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Cincinnati Reds Fans Get Chance to Design Official Tee Shirt PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 13:22

MajesticIn a move that is being touted as the first of its kind, Majestic Athletic (the official uniform of the Reds), the Cincinnati Reds and MLB.com are teaming up to introduce MLB’s first fan designed tee shirt contest.

Fans of the Reds will be able to submit ideas, and drawings online through the Reds’ site on MLB.com. by July 22nd. According to Majestic, “Later this summer, Reds’ fans will vote on their favorite design to become the ‘Official Reds T-Shirt of the Fan’. The winning artist will see their work come alive, be honored on-field at a Reds game and other prizes.”

“As the Reds continue their playoff run, we at Majestic though the best way for fans to commemorative this special season is through their own creativity,” said Jim Pisani, Majestic Athletic President.

“We are excited to extend this opportunity to our fans, in hopes of encouraging them to express their memories and passion for the Reds brand, through their own personal design which will be showcased on a t-shirt that fans alike can purchase,“ said Lauren Werner, Cincinnati Reds Senior Director of Business Development.

If you’re a fan of another club besides the Reds, according to Majestic, while not releasing which they will be, the promotion will eventually be done with three other teams.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB Surpasses 37 Million in Paid Attendance before the All-Star Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:42

MLB Attendance

Major League Baseball surpassed the 37 million mark for attendance Monday ahead of MLB's All-Star Game, and a sign that the 2012 season will be strong at the gate for the league. Over 1,191 games where paid attendance is announced, the league has now drawn 37,186,755 or an average of 31,223 compared to 29,315 at the same time last season. According to the league, with adjustments, attendance is now pacing between 7 and 8 percent over last season at this time. Compared to 2011, the league has pulled in nearly a million more fans than at the same time last year.

Also, based on information from the league’s PR twitter feed

  • The league pulled 1,663,234 in paid attendance for 46 games this past weekend, the best weekend this year and the best since July 24-26, 2009 (1.684 million /46).
  • MLB has topped 1.6 million in attendance four straight weekends and five overall in 2012, already passing season totals for ‘09 (4), ‘10 (3) & ‘11 (4).
  • Saturday 6/30 was the best-attended day this season with 603,343 in paid attendance (37,709 average for 16 games) and best day (16 games or less) since 9/28/08.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Final 2012 MLB All-Star Game Voting Numbers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 01 July 2012 13:16

All-Star Game

The following is compiled from press releases for AL and NL voting

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, the 2012 leading vote-getter in Major League Baseball, and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, who led the National League in All-Star voting, will be among the starters in the 83rd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.  MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and this year fans cast a record 40.2 million ballots, smashing the previous record of 32.5 million set last year.  The 2012 American League and National League All-Star Teams were unveiled this afternoon on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Taco Bell on TBS.

Hamilton, the 2010 A.L. MVP, received a record 11,073,744 votes, shattering the previous mark of 7,454,753 set in 2011 for Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who is also among this year’s A.L. starters.  Hamilton, who leads the Majors with 73 RBI and a .652 slugging percentage, is the third Ranger ever to finish as the top overall vote-getter in the Majors, joining Ivan Rodriguez (2,808,456 in 2000) and Alfonso Soriano (3,466,447 in 2004).  This marks the fifth consecutive fan-elected start for Hamilton, who becomes the sixth A.L. outfielder to accomplish the feat, and the first since Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki (2006-2010).  In addition, Hamilton becomes just the second Ranger ever to earn a fan-elected start in as many as five straight All-Star Games, joining Rodriguez, who was elected by the fans to start nine consecutive Midsummer Classics from 1993-2001.

Posey, who tallied 7,621,370 votes, set a new N.L. single-season balloting mark, eclipsing the 5,928,004 votes for Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun in 2011.  Posey outgained St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (5,118,865) and came from behind in the final week to notch the top overall spot in the N.L.  The 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year, who leads the Giants with 10 home runs and 40 RBI, is set to make his Midsummer Classic debut as he becomes the first Giants catcher to be elected to start by the fans.  Among N.L. catchers, the 25-year-old ranks third in doubles (14) and fourth in home runs, RBI and batting (.296).

