BOB: Bowden resigns and the Athletics look elsewhereby Brian Borawski
March 04, 2009
Athletics bail on Fremont plansIt looks like the Oakland Athletics won’t be Fremont bound after all. After a few years of planning and dead ends, the Athletics decided a week and a half ago to abandon their plans for a new ballpark. There was supposed to be a city council meeting related to the stadium last week, but it was canceled after the Athletics asked the city to halt the planning process.
For now, the A’s will continue to play at the Coliseum; they haven’t made public their future plans. San Jose has always been mentioned as an option, but there would probably have to be some concessions to the San Francisco Giants because that’s in their marketing territory. There’s also a chance a new stadium could go up in Oakland.
Yankees hit by bank crisisIt seems like nobody is immune in the current economic environment these days. The New York Yankees announced last week that they’ve halted talks with Bank of America over a 20-year sponsorship deal that would have plastered Bank of America’s name over everything from signage, special events and tickets. For now, the Yankees will probably pursue a smaller deal to bring a bank on board to provide cash machine rights for the new ballpark.
Sounds sale finalizedThe Nashville Sounds sale closed last week and its new owner will be the MFP group. MFP has already begun work on improving Greer Stadium, the home of the Sounds. There’s been talk of a new ballpark for the Sounds in Nashville but for now, it seems like the noise is just rumors. Greer Stadium was built in 1978, which makes it ancient for a ballpark in this day and age. The deal was supposed to have been finished in December, but it looks like one of the sticking points were some assurances that the team would stay in Nashville.
A-Rod talks to MLBNothing much came out of it, but Alex Rodriguez sat down with MLB officials for a couple of hours earlier this week. He brought a couple of lawyers on a trip en route to the World Baseball Classic with the Dominican Republic team. To date, nothing has come out of the meeting. All the league had to say about the meeting was that Rodriguez was cooperative.
Nationals general manager Jim Bowden resignsIt’s been a crazy week for the Nationals. Things began a couple of weeks ago when rumors surfaced that one of their top prospects not only lied about his age, but that he was an entirely different person. This led to former pitcher and Nationals special assistant to the general manager Jose Rijo taking a leave of absence. Then general manager Jim Bowden, who at one point in time was the youngest general manager in baseball, began talking about his lack of involvement before his name began to surface as one of the primary guys involved in the scandal, which involved personnel getting kickbacks from signing bonuses that were supposed to go to signees.
It looks like some of Bowden’s potential Latin American scouting transgressions go way back to his time with the Reds. Rijo, who was eventually fired, and his Dominican academy have also been looked at as part of the scheme. This all led to Bowden’s eventual resignation, which is where we are at now. Needless to say, I’m really interested in seeing how this story develops.
Greg Anderson buys Barry Bonds some timeGreg Anderson is some friend. He’s already spent time in jail by not snitching on Barry Bonds, and now, because a judge threw out some key evidence because Anderson wouldn’t squeal, federal prosecutors have to file an appeal. Barry Bonds will have until July 1 to respond to the appeal so for now, his legal battle is on hold indefinitely.
In the meantime, Bonds now has his agent contacting teams. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone bites. I think Bonds really wants to push the collusion card; he should come out and say he’ll play for the minimum to the first team that signs him. No team would have an excuse then. I’ve already made the suggestion that Bonds should get in late on the WBC to showcase the fact that he still has it.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.