Now that I grabbed your attention with the headline, let me clarify…
Of course, Bud Selig is still the commissioner of MLB. There is another… Commissioner Johnny Damon. Yes, you read this correctly. No need to adjust your monitor.
That is, Damon will be commissioner for the first season of the Professional Baseball Video Game League (PBGL). The formation of the gaming league was announced today in which MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), Boras Marketing, and Global Gaming League, Inc. (GGL) will work together in this joint venture. The league kicks off this week using Microsoft’s Project Gotham Racing® 3 for Xbox 360. So, what did “Commissioner Damon” have to say in his opening remarks? Something about this being the Golden Age of baseball? How revenue-sharing is creating more parity in the league? Not quite, but he did play the part well.
“GGL is bringing together two of my biggest passions – baseball and video games – in a way that neither baseball fans nor video gamers have seen before,” said Commissioner Damon. “Both baseball and video games play a huge role in today’s culture in the US and around the world, and the PBGL is doing a great job of bringing these two communities together.”
“More importantly, the PBGL is allowing me to invoke another passion of mine – the Wounded Warrior Project, which raises funds and awareness for wounded veterans,” continued Damon.” As Commissioner, I’m proud to add former U.S. Army Sergeant Steven Andrew Robison of Kansas City, Missouri, to this season’s PBGL line-up.”
All the joking aside, given the fact that Boras and MLBAM are involved, there’s a little more than just a single name player involved in the project. Other Boras clients include, Craig Hansen (Boston Red Sox), Julian Tavarez (Boston Red Sox), Matt Holliday (Colorado Rockies), Willy Taveras (Colorado Rockies), Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers), Josh Barfield (Cleveland Indians), Corey Patterson (Baltimore Orioles), Rodrigo Lopez (Baltimore Orioles), Derek Lowe (Los Angeles Dodgers), Seth McClung (Tampa Bay Devil Rays), Mike Pelfrey (New York Mets), Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals) and Dallas McPherson (Los Angeles Angels).
MLBAM’s involvement shows that they are continuing to explore new avenues and revenue streams while looking to keep you wired.
As for that other commissioner…
While some may look at Bud Selig and shake their head, it’s clear that this past year has been good for Bud and the rest of MLB. This year saw record revenue ($5.2 billion), record paid attendance (more than 76 million), a new labor deal without a threat of work stoppage, three new television and media agreements, and Selig was able to get stadium deals in Washington, Minnesota and Oakland. Add in the successful rollout of the World Baseball Classic, and the seventh different World Series champion in as many years. Like I said… Not a bad year for Selig.
Today, those friuts paid off as Selig was award the SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Executive of the Year award. While it may not seem like much, it is the first time that Selig has won the award.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said of Selig’s selection, “In terms of a combination of putting out fires, defusing crises, building consensus - including collective-bargaining consensus with ownership – and growing revenues and the stature of the brand, he’s had not only a good year, he’s had a good decade.” Apparently, Stern missed the part about MLB being reportedly $418 million in the red as early as 2002, the All-Star game tie, and that pesky talk of contraction. Maybe Stern has been like a lot of those that are seeing the incredible growth in MLB and sweeping that all aside.