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Tampa Bay Rays - 2008 MLB Organization of the Year
User Rating: / 29
Written by the Staff   
Monday, 03 November 2008 19:37
2008 Business of Sports Network MLB Organization of the Year


It seemed there was a never-ending stream of superlatives when it came time to describe our selection as the 2008 MLB Organization of the Year. Unconventional, youthful, tenacious, coming of age, and plucky were but a handful. But, if you were to say at the beginning of the 2008 MLB season that the Tampa Bay Rays would make the World Series, maybe the best word used to describe them would be “unimaginable.”

The Rays, this year’s AL representative in the World Series, won our selection by going from worst in '07 to first in '08, and in the process breathed life into an organization that for the majority of its tenure has been running on life support.

To start with, the organization rebranded itself, removing "Devil" from the club name, and changing the team colors. At the time, owner Stuart Sternberg seemed to encapsulate how the team would be remembered in 2008:

"We were tied to the past, and the past wasn't necessarily something we wanted to be known for. Nobody's running from it or hiding from it, and we're proud of certain aspects of it, but this is something the organization was able to really put their arms around. I hope and expect the fans who come out will see it as a new beginning," he said.

From a player payroll perspective, no team did so much with so little. Using the Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins metric (see a detailed break down of all 30 clubs), the Rays had the second lowest Opening Day payroll in the league at $43,820,598, then won the AL East with a 97-65 record, which comes to an incredible $679,764 per marginal win. To place this in perspective, the Rays were the only postseason team to tout a cost per marginal win less than $1 million, with the nearest being the Brewers at $1,692,854 per MW --- nearly two and a half times greater.

As they say, winning cures all ills and the Rays were no exception. The Major League's largest increase in average attendance came to the Rays, who saw a jump of 28.20 percent to 22,370 per game, or 1,780,791 in total attendance, up from last season’s 1,389,031. The total attendance count was nothing spectacular, but given the fact that the (then) Devil Rays had posted total attendance of 1,369,031 in 2006 (29th out of 30), and 1,124,189 in 2005 (30th out of 30), the Rays see hope in growing fan interest over the next few seasons based on their improbable run through the AL East and the postseason.

That winning also parlayed into increased viewership on television. FSN Florida and the Tampa Bay Rays saw nearly a 100 percent increase in ratings from last year (99%) posting a 3.47 rating this year compared to 1.74 last season. To add an extra shine to the regional ratings, the Rays doubled total households from 31,000 in '07 to 62,000 in '08.

This increase in viewership has allowed Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and his staff to negotiate an 8-year extension with FSN Florida through 2016. While figures have not been released, the Rays will see a substantial increase in television rights fees from FSN Florida over the life of the agreement.

On top of all this, the real reason the Rays received our 2008 award is the make-up of the team. From GM Andrew Friedman, to the pitching staff, through the rest of the roster, the best word to describe them is “youthful.” That quality pervades every aspect of the team.

Come sail away? The Rays wisely opted to wait for a
better economic and political opportunity to pursue
a proposed new waterfront ballpark in downtown
St. Petersburg. (see more images)

The club's Wall Street analyst-turned general manager, Andrew Friedman (age 31), had never worked in MLB until owner Stuart Sternberg tapped him for the position. The Rays' World Series starting rotation has an average age of 24.6. The team roster includes 11 first-round draft picks, five of which the Rays drafted.

We also tipped our hat to manager Joe Maddon, who was selected as The Sporting News Manager of the Year for the American League. Maddon’s taste for what some termed a “new age” style resonated with the players, and his straightforward candor and honesty was a breath of fresh air for the league.

Other points of interest that make the Rays our selection as MLB organization of the year:

  • For the second consecutive season the organization played a series at Disney's Wide World of Sports, just outside of Orlando, this year taking on the Toronto Blue Jays. The games were a proactive effort by the Rays to increase fan interest regionally before the realization that the team would become a force in the AL East. How have the Rays fared at Disney? To date, they are undefeated.
  • The club announced plans to develop a new ballpark in downtown St. Petersburg at the Al Lang Park location. The design, arguably the most unique in all of sports, has sail-like panels that would create cover in the event of rain. While the Rays were hoping to obtain public funding this year, they wisely pulled back from that stance, opting to do so at a later point when the political and economic climate is more conducive.

