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ESPN Reaches Largest Broadcast Deal Ever for MLB PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:14

MLB

Major League Baseball and ESPN today announced the largest broadcast deal in league history with a new eight-year, $5.6 billion agreement ($700 million annually) that will carry their longstanding relationship into its fourth decade.  The agreement sets the standard going forward for Major League Baseball broadcasting as ESPN’s annual rights fee will increase by 100% over its current deals ($306 million annually), marking a new all-time record for an MLB broadcasting deal. The deal grants ESPN, which first began televising Major League Baseball games in 1990, a significant increase in studio and game content, including the right to broadcast up to 90 regular season MLB games per year across the ESPN networks beginning in 2014 and running through the 2021 season.  ESPN will continue to telecast three Major League Baseball windows each week including Monday nights, Wednesday nights, and the nationally exclusive “Sunday Night Baseball” franchise. 

Not accounting for any expenses in the deal, each of the 30 clubs in the league would share equally in the revenue which comes to $23.33 million annually, up from $10.2 million in the deal prior.

In addition, ESPN will once again televise Postseason baseball, beginning in 2014 with one of the two Wild Card Games presented by Budweiser.  ESPN will alternate airing the American League and National League Wild Card Games each year.  Also starting in 2014, ESPN will have the rights to all potential regular season tiebreaker games.  This new agreement covers television and radio rights to MLB programming both in the U.S. and internationally, and will include expanded hours of Baseball Tonight and other ancillary baseball programming across ESPN platforms.  In addition, ESPN MLB game telecasts and other baseball programming will be available via ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN app.  ESPN has also made a commitment to showcase each of the 30 MLB Clubs at least once per season in a live game telecast.

Commissioner Selig was more than happy with the deal reached.

 “On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am thrilled that we will continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN far into the future.  The level of ESPN’s commitment to baseball – both financially and through its expanded content – is a testament to the strength of our game and its unprecedented popularity among our fans,” Selig said.  “Through its various networks and other media platforms, ESPN offers baseball fans more avenues to experience the game than ever before, and we’re thankful for their continued support.”

ESPN President John Skipper said: “We’re thrilled to renew our long-standing agreement with Major League Baseball into the next decade. It’s a great property. The enormous scope of what we acquired will provide fans with more live baseball and more ways to access baseball content than ever before.”

          Additional details of the agreement include:

  • ESPN will continue to have exclusive television rights to certain MLB All-Star Week events including the State Farm Home Run Derby and Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.
  • A nationally exclusive Opening Night national telecast, as well as full coverage of Opening Day and national holiday games (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day).
  • Up to 10 Spring Training games each season.
  • In each year of the agreement, ESPN will air six one-hour specials created by Major League Baseball Productions, the Emmy Award-winning television and video production division of Major League Baseball.

A larger question was how the digital aspect of the deal impacts MLB Advanced Media who oversees MLB.com. A cash-cow for the league, questions of competition come with the new agreement.

Addressing the media, Selig said he has been amazed at the growth of MLBAM and that “you won’t recognize it” in ten to twelve years, a reference to its growth.

Bob Bowman, the CEO of MLBAM said, “We couldn’t ask for a better partner and competitor than ESPN,” adding that he did not see it adversely impacting the digital rights arm of baseball.

And then there’s the issue of the exclusivity agreements that impact the league’s blackout policy via the MLB Extra Innings television package or MLB.TV, the now decade-old digital streaming of games. With the increase to 90 games a season, more Sunday games will be blacked out nationally. And while the blackout issue on Sunday evenings for ESPN has been difficult, it is nationally televised Saturday day games on FOX that has created the biggest blackout issue. To that, ESPN is really the first of three national broadcast deals that will be addressed shortly as the deals with FOX and TBS still have yet to be addressed. It could be as late asthe end of 2013 when the contracts expire before those addressed.


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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Inside MLB 2012 Attendance Down the Stretch PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by David Simmons   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 12:26

Inside MLB Attendance

With roughly a quarter of the season left to go, it’s a good time to check to see how teams are doing in the ticket selling department (see details posted below). The Phillies, Giants, and Red Sox continue to pace the league by selling just about every ticket. Two teams that appear on highest attendance, percentage of capacity, and sales increase are the Rangers and Tigers who continue to have sales gains even though their attendance is already very strong. Wild card contenders Pittsburgh (6%) and Tampa Bay (5%) do not even rank in the top increases which just goes to show how great of a year the league is having at the box office. Nineteen clubs are flat or experiencing increases in attendance as we enter the final month. Overall, league attendance is up 2.2 million with a strong shot to end the season at 76 million fans. With better weather, increased value deals from teams, and the use of dynamic pricing the league is having a banner year at the box office. Other highlights for the league include the Padres being up 3% even though they have had a dismal year on the field and the Athletics up 9% thanks to Wild Card chase.

