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Friday, April 03, 2015

New Balance signs Robinson Cano

Cavanaugh estimates that 300 major league players will wear New Balance cleats this season. It has come at a cost for the company that for so long proudly shunned endorsements—though a relatively cheap one, compared with other sports.

On Thursday, the brand announced that it has added Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano to an endorsement roster that already includes Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

“Robby wanted to be the face of a brand, and New Balance will enable him to be that,” said Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for Roc Nation, which represents Cano. Yormark said Cano, who has more endorsements now than he did while playing in New York, also liked the fact that the company committed to working with him on his lifestyle business. It also will support his foundation by outfitting students at Cano’s RC22 Dream School in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mariners, robinson cano

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wilson buys Louisville Slugger for $70 million

The parent company of Wilson Sporting Goods has acquired Louisville Slugger for a reported $70 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by this summer, according to a report early Monday

Executives for both companies are due to discuss the sale at a news briefing for 11:30 a.m. Monday at Hillerich & Bradsby Co.‘s headquarters on Main Street.

The 120-year-old batmaker is best known for making Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Its Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory on Main Street in downtown Louisville has also become a bustling tourist attraction.

But the Louisville business that also makes baseball gloves, golf clubs and other sports equipment, has faced headwinds in recent years, starting with a threat to its source of ash wood for its professional and amateur wooden bats.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 12:28 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bats, business, louisville slugger, sporting goods

Monday, February 23, 2015

MLB considers spinning off its powerful streaming business

Current proposals would see MLB.com and baseball ticketing — both currently under the MLBAM umbrella — stay with Major League Baseball, while the entire streaming business would be split off. It’s big now, but only getting bigger, based on what MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the Journal.

Swedish Chef Posted: February 23, 2015 at 05:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mlbam, mlbtv

Monday, February 09, 2015

SBJ: After 4 years, MLB seals the Fan Cave

The post-Selig era begins in earnest.

MLB is shutting down the Fan Cave, its much-acclaimed 4-year-old social media hub in New York City, representing an early sign of the unification of business operations under new Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The move, led by Bob Bowman, president of business and media, is an attempt to consolidate all of baseball’s social media activities under MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Network. MLBAM had its own active social media agenda separate from the Fan Cave, often creating confusion on matters such as who would take a lead role in promoting coming MLB events.

 

Greg Franklin Posted: February 09, 2015 at 01:42 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fan cave, mlbam, online, social media, television

WaPo: Meet the startup in a trademark war with the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs

Calling all BBTF IP lawyers to litigate WalletHub vs MLB.

Evolution Finance has been locked in a trademark dispute with lawyers representing the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs for two years after Major League Baseball, on behalf of the teams, opposed their attempt to trademark the white-and-green logo.

The league asserts that the WalletHub logo bears a strong resemblance to Ws trademarked by the two teams, and that granting Evolution Finance rights to use the mark without restrictions could create confusion for customers and complications for both businesses.

Evolution Finance, for its part, sees a bully….

Greg Franklin Posted: February 09, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, legal, nationals, trademark, wallethub

Friday, February 06, 2015

Cashman: A-Rod, Yanks will meet

“Alex considers everything with the Yankees to be family business and family business stays within the family,” Rodriguez’s spokesman Ron Berkowitz said Friday.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mets Merized Online: Fred Wilpon Named Chairman of MLB Finance Committee

...

Bill Madden of the Daily News reports there was a lot more happening at last week’s owners meeting in Arizona than just a farewell party for Bud Selig.

New head honcho Rob Manfred announced a complete overhaul of major league baseball’s hierarchy and among the new restructuring he named Mets owner Fred Wilpon the new chairman and head of the MLB Finance Committee… Wilpon, who allegedly lost about $700 million in the largest Ponzi scheme in American History – the second time he was embroiled in a massive Ponzi scheme – was nearly forced to sell the team three years ago and is still on uncertain financial footing.

