BOB: Sick of Frank McCourt yet?by Brian Borawski
August 03, 2011
Lew Wolff speaks out on Frank McCourtOakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff spoke out over the weekend about how he thinks Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt should sell the team. He decided to come out once it was revealed that McCourt defended his taking money out of the team by saying Bud Selig did that same with MLB. Take this with a grain of salt because Wolff is Selig's fraternity brother at the University of Wisconsin. Of course, their close relationship hasn't helped speed up an A's move out of Oakland.
In other Dodgers Divorce news, McCourt wants to leave open the opportunity to sue his former law firm. Sets of contradictory post-nuptial agreements are basically what cost McCourt sole ownership of the team in his divorce. While an exact amount hasn't been determined, it looks like McCourt is going to seek a judgment of hundreds of millions of dollars. The law firm, Bingham McCutchen, has also sued McCourt for outstanding legal bills.
Marlins close to naming stadiumThe Florida Marlins are close to finalizing a naming rights deal for their ballpark that's set to open next year. The Marlins have apparently whittled the list down to two and they're expected to decide soon. Once that deal is sealed, the Marlins will choose their secondary sponsors to put their names on the four quadrants of the ballpark.
The new ballpark is going to open with a couple of preseason games between the Marlins and the New York Yankees. The games will take place on April 1 and April 2, so the crew finishing up the stadium now has a hard and fast deadline.
Winston-Salem stadium profileOne of Benjamin Hills' latest pieces is on the newer stadium in Winston-Salem. Home of the Dash, Winston-Salem's downtown BB&T Ballpark seats 5,500. While it's been considered a success since it opened, Hill talks about how things didn't get off to a rosy start. Because of budget overages and missed deadlines, the team was forced to play in its old home in 2009. The team admits that this public relations gaffe is still being felt.
Attendance updateFour months into the season, the Philadelphia Phillies still hold a slim lead over the New York Yankees. Of course the difference is that the Phillies are packing their fans in (104.7 percent of capacity) while the Yankees are running at just 88.7 percent. The only other team that averages more then 40,000 a game is the San Francisco Giants. The Minnesota Twins (just over two million) and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (just under two million) round out the top five in average attendance.
The Marlins, despite the prospects of their new ballpark, still sit at the bottom of the attendance standings. The only other team that's under the one million mark is the Tampa Bay Rays. The Oakland Athletics join those two teams as the only teams averaging fewer then 20,000 a game.
The New York Yankees lead everyone in road attendance with a little more than 34,000 fans per game. This is impressive considering they play so many games in smaller Fenway Park. The Giants are second and they're the top draw in the National League.
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.