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MLB.com Releases 2013 World Baseball Classic App for iPhone, iPad PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 13:14

WBCYou had to wonder if it was coming. With the popularity of MLB.com’s At Bat application for mobile and the World Baseball Classic returning, the logic of creating a branded mobile app for the WBC made sense.

Today, that came to fruition as MLB Advanced Media, the digital rights arm of Major League Baseball released 2013 World Baseball Classic was released. There’s good news and bad news about the release. The bad news, sorry Android, Kindle, and Blackberry users, the app is only available Apple iPhone and iPad. You’ll also have to be someone that gets MLB Network already. More on that in a second. The good news is, it’s free. It will deliver live coverage of every game in the tournament with Gameday pitch-by-pitch tracking as well as mobile access to scores, schedules, statistics, video highlights, news and analysis from MLB.com reporters.

The 2013 World Baseball Classic app will also make live and on-demand telecasts of all 39 games available on an authenticated basis to Bright House Networks, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable subscribers who receive MLB Network as part of their TV subscription.

Here’s images of the app, courtesy of MLB.com

World Baseball Classic 2013 for iPhone World Baseball Classic 2013 for iPhone
World Baseball Classic 2013 for iPhone World Baseball Classic 2013 for iPhone

World Baseball Classic 2013 for iPhone

Download 2013 World Baseball Classic on iTunes


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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Jeffrey Loria and Foot in Mouth Disease PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:18

Jeffrey Loria

Contrary to popular belief, most writers covering sports do not enjoy writing articles month after month, year after year, in which they report nothing but negativity around this facet or that. In all honesty, it’s tiresome.

At the same time, those of us that spend a great deal of time watching over teams, clubs, and leagues, are passionate and actively engaged in wanting to see actions done in the best interest of the fans. When there are owners that have a consistent track record of being poor stewards of a club, it makes not only them look bad, but the game.

So, with it, that thread-worn story of current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria turned another page. Once again, we heave a sigh, shake our heads, plug our noses, and breath in deep the stench. He’s been silent since the massive payroll dump to the Blue Jays (Loria likes to call this a “reset”), but after hiring a new PR firm for the club (why would you need a PR firm unless you’re in need of damage control?), he spent the better part of three days addressing the media in one form or another. I’m not sure who the new PR firm is, but giving Loria that much press time may go down as one of the biggest PR blunders in MLB history. You get the sense that even Marge Schott is shaking her head in the afterlife.

Instead of being able to focus on Spring Training, Loria served up tripe as if it were a fine dish on one of his Paris jaunts he name dropped in the midst of his rambling answers to the media.

At the heart of the massive trade to the Blue Jays, and other players such as Hanley Ramirez during the course of the 2012 season, was this repeated line:

“It didn’t work.”

Then, if the free agency signings were a mistake, it begs the question, why did the club go down the 2011 Winter Meetings path of signing Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell in the first place? If the problem is bad foresight with free agents, and the need to develop “fresh, exciting young talent”, why have they stunk up the NL East for the better part of eight years, not wrapped up the good talent that they have had at their disposal, and how did, as Loria say it, did the minor league system become one of the worst in the league?

The answer is simple: it was the man holding the press conferences.

The one nugget of truth that Loria did say was that the buck stopped with him (although, he tried to back out of that when the media cornered him saying that he didn’t hit, pitch, and field). In that, Loria really said as much about the failures of the club as anything else. That at the heart of it all is ineptitude. At the heart of the matter is lack of vision. At the heart of it all are excuses rather than accountability. We all sit back and ask, if the Rays can be smart, why can't the Marlins?

Loria doesn’t seem to care much about those things. He’s too busy pawning snake oil to be concerned about all that. He’s too busy saying that the Marlins will never have a $100 million payroll again until their television deal comes up for renewal, even though some of free agent contracts (most notably Reyes’) signed in December of 2011 were back-loaded. So, by extension, if the TV deal was not suitable enough to support the player payroll load, then all those signings were smoke and mirrors designed to sucker the Miami-area baseball fans into season tickets and suite purchases. When some have tried to back out, the front office has told them it’s too late. So, what is it, Jeffrey? Did you lose your mind when you signed the free agents, or when you traded them all away nearly as fast as you signed them? Either way, it shows a reactive, knee-jerk reaction that flies in the face of how well-organized clubs conduct baseball business.

