MLB Franchise Notes: Dodgers, Angels Breaking Bank, But Can't Bank On WS Win
ESPN's John Saunders noted the Yankees and Red Sox for years "tried to bankrupt each other by going after the biggest names money could buy," but the "real action is centered around Hollywood, where the Dodgers and Angels appear determined to break the bank.” ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez said it has “been proven that you can’t just go to the top of the payroll list and all of a sudden you’re a favorite to win a World Series.” N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said, “It’s a complete myth that you can buy a World Series.” ESPN’s Jemele Hill said, "Most fans want their ownership to prove that you’re invested in the team, that you want to spend money.” Hill: “You have to spend your way into the conversation” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 3/3).
TRIBAL BEATS: In N.Y., Filip Bondy wrote it would be "important for just one major leaguer ... to announce he will not play for the Cleveland Indians until they eliminate Chief Wahoo from their racist logo and cap." If enough players refused to join the Indians, or "simply expressed their reluctance, even prideful Cleveland fans would likely embrace the necessary change." Native American activists "continue to protest against Chief Wahoo, an unfortunate blind spot" for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Bondy: "In the past, whenever I’ve asked players their opinions on Chief Wahoo, they’ve mostly shrugged" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/3).
CROWN ROYALS: In K.C., Bob Dutton noted the Royals will "likely open the season with a club-record payroll" of roughly $79M. The team's "previous record for an opening day payroll" was $70.5M in '09. The Royals opened last season at $60.9M and finished the year at $68.6M "for their 40-man payroll" (K.C. STAR, 3/3).
CITI SHOPPING: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote of the Mets' sponsorship deal with Amway, "If businessmen and owners of a big league team ever were eager to restore their reputations for integrity and prove they’re not so cash-desperate that they would add to the suspicion they are, the first company they would avoid is Amway." If the Mets’ owners "wished to, at last, shake free of their well-earned reputation for doing big business with big bad guys, it wouldn’t sell Amway a quarter-page ad in the Mets’ 2013 Yearbook" (N.Y. POST, 3/3).
WHERE THE WIND BLOWS: The Cubs will only have celebrities with ties to Chicago or who are Cubs fans perform during the 7th inning stretch this season, and ESPN's Hill called it a "bad policy." Hill: "They’re going to get (ESPN’s Michael) Wilbon and Vince Vaughn to do it every weekend? Part of the luster of doing this is the fact that you see people who don’t quite identify with the tradition, singing this song” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/1).