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Volume 24 No. 157
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MLB Franchise Notes: Pirates' Doubleheader A Hot Ticket, But Won't Count As Sellout

The Pirates regained first place in the NL Central last night after sweeping a doubleheader against the Cardinals, and in Pittsburgh, Dan Majors reports the doubleheader "technically" was not a sellout, there "just weren't any seats left to sell." The "rare doubleheader ... became a popular pick as soon as it was scheduled." But because of the team's "liberal ticket-exchange policy -- which allows season-ticket holders to trade unused game tickets for future weekday games -- the only tickets available at the PNC Park windows were 'standing room only'" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/31).

TRYING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER: ESPN's Max Kellerman said the Brewers giving fans a $10 voucher good for concessions, merchandise and game tickets is a "good start" to help them get past the recent OF Ryan Braun PED scandal. The Braun scandal is a "huge blow" to the organization because he is the "face of their franchise, the guy they chose over Prince Fielder." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley said the $10 voucher is "good on the surface," but "underneath it shows a separation of the organization and what Ryan Braun did." Wiley: "That's a smart move by them" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 7/30). CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome said, “Sorry the face of the franchise is so scummy, have a beer-and-a-half on us. It’s nicely played” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 7/30).

: In Illinois, Mike Imrem writes the White Sox "have to compete with the Cubs for the hearts and minds of Chicagoans," but the Cubs now "appear ready to wipe the chuckles off all White Sox faces." If the Sox "think they're in a Cubs town now, imagine if the Cubs' grand plans evolve into reality." Already the Cubs are "collecting promising young players while by comparison the Sox appear to be collecting dust." The Cubs are "building an empire throughout Wrigleyville while by comparison the Sox are building a hole for themselves in Bridgeport." But the Sox "always are fighting the good fight to remain relevant in and around the city" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 7/31).