially projected. Things happen, costs spiral and the optimism of the groundbreaking eventually gives way to the realities of construction schedules.

In Texas they haven’t even turned one shovel of dirt on the Rangers new ballpark yet, but it’s already costing taxpayers more than they were initially told it would. Not because of cost overruns, however, but because the taxpayers were basically lied to.

As this report from WFAA-TV makes clear, the Rangers and public officials sold the new stadium as a 50-50 split between the team and taxpayers. It turns out, however, that a big chunk of tax revenue — ticket and parking taxes which almost always go to the government and are used to fund the public’s share of a stadium project —  are being handed over to the Rangers who will us it to fund their “50 percent” share. As Barry Petchesky of Deadspin characterizes it:

So Arlington is on the hook for its pledged $500 million, plus another $300 million that it ought to be raising from tickets and parking that will instead go right into the Rangers’ owners’ pockets. Those owners will ultimately have to pay just $200 million of their own money to get their fancy-ass new ballpark.

It’s rare that anything in these publicly-financed ballpark deals surprises me anymore. But this one actually surprises me. The audacity of the cash grab/giveaway and the contempt officials have for the public in selling this as a 50-50 split is simply remarkable.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.