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Young sentenced to year probation PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 07:00

 Dimitri YoungFormer Tigers player Dimitri Young will not be going to jail, but will serve probation for one year. The probation stems from an assault on his former girlfriend.

"I'm sorry that the incident happened," Young told Judge Diane D'Agostini. He then turned to his former girlfriend and said, "Michelle, I'd like to apologize for what happened and I wish you the best of luck."

Young will have to serve the probation in Michigan as the Judge denied a request to serve the probation in his home state of California or to travel to Florida to visit family.

(The AP

 
Retrospective on Ned Colletti PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 06:01

Ned CollettiSteve Henson of the LA Times has an extensive retrospective on Ned Colletti today. Colletti was initially criticized for his moves since he left as Assistant GM for the Giants, and became the GM of the Dodgers this past off-season. Now, Coletti has the Dodgers fighting for a playoff position. Some highlights of the article include:

 

  • Colletti is restless and anxious, even after tearing down and rebuilding the Dodgers from the manager's office to the clubhouse in a whirlwind that began last winter. He wants to please everyone on his side, from owner Frank McCourt to Dodgers fans, and he wants to show everyone who isn't, from those in baseball who doubted him to that counselor, wherever he might be.

    "I just don't want to let anyone down," Colletti said.

  • "He thinks through things methodically, he weighs the plusses and the minuses," said Colletti's brother, Doug, a commercial portfolio manager in Chicago. "He relies on people more than other GMs might. He listens and seeks advice."

  • Colletti's mother also nurtured his love of baseball. World Series games were played during the day in the 1960s, and she promised as he left the house for school that she would keep track of the action.

  • Colletti's childhood memories center around family and baseball. There's the one about his first Cubs game on April 15, 1961, the day before his seventh birthday. His dad splurged on box seats and he was awestruck by Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and the down-to-earth player he could relate to most, Santo.

(The LA Times)
 
Retrospective on Syd Thrift by Claire PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 05:28

Syd ThriftFred Claire, the former VP and GM that spent 30 years with the Dodgers, has a very nice retrospective on Syd Thrift today on MLB.com. Thrift died last week at the age of 77. As Jim Leyland tells Claire, "Syd was the only guy who believed in me enough to give me a Major League managing job."

From the article:

Thrift never was one to back down if he believed in his position. I saw this first-hand during August of the 1989 season when he had become the general manager of the Yankees. I was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Thrift and I agreed on a trade that would send infielder Tracy Woodson to the Yankees for right-handed pitcher Jimmy Jones. The deal was finalized with only the time of the announcement to be determined.

Thrift called me with a surprising development.

"Fred, I've been told that if I go through with this trade I will be fired. I want you to know one thing, though. We have agreed on the deal and I'm willing to go through with the announcement," said Thrift.

Thrift's word was more important to him than the prospect of losing his job.

"Syd, this isn't a deal worth putting your job at risk," I said. "We will call off the deal."

 (MLB.com )

 
Marlins Should be Profitable PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:12

Florida MarlinsWhile this season's Marlins might be the biggest overachievers of all-time, their chances of making the playoffs seem remote. In the off-season it seems that owner Jeffery Loria will fire manager Joe Girardi, who many think has a chance at the NL Manager of the Year award.

After the dust settles, one thing that seems all but certain will be a year of profit for the Marlins. Even with the lack of fans attending games at Dolphin Stadium, by cutting player payroll to around $15 million the Fish have assured themseleves of being in the black. As David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports :
Look at the ledger sheet. [The Marlins] got $30 million in revenue sharing last year and will get around that this year. It conservatively will make $10 million for local TV (ratings remain strong), according to a source. It can expect around another $18 million from national TV.

Then there's licensing deals, a $10 million payout from the Washington Nationals sale coming at some point and -- oh, yeah, tickets, concessions, plus whatever slice of the stadium lease that we constantly hear is the worst in sports.

