Business of Baseball Reportby Brian Borawski
September 07, 2006
San Jose No Longer an Option for A’s
Last week, Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff announced that the team is no longer considering San Jose as a viable relocation option for the team. In order to move the team to San Jose, baseball’s territorial rules would have had to be modified, and while Wolff proclaimed that he attempted to do just that for three years, he’s now saying that’s he’s given up. There was some speculation that he attempted to buy out the Giants to get around the territorial rules, but it appears that if Wolff tried this, he wasn’t successful.
With San Jose off the table, it appears more likely that Fremont, California will land the team. Wolff is working with Cisco Systems to acquire a piece of land in Fremont that would be used for a new stadium, but to date, no agreement has been reached.
New York Times columnist Murray Chass gave everyone an update on the current negotiations between the players union and MLB with regard to the expiring collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in his Tuesday column. Chass seemed optimistic that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement without a strike, which was something that was unheard of before the latest incarnation of the CBA was agreed upon in 2002.
He notes that the two sides aren’t even close to coming to a signing an agreement yet, and that the big issue, as I’ve been talking about for some time, will be revenue sharing. The small market clubs want a bigger share of the pie and the big market clubs are annoyed that the small market clubs aren’t using the money to further their payroll. He also talks about how draft pick compensation for free agent signings will also be dropped, which was something I touched on last week.
How to Score Dodgers Playoff Tickets
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to lead the National League in attendance for a third consecutive year this season, and with the team leading the way in the National League West, residents are looking for playoff tickets. Season ticket holders get first crack at the playoffs before tickets are sold to the general public, but some people have found a middle ground. For $99.95, you can join the Dodgers Fan Reward Club. Members receive points when they spend money on the Dodgers, but the one perk that has most people interested is that club members have access to playoff tickets one day before the public can buy them.
There is some risk though. There will be some tickets available to the public, so there’s a chance that club members will drop their 100 clams (my son has been watching Shark Tales about every day) and still not score seats.
Royals Entertaining Another Outfield Wall Move
With $250 million to spend, the Kansas City Royals are making sure they think about how best to allocate the money. While just about everything is preliminary at this point, the Royals are considering moving the outfield walls in to make for a smaller outfield. In 2004, the walls were moved out ten feet. At this point, with the move being just an idea, it hasn’t been decided how much the walls might be moved in.
Erie Seawolves Coaching Staff Purged
The Detroit Tigers Double-A affiliate, the Erie Seawolves, have been at the bottom of the standings in the Eastern League the last two seasons. With a combined 123-160 record the past two years, the team decided to make a change. Manager Duffy Dyer, hitting coach Pete Incaviglia and pitching coach Mike Caldwell were all let go after the last game of the season.
The likely new manager will be the current manager of the Tigers’ Single-A affiliate. West Michigan Whitecaps manager Matt Walbeck has led the team to three straight playoff appearances, and it’ll be interesting because if this is the way the Tigers go, he’ll be managing many of the same players that he did this year because they’ll all move up a level together.
Yankees Set to Buy Minor League Affiliate
The New York Yankees are buying the New York-Penn League Staten Island Yankees in an attempt to short up the team’s attendance. Despite the fact that the team has the best record in the league this season, attendance is less than half of that of its cross-town rival, the Brooklyn Cyclones, who are affiliated with the New York Mets.
The Yankees are looking to Peter Gruber, the chairman of the Mandalay Entertainment Group, to run the team. Mandalay makes movies, and they also own five minor league franchises. Most impressive is that one of Mandalay’s teams in Dayton has sold out every home game it’s played this year, so the Yankees are hoping Gruber can work his magic on Staten Island.
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.