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.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.