SBD/November 4, 2013/Franchises

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  • Red Sox In "Enviable" Financial Position Heading Into Next Season

    Many of the Red Sox' core players are set to return for next season

    The Red Sox after winning the World Series "are in an enviable position economically and have a variety of avenues to explore that could result in a stronger team" in '14, according to Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE. C David Ross said, “We know we’re not going to have the same team we had again. There are a lot of changes that could happen. But this organization is in pretty good shape when you look at the guys who are coming back.” Barring a qualifying offer "being accepted" by CF Jacoby Ellsbury, 1B Mike Napoli or SS Stephen Drew, the Red Sox "would have approximately $47 million coming off their payroll." Some of the holes in their lineup "could be filled inexpensively from within" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/4). ESPN’s Howard Bryant said of the Red Sox' season, “Everything hit right, all the free agents, every note worked. It was a symphony for them for the entire season. That said, no you can’t say that there’s going to be any sort of dynasty going on here because everything changes so quickly in this sport. The bottom line is with the Red Sox, they’re a money team in a money game" (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 11/3).

    EXTRA CREDIT: In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote Red Sox ownership "did what they said they were going to do -- fix what was broken." As much "blame as they fielded for the rudderless 2012 campaign, they deserve equal credit for making the course corrections that resulted in the World Series." Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino said, "We do know it comes with the job. It’s part and parcel of the job description, you’re going to receive your share of public criticism when the team doesn’t perform as well as it should." Lucchino, Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner "owned up to their mistakes" from the last two seasons, and now they "get to own their share of the credit for restoring the Joy of Sox" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/3).

    SHOWING RESPECT: In N.Y., David Waldstein wrote the 21st century "belongs to Boston." The three-to-one championship ratio since '04 is "hard for many Yankee supporters to accept, and perhaps many regard it as a usurpation of their birthright." But that is "not the way the Yankees see it now." The Yankees’ front office "respects and appreciates what the Red Sox accomplished this year, especially if their championship helped their city heal, even in a small way." Yankees GM Brian Cashman said, "If we weren't going to win it, then I was actually happy they won after everything they went through" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3).

    I LIKE A PARADE: In Boston, Bryan Marquard reported the Red Sox' victory parade Saturday was a "poignant mix of rejoicing and remembrance," with "exuberant chants and cheers quieted noticeably as the procession paused in Copley Square at the Boston Marathon finish line." Red Sox LF Jonny Gomes "climbed down from his duck boat with the World Series trophy, set it gently in the center of the finish line, and draped it in a 617 Boston Strong jersey" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/3). Also in Boston, Tom Layman noted victims and first responders "were in attendance at Fenway Park before the duck boats got rolling." In a manner that "felt neither obligatory nor over the top, the Red Sox provided a perfect tribute at the finish line" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/3). The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said the team paying tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing was "wonderfully symbolic, the way that they placed the trophy on the finish line." Ryan: "They embraced that entire circumstance without trivializing it. It’s a very fine line, but they walked it and they walked it well” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN2, 11/3).

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  • MLB Franchise Notes: Phillies Expected To Stay Below Luxury-Tax Threshold

    Amaro says his payroll for '13 should have been sufficient to compete

    In Philadelphia, Matt Gelb noted the Phillies are "unlikely to exceed" the $189M luxury-tax threshold, "although they have plenty of funds to support a payroll north of that figure.” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said, "Obviously, we had a lot less people coming to the ballpark this year. We have to be cognizant of that. We have been greatly supported -- our payroll was, what, $165 million? That should be enough to put a contender on the field." Gelb noted the Phillies have "committed approximately" $118.5M in payroll to eight players. If everyone returns, that leaves about $38M in '14 salary to “procure a catcher, an outfielder, a starting pitcher, and bullpen help" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/3).

    STATUS QUO: In Pittsburgh, Travis Sawchik wrote while MLB is "enjoying record revenues and Pirates owner Bob Nutting indicated he would like to increase" the team's payroll, "don't expect the club to become frequent purchasers of big-ticket free agents." Pirates GM Neal Huntington said that the team's plan "remains to find stars through the draft and development and attempting to sign core players to long-term deals." Huntington: "The core of our team needs to be homegrown. We can't build through free agency" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/3).

    TOUGH SELL: In N.Y., Bill Madden wrote, "All things being relatively equal, the Mets, a team that has had five straight losing seasons, are one of the least desirable free-agent landing places." Madden: "This is not to say the Mets aren't going to sign free agents to fill their corner outfield, shortstop and middle-of-the-rotation needs. Just don't expect them to sign any of the most coveted free agents." Agent Scott Boras is "cornering the market this winter with the two most-desirable outfielders," Reds CF Shin-Soo Choo and Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/3).

    LONE RANGER: In Dallas, Evan Grant noted Nolan Ryan's tenure as Rangers CEO "officially came to an end" on Thursday, and the team has "some of their remaining advertising inventory to thank Ryan for his service." Ads appeared in both the Dallas Morning News and the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram last week that read, "Thanks, Nolan." The club over the past week "has put the same wording on rotating billboards around town." Rangers Exec VP/Ballpark Operations Rob Matwick said that the ads were "an act of appreciation and thanks for all Ryan had done for the Rangers and baseball in Texas" (DALLASNEWS.com, 10/31).

    BREWING SUPPORT: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt noted Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio took out a full page in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday “to write a letter thanking fans for their support during a difficult 2013 season and pledge hard work in doing better in 2014.” Attanasio in the ad wrote, “I want to thank you for your unwavering support this year. In spite of the disappointing season, you once again demonstrated why you make up the most loyal fan base in all of baseball” (JSONLINE.com, 11/3).

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