Via TBO.com –
Tampa may be losing a minor league baseball franchise when the Tampa Yankees move to Ocala, but the city will be gaining a new concert venue.
New York Yankees officials confirmed Monday that the team’s Class A-Advanced minor league affiliate will likely play in a new Ocala ballpark in 2016. Plans for a $45 million stadium-entertainment complex near Interstate 75 and State Road 200 were to be unveiled at an Ocala City Council workshop Tuesday in the city 97 miles north of Tampa.
The Yankees have been contemplating moving their minor league team for several years. The team draws about 1,000 to 1,500 fans per game, and might fare better in a community without all the major sports franchises that call the Tampa-St. Petersburg area home.
Ocala is county seat of Marion County, which has a population of about 335,000.
“We’re a big baseball community so this would be a big deal for us,” said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn.
George M. Steinbrenner Field will still be used during the summer months once the minor league team leaves. Preliminary plans are to hold concerts at the stadium as well as amateur baseball tournaments and other sporting events.
“If they do leave, it just gives us flexibility,” said Howard Grosswirth, vice president of marketing for the New York Yankees. “We won’t have to go around (the Tampa Yankees’) schedule; we’ll just work around the summer, hopefully bringing back concerts.”
The Yankees last held concerts at the stadium, then called Legends Field, in 1996. Grosswirth said the team will be working with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to bring sporting events to the ball park.
“It doesn’t have to be baseball,” Grosswirth said. “It could be any number of different sports.”
With 11,000 seats, the ballpark would feature acts that draw fewer than the tens of thousands of fans at larger venues such as the Forum and Raymond James Stadium. But older groups with loyal followings could be a good fit. In May 2005, rock and country legends Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson played at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies and home field for the minor league Clearwater Threshers.
The Tampa Yankees’ departure will have little impact on Hillsborough County revenues, said Bobby Silvest, spokesman for the Tampa Sports Authority, which manages Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees pay the authority about $100,000 a year to lease the county-owned stadium, plus a ticket surcharge that yielded about $135,000 in 2011, the latest figure available.
The surcharge is added to New York Yankee spring training tickets, but not to tickets for minor league games.
The move to Ocala still hinges on the city and Marion County building a ballpark. Guinn said the stadium complex would likely be financed by a half-cent sales tax increase that would expire after five years. The county commission would have to put the tax increase before county voters, probably in March.
The Steinbrenners already own half of Ocala now, don’t they?
Via MLB –
The Yankees have re-signed Derek Jeter to a one-year, $12 million deal, the club announced Friday.
Jeter held a $9.5 million player option for 2014, the final installment of a deal he signed before the 2011 season that ended up paying him $51 million over three years. Instead, he and the club reached the new agreement.
As someone noted over at BBTF, under the $9.5M player option, the average annual value of Jeter’s prior contract was $14.5 million – and that would have counted toward the luxury tax. By declining the option and signing for $12M, Jeter gets more money and the Yankees save $2.5M toward the luxury tax threshold.
That’s pretty good money for a guy who cannot field and who will probably have an OPS+ under 100.
And, I’m not knocking Jeter. The decline is due to his age and injury. Hey, it happens…
I remember reading about Adrian Cardenas in Baseball America when he was selected as their High School Player Of The Year. The very next year, he was doing great, not far from me, down in Lakewood. (Well, great compared to his teammate, the former Yankees first rounder, C.J. Henry.)
I was surprised when the Phillies traded him. But, I was not shocked when the Cubs picked him up off waivers.
He’s now hanging them up at age twenty-six. And, he has his reasons for doing it.
With a little better glove, he could have been another Marco Scutaro. At the worst, maybe another Jayson Nix. Shoot, split the difference and say he could have been another Tony Graffanino.
It really seems like a crime to waste his baseball talent. But, then again, this is coming from a guy who wishes that he had one-quarter of his talent. So, what do I know?
I just saw this story which I thought was sort of interesting-
Any professional photographer who’s been working long enough has experienced the humiliation of missing the big shot, so it wasn’t that big a story when two sports photographers missed Ichiro Suzuki’s landmark 4,000th base hit at a recent New York Yankees game.
It’s what happened afterward, when USA Today Sports Images photographer Debby Wong passed off a photo of another Suzuki swing as the iconic moment, that turned the incident into a significant photojournalism ethics fail.
Wong and New York Daily News Andrew Theodorakis were covering the Aug. 21 game from neighboring positions when Suzuki scored the big hit. Wong missed the shot due to apparent chimping, Theodorakis because Wong’s lens blocked his view.