The question will now shift to whether the Rays can ride the momentum? Will season ticket sales increase? Will those that were bandwagon fans turn into regulars? Certainly the team's first run into the postseason, its core of young marketable platers, and its strong management team offer hope.

Select Read More to see the rest of the Business of Sports Network 2008 MLB Organization of the Year Award, including guest selections, our runner-up and honorable mentions

Who Will Win the 2008 MLB Organization of the Year?
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 03 November 2008 00:12


BSN MLB Organization of the Year


On Tuesday, the Business of Sports Network will release its selection for MLB organization of the year, an award showcasing our selection as the best club from the front office down to the players on the field.

We also will highlight a runner-up and several honorable mentions.

In addition to the staff selection, we will have a special sidebar where several notables weigh in as which club they think is best now that the 2008 season is complete.

Look for the release on Tuesday.

Maury Brown

Maury 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. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Late Night: Maury Brown on XM Satellite Radio 175
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 20 October 2008 19:00

XM For those that are night owls, I will be on XM 175 tonight at 1:05am ET, 10:05pm PT.

Topics? You guessed it, the World Series.

Those that tune in will hear talk of whether it really matters what the television ratings are like for the Rays and Phillies.

There will be much more as The Biz of Baseball goes Late Night.

Maury Brown

Maury 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. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Thanks From The Biz of Baseball on Our Two-Year Anniversary
User Rating: / 25
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 14 September 2008 23:21

The Biz of Baseball Second AnniversaryIt’s been two years since we launched, and since that time, the site has become a popular stop for those that are interested in baseball off the diamond. With this being our two-year anniversary, I wanted to take a couple of moments to say thanks to all that stop by to read, as well as a shout out to some that have been kind enough to help us out along the way.

What started as Interviews, Documents, and Articles, ballooned into a news resource for MLB, MiLB, and Independent League baseball. We starting tracking those in violation of MLB's Drug Policy. We added the 2007 Post-Season Broadcast Schedule, and much more.

The Biz of Baseball has been a resource for those focused on the the media, especially  MLB Extra Innings and the upcoming The MLB Networl, which includes a list of the carriers that will have The MLB Network when it launches on January 1, 2009. We added Manager Salaries, a list of all foreign born players, a list of the alcohol policies for all clubhouses, and a current list of all owners in MLB.

 All of this has come with an incredible amount of assistance. As we look to our third year, here's to those that have helped (listed in no particular order).

Below is a listing  of those that have helped.

Regular Staff

The following are those that have assisted daily or are key members of The Biz of Baseball:

Glenna Brown, Kurt Hunzeker, Devon Teeple, Jordan Kobritz , Dave Rouleau, Bill Jordan, Doug Atterbury, Brad Lappin, Nick Kappel


The following have contributed content to The Biz of Baseball

John Thorn, John Brattain, Wayne McDonnell, Patrick Thorton, Pete Toms, Jeff Euston, Adam Holzman, Diane M. Grassi, Lawrence W. Boes, Bill Gilbert, Jacob F. Lamme, Jahn K. Hakes & Raymond D. Sauer, Steve Weingarden, Mike Rice, Andrew Zimbalist

Friends and Supporters of The Biz of Baseball

The following not only have been supporters of The Biz of Baseball, but have been kind enough to assist with research or friendly conversation:

Darren Viola, Brent Gambill, Tim Lemke, Chris Isidore, Rob Neyer, Craig Calcaterra, Kevin ‘’Duk”  Kaduk Fred Claire, Tal Smith, Brian Berger, Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, Alex Belth, Will Carroll, King Kaufmann, Todd Radom, David Pinto, Jonah Keri, David W. Smith, Brian Borawski, Peter Bavasi, Jeff Erickson, Gary Huckabay, Rich Burk, Jeff Angus, Ken Fang, Andy Giegerich, Rich Lederer, David Kahn, Meyer Freeman, Greg Pawson, Blair Cash, Tim Chamberlin, Joe Touchstone, John Thorn, John Brattain, Dave Rouleau, and Doug Atterbury

Sites that Support The Biz of Baseball

Here’s a shout out to those that have given The Biz of Baseball a shout out (in alphabetical order):

