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Volume 24 No. 180
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MLB Franchise Notes: Red Sox Sign Ortiz To Serve In Variety Of Roles For Club, FSM

The Red Sox yesterday "announced a 'long-term agreement'" with former MLBer David Ortiz to "serve in a variety of roles" for the club and Fenway Sports Management. In Boston, Peter Abraham notes Ortiz "struck an open-ended deal" with the Red Sox that will include "mentoring young players, assisting in recruiting free agents, making appearances on behalf of the team, and working in business development" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/14). Also in Boston, Chad Jennings writes although the Red Sox "called the deal 'unprecedented,' it seems at least vaguely similar" to the special assistant roles Baseball HOFer Pedro Martinez and former MLBer Jason Varitek have with the club (BOSTON HERALD, 9/14).

MISSING THE MESSAGE? In Pittsburgh, Joe Starkey reports Pirates attendance is down more than 20% since '15 while TV ratings are also "plunging." But Pirates Owner Bob Nutting is not "getting the message" or perhaps "realizes that a fix might begin with him." Nutting "appears eager to stem the ticket revenue decline by any means necessary," such as "dumping a perfectly good player (Juan Nicasio) for no discernible reason other than to save $600,000." Starkey: "If anybody in his organization told Nutting how catastrophically such a move -- minor as it was -- would play with a livid fan base, he didn’t listen" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/14).

TRUST FUND: SunTrust Bank yesterday said that it had finalized $600M worth of financing "for the Rangers' portion" of Globe Life Field, the club's retractable-roof ballpark opening in '20. In Dallas, Jeff Mosier notes as part of "preparations to finance the ballpark project," Arlington officials refinanced $189.7M in bonds the city issued several years ago to finance AT&T Stadium. The city "plans to raise more money by issuing new bonds early next year" to pay for the 40,000-seat ballpark (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/14).