2009 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
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.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.