Archive - May 2016

  1. Column: Firing Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez FutileMay 26, 2016

    Baseball fans love to complain about their team’s manager, as if he is solely responsible for the success or failure of the team. Sometimes team management acts like the average fan, firing a manager when the move will have no effect on the success of the team. Such was the case with the recent firing of Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez after the team got off to a woeful 9-28 start to the season. The Braves had made it clear to everyone that they had no intention of competing in the National League East this year. Rather than spending money on proven Major League players when the team had virtually no chance to win the division, the Braves essentially conceded the season before it ever began. They traded away every frontline player save one, first baseman Freddie Freeman. Their goal was simple: Allow young players to gain experience in the Majors now and hope to be competitive next year when the team moves into a new stadium in suburban Atlanta.

  2. Column: MLB's PEDs Policy A ConundrumMay 19, 2016

    The 80-game suspension of Miami Marlins’ second baseman Dee Gordon for violating MLB’s drug policy may have set the stage for a discussion about the purpose of penalties: Deterrence or punishment? Like every other athlete who has ever tested positive Gordon issued the obligatory apology, saying he had no clue why the test results were positive and he had never knowingly ingested a tainted substance. Maybe he’s right, or maybe he’s lying. We may never know. There are so many chemicals in the food we eat and who-knows-what in the supplements most athletes consume that it’s possible, although highly unlikely given the substances found in Gordon’s sample, that he’s telling the truth. But here are four takeaways from Gordon’s suspension that we know to be absolutely true.

  3. Column: Marlins Suing Season Ticket HolderMay 12, 2016

    Angry sports fans may have found a lawsuit they can rally around. The Miami Marlins are suing a season ticket holder for failing to pay for tickets he didn’t receive. The fan’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the suit and claims “the team reneged on everything” it promised. Until the revenue from media rights fees skyrocketed, season tickets were the lifeblood of sports teams. And Mickey Axelband was a sports team’s dream. He had been a Marlins season ticket holder since the team’s first game in 1993. In 2011 he agreed to purchase two season tickets for 2012 and 2013. Axelband paid a total of $24,300 for the first year but after the team allegedly reneged on its promise to provide him certain benefits – e.g., seats in a special lounge - he stopped attending games and refused to pay for the second year of his contract. The Marlins elected to sue.

  4. Column: Deflategate Keeps On HissingMay 5, 2016

    If you feel like you’ve overdosed on Deflategate, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans feel just like you and millions more may join your group before the case hisses its way to a final conclusion. The case that seemingly won’t end has completed its latest chapter. Last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reinstate Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for tampering with the air pressure in footballs. Brady was initially suspended by an NFL hearing officer for allegedly tampering with the footballs used in the Patriots’ AFC Championship game rout of the Indianapolis Colts in January of 2015.