SBD/April 1, 2014/MLB Season Preview

MLB Franchise Notes: Nationals Sticking With "Natitude" Slogan For '14 Season

In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Nationals brass entering the season "thought it might be time to slowly back away" from the team's "Natitude" phrase, keeping it as "part of the team’s larger brand but finding a new slogan for the new era." Officials surveyed their fans to "make sure they were on the right track." However, Nationals VP/Marketing & Broadcasting John Guagliano said, "In our survey, it came back overwhelmingly in favor of Natitude. ... The younger group definitely was all over it, but the older demo was still on it, and it wasn't much difference. If they know, if they can remember it, you've got to stay with it." Guagliano unveiled the team’s '14 slogan last week, “Nothing But Natitude.” Individual player-focused campaigns include “Nothing But Command” for P Jordan Zimmermann, “Nothing But Hustle” for LF Bryce Harper and “Nothing But Clutch” for 3B Ryan Zimmerman (, 3/31).

MEET THE METS: In N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes for all the "attention on their free-agent shopping, the Mets’ payroll actually went down a bit from last year," when P Johan Santana and others "bogged down" a $93M budget. The Mets "check in this year" at $89M, ranking 22nd overall. The Wilpon family, which owns the team, "set the payroll," not GM Sandy Alderson. But Alderson "put the onus on fans when asked if the payroll is adequate to meet the 90-win goal." Alderson said, “What I’m hoping is as we get better and the fans respond to that improvement, that payroll number will go up" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/1).

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': In San Jose, Tim Kawakami wrote the A's "dream of moving to San Jose is all but barricaded, at least for the foreseeable future." The lawsuit filed by the city of San Jose against MLB has "gotten no traction and in fact has only inflamed the other owners against the idea." So MLB is "not willing to overturn the Giants' territorial rights," which means that A's co-Owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher are seeking a lease extension with Coliseum through '25 and "offering to sink many millions into stadium improvements" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/1). 

SETTING THE BAR: The Padres yesterday announced that Sunday's opener against the Dodgers set a new Petco Park attendance record with 45,567 fans. The previous record of 45,496 was set on Opening Day '09, also against the Dodgers (Padres). 
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