The latter was enough to start a ruckus in the pit, with a Yankees representative eventually intervening and reminding Wong that she was outside her assigned spot.
It also made the miss widespread news, at least in the world of New York sports photographers, so numerous eyebrows were raised when a Wong photo of Suzuki swinging later appeared on the USA Today site with the caption: ”New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki singles to left field to record his 4,000th career hit…”
Photographers started talking, noticing the batter’s body position in Wong’s photo didn’t match other shots of the moment. The conversation hit a new level of urgency a few days later, when Reuters announced it was dropping all freelance sports photographers in favor of images from USA Today Sports Images, which provides for sports photo for USA Today and other Gannett publications, along with a growing roster of subscribers.
Five days after the game, UTSI issued a kill notice for Wong’s photo, explaining only that it “was not correctly identified.” UTSI President Bruce Odle later confirmed that Wong’s contract with the agency had been terminated.
Hopefully nothing like this will happen when A-Rod breaks Barry Bonds career home run record.
And, yes, I am kidding…
He passed away today. Almost 93.
I stumped him in the early ’80′s and won a bumper sticker.
The dude is 68, after all.
Joe Girardi has signed a new four-year contract that will make him the Yankees’ manager through 2017. Color me shocked.
Still no answer from Joe Girardi. But Hal Steinbrenner will be on the air with Michael Kay this afternoon, so there's something.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) October 8, 2013
— Brian Monzo (@BMonzoWFAN) October 8, 2013
Via the Globe –
Curt Schilling, the former famed Red Sox pitcher and failed video-game business owner, is selling off items from his Medfield home this Saturday.
The sale will be short on sports memorabilia, aside from some bobbleheads, baseballs, and a Schilling bathrobe, but offer the more mundane items of Schilling’s domestic life, including candlesticks and couches, a microwave and vacuum cleaner, and even artificial potted plants.
Schilling has sold his assets, including items from his celebrated baseball career, to satisfy creditors since his video game company, 38 Studios, collapsed into bankruptcy in the spring of 2012. The bloody sock worn by Schilling when he pitched for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series auctioned for more than $92,000 earlier this year.
Saturday’s estate sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m in Medfield, , according to the company managing it, Consignworks, Inc. of Dudley.
When Schilling’s Providence -based video-game company went bankrupt, it defaulted on loan payments to the state of Rhode Island. To lure 38 Studios from Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s economic development agency had approved a $75 million in loans.
The agency is now suing Schilling and others arguing that it was misled. Neither Schilling nor his representatives could be immediately reached for comment.
Is the bathrobe stained with mercurochrome too?
Per Chad Jennings: The Cubs have made it clear through channels that they are willing to top whatever offer the Yankees tender, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Seriously, what would anyone do in this case?
Via ESPN -
As Robinson Cano and his advisers prepare to seek a big money free-agent contract, he is part of an increasingly bitter child-support case in which the anticipated windfall is not lost on either side. Jackelin Castro, the mother of Cano’s 3-year-old son, filed a child support case in a San Pedro de Macoris court last month. She, her attorneys, and representatives of Cano are scheduled back in court Nov. 7, just as Cano hits the free-agent market. Cano took home $15 million this season. And, if all goes as planned, the five-time All-Star figures to sign a multiyear deal with the Yankees or another deep-pocketed suitor this winter.
Castro, in an interview with “Outside the Lines,” portrayed Cano as an absentee, tight-with-a-buck father, saying he has skimped on adequate support for son by paying her about $600 a month. Cano said he is paying the agreed-upon amount of support.
The sides have been trying to reach a deal since at least last February when, according to Castro, an attorney who no longer works for Cano visited her home and pitched what she describes as a 10-year contract.
The proposal, she said, dealt with visitation rights for Cano, as well as child support — which a document she was given indicates was for a payment of 150,000 Dominican pesos every six months, or the equivalent of between $500 and $600 a month. Also included was a confidentiality provision. If found in violation, Castro would be liable for damages in the amount 2 million pesos, or about $47,000.
She declined to sign the document.
“The intention of him and his advisors was somewhat to intimidate me,” Castro said.
Prediction: Cano will run out a grounder to first faster than he will be willing to support his illegitimate off-spring.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times-
If Joe Girardi is serious about wanting to manage the Cubs, then he might be staring at his last, best shot.
Multiple sources say the Cubs are poised to make the Yankees’ skipper an offer that could make him one of the two highest-paid managers in the game, from a Cubs ownership group and business side of the operation that has coveted him since long before Theo Epstein was hired as team president.
