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MLB, MLBPA To Bring "All-Star Team" to Taiwan in November PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 13:13

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) today announced that a team of Major Leaguers will travel to Taiwan this November to play against the Chinese Taipei national team in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series.

 The 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series will consist of five games played between November 2 – 6 in three different cities – New Taipei City (XinZhuang Stadium) on November 2, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on November 3 and 4 and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on November 5 and 6. Each game will feature the MLB team playing the Chinese Taipei national team and all games will be broadcast live in Taiwan by FTV, Major League Baseball’s exclusive over-the-air broadcaster for regular season and postseason games.

 Major League Baseball and the MLBPA will be selecting the MLB team and staff. A full roster and coaching staff will be released in October.

 “Major League Baseball is excited to take another important step in showcasing our great game to Taiwan, continuing our objective to bring baseball to fans throughout the world,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We are pleased that many fine players will represent Major League Baseball when they meet the top talents of Taiwan.”

 “Major League players are eager to return to Taiwan as part of the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series, and they look forward to joining their counterparts from the Chinese Taipei national team in helping grow the world-wide popularity of the game they love,” said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner. “The players also want to thank the people of Taiwan for once again welcoming them to their country.”

 “The baseball community and all of Taiwan are greatly anticipating this opportunity for our national team to compete against players from Major League Baseball,” said Richard T.C. Lin, Secretary General, Chinese Taipei Baseball Association. “We are delighted that Major League Baseball has returned to Taiwan and we look forward to seeing more games played here in the future.”

 There are currently 28 players from Taiwan playing in Major League organizations including two on Major League rosters.

 The most recent MLB trip to Taiwan was in March 2010 when the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to the country to play a two-game series against the Chinese Professional Baseball League All-Stars. Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are committed to introducing the game at all levels, including providing a showcase for the best baseball talent from all over the world. From the World Baseball Classic to Opening Series, Spring Training Games and All-Star Exhibitions, together MLB and the MLBPA have dramatically expanded the platform for international events, bringing MLB teams and players to fans in Canada, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela.

Source: MLB, MLBPA


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Miami Marlins Logo Leaked PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 20:48

Miami Marlins Logo

What you're looking at is one of the logos that will be for the new Miami Marlins when the club moves into its new stadium and begins play there in 2012. The rename of "Miami" was part of the deal for public funding for the new stadium.

The rainbow colors tie into the new stadium pallette that sees colored sections throughout the new facility.

The Biz of Baseball contacted the Marlins about the logo. "We have no comment. We plan on releasing our new logo to the public on Nov. 11."

More details when the off-season begins in November.


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Astros to Stay in the National League In 2012, But Expanded Playoffs Still Outside Possibility PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:14

AstrosMajor League Baseball released its tentative 2012 schedule today, and with it, questions as to whether the Houston Astros might be jumping to the American League West were raised. With the changes – for at least next season and possibly further – the Astros will be in the National League Central as sources indicate it would be too difficult at this point to change the schedule for all clubs based upon realignment.

The aspect of the Astros not moving plays against two different issues before the league.

For one, it’s been reported by some that prospective Astros owner Jim Crane was not being approved as the new owner of the club by the leagues owners due to not wishing to jump leagues. That issue has now been resolved, although as of today, no vote to approve Crane is scheduled.

As part of that, it begs the question as to whether expanded playoffs are now off the table. In speaking with sources close the matter, it is possible that expanded playoffs could still occur and that league realignment would take place for 2013.

The difficulty in implementing expanded playoffs with MLB still unbalanced with 16 in the NL and 14 in the AL is that there would be interleague almost, if not everyday of the week.

It’s a solution, but not a graceful one. If there are critics of Interleague play now, will having it occur daily dilute Interleague’s luster for other fans? It’s certainly possible.

Bottom line, Astros fans that were fighting for the club to stay in the National League can breath a sigh of relief for 2013 season. And, when you think about it, moving them after doesn’t exactly get any easier. In fact, it may be more difficult as the Astros will be that much further along with their new regional sports network being created with the Houston Rockets.


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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MLB Released 2012 Schedule With Less Days, More Time Off Around ASG PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:06

Major League Baseball today announced its master 2012 regular season schedule, which will begin on Wednesday, April 4th, four days later than this season when it started on the first. The final day of the 2012 regular season is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3rd. To add to the interesting schedule change with the later start, every team now has 4 days off around the All-Star Game. These additional changes are likely part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and shows that the sides have agreed upon certain aspects of the new baseball labor agreement in advance.

