BOB:  Alex Rodriguez’s Contract and Parking Issues at Two Prospective Stadiums

Orioles to open Dominican Republic baseball academy

In an attempt to shore up their presence in Latin America, the Orioles have agreed to an extended lease on a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. The academy is expected to be up and running by April 1, 2008, and it includes two fields and housing for 75 players. Five other teams also have a lease agreement at the same facility.

This is the first time the Orioles have created a presence in either Latin America or Asia. The team did consider building their own facility but Orioles president Andy MacPhail said that it wasn’t practical because of both time and resource considerations.

MLBAM receives third strike in fantasy case

Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) is an imperfect 0-3 in its pursuit to control fantasy baseball names and statistics; the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied MLBAM’s petition to rehear its case in front of the entire appeals court. At issue is whether the league, through MLBAM, can dictate how players’ names and statistics are used in fantasy baseball leagues. CDM Fantasy Sports, the company that is taking on MLBAM, decided to buck the system and not pay up for a license, which eventually precipitated the legal battle.

MLBAM’s final option is the Supreme Court. The league hasn’t said one way or the other whether it would take this final step or not, so it’ll be interesting to see if the league spares no expense in a last-ditch effort to salvage things.

Alex Rodriguez is worth the money

Former THT columnist Vince Gennaro’s latest work at Yahoo.com discusses whether the Yankees will get their money’s worth with regard to the potential $305 million over 10 years that they’ll be paying Alex Rodriguez. He concludes that Rodriguez is worth the deal but how he gets there is an interesting read, so I highly recommend you check it out for yourself.

Mitchell investigation update

In a recent interview, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno said that he was told that the final report put out by the Mitchell Investigators will include players’ names. Moreno indicated that the fans would be upset by some of the names, but he didn’t elaborate as to why.

Also, in an interesting article in The New York Times, a former head trainer for two major league teams provided insight as to what the Mitchell Investigation was after. He said that the lawyers seemed to be obsessed with naming players and that he was peppered throughout the questioning as to whether certain players used performance-enhancing drugs or not.

Pirates will host first spring training night game in 2008

The spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, McKechnie Field, had lights installed this offseason and the stadium will be the final spring training site to host a night game. The date for that first night game is March 7, 2008 when the Pirates take on the Reds. The six light poles were part of an $18 million renovation project at the stadium

No Parking

Two prospective stadiums were under fire last week because of a lack of stadium-provided parking. Former Fremont mayor Gus Morrison criticized the Oakland Athletics‘ prospective ballpark; the plan that was unveiled by the team proposed just 5,000 parking spaces for a stadium that should hold around 32,000 people. The Athletics have countered by saying they’ll use local parking that’s already in place and that the team will eventually provide for over 10,000 parking spots. Athletics owner Lew Wolff countered Morrison’s arguments by saying that there is an eventual plan to build a temporary lot that would provide for 5,500 parking spaces and that the land wouldn’t be redeveloped until after they had established their 10,500 spaces.

Similar concerns have popped up with regard to the Tampa Bay Rays’ prospective waterfront stadium. The ballclub has contended that there are 12,000 parking spots within 15 minutes of the park and that most of those locations are underutilized after 5 pm. Still, city leaders and residents appear concerned that even those parking lots that the Rays hope to use won’t be enough.

Hall of Fame Veterans Committee Votes In Five

Former MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn and former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley were two of the five people elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday by the Veterans Committee. Ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss and managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth were the other three. Conspicuously absent was former union head Marvin Miller, although he didn’t seem too surprised that Kuhn got in and he didn’t.

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