Sports Shorts

* At least what Jeff Bezos did was just dumb and creepy. What New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is charged with–soliciting prostitution–is sleazy at best and a lot worse if a sex-trafficking connection is proven. “Spagate” makes “Spygate” and “Deflategate” look innocent. But, no, his Mar-a-Lago membership is likely not at risk.

* I saw a reference recently that Tropicana Field was now the eighth oldest stadium in Major League Baseball. It opened in 1990. (And debuted in 1998 as the Devil Rays home field.) I was transported back to 1990, when I was there for the grand opening of the “Florida Suncoast Dome.” In fact, I still have my souvenir “Tampa Bay Baseball Welcomes You!” card, because “build it and they will come” was still a motivator, notwithstanding MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth’s disavowal of such thinking.

My “Florida Suncoast Dome” card had a few baseball bullet points that seemingly “covered all the bases.” To wit:

            <“MAJOR LEAGUE COMMITMENT… 22,697 season ticket reservations sold in 30 days.”

            <“Unlimited political and corporate support coupled with a dedicated local ownership group.”

            <“MAJOR LEAGUE MARKET … The 13th largest media market in America. Florida’s number one metro in America’s 4th most populous state.”

            <“MAJOR LEAGUE FACILITY …  43,000-seat baseball showcase–The Florida Suncoast Dome.”

* Blindsided by injuries, the Philadelphia Flyers were forced into calling up touted rookie goalie Carter Hart, 20, before he was deemed ready. Hart, however, became an overnight sensation and fan favorite for his excellent, far-beyond-expectations play. Even national media picked up on the unexpected Hart success. Last week the Lightning caught Hart’s act in person in Philly. The Bolts scored three goals on nine first-period shots, and the Flyers removed Hart for the unforeseen, flawed performance. He left to a chorus of what-have-you-done-for-us-lately boos. It was a reminder: Yo, it’s still Philly.

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