Posey is joined in the N.L. starting lineup by teammates Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera, who each overcame deficits in the final week of voting to claim a starting assignment.  Sandoval, who garnered 5,743,542 votes, displaced New York Mets third baseman David Wright (4,133,380) after surging in the final week to make up a deficit of nearly 465,000 votes.  Sandoval, an All-Star for the second consecutive season, becomes just the second Giants third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, joining Matt Williams (1994-96), and he is the first Giants infielder to be selected to start by the fans since second baseman Jeff Kent and shortstop Rich Aurilia in 2001.  Cabrera, who entered the final week over 120,000 votes behind Braun for third place among N.L. outfielders, received 7,521,784 votes to finish as the top vote-getter in the N.L. outfield and earn a trip to Kansas City, where he played last season.  The first-time All-Star, who leads the Majors with 109 hits and 35 multi-hit games, joins Hall of Famer Willie Mays (1970-71), Kevin Mitchell (1989-90) and Barry Bonds (1993-96, ‘98, 2000-04, ‘07) as the only Giants outfielders to earn fan-elected starts in the Midsummer Classic.  This marks the second time since balloting began in 1970 that the Giants send three fan-elected starters to the All-Star Game, joining 2001 (Aurilia, Bonds, Kent).

Cabrera is joined in the outfield by Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Beltran, who totaled 6,469,408 votes, is an All-Star for the seventh time, including starting assignments from 2005-07 and 2009, when he was replaced due to injury.  In addition, Beltran was selected by 2011 N.L. All-Star manager Bruce Bochy to serve as the N.L.’s starting designated hitter in Arizona last year.  The Puerto Rico native, who leads the N.L. with 61 RBI and ranks second with 20 home runs, collected his 2,000th career hit with an RBI-single on Friday night against Pittsburgh.  Kemp (5,462,757), who is the N.L. captain for the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby, has been selected by the fans to start his second consecutive All-Star Game.  The Dodgers have now had an outfielder selected to start by the fans in three consecutive years for the first time since balloting began in 1970 (also Andre Ethier in 2010).

Joining Hamilton and Bautista in the A.L. outfield will be Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who finished second at the position with 5,587,026 votes.  Granderson, who is set to make his third All-Star appearance and second consecutive fan-elected start, becomes the first Yankees outfielder to earn back-to-back fan-elected starts since Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield in 1987-88.  Granderson, who hit his team-leading 23rd home run of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Chicago White Sox, ranks second in the Majors with 64 home runs since the start of the 2011 season.  The only player in Baseball to hit more in that span is Bautista (69), who finished third among A.L. outfielders with 4,971,155 votes.  The 31-year-old, who leads the Majors with 26 home runs this season, will also be making his third Midsummer Classic appearance and second consecutive start, becoming the first Blue Jays outfielder to earn back-to-back fan elected starting nods since Joe Carter in 1993-94.  Hamilton, Granderson and Bautista are just the second trio of A.L. outfielders to be fan-elected in consecutive years, joining Joe Carter, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Kirby Puckett (1993-94).

Granderson is joined on the A.L. squad by a pair of Yankees teammates – shortstop Derek Jeter and second basemanRobinson Cano.  Jeter, who received 6,656,949 votes to top Elvis Andrus of the Rangers (4,065,719), is an All-Star for the 13th time in his career and a fan-elected starter for a seventh consecutive time and an eighth time overall.  Jeter joins Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (A.L., eight straight, 1989-96) and Ozzie Smith (N.L., 10 straight, 1983-92) as the only shortstops named to start at least seven straight Midsummer Classics.  In addition, the 38-year-old becomes the fifth A.L. infielder ever to earn at least seven consecutive fan-elected starts at one position, joining Ripken; Rod Carew (1B, nine straight, 1976-84); George Brett (3B, 11 straight, 1976-86); and his one-time teammate Wade Boggs (3B, 10 straight, 1987-96).  Cano (5,806,958), who finished ahead of Ian Kinsler (4,967,247) of the Rangers, earns a trip to his fourth All-Star Game and has been selected to start by the fans for a third consecutive year.  Cano becomes the first Yankees second baseman to earn three straight fan-elected starts, and he is the first A.L. second baseman to do so while representing the same club since Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar from 1996-98 for the Baltimore Orioles.  Jeter and Cano, who, in 2011, became the first pair of A.L. teammates up the middle to earn two fan-elected All-Star starts together, join Cincinnati’s Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion (1975-77) as the only pair of teammates up the middle to accomplish the feat three times together.  The Yankees now have at least three fan-elected starters for a second consecutive year, and they have had at least one player selected by the fans in 11 consecutive seasons (since 2002).

