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Q&A with Mark Lerner PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 28 September 2006 08:59

Mark LernerWashington Nationals owner Mark Lerner interviews with Thom Loverro of the Washington Times.

Highlights include:

  • I can't imagine ever having an emotional letdown from owning the hometown major league baseball club — the national pastime team — in the nation's capital. No. There has been absolutely no emotional letdown.
  •  It's hard for us to imagine being really satisfied until the team is more competitive on the field and until we are in the new ballpark and can offer the fan experience we've always imagined.
  • We're all looking forward to the opportunity to make some adjustments to the stadium in anticipation of this ownership's first full season at RFK.
  • I know that everyone — owners, players, sponsors, advertisers and media partners — shares a hope that a CBA will be reached quickly and amicably. We're all quite optimistic. I think we all learned from the last agreement — which was reached without work stoppage or even a threat of work stoppage — was beneficial to the game and certainly appreciated by the fans.

(The Washington Times)
 
Sources: Robinson Out as Manager of Nats PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 15:57
Frank Robinson

Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post is reporting that Frank Robinson will not be back as manager of the Washington Nationals next season, marking the end of a 5-year run with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. Robinson's one-year, $650,000 contract expires at the end of the season. As reported:

A discussion between the team's top officials and Robinson could happen as soon as today (Thursday), but it almost certainly will take place by Monday, the day after the 71-year-old manager's fifth season at the helm of the franchise concludes. It is unclear whether he will be offered another position within the organization.

Robinson has not yet met with General Manager Jim Bowden or President Stan Kasten regarding his future with the organization. Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 as a player, and has managed in MLB for 16 seasons.

(The Washington Post

 
It's Official: The Pesky Pole PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 12:50

Johnny PeskyIn a pre-game ceremony before tonight's Devil Rays vs. Red Sox game at Fenway Park, the club officially named the right field pole after, what for years has been only a nickname. The pole was officially christened the "Pesky Pole" in honor of longtime Red Sox, Johnny Pesky. Pesky, who has now been a part of the Red Sox organization for over 56 years, was honored on his birthday with the naming ceremony, and him throwing out the first pitch to Tim Wakefield. In attendance was his longtime teammate and second baseman, Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.

This is a little unusual for me," said Pesky of the attention, while sitting in the Red Sox dugout and wearing a uniform with his No. 6 on the back during batting practice. "I'm a little flattered. This is really nice." 

"The guy had to work hard for what he has," Doerr said. "He's a Hall of Famer in my eyes. He's a great ambassador for baseball."

The Red Sox organization will place a plaque just before the pole on the outfield wall in foul territory at Fenway.

(The AP

NOTE: Read Maury Brown's extensive interview with Johnny Pesky, as well as his interview with Bobby Doerr.

 
Pass the Fritos & Pepsi for the Playoffs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 11:16

Frito LayMediaweek is reporting that MLB and PepsiCo are nearing a partnership deal for the playoffs and the World Series. While Pepsi has been the official carbonated drink of MLB since 1997, Frito Lay may become the official "salty snacks provider, a category previously untapped by MLB marketing honchos."

As reported:

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. An MLB official said there is "a significant increase in terms of overall rights" over past Pepsi deals. The first, in 1997, was a five-year pact that analysts put at $50 million; a second five-year deal, signed in 2002, was valued at $80 million.

Frito Lay previously joined Pepsi to activate MLB's all-star game retail balloting program. In 2007 they will play a more energetic role as an official MLB partner, likely to include baseball-themed marketing and packaging. The deal also means MLB joins the NFL and NHL with official Pepsi-Frito Lay tandems.

"This is a valuable category in terms of targeting consumers," said Susan Goodenow, vp-business public relations at MLB, New York. "When you think baseball, you think snacks."

 The playoffs begin on October 2nd, with the World Series scheduled to start on October 21st.

