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Retrospective on Syd Thrift by Claire PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 05:28

Syd ThriftFred Claire, the former VP and GM that spent 30 years with the Dodgers, has a very nice retrospective on Syd Thrift today on MLB.com. Thrift died last week at the age of 77. As Jim Leyland tells Claire, "Syd was the only guy who believed in me enough to give me a Major League managing job."

From the article:

Thrift never was one to back down if he believed in his position. I saw this first-hand during August of the 1989 season when he had become the general manager of the Yankees. I was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Thrift and I agreed on a trade that would send infielder Tracy Woodson to the Yankees for right-handed pitcher Jimmy Jones. The deal was finalized with only the time of the announcement to be determined.

Thrift called me with a surprising development.

"Fred, I've been told that if I go through with this trade I will be fired. I want you to know one thing, though. We have agreed on the deal and I'm willing to go through with the announcement," said Thrift.

Thrift's word was more important to him than the prospect of losing his job.

"Syd, this isn't a deal worth putting your job at risk," I said. "We will call off the deal."

 (MLB.com )

 
Marlins Should be Profitable PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:12

Florida MarlinsWhile this season's Marlins might be the biggest overachievers of all-time, their chances of making the playoffs seem remote. In the off-season it seems that owner Jeffery Loria will fire manager Joe Girardi, who many think has a chance at the NL Manager of the Year award.

After the dust settles, one thing that seems all but certain will be a year of profit for the Marlins. Even with the lack of fans attending games at Dolphin Stadium, by cutting player payroll to around $15 million the Fish have assured themseleves of being in the black. As David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports :
Look at the ledger sheet. [The Marlins] got $30 million in revenue sharing last year and will get around that this year. It conservatively will make $10 million for local TV (ratings remain strong), according to a source. It can expect around another $18 million from national TV.

Then there's licensing deals, a $10 million payout from the Washington Nationals sale coming at some point and -- oh, yeah, tickets, concessions, plus whatever slice of the stadium lease that we constantly hear is the worst in sports.

And, some reports show the Marlins pulled in $31 million in revenue sharing. Recall that the payroll cuts were due to Marlins ownership claims that without a new facility, and the associated revenues of controlling it, cuts had to be made. 

 
Post Season Matchups - Critical for FOX PDF Print E-mail
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Media News (Television, Radio, Internet)
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 25 September 2006 06:10

FOX broadcastingUnlike the NFL, post-season ratings can make up a considerable portion of the ratings for MLB, and therefore ad revenues, for networks that have broadcast contracts, as is currently the case with News Corp's FOX network. FOX recently inked a new deal that starts in 2007, extending their relationship with MLB.

TV sports executives start to look for what match-ups will come out of the regular season into the playoffs, and with that try to determine if ratings will be high or low. As the Wall Street Journal reports (free for one week from publication date, then subscribers only):

More so than with other major sports, Fox bet that money on what happens when the regular season is over, especially on the World Series. Not only are some matchups more attractive than others, but a series can flame out in four blowout games, or stretch for a sublime seven. A bland, short series means fewer ad sales and a poorer platform with which to promote the network's new prime-time entertainment lineup, which will begin airing after the monthlong orgy of playoff baseball.

"Probably 75% of the economics are wrapped up in the postseason," said former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson, now a sports television consultant.

Football, by contrast, gets big ratings all season long, and in the postseason, interest is always high, no matter who is playing. Some Super Bowls get bigger ratings than others, but the sport is truly national and the range is narrow. Baseball, more regional, more tribal, is prone to much fluctuation. World Series ratings sometimes swing by nearly 30% from year to year. In 2004, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals were a hit; last year, Chicago and Houston produced an all-time ratings low. While those cities are large television markets, the Astros and the White Sox didn't have a national following and Chicago's four-game sweep didn't help, either.

 As noted in the article, the percentage of households that tune into the World Series has dropped since 1981. Recall that having a Yankees v. Mets World Series isn't a recipe for successful ratings. The Subway Series in 2000 garnered the lowest ratings ever up to that point.

 
Interview - Dean Bonham - Sponsorship & Marketing PDF Print E-mail
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The Biz of Baseball - Interviews
Written by Paul Swydan   
Sunday, 24 September 2006 12:00
The Dean Bonham InterviewThere are few people who have been more influential in the sports sponsorship and marketing solutions arenas than Dean Bonham. For the past 18 years, The Bonham Group has been at the cutting edge of sports business world, negotiating more than $2 billion in sponsorship contracts, over half of which Bonham has negotiated personally. Based in Denver, The Bonham Group list of clients boasts companies at the top of the Fortune 500 - IBM, Dell, FedEx, Miller Brewing Company, Target, Verizon – but also many of the sports worlds top organizations, including several baseball clubs. In addition, he has negotiated deals for corporate behemoths like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ford Motor Company, Budweiser, and AT&T.

