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Monday, March 30, 2015

The Rebirth Of Montreal In MLB = The Death Of The Rays?

Rob Manfred's remarks about a new baseball stadium in Montreal in concert with his denial of any effort to expand to 32 teams leads one to believe that the long strategy is as both a lever over the Rays and their apparently now-dead efforts to find a new stadium deal, and a possible escape clause. It would be highly ironic if the Rays did leave for Canada, because the Expos' former owner, the execrable Jeff Loria, ran them into the ground; after 2000, the team had no native TV contract. MLB engineered his purchase of the Marlins by purchasing the earthly remains of the Expos, relocating them Washington, D.C., in an unceremonious end to a brutal (67-95) 2004 season. If it does happen that way, both cities will have gotten far less than they deserved as a consequence of their "investments".

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time Warner's Big Hit

Comes a post from the New York Post about Time Warner taking a billion dollar hit to their bottom line thanks to the rapacious, unjustifiable contract for the Dodgers.
Sources told The Post that the market rate for the channel is more likely $3 per subscriber per month, meaning the charge will be almost $1 billion when adjusted over the life of the contract or in the region of $700 million in present-day terms.

“Comcast will be made whole,” said the source, suggesting this mess had to be cleaned up as a condition of Comcast’s proposed deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

“Unless the deal [to merge Time Warner and Comcast] closes, there will not be another [Dodgers] season shown outside of Time Warner Cable. I don’t believe they’ll get carriage,” a source told The Post.
I would even go so far as to suggest that, if the entity that bought the rights is independent, the Dodgers could end up on the wrong side of a bankruptcy. It's hard for me to imagine that Time Warner didn't protect their interests in this way, but dumber things have happened.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Subtraction By Addiction? Josh Hamilton To Face Disciplinary Hearing

We don't know why Josh Hamilton is in New York to face an MLB disciplinary hearing, but it sure sounds bad. If Ken Rosenthal's surmise that the charges are worse than PED use, it suggests he's fallen off the wagon again.

Update:  It appears the issue is a relapse with drugs (cocaine, at least) and/or alcohol. Bill Shaikin thinks it "unlikely" he would be treated as a first-time offender if this is the case.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Josh Hamilton Out 6-8 Weeks For Shoulder Surgery

Many thanks to Halos Heaven for pointing me at the story that Josh Hamilton will miss 6-8 weeks for shoulder surgery. Probably the best-case scenario for the Angels is retirement, as the Rev says. It sounds like side effects of arthritis, which at least rules out rotator cuff problems. But it also lowers our expectations from his ability when he does return, if he returns.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Temperature Rises: Dodgers In Talks To Sell Minority Share

The Times reported last week that the Dodgers are in talks to sell a minority share to a Korean partner, which I suppose should come as no surprise. This is a step one takes if one is starting to run low on cash, or otherwise wishes to diminish exposure to downside. Which is to say, the early ebullience of the Kasten era has given way to a more sober assessment of the likelihood the team's overarching flaw, its uncompleted TV deal. At this point, it seems to me, it's a question of when, not if, SportsNet LA will go into bankruptcy, and take the Dodgers with them.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dodgers Still "Very Concerned" Their Team Will Still Be Off The Air

It's hard to understand how anyone could be so thoroughly clueless that they thought this wouldn't be the outcome, but here we are in 2015, and the Dodgers still won't be on cable TV this year, report Bill Shaikin and Meg James.
"I'm very concerned," Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said Thursday, at the conclusion of baseball's owners' meetings.
The Federal Communications Commission has until March 30 — six days before the Dodgers' season opener — to approve or reject a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The FCC has delayed the proceedings twice and could do so again.
The other side of the table has some blunt words for the Dodgers' TV arm:
"Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers' front office owe fans the simple freedom to see Dodger games on TV without obligating every TV customer to bail out Time Warner for its reckless overspending," DirecTV said in a statement. Kasten declined to comment.
"Reckless overspending" is an understatement. We could be into 2016 before this goes away; the Dodgers have deep pockets. I still maintain a chain reaction bankruptcy is not impossible.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Starting 2015 With A "New" Blog And Administrivia

My overall inattention to this space led me to forget a promise from 2009, when I told the proprietor of Dodger Therapy that I'd give them a sidebar link. (I was archiving my old mail from 2014 when I looked into prior years' archives and found an old exchange that I had forgotten.) Unlike a bunch of bloggers from the end of the McCourt era, they're still around and active as ever. Give 'em a try.

A lot of sidebar links have bit the dust over the last month, though I still have hope that Matt Welch's old Warblog will one day be resurrected; still, with each passing day, I concede the likelihood of that diminishes.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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