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John Thorn Named Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 12:54

John ThornCommissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that author John Thorn has been named the Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball.

Thorn is the author and editor of numerous baseball books, including the forthcoming Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, which will be published on March 15th by Simon &
Schuster. His other books include Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Total Baseball encyclopedia series. Thorn, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR), was the senior
creative consultant for Ken Burns’ Baseball series.

As Official Historian, Thorn will lead various research endeavors and special projects on behalf of Major League Baseball.

“I am very pleased to appoint John Thorn as Major League Baseball’s Official Historian,” Commissioner Selig said. “I have long admired John’s work, his love for baseball and his dedication to the practice of history. John will be an important resource to many of us at Major League Baseball, and I am excited that his valuable research will have this new platform in the years ahead.”

"I have loved baseball all my life," Thorn said. "I am honored now to serve the game and to help share with fans the joys of digging into baseball's fascinating history." Thorn succeeds the late Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times baseball writer Jerome Holtzman, who served as Official Baseball Historian from 1999 until his passing in 2008.

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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Joe Torre Named MLB Executive VP of Baseball Operations PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 26 February 2011 19:22

Joe Torre has finally made his decision, and has officially retired from managing with the Los Angeles Dodgers being his final managing destination.

Commissioner Bud Selig announced today that he has appointed Joe Torre as the new Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball.

In his new capacity, Torre will oversee areas that include Major League Operations, On-Field Operations, On-Field Discipline and Umpiring. Torre will serve as the Office of the Commissioner’s primary liaison to the general managers and field managers of the 30 Major League Clubs regarding all baseball and on-field matters.

“I am thrilled that Joe Torre will serve as our Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations,” Commissioner Selig said. “As a member of our Special Committee for On-Field Matters since December 2009, Joe has demonstrated great passion for all the important facets of our game. I have known Joe throughout his 51 years as a standout player, manager and broadcaster, and I believe he is a perfect fit to lead our Baseball Operations staff, implement our on-field initiatives and serve as one of the game’s most significant voices on major issues.”

“Baseball has been a big part of my life, and I thank the Commissioner for this opportunity to continue participating in and contributing to the game I love so much,” said Torre. “I could not be more excited to work with all the Clubs to help protect the integrity of the game and, hopefully, make it an even more enjoyable experience for our fans.”

Torre, a nine-time All-Star who played in the Major Leagues from 1960-1977, was a .297 career hitter with 252 home runs and 1,185 RBI. He was the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .363 with 230 hits, 24 home runs and 137 RBI. Torre served as a Major League manager for 29 seasons, leading the New York Mets (1977-1981), the Atlanta Braves (1982-1984), the Cardinals (1990-1995), the New York Yankees (1996-2007), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2010). His 2,326 wins as a manager rank fifth all-time. The Brooklyn, New York native guided the Yankees to four World Series Championships (1996, 1998-2000), six American League pennants and 12 postseason appearances, including 10 A.L. East titles, in his 12 years as manager. Torre then led the Dodgers to two consecutive N.L. West crowns in 2008 and 2009, which included two straight appearances in the National League Championship Series, before stepping away from the dugout following the 2010 season.

In addition, Commissioner Selig also announced that Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who had served as Senior Vice President for Major League Operations since June 2010, will now be the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner.

“I thank Frank Robinson, a giant of our game, for his day-to-day leadership of several key areas within our Baseball Operations Department since I called on him last June,” Commissioner Selig said. “I am glad that Frank will continue to be a vital source of counsel and guidance for me, especially as a member of our Special Committee for On-Field Matters, and I will consult with him on many important issues, on and off the field.”

“I am eager to continue in a meaningful role working for the Commissioner and Major League Baseball,” Robinson said. “The Commissioner and I have known each other for years, and I will always be available to assist him and this great game.”

MLB Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer John McHale, Jr., who had led the Baseball Operations Department on an interim basis since June 2010, will focus on his regular duties, leading the administrative functions of MLB’s central offices.

Commissioner Selig said: “I thank John McHale for his thorough oversight of our Baseball Operations Department, a role he took on in addition to the many essential duties he already handled. Admirably and selflessly, John stepped up and devoted his expertise to the task at hand. I am most grateful to John.”