The Cubs and Girardi have expressed mutual interest through back channels for weeks, according to sources. And Girardi has been the ownership favorite two of the last three times the managerial job was open, under Tribune ownership (when Lou Piniella got the job) and Ricketts ownership (when Mike Quade was hired).
Girardi, who fielded a contract-extension offer Wednesday from the Yankees, has said publicly and told those close to him privately that family considerations will play a large role in his decision to return to the Yankees or field other offers. In other words, talking to the Cubs about an offer, sources close to him say.
I’ve said this before…
…but, it makes sense.
Girardi is no idiot. He sees the age on the Yankees roster and he knows that there’s no one, at all, in the Yankees minor league system who is close to being any major help at the big league level, any time soon. And, all he has to do is look at the Chicago system and see Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood, Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Javier Baez and know that there’s a future for these Cubs.
And, we all know, the manager who wins a World Series for the Cubs will be a god in the city of Chicago.
Somebody is going to get him – and, he’s a good GM.
Good luck with that.
Via CBS -
The Houston Astros keep breaking records for the wrong reasons.
This past Sunday according to Nielson ratings, the Astros and Indians game drew a rating of 0.0 in the greater Houston area.
The Houston Chronicle explains that it doesn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t one person who tuned in, it just means that not a single, solitary Nielsen household tuned in to watch the Astros.
“There are a couple of asterisks involved here, of course,” the Houston Chronicle explained. “For one thing, Nielsen persists with the statistically supportable but still head-shaking concept that it can measure what millions of television viewers are watching by monitoring the behavior of hundreds.”
Hey, there’s no where to go but up from there, right?
Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte will announce his retirement on Friday, sources told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
This is sad – even though you knew it was coming. He is one of my all-time favorite Yankees. And, in my mind, he is one of the greatest starting pitchers in the franchise history. Andy Pettitte was a ballplayer’s pitcher…and he will be missed, for a long, long, time.
No, not here. It’s over there.
Via the AP -
Japanese baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato has announced his resignation at an owners’ meeting.
Kato, a former Japanese ambassador to the United States, came under criticism in June when it was revealed the league had secretly switched to a livelier baseball for the 2013 season. The new ball has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of home runs.
“I caused a lot of problems over the ball, and that was a huge reason for my decision,” Kyodo news agency quoted Kato as saying.
On Sunday, former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs, breaking the Japanese season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago.
As of Thursday morning, Balentien’s record home run count stood at 58.
The 72-year-old Kato, who is in his third term a commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball, said he was never informed of the change to a livelier ball. The players’ union called for his resignation when the issue came to light.
A third-party panel investigating the issue is scheduled to submit a report by the end of this month.
Kato said he will quit the post after the regular season, which ends Oct. 6. No immediate announcement was made regarding Kato’s successor.
Better juiced than schweddy.
Is he saying that the reporter is chunky, or, that the mammas who he’s doing are pleasantly plump?
The news -
“Chris Russo is one of the top sports voices in the country and he will be a terrific addition to our unparalleled roster of on-air talent,” said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. “Expanding MLB Network’s live programming has been a continued goal since our launch in 2009, and we look forward to bringing his refreshing take on baseball to MLB Network’s weekday lineup in 2014.”
Via SMW –
Major League Baseball took a backseat to Little League over the weekend.
The U.S. Championship of the Little League World Series — pitting Chula Vista (CA) against Westport (CT) — drew a 2.2 overnight rating on ABC Saturday afternoon, topping Major League Baseball on FOX head-to-head (2.2 to 1.9).
Little League’s win was not exactly unprecedented. The final weekend of the Little League World Series has routinely outdrawn MLB on FOX in recent years.
The U.S. Championship was down a tick from last year, when Goodlettsville (TN) faced Petaluma (CA). The other two games improved on last year’s numbers — Saturday’s Japan/Mexico International Championship game earned a 1.6 overnight (+14%), and Sunday’s Japan/Chula Vista title game had a 2.6 (+18%).
I have to say, I watched a ton of the Little League World Series this year. It was awesome. ESPN did a great job with it.
Is it just me, or, are the majority of guys who get busted for PEDs Hispanic?
Via the AP –
The son of longtime Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy was arrested on a murder charge in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, hours after he was released from custody in an assault case against her.
Jared Remy was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in the death of Jennifer Martel, 27, at a Waltham apartment complex Thursday night, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
Remy was released on personal recognizance Wednesday in an open assault and battery case in which Martel was the alleged victim, Ryan said. There was no active restraining order against him, she said.