A few things that are worth keeping an eye on as we enter September.

One will certainly be whether the Red Sox can continue their sellout streak. With 11 home games remaining the only challenges for the Sox would be a Tuesday and Wednesday set of games against the Rays as the rest are weekend tilts with the Yankees. The Red Sox streak will survive 3 years of no postseason for Boston and have 792 sellouts entering 2013. Another race to watch at the box office is overall attendance between Philadelphia, the Yankees, and Texas.

The Phillies recently announced the end of their own sellout streak -- a fallout of the disappointing season -- with two teams seem to be catching up at the box office. The Yankees seemed destined to be #1 at the end of the season as they continue their pennant chase. Mathematically it would be very tough for Texas to catch up given the number of weekday games remaining on their schedule.

Another storyline to keep an eye on is the attendance battle between the Dodgers and Giants as they go head to head for the NL West. The Dodgers seemed destined to overtake the Giants in attendance with their new additions as Los Angeles us a mere 300 fans behind with 18 home games to go. The Giants just can’t compete with the 56,000 seating capacity that Dodger Stadium can hold. It’s worth noting that the Dodgers are still about 5,000 fans a game from their peak in 2009 when they averaged 46,440 and lead baseball in attendance and given the new player additions it appears they are headed back in the right direction. With school back in session it’s always fascinating to see just how low non-competing teams without high season ticket bases can go. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Colorado, Cleveland, Seattle, and Houston over the next month as well. For further detail on attendance leaders see the leader boards below:

Top 10 in AVG Ballpark Capacity

Philadelphia Phillies (102%)

Boston Red Sox (101%)

San Francisco Giants (100%)

St. Louis Cardinals (93%)

Detroit Tigers (92%)

Minnesota Twins (89%)

Chicago Cubs (89%)

Texas Rangers (88%)

New York Yankees (87%)

Milwaukee Brewers (84%)

Top in 10 AVG. Attendance

Philadelphia Phillies 44,353

New York Yankees 43,745

Texas Rangers 43,076

San Francisco Giants 41,744

LA Dodgers 41,475

St. Louis Cardinals 40,705

Detroit Tigers 38,070

LA Angels 37,634

Boston Red Sox 37,598

Chicago Cubs 36,752

Top 10 Percent Increase over LY YTD

Miami Marlins (55%)

Washington Nationals (28%)

Toronto Blue Jays (21%)

Detroit Tigers (21%)

Texas Rangers (20%)

Baltimore Orioles (18%)

Kansas City Royals (14%)

Los Angeles Dodgers (12%)

Arizona Diamondbacks (12%)

Oakland Athletics (9%)

**All data as of 8/26 via ESPN and Baseball-Reference


David SimmonsDavid Simmons is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who worked in the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers over 4 seasons and has a decade of ticketing experience.. He serves as CFO for Players For The Planet and currently resides in Baltimore. You can follow David on Twitter @davidesimmons

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10 Must-Know Facts in the Blockbuster Red Sox-Dodgers Trade PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 27 August 2012 09:00
Dodgers Red Sox

UPDATE: There was a salary calculation mistake in the original post. The source data for the correction has been provided
With the mega-trade that went down on Saturday between the Red Sox and Dodgers, we may have to redefine the word “blockbuster.” Today on Baseball Prospectus, I break it all down (see Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made). Here’s ten must-know details around the trade, via the article:

  1. The Red Sox are moving a total of $262.5 million off the books
  2. No trade has ever involved two players who each had more than $100 million remaining on their contracts (Gonzalez and Crawford).
  3. The only other trade in which a player was traded with at least $100 million left on his contract was Alex Rodriguez going from the Rangers to the Yankees in February of 2004.
  4. In terms of the number of players involved, it’s the most in Dodger history
  5. It ties as the second-most in Red Sox history (trades with nine players have now happened three times, on October 11, 1971 the club traded 10): Jim Lonborg, Ken Brett, Billy Conigliaro, Joe Lahoud, George Scott, and Don Pavletich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse, Tommy Harper, and minor leaguer Pat Skrable.
  6. For 2012, the Dodgers had an Opening Day player payroll of $105,419,833
  7. If the Dodgers were to exercise all of their club options for Juan Rivera, Todd Coffey, and Matt Treanor, when added to the $58.25 million in salary that Gonzalez ($21 million), Crawford ($20 million), Beckett ($15.75 million), and Punto ($1.5 million) add to the picture, payroll next season would be $241.7 million. Throw in dead money from Manny Ramirez ($8.333 million) and Andruw Jones ($3.2 million) and you get $194,983,333
  8. The Luxury Tax threshold for 2013 is $178 million.
  9. Average attendance for the Dodgers is up 4,572 per game to 41,469 from 36,897 at the same point last season.
  10. The Dodgers finished under 3 million in paid attendance last season for the first time since 1995.


