MLB Franchise Notes: Should Red Sox Pay City More For Street Closings?
Massachusetts Inspector General Gregory Sullivan in a letter last week said that the city of Boston “should demand significantly more money from the Red Sox on game days, when the team closes a public street, Yawkey Way, and turns it over to beer vendors and sausage sellers.” Sullivan also said that the city “should seek a better deal with the ball club for the lucrative seats atop the Green Monster.” He “urged city officials to determine how much money the Red Sox have made using public property since 2003, when the team signed a relatively low-cost lease for the streets.” He added that the city “should negotiate a better deal” (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/24).
TO BE CONTINUED: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reported U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff on Thursday said that he “would rule by March 5 on motions that could alter the face of the lawsuit against the owners of the Mets filed by the trustee" for Bernard Madoff’s victims. Rakoff heard “more than two hours of oral arguments by both sides before deferring his decision.” His only ruling was “to toss out the trustee’s two expert witnesses and the one offered by the Mets’ owners, John Maine.” A jury trial “is scheduled to begin on March 19” (NYTIMES.com, 2/23). ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian said, “The Mets are kind of stuck in neutral until the whole Bernie Madoff mess is resolved” ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN, 2/23).
FOR THE GOOD OF ALL: Baseball writer Murray Chass wrote commissioners “often talk about and make decisions based on the best interests of baseball,” and allowing the A’s to move to San Jose “would clearly be in the best interests of baseball.” The team is “dying in Oakland.” The A’s last season had “the smallest attendance in the majors, failing to reach 1.5 million.” The team also has “the most meager revenue in the majors; the Giants rank fifth.” Chass: “Would taking San Jose and its entire county, Santa Clara, from the Giants undermine those numbers? That’s what the Giants claim, but it’s an empty argument” (MURRAYCHASS.com, 2/23).
MAN ALIVE: With Angels 1B Albert Pujols saying he was not consulted on the team's use of the term "El Hombre" in conjunction with a billboard marketing campaign centered around him, ESPN's Dan Le Batard said, “This is not a good start to the business relationship." Le Batard: "You’re going to need this guy in the future to do things for you that he may not want to do. You want to start on the right foot here. You want to consult with him in his marketing. I understand, you pay him that way, you can market with him the way that you want. But you ought to, out of deference to him (in) a 10-year relationship you’ve started, start better than this” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 2/23). But L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said the team is “paying him $240 million, and they have the right to try to recoup their investment anyway they can" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/23).
NOT NORMAL: In Dallas, Evan Grant notes Rangers P Yu Darvish’s first full day of workouts started with “a 30-minute news conference attended by nearly 200 members of the media who had tracked his every move from the moment he arrived at the Surprise Stadium on Thursday.” Darvish said through an interpreter, “This definitely is not normal. Even now, I’m not really used to it and I’m not sure I get it.” Grant: “What’s the Japanese phrase for three-ring circus?” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/24).