Donald Trump at the Stadium for Orioles-Yankees
- Above, Donald Trump with Bill O'Reilly at Yankee Stadium for Twins-Yankee game, 5/15/09. photo by Reuters, Stubblebine, US Sports Baseball Entertainment.
The London 2012 organising committee (Locog) said most of the empty seats were not those sold to members of the public, but had been reserved for members of the “Olympic family.”
Sports fans complained in the wake of the great difficulty members of the public had in obtaining tickets for events after they originally went on sale. Many of the estimated one million-plus spectators lining the route of the men’s cycling road race yesterday said they had been unsuccessful in attempts to buy tickets for other events.
One, Alex Batchelor, wrote: “Can anyone explain why there are lots of empty seats? Tried repeatedly to get tickets without success.”
Organisers said last night that the public areas at the Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park in Stratford, dressage in Greenwich Park, tennis at Wimbledon and volleyball at Earls Court and Horse Guards Parade were all full. '’The public areas at all of the venues are packed and rocking,’’ a Locog spokesman said.
'’It is accredited areas for sponsors, media, international federations and even the support staff for those that are competing that are looking a bit sparse.’’
During morning swimming heats at the Aquatic Centre there were an estimated 500 seats in one “block” alone, while there were thought to be more than 1,000 seats vacant at the gymnastics, despite would-buyers being told sessions were sold out.
Lord Coe, the chairman of Locog, had pledged to address the issue, which had plagued the Beijing Olympics, by having “flexible” accredited seating zones.
This was meant to allow for smaller accredited areas for heats, taking place in the morning, which would then be expanded for evening sessions when the demand for finals tickets was highest.
However, organisers appear to have abandoned that plan, citing the logistical and security problems involved repeatedly changing the formation of venues..
'’We have reduced the size of the accredited areas compared to previous Games but it is too difficult to make the size of that area flexible,’’ a spokesperson said.
Organisers also believed that some officials and sponsors slept in late yesterday to recover from Friday night’s opening ceremony, which finished well after midnight.
They are investigating which bodies did not use the seats and issuing warnings that tickets would be redistributed if the problem persists.
'’We believe the empty seats are in accredited seating areas, and we are in the process of finding out who should have been in the seats and why they weren’t there,’’ the spokesperson said....
One fan, Diana Hill, contacted the BBC, the Olympic broadcaster in the UK, to complain. She said: “To sit down and watch the first day and see the dressage event half full, huge chunks of seating empty in men’s gymnastics and badminton (and I’m sure many more events), is incredibly frustrating.
“Where are all these apparently 'sold out’ tickets going to? Sponsors? It’s a sad joke.”
There were thousands of empty seats at football matches - but organisers were expecting this because large venues failed to sell out.
Originally, some 6.6million of the total 8.8 million tickets were made available to members of the public. But many of those who applied failed to get tickets for any events at all - while others were only successful with a fraction of their total orders.
The balloting system ended with some of the most expensive tickets still available and around 500,000 football tickets removed from sale.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled that a certain number of seats must be reserved for members of the “Olympic family” - whose numbers include athletes, team officials, members of federations and others.
In most venues, at least a fifth of the seats are reserved for “family” members and sponsors - while this can rise to almost half the tickets for highly prized sessions such as prestige athletics finals and the opening ceremony.
Officials have discussed operating a “recycling” scheme, similar to a policy used at Wimbledon for the tennis championships, which would see unused tickets resold, at a much cheaper price, to spectators who were already at the Olympic Park. They have also said they will make it very clear to sponsors that they must only take tickets they are certain will be used.
However, last night, it was unclear whether such a scheme would be brought in.
Most venues last night reported a vibrant atmosphere as fans turned out in hundreds of thousands for the opening day of the Games." via Free Republic
Just when I thought there was nothing new under the sun in the stadium game, there comes this: The Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to boost their profits by getting their landlord, Maricopa County, to sell their stadium to the city of Phoenix.