Among his noteworthy accomplishments in baseball was serving as the lead negotiator for US Cellular and Petco Food Supplies as they closed deals with the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres for the naming rights to their ballparks. Bonham and his associate Don Hinchey write a sports business column for the Rocky Mountain News that is nationally syndicated. Bonham himself has been quoted or featured in the Denver Post, Washington Post, New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Sports Business Journal, and he has been a guest on Fox News, CNBC, CNN’s Moneyline, and ABC’s Nightline.

Bonham was traveling abroad at the time of this interview, but was gracious enough to take time out and speak with The Biz of Baseball about both his experiences and why MLB is on the path to success, amongst other things.

Read more...
 
NEW! - US-Japanese Player Contact Agreement PDF Print E-mail
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Selection of Docs
Written by US-Japanese Player Contract Agreement   
Saturday, 14 December 2002 12:00

The following is a new document added to The Biz of Baseball documents library on 9/22/2006 

US-Japanese Player Contact Agreement (2000 - 2002)

Dec. 15, 2000 - Dec. 15, 2002
Format - PDF

UNITED STATES – JAPANESE PLAYER CONTRACT AGREEMENT

1) If a Japanese Professional Baseball Club (hereinafter referred to as a “Japanese Club”) wishes to contact and engage a baseball player, professional or amateur, who is currently playing or has played baseball in the United States or Canada, and/or is under contract with a Club that is a member of the National League or American League of Professional Baseball Clubs (hereinafter referred to as an “American Player”), the Japanese Club shall first request that the Office of the Commissioner of Japanese Professional Baseball (hereinafter referred to as the “Japanese Commissioner”) determine the status and availability of the American Player as hereinafter provided by communicating with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner (hereinafter referred to as the “U.S. Commissioner”). The U.S. Commissioner shall respond to a request from the Japanese Commissioner within four (4) business days. The Japanese Commissioner shall keep the identity of any Japanese Club(s) inquiring as to the status of an American Player confidential in his communications with the U.S. Commissioner.

 
Lance Williams Interview with Charley Steiner PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 09:28

Game of ShadowsSan Francisco Chronicle writer and Game of Shadows author Lance Williams joined Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner today.  Lance and Mark Fainaru-Wada were ordered jailed on Thursday for a maximum of 18 months, pending an appeal, for refusing to testify about who leaked them secret grand jury testimony from Barry Bonds and other elite athletes.

Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada wrote a series of articles and a book based partly on the leaked transcripts of the testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi and others before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a Burlingame-based nutritional supplement company exposed as a steroid ring two years ago.  Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to send the reporters to prison for the full term of the grand jury investigating the leak, or until they agree to testify.  Williams and Fainaru-Wada have said repeatedly they would go to jail rather than comply with the grand jury's subpoena and reveal their source or sources and they have visited Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner throughout this year to discuss their case.

During Lance Williams appearance, he discussed his thoughts prior to and during yesterday’s court proceedings. He also spoke about the encouragement he felt from a group of writers from around the country organized by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, who appeared outside the court.  Lance discussed his feelings about the next step in the judicial process at the appellate level as well as the importance of this case to our First Amendment rights.  Mark Fainaru-Wada was unavailable today.

(Select Read More for the interview, courtesy of MLB XM 175 and Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner)

 

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One Faction of Portland Effort Still Hopes PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 08:52

 While baseball is in one of its healthiest states, and relocation a remote possibility, one part of what was originally the Oregon Stadium Campaign and the MLB to Portland effort still clings to the hope of MLB in the city some call "Bridgetown".

The Portland Baseball Group believes that one club will relocate out of their region within a year, and they are working to get around Portland Mayor Tom Potter who has been opposed to public assistance in the effort to fund a new stadium should an MLB team become available.

The article mentions that, "For now, the city of Portland is the only negotiating entity with a potential owner," but that potential owner has never been made public.

PBG is planning to augment Senate Bill 5 that was passed into law in 2003. SB5, while tied to certain safeguard provisions, would earmark executives and players' Oregon income taxes that all employees that work in the State of Oregon pay, to help fund a new stadium. The bill is capped at $150 million. This would include not only home, but away teams, as well.

As reported, [M]embers are working with legislators on a potential new bill for the January 2007 legislative session that would include other area governmental bodies – perhaps Multnomah County officials, or Clark County in Southwest Washington – that might be more enthusiastic about helping land a big league club.

“Nothing has been drafted at the state level, but if we get the right proposition in front of us, it’s in Oregon’s interest to ensure we have as many folks we could get to the table as possible,” says Ryan Deckert, the state senator from Beaverton who co-sponsored Senate Bill 5 three years ago. “If an owner is really interested, you hate to limit yourself to one person. We just want to take a look at that.”


It should be noted that SB5 specifically states that any major league stadium that would be constructed would have to be within Portland city limits.

