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Jack Zduriencik to Return as General Manager of the Mariners for 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 21:24

Jack ZJack Zduriencik, the general manager of the Seattle Mariners will be returning for at least the 2014 season, according to a report by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.

“Yes, Jack will be back,” Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said.

Citing club policy Armstrong would not get into details regarding the duration of deal to retain Zduriencik, but according to sources to Baker, it is expected to be a short term contract.

Zduriencik took over in 2008. Since then the Mariners have been an abysmal 417-550. The Mariners are on pace to lose more than 90 games this season after losing 87 in 2012. In 2008 and 2010 the team lost 101 games. Only the 2009 season, one year after Zduriencik took over, did the Mariners have a record above .500 (85-77, .525 winning percentage).

While Zduriencik is returning, the fate of manager Eric Wedge is not so certain. According to multiple sources, unless there is a dramatic turnaround of opinion in the front office, Wedge will be fired shortly after the end of the season.

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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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KOBRITZ: There's No Celebrating in Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Jordan Kobritz Article Archive
Written by Jordan Kobritz   
Monday, 23 September 2013 15:31

“We gonna celebrate and have a good time.”
Celebration, Kool and the Gang 1980

“There’s no crying in baseball.” That line, uttered by Tom Hanks as manager Jimmy Dugan in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own, a tribute to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, is rated 54th on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest film quotes of all time. As we’ve learned in the past week, along with no crying in baseball you can add “no celebrating” to the list of prohibitions.

With the highest payroll in MLB, the Dodgers were in last place in their division on June 21 with a record of 30-42, 9 ½ games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. Shortly thereafter the team caught fire, going 58-23, a streak of historic proportions. When the team clinched the National League West crown on September 19, the players understandably wanted to celebrate.

But as luck would have it, the Dodgers were denied an opportunity to celebrate with their hometown fans, finishing off their worst-to-first run on the road against the D’backs. After a brief celebration on the field, the Dodgers retired to their clubhouse to drench each other in champagne. When most of the fans at Chase Field had left the ballpark, about half the team emerged from the clubhouse - dressed in their championship t-shirts - and made a beeline for the swimming pool in right center field for an impromptu pool party.

The supposed slight infuriated most of the D’backs’ players and front office staff. Arizona CEO Derrick Hall, a former Dodgers’ executive, said in a statement, “I would call it disrespectful and classless…” D’backs’ infielder Willie Bloomquist chimed in, “It’s surprising, because they have a lot of veteran guys on that team that I thought were classier than that.”

Even Arizona Senator John McCain, a rabid Diamondback’s fan, got into the act, tweeting “No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant spoiled brats!” If McCain hadn’t referenced the Dodgers, one might have thought he was referring to his fellow Senators.

Poolgate wasn’t the only celebratory antics of the past week that generated umbrage. After Miami Marlins’ rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez hit his first Major League home run against the Atlanta Braves, he momentarily stood at home plate admiring the blast while it sailed out of the ballpark. Braves’ players thought Fernandez was being disrespectful to their pitcher, Mike Minor. After he crossed home plate, Fernandez was confronted by Braves’ catcher Brian McCann who proceeded to lecture him on baseball etiquette. Both benches emptied, but after some pushing and shoving the game resumed without further incident.

After a post-game lecture from his manager, Mike Redmond, Fernandez made his way to the Braves’ locker room and apologized to the entire team. “I feel embarrassed,” said Fernandez. “…this isn’t high school. This is a professional game. I made a mistake.” But did he? Fernandez is a 21-year-old rookie having a season for the ages. He hit the home run in his last start of the year after reaching the 170-inning limit set by the Marlins. He finished with a 12-6 record and an ERA of 2.19 for the worst team in the National League, stats that should win him Rookie of the Year honors. Why shouldn’t he be celebrating?

I get it. The “unwritten rules” of baseball, which can be interpreted in as many different ways as there are big league players, say you shouldn’t show up the other team. But can we please lighten up? Where does it say players can’t have fun? Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez, as classy an act as you’ll find in the game, said of Fernandez, “…he likes to have fun…” Isn’t that what playing sports is all about, at any level and at any age? Sure, professional players get paid, but should money take the fun out of the game?

