Monday and Tuesday on Baseball Prospectus sees one column and one analysis piece from me.
Monday, I branch out a bit from doing pure analysis into a column delving into how the latest boardroom news (DirecTV deal, signage in Wrigley Field, etc.) leaves some of baseball’s most ardent fans asking how they fit into MLB’s plans.
The article is set against a series of phone conversations with Peter Bavasi the former general manager of the San Diego Padres, the founding president of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the president of the Cleveland Indians, during which time he served on Major League Baseball's Executive Council. He was also president of ESPN SportsTicker, and has been working as a consultant in the business of baseball, most recently working with Washington, D.C. on the relocation of the Expos, and how he is now working with his brother Bob in Marysville, CA with the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox, an invitation-only summer league for amateur college-age players.
As I write in MLB Needs to Reconnect:
Back to the drive and talking to Peter Bavasi, we drift into the discussion on how the Gold Sox help rekindle a more basic spirit of baseball, while MLB sits at a point where marketing the massive corporate entity it has become can be at odds with baseball's roots. MLB has been packaged and homogenized to the point where the distance between those on the field and those in the stands seems unbridgeable, and the owners and stewards of the game seem removed further still. As Bavasi clicks off the miles, we talk of his respect for those that he worked with while being at the highest levels of MLB--his feelings on how well Selig is doing, and where baseball is at as an industry.
Today, on Baseball Prospectus Unfiltered (Radar Love: XM and Sirius Announce Merger), I go back to what BP does best, which is analysis. I go over in more detail the announced merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. As I write:
The reason for the merger comes as growth has increased for both companies, but not at rates that allow costs to be offset. In total, the sides have $6 billion in losses. The rights costs for MLB and the NFL are contributing factors. MLB is currently in the middle of an 11-year $650 million agreement with XM that ends in 2012, with a 3-year option that MLB can pick up.
As to how the merger might impact the MLB aspect, currently Sirius is commercial free, while XM is not. Details on subscription rates are not yet known. That may become more clear on Tuesday when executives from both companies will give more details of the merger via conference call.
Remember, Will Carroll and I will be in Indianapolis on Friday to conduct one of the world-famous Baseball Prospectus Pizza Feeds. We will be at Hooters Downtown (25 W Georgia) on February 23rd from 5:30 to 7 pm. RSVPs are not needed. Please come by and say hi.
Maury Brown is the founder of The Biz of Baseball and an author for Baseball Prospectus. He can be contacted here.