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The Biz of Baseball :: Business of Sports Network
Henry: Red Sox in Japan Most Likely '09 PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 09:31

Red SoxThere has been talk that the Boston Red Sox might be playing their 2008 regular season opener in Japan, a move that is seen to take advantage of the recent signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka, but principle owner John Henry thinks that it more likely that the game would be played in 2009, as opposed to next season. As reported by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald:

“I don’t know how it’s looking (for 2008) - I know it’s a possibility but I don’t believe at this point it’s a probability,” said Henry before yesterday’s 14-6 Red Sox victory over the Marlins. “I think it’s a probability perhaps by the season after next. There are a lot of issues associated with it. We’d like to play there. We’d love to play there.” 

 
MLB Officials Meet with Albany DA. Mitchell Next PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 08 March 2007 01:32

MLBWednesday, MLB officials met with Albany County District Attorney David Soares in regards to the ongoing investigation of illegal distribution of illegal performance enhancing drugs. Gary Matthews, Jr. of the Angels, as well as former major leaguer John Rocker, free agent David Bell, and several NFL players have been implicated in the investigation.

Now, it will be George Mitchell’s turn. As reported by Bloomberg News:

Mitchell and Soares are trading messages trying to set up a meeting, district attorney spokeswoman Heather Streeter Orth said in an e-mail.

As further reported:

Matthews's lawyer Robert Shapiro said his client won't comment during an ongoing investigation. Dr. Richard Rydze of the Steelers said the drugs were for his private clients, the Albany paper reported. Rocker said on ESPN Radio he never purchased human growth hormone with a prescription, while his publicist told the New York Daily News the pitcher took the substance in 2003. Bell said he received the substances for a "medical condition'' he declined to identify, Sports Illustrated reported.

 
Matthews Might Face 80-Game Suspension PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 01:20

Gary Matthews, Jr.Gary Matthews, Jr. might be facing more than a 50-game suspension; he could be facing an 80-game suspension.

Under MLB's drug policy, a player can be suspended 60-80 games for a first conviction for "possession or use of any prohibited substance."  As reported by the LA Times:

The clause is triggered when a player is convicted or pleads guilty or no contest. However, Matthews could receive immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in a possible trial.

"If he has immunity, he's out of the woods on that clause," said Brian Hennigan, a former federal prosecutor now with the Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella.

It is unclear whether baseball would suspend Matthews if he testified he received HGH. SI.com reported that Matthews received human-growth-hormone in 2004. HGH has been on MLB’s banned substance list since 2005.

 
Matsuzaka Translates Into Spring Training $$$ PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 03:00

MatsuzakaThere are serious soft-revenues to be made through Dice-K Mania. The Red Sox are finding this out early at City of Palms Park, where they hold Spring Training. As reported by the Palm Beach Post:

At the stadium gift shop, for instance, stacks and stacks of $23 Dice-K jerseys were ordered just for Tuesday's game. By the time Matsuzaka left the mound and headed for the showers about an hour into the game, approximately 200 had been sold, and there were optimistic projections at the cash register that all would eventually vanish.

As further reported:

The reward is the kind of fan frenzy that gets people to [City of Palms Park] at 5:30 a.m. to wait in line for standing-room tickets. Tuesday's announced attendance of 8,044 was a killer crowd, rivaling the 8,330 for last spring's St. Patrick's Day game between the Cardinals and Yankees.

 
Michael Eisner, Others Purchase Topps PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 06 March 2007 01:07
ToppsThe Topps Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPP) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Michael Eisner's The Tornante Company LLC and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm. Under the terms of the agreement, Topps stockholders will receive $9.75 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $385.4 million. The Board of Directors of Topps has approved the merger agreement and has resolved to recommend that Topps stockholders adopt the agreement.

"After careful and thorough consideration, our board of directors determined that this transaction is in the best interests of Topps stockholders at this time," said Arthur T. Shorin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Topps. "This will be a change in ownership, not a change in direction. We look forward to working with an experienced group of investors who understand the creative aspects of our business and are committed to our continued growth."

Scott A. Silverstein, President and Chief Operating Officer of Topps, said, "While there is still much work to be done, we are proud of the achievements of our dedicated and talented employees whose efforts over the past few years have made this transaction possible. We have realized dramatic changes in our business and have taken numerous actions to implement our strategic plan. We look forward to working with our new owners to address the challenges that lie ahead, as we continue to grow the business."

Speaking on behalf of the investors, Eisner noted, "Topps is a wonderful company with a powerful brand portfolio and a rich history. Topps' management team and employees are the best in the business, and we look forward to working with all of them to grow the company in new and exciting ways."

The transaction, which is not contingent upon financing, is subject to the approval of Topps stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the calendar third quarter. In connection with the merger, directors constituting a majority of the Board of Directors of Topps, including the Company's Chairman and CEO, have entered into individual agreements with Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners pursuant to which they have each agreed to vote their respective shares of Topps in favor of the merger. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Topps intends to solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 40 days. There can be no assurances that the solicitation of proposals will result in an alternative transaction. Topps does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this solicitation process until it is completed.
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