What makes Manfred’s decision so bizarre is that Fred Wilpon admits to not being the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to financing, and in fact, Wilpon’s entire defense case in the trial brought on by trustee Irving Picard was based on his ignorance of how the convicted Bernie Madoff oversaw his investments as well as his role in team finances…

In addition to the millions lost in the Madoff affair, the Wilpons are currently buried waist deep in nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in debt between the team and the SNY Network which broadcasts the team’s games. A huge portion of that debt – a reported $600 million – is actually due in June of this year.

The MLB Players Association has recently opened an investigation looking into financial inconsistencies regarding offseason workouts being held at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie…

It just goes to show that the old adage is true — It’s not what you know, but who you know. Sadly, in his first official act as commissioner, Manfred looks to continue years of Selig cronyism under the guise of the best interest of the game.

The District Attorney Posted: January 18, 2015 at 07:10 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fred wilpon, mets, wtf

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Deal of a lifetime, or Milwaukee marketing ploy?

PreservedFish asked, “What would have to occur in order to make this a good investment?” Well…

The Brewers are offering, for the (perhaps) low, low price of $1,000, a Timeless Ticket, redeemable for any Brewers regular season or postseason game in 2015 or any year beyond…

the ticket that you bought for $1,000 is worth $723 if you have 30 years to use it. It’€™s worth $923 if you have 50 years. Or maybe it’€™s $537 if you have 15 years… What’€™s in the fine print appears to be where the money really is.

In addition, Timeless Ticket holders may purchase up to three additional companion tickets for the redeemed game at the single-game box office price... Since you’€™re only buying these at face value, let’€™s say you’€™re paying only $300 plus inflation for them… if you and your partner value them at face value each, $300 present dollars, you’€™d only need a 10/17 chance of the World Series coming to Milwaukee—€”18 Brewers seasons. If you get the $1,000 secondary market price worth of value from being at Miller Park for that game, you’€™d only need a 10/31 chance, which the Brewers theoretically have in the next eight years…

That was all before Tuesday’€™s additional promotion, which says you can get a ticket to any nine regular season games of your choosing, Opening Day excluded… So it’€™s almost as if you’€™re paying $775 for the same package as long as you were going to go to nine games anyway…

So I wouldn’€™t be too quick to dismiss the value of these, but if I were buying, I’€™d probably make calls to ask a lot more questions, both at the box office and the doctor’€™s office.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2015 at 03:04 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Additional Benefits to Brewers Timeless Ticket Announced

Doug Melvin: “I decided a long time ago that I had to find an adult. A very rich, extravagant adult, to whom I could tell all my most precious roster-making secrets.”

The Timeless Ticket consists of a brass ticket personalized with an engraving of the owner’s name. Only 1,000 of the items will be produced… The cost of the ticket (which includes the brass engraved ticket and the actual ticket to the game of the owner’s choosing) is $1,000.

This unique opportunity allows the owner to redeem their Timeless Ticket for an actual ticket to any single future Brewers game at Miller Park, whether it’s in 2015 or 2050, or whether it’s Opening Day or the 7th game of the World Series. Plus, the package now includes ticket vouchers to attend nine additional Brewers regular season games of the owner’s choice (excluding Opening Day and Postseason).

The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2015 at 02:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

WaPo - Mayor of WPB Agrees To Negotiate NatStros Site

Hey, look! An article that’s NOT about the Hall of Fame voting! WOO HOO!!

West Palm Beach will negotiate a land swap with Palm Beach County for 160 acres of land targeted for a joint training facility for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, Mayor Jeri Muoio announced Monday, smoothing the path toward a new spring training home for the Nationals. The announcement represents a reversal on the part of the city, which previously had refused to negotiate such a swap.

boteman asks Where's My Ring? Posted: January 06, 2015 at 04:22 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, nationals, spring training

Monday, January 05, 2015

medium.com: MLB Agent Fights For His Clients?—?And His Life

32 years old, 42 surgeries.

Josh Kusnick, a name that may be familiar to longtime brewerfan.net patrons or Baseball Prospectus readers or people who hang out at other spots on the internet where agents rarely chat openly, on living with and working through a major birth defect.

