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Read the Horowitz Decision on Alex Rodriguez 162 Game Suspension PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 14:17

Click to read the Horowitz decision on Alex Rodriguez

The Biz of Baseball has been updated with a new document

With arbitrator Fredric Horowitz rendering a decision that Alex Rodriguez will receive a 162 game suspension that covers all of the 2014 regular season and postseason, MLB has doled out the largest suspension in the history of the game. Based upon the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, the actual decision is to remain confidential. However, Alex Rodriguez filed suit against MLB and the MLBPA to get the suspension overturned. As part of that lawsuit, the decision was attached.

Here is the Horowtiz decision, added to the Biz of Baseball document collection under “PEDs”

See the decision in PDF


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

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

2013 MLB Postseason logo

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

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

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

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

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

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Miami Marlins Selling Tickets to No-Hitter the Day After It Happened PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 September 2013 14:08

Jeffrey Loria

Touting it as a “way to have a piece of history” the Miami Marlins are selling $15 tickets to yesterday’s no-hitter by Henderson Alvarez. The tickets will be on sale for not only Monday, but until Sunday, October 6th at midnight. The club is selling the 9,100 unsold tickets left for the game. The official box score for the game was 28,315, but the Marlins appear to be back-dooring in extra numbers and revenues with the tickets being sold after the fact. The Marlins did not sell out one game this season.

The Marlins finished second to last in league attendance this year with an average of 19,584 but will be trying to nudge that up as any tickets sold—even the ones for the no-hitter sold after the season is now completed —will count as paid attendance. In doing so, the Marlins are artificially inflating their attendance. The club currently will end the season with the worst attendance decline in the second season of a brand new ballpark since 1992 when Bud Selig took over as commissioner.

This isn’t the first time the Marlins have artificially inflated their attendance numbers. The club sold tickets after Roy Holladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game in 2010 that was played in Florida.


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

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Jack Zduriencik to Return as General Manager of the Mariners for 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:24

Jack ZJack Zduriencik, the general manager of the Seattle Mariners will be returning for at least the 2014 season, according to a report by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.

“Yes, Jack will be back,” Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said.

Citing club policy Armstrong would not get into details regarding the duration of deal to retain Zduriencik, but according to sources to Baker, it is expected to be a short term contract.

Zduriencik took over in 2008. Since then the Mariners have been an abysmal 417-550. The Mariners are on pace to lose more than 90 games this season after losing 87 in 2012. In 2008 and 2010 the team lost 101 games. Only the 2009 season, one year after Zduriencik took over, did the Mariners have a record above .500 (85-77, .525 winning percentage).

While Zduriencik is returning, the fate of manager Eric Wedge is not so certain. According to multiple sources, unless there is a dramatic turnaround of opinion in the front office, Wedge will be fired shortly after the end of the season.

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

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With Passing of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo of America Retains Ownership of Seattle Mariners PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:08

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man listed as majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, and a key figure that headed Nintendo from 1994 to 2002, passed away at the age of 85 on Thursday in Kyoto, Japan. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

The Mariners released a statement saying:

The Seattle Mariners organization is deeply saddened by the passing today of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi. His leadership of Nintendo is legendary worldwide. His decision in 1992 to purchase the Mariners franchise and keep Major League Baseball in Seattle as a "gesture of goodwill to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest" is legendary in this region. Mr. Yamauchi will be remembered for his role in moving forward the opportunity for Japanese baseball players to play in the United States. He will forever be a significant figure in Mariners Baseball history.

The impact of Yamauchi on the history of the Mariners and Major League Baseball marked one of the key turning points in both their history. The club was floundering under former owner Jeff Smulyan and on the verge of being relocated to Tampa Bay where a new domed ballpark had been built. Senator Slade Gordon from Washington convinced Yamauchi to purchase the club for $100 million and keep the Mariners in Seattle. Smulyan had purchased the club for $76 million in 1989 from George Argyros.

It was an unexpected move. At the time, there was no international ownership presence and initially then commissioner Fay Vincent and four owners rejected the sale approval, but they eventually relented under the condition that the Chairman and President of the club be American partners.

Under the ownership, the Mariners became contenders in 1995 and eventually moved out of the Kingdome and into Safeco Field in July of 1999. Without Yamauchi, the fate of the Mariners would have been quite different.

Yamauchi likely saw ownership of the Mariners as more of an interesting addition to his portfolio rather than purchasing the club due to a passion for baseball. He never attended a Mariners game, even when they and the A’s played two exhibition games in Tokyo and Ichiro was still with the club. As the team has languished in the standings, questions about whether there has been a passionate connection to winning at the ownership level has grown. The club has steadfastly denied those assertions.

The question now is, who takes over as the majority owner of the Mariners? While Mr. Yamauchi retained the title of majority owner of the Mariners, he sold his majority interest in the club in 2004 to Nintendo of America and was asked to retain that title at the request of Nintendo of America’s Board of Directors. In that, the ownership of the club remains unchanged in the wake of Mr. Yamauchi’s passing. Nintendo of America remains the majority owner of the club, and will be listed as the majority owner.