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB to Host First Brazilian Elite Camp PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 17 February 2011 14:27

MLBMajor League Baseball International (MLBI), in cooperation with the Confederation of Brazilian Baseball & Softball (CBBS), will host an MLB Elite Camp in Brazil for the first time ever, to be held in Ibiuna and Sao Paulo. The best junior baseball players from Brazil, along with young talent from Argentina, Ecuador, Panama and Peru, have been invited to participate. The camp will be held at the training grounds for the CBBS in Ibiuna from February 21st-24th and at Mie Nishi Stadium in Sao Paulo on February 25th. Former MLB All-Stars Barry Larkin and Wally Joyner will lead an instructional staff of former Major League players that will provide training to both players and coaches from Central and South American Baseball Federations.

“The 2011 MLB Elite Camp will provide its intensive, high-level training to some of the most talented players from Brazil,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. “We are privileged to have a Major League coaching staff represent MLB in the region and assist these young athletes in taking the next steps in their development as elite baseball players.”

Former Major Leaguers Bob Didier, Bruce Hurst and Elias Sosa round out the coaching staff, which will teach the intricacies of hitting, pitching, fielding, catching and base-running. National and Junior National Team coaches from countries throughout the region will be on hand to serve alongside the staff. The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, along with scouts from MLB Clubs, will be on hand all week to view the talent showcased through these clinics.

For the final day of the camp, Friday, February 25th, media and local dignitaries have been invited to participate in activities and view the skills clinics and final intra-squad game at Mie Nishi Stadium. A morning question-and-answer session featuring the MLB coaching staff will be followed by a special batting practice and interview opportunities with coaches, players and federation officials.

Since 1999, MLBI has conducted Elite Camps in Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Europe, in addition to hosting top players each year at the three MLB International Academies, located in Australia, China and Italy. More than 300 former participants from these programs have signed with Major League Clubs. From the five participating countries, 108 players are currently signed to professional contracts with MLB organizations, 14 of whom were born in Brazil.

Source: MLB International


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Former MLB President, COO Bob DuPuy Heads Back to Foley & Lardner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 08:41

Bob DuPuyBob DuPuy, the former president and COO of Major League Baseball has landed back at his former law firm of Foley & Lardner. He also has taken on the role of senior adviser at Evolution Media Capital, an investment bank affiliated with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA Baseball represents Derek Jeter, Derek Lee, Adam Jones, Ryan Howard and others.

DuPuy had been involved in most of MLB's legal issues since 1989, when he was brought in as outside legal counsel. He negotiated the $280 million collusion settlement between the owners and players in 1990, and served as the principal outside counsel to the commissioner and the executive council from 1992 until 1998, when Commissioner Allan H. Selig hired him as the MLB executive vice president of administration and chief legal officer.

In that capacity, Mr. DuPuy oversaw the consolidation of the American and National Leagues into the Central Offices, the consolidation of MLB's office in Washington, D.C., and the formation MLBAM (Major League Baseball Advanced Media) as its initial CEO.

DuPuy resigned from MLB in Sept. of last year at the request of Selig. It had been reported that the two had grown apart over recent years.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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ANDY PETTITTE TO ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Kobritz   
Thursday, 03 February 2011 14:32

What are you lookin' at? The days of one of the best
pitchers in recent years is about to come to a close as
Andy Pettitte is set to announce his retirement on Friday

The Yankees’ off season is about to go from bad to worse. ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay was the first to report that left-handed starter Andy Pettitte is traveling from his home in Deer Park, outside Houston, to New York on Thursday and will officially announce his retirement at a press conference scheduled for Friday. After losing out to the Phillies on free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, the Yankees had held out hope that Pettitte would op to come back for one more season.

Pettitte had been waffling on a return since the end of the 2010 season in which he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA despite losing two months to a groin injury. The Yankees certainly could have used Pettitte. His retirement leaves the team with a starting rotation of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes in the top three spots, and a group consisting of Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, the recently signed Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, and several of their top Minor League prospects competing for the final two spots,

Although Pettitte pitched for the Yankees on one-year contracts for the past four seasons and had frequently spoken about the possibility of retiring to spend more time with his family, there has been some speculation that the pending trial of his former good friend and teammate, Roger Clemens, was weighing heavily on his mind and may have entered into his decision to call it a career. Pettitte is expected to be a key prosecution witness in Clemens’ trial on perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress charges which is scheduled to begin in a Washington D.C. court in July. Pettitte, for all his success in a Yankees uniform, was never entirely comfortable in the spotlight and it’s safe to say he isn’t looking forward to the attention that is sure to attach to his testimony.

