BOB: Rays Financing and the Steroid Saga Lives Onby Brian Borawski
May 21, 2008
Government to question 2003 positive testersYou’d think steroid tests from 2003 would be ancient history, but it looks like the government continues its relentless pursuit of steroid distributors. At issue now are the 2003 steroid tests in which there were over 100 positives within the bunch. Federal authorities look to now question all of those players to determine where and how they obtained their performance-enhancing drugs.
The problem is the union has tried to keep these names anonymous. They claim the government got a hold of the test results illegally and now the players' names could come out if they’re named in government documents that would be used to obtain search warrants or to charge individuals. Up until now though, the union has lost its appeal which ruled that the government could keep the test results and a rehearing is currently being weighed.
Rays outline financing planThe Tampa Bay Rays officially unveiled their financing plan for a new waterfront ballpark and as expected, most of the funding would come from new tax revenues from the Tampa Bay Rays’ current home, Tropicana Field. The Rays have also agreed to pitch $150 million into the cause, and new parking revenues would also be used to offset stadium costs.
The sale and redevelopment of Tropicana Field is an interesting twist. On the one hand, it would appear that the Rays would be benefiting from the sale of a piece of property that they don’t own, but they also have a legal right to the site because it’s tied up under their lease. Allowing the city to get out of the lease and to sell the property would have some value to the Rays, but the question is whether that benefit is the bulk of a brand new stadium on some prime waterfront property.
Peter McGowan steps down as managing general partner of the GiantsPeter McGowan, the managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants, has agreed to step down from his post on October 1. Taking his place will be fellow owner William Neukom, assuming the transition is approved by MLB. McGowan oversaw the construction of AT&T Park and he also brought franchise player Barry Bonds and a World Series appearance to the Bay Area.
Tribune to sell Wrigley Field with CubsAfter months of deliberation, the Tribune Company has decided not to sell Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs separately. CEO Sam Zell rejected the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority’s plan to buy Wrigley Field, and while it was initially thought that the two sold separately would yield more cash, experts are still saying the combined package could bring in over $1 billion.
Zell is selling the Cubs because he also has a stake in the Chicago White Sox. The prospective sale was announced last year but it appears things are going pretty slowly.
Bonds indictment reworkedFederal authorities reworked Barry Bonds perjury indictment. The new indictment has him on 14 counts of making false statements under oath, and it comes in response to a motion by Bonds’ lawyers to dismiss the case. The judge then ruled that the federal authorities either needed to narrow the indictment or they needed to bring new charges if the case were to proceed.
Nothing has changed with regard to what Bonds lied about, but as one law professor said, it gives the jury more choices on what to nail Bonds on. On June 6, Bonds will have to go back to court to enter a plea in the case.
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.