SBD/October 22, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski wrote a World Series title has become Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch's “last grail, and after nearly achieving it in 2006, when the Tigers lost to the Cardinals, the quest has grown more urgent.” Wojnowski: “Nobody has invested more in the Tigers, in every way.” Ilitch went “all in to land [1B] Prince Fielder with a $214 million contract,” and he signed P Justin Verlander and 3B Miguel Cabrera “for huge sums and long terms.” Half the Tigers “tremendous starting rotation” is still on the team because Ilitch “wasn't interested in waiting for prospects.” Tigers President, CEO & GM Dave Dombrowski said, "He's told me all along, if there's one thing he'd really love to have, it would be that World Series ring" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/21).
PARADE OF THE PALACE: Palace Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Dennis Mannion and Exec VP and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Charlie Metzger said that Pistons Owner Tom Gores is “investing more than $25 million over three years on capital improvements, ranging from a clean blue-and-silver color scheme to renovation of 40 corporate suites” at the Palace of Auburn Hills. In Detroit, Tom Walsh noted advertising around the building “will be cleaner, less busy.” Mannion said that the “head count of 255 full-time employees at the Palace is unchanged since his arrival 13 months ago.” The revenue-producing sales and marketing and staffs “have been beefed up, while administration and operations were shrunk.” Advance ticket sales are “running ahead of last year.” But Metzger said that it is an “apples-to-oranges comparison because of the delayed start of the 2011-12 NBA season because of a labor lockout” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/21).

WELCOME ABOARD: Baseball writer Murray Chass noted the Dodgers named Gerry Hunsicker Senior Adviser/Baseball Operations and the team is “unlikely to make a more significant off-season move.” Hunsicker at this point “could probably have any general manager’s job that was available,” but he "chose not to jump back into the pressure-cooker world of general managers.” Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten said, “He’s here to give us his expertise. I thought with his experience he will be very helpful to us.” The Dodgers “especially want Hunsicker to enhance the discovery and development of players in Latin countries, an assignment in which he flourished with the Astros and the Rays” (, 10/21).
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