If the D’backs didn’t like the fact the Dodgers celebrated in their pool, they should have won the game. Better yet, they shouldn’t have blown that 9 ½ game lead they held on June 21. If the Braves are upset at other players celebrating their achievements, their response should be to celebrate their own accomplishments. Kool and the Gang got it right. Let’s not take the good times out of baseball.

 


Jordan KobritzJordan Kobritz is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is a Professor and Chair of the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland and is a contributing author to the Business of Sports Network and maintains the blog: http://sportsbeyondthelines.com. He looks forward to your comments and can be contracted, here.

 
With Passing of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo of America Retains Ownership of Seattle Mariners PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:08

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man listed as majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, and a key figure that headed Nintendo from 1994 to 2002, passed away at the age of 85 on Thursday in Kyoto, Japan. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

The Mariners released a statement saying:

The Seattle Mariners organization is deeply saddened by the passing today of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi. His leadership of Nintendo is legendary worldwide. His decision in 1992 to purchase the Mariners franchise and keep Major League Baseball in Seattle as a "gesture of goodwill to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest" is legendary in this region. Mr. Yamauchi will be remembered for his role in moving forward the opportunity for Japanese baseball players to play in the United States. He will forever be a significant figure in Mariners Baseball history.

The impact of Yamauchi on the history of the Mariners and Major League Baseball marked one of the key turning points in both their history. The club was floundering under former owner Jeff Smulyan and on the verge of being relocated to Tampa Bay where a new domed ballpark had been built. Senator Slade Gordon from Washington convinced Yamauchi to purchase the club for $100 million and keep the Mariners in Seattle. Smulyan had purchased the club for $76 million in 1989 from George Argyros.

It was an unexpected move. At the time, there was no international ownership presence and initially then commissioner Fay Vincent and four owners rejected the sale approval, but they eventually relented under the condition that the Chairman and President of the club be American partners.

Under the ownership, the Mariners became contenders in 1995 and eventually moved out of the Kingdome and into Safeco Field in July of 1999. Without Yamauchi, the fate of the Mariners would have been quite different.

Yamauchi likely saw ownership of the Mariners as more of an interesting addition to his portfolio rather than purchasing the club due to a passion for baseball. He never attended a Mariners game, even when they and the A’s played two exhibition games in Tokyo and Ichiro was still with the club. As the team has languished in the standings, questions about whether there has been a passionate connection to winning at the ownership level has grown. The club has steadfastly denied those assertions.

The question now is, who takes over as the majority owner of the Mariners? While Mr. Yamauchi retained the title of majority owner of the Mariners, he sold his majority interest in the club in 2004 to Nintendo of America and was asked to retain that title at the request of Nintendo of America’s Board of Directors. In that, the ownership of the club remains unchanged in the wake of Mr. Yamauchi’s passing. Nintendo of America remains the majority owner of the club, and will be listed as the majority owner.


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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In Effort to Save The Biz of Baseball, Crowd Funding Campaign Started PDF Print E-mail
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Business of Sports Network News
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 09:53

Business of Sports Network

Important message….

Dear valued sports business member,

For nearly a decade, those of us at the Business of Sports Network have strived to bring you not only news and opinion around sports business, but data not found anywhere else. From college students working on papers, to media outlets both big and small, information provided across “The Biz of….” sites has been provided free of cost, something few media outlets provide.

As advertisement models have shifted, revenues have declined. While we retain the domain names, we have had to archive The Biz of Basketball, The Biz of Football, and soon, The Biz of Hockey.

Now, our most popular site, The Biz of Baseball, is in danger of the same fate. While overtures of venture capital and other investment has been discussed, to date they have fallen through.

In an effort to not only save The Biz of Baseball, but also create a single portal that would allow all aspects of sports business to be covered, we are reaching out to the community through an Indiegogo investment campaign. Our target is $6,000. When accounting for commission from Indiegogo, if the campaign runs to its goal, a total of $5,400 will be garnered to allow porting of all data across the various Biz sites into one repository, a new hosting service and redesign.

