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Volume 24 No. 137
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MLB Franchise Notes: Epstein Refutes Criticism Of Red Sox Ownership

ESPN BOSTON’s Gordon Edes noted Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein “addressed criticism of Red Sox ownership in a new book co-authored by former Sox manager Terry Francona.” He said, “My quote about how 'they told us... we needed sizzle' was in response to a question about the meeting to discuss the consultants' study on NESN ratings. It was specifically about the consultants' meeting; it was not about ownership." Epstein added, “There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter. I take full responsibility for those moves.” Epstein disagreed with Francona saying the team’s ownership did not love baseball (, 1/17).

BREW MASTERS:'s Adam McCalvy noted the Brewers Tuesday "whittled down to three finalists in their 'Design a YOUniform' contest and opened online balloting." The contest, which will see the winning uniform design "worn on the field by the Brewers twice" in exhibition games, began with 700 proposals. Fans can now view the final three designs on the team's website and "vote for their favorite." The fan vote, along with "an internal panel of judges that includes Brewers closer John Axford, will select the winner" (, 1/15). Meanwhile, the Brewers organization yesterday announced it had “sold its 1 millionth ticket for 2013, reaching that milestone on the second-earliest date in franchise history” (, 1/16).

: In S.F., John Shea noted the A's Jan. 27 FanFest at Oracle Arena "is sold out." All 10,000 tickets have been sold, "at 10 bucks a pop for the general public and $5 for season-ticket holders." The sellout comes a year after only "7,500 fanfest tickets were sold." The A's at the event will "sell individual-game tickets and, at no charge, stage autograph, photo and Q&A sessions" (, 1/15).

: The Yankees yesterday announced they will play an exhibition game on Saturday, March 30, at 2:00pm ET against the Army baseball team at West Point’s Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field. It will be the 22nd exhibition game between the clubs at West Point and the first since ’76 (Yankees).