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MLB.com Releases RBI Baseball 14 for Xbox 360, PS3, and iOS Devices PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:00

When it comes to video games, like movies, reboots can come with a mixed bag. On one hand, we’re happy to rekindle a beloved title, but updating it can come with that purist mantra, “Don’t mess with a classic.”

So, it was with much interest that MLB.com yesterday released R.B.I. Baseball 14 for Xbox 360, PS 3, and iOS (all via download). The title, developed in-house by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), is available for $4.99. The nice thing is, since it was done with the MLB Players Association in tow, you get not only all the MLB logos, but yes, actual players. Want to load up and have a rematch of the 2013 World Series starting in St. Louis, you can select John Lackey as your starter out of the SP roster.

For those wondering why PS3 and Xbox 360, as opposed to PS4 and Xbox One, MLB.com informs that they were far down the development path at the time that the the two new hardware platforms were released. There will be an update as MLBAM is "well on the way" for the newer consoles, so stay tuned.

While the game has been graphically updated from the Namco version for the original NES platform, the controls and game play are pretty much the same. The pitcher and batter can be moved around before a pitch is made, and if you’re on the defensive side, you can use the joystick function to move the ball up, down, left, or right after released. For fielding, there’s updated graphics for the windows in the outfield, or base runners should you want to attempt pickoffs. For iOS, a joystick icon and base paths touch graphic is in the lower left and right of the screen to mimic controllers.

All-in-all, it’s cool to go back to the future. Will retro gamers dump their Namco cartridges for NES in favor of it? Likely not. Will they augment for newer platforms? Based on the update, chances seem very good.

Below are screenshots of R.B. I. Baseball 14 for the Xbox 360 and iOS (iPhone)

iOS

iOS

iOS

iOS

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360

iOS

Xbox 360


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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. 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 here.

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MLB Advanced Media Revenues at $600 Million Annually PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:41

MLBMLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) has been a cash cow for Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs, but how it has increased over the past few years has been unreported. As part of an extensive report by Bloomberg that shows the enterprise value of each club in MLB, it’s reported that annual revenues from the digital-rights arm of baseball is now at $600 million annually and that the equity value of MLBAM is now at $3.3 billion. Since each of the 30 clubs invested equally in it when launched in 2000, according to the report, each club garners $110 million in value each year via the lucrative digital-media arm.

To place this in perspective, launched in 2000, MLB.com was funded by the clubs in an agreement that had them each investing $1 million a year over four years. The cost was targeted at $120 million. To the joy of the owners and MLB, the website started generating excess revenue in only the second year of its existence, allowing them to invest only $70-$75 million before beginning to see a return on their investment.

While each club does not see $110 million annually in cash, MLBAM and the overall explosion in television media rights shows why when owners sell clubs they reap incredible rewards over what they initially purchased clubs for. The equity value of MLB Advanced Media is just one reason why when you hear, “We can’t afford to spend on player payroll at competitive levels,” it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

UPCOMING ARTICLE…. Inside the Bloomberg MLB enterprise valuations


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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. 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 here.

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Want to Work in Baseball? MLB.com Seeking Stats Stringers for the 2014 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 October 2013 15:27

MLB.com

The 2013 postseason hasn’t been completed, but already those that are looking to get a job in Major League Baseball for the 2014 season have an opportunity to do so, if they apply now…. Via press release

MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2014 and beyond:

  • Anaheim/Los Angeles
  • Chicago (both teams)
  • Cleveland
  • Colorado
  • Detroit
  • Miami
  • Oakland/San Francisco
  • Texas

Stats stringers are responsible for digitally scoring games from the MLB ballparks, which provides the data used in the live content applications on MLB.com, including At-Bat, Gameday and MLB.TV, real-time highlights and text alerts, and by our business partners. This is a perfect part-time job for a responsible, computer-savvy person who happens to be a big baseball fan.

Responsibilities include:

• Arrive at the ballpark no later than one hour prior to the scheduled start time;

• Double-check and verify all pre-game information: rosters, umpires, weather conditions, etc.;

• During the game, enter the results of every pitch and game event (plays, substitutions, etc.) using our proprietary software and coding language;

• Work closely with our game-night support staff (via AOL Instant Messenger) to ensure proper scoring of all game events and accuracy of data;

• After the game, enter all post-game information: winning and losing pitcher, saves, holds, time and attendance

• Validate all stats and data in our scoring software against the official box score provided by the Official Scorer.

