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Maury Brown 

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06-05

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20

Bizball: Suspensions May Loom for Players Connected to Biogenesis Clinic
by
Maury Brown

05-06

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29

Bizball: The Marlins' Sinking Attendance
by
Maury Brown

04-29

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23

Bizball: Baseball's Marketing Problem Isn't Easy to Fix
by
Maury Brown

04-22

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6

Bizball: April Showers and Baseball Attendance
by
Maury Brown

03-25

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22

Bizball: MLB, the Boogieman, and the Biogenesis Lawsuit
by
Maury Brown

03-04

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8

Bizball: 2013 American League Attendance Projections
by
Maury Brown

02-25

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6

Bizball: A Detailed Look at the Salary Arbitration Class of 2013
by
Maury Brown

02-15

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9

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Dexter Fowler
by
Maury Brown, Matthew Kory and Ben Lindbergh

02-11

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11

Bizball: Are the Astros Really Losing Money?
by
Maury Brown

02-07

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21

Arbitration Showdown: Mock Hearing: Max Scherzer
by
Maury Brown, Larry Granillo and Ben Lindbergh

02-06

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4

BP Unfiltered: Jhonny Peralta Makes Five ACES Clients Tied to East Coast BALCO
by
Maury Brown

12-12

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9

Bizball: Yankees' Focus on $189 Million Not Just About the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

12-04

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2

BP Unfiltered: From the Winter Meetings: An interview with Dodgers President Stan Kasten
by
Maury Brown

12-03

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2

Bizball: Changes to MLB’s Drug Testing Coming After Spike in Testosterone Suspensions
by
Maury Brown

11-27

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10

BP Unfiltered: Former MLBPA Executive Director Marvin Miller Passes Away and Why He Should Be in the HOF
by
Maury Brown

11-27

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8

Bizball: Inside the 2012 Postseason Shares
by
Maury Brown

11-19

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24

Bizball: Marlins Ownership and a History Lesson in Greed
by
Maury Brown

11-13

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37

Bizball: Ranking 10 MLB Relocation and Expansion Markets Shows Why Either is Difficult
by
Maury Brown

11-05

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11

Bizball: Sizing Up a Seven-Year, $175 Million Deal for Josh Hamilton
by
Maury Brown

10-30

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30

Bizball: 2012 Sees Lowest World Series Ratings, MLB Loses Millions, and Post-Season Shares
by
Maury Brown

10-23

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12

Bizball: 2012 MLB Postseason Shows Money Matters
by
Maury Brown

10-16

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0

Bizball: The Strange Case of Melky Cabrera Spills Over to His Agency
by
Maury Brown

10-08

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10

Bizball: Inside 2012 MLB Attendance, Plus Postseason TV Ratings Update
by
Maury Brown

10-02

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3

Bizball: Do the Dodgers Really Have a “Secret Deal” to Avoid Revenue-Sharing?
by
Maury Brown

09-24

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17

Bizball: Astros Will Use Money to Pay Down Debt, but Is That a Bad Thing?
by
Maury Brown

09-17

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7

Bizball: Who is Getting the Most Bang for their Buck?
by
Maury Brown

09-10

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87

Bizball: The Strasburg Shutdown and How It All Could Have Been Avoided
by
Maury Brown

08-27

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29

Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made
by
Maury Brown

08-20

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14

Bizball: How Low Will Jim Crane Go with the Astros?
by
Maury Brown

08-13

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5

Bizball: The Kitchen Sink (A Roundup of Baseball Biz)
by
Maury Brown

08-06

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10

Bizball: Get Off the Idea of Contraction in Major League Baseball
by
Maury Brown

07-31

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6

Bizball: Inefficiency Becoming the Norm with Veteran Contract Extensions
by
Maury Brown

07-23

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19

Bizball: Five Ways MLB Can Market Itself Better
by
Maury Brown

07-16

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19

Bizball: Playing the MLB All-Star Game Television Ratings Game
by
Maury Brown

07-09

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12

Bizball: How Much Could MLB’s Next National Television Contracts Be Worth?
by
Maury Brown

07-02

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4

Bizball: How Much Salary Can You Allocate to One Player and Be Competitive?
by
Maury Brown

06-25

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7

Bizball: Inside the MASN/Nationals Television Contract Dispute
by
Maury Brown

06-18

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28

Bizball: How Every Club in MLB is Getting Rich, Thanks to Television
by
Maury Brown

06-11

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9

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 MLB CBA: Major Changes Come to the League’s Drug Policy
by
Maury Brown

06-04

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2

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 MLB CBA: Minimum Salaries, the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

05-29

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21

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 CBA: The Luxury Tax Meets the Draft
by
Maury Brown

