BOB: Tiger Stadium Demolition News and Giambi Meets With Mitchellby Brian Borawski
July 18, 2007
Jason Giambi Meets With Mitchell Investigation TeamAfter more then a month of hype surrounding this story, Jason Giambi became the first player to meet with the Mitchell investigation team regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs. At least based on this story by Murray Chass, Giambi talked about his use of steroids and his alone, so it was basically just a rehash of his grand jury testimony from a few years ago. No mention was made of any other players nor did he provide the names of anyone who supplied him with performance enhancing drugs.
For now, Giambi’s fate is in limbo. He’s still on the disabled list with a foot injury and while he was probably threatened with a suspension after he alluded to steroid use a couple of months ago, he’ll probably get a free pass because of his cooperation.
Diamondbacks Tap Fox Sports For All Televised Games In 2008The Diamondbacks and Fox Sports Net Arizona agreed to an eight-year deal that will make Fox Sports Net Arizona the lone station to air Diamondbacks' games. It’ll put all of the Diamondbacks’ games on cable; the local station that has aired games since the franchise'd birth in 1998, Channel 3 KTVK, is getting shut out.
The deal is a rights fee deal that means Fox Sports Net Arizona pays a set fee and then the network sells the advertising. Under the old deal that split the games between the cable and local affiliate, the Diamondbacks sold their own advertising.
City of Aberdeen Looking For Help From Ripken OrganizationThe city of Aberdeen is in financial trouble and is looking to Ripken's organization, which owns the Aberdeen IronBirds, to help with its mounting debt problem. Back in 2000, Aberdeen paved the way for a new stadium that houses the IronBirds, and now city officials think they gave the team too sweet of a deal. The city is going back and asking the Ripken organization to renegotiate some of the deals that have been approved over the past few years.
For now, the Ripken organization has said it’s willing to help, but city officials have been critical because no specifics have been brought to the table. Another area of growing concern has been the city's use of the organization for non-baseball-related events at the ballpark. They’re claming that the company is using some vague contract language to minimize the payments made to the city.
So far, nothing like this has happened at the major league level, but you wonder when or if it will. With some of the sweet stadium deals out there like the ones the Twins and Nationals have received, you wonder if, 10 years down the road, those municipalties will come looking for the team to help them out.
Rangers Finish Re-branding of Arlington StadiumNearly four months after the Texas Rangers announced they’d be changing their stadium's name from Ameriquest Field to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the team has now just finished the task of completely re-branding the stadium. All of the signs have been changed, and the finishing touch was the sign above the entrance near home plate. This is probably a bigger job than it sounds, but the stadium name is everywhere, and to change every single item to the new name must have taken quite a bit of planning and quite a bit of manpower.
Tiger Stadium Demolition on HoldThe Detroit city planning commission has, at least temporarily, squashed the city’s plan to tear down Tiger Stadium. The reason was that the city’s plan, which involved redeveloping the site into a mixed-use residential/commercial district, had no teeth and there was no developer actually lined up to take on the project. The commission also said that the city hadn’t done enough to try to preserve the stadium so this was definitely a coup for those trying to save the old ballpark.
Stadium preservation proponents then went two for two when the city council put the heat on Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick when they asked for the details on all of the stadium proposals that were rejected by the administration. They not only want to know what was turned down, but why those proposals were turned down. The council could then decide as early as today as to what will finally happen with the ballpark.
MLB Heading to ChinaMajor League Baseball is setting up an office to promote the game in Asia. In an interesting New York Times article, the director of baseball operations in baseball was profiled. Rick Dell, who coached the College of New Jersey’s (Ewing Campus) baseball team, will be moving to China soon.
Dell isn’t going in blind though. He’s already been making trips to Asia for the league since 1994, first as a coaching envoy and then as a coordinator for the game’s development.
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.