SBD/February 13, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Sox Want Players Who "Embrace Challenge" Of Playing In Boston

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said the team during the offseason "wanted to target players who we believed in talent-wise, that we felt fit the clubs needs and also would come in and embrace the challenge of playing in Boston coming off a year like 2012." Cherington: "We knew that as we built this thing back in the direction we know it’s going to go in, you don’t do that quietly in a place like Boston. There’s going to be questions, there’s going to be scrutiny along the way” (“Clubhouse Confidential,” MLB Network, 2/12). But in Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes the Red Sox are "scuffling for attention and approval" in the city. Institutional "arrogance and hubris have been stored in the trunk." The Red Sox are a "national punch line and find themselves far less popular" than the Patriots. The Red Sox "suddenly rank fourth in local popularity, trailing the Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins." Shaughnessy: "Here's a slogan they could try: 'Red Sox: Please Don't Hate Us'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/13).

TIGER TALES: In Detroit, Brian Manzullo noted single-game tickets were recently posted on the Tigers’ team website, and it “shows big increases in several areas.” The “biggest change is there are now three tiers of ticket pricing: Premium, regular and the all-new ‘value’ pricing for home games in April, May and September." The value games “take place during school, non-summer months" and are "somewhat cheaper.” Skyline seating, which “used to cost fans just $5, now costs $20 for premium games, $15 for regular games and $12 for value games.” Ticket prices on average “are up about $5, though it varies by seating” (FREEP.com, 2/11). 

TWIN BILLS: Twins President Dave St. Peter said of the perception that the team does not spend enough money on payroll, "We don’t believe payroll is the issue. We invested well north of $100 million two years ago and it didn’t pan out. Last year, our payroll was north of $100 million and we lost 95 games. The good news for fans is there is flexibility. For Opening Day, we’re between $80 million and $85 million. I tend to focus more on where we land at the end of the year than where we start” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/12).

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY: The MLB Rangers this week launched their ’13 advertising campaign with the phrase “Hello Win Column!,” the trademark call of late broadcaster Mark Holtz. A majority of the team's TV and radio commercials will be voiced by manager Ron Washington or a variety of players and will be accompanied by game-winning highlights. The team also will introduce a series of ads recognizing fans for their contributions to Rangers’ wins. The spots were created by Texas Rangers Productions (Rangers).

CAN YOU SPARE A BUC?
The Pirates are looking to change their logo for the ’14 season, but MLB Network’s Chris Rose wondered if the team’s priorities needed to be changed. Rose: “I have no problem with the logo they’ve got or anything. If you want to change something up, maybe you change some of the pieces of the field so we finally get a winning team for the first time in two decades” (“Intentional Talk,” MLB Network, 2/12).
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