Qualifications include:

• Exceptional (and demonstrable) knowledge of baseball and how to score a baseball game;

• Strong computer proficiency (Windows OS and Windows-based software) and the ability to quickly learn and operate new software;

• Previous experience (including pressbox exposure) with a professional or college sports team, preferably baseball;

• Regular availability to attend games in-person as required by the schedule: weekdays, nights and weekends;

• A "team player" with a great attitude, including but not limited to a willingness to make and learn from mistakes and the ability to work closely and cooperatively (and take direction from) our game-night staff;

• Professionalism. It's a fun job and MLB.com pays people to watch baseball, but it's also an important job and we want people who will take the responsibility seriously.

(New stringers undergo an 8-10 week correspondence training program, and co-score several practice games in the ballpark with a returning stringer, before scoring any games solo in the ballpark.)

Those interested in applying should send a resume and cover letter, addressing the above-listed qualifications, to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ONLY those who reply to that  e-mail address will be considered, and due to volume, MLB.com says they may be unable to respond to all applicants.


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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. 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 here.

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Hackers Hit Several MLB Facebook Accounts, Say Jeter Getting Sex Change PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 03 August 2012 11:07

Jeter

No, Derek Jeter is not getting a sex
change. Hackers said the shortstop was
on the Yankees Facebook page yesterday

Ah, the joys of social media in sports. You grow your fan base, market directly to them, and (if you do your homework), convert them into ticket buyers.

But, if there’s a platform that isn’t wholly controlled by a business (and even then, it can be breached), you can find yourself hacked.

Case in point, Facebook and Major League Baseball. Like every other sports league, having a Facebook presence has become mandatory. That can lead to problems, and yesterday, it did.

According to a report in the Wall St. Journal, several MLB Facebook accounts were hacked and with it, the hackers posted various content to the account Walls. On the Yankees FB page, shortstop Derek Jeter was the target, and with it it was announced that the future Hall of Famer was getting a sex change:

"We regret to inform our fans that Derek Jeter will miss the rest of the season with sexual reassignment surgery. He promises to come back stronger than ever in 2013 as Minnie Mantlez," the team's page stated at around 3:30 p.m.

There was more.

The Marlins page said that the first 18,000 that attended the game last night would get a free pit bull. The Nationals page said they were relocating back to Montreal as the Expos. And the WSJ reported more saying, “The page for the Padres noted that handicapped fans, while permitted to attend ballgames, are not encouraged to attend. The Giants page expressed distaste for the head of the company Chick-Fil-A, which has been in the news recently due to President Dan T. Cathy's opposition to gay marriage.”

MLB Advanced Media handles this sort of thing and would be investigating. In a statement they said, “We are working with Facebook, Major League Baseball Security and, where appropriate, legal authorities to determine the circumstances surrounding this situation."


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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes.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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Twitter Accounts for Players in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and HR Derby PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:46

MLB All-Star Game

One thing that has taken sports by storm is the amount of social media activity, especiially through Twitter. While it's created some difficulty, for the most part, sports leagues have embraced it.
Such is the case with this year's MLB All-Star Game festvitiies. Starting yesterday with the State Farm Home Run Derby (@StateFarm #HRDerby on ESPN) and the 83rd MLB All-Star Game (@MLB #ASG, Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX) the two together promise to be the most social events in baseball history.

During the All-Star Game, computer stations will be set up adjacent to each clubhouse allowing players -- once they are no longer competing in the game -- to quickly reach out to fans via social media while completing their other media obligations before returning to the bench. And during the State Farm Home Run Derby the previous night, stations will be set up on both sides of the field near the dugouts for the second consecutive year, where players will be able to log into their own social media accounts while uploading photo and video content shot on their personal mobile devices.  This initiative is a collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (@MLB_Players) and MLB Advanced Media, with support from both ESPN and FOX for their respective events.

Below is a list of those accounts along with other official accounts that will be actively posting content during the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. Players who are not active social media users will have the opportunity to participate via the official MLB/MLBPA accounts.

