Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fans in Camden Yards asked to remain in the stadium briefly after Red Sox-Orioles game for their protection against Baltimore violence. UPDATED: Red Sox fan who went to the game in Baltimore reports police did nothng to stop violent rioters from hurting people

4/25/15, "Officials asking fans to stay inside Baltimore ballpark due to violent protests outside @EddieInTheYard," News on the Min Twitter, 6:48pm. [This time stamp appears to be Pacific time since the Baltimore, Md. game was a night game. ed]  Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles, 5-4 Orioles in 10 innings


4/25/15, "Cheers as the gates at Camden yards open," Regan Page twitter, 7pm [This time stamp appears to be Pacific time since the Baltimore, Md. game was a night game. ed]


4/25/15, "War Zone: Baltimore Erupts Into Violence, Chaos as #BlackLivesMatter Riots Rage," Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News, Baltimore, Md.

"Personally, I wasn’t supposed to be on the job tonight as a reporter. After a long news week and as several of my contemporaries lived high on the hog down in D.C. at the so-called “Nerd Prom,” me and my brother left D.C. to go see our Boston Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards I hate the White House Correspondents’ Dinner—it represents everything I think is wrong with Washington, making celebrities out of news media and politicians—and given the fact I grew up just outside Boston I figured seeing the Red Sox play in Baltimore would be a great reprieve from the political culture. Boy was I wrong.

My brother and I arrived in Baltimore just outside Camden Yards about an hour before the game, and went into Bullpen Bar—one of three iconic all-brick building bars right outside the stadium—for a beer before the Sox took on the O’s. I usually make it up here for a game or two every year, and have always found Orioles fans to be pleasant. We’re united in our hatred of the Yankees.

Bullpen Bar sits between Pickles Pub and Sliders Bar & Grill. Outside each of the brick-faced bars, on the days of Orioles Games, each bar puts out barricades about 20 feet from their front doors. Shoulder-to-shoulder crowds of fans from each team—the Orioles, and in the case of Saturday night, the Red Sox—pack into three bars and the barricaded-off space in front before each game. Inside and outside of each, bartenders serve “cheap beer”—or so the $6-per-tall-boy-cans are advertised on big signs—while hotdogs, sausages and other pastime favorites are sold by each and by vendors who set up tents across the street. The blue collar culture—and really friendly people—are what make Baltimore baseball games so much fun, and there’s no better place to kick off an adventure into Camden Yards than here.

But on Saturday night, after my brother and I finished off our beers at Bullpen and began walking across the street to the stadium, planning to make our way to our seats after getting inside, chaos broke out.

Several people across the street from these bars—between there and the stadium, which is less than 100 yards away—were holding signs that said #BlackLivesMatter. They were protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who Agence France Press newswire wrote “died last Sunday from spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in the city’s impoverished west side.”

“In a press conference Friday, officials acknowledged Gray should have received medical help at the moment of his arrest, when he was seen by bystanders — and caught on video — howling in apparent pain,” AFP wrote, providing the background of the simmering tensions in the mid-Atlantic port town.

“They also revealed that Gray, contrary to police department policy, was not buckled into his seat in the van, which made at least three unexplained stops on its way to the Western District police station. Gray died Sunday with 80 percent of his spine severed at the neck, lawyers for his family have said. His funeral is scheduled for Monday. Six officers have been suspended with pay as the police investigation inches closer to a May 1 deadline to submit findings to a Maryland state prosecutor, who could decide to press charges.”

All of a sudden—literally as my brother and I walked out of Bullpen—everything went haywire. What were peaceful marchers holding up signs turned into violent rioters. Innocent fans standing by were confronted by the rioters, who physically and verbally threateningly engaged many of them—and then the protesters got even more violent.

All of a sudden, beer bottles and cans, and other projectiles were lobbed by the protesters into the crowds of fans. To get those projectiles, the protesters stole them forcibly from the bartenders and vendors set up outside each of those three bars. One beer can whizzed by my brother’s face, missing him by about six inches, and more flew all over the crowded area.

The crowd of protesters then stopped a blue station wagon carrying a white family as they tried to drive past Pickles, Bullpen and Sliders along a narrow one-way stretch between the bars and the main road. As a horde of them smashed their open and closed fists on the hood of the car—while impeding them by standing in front of them—the driver backed up on the one way pass in a desperate attempt to get out of dodge. Then, stopped on the other side with nowhere to go, protesters ripped open the passenger door of the car and began reaching around inside the vehicle. As hundreds of people looked on, including several police officers who didn’t engage the violent protesters, the white woman in the front seat—middle-aged and a little heavyset with dark hair—was visibly terrified. The group of black men who ripped open the car door suddenly realized they were separated from the larger group of protesters and abandoned their quest to seemingly either carjack the station wagon or rob the people inside in front of hundreds, driving out of the one-way street back onto the main road and presumably out of dodge.

As projectiles continued flying everywhere from each part of the crowd—like a war-zone—another black man then charged into the crowd of Red Sox and Orioles fans standing outside Pickles Pub and tore the metal barricades apart throwing them into the now-crowded one-way pass where the assaulted station wagon was a moment ago.

My brother, at this point, was screaming at the group of five or so police officers. “Why aren’t you doing anything? They’re hurting people! They’re hurting people! They’re violent!” he yelled at them as they continued ignoring him and not engaging or attempting to stop the violence.

