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Orioles to Remain in Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Training PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 23 December 2006 15:15

OriolesThe Orioles will remain in Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and will not be going to Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

The  Ft. Lauderdale city commissioners reversed on a decision made earlier this week. The reason for the change of heart comes as the Orioles agreed to spare the city any costs to upgrade the venue and add baseball diamonds and soccer fields.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun:

Broward County has agreed to put $800,000 in hotel bed taxes annually for 30 years into the deal. If the state grants the $15 million, the Orioles plan to strip the 8,340-seat park to its basic structure and then upgrade it with 7,000 fixed seats and grass berms with room for 2,000 fans. Lockhart Stadium is to be demolished and three full-size practice fields and four multipurpose fields added for public use.

Commissioners reconsidered the plan after Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom agreed to a special meeting and persuaded the team to craft a deal that would not tap city dollars aside from maintaining the fields.
 
Four Former Orioles Added to Revolution Coaching Staff PDF Print E-mail
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Independent League News
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 22 December 2006 16:16
York RevolutionThe York Revolution announced Friday that “The Oriole Way” is alive and well in York as it named four former Baltimore Orioles to lead the coaching staff in the upcoming inaugural season. Chris Hoiles was announced as the club’s first-ever manager and will be joined by Tippy Martinez as pitching coach, Ryan Minor as the team’s infield/hitting coach, and Al Bumbry as outfield/baserunning coach and community ambassador. Beginning in May of 2007 the Revolution will open play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

“We are thrilled to bring Chris, Tippy, Ryan and Al to lead the Revolution coaching staff through our inaugural season,” said Peter Kirk, chairman of Keystone Baseball, ownership group of the York Revolution. “I am confident that their leadership, Major League experience and impeccable knowledge of the game provide us with a coaching staff that is second to none in all of minor league baseball.”

Read more...
 
Yankees and Red Sox hit with Luxury Tax PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 December 2006 13:06

For the fourth consecutive year, the New York Yankees have broken the Luxury Tax threshold. By breaking it consecutively, the Yankees were hit with a $26 million luxury tax by the commissioner's office, raising the Yankee's total to $97.75 million over the last four years.

The only other club to break the threshold in the last year of the 2003-2006 CBA was the Boston Red Sox. They were hit with a $497,549 luxury tax.

Based on MLB's report, year-end payroll figures based on the average annual values of contracts and benefits reported by Ronald Blum of the AP were:

  1. Yankees: $207.5 million
  2. Red Sox: $137.5 million
  3. Mets; $116.6 million
  4. Astros: $107.7 million
  5. Dodgers: $107.2 million
  6. Angels: $104 million

Others included:

  • Cardinals (10th): $96.1 million
  • Tigers (14th): $89.8 million
  • Pirates (28th): $43.4 million
  • Devil Rays (29th): $36.4 million
  • Marlins (30th): $21.1 million

As Blum notes, the Marlins payroll was less than half that of the Pirates, although up from the $14,998,500 Opening Day payroll they started with.

BREAK DOWN OF LUXURY TAX FIGURES DURING THE 2003-2006 CBA

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Report: Ellerman Source of BALCO Leaks PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 22 December 2006 11:50

Troy EllermanFor more than two years, there has been speculation as to who had leaked grand jury testimony regarding the BALCO case to Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, two writers for the San Francisco Chronicle who would later turn their investigation into the book, Game of Shadows.

During this time, it was thought that Victor Conte was the source of the leaks. Now, it is being reported that defense attorney, Troy Ellerman has been the source.

The report today by Josh Peters of Yahoo! Sports goes on to say that "Ellerman has been the subject of an FBI investigation, according to Larry McCormack, a former private investigator who worked on the BALCO federal steroids case and who said he was a co-tenant in an office with Ellerman in Sacramento, Calif., where they worked together on cases, at the time of the alleged leaks. Other sources have said they were interviewed by the FBI."

Ellerman, reached by phone Wednesday, said, "I don't have any comment."

It was Ellerman who initially represented Victor Conte who founded Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). Ellerman also represented James Valente, vice president of BALCO.

But, not everyone is in agreement that Ellerman is the source of the leaks. As the article by Peters further reports :

Michael Rains, the attorney representing Barry Bonds, said he doesn't believe Ellerman leaked grand jury information or transcripts in part because, according to Rains, Ellerman would not have had access to some of the information that was reported by the Chronicle in 2005.

"I find that hard to believe to begin with, that Troy would do that," Rains said Wednesday. "But obviously I don't know the man very well, and the first time I met him was in connection with this case.

"I've always thought it was people within the government that have leaked this stuff, and I still believe it."

It will be interesting to see what comes of this and how it impacts Fainaru-Wada and Williams, who have served jail time over their refusal to release their sources for the articles in the Chronicle and Game of Shadows.

