Keep an eye on ...
Major League Baseball is arguably in its strongest position ever with attendance at historically high levels, a new five-year labor deal in place, and competitive balance leveling the playing field. But MLB is still grappling with numerous pressing issues as the new season unfolds. Here’s a look at what to watch for in 2012.
A new era in Dodgertown
With a purchase price of $2 billion, the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers (set to close at the end of the month) is by far the most expensive for any North American pro sports team and will bring the Frank McCourt ownership era to an end. All eyes will now be on the new Dodgers owners, a group led by Magic Johnson and former Nationals and Braves President Stan Kasten, who will look to use the team’s massive popularity and a huge TV rights haul soon to create an economic juggernaut that resembles a West Coast version of the New York Yankees.
Where goes the 2013 All-Star Game?
It’s a mere 15 months until the 2013 All-Star Game, and
Back on the global stage
The third World Baseball Classic does not commence
Fan Cave, Part II
As any movie buff knows, sequels of
There’s no need for Ringling Bros., as the circus is already in town in San Diego. A seemingly done deal for team Vice Chairman Jeff Moorad to assume control of the Padres from Chairman John Moores — one several years in the making — is now in significant doubt as Moorad has relinquished the chief executive title and withdrawn his bid to become the club’s designated control executive. Apparently at issue are objections several team owners have with Moorad becoming a full member of the MLB fraternity. At this point, the saga presents more questions than answers, including who eventually will own this team and what, if anything, becomes of Moorad’s existing 49 percent equity share.
A’s still waiting
A year ago, the league’s ongoing study on the
The first-year player entry draft was quickly spotted early last year as a key issue in collective-bargaining talks between the league and MLB Players Association. And once the deal arrived in November, big changes indeed were present. Teams are now subject to signing bonus pools that will cap aggregate spending on draft picks. Exceeding those thresholds will subject clubs to stiff penalties, peaking at a $1 fine for every dollar over the limit and the loss of two future first-round picks. The June draft will present the first tangible evidence of how teams react to the new limits.