Purple represents option years
See a mountain of details at the Baseball Prospectus link: Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made


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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Vin Scully to Return to Broadcast Booth in 2013 for 64th Season PDF Print E-mail
Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 26 August 2012 11:14

Vin Scully

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, one of the most revered figures in Los Angeles sports history, will return to the broadcast booth for an unprecedented 64th season in 2013, it was announced. Scully will again call all Dodger home and road games in California and Arizona.

“The new ownership of the Dodgers has revitalized the city, the team, the fans and myself,” Scully said. “I am so convinced of their great purpose and leadership that I eagerly look forward to joining them in pursuit of the next Dodgers championship.”

Widely regarded as the finest sportscaster of all time, Scully’s 63 years of service mark the longest tenure in his field. While he calls all nine innings of the team's television broadcasts on PRIME TICKET and KCAL 9, the first three innings of each of his games are also simulcast on AM 570 Fox Sports LA.

“The Dodgers are ecstatic to have Vin back with the team in 2013,” said Dodger Chairman and Owner Mark Walter. “Vin is a treasure to the Dodgers, baseball and the city of Los Angeles and having him continuing his work in the broadcast booth next season means a great deal to all of us.”

“It was a treat to be able to listen to Chick Hearn through my years with the Lakers,” said Dodger owner Earvin Johnson, “and it’s been great to be able to listen to Vin work his magic in the broadcast booth since I came to Los Angeles in 1979. Generations of Angelenos have been blessed to have these Hall of Famers in their midst.”

“We’re thrilled to know that in our quest to heighten the fan experience at Dodger Stadium, the fan experience everywhere Vin’s voice can be heard will continue to be maximized through at least the 2013 season,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten.

Scully began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. During his unmatched career, he has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games. Iconic moments called by Scully include Kirk Gibson’s miraculous Game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run, Sandy Koufax’s four no-hitters, including a perfect game, and the scoreless-inning streaks of Dodger greats Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser.

When Scully began broadcasting, the Dodgers had yet to win a World Series. Three years later, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person to ever broadcast a World Series game. In 1955, he had his most memorable moment behind the microphone, as he called the Dodgers' first and only championship in Brooklyn.

In Los Angeles, Scully called Dodger World Championships in 1959, ’63, ’65, ’81 and ’88 and he was elected the top sportscaster of the 20th century by the non-profit American Sportscasters Association.

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers


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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Bartolo Colon Yet Another Player Suspended for Testosterone PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:05

ColonThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Colon is effective immediately.

Colon did not try to make excuses for the positive test through a statement released through the MLB Players Association

“I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's.  I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the Joint Drug Program,” Colon said.

Since last year, three Major League players have tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Colon, along with the Giants’ Melky Cabrera and NL MVP Ryan Braun. Braun’s suspension was overturned when an independent arbiter ruled that the chain of custody was broke with his test sample.


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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Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball Properties Renew Sponsorship Agreement PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:23

MLBAnheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball Properties today announced a continuation of their long-term partnership by entering into a six-year renewal of the sponsorship agreement that designates Budweiser as the Official Beer Sponsor of Major League Baseball, continuing a relationship that has lasted more than 30 years. Financial terms were not released.

As part of the sponsorship, Anheuser-Busch will have exclusive rights within the malt beverage category to use the MLB marks and logos.  Budweiser also will be presenting sponsor of MLB Opening Week and the Player of the Month awards, as well as a cornerstone partner of the MLB Fan Cave, the league initiative geared towards engaging fans via social media while increasing the profile of star players and placing baseball at the center of all things pop culture. At the MLB Fan Cave in New York, Budweiser will be a presenting sponsor of the MLBFanCave.com Concert Series, which in 2012 has featured popular musical acts including Nas, Daughtry, Adam Lambert, The Avett Brothers and Far East Movement.