(Mediaweek

 
MLB Players - Finalists for 2006 Player Choice Awards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 07:43

OrtizMAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR 2006 PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS

Sluggers Howard, Ortiz & Pujols are Player of the Year finalists

Pujols, Smoltz & Thome vie for Marvin Miller Man of the Year honor

New York, NY, Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - Major League baseball players on all 30 teams have cast their votes to recognize their peers with the highest of honors – the esteemed Players Choice Awards, recognizing excellence both on and off the field. The Major League Baseball Players Association today announced the finalists in each of 10 award categories, including the coveted Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given annually to the one player in either league whose performance both on and off the field most inspires his fellow players to higher levels of achievement.

The finalists for the Player of the Year award are Ryan Howard (Phillies), David Ortiz (Red Sox) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals).  Howard has paced the Phillies pursuit of the National League Wild Card while batting .316 with a Major League leading 58 home runs and 146 runs batted in.  Ortiz, the anchor of the Boston ’s offense is hitting .287 with American League leading 54 home runs and 137 runs batted in, while Pujols, who is hitting .330 with 46 homers and 130 RBI, has shouldered the offensive load for the first place Cardinals.

Leading the voting for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award are Albert Pujols (Cardinals), John Smoltz (Braves) and Jim Thome (White Sox).  Pujols established the Pujols Family Foundation which is dedicated to the love, care and development of people with Down Syndrome.  In Atlanta , Smoltz created the “Strike Out Hunger” program to help eliminate hunger in the Atlanta region.  In addition to being a spokesman with the Prostate Cancer Foundation Thome has worked with the Chicago branch of Habitat for Humanity.

The balloting for the Players Choice Awards was conducted on September 12 and 13, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG. Players Choice Awards are given annually to the top pitcher, player, rookie and comeback player in each league as well as an overall player of the year and man of the year.  The winners will be announced at a later date.

Each of the 2006 Players Choice Award winners will designate the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust.  To date, the Players Trust has distributed over $2.75 million to 155 charities through the Players Choice Awards program.

The 2006 Players Choice Awards finalists are listed below

(select Read More)

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Yankees 2006 Postseason Suite Prices PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 02:54

YankeesToday, the Yankees announced the suite prices at Yankee Stadium for the 2006 post-season. Suites get the following (depending on size):

All Hall of Fame Suites are located on Yankee Stadium's Loge Level and include the following:

  • 18-30 tickets (depending upon the suite size)
  • Three or four color television monitors
  • Air Conditioning/heating
  • Sliding glass enclosures
  • Bartender service
  • A private restroom
  • Four or five parking passes for Parking Garage #8 (depending upon the suite size)
Also, at no additional charge, the Yankees will provide you and your guests with the following:
  • Catering: premium food and beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
  • Postseason caps
  • Postseason programs

Hall of Fame Suites are available for purchase on an individual game basis and in packages. Packages consist of three games. (One game in each Postseason series)

 Infield Hall of Fame SuitesFirst Base Hall of Fame SuitesOutfield Hall of Fame Suites
 
SeriesSinglePackage PriceSinglePackage PriceSinglePackage Price
ALDS$19,000$17,500$18,000$17,000$9,500 -
$17,000
$8,500 -
$16,000
ALCS$26,000$24,000$24,000$22,000$12,500 - $23,000$11,500 - $21,500
WS$53,000$47,000$48,000$42,000$23,000 - $42,000$21,000 - $37,000

For additional information, please contact David M. Bernstein or Samantha Giraud at (718) 579-4431 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

*Prices include the cost for tickets, license fees, handling fees, state and local taxes, and the amenities set forth above.
 
 
First 10 "Hometown Heros" Announced PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 02:44

Hank AaronAfter nearly 17 millions fans voted for who they feel are their Hometown Heros for each franchise, MLB released the first 10 players, as voted by the fans. ESPN debuted the first of three "DHL Presents Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes" and the winners are...

Atlanta Braves: Hank Aaron
Hall of Famer; baseball's all-time home run leader with 755.

Baltimore Orioles: Cal Ripken Jr.
All-time leader for consecutive games played with 2,632.

Chicago White Sox: Frank Thomas
Two-time AL Most Valuable Player (1993-94); now leading Oakland.

