SBD/Issue 234/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Nats Reaching Out To Blogging Community

Introductory Press Conference For Strasburg
Includes Fireworks, Jersey Presentation
In DC, Bob Cohn notes the Nationals yesterday held Bloggers Day at Nationals Park, the second of the season, and the club is making an effort to "reach out to their blogging community." Nationals President Stan Kasten: "They're clearly a presence on the Web, which is clearly a presence in our lives. ... I think we're all better served when they have as much good information as they can have." Sixteen bloggers participated in yesterday's event, and Kasten added, "A year ago we didn't do things like this. A year from now we'll probably have a better fix on what's appropriate or what's not appropriate" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/24). Meanwhile, the Nationals' introductory press conference for P Stephen Strasburg on Friday included "fireworks, a No. 37 jersey presentation, and a VIP seating area" where Owner Ted Lerner sat. Several hundred fans "peppered the sections directly behind third base" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/22).

KEEPING THE THRONE: Mets Owner Fred Wilpon Saturday, when asked about the future of GM Omar Minaya, said, "Am I going to bring Omar back next year? Absolutely. That's a fact." Minaya later said Mets manager Jerry Manuel "is my guy," inferring Manuel will return for the '10 season. In N.Y., Joel Sherman wrote Wilpon "just assured that the main faces of the 2009 humiliation will return next year." What will be "interesting now is how the Mets try to spin this; how they attempt to convince their fans that Minaya and Manuel are the best duo equipped to pull them out of this death swirl" (N.Y. POST, 8/23).

MAGIC CARPET RIDE: In Philadelphia, Michael Klein noted the Phillies last week started selling "old clubhouse carpet" from last season, cutting it into 18-by-24 inch pieces featuring player numbers, MLB hologram stickers and "World Series Champions" patches. The carpet featuring the number of a "bench player" will cost $150, while a patch for players such as 1B Ryan Howard or 2B Chase Utley is selling for $250 (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/23).

CLOSING TIME: In Ft. Worth, Jim Reeves reported the MLB Rangers in October will close their Legends of the Game Museum and "plan to redesign the space in hopes of better using it to generate" more revenue, "another sign of the times when it comes to the Rangers' financial distress." Rangers Exec VP/Communications John Blake: "We need to make it more financially solvent. As a stand-alone museum, it just doesn't generate any revenue." The team hopes to "have the new space ready" by the start of next season (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/23).

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