In addition, to grow content we will embark on a large contributor network which will allow us to cover everything from soccer on an international scale, to all facets of motor racing, the PGA, and beyond. If it’s sports outside the lines, we’ll be covering it.

We understand that not everyone can make a donation. What we do hope is that everyone that reads this will take the time to pass this link below on whether by email, or social media.

We can’t thank you enough for using our sites as often as you have. We hope that can not only continue, but flourish.

To donate, please visit:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/business-of-sports-network/x/4785065

Warmest regards,
Maury Brown
President
Business of Sports Network
Bizball LLC


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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Minor League Baseball Sees Over 41 Million Fans, Continues Streak for Nearly Decade PDF Print E-mail
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Latest MiLB News
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 14:41

Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball announced today that its regular season attendance surpassed 41 million fans again this season, as it has done so for nearly a decade. The 41,553,781 fans that MiLB attracted in 2013 is nearly 275,000 more than last year’s total. The industry also saw almost a 2% rise n average attendance, despite facing a multitude of weather issues early in the season.

“To experience increases in total and average attendance is a testament to the quality of our product and the ability of our clubs to adapt to conditions, be it weather, economic or otherwise,” Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner said. “Attracting more than 41 million fans a year for nine years has helped solidify the Minor League Baseball brand to our partners and fans.”

The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians (637,579) led all clubs in total attendance. The Columbus Clippers, their International League West Division rival, topped all domestic clubs in average crowd (9,212).

The Frisco RoughRiders paced all 30 Double-A clubs in total (479,873) and average attendance (7,057), for the ninth consecutive year.

The Dayton Dragons, as they have every season since they began playing in 2000, were tops among the 60

Class A clubs in overall attendance (579,946) and average (8,405). The Dragons also extended their record consecutive sellout streak for a professional sports team to 983 games.

The Brooklyn Cyclones, who attracted 232,224 fans for an average of 6,276, have led the 40 Short Season-A and Rookie clubs in both categories since their first year in 2001.

The Monterrey Sultans of the Mexican League led all MiLB clubs in average crowd (11,145) this season for the second straight year.

2013 Attendance by League

International League

6,766,442

Florida State League

1,212,184

Pacific Coast League

6,763,683

Midwest League

4,118,049

Mexican League

3,812,376

South Atlantic League

2,951,813

Eastern League

3,743,582

New York-Penn League

1,602,725

Southern League

2,316,591

Northwest League

984,432

Texas League

2,815,133

Appalachian League

275,419

California League

1,583,488

Pioneer League

673,124

Carolina League

1,934,740

Minor League Baseball

41,553,781

Source: Minor 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 here.

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NFL.com Plays Redirection by Running Story About Concussions... in MLB PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 13 September 2013 19:40

One of the key issues facing the BBWAA has been that they currently block writers of the league-owned MLB.com because writers could be mouthpieces for the league.

Imagine how the National Football Writers Association feel today.

Yes, Bill Bradley, contributing editor of NFL.com, published a story today about concussions. No, it wasn’t about the near billion dollar settlement, or the fact that several players, including Chargers Hall of Famer Junior Seau committed suicide, or about the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) within football. No, the story was this:

Concussion issue continues to grow in Major League Baseball

This is a fantastic bit of redirection. “See? Don’t just think of us when you think of head injuries, baseball has the problem, too! We’re NFL.com so we’re unbiased in our reporting.”

To be fair, Bradley was simply (cough, cough) pointing out the Jorge L. Ortiz piece on USA Today in which it’s reported:

Teams have put players on the disabled list due to concussions or head injuries 18 times this year, five more than all of last season and seven more than in 2011, when the seven-day concussion DL was implemented. In 10 of those 18 instances, the players were catchers, including the Boston Red Sox's David Ross twice.