I had been trying—unsuccessfully, as I never use my phone for this—to capture some useful videos and photos of what was going on. My reporter gear, including an iPad I specifically use for the purpose of covering this kind of thing, was back in my apartment just outside D.C. and I really never take photos or video with my phone. After I went back through them later, in the middle of the chaos, they all came out blurry and unusable.

Nonetheless, fearing for my safety and for my brother’s safety, at this point I grabbed him and pulled him aside—and said “we need to go, we need to go into the stadium.”

We moved along as fast as we could around Camden Yards to get inside—Orioles officials had closed down several gates that are normally open so we had to go almost halfway around the place to get in—and got through the gate as I Tweeted updates of what I saw and what went down so hopefully other media would pull through and cover the violence that was going on. Well, I’d find out later, of course they wouldn’t—they were too busy praising themselves at Nerd Prom. But my brother and I made it to our seats and hoped it all would be over soon, and the game would go on as planned.

The game started without a hitch, and while fans buzzed and hissed back and forth in discussion about the insanity going on outside, it all seemed to be fine—and mostly under control—so my brother and I went back to enjoying the Sox face off against the Orioles.

As the game progressed, however, the situation outside throughout Baltimore clearly got worse. All of a sudden, several police helicopters took to the skies and fans sitting around us talked about how they got text messages from friends watching the news at home throughout the Baltimore area warning them to get out of the stadium while they still could.

The game was close, and at about 9:45 p.m.—2 hours and 45 minutes into the game—an announcement came over the loudspeaker in the stadium: The mayor of Baltimore, due to a public safety emergency outside, had “asked” everyone inside to stay in the stadium
and not try to leave.

The Red Sox had just tied what was a 3-2 Baltimore lead in the top of the ninth inning. It was headed to at least the bottom of the ninth, and perhaps extra innings, so we went to run to the bathroom together real fast and then found the gate right there—E-1—was locked and several Orioles staffers were standing in front of it. I asked one of them if we were allowed to leave, and they said no. We were, along with the 15,000 or so still in the stadium, being forcibly kept there by the Baltimore mayor’s authority. Several people around us lamented that the Orioles should open the bars back up—they stop serving alcohol after the seventh inning stretch—and give out free beer due to the chaos.

My brother and I got back to our seats in time to see the Orioles blow it in the bottom of the ninth and got ready for extra innings. In the top of the tenth, the Red Sox took the lead 4-3 and the Baltimore mayor’s decision to keep everyone in the stadium remained in effect. If the Orioles didn’t exactly tie in the bottom of the tenth—and the mayor’s decision remained in effect—there would be 15,000 people trying to leave who couldn’t. All of a sudden, then, another announcement came over the loudspeaker and on the big screen at the park: the mayor lifted the ban on people leaving the stadium. 

Thank God, because the Orioles won it in the bottom of the tenth inning with a walk off home run—and right after they hit it, my brother and I bolted out of the stadium and hopped in a Baltimore city cab, which we took all the way back to our apartment just outside D.C. The cabbie told us the protests that were going on all night were “crazy.” After everything that went down, the Red Sox loss hurt much less than seeing a great city–Baltimore–turn into madness."


4/25/15, "Violence erupts at Baltimore police death protest," AFP, Jim Watson, via Yahoo News

"But the mood shifted dramatically when scores of protesters moved to the vicinity of the Camden Yards baseball stadium, scene of an evening Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox game....

Fans at the baseball game, which went beyond the standard nine innings due to a tie, were told to remain in the stadium, "due to an ongoing public safety issue."

One police spokesman blamed the trouble on "isolated pockets" of individuals who were believed to have come from out of town.

Later in the evening, dozens of police formed a cordon around the Western District police station, scene of nightly protests since Gray died. NBC affiliate WBAL reported two arrests, witnessed from its news helicopter."...


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Mets fans pack upper deck at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of 2015 Subway Series


4/24/15, "Hundreds of Mets fans from the Seven Line Army pack the upper deck at Yankee Stadium in the first inning of game 1 of the 2015 Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. 4/24/15 (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)," Mets at Yankees

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Empire State Building will shine Mets and Yankees colors in honor of Subway Series

4/24/15, "In honor of the #SubwaySeries, @EmpireStateBldg will be shining in @Yankees and @Mets colors this weekend," MLB. Mets at Yankees

4/25/15, "The @EmpireStateBldg looked real good last night in #Yankees pinstripes," Yankee twitter. Game one, 6-1 Yankees over Mets


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snow falls on Yankee-Tiger game in Detroit on April 22

4/22/15, "Despite the snowfall in Detroit, New York already has 10 runs. It's just the 2nd time this season the Yankees have reached double digits in scoring," AP, ESPN. NY Yankees at Detroit Tigers. (Obviously, the snow was caused by excess CO2 that only exists in China). GIF from MLB.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rainbow in the second in Detroit

4/21/15, "A rainbow appears behind Comerica Park as New York Yankees' Gregorio Petit prepares to bat during the second inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Detroit," AP, Osorio. Final 5-2, Yankees over Detroit Tigers

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

'Sanitation is something that is very real,' said Earth Day celebrant in Washington, DC, April 18, 2015

"Sanitation is something that is very real," he said. "I understand and cannot turn a blind eye to what's going on."


