SBD/August 18, 2011/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Nats Prevented From Wearing Military Caps During Game

In DC, Dan Steinberg noted the Nationals "had hoped to wear" their batting practice hats with military insignias "for the entire game" Tuesday, the start of the team's first homestand since a deadly helicopter attack in Afghanistan earlier this month. The team had asked MLB "for permission to do so," and  "at least some members of the organization thought this would happen as late as Monday afternoon." MASN team broadcaster F.P. Santangelo said, "They tried, and Major League Baseball said no, but they wore 'em during batting practice [Wednesday]." He added, "It's unfortunate that they couldn't wear the hats during the game." MLB Senior VP/PR Pat Courtney said that the league "prefers its clubs commemorate specific causes with uniform patches or batting-practice displays, rather than the actual game hats" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/17).

CUBS QUESTIONS
: SI.com's John Heyman cited sources as saying that Cubs GM John Hendry's job "is probably safe" because he reportedly has "a good rapport and the respect of relatively new owner Tom Ricketts." But some sources said Hendry is "at risk" of losing his job, despite the fact that Ricketts "has spoken positively about Hendry to some other owners." Heyman noted in Hendry's nine years as GM, there have been "some very bad contracts, including the $136 million for" LF Alfonso Soriano, who is still owed more than $50M under a deal signed in '06, and $30M for free agent OF Milton Bradley. Heyman: "Ricketts is said to be a cautious man, and someone who likes the personable Hendry very much. Some close to him have thought Hendry would stay. But that doesn't appear to be assured now" (SI.com, 8/17).

MEET THE METS? In N.Y., Kaja Whitehouse reports the Mets, "already suffering from an 8 percent decline in home attendance," are about to "suffer yet another indignity -- they are about to drop into 14th place in baseball's average attendance standings." The Mets "haven't been this low in MLB's attendance race" since '04. They finished 12th in '10, after "drawing enough fans to finish in seventh place in 2009 and second place in 2008" (N.Y. POST, 8/18).

BUCKING THE TREND: Fox Business’ Lori Rothman reported MLB teams are “struggling to get fans in the seats in their ballparks amid a weak economy and the growing ability to watch games on TV or mobile devices,” but the first-place Brewers are “bucking that trend, scoring both on the field and in the stands.” Fox Business’ Jeff Flock noted the revolving signage next to the team’s dugout at Miller Park and said the Brewers “don’t have the same revenue streams like the Yankees have.” Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said, “Signage is big part of what we do. ... We're trying to balance it. We want to have a tasteful atmosphere, but we also have to generate revenue to pay for these players” (Fox Business, 8/15).
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