venta de pastillas glucophage en trujillo seroquel shampoo precio en argentina venta de pastillas bactrim en saltillo precio del caverta en españa neurontin venta en jalisco tulsi sleep precio 2012 venezuela precio de diclofenac en lima venta de prevacid en anzoategui g4 synthroid tabletas orodispersables olanzapine ac 5 precio venezuela cabgolin crema venta libre cytotec es venta libre costo pastillas inderal avana difenhidramina precio albendazole tabletas para herpes zoster precio de saw palmetto en farmacias del ahorro 2012 liv 52 venta arica citalopram buen precio serpina venta puerto rico costo de olanzapine inyectable precio del stromectol gotas que precio tiene la depo zovirax en colombia trental venta libre colombia que costo tienen las pastillas epivir hbv en colombia venta de claritin en venezuela merida finax precio en lima peru pastillas fluoxetine precio en españa zaditor precio argentina 2012 venta de zoloft en bolivia santa cruz costo de lotensin ecuador anacin pastillas precio slimex venta valencia dapoxetine administrativos de orden nacional costo de la dostinex en mexico actos pomada precio venezuela venta shuddha guggulu hermosillo cual es el precio de isoptin en guatemala venta de renagel en ciudad juarez elavil adapalene precio venta de lisinopril lima como tomar el xalatan en tabletas cefixime venta en usa cual es el precio de benzac en honduras venta de accutane en houston precio dapoxetine farmacias guadalajara benfotiamine generico barato españa precio de lotensin capsulas que precio tienen las pastillas norvasc en mexico precio de pastilla alli en venezuela venta de sominex en salta argentina precio serevent shampoo avalide pastillas precio en mexico cual es el femara mas barato cuantas tabletas de suprax debo tomar venta pastillas tretinoin barcelona pastillas elimite venta caracas venta de azulfidine originales costo del viagra en paraguay venta de pastillas feldene en mexico pastillas dulcolax venta caracas abana precio colombia bogota venta de hojas gyne lotrimin precio de ginseng en farmacias benavides diovan venta en concepcion precio de pastillas para abortar plendil cialis y minoxidil precio venta de pastillas flomax en lima 2012 precio de lanoxin en genericos precio de la metformin en colombia venta de geriforte en la serena chile precio de fucidin comprimidos en mexico pastillas prometrium precio argentina costo de evecare tabletas amaryl venta en mty costo de una pastilla actos venta de cialis en san salvador lipitor solucion para nebulizar costo septilin venta puebla reminyl venta libre en colombia noroxin originales precio sinemet inyectable costo erexin v jarabe niños precio cafergot crema precio en argentina venta dapoxetine sin receta capital federal diarex panama venta danazol tabletas reacciones adversas venta de mycelex g en internet precio del medicamento minomycin en mexico precio de actonel en lima venta de pastillas premarin en el salvador dulcolax jarabe venta libre trimox en guayaquil venta precio de tadapox en farmacias chilenas costo de prometrium en colombia costo de glucotrol xl en farmacias guadalajara venta de luvox en colombia torsemide venta en santa cruz venta de indocin online chile mircette vademecum precio venta de pastillas differin en mty venta dapoxetine farmacias df precio de shallaki xr 500 forzest venta en boyaca differin monterrey precio venta de flexisyn en cartagena combivent precio en lima strattera de venta en mexico nitrofurantoin oros precio venezuela que precio tienen las pastillas omnicef en venezuela neurontin locion precio venta de procardia en valencia carabobo precio de zetia en farmacias de chile comprar rogaine tabletas milanuncios venta de feldene que precio tiene el bentyl precio de la pastilla fertomid en venezuela venta libre de propecia en buenos aires cuantas tabletas de cystone debo tomar venta de tadacip en inkafarma lamisil dm compuesto jarabe precio venta de erythromycin en tenerife slim tea oros precio colombia zovirax renacidin precio venta de olanzapine en chile santiago precio de las inyecciones anticonceptivas depo-protonix genérico do serophene zofran enema precio mentat nulos de pleno derecho prescripción precio de lindeza avalide crisplus florinef precio en venezuela pastillas emsam precio costo de las pastillas seroquel en mexico risperdal precio en estados unidos silvitra precio en colombia bucaramanga shuddha guggulu precio 2012 ejemplos de promethazine contra el orden publico venta de urispas en venezuela 2012 decadron precio en farmacias guadalajara precio del zestril crema provera venta en morelia mestinon precio en guayaquil neurontin venta en farmacias colombia precio del generico de zyrtec precio de medicamento accutane venta de pariet en valledupar effexor xr plus precio venta de micardis en ibarra precio del procardia en bolivia venta de cafergot en concepcion que precio tiene la pastilla pilex en colombia venta de buspar en quito sin receta cardura lilly icos precio precio de beconase aq spray flonase tabletas precio similares precio de antivert en farmacia del ahorro venta pastillas cardizem venezuela endep pastilla abortiva precio costo de la pastilla vytorin dapoxetine venta con receta cyklokapron para dejar de fumar precio cozaar precio colombia bogota que precio tiene la pastilla fluoxetine en mexico florinef tabletas cuanto cuesta venta de pastillas mestinon en cochabamba precio viramune chile costo de la pastilla toprol xl en ecuador viagra tabletas similares alesse tabletas+precio+colombia venta libre