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Mariners announce two staff moves PDF Print E-mail
MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 12 September 2006 12:00
MarinersSeattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that Mariners bench coach Ron Hassey and Mariners administrative coach Dan Rohn are no longer members of the Major League coaching staff.

Hassey was informed prior to last night's game that the club would not be offering him a contract for the 2007 season. After discussions with Manager Mike Hargrove and Bavasi, Hassey determined it would be in the club's best interest to make the move immediately.

"I have tremendous respect for Ron and am sorry he will not finish out the season with us," Hargrove said. "It was a very difficult decision for him, but Ron believes the team is best served by having an opportunity to make a change immediately, rather than waiting until the offseason to announce this move.

"I very much appreciate all of Ron's hard work over the past two seasons. He is a good man and a good friend, and I wish him all the best in the future."

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Yankees might drop affiliation with Clippers PDF Print E-mail
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Latest MiLB News
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 14 September 2006 13:19

YankeesThe NY Yankees may drop their 28-year affiliation with the AAA Columbus Clippers. Today, the Yankees informed the Clippers of their intention to end the relationship. As the AP reports (Yankees might drop Columbus as top minor league affiliate):

"While we have enjoyed working with the New York Yankees, we also understand that baseball is a business and the Yankees have every right to explore new relationships that may be better suited for the goals of their organization," Ken Schnacke, president and general manager of the Clippers, said in a statement.

The Clippers said their board of trustees voted to begin negotiations for an affiliation with another club. The Clippers have until Sept. 30 to sign a new deal.

The New York Mets, Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles do not have an affiliate. The Philadelphia Phillies have spoken to Ottawa about making the Lynx their top farm club next season.

 Mr. Schnacke is quoted as saying the Clippers will be back in Columbus next year, regardless of the affiliation.

In related news, it may be that Orioles might like to make their home in Columbus, although there is certainly speculation based on an interview he gave on Pressbox

 
Jim Kaat Retiring After 50 Years PDF Print E-mail
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Media News (Television, Radio, Internet)
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 14 September 2006 01:30

Jim Kaat

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Jim Kaat, 67, the legendary broadcaster and former player will end his 50 year career in baseball tomorrow when he throws out the first pitch of the Red Sox-Yankees game, and then call the game for the YES Network.

Kaat, had a 25-year playing career starting in 1959, pitching in MLB for the likes of the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, and Cardinals.

His broadcasting career started in 1986 on Channel 11 but was bumped in favor of Billy Martin after the end of the season, something that did not sit particuarly well with Kaat at the time.

On Christmas Day in 1994, Kaat got a call from George Stienbrenner and has not left the Yankees broadcast team since.  As Richard Sandomir of the NY Times reports (50 Years in Game is Enough for Kaat ):

“I was heading out to hit golf balls, and Mary Ann said, ‘It’s George Steinbrenner,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, right,’ ” Kaat said. Steinbrerner called to say he had approved Kaat as the MSG Network’s replacement for Kubek.

“He said, ‘I want everything to be good between us,’ ” Kaat said.

Kaat picked an exquisite time to join the Yankees at the start of their playoff and World Series run. From MSG to YES, he has been a low-key star, never boisterous, never loud, but always with strong views, and that made him the equal of the more nationally known McCarver and Joe Morgan.

“He knows the game so well and gets to the essence of a play so quickly,” said John Filippelli, YES’s president of production. When he was at Fox Sports, he added: “The one mistake we made was that we should have hired Kitty. I think you rate him the equal of any analyst you’ve ever heard.”

 What are Kaat's plans in retirement? Spend time with family, play golf, and travel the country with his wife Mary Ann via RV.

 
Pirates End 51-year partnership With KDKA PDF Print E-mail
Media News (Television, Radio, Internet)
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 12 September 2006 12:00

Clear Channel will become the new radio broadcast partner for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, ending a 51-year partnership with KDKA. The Pirates and Clear Channel' entered a five-year strategic partnership that will air on WPGB FM NewsTalk 104.7, the Pirates' new flagship station.