American League

National League

Other

Elvis Andrus (@ElvisandrusSS1)

Jose Altuve (@JoseAltuve27)

@MLB

Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19)

Carlos Beltran (@carlosbeltran15)

@MLB_Players

Billy Butler (@BillyButlerKC)

Jay Bruce (@JayABruce)

@MLB_PR

Miguel Cabrera (@ogundameyi24)

Melky Cabrera (@MelkyCabrera)

@MLBFanCave

Robinson Cano (@RobinsonCano)

Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20)

@AllStarGame

Ryan Cook (@ryancook_48)

R.A. Dickey (@RADickey43)

@Cut4

Yu Darvish (@faridyu)

David Freese (@dfreese23)

@MLBONFOX

Adam Dunn (@adamdunn_32)

Carlos Gonzalez (@cargomedia5)

@buck C11

Curtis Granderson (@cgrand14)

Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47)

@Ken_Rosenthal

Josh Hamilton (@thejoshhamilton)

Cole Hamels (@TheHamels)

@ErinAndrews

Felix Hernandez (@RealKingFelix)

Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan52)

@ESPN

Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10)

Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp)

@ESPN_MLB

Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25)

Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22)

@ESPN_BBTN

Joe Nathan (@JoeNathan36)

Andrew McCutchen (@TheCUTCH22)

@KarlRavechESPN

David Ortiz (@davidortiz)

Wade Miley (@wademiley36)

@pedrogomezESPN

Chris Perez (@ChrisPerez54)

Yadier Molina (@Yadimolina4)

@Buster_ESPN

David Price (@DAVIDprice14)

Buster Posey (@BusterPosey)

@Kurkjian_ESPN

CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia)

Pablo Sandoval (@KFP48)

@JohnKruk_ESPN

Mike Trout (@Trouty20)

Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo27_)

Mark Trumbo (@Mtrumbo44)

Stephen Strasburg (@stras37)

Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander)

C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer)

 

At MLB.com/the140club, fans will be able to utilize a live, curated news service to follow what the world, including All-Stars, MLB teammates, professional athletes, celebrities, journalists and other fans, is saying on Twitter about the All-Star Week events, including the State Farm Home Run Derby on ESPN and 83rd All-Star Game on FOX. Photos, live and on-demand video, games, sweepstakes and more will give fans insight into the All-Star Week experiences of their favorite team’s All-Stars through the MLB and 30 official Club accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Fans in attendance at Kauffman Stadium for the State Farm Home Run Derby and All-Star Game can check-in with MLB.com At The Ballpark, a free mobile app for supported iOS and Android phones, share their check-in across social media through Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare and enter sweepstakes for Authentic All-Star prizes.

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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes.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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For 2012 Season, MLB.TV Premium Sub Includes Free Copy of At Bat, Streaming to Xbox PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 10 February 2012 16:54

MLB.TV

While full details will not be available till 2/29, some good news is already coming in for fans that are looking to stream MLB games via computer, and other devices.

For the first time, a subscription to MLB.TV Premium ($124.99 for the season, up from $120 last season) will come with a free copy of At Bat 12 (released on 2/29, details then). Last year, At Bat 11 cost $15.00.

See details

As an added bonus, for the first time ever, an MLB.TV Premium sub will allow you stream games to your Xbox gaming console when internet connected.

More details as they become 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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus 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).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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INFORGRAPHIC: Twitter Use During the World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 31 October 2011 00:00
Twitter and the World Series
Click to see Twitter World Series info

If you engage in social media, and were on Twitter during the World Series, you know that it became a party within a party – a way to engage and get informed while watching the game.

But, what you might not know is, how much, or which games.

Based on data from Spring Creek, we know that 785,194 tweets used the #WorldSeries hastag. Who knows how many more there were just discussing without using the hashtag?

Unsurprisingly, the peak for Tweets was during the incredible Game 6 (by Spring Creek’s accounting, well above 250,000 used #worldseries.

Click on the Infographic above to see full details on Twitter use during the World Series.


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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"Americans United for Change" Targets MLBAM for Hosting Glenn Beck PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 13 October 2011 14:08

Glenn BeckThe liberal group, "Americans United for Change", has targeted MLB Advanced Media, MLB, and some clubs in larger markets in the US, in an effort to get them to drop Glenn Beck from MLBAM’s backend hosting of his online show.

On Thursday, Americans United for Change is launching the website Strike Out Beck, asking people to sign a petition asking MLB to quit hosting Beck. That website will have a companion Facebook ad campaign in select MLB markets such as St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Milwaukee -- that will encourage people to check out the site and join in.

