All Baseball – – Most Of It Off The Field

As someone with no rooting interest in the World Series, I am happy that the Astros rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win last night.  Given that the teams will get today off to travel to Houston for Game 6, that gives me an unencumbered viewing of Monday Night Football tonight and then an uninterrupted view of Game 6 tomorrow night – – and perhaps Game 7 on Wednesday.  The batteries in my remote got a serious workout last night as I tried to follow two events in real time.  [Yes, I had the Cowboys/Vikes game recording so I could go back and get some of the things I did miss there.]

In a story related to baseball, those fun-loving folks at PETA – I like to think of it as People Eating Tasty Animals – have jumped on the seemingly endless trend these days to take offense at the name of something.  Last week PETA publicly called on MLB to change the term, “bullpen” to “arm barn”.  Here is the meat of their statement:

“Words matter and baseball’s ‘bullpens’ devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals.  PETA encourages Major League Baseball coaches, announcers, players and fans to change up their language and embrace the ‘arm barn’ instead.”

The folks at PETA must believe in the adage that any publicity is good publicity because this symbolic nonsense comes on the heels of a call from PETA earlier this year for the folks in Cleveland to add a “vegan hot dog” to the “contestants” in the “hot dog races” that take place between innings at games at Progressive Field there.

Dwight Perry reacted to this call from PETA in the Seattle Times over the weekend:

“PETA wants baseball to stop using the term ‘bullpen,’ saying it is a holding place for cattle about to be butchered and no place for pitchers.

“But still passing muster, for now: ducks on the pond, dying quail, gopher ball and dog days of summer.”

And, if I may add to Perry’s list, when a pitcher enters the game from the “arm barn” he will immediately have to deal with an opposing player who is using a BAT!  In deference to those flying mammals, should we call that a bludgeon and the player a bludgeoner?

Enough already…

In somewhat positive news related to baseball, there have been reports saying that there is progress in the negotiations between the Oakland A’s and the local governments in and around Oakland that could lead to the A’s remining in Oakland with a new place to play their games.  It is not a “done deal” but reports call the latest happening “clearing a major hurdle”.  Here is the deal:

  • The Alameda County Board of Supervisors – – Oakland is in Alameda County – – approved a “non-binding resolution to commit tax dollars to the $12 billion Howard Terminal project.”

The “Howard Terminal project” is a major development proposition which would build a baseball-only stadium at a waterfront property in Oakland.  In addition to the stadium, the project includes the building of:

  • 3,000 residential units
  • 1.8 million square feet of space for commercial use
  • A hotel

The owners of the A’s want to do the development and to recover some of the costs “through tax revenue”.  It is not totally clear what that means or how that might work but this move by the County Board of Supervisors comes on the heels of a previous commitment by the Oakland City Council – – in another “non-binding resolution” – – to allow the team to recover through tax funds the stadium-related infrastructure but would not allow about $350M in revenue recapture for infrastructure in the rest of the development area.

So, here is the way I understand the situation:

  • There is still negotiating to be done and the votes by both governing bodies to date is merely a signal to all the parties to keep at the negotiating.
  • I guess the idea of cost recovery through tax revenue means that the developers would get either a tax rebate or reduced taxes on revenues generated via the project up to a certain amount.
  • If that assumption is close to correct, then it would appear that there might be two tax rebate “bundles” from which the developers might draw – – the one approved by the City and another approved recently by the County.

I must say that I do not understand how the passage of two non-binding resolutions is categorized as clearing a major hurdle for this development project – – although I guess it would have been a major buzzkill if either or both bodies had voted against these non-binding resolutions.  Obviously, the Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, sees the County Board’s vote in a much rosier light than I do saying that the Board of Supervisor’s action:

“…paves a clear path to keep the A’s rooted in Oakland and build a world-class waterfront ballpark district that will benefit Bay Area residents for generations to come.”

As Yogi Berra was reported to have said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

Finally, since I cited Dwight Perry above, here is another of his observations from the Seattle Times:

“The Mets have reportedly turned to Chris Christie — the former New Jersey governor — for advice in their ill-fated search for a general manager.

“When asked what advice he could possibly offer, a Mets spokesman said they’ll close that bridge when they come to it.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



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