With the change ends MLB's longest standing radio agreement at 51 years. KDKA -- at 50,000 watts of power -- has a far reaching audience, and the switch to WPGB will cut off fans of the Pirates that have listened to the station as far away as the East Coast and Canada due to the lack of broadcasting power.

Clear Channel Communications, in turn, will not only broadcast on WPGB, but five other affiliates in the region -- WDVE-FM, WKST-FM, WXDX-FM, WWSW-FM and WBGG FOX Sports Radio 970 AM.

"This is a significant milestone in Clear Channel Communications' history in the Pittsburgh market. The Pirates and Major League Baseball are valuable properties in this region that we will leverage to the fullest extent through WPGB 104.7 FM and our five other stations," said John Rohm, Senior Regional Vice President of Clear Channel. "It is exciting for us to partner with the team to bring Pirates baseball to their loyal fans and our loyal listeners."

"The strategic partnership with Clear Channel provides us with enhanced opportunities to reach a stronger and more targeted fan base that will help to build the Pirates brand," said Tim Schuldt, Pirates VP of Marketing, Sales and Broadcasting. "Clear Channel's far reaching commitments to the Pirates through ancillary programming and cross-promotion, combined with their listener demographics, size of audience share and growth trends of their stations, made Clear Channel the best choice for the Pirates."

WPGB will produce and broadcast all Pirates regular season games and 12 Spring Training games through the 2011 season.

Full programming details were not announced at this time.

 
Postseason tie-breakers determined PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
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Monday, 11 September 2006 12:00

A series of coin tosses was conducted today by Major League Baseball to determine the sites for various potential two-team tie-breakers that would impact the 2006 postseason.

The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the A.L. Central Champion is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
DET vs. MINComerica Park, Detroit
DET vs. CWSU.S. Cellular Field, Chicago



The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the A.L. West Champion is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
OAK vs. LAAAngel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim



The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the A.L. Wild Card is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
MIN vs. CWSU.S. Cellular Field, Chicago



The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the N.L. Central Champion is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
STL vs. CINBusch Stadium, St. Louis



The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the N.L. West Champion is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
LA vs. SDDodger Stadium, Los Angeles
LA vs. SFDodger Stadium, Los Angeles



The site for a one-game tie-breaker to determine the N.L. Wild Card is as follows:

 

OpponentsSite
SD vs. FLAPETCO Park, San Diego
SD vs. PHICitizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
SD vs. SFPETCO Park, San Diego
SD vs. CINPETCO Park, San Diego
SD vs. HOUMinute Maid Park, Houston
FLA vs. PHICitizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
FLA vs. SFAT&T Park, San Francisco
FLA vs. CINGreat American Ball Park, Cincinnati
FLA vs. HOUDolphin Stadium, Florida
PHI vs. SFAT&T Park, San Francisco
PHI vs. CINGreat American Ball Park, Cincinnati
PHI vs. HOUMinute Maid Park, Houston
SF vs. CINGreat American Ball Park, Cincinnati
SF vs. HOUMinute Maid Park, Houston
CIN vs. HOUMinute Maid Park, Houston


If two clubs from the same division are tied but both are assured of participating in the postseason, then the first tie-breaker to determine which club is the Division Champion and which club is the Wild Card would be their 2006 season-series record.

As a point of clarification, if three clubs finish the season with the same winning percentage and one team will be a division winner and another will be the Wild Card, the games will be played as follows:

• The two teams tied for the division lead will play the one-game tie-breaker, with the winner being declared the division champion.

• The losing team will then play the club from the other division for the Wild Card.

A tie-breaker game would be played on Monday, October 2nd and TBS and ESPN Radio would provide national coverage. In the event of simultaneous or overlapping tie-breaker games, TNT would provide national coverage.

Additional coin tosses will be held if they become necessary over the rest of the 2006 season.
 
Quakes hire new VP/GM PDF Print E-mail
Latest MiLB News
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 11 September 2006 12:00
QuakesMatt Blankenheim has been hired as the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Vice President of Operations and Assistant General Manager, the team announced Tuesday.

