Larry Lucchino

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Baseball is back in New England this week, as both the Boston Red Sox and the Pawtucket Red Sox begin their home seasons.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if Rhode Island state government can forge a new stadium deal to keep the PawSox in the Ocean State.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The debate over taxpayer subsidies for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox rages on. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that for those who want to keep the team, now is the time to stand up.  


Ian Donnis / RIPR

The sun is out, baseball bats are cracking, and Rhode Island is embroiled in another ballpark saga that appears headed to extra innings. In this game, Raimondo is going to have to come out of the bullpen with a strong closing performance, or a new field for the Pawtucket Red Sox isn’t likely.

Stormy times in DC, and no shortage of news at home, a.k.a. Crimetown. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Debate rages in Rhode Island over the Pawtucket Red Sox stadium issue. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this is a good time for all involved to take a deep breath.

Jared Vincent / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

As winter fades, New England’s summer passion returns. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay takes a break from politics to usher in the baseball season at Fenway Park and McCoy Stadium. 


Don Borman / RIPR File

  Baseball is back in New England. The Boston Red Sox open their home season this afternoon at Fenway Park and the team hopes to rebound after a last-place finish. Their top minor league club, the Pawtucket Red Sox, face some different challenges this season, says RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Bill Wanless / PawSox

Signs of spring are hard to find in Rhode Island. But Red Sox fans caught a glimpse of baseball season Wednesday.

The Red Sox spring training truck made a stop in Pawtucket before hitting the road to Ft. Meyers Florida. So-called “Truck Day” has become a tradition at Fenway, but this is the first time the truck has also stopped at McCoy Stadium, home to the Red Sox AAA team, the Pawtucket Red Sox.

PawSox spokesperson Bill Wanless called it a unique opportunity for local baseball fans.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The plan for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Providence has hit a roadblock. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses how this field of dreams turned into a nightmare.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien wants Governor Gina Raimondo to commission a feasibility study examining the cost of modernizing McCoy Stadium, so the figure can be weighed against the Providence stadium concept backed by the ownership of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

  Thank goodness for a new week. Could last week have been any worse for Boston sports?

Don Borman

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Monday he's hopeful an agreement will emerge in the near future for a plan to build a new PawSox stadium in downtown Providence.

"Since I don't have a finalized set of terms at this point, I can't predict," Mattiello said. "But in the near future. I would like to see something come out within the next few weeks, several weeks."

Mattiello said the intention is to arrive at an agreement for a revenue-neutral proposal and solicit feedback from the public.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Larry Lucchino's role in seeking a new Providence ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox "remains unchanged," a team spokeswoman said Saturday, even though Lucchino is winding down his impactful role as CEO of the Boston Red Sox.

"Larry's role remains unchanged with respect to the PawSox ownership group," Patti Doyle said via e-mail. "He remains focused on achieving a renegotiated agreement with the state on relocating the team to a new ballpark on lands within the I-195 District [area] in Providence."

When the PawSox owner, Ben Mondor, died in 2010, the future of the team was cast into doubt. A new ownership group took over the team earlier this year. Then, two months later, they unveiled their request for taxpayers’ help to build a new stadium on part of the former I-195 land in Providence. The team asked for 120 million dollars in state lease payments and a 30-year exemption from Providence property taxes. The proposal sparked a mostly negative reaction from the public.

Another day in Providence, another desultory meeting on the plan to move the Pawtucket Red Sox from McCoy Stadium to a new ballpark to be built on the capital city’s downtown waterfront.

Today’s meeting featured Pat O’Conner, president and CEO of Minor League Baseball, who spoke about the finances of minor league stadiums around the nation at a meeting with reporters, labor leaders and a small group of state lawmakers at the offices of the Locke Lord LLC law firm.

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