AOL Fanhouse, Athletics Nation, Ballbug, the excellent Ballhype, Ballpark Guys, Baseball Musings, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Think Factory, Big League Stew, Bleed Cubbie Blue,  Boston Sports Media Watch, Brock for Broglio, Bronx Banter, Bugs and Cranks, Cot's Contracts, Deadspin, Dodger Thoughts, Fang's Bites, Gameday Yuda, Gaslamp Ball, Hardball Times, Home Run Derby, Lohud Yankees Blog, MLB Home Plate XM 175, River Ave. Blues, Shysterball, Sons of Sam Horn, Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Radio, Sports Management Worldwide, Tango on Baseball, The Baseball Analysts, Walk of Walk, Yardbarker

The Big Thanks

A thanks to all that have supported me, and The Biz of Baseball (in alphabetical order):

Peter Abraham, Jeff Angus, Chuck Armstrong, Doug Atterbury, Kurt Badenhausen, Buzzie Bavasi, Peter Bavasi, Billy Beane, Ken Belson, Alex Belth, Brian Berger, Tyler Blezinski, BlogBurst Network, Lawrence Boes, Brian Borawski, Boston Red Sox, Greg Bouris, Bob Bowman, J.C. Bradbury, John Brattain, Eamonn Brennan, Ryan Brodeur, Glenna, Tyler and Travis Brown, Rich Burk, Jack Cain, Craig Calcaterra, Kelly Calvert, Will Carroll, Blair Cash, Matt Cerrone, David Chalk, Tim Chamberlin, Steven Chang, Steven Charnick, Fred Claire, Devin Clancy, Bobby Corser, Jerry Crasnick, Ken Davidoff, Neil DeMause, Door Number 3, Rachel Dornhelm, Bob Dutton, Elevate Communications, Mike Elsen, Jeff Erikson, Jeff Euston, Ken Fang, Fenway Sports Group, Eric Fisher, Rod Fort, Dan Fox, Meyer Freeman, Jim Furtado, Gameday Yuda, Brent Gambill, Art Garfamudis, Jim Gates,  Darren Gersh, Andy Giegerich, Bill Gilbert, Dennis Glasgow, Beverly Goldstein, Tom Gorman, Bill Gould, Matthew Gould, Diane Grassi, Sean Gregory, Donna Guillaume, James Guinn, Jason Gunery, Erin Gurney, Doug Harris, Louis Hau, HKS Architecture, HOK Sport, Gary Huckabay, Kurt Hunzeker, Chris Isidore, Rany Jazayerli, Jay Jaffe, Brian Jaquet, Dwight Jaynes, Bill Jordan, Jamie Junco, David Kahn, Christina Kahrl, Stan Kasten, King Kaufmann, Bill Kent, Jonah Keri, ESPN 1080 The Fan, Jordan Kobritz , Mark Lamster, Shawn Langlois, Dave Lanham, Brad Lappin, Art Larrance, Liz Lashbrook, Lynn Lashbrook, Rich Lederer, Katie Leighton, Tim Lemke, Gina Leo, Josh Levin, Edgar Lin, Steve Lyons, Norman Macht,  Drew Mahalic, Bill Magrath, Tim Marchman, Janet Marie-Smith, Wayne McDonnell, Brett McGinness, Chris Metz, Marvin Miller, Joshua Milne, Jeff Moorad, Dick Moss, Rhamesis Muncada, Rob Neyer, Roger Noll, Bill Nowlin, Oakland A's, Pat O'Conner, Lisa O'Neill, Jorge Ortiz, Carolyn Pappas, Brian Parrot, Jeff Passan, Merritt Paulson, Greg Pawson, Dayn Perry, Johnny Pesky, Vince Pesky, David Pinto, Plan B. Branding, Bob Plapinger, Joe Posnanski, Aryeh Rabinowitz , Todd Radom, Branch Rickey III, Alex Riethmiller, Tracy Ringolsby, Issac Ropp, Ken Rosenthal, Darren Rovell, Christopher Sahl, Anthony Salazar, Curt Schilling, Mark Shapiro, Nate Silver, Michael Silverman, SlingMedia, Mark Smith, Tal Smith, Joe Siegler, Jayson Stark, Charley Steiner, Dave Studenmund, Paul Swangard, Paul Swyadan, Jason Swygard, Tom Tango, Devon Teeple, Rudy Telscher, John Thorn, Bob Timmerman, Joe Touchstone, Bryan Tsao, Fay Vincent, Darren Viola, Don Walker, Kyle Wang, Lou Weisbach, Jon Weisman, Paul White, Charlie Wiegert, Tim Wiles, Lewis Wolff, Keith Woolner, Farhan Zaidi, Andrew Zimbalist.