Blankenheim joins Rancho Cucamonga following a two-year stint with the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League.

"I'm very excited to join the staff and I'm looking forward to helping continue the success the Quakes have achieved throughout the years," Blankenheim said. "I truly appreciate this opportunity to advance and continue to learn the business of professional baseball."

A native of Pine Grove, Blankenheim graduated from the University of California-Davis in 2004 with a degree in communications. He led the Aggies with a .359 batting average as a senior and began his executive career as a public relations intern with the Sacramento River Cats that summer. He joined the Grizzlies in December of 2004 as the public relations director before being named event operations director prior to the 2006 season. While in Fresno Blankenheim oversaw production of the club's media guide and also managed the game day staff.

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Pirates and Lexus enter into six-year partnership PDF Print E-mail
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MLB News
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 08 September 2006 10:07
PiratesThe Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that the team has entered into a six-year partnership agreement with the Pittsburgh area Lexus Dealers. The agreement calls for the premium seating area formally known as the Home Plate Club to be renamed "Lexus Club at PNC Park" through the 2011 season.

This premium seating area that consists of 403 seats located behind home plate is the most exclusive club in PNC Park and one the Pirates took extreme care in selecting a partner with the same commitment to customer satisfaction, according to Tim Schuldt, Pirates Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Broadcasting.

"We were approached by numerous luxury brands about a partnership involving this exclusive area of our ballpark. However, it was very important that we chose the right partner whose brand conveys the first class experience the club delivers," said Schuldt. "That is why we are very pleased to partner with one of the world's finest brands in Lexus to enhance the fan offering in the new Lexus Club at PNC Park."

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MLB informs Dodgers VOD Deal Breaks Rules PDF Print E-mail
Media News (Television, Radio, Internet)
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 08 September 2006 06:15

MLB has informed the Dodgers that a deal between the club and Time Warner to create a Video On-Demand channel breaks with rules outlined a 2000 agreement under which the league, not clubs, control any "interactive media."

Launched on August 9th, the Dodgers On-Demand almost immediatly raised concerns from MLB as Bob DuPuy sent an email to all the clubs stating that clubs did not have the right to launch such braodcast holdings. As DuPuy said at in the email at the time, "That is why when clubs have submitted local broadcast agreements for review," the e-mail read, "the question of VOD has been put on hold."

Yesterday, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reported (Dodgers Told TV Deal Breaks Rules):

The Dodgers' VOD channel currently features interviews and highlights of the 1981 championship season. The agreement permits teams to authorize "one-way transmission of radio and television," but a board comprised of DuPuy and several club owners ruled the Dodgers' channel is interactive because fans can stop, start, fast forward and rewind programming.

"The board interpreted that user interaction with the content, which is at the heart of what interactivity is, is a two-way communication," said Bob Bowman, president of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). "The board made the determination that Dodgers on Demand is a two-way communication and therefore interactive.

 MLBAM has yet to put in place a policy under which clubs can roll out VOD on cable and satellite systems.

 
Phillies AAA Club breaks ground for new stadium PDF Print E-mail
Latest MiLB News
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 07 September 2006 03:31

 Philadelphia Phillies President David Montgomery, General Manager Pat Gillick and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski were among those manning the shovels yesterday morning to break ground on a new $34 million, 7000 seat facility that will be the new home for the Phillies Triple-A club that is now Scranton - Wilkes Barre Red Barons.

The Phillies' agreement to send Triple-A prospects to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be over at the end of this season.

The new facility is scheduled to be open in 2008 

 
River Cats take attendance crown PDF Print E-mail
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Latest MiLB News
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 04 September 2006 12:00

River Cats For the seventh consecutive season, the Sacramento River Cats and Raley Field have led the Pacific Coast League and all of Minor League Baseball's domestic clubs in attendance, team officials announced Tuesday.

The team drew 728,227 fans in 71 openings in 2006 (10,257 per night). The Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in the PCL) were second with 692,426 fans at an average of 9,752 per night (71 openings).

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