Loria went on to say that until revenues were balanced, player payroll would slide downward. So, let’s put him on the spot and ask; when the new national television contracts start in 2014, does that mean that when those revenues double you’ll use them to develop a team properly?  You can see him crossing his fingers behind his back as he says, “We’ll see.”

The worst thing about this behavior is that it’s poisoning the market. The Marlins don’t have much history to lean upon. This is still the first generation of baseball for the Marlins. This isn’t the Yankees or Red Sox, or even the Brewers. What Loria and Co. are offering is a sports fan’s version of battered-spouse syndrome. You get a few glimpses of happiness and a lot of abuse. Along the way, he’s saying it will all be better. Just stick with him and in a few years, it will all be sunshine. And, each year, it’s something new. Each year, it’s a new excuse. Each year you don’t really see any actions that speak louder than words. No developed talent is given extensions (unless they are forced to, as was the case in 2010 when the MLBPA nearly filed a grievance with the league over them, and with it, they decided then would be a good time to give Josh Johnson an extension. Where exactly is he now?), no-trade clauses are about being able to jerk the wheel of the Titanic called the Marlins this way and that rather than about long-terms flexibility that makes sense. It’s all making it up as they go.

None of this gets into bamboozling the public out of the stadium that will be mostly empty in its second season in the league. I believe that not only will the Marlins not sellout a single game this season, but they will see the largest drop in second year attendance for a new ballpark since Bud Selig’s tenure began.

Speaking of Bud, he’s grabbing the antacid today. You see, Loria isn’t Frank McCourt. He’s sneakier than that. The former Dodger owner ran the club into bankruptcy, and that was the ammo he and the owners needed to leverage him out of the game. For Loria, his actions are enough to make everyone’s blood boil, but he stands at the very edge of the dogs on their leashes, snubbing his nose as they bark just out of reach. As one high-revenue club said, “We don’t like them (the Marlins) very much.”

So, the blight on the league continues. At some point, Loria will no longer own the club, and as was the case with Tom Hicks, and Frank McCourt, fans will rejoice. The question will be, has he so derailed the market as to have it rebound in his wake? In some senses, you wonder whether he would relish in that. “Look at all I’ve done,” he might say… as he snubs his nose, yet again.

In the meantime, the press dusts themselves off and gets ready for the inevitable next round with the club. I’ll be on 790AM/104.3FM The Ticket in Miami at 7:30AM ET and the segment will replay at 11:30AM ET on Thursday to talk about this more.


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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Baseball Fans Rejoice as MLB.com's At Bat 13 Is Released PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 22 February 2013 00:20

At Bat iconThe NFL may rule television ratings, but when it comes to digital media and sports, Major League Baseball is king. MLB Advanced Media has become a gold-standard that other leagues try and emulate, and the digital-rights arm of baseball has ruled the mobile app world.

So, when the latest version of Apple’s highest-grossing app, MLB.com’s At Bat 13 is released, fans take notice. It’s out, and with it, Spring Training is not far behind.

The latest offering released on Thursday sports new functionality, is cross-platform, and hosts a new mobile platform.

As was the case last year, you can download it for free if you are a MLB.TV Premium subscriber. Unlocking all the features requires an MLB.TV Premium subscription which runs $129.99 for the season, or you can get it for $24.99 a month. Fans also may subscribe to MLB.com At Bat 13 for the one-time annual fee of $19.99, covering the entire season through the World Series. iOS users may pay $2.99/month with the recurring billing offer. A nice touch this year is that those that had At Bat last season will not need to download a whole new version if on Apple platforms, as in years past. A push update was released, and users that upgrade simply need to provide MLB.TV Premium subscription details or opt for the “Lite” version.

