Business of Baseball Reportby Brian Borawski
June 21, 2006
Tiger Stadium to be Razed This Fall
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced late last week that Tiger Stadium would be torn down this fall, and in its place would be a retail/condominium development that would also retain a portion of the field for Little League play. The city is going to pay for the cost of the demolition by selling off stadium memorabilia.
This was a sad day for me because I grew up watching games at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. I really beat this up over at Tigerblog, so for more facts, links and emotion, I highly recommend you check out “Good Bye Tiger Stadium.”
Promotion Pays Tribute to 1986 Mets
The New York Mets have gotten together with Dunkin' Donuts to pay tribute to the last New York Mets team to win a World Series. Each week a new player will be highlighted and with a regular Dunkin' Donuts purchase, you can buy a commemorative quarter with a 1986 Mets player on it. The promotion lasts until July 9 and six different 1986 Mets will be on the coins.
For those of you who are Mets fans and want to get nostalgic, Jon Earving at the Tom Seaver Fan Club is keeping a diary of the 1986 Mets. Stop on by and you can relive the season as it unwinds.
Revenue Sharing Gets Press As Big Ticket Item in Upcoming CBA Talks
You’ll be hearing more and more about revenue sharing over the next couple of months as the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations begin to heat up. Basically each team puts in a percentage of its revenue for the year, and that pot is then split evenly between the teams. Some teams are net losers, with the Yankees leading that pack, while other teams are net winners.
The question is, what are the winners doing with their money? The easiest identifiable cost is payroll, and it does appear that some of the teams that have received revenue sharing payments have increased their payroll. Some question whether what the teams are doing is enough, despite the fact that no grievances have been filed to date What teams do with their revenue sharing dollars will be a major point of contention between MLB and the players' union as the CBA negotiations move ahead. Just as big of an issue will be how much goes into the pot and in this we’ll see the large market teams butt heads with the smaller market teams.
Royals Continue to Dig Their Own Hole in Press Credentials Fiasco
Last week I talked about how the Kansas City Royals revoked the press credentials of two radio reporters after they asked controversial questions during the press conference to announce the team’s new general manager. Since that time, the Royals have been blasted by the media; they decided to come forward with a very vague and unusual response. On an unsigned blog on the team’s official website (which I wasn't able to find), the Royals stated that the reporters’ credentials weren’t revoked because of the questions they asked; they were revoked because of the “tone, abruptness, and the forcefulness of which their questions and added commentary were presented.”
Even though the team has taken heat from press clubs, media agencies and the Society of Professional Journalists, the team isn’t bending. They’ve stated that the two radio announcers will not be getting back their press credentials this year.
Dayton Moore Begins to Hire His Staff
The Royals’ new general manager, Dayton Moore, has begun to fill in pieces of his staff. He recently hired Dean Taylor, a familiar face to Royals fans, to be his assistant general manager. Taylor worked for the Royals from 1981 through 1989, and when the Royals won their first and only World Series, Taylor was the assistant director of scouting and player development. Following the World Series win in 1985, he was promoted to assistant to the general manager for the team. Since then, he’s worked for the league and he was the Milwaukee Brewers' general manager from 2000 through 2002.
MLB Blackout Rules Get in the Way of Watching a Good Game
Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports has penned a couple of very well written articles on the league’s blackout rules. Probably the funniest part of the story was where he talks about how a Keokuk, Iowa resident is subject to the blackout from six different major league teams because of how the territorial map is set up. There’s even a link to the territorial map showing each teams’ media markets.
The blackout rules were put in place so attendance wouldn’t drop during the advent of televised games because the owners thought fans would stay at home and watch the games on television instead of coming out to the ballpark. If anything, I think having access to all of the games on television would be more of an enticement for fans to attend a game, especially if it’s a long trip. Then again, we’re talking about the MLB owners here. They’d probably rather have the fan pay for the ticket and a hot dog, and still stay at home and watch the game so they get the maximum benefit.
With the advent of the internet, MLB.TV can be used as a great way to create a new fan base. Instead, with these outdated black rules, they’re causing the fans who could use it the most the greatest amount of grief.
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.