What is still an open question is whether there will be expanded Wild Card teams. The release of the schedule does not preclude that from not happening. Questions still swirl as to whether the Houston Astros will jump to the AL West to balance out the AL and NL at 15 clubs a piece

The Marlins, changing their name to the Miami Marlins, will open the 2012 season by hosting the inaugural game at the New Marlins Ballpark on Wednesday, April 4th against the St. Louis Cardinals. Located in Little Havana, west of downtown Miami, the venue will seat 37,000 fans, will feature a retractable roof and will have spectacular views of downtown Miami.

On Thursday, April 5th, six games are scheduled, including the Toronto Blue Jays visiting the Cleveland Indians; the Boston Red Sox visiting the Detroit Tigers; the Atlanta Braves visiting the New York Mets; the Washington Nationals visiting the Chicago Cubs; the Los Angeles Dodgers visiting the San Diego Padres; and the Philadelphia Phillies visiting the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ten games are scheduled for Friday, April 6th. The first full slate of 15 games is scheduled for Saturday, April 7th.

The 16th season of Interleague Play will feature many renewals of past World Series, including Reds-Yankees and Pirates-Tigers (starting May 18th); Mets-Yankees, Phillies-Orioles, Astros-White Sox, Blue Jays-Braves, Tigers-Reds and Rangers-Giants (starting June 8th); Yankees-Braves, Pirates-Orioles, Tigers-Cubs (starting June 11th/12th); Phillies-Blue Jays, Red Sox-Cubs, Royals-Cardinals and White Sox-Dodgers (starting June 15th); Cubs-White Sox, Giants-Angels, Braves-Yankees, Orioles-Mets and Dodgers-Athletics (June 18th/19th); and Cardinals-Royals, Giants-Athletics, Yankees-Mets, Rays-Phillies and Tigers-Pirates (starting June 22nd). The games are almost a mirror image of this season’s interleague match-ups.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the San Diego Padres on Sunday, April 15th, which is Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball. The first day of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft will be Monday, June 4th. The 2012 All-Star Game, to be hosted by the Kansas City Royals, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium.

Select READ MORE to see the entire tentative 2012 schedule in PDF

Read more...
 
Pittsburgh Pirates Extend GM Neal Huntington Through 2014 with Club Option for '15 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 11 September 2011 21:43

Neal HuntingtonWhile the team isn't flirting with first any longer (in fact, they currently sit 18.5 games back of the Brewers, fourth in the NL Central), it's better than dead last, where they’re normally perched. Apparently, ownership has seen enough that they feel that maybe, possibly, could be, the Pirates are heading in the right direction after so many losing seasons.

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington to a three-year contract extension through 2014 with a club option for 2015. Financial terms were not released. In the full seasons under Huntington’s tenure, the Pirates have finished .414, .358, and .352. As of Sunday they were 66-80 (.452).

"Neal was hired to take on the difficult task of building an organization that can compete on a consistent basis," said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman of the Board. "While there is still much work to be done, Neal and his staff have done an exceptional job of overhauling the scouting and development systems while building a strong foundation by aggressively acquiring talent through all possible avenues. We have begun to see that positive impact on the Major League level this season and expect that improvement to continue as we execute our plan in building a winning organization."

The 42-year-old Huntington was named to his current position on September 25, 2007, thus becoming the 12th G.M. in the history of the club.

"Neal has rebuilt the baseball operations department into a cohesive and focused unit that is acquiring and developing winning players who are now making a positive impact in Pittsburgh," said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. "Our Club's improvement this summer was just the beginning. While our goals have not yet been reached and there is much hard work left to do, I am confident that Neal and his talented and dedicated team, including Greg Smith and Kyle Stark, will finish the job of bringing championships back to Pittsburgh."

"I am humbled by the opportunity to continue as the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates," said Huntington. "I am extremely appreciative of the resources provided by Bob Nutting, the guidance and support provided by Frank Coonelly and the outstanding work done by our baseball operations staff. We collectively look forward to building upon the progress experienced to date and achieving our goal of returning the Pirates to a championship caliber organization."


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Orioles to Honor the Late Mike Flanagan PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 26 August 2011 12:01

Following the tragic news late Weds, the Orioles today announced their plans to honor Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher, coach, executive and MASN broadcaster Mike Flanagan, who passed away on Wednesday.

  • Beginning with tonight’s game against the New York Yankees, Orioles uniformed personnel will wear a black circular patch with “FLANNY” written in white on their right jersey sleeves for the remainder of the 2011 season.
  • A black banner with the number “46” in orange has been installed just above the press box and below the booth where Flanagan sat as a member of the MASN broadcast team.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, the club will have a moment of silence in Flanagan’s memory, and his uniform number 46 will be posted on the out-of-town scoreboard in right field from the time the gates open through the conclusion of the game.
  • A video tribute will be played on the Oriole Park video board at the completion of the first inning of the game.
  • The Orioles flag on the right field flag court at Camden Yards will be flown at half staff for each of the remaining home games this season.
  • The Orioles have set up a virtual guestbook at www.oriolesguestbook.mlblogs.com or at www.orioles.com/flanny and invite fans to share their condolences and memories of Flanagan.

