BOB: MLB looks at alliance with NCAAby Brian Borawski
May 09, 2012
MLB looks to team up with NCAA
Is this an unholy alliance or is it smart business? Major League Baseball the NCAA are looking at teaming up. If the deal goes through, MLB is going to pay for Division I baseball scholarships. In exchange, MLB will have more influence over college baseball.
The five key points of the partnership will include scholarships, ways to increase diversity, the calendar for the draft and College World Series, MLB involvement in summer leagues and wooden bats.
An agreement is probably more than a year away but the spin seems to be that more disadvantaged kids will look to baseball. MLB wouldn't have a say in who gets the scholarships. It's unclear where the money will come from. The goal is for MLB to provide each Division I team that meets certain criteria with an extra scholarship. It's estimated that it'll cost around $3 million, based on 150 schools possibly meeting the criteria.
Oakland businesses want A's in Oakland
The heat continues as the Oakland Athletics stadium situation flounders. The latest news comes from a group of Oakland business leaders who say the Athletics should either stay in Oakland or sell the team to someone who keep it there. Clorox CEO Don Knauss took the lead and he said that he and his group will help the Athletics with a new home in Oakland and if they're willing to play ball, there's a group of investors who would buy the team and keep them there.
For now, everything is in a standstill. The San Francisco Giants are still saying they won't give up their rights in San Jose so that's blocking a move there. It doesn't seem like MLB has a solution because the A's stadium situation isn't even on the agenda in the May owner's meeting. Throw in the fact that Athletic's owner Lew Wolff says that the team isn't for sale and you have the big game of chicken that we have.
New Dodgers ownership group gets feel for team
The new ownership group for the Los Angeles Dodgers hit the ground running last week and new President Stan Kasten took the time to chat with fans and employees to find out what their gripes are. Kasten isn't new to roaming around the ballpark; he's made it a staple at all of the professional sports teams that's he's helped run.
This time, it's a little bit sweeter for Kasten, because now he's not just in the front office, but he's also an owner. He's also the “baseball” guy in the group and it's his job to make sure everything is running smoothly. There's no better way to make sure that's happening then to ask the troops.
MiLB sees box office gains in 2012
Minor League Baseball averaged 3,752 tickets sold per game in April this year, an 11.2 percent increase over a solid 2011. That's a total of 6,401,632 tickets sold, the second most since 2008's 6.7 million. That was the year Minor League Baseball set its attendance record of 43.2 million tickets sold.
At the top of the attendance heap are the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who were the top draw last year. The Round Rock Express were in second place. Now the teams are turning to May where attendance can still be challenging. Weather doesn't always cooperate and school isn't out yet but the teams that can make these earlier months work are the teams that usually end up as the attendance leaders.
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.
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