 
Remaining Free Agents as of 12/22 PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 December 2006 02:49

MLBThe 84 remaining free agents:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BALTIMORE (4) -- Bruce Chen, lhp; Russ Ortiz, rhp; Fernando Tatis, 3b; Chris Widger, c.

BOSTON (4) -- Keith Foulke, rhp; Gabe Kapler, of; Mark Loretta, 3b; Trot Nixon, of.

CHICAGO (3) -- Sandy Alomar Jr., c; Dustin Hermanson, rhp; Jeff Nelson, rhp.

CLEVELAND (2) -- Aaron Boone, 3b; Lou Merloni, 2b.

DETROIT (1) -- Troy Percival, rhp.

KANSAS CITY (2) -- Doug Mientkiewicz, 1b; Mark Redman, lhp.

LOS ANGELES (1) -- Darin Erstad, of-1b.

MINNESOTA (4) -- Phil Nevin, 1b; Brad Radke, rhp; Shannon Stewart, of.

NEW YORK (4) -- Miguel Cairo, 2b; Ron Villone, lhp; Bernie Williams, of; Craig Wilson, of.

OAKLAND (2) -- Steve Karsay, rhp; Barry Zito, lhp.

SEATTLE (1) -- Eduardo Perez, 1b.

TAMPA BAY (2) -- Brian Meadows, rhp; Tomas Perez, ss.

TEXAS (1) -- Eric Young, 2b.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

ATLANTA (3) -- Brian Jordan, of; Todd Pratt, c; John Thomson, rhp.

CHICAGO (1) -- John Mabry, 1b.

CINCINNATI (7) -- Ryan Franklin, rhp; Eddie Guardado, lhp; Todd Hollandsworth, of; Jason Johnson, rhp; Kent Mercker, lhp; Scott Schoeneweis, lhp; Paul Wilson, rhp.

COLORADO (2) -- Vinny Castilla, 3b; Mike DeJean, rhp.

FLORIDA (2) -- Matt Herges, rhp; Brian Moehler, rhp.

HOUSTON (3) -- Jeff Bagwell, 1b; Roger Clemens, rhp; Aubrey Huff, 3b.

LOS ANGELES (2) -- J.D. Drew, of; Aaron Sele, rhp.

MILWAUKEE (4) -- David Bell, 3b; Rick Helling, rhp; Dan Kolb, rhp; Tomo Ohka, rhp.

NEW YORK (6) -- Mike DiFelice, c; Cliff Floyd, of; Yusaku Iriki, rhp; Ricky Ledee, of; Steve Trachsel, rhp; Michael Tucker, rf.

PHILADELPHIA (4) -- Alex S. Gonzalez, ss; Jose Hernandez, ss; Arthur Rhodes, lhp; Rick White, rhp.

PITTSBURGH (2) -- Jeromy Burnitz, of; Joe Randa, 3b.

ST. LOUIS (6) -- Ronnie Belliard, 2b; Mark Mulder, lhp; Jeff Suppan, rhp; Jose Vizcaino, ss; Jeff Weaver, rhp; Preston Wilson, of.

SAN DIEGO (5) -- Shawn Estes, lhp; Sterling Hitchcock, lhp; Chan Ho Park, rhp; Rudy Seanez, rhp; David Wells, lhp.

SAN FRANCISCO (5) -- Barry Bonds, lf; Steve Finley, cf; Todd Greene, c; Shea Hillenbrand, 1b; Jamey Wright, rhp.

WASHINGTON (3) -- Tony Armas Jr., rhp; Robert Fick, 1b; Ramon Ortiz, rhp.

 
Orioletown? PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 December 2006 02:42

OriolesWith the Dodgers all but packing it up and moving to Glendale, AZ after the announcement yesterday of approved funding there for a new Cactus League ballpark that would be the Spring Training home for not only the Dodgers, but the White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles are looking at moving into Dodgertown.

The Orioles have already paid a visit to the Treasure Coast city's Dodgertown Sports & Conference Center, and other clubs are looking into the location made famous after the Dodgers called it home for more than 60 years.  As reported by the AP:

"The history is still there as Dodgertown," Vero Beach mayor, Tom White said. "But it will always be there. There will be a history that we had the Brooklyn Dodgers and the L.A. Dodgers, but I don't see a problem with another team starting their own history."

Orioles spokesman Bill Stetka said Thursday that the team remains committed to training in Fort Lauderdale, where the team has trained since 1996.

"Our intention and our focus is to continue to pursue the Fort Lauderdale option," Stetka said. "We've been working with the people in Fort Lauderdale for a number of years and are still hopeful of getting an agreement in place that will provide state funding that we hope will be allocated."
 
Please welcome... Commissioner Damon PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 22 December 2006 02:32

PBGLMLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), Boras Marketing, and Global Game Leagues, Inc. (GGL) yesterday announced the formation of the Professional Baseball Video Game League (PBGL). For the first season, NY Yankee centerfielder Johnny Damon will serve as commissioner of the gaming league.

