Baseball set a revenue record in 2009

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Money Bag.jpg2009 saw the highest rate of men selling apples on street corners and people eating ketchup and sawdust for dinner since the the Great Depression — maybe; that’s the sense I got from reading recession-porn all year, anyway — but baseball didn’t feel the pinch one bit.  Take it away Maury Brown:

The league reports that gross revenues were $6.6 billion for 2009, a
record figure for the league. The figure is a 1.5 percent increase the
$6.5 billion pulled in for 2008.

The increase of revenues comes against the backdrop of MLB seeing a decline in attendance this past year. While still the fifth highest on record, MLB saw a total paid-attendance figure of 73,418,529 for 2009, a decrease of 6.58 percent from a total of 78,591,116 in 2008.

Baseball focused heavily on promotions and affordable ticket options
in many ballparks, helping to keep in-ballpark revenues afloat during
the chilly economy. The increase also can be attributed to centralized
revenue streams through television, radio, MLB Advanced Media, and
merchandise sales.

A key factor in the increase can also be laid at the feet of the
Yankees and Mets. Both clubs opening new stadiums this past year, and
charged premium prices for tickets.

My contribution to this included a seldom used MLB.tv account, a new Braves hat for me, a Cubs hat for my son, tickets to a couple of Reds games, probably around 100 games watched on TV, approximately 2,349,872 clicks on MLB.com for blog-fodder and in the neighborhood of 60 cents in loose changed dropped from my backpack while loading and unloading stuff at the Winter Meetings, which I’m sure Selig picked up later after everyone went down to the bar.

You’re welcome, Major League Baseball.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.