As mentioned, it’s an MLB.TV sub, so you’ll be able to watch on your computer, or other supported devices such as Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3 system, Apple TV, WD TV, Roku, internet connected Panasonic, Samsung and LG TVs and Blue-Ray players, as well as Boxee (see the full list of MLB.TV Premium supported devices).

New for this year is a new platform that will be available and was announced in January in the form of BlackBerry Z10. Those users will have to wait until Opening Day, rather than iOS mobile platforms such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle Fire getting updates for Spring Training.

It took some time, but live streaming video is across all the supported platforms, although MLB.com states that details on the BlackBerry Z10 will be forthcoming by the start of the regular season.

NEW FOR 2013 (Spring Training update only; Opening Day update coming soon)

  • Multi-platform live audio access for At Bat 13 subscribers, offering account portability to listen to live games on Mac/PC desktops and laptops
  • Universal iOS and Android support for At Bat 13 subscribers, full feature accessibility across all supported smartphones and tablets
  • Sortable batting, pitching and fielding statistics (iPad and Android tablets)
  • Re-designed individual team pages (iPhone and Android phones)
  • Updated news section interface (iPhone and Android phones)
  • Expanded video highlight integration (iPhone and Android phones)
  • Classic games video library archive (all devices)
  • Re-architected app navigation (all devices)
  • Additional push notification options (iPhone)
  • Favorite team enhancements (iPad and Android tablets)
  • Searchable video highlight library expansion to include access to complete video archives (all devices)
  • In-app annual subscription purchase (Google Play)

SPRING TRAINING FEATURES

  • Watch live streaming of more than 200 available Spring Training games with a subscription to MLB.TV Premium (iPhone, iPad, select Android phones & tablets)
  • Listen live to available Spring Training radio broadcasts (all)
  • Track league-wide scoreboards and batter-by-batter action for every game (all)
  • Breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and players stats for every team (all)
  • Full-season schedule calendars (all)

iPad Images

At Bat 13
At Bat 13


iPhone/iPod Touch images

At Bat 13
At Bat 13 At Bat 13
At Bat 13 At Bat 13

 

Android Tablet

At Bat 13

 

Android Phone

At Bat 13 At Bat 13


Download At Bat 13 for Apple devices on iTunes

Download At Bat 13 for Android phones on Google Play

Download for Android tablets on Google Play

Download At Bat 13 for Kindle Fire on Amazon

Source: MLB.com


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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on TwitterTwitter

 
New Mandatory Batting Helmet to Reduce Risk of Concussions Begins Use in MLB PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:28
New Rawlings Batting Helmet
The Rawlings S100 Pro Comp batting helmet can sustain pitches of 100mph and
reduces the risk of concussion. All players will now be using it as part of latest labor
agreement between MLB and the players.

While the NFL has grabbed the headlines on the topic, the issue of concussions in Major League Baseball is being taken seriously. The concussion policy that was implemented prior to the 2011 season was  improved as part of the latest CBA. As an example, all players undergo neuro-cognitive baseline testing during Spring Training or when they join a club each season. There are various assessment tools—both on the field and off—that trainers use to determine the level of a concussion, and based on that assessment, a player goes on the DL for varying lengths of time, to as little as 7 days or longer.

To try and address the matter further, the league has been working with Rawlings on a new helmet that can reduce the risk of concussions from pitches to the head area at speeds of 100 mph. As part of the new labor agreement, the sides agreed that the new helmet would be in place for the upcoming season, and be an upgrade of the bulkier ones first developed and tested by the likes of David Wright and were given the nickname “Great Gazoo” after the Flinstones character when they were initially tested in 2009 (see details and image, here) because of the bulkiness.

Now, the design has been improved and per the labor agreement, will begin seeing use with the start of this week's Spring Training exhibition games. The new S100 Pro Comp batting helmet will become the standard throughout Major League Baseball.