05-14

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7

Bizball: New CBA, Fans Sue MLB, Jerry McMorris Dies, and Other Picture Postcards
by
Maury Brown

05-07

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8

Bizball: Who Will Be MLB’s First $300 Million Player?
by
Maury Brown

05-01

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6

Bizball: The Frank McCourt Era Is Over
by
Maury Brown

04-23

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18

Bizball: 12 Detailed Looks At Early MLB Attendance
by
Maury Brown

04-16

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18

Bizball: Why the Seattle Mariners Could Be Sold
by
Maury Brown

04-09

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16

Bizball: Big Money and the Opening Day Payrolls
by
Maury Brown

04-02

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6

BP Unfiltered: This Isn’t Baseball. It’s About Autism
by
Maury Brown

04-02

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7

Bizball: Inside MLB’s Social Media Policy for Players
by
Maury Brown

03-28

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27

Bizball: A New Day for the Dodgers
by
Maury Brown

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A look at Houston's decision to use television money to pay down debts instead of putting it toward player payroll.

Back in August, I asked, How Low Can Jim Crane Go?—a reference to Houston’s player payroll. In the article, I tracked how the club has been dramatically cutting player payroll in recent months. Since then, there has been more cutting, a continued emphasis on player development (congrats to our BP colleagues Mike Fast on going to Houston and Kevin Goldstein joining him as Pro Scouting Coordinator), and increased revenues that will be available via Comcast SportsNet Houston. The team (along with the Houston Rockets) will own just over 77 percent of the network and will receive an annual $26.28 million raise, beginning in 2014, on the $23.72 million they  currently receive as part of the league’s national television contract.

The Astros are approaching the end of their second consecutive 100-loss season, and a move into the AL West next season (where the bar for spending has been set high by the Rangers and Angels) means continued losing is likely for the foreseeable future. Since that article of mine in late August, a number of sources close to the club have said that there are have been grumblings within the organization regarding how the increased television revenues will be used.

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September 17, 2012 5:00 am

Bizball: Who is Getting the Most Bang for their Buck?

7

Maury Brown

A look at baseball most efficient and inefficient teams and how much money helps a team's chances of making the postseason.

When it comes to running a sports team, there are ultimately several factors that come into play that determine your ability win. Clearly, you have to be able to scout and evaluate talent. After that, getting those players under contract can be tricky. In doing so, it’s critical to make the best use of whatever revenue resources you have at your disposal. Money doesn’t buy championships, but let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt.

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A look at the Stephen Strasburg situation in Washington and what the Nats could have done to avoid this media nightmare.

The countdown had been coming for months. It was just a matter of what would happen when it ended. We’re of course talking about the Washington Nationals’ declaration that they would shut down starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg at 160 innings pitched, something that the club had said they would be doing after the no. 1 draft pick and Scott Boras client had Tommy John surgery in 2010 to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

We counted. We watched. We never made it that far.

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August 27, 2012 5:00 am

Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made

29

Maury Brown

A look at the Boston/LA deal that set a record for the most money ever involved in a Major League Baseball trade.

On Saturday, the baseball world saw what it often likes to see in a true blockbuster trade. There may be regrets when all is said and done, but for now, the sides each got what they were looking for. The Red Sox, who had the league’s third-highest Opening Day payroll ($175,249,119), got little aside from salary relief in the deal ; the owners of the Dodgers, who on May 1 closed a $2.15 billion sale, were looking to not only make the playoffs but run clean through to a World Series championship.

As we covered on Saturday here at BP, the nine player deal had the Red Sox trading right-hander Josh Beckett, left fielder Carl Crawford, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, infielder Nick Punto, and reportedly $12 million cash considerations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for first baseman James Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus, Jr., right hander Allen Webster, and two players to be named later. Those two players are rumored to be Rubby de la Rosa and Jerry Sands.

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A look at Houston's rebuilding plan following their sale this past winter.

There was a time not too long ago when folks were leveraging themselves to the eye sockets in order to purchase goodies—big, expensive goodies such as homes and cars. In fact, many got in over their head and had these expensive, leveraged purchases repossessed, while others simply are straddled with mountains of debt.

Coming up on the end of the first season of owning the Houston Astros, Jim Crane seems to fit in with the latter group. He hasn’t done anything horribly wrong other than to strip the team down to the axels.

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August 13, 2012 5:00 am

Bizball: The Kitchen Sink (A Roundup of Baseball Biz)

5

Maury Brown

The Padres sale, the potential A's move, ESPN and FOX broadcasts, and umpire ejections are all examined in this week's Bizball.

The conversation often starts innocently. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked, but to date, I haven’t been able to answer completely or in under a half-hour. The question is: What does sports business involve?

