MLB Franchise Notes: Angels Put Focus On Trout For Promotional Giveaways
In L.A., Bill Shaikin notes of the Angels' eight promotional giveaways during the year "featuring individual players," five include CF Mike Trout. That leaves "one giveaway each" for 1B Albert Pujols, OF Mark Trumbo and P C.J. Wilson, while All-Star P Jered Weaver and top offseason acquisition OF Josh Hamilton will not have any. Trout last season was unanimously named Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting, and the Angels are "not apologizing for capitalizing on Trout's popularity." Angels VP/Communications Tim Mead said, "If Albert had been the MVP last year, perhaps there would be the same items pushing that." Trout said that he "would not let" being the focus of the the Angels promotional attention "affect him" (L.A. TIMES, 2/26).
MISSION CONTROL: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark note the Astros this year are "trying to go where the Rays have already gone, from 100-game losers to a place among the top organizations in baseball." The Astros enter the season with a $25M payroll, but they have "one massive advantage the Rays don’t have -- and may never have: Money to spend … when the time is right." The Astros has a "big new TV deal just kicking in that will enable them, if and when they eventually get good, to spend the dollars required to stay good." Team Assistant GM David Stearns said, "Our payroll this year is more a product of strategy than anything else. ... But we're in a market that has supported a much higher payroll in the past. And we certainly expect it will be able to support a higher payroll in the future" (ESPN.com, 2/26).
MOTOWN MOVES: In Detroit, Bill Shea reports the Tigers have "increased single-game and season ticket prices for all but a handful of seats at Comerica Park for 2013." A small number of the seats "at the top of the ballpark have been reduced." New this year is a "three-tiered pricing system for value, regular and premium games, which are dictated by the popularity of the opponent and time of the season." The least-expensive full-season ticket plan "is $1,041 for an Upper Reserved seat, while the priciest is $6,051 for one near the on-deck circle." The team also will charge more "for suites and new corporate sponsorship deals" (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 2//25 issue).
TODAY'S GOOD DEED: MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm noted Blue Jays C J.P. Arencibia has presented Matt Harvey, a "self-proclaimed diehard fan who has been closely following the team since the early '90s," a pair of tickets to the team's season opener. The 31-year-old Harvey is "autistic and had to suffer through years of bullying before reaching his adult life." His story was "recently featured in an article on the Canadian Baseball Network, and when Arencibia got wind of everything Harvey went through, he reacted quickly." Arencibia said, "I have the ability to take care of him, make him be there on Opening Day and I figured it was something I could do." Arencibia earlier this week tweeted to Harvey, "I have two tickets for you! The bullies can watch it from home, you won't have to!" (MLB.com, 2/26).