Above, 4/18/15, "Scenes from the Earth Day concert on the Mall," CRouselle Twitter

Above, 4/18/15, "Crowds here in DC to fight #ClimateChange! (They're just bahind the piles of trash.)-mao #EarthDay #EcoWarrior, The Quotus Twitter


Above, 4/18/15, "Trash left over from #EarthDay2015 celebrations and concert at National Mall #ironyatitsfinest," TomHebert96 Twitter


4/18/15, "Usher, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige headline Earth Day rally, drawing crowd on National Mall," AP, Brett Zongler, via US News

"A daylong Earth Day concert had R&B star Usher dancing on crutches Saturday on the National Mall to rally thousands for political action to confront climate change and poverty.

Usher, Mary J. Blige, Gwen Stefani, Common, Fall Out Boy and Train all performed during the free Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day rally hosted by will.i.am and Soledad O'Brien....

"To end poverty, it starts, in my opinion, with an education about it," Usher told the crowd. "I want you to go and investigate for yourself so that you can really understand what's going on."

The rally was a joint initiative of the Global Poverty Project and Earth Day Network. It coincides with meetings at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Usher joined the poverty project at the White House on Friday for a meeting with officials.

"I felt really good that the issues we are addressing here are on the table," he told The Associated Press. After his performance, Usher said his passion is expanding education to help end poverty. But the impacts of climate change also have severe impacts on the world's poor, he said.

"Global warming is something that obviously will affect all of us. Clean water and sanitation is something that is very real," he said. "I understand and cannot turn a blind eye to what's going on."

For his part, will.i.am played host and said the huge turnout shows people are concerned.... 

The rally also touched on global health and development needs. The U.S. Agency for International Development announced from the stage that it will commit $126 million [US taxpayer dollars] to rebuild West African health care systems that were broken by the Ebola outbreak. The U.S. government already has spent $1.4 billion [US taxpayer dollars] on the crisis to support 10,000 humanitarian responders and to provide equipment, laboratories and training.

While Earth Day is officially on April 22, the Saturday rally asked participants to commit to making environmentally friendly "acts of green." Organizers also asked attendees to sign petitions for a U.N. conference on climate change planned for Paris in December." 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alex Rodriguez hits home run in Baltimore, final 7-5 Orioles

4/15/15, Arod hits home run in the 4th in Baltimore, final 7-5, Orioles over Yankees. mlb video

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

630 foot ferris wheel being constructed in NY City scheduled for 2017 opening

4/14/15, "Stunning views of Manhattan, a restaurant in the sky and even four bars: New York to build world's tallest Ferris wheel... unless Dubai finishes theirs first," UK Daily Mail, Chris Kitching
"Set near the St George Ferry terminal the giant observation wheel will cost an estimated $25 to $30 for a 38-minute ride."

"New York is set to officially break ground this week on a Ferris wheel that could become the tallest in the world once it is completed in early 2017....

The humongous attraction on Staten Island promises stunning panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, in addition to other New York City boroughs and the neighbouring state of New Jersey."...

Images from NY Wheel LLC

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Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Opening Day in Pittsburgh

4/13/15, "What a view," MLB twitter. Opening day in Pittsburgh, PNC Park. final 5-4, Pirates over Tigers

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Who determines which legacies are “ruined” and which are not? NY Times William C. Rhoden on Arod

4/12/15, "In the Yankees’ Reality Show, It’s Alex Rodriguez, Flaws and All," NY Times, William C. Rhoden

"Yankees fans had the first glimpse last week of life without Derek Jeter and life with Alex Rodriguez.

Hometown fans generally greeted Rodriguez warmly. He had spent a year away from the game after being suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball wanted a longer suspension, but Rodriguez fought and got the ban reduced. His return gave fans a reason to be hopeful.

While it would be a stretch to say Rodriguez has roared back, he has been more than credible. Even as the Yankees lost four of six games to open the season, Rodriguez offered a ray of hope. He had six hits, including a home run, and was batting .300. He even played first base, where he committed an error, but otherwise turned in an encouraging performance.

On Sunday, his bases-clearing double in the first inning set the tone for an offensive explosion that culminated in a 14-4 rout of the Boston Red Sox. "I’ve been working hard and I’ve been feeling better each day,” Rodriguez said after Sunday’s game. “But I have to remain patient and not expect too much." 

Rodriguez is not the Yankees’ problem this season, and he may even be the team’s salvation.

The larger issue is a pitching staff led by Masahiro Tanaka, who was drilled in the season opener but earned a victory Sunday, and C. C. Sabathia, who lost his first start as well.

Tanaka was better on Sunday, pitching five innings and allowing four runs in a 14-4 Yankees win.

The Yankees know what they have in Rodriguez: a baseball prodigy who, at age 39, is better than many players 10 years younger. The reality is that only Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra had more home runs as a Yankee than Rodriguez.

I’m fascinated by critics who write that Rodriguez has “ruined” his legacy. In whose eyes?

Clearly not among the thousands who have applauded Rodriguez for the last few days.

Who writes the history? Who determines which legacies are “ruined” and which are not? An overwhelmingly white, male baseball establishment that sits in judgment, that’s who.

If it were my vote, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would be in the Hall of Fame effective immediately. In the stats-driven, nostalgia-laced business of baseball, statistics speak for themselves.