Der-K is at half whelm. Posted: January 05, 2015 at 04:33 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, baseball prospectus, business, health

Friday, December 26, 2014

Benjamin Hill’s Minoring in Business announces first annual Bizzies award winners | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

The CLAWlossal is not something I would order.

Therefore, what follows is my first annual “Minoring in Business” Awards—the Bizzies, if you will—culled from my extensive ballpark travels during the 2014 season. The eight inaugural honorees, each representing an arbitrarily chosen category, have all gone above and beyond in their quest to make the Minor League Baseball fan experience as memorable as possible. Congratulations to all of the winners, as being included in this article surely represent the pinnacle of achievement within the baseball industry.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: business, minor league promotions

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Topps Bunt app: Can the company save itself and a beloved hobby with baseball cards that live inside your phone?

Shoutout to Sy Berger.

“The initial thought exercise, in 2012, was, If you were to re-create a baseball card, in our day and age, what would it look like?” Michael Bramlage told me. “First thing was, it should live on your phone. You know, the phone in your pocket is about the same size as a baseball card.”

Bramlage, the vice president, digital at the trading card giant Topps, is talking about Bunt, the free app I used to open a pack of Topps Frozen Phenoms.  My phone shuddered, and gold digital confetti exploded on screen when the pack turned out to contain a “super rare” Yasiel Puig card… Were I to trade that Puig card to another Bunt user—Bramlage says trade offers pour in at the rate of more than one per second—any return I’d receive would be similarly notional. If I kept it, I could slot it into my Bunt lineup, and Puig’s real-world statistical output would earn me points in an in-app fantasy game, which would in turn earn me “coins” that I could use to buy more digital cards.

You can also spend real money to buy those coins—it costs $9.99 for 20,000 or $74.99 for 500,000 if you’re in the mood to splurge… The result is a Web success big enough to leave a Pablo Sandoval–sized offline footprint, both through a robust secondary market—rare Bunt cards, and others with “digital signatures” that mirror players’ autographs, are priced in the hundreds of dollars on eBay—and multimillion dollar revenues through the app…

progress makes Grandpa Simpsons of us all, and this is not a cloud worth screaming at. It’s tough to see Bunt as anything but a necessary evolution in a business that needed one, and a way to make something I cared about relevant and appealing to people who’ve never had reason to think of it as either… One generation’s cards are neglected in dust-shrouded boxes; another’s move and grow, relentlessly, in the permanent mint condition of the Internet. Which seems more valuable to you?

The District Attorney Posted: December 23, 2014 at 08:54 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, business, internet, topps

Friday, December 05, 2014

NY Post: Is Jeter Gearing Up To Buy The Marlins?

Jeter has declared repeatedly for quite a while now he intends to own a baseball team someday .  .  . He even told reporters in June he intended to reach out to team owners upon the season’s (and his playing career’s) conclusion. And if you want to bet which team he’ll eventually own? You won’t find a safer wager than the Marlins.

The Marlins said Jeter simply stopped by because he happened to be in town, and maybe that’s all it was — for now. Jeter figures to approach his goal smoothly and deliberately, and there’s only upside by spending some time with Marlins owner (and huge Yankees fan and George Steinbrenner admirer) Jeffrey Loria.

The 74-year-old Loria made the industry’s biggest splash of this offseason when he committed $325 million over 13 years to his stud outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. .  .  . Yet the Stanton contract’s dramatically backloaded structure, with modest payments of $6.5 million, $9 million and $14.5 million coming from 2015 through 2017, just raises more questions about the franchise’s future. Will Loria try to cash out now that he has stabilized the situation in the wake of the 2012 trades of Mark Buehrle, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes? The Manhattan resident has long denied the notion he’ll be selling anytime soon. Yet industry speculation persists because the multiple times Loria has shot himself in the foot with rebuilds, manager changes and strikingly low payrolls — and most of all the public funding he secured for his new ballpark.
.  .  .
Enter Jeter, whose representative Casey Close didn’t respond to a request for comment. He lives in Tampa, a short flight (or approximately four-hour drive) away, and he sure seems to enjoy Miami, based on repeated Page Six sightings there. Purchasing the Marlins, unlike the Rays right in his backyard, would keep him out of direct competition with the Yankees.
.  .  .
He needs to put together a consortium that would in turn appoint him as the control person. He surely knows this already, and it isn’t outrageous to think that Jeter, based on his income not only from the Yankees but also from his endorsement deals, could chip in a sizeable portion himself. Maybe $100 million?