Approximately 200 MLB players elected to wear the Rawlings S100 Pro Comp last year before the league-wide rule went into effect, including National League batting champion Buster Posey of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

"Collectively with MLB and the MLB Players Association, we developed the Rawlings S100 Pro Comp batting helmet to provide increased protection for the world's best baseball players, while meeting their specific functional and performance demands," said Art Chou, senior vice president of product for St. Louis-based Rawlings. "The evolution of the Rawlings S100 product line clearly illustrates how we can deliver innovative protective solutions at the very highest level of the sport while still delivering high-performing equipment so these players can continue to play at their peak levels."

According to Rawlings the helmets are constructed of aerospace-grade carbon fiber composite, the new Rawlings S100 Pro Comp batting helmet provides technologically-enhanced protection for ball strikes up to 100 miles per hour. Earlier this week, the innovative Rawlings S100 Pro Comp helmet design was named a finalist for the Edison Awards in the category of material science-composites. The Edison Awards honors excellence in new product development and innovation.

The next-generation S100 Pro Comp is 300-percent stiffer and 130 times stronger than the traditional ABS plastic helmet that was the previous standard in Major League Baseball, yet features a significantly lighter and smaller design than previous S100 models that have been tested in recent years. The similarities in weight and size to the traditional helmet allow for a seamless transition to the Rawlings S100 Pro Comp for all MLB players.

"Protecting our players with the latest innovations in protection equipment is a top priority of Major League Baseball," said Dan Halem, Senior Vice President, Labor Relations, Major League Baseball. "Last year the Rawlings S100 Pro Comp received a great reception from the MLB players that chose to wear it, and we're pleased to take the next step and roll it out league-wide."


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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Detailed Salary Data for 160 MLB Salary Arbitration Players in 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Salary Arbitration
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 17:38

2013 MLB Salary Arbitration Data

The Biz of Baseball has been updated with new data…

As has been the case since we’ve launched, each year we spend a great deal of time focusing on salary arbitration in Major League Baseball. We’re providing a spreadsheet with a large amount of data found nowhere else to use.

This year saw 160 players that were eligible, 133 that filed for salary arbitration, 35 players exchange asking figures with their respective club offering numbers, and no salary arbitration hearings. With the exception of 1976 and ’77 when salary arbitration was suspended while free agency in the league was being implemented, it was the first time since 1974 when the process was put in place that there had been no hearings.

Other points of interest:

  • A total of $473,010,000 was spent on the 160 players for the upcoming season, and increase of 106 percent from the 2012 salaries of $233,533,506 for the same players.
  • Total contract dollars that included multi-year extensions for the 160 came to $619,085,000.
  • Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison had largest total contract with his 5-year, $55 million contract.
  • The largest increase in salary from 2012 to 2013 came to Giants catcher and NL MVP, Buster Posey. Posey reaped the rewards of not only a great performance last season, but being a first-time salary arb player. He earned $615,000 in his last season of club control with the Giants, and will earn $8 million in 2013, and increase of 1,201%
  • There were 22 “Super Twos” that were part of this year’s class, up by six due to changes in the latest CBA that allows for more players with between two and three years of service time to be eligible. Drew Storen, Chris Johnson, Tyler Colvin, Everth Cabrera, Sam Fuld, and Josh Thole were the beneficiaries.

Make sure and catch my article on Baseball Prospectus that takes a deep  into the 2013 MLB salary arbitration class and look at trends that are affecting not only salary arbitration, but free agency.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE DETAILS FOR 160 SALARY ARBITRATION PLAYERS IN MLB FOR 2013

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Infographic Details Revenues for NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 15 February 2013 17:29

As the classic song by the O’Jays song said, “People love their money.” And, in pro sports, it’s no different. As television and digital media rights continue to escalate, so have the revenues pouring into the four major sports leagues in North America.

With the question often asked as to how much gross revenues are for the four, why not roll them all together.