We keep reading that Alex Rodriguez played us.

He didn’t play us. We — fans, the news media — played ourselves. Deluded ourselves as baseball continued to lie to itself.

Baseball tells us that the wicked witch of performance-enhancing drugs is dead. Right.

On Saturday we learned that the Mets’ Jenrry Mejia had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and would be suspended for 80 games.

Earlier this month, we learned that three other players had tested positive for stanozolol. Clearly, they don’t have access to the latest science on performance-enhancing drugs.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi made a sensible and fair-minded point last week when asked about Rodriguez. “We live in a society that gives people second and third chances — fourth, fifth,” Girardi said. “Look, as humans we’re going to make mistakes. That’s the bottom line; we’ve all made mistakes.”

Except that Major League Baseball has never paid for its transgressions. Owners, team presidents, general managers, athletic trainers have never been held accountable for their roles in the so-called steroid era.

I had this conversation in the commissioner’s suite with Bud Selig during the World Series. My argument is that baseball will never have closure on this issue until former baseball commissioners, the current commissioner, team presidents and officials, as well as team owners past and present, testify under oath about who knew what and when.

The players have simply been fall guys for a sport that knew exactly what was transpiring and for fans who largely did not care. Let these Yankees begin winning and you will not have enough seats to accommodate the crowd.

Asked if he felt vindicated by his strong spring training and good start in the Yankees’ first six games, Rodriguez stuck to the script: It’s not about me; it’s about the team.

In terms of Rodriguez’s legacy, he was on the way to becoming one of the greatest shortstops to play the game until he reached the Yankees and, out of deference to Derek Jeter, switched to third base. Rodriguez became one of the best third basemen in the game, and I have little doubt that with time and reps, he could become an All-Star-caliber first baseman and could become an outstanding designated hitter.

Rodriguez knows how to play the game — on and off the field. So far this season, he is saying all the right things.

“I love our fans,” he said after the Yankees’ opening-day loss. “We have a long history here. I think about 2009 and some of the things we accomplished together. I think this is an opportunity to help the team win.”

And then added:

“The fans don’t owe me anything. I’ve said all along, since spring training, part of feeling like a rookie is that I have to earn their cheers and their respect.”

The reality is that Rodriguez is the only true star the Yankees have. This season, he will pass the great Willie Mays on the career home run list. Will the baseball establishment celebrate or will it treat Rodriguez’s feat as the tree that falls in the forest?

I love the idea of Mays as much as everyone else. But Mays played in an era when many misdeeds went undetected and unreported, when players faced little accountability for their actions. Athletes in that bygone era were given a wide berth because of their celebrity.

Now we look for celebrity deeds and misdeeds to fill an insatiable, eternal news cycle.

The Jeter era is over, and fans are right to lament its passing. Jeter was the consummate professional, giving crisp, no-frills interviews that revealed only what he wanted to reveal.

Jeter was the image of the clean-cut, unflawed Yankee.

Rodriguez is flawed. That, for me, is what makes him one of the most compelling figures in contemporary sports.

We learned, among other things, that he liked cigars and played a game of poker now and then. We know that he used steroids and lied about it.

He gave the people what they wanted, and baseball what it wanted. Now he is back.

“This is such an incredibly special year for me,” Rodriguez said on Sunday. “So different for me, I don't have anything to gauge it against. I’m really just trying to do the best I can every at-bat.” Next stop: Willie Mays." via John Sterling mention on Yankee radio


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At NY Mets home opener NYC Mayor de Blasio was booed louder than Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels-ESPN

4/13/15, "The mayor -- New York's mayor -- just got booed louder than Cole Hamels." Adam Rubin, ESPN. final 2-0 in NY Mets home opener over Phillies. Phillies star Cole Hamels didn't pitch today.

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Bats more like it, Arod on NY Post back page, Mon., April 13, 2015

Monday, 4/13/15, "Bats more like it," Arod on NY Post back page. Final, Sunday 4/12/15, 14-4 Yankees over Red Sox

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Arod bases clearing double v Red Sox

Sunday, 4/12/15, First inning, Red Sox at Yankees, Alex Rodriguez hitting 3 run double, MLB video screen shot

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Young Chicago White Sox fan cheers 5-4 White Sox win

White Sox 5, Twins 4,
Save #1 for David Robertson 

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Yankee fans light the stands with cell phones during temporary power outage in the 12th v Red Sox, Fri. April 10, 2015

4/10/15, "Yankee fans trying to help," Andrew Marchand twitter

Between top and bottom of 12th inning v Red Sox, score tied 3-3

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Colorado Rockies 2015 Opening Day v Cubs

4/10/15, "Opening Day at Coors Field always gives me chills!" Patrick Saunders twitter. final, 5-1 Rockies over Cubs

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Chicago White Sox 2015 home opener

4/10/15, "White Sox home opener. Play ball," Doug Padilla, ESPN White Sox twitter. Final, 6-0, Twins over White Sox

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Miami Marlins staff ready, rain or shine

"Let’s try this again...The Marlins Front Office is ready for #OpeningNightPartDos.... no matter what happens." Miami Marlins twitter

4/7/15, "Miami Marlins learn weather apps can’t replace a meteorologist," Washington Post, Jason Samenow

Image caption: "MIAMI, FL – APRIL 06: Teams retreat to the dugout during a rain delay at Marlins Park during Opening Day between the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves on April 6, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)" final, 2-1, Braves over Marlins

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

MLB team values hit record $1.2 billion average in 2015-Forbes

3/25/15, "MLB Worth $36 Billion As Team Values Hit Record $1.2 Billion Average," Forbes, Mike Ozanian

"If Major League Baseball traded on a stock exchange it would be worth $36 billion. The average baseball team is now worth $1.2 billion, 48% more than a year ago, the biggest year-over-year increase since we began tracking team values in 1998. A record 15 MLB teams are now worth at least $1 billion, up from five in 2014.

