South Florida in the spotlight on PEDs
Names were flying last week because a handwritten list of players linked to a South Florida lab was leaked. Among the players on the list were the already apologetic Alex Rodriguez, last year’s PED poster child Melky Cabrera and Ryan Braun, who won his appeal when he was facing a PED suspension. This story began to develop a few weeks back when it was reported that MLB and the Drug Enforcement Agency were combining their efforts in looking at South Florida labs that could be “ground zero” for performance enhancing drugs that were still making their way into baseball.
Major League Baseball’s official statement talks about how good an idea it was that the Mitchell Report advised creating an MLB Department of Investigations. MLB says it won’t comment further until the investigation is complete. Braun says he had a business relationship with one of the labs and that’s it.
Dish to carry Padres games
More San Diego Padres fans will be able to watch games this year as their television situation has sorted itself out. Dish has now agreed to carry the games being produced by Fox Sports San Diego, which means four of the five largest distributors in San Diego County are carrying the games. The lone holdout is Time Warner; the issue is money.
Time Warner says it doesn’t want to pay the 400 percent increase it paid two years ago when it last carried Padres games. With Time Warner being the second largest distributor in the area, it means about 20 percent of local television watchers still won’t be able to watch the team.
St. Petersburg vote fails
A bill that would have allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to look for other stadium options failed in the St. Petersburg city council on a 4-4 vote. The plan would have let the Rays explore more stadium sites for an annual $1.42 million exploration fee. The primary reason was that the city would lose some of its leverage if it ever had to go to court over its current lease with the Rays.
I always thought St. Petersburg and the Rays would eventually settle, with MLB paying off the city to move the team. Now, it’s looking more and more likely that this isn’t going to happen, with both sides drawing their own lines in the sand.
Marlins look to cash in on stadium…. again
In another great editorial from Field of Schemes, we get a report that the Miami Marlins’ new stadium will come in under budget to the tune of almost $30 million. Under their deal, the team gets to apply that savings to future maintenance and improvement costs but the quirk is, the Marlins are on the hook for those costs anyway so they’ll be walking away with the $30 million at the end of the day.
This comes at a time when the Marlins are finishing up their fire sale and could be one of the more underpowered teams in the league. I’d like to say other municipalities will take note of this, but it seems like when it comes to stadium deals, common sense goes out the window.
Red Sox owner says no to sale
Boston Red Sox head owner Justin Henry tried to dispel rumors that he and his ownership group were looking to sell the team. Henry touted the privilege of owning such a historic franchise and said he and his management team are committed to bringing back a winner this year.
Henry went on to say the Red Sox were decimated by injuries last year and that they’ll have a better product in 2013. I think, at least for now, he’s going to have an easier time convincing people that the Red Sox aren’t for sale than he will that the team will be back in contention this year.