(Portland Tribune

For information on the Portland proposal.

For mass modeling animation of one of the Portland site proposals. 

 
DC Parking Structure Deal for Nats Fails PDF Print E-mail
Facility News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 06:14

 Nationals Stadium with Miller's proposed parking structures

Miller's proposed parking and
mixed-use structures are shown
here just outside centerfield.

 The DCSEC announced Wednesday that Herbert S. Miller's planned mixed-use structures that would house parking for the new Nationals Stadium scheduled to open in 2008, had failed to reach an agreement on the financing terms by Wedneday's deadline. As reported, With Miller's plan off the table, commission officials are uncertain about how they will provide the required 1,225 parking spots for the Washington Nationals in time for the stadium's scheduled opening in April 2008.

"We are disappointed that Western hasn't accepted our fair and reasonable agreement for parking and development," said board member William N. Hall, head of the commission's baseball committee. "We are now considering all options to provide the parking and development for the baseball stadium, which is in the best interests of the city."

The dissolution of the Miller project could have far-reaching consequences on the entire baseball experience and the city's planned revival of the waterfront.

The Lerner Group, which owns the Nationals, has been concerned about the parking structure situation since purchasing the club in May.As Stan Kasten, the president of the Washington Nationals said in an interview with Baseball Prospectus, We don’t have a specific opinion on whether one scheme is better than another or not. All we care about is what is doable in the time left, and for the budget. And the particular schemes we saw for underground parking, everyone acknowledges can’t be done on time and on budget. We think our responsibility as stewards of this baseball team is to make sure the stadium is built on time, on budget and in a first-class manner and we are absolutely determined to help the people in this city who have never been involved in this process avoid the mistakes that would derail them from achieving those goals.

 (The Washington Post)

 
Castellini meets with fans. Backs Narron PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 01:28

RedsBob Castellini, the latest owner of the Cincinnati Reds, along with GM Wayne Krivsky and chairman Joe Williams, met with fans yesterday at Reds Hall of Fame and Museum to field questions and take suggestions. Of the suggestions fielded were a full-time organist at Great American Ball Park, as well as a Redsfest for season-ticket holders. One suggestion, however, centered around Manager, Jerry Narron. The suggestion was replacing him with Lou Piniella.

As reported, When pressed a bit later, Castellini said: "The most maligned Reds manager in my lifetime is in the Hall of Fame - Sparky Anderson. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. We care that you care."

Krivsky gave Narron a strong endorsement.

"I can vouch for Jerry Narron being very sharp, very respected. He can fool you with his quiet demeanor. He can lay down the law when he needs to. I've seen it."

 Other suggestions:

Moving the outfield walls back: "Castellini  replied, "No."

On the return of Redsfest: "It's going to be the biggest and most well-attended Redsfest we've ever had."

(Cincinnati Enquirer

 
Fans Protest at Orioles Game PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 September 2006 00:43

Peter AngelosA group of nearly 1000 Orioles fans, that have said that they disapprove with owner Peter Angelos, protested at last night's game against the Tigers by leaving en masse in the middle of the fourth inning at precisely 5:08 p.m.

As reported by the AP,  A majority of the protesters wore black T-shirts that read "FREE THE BIRDS," and many carried signs that had "For Pete's Sake" on one side and "Free the Birds" on the other.

They filled parts of six sections in the upper deck, then walked out in the middle of the fourth inning at precisely 5:08 p.m. -- in honor of former Oriole stars Brooks Robinson (No. 5) and Cal Ripken (No. 8).

The group walked in line through the lower deck before departing.

Angelos reponded by saying, "Whoever joins that protest has no comprehension of what it costs to run a baseball team," Angelos said in a telephone interview from his law office in Baltimore. "When you get down to facts, putting together a team that can compete in the AL East means having a payroll between $100-$110 million. That money comes from the consumer, and I have chosen to keep ticket prices to a minimum.

"Our payroll is $75 million, and our ticket prices average $22. Some of the teams we compete against charge an average of $45," Angelos said. "We're going to have to match the competition. How to do that is a decision I will make in the future."

The Orioles are in their ninth consecutive losing season. The Orioles are currently 24.5 games out on the AL East. and 23.5 games out of the Wild Card. Their Opening Day payroll of $72,585,582, places them at 15 out of the 30 clubs. Minnesota, who leads the AL Wild Card, had an Opening Day payroll of $63,396,006, which ranks them 19 out of the 20 clubs. *

Team Marketing Report shows that the average price for an adult at Oriole Park Camden Yards at $22.53, ranking them 12th out of the 30 clubs and above the league average of $22.21. The Orioles kept the average price the same this year from the year prior.

(The AP)

* - Deferred payments, incentive and award clauses and depreciation were not included. Payments teams receive as compensation in some player trades are not reflected in the  team salaries. 

 
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