The New York Yankees are worth the most, $3.2 billion, and are tied with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable U.S. sports team (Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, worth $3.44 billion, is the most valuable in the world). The Yankees have been the most valuable baseball team each of the 18 years Forbes has valued MLB franchises since 1998. During the 2014 season, the Bronx Bombers generated a record $508 million of revenue after deducting PILOT bond payments of $78 million and the $90 million the team contributed to baseball’s revenue-sharing system. The team raked in over $100 million in local television rights payments, and Derek Jeter’s last season in pinstripes goosed ticket and merchandise sales.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, worth $2.4 billion, land in second place three years after Guggenheim Baseball Management bought the team and Dodger Stadium for $2 billion from Frank McCourt. The Dodgers raked in more than $120 million in local television money last season, the the most in baseball, as part of  the team’s 25-year, $8.35 billion deal with Time Warner Cable. The team also leads MLB in attendance, with 3.78 million fans coming through the turnstiles during the regular season.

The San Francisco Giants had the biggest year-over-year gain, doubling in value, to $2 billion. The Giants’ three World Series titles over the past five seasons have helped the team nearly double revenue, to $387 million–with much of the increase coming from sponsors like Adobe, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Lexus, MillerCoors, Oracle, Safeway, StubHub, State Farm and Yahoo. Since 2011, the Giants have been among the top four teams in attendance and with the launch of the Social Media Café at AT&T Park in 2013 are among the leaders in using social media to enhance fans’ stadium experience.

The owners of the Giants are planning on leveraging the team’s strong brand by developing Mission Rock, an urban community that is expected to be ready by 2020. The project includes office space for businesses,residential buildings, renovation of a historic pier, pedestrian-only alleys and green streets, recreational and cultural facilities and restaurants and retail stores.

The St. Louis Cardinals are baseball’s biggest anomaly. Despite playing in one of the smallest markets, the Cardinals are MLB’s sixth most valuable team, worth $1.4 billion. During the 19 seasons Bill DeWitt has owned them, the Cardinals have posted a winning record 16 times and have been in four World Series, winning the title in 2011 and 2006. Since moving into their new stadium in 2006 the team has never finished below sixth in attendance and has placed second the past two seasons. The Cardinals also pull in baseball’s highest local television ratings. And with Ballpark Village, the Cardinals have made the area near Busch Stadium a destination for dining and entertainment....
(p. 2) More television cash in on the way. The Texas Rangers begin a $3 billion, 20-year cable deal this season (the team received a $100 million signing bonus in 2012). In 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies start a $5 billion, 25-year deal and the Arizona Diamondbacks begin a new cable deal that is reportedly worth $1.5 billion over 20 years. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of negotiating a richer cable deal.

Each of MLB’s 30 teams went up in value by at least 20%. Why? Higher enterprise ratios are being fueled by the stock market’s six-year bull run (which has inflated asset values and created a lot more potential buyers than sellers of teams), baseball’s unmatched inventory of live, DVR-proof content, real estate development around stadiums, higher profitability (which reduces the need for capital calls) and the incredible success of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the sports’ digital arm that is equally owned by the league’s 30 teams.

MLBAM most recently developed MLB.com’s Statcast, which debuted at the 2014 All-Star Game. Statcast is a transformative tracking technology measuring every play that will revolutionize live broadcasts of Major League Baseball games to every screen from the computer to the television to the tablet to the smartphone. MLBAM also has a powerful video technology that supports partners such as HBO, ESPN and WWE, a business growing so fast there are reports of MLB spinning off a separate tech arm from MLBAM at a $5 billion valuation. In 2014, MLBAM generated an estimated $800 million in revenue and around $400 million in operating income. In total, MLBAM could be worth more than $10 billion."...via Free Rep.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Phillie Phanatic visits ESPN booth, Red Sox v Phillies, April 7, 2015

4/8/15, "The Phillie Phanatic joined the guys in the booth and caused all sorts of trouble!" Baseball Tonight twitter. Red Sox v Phillies in Philadelphia on ESPN 2

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

First Los Angeles Dodgers rain delay since May 23, 2008, Padres-Dodgers game delayed 49 minutes due to rain-ESPN

 ·  30m 30 minutes ago "Rarity in Chavez Ravine: Dodgers-Padres was delayed 49 minutes by the first at Dodger Stadium rain delay since May 23, 2008."


Added, Wed., 4/8/15, On Yankee radio, John Sterling says there have been 17 rainouts in the 57 years the Dodgers have played in Los Angeles.

