BOB:  Attendance details and another GM vacancy

A look at the final attendance numbers

For the previous two seasons, I did a stand alone column on the attendance figures, breaking down who did what and which records were broken. Instead of doing that this year, I’ll send you to what Maury Brown put together since he beat me to the punch. There’s no sense in doing a complete rehash since Maury did a nice job.

Devil Rays to announce new name and logo next month

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will be the Devil Rays no longer. On November 8, the team plans on unveiling a new name, logo and uniforms. The speculation is that the team will shorten the name to just “Rays” but they’re turning it into a major event that includes a fashion show revealing the new uniforms as well as fireworks. Rays manager Joe Maddon will be on hand as well as former Devil Rays Wade Boggs, Fred McGriff and Dave Martinez.

Walt Jocketty and Cardinals part ways

In a somewhat shocking move, the St. Louis Cardinals announced last week that Walt Jocketty will no longer be the team’s general manager. This is just one year removed from the Cardinals winning the World Series in 2006. In the meantime, assistant general manager John Mozeliak will take over as the interim general manager. It’s also unclear whether manager Tony LaRussa will be back or not. Principal owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said that the tension between Jocketty and the team just became too much. Last season, the Cardinals made Jeff Luhnow the person in charge of both the team’s scouting and player development, and it came at the expense of one of Jocketty’s closest aides, Bruce Manno.

It’ll be interesting to see both who gets the Cardinals job and where Jocketty ends up. The Cardinals have said that Mozeliak is a candidate if he’d like to be but the fact that they didn’t give him the job outright leads me to believe the Cardinals have others in mind.

MLB closes revenue gap with NFL

The final numbers haven’t been determined, but MLB expects its final 2007 revenue to come in somewhere between $5.6 billion and $5.8 billion. While that still is less than the $6.3 billion that the NFL is expected to make, MLB is closing the gap and commissioner Bud Selig has said that he expects MLB to one day surpass the NFL in overall revenues.

For those of you who have read The Numbers Game by Alan Schwarz, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that MLB has made major strides with the development of MLB.com; the league recently announced that traffic at the site was at an all-time high. The pot is going to get even bigger in 2009 when MLB’s television network goes online. You wonder if that’s the year MLB actually passes the NFL.

Mark Cuban reiterates interest in buying the Cubs

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban once again has expressed his interest in purchasing the Chicago Cubs from current owner the Tribune Company. He recently talked on a radio show about how he recently attended a Cubs game and sat in the bleachers and that’s where he’d sit if he bought the team. The Cubs are up for sale ever since local real estate developer Sam Zell purchased the Tribune Company because Zell owns a stake in the Chicago White Sox.

Ratings for Game One of Division Series up from last year

While the league has been mum so far on how the overall ratings panned out for the Divison Series as a whole, they did make a deal about how the ratings for the first day of the ALDS and NLDS were up from last year. In all, 4.54 million viewers on average caught the triple header last Wednesday, a touch better than the 4.48 million that tuned in last year.

The most-watched game was the prime time game (if you’re on the east coast) that had the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim going up against the Boston Red Sox. That game garnered a 4.3 rating with 5.46 million people tuning in.

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