MLB Franchise Notes: Dodgers Have Sold Record-High 28,500 Season Tickets
Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten said that fans have purchased 28,500 season tickets, the "highest total in franchise history, up from 17,000 last season." USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale notes Kasten "ponders whether they must cap the total at 31,000 to ensure fans can still buy single-game tickets." The Dodgers have a payroll of about $230M this year, the "highest in baseball history." They are "shelling out more than" $100M for stadium improvements, "nearly tripling the size of the clubhouse for players." Kasten said, "You know who doesn't complain? The Dodger fans. And that's who we really care about. Having a strong Dodger franchise is good for baseball" (USA TODAY, 3/1).
MO' MONEY, MO' PROBLEMS: In New Jersey, Bob Klapisch writes the "truth is, any Mets' renaissance has to be powered by money, and there's still no proof [team owner] the Wilpon family is in a position to reinvest next year's windfall on the roster." Continuing to refinance the club's debt "is a dangerous game, one the banks won't allow forever." The Mets have $52M "coming off the books next year, thanks to the expiring commitments" to P Johan Santana and former LF Jason Bay. Klapisch: "Perhaps the Wilpons have another way of managing their debt, one more trick up their sleeves, but if not, it looks like that windfall is headed straight to the bank and not the 2014 payroll" (Bergen RECORD, 3/1).
SEEING IS BELIEVING: MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner said of the Yankees' plan to lower their payroll beneath the $189M luxury-tax threshold by '14, "I imagine [Yankees Managing General Partner & co-Chair Hal Steinbrenner] is sincere when he says that. But like a lot of things, I'll believe it when I see it." Weiner added, "I'm not concerned, because they're dropping their payroll to put themselves in position to greatly increase their payroll the next year" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28).
FRIARS' CLUB: MLB Network’s Chris Rose noted the Padres will run a “Throwback Jersey” promotion during several Thursday night games “where they wear those terrible jerseys from the late ‘70s into the mid-‘80s.” MLB Network’s Kevin Millar noted those jerseys "are terrible," but said, "Old style we bring back sometimes in this generation. You never know, these might be the new jerseys.” Rose said “throwback jerseys are cool” but the Padres are “awful.” MLB Network’s Alanna Rizzo: “Uniforms are the least of the Padres concerns” (“Intentional Talk,” MLB Network, 2/28).
CHERUB ROCK: Musician Billy Corgan, a noted Cubs fan, was asked on Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s “SportsTalk Live” Thursday what his ultimate band lineup and venue would be. Corgan said he has “played some of the most famous venues in the world,” but noted, “I’d love to play Wrigley Field one day." Corgan: "I’ve talked to the Ricketts [family] about it. Hopefully my band can get big enough again to do that. It would be a dream come true certainly to be on the field at Wrigley” (“SportsTalk Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 2/28).