And, some reports show the Marlins pulled in $31 million in revenue sharing. Recall that the payroll cuts were due to Marlins ownership claims that without a new facility, and the associated revenues of controlling it, cuts had to be made. 

 
Lance Williams Interview with Charley Steiner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 09:28

Game of ShadowsSan Francisco Chronicle writer and Game of Shadows author Lance Williams joined Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner today.  Lance and Mark Fainaru-Wada were ordered jailed on Thursday for a maximum of 18 months, pending an appeal, for refusing to testify about who leaked them secret grand jury testimony from Barry Bonds and other elite athletes.

Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada wrote a series of articles and a book based partly on the leaked transcripts of the testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi and others before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a Burlingame-based nutritional supplement company exposed as a steroid ring two years ago.  Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to send the reporters to prison for the full term of the grand jury investigating the leak, or until they agree to testify.  Williams and Fainaru-Wada have said repeatedly they would go to jail rather than comply with the grand jury's subpoena and reveal their source or sources and they have visited Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner throughout this year to discuss their case.

During Lance Williams appearance, he discussed his thoughts prior to and during yesterday’s court proceedings. He also spoke about the encouragement he felt from a group of writers from around the country organized by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, who appeared outside the court.  Lance discussed his feelings about the next step in the judicial process at the appellate level as well as the importance of this case to our First Amendment rights.  Mark Fainaru-Wada was unavailable today.

(Select Read More for the interview, courtesy of MLB XM 175 and Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner)

 

Read more...
 
One Faction of Portland Effort Still Hopes PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 08:52

 While baseball is in one of its healthiest states, and relocation a remote possibility, one part of what was originally the Oregon Stadium Campaign and the MLB to Portland effort still clings to the hope of MLB in the city some call "Bridgetown".

The Portland Baseball Group believes that one club will relocate out of their region within a year, and they are working to get around Portland Mayor Tom Potter who has been opposed to public assistance in the effort to fund a new stadium should an MLB team become available.

The article mentions that, "For now, the city of Portland is the only negotiating entity with a potential owner," but that potential owner has never been made public.

PBG is planning to augment Senate Bill 5 that was passed into law in 2003. SB5, while tied to certain safeguard provisions, would earmark executives and players' Oregon income taxes that all employees that work in the State of Oregon pay, to help fund a new stadium. The bill is capped at $150 million. This would include not only home, but away teams, as well.

As reported, [M]embers are working with legislators on a potential new bill for the January 2007 legislative session that would include other area governmental bodies – perhaps Multnomah County officials, or Clark County in Southwest Washington – that might be more enthusiastic about helping land a big league club.

“Nothing has been drafted at the state level, but if we get the right proposition in front of us, it’s in Oregon’s interest to ensure we have as many folks we could get to the table as possible,” says Ryan Deckert, the state senator from Beaverton who co-sponsored Senate Bill 5 three years ago. “If an owner is really interested, you hate to limit yourself to one person. We just want to take a look at that.”


It should be noted that SB5 specifically states that any major league stadium that would be constructed would have to be within Portland city limits.

(Portland Tribune

For information on the Portland proposal.

For mass modeling animation of one of the Portland site proposals. 

 
Castellini meets with fans. Backs Narron PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 01:28

RedsBob Castellini, the latest owner of the Cincinnati Reds, along with GM Wayne Krivsky and chairman Joe Williams, met with fans yesterday at Reds Hall of Fame and Museum to field questions and take suggestions. Of the suggestions fielded were a full-time organist at Great American Ball Park, as well as a Redsfest for season-ticket holders. One suggestion, however, centered around Manager, Jerry Narron. The suggestion was replacing him with Lou Piniella.

As reported, When pressed a bit later, Castellini said: "The most maligned Reds manager in my lifetime is in the Hall of Fame - Sparky Anderson. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. We care that you care."

Krivsky gave Narron a strong endorsement.

