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Volume 24 No. 156
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MLB Franchise Notes: Indians Payroll Drops For Third Straight Year

In Cleveland, Paul Hoynes reported the Indians projected 25-man Opening Day roster payroll is expected to be around $48.4M, the "third straight year the payroll has declined and the lowest it has been since 2005," when the team had a $41.5M payroll. It has dropped from $81.6M in '09 and $61.5M last season. The Indians are "expected to rank somewhere between 26th and 28th in payroll among MLB's 30 teams." By comparison, "projected the average salary for the five teams in the AL Central" at $91.2M -- the White Sox, Tigers and Twins will have payrolls of more than $100M, with the Royals "the only team with a payroll lower than the Indians" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/26).

DETROIT RENAISSANCE: In Detroit, Lynn Henning reports a sales surge has put the Tigers "in position to exceed their 2010 attendance numbers at Comerica Park and at least approach the 3 million mark they have reached twice in history." Tigers officials do not comment on ticket sales, but a source revealed that the team is "about 2,000 season tickets ahead of last year's, which slightly surpassed 13,000." The team drew 2,461,237 fans last year, the "lowest mark since 2005" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/29).

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: In California, Cam Inman reported the Giants are "cashing in on San Francisco's first World Series championship." Giants President & COO Larry Baer noted that the team has "sold 27,700 season tickets as opposed to 24,000 at this point last year." Baer: "It's been, quite frankly, even beyond our expectations." However, Inman noted if the Giants "indeed have dethroned the 49ers as San Francisco's marquee attraction ... they'll need to pack AT&T Park consistently, with fans and championships" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 3/26).

THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND PRINCE: Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said that the team "had been successful in its important effort to renew leases on the 19 Founder's Suites at Miller Park," which all expired after last season. He said that 18 of the 19 suites "have been leased, with one still available that may be leased on a per-game basis." The Brewers offer three-, five- and seven-year leases. Schlesinger added that 58 of the 63 suites at Miller Park "are leased for the upcoming season" (Mark Kass, MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/25 issue).

CREATING A STATE OF MIND: In Toronto, Richard Griffin noted it has been 16 months since Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos took his position, and he has "rebuilt the farm ... and has fans in Toronto buzzing again." Anthopoulos said, "When you're trying to build a culture and what the organization stands for, it's not just one thing. We're doing X so that means we're professional, first class, treating everybody right. It has to be a laundry list of things and a multitude of things. It has to be a lot of the little things. When you start doing a lot of the little things, it starts to add up" (TORONTO STAR, 3/26).