The Brewers had already fired their manager, and with the season winding down, their long-time general manager has stepped down as well.
General manager Doug Melvin saw the Milwaukee Brewers make two playoff appearances and complete just five winning seasons under his watch. But was his time with the small-market club a success? And how has he positioned the team and the person who takes over his role for the future? Michael Bradburn takes a look at Melvin's legacy at BP Milwaukee, read the full article here.
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Teams are getting creative with how they price tickets.
Ticket pricing isn’t a very sexy topic; it’s one that isn’t readily discussed by the media or even in sabermetric circles, but it remains vitally important. Like so many parts of baseball, ticket pricing is getting smarter. We so often, as fans of the game, prefer to forget that baseball is a business and that the owners and shareholders demand profits. Ticket sales, obviously, drive a portion of that. But when a fan buys a baseball ticket, he or she rarely buys just a ticket, but also a parking ticket, food, and perhaps memorabilia. An afternoon of baseball can quickly become an expensive experience.
That’s why ticket pricing has more than one purpose. It can most importantly be a way to attract fans to the games, often creating new fans (or, perhaps, repeat customers) in the process. Whether it’s by giving away free tickets, creating special promotional nights, such as the ever-popular bobblehead nights, or packaging together family plans to attract younger baseball fans, plenty of ways exist to control and maximize the fan experience with ticket pricing.
Publicly funded stadiums continue to put money in the pockets of owners while the rest us keep paying for it.
Miller Park is a wonderful ballpark, but the fact is, it's still costing tax payers money and could do so for the foreseeable future. With the debut of BP Milwaukee came a great piece from Jack Moore showing us how the owners continue to make money on their state-of-the-art stadium, with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks set to do the same, as the public is saddled with costs that inevitably end up being more than projected.
The Nationals find first place, Randy Choate reaches first base, the Brewers go back-to-back-to-back, and the best defensive play of the day.
The Tuesday Takeaway
Hope springs eternal when teams break camp and head to their respective openers with 0-0 records. Every team, from the heaviest favorites to the longest of long shots, is in first place on the first day of the season.
We find six interesting storylines for the six all-but-eliminated teams--and none of them is about trading away superstars.
Bad teams are boring. That’s a thesis to which we can all subscribe, isn’t it? Sure, it’s interesting when a team invests heavily—almost desperately—in a given season, then falls flat, but for the most part, the trends we track and the decisions we analyze draw our interest because of their impact on the competitive prospects of the teams and players in question. The most criminal thing about the current MLB roster rules is that they discourage bad teams from being competitive, such that hardly anything that happens on the field for those teams merits our attention. Teams not only have incentive to lose more games within a non-contending season, but are saddled with conflicting interests when it comes to promoting promising young players during such a campaign. Young players who would have been in the big leagues 20, 30 or 40 years ago are now stashed in the minors months longer, if their team stinks. And it doesn’t pay to grouse about a manager steadfastly refusing to use his best reliever in a tie game on the road, if we can’t agree that winning that game is actually valuable to the franchise.
That stinks, especially for the hundreds of thousands of fans of bad teams who lose the chance to participate in a national conversation. So consider this a public service, an outreach program to the downtrodden and the disenfranchised of the baseball world. Six teams entered Wednesday’s play with Playoff Odds lower than 10 percent: the Braves, the Phillies, the Reds, the Brewers, the Rockies and the Diamondbacks. (Yes, we’ll have a conversation soon about how the NL and the AL have become so radically disparate, in terms of competitive landscape. But not today.) Without resorting to the cheap, easy stories that force the eyes of the fan bases forward at the expense of any enjoyment of this season (Who will Arizona take with the first pick? Will the Reds trade Cueto? Will the Rockies trade Tulo? Will the Phils trade Hamels?), I want to talk about the most interesting things going on with those six clubs. I don’t promise to deliver hope; some of these are bad things. I merely want to make sure that we spend a little time valuing the games these teams are playing, because buried beneath the mixed messages and the mounting apathy, there is real content, real action taking place, things that will shape the futures of the franchises, but can be discussed in real time, without undue abstraction.
The incredible rise of Jake Marisnick, the Cardinals long and difficult sweep, Addison Russell's first bomp, and the best defensive play of the weekend.
The Weekend Takeaway
Is this the season that the #process finally pays off for the Astros? The odds still aren’t fantastic—40.6 percent adjusted odds to make the playoffs, as of Sunday—but they’re sure as heck better than they were at the beginning of the season, and they’ve shot up 25 percentage points since last Saturday.
Players slip through the cracks in this sport. Finding those guys before they break out usually takes a stroke of luck.
One of the most rewarding experiences is finding a gem that everyone missed. People ask me all the time how I find clients, and, honestly, a lot of the time I meet these kids by accident. Call it fate, call it determination, call it whatever, but the roads taken by my clients that led them to me have often been very strange.