SBD/January 26, 2012/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Orange County Could See Boost From Angels Signings

Pujols signings could lead to boost in local Orange County economy
In California, Larry Urish notes the “local Anaheim/Orange County economy will likely get a boost” from the Angels signing 1B Albert Pujols and P C.J. Wilson this offseason. Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau VP/Communications Elaine Cali said, “We feel that the acquisition of both players will have a positive ripple effect for local businesses and the community as a whole. And it will raise the awareness of Anaheim as a top sports city.” Urish writes, “Given the struggles that the L.A. Dodgers have yet to weather, the O.C. squad’s wider reach in the SoCal sports market may equal -- and eventually even surpass -- the Boys in Blue in overall brand awareness” (OC METRO, 1/’12 issue).

THREE CHEERS: MLB.com’s Richard Justice wrote at a time when the Astros’ attendance “is down and the team is being rebuilt,” new Owner Jim Crane “has found out how deeply people in Houston care about their baseball team.” Crane is “handling all of this brilliantly.” He has been meeting with groups of fans “over the past few months to hear what they like and don't like about the franchise.” When they told him they “didn't like not being able to bring food and drink into the ballpark, he changed the rule.” When he heard that “tickets were too expensive, he lowered prices.” If an owner has “just one chance to make a good first impression, Crane is making an excellent one” (MLB.com, 1/25).

SOUNDING OFF: In Toronto, Steve Buffery wrote Blue Jays Owner Rogers Communications is “the worst (major) sports franchise owner in this city’s history.” If Rogers was “serious about winning, they would spend more. Period.” Buffery: “I truly believe that if this team was owned by someone outside of the sports communications business, the knives would be out big-time in this city -- there would be a deafening hue and cry for a new owner -- an owner that would be willing to mix it up financially and compete against the big boys, year after year. But things are too cosy in this town when it comes to the ball team” (TORONTOSUN.com, 1/25).

PAYING TRIBUTE: In Chicago, Scot Gregor noted the White Sox “will be wearing their 1972 uniforms during all Sunday home games this season.” The uniforms will feature “the red pinstriped jersey and Sox script across the chest, red numbers on the front and back of the uniform top and red caps” (DAILYHERALD.com, 1/25).
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