“When it comes to unhinged anti-government conspiracies, fear-mongering for personal gain, sexist remarks, and race baiting, Glenn Beck is in the Major Leagues -- and certainly in a league of his own when it comes to disrespect for families of 9-11 victims," said Tom McMahon, executive director of Americans United for Change. "That’s why it’s so troubling and disheartening that the good folks behind Major League Baseball would agree to what even FOX News couldn’t stomach to do any longer: providing Beck with a platform to peddle more fear and spew more hate,” according to the Huffington Post.

As we reported in June of this year (see Glenn Beck Marries with MLB Advanced Media for New "GBTV" Online Show), while you may be scratching your head asking what right-wing politics and baseball have in common, it’s all about the streaming video platform.

To support what Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts company has in mind, they brought in MLBAM to stream the shows. With more than 20 sports and entertainment brands in BAM’s portfolio, including ESPN3.com, CBSSports.com, March Madness on Demand, TigerWoods.com, along with MLB.com, it’s a natural fit if you want to have a robust, scalable platform.

Before baseball fans think that MLB is full of right-wingers, they should think again. In an article we published 2007 (see Money, Politics, and MLB's Political Action Committee), we found that baseball owners are virtually split down the middle between Republican and Democratic donations.

What MLBAM did was leverage its reputation of being able to have the backend infrastructure, white label services, operational support and mobile app development that has helped serve millions of streaming game views each year for MLB, works as one nice calling card to whoever wishes to reach a large audience on the web…. fringe politics, or not.

OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK:


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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How Klout Could Influence Sport Team Social Media Direction PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:26

If you take social media seriously, you’ll find that there’s more to it than just following others or asking them to follow you. Social media is about engagement, increasing brand, and if you’re a business, engaging directly with your consumer base.

For the longest time, the metric used for success was really about just a pure “follower” number. The logic being, the higher the number, the more successful you’re marketing yourself, right? Well….

Really, it comes back to that thing “engagement”. How will are your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Foursquare postings being received?

It’s been hard to balance social media here on the Business of Sports Network. After all, content is the bread and butter, but the ability to have social media as a platform to provide links to that content, and gain commentary from it almost has to be spread through social media outlets.

Frustrated about tracking divergent sources, the launch of Klout (Klout.com), has been a boon to understanding and seeing real or near real-time feedback on how you are being received via your Klout Influence Score that taps the social media platforms.

For sports franchises, who are now actively engaging in social media, Klout would seem near mandatory. Media outlets should do likewise to gauge how effective they are.

Measuring your impact in social media is paramount now. Klout seems like a solution for many to follow.


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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Ranking Major League Baseball By Twitter Followers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 08:48

Yesterday, we ranked all 30 teams in Major League Baseball by the number of Facebook fans. It was a good look at how pure brand power elevates national interest (the Yankees and Red Sox lead the pack), and with some proactive social media direction, how you are in the standings or your market size can be slightly overcome (the Cleveland Indians).

Today, we thought it would be interesting to see how the teams fare on the other major social media platform, Twitter.

In a sign that Twitter is still in the shadows of Facebook, the total number of followers for all 30 teams in MLB on Twitter is 2,362,301 a fraction of what Facebook has in term of fans (as of yesterday, 22,838,066).

The key difference is that instead of the Yankees or the Red Sox leading the pack, the most followed MLB team account on Twitter is the Philadelphia Phillies at 645,771. To put that in perspective, that total on Facebook would have ranked 13th.

In terms of the lowest follower and fan base across Twitter and Facebook, the award goes to the Florida Marlins (28th on Facebook and 30th on Twitter).

Here’s the league counted by Twitter followers as of 9am ET on 9/20/2011:

Rank Team Twitter Followers
1 Phillies 645,771
2 Yankees 442,769
3 Giants 185,699
4 Red Sox 140,896
5 Braves 100,322
6 Dodgers 71,200
7 Blue Jays 63,386
8 Cubs 60,322
9 Rangers 59,085
10 Reds 52,228
11 Mets 47,800
12 Twins 46,894
13 Cardinals 44,798
14 Brewers 34,211
15 W Sox 33,068
16 Rays 31,833
17 Royals 30,039
18 Mariners 29,830
19 Indians 29,187
20 Angels 25,451
21 Tigers 24,105
22 Orioles 23,849
23 Athletics 23,032
24 Rockies 21,055
25 Nationals 19,914
26 D-Backs 19,303
27 Pirates 17,926
28 Astros 16,291
29 Padres 11,035
30 Marlins 11,002

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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