SBD/February 25, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Mets Expect To Be More Than $10M In The Red For '13

In N.Y., Josh Kosman reports the Mets are "expecting to lose more than $10 million this year, after bleeding red the past two seasons, while attendance is projected to fall for a fifth straight year." Mets ownership "can expect to take about $65 million from separately owned SportsNet New York." However, Citi Field "saps $43 million in debt payments, leaving a net gain of $22 million from those two assets." That means "there won’t be much left to sink into the ballclub" (N.Y. POST, 2/25). Meanwhile, the N.Y. Daily News’ John Harper said the Mets ownership and front office “don’t like hearing” MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner commenting about the lack of spending by the Mets, but “that’s Weiner’s job.” Harper: “You take a New York market out of the whole free agent market … and it makes a big difference. That’s his right to say that." The team has indicated that it "intends to spend money next year” when the contracts of P Johan Santana and former LF Jason Bay “come off the books." Harper: "We’ll see if they follow through with it” (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 2/22).

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: TSN's Scott Ferguson wrote the Blue Jays' "target date" to host the MLB All-Star Game should be '16 because it is the "next year that hasn't already been spoken for." It also will be 25 years since "the first and only Mid-Season Classic was held in Toronto: in 1991 in what was then called the Sky Dome." Ferguson: "If everything holds true to form, it will be the American League's turn to host in 2016." Since '91, "only two other American League cities haven't hosted" the All-Star Game -- Oakland and Tampa Bay. The biggest challenge for the Blue Jays "should they bid might be the Dodgers." Ferguson: "Amazingly they haven't hosted the game since 1980, and their new ownership has deep pockets and a desire to take the Dodgers back to their glory years" (TSN.ca, 2/22).

CHARTING NEW WATERS: In Pittsburgh, Ron Cook wrote it was "easy to believe" Pirates Owner Bob Nutting last week when he said the team should "take a step forward" this season. That would be "at least 82 wins." Not even Nutting, who "often seems willing to tolerate mediocrity as long as he's making money, can stand by and do nothing if the team has a 21st consecutive losing season." Cook wrote no one would have criticized Nutting "if he had swept out all three of his top baseball men," but Pirates President Frank Coonelly, GM Neil Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle all returned this season. Cook: "The guess here is Nutting will follow through on his tough words if the Pirates fail to have a winning season again this year." Coonelly, Huntington and Hurdle "will be out," they "have to be out" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/24).

GONE CAMPING: In DC, Steve Hendrix writes interest in the Nationals' Spring Training "has surged." Sales of travel packages have "jumped more than 200 percent over last year." Sports Marketing USA VP/Sales & Marketing Lisa Goularte, whose firm arranges Spring Training packages for the Nats, said, "We actually had to bring in a second hotel to accommodate everybody." Nats packages "jumped more than any team’s and sold out by mid-January" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/25).

HOLLYWOOD SIGNS: In L.A., Dylan Hernandez wrote Dodgers Chair Mark Walter is "encouraged by how the Dodgers have sold more than the equivalent of 27,000 season tickets, setting a franchise record." When the team was owned by the O'Malley family, season-ticket sales "were capped at 27,000" (L.A. TIMES, 2/24).
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