A former 22nd round draft pick, Pettitte will apparently end his career with a 240-138 record and 3.88 ERA over 16 Major League seasons, three of those as a member of his hometown Houston Astros. Pettitte is also the all time leader in playoff wins, with a record of 19-10 and a 3.83 ERA in 42 appearances.

The 38-year-old Pettitte is the first of the Yankees’ four home grown talents, the others being Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, that have led the Yankees to five World Series titles since 1996, to retire.


Jordan Kobritz is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Eastern New Mexico University and teaches the Business of Sports at the University of Wyoming. He looks forward to your comments and can be contracted, here.

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MLB's B.A.T. Organization to Honor '01 World Series Champs during Cactus League Fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:33

GonzoIt's been deemed one of the greatest World Series of all-time. Set against the backdrop of the 9/11 tragedy, the New York Yankees battled the Arizona Diamondbacks to a Game 7 that was won on a bloop single by Luis "Gonzo" Gonzalez of the D-Backs. Now, with the 2011 All-Star Game scheduled to be played at Chase Field this summer, baseball is reliving the moment.

The Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks at the Inaugural "Celebrity Ball for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner." The dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Five-time All-Star and 2001 World Series hero Luis Gonzalez will serve as Dinner Chairman.

"This event will be a great opportunity to educate the fans, players and front office employees of the Cactus League teams about the great work B.A.T. does," said Gonzalez. "I am honored to be chosen as Dinner Chairman, and I am looking forward to getting together with some of my teammates from that memorable year."

In addition to the unofficial World Series reunion, the "Celebrity Ball for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner" will feature more than 50 current and former players. The event will be followed the next day by the "Tee It Up for B.A.T. Golf Tournament" on Thursday, March 3, at Talking Stick Golf Course where Baseball Hall of Famers and Legends will tee off with more than 140 guests to raise money for B.A.T.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Astros Have to Cancel Exhibition Game Due to MLB Rule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 23:04

AstrosThe Houston Astros have had to cancel an exhibition game with the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park because of a rule within MLB’s CBA.

With the start of Major League Baseball’s 2011 regular season on March 31, the second exhibition game between the Astros and Red Sox that had been scheduled for that date at Minute Maid Park can no longer be played due to MLB rules. That rule states that no exhibition games can be played after the season starts. Exhibition games can be played on Opening Day, but only if they end 2 hours before the first regular season game starts. Since MLB bumped start times on March 31 to 1pm, the exhibition game is in violation of the rule.

The Astros March 30 exhibition game vs. the Red Sox will be played as scheduled at Minute Maid Park at 7:05 p.m. CT.  Fans will also have the opportunity to see the Astros face the Red Sox when they return to Minute Maid Park for a three-game series July 1-3.  The Astros will open the 2011 championship season on Friday, April 1 in Philadelphia at 12:05 p.m. CT, and will host the Florida Marlins in their Home Opener at Minute Maid Park on Friday, April 8 at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Astros Full Season Ticket Holders will have their accounts credited for the value of the March 31 game, which can be used for future purchases. A letter and refund form has been mailed to account holders to provide that option as well, and an online refund request is available at www.astros.com.

The Astros report that all 27-Game Mini Plan Holders that had the March 31 game in their plan will be provided with an equal amount of tickets for the Astros vs. Rockies game on Sept. 22.


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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Announces Game Times for Complete 2011 Regular Season Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 27 January 2011 13:52

Major League Baseball today announced the game times for its master 2011 regular season schedule, which will begin on Thursday, March 31st. The final day of the 2011 regular season is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28th.

The 2011 opener will mark the first time that traditional Opening Day throughout Major League Baseball, excluding special international events, has not been held on a Sunday or a Monday since the 1998 season began on Tuesday, March 31st. The last regular season to begin on a Thursday was in 1976, when Opening Day was April 8th. In addition to ’76, the only other seasons to have started on a Thursday were in the following years: 1901-1904, 1907, 1912, 1959 and 1973-74.

