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The Biz of Baseball :: Business of Sports Network
SBR: An Interview with Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt PDF Print E-mail
Sports Business Radio
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 31 March 2008 18:28

Frank McCourtIf you missed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Sports Business Radio this past weekend, you can listen to the interview ON DEMAND.

Amongst the topics McCourt discussed with SBR host Brian Berger:

* The Dodgers vs Red Sox game at Los Angeles Coliseum, a benefit for ThinkCure celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers in Los Angeles

* McCourt's thoughts on the team's trip to China and the possibilities for MLB in China

* The hiring of new Dodgers manager Joe Torre

*The closing of Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida
The overall state of MLB

Listen to the interview with Frank McCourt on Sports Business Radio


OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK 


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.

 
Excerpts from Selig Interview with Charley Steiner PDF Print E-mail
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XM Interviews
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 23 May 2008 13:12

Commissioner Selig

The following are two excerpts from today's interview with Commissioner Selig on Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner, which airs on XM Satellite Radio, XM 175.

The expansive interview hit on a number of topics including how the downturn in the economy has impacted attendance, the possible use of instant replay, whether maple bats constitute a "safety in the workplace" issue, the pace of the game, and much more.

The following two excerpts cover the issue of drug testing and the relationship with the MLBPA during the 2002 CBA negotiations. 

The Business of Sports Network thanks XM Satellite Radio, and producer Brent Gambill for these transcription excerpts:

Steiner: What… Over the last couple of years, visa vie the Mitchell Report and all of the other stuff that we have gone through. Big picture… what does this all tell you about statistically where we are now. It appears home runs are down. Pitching velocity is down. Anecdotally, just talking to scouts and all, scouts are saying we are now beginning to assess young players at the high school and college level more athletically rather than in terms of sheer brawn. Big picture, how has the game adjusted post-steroids? Post all of that?

Selig: Well, extremely well. I tell ya the thing that makes me really very proud. I know people are critical; “they were too slow to react” and “they should’ve known”. All of those are debates that I could participate in very aggressively, but let’s review the bidding here for you Charley. We, today, have the toughest testing program in American sports. We’re proud of that. I’m very proud of it.

We’ve banned amphetamines. For those of us who have been along for a long time, and that includes the two of us, that’s a very, very significant thing. Amphetamines have been around for 80 to a hundred years in different forms. This idea that other generations haven’t used things to make them play better or whatever is just not true. We banned them. Nobody asked us to ban ‘em. We did it.

We’re funding a study and a program with Dr. Catlin in Los Angeles with the National Football League to find a test for human growth hormone.

My minor league program, Charley, is now in its eighth year, so the great young stars –

the Ryan Howards and the Prince Fielders and Ryan Brauns and Chase Utleys and on and on and on, there are a lot of them on every team – have now been tested for eight years. Not just tested the last year or two. So, this idea that we didn’t react well is just not right.

You know steroids… By the way, I would go and get George Mitchell again. That’s how, that’s how delighted I am that the report… That we got the report and it worked. But baseball reacted well. It’s a societal problem, Charley. It isn’t a baseball problem or a football problem or anything else. Not a sport problem. It’s a societal problem. We’re doing a lot work with the partnership for Drug Free America. All the players named in the Mitchell Report, and many other players who want to, are doing public service work with the partnership, so I am satisfied.

You go through life… I said to Jerome Holtzman, who is our baseball historian, whom you know obviously very well, is a remarkable human being and has a wonderful knowledge of the sport. I asked him about a year ago to go back to the ‘20s and point out to me each decade what problems commissioners had; what problems the sport had because people were writing in the late 90’s and even four, five, six, seven, eight years ago, “Oh, this is terrible. Baseball never had problems.” And of course they had. They’ve had a lot of problems like this. And, so I am proud of the fact. I give the Players Association a lot of credit; they reopened [the JDA] two or three times and they didn’t have to, which shows you that our 16 years of labor peace, which is also unprecedented, today that we did react well. So, a problem is a societal problem. We were in the forefront of taking action and doing things. Whatever happens as a result of that, frankly that’s just fine. That’s what we meant to do.

(further into the interview)

Steiner: The reproach ma that you had with Don [Fehr] and Gene [Orza] – that’s to say the players union and management. Could this have been done without the help of Congressional intervention?

Selig: Well, I think it could of. I know a lot of people say that’s what pushed us over. I happen to think their wrong, but that’s a debate probably not worth having. We proposed a steroid program in nineteen hundred and ninety-four. That’s a negotiation that broke down and the players were on strike so there was no World Series and we had a rocky period in the nineties. We had eight work stoppages from 1972 on. Now, here we are with 16 years of peace. We fought like the dickens in 2002 and it was the last item.

Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos were the two representatives at that time of ownership. Andy called me one night, I was home in Milwaukee and he was of course in New York, and after kidding me he’d like to watch his team play, but I’d had him there for about two and a half months. He said, “I wish you could have seen what went on today.” I said, “What happened.” He said, “Have you heard from Rob or Bob today?” Obviously, Rob Manfred and Bob DuPuy. I said, “I have but just briefly they are going to call me tonight.” He said, “I have to tell you, it was worth the price of admission. Angelos got into a brawl with Gene Orza over steroids and drugs and it was three hours of…” He said, “I’ve never heard anything like that.” So I had to make the decision at 6:30 in the morning Charley, do we take a program that I knew was not as strong as I like but have now since improved it a lot or have another work stoppage? I believed another work stoppage would hurt the game badly for maybe two or three generations and never it never came back. So you know the union – I don’t say this critically, they would not quarrel they had the privacy issues and other issues – they were dead set against it. So sometimes in life Charley you have to reach a certain point before you are willing to change, but people talk about the Congressional thing. Remember my minor league program went into affect in 2001. We were working with the Partnership for Drug Free America. Drug testing is something that has to be collectively bargained. That is not something that the Commissioner can do unilaterally. People don’t say it much any more, but I used to hear, “Well, if Landis was still the Commissioner.” Well, there’s two facts involved: One, he isn’t and two, he didn’t have to deal with the Players Association, and life was much different. Commissioners are bound by rules, too. Was it Congressional intervention that really did it? Look, I think it probably helped to some degree, but we were already there and frankly, owners don’t get enough credit. I want to tell you something Charley, no owner has ever said to me, “Gee, I like the home runs” or, “This is good.” Owners have always had deep and abiding concerns and last year – last week, when we approved the new drug testing program, which we did in about 30 seconds after Rob Manfred got done, Frank McCourt of the Dodgers really wanted to be the club that did this. (He) got up immediately, there was a second. I asked if there was any discussion. A vote was taken. Thirty to nothing. Done. Over. That’s always been the case.

To read the entire interview with Commissioner Selig from today’s Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on XM 175, go to:

www.TheBaseballBeat.com

 

 
What Happened To The Biz of Baseball? PDF Print E-mail
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Business of Sports Network News
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 20 February 2015 00:30

The Biz of Baseball

Hello, it's me.

Yes, it's been an exceptionally long time since I've posted to The Biz of Baseball. For those that follow my comings and going via Twitter @BizballMaury or via my Facebook page, you'll know that I have been publishing almost exclusively at Forbes.

The reason for this comes in a couple of flavors, most notably that the ad model for Biz of Baseball no longer sustained it. For every story I could run on this site for nothing with little compensation could be published at Forbes where I have been happy and see some return on content.

However...

This does not mean The Biz of Baseball is going away. While I was unable to gain the funds to create a single portal for all sports, there is still a lot of data used within it daily by fellow members of the media, as well as other researchers.

To that, my work in MLB salary arbitration continues. Total data is culled from this year's class, and with it, some data on the site has been updated.

You'll want to check these two links"

MLB Salary Arbitration Scorecard

MLB Salary Arbitration Hearing Outcome by Club (1974-Present)

There will be an extensive detailed report that I will publish on Forbes, that like years in the past, will have an Excel spreadsheet that users can download for their own research purposes.

As always, thanks for taking the time to swing by here, and I hope you'll read articles that I am currently publishing on Forbes.

Maury Brown
President, Bizball LLC

 
Rockford RiverHawks To Join The Northern League in 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Independent League News
Written by Devon Teeple   
Sunday, 09 August 2009 19:59

Rockford RiverHawksThe Independent Leagues are constantly changing, always evolving, trying to discover the right formula to put the best product on the field, while making it conveniently affordable for its fans. In what looks like another exceptional move for the Northern League, it has been announced that the Rockford RiverHawks will be joining them for the 2010 season.

The Northern League was formed in 1993, with a 72-game schedule. When the Northern League consisted of between eight and twelve teams, the schedule was 96-games with two divisions, beginning in late May and ends in August around Labor Day. The Division leaders in each half qualify for the post-season, but when the league dropped to six teams in 2008, a 96-game schedule was still being played but the season was not split and did not have divisions. They did implement a new system where the top four teams qualified for the playoffs; the first place team plays the fourth, the second and third place team’s play and the winners battle it out in a best of five championship series. The Northern League is widely known as the dominant or most well known Independent League in baseball and with two new teams likely to arrive in 2010, it appears they are ahead of the curve yet again. RiverHawks Director of Baseball Operations, Dave Ciarrachi, commented on the situation, “This will broaden our marketing base as well as our media exposure, “we feel that this is a tremendous upgrade for our franchise.” Currently the Northern League consists of six teams, the Kansas City T-Bones, located in Kansas City, Kansas, the Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks and the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The league also consists of three Chicago based teams; the Schaumburg Flyers, the Joliet Jackhammers and the Gary Southshore RailCats.