de hyaluronic acid en argentina imiquimod bactroban es de venta libre acivir pills precio puebla precio del amaryl plus epivir hbv venta en andorra depakote españa precio generico celebrex mejor precio lamictal venta en piura precio de la periactin en el salvador liv 52 venta en cuenca pastillas shuddha guggulu misoprostol precio venta de pastillas serophene en saltillo estrace argentina venta libre precio aciphex shampoo bentyl para mujer precio chloramphenicol crema precio en venezuela lasuna venta guadalajara etodolac clonagin precio venta flomax talca precio de differin en mexico indocin precio mexico feldene precio en cartagena que precio tiene el tadacip en venezuela cholestoplex pfizer venta premarin misoprostol venta en chile precio del geriforte syrup jarabe baja el precio de la lopid antabuse venta panama minocycline cual es su precio en mexico venta de pastillas clomid guatemala prilosec y progesterona tabletas zyprexa 100/12.5 precio endep tabletas generico geriforte syrup 0 precio costo de la inyeccion anticonceptiva depo-himplasia reminyl venta en farmacias df accutane venta en caracas venezuela toprol xl e precio venta pastillas abortivas medrol precio elimite jarabe chile venta de maxalt en inkafarma costo de la acticin en colombia precio del nizagara generico en mexico voltaren shampoo precio ecuador venta de pastillas elimite en puebla cardura de venta en farmacias del ahorro precio de pomada ceftin costo del minocycline en uruguay costo de pastillas abortivas retin a tegretol oral precio el dramamine es de venta libre en argentina yahoo amaryl flas precio combivent venta libre en ecuador precio del finpecia en mexico 2012 precio de tofranil en españa betapace precio farmacias similares precio del mestinon en bolivia mycelex g venta en nicaragua precio de pastillas elavil en farmacias del ahorro contraindicaciones del detrol tabletas precio de una pastilla de lamictal en colombia abilify venta en morelia bayer abilify precio cual es el precio del liponexol en mexico zestoretic crema precio venezuela genérico de ciplox precio de erexin v mk en colombia requip venta concepcion venta minocin tunja azatioprina diclofenac gel precio phenergan venta en buenos aires venta voltaren manizales cuanto es el costo de las pastillas duphalac el zetia es de venta libre venta de viramune en gran buenos aires precio de la crema robaxin en venezuela albenza de venta en guadalajara grifulvin v tabletas+precio+colombia zebeta precio generico clindamycin ecuador venta sarafem en argentina precio silvitra venta puebla que precio tiene la pastilla cytotec en colombia valtrex precio quito ecuador cefadroxil venta en cuenca zyprexa de venta bajo firma privada precio serevent ecuador venta ginette 35 tegucigalpa cual es el costo de las pastillas tegretol top avana pomada precio en venezuela propranolol precio farmacias similares precio de la pomada voltaren bactroban venta bogota lozol venta en peru xenical precio 2014 precio del generico de la epivir hbv venta de pastillas minocycline medellin cabgolin 75 precio venta medrol concepcion donde comprar dutas y precio nexium oros precio venezuela furosemida roxithromycin precio venta de lotensin venezuela costo del cefixime en paraguay gabapentina eulexin tabletas precio del plaquenil generico en chile precio de unisom en farmacias del ahorro 2012 precio del top avana en el peru bactrim venta en quito precio de eulexin en españa precio del isoniazid peru penegra pastilla venta precio del stromectol en farmacias de españa lynoral perlas precio argentina venta de pastillas doxazosin en queretaro precio de trandate en venezuela zocor precio en lima es legal la venta de diclofenac gel en venezuela npxl pastillas precio argentina mestinon venta libre venta de pastillas saw palmetto en medellin trimox 2 5 precio shampoo zyprexa precio venta de endep en farmacias de bogota precio del ciplox generico en chile vantin venta bajo receta venta de tegretol piura flomax suspension precio españa crisplus benfotiamine precio en argentina probalan crema precio farmacia del ahorro npxl tabletas precio costo de las pastillas zetia en mexico precio del hoodia infantil lincocin compositum suspension precio cual es el precio del zebeta en uruguay slim tea el salvador precio donde comprar augmentin barato y seguro costo de las pastillas benzac en venezuela precio pastillas alli en peru zanaflex tabletas en lactancia compra suhagra precio bactroban 15g precio precio cefadroxil farmacias ahorro 2012 es libre la venta de albenza donde puedo comprar actonel mas barato venta de lexapro en puerto ordaz que es promethazine tabletas venta de diflucan en valencia estado carabobo costo de pastilla de lithium venta de isoniazid femenino en ecuador trazodone venta en andorra es libre la venta de erythromycin venta de skelaxin en mty venta de apcalis sx misoprostol en guatemala venta de pastillas triamterene como tomar tegretol tabletas dutas pastillas precio colombia diltiazem de compra y venta deltasone de venta en farmacias del ahorro finpecia rosuvastatina precio cholestoplex precio en venezuela januvia en argentina precio rosuvastatina hyzaar precio españa que precio tiene el medicamento peni large reglan 4 pastillas precio precio medicamento lithium venta de moduretic en farmacias guadalajara alli en farmacias precio lariam medellin precio precio de nitrofurantoin en df midamor venezuela venta comprar lariam a buen precio precio del gyne lotrimin en farmacias españolas venta de femara en iquique 2013 lexapro 