How would that help the D-Backs' bottom line? Well, the team would no longer have to pay $4 million a year in rent and maintenance expenses to the county; instead, they would "pay Phoenix rent, the amount of which has not been determined," in the words of the Arizona Republic. But the team owners also want more control over how to spend a capital improvement fund currently controlled by the county, and more control over non-baseball events at Chase Field — plus, possibly, to reduce seating in order to create more seat scarcity at the 48,000-seat stadiumand allow the team to charge higher ticket prices, something that's drawn the ire of former Phoenix mayor Skip Rimsza, who charges that this would violate promises that the D-Backs would keep some seats inexpensive when they got $238 million in tax money to help pay for construction.
The Republic also chimed in with its own thoughts on the seat-scarcity issue:
The Diamondbacks have boasted about keeping tickets affordable. The team's $15.74 average ticket price this season ranked second-lowest among major-league teams...
But those low ticket prices also hinder the team's ability to spend money on players. The Diamondbacks have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball....
First off, let's dispense with the notion that sports teams operate by throwing all the money they make into a huge bucket, and then spending it all until it's gone. Most team owners are fabulously wealthy, and have the cash reserves to spend an extra $10 million on an outfielder if they think it'll help the team — and more important, help sell tickets.
And that's the key point: When behaving economically rationally (the usual caveats about rational sports owners apply, obviously), owners will spend money on players when they think it'll help produce enough in profits to pay for the added cost. And while more expensive tickets certainly help (it's tough to pay for a big free-agent signing one $5 ticket at a time), fewer seats hurt, because it's tougher to recapture your investment by selling tons of tickets once you've built a pennant-winner. (You can raise prices even more once the team is good, obviously, but you can do that whether your stadium holds 40,000 or 48,000.)
So what's driving the D-Backs to cut payroll? Nothing — in fact, the team added nearly $20 million in payroll over the last winter. They're certainly not spending like the Yankees and Red Sox, but they're not going to unless they can convince Maricopa County to sell their stadium to the city of New York, not Phoenix.
In any event, this looks like the very early stages of negotiations — in fact, if I'm reading between the lines correctly, it was Rimsza who broke the news after learning of the talks. Why the Diamondbacks would need to orchestrate a transfer of ownership just to get some lease concessions — or, for that matter, why the city would be more willing to give up some rent payments and control over the stadium than the county would — isn't exactly clear at the moment. But if nothing else, this is probably the first sign that with a now 14-year-old stadium, the D-Backs are preparing to get back on line for more public aid, now that the initial excitement of getting the last round has worn out."Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
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"ABC News and Brian Ross are apologizing for an "incorrect" report that James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting, may have had connections to the Tea Party.
"An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect," ABC News said in a statement. "ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted."
In a similar statement released minutes earlier, ABC News said the report was "incorrect" but, rather than apologize, wrote: "Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect." The statement appeared at first to be an attempt by the network to abdicate responsibility for the report.
"Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes," Ross cautioned "but it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
ABC News is the only network or cable news channel to suggest a possible Tea Party connection, which Ross based off a single Tea Party Patriots webpage that has the name "Jim Holmes."" via Free Republic
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William Dillon, 52, was convicted in 1981 for the murder of James Bvorak in Brevard County when he was just 21-years-old....But Dillon maintained that he was innocent, and after an organization called the Innocence Project took on his case, a DNA test conducted in 2008 cleared him of the murder.
Dillon was an aspiring baseball player himself who caught the attention of Detroit Tigers and he was also sung in the high school choir before being sentenced to prison, according to a Huffington Post report (http://huff.to/NIrF48).
Governor Rick Scott personally apologized to Dillon and announced a $1.35 million compensation package for him.
Despite losing nearly three decades of his life, he wanted to celebrate his freedom, his love for his country and inspire others by opening the Rays game with the national anthem.
He got his wish. Wearing a shirt that read, "Not Guilty", he walked onto Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Wednesday night, and combined his love of baseball and song with a passionate rendition of the National Anthem.