Joining Jeter and Cano in the A.L. infield are Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (4,574,347) and Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (4,613,180).  Fielder, now a four-time All-Star, will make his A.L. debut after outgaining Paul Konerko (3,494,305) of the Chicago White Sox.  Fielder, the 2011 Ted Williams All-Star Game MVP presented by Chevrolet, becomes the first Tigers first baseman to ever win a fan-elected start, and just the fourth Tigers infielder to do so, joining Lou Whitaker (2B, 1984-86); Alan Trammell (SS, 1988); and Placido Polanco (2B, 2007).  Beltre becomes the first-ever Rangers third baseman to draw a fan-elected start after beating out Fielder’s Detroit teammate Miguel Cabrera (4,196,585).  The three-time All-Star, who has now registered 13 consecutive seasons with at least 50 RBI, replaced Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees in the starting lineup at the 2011 Midsummer Classic.

Rangers backstop Mike Napoli (4,317,718) and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (4,986,979) round out the starters for the A.L. squad. Napoli, who topped Joe Mauer (2,922,422) of the Minnesota Twins, will make his Midsummer Classic debut and join Ivan Rodriguez (1993-2001) as the only catchers in franchise history to draw fan-elected starts.  Napoli, who is tied for second among A.L. catchers with 35 runs scored and third with 12 home runs, becomes the third Ranger starter this year, marking the first time that Texas has at least three fan-elected starters in an All-Star Game.  Ortiz becomes an All-Star for the eighth time after beating out Michael Young (3,604,042) of the Rangers.  It marks the sixth fan-elected start for the 36-year-old, including his fourth at designated hitter.  Ortiz, who leads the Red Sox with 21 home runs and 53 RBI, paces the A.L. with 45 extra-base hits, which ranks second in the Majors behind Votto (47).  In addition, he is one home run shy of 400 career home runs and will become the eighth active player to reach the mark.  The Red Sox now have one fan-elected starter in 11 of the last 12 seasons, with 2010 being the lone exception.

Joining Sandoval in the N.L. infield will be Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (7,343,110), Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (3,831,375) and Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal (3,972,921).  Votto, who outpaced Brandon Belt (3,912,945) of the Giants, will make his third consecutive All-Star appearance and first career fan-elected start.  The 2010 N.L. MVP becomes the first Reds first baseman to be elected to start by the fans and the first Reds infielder to do so since 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Barry Larkin in 2000.  Votto, who leads the Majors with 33 doubles is on pace for a Major League record 69 doubles, which would surpass the 67 hit by Boston’s Earl Webb in 1931.  In addition, Votto could break Cincinnati’s single-season doubles mark of 51, set by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson in 1962 and matched by Pete Rose in 1978.  Uggla earns his third All-Star selection and first fan-elected start after beating out Votto’s Cincinnati teammate Brandon Phillips (3,164,460).  Uggla, who leads all Major League second basemen with 201 home runs since 2006, joins Marcus Giles (2003) as the only Braves second basemen to earn a fan-elected start.  The 
32-year-old, who leads all N.L. second basemen with 51 runs scored, has started 75 of Atlanta’s 76 games this season.  The Braves now have a fan-elected starter for the third consecutive year, following outfielder Jason Heyward in 2010 and catcher Brian McCann in 2011.  Furcal, who leads the N.L. with 31 RBI from the lead-off position, held off a final week surge by Brandon Crawford (3,666,897) of the Giants to receive his third All-Star nod and first fan-elected start.  He joins Ozzie Smith (1983-92), Edgar Renteria (2003-04) and David Eckstein (2005) as the only Cardinals shortstops to earn a starting assignment.  With elections for Furcal and Beltran, St. Louis has now had at least two fan-elected starters for the 10th time in team history and the third time in the last four years.

More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots were distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which had 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.  After the in-stadium phase of balloting concluded on Friday, June 22nd, fans still had the opportunity to cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, was once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2012 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program.  The ballot featured an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other All-Star Week events.

Scotts, the official lawn care company of MLB, was once again the sponsor of the retail All-Star Balloting Program, which launched on May 4th in select Lowe’s stores and Chevrolet dealerships across the country.  The Scotts ballot included an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a baseball field makeover using Scotts products for your community.

Banco BHD sponsored All-Star Balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball, and at All-Star Balloting terminals across more than 80 branches.  Coors Light provided offline All-Star Balloting in 60 Wal-Mart and Amigo convenience stores throughout Puerto Rico, through June 10th.

