BOB: Biogenesis suspension limboby Brian Borawski
July 31, 2013
Waiting for the suspensionsWith Ryan Braun accepting his season long suspension, there’s been speculation that the rest of the players named in the Biogenesis scandal would be getting their time off soon as well. To date, nothing has happened but speculation has been swirling about Alex Rodriguez facing a lifetime ban. Now the rumor is he’ll be able to come back in 2015 but only if he takes the suspension without appeal. If he does appeal, the commissioner’s office has supposedly said, he would then be banned for life. If the union is playing ball on this, it means there’s quite a bit of evidence going against Rodriguez.
Wrigley Field renovations pass voteThe Chicago City Council voted (by voice vote) to approve the $500 million stadium renovation plan for Wrigley Field. At this point, the plan is to start the renovations after this season. The Cubs had to remove a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street that would connect the planned hotel/office/retail complex and agree to not put up any more outfield signs, other than the two already planned, for 10 years.
The big holdup now will be with the rooftop owners who have a deal with the team to continue showing games. If their view is blocked, they’re out of business and it looks like there’s still some negotiation going on there. Ricketts has said that he won’t start the renovations if there’s the chance of a lawsuit, so there’s still work to be done here.
Rays see hope in stadium searchThe Tampa Bay Rays may finally be seeing some movement in their search for a new stadium. To date, the city of St. Petersburg has stopped them from even talking to anyone else about a new stadium because of their lease with the city. Now it looks like the two sides might be close to an agreement that would allow the team to look elsewhere.
The speculation is that the Rays will first have to look at the Carillon stadium site in St. Petersburg. If that doesn’t work (and the word is that it won’t) then the team will be allowed to look elsewhere. with Hillsborough County already saying that it would like to bring the team to downtown Tampa. There's a lot of speculation and ultimately, I think, St. Petersburg is going to get some money if the Rays are allowed to move but it's nice to finally see something happening here.
Minor league wrapFirst off we have the Trenton Thunder, in their 10th year at Aer & Hammer Park, celebrating their eight millionth fan. This went down on July 23, and that game was also the 10th largest crowd in Trenton Thunder history. The Thunder have been a New York Yankees affiliate since 2003.
Minor League Baseball’s promotional seminar is in Lousville from Sept. 24 through 26. Houston Astros president Reid Ryan is one of the highlighted speakers. There will also be a trade show; if you’re looking for a job, there’s also a job fair.
The Midwest League set an attendance record on July 4 with 68,243 tickets sold on that day. This blew out the previous record of 56,789 set back in 2010. The Lansing Lugnuts led the way with 12,692 tickets sold. I’ve been in that ballpark and don’t know how they fit that many people in there. The Fort Wayne TinCaps sold 8,780 tickets that day, a record for their ballpark.
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.