The “Beyond Special Thanks”

An extra special thanks would not due for this one. My wife, Glenna Brown, makes the Business of Sports Network tick. Her patience is invaluable in making The Biz of Baseball what it is today.

To Our Readers

Once again, a heartfelt thanks to those that stop by and read The Biz of Baseball, and our other sites that make up the Business of Sports Network.

Thanks again,

Maury Brown
Business of Sports Network
Bizball LLC

Maury Brown

Maury 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. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Sat, 3PM ET: Maury Brown Talks Instant Replay, MLBAM, ESPN, Big Ten Network and More on Sports Business Radio
User Rating: / 3
Written by the Staff   
Friday, 29 August 2008 09:08

Sports Business RadioCatch Maury Brown on Sports Business Radio tomorrow (Sat.) at 3pm (see details here).

To find out where you can catch Sports Business Radio (SBR), check their distribution listing.

Planned topics include MLB's implementation of instant replay, ESPN's deal with MLBAM for digital rights, the broadcast deal between Time Warner and the Big Ten Network, and ESPN's landmark deal with the SEC conference of the NCAA (see The Biz of Football for more details).

Remember to check Sports Business Radio for markets and locations online where you can hear SBR.

The Biz of Baseball is part of the Business of Sports Network. For details on our interviews, latest new on MLB, the NFL, the NBA,and the NHL from outside the lines, check for information and links to the Network's sites.
The Biz of Baseball Gets a Facelift
User Rating: / 7
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 17 August 2008 22:16

The Biz of BaseballWelcome... Again!

As The Biz of Baseball nears its two-year anniversary, the Business of Sports Network has upgraded our premier site.

If you're on the site, you can see that information is much easier to find, the comments section now has added functionality, the layout is "fluid" in that it expands and contracts with your window size, and we've added external links (a Blog Roll, of sorts).

Added to that, the site has now incorporated our content management system's upgrade, which includes beefed-up security.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Maury Brown
Founder and President
Business of Sports Network
Bizball LLC

Maury Brown

Maury 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. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Could This Be the Future of Athletic Shoes?
User Rating: / 3
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 15 May 2008 03:32

Verb for Shoe

Welcome to a computer on your feet. Verb For Shoe adjusts itself based on
embedded sensors. Stand next to someone else wearing Verb For Shoe and
pass and your e-Business Card info via wireless technology (Verb for Shoe)

Until recently, the idea of technology and footwear has been relegated to the design aspects. Some designs have embarked on computer aided laser etching, and certainly the design of soles has changed dramatically over the past 20-30 years with the use of computer-aided design.

The shoe you see above may be the future of footwear. Named Verb for Shoe, it has an on-board computer system that senses your movement and adjusts bladders on-the-fly  for comfort.

To add to that, it's a social networking device. Stand near to someone else wearing a pair of Verb for Shoe and pass along e-Business Card information via wireless transmission.

Cost? A cool $700.00

In a continuation of interviews with those working in the business of sports, we offer up the Business of Sports Network with Ronald Demon, the inventor of Verb for Shoe, and CEO of VectraSense Technologies. More images of the shoe design, within.

An Interview with Ronald Demon. Smart Shoe Inventor, CEO VectraSense Technologies


WBBM: Maury Brown Talks Sale of the Cubs, 12:15 pm CDT
Written by the Staff   
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 08:09

CubsFor those in the Chicagoland area, Maury Brown, Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, of which The Biz of Baseball is a member, will be a guest today at 12:15pm CDT (1:15pm ET, 10:15am PT) on WBBM 790 CBS Radio Chicago.

The topic today will be the sale of the Cubs. 

If you are in the Chicago area, tune in then.

The Business of Sports Network includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.

Brown's full bio is here.


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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?