Major League Baseball folks naturally would be thrilled to welcome Jeter into the ownership fold, and all the more so into a sad-sack market like Miami.
Now, the simplest solution doesn’t always become reality. Maybe Loria and his controversial team president David Samson will hang on for the long haul. Maybe Jeter will be wooed by another ownership shift. How about he takes over the A’s and finally moves them out of the O.co Coliseum, even though that’s where he made his Flip Play?

Probably better than putting your money into video games.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Calcaterra: Tim Brosnan, V.P. of business, is leaving MLB

If you come at the king, you best not miss…

Major League Baseball just announced that Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Business and CEO of MLB Enterprises, will depart from MLB at the end of January.

Brosnan was a finalist for the commissioner’s job which went to Rob Manfred. He had been with Major League Baseball since 1991, and had spearheaded many of MLB’s sponsorship and business deals. Manfred is basically squeezing him out, however, by naming MLB Advanced Media President Bob Bowman “chief revenue officer” and putting him more squarely in charge of overall business matters, rather than simply limiting him to digital initiatives.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business, tim brosnan

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Card collector accuses USPS of losing mint Mantle

Has anyone thought of checking Bob Costas’ swollen ass pocket?

Anthony Johnson is suing the agency, claiming it lost his jewelry and card collection valued at $329,000. He says the valuables were stolen in 2009 by a house guest and shipped to California.

Johnson says he alerted the Postal Service, which intercepted the goods. But the Grosse Pointe man says he’s only recovered cash that was taken, not the collection. The memorabilia include mint cards of DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.

Johnson tells the Detroit Free Press it’s been a “three-year runaround.” The Postal Service has denied any negligence. Johnson says the collection was sent to an Atlanta postal site where it sat for months.

Today’s whereabouts? Unknown.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:44 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, memorabilia

Friday, January 20, 2012

WSJ: Houston Astros Owner Mucked Up in JeffCo Bankruptcy

We release things drip by drip…and when I have my sewer bonds settlement statements ready for this year, I’ll release them!

Stuck at the unfortunate end of the debt-clogged sewer system of Jefferson County, Ala., you’ll find Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

Fresh into his takeover of the Texas baseball team, Crane has been ordered by a bankruptcy judge to reveal details of his settlement with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. over $35 million worth of sewer bonds that he bought from the investment bank four years ago—a personal investment that quickly turned to, er, garbage.

Those dirty details, which are not public, are what Jefferson County attorney are seeking amid their own fight with the bank over the complicated series of dealings that, with a little help from a corruption scheme that ensnared the county’s top elected leaders, left the county swimming in a pool of toxic debt.

Ultimately, the county—Alabama’s most populous with roughly 658,000 residents—filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Crane said he got stuck with a bum deal, too, according to court documents filed in Texas state court.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media

Shaughnessy’s Faux Rage: I’m Not Buying It

Firebrand Joe Morgan-like.

If you heard a loud thumping noise a few minutes ago, that wasn’t your imagination.  It was me bashing my head against the desk as I was reading Dan Shaughnessy’s latest opus.  Like all Shaughnessy articles, he channels his most emotional nerves to convince us that the Red Sox ownership (or whomever his target du jour might be) is wronging us. That their “cheap” ways are depriving us of a championship that we’re entitled to experiencing.  Clearly, he does it for attention and notoriety, and perhaps we should all be immune to his shtick by now.  For some reason, I can’t let go.

...Terry Francona, Theo Epstein, Jonathan Papelbon, and Heidi Watney are all gone, and we just learned that Carl Crawford had surgery on his wrist, which isn’t going to make things easier for his big bounce-back season.

