BOB: Giants front office butterfly effectby Brian Borawski
September 21, 2011
Giants front office change shouldn't affect stadium huntSan Francisco Giants' CEO Bill Neukom is retiring at the end of the year and his heir apparent has already been named—Larry Baer. When the news first broke, there was speculation that Baer might be more lenient in allowing the Oakland Athletics to move to San Jose but he put those rumors to rest last week when he said there is no change in the team's stance. For now, the Giants are going to hold pat and resist the Athletics move into their territory.
Athletics owner Lew Wolff has once again stated that the team's fate is in the hands of Major League Baseball. The blue-ribbon panel that was appointed to investigate the A's stadium issue has yet to come to a decision after more then two and a half years. The Giants were awarded the rights to that area back in 1993 when they were looking to build their ballpark.
Frank McCourt asks court about television rightsLast week, the Los Angeles Dodgers and its owner Frank McCourt asked the bankruptcy court for permission to sell the team's television rights. It was television rights that basically forced Frank McCourt's hands when MLB shot down a deal with Fox and now it's looking like this key point will be decided in an October 12, 2011 hearing.
The Dodgers asked for a 45-day exclusive negotiating window with Fox, and if they can't come to a deal they'll most likely turn to an auction. McCourt says once the television rights are sold, it'll allow the team to come out of bankruptcy protection and pay all its creditors.
Minor League Baseball draws again in 2011Minor League Baseball saw a slight increase in their attendance compared to 2011. The total draw was 41,252,053 and the 4,029 per game total is a little less then one percent more then last year's number. Total attendance was a little less then last year's 41,428,143 tickets sold per game. 16 different teams set attendance records as did the Florida State League. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs led all minor league teams with a 628,925 total draw and 9,249 per game.
Mets ownership prospect buys stake in YankeesRay Bartoszek, an oil trader and life-long New York Mets fan, was close to buying a stake in his favorite team until the Mets decided to go with David Einhorn. That deal fell through but instead of Bartoszek buying a stake in the team after the fact, he decided to go across town and buy a stake in the New York Yankees. It wasn't made public how large his stake is but he joins about 30 other limited partners with the Yankees.
Bartoszek had some nice things to say about smooth the process went with the Yankees. This is in contrast to how he felt he was put out as a bargaining chip by the Mets in order to get Einhorn to up the ante.
Detroit turns down offer by Chevrolet to maintain Tiger Stadium siteThis gets more and more baffling. Despite getting several offers to maintain Tiger Stadium, the old home of the Detroit Tigers, the city ultimately decided to tear it down. Now an empty lot with the old flag pole remains with little interest in a development there. Chevrolet put in a bid to maintain the ballpark but George Jackson, the president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., turned down the request because the city is holding out hope someone will develop the site. Apparently they're talking to Whole Foods and Meijer but you'd think they'd find another place for them. Of course after years of promises, I'll believe it all when I see it.
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.