News came yesterday that the Yankees, Cubs and Angels have opted out of the MLB deal with StubHub for secondary market ticket sales.
We’ve talked about that in the past. The upshot: the Yankees and some other teams don’t like that the StubHub prices are often lower than tickets the Yankees are still selling at the box office. Which, cry me a river, if people won’t buy prices at what you’re asking it’s because your prices are too high. Still, that’s their beef, and their move to Ticketmaster, which has price floors for secondary market tickets, is their response. It’s a free country.
But I do love the quote from the Yankees about why they’ve made this move:
The Yankees are completing a deal with Ticketmaster that will, the source said, “be much more fan-friendly, have less fees and more accessibility.” Ticketmaster spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson declined comment.
I’m assuming the Ticketmaster person didn’t comment because even she doesn’t understand how the words “fan-friendly” and “less fees” can possibly be associated with Ticketmaster.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.