New in 2012, Budweiser will be the presenting sponsor of the first-ever Wild Card Games, the single-elimination games between the two Wild Card teams from each league that will be played on Oct. 5, with the winners advancing to their respective Division Series. MLB expanded the Postseason format earlier this year.

“For more than 30 years, America's national pastime has partnered with America's beer and we are proud to continue the union of two brands that evoke such loyalty and emotion," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Business. "By partnering on initiatives like the Wild Card and MLB Fan Cave, this new agreement truly demonstrates an evolution in our relationship."

“MLB has a broad and growing fan base and our partnership gives Budweiser a presence with a large and loyal audience of adult beer drinkers,” said Blaise D’Sylva, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing at Anheuser-Busch. “As the Official Beer Sponsor, our focus is on Budweiser enhancing the baseball experience for fans, whether in-game or at-home, through exclusive content and unique opportunities at point-of-sale, on-premise and via our social media channels.” 

To celebrate its renewed status as the Official Beer Sponsor of MLB, Budweiser will host a “Made in MLB Fan Cave” concert tonight with The Walkmen, who will embark on a U.S. tour this fall in support of their sixth studio album, the critically-acclaimed Heaven. More than 200 Budweiser Facebook fans will be in attendance at the Fan Cave in New York City, where they will hear a set by The Walkmen and have an opportunity to sample Budweiser’s new “Project 12” beers, small-batch Budweiser “tribute beers,” three of which will be nationally available later this year in a Fall sampler pack.

In addition to its status as Official Beer Sponsor of MLB, Budweiser sponsors 23 of the league’s 30 teams and continues to support America’s fallen heroes throughout the 2012 MLB season via its “Walk Off a Hero” program. Budweiser is donating $5,000 for every walk-off win during baseball’s regular season to the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country.

Source: Major League Baseball


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, MLBPA Come Out Swinging on Testing for Elevated Levels of Testosterone PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 20 August 2012 16:26

Drugs in MLBSince Melky Cabrera was suspended for elevated levels of testosterone, and even prior as part of Ryan Braun having come up positive for the same, discussions have swirled about the process by which players are tested. Recently, Victor Conte, the former head of BALCO has been just one.

Today the league and union for the players struck back issuing a joint statement on how testing for testosterone is conducted saying that reporting and much of the commentary has been inaccurate. The statement reads…

The facts are these:

· Like almost every other testing program, Baseball’s program uses a testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 4:1 as a screening device.  Unlike most other programs, however, the fact that a sample has a T/E ratio below 4:1 does not mean that sample is free from further analysis.
 
· The characteristics of every sample, including the T/E ratio, are analyzed at the WADA-certified laboratory in Montreal and the laboratory determines which samples are subjected to Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) testing.
 
· All samples with a T/E ratio above 4:1 are subjected to CIR but so are many samples with a T/E ratio less than 4:1.
 
Christiane Ayotte, the Director of the WADA-certified laboratory in Montreal, stated: “The procedures used in the Montreal Laboratory make more extensive use of CIR than those used in other labs and there is no doubt that Baseball’s program detects testosterone positives that other programs would fail to detect.”

A key point that has been overlooked in much of the reporting is that the T/E ratios below 4:1 can be further tested. Stay tuned on this… there’s bound to be more commentary after this statement from the league and MLBPA.


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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Sale of Padres Approved by MLB's Owners PDF Print E-mail
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MLB Club Sales
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:58
San Diego Padres

Major League Baseball approved the sale of the San Diego Padres from John Moores to the group led by the Seidler/O’Malley families and Ron Fowler during its quarterly meetings, today in Milwaukee, MLB Commissioner Selig announced today.  Mr. Fowler will serve as the new ownership group’s control person.  The involvement of the grandchildren of Walter O’Malley – as represented by the Seidler/O’Malley interests in the team - marks the return to Major League Baseball ownership for his family. Walter O’Malley owned the Dodgers in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1950 to 1979 while his son Peter ran the club after till 1998 when the club was sold to New Corp.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am pleased to congratulate Ron Fowler, the Seidler and O’Malley families and all of their partners as they become the new stewards of the San Diego Padres.  With significant local representation and extensive baseball experience, this group understands the Padres’ binding role in the community, and I believe that its collective long-term vision and passion will serve the fans of San Diego well in the years ahead.

“I appreciate all that John Moores has done for the City of San Diego and applaud his exceptional sense of personal philanthropy, which has benefited many worthy local causes since his purchase of the Club in 1994.  I wish John and his family all the best.”

