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Volume 24 No. 155
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MLB Franchise Notes: Loss Of Marlins Ace Likely To Hurt Attendance Figures

In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis wrote the season-ending injury to Marlins P Jose Fernandez could "soon be felt at the turnstiles." The Marlins in Fernandez' five home starts this season "averaged 28,924 fans," and in the other 17 home games just 19,230. Fernandez also was the starter for the "largest Saturday crowd" of 35,188 on April 5 (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/20).

BETTER CALL SAUL? In N.Y., Josh Kosman cited a source as saying that Mets co-Owner Saul Katz "recently tried unsuccessfully to persuade brother-in-law and fellow owner Fred Wilpon that they should sell majority control" of the team. But Wilpon "balked at the move largely because he wants to turn over" the squad to his son, COO Jeff Wilpon (N.Y. POST, 5/18). 

GONE WITH THE WINDY CITY: In Chicago, Rick Morrissey wrote under the header, "Not Buying What You're Selling, Cubs." The Cubs’ marketing efforts have "finally met their white whale the last several seasons," as they can "only put an embarrassing product on the field for so long before the sideshows and the barkers become ridiculous." The marketing department and the baseball-operations department are "separate entities, but at some point, doesn’t somebody have to say, ‘Maybe we should tone down the sales job?'" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/18).

SITTIN' BY THE DOCK OF THE BAY: In S.F., Susan Slusser cited sources as saying that the Triple-A PCL Sacramento River Cats ownership is "looking to change" MLB affiliates from the A's, and is "particularly interested in switching to the Giants." The A's affiliate agreement with the River Cats is "up after this season," as is the Giants' deal with the Triple-A PCL Fresno Grizzlies. This would be a "blow to the A's, who can call up players from their top affiliate with two hours' notice if both teams are at home" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19).