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Tarp on the field in Los Angeles, steady rain delays batting practice thirty minutes, Padres v Dodgers, April 7, 2015

4/7/15, "I don't think they do this very often." Mark Saxon twitter


4/7/15, "The Padres batting practice was curtained by 30 minutes by steady showers at Dodger Stadium." Mark Saxon twitter

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Empire State Building is Colorado Rockies purple on Opening Day 2015

4/6/15, "The @EmpireStateBldg is purple, rotating through @MLB club colors.

Today was fun, we'll do it again tomorrow!" Colorado Rockies twitter 
4/6/15, "Empire State of hue: Landmark gets Opening Day treatment," MLB.com, Spencer Fordin

"All 30 club colors to be represented in rotating display on NYC building"

"The Empire State Building is getting all spruced up for Opening Day.

The iconic New York City landmark will be lit up with a rotating display of all 30 Major League Baseball club colors on Monday night in recognition of the start of the regular season. All of the clubs, from red for the Red Sox to pinstripes for the Yankees, will be represented in the tower's LED lights.

The Empire State Building displayed Yankees pinstripes last September 28 in honor of shortstop Derek Jeter's final game, and it was lit up blue-and-white Dodgers colors for Jackie Robinson Day on April 15.

MLB's regular season began Sunday night with a 3-0 victory by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Chicago Cubs, and Monday features a slate of 14 games. The Yankees, 27-time World Series champions, will begin their season with a home game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.

The Empire State Building stands 1,454 feet tall and was the world's tallest building from its completion in 1931 until '70, when the World Trade Center was completed. The 102-story landmark is currently listed as the fourth-tallest skyscraper in America and the 25th-tallest building in the world."

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Monday, April 06, 2015

2015 Opening Day ceremony at Minute Maid Park, Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros

4/6/15, Opening Day at Minute Maid Park, Calvin Watkins twitter. Indians at Astros

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Cheers for Arod's hit in fifth largest I've ever heard in Yankee Stadium for a non-game winning single-Wallace Matthews, ESPN

April 6, 2015, Wallace Matthews twitter, ESPN Yankees. Blue Jays v Yankees, opening day

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Monday, March 09, 2015

Think twice about driving to the ballpark, Oregon first state to tax miles driven, 10 other states considering similar programs

3/9/15, "Oregon to debut mileage-based gas tax, helped by Waterloo company," CBC News

"A Waterloo-based company is helping the state of Oregon implement a new voluntary program that will tax drivers based on distance driven, instead of a flat gas tax. 

Waterloo's Intelligent Mechatronic Systems plays an integral part in the new program. The company created DriveSync, a platform that essentially can connect a car to the internet or other devices such as smartphones.

DriveSync makes it possible for insurance companies to assess customers based on usage, for example. "It's a very interesting approach to change one form of taxation on the gas pump to a fair usage fee on the road," said Ben Miners, the vice president for innovation at IMS, in an interview with Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Monday.

"Having a usage fee on the road provides people with transparency in terms of how much it's actually costing to be on the road," he said. "So hopefully, people will make informed decisions before they take their car out to drive to the corner store."

Drivers won't need to do anything special to their vehicles to take part in the program, but they do have to register and get a DriveSync device, which can be plugged into their vehicles.

"It's a standard port in every vehicle built after 1996. The port's just below the steering wheel, you reach down and plug it in and you can drive and not need to worry about it ever again," said Miners. The program will start for Oregon drivers on July 1.

Drivers can choose how much to share

For the privacy-minded, participants can choose how much information they want to reveal to the state of Oregon. Drivers can choose to only share the distance the vehicle travels, and avoid location information. However, if they do share location information, they won't be taxed when they drive on private roads or head out of state, for example.

The billing itself is handled by another company, Sanef ITS, which has partnered with IMS and the state of Oregon. Every quarter drivers will get an invoice showing how much fuel they've consumed and how far they've travelled. Participants will get a gas tax refund, and then pay their usage tax at a rate of 1.5 cents per mile driven.

"Now people can see that when they're driving, when their cars are actually causing impact to the road, the funds or the fees that they're paying are directly being applied to help maintain those roads, maintain the infrastructure and repair those potholes," said Miners.

According to Miners, as people switch to vehicles that consume less gas, governments need to find new ways to raise funds.

"The revenue shortfall from traditional gas tax-based approaches is only increasing in its magnitude, with the prevalence of highly fuel efficient vehicles, electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles," he said."

3/9/15, "Oregon To Be First In Nation To Implement Per-Mile Road Tax Program,"
thetruthaboutcars.com, Cameron Aubernon

"Oregon won’t be the only one to undergo a road tax program: over 10 other states are either in the process of passing legislation or conducting trials for such programs."

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Derek Jeter Players' Tribune on SiriusXM will air weekly on Mad Dog Sports Radio, SiriusXM Channel 85, Wed. 7-8pm ET

2/17/15, "SiriusXM and The Players' Tribune Launch New National Radio Show," finance.yahoo.com

"The Players' Tribune on SiriusXM" brings Derek Jeter's new athlete-inspired media platform to the airwaves. Listeners can connect with Players' Tribune personalities every week on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio channel."

"SiriusXM and The Players' Tribune announced today the creation of a new national radio show that brings the high profile new athlete-inspired media platform founded by Derek Jeter to the airwaves, showcasing the voices of athletes associated with the site and connecting them with listeners around the country.