Police went to the Windsor Village apartment just west of Boston just before 10 p.m. Thursday in response to multiple 911 calls, Ryan said, and found Martel in an outside patio area with multiple stab wounds.
Jared Remy was arrested at the scene. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
He suffered an unspecified injury that wasn’t self-inflicted, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital and released to await arraignment, officials said.
Martel’s child in the apartment was unhurt and is now in the custody of state child welfare officials. It was unclear if Remy was the father, Ryan said.
Jerry Remy, who was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006, is a former Red Sox second baseman who has been a color analyst on team broadcasts on the New England Sports Network since 1988.
This is a tragedy. ‘Roid rage?
Via the AP -
Baseball as we know it could be changed forever beginning next season.
Calling it a historic moment, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they’ve never had in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls made in games.
Selig made the announcement after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.
“I’m proud of them,” Selig said of the replay committee. “It’s worked out remarkably well. It’s historic. There’s no question about it.”
A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval and the players’ association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system.
MLB vice president Joe Torre gave the replay presentation to representatives from all 30 teams on Wednesday and it was discussed Thursday morning.
Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee along with Torre and former manager Tony La Russa, said the umpires were receptive to the change. Schuerholz said 89 percent of incorrect calls made in the past will be reviewable, but he did not provide a list.
Umpires have come under increased scrutiny following several missed calls this season.
“We believe this will be very impactful and very, very meaningful and useful for all sides,” Schuerholz said. “Managers will have a new tool that they’ll have to learn how to use.”
Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of a game and two from the seventh inning until the completion of the game. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make a final ruling.
A manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or home plate umpire. Only reviewable plays can be challenged. Non-reviewable plays can still be argued by managers, who can request that the umpires discuss it to see if another member of the crew saw the play differently. Reviewable plays cannot be argued by the manager.
Challenges not used in the first six innings will not carry over, and a manager who wins a challenge will retain it.
The home run replay rules currently in use will be grandfathered in to the new system, Schuerholz said.
MLB expects to use the new system in the 2014 playoffs, and the system could be enhanced in the postseason. Training sessions for umpires will start in the Arizona Fall League this winter and continue into spring training.
This could be interesting…
From a kid’s movie, that is…
Via the Post -
The Yankees can’t sever Alex Rodriguez’s contract, but his role as the team’s hero in an animated film is heading for the cutting room floor.
Rodriguez, who did his own voice work while appearing in the upcoming animated film “Henry & Me,” will be removed from the film’s final version due to fears from investors that the Yankees third baseman, who is currently appealing a 211-game suspension for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, will hurt the marketability and profitability of the picture.
Though the producers and Yankees ownership gave their full support to the film — and in Hank Steinbrenner’s case, voiced the role of his father — and can offer their opinions about whether Rodriguez should be included in the final version, the ultimate decision falls upon a group of eight or nine investors, who despite being fans of Rodriguez, believe that the controversy surrounding him will detract from the family-oriented film centered around perseverance and belief.
“We have investors that we have to answer to, just like the Yankees,” said executive producer Ray Negron, a longtime Yankees adviser, whose children’s books served as the inspiration for the film. “If ownership decides that this is a direction that we have to go, meaning our investors, we have to listen to ownership. That’s just the way it is. It works just like a team. It’s the same thing.”
In a screening shown to a small group of reporters on Wednesday morning in Midtown Manhattan, Rodriguez was still in the film, hitting a home run with the help of the main character Jack, a boy battling cancer, and later visiting the protagonist in the hospital.
Rodriguez originally was cast in the role to replace Hideki Matsui, who had joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2010, but the retired Japanese star will be brought back to replace Rodriguez.
“Sometimes when you go to a racetrack, they say, ‘Don’t change your bet,’” said Negron.
Though Rodriguez only has a few lines in the approximately one hour film, he is featured in 49 sequences. Producer Joseph Avallone said the editing process to remove Rodriguez will take four to six months and “cost a fortune.”
“I love Alex Rodriguez, but I love kids more, and at the end of the day, we don’t want to get caught up with everything that’s happening right now,” Negron said. “This is too important a message of what we’re trying to relay to kids and we don’t want to get caught up with that.
“We’ll need to raise more money, but it’s worth it if it means getting a good product out to the kids.”
Negron later said that Rodriguez knows, “we have to do what we have to do,” and “he’ll understand” but that the Yankees slugger had not been informed of any changes yet.
Some things are much easier in film than they are in real life…