BOB: Citi Field’s new lookby Brian Borawski
November 02, 2011
Mets' to change outfield fencesI'm not an expert on park factors, but from what it looks like, Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets is a pitchers' park. The Mets are trying to fix this by both pulling in the fences and shortening some of the walls. The left field wall, which tops out at 16 feet, is going to be shortened to eight feet, and both alleys are going to see shorter fences. Projections show that if the fences would have been where they plan to put them, 151 more balls would have left the park in the last three years.
One side effect of the change is the ballpark is going to have about 140 more seats. While this wasn't the primary reason (they were hardly playing to capacity crowds in 2011), it's not a bad thing either.
Frank McCourt could be close to selling DodgersWhile I always hate to liken real world situations to crimes, I'm sure Los Angeles Dodgers fans feel like they've been held hostage by Frank McCourt for some time. Now there's light at the end of the tunnel because rumors have come out that he and MLB may be close to an agreement in bankrupcty court where McCourt would sell the team.
McCourt would have some control over the sale and speculation is that with Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots, the final sales price could be over one billion dollars.
In other Dodgers news, Fox Sports is now also suing McCourt because of his proposed auction of the television rights for the team. Fox is claiming that they have first dibs at the television rights, and if an auction went forward and Fox didn't win, it probably would mean the combination of two of their regional sports networks into one.
San Jose looks to sell ballpark land to Athletics at steep discountWhen it comes to major league ballparks, you have subsidies and then you have those things that can be disguised but are still subsidies. In order to entice the Oakland Athletics to relocate to San Jose, the city is willing to sell them five acres of downtown land for $6.9 million. That's about a quarter of what the city paid for the land and about half the current market value.
Of course, the city is banking on the team building its ballpark and spurring the local economy, but we've also seen in the past that these economic bursts aren't all they're cracked up to be.
For now, it looks like the A's will buy an option on the land and won't exercise the option until MLB signs off on the move. Ironically, there's still some land that needs to be picked up to complete the ballpark site, and most of it is owned by AT&T. Of course, AT&T has the naming rights for the San Francisco Giants, who are ultimately going to have to be bought off if an A's move to San Jose is going to happen.
2011 World Series game seven most watched game in yearsYou have to love Game Sevens. This year's final showdown between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals was the most watched World Series game since 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series. It was also the highest rated Friday night telecast on any network since the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Tigers extend PDC with Toledo Mud HensThe Detroit Tigers and their Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, extended their player development contract for another four years. The current deal was set to expire in 2012, but the new extension means the team will be under the Tigers through 2016. The Mud Hens have been a Tigers affiliate continuously since 1987, and they were also a Tigers affiliates from 1949 through 1951 and from 1967 through 1973.
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.