BOB:  Mostly minors

Yankees hit with luxury tax again

The Yankees had to pony up $18 million in luxury taxes because of their top flight payroll. The Yankees have been the perennial contributor to the pool and while $18 million is the lowest number the Yankees have paid in since 2003, it’s still larger then any other team has paid in a given season. The only other team that was hit with the tax this year was the Boston Red Sox. Boston’s share of the tax was $1.5 million and it’s the first time it’s paid in since 2007.

Carolina Mudcats set to move

The Cincinnati Reds Double-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, will be playing in Zebulon, N.C., for only one more season. After 2011, the team is going to move to a new mixed use facility in Pensacola, Fla. The Mudcats ownership formerly owned an independent-league team in Pensacola, but sold the team to make way for the move.

Zebulon won’t be without baseball. Beginning in 2012, It will host the now Kinston Indians, which will be relocating to Five County Stadium in the year following the Mudcats move.

Former Portland Beavers sale closes

The ownership group led by San Diego Padres vice chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad closed the purchase of the former Portland Beavers. The Beavers were basically forced out of town to make room for an all-soccer stadium and they’ll be playing in Tucson, Ariz., for the foreseeable future. The hope is to build a new ballpark in Escondido, Calif., to provide the team a permanent home. There is an option with Tucson for 2012 in the event the new ballpark isn’t finished.

Behind the logos

Ben Hill’s latest is on Studio Simon, one of the big logo designers for Minor League Baseball teams. Once again, Hill hits a home run with a look within a niche industry that hasn’t gotten a lot of exposure. Studio Simon lives by one major rule and that’s bold simplicity. Studio Simon has helped with the new logos for the Lake County Captains, Kinston Indians, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Round Rock Express and also designed the logo for the wintermMeetings.

The bulk of the story involves Dan Simon, the owner of the Studio Simon, and how he created the company. He talks about how he set out to be a sports designer but not necessarily one of the leaders in Minor League Baseball, but that’s the niche that he eventually developed.

Rays stadium rhetoric begins anew

After a short hiatus, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Steinberg was back at it stumping for a new stadium for his team. He talked recently after helping build a new playground near downtown St. Petersburg, where he opined that he was optimistic about the Rays getting help with a new ballpark. He talks about how he’s beginning to see businesses rallying to his cause where that didn’t happen the last time the team pushed for a new stadium back in 2007-8.

MLB strikes back against Anheuser-Busch

Last month, I talked about how Anheuser-Busch was suing MLB for backing away from a sponsorship deal with the brewer. Now MLB has fired back and said there was no enforceable contract, just a non-binding letter of intent. d signed a big deal with the NFL.

MLB is also accusing Anheuser-Busch of trying to bully the league by moving forward with the lawsuit. Anheuser-Busch appears to be dead set on pushing the lawsuit for now. It’s unclear whether this will be cleared up by the time the season starts.

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Steven Booth
Steven Booth

Interesting about a team in Escondido. I think North San Diego County can handle a team- The Single A team in Lake Elsinore does pretty well. It’s funny about Mooroad though. He didn’t even attempt to re-sign Adrian Gonzales, although he’s a fan favorite and grew up in the area, but seems more than happy to dump his money into a new park in Escondido.