BOB: The state of the baseball economyby Brian Borawski
December 29, 2010
Baseball’s fight against the economyAttendance is down, but revenues are up as baseball continues to evolve during these tough economic times. In Mike Bauman’s latest, he takes a look at how, with the help of Bud Selig, the league has been able to withstand these recessionary times and not just survive, but thrive.
The piece turns into a little bit of a love-fest and Bud Selig is quoted quite a bit. The discussion turns to parity and the 2010 season. Then of course the discussion shifts towards Selig’s pending retirement in 2012. This isn’t the first time Selig has entertained retirement but he seems to be going out of his way to say that this is it. Of course he hedges and says he would consider staying if it were in the best interest of the game. I don’t see any pending crisis because the collective bargaining agreement should be all squared away by then. Of course then we’ll be talking about Bud Selig in the Hall of Fame, which will be another controversial subject.
Brewers cashing in early on Zach Greinke tradeZach Greinke hasn’t pitched a game yet for the Milwaukee Brewers but he’s already starting to earn the team the money to pay him. In the first three days after the trade, the team sold 1,500 new season ticket compared to the 400 that have signed on in the first two months of the offseason.
The team is expecting a second spike with regard to retail when the name-and-number jerseys arrive at the ballpark. The team even decided to extend some of their promotional deals as they try to sell as many tickets now. The Brewers were 11th in attendance last year with plenty of capacity and you’d think if they get off to a hot start, the time should definitely finish in the Top 10.
Rays stadium pros and consNorth Eastern Sports Network’s Tony Lee is looking at some big issues around the league and in one of his latest pieces, he talks about which team needs a new stadium the most. He ultimately decides on the Tampa Bay Rays. He then goes into the highlights of some struggles that the owner of the Rays, Stuart Steinberg, has gone through in trying to get a new ballpark and he even mentions relocation.
Rob Neyer doesn’t agree. He talks about how the Rays have had success in two of the last three seasons despite playing in Tropicana Field while some teams have had no success in brand new digs. He does agree that a new ballpark would probably help the team, but also gives some other examples of ways the league could help the Rays out in other ways.
Dodgers front office turmoilWhile the players on the field aren’t going to be totally different because of the McCourt’s divorce, the front office has been a revolving door. The Dodgers let go of three more executives this week including their head of security. That makes 22 front office employees that have left the team in the last 15 months. For now, it doesn’t look like the team is going to replace many of those people so you wonder if this is just a cost cutting measure or if things were bloated to begin with.
Tulsa Drillers sees change in ownershipMinority owner Went Hubbard bought out majority owner Chuck Lamson to give himself a 100 percent interest in the Texas League Tulsa Drillers. Hubbard is going to put his two sons, Dale and Jeff, in charge of the team. Jeff was a former Drillers player and coach. The majority of the front office is going to keep their jobs.
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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