Results tagged ‘ Ticket Sales ’
In case you missed it, Will Ferrell made an “appearance” for the Pacific Coast League Round Rock Express on Thursday, where he broke out a new character; legendary Venezuelan pitching star Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson. He was described thusly:
The Round Rock Express have acquired Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson… Johnson, who was born in East Texas but was raised in Venezuela, recently had his prison sentence commuted. He served time for running a smuggling ring that imported rare and illegal species of reptiles into the United States from South America during the mid-to-late 1990s.
Rojo took his time warming up, downing a beer in the process, before finally throwing a pitch during the actual game; with the delivery sailing behind the Nashville Sounds hitter (another “plant”), resulting in Rojo being ejected. That led to the scene you see pictured to the right.
Now, as sick as I am of the sports movies that Will Ferrell continues to be in (Talladega Nights, Semi Pro, Blades of Glory), I can’t lie. I wasn a little bit excited to see Will Ferrell come out and do his thing.
Any pitcher that likes to drink a beer during the game and tosses an opponent in a Nolan Ryan-eque headlock is OK by me.
Ferrell was in the area to host today’s inaugural Will Powered Golf Classic charity golf tournament at the nearby Cimarron Hills Country Club in Georgetown, Texas. From MLB.com’s Danny Wild:
Johnson also appeared to have taken a bag of beer cans with him to the mound.
“Mentally, I feel like I have the strength of 10 men, after that,” Johnson, who ripped off his mustache during the on-field chase, told reporters in a post-game press conference.
“Nashville showed a lot of stuff tonight,” he added. “They’ve got a lot of moxie.”
The Express pulled in more than 10,000 fans that nigh, including over four thousand walk-up sales, so no matter where one sits on weighing in on Ferrell’s comedic abilities it has to be said that this one paid off in the end.
On a side note, it sure as hell is a good thing he wasn’t pretending to be a hitter, or else the Astros would probably have called him up to be their clean-up hitter sometime real soon.
Baseball, however, is making a good case of why Bud Selig has more in common with your local undertaker (other than, you know, just looking like him).
According to numbers provided to our pal Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball, Major League Baseball brought in a record $6.6 billion in gross revenue during the 2009 season. That amount was a 1.5 percent increase over the previous high of $6.5 billion in ’08 and was produced despite a 6.58 percent decrease in total attendance from the previous year. Maury is also reporting that $433 million in revenue sharing money will be sent from the big-market behemoths to the teams crying poor in smaller markets.
Large or small market, this owning a baseball team business sounds like a pretty swell business to be in. Rake in plenty of cash during a down economy, all while turning your pockets inside out when agents, players and fans wonder why you’re not spending more in the offseason.
Then, when the news breaks that you’re actually printing money in denominations much larger than what you local schmoe ever sees you spin the news as evidence that baseball’s never been more popular. (Without, of course, mentioning that the cost of taking a family to one game is higher than it’s ever been.)
Look, I don’t begrudge owners in making a good old American dollar off the good old American game. They’ve opened up new avenues of revenue and deserve the windfall.
All I’m saying is that you should keep this post in mind next time you hear an owner cut budgets or say he can’t afford to keep a homegrown star. The Yankees and Red Sox aren’t the only teams making money when it comes rolling in like this. These “small market teams” are turning a tidy profit AND saddling up the revenue sharing troth.
Last year the Yankees won their 27th World Series in franchise history, and first in almost a decade. With the exception of the Phil’s inability to move runners and a few defensive gaffs, it was a well played and entertaining series. But the playoffs, in general, were another story entirely. They were plague by a veritable catalog of every blown call an umpire can possibly make and extended deep into November, all thanks to far too many “off days”.
And all of that was a screaming success compared to LAST years fall classic. Who can forget game five of the Phils/Rays series. The heavens opened up and it was an obvious call. Suspend the game.
Or so we thought, when in the top of the 6th with the Rays down a run, rain poured and the wind howled, conditions which should have halted the game at least an inning earlier. With the game already official, the umpires kept the teams on the field when conditions were unsafe, giving the Rays the most chances to score and keep their hopes alive.
What no one seemed to know is that Commissioner Bud Selig had decided, that no matter what the weather, the rules would be bent and the game would go to completion. The problem was, he only told the owners this – he neglected to pass the information on to managers, players, umpires, FOX and the fans. This complete breakdown in communication resulted in players on the field risking injury, umpires who knew it wasn’t their place to decide the fate of the World Series and fans who looked just miserable. While I applaud Seligs approach to suspend an official game despite the score, I find it despicable that no one was made aware of it before hand. This is just one travesty of the game that Bud has presided over.
In the past, commissioners were elected to expand and improve the game. There have been those on the sides of the players: Happy Chandler, despite a unanimous vote against, upheld the integration of Baseball, Bowie Kent Kuhn who upheld arbitration and free agency, Ford Frick, who took millions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to owners and created the pension fund.
And there have been those on the side of the owners; General William Eckert, a career military man with a business degree, who had never played a day of baseball in his life, *Peter Ueberroth, another business man who lined the owners pockets with millions of dollars from TV deals. Kennesaw Mountain Landis a man who was brought in for the specific purpose to clean up baseball, and our own Alan H. Selig.
Bud is the ninth Commissioner of baseball, the first to be promoted from within the owners fraternity. This is a man who cares nothing for the fans or the players, as an owner he has only one thing on his mind: Rape and pillage to make as much money as you can before you die so you can be buried with it. Much like our friend Mr. Pohlad.
Never before had a commissioner been tied financially to a team. He had to step down as president and CEO of the Brewers, and was forced to sell the team when his status was changed from acting commish to just plain commish. But from the time he began tenure to when he finally sold the team, his stock prices rose, making him millions of dollars on top of his ridiculous $14.5 million salary.
The majority of his tenure has been riddled with embarrassment, the ’94 players strike, the umpire strike, the tied all-star game, that steroid scandal, and most notably for those who read this blog: contraction. There have also been parts of the game I personally don’t like but some seem to enjoy: Interleage play, unbalanced schedule (its good to a point, but why play one team 7 times in April and be done with them for the season?) and the World Baseball Classic. Though, I must admit through gritted teeth that I do enjoy the three division and wild card set-up.
So here we are and this lil tidbit of news comes out:
“The Milwaukee Brewers are erecting a statue of baseball commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it on Aug. 24.
Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers. He became acting commissioner in 1992 and took the job full-time six years later, turning control of the team over to his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb. The Selig family sold the team to a group headed by Mark Attanasio in 2005.
“The Brewers and Miller Park are in this city because of the commissioner’s vision and dedicated efforts,” Attanasio said Monday.”
I hear this and all I can do is think of the immortal Homer Simpson.