BOB: Lew Wolff interview and moreby Brian Borawski
August 10, 2011
Lew Wolff speaks out on Athletic's stadium issueIn a great five part series, newballpark.org sits down for a chat with Lew Wolff, the owner of the Oakland Athletics. Rarely do you get this kind of insight into the mind of a baseball owner and this is one of the more personal and in depth interviews you'll see. Marine Layer splits the interview into five parts and they range from Wolff's history of working in Oakland to some of the more current issues, like the hopeful construction of Cisco Field.
Mariner Layer did a lot of work to get this up and he's asking for donations. In exchange, you get the complete interview (rather then the five pieces) in a variety of different formats.
The latest on Frank McCourtI didn't want to lead with Frank McCourt again, but that doesn't mean there isn't news out of Los Angeles. Jamie McCourt is rearing her head again; she's said that she's considering asking the divorce court to force a sale of Frank's asset which would include the Dodgers. This came out of the latest proceedings, where a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge will decide whether to reduce Frank's alimony payments to Jamie as well as whether he should pay for any of her attorney fees. The Judge also isn't going to rule on who owns the team anytime soon, so for now, we have to go with the status quo.
In other Dodgers news, the LA Times is reporting the Dodgers are going to lose an astounding $27 million this year because of their poor attendance. This is based on 2009 revenue and 8,000 fewer fans that are buying tickets to each game at Chavez Ravine this year. The 8,000 fewer fans per game is by far the highest drop in MLB, with the next closest being the Seattle Mariners, who are seeing 4,213 fewer tickets sold per game.
2012 All Star Game logo unveiledWith the 2011 All Star Game a distant memory, MLB, the Kansas City Royals and the city of Kansas City, Missouri unveiled the official logo last week for the 2012 All Star Game. Sporting Royal blue and metallic gold colors, the logo also sports the team's crown logo. The last time Kansas City got the All Star Game was way back in 1960, and they got it—in part—for renovating their ballpark over the past few years.
Upcoming elections could define Rays stadium debateAs of now, St. Petersburg's mayor, Bill Foster, and their city council have been unified in refusing to allow the Tampa Bay Rays to explore locations in Hillsborough County. Of course with politicians, you never know when the winds are going to change and then you see a changing of the guard. It looks like half of the city council seats are up for grabs and depending on how the upcoming elections fall out, you could find a further retrenched city council or one that's more open to negotiating with the team.
The big issue is the council can amend the city's contract with the team, which currently runs through 2027. Foster could veto any change, but the council could override that with a two-thirds vote. So I'm sure the Rays will be keeping a sharp eye on what happens this fall.
Decorative plates removed at Busch StadiumBusch Stadium is only five years old, but it's getting a minor face lift. With rusted anchor bolts and the heat to blame, a black decorative panel fell off the stadium. At 170 pounds, these panels can do some major damage, so they were removed. In all, 102 plates were removed and instead of putting in new panels, the plan is to paint the spaces and to cover them with trim. 70 plates that are closest to the freeway will stay in place because they're reinforced by means other then the bolts.
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.