On the face of it, it looks pretty easy. I always grab the path of least resistance on the query and reply, “It’s sports outside the lines.” If you’re pressed to provide added detail, the conversation explodes into everything from labor to PEDs to stadium construction to sportswear to… to… well, you get the picture. When I write for Baseball Prospectus, it makes sense to pick a topic each week and dig into it. But, for every topic covered, there’s a cornucopia of them that don’t get covered.

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A look at why contraction is not a legitimate option for Major League Baseball.

For those that haven’t followed baseball’s history outside the diamond, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf could well be defined as one of baseball’s hardliners. While neither he nor Bud Selig would admit it, the two were greatly responsible for driving former commissioner Fay Vincent, Selig’s predecessor, out of office.

Reinsdorf has been a hardliner on other issues as well. He’s a key sounding board on labor issues and has often chimed in on paring the league down via contraction. Whether this was in 2002 when the league owned the Montreal Expos or now, when the difficulty of new stadium construction comes along, Reinsdorf has hit on the “C” word.

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A look at the growing trend of huge free agent contracts.

Money has a way of making people do funny things. A lot of it can alter your perception of what is (and is not) extravagant.  It certainly changes how you approach purchases, and in MLB, it’s no different.

The times were different and the circumstances far removed, but I can’t help but recall former commissioner Peter Ueberroth speaking to the owners on October 22, 1985. As I said, the topic was far, far different (collusion), but nothing (maybe ever) has changed about owners being hyper-competitive. As outlined in John Helyar’s seminal book, Lords of the Realm, Ueberroth was quoted as saying:

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July 23, 2012 5:00 am

Bizball: Five Ways MLB Can Market Itself Better

19

Maury Brown

A view of how Major League Baseball can make the game more appealing to fans and bring the game to them more efficiently.

Love him or hate him, one thing that’s certain is that under Bud Selig’s tenure, MLB’s popularity has grown. Whether one points to what I call “Selig’s Reclamation Project”—the 22 new or renovated stadiums under Selig’s tenure, labor peace, revenue-sharing, et al—baseball’s attendance has skyrocketed.

Still, like everything, baseball could use some improvements. After all, nothing is perfect, and baseball is no exception. Some things are a byproduct of a landscape different than the NFL and NBA. Some are of its own doing. Everyone probably has their own list of what they could do to market MLB better, and we’d like to hear it in the comments. Here are five things that MLB could do to grow its popularity further.

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Ratings for the MLB All-Star Game were up this year, but does that really tell the whole story?

Television ratings are a funny thing. The spin that can come out of the numbers can drive reports in wildly divergent directions. In sports, ratings can be spun to say that the popularity of a given league or club is high or low, depending on those feeding the information. Of course, leagues and clubs love to tout growth, while detractors can spin numbers negatively. For Major League Baseball, ratings have been used to show that the game’s popularity is on the rise, while others have pounded keys to say that it’s a “dying sport.”

So, which one is it? As is often the case in data analysis, the truth can lie in the middle. Before we get started, let’s give a quick primer on what the ratings numbers mean.

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A look at the changing landscape of media rights deals in sports and how MLB will be affected.

There was a point not too long ago when the key revenue stream for Major League Baseball was the gate—ticket sales—with media rights through television coming in second. Recently, however, there has been an explosion in the amount of money coming into sports properties in the U.S. via media rights that is altering the landscape. Whether it’s collegiate sports conferences or the “big four” sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), the dollar amounts for national and local broadcast rights have increased. The reason? With the advent of the DVR and movies on-demand, regular programming can be watched whenever viewers like. With content being recorded, fast-forwarding past commercials has become commonplace. Live sports programming is the exception. Since fans want to see action when it happens, advertisers are placing more focus around sports than ever before.

The increases in media rights fees have happened already at the local and regional level in baseball, as exhibited by the Rangers, Angels, and Astros (and soon to be Dodgers and Padres). In the coming months, MLB itself will be cashing in, too, when the national television broadcast rights come up for renewal. Currently, the deals with FOX, TBS, and ESPN all expire at the end of 2013. According to sources, informal conversations have already begun on renewing the national television deals.

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A look at how teams structure their payroll and the merits of the different strategies.

The general manager and owner’s dilemma been around since Ban Johnson decided that it was better to pay players rather than having them play as amateurs, the dilemma of trying to balance a budget with creating the most competitive team possible. We armchair GMs like to talk about whether this deal or that deal is good or bad, often within the framework of how much a player is being paid and whether they are “worth it.” Indeed, Baseball Prospectus strives daily to provide data that works to define that conversation.

The general manager’s dilemma, however, is tougher than, say, the budget that you or I set for our household. With some exceptions, most of us have a general sense of what our income and expenses will be. We may get a modest raise and the cost of living may increase at a rate that we can see coming, so for the most part, our monthly budgets can be set and we can adjust accordingly.

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