The American League All-Star Team has nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the National League All-Star Team has eight fan-elected starters.  The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – were determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – A.L. skipper Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and N.L. manager Tony La Russa – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Fans can now begin to vote to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by Firestone.  Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 5th.  Now in its eighth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.  During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10th.  The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed.  Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT).  ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game.  MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE COMPLETE DETAILS OF VOTING

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Frank Robinson Hired by MLB to Fill Vacancy Left by Jimmie Lee Solomon PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 23:35

Frank RobinsonHall of Famer Frank Robinson has been appointed Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development, Commissioner Selig announced on Tuesday. Robinson's appointment fills the vacancy that was left after Jimmie Lee Solomon resigned from the position on June 7th. Solomon had served in Major League Baseball since 1991 in a variety of operational capacities. He was responsible for the management of Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academies across the country, Minor League Operations, the Civil Rights Game and many initiatives and special events aimed at baseball development. He served as Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations from June 2005 until being named the head of baseball development in June 2010.

Robinson, who most recently served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner and has been a member of the Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters since its inception, has held a variety of significant positions with MLB and its Clubs throughout his illustrious career.

In his new role, Robinson will lead the management of MLB’s Urban Youth Academies in Compton, Houston and Puerto Rico, as well as the development of future sites in New Orleans, Hialeah (FL) and Philadelphia. Robinson also will be responsible for overseeing the Civil Rights Game and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

“With more than 55 years of knowledge and experience in our game, Frank Robinson continues to be an extraordinary ambassador for Baseball,” said Commissioner Selig. “This position will allow Frank to represent the national pastime to the next generation and guide the development of inner-city kids on and off the field, a cause that has always been close to his heart.”

Robinson, who will continue to report directly to the Commissioner, assembled a Hall of Fame playing career with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Cleveland Indians, amassing 586 career home runs, which rank ninth on the all-time list. He remains the only player in history to win the Most Valuable Player award in both the American and National Leagues.

Robinson has served as field manager of the Indians, San Francisco Giants, Orioles, Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals. He also was the Orioles’ assistant general manager for five years. Robinson has worked for the Commissioner’s Office in several capacities. He was Vice President of On-Field Operations from 2000 to 2002; Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations from 2007-2009; Special Assistant to the Commissioner from 2009-2010; and Senior Vice President for Major League Operations from June 2010-February 2011.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Complete Details for All 1,238 Players Selected In MLB 2012 Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:59

2012 MLB Draft

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball completed its 2012 First-Year Player Draft, with a total of 1,238 players being chosen in the 40 rounds and two compensation rounds.  The First-Year Player Draft resumed in the 16th round via conference call this afternoon after Tuesday’s completion of rounds two through 15. The fun now begins as clubs work to get bonuses and contracts sorted out under the new system reached as part of baseball’s new labor agreement (see details, here)

Pitchers were the most frequently chosen players, with 630 being selected (461 RHP, 169 LHP).  The rest of the 2012 pool was comprised of 270 infielders (including 121 shortstops), 211 outfielders and 127 catchers.

Arizona State University had 10 players selected, the most in the Draft, while Texas Tech University, the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky each produced nine players.  Rice University, Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas each had eight.

Players were selected from 46 states, with Maine, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Vermont being the states to not produce a draft selection.  The states that had the most players selected were California (222), Florida (146), Texas (141), Georgia (63), Illinois (40), New York (40), North Carolina (35), Arizona (34) and Washington (33).  Fifty-one foreign-born players were selected in the 40 rounds, including 26 players from Canada; 23 players from Puerto Rico; and one player each from Curaçao and Mexico.

Five players who were in attendance at MLB Network’s Studio 42 on Monday night were all selected in the opening round, including the number one overall choice, shortstop Carlos Correa, who was drafted out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy by the Houston Astros.  The others included Oklahoma State left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney (9th overall, MIA); Barbe H.S. (LA) shortstop Gavin Cecchini (12th overall, NYM); Carroll H.S. (TX) outfielder Courtney Hawkins (13th overall, CWS); and Union H.S. (WA) catcher Clint Coulter (27th overall, MIL).

The first round featured the selection of seven African-American players, the most by total and percentage (7-of-31, 22.6%) since 1992, when 10 of the 28 first round selections were African-American (35.7%).  Among those selected on Monday in the opening round were Byron Buxton (2nd overall, MIN); Addison Russell (11th overall, OAK); Courtney Hawkins (13th overall, CWS); D.J. Davis (17th overall, TOR); Marcus Stroman (22nd overall, TOR); Victor Roache (28th overall, MIL); and Lewis Brinson (29th overall, TEX).

