Time for a recap of the owners meetings.
- The Astros will be in the American League West starting in 2013. Next up: Figuring out the details of the scheduling format. Despite the grousing from many about the change, a few columnists have written in favor of the move, including ESPN’s Jayson Stark and Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Newly approved owner Jim Crane was required to accept the move to the AL as a condition of his approval. Crane was unanimously approved.
- Stark also considers how another change, the addition of two more wild-card teams, could affect the annual playoff chase and divisional races.
- MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a five-year CBA. Ken Rosenthal reports that an announcement will occur on Monday.
- Larry Baer was approved as the “control person” representing the San Francisco Giants at future owners meetings. There may have been more recent instances of this, but one high-profile one I clearly remember is Paul Beeston when he became CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. Howard Lincoln also performs a similar duty on behalf of Nintendo for the Seattle Mariners.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers saga continues, with pre-screening for prospective bidders scheduled to begin soon. That’s a good thing, because as Forbes’ Mike Ozanian reports, the Dodgers are saddled with a whopping $555 million in debt. Another lawsuit has been filed by Frank McCourt against Fox for allegedly trying to “interfere with the sale of the Dodgers and their assets in bankruptcy.”
- Nothing on the A’s front, though there are murmurs of something happening in January. Maybe. The wait continues.
In other news…
- The outlook for the NBA is not good. Dwyane Wade and most of the players rank-and-file believe the 2011-12 season can be saved (as they should since they’re losing paychecks from here on out). Meanwhile, former players union executive director Charles Grantham joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in voicing their opinion that the players should have taken the last “50%” deal.
- NHL players are looking at what’s happening in the NBA very carefully, since hockey’s CBA will end next September.
- Starting Friday, the Florida Marlins will no longer exist. They will be known forevermore as the Miami Marlins.
- I haven’t posted much on the Minnesota Vikings’ stadium push, simply because it doesn’t seem to have any real momentum or money behind it. The team remains focused on the Arden Hills munitions site in suburban Ramsey County, whereas the City of Minneapolis has sites within city limits.
- CSN Bay Area’s Nick Rosano has an update on the San Jose Earthquakes’ stadium plans. A permit hearing should be held soon. I’ll attend it if I can.
- Santa Clara approved the $10 million expenditure for pre-construction work at the 49ers stadium site. $6 million will actually be loaned by the team.
- MLB is commissioning a study on the economic impact of Miller Park now that the ballpark is well-established and past its honeymoon period. The study will be done by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Institute for Survey and Policy Research. The same group did a study shortly after the opening of Miller Park which fell under heavy criticism. The study is due in the spring and could provide ammunition for either pro or anti-ballpark groups in San Jose (yes, I know that the anti-ballpark folks will trot out a Cato Institute study). Since the study is being commissioned by MLB, I expect it to be somewhat baseball-friendly, though not as much as the previous one.
- The Financial Times has a Moneyball article featuring both Billy Beane and Michael Lewis. It’s a good read and serves as a nice epilogue to the book and movie. There’s also a discussion of the article at AN.
- A new article by Carol Rosen of the Almaden Resident (a Silicon Valley Community Newspaper) examines the pro and anti San Jose ballpark factions and their stances.
That’s all for now.