The last regular season to end as early as September 28th occurred in 2003, which ended on Sunday, September 28th. The last time that a season was scheduled to end on a day other than a Sunday came in 1990, when the regular season concluded on Wednesday, October 3rd.

Six games will be held on 2011 Opening Day on Thursday, March 31st, highlighted by ESPN’s national broadcast of an 8:00 p.m. (ET) game between the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants and Dodgers franchises have met on Opening Day 28 times since 1900, with the Giants holding a 15-13 edge in those meetings between the historic franchises. The Dodgers won the most recent Opening Day contest, a 5-0 victory on March 31, 2008 at Dodger Stadium.

Opening Day will also mark the start of ESPN’s 22nd season televising Major League Baseball. The Giants-Dodgers game will be called by Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine, and will also be available via ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV.

The game between the National League West rivals will conclude ESPN’s Opening Day triple-header, with earlier coverage that includes the Detroit Tigers visiting the New York Yankees at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and the San Diego Padres visiting the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:00 p.m. (ET). The other March 31st contests will feature the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the Cincinnati Reds; the Atlanta Braves visiting the Washington Nationals; and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim visiting the Kansas City Royals. Eleven games will be played on Friday, April 1st, including the start of nine new series. The first full slate of 15 games is scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd.

The June 24th-26th series between the Seattle Mariners and the Florida Marlins, which had been scheduled to be played in Miami, has been moved to Seattle’s Safeco Field because of a scheduling conflict at Sun Life Stadium. The entire three-game series will be played with the Marlins as the home team, batting last, and under National League rules.

Among the other highlights of the 2011 regular season:

The Dodgers will host the Cardinals at 10:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (PT) on Friday, April 15th, which is designated as Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball.

On Sunday, May 15th, the Braves will host the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1:35 p.m. (ET) contest that will mark the fifth annual Civil Rights Game.

Many natural rivalries will be played as Interleague Play commences on Friday, May 20th, when other highlights will include the Boston Red Sox hosting the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park at 7:10 p.m. (ET) and the Chicago White Sox hosting the Dodgers at U.S. Cellular Field at 8:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (CT). The match-up between the Cubs and the Red Sox, a renewal of the 1918 World Series, will mark the first regular season games ever between the two clubs to be held at Fenway Park.

The 2011 All-Star Game, to be hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12th at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Select READ MORE for the complete 2011 Major League Baseball regular season schedule with game times

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Complete 2011 MLB Spring Training Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 14 January 2011 08:45

The first 2011 Spring Training exhibition will be held on Thursday, February 24th in Clearwater, Florida, where the Philadelphia Phillies will host Florida State University, while the first Cactus League game will be in Scottsdale, Arizona on Friday, February 25th, when the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants will face the Arizona Diamondbacks, Major League Baseball announced.

On Saturday, February 26th, three Arizona contests include the inaugural game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, featuring the clubs that share the new Spring Training facility, the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies. On the same day at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the New York Yankees will host the Phillies, the two clubs that competed in the 2009 World Series, among four Grapefruit League games. The first full slate of Grapefruit League and Cactus League games will come on Monday, February 28th. Among the highlights of the 2011 Spring Training schedule are two games between the Giants and the reigning American League Champion Texas Rangers, renewals of the 2010 Fall Classic. The first contest will be on Monday, March 7th in Scottsdale, while the second, which will include a Giants’ split squad, will be on Sunday, March 13th in Surprise.

Select exhibition games at Major League ballparks and other special venues will run from Sunday, March 27th through Wednesday, March 30th, by which time the Grapefruit and Cactus League schedules will conclude. Thursday, March 31st will mark 2010 Opening Day, with six games scheduled.

MLB Network will televise more than 60 Spring Training games in 2011. The game schedule will be announced when it becomes available. MLB Network will also once again televise its signature Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days starting February 28, with hour-long shows on each of the 30 Major League Clubs previewing the 2011 season, reported from each of the Spring Training camps throughout Arizona and Florida.

The complete 2011 Spring Training schedule, subject to change, follows.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE COMPLETE 2011 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE:

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