Starting February 18, The Players' Tribune on SiriusXM will air every Wednesday (7:00-8:00 pm ET) throughout the year on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio, channel 85. The show will feature a rotating group of hosts and guests who are Players' Tribune editors or contributors, and give SiriusXM subscribers first-person access to the perspective of professional athletes across many sports.

Wednesday's show will include interviews from the event launching the new Players' Tribune website this past weekend.  Listeners will hear from Derek Jeter, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and others.

The Players' Tribune is a new media platform that presents the voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players' Tribune aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and to publish first-person stories directly from athletes. From video to podcasts to player polls and written pieces, the Tribune strives to be "The Voice of the Game."

"Our partnership with SiriusXM is a perfect vehicle to help bring the athletes' stories from The Players' Tribune to life," said founding publisher Derek Jeter.

"Since launching a few months ago, The Players' Tribune has generated a lot of buzz in the sports world and captured the attention of fans across the country," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer. "We're excited to team up for a new show that will give the voices on the site a new nationwide forum to interact directly with fans, while also giving our subscribers access to some of the biggest personalities in sports."

Athletes who are editors or contributors for The Players' Tribune include Kobe Bryant, Russell Wilson, Matt Harvey, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Julius Thomas, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Avery, Chris Long, Danica Patrick, Shawne Merriman and others." via XMFan.com

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Cold weather and snow keep criminals off the street. Major crimes have dropped in Boston, NY City reported 12 consecutive days without a murder-NH Union Leader

2/28/15, "Bad weather keeps criminals off the street and out of trouble," New Hampshire Union Leader, Paul Feely

Manchester, NH, in front of Kay's Bakery

"The historic stretch of winter weather gripping New Hampshire in recent weeks is helping to prove an old adage among law enforcement circles: Crooks like it hot. Police say the steady string of storms into the Granite State since mid-January show the special relationship between weather and crime: as the snowflakes and temperatures fall, so do the number of certain types of crime - particularly assaults, burglary and robberies.

"Burglars can be stupid, but they're not completely dumb," said Lt. Dan Bailey of the Nashua Police Department. "They're not going to break into a house when they'll leave footprints in the snow.

Reports from areas hit hardest by record-breaking cold and heavy snow appear to support the idea. Police calls are down in Concord and Nashua. Same thing in Manchester. Major crimes have dropped in Boston. New York City police reported 12 consecutive days without a murder, the longest such streak since the department started collecting crime data in 1994.

"You don't have people out and about," said New Hampshire State Police Major David Parenteau. "If people aren't out, there are fewer potential victims for criminals."

It's science

The theory has been tested by researchers, who say the data prove their point.

"Weather has a strong effect on the incidence of criminal activity. For all offenses except manslaughter, higher temperatures lead to higher crime rates," writes Matthew Ranson, an economist for the Cambridge, Mass. consulting firm, Abt Associates.

Ranson recently published results of a study combining 30 years of data across the country and found "a very strong historical relationship between temperature and crime."

Ranson writes in the report that he began looking at the data in an attempt to picture what the world might look like if global temperatures rise. He believes crime, and social disorder, could increase along with temperatures, and said the evidence shows colder stretches over the last 50 years marry up to drop-offs in criminal behavior.

Ranson looked at nine major crime categories, ranging from theft to murder, and reports offense rates decreased when the temperature dropped below about 50 degrees. In most cases, the rates continued to drop as the temperature got colder. The exception was car theft, which jumped when temperatures got below ten degrees."...

Image above from New Hampshire Union Leader, David Lane. via Free Rep.

Regis Chagnon shovels snow in front of Kay's Bakery as a city crew removes snow in the "The Hollow" neighborhood of Manchester. A month of snow and cold has a silver lining. Officials say, certain types of crime, such as assaults, burglary and robberies, are way down. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)) - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150301/NEWS03/150309973#sthash.piFBYd7L.dpuf

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Arod is saving Yankees from irrelevance-Joel Sherman

2/26/15, "Note to A-Rod-hating Yankees: He’s saving you from irrelevance," NY Post, Joel Sherman

Arod signs 2/26/15

"By far the smallest crowd since the Yankees moved their spring camp to the west coast of Florida two decades ago greeted their first full workout, and the largest applause went to Hideki Matsui and then Alex Rodriguez.

So, if you are scoring at home, the fans appear less interested in this club than at any time in a while and their greatest demonstration of appreciation was for a guy who no longer plays and a guy who the Yanks hope stops playing.

In this way, the Yankees should be careful what they wish for. Right now, A-Rod is giving the organization great cover. If he weren’t here, there would have been far more questions asked of those in charge about why Yoan Moncada is a Red Sox and why there is so little interest in the team. The fans, after all, buzzed about Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann as much as they did Jonathan Galvez and Nick Noonan, which is to say not at all.

Joe Girardi’s post-workout press conference began with nine questions about A-Rod and then one about a retired player, Derek Jeter. When asked if he was happy to have Rodriguez in camp, Girardi answered broadly by speaking of how pleased he is to see everyone. When it was noted to him that he didn’t really answer the question about A-Rod, Girardi brandished what are his two tells when he is about to be misleading — his voice went higher and he grew angry, in this case, criticizing the meaning of the question.

