Maneuverings in Florida
The Tampa Bay Rays (no longer Devils) are getting ready to unveil their waterfront stadium proposal, and "the Rays might contribute as much as $150 million -- to cover one-third of the costs..." This is just the first stage in what will surely be a long, difficult series of negotiations, as area taxpayers are likely to be skeptical at junking a stadium that has been in use (in its intended baseball setup) for only a decade. Al Lang Field is prime real estate, and somebody is likely to make out like a bandit unless the deal is done right. See MLB.com.
Further south, the Marlins are exploring the possibility of playing some games in San Juan, Puerto Rico next year. See MLB.com. Just like the former Montreal Expos -- not a very auspicious precedent... Could this be a negotiating gambit to put pressure on government officials to cough up more money to build the Marlins' future stadium at the Orange Bowl?
November news roundup
Alex Rodriguez won the American League MVP award, to no one's surprise. On the National League side, Jimmy Rollins was named MVP, making it two years in a row that a Phillies player grabbed that honor. (Last year it was Ryan Howard.) Rollins edged Matt Holliday by a thin margin in the vote tabulation, 353 to 336 points. Toward the end of the season, Philadelphia fans held up "Rollins for MVP" banners, and he played a big role in the Phillies' surprising NL East title. Rollins set a record for most number of runs by a National League shortstop (380, breaking Ernie Banks' old record), and he was one of only three National League players to have started in all 162 games during the regular season; the other two were Ryan Zimmerman (Washington) and Jeff Francoeur (Atlanta). See MLB.com.
Mariano Rivera will stay with the Yankees, who need his services desperately, and Mike Lowell will stay with the Red Sox. Stability in team rosters is good, if you ask me.
Soccer at RFK on TV
I enjoyed watching the Major League Soccer championship game at RFK Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and it is strange to think that no more baseball will be played there. The Houston Dynamo defeated the New England Revolution in the title match for the second year in a row. See mlsnet.com. Those Boston-area fans have been getting spoiled, with the Red Sox, the NFL Patriots, Boston College, and the Boston Celtics all dominating their respective sports.