I can live with all of the above – even if we won’t have J.D. Drew to kick around anymore – but I can’t stand talk about payroll limits and luxury tax obligations.

While Heidi Watney’s presence will be missed, I’m not sure how this will impact the team’s on field performance.  If anything, I think the horny old baseball writers, like Shaughnessy, will be the ones missing her most of all.

Crawford’s wrist injury probably won’t make his bounce back season any easier, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be successful.  The good news is that only the cartilege was torn in the wrist.  Had he broken a bone, the outlook on his season would’ve been much less rosy.  Recovery from such a procedure typically lasts 6-8 weeks, which would put him about 2-4 weeks behind in terms of Spring Training readiness.  He seems to be a pretty quick healer, so he could be back even sooner.  I don’t see any reason to panic until we’re given an actually reason to do so.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:01 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, red sox

Tampa Bay Rays re-sign first baseman Carlos Pena

Big time rush…to sign him!

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed first baseman Carlos Pena, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed.

Pena has seemed a good fit to return to the Rays throughout the off-season, as we’ve written and talked about repeatedly.

Pena played for the Rays from 2007-10, then moved to the Cubs last season. Agent Scott Boras told the Tampa Bay Times last week that Pena was open to a return to the Rays, where he had success and enjoyed the experience, and Pena told MLB Network Radio last week he was considering several options. He made $10-million last season with the Cubs.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Thom Brennaman says he’ll broadcast ‘multiple’ games with his HOF dad on the radio this season

RETURN OF THE BRENNAMANSTER! (flee good people…flee!)

Bren

All the Reds trades to bolster the roster sure are nice, but here’s another reason for Reds fans to smile about the upcoming season:

Thom Brennaman promises that he’ll do some games on radio this year with his father, Marty Brennaman. They didn’t do any last year.

“Yes! Write it down in your notebook! We will do multiple games,” said Thom during a “Reds Hot Stove League” commercial break with his father Tuesday at the Holy Grail downtown.

The more he talked, the more he promised.

“I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to do three or four series together on radio,” Thom said.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 09:31 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, reds

The Biz of Baseball: As 2012 MLB Season Approaches, Blackout Policy Likely to Remain

Adds Maury…“Pass the popcorn. The static’s on (again)”

File this one in the “broken record” department: prepare for yet another season of MLB’s blackout policy remaining in place.

The reason for the broken record? This story has been written repeatedly for years. A source at MLB said that for all practical purposes, the matter will likely not be addressed for the upcoming season.

For the uninitiated, the question is, “Why should I be concerned?” That depends on whether you are, or planning to, purchase MLB Extra Innings or subscribe to MLB.TV.

In a nutshell, there are two ways you can be hit with the “blackout blues”. National broadcast partners FOX and ESPN have exclusivity agreements in which no matter where you live, games are blacked out on MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV.

...And about the national blackout policy, any chance that happens soon? In speaking with sources close to the matter, when asked if the possibility it won’t be considered until contracts are renewed with ESPN and FOX, the reply was, “Probably.”

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:11 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, television

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2012

Providence Evening Tribune, January 20, 1912:

Organized baseball will be fought under the Sherman Anti-trust law if it attacks the new Columbian Baseball League, according to John T. Powers, President of the new organization.

“We are not fighting capital with capital and do not seek a fight with any person or combination,” said Powers. “But we have the statutory right to exist and compete with the ‘Baseball Trust.’”

There is more in the threat of the new outlaw league in the west to fight organized baseball under the Sherman Anti-trust law than appears on the surface, or the average fan believes.
...

The fly in the ointment lies in the fact that the trust law was designed to prevent restriction of business and commercial activities, and did not refer to amusement enterprizes [sic], such as baseball and theatricals.

As it turns out, organized baseball did exactly what it should have done with regard to the Columbian League: They sat back and watched it collapse all by itself before it ever played a game. The postscript, though, is that John T. Powers spent the next offseason getting the Federal League off the ground. The Federal League, of course, eventually led to Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which indeed revolved around baseball and the Sherman Act.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dugout, history

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Onion: Prince Fielder Wondering If He Has Truly Free Agency

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—After meeting with his agent Monday to discuss his free agency prospects, Prince Fielder told reporters he was left wondering if he or any man can ever say his agency is truly free.

