BOB: Mets owner scores another win in courtby Brian Borawski
January 18, 2012
Bud Selig signs two year extensionWe thought Bud Selig's reign as commissioner of MLB would be over at the end of 2012, but depending on who believe, Selig either changed his mind to take care of some unfinished business or was coaxed into serving for another two years for the good of the league. If you carve out Selig's last five or six years, I guess you can defend the move, but you know the biggest reason Selig was being kept on is because he's one of the owners' best friends.
It also means we go an extra two years trying to determine who the next commissioner will be. At this point, by the time Selig is done, all of the old potential heirs will be retired, and we'll have a brand new plate of potential suitors for the job.
Mets owners win again in courtA federal judge said that Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of the Bernie Madoff scandal, can't immediately appeal the ruling that limits the amount that New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz will have to pay back because of their gains in Madoff's fund. At this point, the judge limited the amount the two owners would have to pay to $386 million while Picard was looking for $1 billion.
This is definitely good news for the two owners, but they still have to deal with their sinking ship in the New York Mets. Now they just need to turn this into a marketing campaign to try to draw those investors in the team to help right the ship.
Dodgers and Fox settle media rights disputeThe Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports settled their dispute that will now clear the way for Frank McCourt to sell the team. With the help of a court-appointed mediator, the two sides agreed that the Dodgers won't shop for a new television deal until after Fox's 45-day exclusive negotiating window expires after the end of the season. This wasn't a huge surprise because a judge basically said that this was how he was going to rule, which put the Dodgers' backs against the wall.
This agreement ultimately could decrease the amount McCourt will get from the sale because it creates some revenue uncertainty. New owners now would have to go in not knowing how much television money they'll be getting as early as the 2013 season.
Athletics' ballpark a priority for SeligI'm not sure why he choose after getting a two-year extension to announce this, but Selig said that one of his first orders of business is to resolve the Oakland Athletics stadium situation. Apparently, the special commission that has been examining the issue for well more than two years has issued its report, and while it looks like they had more important things to do at this past meeting, Selig said a resolution could be brought to the owners soon.
Of course, he still has the San Francisco Giants to contend with, and you wonder if this was one of the reasons Selig was given another two years. If the A's are going to move to San Jose, he has to get the Giants in line, and that's the kind of brokering that Selig has been good at.
One thing I didn't know was that the Giants' territorial rights can be overturned with a 75-percent vote, but that would create a bit of animosity amongst the ownership family. Of course, even if their rights are overturned, the Giants could still make things difficult by filing a lawsuit. With the Dodgers' and the Mets' situations causing problems, I think they want to avoid the courtroom on this one.
Cubs to add patio to right field bleachersThe Cubs are back to work on Wrigley Field and the latest project is a patio in the right-field bleacher section. The new Budweiser Patio will sport a 75-foot-long LED sign above the right field wall, and it can accommodate 150 fans. The Cubs are hoping to sell 50 ticket lots for the area, though at this point they haven't announced prices.
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.