The following shows:

  • NFL revenues for the 2011-12 season
  • MLB revenues for the 2012 season
  • NBA revenues for the 2011-12 season
  • NHL revenues for the 2012 season

As the graph shows, the NFL dwarfs the other three leagues. This is an advantage due to the massive national television media rights deals they have been able to broker. Baseball continues to grow, and will see a large up-tick next year as their new national TV deals doubles to $1.5 billion annually, and regional deals for the Padres, Astros, and most importantly, Dodgers, get underway. The NBA is $2.5 billion behind MLB for last season that was shortened due to the lockout, and the NHL takes up the rear at $3.3 billion. Hockey has a new labor deal, but it’s unsure how the lengthy lockout the nearly caused the season to be lost will impact the league in the coming years.

League Revenues

Source: Business of Sports Network research


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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Explosion in Sports Media Rights Means $3 Monthly Fee Increase on DirecTV PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 14 February 2013 22:50
DirecTV
The first real signs that regional sports
network media rights fees are trickling
down to customers comes via DirecTV

Maybe the sports television rights bubble hasn’t burst quite yet, but the explosion in how much regional sports networks (RSNs) are expecting from the carriers is finally hitting your wallet.

Whether it is the Rangers ($3 billion), Angels ($3 billion), Astros with the Houston Rockets ($1.6 billion), Padres ($1.2 billion), or Dodgers ($7-$8 billion), and YES’ recent $3 billion valuation, in baseball alone, the massive rights deals being brokered with RSNs have created battles between the networks and carriers. When it hits the carriers, it eventually winds up in your cable or satellite bill.

The first significant case of this is happening with satcaster DirecTV. In August, DTV began adding a $3 a month surcharge for RSNs in markets that had more than one regional sports network. This mostly just impacted larger markets, but now, it will affect all.

Beginning this spring, DTV will expand the fee to all existing customers, meaning a $36 annual increase for consumers. And, DirecTV will not be the only one. As reported by Multichannel News:

Other distributors have followed DirecTV’s lead with the RSN charge – Verizon’s FiOS TV began implementing a $2.42 monthly charge for RSNs in California, Texas and Florida in February, with plans to expand to its remaining sates in March. In Maryland and Virginia, the surcharge will take effect in April.

So, while at the outset it was said that maybe the rights fee bubble may not yet have burst, it’s creating a problem as new deals across the sports landscape begin to have cumulative effect. Just last week, FOX Sports San Diego, which is the RSN that the Padres inked their $1.2 billion deal with, finally landed on DISH. DirecTV was one of the last large carriers to pick up TWC SportsNet, the RSN that was created with the Los Angeles Lakers as their key programming. The rights deal for the Lakers is a reported $4 billion. The Rockets, now nearly halfway through the season are not on DTV via CSN Houston, and the Astros—the largest stakeholder in the new Houston RSN—are about to begin the 2013 season not on DirecTV’s program menu.

Deals will continue to be brokered as media rights deals expire, but the battle to get them on the major carriers, or getting the massive deals that have been recently inked, will continue to be an issue.

Of course, none of this is good for fans. While the financial flexibility is something every sports fan loves to see their favorite club have, if it means a large spike in their cable or satellite TV bill, it comes with a price. The pin is positioned near the bubble. When will it make contact is the question.


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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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The 2013 MLB on FOX National Broadcast Schedule Released PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:19

MLB on FOXWith the beginning of Spring Training, MLB’s network partners are gearing up for the 2013 regular season. Today, MLB on FOX released their 2013 national broadcast schedule for the “Saturday Game of the Week.”

The 24-week schedule, includes eight consecutive weeks of primetime coverage for the second straight year leading to the 84th MLB All-Star Game. Every U.S.-based team makes at least one appearance this season, and at least one at home during the prime time stretch which begins in late May.

MLB on FOX regional coverage debuts on Saturday, April 6 with a three game schedule that features rematches of both 2012 League Championship Series and a key A.L. West showdown.  That day, the defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers host the runner-up New York Yankees, and the World Champion San Francisco Giants welcome the St. Louis Cardinals, while Los Angeles Angels’ with Josh Hamilton returns to the Lone Star State as the Halos travel to face the Texas Rangers.

