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April 12, 2006 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: April 5-10

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Christina Kahrl

One of the game's sluggers gets locked up for the next few years, the Cubs re-up Hendry, and the Yankees wander into the free talent market again.

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March 28, 2003 12:00 am

6-4-3: What Can You Spell With Four Ps?

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Gary Huckabay

For a long time, I've been trying to find someone who's at or near the top of the ladder in an MLB marketing department to talk to me about some of the unique challenges, opportunities, and practices in marketing an MLB club, and to give a spin-free answer to some of the tougher questions that readers have asked about MLB's policies over the years. On Thursday, I was fortunate enough to talk with the lead executive of an MLB club's marketing department, and they agreed to answer any questions I threw out, so long as I didn't give out their name.

On March 16th, Fred Halverson passed away after a long battle with illness at the age of 82. Mr. Halverson is directly and personally responsible for much of the success and happiness enjoyed in life by countless students of Menlo School, and he made a positive impact on my life for which I am forever grateful. He provided guidance and support at a time in my life at which I needed both, and his generosity and kindness will never be forgotten by those whose lives he touched. The world is greatly diminished by his passing, but more enriched by his having ever been with us.

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The price of our national pastime, it turns out, is $40-$50 million, which is how much MasterCard is spending on their 'MasterCard Presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments' campaign. I can't believe it's that low, considering they've shown those commercials so frequently that I get nauseous looking at that shot of Jackie Robinson. Keep in mind, Robinson is one of my favorite baseball players, one whose autobiography I wore down reading repeatedly.

"Gehrig's farewell speech: selfless. Jackie Robinson's rookie year: fearless. Carlton Fisk's game-winner: timeless. Our national pastime: priceless."

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Last week in this space, I talked about how baseball teams should knock it off with the Obey-o-Tron and build their fan base with the kind of cheer clubs you see in soccer. Here's the cool part: it's already happening. I got e-mail from readers all week long.

Last week in this space, I talked about how baseball teams should knock it off with the Obey-o-Tron and build their fan base with the kind of cheer clubs you see in soccer. Here's the cool part: it's already happening. I got e-mail from readers all week long.

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A month later, despite Bud Selig and Bob DuPuy's continued Thelma and Louise-style drive towards a cliff--which probably includes hand-holding--I'm still thinking of something I saw during the World Cup. Baseball doesn't need to borrow much from other sports (oh, the good announcer/bad announcer from wrestling, sure), but it should steal the "cheer clubs" from European soccer and quick. Maybe save it for post-Impending-Labor-Action, when everyone's looking for something to "save" baseball again.

A month later, despite Bud Selig and Bob DuPuy's continued Thelma and Louise-style drive towards a cliff--which probably includes hand-holding--I'm still thinking of something I saw during the World Cup. Baseball doesn't need to borrow much from other sports (oh, the good announcer/bad announcer from wrestling, sure), but it should steal the "cheer clubs" from European soccer and quick. Maybe save it for post-Impending-Labor-Action, when everyone's looking for something to "save" baseball again.

I love going to baseball games. If I lived next to a ballpark, I'd go every day. I watch, I applaud good plays, I cheer the guys I like or respect. I don't need to have all the scoreboards flash "NOISE!!!" and "LOUDER!!" to get me going. Playing the "Addams Family" theme to get people to clap in time is hokey, though that did lead to one of my favorite exchanges with a player:

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