Among the alumni of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program who were drafted were Roache (Think Detroit PAL, 28th overall, MIL); Chase DeJong (Venice BGC/UYA, 2nd round, TOR); Justin Chigbogu (KCBGC RBI, 4th round, LAD); Bralin Jackson (KCBGC RBI, 5th round, TB); Zachary Bird (Mississippi RBI, 9th round, LAD); Ron Miller (Venice BGC/UYA, 10th round, MIA); Sean McAdams (Bradenton RBI, 14th round, BAL); Kevin Maxey (Venice BGC/UYA, 17th round, LAD); Blake Hickman (Chicago White Sox RBI, 20th round, CHI); Quintin Davis (Houston RBI, 20th round, LAA); Daniel Sweet (Mississippi RBI, 23rd round, CIN); and Jimmy Herget (Tampa RBI, 40th round, ATL).

"On behalf of the Los Angeles Dodgers and RBI alums everywhere, I want to congratulate those drafted and send them my best wishes as they keep their dream of becoming a Major Leaguer alive,” said Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and Houston RBI alumnus James Loney.  “With hard work, determination and a strong will, each of them can achieve their dreams."

Four Clubs selected the son of their current manager: the St. Louis Cardinals picked Mike Matheny’s son Tate in the 23rd round; the Milwaukee Brewers selected Ron Roenicke’s son Lance in the 25th round; the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Kirk Gibson’s son Cameron in the 38th round; and the Chicago Cubs picked Dale Sveum’s son Rustin in the 39th round.  In addition, the San Diego Padres selected Chris O’Dowd, the son of Colorado Rockies General Manager Dan O’Dowd, in the 23rd round; and the Cincinnati Reds selected Kyle Wren, the son of Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren, in the 30th round.

Other notable selections included Corey Seager (18th overall, LAD), brother of Seattle Mariners infielder Kyle Seager; Deven Marrero (24th overall, BOS), cousin of Washington Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero; Lance McCullers (Compensation A, HOU), son of former Major League pitcher Lance McCullers; Luke Bard (Compensation A, MIN), brother of Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard; Jesmuel Valentin (Compensation A, LAD), son of former Major League infielder Jose Valentin; Kyle Hansen (6th round, CWS), brother of former Major League pitcher Craig Hansen; Beau Amaral (7th round, CIN), son of former Major League outfielder Rich Amaral; Hoby Milner (7th round, PHI), son of former Major League catcher Brian Milner; L.J. Mazzilli (9th round, MIN), son of former Major League All-Star, coach and manager Lee Mazzilli; Levi Borders (11th round, ATL), son of former Major League catcher Pat Borders; Trey Williams (11th round, STL), son of former Major League infielder Eddie Williams; David Hill (17th round, PHI), brother of Philadelphia’s 2011 19th round selection John Hill; Jonathan Murphy (19th round, MIN), brother of New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy; Ryan Ripken (20th round, BAL), son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.; Jose Mesa (24th round, NYY), son of former Major League All-Star pitcher Jose Mesa; Michael Yastrzemski (30th round, SEA), grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski; Eduardo Oquendo (32nd round, STL), son of former Major Leaguer and current Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo; Garrett Cannizaro (32nd round, NYY), brother of former Major League infielder Andy Cannizaro; Ryan Garvey (33rd round, COL), son of former Major League All-Star first baseman Steve Garvey; Jake Jefferies (34th round, WSH), son of former Major League All-Star infielder Gregg Jefferies; Jordan Hershiser (34th round, LAD), son of former Major League All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser; Darrell Miller (34th round, PHI), son of former Major League catcher Darrell Miller; James Sinatro (35th round, HOU), son of Astros catching instructor Matt Sinatro; Nick Hamilton (35th round, CLE), son of Cleveland Indians play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton; Kevin Bradley (36th round, COL), son of former Major League catcher Scott Bradley and nephew of Bob Bradley, the head coach of U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team; Jose Vizcaino (36th round, LAD), son of former Major League infielder Jose Vizcaino; Michael Aldrete (39th round, STL), son of Cardinals bench coach Mike Aldrete; and Zane Hemond (40th round, ARI), grandson of longtime Major League executive Roland Hemond.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL 1,238 PLAYERS SELECTED IN THE 2012 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT

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Complete Details For the First Two Rounds of MLB First-Year Player Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 08:50

2012 MLB DraftMajor League Baseball has completed the second day of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, which was held via conference call on Tuesday from 12:00 – 7:30 p.m. (EDT). In total, 488 players have been selected through the first 15 rounds and two compensation rounds.

The First-Year Player Draft will resume on Wednesday via conference call beginning with the 16th round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The Draft will have 40 rounds and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds.

MLB.com will continue to offer comprehensive live programming of the Draft’s final day, including a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

Five players who were in attendance at Studio 42 were all selected in the opening round, including shortstop Carlos Correa, who was drafted out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy by the Houston Astros with the top overall selection.  The others included Oklahoma State left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney (9th overall, MIA); Barbe H.S. (LA) shortstop Gavin Cecchini (12th overall, NYM); Carroll H.S. (TX) outfielder Courtney Hawkins (13th overall, CWS); and Union H.S. (WA) catcher Clint Coulter (27th overall, MIL).

Thirteen pitchers, including 10 right-handers and three left-handers, were selected in the first round of the Draft, the most among all positions.  Other players taken in the opening round featured nine outfielders, five shortstops, three catchers and one third baseman.  Clemson’s Richie Shaffer, who was taken 25th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, was the lone third baseman selected in the first round.  For the first time since 2007, no second basemen were selected in the first round, and there were no first basemen selected in the opening round for the third time in four years, with the lone exception coming last year.

Following is a complete list of each choice made thus far in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE DETAILS OF THE SELECTIONS IN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. SEE FURTHER DETAILS FOR ROUND 1

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Complete Details For Round 1 of MLB First Year Player Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 04 June 2012 23:36
MLB Draft
Select to see details of Round 1 of the 2012 First-Year Player
Draft (PDF)

Major League Baseball has completed the first day of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, which aired live on MLB Network and MLB.com this evening from Studio 42 at MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey.   In total, 60 players were selected through the first round and the first compensation round and was the first look at how the new system by which clubs are given “pools” of bonus money to work with and a Luxury Tax hit should they exceed them. (see details on the pool amounts)

Five players who were in attendance at Studio 42 were all selected in the opening round, including shortstop Carlos Correa, who was drafted out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy by the Houston Astros with the top overall selection.  The others included Oklahoma State left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney (9th overall, MIA); Barbe H.S. (LA) shortstop Gavin Cecchini (12th overall, NYM); Carroll H.S. (TX) outfielder Courtney Hawkins (13th overall, CWS); and Union H.S. (WA) catcher Clint Coulter (27th overall, MIL).

Thirteen pitchers, including 10 right-handers and three left-handers, were selected in the first round of the Draft, the most among all positions.  Other players taken in the opening round featured nine outfielders, five shortstops, three catchers and one third baseman.  Clemson’s Richie Shaffer, who was taken 25th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, was the lone third baseman selected in the first round.  For the first time since 2007, no second basemen were selected in the first round, and there were no first basemen selected in the opening round for the third time in four years, with the lone exception coming last year.

Harvard-Westlake High School (CA) teammates Max Fried (7th overall, SD) and Lucas Giolito (16th overall, WSH) were each selected in the first round, becoming the seventh pair of high school teammates to be selected in the first round in the same year.  The others include Mike Ondina (12th overall, CWS) and Jerry Manuel (20th overall, DET) out of Rancho Cordova H.S. (CA) in 1972; Michael Cuddyer (9th overall, MIN) and John Curtice (17th overall, BOS) out of Great Bridge H.S. (VA) in 1997; Matt Wheatland (8th overall, DET) and Scott Heard (25th overall, TEX) out of Rancho Bernardo H.S. (CA) in 2000; Clinton Everts (5th overall, MON) and Scott Kazmir (15th overall, NYM) out of Cypress Falls H.S. (TX) in 2002; Billy Butler (14th overall, KC) and Eric Hurley (30th overall, TEX) out of Wolfson Senior H.S. (FL) in 2004; and Michael Moustakas (2nd overall, KC) and Matthew Dominguez (12th overall, FLA) out of Chatsworth H.S. (CA) in 2007.

The first round also featured two pairs of college teammates being selected.  Catcher Mike Zunino (3rd overall, SEA) and left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson (31st overall, BOS) out of the University of Florida joined Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin (15th overall, CLE) and right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha (19th overall, STL).  The 2012 First-Year Player Draft marked the 11th consecutive year that at least one pair of teammates were taken in the first round.

A total of 17 players were chosen from the high school ranks while the other 14 players selected in the first round came from college.  The state of Florida produced seven players selected in the first round, while California had four and Texas and Georgia had three players each.

The biggest surprise may have been the selection of Correa by the Astros. Many had mock drafts with Appel going first. Whether it was signablity issues, or other factors (Appel is represented by Scott Boras), the 6’ 4” RHP out of Stanford dropped all the way to #8 where the Pirates picked him up.

The First-Year Player Draft is scheduled to continue on Tuesday via conference call beginning with the second round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) and is scheduled to go through the 15th round. The Draft will resume on Wednesday beginning with the 16th round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The Draft will have 40 rounds and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds.

Beginning on Tuesday, MLB.com will offer comprehensive live programming of the Draft’s final two days, including a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

SELECT THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE COMPLETE DETAILS OF ROUND 1


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Breaking Down Bonus Money for the 2012 MLB Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 04 June 2012 20:08

Major League Baseball is holding their 2012 First-Year Player Draft Monday evening. As Commissioner Selig is presiding over the event, the playing field this year is unlike any other.

As part of the latest labor deal between the league and the union for the players, MLB negotiated a system by which each club gets an assigned amount that they can spend on bonuses. It isn’t a hard-cap where the amounts are fixed rather, there is a total pool of signing bonus money that clubs can work within across their picks. That amount fluctuates depending on win-loss record in the previous season, etc. Here’s a high-level view of how it works:

  • The signing bonus pools range from $1.7 million (Angels) to $12.4 million (Twins), which is unique to this year because the new system was layered on top of the old free agent draft pick compensation system for this year.
  • The pools are based on the number of picks, including compensation picks, and last season's record.
  • The more picks a club has, the larger the pool becomes that the club will have to work with.
  • The size of the pools will standardize more from club to club after next year’s class of free agents.
  • The size of the pools will be dependent on the number of picks a club has in a given year and where those picks fall within each round. A club with the first pick of the Draft will have the largest pool.

Clubs can choose to ignore the total amount and go over their allotted amount, but there’s a catch—a “Luxury Tax” that clubs get hit with if they do so. Here’s how that works:

Clubs that exceed their Signing Bonus Pool in the 2012-2013 signing period and/or 2013-2014 signing period will be subject to the following penalties:

a. 0-5% in excess of Pool—75% tax on all of the Pool overage.

b. 5-10% in excess of Pool—75% tax on all of the Pool overage and loss of right to provide more than one player in the next succeeding signing period with a bonus in excess of $500,000.

c. 10-15% in excess of Pool—100% tax on all of the Pool overage and loss of right to provide any player in the next succeeding signing period with a bonus in excess of $500,000.

d. 15% or greater in excess of Pool—100% tax on all of the Pool overage and loss of right to provide any player in the next succeeding signing period with a bonus in excess of $250,000.

Note: If a Club exceeds its Signing Bonus Pool, and it does not possess the draft picks subject to forfeiture as a result of being penalized in a prior year under the agreement, it will forfeit the designated draft picks in the next draft in which it possesses the relevant picks.

So, who has what to spend? According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, the following is how much each club has to work with:

Team

Total

Picks

Avg.

Twins

$12.4m

13

$951k

Astros

$11.2m

11

$1.0m

Padres

$9.9m

14

$707k

Cardinals

$9.1m

14

$652k

Blue Jays

$8.8m

14

$631k

Athletics

$8.5m

13

$651k

Mariners

$8.2m

11

$748k

Cubs

$7.9m

12

$661k

Mets

$7.2m

12

$596k

Red Sox

$6.9m

12

$574k

Orioles

$6.8m

10

$683k

Brewers

$6.8m

12

$564k

Reds

$6.7m

12

$554k

Rockies

$6.6m

12

$552k

Rangers

$6.6m

13

$505k

Pirates

$6.6m

11

$597k

Royals

$6.1m

10

$610k

White Sox

$5.9m

11

$538k

Dodgers

$5.2m

11

$473k

Marlins

$4.9m

10

$494k

Phillies

$4.9m

12

$410k

Indians

$4.6m

10

$458k

Nationals

$4.4m

10

$444k

Yankees

$4.2m

11

$381k

Giants

$4.1m

10

$408k

Braves

$4.0m

10

$403k

Rays

$3.9m

10

$387k

Diamondbacks

$3.8m

10

$382k

Tigers

$2.1m

9

$233k

Angels

$1.7m

8

$206k

Source: MLB.com

There’s a lot more to take in.Take in a summary of MLB’s new labor agreement. Better yet, read MLB’s 2012-16 CBA in full. But, the idea is simple: allow for more economic parity by tamping down on the amount clubs pay out in bonuses while not putting in a hard-cap. Already there has been talk that maybe the system isn't without its flaws. Stanford's Mark Appel, who most analysts thought would go #1 to the Astros dropped all the way to #8 where the Pirates picked him. Who represents Appel? Super-agent Scott Boras.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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2012-16 Major League Baseball CBA Released to Public PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00

It took 183 days, but Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have finally finished all the details of the latest Basic Agreement that will run from 2012 through 2016.

The agreement—possibly the most sweeping, ever—was reached on Nov. 22nd of last year. The labor agreement sees everything from two additional playoff teams, a Luxury Tax and other changes to the Amateur Draft, and HGH testing as part of the separate drug agreement, just to name a few.

Some details that were not detailed prior when a summary was released of the memorandum of understanding last Nov.

The agreement has an expansive section on International Play

On the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT), otherwise known as the Luxury Tax, changes will make it harder for those that break the thresholds repeatedly, by increasing the amount paid to as high as 50 percent. Here’s the breakdown:

(a) For a Club that has an Actual Club Payroll above the Tax

Threshold in the 2012 Contract Year, the applicable Competitive

Balance Tax rate shall be:

(i) 20% if the Club did not exceed the Tax Threshold in the 2011 Contract Year;

(ii) 30% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the 2011 Contract Year was 22.5%;

(iii) 40% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the 2011 Contract Year was 30%; and

(iv) 42.5% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the 2011 Contract Year was 40%.

(b) For a Club that has an Actual Club Payroll above the Tax

Threshold in the 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 Contract Year, the applicable Competitive Balance Tax rate shall be:

(i) 17.5% if the Club did not exceed the Tax Threshold in the preceding Contract Year;

(ii) 30% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 17.5% or 20%;

(iii) 40% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 30%; and

(iv) 50% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 40, 42.5%, or 50%.

Details on whether there will be an International Draft are also part of the agreement as an attachment. As a matter of upcoming dates on the calendar and activities that would have to occur for an International Draft to take place, the following is part of the attachment:

No draft of international amateur players may be implemented in 2013 unless the following conditions are satisfied by June 1, 2012:

1. A new agreement is reached with the Mexican League consistent with paragraph I.D.10 above.

2. The protocol agreements with the Korean Professional Baseball League, the Japanese Professional Baseball League, and the Taiwan R.O.C. are revised, consistent with paragraph I.D.11 above.

3. A league and/or additional DSL teams to provide playing opportunities for undrafted/unsigned players are organized to begin play no later than June of the year in which a draft covering international amateurs is scheduled to begin.

4. The country-by-country plans referred to in paragraph D.4 above have been completed for the countries of origin of at least 85% of the international players signed in 2011.

5. Appropriate understandings are reached with government officials in the Dominican Republic (and other countries as necessary).

6. Agreement is reached on a procedure for regulating representatives of international amateur players.

F. If it believes that the conditions listed in paragraph I.E above have been achieved by June 1, 2012, the Office of the Commissioner may give notice that it intends to commence operation of a draft (or drafts) covering international amateur players for the 2013 season and subsequent seasons. Written notice of such intent must be provided to the MLBPA by no later than June 15, 2012, and such notice must include a detailed explanation of the rules and procedures that the Office of the Commissioner intends to use for the draft. The MLBPA may veto the commencement of a draft (or drafts) covering international amateur players for the 2013 season and subsequent seasons by providing written notice of its objection to the Office of the Commissioner by July 1, 2012.

G. If a draft (or drafts) covering international amateur players does not commence in the 2013 season, and irrespective of whether the conditions set forth in I.E have been satisfied, the Office of the Commissioner may provide notice to the MLBPA that it intends to commence operation of a draft (or drafts) covering international amateur players for the 2014 season and subsequent seasons. Written notice of such intent must be provided to the MLBPA by no later than June 1, 2013, and such notice must include a detailed explanation of the rules and procedures that the Office of the Commissioner intends to use for the draft. The MLBPA may veto the commencement of a draft (or drafts) covering international amateur players for the 2014 season and subsequent seasons by providing written notice of its objection to the Office of the Commissioner by June 15, 2013.

The current CBA expires on Dec. 1, 2016.

There is much, much more that we’ll detail over several articles now that the document is fully available. You can see all 311 pages of it here:

READ THE 2012-16 MLB CBA IN ITS ENTIRETY


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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