The league kicks off this week using Microsoft’s Project Gotham Racing® 3 for Xbox 360. So, what did “Commissioner Damon” have to say in his opening remarks? Something about this being the Golden Age of baseball? How revenue-sharing is creating more parity in the league? Not quite, but he did play the part well.

“GGL is bringing together two of my biggest passions – baseball and video games – in a way that neither baseball fans nor video gamers have seen before,” said Commissioner Damon. “Both baseball and video games play a huge role in today’s culture in the US and around the world, and the PBGL is doing a great job of bringing these two communities together.”

 Other Boras clients that will be part of the league include Craig Hansen (Boston Red Sox), Julian Tavarez (Boston Red Sox), Matt Holliday (Colorado Rockies), Willy Taveras (Colorado Rockies), Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers), Josh Barfield (Cleveland Indians), Corey Patterson (Baltimore Orioles), Rodrigo Lopez (Baltimore Orioles), Derek Lowe (Los Angeles Dodgers), Seth McClung (Tampa Bay Devil Rays), Mike Pelfrey (New York Mets), Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals) and Dallas McPherson (Los Angeles Angels).

 
Selig Named SBJ/SBD Executive of the Year PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Thursday, 21 December 2006 04:12

Commissioner SeligTwelve month period showcases impressive list of accomplishments for baseball’s Selig, who leads by consensus building --

Charlotte, NC (December 21, 2006) – Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily today named Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig  their Executive of the Year.

 Selig has put together an impressive body of work during his 14-year tenure as MLB’s top executive. But in 2006, he had a career year, earning him the 2006 SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Executive of the Year award.  The season saw record revenue ($5.2 billion), record attendance (more than 76 million), a new labor deal without a threat of work stoppage, three new television and media agreements, long-awaited stadium deals in Washington, Minnesota and Oakland, the successful rollout of the World Baseball Classic, and the seventh different World Series champion in as many years.

“Baseball under Bud Selig's leadership has done in one calendar year what for most people would be a great career,” Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports, tells SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in the Dec. 25 issue out Monday.  Fox Sports in July committed $1.8 billion to MLB between 2007 and 2013 in one of those new TV deals. 

NBA Commissioner David Stern added, “In terms of a combination of putting out fires, defusing crises, building consensus - including collective-bargaining consensus with ownership – and growing revenues and the stature of the brand, he’s had not only a good year, he’s had a good decade.”

An editorial committee from SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily met throughout 2006 to select its Executive of the Year, which recognizes accomplishments for the calendar year.  Selig was selected after months of nominations, research, discussion and debate. 

“Bud Selig is often viewed by sports fans as lacking the vision and leadership of his colleagues at other leagues,” said Abraham Madkour, Executive Editor of both SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. “But if you’re in the business, you have to appreciate his list of achievements in 2006. He tirelessly works the phones to build a consensus among the owners, he has a very strong management team at Major League Baseball, he delegates effectively and allows a talented staff to do their job.  He’s become a very strong CEO for the sport.”

This is the fourth time the publications have issued a combined award.  Prior to 2003, each publication issued a separate award.  Previous winners include:

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MLB Salary Average up 9% to Nearly $2.7 million PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 21 December 2006 03:30

MLBEven before the free spending this off-season, player salaries have been increasing... dramatically.

Ronald Blum of AP reports that the "average salary shot up 9 percent this year (2006) to $2,699,292, according to final figures released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association." This would make the increase the highest percentage in salary growth since 2001 when it was 12.8%. Given the fact that off-season spending is approaching an all-time high, it seems a given that the average salary will be over $3 million by 2008. As further reported by the AP:

The New York Yankees had the highest average salary for the eighth consecutive season, but their average dropped to $6.95 million from a record $7.39 million the previous year.

Houston was second at $4.28 million, up from ninth place in 2005. Boston was third at $3.99 million, down from $4.17 million the previous season, followed by the New York Mets ($3.86 million), the Chicago White Sox ($3.81 million) and the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals ($3.78 million).

The AL champion Detroit Tigers were ninth at $3.06 million, up from 15th.

Florida's average of $594,722 was the lowest in the major leagues since 1999, when Kansas City was at $534,460, the Marlins at $561,111 and Montreal at $572,290.

Among the teams with the 10 highest averages, only San Francisco ($3.8 million) had a losing record (76-85). Among clubs with the 12 lowest averages, the only one with a winning record was Toronto (87-75).

Discuss the increases in salaries here on the Biz of Baseball forums 

 
Randy Bush Named Asst. GM of Cubs PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Thursday, 21 December 2006 03:18
Randy Bush was promoted to assistant general manager by the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

Bush, a member of two World Series winning teams with the Minnesota Twins, had joined the Cubs as a special assistant to general manager Jim Hendry on Jan. 26, 2005. He also served as the organization's minor league hitting instructor in 1999.

Bush, a first baseman and outfielder, was a career .251 hitter in 1,219 major league games, all with the Twins.

 
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