MLB looking at switching from StubHub to Ticketmaster

17 Comments

Remember how the Yankees and some other teams were all mad at StubHub because … well, their reasoning was completely silly, but know that several teams are not happy with StubHub. Seems they’re looking at alternatives: like going with Ticketmaster over StubHub as the official resale vendor for tickets.

I’m not sure how this would make baseball teams happier, because the issue they are mad about — the secondary seller has tickets listed below box office prices — won’t be solved with Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster does resale for the NHL and the NBA and it’s the same story: if the game isn’t sold out, you can always find cheap tickets on a secondary basis.

But hey, teams could get revenge on those bottom-feeding fans they hate so much: Ticketmaster is way more annoying that StubHub and the fees are often higher, so that’d show ’em!

UPDATE:  I could be wrong about the price floors with Ticketmaster. I’m told by a couple people that they do for NHL tickets, meaning that even when a game is not sold out, you can’t get tickets from Ticketmaster below box office price.  On the other hand, I’m told that their fees are more reasonable than StubHub’s.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

Getty Images
8 Comments

In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.