BOB: Bud Selig speaksby Brian Borawski
April 25, 2012
Bud Selig speaks on Rays, Athletics stadiumsIn an interview last week, Commissioner Bud Selig said that the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays need new ballparks to compete. He went on to talk about how the Athletics/San Jose stadium situation has yet to be resolved and he while he was pretty vague, he said he's optimistic that there will be a resolution. He went on to bash the Oakland Coliseum and said the Athletics can't compete in a ballpark like that.
He had less details on the Rays situation, but that's a little stickier because they've been able to compete. Winning the arguably best division in baseball a few times makes them a top-notch organization but the way Selig talks, you'd think that's going to all go away in the blink of an eye if they don't get a new stadium.
Probably most disturbing were his comments on Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. His ending comment on that subject was, “nothing lasts forever.” He also said that Major League Baseball soon will announce the 2013 and 2014 All-Star Game sites officially, even though it's a horribly kept secret that 2013 will be at Citi Field and 2014 will be at Target Field.
Baseball still wants details on Dodgers saleSelig was also making noise about the upcoming Los Angeles Dodgers sale. MLB wants further details on the sale, but Selig said he doesn't want to try to block the sale (which he can't anyway).
It looks like the big issue is how much further involvement owner Frank McCourt will have with the team. It looks like McCourt is keeping some of the parking lots in a joint venture with the new prospective ownership group. There are also some concerns about the upcoming ownership structure, but this looks like MLB just wanting to get involved in the process.
At this point, it's hard to call this anything other than noise. Major League Baseball isn't going to like McCourt still being in the mix, but there's not a lot it can do about it short of a drastic measures.
MLB and MLBPA revise contract termsMajor League Baseball and the Players Association (MLBPA) agreed that teams and agents can no longer approve personal-service deals and special marketing payouts for specific milestones. A good example of a milestone deal was Albert Pujols' recent contract, under which he receives $3 million for getting his 3,000th hit and $7 million if he breaks Barry Bonds' home run record. Pujols also has a clause under which he has the option to take a 10 year, $10 million personal services contract with the team once he retires.
Alex Rodriguez', Pujols', and Ryan Zimmerman's recent contract extensions are all grandfathered in and those “special” provisions in their contracts will be upheld. Going forward, those “loopholes” won't be allowed.
Royals extend contract with NaturalsThe Kansas City Royals extended their player development contract through 2016 with their Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The four-year extension will continue a 17-year relationship between the club and the current ownership group, which has spanned two different locations. The Naturals were the Texas League champions in 2010.
Attendance updateEarly attendance numbers can be pretty erratic, but when it comes to breaking records, it's usually one of the more pivotal months for teams. As it stands, and considering the small sample size, the Philadelphia Phillies lead baseball with an average attendance of 45,448 tickets sold per game. That's over 3,000 more than the No. 2 New York Yankees with 42,210 per game. Most of the rest of the list is your usual top 10 with the exception of the Texas Rangers, who are currently fifth in attendance with a 40,270 average. Last year they finished 10th. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the best road attendance, with 39,979 per game.
The Cleveland Indians are at the bottom of the list with an 18,219 average, although they only have five home games to date. The Tampa Bay Rays are off to a better start, and they're 17th with 29,268 fans per game. In their new ballpark, the Miami Marlins are 15th with an average of 29,442.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.