Dillon now lives in North Carolina with his girlfriend."...via Free RepublicTweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
Neither spectators nor sportswriters were informed of Tuesday's threat at Comerica Park, said Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp.
"You can't blame the Tigers. There was nothing explosive about their offense," quipped Sharp, following the team's 13-0 shellacking.
Monday's threat shut the Ambassador Bridge for hours, creating massive traffic jams.
A similar shutdown days earlier at the tunnel also caused massive backups. In both incidents, security agents combed the structures with bomb-sniffing dogs and security devices.
Both previous threats were deemed to be hoaxes, Detroit police said.
Tuesday's incident at Comerica Park is still under investigation, police said."Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
Mariano Rivera at NYSE banging gavel with son Mariano Rivera, Jr., 7/18/12, ap
Valentine was at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline Wednesday night to introduce the film at an advance screening of the documentary that is focused on 16-year-old baseball players, or peloteros, in the Dominican Republic vying for a handful of professional baseball contracts."That little island, half that little island, come some of the most fabulous baseball players to ever walk the earth including some who are with us right here at Fenway Park," Valentine said on why he enjoys the film so much. "Probably the one you know the most is David Ortiz, the one you know the least is a young No. 77 [Pedro Ciriaco] ... who happens to be from San Pedro de Macoris, where you will see the streets that he rode his bicycle on, where you will see the parks that he learned to play baseball in, where you will see the academy where he ran around trying to get the opportunity to be at Fenway Park where he is right now, five years later." The film sheds light on some of the most pressing issues surrounding the export of Dominican baseball players to the US, including age and identity fraud and exploitation, and looks at instances of coercion and other improprieties in the process. As the Globe reported Tuesday, one scene depicts a Pittsburgh Pirates scout pressuring a 16-year-old and his family to sign immediately, under the threat of an investigation into his age.
At its core, however, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a story about two gifted prospects, shortstops Miguel Angel Sanó and Jean Carlos Batista, doing their best to navigate a flawed system with the hopes, fears, and burdens of their entire families riding on their success or failure.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has complained to the Red Sox about concerns MLB has with the documentary.
The league is displeased with the film’s allegations of corruption and coercion in the signing process for young prospects from the Dominican Republic. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in an e-mail to the Globe that the league “had a conversation with the Red Sox about the inaccuracies and misrepresentations that were in the documentary,” but did not elaborate on what they were.
''I expressed our concerns to Red Sox ownership and that was it. What they did from there is up to them,'' Selig said Tuesday. ''There were a lot of things that were inaccurate.''
MLB says many of the issues with the recruiting of Dominican amateur players have been rectified since 2009, the period covered by the film.
''It doesn't really reflect what's happened in recent years in the Dominican,'' said Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president of economics and league affairs, in a statement.
''There are not a lot of headlines that are going to come out of this, but that somebody has a problem with something that Bobby Valentine did, probably a pretty big headline that would come out of it,'' players' union head Michael Weiner said. ''More seriously, I don't think it's Bobby's involvement. When you expose the kinds of practices ... it's not an easy thing for MLB to see, and I know that it's not a complimentary treatment of some of the facets of the way MLB has handled it down there.''
The film's co-directors, Jon Paley, Ross Finkel and Trevor Martin, issued a statement defending their work.
''It is frustrating to hear commissioner Selig state that our film is inaccurate,'' they said. ''We stand by what we documented in 'Ballplayer: Pelotero' and would welcome the opportunity to showcase the documentary to Mr. Selig so he can specifically address what he feels is inaccurate.''
Valentine was originally scheduled to take part in Q&A with the audience immediately following the screening, but that appearance was cancelled on Wednesday. The Sox manager introduced the film, but left before the Q&A session.Before Valentine exited the stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, he did address Red Sox fans in the audience with the rally cry: "And let's go Sox, second half!"" Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
The Royals receive revenue sharing from teams like the Yankees. For example in 2006, they received $32 million.
