Richard Brodsky takes his lumps
The New York Yankees are on the firing line, and assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky is the accuser. The issue is whether the Yankees manipulated the value of their land in order to get the financing they need for the $1.2 billion stadium that they’re using this season. Unfortunately for Brodsky, the Yankees can fight back and that’s what happened in front of the New York Supreme Court on Monday.
So far, Brodsky has claimed that the team hasn’t lived up to their subpoena to prove his case but the Yankees fired back in court claiming that not only did Brodsky support the Yankees stadium financing before flipping on the subject but that he also lacked the legislative authority to even go after the team. Another issue: the Yankees were singled out while the New York Mets’ $800 million ballpark, which also required two rounds of financing, has been ignored. For now, it’s up to the judge to decide what Brodsky has access to, so stay tuned.
The Bonds trial gets pushed back again
Now it looks like Barry Bonds might not be tried in his perjury case until next year. The big issue now is an appeal over how District Court Judge Susan Illston incorrectly excluded from evidence the two positive drug tests that Bonds allegedly had in 2000 and 2001. The prosecutors filed the paperwork on Monday for the appeal, and now it looks like the case, which was originally scheduled for March 2, 2009, might not happen until 2010. Illston excluded the drug tests because the evidence couldn’t be authenticated by Bonds’ former trainer Greg Anderson, who spent over a year in prison rather than name names.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats set three attendance records in same series
Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz made a rehab start for the Portland Sea Dogs last Thursday and in the process he helped the opposition New Hampshire Fisher Cats set three different attendance records. Not only did a standing-room-only record crowd of 8,903 show up to watch Smoltz pitch, but the three-game series that the two teams played brought in a record 22,619 fans. Finally, the series capped off a seven-game home stand that brought in 47,794 fans, which was, as you can guess, yet another record.
New minor league park set to open in 2010
The Winston-Salem Dash, the Carolina League Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, recently announced that the team’s new stadium is on track for a 2010 opening. The initial plans were for it to open midway through the 2009 season, but “details and developments of the state-of-the-art new park vital to its long-term viability are being finalized and addressed.”
For now, the team will play at Wake Forest Baseball Park. The team has also announced some new promotions and ticket packages to help address the fact the park wasn’t completed on time.
Minor league baseball takes over Dodgertown
For the first time in a long time, Dodgertown was vacant this spring, but late last week, Minor League Baseball signed on with Indian River County and the City of Vero Beach to operate the 73-acre facility. MiLB will host year-round events at the facility which include amateur tournaments and fantasy camps. They also hope to use the facility as a conference center as well as a training camp for umpires and groundskeepers.
Minor league promotions of the week
Since this piece is pretty minor league heavy, I thought I’d throw in Ben Hill’s Top 10 upcoming minor league promotions. Some of these are interesting, like the West Michigan Whitecaps playing in “Dark Side of the Moon”-themed jerseys for Pink Floyd Night. Others are just really funny, like the Lake Elsinore Storm’s Tribute to SportsCenter and the Fresno Grizzlies’ As Seen on TV Night.
Remaining portion of Tiger Stadium to be demolished
The Tiger Stadium Conservancy did its best, but the group faced an uphill battle against a group of politicians with no vision, as it was announced yesterday that the remaining portion of Tiger Stadium would be torn down. For now, there are no plans on developing the spot so the vote and decision came as a surprise. To date, the Conservancy did an honorable job of trying to keep a portion of the stadium standing and even received federal money to turn the site into a museum. The excuse was basically that the community wanted it torn down and that was that. Demolition is set to begin as soon as possible.