“Free agency suggests I am able to make a choice void of any constraint, but right from the get-go, that premise is problematic,” said Fielder, adding that it isn’t as if he can just get a job as an acoustical engineer, or even as a professional athlete in another sport.

“In the end, I am not an autonomous entity who can choose a path based on multiple options. Instead, I am one link in a causal chain, so my actions are merely the inevitable product of lawful causes stemming from prior events. What I’m saying is, I’m essentially limited to the 30 baseball organizations in North America; realistic, long-term socioeconomic factors have already decided which cities can support a team that pays the kind of salary I demand; and roster decisions dating all the way back to the invention of the game have determined which teams are in need of a first baseman today—so there are only a few clubs that could logically take me. And human nature will compel me to pick the one that offers the best, highest salary.”

Fielder concluded the press conference by saying that he is essentially a determinist, and that he enjoys hitting baseballs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:59 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business

Kilgore: The Nationals look like Prince Fielder favorites

Prince busters…going one step beyond?

And if the Rangers aren’t going to sign Fielder, the Nationals have to be considered the frontrunner now. Who else is there? Any team planning to make a stealth run at him probably would not have risked waiting until late January to make its move. The Brewers and Mariners have been on the periphery, but not as involved as the Nationals. You never know, but it looks like the Fielder sweepstakes is the Nationals’ to lose.

The process has been fascinating, and it looks for now as if the Nationals have played it perfectly. They held firm at their price for Fielder, and with the apparent (and stunning) relative lack of interest in one of baseball’s great sluggers, the market has come to them. They let agent Scott Boras dictate the terms of the Jayson Werth negotiations last winter. The Lerners struck back this time. Or at least that’s the appearance right now.

In the background of their discussions with Fielder lies the Nationals’ under-construction television deal with MASN. Like the Rangers, the Nationals could soon be expecting more cash from their rights fees. The details are few, but the stakes are explained in the story from today’s paper, with help from Chuck Greenberg, an architect of the Rangers’ massive TV deal.

The Nationals, experts say, can expect enough new revenue from their renegotiated rights fees to pay for Fielder’s potential contract – and then some. Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor and sports business expert, said signing Fielder could enhance the Nationals’ argument for higher rights fees from MASN.

“I think it would,” Zimbalist said. “Somebody like Fielder offers the possibility of not only the team being more competitive, but generating excitement in his own right.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, nationals

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Davidoff: The Mets on trial

I don’t know but yesterday seemed kinda odd
No billion-dollar liability from the law, no smog
And my stadium wasn’t surrounded by wild dogs

yesterday was a good day for the Mets , thanks to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who denied Irving Picard’s appeal of Rakoff’s recent ruling that decreased the Mets’ potential Madoff clawback payment from $1 billion to $386 million.

What yesterday’s ruling also did, however, was set in motion the trial for this case, which is scheduled to begin on March 19 _ and proceed right into the start of the baseball season…

I’m not going to pretend to be qualified to appreciate every nuance of the determining laws here. But this is a jury trial, which means that more than the letter of the law will come into play. Performance matters. Delivery matters. An ability to connect with the jury matters.

And now Fred Wilpon - who is widely liked and respected throughout both the baseball community and the business community, but not gifted with great PR skills - will have to deliver the performance of his life. Same goes for his brother-in-law, Saul Katz, who has preferred to remain out of the spotlight, with the very notable exception of his self-assessment in the infamous New Yorker story.

You can’t imagine that Wilpon and Katz are going to gain much sympathy with the “We generally savvy businessmen were duped!” narrative. They’ll have to, if they want to not only save the roughly $300 million - crucial in their efforts to retain the Mets - but preserve their reputations.

If Wipon can prevail in this trial, then for as much as anyone suspects wrongdoing, then Wilpon can just say, “Scoreboard.” ... A Wilpon victory also would make it far easier for Bud Selig to continue his vocal support of his pal.

The District Attorney Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

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