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SBD/February 20, 2012/Franchises
MLB Franchise Notes: Cashman Separates Personal, Professional Lives
Published February 20, 2012
SCALING BACK HIS PRESENCE: In Houston, Jerome Solomon noted Astros Owner Jim Crane "made it a point to tell media that he wasn't likely to be accessible." He "wasn't going to be an out-front owner." In recent months, Crane has been "out front talking about changes in news conferences, traveled on a caravan to minor league affiliates and worked the room in perhaps a dozen meetings with season-ticket holders." Crane said, "The fans want to be engaged and they want to see a winner. You've got to make it personal and get out in front of the fans and the people that are buying the tickets." Crane said that when the season begins he "will step out of the spotlight." Astros CEO George Postolos said, "His instincts are incredible. He does what's necessary to be successful. He's very competitive. ... And right now he feels that he needs to be involved heavily while we strengthen the organization. He is very involved with customers" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/19).
THE METAMORPHOSIS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis wrote the fact that Showtime is featuring the Marlins on its show "The Franchise" is a "testament to the stunning metamorphosis the Marlins have undergone -- from a franchise nobody cared to see to must-see unfiltered cable TV fare." It is "not surprising that more than 50,000 registered for a chance at about 1,000 tickets that will be made available for Opening Night at Marlins Park on April 4." But while the Marlins have been "diligent in establishing their presence in Miami through various charitable initiatives," Davis noted they "showed they are still prone to public relations blunders in unretiring the number dedicated to initial team President Carl Barger without first communicating with the family of the late executive" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/19).
OPTIMISTIC INVESTMENT: In Tampa Bay, Marc Topkin noted Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg's expansion of the team's payroll to around $65M was an investment in "optimism: In the team, and in the fans." Sternberg said, "I was tremendously heartened by the Scarborough numbers (showing the Rays are the area's most popular sports team) and I have faith this could be the year we have some breakthrough at the gate" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/18).