"I can vouch for Jerry Narron being very sharp, very respected. He can fool you with his quiet demeanor. He can lay down the law when he needs to. I've seen it."

 Other suggestions:

Moving the outfield walls back: "Castellini  replied, "No."

On the return of Redsfest: "It's going to be the biggest and most well-attended Redsfest we've ever had."

(Cincinnati Enquirer

 
Fans Protest at Orioles Game PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 00:43

Peter AngelosA group of nearly 1000 Orioles fans, that have said that they disapprove with owner Peter Angelos, protested at last night's game against the Tigers by leaving en masse in the middle of the fourth inning at precisely 5:08 p.m.

As reported by the AP,  A majority of the protesters wore black T-shirts that read "FREE THE BIRDS," and many carried signs that had "For Pete's Sake" on one side and "Free the Birds" on the other.

They filled parts of six sections in the upper deck, then walked out in the middle of the fourth inning at precisely 5:08 p.m. -- in honor of former Oriole stars Brooks Robinson (No. 5) and Cal Ripken (No. 8).

The group walked in line through the lower deck before departing.

Angelos reponded by saying, "Whoever joins that protest has no comprehension of what it costs to run a baseball team," Angelos said in a telephone interview from his law office in Baltimore. "When you get down to facts, putting together a team that can compete in the AL East means having a payroll between $100-$110 million. That money comes from the consumer, and I have chosen to keep ticket prices to a minimum.

"Our payroll is $75 million, and our ticket prices average $22. Some of the teams we compete against charge an average of $45," Angelos said. "We're going to have to match the competition. How to do that is a decision I will make in the future."

The Orioles are in their ninth consecutive losing season. The Orioles are currently 24.5 games out on the AL East. and 23.5 games out of the Wild Card. Their Opening Day payroll of $72,585,582, places them at 15 out of the 30 clubs. Minnesota, who leads the AL Wild Card, had an Opening Day payroll of $63,396,006, which ranks them 19 out of the 20 clubs. *

Team Marketing Report shows that the average price for an adult at Oriole Park Camden Yards at $22.53, ranking them 12th out of the 30 clubs and above the league average of $22.21. The Orioles kept the average price the same this year from the year prior.

(The AP)

* - Deferred payments, incentive and award clauses and depreciation were not included. Payments teams receive as compensation in some player trades are not reflected in the  team salaries. 

 
Williams & Fainaru-Wada Ordered To Jail PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 00:18

A federal Judge ordered Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada to jail yesterday for refusing to divuldge the name of the source or sources that leaked sealed grand jury testimony to them regarding Barry Bonds and other athletes as part of the BALCO investigation.

  U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White sentenced Willams and Fainaru-Wada to a maximum of 18 months in prison after rejecting defense lawyer requests for fines. "The only appropriate sanction is to incarcerate these two individuals to the full extent permitted," Judge White said.

Both individuals will not have to report directly to jail as the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must decide whether the reporters have a right to refuse to testify.

Both journalists could avoid serving the maximum if one or the other were to decide to release the source of the leak. Neither Williams or Fainaru-Wada seem willing to do so. "I do not wish to spend even a minute in jail," Fainaru-Wada said. "However, I cannot - and will not - betray the promises I have made over the past three years (to confidential sources)."

"I'm supposed to keep my promises when people help me and take me at my word," Williams said in court yesterday. "I do despair for our country if we go very far down this road, because no one will talk to reporters."

As also reported by the AP, In August, White ruled his hands were tied by a 1972 Supreme Court precedent that said no one -- journalists included -- was above the law and may refuse to testify before a federal grand jury.

A bipartisan bill currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee would give reporters protection from revealing their confidential sources in cases that involve federal authorities. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have media shield laws already in place.

The Chronicle reported that Bonds told the grand jury that he believed he was using flaxseed oil and arthritic balm, not steroids, supplied by trainer Greg Anderson, one of five defendants convicted in the BALCO scandal.

 (The AP)

 
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