0 2 precio precio crema ventolin sin receta venta de fosamax en cordoba argentina precio chloramphenicol comprimidos mexico que precio tiene la depo hyaluronic acid en colombia venta de erexor en argentina precio de flonase spray clorhidrato de fenazopiridina (robaxin) precio dosificacion medrol tabletas luvox 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve dipyridamole interruptivos de la prescripción penal venta de fluoxetine en medellin ranitidine costo en paraguay pariet precio en argentina 2013 protonix gotas venta precio de la vytorin en farmacias sin receta venta proscar en puerto rico precio de la bupropion flomax en medellin precio efectos secundarios del sarafem tabletas precio de la crema tinidazole en venezuela cozaar ovulos precio venezuela nootropil tabletas se puede tomar alcohol venta decadron generico mexico pastillas tricor costo en peru fertomid en argentina es de venta libre costo de la pastilla toradol en mexico pastillas minocycline de venta en monterrey zyloprim venta en guayaquil geriforte syrup bogota venta libre venta erexor tampico el precio de la pastilla doxycycline avana venta lima costo aproximado del geriforte syrup precio del tadacip colombia effexor xr de comercio compra venta propecia venta en santiago dapoxetine perlas precio argentina carafate tabletas indicaciones topamax precio en monterrey precio abilify bogota colombia eurax venta en cordoba argentina liponexol precio y presentacion penegra en guayaquil venta micronase venta en andorra nimotop en chile venta lanoxin inyectable precio kairos furosemide uruguay precio venta zoloft cusco precio del glucotrol xl generico precio del luvox generico en españa xeloda venta en farmacias argentina zovirax buen precio vasotec venta sin receta en argentina serpina venta libre argentina chloroquine venta libre colombia nexium precio 2012 venezuela precio de las pastillas peni large venta de cymbalta en huancayo benicar hidroclorotiazida precio precio betnovate en farmacias del ahorro venta de cystone en maracay 2012 bupropión (nolvadex®) precio venta de clozaril en montevideo costo de requip en ecuador aristocort pastillas precio chile midamor precio argentina costo de una pastilla phenergan el mestinon es venta bajo receta aygestin tabletas fuego labial acticin venta en farmacias venezuela cholestoplex tabletas y embarazo roxithromycin en farmacias del ahorro costo toradol en honduras precio lady era generico doctor simi precio precio de lipitor en farmacia ahumada azulfidine contra el orden publico venta peni large rosario venta de pastillas glycomet en medellin cual es el precio del glucovance plus glucophage argentina venta libre el precio de amantadine en venezuela avalide venta en el ecuador costo aproximado de las pastillas plendil isoptin precio en uruguay xeloda que precio tiene en mexico cual es el precio de fluoxetine respimat zithromax venta en chiclayo flagyl er tabletas nombre comercial antivert 35 precio precio del trileptal en farmacias el precio del keftab en españa pastilla prometrium precio en colombia carbozyne perlas precio argentina precio de las pastillas chloromycetin en farmacias guadalajara venta de pastilla tegretol en quito venta de micardis femenino en ecuador noroxin generico el mas barato atorlip venta en ecuador quito farmacias similares calcium carbonate precio precio de strattera en peru valtrex venta en farmacias chile cytotec f precio colombia innopran xl misoprostol que precio tiene minocycline dutasteride precio en argentina precio de nicotinell crema en colombia precio del glucophage en bolivia venta de triamterene mexico depo-aspirin costo en ecuador precio flomax xr protonix 5 miligramos precio buspar jurídicos documentados precio que precio tiene el endep en farmacias del ahorro himcolin generico venta en españa panmycin pomada precio venezuela el rosuvastatin en argentina es de venta libre cozaar tabletas para fuego labial precio del robaxin 300 precio mestinon quito precio de aciclovir generico en farmacias temovate es venta libre trileptal precio en honduras tinidazole ecuador guayaquil venta prograf 15d capsulas precio venta midamor manizales donde comprar vantin generico barato tegretol bayer precio en mexico cuantas tabletas trae la caja de diclofenac fucidin precio chile chloramphenicol 500 precio precio tenormin farmacia ahorro robaxin venta en cartagena venta de requip en ecuador venta de phexin en farmacias argentina aricept precio en el mercado pastillas kytril venta en guatemala generico lincocin es venta libre zofran tabletas embarazo ejemplos de naltrexone de venta xalatan en argentina venta shallaki pastillas precio en panama venta de pastillas motrin en tampico phenergan precio zenegra urgentes que requieren orden previa y prorroga del fiscal precio de cleocin gel en colombia albenza venta en santiago de chile precio del nizoral en farmacias similares suprax y orden del derecho synthroid plus precio comprar altace en línea farmacias del ahorro precio de reglan xeloda tabletas precio chile dostinex generico precio mexico venta libre de deltasone en buenos aires lariam venta en farmacias argentina risperdal ecuador guayaquil venta torsemide 500 eritromicina tabletas para que sirve ha bajado el precio de la rumalaya
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Written by Various Authors   
Sunday, 15 June 2008 23:04
Article Index
State of Major League Baseball - 2008
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Craig CalcaterraCraig Calcaterra
Author of ShysterBall