1/11/2012, "Bud Selig: The $22 million commish," David Schoenfield, ESPN
Ed. note: I was listening in 1999 when Royals fans staged their protest against what they had been taught was their enemy.
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"When Padilla was released by Texas, it was reported that his Texas teammates were upset with him for his hitting batters. The news reports at that time suggested that the Texas players were getting hit in retaliation. When the Dodgers picked him up, there was a story that the Dodger manager, Joe Torre spoke to him about this problem. While with the Dodgers, the number of batters that he hit dwindled tremendously. Maybe it was because he was a starting pitcher at the time and had to bat or maybe his control improved."
"The surname 'Teixeira' is Latin...thats pretty funny that Mark would hate his own heritage. Padilla is and always has been a sore loser, a hot-head, and a moron."
"Perfect. My thoughts exactly."
7/8/12, Newsday, "The long-standing feud between Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira and Boston reliever Vicente Padilla boiled over Sunday when Padilla charged Teixeira with being racist toward Latinos when the two were teammates with Texas.
Padilla apparently was responding to critical comments Teixeira made about him after Friday night's game, in which Teixeira hit a go-ahead two-run triple off Padilla. Teixeira accused him of intentionally throwing at batters, which was a problem when they were Rangers teammates in 2006-07 because Teixeira often was the target of retaliation from opponents.
In his remarks to NESN.com, Padilla said Teixeira once threatened to hit him with a bat, a charge Teixeira flatly denied.
Padilla elaborated on those allegations Sunday, telling Marly Rivera of ESPN Desportes: "We used to be friends, but then there was this incident when I hit someone unintentionally and then he got hit. He said he would retaliate and hit me with a bat, and I guess it escalated from there."
Regarding his charge of racism, Padilla also told ESPN Desportes: "I believe he does have a bit of a problem with Hispanic players because it wasn't just against me when we were teammates."
Meeting with reporters before Sunday night's series finale at Fenway Park, Teixeira denied ever threatening Padilla with a bat and expressed amazement at the charge of racism. "That's just comedy," Teixeira said with a look of exasperation. "It's funny. I mean, it really is."
Reminded of the serious nature of the allegation, he said: "I ask you guys to interview every one of my Latin teammates in this clubhouse and ask them. That's why it's funny, because it's completely erroneous."
Teixeira said his differences with Padilla stemmed from the fact that he and former Rangers teammate Michael Young bore the brunt of retaliation because of Padilla's tactics. "I think the last straw in Texas was when Michael Young got hit and they showed [Padilla] laughing on the bench," Teixeira said. "[Padilla] got released that day. Michael Young is one of my best friends in baseball, so we obviously took exception every time that we get hit because of [Padilla's] actions. That's putting our season and our team in jeopardy."
Yankees teammates Robinson Cano and Freddy Garcia said they never have observed problems between Teixeira and his Latino teammates. "I judge guys by the way they are with me," said Cano, who greeted Teixeira with a playful chest bump on the way into the clubhouse. "I don't have any problem with him. He's one of the coolest guys on the team. Every day we're joking."
"Tex is a great guy," Garcia added. "Last year, I play with him and never had an issue. He's a really great guy, a good player, a family guy. I see he respects everybody."
Despite the two-run triple he allowed to Teixeira that erased a 7-6 Boston lead Friday night, Padilla told NESN.com and ESPN Desportes that he believes Teixeira is "scared to face me" because the reliever pitches inside. "
Told of that remark, Teixeira shrugged and said: "I guess women's boxing is pretty tough. I don't know if I could handle that."
As for whether the bad blood between the players might lead to a physical altercation, Teixeira vowed to avoid a brawl. "I'm not going to charge the mound because I don't want to get my teammates hurt," he said. "I've had too many teammates hurt in bench-clearing brawls. That would be selfish of me. So if [Padilla] wants to keep throwing at people, that's his prerogative.""
7/8/12, "Negro Leagues Museum hopes for All-Star boost," The Kansas City Star, newsok.com, K. BergenTweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon