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An 18 Year Look At MLB Revenues, And How It Impacts Free Agency PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 16:42

As the calendar turned from 2013 to 2014, we can officially look back on the last season in Major League Baseball and size it up, not only on the field, but outside the diamond. As I reported for Forbes recently, MLB saw record gross revenues in excess of $8 billion for the first time, fueled by an explosion the amounts being pulled in by media rights deals.

So, as part of an in-depth look at how this influx of revenues is affecting how clubs are structuring risky, long-term veteran free agent contracts (see MLB's Billion Dollar TV Deals, Free Agency, And Why Robinson Cano's Deal With The Mariners Isn't "Crazy"), I captured 18 years of gross revenue data on Major League Baseball. Here’s the lead-in for the article, along with the graph which shows actual gross revenues and them adjusted.

“Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down or the interest of the public must be increased in some way.” – Chicago White Stockings owner Albert Spalding, 1881

The date may change, but the quote by Al Spalding all those years ago has surfaced again and again. Whether it was Babe Ruth’s response to earning more money than then president Hoover’s $75,000 salary in 1930 (Ruth was making $80,000 and said, “I know, but I had a better year than Hoover.”), Nolan Ryan becoming the first player to earn more than $1 million per season with the Houston Astros in 1980, or the record deals Alex Rodriguez has garnered with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees, the amount players in Major League Baseball have been paid has always been hotly debated.

So, I’d like to suggest to fans of baseball, stop when it comes to free agent contracts. Those using analytics to assign whether contract value is good or bad, your metrics are flawed. Those comparing players from different teams to say this club or that got into a bad deal, stop looking at the contract dollars. The only thing you can neatly drop into a spreadsheet or database is whether a player has more room in his performance ceiling or whether the contract will see decline and that’s assigned to years and player performance. That’s it. How the dollars in the contact over its life are rated depends on the free agency market, and that market shifts and changes, not only in a given year, but within the year. Not only by position, but by market. Not only by market, but by each club’s ledger. It is exceptionally difficult—if not impossible—to add adjustments of that nature into any analytics equation. And that’s why it’s largely ignored; it’s not neat and tidy.

Here’s how Major League Baseball’s current spending spree has occurred. It’s something that isn’t as “crazy” as you might think when owners are now flush with cash the likes they’ve never seen before.

Read the rest of the article

When accounting for inflation Major League Baseball has seen gross revenues grow 274 percent since 1995.

MLB Revenues (1995-2013)


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 here.

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2013 SMWW Baseball Career Conference in Dec. a World-Class Event PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 12:13


Former Dodgers GM Dan Evans and I discussing the business of baseball at the
SMWW Baseball Career Conference

If you spend enough time around those that work in sports, you’ll find that how you perceived the inner workings of a league, club, or agency to be quite different. While that’s often the case with most jobs, since leagues such as Major League and Minor League baseball have higher visibility, armchair discussions about the front office around your water cooler or online can be different than reality.

That’s why year-after-year, I and many others make the trek to the Baseball Winter Meetings. Not only do I cover stories going on around free agent signings, announcements around the league, the Hall of Fame announcements, and more, I further my understanding of the MLB and MiLB landscape by interacting with those that work within it.

As a member of the media, gaining access is an easier road to travel than those that are just now looking to land jobs in sports. “How can I meet these people?” is often a refrain that’s echoed.

Certainly the Sports Management Worldwide Baseball Career Conference is one. While I have worked for SMWW for several years now, I can unabashedly say that attending it furthers not only the attendees education, but mine. Over the span of the last few years, the event has had keynote speakers that are at the highest levels of MLB.

Over the past few conferences execs have imparted incredible pearls of insight into not only the inner workings of their clubs, but how they got their starts., Dodgers GM Ned Coletti gave great advise on work ethics and drive describing his personal experience first with the Cubs, then later with the Giants and now the Dodgers. On the day that the Cardinals would either sign or watch Albert Pujols walk away, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak talked about balancing needs with allocating sizable salary resources to just one player. Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kastten gave advise on how those looking to break into sports need to prepared for opportunity. Last year, Hall of Famer, former GM, and now advisor to the Phillies, Pat Gillick talked of the risk and challenges the growing length and dollars associated with signing veteran pitchers.

That was just the keynotes. On the media side of things there has been Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick (ESPN), Hall of Famer Tracy Ringolsby (FOX Sports and now MLB.com), Craig Calcaterra (NBCSports.com), and Rob Neyer (book author and SB Nation writer).

As mentioned, I’ve proudly been involved in the event for many years. I was SMWW’s Baseball GM instructor for 7 years. I stepped aside this year as former Dodgers GM Dan Evans took over, and once again, Dan and I will be at the event to meet with current and former students and those signed up for the conference.

And that’s what makes this event different from any other. While execs and media are on tight schedules, I have yet to witness one of them not spending more than a few minutes after being at the dais to answer questions one-on-one with attendees.

So, who is speaking this year and how can you sign-up? Here’s the current list:

  • John Schuerholz, President Atlanta Braves
  • Dan Evans, Toronto Blue Jays Scout, Former LA Dodgers GM
  • Rob Neyer, SB Nation National Baseball Editor & well known baseball author
  • Tony DeMacio, Director Scouting Atlanta Braves
  • Toney Howell, Special Assistant GM LA Dodgers
  • Oscar Suarez, MLB Agent
  • Hector Gomez, MLB Agent
  • Bobby Evans, San Francisco Giants, Dir. of Player Personnel
  • Alyson Footer, National Correspondent MLB.com
  • Sal Artiaga, Former President of Minor League Baseball
  • Dr. Jose Goyos, Ph.D. L.C.S.W. Kansas City Royals Sports Psychologist
  • Tom Giordano, Special Assistant GM Texas Rangers
  • Maury Brown, Contributor to Forbes and Baseball Prospectus. Founder and President of The Biz of Baseball
  • Larry D'Amato, Former MLB Scout
  • Tony Ciccolella, MLB Agent, SMWW Agency Dir. of Baseball
  • Jeff Gray, Former MLB Pitcher
  • Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, SMWW President and Founder
  • ...More Added Daily!

SEE MORE DETAILS AND HOW TO SIGN-UP, HERE


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 here.

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Braves Move Out of Atlanta Not a Win For Cobb Co. PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 17:00

Maury BrownWhen the Braves announced plans on Monday to move from downtown Atlanta to approx. 10 miles away in Cobb Co., it took most everyone by surprise. After all, this wasn’t the Rays or A’s stuck in outdated ballparks, Turner Field was opened in 1997. Based on the timeline that the Braves announced, shortly after The Ted’s 21 birthday, it will be set to be demolished. Opened in 1997, it was built while current commissioner Bud Selig was at the helm.

Surprising.

Which was largely the idea. The Braves are smartly (at least for them), taking a sheet out of the Minnesota Twins’ playbook: work behind the scenes, quickly release the news, and then get it all approved before any kind of opposition can mount a steady campaign against it. In sports parlance, you’re smacking them upside the head before they knew what hit them.

While the Braves have denied that Cobb Co. will be pitching in $450 million of the $672 million price tag, they’re tossing that hand grenade around before it blows up.

“It is through Cobb County, and Cobb County will be responsible for delineating the various buckets of dollars,” said Derek Schiller, the Braves Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

The Braves updated their newly launched website for the ballpark to read:

The exact number is being finalized with officials from Cobb County.  At no time in our discussions with Cobb County, or any other municipality, have the Braves referenced a $450 million public investment.  Reports of this figure are erroneous.  When the final deal points are reached, they will be shared with the public and the media.

It’s a convienient thing to say, because so far, no one in Cobb Co. is stepping up saying where the money is coming from.

The Braves write in their media Fact Sheet that, “During construction of the stadium, more than 5,227 jobs will be supported, with a total payroll of more than $235 million.”

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) has not yet been signed, but the statement from the Braves doesn’t specify that all those jobs will be from Atlanta (although more than a few will), but the question is, if Dell, or HP or Intel wanted to build a new industrial complex, would Cobb Co. come rushing forward with a large chunk of change to make it happen? At least with those companies there’s a large number of well paying jobs to infuse into the economy.

The problem with Cobb Co.’s investment is after construction it’s not like Atlanta is getting “new” money. All that’s happened is jobs and fans move 10 miles away from where it was originally. You’re just shuffling descretionary income around. This isn’t infusing economic development, it’s shuffling it around.

Maybe Cobb Co. has some magical formula that will have all the expenses come from baseball related revenue streams. That would be fair. After all, someone in Cobb Co. that doesn’t care one hoot about the Braves shouldn’t have to pay for them. So, ties a tax onto parking. Tie a tax onto tickets. Tie a tax onto ballpark concessions. Tie it to the ballpark. That’s fair. It may have fans shaking their fists at me for suggesting as much, but it’s reasonable.

As for “The Ted”, it will be demolished shortly after its 21st birthday. That was a solid investment.

In a time when the A’s see sewage backing up, and the Rays playing in a dome, it seems hasty for Turner Field to be set aside… except for the Braves. Yes, the Braves will come out ahead in all of this. Cobb Co., and the taxpayers? That’s a different story.

Related Content


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 here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Controversial Game 3 of 2013 World Series Sees TV Ratings Up 21% Over Last Year PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 21:35

2013 World Series Logo

At first it seemed that the Boston Red Sox had nailed two St. Louis Cardinals base runners at the plate in the bottom of the ninth and Game 3 of the 2013 World Series was headed to extra innings.  However, umpires ruled that Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks had interfered with Cardinals base runner Allen Craig who was awarded home, giving St. Louis a controversial 5-4 victory and a two games to one lead in the best of seven series.

A closely contested Game 3 posted a 7.4/14 household rating/share with 12.5 million viewers, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, up 21% and 19% respectively compared to Game 3 a year ago (6.1/11, 10.5 million), and is the highest-rated, most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009 (9.1/18, 15.4 mm).  Last night's game also out-rates four of the last five Game 3s dating back to 2008, is projected to power FOX to an easy first place finish in prime time among households and key male and adult demos and is the network's best Saturday performance in prime time since January.

As is typically the case for close postseason games, the rating and audience after 11:00 PM ET was larger than before 11:00 PM ET in total and among younger viewers.  Game 3 averaged a 7.0 household rating and 12.0 million viewers before 11:00 PM, and increased 19% in rating (8.3) and 14% in audience (13.7 million) after 11:00 PM.  Among teens (age 12-17), ratings post-11:00 PM ET increased 18% (1.3 vs. 1.1).

Last night’s game opened with a 5.6/11 with 9.3 million viewers from 8:00-8:30 PM ET, and grew steadily throughout the night peaking with an 8.5/16 with 14.1 million viewers from 11:00-11:30 PM ET.

In addition to its overall success, last night’s game posted huge increases across key male and adult demos: Men 18-34, +27% (3.8 vs. 3.0); Men 18-49, +17% (4.2 vs. 3.6); Adults 18-34, +12% (2.8 vs. 2.5); and Adults 18-49 , +18% (3.3 vs. 2.8).

The World Series on FOX through three games is averaging an 8.1/14 with 13.4 million viewers, +13% over last year’s first three game average (7.2/12, 11.7 million viewers) in households and +15% on average viewership.

Through World Series Game 3, FOX’s nine-game postseason average (5.9/10, 9.5 million viewers) is up +18% in rating and +17% in audience from the 5.0/8, 8.1 million viewers produced by the network’s postseason coverage through World Series Game 3 last year (7 LCS, 3 WS), and ranks as FOX’s best postseason since 2010 (6.3/11, 10.6 million viewers).

Not surprisingly, St. Louis led all markets posting a 37.2, followed by Boston (32.4), with Providence (30.2), Hartford (19.1) and Oklahoma City (13.1) rounding out the top five.  Also posting double digit ratings were Ft. Myers (11.2), Richmond and Tulsa (11.0), Kansas City (10.9) and Memphis (10.3).  Among the nation's five biggest markets, New York posted a 7.6, while Los Angeles recorded a 6.9, Chicago 5.6, Philadelphia 6.4 and Dallas 7.0.

FOX was the No. 1 most social TV network on Saturday, led by World Series Game 3.  According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 3 drew over 482,000 tweets (up +171% from 2012 World Series Game 3) from more than 211,000 unique authors (up +120%).

According to Facebook, World Series Game 3 generated 4.8 million interactions from 2.8 million users during the game.  For the first time in three games, Missouri topped Massachusetts in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.  Team buzz was evenly split with Cardinals and Red Sox fans each responsible for 50% of the comments, likes, and posts related to the game.

Source: FOX Sports


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 here.

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MLB Advanced Media Revenues at $600 Million Annually PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:41

MLBMLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) has been a cash cow for Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs, but how it has increased over the past few years has been unreported. As part of an extensive report by Bloomberg that shows the enterprise value of each club in MLB, it’s reported that annual revenues from the digital-rights arm of baseball is now at $600 million annually and that the equity value of MLBAM is now at $3.3 billion. Since each of the 30 clubs invested equally in it when launched in 2000, according to the report, each club garners $110 million in value each year via the lucrative digital-media arm.

To place this in perspective, launched in 2000, MLB.com was funded by the clubs in an agreement that had them each investing $1 million a year over four years. The cost was targeted at $120 million. To the joy of the owners and MLB, the website started generating excess revenue in only the second year of its existence, allowing them to invest only $70-$75 million before beginning to see a return on their investment.

While each club does not see $110 million annually in cash, MLBAM and the overall explosion in television media rights shows why when owners sell clubs they reap incredible rewards over what they initially purchased clubs for. The equity value of MLB Advanced Media is just one reason why when you hear, “We can’t afford to spend on player payroll at competitive levels,” it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

UPCOMING ARTICLE…. Inside the Bloomberg MLB enterprise valuations


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 here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Want to Work in Baseball? MLB.com Seeking Stats Stringers for the 2014 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 15:27

MLB.com

The 2013 postseason hasn’t been completed, but already those that are looking to get a job in Major League Baseball for the 2014 season have an opportunity to do so, if they apply now…. Via press release

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2014 and beyond:

  • Anaheim/Los Angeles
  • Chicago (both teams)
  • Cleveland
  • Colorado
  • Detroit
  • Miami
  • Oakland/San Francisco
  • Texas

Stats stringers are responsible for digitally scoring games from the MLB ballparks, which provides the data used in the live content applications on MLB.com, including At-Bat, Gameday and MLB.TV, real-time highlights and text alerts, and by our business partners. This is a perfect part-time job for a responsible, computer-savvy person who happens to be a big baseball fan.

Responsibilities include:

• Arrive at the ballpark no later than one hour prior to the scheduled start time;

• Double-check and verify all pre-game information: rosters, umpires, weather conditions, etc.;

• During the game, enter the results of every pitch and game event (plays, substitutions, etc.) using our proprietary software and coding language;

• Work closely with our game-night support staff (via AOL Instant Messenger) to ensure proper scoring of all game events and accuracy of data;

• After the game, enter all post-game information: winning and losing pitcher, saves, holds, time and attendance

• Validate all stats and data in our scoring software against the official box score provided by the Official Scorer.

Qualifications include:

• Exceptional (and demonstrable) knowledge of baseball and how to score a baseball game;

• Strong computer proficiency (Windows OS and Windows-based software) and the ability to quickly learn and operate new software;

• Previous experience (including pressbox exposure) with a professional or college sports team, preferably baseball;

• Regular availability to attend games in-person as required by the schedule: weekdays, nights and weekends;

• A "team player" with a great attitude, including but not limited to a willingness to make and learn from mistakes and the ability to work closely and cooperatively (and take direction from) our game-night staff;

• Professionalism. It's a fun job and MLB.com pays people to watch baseball, but it's also an important job and we want people who will take the responsibility seriously.

(New stringers undergo an 8-10 week correspondence training program, and co-score several practice games in the ballpark with a returning stringer, before scoring any games solo in the ballpark.)

Those interested in applying should send a resume and cover letter, addressing the above-listed qualifications, to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ONLY those who reply to that  e-mail address will be considered, and due to volume, MLB.com says they may be unable to respond to all applicants.


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 here.

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MLB Releases Broadcast Schedule for 2013 World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 12:59

2013 World Series Logo

Major League Baseball today announced the national broadcast schedule for the 2013 World Series, set to begin on Wednesday, October 23rd at either Boston’s Fenway Park or Detroit’s Comerica Park on FOX.  The 109th Fall Classic will feature either the Red Sox or the Tigers representing the American League and either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers representing the National League.

The Cardinals currently lead the NLCS over the Dodgers by a 3-2 margin, with Game Six tonight (8:37 p.m. ET/7:37 p.m. CT first pitch) in St. Louis on TBS.  The Red Sox currently lead the ALCS, 3-2, over the Tigers, with Game Six tomorrow at Fenway on FOX.  Game Six of the ALCS is currently slated for a 4:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch, unless the NLCS ends tonight; if the NLCS ends tonight, then the start time of Saturday’s ALCS game will shift to 8:07 p.m. (ET).

The FOX Sports tandem of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, who is stepping down from his lead analyst position at season’s end, will call their record 16th and final World Series together.  This year will mark the all-time high 24th career World Series behind the microphone for McCarver, the 2012 recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.  This year marks FOX’s 18th straight as the television home for the Postseason, and the 2013 Fall Classic will be FOX’s 14th consecutive and 16th  overall.

ESPN Radio will provide complete coverage of all World Series games.  MLB International, MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Fall Classic.

Select Read More to see the 2013 World Series broadcast schedule

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Will Nolan Ryan Head to the Astros? Here's 8 Questions to Answer PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 20:57

Nolan

Nolan Ryan, who was a key figurehead during the bankruptcy sale of the Texas Rangers; who nearly left the club at the beginning of the season when GM Jon Daniels was promoted, and a Hall of Fame icon, announced today that he will be retiring as CEO of the Rangers on October 31.

"This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization," said Ryan. "I am extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished. On the field, we have enjoyed great success at the major league level. The fans have supported us in record numbers the last two years and we have been able to upgrade the ballpark and enhance the in-game experience to reward that loyalty.

"We have a group of talented and passionate employees who have helped make this success possible. This organization is in good hands. I am leaving with a lot of great memories from my tenure here and I know the organization will continue to thrive in the years to come."

Commissioner Selig said in a statement that, “On behalf of Major League Baseball, I thank Nolan for his service to the Texas Rangers since 2008, a successful era that has been most memorable to the Club's fans. During times of significant change for the franchise, Nolan has been a constant - accessible, dedicated and an icon to his fellow Texans who love our game.”

But, almost immediately talk about whether Nolan Ryan would go from one Texas franchise to another surfaced. Ryan is retiring, but no one other than he knows what that means, and whether it’s something that is short lived. Even Selig’s statement led to reading tea leafs: the commissioner never spoke about his service to “league”, but just to the Rangers. Could it be that this is just a transition?

If Ryan’s retirement is more of a way to move out of the Rangers without acrimony and into another organization, clearly the Houston Astros come up as the most logical location as his son Reid Ryan is now the club president.

So, could Nolan unite with his son? When the announcement came, Reid Ryan was out of the country and Astros owner Jim Crane was not in Houston. A couple hours after the announcement by Nolan, Reid Ryan released a statement through the Astros:

“As his son, I am extremely proud of what he has accomplished as both a player and as a front office executive. He was an integral part of all three of the World Series appearances by Texas teams, in 2005 with the Astros and in 2010-11 with the Rangers.

“He has always treated the game with dignity and respect and has appreciated those that make our game great: the fans, players and employees.”

Here’s what could—repeat could—happen with Nolan Ryan, and possibly his move to the Astros.

If “Retirement” is Just a Way for Nolan to go to the Astros, Can It Happen Now?

The easy answer is, no. He’s with the Rangers until Oct. 31 and until then, he’s CEO of the organization. At the earliest, Nolan likely wouldn’t budge until after the World Series knowing MLB’s unwritten rule not to upstage baseball’s postseason.

If Reid Ryan is President of the Astros, How Could Nolan fit in with the Astros?

There’s no rule in baseball that says you can’t have two presidents of a club. In fact, one only needs to look at the structure of the Astros when Drayton McLane owned the club to see it (Tal Smith was president of baseball operations while Pam Gardner was president of business operations), so it could easily be done. The father-son tandem would see continue to see Reid run the business while Nolan would be president of baseball operations. But, even if that didn’t work, there’s a host of titles you could give Nolan Ryan. He could be made CEO, or Special Advisor could be done.

Are the Astros Interested?

Sure, we can all speculate whether the Astros are interested, but are they? The answer is, of course, yes. "I like Nolan, and at some point if Nolan wanted to do something, we’re all ears,” said Crane later today. Adding, “To me, Nolan Ryan’s it,” Crane said. “He’s one of the best pitchers ever. He’s from our neighborhood. He grew up here. He’s probably the biggest name in baseball in Texas. He means a lot.

Since Reid is Nolan’s son, Have They Talked about the Elder Ryan to the Astros?

No one but Reid and Nolan know the answer to this. One can’t think that Reid didn’t know his dad was about to announce his departure from the Rangers. But, who knows if those two have talked about Nolan possibly coming to the Astros?

Has Jim Crane Talked to Nolan Ryan About Possibly Coming to the Astros?

As mentioned up front, Nolan is still with the Rangers and until Oct 31, he will remain there. Astros owner Jim Crane has not approached him to come to the club. “Certainly he’s always welcome as a family member of Reid’s,” Crane said. “I like Nolan, but I haven’t talked to him about anything. There’s been no discussion whatsoever.”

If Nolan Ryan Came to the Astros How Would It Affect GM Jeff Luhnow?

Jim Crane has said that he wants to model the Astros after the St. Louis Cardinals with a strong farm system. But Crane never said whether he needed to go the heavy analytics route and given the chilly relationship Nolan had with Jon Daniels—as well as his old-school scouting background and Nolan’s likely want to mold his own vision—Luhnow could see a fairly quick exit. That doesn’t mean the day Nolan Ryan walks in the door, but Ryan is a pretty particular man. Don’t believe me? Ask former Rangers owner/CEO Chuck Greenberg.

Will Nolan Ryan Have to Sell His Share of the Rangers if he Goes to the Astros?

The answer is, yes. In fact, he's already sold his ownership stake to the majority owners selling his stake in the team to Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. League rules would forbid Nolan from owning his Rangers ownership equity if he went to the Astros, or any other club.

Could Nolan Ryan Really Be Retiring?

After all this speculation, could it be that Nolan Ryan is really just retiring? Could be, but it doesn’t strike me that way. He seems to be too interested in baseball operations to hang it up. Of course, that doesn’t mean he has to go to another club immediately. He might take a season or two off before deciding to jump back into the ring.


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 here.

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Red Sox Dramatic Comeback in Game 2 of ALCS Delivers Massive Ratings Win for FOX PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 14 October 2013 17:15

Ortiz Grand Slam

The dramatic comeback by the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALCS was a massive ratings win for FOX Sunday night.

That dramatic comeback that saw David Ortiz hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singling in the bottom of the ninth to drive in Jonny Gomes delivered a 5.2/8 national household rating, with 8.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, up +44% compared to last year’s National League Championship Series Game 2 on FOX (3.6/6; 5.6 million viewers). Last night’s Game 2 was also up +24% over 2011’s Game 2 of the ALCS on FOX (4.2/8; 6.6 million viewers) for Tigers vs. Rangers. The series is now tied 1-1 as it heads to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is averaging a 4.7/8 (7.5 million viewers), up +21% over last year’s 3.9/6 for NLCS on FOX, tying 2010’s LCS average as FOX’s highest-rated through two games since 2009.

Additional Demo Highlights:

  • Last night’s Game 2 out-performed last year’s NLCS Game 2 in key male demographics led by an +86% increase in Men 18-34 (2.6 vs. 1.4) and a +56% increase among Men 18-49 (3.1 vs. 2.0) respectively. Game 2 is up +50% among adults 18-49 (2.4 vs. 1.6).
  • In key demo rating comparisons through two games, the 2013 ALCS on FOX is up +33% among Men 18-34 (2.4 vs. 1.8); up +22% among Men 18-49 (2.8 vs. 2.3); and up +17% among Adults 18-49 (2.1 vs. 1.8).

Through two games, Detroit leads all markets with a 30.5/47 and recorded its best LCS rating ever with last night’s game (34.5/50).  Boston’s two-game average is a 21.2/39, followed by Providence (20.1/33.5); Hartford (16.5/29); Baltimore (16.0/29); San Diego (11.4/26); Indianapolis (8.8/15); Las Vegas (6.5/11) and St. Louis (6.4/11.5).


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 here.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on TwitterTwitter

 
Umpires for 2013 LCS Announced by Major League Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 11 October 2013 16:49

2013 MLB Postseason logo

Major League Baseball today announced the umpires who have been assigned to the National League and American League Championship Series.  Thirty-year Major League Umpire Gerry Davis will serve as the crew chief for the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals, while 36-year Major League Umpire Joe West will lead the crew assigned to the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox.

The tandem will call balls and strikes in the Game Ones and the potential Game Sevens of the two LCS.  Davis and West were the crew chiefs and home plate umpires in the A.L. and N.L. Wild Card Games presented by Budweiser, respectively, during this Postseason.

Davis, whose 116 career Postseason games officiated are a Major League record, will lead an NLCS crew that includes regular season crew chief Ted Barrett, Mark Carlson, Bruce Dreckman, Mike Everitt and Greg Gibson.  Barrett, Everitt and Gibson teamed with Davis for the A.L. Wild Card Game, while Dreckman was assigned to the A.L. Wild Card Tiebreaker Game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers.  This will mark the 26th career Postseason assignment for Davis, including his ninth LCS.  The NLCS, which will be exclusively telecast by TBS, begins tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

West, who leads the active staff in years of Major League service with 36, will guide an ALCS crew featuring regular season crew chief Dale Scott, Rob Drake, Dan Iassogna, Ron Kulpa and Alfonso Marquez.  Scott, Drake and Iassogna worked the N.L. Wild Card Game with West, while Kulpa was assigned to the A.L. Tiebreaker Game between Tampa Bay and Texas.  This is West’s 21st career Postseason assignment, including his eighth LCS.  The ALCS, which will be exclusively broadcast by FOX, begins on Saturday at Fenway Park.

A complete listing of the rotations assigned to the National League and American League Championship Series can be seen by selecting Read More

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