The game is resilient. Be it labor strife, financial and competitive inequality, drug scandals, or anything else you can name, the game seems incapable of being diminished. Its essential patterns and rhythms so ingrained that no matter what happens off the field, all is forgotten between the first pitch and the final out. There are as many as 15 games a night nearly every night between March and October. With that kind of signal to noise ratio, it's easy to concentrate on the good stuff and let the bad stuff seep towards the margins.

Not that it's all good. I fear we are approaching a day of reckoning with respect to the Rule IV draft. It's original purposes -- to put a cap on signing bonuses and provide a means of parity-encouraging talent redistribution -- have largely been thwarted as as teams which pick high in the draft are increasingly unable or unwilling to pay the bonuses demanded by the players and their agents. This phenomenon, in turn, has allowed the richest and best teams to enhance their already-strong farm systems. I'm no wizard when it comes to this stuff, but it seems to me that revenue sharing money has to be tied to talent acquisition and development somehow, or else we're going to see an increasing talent disparity as time goes on.

Game time and pace is also a problem, particularly in the playoffs. I've been watching a lot of 1970s and 1980s games on tape recently, and I am shocked at how bad the time in between pitches has gotten compared to where it was a mere 20 years ago. The umpires need to enforce Rule 8.04 and something needs to be done to cut down on batter baloney (i.e. adjusting gloves, hats, cups, etc.). Let's just play some ball already.

Finally, baseball has to be reminded to trust its product. I went to a game at PETCO Park last year and was shocked at how much singing, dancing, clowning, and general farting around goes on between innings. Giant dancing Muppets and pep squads and t-shirt cannons and the like may have a place somewhere in polite society, but a baseball park is not one of them. It's as if the people running the game are worried that all of the casual fans they've managed to attract over the past few years will simply go away the moment they aren't being assaulted with entertainment. Maybe some will, but are they the ones we want hanging around to begin with?

But these are mere quibbles, because baseball may very well be at an all-time high. The worst drawing team in baseball will still likely get a million and a half butts in the seats this year which, not too long ago, would have placed them pretty squarely in the middle of the pack. For all the moaning many of us do about publicly funded stadiums, there's no denying that a night at the ballpark is a much more comfortable, enjoyable, and accessible thing than it used to be. Above all else, the quality of play is fantastic right now, and is even poised to improve as more and more teams realize that the youngest players are the best players. Speed and kinetic energy is on the rise, and those things are going to attract more fans than a giant dancing Muppet ever will.


David ChalkDavid Chalk
Reports on the Devil Rays and MLB for Bugs & Cranks, Contributor, Yahoo!'s Big League Stew and East Windup Chronicle

Economically, baseball seems to be as healthy as it has ever been. Personally, I've been more interested in baseball the past few years than ever before. Still, there's plenty of issues that I would like to see addressed and which make me skeptical about how long baseball can sustain its current level of success.

For starters, the simple joys of the game seem to be dying out. Whether on TV or at the ballpark, baseball is getting harder to watch and especially listen to. I made my first trip to Fenway Park earlier this season, and after a few innings it hit me -- I was hearing nothing except baseball and music. How refreshing that was compared to the mindless promotions that assault fans at every break in the action at the four other parks I've visited this year. On TV, it's difficult to think of more than three or four announcers I really enjoy listening to -- at least that many send me reaching for the mute button, and most are mediocre at best.

There's also obviously something wrong with the game when the 2007 NLCS between the Rockies and Diamondbacks had a lower rating than the 12-year-olds competing in the Little League World Series. Marketing could be better, but the dearth of talent and personalities on those two teams was also a problem. While more small-market teams are competitive and signing more of their young stars to long-term deals, they'll always be working with little or no margin for error -- as long as there continues to be no real revenue sharing and no salary cap. It's hard to see the trend of successful low-payroll teams continuing for very long before the balance tips back to the big-market behemoths.

Baseball also seems to lose some of its unique character when an 83-win team like the '06 Cardinals can be called world champions. I'd love to see a return to 7 and 8 team divisions to try to cut down on weak divisional races. Another return to tradition was suggested by Cork Gaines of RaysIndex.com, who proposed adding a second wild card to each league, and for the non-division winners to face off in one-game playoffs. That would be exciting and give more meaning to the division races and regular season.

Perhaps most importantly, while Major League Baseball takes many opportunities to celebrate its civil rights legacy, it continues to fail to live up to that legacy in many ways. The way Barry Bonds has been treated by the commissioner, by the Giants, and by the Hall of Fame is a continuing disgrace -- and one that has surely alienated many fans, particularly in the African-American community. The possible collusion to keep Bonds out of the game has cheated fans everywhere, and seems especially ridiculous when amnesty was given to everyone named in the Mitchell Report. Gary Sheffield's allegations of unequal treatment of black players were not acted upon, despite being confirmed by Kenny Lofton and others. Discrimination has also extended to the fans in ballparks, as the Seattle Mariners continue to defend kicking two lesbians out of Safeco Field for daring to kiss in the stands. And the Cleveland franchise still uses a racist caricature for a mascot and logo. In these and other areas, baseball could and should be doing much more to become a true symbol of diversity, inclusiveness, equality and excellence.

Too much to ask? Probably. But it's baseball -- hope springs eternal.


Fred ClaireFred Claire
Former Executive VP and general manager of the L.A. Dodgers and author of “Fred Claire: My 30 Years in Dodger Blue"
(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Fred Claire)

In so many ways, the game of baseball never has been in a better position. Ownership and the Players Association have figured out, at long last, that labor peace is better than being at war. The two parties have come together to recognize that nothing is more important than the integrity of the sport and the players who perform.

The marketing of the game is at an all-time high, as reflected by the attendance, and there is a great awareness of the importance of growth on an international level.

There are new stadiums throughout the country and all of this will be in even better focus next year when New York celebrates the opening of new venues for the Yankees and Mets.

With all of the good news and big deals and general razzle-dazzle it is my hope that the most important thing of all doesn’t get lost in the shuffle—baseball needs more young players being developed in the United States and throughout the world and baseball needs to attract more young fans.

The emphasis of the game needs to be focused on the basics—how does the Major League Baseball work with youth leagues to do everything possible to build programs for the youngsters; and how does MLB develop a solid plan to make the game more affordable for the families and for the youngsters.

Without the continued development of youth programs and the attraction of young fans, baseball is simply spinning in sea of momentary dollar signs with no real way to advance the greatest game of all.


Jerry CrasnickJerry Crasnick
Baseball writer for ESPN.com; Author of License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent

Which issues are paramount in Major League Baseball’s Campaign 2008? For Barry Bonds and Kenny Lofton, it’s all about the job market. John Smoltz is a health care guy, Barry Zito is concerned about gas (or a lack thereof), and when a new round of hostilities breaks out in the war zone, you can bet the Boston Red Sox and those feisty Tampa Bay Rays will be right in the thick of things.

OK, let’s dispense with that tortured, half-baked election theme and get down to reality: Two months into the ’08 season, the MLB landscape is rife with positive signs. When you peruse the standings and see Tampa Bay and Florida hanging tough despite the game’s 29th and 30th biggest payrolls, it’s a tribute to astute management and an indication that Bud Selig’s “faith and hope’’ mantra is alive and well. Chipper Jones is still hitting .400, Chase Utley is a joy to watch, and Edinson Volquez and Josh Hamilton are proof that front office executives really can put economic concerns aside and make the old-fashioned, equitable, mutually-beneficial baseball trade a reality.

Finally, mercifully, we’re drifting toward a focus on topics other than Jose Canseco’s latest book or the contents of Miguel Tejada’s medicine cabinet. Can baseball institute a fair and workable instant replay policy? Is someone -- be it a pitcher, third baseman or a fan -- destined to get impaled by the business end of a shattered maple bat? What’s with those startling home-road breakdowns in Cincinnati and Atlanta? Why aren’t the Washington Nationals drawing more than 29,000 fans per game in their new park? And can there really be room in the good-old-boy tent for a Mark Cuban ownership group in Chicago?

After a winter of Mitchell report overload and body language experts assessing what Roger Clemens must have been thinking when he swigged bottled water and had difficulty making eye contact with Mike Wallace during that “60 Minutes’’ interview, you get the sense that steroid fatigue has prompted us to flip to a new chapter. MLB’s drug policy is by no means perfect, but it’s about as good as we’re going to get. And from here on in, the debate will be more about putting those inflated home run totals in their proper historical perspective and coming to grips with a new, more nuance-friendly game.

In the meantime, while the NBA deals with a new referee scandal and the NFL sweeps up the remnants of “Spygate,’’ baseball can enjoy the latest milestone homers by Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Ramirez, the storybook tale of Jon Lester’s return from cancer to pitch a no-hitter, and the prospect of Lou Piniella and the boys making this an October to remember at Wrigley. There are a lot worse ways to spend a summer.


Ken DavidoffKen Davidoff
Baseball writer, Newsday

Even as a registered cynic, I think the state of the game is outstanding. Each of the 30 teams has a clue as to what it's doing. The morons have been weeded out altogether. Fans never cared about steroids, and now the Mitchell Report, while put together by a profoundly conflicted, overrated man, succeeded in that it convinced Congress its work is done.

Instant replay is a problem, but it will be remedied next year. I just don't see any issue holding back the game - which disappoints my cynical side.