Florida Marlins: Dontrelle Willis
Two-time All-Star (2003, 2005); NL Rookie of the Year (2003).

New York Yankees: Babe Ruth
Hall of Famer; 714 homers; seven-time World Series champion; the legend.

Oakland Athletics: Reggie Jackson
Hall of Famer; 14-time All-Star (1969, 1971-75, 1977-84).

Philadelphia Phillies: Mike Schmidt
Hall of Famer; three-time NL Most Valuable Player (1980, '81, '86).

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Wade Boggs
Hall of Famer; led AL in batting average (1985-88); 3,000th hit as a Ray.

Toronto Blue Jays: Joe Carter
Five-time All-Star (1991-94, '96); walk-off homer won 1993 World Series.

Washington Nationals: Gary Carter
Hall of Fame catcher; 11-time All-Star; led Montreal before club moved to DC.

(MLB.com )

 
Sale of Braves Still on Hold PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 01:11

BravesFor months, the sale of the Braves from Time Warner to Liberty Media has been delayed due to issues that involve the IRS and MLB. Now, it appears that the delay will continue.

The sale involves a unique tax dodge for both Time Warner and Liberty Media. As reported:

"Perhaps all things with Time Warner are complicated," Maffei said, "but things related to baseball teams and the like are particularly complicated because you throw in Major League Baseball rules on top of all the restrictions of what Time Warner wants and we want and the '355' restrictions."

('355' refers to the section of the tax code pertaining to "cash-rich split-offs," legalese for this type of transaction. The proposed deal would have Time Warner put the Braves and about $1.35 billion into a newly formed subsidiary, then exchange that subsidiary to Liberty Media for about 107 million shares of Time Warner stock long held by Liberty. If various requirements are met, Liberty could avoid tax on the stock sale and Time Warner could avoid tax on the team sale. The combined tax savings could be as high as $700 million.)

On MLB's side of the ledger is concern of the ownership structure. MLB often prefers "family ownership", but in this case, the Braves would be owned by a corporation (Liberty Media). Possible solutions to satisfy MLB might be, "entering into an agreement to have Braves chairman and president Terry McGuirk continue to run the team."

(The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

 
MLB, Mastercard Extend Agreement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 00:55
Major League Baseball, MasterCard Worldwide announce multi-year sponsorship extension

Major League Baseball and MasterCard Worldwide yesterday announced a new global sponsorship agreement that will extend MasterCard's relationship with Major League Baseball and MLB.com through the 2010 season. The agreement includes exclusive category rights granted by Major League Baseball Properties, Major League Baseball International and MLB Advanced Media.

Along with its sponsorship of Major League Baseball, MasterCard has sponsorship alliances with 17 MLB Clubs, including a new relationship with 26-time World Series Champions the New York Yankees in 2006. This year, for the first time, MasterCard is the preferred Card of both New York-based clubs, the New York Mets and Yankees. In addition to the Yankees and Mets, MasterCard is also an official sponsor of the following Major League Baseball Clubs: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A's, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.

This season, 12 MLB ballparks began accepting MasterCard® PayPass, a new "contactless" payment option giving fans the chance to pay for their purchases under $25 with a simple tap of their PayPass enabled card or device on specially equipped merchant terminals. With MasterCard PayPass, sports fans spend less time standing in line or fumbling for cash at concession stands, and more time catching the onfield action. PayPass is now accepted at Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium (Mets), Citizens Bank Park (Phillies), Turner Field (Braves), Dodger Stadium (Dodgers), PETCO Park (Padres), Busch Stadium (Cardinals), Jacobs Field (Indians), Wrigley Field (Cubs), U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox), Fenway Park (Red Sox), and Great American Ball Park (Reds).

"We are proud to renew our relationship with MasterCard, which has become an important part of our game and an integral part of our business," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "When we partner with a company we are searching for a brand that exhibits similar brand qualities and will work with us to market the game aggressively. MasterCard has been an outstanding partner since we began our relationship nearly a decade ago and Major League Baseball looks forward to working with them on exciting and creative marketing platforms for years to come."

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