Primetime coverage of the 2013 season begins Saturday, May 25 (7:00-10:00 PM ET) with five contests featuring the Washington Nationals and N.L. Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper hosting their division rival Philadelphia Phillies, David Freese and the Cardinals in Los Angeles to take on Matt Kemp and the Dodgers; the New York Mets welcoming the Upton brothers and the Atlanta Braves; the Oakland Athletics visiting the Houston Astros, the American League’s newest member; and an interleague tilt with the Chicago White Sox at home against the Miami Marlins. The primetime schedule also includes interleague games on Saturday, June 15June 22 and June 29, and culminates on July 13 with five games, including an N.L. Central battle between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  In all, MLB on FOX presents 11 interleague games on eight dates.

The schedule on Saturday, June 1 features the first of this season’s record five Yankees/Red Sox rivalry clashes. It was during an April game on FOX last season that the Yankees, trailing Boston 9-0 after five innings, stormed back with seven runs in the seventh and eighth to notch the improbable 15-9 win.  The Bosox and Bombers also square off on July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 7 and Sept. 14.

The Nationals, Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds are each scheduled to make a maximum nine appearances on FOX, while the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers are scheduled for eight appearances. As always, the final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild card” dates, allowing FOX Sports and MLB to choose games that have postseason implications.  Potential selections include Giants-Yankees on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Angels-Rangers and Cubs-Cardinals on Saturday, Sept. 28.

In addition to its regular-season coverage, FOX Sports broadcasts the 84th MLB All-Star Game, live from Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, on Tuesday, July 16 (7:30-11:30 PM ET), the American League Championship Series and the 109th World Series.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE ENTIRE NATIONAL BROADCAST SCHEDULE FOR THE 2013 MLB REGULAR SEASON

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Only 3 People Were In Line When Marlins Single-Game Tickets Went On Sale PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:03

This, folks, is not good. This isn’t the line for the DMV or to catch the matinee showing of “Fun Size”. No, this is what the line looked like 25 minutes before single-game tickets for the Miami Marlins 2013 season went on sale. This is what dumping $146.5 million in salary gets you one year after a brand new stadium opens built on the backs of taxpayers. The unfortunate thing is, the steep dive back into the attendance abyss for the Marlins will work to their advantage. Paring back salary at the detriment of attendance really is about cutting the margins down, and therefore, as in years past, the Marlins will profit by living off welfare. Dear Commissioner Selig, is the way to let one club tarnish the rest of the league?

For more, read this from Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post


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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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The Mock Salary Arbitration Case in Favor of Max Scherzer Seeking $7.4 million PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 09 February 2013 12:58

On Thursday, I took part in a series of mock salary arbitration cases that are appearing on Baseball Prospectus. In the case, I covered the Tigers’ side if Max Scherzer had gone to hearing. It was a tough case to make. Scherzer certainly anchored the rotation behind Justin Verlander.

The process of doing mock hearings is so enjoyable that I decided to play both sides of the street. On Thursday it was a case for the Tigers. Today, it’s my case for Scherzer. -- Maury Brown

+++++   +++++   +++++

In the case of Max Scherzer seeking a one-year salary arbitration salary for 2013 with the Detroit Tigers, a strong case is made that the $7.4 million salary he is seeking is fair, not only in comparison to his peers within his service time class this year, but in the year prior.

Scherzer compiled the finest season of his career, posting a 16-7 record, 3.74 ERA and 231 strikeouts in 32 starts. He was the #2 starter on the roster behind only Justin Verlander. His achievements on the season show clearly why the salary he is seeking is warranted. Scherzer’s 2012 platform season display that he is not only one of the best pitchers on the Tigers’ staff, but in all baseball for his ability to gain strikeouts and his winning percentage places him at the top of his salary arbitration class for starting pitchers. His season accomplishments provide ample evidence.

