Wednesday, June 15, 2005


-- The Mets and Yankees both announced plans to build new baseball stadiums that will be open by the start of the 2009 season. Both teams will finance the entire cost of the stadium themselves - $600 million for the Mets and $800 million for the Yankees.


This IS highly significant for the Royals, since they are voracious feeders at the revenue sharing trough. All stadium construction costs, as specified in an obscure passage of the CBA, can be deducted from revenue sharing payments. According to the New York Times, this translates to a $260 million revenue sharing payment reduction for the Mets (the annual figure will depend on how long it takes the Mets to repay the bonds) and about a $350 million reduction for the Yankees. In effect, all other major league baseball teams will be subsidizing new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets.

However you may feel about the big, bad NYC teams having nearly half the costs of their shiny new stadiums paid by smaller market teams, this is clearly preferable to public financing of baseball stadiums. I think every team ultimately benefits from the construction of a new stadium anyway. MLB could incorporate a sliding scale of deductability based on local revenues to make the cost sharing more equitable, but in essence this is the way that all stadium projects should be financed.

Anyway, the Royals will undoubtedly take a pretty large financial hit from this development, as their share of revenue sharing dollars will fall.

-- What is wrong with Carlos Beltran? He's not living up to his handsome contract thus far and for the most part has been a mediocre center fielder. His plate discipline (20BB/42K) has eroded, he's not hitting for much power (7 HRs, .445 SLG%) and most surprisingly of all, he's only stolen ONE base (against 2 CS).

I don't think Beltran is a gifted enough hitter to be considered among the game's elite on that basis alone. He needs to use all of his tools to achieve elite status, and extraordinary base stealing skills are a big part of his value. I can understand that he's going through a protracted hitting slump, but I'm flummoxed that he's not stealing bases.

Maybe its the "pressure" of New York, maybe it a quad injury, and maybe he's just slumping and he'll snap out of it. I haven't read many calls for Beltran's blood as of yet, but I can't imagine Mets fans are going to stand for his lack of production for much longer.

-- Oh, yes, the Royals. Ho, hum, the Royals win again. Another well played victory last night - solid pitching, strong defense, and just enough offense. It was also a rare home run-only night, as Shane Costa celebrated his first big league dinger. They should give away KK's when all runs are scored on HRs, too. Maybe it won't last, but I'm simply astounded at how the demeanor and professionalism of this time has turned around since Buddy Bell arrived. Win or lose, they're playing with passion and discipline, and they're a much more enjoyable team to watch (and listen to).

Runelvys Hernandez is a mystery: he doesn't get many strikeouts and he doesn't have very good control (last night being the exception). But he does seem to have that intangible quality that's difficult to measure in performance analysis - he's a battler.

Ambiorix Burgos provided a glimpse of what he could be when he harnesses his control - his stuff is absolutely devastating. MacDougal is doing quite well in closing situations, in contrast to when he pitches in a tie game or when the Royals are behind. Maybe he just concentrates better when he's closing a game out.

Affeldt, on the other hand, despite a 1-2-3 7th continues to annoy me by walking the leadoff batter in the 8th. It's hard to me understand why other teams are so interested in him, but I'm all for moving this guy if they can get something decent in return.


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