The sale has been reported to be $800 million with $200 million of that as upfront money Moores receives as part of the media rights deal with Fox Sports San Diego that that Padres brokered prior to the beginning of this season.


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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The Passing of Pesky: Reflections from Selig to Varitek to Pedro to Tiant, more PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 13 August 2012 20:49

PeskyAt 92 years of age, I can’t say that Johnny Pesky was ever old. He may have aged some in later years, but I never saw him as anything other than youthful. I am known for reporting on the business of sports, but I have always loved interviewing players and have done so with many, including “Needle Nose” aka Pesky.

When his passing was announced today, myself and others were flooded with emotion. He was, in many respects, the embodiment of the Red Sox, and a gentleman, and an ambassador, and a ballplayer in a time when larger things—namely World War II—took some of the finest ballplayers to grace the field out of their prime to fight for something larger.

As a Portland, OR. resident, I had followed Pesky. From his time at Vaughn St. Park to Fenway Park, his time here was something for us in the Pacific Northwest to take note of. I interviewed him several times, and was glad to get an in-depth interview fully transcribed online in 2006.

He was born John Michael Paveskovich, but we all knew him as Pesky. This isn’t sports business, but it’s something I can’t deny writing about here. The following is excepts from my interview (read it in its entirety here):

Brown: Can you tell us a bit about growing up in NW Portland, going to Lincoln High School and how baseball fit in with your life back then?

Pesky: We were very fortunate. I went to parochial school. I went to St. Patrick’s on Savior Street. We had a bunch of choir boys that played together. And, when I graduated, I went to Lincoln in southwest Portland. That was great and we took the bus there. And we went to school like every other kid. And we had every type of kid. We had the Americans, we had the Irish, we had the Jewish, we had the Chinese kids and we had the Japanese kids and we got along very, very well.

But the thing that was very important at that high school is that we had good teaching. The history teacher was Wade Williams and he coached football and baseball, of course. And Dave Wright was the basketball coach. You couldn’t find two better men. They were all for the kids and if they needed work they were after them to do this or do that. As a matter of fact, a kid from neighborhood, named John Bubalo was his name. He and I were very close and he became a doctor. He tried to play pro ball but when the war came on he went down to the University of Oregon and got his degree to become a doctor. There was a piece a few months ago about him, because he is retiring I’m sure, and he had delivered 5,000 babies. That’s over a period in the 90’s from the late 40’s.

He was a great kid when he was young. We had some great players. There was a kid named George Walker who I thought was going to be a great big league ballplayer. Vernon Reynolds was another one. Joe Erautt another one. Those names quickly come to mind. The Erautt brothers went to Lincoln High and Joe signed with the Tigers and his brother, Eddie, signed with Cincinnati. So we had some big leaguers in the area. We were well coached and we were well disciplined. I think Wade Williams was responsible for that.

Brown: Carl Mays, who is linked by tragedy in baseball, was none the less, a great pitcher. He also had baseball clinics at the old Jantzen Beach here in Portland. Can you tell me about Carl and those clinics?

Pesky: They were great. He used to get all the kids from age 14 to 16. Donnie Kusch, who I played with at Silverton, he was at Jefferson; he went to that school and the kid that played the best used to get to travel with the Portland Beavers on their next trip. And Donnie Kuschwas one of the best players. There were three or four of us, but Donnie was in the running and he was a good ball player. When he played with us on the Silverton [American Legion] team, I thought he was the best player on the team. He went on to the University of Oregon and I went away to play ball right after that year—’38 and ’39. And Don went on to the University of Oregon with Bubalo and Bill Connie and that group.

We had a lot of pretty good players, certainly for a high school. And some of them went pro and did very well. I thought Joe Hiron got hurt when he played. Joe Hiron played catcher. And Reynolds was a good infielder. George Walker was built like Mantle but he got out of high school and he went to Oklahoma City. Where, at a try-out, he made the club in spring training. They kept him and they started the season with him, but after three weeks he got home sick and got back to Bend and never did play pro ball. I thought he was one of the best players. He could run, throw and hit the ball hard and far.

The following are reactions to Pesky’s passing:

Commissioner Selig:

“The national pastime has lost one of its greatest ambassadors today.  Johnny Pesky, who led a great American life, was an embodiment of loyalty and goodwill for the Boston Red Sox and all of Major League Baseball.  A part of the Greatest Generation and forever one of ‘The Teammates,’ Johnny was a wonderful player who excelled alongside his dear friends Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio.  Just as importantly, Johnny touched the hearts of hundreds of Red Sox players and its legion of fans around the world.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of this special man, whose number six will be a part of Fenway Park forever.  I extend my deepest condolences to Johnny’s family, his many friends throughout the game and all the fans of the Boston Red Sox.”

Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry:

“We have lost a dear and beloved friend,” said Henry.  “Johnny was happiest when wearing the Red Sox uniform.  He was able to do that for 61 wonderful years.  He carried his passion for the Sox, for Fenway Park, and for baseball everywhere he went, and he was beloved in return.  We will miss him.  We share the sadness that his family and legions of friends are all feeling.”

Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner

“Johnny was one of the wonderful links to 70 years of Red Sox history,” said Tom Werner.  “He was the grandfather of the Red Sox.  He was as loving and kind a gentleman as one could imagine.  His stories were delightful, and his love of Ted Williams and his teammates shone through in virtually every conversation.  We know that those stories, and his spirit, will continue to live on at Fenway Park.  We extend our sympathies to his son, David, his daughter-in-law Alison, and all of the members of the Pesky family.”

Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino

“Johnny Pesky will forever be linked to the Boston Red Sox,” said Lucchino.  “He has been as much a part of Fenway Park as his retired Number 6 that rests on the right-field façade, or the foul pole below it that bears his name. But beyond these physical testaments, Johnny will be remembered most for his warmth, kindness, and loyalty. It was through his countless friendships that Johnny made his greatest impact on us, and we will miss him dearly.  His was a life well-lived.”

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The 2012 MLB Postseason Broadcast Schedule Released PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 23:08

MLB Postseason

This year, unlike any other year in Major League Baseball, the postseason is different. As part of the latest labor agreement, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to expand the number of teams in the postseason from eight to ten. The additions are the #5 seeds in each League. How it played with the regular and postseason schedule has been the issue.

On Thursday, MLB announced the schedule for the 2012 Postseason, which is set to open with the inaugural pair of Wild Card Games on Friday, October 5th. Game One of the 108th World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th in the ballpark of the National League Champions.

Changes to the Postseason format include the following:

  • Clubs from the same division will be allowed to play one another in either the Wild Card Game or the Division Series.
  • Tiebreaker games will be played to determine Division Championships, even if the two tied Clubs are assured of participating in the Postseason. If a Division Championship tiebreaker game is necessary, the head-to-head record between the tied Clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then division record will be the next tiebreaker.
  • If two Clubs are tied for both Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the tied Clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then division record will be the next tiebreaker.

Following the Wednesday, October 3rd scheduled close to the regular season, any necessary regular season tiebreaker games would be broadcast exclusively by TBS. The new Wild Card Games will launch the Postseason on Friday, October 5th and will be broadcast exclusively by TBS. This marks the second consecutive year that the Postseason will begin on a Friday. Before last year, the Postseason had not begun on a Friday since the 1915 World Series.

Two Division Series will begin on Saturday, October 6th, each involving matchups with two Division Champions squaring off. A full slate of Division Series games – two series openers, each involving a Wild Card Game winner, and a pair of Game Twos – is scheduled for Sunday, October 7th. The Division Series will run from Saturday, October 6th though Friday, October 12th, with two potential Game Fives on both Thursday, October 11th and Friday, October 12th. TBS will air 18 of the 20 Division Series games, while MLB Network will debut its live Postseason game coverage with one telecast on Sunday, October 7th and another on Wednesday, October 10th.

For the 2012 Postseason only, the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games for higher seeds. This one-year change, which eliminates a travel day prior to a decisive Game Five of the Division Series, was necessary because the 2012 regular season schedule was established before the agreement on the new Postseason format was reached. Next year, the Division Series will return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years.

The American League Championship Series will begin exclusively on TBS on Saturday, October 13th, and Sunday, October 14th will feature Game One of the National League Championship Series exclusively on FOX and Game Two of the ALCS on TBS. A potential Game Seven of the ALCS will be scheduled for Sunday, October 21st, while a potential Game Seven of the NLCS will be set for Monday, October 22nd.

Game One of the 2012 World Series will be scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th. Game Three of the Fall Classic will shift to the city of the American League Champions on Saturday, October 27th. A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, November 1st in the N.L. city. The scheduled off days during the World Series are Friday, October 26th and Tuesday, October 30th. In its 17th season as the official network broadcaster of Major League Baseball, FOX Sports will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the World Series.

ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2012 MLB Postseason games, including the Wild Card Games.

The complete 2012 Postseason schedule, subject to change, can be viewed by selecting READ MORE

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