Mets Sale Roundup
It’s been a few weeks now since Fred Wilpon made the announcement that he’d be putting the team up for sale and this story hasn’t died down at all. When he’s not starting his presidential campaign, real estate mogul Donald Trump looks like he’s crunching the numbers on buying the baseball team. Trump said that he called Wilpon to talk about the team but he also said that he’d only be interested in a majority stake. Of course, with all of Trump’s casinos, he’d have to find a way around the baseball rules that prohibit any connections to the gaming industry. Trump does have some sports experience though, because back in the 1980s he owned a team in the now defunct United States Football League.
The other news is brought to us by stadium guru Neil DeMause. In his latest, he speculates on what would happen to Citi Field if the Mets end up going under. The stadium was paid for using tax exempt bonds and if the team stops paying, the bond insurance in place is held by Ambac Assurance, which is currently under Chapter 11 protection. From there, it would be up to the city to make the payments or default on the bonds, which would make future revenue raising prospects remote.
Finally, if current ownership can’t sell the team, Alex Remington at FanGraphs proposed the idea of taking the team public in a fashion similar to the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. He also proposes the idea of selling a part of the team similar to what the Cleveland Indians did back in the 1900s. It’s a solid piece and well worth the read.
Frank McCourt called out
In a both funny and somewhat depressing piece, T.J. Simers rolls through some of the facts that Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt, who is supposedly cash poor, isn’t neccesarily as bad off as we may think. He points to the fact that McCourt bought four tickets to the Super Bowl (the Fox crack was a good one) and he also talks about how it looks like McCourt may have taken his private jet to the game (something the McCourt camp denies).
He finishes it up by talking about how McCourt should be more transparent, and that both he and Los Angels Clippers owner Donald Sterling should hold a charity fund raiser where they’ll agree to answer any question no matter how uncomfortable. From the looks of things, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
First seat installed at Marlins ballpark
The Florida Marlins won’t be playing in their new home until 2012, but with spring training being kicked off around the league, the first seat was installed at the new Marlins ballpark. The team says it’s on schedule and—more important—they’re also on budget for their $535 million home in downtown Miami. To celebrate the event, some Marlins players took batting practice while the construction workers ran down fly balls.
Strat-O-Matic Baseball celebrates 50th anniversary
When I was a kid, my cousin and I developed a baseball game with two six-sided dice. I rolled so many games that I still remember the dice combinations for each event to this day. A couple of years later, I bought a copy of Pursue the Pennant (now Dynasty League Baseball) out of a magazine ad and played a ton of that. One game I never played as a kid, but got into a little bit later, was the venerable Strat-O-Matic baseball.
Last Saturday, Strat-O-Matic baseball celebrated their 50th anniversary. In a fantastic column, New York Times writer Stuart Miller gives a run down of all of the festivities and he also talks to some people in the baseball industry about their experiences with the game.
Cubs extend PDA with Smokies
The Chicago Cubs locked up the Tennessee Smokies to another two years when they extended their player development contract through the 2014 season. The Cubs and Smokies have been affiliated since the 2007 season. The Cubs are the Smokies fourth affiliate and they’ve had their longest relationship with the Cubs.