An apparent merger between the Northern League and the Frontier League was in the works, it did not evolve, but apparently the move was agreed upon by all parties. "We're going to try to upgrade our on-field product," Ciarrachi said. In a recent article by the Rockford Register Star, Josh Olerud, general manager and vice president of sales for the RiverHawks, explains the thinking behind the switch, “It’s a big step for us on the field, player-wise and talent wise, and also just with the exposure the big Northern League has”. If you look at the specifics between leagues, you might see another reason. The Frontier League is more of a developmental league with an age limit of 26. The Northern League has no age restrictions and a higher team salary; $105,000 compared to $72,000. This is a very exciting opportunity for Rockford and the Northern League. On one hand, you have Rockford who has a very successful organization, winning the Frontier League Championship in 2004 and winning the West Division in 2004 and 2006 and for the Northern League, this is another chance for them to expand its marketing and ticketing opportunities. The RiverHawks Road Ranger Stadium is within 100 miles of 4 teams in the league, something Ciarrachi is thrilled about, “We have the opportunity for players to interact with our community for a longer period of time, it gives us the chance to put the best professional baseball product on the field.”

Previously discussed was the mention of a second team arriving in 2010. That team is the Lake County Fielders, based out of Lake County Illinois, owned and operated by long-time baseball enthusiast Kevin Costner. According to the teams website additional ownership is involved; Schaumburg Flyers owner and founder Rich Ehrenreich and Grand Slam Sports & Entertainment, LLC of Deerfield.


Devon Teeple is a staff member 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 a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.  
Devon is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.

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FOX Releases 2014 MLB Broadcast Schedule; Blackouts Eased PDF Print E-mail
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Television
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:07

MLB on FOXFOX Sports today announced their 2014 MLB broadcast schedule, and with it, fans will see a several changes compared to year’s prior, including changes to the blackout policy. As part of the new eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that adds national cable and digital coverage to its portfolio, doubling regular season exposures, mostly on Saturdays, from 26 to 52 combined on the FOX Broadcast Network and FOX Sports 1, with 20 Saturday doubleheaders, 10 exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and 10 split between FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Broadcast Network.

FOX Sports 1 makes its MLB debut on Saturday, April 5 with a doubleheader as the Minnesota Twins take on the Cleveland Indians (1:00 PM ET) followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers (4:00 PM ET).  The NL champion St. Louis Cardinals debut in FOX Sports 1’s first primetime showing on Tuesday, April 8 (8:15 PM ET) with a visit from their division rival Cincinnati Reds.  Fresh off an inspirational and thrilling 2013 championship run for the city of Boston, the World Champion Red Sox premiere on FOX Sports 1 Saturday, April 12 (1:00 PM ET) against their longtime nemesis New York Yankees, from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.  The FOX Broadcast Network picks up its first Yankees-Red Sox matchup on Saturday, June 28 (7:00 PM ET).

Major League Baseball makes its 2014 MLB debut on the FOX Broadcast Network Saturday, May 24 (7:00 PM ET), the first of eight consecutive primetime windows leading up to the 85th MLB All-Star Game, with regionalized coverage of three exciting matchups, preceded by the Detroit Tigers hosting the Texas Rangers on FOX Sports 1 at 1:00 PM ET. As reported on Forbes SportsMoney, this year sees a slight easing up on national blackouts as part of the new agreement. Starting this season, subscribers of MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV have the opportunity to watch Saturday MLB on FOX games subject to certain geographic black outs that protect games assigned to local FOX affiliates.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

In addition to the All-Star Game, this year live from Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15 (8:00 PM ET), FOX Sports remains the home of MLB’s crown jewel events, including the World Series, two Division Series and the League Championship Series.

All regular season games, Division Series, League Championship Series, World Series games and the All-Star Game broadcast by FOX Sports are being streamed live via FOX Sports GO through participating video providers.

Eric Shanks and John Entz are FOX Sports’ Executive Producers. Bardia Shah-Rais serves as coordinating pregame producer. Pete Macheska is coordinating producer of FOX Sports’ MLB coverage. Bill Webb is lead director.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE FOX MLB BROADCAST SCHEDULE

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