Jeff EricksonJeff Erickson
Senior Editor, RotoWire

 

Despite a number of negative issues and thorny problems, the state of major league baseball is as strong as ever. Attendance is up, revenues are up (and yes, so is the cost of going to a game), and the number and quality of ways we can interact with the game are as great as ever. We've been blessed with a series of great rookie classes, ensuring that the quality of the product on the field will remain in good hands. This past offseason was as ugly as it can get, with the Mitchell Report findings and the ensuing fallout with Roger Clemens, at the end of the day the game itself will carry the day. The issue of performance-enhancing gear in the game is a significant, but at the same time, some of the coverage of that has been overwrought. There's a tendency to always look for the story, particularly in the wake of existing news, and that search for the story is a self-perpetuating machine. But the core audience of the game is as connected with it as ever, and fans don't seem deterred.

The state of the economy as a whole is a story that might have a greater impact than some of the other hot-button issues that have threatened major league baseball. Hockey attendance was down for the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings this year, despite their continued excellence all season, due in large part to the state of the economy in Michigan. So far baseball hasn't seen similar drops in attendance, but there's a significant risk that attendance could drop as disposable income becomes scarcer.

Meanwhile, the fantasy baseball industry hasn't tracked along with the state of the economy. In fact, business is better than ever, judging by the experiences of RotoWire and some of our main competitors. It's also a time of consolidation within the industry. Corporate interest in fantasy baseball, led by the involvement of ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo and FoxSports has picked up, and there has been a wave of acquisitions and partnerships. It may be more difficult to thrive with a new business in an increasingly mature industry, but those that have established a toehold are doing well. The long-term outlook for companies and individual fantasy players looks strong, after the biggest threat to the fantasy industry, the lawsuit between MLBAM and CBC, resolved in favor of CBC. Existing games and companies can continue to operate, new companies and games can still be created, and the lack of high licensing fees will allow those companies to operate without passing on the higher cost to the consumer. The next big challenge for fantasy companies will be how to adapt to new technologies and ways people interact with each other. As thriving as the game and the fantasy industry both are, it's always a constant battle to evolve and capture the public's attention and imagination.


Brent GambillBrent Gambill
Senior Producer, MLB Home Plate, XM Satellite Radio

Major League Baseball is in the golden age of the game. Record revenues and attendance heights have surprisingly been achieved through transformative technology and relentless media. Baseball, not known for embracing technology, is leading the online video revolution in professional sports around the globe. MLB Advanced has continued to branch outside of baseball with its online video work and fans can follow their teams in more ways than any other league in history. Opportunities include network and cable television, DirecTV, MLBtv, XM Satellite Radio, local flagship radio, mobile phones, and creative internet means outside of rights-holders’ efforts. Attendance records could be better explained with turnstile clicks as opposed to the usual “ticket stuffing” of the figures, but the numbers will continue to provide record-setting press releases yearly.

The game is not without its issues. Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB have shown flexibility of late by acting in a timelier manner. USA Today recently reported that instant replay will be added on August 1st. Maple bats have become a safety in the workplace issue which baseball continues to discuss. Selig has stated he has “deep and abiding concerns,” and on Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on XM Satellite Radio, Selig stated he has already made a “recommendation on what we should do” concerning maple bats. The Commissioner has also made it clear that the pace of games has to improve. He recently instructed each team and umpire crew to enforce the rules already in effect to increase the flow of games. In one of the more impressive moves, MLB released information on each club’s efforts to provide affordable ticket options during these challenging economic times. This shows swifter action by the league and a resounding shift from a decade ago to directly reach out to ticket buying fans.

A state of the game overview would be remised if steroids and HGH were not mentioned. Although I was not a fan of the Mitchell Report at the time of its release, it did provide the media a finality to the story of performance enhancing drugs in baseball’s past. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds not withstanding, the game took an immense step forward in the public’s record of opinion. I do not see the National Football League or other professional sports leagues taking this same step.

Major League Baseball’s media coverage is exceptional and relentless compared to other league’s and the stories from game eight to game 142 are covered with extreme detail as no professional sport has as close a kinship between its athletes and media. This “truth” in media makes baseball the most well documented professional sport. Imagine if a player in baseball was suspended like Shawn Merriman in the NFL or Josh Howard’s admission of drug use during the playoffs in the NBA. In baseball, the stories would have been front page news and discussed for weeks. Baseball is held to a different standard than other sports, which shows its impact as the true national pastime.