Brian Cashman answered a series of A-Rod questions and then also grew annoyed when asked if he was happy that the disgraced slugger was back, saying soon after, “I don’t really want to talk about Alex anymore.” This from a general manager appreciated by the media for his willingness to handle questions in all varieties of Yankees storms.

When asked if he could imagine shutting down inquiry about any other player in camp on Day 1 of full workouts, Cashman said he was doing this because of the repetitive nature of the questions. But it is hard to believe if folks had repetitive questions about Nate Eovaldi’s splitter or Mark Teixeira’s wrist, that Cashman would cease discussion.

As much as they talk about normalcy and moving on when it comes to Rodriguez, Yankees officials are not truly embracing that. Several times in the last week, a Yankees executive has expressed displeasure to me about something I wrote that they perceived as pro-Rodriguez — and these are in columns in which I referred to A-Rod as narcissistic, egomaniacal, dishonest and insecure or hardly endorsements of Rodriguez as a human.

In a private moment, when I told A-Rod about the reactions by Girardi and Cashman when asked if they were happy he was here, Rodriguez offered a “No comment” in reply.

But it underscores just how uneasy this camp could end up being. How could it not be? On truth serum, any Yankees official would say what they wanted for A-Rod in this camp is for his hips to break down again, forcing his retirement and their best chance to recoup most of the $61 million they still owe him.

That is a totally logical position for them to have right now. That would be best for the sanity and finances of the franchise. But you cannot exactly have a tension-free relationship when everyone knows what hovers. When I asked Rodriguez what he thought of this, he offered another “No comment.” For now, Rodriguez is avoiding his familiar self-destructive responses and darkest angels.

The Yankees will strive for the same through gritted teeth. A-Rod is their necessary evil. Are they happy he is here? No. But he is here because the Yankees signed him to a 10-year contract and not at gunpoint. Their officials should just acknowledge that the history with this player demands they be leery of what might happen, but as long as he is in uniform, they will try to do their best by him and hope he thrives. Heck, they didn’t love Jim Leyritz and won a title with him in 1996, nor David Wells and won it all in 1998, or a fella named Alex Rodriguez in 2009.

Plus, I wonder if these Yankees need A-Rod more than he needs them. They built a team with Chase Headley at third and on which Carlos Beltran or Garrett Jones could DH. But even when the spring games begin — despite protests from so many fans about having A-Rod fatigue — what will make them click on YES? Maybe what Masahiro Tanaka’s arm looks like or Didi Gregorius’ glove.

But at a time when the tiny crowd Thursday at Steinbrenner Field possibly said something about fascination with this squad, will there really be anything fans want to tune in more to see than A-Rod at-bats? Does he still have it or not?

For better or worse for this franchise, the necessary evil is their biggest star. He took the field for the first time in a while in full Yankees garb and his name was screamed often from the crowd. No one else on the roster drew such a reaction.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2015 Yankees." Image above, NY Post, Wenzelberg

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fisherman wins 5-4 Supreme Court case, vindicated after facing prison for discarding undersized fish in 2007 off Florida coast

2/25/15, "Supreme Court Sides With Fisherman In Case Of The Missing Fish," npr.org

"Commercial fisherman John Yates and his crew were fishing for red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cortez, Fla., in 2007. His vessel was boarded by John Jones, a state Fish and Wildlife officer who was working on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As NPR's Nina Totenberg reported last November: "Jones, suspecting that the fishermen were keeping fish smaller than the 20-inch minimum, measured some of the catch and found 72 grouper that were undersized."

That's 72 fish out of a catch of more than 3,000, Yates wrote last year in Politico. He was issued a civil citation from the state.

But when Yates' vessel returned to port the next day, Jones and other officials examined the entire catch and found 69 — not 72 — undersized fish.

"Nearly three years later, the federal government charged me with the destruction of evidence — yes, fish — to impede a federal investigation," Yates wrote in Politico. "I was subsequently arrested at my home. I have been blacklisted by boat owners who fear federal investigations similar to mine. I am now unable to make a living doing what I love to do."

Yates was charged with violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed after, as Nina put it, "a scandal ... destroyed energy firm Enron and resulted in criminal convictions for accounting firm Arthur Andersen."

Prosecutors said he told his crew to throw the undersized fish overboard. He was convicted of destroying evidence to impede a federal investigation and sentenced to 30 days in jail. He appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing the law applied only to documents and records, not fish.

But, as Nina noted at the time:
"The federal government, however, argues that the law was clearly written and intended to be a broad anti-obstruction-of-justice law that would fill gaps in the criminal code that had long existed."
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act makes it a crime to destroy, alter or cover up "any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to ... impede or obstruct" the investigation of "any matter within federal jurisdiction."

Today, the court narrowly agreed with Yates, and reversed judgments by lower courts.

NPR's Carrie Johnson tells our Newscast unit that the court's majority said the "government overreached by deploying the financial fraud law against a commercial fisherman. The majority said tangible objects should be read to mean documents or computer hard drives not undersized fish."

"Fish one may fry, but may one falsify, or make a false entry in the sea-dwelling creatures?" Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, reading from a summary of her opinion from the bench.

She was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Also in agreement was Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote a separate opinion.

Justices Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

"A fisherman like John Yates, who dumps undersized fish to avoid a fine is no less blameworthy than one who shreds his vessel's catch log for the same reason," Kagan said.

The case was Yates v. United States."

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