That’s not good. But, it’s not some mouthpiece for Roger Goodell to write the piece. Maybe he’d mention that 4,500 former players with head trauma were part of the class action lawsuit that was settled for $765 million. Maybe Bradley would reference the NFL’s massive head and neck injury issues and mention that while the NFL is leading the way, and is not done with the matter because one class action lawsuit was settled, MLB should try and avoid how the National Football League has approached the matter. Bradley referenced the NFL once in the article saying, “it appears MLB is dealing with the same concussion culture that the NFL has been trying to change. Players say many of their peers are playing with head injuries.”

"Trying to change"?!?

If Keith Olbermann has this one on his radar, I can’t imagine how Bill Bradley isn’t “World’s Worst”


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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Major League Baseball’s Odd Succession Plan to Replace Bud Selig PDF Print E-mail
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Maury Brown Article Archive
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 06 September 2013 17:59

Maury BrownWhen NBA commissioner David Stern decided that it was time to retire 30 years to the day he took the position, the league and its owners knew clearly who his successor would be. So, when the announcement was made in Oct of last year, the NBA owners had already ratified having Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver replace Stern on Feb. 1, 2014. Silver, who had sat next to Stern repeatedly for years at press conferences had already become a familiar face, and one that was on the front lines, most notably during the lockout leading up to the league’s latest CBA.

When NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in March of 2006 that he would retire, he appointed an 8-member search committee to find his replacement. On August 8, 2006, Roger Goodell, who was widely seen as the heir apparent due to being an NFL executive involved in labor matters, was selected to succeed Tagliabue and assumed office on September 1.

For Major League Baseball, the questions as to who will eventually replace Bud Selig are as cloudy as an early April game on the edge of a rain out. Selig has held the position longer than any other with exception of Kenesaw Landis, baseball’s first commissioner. He is nearing the end of his 20th season as the highest executive in Major League Baseball. He took the position in an “acting” capacity after the ouster of Fay Vincent on Sept. 9, 1992. After nearly six years of saying he didn’t want the position outright, he formally took the position on July 7, 1998.

When this tenure ends, Selig will be age 80. He has said that this is the last term he will accept, although he’s said that before. The reason he hasn’t left is the owners love what Selig has done under his watch.

Which is why the succession process for MLB is more difficult, and one that has more meaning than the others across the various sports leagues. The changes under Selig’s watch—things like interleague, the addition of revenue sharing among the clubs and the Luxury Tax,  the three-division formats in the American and National Leagues, the start of the Division Series, the Wild Card Games and the Wild Card playoff berths, drug testing, and instant replay—all are part of Selig’s legacy.

So, it’s with interest that when Selig was asked if there was a search committee for his replacement, he replied, “Those things don't really take all that long, and I will set up the right procedures at the right time. There's really no need for that right now.”

Yes, it’s over a year before Selig will step down. Yes, he could, as he did in 2012 accept yet another extension, but at some point, Allan “Bud” Selig will no longer be commissioner of Major League Baseball.

At no point since Landis has baseball been at a leadership crossroads as it is now. If Selig believes that “those things don’t really take all that long” then those reading tea leafs has to say that much like Goodell and Silver, the replacement for Selig will be internal. The idea of a Vincent, Giamatti, Ueberroth, or Kuhn seems exceptionally distant. The mark that Selig has left, and the vision that the owners have backed, practically requires someone inside baseball. Whether that’s Rob Manfred, John Schuerholz, Joe Torre, or someone else, odds are high that someone already inside the Office of the Commissioner will slide into the spot.

Finally, while it might strike one as odd to have Selig say he’s done then accept another extension, all with the possibility that he might actually mean it this time and not have a successor in place, it is a very “baseball” thing to do. Major League Baseball has always done things a bit differently. But, while aspects such as resolving the A’s-Giants territorial dispute, or prior the relocation of the Montreal Expos have been done at a glacial pace, when it does come time to replace Selig it will be done at near lightning speed by comparison. Maybe what it really boils down to is this… no owner wants to think about anyone running the sport other than Selig.