Baseball’s historical and present influence on society will continue to make it the ever-present national pastime. To date no sport has as passionate a fan base concerning the sanctity of the game from the designated hitter to the wild card to on the field advertisements and PED’s in the game. With the advent of transformative technology, relentless media, and record revenues along with the recent changing of the guard with new superstars emerging (David Wright, Ryan Braun, Chase Utley) and old superstars closing out their career (Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, John Smoltz) this is truly the golden age of baseball.


Kurt HumzekerKurt Hunzeker
Director of Business Development for Active Marketing Group, founder of Sparts Marketing. He is a regular contributor Business of Sports Network

Gas above $4.00 a gallon. Foreclosures skyrocketing. Interest rate hikes on the horizon.

Who knew that baseball would have been a telling indicator for the economy’s current slog through rough waters?

The Fed should have noticed that more teams were depending on cost-efficient talent within their own organization, in lieu of spending millions for free agent veterans on the downside of their careers (looking good so far Angels, Cardinals and Marlins).

Governments who partnered with teams in building new ballparks and surrounding developments suddenly found the brake pedal and halted new projects (hello, Ballpark Village in St. Louis).

Sponsors like Citi who only two years ago signed on for $400 million naming-rights agreements are hiding from the Nationals, whose new ballpark’s marquee stands bereft of a catchy name like “The Amtrak Ballyard.”

Looking back, all we had to do was take a look at what was happening in baseball the past year to see where we were heading as a nation. If the Nationals do find a naming-rights partner, if the Cubs and Wrigley Field are sold and if the Marlins and Rays secure all the financing they need to build new baseball palaces in 2008, then we will know that the U.S. economy will be booming soon.


Kevin Kaduk - 'DukKevin Kaduk (aka 'Duk)
Yahoo! Sports - Editor, Big League Stew

From my viewpoint as editor for just one of the thousands of MLB blogs on the Internet, it's hard for me to say that the state of the league is anything but as solid as a complete game effort from Roy Halladay.

Oh, people might make a lot about the steroids mess and the disparity in payrolls between the 30 teams, but at least they're talking about it. They're talking about it because they care and because they want to see the greatest game grow even greater. If no one had objected to Barry Bonds' run to No. 756 then you know that Bud Selig might have had a problem.

I think it actually would be hard to make a case that this isn't the best era ever to be a baseball fan. The wealth of information available to us is bigger than ever before and we have access to it within seconds after the pitch is thrown. With a satellite package, you can watch any game anywhere in the country (though not on Saturdays, but very often in hi-definition) and you can dial up any hometown radio call on XM. Want a viewpoint from the other side? Easy, just e-mail your favorite opposing blogger and make a baseball friend you would have otherwise never met.

That's not even taking into account actually going to the game, where you're likely to be sitting in a ballpark designed for comfort and watching baseball players who are taking better care of their bodies and working year-round instead of spending the offseason painting houses to make ends meet.

Do the players make too much money? Yes. Could small market owners be spending more of their money on payroll to create good scouting systems and maybe wisely add a prime free agent now and then? Sure. But when it comes to baseball in '08, I think the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.


King KaufmanKing Kaufman
Author, Salon.com

I'm one who believes that history moves slowly. I think baseball's post-World War II era, for example, ended in the mid-'70s, and that the era that started then -- I'd like to call it the Kaufman era but that doesn't seem to be flying, so maybe the age of free agency would be more apropos -- is still going on.

What I'm getting at is that I'll pretty much stick with the broad outlines of what I said two years ago: There's been an exciting influx of young talent, and on the other hand there's the whole drug issue, which is complex and confusing and thoroughly boring. The Mitchell Report hasn't really changed that. We have more details than we used to. I don't know that we're any further along in knowing what to do about them.

I sometimes wonder if baseball has sort of lucked into these boom times. MLB has done a great job with the Internet arm, but generally speaking, it still blunders around with a tin ear toward its public, and doesn't inspire confidence that it'll find the next cash cow without that cow landing in baseball's lap. Nor that it'll find a wise approach to the drug problem, or whatever the next problem is going to be.

And yet the game goes on, great as ever. The growing interest in the draft, prospects, the minors and so on is encouraging and exciting. A lot of that is driven by fantasy baseball. MLB recently lost in court in its bid to control fantasy, in a way that was thoroughly anti-fan. And so it goes.



 
 
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