Source: Baltimore Orioles


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Former Orioles Player and Executive Mike Flanagan Found Dead On His Property PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 21:14

UPDATE #2: Statement from Cal Ripken, Jr.

UPDATE: Statement by Peter Angelos added

Mike Flanagan, the former Cy Young winner for the Baltimore Orioles who went on to the broadcast booth and eventually the front office of the organization, was found dead on his property in northern Baltimore County. Cause of death is not yet known and police continue to investigate what is being called a suspicious death. Flanagan was 59.

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening," said Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos in a statement. "In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.”

"I am so sorry to hear about Mike's passing," Cal Ripken, Jr. said in a statement late Weds. "He was a good friend and teammate, and our thoughts are with [his wife] Alex and his family. Mike was an Oriole through and through, and he will be sorely missed by family, friends and fans. This is a sad day."

Flanagan was part of the 1983 World Series Orioles and won the AL Cy Young in 1979. That year he led the league in wins with 23 and shutouts (5). The year prior, he led the league is starts (40) and was elected to the All-Star Team. He was inducted to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1994.

Over 18 seasons with the Orioles and Blue Jays, Flanagan amassed a 167-143 (.539) record. All but 26 of those wins that occurred over four seasons in Toronto came with the Orioles.

He was a pitching coach before becoming the VP of Baseball Operations in December of 2002 and worked closely with Jim Duquette, the club’s former General Manager.

In March of 2010, Flanagan joined Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). He had two stints prior in broadcasting in 1996-1997 and from 1999-2002 when he provided game analysis for the Orioles television network.

More news as it becomes available.


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Texas Rangers to Erect Statue in Honor of Fan Who Fell to Death PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 15 August 2011 21:24

The Texas Rangers today announced plans for the creation of a statue that will honor Shannon Stone, the Brownwood, Texas firefighter who passed away from injuries suffered in the tragic accident on July 7 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The statue, which is tentatively to be named Rangers Fans, is expected to be in place for the 2012 season. It will depict Mr. Stone and his six-year-old son Cooper attending a Rangers game. The full-size bronze statue is likely to be located outside the home plate gate of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

After Fan Falls to Death, Texas Rangers Announce Series of New Safety Initiatives

“We feel that this statue will be a most fitting tribute,” commented Rangers CEO and President Nolan Ryan. “It will not only serve to honor Mr. Stone’s memory but also to recognize Rangers fans and baseball fans everywhere.

“I have discussed the project with Jenny Stone, and she and the Stone family will be involved in the design and creation of the statue.”

Jenny Stone issued the following statement:

“We continue to be appreciative of Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers as we deal with the loss of Shannon. Shannon and Cooper had a special relationship, and we are touched and grateful that it will be memorialized at one of their favorite places. Our hope is that this statue will not be a symbol of our family tragedy but rather a reminder of the importance of a family's love - love of each other, love of spending time together, and love of the game.”

The Rangers, who will fund the project, are in the early stages of considering sculptors to design and create the statue.

The statue honoring Mr. Stone will be the third sculpture at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Full size bronze statues of Nolan Ryan and Tom Vandergriff were dedicated in 1997 and are located in the centerfield Vandergriff Plaza.

Source: Texas Rangers


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Astros Sale to Crane, Dodgers Bankruptcy Hearing Highlight Busy Week in MLB PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 15 August 2011 13:32

MLBBarring a last minute change, owners from Major League Baseball’s 30 clubs will vote to approve the sale transfer of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane during the league’s quarterly owners meetings this week. The meetings take place on Weds and Thurs of this week.

The other key matter of business for MLB this week centers on a bankruptcy hearing for the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow. The date was suppose to be part of the effort by Frank McCourt to have the television rights of the club auctioned off. McCourt is pushing that avenue after MLB rejected an extension with FOX that would have seen $385 million in up-front payment to the beleaguered club. The league took issue with how money in that deal was to be used. While $385 million would go to the club, just $235 million would have gone to the Dodgers while the remaining $150 million was set to be used by Frank McCourt primarily as part of his expensive divorce from his former wife, Jamie.

But, according to the LA Times, the hearing will not be addressing the auction of the Dodgers’ television rights, something that FOX is adamantly opposed to. The current contract with FOX runs through 2013 and does not allow for right-of-first refusal negotiations with FOX until Nov. of 2012. McCourt is looking to have a bidding war between FOX and presumably Time Warner Cable take place.


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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. 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 through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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