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

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MLB Releases 2013 Postseason Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:38

2013 MLB Postseason Logo

Major League Baseball today announced the schedule for the 2013 Postseason, which is set to open with the National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on Tuesday, October 1st.  Game One of the 109th World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd in the ballpark of the American League Champions.

Following the Sunday, September 29th scheduled close to the regular season, any necessary regular season Tiebreaker games would be broadcast exclusively by TBS.  The N.L. Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, which will be broadcast exclusively by TBS, will be followed by the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on TBS on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Each N.L. Division Series will begin on Thursday, October 3rd and the first full slate of Division Series games, featuring the two A.L. Division Series openers and a pair of NLDS Game Twos, will take place on Friday, October 4th.  The Division Series will run from Thursday, October 3rd through Thursday, October 10th, with two potential Game Fives on both Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th.  TBS will air 18 of the potential 20 Division Series games, while MLB Network will exclusively telecast one game on Friday, October 4th and another on Monday, October 7th.

The National League Championship Series will be broadcast exclusively on TBS and will begin on Friday, October 11th.  Saturday, October 12th will feature Game One of the American League Championship Series, which will be broadcast exclusively on FOX, and Game Two of the NLCS on TBS.  A potential Game Seven of the NLCS is scheduled for Saturday, October 19th, while a potential Game Seven of the ALCS is set for Sunday, October 20th.

Game One of the 2013 World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd in the city of the American League Champions.  Game Three of the Fall Classic will shift to the city of the National League Champions on Saturday, October 26th.  A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, October 31st in the A.L. city.  The scheduled off days during the World Series are Friday, October 25th and Tuesday, October 29th.  FOX Sports will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the World Series for the 16th time.

ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2013 MLB Postseason games, including the Wild Card Games.

To see the  complete 2013 Postseason schedule, subject to change, select Read More

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How Performance in 2012 Caused an Attendance Downturn for the Red Sox PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:36

MLB attendanceUnless there is catastrophe, a glance at the AL East standings shows the Boston Red Sox either winning the division or being an AL Wild Card team. A trip to the postseason for Red Sox seems a pretty sure bet (as of publication the club has a 98.5% chance of making it), and yet, attendance is down. Questions abound, columns get written, and for some the consensus is, “The Red Sox have lost their fan base.”

According to The Republican, the Red Sox are set to see attendance drop 7 percent from last year. But, within the story reveals something that is not only an affect on the Red Sox, but most every club in Major League Baseball: the performance in one or more seasons prior can impact attendance before a single game is played.

"We are pleased with the trend lines and the direction that attendance is heading in," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said Friday at Fenway Park. "It's understandable that there would be some drop off after the collapse of 2011 and the disappointment of 2012. But I'd rather accentuate the positive: there's a buzz about this team, there's a buzz about Fenway Park again this year. Our ratings are up, our attendance is very strong. We're like fourth or fifth in the league in baseball. While it's off from historic highs, it's still robust.”

[….]

"You're always concerned," [Red Sox chief operating officer Sam] Kennedy said. "Our expectations here are very lofty. We would love to be in a sell-out environment every single night. But we recognize we're not. We'll probably have 25, 26 sell outs this year, and I think there's a natural lag you have. We actually had good attendance last year. Ironically, in 2012, with a 69-win season, and that was because we had a lot of people buy in the winter and this year we had the downturn because of last year.

"I think it's a residual effect from a slower offseason. We've closed the gap. (We'll) probably finish somewhere around 7 percent behind last year, which equates to a couple hundred thousand, maybe as many as 200,000 tickets behind. Hopefully fans will start to come back. They've come back. It's not as if a crowd of 33,000 — most teams in baseball would be thrilled with that."

This is why the Giants currently see the third-highest attendance in the league yet sit with a .445 winning percentage and 21 games behind the Dodgers for first place. It’s why the Blue Jays see the largest jump in attendance from last year (currently up a whopping 21 percent) while 63-75, 18.5 games behind first place Boston and last place with 10 game separating them and the second-to-last Yankees.

Back to the Red Sox, as the club execs mention, you can’t get back the attendance at the beginning of the season and you can’t make up the full-season equivalents in ticket sales that were reached mostly in Nov-Jan. This is what happens when MLB’s attendance model is now tied so tightly to season ticket sales.

This is also why we can make some predictions for attendance next season, now. Red Sox attendance will bounce back (although how far is really going to need to be answered by how far they go into the postseason), and the Blue Jays, Giants, Angels, and Brewers will see drops. How significant the drops will be will be tied to any potential high-profile free agent signings. For the Angels, this seems like something that won’t happen given the Pujols and Hamilton signings in the last couple of seasons. The Blue Jays have to ask whether fans will be less enthusiastic after the bevy of players they took on, most notably with the trades to the Marlins. It’s possible that they could see a 10 percent drop in attendance based on the bounce they got this year; a case of normalizing the attendance curve.

And while the Red Sox will be up, the other club that’s likely to see a significant bounce will be the Pirates.

