San Jose group pleads to hold Athletics accountable
The Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to San Jose is heating up and Stand for San Jose, a coalition of San Jose Giants fans, is asking that the Athletics be responsible for any economic shortfall in the event a new stadium is built for them. Stand for San Jose opposes public funding for a new ballpark and it’s supported by both the San Jose and San Francisco Giants. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has called the group a front for San Francisco Giants interests.
This has become a big problem of late. Cities like Cincinnati have seen their revenue projections fall short and now someone (usually the taxpayers) is forced to pick up the tab. What Stand for San Jose appears to be looking for is some kind of guarantee in the event the A’s economic benefit projections fall short.
For now, A’s owner Lew Wolff hasn’t commented because the A’s haven’t even secured the right to move to San Jose yet. MLB has formed a commission to analyze the A’s options.
If you want a good summary of what’s gone down to date, be sure to check this piece by Jesse McKinely in the New York Times. It’s a good read to bring you up to speed.
Chuck Greenberg profile
Change is afoot in Arlington and while the sale of the team may be a month or two (or more) away, the prospective owner has all but been decided. Chuck Greenberg is a Pittsburgh-based lawyer and if you want to read about how a guy goes from attorney to baseball owner, be sure to check out this profile.
Red Sox extend player development contract with Lowell Spinners
The Boston Red Sox extended their player development contract with their New York-Penn League affiliate, the Lowell Spinners, through 2012. The current agreement would have expired in 2010 and Lowell has been a Red Sox affiliate since 1996. Since moving from Elmira, NY, Lowell has had a successful stint as a franchise and it has sold out its last 381 home games dating back to 1999.
Twins begin move into Target Field
The Minnesota Twins got the keys to their new ballpark this past Monday as construction on their $425 million ballpark was being finished two months ahead of schedule. The first game at Target Field is set for April 2 when the Twins take on the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition game. The first regular season game will be April 12 against the Boston Red Sox.
With Target Field being the lone new stadium in 2010 (and 2011 for that matter), it should get some attention. What will be interesting is how the weather holds up for those early games. The normal high for that exhibition game is just 50 degrees and odds are, for night games, the weather will be near freezing if not below. I think the first big test will be on April 16, when the Royals come to town. That will be the first night game at Target Field.
Red Sox luxury tax dodge
Earlier this week, the Red Sox inked Adrian Beltre to a one-year deal with an option for a second year. Assuming Beltre passes his physical, he’ll get $9 million in 2010, then there’s a $5 million guaranteed player option for 2011 and this goes up to $10 million if Beltre makes 640 plate appearances. A hidden benefit in the deal is how it’s treated for luxury tax purposes as the Red Sox are close to the $170 million limit.
Ken Rosenthal breaks down the specifics in his column but it basically means the Red Sox will only take a $7 million hit to their luxury tax limit, which is the average of the $9 million and $5 million that’s guaranteed. Of course one side hit is the Red Sox now have to contend with dumping their current third baseman, Mike Lowell, who’s set to make $12 million in 2010.