SBD/Issue 19/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Pirates' Coonelly Discusses Payroll Plans

Pirates Could See "Meaningful Increase"
In Player Payroll Next Season

Pirates President Frank Coonelly noted the team had a $44M payroll this season and has the "capacity to meaningfully increase the payroll for 2011." Coonelly said, "[We] will do so if we are able to bring in players who can help us win. As the teams who are currently playing in the postseason this year demonstrate, however, winning is a function of talent, determination and execution, and not the size of a club's payroll. Four of the eight postseason clubs this year have payrolls in the bottom half of the industry." He added, "There are, each year, far too many examples of clubs that have built playoff teams through excellent scouting and player development to allow us to use payroll as a crutch" (MLB.com, 10/6).

STICK AROUND FOR A WHILE: Outgoing Nationals President Stan Kasten yesterday said that he "will maintain his minority ownership stake" in the team "until he decides what he wants to do next, which he said will likely be by next spring training at the earliest." Kasten will remain employed with the Nationals through December, and before the end of the year he "hopes to accomplish three objectives." He wants to "finish negotiating a contract for the Nationals' radio rights," make progress on "cleansing corruption from the Dominican Republic operation" and determine the team's Spring Training future. Kasten said, "I'm devoted to this franchise, in any way I can help them, officially, unofficially or otherwise" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/7).

HEY MR. SAND(Y) MAN? On Long Island, David Lennon cites a source as saying that if the Mets think Sandy Alderson is the "right man to fix their mess in Flushing, it is believed he could leave" his job helping MLB operations in the Dominican Republic "with the blessing -- and perhaps even the encouragement -- of the commissioner's office." MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "wants the Mets restored to respectability," and as a friend of Mets Owner Fred Wilpon, it is "almost certain Wilpon will seek Selig's input on the GM decision" (NEWSDAY, 10/7). However, a Mets official yesterday noted that the team is "waiting for permission to interview candidates from other teams" (NJ.com, 10/6).

A GIANT AMONG US: The Giants host the Braves today in the opening game of their NLDS matchup, and in San Jose, John Horgan writes Giants Managing General Partner Bill Neukom has "worked a small sporting miracle in just his second season at the helm of this storied franchise." Neukom has "always been a step ahead of the game," and now he faces the "critically important matter of San Jose's bid" for the A's. Horgan: "We are going to learn whether he is indeed the Giants' master of the universe. Don't bet against him" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/7).

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