  • He ranked second in all of Major League Baseball in strikeouts behind only Verlander (231)
  • Led the American League in stikeouts per 9 innings (1.08)
  • His winning percentage of .696 ranked ahead of teammate Verlander and fourth behind only CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver, and David Price in the American League,
  • Scherzer struck out nine-or-more batters in 13 of his starts during the season and topped all major league pitchers with 13 such outings. His 13 such games marked the most by a Tigers pitcher since Mickey Lolich posted 15 games with nine-or more strikeouts in 971.
  • Finished 4-0 with a 4.04 ERA (35.2IP/16ER) and 51 strikeouts in six starts during May -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked only the fourth time a Tigers pitcher posted an unbeaten record with at least four wins and 50 strikeouts during a calendar month, In doing so, he joined Jack Morris (August of 1983) and Justin Verlander (May of 2009 and June of 2011) in accomplishing the feat.
  • Scherzer led the American League with 51 strikeouts during May, while he tied for the lead with four wins.
  • He struck out at least eight batters in 10 consecutive starts July 19-September 7 which marked the longest such streak of outings by a Tigers pitcher since at least 1918.
  • Scherzer won five straight starts August 10-September 1, compiling a 1.03 ERA (35.0IP/4ER) and 44 strikeouts -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first pitcher in Tigers history to win five straight starts while averaging more than one strikeout per inning and not allowing more than two runs during any of the starts.
  • He was the Tigers Pitcher of the Month for August after compiling a 4-0 record, 2.25 ERA (32.0IP/8ER) and 44 strikeouts in five starts during the month -- tied for the lead in the American League with four wins during August, while he tied for second with 44 strikeouts and was seventh with a 2.25 ERA.
  • Finished 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA (29.0IP/7ER) and 33 strikeouts in five starts during September
  • Limited righthanded hitters to a .201 batting average (66x329) while lefties batted .292 (113x387) with him on the mound
  • He received votes for AL Pitcher of the Month in August (4-0, 2.25 ERA, 9 BB, 44 SO) and in September (2-1, 2.17 ERA, 29.0 IP, 4 BB, 33 SO).

Compared to his peers in his service group, he is at the top of several statistical categories:


Platform

IP

G

GS

ERA

W

L

W PCT

H

Ks

Homer Bailey

2012

208

33

33

3.68

13

10

.565

206

168

Jason Hammel

2012

118

20

20

3.43

8

6

.571

104

113

Max Scherzer

2012

187.2

32

32

3.74

16

7

.696

179

231

 

In comparison to Jason Hammel of the Orioles: Scherzer is seeking a salary of $7.4 million compared to Hammel’s $8.25 million. And yet, Scherzer posts twice as many wins (16), and struck out a staggering 122 more batters faced.

Compared to Homer Bailey: he has a higher winning percentage, gave up 27 less hits, and struck out 68 more batters in 20.8 less innings pitched.

Scherzer’s salary of $7.4 million he is seeking is also warranted based on comparable players in the year prior with the same amount of service time.

 

Platform

IP

G

GS

ERA

W

L

W PCT

H

R

ER

HR

BB

Ks

Max Scherzer

2012

187.2

32

32

3.74

16

7

.696

179

82

78

23

60

231

Matt Garza

2011

198

31

31

3.32

10

10

.500

186

90

73

14

63

197

 

In 2011, Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs was within the same Major League service time range as Scherzer is now (4 years). Garza had sought a salary of $12.5 million—a staggering $5.1 million more than what Scherzer is seeking. Ultimately, Garza and the Cubs reached a settlement of $9.5 million, still more than $2 million than what Scherzer is seeking. And yet, they are very closely matched statistically. While Scherzer gave up more home runs, he had less walks. When adjusting for the amount of innings pitched, the amount of hits, runs, and earned runs are within a very small margin. Scherzer’s winning percentage is 196 points higher than Garza, and yet he is seeking far less in pay.

Based upon the performance and pay of his peers, Max Scherzer clearly deserves the $7.4 million he is seeking. The $6.5 million that the Tigers are offering would be a disservice to a stellar 2012 season for the Tigers’ starter.


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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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