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 Releases 2013 Postseason Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 15:38

2013 MLB Postseason Logo

Major League Baseball today announced the schedule for the 2013 Postseason, which is set to open with the National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on Tuesday, October 1st.  Game One of the 109th World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd in the ballpark of the American League Champions.

Following the Sunday, September 29th scheduled close to the regular season, any necessary regular season Tiebreaker games would be broadcast exclusively by TBS.  The N.L. Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, which will be broadcast exclusively by TBS, will be followed by the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on TBS on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Each N.L. Division Series will begin on Thursday, October 3rd and the first full slate of Division Series games, featuring the two A.L. Division Series openers and a pair of NLDS Game Twos, will take place on Friday, October 4th.  The Division Series will run from Thursday, October 3rd through Thursday, October 10th, with two potential Game Fives on both Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th.  TBS will air 18 of the potential 20 Division Series games, while MLB Network will exclusively telecast one game on Friday, October 4th and another on Monday, October 7th.

The National League Championship Series will be broadcast exclusively on TBS and will begin on Friday, October 11th.  Saturday, October 12th will feature Game One of the American League Championship Series, which will be broadcast exclusively on FOX, and Game Two of the NLCS on TBS.  A potential Game Seven of the NLCS is scheduled for Saturday, October 19th, while a potential Game Seven of the ALCS is set for Sunday, October 20th.

Game One of the 2013 World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd in the city of the American League Champions.  Game Three of the Fall Classic will shift to the city of the National League Champions on Saturday, October 26th.  A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, October 31st in the A.L. city.  The scheduled off days during the World Series are Friday, October 25th and Tuesday, October 29th.  FOX Sports will present exclusive live telecast coverage of the World Series for the 16th time.

ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2013 MLB Postseason games, including the Wild Card Games.

To see the  complete 2013 Postseason schedule, subject to change, select Read More

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How Performance in 2012 Caused an Attendance Downturn for the Red Sox PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:36

MLB attendanceUnless there is catastrophe, a glance at the AL East standings shows the Boston Red Sox either winning the division or being an AL Wild Card team. A trip to the postseason for Red Sox seems a pretty sure bet (as of publication the club has a 98.5% chance of making it), and yet, attendance is down. Questions abound, columns get written, and for some the consensus is, “The Red Sox have lost their fan base.”

According to The Republican, the Red Sox are set to see attendance drop 7 percent from last year. But, within the story reveals something that is not only an affect on the Red Sox, but most every club in Major League Baseball: the performance in one or more seasons prior can impact attendance before a single game is played.

"We are pleased with the trend lines and the direction that attendance is heading in," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said Friday at Fenway Park. "It's understandable that there would be some drop off after the collapse of 2011 and the disappointment of 2012. But I'd rather accentuate the positive: there's a buzz about this team, there's a buzz about Fenway Park again this year. Our ratings are up, our attendance is very strong. We're like fourth or fifth in the league in baseball. While it's off from historic highs, it's still robust.”

[….]

"You're always concerned," [Red Sox chief operating officer Sam] Kennedy said. "Our expectations here are very lofty. We would love to be in a sell-out environment every single night. But we recognize we're not. We'll probably have 25, 26 sell outs this year, and I think there's a natural lag you have. We actually had good attendance last year. Ironically, in 2012, with a 69-win season, and that was because we had a lot of people buy in the winter and this year we had the downturn because of last year.

"I think it's a residual effect from a slower offseason. We've closed the gap. (We'll) probably finish somewhere around 7 percent behind last year, which equates to a couple hundred thousand, maybe as many as 200,000 tickets behind. Hopefully fans will start to come back. They've come back. It's not as if a crowd of 33,000 — most teams in baseball would be thrilled with that."

This is why the Giants currently see the third-highest attendance in the league yet sit with a .445 winning percentage and 21 games behind the Dodgers for first place. It’s why the Blue Jays see the largest jump in attendance from last year (currently up a whopping 21 percent) while 63-75, 18.5 games behind first place Boston and last place with 10 game separating them and the second-to-last Yankees.

