SBD/January 14, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Cardinals hoping to sign Pujols to a new long-term deal before Opening Day

Titans Owner Bud Adams Thursday said that the team "will not raise ticket prices" for the '11 season. It is the "second year in a row prices will go unchanged, marking the first such two-year streak since the Titans moved" into LP Field in '99. Adams said, "There are a number [of] pressures to increase our revenues, but this is not a time to raise prices for [our] fans." How the Titans, coming off a 6-10 season, would "handle refunds in the event of a delay or cancellation of the 2011 season is still to be determined" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/14).

IS IT IN THE CARDS? Cardinals Chair & CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. on Wednesday said that he is "hopeful the team will sign" 1B Albert Pujols, whose current deal expires after the '11 MLB season, to a "long-term contract extension before Opening Day." DeWitt indicated that he "doesn’t regard the start of spring training as a firm deadline to announce a deal." Apart from a new contract for Pujols, the Cardinals are "slated to spend more" than $100M on player payroll for '11. DeWitt said that he "doesn’t anticipate any more 'major' upgrades to the roster before Opening Day" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/13).

YOUTH OF A NATION: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan notes now that GM Jim Hendry has "finished tweaking the Cubs roster, the marketing department gets its chance to sell the product to a somewhat skeptical fan base." But how "difficult will it be to market the Cubs after its fifth-place finish?" Cubs Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Wally Hayward said, "It's more difficult than if we won the World Series last year." Sullivan notes the team's marketing plan will "focus on youth, pointing to the rookie-year successes" of SS Starlin Castro, LF Tyler Colvin and P Andrew Cashner. An ad for the new "Pick 13" ticketing plan features Castro and Yankees SS Derek Jeter (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/14).

ALL IN THE FAMILY: In Cleveland, Bill Lubinger notes the "middle man in the Browns' 10-day coaching search" was Professional Sports Representation Inc. Owner Bob LaMonte, whose "influence in Berea now stretches from the team's boardroom to the coach's office." LaMonte represents new Browns coach Pat Shurmur, in addition to team President Mike Holmgren, GM Tom Heckert and Exec VP Bryan Wiedmeier. NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello said that the NFLPA "regulates agents, not the league." NFLPA rules indicate that "dual representation is not prohibited as long as an agent discloses the names of any coaches, general managers or other management types he or she represents" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/14).

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