Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sarasota Orioles/Ripken Academy Redux

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how the Baltimore Orioles appear to be striking out so far on a promise to Sarasota County for a Cal Ripken Jr. youth baseball academy. It was one of the key elements to a $31 million stadium package the team got for its spring training relocation in 2009.

This past weekend, Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Eric Ernst piled it on with a column criticizing county commissioners:
So where's our academy two years later? At best, heading to Charlotte County where the minor league Stone Crabs play. Note to the Charlotte County commissioners: Believe this one when you see it.

It turns out that all the talk about the synergy to be created between the Orioles and Sarasota County's youth was just that, too. Talk, albeit talk with a purpose, to distract the commissioners and the community from the shortcomings of a one-sided investment.

The talk never made it to the contract.
The Orioles maintain they are still in good position to land Ripken's facility in Sarasota, but they still haven't identified a way to pay for it.

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