Apparently, it’s Inter Miami fans who are going to foot the bill for Lionel Messi

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What, you thought Apple was going to pay for Lionel Messi’s deal? The other MLS owners? C’mon now, you know how this works.

Is Lionel Messi the best thing to happen to American soccer? | Agree to Disagree

Inter Miami fans got a slice of sticker shock when their season ticket renewals came yesterday. Which is the same thing as saying Michael Spinks got something of a pat from Mike Tyson way back when. Here’s your evidence:

Yes, Inter Miami is the place to be now, and there will certainly be enough scenesters who would gobble up these tickets if the fans who originally held them decline. And yes, Inter Miami is waiting to move into a new stadium they’re building, and currently play at DRV PNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, which would barely pass as a high school football stadium in Texas. Though the 21,000 capacity doesn’t really make it too much smaller than most MLS stadiums.

You really have to admire the tires on this club to charge more than most Premier League clubs, more than Real Madrid, more than Barcelona to watch MLS. Keep in mind that before Messi showed up, Inter Miami was absolute dog poo. Bottom of the East, nowhere near the playoffs. Thanks to Messi’s recent injury, they’ll almost certainly miss said playoffs.

Yes, they’ll be better next year with a full season of their maestro and whatever other signings they make. And yes, Messi is a cash cow for the whole league. That was the whole idea. But there are other ways to fund his contract and whatever else than by punishing the fans who sat through some absolutely dire stuff for the attendable parts of Inter Miami’s brief history. They scratched into the playoffs last year for the first time where they were promptly knocked on their ass in the first round.

Yes, it’s the greatest player of all time, and an increase was certainly due. Inter Miami games next year will only be slightly less of a hot ticket than they were this season. The club may say that fans could sell some of their games to fund the rest, though thanks to the official exchange the club gets some of that, too.

But the people who show up to most games were pretty far down the list of priorities for the Messi signing. The execs were top of mind. Then those who would sign up for the MLS package on Apple TV. Then mostly fans in opposing cities who would buy up every ticket when Inter came to town. Then the diehard Miami fans.

And really only every last drop in their accounts, not them as humans of course.

“Worst umpire in the league”

Angel Hernandez was at it again:

In this video, you can clearly hear Harper call Hernandez the worst umpire in the league, and he certainly would find a teammate who agrees. We do this multiple times per season with Hernandez, and yet nothing changes. He trots out there every year to blindly stab at what he thinks the strike zone is, whiff on calls on the bases, and then pick fights with any players that he feels like. It’s comforting to most of us that we can’t possibly be as bad at our jobs as Hernandez is at his (though I’m trying!), and yet utterly infuriating that he gets to keep said job.

At least it led to this adorable image:

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @felsgate.bsky.social

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