BOB:  MLB looks at alliance with NCAA

MLB looks to team up with NCAA

Is this an unholy alliance or is it smart business? Major League Baseball the NCAA are looking at teaming up. If the deal goes through, MLB is going to pay for Division I baseball scholarships. In exchange, MLB will have more influence over college baseball.

The five key points of the partnership will include scholarships, ways to increase diversity, the calendar for the draft and College World Series, MLB involvement in summer leagues and wooden bats.

An agreement is probably more than a year away but the spin seems to be that more disadvantaged kids will look to baseball. MLB wouldn’t have a say in who gets the scholarships. It’s unclear where the money will come from. The goal is for MLB to provide each Division I team that meets certain criteria with an extra scholarship. It’s estimated that it’ll cost around $3 million, based on 150 schools possibly meeting the criteria.

Oakland businesses want A’s in Oakland

The heat continues as the Oakland Athletics stadium situation flounders. The latest news comes from a group of Oakland business leaders who say the Athletics should either stay in Oakland or sell the team to someone who keep it there. Clorox CEO Don Knauss took the lead and he said that he and his group will help the Athletics with a new home in Oakland and if they’re willing to play ball, there’s a group of investors who would buy the team and keep them there.

For now, everything is in a standstill. The San Francisco Giants are still saying they won’t give up their rights in San Jose so that’s blocking a move there. It doesn’t seem like MLB has a solution because the A’s stadium situation isn’t even on the agenda in the May owner’s meeting. Throw in the fact that Athletic’s owner Lew Wolff says that the team isn’t for sale and you have the big game of chicken that we have.

New Dodgers ownership group gets feel for team

The new ownership group for the Los Angeles Dodgers hit the ground running last week and new President Stan Kasten took the time to chat with fans and employees to find out what their gripes are. Kasten isn’t new to roaming around the ballpark; he’s made it a staple at all of the professional sports teams that’s he’s helped run.

This time, it’s a little bit sweeter for Kasten, because now he’s not just in the front office, but he’s also an owner. He’s also the “baseball” guy in the group and it’s his job to make sure everything is running smoothly. There’s no better way to make sure that’s happening then to ask the troops.

MiLB sees box office gains in 2012

Minor League Baseball averaged 3,752 tickets sold per game in April this year, an 11.2 percent increase over a solid 2011. That’s a total of 6,401,632 tickets sold, the second most since 2008’s 6.7 million. That was the year Minor League Baseball set its attendance record of 43.2 million tickets sold.

At the top of the attendance heap are the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who were the top draw last year. The Round Rock Express were in second place. Now the teams are turning to May where attendance can still be challenging. Weather doesn’t always cooperate and school isn’t out yet but the teams that can make these earlier months work are the teams that usually end up as the attendance leaders.

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  1. Paul G. said...

    Hmm.  I wonder if the MLB is trying to turn the NCAA into a sort of pseudo minor league.  Yes, I can see the MLB simply trying to develop more minority players and introduce wooden bats, which would help develop and rate prospects.  On the other hand, its those little things that started the transition of the minor leagues from independent competitors to dedicated farm systems, so I’m not sure what to make of this.  The NCAA is quite corruptable when it comes to money.

  2. Jim C said...

    I don’t understand why the NFL hasn’t worked out some kind of deal, particularly regarding stadium construction, with the NCAA. The Vikings need a stadium and the U of Minnesota just built a beautiful stadium. What kind of fabulous crowds would come to a new stadium in L. A., if it was shared by an NFL team, USC, and UCLA? Yes, I know it’s off topic.

  3. eric errickson said...

    It would be difficult for me to imagine two more bureaucratic organizations.  The idea that they could agree on even a meeting date seems far fetched. Deadlines must be tough for you.  Have they changed your meds. The $20,000 or so might be a start on the bat change idea.  Will look forward to future developments……not.

  4. Nat Pastime said...

    If the MLB can get wooden bats back on the college diamond, that’s a positive development.  Next step is to outlaw the DH throughout professional baseball as well as the NCAA. Only then can harmony be restored and organized baseball walk once more in beauty.

  5. BonusGeek said...

    First time I’ve read about this. I gotta say that it’s very interesting to think about. The part that stands out in my mind it the possibility of wooden bats at the college level. As a fantasy baseball nerd having NCAA players using wooden bats means their stats are far more usable for projecting and determining a players skill set much earlier than ever before.

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