So, the attendance decline in Beantown is a story because, well…. It’s the Red Sox. But, the reality is, the club most certainly expected the drop, even if they’d rather avoid it. The front office in Boston is likely already well geared up for season ticket sales… for the 2014 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 here.

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DBacks and Phillies Play Fourth-Longest MLB Game of All-Time PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 13:04

Line up card - Historic DBacks-Phillies game

Kirk Gibson must have nearly run out of ink for this historic line-up card

While most were fast asleep, the game raged on. Inning after inning, the Diamondbacks and Phillies continued to play last night. A game that started at 7:05pm on Saturday finally ended after 18 innings when Adam Eaton of the Diamondbacks hit a go-ahead double finally resulting in a 12-7 win for the Diamondbacks. The game ended at 2:12am Sunday, an extraordinary 7 hours and 6 minutes long.

''Oh God, it was tough,'' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said after the game. ''I'm pretty tired, I really don't know what to tell you.''

It is not the longest by inning, but was historic for its length by time. It was the longest game in Phillies and Diamondbacks history. Given that the Phillies were established in 1883, that’s saying something.

It will go into the record books as the fourth-longest game of all-time. It was the longest MLB game by time since June 3, 1989, when the Astros beat the Dodgers, 5-4, in a 22-inning game in Houston which lasted 7 hours and 14 min. In an odd bit of symmetry, the game was exactly one hour short of the all-time record for a Major League game by time of 8 hours 6 min played between the White Sox and Brewers on May 1, 1984.

It was a game that saw 20 different pitchers. There were 137 at-bats, 35 hits, 32 strikeouts and 28 walks. The teams used every available player they had, minus three starting pitchers on each side. Centerfielder Casper Wells of the Phillies was on the mound in the 18th inning using what could best be described as a lot of sinkers.

Less than 12 hours later, the sides meet again, begging the question whether it was even worth leaving Citizens Bank Park.

Here’s where the game ranks historically.

LONGEST MLB GAMES BY TIME

1)      Tuesday, May 1, 1984 (Brewers-White Sox) at Comiskey Park I 8 hours 6 min. Total innings: 25. White Sox won 7-6. Winning pitcher (Tom Seaver). Losing pitcher (Chuck Porter) (box score)

2)      Sunday, May 31, 1964 (Giants-Mets) at Shea Stadium 7 hours 23 min. Total innings: 23. Giants won 8-6. It was the second game of a double-header. Winning pitcher (Gaylord Perry). Losing pitcher (Galen Cisco) (box score)

3)      Saturday, June 3, 1989 (Dodgers-Astros) at The Astrodome – 7 hours 14 min. Total innings: 22. Astros won 5-4. Winning pitcher (Jim Clancy). Losing pitcher (Jeff Hamilton) (box score)

4)      Saturday, August 24, 2013 (Diamondbacks-Phillies) at Citizens Bank Park – 7 hours 6 min. Total innings: 18. Diamondbacks won 12-7). Winning pitcher (Trevor Cahill). Losing pitcher (Centerfielder Casper Wells)

Source: Biz of Baseball research, Major League Baseball, Elias

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Miguel Tejada Receives Second-Longest PED Suspension in MLB History for Stimulants PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 17 August 2013 16:03

MiggyKansas City Royals infielder Miguel Tejada has received a 105-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. It is the second-longest PED suspension handed down by MLB behind only Alex Rodriguez pending 211 game suspension, which could see those games lowered, or overturned entirely. The only other drug related suspensions that have been longer were Pasual Perez being suspended for the entire 1992 season for cocaine, and Dwight Gooden suspended for all of the 1995 season for violating a drug aftercare program.

SEE THE ALL-TIME MLB/MiLB DRUG SUSPENSION LIST

Tejada tested positive twice in close proximity to each other thus garnering a 25 game and 80 game suspension concurrently for a total of 105 games. The drug agreement between the players and the league states that for a first positive test for stimulants, a player receives no suspension, but follow-up testing. Therefore Tejada has tested positive three times. If he were to come back and play after a lengthy suspension, and test positive again, he could be banned from the game for life. Based upon the drug agreement a player that has a fourth violation can see permanent banishment from MLB and Minor League Baseball by the commissioner, which would automatically be brought forward to an arbitrator to ultimately rule on the case.

Tejada released a statement through the MLB Players Association saying, ““I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”

Sources confirm that the Therapeutic Use Exemption was for Adderall, a powerful stimulant used to treat ADD and ADHD. The exemption expired on April 15 of this year but Tejada did not get it renewed.

Earlier this week, the former 2002 AL MVP shortstop was placed on the 60-day DL for a minor calf strain, leading to speculation that he might be facing a potential suspension.

Tejada has been tied to PEDs in the past. He admitted in 2009 to lying to Congress about using PEDs, which a misdemeanor charge that could have had him serving a year in jail. Based on sentencing guidelines, he did not serve time.

In 2008, he admitted to lying about his age saying at the time he was 33, two years older he was listed in the team media guide for the Astros.

Some information within this story comes courtesy of The Associated Press


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

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