BOB: No sale for Astros and the Cubs stay in Mesaby Brian Borawski
February 03, 2010
No sale for McLaneAt least for now, a potential sale of the Houston Astros is on hold after a 30-day exclusive negotiation window expired last week. Team owner Drayton McLane has said he has no interest in selling the team but he’s also said he’ll entertain offers. This is why Great Court Capital, a New York investment firm, stepped in and showed some interest. McLane and the Astros gave them 30 days to come up with the current asking price (an estimated $650 million) but the negotiating deadline came and went without a response from Great Court Capital.
McLane has owned the team since 1993. The lack of noise from the investment firm is also interesting. This doesn’t mean the deal is done, it just might mean they need more time. Another option is that their posturing for a future purchase at a lower price, which isn’t out of the question with the way the economy has been going.
Cubs sign on with MesaYou can score another win for the Cactus League. While the city of Naples, Fla. made an impressive offer to the Chicago Cubs to move their spring training home, the team eventually got what they wanted from the city of Mesa, Ariz., which is where their current spring training home is. There are still some legislative road blocks that have to be passed through but for now, the Cubs have committed to Mesa, assuming the city can come up with the $84 million stadium they’re promising.
No team has moved from Arizona to Florida since the Cleveland Indians did it back in 1993. Oddly enough, they’re back in Arizona. Since 1998, six teams have moved from Florida to Arizona and that has given each state 15 teams for the spring season. Florida not only has to contend with Arizona, but there’s also infighting within the state as cities that have been abandoned are now trying to pull a team from another spot in Florida. The latest was the city of Sarasota, which tried to bring in the Boston Red Sox but then settled for the Baltimore Orioles which now leaves a void in Fort Lauderdale.
Oneonta Tigers move to NorwichThe domino effect within minor league baseball is always interesting. The Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League announced last September that they’ll be moving to Richmond, Va. Last week, the Detroit Tigers' New-York Penn League affiliate, the Oneonta Tigers, announced that they’ll be moving to Norwich, Conn. to play in the Defenders' old home, Dodd Stadium.
This is an instance of the New York-Penn League looking out for their own at the expense of Oneonta. The league actually negotiated the lease with Norwich and could have moved any of four different teams there but they chose Oneonta because of their league-low attendance. Now of course that leaves a void in Oneonta, a city that’s fielded a team since 1966. Now the Tigers have to figure out what their team name is going to be and they also have to move their operations north in time for the start of the season.
Cyclones' stadium to be renamedThe Brooklyn Cyclones agreed to end their naming rights deal with National Grid PLC so Keyspan Park is no more. National Grid bought Keyspan back in 2007 and both parties thought it would be best to just end their relationship early because Keyspan no longer exists as a seperate company. The ballpark had the Keyspan name since it was built back in 2001 and it’s expected that a new naming rights deal will be in place soon. The original deal wasn’t set to expire until 2020.
A look at rookie campBeing 18, or even 23, can be tough. While the money’s nice, it can be even tougher if you’re multi-millionaire which is one of the reasons the league set up Rookie Camp. This three-day session is held to help prepare rookies for life in the spotlight and it includes everything from nutritional supplements (which was new this year) to the pitfalls of all of the new social media out there. The comedy team Second City also does skits on some of the common problems a young player could run into.
At the end of each day, the players then have small group sessions where they can ask questions in private. The group sessions are led by both a psychiatrist and a former player, so the new players can get insights from both a professional therapist as well as someone who’s been there.
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.