Back to the Red Sox, as the club execs mention, you can’t get back the attendance at the beginning of the season and you can’t make up the full-season equivalents in ticket sales that were reached mostly in Nov-Jan. This is what happens when MLB’s attendance model is now tied so tightly to season ticket sales.

This is also why we can make some predictions for attendance next season, now. Red Sox attendance will bounce back (although how far is really going to need to be answered by how far they go into the postseason), and the Blue Jays, Giants, Angels, and Brewers will see drops. How significant the drops will be will be tied to any potential high-profile free agent signings. For the Angels, this seems like something that won’t happen given the Pujols and Hamilton signings in the last couple of seasons. The Blue Jays have to ask whether fans will be less enthusiastic after the bevy of players they took on, most notably with the trades to the Marlins. It’s possible that they could see a 10 percent drop in attendance based on the bounce they got this year; a case of normalizing the attendance curve.

And while the Red Sox will be up, the other club that’s likely to see a significant bounce will be the Pirates.

So, the attendance decline in Beantown is a story because, well…. It’s the Red Sox. But, the reality is, the club most certainly expected the drop, even if they’d rather avoid it. The front office in Boston is likely already well geared up for season ticket sales… for the 2014 season.


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.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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DBacks and Phillies Play Fourth-Longest MLB Game of All-Time PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 13:04

Line up card - Historic DBacks-Phillies game

Kirk Gibson must have nearly run out of ink for this historic line-up card

While most were fast asleep, the game raged on. Inning after inning, the Diamondbacks and Phillies continued to play last night. A game that started at 7:05pm on Saturday finally ended after 18 innings when Adam Eaton of the Diamondbacks hit a go-ahead double finally resulting in a 12-7 win for the Diamondbacks. The game ended at 2:12am Sunday, an extraordinary 7 hours and 6 minutes long.

''Oh God, it was tough,'' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said after the game. ''I'm pretty tired, I really don't know what to tell you.''

It is not the longest by inning, but was historic for its length by time. It was the longest game in Phillies and Diamondbacks history. Given that the Phillies were established in 1883, that’s saying something.

It will go into the record books as the fourth-longest game of all-time. It was the longest MLB game by time since June 3, 1989, when the Astros beat the Dodgers, 5-4, in a 22-inning game in Houston which lasted 7 hours and 14 min. In an odd bit of symmetry, the game was exactly one hour short of the all-time record for a Major League game by time of 8 hours 6 min played between the White Sox and Brewers on May 1, 1984.

It was a game that saw 20 different pitchers. There were 137 at-bats, 35 hits, 32 strikeouts and 28 walks. The teams used every available player they had, minus three starting pitchers on each side. Centerfielder Casper Wells of the Phillies was on the mound in the 18th inning using what could best be described as a lot of sinkers.

Less than 12 hours later, the sides meet again, begging the question whether it was even worth leaving Citizens Bank Park.

Here’s where the game ranks historically.

LONGEST MLB GAMES BY TIME

1)      Tuesday, May 1, 1984 (Brewers-White Sox) at Comiskey Park I 8 hours 6 min. Total innings: 25. White Sox won 7-6. Winning pitcher (Tom Seaver). Losing pitcher (Chuck Porter) (box score)

2)      Sunday, May 31, 1964 (Giants-Mets) at Shea Stadium 7 hours 23 min. Total innings: 23. Giants won 8-6. It was the second game of a double-header. Winning pitcher (Gaylord Perry). Losing pitcher (Galen Cisco) (box score)

3)      Saturday, June 3, 1989 (Dodgers-Astros) at The Astrodome – 7 hours 14 min. Total innings: 22. Astros won 5-4. Winning pitcher (Jim Clancy). Losing pitcher (Jeff Hamilton) (box score)

4)      Saturday, August 24, 2013 (Diamondbacks-Phillies) at Citizens Bank Park – 7 hours 6 min. Total innings: 18. Diamondbacks won 12-7). Winning pitcher (Trevor Cahill). Losing pitcher (Centerfielder Casper Wells)

Source: Biz of Baseball research, Major League Baseball, Elias

Select READ MORE to see the box score

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