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Action Item From MLB Task Force Expected Before Season's Start
Published January 15, 2010
|Selig Says Meeting Was A
"Great Exchange Of Ideas"
ECONOMIC FORECAST: Selig said it is too soon to say definitively whether the league will have a better fiscal year this year than in '09. League revenues were roughly flat compared to '08 at around $6.5B, in part because of new revenue from the MLB Network offsetting declining gate receipts. Selig: "We're sort of at the same level, perhaps a little better. You can't get a group of economists to agree on what's going to happen, but I think we'll do OK (this year)." To that end, several individual teams have indicated that ticket sales patterns have closely resembled '09 in that consumers are waiting as long as possible to make purchasing decisions. Will, as he did last January, made a presentation to the owners on his outlook for the national economy.
STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: The owners Thursday also heard a presentation from Stand Up 2 Cancer, which MLB has been supporting since '08, on the organization's ongoing work to fight the disease. Selig called the session among the most moving in his 40 years of attending owners' meetings. "I don't think I've ever seen more emotion. I'm very proud of our association with this group. They do tremendous work. This issue is so pervasive now -- everybody's been affected by it in some way" (Fisher).
STRIKING A NEW DEAL: The AP’s Bob Baum reported MLB owners “unanimously ratified a five-year contract with umpires on Thursday, wrapping up a decade of labor peace in a sport once plagued by work stoppages.” A source said that the deal, “expected to be ratified by umpires on Monday, would remove a ban on umpires appearing in consecutive World Series.” A source said that the agreement “also would allow management to use video to evaluate umpires and establish new programs for early retirement” (AP, 1/14).