Articles matching tag: MLB
- Column: MLB Franchise Values Continue To RiseMay 11, 2017
“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Mark Twain, 1897 For years, polls and pundits have suggested that baseball’s popularity – and economic vitality - is dwindling, especially when compared to football. Based on the most recent estimated MLB franchise values published by Forbes, nothing could be further from the truth. Thirty years ago 23% of sports fans named baseball as their favorite sport, compared to 24% who chose football. According to the most recent Harris Poll published last year, football trumps baseball by 18 percentage points, 33 percent to 15 percent. However, the poll results only tell one story and the numbers are hardly a reflection of the financial state of MLB.
- Column: Shohei Ohtani - Japan's Babe RuthApril 13, 2017
The Major League Baseball season got underway last week and stars such as Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw will spend the next six months burnishing their reputations as the best in the game. But perhaps the best player on the planet will not be wearing an MLB uniform this year. Twenty-two year old Shohei Ohtani plays in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), acknowledged as the worlds’ top league outside MLB. After one more season in Japan, Ohtani is expected to cross the Pacific, bringing his dual talents with him. That’s right. Ohtani, 6’4” and 215 pounds, pitches and hits well enough to be considered the Japanese equivalent of Babe Ruth. Whether his accomplishments in Japan will translate to this country remains to be seen. However, scouts, who are known to be fickle and critical by nature, gush over his talent.
- Column: Cuban Smuggling Case A Stain On MLBMarch 23, 2017
While most baseball fans have been focusing on the excitement of spring training in Florida and Arizona, or the emotion of the World Baseball Classic being played around the globe, a seamy side of the sport was being detailed in a Miami courtroom. For six weeks, Cuban players and other government witnesses testified about a smuggling network that starts in Cuba, goes through Haiti, Mexico and other countries, and ultimately delivers MLB some of its top talent. Last week a federal jury convicted agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada of human trafficking. Hernandez is facing 3-15 years in prison while Estrada faces between 5-35 years at their sentencing on July 11.
- Column: MLB Serves Up... SoftballFebruary 16, 2017
As owner of the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics from 1960-80, Charles O. Finley had more creative ideas than all his fellow owners combined. He outfitted his teams in colorful uniforms and tried to convince his fellow owners to adopt orange baseballs and bases. Finley was roundly criticized by fans, media and players for confusing baseball with softball. Decades later, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is impersonating Finley. In an effort to speed up the game and save pitchers’ arms, MLB plans to test a rule change this season in the Minors that would place a runner on second base at the start of each extra inning. Different rules for extra innings are not without precedent. A similar rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Putting a runner on second for extra innings has also been used in softball.
- Column: New MLB CBA Will Look Like The Last OneNovember 24, 2016
How times have changed in Major League Baseball (MLB). No, we don’t mean the game on the field, although recent rule changes have sparked fan debate and lit up social media. The big change, one that has fattened the bottom line for everyone involved in the game - owners, players, media outlets and everyone else who generates revenue from the sport – is labor peace. Between 1972 – six years after the formation of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) - and 1994 there were eight work stoppages in the sport, five strikes by the players and three lockouts by the owners. However, since 1995 MLB has had labor peace and not coincidentally, the sport has flourished. In the past 21 years, the parties have successfully negotiated five Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) without an interruption in play. During the same period, the other three Major League team sports – the NFL, NBA and NHL – have shut down a total of five times.
- Column: MLB's Instant Replay Doesn't Please EveryoneNovember 3, 2016
Baseball may be the sport most rooted in its traditions. Therefore, it should surprise no one that MLB was the last major sport to adopt instant replay. And not surprisingly, not everyone believes the current system improves the game. Instant replay was first introduced in Major League Baseball in 2008. Initially, it was limited to reviewing home runs. But since an expanded version of instant replay was adopted in 2014, managers can ask umpires to review plays on the bases, trapped balls and virtually everything else with the exception of balls and strikes. Those who believe that the most important thing is to get every call right are even clamoring for “robot umps” behind the plate.
- Column: Preller Suspension InadequateSeptember 29, 2016
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller can’t seem to distinguish between ethical and unethical behavior. It recently came to light that Preller instructed his medical staff to maintain two sets of records on Padres players, one that was submitted to Major League Baseball and made available to all clubs per MLB rules, and one that was used for internal purposes only. The clear intent was to deceive his fellow GMs and obtain an advantage over them in trades. After a number of teams complained that they were not receiving accurate medical information on Padres players, MLB initiated an investigation. After reviewing the facts, the League slapped Preller with a 30-day suspension without pay for failing to provide the Red Sox with complete medical records prior to the consummation of a trade in July.
- Column: Yankees Release A-RodAugust 25, 2016
Based on statistics, Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest and most prolific players in MLB history. He is also one of the most polarizing and disliked players of his generation. A-Rod’s playing career seemingly came to an end after he was unceremoniously released from his contract with the Yankees on August 12. Because the 41-year old had another year remaining on the 10-year, $275 million contract he signed in 2007, the parties agreed to a new deal for the $6 million remaining this year and the $21 million owed for 2017. Under the terms of the agreement, A-Rod will be a special instructor and advisor for the team and report directly to Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.
- Column: Save America's Pastime ActJuly 14, 2016
One of my favorite professors in law school used to say, “I can win any case if you give me the side with the sex appeal.” I was reminded of my professor recently when I traveled to Washington D.C. as part of a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) contingent to lobby Congress on a bill titled the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” a name that screams sex appeal. Sounds like a bill that should receive bipartisan support and sail through the legislative process, right? Alas, that was not to be. Some members of the media and other pontificators, unable or unwilling to see the bill for what it really was, were quick to vilify Major League Baseball (MLB) for attempting to take advantage of MiLB players.
- Column: Are Beanball Wars Out Of Control?June 23, 2016
Just as the MLB season has heated up, so too have the “Beanball Wars.” The motivation for the incidents may vary, but the potential result is the same: Suspensions and/or injuries that could affect a team’s performance or jeopardize a player’s career. The most recent dust up occurred when Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura plunked Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in the back during a game on June 7. Machado’s offense was barking at Ventura after the pitcher had thrown inside to him earlier in the game. Machado dropped his bat and charged the mound, precipitating a benches-clearing brawl. When the melee ended, Ventura and Machado were ejected and later suspended by MLB, Ventura for nine games and Machado for four.