Monday, September 13, 2010

Yankees - Over the Hill and Too Slow?

After coming off a sweep by Texas, more questions than answers are raised about this Yankee team.  The age of this Yankee team has to come in question.  Batting averages have plummeted this season.  For the first time, Jeter looks lost at the plate.  Though A-Rod and Tex have the power numbers, their averages are mediocre at best.  Swish and Gardner are now both under .300 and Cano has taken a nose dive as well.  Curtis has been a disappointment, especially with the way Austin Jackson is playing.  Girardi is going to have to make some tough decisions soon.  His moves cannot be based on contracts.  They need to be made on merit.  AJ is a great example of that.  His contract cannot guarantee him a start in the post-season.  Only his performance can do that.  CC and Andy will be the keys to this post-season, but even it they pitch above their ability, the lack of hitting will end their season early.  The Yankees had better wake up, and soon, or the next time they will be them watching the playoffs...from their homes.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yankee Stadium parking stalls out after developer shows signs that it may default on bonds

Yankee Stadium parking stalls out after developer shows signs that it may default on bonds

Friday, September 10th 2010, 4:00 AM
Fans are finding cheaper ways to get to Yankee Stadium besides driving.
Fans are finding cheaper ways to get to Yankee Stadium besides driving.

The developer of the Yankee stadium parking system is on the verge of defaulting on $237 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by the city's Industrial Development Agency.
So many fans are shunning the network of 9,000 stadium parking spaces that revenue for the first half of 2010 was only $4.8 million - half of what was projected - according to a stunning financial disclosure by Bronx Parking Development.
The firm, which is independent of the Yankees and has existed for only three years, warned bondholders in an Aug. 18 letter that it currently has "insufficient funds" from operations to pay a $6.8 million interest bill due Oct. 1, and another $6.8 million due next April. And despite an additional $100 million in city and state grants it received on top of IDA bonds, Bronx Parking has failed for three years to pay its annual rent tab of $3.2 million to the city. It also has yet to pay any property taxes for the 21 acres of publicly owned land it is leasing to operate the parking system.
So why have these garages been such a fiasco? After all, the Yankees won a championship their first year in the new stadium and the team is currently exceeding its own revenue projections.
According to Bronx Parking, the garages have suffered from several unforseen problems:
  • More than 800 fans are heading on game days to the Gateway Shopping Mall five blocks from the stadium, where they pay only $10 to park instead of the stiff $23 self-parking fee ($35 for valet service) at the stadium garages.
  • A new Metro North station has lured many fans (about 5,000 per game) to ride the train.
  • The Yankees prepaid for only 190 parking spaces this year for their season ticket holders instead of the 900 spaces they prepaid last year.
The firm's announcement sparked an immediate drop in the trading value of its bonds. It also sent city officials scurrying to come up with a solution to what could be the biggest default of an IDA bond that anyone can remember.
"If these garages are only at 60% of capacity after a World Series victory, you know it can only get worse from here," said one city official with direct knowledge of the project's finances. "There's just too much unused parking around the stadium."
The Bloomberg administration selected Bronx Parking in 2007 to build and run the garages after the Yankees demanded a minimum of 9,000 spaces to stay in the Bronx. The firm is subsidiary of a Hudson County nonprofit, Community Initiatives Development Corp. The parent firm defaulted on two previous bonds for projects in Syracuse and Monroe County. The firm's chief executive, William Loewenstein, did not return calls for comment. A spokesperson for the Yankees declined to talk about the garage problems.
The only way Bronx Parking will be able to meet its next two interest payments, the firm said in its letters to bondholders, is by drawing $4.5 million from a bond reserve fund. That would push the fund below its legally required level and trigger a time clock on a possible default.
One thing Yankee fans can be sure of: parking rates at the stadium will rise sharply next year.
Even with that increase, Bronx Parking does not expect to generate enough money to replenish the reserve fund, and that would mean "an event of default," its letter to bondholders said.
"The bonds are not a general obligation of the city or the IDA in any way, shape or form," said David Lombino, a spokesman for city's Economic Development Corp., and would not "necessarily affect IDA-issued bonds going forward."
Experts familiar with the stadium project are not so optimistic.
"If these bonds default, it will spook investors against any other IDA," said one lawyer involved in negotiations on the original deal.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey Baseball fans! Check out the new Bill Jenkinson website!

Check out:

Bill Jenkinson is one of the country’s most respected and trusted baseball historians. He has served as either official or de facto consultant for The Baseball Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball, The Society for American Baseball Research, The Babe Ruth Museum and ESPN. He has been quoted in nearly every major American newspaper as well as Time Magazine, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. Jenkinson is a career investigator, who has been trained to separate fact from fiction. Since 1979, he has blended his vocation with his avocation, and has researched aspects of sports history in a singularly comprehensive manner. Jenkinson has personally interviewed almost every top slugger, including Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. along with many others. He has also studied the careers of every power hitter in Major League history.

Jenkinson has written articles for various Major League teams including the Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies and Reds. He has also written several pieces for the nationally distributed Sports Weekly. In 1997, when SABR published the Home Run Encyclopedia, they arranged for Jenkinson to write a special chapter on the history of long distance home runs. He has given countless radio and television interviews including an ESPN appearance when that network produced a show about “tape measure homers”. A Japanese network also sent a crew to his home, when filming a documentary about Babe Ruth.

Whenever someone needs information about Ruth, they usually wind up at Bill Jenkinson’s doorstep. With the publication of his book about The Babe in 2007 that process accelerated. Titled: The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, this compelling chronicle received exceptionally positive reviews from all sources. He is regarded "the Babe Ruth of Babe Ruth historians."

Bill has given a long series of interviews and public speaking engagements with audiences from coast to coast. Among many other appearances, he was honored to give the eulogy at the Babe Ruth's 60th Anniversary Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, in 2008, as well the official speech for Babe's recent induction into the World's Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Jenkinson’s new book, BASEBALL’S ULTIMATE POWER, was published by Globe Pequot Press in the Spring of 2010. It tells the fascinating story of epic power-hitting throughout the history of baseball, and discusses every great slugger on an individual basis. Among baseball historians, only Bill Jenkinson is qualified to address this topic in definitive fashion.
Born in Philadelphia in 1947, Bill lives with his wife Marie in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. They have four children and four grand children. Besides researching and writing baseball history, Jenkinson enjoys reading, the arts, travel, playing sports and all other fields of history